Monday, June 28, 2010

Well, this past week was another fast one, full of experiences. I’m not too sure where to start. Well, maybe with the World Cup update. We’re in the part like the sweet sixteen in the March Madness. So now if you loose, ciao. The US got beat out by Ghana on Saturday, big bummer. Today Chile plays Brazil. Brazil is supposedly really good, so they’ll probably win. Not to mention that Chile will be missing several key players due to yellow cards in the last game. So things aren’t looking too good for them; but anything can happen. Sounds like Argentina’s playing really well, not surprisingly, and Germany the other day beat England 3-1. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out the winner.

Speaking of soccer, I have a couple stories about that this week. There’s a brother in the ward, Hermano Olave (for those who don’t speak Spanish, hermano is brother), who is a soccer fanatic. He watches and plays and is really, really good. He has a lot of stories of past experiences. But a few weeks ago he was playing and got hurt pretty bad. Another player slid into him, and he just jumped over. But then the guy reached up and pulled him down. When he landed he basically destroyed his knee. I think the bone was broken, ligaments, cartilage, everything, goodbye. It was pretty bad. They operated and put some metal in his knee. He’s really bad. We visited him the other night and he was in a lot of pain. Supposedly they had talked to someone else in the ward that was going to call us to go give him a blessing. So when we showed up they assumed that he had called us. I gave him the blessing, and afterward he climbed back into bed. He looked calm and said that the pain all went away. His wife was really surprised and said that he had been yelling like a woman in labor (she knows how it is, having three children) and that it was way bad and everyone was really worried. Then they realized that we had gotten there really quick after the other brother had called us. The thing was he never called us. We were in the street walking and suddenly decided to visit them. They were surprised but happy. It was a good experience.

That is interesting because now I am in a similar situation as Hermano Olave. Saturday we were playing soccer on a concrete court outside of a church. Another Elder had the ball in the goal area and I went up behind to kick it out to stop him from scoring. We crashed and I ended up on the ground. Lucky for him he didn’t fall. Unlucky for me, I landed directly on my elbow. It hurt pretty badly, but I just thought it was a stinger and the pain would go away. So I kept playing, favoring my left arm to not hurt it worse. The thing is the pain never went away. Actually, in the shower, and during studies it got worse. So we talked to the office and ended up going to the mission doctor, Elder Limburg. He sent me to a medical clinic to get X-Rays, for which we requested a copy. Then we returned to him so he could look at it. He isn’t sure exactly what it is. He thinks it’s a fracture in the bone in my elbow, but he couldn’t tell how big. And the clinic needs the copy we have in order to do a report. So we have to go up and wait for the report, hopefully tomorrow or possibly Wednesday or Thursday. Then we’ll be able to know if it’s something serious or not, if I need a cast or not. So for now I have an Ace bandage, a sling, ice, and Ibuprofen. It doesn’t hurt too badly anymore, but it still does give me problems if I move it wrong. I can’t bend my elbow, or straighten my arm too much, and also my hand is partly out of commission as well. Fortunately, I am able to type. Also fortunately, I didn’t have to play the piano in church yesterday. I missed it a little, but it was a nice little break from playing. So for a couple days I have had and will have a sling, which of course attracts a lot of attention and questions. I was going to count yesterday how many times I said "I fell down playing soccer" but I lost count pretty quick. It’s been an interesting experience. Another day before the elbow incident, I fell playing soccer and scraped up my leg pretty bad. It hurt for a day but then stopped. But it looks pretty cool. I’ll include a picture.

Well, enough soccer, time for the spiritual stuff. There’s a sister in the ward, Sister Manriquez, that we’ve been working with for awhile. A couple weeks ago she introduced us to a friend, Eliana. Sister Manriquez´s daughter and Eliana´s son are in the same class, and the son, Diego, stays with Sister Manriquez after school until his mom can pick him up after her work. We’re actually not sure if Diego is 7 or 8. We know he’s on the line. Hopefully 8. :) We’ve taught her a couple times. The problem is that they rent what’s called a pieza. Here in Chile a lot of times there are houses that rent out individual rooms, and the majority share one or two bathrooms and a kitchen. That’s how Eliana lives, and supposedly it’s a big mess and she feels shameful to invite other people to her house. So we have to teach her in the house of Sister Manriquez. But Eliana is really great. Golden. She basically has the same question that Joseph Smith had. She’s had contact with a lot of religions, and none of them caught her attention. But she doesn’t know which one is right or how to know. We shared the movie The Restoration with her as well as giving her a Book of Mormon, which she promised to read. The Spirit was really strong; she really enjoyed it. Yesterday she and Diego went to church, and they both loved it. She is a great investigator and should be able to get baptized in July.

Patricio, the 19-year-old we’ve been teaching, is progressing really great. This past week we talked about baptism, and he really wants to do it. He will probably be baptized this Sunday. He is really humble, really calm, which is strange for 19 year olds here in Chile. But he’s really great and is progressing well.

Adela keeps progressing in the church. She’s in the book of Helaman right now, almost at the end. It’s so crazy. It takes some people a year to read the Book of Mormon. This morning I finished, but I’ve been reading since last July. Well, granted I’ve been reading in Spanish. But she started in March! She’s read through Helaman in four months! She’s crazy!! Plus, how she does it is she reads a few chapters straight through then goes back and reads the same ones again, sometimes looking up footnotes in D&C, the Bible, etc. So basically she’s reading the Book of Mormon TWICE! She is really great.

Well, this last week was a tough one. A lot of appointments fell through, and we had a rough time most of the days. Not to mention my elbow, which made us loose a whole day of work Saturday. But this week is just starting, and we’re going to work hard and do everything we can to end this transfer on a good note. Crazy how this is the last week of the transfer. It seems like just last week Elder King got here. Wow.

Well, the days count up and the temperature goes down. It’s getting colder, and July gets even colder. We just have a little electric stove that throws fits every once in awhile, and warms up the room a little. Then we leave the house and realize that it’s warmer outside than inside. How does that work? We’re still looking for somewhere else to live but not having any luck. Just gotta keep looking.

Well, that’s all for now. Talk to you next week.

Elder Murdoch

Soccer Owie!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The weeks just keep going faster and faster. And this past one was full of soccer games, as we are in the middle of the world cup. I don’t know how many of you know what that is, but it’s pretty cool. Chile beat Honduras and Switzerland. Friday they play Spain, who is supposedly favored to win but lost to Switzerland. So it’s likely that Chile will advance to the next round. The US tied England and Slovenia. They have to beat Argelia on Wednesday to advance.

Also, this Thursday we’re going to have a mission activity. In Spanish World Cup is Copa Mundial. Thursday is the Copa Misional, or Mission Cup. We’ll play soccer zone against zone. It’ll be fun.

And speaking of soccer, last night we visited a family of inactives, and they asked to see pictures of our families. The dad, who is a big joker and really funny, said that my Dad looks like the President of the National Soccer Association of Chile. Kind of funny.

Well, we’re finding a lot of great people and have a lot of potential baptisms. We have put the goal of 10 baptisms before Elder King leaves August 16th. Definitely possible.

Patricio (Patrick) went to church again yesterday and this time stayed for the classes. He loved it. He’s been reading in the Book of Mormon, but he’s a slow reader, so he reads one chapter a day. Still, he’s really great and is progressing wonderfully. He should be baptized July 4. GO USA!!

Saturday night we visited a woman that we had contacted in the street several days before and set up an appointment. Her name is Patricia, and she is great. After the lesson she told us that when we got there the house was kind of messy and she was watching a movie and didn’t want to open the door. She wasn’t going to but something told her, "Hey. You invited them. Open the door." So as we were leaving she came and let us in. The lesson was really great. She believed everything we said. She understood well the importance of prophets, something that a lot of people here don’t catch. At the end she said that she felt really great and thinks it is something to do with our religion. Unfortunately, she is really busy being a chef as is her husband. So it’s hard to find them in the week, except maybe late at night. Next Sunday we’re going to pass by and teach her more and the husband as well as the 9-year-old daughter.

Well, I have to go. Got a lot to do and not too much time. But things here are going great and we should be having a lot of baptisms coming up.

Elder Murdoch

Monday, June 14, 2010

Man! It’s so crazy how fast the time passes! I´m almost done with month 14! It goes by way too fast. Gotta take advantage of everything.

The highlight of this past week was going to the temple on Thursday. I loved it! It had been 6 months since the last time. It gave us all a spiritual high. Hopefully we can mantain it. The temple President came and talked to us before and told us a couple of cool stories. One was about a woman and her daughter who walked into the temple in street clothes wanting to talk to the "director." The mom was an inactive member, but she said ex-member. The daughter had had a dream about living in a building, in the 3rd floor, even gave the room number. It was kinda like a hotel. She said that when she left the building she felt sad and unexcited. But then she saw another building, shiny white, with a messenger painted gold. When she told her inactive mom about it, the mom immediately recognized the Mormon temple, so they decided to go there. While talking to President Lyon, he said to her, "You are going to go on a mission. That building you saw was the MTC." Close to the temple is a church owned building. I don´t know what is on the other floors, but the 3rd, like in her dream, is the MTC. He left to go get a card for her. When he got back she said, "You were in my dream. I saw a tall man dressed in white giving me a card." They called President May right away to pass the referral. She got baptized and I imagine is preparing for the mission.

The other story he told us was of a couple who showed up also wanting to talk to him. The wife had her endownments, and they had come so he could get his and they could be sealed. The problem is that he´s deaf and dumb. She knows sign language, so they can talk. The cool part is that they were able to work it out so that he could read instead of listen. They fixed everything so that he could go through. Afterwards, they met again in the office to talk. President Lyon asked the man what was his favorite part of the temple. The man said, "Today my favorite scripture has been fulfilled." In 2 Nephi 27:29 it says, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness." That´s awesome.

Yesterday German and his sister Ingrid went to church! They´re inactives that we´ve been teaching. She is an RM and has been pretty stubborn about doing the things that she needs. But she went yesterday! Also, German’s girlfriend that lives in Viña del Mar. We also taught her Saturday night, and she loved it. She was way excited about the Book of Mormon that we gave her. We´ll see how that goes and if we can keep teaching her even though she lives in Viña.

We finally got permission to teach Solange. She really wants to learn and progress, but her husband doesn’t want her too. We’ve never been able to talk to him about it, but Friday he was there. He opened the door and wasn´t going to let us in, but then she came and let us in. He is really closed about our religion. He´s Baptist and doesn’t want anything to do with us. Actually, he started criticizing us because supposedly there was some problem with the Olympics in Salt Lake--some money confusion. He thought it was the Church’s fault because Salt Lake is our headquarters. We told him the church had nothing to do with that, but he didn´t believe us. Oh well. His problem. The good thing is that he gave us permission to teach Solange and the kids. He said, "I´m not interested (that´s obvious), but I´m not a dictator. The other people in this house have their rights if they want to listen." So tomorrow we have an appointment with Solange. Yeah!!

A couple weeks ago we started teaching a 40-ish-year-old, but he usually doesn’t have a lot of time. He lives with a nephew, Patricio, who also started listening. He´s 19, a senior, and says that in his school they stopped teaching religion (most schools do, since the main religion here is Catholic); and he wants to learn more. He accepted a baptismal date for July 4.Yesterday we picked him up and he went to church. He loved it and asked if we can pick him up next week, too. He is really humble and excited to keep learning.

Well, the world cup has started. It´s kind of ironic that it never mattered to me in the past and now that I am interested and want to watch, I can´t. Bummer! But we do hear a lot about the results. Sounds like the US tied 1-1 with England on Saturday. There have been several other ties, and a couple of teams have won, including Germany, Argentina, and a couple of teams in Africa. Chile plays against Honduras on Wednesday. Hopefully they’ll win!! :)

Well, that´s all this week. We keep finding some good people, and it keeps getting colder and colder. Fun!

Elder Murdoch

Monday, June 7, 2010

Well last week, aside from being fast, was a good week. We’ve been working hard and have found some good people. We were able to help Jeagnelle and her daughter, Kirsti, accept a baptismal date for June 27. Unfortunately, the grandma, Leiry, had to leave during the lesson. And they couldn’t come to the church yesterday. Their problem is that they work a lot. But hopefully they can come to church this Sunday. They are a great family.

Saturday morning they had seminary right before our English Class. A young man brought a friend, Matias, and they also stayed for the English Class. Afterwards we left for lunch, but the other two Elders in the ward stayed and taught Matias and another friend that had come. She lives in their sector and Matias in ours. They both accepted a baptismal date for July 4, Independence Day. Well, ours not theirs. Matias went to the church yesterday and seems to have enjoyed it. We had lunch with the seminary teacher after and she said that he’s really enjoying that. Now we just have to get permission from his parents. Hopefully they’ll give it to us. Sometimes parents can be the biggest problem. But we’re praying that they’ll give him permission.

So, last week I talked a little about a problem with our bathroom. Fortunately, we were able to fix it. The toilet was clogged up is all. But we don’t know how it happened. But we bought a plunger and fixed it. It was quite the experience, and I’m glad it’s over. But even so, we are really hoping, praying and searching for a new place. The department that we found last week was rented out to someone else, so we’re "back to the old drawing board." In other words, still searching.

I recall in Carrión, my other sector, having eaten cow feet, chicken feet, and pig stomach. Well, this Saturday I found something else to add to the list. Something that I had heard about and hoped to not eat on the mission. And I made it a little past a year. But finally a member decided to give us a salad.....with......seaweed. Some people here like it and others no. I’ve heard it said that if you really know how to prepare the seaweed, it can be really yummy. But either that’s wrong, or the sister who made it didn’t know how because I didn’t really like it too much. The good thing was that it was in a salad with potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, etc. so I could mix it up with something else. A lot of what I did was put it in my mouth and swallow right away. It was, well, interesting. The texture is really weird. Anyway, there’s another weird food to add to the list.

Well, we’re getting deeper into winter right now, and it’s getting colder and colder. Especially in the morning. We just have a little tiny electric heater that doesn’t do much. It’s even a small room and it never gets very warm. We have to leave the heater on for three years and seven months before it does much. And Juana, the wife of the owner of our house, has asked us to not have it on for too long as it eats energy and the bill goes up a lot. Man! I really hope we can find a better place really, really soon, or I am going to die!!!

Well, not much else is happening. We get to go to the temple this week. I don’t know why President decided to do it, but I’m not complaining. I’m way excited to get to go. It’s been six months since the last time. The temple should not be visited twice a year. Twice a month maybe. Granted that we’re missionaries and have other things to do. But I’d still like to go more often.

Well, that’s it for this week. We’re still working hard to find a new house and more people, as well as helping those we have to progress.

Hasta luego.

Elder Murdoch