Thursday, May 29, 2014

As I Have Loved You

Editors Note.  This will be the last post for Elder Case's mission as he comes home next week.

Dear Family,
This is the last email. We will not email next week. Please pray for me this week. I will need all help from heaven I can get.
On Saturday night, la familia Navarro had invited me over for a "little" goodbye party. It turned out that Michelle (the Young Women's President) had printed invitations and passed them out to the ward. It was special to feel the love of these people that I have served and loved so much. They had a time where they opened it up for anyone to speak about how I blessed their lives. Words can't describe the emotions that came. Then, Blanca Ortega was going to try and say something but couldn't because she was sobbing so hard.
On Saturday, we stopped by and had a very intense lesson with la familia Castillo. We shared the Road to Emmaus with them and promised them that in the breaking of the bread, Christ (or His church and truth) would be made manifest to them just like in the story. They came to church but got there right after the Sacrament. We will keep working with them.
Elder Johnson and I spoke in church yesterday. We had half an hour. He spoke about taking upon ourselves the name of Christ, covenants, and being an eternal family. It was so powerful. I can feel the Spirit now as I remember it. In between our talks, we sang, "Families Can Be Together Forever". I about lost it. The Spirit testified to every person in the audience that families can be eternal.
I then stood up and told of the experience I had in the temple doing sealings with y'all right before I came out. I said that my family is the number one way I have been able to feel of the Lord's love in my life and said that after that experience I left my family and felt alone but then the Lord blessed me with a new family. I talked about the commandment to "love one another as I have loved you" and then told stories about different members of the ward and how through them I have felt the love of God and how I have seen them feel the love of God. After both of those talks, about half the congregation was in tears and afterwards, Sharon (she is going to be baptized by her father Gerardo this weekend) walked up and amidst her uncontrolled sobbing said, "Thank you for fixing our family".
I know that we do have an eternal family. The Holy Ghost continues to witness that to me.
Saturday morning we went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. It was quite a special experience. There were ten recent converts there with their own family names. Gerardo and Giselle Matamoros on the way home and in a very reverent manner told of how they felt. They performed the work for their parents and some grandparents. Gerardo said that when he heard his mom's name for the baptism that he felt something powerful enter his heart. Giselle said that when she was confirmed for Gerardo's mother that she felt that she was present in the room.
These are experiences to never be forgotten. I can't imagine not being a missionary. Sharon is getting baptized on Saturday by her dad. She is so excited. Then on Sunday, Ovy and Nia are getting baptized. Elder Tittle will baptize Nia (his first) and I will baptize Ovy (my last). Please pray for them. They are so prepared and wonderful to teach.
I wish I could convey the feelings of the Holy Ghost as I write this email. God is kind. He is merciful. He lives and loves us. Each of you know how true the Gospel is and have set the example for me throughout my whole life. I will be eternally grateful for that and for this experience. I have come to know the Savior during these two sacred years and have felt of the abundance of His grace. I know that families can be together forever because I know that the sealing power has been restored to the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was the instrument that God used to restore His Church to the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is indeed Another Testament of Jesus Christ. And above all, I know that I am a child of my Heavenly Father who loved me enough to give His Only Begotten Son.
1. I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
2. I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
3. I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with him once more.
As I now return to my earthly home and family, I know of the love that awaits me. I know of the happiness and joy and loving embraces that will accompany returning home. I can only imagine how it will be when we return to our heavenly home and parents.
I love you. The Gospel is true.
Elder Case

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Rights of the Priesthood

Dear Family,


Thank you for your continued prayers and faith on my behalf. This has been a wonderful week. It has been tough since we haven't seen the Castillo family since mutual on Tuesday but we have an appointment with them tonight and we are bringing their fellowshippers. Please pray that it goes well.


If y'all remember from the Mother's Day call, I talked about Gerardo Matamoros. He is the one that was just barely baptized and then received the Aaronic Priesthood the day of his confirmation. He is doing so wonderful. On Friday we taught his daughter (who is also his next-door neighbor) and walked out and saw him. He spoke with us for a few minutes and we told him we were about to go visit a lady from Costa Rica. He thought that was great. We went to the appointment and didn't have a man so we called him and he came right away. He was so awesome in the lesson. He said the word that has become my absolute favorite on my mission when said by recent converts or returning less-actives. He said, "testifico". He bore his testimony so many times in the lesson and just tried so hard to help la Hermana Ovy understand how much the Gospel has blessed him and his family. It was a precious memory. We left and went to a different lesson after which we went to teach Gerardo and his wife Giselle about Family History. When we showed up they had the Gospel Principles manual, the Book of Mormon, and the Bible all open and were in the middle of trying to figure out what his duties were as a Priest. He had spent the two hours in between the lesson with Ovy and the Family History lesson studying the scriptures so that he could "respect his Priesthood". We had much success with family history and are going to do baptisms this Saturday. They are so excited. After we left their home, he spent two hours and went through 500 records looking for an ancestor. Then at 9:30 that night he called and said he had been studying trying to figure out what scriptures we could share with Ovy the next day. He told us that he had found a chapter about baptism in the Book of Mormon and asked if it would be good to share. He literally spent his whole day either with the missionaries, studying the scriptures, or doing Family History. The Gospel sure does change our hearts. He has learned how to cast Satan out of his life and loves how he feels.


My favorite experience with his this week though came on Saturday night. We taught Ovy with him Saturday afternoon and he gave her and her daughter a ride to the activity. It was a Mother's Day activity and the youth and men served and the mothers enjoyed themselves. Gerardo put himself of collecting trash the whole night and at one point I went up to him and told him the story that is in the Joseph Smith movie when Joseph is outside beating the rug and the other man asks him why he (the prophet) is doing such a homely task. I told Gerardo that it was so interesting that he had just received the Priesthood of God and that according to the world he should be above simple tasks and yet here he was pushing around a trashcan. He looked at me and said, "You know what, before I had the Priesthood I never would have done this". It was so interesting to me that he in such little time has been able to in some way grasp the following verses from D&C 121:


36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

 37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

 43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

 44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

 45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

 46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

The ward loves him and is amazed at his desire to serve. He also went to the Bishop's Storehouse on Thursday and plans on doing that weekly and he brought some investigators to the baptismal service last night. Talk about conversion. It has been such a blessing and joy to see the change in him and to feel of his love for the Lord and the Gospel.

Ovy and her daughter Nia are new investigators. They are friends with a lady in the English ward. Ovy is great. She has never been baptized and didn't feel a need to. During the Restoration lesson while talking about prophets, I felt to do something that I have never done before. I quoted John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of‍ the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" and then said that we have to be baptized by the authority that prophets hold to enter into the kingdom of God. She said she didn't believe that because there are so many people that die without ever even hearing about Jesus Christ or having the chance to be baptized. We finished teaching the Restoration and then taught baptisms for the dead. It clicked. She then said, "Ok now I believe for the first time that I too need to be baptized." She came to the activity, church, and the baptism last night and loved all of them. Her daughter is best friends with Sandy Ortega and Madison Matamoros (both recent converts in the area) and she thought it was the best thing in the whole world. The interesting and miraculous part about teaching Ovy about baptisms for the dead during the first lesson (something else I have never done) is that since zone conference a few weeks ago we have been praying that we can find those who have ancestors waiting and praying for them to accept the Gospel and then do the work for them. Ovy was a very direct answer to those prayers.

We have spent almost the whole week teaching Family History and helping people prepare names to go to the temple. I have been working on the Case line a little bit and had a big breakthrough this week. One of the people that was put in was incorrect and when I put the correct person in, the line continued on another 150 years rather than ending as it previously had. It was pretty exciting and allowed me to find people to take to the temple to do baptisms for.

This work is an absolute joy. I couldn't be happier. I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to serve Him these two years and come to know of His mercy and love and longsuffering towards me. My mission has been for me. I know that the Lord lives. I love Him. I also love reading the words of His chosen servants. This week as I read "The Witness" by Elder Packer, the Spirit enveloped me. His testimony of the Savior is so real, so personal, and so sure. I want to have that kind of testimony of Jesus Christ and I will strive to live worthy to receive it.

I love you. The Gospel is true, what else matters?


Elder Case

P.S. Sharon, Gerardo's daughter, is progressing a lot and is super excited for her baptism on May 31st! Please keep praying for her, especially that she can change her work schedule.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spiritual Whirlwinds

Dear Family,


It was fun to see you all yesterday. Kind of crazy to have so many people on the same call. I guess that is what happens with such a big family.

In light of all of the joy of the day yesterday with the confirmations of Madison and Gerardo and Gerardo's ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood, we had some sad and hard news last night. After we finished talking with y'all last night la familia Castillo (the family whose house we were at) asked to speak with us. They didn't come to church yesterday and they explained that it was because they had been up from 10PM Saturday night till 4AM Sunday morning doing their "research" on the church. They explained that they had watched a one hour long video that didn't paint the church in a very good light. We talked about what Satan's purpose is and decided that he wants to confuse us, destroy the plan of salvation, and ensure that no one receives salvation. We then explained that from his perspective if there were only one church in the whole world that could bring salvation to the children of God that he would do all in his power to fight against that church. We spoke with them for about an hour and learned about their doubts and concerns. Beranice, the mom, on Friday had told us that she was 100% sure that she wanted to get baptized and that the next time we came she would tell us if it would be this weekend or next weekend. Now she is confused and unsure. Sounds like Satan's influence.

We are going to teach them again tonight and plan on seeing them every day this week to begin resolving doubts and helping to bring the Spirit into their home as we read and pray with them. Please pray that they will receive a witness that the Book of Mormon is true and that they will have exceedingly great faith. I am beginning to understand what all the General Conference talks were about. The theme seemed to be defending the faith in the face of opposition

On a more positive note, we had Zone Conference this week and it was wonderful. Elder Johnson did a training on opening your mouth that was just terrific, Sister Ashton talked about how to handle persecution, and President Ashton gave the best training of my mission. He talked about how this is the Lord's work and how he goes with us. He read D&C 84:88

 88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will
 be on your right hand and on your left,and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine
 angels round about you, to bear you up. 

Then he explained that this is literal. He said he had a sure knowledge that the Savior Himself had recently come to a meeting in the mission and that many of us were present in that meeting. That was pretty powerful. I remember Bishop Jorgensen saying the same thing about a certain Sacrament Meeting at one point. Two weeks ago I gave a training in a meeting about the ministering of angels and since then I have been constantly reflecting on the presence of angels in my life. I can say that I have a sure knowledge that they accompany me, they minister to me, and they bless and change the hearts of those we teach. I know that I have been born up by angels many times on my mission.

 At the beginning of President Ashton's training, he read a story in which a missionary's family shows up to the mission and follows their missionary son around for the day. The family is all excited to watch the missionary in action but as they follow him they continually become more discouraged and saddened due to the lack of obedience of the missionary. At the end of the trip the family writes a letter to the mission president and explains their experience watching their missionary son and the letter is signed, "With love from your Heavenly Home, Father, Mother, and Jesus Christ". President Ashton asked us if we felt more uncomfortable thinking that it was our earthly family watching us or our Heavenly Parents. I rose my hand and explained the experience that I had with David in the driveway the morning I left for the MTC. That experience had influenced every single day of my mission. He was sobbing and then embraced me tightly and said through his tears, "I would give anything to do what you are about to do. Don't waste a single minute." President Ashton then asked all the missionaries if our younger siblings would have the same experience that I had. If we, the older siblings, will be able to say those same words with that same conviction when our younger siblings leave for their missions. Elder William R. Walker in conference spoke of the coin that says, "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" and then said, "I feel that we are all standing on the shoulders of giants". I feel the same way. As I spoke with all of you last night and felt of your love and support I realized that throughout my whole life each of you have been lifting me up, reaching down and taking my hand until I was standing upon your shoulders. I consider each of you to be spiritual giants in my life and could not be more grateful for your example and love.

Tomorrow we will have a mission conference in the temple. It will be half of the elders in the mission. We have a 6:30 AM session with just missionaries. The temple president and his wife along with President and Sister Ashton will then teach us in the training room for two and a half hours. The topic is our true identity. I am pretty excited.

 Thank you for all that you do. Please pray for the Castillos. 

One final thought, last night while driving to the Castillos, the hymn "Praise to the Man" came on in the car. I mentioned to Elder Tittle that I received my testimony of Joseph Smith while listening to that hymn. As I said those words, the Spirit came and testified to me once again that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was a tender mercy to have that experience immediately before having that belief rejected and attacked by those I have come to love so dearly. I have had that experience many times during my mission - the witness coming in the moment that I will be called upon to defend the truth. I know that as the persecution increases and the fiery darts of the Adversary are ever thrown at our faith that we will be strengthened through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. His grace is sufficient to heal us, to help us, and to protect us from the spiritual whirlwinds that will surely come.

I love you,

Elder Case

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Love Houston 4

I love this work. It was a really busy but blessed week as we helped Madison and Gerardo prepare for their baptism. As you can see from the photos, we had the service yesterday and it was wonderful. I baptized Gerardo first and as we watched Madison be baptized, we were dripping wet and he began to cry. It was a pretty touching moment. Later in the service during the hymns and testimonies, Madison was sobbing, as was her mom. Hermano Perez (our Ward Mission Leader) is all about making baptismal services as spiritual as possible. He thinks that it is a unique opportunity to get non-member family members to feel the Spirit and have a good experience with the church. I couldn't agree with him more.


I don't feel the need to be trunky because the ward is trunky for me. I get asked everyday by a member or investigator how it feels to have so little time left and what my plans are, if I am excited to see my family, etc... Of course I am excited to see y'all and I am not necessarily scared or even nervous about finishing the mission but what kills me is thinking of leaving this ward. They have become my family in every sense of the word. Many of my most spiritual experiences have been shared with these wonderful people that I love so much. They consider me to be their son or older brother and I wouldn't have it any other way. I just can't imagine leaving them.


La familia Castillo is doing so well. They came to church again and loved it. We visit them almost day and she just always feeds us. We taught them the first half of the Plan of Salvation and it ended with the oldest girl crying and then we returned the next day and taught the second half and it ended with the youngest girl crying. We aren't sure if that is a good thing or bad thing but the Spirit was there.


Jake Ashton came out with us from Friday night to Saturday afternoon. It was fun to see him again. We had a fun time with him in the apartment Friday night as you can see from the pictures.


We aren't sure where we are Skyping from yet on Sunday. We will have the family contact y'all during the week and set up a time. Hopefully we will do it at the Castillo's home so that you can meet them. I can't believe I will be talking to everyone again. I feel like we just did this. Time passes too quickly.


Anyways, everything is going really well. I love the work and am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I will talk to you in a week!




Elder Case

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Best Week Ever

Dear Family,

This has been the best week of my whole mission! I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me...and the grace and the mercy and the miracles. I know that this is the work of the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us. The longer I have been out on my mission, the more I have realized that I am not perfect and that I make mistakes all the time. The other thing that I have learned though is that Heavenly Father wants to forgive us and wants to bless us more than we can imagine. I love D&C 1:30-31

31 For I the Lord cannot look upon asin with the least degree of allowance;

32 Nevertheless, he that arepents and does the bcommandments of the Lord shall be cforgiven;

The "nevertheless" in these verses brings me so much hope! I love being a missionary. I cannot imagine doing anything else. On Wednesday we had Transfer Meeting. It was my last one. It was fun to be able to sit in the audience and be stress free. I told all the Office Staff that this was the easiest transfer of my whole mission. I don't think they found it funny... I got to bear my testimony to the whole mission. It was a sweet experience to be gathered together one last time with those that I have served with for so long. 

My new companion is Elder Tittle. This is his second transfer. He is from Orem, UT. He is a catcher for BYU's baseball team and his dad works in BYU athletics. He is wonderful.

On Wednesday we went and taught Gerardo about family history. We made his FamilySeach account and got him started looking for his ancestors. Then on Friday we went back and taught the Atonement to him and his wife. It was so powerful. We showed up right after they had had a fight and the Spirit was not there but we began to teach about the Fall, death, the Resurrection, the suffering of Christ, mercy and justice, the Spirit came so strongly and they completely changed. We read a bunch of scriptures in the Book of Mormon and finished by explaining that the only way to not suffer justice is to repent but that repentance doesn't actually clean and purify us unless we make covenants. We read Moroni 8:25-26

 25 And the first fruits of arepentance is bbaptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth cremission of sins;

 26 And the remission of sins bringeth ameekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the bHoly Ghost, which cComforter dfilleth with hope and perfect elove, which love endureth by fdiligence untogprayer, until the end shall come, when all the hsaints shall dwell with God.

He looked at us and said, "Oh, I really need to get baptized". Then just to put the last nail in the coffin, we turned to 2 Nephi 31:10-12

 10 And he said unto the children of men: aFollow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we bfollow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

 11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

 12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father agive the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, bfollow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

I looked him in the eye and said, "Gerardo, we represent Jesus Christ and we invited you to follow him. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized so that you can be clean?" He said yes, Giselle said, "There is a baptismal service on Sunday!" He then said, "How about next weekend?" So he is getting baptized. The amazing thing is that he told his granddaughter Madison and unbeknownst to us asked her to be baptized with him. She has been ready for two months but her parents wouldn't let her. Madison and her mom came to church and after Sacrament Meeting, Sharon (her mom) said she needed to speak to us. She said, "Can Madison get baptized this weekend with her grandpa?" I didn't know what to do. We are so blessed. Madison is so excited. They will both be baptized this Sunday at 5:00PM. Please pray for them that all is go well and that they will feel ready and they will be ready.

President Ashton recently had a Mission President's Seminar with Elder Bednar where the question was asked, "What is the difference between changing hearts and turning hearts?" The answer was explained that Elijah is in the business of turning hearts and we are in the business of changing hearts - it is the same business. Thus, it is interesting to me that Gerardo after searching out his ancestors online then came to the conclusion that he needed to be baptized. In other words, his heart changed. It turned. Also, he really wants to go to the temple for his ancestors but knows that he cannot go unless he is baptized. Now, baptize is not the end goal for him but rather the means to obtaining the goal of the temple. What a glorious and perfect plan. It is so simple and makes so much sense.

Also on Wednesday, we visited la Familia Castillo for the first time. The English elders met them and set an appointment then passed them off to us. Pedro (the father) is a member but hasn't been to church in 15 years. Him and his wife have four children. We taught them some of the Restoration on Wednesday and finished teaching it after dinner on Thursday. We invited them to be baptized and the three girls all said yes. The fourth child is also named Pedro but is only seven. We then invited the mom and she said, "Yes. I am completely ready. I really wanted to be baptized 15 years ago but we weren't married then so I wasn't. Now we are married and have four kids and I am ready." It was incredible. They are preparing to be baptized on May 17th. We dropped off brownies to them on Friday and they gave us dinner in return. Then we helped them move Pedro's sister all day Saturday. They all came to church yesterday along with the sister and her family. They sat on the second row and took up the whole bench! They loved church and are doing so well. They have already watched "Finding Faith in Christ" and "The Restoration". 

What I understand now that I didn't understand at the beginning of my mission is what Aaron taught King Lamoni's father in Alma 22.

 14 And since man had afallen he could not bmerit anything of himself; but the sufferings and cdeath of Christ datone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the egrave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king. 

I know that I am fallen and cannot merit anything of myself but I know that the grace of Christ is sufficient, in fact there is more than enough, to save us and to make up the difference. I now that even with my imperfections that as long as I do my best, Heavenly Father will place people like the Castillo Family in my path, he will turn Gerardo's heart, and he will allow Madison to get baptized with her grandpa.

Yesterday, Elder Cruz came back with his family for the baptism of Aurora, Araceli, and Carina. It was a special service and the girls loved it. The Spirit was manifest as it always is in the ordinances of the Gospel.

I love this work. I know the Gospel is true. I know that we can do all things in Christ.


Elder Case

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Resurrection

Dear Family,

This has been an interesting week but one full of blessings. Thank you for your prayers for la familia Perez. On Monday we showed up for our appointment and had not been able to contact the members that are friends with them. We were outside knocking on the door and Brother and Sister Martinez walked up with their dog! It was such a miracle. They said that they saw us and wanted to know if they could come to the appointment with us. I like the definition of "coincidence" that says a coincidence is merely a miracle in which God remains anonymous. Their testimonies brought the Spirit so strongly. They loved the Restoration and recognized the feelings of the Holy Ghost as we taught. They said that they wanted to be baptized but needed more time to consider and learn. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to see them since Monday but should see them tomorrow or Wednesday.

Last Wednesday, I went and studied with President Ashton and Elder Williams (my ZL companion). It was my last study with President Ashton of my mission but boy it was a good one. After the study I went to the dentist and had my crown/root canal. That lasted four hours. Elder Aiono came with me and was taking pictures on the phone and telling the doctor what to do the whole time. It was really funny. While that was happening, Elder Nielsen was packing because he was transferred to Brazos to be Elder Williams companion. There were two missionaries that went home mid-transfer because they extended and there was a need for a missionary. Since we had three, they took Elder Nielsen away. Now it is just Elder Cruz and I. He goes home on Tuesday (a week from tomorrow) and then I will get my 11th companion in this area. The ward thinks that I just send all my companions away and can't figure out how I am still here.

We studied the Resurrection with President Ashton. We had a question from 2 Nephi 9:8.

 8 O the awisdom of God, his bmercy and cgrace! For behold, if the dflesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who efell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the fdevil, to rise no more.

Our question was how come we become subject to the Devil if we rise no more or in other words, if there is no resurrection. President taught us that it is through the Resurrection that we become subject to Christ:
 5 Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great aCreator that he bsuffereth himself to become csubject unto man in the flesh, and ddie for eall men, that all men might become subject unto him.
 6 For as adeath hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful bplan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of cresurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the dfall; and the fall came by reason of etransgression; and because man became fallen they were fcut off from the gpresence of the Lord.

Anyways, it was wonderful and I learned so much and gained a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is no wonder that the Bible Dictionary says, "To obtain a resurrection with a celestial, exalted body is the center point of hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind."
How wonderful it is to know that we will see our loved ones again. I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is my Savior and King. I love the testimonies of the Apostles in this month's Ensign.
“I am a witness of the Resurrection of the Lord as surely as if I had been there in the evening with the two disciples in the house on Emmaus road. I know that He lives as surely as did Joseph Smith when he saw the Father and the Son in the light of a brilliant morning in a grove of trees in Palmyra. …
“… I so testify as a witness of the risen Savior and our Redeemer.”
- President Henry B. Eyring

“I know that God is our Father. He introduced His Son, Jesus Christ, to Joseph Smith. I declare to you that I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lives. He was born in the meridian of time. He taught His gospel and was tried. He suffered and was crucified and resurrected on the third day. He, like His Father, has a body of flesh and bone. He made His Atonement. Of Him I bear witness. Of Him I am a witness.”
- President Boyd K. Packer
Though I have not seen the Resurrected Savior, I am grateful for the witness of the Holy Ghost that has confirmed to me that He does live. I am also grateful that I know that these men are special witnesses that He does live. And until that day "when he shall appear [and] we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is", I will continue to strive to become like the Savior and help all those around me to do the same.
I love you,
Elder Case

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Courageous Disciple

Dear Family, Didn't you just love conference? Maybe it is just because this was my last conference in the mission but I thought it was the best conference of my whole life. I loved every single talk. I hope that with the release of Elder Callister, he will still speak often in conference. What struck me the most powerfully was the continual theme of a greater need to be courageous disciples of Jesus Christ. I feel like the Brethren were trying to say, "There are huge storms of adversity and trial coming. You will be backed up to the wall of faith and must decide if you will defend the truths that your parents have cherished or if you will falter and fall into the grasp of the Adversary and his evil forces." I wrote in my journal Saturday night for quite some time and committed myself to be a defender of the faith. The words of Mormon in Moroni 8:16-17 repeatedly came to my mind: ...Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear. 17 And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love... It is so interesting to me that our ability to be courageous (to not have fear) is directly proportional to the amount of charity we have. I love President Monson's admonition to be charitable. I feel that if the Savior came and spoke to our society today in a Sermon on the Mount type setting, that He would speak to us about charity. It is the greatest of all spiritual gifts and without it we are nothing. We found six new investigators this week and we are pretty excited to start working with them. Last night we met a family that was referred to us by a member of the english ward. The member speaks Spanish and is a wonderful missionary. They recently moved in and within the first few weeks she brought baked goods to all of her neighbors, talked to them about the Gospel and invited them to her home for a family night. Her kindness had a softening effect on Guadalupe and they became friends. She has been teaching Guadalupe english by reading from the Book of Mormon and finally Guadalupe asked for her own copy in Spanish so she can better understand what she reads. We dropped off el Libro de Mormon last night and said a prayer with them. They are very humble people and have soft hearts. We are going by tonight to teach them the Restoration and invite them to be baptized. Please pray that they can feel the Holy Ghost testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel. Please also continue to pray for Aurora (Katie's favorite princess), Araceli, and Carina. They are on schedule to be baptized next weekend (April 19th). I love you and am grateful for your prayers! Love, Elder Case P.S. We are going to NASA right now!