Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Gospel Blesses Families

Dear Family, At the beginning of my mission, I didn't really understand why people would sometimes get so emotional about the Gospel. Of course there were times when I had felt the Spirit in a very overwhelming way that brought me to tears but I just didn't understand how that would happen so often to people. I am beginning to understand. In almost every lesson I have to fight back tears. These tears don't come because I am overcome with the power of the Spirit but rather they come because I am filled with gratitude and overcome by how blessed I am to have the Gospel in my life. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness. I know that foundation of apostles and prophets is here again on the earth and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is built above that foundation. I am beginning to understand the Holy Ghost. He is is guide, my teacher and my friend. I cannot imagine trying to do this work without His influence. One of the things that I have learned this week that has helped me a lot is that I realized that one of the reasons that we are so blessed and so happy and filled with the Spirit as missionaries is that we pray all the time. We pray every time before we knock on a door and then we pray after even if no one answered. We pray to begin and end studies. We pray to begin and end lessons. We pray to express gratitude. We pray when we don't know where to go. We pray when we do know where to go. We just pray and God listens and blesses us. Elder Johnson and I had an office day this past Thursday and it was just terrible. When we left after a number of hours at the office, I just didn't feel happy. I thought about it and realized that during the whole time I was at the office I had never said a prayer because I thought I was capable of fulfilling all my assignments without praying. I learned that when I come home, I can never stop praying because it assumes that we are capable when we really are not. King Benjamin teaches that we are less than the dust of the earth and Nephi in his concluding remarks teaches us in 2 Nephi 32:9 9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must apray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall bpray unto the Father in the cname of Christ, that he will dconsecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the ewelfare of thy soul. We found three new families this week and they are all wonderful. We are so excited to have them learn about, progress in, and become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been so blessed I just can't believe it. Norma (the 17 year old for El Salvador) is doing great! We didn't see her for a while and then we felt we should stop by and she was outside with some of her family. We taught her and her twin brother and her uncle the Restoration. At the beginning of the lesson we asked Norma if she had received her answer about the Book of Mormon and she said she had. She told us that as she read she was filled with a wonderful feeling and that God had told her it was true and that she had been surprised to find herself defending the Book of Mormon to her family and friends. Her uncle had a pretty skewed idea of Mormons but after the lesson walked into the house (we were teaching outside in the dark) where the rest of the family was gathered and then spent an hour telling them what we had taught and how Mormons were not that weird and that he felt so good as we taught him. The whole family wants to learn now and we taught the mom last night. Norma came to church (the Ortegas brought her) and just loved it. She said that the moment she entered the chapel, she felt the Spirit. After church she came up to us and said, "So far you have visited me a few times and given me a few pamphlets (Restoration and Gospel of Jesus Christ), do you have any more that I could study and learn from?" We gave her the Plan of Salvation and then stopped by Sunday night and she had read the whole pamphlet and loved it. She told us that she was excited for her baptism on February 15th and that she loves how she feels. Her sister Karen, while defending us to her parents, called us "los verdaderos". Pedro, the son-in-law of the Ortegas wants to be baptized so badly this coming Sunday. His "wife" Carla needs to get divorced and then they need to get married this week so that can happen. There is a Plan B but we think the marriage would be best. Please pray that we can talk to the people and find the way that Carla can get divorced according to God's will. We have a lesson with them on Wednesday and Pedro is going to teach us how to grill fajitas. We are pretty excited about that. Rodolfo (Mirna's husband) quit his job and now can come to church. He loved it yesterday. We are having a FHE tonight with their family at the home of la familia Perez. Please continue to pray for Mirna and Rodolfo that we can find the way for them to get married so they can be baptized. There are so many miracles that I wish I could share them all but I just can't. This Gospel is true. It brings happiness. Heavenly Father wants to bless us far more than we want to be blessed. His love is infinite and perfect. I feel of that love each and every day. Thank you for your prayers and your love. I hope you are all well and that you too might enjoy of the blessings of this Gospel. I love you. Love, Elder Case

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