Sister Purcell is 22 years old and is currently serving a full time mission. She was born in Hawaii where she lived until she was 10 years old. Then her family moved to Utah. Sister Purcell loves listening to, singing and writing music. Sis. Purcell is a Polynesian and ballroom dancer. She loves to cook. She can cook anything from Polynesian to Mexican and Asian foods. At the University, Sister Purcell was studying Political Science and will finish her studies after her missionary service. She would one day like to serve in Congress.
When asked why she served a mission Sister Purcell said, “I have had a life long desire to serve and have always loved the missionaries.” In her last year before serving a mission, Sister Purcell went to Hawaii to care for her grandfather who had suffered from a stroke. “One of his last desires was for my cousin and I to serve a mission for the church.” Sister Purcell’s cousin recently received his own mission call and has been called to serve in her same mission. Amazing!
While considering a mission, Sister Purcell spoke to her older brother who had previously returned from his mission. He said, “There are hearts that only you can touch.” After hearing those words Sister Purcell had a stronger desire to serve knowing that the Lord was preparing people for her to meet and teach.
Sister Purcell was given the opportunity to teach the mother of one of her friends who is the only Mormon member of his family and is currently serving a mission in Fiji. He asked her to share her testimony to his mother so she could understand why he had chosen to serve the Lord in Fiji. This was her testimony: “I called her up and explained about what both her son and I were doing as missionaries, and the message we wanted to share with others. Because of the Restoration of Christ’s original gospel we have countless blessings. Some in particular are temples which allow us to receive ordinances and make covenants to seal our families together forever. I explained that Heavenly Father would not put us down on earth and give us families and let us experience the happiness that families give us and then not provide a plan for us to be reunited again.” Sister Purcell had a great impact on her friend’s mother.
Sister Purcell had another great experience while in the Missionary Training Center (MTC). “In the MTC there was a moment when I broke down, I didn’t know if everything I was learning was true. I was born and raised in the Church and came from a strong family who taught me well. It was a struggle. After speaking with my instructor, he counseled me to pray. He told me to ask for the answer to two specific questions:
1. To know that Jesus is the Christ
2. To know that Heavenly Father loves me.
I decided to follow his advice and found a quiet place to pray. I prayed in the linen closet on the Fourth floor of the MTC and asked the questions my teacher had suggested. I didn’t know if I would get an answer, I assumed that if I did get an answer it would just be fate or a coincidence. I sat in the linen closet for over an hour while I waited for an answer. There was a file cabinet next to me and I felt prompted to open it. Inside was a brand new issue of the April 2008 issue of the Ensign and on the front was a beautiful picture of the Savior. The caption was “Jesus is the Christ.” I just started crying. Later on, I had choir practice at 5pm. We walked down the bleachers where we were practicing and the director was passing out the music. The song we were to sing that day was titled, “This is the Christ.” I remember the choir director telling us to sing the song with feeling because this is a testimony we are sharing. He then said, ‘Sing your testimony of the living Christ, someone in this room needs to hear it.’ At that point there was not denying that God was aware of me and that Jesus IS the Christ.”
Sister Purcell has been faithful to the testimony she received in the Missionary Training Center. She has had the opportunity to share that message that Jesus is the Christ to hundreds of people since starting her mission.