Monday, March 29, 2010

Changing locations!!

Wow! So much has changed within the past few days. Transfers are nuts! Leaving behind Sioux City was WAY hard. That place is like my home. I hugged Amanda for about an hour, ate lots of Hermana Flores's food for dinner, took some date pics with Omar, stared at Hermana Brisenos mole for a good thirty minutes, stalled for about an hour to leave the Flory's house, took family pics with Celia and the girls..and ate my last bag of frito chips at Sister Browns. Very eventful! I love the Ward there and the work I have been able to be part of...I promised I will come back and visit once I am done!
After 9 hours in the transfer van (a free tour of all the cities in Iowa, nasty McDonalds and seeing a bunch of missionaries!) I arrived in Des Moines to my new companion, Hermana Reese! I am so excited to serve with her. She is my "Aunt" in the mission because my trainer, Jenny Madsen, is her "sister" since they were both trained by Hermana Hermanas were surprised with the new companionships because my "daughter" is with Hermana Reese's "daughter" in Sioux City right now. We had heard lots of rumors from our zone leaders about transfers. Note to self: never listen to them! They informed us Hermana McGuire and I were both leaving Sioux City so we packed up then found out she was staying one more. It was weird! She is lucky though, because Sioux City rocks! In April they will start getting classes in Spanish and the Hermanas will be a big help with that..well back to Des Moines..I havent unpacked yet because we are moving to a non smoking apartment tomorrow. Thank you! We are excited to move in together, itll be like a fresh start for Hermana Reese since she has been here for three transfers already. We have visited some of the families here and I love them already! Maria De La Luz makes the best mexican food and we go over there every Friday! Im excited about that...then we are close with the Ortega family, they were less-active when Hermana Reese got here and now they are super strong with callings and such...Cynthia their 9 yr old daughter will be baptized April 10. That will be neat! We are workin with some really neat investigators here in Des Moines and we will be searching for new. My first sunday in the Spanish branch was fun! All in Spanish and no translating from English to Spanish. Phew! I did have to translate from Spanish to english but that is easier I feel. We had fast and tesimony meeting so I went up and introduced myself and shared my testimony. I also encouraged everyone in the ward to be brave and share their testimonies with others. I explained how I am a convert and had my sister and friends who were members and their powerful testimonies helped me to find the truth! Thanks to all. I shared the scripture, "when thou art converted, strengthen they brethren." I had an embarassing moment during announcements in Sacrament..I was talking to this cute little girl sitting by me and missed my cue when they welcomed me so I guess they welcomed me and I didnt react. haha! I am going to tell our Branch president to do it again in a few weeks. :) oooops. There are lots of missionaries here in Des Moines and its a lot bigger city. I feel like a kid from a small town going into the big city. Our zone leaders are Elder Finnerty and Nelsen and they are great! They are spanish missionaries and share the branch with us. I am excited about this branch! Lots of Spanish converts and families. I wanted to share a funny quote..our ward mission leader was sharing the story on how he met his wife and definitely told her on their second date, "I think I want you to have my babies." I died laughing when I heard that. We teased him a lot but hey thats cool, they are happily married with kids.
Each transfer we focus on a Christlike attribute to focus on as a companionship..we chose humility. We are dedicating ourselves to the Lord and letting him know we are completely dependent on Him for success. We are happy! This week-end is General Conference, and everyone reading this entry needs to watch it! BYU about 90 languages broadcasted all over the world! We get to hear from our Prophet, the Apostles and other leaders of the Church. Itll be Saturday 9am and 1pm and Sunday 9am and 1pm (West Coast). I know that as you watch it you will feel the love of our Heavenly Father and know that they really are true men called of God! You can always pray and ask as well. :) Happy Easter Everyone! We are going to dye easter eggs and go on an easter egg hunt with the Ortega family. :)
Have a great week! Love you all.
Hermana Murphy
ps happy birthday nina and congrats Scott and Jenna! I love you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two year baptism anniversary!!

Hola El Mundo!
I am doing fabulous! How is everyone else doing? We got our transfer call this morning and I am getting transferred to another area. Hermana McGuire will be staying here in Sioux City for another transfer, which is great because a lot of changes are happening in the ward and she and her new companion will be great help. The Spanish RS and Priesthood classes are being added April 11! Sioux City is going to take off. I am so thankful for the time I have had to serve here, 5 transfers! I was "born" here with my mom, Hermana Jenny Madsen and then I just finished training here with my daughter, Hermana McGuire. I have grown so much and am so happy with the progress of Sioux City 2nd Ward Spanish! We had a birthday party last night for Celia's daughter, Maria (11) and also Maria Briseno (60) and all the recent converts and spanish members we have been working with were there. These people have been like my family..when I refer to the Spanish members I say "we". It feels like I am leaving home again and going on my mission in another part of Iowa. :) I absolutely love the Spanish women here! Hermana Flores, Briseno, Baraza, Flory, Amanda, Celia, and Teresa. I have worked a lot with Sister Sawyer, Melissa, and Monita and I love all the rest of you women in Sioux City 2nd. I am so thankful for Ignacio, our ward mission leader, he is such a great missionary! Bishop Foster is awesome and Sister Peters as well. I will miss everyone! Today I have been packing and will continue to pack..I have a lot of stuff! I will be mailing some home to get forwarded back to me, thanks parents. We will also with visiting alot of families tonight and we get two dinners! Ill let you know Monday where I am and who I am with...I get on the transfer bus tomorrow at 845am! I am going to miss Hermana McGuire as has been a privilege to train her, she is a great missionary.
Other news: We did exchanges last week with the Vermillian sisters! It was so amazing working with Sister Evans, we really are soul mates. She taught be a lolt while we were together, like how to take contacts on the street further once they say not interested. For us spanish missionaries, they are almost always interested so we dont have to say much but for english missionaries its a whole different story. We had a cool experience with a family from Vietnam. We were tracting and the mom opened the door, invited us in and we ate dinner with them! They were so welcoming. We taught the grandparents of the house in English and their grandson translated for us. They had just gotten here from Vietnam. The Hermanas will be going back there for dinner and a lesson this week. We ordered them a Book of Mormon in Vietnamese. The Zone Leaders had a baptism this week and his name is Garth. We actually contacted him on the street and reffered him to them so that was exciting! He is 18 and wants to serve a mission.
I am now 2 years old in the church! Exciting huh? My "birthday" was on March 22. I have grown so much in the faith and appreciate this time as a missionary to help others find the happiness I have!
I love you all.
-Hermana Murphy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Transfer finally....maybe??

Every week is a great week on the mission! We had our car this week, which was super lucky considering it was raining all week! The highlight of the week was church yesterday! We had 6 investigators come! Emerita and her husband FINALLY came to sacrament meeting. We have been teaching Emerita since Hermana Madsen was here with me. We went over before church in the morning and they followed us to church. We really have to "baby" some investigators, but its worth it to get them on the right path. I am sure that they enjoyed church...we will be seeing her this week and want to set a baptismal date. She is way ready to be baptized! She hasnt felt good at the Catholic or Jehovah Witness churches and loves reading the Book of Mormon. She will come around! Diana and Lorna came to church as well. They are the cutest little girls. The Elders had a baptism this week and they went to it and really want to get baptized. They have recognized the Spirit while reading the Book of Mormon and going to church, they explain it as happy and excited to learn! We have taught their mom once and hope to teach the parents again; they are super supportive. We are going to talk to them about baptism and see what they have to say. They became friends with Maria and Ariana (two recent converts also in primary). We are going to start teaching Orlando, a relative of Amanda. He is 10 and has come to church lots with Amanda and her familiy. We had a special meeting at church with the Bishop and all of Relief Society and Priesthood. Starting April 11, the classes in spanish will be available. I am so excited about this change because the spanish members will be able to learn in their native language and get much more out of church. they are very thankful for the change, Amanda was crying during the meeting. Bishop has worked really hard to make these changes happen. When I got here in August, I really wanted there to be more love expressed to the spanish members. I am thankful for the time I have spent here in Sioux city and the team I have been part of. Transfers are next week, so I might be leaving this area...we will see. Either way I have loved the time spent here and would love more time here..but its up to the Lord and the needs of His children.
The Baraza familiy is doing great! Brother Baraza looks good up on the stand in his new calling as 2nd counselor. He said he had to buy a suit! He will be a great leader in the ward and is one of the most humble members I know. The Briseno familiy is doing better. Ana has some really bad heart conditions but is improving. The Temple prep class should be starting soon in Spanish so that they can start preparing. This week Amanda and Celia are going to be taught how to use the new familysearch to do their family history. Celia has her temple recommend to do baptisms for the dead but doesnt know enough information about her family yet to do the work for them. I am so excited that our recent converts are thriving! They want to study and progress. It's amazing. Omar is trying so hard to gain a testimony of our living Prophet...he reads, prays, goes to church. We are telling him to be patient and continue to have faith. He hasnt completely learned how to recognize the feelings of the Spirt so we are wokring with him on that. He knew his decision to be baptized was right and felt great up until his baptism...then afterwards he feels overwhelmed with doubt. I told him questions are natural and he needs to continue to do what he is doing and he will grow. I know he will be a strong member and Heavenly Father will bless him. The Ochoa kids have been doing well...but now their father (Melissas ex husband) got released from jail so they are in hide out right now. I am scared for them and hope that they will be safe and he wont danger them. Please pray for the Ochoa family!
Investigator updates: We are taking a break from Delmar because he is not willing to pray about the Prophet Joseph Smith. That prayer is so important because it validates the truthfulness of our message of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. Olivia dropped us, rather awkwardly...we knew she was home and she was pretending like she wasnt. That was sad because I really loved her and was seeing a difference in her....I hope she comes into contact with missionaries again and gains that testimony of God's love that she is missing. We found some really great new investigators this week. Heavenly Father is really blessing us here. The night Olivia dropped us, we knocked doors and found Gabby who asked, "Can I read the Book of Mormon?" We love when our investigators have the desire to act and learn! We will be going back to teach her this week.
This upcoming week is our last full week of the transfer! Crazy. I am looking forward to wednesday because Sister Evans from Vermillian area in South Dakota will come here and spend the day with me in Sioux City and Hermana McGuire will go spend the day with Sister Hoffein in Vermillian. Exhanges! President approved it and it is a great opportunity! I love Sister Evans, we decided we are soul mates. ha.
Well I love you all!
Hermana Murphy

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gold star!!

Hello my loves,
If Nanny were here with me, she would give me a gold star for only falling on the bikes once! Wahoo! I really like riding the bikes and told President I am open to being in areas without cars especially during the summer. Without cars we get a lot of members to come to appointments with us. I am very thankful for this area. We have 5 progressing invsetigators- Emerita, Mario, Rosemary, Diana and Norna. This week we are going to try to get Delmar, Carlos, Olivia and J.J., Rosa, and Luis to keep their commitments of reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Mario came to Sacrament meeting for the first time this Sunday! Diana and Norna came to an hour of primary and loved it. Here's the background of our progressing: Emerita has been taught by Hermana Madsen and me before; we dropped her for awhile. Hermana McGuire and I went back to visit her and she was willing to learn again and has been reading and praying. She knows that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and the BOM is true, she just struggles getting to church. We are trying to get a member to pick her up like we did with Mario...Mario said he felt good at church and wants to come again. We will see him two more times this week. We are focusing on the Priesthood and family with him. Rosemary is married to Willie...She has so much faith! We have taught her twice and she is so willing to learn and is receptive to the Holy Ghost so we have confidence she will receive her answer that the Church is true. Diana and Lorna are two girls 10 and 9 who we found tracting. We have taught them and their mom and they are so excited to learn. They bring their BOM to the bus stop and read it at school. :) They are the cutest. We hopet their mom will come with them to church Sunday and they can grow in the Gospel as a familiy unit. Celia and Amandas kids welcomed them with open arms in Primary.
This week we had a Family Home Evening with Amanda's family. It was nice because Carlos was able to come. Carlos is warming up to the idea of the BOM, and will pray about it and receive his answer! Amanda and her children are such great examples for him! We really want him to be baptized so they can be sealed in the Temple together some day. We had a strong lesson with Rosa last night with her inactive husband. I can see them all coming to church and growing together. We love their family so much and really want them to receive the blessings. We had a surprise in church counselors to the Bishop were called and one of them is Brother Barraza! We have been working intensely with him and his family since I got here to get them re-activated. Him becoming a counselor is like a baptism of an investigator! ALOT of changes are being made in our ward because we will start implementing RS and Priesthood classes in Spanish and eventually have a Sacrament in Spanish. I wouldnt mind sticking around one more transfer to help with all the changes..we will see what the Lord has in mind for me. We have transfers coming up the end of this month. My "daughter" Hermana McGuire will be officially not a greenie!
In our Tuesday night Spanish scripture study we are working on family history. I have so much to do for my family!! I am so thankful for the restoration of the Priesthood and the Temples so that we can do ordinances for our ancestors that didnt have the chance to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This week was a good one. We are working way hard to strengthen our recent convert families and find new investigators. We had a sweet experience while tracting. We knocked a door and Robin answered. She said she had been praying a lot lately and had a feeling Heavenly FAther would send missionaries. She was actually going to go to Walmart then decided to stay home because she felt impressed. Wow! We taught a first lesson and gave her to the Elders (she speaks English). That was a nice experience and I am reminded everyday of how involved Heavenly Father is in this work and how we are set apart to be His servants!
I love you all and hope you are all happy!
Hermana Murphy

Monday, March 1, 2010

Good times on the bike!!

This week was the first week we used our went surprisingly well. We ride them during the day..then we get rides at night. We actually have received help from a lot of different members..Sister Sawyer is She served her mission about 20 years ago and was spanish speaking. She helps us so much! On Tuesdays we go to lunch and go out and work with her. Melissa helps us out on Wednesdays because thats when we teach Delmar (her friend) and her kids, Alex and Lauren their recent convert lessons. Hermana Baraza, Hermana Florez and Amanda have helped as well. They all cook us meals and give us rides. I love the women here! For example, last night our dinner appointment cancelled and we had no where to go, we called Amanda and she made us tacos! She is so nice! :)
We have been working a lot with the Baraza family, helping them become more active. Hermana Baraza has been teaching our Tuesday night classes, Principios Del Evangelio. We eat at their house and teach them once a week and both parents have come out to appointments with us. Well, Saturday we got to go to the Omaha Temple with Hermana Baraza and Hermana Florez! That was a very special experience. Hermano Baraza is a convert, so he had his wife do the work for his mother. How neat! I was so excited to go to the temple with two of my favorite Latina women. The Spirit is so strong at the Temple, I wanted to stay there all day. I am so thankful for the restoration of the Priesthood through the Prophet, Joseph Smith, because we can do Holy Ordinances and make more promises with Heavenly Father in the Temple! My testimony of families have increased so much. We can be sealed to our families for time and all eternity. It's like a welding link because we can be connected to our ancestors and also our future generations. We are starting to have a Spanish Temple Prep class for the Briseno family and Hermana Teresa to prepare. Both less-active families have been progressing and we are working with them to come to church more consistently. We are also starting to have a family history class to teach the Spanish how to do geneology so they can get their recommends to the Temple to go and do baptisms for their relatives that passed away. :)
Our recent converts are doing great! It is nice having this extra time with them to make sure they are well taken care of in the ward. Amanda and her family are progressing nicely. Unfortunately, Carlos, her husband doesnt want to come to church because only one of the three hours are in spanish. We are excited for the Priesthood and Relief Society classes to start in Spanish at the beginning of April and then Sacrament in Spanish will follow. Our Relief Society President told me that Amanda and Celia will have new callings once all the switches are made. Im so excited for them! Celia and her family are also doing well. Maria is going to get her tonsils out, so we are going to visit her in the hospital. Ruben has made friends with the young mens and is doing well. Omar is such a great convert! He has been reading the scriptures and growing in knowledge like crazy. I gave him the book, Jesus the Christ, and he loves it. Great book by Elder James E Talmage. Check it out!
We have been struggling getting investigators to church! We have found a lot of new interests and have 3 progressing but they havent felt comfortable to make that commitment and come to church. We are going to try harder to get them to come to the Tuesday night class and we can give them a tour of the church so they wont feel intimidated.
We are going to keep working hard and rely on Heavenly Father to guide us to those that are prepared. I am working on having more faith and patience with our investigators. :) Also, love love love! In Relief Society yesterday the lesson was on the last General Conference talk by President Monson about service. Through service we express our love for our Heavenly Father by helping our Brothers and Sisters. I bore my testimony on full- time missionary work and how much of a privilege it is to be dedicated to the work and be a tool in God's hands. We strive to be obedient so that the Spirit can touch those we have contact with. A huge part of my conversion was the love that my sister missionaries had for me and I recognized it as God's love. So I am praying to have more charity!
love you all, have a great week!
Hermana Murphy