Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22 Week 98 - "Mom Loves Me and Knows How much it Hurts" - So does our Savior; LIang, Deng, Xiongs, Ryan and Selina, David, Ans, Luo Yan and Melissa, Liu Yue and Evelyn, Tony and Tina - Tony Baptism is Saturday

Well this week seems like it went by so fast. I agree  - I wish that this group was together more than one transfer. It is fun. This week we had interviews with President on Tuesday. Mine was literally just 5 minutes since I just had my outgoing last week. That day we had lunch with the Liang family that just got baptized. They made homemade noodles that were so good. We had a good lesson with them after. Sister Liang still has a lot of questions, but was comforted by the fact that we all have questions and things we don't understand. At night we saw the Deng family. Sister Deng still is just too busy to listen. It is a bummer. We ate dinner with the Xiongs. It was delicious. Sister Xiong should be getting baptized this weekend! Keep her in your prayers. She is still a little unsure. Then we saw Ryan and Selina. We ended up having a good lesson with them. Wednesday we had our DDM meetings then we went to eat lunch with a RC named David. It was nice to see him before he left for China. He went to church over there yesterday. Then we met a new family named the An's. They are interested, but are really into drinking high end tea. At night we helped a Luo Yuan and Melissa enroll their kid in kindergarten. Thursday we went to the temple! At night we saw Liu Yue and Evelyn. They had us over for a Chinese style BBQ. It was really good. Then we met with Tony and Tina at the Jiangs. Everything is going good with them. Tony is getting baptized this Saturday. We committed them to getting married in the temple and they said yes! They are so awesome! Friday I was on exchanges with the Eastvale 2nd Elders. We biked in the Sun all day, and got in no lessons. It was a really hard day, but I felt good. We tried our best and talked with everyone we saw. I wasn't disappointed. The Lord always blesses you when you try. Saturday we went on splits. I went and saw a really not solid investigator named Jasmine. She isn't really that interested. Elder Dyer saw the Liangs with another Elder. Sunday we had lots of people show up to church. We are having a lot of good success at the parks at night now that it is summer. All the Chinese families are coming out. It is a fun time to be a missionary in Eastvale. Yesterday was also the Dragon Boat Festival so Elder Zeng made us a really good meal. I love this dish called Liang Mian. It is spicy cold noodles. So good. I think Conner might like it.  Ok that is pretty much all from this week! I am really just enjoying this last few weeks. Everyone is inviting us for dinner to say goodbye. The Chinese members have been especially nice saying that they will miss my translations in church, and that I should marry a Chinese wife and come back to help them get a branch out here. I love it here, but I am ready to come home. Last night at dinner. We were talking with the family about charitable acts that others had done for them. The youngest son talked about how his mom had stayed up with him a good part of the night because he had cramps from swimming. We asked him why his mom would do that, to try to help he see the kind of love that Christ has for us. His response was. "Because she really loves me, and know how much it hurts." I really felt the spirit. We testified that Christ is the same way. He really loves us, and because of the Atonement he knows exactly how much everything hurts. So he is the there to perfectly comfort and succor us. I understand that scripture in Alma 7 more than I did before! I love you all see you soon! -Elder Murray

June 15 Week 97 - Soccer with Tony; Yoyo and George; Visiting Qiu's at right moment before he went back to Taiwan, Exit Interview, Hannah, Sichuan Food, Ryan and Selina

YAY!! Thank you so much for getting my classes all figured out!  You guys are awesome! I am super excited-  it should be a fun time.  I am trying not to get too bummed about my mission ending because I have a lot of fun stuff to look forward to.  Life is all good.  

I want to finish my mission strong, and be obedient like I have tried to do my whole mission.  President has made a huge deal about not "dying" (slacking) before your mission is over.  

Ok so this week we had a great meeting with Elder and Sister Nelsen of the Seventy who just so happens to be in our stake.  They gave some great training.  I really enjoyed them.  They talked some about the enabling  power of the atonement, and we read a talk Dad sent to me at the beginning of my mission.  We talked about getting along with companions, and the safe use of technology.  It was really a good day.  I felt uplifted.  After the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders had a meeting with him.   It was good. 

Wednesday was pretty regular.  We met with Tony.  He is doing great!  He played soccer with us today, and he participated a lot in gospel principles yesterday.  At English class that night we met a cool new couple named Yoyo and George.  They are very nice, and said maybe to baptism as they learn more.  

Thursday we saw Liu Yue.  Evelyn is really pregnant, and Liu Yue is working in a restaurant.  They are doing ok, but aren't making church a priority which is sad.  They said after they have the baby, they will come, but I am worried about them.  Please keep them in your prayers.  At night we had a cool experience.  We did a split and during the split all my appointments fells through, so we went to see the Qiu's.  Sister Qiu lives here with her non-member husband.  He dad was living here, and he was one of the first members baptized in Taiwan.  He got a medal when from the church at the 50th anniversary of the church in Taiwan.  He is really old, and had, mild dementia.  Well turns out we should up the night before he left to go to an old folks home in Taiwan.  Sister Qiu couldn't take care of him anymore, and was really sad.  She was really touched we came, and said that the spirit had told us to come.  It always feels so good when the Lord puts you in the right place at the right time to do what he would do.  So we said goodbye to Brother Qiu and wished him a safe trip,  and said a prayer with them.  It was a very special experience.  

Friday we had a busy day.  I also had my exit interview with President Mullen.  It was fine, nothing crazy.  We talked about accounting, he told me he highly recommends looking about BYU's masters program for accounting, and keeping my Chinese up so I can work in Hong Kong or Taiwan for one of the big 4 companies, which I hadn't even heard of.  He also said I need to start dating immediately...   

Saturday we got another new investigator named Hannah.  She has had lots of encounters with the church before.  She is really nice, and interested in the church.  However, not sure about baptism yet.  At night we had a great dinner, of Sichuan food.  It is so spicy, but so good.  I don't want to eat it because it burns my mouth, but it tastes so amazing, I just keep eating it.  Love hate relationship. At night we went to see Ryan and Selina.

Sunday the Liangs came to church.  It was really fun to have them there, and meet the members and get confirmed.  They are a great addition to the ward!  

Ok so there is a recent convert from UCR that is going to Salt Lake.  Her name is ZiJin.  I gave her your guy's number, just in case she had any problems.  If you and her schedules work out you could meet up.  She is really nice, and is thinking about going to BYU, that is why she is going to Utah, to check out the campus.    Her English is really good.  

I love  you guys! See you in a month
-Elder Murray

June 8 Week 96 - Back with Dyer, Ryan Baptism, Liang Baptism, Cool Miracles this week, Liang Baptism, Shelly is RS Secretary

This week has been pretty amazing, but also a little stressful.  I love being with Elder Dyer.  One of my favorite companions.    It has been a fun week with a lot of miracles.  

On Monday after emailing I went with Elder Dyer and Zeng to send Elder Schoonmaker off.  He was really excited, and all the students there were really bummed to see him go. 

The next day after we helped two investigators get fingerprinted for their green cards.  

It was fun to work with the UCR students.  They are all new to me.  They have a good group of new members there.  They are all fun, and are also good friends.  At night we saw Ryan and Selina.  Elder Merriman talked to them one of our day's on bike months ago.  Ryan finally decided to get baptized this Saturday!  Selina is still Buddhist, but I believe one day she'll come around.  

On Wednesday we went out to do finding, and the first person we talked to turned out to be a Chinese person.  She invited us to sit down.  Then she just started attacking the church.  I could see it wasn't really going anywhere, and tried to end it.    At night we had English class.  There is this girl there named Cola who was on date but then dropped us because of coffee and tea, and communist parents.

Thursday we had to take our car in to get fixed.  We taught a girl at the institute named Aggie and put her on date.  She isn't solid though.  We had a correlation meeting with Brother Miao.  I love their family.  I am going to miss them.  At night we say the Liang family.  I think I talked about them when I went on exchanges with Elder Zeng last week.  They were having a rough day.  "Luckily" that day I had put a Chinese Ensign in my bag for some reason, and it had an article that we shared, that I think really helped them.  They told us that they were planning on getting baptized that Sunday in Rolland Heights, since they were taught/had been attending there.  So Elder Dyer called President and he called their President and they said that the Liangs could get baptized there, but they needed to be confirmed here.  So that means the baptisms counted for our mission... President was pretty excited for us.  He even gave us permission to go see the baptism.

Friday we had ZDM.  It went off pretty well.  It is fun to have Sister Sterner in the Zone.  She is a great missionary!    We did our weekly planning that night.  We also ate at Sister Zhangs.  She made some really good Taiwanese food.  I was in heaven.  

Saturday we had Ryan's baptism.  It was really good.  Ryan bore testimony about how he wanted his kid to grow up in a church environment, and how he felt different in our church then he had in any other.  It was a well attended baptism too.  

Sunday at church we had a miracle.  This guy just showed up, he moved from  Maine and his friend told him to come to church.  He came and was asking how he could get baptized.  I have been overwhelmed with all the cool little miracles that have come this week.  

We went to the baptism with Bishop L and Brother X.  Bishop L told us about his wife.  He basically single-handedly started the coconut water craze.  He went on his mission to Brazil, and is a runner.  He later went to MBA school, and did a study abroad in Brazil.  He made a business plan, and started working with an already existing company is Brazil to get it started.  It took off.  He lives really normal though.  He drives a Toyota from 2002.  He said he doesn't need to work, but feels that his kids need to see Dad go to work everyday.  It was cool to hear his testimony about how the Lord has blessed him, as he is always trying to do his best.  He is a great bishop.  

The baptism was great.  They were happy to see us there.  They both gave great testimonies, and expressed gratitude for being led to the church in the US.  They were really impressed with the part in the Book of Mormon that said that all those that come to America are led by the had of God.  After we translated bishops welcome to the ward for them.  Then I saw Shelly from UCR.  She has moved to that ward, and has been active there ever since.  It was fun to see her.  She was really excited.  She is doing great as the Relief Society Secretary!  It was really cool to see the area.  All the signs were in Chinese everything.  The banks the hospital, even the church had one!  It was really fun to see!

Ok that is all this week.  I am really just enjoying this last part of the mission and trying to run hard to keep up with all the work the Lord is blessing us with!  I love you all!
-Elder Murray

June 1 Week 95 - Transfers back to Chinese to be Zone leader with Elder Dyer; DJ; 3 Woods Cross Missionaries in same Eastvale ward; Getting back out after disappointment blesses single mom with broken car

Big news of the week!!  Transfers.  This one threw me for a loop.  I am still a Zone Leader... but not with Elder Muir.  I am with Elder Dyer.  I get to go back Chinese for my last transfer!!!  We are all 4 living in one apartment, and Merriman and Zeng will be together.    It should be a good transfer.  Hopefully we will see Sister Xiong baptized, and many others.  I am excited to work with the Zone and Elder Dyer again.  Lots to keep me busy and focused.  
Well this week was full of a lot of challenges.  So DJ almost said he didn't even want to meet anymore, we barely convinced him to keep meeting with missionaries to learn and come closer to Christ even if his Mom won't let him get baptized right now.  So hopefully the next missionaries will work well with him. 
Oh I just though of some other news.  Sister Sterner is coming back here to be in the same ward and the same zone as me.  She will be an STL with Sister Cozzens.  It is too weird how things work out.  3 Woods Cross missionaries in the same ward in Eastvale, CA. 
This week we also had a nice meeting with President and Sister Mullen and all the leaders in the mission.  We got lots of good trainings.  I am really excited to try to help our zone do the best that they can!!   We have a great Zone and should do well these next few months.  I think the ideas President had were really inspired and will help a lot with problems the mission has.  I am so grateful for my patriarchal blessing.  It helps me to strive my very best to see all the good, and learn all I can from President Mullen.  If I didn't have that I might not have tried to learn or admire him as much as I do now. 
 In other news Lucy had to move in with her mom, who is against her taking the lessons, so she dropped us.  It was really sad.  I suggested that we go park in a neighborhood, and just walk and talk to people to get over our sadness.  (I have found that just getting out and doing stuff is the best way to get over sadness, it forces me to focus on something else, and smile)  Well as we got out I talked to this lady who turned out to be a single mom member.  Her car was broken and she needed help pushing it.  So we helped her push it a few blocks back to her house.  The family was really grateful and said we were sent by God.  I think we were.  It was a good reminder that getting out and doing service also helps us cope with hard times.  Cool little experience. 
Alright so that is pretty much all the news I can think of this week.  It was full of lots of walking around in the heat, avoiding angry dogs. 
Last night I went out with a team up, (it was the guy that invited DJ over for lessons)  he told me I was an amazing missionary, and that my future was going to be really bright.  I felt really good after. I always struggle giving compliments to others, sometimes it just is awkward, but I should do it more, because it really makes others feel good. 
Alright love you guys see you in just a bit!!!
-Elder Murray

May 25 Week 94 - Max Baptism - Holy Ghost Talk and Prompting - Met due to slippers; DJ, Jerome, Johny, Ethan and Jamie, Diana and Lucy

So this week was rough.  When President Mullen called to tell me I was going English he said the Lord had told him I needed a challenge.  Well I think this week was part of it.   So the most bummer thing is DJ, he cancelled our appointment, told us his mom disapproves of the church, and then left to Vegas for the long weekend and stopped responding to us.  Super sad.  We will keep trying though.

So on Monday we saw Jerome the recent convert.  He is doing ok.  He got a job and is super busy.  He didn't come to church on Sunday, which was sad as well.  

Tuesday we had Multi-Zone conference.  I had to give a training with Elder Muir on dinner thoughts. I also had to give my outgoing testimony since this was my last conference.  It was nice to get done with no tears.  I am not a big public crier.  After that we met with a referral from the Spanish sisters.  She was nice, but her husband is a pastor in another church.  So we'll see if she keeps the return appointment.  

Wednesday we did some service at an old folks home.  We moved some furniture.  It was nice to help out a little bit.  We did a lot of biking this week since we are low on miles for the month.  It was nice and cool this week though, so that was a blessing.  So after doing service we biked and tried to see people with no luck.  We did see Jonny and his Mom and Dad.  They are more open to having him get baptized after meeting with the bishop.  However, they missed church this week and cancelled the appointment where they were going to sign the baptismal permission slip.  

Thursday we did planning and at night we met with the new family from last week.  I can't remember if I put this in, but we talked to the wife last week on the street, not realizing she was a member.  We are teaching her and their 11 year old son Ethan right now.  They are nice, the son is willing to get baptized, but didn't want to set a date.  The mom Jamie is not so interested, but oh well.

Friday was exchanges.  EVERYONE cancelled that day.  It was a real bummer.  All the team ups that came out with us were kind of annoyed, that everything fell through, but hey that is missionary work sometimes.  Saturday got a little better.  We got two member presents with Diana and Lucy.  They are both doing so well.  Diana will be baptized June 27th!!!  So solid.  We also had lunch that day at a new Thai place in Eastvale.  We got mango sticky rice for dessert; man that stuff is good!

Saturday Max Z also got baptized.  I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and talked about how Elder Carling and I had felt the Holy Ghost to go to the neighborhood to find them the day that we did.  Afterward he and his wife said that the story was cool, because they had already left for the day, but realized Max was only wearing slippers, so they came back just to switch shoes, so we caught them in the driveway at just the right time!  Pretty great bapitsm.  I really felt the spirit there, and so did his wife.  She was crying, and is on date for June!

Sunday only Lucy came to church, so that was hard.  Then we couldn't find a new investigator, so we didn't hit standard. It was so hard to come so close but not hit it.  We had someone questionable we could've counted, but I felt it was better to just be honest, and not worry about the honors of men.  The AP wasn't happy, but I feel good.  I tried really hard.  

I love you guys the trip sounds so fun, I can't wait to be with you all together!!!

-Elder Murray

May 18 Week 93 - Better letter next week AND ELDER MURRAY COMES HOME JULY 14 and his HOMECOMING (and brother's farewell) WILL BE JUL 19

Ok I have like 0 time because I spent all my time looking at the classes (that we sent him to review for BYU).  This week was good.  I will have to play catch up next week.