Monday, April 2, 2018

Approaching 18 months of Service!

Dear Family, 

Thank you for the photos and for the messages. This was a very special weekend with the conference and with Easter that is for sure. We didnt really do anything for easter though. We ate fish which was nice. I have grown to love fish here, although we cant eat ceviche. I would like to eat more fish when I go back home. The conference was very powerful. Overall it was just a nice and re-energizing experience listening to the Prophet, his counselors, the twelve, and the other leaders of the church. I don't know what more can be said other then its time to get to work. President Nelson might be 93 but he looks like he´s got the energy of a 15 year old and he is ready to go to work. It is nice to live in a time of revelation and continual progression. Some of the talks that I especially liked where Elder Uchtdorf's, Elder Wilson's, Elder Robbins', and especially Elder Bednar's. His talk was very good. All of them were good, they always are. 

For the first time, my companion is from the USA.  His parents sent him "Thanksgiving Dinner in A Box." It just got here.  We ate it (it was all canned stuff).  It was really good!

Something funny and embarrassing that happened to me this week was when I was in a work visit with my zone leader. His name is Elder Pereira. He is from Argentina and he has a really cool accent. He was born the same day as me, the same year, so we share a lot in common. But anyway, he was visiting my area and we were crossing through a park to go to a members house. In the park there was a small, cement soccer court and there were a few kids playing. He pointed out to me that they were playing and I began to watch. That is one thing that hasn't gone away during my time here, my love for soccer. I continued to walk and watch the kids play soccer when all of the sudden I ran into a tree. It was like something out of a cartoon to be honest. We laughed about it. 

Preparation Day Futbol.  The giant guy is my new companion.  We tend to stand out down here.
I banged my head pretty hard so I have wound now, but I started to think about the experience. I was distracted and as a result I got hurt. The wound will heal and now I know to be more careful when I'm walking, but I feel like the moral of the story can be that I shouldn't have been distracted in the first place. I know how distracting the world can be sometimes. I have been so grateful to be able to disconnect from social media and other distractions during my time here. Sometimes I feel that we think that the distractions that we lose ourselves to are not that dangerous, and I feel that may be right. 

This is a family I taught.  They were baptized the week after I was transferred.  The son is nine.  He's an interesting kid.

I don't think that watching soccer is something wrong, but what was wrong was the time and place I was doing it. I should've been focused on other things. I was focused on the distraction, and I feel that was a mistake. Mosiah 4:27 teaches that we shouldn't push ourselves over the limit. We have to take a break and recollect ourselves every now and then, and as long as those distractions that we use to relax are wholesome and uplifting there is nothing wrong with that. But when we put the distractions before our responsibilities, no matter how wholesome or uplifting they maybe, we open ourselves to getting hurt, whether it be physically or spiritually. That is something that I wanted to share with you all. Im sorry that I wont be able to write more. I am somewhat pressed for time, but I hope that everyone has an excellent week. 

Note the head wound.
To respond to your question Mom, it is not necessary to send me a package for my birthday. I will be turning 22, six weeks before I come home.  I don't think you need to go through the trouble. But while you are mentioning the subject, there is a man here in our mission that makes custom suits, so maybe I could buy one of those to celebrate my birthday. I love you all very much!

Elder McMurray 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Up in the Hills

Dear Family,

I'm very grateful for your emails and your supportive words. I'm sorry that this will be a short email, but at least I will be sending a lot of pictures. 

The pictures, just to explain, were taken in a bunch of different situations. The ones where we are on a hill were taken this morning. 

Today there are changes in assignments coming, and I don't know what will happen, but I have had four rotations in this area and it is very possible that I will be going to a different area, maybe my last area, I don't know. 

I like the area where I am now and I like my companion. I will be sad to go if I do. There are still things that I want to do in this area to be able to learn more and grow. 

It was a difficult week. Many of the baptismal dates that we had scheduled as a district fell through, mainly because the investigators were not sufficiently prepared to be baptized. It was depressing to me. I wished we had made the goal but I worry that we didn't work hard enough from the start to make sure that we had the right number of people. Partly for this reason I want to stay in this area to be able to reach the goal for the next month. 

I thank you all for your words of encouragement. They help me. I love you all very much. I'm so sorry that this is such a short email, but next week I will be sure to write more. I love you all. Enjoy the pictures. 

Elder McMurray 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've posted here.  Noah has been very busy: he's currently serving as a District Leader, and he's been training newly arrived missionaries:

Dear Dad,

This week was very good. We had a meeting with our mission president the beginning of the week with our half of the mission. We weren't able to complete our goals this past month as a mission and so we talked about the things that we can do better as a missionaries so that we can complete our goals and have more success. It was a very good meeting. After that meeting we were scheduled to have interviews with President. We went home first to have our room checked, went to go eat at a members home, then we returned to the chapel to meet with President. I had a very good interview with him. He gave me a lot of counsel and a lot of needed advice. I need to have a lot more faith I have realized. I lack a lot of faith. But I have tried this week to put more faith in the Lord and in his power. I left the interview with that in my mind and we were able to have a lot of success this week. This week I also had a work visit with an Elder that I know when I was first starting my mission. Elder Gutierrez is his name. We shared a ward together for 4 and a half months, although we were never companions. He went to another zone, I went to another zone. We never really saw each other again, until now. He is now the zone leader here in the zone I'm in and we are also sharing the ward again. He is very inspiring to me. In the work visit, I was able to remember a lot of the experiences that we had in my first area. I was also able to learn a lot from his example about things that I can improve on. It was a good week. I'm very grateful for the experiences I was able to have this week. 

I'm going to send pictures of a service project we did at a fire station near our area.  I miss you all very much as well. I look forward to talking to you on Christmas Day. I want to know what time we should plan for to talk. What time would be good for all of you? I'm sorry that my emails are so short all the time. I hope that you all don't think that it means I'm not missing you. I do miss you. At times I just don't know what to say. I will study those scriptures that you've given me to study. I hope you have a great week. Please send my love to Mom, Samuel, and Naomi. Keep going strong with the Light the World campaign. For family home evening tonight I would recommend listening to the last talk given by Elder Robert D Hales. I miss you, Dad. 

Elder McMurray