Sunday, December 19, 2010

home sweet home


I wanted to share some experiences from my last few days in Iowa up until the present. Thursday, Dec 2nd was a great day! I worked all day with the Hermanas and I got to say bye to Jessica. (I wonder how she is doing? I think that is the hardest thing about being home is not being able to know how everyone is progressing! I need to write with the Hermanas and get the details. I really miss all my friends in Iowa.) That night I went to the mission home and said bye to the Hermanas. I had a teary last interview with President Jergensen, really feeling the Spirit and the reassurance that Heavenly Father was happy with my service. I really appreciate President Jergensen and the changes he has made in the mission..well the impact he has made. He asked me to share an experience with him and I shared about Amanda in Sioux City and her example of faith. She has made a huge impact in my life and I am thankful for that. :) After my interview, we played games and had dinner. We later had the final testimony meeting. I cried while expressing my gratitude for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the gift of being a member of Christ's church. I shared my gratitude for the chance to participate full time in the Lord's work as a missionary. A senior missionary said something that touched me. He talked about how when we were baptized we took upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and promised to be a witness of Him in all moments of our life. So yeah, I am not a full-time missionary but I can be a member missionary and continue to be an example to those around me. When my parents came it was all surreal! We were able to watch the picture slideshow and enjoy each other’s company. It was neat seeing the pictures from the other missionaries' experiences. It was tough saying goodbye to the Jergensens but I was passed off to my real parents. The Jergensens are going to come to my volleyball games once they are the way we play Iowa State in pre-season in September! Woot Woot!

So Friday we ate breakfast with the Amalzan family. That experience really touched my parents. They were amazed at the poverty level and at the generosity of the family. They fed us sopes and my parents loved the food! I shared a message with Hermana Amalzan about the lilies of the field in Matthew. She is preoccupied because she needs to pay the rent and they have little money. She recently was diagnosed with diabetes, so that has hit the family. My family wants to help them out with their rent because they are touched by their good nature. Hermana Amalzan shared her testimony with my mom and that was really special. My mom has shared that experience with other people because it meant a lot to her. Even though my mom doesn’t speak Spanish, she could feel the emotion and sense the sincerity. We later went to the Corn Patch with Bob and Aileen and some of Bompy's relatives. They have been so nice to me while I have been in Iowa! We got to visit Hector in the homeless shelter and say my goodbyes. I got to hug Hermana Ortega for the last time in awhile as well as visit Hermana Maria de la luz and her family. The best part about the day was the dinner party at Hermana Amaya's house. The Hermanas were able to come as well as the Zone Leaders. I jumped on Hermana McGuire for the last time and gave the Elders crap. Hermana Amaya, Esmerelda, Jenni, Debbie, Gladys and Eder were there. We ate awesome food and enjoyed each other’s company. At the end of dinner I requested that we had a testimony meeting. It was really special because we all were able to share our testimonies! Even Gladys shared hers and said she knows the Church is true. She hasn’t been baptized yet! She is waiting for her boyfriend to know, so they can be married and baptized. They told me thank you for being persistent, because it showed I cared. :) It was funny. This day in Des Moines was amazing because I was able to spend time with my parents. Before going to each house we said a prayer in the car. It was great because we all got to pray together, and my parents joked about the length of my prayers. :) After leaving Des Moines we headed to Sioux City...along the way we stopped in Omaha and went to the Winter Quarters visitor's center. To my surprise I ran into one of my best friends from the mission, Sister Evans. I hadn’t seen her because our mission boundaries had changed. It was a delightful experience! She gave us a tour of the visitor's center and my mama learned about the hardships the pioneers faced as well as their faith to endure trials.

Once we got to Sioux City, the first visit was to Amanda's house. She was busy making us lunch and dancing to her music super loud. We went in the house and I jumped on her. ha-ha It was so great to see her and her family. She bore her testimony to me about how the church has brought many blessings to her life. She is very happy. Her husband isn’t going to any church but he is still willing to learn about ours. I was able to meet the Elders that are working in the area and they knew about me because Amanda blabs about me. Celia and her family stopped by Amanda's house...her husband that disappeared for awhile came back! I was able to meet him, and as a family they are very content. The girls were all smiles! Her youngest daughter Melissa was baptized! My mom got a kick out of Amanda's house because the kids are really wild. Hermana McGuire told me that she would pay to see my mom at Amanda's- it was awesome! Its a big inside joke now between us. She calls Evelyn "the wig" because her hair is so thick. We went by Sister Brown's house and we had snacks. She always has snacks and drinks. Her living room is still the same, with lots of knick knacks. I took a picture of it to remember. I love that woman! Her sister Ada is finally going to be baptized! I am so excited! I was able to say a quick hello to Melissa, Alex and Lauren. Unfortunately, Melissa still has to work all the time so they don’t make it to church as much. I pray that they will be able to. We went by Hermana Rosas to see her and Nefi. We chatted and I shared my testimony at the end. It was symbolic really. Hermana Madsen took me to their house on my first day in the mission. They asked me to share my testimony then, so I did it again before leaving as a missionary. Bahh! We were able to go to the Flory's house and see their family. It was their daughter's birthday. :) Brother Flory made me my favorite sloppy Joes with Frito chips. It was thoughtful. To finish off the night, we went to the Sawyer's residence. We ate more dinner and played games with the family. I love Sister Sawyer. She is a great role model for me as a member of the church and a mother.

Sunday was absolutely incredible! We stopped by Amanda's for breakfast but only my mom ate because it was fast Sunday. I took about 20 huge tamales with me for the plane because Amanda had stayed up all night making them. She is a sweetie pie. We then went to the Brisenos and snuggled. Their grandson is able to come home for Christmas and they are really excited. He is staying in a children's facility for mental health problems...he is getting better. Arriving to the church building was sure special. Since I left the area, the ward has split up, the Spanish make up their own dependent branch. We went to the English sacrament meeting. I was able to hear the testimonies of many members. The exciting news was that Sandi Headid's children were finally baptized! Her husband wouldn’t allow it and the boys have been faithful church goers just not baptized. So that was a big spiritual high for everyone. I was thankful for the testimonies of Sister Dutton and Widdison because they expressed their gratitude for my missionary service and charity. That meaned a lot to me to hear that. Reuben our 14 yr old convert, went up and shared his testimony. He is so cool! He has been strong since the beginning. He mentioned that his brother is serving a mission and that means a lot to him. He also brought his sister to church to be a good example for her. I was proud of him. I shared my testimony and expressed my love for the ward and missionary work. Bishop Foster told me that the Spanish branch was growing and us Hermanas contributed in that. After that meeting, we went to the Gospel Doctrine class and Hno Alarcon asked me to share some of my feelings about the mission. He is an amazing teacher. The Relief Society class was led by the RS president because the teacher wasn’t there. I was able to translate for the last time! Yippee. :) The women have all bonded and it really made me happy. We were always trying to get them to be close and to get rid of that separation from the Spanish and English speakers. I was able to see Hermana Baraza, and she had been worrying me. I heard that her husband isn’t active anymore, and he had been strong and came back before I left. His position as the counselor has been replaced by Brother Lagunas, who recently showed up from Mexico. He has a strong testimony and is a good example to the branch. Good news though! Hermana Tereza is completely active and comes every Sunday with her children. She was off/on before, so that was good news. I shared my testimony with the Spanish and said thank you for their faith. I expressed the importance of daily scripture study and prayer. Amanda got up and shared her testimony and it was great! That woman inspires me. Hermana Flory told me thanks while giving her testimony; that gratitude is mutual. She is an amazing woman with a testimony like a rock. Her husband is having health problems right now and she said that they are depending on Christ. I am praying for them. Overall it was a joyous experience visiting Sioux City. It had been 9 months since I had returned, so they were excited. I promised that I would go back of course.

After church we rushed to the airport and came to find out our plane was attacked by birds, so we didn’t fly out until Monday. MY family greeted me at the airport! The Lord has blessed me with missionary opportunities in my family. My mom and I had a Family Home Evening, I shared a scripture about the Holy Ghost and we shared experiences. I hope we can do that every week, as well as family prayer. My dad is used to praying now and we have prayed numerous times in restaurants together. We went to Missouri for the day and we visited liberty jail. My dad really liked it because he loves history, and he got to learn more about our church and the trials the early Saints encountered. I learned a lot about adversity and our need to depend on the Lord and have faith, because it is all for our benefit. My grandpa, Bompy, has gotten really involved in his genealogy since I have been home so we are going to work on that this week. That could interest him to learn more about the church. My grandparents have had missionaries over, but they aren’t too serious about the lessons. Today in Singles Ward I met some Elders that actually taught my step-dad, Jim before. They told me to follow-up with him. I can see little miracles and am excited to keep inviting my family to learn and living by example.

Today, I attended the high counsel meeting and really enjoyed reporting on my mission. I talked about the area, the people, leadership and experiences. I talked again about Amanda and her faith. I discussed what we did to help get members involved in Des Moines and to obtain the word before declaring it. My friend Ciara returned from her mission in Temple Square. That was neat hearing about her mission and the differences.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve a mission. I am excited for Arizona State and was stoked to visit last week with my dad. I gave my coach a big hug! I toured the Honors College, ate gluten-free pizza in the cafeteria, spoke to the Hispanic staff, and took care of school stuff. I was able to help some confused families on the southwest flight who thought they had assigned seating. I am looking forward to using my Spanish and progressing. I met a girl in the Singles Ward today and she also served State Side Spanish speaking. We are going to go to the Spanish branch here. I am stoked. Next week, I will give my homecoming talk and the topic is Because of your faith- the General Conference talk by Elder Holland. I will be updating my blog weekly, probably on Sundays-share spiritual experiences or insights. It will be fun!

Love you all.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

last letter!!


This is my last time sending out a mass email from my mission. It is really incredible! This time has flown by. I am looking forward to seeing my parents tomorrow night (Thursday). :) It has been so long! Today is p day and I have already sent out tubs of stuff home to Roseville. I am going to finish packing later today. I have gathered up a lot of things the past year and a half. I just said by to my friends at the smoothie shop in the library. It has been a deep friendship, good talks over banana peanut butter ricemilk honey smoothies! Tomorrow I will work as if it is a normal day, then at 3 meet with President Jergensen, have a feast and see my parents at the mission home at 9pm. We will then watch the slideshow with all the pictures of the missionaries returning home. It will be great. Friday, I am taking my parents to the Amalzan's for breakfast, the Ortegas for lunch and then we are having a dinner at Hermana Amayas with various families (Galdys & Eder, Crespos, Esmerelda & Javier, Santana, Diana Tristan...) In between all the eating, we are going to see Bob and Aileen, Hector, Hermana Tereza and Virginia, Maria and Miguel and others. Saturday we will spend in Sioux City. I got a postcard from my lover Amanda and she said she is going to make us tamales and they are organizing a dinner with all my friends there. I am so excited to see them! The Brisenos, Barazas, Omar, Rueben, Hna Sawyer, Flores, Florez, Celia, Amanda and more...itll be great. Celia's daughter might be getting baptized Saturday night, Sunday we are going to go to church in Sioux City, because now they have Sacrament meeting and the classes in Spanish. That was in the process when I left the area. I will be home Sunday at the airport at 11pm...then Monday will be released at 7pm. I get to spend my pday in California..weird! I am making my mom study with me the next few days and get up at 630/ go to bed at 1030. hhaahah Once I am released I will continue doing missionary work! I plan on helping the Hermanas in Tempe.

Well this past week as been amazing. I got to school the Elders in basketball and volleyball. That was fun. haha But really Thanksgiving turned out great. We organized a dinner with members, investigators, recent converts and less-actives. All of the above showed up. We ate amazing food..I definately cooked the ham, it was so delicious and the green bean cassarole. I am ready to be married according to Jenni and Esmerelda. We had the Testaments playing and we played musical chairs. It was a woot! In district meeting we were asked to think about why we went on a mission and share it with the district. I talked about how my conversion changed my life and I wanted others to know their potential as children of God. I cried when I talked about Eternal Families and how the Gospel can bring families closer..I have seen changes in Gladys and Eder and am so excited for them to receive the blessings of Priesthood ordinances. This mission has been such a delightful experience! Seeing others change when accepting the Atonement of Jesus Christ is very powerful.

We have made progress in the work this week. Eder and Gladys continue to progress and connect things in their heads. They are realizing the impact they have on their children and the importance of marriage. We taught them the law of Chastity and invited them to pray to God about getting married. Eder is more comfortable with the idea, considering he is understanding the doctrine better. He is totally participating in lessons and loves it when we are there. He told us he misses us when we arent there, he is like family to us. Gladys helps us teach him some of the doctrine because she has been taught a lot longer than he has. It is real cute. Eder prayed for the first time this week and came to church for the first time! It was glorious. He enjoyed church, because it was the Primary program. He sees how his children can be involved and learn about Christ. Last night, he helped little Christopher pray. My heart melted. Gladys has more of a desire to get Sundays off if Eder is going to church. Slowly but surely, they will be ready to make the commitments with God. Jessica is still really excited about the Gospel and has tons of questions when we come over. She still has the conflict with work on Sundays but has faith things will work out. We love Ana & Aldo & Ricardo. They get super excited when we come over. We contacted a referrel, Renay and Patricia and they instantly became our best friends. They made us dinner last night and are amazing with questions and their desire to learn. They gave us rides as well. We are looking forward to their progress. Maria is having trouble keeping commitments, so we made her a sign to remind her to pray as well as flashcards to read everyday with scriptures written on them. She gets distracted by taking care of her son, this will help her.
The Branch is doing great. Still working on getting us a ward mission leader. So far, people have enjoyed reading in PMG. We have consistently been seeing less-actives...Hermana Tereza, Hermana Maria Maria Del Rosario, Esmerelda & Javier, Amalzans..we have tried contacting more. That is a goal of ours to help them to progress to reactivity. We are still working on getting the new converts fellowshippers. The Hermanas will be staying here and will be getting one more senior companion. They will keep tearing it up and I wish them luck. I have learned alot from Hermana Hepworth and Hancock (my daughter.)

Well I love you all and will see you soon.
La Hermana Murphy

Monday, November 22, 2010


Hello Everyone!

Things are going pretty good in Des Moines. I loved Sister's Conference. That was sure a special treat. All of us Sisters in the mission got to go to Nauvoo. We had a conference where we heard great talks by several women in the mission and the theme was "One in Unity." My favorite was by Sister Church about how to be happy! She summarized lots of things that I have learned on my mission. Valuable lessons for us all. We all ate lunch and then attended a Temple session. It was great! It was the first Sisters Conference in the missions around the world. I am glad Sister Jergensen is so clever. :) Love her. She is totally having a huge cookie decorating party for all of the missionaries at Christmas. I am sad I will miss it but she might do a small one for the missionaries going home. We are spoiled. :) At the Sisters' Conference I was able to give H Guthrie the bed bug game I got her at walmart. haha

We had a sad thing happen this week. Jessica our most progressing investigator that wanted to be baptized Dec 3rd couldnt get work off Sunday to come to church. It was really sad because we even taught her how to fast and everything. I know it will work out with Jessica eventually, but it was still disappointing. We can still see miracles the rest of the transfer and their have been some! We just havent seen the baptisms we wanted; it is still possible.

I think this area is about to blow up next transfer! There are some really cool new investigators. Josefina is really promising. She is from Mexico and after reading the law of chastity pamphlet wants to get married. We are seeing her tonight. Daria is a strong member of the Pentecostal faith, but learned before with missionaries in Guatamala. Maria and Jennifer are a mother and daughter that we found recently. Ana was so excited about the Restoration, she helped us teach it to her husband, Aldo and his brother, Ricardo. Lucio is an old man that we are trying to motivate to come to church. We made invitations for people to put on their fridge with a pass along card of Jesus Christ (to remember the sacrament). Jessica is so excited to be baptized and has stopped smoking, we are just working on her work schedule. Gladys and Eder are reading and praying daily. We made progress with Eder again. We taught him the plan of Salvation and have been focusing on repentance. We had a funny lesson with them! Well to be honest, I have been growing out my leg hair because it is cold. During companionship study we were noticing it and then thought of a sweet lesson plan. The hair is sin, the razor the atonement and the shaving cream repentance....we did a little ejemplo for them! It works well, because like sin the hair is harder to remove and it takes longer to remove it the more you ignore it. But a shave daily like repentance daily is the better way to go and is less painful. :) Just think about it. Today we are focusing on prophets...I promised them that I will come back for their wedding and baptism. :) Also to go dancing with Gladys, Jenni and Esmerelda. Julie Reese is coming with me. haha Hermano Serrano came to church and is keeping commitments but doesnt want to get married because they wouldnt receive money from the state if they get married. We cant serve two masters. Maria Bautista is also reading/ praying but feels awkward bringing her 27 yr old autistic child to church. He is the coolest guy too! We are trying to motivate her to atleast try. Last night we need splits with Hermana Crespo and we finally entered Carlos's house! We taught him a powerful lesson on the restoration and he finally gets it! He wants to come to church. Side note, two of our more progressing investigators (Eduardo and Alberro) told us they couldnt learn because their girlfriends or wives werent okay with it. So that was a bummer. We offered for the Elders to visit them, but it is way out of their way. We are trying to arrange to teach them at a members home.
The branch is doing good. So far we have been checking up on the PMG homework and families are doing it. The talks at Stake Conference helped boost their excitement too! President and Sister Jergensen shared their thoughts on missionary work and Preach my Gospel. Preach my Gospel is the how and the scriptures are the doctrine. I am going to miss being a full-time missionary, but I have so much missionary work ahead of me too! I am going to strive to fulfill my role as a member missionary. I look forward to helping the Hermanas in Tempe. Also, familiy history is missionary work. I am set. :)

We are planning a thanksgiving dinner with the members, less-actives and investigators. We made invitations! That will be fun. We have been able to see less-active families consistently. Maria del Rosario has made progress and likes when we come over. Hermana Tereza didnt want the Hermanas to leave her house last night. haha The Amalzan family has really made strides into activity. They are a gem of the transfer! We sang hymns at Mavis Pacheco's door for 15 minutes so that she would open it. Her and her sister have fallen away..we are visiting Mavis today. They mean a lot to me. We are going to try to organize a Relief Society less-active fiesta. lol I want these wonderful women to feel the love.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am thankful for lots of things especially the influence God has on our lives. Thanks, family for being so neat. Oh, and tell Black kitty happy thanksgiving for me, Bompy. :)

Love you,
Hermana Murphy

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy busy


Things are going well here in Des Moines. We are weeding through investigators and dropping those not keeping commitments...and the Lord has blessed us with plenty of new faces and families. Lucio, Alejondro, Aldo and Ana, Eduardo, and Fernando all have potential and were invited to pray about baptism. Gladys and Eder and progressing nicely. I have learned to be patient with these two, because Eder takes his time to understand everything. We had a great lesson Monday night with the help of Esmerelda and Jahvier (LA couple). The two couples hit it off and it was amazing! We have been searching for a fellowshipper for Eder and Jahvier worked out great. The two knew eachother from a soccer activity we organized a while back...Eder is opening up with lots of questions and said we could come over as much as we want to answer them. :) Gladys is ready but is waiting for Eder to be converted so that they can get married. I know itll work out and I am going to fly over here to be there for and baptism. Jessica is progressing and is praying about being baptized Friday December 3rd. Teaching her about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance is really neat. She wants to be baptized to be cleansed of her sins and have a fresh start. We are going to emphasize why this is the true church and make sure she understands that. Albero is progressing and wants to be baptized but his wife said she would divorce that is a sad situation. We are praying for him. Hermano Serrano is keeping his commitments but doesnt feel ready to marry his girlfriend in order to be baptized. We had an intense law of chastity lesson..we hope the Spirit taught him and he will follow it. He loves church.

Recent converts- Hector hasnt been coming to church so we are organizing a lesson with some members for him. Jose Rubio is doing great! He is super strong and is loving learning. We have set up two lessons with him and are bringing members along to pass him off to them. We taught lots of less-actives this week and are excited about the progression of the Almazan family. They have come to church three times in a row, and the fact that they give us a ride has helped I think. It has been a blessing not having a car! We just got one though, because it is going to start to snow!

Our branch is helping us more with appointments. Wahoo. I love my companions. I love.

We have Sister's Conference in Nauvoo this week! Itll be great.

Love you all,
Hermana Murphy

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hello from Caitlyn!!!

Si te sientes hoy feliz hazlo asi, Si te sientes hoy feliz hazlo asi, si te sientes hoy feliz tu rostro no peuda mentir, si te sientes hoy feliz hazlo asi! This is our new companionship cheer!
We have made progress in the Des Moines 5th Spanish branch. We had a ward council meeting yesterday! Wahoo. They have picked a new ward mission leader so we hope that gets worked out soon. We are also transitioning into having members teach the Gospel Principles class, which will be great! They have been teaching it on/off but its now officially not the missionaries teaching. I have really enjoyed going to Gospel Docrtine and participating in there. We have more members helping us this week with appointments. We are trying to get them more excited about missionary work. We go through spurts in the branch, when they really want to help then they are too busy. So we want it to be more consistent. We are also not going to be late when they do help us, because I think that lost their trust a bit when I first got here. We said sorry and have done service for them, and we are making thank you cards to show our gratitude. We have been checking up with the families about doing the PMG Chapter 5 reading every day and we have heard good feedback. We are excited about it because we feel once all the families understand the importance of the BOM and strengthen their testimonies, they will have more of a desire to share that testimony and declare the word.When we taught the members about PMG and member missionary work we had various members participate and help teach the lesson. We had Hermana Sarai who served a mission give her testimony on how members helped her in the work in El Salvador (missionary perspective), then Hno Jesus gave his testimony of how he has enjoyed accompanying us in lessons and it has motivated him to give out copies of the BOM to his friends at work (member perspective)...then President Gomez who is a convert gave his testimony on missionary work as a whole. He said, "This is our work to do in the branch and the missionaries are here to help us." That was amazing hearing that! This is the same branch that said when I got here, "We already have enough members, why are you having baptisms?" Little by little, our branch will grow and recognize their be a ward! In December the missionaries will hopefully be teaching the branch more about obtaining the work, and we are doing that as well in our dinner appointments. Lots to do!

Hermano Serrano came to church and is progressing. His girlfriend (LA) is understanding the BOM better as well and how it plays a role in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have made progress with the Amalcan family (LA) and they came to church again, they might help us teach a lesson this week. We made progress with Gladys and Eder, we did service for them (H Hepworth cut her hair and we cleaned her house) , so that was fun and Eder opened up to us. He is a hard nut to crack. Little by little. Sister Jergensen came with us and helped teach them about family and marriage. Eder finally understood his responsibility as a parent to teach his children. S Jergensen explained it really well, as a couple makes commitments and centers their life on Christ, trials will be overcome and happiness reached. Overall, the work is good, we are having interesting days on the bikes. Investies have been helping us with rides, so not having a car can be a blessing. We did service for Maria Bautista and she is one of my favorite woman. She is so caring and takes care of her son, Micheal all the time. We met some really cool new people, Jessica, Rolando, Pedro and Sonya...we love Carlos and Alberro. We are sad about Arut and Guadalupe because they havent been able to quit their smoking. I did pretty good at not biting my nails, but I caught myself twice. I do it without thinking about it, which is what happens to them. Pedro (RC) moved to Arkansas to find work, and I hope he stays active in the church and continues to follow the commandments.

I went to Zone Leader Council this week and learned a lot. I love all the leaders in the mission. :) We received training on ward council and companionship unity. The talk by Elder Holland is amazing and helps us recognize the importance of having the Spirit with us. President Jergensen showed us a painting that President Monson gave a conference talk on. The painting depicts people stranded in Darkness and a ship coming towards them to rescue them. The ship is full of light...lots of symbolism here, but it hit me how important missionary work is. We are all in it together. We are all in the ship helping those that are lost in darkness return to the light and the path back to Heavenly Father. We are made to live the Gospel and return home, not to be lost in the world and in sin. Once we are converted we need to strengthen our brethren. We need to go in their lives and teach them how Christ can lift them into the light. I am humbled by the responsibilty of being a forever missionary.

Our mission is moving forward as well...I will miss it. I am thankful for the experiences I have had and am having. I have optimism for the future though. :)

Love you and miss you,
Hermana Murphy

Monday, November 1, 2010

sunshine & bicycles!

Hello Sunshine and bicycles,

Overall the area is going good! Our recent convert Jose Rubio says that he is doing great and feels the Spirit. :) He is so funny. "My body is cold on the outside and warm on the inside." We love his english. But really he keeps telling me, "this is what you were talking about, I feel it!" Hermano Serrano came to church and received a blessing to help him quit his drinking. He is doing so much better. He has the desire and faith. We are supporting him all the way! We had a strong lesson with him about the Atonement and how much we can change through Christ. He can do it! We are working with his less-active girlfriend still, and she is stuck between our church and the Jehovah Witness church. We committed her to read from the BOM everyday, and to pray for understanding. Guadalupe and Arut are really struggling to stop smoking. They didnt completely start the stop smoking program, so it hasnt worked yet. We committed them to start and we also committed to stop biting our fingernails. Hermana Hancock and I both do that and it is a hard habit to stop. We are trying to relate to them and "struggle" with them so we can all get over our addictions. :) We really love them. They havent been reading in the BOM, so we focused on the importance of scripture study (the iron rod). We are going to see them today and explain the first vision in depth, like how the power of God always overcomes the powers of will be great! They can totally do this and fight off the tempations as they lean on Christ, who is our deliverer from the chains of the Adversary. They also received a Priesthood blessing to strengthen them. The less-active family (Amalcan) that we have been working with for awhile finally came to church! We were so excited. We made them pancakes and they gave us a ride. The branch really welcomed them! Gladys and Eder are doing okay. Hermana Hepworth is doing her hair today, dying it.

We taught the lesson during the third hour and committed the branch to read chapter 5 from PMG. We have discussed ideas with the Zone leaders on how we can fortify our Spanish Branch and encourage member missionary work. The lesson went great and we had participation from various members. We feel this commitment (we gave them a calendar to complete all the activities and reading before Christmas) will help the brach obtain the word and then declare it. We emphasized D & C 11:21. We love the branch here so much and want to do all we can to help them. We are doing service for Hermana Esmerelda this week (helping her with her math homework) and we are attempting to teach at the houses of the members.

Halloween was fun. We went to Jenni Crespos and had dinner...we also made brownies. Here in Des Moines I saw zero trick or treaters. Sad. Look forward to Thanksgiving! We are going to do it with the Crespos. They are my family here.

The Hermanas rock and we have lots of fun. Zone Leader Council tomorrow!

Talk to you later
Hermana Murphy

Monday, October 25, 2010

Last few letters...

BAHHHHHHHH!!!!! translation: I am really excited right now!

Last night Jose Rubio was baptized. :) That was really special! He has been a tough cookie. He texted us and said he feels different and thanked us for working with him. When he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit prompted Hermano Santiago to promise him blessings, including a successful job and harmony in his family. Those were two of his biggest set backs in getting baptized, but he relief on prayer and the Holy Ghost to make the decision. We are excited for him and pleased with the faith that he has demonstrated.

Hector, our recent convert is doing better. He feels he doesnt need us to visit him anymore with the members so we are going to have our "last supper" and pass him off to the members. He taught the Gospel Principles class yesterday! Pedro is still struggling because he was offended by a member, so we taught him about forgiveness and charity. He doesnt like that someone judged him, but now he is judging the person that did the judging so he has become a judger instead of a judgee. :) The branch overall is doing good. We were pleased with their support of Jose and his baptism. I have seen a big change in attitude! They are more open to help us with missionary work; we still need to schedule better member presents. Our ride situation is fine. We are receiving help from investigators and members, and it is actually fun. We now sing hymns to whoever gives us rides. It is their incentive to do it.

We have set a baptismal goal of 4 this transfer. We believe that this is possible through obedience and faith. We need miracles! We feel that Gladis, Arut, Guadalupe and Maria have potential. We are teaching lots of other neat people too though. Gladis has made progress and really wants to get baptized. She is caught in a rock and a hard spot because Eder (her boyfriend) said he would get married once he learned enough about the church so he could also be baptized, but now says he wont. She is debating on separating, so we fasted with her to help her make inspired changes in her life to be able to be baptized. She is pretty sure her boss will let her have sundays off. Tonight we are teaching her about modern revelation and about our Prophet Thomas S Monson. That is the one doubt that she has in the baptismal interview questions is whether he is a true prophet. Arut and Guadalupe will be receiving a Priesthood blessing tonight to help them with their smoking addictions. They started the program to stop smoking and we want them to have an extra boost. They like what they are learning and want to be married, but are waiting for the arrival of their children from Mexico. :) Maria is a wonderful mother and woman. She has been around the block with the Jehovah Witness church as well as the Baptist. She feels confused and wants the truth. We explained that she can find the truth through prayer and the Holy Ghost. She will get there! We had a funny experience with her the other night. Her son, Miguel (that is autistic & 27, we love him) continued to take our water bottles and drink them really fast, trying to do it without us seeing. During the closing prayer, he took H Hepworth's gatorade because he noticed our eyes were closed. You probably needed to be there, but we have special experiences at her house often.
The Hermanas are doing great. Hermana Hepworth and I drove down to Iowa City to attend the transfer meeting. My first and last in the mission (we just implemented them). It was fun seeing all the missionaries and hearing where everyone was going. H Hancock (the greenie) is wonderful at Spanish! She will do just fine. We are working on breaking her in on contacts and door approaches. She gets nervous (its really cute) so I help her get involved with lessons. I can see that her confidence is rising and she is going to shine! She is very obedient about only speaking the language as well, which is always a struggle. Greenie busting Hermana Hepworth is also fun! She has all the logistics down of serving a mission, we are working on her talking more as well. Lots of practice! They are both great missionaries. We learned how to make tamales with our investigators. I plan on making them for my family and my volleyball team at ASU. They are the best!
Happy Halloween everyone. We are going to be with members on Halloween because we arent allowed to be out. We want to carve pumpkins. :)

We are doing well. We have a great district and area. Wahoo! Oh by the way congrats goes to Ivan and Nikki, two of my friends from the mission that are getting married! Ahh. Exciting! I am happy for you both.

loves and we will talk later,
Hermana Murphy