Monday, June 28, 2010



Well, adding Hermana McGuire to the mix has completely changed team chemistry! Reese and I had been here awhile and were comfortable with how things were going. But McGuire helped us realize that we had some investigators that weren’t progressing and we were wasting our time with them. (McGuire was just in an English area, so it was a different teaching atmosphere) We are going through the investigators and getting rid of those that don’t want to keep commitments…we have dropped Maria V, Julio, Oscar, Ally…there will probably be more. Reese and I have been here awhile, so we have gotten comfortable. We are becoming more focused on our contacts, to always mention the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, as well as our role as missionaries. We are trying to discern who has real interest and who is just inviting us over to be nice. We have had lots of training to take contacts as far as they will go, but with the Spanish culture they almost always say yes. So to save us some time we are being more specific and getting those that want to progress! We are here to be their guides and help them, but they also need to do their part to receive their own testimony (read, pray and go to church). It is hard for me to let them go sometimes because I am so emotionally attached! I am working on realizing that yes all have potential to be baptized because they are children of God…just not all will be in the next 6 weeks. I have faith that everyone will come to know it’s I am going to keep that but be more realistic. J At times it is overwhelming because our area is so large, but we do not have to see everyone in the next 6 weeks…to help those we have we need to spend more time with them and focus on them. We are going to do splits a lot this transfer and that will help us see more people. We have some really great potential right now!

Pedro Martinez is so awesome! We set a date with him for the 13th of July. He came to church yesterday and stayed for all 3 hours. Wahoo! We will be seeing him 3 times this week and are working with him on his smoking and coffee addictions. He felt really good at church and believes that the church is true. We had a great lesson with Jenn this week. We watched Finding Happiness and talked a lot about God and His existence. She is scared to commit to baptism before she knows more. She is afraid to have questions after being baptized. I was like, ofcourse you will! I did and I still do. We continually learn and nurture our testimonies. It is tough being a convert, but it is worth it. She has been reading and the Book of Mormon, feels at peace when she is reading it. We are also trying to help her recognize the Spirit. At church yesterday, I kept asking her, how do you feel now? Haha We had three member presents with Gladis this week. Hermano Santana was really excited to share his testimony with her. Jenni Crespo once again helped Gladis see the light at the end of the tunnel with her husband, that she can be an example for him. At her house, we invited him to learn but he didn’t want to. We are still organizing an activity to get him involved with members. Hermana Flores (the recent convert of one week) came with me on splits and her testimony really helped Gladis. They both come from Catholic backgrounds and believed in the Virgin Mary. Hermana Flores explained how she changed her belief in that, as in Mary was an important instrument in the Lord’s plan but she was human and we don’t need to worship her. That is a tough one for Gladis. We shared the ten commandments and about how God is a jealous God and doesn’t want any Gods before Him. We are still trying to work out a solution for her job on Sundays. Her and her husband will probably get married at the court house or maybe split up? She really desires to change, with the new knowledge she has of the law of chastity and how the church can bless her children. Her faith has been a great example for me. We saw Diana, who had a baptismal date…and taught members from her new Pentecostal church. Right now probably isn’t the time for her so we are going back to teach them once more and will probably call it quits. The Torres family have real potential, we made them prayer rocks and will give them to them tonight. Hermana Torres was eating up the Restoration lesson! We found lots of new investigators that seem promising. Yolanda and Juan Carlos fed us our second dinner after meeting them last night. That is such a prop to being Spanish speaking, great food and people! J

I am going to focus my studies more on the basic doctrine of the lessons we teach and develop outlines for the lessons with progressing investigators. I want to focus more on THEM, how we can help THEM, and how we can teach better for THEM and not just to be a “better” missionary. As a companionship, we are going to focus on teaching more basic, testifying more and sharing more personal experiences. I want us to focus on following the Spirit and being humble. We need to recognize more that this is God’s work and we are a team here to work together. We all have our own talents and faults and we are here for a reason to learn from each other. At times, it is easy to compare myself to my companions and they probably do it too. But I feel that doesn’t get me anywhere…I want to have a loving atmosphere and not a competitive one. We are a team! Go team! It has been hard to balance out lessons because we are all confident but also excited so we all want to talk. :) It takes some getting used to and getting a flow. I know we will have a great transfer!

Hermana Murphy

Monday, June 21, 2010

Three of us!!

Oh Hello,
This has been a crazy last few days… long story short Hermana Reese and McGuire are here with me in Des Moines...I am so happy to be here one more transfer in Des Moines! I love the branch and our investigators. They are my family and friends. It will be an interesting challenge to be in a three some. We will all need to sacrifice and compromise in all aspects of the work. I am super excited for Fridays now because we can all three go out with members and work. Crazy! We have a lot of work to get done here! Updates on investigators…Gladis- she has been doing her reading and praying…including the Liahona. We went through a scripture chase with her to help her get used to using all the scriptures. Tonight we have a FHE planned with the Santana Family because they are friends. We are going to have dinner then talk about families and Jesus Christ. We are praying hard that her husband will be involved in the activity! They have made progress in marriage plans and might get married at the Catholic church and then she can be baptized in our church. We are also planning a soccer game for the branch to get her husband more involved with members of the church. She believes that Thomas S Monson is the Prophet of God..she asked how she would know it was true so we explained the Spirit more. Angel is doing okay, keeping up on his reading and praying…the only thing is he hasn’t figured out his job schedule yet. We will be seeing him this week and are going to be bold and ask him to let the job go on the week-ends and show God his faith. Jenn- She is doing way awesome! We taught her a lot this week and Jordan Fuentes helped us. She has been praying more and is still working on recognizing the feelings of the Spirit. She felt peace at the baptism of the Flores family this week-end so that was progress! Her testimony of God has been strengthened and she is doing her reading in the BOM. Yajaira- no progress with her this week…we will see her soon. We need to get permission from her dad for her baptism. Diana’s baptismal date fell through…she is being persuaded by her family members and it is really sad. Her parents gave their approval, but she moved to her aunts house down the street and her aunt isn’t okay with it…so we will be teaching her aunt this week to try to make an impact. Diana knows its true, just needs to get the guts to be baptized when her family is another religion. We found a new promising investigator named Jenny..she is 14 yrs old and has a grandma in El Salvador that is a member…she has picked up the lessons well and has great desire to learn.
We have one baptismal date with Fransisco for July 10th. We are inviting everyone to be baptized..this missionary thing is hard. We can work so hard and have faith but people still have their agency to not choose it. It gets me down sometimes and makes me question if I am giving my all. I just need to continue in faith and keep inviting…

I was part of exchanges this on transfer day (Thursday)..Esmeralda and Jenni Crespo were my companions all day..then Friday Hermana Jordan and I did them again. I love the members here! They feed us a ton and are so willing to help out. :) By the way..Happy Fathers Day Dad, Jimmy and Bompy! I love and appreciate you all so much. We had a cute fathers day song in Sacrament meeting..the kids are adorable. We also had a good lesson at church about how we need to treat everyone like Children of God..when we serve others, we are serving God. I love that. As missionaries, we are blessed with charity and I have felt intense love for the people we are teaching. I am so thankful for that. It goes the other way too..if we are mean to people, its as if we are being meant to God. So we better work on our Christlike attributes and spread the love! In the other class we talked about how in life we need to work hard and not be slothful..because even in our jobs we are working for our Brothers and Sisters...but we also need to have a balance with family time. I am thankful for the focus we have on families in the church and FHE!

Until next week,
Hermana Murphy

Monday, June 7, 2010


Lets see exciting happenings this week... we had a tornado scare. Our first warning that we have had..we already had our jammies on so I went throughout the house searching for my most valuable things..definately put on my pearls from my mommy. That made Hermana Reese laugh so hard. We didnt have to evacuate or anything but we were on call. I now have experienced that. :) Reese and I are learning so much together! We realized that our companionship is like a marriage..we have to sacrifice for eachother and compromise, also focus on the positives in eachother and learn to be selfless (the whole world needs that..stop focusing on our lives and open our eyes to the struggles of others.) When you are around someone 24/7 you learn alot about them...positive and negative. We shared our past struggles with a few families in the ward who are having communication problems and such. In a companionship, you just have to be honest and open. Let it all out! We have had problems when we arent as open..if something is on your mind, express it. Whether its the toothpaste Hermana Murphy leaves on the bathroom counter, or the way Hermana Reese drinks her water..haha We love eachother. Anywho, Our investigators are like our children! We have to constantly be in contact with them, encourage them, and they are constantly on our minds. When we were talking with Gladis about raising children...disciplining each based on their individual needs, we adapt all the lessons based on the needs of the people we are teaching. We love them so much. A random miracle this week was the following: we were tracting and knocking doors..there was a house that was abandoned but a nice little business card on the door of Jugo Torres who cleans rain gutters. Well, I noticed the Spanish name so I was like, "Hey! Im going to call this number and talk to him.." Well at the end of the convo, we had an appointment. He has learned before with missionaries..and wasnt creeped out by my stalker ways. Talk about Heavenly Father knowing I would call and be creepy. Splits were fun this Friday. I am in love with Debby. She wore her future missionary tag..and participated in all the lessons. The investigators love her and her testimony. :)

We have two baptismal dates that are solid right now. Julio is preparing to be baptized on the 10th of July..he is doing his reading and praying. We are not sure why he did not come to church yesterday? We will be seeing him this week and are emphasizing the Sacrament so he understands the importance of church attendance. Diana finally came to church and she is preparing to be baptized for the 20th of June. Janeth and Isaac (two of her syblings) also came. We have been teaching Janeth but her parents wont let her get baptized. We are still working on gaining the dad's trust. He has been raised catholic so he believes in their way of doing baptisms. We explained that we are baptized exactly as Christ was...immersion, by a worthy holder of the Priesthood, at the age of accountability, for remission of sins. Their mom, Adela is still learning but she is not as interested. Omar came to church yesterday! That was a surprise. He still wants to learn, we dropped him for a few weeks because he wasnt keeping commitments. The Sandaval family came to church! The dad participated alot in the Gospel Principles class...only the son is baptized, so we will be teaching them this week. I am excited because I was under the impression that they were less-active members, the way he was participating in class. They are just super involved! We made progress with other investigators this week as well. We had a strong lesson with Angel about prayer, scripture study and church attendance. He really wants a new job so he can have Sundays off. He is completely ready to be baptized and has the desire..we have been praying a lot for him to either drop the job he has on Sundays and have faith the new job will call him, or that the new job will call him already! He applied to a lot of different places. He wants to be baptized June 15th..he will need to come to Church one more time..then all the times after. It all depends on the job. I really hope it works out! Jenn is doing great. We had our first formal lesson with her and she liked it. She was worried and nervous, but she felt comfortable with the way we taught and got her involved. (She said we were real people.) :) Her biggest concern right now is recognizing the Spirit and starting to pray regularly. We are taking baby steps with her..talking about the existence of God. Her family has always been skeptic and not into religion. I can see little changes in her! She is quite amazing coming to a spanish branch and only speaking english. She feels a connection with the people, and her best friend Jordan is a convert in the branch. We had two lessons with Gladis this week. We shared a few talks from General Conference with her about family and parenthood. She understands that teaching her children about Christ is very important and she has a strong desire to do that, and to discipline with the love and guidance of the Holy Ghost. I realized a big part of setting rules for children is expecting them to do the right thing. Heavenly Father has given us our agency and we are born with the light of Christ. He trusts us to do whats right to receive the blessings. I explained to Gladis how my parents always expected good from me and that helped me make smart decisions. There was no question in my mind what was expected. Her biggest interest in the church is eternal families! She has been reading the Liahona and believes all the leaders of the church are called of God. We explained how the church can help her family and her soon to be marriage; she will receive lots of blessings from doing what is right. She worries about their being conflict in her marriage with two religions, but we promised blessings and more unity. We feel her husband will become interested by her example. We have had some amazing members come and bear their testimonies. Jenni Crespo shared her conversion story and how she knew it was true before her husband. Then her husband felt the Spirit strongly at her baptism...accepted lessons and was baptized later. Miracles happen! Gladis has great faith and is very receptive to the Spirit and engaged in lessons. I just love her to death! She even cooked us pig skin this week. Yummy. We did service for Ally and her family..helped clean their house. I think that opened her mom up a bit and we taught them a lesson about the plan of salvation..focused on families. They want to have a stronger mother/daughter bond, so we promised blessings if they will apply the teaching of Christ in their home. Ally's mom wants more help around the house and feels Ally is too distracted...sorry mom for not helping you clean all the time. :) I owe you! We have scheduled a Family Home Evening. Ally is praying about baptism right now. We had a fantastic lesson with Oscar last night and committed him to baptism for the 20th of June with Diana! He had some deep questions and is really searching for the truth. Great guy!

Heavenly Father has really blessed us this week and we are going to continue on leaving commitments and checking up on them more frequently. We are attempting to have daily contact as well. I really enjoy studying for our investigators because I have seen the Lord bless us with knowledge and guide us in the lessons through the Spirit using that knowledge we obtained during study. Sweet! I am really starting to understand the Atonement and Repentence. I have been studying the attributes of Christ to become a better missionary. Repentence is a process everyday that we all need to do. It involves a change of heart, putting the Lords will before our will and being humble. No one is perfect! God did that for a reason, to live happily ever after, we need to depend on Him! We need to get down on our knees and thank Him for our Savior Jesus Christ!

Our branch has really been progressing. I can feel the desire of the members to go to the Temple and do the ordinances with our Heavenly Father. More families are striving to be sealed after the Ortegas and Rodriguez families were. There was a baptism on Saturday of a few kids in the branch. During the break in the ceremony, we taught the plan of Salvation. Heavenly Father is so perfect! We have always had the organization of the with Him before, our families here, and after. I love the Gospel! (Hermana Reese and I get really excited while teaching, we like to express our love by giving high fives). We explained how baptism is a step for the child as well as for the family to reach their Eternal goals. We focused on the goal of reaching the Temple for the families involved in the baptism. We will be focusing on that with other members lessons. We are working with the Lopez family on their goal to be sealed in the temple. Right now, they are having some communication issues and we are going over to their house every week to help them focus on the positive of eachother and study the scriptures together. We are helping Hermana Amaya and her daughter have a closer relationship of understanding. We love them so, and we will be going back every week to see their progress. We gave them an assignment to write down 5 positive things about eachother daily. :) I bore my testimony in church about how the blessings of the Gospel are available to all, we just need to continue to be better everyday and encourage those around us. The plan of salvation was made for each of us because we are all children of God! I want my family to receive the blessings of the Gospel and I know that they will! I was talking to the Elders at the baptism about that and then the sister missionaries in Kirkland Ohio called me to tell me that they got a hold of some of the referrels of my family. That made me happy! Heavenly Father knows how important it is to me! He wants us all to be blessed.

I love you all so much! I am so thankful for the things I am learning on my mission!
Hermana Murphy

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Temple Blessings.

Hola Buenos dias..Tengo mucho para decir..wowwww..This week was amazing! The best part of the week was for sure going to the Nauvoo Temple with the branch! We drove a van there, Hermano Jesus Huerta was driving (he is my favorite) and we had no air conditioning so we had all the windows down..the ride was entertaining. The Elders were able to go, as well as the other two Hermanas! It was so special. (Sidenote..the man in the library sitting by me just fell asleep and is snoring..good times) I love our branch and the temple. :) I know that Temple ordinances were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith! We were able to do an endowment session as well as see two sealings of the Ortega and Rodriguez families..The Spirit in the temple was so strong! I cried, full of gratitude for the blessings we receive being members of the church of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to have my own eternal family and be sealed for all time and eternity to my husband and children. Being at the temple with our branch was like being in Heaven with our family! Both families spoke at church yesterday and expressed their love for the Lord and how these ordinances have changed thier life. Heavenly Father loves us so much and wants this level of happiness to be reached by all His children..that is why He restored the church. I bought my now favorite picture of our Savior at church bookstore in is sitting on my desk, entitled "Christ's love"..He is smiling because He loves us so! I also bought two "future missionary" badges at the store for Cynthia Ortega and Debbie Crespo..both are 9 and want to be missionaries like Hermana Reese and me! We ate dinner at the Ortega's house last night and I asked him the difference he felt being married to his wife before and after the Temple ordinance. He explained that after being sealed to her for all time and eternity she is part of him. That is the relationship between Adam and Eve as stated in Genesis. We become one after being married by the Priesthood authority. That is so special!

My appreciation for the Temple ordinances expanded more this week also because of another experience. I found out that one of my favorite Spanish members in Sioux City passed away. I actually called Sioux City on a three way and talked to Hermana and Hermano Briseno..all of us crying hysterically..their daughter Ana passed away because of heart problems.. I am so thankful to have known her because she was an outstanding example for me of faith and love for her Savior. She has a very rough life, with lots of medical issues but she always stayed positive and knew God loved her. Unfortunately, she hadnt made it to the Temple yet to receive her endowments..that made me sad, but I talked to Hermana Briseno again and she said they are taking the Temple classes and will be going to do the work for their daughter. I know Ana is in paradise just waiting for that work to be done! :) She wanted it bad and I am thankful that we have the Temples to be able to do the work for our relatives that have passed away that would have accepted the church and Christ. I will miss Ana but I know I will see her again. Her parents are doing better and remember the plan of salvation, which gives them hope for the future.

On to the investigators..We have our first appointment with Jenn today! She is a friend of a recent convert in our branch that has been coming to church but hasnt accepted formal lessons yet..well today is her birthday and her first lesson! We got her cupcakes and a few presents at the mall yesterday..Reese and I hit up the mem day sales and got a new Spring wardrobe...yeah for cute clothes! Anyways, we are super stoked to teach her..she actually doesnt believe in God so we are starting from ground zero..I know the Spirit has touched her heart, we just have to help her to recognize that. Fransisco obviously wasnt ready for baptism yet, his date was on the 30th of May...We actually saw him on Sunday, so that was great because it had been 2 weeks which is a long time for us! His health has improved, the Elders are going to give him a blessing tomorrow at our appointment..We gave him more reading to do, he had done his other, and he seemed happier! I was so happy to see him I wanted to jump and tackle him..dont worry I held back. We are working with him on getting a better understanding of the importance of church attendance and reading the Book of Mormon! We are setting another date with Angel for the 15th of June..he has the desire to be baptized, he is looking for a job that'll work better with his work schedule. He has been praying and doing his reading..he even invited his brother to church! I told him he wants to share it with people because he knows its true..that is why we want to do missionary work! We have that testimony and want others to feel the joy and receive the blessings. Julio's date will also be moved back to give him more time..we are thinking the 10th of July. We have taught him alot, he just has a problem with the word of wisdom..He has the desire to change and we are encouraging him that time is now! Happiness now, not later. Diana wants to get baptized June 19th but doesnt follow through with her commitments, like going to church. We have an intense lesson planned for today to share with her about keeping the Sabbath day holy. We are going to encourage her that she is ready to be baptized (she desires to follow Christ), just needs to be ready to make the commitments necessary to continue to grow in the Gospel. Gladis is AMAZING. She made us a really yummy dinner last week! She has been doing her reading and praying..we set a date with her for the 24th of July to be married and baptized. Wahoo! Gladis was raised Catholic so the transition from their church doctrine to ours has been a little tough..but she now understands things more clearly. She believes President Thomas S Monson is called of God and that we have the Priesthood in the church. We gave her the new Spanish bible the Church came out with and she is reading the Liahona from General Conference. This week we are going to teach her husband and son as well..emphasize the importance of marriage and living the Law of Chastity. He wants to get married but Gladis wants him to learn about the church as well. The only problem is that she has work on Sundays..we are praying hard for her work schedule to change or for her to train someone to do her part on Sundays. We are going to attempt to bring the Santanas to a lesson this week or have Gladis come to their son's baptism this week-end. (They are friends.) Maria V is doing better..she gets really sad so everyday I am calling her and reminding her that she is a child of God and deserves to be happy. Christ atoned for her sins and we are on this earth to have joy! We aer going to commit her to read the BOM with Noemy, a member of our church (they are best friends). Maria S..we are working with her to have a desire to be married and baptized! She knows the BOM is true and loves what she is learning..just has to make changes to follow all the commandments. Jairon and Sarai..wowwww talk about cool people!! They both came to church and liked it alot. Kept their commitment! They are a couple from Guatamala. Sarai will have her baby in July. :) Jairon is very interested and loves the Bible. He has completely changed his life through Christ. They have so much potential! We are talking about marriage with them..especially since she will be having a baby. Luckily at General Conference the leaders of the church talked lots about teaching your children so we may share a talk. They were able to listen to the talks at church by the families that went to the temple..I think that inspired them...

Well I love you all! I love doing the work of the Lord! I am trying to become a better missionary everyday and serve the Lord with all my heart. We owe Him everything because He gave us everything! Muah!

Hermana Murphy