Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We Heard Our Gator Get Baptized

We love Caitlin!  It's crazy to think back to that day in December when Sister Hale and I were driving around UNF trying to find a media referral named Caitlin Keefe.  We called her and she said she was going home for Christmas break and we should try after.  We worried she was going to be a flaky college student, but once we met her we saw her desire to learn and her great potential!  She is such a strong, beautiful daughter of God!

Caitlin and Kristen Keefe
It is such a privilege to teach these two beautiful girls!   
We are working towards Kristen's baptism set for the middle of April.

Elder Albertson (Idaho), Elder Stallard (Utah), Sister Murray, Sister Hale, Sister Chappell

Everyone who came to Caitlyn's baptism

Can the YSA Branch have 100 missionary moments before the Ft. Lauderdale Temple dedication in May? 
  I think so!!!

This is Pete and his fiancee Amy Ramirez.  Now ya'll can put a name with the face! 

This is Jake Rutland.  I know I've talked about him before because he is AMAZING!  He hadn't been to church in probably nine years and now he come every Sunday!  He has such a sensitive, caring spirit!

Mandarin District:
Sister Hale, Sister Murray, Sister Donohue, Sister Chappell, Sister Petramalo, Sister Stockett, Sister Pasko, Sister Perkes, Sister Jeromachek, Sister Chambers (back row), Sister Toledo, Elder Stallard (he looks super tall because Sister Hale's camera was being weird, and yes Sister Hale and I are working on getting him to smile! :) )
Front row:   Elder Albertson, Sister Ashcraft, Sister Major (Sister Coordinating Leaders), Elder Angelsey, Elder Payne (District Leader)        The Zone Leaders and AP's were missing that day.

This last transfer has been really hard.  I am so drained emotionally, physically, spiritually... But I know that some of our darkest moments come before our highest spiritual moments. Transfer calls were last night.  President Craig announced that the YSA elders are staying, and for a brief moment I was afraid he wasn't going to mention sisters. Every transfer I've been here the number of companions in the branch has dropped.  Then I heard him say Sister Murray will be serving in the YSA with... Sister Hale.  My mind was so set on getting a new companion I had to stop for a minute and realize this was MY Sister Hale.  I barely had time to think about it before Sister Hale was literally lunging at me and tackling me into a huge bear hug.  We were lying on the floor hugging, laughing, and crying all at once.  We were so excited me missed where Sister Chappell is going. She has been moved to Jax Beach with Sister Joseph. It will be a really good transfer. I feel so blessed to be with Sister Hale again!!! Watch out YSA's we're coming for ya'll!!!  We are so happy Elder Albertson and Elder Stallard are staying too!  We love those Elders!  They're so great!  AND  Elder Frazier, who was our Zone Leader in Jax East, just got transferred to be our Zone Leader!  haha!  He just can't get away from us!!!  AND our new district leader is Elder Lundberg!  He's been serving in Ft. Caroline since we've been her so we know him pretty well also.  He is from Logan, and graduated from Logan High, but I'm not sure which year.

On Thursday I got to go on a special trade-off with Sister Chamberlain who was serving in the Jax Beach ward.  We tracked down some YSA's in her ward boundaries.  it was fun to be with a different companion for a day, and to be able to work really hard.  We were able to visit a less active man named Thomas.  His dad is the institute teacher in Gainsville, and is actually going to be a guest teacher at the Jax institute tonight.  Sister Hale had really been wanting to meet him since she served the  Gainsville YSA and knew his dad.

Friday night Caitlin Keefe was baptized!!!  I think it was the most spiritual baptism I've attended.  I was playing prelude and the opening hymn.  When I went to sit with my companion I realized how many people had come to support Cait--and on a Friday night!  Not only were there many ward members, but the AP's and several of their gators AND President and Sister Craig were there!!!!  I got volunteered to turn around and ask President Craig to say something after the speakers.  He shared a great testimony and thought about being a part of the Church of Christ.  He told us he and Sister Craig had been trying to decide where to go to dinner for their Friday night date night, and they decided to come to Caitlin's baptism instead!  I am definitely upping my standard for dates when I get home!  Going to baptisms for date night?  That's so great! :)  It meant a lot that everyone was there.  The only slight problem was that there were so many people we couldn't actually see Caitlin in the water, but we heard that beautiful splash!!!  And we saw the smile on her face after!  She was confirmed on Sunday in Sacrament Meeting.
The General Women's conference was amazing!  Our gator, Kendra, came too.  We haven't met with her since so I hope she was able to pick up some things to help her.  If you missed the meeting you should definitely watch/read it here:

AND General Conference is this upcoming weekend!  I love the opportunity we have to hear servants of God speak to us.  I always find something just for me there.  I wrote a post on my missionary blog this week about ways we can make conference more meaningful.  Check it out here: http://sistermurray.wordpress.com

On Sunday my companions and I taught Gospel Principles on Sunday about the Priesthood.  Then all of the missionaries taught 3rd hour combined meeting about missionary work.  We are challenging the branch to have 100 missionary moments before the Ft. Lauderdale Temple Dedication in May.  We know they can do it!  I know ya'll at home can have missionary moments too!  It can be something as easy as sharing your testimony on Facebook!

I wish ya'll a very blessed week!  Keep your eye out for missionary moments around you!
Love ya'll!!!

Sister Murray

P.S. I can only add immediate family as friends on my missionary Facebook account. To all my family and friends out there in the Facebook world, thank you for finding me and sending requests.  I cannot add you, but I still love ya'll!