In November 2013, our son, Samuel McMurray, began a two year term of service in the Nebraska Omaha Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is a record of his experiences there (with annotations by his father).
Hope that y'all had a great past week and a Happy Memorial
Day. And I hope everyon in Houston isn't deluged!
We're looking forward to a rebuilding period
this week. We're grateful for the tender mercies that we've seen: some new
investigators and a baptism and confirmation for the district was wonderful
this past week.
We're working to get one of our investigators
back to progressing status. Teaching him has helped me learn the importance of
being more personal in my teaching style and in the freedom that comes through absolute,
all-encompassing truth. We sent him a text talking about his hang-ups and after
not meeting with us for a little over a week, we visited him last night. We
reminded him that although there are people in the Church who can be prideful and who try to hurt
others, sometimes we can behave the exact same way.
I've struggled with these feelings myself for a very long time, so I can relate, but the Spirit
constantly reminds me of the universal sin of pride and how one of the aspects
of my calling is to remind people of that. It was a successful teaching moment
for all of us. He's still got a way to go but we're hopeful.
Despite the crazy weather that has occurred around Columbus,
we've been spared the brunt of it. Still, when you're going from an
80-degree day like yesterday to a 50-degree day like today, it raises more than
a few eyebrows and shivers more than a few nerves.
This past week was very good; we had an especially great
Sunday combing through the records of the branch and seeking out those who are
in need. We had a great visit with a woman yesterday who, although a
staunch Catholic, had family members who are members of the Church who moved
out of the branch a while ago. She hasn't had visitors in a while and was
on friendly terms with the missionaries in the past. We had a wonderful
visit on her porch and we're looking forward to seeing her again. Even if
she has no interest in converting to the Church, we're still Christians, we
find common ground, and we extend our friendship as Christ does and would do.
We were still able to share a message from the Book of
Mormon that enlightened her mind and ours and warmed our hearts.
We're looking forward to a good week and we wish you the
same. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers; we extend ours
A weird pair of glasses I found in our place in Columbus. They're actually pretty close to my prescription!
A great Mother's Day call and a solid week of missionary
work. I bear my testimony that the truth of the Gospel can impact
anyone. We were especially reminded of that in a few lessons this
week. Amidst the many distractions of life, amidst the many hobbies that,
if they're allowed to become distractions, help create considerable delays in
our eternal progression, the Light of Christ is still present.
I wish y'all a great week and I thank you for your continued
thoughts and prayers in our behalf. I extend mine to y'all.
Another week in Columbus, some great revelations received
both for us and for those we're teaching. My mission has allowed me to
reflect on the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, Junior and this scripture hit
me like lightning yesterday:
"Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that
thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the
understanding of men."
More often than not, the Lord does not show His Power in
huge, dramatic ways. He shows it in small ways that often go unnoticed if
our spiritual senses are not attuned to Him. Joseph Smith was a man of
barely any worldly education, a man of obscurity, yet it was through him that
God restored the Keys that unlock the doors to eternal exaltation, the doors to
the Throne that rules over everything. The small power of personal prayer
and study is the only way one can come to this truth. I bear testimony of
I hope that y'all take these simple steps. I love
y'all and have a great week.