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

Monday, October 18, 2010

Still in Des Moines!!


News Flash: I am staying in Des Moines and will die here as a trainer! The Lord has blessed me with an opportunity to train a new Hermana and greenie bust Hermana Hepworth..we will be in a three-some. We are starting our new biking gang in Des Moines. J We will be driving to Iowa City to pick up my new girl. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here another transfer. This means I will have two areas my whole mission! Crazy. I love it though, because I have gotten to know the people very well in Sioux City and here. We went on the “going home” temple trip. It was lots of fun. Sister Guthrie was able to come, so I was happy about that. We had a huge group that came, about 15 missionaries! Church went well on Sunday. We helped out with Primary and the lesson was on the First Presidency of the Church. It was really cute helping the kids pronounce Uchtdorf over and over again.

The area is doing well. This Sunday Jose Rubio will be baptized. We are excited about that! We hope that his wife in Mexico is overreacting and doesn’t really want a divorce. Hermano Serrano who has a baptismal date for the 13th of November fell into his drinking again. We havent been able to see him because his wife says he has been drunk. This is really sad to us...but we have faith that he can stop the addiction and follow the word of wisdom. He was doing very well. We were able to do service for Gladis this week! We just love her so much. We had a very intense lesson with her and Eder the other night. We were explaining how God is a just and merciful God, and we can show that we love Him by following the commandments. We explained that our Savior has suffered for us, and we watched the Lamb of God. The Spirit was really strong...I cried as I bore my testimony of the love of God and Christ and the only way to show them we love them is by keeping the commandments and repenting/ changing. Probably the hardest thing on my mission is seeing the potential in families and children of God, but them not seeing the big picture. I want them to progress and accept it so badly, but if they are not willing to change or do what they need to they wont receive the blessings. We aren’t giving up on Gladis and Eder yet even though Eder is not ready to live the Law of Chastity. Gladis has expressed many times her desire to be married and baptized, but he is holding her back. We are going to continue to be patient with him, because he has progressed. This week he expressed to us that he recognized his faith after having a trial with his family. He is realizing how important it is to have God in his life, so we see light at the end of the tunnel. His mindset towards marriage is twisted because of the attitude of the world. We are attempting to help him see the benefits of marriage and the peace it will bring. Yeah, hard times will come but with the help of Christ they will be strengthened. Anyways..we finally started the Stop smoking program with Arut and Guadalupe, but then we went and checked up on them and they gave in to temptation. They hadnt bought the supplies yet for the program so he committed to restarting it. They want to be free of that addiction, because their children will be coming here from Mexico! They want to get married once their children are back (hopefully end of November) and if they feel prepared they want to be baptized. We see real potential with them and are showing them our support. The Lord has blessed us with lots of new investigators and we are excited to help them progress. Our favorites are Wendy, Maria & Miguel and Maria & Mony. Wendy is a Christian from El Salvador..married with really cute twin boys, excited to learn! Maria is an amazing Mexican mom that takes care of her autistic son (Miguel, 27) all the time. We just love their family. We hope that we can continue seeing them. While teaching Maria, Miguel kept screaming that he wanted all kinds of food, so Guthrie and I joked “that’s just like Hermana Murphy (I like to eat)” Then right after we said that he farted really loud. End of Story. Bahahaha Mony remembers being baptized in our church in Mexico. We are going to search for her records..her daughter Maria (16) is really nice and starting reading in the BOM. She is going to come and do service with us, since we do it once a week. She needs service hours for high school. Those are some of the fun people we met this week. Heavenly Father keeps putting great people in our path…

The branch is holding out strong. J The Gomez Family (our branch president and his family) are going to the Nauvoo Temple Saturday to be sealed for all time and eternity. Wahoo!

Those are most of the updates. I could type forever and ever. I will just tell you more once I am home. Don’t worry. I am focused on the work, Heavenly Father is helping me! I love the work so much. I only have one trunky thing to say, my ASU women’s volleyball team beat UCLA and USC! Go Sundevils!

Con Amor,

La Hermana Murphy

Monday, October 11, 2010



The Lord blessed us with lots of lessons this week! He sure is guiding us by the Spirit to find new investigators and work hard. We are getting used to riding the bikes and getting the help from the members and investigators with rides. It is nice to see the members more as well as having the investigators serve us (then they love us more). Church went well yesterday! Jose Rubio came for the first time to our branch, Hermano Serrano came with Hermana Amaya (LA) and Profresso came for the first time. We helped with primary and the lesson was on missionary work, those kids are the cutest! They are learning young to serve the Lord. I approve. We even had a coordination meeting with the members of the branch presidency; they are willing to help us out. The branch presidency thanked us for our service, and that was nice to hear that we are appreciated. :) We expressed the need for fellowshippers as well as taking care of the recent converts. They are praying to call a new ward mission leader. We also taught Jose at Hermana Amayas house last night! We are teaching others in the houses of the members this week. So things are improving in our branch, in regards to missionary work. I felt impressed to share my testimony yesterday during Sacrament meeting and expressed my gratitude towards the members and how their testimonies have touched the people we teach. I remember saying, "you all have strong testimonies and they bring light into the lives of the investigators." The Spirit was helping me. :) I hope the members feel our love for them. We are looking for ways to serve them. We painted the Ortegas house and are offering our services to everyone. It was my first time painting and now I want to paint when I have my own house. Yipee! This week we are helping the Amalcans (LA) that recently bought a trailor. We are going to help fix it up and make it their home. They really appreciate having their space and their home, they are a good example for me of gratitude and humility.

The investigators are doing great! Jose is on date for the 30th of October. Serrano is preparing for the 13th of November. He and Hermana Amaya need to get married! We are working on it. Eder has really made progress. Lots of less-actives have made it back to church and that brings a lot of joy in my heart. Oh, how cute. But really, they are recognizing their testimonies and are make in the fold.

I was able to participate in Zone Leader Council, which was fun! It was 4 sisters and the Zone leaders of the mission. We received training from President Jergensen, Sister Jergensen and the APS. I learned about how to be a PMG missionary and how serve the branch I am working with. We set goals for the Des Moines mission, and it is sad I wont be here next year! A lot of the missionaries were in town this week because of leadership training, so we all need exercise together. We played bball and vball...I beat Elder Marshall at horse. I want to let everyone know that. haha. I like teasing him about it. The vball was a little scary. I got to see lots of my friends from the mission, and I said goodbye to them. It is weird going home soon. We have the Temple trip tomorrow to Nauvoo and Hermana Guthrie gets to come with me. It will be a blast!

love you all, kisses and hugs!

Hermana Murphy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Hola :) :)

I love bike riding. Not so much the knats eating my legs alive or biking in the ghetto at night..but it feels great and we have gotten to know the city of Des Moines better. We have had to adjust planning so we can make it to everyone, so our numbers have gone down..but it is more authentic. I can contact pedestrians easier and I wear biking shorts under my skirt. I also like our new apartment! We swapped with the Elders, and good news, they havent been bit yet from the bed bugs.

This week was full of uplifting meetings. First of all, I went to my last Zone Conference of my mission! Wahh! It was really special and we received awesome training from the leaders of the mission. President taught us how the more fully invite the Spirit in our work and how to follow it in lessons. We are working on that in our companionship, so we can teach with more unity. It is hard at times because Guthrie doesnt understand whats going on in we are going to completely depend on the Holy Ghost to guide us. It will be exciting! The APS gave us a chapel tour, and we are going to start doing that this week. We basically teach the Restoration while touring the chapel, it was really neat. I gave my "going home" testimony and I cried like a baby. I LOVE my mission! I am SO grateful for the time I have had and still have (8 more weeks) to dedicate this service to the Lord. I have seen so many blessings and the lives of others change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I shared the scripture Alma 19 :6 . This scripture means a lot to me because it symbolizes the conversion that takes place when we accept Christ in our lives. The darkness is replaced my light. "Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark aveil of bunbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the clight which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had dovercome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God" I love it and have experienced that in my personal conversion, as well as the conversion of our investigators/converts. Our District meetings have been very good as well. Our DL, Elder Marshall makes it worthwhile and entertaining. :) Tomorrow we have zone leader council, President asked Hermana McGuire and I to participate and represent the Hermanas in the mission. We gladly accepted and are excited for that tomorrow. More learning!

General Conference was so great! I love the words of the leaders of the church. So many of their talks touched me and strengthened my testimony. I am going to study their words of wisdom as men and women called of God. :) We already shared some of what we learned at Gladis's house last night, about family and following the commandments. You can all watch it and read the talks at Do it! You will be inspired! I know that President Thomas S Monson is called of God!

Jose Rubio came to conference and we had a branch lunch in between the sessions, so he felt welcomed. That was nice. He said he didnt learn anything new at conference. We told him he needs to prayer before listening to it and we have confidence that he will receive personal revelation. He is trying to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost to know the BOM is true and so forth. Hermano Serrano is doing great. He came to conference and is progressing. Because of his faith, God blessed him with a job. That really opened his eyes and helped him see the blessings that come from keeping the Sabbath day Holy. Hermana Amaya and him are praying about the law of chastity. We invited them to live it, and she is hesitant to get married again (her husband past away). We had a breakthrough with Gladis and Eder last night. Eder is becoming so much more comfortable and open, due to the Spirit. They are praying about marriage and we feel it will happen. Sunny totally understands the Great Apostasy and the need of a restoration. It was really exciting. Luicia said she likes the BOM and wants time to get it and sink it in before talking about baptism. :) Israel is out of the picture because he moved back to Perry with his family. We are sad, and want him to continue learning so he can still be baptized. Pedro Martines (RC) finally got a car, so he doesnt have to walk 5 hours to work! Wahoo! Hector (RC) is doing okay. He has been avoiding church because he made a mistake. We are reminding him that the Atonement is real and he can get back on the right path.

Well we love the work and look forward to this week. We will be teaching Arut and Guadalupe the stop smoking workshop, because they are dedicated to quit! I will let you know how it goes. :) Miss you and see you soon.

La Hermana Murphy
We are working with lots of people and the work is good.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Hello World,

The Spanish 5th branch is going to make progress!!!! We had a meeting with the branch president and other leaders of the branch discussing missionary work and how we can strengthen the branch. We were open about needing a mission leader as well as other members in the branch available to help us with the missionary work. The meeting was positive and the leaders are willing to help us. We told them that we are willing to plan activities and opportunities for their friends to come to church, as well as service. We dont have a car right now, so we are in need of rides. We are praying that the branch will help, they will be more determined now considering it will be cold soon. :)

The top investigators we have at the moment are Hermano Serrano, Jose Rubio, Lucia, Arut and Guedalupe, Magali & Luis and Gladis & Eder. Hermano Serrano has been reading in the Book of Mormon and he feels really good about it. We love seeing his wife, that is less-active, get involved. She is becoming more excited about church and coming back. We are helping them find their testimonies and have the desire to follow God's commandments. They need to get married, so he can be baptized. We are going to keep encouraging that, it will happen in October, if things work out. He has been following the Word of Wisdom! Jose Rubio came to Priesthood this Sunday and is continuing to read the Book of Mormon. He feels it is true and has recognized his increase in happiness because of the Gospel. He constantly has questions and we are doing our best, with the help of the Spirit, to answer them! Once he is converted, he says he will be solid. He wants to make sure it is right, because it will be a big change and impact his family. He is praying about the 30th of October. Lucia is a newer investigator that we have been seeing often. She doesnt have much religious background, but believes in Christ. She came to church on Sunday but wasnt very impressed. We arent sure what she was expecting, but she said she didnt learn anything new and it was okay. We dont think that the branch gave her a warm welcome, so we are going to work on that. She wants to keep coming and learning. We invited her to read the BOM daily and to pray constantly so that she will be as prepared as possible to feel the Spirit at church. She has believed what we have taught her, but we are going to work on relating it more to her and why she needs the Gospel. Arut and Geudalupe are so cool! They were a referrel from the ZLS. After we taught them about the law of chastity (the first lesson) we showed up and Guadelupe had a ring on her finger! We are working with them on their marriage, it will probably happen within the next few weeks. They have the desire to be baptized, so we are seeing them twice a week. They need to quit smoking, so we are going to do the workshop with them. We are excited about them! They are parents of 3 children and want to be good examples for them. Magali and Luis have been reading the BOM and have had some neat experiences lately with prayer. Tonight we will be teaching them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and bearing testimony on how the Atonement has affected our lives. They need to see how the gospel can positively affect them and have the desire to make the appropriate changes to accept it in their family. Gladis and Eder are also reading, and we are encouraging them to come to church! It is getting frustrating because she has work and he has soccer on Sundays. We feel if they gain a strong enough testimony of the Gospel, they will have the desire to make the sacrifices. Right now, they dont have the faith. We are going to help them build that faith.

We had some really great spiritual experiences this week. Elder Zwick from the Seventy (who is Sister Jergensens brother) came and did training with us. We discussed how to become more effective missionaries and to reach our potential. We did a teaching activity where missionaries were called up to go to the front and well, teach, in front of everyone. We were picked and were able to choose our topic, and we discussed the atonement and our ability to repent. It was a little scary, but we focused on following the Spirit and the Lord helped us! At the end of the meeting we were able to share our testimonies on something special we learned from the meeting. I expressed my gratitude for eternal families and the oopportunity I have to help "complete" families. We are able to go step in the lives of God's children and invite them to follow our Savior Jesus Christ and accept His Gospel. It is wonderful! Saturday night was the General Relief Society meeting for the church. It was very uplifting! :) I am glad that the women's organization was formed, because it provides fellowship in the church. :) We heard talks that were given to help guide us as women, and remind us of our divine potential. We have purpose and God loves us. Unfortunately, the world has the impression that we dont get much "power" in the church, but I testify that we are equal partners with our husbands and have been blessed with unique gifts. We have been blessed with the ability to have families and teach our children. Most of the Hermanas came to the dinner and conference (which was broadcasted from Utah). I encourage all of you out there to watch General Conference- it will be aired next week-end on byu tv, both Saturday and Sunday. (11 am- 1pm 3pm -5pm midwest time). It will be great and we get to hear from the true Prophet of God and the Apostles! Wahoo! I love you all and miss you!

Hermana Murphy

Monday, September 20, 2010



I witnessed my first stabbing this week. :) We work in the ghetto. I also ate pig skin again and I actually like it. We have been residents at the Value place again due to the bed bugs hatching eggs in our apartment. Yummy! We may be going back there tomorrow. The APS stayed at our apartment to test it out last night. We want them to leave! We have been blessed in the work this week. We did some tracting (we never really have to) and lots of white people yelled at us. I have more respect for english speaking missionaries. The Spanish invite us in and feed us, while the Engish freak out when we mention the church's name and scream "NOOOO!!!!" I think they have heard rumors. We really dont have horns, I promise. :)

We have lots of updates on the people we are teaching. The Lord has blessed us with lots of success this week. We set a date with Hermano Serrano! November 13th. He is the cutest man ever. He has been reading in the Book of Mormon and retaining information. We also read with him when we go to his house. His girlfriend, that is less-active, came to church on Sunday! We were so excited. I ran up and hugged her. She hasnt been for years. These two need to get married, Hermana Amaya said she would if he stops drinking...and he has stopped. We are encouraging them to live the Law of Chastity. This week, Hermano Serrano prayed for the first time! It was really special. Israel is ready to be baptized...except the whole probation thing. He will be on probabation until January. We let him know the cicumstances and he said he is willing to wait if he has to. We have lots of investigators praying about baptism. Jose Rubio went to Mexico and saw his family. He is preparing for the end of October and we have challenged him (we will do it too) to start the BOM today and finish it by October 23rd to be ready for his baptism. We feel this will help him a lot. He constantly has questions and feels good about the church. His wife isnt supportive though so that is a hardship. Gladis and Eder made some progress this week. Eder never really talks in the lessons but he opened up this week. He asked us lots of questions and we have studied them and will teach him based on his questions this week. He has committed to coming to church this Sunday with the kids. He plays in a soccer league on Sundays but it should be over. We had an intense lesson last night about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Gladis always has work on Sundays and we encourage her to pray to God to provide a way to come to church. This is her road block and it is slowing down her progression. Eder made a point that she needs to provide for her family. We said, yes she does but it is more important to provide for them spiritually. We arent here to make money, we are here on earth to make promises with Heavenly Father as a family to live eternally with Him. We are trying to help them see the eternal perspectives. Yes, it takes sacrifice, but the blessings will come once they show God they are willing to choose Him over money. We are teaching them the Restoration tonight, both have heard it but its important that they have a strong testimony of it to have the strength to move forward through trials. Others that are praying about dates: Arut and Guadalupe, Esekiel, Lucia and Beatrice, Maria and Jorge, Professo, and Magali and Luis. The Lord has blessed us with amazing new people this week that have been prepared. Magali and Luis have really opened up this week as well about their desires and their roadblocks to getting baptized. Maria and Jorge have a family member that passed away, so the plan of salvation brought more peace to their life. It is amazing how the Gospel can help everyone!
Our recent converts are doing well. Pedro had been offended by a member but we taught forgiveness and patience. The same thing happened to Hector but he is over it. Hector expressed with us this week how special going to the Temple was for him. We are thankful that we were able to go to witness that!

We are excited for the week ahead of us. Guthrie is doing well. Her spanish is getting better! She is always happy and smiling. It is great. The weather is changing and it is getting cold! Bahhhhhhhhhhhh! Please pray for Esmerelda, because she is one of my best friends that is a member and found out that she had a mis carriage. :( She has such strong faith and love for the Lord, she is handling it really well. We have Mission conference this week, it is going to be great!

Love you all,
Hermana Murphy

Monday, September 13, 2010

back at the apt...

Hello out there!

We are going back to the evil apartment tomorrow. President had the APs stay in it and they came out alive with no bites! There is hope. :) We have enjoyed staying at the Value Place..I recommend it. lol. I have enjoyed riding passenger..I get to write in the area book, make numerous phone calls and listen to the sweet new cds we got at the Nauvoo bookstore! Mercy River is one of my favorites now. Kind of girly, but it brings the Spirit. We got to meet the new Hermana! She is so sweet and excited to work. She will do well with Hermana McGuire training her in Hampton. She is my grand daughter in the mission, I am growing "old". I cant believe I only have two transfers left. Yikes. Don't worry, we are working hard. We love this area and the people! This week went pretty well. The branch is growing and becoming stronger. While we have been working with the members, I feel that our branch has more of a desire to serve others. I am really excited about it. We finally had a correlation meeting yesterday and our branch president was there, he had lots of good tips. :) We also have members ready to help us this week with member presents, they enjoy coming out with us.

Israel's baptismal date has been moved to the 25th of September because of word of wisdom issues. We are seeing him every day this week, to teach him as well as motivate him to not smoke. It is hard for him because his family does it, so he is constantly tempted. He has the desire to change and be baptized so I have faith that he wont smoke again! His last one was on he can stay strong and drop it completely. If we need to we will do the stop smoking workshop we did with Pedro.
Jose Rubio wants to get baptized sometime in October. He is in MExico right now, visiting his family. His wife is not supportive of the church, so that is bringing Jose down. He has received an answer that the church is true, and can notice that the Spirit has been more in his life...just doesnt want a divorce. He has faith that if he does what God wants him to do, that path will bring him the most happiness. He is going to express his beliefs to his wife and let her decide what she wants to do. We read 1 Cor 7 with him about divorce. We arent swaying him one way or the other, just encouraging him to pray and do what Heavenly Father prompts him to do. He has progressed alot!

Gladis and Eder...this family is wonderful! We are trying to get them excited about marriage!!! They are praying about the 23rd of October. Tonight we are going to have a family home evening and teach the first, as well as focus on families. Their anxiety about whether their marriage will end in divorce, can be cured if their realize the impact the Gospel will make on their family! Yes, they will have trials with and without the Gospel, but with the Gospel they will receive strength through Christ and their testimonies. We have a case study to share with them from a family that found strength through the covenants they had made in the Temple. We are seeing the family together hopefully 3 times this week and Gladis by herself twice.

Hermano Serrano is holding strong with the word of wisdom! He came to church as well. We enjoy teaching him because he really wants to change. His girlfriend (LA) listens in on the lessons and has lots of questions. We are happy to teach her as well.

As far as our recent converts and less-actives...Hector has forgiven those that offended him. He also has hometeachers now. He seemed happy at church on Sunday. Pedro wasnt at church, we are not sure why. I know his hometeachers stopped by his house on Sunday. We will see him this week as well. We thanked the leaders of the branch for their help with the recent converts. We are trying to emphasize how important their role is as members to help fellowship them. We are trying to pass them on to the members completely. Gloria Hernandez (LA) has decided to move and will be going to an english branch. We are supportive of her desire to go to church, but we feel she will return to the branch because its better to hear the gospel in your native language.

Other news for the week, we met Elder Finnerty's parents! haha He served in the Des Moines branch and came by to visit because he finished his mission. That was fun! Elder Finito! We also did service with Habitat for the Humanity. We built houses, and I used a power tool. Crazy huh! It was really exciting actually. I plan on getting into construction. Not really. But I wouldnt mind using power tools on a regular basis. Last week we helped with Heartland, an organization that puts food packets together and takes them to Africa to feed the starving families. I love service! Once I am hope between church, playing volleyball, school, family and friends...I want to do service and help out the community. :) Eventually do peacecorps. Anyways love you all and will talk to you next week. Share the Gospel with atleast one person this week- your beliefs whatever they might be. Spread the love and the hugs. The branch misses your piano skills, Hermana Reese and your sonrisa. muah!

Hermana Murphy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010



We still have little buggies, so we are staying in a hotel right now. Wahoo! The highlight of the week was going to the Nauvoo Temple and doing baptisms for the dead with the branch. Hector was able to come, and it was so amazing! We are so lucky that the priesthood has been restored and we have temples to do the work for the dead. Hector and Pedro are doing pretty good. Hector got in a quarrel with some of the members because they picked him up late, but he will get over it. We have to be patient and forgive people! Pedro is hesitant to pay tithing because he doesnt have much money, but I am sure he will follow through. He understands the importance of it and that he will receive blessings! He looks so cute in the glasses he got. My dad sent us some frames for him and he was so happy. I got out of the car and showed him I had them and he jumped up and down, clapping his hands like a kid in a candy shop. I just love him! We get to meet his sister because she is visiting soon. The lowlight was definitely getting in a car accident! If I have learned anything on my mission, I have learned that sometimes there arent white lines telling you where to stop in an intersection, as well as ambulances can run you over like a tank. Thats all. We are safe and happy and so is the patient that was in the ambulance. Thank you, Heavenly Father. :) Accidents happen.
Israel is going to be ready for his baptism on the 18th; he is progressing very nicely. We are trying to set a solid date with Jose Rubio for October. He is going to Mexico to see his family and talk to his wife about the church. He has had lots of questions about divorce because his wife is not supporting him and his beliefs. He knows this is true and called us letting us know he has realized the importance of baptism. We hope that the things with his family get worked out for the better. Today we are sharing scriptures with him from the bible and the teachings of Christ about divorce. Gladis and Eder are praying about the 23rd of October for their wedding and baptism. We had an indepth lesson on obedience, law of chastity, repentance and marriage. They understand that God has blessings in store for them, and He wants them to receive them but they need to follow the law of chastity. We have lots of faith that they will be baptized in October. They are going to try to come to the english ward this Sunday and we are going to translate for them. Their work schedules makes it hard for them to come earlier to our branch, they are attempting to change it. We are teaching lots of people right now that know people from the branch, and that is a huge blessing. Irene is the sister of Hermana Torres, the Garcia family know Hermano Galvan (member refferrel), Luis is the brother of Hermana Santana...the list goes on. It is awesome! We had a lesson last night with Magali and Luis, it was picture perfect, the whole family sitting together, reading from the Book of Mormon. They are starting to grow a love for the scriptures. We have found some new potential this week as well. Marisa has changed since we first saw her, she is smiling more and more positive. She has had a rough life but she is letting the Atonement take effect in her life. It is beautiful. We contacted a referrel from the english Elders, and he is now a progressing investigator! His name is Lucio and his wife is less-active. He came to church on Sunday and really has the desire to be baptized...needs to quit drinking but he has confidence he can do that with the help of Christ. The branch is getting stronger and we are doing all we can to help the Lord in His work.

Hermana Guthrie is doing well. We are working lots on her spanish. We are thinking of ways to practice it throughout the day like I am going to read her sentences in Spanish and she will repeat me while we are driving. I hope it works out! She is so positive and excited about the work, she makes me happy. We will be good friends. A new Hermana came out this week and will be with Hermana McGuire and Hepworth in Hampton! They will have fun there together. I am excited to meet her!

We have been working with lots of less actives as well, trying to get them to come back to church. Heavenly Father has really lead us to some great families that will contribute to the branch was they come back.

The work is great and God is great. Love you all! Kyle and Krisia, I am so happy you are getting sealed in the temple. You are the cutest couple ever and now will have an eternal family. Wahoo!

Talk to you soon,
Hermana Murphy

Monday, August 30, 2010


Hello peeps,

Dun Dun Dun...the bed bugs are back and laying eggs. Sick! We moved out once again into the mission home. We are going kind of crazy. :) But other news...
Hector was baptized! The baptismal service was wonderful! Our branch has become so much more supportive of missionary work, it is amazing! Hermano Otanez was able to do a special musical number and Hector liked it so much he asked for him to do it again instead of a closing hymn. That was cute. Hector is excited to grow in the Gospel and learn. He will be receiving the Priesthood Wednesday night, so that he can go and do baptisms for the dead on Saturday with the branch when we all go to Nauvoo (we hope to get permission to go). We are meeting with him tonight and are going to teach him more about the priesthood and temples. He is going to continue to strengthen his testimomy, he loves reading and praying. He will get his home teachers soon. When Sister Jergesen went out with us, we went to the shelter and taught him a lesson. That was a special experience too!

Jose Rubio came to Priesthood again this Sunday. He enjoys coming to church, but his work schedule is an obstacle for him to come to sacrament. We are praying lots for his wife to have a change of heart, because right now she isnt supportive and that makes him nervous. We have faith that all will work out. He is preparing for the 25th of September. He is growing fond of the BOM and likes reading it. He really liked our lesson on Sunday; we went over the 17 points of the true church. The idea of Temples was amazing to him so we are going to watch the church video, "Between Heaven and Earth" about temples. He was able to come to Hector's baptism, so that helped him know what to expect. Lately he has been telling us how happy he feels and we are trying to help him realize those feelings come from the Spirit.

This week, we had a strong lesson with Israel and he really gets it. We went over the Plan of Salvation and he taught us about Adam and Eve and he really understands our purpose in life. We are really excited about his potential. He is preparing for the 18th to be baptized. He couldnt come to church because of his ride, Jennifer couldnt come. She is his guardian because he is on probation (he got in a car wreck without license and insurance), but starting Tuesday he can ride with members of the church to activities. Wahoo!

So Gladis and Eder have decided that they will get married and be baptized together. We are shooting for the 25th of September. I promised them that they will be prepared if we can teach them atleast twice a week. We are going over there tonight for dinner. I am excited about them! I hope that all will work out with her work schedule, her boss promised a change in September.

We finally had Hermana Santana come with us to teach Luis, her brother and his wife. We taught about families and had Hna Santana talk about how the church has blessed her relationship with her husband. We also had a spiritual lesson when Hermana Jergesen came with us as well. She taught them about the Atonement and I translated. It was beautiful! They really understood the Plan of Salvation and want to follow the Gospel..they have trouble living the Sabbath day because of work as well.

Pedro is a little sad right now because of his living conditions and immigration is out. We taught him and adversity and faith and church on Sunday helped him feel better. We are asking the brethren to really fellowship him. He will be receiving the Priesthood on Sunday. We went and ate with a less-active family, The Sanchez. We will be going back in 2 weeks. They are a nice family and have desires to come back, but they arent willing to live the Law of Chastity so we are teaching them more about that.

This Sunday we helped teach Primary and love it! Some of the teachers bail, so we help fill in and teach with the Hermanas in the branch. Debbie and my birthday activity was a hit as well! Lots of fellowshipping went down. Gladis and her family were there, Hector, Jose Rubio, Israel and his family, and Eva. It was fun and we shared a lesson at the end! Wahoo! We even had carne asada and a pinata and I got my head pushed in my birthday cake. :) Guess its tradition. I liked it. Happy that I am 22! Thanks to all of you that sent me cards and presents. hehe.

Well I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Murphy

Monday, August 23, 2010

happy birthday to me!!

Hola! Its my birthday! I am now 22 yrs old. Wahoo! Today we are going to the park to have carne asada and play some sand volleyball with the Spanish branch. It is also Debbie Crespo’s birthday, the cutest 9 yr old in the whole world!

Hector's baptism is Saturday! We are really excited about it. He is progressing very well. His faith is growing every day. We were able to watch Finding Faith in Christ with him and that encouraged him to continue to improve through the Atonement. He had his baptismal interview on Sunday and we are all good to go. We will be seeing him practically every day to review some material and get him excited. He is staying strong with the Word of Wisdom.

We made more progress with Gladis and Eder. We watched the testimonies of members on and that helped them to see how the church has affected the lives of people and how the Book of Mormon is true! They hear our testimonies often, so they enjoyed hearing new voices. :) The Elders were able to come by and give them both blessings of health because Gladis found out she has mono. She is feeling better and taking medicine, so she went back to work. After the blessings, which were really special, both said that they felt the Spirit. In Gladis's blessing, she was guided by the Lord to be baptized and in Eder's blessing he was guided to follow the commandments. I have faith that this family is going to keep progressing and will be baptized. The Spirit is touching their lives and they are recognizing it. yeahh! Gladis's baptismal date is going to be moved back because of her work schedule She has talked to her boss and feels like she has done all she can, so we are going to have faith that itll change. Her husband is getting a little upset about the fact that she needs to change her schedule, but we explained that we are the messengers inviting them to live the law of the Sabbath.

Wow! Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much with investigators. Israel is pretty amazing. We had a strong lesson with him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how the Atonement can change our lives. He is preparing to be baptized on the 18th of September, and is really excited about it. He has had the desire to be baptized for a while and is really happy that God led us to him. He knows the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. His aunt, Jennifer, is also very prepared and willing to accept the Gospel at this time. We are working with her and helping her see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We had an amazing experience with Jose Rubio last night. We were going over the book of Mormon and a recent convert was there sharing his testimony of how he came to know that it was true. We talked to Jose how he came to know that the Bible was true...over time and studying. We encouraged him to continue to do that with the Book of Mormon. We discussed baptism and the blessings of being a member of the Christ's church. While he was saying the closing prayer, he broke down and cried. He said he felt so happy and today he called to tell us he is really happy. We were like, thats the Spirit!!!!! He received an answer that it is true!!! He is excited to be baptized on the 25th of Septemeber. He just needs to talk it over with his wife because she isnt religious. Her and her kids are living in Mexico right now while he is working in the US.

Jenn the investigator that went away to college gave me a card and said that she is really glad that she could get to know me and learn with me. Her perspective on life has completely changed and we know its not me that did anything but the Spirit! She found an institute near her college and I pray that she will go!!

Our new investigator, Marisa, is really amazing. She really needs to accept the Atonement in her life to get rid of bad emotions that she has bottled up. I know she will and that the love of God will change her life completely. We are excited for her soon to be transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly!

Goodnews! Our less-active, Hermano Lopez has decided to come back to church! That made me happy. I hope he sticks to it. We stopped by more members and less-actives this week, trying to encourage all of them as well.

This week was a good one. Last Monday I was able to see my family and go to the fair. It was fun! I almost threw up on a really sketchy ride with Hermana Guthrie. I love my family! I got to meet my little brother Bobby for the first time. He sure is handsome and looks exactly like my dad when he was a baby. I am excited to see all of you in December once I am home. I love my mission! I have had great experiences and look forward to what is to come for the last three months here in good old Iowa. Miss you!

Hermana Murphy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bed bugs are gross!

Hello Family and Friends,

The bugs are back! So we moved again to the mission home. They are coming to spray our apartment again but it scares me. I would rather move or stay forever with the Jergesens. They are really nice about it! This week has been good (except for the bug bites.) We had a strong district meeting with our new district leader, Elder Marshall. He is a funny kid. I was asked to give a talk on the Doctrine of Christ. I shared 2Nephi 31 with the district and some personal experiences. My favorite part of the Gospel is Repentance. It is amazing! This life is about changing and improving and it all is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He loves us so much and wants us to come unto him and let Him heal us. God is merciful and just. We have our agency in this life to choose between good and evil. Each commandment has a blessing and a consequence attached depending on how WE choose to act. We will be held accountable for our mistakes on judgment day if we have not repented of them. This is where the mercy comes in. Christ has repented for all of our sins, so we can turn to Him when we mess up and He can purify us again to be worth y of the Holy Ghost. We won’t be held accountable if we have fully repented, which means changing our lives to be more in line with the life of the Savior. It is so beautiful! It is the Plan of Happiness and true happiness comes through repentance. It can be a joyful experience because we realize the love of our Savior and how much He has done for us and our salvation! Speaking of our Savior, Hermano Flores followed the example of Jesus Christ and was baptized! Haha The Elders have been teaching him and his wife and daughter were baptized previously. We taught at their baptism and I felt the Spirit very strongly as I promised them that they will have an Eternal family! It is all possible through Jesus Christ.

For the updates on the investigators...

Hector is doing great and is following the word of wisdom-he prefers Orange soda anyways :) We were able to have a few member presents with him this week. We organized a movie night at the Crespos house with their family as well as Hermano Paisono and Hermano Huerta. It went really well! We watched the Restoration video to help him understand better the importance of it. He said that seeing the video helped him because he is a visual learner. We are going to do more activities with him and continue to get the members involved. Teaching him in a members home, really brings the Spirit and the member's testimonies strengthen him. He is preparing for baptism on the 28th of this month and we feel he will be ready. He has the desire and wants to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

Gladis rocks! We had two dinner appointments with her this week! We also got the opportunity to teach her boyfriend, Eder. We talked a lot about why we need to be baptized and the blessings that come from being a member of Christ's church, mainly the ability to repent and be forgiven through the Atonement. Gladis has talked to him about marriage because they need to go to the court house and be legally married...he is thinking about it. She is pressuring him to make up his mind because she wants to be ready to be baptized on the 28th of August. I think he will come around. We went through all the Articles of Faith and the baptismal questions with Gladis and she only has one doubt. She has been praying to receive a testimony that President Thomas S Monson is the Prophet of the Lord. So we are going to listen to a talk of his and watch a testimony of a member on She knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, is just unsure about Monson. She will get there!

Jose Rubio is so interesting! He has progressed really well. This last week we taught him at the Crespos for a dinner appointment, and Hermana Crespo's testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon helped Jose alot. He has been having troubles understanding the importance of the book and relating it to himself. This week we are going to go over the questions of the soul as well as watch testimonies of other members. He has been moved the most by hearing others testify of how the church has changed their lives and how they know it to be true. He understands as it explains in 1Nephi 14 that there are only two churches...the church of God and of Satan. We explained the importance of the Spirit and gaining a testimony of the BOM to know if this is the true church. He just now sent us a text thanking us for helping him. He said that he received the answer he needed last night in the BOM to know that the church was true! Wahoooo! That is the best news.We will continue working with him this week. He showed up to the third hour of church and enjoyed Priesthood! That is dedication, coming right after he finished work.

Jenn is going away to college this week. She was able to go visit the temple with the young women in the branch and really enjoyed it. It is too bad that her parents arent supportive but I know she will be baptized in the Lord's timing. I think she will go away to school and really get the opportunity to learn...she already found an institute on campus! She has become one of my best friends, I am really going to miss her but we will keep in touch and I will be at her baptism!

Jorge and his daughters came to church again. We are going to teach him with Pedro this week. Pedro is the best fellowshipper! Pedro now has hometeachers and is preparing to receive the Priesthood!

The Branch here is doing pretty good. We are going to focus more on serving the members and spreading the charity! We taught primary this Sunday. That was so much fun. I love seeing the light of Christ shine out of their little eyes. I never was in primary considering I was baptized 2 yrs ago, so learning the songs and doing the activites was special. Margarita, the President, thanked us because she said the kids get tired of the same people teaching. We offered to help whenever she needs us. Next week, we are going to teach the young women about missionary work. Hermana Ruiz, is always really stressed out trying to do all the things for young women. We offered to help her as much as we can. We are planning to do a service project with the young women; we think they need mentors and we want to help motivate them to live the Gospel with a smile! Some of them are going to help us with appointments this week. We are going to help more with the recent converts and less actives in the branch. Strengthening them would make an impact in the branch, so we are planning on stopping by their housese with cards and cookies. Our ward mission leader, Hermano Otanez is leaving the branch to go to another ward. This is a big deal for our branch considering he and his family have made a huge positive impact. We are hoping that the members will step up and this will be a huge growing experience. Let the little birdies fly. The Lord is really blessing us in the work and we are finding new people to teach. I love it!

I love all of you! My dad, Heidi and little brothers are in town and my president said I could see them. I am excited about it! Yeah for family.

Hermana Murphy

Monday, August 9, 2010



Sleep tight, DO let the bed bugs bite! So the news update here is we had to evacuate our apartment and stay at the mission companion has bites all over her. L I only have a few…We are washing all of our clothes and our apartment is getting mattresses as well. She kept getting more bites throughout the week and we thought it was mosquitos. We were way wrong. It will all be taken care of, she has medicine for her itching… On a positive note, lots of people came to church yesterday! It was so awesome. Gladis (who has been studying for over 3 transfers) finally got a Sunday off. She loved church and felt so welcomed. She brought her son, Osfoldo and it was his second time coming. Hector, Alejondro, Jorge and his daughter came also came. After church, we went to the home of a Hispanic family that recently lost a loved one. We sang hymns and shared a message about Eternal Families and receiving peace through the Atonement. The Spirit was really strong! We will be visiting the family again once things get better.
Hector received a blessing from the Elders for his health, he needs to quit drinking! We have been brainstorming ways to get him to fight off the temptation. We are going to share a General Conference talk with him today about the Atonement and putting our sins behind us and moving on! The grace of Jesus Christ allows us to repent and receive forgiveness. He needs to understand that and that he wont ever be perfect, but he can strive everyday to become better than the day before. Right now he is stuck in the cycle of repentance and needs to cut out the sin completely and not relapse.We are going to give him scriptures written on paper to read when he has a strong temptation. We talked in coordination meeting yesterday about using members' homes to teach him. He lives in a shelter, so we teach him outside and we cant ever mix up the way we we are bringing a member with us tonight and plan on teaching him in different environements throughout the week to keep his interest as well as bring in the Spirit more strongly. I am excited about it! The members are being really supportive and offering to help. Our goal is to set a date with Hector and help him have confidence that he can get over the hump in the repentance processs to be prepared for his baptismal date. He has the desire to be baptized, but is scared to fall again. Faith!

Alejondro was also at church, but we are taking a break from teaching him this week. We are not sure how serious he is about learning and being baptized. He enjoys coming to church, but we think that he still feels that all churches are good.

Gladis and her son came to church as I explained before! That was a milestone in her life as an investigator. She really enjoyed the classes and participated and asked questions. She knows that she wants to be baptized, just wants to finalize her work schedule to be able to come often...also figure out what she needs to do about her boyfriend that is living with her. Tonight we have planned a Family Home Evening to go over a really awesome talk from General Conference. It explains how living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is how we were made to live; it is natural to us and it is how we will be deeply happy. We are spirit children of Heavenly Father and our Spirit craves the teachings of Jesus Christ. The talk demonstrates an analogy of a fish. When we go fishing we use bate to lure the fish away from their natural habitat into our boiling pot. Once the hook is in the fish's mouth, it has been kidnapped from safety, flopping in a boat. Obviously the fish cannot survive under these circumstances. This can all be connected back to us as the children of God. We need to be immersed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ to survive spiritually (in the water)...if not we are found flopping around, struggling to breath, eventually dying spiritually (in a boiling pot!) The teachings of the Savior and His church bring happiness in Gladis's life. She wants to become closer to God because that is what her Spirit was made for. She just needs to fully commit and live the commandments to be immersed in the waters of baptism and to become a child of Christ. Satan will try to tempt her with bate, but with the gift of the Holy Ghost, she can be protected and have a better gift of discernment. the truth is we all are caught at times by Satan, he lures us in and gets that hook in our mouth...yes, it hurts to pull it out (repentance) but we can fully heal again and have the Spirit strongly in our lives. oh, how great is the Atonement of Jesus Christ!!!

Jenn really wants to be baptized this Saturday and is completely ready. She finally realized that the Gospel was what was making her happy. She used to not believe in God! Unfortunately, her parents do not agree and will not support her if she gets baptized. She has a really tough decision to make, we are praying a lot for her. It has really made me sad because we see how happy Christ makes her and she wants to do God's will. We explained at times we need to do what the Father of our Spirits want us to do, rather than the Father of our flesh.

As far as less-actives, we are still working with Hermano Lopez and every time we are there we are reading from the BOM. Pedro is doing so great. We talked in the meeting on Sunday about getting him hometeachers, and they are coming with us to a lesson this week. He brought his friend Jorge with his daughters to church again. We plan on teaching Jorge sometime this week.

We have some real potential with other investigators...for example Elizabeth fasted so that the situation with her mom would get better! We hope to teach her mom this week. Jose Rubio wasnt able to come to church but we gave him a tour after church...he seemed to feel comfortable and wants to change his work schedule or find a new job to be able to come.

I really enjoyed leadership training this week, and I am grateful for the opportunity to train Hermana Guthrie, she is a great missionary. We are practicing her Spanish so she feels more comfortable. I am going to focus more on serving her..she has different needs than Hermana McGuire had when I trained her so I need to adjust myself to be better for her specifically. We will have leadership council every other month and we meet with all the zone leaders, district leaders and trainers. Lots of things are changing in the missions around the world, as far as training the missionaries. Hermana McGuire and I got to teach a lesson to the group! It was fun; we talked about how to get investigators to church and living the Sabbath Day. I have to update Hermana Guthrie on all the great training we received!

Love you all.

Hermana Murphy

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Hermana!

Why Hello!

First of all, I am so excited about training Hermana Guthrie! Heavenly Father has given be a special opportunity. I just love her so much. She is so determined to work and learn Spanish. She has a strong testimony and is super brave! We have been getting along great and she also has food allergies. Yeah! But really, this transfer is going to be awesome. We have some solid investigators but we will be doing lots of finding and tracting to get the teaching pool up again. I am teaching her Spanish everyday so that she can feel comfortable speaking it, she have already shown that she is confident! We taught Sunday School and she participated. I was happy. We have decided to focus on the Christlike attribute of knowledge so that we can better teach the truths of the Gospel through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. I have discovered my love for the words of the modern Prophets. I eat up the General Conference talks like candy. Feasting on the word is delicious! I will teach Hermana Guthrie all I know and hopefully lead by example (Christ will help me).
This sure was a good week! Pedro is doing very well. He received the Gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday in Sacrament meeting. Hermano Oretega performed the ordinance (he is going to be the best fellowshipper)! Pedro looked so happy and smiled nonstop after receiving it. It just made my heart melt. He loves his new scriptures, has been reading and listening to the BOM. He even invited his friend, Jorge, to church and he came with him. That was special! Starting to do missionary work. His testimony has grown a lot and I know he is solid. He is still trying to find another job so he can pay more rent and move. In his current living conditions, his friends constantly pressure him to drink…he is great at saying no it would just be better to be in a better environment. I bore my testimony in the branch yesterday and talked about the power of God’s love for His children, and how I have seen huge changes in Pedro through the Atonement. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve him and help Heavenly Father in His work. To continue to help him, we are going to bring members of the church to our new member lessons and have a smooth transition for him into the branch. By the way, he wears his HLJ (CTR) ring all the time!

Hector came to church yesterday and has the desire to be baptized and to change through the Atonement. We unfortunately found him breaking the Word of Wisdom with his friends…he felt very guilty and discouraged . He tends to be weak when he misses his family in Mexico and feels lonely. We are teaching him today about the love of Heavenly Father and how he is a child of God! We found a nice talk to cheer him up, and we are going to explain the beautiful Plan of Salvation and how it is in our favor as God’s children! Like it says in Moses 1:39, It is God’s glory to bring to pass the eternal life of man! He wants to guide us and help us. We have the Holy Ghost to help us make righteous choices and have happiness, Hector needs to know he deserves that happiness as a child of God. Hermana Guthrie and I are going to give him an envelope full of scriptures that will help him during times of trial…he can read one when he is tempted then put it up on his wall. We really want to pour out Heavenly Father’s love on him and be his friends. We are going to share a lesson with him this week about the Atonement and change. We need to repent of mistakes and part of repentance is changing the bad behavior and improving…but once we have fully repented we need to let those mistakes go, forgive ourselves and forget, and continue to become more like Jesus Christ through His Gospel. There is an amazing talk by Elder Holland called, “The Best is Yet to Be” about how we need to have faith for the future and believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ…remember Lot’s wife. She turned to salt when she looked back! Hector seems to beat himself up over his mistakes and doesn’t have much self-confidence, but he needs to receive that confidence from the Holy Ghost, by reading the scriptures, praying and going to church. He will get there, he just needs to have faith and keep his energy moving forward. As it states in the talk, it is a larger sin to continue to beat ourselves up over the sins we have repented for because that is not accepting the Atonement in our lives. We are going to do all we can to prepare him for his baptismal date on the 14th.

Alejondro wasn’t able to come to church because of a ride mix up. He will be there next week! We will be teaching him this week about the Articles of Faith. We feel he needs to understand better what exactly we believe as Latter-Day-Saints and what he will need a testimony of to be baptized. We explained to him that a testimony is the beliefs we know to be true through the promptings of the Holy Ghost 1) Knowing that God is our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is our Savior 2) The Restoration happened-Joseph Smith was a Prophet and the Bible and Book of Mormon are true scripture 3) We have modern revelation today! President Thomas S Monson is called of God to lead us 4) The Priesthood is alive in the church and we have the saving ordinances…Temples! He knows that the church is true, but he isn’t understanding that this is the ONE true church with the priesthood. To help him understand the BOM better we are giving him a children’s book of Mormon with the pictures and simple sentences. He still wants to be baptized, and we are doing our best to have him prepared for the 14th, the Lord will reveal to us when he is completely ready.

Gladis is still progressing. We had a great member present with her this week, Hermana Santana and Amaya were there. They bore strong testimony on how families are stronger when based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We shared a few General Conference talks about the mission as parents and how we need to guide children on the path back to Heavenly Father and lead by example. We are stressing marriage with her and also getting Sundays off for her job. Her boss said no, so that is a little discouraging; she might have to get a new job. Her son was able to go to church with the Santana family, I am hoping he loved it and will tell his parents. They really need to go to church for their kids. We explained to them that the church is run by modern revelation..including all the classes and programs for their children. We are going to share with Gladis some testimonies of modern prophets. Eder should be coming to our soccer activity tonight, I told him he needs practice.

Jenn Andrews is leaving for college soon…man she is amazing. She went up and bore her testimony during the meeting yesterday and said she doesn’t think she has a testimony but she is thankful for all that she has learned since attending the branch. She said she understands that all good things come from God. That is a huge step! She used to not believe in God. I found a General Conference talk about the process of a testimony and I know it will help her. She has trouble recognizing the Holy Ghost in her life, but I think she has felt the spiritual impressions! That is what urged her to go up and bare her testimony, her goosebumps and pounding heart. I just pray that she realizes that she has the testimony that she feels is lacking, it has come gradually through her prayer, scripture study and church attendance. It wasn’t a huge experience, then boom! Testimony, but a process like the speaker explains in the talk. We will see her today, we are eating dinner with her and she is coming to play soccer. She has become one of my best friends. I know she will be baptized!

We are attempting to get the branch more involved in missionary work; Heavenly Father really blessed us in our trio last transfer! I was able to work with many Hermanas in exchanges so that they could have those experiences helping in missionary work. Sunday in Gospel Principles, we taught about missionary work and explained how God is always preparing those for us to share the Gospel with! We gave them some pass along cards to give to their family and friends. The sealings of the families were beautiful (I hear)! The Crespo and Galvan family bore their testimony about their experiences in the Temple. I am so happy for the Crespo family, because we work with them weekly! We have been teaching them about family unity, because they have had struggles in the past. The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families! More families in the branch are preparing to be sealed in the temple! I am so excited for all the families and pleased with the growth in the branch. I am glad we stayed here this past week-end instead of going to Nauvoo because Hermana Guthrie was able to get settled in and we had some good days of finding! The Lord is blessing us with his Spirit and putting people in our path! Love it.

My trainer from the mission, Jenny Madsen, was able to come and visit yesterday! I love her so much! It was neat because she, Kaila Beesley (my grandma in the mission) and Freddy (he served here too) came to tour the Iowa Des Moines mission! Jenny was able to talk to our recent converts in Sioux City and said they are doing great! Amanda and Celia have callings in the church and are strong. Omar is still doing good J Also she got a hold of the Phillips! They moved from Sioux City to South Dakota so we hadn’t heard from them and thought they were inactive but they are active and going to church. That made my day! All my converts are doing great (We know they were converted by the Holy Ghost but I was able to help in the process. J) I am excited to see all of them in December.

Well until next week! Love you all!
Hermana Murphy