Monday, February 23, 2015

23 February 2015 -- Wichita West -- Spanish Branch

Hello Everyone! How was your week? I hope it was superb!

This week, being the start of a new transfer, Elder Malo and I decided to work twice as hard and hit the ground, not only running, but sprinting.

So we were at this family's house early this week and it just so happened to be that they had some of their family over for dinner. We started talking to them and they said that we could come over and talk to them. Little did we know that they are so ready for the Gospel! We've been able to see them everyday and they've been striving to feel the Spirit more in their lives each day. I know it wasn't just a chance meeting. The Lord truly is in every detail of this work and our lives and when we strive to come closer to Him and have faith in Him, He will not fail us!

On Thursday, we met Ivan. We were driving to go pick up a member and decided to go a way that we normally don't take. We turned and I saw this boy sitting outside kind of with his head down. I turned to Elder Malo and said, "he looks like He needs Jesus." So we stopped and went out and talked to him and it was almost as if he was waiting for us to stop by! He looked up at us as we walked up to him and as we talked to him, a light grew in his eyes. He was looking for the exact peace at that exact time that the Gospel could bring him. And he is so excited to learn more!

This last Saturday, we went to a quincenera for a young woman in the branch who has cancer. It. Was. So cool! There were so many people there (like 800) to support her! It's amazing to see how much love people have for someone they may or may not know.

President Bell has been talking a lot about having a burning desire, going a long with Doctrine and Covenants 88:67-68, which says, "And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." I absolutely love that. As we progress through life, through trials, through happiness, and do it with faith in Christ and with an eye single to the glory of God, we will come out on top and will increase in the capacity to see the hand of the Lord. On my mission, I've been able to see the Lord touch souls in ways I can't even begin to explain. But it has filled me with light to see this Gospel change lives and bring more joy into peoples' lives.

I know this Gospel brings more true joy than anything on this earth. I know that Jesus Christ has gone through everything we go through and is always reaching out to lift us back up. I know our Heavenly Father answers our prayers. It may not be in the way or time we expect, but they are answered.

Thank you all so much for all of the emails! I appreciate every word!

I love you all! Have an amazing week!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha

If you want to write me or send me something, my address is:
Elder Benjamin Isaac Murphy
7011 E. 13th St. N.
Wichita, KS 67206-1219

Monday, February 16, 2015

16 February 2015 -- Wichita West -- Spanish Branch

Hey everyone! How are things going?
So transfers are this week and.... I'll be staying in Wichita West with Elder Malo!! I'm super excited! There is so much more that I can learn here and so much more I can progress! It's going to be a fantastic transfer, I can feel it!
Nolberto was baptized on Saturday! I don't think I've told you about him yet. He's really good friends with a member and she asked us to start teaching him about a month ago. We quickly found out that he has so much faith and was so ready and eager to learn more about Jesus Christ and grow closer to Him. He tends to forget things sometimes, which was an interesting obstacle, but with patience, we were able to help him plant the seed of his faith and grow his testimony and conversion.
This last Tuesday was Zone Conference and I learned so much! We really focused (as we have been for this transfer) on Elder Holland's talk "Feed My Sheep". I might've talked about it a little bit before, but it really focuses on the last chapter of John with the resurrected Savior's encounter with His twelve apostles. Christ asks Peter 3 times if he loves Him. Do we love the Savior more than anything in our lives and are we willing to leave behind our "fish and boats and nets" and feed His sheep forever? Love is at the basis of everything. We are here because we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to become like He is. Jesus Christ was sent here because "God so loved the world" and through the ultimate act of love, being the Atonement, we can return and live with our Heavenly Father and be with our families for eternity. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us perfectly and absolutely nothing can seperate us from that love.
Another thing I've really seen come up this week which is also an expression of our Heavenly Father's love, are trials of our faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says that the trial of our faith is "more precious than that of gold". In the moment of our trial, that makes absolutely no sense. Because trails are never fun. But when we see that we will grow, progress, and increase in our capacity of faith and love because of our trial, then it becomes more precious than gold. Gold perishes in fire. But as we experience the refiner's fire and persevere through our trial of faith, we will come out stronger than ever before. I have definitely grown a testimony of trials since I've been on my mission. I know that we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith and that when we act in faith, we increase in our capacity to have faith and experience joy. And our Heavenly Father know this. He knows the exact event and the exact timing that will allow you to progress and grow the most. And when we are experiencing trials, we have someone right by our side the entire way, who knows exactly what and how we are feeling, who is our Savior Jesus Christ.
I know the Jesus Christ lives. I know He loves us and because of that love, we can conquer all things. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and can answer any question in our lives. Miracles do happen. I see them every day and I know they come from a loving Heavenly Father. When something hard comes, know that a miracle is right around the corner. All we need to do is press forward with faith and with a steadfastness in Christ.
I love you all and I greatly appreciate every email and letter you send! Thank you for all you do!
Elder Murphy
Kia Kaha

 Nolberto, Elder Malo, Elder Murphy

Thursday, February 12, 2015

9 February 2015 -- Wichita West -- Spanish Branch

Hey everyone!! How are you all doing?

Wow! This transfer has just flown by! I can't believe there's only one week left in it! Time really does fly by when you're constantly busy and constantly working. And the Lord has truly blessed us with miracles from our efforts here in the Kansas Wichita Mission.

On Saturday, Ever, Elida, and Clarissa were baptized! They were so excited and are definitely ready to continue growing in the Gospel. Their dad came, which is fantastic! He said he really felt the Spirit and felt really great about everything that happened! These kids really have grown such strong faith and such a strong testimony of and in Christ and it's amazing and a true miracle to see them grow so much, even in just a few weeks.

Alejandro came to church yesterday and we were able to put him back on date for the 28th of this month! He said he really just doesn't want to jump into things, especially being continually bombarded with life. But he's definitely excited to continue to move forward and progress and grow. We had a lesson with him, Araceli, and Danny and it was great! The Spirit has grown so much stronger in their home and in their lives. It's amazing to hear about the miracles, blessings, and changes that they are seeing as they grow closer to Jesus Christ. We watched a video with them called Missionary work and the Atonement. I would highly recommend for everyone to look it up! It really talks about why being a missionary is so hard, and it gives me a new excitement to continue pressing forward and work even harder!

Elder Malo and I got hit with a lot of duties as counselors of the branch presidency. It took up a lot of time, but as we continued to work diligently, the Lord blessed us with miracles. Just remember that when things are getting tough, as they surely will frequently, know that something, a miracle, is right around the corner. Because we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith. When we persevere through our trials and learn to grow from them, we receive a witness and our faith is strengthened.

We had a zone training on Saturday and one of the trainings was on the power of the Sacrament. The Sacrament is a gift. A gift given to us that we can be clean each and every week. The Atonement is for everyone individually. the Lord is just waiting for us to take it in, internalize it, and then make it count. He wants us to come and change and become more like Him. The Sacrament renews, refines, and then perfects us. However dim our days may seem, know that the Savior of the Lord, Jesus Christ, has felt every bit of it and is by our side every step of the way. Brad Wilcox gave a talk called The Atonement: After all we can do. He gives the analogy of life as a mountain and his talk is centered on the scripture that says, "for it is by grace we are saved after all we can do." It's not like we climb as far up the mountain as we can and then the Savior comes and helps push us up the rest of the way. He is there with us every step of the climb, helping and encouraging us.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that only through Him can we return to live with our Father in Heaven. He loves us all perfectly and is always reaching out to help and support us no matter what we do. All we have to do is take His hand.

I love you all and I am full of gratitude for all of the emails you send me! Thank you for all that you do and have a fantastic week!

Elder Murphy
Elder Murphy, Elida Treviza, Clarissa Treviza, Ever Treviza, Elder Malo

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Elder Murphy & Elder Malo

Today we received a text from a woman in Kansas. She sent this picture of Ben and his trainer at the church this morning. It's so amazing to be able to get this picture today. I feel so extremely blessed and loved.

Elder Murphy and Elder Malo

Monday, February 2, 2015

2 February 2015 - Wichita West - Spanish Branch

Buenos dias everyone!!

Time sure does fly by doesn't it? I hope everyone's week was fantastic! It was definitely a rollercoaster of a week here for us for sure, but we continued to be diligent and miracles happened!

Alejandro kind of dropped out of contact for a few days. He felt like he was being bombarded with life, which I feel like we all can be at times, which is understandable. But the other day, he texted us and said he wants to meet up again and asked for chapters in the Book of Mormon to read so he could catch up! He's definitely excited to learn more and progress towards his baptism!

Ever, Elida, and Clarissa continue to be super excited about their baptism. So excited, in fact, that we moved their baptism up to this coming weekend! They're reading every night and are even taking notes! They're so diligent and it's so amazing to see the light of Christ grow in their eyes as they continue to learn more. Ever bore his testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday and at first, he wasn't too serious about it, but once he started talking, I could tell it was from the heart and he was being sincere. Araceli and Danny also bore their testimonies yesterday, and they brought in such a strong Spirit into the meeting. It is amazing to see how much their testimony of the Savior and His gospel have grown in just a few weeks. They are definitely kingdom builders.

Speaking of bearing testimonies, Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk called "Witnesses of Christ" and it talks about how we should always bear testimony of Christ. Because of Him and through Him, all things are possible. Someone shared a quote about faith with me this wee by President Boyd K. Packer, and it says:

 "Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness. If everything has to be known, if everything has to be explained, if everything has to be certified, then there is no need for faith. Indeed, there is no room for it... There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen... There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things...It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect...In a world filled with skepticism and doubt, the expression 'seeing is believing promotes the attitude, 'you show me, and I will believe.' We want all of the proof and all of the evidence first. It seems hard to take things on faith. When will we learn that in spiritual things it works the other way about--that believing is seeing? Spiritual belief precedes spiritual knowledge. When we believe in things that are not seen but are nevertheless true, then we have faith."

My testimony and faith in Jesus Christ has grown exponentially on my mission so far, and there's so much more to grow. We don't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith, for sure. So when things are getting hard, and you're at the point of breaking, and it seems like there's no way you can get through this, that is when you press forward with steadfastness in Christ. That is when you're almost about to turn the corner and receive the witness of your faith. Don't give up. Persevere.

I love you all and I greatly appreciate every single one of your emails and thoughts and words of encouragement. Thank you so much! Have an amazing week! 

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha