Monday, January 24, 2011

Wow, what a great week!! Unfortunately it went by way too fast. My weeks here are few now, and each one passes faster than the last. The good thing is that we are having more success and doing a lot of great things. We´ve been a little worried that they might close our sector for a couple reasons. It´s been open for four months now after being closed for four years. The first few months Elder Hendricks and his trainer had a hard time having success, and it was the same my first weeks here. But suddenly, BOOM! we exploded and now we are having a lot more success. But one problem, which I think I´ve mentioned, is that we don´t live in our sector. We have to take a bus like 10 minutes to get to the limit, and 20 more to get to the center, where we usually work more. We easily spend 2 hours and $3 each day traveling. Tuesday during interviews with President May, Elder Hendricks mentioned this to him. He told us to look for a house in our sector, whatever we can find. That same day we found one. A nice house, plenty of space, good neighbors, and cheap. We called the office to tell them, and they called President. He called us the next day to tell us no. He decided not to have us rent it, because this next week is transfers and he said a lot of sectors will be closing. So to be safe, they don´t want to rent a new house, then stop because the sector was closed. That scared me a lot. But we´ve been having a lot more success, and we hope that he will see that and not close our sector. I would be really sad.

Now about this success that I keep saying we´ve had--we are teaching several people, a lot inactives. Yesterday morning we traveled to our sector then returned to church(a big sacrifice), bringing with us three inactives. Three more, the Vera family, who I mentioned went last week, showed up later. And two more unexpectedly arrived. The dad is Elder´s Quorum President, and the mom recently re-activated. And two of the three inactive daughters went! In total we had eight inactives in church. 8 out of 87 attendance. Not bad. It was great!

The other day we were walking around in our sector with nothing to do and decided to contact a few people. We saw a woman named Gina outside of her house trimming the bushes and decided to offer to help. She said, "Really? Okay." but then kept doing it herself. We started talking with her, and she didn´t show much interest. It seemed like she wanted to blow us off, see if we´d give up and go. But we didn´t. Her little daughter, Pamela, was out there and told us that her dad died. We later learned from the bishop, who knows her, that he hung himself. She´s a little bitter about that and maybe other things that we don´t know. At one point we asked her how she feels about her relationship with God. She answered, "He´s not my friend." At the beginning I wanted to leave when I saw that she had no interest, but when she said that I had a desire to help her change it. I felt impressed to talk about how we pass through trials and tribulations in our lives but that is the time that we most need to get closer to God, not farther away. (It sounds better in Spanish.) We need to have trials to learn and progress. I also felt impressed to give her a pamphlet of The Plan of Salvation. I promised her that it would help her with her questions. She responded, "With my doubts?" We said, “yes.” Tonight we are going to visit her and try to help her out.

We actually visited her last night but she wasn´t there, so we decided to knock a few doors in her street. The first door we knocked they let us in. Wow! The mom, Ogla, answered the door and invited us in. We met her daughters, Cynthia, 22, and Valentina, 13. Her husband wasn´t home, and the older son was in his room. We shared about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. They had a lot of good questions. Ogla has a couple of doubts and some interesting beliefs, but for the most part their beliefs are similar to ours. They don´t go to a church and mentioned how they don´t like the other ones. We actually hadn´t been in the house for five minutes and Cynthia asked us if we could explain our beliefs. She is really well educated and had a lot of good questions. She asked us questions like "What are your church meetings like?" "How is your baptism?" And when we talked about prophets she asked, "Is there a prophet today? Who is he?" Truthfully, I think that she and Valentina will progress better than the mom. We also hope to meet the dad and brother too. A family of five!! EjalĂ©!! (that means something like "hooray!)

Also, yesterday we found a couple more inactives. (That´s almost a daily occurrence.) We went to visit someone we met the other day, but they didn´t come to the door. As we waited a young woman of about 22 was walking toward us. She suddenly waved and we were like, wait, was that at us? There was no one else in the street, so it had to have been us. She got closer and said, "Hey, are you the Mormon missionaries? My mom´s a member of your church but doesn´t go." They lived right next door, so we visited them. Turns out that she (Andrea) and her mom are members but don´t go. One problem could be because her mom, Carol, is blind. She doesn´t see at all, but she´s learned to manage even so and gets along fine. We got to know them and set up an appointment for Thursday. They want to go to church, so we´ll try to help them with that.

Well, that´s about all that happened this week. Oh, and a couple of mornings of “hooping it up” at the church. I`ve luckily still got my stuff and tear it up every time. Except this morning I only played so-so. But I’ve still got it. And we keep playing a lot of soccer, so I´m getting better at that, too.
Have a great week!

Elder Murdoch

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