This week went by real fast as usual. It was a roller coaster of emotions this week. Was kind of a weird week because we taught lots of people and they all committed to coming to Stake Conference this week-end but none of them showed up. Jenny and I were really disappointed. We really felt like they would follow through. We get frustrated because we want to know what we can do better to help our investigators progress. We have been praying more for guidance from Heavenly Father to help us recognize who is prepared and who is not. We pray to know our invesetigators' doubts and questions so that we can help resolve them.
Our investigators are like our kids. We teach them, call them to remember their reading and to come to church, we make them baked goods, love them, encourage them, receive satisfaction when they progress...its heart breaking when they don't do the crucial things that will help them progress the most and receive a testimony. We want them to have the truth like we have the truth!! Reading, praying and going to church are the crucial steps to gaining a testimony and preparing for baptism. As an investigator, I grew the most by reading the Book of Mormon and praying to Heavenly Father about its truthfulness. I didnt just take the missionaries word and believe the lessons, it took effort on my part to study it out and desire to have the answer to my prayer on whether it was true or not. Its a different experience for people to learn about the Book of Mormon, because we have all grown up knowing that the Bible was true and heres this new book claiming to be written by Prophets living in Central America. What?! Its pretty amazing. The world claims so many different beliefs, its hard to know which are true and false. This is why reading and prayer are so crucial. Reading the words in the Book of Mormon can prove to anyone that the book wasnt written by a man of the world. It is full of scripture from Prophets of God. As I read the Book of Mormon for the first time, my relationship with Christ and God really became stronger. Because of this, I know it is a book written by Prophets of God. We have had people say the Book of Mormon was written by a crazy man trying to lead people astray. The thing is, how could a book that brings us closer to Jesus Christ and God, help us to feel the Holy Ghost more in our lives and fill our hearts with happiness be of a human being under the influence of unrighteous? It cant be so. We can all turn to the Lord for guidance and direction to what is true. We can receive answers to prayers through promptings of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father will not lead us astray if we sincerely desire His direction and His will. I know that prayer is real. I have experienced the power of prayer in my life since receiving the answer that the Book of Mormon is true and that I needed to be baptized. I crave for my investigators to pray with an open heart to receive their answer that the Church is true. As missionaries, we try to emphasize these key steps in conversion: reading the Book of Mormon and prayer. Another huge step is going to church, because it is there that the members can fill the Spirit strongly and learn the true doctrine that we believe. Its funny when people are against the church and start telling us their beliefs, but in reality their beliefs are in accordance with the church. People just dont take the time to study it out and read the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and come to church to see what the church really is!
But on the bright side! We set a baptismal date with Melissa's kids..we gave her nonmeber husband a Book of Mormon which is a huge thing because he has been anti. (Melissa is a member). We are planning on setting a date with Victor soon because he is really progressing. We had some amazing lessons with him this week; he wants to be a missionary! We have been teaching Amanda lots this week. I love her so much! She already has a strong testimony of the Gospel, we just have to keep teaching her to prepare for baptism. We had a great lesson with her this weeek and are going back tonight. We taught her with her sister and brother in law. Her brother in law has had major doubts, but we were able to resolves some of them. The thing is, none of the teachings of our church go against the teaching of Christ in the bible. We teach with the Bible as much as we teach with the Book of Mormon. Both testify of Christ and His teachings. For me personally, my testimony of the Church has increased by reading the Bible. I love the New Testament. Our church today is truly the restored church of Jesus Christ that He established!!!
A sad note, one of the families we have been teaching had some family troubles this week. We have been teaching the daughters, and have tried hard to also teach the mom, but she didnt feel up to learning yet. Well, it turns out she is an alchoholic and the kids are going to live with her cousin in macy until she gets situated at rehab. We went over there to counsel her and tell her that God loves her and she can get through any trial possible with the help of Jesus Christ. The girls are going to live with her in the womens and children correction facility. We can go and visit them and keep teaching them there. Its sad because the dad has no where to live because they cant afford their house. We are trying to find someone in the ward with extra space for him. We helped them out by sending food through the church to the kids living with the cousin in Macy. Its such a dif life here for people. I am thankful to be able to help out our investigators!
Other than that, Im doing well. Hermana Madsen and I are getting along nicely. We are getting used to eachothers personalities. We laugh a lot. She is very sarcastic. Im ok with it, I joke along too. We had stake conference this week-end. Our mission president and his wife spoke. It was so good! We were also able to see other missionaries from the mission, which is always fun. Friday we are going to the Nauvoo Temple with President Talbot, Sister Talbot the APs and other missionaries that are leaving. Before a missionary leaves the mission, he/she gets to go to the Temple with their companion. So since Jenny is leaving, I am joining her for the trip! I am so excited to go! It will be so beautiful! Halloween is also next week! We are planning a party with ward members, missionaries and investigators. Should be fun! Im going to make Halloween treats. Send me any cool recipes!!
Well, I love you and hope you are doing well! I miss you. But Im having a good time! Teaching others is really helping me with my communication skills and its a bit like counseling because we have to get to know the poeple and know their concerns and doubts. At times I feel like a psychologist. We are starting to do service at Hermana Florys work (a member in the ward) She is a social worker and we are going to go and help the Spanish people feel out their application correctly. Its amazing how many people are on programs such as food stamps! Getting a totally dif view of the world.
I am rooting for ASU while on my mission! :) The, AP Elder Thomas keeps me updated and my parents do too!! I will be a whole different athlete after my mission!
I love being a missionary and am thankful for this opportunity. I never expected it but I have been prepared for it throughout my life by Heavenly Father.
Love you all. You are in my prayers!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
here is caitlyn's letter from yesterday...
Hola! esta semana fue muy rapido! my cooking updates first. haha I made mom's split pea soup! Heidi's ginger chicken and brocolli! Then also blueberry pancakes and chocolate chip brownies for my investigators. Twas fun! Cooking is rewarding! All the work for a yummy meal. If you know of any sweet recipes..send em my way por favor!
We had some good progress with investigators this week. We started teaching an inactive family, whose kids arent baptized. The kids came to church on Sunday and loved it! During Sacrament, two of the little girls held my hand. It was precious. :) We are teaching the family about twice a week. The father is anti-mormon but we have taught with him in the room and he lets his wife and kids go so his heart is softening up some. We had a great lesson with Rosa about the plan of salvation. She really enjoyed it and felt it was true. We are trying to help her develop a love for the Book of Mormon. Victor and Geudelupe have also made progress. Guedelupe was able to go back to high school and is finishing his high school degree and wants to go to the Air Force. Its great that he is turning his life around from drugs and alcohol to the Lord. He stopped smoking recently..that was good news! We got to watch the Restoration movie this week with Amanda and her kids. The kids really love us. One of the little girls, who is about 4 totally tooted on my leg while she was sitting by me watching movie. We just laughed. I thought it was funny. But Amanda really has the desire to learn and understand. She believes that God would send another Prophet in these latter-days and feels the Book of Mormon is scripture. We just have to help her to continue to progress and learn. We love all our investigators and feel so blessed to be in this area and be teaching the Spanish culture. I love it! I want to watch tv, movies, magazines, and do everything in spanish after my mission. I was thinking of going to a Spanish Ward in Arizona sometimes in Mesa when I go to ASU! Thatd be sweet!
Yesterday, Hna Madsen and I went to visit Sister Brown's (a member from our ward) sister in the nursing home. It was her birthday and she asked us to sing spanish hymns to her. that was interesting. Neither Hna Madsen or I am great at singing but we sang out hearts out for her. As we were singing, old people would peek their heads in and listen, it was cute. We are planning on going back on service day and going from room to room singing hymns. I think it would brighten their days. At conference, the speakers talked a lot about showing charity to those around you. They also focused on the elderly...helping them enjoy the present, rather than only remembering the past. We need to visit the lonely people around us more often! Show them that they are children of God and have their Eternal life to look forward to! :):)
So it totally snowed here again today. Its going to be a rough winter. I actually kind of like it. As long as my feet are warm and I have layers I am fine. I want one of those ski masks with the holes in the eyes. That might be scary for people while tracting..what do you think? But yeah my mom bought be a nice jacket and I am looking forward to that! I worked out in the sand (icy sand) with like 3 layers of everything. That was a first. Dont get snowy sand in socal.
Well...I love all of you and hope to hear from you soon! I want to testify that the Gospel is true. God restored Jesus Christ's church through the Prophet Joseph Smith after many years of Apostasy. He had a vision, just like Prophets in the Bible have had visions. He saw God and Jesus Christ and they directed him to restoring the church on the earth again. We have the Priesthood keys and the power of God in our Church. Jospeh Smith also translated the Book of Mormon with the power of God. No man could have written that book without Divine inspiration. I encourage all to read it and pray about its truthfulness..pray whether prophets really did live in Central America during the same time the Bible was being written and pray about where the Resurrected Christ visited "the other sheep" in the Americas.
I am blessed to be a missionary and serve the Lord. :) I enjoy the people I encounter every day, the time I have to study the Gospel and understand it at a deeper level. I pray for you. Please, pray for me!
Love Hermana Murphy!!!