Monday, June 30, 2014

Ode to My Fathers

I so rudely forgot to include my Ode to My Fathers! It ain't every day we get to tribute our dads, and though I'm a day and a minute late, it must be said!
I must first thank my Father in Heaven for blessing me abundantly with His love, His open and surrounding arm, His listening ear and unending daily existence in my life. I am so grateful He sent His Son, His perfect and glorified Son, to be bruised and broken for our sakes. I am emotional by His unrelenting faith in me as His daughter and personal creation. I came on a mission to try and repay Him for what He has done for me in the past. Unfortunately out here I have needed Him more than ever before, and know I will ALWAYS be indebted to Him. I love Him!

And my dear, dear earthly Father, John Murphy. OH how I love him. I thought of him so much throughout this past week. His teachings resound in my ears daily when I am confronted with new tests. My memories of him chasing us with water guns and telling me to get up and not be a baby when I fall off my bike (hahaha) and acting out difficult charades no matter how ridiculous it makes him look will always keep me smiling! My dear father has given me a solid foundation in the gospel, he has had the patience and tough love to coax me through my dumb decisions, and he has shown in many ways his sincere concern and hope for my safety and growth in enexplicably humbling ways. I wish I could describe to you the innumerable moments of kindness and love he has shown toward me, yet they are so sacred and dear to me, I hold them close. I love my daddy!

Happy belated Fathers Day! I'm giving you a virtual kiss and a hug, Popsicle! You're a keeper!!
Love Mads

We Truly Need Him Every Hour...

Hey there friends and fam! Welcome to the weekly update of Sister Madison Murphy! Coming to you from the blustery golden wheat fields of Derby Kansas (not to mention the daily hundreds of blaring trains inhibiting timeliness to our next appointment. Good grief!).

I feel like just being honest today, and not being to sugary. And I promise I don't bear this with expectation to receive sympathy or comfort, I merely feel compelled to just say things how they are right now because that is what Christ often did through tribulation.

It has been a difficult week. Not a single event or person is to blame, really, for it was a team effort. With hundreds turning us away, close investigators dealing with great tribulations and physical trauma, overwhelmed auxiliary leaders at the lack of ward unity and help, the capacity of human ignorance, selfishness, and complacency kicking our work in the knees, and constant struggle to love freely and unfeigned, it is needless to say I'm a bit downtrodden.

Elder Bednar recently told me that the pain of watching others fail to act and fall fall fall will keep you up at night. This sorrow is not limited to the non-members that slam their door at our friendly hello. It is from any agent who chooses complacency over their unending duty to serve their Lord and God with broken hearts and contrite spirits.

And naturally, there comes a disappointment in myself, who often falls short of acquiring the faith to heal, and to move mountains.

I cannot deny the many miracles that happen amid the turmoil, however. Our adorable and young part-member family is still excelling and making Book of Mormon study a daily activity. Laura also is clinging to the BOM, finding peace as her world and cancer-ridden body shatters her emotionally and spiritually. Our stubborn less-active became more open than he had ever been with his wife in confessing to us his anger with God, yet sincerely promised to read the Book of Mormon to nurture his slow process of reactivation. And lastly, there are those few precious experiences when members go above and beyond to bear solemn witness of the truth and divinity of our restored gospel. I've watched the Holy Ghost enter powerfully into the hearts and minds of several unpredicting witnesses, as tears stream down our dear member's cheeks, and I stand humbled and amazed.

Yes, I am discouraged, and yes I know it is a lack of faith. Moroni eloquently states God can do no miracles among the children of men because they dwindle in unbelief. "Even the Lord was and is influenced, and in great measure controlled, in the bestowal or withholding of blessings; for He ministers according to law...because of the people's unbelief," stated Talmage. I know that it is my faith that needs exercise and so I will persist in working it out.

Fortunately I read recently, to the soothing of my heart, President Monson emotionally declaring in the October Conference, "May we ever strive to be close to our Heavenly Father. To do so, we must pray to Him and listen to Him every day. We truly need Him every hourwhether they be hours of sunshine or of rain...From the bed of pain, from the pillow wet with tears, we are liftedheavenward by that divine assurance and precious promise: 'will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.' Such comfort is priceless."

Thank you for reading my weekly posts. Though I do not hear from many of you, I feel your love and prayers and know that you are there. I know that the missionaries in your area must be working hard to hasten the work, and it makes ALL the difference for each member to also take the mantle upon them. Place a tag upon your heart. I invite you to please, assist them in laboring in the fields, please plant those seeds and water them so that the missionaries can do their part to harvest. We love you, we truly do, with the great love of our Savior.

I leave this with you, with meagerly growing hope in Christ, and eyes looking forward to sunnier days,
Sister Murphy

"Official Missionaries"

Helllooooo from rainy-days Kansas! The soil here is actually just sand (I have NO idea how we produce so much wheat and corn for America with such terrible growing ground)(maybe wheat enjoys sand??). We need rain so badly for our harvesting, however because the ground doesn't absorb any of the water it just floods everywhere. Can't complain, I rather like diving through puddles in our car!
We have been zooming alongside gorgeous natural ravines on our bikes this past week. Sister Blood and I agree that we only feel like "official missionaries" when we are on bikes, it's just so novelty! And effective! And liberating! I guess we feel like we are working even harder to get to those we need to maybe, who knows. We met two seriously cool guys, neither of which we biked to. The first was the dude I run on the treadmill with in the mornings at our Club gym. Got to asking him about his catholic faith, luckily he is on the more open side of catholocism, asks qs and wants to learn the truth above all. We got to teach the whole first lesson WHILE exercising awesomely. That's MY kinda missionary work!! haha
The second guy was merely christian, didn't bring up going to a particular church (bonus!) and has a fantastic bible background. We got to reason with him on the need for the Book of Mormon, and how it was prophesied to emerge from the lineage of Joseph. He couldn't deny it and happily accepted a book to read. I just love respectful bible bashers, it was a wonderfully kind and civil doorstep conversation.
I am staying in Derby for another transfer with mi companiera! She and I have felt it's okay if I learn spanish by reading el libro de mormon during lunch. WOHOO! Things here are going good. I'm learning from my companion how to love greater and with more diligence. She is fantastic, I'm so pleased to keep learning from her, I know I've got unfinished business to work out here, and I'm determined to finish the crap out of it with the guidance of my Father.
To finish off real quicksies, I've been studying about Christ as the good shepherd, "and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." There is no other voice a herd of sheep would follow, only their one shepherd. I have been learning from the scriptures what the voice of the Savior really would sound like and what he would say if He were to appear before us. It has been profound to experience such a journey of coming closer to Him as I learn more and more!
Love you all! Hope you have a glorious week!
Sister Murphy Senior

Companion Love!

Went from peanut brittle to chocolate pudding this past week. The joy of having a brief weekly email is I get to disguise the meany inside me, haha. Really though, I was pigheaded and impatient and lazyyyy this past week, it's a tad disappointing. It really is like a slow downward spiral, but then it suddenly picks of pace and you are like WOH what is happening AAAHHH I didn't want to do that.... psh...who cares what happens next. But wonderfully, I have a companion who is so so full of love. SO MUCH LOVE! We lost all of our investigators. We had spent two solid weeks finding and enduring great miracles as we found, and they all continued to drift out of reach. With her love and the beautiful reminder of the atonement in our dear, dear scriptures, we are so ready for this week. PUMPED!
HIGHLIGHT: We found a less-active, Kelly, who is about 20 and was baptized at 8 and then never really returned to church. She lives with her grandmother, whom we visited to support after her latest surgery. Kelly happened to sortof listen and that was all. The next week stopped by for Billie again, who wasn't home but Kelly was. We taught a brief message on the Priesthood, and she was open for a return visit for her mainly, including her husband who is NOT a member. The following week, this past week, we taught them all the restoration, and even her younger brother and Billie joined in. Kelly became so very excited, said this is what she knows she has needed to help her two kids grow up right. She said she would be at church, but wasn't sure anyone else would attend. Yesterday in walks Kelly, beaming, beautiful, with billie, the younger brother, AND her husband!!!! We couldn't believe it, this was the THIRD TIME any of my investigators have made it to church with us. It just blew me BLEW me away. Softened the ol brittle out ;)
I'm happy. SO HAPPY! I love you all, love this gospel. I love that we have all of this time (4 whole minutes according to Bishop Stevenson in General Conference) to change and progress and prepare for our Father.
Sister Murph dawwwg

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mind Obliterated

Still can't comprehend this last week, guys. A wave of emotion. My mind feels blown apart, I can't even think strait! Been rainsoaked, healthy belly, body drained, eyes soppy and heart sunk.
On Saturday Sister Favre picked us up to visit some potential investigators and invite them to church. After 4 un-knocked doors Brandon opened up. He had bailed our offered ride to church last week and his phone had been turned off. He is a shy, young guy and muttered he had read the Intro of the BOM. After rereading it with him to assure him it's divinity, Sister Favre began bearing testimony. It took me a moment to push my jaw up from hanging ajar, she was going more bold than anticipated. But suddenly, as tears approached her eyes and her voice cracked a powerful wave of spirit crashed into each of us. Brandon, having had little religious experience, was intent with what our Sister had to share.

She said he was so important, such a good man, she could just feel it! And this gospel is true and it is for him and he needs to let us keep teaching him. After he gave Sister Favre a hug, then assured us he would come to church the next day, he also reminded us he was moving to a new address which he knew not.
He did not show up to church. We went by yesterday, his home is now empty and deserted. His phone is disconnected. Brandon is gone.
It's exhilerating, though, to be a growing missionary. In Hutch I left so many loved ones behind, and have been reluctant to open my heart to Harrison Park because of how difficult it is to say goodbye to an area for possibly ever. At last I have been investing heart and soul in the people here, feeling their sorrows and struggles, and mourning for their missed potential and WHY does it have to be so painful?? "Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit." ...Perhaps it is supposed to painful. "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" (D&C 59). God is so stinkin nice to us.
My cousin and best friend was married and sealed for eternity this last weekend. WOW. I remember when my investigators told me they planned to be sealed a year after their baptism. I don't recall EVER feeling that much joy, ever. I am so proud of Katie, I am so excited. I have never experience that sealing power and covenant, but I feel it's blessings and I know it is one of God's greatest gifts! I am so sad I could not be there, but I'm honored to be doing the Lord's work here in the K-dub mission.
Love you all!! Apply the atonement! Enlargen your capacity! Study and pray! Hope to hear from you soon :)
Sister Murphy

Be lovin Kansas!

Wednesday night at 10:00pm we get a knock at our door. The recent-convert less-active that lives down our hallway had just returned home from work. We love her a lot and she was all groggy. Somehow on her way out to work this morning she had not opened her safety rod lock thing from the interior all the way, so once she unlocked her door with the key and opened it the rod locked in place, keeping her out indefinitely. She needed our help! So we try an assortment of things, screwdriver, floss, cardboard, chunks of a birdhouse, to no avail! At last we realize we could call 24-hour maintenance! He came minutes later with a box of tools. It was Die Hard, in person, bald and buff with a fab gotee, and wearing flip flops. Suddenly our neighbor jumped away from the door and said, "he's got a saw!!" And immediately the electric saw roared and he chopped the metal rod right off within seconds. "Sure do!" he said, and added he would replace the rod tomorrow, and left. The laughs lasted all night!
So one of our main appointments we were super excited about cancelled last minute. We sunk to the ground outside his apartment, discouraged, not knowing where the heck the Lord needed us to be. I felt out of ideas, and started texting and asking Sister Blood for approval. She was hunched over and didn't respond, and after I nagged her she said sternly, "I'm praying!" At length I went silent, feeling bad, and she finally sprung up and asked if we had a Grove Street. Sure! I replied and we hopped in our car to find it. Half way there Sister B cries, "We passed it!" so we turned around and headed down NOT Grove Street, met the edge of the neighborhood and looked at each other then simultaneously muttered "It was back there!" Finally we pulled near the driveway of a quaint brick home and Sister B points and says, "This is the one." We quickly prayed and stepped out. Raven was waiting in her driveway. We pleasantly small-talked, she's a caretaker, Nazarene, open to all religions, curious about other books of scripture and sees a dire need for a prophet. We tell her we felt very specifically prompted to come to HER home, and shared the First Vision with her. She liked it, excitedly took a BOM, said she'd come to church with her kids, and would pray about it all. She even said she'd be baptized if she found it was alllll true!!!
Sister Blood is a BOSS LADY! I'm just so impressed, and I love following her example and being so divinely led to meet certain people. We ended up meeting over 25 new potential people last week, each so open and ready to learn. The dynamics of our city and Satan go against their progression, but we know through faith and constant effort, we WILL find fruits as we continue planting seeds!
I can't help but remember the one couple I've found to guide into this church through baptism. I love them so much, dear Anne and Steve, and they give me hope that there really is someone else waiting...and that every interaction we have with people, testifying of the truth, is just another needed confirmation of the love this gospel gives they need to eventually be baptized. Goll I miss them too :)
Hope all of you have had a wonderful week! I hope you had a chance to watch #ItWasMom, I know it was my mom, she is the one that was always there taking care of me and building her daughters up to be disciples of Christ. I love her so stinkin much and owe her everything! (My dad's pretty great too. haha ;D)
Love you!! Talk to you soon, hopefully!

Sister Murphy Senior
PS: Spagghetti burritos!!!


Look it up!! Such an amazing video. I'm outta time this week, folks! But I love you all and can't wait to hear from you and keep you posted next week!! And always remember, It Was Mom :)

Sister Murphy

Amen and Awomen!!

"Why do the men always get all the cred???" Hahaha, some people say the silliest things.
Ello chums! Sure is mighty nice to talk at you again! Something we work on as missionaries is to teach people not lessons, to never talk AT someone but WITH someone. Emails home like this are stinkers sometimes because I just feel like I'm talking at you all, because only a few respond. I hope this doesn't bother any of you, my blabber and no questions. I really do wonder about a lot of you and just love the updates.
I LOVE HARRISON PARK! This area is just absolutely fantastically missionary minded and hilarious. I'm having a jolly old time working hard and loving every minute. My new companion is just on the ball and I feel honored to have such a devoted and devout sister to work with. I'm looking outside my window and I see the apartment complex pool and playground. I feel like I'm in St. George. Things are flat and semi-desertous and quite hot. VAcATION MISssion style aahhh yeah.

We met with a younger couple new to the ward last night, I shall call them the Spectacles. Brother Hipster Spectacle has been less-active for several years now. As we conversed I learned of his inactivity in the church, which was quite unanticipated and as soon as the word got out we began humorously discussing what was holding him back. Eventually he allowed me to ask a few questions that the Holy Ghost inspired me to inquire. They appeared to be thought provoking for him and at times difficult for him to answer, yet he explained simple and ridiculous issues with the church that inhibited him from returning despite his wife's concern. At the end of the visit we had come to no real conclusion, his issues with church attendance felt much more deeply rooted than he was letting on, and it's gonna take a lot of prayer to help this tough muffin. Fortunately though, as we stepped through his door he genuinely exclaimed we were invited to return at any time for any thing. We left the home with Sister Spectacle and her spastic dog Sparky to walk to our car, and she was alarmingly enthusiastic about what had happened. She said he had confessed issues she had never heard before, and was excited to understand better how she can help him in this mid-life crisis. She said she owed it all to me and the questions I had asked. I know for a surety it was the Holy Ghost and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me to be so naturally inquisitive, to be genuinely and lovingly intrigued by the hearts of others. It has strengthened my faith to know that the Godhead has their arm so directly guiding me as a missionary, and I appreciate it so very much!!

Goodbyes are stinkers. I just hated saying goodbye to Hutch. I cried a lot. It was gloomy. But luckily I've got the supreme comforter taking care of me, so it's been an okay transition. I love you all SOORURRRR much! Here's my favorite scripture o the week!

Joshua 22:5 "But take dilligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep him commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul."

If you are feeling down, serve someone. We found Ruth by divine direction and she just so needed an uplift. We got to pull her weeds and plant her grass and will soon play music on ivory keys for her. It just feels so very good to serve :)
Sister Murphy Senior