Monday, July 11, 2016

Meet The Murphys

Our new mission president and his family got to the mission something like a week and a half ago, and this Wednesday we got to know them! His name is President Murphy, and he of course seems like a great person. It must be so hard to be a mission president. I imagine it as one of the church's most demanding callings. Anyhow, President Murphy is from California and served his mission in California in the 80s. They have 6 kids, only one of which will actually stay with the parents here in Ecuador, while the others are either going to be at BYU or are married. Even though I may only have a transfer with him, I'm sure it'll be great!

This week we had a lot of miracles, but there was one that felt...misplaced. While in my sector in Ibarra I'd heard about this less-active that the missionaries had taught there before, David Conforme. Apparently he had tons of potential, but it turns out he lived a few streets over, in what was actually the other missionaries' sector (where I am now). Since I totally felt like that was cheating, while I was in Ibarra I decided not to visit him, especially considering that he lived in the very farthest-away part of the sector.

Then they gave me changes to this sector, and I remembered that he lived here. I never actually got around to visiting him though and forgot about him because we had lots of other people to visit. Until this Wednesday, when I met up with my companion who I'd been with in Ibarra (he's now in Otavalo and we both went to the meeting to meet President). He actually mentioned this same less active to me, saying that he'd gotten to know him after I'd left Ibarra and was going to visit him.

Then last Friday as we were praying, all throughout my prayers in the morning and during studies this less-active's name kept coming to my mind. David Conforme. We ended up going on divisions and I stayed in the sector with our zone leader. As we worked, I mentioned to him this guy's name and that I was maybe going to change our plans a bit to go try to find him because I'd been feeling this prompting. It turns out that my zone leader had been one of the missionaries that had taught this less-active in Ibarra, and still vaguely remembered where his house was! That's when I first decided that this wasn't coincidence.

So we set out to find his house. We ended up finding it, yes, but it turned out that he'd moved, and the people there gave us an idea of where his work was more towards the center of town - they told us he worked in a jeans place. We tried to find it - even calling the assistants to ask for permission to cross over all the way to the other zone - and after a few jeans stores we couldn't find it. I was wondering if we ever would, be suggested we say a prayer. After the prayer we both felt we should try a bit further down the street. We spotted another jean shop and...we found him! Since my companion already knew him we could talk to him no problem and of course he was happy to see us and wanted us to visit him. turns out that he moved just outside our sector. Now he actually does belong to the sector in Ibarra.

It was kind of frustrating, but I can't deny that we were led to find him. I even happened to have the phone number for the missionaries from Ibarra, so I gave it to him. I'm sure he'll be a miracle for them. It's just frustrating that he wasn't a miracle for us. I'm sure we'll have our own, though!

This week we also had a good experience with a part-member family we're teaching. They've been having marital difficulties and haven't had a ton of progress, but we visited them with some members and ended up watching this great church movie from the 80s called "Together Forever." It was great. Once again I was reminded about the importance that families have in God's plan. Well, they're kind of all-important, really. I'm so grateful for my own eternal family and I remembered that...all I really want is for other people to have that, too.

I know that families can be together forever! I can't transmit to you in words what I feel, but I know it's true.

I also had a good experience this week that reminded me of the worth of what I'm doing. It turns out that the Sanchez family, the family I'd found while working in RumiƱahui that later got baptized, found out I was going to be in Otavalo to meet President Murphy, and the mom, Blanca, and one of her sons, John, came to see me! I was super surprised but super grateful. Blanca gave me this nice sweater that I'm wearing right now. I'm just grateful that they remembered me, because of course I remember them! Missionary work does bless people's lives, and I'm grateful that I can be a part of that.
 President Murphy and his wife!

They almost never give us fish here, I was so happy.

Eating ice cream (that's the jacket/sweater Blanca gave me)


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