Hello hello dear familia!!
I am sorry we could not email yesterday! I guess it's important to honor Presidents and stuff (GO PREZ BELL!!). I have A LOT to share today: three specific epiphanies with three particularly important moments! So bear with me, it's been a week for the books :D
EPIPHANY NUMERO UNO
After zone conference on Tuesday it is tradition that the departing missionaries bear their testimonies. I had been anticipating this all day, and had been resenting it totally and completely. When the AP Elder Budge stood at the podium and announced it time for us to go up and share, my heart sunk deep. I did not want to.
For weeks I have been heavily contemplating my mission, and myself. I have become so caught up in analyzing way too much, and applying doctrine too extremely, and at that very moment I felt the harrowing realization that my heart, was indeed withheld. Many missionaries there were emotional in anticipating their returning home to their families within the week. The details of my concerns were different, selfish,and insignificant. At the moment I approached the mic I lost all train of thought and even the feeling of the Holy Ghost. My words were empty, my face red. All of the great missionaries I've served along and loved watched as I bore fruitless testimony.
The next few days I was in angst wondering why, after so many miraculous changes here in Kansas, that I would just tank in an opportunity to bear witness to the Savior to his beloved missionaries. At long last, after much prayer and conversation, Christ's beckoning words to Peter made it clear what I needed to do to change. "Feed my sheep. Feed my lambs."
EPIPHANY NUMERO DOS
We arrived at the church to meet some sisters for a mini exchange. I say hello to President Bell, who just finished a conference call with trainers and trainees. He mutters a quick hi and re-engages in his computer work. Minutes later I hear him say, SISTER MURPHY! Will you follow me please?? And he jets out of the classroom. I follow him, smiley and just pleased at how great the day is going. I step into his office, which was really just the quarters in between the exterior and interior weather doors of the church's west wing. It's cold! I thought to myself.
"Well, we want your last transfer to be EXCITING!!" he starts. "So, we are sending you to open a new area to sisters in Scott City, Kansas! It's in the Garden City zone, wayyyyy out west. Good for you! You will be with Sister Deppe, and she's had a rough mission. We know you will do a great job helping the area liven up and loving your new companion. Okay? Sounds great!!"
And the Spirit was like KABOOM into my heart and I just knew, so instantly, that this was going to be the transfer my mission has prepared me for.
EPIPHANY NUMERO TRES
The next day at church we went early and camped out in our car, awaiting Rita and her boyfriend to arrive. They had not responded our calls and we had no idea if they were really planning on coming. Yet, Sister Heger diligently insisted that we go to the early ward just in case. Ten minutes after and nothing. Then, a man, out of the blue, emerges from some parked cars in a bolted run, towards the chapel doors. I point and yell, "WHO IS THAT?!!" Sister Heger turns and yelped "It's Carson!!!"
We leap out of the car and rush after him, beaming :) He came to church!! Rita was not there, but her boyfriend came. As we sat in the pew and he anxiously listened to the speaker, the Spirit began to swarm around us, for the speaker was testifying of the talk on the Plan of Salvation. Our phone gives a small beep, and we see a text from another investigator we have been teaching for months, Chelsea, and her family. She says: "Thank you girls for all you've done for my family but after much thought we've decided to go back to our old church. The Bel Aire ward is great and has so many really wonderful people but the more we learn the less comfortable we are there. I'm so sorry."
And for the first time in a very long time, I hung my head down, and cried. Hot tears. I clear my head after a moment and refocus on the inspired talk. It pierced my heart again, the Plan of Salvation... I glance over to see a single man, tall, white, droop his head down low and his daughter leans toward him and begins to comfort him. After a minute he lifts up and he too was in swollen tears. I felt, whether it was true or not I don't know, that his wife had recently passed. Then the Spirit impresses the thought: Chelsea won't be able to be sealed to her deceased husband, her children will not receive the blessings of eternal families.... we failed them, for they do not understand what they truly just gave up.
We are being saved by a loving Heavenly Father and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. When we get caught up in ourselves, like I did, we build walls between us and others, losing trust from the Father that we will look outward and bring souls unto Christ. This plan, the great Plan of Happiness, is the reason WHY we must share the gospel with them. If we do NOT, then these numberless families in pain and anguish from the difficult adversary and his world will not receive the liberty and peace that eternal salvation brings to our lives here. We are responsible, it is us, His children of the promise, blessed with truth and love, that can give it to the world. Never have I seen and understood how intricately the Plan is woven into this work... and I am just SUPER EXCITED to do better at sharing it with the world!!
My new goal: FORGET YOSELF. Hahaha, I think WAY too much about me. This whole shpeal of a plan and a hastening is so not about me, I just get to fight at the forefront, another soldier, so loved equally by a loving Heavenly Father. IT'S AMAZING!!!
There are great, great weeks ahead for all of us. I love you all significantly and endlessly, thank you for keeping in touch!! I invite you to consider the covenants, promises and blessings that our Father has made with us and desires to freely give to us if we act and turn outward. I KNOW it will bring the utmost joy into your heart and into your world.
LOVE YA MILLIONS!! :)