I hope things are going well for you all. It's been a good week for me. On Preparation Day we were able to go fishing (from the shore of course), which is the first time I have been in a long time. We did that with the H boys, John and Chris. We've been on a few exchanges with them, which I really enjoyed. They're both BYU students, John is an RM and Chris is about to go on his mission to Peru. Chris even had the same Book of Mormon teacher that I had at BYU, Brother Bartholomew. He was the coolest (better than Parker, haha) and really had a good influence on both of us. They're good guys. Anyways, so this past week we've worked with Bob on prayer. He doesn't have any confidence in his ability to pray, which seems to be what's really holding him back. So we've taught him some about that, and hopefully he really takes it to heart over the next 10 days. He is going to the motherland! He's from Spokane, so we have the eastern Washington heritage in common.
We also taught Margaret, and I was pretty shocked. When we first met her, Elder S said she was golden, but up to this point we'd only been able to actually teach one lesson. So we went over there to follow up on her Book of Mormon reading and make sure that she was committed to go to church. So we talked to her about it, and she had read Alma 32 and felt peace that she hadn't ever felt before. She told us about how she had been a member of the Episcopalian church, but that when she went through hard times they weren't there for her. When she said that it reminded me of Mosiah 18:8-9, which talks about bearing one another's burdens. So I asked her to turn there, and then remembered what verse 10 said: "Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?" So we read those three verses, and without having planned on it at all, we invited her to be baptized on September 12th, and she accepted! It was crazy. This is definitely something that will bless her, and she recognizes that and wants to be a part of it. So that was a good experience. We've met a few part-member families where there could be a lot of potential. We're going to do our best to be able to teach them and hopefully get people to recognize the blessings that come from being a part of the church. So it was definitely a good week for us.
As far as things temporal, this week has been both pretty warm and pretty wet. I didn't truly understand until now why everyone has a ditch dug in front of their yard, but it rained hard for hours on Wednesday and filled up those ditches to overflowing. So far I haven't had a day that has been both extremely hot and humid, so I count myself very lucky. I actually enjoy the humidity, it keeps things warm at night. Me and Elder S try to run at least 4 times a week for about 15 minutes in the morning to help keep off some of that weight. I must say that there is a great culinary combination here of southern cooking and seafood. We eat well.
So things have been going pretty well, it's crazy to think that my first transfer will be over in a week. The time sure is flying by. We had my first zone conference this last week, and I quite enjoyed it. The various speakers mainly focused on fulfilling our purpose as a missionary, which is "to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." Sometimes we have hard times that can distract us from our purpose, but as we work hard and stay focused on our goal we are able to grow and to be happy. And if life wasn't hard, then it wouldn't be worth it.
Again, I hope things are going good for all of you. I still think that you stink for being at Priest Lake. Sounds like you've been eating good and having fun. I remember having scones the night before my farewell talk, they were very yummy! And yes, organizing those tournaments on the computer does sound like something I would do. Thanks for the advice, Dad. I appreciate it and am glad to hear that the Benny Bike is up and running (I mean biking ha ha ha...I'm a riot). Thanks for those of you that have sent me letters. The address I have previously given out is the mission office address, and letters take a couple extra days to get to me. So if you want to send me a letter quickly, you can send it to the following address until I get transferred (which I am guessing will be in January or February):
Elder Will Casper
424 Sand Dollar Dr.
Gloucester, NC 28528
I love you all and hope everything is going well. Until next time!