Monday, January 27, 2014

Yes!! I've been working in Spanish for over a month now without a Spanish name tag, and it finally came in the mail last Thursday. I know all of you might not care that much about it, but it was exciting for me!

The library was closed last week for MLK day, so that's why I didn't send in a blog post. Sorry! 

This week has been very slow. We only taught three people, who we already teach regularly, but towards the end of the week some great things happened. We started looking for people in a different area of town, and we found 5 hispanic households in one hour, all willing to have us over to teach them!! That was awesome! 

One of the three people we taught was not feeling very well. I can't share too much, but she felt like she could not come to church on Sunday. After we spent some time with her talking about the gospel, however, we encouraged her to have faith in Jesus Christ, and she was able to remember the great feelings she has had at church in the past. By the time we left, she committed to come to church, and it was great to see her there! I know that coming together to worship God brings us strength to go through the week. I also know that when we are down and don't feel like doing anything, we will be uplifted and receive motivation if we exercise faith in Christ by praying, reading scriptures, going to church, serving others, etc. Following the teachings of Christ will always make us feel better, and God will bless us for it. 

I want to share one more cool experience we had on Saturday evening. We were out knocking on doors, trying to find people to teach again. An older man opened his door and invited us in. As we talked, We learned quite a bit about him. He joined the church in 2011 but has not been very involved. He has fallen into drinking and smoking, and does not feel that he has exercised enough. Just this New Year, he made resolutions to fix all three of those issues. He has been 100% successful so far. Just last week, he was wandering around town looking for one of our church buildings to start attending again. He has no car, so he became a little discouraged when he couldn't find one. We also found out that he has been unemployed for a couple of months, and will not be able to pay his rent next month unless he finds a job. Then we showed up. We found him a ride to church yesterday and we have an employment specialist in our congregation who knows about opportunities for work that this man can look into. I know that God places us in the path of people who need help at the right time. This makes me take my responsibility a lot more seriously. I always need to be prayerful and attentive to the direction from the Spirit of God that I might overlook if I become distracted. I am so excited to spend this part of my life in the service of others. I know that if anyone will open their heart to our message and act on the invitations we give them, they will find that Jesus Christ can make way more out of their life than they can on their own. I am so thankful for this opportunity I have also to recognize how much He has helped me in my life. When I try to imagine what I would be without Christ, I always end up with images of a life full of disappointment and confusion. 

"And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen." (Ether 12:41)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Fall....

Last week I mentioned that I slipped on some ice. This week, I slipped on some plastic stairs, again with some onlookers. I was walking down towards the exit of an apartment building, and there were some wet, plastic stairs. I flew up and landed parallel to the stairway. I was shaken up, but the only damage done was a bruised elbow and the laughter of my companion that will haunt my dreams.

The work has been going on this week, but I don't have much to write about. There is just one experience I would like to share.Last weekend, I had the opportunity to perform a baptism! My companion and I had the opportunity to teach a lady here in Casper about the gospel of Jesus Christ before we were switched to Spanish, then two other missionaries on the outsides continued teaching her until her baptism. I would just like to talk a little bit about this sacred ordinance. It is made very clear by the Savior himself throughout the Bible that baptism is essential (John 3:5, Mark 16:16, Matthew 28:19). It is also made very clear by the trek of Jesus Christ to John the Baptist that proper authority is necessary to perform baptisms. Worthy males over the age of 16 in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the opportunity to receive that authority. This brings up the question, "Where does it come from?" This traces back to the origins of the LDS church. I'll keep it as brief as I can. A 14 year old named Joseph Smith, living in New York in 1820, was confused by all of the different churches claiming to be correct. They were mostly great people trying to do what God wanted them too, but he knew that God could not be the author of all of the confusion. He came upon James 1:5 and decided to act on the promise given. He went into the woods and asked God which church really taught truth. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and told him that none were completely true. They lacked the authority from God. He was chosen as the prophet to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. John the Baptist came to him and one other man a few years later, followed by Peter, James, and John. They conferred upon Joseph Smith the authority that they had received from Jesus Christ, and that has been passed down through the Church and remains even today. 

Yes, this is hard to believe. It sounds ridiculous. So do the miracles performed by Moses, such as parting the Red Sea. That is why God brought forth another scriptural witness of Jesus Christ as evidence of this restoration of the Priesthood authority, called the Book of Mormon, which was translated from ancient records of people here on the American Continent. No one is expected to believe the account of Joseph Smith without receiving spiritual guidance from God. Reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it is true will lead to the answer that the Church of Jesus Christ was again brought to the earth through Joseph Smith, because only one with authority from God could perform such acts. Heavenly Father has always appointed prophets since the beginning of the human race to teach His children the truth. Why would He leave our age without prophets? Some answer that question by saying that the Bible is sufficient for our day, and perhaps it would be, but the Bible truly prophesies of a restoration. It also might be enough if everyone could agree on what is taught in the Bible, but there is so much disagreement concerning the Word of God. Isaiah 29 and Ezekiel 37 both prophesy of the Book of Mormon, and throughout the Bible, there is made mention of a "restitution of all things" or the "dispensation of the fullness of times". This has happened.

I really do know that everything I've talked about is hard to believe, and that it's easier for me because I grew up with it. However, I would not be serving a mission unless I knew for myself. I have fasted and prayed to God to know for certain if this is His Church. The Spirit has strongly testified to me that it is, especially as I read The Book of Mormon. I can't deny that it is the word of God because of how powerful it is. If you think I'm crazy for being Mormon and believing all of this, I don't care. I love being thought of as a normal person, but I love God more. It is not in my comfort zone to proclaim all that I have here, but it is worth it, because I know God wants all of His children to have the opportunity to receive the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I know that there are eternal blessings that come from turning our lives over to Him. Please contact me if I seem to contradict myself in any way, or if you just have some specific problem with the doctrine I have written about. I am open to discussion, so email me at and I will get back to you next Monday, which is our day for email.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Well, i figured out this week that I don't need a cord to get pictures onto the computer. Check this out from last night. WOW IT"S COLD

SO, I have a couple of funny stories from this week. First of all, I couldn't find my house key one morning until I went outside and saw it still in the doorknob. I didn't tell my companion...but we are lucky that we didn't get robbed overnight! Another day, we had just finished teaching a lesson to a new family we found. I walked off of the front porch, and at the bottom, my foot found some ice. Then my foot lost the ice. Then my body found the pavement. Then I lost my physical limitations and did a sweet roll on the ground to pop myself immediately back to standing. It was pretty cool, so I just kept walking to the car. That is until I saw my companion just standing there. I turned around to see a family of wide-eyed Hispanics standing on the front porch. I hope they don't disregard what we taught because they witnessed my clumsiness. The last one is really not that crazy, but some of you may find it funny. We went to another missionary apartment this morning to put a load of clothes in. I hadn't showered, and I didn't realize that my towel was in the wash. We went back home to shower real quick, and all I can say is that I am very glad we still had a fairly decent stash of paper towels left over from the week. They actually work pretty well :P

OK! Now I would like to express with you all the superiority of the Hispanic race over us stubborn white folks. They are so much more humble and receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They accept it as a gift from God and the right way to live. Many of them have never heard of Mormons, but when we teach them the doctrine of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they often will accept it without question or doubt. To those with an open heart and a love of God, the words of God are easily recognizable. If you place Him as the top priority in your life, you will see blessings in all aspects of your life. Your work will go smoother, and your families will be happier. When you are humble before Him and live with an open heart, He will show you the right way to go. Living the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way that he has appointed for us to show that we want to live in His Kingdom, and when we live it with our whole hearts, He will make that blessing a reality for us. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ was chosen to live and die and live again for us, so that we may simply follow Him and be welcomed by a loving Heavenly Father into a life that we could never find by ourselves. It is true that those who believe in Jesus Christ will be saved. But if you really do believe in Jesus Christ, it will be made clear by your actions. If you say you believe in Christ, but don't do the things that He has asked, you do not truly believe in Him. You may believe that He is your Savior, which is very important, but you must believe His words, too. True belief in Christ always leads to action. We must follow Him. We must hear His voice and have faith in Him. That will lead us to change our lives and repent of our sins. Then we will desire to follow His example as He entered into the waters of baptism with John the Baptist, who held the proper authority from God. We then will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands as spoken of in Acts 8. Then we must continue faithfully to live the words of Christ better and better day by day. I wouldn't write this if I didn't love you all. I wouldn't go out and teach this unless I had prayed and fasted to know if it is from God. This is they way to receive everlasting life with our families, and to live in God's presence forever, having a fulness of joy. I want this gift for everyone.