Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 16 Week 45 Pictures, Sick, Baptisms for the Dead with converts, Annie and BOM, Chinese Market and Japanese Dollar Store, Visits around Mission, Su and Eden back in China

Well this week was good.  Today I am pretty sick though which isn't fun.  

Well cool stuff from this week.  President said we could go do baptisms for the dead with our recent converts at the temple.  That was really fun.  I have all the prayers memorized in Chinese.

Oh update on Terry.  He was all good to be baptized.  We got permission from President, he passed his interview, we got everything all set up, but he called at 10:20 the night before and cancelled.  Big bummer.  He said that he and his girlfriend in China couldn't keep the Law of Chastity.  We talked with him for a long time, but he said that he wasn't ready.  So we cancelled it.  

Annie and Johnny didn't come to church this week, because all of their new furniture came.  It was crazy, they said each chair was 600 bucks!  I wish I could send some pictures of their house.  They are pretty darn wealthy.  Anyway they are doing good.  Annie texted us today and said that she prayed about the Book of Mormon and felt something.  She said she was beginning to have faith!  Awesome!  They are really cool.  Hopefully they will continue to progress and we can get them on date this week. 

We are working hard to find new people here, because UCR shut down this week so almost all of the students there went back to China.  Su and Eden went back too.  It was sad to see them go, but we  will stay in touch with them.
I love this picture.  I never have seen any of them make faces.  Usually they are all really serious

Yesterday I was really sick, but we still went out to work.  We went to go see this guy that Elder Yeung and Schoonmaker had talked to once.  He is super cool.  Last night he accepted the invitation to baptism!  Elder Yeung and have a goal to find 10 families to teach.  I think we can do it.  

This week I also got to travel around the mission a bit.  We went to Lake Elsinore to visit a former investigator who some English Elders told us to come see again, and we visited a less active who got baptized when the first Chinese Elder's were here.  She and her son both did.  Her son went on a mission to Leeds England Chinese speaking and is at BYU right now.  Hopefully she starts coming back to church.  The team-up we took with us was another of the first Chinese Elder's converts named  Yuyi.  He just graduated high school.  He is a super nice guy.  The first Elders that spoke Chinese in Riverside did some good work.  

On Saturday we went to visit some people in Chino Hills.  We also went to a Chinese market and a Japanese Dollar Store.  There were sooooo many Chinese people it wasn't even funny.  The family we taught was super nice, they have 4 boys,  which is really weird for a Chinese family.  They have been meeting with missionaries for a while, but not really progressing. The parents are both attending Mt. Sac which is crazy because I remember going there to run footlocker.  It is weird to think I am so close to LA, it feels like a whole different world here.  

Well that is about it for this week.  
Anyways....  Life is good.  I love my mission!
-Elder Murray

That awkward moment when you opened a bag of carrots and didn't realize it had a zipper on it until you were almost finished eating it

I think we should put one of these on the new car for Conner

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 9 Week 44 - Annie and Jonny from first week of mission, Terry desires baptism, Christy and For Strength of Youth

So here is some good news from this week!  So the first week I was here.  We were stopped at a stoplight I looked over and saw a Chinese mom and dad.  I waved they waved back.  I rolled down the window, explained who we were and asked if we could stay in touch.  They said yes, and gave me their number.  They came to English class last week, and then this week we finally got to start teaching them.  They are really nice, they understand everything we teach them.  We invited them to be baptized, but they said that it will take time.  They are really doing this for their daughter.  She is named Audrey and she is 5 and they are really worried about her growing up in America and hope that church can help.  They came to church on Sunday and took her to primary.  She really liked it.  Hopefully as they read and pray they will be able to recognize the Spirit and know that this is true!  Their names are Annie and Jonny!  They just came to America a month ago.  It is a cool story huh?

Alright so I don't know if I have written much or anything about Terry.  He has met with us a couple times and came to church once.  This week I was on exchanges with some Zone members and we met with him. I asked about how he felt as he read and prayed.  He said he felt peace and happiness.  I told him that was the spirit, and invited him to be baptized.  He said yes!  Problem is he goes back to China on Thursday.  Yesterday we were on exchanges again, and Elder Yeung committed him to be baptized this Wednesday.  It is really crazy!  I don't know if he is ready, but this might be the only time he comes to America.  We will see what happens.  

Christy.  She talked to her parents and they are super scared about her joining a church because of some recent violent activity by some "christian cult members"  in China.  She still wants to be baptized after she comes back from visiting in the Summer.  We gave her a for the strength of youth pamphlet to give to them.  

That's about all!  I love you guys a ton!  

June 2 Week 43 Eden's Baptism, Zone Development Meeting Pictures!!, Daniel, Christy, Li Rui Red Bean Dessert

First off I would like to tell a story of this morning.  Elder Schoonmaker brought me a slip of paper that said we had a package in the office.  He asked if I was expecting something.  I said yes (thinking it was snickerdoodles and Chinese conference talks.)  So we go to the office and there are two packages.  Both are for Elder Schoonmaker.  He rubbed it in my face pretty bad.  Oh well.  Oh news on the Chinese flashcards.  Elder Schoonmaker found a ton in our apartment left by old missionaries so I have been using those.  So no worries about finding the cards.  The conference talks are what I really need.  [After getting this we sent off a package of snickerdoodles and chinese conference talks]

This week was really good.  I was able to get through everything I needed to.  I realized I have to prioritize and get the most important things done first and try to do the small things, but not get so stressed out if they don't happen.

Tuesday we went on exchanges with the AP's again.  This time one of them came to our area and Elder Yeung went with them.  It was a good time.  I always learn a lot from them.  They are all really good guys.  They will do a great job when the new president comes in.  We met with Eden to get ready for baptism.  She had a little bit of a concern about coffee, but we helped her resolve it.  We ate dinner with a guy who works in anti-terrorism at the FBI.  We talked about BYU and majors.  I told him I have thought about going into accounting.  He said that because I speak Chinese the FBI would come and recruit me if I did.  That night I also did a baptismal interview for this lady that has been investigating the church for 5 years!  She passed and was baptized on Sunday!  Good week for our Zone, (the same companionship had another baptism and the Sisters in Eastvale also had one) ... Oh CRAZY story about their baptism.  So after I got off the phone with you guys in SLC INTL back in October, Elder Clarkson was talking to this lady sitting next to us.  We talked to her for a really long time.  At the end Elder Clarkson got her info and asked if missionaries could come.  Well fast forward to now and it turns out that she is the one the sister's just baptized!  Crazy stuff. [We hope that Clarkson finds out about this…really cool]

Wednesday was good Eden passed her baptismal interview.  We met with Henry, he is still progressing, but really slowly.  We also met with a relatively new guy named Terry, and a guy named Frank.  Neither are progressing very well.  It is hard when they all go home or move away really soon.  

Thursday we went to Mission Leadership conference.  It was cool to go see.  Hopefully you guys can go see the pictures online!  President talked a lot about the transition.  He said just to go with what the new president says because "he is the new sheriff in town." 

 After the meeting they fed us a pizza lunch which was good.  I didn't really know many people there. That night we met with Christy and Su came and helped.  It was so awesome!  Su bore his testimony about how the gospel and baptism has helped him.  I really felt the spirit and so did Christy.  She said she has made her decision she just has to tell her parents (they have been in a region without cell service for a long time.)  We will find out tonight.

Friday we help our Zone development meeting.  It went pretty good.  We trained on putting people on date, and daily contact.  I really hope it helps our Zone.  We have a cool Zone.  All of them are really good missionaries.  After class we met with another really cool guy named Daniel, he goes back to China in two weeks too.  I am really going to miss them all.  It has been really cool working with them, even if not all of them get baptized.  

Saturday we did a service project and cleaned up trash on the side of a road.  The missionaries here do it twice a month and in return we get a free room in the community center to hold our English class.  So we did that.  Then we finally finished weekly planning.  We got a new investigator named Rodger.  He is really cool then we went to the University Heights ward BBQ.  I am sort of in-between wards right now.   We go to Eastavle 1st Sacrament, then we got to UH for all 3 hours, and we get dinners from the Eastvale 2nd ward.  I miss having a solid ward to be in.

Sunday we went to 4 hours of church, ran and taught a lesson, ran back to the baptism which was really good.  Su baptized Eden, he hit her head on the side of the font, not too hard, but enough that everyone noticed.  Eden cried almost the whole time.  Alex ( Su's friend that said he would rather go to outer darkness than read the BOM) came.  Good to see him again.  It was a good week.  I love being out here.  It is a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun.  Li Rui made us this dessert that is red beans, rice all wrapped up in banana leaves and boiled.  They are so good.  

-Elder Murray

May 26 - Week 42 Zone leader plan, Eden, Christy, OYM in Chinese Market, Brother Miao

This week was pretty stressful.  We are covering all of the Chinese work in the mission except for the Eastvale 1st ward that Elder Heaton and Elder Schoonmaker cover on bike.  So we have to try to fit in all the work that Elder Heaton and I were doing in Riverside before, plus the rest of the stuff Elder Yeung was doing here.  Add to that trying to figure out Zone stuff.  (Elder Yeung has never been a ZL either, so we are both new to it.)  It is a lot.  

Alright so Eastvale... it is nice to have a change of scenery.  It reminds me a lot of where Amy and Jay live.  A lot of really rich people living in houses that all look the same and are really close together, intermixed with lots of nice parks and landscaping.  The only difference is it is full of Chinese people!  They say that 25% is Chinese.  I don't know if I believe that, but there are a lot.   It is so cool to meet all the Chinese members here.  I had my testimony strengthened this week.  This gospel really does change people's lives and blesses them.  I am so grateful for the chance I have to share it.  One thing about Eastvale is that it is really new... less than 10 years, and it was built on what used to be old dairy farms.  So if you inhale deeply you can smell the cow crap... I can't spell manure.  

So on Tuesday this week we went to Oym at this Chinese market.  It was really cool.  I bought a huge bag of rice that should last for a good while.  We talked to a lot of people.  I talked to a member who goes to a branch in Irvine.  Tuesday we also met with the ward mission leader here named Brother Miao.  He is super cool.  

Wednesday I went on exchanges with the APs.  It was fun.  We met with a few investigators it was fun to watch them teach. They also spent some time and trained me on how to be a ZL.  I feel a little more confident now.  We made a good Zone plan, I'm excited about it.  

Thursday we met with Eating... (I don't know if I have talked about her before)  We helped her carry some groceries one time, and she came to English class.  She became good friends with Hiro.  (Hiro is home in Japan now real bummer)  Anyway Eating who recently at the suggestion of a member changed her name to Eden wants to be baptized.  She came to church last week and really felt good, and this week when we met with her she said she felt really good and wanted to cry, when we told her that Heavenly Father loves her and will lead her in her life as she tries to make decisions.  Pretty awesome!

Friday we met with Christy.  I am sure I have written about her before.  We have met with her a long time.  Well on Friday she out of the blue said she should like to be baptized too!  She told us she feels peace at church and when she meet with us.  Her only concern was her parents and her friends.  She called us in tears on Saturday because her friends were giving her a hard time.  We told her to keep praying.  On Sunday she was a lot better.  She still is a little unsure though.  

Saturday we had lunch at a member's house.  They made us some really good noodles.  We also met with a guy that Elder Snyder helped baptize, but has gone inactive Brother Deng.  He hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon at all.  We read chapter 30 about Corihor and how he didn't believe in God, but couldn't deny his existence so he led people away from the church.  Brother Deng then said.  I agree with Corihor... it was a bummer, because his wife is investigating right now.  We committed him to read and pray everyday.  I know if he really does it, it will help him.

Sunday we went to both the Eastvale and University heights ward.  It was a fun time.  On the way there I did a Chinese fire drill with a Chinese person.  Elder Yeung had to translate a talk, so he asked if I could drive.  I said heck yes!  It was fun to drive again I haven't done it in a while.  I love you guys! 

-Elder Murray