Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This Do in Remembrance of Me

Dear Family, We have finally settled in the new apartment. It is just across the parking lot from where I lived for the last year but it was really dirty and took lots of time to unpack. Elder Larson was transferred to Houston 8 (where I began my mission) and Elder Cruz is our new companion. Elder Cruz, Elder Nielsen and I have all served in Houston 8 before so we have fun stories to talk about and share. Houston 4th Ward is convinced that I am a member now and not a missionary. They all expect me to move back right after my mission and raise my family here with them. This week we stopped by Giselle's home and taught her and her husband (Gerrardo). We taught the Word of Wisdom and he was the same as her. At the beginning of the lesson he said there was no way that he was going to stop drinking coffee and at the end, he looked us in the eyes and said, "I promise that I will never drink coffee again". It was a miracle to see the change of heart that happened in him in just a few minutes. He is preparing to be baptized on April 12th. Please pray for Gerrardo and also their granddaughter Madison that they can be baptized together on that date. With all the changes this week things have been really different for me. It has been hard to keep my regular routine and schedule and thus I have felt like I slacked in some areas where I used to be diligent. I kept on trying my best but just didn't feel that it was quite good enough. As we went to Sacrament Meeting, I was reflecting on the week and all the times that I hadn't lived up to my baptismal covenant of promising to remember Him. What's more, I read a talk by Elder Holland at the beginning of the week entitled "This Do in Remembrance of Me" from the October 1995 General Conference. As I read that talk I committed myself to better remember the Savior throughout the week and as the time approached to renew the covenant and commitment I could only remember all the times I had not done so. I sat down in front of Karla Ortega so that I could help her control her 5 and 6 year old boys. As I was sitting there, my failures to remember the Savior kept coming back to my mind. It was then that the Colons walked in. They saw the open bench next to me and came and sat down. It was such a tender mercy of the Lord to sit by them and draw with Esmeralda (3) and listen to Eduardo (7) ever so quietly sing "I Am a Child of God" to himself during the administration of the Sacrament. As the bread was being passed, I looked over at Hno Colon and he had his head bowed, eyes closed and his hands stretched out with his palms up. I knew that he was intently remembering the Savior and His atoning sacrifice for us. I knew that he was thinking of the hands of the Savior which were so horribly marred and marked for us. As I observed this family that I love so very much, I felt my Savior's love. I knew with a surety that even though I hadn't remembered Him, that He had remembered me. I thought of the Sacrament prayer that I had just heard and my promise to "always remember him". I thought of my baptismal covenant in Mosiah 18 "to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [I] may be in, even until death". And then I realized that even though I had not lived worthy and that I had not kept my covenant, that Christ promises "yet will I not forget thee" for "I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands" (1 Nephi 21:15-16). I know that we are never forsaken nor forgotten by the one who loves us perfectly. I know that we have a Heavenly Father that is ever aware of us. I know Jesus Christ lives and though perfect has kept the imperfect marks of the Crucifixion that we might remember Him. I am so grateful for this Gospel and for the experiences the Lord is blessing us with. I love you and am grateful for your prayers. Love, Elder Case

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