pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 37

Hey Family and Friends!

It is mango season!! Which makes me really happy!! I love mangoes. I think I am kinda addicted. They are so delicious and sweet here and are practically everywhere. Almost everyone has a mango tree in their front yard and mango trees literally line the streets. Because there are so many mangoes we get them free all the time and can just pick them off the trees as we are proselyting. I sure hope that their are mangoes in the Celestial kingdom! 
Well enough about mangoes, as delicious and scrumptious as they are, they are pretty trivial. I am excited to share with all of you what really matters, the rescue of God's children and our work here in Paco Roman.
We are teaching this amazing "Tatay" Paulino who is a wonderful example of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. When he prays you can tell that he is really talking to our Father in Heaven. He has the most pure desires to follow Jesus Christ. He also though has a really rough past of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol and medication. His family has left him and he lives by himself with little and sometimes no money for food. The missionaries before I came had been teaching him for 3 months and he was really open to accepting the gospel and wanted with all his heart to be baptized. He finished the Book of Mormon and now is half way through it a second time, but he still struggled with cigarettes and coffee. Elder Taimani and I had been praying for answers on what we could do to help him. We had the impression to give Tatay Palino a priesthood blessing. The experience I had as I laid my hands on this man's head were hard to explain, I felt the words flow easily from my lips as I gave this old man a blessing of strength and guidance. As I said the words he needed to hear from a loving Father in Heaven, he wept like a child. It was a wonderful experience. 
We have been able to visit this Tatay everyday and ask him how he is doing and he says that he doesn't want to smoke or drink coffee anymore. The desire that he had is gone and he told us he feels sorrow for those many years he had wasted his life with drugs and alcohol. Every time we go to his house he relates back to Tuesday when we gave him a blessing, and says in broken English " I felt the priesthood"  "I felt the spirit" he says "right here"  pointing to his head. It just was a wonderful experience of reassurance of our faith and his faith.
I know that miracles do happen and that the priesthood power is a real power, miracles do not produce faith, but faith is what produces miracles. I know that great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ always produces miracles in our lives. I am humbled to know that I was able to be an instrument of the Lord in giving that brother the blessing that he needed. I know that our purpose as missionaries is not to be the light to bring others into The Church but to bring others to the Light, Jesus Christ. We are only the conduits of that light. That is the one thing that I desperately want to be is His instrument!
I love you all so much. I want to give a shout out to my Aunt Heather as she is fighting cancer right now! I know that when we have great faith good will always follow. As our living prophet says: Our future is only as bright as our faith!
You all have a wonderful conference and Easter weekend! 

Mahal kita


Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 36

Elder Murdock didn't send a main letter this time, so I am posting a portion of the letter he sent to me.  Sounds like he is doing great! --Proud Missionary Mom

So first off this week was really great, I love my companion! He is really awesome and obedient and caring which is really a nice refreshing new change. He is really great and I am able to help him with is Tagalog. 
It also has been really great to see my Tagalog accelerate and improve according to my diligence. I have really seen the gift of tongues. Anyway we set some goals this week for the month of April and we both agreed on  7 baptisms and confirmations. I really want to accomplish this goal and lately we are having a few set backs. We really need miracles to happen for us to reach this goal. We are doing everything we can and are trying to trust that if it is the Lord's will he will provide the assistance necessary. Any who if you would like to pray for us that we will be able to reach our goal that would be awesome.

One thing I am doing this week is trying to develop the attribute of hope. It is a very significant attribute as it is considered separate from faith and one of the 3 greatest. One thing I struggle with is not worrying about things that i can't control but doing all I can and leaving the rest up to God. For me this is SO hard. I want so desperately to reach our goal and baptize and rescue everyone here in our area, I want things to happen the way that I think they should. I am trying to swallow my will to the will of the Father (Mosiah 17:5) It is hard and takes swallowing some pride but It definitely is much healthier than spending wasted energy of things I can't control. Anyway ya, I learned how important hope is this week. I read something that had the analogy of a bird that lands on a slim branch on the top of a tree, the branch bends but the bird sings because it knows that it has wings. Each of us have wings, Our Savior won't let us fall. This analogy really affected me this week, I pondered it pretty much all week.

 I kind of missed you guys this week! Not homesick just wishing I could spend some time with my family. Can you believe how fast my mission is going? It has been 8 months! So fast. Too fast

Love you,


Monday, March 16, 2015

WEEK 35: Week of Change

Hey family and Friends!

This week was a great week and a week of change! I changed companions, changed areas and changed in responsibility too. I am now the senior companion, which is a bit weird but fun.
My new companion is Elder Taimani and he is from Tonga! Yep, my first foreigner companion. He just finished his training so I am his follow up trainer. He is kind of struggling with Tagalog so it puts some pressure on me to learn the language better and to improve my teaching skills as well, nothing more than I can handle as I rely on the Lord and do my very best in all diligence.
  He is really great and so nice I am excited to work with him and teach him all that I know and I know that I will learn from him as well. I also transferred and now am in a new area called "Paco Roman" I can't believe that it has been 8 months now! Crazy so fast!!! My new area is really bukid or country and it is really cool as you can see rice fields in every direction for miles and miles. Really beautiful. 
Another change is that Paco Roman is not a ward yet, but a branch and the building we meet in is really small and hard to recognize as a church.
It is really fun to be in a branch and the members are as always so nice and so welcoming. In my testimony that I shared with them on Sunday, someone asked what my height was which was really funny! I wish I had a dollar for each time I have heard that here on my mission. Almost always more than once a day! :)
One thing that is interesting for me is that many of the members and investigators look so familiar! It is so weird but cool. Some of these people I swear I have met before but I do not know how! Even the branch president said that he has seen me before and one of my investigators too! I can't really explain why, but I guess it is a sign that I am supposed to be here!
The work is a lot faster here and the members are so happy to give referrals it has been so refreshing and humbling. We had more investigators at church yesterday than almost the whole time I was in PadaPada- my last area. We should have a lot of baptisms in April and hopefully one next week too. The hard times really make us appreciate God's blessings and I am trying really hard not to forget to thank the Lord for his help in all things.
One thing that I picked up in my last area is a new language, ilocano it is a different dialect that is common in my last area, It is fun to speak, but I only know a few simple phrases. It is fun to see the reaction that people have here when I speak a little ilocano to them. They are surprised and love it!
I know that God gives us the strength to truly change. He can change our desires, our beliefs our grief and pains into peace and rest. It is through him and His Son's atonement that we have the power to change. Just like Christ changed the water in to wine at the wedding feast he can change us from something good into something even better. He will bring the very best out of us.  We must do is to put our abiding trust in him and do the very best we can to follow him and endure to the end to truly activate the power of the atonement in our lives. Through the Savior we have the Power to put of the natural man and become a saint.
There is no other true source of change. I have enjoyed reading all of your testimonies of the Savior and the strength that they have given me. I love you all so much and LOVE what I am doing!!!! :) Lets just say I am one happy missionary!
You have a great week, Mahal kita
picture with my companion

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 34

Hello Everybody,
Thank you for all of your support and amazing emails of encouragement!
I love your awesome insights of things you have learned this week and appreciate the strength that you give me!
This week I was able to attend a baptism of a ward in a different area and it was a really amazing baptism. It was really cool because the baptism was two families that were related that got baptized with a total of 7 people. I was privileged to baptize one of them and it was really amazing to witness and be a part of this baptism. We had some of our investigators come and it was really amazing to see their desires to be baptized increase!
I love this work! I know it is true! One thing that I have noticed in my life and in my mission is that I am happiest most when I am obedient, grateful and actively seeing what God has done for me everyday,  and most of all when I focus not on my needs, wants and problems but on the needs of others. 
My invitation to all of  you is to go and be Christ's hands and feet and go make someone's day. I know that as you do that not only will you make their day, but your life will be enriched and you will feel the Savior's love magnified in your life. No good deed is forgotten by our Father in Heaven!
Mahal Kita,-- 
Pictures of the baptism. What a beautiful family! I am so happy for them! I baptized this 12 year old boy that reminds me of my awesome brother Kaden :) 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 33-

Dear Family and Friends!

I am excited to write all of you today as it is always a great time that I have to reflect on the great things that have happened this week. I have been able to witness conversion this week in my area, in myself and all the wonderful amazing investigators and returning members here that I have the privilege of working with.
As for the rats, thankfully I haven't seen anymore of them:)
Its been a while since I have shared some food adventures so If you dare to look there are pictures below, but it might give you some nightmares for weeks so beware, haha.

Man I love my mission. Everyone that can I would strongly advise you to serve, there is nothing that is more rewarding that I have yet experienced! Seeing conversion take place has filled my soul with great joy.
More and more that I have had the opportunity to see people change, myself included. I have realized that real conversion is a on going process. Rarely is it a dramatic event or a once in a life time experience but is something that occurs everyday. Real conversion to the Gospel of Christ takes time and is something that we decide everyday with the little choices we make. It is something we experience line upon line and precept upon precept! 
Sometimes for me I get really impatient and say to myself, " Man I wish I could just be perfect already and then I wouldn't make all these dumb mistakes!" But lately I have realized that those "dumb mistakes" is how we grow and become better everyday and ultimately like our Heavenly Father. 
Real Change is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, there is no other way that we can become transformed in the glorious exalted being that we are destined to become. The enabling power of the Atonement is what can transform us from being bad, to good to better! I know that this power is real, that it is accessible to us and that we as his children will be strengthened in our trials as we ask for him to strengthen us, not take to away our trials but give us the strength to become something through them.
I love you all so much and pray for you. Please let me know what I can pray for specifically! 
Mahal kita,