Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Marriage is Like a Three Ring Circus...

Dear Family, The Lord is so kind. I received dad's letter today about Gabe and just couldn't believe it. I just sat there and didn't know what to do. I then read it again and just sat there feeling completely helpless. I was sitting at my desk at the office and must have not looked too goo because Elder Johnson looked over and said, "Hey will you come with me real quick?" He walked me to the bathroom and then said, I can wait here while you go and pray or think or something. It was really hard for me to read that and to think about it. I went and sat down and just cried as I was overcome with emotion. I then knelt down and told Heavenly Father how grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I poured my soul out to Him and asked to be comforted and to feel peace and to be able to remember and feel all that I have learned about the Atonement. The answer to my prayer was immediate and the Holy Ghost comforted me. I imagine that angels came and ministered to me as well. I am so grateful for the love of the Savior and for His infinite love and eternal sacrifice. Please tell Gabe that I love him and need him to be at my homecoming. Please tell the Gomez family that I love them and will continue to pray for them, that they can have peace and feel of God's love for them. We aside from that, this week has been incredible. We have been so blessed. On Friday, the entire Ortega family went to the temple and did baptisms for the dead! They loved it. They were baptized on Saturday, confirmed on Sunday, and in the temple the following Friday. It really solidified their desire to be sealed in one year. On Sunday Hermano Ortega said the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting. It was a sweet experience. And not only that, the whole Del Castillo family (8 in total) came to church. They didn't all come at the same time though. I was sitting with Hermano Del Castillo and stood up and bore my testimony and told the ward that I loved and appreciated them and that I was seriously considering just moving my records there since I have been in the ward for 9 months. When I sat down there was an hermana sharing her testimony about how the missionaries came to there home 15 years ago and how ever since they were baptized it has been the best experience and the best decision. I leaned over to Hermano Del Castillo and told him that I was looking forward to the day when he stood up and bore a similar testimony. He asked me if anyone could go up and bear testimony and I said yes. With just a few minutes left in the meeting he leaned over and asked, "Is there enough time for me to go?" I said of course and he stood up and bore his testimony! The best part is that right when he stood up, the Bishop got my attention and notioned towards the back of the chapel I looked back and in walked Hermano Del Castillo's older two children and his daughter-in-law. I stood up and sat by them and they were shocked to see there dad standing up in front talking to the congregation of this church he just barely started going to. It was there first time coming and it was hilarious! In his testimony he asked the missionaries that were teaching him to stand up so that everyone would know who we were. He then testified of the change that has happened in his life since we met him and how he knows that God loves him because he sent his angles (the missionaries) to come and teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He ended his testimony by saying he knew that this was the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. It was a pretty special experience and I know that his baptism next Sunday with his wife will be one of the most special experiences of my life. We taught them about apostles and prophets this week and explained that this next Sunday they were going to be able to listen to an apostle of the Lord. If I didn't already tell you all this, Elder Russel M. Nelson is coming to our stake conference this Sunday. Hermana Del Castillo nearly started crying as she related to us her gratitude and that she never even hoped that she would have such an opportunity. She said that she thought that only those who lived anciently had such an opportunity. How blessed we are to have prophets and apostles that live and that teach us. How blessed we are to know they are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world. Elder Nelson will have a Priesthood Meeting on Saturday and then a general session Saturday night and the general session Sunday morning. It has been fun to testify to everyone that I meet that a special witness of Jesus Christ and one of the twelve apostles will be here and that they can listen to someone that is like Peter of old. They get pretty excited about that and lots of people are coming. So the Del Castillo's friend Mirna is probably the most prepared and faith filled investigator I have ever met. She fasted with us on Saturday night that here husband's heart would be soft and that they would both have the faith to get married on tomorrow! President Ashton joined us in the fast and we received and answer through him on Sunday morning. He suggested that they get married in the Honduranian Consulate here in Houston so that there is no legal problems. Mirna loved the idea and just wants to be baptized so badly. Her 10 year-old daughter is just so sweet. On Saturday after having the fasting/faith/miracles lesson we gave them a ring pop so that Mirna could propose to her husband Rodolfo. Sunday after church we taught them in Hermano Perez's home (our WML) and asked how the proposal went. Julie (the 10 year-old) pointed to her stomach and said that the ring had disappeared. We bought a really nice looking fake ring today and are going to bring it to our lesson tomorrow. Please pray really hard that Rodolfo will have a soft heart and that he will go with us to the Consulate tomorrow to get married. We will probably throw a party this weekend and Mirna will be baptized next Tuesday so that Rodolfo can be there as well. Every single day, we get home and cannot believe the miracles that have happened. The Spirit comes so strongly to every single lesson. We are finding new people to teach and they all want to be baptized and keep their commitments. We really don't do anything to deserve such grace and mercy but we sure are grateful for the chance we have each day to see the hand of the Lord in our lives. We don't spend any time in the office anymore and spend literally 100% of our time in our areas now. I have so many stories to share with you all but just don't have the time to do so. Just know that I know that God is a God of miracles. He lives. He loves us perfectly. He knows us and is so aware of us. He gives us commandments so that He can bless us. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He suffered for each of us individually that we can be healed. I know that He wants to heal us, physically, emotionally, and most of all, spiritually. I know that He has the power to heal us. Please pray for Mirna and Rodolfo, that they will be married tomorrow. Also, please pray for la familia Del Castillo that they will be baptized on Sunday and continue to feel the Spirit and learn what they need. I love you, Elder Case

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