Monday, July 8, 2013

After All You Can Do

Elders Nottingham, Case & Johnson.  Nottingham's going home.  Johnson is the new assistant.

Dear Family,

It has been an interesting week since I last emailed you. We had the whole newspaper and reporter experience, went to the temple, Elder Nottingham went home, Elder Johnson became an assistant, transfers, and Mission Leadership Council. We have been busy but it has been good. Elder Johnson is awesome and we will have a great time together in the coming months.

It has been fun to work with Elder Johnson because we both have the same perspective on how things should work. We entered the MTC the same day and both still have a lot of time left and so we have been making changes to the way things work rather than just accepting them because we go home so soon. It is also fun that he is in my ward and speaks Spanish and also has a native companion. Now my companions are Elder Clark and Elder Ayala. We have two natives in the apartment and it is a blast. They are so positive and fun to be around and they always correct our Spanish which is helpful.

I was scared to death to do transfers without Elder Nottingham, but after much prayer, everything worked out according to plan except just one moment. On Tuesday night after we have taken the new missionaries back from the airport, put them through orientation, fed them, interviewed them, and had a testimony meeting, they are picked up and taken to different location to stay the night. By the time they are leaving the mission home to go sleep, they are exhausted and about ready to pass out. It was just at this moment that we stepped outside that the rain came and it just poured! We had to load all the bags and thus we got drenched. Sister Ashton of course had to take advantage of the moment and made us stand outside in the rain to take our photo. It was fun for us but I think the new missionaries were miserable.

We had Mission Leadership Council yesterday and President Ashton taught us the doctrine of the Fall. That was pretty fascinating but what really hit me was his concluding thoughts. We had been discussing grace and how we need grace since we are in a fallen state and how it is that we obtain grace. We, of course, talked of 2 Nephi 25:23 and where it says, "we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do". President then talked about how we have to believe this. He taught us how we can know if we have done our best and that after we have done it we really just have to turn it over to the hands of the Lord and accept that we can not do it without him. He said that "after all we can do" implies that we fail. It made me think about how we do missionary work. We follow a schedule, we study for my investigators, we pray for them all the time, we think about them and their needs, and we worry about them. We then go and teach them and they still don't want to get baptized and we get frustrated and don't know what to do. Now I understand that at this point I just need to turn it over to the Lord and trust that He will follow through on His promise and save me or save my investigator by His grace. Even though I have done my best it still isn't enough and we always have to rely on Him to make it enough. I love to think of Ether 12:27 when it comes to that idea.

Anyways it was a powerful study that affected me deeply. Please pray for Anthony Umanzor. He will be baptized next weekend but we need to be able to finish teaching him first. Pray that we can meet with him.

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers.


Elder Case


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