Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hey fam! Thanks for the awesome birthday wishes and love super appreciate it!

Sorry I haven't written for a while, a ton has been going on. On December 1st I went to my first mission council and it was a super awesome experience. Because our zone reached their goal of baptisms in the month of November, President Greer took my companion and I to eat dinner at a super fancy sushi restaurant in Xalapa the night before council. Hahahah.  It was super dope and I definitely took advantage of the opportunity. ;) After that Hermana Greer (president's wife) convinced president Greer to take us to Dairy Queen. Hahahah we were stuffed. And as you can probably tell by the picture, President Greer was not to happy paying the bill.



This week we had a super fun Christmas activity in our stake with food entertainment and the whole bit.  It was an awesome opportunity to bring investigators and meet non-member friends of members. It came out great and the stake gave little gifts to the missionaries at the end.  Our zone made a choir and at the end of the night we sang some Christmas carols and not to brag but it definitely made some people cry.


Also this week I got to go visit my first area in divisions, Tlapacoyan, and go help the Elders over there and to see old faces and friends from the mission.  Ahah and finally being able to communicate with them normally. Hahahahahaha it was a super cool day!

Lastly we had a baptism  of a stud named Fernando! His sisters/cousins got baptized 2 weeks ago and he decided he wanted to also.  His whole family came to the event and all have dates to be baptized within the next coming weeks!! Such a blessing to see whole families be blessed by the gospel. :)


That's all for now ma peeps! More things to come.  Have a good week and remember the reason for the season!  Love you all and I love this gospel!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey this is going to be a short message.  Transfers came and I'm going back to Martinez de la Torre as a zone leader..... YAY.  That really came as a shock to me.  I didn't think I was ready to be zone leader yet but I guess my President thinks other wise. Ahhah but I'm going to do my best and be ready and humble to learn a lot.

So I'm finally leaving Poza Rica after 6 long and incredible months in my area. I have met so many people here that I have truly come to love over the last couple of months.  I will always have a special place in my heart for the people I have met here. What wonderful blessing the mission truly brings. How wonderful the Lord is for letting me have the chance to meet these people, to love them, to cry with them, and to watch the gospel change their lives.  I love being a missionary woooooo!  I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving back in the states.  It's truly a wonderful time to draw closer as as a family.  Love one another and eat an extra turkey leg for me. ;) Love you guys! More to come next week!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

No Pain No Gain

Hello my fellow Americans! Life is good and chugging along as usual. And well this week was a little more painful and a little bit out of the norm, but it was still full of miracles and good tidings.

First and foremost, I had another ingrown taken out and it was more or less infected.... so that was just GREAT.  Best part, in order for more toe to heal and the infection to go way I had to walk with a sandal on one foot most of the week.  Long story short there were many heads turned and finger pointing....  so that was that.

But that didn't stop me from giving my all to the Lord.  And so my companion and I went out and worked like nothing happened.  We went and visited one of our investigators that we hadn't seen in a while.  We got to the house and it didn't look like they were there, so we went to check the side of the house to see if we had any luck there because that's usually where they received us.  While looking around our investigators giant rottweiler comes out of nowhere and bit me on the finger!!!  We quickly ran to the nearest members house and they put alcohol and hydrogen peroxide and the whole deal on it.  Luckily it was tied up and could only reach my finger and not my arm or leg because that would have been super chafa.



So yeah this week was a little more painful than the rest.  We are teaching this golden investigator named Margarita who is progressing super well.  She knew a ton about the gospel before we even met her, even most of the missionary rules.  Her boyfriend is a member return-missionary and basically all of her coworkers are faithful members of the church and they help us out a lot.  She already knows the church is true but she doesn't know what day she wants to get baptized. But my companion and I are praying and fasting that she'll stay strong for her goal.

This is the last week of the transfer and I'm really nervous about leaving my area next transfer. I really love it here in Poza Rica, everyone is super nice and I've gotten to know every member in my area on a personal basis.  But I'll do what the Lord wants me to do always. Whether it be in here in Poza Rica or somewhere else. Well Christmas is in 5 weeks and that's crazy to think about. Haha it's crazy how fast time passes. I love this time of the year when we can celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.  He is truly the reason I do what I do and Christmas is a time filled with so much love, music and gladness and most of families.  It's what the Gospel is all about, families. It's where the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly thrives.  I love you all and I consider you all my family. Until next time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Miracles of the Work

Hello everyone! It's been a while I'm sorry, last Monday was Dia de los Muertos  (Day of the Dead) and there weren't any servers open so I couldn't send many pictures. But get ready because this email is about to be loaded.  I have a new companion and I are getting along super well!  We have been working extremely hard everyday to the point that we get home just complete exhausted at the end of the day.  Giving your all to the Lord is not an easy thing but it renders an incredible amount of blessings.  We baptized back to back these last 2 Sundays! Woooooooooaaaaaaaahhhhh!

The first was the mother of Yunuet and Jose who are the 2 kids that got baptized at the end of August.  Before Yunuet and Jose got baptized we had to get the permission of their mother, and at first she was reluctant to give her permission.  And it was a miracle that she let her kids get baptized.  But when she attended her kids baptism in August she felt the Spirit strongly and knew that this was something good.  She kept going to church with her kids and reading and praying  and slowly her heart began to change and began to desire this for herself.  We began teaching her the lessons and when we committed her to be baptized the 1st of November she burst into tears.  At first my companion and I were confused and thought we had said something wrong.  Until she told us that on the 1st she had vacations and that she had been hoping and praying it would be that day as it was the only day she could. (She normally comes to the church the first 2 hours and then goes to work.)  She asked me if I knew and I honestly had no idea.  Miracle.  She was smiling the whole day of her baptism and invited all of her friends and family to the services so they could feel the same Spirit as she did.  I guess she's a better missionary than we are hahahahah! Truly an amazing experience.




This week we had the opportunity to baptize another one of my favorite people I've met on mission, named Gloria. She's the investigator I mentioned earlier that we would teach and eat sushi at her moms sushi restaurant. Hahah.  She is super awesome and has an incredible testimony of the church. She came to all 4 sessions of general conference, reads and underlines everything we give her.  (Including the Book of Mormon), and is just golden in every definition.  However her mom is an ex-member and it was a long and extremely laborious journey to get her mom's permission and took weeks of praying and fasting. Because of our faith the Lord softened the heart of Gloria's mom and let her daughter be baptized.  Miracle.  The services were absolutely beautiful and there was not a single dry eye in the room, even in the eyes of Gloria's mother. 



God is good, all the time.  My heart has truly been filled with joy and thanks to the Lord for the opportunity he's given me to help change these peoples lives.  My testimony of this Gospel has grown tremendously these last few weeks and I truly know without a doubt that this is His work and His glory.  These events were in no way coincidence, but miracles and the Lord has truly blessed me and those around me.  I love you all and I love my Savior.  The Lord works miracles every day in your lives too.  Look for them and you will see how the Lord's blessings are round about. Until next time!

PS random pictures of every day life:


Poza Rica Skyline



$200 of Mexican Pesos


Didier!

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Transfer

Hi everyone! Sorry it's been a while since my last update. Haha lots been going on but all good things! To start off transfers were last week and my old companion Elder Lopez finished his mission and went home to Mexico City! He was a super funny guy and we got along super well and it seemed we were always laughing! We drank a martinellis on his last day to celebrate. :)


His last Sunday we also had a baptism and it was a lovely ceremony! Her name is Sullivan and she has an awesome testimony of the Book of Mormon and is part of a less active family we are reactivating. :) She looks like she's 13 but is actually 11 and she's extremely smart and mature for her age.  In the photo is a little image of the Mexico City temple. We have been focusing a lot on the Temple when we teach her and her family so they can be sealed together as a family for time and all eternity! 



My new companion is Elder Hernandez! He's super awesome and is my first companion that has less time than me. Woooooohhh! Hahah.  He just finished his training so he has 3 months and he's super awesome! He's from the state of Hidalgo Mexico, which is south of Mexico City, which is only like 3 hours from where we are. Haha.  We get along super well and we are learning a lot of things together every day! 

A lot of you probably don't know this but I've been starting to teach English classes every week as an act of service and because there are a lot of people in Poza Rica who want to learn English.  About 2 weeks ago Elder Lopz and I were walking the streets of Mexico as usual.  All of a sudden this guy stops his truck right in front of us and starts speaking in broken English. "Hey my friend. Hey hey!" At first I was a little weirded out because normally the only people who come and talk to us like that are drunks or crazy people.  So I thought in my mind, "Aww man here we go again."  But he came up and asked me how to pronounce a word in English.  So we talked for a bit and then I told him I offer English classes in our church and he could come if he liked.  Then I gave him my number and we went our separate ways.  I didn't think he would call to be honest, but he did.  Hahah.  About a week later he called and came to class. Haha.  He's a super funny guy named Carlos and he actually lived in Oklahoma for a while but then got deported because he helped people cross the border. Hahahahahahahahahahhahaha. Anyways he told me he wants to change his life around and come to church so now we're teaching him. Hahah.  Little miracles like that makes my love grow for the Lord everyday. :)

Thank you so much everyone for your emails, comments, and for being interested in my adventures here in Mexico. Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world! I don't have much else for this week but next week I promise to write a lot more! :) God is good!  He loves us and I get to see His love touch the hearts of men every day!  The Book of Mormon is the truest book on the face of the Earth! Christ lives! This is His gospel and his church!

Love you all! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

October

Conference was super good, but I had to watch in Spanish and it was not as satisfying as it would have been in English. Hearing a translator talk over the speaker made it really hard to concentrate. Haha. Plus hearing Spanish and watching someone speak it are completely different things. Hahah. So I had to really concentrate to understand the message. So yeah, this next Liahona you can be sure I'll study the heck out of it. Hahah.

(Twice a year there is a world wide church conferences where leaders of the church speak. This happened the first weekend in October. You can read what the Prophet and apostles said here. The Liahona is a church magazine that publishes stories from members, lessons to share, and uplifting thoughts. Twice a year it publishes a transcript of the General Conference addresses.)

Hope all is well at home! Everything is as good as the Coke here in Mexico! (The Coke is super good!)


I won't do an update this week because I didn't bring the cable for the camera, but we baptized this last Sunday! I  also had a ingrown toe nails taken out last week. It was super painful. That's all here. Tell everyone I love them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mexican Independence Day

De cierto de cierto os digo, este semana fue bien chido.  (Most assuredly I tell you, this week was well cool.)

Hahaha what a week and man did it go by fast! Its probably because a lot happened.  On Tuesday it was Mexican Independence Day.  I must say Mexicans go pretty crazy about their independence. Hahaha so crazy that our mission president told us we had to be inside our house with the doors locked at 6 pm.  Hahaha.  But it's all good Elder Lopez took advantage of the opportunity and cooked up some huevos rancheros and drank a coke. Twas tranquil but very nice. :)

The next day on Wednesday we had a conference with our Mission President who shared with us as a mission how we can have more success in our areas and retain investigators.  It was such an inspiried and uplifting experience.  I received so much revelation for me and for my investigators.  I love receiving guidance and direction from my leaders.  I'm always looking for ways I can improve wether it be in teaching, leadership, or Spanish.

This week we've been teaching una joven (a youth) whose name is Gloria and she is sooooooooo awesome! One half of her family is Christian and the other Jehovahs Witness and so she came to us very confused and wanting to finding the truth. We taught her the message of the Restoration and she felt right away that it was true. She loves to read so she reads everything we give her and underlines the important parts. She's already almost done with first Nefi (Nephi) in the Book of Mormon. Hahah She went to church this last Sunday for the first time and really really enjoyed it! Also her mom owns a bunch of restaurants including one that's a sushi shop. So every time we teach her its in her moms sushi restaurant and she offers us free food every lesson every time without fail and its quite delicioso (delicious.) :)

This Sunday we also had a baptism and I had the amazing opportunity to baptize one of my favorite people I have met in the mission. His name is Didier and he's nine years old and he is so funny! He loves playing Minecraft and other video games but he's also super intelligent and leaves a lot of people dumbfounded by how much he knows. Hahaha. Elder Lopez and I always leave our lessons with him cracking up by some of the things he says and does.  At his baptism after the ordinance and the primary president gave him a CTR ring which means choose the right. Afterwards the bishop got up to welcome him to the ward and as he was getting up Didier says "Hey bishop, remember to choose the right" and the bishop said "thank you so much Didier for reminding me." It was so funny I was dying! 



Well that's all for this week. More to come next week:) I'll leave like always with my testimony that I know Christ lives. Here on my mission my love for the Savior and for what he did has grown immensely.  The fact I can represent Him in all things that I do and say is truly an honor.  Something that my mission president said this week truly touched me.  He said God loves every single one of us more than we can imagine, however He only trusts a chosen few. The few that are willing and desirous to do His will, to seek Him diligently and to follow the example He lead. I try to go out every day inviting and teaching and doing everything possible so I can have the trust of the Lord on my side. Some times I mess up and fall short however when I repent and start over again that is truly when my love for Him grows and the joy and thanks that come for the saving atonement.

I invite everyone who reads this email to search, to question and query.  What are you doing to earn the Lord's trust?  What are you doing everyday to draw closer to Him?  How have you strengthened your relationship with Him?

I love every single one of you and I love this gospel. Take care till next time!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September?

Hey everyone around the world that reads this email!  Hope all is going well with school and work and life.  Work here in Mexico doesn't seem to hold up but being busy is a good thing.

Some updates: transfers came last week and I'm still here in my area in Poza Rica with makes me super happy!  I have a new companion named Elder Lopez who is a champ and also going to finish his mission in October.  He's from Mexico City and loves eating just as much as I do haha. :) I don't know why but all of my companions in the mission have had more than 22 months in the mission, but I'm learning a lot from their experience.

Oh, I also got moved up to district leader which is a change.  Hahaha.  Everyone in my district has more than 18 months in the mission so at times its intimidating but they trust me and I trust the Lord and His ways and He truly helps me in the areas where I lack.

Last Sunday the 30th of October we had a baptism! Woooooooh their names are Yunuet and Jose and they are golden!  They have such strong testimonies and love the church.  The gospel has changed their lives so much that their mother who at first had no interest in church, is now attending and wants to take lessons because of the difference she's seen in her children.  It's so amazing to see whole families be blessed by the gospel. :)


A lot of people have asked what my area is like here in Poza Rica and or what my favorite food is, so here's a little break down for you: its small, old, and really fancy.  It is not like other areas here in Veracruz to be honest. The majority of people here are well off and so its sometimes hard to find people willing and humble enough to listen.  We work a lot with the members and they help a lot by passing references or inviting friends to activities. The ward is very big and a lot of people go each Sunday.  There's actually a handful of people here who speak English which is at times pretty nice. My favorite foods that I've eaten here are bocoles with eggs and ham and tacos al pastor. Yummy. :)

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support each week!  I love being a missionary of the Lord and serving others each day.  I'm so grateful to represent my Savior and help Him in progressing His work and His glory.  My prayers go out to all of you.  This gospel is the only way to true and everlasting happiness!  Love you all!

PS here's a picture of me and a baby armadillo.  Everybody say, "awwww."



PPS quick shout out to the Gorby family and their letters that finally came the other month. Thank you so much for everything! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Elder Christofferson

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to hear from an Apostle and it was such an amazing experience!  We had to take a bus from Posa Rica to Xalapa at 3:00 in the morning, so we were all pretty tired and exhausted by the time we got there. But it was worth it for sure!  Being in the presence of an Apostle of the Lord is such a powerful experience.  From the moment he stepped out of his car you could feel the Spirit and authority the man had.  Everyone was super anxious and nervous and I was super happy.  I couldn't stop smiling:)  He talked to us about the importance of the Spirit in the conversion of an investigator and how we can use it to find their needs.  I learned a lot and received loads of personal revelation.

This week is going to be a good week!  We're going to baptize hopefully 3 people this Sunday.  I hope everyone is doing well and adjusting back to school and what not. I am so grateful for the opportunity our Father in heaven has given us to learn, grow, and change everyday. I see it happen all the time. Oh how the gospel changes lives and hearts. The Atonement is incredible and imperative in our journey back to our Heavenly Father. It is the message I share every day with others that no mistake is permanent or lasting but can be made clean and new through the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for Him and what He did.  He lives so that I may live again. I love you all and hope you have a great week. :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Work, Work, Work

These past couple of weeks have flown by!  My companion Elder Maimo and I have been working super hard finding and teaching some of the most wonderful people.  We're teaching this guy named Alan who's super awesome and also going through some rough times in life right now.  He loves coming to church and learning about the gospel.  He has a date to get baptized next Sunday and he's super pumped!

Last Wednesday we had an Area Conference with our Mission President where all of the missionaries in Posa Rica came.  President Greer talked about how we as a mission need to focus on getting our investigators to the temple, not just baptism.  It made me think about all the blessings that come from the temple and how blessed we are to have temples all around the world.

These last couple of weeks we've been teaching this couple named Armando and Dani who are accepting the gospel super well!  After our lesson my companion and I saw they had 2 raccoons tied up in the back of the house, like a pet dog. Hahahahhah.  So we went and played with them and took pictures.  It was pretty funny! 



Being a missionary is no walk in the park but my Heavenly Father has truly blessed me so much and everyday I am truly overwhelmed with gratefulness.  On Thursday my companion and I got to go to the hospital and give a blessing to a member recovering from surgery.  It was one of the first times I had given a blessing in Spanish and it was such a powerful and touching experience.  At the end I could feel how much the Savior loved this man.  I know the Savior loves each and every one of us the same and that he knows us personally.  Being a tool in His hands to bless the lives of others is truly a privilege and a blessing.

I love you all so much and I know without a doubt this is the Lord's church!  Until next week!

PS P-day is on Tuesday next week.  We're having an all mission conference on Monday. Not sure why.  Something about an Apostle named Elder Christofferson coming to visit. ;) Anyways until next Tuesday.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Time is flying by

Wow this week came and went like a flash.  I guess that's how life is when you're working hard. I have a new companion named Elder Maimo and he's super cool and also super crazy sometimes haha. He's from Argentina but in the Patagonia, which is like almost the end of the world. Antarctica is a 2 hour flight from his house.  He has 2 months left and so he knows a lot. I learn more and more every day how to be a better teacher. He also jokes around that he'll have 3 kids in primary by the time I get home. Hahahaha probably true.

My companion and I found more new investigators this week than all of last transfer and this sunday we had 5 at church and we could have 10 this Sunday. Woooooo!  Life is moving so fast I have no time to sit and look around and take it all in sometimes! It's already August 2015, soon it'll be August 2016 (that makes my head hurt.)

This week I decided  to put all my English books in my suitcase and just go all out Spanish and it's been helping a lot!  Sometimes I just feel weird speaking English and other times I miss speaking it. Hahaha it's a real love hate relationship. I'm getting roasted out here in the sun. I'm thinking about buying a sombrero so I don't die. They say that it's going to be like this for the rest of the month (so just a heads up I may look Mexican when it comes September.) 

More next week and pictures also! love you all! I love this gospel and I love the work! It's truely a blessing to be a servant of the Lord and bless people's lives.

Cuidense todos les amo y dios les bendiga (Take care all I love, and God bless)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Solstice

Well this week was extremely and incredibly hot.  I can't put into words the heat that my companion and I are walking in.  My companion and I were out walking Saturday afternoon between visits and we realized we were the only people crazy enough to be outside at that hour.  Hahaha. The streets were empty and everyone was inside as they should have been. Hahaha. 

I have a new companion named Elder Maimo from Argentina. He's medio (half) cool and also medio (half) loco haha. He's another missionary with not that much time left, but we are working hard everyday. Time is flying by!  We are working off the ward inactive list and helping people to get back to church and also teaching the references they give us. YAY! 

We are teaching this guy named Marco Antonio and his family and things are going great, but it's almost impossible to find and teach his whole family at the same time.  So we have not taught them in a while.  This week we were looking for a street (and as it happened we were no where near it) and I saw Marco Antonio and his wife outside (miracle) and they invited us in.  We taught them and committed them to be baptized.  Just another little experience where I see the Lord's hand at work :)

This week we also had a baptism. WOOOOOOOOOOO! Guadalupe is super awesome and super humble and has a strong desire to follow Christ.  I was very honored that she asked me to perform the ordinance.




I love all of you and I am so glad to be out here serving a mission, even when its a billion degrees outside, it is always worth it!  The gospel is true and Christ lives! Take care everyone!

PS There's a street here named Fresno street #representin





4 Months and Changes

My companion Elder Barrera is going home tomorrow and I'm super sad because he's an awesome guy and an amazing Elder.  I learned so much from him.  We had a baptism and her name is Vicky. She has amazing faith and desire to learn the gospel!


I'm out of time but I love you all and I love this gospel and this work.  I put my heart, might, mind and sweat into this work and the Lord has truly blessed me in so many ways. Till next week!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Fourth!

Happy fourth of July my fellow Americans! I hope you all ate a lot of bbq,  pie, and bacon for me because that's what Americans do! Hahaha to no surprise people do not celebrate that here, but I woke up Saturday and sang God bless America the whole morning. Hahahaha 

This week was super hot and also kinds stressed filled. It rains here almost everyday and when I first arrived I was happy it rained because I thought it would make things cooler, but it JUST MADE IT MORE HUMID! Gah its the worst.  Sometimes steam literally comes off the streets!  My companion and I are having a hard time finding people and that's one of the reasons I was stressed this week.  

I think the second week I got here we were contacting a house and their neighbor walked out and caught my eye.  I got the impression that we needed to go talk to him and I almost let the impression slip away and thought nothing of it.  But it was firm and I knew I had to, so I walked up and contacted him.  His name is Juan Carlos and he's a super nice guy and actually really wants to learn English, which is one reason he accepted us so quickly.  He invited us in and we actually taught him how to pray in English believe it or not and then taught him part of lesson one.  He now comes to our semi-weekly English classes and wants to read the Book of Mormon in English!  We're teaching him right now and its going super good!  We just need to get him to church!

Hey I'm out of time but I love every one of you and I hope your testimony grows every day!  The church is true.  The Book of Mormon is true.  We are beloved children of our Father in heaven!
Until next week!



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Recap

This week went by so fast I'm going to do my best to try and remember. In the area I'm it is really hard to find people and so at the moment we only have a few investigators. (We had to drop one yesterday, really sad.) But it's definitely been a test of faith and I'm learning more day by day how to trust in the Lord.

One investigator that is progressing pretty well is a kid named Hugo.  He's a 17 year old joven (youth) who's really cool and accepting the gospel really well.  But this week we weren't able to get a hold of him until Saturday.  And we didn't teach him but we helped him with his house and invited him to church as per usual.  We went by to go pick him up and he wasn't at his house and Elder Barrera and I were so bummed.  We walked to church wondering what we were going to do and whether we would drop him or not.  We get to church and start to greet people at the door and we see Hugo come walking in!!!!  I was so so so so sooooooo happy to see him I literally leaped for joy!  He stayed for all 3 hours and told me he had a great experience. (It also helped he knew a lot of people already.) I hope he keeps progressing.

We also have this sister name Guadalupe who's very nice but also very shy and timid.  Sometimes it's hard to explain things to her because she won't understand you unless you talk really simply to her. Our first and second lesson were a little difficult because she couldn't remember anything, but this last lesson was really good.  She answered most of the questions we asked her in the way we wanted. She loves reading the Book of Mormon and has come to church twice, so we are hoping she can be ready to be baptized the Sunday before Elder Barrera leaves for home. (After this transfer)
Oh yeah, yesterday in church I gave my first talk in Spanish. :)  The topic was family history which is not a topic I teach about a lot, but it went well and I learned a lot. :)

Many of you have been asking how my Spanish is coming along and to be honest I couldn't tell you. Hahahaha.  Some days I feel the language comes easy and other day it frustrates the living heck out of me.  I am starting to mix the two languages up though. Haha and sometimes I feel like I can't speak English or Spanish very well.  Hahaha

This morning our house got flooded and that was a mess and a lot of my stuff got wet. Hahaha but that's the life of a missionary. Elder Barrera and I are praying for miracles this week because we need them!  I'll let you know what is to follow.

The church is true! Christ lives! And the Book of Mormon is the truest book on the face of the earth! I love each and every one of you that reads this email! Thank you for your prayers and support!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Posa Rica Successes and Struggles

Mis queridos amigos, admiradores, y familia! perdóname por favor que no les escribí la semana pasada no tuve bastante tiempo. (My dear friends, fans, and family! Please forgive me for not writing last week I didn't have enough time.)

Life here in Posa Rica is nothing like how it was in Tlapacoyan in fact its the exact opposite. In Tlapacoyan there were so many humble and poor people. They were more willing to listen and be taught so we had a lot of investigators and perspective investigators. Even a half functioning ward and so forth.  But the area in Posa Rica I'm staying in is very fancy and the people are well off middle class people. Which is making it hard for us to find people.

The ward is very functioning and active and full of people who love to feed us. Hahah. So all the weight I lost in Tlapacoyan is coming back.  The area is also not as big and so we don't walk nearly as much because a lot of things are close by.  My new companions name is Elder Barrera and he's super smart and also finishes his mission at the end of this transfer.  We work well together and I've learned a lot from him. He was born in Mexico but went to high school in the US and so he knows Spanish and English perfectly. Which is a good and bad thing.  At times I get used to talking to him in English and that effects my Spanish. But I use him to translate a lot.  I'm out of time but I love you and I will send some cool pictures of us at some ruins close by! We went today and it was super cool!

Love you!



Monday, June 8, 2015

My first transfer

Mi querido amigos y familia, que bonita es la vida! (My beloved friends and family. How lovely is the life!)

I finally made through my first transfer wooo! Elder Lopez and I worked like dogs this week and it definitely paid off. We had 6 of our 8 investigators at church last week! For those of you who don't know an investigator (in Mexico) has to come to church at least 5 times before they can be baptized. So when one of them or more comes it's such an amazing feeling because they're one step closer to baptism.

This last week was also the last week of the transfer and I thought I would stay here in Tlapacoyan, but that turned out to not be the case hahaha.  Our president is a very inspired man and when the phone call came I thought I had nothing to worry about.  But I am leaving tomorrow for Posa Rica, which is known very well as the hottest place in the mission and it's the beginning of summer. Yeah. But I know it's for a reason or at least I hope. Hahaha.  I was actually kinda bummed when I found out because I really like Tlapacoyan.  And last transfer we only had one baptism but we have 6 solid dates for this month, (including 1 this Thursday.) All investigators I had prayed, fasted, and worked so diligently for. But that's part of the job I guess and I know there's more work to be done in Posa Rica.

 I went on divisions this week with Elder Nielsen again, and we got rained on pretty hard but we made the best of it and found 2 more investigators! Woo!

I love everyone of you all so much and I think about you all the time.  Have fun this summer for me. Hahahah.

For all my family in Texas, I miss y'all a lot and wish I could be with you this week! I'll visit as soon as I get back :) Have fun and hook em horns.

God be with you until I write next week! I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life and the happiness it brings.  I am so extremely grateful for my Savior and Redeemer and the sacrifice He made for us.  He lives and guides this church.  This is His work. His glory. And I'm so blessed to be apart of it.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Conference, Rain and Blessings

Hi everyone! Yes I'm still alive and doing well.  Hah.  Sorry it's been 2 weeks since I last wrote. Lulz. The anticipation must have been killing you guys.  So here's what's been going down; these last 2 weeks my companion and I have been traveling to Xalapa a lot because we had a bunch of mission conferences.  Two weeks ago we were visited by three general authorities, all in in one week: Elder Pino and Elder Piper of the seventy and Elder Christiansen of the presidency of the seventy. So yeah, that was a good week. Haha.


My companion and I recieved a bunch of personal revelation on how to help our area, how to be effective missionaries and how to rely on the spirit and it was soooooooo good. Also at these conferences I got to see all the missionaries from my old generation from my short MTC experience in October.  Including my old companion Elder Wright! I caught up with all of them and they told me about their areas and how they're doing.  It was so great because they were all surprisingly excited to see me! It was a grand occasion.  We had a bunch of good food like pizza (which is starting to become a delicacy to me now because I hadn't had in a while) and tacos del pastor.



 This week my companion and I went to Xalapa only once for a conference for new missionaries and trainers and that was super helpful as well.  I love my mission president so much and whenever I talk to him I always feel motivated to baptize all of Mexico.  He taught me how to more effectively use the Book of Mormon in our lessons with investigators, and how to rely on the Spirit, and to bring it with you wherever you go.

This week, as some of you tech savy people may know, it rained a LOT!  On Wednesday my companion and I were working hard (as the usual) and we had to walk to our investigators house.  By the time we got there we were sweating like crazy because the sun was beating on us the whole two mile walk.  We taught the lesson and it went great, but half way through the lesson it just starts pouring rain.  I guess it wasn't a lot for the locals, but for a California boy, born and raised, who only sees 5 days of rain a year, it was a lot and hard.  We finished our lesson and it's like the sky is falling. It's so hard and my companion and I had no other option, but to walk the two mile walk back to the house. (We were leaving for Xalapa that day and had to go or we would miss our bus).  I take ten steps outside and I'm already soaking wet.  So I just had one of those "it is what its is might as well enjoy it" moments.  There's a lot of hills here in Tlapacoyan, so water was rushing down the streets like a river, carrying all the dirt and trash on the streets. (It was nasty.) But yeah over all it was a nice refreshing walk. We were completely soaked though.



On Saturday I went on divisions with Elder Nielsen! (He's the Elder I told you guys about, who was in the the ccm with me.)  He has as much time on the mission as I do and his Spanish is not very good.  I knew I had to step up and lead the way, so I told Elder Nielsen (because he was just as unsure as I was) that if we have faith and the Spirit, the Lord will help us with the rest! And boy were we blessed.  The Lord helped me that day more than any other day and I truly felt like a tool in the Lords' hand.  My Spanish was the best I've ever felt its ever been.  I understood everything (which usually never happens), and Elder Nielsen and I together gave powerful testimony. Talk about greenie power hahaha.  We extended an invitation to one my ancient investigators to be baptized and he accepted and came to church this week!  He's someone that my companion, Elder Lopez  and I have been working with for a while and we almost dropped him.  But I felt the prompting to extend the invitation and share my testimony and it paid off.  Such an awesome day!

I want to bear my testimony that I know Christ lives.  He's my Savior and my love and faith grows for him more each day.  I know He has a plan for me and this is made evident more and more each day. I know why I'm here at the time. I'm here. I no longer doubt why my knee got hurt.  I know we have a prophet on the earth today who through direct revelation from God leads and directs this church.  This gospel brings me so much joy in my life and that's why I'm here sharing the happiness I have with the people here in Mexico.

Love you guys! Talk to you next week!


I held an iguana. Too bad my companion is not the best at taking pictures.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hola!

Hey everyone around the world, where ever you may be! 

Crazy busy week.  This week but full of immense blessings!  This will be a short email because I don't have much time, but I'll try my best.  My companion and I have been working like crazy trying to reactivate and energize the ward here in Tlapacoyan to come back to church.  We have a long list of in-active members and we try to visit at least one of them a week.  We've yielded some success and it's been coming along slowly.  They always invite us in with welcoming arms and offer us water (which we always accept.) And we share a message with them.

Our mission president has challenged us to teach about the law of the tithe with the members and investigators and share with them the blessings that come from being a full tithe payer.  The people here in Mexico are so humble.  Sometimes they have little to no money to barely eat each week.  But they still give their tithes to the Lord. 

I challenge each of you to keep the law of the tithe and help to edify the Lord's kingdom.  The Lord will bless you in all things spiritually and temporal even so much that you will have no room to receive all the blessings He gives. (Malachi 3: 8-10) The Lord has given you all you have, in you all have in your life He only asks you give some back. 

This week my companion (the district leader) had a leadership meeting out of town and I had to work a whole day with a male member.  Hahaha.  Me a gringo, in a land I don't know, talking with people in a language I can barely speak.  So I prayed all day and and a little into the night for the Lord's help the day before and I was blessed immensely!  I lead in lessons, contacted people and taught by the spirit all day and I grew a lot as a result.  It was awesome! And just what I needed to to continue growing as a missionary.

Adios, until next week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Greenie Week


I finally made it to Xalapa!

I'm in a tiny pueblo called Tlapacoyan, (about 3 hours from Xalapa) and if you look it up its basically in the middle of a jungle.  The cash crop here is bananas so you see a banana tree pretty much everywhere you go.  Mexico is definitely a trip, sometimes I think I might have gotten a little culture shock but that's ok.

My companion/trainer is Elder Lopez and he's from Monterey, Mexico.  He's been out for 21 months and leaves home basically after I'm done training.  He doesn't speak hardly any English and yeah it's sometimes difficult to communicate.  Hahahahah.  But I learn a lot of Spanish cada dia (every day).  I thought I had a good handle on the language, but I didn't calculate on all the slang that Mexicans speak. Lulz.  It's like learning a 3rd language!  So I speak super proper and sometimes they don't understand me, but it's no biggie.

The work here is hard, there's only one ward in the whole town and it's suffering.  They have so many inactive members and our goal this week is to invite every one of them back to church.  The closest town to us is Martinez de la Torre and its about 40 miles away.  Our area is the whole town and it used to be covered by 3 sets of missionaries.  Now it's just me and my companion. Hahahah. I guess the last sets of missionaries lost the trust of the ward, so they took them out and put us in.  So another goal of ours is to gain the trust of the ward back.  The closest town to us is Martinez de la Torre and it's away, so it's us against the world.  I actually thought I was the only gringo (white person) for miles, but then I saw one on Sunday.  It was quite a relief.  Because we're basically covering 3 areas we walk a lot!  I am getting in shape. Hahah.  We also have more investigators than all the other missionaries combined.  We're working muy duro! (very hard.)

This week was actually kind of rough, I got super homesick and it stunk.  The first couple of days all I could think about was home, and it was really distracting.  But as I started working and filling all my time in the Lord's field I didn't have time to think about home, which is good.  There is great news however; we had a baptism on Saturday!! Yayayaya my first baptism!  His name is Orlando and he's a tiny little fella.  Only 9 years old and a rascal but he's super funny. (Yah I'm the whitest person ever.)  (The picture he sent didn't come through. I assume it is of him and his new friend. When he sends it,  I will try to update this post.)

I love you all so much and miss you a ton!  Thank you for your prayers and love!  I want you to know that this work is hard, but the Lord is on our side and always helping us.  I see his hand at work everyday!  I can't wait to call you guys this Sunday!

Until then,

Elder Murphy

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Let the field work begin

Hey everyone!

I made it safe and sound to Xalapa and I must say it's much prettier than Mexico City.  It also smells better too.  We took something like a greyhound bus here and it was about a 4 hour trip.  We had about an hour wait at the bus station before we left and we took that time as an opportunity to practice our Spanish and teach people about the Book of Mormon.  Elder Nielsen, Elder Noble, and I taught this lady about the Book of Mormon this morning and it was awesome!  She believes the words that are in it are true but for some reason only thought that the Bible is the only words of scripture she needs ... Weird.  But we also handed out 2 pass along cards!! Yaaaayyyy!

Any ways this week was super spiritual and uplifting and just a great way to end my time in the MTC.  My companion and I sang a duet for the entire MTC before a devotional and it went super well!  We do have video footage, but I'm not sure how I'll be able to send it.  I'll look into it more.  We sang "n mas cerca dios de ti" (Nearer my god to thee.)  Elder Noble has such an amazing voice, he really did all the work.  Haha.

Also this week our district decided to eat a whole carton of fruit loops (about 4 1/2 bags) in one sitting. (I don't know why we just did.)  And we destroyed!  Although the fruit loops did destroy us later the next day, hahaha.

This week we found out that one of the Hermanas (sisters - girl missionary) in our district, Hermana Bryan, would be leaving home from the MTC the same time we left for the field.  She has severe pain in her joints and at times it got so bad that she couldn't even walk.  So she had to leave until she received further treatment.  She, knowing I had returned to my mission from injury also, wondered how she could do the same when she received better treatment.  I told her everything I did to get back and much more as the spirit directed and it was a great spiritual experience.

I love you guys so much, but this all the time I got and I have to go.  I love you all!!

CCM District 14 A 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Almost there

Elder Murphy has finished his training and is on a bus headed to Xalapa Mexico. We look forward to an email from him this afternoon. His address has changed:

Elder Michael Murphy
Misión México Xalapa
Ave Arco Vial Sur #738
Colonia Lomas Verdes
Xalapa, Veracruz 91098
Mexico
Mexico

Postcards or one-page letters can be sent using one US first-class postage stamp. For a letter, with the blank side down, fold it up in thirds and secure the long edge with tape. Do not seal the short ends. Stamp the corner and address to:

Elder Michael Murphy
México Xalapa Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City,
UT 84130-0150

A mother of a missionary posted tips for sending packages to Xalapa. You can read her post here. (Scroll to the end.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 5 MTC

Hola mi familia y mis amigos! (Hello my friends and family)

Wow did this week go by fast!  It doesn't even feel like a week to be honest!  Every day has been a blur because we do the same drill every day - studying and teaching until the day is done. It's been super busy and productive.  I've learned a lot.  A week from yesterday I'll be out in the field and let me tell you that I can not wait! At times I feel like I've been in the MTC for an eternity and other times it feels like its gone by in a flash.

There are 3 of us in my district going to Xalapa: my companion (Elder Noble), Elder Nielsen, and myself.  I've told you all about Elder Noble and how cool he is, but Elder Nielsen is just as special or even more.  I've so much respect for him.  He's from Thousand Oaks, California. He is a convert to the church which is really neat. He's also the hardest working missionary in our district.  I'm serious no one works harder or studies longer than Elder Nielsen.  He is a machine!  He came to the MTC not knowing any Spanish and now he's a proficient speaker and can handle his own super well! So a ton of respect there.  Oh yeah, he's also 26 years old and served for 5 years as a marine!!!! Like what!?!  He is an absolutely amazing person and I'm so excited to be able to work with him in Xalapa.

This week in TRC we taught a mother and her 2 kids which was a neat experience because I've never taught a lesson with kids before.  It was definitely good practice for the field.  Right away the kids (Ethan and Emerson) were completely unfocused and at first it was hard to get our message across. So right away I started structuring our lesson to include by asking them a ton of questions and showing them a bunch of pictures.  It turned out great!  We taught about scriptures and different people in the Book of Mormon.  It was so cute to hear their small but powerful testimonies.  Later that day I saw them at dinner.  I waved at them and immediately they came up and wrapped there arms around my legs and it was definitely a highlight of my week :)

All the natives when they see my name will without fail say, "Ohhh como (like) Eddie Murphy!" or "Hey Robocop!!"  Yeah I can expect to get that for the rest of my mission.  Hahah because I'm sure it'll be the same in Xalapa.

There wasn't that many eventful things that happened this week. Sorry this email is so short. Haha I made sure I didn't hurt myself, so thats good.  I hope all is going well back in the States or wherever you may be.  Every day I feel so blessed to be apart of this amazing work.  I don't what I did in the pre-existence or how I got so lucky.  But everyday I get to serve as missionary of God, in the greatest time in history to be a missionary, when the Lord is hastening his work and it is progressing at a speed that it never has before.  What an honor it truly is.  I love you all so very much and you are all in my prayers.  Next week I'll have more to say and more stories to tell I promise!

Love you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Write Elder Murphy in Mexico

Elder Murphy told me that DearElder is not as effective in Mexico as it was in Provo.  He told me of a new alternative: http://www.mtcmexicocarepackage.com/home.html This website is run by members of the church in Mexico.  You can send him packages or a letter.  (Update: Since Michael is no longer in the MTC, this will not work. See his new address here.)

To send him a letter you must make a PDF.  Here is a tutorial.
Then you send the PDF to this email
letter@mtcmexicocarepackage.com
and write his name in the subject line




Week 4 MTC

Hello everyone. I hope all is going well!

1 month down and the blessing to serve 23 more. Heck yes!  Now you may be asking "Michael how have you managed to serve a whole month and not hurt yourself yet?"  Well let me tell you random citizen, that I indeed have.  Hahaha. Yaaaaaaaaa.  But do not fret, all is well.

So last week while exercising during gym time I was in the weight room going hard like I usually do.   And I just felt a little strained in my left shoulder so I took a break and went to shoot some hoops.  No biggie right?  At least not so far.  So I'm just shooting around not going really that hard and I go to catch a random ball in air with my left hand.  And that's when my shoulder decided to stop working. It has dislocated and I'm again where I found myself, many months ago, in pain in the middle of a gym floor.  For those of you don't know, this has happened twice before.  Yay.  In my mind I'm thinking "This can't be happening again.  It can't."

Some people help me up and put me in a wheelchair to the infirmary.  (Speaking of wheelchairs I have a joke about one that I'll tell later on. Lulz.)  So I'm in the infirmary with my shoulder still separated or dislocated or whatever you want to call it when the doctor comes to see me. He basically says, "This really isn't my area of expertise and that you have to go to a hospital.... in Mexico."  At this point I don't know what I'm scared of more: going home or going to a Mexican hospital.

So before we leave I'm trying with all my will and praying with all my might that my shoulder will go back in place, so I don't have some doctor in Mexico do it for me.  I don't know how but slowly my muscles start to contract in my shoulder and slowly the bone starts going in.  I'm very much aware of it because I gain more range of motion every minute.  While this happened every native and their mother, happened to be in the infirmary.  And they're talking to me in Spanish wondering what happened.  Which really helped the situation hahaha.

We leave for the hospital (my companion, myself, and a native chaperone) and at that point I think my shoulder is good, just a little sore.  We get there and it's actually a nice hospital or at least nicer than I thought.  We are seen very quickly and they help me get ready for x rays.  I feel like the lady doing x rays did not know what she was doing, because she shot xrays at me like 100 times in one minute.  I thought I was going to get radiation sickness and lose all my hair hahah.

We finish getting x rays and I'm seen by an extremely young doctor who is the orthopedic expert.  She tells me that since this has happened so many times before that it would probably be best if I get it fixed as to avoid doing further damage to my shoulder.  She recommended that I should go home to get it done.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I thanked the doctor for her evaluation and just waited for the water works.  She gave me this weird sling thing, that is more of a body to keep my shoulder in place.  There was a solid hour that day that I thought I was going home again.

Upon arrival back at the MTC I was greeted by the head doctor and he assured me that I would be fine.  He called 2 experts and they both said that if I refrained from sports or any weight lifting I should be fine.  I was so happy to hear that!  I thanked the Lord for the rest of that day and the next i was so happy!  It was such a relieve. Yep, so basically my whole entire left side of my body is broken with my left knee still healing and my left shoulder going out of place from time to time.  I'm basically a mess, but I just want to assure you guys that I'm al-RIGHT. Bahahhahahha.

Later that day we had TRC which is where we teach volunteers.  My companion and I got the chance to meet Ximena who was just the sweetest soul.  She's 15 and has only been a convert for less than a year.  She already has such a strong testimony.  She shared with us her desire to serve a mission and how much the church has blessed her life.  Such a sweet spirit and I had such a joy teaching her.  It was a great way to end the day. Well that basically it for this week.  Every other day has been pretty normal with continued studying and growth.

I hope everyone is doing well and I thank you for all the prayers you've said for me.  Know that I pray for you all every day too.  God is good and I'm so grateful to be able to serve him.  I can't wait to go to the field and meet the people of Xalapa.  Just 2 more weeks and it will finally happen.

Wheelchair joke: the Mexican word of the day is wheelchair - Juan and I only have one taco but it's ok, wheelchair. (Say it out loud and in your best Mexican accent.)




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 3 MTC

Hey everyone! Hope everyone had a great spring break and an even better Easter!

Wow! Crazy to think that 6 months ago this week I left for my mission the first time! Looking back I feel it was a long time. Especially when I think about how much has happened.  I learn more and more each day not to dwell in the past in what could have happened but look hopefully to the future for what will :)

This week seemed like it took forever but it was eventful and full of fun none the less! I have became an official residence of Mexico as of last Wednesday!! Woooooo!  I as well as some other missionaries serving in Mexico, took a bus trip to the consulate in Mexico City to retrieve our visas. We almost didn't make it because no one told us we about it until 5 minutes before the bus left! So my companion and I had to chow down our breakfast and book it over there and we made it just fine.

Every time I go outside the walls of the MTC I'm amazed by how awfully yet impressively people drive.  So fast and so close, but I have yet to see an accident.  It's about an hour bus ride to the consulate so I got to see a bunch of the city and it made me want to leave to the field already! These weeks in the MTC don't seem to go by fast enough.

At the consulate a lot of missionaries couldn't understand what the workers were telling them so I helped translate a lot.  And it was good practice for me.  After we got our visas all the missionaries ate at this little taco stand on the side of the street.  I could just tell right from the start that was a bad place to eat because street food here will just tear up your insides . . . but man if those weren't the best tacos I had ever eaten in my life!!!  It was like a circus of spices and flavors in your mouth as well as when it came out. Ha ha ha ha ha ha yeah I definitely paid for it later but totally worth it.

Since we had to go to the consulate on Wednesday we missed our progressing investigator lesson that morning so we had to make it up the next day.  Along with our other investigator we had that day and we were starting TRC.  Which is where we teach actual volunteers instead of teachers playing the role of the investigator.  So it worked out that we would be teaching 3 lessons.  Which is probably nothing compared to the missionaries in the field,  but to us in the MTC it is 3 times more than the usual. Lulz.

Our first lesson was with Miguel, who we had taught earlier that week and flopped really hard with.  It was the worst teaching experience of my life.  I was so grateful he wasn't a real investigator.  So we had to redeem ourselves and this time we did so good! We taught him how to pray and answered all his questions and I could feel Heavenly Father communicating through me. Such an awesome experience.

Later we had a lesson with Daniel.  Our main goal was to earn his trust and be a friend to him.  And we did just that!  So we were 2 for 2! And then later that day we met Gloria.  Gloria is 76 and has been a member for 33 years and has to be the sweetest lady I've ever met!  She shared her conversion story with us, and how much she loves this church and the spirit was just so strong!  She had such a beautiful soul and glowed with the light of Christ and I can't wait to meet more people like her on my mission.

This whole week our entire district was just looking forward to conference and we were not disappointed.  I loved how most of the conference was based on family.  Even though as a missionary starting a family isn't anywhere on my radar yet, I focused on how those messages would help the people I would teach.  My favorite session by far was the Sunday morning session. There was just a triple whammy of speakers back to back that I just loved. Elder Brent Nielsen's talk on the prodigal son was definitely one I could relate to and was so good.  Then my man Elder Holland knocked it out of the park with his talk on the Savior.  Like holy cow!  And Elder Uchtdorf's talk on grace was one of the best I've heard!  I recommend everyone go back and take a look at those three.  I know I will!

Yesterday as I was thinking about what to write you guys I realized I really didn't have a funny story to tell you guys like last week.  I thought oh well that's just how it'll be.  I definitely spoke too soon. Yesterday after we had another successful lesson outside with Miguel, our teacher was giving us feedback on how our lesson went.  While he's talking there's this crazy bird over us just making the craziest noises.  Mind you all the birds in Mexico are cray cray.  And in my mind I'm thinking, "that is crazy. If only I had a shotgun."  Now I don't know if this bird could read my mind or something, but out of nowhere he just takes his revenge on me and poops right on the back of my neck! LOL at my life.  Anyways I learned 2 very important things that day:
1. God really does have a sense of humor
2. Fresh bird poop is extremely warm.

That's all for this week everyone.  I hope all is well and that everyone is doing good and healthy!  I pray for you all the time!

I want to close with my testimony:

I know that we have a loving Father who is aware of us, loves us, and has a plan for all of us.  I know that it's only through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ that we are able to return back to Him. His love and atonement is infinite.  I feel it every day. If you haven't seen the church's video,  He is Risen on youtube you need to watch it.  I love my Savior so much and I try to be more like Him everyday.  I love sharing His gospel with those around me and bringing  them closer to Christ.  He lives.  I know He does.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and its words truly do have the power to change lives.  I've seen it.  I love you all and God loves you too!

Until next week!

P.S. Don't be afraid to email me :)

(Or you can write a letter to him. Use this post to help.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 2 MTC

Hey Everyone,

Ha ha ha ha. Yes it has been 2 weeks and I haven't broken anything! I did a lot of praying this week to make sure it didn't happen again. :) Proof prayer always works!  This week was a very long and stress filled one but I've grown so much.  I'm really thankful to my Heavenly Father for putting all these tasks in my life to help me learn and grow so much quicker!

There were so many things I wanted to tell you guys last time but wasn't able to because I ran out of time. The language is coming along so great! We share our dorms with native speakers who barely speak any English and it helps.  It's great practice to speak to them and get used to the rhythm and speed of how they talk.

Our district and I are really trying to use Spanish where ever we can to learn the language quicker and it's really helping.  I can honestly say that our Heavenly Father blesses when we are serving him and teaching his children. The gift of tongues has been such an obvious blessing in my life right now as well as for the others in my district. When we teach the spirit really does guide our thoughts and helps us say what we need to say and what the investigator needs to hear. Such a good thing to be apart of.


One of the cool things about the Mexico City MTC is we are surrounded by mountains and so at times it feels like we are at the bottom of a very large cereal bowl.  All up and down these mountains there are these Mexican house structures. (They are kind of structures, not really houses at all.)  And at night the houses light up the side of the mountains. It makes everything look super pretty.  I'll send pictures.


Last week my district as well as other districts got to see the Mexico City temple. It is one of the coolest temples I've ever seen.  We couldn't go in unfortunately because they're remodeling but we went inside the visitor center for a while and learned a ton about the growth of the church in Mexico. Super interesting! One of the sister missionaries there could speak 5 languages. Like whaaattt? (Spanish, French, Russian, Galic, and English.)


Sunday was such a spiritual day.  I love Sundays in the MTC.  We had the opportunity to fast because General Conference is next weekend.  It was great!  We got to watch an MTC devotional called The Character of Christ by David A Bednar.  I saw part of it in Provo and have raved about to everyone in the MTC as well as some of the leadership.  I guess it worked because they showed it.  It's honestly the best talk I've ever heard and I encourage everyone to read it or watch it if you can find it.  It talks about how selfless Christ is and how we better ourselves by being like him. 

Sort of a funny thing that happened this week is my companion and I locked ourselves out of our room. Ha ha. You need a key to get into our dorm and to get into the room we share.  While we we getting ready in the morning the door to our room shut while our keys were inside.  We were in our underwear. SOOOOOOOOO yeaah.  I had to borrow some clothes from our native roommates and walk across the campus in street clothes to reception for another key. Needless to say we were late for breakfast.

As I mentioned earlier a lot goes on outside the walls of the MTC.  Fireworks, cannons, and even some gun shots. But in the MTC I feel completely safe.  It really feels like we are in the world but not of it.  But they really do blow cannons and stuff everyday, because every day they celebrate a Saint. Every day is a party in Mexico. Ha Ha Ha Ha.

I love all of you so much and thanks for all the love!  I pray for you everyday!  God works milagros (miracles) and its through simple people like you and me. :)

Here's some cool pictures of me wielding some lights sabers! No Mom and Dad it wasn't while we were studying. Ha Ha.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week 1 MTC

My first week in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) was super amazing of course, but also the same as my last first week. Dejavú! But it was very successful none the less. The very first thing I noticed about Mexico on the flight in was the pollution. When we landed I was super scared about how I would get through customs. The people in customs didn't speak a lot of English but with the little Spanish I knew at the time I was able to get through. There were 26 missionaries on the flight with me but another missionary and I were the only ones that had our tags. We represented.

From the airport to the CCM (MTC) I got to see the life of Mexico through the window of a bus. It's just what I imagined it would be. Trash everywhere, rubble structures and crazy drivers. But all people I saw on the way were just so beautiful and radiated with humility and love to me. It made me extremely happy that I actually shed a tear or two and the missionary next to me got super worried and asked if I was ok. I reassured him I was. 

My companion's name is Elder Noble and he is from Mesa, Arizona. He is all that and a bag of chips. We get along super well and he has a million dollar smile which really helps in our lessons. He's our district leader cause he slays with the spirit. He loves singing which is perfect because I also love to sing. So we sing and harmonize with each other wherever we go. We´re working on a companionship duet so we can spiritually blow the minds of the missionaries here. We teach together well and our companionship studies are super powerful. He's having a little bit of a hard time with the language but that's ok because I help out a lot.

The Mexico City MTC is established in an old high school built by the church that was turned into a missionary training center just a couple of years ago. It is a 90 acres campus surrounded by a stone wall 9 ft tall, with an even higher metal fence on top of it.  We are told it is electric, but I don't think it is. I think we´re pretty safe. Inside there are several classroom halls named after LDS prophets that we have our studies in. There are houses that some of the missionaries and workers live in but my district and I were lucky enough to get the dorms. Just kidding, the dorms are not the business. They're basically small study rooms with beds in them, but its all good. My companion and I (the gringos) share the dorm room with 2 companionships of native speakers. It has been both a challenge and a blessing. At first communicating was difficult, but within a day I could understand them perfectly.

A typical day here at the MTC consists of a lot of sitting in a classroom and studying. We wake up early and bathe and prepare for our day. Then we go to our classroom and study for 30 minutes. Then we go to breakfast.  After breakfast we have language and teaching lessons from our teacher hermano (brother) silva. He's awesome. I love that guy. Hahaha.  He's so funny. But he's also super serious and spiritual when he needs to be. We have lessons for 3 hours then we have lunch. Afterwards we prepare our lessons for the mock investigators we teach and we teach them later that afternoon. We then eat dinner and have more language study till we go to bed. We are awake doing things for 18 hours a day, so each day feels like an eternity. Hahaha. But they're starting to go by faster.

Everywhere around campus there are these purple trees that look so beautiful right now. I wish I could send a picture but I can't run.

 Mexico is a little sketch. They shoot off cannons everyday and it's kind of scary. Sirens are going off all the time but we are save here. It's like we are outside of the world.

The gift of tongues is such a real blessing and I'm learning so much. I love it here.

I'm out of time, got to go. Sorry I couldn't write more. I'll tell you guys more next week.

Peace and love,

Elder Murphy

Friday, March 20, 2015

Write Elder Murphy

Want to write Elder Murphy in a quick and painless way?  Check out the free service by DearElder.com.  Write your letters before midnight Sunday (MST) and they will be printed and mailed to Elder Murphy for free using the church pouch system.  Click here for a brief explanation of how the pouch system works. Click here to get started.





You can send him a digital copy of your letter as well if you input his email in the second box. His email is michael.murphy@myldsmail.net .


If you prefer not to use Dear Elder, you can send a letter directly to the pouch address.  Click here to read instructions. The pouch address is:

Elder Michael Murphy
Mexico MTC
P. O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130