Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Preparing to Leave the MTC

OK, so here is what has happened this past week. Thursday and Friday were pretty normal. Well I take that back. Thursday wasn´t normal because it was Thanksgiving. 

We tuned in live to a devotional with Elder Neil  Anderson, who was speaking at the Provo MTC. It was a very good devotional about the importance of staying grateful throughout our lives for what we've been given. After the devotional we had a Thanksgiving lunch which was pretty good. It was turkey and rice and everything nice. It was a very nice meal, but it made me somewhat sentimental. After that, it was a pretty much a normal day of classes and mock teaching. Friday was the same thing.


I´ve started playing beach volleyball a bit, which has been fun for my physical activity. Saturday was also pretty normal. Sunday we had church. Every Sunday at church, they randomly call on people to give talks in Spanish. This week was the last week for impromptu talks,  because this upcoming Sunday is Fast Sunday, and we leave for the mission field on 6 December. 

I didn´t get called on this week, and haven´t gotten called on in past weeks, so I feel kind of relieved.

Other than that, things have been pretty good. I´ve made some really good friends here. Elder Reeder and Elder McClune (use the first picture I sent of my district to figure match faces to names. I don't have much time to distinguish everyone. In the most recent district picture though, the two Latinos are our teachers, Maestro Acevado and Maestra Mujica. The lady on the far end of the group photo is just some random lady that popped into the picture. Also, I have a picture with Elder Olson who happens to be from Evanston, Wyoming, where Grandma Calvert was from. Like I said, use the first picture to match the name to the face. I´m sorry for the inconvenience).

Most of these pictures are from Tuesday night when we had the lighting of the CCM (that's MTC in Spanish). We had a member of the Seventy come and give a devotional. I can't remember his name but he was an Area Authority Seventy. It was a very good message. One thing he said that I really liked was that we are here to help the lost sheep, the sheep who is hurting, the sheep who needs a way back. We may get caught up in other things but that is not why we are here.  It was something that I really liked. 

We then watched a little video that the Church made. It´s the new Christmas video for this year.  It´s shots of Christ doing acts of service combined with shots of people today doing service today. It was really good and I enjoyed it.

We then went outside and enjoyed refreshments and got to talk and enjoy each others company. It was really nice. Like I´ve said, I´ve made some really good friends here and it´s gonna be hard to say goodbye to them, but I really want to get to serving people. My Spanish is absolute garbage but I want to serve others. 

That´s pretty much it for me so far. Not anything else to tell really. I guess now all I have is questions. What place is Manchester City in in the league table? If you guys send me stuff for Christmas, could you send me a bunch of scripture marking tools and also some pens? The ones I have are good but they bleed a lot. How is everyone? How are Sam and Naomi? How´s the family in New York? How´s the nation? Bleeding still? 

Could you send me the talk about Loud Laughter that Samuel tried to give me before I left? I wish I had paid more attention to it. Could you tell him sorry for me? His advice has helped me a lot. Also the two random missionaries that I sent with out me in the picture are Elder Issac and Elder Garcia. Garcia played for the BYU soccer team in Hawaii. They´re some of the new missionaries that came in. The other Elder that you don't know is Elder Rompain. He´s from Canada and he´s a pretty funny guy. Also really good at soccer.  

Let´s see: what else? I can't think of anything else. My email day is probably gonna be changed next week because I´m going out in the field so stay posted. Love you all and miss you all so much. Hope you have a great week. 


Elder McMurray 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Teaching in Lima

 Hey, Everyone:
This week was pretty eventful. I´ll try to go in order of how everything happened. 

After I emailed last week, we went to the temple and had a good experience there. We go to the temple every week on our Preparation Day, and that´s always a good experience to have. 

On Wedesday, the new group of elders came in. It was nice to see some new faces and they´re all a good group of guys. That´s when my responsibilities for zone leader kicked in. It´s not the demanding of a calling: a lot of it is just making sure lights are off and that the district leaders are handling everything pretty well. So far everything has gone good and I´m enjoying it. 

Thursday and Friday and were normal days. We went to classes, taught mock investigators, ate chicken and rice -- again. Nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary. 

On Saturday though, we had a proselyting activity. That split my group of Elders and Hermanas (the ones that have been here for 3 weeks) into two groups. One group went to Lima East and the other group went to Lima South, or Sol. We got on buses, drove to meeting houses in the area we were assigned. The group I was with went to Lima Sol, which is the poor area of Lima. 

When we got to the meeting houses we were paired with either a companionship or a single elder. I was assigned to a native Elder. I can´t remember his name, which I´m kind of upset about. He was very nice and spoke a little English, which was a big help to me. He was a convert: I think he said he joined the church when he was 9, and was from Trujillo, Peru. 

The first thing we did after leaving the meeting house was hop in a taxi/minivan sort of thing. It was packed full of people and we paid a couple of soles (the Peruvian dollar is called the sol) for the ride. After about a 7 minute drive we got off near his apartment. I didn´t know we were getting off, though, so I kinda had to hop out of the van as it was driving away. 

We then went to his apartment so he could grab something for a member. We met up with that member at a street corner, gave him what looked like a painting, and then headed out to teach a couple of lessons. 

The other missionaries from my MTC group did a lot of different things. Some made street contacts, some taught lessons, some did both. All we did was teach lessons. The first man we taught was handicapped and he didn´t live in the best conditions. We taught him about the Atonement. He was an inactive member. He seemed very responsive to the lesson. I tried my best when we taught. My Spanish wasn´t perfect, but I was able to bear my testimony that I knew the things that were said were true. It was an amazing feeling.

The second man we taught was not as receptive. I´m still not too sure if he was an investigator or what, but we taught him about the Book of Mormon. Again, it was an amazing feeling getting to share my testimony of its truthfulness and the power it has to change and bless our lives. I know this to be true without a shadow of a doubt. I can promise anyone that if they read the Book of Mormon and asked with sincere heart and real intent whether the words in it are true, they will receive a confirmation that they are. At the end of the lesson he agreed he would try to make it to church the next day. 

That was all we were able to do for the activity. After the second lesson we went back to the meeting house and then back to the MTC. It was a very comforting experience to have. On Sunday I taught a lesson in priesthood about the Book of Mormon that I feel went pretty well. We then had a devotional that night from Elder Bednar and it was really amazing. I´m not sure when it was originally given (It was a recording from the Provo MTC) but it was on the character of Christ and it was really powerful. 

Monday and Tuesday were similar to Thursday and Friday in that they were also pretty normal days. Tuesday we had a devotional by Elder Stevenson though, about things in the church we should be grateful for, and I really enjoyed that talk as well. That is one of the things I´m going to miss a lot when I leave the MTC. The weekly devotionals really uplift me. 

That was a general run down of my week. Nothing else happened, really. My companion and district are great. I get along with them really well and if I go back to BYU after my mission, I will enjoy seeing them there. 

Hope everything is going  good back  home. I´m really glad to hear Yaya Toure scored for Manchester City. He´ll always have a special place in my heart.  I hope Thanksgiving is a good time. I´m going to miss everybody. Love you all.


Elder McMurray