Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Photo 12/2

The Best 18 Months!

Dear Family,

Well this letter is going to be the most bittersweet! This is the last time that I will be sending you a letter as a full time missionary!

I am going to start by giving some fun distracting news...we had the last elections!!! Tabaré is the new president of Uruguay...the craziest part is that this time they let us have our Sunday meetings and not only did they let us have our Sunday meetings, but they asked all of the people from our stake to head to our church building! In the end, there were lots of people and like 20 missionaries. Also President Smith and his family came! Hermana Ramirez told me that it looked like a missionary conference!

All in all, it was a very spiritual Sunday and we experienced a miracle!  I don´t remember if I told you that we are teaching another sister named Nelly and she is progressing a lot! Anyway, she has a baptism date for the 20th of December and she came to church for the first time! She seemed so happy and President Smith had the chance to talk to her and welcome her to church! Angie and Cathi are both progressing tons and so is Nelly! They are all so special to me!

Last night, we had Family Home Evening with Angie and Cathi, and Carlos (the ward mission leader), and Brisa! Brisa is the youth who brought Angie and Cathi to church! Anyway, we had the opportunity to share our testimonies and in the end they asked Brisa if she wanted to share her testimony. She could only cry! I love seeing the difference that the gospel makes in the lives of young people!

I want to share my testimony that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the true church on the earth! I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet! I know that Jesus Christ is my savior and that he suffered for me and my sins! In the past 18 months I have come to know my Father in Heaven in a very special, intimate way. I feel so much comfort to just have the opportunity to kneel down and
pray! He hears my prayers and he counsels with me! I know that he sent his son, Jesus Christ to pay for our sins, because he loves us! I am so grateful for opportunity that I had to serve him with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength for the last 18 months! I invite each one of you to do all you can to be closer to him, especially during this Christmas season! If you aren´t a member, talk to the missionaries, they will help you to get closer to him!

Hasta Pronto,
Hermana McMurray

p.s. I want to invite everyone to go to this page and share this video via Facebook and email!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Modeling...Not Your Usual Proselyting Experience!

Dear Family,

Let´s see what comes out...I am going to jump around :D!

Firstly, Angie and Cathi are not going to be getting baptized this week. We are going to tell them today! Hermana Ramirez and I feel that they aren´t quite ready to get baptized, but probably in the next three or four weeks! It makes me a little sad to know that I will not be here, but I am happy to know that they will be super prepared!!!  Keep praying for them!

Fun stories:
-We went to visit a sister who is less ative and she began to tell us that she modeled as a teenager...when she was younger....and a lot skinnier! So she started to show us the way that she modeled clothing on the runway...she started waltzing up and down the room and turning and spinning....keeping her face completely serious the whole time!  Hermana Ramirez and I almost died...Later she wanted to show us that she took ballet when she was a kid and she stood up and began to show us a step called ¨the dove¨. Just imagine :D!!!

-We had our weekly activity in our branch and a bunch of children came. They wanted to play volleyball with we started a game of monkey in the middle...The four missionaries (Hna Ramirez , Elder
Eiker, Elder Devashrayee, and I) were on the outside and the children were all in the middle. It was super fun! After awhile, they didn´t seem to like it too much because they never got the ball (the perks of
having an Elder who is super tall and plays basketball)...

-We went out visiting with our Ward Mission Leader, which was great!  What was even more fun, was that he brought along his puppy (a lab) that was insane! As we were walking along, the puppy ran through a bunch of mud puddles and ended up covered in black mud. Then as we kept walking the puppy stopped and jumped all over the people who were walking nearby! I think my favorite was when the puppy ran after a teenager who was in all white pants and left paw prints all over him!  The poor teenager was super upset. We had to tell our ward mission leader that the next time he comes out with us, he cannot bring his puppy, hahaha!

Anyway these are a couple of the funny things that happened to us this week!  I also have been playing the piano in my branch, and they have been testing my knowledge! They have decided that they want to sing four hymns every Sunday and that they don´t want to repeat! They have picked some challenging hymns and they expect me to play them! I on the other hand, feel very unprepared, but I do my best. I know this sounds crazy, but I am pretty sure that I play the piano much better than any other time in my life! I was thinking about this experience a lot this week! The Lord asks us to do things, that sometimes we don´t feel capable of doing, but if we put in our best effort, the Lord magnifies our small attempts! Often in the mission I have felt like I am trying to do things that I really do not have the ability or patience to do. But as I try to do my best, the Lord makes up the rest! I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who always answers my prayers!

Have a great week,
Hermana McMurray

Monday, November 17, 2014

Our district!

The sisters in our district!

Photos 11/17

Photos 11/17

Hermana Ventura and I
Hermana Dixon and her dad Hermana Ventura!

Photos 11/17

Hna Amarilla and I
HERMANA Lopez and I
Hermana Dean and I

Photos 11/17

Hna Coral and Hermana Valverde
La Ramirez and I

Two latinos and One Gringa!

Dear Family,

This week was another great week! We had some big changes in the mission this week (you will have to keep reading if you want to know what they are)!

Hermana Ramirez and I went and visited a new investigator this week, named Blanca! We had just sat down and she offered us a of course we said yes! At that moment, she pulled out a large glass bottle that said Pilsen in big letters!  That was enough to make me freak out!  She left to find some glasses...and we took pictures! Don´t worry, we didn´t drink any alcohol!

Thursday we had a conference with all of the missionaries in Uruguay!  I got to see all of my old companions! Pictures will be included!

Now for the changes...No more soccer!! Soccer has been banned from our mission. They also changed our schedule. Now we will be waking up at 7 am and going to sleep at 11 pm...thanks to the lovely and hot summer temperatures!

Our new motto in the mission is Alargar el Paso! Anyway..I cannot write too much because I have two Latinos on either side of me speaking in Spanish and it is confusing me...I keep writing a line in Spanish and having to erase it!!

I love you all and I hope you have a great week! I love the Lord and I feel blessed to be able to serve him!

Hermana McMurray

Monday, November 10, 2014

Moral of the Story...If You Get Lost, Always Bring Snacks!

Dear Family,

It has been a good week (mostly)!

The only bad news is that Ana is no longer an investigator. Our branch has been experiencing lots of changes (with the new president and counselors) and so we had some changes in Relief Society that led to some interesting reactions...thus, the Relief Society class was not a very good experience last week! Unfortunately, Ana was there for the first time! She told us afterwards that she felt very uncomfortable and lost and doesn´t have anymore desires to visit. She also returned the Book of Mormon and informed us that she was going to start attending an Evangelical church, because she realized that she feels more comfortable there...:(! So we lost Ana, I felt so sad because she was so excited and we could see that she was starting to change, but I know that everything is in the Lord´s hands!

In other news, Angie and Cathi are both doing great! We have continued the lessons and they are progressing tons!!! They are both so sweet and we are excited for them to get baptized! This week we had the opportunity to have a special Family Home Evening with President Smith and his 8 children (and their 5 spouses and 2 grandchildren)! They shared lots of testimonies and we got to bring Angie and Cathi to hear! The Spirit was super strong and I felt that my own testimony of the church was strengthened! I know that this is the true church of Christ on the Earth! I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that through him the true church was restored! I also know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that every day that I read it, I feel closer to my Father in Heaven! The best part of all of this was that when we talked to Angie a couple of days after the Family Home Evening, she told us that she had started reading the Book of Mormon!  She is starting to gain her own testimony!

Funny stories:

-We were teaching a lesson in front of a house and we saw a girl on a 4 wheeler pass by...about 5 seconds later, we saw a truck (that said Traffic police), speed past her and come to a sudden halt! Four people jumped out and surrounded her!! It looked something like when, they rob someone at gunpoint, but it was just the police! So the girl got off the 4 wheeler and started walking down the road (I am guessing to go and get her registration)...we commented on seeing them and the youth who was with us laughed...saying that they were talking about us too! Anyway, in the end the girl came back, but they took her 4 wheeler...probably because she didn´t have a helmet, lights, or a license plate, and was half a block from the police station!!! I laughed at how silly some people are...

-I got lost in the middle of farmland, looking for a during p-day... I enjoyed it, and I even brought snacks, and so Hermana Ramirez wasn´t too annoyed!

Anyway, just another great week in the life of a missionary!!!  I love you all and I hope that you all have a great week...and if it happens to be your birthday and I have forgotten, Happy Birthday (I seem to have forgotten everyone´s birthdays)! :D!

Hermana McMurray

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rain, Rain...Go Away...Come Again Another Week!

Dear Familia,

This week has been another great and crazy week!! Firstly, this was a week of rain!!! I was a little worried when I saw the river in front of our house because my boots have holes in them...hence making them somewhat unusable. Luckily, a missionary before me had left her huge rain boots in the apartment, and so I put them on to face the scary amounts of rain outside!!! Almost all of our area is underwater...all of the streets are dirt or little rocks and by the end of yesterday
almost all of them were completely covered in water! Later...we saw trhe Elders who suffered some flooding in front of their house. One of the Elders was walking and when he stepped, the water came up past his knee and he didn´t even touch the bottom :D! Anyway...that is why I couldn´t write yesterday (all the cybers were closed for flooding and lack of signal), but you all will be sure to see some fun photos of all the water!

We played ping pong with the members and investigators on Saturday for an activity. One of the hermanos managed to spike the ball and nail me right in the nose...My pride was damaged and my nose was a little red and sore :D! I also lost... :(!

I found out that in Uruguay, when the children come around and ask for candy..if you don´t have any, it is perfectly acceptable to give them 1 peso!!! I like that idea! I laughed to see all of the costumes!  Halloween is a fairly new idea here, and so you only see about three costumes (a devil, a witch, and a princess)!

We left with a sister from our branch this week and she took us to visit some of the less active sisters. After we finished visiting them, we asked her where else she wanted to go and she started to bring us to visit all of the active sisters. We tried to convince her to come with us to visit some of the inactives, but she didn´t see the point....she said, ¨they aren´t coming to church, so why should we visit them?¨ I just laughed, thinking that in reality that is our whole purpose...:D!!!

We had a miracle this week! Last week, we saw a woman sitting in front of her house and we stopped to talk to her! After a couple of minutes she told us that she was cutting her grass (by hand) and so we offered to help her! After we finished, she offered to let us come back and teach her! Her name is Ana! So this week, we passed by and visited her and she seemed super excited! Ana now has a baptismal date for the 29th of this month and we are hoping that she will progress!!! Pray lots and lots for her!

Angi and Cati are progressing a lot and we all are planning on a baptism for the 29th too!!! Delta is changing so much and the branch is starting to grow!!! Pray for our little branch!!!

I can honestly say that I have seen so many miracles here and I thank the Lord every day that he has heard my prayers and strengthened me! I know that the Lord loves each of his children and that the more that we pray in detail, the more that the Lord answers in detail!!!

I love you all lots!
Hermana McMurray

Monday, October 6, 2014

Just Another Day in the Life of a Missionary in Delta El Tigre!!!

Dear Familia,

Well this week has been interesting...

In Review:
-I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about Family History!!! I even shared a story about our pioneer ancestors that came from Denmark (translated :D), thank you Grandma Harmer! I was pretty nervous, but I managed to remember almost all of my Spanish!

-I ate 3 or 4 oranges...that were slightly wasn´t my intencion and it really wasn´t very tasty, but I am addicted to oranges!!!

-My companion ate some empanadas...that didn´t really agree with her and then we had to catch an omnibus to do divisions with some sisters who live down the road. Just imagine 9 pm at night in the darkness in front of the church building after traveling in a bus. Hermana Barrios was doubled over in the middle of the street...I couldn´t help but laugh at how strange it all was...Don´t worry, she recovered :D!

-There was so much wind...every day I felt like I was part of the Wizard of Oz!

-Someone sang me a love song in was uncomfortable!

-There were 7 youth in seminary this last week...usually on Sundays we are lucky if there are 2 or 3!!!! Miracles are starting to happen here!

-I watched all of conference in Spanish for the first time ...I loved it!!!

-My favorite talk was by Eduardo Gavarret. I was first touched that he was the first person to speak Spanish in the conference center and then he said that he was from Uruguay. It was wonderful to hear that God is so mindful of our little country! I also loved the whole theme of his talk, it really touched me! He said that each of us should say ¨Lord, I would follow thee.¨and ¨We don't have any more desires to do wrong¨  (my rough translation). I know that as I pray and tell the Lord how much I desire to follow him, he will help me in my daily journey!

I love you all lots and don´t forget to watch conference if you haven´t seen it yet!

Hermana McMurray

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day Trippin´

Date: Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Dear Familia,

So this week was super strange...As you all know, I was deported and I ended up traveling by boat to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was all fairly smooth...until immigration. It turns out I needed one more visa form that I didn´t know about, and that the sister who was accompanying us forgot about...luckily after about ten minutes the immigration lady got tired of me and just told me to pass! I know that the Lord blesses Hos missionaries! So I made it to Argentina...where we spent a few hours site seeing (wierd, right?)! I never thought I would go site-seeing on my mission! We saw the tomb of their liberator, San Martin, the Pink House (where the president of Argentina lives), a famous theater, some protests, and other mains sites! It was crazy and fun and lots of pictures are to come :D!

After finally getting back...feeling completely exhausted because I hadn´t slept much in three days....we got back to the good old missionary work! Hermana Dixon got to enjoy her time with one of the members of our ward! The best part is that she ended up spending a good part of the time helping take blood pressure because the member was a nurse!

This week was full of interesting little tidbits...
-We ended up eating quite a bit of cake on Sunday...the first two were yummy....the third was okay....with the fourth I was feeling sick....the fifth was somewhat torturous! I love the people and missionaries in our ward because they are so generous...I just probably won´t be able to even look at cake for another week!  I am pretty sure we have 100% humidity here! I actually am super enjoying it...the only problem is the mold!!! We have so much mold!!!!  I started looking around and I commented to Hermana Dixon...¨What is that black stuff on the front of our fridge?¨ I thought at first that someone had run a wet cloth over the front...then I looked closer...It was actually mold, even our fridge is growing mold on the outside!

In terms of the work it has been a week of miracles! I had two crazy experiences this week. This week we passed by for some less actives and their son Lucas, who is 9 years old and isn´t baptized. Last time
we were there, we shared the Book of Mormon and invited them to read daily. We enjoyed being with them but there didn´t seem to be a lot of interest and so we passed by again, not expecting much. As we began talking we found that Lucas has faithfully read the Book of Mormon daily since we left. No one else in his family has been reading, but he tries to read an entire chapter every night out loud! I was so
surprised because I have never seen someone so young, so excited to read the Book of Mormon! It was such a testimony to me that we are never too young or too old to read the Book of Mormon and that really God an touch the hearts of all types of people! The other experience I had was with Hermana Dixon. We were waiting in line to get out some money and Hermana Dixon starting to talk to the lady behind us in line. We just starting talking about random things and it came out that she was actually a less active sister. She was baptized when she was a child and hadn´t been in a long time! Just as we were starting
to talk about the church, she realized that it was her turn and so she hurriedly said goodbye and headed off. We were a little sad because we didn´t have the chance to get her contact information or anything and so we started walking out. As we walked away the lady called out to us and hurried over to us. She told us that she had a daughter who she wanted to listen to the missionaries, but she was in a hurry. So she just stared spouting off all of her contact information (I was feeling stressed trying to get my agenda out and write :)) Anyway, it was a miracle! I know that as we preach the gospel that God prepares people
to listen and receive us! It was a great week!

Don´t forget to write me your missionaries experiences! I am praying for you all!

Love you lots,
Hermana McMurray

The Kitchen of the World (aka a Meat Packing Factory)

Date: Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Dear Familia,

This week has been a little we are going to do a super quick run down....

-Monday: We made it out to Mercedes...We are about 30 minutes away in omnibus. We played soccer with a bunch of the people from our Zone. It was fun to see Hermana Dixon play....everyone said that she plays well and it must be genetic (after all I am her mom). I was so proud!

-Tuesday: We almost had a baptismal interview. Due to a weird situation and some lost records, a sister in our ward almost got re baptized...Luckily we finally found her records!!!

-Wednesday: We participated in a Relief Society activity and I got to put my wonderful sewing skills to the test. I managed to sew an eye for a puppet...It was little, but I felt super accomplished. I knew all those sewing lessons Mom gave me would one day come in handy :D!

-Thursday: I abandoned my companion again (don´t worry I left her in the hands of a very nice Brazilian sister)! I had to get up at 3 am and take a bus to Montevideo! We had some training meetings and I got
to participate! I felt very edified to be able to listen to President Smith and study the scriptures! I also learned lots of new things that I am excited to apply in our ward! One of the highlights was almost dying in the car...again! I think that they should probably just plan our times better, but I am starting to get the suspicion that the Elders just like to drive like crazy people. We managed to get to the bus station with 7 whole minutes to spare, we were fist pumping and everything...then we got the dreaded phone turns out a different Elder had our tickets. One who happened to just be leaving the mission home. So we waiting, not believing that he could arrive, wondering if we were going to lose our bus. As we were waiting, we saw what looked like a streak of light pass by (an Elder in a flat out sprint). We ended up having to flat out sprint behind him, the good news is that we caught the bus and no one died :D!

-Viernes: We got to attend a baptism of the Elders in our ward! I was asked to give the talk! I was pretty excited that I managed to put together my talk in about 10 minutes and it still turned out great!  The baptism was beautiful and it reminded me of my baptism! I realize now how little I understood at the time (since I was only 8 years old), but how important that day was for me! It was the day that I truly starting in on the path that the Lord had prepared for me!

-Saturday: I was part of a circus..clown pictures coming soon!

-Sunday: It was beautiful and we enjoyed taking the sacrament! I feel often like I am running from one end of Fray Bentos to the other and that my life is hectic, but I love just having the time to sit and meditate during the sacrament. I just feel an overwhelming peace!

-Monday: I visited a sweet meat packing factory! I got to do a awesome tour of the museum! I am almost a 100% sure that Dad would have been super jealous because I got to see a bunch of pictures, read a bunch of signs, and they even let us touch stuff! It turns out our tour guide is a less active and she told us all about all of the ¨Mormons¨ who worked in the factory! We ended up getting the history of the factory and the early church in this area :D!

Well this week has been interesting (as you can all see by my email), but it has been great! I know that the Lord answers prayers! Every day I can see answers to my prayers in everything that happens to me and all of the miracles I have the opportunity to see!

Love you all lots,
Hermana McMurray

Vi Una Columna de Luz...

Date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Dear Familia,

I am going to have to make this short and sweet this week...somehow the time always escapes me!

Funny Highlights of this week:
-Hermana Dixon and I were in a lesson this week and we asked them how their families were...Hermana Dixon followed up by asking ¨Is your Mom still going to move?¨ Unfortunately for her, the words moving and dying are very similar in Spanish....So she accidentally asked him if his mom was dying...she was so embarrassed :D!

-We were sent to buy pizza from a bakery for a ward were the instructions of the Elders (obviously translated):
Elders: ¨Sisters, could you please go and buy us some pizzas?¨
Us: ¨Are you guys planning on cooking them?¨
Elders: ¨No, everyone here eats them raw.¨
Us: ¨So you want us to buy raw pizzas?¨
Elders: ¨Yes¨
-aka we bought raw pizzas...

-We were playing soccer today on P Day and I accidentally collided with an Elder...I may or may not have accidentally clothes-lined him...I felt horrible, but he was super nice and he didn´t even get upset...

-Hermana Dixon told me she could play the hymn in sacrament meeting.  She got up and played through the whole introduction and then she just stopped, looked at me, and said (in English) ¨Actually I can´t play this, can you?¨ So we got up in the middle and did a quick switch. She was pretty embarrassed, but I just told her a couple of the things that I did when I started the mission and she laughed and felt better....being a sister missionary is not always easy :D!

Now for some of the spiritual things...
This week I had an incredible experience during divisions. Hermana Leon (coincidentally another Peruvian....I think they are destined to be with me) and I had a lesson with an investigator of theirs named Ana. We went to the lesson and we decided to have her read part of Joseph Smith history. At first I was thinking only a little bit, but after a couple minutes she got pretty excited and continued reading.  She identified really well with Joseph Smith and she felt like she had passed through the exact same experiences. As she read the Spirit was so strong and as she read the first vision, I felt the Spirit the strongest that I have maybe in my whole life! As she stopped reading the Spirit stayed in the air and we were able to give several good commitments! It was an incredible experience! I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he restored Jesus Christ´s true church!

I love you all lots and hope you all have incredible spiritual experiences this week!

Hermana McMurray

De La Tumba....Libertad (The Hymn of Uruguay)!

Date: Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Dear Familia,

It has been an interesting week! Yesterday, the 25 of August is their Independence Day here in Uruguay...and it happened to coincide with P Day. So we did what all good Uruguayans do...we had a bbq. The best part was that I am definitely getting more adventurous...I managed to eat lots of new parts of the cow. The kidney was actually pretty good, but the intestines were just a little too strange in their texture...
We were in charge of bringing the salad, unfortunately we got a little confused. The moral of the story is that if you want a certain type of salad, you really need to specify, and not make jokes with non native
spanish speakers (I don´t really get sarcasm sometimes in Spanish:D)!  We ended up bringing fruit salad, when they actually wanted potato salad. Oh well, at least it was delicious! The only down side of this
day was that there wasn´t a single business open and so we actually couldn´t write you guys yesterday. So that is the story as to how I ended up writing a day late! The best part was that everyone really
wants to get to know Caroline now, because she was born on the most important day in Uruguay! Happy Birthday Caroline and congrats on your acceptance letter to Hogwarts, I always knew you were a real wizard!

I gave a talk in Stake Conference this week...This is actually the second time that I have done this, while here in Uruguay. The strangest part is that it was actually the same topic both times, in two different stakes! I was asked to speak on Working With Members. I was super nervous, but everyone told me it went well! I almost had a heart attack, but I remembered all of my Spanish, I made a couple of errors when I was finishing, but it is a little understandable since Spanish isn´t my native language ;)! I feel so happy to always have the help and support from all of the members! I don´t have any more time, but I will have to recount a funny story about this next week!

On Sunday we got to participate in a special conference that was broadcast from Salt Lake to only Uruguay and Paraguay! I was super interested to get to listen to Mervyn B Arnold and several other speakers and culminated in Elder Bednar. He spoke a lot about repentance and about the Atonement! I was moved by his talk about the need for true repentance. I think sometimes we are a little too casual in our repentance. I was studying a lot this week the Atonement. The thing that struck me most when I finished studying every morning is that I just felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I cannot imagine that God would suffer His perfect Son to die to save all of His other imperfect children! I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that God loved me and loves me enough to be willing to make this great sacrifice! I have never felt the depth of gratitude that I have felt this week, in my short 21 years! I know that my Savior lives and loves me! I encourage everyone to really study the Atonement this week and I guarantee that you will feel very different than you felt last week! I love you all lots and hope you all have a great week!

Hermana McMurray

Practice, Practice, and More Practice, Better Make Perfect!

Date: Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Dear Familia,

It has been a strange week with an even stranger week to come. I haven´t really gotten around to mentioning much of what is happening in the mission and in our zone. We are currently preparing for a special fireside that is given by us missionaries. It involves us singing for about an hour, small mormon messages, and testimonies from recent converts and reactivated members. It is going to be amazing! We are actually the last Zone of the mission to do it and so we are
preparing a lot! The only problems is that our zone lives in three separate cities (sometimes we even jokingly call ourselves three zones because we are so far apart). The problem is that we all have to get together to practice, so we have been traveling to Mercedes twice a week for the last few weeks, but this last week things went totally crazy. Another zone called Paysandu had their fireside and they needed more girl voices, so they asked for one sister from each companionship
in our zone to go and help them. Hermana Dixon and I didn´t want to decide so we decided to do what Nefi did and cast lots. Hermana Dixon won and so she went to Paysandu on Wednesday. Meanwhile, I stayed alone in the area with a 17 year old girl from Mercedes. Then Saturday and Sunday I spent with Manuela. Manuela is a 16 year old from our ward (who also happens to be a ward missionary)! I basically spent the week without Hermana Dixon. It was a great week, but I missed Hermana Dixon! Things are going to be so much easier now that she has come back!  The problem with this week is that we are going to be practicing almost all of this week! Turns out our Zone is going to have 3 firesides (one in each city). So we are going to have to go and do sound checks in all of the different cities! So we are not actually going to be in our area Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. It will be super strange to have to go to church somewhere that isn´t my ward! Sorry
for all of this blabbing, I just thought you would all want to know a little of what is currently going on in my life. We also will be having changes next week, sort of! The  change ends this week, but we are going to be staying an extra week (our whole zone) because we will be having the fireside in Fray Bentos on the 14th of September (So we will all get another week together :D!

Sorry I blabbed a bunch! This week was an absolutely amazing week!  We had 110 people in the chapel (the highest in my time here!) We also had an entire family of investigators come, Silvana and Walter, Milagro, and all the little ones! It was good to see them bond with the members and participate in the classes! They are the ones who are progressing most right now! Well more or less that is my crazy week in review...anyone who thinks that the mission is monotonous just needs
to come to our mission because something crazy always happens :D! I am loving the mission and I have loved hearing from all of you this week!

Hermana McMurray

????????????????????????????????????...Cambios, numero 11!

Date: Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Dear Family,

It is officially the week of changes!!! I decided since I have already passed through 10 changed here in Uruguay, now it is time to make this a guessing game. This time I am going to give you all the options and you guys can choose where you think I am going/staying and my new/same companions country of origin...Get ready, get set, go!!!

Choices of Zones:
1. Artigas 2. Rivera 3. Rivera North (a new zone) 4. Paysandu 5. Salto 6. Tacuarembo 7. Mercedes (my current zone) 8. Colonia 9. Colonia North (a new zone) 10. Flores 11. Cerro 12. Cerro North (a new zone) 13. Oeste
*In case you are wondering I put the zones in geographical order from top to bottom :D!

Choices of Countries:
1. America 2.Colombia 3. Peru 4. Argentina 5. Paraguay 6. Chile 7. Guatemala 8. Mexico 9. China 10. Japan 11. Russia 12. Brazil 13. Scotland 14. England 15. Canada

The person who wins will for sure get a shout out in my next email!

Anyway this week was a charla fogonera week (also known as Firesides).  We practiced singing together every single day of last week and Saturday we had one in Dolores and Sunday in Mercedes. This upcoming Sunday we are going to have one in Fray Bentos!!! Anyway it was a singular experience....I can honestly say that it was a super unique experience! When we were singing about when Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, I felt the Spirit soooooo strong! I can testify that I
know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that through him Jesus Christ´s true church has been restored to the Earth! I love the opportunity I have to preach the Gospel every day :D!

Dad, Ana is not actually my investigator, she is an investigator of the sisters with whom I do divisions, but she is getting there! Also the family is coming along well! They are planning on getting married on the 9th of October and baptism will hopefully follow close after!  The work is going awesome here!!! ¡Fray Bentos, no más!

Feliz Cumple to 2 of my favorite people in the world!!! Daniel and Mom I hope you both have the best birthdays ever. I cannot believe you are already 15 and 35!!! Eat lots of cake for me!

Love you all,
Hermana McMurray

Where in the world is Hermana McMurray...?

Date: Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Dear Familia,

Firstly I want to give a shout out to my favorite brother in law who had a birthday this last week!!! Happy Birthday Aus!

Secondly, about changes this last week.....I am going to (drum roll please), Cerro North!! I am going to be with Hermana Barrios who is from Santa Cruz, Argentina, but was born in Formosa (part of Ryan's mission in Resistencia) and we will be opening an area. So the shout out definently goes to Mom who guessed the correct zone and almost the correct country (Hermana Barrios actually lives in the border with Chile)! Sorry Dad, Nigeria was just a little bit off!

So I officially have had another strange week...(You think I would be used to it, because I am pretty sure I say that every week, but it is still a surprise)! We started out last week normal, they told us that we weren´t going to change until Sunday after the Fireside. Then on Monday night they called me and told me that I actually would be leaving, and I might come back for the Fireside. So I was pretty sad Tuesday and I spent most of the day packing and saying goodbye to
people. It was super hard to say goodbye to Hermana Dixon and to all of the members, who have become like my family!

Wednesday morning I headed out to out to meet Hermana Barrios. I also forgot a small detail, Hermana Barrios is on her fourth change in the mission and she came form Rivera Central 1 (sound familiar?), she actually was the hermana that replaced me in my old ward! So we headed out to Cerro and began to get to know our area.

We are going to be in an area called San Jose, in the part called Delta! Our little branch is called Delta El Tigre! We mostly wandered trying to get to know the area and the people! We got a chance to get to know the branch president, President Medina! He is super nice and has only been a member for about 5 years! Anyway we were just starting to get used to the area, when we got a phone call, that Saturday morning I was to leave for Fray Bentos for the fireside!

So I got back to Fray Bentos Saturday night and had the wonderful privilege to go to my ward on Sunday! It was a tender mercy! I really hadn´t had a chance to say goodbye to most people and so I got to finish my goodbyes!

Then Sunday night we had the Fireside! It was incredible!!! I could feel the Spirit soooo strong! When we finished I realized how much my testimony that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has been strengthened. I know that we have the true church of Jesus Christ on the Earth today because it was restored through Joseph Smith! This gospel has brought me more true joy than any other thing in all of my 21 years of life!!! I encourage everyone who aren't members that you can find the missionaries closest to you and ask them to share with you this gospel!!! I encourage everyone who are members to study the story of the Restoration and I promise you will also gain a renewed testimony of the truthfulness of this church!

I love you all!!!

Hermana McMurray

Photos-September 15

Hermana Dixon and I saying goodbye after 3 months!
Hermana Dixon and I in our house, the morning I left!
All the sisters who lived in our house. Fray Bentos no màs!
The family Villagran who all got sealed last Saturday!
Hermana Dixon, Manuela, and I in our our church building!
Manuel and I making wierd faces! Manuela is my favorite young woman in
all the world!
Us cooking lunch (lentils and rice)!
Hermana Valverde and I...all of these pics are from the Fireside
The bathroom beforehand...I didn´t even know that many people could
fit...and also cute Hermana Dixon in the back!
All the missionaries in our ward, Elder Perez, Elder Gutierrez, me,
and Hermana Dixon!

Photos-September 15

Date: Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Hermana Ramirez!!!!
Mariana, a member from the other ward in Dolores, who I adore!
Claudia, who is so cute!!!
Mary, who is a recently reactivated less active!
Bishop Nobelasco and his wife Zulma and her mom Mary!
Clotilde, a sister from my ward who plays basketball like a pro!
the Retamar family!!! They are so cute and would always help us!
Paola, with Hermana Villagran photobombing in the background!
Hermana Dixon!

The Bridge (not the seminary video)!

Date: Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Dear Familia,

Well I have had one more week in Delta and I am loving it! We actually sort of cover two separate areas. One area is called the Barra and it belongs to Montevideo then we cross (yes, on foot) a long bridge and work in Delta El Tigre, which belongs to San Jose. Hermana Barrios and I joke that we walk all the way from Montevideo to San Jose every day!  It is actually one of my favorite times in all of my mission! We cross this long bridge and we get to see the water and the waves and all of the fisherman, it is gorgeous!

So some funny stories about this bridge...
-The other day we were walking and a couple of men were fishing on the bridge (which isn´t actually allowed....they only can fish below the bridge) and so we stopped and started talking to them. It was super fun to get to know them and share a little bit about the gospel with them! I always laugh just thinking that I was on a bridge in the middle of Uruguay sharing the gospel in Spanish with two fisherman...  When we finished talking to them, one of them caught something and so
Hermana Barrios and I got to touch a wriggling fish :D!!! I unfortunately didn't have my camera, so you will all have to imagine it!

-Also, the other day we were walking on the bridge to get back to our apartment (which is in the Barra) and it was dark and sort of late. We were walking along in silence, just enjoying the night...the beautiful water...the stars...when a deep man voice from about two feet behind us said ¨Excuse me...¨ We both jumped about a mile!!! I think my heart is still racing!

-I also made several smoothies with some fruit that is growing on a tree behind our house. Hermana Barrios probably thinks I am crazy because, the other morning. I walked outside and she was in the kitchen. So I was balanced on a chair outside trying to collect all of the ripe fruit that I could find...unfortunately there is a fence and so I can only reach a small portion...well easily anyway...So I was balanced on the chair and leaning over the fence and pulling on the tree branch...I also forgot that I had a towel on my head...I am sure it was comical to see. Hermana Barrios laughed a fair amount :D!  Anyway the smoothies were super delicious even though I don´t know what kind of fruit they are!

This week was a great week because I had several very spiritual experiences...sorry there isn´t time to relate all of them, but I can promise that if you leave with the missionaries that you will be able to have one of these experiences for ourselves! Isn´t it way better to experiment things first hand :D?! Anyway, after this week I can honestly say that I have felt the Spirit so strong and I know without a single doubt that the Lord loves all of his children and that He has a plan for each one of them!

I love you all lots and hope you have a great week!!
Hermana McMurray

Peruvian? I Think Not...

Date: Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Dear Familia,

This week is going to be a little short, but according to Hermana Barrios, the best things come in small packages...probably because she is about 5´1´´:D! I realized as I was thinking about it that I am the tallest of all of my companions...and I am only 5´6´´. I love feeling tall!!!

We got completely soaked...several times. It is Spring here and so every other moment it decides it wants to rain. We laugh because every day we look outside and decide that it is not going to rain...because the skies are blue...and there aren´t any clouds...and it is hot...Then starting at midday the clouds roll in and we get soaked!!! I personally have been enjoying it because I love the greenery!!! It is sooooo green here. I also have loved walking through Delta El Tigre every night because there are a million frogs and they all make a million different sounds. Delta is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and I feel privileged to be here :D!

Funny stories of the week...
-I got stuck traveling through Montevideo for two hours in a car with a bunch of wasn´t really funny...mostly uncomfortable. I think I am going to have problems being alone after the mission. I kept looking around for my companion... It was pretty funny to see the Elders sitting on each others lap, because there were 7 people in a 5 person car!!

-Someone asked me if I was from Peru...I just laughed!

-I lost the keys to our house...and unfortunately figured it out at 9 pm, in front of our apartment, in the cold and rain (I think Hermana Barrios must be the most patient companion! She didn´t even get mad!)  Luckily our Branch President came to our rescue!!!  (I later found the keys in the church building...whew!)

This week went by too fast!!! This week was a little miraculous!!! We found a man named Josemaria this last Monday and we ended up having several lessons with him and inviting him to an activity, which he came to!!! Then he came to church on Sunday!!! He is awesome and we are praying hard that he keeps progressing!!! It is a little hard because he is actually a pastor of an Evangelical church and as he has repeatedly told us, he has to escape his pastor to visit with us. He is progressing and we are excited to be able to invite him to conference this next week! I know that this conference is going to be amazing!!! I am praying that we can bring someone to see it!! I want to invite all of you to bring one friend to this upcoming conference.  If they come, it will change their lives and they will have a chance to listen to the words of a true and living prophet!!! I know this church is true and that we are headed by a true prophet today, President Monson!!

I love you all lots and hope that you have a great week!

Hermana McMurray

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

¡Uruguay is the Bomb Diggity!

Dear Familia,

It has been another great week in the life of a sister missionary in Uruguay. A couple of fun facts for you: Uruguay won the very first world cup ever that was played in Brasil in 1930; when it rains hard here, the school children don´t have to go to school, they get excused absences!

Favorite stories of the week:

-This last Sunday we brought a less active sister to church. So we were sitting in one of the classes and the teacher asked her if she could read a part, to which she quickly answered ¨No, I don´t know how to read.¨ The teacher was embarrassed and quickly asked Hermana Dixon to read...I just laughed because she always reads during our lessons with her...I guess she didn´t want to read! :D

-We went to Mercedes this P Day and we were playing every man for himself dodge ball...I tried to dodge the ball and managed to do a pretty spectacular fall...I only got a little bruised...(it was probably my pride more than anything, since there were a ton of missionaries watching)!

-I always get a good laugh at some of the slips of Hermana Dixon´s spanish. This week she tried to ask someone if they had been sick and accidentally asked them if they were mental...hahahah!

That was all of my fun stories! It has also been a very interesting week in terms of missionary work! I had to do divisions this last week and made a trip to Dolores and so I left Hermana Dixon on two different days, alone in our area! She really is amazing! She didn´t miss a beat and took responsibility for everything! I feel very blessed to have such a great companion!

The most incredible thing this week was our attendance! We had 102 people in the chapel! I feel like our ward is starting to grow and to be one! All the members are so loving and always help one another! The only hard part is that we have not been able to help our investigators come to church. Hermana Dixon and I have really been praying and wracking our brains to find ways to help our investigators progress and be able to have the full blessings of the gospel. I know that missionary work isn´t easy, but I can honestly say that as we faithfully do our part and sincerly pray, God always helps us! I felt the blessings of a supportive ward and a supportive companion and I know that things will work out! We are now teaching a young couple named Mauricio and Myra and another man named Evaristo. They are all starting to progress little by little and I would love it if you would all pray for them too! I love you all lots! Keep having great missionary experiences and write and tell me about them!

I will be writing on Tuesday next week, because we have changes...

Hermana McMurray

Monday, July 14, 2014

Singing in the Rain!!!

Hola Familia,

Como andan todos? Come estan en sus aprendizajes de español? Espero que todos ustedes estan practicando, porque si probable que no vamos a entender uno a otro cuando yo vuelvo... (If you don´t understand, find your nearest latino or google translate ;D)!

So, in terms of investigators, things have been a little complicated for the last few weeks. We are finding and teaching tons of people, but very few of them are progressing. Every week we find new people and they are all great, but none have progressed like we hoped.  Hermana Dixon and I are praying and doing everything possible so that we overcome this challenge! I know that God answers prayers and He will help us so that we can overcome this bump in the road! One of the
ways that I have already seen His hand in our area is with the members in our ward! The members here in Las Canteras are absolutely amazing!  They accompany us, introduce us to their friends, and feed us every day! They are so loving and supportive and are always mindful of missionary work! I love Uruguay!

Funny Stories:

-Hermana Dixon was teaching a lesson and showing a picture of Jesus Christ holding a baby lamb in his arms. She asked the investigator about the picture and then afterwards began to talk about the lamb.  Unfortunately she got a little confused on the word lamb (which in spanish is Cordero), and she talked about the corbata in Christ´s arms...Corbata means tie (like you wear around your neck on Sundays)!  I couldn´t help it...I might have a laughed a little bit! Spanish is always sooo rough in the beginning!

-It poured Saturday. At first, Hermana Dixon and I tried to avoid the water...then after about 20 minutes we realized it was inevitable and we jumped through all of the giant puddles! One of the puddles had to have been at least 2 or 3 feet deep! I was tempted to complain after being soaking wet for about 5 hours, but I decided to just laugh and enjoy it! What determines our happiness isn´t what happens in our lives, it is how we choose to respond to it!

-We went to Mercedes and had interviews with President Smith last Monday! It was accident we missed our returning bus to Fray Bentos...twice! Whoever says that Sister Missionaries are always late probably are speaking the truth :D! The Elders were a little frustrated, but we enjoyed getting to work with the sisters in Mercedes!

So that is about it for this week! I am enjoying Fray Bentos and I cannot believe how quickly time is passing! I love you all and hope you all have a great week!

Hermana McMurray

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Cyber Guy Is Kicking Me Out!

Dear Family,
I was planning on writing a letter, but I am not going to have anytime to do so! The man in charge of the cyber decided he needs to leave in 10 minutes and so I am not going to have my full writing time! So I will make sure and write a better letter next week!

This week was interviews with President Smith and it was super great!

Hermana Dixon and I had a chance to make some new goals and revamp our companionship! I love being with Hermana Dixon, she has an amazing enthusiasm to work and to help the work progress here in Fray Bentos.  I also love the opportunity to watch her learn Spanish! Everytime she makes a mistake, I cannot help but laugh. Probably because I spoke even worse than her...I cannot even imagine what I was saying to people. It is a wonder Hermana Camacho actually understood me...My favorite was that Hermana Dixon tried to bless the food, which in spanish is alimentos...she blessed the adubles. I am sure God still blessed the food...:D!

This week, I had the opportunity to really ponder on the scriptures.  Hermana Dixon laughed at me because I told her that I am almost positive that the prophets wrote the scriptures specifically with me in mind. Every time I do something good, there is a passage about the blessings and every time I do something I need to change their is a super clear scripture! I honestly have found the best counsels of my life in the scriptures. I know that as we study the scriptures we will find counsels and correction that will help us to be better people. I invite everyone to really meditate in your scriptures this week, you will have a very different week! You will feel more the love of the Savior and you will worry less about the things that don´t matter!

I love you all lots!
Hermana McMurray

Monday, June 23, 2014


Date: Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Kung Fu Panda!!!

Hermana Ventura and I making Pizza!
Us with Agustin!!!
Us with our investigator Alison!!!

Us with the sign for Fray Bentos! The man on the bike was more startled than us!