pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, December 29, 2014

WEEK 25: Planting seeds

Hey everyone!
I am excited to email you all today because I have a lot to tell you all! 
 This week was a great week full of Christmas miracles. Never before in my mission did we go through so many Restoration pamphlets in one week! I thank you all so much for your prayers in our finding efforts as I have felt them! 
 In Christmas Zone conference our mission president talked about the parable of the sowers and told us that we need to put out more "seeds" in our missionary efforts by talking to more people. I loved this idea as my area right now is totally farm land and rice fields. So we prayed and did all we could to talk to more people and ask more referrals and we got a lot of great success! We taught 10 new investigators this week! One of those 10 is amazing and is so prepared to receive the gospel.
One of my first days here in PadaPada we met this lady through an OYM(open your mouth). She was quick to agree to let us teach but was busy at the moment so we returned a week later. Her name is Tesi and she is in her mid 50s or so. She is so nice and from the moment I met her I could just see this light inside of her. It is hard to explain but I could just see good in her, even though I didn't know her. So in our first visit we taught her about the restoration and challenged her to be baptized, and she said yes! Not only that, but when we asked her to read the Book of Mormon she said of course she would (like it was obvious that is what she had to do!) It was so amazing to feel the strong spirit as she said in her prayer that she was grateful for the two servants of Lord that visited her. It was amazing to see how ready people are. We just have to keep planting those seeds, some will land on the wayside (which is always a bit heart breaking) but some will take root in fertile soil and grow to great activity in the church. The thing I learned this week is we will never will know the outcome until we open our mouths! 
We had another cool experience were I learned the importance of listening closely to the spirit. We were just walking home a few nights ago and we saw this little family sitting outside their little hut. I waved and smiled at them and we continued on our way. After a few steps I felt for some reason (Thanks to divine help) felt that we needed to return and talk to them. As I walked towards their house I didn't even have the chance to say a word before the father opened up their gate and said "come on in, share your message" I was shocked! I definitely was not complaining! It was a great lesson for me of listening to the spirit and I hope that this family continues to progress. The ironic thing is that the last name of the family is Espiritu or "spirit" in English! hahaha:)
I know that we all have the opportunity to plant seeds in the lives of others and in ourselves. In the way we act, the things we say and do. We are all sowers. What we give is what we get! "For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again" (Alma 41:15) I know that every moment counts and that we can do great things! I invite each of you this week to plant a seed! Share the gospel with those you love and those that need your love!
I love you all and pray for you! I am loving it here! I was born to serve in the Philippines! I have no doubt! You all have a great week and remember to go plant some seeds!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 24- first transfer

Hey Everybody!

It is so good to hear how all of you are spending the Christmas season! I love to hear all of your stories and know that God is proud of all of you that are sharing his gift to the world! Keep it up! :)
So here is the latest: I transferred!  I am now in Padapada, which is out in the country! Rice fields, cows, goats, carabao and not a lot of people. It is SO different than my last area which was a city. There is not much in my area other than our chapel and little bamboo and tin huts scattered across the countryside. The work here is also a lot slower here than in my last area. I guess you really don't know how well you have it until you experience the opposite. I am definitely going to miss my last area, especially my converts. It was pretty hard to leave but I know that I am needed here.  My companion is a Filipino and his name is Elder de Leon and I have two other Filipino roommates. They all are not that great at English so I am lucky that I will have a chance to improve my Tagalog.
This week was the first week ever in my mission we had no investigators at church. It was hard. There are so many challenges that I will have to overcome in this area: One, we have virtually no progressing investigators. Second, in this area there are two other languages Ilocano and Napampangan although most people speak Tagalog.  And last, trying to get the members more involved with the work. It is going to be hard, but on the bright side I am on the Lord's side and there is no fear when we do our best on the Lord's errand!
Another lesson I learned is about having courage to do what is right, even when others around you are not. Sometimes it is quite lonely to stand up for the right, people laugh at you, exclude you and reprehend you. But God knows our efforts and if proud of us as we are a light to others. We will feel the peace of discipleship as we follow Jesus Christ.
As for my area, If you all could pray for us that we may find those that are the pure in heart and are ready to receive the gospel and that the members will become excited to share the gospel with others. I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of peace and joy. For Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.
Mahal kita,


Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 24 Maligayang Pasko!

Hoy Lahat!

Maligayang Pasko from the Philippines! I hope that you are all having a great Christmas and are loving the season! Our work has been really busy and the Lord definitely has been preparing souls for us during this time. We had another baptism and it as always was a wonderful experience. I am so grateful for the harvest time that I have been able to be a part of. This work is definitely the work of Salvation and is so amazing to see all of the little miracles unfold if we are actively looking for them and acknowledging them. I am certain that there are Angels on the other side helping to prepare the hearts of these people.
So you might wonder what is like here in Ang Pilipinas for "Pasko"  or Christmas. It is really cool to see all the preparations and decorations, lights and Nativity scenes. A lot of the celebration here is centered on Jesus Christ, which is really a refreshing change from how it is back in the states. One fun tradition is Mangaraling ( I bet that is a fun one to say) or caroling. People here love to sing and it is a tradition to carol for money going door to door, it is really cool, some of them are really good! It's in away similar to Trick or Treating, hahaha. 
One thing that I admire so much of the Filipino people is their willingness to give and to share. They are a very giving people and will share all they have with anyone that is in need. Their smiles and their friendly faces have made this Christmas time very special for me! I still haven't gotten to tired of hearing people ask "What is your height?" the familiar question that I hear  at least ten times a day. It is so worth it, all of the trials and hard times, the people and seeing them come unto Christ makes all of the challenges SO worth it! I love the people, I better understand how God feels about his children here!

LOVE you all!
Don't forget to share God's gift to the world- His Son!

Ingat lagi,


Picture-Catherine's baptism

Monday, December 8, 2014

WEEK 23- A new perspective

Hoy Lahat!

How are ya'll? My week was good but quite busy! First because we moved apartments! I am so grateful for our new apartment. Our old apartment was really, really old and was gross and hard to walk through let alone cook in.  I said in one of my past letters I am learning how to cook pagkain ng pinoy (Filipino food)
I decided that it is about time that I stop eating out of a can, haha. One of the sisters in Cabiao ward heard that I am trying to learn to cook pinoy food and gave me a small cook book so I guess this week I will try out my cooking skillz.
 Our new apartment is so nice compared to our last one. It has tiled floor but still has a few problems that hopefully we will fix.
The move was quite a miracle because when our landlady heard we found a new apartment, she told us we had 4 days to move! It was crazy fast. When we were signing papers with our new landlady she was very hesitant and it was really stressful. Thank goodness we learned that one member in the ward was one of her best friends. She was able to soften her heart and we were able to move in on times with relatively no problems! It was amazing, I definitely saw the hand of the Lord this week as I trusted in him that it would all work the way it was supposed to.
Christmas is here, but for me it does not feel like Christmas! hahaha. Probably because there is no snow! Hahaha. It is funny to see the difference in culture when it comes to Christmas. The most memorable thing I have seen so far that is pretty different, is that people do Christmas carol here, but they do it for money instead of like a service. Often at night I see a lot of little kids running around with with ice cream, Tupperwares, and sticks as percussion singing jingle bells haha, its kind of cute.
One thing is for sure, I love the people here!! I feel more at home now dito sa pilipinas and love the culture. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and know that my mission will not only bless my life and those I serve, but bless my family as well. It is hard to explain the love I feel for these people but I think that the best way to describe it is as the Love of Jesus Christ.
As I said in my last letter, last week was kind of hard and I was pretty discouraged about things, This week I gained a new perspective. I realized that I wasn't being as obedient as I could have been, my personal and companionship studying was slipping especially my studying of the words of ancient and modern scriptures. I realized that these things are protection from the devil and that as I am obedient I will be happy. In the Scriptures it says: Wickedness never was happiness" Sometimes I have to remind myself the opposite is true also, Obedience ALWAYS is happiness! I know that as I am obedient and apply the atonement when I make a mistake I will be happy. I know that the way we show God we love him is by following his commandments and enduring hard times with a grateful heart.
I love you all and pray for you! Please let me know of any special needs you would like me to pray about,

Mahal Kita,


Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 22 The enabling power

Hey everybody!
This week was great! I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! It
was great to hear from all of you that did my thanksgiving challenge.
I know that God wants to bless us more when we are thankful for his
People usually don't celebrate thanksgiving here. The day of
thanksgiving I woke a little homesick and felt a little sad that I was
missing all the fun at home. But then I decided to quit feeling sorry
for myself and do something to change how I felt. I realized that
there are some things that I can't control and there are some things
that I can, so I called up a member that is a friend of mine and asked
if he wanted to have a fiesta and explained thanksgiving to him. He
agreed and so Thursday night we had our own Thanksgiving with some of
the members. We bought chicken and I made mashed potatoes and of course
it wouldn't be a meal without rice! hahaha. It was a lot of fun. We
also had cheese ice cream which is a Filipino thing.  It was a great
Anyway with the work. Which is the most enjoyable part of being a
missionary, We baptized my first family this week! It was such a
wonderful experience! I cannot describe fully the joy that I felt that
day. It is indescribable. I have been thinking a lot about my role as a
missionary and have come to the conclusion that any sacrifice to be a
full-time servant of Jesus Christ is worth it. It is all worth it!
Sometimes it is so hard and discouraging for me, sometimes I don't
feel like I even should be here as a missionary, that I am not  good
enough. That I am not worthy to wear the badge. But I then I remember
that it isn't even me at all!! I am just His voice and just like with
Moses the great prophet if I am humble enough to trust in him he can
make me mighty in speaking and will lift me up to the tasks I am here
to do. I don't tell you all this so you will feel sorry for me or
worry about me, I am fine, really. I just wanted to share this with
all of you because I have seen the atonement more in my life as I have
had a few struggles. It has made me closer to him, and through him I
can change and become a better person and shake off my pride. I know
we all can change and overcome our challenges through the enabling
power of our Savior Jesus Christ.Through him we can do anything we are
asked to do by him. He is the gift of Christmas! I am so grateful that
I have the opportunity share that gift with the people here in the
Philippines this Christmas! I am so grateful for all of you, the emails
and the support and the great prayers. I pray for you! I love you all,
Have a great week!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 21

 Hey everybody!

So I kinda of ran out of time with all of my reports and stuff.. so my parents will just put parts of their letters on my blog. Enjoy and sorry! Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy that apple pie and turkey for me!:)
Here are some pictures of our baptisms this week.

For this week for thanksgiving I have a challenge for all of you, Which I will do as well: The challenge is to write a hundred different things a day which you are grateful for. Its actually really easy I did it this morning and it made me realize how much I take for granted! I am so grateful for all that God has blessed me with.
Here is a pattern that could help you make it easier. I found this in an old Ensign magazine:
write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for
write 10 material possession you are grateful for
write 10 living people you are grateful for
write 10 deceased people you are grateful for.
Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
write 10 things about today you are grateful for
write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
write 10 modern inventions you are grateful for.
write 10 foods you are grateful for
write 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.

I know that as you do this you will be able to better see all the blessing you receive from a loving Heavenly Father everyday! It is really refreshing I hope you all will join me! :)

Love you all!


Hey Dad and Mom,

How was your week? I sure hope that you had as good of a week as I did! Our two baptisms were great! both of them I baptized and it was a wonderful experience. This week on Wednesday we are baptizing the Lapuz family. It will be a wonderful experience and I am excited. My investigators are doing great, we have an average of 10 investigators at church regularly so Sundays are always great days. One of our investigators that is really progressing  is Jose. He is 60 or so and has a strong belief in God and in the Bible. He really wants to know and asks so many questions that sometimes it is hard to teach. Hahaha. He has diabetes and can't read so it is really hard to teach him about the Book of Mormon. We have had quite a few investigators who either don't know how to read or can't because they have bad eyes. It is sometimes a challenge. Another common challenge we have here is marriage. Because there is no divorce here, sometimes people are either hesitant to get married because it is too expensive or separate and then live together. It is quite a problem. We have a sister we are teaching her name is Charo. I have taught her since I got here in August but because of her husband not wanting to get married she is unable to be baptized. We really are hoping he changes his mind. Will you pray that his heart will be softened. Thanks so much. The whole family can join in if they want.
My companion is awesome! He is so great!!! He is the only member in his family. His family at first didn't want him to go on a mission. He is really buff and loves to play basketball and work out. He is really funny and we laugh a lot. I am learning how to cook Filipino food and cook for us as often as we have time.
I love hearing about your experiences, and things that are going on. I love you so much and pray for you daily! Thanks again for the music. I love it and listen to it everyday! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I am excited to Skype you in a month.

I love you always and appreciate all you do for me! :)

Your Son,


Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 20- All times, All things, All places

Hey everyone!

This week was AWESOME!!!! We are working really hard and have been doing all we can to help reach our mission goal of 1650 souls baptized by the end of the year. We will have two baptisms this week and 5 next! It definitely is harvest time! Everyday I am thanking the Lord for all of the little miracles that happen everyday. I have a firm testimony that this is His work, and that he definitely is involved. We have been fasting and praying for our investigators like crazy and it has made all the difference. Another cool change we are doing is the Follow 200 plan that our mission president has started. It basically is for us to focus our work on two specific areas and make daily visits to our investigators to better track their progression it is really cool to see the difference.
As always, my job as a missionary is to testify of Christ, but this week I had too unusual experiences that both tried and strengthen my faith. The first one was a with a member. This man is a very influential, smart, and rich man. He is also the cousin of my first baptism. We were at his house to teach his nephew. While we were waiting for his nephew, this man started talking badly about the Stake leaders and American senior couples in this area and saying things that he really shouldn't.  I was really uncomfortable but decided to stand up for what was right and respectfully told him to stop. He got really angry and started yelling at us and told us to leave his house. It was really a sad situation. I really felt bad for this man. It makes me sad to see pride and anger ruin such a good man. After this encounter I felt the spirit reassure to me that I did the right thing even though it ended so badly. The other experiences was with a group of humanitarians from the UK. I OYMed (open your mouth) them and they were really friendly. I asked them about there religious beliefs and most of them said that they did not believe in God. I shared my testimony of the reality of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It was amazing I felt like Abinadi and I felt filled with the Holy Ghost. After I briefly shared my testimony, one of them said that he would pray that night and ask God if he really was there. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a witness of Jesus Christ.
I know that all of us have that responsibility to be a witness of God at all times, all thing and all places. Let us do that! Let us have courage and do what we know is right even when it is terrifying, Let us not be afraid to stand for truth and righteousness. I know that as we stand for what is right we are never alone, Jesus Christ is standing there right with us. I know that God lives! I know that Jesus is the Christ and that these are the last days in which he will gather Israel! Let us be apart of this great work. The train is leaving if we are on board or not! I know that we can make a difference if we seek treasures in heaven first in life. I know that what I am doing here sa Ang Pinas  is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray for you and love all! Email me for specifics. :)


The Lapus Family, my investigators who are getting baptized next week:)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 19

I have some great news and some not so great news,
The good news is that I LOVE my new companion!!!!! He is so great! His name is Elder Lumogdang he is Filipino. I will tell you all about him in a little bit, also we should have 6 baptisms this month! YAY! :)
The bad news as you probably have noticed that I didn't send an email telling you I am online. It is because my mission President made a new rule that we can't chat. This rule is SO HARD!!! And I don't understand why. BUT- I have decided to be exactly obedient. I am going to obey this rule even though I don't want to. I prayed so hard that I would have the desire to be obedient to this rule and that I would be obedient with a willing heart. I also prayed that I would trust President's decision and inspiration for our mission.  I asked Heavenly Father to give me the strength to do this hard thing, because sometimes talking to you is how I get through the week. I know I will be blessed as I obey. At least I get to send you a email every week right? So the rule is I cannot respond to anyone until the next week.  Anyway, now to get that out of the way. Here is my week:
As I told you I got a new companion! He is awesome, he is from Negros, Philippines. He is really funny and has a great sense of humor. He is really good at basketball.  As I learned early, he really shows his love for the investigators and members and so in turn they love him too! But most of all I love how we can talk and communicate openly. He  is someone I know I can talk to and have fun with as we work hard. We have a lot of progressing investigators and it is amazing to see their progress. Our biggest challenge is teaching them all the material before they get baptized. We had 12 investigators at church yesterday!
 So I wanted to share with you a really great experience that I had yesterday.  We have been teaching this man named Edwin. He is really cool guy. He is the one that had the accident with his eye and because of his accident he has become really humble. He is also a chain smoker. He smokes 40 cigarets a day. I am sure you can imagine what he teeth looks like, hahaha. That was a few days ago. Now he is down to 19 and next week he plans on it being 0! As he was telling me this I was filled with joy and happiness as he told me this! He told me something that really hit me, he said: "Impossible is nothing for the Lord" He has really strong faith and is going to be a great priesthood holder when he gets baptized. I know that the atonement is so real. As we were teaching Edwin we were with one of our members, He told Edwin that he too was a chain smoker before he was baptized. I was shocked! I never would have thought that his man had a smoking problem before. He was a new man and his countenance was so bright. The Atonement changes people. It is the greatest miracle. I continue to have really cool experiences and I am loving my mission. It is hard but it is so amazing!

Take care always, have a good week!!!:)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 18 Ang Araw ng Patay

Hey Everybody!

As you know this last week was Halloween. I was really excited to experience my first Halloween here. But I learned quickly that they don't celebrate it here. Instead they have a different holiday on November 1st which is called Ang Araw ng Patay or in English The Day for the Dead. It was crazy!
The traditions of the holiday are similar to the Spanish tradition and is a day where they honor their passed on family members. The best way I can explain it is like memorial day on steroids! Everyone travels to the cemetery and stays there all day long. Some people even sleep at the cemetery! Some of the graves of wealthy people are like house and even have air conditioning! The Filipinos are really centered on family, it is really cool how much they respect their ancestors. Really there were SO many people in Cabiao, it was crazy! I never have seen so many people. I swear all of Nueva Ecija was in Cabiao, The traffic was at a stand still for many hours. Motorcycles and trikes were driving on the shoulder space on the side of the road. Anyway, the holiday made it really hard to do our work. Everyone was at the cemetery! It was a bit discouraging, but I realized that it really is out of my control and that God sees our effort and knows our hearts.
I have gained a greater love for the scriptures and love the book of Mormon. I have been trying to get to know the Book of Mormon better as well as familiarize myself with the Doctrine and Covenants.   (which is a gold mine by the way) I encourage all of you to read it! I honestly think that we take what we have as members of the church for granted and not spend enough time being "students of the scriptures" as President Ardern the Philippines Area President says. I try to dive into the word because the scriptures are truly the key to personal revelation. Many times I receive an answer to my prayer through the scriptures or the words of modern prophets. I just want to ask all of you, as members of the Church do we really know the doctrine taught to us in the scriptures? Cause I don't feel like I really do! I am learning more from the scriptures everyday and have been filled with light and joy from their pages. I don't mean to lecture, I just would like to share the joy I have felt from reading them and joy I have felt with sharing them with others.
Missionary work is definitely like a roller coaster. It has its good days and its bad, but it is SO worth it and SO rewarding. I love you guys!  I pray for you and know that God is watching over all of us! Go out and share you light with someone today! God is mindful of our every act and will reward us accordingly.
You have a great week!


Me and my companion- hike we went on.

View from my window-So beautiful!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Observe then Serve

Kumusta Lahat!

This week was SO great! I have been happier this week than I have my whole mission! I have found a greater love for the people and am finding ways to serve them. We have a lot of wonderful and progressing investigators and I am really pleased at the progress we have been making here in Cabiao!
One day we had a service project with our zone and we used big sickles and machetes to clear a field to become a basketball court for an elementary school. It was really hard work and I got so sunburned! It was very fun! Afterwards, they fed us and instead of plates they put a bunch of huge banana leaves on the long table and we all ate our food right from the leaves. It was weird at first, hahaha.

 I sure love the Philippines! The people here are so genuine and honestly the nicest most respectful people I have ever met! I have never had anyone treat me rudely. Most of the time when people reject us they just come up with excuses that vary from; "I have no time, I am busy" to "I will try" Which pretty much means no. It's sad but it is part of the process of separating the wheat from the tares. I am constantly praying to find the pure in heart.

Lately, I have felt a little emptiness inside and didn't know what to do. I was talking to an older missionary who is going home soon and was just the Assistant the the president. I asked him what advice he had for me on my mission. He told me as cliche as it sounds just love the people.  He continued to say, that because people can feel when you really care about them and their well being, it is the most important part of being a missionary. After he told me this I decided to pray for the gift of charity and opportunities to serve. It was really cool to see all of the little opportunities I was able to find to serve people in simple ways. One experience I had this week that was really touching for me: one of our investigators had an accident at work in which a nail punctured his eye close to the center. It was really painful as you could imagine for him and the doctors said it would have to be removed! When we found out about this, me and my companion were on splits, and I was with a member. We decided to go visit this man and ask him if he wanted a priesthood blessing. As we went to his humble shack of a home, he accepted our invitation and I gave him a blessing in broken Tagalog. I felt the love that God had for this man and it was overwhelming for me! I felt an overwhelming feeling of joy and love for him. I looked into his eyes and his eye didn't make me even cringe. I told the man that if he had faith he could be healed and would be able to find work to provide for his family. I am so grateful for the priesthood and the opportunity I had to give this man a blessing. I have felt a great joy in serving others and forgetting about my problems and worries. Every night I ask myself as I evaluate the day to my Father in Heaven, "Was I help to someone in need? Did I help ease someones burden? Did I observe then serve? As I have been praying for those to be put in my path that need relief, I have felt a greater joy than I have my whole life. I know that Satan wants us to focus on our needs, problems, and worries. But as we focus on others, our burdens become lighter and we are able to refocus and have an eternal perspective on what is important. I love my Savior! I love all of you! I am forever grateful for the joy and peace that the gospel brings into my life! That is why I am on a mission and that is why I stay on a mission! One thing that can never be taken from us is our testimonies! When we lose our testimony its because we willfully give it away. I love this work! I am grateful for all of you! You have made a great difference to me in my life! Let's all see what we can do to change the world by our testimonies!
You have a great week!


Monday, October 20, 2014

WEEK 16 Learning to trust

Hey Everybody!

This week was awesome! I can't believe that it has already been four months! Wow, time is flying! It seems like just a while ago I was the MTC preparing to enter the field! I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity to serve here in the Angeles mission and am really learning that I am here in this mission for a reason! I have also learned this week to trust more in God and less in myself.
We are teaching a beautiful family who are really progressing! It makes me so excited for them. We are praying really hard for the father who is still uninterested, but we should be baptizing the rest of them this coming month. I am so grateful for the chance I have to witness the atonement changing the lives of these people, it is amazing to see how I am changing too! I am becoming more like the Savior as I serve with love.

Sometimes it is so easy for me to get really frustrated with the day, that we didn't teach enough appointments, we didn't meet our goals, investigators agency, not enough time in the day, you know the list could be very long. There were days this week that I felt like I was not doing enough and that I wasn't making much of a difference. Then I realized that I was focusing way to much on myself. Yes, I had the right desires of working hard and preaching the gospel, but I was determined to do it on my terms not God's. I humbled myself and decided that I would do the very best I could and then let God do the rest. That I would chose to put my life in heavens hands. I will work my guts out that day and if we hit opposition and don't meet our goals I am content because I know that God is in control.  That is, it will all work out the way it is supposed to, and that I can have a peace of mind knowing that He is in charge. Once I made this adjustment to my attitude we actually found more success! As I prayed fervently and with faith that he would guide us and trusted less in my abilities I was amazed at the difference of our teaching! It's not easy, but when we rely on him and less on the arm of the flesh, that is when real miracles happen.

I would like to share my testimony that this gospel is true, and that if we come unto Christ we may become perfected in him! I know that the gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and that the Book of Mormon is the source that we find answers in our lives! I know that our Savior lives and loves us infinitely! I love this work and have found great joy in it!

I love you all so much and am grateful for your support, emails, and prayers. If there is anything I can do for you, or pray for you about, send me an email- I am here for all of you. I love you and pray for you always!
Stay true!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 15 Representatives of Him

Hey Pamilia!

This week was a fantastic week! First of all I had my first baptism! Which was so awesome! I got to baptize and it was a really neat experience and was a beautiful service! And of course it was conference which is always a treat! I just loved all of the wonderful talks! I learned so much and received a witness that those men that speak to us are men of God.
At the stake center they have two rooms that play conference, one for English and the chapel for Tagalog As I listened to the holy ghost I was prompted for one of the sessions to listen to it in Tagalog. This was a weird thought to me because I wanted to get the most out of conference possible. But as I sat quietly talking to a recent convert in my ward as we saw on the screen our wonderful prophet Thomas S. Monson. I had a peace come over me.  The stillness I felt was a reaffirming witness to me that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet today for the whole world. As I listened to conference I was impressed at the testimony after testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ.
One thing I absolutely love about missionary work is when we are on the street talking to people, they look at my badge examining it closely looking at my name and then they look at the Saviors name. Sometimes when I introduce myself and point to my name tag they say Christ's name and I smile at them and say: yes we are representatives of Him. I am so humbled for that opportunity to bear his name and have been striving everyday to become like him and study his earthly ministry. It is not an easy but through the atonement it is possible! I love the scripture Ether 12:27 about weaknesses, but it only hit me this week the significance of the first line "If men come unto me." I never realized that the very act of coming unto him is when we see our weaknesses. But it is through him that we overcome them and become stronger.
I love my Savior! I have grown so much closer to him in the past few weeks. He invites us all to come unto him and follow in his footsteps. I know that as we do we will find a greater happiness and joy in our life as we embrace and accept his atonement.
I love you all so much and pray for you everyday! I am grateful for your prayers with the language and know that I am receiving help from angels. I invite you all to share the light of Christ you all have with those around you! Use the tools you have, such as the movie Meet the Mormons and invite your friends to partake of the joy you have felt. It will change not only their life, but yours as well!

Mahal ko kayo!


1st Baptism 

When it rains, it pours!

Elder Murdock with Natives in front of a Rice field

Monday, October 6, 2014


Hey family!

This week was good! I learned a lot and grew a lot from my challenges. We had some really cool and some what unusual experiences this week. First we taught a Joe! Here in the Philippines a Joe is a white guy. Many times I will be walking down the street and someone would yell "hey Joe!"Anyway, there was this guy here doing humanitarian work and he was from the UK. First of all this was a dream come true for me, at first! I got to speak English!!! I was so stoked!

 As we started the lesson on the Restoration the spirit was there, and it was amazing because I was able to answer his questions almost perfectly, This man had a lot of doubts and didn't even believe in God, I felt like I was teaching Korihor!:) It didn't matter how many inspired questions we
asked him or how many verses we read in the scriptures he was really hard hearted. It made me sad to think that he had forgotten who he was. The funny thing about it was that it was at first a little hard for me to teach in English, I kept saying things in Tagalog and he would just look at me with a blank look on his face. haha! I guess my Tagalog is better than I think it is! This experience really taught me why I am here in the Philippines. God needed me in a place where people are ready to receive the gospel and where people were humble and willing to learn of him. I learned that I was taking for granted the humble hearts of these people, The Filipino people are truly special children of God!

 Everyday I am learning to trust in him more, and to allow for him to make me a finer instrument. In Ether I am reading about how the Jaredites left all they knew and traveled in barges to the promised land. One thing I noticed is that that the barges had no windows! They didn't see where they were going but they trusted in God that he would lead them, even through hard times- it says that there were mountainous waves and the winds never stopped. But they never stopped praising their God day and night! It says in the scriptures that they were in the barges for 334 days! Wow, what faith they had! I am striving to have that faith in my Savior and let him guide me to my promised land!

The last thing I would like to share with you all is the power of a smile! Smiles are amazing, they can do amazing things and can lift the spirits! A smile speaks all languages and is a universal gesture of happiness and kindness. I am finding that when I smile genuinely at people on the street they usually smile back and it opens opportunities to share the gospel with them. I feel Christ's love when I smile at the wonderful people here.
I am grateful for the wonderful people here, they make it all worth it! I am excited for my first baptism this week! I feel the Saviors love everyday and know without a doubt that this work is real! I love you all so much! I am so grateful for your prayers! You are amazing examples to me! Don't forget that a great way of sharing your light is through a smile!
You all take care and remember that Christ is the only way for us to truly become happy!
mahal ko kayo!
Your pinoy Elder,


Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 13 - marvel moments

Hey Family and friends!

This week was overall a great week and went by so fast! It feels like yesterday I was emailing you all! We have been doing well here in Cabiao and love the little miracles that make it all worth it. Wednesday was our transfer meeting. Thank goodness me and my trainer will be staying here in Cabiao! I love this ward and quite honestly would be content if my mission call changed to Cabiao mission.:) The members here are so willing to help with the work and we are seeing more success when we tag team with the members. I am finding how important referrals are and really suggest to all of you to share the gospel with your friends because member referrals have a much higher chance of leading to baptism and activity in the church!

So we are teaching this little family named the Yakat family, they have three little girls that are so cute and always smiling. They live in a humble little shack a crossed the street from the chapel. When we first started teaching them we made the mistake of going on auto pilot and didn't teach them to their needs. It wasn't until we got to the Book of Mormon that we found out that Sister Yakat didn't know how to read! Later when we taught her about the word of wisdom she asked who Joseph Smith was. We quickly learned how slow her understanding was and adapted our teaching! This was really discouraging and we realized our mistake that we were just teaching the lesson and not the people. We fixed our error in our planning and teaching and challenged her and her daughter to enter the waters of baptism on Oct 25. I am learning to be humble with my weaknesses and willing to recognize and fix them.

 I know that God is in the detail of our lives and that he love us and will guide us if we let him and are humble enough to become what he wants us to become . I often wonder and find it so amazing that God trusts 18-21 year old young men and woman to do his work! It is amazing. Many times I feel inadequate for this work. What do I know, I am a young white kid from Utah who doesn't know Tagalog ! But then I remember that it really isn't about me and that I am armed with a great power, that is the Holy Ghost. I don't need to worry because if I do my best, God will make my weaknesses become my strengths. I know that when we are willing and humble that he will mold us like clay. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes the heat of the furnace seems unbearable to bear, but through the atonement of Jesus Christ we are able to all things that seem impossible. I am seeing these little miracles in my life as I apply the atonement to my life. I have moments I would like to call marvel moments, where I marvel at what comes out of my mouth, The thoughts and impressions I receive and little miracles that are frequent in my life when I am actively look for them. It is amazing to see these little things happen. It strengthens my testimony that God is a loving parent who wants to give us those blessing and all he requires is for us to ask and knock and it shall be open unto us! I love my work here and want all of you to know that you are in my prayers. I know that as we pray to see those marvel moments and those blessing that God already gives to us, we will begin to recognize how much the hand of the lord is in our lives. 

I love you all so much and am so grateful for all of you! You are stronger than you think and have impacted me in ways you don't know. Missionary work is not just done by full time missionaries but is most effective when we all do our part to hasten the work of salvation! So let us do our part and prepare the way for the second coming of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! I know that the work will go forward, so lets be on board when the boat leaves so to speak!

You rock! I pray for you,

Mahal ko kayo!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 12- Come what may and love it!

Hey Family and Friends!

This week was great! We saw a lot of success this week as we worked hard and applied what we learned in Preach my Gospel and the Book of Mormon and I can testify to you that those two books are so powerful! Especially the Book of Mormon. I have really taken my study of the Book of Mormon to a new level and it has really helped me become a better missionary.

The language is coming easier for me, I still struggle sometimes but it is amazing to see the progress I have had. I give all credit to the help of heaven because I don't know how else I could be learning this crazy language! I gave my first talk in church yesterday. It was really scary and I was given a really hard topic of protecting ourselves from pornography. I got this assignment from the bishop two days before sacrament meeting and I was really stressed. I just prepared the best I could and prayed very hard that the congregation would be able to understand me. I spoke in Taglish and it went well. I felt the spirit strongly and really felt that I had strength beyond mine own. I am glad I am learning Tagalog I wouldn't want it any other way, I feel born to speak this language! :)

This week I learned a lot about patience and not sweating the small stuff. Last Monday I was at a zone activity and we were playing dodge ball and I ran into another elder and "pulled a a Madie" and sprained my wrist. I was more embarrassed than anything but it hurt really bad and I could barely move it, it eventually began to swell and so we got some ice for it and ibuprofen and I put an essential oil on it and it was amazing after a few days my wrist healed. it still hurts sometimes but it really healing.

 I am so grateful for the blessing that I receive in being a missionary. This experience taught me to just laugh and just enjoy the journey and realize that every moment in life isn't going to be pleasant. I read a really great quote from Elder Wirthlin that says: "Come what may and love it!" I am really trying to do just that to love the hard things and trust that things will work out the way that they are supposed to. Sometimes missionary work has is unexpected moments, like when drunk people confront you and dogs chase you or like when we have to walk through flooded streets to our knees to get to an appointment or  the frustrating moments when all of our appointments seem to fall through. Even when we don't know why sometimes these things happen  I am a firm believe that God is in charge and he knows better than we do,

I love those moments those little missionary moments when it goes right, when the spirit confirms that this work is real, it is not a church built upon fictitious imagination but is true and is real! I love it when we teach families and get a glimpse of how this gospel could bless their lives. It is a wonderful feeling.

I know that life isn't always easy and sometimes it seems too hard to bare. But I know that God is mindful of us and will strengthen us and give us the challenges that we need in this life to reach our full potential. I am not afraid of the future, I am not afraid of what is to come because I know that my savior is walking beside me every step of the way. I know that each of us can receive the strength we need to fully trust in the will of God and so that we can say come what may and love it!
Alam ko po ang simbahan natin ay totoo!

I love you all and am so grateful for all of all the prayers and emails! 

Mahal na mahal po ko kayo!

ingat lahat!


Monday, September 15, 2014

WEEK 11- new found strength and faith


This week was great! It is so weird but it all is starting to blur together and it is hard for me remember what is this week and what was the week before. I can't believe that next week is the last week of the transfer and I have already been here 5 weeks! I love it here!! Especially the ward! I am definitely feeling more and more a part of the culture here! The members love feeding us! :)

This week started really slow, and really hard. We were struggling to meet our goals and had a really hard time staying focused and work our very hardest. Honestly we got a little lazy and was going through the motions. We haven't had any baptisms this month and so it has been a bit discouraging and I felt like I was pulling more than my weight sometimes. I have prayed so hard for my companion that he would know the best way to train me and that he would have that desire to work his hardest. One day it was amazing he just snapped out of it! He worked so hard ! We applied preach my gospel and planned more than ever before. He talked to everyone we met and taught the lessons with a new found power, it was hard for me to keep up with him!  We got three new baptismal commitments that day! And three more the next! I marveled at the change that we had! I know that as we are dedicated and do our best God will lead us to those that are ready to receive the gospel.

I would love to share an experience we had that strengthened my testimony:
Lately it has been raining a lot, when I say a lot I mean a lot! Like flooding the streets, and so sometimes it is really hard to get to appointments. On Friday night all of our appointments fell through and it was really discouraging. It was about 8:30 and it was raining so hard. Everyone we went to visit was either asleep or not home. We were really tempted to just go home because we were wet, cold, tired, and hungry. We decided to just visit one more Recent convert. When we got there the father offered us coffee (which always makes me chuckle inside) and we found out that the young man we came to visit wasn't a Recent convert! The records were wrong an he never got baptized! So we taught lesson one to him and his sister and challenged them both to be baptized. They accepted our invitation! If we would have just went home we would have never had that opportunity! I am so grateful that we stuck it through and endured to the end. It reminds me of my cross country days when I would run hard work outs. Sometimes I wanted to give up close to the end, but if I gave up close to the end then I never would cross that finish line and I never would get any better.

I know that the grace of Jesus Christ and his atonement is real and that if we pray for his help he will help us, we just have to ask and be humble enough to let him guide us. I had an exchange this week with our zone leader and I was expected to lead the area. I was really nervous and didn't think I could do it, but I had faith and trusted that I would be able to navigate through these crazy burungays and streets. I was able to lead the area and was able to navigate! It was amazing.  I know that it is through Jesus Christ that our weaknesses become strengths, he fills in the holes of our imperfections!

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your emails!  I pray for you!
Until next week!
mahal kayo,


Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 10 "Pinoy ako!"

Hey everybody!!

This week was an adventure! I learned a lot and have been trying to practice patience this week with myself in learning Tagalog! I am progressing I can feel it. Its really cool when someone asks me a question in Tagalog and I just naturally respond. It is really cool! I love the people here, they are so nice and always feed us! I really do like the food here! The weather here is crazy it is always so hot! Sometimes it just out of nowhere it starts raining. On Wednesday  there was a rainstorm and we were out tracking, we had to go seek shelter and we went in to Patriarch Dizons house. They just so happened to be painting their front room and so we decided to help them! It was fun, we were in our shirts and ties and so it was a challenge not get paint on them, but it was really fun and no I didn't get any paint on me! :) Afterwards, they fed us and we ate kamayan style, (with our hands!) it was actually not as uncomfortable this time. I have come up with a motto for me when ever I feel discouraged and like I can't do something or learning the language, that is "Pinoy ako!" or I am Filipino! This helps me and gives me the courage to embrace and love their culture. I know that we become what we think we are, so its so important that we are positive with ourselves. Sometimes I feel like my head is barely above the water and I am barely breathing, but I know that God is with me and that through the power of the atonement I can do all things!
 I also learned the power of specific prayer this week! We have been praying to find a family this week, one with a father and a mother and children that are ready for the gospel. And on Tuesday we found a family! When we were walking home, I was really focused on getting home to enjoy a nice slice of bread with Nutella, when a lady from her door way smoking a cigarette yelled "hey joe! (referring to me being an American, a very common thing I hear). I said Magandang Gabi! back to her and continued walking. My comp stopped and said to me that we should go back and talk to her. So we did and she introduced us to her family! They had 5 kids over the age of 8! This was after a really hard day and so it was a tender mercy! We learned that it is so important to listen to the Holy Ghost or else we could have missed that opportunity. I know that God answers prayers and that the more specific we pray the more specific the answer we get! God loves us and is so aware of us! He wants to bless us but respects our agency enough that we have to ask! You all have a great week and remember your Pinoy Elder
Mahal ko lahat kayo!


Here is a picture of me with a bunch of kids on the street.
This is mount Ariya, the people here sometimes call me Murdock Ariya because the Tagalog word for mountain is Bundok which I guess sounds like Murdock.

Monday, September 1, 2014

WEEK 9 Weird food, Exchanges and the Rice Bucket Challenge


This week has been a challenge and been full of meeting more of the members and investigators here in Cabiao. On Thurday, I went on an exchange with Elder Slavania a really cool Filipino elder who has a solid testimony. We went to his area that only has about 20 members. They don't even have a branch yet, a very new area! We taught a less active who got baptized 30 plus years ago, all about the word of wisdom. It was really cool to see the spirit in the room as I changed them to stop selling cigarettes in their Tindahan. I am so grateful for that power that comes with the spirit.
At the end of the day we ate Balot! hahaha, yes I tried balot this week. MMMMM! It actually is pretty good. Balot is a old duck egg with a fetus inside, here are some pictures.
Me and my companion have been working really hard to find new investigators to teach and have been focusing on doing open your mouth. (OYM) These are simple street contacts in which we share the gospel to strangers around us. I am learning that if we are prepared and willing, those opportunities will come to us. The most challenging thing for me is the language. It is so hard for me to adapt to the different culture and what is acceptable here. People litter constantly and garbage is everywhere, it is really sad and boy do these people need to see Dr. Murdock! :)
I know that we all can OYM. All we have to do is be willing and have faith that God will bless us and gives us the words to say in the moment we open our mouths. We must be willing to be his instrument!
Our ward has been working on hard at emergency preparedness and have come up with a Rice bucket challenge. (named after the ALC Ice bucket challenge) Each day members are encouraged to put one cup of rice per member of the family into a bucket as food storage in case of a typhoon. I think it is so cool that the efforts of the church are the same wherever you go!
Everyday I wake up and remind myself that each day is a gift from God. And that one of these days, I am going to wake up and be in Utah and look back on my experiences. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. The most rewarding thing about missionary work is seeing people change. I am so excited to see this change in people in the months to come! I challenge you all to OYM this week and know that you will be blessed in your efforts and courage!
You have a great week and remember your favorite missionary in Ang Philippines!


Monday, August 25, 2014

WEEK 8- What planet am I on?

HEY Everybody!

This week was my first whole week in Cabiao! And wow how amazing it has been! I have grown a lot and have taken on a lot of new responsibilities that I have never had before. Everything is different here! Modes of travel, culture, language, the food, (sometimes they eat with just their hands, yep it was weird! :) the bathroom (ah ya they don't use toilet paper here... a bucket and dipper), ya you get the picture! hahaha. You guys talked about a Ice bucket challenge? We are lucky enough to have a shower but many apartments have just a bucket and ladle! hahaha It has been a culture shock, but it has been amazing.
 Last week I shared with you about finding joy in the journey, I have had to remind myself that a lot when I get frustrated with these differences and want to be perfect at the language already. The people are so loveable and are very hospitable. Its very common for investigators and less actives to provide a little snack and cola for us as we teach them in their humble tin dirt floor shacks. They are so excited to hear me speak Tagalog, even when it is bad. Sometimes when I am trying to teach them and help them feel the spirit and I finish teaching and they look at me and then at my companion and ask him what was it that I was trying to say, this is pretty frustrating. I am trying so hard to learn the language and have learned to find time to study. I wake up early so that I have more time studying the language, I know that God will recognize my hard work and efforts and will give me that extra help.
 I also am trying to get myself familiar with the area which is really hard! there are no street signs here and neighborhoods are organized in Burungays. It is taking getting used to. The traffic here is crazy, basically no laws. I live in the Maligaya Burungay (which means happiness :))
My companion is so awesome! he is really patient with me and has helped me adjust to mission life.
On Thursday we visited a less active family who have had a hard time going to church. I shared a message about our savior and how we need to be like him, I sang If the Savior stood beside me to them. It was amazing how the spirit was brought into the room. I learned how effective it is to share my testimony through my gift of music. That family came to church this week! I am not sure if me singing to them helped but I know that they felt the spirit.
I am learning to trust in Jesus Christ more and in my own wisdom less. I know that it is only through him and his way we will find peace. I have seen little miracles in my life as I have allowed my will to be swallowed up in his. Missionary work is amazing. Sometimes I don't know what I am going to share with a recent convert or less active until it comes out of my mouth. I then think were did that come from? And then I thank God for the wonderful companionship of the Holy Ghost that fills in my gaps and my weakness. I love being a missionary. This time is not a two year get away! It is hard and it is work! Sometimes I want to give up, but then I remember why I came out here to this crazy place and remember how great the harvest and how great the reward of my labors will be in bring others to Christ. The motto of Angeles mission is: In the Angeles Mission we baptize and rescue! I am grateful for the opportunity to do that!

I love you all so much! I am grateful for your prayers and all of your support! I am striving to return with honor!

Mahal ko kayo,

Me on a trike. too bad I couldn't really drive it, hahaha!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

 Loved receiving a letter from the Philippines Angeles Mission today!  Enclosed was a map of the area he is serving in, a picture with the Mission President and his Wife and a picture of Elder Tyler Murdock and his Trainer!  Always fun to get any news from the Philippines:)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week 7-First week in Cabiao!

Hey Everybody!

Wow where to start... This week was definitely both the most challenging and exciting week of my mission! It was so great. First of all I would like to thank you all for your emails. I am overwhelmed with joy to here how well you are doing and am so grateful for all the scriptures and quotes. They have strengthened me, you strengthen me. :) I love you all so much!
So on Wednesday we left the MTC early in the morning and traveled about 3 hours to Tarlac where the mission home is located. We did some training, met the Mission Pres and his wife and ate at the home. Then we went to the APs apartment to sleep. This is when I got a first glimpse missionary living conditions here... Well, lets just say it was kind of a surprise. :) Its not that bad its just really humble and pretty simple. The next day we met our new companions and were assigned to our areas. Me and my trainer were assigned to Cabiao, about three hours east of Tarlac. Cabiao is a small city that has some agricultural ties. It is pretty here, and the members are so amazing!! The first night we went to a recent convert home, The Navaro family. They are my favorite family so far. My companion asked me to give a spiritual thought and so I did my best, but they new a little English so it wasn't too bad. Sister Navaro fed us and it was pretty good. Sunday the bishop asked me to bear my testimony. It was so scary, but I trusted in the promise God has given us, that he will give us in the very moment what we should say. I bore my testimony- that I wouldn't be here today in the Philippines if I didn't know that the church was true. It was really powerful and you could feel the spirit. The Members are so genuine and humble. I early complained about my apartment, but after seeing their houses and their living conditions,  I was humbled and prayed for forgiveness for my ungratefulness.
Sometimes when I get a little homesick or think of the uncomfortable parts of mission life, I remember my calling and remember how great a reason for me to rejoice that I have his opportunity to be the lord's servant. When I am on a trike (motorcycle taxi)  going to my next appointment with the wind in my face. I think how cool is it that I get to ride one of these each day! What other American gets to do that? I have learned that Happiness is a choice. And that we can choice to be happy or we can choose to be miserable. President Hinkley said: "You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable it is your choice!" I know that is so true! I am choosing to find Joy in the Journey! To find joy in my struggle with the language and find joy in my growth. I know that when we do that we are trusting in God that he will take care of us and give us strength.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for your prayers! I love the gospel and know that this purpose of spreading the gospel is worth the sacrifice!

God be with you!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Kumusta ka lahat?

Kumusta ka lahat?

This week was really great!  First of all I would like to thank you for the package!  It was really awesome! I loved getting all of the notes from the family reunion!  It definitely made me smile!  (note from Tyler's Mom; we actually can't send packages to the MTC there, we had one of Tyler's friends, Elder Ty Clayson who left last week for the Philippines MTC take him some things he had left, Thanks Elder Clayson)  I have been working really hard and have been trying to learn the language as best as I can.  It is really hard!  I know that I can do it, because the Lord provides away for us to do hard things.  I love the Filipino people!!  They are so easy to love.  This week we met the Filipino missionaries that will be going out to the field with us, and they are so awesome. I can't believe that I will be leaving the MTC on Wednesday.  It seems like yesterday I got here!  I have grown so much and feel really happy to know that I am doing what God wants me to do. We went proselyting  Wednesday for the second time.  Last time I was petrified with fear and didn't say much.  In my personal study I read a verse that said, "perfect love casteth out all fear."  It hit me that if I love the people it doesn't matter how much of the language I can speak, but they will know and feel the pure love of Christ if I truly love them.  Our smiles and our kindness is a big way we can impact our brothers and sisters around us.  I love it here!  Being on a mission has blessed my life so much already!  I know that sometimes it is hard to see the big picture, but if we trust in God it will all be right.  God is aware of us!  This week I learned that sometimes we have to take a leap of faith before we can see the blessing.

The Filipinos love basketball, and again any where I go they ask me to play with them.  hahaha! I am starting to really love rice for every meal and the fresh fruit here is amazing! The kids are so adorable, I think they are even cuter than the kids in Guatemala! :) I wish you all could be here and experience the joy that I am having serving the lord in the Philippines.  I was made for this place! The people love hearing Americans speak Tagalog and will immediately listen when I try, even when I mess up they still like it! God loves his children here and I am able to glimpse that love that he has for them, it is wonderful.

I love you all so much and am grateful for your emails and notes! Please pray that I will have the gift of tongues, I really need it.  I need it not for myself to be impressive or to be convincing in my teaching, but for the people here that they may understand the truthfulness of the Gospel. Thank you for your prayers, as you are in mine as well! :)  I am glad that I have great family and friends like you and am SO excited to go into the field!  I leave on Aug 13th.  Oh and my next  p-day will be this Monday and will be on Mondays from now on. Remember how amazing each of you are!

Mahal ko lahat!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Week 5

Hey everybody!

This week was so great!  I went proselyting for the first time on Wednesday.  I went with an Elder Hart who started his mission around the same time as Brendon.  He was really awesome and patient with me and my Tagalog. We were going to have an appointment but it fell through so we went tracking in a really poor neighborhood.  I mean like the slums.  It was really humbling to see their living conditions, I have never seen such bad poverty.  The kids were so funny and always wanted high fives.  Everywhere I went, everyone stared and asked me how tall I was. Hahaha surprise, surprise!  Some even asked me to play basketball.  I guess basketball is big here.  It was so cool, and I am really excited to start proselyting everyday. We are so blessed.  In a devotional we were told a story about President Eyring coming here to set apart a Filipino mission president, and he said to him, "You're people will never have money, Heavenly Father loves his children here in the Philippines to much."  It is so true. The Philippines have more baptisms than any other Asian country, because of the humility of the people.  It reminds me of the story in Alma 32 about the poor Zoramites and how they were compelled to be humble. If we do our best to be humble out of our own will and not just our circumstance, then God will bless us greatly!  I know that, and have seen blessings as I have showed God that I am willing to change.
I have learned so much about being patient with myself and trusting in God, and I am so grateful for all of my family and friends who have given me so much support!
I love you guys!

Elder Murdock

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kumusta lahat tayo?

Kumusta lahat tayo?

This week was great!  I learned a lot and am loving it here!  I have been reading the Alkat ni Mormon araw- araw (everyday) in Tagalag and it has really helped me in my studies. The language his hard, but God is greater than any challenge!  As I have been reading I have been able to understand the Book of Mormon better.  One thing I have learned from it is to not complain about things because if you don't complain and just do it, God will bless you even more for being obedient.  I want to be a Nephi missionary and not a Laman and Lemuel Missionary!
The biggest challenge I have with the language is that it restrains me and makes it harder for me to teach, this has given me the opportunity to trust more in God and less in myself.  I have felt the support from all of you and I am so grateful for family and friends that support me so much!  I love the rice for every meal, the delicious mangoes, Tagalog and most of all the people!
Yesterday I was assigned to go to the hospital with a sick missionary with asthma. He is so awesome! His name is Elder Gavinio and his dad is a Jeepney driver. I spent the night at the hospital with him and was able to help me with my Tagalog.  This afternoon he was released from the hospital, which was really nice actually just like the states.  After, we went to McDonald's which was really good!  The portions are so small here, no wonder the Filipinos are so small. hahaha!  Driving back I saw the slums and it was really sad, the worst poverty I have ever seen.  Lots of garbage everywhere.  The slums really got hammered from the typhoon.  Our investigators have been doing really well, Sheena is really interested and brought her kids to "church".  I am so... ready to get out there and serve!!  I am so excited.  I gave a Book of Mormon to the nurse at the hospital.  I hope that he reads it, you never know! :)
I am grateful I have had this experience and wouldn't want to be anywhere else!  I love my mission already and have grown so much already!  God is in the detail of our lives if we let him be!  God be with you, I am praying for you and love you.

Elder Murdock

Friday, July 18, 2014

Week 3

Hey Everybody!

This week has been so awesome! I loved it here at the MTC and have grown so much! A few days ago I experienced my first TYPHOON! Ya it was pretty exciting! The power was out all day on Wednesday and it was SO hot! We spent three hours cleaning up the wreckage of fallen trees and palm leaves. It is amazing how much damage can happen in a few hours. It was a category 3 out of 4, but no worries we are all safe! :) I have two new investigators Jamar and Sheena.  It is so hard to teach them when I barely know any of the language. It has taught me a lot about trusting in the lord and relying on the spirit to be the real teacher.
I am so grateful for all of your support and love hearing from you. It is fun being here but it is so hard to not be able to go outside in the real world. The food is pretty good. A lot of the same stuff, I look forward to the ice cream we get twice a week. The new batch of missionaries came in today, so now we are the middle batch! I am 1/3 of the way done with the MTC! Yes! then I will be out in the field! :) I was able to go to the temple today! It was so wonderful I am so grateful that it is the same everywhere you go! :) I am glad you had fun in Flaming Gorge! It sounded like a blast! :) I have been learning so much and have grown a lot already in this short time. One lesson I have learned is that attitude is everything! It is important to keep a good attitude and have faith that it will all work out! Being here has not always been easy but I know that the sacrifice is always worth it! God is mindful of all of us and gives us adversity that we will ask for his strength. I love you so much! I am grateful for your prayers. I pray for you. I love being a missionary! :)

Elder Murdock

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Kumusta Pamiliya ko?

How are things? I have loved being here in the Philippines and have grown so much in the past week. I would like to share just a few experience that have strengthened my testimony. First off, Tagalog is SO hard! They have just thrown it on to us and it has been like drinking out of a fire hose, hahaha. I have been studying more than ever before. The second day of the MTC we had our first investigator Manuel. It was soo scary. He only knew a little bit of English so it was hard to get our message across. We taught him every day until yesterday when he gave us response to our teaching and became our new guro (teacher).  He said that we focused to much on the language and not enough on the investigator.  I have learned that it is SO important to teach people not lessons! I will work on how I teach because I am a messenger of Jesus Christ himself! The language has been my biggest challenge but I know that for what ever reason I have been hand picked by the Lord to serve in the Philippines. One time when I was pondering why I was called here I saw a glimpse of a Filipino family in my mind. I realized that this is one of the reasons I have been called here. This makes the sacrifice of leaving my family worth it. I love the people already! Some of the Filipinos call me Elder Tall, hahahaha. It has been funny to see their reaction to my height. A lot of the missionaries that are are foreigners here are from US or Tonga or other Polynesian islands. The food is pretty good! We have had rice for every meal including breakfast, I am not sick of it yet! :) We had hamburgers and they were not that great, hahaha! The last thing I would like to share with you is a lesson I have been learning. That is obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles! I know that is true! One rule that has been really hard for me is that we are not allowed to eat any snacks outside of meal time in the cafeteria. Man and I thought that no eating outside the kitchen was hard! hahaha. I have been striving to be exactly obedient and not make any excuses.  For example our mission president asked us shave everyday and so I do even though I probably could go without. I love the spirit here. Thank you so much for your prayers and fasting thank you for your love, I can feel it! I know that I am doing the right thing being here.

Love you always,

Elder Murdock

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4, 2014

Hey Family!

Thank you so much for your mail! I feel way happy that you all have thought so much about me and I really really appreciate your prayers! I am loving it here. Today we arrived at the MDC and got my name tag!! yay! :) My first companion in Elder Syphus from St. George! he is really cool. The people here are so awesome! I already love the Filipinos! It has been so fun to meet them and see their happy faces. I have heard probably fifty times today that I am tall. haha I wonder why hahaha! My p-day is on Friday just so y'all know. I am excited to learn tagalog and know that it is all worth it!
On the plane I read a scripture I would like to share with you: "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." John 14 I have felt close you as I have been 4,000 miles away.

Love you always,

Elder Murdock

1st letter- July 3, 2014

Hey family!

I wanted to tell you all that I arrived safely and that although the flight was way long! It wasn't as bad as I thought! The Missionaries that were with me were really cool! I sat by Elder Vantasl and he was really fun to talk to. We went to KFC to day and it was sooo different and of course served with rice :). The people here seem nice. I am so excited for my work to begin. It is raining so hard right now, Like more than I have ever seen! Total culture shock. I want you all to know that I am happy and loving what I am doing already! I feel your love! I will email you tomorrow and tell you more, just wanted to tell you that I am safe and happy! :)

Elder Murdock

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Setting apart as an Elder and Goodbyes

 After being set apart as a Full Time Missionary!
What a blessing to have Dad, both Grandpa's, and President Davis be in the circle!

 Others who were there to support!  
Mom, , Madie, Jacob,Kaden, Grandma Forbush and Grandma Murdock.
 Saying Goodbyes!  So hard!  Sacrifice brings forth blessings!