Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Tender Mercies of the Lord

Hey family,

Hope that you all enjoyed your Labor Day and birthdays. I am praying for you all and so grateful for your prayers. I spoke in church yesterday and my topic was "Maintaining a relationship with the Savior through prayer". That was a twenty minute talk and I was the concluding speaker. Luckily, I was able to apply what I learned while preparing and the Lord answered my fervent prayers and allowed me to express myself in Spanish for the whole time. One thing that I have been amazed with this week is that when we pray, we are truly talking to Heavenly Father. I have always known that, but this week I finally began to understand. When I pray now, I try and imagine that He is in the room and that I am talking to Him face to face. What a blessing.

After Sacrament meeting, Elder Barajas and I got to teach another class. We taught Gospel Principles on Tithing. It was fun. One of our recent converts asked if you have to pay tithing within a set time limit or if the important thing is just that you pay it. I told dad's story with trying to sell the suburban. It was perfect and brought the Spirit. I am grateful for tithing and the blessings we receive. When we closed, I bore my testimony and said that while the blessings of tithing are great, my dad has always said that the number one blessing is that it allows us to have a temple reccommend. I realized as I bore testimony of the this, that the verse in Malachi that says we won't have room to receive the blessings is really just referring to the temple and the covenants that we make there. It always goes back to the temple.

Well, as you can see from the pictures, we had the opportunity of having another baptism. The two that were baptized were Vincent and Karla. They are brother and sister. Karla is 15 and she was the first lesson I ever taught. My first day in the field we went to her house and Elder Barajas had me extend the baptismal commitment for September 8. She followed through. Her brother Vincent is a tender mercy. He has Down Syndrome and is Isaac's twin. Isaac is much more advanced than Vincent, but Vincent is bilingual when it comes to hearing. Can't really communicate. He loves church and everyone there loves him. When he smiles, everyone instantly is in a good mood. He just follows Elder Barajas and I around at church. I was the one that bapized him and it brought a flood of emotion. I thought of Isaac and how sacred of an opportunity it was to baptize one of Heavenly Father's most choice children. It was a powerful experience for me and one that I will be eternally grateful for.

Just to tell you how much Vincent and Isaac are alike, they had to wake him up from a nap for his baptism and when he got to the church he was throwing a huge fit. We offered him brownies and the fit was gone. It was hilarious. Oh we are so blessed.

Another blessing that I have been thinking about comes from my setting apart. Dad and David, you will probably remember that President Lewis told me that I would minister to those in my mission. I have already given a number of blessings on my mission. Two of them have been in Spanish. I have continued to find through these blessings of just how much the Lord loves us. I know you will all make fun of me from this, but to quote myself, I spoke of given blessing in my farewell talk and how everytime I gave a blessing I would always feel prompted to express to the person how much Heavenly Father loves us and that when I would, the Spirit would come. This is still true. I have thought about it and I realized that it is true because one of the roles of the Holy Ghost is to help us feel that love which often comes in the form of comfort. When we are told that we are loved with a perfect love by the Creator of all things, the Comforter comes and bears witness to our souls that it is true.

Well good things have been happening, we need more people to teach. Please pray for that. That we can develop the faith to find.

I love you all. This work is true.


Elder Case

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