Monday, January 27, 2014


My dear, dear friends and family,
It was yet another week of so much learning, so much adapting and growing and breaking and building that it is difficult to come up with a singular topic to discuss! I feel like my brain is being squeezed haha, I can't even think strait long enough to summarize how I've changed for good this month! But here goes, because it's important and I desperately want to share it.
Our zone leaders in their crazy goofiness challenged us to look up "mantle" in the BOM Index to learn what our setting apart really is from everyday member missionaries. I would tell you to look it up and then mysteriously back off as to create a suspenseful mood for an ultimate mind-blowing discovery!! But alas, I want to go on and on about it, for it is key. The definition is below:
Mantle: see charity
FWUUUAAAAAAHHH??? Charity? I say! Is that legitimately a higher gift to be a more successful and devoted full-time missionary?? When I first started training in the MTC I quickly noticed a difference in the way I viewed all others. I felt in a way as if it was rose-colored glasses, but it is quite the opposite. Charity isn't viewing people in their best and being optimistic of their choice characteristics. It is feeling the burning brightness of profound love from the Savior for that person's real weaknesses and trials. It is compassion and inexplicable admiration.
Honestly I often find much difficulty in loving people who are bitter or lax about others and the gospel, but knowing this love was mantled upon me I've searched for revelation to know exactly how to go about teaching a broken area and I testify Heavenly Father has guided me unlike I have ever been inspired to love and serve before. My companion and I were so divinely sent to help each other through this and to devote our prayers to working this area. This past week I have seen so many heal and progress and I feel elated. This, this love thing, oh man, it is so totally cool!!!
The new exciting is the discovery of this little field near Walmart is a SEA OF PRAIRIE DOGS. I've never truly noticed one before but they are not tooo hard to miss because, well, they just stand there!! They just stand at look at you!! Haha, it's such a foreign country here.

I love you all lots. Donate blood! I did it last week and it was awesome!! When they ask you whether you have had black tea recently be like, nope because it is against my religion because I'm Mormon! Huh?? They will ask as they stab your finger for testing. And you say, dizzily, because we know that the Savior's gospel has been restored through a modern day prophet, and he has given us amazing guidelines for a happier, more free life!
Just don't pass out from blood-loss, okay? It's bad news bears. ;) Have a WONDERFUL week ERREBODY!!

Sister Murphy Senior

Resolutions and Revelations‏

Okay so we were driving home as we always do, belting out Vocal Point's "Nearer My God To Thee." It was late and dark out. The music was building and we were getting way more into it than usual, when I looked ahead and saw something utterly traumatic. "BUUUHHUUUUhuhuhNNYYYYY!" I moaned, dramatically. It all happened so fast, it still sort of feels like a terrible blur, but what I saw was a mangled bunny whom had been hit by a car on the side of the road.
To many of you this may not be of anything of importance. As a big lover of rabbits it has been QUITE the pleasure to see that bunnies run around here as squirrels do in SLC. Every time I see those cute little ears bolt off away I just squee, "SO CUTE!" And so you can imagine that bunny road kill would be so not okay!!
My comp was very startled by my reaction. "It was just a chunk of ice!!" she said. I knew she was just trying to make me feel better and so the crying ensued. "Little cottontahahahaaaailll..." (sob).
The following morning as we approached the same street my comp was very kind to notify me when to look away to keep me from enduring the same terror. I still could not help but look out for it... and to our surprise we realized: The bunny had melted, for it was indeed a chunk of ice.
This week was actually quite spiritually powerful. It was up and down because the majority of members here are full of bitterness, gossip, drama.. they not only have zero desire to spread the gospel, but are a bit upset with us when we attempt to inquire their missionary efforts. We are trying to do our best to show them Christ's love, and gently teach His expectation for us to become member missionaries.

I came to this realization, along with my companion, of which we are now going to effectively teach in correspondence with the fantastic talk given last conference on creating a "Game Plan." (Read and apply it! Oh it is so awesome!) I was prayerfully pondering about the way missionary work has helped me become a better person so that I could more lovingly convey the way it can bless others. Without hesitation I remembered the years I had spent walking away from the path of righteousness, and the difficulties in my attempts to stumble back. Of course there were MANY things that ignited my passion to change my behaviors, but what got my mind in "Game Plan: Project Heal Madison" mode was my decision to serve a mission.
I know from personal experience that if we make a real intent effort to give the greatest gift, then bit by bit we will be keeping the commandments a little better. We will be loving our God more, and learning more of Him and His plan. We will be loving others in the best way one can be loved. We will refrain from idolizing other Gods i.e. technology and TV and wordly distractions. We will serve our spouses and be a light set on a hill.
Apart from my experience, there is a dear father of a family of teenagers here, Brother Benson. After Sunday school yesterday we asked him how he feels our ward has been doing as far as missionary efforts goes. He stammered, tears welled up in his eyes, and I could see the hardship the last year has brought them because of the decline and bitterness in missionary work here. But I also saw the humility and blessings there that he has received from his family's undying efforts to serve with us. He said, that lesson you missionaries gave last week, when you mentioned that the hastening of the work now, as Elder Ballard has professed, is as pivotal and significant of an action as the First Vision itself... I realized that there is something big coming. His smile grew amid his tears and he paused again. "Something big is going to happen to Hutchinson," he said again.

I cannot wait :)

I pray for all of my wonderful friends and family and ward at home, that you all are really trying your best to be daily missionaries. I know it is my main focus right now and so of course it is what I would teach you, but seeing the change in my heart because of the atonement and the love I have felt of my Savior, I know I would NOT have come this far were it not for my decision to serve.

I love you all SO VERY MUCH. Thank you thank you for your cards and love and support. I hope you see the blessings our Father gives you for helping me and my family, because I know the blessings are there. Have a wonderful week! :D
Sister Murphy Senior

Fifth Sunday:

Howdy there folks!
BOY O BOY what a week!!! It went SO fast, I can't believe Christmas was last week. Did ya get lots o presents? Did you GIVE lots o presents? Did you try a little harder to become more Christlike as a gift to Him?

I sure hope so. This week for everyone I knew and taught here in Hutch it was Charity, the pure love of Christ. Saturday night we got a call that our Mission President was no longer able to teach the "fifth lesson" in our ward and wow was that a blessing in disguise. We have four totally new missionaries here because this area used to be baptism CENTRAL but somehow the ward lost it's motivation for over a year, resulting in bitterness and laziness and bad attitudes. I don't blame them, there are so many things the adversary can do to damage a ward, especially if they do not work together in missionary-mindedness. So the four of us were asked to help the Mission Leader teach combined Sunday School.
Wow. We worked well together, the spirit was so strong, we talked of the sad number of 150 active members in a 600 member ward, and the cause being the "social" aspect of missionary work: the lack of fellowshipping. And so we taught them to love. Above all, to love each other and to love their less-actives. We read from John 15 on abiding in Christs love, and I highly recommend you read it. My favorite message that hit home for our ward was that we should not allow persecution to affect us. "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also... But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."
The prompting to read that from the Holy Ghost is one of the greatest miracles I have had in my life. So many members afterward came up, including our once discouraged Mission Leader, and said that the spirit and devotion has not felt that incredible for a LONG time, and they are all very excited to kick up their missionary efforts once again, in a new and stronger way.
I cannot describe the changes I've seen in Hutchinson already. My companion is so magnificent and our new Elders are so devoted, and I can see the Lord softening hearts daily, including one of  a member we visited who had not gone to church in thirty years... it was such a sacred experience talking with him.
The greatest gift although, was the moments I spent seeing my family and talking with them. I love them. Anyone in their lives are so lucky, really truly. They carry the light of Christ, a devotion to what they know will give them a greater joy than anything in this world. I learn so much from their example and feel comforted by their love. HOOHAH Murphys!
Hahaha, I just can't help but boast of their awesomeness, teehee. I love you all! You are all so awesome and even though I don't hear from you or write, I think about you and look forward to seeing you eventually!
Good luck with your New Year resolutions! Be sure to set a goal that will improve your missionary work, especially if it is something as difficult and magnificent as praying for more Charity :)

Sister Murphy Senior

Happy Christmas, Ron‏...

Happy Christmas, Harry.

Well friends and fam, as the beach boys say, Christmas comes each time this year. I am almost sure you've all been reminded to not get caught up in the commercial frenzy but instead give the ultimate gift to Christ for his birthday, which is service and sacrifice. Personally it has been extremely hard for me to keep this in mind, despite the endless change and challenge I'm being given certainly opens up the opportunity.
I had to leave Mr. Tree behind. Laugh all you want, I'm a proud tree hugger and having to leave such a sweet smelling and lively creature as I've been transferred was PAINFUL. Every ornament removed shed a tear in my heart! ;) I've left all of my friends in Manhattan, left the hilarious Elders I've become great friends with and learned so much from, and have come to an area that is incredibly loving, yet cold and stale in their missionary efforts. My new companion is fantastic, but feeling pressure and confusion and I'm lost in knowing how to help her, save for prayer.
Throughout the past few weeks I've been doing as my MTC trainer advised, to ask WHY and then WHY again to every aspect of the gospel. Lately it's been about the atonement. I read that the atonement and crucifixion occurred as to invoke in every living being a deep compassion. Well that sounds nice and reasonable, but really, WHY though? Sometimes I get so dumb, so caught up in looking for a deeper meaning when the explanation is clear and simple.
This week amid all of my sins and struggles, there is no way I would feel compelled to repent and try harder if I did not know that one incredible God took His liberty and chose ultimate pain and sacrifice. I was reading in Jesus Christ how sorrowful Christ truly was days before his crucifixion, and I think it was not for himself necessarily, but he had already observed the people he healed and guided abandon and deny Him. I think He was overwhelmed at the choice His people make to choose lonely over comfort, to choose anger over peace, to choose temptation over divine reward. It has hit me real deep this Christmas season how real the atonement is. I am teary eyed even now, feeling so grateful that every sin and struggle that weighs heavy on me now can be completely removed tonight if I so choose it, and I want to because I know I can because I know that Christ was born. Humbly, simply, and oh so lovingly He was born, He lived, and He died.
I realize I leave such long emails, and I'm sure I could chat about the crazy that happened this past week, but I find the feelings of my heart much heavier and much more significant this week.

I really hope you are all finding the pure celestial bliss in Christ's life, as to celebrate his birthday as He would have you celebrate it. I hope for it because I know it is THE greatest happiness and the greatest gift. I want to thank you again for you prayers, for the wonderful Christmas cards, for the donations, and for your love. I unfortunately do not have the permitted time this preparation day to send out my love in gifts and cards, but please know I think and pray for you all individually, and thank you, and wish you a truly happy Christmas this week :)
Sister Murphy Senior

Still still still one can hear the falling snow‏

As in, there is no falling snow. But an abundance of twinkly lights and Fa La Las and YES to commitments like Word of Wisdom and Pray Daily and Keep Them Sabbath Days Holy and it is the best gift of them all. We have three WONDERFUL people on date for baptism and they seem very promising. It may not perhaps be on "Noche Blanca" but it will certainly happen within the new year. ...NEW YEAR? Man time is flying.
I've been following that good 'ol hymn Count your many blessings. I had to amid the trials of last week, and boy did it serve me well. I wrote specifically the answers and gifts that Heavenly Father has blessed me and my area with in answer to my specific prayers. I then wrote a list of the many other blessings He gives on top of that. I discovered I have been so grandly blessed. I can't believe why it has taken me until this phase of life to learn the blessings of honest and meek requests in prayer (I feel it is so hypocritical to call oneself meek, or humble, or holy, but I truly have been reminded of my own significance this week haha). I think the most needed and enjoyed gift has been Charity. "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth FOREVER. For whosever is found possessed of it at the last day, it will be well with him." I think that's how Moroni 7:47 goes, I memorized it just this last weekend. I know that truly the only way a person can possess charity is by praying fervently for it, especially if you are a little Sister Murphy Sr. missionary. I have only noticed a twinkle of possession this last week, because I am growing to actually love the core of my sweet companion. All of those little quirks and frustrations stop mattering and you just laugh and think man o man you are so silly and so wonderful. If I am to give any gift to my loved ones this season, it would be an increased possession of the pure love of Christ, for it is the supreme gift that will keep us "well" in the last day!
Plus it's the love part that comes with the spirit of Christmas. It's what makes the nativity so precious; the love of Joseph to keep his wife with baby from being stoned and to walk over 70 miles so that Christ can be born in David, the love of sweet Mary who in her humility accepted the supreme honor of holding the Only Begotten in her belly, of the shepards submitting to bright singing angels and Gloria shouting from all around the world because the world knew that their salvation was about to be saved!
I am being transferred.
I am shocked. I mean I know it is the way ofI've built such wonderful relationships here and at last have some seriously solid investigators, but I have more faith than ever that they will pull through successfully, or at least that whatever happens is divinely directed and meant to be in God's grand plan. Selfishly I am sad to leave the wonderful missionaries I've had the honor being around. I know there are more friendships to build, but the whole not being able to contact Elders thing is quite a bummer, because their sense of humors are just something I really enjoy through the tough times.
I have one incredible story to share, and then I bid you adieu. We received a text from a recent convert, Joe, in Garden City Kansas. He said his sister resides in the Little Apple and she desires a bible and BOM. Sister Walker and I popped on over that evening witht the goods and BOY was she happy to see us. Sweet Elena and her boyfriend Eric reside in an apartment room where a legit Satanic cult practiced. It was feeling okay, but as soon as she mentioned the strange findings of which I will not disclose in strange locations we could feel the icy pit of fear creep into us. "I want my home to be blessed," she said. Her brother had recommended it. Seeing as she was eager to come unto Christ and be taught we deemed it appropriate for a consecration. The next evening we arrived with our Elders as well as Brother Nelson of the bishopric. After a spiritual discussion about the need for, the blessings of, and the standards of receiving a blessing of consecration, we knelt together in prayer. The power of light and glory came softly, and illuminated gradually, until we all felt the joy of heaven's angels. Brother Nelson became teary-eyed mid-blessing and Elena declared many times afterward the strong warmth she felt, and knew it was of God. Powerful testimonies were born, and I remember wishing I could feel that way always... but then again, I am grateful that these miraculous moments come fleetingly so that the level of power and joy is that much more remarkable.
I love you all out there. Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers. I feel them, I feel them making me stronger, giving me luck in lessons, blessing my area, and helping the Lord in the hastening of His work. I thank you dearly. I will talk to you next week but wish you a very Merry Christmas!!
Sister Murphy Senior
PS If you are wanting names to pray for, the following are the sweet Manhattan investigators and progressing less-actives I will soon be leaving; Ann and Steve Murphy, Mercedes and her mother, Nancy, Elena and Eric, Tonya Stock and her fiance Eric. THANK YOU!!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Christmas Time

Jolley old friends of mine!
This week was such a struggle and I am really and truly just so grateful. We have officially dropped everyone Sister Smartt and I worked with for the first transfer. My companion was struggling with two absessed (?) teeth and we were inside our apartment or a dentists office the majority of the time. It offered, however, many opportunities to try my patience and broaden my knowledge and testimony of the gospel.
I have at last recognized many small promptings from the Holy Ghost. Can you believe it has taken me until now after all of my life to finally be aware of daily promptings?? And it isn't even really daily yet, I guess it's just once in awhile. I know without a doubt that I am being led and instructed by the Spirit, but to be actually conscientious of it has been my primary struggle. "Text Tonya," the spirit first said. I did so. "Ask her how her week has been," He said next. She was very short in response and I felt or was told that she clearly has not been doing okay. She is one of our progressing less-actives who served a mission ten years ago, and although she knows and believes in the truths of the gospel, the adversary has poisened her mind to forget how much the Lord loves her, to understand His grace, and the importance in constant keeping of commandements and covenants. "Ask her if she would like a priesthood blessing." And so I did, and I felt it was so out of the blue and we hardly ever text back and forth with her and this is too abrupt to text such a thing. Sure enough she replied, "I don't know who to ask." A sweet and humble submission to receive help in her efforts to find the strait and narrow. We sent lovely Brother Wangsgaard right over and according to him it was a wonderful blessing of strength and clarity.
This last week I too received a blessing. I also encountered various incredible workings of the priesthood and have come to recognize how powerful the mantle of my calling truly is. This morning after teaching a new investigator referred to us by the early-morning seminary teacher (she accepted baptismal date for Noche Blanca!), he said served in South Africa. There he would accompany saints as they walked for two hours to attend weekly church meetings. They would pass men and women newly murdered, lying on the ground beside them, and would just continue walking. It was a normal, every day occurance in the heart of the darkest downtown area he said was the worst in the world at the time of his mission. He said it never really worried or stressed him, but as soon as he was released from his calling to serve and the mantle was stripped from his soldiers, the trauma ensued and he said for years he suffered from PTSD. I feel so honored to hold such a power!!
I have learned how to obtain greater patience, charity, humility, and diligence. If you cannot tell, I am a bit worn out from the emotional fire I have had the honor to charge through this week. I wish this for everyone, I truly do. I have heard what RMs have expressed to me about their missions before I left, I saw the profound understanding in their eyes and had not understood it until now. I am consistently at the brink of tears and it is merely because I see truths testified before me of the Saviors love and the perfect plan of the Father, and I stand all amazed. I really do. I am so grateful to be part of such light and glory.
If you haven't noticed, the mission culture has changed. Our mission leader told us last week to completely abandon tracting efforts. It is deemed as nearly useless at the time of Hastening the Work. I cannot get that statement of Ballard out of my head; this hastening of the work is so significant and will be so profound a time of history as was the restoration of the gospel and the translation of the Book of Mormon. The talk about having a "Game Plan" for missionary work is just my fave and explains this all so well. We as missionaries are so reliant on the efforts of our ward. It is primarily our duty to serve the ward, to teach the ward, and help them bring the Lord's sheep into our fold. We are no longer seeking to find our own as much as we are helping YOU to do it yourself! As a commandment I want to invite you all to please please find what I have had the honor to find, and it is a deep conviction and testimony of Heavenly Father's love and plan of happiness and to share it with everyone around you. It will without a doubt make you happier than you ever understood you could be. It will bless your life, it will keep your family strong.
This sounds really so cheesy, but we taught a sister of a member, Sister Weisbender, this last weekend and they were so stubborn and fairly closed to hearing our message. Eventually the Holy Ghost softened them up so much that at the end they committed to being baptised on Noche Blanca (woohooooooo divine inspiration from mission pres for Christmas Eve white night!!!!). The investigators called Sister Wesibender later that evening and said as soon as we left they went in and prayed about what we had taught, and said it was a positive experience (I have actually never heard one of my investigators say that yet). The husband looked down at where we had sat, and imprinted there he saw the sillouhette of angel's wings. OKAY so cheesy but they are taking it as a SIGN!! Wow, so cool!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Go wasseling for me, eh? And frost those window panes and deck them halls with jolley!! Oh wait is it holly?
Sister Murphy Senior
aka Sista Murphdawg
aka Sister Smurphy (said Sid the Sloth style)

First week of Christmas‏

It certainly does not feel like Christmas time here. By now in SLC there are typically lights up, and snow, and ice, and lots of wreaths and bows and trees and MUSIC but here I have not seen hardly any of it! But boy am I excited for Christmas! Our Mission President was inspired to have "Noche Blanca," or white night. Did I already mention this? I am just so excited about it! We are to invite every single person we teach to be baptized on the 24th, Christmas Eve. We have been receiving text after text from our AP of miracle messages from our state-wide mission and so many people have already been put on date for baptism! The mission goal is 40, so pray for us if you have time, to be led to those the Lord has prepared for this amazing White Night!!
This week was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. It was the hardest and most overwhelming and most humbling and rewarding week. Just about every person Sister Smartt and I were working with has dissipated! Every person we had on date for baptism, every potential, every other investigator was no longer responding or progressing. Nancy even has gone under the radar and is neither home nor responsive to phone calls. Needless to say, on top of difficulties with my companionship, I was discouraged. It's funny how when discouragement starts to set in, we begin to doubt our understanding and our capabilities. We lose faith in the miracles the Lord can do. We lose hope and can no longer see a silver lining. It truly is so sad, and such a slippery slope, and I remember feeling this way almost all of the time when life was not going as awesomely as desired back at home. And then there was a miraculous chain of events on Saturday. We had the privelege of attending two baptisms, one for a young family in my ward, another for my companions old ward (of whom she primarily helped convert). The spirit was POWERFUL and the speakers, I mean I'm sure they were helping out Ivan and Hannah and Ellie and Brayden, all of the baptismees, but they were speaking for ME! Stake President Napp simply bore a powerful testimony of the truth of the gospel. He said with teary eyes that he knows Christ is our Savior. He knows God is our loving Heavenly Father. He knows Joseph Smith saw God and translated the Book of Mormon and restored the fullness of the gospel. ...and after I had heard person after person deny truths and challenge righteous behaviors and question my sanity and beliefs, it was glorious to hear such powerful conviction, backed by such pure love and humility.
Later that evening Sister Walker and I totaled up our statistics. We had one of the best weeks thus far on my entire mission. How had I not noticed our accomplishments? Sure, there was no progression, but it was evidence we were working hard. And the third and final and most important gift from God happened when we received a text from sweet less-active Tonya. She is a return missionary and after the death of her righteous fiance she plumeted into a decade of discouraging behavior. We have had the honor of visiting her and expressing the Saviors love for her and desire for her to repent and come unto him. She is such a hard worker and has steadily solidified celestial habits in daily prayer and scripture study. She cancelled one of her weekly appointments with us recently and I soon became concerned that she had become re-offended and overwhelmed and was straying from her strait and narrow path. She texted a response to our first inquiry in a LONG time for her to come to church with us Sunday, and it was "I will try." Excitedly and awe-struck we looped her in craftily by asking her to give us a ride to church, leading on that we did not have our car this week (which we did, hehe...). She came and the ward welcomed her warmly and she stated she was looking forward to coming back the following week.
Words cannot express the gratitude I feel. I have been grounded, and officially stand by the scripture I chose at the beginning of my mission to represent where I stand with the Lord, and it is Alma 26 "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise HIS name forever."
This is the best happiness. I am so brim with joy, just as this scripture, just as Ammon states. I want to stay like this forever, I hope I can. I want it all for you. I really do. We as missionaries are encouraged to invite our friends and family to help us in hastening the Lords work. If any of you lack wisdom... haha.. my memorizations are taking over.. If any of you are struggling with this, with any fear or reluctancy, I promise it will become much more important to you and much easier as you strive to become broken hearted and deeply converted to the gospel of our Savior. Sister Bonnie Oscarson in her Conference talk "Be Ye Converted" talked all about this and it is amazing! So, I invite you all to form daily habits and act on your faith so that you might be able to obtain as I have, if you haven't already, a deep love and conviction of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will be praying for you all!
I love you! I hope to hear from you! I hope you have a great first week of Christmas!
Sister Murphy Senior

Week of Thanksgiving?? What?? I was just in the MTC last week!!‏

Seriously though, my friends and fam, is time going by as fast for you as it is for me??

Saying goodbye at transfers :) bittersweet!

I am very excited for Thanksgiving. I was curious how holidays would be on a mission, and I am just so stinking excited now! As we pulled out of Walmart last week I felt prompted to hand this homeless looking guy a card with our phone number on it. I told him it was the best kind of help (hehe), and he could call us if he needed any. Lo and behold, Saturday we received a voicemail from Melvin saying he just really needs Thanksgiving dinner for his family. It was the sweetest most humble call and I am so grateful that my ward is providing a big thanksgiving dinner! We are inviting his fam as well as other investigators needing more dinner. I'm surprised by how many members of the branch will be coming to offer fellowshipping... I just can't wait!
The spirit of charity and service is exactly what I need to be influenced by right now. There have come specific challenges out here that are really testing my ability to love and be patient as Christ is. It is so super hard! It is just not a natural thing for me!!! I sit and try and think of ways that I can help people by mere service, and I get stumped! So I prayed and the Holy Ghost told me just this morning that it starts with my companion and she sure is giving me a lot of opportunities so I have got to make sure I take them.
Such a side thought but my comp and I are way into Essential Oils right now, she has a whole box of em! And there are like three ladies in our ward who keep giving us little tinctures of new things to try. So this morning to get rid of my acid reflux I decided to try drinking a teensy bit of Ginger oil. Later Sister Walker asks me if I drank it and I said yes and she was like, uhhhh youa re NOT supposed to drink it, it is ONLY for topical use!! Ahhh!! I smell so strongly of ginger right now haha I am laughing here at the library I swear in a cloud of ginger and I feel bad for those who might get a wiff!! But on a more spiritual note, I know Heavenly Father actually planned for oils to come into my life at this time because I've been having physical set backs as well as spiritual set backs and as I've prayed for it to go away I've been introduced with a new oil to relieve, and I realize this is my answer, His way of healing me. I am really gaining a strong testimony of what a Sister said during church yesterday, that "the Lord's way is ALWAYS better than our way." As long as we are working on our faith, we will understand that he is going to either heal is in certain ways or allow us to keep struggling so we learn a more powerful lesson and gain a more important strength. So if I'm to give any advice to you already wonderful friends and family, it is to always ask that Heavnely Father blesses you and helps you, and then be truly open to how He chooses to do that.
NANCY IS ON DATE FOR BAPTISM!! Our mission president chose to have us invite every single person we teach to get baptised on Christmas Eve, he calls it "Noche Blanca." It is so inspired and I cannot wait to start asking with boldness and love. She is still praying for a true answer whether this is right for her. She already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon so I have no doubts!! But she needs all the help she can get so if you have a sec, say a little prayer for Nancy!
Felix is now officially less active as a recent convert and my heart is weeping for him. As is Karen, another RCLA, who has completely lost her testimony of the Restoration of the FULL gospel, all within two months of being baptised. Satan is working so hard. As I've mentioned in the past about signs of the last days, one of them will be a greater separation between those who choose dark and those who choose light. That is why we need to put our every effort in becoming stronger individuals. If not, then the ever-pressing darnkess will seep in. But anways, I am praying hard and I know that no matter what, the Lord will bless them.
I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father. I'm sure some of you are probably starting to check out of my weekly emails haha, it's hard to tell when I am so disconnected with everyone, but I just need to bare a simple testimony to leave you with. The pride in me often says I understand the atonement, I understand how the Lord blesses me daily, but then I learn something entirely new and realize I know hardly anything at all. He is so pure and so perfect, He wants us so badly to allow His spirit to fill us always, we just need to ask and allow it in. 1 Corinthians 2 says "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." The perfect plan, to have a Savior perform the atonement so that His grace has ALREADY sufficientely saved us, and then he is with us every step of the way as we stumble toward heaven so that he can plead for our redemption, so that we might enter the gates of heaven. I love it. I know this is the perfect plan and I know I'm going to keep messing up and it is because I need to learn something more profound. Else if I do not learn it there is no way I'd be able to physically behold the glory of God or to even desire to be around it. After all of the days of laboring and praying to the Lord, Enos found a level of understanding that he was able to teach to his people. His final prayer is the last verse of his book, and it is currently my favorite scripture. I apologize if I have already shared it, it is Enos 1:27.
I love you all. I am so excited for Thanksgiving and I hope you all turkey it up and thank God for His amazing gifts!! One of them I've learned, is the gift of spirituality, the TALENT of spirituality. But anways happy holidays and see ya talk to ya next week!

Sister Murphy Senior

Total Possumness‏

One of our member friends found a dead possum in her front yard. I have never seen a possum, or at least remembered it until I saw one lying there. I don't have anything spiritual to say about this haha, I just think animal life is so weird here in the Little Apple, haha... Wild turkeys and possums and GIANT squirrels that burrow under basically every lawn of grass, so when you walk on grass you are constantly sinking into the ground (which is unsafe when wearing small heals)!
Oh man it was quite the week of learning. I sometimes beat myself up when I don't see leaps of progression. But I am always reminded (thank you Holy Ghost) that what our Heavenly Father wants is for us to work tortoise status: slow and steady progression. I know there is a scripture about, but, I'm a tad burned out today and cannot remember. P day is much needed haha.
We had an incredible lesson with Nancy, the first woman I ever taught "in real life" out in the mish. She won't commit to baptism because she was baptised in her Christian church. We do our best to explain priesthood authority being the significant difference there, but it's not hitting home for her. This week we will emphasize the great Apostacy, but what I'm getting at is I realized how lucky you all are out there in this regard. You get to not only tell people about the blessings of baptism, but you also get to show them in a more personal, meaningful way. I mean, I can share special experiences, but it is just more impacting when it comes from a friend. When a friend can say, I went through temple this morning, and it made me feel this way, and it is blessing my family this way. I'm lucky as a missionary to be filled withthe love of Christ for His children, but because friendship with new investigators can only go so far with a tag on.... do you get my point? I hope youa ll out there are doing everything you can to make and keep your covenants because it can be such a powerful example for those who hardly ever feel the light we can feel constantly.
I loe Nancy, I feel very confident she will be on date for baptism by end of transfers. Unfortunately the Selfs did not come to church, so we are pushing them off date for baptism and it makes me sad that "agency" and Satan can hurt us so much, but I'm learning to have constant faith that the Lord will take care of them as long as I am praying and doing my best as their missionary.
Saturday our wonderful little japanese member Mihoko took us to a little town within our mission limits but it really is in the middle of nowhere. The drive was just beautiful though, and the people in Riley were very different than Manhattan, which I imagine they are just like typical Kansanites. We at last contacted a referral we haven't been able to for over a month, and she was sad and lost and really needing the gospel. Unfortunately her long-time companion controls who she spends time with so we cannot set a time to visit. She has all of these little projects we could help her with and she like the BOM, so I hope we can be divinely led back to her home in the right timing.
Right now the main thing I'm working on is how to humble my naturally proud heart without having to have a "humbling experience." I'm also working on long prayers, and balancing talk time with listen time. It is very difficult to just sit and listen during a prayer, it makes me sad I've spent my whole life unattentive to the Holy Ghost but am SO HAPPY I've finally realized how important it is in our daily lives! So I'm very excited to improve in these areas :)
OH! Wendy, our sweet Ecuadorian, she is TOTALLY going to get baptized! She just doesn't know it yet haha. So if you want someone to pray for, it's Wendy, Karen a recent convert less active, Felix (he is still unemployed sadly), and Amy in Riley. Thank you so so much for your prayers. I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family. As always, pray hard and study them scriptures daily! After all, it's a commandment!!
Sister Murphy Senior
PS Shout out to my wonderful baby sis who just received her patriarchal blessing! WOOHOO!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sealing up good ol' Week 5‏!

Hello world!!
How's the weather?! I hope it's been as glorious as our multi-colored trees and as blue as Manhattan skies! Probably not, but I hope ;)
Isn't the gospel just so incredible? I just can't believe how pure and wonderful it is. This morning we drove the car so the Elders could use it and walked a mile or so back to our apartment. Manhattan is so quiet, a countryside quiet and the rainbow of colors and the crinkling leaves and the gentle breeze, it all just feels like angels are whispering and God is in the sunshine, warming my heart. Dawn is such a glorious time to ponder and communicate with the Lord.
This week has been full of personal revelation and growth. We had zone conference with Elder Nash from the Seventy on Tuesday. His message was absolutely incredible: In 3 Nephi 11 Christ performed a pattern that is vital for mostly full time missionaries but of course all saints to use when teaching the gospel. The part that hit me most is how bold I really need to be when approaching someone new, and not being afriad to firmly state I have been called of God to announce the gospel has been restored, and to invite His children to come unto Him. And it has made quite the difference. Keep in mind that "Boldness" does not mean loud, it merely means full of clarity, confidence, and LOVE. I'm writing it all over my apartment walls, I cannot forget this! And then he bore his testimony which I just have to share.
"Where I go, HE goes before me... I know if I'll just be quiet enough and ask [others] some good questions... I know what He'll do... and I have the confidence that He'll do it. My mantel is no different than yours... If youa re humble before Him, full of love, sweetly in a non-overbearing way, to be bold, speak with clarity and confidence... we find out we're not worth much on our own... and we'll be able to sit and watch the miracles He does." "Become an Ammon Teacher."
Oh i just wish I could share all of his goodness and golden nuggets. "Give Him ALL and in the end you'll find it was no sacrifice at all." And then I learned from my district leader how to teach those who have been offended by the church. I can't wait to find someone because this is what I'll get to say with profound love and sensitivity, "As a representative of Jesus Christ, we are deeply sorry that happened to you." People just forget how much the Savior loves them, and as a servant I want to so badly to help others remember that... I hope you don't feel like I'm too "preachy." I feel like this is so important. I can't learn all of this goodness and just NOT share it with the people back at home that I love the most. But I think it is good to always be reminded of the importance of loving others with boldness :)
Okay so this weekend we had a lesson with James, a young man investigator who throughout his whole life has had revelation about God through dreams, and even saw the first vision! Sister Smartt found him out of all odds (of course, thank you Heavenly Father! haha) and referred him to the University sisters. But then we were able to go on splits the day for James. He is so funny, black nappy hair and eagerness to share interesting thought... But anyways when we explained the Plan and the Restored Gospel he said it all just made so much sense and then Sister Walker (my new companion starting Wednesday!) was with us and slammed down the baptismal q and he said YES with no hesitation! And we had a couple other lessons that were just so divinely directed and I can't believe we are lucky enough to be receptive to such guidance and help those who God has so kindly prepared for us to teach. Mark, we read so many bold scriptures on repentance and bore powerful testimony and the spirit was so stinkin strong and he appeared so motivated to begin repenting and talking to his bishop again. I've been increasing in doubt, letting Satan affect me, and I pray and doubt some more, and then Sunday night, I can't even describe it... it was a miracle. Tiffany, a powerful ward member, owns several guns and knows how to handle herself, but received a disturbing call from a man down the street implying that he was gonna come over, and it was terrifying for her. She called us in pure panic, and, of course, all of the five sister missionaries had cancelled appointments so we zoomed over there (30 mph style) to fill her dark home with light. That inspired Sunday night all of my prayers were answered. In the company of great Saints and missionaries incredible things happened, too sacred to talk about. And I am so beyond grateful for the Lord's power and promise to answer our personal prayers. If any of you out there are afflicted, do not forget the power of a priesthood blessing and how wonderful an opportunity it is.
And Friday night we had "movie night" for less actives and investigators to join some ward members to watch the Joseph Smith movie. Instead the copy we had was the new documentary version and I was so nervouse people would get bored but mid-movie I looked behind me and everyone was so intense and appeared so touched. Afterward Natasha Self, who has not been progressing since we planned a baptismal date, as well as her son both stated they now completely understood why the restored gospel and BOM were significant, and were excited to go home and read it. I am so glad we get to have them back on track for baptism.
Needless to say it's been incredible out here. This week is transfers, my companion joins one of the University sisters as an STL to Topeka, and I get another University sister as my comp and we feel it was so divinely directed. I cannot wait to stay in Manhattan with the many fruits to be harvested, and to do it with a very faithful and powerful sister missionary. I hope all of you out there are doing well and pouring your souls out to God! I love you and pray for you and please feel free to send me a couple sentences about how you are doing!
With much love,
Sister Murphy Senior

End of Glorious Week #4!

Oh hey there, friends!

Guess what? It was another totally awesome week. In fact it might have been the awesomest. Tuesday was basically my fave. We met with Jessica, who is super young and her new husband is deployed and mormon, so she is interested in lessons. Our follow-up lesson was amazing, she read above and beyond what we asked and seemed to really feel the spirit. That Holy Ghost, it is so splendidly powerful. It's very energizing to have such a receptive investigator, who we feel so certain will be baptized and I'm just excited for it. Also we met with Tonya the less-active RM and she is just lighting up more and more every time we see her. We can already see the atonement and faith in God really opening her heart and giving her the UMPH to talk to her fiance about her desires to repent and be sealed in the temple. Hopefully we will be receptive to the HG because it's gonna be tough teaching him, who has not wanted to hear about the church up until now. Then we eventually went over to another area to check on really old potential investigators in our book. We got some door slams and some yesses, and then chased some big wild turkeys because holy cow, they flock in like tens here. It is so funny!! They just hang out on the lawn and chat and stuff, until of course we run at them and they scurry away.
BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER. We were deciding to leave and I decided to take this hidden stairwell to a different set of apartments. This has now become my secret supersticion (???) after this coming experience, because the last time I chose some random secret stairwell we met some amazing new investigators. So anyways, up the mossy secret passageway and we see a cute young girl walking her dog. We nonchalantly (okay we were actually really excited because we suddenly had such a good feeling to see her) caught up with her and talked to her dog (pets are the PERFECT approach). She was so nice, she asked us all of these questions on what we do (that rarely happens) as missionaries and we then somehow got to talking about the great apostacy and then somehow slipped in the restoration and she had said several important things:
          1. She has gone to so many churches but none of them seem correct
          2. She has always felt that there is a book missing from the Bible
          3. Her husband had some bad experience with hypocritical Christians and totally avoids religion
And then she said the best thing of all after we handed her the BOM and bore testimony of its truth. She said, near tears and with great love, "You guys I just feel compelled to tell you that... this is what I've been waiting for. This feels so right and I am just so excited to go study this book. I feel like I was really supposed to meet you two today." And then we started getting way excited and I almost burst into water works and we asked her if we could come teach her sometime. She hesitated, and when she saw how concerned we were becoming with her pause she said OH I'm sorry I really want you to, but I don't think my husband will allow it. And then her husband happens to randomly run up to us in jogging clothes. "What are you selling?" he asked us with a sneer. Oh nothing we said we are missionaries of the church of Jes... "Yeah, you're selling something," he said, and I'm not kidding he had crazy eyes and everything felt dark and Breanna looked completely devistated and Stewart said, "Lets go. We are going." And he grabbed the dog and his wife and they stomped away. She looked back at us in longing.... it was so beyond heartbreaking. She is what us missionaries call a Golden Investigator. She is so beyond ripe and ready to harvest, and to have someone control her with such a hard heart is just scary and disappointing. Unfortunately we weren't able to get her phone number or address, and so we pray for her and her husband every day, hoping she will muster up the strength to call us.
I don't have time or room to tell you much about the rest of the week which just totally stinks!! In a nut shell we visitied two potential investigators who are "Earth Based" religion which is basically a hippie support group. We were inspired to ask them all sorts of questions about their beliefs, and everything they said basically matched right up with the Plan of Salvation. So we pulled out the pamphlets and taught them both and they were so beyond excited to finally have names put to their beliefs, and a whole book to discuss it and a whole church to invite them in. They were gloriously ecstatic. One of the girls, Raven, said her grandmother had scared her into repentance in fear of God her whole life, and to read and hear us testify that God loves her... she said it was one of the greatest epiphanies of her life. She was misty eyed and the spirit was so strong. We can't wait to teach them this week.
And then there are the beautiful multicolored trees. Seriously I thought Utah had marvelous trees but this autumn here is unreal. I wish you could all see it! I've attached a picture. Most trees have at least two bright colors, most have about four. It's UNREAL!!! And halloween was amazing and so much candy and more new investigators... I just can't believe how blessed I am. I hope you all had such a great halloween. I still haven't heard from anyone, I would so love to hear how you each are doing because even though I feel very focused on the work here, I certainly do pray and think about all of the wonderful people back home and my wonderful two sisters out on a mission and the great companions I've already come to love here.
I want to give a shout out to my amazing family. The second principal we typically teach is the Gospel Blesses Families, and I'm so proud to bear testimony of the influence my wonderful family has made on me. The gospel really does bless families, and this is why it is so important for all of you out in daily life must be missionaries, because the world has lost all great principals to help their family grow strong, and find happiness and survive the turmoil of Satan's territory. This week's lesson has been learnging and staying attentive to the Holy Ghost. It is the only reason why we were able to find Breanna and Raven and Jessica and so many others this last week, and it is the only reason why they felt so connected to the gospel. It is the teacher and it is vital we learn how to hear and communicate with him.
Anyways I love you all so much!!! I hope everything is just amazing for you!!! Eat too much pumpkin pie!! And candy corn! Because they are amazing! And don't take for granted the means to cook wonderful home meals. Seriously.
Sister Murphy Senior

Oldie but goodie - S. Murphy's Week #3!

Good morning brothers and sisters!
I hope you have all been staying warm as this crisp autumn warns of winter. And you best be ready for Halloweeeeeen! My bishop said something funny yesterday, he mentioned that "hallow" means holy, so it is the eve of holiness therefore after getting all spooked and masked up and crazy this Thursday make sure you have the holiest of days on Friday and be a missionary!! Haha. In the meantime I expect a report of the best costumes with pictures. ;)
This week's lesson has been prayer improvement. "The Lord puts as much thought into your prayers as you do." As you are all trying to survive your busy lives filled with holidays and strenuous work and family and fun and finances and house maintenance and church callings and supporting tired friends, make sure you are taking a half hour each day to thank or inquire of the Lord. I'm learning more about my personal weaknesses, mainly my incosistency with my relationship with God. This is so funny to me that I allow it to be such a difficult task when it is of the utmost importance. He is our Heavenly Father for heavens sakes He is the most importanat relationship I've got! And we are, well at least I know I am constantly learning of His ways and His sacrifices and His plan but I fail to prioritize decent conversations with him. I said half an hour and WOOH that may seem like a long time, but you'd be surprised how open and comfortable you start to get after the first ten minutes or so. I know if you try this out for yourself it will bring such amazing clarity of what He wants for you and how you can obtain it and serve him in the process.
Our confirmed baptism investigators are MIA at the time, so sad. We have been and will continue to keep praying that Barbara will allow us to finally come in contact with her and that the Selfs will keep their planned visits with us. It is difficult when we see so clearly the reality of temple blessings and covenant blessings are saving our lives as missionaries and then we struggle so much to help our investigators really understand what is in store for them. But as far as other investigators go we mostly read along with them the BOM so that they might become more familiar and enthusiastic with it. I just love the stories of the BOM. I remember when I'd get the question as a youth "If you were stranded on an island what three things would you bring?" Well everyone would say their scriptures so I would because I didn't want to be all non-religious. I just didn't understand what glorious teachings I had at my fingertips. I can now say confidently and truthfully I would SO bring my scriptures and probably only that because the Lord will provide the way for anything else. Nancy needed help comprehending Nephi 10 and it so happened I had studied that exact chapter that morning (thank you Holy Ghost!!). We had wonderful japanese Sister Mihoko with us and we asked her how she came to know the BOM and Joseph Smith are true. She gave the best conversion story. Here it comes:
When I was a teenager in Japan the missionaries taught me about the vision of Joseph Smith, and told me to pray to know whether it was true. I did so that night, and nothing happened. But, inside me I had this feeling that it could be true, that there just might be something important about his experience. So on Sunday I decided I'd do what the missionaries told me next, to fast and pray. So I did that, and nothing happened. That feeling just never went away so each Sunday I would do the same thing, fast and then pray to know the truth. Finally a year later, after doing my weekly Sunday fast and prayer... I got my answer. Afterward I KNEW that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.
It was so simple but so powerful! I love that I know can use sweet Mihoko's story for all of my struggling investigators... for the rest of my life! Sometimes, like many prophets have experienced, the Lord just recquires diligence and patience before He gives you the answers you seek.
I hope you all have the happiest of halloweens! Don't eat too much sugar. Don't get too scared. Watch Nosferatu. And that's all I have to say.
With much love,
Sister Murphy Senior

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Buenos dias para hermana murphy!!‏

Oh my wonderful friends and family, today was a banner week!!!
First of all I've not heard from almost ALL of you and this is me NOT making you feel bad! ;) It really is okay though because the Lord has blessed me and my family immensely this week. Second of all thank you greatly to all who prayed for Brother Felix Harsh and his family, he got a job!! In town! And his health is improving. Last Sunday his health was terrible and he called us to say he wasn't going to make it to church but could we please pick up his tithing for him?? Oh the faith of that sweet convert, that even when he literally has no money left from being fired from all of his jobs, he still understands the blessings from tithing. So thank you! And Apryl picked everything up and moved to Junction City for her mother-in-law, mourning the death of her son and Apryl's husband, which we are sad and comforted and okay with because the Sister missionaries there are bomb and they will get her right into that holy water :)
My wonderful comp Sister Smartt and I made it a goal to visit more less-actives and oh my goodness the Lord certainly helped us accomplish this!! Mary Lou, oh my gosh she is a riot. Her house is decked out in wolf pictures and zoo figurines and porcelaine (?) dolls and indians.. and with her missing teeth she mumbles to us that she is so happy she just went and got her hair did! and combs through her nicely trimmed and died silver mullet. She is quite old and taking care of her husband of two years at an old folks home. She converted to the church when she was younger and has a great testimony of Joseph Smith and the Lords hand in her life but she is so distracted from keeping up with her covenants sadly, and has never made it into the temple :( We are loving our visits with her though and she is so excited to start preparing for the temple so that when her husband dies she can do his work.
But anyways we slammed our goal to the ground thanks to Heavenly Father!! We met with I think four different less-actives and taught great lessons. We also invited several to be baptized and THREE agreed! Woo-hoo!! One is working to overcome smoking and it's been rough, but I've got the faith!! So if you have the time to add some more investigators into your prayers, please prayer that Sister Barbara Shorter will be able to overcome smoking and lean on the Savior, as well as for Sisters Natasha and Amissa (age 15) and Brother Kazaiah Self (age 12) will all stay true to their desires and keep attending church so they can get dunked. Thank you!
Saturday night we had the privelege to hear from our Stake President (our stake is over a vast area but surmounts to a large Utah homeward.. so tiny!) who was instructed last minute by the first presidency the following: "EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: All Stake Conferences will be centered around Missionary Work." Oh my goodness I'm still blown away by the serious hastening of the work ever since I came out... He taught a wonderful surmon on missionary work, and Mission President's Sister Bell said this, I loved it: "If you do not wear a badge as we do, paint a badge on your heart so you can still wear it day-to-day and always." She sets such an incredible example, and I know so many of you out there have done just that and keep up the great work :)
It's difficult to cram all of such an eventful week into one email with limited time, but I'll end on the power of uplifting music. Sister Smartt and I sing and whistle together probs 80% of every day! Hymns are so much more magical than I ever dreamed. Their lyrics have unfolded to me so much this past week, and I urge you all to make them more a part of daily life. We have been taught in General Conf as well as repeatedly from the BOM that the Holy Ghost is what teaches others as you open your mouth to share the gospel, and if you are not feeling his presence in your life each day, then make the sacrifice of allowing more hymns and soft music to take place in your cars and homes. My Sister Training Leaders put the best CD in for our hour-ride home, "Lower Lights." It is a folksy LDS band singing hymns and is absolutely wonderful. Sis Smartt and I were on the brink of tears listening to it so don't hesitate to give it a chance!
Tomorrow night we are teaching the family of Marcos, who all imigrated to the States seven years ago. We found them tracting in a trailer park and they don't speak the best english but we have such a good feeling that they are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel and to come unto Christ. I'm learning that the best way to become better as a missionary and to listen more keenly to the Holy Ghost is to persist. You can't ever give up you must endure to the end. I remember one of my greater goals that always left me discouraged if I worked on it was to effectively communicate BACK-and-FORTH with my Heavenly Father by the power of the Holy Ghost. At last, after years and years of effort, I have finally persisted enough, by the help of the Lord, in being able to hear Him speak back to me. It is one of the most indescribable, magnificent experiences, I'm fogging up just writing about it, and I want it so badly for all of you. It takes constant effort though, so don't give up.
To finish up I've got one last experience... we were stopping by the Shorters to remind them of our appointment tomorrow and they had a guest chatting on their porch with them. They are this large black family and many of the boys constantly come in and out of the house. The guest spoke loud and boldly and with that 60-yr-old grandpa black sass he says "I'm likin the message of yo church! You know wassup!! I'm gonna come to yo church this sunday, you bet I'll be there, I'm gonna come and bring my little wife in that car right there! And I'm gonna go right up, you can't stop me I gotta let people know who I is, I'm gonna go right up to that pulpet and tell the congregation I'm Gary Rodeman and I love Jesus! Gotta tell people who I am, Gary Rodeman, never forget!" Sister Smartt and I looked at each other with alarm, we had invited this man who was clearly faithful but was going to be sure he stood up during fast and testimony meeting to introduce himself and we knew the bishop was not gonna allow that and OH how we feared the scene it might make!!
But, Gary Rodeman never actually made it to church that Sunday... haha.
I love you all! I feel your prayers boost me up. I don't remember going this long without getting discouraged. I've felt so motivated always and I know it's because of your prayers. THank you kindly, it makes an incredible difference. I love you! Don't hesitate to email or call, I just love hearing about my friends and family at home.
Sister Murphy Senior

Another wonderfully rainy day in the Little Apple...

Good morning brothers and sisters!
It's another wonderfully rainy day in the Little Apple. I spent this morning feeling so beyond joyful... more happy than I believe I have EVER felt. It is this sort of peaceful happiness, a more understanding and timid elixir and I just feel so blessed to be called in my all my weakness to be a messenger of the gospel. I hope all of you have been doing okay, playing in the crinkling leaves and breathing in the crisp air, and eating chocolate chip pumpkin cookies because those are why we have fall. To eat delicious cookies. So PLEASE eat them for me :) Also, I of course must leave you with a small message I read this morning, because I feel this is how I'd like to have most of my conversations throughout all of life; centered on Christ and the spirit. I hope you are turning to the Savior in your hardships and building each other up. The more I work with non-members and the saints, the more my testimony grows on the importance of unity. I read this morning from a wonderful artical about testifying and challenging that there are specific people the Lord not just is prepairing, but really NEEDS to have in His church. But the more significant part of this is that the Holy Ghost knows who they are and just needs you as a vessel to convert them. So, as you continue pondering from all of the marvelous talks and scripture to be daily missionaries, remember that the Holy Ghost wants you to use it's gentle and POWERFUL spirit to convert others. People are always being lectured and accomodated and everything secular that we fall privy of in normal conversation. What they DON'T normally get is a powerful spirit to help them feel happy, protected and comforted. That is the feeling they will connect with, that is the guide they need into our church.
Okay SO we've been biking all over this adorable city, picking up bugs eager to bite our legs and dodging spider webs that just bluster about in the wind. The spiders are seriously so large. Can you say Spiderman's radioactive giant spider? And I was in the car riding with a member and she was telling me about her wolf spider bite and that it is like the size of a golf ball and all black and blue!! WHAT? And oh my goodness the people? I love them all so much. Many of them are so family oriented and friendly and believe in God, they just don't understand how much easier and how much more miraculous it all could be with the gospel. We tracted into Paige and she has relied on the bible all her life. And now as a young mother she wants to find the right church for her children to attend. She accepted the BOM but wouldn't set an appointment with us, but I have a good feeling about her. This last week was mostly a tad uneventful. I think we were prepping for a glorious week because we are much fuller schedule wise now.
Uneventful apart from Tuesday that is. We got off to a late start and biked to a path that we thought would be able to take us to the neighborhood where our appointments were. It was closed off because of flooding and there was no other access to this little trailer park! Discouraged but eager to find other PIs, we headed to another hood. No success. Finally we thought we ended up in another hood where we had knocked countless times with no success on Kelly's door, and she was home! As we left we bumped into an adorable girl with her dog and she went into the apartment, as we left I had a strong feeling to go knock anyways and she answered and listened and seemed eager to meet us again and to study the BOM! And then we bumped into about four other wonderful people, all at perfect time, each directing us to another prime person and I was just blown away!! We gave away abuot five BOMs total, plenty of cards, and so many smiles and testimonies. I truly learned a great way to communicate with the Holy Ghost that day and have been learning more and more since.
In another car ride with Apryl (who was run over by a car last year breaking both legs, and whose husband died two weeks ago, and is has beautiful white hard and healthy dark brown skin and so much fire and love for a 60 year old) and suddenly she goes, "THERE is a BEE IN HERE." And she jumps backward into her seat, her leg flying upward with alarm and her hand fumbles for the window and I say, "Oh don't worry it's just a sweet little honey bee!" And she, without any hesitation and full-blown sass says, "I don't WANT to be HIS HONEY!"
If you want somebody to pray for, I've got a couple for you. Brother Felix Harsh, converted a couple months ago and since has lost three employments plus ALL of his friends because of becoming a Mormon. His ex-wife has become more extreme in her detrimental ways and his daughters are scared. He also gave up many comforts from the word of wisdom, but is working so hard to keep all of his covenants. Pray that he will continue receiving the Lord's strength as he fights through his trials. He has such a strong wonderful testimony, but with the power of Satan we sometimes falter. Also if you are willing prayers can go out for Apryl and Susan Rush. They just need the final push to baptism and fellowship and they'll be golden members of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ :)
I love you all so much and I pray I get to hear from you often! I truly hope you each are feeling God's love in your lives. Don't forget how lucky you truly are to be in such a wonderful place where the church is strong and the temple is near and covenants and principles keep you on the straight and narrow. There are beyond countless people in our world and in Kansas that live in darkness that would love to have a taste and understanding of what you live everyday.
I love you all!! Thank you again for your donations and aid and kind words. I still think of all of you looking up at me with such love as I stood on the podium at my farewell... it brings inexplicable joy and I am so grateful.
Sister Murphy Senior

Buenos Dias from Manhattan, Kansas!!!‏

Oh my goodness oh my goodness! My wonderful friends and family and sweet neighbors, wasn't conference weekend just amazing?!! I feel so full, up to the brim with spiritual inspiration! I can't believe how much we are being comforted and motivated right now to be missionaries, to overcome our sorrows, to SERVE, and to notice the signs of the final days! As I was listening to the talks emphasizing commandments it reminded me of 1 Nephi 10, that our Lord is the same as He has always been! It's so cool, teaching and being taught what has been prophesied forEVER. For all time! It has always been the same commandments, the same urgent request to come unto Christ, and the same unconditional love from our Heavenly Father. I really loved the following idea from Timothy J. Dyches: "When He gives a commandment, He gives also the love and care needed to keep it." Okay so maybe I'm paraphrasing, I write so frantically I just can't be sure! But I definitely feel more and more blessings and talents surface as I work harder to follow the commandments. And so, I want to know what you all think about this big commandment to be missionaries! What did you learn? How are you going to be a missionary in your own neighborhood and at work and in your home?! These truly feel like the last days and there is no time to waste :)
Okay so I really hope you all are doing so well. The longer I am out here the more I feel everyone's love and concern! It is greatly appreciated, I truly am speechless about how blessed I am with such quality friends and family.
So it all started with a six-hour public bus ride from Wichita to Manhattan--the Little Apple of Kansas! It is a gorgeous place with outrageous rain storms and perfect sunshiny-days. We are in a home ward that includes many immigrants from Ecuador, here to study hard through this sweet K-State program, and then back to Ecuador in December! So we have three months to get em all dunked (I've been wanting to say something like that for so long! hahaha..). We met up with a PI (potential investigator) Julianna and ended up getting to know her study buddies and friends. I just couldn't help myself with some of that college Spanish I've taken, and started throwing out sentences and words. They loved it!! We had some mini-conversations and it felt so snazzy and we laughed at all their broken english and my super broken spanish. I want so badly to learn terms such as el Libro de Mormon and evanglesia and hopefully be able to actually preach the gospel en Espanol! We shall see what the Lord wants ;)
My companion, Sister Smartt is a beautiful red head from Mesa, Arizona and knows her stuff! It's been fun to learn that the mormon culture in Utah is just the same in Mesa, so we relate in a lot of ways! I'll start rambling all newbie-style with an investigator and she will step right in with the perfect scripture to tie it all together. I just love this mentality I've been blessed with by Heavenly Father, to analyze what's missing in people's lives and what they need to hear and when to bear testimony and how to ask important questions... I have so much room for improvement and I'm so excited to keep growing. Anways, back to my companion!! We laugh hard together because an investigator told us they knew a guy who laughed so much he got a six-pack. And she is this great anchor, she keeps me centered on the important stuff and encourages me to learn all the extra stuff. I feel so beyond lucky to be in a beautiful place with a great comp so I can get super strong for wherever the Lord needs to send me next. The natives here have so much faith, they just don't know where to put it so that they can grow even more and last forever with their Father in heaven! We mostly have sweet older women who are going through tough times to teach right now. They have families involved in gangs, or their husband passed away at a younger age, or extreme surgeries and just so many hardships. We are trying to help them understand that now is a better time than ever to come unto Christ, even though they feel like they don't have the time for it.
I have yet to meet our ward, but have had dinner with a couple families who are just mind-blowingly dedicated to serving the Lord and their community. I learn so much from their vigor. But anways, I'm so sorry I feel like this is short, I want to share more but my time is limited. I pray for you all and hope you are praying for Manhattan investigators! April, Shawn and Wendy all really need your love!
Thank you for everything!!!!

Sister Murphy Senior