pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

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,