Monday, April 27, 2015

27 April 2015 -- Great Bend -- Spanish Branch

Hey everyone! How was your week?? I hope it was fantastic!!

This week was awesome! Full of stretching and even more jam packed with miracles! The Lord truly does bless us when we set our minds to changing everyday and striving to become better than we were yesterday. All He wants us to do is to honestly try and strive to reach our potential and realize the vision we have set. By doing that, we will see miracles every day!

So on Wednesday, we were having a pretty rough day. It was either no one was home or they absolutely didn't want to talk. But, no matter what, Elder Downs and I decided we'd keep going, keep pressing forward, and not give up. Then we met Emmanuel. We went up and knocked on his door, he came right out and said, "Let me guess Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" "Yeah!" "Not interested, but you know what..." And then he just went off on his life story about how he'd completely changed when he found Jesus Christ. About five minutes in, he just let us in his house and we talked for a while. He has such a firm testimony of the Atonement and is just super awesome in general! But the true miracle was that he looked into our eyes and said exactly what was on our minds, "You never give up. You keep pushing and you keep going, but you never give up, because this message that you have can and will change somebody's life. You'll get doors slammed in your faces, yelled at, and made fun of, but no matter what, you keep trying and you never ever give up." I almost hugged him. I know the Lord places people in our path for a reason and at the same time we are also placed in others' paths for a reason. When we rely on the Spirit, we will be able to make an impact, even if we may not notice it.

I think I've told you about Jacob and Sabrina. Anyway, they have been working really hard towards baptism. And pretty much yesterday, they realized that they needed to change some things and put their trust in each other and most of all in the Lord. When they made that decision, the light in their eyes was a miracle in and of itself. They seemed so much happier and full of joy. I know that came from the vision they set to center their lives on Jesus Christ and His Gospel. The miracle of missionary work is seeing true and pure joy and happiness come into peoples', strangers', lives as they choose to follow Jesus Christ and as you choose for yourself to lose yourself in that work. And to see the change and progress in yourself as you create and sustain that vision to lose yourself in love for others makes it all more worthwhile. 

I know the Atonement carries us through life and enables us with the power and strength to change and progress each day. I know that it came about from the perfect love our Savior, Brother, and Best Friend, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father have for us. That love is unconditional, perfect, and eternal. Jesus Christ lives. And because He lives, we have hope for a better day tomorrow. A day to be better.

I love you all a ton! Thank you for all you do! You are always in my prayers! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha
Stuck in Lyons Friday because of this storm!

Friday, April 24, 2015

20 April 2015 - Great Bend -- Spanish Branch

Hey everyone! How was your week?? As always, this week flew by! It feels like I was emailing you guys 10 minutes ago!

Speaking of 10 minutes, that's about how long I have to email. Stake P Day in Salina. Lots of missionaries wanting to email, so many computers. 

Catherine was baptized this Saturday! She was truly a miracle. She was a former and didn't really want to talk to the missionaries, but called us about a week and a half ago and told us she wanted to be baptized! She pretty much set up her own date and everything! Her husband came to her baptism and, even though he's not too interested in the church, he definitely felt the Spirit. And to see the light grown in his and Catherine's eyes is a miracle in and of itself!

So last night, we had a mission president's devotional and they showed the newest Mormon Message, Bearing our Burdens with Hope. It really showed me that trials and hardships in our lives, the things that are burdens on us spiritually, give us spiritual traction to move forward and hold fast to the hope Christ and His Atonement give us in our lives. As we become equally yoked with Him, our burdens are eased and we are able to bear them with His strength. 

A little more about Great Bend. It's a small town (in between Thatcher and Pima) and the members are so cool! The area is Spanish/English, so we're speaking English most of the time, but one of the Assistants to the President, Elder Myers, who's a Spanish missionary too, told me it was when he was in his mostly English areas that he truly learned how to be a missionary, so that gave me hope! A lot of people ask me about the weather, but that's kind of hard since it changes about every five minutes (yup worse than Safford). The other day, it was sunny, a pretty nice day, then it got cloudy, then it started sprinkling, then it started hailing golf balls, then it rained, then the sun was smiling again. That's Kansas, but I love it!

Anywho, that's about the 10 minutes I have today. I love you all and I hope you have a super fantastic week! Thank you for everything!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha

Monday, April 13, 2015

13 April 2015 - Great Bend - Spanish Branch

Hello everybody! I hope your week was fantastic!
Another week has completely flown by! I have a little more time to explain this awesome new area this week.

Great Bend is a small town. Smaller than Safford, go figure! But it does have the only Walmart for a hundred miles or so. Wahoo! It's just so peaceful here. And flat, but I guess that's all of Kansas. Haha I love it! It's a mostly English area, but a much more experienced missionary once told me it was in the mostly English areas where he truly learned how to be a missionary and effective and efficient instrument in the hands of the Lord. Elder Downs is such a hard worker and has only been out a few more months than me! We both have a lot of growth and I know that as we continue to press forward diligently, the Lord will strengthen us and increase our capacity for faith and charity.

We've been working a lot with Jacob and Sabrina. They have grown so much even in the week and a half since I've known them and they continue to work diligently to come closer to Christ. Jacob always tells us he doesn't like being told what to do, is open for "suggestions". Or, in other words, invitations! Which is exactly our purpose! To invite others to come unto Christ! I've said it so many times before, but I love seeing the light and love grow in others' lives as they act and choose for themselves to come closer to Christ. And I've definitely seen that growth within Jacob and Sabrina in just this short time!

For those of you who watched General Conference last week (if not, I highly recommend it! Truly uplifting and inspiring!), Elder Joseph W. Sitati spoke on Sunday. Well, this weekend, he came to Salina (about 2 hours away from Great Bend) for Stake Conference! He talked a lot about personal conversion and becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ. It comes through having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. As we have this constant Companion, we are filled with perfect Christlike love and become more like Jesus Christ. Elder Robert J. Whetten of the Seventy once said, "like faith, Christlike love is a gift of the Spirit, is granted upon the principles of personal righteousness and in accordance to our level of obedience to the laws upon which it is predicated. And like faith, love must exercise to grow." 

I know as we go forth earnestly seeking and praying for Christlike love, we will become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, and will come closer to reaching our full potential and realizing our vision, whatever it may be. I know that setting visions for ourselves are crucial. Proverbs 29:18 says, "where there is no vision, the people perish." If we don't visualize ourselves with success in the future or have anything to work towards in our lives, we will not progress or grow. I know the strength to progress and grow comes through our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement, which enables us to repent and change to set visions and work towards them.

I love you all so much! Thank you for every letter and email! Have an amazing week!! Oh! And here's a picture from last week's baptism!

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

Pictures texted from Great Bend on Friday, April 10th from Sister Bates

Picture from Rae's baptism last week

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

6 April 2015 - Great Bend -- Spanish Branch

Hey everyone! How was your week and Easter holiday??
I don't have a ton of time this week. 4 missionaries and one computer. So, I'll make it quick.

First of all, Great Bend is awesome!! It's definitely a 180 from Wichita, but there are so many people here ready for the gospel. And Elder Downs is super awesome! He's from Arizona too! 

Rae got baptized this last Saturday! I didn't know her a whole lot before her baptism, but from what I did learn, she is great and so ready for this Gospel! And I forgot my camera this week, so I'll send pictures next week. I promise!

General Conference this weekend was fantastic! It is truly such a blessing to have a living prophet who speaks to our Heavenly Father today! I know if we follow his council, our lives will be blessed. One scripture that I noticed come up a couple of times was Doctrine and Covenants 121:45, "Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men,and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." I know that to be true.

Like I said, not a lot of time. But I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Murphy

Kia Kaha

Elder Downs, Elder Murphy, Elder Talauega, and Elder Alspaugh