I have reflected recently on how each new week can still be better and more exciting and rewarding than the last. How each new day can bring more satisfaction, joy, and learning than the last. It has been wonderful seeing this in my life and I continue to feel deep joy and satisfaction with the work that is being done even though we have not had any investigator come to church in 4 1/2 months. I think the reason that it feels so great is that we are helping others improve their lives by inviting them to come unto Christ. I believe we all can have this profound joy as we express that love through service to others and sharing what we hold dear, the Gospel, with others. It can be as simple as a statement "I love Christ." or "I am so grateful for the happiness the Gospel brings to me." The best way is by letting our lights shine in an example to others. They cannot help but notice the wonderful spirit we carry and like a light on the top of a mountain it cannot be hid and everyone notices it. It should be this way in each of our lives. Each day and each week should be continually better as we improve while here on Earth. This is what God wants for us. Joy, peace, improvement, and ultimately Eternal Life. I think this hymn puts it quite well.
- Brightly beams our Father's mercyFrom his lighthouse evermore,But to us he gives the keepingOf the lights along the shore.
- (Chorus)Let the lower lights be burning;Send a gleam across the wave.Some poor fainting, struggling seamanYou may rescue, you may save.
- Dark the night of sin has settled; Loud the angry billows roar.Eager eyes are watching, longing,For the lights along the shore.
- Trim your feeble lamp, my brother; Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,Trying now to make the harbor,In the darkness may be lost.
The adventures for the week go as follows. On preparation day I was with Elder Hale. The elder serving in Glenrock Wyoming. We had a great time together as we both waited for our new companions. We decided to use the opportunity to take some pictures of the scenery while we had a car. I took him to a great spot for photographing the valley of Casper and also Casper Mountain. We got some great pictures. Later we decided to go to the wildlife museum here in Casper. We were not expecting how great that experience would be. They have taxidermy animals everywhere and from everywhere. They also have several world record animals there. I really like seeing the polar bear and the different types of fishes. Later we played basketball again, of course. It actually is getting very fun, but I am glad that we also have plans to do different things as well such as chair soccer.
My new companions name is Elder Rucker. He is great. He came from Luverne Minnesota and his home town is Mesa Arizona. He has also served with Elder Lete in Marshall. In fact he replaced me as Elder Lete's companion when I left to come here. It really is a small world. So far we are doing great. I am learning a lot from him, mostly about ways to be more organized in planning and in following up with people that we leave commitments with. So that we don't just follow up, but that we remember the exact chapters and commitments we have left people. We had a great weekly planning session on his first day here. He has been out 4 months less than I have so close to his 14 month mark.
So one day was spent figuring out where we were going to live. The Zone Leaders managed to get us our old apartment back and so we moved furniture in, unpacked, and still had time to go teaching with members later in the evening. It was a great success doing so when I was in a threesome that we decided to continue doing so to fellowship members and investigators who need the Gospel more strongly in their lives. Elder Rucker also has many good ideas for object lessons which will really help many of the people here.
We were out trying some less actives and we knocked on the Allred family's door. It turns out they recently moved away and as a result we talked with the man who just moved in. He invited us back to learn more. Later we also had a similar experience being prompted to knock a certain door and finding another person who has had contact with the church before, but was open to us coming back. It was a great feeling having the Lord bless us so abundantly.
Saturday was amazing. We had a wonderful lesson with Corrine. We taught the Plan of Salvation and great blessings came from it. She was able to feel the strong spirit that came as we testified of the Atonement, of temples, eternal families, and also the importance of being baptized. She accepted to be baptized if her mother allows it. She also said she'd come to church if her mother would let her. She also said that it answered many of the questions that she had.
Sunday was great. It was ward conference and we had the opportunity to sustain the leaders of the ward and of the church. It helped us get to know people a lot better. After church we had dinner with the Hardy family. they made some great Alfredo and steak. We also helped brother Hardy later in a mission preparation class that he was teaching. It went really well and we were able to give advice on what we wished we had done before our missions to prepare better emotionally and physically for our service.
Today should be very good. It will be Elder Rucker's first P-day in Casper. I also get to spend time reminiscing with Elder Lete. He got transferred here directly from Marshall just like I did. It was funny and I'm sure the members there laughed about it. That seems to be the pattern for missionaries that serve in Marshall, they get sent over here to Casper. It was great to be able to write. It was a great week and I look forward to many more great weeks serving the Lord.
Always remember "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come..unto them that turn from transgression" (Isaiah 59:19-20)