pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 65

Hello Family friends! 

I would first like to give a shout out to all those that have sent me hand written letters! It was really fun to get them from Uncle Nate and Sarah's family on my mom's side and Uncle Monte and Megan on my Dad's side! Thank you for all your great support and of course my awesome family and the new clothes they sent me. I am going to look like a greenie with my new clothes! Funny enough, because I am still getting taller my parents had to send me new pants! Hahaha. 
Every where I go I still get comments about how tall I am, as most Filipinos are height challenged. It is really funny!  If only I had a peso for every time someone referenced how tall I was, hahaha.

Things went really well this week with Elder Aldridge recovering from his Dengue. Our members are so awesome and working so hard with us. The thing that means the most of all, our investigators are doing so well and making wonderful progress towards conversion!

Things are great! It is so fun to teach these people how to come unto Christ and experience true joy and then watch them actually apply what they are learning in their life.

For example, when Bro Peter told us that they were not going to be able to go to church because the don't have any pamasahe or money for transportation, I then read to him from the Book of Mormon to help him understand the importance of God's commandments. We read Moroni 7:33.

The next morning we were in church, they had not come into the chapel yet and we were a little worried that they wouldn't be able to make it. But as we were singing the opening hymn, "There is sun shine in my soul today" I looked over at the window and saw Bro and Sister Martin and I nearly did a dance! I am so proud that they made the sacrifice to come to church! It filled me with joy!

Seeing people make sacrifices to live the gospel is one of the most fulfilling thing about being a missionary. I have seen many members as well make many sacrifices.

Here in the Philippines most members have to travel far distance to go to general conference and it is very expensive. I know that I took advantage of it at home when I could just turn on the TV and lounge around the house.
Maybe we can skip a soccer game or two or make time in our busy schedule to listen to our living prophets and apostles.

I know that the Lord asks sacrifices from us, but the blessing is always greater than the sacrifice. I have felt that in my mission! I thank the Lord every day that I have the blessing and privilege to be here! At first I thought it was a sacrifice but now I see it is a blessing!

I love you all so much!
Mahal kita!

Elder Murdock

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 64

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been different than any week my whole mission, a day or two we had other missionaries at our house because of reports of a tsunami heading toward the other elders area and half of the week was spent at home because my companion Elder Aldridge has dengue fever, it was a struggle to get him even to sacrament meeting. It has been a week of little work and has really made me realize how much I love what I am doing! I love being out with the people and love teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I just love being a missionary and serving the Lord and serving others. The past few days have made me realize that not too far in the future my calling is going to change and I will be going home! That is something that I am trying to push out of my mind. 
Even through this hard experience of my companion being sick we have had so many small tender mercies or small non coincidences that have made things so much easier and smoother. Members buying us groceries and medicine, visiting our investigators for us and being good support. Investigators canceling appointments and going to church, bringing their friends that we could teach.
The great thing about doing the Lord's work is that he cares just as much for the instrument as he does for the work. He is teaching us great lessons of patience and trusting in him. I know that He cares and his hand is in all things!
I ask you all to pray for Elder Aldridge that he will heal quickly from this nasty disease.

I love you all so much,

Elder Murdock

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 63

Hello Family and friends!

This week was a good one. I love hearing from all of you and enjoy reading all that is going on in your lives! Honestly I often forget about my life before my mission, but it is very refreshing to remember and treasure all the people I love back home in the states.
We are working so hard and have been blessed more than we deserve. It is hard to explain, but I know we are receiving help. My companion Elder Aldridge is really great.  He is so focused and obedient and a great missionary but because of his special circumstances he doesnt' speak any Tagalog.  However challenging, I find it amazing that when he teaches our unity is so great that even though he doesn't understand what I am saying when I teach in Tagalog, it is almost as he knows and continues right where I dropped off. I translate his words and also feel guided in the words I use and sometimes I don't fully comprehend what I am saying. I know that the spirit of the Lord is with us.

One great lesson I learned this week was about sustaining and supporting our leaders.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes I have an attitude. Sometimes I get critical with others and especially myself. One of my leaders in the mission that is my district leader made me frustrated this week about how he was treating my companion and I. It appeared to us like all he cared about was if our statistics in our work were high, we got the impression that he didn't care about us nor the people we were teaching.  During this time we taught a member who had been offended and didn't go to church because of something that a church leader did many years ago. As I sat listening to him I was surprised what came out of my mouth when I said these exact words of course in Tagalog :) : "I have a special assignment for you brother, tonight look in the mirror and say : I am not perfect, I make mistakes, I allow others to do the same."
I thought that was weird but didn't think much of it until that night, I got off the phone with my leader, I made some smart comment to my companion about how his actions were bothering me. After I was finish complaining my companion smiled and said those words once again to me. I am not perfect, I make mistakes, I allow others to do the same." I realized all at once the lesson was really for me. Whenever I feel hurt or angry at others actions, including my leaders I remember this powerful but simple learning experience.

Anyway I love you all so much, I pray for you. I feel your prayers and support and I thank you for your love,
yours always,


Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 62

Hello Family and Friends,

I am very happy to have again another time to email and report my week to all of you. This week was honestly a challenge. I have learned so much patience and love and have felt a lot of help from Our Heavenly Father. He really is in the detail of our mortal experience on earth if we let him.
One thing that has been quite the challenge is helping my companion Elder Aldridge communicate with the people as he was before serving in India and is here because of the visa restrictions in that country and will return as soon as his visa goes through. It has been fun to hear all the interesting stories about the cool culture in India. I have received a lot of help from heaven with my Tagalog as I have been translating for him and teaching him Tagalog. I have grown in patience and love and have really grown close to him. He is a nice elder. 
The work here is going well. We are working with a beautiful family, the Martin family that I have mentioned in my past emails. They are so special and love and know that we are teaching them is true. They have felt the Holy Ghost touch their hearts and as we have taught them we have both been edified and rejoiced together. I just love this family. The more I am out here the more I realize that this work is not my work, not the work of men but the work of God that I have been SO privileged to be apart of. I know that I cannot truly convert anyone and that was a lesson that I learned by experience this week. I felt a bit weighted down with my new responsibility to teach and translate, I felt mistakenly like I was on my own, I forgot that I was called and set apart and that the Lord is with me always and started to depend on my own abilities, it was a bit startling to see as fear crept in and that I couldn't do it on my own and I became venerable and was less effective. It took me some time to realize what was happening that I was choosing fear rather than faith, but then as I looked to the Savior I found the strength beyond my own to complete the assignment ahead of me. I know that as we choose faith over fear, trust God and do without doubting what he has commanded no matter the sacrifice, He will always stand with us. That is his promise!
 "will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. "
Fear comes from Satan, Love, peace and joy come from the Prince of Peace.
The Savior has not usually made his presence known to me in big dramatic ways, but I feel His sustaining power in my life, and because He lives I can live in His light! I love Jesus Christ. He is my best friend. I know that He loves each of us infinitely. He has felt our pains and carried our sorrows and will lift us up that we will not feel the burden of them on our backs. Opposition doesn't go a way but we receive strength to become more like our Savior through the hard and the good.

I love you all. I feel your support and prayers and ask you to pray for my companion that he may receive the gift to communicate to these people and also Peter and Rachel Martin our investigators.
Mahal ko kayo!