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