Wednesday, August 27, 2014

a giant among Peruvians, a midget among North amerians

August 24, 2014

hey!!!  how was everyone's first day of school??
this week we had L's baptism! it was so great and the spirit was so strong.  she was super nervous to go into the freezing cold water but i talked to her right after and she said that while she was in the water she couldnt even feel the cold.  she was filled with something warm she said.  we could all tell how happy she was.  all the young women came to support and they are all committed to help her stay active.  and then yesterday she was confirmed a member of the church!! the work of the lord is progressing here in chinchaysuyo!!
and on friday my zone had the opportunity to sing at a massive wedding.  it was super fun because i got to see my friends in other zones who were helping people to be married.  and there was a 85 year old couple getting married!! they were soooo cute.  the lady had flowers braided into her hair and her husband could barely walk but he was in his suit and was smiling the whole time.  everyone was dying it was so cute haha.  and then they were both baptized the next day.  and they all lived happily ever after...   
well today my zone gets to go to downtown lima!! we are so excited because it is outside our mission and there are actually cool things to do! haha.  we got special permission from president to leave the mission boundaries for the day.  there are new rules and each zone is now allowed to go to downtown lima once every 3 months.  so i will take tons of pictures and send them to you next week!!
well thats about all for this week.  i hope everyone is doing good and loving school.  i would love to hear how all your first days of school were so write me!!!!
xoxo hermana murdock


A view of the ocean


August 18, 2014

buenos dias mi familia!! how is everyone? i cant believe school starts this week!!

sorry this email is going to be short because i want to send you all the pictures of cristians baptism! 

first off we had cambios and i will be staying here in chinchaysuyo with hermana L for at least another cambio.  i was really happy because we are seeing some great progress and i know there is still so much i can do here.  
this week was so great!! C was baptized on saturday and confirmed a member of the church on sunday.  it was such an awesome baptism.  he is truly converted.  and his mom who isn't a member came.  and his brother D who was inactive is now active again and said that he wants to serve a mission! the baptism was so spiritual and C bore his testimony at the end and said that he truly feels like a different person.  and that he was filled with a happiness that he can't explain.  the water was ice cold and it was freezing cold outside but he was a champ and didn't even complain.
we had some major stress the friday before the baptism because L (who was supposed to be baptized the same day) called and told us that her uncle C who was going to baptize her, had to work saturday and wasn't going to be able to do it and that she didn't want anyone else.  we tried to tell her that its wasn't important who baptized her but what mattered was that she was making this covenant with god.  but anyway turns out that we had to postpone the baptism until next saturday (aug 23rd).  so next week i will send you the photos of the baptism! 
and we have another baptism planned for september 13th! his name is A and he is 76 years old.  his wife is a member and has been praying her whole life that her husband would one day be converted.  and the day has come!! prayers really are answered! its so cool to be apart of this amazing work.  
i love you all! i feel so lucky to be here in peru.  i know that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and i am trying to take advantage of every minute because before i know it, it will be over.  thanks for always emailing! i love to hear from you!
xoxo hermana murdock 
ps how did our family become members of the church? who was the first person years ago who accepted the gospel? i would love to hear the stories.  did anyone see or hear joseph smith in person?  

August 11, 2014

hey! buenos dias! como estan? sorry my emails are always so boring.  i wish i was a better writer but im always in such a hurry so i just write the first thing that comes to my mind haha.  how is the summer treatin ya? i cant believe school is going to start so soon!  what plans are there for the last few weeks of summer?
well we have 2 baptisms planned for this saturday!! C and L.  so i will update you a little about each of them.  C has progressed so much this week!! we can tell 100% that his is being converted.  he told us that he has always been very prideful and has never asked forgiveness from anyone but this week he has been praying for a change in his character and on wednesday he siad that he had yelled at his little neice for spilling a big cup of juice but immediatly felt sorry and gave her a hug and asked her to forgive him for yelling.  he siad that now is is a lot more humble and recognizes that he has weaknesses and is trying to change.  we have seen a huge change in him too.  he is truely becoming converted!! and is demonstrating true repentance.  
and then we have L.  L is the cutest girl and its so sad because she had to go through something extremely sad this week. She lost her dad.  We have been talking to her about the plan of salvacion and how she will be able to see her dad again.  i wrote her a little card with the scripture in alma 28:12.  hopefully it helped her feel at least a little bit of comfort.  and as of now the baptism is still on for this saturday.
well today we are going to find out about cambios.  i dont know if i will be changed or not.  there are no new hermanas coming to the mission this cambios so we will see what happens haha! i love you all!! i hope you can feel my love from all the way over here in peru!!
xoxo hermana murdock 

Birthday photos

Happy 21!

Independence Day in Peru

Happy Birthday

August 4, 3014

hey!! wow its already august!
this week was so great!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!! i had such a great birthday and i could definitely feel your love all the way here in peru.  monday for pday we went to pizza hut as a pre birthday lunch with the zone.  and then tuesday was my birthday and we have our zone meetings every tuesday.  so at the end of the meeting the zone surprised me with cake and they all sang happy birthday.  i felt very loved!  and something awesome happened!  i haven't seen the sun here in lima in about a month and a half.  the sky is gray every single day and the sun does not come out.  but on my birthday the sun came out and everything was bright and cheery and warm! it was the first time i have felt the sun in so long! it was testimony that heavenly father loves me hahaha.  and then at night my pensionista surprised me with a little party.  they really are the greatest family!  and later as i was about to go to bed my first pensionista called to wish me happy birthday! it was so great to hear from her.  overall it was a day i will never forget.  
and i have officially been here one year!!  this year has been the hardest year of my life.  but also the most rewarding.  sometimes its hard to believe i have actually been here for 1 year.  i have learned so much.  and i am so grateful that i still have some time to learn.  

C is doing good.  he came to church yesterday and his testimony is getting stronger.  he will be such a great addition to the ward.  and we also have another baptism planned for the same day.  august 16th.  its a 15 year old girl named L whose mom is a less active member but is now coming to church every sunday with her daughter.  we are so excited for them and are seeing them progress everyday.  the work of the lord is amazing!
xoxoxo hermana murdock 

July 28, 2014

Hi family!
how are you all? sounds like everyone had an awesome 24th of july and that you are all enjoying your summer.  my favorite time of the year.  today in peru it is independence day!  they dont do much for independence day, they dont have fireworks or anything, but everyone has their flags hanging outside their house and there is a lot of peruvian pride.  and there is no school so everyone is happy haha. 
yesterday this guy C showed up at church and so we made an appointment to vistit him later in the day.  so we went to his house with a member and started talking to him and getting to know him a little bit and we found out that his younger brother got baptized about 2 years ago.  but is inactive now.  and when the missionaries were teaching his brother he would stand in the other room with his ear to the wall and listen to the missionaries.  in this time in his life he was attending a ton of different churches but didnt like how he felt in any of them.  he never felt like they were right.  and then on saturday a friend invited him to our church.  and so he came.  and i asked him last night what it is that he is searching for in life.  and he said calmness and peace.  i so then i asked him if he believed that he could find what he was looking for in a church or in a religion.  and he said that after all his searching, he was about to give up on the idea that he could find it in a church or a religion.  until yesterday when he was at our church.  he said that he felt exactly what he had been waiting to feel.  it was like the empty space inside him was filled.  so we invited him to be baptized and he accepted the date of august 16th! we are so excited.  he is so prepared and so ready.  i will keep you updated on his progress!
my companion and i are doing good.  we are working well together.  i cant believe this cambio is almost over.  time is going so fast.  i am so greateful to be here serving the lord in chinchaysuyo.  even though its a super hard area i feel like this is where i am needed right now.  a scripture i like this week is in words of mormon 1:8 and my prayer to god is concerning my bretheren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of god, yea, the redemption of christ; that they may once again be a DELIGHTSOME people. 
i love you all!!! and i feel sooooooooooooo blessed to have you as my family! have a great week!

xoxoxo hermana murdock

July 21, 2014

hey hey!  im glad to hear that everyone is doing good!  time is flying im serious.  july is almost over! its almost my birthday! and i have almost been here 1 year! ahhhhhhh! crazy.
but anway thing in chinchaysuyo are good.  we havent had hot water this whole week in our appartment.  which means showering in FREEZING cold ice water when it is FREEZING cold outside.  but finally last night someone came to fix the power box thing so this morning we had hot water again! 
this week we have been visiting a less active family.  M has been coming to church with her kids for about a month now but the dad wouldn't come.  they are such an amazing family and they just found out that their son has autism.  its been super hard for them with the therapy and other trials they are going through and the dad was a little angry with god.  but we had an awesome lesson with them this week where we talked about eternal families and we committed them to come to church as a family.  at first he said no but after a little while he said he would try to come.  and on sunday the entire family came!! we went over to their house last night to have a family night with them and the dad was totally different.  like a first i didn't even recognize him.  i thought that maybe his brother was there or something.  it was so weird.  he was so happy.  but he physically looked different.  and then i found in the book of mormon in alma 5:14 where it says ¨have you recieved His image in your countenance?¨´  when we accept christ in our lifes and we recieve His image we literally look different.  we have a light about us.  it was really cool to see.  he said that it felt really good to be united as a family again.  they are such a great family.  

well thats about all for this week.  sorry i dont have much else to say.  have a great week!!
xoxo hermana murdock   

July 14, 2014

buenos dias mi familia!! como estan??

happy july! july is my favorite month of the year and im feel so blessed to be here serving a mission in peru!  
there is not a ton to report this week.  my companion and i are working like crazy to find new people and to reactivate basically the whole ward.  there are sooooo many menos activos! and the missionaries have baptized 31 people in the last 2 years in this ward but guess how many come to church on sundays? 2 or maybe 3.  its so sad.  so we are really trying to work with the recient converts that are now menos activo.  they were just baptisms but they werent really actually converted so we are helping them to gain a testimony and realize the importance of the convenants they made.  
we did have a super cool experience with a guy that got baptized about 7 months ago that we have been working with a lot.  he is 16 and is the only one of the recent converts that comes to church every sunday.  he has strong desires to serve a mission and he loves to go with us to lessons with investigators.  he has a really strong testimony but is going through a lot of hard things at home with his family and we noticed that he stopped coming to church in his white shirt.  he would come but in like a tshirt.  we didnt think much of it but in one of the lessons i had the strongest impression that we should talk about the atonement and repentence.  and that we can be forgiven of the mistakes we make.  and he started crying and said that he had fallen into temptation and did something that he shouldnt have dont with the word of wisdom and he felt so guilty.  and he wasnt coming to church in his white shirt because he knew they would ask him to pass the sacrament and he knew he wasnt worthy.  so we committed him to talk with the bishop and he was super nervous but yesterday he has an interview with the bishop and we talked to him later that night to see how he felt and he said that the was so happy!! he said that he skipped home from church after the interview hahaha just picture a 16 year old boy skipping home from church.  he said that he has never felt so much happiness and that the guilt he felt before is completely gone! its great to see him so happy again.  i know that repentence is real and that christ attoned for our sins so that we can be clean again.  
well thats about it for this week.  i love you all and i love my mission! 
until next week!!
xoxo hermana murdock

July 7, 2014

drum roll............................i had cambios!!  i am now in the ward chinchaysuyo in the zone tahauntinsuyo (pronounced tie-wan-tin-sue-yo).  it is about 5 minutes from independencia and our stake center is the mission offices which is pretty cool because i will be able to get letters and packages faster haha.  my new companion is hermana L and she was actually companions with hermana S in the ccm!! so she has 3 months in the mission.  she is from the jungle near iquitos and is great.  our area is up on top of a big hill and when its not foggy you can see the ocean!!  its such an awesome view! but because we are so close to the ocean IT IS FREEZING! literally im not joking IT IS FREEZING!! it is sooooooo humid that you can see the water in the air and its like we are walking through clouds and water all the time.  and i was definitely spoiled in my last area because here we are definitely living in a 3rd world apartment.  we have a tin roof over where we sleep and over the room where we study (which doesnt help with the cold) and the rooms arent connected so you have to walk out into the hallway to go from the bedroom to the study room and to the bathroom and... in the hallway there is no roof haha i feel like i am camping.  and im sooooo cold always! but i am learning to deal with it.  and the shower does this really cool thing.  we have hot water for 4 minutes if all the other lights in the house are off but when we hit 5 minutes the power goes out which means that we dont have hot water either (because its an eletric shower heater thing).  but at least we have water.  in my old area the problem wasnt that we didnt have hot water, it was that we literally didnt have water for 2 weeks.  like we turned on the water and nothing came out.  at least here we have water all the time but its just not always hot.  ahhh the joys of the mission.  haha but really i am loving it here and its teaching me a lot about adapting to different situations.  i feel like i could live just about anywhere now and be fine. 
we live above a member family who is awesome!! the mom is our pensionista and so we eat breakfast and dinner with her.   she is the best.  last night she made us pancakes!! i about died.
and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!! my favorite holiday!  well they dont celebrate it here obviously but i definitely wore red white and blue and sang the national anthem all day.  it was very different than any other 4th of july i have had because it was freezing but i still had a good time in my own little world haha.  

i love you all and i am loving my time here.  i am so grateful to be serving the lord and to be experiencing life as a peruvian haha.  its the best.  im grateful to be serving here in chinchaysuyo and i know that this is where the lord needs me right now.  i cant wait to see what is to come.  i love you all and hope you have an awesome week in the heat!

xoxo hermana murdock 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Service in the mountains

Service in the mountains

another visit to the temple

June 30, 2014

this week was awesome! i love being a missionary!  
on thursday i had the chance to go to the lima temple again!! it is so beautiful.  there is such a strong spirit there and i know without a doubt it is the house of the lord.  i cant wait to go back because i finish my mission!
and then on thursday as we were leaving the temple we got a call from T.  she said that she needed to talk to us imeditately.  she wouldnt tell us exactly what was wrong but just that she felt like she shouldnt get married but that she wanted to talk to us.  and we were 2 hours away in la molina and we were freaking out haha but we hurried home and went to talk to her.  she said that she was having doubts and that she was scared and she didnt know what to do.  we told her to just calm down and focus on the reasons that she was getting married.  we read a few scriptures to help her feel the spirit and then we called the elders to come over and give her and C both a blessing of comfort so that they could remain calm before the wedding.  so the next day we called them in the morning and they both said that they felt completely calm and ready for the wedding.  
so saturday we had the wedding and baptism! it was great! after a lot of stress it finally happened and they are so happy.  you can see a change in them and there is a light in their eyes.  its so great to get to witness these experiences.  and after the baptism the ward prepared a little party for them with food and cake and dancing.  overall it was a great day and a day that i will never forget.  these are the reasons that i am here on a mission!
saturday morning before the wedding we had the oportunity to go up in the cerros and build a roof for a family that lives so high up its almost at the very tip of the cerro.  they are super super poor and dont hardly have anything but they are so loving and they wanted to give us everything they had.  the mom cooks in a fire pit outside her house and they dont have a bathroom, shower, electricity, nothing.  but they are soooo happy!  they live in a really dangerous area and the elders said that if we were to go up there after 8pm we wouldnt come out alive haha. but in the day i didnt feel scared at all.  speaking of danger my companion and i almost got robbed on thursday.  we were walking down the street and i had the thought that i should turn around really fast.  i had no idea why but without even thinking i turned around super fast and there were 2 guys behind us trying to grab our bags.  but i looked him right in the eye and said what do you think you are doing? and they both just ran away.  we really are so protected as missionaries.  we live in a pretty dangerous are but i havent felt scared once on my mission. i know that heavenly father is watching over us in cada momento and that he wont let anything happen to us.  
well cambios are today.  im almost positive i am leaving.  i have been in this area 7 months.  but anything could happen.  i love this area and i love my companion.  its going to be really sad when i leave but i know that wherever i am its where the lord needs me!!
i love you all!! until next week! 
xoxo hermana Murdock 
ps i put the title of this email because the wedding was a massive wedding and 73 couples got married at the same time! it was chaos haha but so fun!  

After miracle

photo after the miracle with T&C.  We were so happy.

June 23, 2014

ok first off i just have to say that this week was the most spiritual week of my entire mission.  i saw miracles this week that i never even thought were possible.  i have literally seen the hand of the lord this week here in libertadores.  he knows his children.  and he can do all things.  he can even do the impossible which is what happened this week.  i will try to explain a little of that happened but as you know i am not the best at writing these emails or explaining things haha but here goes.  i am typing like a crazy person so sorry about the spelling and grammer mistakes.  and sorry this email is going to be really long. if your bored just stop reading haha...
so as i have mentioned before we are currently teaching T and C.  and are preparing them to get married so that she can be baptized.  but they have passed through soooooo much oposition in these 6 weeks that they have been listening to us and satan is trying to do all in his power so that they cant make these important changes in their lives.  first when they decided that they wanted to get married, T asked the government for her partida and they said that the building that had her records burned down to the ground haha you may think thats a joke but no, its really what happened.  so they said that she was going to have to travel to her home town in the jungle to try to create a new record of her birth and it was going to be a super long process.  but we were praying really hard that something would work out so that she didnt have to travel and she could do it here in lima.  and the next day she called us and said that she had talked to someone in the government building that gave her some information about how she could do it here in lima, even though the other people were saying that she couldnt.  so she did everything necessary and they said that she just had to wait.  but that they were making the partida!! so that was miracle number 1.  
so then in this time that we were waiting for the partida de teofila we were also trying to get the partida de C.  he is from chiclayo and his family still lives there so normally it would be super easy to get his partida.  all his family has to do is send it from chiclayo and we could have it the next day.  but once again there was oposition. T & C were doing everything.  they were praying, reading the book of mormon 15 minutes EVERY DAY!, having family home evening, not working on sundays, coming to church, everything.  so satan didnt have any power over them.  but he is very crafty and decided to attack C's family so that they wouldnt send his partida.  so something happened with C and his family and they said that they wouldnt send the partida.  in the past C and his dad have had some problems that i guess are still not really resolved.  so once again we were praying that his dad would soften his heart and send the partida.  well his dad decided to send the partida.  but guess what happened.  it got lost in the mail.  once again you may think this is a joke, but no, it really happend. so C had to ask his dad again to send the partida.  
so in this time we were just waiting, praying, teaching them, and hoping that everything would turn out so that they could be married on june 28th which was their goal.  so here in peru you have to do an enscription which is like a (ah i dont know how to explain this in english) but its like a notice that they print in the newspaper everyday for 8 days (not counting sabado o domingo) that says the names of all the couples that are going to be married.  and it has to be for 8 days.  so we figured out that for them to be married on june 28th, we would have to start the enscription on tuesday (the 17th).  so monday came and T called us and was super excited and said that her partida had finally come and she had it in her hands.  she was crying because she was so excited! and she said that the partida de C should be there by the next day, tuesday, so that we could do the enscription tuesday.  so tuesday came, and he still didnt have his partida.  we told them that the wedding was going to have to be posponed until the first week of july because there physically werent 8 days left for them to be married in june.  they were really sad but T said "i know god will provide a way for us to reach our goal of june 28th".  so thurdsay we recived la partida de C and went as fast as we could to the govennment building in comas.  and guess what they said? they told them that they couldnt be married! um WHATTTTTTT? they said that because neither of them was from comas they couldnt be married in comas.  and this never happens! missionaries help people to get married all the time that arent from comas and it works out.  but for some reason with T & C they said that they couldnt be married here.  they would have to either be married in chiclayo, or in the jungle where she is from.  so we walked out of there really confused but right then a thought popped into my head to try in the government building in caraballo.  which is the next city over from comas.  
at this point in was 4 30 and they were going to close at 5 so we rushed as fast as we could to caraballo.  we were praying so hard for a miracle in that moment.  so we got there and they said that they couldnt be married unless they were married in a massive marriage service which they only hold like once every three months.  but THEY JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE ONE PLANNED FOR JUNE 28TH!!!! crazy huh. but the deadline had already passed to do the enscription to be married this day.  but we ended up talking to a lady that said that she would make an exception so that even though they missed the deadline, they could be married on june 28th! 
we left in awe! honestly we were all so happy and we all we could say was "wow its a miracle" "we literally saw a miracle".  T&C were saying "wow prayer and fasting works".  it was a super cool experience.  and then they were so happy that they wanted to celebrate so they took us out to dinner haha.  it was a day i will never forget.  full of stress and discouragement, but also hope, faith, and miracles. 
so the marriage is saturday at 4pm and she will be baptized direcly after the wedding.  i will definitly take tons of pictures to send to you!
ok sorry that was so long.  i cant do the story justice with my words but i hope you can feel a little of the excitement that we felt.  
i love you all and hope you have an awesome week! i love you!!
xoxoxo hermana murdock 
ps are you guys watching the world cup!!! who is winning im so sad that we cant watch it.