Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Find Your Relationship with Christ
July 21, 2014

Hiking in Ouray,  the most beautiful place on earth, and Sister Smith and I getting lost in our jeep in the mountains!

I am here in Montrose now with Sister Smith! It's crazy because our ward is so huge and we are whitewashing and I got called as a new sister leader trainer and my partner is SISTER JONES MY TRAINER WHO I LOVE FOREVER. I'm excited to be here. It has been crazy this past week trying to figure everything out, we can never find the houses we are looking for and sometimes I forget I'm in Colorado! But it was a good week, trying to get to know the ward and tracting a lot. There is one story in particular that is sticking out to me.

So we were tracting and were about to leave, but we decided to do one more house. So we did, and we met this man that wasn't too interested in talking to us, but we got to know him a little bit and all of a sudden this HUGE impression came to me that we needed to tell him simply that God loved him. so much. So in the middle of the conversation, I said that I just really felt like I needed to tell him that he was important and that God loved him.  Then he just broke down CRYING! it was so unexpected and we kind of didn't know what to do.  As he cried he just told us how he had lost his wife last year and she was so faithful and he really drew on her faith. and right before she died, she said, "God deceived me." and it broke his heart and he didn't know what it meant, but his faith was completely shattered.
 It was an amazing experience to be able to tell him that we were representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ and He did not want him to feel this way. We shared with him how His church that He had established here on the earth had been restored with His priesthood power, and that he could and would live with his wife again through being sealed together for time and all eternity. This man appreciated what we said, but it did not end up going anywhere.

What stuck out to me was that we truly cannot rely on other people's testimonies of our Savior for our whole lives. We need a relationship of our own that we understand, and that we can grow and develop throughout our lives, so that our faith is not shattered in the matter of minutes. Our Savior Jesus Christ is unconquerable, and when we let Him into our lives, we are safe from the world and our families are protected by His sacred power. I love Him so much and I am so thankful that I get to be here sharing what He wants me to share because it has strengthened my relationship with Him. I've never felt so close to my Savior in my life and because of it, any challenge is worth it because I get to know Him better. I truly challenge you to find your own relationship with Christ! because He is our rock so that when the hard times come, we are okay. We are strong and we feel it. I love Him so much, and I am so happy to be here. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 14, 2014

All Things are Possible with Christ
July 14, 2014

I don't have any time this week! like 10 minutes! but I'm getting transferred so don't send mail to the D 1/2 Road address! I'm so excited!

Alsoooooo this weekend "M" was baptized! He has been meeting with missionaries for over 16 years and it is so cool to see how the gospel has completely changed his life. I love it. Sorry this is the worst email ever... BUT I LOVE YOU ALL!

I guess I do have one thing to say. I was reading about repentance this morning and it is so powerful. I know that the Atonement is real because when you are willing to gain a new perspective on yourself and God and give up whatever it is you're doing, you see miracles in your life. Repenting can be as small as reading the scriptures every day or keeping the commandments, or as big as asking for forgiveness for something you've done and going through the repentance process. Whatever it is, it's possible because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It's possible because He died and rose again. That is a big part of the atonement that sometimes we forget about. Because he rose again, and performed the greatest miracle of all time, we are able to do all things with him on earth. All things are possible.  I know because I see it every day in my life and I know that Christ is walking this path with me. He is walking with you too. He loves you and I love you! 
He Has a Plan For You
July 7, 2014

This was quite possibly the best weekend of my entire life. LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL FAMILY (sorry picture not posted). THEY WERE MARRIED AND BAPTIZED THIS WEEKEND. I can't remember anything that happened this week except for this and I can't think of anything to say except that I love my mission. Things could not be better. On Sunday, "K"  in this picture- the mom- bore her testimony and I have never felt the spirit so strongly. I have learned that listening to the Spirit is SO important. She explained the whole story of how we found their family, and I'll share a little bit of what she said. She said she had just finished reading the Bible and she didn't know where to go next, she didn't know what to read next and a few days later, we knocked on her door and introduced the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. She said that she used to be one of those people who thought the LDS faith was weird because she didn't understand, but just weeks after we started teaching them, their life changed more than she ever imagined. Her health improved, and their family was stronger than ever. She couldn't wait to see what else was in store for them because they had seen so much already. She said she felt like she finally belonged and that she would give up anything to serve her Heavenly Father. Tears came to my eyes during this story because she was just GLOWING with Jesus Christ's light. She was so happy and she had so much faith and happiness radiating from her. The reason I started crying wasn't only because I felt the Spirit so strong, but because I was SO thankful that Heavenly Father had led us to this family. I felt so scared and my stomach turned inside me because I thought of what would have happened if we didn't decide to go tracting that day or to knock on their door or to follow the Spirit. Or even to come on a mission. They would have still been lost, still living the life that they were living, when they could have this overwhelming happiness.

I now understand how important it is to listen to the Spirit every single day  and to plan effectively so we can find the people that God has prepared. After sacrament meeting, a man in our ward came up to me and thanked me for coming on a mission, because if I hadn't, this family would probably still be searching. Tears came to my eyes again because I was just so thankful that we had the opportunity to teach them. I think back to that day that we found them- we had ten minutes before dinner and NO ONE had been answering their doors, so we almost decided to just leave, but we thought- let's do one more and this is who we found.

I just know that every one of us is known by our Heavenly Father and just like He planned perfectly for this family to find the gospel, He has a plan for you. for us. for every single person on this earth and He places people in our lives so that we can be led to the true happiness that He wants us to feel here upon the earth. Missionary work is not easy by any means, but it's the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. I am SO thankful I get to be here and get to learn how to be a true instrument in my Heavenly Father's hands. I am so thankful for my family, and I LOVE MY MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

After the Trial of your Faith
June 30, 2014

This week has been the craziest week of my entire mission!!!!!!! But I don't think I'll be able to explain it right! so when you're reading it and going.. okay this isn't that crazy...just remember that I said it was. or judge me for it. haha okay here we go!

So it started last Wednesday. We woke up at 6:00 all excited to go to a miracle baptism that was at 7:00 in the morning! I stepped out of the room to go to the bathroom..and I almost slipped!  There was a BUNCH of water all over the entire floor of our apartment. We live(d), in a basement and  there is a back entry way and before you come into our house there is a small room that's in between outside and the actual house, kind of like a mud room. So I looked out there and there was a literal POOL out there. It was like 5 inches high and everything was floating! We were so shocked and confused and all we could do was laugh because we didn't know what to do! So in our panic mode we tried scooping the water out of the mud room with buckets haha but we obviously didn't get very far. The housing coordinators came over and they had us pack up and we left and moved out for the time being! we went and studied at the 9th ward sisters house and got ready there. That was the first event of the morning.
Then we had district meeting. It was all wonderful until one of the missionaries leaned over to me and asked if I had heard about one of my previous companions. She was going home. I was crushed and I started CRYING.   I was so confused because I didn't want to cry but I did! So that was great and embarrassing, but I just was so sad that she had gone home after all we had gone through. Then our district leader gave a training on the Atonement. He told us that our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall. When he said that, I knew that this was going to be the theme of the week. He then went on and asked a sister in our district to tell the story of what happened this week. She shared with us how her sister had cancer. She was married and had four kids, and this sister was so sad. She felt like her sister was being punished because she hadn't been the best missionary she could have been. She described how she got a blessing, and our district leader suggested that we have a district fast for her and her sister. We all agreed. He then asked if there was anyone else we should add to the list. It was really cool because then our district all gave names and situations of close family members and friends. It was really interesting to hear what all the missionaries were going through. I could not believe it. The Spirit was just so strong in that meeting, especially as we sang "Savior Redeemer of My Soul"  for the closing song. If you get a chance, read the lyrics here  
The Spirit was so strong and I have never felt so united with a district. The rest of the day we had to clean out the water and dirt and all of our stuff out of our apartment. The 9th sisters helped, and we moved!

That night, we started our fast. We prayed individually for these missionaries and their families. It was one of the most powerful fasts I have ever participated in. I knew that much power would come from this fast. The next day, Thursday, as we were fasting, we got a call from this sister who was struggling with her sister having cancer.  The surgery was supposed to be 7 hours, and she was supposed to have a speech impediment for the rest of her life as a result of the surgery. Early in the morning, SHE called sister Murdock and said that the surgery had only been an hour, it wasn't cancer anymore, and she could talk perfectly! EVERYTHING WAS OKAY! This was such a big and great miracle that we got to experience along with this wonderful family!  I cannot even explain the joy that we felt that day. It was truly amazing to be able to be bonded as a district like that. Sometimes I think we forget that even though we are immersed in the work of salvation every single day, we are important too. We are the work. I knew that it was a powerful fast for all of these people and it would leave a lasting impression on our souls. I will never forget that day.
The next day was Friday. We were going to teach this man that I have talked about before- the one who has been meeting with missionaries for over 10 years! and his wife is a member. We went to go teach him the law of chastity... BUT HE BROUGHT UP BAPTISM!  He wanted to know what he had to do to get there. So we read over the commandments and things he had to know- and he said he had a problem with tithing. So we spent some time explaining the commandment and the blessings of it, and he really just didn't see how it was going to happen- money was tight already. I felt bad because I could feel the tension in him rising, and I thought maybe he would put off baptism or something, but then all of a sudden he was like... okay! and we were like... okay what? and he was like I'll do it. I want to be baptized. and then we died because it was the best moment ever. I couldn't be happier and more excited for him. He had truly changed and I felt God's love for him stronger than ever before. I couldn't believe the miracle that was sitting right in front of us. Heavenly Father had prepared this moment for a long time!
Then we had dinner with our favorite investigator family that I talk about all the time and  they are getting baptized this Saturday! At dinner we planned to have their baptism interview the next morning and they even got their white baptism clothes! It was all planned and great!
THEN CAME SUNDAY. Satan hit hard. The man that we taught on Friday was devastated because of something that had happened in his family, and he didn't know if this was the right time for baptism. He thought he would maybe want to wait because he was just confused and sad and didn't know what to do. He said he didn't even know why he was at church because he was so sad. He was contemplating postponing. and then the other family that I mentioned  that we had dinner with, they were crushed because they were having some huge disagreements with their family, and there were some issues with where the baptism could be. Everything seemed to be falling apart, and on top of that, the Bishop had pulled us in and told us about a few things going on that completely crushed us. I felt like Satan had taken my heart and squeezed it. He would not let go. of anyone. But I knew that I needed to remember that the witness does not come until after the trial of our faith. I knew that it would be okay, and I needed to be patient and wait. If Heavenly Father had brought them this far, He would not abandon them/us now. We would make it through, and so would they.
Not even an hour later, both families called us and told us that everything worked out and they were still on for their baptisms. the family will be baptized this Saturday, and the other man the next Saturday. It felt like a huge burden had literally FLOWN away. We were so grateful, so happy and so relieved. It had been such a rollercoaster all day. Yes, the problems are still there. but it's okay. We are all being strengthened along the way. That is why we have Jesus Christ. Without His strength, there is NO way we could do it. With our district united together, and being strengthened at church, we really felt like an army. I know that there is strength in numbers and in family. We need to do everything that we can to endure to the end TOGETHER. Enduring to the end is the hardest part but the most important. I know that we have been given the tools to do it well. Enduring well is the best talent you can develop here on earth. I know that the Savior was with us every step of the way.  Alma 26:35 "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name."
He understands everything that is going on. He knew that these things would happen to us. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He has all power, wisdom, and understanding. when I remembered that, and read that he is a "merciful being", I knew we would be okay and this would be the most miraculous last two weeks of this transfer. I am so excited.
We just need to endure.
I love you!

Be An Answer to Another's Prayer
June 23, 2014

This week was a whirlwind! I cannot believe all that happened but I'm convinced that I want to stay on a mission forever and no one can do anything about it. So we got a call from our assistants and they said that president invited us to Denver for a special training because a couple of people from Salt Lake were coming! So us and the 7th ward sisters dropped everything and went to Denver for the next couple of days! When we got there we found out we got to stay in a HOTEL! We didn't feel like missionaries because what missionaries ever stay in a hotel? It was so fun though. AND I GOT TO BE IN MY FIRST AREA AGAIN! I was so happy to just drive around there and I think it was a small taste of what it would be like to come back home.  it will be a great reunion. Then we spent the next day being trained how to be better teachers and planners.. and oh my gosh it changed our lives. In a good way though! We have so much to change and its working already! the inspiration that has happened because of it is the best.

So when we came back, we had the best weekend ever.  We decided that we needed to act on every prompting no matter what, because we figured that God was helping us more than we knew, and we couldn't ignore the promptings anymore. So, Sunday morning, we decided to do that. Before church we really felt like we should go leave a note on one of our investigator's houses and after that all of a sudden I had the BIGGEST prompting that we needed to go see one of our less active sisters. I didn't know why- we had been teaching her for 5 months and we had even taught her the night before and she refused to come to church. Every time we asked her, or invited her to pray for the strength to do it, she said that it just wasn't her time, but we went anyway . We showed up on her doorstep and said, hi! We wanted to invite you to church today! and she said no, I'm not ready! and she was like no way. Then we said "A", we were prompted to come here and we know that Heavenly Father knows that today is the day you are coming to church. She still said no. So we invited her to pray about it. Then we saw her son in the background and we asked him if he wanted to come to church with his mom today and he said.. sure! we asked him if he knew where it was and he said no and then "A"  I do!  and we were like SWEET IT STARTS AT 11:30 WE WILL SEE YOU THEN!  Then we ran off her porch and back to our car.  THEN SHE SHOWED UP TO CHURCH! for the first time in 5 months! YEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

The inspiring morning didn't stop there. After that, the thought came to us to go visit this other less active sister and invite her to church! So we went and she wasn't home, but there was this lady frantically talking on the phone. We found out her baby was having a seizure!!! We knew immediately that that is why we needed to be there. So, we asked if we could do anything and she was just in tears and so we decided to leave. But then something told me to turn around and we could NOT leave until we said a prayer with them. We said a prayer with the son, and we ended up finding out that they were members of the church- they were in the spanish branch! so we were able to call the spanish missionaries and tell them about it, and people in their ward could send help. If we hadn't been there, no one would have know this happened!

Then we drove to the church and we were late for our meeting but on our way in the parking lot, we saw this man walking with his two kids and in my head the Spirit was like YOU NEED TO TALK TO HIM. It wasn't even a question, I had to do it. So we got out of the car after parking and ran after him down the street. Really quickly I said HI WERE MISSIONARIES CAN WE COME SHARE A MESSAGE ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND FAMILIES WITH YOU and he was like YES! He looked so relieved. He said that he just got his two kids back today and he just looked so happy. He gave us his name and address and we got to pass it on! It was the perfect start to our Sunday!

I learned this week that you need to listen to every good thought or prompting that you have  because that is how God speaks to us, we just have to listen. Even if it seems like just a silly thought, or we don't understand why- IT DOES NOT MATTER.  just do it. The Spirit speaks to us a lot, especially when we have the gift of the Holy Ghost and are worthy to have it with us always. Everyone needs this gift, it has changed my life! When God prompts us to do things, it is always to serve others in some sort of way. This is how prayers are answered. Be an answer to someone's prayers this week! go and do!

This just shows me that Jesus Christ is the head of this work. Man is not. Yes, man runs the church here on earth, but it is truly Jesus Christ who is directing this work. I know this is true because I experience it every single day. Ordinances such as baptism, confirmation, and taking the sacrament WEEKLY are essential for our lives. Strive every way you can to have this in your life. It's how you get to know your Savior Jesus Christ and come unto Him when you don't know any other way. This gospel is amazing because it is healing and inspiring. It mends families and it mends our Spirits. It brings us on the path back to our Heavenly Father with our families. What is better than that! Now is the time to act, because Jesus Christ is hastening His work and preparing families to hear this restored gospel that will change their lives! Find it now! We have a prophet who leads and guides Jesus Christ's church under the direction of Him. I am so thankful for Him and His words!

Read this article:

and you will know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. It is so important to develop our own testimonies of our living prophet, because he holds the same power as the prophets of old! This is truly the Church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth today and I love being a part of it and living it every single day of my life.