Tuesday, July 24, 2012

07.23.2012 "Hot Weeks in Harrison"

Hello Everyone,

I haven't had much time to send emails these last few weeks, but this week I have a little more time, so I wanted to try to catch everyone up on a few things that have been going on lately.

Elder Piena and I just finished the second week of the transfer here. It's already going by fast! It's been pretty hot here lately, and I'm glad to have an air conditioner in the apartment, even if it's just one of those window ones. It's made for a window that slides up and down though, and we have one that slides sideways, so we had to kind of jerry-rig it into the window. But with a $12 piece of plexiglass, a stick, a bunch of clear tape, and a few old socks, we managed to get it sealed off pretty well.

Elder Piena had a bit of a shock last Monday after emails. He got an email telling him that his grandma who lived in Hawaii had died. It wasn't much fun, and seemed pretty down for a couple days, although he's doing better now. I guess it was kind of a sudden thing and wasn't expected. He seems to be doing pretty well though. It's good having a knowledge of the Gospel and knowing what happens after we do die, and also knowing the mercy of Heavenly Father and the plan that he has for our families.

We've moved cattle a couple more times over the last few weeks, but nothing too crazy. We also helped Brother Hileman put up an electric fence around a six or seven acre field. That was fun too, and it was a pretty good experience. Now I know a little more about putting up temporary fences (it's called a temporary fence, but it can last up to 20 years). We helped with some parts of it, and then he finished it up and got it hooked up to the charger, or the solar-powered power box that electrifies the fence, so I never had to worry about being zapped.

A couple weeks ago I had two dogs pee on my backpack, as it sat on the floor, in the same week! I had to scrub the whole thing down and spray it with this pet odor killing spray. It was not fun.

We've also had some fun with the bikes lately. My bike has been having some trouble for the last little while, and it's been needing some repairs. However, Sunday night we were visiting someone on the other side of town, and just before we got to their house my back tire suddenly seized up and wouldn't turn. We went in for the appointment, and after the lesson came out and started walking the bikes home. I found out it's really tiring to try to lift the back tire off the ground and walk with the bike. We walked about half a mile with me awkwardly carrying it sideways, and then I gave up and threw the bike over my shoulders, and walked the last mile or so home with it. I was pretty sore by the time I got home, and we got back late.

There was a member last Monday named Sister Rogers who offered to take us shopping at the grocery store here in Harrison. We met here there an she told us to go fill up our basket with food that we wanted and that we didn't get very often, and she would pay for it. It was really nice of her. By the time we were done, we had about $150 worth of groceries between the two of us. I felt kind of bad about it, even though she didn't mind at all, and we thanked her several times. Then we were talking to another member the next day, and we found out that that's something that she has done a lot in the past for the missionaries, every now and then. And we also found out that most of those missionaries would get about $200 to $250 worth of food. Hearing that made me feel a little better, but it also kind of made me feel like I should have gotten a few more frozen pizzas and maybe some ice cream! Sister Rogers used to have the missionaries over for dinner often though, until she stopped being able to because of a medical condition she had. So she decided to just take them out shopping every now and then. It was pretty nice!

Oh, and before I forget, it's always fun to embarrass people publicly by singing Happy Birthday, so... Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday to you. Happy Birthday Dear Heather! Happy Birthday to You! Cha cha cha...  That's great that you're turning 12!

We had a pretty good lesson a couple weeks ago that I liked and thought I might tell about on here. We were talking with an investigator named Nicole about the Word of Wisdom a little bit. She had heard a little about it before, and she likes coffee and some tea so she wasn't sure why those things would be part of a health commandment. She started off by telling us about how she felt like science and religion were mean to work together. We agreed, and talking about that lead perfectly into why we keep the Word of Wisdom. I've heard people give lots of different specific explanations before about why certain things are prohibited in the Word of Wisdom. But the real reason why we keep the Word of Wisdom is not for scientific reasons. It is because it is a commandment of God. We talked about how we're all trying to learn truth, and about the world around us. One way that we can learn is from God, the source of all truth, the creator of Heaven and Earth. Another source we use to learn and find truth is through our own experimentation, through "science". Now, we know that the current scientific theories are always changing. Just a few hundred years ago, the best scientists of the time still taught that the world was flat, and that the universe revolved around the earth. Today the different scientific theories are still being debated and changed. Why should we think that suddenly we've already figured everything out on our own and know everything?

However, we have another source of truth that we have access to- a loving Father in Heaven. He wants us to understand our purpose here, and what we need to do here. And so he's taught those things to us, through the prophets and through the scriptures. We also know that what God teaches us is always true and never changes- See Mormon 9:10. So when scientific knowledge and the commandments and teachings of God seem to conflict, which is it that we should give heed to? The commandments of God always supersede what scientific evidence happen to tell us at the time. So why do we keep the Word of Wisdom? Because it is a commandment of God through his prophets. One we'll learn more about the reasoning why that commandment was given, but for now we can be content to trust in the Lord and keep his commandment.

When we talked about this, it really helped her understand it better. I felt that the Spirit was there and was helping me to know how to explain it to her in a way that would help her the most. It is always fun being able to teach by the Spirit and see it really help someone. It's a good feeling to have the Spirit speak through you. I love how simple the gospel really is, no matter how hard we try to complicate it. I know that keeping the commandments allows the Lord to bless us, and that we can keep the commandments because we love the Lord and trust Him, even when we don't know all the reasons for the commandment in the first place.

The Lord has blessed me quite a bit over these last few weeks. I feel like I understand the gospel much better, and I'm excited to teach it to other people. I love studying in the mornings, and the Lord is teaching me so much. I know that the Lord blesses us for working hard to magnify, or faithfully fulfill, our callings.

I hope that you all have a good week, and I'll hopefully get to email more of you back this next week. Love you all!

Elder Trevor Casper

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