Monday, February 25, 2013

We're Having a Baby!

Dearest Family,

I am pleased to announce that Elder Hillier and I will be training together this coming transfer. I am not quite sure how it will work but we will be in a threesome and we are training a visa-waiter that is eventually headed to Brazil. We have Transfer Meeting on Wednesday and are excited to have another companion. Something really neat is that this will allow us to get into every single house even if there is no man there. President Ashton said that because of this he wants us teaching a significant amount more. I spoke with the Assistants the other day too and it seems like they might split our area and take one of our wards away from us. Right now we cover Clear Lake 1 and Clear Lake 2 and I think they will just put another companionship in for one of the wards. It will be fun to see how it ends up working out.

As you can see from my pictures, it has been a great week full of "fluffernutters" and the ocean. I had the opportunity to do four baptismal interviews this week and one of them was on Galveston Island. I am the only District Leader in the area that speaks Spanish, so we went out there and had to wait a few minutes and decided to go on a scenic drive. It was awesome. Sorry I didn't manage to take any jumping photos on the beach with the sunset in the background.

We had Ward Conference in one of our wards yesterday and the 2nd and 3rd hours was a presentation on technology and the media. It was all based on a couple of different talks by Elder Bednar and was very powerful. The Stake Presidency shared a number of stories in which a spouse became addicted to video games or social networking and eventually ruined the marriage. They spoke out against video games very strongly and said two quotes that really impacted me. The first was, "If something is immoral outside the computer world, it is also immoral inside the computer world". The other quote was, "We have to keep the commandments in cyberspace just like we do in real life". Some of the people there were a little uncomfortable and it made me glad to be a missionary. I looked over at Elder Hillier and asked if he thought that my one hour a week on the computer was excessive and he advised that I should probably cut back.

We had some really neat experiences this week. Saturday night we were planning and Elder Hillier suggested that we try by a certain couple in the ward the next day. So we stopped by Sunday afternoon and from the moment we walked in the sister was saying, "How did you know to stop by? Thank you for coming, I needed a visit just when you came, thank you for coming". I am grateful to know that the Lord is aware of each of us individually. I have come to know for myself that President Monson is correct when he says, "The Lord is in the details of our lives". This lady's husband is not a member, but active in our ward and his church. So now we have a good place to start with him.

We had lunch with a less-active family this Saturday and had planned to teach them about the Sacrament. In preparation for the lesson I read 3 Nephi 18 during my personal study that morning. There are four different instances in just a few verses where it says that after partaking of the Sacrament they were filled. The first time I read it I immediately began to wonder just how much bread it would require to fill 2,500 people. Then I realized what it meant and the Spirit began to teach me. I know I talk about the Sacrament almost every week in my emails (probably because we do so much less-active work) but I continue to learn and be amazed by the central role that it plays in our lives. Each week we have the opportunity to "be filled" with the Spirit of God. To "be filled" with a member of the Godhead. That is an eternal blessing. I have also come to realize that worthily partaking of the Sacrament is just as important as being baptized because if we get on the path by entering the gate of baptism but don't endure to the end, the whole entering into the gate part doesn't help us out all that much.

Another neat experience we had this week was when we knocked on a door of a less-active member. Our notes on the ward list said, "sometimes receptive, sometimes not". Her husband opened the door and told us that we didn't want to talk to his wife because she would chew us out. She then came to the door and gave us an earful about how she has been trying to take her name off the records of the church for a while and how she has written letters to the bishop and stake president and she doesn't want anything to do with the church and so on and so forth. After about five minutes, we finally we able to get a word in and we then spoke with her for over an hour, developed a great relationship with her, and softened her heart towards us. She still wants her name removed but she told us we could stop by whenever just as long as we don't bring the other church people and she asked if we would help her move in a couple months and she referred us to her neighbor. As we walked away, I was amazed at the change that had taken place within her. Just another testimony that this is the Lord's work and that His Spirit will accompany those who are commissioned to proclaim it. I am so grateful to be one of those at this time. To be set apart from the world and to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no greater work and no greater joy.

I love you all and know that this Gospel is true. I continue to pray for you and am grateful for your prayers in my behalf.


Elder Case

P.S. They use the word "wholenuther" here all the time. I always want to ask people how to spell nuther. Also, I heard someone use the word "usedtocould" the other day. It made me laugh.

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