Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13 Week 88 - Account too high, Always say your Prayers, Xiong and Jiangs teach Edwin and answer tough questions, Walking and Talking while Car is fixed,

Ok so funny story. So I have been trying really hard to practice saving money on my mission. So I haven't bought a lot. If we go out to eat. I get something really cheap and small. For food from the grocery story, I just buy a lot of different types of vegetables and rice, and try to make Chinese food. So I have saved up quite a bit. Well the church did an audit, and told President to call and ask my about my account because it was "abnormally high." So he told me to just go ahead and spend it, or else they won't give me more money next month. So I am thinking about fast offering a lot of it. Sort of a funny thing to get a call from President for. I hope I can keep up the habit when I get home. I forgot to bring my journal so no day by day play. Here is an interesting lesson learned this week. So last week Elder Dyer and Dalmer were rear ended by an Indian man. So their car was in the shop. Then while it was there they also decided to fix some scratches I put in the front from hitting a bush a couple months ago. I didn't think a little bush could do so much damage. So Elder Dyer took our car and we have had to walk a lot because Elder Carling has no bike. It has been fun. We have talked to a lot of people.
Elder Murray on right at car inspection from Down by Riverside blog
Well one day we go out and I remembered we forgot to say a prayer. We were already out on the street though. I remembered and should've stopped to say one, but for some reason (the evil spirit that teaches a man not to pray 2 NE 32:9) I didn't. Well the rest of the day was completely awful. Appointments all fell through. We got lectured by a misinformed Chinese christian, and then yelled at by a crazy guy. We got home that night sunburned, and really tired. I vowed never to miss a going out prayer again. So the next day we go out, we said a prayer. The day started out about the same. No one wanted to listen. Then all the sudden we found this guy named Mr. Li. He was out smoking in his garage. He was so nice to us, and said we can come back this week! I was so happy. Lesson learned! Ok so update on Edwin Feng. We have brought the Jiangs and Brother Xiong to meet with him the past two lessons. Edwin has asked tough questions. When Xiong was there he asked about LGBT and abortion and Brother Xiong did amazing! He said "well I read in the Ensign" and proceeded to give a perfect answer. Edwin was really impressed. I was too. Brother Xiong is pretty amazing. He should be going to the temple to do baptism for the dead the next two weeks! Then he asked the Jiangs why the church doesn't release an exact transcript of what all the tithing money is used for. The Jiangs just bore their testimony of tithing, and how they saw that all the local leaders were so good and sacrificed so much time with no pay. So they believed that the leaders of the church would not use the money the wrong way. I really am impressed with them! The Jiangs are so solid too. Edwin really liked their answer too! He came to church yesterday. Lawrence Pu got confirmed so that was good for him to see. Alright lets see what else happened this week... that was pretty much it. Most of it was walking around talking to people on the street. It is tiring, but also kind of fun. It is like a new challenge everyday. It is fun trying new ways to approach people or navigate to talking about the gospel. I love it. I am really trying to live up this last couple of months!!! Ok well that is all this week! I love you guys and wish you the best! ILY -Elder Murray

April 6 Week 87- Last Mission Field General Conference, President is looking out for our future...use good grammar, Long Ge and Shuai drop, Edwin, 1000 year old egg and talk to Everyone

Conference was great! I was sad it was my last one. It is really fun watching conference as a missionary! I brought my notes so I could remember what I liked the best. I really liked how Elder Parker told us our spirits can be totally healed with no scars. What a great blessing that we don't have to live forever with scars from past sins, we can be fully healed through the atonement! Lots of encouragement to get married. All the missionaries were a little freaked out with how much there was of it on Saturday. Do you guys notice that too? Also what was with the yelling during the sustaining. Sort of made me angry. Ok I also liked Elder Renlund when he said that in God's eyes we really aren't all that different. Conference always makes me realize I have a lot to work on, and makes me so grateful for the enabling power of the atonement. There is so much I wanted to write you guys about, but I realize I don't have a lot of time so... just ask me when I get home to share more about conference with you! I will add this though. I really liked Elder Eyring's priesthood session talk about being in touch with the spirit as we do the work of the Lord. It reminded me to be more bold as I am calling people to repent! Ok that is all. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Can't wait to hear all your thoughts. Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Parker and Dad this weekend. I forgot this morning when I was writing letters, so I promise there will be two letters next week for you guys! This week was pretty interesting. We had a lot of meetings. I wanted to share one experience from them. So President Mullen sent out an announcement through the Zone Leaders, telling us to correct our grammar, and be sure to say Elder Carling and I, not me and Elder Carling. At first when they told us the announcement, I rolled my eyes and thought "President is really critical and picky." Then they told us President wanted to make sure we changed it before we got into job and college interviews. He was just trying to look out for us. I learned that I am the one that needs to be less critical. Lesson learned. We met with Edwin Feng this week. He is so solid. He loved conference, and taught the restoration to his wife. Who unfortunately is not interested at this time. He is golden. What a blessing to find him. He is my first investigator to show up to church the first time with a tie!!! He should be baptized this month! Keep him in your prayers! :) Ok really quick summary of the week. Monday we saw Long Ge. He really likes us, but he isn't keeping commitments and isn't really as interested in learning about church as we thought. It's a bummer, we have to limit how much we go over there until he starts getting more interested. Tuesday we saw Lina. She is doing good. She came to conference as well! She is moving to Alhambra this week, so we have to move her records over there. We also saw Lawrence with Brother Jiang. We talked about recognizing the spirit. It was a really good lesson. Wednesday we had a trainer trainee meeting. English class was ok. At night we saw the Xiong's and Sister Xiong sat in, and she really liked the temple magazine that you guys sent. She left halfway through though. Bummer. Thursday we saw Edwin, and then spent a long long time talking to people on the streets. No success yet, but if I have learned anything it's that you just have to keep talking with EVERYONE, because eventually you will find someone who will listen. Friday we had Zone meeting. It was good, but really long. We had English class at night. We had dinner at the Miao's. They gave us 1,000 year old egg. Look it up, or look at Elder Carling's blog for pictures. I was not a fan of it. It is black, and the yolk is like gooey black tar. I asked how it was made, and they didn't know. Saturday and Sunday were conference. We did see Shuai in between sessions, he dropped us. Oh well. On to find new people this week. We don't have a car for the beginning part of the week for repairs. So hopefully we can find some new people as we are biking around! Sunday night we helped Sister Chen with computer stuff again. Then this other Chinese member that just moved here, invited us in. They were really cool. He was baptized in 1971 and is super cool. It was nice to meet them. There house was really nice inside too. Ok well that is the week. Thanks for the package. The music is great. I love those Reeses eggs. I love you guys hope you all are great!! -Elder Murray

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mar 30 Week 86 - Lawrence's Baptism on Saturday, Dong jie mei and unpaid clergy, Quiet but great District, Atonement and Interview with Christ from Adjusting to Missionary Life, Elder Carling does great job teaching on his own, Guide Dog Quotable

Lawrence's baptism was great! Well attended. He was very excited. It was definitely a place where I could feel the spirit. This random guy just walked into our baptism named Omar. He just saw the visitors welcome sign outside. Pretty neat. We got his number and gave him to the English Elders. I have a picture of the baptism to send. I won't forget!!
Ok well let's see I am trying to remember all that happened this week. On Monday we went to see a former investigator named Dong jie mei. I have talked about her before I think. She loves our church and says she believes it is true. However, she is afraid of what her other church friends will think if she joins ours. We taught about the plan of salvation. Then they asked about the bishop. We taught about how they all are unpaid. They were shocked. They are going back to China for a bit. However we are excited for them to come back. Tuesday we had meetings. My district is so quiet. They are all good workers though. They are a tough crowd though. I tried to make a joke about the new rule "no tank tops on p-day." Obviously it didn't apply to anyone in our district, but they didn't laugh. Awkward. My district is really trying hard to put people on date. I know they will see success. They are all so awesome. Glad I didn't get any trouble missionaries to deal with. After meetings we helped Sister Terry move a bed from one house to another. That day we also saw Lina. Her aunt told her that we support homosexual relationships now. I told her, I haven't heard anything about that. We told her to check and let her aunt see what it says on there. The Chinese media makes a lot of speculations. So annoying. We also saw Long ge, and committed them to come to church!!! Wednesday we went out in the morning to the parks to find Chinese. There are so many. We talked to a lot of really nice Chinese people this week. They all weren't interested, but they were nice. I am really working on being more graceful with rejection. I feel like at the beginning of the mission it didn't bug me, but somewhere along the way I picked up a habit of getting a little upset and not very polite about it. I trying to be better now, and it is good. I feel better about what I am doing. They might not accept it now, but at least they have an impression that mormons are nice and not pushy, and speak Chinese :). Thursday we had interview with President. Mine was pretty good. This week I have really been impressed by the scripture in Moroni. "If you have not charity you have nothing." All the regrets I have in life are not being charitable towards people. I feel so much better about life when I treat people the nicest I can, and don' t say negative things. I am definitely far from perfect at it. I am trying though, and I believe that the Atonement can help me change! BTW HAPPY EASTER! There is a new Easter clip from the church "Because He Lives" I like last years better "Because of Him" It makes me think about all the good that Christ brings into the world through the Light of Christ and the Atonement, and his Gospel. I have really gotten a greater understanding of who Christ is and what he has done. I have a lot more love for Him, than I did before my mission. At night before I fall asleep I try to focus my thoughts on Christ. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to have an interview with him. (I always pick a cool place for the interview like the beach or a mountain) then I just think about what I would say, and how he would respond. It is a relaxation strategy from the "Adjusting to Missionary Life Guide" I highly recommend it. Oh also Thursday I had to take a missionary in my district to the doctor. So Elder Carling went with Brother Miao to a lesson we had set up. He did AWESOME!!! They taught lesson 1, word of wisdom, law of chastity, law of tithing, and set a baptismal date for April 18th!!! We found out in interview Elder Carling isn't leaving till the 21st! He might be a little bummed, but I am happy. He is a good missionary! I think he is Tai Zhong's next AP. The investigators names are Stella and Feng. Friday we went to the temple! So good. I feel the spirit every time I sit in the celestial room. I can wait to go with Parker when I get back. What a neat experience. We went to cafe rio after. I really like their rice cinnamon drink. It is really good. We hit gnarly traffic on the way back. Welcome to California! At night we saw Lawrence one last time before his baptism. Saturday the baptism was great. The rest of the day was ok. Our phone had lots of problems though. We had dinner with the Jiangs. They told me my Chinese was good and that they really liked me. They made me feel really good. I still always try to remember a quote dad sent me though. Something like a really successful person doesn't let criticism bother them too much, or compliment make them too happy. I thrive off of other's praise, so I am trying to work on that as well. Sat we saw the Xiongs, and watched the Easter movie with them. They liked it! Sister Xiong is not willing to take the lessons, but we maybe things will change when Christine their daughter gets baptized in June! So that will be cool!!! Sunday was good. We got in a lesson with the less active Deng family. They are really a good family, but they have different priorities right now. It is hard, but PMG says all we can do is love, and serve. Enduring to the end is a personal responsibility. OK that is all. Notable Quotable. Chinese member to kid. "Don't watch too much TV, it will ruin your eyes" Kid to Mom "Just buy me a puppy, and then when it grows up it can be my guide dog when I go blind. " :) -Elder Murray

Mar 23 Week 85 - St. Patrick's Day, Lina, Sister Yu, Long Ge, Great Members like Miaos and Jiangs, First Oyster, Ivy Jiang Sweet 16

I am still thinking about Parker's call to Korea. I was totally not expecting that. What a cool adventure that will be! So last Monday we found out that the Elder that Schoonmaker was training got his visa and he was off to Taiwan the next day. He didn't even get to stay a week. So they are in a trio over there. Our two visa waiters here are doing good. Elder Carling is an awesome companion. He is really helpful! He comes up with lots of good ideas. Elder Carling has been really good at thinking of good things to do or teach, and I have really appreciated it. We spent Monday night walking around a lot. We talked to a lot of people and set up appointments. However, they were all not chinese people. The Sisters should thank us! Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day, I wore my new green tie! I also gave rolo's to my district. It was fun. Thanks again for the package. Elder Carling has loved that PMG. I wonder if Parker's mission will have something like that? We are working with this guy that we saw on Tuesday called Long Ge. He is an older guy that lives at Tracy and Morgan's. He is mildly receptive. However, he says that we need to take it slow with him. Wednesday we did a lot more walking around parks and talking to people. I am so grateful Eastvale has so many parks! Eastvale is a pretty nice place actually. Right now it feels like Utah's Summer, everything is in bloom. All the flowers sort of mask the cow odor. Did I tell you Eastvale used to be Cow pastures until recently? We saw Lina. She is doing good. We also saw a former investigator named Sister Yu. She is surprisingly solid. We just picked her back up. We invited her to baptism and she said yes. She didn't come to church this week, but I think we can get her to come. Sister Xiong on the other hand says she doesn't have time to meet with us right now. She is really good friends with Sister Jiang, and last night Sister Jiang said she doesn't think she is really interested right now. A bummer, but I am sure she will get dunked one day! Brother Xiong is just too awesome. In fact the Stake President asked him to speak in stake conference on May 3rd. I hope I can come watch even if I get transferred. At night we got dropped by Li. Her mom, hates our church. I am really trying hard to be more Christlike when we get dropped. Thursday we did our planning then we walked around and hung up English class signs. The Miao's had us for dinner that night. They made Bao zi for me. I love them so much. They also gave me a can of this really good spicy fish sauce that goes on them. I try not to look at the sauce as I eat it. It had whole dried little fish, it doesn't smell the best either, however it tastes really good. The Miaos talked with Elder Dalmer and Carling a lot about Taiwan, and then they told their conversion story. They pulled out this big scrap book thing with pictures and notes from missionaries. It was really cool. I think it made the two of them more excited to go to Taiwan. At night we saw Lawrence. He is solid. He passed his interview this Sunday so BAPTISM this Saturday!!! Ya! :) Friday we had a member take us out to a seafood buffet. It was ok. I ate an oyster for the first time. It was good. We hit traffic on the way back though. That was a bummer. We got stood up by a new investigator. We walked around a lot more. At night we had English class, and we saw the Xiongs (not including Sister Xiong). We taught the Easter family home evening. Christine liked it, Peter didn't really get it though. Saturday we cleaned the church, then cleaned the road. Then we went to In n Out burger. That was delicious. Then we went out and got stood up a few more times by potentials. At night we went to Ivy Jiang's sweet 16. All the members + their friends showed up. I went to go leave after one hour, but was convinced by another that it was dumb to leave when we had no appointments and everyone was all at the party. So I tried to talk to all the non members, and investigators there. I don't know if it was the best use of time, but I tried. Sunday we had Lawrence's interview. We also went to try to go meet some other former investigators. At night we saw the Jiangs. They are such good members. I am so glad to have met the members here. They are all super awesome! OK that is my week! I love you all so much! Elder Murray