The work is going great. We did have a baptism yesterday. Margaret L knows pretty much everyone in the ward because she taught English for years. Bishop Nelson was one of her favorite students. So anyways, the service was held right after church. I definitely felt the Spirit there. I had some sweet feelings of peace and happiness. Later in the day we were going around visiting people and I pondered over it a little bit, “Did I really just have my first baptism today? Today doesn’t feel any different than any other day.” It was crazy, I guess I don’t really know what I was expecting but it did feel just like a normal day.
We are also teaching a few other people. One of them is Hunter. He is the funniest, sweetest 8-year old. His mother was a strong member and is now excommunicated, but she has taught Hunter the gospel pretty well and is starting to make her way back. Hunter really wants to get baptized, we haven’t set a date yet but it’ll happen.
We had dinner with Raisa this week. She fed us some good Russian food, including some mushrooms that she picked. We had a really good lesson with her after. She now understands that this is the only true church. She was brought up in the Orthodox religion and has a strong faith in that, but she is going to continue reading the Book of Mormon and pray to know if the church is true. She has told us about many good experiences she has had with prayer, so I have faith that if she sincerely prays then she will get an answer.
A couple of weeks ago a new part-member family moved into the ward. The member’s name is Mike S, which brings up an interesting experience. When I was at school in May, I ran into two missionaries in my apartment building. I talked with them a bit and told them that I had got my mission call to North Carolina. As it turns out, one of them was from the North Carolina Raleigh mission. His name was Elder S. I found out that Michael is Adam’s (the Elder’s) cousin. Small world. Anyways, his girlfriend is living with him and she is golden. She has already had the lessons and wants to get married and be baptized. So we are excited to teach them.
Then there is Jerry. Ezra Taft Benson said, “Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand.” That is pretty much where we are at with Jerry, either he’s going to make the decision to change and start living the Word of Wisdom or he’s not. That simple.
The weather has cooled down a lot. It’s felt really good. We haven’t had the car over the past week, so we have biked a lot. I’m getting pretty sore from all of it. I’ll tell you what-- I got pretty lucky to be here for the summer. It got hot for a couple weeks during August, but even then it was at least 5 degrees cooler than the rest of the state (which makes a huge difference in this humidity). The ocean cools down this area and provides a nice little breeze. It’s very beautiful out here. It’s where the woods and the ocean meet, which makes for some pretty good sunsets.
Anyway, thanks for the news on the 4 cousins. It’s really cool to hear about the challenges they face and are working to overcome. I’m especially proud of Dan and Al, I’m so glad that they decided to serve missions. I’m so lucky to be from such a great family! I hope Kyle and Andrew continue to do well and enjoy their missions, they’ve always been good examples to me.
Wow, this has been a nice long letter! Thanks for the news on everything. Now that Michael has been bribed with peach pie into writing me a letter, I have received at least one letter from each sibling! I feel honored!… I can now ride my bike with no handlebars, ha ha! Only took me 1.5 transfers. Just thought you should know.
Well, thanks for everything. I appreciate the support I’ve gotten from you all. I know that the Church is true and that it brings peace to people. I have definitely seen that! I love you all, and I will write again next week!
Love, Elder Casper