Monday, August 2, 2010

Well, another long rough week. That makes 3 now. One problem is that my companion, being DL, had a leadership training meeting Thursday and Friday. And he went on his end of the mission temple trip with President. And Tuesday we had divisions. So I spent almost all of the week with another Elder, and most of that time in another sector. Thursday and Friday I was with Elder Deardon, who has one month here in Chile. He´s from Boston, where Dad served his mission. His wisdom teeth have been giving him problems, so they decided to yank ´em out. Friday morning we went to the dentist, who took out 2 of the 4. Afterwards the office drove us home, and we rested the rest of the day till our companions got back from the training. He´s a great Elder, and I feel sorry for him. This Friday he has to get the other 2 teeth yanked. Bummer.

Adela now has 3 months in the church. And she knows more than half the other members. She´s just eating up all the books. She´s finished the Book of Mormon, and is reading parts of the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and other church books like Our Heritage. Also, she got her hands on a book by Joseph Fielding Smith called Doctrines of Salvation. She´s crazy!

The other day we visited her, and she told us about a program she saw on the National Geographic channel about plural marriage. And you bet your bottom dollar that they talked a lot about us. And it was obviously all false. I don´t know where they pulled all of it out of, but it was kind of interesting. She told us 3 big things that are completely bogus. First, they said Emma found Joseph with another woman. And, supposedly Brigham Young said that atonement, or to receive the forgiveness of sins, means that one has to murder. WHAT?! And finally, they said that we (Mormons) practice arranged marriages, which really has nothing to do with plural marriage. Pretty interesting. Kind of frustrates me how they talk about all that stuff that they don´t even know. But it really just helps strengthen my testimony, because if this wasn´t the true church there wouldn´t be so many attacks against it. Fortunately, Adela already knows about polygamy and knew that it´s bogus, so it didn´t affect her any. But it´s still pretty stupid how they do stuff like that.

Eliana is doing a lot better. Wednesday we passed by to teach her. We talked about the priesthood and priesthood blessings. Then we gave her son, Diego--aka Diablito (little devil)--a health blessing and her a blessing of strength and guide. It was really great, and he was actually really quiet that night as well as the next visit Friday and in the church yesterday. It was as abrupt a change as night and day. She has a baptismal date for the 15th, Elder King´s last day here. She wants to do it, but still has a lot of doubts or maybe one big one that we haven´t been able to discover. We´re going to go tomorrow and try to see what we can do to help her.

Here in Chile there are a ton of Peruvians and many in the church. Of course, all Peruvians, in and out of the church, know each other. One member, Sister Dora, takes care of a 7-year-old kid after school until his older brother picks him up. The little boy is named Marcelo, and his old brother, who´s 16, is Moises(Moses). We had met both before but never could teach them. The other day Dora told us that Moises would like to meet us and know more about the religion (knowing that she is Mormon). We went by, and he is amazing! He has more faith than almost any other 16-year-old I´ve met here. He talked about how he always prays and talks with God. He said he sins a lot and feels bad so he repents and asks God for forgiveness; but the problem is that we always committ the same sin again. He has few friends in school as Chileans are really racist against Peruvians. Actually, they treat him pretty badly in school. He really needs the church. We´re going to take some other young men to his house to help him find friends. We also want to take him to an activity at the church this Friday. The church should be able to help him a lot. I´m excited to help him.

The other night we visited the seminary/Gospel Principles teacher, Sister Canales.(She is the sister of Sister Manriquez, Eliana´s friend, and lives in the apartment right next door) She and her husband served the mission in the South of Chile, in Osorno, and they´re great. While there, she talked about a family that lives in the apartment below them. They´ve been having some problems lately. He lost his work, and she´s going through depression. Also, they´ve had some weird experiences in the house. We´ve met them before, but they weren´t very interested and said if they wanted us to come they´d talk with the Canales family above. The wife´s name is Janet, and we visited her with Sister Canales. We ended up giving her a blessing and gave a blessing on the house. (Chileans are pretty suspicious, so we give a lot of dedicatory prayers.) It was a good experience. She started crying and said that she really needed it. I think it helped us gain their confidence a little. Sister Canales invited them to an activity this Friday and to church Sunday. Hopefully we can start teaching them.

Well, I finally pulled out the Rockport shoes this past week. My other shoes, the Eccos, are in bad shape. Actually, one has a huge whole at the end, and with the rainy weather here, my foot is always wet and cold at night. So I started wearing the Rockports, and my feet have been dry all week. Yes!!

Well, that´s it for this week. Things are pretty tough, but that just means that it can only get better from here.

Elder Murdoch

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