Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Good Connection

Hey everyone,
How are y'all doing? I am doing great. The weather has cooled down quite a bit here, too. I like it. I was getting pretty sick of the hot summer days. I am really enjoying my missionary service here. My companion is Elder Brady Alan R, and he is so cool. I'm so glad to be his companion, we connect pretty well. He's from Oroville CA and he just came from being a zone leader in Wilmington. We're doing great things together, and honestly I just enjoy being around him and talking to him. I love the ward here, too.

Something funny happened just recently. When I was with Elder S he knew I had been on Jeopardy, but he didn't tell anyone in the ward about it so nobody knew (obviously I wasn't going to say anything!). Well, Elder R heard that I'd been on Jeopardy from the AP, Elder C, and he and Mike S asked me about it. They found out that was true, and then Elder R told Kyle D, the first Counselor, when we were having dinner with his family. He in turn told his brother in law, the bishop, who announced it in priesthood meeting. So everyone finally knows and asks me about it now, it was pretty funny when it got announced. So now people know! Ha ha.

Well, here is the missionary report from this week. "There are 5 people that we think will get baptized before the end of the year. They are Tiffaney, Mike P, Hunter, Brian, and Alex. We had some really good news with Tiffaney this week. She and Michael got married last weekend! So she is now pretty much good to go for baptism. She wants Michael to do the baptism ... Mike P is getting closer and closer to baptism, after we taught him about the Restoration he asked us about what he needs to do to get ready to be baptized. We're just waiting on December for Hunter to get baptized, we're pretty excited for him. We're going to see what we can do to get his Mom focused on getting herself rebaptized, there's no reason that she shouldn't do it soon. We taught Brian the message of the Restoration, and he understood it very well. He said that if he did find out it was true, he would get baptized (because you would have to if you did know that). He mentioned that he wants to give up smoking and that he was willing to give up tea. We taught Alex, who is turning 9 in just a little while. Her stepmother Danielle sat in on the lesson, and we committed her to read 3 Nephi 11 and pray to know if it's true. So we've got a lot of good things going on, there are 2 or 3 more other part-member families we are making efforts to start working with."

So things are going great here. I'm glad to hear about all the exciting things that are going on at home. Todd, you were right. Back home seems like a dream and that it doesn't/shouldn't really change while I'm away, but it definitely does. I'm glad that the time in St. George was good. I can't believe Grandpa's 80 years old! I assume that he's still pretty spry if he's playing in a band. That's pretty sweet. Derek, it’s good that you put on that ACT seminar. I remember Dad suggested to me that I do that same thing, but I didn't capitalize on the opportunity. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Dad, I definitely should have taken your advice more often. I'm pretty jealous that y'all will get to hear Elder Holland speak. By the way Mother, we didn't get to listen to apostles speak ALL the time! Ha ha, we got to hear only about 2 or 3!

Oh, and I never did respond to your question. President C's all about being led by the Spirit, while President W was more old-school, everyone reports to the people at the top. President C's emphasis is getting the mission to do things according to Preach My Gospel and the Missionary Handbook and allowing us more discretion so that we can be guided by the Spirit. This means that some of President W's traditions are being done away with, such as the assistants and the zone leaders going on exchanges all the time. The assistants only go on exchanges with the zone leaders, and the zone leaders only go on exchanges with the district leaders (as described by the Missionary Handbook). There are also a lot more younger missionaries being called to leadership positions. Those are 2 of the examples of changes that have ruffled the feathers of some of the old-timers, I think he's a very inspired man, though, and there shouldn't be murmuring. There's not a whole lot, but my first couple transfers a couple of the missionaries that I served around complained about it a lot. But anyways, that's that. And as much as I would like you to send Bro. Bott's book to me, you probably shouldn't. We're still restricted to the missionary library. And I did read Jesus the Christ a couple months ago, it was amazing. Talmage certainly was a smart man.

Ok, so I have a couple requests for you Mom. My bank account is low, I've made some purchases with it. Basically we aren't allowed to buy personal items (including clothes) with mission money, so we have to use our own money. It would be nice if I could get maybe a couple hundred in there, there are some personal things I like to buy every once in a while (for example last week I bought a scale and a jump rope so that I can try and lose some weight; they stuff me every night and I've gained about 20 pounds!!! Yikes!). So that would be nice. Yes, I did get your package, thank you very much. I forgot to mention it last week, it definitely is nice to get something from home! I don't get very much mail at all (maybe a letter every couple of weeks), so every little bit is great. And I had a request for an early Christmas present. I really don't have any pictures of my life before I came out here, so I would really, really, really appreciate a photo album that has some pictures of my life throughout high school and college. You can get college pictures off of my Facebook account or there's a bunch on my computer, maybe you can get Chris or Derek to help you. But I would really enjoy that, if you could spare the time/energy/effort. Thanks for everything, I know that the church is true! I've been reading from the teachings of Joseph Smith, and I know that he truly must have been a prophet. I hope y'all have a great week and are enjoying life. Until next time.

Elder Casper

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