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 hour, whether 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: 'I 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,