Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 21 Week 50 Jim and Mia Islamic couple, Charles, Annie and Johnny, Beaumont in Redlands mission Chinese student tourists, Li Rui, Daisy, Excuse me "sir", Rancho Cuc

Well this week we hit standard again.  Things are going good here.  It was a little bit cooler this week than it has been.  
Monday we met with the Islamic couple from Tibet again. (Jim and Mia)  They are super cool.  We have really been trying to emphasize the Book of Mormon, and gaining a testimony of it to know that Jesus Christ really is our Savior and Redeemer.  This week they came to church and they even came with us and all the other Chinese members on Saturday morning to clean the chapel.  They are awesome.  
Monday we also met with Charles.  He is doing well and came to church this week with his whole family this time!  They came late and missed Sacrament though.  He came to Chinese Sunday school, his wife went to nursery with their youngest son, and during priesthood he sat in with his daughter in primary.  This week Brother Jiang came with us to teach him and they got along really well.  We invited him to be baptized, he dodged the question.  He says he just hasn't felt the spirit that this church is Christ's church.  He is so ready to be baptized though.  Super golden.
Annie and Johnny update:  I got a hold of them once this week. They have guests in town and didn't have time to meet.  Hopefully this week we can get in again!
Tuesday we drove all the way to a place called Beaumont.  I guess in the Summer a bunch of members in the Redlands mission host a TON of Chinese students who just come to visit for 3 weeks.  I think a member is in charge of the program.  Anyway recently we have gotten a ton of calls to go meet them and share about the church.  We don't get any investigators from it because they all go back, but we try to help them have a good perspective of the church.  Tuesday was our first one.  It went ok.  They think it is super cool we speak Chinese, but then they start to ask a bunch of crazy questions.  We just shared about the Book of Mormon and invited them to find their answers by reading and praying about it.  Hopefully they do.
Wednesday we did some service for a Taiwanese couple.  We pulled a bunch of weeds.  We also did some planning because we didn't have any time to do it they rest of the week.  At night we had English class. We need some new people to come.  Oh and Li Rui took the English exam to go to BYU-I she off by one point!  So she is taking it again in October.  Then she will go to school, Elder Yeung thinks she might be a little put off by the cold weather. 
Thursday was Exchanges with the APs.  This time Elder Yeung left and Heaton and I stayed. We had a good day.  The AP was a little bit bummed he couldn't participate in lessons.  We met with Daisy.  We have to review a lot of stuff with her, but the member we brought with us talked a ton!  I think I only said two sentences.  

Oh on Thursday I also pulled a Brian Regan.  I said "Excuse me sir."  Turns out is was a woman.  She wasn't interested in the gospel.
Friday we used the list to try to go find new people.  We found a Mom and her son named Peter.  They are already attending a church in Diamond Bar.  They knew about us from a neighbor who comes to English class.  They invited us back!
Saturday after cleaning the Church we drove to Racho Cucamonga.  We went to see some Less Actives that live over there.  It was cool to go out of the mission, and see some new stuff.  The members we saw, were really nice, but not willing to come back.  We went to a Chinese market there to oym and eat dinner.   Rancho is a little poorer and has more Chinese than Eastvale.  Elder Yeung and Elder Heaton both said it has a lot of potential and we should try to grow the work over there more.  Saturday night we also finally got into the house of the family that got baptized in Idaho and had 7 kids.  They were really nice.  The dad still gets on to listen to conference.  We gave him a copy of the Ensign.  Hopefully we can get them to come back!
Sunday was good.  Not too much to report.  
I did get the flash cards!  They are awesome thank you so much!  The package was awesome.  Those beuno bars are the  
-ILY have a great week

July 14 Week 49 - Morgan Baptism! Qiong Mang, Zhu gas station guy, Annie and Johny, Help inactive convert, Muslim with green eyes, Dead battery and Companion jokes

Hello again!  This week Morgan got baptized!

 It was great!  This week was what Chinese people call qiong mang.  It mean busy, but you don't feel like your being busy brought many results.

On Tuesday we met again with Zhu.  (The gas station guy.)  He was doing good, we were struggling to get him to even start praying though.  We also met with Henry.  Henry is still reading and praying and everything, he says he feels something.. sometimes.  Other times he will even say he believes a little bit.  However, every time we bring up baptism he says no.  The only reason he says is that he doesn't believe in God.  That night we also met with Morgan.  He really likes how the purpose of the gospel is to help us become better people.

Wednesday was crazy.  We went and cleaned a road early in the morning.  It is the community service we do in exchange for free use of a room for English class at the community center.  Not a bad deal.  When we got home we got a call from a girl that Elder Snyder and Yeung baptized right before I got here, but she went inactive.  She called us crying really hard and asked us to meet her at the institute.  When we got there the institute teacher had already taken care of everything.  She had been having some problems with some domestic violence.  The school counselors and cops all came to the institute and got everything worked out really well.  After that we went and met Annie and Johny.  They are not progressing, and they just got some friend from China in town, so they don't want to meet.  It makes me really sad.

Thursday we met with Li Rui's Dad.  He is really grateful for what the church has done for his daughter, and he knows he needs to repent he just isn't really willing to right now.  We tried to meet with Xiong, but he was too busy all this week.

Friday we tried to meet with Zhu again.  We called and he dropped us.  It was a real shock.  We don't even really know why.  He just dropped us.  Oh I forgot to add something.  On Monday last week, we went out and Elder Yeung took a wrong turn, and we saw 2 people from English class on the street.  We got out and said hi they invited us in and we had a lesson. The only hitch is they are musllim.  China has a small minority that immigrated from Turkey.  The wife has brown hair and green  eyes.  It is super weird.  We need to get permission from President if they start to progress and want to be baptized.  We made sure they weren't going back to China, and they both said they aren't super devout muslims.  So we will see.

Saturday was crazy we went on exchanges, so  I drove.  That night I was an idiot and left the keys in the ignition with the car turned off.  so in the morning the battery was dead. Luckily the apt complex office had this neat little jump start battery thing.  They rest of the day was pretty rough, lots of rejection and people not answering.  The white handbook says that weekends are excellent proselyting time... but so far I haven't had much luck.  

Sunday was the baptism!  YAY!

Recently I have started to play some jokes on my companion.  He caught a grass hopper one day.  One Elder  wanted to put it in a water bottle.  While the other Elder was holding it I said.  "Oh no it is getting into biting position."  He started to freak out, and yelled for the other Elder to hurry up.  I don't know if grasshoppers even bite, but it was funny to watch. 

Another day One Elder left his expensive electronic dictionary in the institute building.  I said "I heard they are having a convention for troubled youth tonight."  He didn't like that either.  

Love you guys have a great week!
-Elder Murray

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 7 Week 48 - Happy Fourth of July, New President, Henry, Charles, Annie and Johnny and Grandma, Zhu from gas station, Bro Jiang

Hello family!  Thanks for the new shoes!  I just used them this morning.  They are perfect!  OK just to get some stuff in before I forget.  When Elder Schoonmaker left he took all the cards with the characters,  so I need some cards, now I am just desperate.  So if they aren't Book of Mormon characters that is OK.  Right now I am just going through and writing my own flash cards, they look pretty crappy.  I think I left some cards under my bed, along with my Chinese stuff from high school.  If you could send that stuff it would be awesome!

Alright well this week was great!  We had 7 member present lessons and had 5 people at church. We worked pretty darn hard, and it payed off.  Morgan is on date for this Sunday!  He is doing good, his wife isn't.  She still has a lot of concerns, but won't pray because she feels that relying on herself is better.... Chinese people always say this.  

Tuesday we met with this guy from English class, we taught English for a while and then taught a lesson.  Looks like he isn't really interested in the gospel, but that is OK.  We will keep finding people.  Tuesday we also met with a recent convert that has gone less active because she broke her foot pretty badly while chasing a guy that stole her purse in China in high heels.  So hopefully once her foot heals, she and her husband will come back.  Tuesday we also met with Xiong.  He is really cool, we are going to try to put him on date this week!

Wednesday we met with Henry.  Henry is going to San Francisco in August so we really want to get him baptized.  He comes to church basically every week, but he just doesn't believe.  He reads and prays, but he just isn't feeling the spirit.  We will keep trying though!  

Thursday we met the new President!  He seems really awesome cool.  He is from Northern California, he is a CPA and he loves to scuba dive.  He and his wife were both really nice, I am sure they will do great.  Thursday we also met with Annie and Jonny.  They haven't been reading and praying!  However, their grandma that came with them has been, she read to 3 Nephi, and understands it!!!  She just hasn't prayed about it yet!  Crazy.  I am really bummed Annie and Johny aren't praying, reading, or coming to church.  (This week they slept in...)  We will keep on meeting with them and bring all the members of the whole ward over to meet with them!  One day it'll happen.

Friday was the 4th of July, but we had a really productive day.  We met with the old guy that we thought was homeless outside of the gas station last p-day (Zhu).  We brought a member that also speaks Cantonese.  Elder Heaton and I didn't participate too much in that lesson,  Elder Heaton actually fell asleep.  Then we met with a lady named Daisy.  She is super lonely, and bored.  She invited us over every week to study the bible/bom with her.  We invited her to be baptized if she knew the Book of Mormon was true, she said maybe.  So we will see.  Then we met with this young couple in University Heights.  The wife has been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon and said that she has felt something.  She also accepted baptism, and they said they were going to come to church, but then they bailed..  Again, we'll keep trying :)
At night we had to be in at 7:30 and they allowed us to watch the "Other Side of Heaven"  it was fun, but I fell asleep in it.  I am becoming like mom.

Saturday was really not productive.  No one would set up, we went and tried to visit a ton of people, but no luck.  So we used that list with all the Chinese names to go try to find new people.  We also went to the Chinese market, but absolutely no luck.  Lots of angry people in the world.  At night we met with Tracy and Morgan. With Morgan we talked about the interview questions and modern day prophets.  Tracy we taught about prayer and she said she would try.  

Sunday we had Tracy and Morgan and Zhu come to the ward here in Eastvale.  Then in the University Heights ward Henry came and another guy named Derek.  He is a cool guy, but he says he just is curious to learn more.  Hopefully as he learns more he'll want to join :)  Sunday afternoon.  A Chinese member (Bro Jiang)  took us home teaching with him.  It was fun.  We went to go visit that family we found that had already been baptized in Idaho, that had 7 kids!  They weren't home.  We met with the wife of a member that went less active this past year to invite him back, but he was sleeping. Afterwards Bro Jiang offered to have us over tonight for dinner!

Phew that was a lot, but it was a good week.  

Notable Quotables: 
"We knew not."  -Elder Yeung after Elder Heaton asked him why he had done something.  I think Elder Yeung learned a lot of English from the scriptures because sometimes he says stuff like Nephi.  I am sure my Chinese is similar.

"This is the most handsome man ever!"  A 80 year old Chinese lady that lives with Morgan and Tracy after she saw a picture of Joseph Smith.

Love you guys!
-Elder Murray

June 30 Week 47 - New President Mullen, Tracy and Morgan, Charles, Annie and Johnny, Henry, How long?, Samoan RM and girlfriend, Gas station buddy

Well today is the day.  Right now Brother Smart is showing President Mullen around the mission, and in a few hours, the Smarts will be back in Utah.  They are in the Highland 13th ward.  What ward are grandma and grandpa in?  Crazy.  We get to meet the new president on Thursday.  I am excited and a little nervous.  

Anyway this week was really good.   Elder Heaton, Yeung, and I all get along well.  We have made a good team.  

At the beginning of the week we worked crazy hard to get all of our new area's investigators and potential investigators contacted.  We have some good people.  I will probably just spend most of the letter on them.

Tracy and Morgan:  A couple that was in Elder Heaton's area that is now combined with ours.  They are renting a room in a house of another recent convert in our ward.  I still don't know them too well, but they are really nice, and are willing to be baptized!  This week they went travelling in Utah and actually went to church yesterday in Elder Heaton's home ward.  How cool is that!  Not many missionaries have investigators attend church at their home ward.  We are meeting with them tonight, hopefully to get them on date!!!!  

Charles Xiong:  He is a dad that has been here in America for a while and was already baptized in another Christian church.  He explained he wasn't feeling like he was improving right now in his life.  We taught him the Restoration last week and gave him book of mormon to read.  He is already done with 1st Nephi, and he is praying to know that it is true!  He also came to church on Sunday and brought his kids.  I think he liked it, because he said he will be back next week.  Our next appointment with him is tomorrow!  He is a super cool guy.

Annie and Jonhny:  The people I oymed from the car.  They are still reading and praying, but still not recognizing their answer.  We had a lesson on feeling the Spirit on Saturday so hopefully that helped.  They have only come to church the one time.  Yesterday they were in Las Vegas.  The week before they were sick, and the week before that they were getting new furniture delivered.  We are going to plan better this week and get lots of members to come teach with us, and get them to come on Sunday!

Henry:  UCR student/Shell's friend.  We have been working with him forever.  He comes to church a lot!  We call him almost every night to remind him to read and pray.  He has said he has felt peace has he reads and prays, but still says he doesn't want to be baptized.  We think the concern is keeping the commandments, especially the Sabbath day.  He says he has to buy lunch after church because he is so hungry.  We are thinking of making a lunch to take to him.

Those are our top people we are working with.  There are some other people, but those are the main ones.   

On Tuesday we met with a family and the wife told me that she was pregnant.  I went to ask her when she was due, but half way through I realized I didn't know how to say "give birth."  So I just said "How long?"  She awkwardly said "One month."  I said "Wow!  It doesn't look like it at all!"  Then I realized she thought I was asking how long since they had conceived the child.  Awkward.  I apologized and explained the misunderstanding.  Oh well.

Sunday we had dinner with a Samoan RM and his Chinese girlfriend.  They have been dating for 2 years!  After dinner we taught about prayer and committed her to pray everyday.  We need to follow up to make sure she actually does. It I really hope we can help her get baptized, but she is super skeptical and is going back to China soon to vacation.  

I always have cool experiences talking to people on the street.  Last night I saw to people that totally looked Korean.  Trust me I have made the mistake enough times to know the difference.  I went and talked to them, they totally rejected me.  They were walking away, and I thought I might as well try, so I spoke some Chinese to them. They freaked out and ran back and after we shared more of our message, they agreed to come to English class.  I hope they do.

Also today.  We stopped to get gas on the way to basketball.  Anyway on the way in there was a old asian guy breaking down cardboard boxes outside as we were walking into pay.  Elder Yeung smiled and waved, and we started to walk in, but as I got the door I started to to talk to him.  We told him about what we do and he wanted to learn more we have a return appointment tomorrow!  As we were walking away he threw his fist up in the air with a smile and said "give me church!"  So hopefully that goes well!

Love you guys a ton!
-Elder Murray

June 23 - Week 46 Horse Tiger Tiger Week - Nora, Rialto, Schoonmaker goes English, Elder Reed, Yvonne baptismal interview, Lots of Finding

Well this week was what the Chinese would call horse horse tiger tiger.  I don't know why but for some reason that means it was just ok;  not amazing not awful, just a week.  

Wednesday we did some door knocking.  Elder Yeung got a list from a member of all the houses and the names of the people that own them.  So we go through and knock on the ones that are Chinese.  We have found some people.  We found a lady named Nora.  She used to live in Irvine and her neighbors where members of the church there.  She  invited us back!!  Excited to go see her this week.
Wednesday we also went out to Rialto to see two old people from Taiwan.  Some missionaries over in Rialto set it up for us.  They weren't really interested and we sort of offended them by not drinking their tea.  Oh well.  Wednesday night we met with a part member family.  The Dad was baptized when Elder Snyder was here.  His wife wasn't baptized so we are trying to work with the Dad to get him more active and get the wife baptized.  They really struggle with coming to church on Sunday.

Thursday was super slow.  We couldn't get in anywhere.   We did our weekly planning. and just drove around trying to find.  I really like going around and finding.  It is cool to talk to so many people.  Especially when they freak out when you speak Chinese to them.  It makes it fun.  Sometime they are still rude though.

Friday I went on exchanges again.  This time I went to another bike area with an Elder named Elder Reed.  I won't be surprised if he becomes A.P.   We biked around a lot trying to meet with anyone.  We met with a crazy guy that believes in UFOs and government conspiracies.  He was nice though.  I also got to do a baptismal interview with one of their investigators.  She was really cool.  Her name is Yvonne. She is a 70 year old woman, who was really sincerely just looking for more peace and help in her life. She got baptized yesterday. 

Saturday we did a lot of finding again.  We walked around in a Chinese supermarket's parking lot for 2 hours, but still no luck.  After dinner we went to a park and found a Chinese family with 7 kids!!!  They had joined the church in Idaho, but have been inactive for at least 2 years (when they moved here.)  Probably longer though.  We got their info and gave it to the ward council.  I really hope we can help them come back.  I know it will be such a huge help to their family.  Night time we had transfer calls.  This whole week Heaton and Schoonmaker left the area and Schoonmaker was with the other Zone Leaders, and Elder Heaton went with the OAs.   They put Elder Schoonmaker English speaking and put Elder Heaton with Elder Yeung and I in a three way companionship. I am determined to make it a good experience.  Especially because after Yeung goes home who knows what will happen.  They APs originally told me that president wanted to me to train the new guy, but now I don't know what will happen.  Heaton and Schoonmaker both think that Heaton will train and I will be back with Schoonmaker.  I would prefer to train the new guy but if that is what I gotta do I gotta do it.  

Ok well anyway that is my week!