Monday, April 10, 2017

Catching Up

It has been an exceptionally busy few weeks, and I have been lax in posting Elder McMurray's messages.  This is a collection of his thoughts, from over the past few weeks:

27 March 2017

I am very grateful for your email, Dad. I needed to hear those words about dealing with failure. It is discouraging for me sometimes, when I think about my imperfections. I want to become the perfect version of myself instantly, but that can never happen. I often feel like I am constantly making the wrong choice or not following the correct promptings of the Spirit. I told my mission president about some challenges we've had in our ward. Some misunderstandings and miscommunications have caused hurt feelings, and it's affected our relationship with some members of the ward. He told me basically the same thing you told me, it is an opportunity to learn. I have learned some valuable lessons. I wish I had been more in tune or more discerning to the promptings of the Spirit when they came to me, but now I know I need to pay more attention.

So far, I have had 5 baptisms on my mission. They have all come within the past 6 weeks. Four of the five were references from Church members. It is a confirmation to me that the Church needs to grow through the members. No matter where we are, references often have a better chance of being baptized and becoming strong members of the church. If you have the chance, I think you should talk as a family about people you know who may be interested in hearing about the Gospel. This is a great chance for missionary work, and it is better that the work be started now then later. If the people are not interested, oh well, maybe in a couple of months or years they will change their mind. As long as a seed is planted that is all the matters. And it is a chance for our family to help build up the Kingdom of the Lord. 

4 April 2017

Dear Dad,

Thank you again for wonderful words, words that have comforted my heart. I will admit wholeheartedly that I am a perfectionist to an extent. I don't know if its that I am a perfectionist or if it is that I am afraid of not being perfect. I know I can't be perfect, and that scares me into inaction. I will try harder to just act from now on. I will try not to be so afraid of messing up, and more eager to learn from my mistakes than before. Thank you so much, Dad, for your words. I'm so grateful for them. 

I'm glad to hear you all had such a wonderful experience with Conference. I'm also glad to hear that you all had a investigator in your house for the morning session on Saturday. Who was the investigator? How did he receive the messages? All of the talks were wonderful, but there were some that truly touched my heart. Elder Holland's in particular. I think it would be a good idea for all of you to watch a talk over again for family home evening. The talk given by Elder Joaquin Costa was very good for people who are interested in knowing more about the Church, if you want to invite some friends over to watch it. 

Also, Elder Quentin Cook's visit to our mission, I have tried to listen more closely to his words and teachings. Before I had never really focused very much on his talks, I regretfully admit. Of the resources I have available, I was able to find a talk he gave, not at a General Conference, but at a devotional. The talk is entitled The Good Life. It is very good, and if you have the chance I would encourage you to give it a look. Also another person that I have tried to focus more on is Elder Renlund. I like how he uses literary referrnces in his talks. In the past conference, October 2016, he quoted Shakespeare. In this Conference, he quoted Les Miserables. 

I love you dad. I wish I had been able to watch Conference with you, but I was reminded that we will have many chances to watch conference together after the mission. I am so grateful for your words and your counsel. I hope you have an excellent week. 

Elder McMurray 

11 April 2017

Dear Dad, 
Thank you for the thoughts from 2 Timothy. I am trying to suffer for Christ. I'm not trying to suffer needlessly, though. I'm trying to suffer witeh a purpose. It is hard, though. I am trying to present my faith by being exactly obedient, but it is difficult, especially when you're dealing with personality differences and cultural differences.

I've learned a lot from my companion, and I'm trying to improve, everyday. I'm trying to be more and more obedient. I'm trying to be a consecrated missionary. But I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. But I keep trying.

We had two mission conferences this week, with my Mission President presiding. The mission has been struggling recently and he wants to turn things around. He is a very good leader. It was a very motivating meeting. He knows a lot and knows how to use the scriptures. This week he used 3 Nephi 7 to tell us about how we should use new converts to find more people to teach: it was inspiring. 

This week, we have been sharing the Church's Easter video with a lot of people. Its called the Prince of Peace, and I really like it. I think it would be good for you guys to watch it as a family. 

There is also a new video on the church website about the Paris Temple. It is a really cool video. The temple is beautiful and I think all of you would enjoy the video. I know the temple is the House of the Lord, and when we go to the temple we can feel more peace in our lives. If you get a chance dad, try to go with mom to the temple in the near future. It is special to have one so close to us in Houston.

I love you all. I thank you for your emails. I miss you. Dad, I wish we could go to that Manchester City game in Houston together, but there are more important things to do. I look forward to the time when we will be able to be together without having to worry about the stresses or commitments of the world. I hope you have a great week. I hope things aren't too stressful. I hope there aren't too many problems at work. 

Love, Elder McMurray


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