Monday, April 27, 2015

April Showers Bring May Miracles!

Georgia Scenery

Close Call with a snake
Southern creature 
Kissing a frog didn't work for Sister Elliott
Our new Georgia T shirts
Hi Ya'll From Georgia
Red is for courage, Yellow for service.....and blue is for purity in thought and deed.
I will be happy for this is my creed.

Time to break the suspense and explain Might Miracle May.  As we learn in Mormon 9:18-21, God has NOT ceased to be a God of miracles. Indeed many mighty miracles happen everyday for those with the faith to see them.  This month our mission has dubbed "Mighty Miracle May." Our goal is for every companionship to have a baptism on May 23rd. That is approximately 100 baptisms! Brothers and Sisters please pray for us to achieve this goal! We are far from where we need to be to achieve our inspired goal of 600 baptisms this year and we know it will take great faith and work to get there. We are all praying and working for this goal to be achieved.

I'm coming to love Georgia more and more every day. It is so pretty here! I love the trees along the roads! Here's some random facts about our area I believe I failed to mention in my last letter. St. Marys is the second oldest city in the country. There is a Navy base here with specialized nuclear submarines. A lot of members here work in the Navy. I don't know how all of the Navy wives handle it! It's really common to see men and women dressed in Navy uniforms. We actually just saw one now as I was writing this!  Our ward covers all of Camden County. There are only about two black people in our ward  even though there are tons of Black people in Georgia. We just need to baptize some!  A normal Sunday will have 125ish people.  The area is very diverse. A sketchy trailer can be on the same road as a huge, nice house. The streets all have  names rather than numbers. Bishop told us St. Marys has the tallest gas price sign on Highway 40. So it's a pretty big deal! 

The first miracle of the week was Monday night when we had to go to this sketchy motel to teach a less active sister. We were worried we might be in danger. When it was dark out and we were leaving, the Elders happened to be outside in the parking lot talking to her husband and brother in law. We felt so much better having someone we knew to make sure we got back to our car.

Tuesday we enjoyed district meeting. We are the only sisters in the district again! The Zone leaders were gone so I got to help check iPads with the  district leader. We also have the cutest senior couple in our district- the Straits. They even go out tracting! So cute!  We also helped a sister pack up her house for moving. That night we had dinner with a family in the Navy base and were able to see some other potential investigators we have on base. We saw some deer that night too! 

Wednesday we went back and helped with more packing. We were working in the three year olds’ room while the mother was in the boys room. The three year old kept trying to join us in the room (which is not in line with the rules of the white handbook) and she was unpacking everything we packed. We couldn't pick her up and take her out of the room (also against WH rules) so I finally coaxed her out of the room and we had to lock her out! We felt so bad but we could not have her in there! Haha, it was really kind of funny too. I felt like I was about seven again when Sarah and I would lock her little brothers out of her room so we could play.

That night we wanted to have a good golden hour, but things kept coming up, and then finally everything fell through. We went to the street we had chosen to knock and it had a whole two houses on it. One was abandoned. No one was home at the other so we knocked some of the surrounding houses. We finally came to another road with three houses. One abandoned, one with a locked fence, and one where a wonderful woman named Lynette lived. We began teaching her and her nine year old son came out. He was so excited about everything we said and when Lynette saw his reaction her countenance changed. We left them with a Book of Mormon and will follow up this week. We also almost stepped on a snake on our way back to our car, but I spotted it before Sister Elliott stepped on its head. That was a miracle too!

We saw Tyrone again on Thursday. I'm slightly worried from some of his comments that  he is going to take the Book of Mormon to his preacher and go look up anti, but he listened politely, and he asked us to come back this week.  We also stopped by the home of a couple that was found by sisters in November. It was 8:50 at night but Ms. Henderson answered the door and said she and her husband had just been talking about us. They wanted to meet again so we set up a day to come back this week.

Friday we had Courtney, a recent RM, come with us to teach Ronnie. It was so good to have a member present lesson!  It really makes a huge difference in the lesson too!

Saturday was a weird day schedule wise. We had a Stake Relief Society activity (well technically they divided our stake into zones for RS activities so it was really only three wards). Hardly anyone came but it was really good. We learned about provident living. Right after that we set up for the baptism of Kevin, the Elders investigator. It went really well! Unfortunately it wasn't announced early enough for many people to come.  That night we were able to go see an investigator named Lori. She had a baptismal date for this month, but she had a baby and it kind of threw things off. Gratefully we were able to stop by and read with her. She is so sweet (and her baby is soo cute!)

Sunday President and Sister Craig came to our ward. President trained our Ward Council before church, and then spoke in Sacrament Meeting and taught a combined third hour. It is always so wonderful to see the Craigs. I just love them so much! I had been having a hard time lately and I was grateful president had time after church to talk and to give me a blessing. I have no doubt that callings in this church come from God and those with keys to preside are led by the spirit.

We are involving our members in Mighty Miracle May also by inviting them to look for miracles each day and share them with their families. Priscilla even helped us make a super cute poster for the primary children to post their miracles on each Sunday in May. We are excited! I would love to hear about the miracles all y'all see each day also! Miracles have not ceased! I see them everyday!

With great love,
Sister Murray

3 Nephi 5:13     Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Monday, April 20, 2015

1 Nephi 3:7

Me with my new companion, Sister Elliot

Georgia is gorgeous! Beautiful tall pine trees, smaller roads, and
lots of rainstorms. We have to watch out for frogs when we go running
in the mornings. St. Mary's is a Navy town with a special Submarine
base. A lot of the Ward members work there. St. Marys is the second
oldest city in the country.

Here is the cake we made for the YW auction. Sister Elliott did most of
it, but I got to be the "sprinkle master." We bought these fancy red
velvet cake sprinkles... I kind of ruined it by pointing out that they
looked like bacon bits, but hey it still tasted good!

First "Red is for Courage" package then "Yellow for Service"
Is blue next? 
It is probably a good thing my focus Christlike attribute for the month is obedience, because it was really, really hard for me to leave Hendricks and come to a new area with a new companion.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." 1 Nephi 3:7

This has always been my favorite scripture. I think my mom thought I would grow up and choose another favorite, but this one is always near to my heart. In RS on Sunday I was asked to share my favorite verse and as I read this one it really hit me. God doesn't give us any commandments we cannot fulfill, and then we receive blessings. I know Heavenly Father needs me here in Kingsland at this time for a purpose perhaps only He knows for now, but I am grateful he trusts me to do His work. I was also grateful Dad shared this verse with me explaining that one reason I was transferred might be so I can learn the truthfulness of this verse one more time before I return home. That is absolutely true! 

This week...

Tuesday I was able to finish packing fairly quickly and Sister Gillman and I had a relaxing day including ice cream! I was still in shock that I was leaving Hendricks, but it was a good day. Right after P  Day we had dinner with the Murray's... Maybe we're related! They told us how they met online and Sister Murray had about five men with the last name of Murray from all over the country trying to virtually date her so when this Brother Murray came along she thought it was a scam. Gratefully he convinced her otherwise. We enjoyed being with them and here is my first Georgia Miracle. I was telling the Murray's that I would be going to Georgia the next day. They asked what part. I told them I would be in the St. Mary's area (which I only knew because Mom called the mission office to ask for my address. Otherwise I would have only known I was going to the Kingsland area.) Well Brother Murray said he has a less active uncle who lives in St. Mary's! And his wife is not a member. He thinks they would be willing to come to church! There was a miracle!  We spent the rest of the evening saying goodbye to people.

Wednesday we stopped by the Zielinski's. I brought my flute and Sister Zielinski and I played a little bit together. I think they were disappointed when I told them I wasn't studying music... Oh well. It was fun. Then we headed to Mandarin for the transfer meeting. It was so strange to think that in six weeks I would be one of the missionaries giving a departing testimony. President Craig told us each to pray and study to find our purpose in our new areas so I decided I would do that. 

I was able to find Sister Elliott and we loaded all of my stuff into Bishop Tucker's truck. He and his wife came to pick us up! I just love the Tuckers so much already! They are converts to the church and are so full of love.  Sister Elliott is from Kennewick, Washington. She is going to BYU studying Middle Eastern Studies. She knows Arabic and even did a study abroad in Jordan and went to Jerusalem. She is so smart! During her personal studies she reads from both English and an Arabic Book of Mormon. She is the fourth out of 7 children and says she has too many nieces and nephews to keep track of. She has been on her mission for 14 1/2 months and she also served in Hendricks at one point. Her area was closed when she left and the Elders replaced them. She plays piano and likes to sing and she is 23.

That evening the Tuckers took us out to dinner, and after we picked up some groceries we went to the church for Ward coordination. Apparently our Ward mission leader is gone on a trip traveling across the country... so I may or may not meet him! He has a temporary substitute though named Brother Adams. The Elders in our Ward are the Zone Leaders- Elder Bell and Elder Wall. They are both super nice and I am looking forward to working with them. Elder Wall is from California and Elder Bell is from Rigby Idaho. 

Thursday morning we biked over to a sweet elderly lady's home to help her organize some of her family history work. It was nice to be on my bike (and gratefully the apartment has a bike pump.) and we had fun serving her. We also did service for the sweetest elderly couple named the Ingersons. By this point the members in Kingsland had completely won over my heart! They are so kind and loving and think of others, they just want to take care of you and adopt you into their family. Southern Hospitality is a real thing.  That night we also met the most incredible recent converts- Dan and Priscilla Kirkland.  The sisters baptized them just before I got here. You would think they had been members their whole lives. They have a seven year old girl who can't wait to turn eight in August and a 2 year old girl who is so cute! We hadn't planned to see them that night, but Priscilla texted us asking if there was some kind of "flow-chart" to show the order of the leadership in the church. Yah, she is incredible and she just wants to know everything about the church. We went over and drew a flow chart for her as well as giving her the talk "What is the Blueprint of Christ's Church?" by Elder Callister. 

We had a long weekly planning session on Friday which seems to be normal your first week in the area.  We met with an investigator named Ronnie in the park. He seems to have a lot of questions. It will be good to work with him. He was supposed to be baptized a couple weeks ago, but the sisters found out he is on parole so we have to wait until August when he is off unless he can pay it off sooner. I think it's a good thing though that he will have more time to learn because he really has some interesting ideas. He says God told him he could have Sunday off and not come to church and he has a hard time praying. I think he knows more than he gives himself credit for. 

It seems as though every Ward in the South has a young woman spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Ours happened to be this night. The missionaries get in for free, but we did make a cake to be auctioned. The young woman in the Ward decided to have tacos as an option too... interesting combination, but hey it works! It was good to meet some more members there and I was able to meet some of the Elders gators. We had to leave before our cake was sold (it went for $50) to go to an appointment. Well I misunderstood, this appointment was also a dinner appointment and they made more spaghetti for us! It is a good thing I like spaghetti. The woman we were meeting with has had such a crazy life. She and her husband and his brother live in a motel room with her daughter. It is the saddest thing. It is also the sketchiest area I've seen so far in Georgia. We are definitely going to do our best to plan our visits there for the daytime hours from now on. 

Saturday we planned to do some yard work for a less active sister named Sister Pappas. Well she decided that for service she just wanted us to help her grocery shop. I felt slightly apostate shopping in jeans on a Saturday, but we were able to help her get the things she couldn't from her motor scooter chair. She took us out for lunch after at Sonney's BBQ. I am going to miss the good bbq here in the South!  

We had a hard time getting in our Golden hour (an hour of inspired finding) and I really wanted to get out and find. It's frustrating being new in the area because I don't know where to suggest going or anyone to see, and Sister Elliott has only been here one transfer. So I am learning to balance and apply both patience and diligence. We did get to go to a street we planned to knock on Saturday afternoon! We had a goal to teach one other lesson and find one new gator. Most of the houses were abandoned, no one was home, or they weren't interested, or a huge dog was guarding the door and there was no way to get up to it. On the corner though we met a man named Tyrone. I had seen his cute two year old daughter playing as we drove in and wanted to knock on his door. He was sitting outside watching her and he listened to us. He accepted the Book of Mormon and he became a new gator! God is good! It felt incredible to achieve our goals! 

Right after that we met the Relief Society president, Sister Draper, and a counselor in the Primary, Sister Ingram. They took us to get food and then we delivered dinners to people in the Ward. We learned that the Bishop's wife had cut her hand that morning and had to get stitches. It also meant they hadn't been able to go in the Ward temple trip that day. Sister Draper didn't want Bishop to know she had made the meal herself rather than assigning someone to so we decided to doorbell ditch it. We dropped off Sister Ingram and drove to the end of the caul de sac. As we were driving back to get Sister Ingram, who was hiding behind a bush, we noticed too late that Bishop was standing on the porch waiting to see who would show up. We were caught, but we picked up Sister Ingram and drove away like we didn't see him. We were all laughing so hard. Bishop ended up using the story in his talk the next day so it was perfect timing for him!

It was wonderful to meet more of the Ward on Sunday! Our Ward covers all of Camden County! It's huge, but there are a ton of less active members so the attendance isn't all that high. We have 9:00 church and then Ward Council directly after. We were invited to lunch with Sister Jones, the classiest woman in the Ward. She is so great! She owns two daycares in the area. Here is the second part of my miracle- she lives in a gated community, and guess who else lives in that community! Brother Murray's Uncle Arnold! (If you can remember clear back to the beginning of this novel) We wouldn't have been able to get past the guard if we hadn't had that appointment! So that was great! Sister Jones did feed us some delicious fried chicken, bbq ribs, baked beans, biscuits, the complete Southern works! Yum! We went home and had some time to study before going out for a golden hour... except the street we were trying to find didn't exist! It was an adventure to say the least. Then we were also invited to dinner with the Bartlings (apparently this Ward doesn't feed us much... I'm not convinced). President Bartling is the stake president. He is from Germany and definitely has that strict German air about him. But we had an enjoyable time with the Bartlings and their four sons. The oldest is going on a mission this July. 

We were able to meet with Ronnie again and talked about receiving answers through the spirit. It was a really great lesson in the Murdock's home. Sister Murdock is from Scotland and I love her accent!

Wow, sorry this is such a novel! Guess I just wanted to let y'all experience my mission! Being a missionary is the absolute best! It is hard but it is always worth it. 

Next week I will tell y'all about Mighty Miracle May! Be excited! So many miracles are coming! 

I love all y'all sooo much!
Have a blessed day!
Sister Murray 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go!

Waiting for the phone to ring for transfers!

A 24 hour threesome. Sisters Murray, Malm, and McCook

Driving in Florida

Brother Zeleinski

I suppose y'all are wondering about transfers.  Well since I had to wait to find out I will let y'all have a little suspense too :)
Monday evening we went to the Switzers and did the Easter Eggs with objects and scriptures about Easter inside.  They loved it and the spirit was strong as we discussed the role and sacrifice of our savior.  Also, my recent convert Aileen came!   I was so happy to see her again.  She is shining even more brightly than she was when she was baptized last May.  The Atonement has truly changed her life a full 180 degrees.  It was incredible to have someone I love so much be the member present at a lesson with another family I love so dearly.  I am so excited for them to be baptized on May 10th!!!  Best Mother's day ever right there!

Tuesday morning we went to the Jax East Zone meeting.  It went well, but role plays took a long time so Sister Gillman and I had to shorten our trainings down a lot, but it was still good.  I gave a training on weekly planning and Sister Gillman gave a training on daily planning. 

Wednesday we gave the same trainings in the Mandarin Zone Meeting.  That one went really well but we got cut short on time there too.  Oh, well you do what you can do.  President and Sister Craig came to that one (and the Assistants are in the zone so they were there too.)  We also got new phones at the meeting so that was super nice too!

Wednesday afternoon we began a trade off with our Sister Training Coordinators (leaders over the STL's).  Sister Kloepfer came to Hendricks with Sister Gillman and I went to Mandarin  with Sister McCook.  We had a wonderful time being companions again for 24 hours!  

Thursday morning we skipped exercises to drive to the mission office to pick up Sister Malm.  Her companion was going on the temple trip so she got to be in a trio with me and Sister McCook.  It was a different trade off to say the least, but so much fun!  We stayed busy finding people to teach and Sister McCook treated us to Bruster's ice cream during lunch.  Yummy!  And it is a great place to share the gospel!

Thursday we had two media referrals to contact.  We called one and found out it was a member who had been away from the church for a time and she wanted to come back but didn't know how to contact anyone.  So she referred herself!  The other was a woman named Theresa.  Theresa told us how a friend at work (Wal Mart) gave her pamphlets and pass along cards when she had hard day.  Hay all y'all that have served in Arlington, YSA, or Ft. Caroline:  remember the Indian man who works at Wal Mart and will talk to missionaries for hours if you have the time?  His name is Albert and he is always sweeping the floors at Wal Mart.  Well I guess enough missionaries had given him cards that he decided to pass the love along and Theresa got one and called the number on the back so she could meet with missionaries!  Isn't that crazy?  Miracle!

Friday we had our lovely weekly planning and then we went to mow Terry's lawn.  We probably picked the hottest day and time (4pm) to do it... but we got to serve her!  And Sister Gillman really likes mowing lawns so she did the larger portion of it while I filled water bottles for Terry.    

Saturday was busy and we were able to teach some good lessons.  We found the sweetest woman named Rowena.  She is living with her brother and he would be mad if she came to church but she is looking for her own place so hopefully she can come soon!  She was smoking as we taught her and she asked if smoking was a sin.  She said her mother told her it was, but she was confused because it wasn't in the Bible.  We held up a picture of Christ and asked if she would feel comfortable smoking in his presence. She said no and we told her that was her answer.  I love it when people find their own answers to their questions!  

Sunday was probably the only Sunday the Hendricks sisters haven't had a single investigator in church for months.  Gratefully part of the reason we didn't have any is that they are all getting baptized!  That evening we went and saw Barbara, a nonmember who works in the family history center in Ft. Caroline all the time.  We shared President Monson's conference talk with her and testified about temples since she likes family history.  It was a good lesson.  I definitely believe she will accept the gospel some day--even if its not while I am on my mission.

Monday Sister Gillman and I were all sorts of anxious about the transfer call.  I felt confident I would be staying and I was guessing Sister Gillman would leave and train for her last two transfers.  That morning on our MLC phone call we were told the Mandarin Zone and the Jax East Zone would be consolidating into one zone.  That doesn't affect us too much--it is still the same sisters.  (Ocala and Gainesville zones were combined also). We went out and worked all day and you wouldn't believe how many times our phone rang!  Every time it did we would run to it thinking it was President calling to release one of us.  But it never was.  Evening came and we got on the conference call and as President announced Sister Gillman and Sister Mackay would be the sister training leaders in Hendricks I was shocked!  He hadn't released me so I kept listening to hear if I would be a STL somewhere else, but that didn't happen either.  I have been called to serve in Kingsland, Georgia with Sister Elliot!  My first thoughts were related to all the things I didn't want to miss here-the Switzer's baptism, the sisters in my zone, the members, etc.  But I quickly realized how selfish that was of me. After all this is God's work and it will be done in His way and time.  Just that day the song "I'll go where you want me to go," came on and I couldn't help but think how perfect a song it is for transfer day. I know now that I am going to Georgia for a reason.  Perhaps there is just one person there who needs me or maybe I just need Georgia!  Whatever the reason I know I will be grateful for the six weeks I have there.  Of course, I am still very sad to leave Hendricks and my dear Jax East Zone, but I am sure there are many adventures waiting for me.  I don't know much about Kingsland but I believe it is fairly country--there should be some great stories in the making y'all.  Also, the Arlington sisters area was closed.  And the Arlington Elders are no longer the zone leaders--the zone leaders are in Hendricks now.  

Thank you for your endless prayers, letters, and support.  I cant explain it but I really do feel the strength from your prayers.  Please keep praying for me as I go onto my next (and if I have to, last) transfer!  

I love all y'all!
Sister Murray

P.S. In case you were wondering President still hasn't called... haha!  Oops... maybe I will just be a STL for eternity.  I would definitely be ok with that :)          Note: This area doesn't have STL so I will not be one. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Baptism

Mission Leader Conference


Sister Gillman and I are excited for Conference and a baptism!

Brother Zielinski's baptism. He is 80 years old. It took him 30 years to choose baptism .
  His wife has been a member that long.

Elder Dewsnup (Montana), Elder Randall (Salt Lake), 
Brother Zielinski, Elder Winter

The Easter Bunny came!

Look who came back to visit!  Sister Chappell, one of my companions.

What Sisters do at lunch....

What Sister Winter (mission nurse) thinks we do.....

What Sisters do for exercise....

What we feel like doing......

April 6th-Happy Birthday Jesus and the Church

Tuesday we had dinner with the Cano's and guess who is visiting them... Sister Chappell! It was fun to see her again!

We had another great MLC this Wednesday. We learned about Agency and Accountability, teaching the way Elder Kopischke taught us to do, and planning effectively. I am excited to give trainings this week in the Zone meetings.  That evening we taught scripture study class using the Easter eggs containing objects that represent different parts of the Easter story. It led to a lot of good spiritual discussions and Lana asked if we could come by and do it with her kids since they couldn't be at scripture study class. We will be doing that tonight!

Thursday we attended Dunn Ave's district meeting. Then we began a trade off with the Dunn Ave Sisters. Sister Gillman stayed there with Sister Parshall and Sister Leger came to Hendricks with me. Sister Leger is incredible! She was baptized almost three years ago and is the only member in her family. We had a good day teaching lessons and we had dinner with the Cano's again. Then we were driving over to an appointment and the member who was coming to the lesson with us canceled. We can't enter a house with just a man home so we needed to find another sister to come with us fast. Gratefully Sister Chappell didn't have any plans that evening and she came! The man we taught is named Bruce. The only way I can describe him is a flirtatious grandpa. He has been taught in the past and he told us about how the missionaries would come and hang out and sing songs around the piano. It's hard when missionaries have done that because we aren't going to spend a lot of time just "hanging out." That doesn't fulfill our purpose. So we will see where things go with him. He did watch a session of conference this weekend, but it doesn't seem like he is willing to change a lot of things.

Friday we were able to visit the Zielinski's and also a less active recent convert named Terry. Terry invited us over for conference Saturday afternoon along with her roommate Jodi (also a member). 

Saturday morning I was so excited for conference! I can only compare it to a five year old on Christmas morning. Haha, anyway the ward had a huge Easter breakfast and celebration combined with the San Jose Ward (Spanish speaking). It was a lot of fun. They had an egg hunt for the kids and an egg toss competition for the youth... and the Elders! 

We watched the first session of conference at the church with Brother and Sister Zielinski. The only other people there were the Elders.  We watched the second session with Terry and Jodi and their big, huge dog. It was fun to watch with people we are working with. After that session Jodi and Terry fed us dinner. Then we went on our way to teach a new investigator named Miceska. She is learning English and doesn't want to go to the Spanish Ward. She seemed to understand and enjoy the first lesson. She will be moving soon, but we are hoping to get her ready to be taught by missionaries in her new home.  At 8:30 that night we had gone through all of our plans except for a woman named Chelsea. (We also had the longest conversation I think I have ever had through a door with a less active sister, she was telling us all the reasons she couldn't come talk to us.  I think we could have showed her Because He Lives and left faster! Haha) We met Chelsea the week Sister Gillman and I each invited someone to baptism every day. She was an 8:55pm invitation. I felt bad after inviting her to baptism because I really didn't have the time to teach her or anything. She didn't seem very interested, but told us where she lived. So we went back and she was actually really great! She was raised Jewish but decided their lifestyle was too strict for her. She and her boyfriend have a son that just turned three (and he is sooo cute). We shared Because she Lives with her and she really enjoyed it, but told us she doesn't really know anything about Jesus Christ  so we are going back to teach her this week! I am so excited!

Sunday morning we visited Jenny (recent convert) and read some of   the Easter Story from the Bible with her. It was good to go back to the basics of that incredible Easter Day. We went to the church early to start filling the baptismal font and to get everything set up for the baptism. Lana and her kids came to the morning session of conference. If you had to pick one session to come to I think they did a good job-President Monson, Elder Holland, and President Uchtdorf all in two hours? Wow!  

In between sessions Brother Martin Zielinski was baptized. It was such an incredible day! He was so happy! His wife was baptized 30 years ago and has been praying for him. He came to church with her, but never wanted to be baptized until he read a book with a compilation of church articles on faith. The spirit spoke to his heart and he knew the message the missionaries had taught him was true. I take no credit for his baptism--so many missionaries and members have helped him get to the spirit, and ultimately it is the Holy Ghost that can touch someone's heart. Elder Winter performed the baptism with Elder Dewsnup and Elder Randall helping lower and raise Brother Zielinski in the water. There was a special musical number where Sister Winter played piano and Sister Zielinski played flute and her son and daughter in law played violin. The  Zielinski's are professional musicians and it was beautiful. The violins played on the opening and closing hymns was nice. I've never conducted a little orchestra before. It was fun! The closing song was God of our Fathers... which is probably the only time I will hear it at a baptism, but it was perfect for him. 

The final session of conference was incredible as well. It is always sad when it is over and we know we have six months until the next one. I went into conference with questions in mind and received answers. I am excited to begin to apply what I learned. I know that the topics covered were directed by the spirit and as we need the counsel given we will find the most peace and happiness in life. I am grateful for a prophet who lives in the kind of world we do today. He understands the trials we have and he knows what will help us stay strong. I hope each of you will find one aspect of conference to focus on applying to your life.

With love,
Sister Murray