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

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
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.)