This week has been a busy week really, but there wasn't a ton that happened that was very eventful. Still, there were some good things that happened this week. Monday night, we were invited to go to the "empty nesters" FHE that some of the couples in this branch here created. It was actually pretty fun. For dinner we had a table covered with different meats and vegatables, which we used to make tin foil dinners for everyone! It was a lot like a mongolian grill really. We all piled food onto sheets of aluminum foil, then wrapped them up, took them outside, put them on the coals of a couple fires that had been built just outside the church. They were all done in about 15 minutes... except mine. I added so much meat to mine and made it so big, that it took about twice as long as everyone else's to cook all the way through. After dinner, some of the members told a couple ghost/mystery stories, such as "The Monkey's Paw", if you've ever read it. It was a lot of fun, and everyone had a good time.
On Thursday, we were able to meet with Chiquita again, which was great. We all really enjoy our lessons with her. She is going very well, and is continuing to progress towards the baptismal date that we set with her. Her testimony is starting to grow and she is feeling like the Spirit is telling her that these things are true. We've been trying to help her to come to church over the last several weeks, and on Thursday she committed that she would be there on Sunday, which we're really excited about. We know that it will help her to be happier and feel the Spirit more, and come to know that this Church really is true, and also that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet.
Thursday and Friday were pretty busy days as well. We had many appointments both days, but unfortunately for one reason or another, all of them fell through. Days like that happen as a missionary. One investigator, Jeff, actually had to go to the hospital Friday morning. He had a really bad nosebleed that wouldn't stop. He seems to be doing much better now though. As soon as we found out yesterday, we rode our bikes over to the hospital here and visited with him. We also gave him a blessing. We were so glad that we could do that for him, and he said that he felt much better afterwards. He's been going though a really rough time, but we care about him and we're trying to do all that we can to help him out.
We gave up the car on Wednesday this last week, and we won't have it back again until next Wednesday, so we've been on our bikes for the last few days. Both Thursday and Friday we rode our bikes out to Plainwell, which is about 13 or so miles away and has a good number of hills in-between. All in all, yesterday alone we probably rode 30-40 miles. We were pretty tired and sore afterwards! But it's nice that today is P-day because we have a little bit of time to rest and relax. I don't think we'll go fishing today; we both have some other things that we want to catch up on and we want to rest a little.
I know that we go through experiences for a reason. Some days or weeks as a missionary, things just don't quite work out how you hope. But I know that the Lord has a purpose for what we go through. Nephi and his family traveled for 8 years in the wilderness, going through many afflictions. That's quite a long time. Joseph Smith had to wait 4 years before he was allowed to remove the plates. Ammon and his brethren worked as missionaries among the Lamanites for 14 years. The Lord requires our patience and diligence in following Him, and it is in those times that we can really grow. Our Father in Heaven loves us and knows what is best for us, and we can trust in His time table for us, as the people of Alma did in Mosiah 24:12-15, especially in the last two lines. Also in Mosiah 3:19. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know that this is the work of the Lord. Read the Book of Mormon every day, and you will feel the difference in your life as President Benson promised in his November 1986 General Conference talk "The Book of Mormon- Keystone of Our Religion". He said:
"It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance."
I know this to be true.
In the next couple weeks I'll tell a little bit more about some of our other investigators that we have. For now, please pray for Jeff, and Chiquita, and also the Reed family as well. I hope everyone is having a great summer and that it isn't too hot there. It's definitely pretty warm some days here. Have a great week everyone!
Elder Trevor Casper