Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Testimonies of the Book of Mormon

Dear Family, Thank you for your faith and prayers this week. Darbelio (Pedro) did not end up getting baptized because he wants to wait for his "wife" to get divorced and do things right. He did not feel like moving out was the best option for the kids. But we found a divorce lawyer that is a member and it looks like it will be three months till they can get divorced, married, and he can get baptized. In the mean time, he is willing to live all the commandments and asked us to teach him about tithing so that he could begin to pay it. He is amazing. Norma Mejia is all lined up for her baptism this weekend. She is incredible. She keeps on asking us for more pamphlets and conference talks and is reading a lot in the Book of Mormon. Please pray that her mom and step dad will allow her to get baptized on Saturday. She wants to so badly. On Saturday, we called the Ortegas (they are practically our second family since we are there every single day) and asked them to go pick Norma up for a lesson (Hermana Ortega has also adopted Norma) even though we didn't have a lesson set. We showed up and they were all there waiting for us with a full table of food set. We had a lesson about studying the Book of Mormon every single day and asked each of the Ortegas to share their testimonies of reading the Book of Mormon. All of them read daily and Natalia (17 year old) is already in 3 Nephi! She was baptized a month and a half ago and is about to finish the Book of Mormon. It was amazing to hear their testimonies but even better to feel the strength and validity of them. What a great blessing. On Friday when we left the Ortegas, the neighbor across the street (Giselle) called us over and said that she wanted us to start teaching her 7 year old grandson. She said that he had some behavioral issues and we said we could help. Giselle is the wife of a former investigator named Geraldo who is the one that told us to knock on the Ortega's door in December. Giselle explained that she wanted her grandson Lance to go to church but that she was Baptist and hadn't gone to church in seven years and had no intentions of returning since she enjoyed communicating with God from her home. As we talked with her she said she would drop him off at church, drive around for the duration and then come and pick him up. She explained that he has ADHD and then asked, "Do you think it would be good if I came and sat with him at least during the first hour before he goes with the kids?" That was music to our ears. We had a lesson the next night and then played soccer and Lance loved it. He woke up Sunday morning sick and Giselle said they weren't going to go to church and he begged to be able to go. They all came (including her 13 year old granddaughter named Madison that lives next door) and loved it. Giselle stayed all three hours and Lance after church pleaded to go back the next week. I still do not fathom how God does it, I just know he does. Madison told Sandy (the Ortega's granddaughter) that she wants to get baptized. Now we just need to get her parents on board. Please pray for la familia Del Castillo. They are struggling. I had a really neat thought this week. Though I honestly try and pray for y'all, I just find my thoughts consumed by my investigators and their needs. I want to remember to pray for each of you and what you need but I often just don't think about anything other than the people here. Yesterday and Saturday in I think every appointment, the members, investigators, and recent converts prayed for you. In each pray they asked Heavenly Father to bless the missionaries and the families of the missionaries. They pray that you will be healthy, that you will prosper, and that you will be protected. It was a tender mercy for me to recognize that the Lord really does take care of us and our families even if it is in a different way than we would think. So each time you pray for me or my investigators, please know that those prayers are returned plentifully and faithfully. We have Zone Conferences every day for the rest of the week. Should be fun. We don't really have to do much which is nice. We are studying repentance as a mission for the month of February. It has been wonderful. I am learning much. Please continue to pray for Rodolfo so that he can quit smoking. We made a plan with him this week and he has cut back from 10 to 8 cigarettes a day. The night before we made the plan, he told us that he thought it was impossible to quit smoking and that he had tried many times. I looked him in the eyes and with all the faith I could muster testified that we represented the Savior Jesus Christ and that we had been commissioned and given authority to help people repent. The next day during the lesson we asked if he thought it was possible to quit and he said, "well, you represent Jesus and are the only ones that have the power to help me quit". I am grateful that the Spirit testified to him of the sacred calling that we have as missionaries. I love you, Elder Case

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