Monday, October 26, 2009

Well, another transfer has come and gone. I´m now over 6 months in the mission, and on my 4th transfer. And this is gonna be an interesting one. My companion, Elder Squire left, and I´m with another 2nd transfer, Elder Murinez, from Colombia. And I´m District Leader. I´m not quite sure how to be DL, so it´ll definitely be an adventure for me. (Spoiler from Maili: He's kidding about this!)

Aside from that, this week was, well, another normal week. We found some more people one night. We were knocking doors and at one of them a man came out and said "Come in!" They were really nice, and we thought that they have to be less actives. We were searching around the living room for a picture of Jesus or a Book of Mormon or something. Then we saw the statue of the Virgin Saint Mary holding the baby Jesus. Turns out they´re Catholics but not really active, practicing, die-hard Catholics. We set the parents with a baptismal date. The grandma was in and out and the daughter, 10 years old, as well. We´re gonna work with them harder.

Yesterday we ate with the Stake President´s family (they´re in our ward, pretty sweet). He knows a lot of English, and his wife and kids quite a bit too. So for the closing prayer they asked me to do it in English. I have to say, that was the weirdest, most awkward prayer I´ve given in my life! Even worse than my first prayer in Spanish! I kept wanting to talk in Spanish, and even said a couple of words in Spanish and had to correct myself. And I really had to think hard about what I was saying. It was very different for me, and not something I want to do again soon.

I don´t think much else happened this week. Jorge is still progressing well. He has a good testimony of the church, Book of Mormon, etc. and wants to be baptized. He has no doubts about anything we´ve taught him. Which is a big change. He said that when we first visited, even though he had asked us to, he was closed. But then we taught him how to pray, and in the first prayer he did after we left he opened up more. Saturday, more or less 3 weeks after our first visit, he prayed in the lesson, the first time he´s prayed with us. It was a really great prayer, and we could tell that he´s praying from the heart. But his problem is that he doubts himself, and says he still has some personal changes to make. We just need patience and lots of prayer, and he should be baptized soon.

Willi and Vanessa are also progressing great. He´s from Peru, and is just waiting for his carnet to arrive so he can be legal. Then they can get married and baptized. I´m really excited for them. They have a 5 year old daughter, Camila, who is really cute. They´re going to be a great eternal family. And I should get to go to their sealing in the temple, one year after their baptism. It´ll be a great experience, especially for them.

Well, I think that´s about it from here. Oh, and one more thing: I lied. Nothing happened with transfers. I´m not DL. I´m still with Elder Squire. Nothing changed. Sorry, I had to do that, I couldn´t help it. I thought about waiting till next week to say something, but didn´t want to be that mean, nor confuse people. So we´re still here in Carrión, me and Elder Squire. And things are going great.

Well, until next week!!

Elder Murdoch

Iré, Haré, Seré
I will go, I will do, I will be.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Well, this Thursday I will officially have 6 months, 1/4 of the mission, completed.(counting the MTC) I feel old. I can´t believe I´ve been here that long! Time needs to slow down more! But it´s been a good 6 months. I´m learning a lot, and growing a lot spiritually, mentally, and a little physically. (I´ve been a little bad at excercising and need to pick it up some more.)

This has been a very crazy and interesting week. One day we were working with Permanaced and looking for the house of a member. It was in a little alley that has like 6 different houses. There was a lady that told us not to say nothing, just keep walking, she doesn´t want our message of Jesus Christ. All we did was say Hola!! Then as we walked away she said "It´s difficult to converse with the Devil in this house." My comp didn´t hear, so I was like, "Um, Elder. I think she just called us the devil." Interesting.

Thursday I got to become legal. I had to wake up at 4, go to the mission office, then go on a treasure hunt. We got instructions that said go here, do this, do that, go there, etc. It took about 7 hours of walking, running (in the sun), take a number and wait, stuff like that. But after all the frustration, I am no longer a tourist: ¡Soy Chileno! I´m Chilean! I get my ID card in about 2 weeks, but basically I am now Chilean. Sweet!!

Jorge is progressing really, really well. I think I mentioned last week, he got his answer in church. As he took the Sacrament, he suddenly knew that this is the path he´s been searching for. He also had an interview with Bishop, who then invited him and us to FHE Monday night. During FHE, bishop explained about FHE, then we had a lesson by his daughter on conversion. During the lesson Jorge said "Me voy a bautizar." "I´m going to be baptized." We were like, what?! Can you say that again? It was awesome. Then I played the piano for awhile while they all talked and the bishop´s wife prepared a pizza. It was a great FHE. Jorge also went to church yesterday and felt the spirit even stronger. He feels like he has friends/family in the church. We´ve taught him Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and tithing, and he doesn´t have any problem with any of them. He was definitely prepared by the Lord, and is ready for baptism. Hopefully this Sunday, but at least the next one at the latest.

We have a couple that we´re teaching. They´re not married, but have talked about it. We´ve really been pushing them, lovingly, towards marriage, so that they can be baptized. Last night they said that they are going to do it. They´re from Peru, and he´s still waiting for his citizenship, the same thing I just got. But then they are going to get married. Last night they told us that they will never forget us because we´re the reason they´re getting married. They´ve talked about it, but never done anything till we came. I´m really excited for them.

Well, time to wrap it up. This is the last week of the transfer. Hopefully I can finish it well. Until next week!!

Elder Murdoch

Monday, October 12, 2009

This week was another fast and interesting one. We did have a baptism yesterday. Yeah!!! My first one on the mission. Maria was really nervous, but ready, and it was a good baptism. Except there was some sort of time change (did you all have daylight savings?) and the time went forward an hour, but we didn´t know until an investigator called to ask why we hadn´t passed to pick them up at 9:45. We thought it was 8:45. Oops. But he went anyway. But we showed up late, and then after sacrament meeting we had to prepare the font, but there was still water from another baptism that someone else did, so we had to dump the water and fill it up again, with lukewarm water, find clothes for her, and prepare everything else. We didn´t make it to Gospel Principles or Priesthood, but did get everything ready for the baptism, which went really well. I´ll attach a foto.(Maili's Note: He forgot the photo)

Another good thing about the day was Jorge. He´s the investigator that talked to us in the store and asked us to pass. (Maili's note: I think pass means stop by.) He was in the church. He´s still been searching for the right path in his life, and on the way to church had some doubts. But he told us that right as he took the bread in the Sacrament, he felt his answer, and is ready to follow it. We have a little more to teach him, and he´ll probably be baptized in two weeks. Yes!!! I knew that all he needed was the church. Another cool incident with Jorge happened Thursday. He called us in the morning and said that he´s still waiting for his paycheck (he´s a professor of French) and doesn´t have any food. We called the bishop who said Jorge could go to the church at 8:00 pm to talk to him and work something out. But Jorge works at night and couldn´t. So we took him some random stuff, like hot dogs and bread and ketchup, juice, stuff like that. It was great to be able to serve an investigator. And tonight we have a Family Home Evening with him and the bishop´s family.

The other day we showed up at an appointment, and there were a couple little girls outside the next door neighbor. One asked us if we´re Mormons and then said her parents want us to pass by and teach them. We set an appointment, but they weren´t there, so we´ll have to pass later. But it was pretty cool.

Something cool I forgot to say last week: Sunday morning in conference the Motab sang a song "Sing Praise to Him." This is one of the songs that Elder Squire and I sang in Priesthood Conference last April. Pretty sweet.

Well, I have to go. Elder Squire has something with President, and we have to go. We´re already gonna be late. Everything´s going great here. The language keeps improving. The food´s great. Actually, we just had lunch and had a soup with chicken feet. It was good, but kinda weird. I had to bite off each toe one at a time and suck the meat off. It was weird to think "I have a chicken toe in my mouth." But it was good.

Well, that´s it for this week. Ciao!!

Elder Murdoch

Monday, October 5, 2009

Well, another week under my belt. Actually, I had a little wake up moment the other day. We had divisions, and I was in another ward with my district leader, who has a year and a half. He asked me how much time I have including the MTC, and I realized that in about two and a half weeks I´ll have 6 months. Wow! Crazy! It doesn´t feel like I´ve been here for 6 months, and at the same time it seems like 6 years. But a quarter of my mission is already done. Wow.

Also, with my district leader in divisions, we contacted a 70! Woot! I was pretty excited. Except there´s a catch. He´s not actually from THE QUORUM OF THE 70. My DL explained to me: years ago when they called ward mission leaders, they got called to the office of 70, with that title. But they really were just ward mission leaders. Such is the case with this person. He was a mission leader, but was called to the title of 70. Still pretty cool.

We´re going through kind of a rough time with investigators. We´ve lost a lot of people this week. But we are hoping for 2 baptisms this Sunday. Fernando, who is 11 years old, should be ready. And Maria definitely. She had to stop smoking, but did it in a week. She is progressing great. Her husband Mario a little slower. Where she was smoking one cigarrete a day, he smokes 5, and at first didn´t think he can stop. But I shared 1 Nephi 3:7, and gave a strong testimony and promise that he can do it, he just needs the faith. Then he said "For you Elders, for Nephi, and for the Lord, I´ll make plans and goals, and stop smoking." It´s amazing the changes people can make when the Spirit is there. Mario will probably be baptized one Sunday more, the 18th.

We have a few other people we´re teaching, but they´re all mostly in the beginning stages, and have a long way to go. But they all have great potential, we just need to teach them, and with the Lord´s help, they can be baptized.

Now for the main part of my week: General Conference. We got to watch in English, fortunately, and it was great! I really needed it. When President Monson stood up Saturday morning, I got teary eyed and could have left happy right then. I testify without any doubt that he the prophet, seer, and revalator in our days, and that he is called by the Lord, as well as everyone else who spoke the past two days, and they all spoke the words of the Lord.

We were pretty excited to hear about the new temple in Conception, Chile. The members even more excited. It sounds like most of the temple attenders here are from that area, but it´s hard for them to come. A member told us that it´s easier and cheaper to go to the temple in another country than here in Santiago. But now they will have a temple down south in Conception. I´m sure they´re all pretty happy. I loved Elder Ballard´s talk in Priesthood, and Elder Holland´s Sunday afternoon. Wow! Elder Holland really put it all out on the line! Holy Cow!!! It was a great talk. Elder Bednar and Elder Uchtdorf gave amazing talks too. I´ve decided that this was the best Conference of my whole life. I learned a lot. It was also different, because I was listening and taking notes not just for myself like normal, but for my investigators, as well. I think that with Conference, when we love someone enough, and desire their salvation, we can learn more than if we just want to learn something for ourselves.

I heard that Elder Brice Anderson has an Elder in his district who is a cousin to Elder Barney here in Chile. Funny thing: Elder Barney is my District Leader right now. Wow, what a coincidence.

Well, here in Carrion the work keeps going. I´m learning a lot and growing a ton spiritually (although I think I´m still shrinking physically). I´ve never felt the Spirit and the Lord so near in my life. This definitely is the best time of my life so far. I only hope that I can make the best of it in inviting others to come unto Christ. This really is the Lord´s work, and can only be done when we involve him and do it his way, which is through the Spirit. It´s true what D&C 41:14 says, "If ye receive not the Spirit, ye shall not teach." The Spirit is essencial in the conversion of others, and in all aspects our daily lives. If we search for and live worthy to have the Holy Ghost, our lives will be better, and we will be able to better help other people come unto Christ.

Elder Murdoch

Friday, October 2, 2009

Elders Nicholas and Murdoch on transfer day

Well, things are still pretty interesting here. Some things are looking up, and others down. But no matter what, the mission work still goes on.

Elder Squire has improved so much! He can talk a lot better, teach great, and everything is getting better. It´s been amazing watching him improve so much the past two weeks, realizing that not long ago I was doing the same thing. I know that the Lord is helping him a lot, and I´m grateful for the opportunity to see it happen.

Last Monday we were shopping, and a man came up to us and asked where is our chapel. We told him, and set up a visit to talk with him. When we went, he told us that he feels like he´s lacking on faith, and has been searching for the truth. Jorge has studied a little with Jehovah´s Witnesses, Evangelists, etc. but has never felt anything like he thinks has helped. Then when he saw us in the store he had to stop and talk to us. We´ve since taught him about the Restoration and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He told us that he´s been feeling small changes in his life for the better since we started teaching him. He´s really progressing great and I think that we can change his baptismal date to much sooner that the 25th of October.

One night we were visiting less actives, and while waiting for one door to open, a couple stopped us and asked if we could pass for their house when we had time and gave us their address. Turns out that their searching some family history, and heard something about our church buying an archive from the Catholics, and wanted to see what they need to do to use it. We took them to the church and the talked with the Bishop and found out what they needed. Hopefully they can find the information that they need. Oh, and we also set up an appointment to visit them. They also went to a FHE that the priests were doing, and the opening song was "Families Can Be Together Forever." It was perfect.

We´re teaching an 11 year old who has been ready to be baptized for a few weeks. The problem is that his parents keep saying "Wait one more week." We´re going to teach them and invite them to church, and hopefully they can gain interest and be baptized, or at the least allow Fernando to be baptized.

Well, that´s about it. Things here keep going. We´ve dropped a few investigators, but found a couple more. With a lot of help I´ve basically got the language down. I can more or less say what I can want, and I can understand most of the time. Things are improving, more or less, and I´m learning a whole lot. I´m way excited for Conference this week. We´re gonna have several investigators there, and we´re praying that they can receive the answers that they need there. I´m also excited for the chance to see and hear President Monson and the other leaders. I know that they are called of God and that we will be listening to the word of God.

Elder Murdoch