Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Blessing of the Holy Apostleship

Dear Family,

We had a wonderful weekend here with Elder Ballard, Elder Nielsen, and Bishop Davies. They all gave incredible talks that inspired us and allowed the Holy Ghost to teach us spiritual truths. Elder Ballard had a great comment, he told us a point of missionary work and said, "if anyone tells you to do it any other way and they are junior to me, don't listen, if they are senior to me, write me a letter and I will talk with them." It was really funny but also pretty incredible to think that as he travels, he is probably normally the presiding officer. What a great that must be but what a privilege to be able to represent the Lord in setting the standards and doctrine of the church. I then realized that I have that same opportunity to a certain extent. To our investigators, we are at times the only representatives of the church they have ever known and to them, we establish the doctrine. That is a lot of responsibility to give to 18 and 19 year-olds.

Elder Ballard blessed all of you. So know that not only am I praying for you, but you have the apostles pulling for you too. If things are ever hard, He is always there.

I feel like I am going through a mid-life crisis right now. We had interviews with President Ashton on Thursday and he told me about transfers. Transfers aren't till the 23rd, so he told me really early. I am leaving my area and going english. He said that there was something he was praying about forever to figure out and the answer that came was my name. So I continue to tell the Lord and His servants, "I'll go where you want me to go". The only way to describe my feelings is that I feel like I am leaving home for the first time for college. This area is the only thing I know as a missionary, the ward feels like my family, and I am going to miss all these people like crazy and yet I know that what is coming is new experiences and challenges that will help me grow and stretch to reach my potential. It will be extremely different serving in English (it is only english since my companion will be an english missionary) but I am thrilled to be able to finally express myself fully and relate the doctrine of the Gospel as I have learned it. What is nice is that I still have my one hour a day of Spanish study to dedicate to keeping the language up. The best part of the change is that I know it comes from God and so I am not worried about it. Sad, excited, and curious, but not worried.

We had a really neat experience with a man named John this week. We taught him the Restoration and he said he would be baptized. He explained that he had been baptized Catholic as a baby but didn't consider that baptism valid. He came to our English class that night and then we took him on a church tour. He is an incredible man that has been prepared to hear the Gospel.

We are doing well. One last thought. We went to a funeral today because Elder Evertsen was playing the piano for it. It was for an old man from Honduras. There was a black man from Africa that spoke. Weird combination right? The man from Africa had baptized the deceased man in 2002. He served here in the Texas Houston South Mission. I talked with that man after and thanked him. I received a completely new understanding of missionary work and the impact we can have on lives. The family are all members now, many missionaries have served and are serving, and the funeral was the most spiritually uplifting funeral I have ever been to. Each speaker bore powerful testimony of the Plan of Salvation and taught that though this moment was sad, it really was one of rejoicing. The neat thing is that there were a ton of non-members there. The Spirit was strong.

I love you all! I continue to pray for you. Thank you for your prayers.

Elder Case

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