Monday, March 30, 2015

30 March 2015 -- Wichita West -- Transfers to Great Bend -- Spanish

Hey everyone!! How was your week?

This week is transfers and.... I'm being transferred to Great Bend Spanish with Elder Downs! I absolutely love Wichita West and am so grateful for Elder Malo and how much he has taught me. I truly have learned so much! But new miracles are ahead!

This last week of the transfer just flew by! Elder Malo and I were doing all we could do to finish strong and we did! Josh wasn't baptized, but, his mom is so much more open to coming to church and she wants her whole family to be baptized! It was truly a miracle that I didn't expect to happen! I know that the Lord blesses us with miracles and tender mercies every single day. All we have to do is look for them! But they do come in the Lord's way and in His own timing! We just need to be patient.

So last week, I said was filled with lots of stretching, but lots of faith building experiences at the same time! This week was a true recovery week, gaining back that greenie fire and burning desire. But I really focused on faith in Jesus Christ, because it's, of course, at the center of everything! Where's our faith in Him, where's His faith in us, and where's our faith in ourselves? They all center around faith. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, and He has asked us, called and chosen us, to do something, then we have no reason to doubt ourselves, because through Him because of Him, and in His strength, we can do all things and overcome all things. The Lord has blessed each of us with specific talents and strengths that are there to help us accomplish and reach our potentials. Yes, we all have weaknesses but if we humble ourselves and are willing to change, the Lord can turn those weaknesses into strengths (Ether 12:27). His Grace is our constant energy source through which we are able to accomplish tasks and overcome obstacles. Sometimes, when we're feeling like we haven't done enough, it's because He has humbled us and is making and turning those weaknesses into strengths.

I found a really awesome scripture this week that helped me understand more about my role as an instrument in the Lord's hands and Him being that light. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light , which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The Lord is that Light. And we are conduits of that Light and through us, He brings light to the world. Hymns in Spanish translate a little differently to English, and when "Llamados a server" (Called to Serve, 249) is translated directly, one part say, "We go to a world in darkness to proclaim the light". I thought that was pretty awesome!

Well, I hope you all have an amazing week and an amazing Easter weekend and remember the real reason for Easter. I know Jesus Christ lives, and because He lives, we have a "perfect brightness of hope".

I love you all! Thank you so much for every single email and word of encouragement! Have a super semana!!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha

Monday, March 23, 2015

23 March 2015 -- Wichita West -- Spanish Branch

Hey everyone! How's it going??

This week was definitely full of stretching and increased faith. It was awesome!
Elder Malo and I talked to Josh's mom about his baptism this coming weekend and, at first, she was kind of eerie about it. Explaining to us that she doesn't think he's ready. But as we talked to her, she saw the blessings and joy that has already come into Josh in the short time we've talked to him and really opened up! She now wants to come to church and bring the whole family! I know the Lord just asks for patience sometimes, because when we are patient with Him and His timing, He will bless us with miracles.

On Friday, we had a specialized training and we got TIWIs!! If you don't know what they are, they're pretty much little driving coaches and monitors that sit on the dashboard. Just something to get used to! But at the specialized training, they talked about a few really awesome things!

First, on March 28th (Happy Birthday Mom!), the Church will be releasing another Easter video called Because He Lives! It's a lot like last year's: Because Of Him. They really focus on the hope that the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ (the real reason for Easter) gives us in our lives. Because of Him and Because He lives, we will all have second chances and can have new beginnings.

Second, we talked and focused a lot on visions and enlarging our visions. When we see ourselves through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's eyes, our perspective on our eternal potential completely changes. Don't let anyone tell you to settle for less than that. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who has given us the opportunity to progress and learn and return to Him, reaching that potential. You can do anything if you envision it. In other words, if you can see it, you can be it!! If we think of Lehi's Dream in the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 8), we notice that his dream, his vision, was given at the beginning of their journey, with many trials and hardships still ahead. They were able to see what they could attain if they just press forward. Our vision helps us and pushes us to move forward.

I've been focusing a lot on praying as an agent as well this week. Elder David A. Bednar always talks about "acting and not being acting upon", as it talks about in the scriptures. A couple of months before I came on my mission, he came to the KWM and talked about praying as an agent. When we pray for something sincerely, it comes out of the burning desire of our hearts. Well, we can't just sit back and wait for an answer, wishing that it comes. We need to promise Heavenly Father that we're going to do something specific for the miracle to come. I know that Heavenly Father wants us to pray to Him and He loves us so much, He wants to give us answers. But when we pray with faith and as an agent, we need to go out and act.

That's about all the time I have for this week! Thank you all so much for everything you do and the impact you've all made on my life! I appreciate everything! I love you all! Have an amazing week!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha

Dinner Saturday Night
Hermanas, Araceli and Danny Flores, Elder Malo, Elder Murphy
Alejandro De La Rosa

Monday, March 16, 2015

16 March 2015 -- Wichita West -- Spanish Branch

Hello everybody!!! How are you all? I hope you're doing grand!

This week was awesome, yet so exhausting. I love it!

This week we've been focusing a lot on Josh, Fabiola, and the Salvador family.

Josh is super interested and awesome and is so excited to be baptized on the 28th! The rest of his family isn't very interested, but we keep talking to him about light and letting Christ's light shine through him. I know he can and will be such a huge example to his family.

Fabiola was definitely a miracle. While Alejandro was doing his baptismal interview, Elder Malo and I went out and did some finding, but it seemed like nobody wanted to talk, or answer their door in general. Maybe because it was like 10 degrees outside with a 0 degree windchill, but that's beside the point. We got to Fabiola's house, and it just so happened that she was going to be taking a nursing test the next day. Perfect time to start praying about the restored gospel, in my opinion. Yesterday, we had her pray specifically if being baptized on the 28th is what the Lord has in store for her, and the Spirit was so strong in her house. And there was a new and growing light in her eyes. It was amazing!

We've been meeting with the Salvador family since I got to Wichita. They've really had a hard time following through with their commitments, but as we continued to work with them, their desire to learn and apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ grew. The other night, Elder Malo and I met with Hermano Salvador and really had a sincere talk about his desire. After some prayer and meditation, the light and Spirit in the room was beyond comprehension. He told us that they'd be ready by the 28th.

This week, I've been connecting my studies about light and desire. In Elder Bednar's talk "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary" (highly recommended for anyone), he gives the example of us being like fiber optic cable. Through the long, thin strands of glass in fiber optic cable, light signals are transmitted over very long distances. Just as the glass in these cables must be pure to conduct the light efficiently and effectively, so we should become and remain worthy conduits through whom the Spirit of the Lord can operate. But we must be careful in our service that we are conduits and channels; we are not the source of the light. The light of Christ should shine through and reflect off of us. Shine through that others see Him when they look at us. And reflect off that we may share the light we have received and turn outward in love and compassion.

I know that we all have the light of Christ in us. We just need to be willing to let it shine. I know blessings beyond compare will come because of the love Christ has for us and that we will develop and grow for those around us.

I love you all and am overflowing with gratitude for every email and letter you send me! Thank you so much! Have a fantastic 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

Friday, March 13, 2015

9 March 2015 -- Wichita West -- Spanish Branch

Hey everyone! How was everyone's week? I hope it was awesome!
This week completely flew by (as usual)!

So this last Tuesday, we went on exchanges with the Wellington Elders and I went to Wellington with Elder Liechty. It was a pretty normal day, and hey! He even gave me a tie to wear that day! Anyway, we went to a family that he told me they had just started teaching, but who had been taught by several sets of missionaries. We went inside and chaos pretty much immediately broke out. They told me they had a tradition that any new missionary has to have their tie cut off before they'll listen to them. It was so they felt "comfortable" in their home. So, out of love, I let them. Immediately, the mom came at me with safety scissors and started tugging, but nothing was really happening and the son ended up having to whip out his pocket knife and slice it off. Anyway, tie gone, we sat down and suddenly got bombarded by insane questions, almost one right after the other. It was insanity, but through it all, I focused on the basic principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ: faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. After things settled down, the dad stood up and said, talking about their son, "He needs to catch up on his seminary homework. Oh, by the way, I'm Eric Reinhardt. I'm the Wellington Ward young men's president." Yup. They were members. And active. I'd straight up been bamboozled.

This week, I've really been stretched in all aspects of the work. And I have felt an increased capacity of love and of faith in and for both my Lord, Savior, and Friend Jesus Christ and those who I come into contact with. One scripture that I felt has changed my entire perception and outlook on the work and the future is one that President Bell shared with us. It's Doctrine and Covenants 88:67-68 and I might have shared it before, but here it is again: "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."

When we seek to become swallowed up in the will of our Heavenly Father, so many people think that we lose our identity, but in fact, it's the other way around; we find our true identity. We are filled with an almost literal light and are able to take the necessary steps to reach our eternal potential. That light is Jesus Christ. I know that when we apply His Atonement into our lives, we are able to change and become the best that we can be. And that change is most of the time, not one huge, astonishing, ground-shaking experience; it's the small, subtle everyday changes that happen in our lives. We may not see the changes immediately, but I know that if we remember how it was, we'll see ourselves changed and increased in the capacity for light, love, and faith.

I hope you all have an amazing week and keep moving forward! Yo se que por medio de Jesucristo, podemos hacer cualquier cosa que El nos pide hacer y cambiar.

I love you all and I greatly appreciate every email and letter that I receive from you!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha

Monday, March 2, 2015

2 March 2015 -- Wichita West -- Spanish Branch

Hello everyone! How was your week?? This week just flew by!

First of all, Alejandro followed the example of Jesus Christ and was baptized yesterday! It was truly a miracle! We had lost contact with him for a couple of weeks, because he'd been super busy, and we were going to have to move the baptism back if he didn't contact us early in the week. Sure enough, our prayers were answered and he texted us early in the week! We refreshed everything we'd taught him and he was just so ready! I know that we don't have to know every little thing to have a confirmation that this is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's why we're on this earth. To learn and to prepare to return to our Heavenly Father and all He asks is that we move forward with faith in Jesus Christ and do the things that He asks us to do, even though we may not always know the full reasons for being asked to do them.

I've noticed a lot this week that a lot of our lives are all about timing. Elder Malo and I went out and did some finding the other day. We talked to a few people who didn't want to talk, of course, but we had a really strong feeling about this one house, but no one was home. We kept going and went to this apartment complex that we felt we needed to talk to a few people at, but the people we talked to didn't want to talk either. But we nevertheless moved forward. We headed back to the car and saw that another car was at the house we had the feeling about earlier! We knocked and met Irene. She's talked to the missionaries before and has read the Book of Mormon AND knows that it's true. I guess there was a break in communication or something with the other missionaries, but she is super excited for us to go and teach her and her son! I have definitely gained a testimony of timing! The Lord truly is in every detail of this work and even though we may not understand at the time why things go the way they do, He understands and sees the entire picture.

I always love the analogy of the symphony. When we hear a symphony (or a song in general) we hear it note by note, beginning to end. But when out Heavenly Father looks at the symphony, He sees and hears it all at once and knows exactly how one note or chord will effect the coming ones and He sees how every note makes up an entire, beautiful piece of music. Same with our lives. Our loving Heavenly Father sees our lives all at once. He sees how every event, every trial and difficulty, every success and triumph, will make us and shape us into who we have the potential of becoming and how each part of our lives will teach us and help us progress.

As Gandalf once said, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

I know that our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ love us perfectly and they want us to become the best we can be. I know that sometimes we have to take the heat and be the lightning rod for standing up for Gospel standards and for standing for truth and righteousness, but I also know that it is and will be all worth it.

I love you all and I appreciate every email and every letter! I hope you week is fantastic!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha

Elder Malo, Elder Murphy, Alejandro, Presidente Cerceres