Monday, April 28, 2014

Making brownies.  Always a treat!

April 28, 2014

Buenos Dias!
Hey everyone! this week started out great.  we found so many new investigators and they were all showing desires to progress and accept the gospel.  and 6 of our investigators accepted baptismal dates for the end of may! and then the adversary came to attack....  C and M who have a baptismal date for may 17th and are getting married on may 10th told us that they now how doubts about joseph smith and the restoration.  and then they didn't come to church on sunday.  and we told them that we need copies of their identification cards to finish up the wedding stuff and we havent been able to get ahold of them the past few days and so its possible that the wedding will have to be postponed.  the adversary is working hard with them.  
We also have V who 15 years old and has a baptismal date may 17th.  she is the cutest girl and honestly i feel like we have been friends forever.  we we are at her house i dont feel like i am teaching an investigator but that im teaching one of my best friends.  she has such a strong testimony and she told us this week that she knows the church is true.  she knows joseph smith was a prophet and that thomas monson is the prophet today.  she knows the book of mormon is true and that the plan of salvation is real.  and that baptism is necessary.  she even has a testimony of the word of wisdom.  and we recieved permission from her dad for her to be baptized.  but she is scared to make the commitment.  she knows that this is a big step in her life and she doesnt want to get baptized and then in a few years stop going to church.  but she is super strong and i know that she can do it.  she just has to trust in the lord and everything will work out.  
We have a few other baptisms planned for may which we are excited about.  hopefully they can stay strong in their decisions and not let satan tempt them into choosing a different path. 
One scripture that i really liked this week is in docterine and convenents 78;17-18 which says, "verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessing the father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; and ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.  the kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours."
I know that if we trust in the lord and have patience he will bless us! 
I love you all and cant wait to talk to you on mothers day! 
xoxo hermana murdock 
ps.  some peruvian dishes that i love are lomo saltado, ahi de gallina, and this pesto pasta that they make.  if you ever get the chance to try them in a peruvian restaurant they are super good! 

April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!!
Sounds like you all had a great week! in peru they celebrate semana santa.  which starts on thursday and goes until saturday.  in this week they watch movies of the prophets and of the life of christ.  and there are weird/creepy parades with people acting out the death and resurrection of christ.  and the whole week they eat fish. I DO NOT LIKE FISH!   they eat it with all the bones and skin and everything and it is so grose. and then they dont do anything on easter sunday.  its just a normal day.  this week has been a little hard because everyone was catholic this week haha.  they may not be catholic the rest of the year but during semana santa they are catholic.  but despite that, we has such a successful week! 
C and M are getting married on may 10th! and then baptized the next saturday may 17th! they are so excited and ready.  we were planning on them getting married on the 25th of april and baptized the 26th but we werent able to get all the papers approved in time.  but its going to happen in may.  
We also have 3 other baptisms planned for may 17th.  V, G, and L.  V 15 years old and was a contact on the street.  we have been visiting her for a few weeks now and finally recieved permission yesterday from her dad for her to get baptized! G is 16 and L is 20 and they were references from V.  L has a 6th month old baby with lots of medical problems and when he was born the dad said that he didn't want the responsibility and he left. its so sad but she is such a strong person and has so much love for her baby.  i know that this gospel will help her so much with all of the trials she is going through right now!! 
I love you all so much and am so thankful for all of you! have a great week!
xoxo hermana murdock
ps.  we haven't had running water in our appartment this whole week.  so we have been showering out of a bucket with freezing cold water.  the skills that I learned in India are paying off haha   

April 14, 2014

hey family!
well we had transferes and... i am still in libertadores.  i have been in this area for almost 5 months but i know that i still have work here to do. and i am training a new missionary again!  hermana S from puira.  she was born in puira but lives in trujillo (exactly the same as hermana E!).  she is so awesome and so ready to work.  i love new missionaries because they arent tired yet and they are just so happy and excited to be here! i was so sad that Hermana E left because we really were such great friends but i know that she will do great things in her new area.  
Hermana S and i had a miracle this week.  i think that this has been one of the most stressful but rewarding weeks of my mission.  we have been visiting M and C and their three little boys (who were a reference from our ward mission leader) for the past 2 weeks now.  but this week we were talking about something, i dont remember what, and M mentioned that they werent married, just living together.  and that she has always had dreams of being married in white.  but here in Peru the custom is that if you have had kids before you are married you are impure and you can't be married in white.  you can be married in any other color but not white.  this completly opened the door to talk about repentance and baptism and we were able to tell her that after her baptism she will be completly clean.  and she wont have this sin with her anymore.  she lit up and started to cry and said that she had felt so much guilt because she had her kids without being married but that she truely believes that with baptism she can be clean again. so Hermana S and I and the zone leaders are starting all the paperwork for them to get married civilly in the next 2 weeks so that they can be baptized at the end of april!! and we were able to testify to them that after their baptism, they will be clean and CAN be married in white (in the temple!). ah they are so prepared! i am doing things here in peru that i never thought i would do.  i thought i would come here and maybe help a few people to get baptized.  but it is even more than that! right now we are helping a family to become eternal.  i feel so blessed.  i will keep you updated on their progress.  i heard that its kinda a hard process to marry someone here in peru so i hope that everything goes smoothly and that they can be baptized this month! 
Other than that things are going good here in libertadores.  we are a little low in investigators right now but we are working like crazy to try to find people who want to hear this message.  oh and its turning into fall here and at night it is soooo cold! i have a feeling we are having the last of the warm days until december.  
thanks for your emails! i love you all! until next week...
xoxo hermana murdock 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 7, 2014

hey family!! thanks for all your emails! sounds like you had a great spring break!!
Today we have cambios and i have no idea what is going to happen.  i have a feeling i am going to leave.  I am a little bit ready for a new area but I don't want to leave Hermana E!!! we work so well together and we laugh literally all the time.  the area I have been in for the last 4 months is called Libertadores which is translated as people who fight for liberty.  If I get transferred I am really going to miss this place and these people here.  
This week we had general conference!!! it was so good and I could feel the spirit so strong.  we were able to bring 3 investigators and they all three commented about how good they felt after.  my favorite talk was by Elder Uchtdorf about being grateful.  we have sooooo much to be grateful!  
We had such a good experience last night that I want to tell you about! so the other day we were trying to find the house of a menos activo.  The address was 501.  but that number did not exist.  we were walking up and down the street to try to find  this house but it was not there.  there was 500, 502, 503,504, all the numbers except 501.  and so I was like well lets knock on the door of 502 and ask if they know this person.  So we knocked on the door and a 25 year old guy came out.  We asked him if he knew this person and he said no so then we just told him a little about the church and he said that his neighbor was a member and he had heard a little about the church before.  we made plans to come back on sunday (yesterday).  so last night we went to his house with this member that lives by him.  he came to the door without a shirt on and there was loud music playing in his house and there were a bunch of people inside drinking.  he said that he forgot about our appointment and that we should come back another day because he had been drinking.  then the member said, I know you have been drinking but are you drunk? haha and he said no.  So the member said that if he really wanted to hear our message we could go to the members house really quick and have a short lesson and then he could go back to the party.  so we went to the members house and started to get to know him and we found out that he has a lot of faith in christ because he has a GIANT tatoo of christ on this shoulder and that his girlfriend just found out that she is pregnant.  we were able to have the most spiritual lesson I have ever been in with him about how he can prepare to be the best father he can be for this little baby.  he said that he wants to be the type of dad that he never had but that he doesn't know how.  we told him that he may not have a father here on the earth but he has a heavenly father that loves him and that wants to bless and help him.  all he needs to do is ask.  and then it came time for the closing prayer and we always ask the investigator to say the closing prayer.  when we asked he said no (they always say no at first) but we explained that it is just him talking to god and that he could say whatever he wants. so he decided that he would do it.  it took a lot of convincing but eventually he said yes.  so we all closed our eyes and he started his prayer.  he said god, I'm thankful for my girlfriend and this son that I am going to have.  I don't know why you are trusting me with a son but I already love him and I want to be a good dad.... and then he just started sobbing.  and wasn't able to finish the prayer. he said that this was the first time in his life that he had ever prayed and that he felt like he was actually talking to god.  and that he knows that he can change his life so that he can raise this baby in a happy home.  it was so spiritual and we can't wait to go back and teach him more! 
Last Tuesday was the best day ever!! after we emailed on Monday we didn't have pday because on tuesday we woke up at 4 30 am and took a bus with our zone like 3 hours away to little town called Canta.  it was super high up in the mountains and everything was sooooo green!! we hiked to a waterfall and then had a picnic up on the hill.  it was absoultely breathtaking.  we cant to go macchu picchu but this was second best.  I will try to send some pictures of this day but really the pictures don't do it justice.  

I love you all!!
xoxo hermana murdock

8 months in Peru

March 31, 2014

Hey family!
So good to hear from you.  sounds like everyone is doing good! the weather has been cooling down a little bit and at night I need a sweater.  in the day its still super hot but I can tell the weather is changing and I am super sad about it because I don't want winter!! but we are finally starting to find people to teach here in Libertadores so we have some good things to look forward to! 
this week we were walking down the street and there was a 15 year old girl V, her older sister F, and F's baby sitting on the sidewalk talking so we decided to stop and talk to them for a minute.  we made an appointment to come back the next day and have a lesson with them.  so the next day we went and they were super warm and friendly and let us right into their house.  their mom was there too and we found out the she actually is a member of the church.  she was baptized when she was 13 with her dad in the jungle but then she moved to lima and kinda forgot about the church.  she started remembering all the good things she liked about the church especially the young womens program.  she said that she wasnts her daughter V to have the same experience she had and she is really excited for us to teach her daughter.  V said that she feels like something is missing in her life and she is open to learning more about the church.  the mom expressed to us that her dad recently died and she was feeling really depressed but that when we started talking about the church it made her feel super happy.  And she could remember all the great experiences she had with her dad when they decided to be baptized together in the jungle.  After her baptism her and her dad would always go to church together.  She said that she had been praying for comfort after her dad's death and that she knows that heavenly father sent us to their house to tell her that her dad is still looking out for her even though he is not here on earth.  the spirit was so strong and we can't wait to go back and continue teaching them.  
Also yesterday an investigator family came to church! the mom, dad, and three little boys! it is super rare that an entire investigator family comes to church.  usually just the mom comes or just the dad.  but this time both parents and their three little kids.  they were a reference from a family in the ward and are looking to strengthen their faith and are open to hearing more about the gospel.  

This week I had a really cool experience.  we went into a house to teach a lesson and there was a really old wooden chair and i sat on it not knowing that it was broken.  so when I sat down it immediately broke and I fell to the floor (emberrasing I know haha you can say all the fat jokes you want haha).  but I got up and said everything was fine, no harm done, lets keep teaching.  so then later during the lesson the back of my thigh was really hurting but I didn't want to make a big deal so I thought well I will just check out the damage when we get home.  so we went home after and the back of my leg was hurting pretty bad and I was sure that it was all scratched up and bleeding because when I fell the chair broke and there were lots of sharp pieces of wood sticking out.  but I looked under where my garmens were and literally there was not one scratch!! but right where my garments ended it was all scratched up.  anyway it was a really cool experience that strengthened my testimony of the temple garment.  I know that if we wear the garment and are obedient we will be blessed and protected.  
I'm so excited for general conference this week.  we have been told that we are not allowed to watch in english but hopefully this time I will be able to understand more haha.  I can't believe that as of today I have been here exactly 8 months! sometimes it seems like I have been gone forever and sometimes it feels like I just left.  I'm loving my time here and am so grateful to be in Peru serving the lord!  

    My favorite sunshine door.


    March 24, 2014

    This week we had some changes in our zone! supposedly there is massive chaos in venezuela right now so all of the missionaries from one of the missions in venezuela were evacuated and are now serving in our mission!  so we had some emergency transfers and 3 people from our zone left but we got 3 from the mission Venezuela.  I cant even imagine how hard it would be to change missions but they are all excited and ready to work.
    Things in our area have been really slow this week so we had a blitz in our area.  which means that all the missionaries in our zone came to help us one day in our area.  we devided the area up into sections and assigned each companionship a section.  they contacted people in the streets, knocked on doors, and visited less active members.  it was so helpful because we got some great references that we can visit this week.  Hermana E and i and 2 other hermanas are thinking about starting an english class so that members and investigators can come and bring friends and we can get more references.  ill let you know how it goes. 
    We had a really cool experience this week.  on friday we went to visit a recent convert.  He had done a favor for one of his neighbors earlier in the day and in return she had just brought him a big bag full of food.  after our lesson with him he thanked us and told us that his neighbor had just brought him this bag of food and that he wanted to give it to us because he felt like we needed it more than him.  we thanked him but tried to explain that we had just eatin lunch and that the bag of food was for him.  but in peru its rude to not accept things when people offer so eventually we accepted the food and said thanks.  we werent hungry so my companion put the bag of food in her bag and said she was going to eat it later.  so we went about our day and ended up having a lesson with a lady named felipa.  she is about 70 years old and lives alone with her granddaughter that is 7 years old.  in the middle of the lesson she started talking about all these problems she was going through and that she feels really alone.  she said that she cant work becuase she is really sick and so she cant buy food for her and her granddaughter.  and that they hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch.  she didn't know that we had a big bag of food with us.  we were able to give this food to her so that her and her granddaughter could eat.  later that day we went to tell L what had happened with the food.  he said that he had felt a prompting to give it to us and he didnt know why.  but it really strengthened his testimony that heavently father is watching out for all of us and a lot of times he works through other people to help us. it was such a amazing experience!!
    On sunday we saw a miracle!  6 inactive members that we have been teaching showed up for church!  people that havent been to church in years! it was great!
    Well its almost april.  I can't believe it.  I will be talking to you guys on mothers day before I know it! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
    xoxo hermana murdock