Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29th - The Flu Exists in Brazil Too!

Family and Friends,

1 more week down here on the other side of the globe! It's good to hear that you guys are all enjoying life, and that summer has started up. That means that I'm really getting close to the end of things here. Crazy thought. As I am killing my companion again, it's hard not to get trunky, but I'm doing a pretty good job of it. I'm still focused, and I'm not in any hurry for things to end here. I'm going to make the best out of all my time that I have left!

As the title suggests, yes, I got sick this week. Two times. The story goes like this. Two weeks ago it rained a lot. From proselyting in the rain, I got a bit of a chill which weakened my immune system, and I got an obnoxious cold at the start of this week. It was weird in that, when I sneezed, it was actually painful. And all of the other guys in the house got it. But I got better, and on Thursday, I was actually pretty well again. then we went to zone conference, and everyone got the flu vaccine. And I don't know if you guys remember, but I have a weird problem with the flu vaccine that every single time I take it, I get the flu. This time didn't fail, and I got sick, again. It sucked. Today was the first day that I woke up well in a long time.

I've been knocking a lot of doors these days because my companion really likes knocking doors for some reason, but it´s worked out pretty well. We've found a lot of cool people to teach. I'm also working on some other, alternative plans to find people. I will be teaching English for the 3rd time on my mission, and we will be doing a ward barbecue as well. 

Overall, life is good, the Church is true, and I keep moving forward. It's good to be a missionary, even when sickness messes things up. Have a great week!
Elder Murray

May 22nd - Last Area, Let's Go!

Family and Friends,

Congrats on the graduation Dave! You made it! High school is over. Welcome to life's next round, mission. It starts with mission prep right now and then actual mission afterwards. Go for it! Congrats to Jake on the Eagle too, and on the grandparents for getting home safely after being snowed on at the end of May. Weird stuff. I also liked Dave's epic fast. That's some good self-discipline. You're going to need that. 

I'm going to be honest, for one of the first times on my mission, I got really trunky reading email this week. Sometimes it feels like everyone's progressing back home and I'm stuck in a time lock out here. But then I remember that I'm serving the Lord and that it will pay off big dividends when I get back home, and for the rest of my life, and I get happy again.

Speaking of being happy, I'm really happy with the way that transfers turned out. I left Colônia, in one of the two stakes in Jundiaí, and went to the other stake, Jundiaí Represa! I really love this city, so I was happy to go from one side to the other. My companion is also a good friend of mine, Elder Tavares. You guys have already seen him a few times, as I have served in 4 zones with him, he's this missionary with whom I most did divisions, and he's from the same stake as that guy I trained, Elder Oliveira. And he trained a guy from our stake, Elder Langlois. So it all fit perfectly together, and now I'll be the guy to send him home, as it's his last transfer. Weirdly symmetrical. 

As I only have 2 more transfers left, it's very likely that this will be my last area. I'll be giving it my all to see if I can make a difference here before I go home! Have a great week!

One more chance to offer all I have!
Elder Murray

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 15th - Sprint to the End

We got to talk to Ben on Mother's Day. What a joy! He talked a lot about his life on the mission. He is a Zone Leader, and his mission was the most baptizing zone in the whole mission, despite being half the size of most of the other zones. He bore his testimony of the gospel, and it was really wonderful to hear. He has grown as a person on his mission, and his testimony has grown as well. We love him and we are so proud of him!

Family and Friends,

I really enjoyed my Skype with you of my more immediate family yesterday. It was great to see you all again, and everything worked out well so that we could talk quite a bit, one with another. As I just talked to you all yesterday, I'm really without a whole lot of ideas for stuff to put into my letter this week, so expect this letter to be a little bit smaller.

Although we haven't received the transfer yet, it's looking like I will be leaving Colônia to go to another area to end my mission. I have no idea where I will be going, but I'm sure it will be a cool place, and there will be people there for me to share the gospel. You don't need too much to be happy as a missionary. As long as you've got a house, people to teach, and food, life is good! Next week I'll have the information about my new area and my new companion. Stay tuned!

This week we saw some awesome miracles with people receiving answers about the Book of Mormon. One of our investigators asked in prayer if the Book was true, and he heard a voice. Although he didn't understand it, he felt his hair stand on end, and he knew that it had come from God. Another investigator was having a disagreement with her family, and a scripture she had read came to her mind and calmed here down and gave her a solution to the problem. The Book of Mormon is true! It works!

Thanks for all the love and support! Have a great week!

One more chance to offer all I have!

Elder Murray

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8th - In a Tropical Country, Everyday's a Holiday

May 1st - We didn't get a letter from Ben last week. This week we find out why!

Dearest Family and Friends,

Lamentably, I was unable to send you guys an email last week. Brazilians love partying, holidays, partying, eating barbecue, partying, time off work, and partying. As such, they have a ton of random holidays here. Last Monday was "Worker´s Day," and nobody went to work. Everything was closed. Everything. We almost didn't even find anywhere to eat lunch. Luckily though, the mall was open. We tried to get some other missionaries together to play soccer, but they were all being lame, so my companion and I went to the Botanical Gardens here in Jundiaí. Sometimes you have to do some touristy things on P-day, and I thought Mom would approve, so I went. I saw some monkeys, and some flowers, and I mocked a statue, Dad-style. It was a good time. I'll send pictures as soon as I can.

This week we had to spend a lot of time in Campinas because my companion had some problems with his visa, and he needed to go to the capital, São Paulo to get it fixed. I stayed in Campinas with the mission secretaries while he went and got that sorted out. Combine this with the holiday, and this was a really weird week overall. We still got some work done.

Last week we were able to baptize a man named Isaias (Isaiah in Portuguese, power name). He was one of the best investigators I have ever had. Really smart, understood everything really quickly, went to church on his own, and even made us tapioca one night. Over all, he's a really cool guy. I'm sure he'll be bishop some day. 

You asked me what kinds of questions the members ask me at meals. I have a ton. I've heard just about everything (Are there dogs in the US?), but I'll just send you the more common ones. 

Do you guys eat rice and beans in the US?
Is American BBQ really hot dogs and hamburguers?
What do you think about Trump as a President?
What kind of food do you eat every day there?
Why do you only eat McDonalds in your country? 

And so on. They all love to ask about American dietary habits and then call Americans fat. LOL.

Thanks for the dedication and patience, and your many prayers. I know that the Church is true, for I have seen evidence after evidence here as a missionary. I'm grateful for the chance to be a missionary. This will be the last week of the transfer, so next week I'll have news! 

Have a great week!

One more chance to offer all I have!

Elder Murray