Monday, September 25, 2017

Lots of Photos!

It's been a while since I've posted any messages from Elder McMurray.  Hurricane Harvey knocked us for a loop!

Things are getting back to normal, so here's an update:

 21 August 2017

The week has been a little hectic. Last Monday I got transferred to a different area and my companion got called to train a new missionary. I spent most of the night packing. I wasn't in my last area for too long, but we were able to have a good number of baptisms and the people in the ward were really nice. 

I got called to the other side of the mission, so I'm pretty far away from everything I previously knew. The mission is basically divided in two halves. One is a district that is called Sanjuan de Lurigancho. The other is made up of districts called Comas, Carabayllo and Independencia. I spent all of my mission up to this point in Comas, but currently I am in Sanjuan de Lurigancho. 

Everything that I had previously heard about this side of the mission -- that it is full of hills, that the majority of the people are really humble, that it is really dusty -- are not the case in my part of Sanjuan de Lurigancho. My new area is called Begonias 2. We don't have a single incline in our area, though it is pretty big compared to other areas. It is the greenest and probably wealthiest area that I know of. 

I don't know all of the mission but from what I do know, it is pretty wealthy. It was a little bit of a shock at first, but now I feel more comfortable. I got called to be senior companion with Elder Melita, who is from Chile and has 6 months in the mission. He wants to work hard,  which is good. 

We didn't really have anyone to work with when I got here, though, so we spent most of the week trying to find new people. Friday, I got a call from our zone leaders, who share our ward, and they told me that I was now the district leader our district, which consists of the zone leaders and other missionaries, who haven't had too much success in the past few months. It is somewhat intimidating, I have to admit. 

I was not expecting to be called as a district leader, and it has me a little nervous, because I know I lack in some leadership aspects. There is not much I can do other then rely on the Lord. 

Now, for some photos:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Winter in Peru

Dear Dad,
Thank you very much for the photos of the Manchester City - Manchester United match. It looks like it was a fun experience and that Houston tried to put on a good show for the fans that came. My friend William sent me a video of part of the match.  It was only 7 seconds, but it looked like the stadium was all red. He told me that there were only a handful of blue shirts in the sea of red jerseys, but that doesn't matter. Either way I bet it was enjoyable, until the United fans took things too far. William also told me that a MAnchester United fan guy that screamed in your ear as you were leaving the stadium. That guy was a jerk. Be careful: some of the people in this world are locos and will take things too far if they want to. 
Mom told me about the Calvert family gathering at thebeach house in Galveston,  and how Stephen wants to have family reunions every year. I dont' know what should be done, but I'm sure everyone will figure something out. I'm not a big beach guy. I like the winter here in Lima. It is cold and grey. I don't like the heat too much, though I can tolerate it. I like weather that forces you to stay inside.

Things are really up and down. We have a recent convert in the ward who is really excited about missionary work and participating in the Church. His name is Andrew. He is going to go on a mission when he has a year's membership in the Church. Right now he only has two months, more or less. He was baptized right before I got to the area. We went out and contacted with him one day, which was good. He told me about some books he has been reading and from the sound of it, I think he is gotten his hands on some alt-right nonsense.  I told him he should be careful of what he reads.
To be honest, my time here has been very humbling, I've seen how unprepared I was to go on the mission and how much growth I need to do and how little time there is to do it, and that just gets me discouraged and makes me not want to do anything at all, which is something I can't do. It is difficult. I'm trying to improve myself though, every day. I know I'll be helped if I put in my effort. I have a hard time doing that sometimes, though.
These are some pictures for this past week. One is at a soccer court where we played for Preparation Day. It was pretty fun. The other is me at a computer during Preparation Day. Not too many. Sorry.
I love you, Dad. I love hearing from you and I'm grateful that you were able to provide a memorable experience for my friends.  They have been good friends to me for a big chunk of my life. I'm thankful that you were able to reach out to them. I love you and miss you very much. I hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder McMurray

Monday, July 17, 2017


Dear Mom, 

I'm sorry that you were a little startled by the photo of me standing at the bottom of a well. Startling you was not my intention. I don't want you to be too concerned for my safety or well being as far as me being here in my mission goes. I know that I'm going to be safe here as long as I do my part. 

I don't want you to be too concerned. What I was doing in the well was helping make it deeper. I mostly was removing rocks from the well. It was a service project we did with our old district leader. My companion is now the district leader of our district. I will make sure to be more careful in the future. 

Mom, don't apologize for your email being long. I enjoy reading it and getting a better look at the what life is like over there in Houston. I hope the pictures do a good job of showing what life is like here for me. I know that I don't do a very good job of explaining in detail my day to day experiences, but I hope the pictures help paint the picture. I forgot to send some of these pictures to Dad so I will send them to you right now. I love you,  Mom and I hope you have a good week. In the latest photos,  I'm with my companion in the street, and at a birthday party for the bishop of our ward. The other pictures are of my room. 

I love you, Mom, and miss you everyday. 

Elder McMurray ​