Monday, August 25, 2014

Aug 18 - Week 54 The adventures of Elder Murray and the UCR Chinese exchange students part 2 - Emma And Christy Baptisms, Awesome Elder Merriman

Hello!  Well I feel pretty bad I spent all of last letter just telling you about the situation and not recording the week.  It was a pretty good week last week.  Emma got baptized!  She is doing awesome.  She got the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and is going to the temple this Thursday to do baptisms for the dead!  I will send the pictures real quick. 

Yay! Dong Fang is on the right. Emma is in the blue dress

Monday this week was good.  After e-mailing we went with Elder Yeung to Brother Caldwell's house.  I can't remember if I have ever told you guys about Brother Caldwell.  He is super awesome.  He is a professor at UCR.  His wife is Chinese, but doesn't speak it anymore.  He is a professional rock climber.  In fact this week the forest service called him in to retrieve a body of someone who died while climbing and fell to an inaccessible spot.  Pretty intense.  He is super smart and he helps us out a lot.  Anyway, he has us over to his house.  He told us he wanted to take us on a swing.  I thought it was just a little rope swing in the backyard.  We had to take a small hike to get to it.  It was a huge swing that we had to get harnessed in for.  I am not completely sure if it was in line with the white handbook.   It was really fun though.  Afterwards we went back to his house and they made us the best meal I have had on my mission.  It was smoked salmon.  For dessert we had blueberry and pear pie.  It was really good.  That night I went out with a temporary English companion and talked to a bunch of Chinese people in student family housing.  One family said we could come back.  A lot of the families I have already talked to, or talked to their friends.  So they already sort of know who we are.  

Tuesday I went to get my new companion.  I am with Elder Merriman!  He is AWESOME!!!  I could not have picked a better missionary to come here.  He is super hard working, he follows all the rules.  He isn't afraid to go try.  He helps me do stuff (he took change of the  phone and kept it on his 2nd day!!!)  I am so glad we are together.  We worked really hard this week, it was really good.  We do go running every morning.  He is really good.  He did every event in track, he also is really good at basketball.  He is a little quiet, but I think I was too when I got here.  He is going to be a great missionary here.  

Wednesday we went to DDM.  I am a district leader again.  My district is pretty awesome!  They are struggling to find people to teach though.  Both are in really rich areas.  We also met with Alina on Wednesday.  She is doing good.  We practiced teaching her the first lesson.  We also met with Emma. No one came to English class, so we went around trying to find some people around campus.  I ran into a lot of former investigators, who said we could come back.  

Thursday we had a meeting in the morning with the new institute director.  He wanted to take away our key.  He didn't think it was necessary for us to have it he said "other missionaries don't have a institute to teach in."  "Can't you find another place like them?"  "Why can't you use the Church building?"  So I just used my missionary skills.  I asked questions to figure out his concern.  As far as I could tell he was worried about us trashing the building, or leaving it unlocked.  I promised him that we would be very responsible.  He still wasn't convinced and asked if it was really necessary for us to use the building.  I explained how the building was right in between international housing and the campus.  So all the Chinese people walk by, and it is a perfect place to meet.  I also listed of the names of all the 9 converts baptized in the last year.   I also told him that I believed that Heavenly Father placed the institute here for the purpose of spreading the gospel to these students.  It might have been a little intense but he was convinced.  We have secured the use of the institute.  

Thursday day we met with Shelly.  She moved to Rolland Heights on Saturday.  I got in contact with the bishop of the Chinese ward there and gave them her number.  Hopefully the transition from ward to ward goes well.   Thursday we got a lesson with a guy that used to come to English class.  He seemed interested and agreed to read and pray.  We went back last night though and he dropped us because he was too busy.   We also found this guy named Joseph he invited us back Saturday night, and then dropped us because he is already a Christian and doesn't believe Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are separate.  I explained why we believe that, and invited him to pray to know if Joesph Smith really did see them.  He refused.  Oh well...

Friday we had another good day.  A member printed us off some English class signs.  I asked him if he needed any service.  He asked us to find him some service projects to put on the new started by the church.  He told us to try the International center, and said they might have an English conversation partner thing for exchange students.  We went and they were more than happy have their name on the website, and also tried to recruit us to become partners.  I am going to see if it is allowed.  It is one hour a week we just sit and talk with an exchange student.  Hopefully Chinese.  I think it might be some good exposure for us.
Friday we also met with Christy she was ready to be baptized!!

Saturday we helped out with an Eagle project for a bit.  Then we did studies.  Then we met with this girl named Angela that I OYMed.  She was really nice and said she would be baptized if she got an answer from God.  We have a return apt tomorrow.  The only problem is her English is probably better than her Chinese.  She has been here for 9 years.  We will see if we can keep her or have to pass her off.  That night we tried to find, more people.  We have gotten a lot of people that say we can come or who seem interested, but few that actually will meet with us. That is just how it goes.

Sunday we went to meetings.  After Church we had the baptism.  It went really smoothly, no problems.  Christy was really happy.  She has thought a long time about this, I am glad she made the decision.  

At night we had dinner with a member couple and Emma and her husband Dong Fang.  We invited Dong Fang to read and pray and if he feels that it is true he will be baptized!!!  He said that he wasn't sure when that would be though.  We told him everyone's time is different.  He also agreed to meet with us every weekend.  The member couple born testimony about how the gospel helped them because better people for each other, and Emma bore her testimony about how the Book of Mormon makes her feel "happy and comfortable"  It was really good.  I am excited for him.  

Well that was the outline of the week.  It included a lot more biking and oyming than I put in.  I had a great time.  I think Elder Merriman did to.  I was dead tired and slept really well last night.  I had a dream I bought a small blow up raft for 200 dollars with my msf $ and tried to sail to some other part of American along the coast.  

I love you guys have a great week

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