Monday, September 30, 2013

The Song of the Righteous is a Prayer unto Me

Dear Family, It feels strange to be emailing you after so little time. This weekend as a mission we baptized 15 people and confirmed 20! Three weeks ago the mission baptized and confirmed just 3. What an increase in faith. Still not where we need to be, but we are improving and the missionaries are exercising great faith. Three weeks ago I walked into the gym during church for priesthood. Walking in the opposite door were two young men that I didn't know but thought I had seen in our ward before. I went and talked with them and asked if they were members of the church. They didn't really understand so I said, "are you baptized?" They responded, "no, but we want to be! How do we get baptized?" Those are the words that missionaries live for. I sat with them during opening exercised of priesthood got all their information and then passed it on to Elder Johnson and his companions who cover that area. Those two young men, Peter and Mason, were baptized and confirmed last night. It was so powerful and they were beaming. There were two 8 year-olds baptized in the ward as well, so the turnout was incredible. The whole ward is finally coming around and converting into a missionary-minded ward. The baptism service was really powerful and a lady that was baptized two weeks ago bore a pure testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. As I felt the Spirit of the baptismal service, I couldn't help but remember the promise of the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants 84:20: 20 Therefore, in the aordinances thereof, the power of bgodliness is manifest. I always promise investigators that if they will come to a baptismal service they will feel the power of God and the Holy Ghost. Our investigator there last night was on the verge of tears as she was overwhelmed with the Spirit. After the service we went to go see the Martinez family. They have a special place in my heart. They were offended a number of years ago in Eastern Texas and went inactive and then moved here and decided that they could never go back to church. We have built a wonderful relationship with them though and are helping them to feel the Spirit once again after these many years. We showed up Saturday night with the plan of singing "Senor, Te Necesito" and then teaching and testifying of the Savior. They were in the middle of a birthday party though and thus we had to return last night. We had the same plan but had forgotten our hymnals in the car. I knocked on the door loudly and no one answered. I then rang the doorbell and no one answered. The thought then came that we had left the hymnals in the car. Elders Ayala and Jarvis (they are both still my companions by the way, we managed to get through transfers untouched) ran back to the car and grabbed the hymnals while I proceed to knock on the door one last time very softly (at this point I was worried I would wake them up) and they immediately answered the door. We sat down at the table and told them about the baptism that had just happened to which they jokingly responded that we should have let the converts talk to them first so they could change their minds. I then said, "we want to do things a little differently today. We want to begin by singing a hymn about the Savior. The hymn is called, "Senor, Te Necesito", have you heard it before?" The hermano almost began to cry as he related to us that he had worked in radio and had been asked to record that hymn for the station he worked for. He said that it held a special place in his heart. It sure brought the Spirit and allowed for a wonderful lesson about Jesus Christ, our Master, our Savior and our King. How grateful I am for a Heavenly Father that is so aware of each of His children and for the little miracles that happen every day like receiving a prompting to grab the hymn books before knocking one last time. I sure love you all and I love the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He really did atone for our sins so that we can be forgive and clean and so that we can receive of His grace. His grace enables us to be better than we are and empowers us to be able to serve and bless those around us. This Gospel is true. Elder Case

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