Monday, March 28, 2011

Well, this week was a bit challenging. We are working really hard. I feel like I am doing well at finishing strong. We are using all the resources we have available to find new investigators. We are using the Area Book with potential investigators, former investigators, working with less-active and active members--but nothing. I know that we can find more, we just need to keep working and improving our faith. I hope to see some fruits soon.

Rodolfo is doing great. He has a strong testimony of the church. He has made several comments as to the truthfulness of the church. He knows it´s true. The challenge now is waiting. He has to wait for his divorce papers to finish and then he has to get married to his current partner. Then when that happens, BAM!! baptism. He´s ready.

Aside from him we aren´t teaching much. We have a few other investigators, but they´re not progressing and we may end up dropping most of them.

We are working well with the ward, though. Our ward mission leader is great, the best one I´ve had on my mission. Our coordination meetings with him are great. And yesterday we were invited to ward council, which went great as well. We are planning an activity, which we presented and everyone accepted. Sunday the 17th, we´re going to have a tour of the church. We will use three rooms, with rotations. The organizations will teach little messages. Young Men will teach baptism; the Priesthood-The Restoration; Young Women- Plan of Salvation. At the end everyone will meet in the chapel and we will teach the Atonement, with a clip from "Finding Faith in Christ." Then there will be refreshments(Relief Society) and we will set up a table with pamphlets and Books of Mormon to give out, and a notebook to take down names and directions of people who want us to visit them. Oh, and with an invitation to come to church the following Sunday, which will be my last. It should be a great activity. I won´t see the fruits, except those who go to church the next week, but it should help my companion and his next companion out a lot.

Speaking of my companion, he´s great. We get along really well. We joke around a lot and have a great time. He´s kind of rubbing off his Canadian on me though. I find myself saying "eh" a lot. They use it like we Americans use "huh," and I say it now too. They also pronounce words such as "bag" or "tag" as "beg" or "teg". I harass him a lot for that but also find myself talking like that. Yikes! I´m gonna to come home speaking Chilean and Canadian! AHHHH!!!! :)

Well, gotta go. Have a great week!

Elder Murdoch

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wow, what a week. Where to start? Time goes by so fast. Faster every day. I only have five weeks left. After this one, four emails left to send. Crazy!! But I´m trying not to be trunky, rather finish strong and work to the last. My new sector is a great one. Not too big but not small either. There are few active families, but the few that we have are amazing. They help us a lot. It is a pretty small ward. We don´t even have a bishop, as the last one moved several months ago and hasn´t been replaced. But we hope to get one soon.

We have a lot of potential in our ward, but it does need a lot of help. I hope to be able to help all I can in the short amount of time I will be here. In my last ward, San Felipe, they were at an average of 70 in church when I arrived. They now are at an average of 90. I hope to do the same to Independencia.

The Sunday before I got here, they baptized a little girl, Maria Jesús. Yesterday she got confirmed and is way excited to keep coming to church. We are also teaching her dad, Rodolfo. He has all the lessons, has gone to church a lot, and has a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. His problem is that he is separated and lives with another woman. He is in the process of getting divorced, which should be something quick but is taking longer than it should. After that he will get married to his current partner and get baptized. He´s really excited for it.

His father has also listened a lot, and the soon-to-be wife also has a little interest; but they both work on Sundays. Supposedly, they will stop soon and will then be able to attend church.

Last Sunday, before I got here, they had Stake Conference. Elder Corbridge talked, and it sounds like it was great. A family of three went, and we are trying to teach them more. This whole last week they were busy, but this Wednesday we will visit them. It´s a couple, Julio and Ivonne, with a son, Diego, 11. They loved the church and want to hear more. Time is the issue with them.

We are teaching a Peruvian, Edward, who wants to get baptized and has been to church a lot. The problem is that we can only teach him in the church, not his house, and only on Saturday night and Sunday after church, although he didn´t go to church yesterday. He also has trouble understanding everything. He´s a little slow. In August he´s returning to Peru to live, and I´m not sure if he´d be able to keep going to church there. It´s going to be a tough decision whether we should baptize him and hope he goes to church in Peru or if we should let the missionaries in Peru teach him. He can get baptized, though.

We have another investigator, Lila, who is about 60 and takes care of her father, 92. The other Elders had taught her, but then she went on vacation for a few weeks. They left her with a couple pamphlets to read, including Word of Wisdom. In those short weeks, she read over half the Book of Mormon. Now, over two months later, she´s in Helaman. She wants to get baptized but does have some doubts. We actually were able to help her with one the other day. She thought that we put too much emphasis on Joseph Smith, almost like a "Saint." We helped her understand that he was just a prophet of God, the same as Moses or Abraham. She understood better and was happier after that. She had read the pamphlet of Word of Wisdom and taught herself and understood it. She also understood that to get baptized, she has to stop smoking. It will be hard as she smokes a box of 20 a day. But she said she once did it for 6 months, then fell again. But now she knows it´s possible. She wants to, and we will be helping her with it.

With all these, and a couple of others, we have several potential baptisms for April, my last month. I hope to finish well and with lots of success.

My comp is great. Elder Maclennan is from Canada, so I always harass him about hockey and moose. Plus he always ends his sentences with "eh,” kind of like our "huh." He´s really fun, and we get along great. He´s a hard worker and should do well on his mission.

Well, that´s about it for this week. Hope the next ones go slower, but probably won´t. Have a great one!

Elder Murdoch

P.S. Please notice new address and mailing instructions on the right! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Well, I´m now starting my last transfer and hoping to finish it out strong. Six more weeks, and they are crucial. Especially since I´m in a new sector. Much to my surprise, and quite an upset, they closed our sector. We knew Elder Hendricks was going to leave. He actually went to Dorsal 2, one of my old sectors. But we did not expect them to take me out, too. They didn´t even put more missionaries in. They closed it completely. I´m pretty upset about it. We were having a lot of success. In three weeks we found 15 new investigators. We were going to have a baptism either this Sunday or the next. We´re really bummed. But that´s how it is, and I´m in a good sector now anyway. I´m in Independencia, which is really close to Carrion, another sector I’ve been in. It´s a good sector, and my companion is great. He´s Elder MacLennan, from Canada. He´s a newbie, starting his third transfer--ready and willing to work. They had a baptism of a little girl yesterday . Her mom and dad are almost ready for baptism. The mom just needs to sign a paper to get divorced and then that´s it--baptism. We should have a lot of success this transfer. My last one.

Well, thanks to transfers I don´t have much to say. Saturday we had a fun day. We made breakfast for lunch for a family. They had an investigator over, and one of their daughters is inactive. Actually, I think I´ve talked about the investigator, Katalina, before. We, the missionaries, made scrambled eggs with chunks of sausage, hashbrowns, and French toast. It turned out great, and they loved it.

Patricia is doing great, although I hope that she still gets baptized. It will be hard for the missionaries there now to be able to take care of their sector and ours, but they are going to try. Last week we taught her a lot, including the Word of Wisdom. She understood well and even said that she´ll have to stop drinking tea. "But hey! Herbal tea is healthier anyway!" She´s great. She´ll be a great member.

Well, that´s about it for this week. We have a new directive on how to send mail, but I don’t have the details with me. I’ll give more information next week. Things will still get to me the old way for a couple of weeks, though.

Well, have a wonderful week!

Elder Murdoch

Monday, March 7, 2011

Time is going by so fast!! Too fast! But we keep finding more people to teach and baptize so things are good. This last week was full of trials and tests but with them many opportunities to strengthen my faith, learn, and progress in many ways.

Like I said, we keep finding people and teaching others that we had. Patricia is doing great. She didn´t go to church yesterday, but today we´re going to pass by and see why. She´s learning a lot and last week accepted a baptismal date for March 20. She can do it but needs to go to church. We also met her son, Yerko, 22. He´s really nice, and we want to start teaching him as well.

Now for one of the trials we had. Last week I talked about Manuel, who knows a lot about the church (cool side note, he has Bob Marley hair) and his friend Ruben. We had a couple lessons with them, and I felt that Ruben has more of a true desire to learn. It´s true. Last night we dropped by and found Ruben alone. He said that they had some problems. Manuel was causing a lot of drama, and Ruben, as owner of the house, had to kick him out. But I think it´s better. He said that Manuel was making fun of us, saying that he knows more than us about the church. Sounds like he´s too proud and that he may not have progressed much.

We also found a great lady named Magdalena last night. Unfortunately, I don´t have time to talk about her, but I will next week.

Have a great week!

Elder Murdoch

La Moneda, Chile's "White House"