Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas, heat, and new apartment

Hello everybody! It was so nice to see some of you on Christmas,
you all look like you're doing really well! I also loved to hear all
of your voices, it made me so happy! I hope you all had a Merry
Christmas, it sure sounds like you did. Thank you to everyone who sent
me a little something this Christmas, I really enjoyed  all of it, and I
will use everything you sent, so thank you!
This week was a little crazy. I'm pretty sure I told all y'all about
my last apartments bathroom disaster, and how me and Elder Leftwich
stayed the night at my Bishops house a few weeks ago. Well, Bishop
up and decided to do something about it, and he got us a new
apartment right here in town! It turns out that a family in the ward,
 have this nice big spare apartment above the garage next to their house. It was only half finished. 
So, Bishop, some members who are contractors got started on Monday.  By the end of
Wednesday they told us we could move in! 
Those pastors work fast! We also helped out with the
painting and cleaning of the apartment, and if there's  a guy who
knows how to clean up a job site, I'd say I'm that guy (huh dad?)! So
on Thursday, Christmas Eve, me and Elder Leftwich decided to move
everything from our old apartment to the new one. It took us the whole
day, and about seven trips going back and forth. For some reason we
decided to do it all on our own, so it took a while. About the whole
day. By the time it was about five o'clock, I think, we were down to
our beds and our only couch, and some food in our fridge, so we
decided to call up the sisters and their truck (still jealous of that)
to help move the couch, because it wouldn't fit into our car, Sherm.
Well, the couch was a beast to get up the stairs! And, for some
reason, Texas decided to get all hot again all of a sudden, 83
degrees, and humid again, 80%, so by the time we got the couch up the
stairs we were sweating like crazy. The sisters were cheering us on
the whole way though! Man that really took it out of me and Leftwich,
so we spent the rest of the evening organizing the apartment, and
trying to recover from the day. It was a long one! It felt weird
looking back at the old apartment and seeing nothing again, just like
the day I got there, but man, I love this new one! I don't mean to
brag, but it's probably the best in THE mission. Except, we forgot to
turn on the water heater the first few days, so we had to take cold
showers for a bit!
So, not too much actual missionary work happened is week, but we were
still able to go and see people! We taught an investigator again on Wednesday
and on Saturday, but on Saturday there was still a lot of family over,
so it was a loud lesson. Like, Murdock Christmas party loud. We also
took some cookies we made on Tuesday with some members to some
investigators. One of them is a lady we met last week while
tracking, and taught the restoration to this week. She's really a
sweet old lady, and she calls us "baby" a lot, so it's kinda funny!
Other investigators are doing a lot better, and their family is still interested in
the messages.
Well, that's about it this week, I hope you all have a Happy New Year,
and keep doing well this next week too! I love you all,
Love,
Elder Murdock

True to the Faith
Elder Murdock and Leftwich hung a Christmas Tree  of lights and put their presents under it!
New apartment

We loved visiting with Elder Murdock on Christmas Day! He sounded so happy. He loves being a missionary in Texas!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody! Things are going great out here, we got our
apartment cleaned up real nice, and we are actually going to have a
new place to stay after Christmas. The Bishop and a few members in the
ward are setting up a guest house next to a members house out here, so
soon me and Elder Leftwich will be living in style! I sure like all
the Christmas pictures y'all sent, and all the ones the Birds sent,
they look awsome!
This week has been great, we did a lot of service for some ward members.
The ward got some members together to build a ramp to make
getting into their house easier.  Elder Leftwich is still doing great too! We just went
fishing today with the Cleveland Elders,and that was a lot of fun. We
were actually able to contact over sixty people in the past two days
just by going and knocking doors! We got a lot of return appointments
from it, and so we should have a very busy week this week! And we are
both way tired from it! Not too much else has happened, that family we
met last week is still doing good, we went by to check on them last
night and gave the mom a blessing. 
Oh, and I was really glad to hear about how THE UTES BEAT THE
COUGARS!!! That was fun to hear, but some of the members aren't too
happy about it! Oh well :)
I hope y'all have a great week this week, I'll see you soon I guess.
I'm so excited to see and talk to all of you, and I hope you are too! Merry
Christmas,
Love,
                 Elder Murdock

True to the Faith




Monday, December 14, 2015

Side streets, Fasting and New Companions

Hello Everyone! It's been a great week, and I've got a lot to say this
time, so buckle up and enjoy!
To start, Elder Leftwich is an amazing guy, and a great missionary to
boot! I can tell already that we are going to have some fun, and do a
lot of good hard work this transfer.  We had dinner
with the Poffs and the Sisters were invited as well, so it was nice to
see them too.  By the way, that's my district now, the Sisters, Elder
Leftwich, and me! We're small, but I think we are all good
missionaries, so we will do good in this little Livingston district.
So, an amazing thing happened yesterday!
Yesterday, we had a few lessons planned, but they all fell through. We
were having a zone fast too, so we were really feeling kinda down (and
hungry) but we knew we had to do something, so we went out to go
tracting, without feeling too confident. We tried a place that I've
been wanting to go to for a while, but haven't been able to because of
miles, but I think it will work out now with this new district. We met
a few people, and even had some one ask us to come back, but it was
nothing too sure.  So, we decided to go try another little area that
hasn't been tracked yet, and by this time it was getting a little
darker. I kinda had a little idea of where we should go, but I really
wasn't too sure. While we were driving there, I saw on our gps that
there was a little street to one side. Me and Elder Moe had never gone
down it because it was just so small, only two houses on it, and we
had always gone down the street into a bigger neighborhood.  Well, as
we were driving past it this time, I just felt like we should try
these two houses, just to be sure.  So I turned down that road, and we
got out and we're immediately welcomed by about four dogs, wagging
their tails and barking at us. I asked Elder Leftwich which house he
wanted to knock on first, and he said it didn't really matter (later
we found out that it does matter!) so I decided to try the first house
on the left, where a little old lady answered and told us, politely,
to come back another time. So, we walked over to the next house, who's
front porch had a bunch of puppy's scampering around it, all cute
like.  We could see through the window a man working on some Christmas
lights and a tree, so we weren't too sure if he wanted us to talk to
him, but we knocked anyway. He answered the door and told us to try
back another time because he was busy, and had his family coming in
soon anyway. Right when he said that, a big truck pulled into his
driveway, and all these teenagers piled out and walked right into the
house, right passed us! Their mom was last to get into the house, and
as she passed us she said, "Hi Elders." Hi Elders!! She invited us to
come in, and her husband said it was fine , so we went in and shared
the Christmas video and talked a short while about the gospel with the
husband, , his wife, and one of their
daughters who is 14 and looking for a church with a
good youth program. Well, it turns out that the mom was in the Young
Women's program back when she was 12! She joined the church when she
was 12, and she's about fifty or so now, but she loved everything
about the church, and the youth programs we have, and has actually
been looking for a chapel here in Onalaska since they moved here eight
years ago. We told her it's actually in Livingston, and that we would
love for her and her family to come down some time. She said of
course, and pretty much told her daughter that she should study with the
Elders (us) and think about baptism! It was great! I love seeing these
little miracles out here, especially after we were having bad luck.
Fasting works I guess!
Well, that was a long story, but it really was awesome. After that, we
went out with Brother Crocket, a high priest in the ward, who is
probably the most loving man you will meet, unless you meet one of the
apostles, to administer the sacrament to a couple of people who
couldn't make it to church. That was great, it felt good to bless the
sacrament again, and talking with these people was just a great
spiritual thing to do.  The first person we went to was a cancer
patient,  and her husband who was there at the nursing
home with her. The second person was another cancer patient, at his
home, with his wife. They had a really sweet 
dog who liked to be petted, and they also had a good spirit in their
home.
Well, we had a great week, and I hope y'all have a good one next week.
I'm so glad to hear your testimonies, and that y'all are doing so good
back home too.  I'll try to send another email latter today if I can
for each of you, but if I can't, know that I love you, and y'all are
the bomb! Merry Christmas!
Love,
           Elder Murdock

True to the Faith

Elder Murdock also sent pictures of the sewer backing up into their apartment.  I didn't think y'all needed to see that!  I am wondering why he thought I needed to see that.  I told him sometimes it "stinks" being a missionary!!


Elder Leftwich and Elder Murdock

They found this belt outside of their apartment.  Elder Murdock
said it made him feel like a Champ! I hope they find the owner!

Beautiful Lake Livingston

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bye Elder Moe and Thank You!!

Howdy y'all! Things are great out here in East Texas! Today is transfer
day, so that means a whole lot of stuff going on with a whole lot of
emotions going everywhere! I'd like to thank all of you, first of all,
for all the support you're giving me, and for the testimonies each of
you have borne for me, they have helped strengthen me, and made me
happy! So, thanks. I'd also like you to know how much I love you,
especially for letting me go out on this mission. Elder Moeakiola
wanted you to know the same thing, he's really glad that y'all let me
come out, too.
Well, it's finally time to let my crazy Tongan brother go back to the
island. I sure am going to miss the big guy, the whole mission will be
different without him! We've had a good time serving together, and
have learned a lot from each other. It's weird that I'm going to have
some other guy following me around now, I'll let y'all know who it is
when I find out, because right now, I don't know myself!
This week has been busy, we had to do a lot of stuff with the ward. We
finally taught  a lesson to Jessie, a guy we've been trying to work with
for the last while, and he loved it! We also had to go down to
Kingwood two nights in a row, Friday, and Saturday. We were
helping out with a big Christmas nativity festival at the stake
center. That was really nice to help them, they had all these
nativities set up in the cultural hall, along with other Christmas
themed activities to do all over the church. My favorite was the dress
up place, Sister White and Sister Fernandez were in charge of it, and
it was where you could dress up as nativity characters and be in a
little manger, and there were tons of little kids that went there to
get pictures with their families, so the sisters were just perfect for
it.  
We also were one of the performances at the nativity in Kingwood, on
Saturday we went down again, but this time, we were singing with the
ward choir. That was really fun, we have an amazing singer in our
ward.  She's Weston's age, and reminds me of him a
lot. They would get along really well, I think! So, that was a great
way to get into the Christmas spirit, I love this time of year!
Everyone seems a little cheerier, and maybe even a little more open to
the gospel, I think we are going to do good things this Christmas
season!
So, a few things about transfers: I'm staying here in Onalaska, and
I'm going to be a regular missionary still, not training or anything.
Moe's leaving, of course, and Sister Fernandez is being transferred
too! She has been in Livingston her whole mission, so she is pretty
sad about that, and so is Sister White.  I'll let you know more about my new comp 
when I can.Love,
             Elder Murdock

True to the Faith
P Day at Lake Livingston
Elder Murdock said to show this to Colby Brewer-So this is for you Colby Brewer! Happy Wedding!

District

Nativity at Stake Center

Exchanges

This must have been at Young Women in Excellence!

P Day


Monday, November 30, 2015

Turkey, floods and grubs

Hey everybody! 

The NGOs are really great here in Texas, it's starting to feel cold even,
and it's been raining a ton for the past few days.
Thanksgiving was awesome! We had a good dinner with the Crocket family!
This week was pretty weird, especially on Saturday.  Our car only has
a few miles left to go this month, so we couldn't go anywhere far, so
we stayed in town mostly, teaching people we had met close to us. That
went actually pretty well, we have a new potential investigator, and
she seems really nice, too!
So, on Saturday, I woke up and went to the kitchen to make some
breakfast, and there were all these little grub things crawling all
over the ground! They were very gross, so me and Moe spent the morning doing a
thorough cleaning of the apartment.  Don't worry though, we got it nice
and clean, and it will stay that way for a while now! Also, at the end
of the day, we found out the Sisters apartment had some flooding from
their neighbor upstairs, so we went to go check to see if they were
alright. Sister Fernandez has been sick for the past few days, so she
was knocked out sleeping when it happened. When she woke up, Sister
White was cleaning up all the carpets, and tearing them up and stuff,
so sister F was really confused.  Anyway, they're alright now, doing
good!
Thanksgiving was great, like I said. We had the actual dinner at the
Crockets with their family, and we had dessert with the Hentschels.
It was all really good, and we both got so stuffed! We also played
some football and kickball with the Hentschel kids, they are awsome.
I'm really glad to hear that y'all had a great Thanksgiving too, I sure
did miss you though, but only a little! It does feel weird not being
with y'all this year, but I guess we just need to get used to it for
now.  
 I love y'all so much and I hope everything goes great for y'all this week! Enjoy the snow, I'm
pretty jealous of that. Till next week!
Thanksgiving Day


After District Meeting
Love, Elder Murdock
True to the Faith

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Week

Heeeellllooooo everybody! Things are going really great out here!
We've got some people who say they want to be be baptized, we are
teaching more people, and having fun doing it!
There's a family out here who loves us a lot, they are really sad
about Elder Moe leaving though. Because of that, though, they've let
us eat dinner with them as much as they can.  They signed up for every
Saturday night, and other days too. The best thing about it is, the
Grandma,whose house it is, lets some of her kids live
with her, and her grandkids.  Her son in law is the one we are
teaching, so we get to teach him each time we come over.  Oh, and it's
the same family who has the kid we baptized! They are awesome,
we are going over at thanksgiving to eat desert, She makes home made
pies!
We are eating at a different families house  for thanksgiving meal.  They have a nice house
on the lake, and they are also an amazing family. I sure miss my
family though, they are probably my favorite in the whole world! I
just wanted to let you know I'm taken care of out here.
So, a whole lot of kids were outside our apartment the other day,  and we
had fun playing with them. They thought it was cool that we were
"church people". And they all wanted some bibles, and Books of Mormon.
We gave them to them, and they thought it was awesome! I'm not sure if
their parents will like them, but oh well!
That's really about it, thanks for all the pictures, it's fun to see
how y'all are doing! I'll keep working hard out here, and I hope
Thanksgiving will be good for y'all! Say hi to all the family!
I love you guys,
Love,
Elder Murdock

True to the Faith


At the church on PDay!


Teaching a lesson!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Good week-Short Email

Hello family! Things have been going really well out here.We
just  got four new investigators that are all in part member
families, so good news! At least I hope so!
Not too much has happened this week, I'm sorry to say.  I went
on an exchange with elder Udal, the district leader, and that went
really well, he's a great guy! We tried to teach a few lessons, but
the people just weren't really as interested as I thought.  I got the package you sent.
 Thank you for all the winter gear by the way, I think it will help a lot, it's actually
starting to get colder out here!
An older woman in the ward passed away this week.  Most of her family are members so they have the Plan of Salvation.  It sure helps people during hard times.  We went over to the families  house to see if they needed any help from the Elders. They found out Moe was Tongan, and one of them
actually asked if he could do the Hakka. He said yes, and we ended up
doing it for them right there in the living Room! It was crazy, but so
is Texas. I love it out here, and I love all of you! Have a great week!
Love,
               Elder Murdock
True to the Faith 

Sporting the cool Tonga shirt!


Breakfast at the Mission Home with Pres. and Sister Drake

Monday, November 9, 2015

Investigators, Pool, and Baptism

Hello everybody! It's so good to hear how well y'all are doing, and I'm
so glad the Devils are going to Rice! I think it's funny that you play
East though, because there is a Tongan Elder in my district, Elder
Tukuafu, that played for East the year they lost to Timpview in the
state game. When I told him about the game he said he
didn't like me anymore! But, I think we'll be alright, once the game is
over!
Big things are happening down here in Dixie guys, I'm glad to get to be a part of it!
This week has been good to us, we taught a lot of less actives this
week, as well as a couple of new investigators! One of them was A.T.
again, and he is still doing good, we taught him the full
lesson of the restoration, and he is still real interested, and he
wants us to keep coming by! The other man we're going to start
teaching is an older gentleman who lives near us.
He likes us, but he really wants to make sure
about the church before he commits to anything, so we're going to work
with him a bit.
Something cool happened the other night! We were going out to check up on a
less active, who we didn't have much luck with, but as we were driving
away, I saw these people playing pool in a shed house thing, and I
commented on it to Elder Moe, who loves pool (he beats me every time
we play) and he asked if we should go play with them. I said yeah, why
not! So we parked our car and went over, suits and all, and asked if
we could play a game with them. They were a little suspicious at
first, but when we told them we were Mormons, not J-dubs, they were
happy to have us!   Moe played one of the Gentleman first.
 Elder Moe beat him in pool. Then we played the ladies. One of them beat me, but I 
was able to teach the restoration during the game! Elder Moe taught
the other girl while I played.   They both took a Book of Mormon, and
would like us to keep coming by to play pool and teach. One gentleman who was the 
best at pool played Elder Moe. Moe beat him once, then lost to him. He was
wearing a cowboy hat, and he kinda reminded me of uncle Dave in a
way.  He isn't as interested in us as the others, but we were able to
clear up a few questions for him, and he said we were welcome back any
time. So that was cool!
We also baptized our 8 year old investigator.  I think it is so good for him to do this, and I
love that family as well.  
Well I'm doing good out here, I think about y'all  a lot, and I hope you
know how much all of you, Mom Dad and Wes and everyone else, have been
able to help me by being who you are! Thanks, and I love you!
Love,
                  Elder Murdock 

True to the Faith





Back Road

Baptism

District Meeting with a visitor!!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Racing for Book of Mormons, Halloween, and Teaching

 I hope all y'all are doing good after that earthquake. (We had a small earthquake here at home on Monday morning. It woke us up early!) I know I'm doing alright after a few tornado warnings out here, pretty crazy stuff lately I guess! It's been a really good week, we got some good stuff done and had fun doing it. On Tuesday we went out looking for people, and we stopped by to see these people we met a while back, but they weren't home. Instead, their kids were there, with some of their cousins riding bikes. We actually got to play with two of the younger kids. We played catch with a baseball a little bit, it was fun. It all started out with Moe challenging their older cousin, who was on a bike, to a race. Moe on feet, the kid on a bike.  Moe won, of course, and because he won, the kids had to take Books of Mormon from us! The younger kid,  who is about seven, invited us back the other day, but nothing really came of it, but I think we'll keep trying them out, we'll see how it goes.  Wednesday was great, we taught an 8 year old another lesson.  He is in a part member family.  His family all dressed up as opposite genders for the ward trunk or treat, and it was so funny to see them like that! I love this 8 year old! He is such a smart little guy, he's taking the lessons really well!  The rest of the week has been good, we had the sisters over to our porch for dinner on Halloween, and that was fun, we had Tongan food for Halloween! We all went as missionaries, of course.  Then just yesterday, we went back to see those kids I was talking about, and their grandma wasn't having a good day. She lives with them, and she just told us to go away. So, we decided to walk down the street a little farther and knocked on some houses. The first one we knocked on was an old couple who let us in and were nice, but just weren't interested, but they did say that their neighbor was a preacher if we wanted to talk to him. Of course we did, so we went over and knocked on his door, and, long story short, he and his whole congregation want to be baptized now! Haha, just kidding I wish. The preacher moved out not too long ago and another older gentleman lives there now, and this guy needs to be a Mormon! I'm not kidding, he doesn't drink, he loves the story of the early saints, he understands the restoration, and he's looking for a church around here where he can pay his 10% tithe! This guy is practically made for our church, I just want to keep teaching him! 
So, I took a lot of pictures this week. I think I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. I love you all so much, you're the best!
Love, 
              Elder Murdock
True to the Faith
Enjoying the view

Fishing early morning on P day