Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May Messages

7 May 2018

Dear Family:

Thank you for the emails and for the love that you constantly send me. 

This week was a somewhat difficult one. I don't know why, but it is difficult for me to think of how I can overcome my challenges at times. The email you sent me, Dad, really helped. What a special experience to be on the side of Elder Cook!  Congratulate Taran for becoming an Elder. When Elder Cook came to talk to us here in the mission it was one of the most special experiences that I have had in my entire life. I'll never forget it. 

We also did another group activity as a district, which was good. Working as a team is something that we are doing more and more and it is something that is helping us have more success in our district. The sister missionaries in our district challenged an investigator to be baptized, and the investigator got baptized! It was a nice experience to have. 

There are two new videos on the church website that talk about the restoration of the Church. They are interesting to watch and I would recommend watching them for Family Home Evening. (I would also recommend watching the devotional for Young Single Adults featuring Elder and Sister Kearon. It is very good and not entirely focused to young single adults.) I would recommend that you watch that also when you have the time. The videos are called A Day for the Eternies and Days of Harmony. They are available on LDS.org.

I'm sorry that these are short emails. I'm very grateful for the emails that you send. They are answers to prayers, really. 

14 May 2018

Well, I know that we got a chance to talk yesterday, but there were a few things that happened this week that were interesting. I had an interview with my mission president and he gave me a lot of motivation to work harder. He has taught me a lot about showing love to people. I'm grateful that I have been able to serve under his leadership. I tried to show more Christlike love this week,  and we had a lot of interesting experiences, although we didn't have the results that we would have liked. 

I am excited, though, for these last couple of months. I have changed a lot but want to change even more. We were in a trio for a little bit of time this past week. My zone leader and friend, Elder Tello, came to be with us in our area. It was a fun time working together in a trio. The pictures I'm sending are from the visit. Other then that there isn't much more that I have to say. I hope that this is an excellent week for everyone. I love you all very much. 

Love, Elder McMurray

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