Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pictures 6/27/13

Pictures 6/27/13

Pictures 6/27/13

Finding Doorbells, One of Life´s Hardest Challenges!

Dear Familia,
(I don't think I remember the English word for that....)
This week was fun and crazy. The highlight of this week was proselitismo! They took us 40 minutes out to a place I think that they called Cordoba.... Then they dropped us companionship at a time...two, white, 20 year old girls...with only a map...and two weeks of the streets of Argentina...and they told us to meet back at the place they dropped us off. Oh buddy... 

We each had an area to proselyte in. So we did the only thing we knew how to do...we started walking...It was a hard, but great experience. We ended up in this chunk of neighborhoods where no one was walking around, so we had to go old school. We knocked on doors, or as they call it here, we "clapped doors." Knocking on doors is rude here and impossible since everyone has fences. So we clapped outside doors and rung the tiny doorbells (that we could find. I swear they hide them and only tell their closest friends where the buttons are. They are all in different places and are about a centimeter across).
We often had little to no idea what people were saying to us, but we got enough. We went around asking people if they wanted to hear a message of joy about Jesus Christ. It went great! We had some great conversations! The best part of proselyting happened in the last 10 minutes. We debated about going and trying to find the meeting spot, but we decided to clap one more door. We clapped and an old man came out. We started to tell him all about the gospel and he seemed genuinely interested. Then his wife came out and she loved us. She said that she knew Mormons and that her brother was starting to take the discussions. She said that she wanted to learn what he was learning and wondering if she could go to church the next day. We gave her the address of the church and the time it started and she seemed really pumped! She confirmed the address and the time about 6 different times and was excited when we told her missionaries who spoke Spanish would come and visit her.
It was a great experience and it testified to me that the Lord expects us to work hard and to be diligent UNTIL THE END and then He will bless us and help us to find those we need to teach! On a similar note, I gave a talk on Sunday all about Spanish!!!! It is so scary to get up and try and talk in Spanish, but I survived!
Highlights of the week:
(our district is together 16 hours a day, every day and so we have all become pretty close. Hence all of the strange stories that are going to start appearing in my emails!)
-Elder Goold was talking about something that was very off topic and so our district leader, Elder Liporada reminded us that we need to stay on task. Elder Goold responded in a very matter of fact voice "I'm going to go to hell". To which another Elder (Elder Huntsman) responded immediately, "I'll save you a seat by the fire". Sometimes I wonder if we spend too much time in that small classroom together... :).
-Hermana Berlin was talking about a baby bird that she found and took care of when she was small. We all asked her if she knew how to take care of a bird. She responded with "no", but she did try and feed it oatmeal! So of course we all asked if she killed it and she responded "no, it just died the next day"! Oh we probably won´t stop teasing her about that one for awhile!
Things are going great here and my Spanish is really starting to come along! I love being a missionary and I cannot wait to be able to share this gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church on the earth and I am grateful to be able to share the joy of it, even if it is only with a few people. I know that they will  be blessed because of it because I have been immensely blessed!
Love You All,
Hermana McMurray

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mmmmmmm, Menudo!

Dear Familia,
It is offficial, my English is starting to go...I hope that Mom is editing all of my letters because I think I have completely lost the ability to spell! Yesterday I looked through all of my study journals and I noticed some of my spellings looked a little strange. So I took a closer look and found that I spelled all of my words halfway between English and Spanish. For example I wrote: Lessiones (lessons or lecciones) and Englais.... So as my emails get progressively worse, Mother please edit them for me!
This week has been great.  I was able to do a session in the temple on Thursday. I heard it all in Spanish and I actually understood most of what was being said, it was an absolute miracle. My Spanish is improving and I have been using it a ton. I often find myself slipping into Spanish when I am praying. I think that is a good sign!
There are lots of fun and strange things that happen in the CCM. Here are a few of the better stories:
Often the meals here are mostly meat with some type of potatoes. I was unaware that potatoes can be turned into so many things, but trust me they have about a hundred uses (fries, balls, chips...). I sat down for lunch one of the days this week. It looked pretty normal, like all of the other meat stews we usually eat and so I sat down and began to eat. After eating for a minute I began to look at the meat...I noticed it was ridged and almost fuzzy looking. So I asked one of the native sisters what it was. She replied that it is a delicious dish called Menudo. So I did the logical thing, I asked what kind of meat it was....that was a mistake....the thought of eating cow's stomach kinda kills your appetite! Oh well, one more story for my children!
In the CCM we do service at the Visitors housing next door once a week. I was wandering the halls, wiping walls, when out of nowhere a lady grabs my arm... She began speaking rapid fire Spanish and pulling me down the hallway. Of course, being yanked down a hallway is never a pleasant experience, but when you have no idea what the person is saying it is about ten times as scary. Finally I just dug my heels in and said "No entiendo. no entiendo". She still talked a million miles an hour, but this time I got a single word...pelo or hair. I eventually figured out that she wanted me to come and do her niece's hair (a Latina in my room had done my hair that morning). I had to try and explain that I didn't do it, but that someone else had. I think she finally got the gist and just walked away. Talk about a mild heart attack.....
This week has been great for teaching. My companion Hermana Dean and I taught a lesson yesterday that we wrote all in English and gave in Spanish. It was all about the nature of God and about having faith. It was a little scary because until yesterday we wrote out every single Spanish word that we were planning on saying. We decided that we would trust in the Lord and that He would help us to remember everything that we needed for the lesson. It went great! We understood most of everything and our investigator Esteban even got a little teary (before that he had been professing to be an atheist). It was a great experience. When you trust in the Lord, He will provide.
This Saturday for the first time since we have been here we get to go and do "proselitismo". That is when they drop companionships off all over Buenos Aires and we go and clap doors and try and get referrals. I am so excited to finally be getting to do what I was set apart to do (inviting others to Christ)! I will fill you in on how that goes next week!
Love you Lots,
Hermana McMurray
p.s. Mom could you mail me some stamps? And could you tell everyone that they can email me if they want or if they mail something to me, that they need to include an address?

p.p.s My teachers are Hermano De Oliveira (who is Cecilio and now Néstor) and Hermano Miroshnikov (who is Esteban). Hermano De Oliveira told me this week that Ryan looks like a photocopy of me, except with a wig on! Hahahha.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Semana Uno en el CCM

Dear Familia,

This week has been crazy and amazing and confusing and long and short..... As you can see my emotions are everywhere!
I cannot believe it has only been a week! Home seems like a crazy dream I had a lifetime ago. The CCM is great! I arrived with a group of 12 other Norteamericanos and we are all going to go to Uruguay! Most groups are going several places but all of the people in my group are going to be in my mission. A big group left just before we got here and so there are only 65 people in the CCM right now.
The first couple days I was part of a threesome, with Hermanas Berlin and Page, who are both from Utah. We had lots of fun, although having to drag two other people around with you at all times was a difficult new experience... The best story I heard all week was from Hermana Page. She had never flown before and so when she walked through the metal detectors at the security checkpoint, she saw someone standing in front of her with their arms open wide. She thought that was a little funny, but she went ahead and hugged the woman anyway....The woman just stood there awkwardly, probably because she was actually one of the airport security guards and she was trying to check Hermana Page for weapons... I laughed so hard imagining that security woman's face!!! 
Then on Saturday, one of the sisters moved up and so I got pulled out of the threesome and was given a new companion Hermana Dean. We have been together for about five days now and I really enjoy her. I never thought that I would meet someone who could out talk me, but I have found that I am very wrong! Sometimes it is difficult to say anything, and sometimes I just feel very  mute because I cannot speak Spanish to any of the native sisters and my companion never stops talking!
So I know you are all dying to know if I got moved up to the faster spanish class and the results are in....Nope! The group that is here, was only here for ten days. They will only move you up if you are close to fluent, and you had better believe I am nowhere near fluent!!! That brings me to one of the funny things of this week...
Yesterday we had what our district called "the English Fast". Yes, it sounds epic and yes, it was somewhat epic....until about lunchtime. We all cracked! We barely know any spanish and so communicating in only spanish became difficult and needlessly stressful! The good news is that due to our "special fast" we now have a district scripture! It is in D&C 10:4 and it reads "Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end." That scripture is absolutely perfect for all of us and our struggles to try and translate.
My compañera and I have also had the chance to teach a couple different investigators (who are actually our teachers). I had a very special experience when teaching an investigator named Carlos. We went in prepared to teach a long lesson on families (in broken spanish mind you!!) and we got talking with him. He told us lots of things about his life and I felt impressed to share with him the concept of prayer and how it would bless him and his family with peace and to know what they should do. He got teary and I was feeling a little emotional as well. Although he wasnt a real investigator, I know that I was feeling the Holy Spirit and that He was guiding me in what I should do. I know that as we listen to the Spirit we can be blessed to know what to do in our lives!
I will write again next Thursday!
Love You Lots,
Hermana McMurray
p.s. Ryan, my two teachers are both people you know. In the morning I have Hermano De Oliveira and in the afternoon I have Hermano Miroshnikov.
p.p.s. Sorry I was told I would write on Tuesday, but P Day is actually on Thursday!