pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

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