Monday, May 25, 2015

Hello, everyone! My time as a missionary is coming to an end, but just beginning.
I want to thank you for the prayers that you sent for Ollie. He did not make it to his baptism, but I felt a remarkable peace which means that everything will be fine and work out (2 Nephi 2:24).

I am at loss for what to say. I have loved being a missionary so much that I am honestly heartbroken that I am leaving Ohio and Indiana. This has become my home in so many ways, but I have learned that anywhere there are people I love is home.

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8

I love being a missionary! I love the Lord and I love the people He has put in my life, especially for all of you who have been my support. I love you!

Sister Murdoch
Ohio Cincinnati Mission

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hello, everyone!
This last week was absolutely incredible! We found lots of new friends to teach and had lots of service to do. It's fun being a missionary. I love serving in Columbia City! I felt such a love for them all as we were in church yesterday. It's amazing how quickly I can love people and want so much to help them. It is one of my greatest joys to experience that feeling daily.
I want to share a miracle that happened. About two weeks ago, Sister Mickelsen and I were running at 6:30 in the morning, just like we always do. There is never a question about it, we are asked to run daily, and so we do it. It never really seemed like a big deal, though I have enjoyed handing cards out to people we run by. However, one particular morning, a gentleman pulled over and said,
"Good morning! I see you out running every morning. You two are so diligent! What are you training for?" We responded that we weren't training for anything; just being obedient. He was very impressed. He said that he wanted to talk with us more, but he had to get to work. We didn't see him for two weeks. I knew that he lived in the complex, but I didn't know how on earth we would meet him again. During that time we didn't see him, I prayed that he would find us again.
Friday our mission had a "car fast." No one in the mission drove at all. We all walked or biked, and it was probably the hottest day all week up here. (Trial of faith!) As we were leaving the complex, our friend pulled over again! We exchanged cards, but because of traffic coming, he had to pull away before we gave him our number.
Yesterday morning we called him and invited him to church. He was going to his church, but he said that he would love to sit down with us. We met him outside the complex office later in the evening with a member from the ward. I wish I could tell you how prepared he is! He cried a few times as we talked with him and said that he believes the things we've shared with him. He has 21, 19, and 17 year old daughters. Guess how old us three young women that met him are? 21, 19, and 18. Coincidence? I think not! :) It was a very powerful, spiritual experience for all of us.
I will not have the opportunity to teach him, neither will Sister Mickelsen, because we live in the Huntington Elders area. I am, however, very grateful to be one of the Sisters that first met him and introduced the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to him. Examples go a long way, even if it's just running every morning.
I'll close this epistle now :) I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. He knows everything about everyone of us and will always help and love us. "He hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen" (1 Nephi 9:6).
Have a wonderful week! Don't forget to pray!
Sister Murdoch
P.S. If you need someone to pray for, pray for our friend Ollie who is getting baptized this weekend. Thank you!

                                              Sisters Murdoch and Mickelson
                         Treats for a hot day... just make sure you get neutral colors :)
Treats we bought last week: Sister Mickelsen bought Graeter's ice cream and I bought Gouda cheese :)
                                                       We believe!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hello, everyone!
This last week was incredible! We worked super hard and had fun and miraculous moments happen.
One way that we like to start teaching people is by playing basketball with the kids when they're outside. We have a great time with them, and quite often the parents will come out to watch and then talk to us. It's a fun way to meet people, and we have success finding families to teach that way. I can't win PIG to save my life, but it serves it's purpose :)
Last Monday evening, we came home from a family home evening with a family and still had some time before curfew. We looked over the names we wrote down to try visiting. Sister Mickelsen had the impression to try a woman that the Bishop's family told us about. We had met her briefly once before about two weeks ago, but didn't have a very long conversation with her. We decided to give it a try.
When we got there, she was extremely overwhelmed. Her husband was working late, the kids needed baths and to get ready for bed, and it had been a stressful day for her. We always offer help, but this time, imagining what her house would look like after a long day, the Spirit gave a suggestion. I asked, "Do you have dishes that need to be done?" She paused for a moment then asked, "Would you really help?" Her voice clearly expressed that she wanted help.
We spent the rest of the evening doing dishes. When her kids were bathed and all in bed, she came to us and asked if we had been visiting our Bishop and his family. When we told her that we had not, she started crying and said, "Then you are truly an answer to prayers."
Since then she has been more open to us, and we're starting to teach her and her family. She texted our Bishop's wife and told her that she was grateful for the Mormon missionaries :) I'm very grateful that she once told us about her neighbor. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, and I love being able to be the answer when I listen to the Spirit.
I love you all! I hope that you have a marvelous week! Don't forget to look for opportunities to be the answer to somebody's prayer.
Sister Murdoch

                                                I got to hold a pet lizard :)
                  Indiana has some of the most beautiful sunsets that I have ever seen!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hello everyone!

We are running REALLY low on time, so I have to apologize for not being able to write back to all of you. I did get to read your emails, which I am extremely grateful for. You were all inspired, and I am very grateful for your love and prayers.

Highlights of the week:

- A young man we're teaching came to mutual. It was only a court of honor for scouts, but he absolutely loved it, made some friends, and wants to come every week!

- There is a Reverend that the Elders are teaching who loves this church. He comes every week. Yesterday he bore his testimony (which was written out), and talked more about how great Joseph Smith is than anything else. I love it!

We are seeing miracles everywhere! I love this work, and I love you! Have a spectacular week!
Sister Murdoch

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hello, everyone!
Oh, this was such a miraculous week! It was filled of some of the happiest moments I've had in my life! It was not without it's trials to be sure, but God's grace abounds.
I attended what is called a Legacy Meeting. The missionaries that will be returning home in the next six months go to this meeting to discuss what we can do to continue a legacy in our mission of faith in Christ and power. When we reached the end of the meeting, we had the opportunity to share our testimonies. I found myself practically running to the podium :) I am so grateful to be a missionary, and I have found joy in the work!
Saturday we went to the temple with a gentleman who was recently baptized. They each had the opportunity to do baptisms for the dead (1 Cor. 15:29). It was a blessing to go with him, but for me the extra blessing happened when I saw Sister Belnap, and then I saw who was with her:
The Gonzalez's!!! I cried. I have only two other times in my life that I can remember feeling such joy as I did when I saw them. Despite all of the opposition they had during the week, they came to the temple. Sister Gonzalez asked me if I knew that they were going to be there. When I told her that I didn't, she asked,
"Is this a coincidence?"
"No," I replied. "There are no such things as coincidences."
I believe that's true! Sunday we went to the stake center for a devotional that recent converts speak at. They share their testimonies and stories about how it all happened for them. I was delighted when they both shared their stories. I have been truly blessed to be part of their lives!
Being a missionary is hard. I have experienced first hand the opposition that comes in bringing others to Christ, but I will go through it all of my life so that I can experience this joy for eternity. For the rest of my life I will wear out my life and bringing others to the light (D&C 123:12-17). That is my purpose now, and my purpose forever.
I love all of you! Thank you so much for your prayers and your love! I hope that you have a spectacular week and that it is filled with God's grace.
Sister Murdoch

     I love my amazing companion, Sister Mickelson, and my beautiful Indiana home!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hello, everyone! I hear it's a little dry out west. I will pray for our thunderstorms to come that way :) Well, here is some delightful news I have:

I'm in the Columbia City ward! Sister Mickelsen is my Sister now. Funny thing, Columbia City is the ward right next to Fort Wayne. In fact, we technically live in Fort Wayne :) Wow! I already knew several people here, so this was a fun transition to make. I have fallen in love with the people and the area already. I love it!

We have had so many blessings from this last week. We found many new people to start teaching. This Saturday we're going to the temple with a man who was recently baptized. He has a family name that he is going to be baptized for, and we're thrilled to go with him!

Oh my goodness! I wish I could explain the feelings of my heart. I learned a lot during our meetings at church yesterday, and it was remarkable to receive so much revelation. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. To quote Elder Holland,

"God expects you to have enough faith, determination, and trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. He expects you not simply to face the future; He expects you to embrace and shape the future—to love it, rejoice in it, and delight in your opportunities.God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe."
~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "This, the Greatest of All Dispensations" Liahona July 2007
I know this is true! I know Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to turn to Him so that He can bless us. Turn to Him always. I promise that He hears and answers every prayer.
I love you all! Have a fantastic week!
Sister Murdoch

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hello, everyone!

I have news! I'm getting transferred away from Fort Wayne. Sister Belnap and I both knew it would happen. I'm really going to miss my Fort Zion! I have learned and changed so much here. It really feels like home.

Funny story: A man we met gave us a referral for his neighbors across the street. We went to meet them. As we walked up to the door, we heard a man inside yelling profanity. We knocked on the door anyway :)  (One change I've experienced - I'm more bold.)
He answered the door, upset, and explained to us that he was "correcting" his son. I'm pretty sure that isn't the correct word to use...

At first, he was just ticked off and didn't want our card. We talked to him for a minute, and he calmed down. By the time we explained the message of the Restoration, he had a change of heart. When we asked if we could leave our number, he said, "Yes. I'll take your card." His wife came out to talk to us, too. I think she was surprised by the sudden change in his attitude. They are allowing us to come back to share more.

Yesterday, Brother Gonzalez received the Aaronic Priesthood. When he was sustained by the ward in sacrament meeting, I cried. He and his family have changed so much! They are happier than they ever knew was possible, and it's only the beginning. I have never been so happy!

I have seen the gospel bless so many people. I have seen it bless families, and I've especially seen it bless my family. Heavenly Father truly loves us! I know that He sent His Son to be our Savior, and I know that He wants us to prepare for a day when we can see Him again.

I love you all! Have a phenomenal week!
Sister Murdoch

                                  Indiana is beautiful after a rainstorm!
                                        We met a family that had pet ferrets!