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