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,
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