hello family! how is everyone? how is everyone liking the winter and the snow? i cannot believe i am saying this but there is a tiny tiny tiny part of me that kind of misses the snow. it just doesnt really feel like christmas without it. but im loving the warm weather and the sun! it makes me so happy to go outside now that it has warmed up. during the day its super super hot and even at night now its pretty warm. and they say that this is nothing compared to what it is going to be. i feel bad for my companion who hates the sun and the heat.
this week we had some great things happen:
-on wednesday we got to go to the temple! it was so amazing and so beautiful! the six hermanas in my zone all went together and then went to pizza hut after. it was such a fun day and reminded me of how much i love the temple and how much i took it for granted when i lived to close. the temple is not in our mission boundaries (its in the lima east mission) and so we only get to go 3 times during our mission. (i am sending a few pictures of my companion and i in front of the temple).
-im reading the conference talks from the october 2011 general conference and along with the ones i told you about last week i also love the talk by jeffery r. holland called we are all enlisted. i have really loved rereading the conference talks from past conferences because i learn new things every time. i encourage everyone to start rereading them if you havent already. i promise you will be spiritually uplifted.
-this week we have been visiting a lot of the inactive members and have found out that something happened a few years ago where the bishop offended people and then other people got offended by someone else and i dont know exactly what happened but almost every inactive person we visited this week said that they wont go to church because there are people there that they dont want to see. we have been trying to help them see the importance of forgiveness and have been teaching about unity. one day in my personal study time i found this scripture in mosiah 18:21 "and he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and love one towards another." this scripture has kind of become our motto for this ward and we are working really hard to create unity and love here. thats what this ward really needs.
-we have a few investigators right now that i am really excited about. first we have willian, a single dad, who has been talking with different sets of missionaries for about a year and a half now. he is really interested in the church but has a really strong catholic background and has a hard time accepting some things (like how we dont pray to the virgin mary). but this week we watched the video the restauracion with him about joseph smiths first vision and he started crying during the movie and then he came to church yesterday!! he wants to be baptized but wont except a date...yet haha. next we have luis. he is the dad of an inactive member. we invited him to church a few days ago but we didnt know the address of the church so we said we would call him on sunday to tell him the address. so on sunday we called and couldnt get ahold of him. so we went to church and were sitting in relief society when someone came in and said that there was an old man outside looking for a gringa (white girl). and since i am the only gringa around they figured he was looking for me. he had found the church and had come all by himself!! we couldnt believe it we were so excited! and then we have efrian who is an old man who works all day making furniture in his little shop. at first he wouldnt really talk to us and would never smile but the other day we went to visit him in his wood shop and he started laughing (which is really rare for him) and we asked him why he was laughing and he said that he just gets really happy when we come to visit. ah it melted my heart!
-last night our stake had a christmas devotional with a youth choir and little primary kids acted out the nativity scene. it was a really spiritual devotional and then at the end all of us missionaries handed out books of mormon to all the investigators that were there. and we saw that luis and efrian had both come!! ah this is when i love being a missionary! (i will try to attach some pictures of my zone at the devotional)
so overall this has been a great week and i am super excited to talk to you guys on christmas!! we have our mission christmas party tomorrow and i am excited to get to see the missionaries in my old zone. i am glad that i have this opportunity to spend christmas as a missionary and really focus on christ and his birth. because that is what christmas is really about. i love you all and hope you have a great christmas!! until next week...
xoxoxo hermana murdock