Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Valentti Baptism 12/16

This is Family Valentti!!!
Daniel, Luciana, Ingrid, and Gael!!!

Ingrid and I supporting our team!!! Peñarol!!!!!

My companion got attacked by a dog...don´t worry it only got her skirt!

Zone Sisters

The Hermanas in my Zone!!! We like to play!

Pictures 1/27

Hermana Ramirez, Me, Ingrid, Gael, Carmen, and Rafael!!!

1/27 Pictures

We decided that we wanted to clean out the wasn´t easy and we got drenched!

I was a calm child compared to Angelo!

Dear Familia,

The first and most important thing....HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY (and you're welcome to anyone who happened to forget :D)! I hope that your day is fun and the least stressful possible!

This week has been a different week! We had our interviews with President Smith and a capacitation too! President Smith made some big changes!! He changed our daily schedule to help the work progress! Now we leave early in the morning and do our studies in the afternoon. All of the Uruguayans believe in Siesta (sleeping from 1pm til 4pm), which is great...if you're Uruguayan. Every afternoon we wandered around trying to find the three people who were awake. Now we leave in the mornings and our days are so much more productive! President Smith also told Hermana Ramirez that he wants to keep us together for another change, so it looks like I will be in Rivera for at least another two months!!!!!

In the capacitation given by the APs, they taught us new ways to teach. We know that their counsel is inspired and so my companion and I decided to use it right away, and we have been amazed! We are by no means perfect teachers, but just trying to use what we were taught has brought miracles into our area! This week we have two investigators who have agreed to be baptized in February and others who are progressing more rapidly! La Obra Va Bien!!!

Funny Stories of the week:

-The main goal of the mission right now is to double sacrament meeting attendance. Our original attendance was 50 people....This week we had 130 people in the chapel!!! We may or may not have had another ward from Brasil visit...

-I had a small child almost rip my arm off during the closing prayer during sacrament meeting. I had my pen in my hand and he tried to rip it out of my hands. The problem is that I know that he is a terror and if I let him have my pen, he would probably start to draw on the
pulpit. So I held on for dear life...It was all good until he started making snarling noises and screeching. I tried to push him away, but he came back and bit my arm! I have gained a new appreciation for just how wild things can get during sacrament meeting!

That´s it for the week!
Love you all lots,
Hermana McMurray

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fish, Blech!

Hola Familia,

I don´t have too much too report this week. It was a calm, normal week (well normal for the mission :D).  I really enjoyed reading the scriptures this week. I have been reading in the end of Mosiah. I cannot say that there was anything specific that I read that really stuck out to me, but as I was reading this week I literally felt the love that the Savior has for me! I have felt every day His guiding hand and His love! I have found that I have changed soo much in the mission- It isn´t because I am speaking spanish or anything, but it is a change within! I have found that I am listening more to the Spirit and that I have more desires to do good.  The change that is probably the biggest is that I genuinely feel happier than I have in all of my life! I wake up every morning and feel exciting to have another day to work in the Lord´s work!

Interesting stories:

-I ate fish...again! I always laugh because it never always pours! It wasn´t just one baby fish. It was first tuna mixed with potatoes (yep it was new for me too) and after a huge slab of some type of fish. It was an experience that I would not like to repeat (but probably will because I am in the mission)! I have gotten really good at putting food in my mouth, swallowing, and having a smile on my face. Ohhhhh what we learn in the mission! The good part was that the next day I had real lasagna that Mom makes! It was delicious!!!

-We managed to break pretty much everything in our apartment this week! We had a pipe that was leaking in the bathroom. Every day we came home and the bathroom was under a couple inches of water. Then we also broke the handle on the faucet in our sink! It began to spray water everywhere!! So, being very quick thinkers, we threw a rag over the top and tied it all up with a hair tie! The only problem...we were left only with water on the floor of the bathroom. It also has been well over a hundred this week and so we were dying without water! The good news is after 20 gallons of water in the floor and some minor wounds, our apartment has been fixed!!! We are living the dream...pets and a pool, what more could we ask for?

-I should probably elaborate on the story of the fan! Our apartment is small and closed, so it gets pretty warm. So my companion and I sleep with the fans blowing on us (to fight the heat and the mosquitoes). I was sleeping and all was peaceful! But all I can figure is that I must
have been annoyed by the sound and so I reached up in my sleep and smacked the fan! You guys know I sleep like a rock...The next morning there was blood everywhere! I realized I had sliced my hand on the fan! You all will be happy to hear that I was not permanently injured!  My hand is pretty much completely better, just a couple ugly scabs!  The only sad part is that now I am too afraid to sleep with the fan at night (just imagine a roasting peanut and that is me :D).

I am doing good, despite the small glitches! I love you all lots and cannot wait to hear from you all!
Hermana McMurray

Monday, January 13, 2014

The District

Our District!!!
Hermana Mazzini and some of the hills in our area!

Emily and her companion

Hermana Ramirez and I together!!!

1/13 Pictures

More photos of all of our special friends that I described!!!
The last one was the one that Hermana Ramirez got to!!

Pictures 1/13

I managed to slice open my whole hand with a fan in our apartment!  This is my bloody hand and after my companion and I with the culprit!!!

Peter, James, and John!

Dear Familia,

This week has been great! We have had slightly cooler temperatures due to four or five days of rain! I never thought I would love rain so much! One of the little old ladies in our ward, said that the temperatures our 10 degress celsius higher than any other year! She said that it is the hottest year she can remember! I guess I am just lucky that way... Sounds like all of you are having the exact opposite problems. Good luck with the cold!

This week was a great week! We worked a lot with the youth in our area! It is amazing to see the progress that youth can make when they have someone who is looking out for them! The youth of our ward have decided that they are going to go together and visit all of the youth
who have left the church or who aren´t active! It is really nice and a testimony builder for me, that this is the true church! What other church has youth who leave what they are doing to visit and teach other youth?

Highlights of the week:

-We may or may not still be battling with our infestation of cockroaches and other small animals!!! In the space of two days we killed 6 cockroaches, destroyed an anthill that formed while we were gone during the day, and a giant moth- thing (I am pretty sure it had teeth)! I think my favorite part was when I walked into our bedroom...I saw Hermana Ramirez on the floor with the front half of her body under her bed. She had a spray can of insect poison and yelled ¨Hasta La Vista, Baby!¨ I almost died...and the insect actually did!

-An old lady told me that my hair was ugly and that I needed to cut it off!
-We were at the house of a less active sister. She is almost 70, but she takes care of her grandson because her son is deeply involved with drugs. Her grandson is crazy full of energy...he makes Baby Emily look calm! My companion started to say the opening prayer for our lesson and she asked in her prayer to bless this little boy...To which he immediately screamed at the tops of his lungs: ¨No, I don´t want it!¨  So my companion continued her prayer and blessed that he would be calm, to which he immediately screamed : ¨Don´t pray for me!¨ I have to give Hermana Ramirez props for trying :)!

-We now have pets in our apartment...(see the picture below)!

That Is all I have time for today!
Love you all lots,
Hermana McMurray

Monday, January 6, 2014

Uphill Both Ways!

Dear Familia,

Happy Festival de Reyes!!! Here they celebrate this holiday! It is the day that the three wisemen appeared to Baby Jesus and presented their gifts! I actually believe that it makes more sense to celebrate this than Santa Claus...I have already decided that my children and I are
going to celebrate it! It is a little crazy because here it is much bigger than one really buys presents for Christmas, just for the day that the Three Wise Men appeared! I thought Christmas was a universal celebration....nope...not in Uruguay!

The work is progressing rapidly here in Rivera! It has been a little exciting trying to find all the streets alone, but I have been doing fairly well! Only got lost a handful of times...:)!

I have to talk about the hills in our area...I don´t remember if I talked about them already, so I will write about them (again)! We have mountains in our area! We all grew up hearing the stories of our parents and grandparents walking up hill both ways to school (through snow and hail)...this is different...this is true :)! We have two main areas that we work in...and they are both mountains! On my first day with Hermana Ramirez, she almost died! We started up a little hill, followed by a steeper hill, followed by a huge flight of stone steps, followed by another crazy steep hill, followed by another steep hill, followed by...yep you guessed more crazy, crazy steep hill!  It takes about 15 minutes of climbing straight up to reach the top of our area (which contains 95% of our investigators)! Hermana Ramirez thought it was a joke, on the first day, when I said: ¨Don´t look up, it´s just better that way!¨ The good news is that she is adjusting!

I haven´t been writing any crazy stories about food because the food in Rivera is awesome (aka me gaining 20 kilos....). This week we did get fed rice that wasn´t cooked all the poor companion was dying! I ate it all and seconds! I am pretty sure that I have a stomach of steel after Montevideo. A little uncooked rice....that is nothing (try downing three plates of seafood of old, mayonnaise-covered seafood!)

My favorite quotes of this week:
- Me: Who is our prophet today?
  Francisco: Joseph Smith (...he lived in the 1800s)
-Me: Do you have a photo of your wife nearby?
 Francisco: There!
 Me: Where?!
 Francisco: There! (He was pointing at a picture of Jesus during the Last Supper...He happens to be slightly blind!)

That is about it for the week! I love you all and hope to see photos of the wedding soon (Ryan...hint hint)!
Hermana McMurray
ps. Pictures of these hills will be sent very soon :)!