Phew... It's been kind of a crazy week. There have been a lot of ups and downs. A few of the days have been a little rough, but overall this week has been great. This transfer has been going by really fast. Next Friday are transfer calls again... which means that either Elder Poulsen or I could be going to another area. I hope not though. I hope that I get to stay here in Harrison. I like this area a lot, and I'm starting to get to know the people pretty well now. I also really like serving with Elder Poulsen, and we're making plans to hang out when I get home. It's great working with him, and I've learned a lot from him.
The days keep going by faster and faster though. We're trying to work hard, and we're being blessed for it and we're being given some success. Well, true success as a missionary really doesn't have much to do at all with how many people you find or teach or baptize. Preach My Gospel teaches that the primary measure of success is your commitment to find and teach people and help them to come unto Christ. That handbook is such an amazing book. I really think that most chapters in there would be very valuable for any member of the Church to study, especially the first 5 chapters. In the branch out here in Harrison, the members actually have been counseled to have one and to study from it occasionally. I think that's great counsel, and it could help a lot.
The Allreds are still always on our minds, and we talk to them on the phone or visit them almost every day or at least every other day. They're doing very well. I know that the promises we were prompted to make them didn't come from us, and that if they do their part the Lord will do his. We made them a promise last week that if they would read and pray daily as a family and individually, they would be ready to be baptized by the 14. We acutally got the chance to meet with them yesterday and talk a bit more. The Dad and son feel like they're ready to be baptized. The Dad wants it a lot acutally, and he's really helping to set a good example and be a good leader for his family. The daughter was a little unsure at first, but she has been working hard to learn more and to find out for herself, and she feels like she's ready now. The Mom is still struggling a little bit though. She's been thinking about it a lot and praying, and I know that she's trying to study and pray and keep up her end, but she still feels like she isn't quite ready yet. She had a lot of misconceptions about our Church for a long time that she's been learning aren't right over the last two months, and she just doesn't feel like she is quite ready to be baptized yet. I'm not too worried though, because there is still another week before the baptism next Saturday. I'm so happy and excited for them! But the Mom really wants to know, and she's working hard to study and pray. I know that the Lord will keep up his end of the promise too.
The lesson we taught last night was actually one of the very best lessons I've been part of so far on my mission. The Spirit was so strong, and Elder Poulsen and I both listened to the Spirit and let him guide the lesson and help us to know what to say. We talked a bit about baptism and priesthood authority, and then we listened to Elder Scott's talk about Marriage in the last General Conference where he talked about his wife. It was a very touching talk, and I think that listening to it really touched the Mom. After that we talked about Baptisms for the Dead, and I bore my testimony about that and talked about one of my experiences with it. I know that she is where the Lord wants her to be and she is continuing to progress. We felt prompted to further promise her last night that if she would keep reading and praying every day with her family, that she would not only feel ready to be baptized by Saturday but she would really want to. I'm so excited for them! They're such a great family, and I'm definitely going to keep writing them even after I leave Harrison. Still, I always pray hard for the Allreds, and for the Mom as she continues working toward being ready to be baptized. Please remember them in your prayers too :) .
My time is short, but I'm going to be able to call home tomorrow, which is great! So I'll talk to some of you all later, and I hope that you have a happy Mother's Day!
Elder Trevor Casper