pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 91

Hello Family and Friends!

This week was one that was full of tender mercies and love, very appropriate I believe for this week as we celebrated Easter.

Clear back in January we met Elvie on a jeepney, she was a little bit familiar with the church because she met missionaries while she was working in Hong Kong and her husband was baptized many years ago. She was very excited and was really interested in having us go to her house and teach her the gospel. When we taught her it was very evident that she was prepared by the Lord and very ready for baptism and activity in the church, she even brought her husband to church with her and has made so many friends with church members. She is so smart and her testimony has grown so fast. But then just a few days before she was supposed to be baptized on March 5 she announced that she had to move to Manila for work and that she didn't know if she would be able to be baptized. 
I was shocked, I did not want to believe that that was happening. To make a short story short, we lost contact with her for 3 weeks, and although I didn't know how she was doing, I kept praying for her and hoping that she would come home so that she could be baptized. After trying to call her many times without her reply, last Sunday we got a call in the middle of sacrament meeting and it was Sister Elvie! She told us she was praying what she should do because she wanted badly to be baptized but she didn't even know where the church was in Manila and as she finished her prayer she looked up and there she saw two elders walking down the street! She called after them and asked where the church is and went with them to church. She then told us that because of the holiday she could get work off and be baptized this weekend! Yesterday she was confirmed and on Saturday she was baptized! It was a miracle for me. Heavenly Father really knows our needs and and is mindful of us, He listens to our prayers. He knows the people we teach, He knows their hearts. Elvie is so strong. One thing that I think was significant was that when Elvie called she told me that she had enough money to get to Bulaon but not enough to go back to Manila. I felt guided by the spirit as I felt inspired to tell her that if she came here to be baptized the Lord would provide a way for her to go back to manila. I know that the Lord is with us. He asks though that we sacrifice, but as we sacrifice we are given blessings more than we can imagine!

I believe in miracles, both big and small!
I pray for each of you and know that you are in the Lord's hands!

mahal ko kayo!

Elder Murdock

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 90

Family and Friends!

I am so grateful for the chance to share my week with you!
So first I'd like to share a story that may make you smile or gag, I don't know...
We went on exchanges with the assistants to the president and while I was in their area they had a huge fiesta going on! Everyone was cooking to prepare for the following day.
As we were walking to a member's home we saw them huddled around the body of an animal. It was a dog. They were preparing it for their fiesta feast! Hahaha.... The dog just happened to be one that was really nice and would follow the missionaries as they worked around that neighborhood, so it was even a bigger shock to them when they found out that the dog they were going to cook was that one. :( hahaha  Yes they eat a lot of weird stuff here!
This week was really good! :) My companion and I are doing great work and seeing great things happen here in Bulaon!
Even in our zone! We have been blessed so much by our Heavenly Father and have been able to achieve our goals, our monthly goals for baptisms and confirmations and even exceed our goal for less active return! I can really feel the Lord with us, he is truly teaching us and serving with us.
So brother Michael one of our investigators I mentioned last week is doing so well! Every time we visit him I just see his countenance brighten. He is making a great change in his life. Yesterday at church he told us that he has lost the appetite to sins that he had struggled with in the past. He said it simply, "I don't want to be that kind of person anymore" That is what I believe real conversion is, the change not only of our actions, but the change of our hearts and our desires and appetites. As I think of Bro. Michael and also myself with all my short comings and sins, my thoughts turn to Jesus Christ 
as we know this coming week is Easter! One thing is true, Filipinos love what they call holy week. They celebrate the last week of the Savior's life in many interesting and diverse ways! (some people even get nailed to crosses)
Although there is a lot of chaos in it all, it is a prime time to share the gospel because so many people already are thinking of Jesus Christ. I love sharing my testimony that we know that Jesus Christ lives because He has shown Himself to a prophet in our day.
I know that Jesus truly paid for our sins and truly is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world. He experienced all of our pains, all of our sorrows and paid for all of our sins.
Through Jesus Christ, we all can find new life!
One thing that I love about these special people in the Philippines is that except the rare occasion of meeting a Muslim, every person I meet knows that Jesus Christ is the Savior. I am grateful and humbled that I have the chance to carry His name and be His representative to these people.
I love you all,


Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 89

Hello Family!

This week was a good week.

We found a new progressing investigator! His name is John Michael but he goes by "Chavie".  When we taught him the first time I did not think he was that interested, but we had a pleasant surprise when we went to teach him again just a day later. The first thing he said to us was: "Elders! I read the blue bible you gave me! please come in".  We then shared the plan of salvation with this man and the spirit filled the room. At the end of the lesson he prayed and he suddenly just stopped and started to cry. After his prayer we asked him what he was feeling, he said. "I will be the one to show my family the right way and be their example"
Bro. Chavie came to church twice now. He has made friends with the recently returned older couple that I mentioned last week. I pray for him everyday that he will continue to progress. 
We have a few set backs this week with investigators who decided not to progress anymore, but we have also had miracles. I believe it is a choice to see and believe in miracles. We can focus on whats going wrong, or we can focus on the eternal and on the bounteous blessing the Lord is giving us!
I love you all, I love these people in a way that is hard to describe. Every setback and disappointment is worth every sweet moment of seeing the light within these people grow.

tandaan ninyo, na mahal tayo ng ating Ama sa Langit, at hindi niya tayo pababayaan. Alam ko na buhay ang Diyos at nagbayad-sala si Hesucristo para sa ating kasalanan.
(According to google translate this says- Our Heavenly Father loves us, remember he will not abandon us. I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins.)

Go and do miracles!


Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 88

Hello ang aking mag-anak at mga kaibigan!

kumusta kayo?

I will not write this letter in tagalog although I am half tempted to. I love love love the people and culture and language here!! I just feel right at home:) 
I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve in this beautiful country!

So the new branch we started in Northville is so great! We have a older couple who is returning from the church after 15 years of inactivity. They are so great and are preparing to enter the temple for their sealing in June! It makes me so happy to see them grow and repent and convert to the gospel.

We had a baptism this week! "Nanay" Jocelyn was baptized and confirmed and it was so wonderful to see the great support that the relief society has had with fellowshipping them. She truly was converted unto the Lord. After her confirmation I talked to her about her experience and she said: 
"Elders you don't have to teach me anymore." I am sure I responded with a little bit of alarm in my voice when I replied "Why sister? we still have much to teach you." She responded something like this, "I want to give you more time so that you can teach all those lost sheep outside the church building." I assured her that we still would find time to teach her frequently, but I was touched at her sincerity of thinking not of her self but of others who have not yet found the Gospel. It made me think of what I must do do improve and become more converted. And reminded me of the truth in Luke 22:23 " When you are converted strengthen your brethren" 
I am grateful for the chance to become more converted to the gospel everyday, and strengthen my own testimony by sharing it everyday. I am learning more and more that everyday the Lord gives us is a gift and an opportunity to serve and bless the lives of those around us. We are the Lord's hands! :)

talaga mahal ko pagiging misyonaro!

tandaan niyo na mahal na mahal ko kayo,