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! :)

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