Hey everyone, its been a pretty crazy week this week. Tuesday through Friday there were Leadership Training meetings in Lansing every day that my companion and I went to. My companion is my district's District Leader, so he was invited to go, and since I'm his companion it just worked out easier for me to go too, which I'm grateful for. Its about an hour and forty-five minute drive from Holland to Lansing because we also picked up another missionary on the way. The meetings started at 9 and went until 3 or 4 with an hour break for lunch, so that meant we left by 7:00 or so every day. So instead of waking up at 6:30, we were getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 so we would have time to exercise a bit, shower, and eat breakfast before we left. Needless to say, by the end of each day my companion and I were pretty exhausted.
The leadership meetings were great though. I was a little sad because the morning meetings meant forgoing our personal study each day, which is something that I really look forward to. The meetings more than made up for that though, I think. I called them leadership meetings, but they weren't so much about leadership as just training for the leaders. But what we learned about is 8 important points of teaching that they've come out with fairly recently that they're starting to use to teach the missionaries. When I was in the MTC, this curriculum was a pilot program there, but at some point it is going to become the main curriculum taught there. Those meetings this week with those experienced missionaries and President and Sister Jones are definitely some of the best meetings I have ever been to though. The Spirit was strong, and I learned a lot and took many notes. We were definitely taught by the Spirit as we discussed the principles of the Gospel and of teaching by the Spirit. The role-playing practices that we did afterward were also a very valuable teaching experience as we applied the principles and teaching methods we had just talked about to our own teaching. I am definitely not a perfect missionary, but I am trying hard to do better and to be the missionary that my Heavenly Father wants me to be. The mission field is an incredible place, and a blessing in every way to all who are involved with missionary work. There was a phrase in an article in the Temple edition of the Ensign a few months ago where someone talked about the "philosophical completeness" of the endowment. In a same way, its amazing to see the "philosophical completeness" of missionary work, and how it blesses the missionaries, their families, those whom the missionaries teach, the wards they serve in, and so on. This truly is the work of the Lord in every sense. It is worthy of Him. It is also incredible to see the blessings that come from trying to be obedient as much as I can. I have definitely progressed immensely from when I first entered the MTC, but I definitely am not perfect and need to be more obedient and diligent. Still, I have to exercise patience as I try to improve. But I know kind of a missionary the Lord wants and needs me to be, and I know that I can be that missionary, and that is who I am going to be. I know that if I exercise faith to be obedient, then I will be blessed with more faith. Miracles come by faith, and I want to have the faith to see the miracles in the work that the Lord intended to be there. This is the work of the Lord, and it is done by His power. I'm privileged to be a part of it. The Lord truly will fufil all his promises in the words of his prophets and in the scriptures.
The work is progressing a little slowly right now in Holland, but I know that it will pick up. Not spending half the week in Lansing will definately give us more time to find people this next week (finding new people to teach). Right now we only have a small pool of investigators that we are teaching, around 5 or 6 people, and a few less-active members we visit and teach too. But each of them is an a great and interesting Child of God, and I sincerely hope that we will be able to help them to come unto Christ through His Gospel, which is Faith, Repentence, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
My Purpose as a Missionary (Page 1 in Preach My Gospel)- To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
The Lord's work and glory is to "bring about the immortality and the Eternal Life of man". As a missionary and servant of the Lord, I assist in this work through my purpose.
I know that our Savior lives. He guides and watches over His church and this work. He loves us more than we can imagine. I know that he completed the Atonement for us, and did all things expedient for us. I know that he and the Father appeared to Joseph Smith in the sacred grove, and that Joseph Smith and all the prophets since are His chosen servants that hold all the keys of the Priesthood, and they direct and guide this church today exactly as the Jesus Christ would. I know that the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God and the "words of life", and is they keystone of this church in these Latter Days. No other book will bring the reader closer to Christ or will invite the Spirit more into their lives. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and blesses me for my obedience and diligence. I know these things by the power of the Holy Ghost, and they have sunk deeply into my heart. I know they are true. And I say them in the name of Jesus Christ. And in the words of Nephi "And thus it is. Amen"
I love you all,
Elder Trevor Casper