Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 21 - Week 37 Forgot Camera, Easter, Su Friend Alex already has testimony, Service works, Su gets Holy Ghost, Gospel blesses families

I forgot my camera … 2nd week in a row.  I am kicking myself for not bringing it.  I have pictures from Su's baptism and us dyeing Easter eggs for you guys.  Oh well next week I will bring it for sure.  Thank you so much for the Easter package. It was perfect; everything I miss about Easter at home with you guys.  I ate too much crap this week though.  This morning I went on a run with one of the AP's; I definitely was slowed down by all those whopper eggs.  Too good.

This week was crazy and stressful.  We said a bunch of prayers, and spent a ton of time texting and calling and arranging rides and all that fun stuff and we hit standard!  

Tuesday we had a lesson with one of Su's friends named Alex. He had met with us before and said he wasn't really interested.  We asked if he had read any of the Book of Mormon, he hadn't.  So we started explaining why it is important to read to gain a testimony and all the sudden he says.  "I already have a testimony."  We both stopped and listened to him tell us about how when he came to Su's baptism he felt the Spirit and now he believes in God!  We said awesome, so will you read and pray about the Book of Mormon to grow closer to God, and strengthen your faith.  He said no... too much homework.  He said "God wouldn't want me to be more stressed out."  We bore our testimony of the positive influence it would have on his life.  And got him to commit to at least try. We will keep working with him. 

I got to get out a little early today, so I will summarize the rest of the week.  English class struggled again.  Not very many people.  Su is doing great!  He got the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday.  Shell brought friends to meet with us, and one came to church yesterday!  Li Rui hit her year mark of being a member.  We got a new investigator yesterday by helping carry some groceries earlier in the week.  Service works!  

This week in PMG I studied the gospel blesses families section.  I know that this gospel really does help families develop stronger relationships.  I think it is because we all have the same goal of living together forever as a family. I really want to help others see that.  Knowing that I will get to live with you all forever is the greatest thing I have.  I work hard everyday to strengthen this testimony and do what is right so I can be with you guys, because you guys are what make me happy.  I love you all so much!  

-Elder Murray

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14 - Su Baptism, Working with Christopher, Mulit-zone Breakfast, Possibly last interview with President, Exchange with Elder Yeung, Slurpee and sunburn, Repentance like Endless windex

Well it was a stressful week, but like I was talking about last week.  Things work out in the end.  

Tuesday we had to each lunch in 10 minutes so we could make it to an apppointment.  The appointment was ok.  It was two new investigators; they listened to the first lesson, but we haven't been able to get in contact since then.  In the evening Elder Yeung came to translate for Su's baptismal interview and Elder Heaton went to translate for another baptismal interview.  It was fun to be with Elder Yeung for a while.  We talked to a lot of people, he taught a lesson in Cantonese which was interesting.  I could  pick out and guess some stuff, but it is so different from Mandarin.  Su passed his interview no problem.

Wednesday we had interview with the President.  This is probably the last one we get with him.  He leaves after next transfer.  He is really cool.  We talked about how he had been really worried when Elder Jiang (The old Chinese elder that trained elder snyder)  left for home and there were only two white Elders that had been learning Chinese for 5 months.  However, he told me the work didn't skip a beat.  He said that we try our best and the Atonement makes our best more than good enough.  So he told me just to try my best.  

Thursday was weekly planning and we had a few lessons, we met with Su just to get everything all set up for his baptism.  Oh I forgot on the day before we had met with Christopher.  We went over the baptismal questions, he passed.  He did express that he was worried that he couldn't come to church every week because he is graduating in June and he is really busy.  We bore our testimonies of being helped and supported when we try to do what Christ wants us to do first.  After that he said he was ready to be baptized.

Friday we had Christopher's baptismal interview.  He also passed no problem.  Friday we didn't have any appointments in the afternoon, so we stayed outside and talked to people walking to and from class.  It was really hot that day so I got a slurpee at 7/11, and Elder Heaton chugged 3 water bottles. At night we had a really good English class.  A lot of new people came and they all really liked it.  When we got home Elder Heaton realized he was really sunburned, he was not happy.  So I have been lending him my sunscreen.  It has been really hot here.

Saturday we had a multi-zone breakfast with the first assistant in the mission presidency's house.  It was really fun. They did an Easter egg hunt for us.  The rest of the day we met with some potentials.  They listened and accepted Book of Mormon's but they didn't commit to a return appointment.  It is hard, but we are still looking for people that are looking for the gospel, and not just to understand American culture.  

Sunday was really good, and really stressful.  At one point we had 6 people that were going to come to church and some wanted to go to singles ward, and none of them had rides.  It was crazy stressful. In the end we had a bunch of people cancel, and we ended up with 3 at church and one came late for priesthood and Sunday school.  Biggest bummer was Christopher cancelled and said he had too much homework.  So he didn't get baptized yesterday.  We are meeting with him again today to see what we should do next.  The good news was that Su got baptized!  It was really good!  All the recent converts came.  He said he felt really warm afterwards.  The bishopric member came and congratulated and said he would get the priesthood soon.  Shell explained the priesthood as the authority to give the bread and water in church, and Su was pretty excited. 

Today has been fun.  The chapel has been closed for cleaning so we went and played tennis.  I stink but it was fun anyway.  Hope you guys have a great Easter Sunday!  This week in PMG I studied Repentance.  I like the reference to the BD which says that repent means forming a fresh view of God, the world, and ourselves.  I have felt this as I repent,  Everything feels better, I am happier and more grateful for what I have.  I am able to notice more blessing in my life.  It is awesome that through the Atonement we can form fresh views as many times as we need.  It is like a bottle of windex that never runs out.  And running with the window cleaning analogy sometimes you don't realize how dirty your windows were until after you clean them. Ok that is all for this week.  



April 7 Week 35 General Conference in Chinese, Su Interview for baptism, Exchange with Spanish Elder Taylor - Dinner appointment without host, Christy and Liu Cancelled, Tomato Basil Wheat Thins

Hello everyone!  Conference was awesome!  It was so nice!  I was really able to feel the spirit and learn some new ways to improve.  I hope you guys enjoyed it.  Dad's letter was awesome I loved seeing the program from Parker's performance.  Hope he had a fun time on the music trip.

This week started off really good, ended sort of bad, but we had conference to pick us up.

Tuesday we put Su on date... and he accepted.  His interview is tomorrow!  He is doing awesome!  He is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and watched conference with us yesterday.  He is a really cool guy,  he has a lot of faith.  He agreed to live all the commandments without hesitation.  Keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Taylor, our Spanish speaking DL's companion.  It was pretty cold and rainy, we had a good time though.  We biked all over Riverside, we biked past this giant cup looking monument next to a wearhouse.  I will send a picture.  Dinner was weird though.  The food was awesome, but the lady just served us the food and then left us in the kitchen to eat without her.  Elder Taylor said all of the members in their ward do that.  It was a different experience.

Thursday we did weekly planning, and we met with Shelly.  She is still doing good.  She recently got her driver's license and is apply for an internship here after she graduates.

Friday we had ZDM which took up most of the morning.  In the afternoon we had some appointments set with Christy and Liu (both of whom really have potential, but have been unwilling/too busy to meet.)  They both cancelled and Liu said that he is too busy to set up a time.  It was sad.  English class was also poorly attended that night.  I was glad we had conference the next day.

Saturday conference was really good!  I really liked Elder Eyring's talk.  My favorite part was that he said both Pres. Hinckley and Monson, have positive attitudes and when others bring up problems or stressful situations, they have an attitude of "it will all work out."  I really need to be better at this.  Also Saturday was the last day of the transfer, so everything is all switched up.  Our ward will only have 2 sets of missionaries now.  Elder Heaton and I and Elder Reber and a new one coming tonight named Elder Fransen.  Also Elder Reber and I are both going to be district leaders.  I am excited, and a little nervous... but hey "everything works out."

Sunday was good we watched conference in Chinese at the institute.  I could understand a lot of it.  We also had subtitles though, but they would get so far behind or ahead.  For lunch I brought a sandwich and I got a box of tomato basil wheat thins which I shared with the Chinese there.  They loved the wheat thins.  They said they were the best snack they've eaten here  They ate the whole box... 

Ok that is all.  I love you guys... oh in keeping with conference.  In PMG I studied Bear testimony frequently.  It is really true that the best way to invite the spirit is to testify or "a simple declaration of belief."  This week I am going to work on bearing testimony more frequently.