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