Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 6-Twilight Zone

Howdy Y'all!  
Things are going great out here in Texas, and to tell you the truth, it really hasn't been that hot.  I don't know what everyone was freaking out about.  I actually enjoy the weather.  Anyway the missionary work is going good.  We're working hard to find some new investigators, but most of the  week was taken up with meetings all over East Texas.  We haven't had a whole lot of time to go knock doors, but when we did we saw some success.  On Friday, I think, we were just walking and knocking and the first door we knocked an old man answered and asked if we were jdubs and we said "No, we're Mormons."  So then he said ok, bye bye.  We asked hold on do you want to talk to us at all and then he said no and told us we are a cult and we're going to hell and closed the door.  So yeah, that happened!  But after that we met a family, a mom and her kids who let us in and actually listened to us.  Without interrupting or anything!  I didn't even know that was a thing that happened!  It felt good to actually teach someone for a change and to have an investigator finally!  
We were out looking for a less active member after dinner one night and so we're driving around in a kinda more run down part of the boondocks looking for the house.  When we finally found what we thought was the house, it turns out it was the wrong one but the guy in the house was still a less active member so we stayed and talked with him for a bit.  He's a real bad diabetic apparently and lives in a little shack of a house in the boonies.  He's a nice enough guy, but I think his illness is keeping him down.  He seems pretty beat down by the world.  He said he used to have money and a nicer house, but then something happened to him and he lost his wife and all kinds of stuff.  But he was still nice to us.  
Also, the guy who we were originally looking for is his neighbor and I guess he is a paranoid schizophrenic who hunts deer with his bare hands and other stuff like that which would probably scare mom if I told you all of the crazy!!I guess it's a good thing we knocked on the other guys door first! Man, I think I was sent to the Twilight Zone out here!  But, I love it out here.  The people really are kind and will usually talk to you about Christ so that's a good thing!  
I hope you guys are doing good back home.  I know I am doing good out here!  I love you all and I want you to know that the Gospel is true!
Love, Elder Murdock

Elder Moeakiola gave Elder Murdock a haircut!

Front door of our apartment

Basketball with the sisters!

Our kitchen

Family room/study area

Mission car

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chicken, Singing Baptists, and a Temple Trip

Hello Everyone!
To answer some of mom's questions yes we have a car in our area.  It's WAY too big of an area not to have one.  And yes I am eating well!  I am eating a lot of chicken, fried, baked, glazed, bbq, all kinds. I'm also eating pasta, potatoes, BBQ and whatever else the members can feed us.  But mostly chicken! It's great!
My favorite part about being a missionary so far is meeting all kinds of people of all faiths.  They love to talk about Jesus.
The other day me and Elder Moeakiola were just finishing up handing out a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet to a family out in the woods.  It was about 8:00 in the evening  and we were about to get  in our car when I looked down the street and saw a light on in a big house.  We decided to walk over and knock.  As we were walking up to the house I could hear an old piano playing.  I got real excited because I love music!  When we knocked we could hear a lot of people saying things like "who is that?" and "why are they using that door?"  The door was answered by a little old lady sitting in a folding  chair next to the piano with about eight other old people sitting around it as well.  Apparently these people get together each week to sing hymns around the piano and never use the front door so they were all surprised when they saw us at the door.  They let us in real quick and told us to get a hymn book and sing with them.  We hadn't even told them who we are yet!  So we sung a song with them and I asked them what they were all doing.  They told us they were all members of a Baptist Church and they like to get together and sing.  I told them that we're Mormon missionaries and we like to sing too!  Elder Moe then looked at me with a face like "we do?" It was funny!  So we sat and sang with the Baptists for a while. We sang a lot of old southern hymns that I had never heard of and a few that I had heard of (Come Thou Fount sounds strange when sung by a bunch of old Baptists!) I  I even got to share Helaman 5:12 with them and they all liked it.  They all agree that we need to build upon the rock of Christ.  I didn't tell them where I was reading from and an old gentleman asked where that scripture was from.  I told him the Book of Mormon. He sort of sat back and said hmm with a funny look on his face.  When we asked them if they wanted to hear anymore about what we teach they all in unison said "NO," but in a polite way.  So we told them God bless and have a nice night and went on our way laughing the whole way bock to our car.  It sure made me feel like I'm truly down in the Heart of Dixie!
I love you.  I am grateful every day that I can be out here serving the Lord.  As long as you put all of your faith and trust in Him you will never fail.
Love, Elder Murdock

Elder Murdock and Moeakiola at the Houston Temple

At a members house with a cool sword collection!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Onalaska Texas-First area

Hello Everybody!! Things are going good in Texas!  I finally got to my new area in Onalaska and we are  in fact opening it.  This area hasn't had Elder missionaries in it for a long time.  This town is great! I am at my ward mission leaders house right now, the Poffs, and you can look right out over the lake from here.  It's beautiful!  Since we've only been here a few days all we've been doing so far is paper work and meet with a few inactive members.  The ward has 400 members or so, but only 100 are active.  So we have a lot of work to do.  It's exciting!!  My companion is doing good.  He's a funny guy, Elder Moeakiola.  Every now and then I will hear him do the Hakka in the shower.
We haven't had many investigators yet, but we have had some prayers with people.  I was in my first prayer circle with a Methodist lady the other day.   It was a new experience.  We had caught her as she was just coming out of her cabin down by the lake and we asked her if she needed a prayer.  She said yes and that her daughter was in the hospital. So we prayed for her, but that was all the time she had for us. It was pretty cool to pray for her though.
Well, things are pretty good out here. I ate an oxtail my first night out here.  It was kinda weird at first, but it tasted real good!  Our apartment is nice, it seems pretty old though.  It's big.  It actually has two bedrooms!  We keep our bikes in the extra room.
Apparently they get all kinds of creepy crawly things out here, like scorpions and stuff. But don't worry I haven't seen any yet.
I want you to know that I'm doing the Lord's work, and it's good work.  Give yourself up to the Lord and He will take care of you!  I love you all.  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Love, Elder Murdock

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

First Email from Texas!

Hello Everyone!
Let me tell you what is going on!  To answer moms questions, my companions name is Elder Moekiaola and he is a cool Togan.  He's got one of the strongest testimonies around and he was actually trained by Colbey Brewer from Springville who was apparently one of the best missionaries in this mission!  So I think I'll have a good time with Elder Moekiola, he's really chill, and a hard worker, just a good guy all around. My first area is up in Onalaska, in Livingston.  Apparently it is the prettiest part of the mission with a ton of work being done.  Right now I'm still in Kingwood by the mission offices. Elder Moeakiola and I are sharing an apartment with Elders Erikson and Lawrence until they find us a place to live in our new area.  We are all actually on splits with each other right now. I've been going out tracking with Elder Erikson these past few days because neither Moeakiola or myself know where we're going around here.  It's been a lot of fun!  While Elder Erikson and I were out tracking we came across an older woman who was baptized a member around 8 but fell away at 18.  We found her out in her garage drinking a beer and we pulled our bikes over and asked if we could pray with her and leave a few blessings with her.  She said "sure, I could use a few blessings right now!"  So we sat down and talked with her for a while, she drank another beer, smoked another cigarette and told us her situation.  Her husband had left her recently and she was pretty upset and down. Then we show up to ask if she needs any blessings?!.  This work is crazy, and I think she really needed those blessings right then!  We also got her to come with us to church this last Sunday. We sat next to her and it was pretty cool.  The work is going good here, I'm thinking about y'all back home, but I know y'all are doing great anyway!  The church is true, and the Lord loves you.  I can't wait to tell you more of my adventures out here in the Texas Houston East Mission. I love you all! Stay True to the Faith!

Elder Moeakiola, Elder Erikson (middle), Elder Lawrence (in back), Elder Murdock and Lizard!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

First email! (We were in Lake Powell when we received this. We had to hike up on a big rock hill to get service but it was worth it)!

Hello Mom, and everyone!  I'm doing so well here at the MTC, the spirit is so strong here it's incredible!  I love it!  Except, feeling the Spirit literally every single day all the time is exhausting!  In the first chapter of first Nephi it says in verse seven that after Lehi was visited by an angel and filled with the spirit of the Lord, he went back to his house and collapsed  onto his bed and slept.  That is exactly how I feel.
The food here is pretty good, not as good as my mom's cooking, but it'll do.  I was told not to drink the orange juice for some reason, but it tasted fine to me and nothing too bad has happened yet!
The Elders in my district are: Elder Dominguez (my companion, he's going to THE mission too, he's from Lehi, Elder Pitts, from Provo, he's a Timpview going, horse riding, football playing sun of a gun! and Elder Asay from Iowa, Elder away is going to THE mission too.  Elder Burns, who went to Springville, and Elder Murray from Arizona, Elder Weller, and Elder Laynee, whose been working down in Texas on military computers for a while.  Elders Murray, Burns and Pitts are all going to Chesapeake Bay, and Elders Weller and Laynee are both going to Colorado.  They are both waaay smart.  We have tow Sisters in our district; Sister Banner and Sister Mitchell who are both going to Colorado.
We've all been getting lessons together and we've been getting to know each other pretty well.  It's kinda crazy to think that we have all known each other for only six days!
Sunday was amazing.  I got to be in the gigantic missionary choir, which was awesome and spirit filling.  I love you all, and I want to testify that what I am experiencing here is true and good.  Christ loves all of you and he wants to hear from you.  The Church is true and the work is good.  Say hello to Boo and Biff for me.  I love you all and miss you only a little.  I'll see you in two years!
Elder Murdock
Elder Murdock entered the MTC in Provo on Wednesday, July 22nd.  He was so excited to go that it was hard not to be excited with him! A few tears were shed, but all in all mostly happiness and excitement was felt.