Wednesday, July 28, 2010


We got transfer calls...drum roll please...staying in Des Moines and training again! YEAHHHHHHH. Training is such an important role, I know Heavenly Father will be guiding me and helping me! I love this area so much. Hermana Reese goes home to Utah, I am going to miss her so much. I have learned a lot from her and her sweet Spirit. Hermana McGuire is training in another city…I will have a “grand daughter” in the mission! It has been so great serving with Hermana McGuire another transfer, she is such an obedient hard worker. Here in Des Moines we are working with some amazing people; we were able to do lots of splits this week with Hermanas in the branch. I am so thankful for their help. I have seen the branch grow a lot since I have been here, much more supportive of the missionary work.
Pedro's baptism was so special last night! A recent convert, Yordan baptized him so that was really neat for him. Pedro was so happy and full of the Spirit. It was funny, while we were taking pictures Elder Nelsen told him to smile and show his teeth and Pedro responded, "there arent any." Even though he doesnt have many teeth he was stilling smiling big. We love him so much and are pleased with his desires to change through the atonement and follow Christ. On Sunday he had doubts about tithing and asked us questions during Sacrament meeting, then was happy to see that that was the topic of discussion in Sunday School. Heavenly Father has really been strengthening him. He is really happy with his new set of big scriptures, he committed to reading them every day..also looking at his CTR ring often. We will be visiting him every day until his confirmation on Sunday.

We decided to postpone Alejondro's baptism until August 7th with Hector. Even though he passed the interview we felt he didnt to be more fully prepared. I studied stewardship a lot this week and realized how important our role as missionaries is. Just like children, we need to prepare our investies to enter the world and fight the adversary. He needs to do that once he is fully prepared and then he can be held accountable for the promises he will make with Heavenly Father. This was a big growing experience for our companionship; not to push him but to be patient. He actually was content with that decision because he is confused on some doctrine and his family in Mexico arent supportive (they are Catholic). We plan on seeing him very often and going over all the lessons again (very basic.) We are also going to give him the BOM children's version so he can understand the stories better. He will be prepared! He has the desire to be baptized because he wants to follow Christ, but he needs to understand this is the only true church on the earth!

Unfortunately Hector's date needed to be pushed back as well...he broke the Word of Wisdom which he was following so consistently. Its ok though. He is determined and excited to be baptized on the 7th of August. He was sad last night at the baptism because he wanted to be baptized, but that just makes him want it even more! He understands the doctrine pretty well, we are just helping him accept the Atonement in his life. Once we repent, Christ doesnt hold us accountable anymore for that sin. That is the beauty of the Atonement! So merciful!

Elizabeth is doing very well and wanted to get baptized but her mom said she is too young. We are going to try to teach the mom more so that she can see how much Elizabeth knows and how responsible she is. She is ready to make this decision for herself! I see light at the end of the tunnel.

Jenn told Yordan that she didnt want to learn anymore, but then showed up at church and the baptism. We havent made an appointment with her...playing it cool. We will make one soon, because she was progressing! I think she got a little scared about baptism. She told us that she was paying tithing and fast offering. She is def a dry member. I hope she gains the confidence she needs from the Holy Ghost to have the courage to be baptized! I love her so much.

We had a strong lesson with Gladis and Eder about how the Gospel blesses families. We read the Family Proclamation and they really enjoyed it. Hermana Crespo was there and testified how much the Gospel has helped her and her husband and how they are going to the Temple to be sealed..and that made an impact on Gladis and Eder. The Spirit was strong! We are seeing them today and are going to teach the Restoration. Gladis is happy that I am staying. :) Me too! I see so much potential in this family. We will be planning another soccer activity to get Eder involved with the Hermanos in the branch. Gladis asked her boss for part of Sunday off..she said no. I told Gladis to explain the entire situation so she is going to. I am praying so hard that she will be able to live the Sabbath Day. She cant sacrifice her job for her family but I told her church is more important. When we read the 10 commandments, she realized that her job was an obstacle in her way back to Heavenly Father. She will figure it out.

As far as less actives...We are going to keep working with Hermano Lopez, we taught him about his role as a father and priesthood holder. We need to get a hold of Hermano Huizar, especially since we need to teach his wife!

The branch as a whole is doing great. The Ortegas (were less active) gave 2 talks on Sunday and did really well. I studied a lot of the General Conference Talks this week and we shared them with families in the branch. The talk by President Eyring about leading our children home to Heavenly Father and another talk about our mission as parents.

Other exciting things this week..I got to go to Bob’s birthday lunch and meet Bompy’s cousin, Diane and her daughter, Julie. That was so special! I also went to the zoo on pday with Jenni Crespo, Debby and Kevin. I love the zoo! I am going to go to the San Diego zoo when I get home. It is so neat to interact with other species. This week-end the Crespo family and Galvan Family will be going to the Nauvoo Temple to be sealed! I really want to go and support them, we will see if it works out. The Crespo family is like part of my family. Debby was so excited to find out I was staying, our birthdays are both August 23 so we will be having a joint birthday party. J Also this week-end my “mother” in the mission Hermana Madsen is coming to visit! She will be at the branch on Sunday when Pedro receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost. So many exciting things I cant handle it! The Lord sure is blessing us in the work. I love it.

Well, this week will be super eventful. I will let you know how it goes getting the greenie situated in Des Moines! Until Monday! Love you all.

Hermana Murphy

Monday, July 12, 2010

busy, busy.


This week has been super busy like it always is! We have lots of people to teach so we did splits a lot with members. The members in our branch are more willing to help out now, so that is great! Siste Bee even went out with me on exchanges, she likes helping us. :) We are doing the soccer activity again today, that we did last week. It really helped some of our investigators get involved and make friends with the members. That'll be fun!
As far as updates for investigators, we have had progression this week. Pedro Martinez, whose date is for July 13th will not be ready..he is fighting a word of wisdom isssue. We started the quit smoking program and he was doing super strong, until last night. His boss recently changed his work hours to Sundays, which made it impossible for him to come to church. So last night, he asked his boss for Sundays off and his boss fired him and said, now you can go to your church meetings. So he was really mad and smoked last night to calm himself down. We are going to get more members involved to help him out..fellowship him through this hard time. Hermana Ibarra was a huge help in a lesson we had, because she had to quit smoking and drinking coffee as well. Pedro received a blessing from the Elders and he has faith that through the help of Christ he will overcome this. We exlained to him today that this is a trial of his faith and the road to baptism will be tough, but he can do it. We are having members in the branch look for housing and job opportunities for him. (He really needs a job to support his family in El Salvador). As far as commitments, he has done all his reading and praying. He has been listening to the BOM on cd. He is the best guy ever! We will continue having daily contact and showing him the support he needs. The bright side of being fired is the fact he can come to church now. So we are going to pray about a new date for him.

Three investigators came to church Sunday. We committed Alejondro to baptism the first lesson we had with him. He agreed to it, but we havent made it solid we will confirm that date this week. We are thinking for the 27th of July. He really liked church and stayed for all three hours. We found him a fellowshipper to sit by him and attend classes with him, Jesus Huerta! He is way nice. Alejondro wants to start a new life and quit drinking and be good examples for his children who live in Mexico. :) Well, Jose Guzman is also amazing. We have taught him once, and he participated a lot in the classes at church. He has a solid christian background, and I feel will progress rapidly. He actually gave Alejondro a ride to church, so they are friends now. Elizabeth also came to church with her little brother. Sister Bee and I taught her and her mom this week. They were both very receptive and eager to learn. Her mom works on Sundays but agreed to having a member pick her kids up. Elizabeth is 11 and very mature for her age. She even came to the baptism we had in the branch Saturday night! She is a very special find. We need to for sure find solid rides for her and fellowshippers. We invited some of the young women to come to her lesson with us this week.

As for other investigators...Gladis is still progressing, doing her reading and praying...we had a strong lesson about the Sabbath day with Hermana Gomez. She brought the Spirit strong in that lesson and that gave Gladis the desire to attend church for herself but mainly for her children. We covered some of her doubts this week, comparing the doctrine of the Catholic church to the Mormon Church. For example, the restoration of the Gospel in comparison to a continued line of authority. She understands it very well, which means she understands the importance of it. Who has the authority? We emphasized how crucial it is for her to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, because it it a fruit of the Prophet Joseph Smith. She said since learning with us, she has grown closer to Heavenly Father and feels the Spirit more in her life. The confusing part for her is she remembers feeling the Spirit at the Catholic she needs to gain her testimony of the BOM and that Joseph Smith was a prophet to see the difference. Ofcourse she is going to feel it there while learning about Christ and God! She is working on changing her work schedule and talking more about the church with her boyfriends. We hope he comes to the activity today!

We made more progress with Jenn this week. We talked about the Spirit and about how she is born with the light of Christ. She genuinely wants to do good, and that comes from Christ, not society. We are helping her recognize that she has felt the Spirit! She went on vacation this week, so she wasnt at church, we are hoping she will feel a difference. We asked her to pray/fast about baptism and she doesnt feel ready yet.

I love Hermana Huizar! We are pals. She is the wife of a convert and we eat at their house every week. She is totally open to learn and is doing great. We did a lesson on how the BOM and Bible work together and both testify of Christ. We read Esek 37:15-16 about the tribe of Judah and Ephraim. Also John 10:16 about how Christ was talking about his "other sheep" in the Americas and how she can read more about that in 3Nephi 11 (once ressurrected he visits the Americas). They are a great couple and want to strengthen their family and I know the Gospel will bless them!

We had the opportunity to teach Omar's family. That was special. We are going to try to teach them the lessons again because they dont feel that they were well prepared for baptism. Sad. :( We are going to try to get a hold of more less actives this week.

We found some sweet new people as well, that seem prepared to receive the Gospel. Missionary work is fun!
We are doing better in our companionship..learning from one another and growing. I am working on studying more basic doctrine to know how to explain it more clearly to the invsetigators. I am also trying to testify more! I love this work and am sad I will be leaving it in December. I look forward to the 3 transfers I have a head of me..with the new Hermanas coming out! Yippee!!

Love you all,
Hermana Murphy

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Staying in Des Moines!!


We got transfer calls this morning...I am staying in Des Moines which I am super excited about. I am sad though because Reese is leaving to go to Ottumwa. Meh! I love her so much. I love the other Hermanas too. I might be with Hermana Jordan (a little unlikely since she served here before) or my "daughter" Hermana McGuire. It'll be an exciting change. I get to drive again and do my best to get around..yikes. I get 6 more weeks of awesomeness in Des Moines.

First of all, exchanges went very well! Hermana Reese got to go on her temple trip because she is going home the end of I spent a day with Sister Spencer...I just love Sister Spencer. She has so much faith and love. :) I learned alot serving with her for a day, she was really good at sharing personal experiences and applying the lesson to the investigators. We also did splits again this Friday and it was awesome! We had some strong lessons, the testimonies of members are really making a difference. Hermana Crespo got to drive on the freeway which she never does..that was exciting. We also worked hard this week on finding fellowshippers for all the we made index cards for various members with lists of investies to call..we hope this will improve friendship and daily contact. Okay so I am going to give you the updates on the investigators...Angel is still working on getting a new job so he can come to church on Sundays. We feel that Heavenly Father is waiting for him to take a leap of faith and quit his second job which is on the week-ends. This situation is hard for me because he is so ready to be a member! He does his reading and feels that it is right..his baptism is just on hold right now..We had dinner with him! He made carne asada and it was really good. Hermano Santiago came with us and they are becoming good friends...We are focusing right now on teaching Angel the priesthood and his potential as a child of God. He can bless his earthly familiy by being a strong priesthood holder. :) Diana's situtation has gotten more complicated..she says she wants to be baptized this week-end but is having trouble committing to coming to church every sunday. We got the okay from her parents..we will see her hopefully today to see where her desires are. She moved to live with her Aunt down the street and now has been attending the Pentecostal church. We are praying so hard that she will be baptized, if not this week-end, soon! We had a good lesson with her Friday with the help of Hermana Crespo; we went through all the baptismal questions and she was good for the interview. Oscar has disappeared so we need to find him. Yaraira got sick this week so we havent seen her, we know she wants to be baptized so if not this week-end, in a few weeks. We are going to start preparing her more, she told us that her favorite thing to do in her free time is read the Book of Mormon. She is an angel! Gladis has made progress...likes reading the modern revelation of the leaders of the church. Her husband has now agreed to get married in the Catholic church..then Gladis can be baptized in our church. It is an interesting situation, but as long as she is married civily! I love her so of my best friends for sure. She wants the best for her family. She talked to her job and is working out a deal with her boss to hopefully train someone to work every other Sunday. We are planning a Branch soccer game to get her husband involved, he loves soccer. Fransisco is feeling better and started reading the BOM again, there is a new light in his eyes again. I was happy to see that. He will come around. We have had two strong lessons with Jenn recently..she is such a sweetie. She actually prayed this week again. PROGRESS. Sister Spencer made an impact on her, Im sure. We focused on the fact that she is a daughter of God and God wants to lead her in her life through the Spirit and prayer. She is going to still come to the Spanish branch, because she said it is like her family..but her and Jordan (RC) are going to go to YSA activities. I am excited for that because she will make more friends in the church! This week has been great, we went and visited a Christian Church because Jacob would come to ours if we went to his. Interesting experience...I love being a missionary and am learning more everyday..I have faith those we are teaching are going to be baptized! We are going to do all we can do and depend on the Lord. :)

Random highlights: We went to a birthday party for Esmeralda's husband..that was fun, we blew up like 50 baloons for it and we also went to a baby shower. Fiestas! We also ran into an old investie named Lorenzo..we are going to teach him again. Wahoo! I am doing well...really into studying right now. Ofcourse I think of questions everyday and am not afraid to ask..I am thankful for my fellow missionaries...I have started reading the BOM outloud in Spanish and it has helped.

Have a great week. :)

Love Hermana Murphy

4th of July!!

Hello all!

I love my mission! I am learning new things everyday; such a huge growing experience. Right now I have been studying the Atonement a lot and learning that yes we are born with imperfections! It is part of God's plan :) We all need to depend on Christ to make weaknesses become strengths and to be forgiven of our sins. I am working on being more humble and recognizing that everything in my life is a gift from God and to receive confidence through Him and His help through the Spirit. I sure did like Zone Conferene yesterday! President and Sister Jergesen are so awesome! They are from San Diego and have a family full of athletes (including sons that played BYU mens vball). It has been fun to get to know them so far. I told them that they remind me of my parents. Their training at Zone Conference was amazing. Sister Jergensen talked a lot about showing love towards people we are teaching, even in a hand shake! President talked about the Gospel of Christ and we read 2Nephi 31. The APS trained on being one with Christ and making our will God's will. The Godhead is so united in purpose, we need to be that way with our companions..we are working on that in our threesome. Man, is it tough. I am going to organize team building activities for us three. We are all together for a reason, and have our strengths and weaknesses. This morning we talking about how we each need to be ourself, because God made us that way, rather than try to be our companion...then the companionship can reach the potential that God intends...

Happy 4th of July! We are so lucky to live with freedom! We went to the Chacun's house for dinner and shared a scripture on how we are all freed through the Atonement of Christ and also Joseph Smith was called to be a Prophet when he did because of the freedoms in the US. We also went to Yolandas house for the 4th and realized that they were celebrating the birthday of a Catholic Saint. Thats okay. We got to see a traditional Mexican dance. A random fun thing we did this week was go on the Carousel with Cynthia Ortega at the branch bbq. We took some cute pics. I love our Spanish branch here! :)
We had a great week! We have one baptismal date with Pedro (July 13). The date might be moved back because of Word of Wisdom obstacles. We are helping him quit smoking and drinking coffee. Today we are going to start the program thatll help him kick the smoking. He is determined to stop and has already cut back a lot. He did request a blessing from the Elders, so we are arranging that...and we invited him to fast to receive more strength. We are working on getting him a solid ride on Sundays especially since he might have work after the first meeting, Hermano Huizar is going to drop him off at work. Hermano Huizar is a convert that is Pedro's designated "fellowshipper." He is also helping us with the quit smoking program. :) Pedro has been doing his reading/listening to the Book of Mormon. We love him so much! He is so cool!

Wow! We made progress this week with Gladis and her family. We went to her son's birthday party to show support to the family...and try to talk to her boyfriend more. The thing with Gladis is, she has a baptismal date set for the 24th of July. Her and her boyfriend need to be married before she can be baptized...and he hasnt been very supportive of our church. Guess what! We had an activity Monday night..we played soccer with the branch and he came. Hermano Ortega, Javier, Esteben, and Enrique (investie) was way fun. Her boyfriend loosened up a bit..I think he was impressed by my headers and intense soccer skills..anyways we taught him last night with Gladis! We watched Finding Faith in Christ and taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We used 2Nefi 31, what we read in Zone Conference, and he committed to finishing the chapter. We sure do see potential in this family! Gladis is completely prepared and with the support of her husband and his change of heart, miracles are going to happen. It was super cute because after the lesson, Gladis was so happy and whispered to him, "they have been praying and fasting to get the opportunity to teach you." She was all smiles. We are meeting with them again twice this week.

Jenn has really progressed this week as well. We had a strong lesson with her after Zone Conference discussing testimony and how hers is developing. She committed to fast/pray about the baptismal date of July 27th. We feel that she is ready to make that step, she just has to recognize that and have confidence that she knows enough. I sure do love her and I know Heavenly Father is so pleased with her, that she is opening up her heart to him. She mentioned she she feels more comfortable praying and relaxed. Yeah for the Spirit!

Enrique came to the soccer activity and loved it. We had a lesson with him this week about living the Sabbath day to help motivate him to come to church. He is praying about it. We explained the importance of the Sacrament.He is determined to change and be a stronger son of God. We taught him at Hermano Galvan's house and they seemed to click well. Fellowshipper status.

We are in love with the Torres family. We were blessed with the opportunity to teach Hugo!! He is so busy with work so its been tough to catch him. We taught him about the Restoration and is blew his mind! He is praying about Joseph Smith being called as a Prophet and has been reading the BOM. He really wants his family to be happy so we emphasized how the Gospel blesses families. He told us that a few days before we found his business card, he was praying to God for guidance. That was so awesome to hear, that we called him because we felt prompted to and it was an answer to his prayer. The Gospel is true! We are going back and teaching the family this week. We made the kids prayer rocks to help remind them to pray twice a day. :)

We went by the house of an investie named Ronnie and found Jose Guzman there. He is super prepared. He had so many questions that related to the Plan of Salvation, it was amazing. After teaching him the plan..he told us that he had been praying to God to send him a message or guidance in his life and we showed up! He was kind of freaked out but we explained that God works in mysterious ways and this is an example of His love for His children. Wow. It is so awesome being a missionary and being a tool in the Lord's hands. We went back for an apt with him and we found two other friends that have lots of potential. Basically, we will be at that house a lot.

For the fourth of July we went by Jose Carlos and Yolanda's party. They are new investies that we found this week while checking up on a referrel. They were bbqing outside in their backyard, so we oymed them and they gave us food! They are super welcoming. We taught Yolanda once this week and she is excited to learn about hte Gospel. This family is going to progress!

As far as less-actives..we found out that Omar's family was we are teaching his sister that does not remember anything. She is really nice and wants to learn. We were excited because we taught Omar's mom and that was a miracle considering we taught Omar (a former investie) for 5 months and she never wanted to listen. We are also working with the Lopez family. I love Hermano Lopez so much! He is so cool. We had a branch bbq this last week-end and I sat by him and talked about the outdoors. He is less-active because of some doubts about the BOM. So we are going by weekly to check up and answer questions.

Well thats all folks..until Monday. Miss you and love you. Be happy!

Hermana Murphy