Thursday, July 29, 2010

A great (and hot) week

This week's been great, just like always!

"We got two new investigators this week, which hasn't happened for me in a little while. We taught both Z and C this week finally. Z's a pretty smart kid. His family wants him to be baptized, but also wants it to be his decision. His mother is inactive and grandma is semi-active at best, so that's an obstacle. We have a baptismal date set with him for August. We taught C, and he's a really good kid. He's turned out pretty well so far considering the circumstances he's been raised in. His grandparents and mother aren't interested in the gospel, but they're nice and they are supportive of him becoming a part of the church. He also has a baptismal date set in August. They both disappointed us by not coming to church though! We'll keep working with them and see what kept them from coming.

We had two nonmembers come to church that we were super excited to have there yesterday. The first was Sis. M. Sis. M is a really nice girl from Romania who's married to a returned missionary. She's been to church a few times but has never been taught the lessons. They only came to Gospel Principles class, but it was great to have her there. Later on we were in Elder's Quorum and Sis. Beck, our ward mission leader's wife, told us she needed us. A man had just came into the building and asked for some information about the church. My thoughts immediately turned to a similar situation that happened last week, when we ended up talking to a homeless man who wanted us to vouch for him to get money from another church. So we went and talked to this man, and fortunately it was a different person. This man knew a Mormon in Raleigh and wanted to learn about the church. We told him that another service started in an hour, and he actually went home, changed, came back, and went to sacrament meeting and Gospel Principles with us! I was blown away, something like this has never happened to me. I talked to S a little bit and got some of his background. He's of Jewish descent and used to be active in that religion, but he thinks that the Jewish religion today doesn't really go along with the Old Testament. He also said that the Jews await the coming of the Messiah to create the nation of Israel, but it already exists! He is golden. We have an appointment with him on Tuesday and I'm really excited!

We had two recent convert/less-active lessons this week. One was with Bro. W. We were able to get him a large-print triple combination so that he can start reading on his own. He's such a good man. We also taught Sis. N, a less-active member. She's been trying to quite smoking and come back to church. We had a good lesson with her about daily scripture reading and gave her a Book of Mormon to read. She made us some little desserts to eat after the lesson, which I thought was a nice little gesture. I could tell that she did that out of a spirit of service and love. I hope she continues to do well, she's had a very good spirit about her recently."

So to answer your question, the potentials we got up with were C and Z. And I'm really excited to teach Sam. And yes, it does feel like there's a lot of potential here. We did find out where the S's live and we're planning on going to see them this week. I'll report on what happens next week.

This past week has been ridiculously hot. Temperatures into the 100s, and the humidity makes it worse. But I do prefer the heat to biking around in the cold. Last winter was awful! I really don't sweat that much compared to a lot of other guys, so I'm ok with the heat.

There were a lot of things that happened this week. All of my weeks recently have been jam-packed. One of the members, Bro. Tew, took us out to lunch. It was very enjoyable, he's studied a lot on the Second Coming and I've learned a lot from him about it. I'll have to tell you more about later. On the 24th the two wards had a potluck dinner at the church, followed by a little program about the pioneers. It was pretty good, the pioneers in the Willie and Martin handcart companies sure went through a lot.

I got a nice e-mail from David. He told me that his MTC date has been moved up to August. He's going to be gone soon! Crazy! I finally wrote Andrew last week. Hopefully he can find the time to write me back, Elder Stewart told me that when he was an AP he rarely got a Preparation Day.

On Sundays, we are at church by 8 AM and don't leave until 4 PM. We don't have time for a lunch break, and we study and eat dinner right when we get home. Then we go do some work for a couple of hours, and that's our day. Super busy. Today, we are going to shoot some hoops for a little bit, shop, relax, wash the car, and do some deep cleaning. We have to get the apartment spic and span because we will be moving soon. And write a letter or two. It's just a nice day to relax and take it easy. Unfortunately, we don't meet with very many members here at all. We are very rarely invited to a home for dinner, and that's really the way that we get to know the members. We get 1 or 2 exchanges a week. Most of our time is spent doing finding through our own efforts. It hinders the work but we just try to do all that we can do and serve the ward.

Elder Tibbitts' diabetes doesn't really hinder him much. He has to check his blood all the time but it's become an art for him. He has a little pump with a catheter so that he can give himself insulin when he needs it. So it's all good.

It was really great to get that update. Good to see the pictures of baby Jett and hear about Easton and Everett. Easton sounds like a funny kid. If I was to give you any advice about sharing the gospel I would just say seek the guidance of the Spirit to tell you what to do. Bear testimony of the gospel when he asks questions, show him, and if you feel prompted invite him to your home to meet with the missionaries. I agree that it can be a tricky business sharing the gospel with someone that you really want to accept it. Ultimately we just have to have faith and do all that we can do. "Boldness, but not overbearance", as the Book of Mormon says.

I am doing pretty well here. I'm enjoying the work very much, I've really learned a lot over the last couple of months. I've made a concerted effort to stay focused on the gospel, no matter what I'm doing. It's really paid off a lot and helped me out in a big way. You know how much I love the music that I listened to. It's been tough for me to give that up and not think about it or sing it to myself. But as I've pushed that out, things have been a lot better for me.

Well, I believe that's about all I've got. I love you all, and look forward to hearing from you next week.

Elder Casper

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