Sunday, January 24, 2010

Last week's letter:)

January 18, 2010 I have googly eyes

Wow- today has been crazy! I woke up crying, thinking my favorite investigator, Amanda, was going to get deported to Guatamala...she got pulled over last night and was in jail over the night. Luckily she got released and just has to pay a fine and cant drive anymore. They didnt say anything about her being an illegal immigrant...thank her wedding and baptism are on for this Saturday! We are planning it all and itll be great! We have been teaching Amanda’s fiance, Carlos, as well...he really likes the teachings- just needs more time. Ariana and Andrew have been loving their lessons and are way excited for their baptism Saturday.

We had a baptism Saturday night, Ruben was baptized. He is a great guy! He is thirteen and we have been teaching his mom and him. His mom didnt feel ready to get baptized...but he was really excited and felt prepared. After he was baptized, we asked him, “how do you feel?” and he said, “ the best I have ever felt!” That was so cool! His brother was recently baptized in California as well and they are really close. Like Jilly and me! We are working with a lot of investigators and are so blessed! Celia and her family are really loving church. I am so proud of our ward and how welcoming everyone has been to our investigators. The Spanish women have really united together and supported eachother along this journey! They tend to fight over us Hermanas, all wanting their individual time with us. It’s really funny. Hermana Florez, Baraza and the Briseno family have been great member presents. Hermana Baraza actually started teaching our Wednesday night classes and she is doing a great job! Her and her family have been less-active but we are trying to pave a way for them to make their way back! We are going to eat at their house this week, Im excited about that! We have been getting so many meals lately! The Florez family have us over twice a week, the Brisenos and ofcourse Amanda. Amanda had all the missionaries over and she taught me how to make Gorditos It was funny because she burnt the chili, and we are started coughing. Im going to me a great mexican cook when I come home! Bompy is excited for me to help with family dinners. :) Thatll be great!

Other news...Omar is doing pretty good. He is having some trouble accepting the Atonement in his life and forgiving himself of past things. We are trying to help him keep the Word of Wisdom. We cant believe how much he has changed already! Without us telling himhe cut his hair, took off his black nail polish and he took out his ear piercing...totally the Spirit directing him! Way cool. We are going to keep being there for him and supporting him. We might have the Elders give him a blessing to help him with his temptations of drugs and alcohol.

Last pday we totally went sledding! It was so much fun! I am growing a love for the snow. I will definately be hitting up tahoe! The weather here has totally warmed up. This week has been good. I know the Lord is involved in this work! I love when neat things happen that show me over and over that He is with us every step of the way. For example, we found a new investigator at Walmart so we go to her house to teach her, we wrote down the wrong apartment number but Esperanza and her family were ready to learn. Also last night we were tracting and knocked a door where a family really needed our message of the Plan of Salvation. It was the third anniversary of a mother’s son’s death. Our message that she can be sealed to him in the Temple for all Eternity really brought hope and love into her heart. I had a neat experiance sharing a scripture with Sister Brown. I shared with her, Matthew 10: 39 “ He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” This scripture meant a lot to me when I read it during my scripture study because it describes my conversion. Before I found my relationship with Christ, my life was all about school, volleyball and my family, which are all very important things..But I was missing my purpose and what should be first in my life: God. I felt like something was missing and I wasnt completely happy. Once I discovered my purpose and my relationship with God through prayer that missing puzzle piece in my heart was filled and I was baptized. Since my baptism, my life has been about fulfilling the things Heavenly Father wants me to fulfill. He has a plan for each and everyone of us and we can know our purpose and receive direction in every choice we make through prayer. My discovery of prayer changed my life and grew me close to my Savior. I am so thankful for my conversion and for the restoration of the Church of Christ. I am thankful that as a child of God, I can receive his direction and follow it! Anyways, that scripture touched me and I wanted to share it with all of you! :) I love you all and hope to hear from you soon! Sioux City is great and Hermana McGuire is too! Funny story: I talked to the other Hermanas, Jordan and Reese in Des Moines who were with me in Sioux City before Hermana Mcguire came...they said that they are more lovey dovey with eachother now! Thats because they received a lot of hugs and love from me! Yeah! Spread the love. I broke Hermana Madsen out of her bubble and Im working on Hermana Mcguire. Hehe I love you Hermana Madsen if you are reading this! Adios!
Oh before I forget...we had a great time doing service this week. We go to the Floyd House, a place for old people...we have made close friends there...and we have tried to connect with themby playing cards and talking. Well, we found out this week that the way to connect with them is by playing Wii sports! I have never played Wii and I cant believe that they know how to play video games! We got it approved by President, so dont worry..but Im excited! Wahoo!

-Hermana Murphy

Friday, January 8, 2010

First letter of 2010!!

Here is Caitlyn's first letter for the new year...

January 4, 2010

Hola! Happy New Year Everyone! Our New Year was spent at Hermana Florez’s house eating Mexican food and playing cards with the other missionaries because we weren’t allowed to drive (people are kind of crazy on new years I guess.) Exciting News! Scott Haycock and Jenna Lee Bates are engaged! I love them and am happy for them! Aww. The mission was excited since Elder Haycock served here!

Lots has happened this last week! To start, I have a new companion, mi hija, Hermana McGuire- from Utah, strawberry blonde hair, likes to sing, goes to BYU, loves missionary work, good at Spanish, great at navigating me in the snow (my driving is ok-don’t worry), and she likes to smile a lot! I like her! We have had some cool experiences together thus far.

We had a very spiritual lesson with Amanda and Celia. We listened to a General Conference talk by Elder Hales about believing in God and Jesus Christ and following the feelings of the Spirit. I love our investigators so much! During this lesson, as I bore my testimony, I cried because our investigators are so special to Heavenly Father. He has prepared them to accept the Gospel and I am honored to be guided by the Spirit to those ready to be baptized! Amanda cried while listening to the talk because she also felt the Spirit strongly. She said afterwards that she knows the Apostles and Prophet are truly called of God. She has been a great example to me of faith because she is willing to follow the Spiritual promptings she receives. Her and her boyfriend, Carlos are going to drive to South Dakota to get their wedding license. We might do a wedding and baptism at our church on January 23. We haven’t fully planned it yet. We have been teaching her kids, Ariana and Andrew, and they are really learning fast! We actually got the chance to teach Carlos and will be every week! He hasn’t let us before but now he wants to learn. That is a huge blessing! We are praying to prepare him to be baptized. We set 3 more baptismal dates this week! Heavenly Father really is blessing us! Amanda’s best friend, Celia and her two daughters (Yareli and Maria) are going to be baptized February 13. They are so excited! We had been teaching Celia with Amanda occasionally but we have started to teach her and her family at their house. We are so happy for them!

Church was great yesterday! Was the first Sunday being the Senior companion at church. I had to show Hermana McGuire around, do more translating, and a bunch of other things! It was fun though. Amanda, Celia, Yareli, Maria, Elva, Reuben, and Omar were able to come to church yesterday. Elva and Reuben are still excited about their baptism on January 16. Elva isn’t sure if she will be ready then, but we are still helping her prepare. Reuben is all into it, reading his Book of Mormon and talking a lot with his brother (who was recently baptized in Ca) about the scriptures. He will be ready! If Elva isn’t she can be baptized on February 9 with Omar or the 13th with Celia and her family. I have faith that she will get baptized! We had our fast/testimony meeting yesterday and I bore my testimony is Spanish! Was way fun! But I totally cried while talking about the love God has for His children and how strongly I have felt that for our investigators. As I was talking, I made eye contact with Amanda and she was crying. Missions are the best! These sweet experiences couldn’t be felt any other place. Amanda and I will be friends forever.

We had a very powerful lesson with Omar on the Atonement and repentance. He has been changing so much! Unfortunately, he had some deaths in his family which led to him being very depressed. He fell back into some old habits, against the Word of Wisdom. We helped him see that he can repent and be forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. For the first time, he repented in prayer last night. We talked to him on the phone this morning and we shared 1Nefi 3: 7 with him that basically states God will provide a way to do anything he has commanded us to do. So with Omar, if God as commanded him to follow the Word of Wisdom, Heavenly Father will help him achieve and bless him with strength. Omar has committed to live it and rely on the help of God. He even cut his long hair shorter to be clean cut! We are so proud of him. He is so excited about his baptism!

I look forward to a very busy week and to share the Gospel with more of Heavenly Father’s children! We really want to strengthen the Spanish part of the Ward here and get them more involved. The English part of the ward has really changed their attitude and are more willing to help out. We are having Hermana and Hermano Baraza teach our Wednesday night class so that they are more involved (less-active Spanish family.) We hope to impact Sioux City and help out as many people as possible!

Love you all! Have a great week.

Hermana Murphy