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