Monday, January 27, 2014

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

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