Monday, July 26, 2010

Well, another rough week has passed, but the sun keeps shining further down the road. Last week wasn’t horrible, but not great either. The worst was that no investigators came to church yesterday, even though we had committed several. But we were able to find some more people during the week that should come this next Sunday.

We visited Margarita and Gonzalo a couple times. Saturday we went really deep into the importance of baptism, and Gonzalo accepted a baptismal date. Margarita was a little more hesitant, saying that she wants to do it but that when she feels ready she’ll tell us. I think she’ll do it; we just need to help her understand the importance of having a specific goal. Gonzalo actually was going to go to church yesterday; but when we passed by to pick him up, the gate to the apartment building was locked, his cell phone was off, and they didn’t come when we yelled. We’re going to have to do something different next week so that he goes.

Eliana returned last week. She had been in the South for about a week because her mother passed away. We taught the Plan of Salvation. But, as always, there was a big problem. Her son, Diego, is 7 and really rowdy. He always has a ton of energy. I think he has ADD or something. And the death of his grandma can’t be a great help either. Anyway, with all of those factors together, he was a big pain--making a lot of noise, arguing, not showing respect for us, his mom, or Sister Manriquez (Eliana´s friend). It was a tough lesson, and the Spirit was not there at all. She did tell us that she’s been reading in the Book of Mormon, so that at least is good. We might have to try to set it up to teach her somewhere else where Diego isn’t. We’ll have to see.

Several weeks ago we did a street contact with a woman named Patricia. We taught her a little, but then two weeks ago when we passed by she was busy and said the dreaded "I’ll call you." She was really great, but we kind of lost hope. Then Friday night she called and wanted us to come. We went yesterday, showed "The Restoration", and she accepted a baptismal date for August 29. She is really great. She also had read a little in the Book of Mormon. And she gave the closing prayer. The problem with her is going to be Word of Wisdom. She drinks coffee, and probably tea. Plus, she and her husband are both cooks, and yesterday had a bunch of food they had recently bought for an event they’re hosting, and there were several bottles of alcohol. We know it is to serve to the guests, but we’re also afraid that they might drink a little too. That’ll be the big test with her.

Patricio, who got baptized three weeks ago, finally got confirmed yesterday. He hadn’t made it to church for the past two weeks, but yesterday he came and got confirmed. The bishop did it, and it was really great. I hope he can keep learning and progressing.

We visited the Olave family the other day. (He’s the Brother who destroyed his knee playing soccer.) He’s getting better really fast. They said that the doctors are really surprised that he’s progressing so well. He just uses one crutch now, walking quite fast, and can take a few steps without the crutch. It is amazing how fast he’s improving. We all know that someone has a hand in it.

Well, they’re predicting another earthquake, this one in the North of Chile. They don’t know when or how big, but they say it’s coming. "They" are a couple of professionals, one from the US. I don’t know if I believe it. How can they predict this one but didn’t know anything about the last one till it happened? I guess we’ll see, but I don’t think so.

Well, that’s all for this week. We’re going to play soccer with the whole zone soon, so we have to go get ready.
Hasta luego.

Elder Murdoch

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wow. What a week. Actually, not much happened. A lot of appointments fell through, so we did a lot of walking and a lot of playing by ear to see where to go next. We were able to find a couple of investigators that we had lost contact with, and we found a new one as well.

Friday we had an activity at the church, then afterwards a couple of appointments fell through. We found ourselves at 8:00 pm with 0 contacts. I haven´t said much about contacts up till now, but we´re supposed to do 20 contacts every day, 10 every missionary. There´s a promise from Elder Ballard that if we do it we´ll double our baptisms. So there we were 2 hours before returning to the house, and we didn´t have a single contact. So we started talking to people in the street and knocked a couple of apartment buildings. In one of them we found a lady, about 50-years-old, named Rosa. She let us in and we shared a little with her. A couple of years ago she listened to the sister missionaries and even went to church a few times! She accepted a baptismal date for August 15th. The problem with her will be that she smokes, so we´ll have to help her drop that. But she´s really great.

Venus has been out bright this past week. It´s been pretty cool to be able to see it, but now it´s dropping lower in the sky.

Well, the other day we had lunch with the same member who in the past has given us seaweed and octupus stomach. This time, though, there wasn´t anything like that, and lunch was really good. The dessert, on the other hand, was a bit different. It was something I´ve had before, but never so much. Also, it never is seen in the States as far as I know, but if prepared right (which it wasn´t on Friday) it´s pretty good. It´s called......Rice with milk. Yep, that is what the name says. A bowl of rice with milk poured in, sometimes with a tiny bit of sugar. It´s not too bad, just a little different.

Saturday morning, for the first time in three weeks, we went and played soccer. It was way fun. Having been out of commission for three weeks I didn´t do very well but not too bad either. I got three goals, and the best is that my arm didn´t hurt at all. Yeah!

Well, kinda short today. Not too much happened. Hopefully more happens this week so next Monday there is more.

Elder Murdoch

Monday, July 12, 2010

Finally we had a week that went slow! Last week seemed to last a little longer. The bad part is that it was a rough week. A lot of real important lessons fell through. On top of that it’s been really cold, and Tuesday it rained, making it almost impossible to do anything except visit the members. We had very few lessons the whole week and didn’t get too much done.

Eliana wasn’t here this week. Her family lives in the South of Chile, and her mom has been really, really sick. Last week she got worse so Eliana went to visit her. Saturday night the mother passed away. We imagine that Eliana will be returning this week, so we’ll be able to teach her again. We’ll definitely teach her the Plan of Salvation. Hope we can help her. She is really interested and really wants to be baptized.

Patricio wasn’t at his house when we went to pick him up for church yesterday. We waited, but no one came out. So we went without him, and he didn’t get confirmed. During priesthood he showed up. He had gotten in a fight with his little brother (they live with an uncle) and spent the night outside of the house. We don’t know where. So he’ll have to wait till next Sunday to get confirmed. The bishop here, as is encouraged in his leadership manual, likes to "get to know" investigators before the baptism. I say "get to know" because he technically can’t interview them till they’re members. But he has to be with us during, so we visited with him and Patricio. It was great. The bishop encouraged him a lot to finish his studies, find work, get to know members, etc. I think it really helped Patricio realize that he will be loved in this ward. It was great.

A while back, Elder Rasmussen and I contacted a lady named Margarita and her 13-year old son, Gonzalo. Later, Elder King and I passed by once and soon after lost contact with her. The other night we found ourselves in the street, all of the appointments fallen through, with nothing to do. We started wandering, talking with people, trying to find someone to visit. We showed up right outside of the departments where she lives. I looked up and noticed the living room light out, and right then she showed up in the bedroom window. She saw us, waved, and asked if we wanted in. We had nothing to do, so we accepted. Turns out she had a question she wanted to ask us and was happy to see us again. We helped her with the question, teaching a lot about the Holy Ghost and how He can help us, "creating a hunger" as President May says, and then explained that the way to receive this Spirit and the blessings is through baptism. It was a great lesson. Tomorrow we will pass by again to teach more. We’re glad to have found her again.

My elbow is slowly improving. It feels a lot better, although is a little sore still, and I can’t use it with too much force. I can’t support myself against the wall, and pushups are out of the question. *sniff* But I’m without the sling right now, and it feels great. It should keep healing pretty well from here.

Well, the World Cup is now over. The final match was yesterday. It was kind of an upset. Germany was playing really well, as well as Holland, and everyone expected one of them to win, and Spain would be 3rd. But it ended up the other way. Germany was 3rd, Holland took 2nd, and Spain won the first place. I thought Spain would win, but wanted Holland. Although at the beginning I was rooting for USA and Chile. They both made it to the second round, but then got out. Well, there’s always 2014. Then I’ll be able to watch it.

Well, last week was a big trial, but this week will be better. We have several people to teach, and are way excited. It should be a good week.

Elder Murdoch

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wow! We just finished up a very short and very busy week. A lot happened last week, the last one of the transfer. Including a lot of wasted money and time in traveling to the doctor, Elder Limburg; to a clinic to do X-Rays; back to Elder Limburg with the images; to the clinic to drop them off and later to pick up the report; back to Elder Limburg with the report; then to an expert on arms. He had me get another X-Ray then looked at it. The final note is that there is a fracture in my left elbow. Fortunately, it’s not broken or displaced, and the fracture is not too big. He gave me a sling and told me to take Ibuprofen and go back this Thursday. So, it’s not too serious. At times it starts hurting pretty bad, not just the elbow but also the forearm and wrist; but I take an Ibuprofen and that helps with the pain. I hope it gets better real soon. I hate being half crippled. Luckily, I can use my arm for some things but not all. The other day at lunch the sister gave us chicken, and she had to cut mine for me. How embarrassing!! I hate not being able to do everything on my own.

We are now starting a new transfer, the last one for Elder King. Nothing happened with us. Actually, the four of us in the ward all stayed here. Elder King is finishing the mission here. The next transfer will be really interesting to see if I stay here one transfer more or if they send me somewhere else and bring in two other missionaries.

Yesterday was a great 4th of July, even though I almost had forgot about it. Patricio was baptized. He was excited for it; it was something he really wanted to do. He’s really quiet and shy, but afterwards a lot of people welcomed him to the ward and made him feel really welcomed. They even invited him to a Family Home Evening, which I think he went to. It was a great baptismal service with a lot of people there to support him. We had asked an RM, recently off a mission one month, to baptize him. It was great!

Last week I talked about Eliana, friend of Sister Manriquez. She is amazing! A golden investigator. She went to church yesterday--the second time--and actually arrived alone, without Sister Manriquez. In a lesson last week, we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we were talking about baptism she asked, "What does one have to do to be baptized? Like, what are the requirements?" It’s something that she really wants to do. Her problem is that feels that she lacks the faith to be able to do it. Since then, we’ve been studying a little more about faith, looking up scriptures, etc. to be able to help her. She definitely will get baptized in July, either the 18th or 25th. She’s really great. Oh, and we discovered that Diego, her son, is 7. He turns 8 in October.

The other two Elders in our ward gave us a great referral the other day. A recent convert in their sector has a friend in ours who went to the church with her. His name is Pedro (Peter), the same as his dad, and the mom is Ivonne. We passed by to visit Pedro Jr., but his mom came to the door. We did just a normal contact, and she rejected us. We walked away then decided to go back and ask for Pedro. That time the dad, Pedro Sr., came to the door and let us in right away. Turns out that when Elder King told her that we offer service, she understood that if she needs help she can go to the church to ask. (They live like one minute away from the church.) She is Baptist, but doesn’t go to church. The dad believes in God and Jesus but isn’t part of any church. Pedro Jr. is 16 and likes what he saw in our church. When we were talking about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families and listed blessings, they were astonished. They said that right before we showed up they were talking about how they’re not very united as a family and there’s too much contention. They said they hadn’t gathered as a family to pray and converse for a long time before we showed up. The spirit was really strong, and at the end of the lesson the dad said, "God sent you two here. I know it." They accepted everything we taught and committed to read in the Book of Mormon and pray about it and Joseph Smith. They are a great family. I’m sure Pedro Jr. will get baptized, probably Pedro Sr., and possibly Ivonne.

The other day I had another interesting lunch. The same sister who gave us seaweed a few weeks ago decided to be creative again. She brought us out a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, etc. and something white, hardish, and with mayo that Elder King took to be potatoes. But when we ate, it was more chewable than potatoes should be. We soon learned that it was "Jibia", a part of "Pulpo." Well, Jibia doesn’t have an English translation, but it is the stomach of Pulpo, which is octopus. Which is to say: I ATE OCTOPUS STOMACH!! Needless to say, I did not enjoy it too much. At least I ate all of it anyway. Elder King, when the Sister left the room, put his in a napkin and in his pocket. Later he threw it away. Hahaha!

The other day, when we were teaching Eliana, there was a small tremor. We were in an apartment building on the 3rd floor. I felt a little shaking and looked to the side to see if my comp was moving his leg, but he wasn’t. Then it got a little stronger. It was just a small one, but it lasted a good little while. Startled me a little, and Eliana jumped up and ran out the door. Fortunately, it stopped and everything was okay.

Well, I’m about out of time. The last week was a full one, and I hope to have more of those as this transfer progresses.


Elder Murdoch

Patricio Baptism

Almost Dead (?) Shoe