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Elder & Sister Smith
Elder Casper With Elder & Sister Smith (July 2015-July 2018)

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New York New York North Mission
700 White Plains Road Ste 315
Scarsdale, NY 10583


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Elder Domenick Casper

Elder Domenick Casper
Elder Casper With Elder & Sister Morgan (July 2012-July 2015)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chinesse New Year - New Bishop

Hi family!  Hello everyone, how is everyone doing? 
We got a lot of snow and ice in this past week, so much that church was delayed again but church was super great.  I did get that valentines package. 
This week has been pretty cool, and some super spiritual experiences have happened.
 
This last Wednesday was when all the missionaries went home and it
made all of us trunky a bit. It was a fun week though, this last
Thursday we were able to weekly plan and really get a good week
planned. We got to plan for our Transfers and of course we are staying
here in the Newtown area. I'm really glad that I am not transferring.
During the transfer meeting, President told us that we are having a
mission wide training with 2 general authorities, Elder David Evens of
the Seventy who is the executive director of missionary work, and Elder
Steven B Allan of the Seventy. We are having a training on the work of
salvation in the digital age. Basically how to use our iPads to
further the work, to better protect ourselves from temptation by using
our iPads. This will be an intense training and it really will help us
as missionaries use iPads in the correct manner. We should get our new iPads
really soon. Our mission president challenged us to read the
entire missionary handbook and highlight things that will be
safeguards for us to better protect ourselves.
 
Saturday I went to my first Mission Leadership Council meeting which
is a meeting where the Zone leaders and sister training leaders
council together in order to make our mission work better and more
efficiently, but they invited the District Leaders and their companions as well-
that's me. Elder Tancayo is the District Leader and I am his
companion. The spirit was so strong there and I knew what we were
doing has to happen, and that what we were talking about is true. It
was a super fun time, that night we had a Chinese New Year party with
fish, chicken, duck, pork, steak and eggs, shrimp, Chinese pears,
celery, and chrysanthemum tea which is a flower tea, and it was so
delicious. And it was snowing so hard, so I have some videos and
pictures to send home. We slid around and stuff.
 
Sunday church was delayed until 10 instead of 9 and we got a new
Bishopric. Our Bishop got released after serving for 6 years! Brother
Loutensock is now the 2nd counselor, and the funny thing is he is our Ward
Mission Leader, he was our WML for 6 weeks, since I came in and now we
don't have a leader so we are just doing whatever, but still going and
teaching people. The spirit was there and I really had a good time! 3
months into my mission and I already have seen a bishopric get
released and a whole new bishopric.
 
Monday we had a zone meeting which was super amazing, it was a
practice for this big meeting coming up. It's kind of a big deal that
we participate in front of general authorities. And I am so excited
for everything tomorrow, it's really a blessing for us to be in front
of the senior guy for missionary work (besides president Thomas S.
Monson). The spirit is a strong force and when you feel it there is no
denying something is true that you pray about. We have this
investigator and he hasn't ever prayed and we gave him a Book of
Mormon and asked him to read and pray about it. He has been reading
and he prayed. He told us that the past couple nights he has been
praying and he has had this calming feeling coming over him. That
really excited us and he wants to meet with us more! This is the true
church of Christ. I love the church so much and I feel that testimony
burn inside of me each and every day.
 
That's pretty much all I have to say but I hope you all have a great
week and I look forward to next week!

Love,

Elder Casper






Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentines Day

Hello everyone, this week has been a super cool week.

I did get your package, thanks for all of that!  Compared to
Harlem this area is a lot better, it's just different being upstate
than in the city. My shoes are already losing traction just because of
how much I walk. The church building is similar to ours, just
different. It's a big building too. The people are just very friendly
and open to having us over and love us. It is similar to our ward,
there are a lot of kids here and a lot of people.
Last Wednesday we went to the mall they have here and walked through
the stores that appealed to us. Got a district unity beanie, and it
fits super well and feels nice and keeps me warm. Took pictures and
had a good time, just we always need to remember that we are
representatives of Jesus Christ so we can't be messing around, we need
to be mature in our conduct.
Thursday was our weekly planning day and Elder Tancayo and I were
freaking out because we could see the transfers day coming up and we
had so much to do the next week. Friday we had a lesson with a new
investigator and we got to teach him already and he is really open to
learning more so hopefully we have a possibility of teaching him more
and then watching him progress in the Gospel. Alot of missionaries
have told me that one of the greatest blessings you see on a mission
is watching people progress in the Gospel and seeing how the Gospel
blesses their lives. That is one thing I am looking forward to.
Saturday we went to the Cheesecake Factory with a member and 8
missionaries in total, there are 2 missionaries going home this
transfer so he wanted to take us out and feed us. That was the first
time I've ever been to the Cheesecake Factory! We were lucky to be fed
there, because it's more expensive than other places but so good. I
had an Oreo deluxe extreme cheesecake, ooooh so good! And that night
we went to the church to have a district dinner for Valentine's Day
and got some pictures together, which I will send in a bit.





That night we got a text letting us know that our church was supposed
to be canceled. We didn't know exactly what to think, so we texted a
counselor in the Bishopric and I guess it was true. Woke up to snow
and ice. We wouldn't of been able to make it up the
hill to the church, so they canceled ours Ward's Church. We went to the 1:00 pm
o'clock session because it (the snow and ice) was melted by then, I got asked to bear my
testimony in our ward, and to teach elders quorum but it was cancelled
so I didn't get to. Every time they ask us to do something, church
cancels. Maybe they should stop asking us to do stuff? I've never had
church cancel in my life until my mission.
Monday we had our district meetings and our "funeral" for the
missionaries that are "dying" (going home) so we had delicious food, got
them to sign our "bye bye" books and had a testimony from each of them.
Elder Kroff (who started where I am, and finished in Yorktown, which is
in our zone) bore his testimony about the gift of charity, and how we
need to pray for that in order to see that in our lives. The last
verse in Moroni 7 talks about that, so that is something that I've been
trying to do. Elder hunt (who started in Danbury, and ended in Danbury)
bore his testimony on keeping a journal throughout our missions. We
can keep thoughts and impressions and what happened in our day so when
we look back on our experiences we can remember what happened. I have
really grown in a testimony of that and I've been able to fill about
half of my journal.
And Tuesday was the coolest experience I've had on my mission so far,
I was able to give a blessing, the first blessing on my mission. The
spirit is strong. After our closing prayer with the family, the wife
asked us if we could give a blessing to her husband because he has
been not feeling too well. So I was happy to give that blessing, and I
had no clue what to say but the spirit directed me. You can feel the
power of the priesthood in your hands and you can feel the spirit
working through us. That is one of the coolest experiences I've been
able to have on my mission. The funny thing is that on Tuesday morning I was
thinking that I haven't performed any ordinances yet, and turns out
that night I was able to do it.
I truly love this church, I know that it is the true church of Christ
and people need to know that. The Book of Mormon is truth. Read and
pray to know for yourself. As a missionary I can't force you to do
anything, I can just invite and testify to you that I know everything
that I say about the gospel is true. And promise blessings.
Anyways I hope you all have a great week, and keep safe!
Love,

Elder Casper

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Blessed Week


Hello family and anyone else, 

In my training as a new missionary we had Elder Perkins of the seventy talk to us, and in our area here in the Newtown ward we have Elder Gaye of the seventy. And hopefully we will have more general authorities speak to us. Oh that reminds me that general conference is coming up! I am so excited for this years general conference! That's the same week my companion goes home. 

It's sad to hear that Grandpa Miller passed on but we have that wonderful blessing in our lives to know that he is in a better place now and he is with Grandma Miller. I'm so grateful for everyone helping me on my mission. 

This week has been a great week, I have had 2 splits in the past week which I will talk about. I've also been doing A LOT of snow shoveling, like everyone is asking us to do it so we do get to strength our backs and get HUGE. So last Wednesday we did a zone activity in Ossining in which we watched Ephraims rescue and 17 miracles, both amazing movies. I love the storyline behind them all about our ancestors trek to Salt lake valley. But other than that our PDAY was pretty chill.

Last Thursday we had our weekly planning session which was super dope, we had some good plans. We set a goal the week prior to get 15 lessons with less actives, recent converts and members. We surpassed our goal and taught 16 people and taught 18 lessons in total. That was truly a miracle for this last week and we want to be able to do that again. We also went to the bishopric members house for dinner and on the way out I mentioned how I didn't have snow boots because they asked. So they gave me these huge snow boots, like ones that go up to my knees that they randomly bought, but they don't fit right and they wouldn't be good for walking everywhere. They are seriously HUGE. But I thanked them, I will probably give them back after I buy my own boots, we just don't have time to go get boots and winter is almost over so I feel like they are kind of a waste. I don't know how I would take them with me since I barely got here last time with the stuff I have now. I know I need to also buy shirts and memorabilia from harlem and stuff from the areas I'm in. Eventually. 

Last Friday our companionship went on a split with the Zone leaders, i splitter with Elder Whittaker and Elder Tancayo went on a split with a Elder EncarnaciĆ²n. They are Spanish speaking and I went to their area and got to hear Spanish galore. So we went to this place called banana Brazil which is delicious but they only speak Portuguese but luckily elder Whittaker knows Portuguese. It's an all you can eat Buffett and we had a lot of sirloin steak and chicken wrapped in bacon. It filled my up so much. Then to top it off I got to try something that I have never eaten before. We got to eat Chicken Hearts, they are actually pretty good, they are just super chewy and kind of taste like chicken. It's just a gross thought, that used to be pumping blood. But it was something I can say I ate on my mission. We did a lot of tracting and it was all Spanish people and just interesting. I could understand some of what they were saying though which is definitely the gift of tongues. Because I am learning Spanish a bit, it really helps to hear it and I speak it on occasion. I also got to go to a coorelation meeting with them and they spoke Spanish the whole time. I was just sitting their eating pizza and listening and relaxing. Also got to teach some English class to people learning English. I had no idea what I was doing but it was a cool experience. 

Saturday I got a hair cut from Elder Tancayo which turned out super nice. The whole day we were blessed with a lot of lessons with members, and dinner with brother Benchivengo. There is actually a video all about him on lds.org if you want to check it out. It's in the hastening the work section and it's called "let your light so shine" it's pretty short but you should check it out. His wife isn't a member but she seemed super interested when we talked with her a little about the plan of salvation. The next day on Sunday he told us that she was really interested and he felt the spirit and it was wonderful. 

Sunday and Monday we snowing and we couldn't do much but we tried our hardest and still met with people and talked to them. Had our dinners and really had an enjoyable time. Sunday was great though, sacrament meeting was beyond amazing. We had a youth speaker who did a great job, the bishops wife and daughter did a mission report of their son on a mission with a lot of stuff to tell. Their son is in a branch with 2 member families total. That would be a lot of fun but a lot of hard work. Then the relief society president bore her testimony because she was released, and then Elder Tancayo gave a wonderful talk, then a sister in our ward. It was one of the best sacrament meetings I've ever been to. 

Monday we were grounded for a half the day but we did service a lot and we really enjoy seeing the look on people's faces. I ate an entire little Caesars pizza in one sitting and I felt so terrible but I lost weight somehow. And Tuesday I went on a split with Elder Richan in our district, and we had a good day full of shoveling and teaching. We had an impression before we went home to go stop by this potential investigator named Alec, as soon as we pulled up he came out. We couldn't meet at his house because his mom was sleeping but we met in our car so it was a little awkward. He had a lot of questions and he really seemed interested. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it and go through it. He was excited and we set up an appointment and gave our church address. It was a super cool experience. 

That's it for now, I hope you all have a blessed and amazing week! Take care!


Love,
Elder Casper



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Snow Storm Part 2

Hello everyone! How's everyone doing? Hey mom!
I haven't bought gloves or boots yet, if you want to send me
some warm gloves that fit dads hands that would be awesome! Driving
has seriously been fun, I'm driving a 2013 Chevy Cruze, and it is
amazing. We have gotten so much snow and all we have been doing a lot
of shoveling.

I am so excited for the iPad, I hope it's super new because I want new
so it will run smooth. Thanks for the oils I am getting sick again. I
looked at the weather for Lincoln California and yeah a lot of rain!

So last Wednesday we went to
Ossining to the stake center to meet up with our zone and play sports
and write emails. We were supposed to have dinner with a super
less-active part member family who really doesn't want to come back to
church but they love having the missionaries over. All the
missionaries who served in our area says he always gives missionaries
a hard time and asks interesting questions but they are supposedly
awesome.

Thursday we did a substantial amount of service because of snow,
 but we had dinner at the Loutensocks again. So we work with them often and at their
house once a week. I find it amazing that I'm serving in an area with
people that knew me from home or people that served in the California
Roseville mission. I love this area already so much.

So this last weekend we've had a goal to get 15 lessons taught to less
active and recent converts and members. Last week we got 9 because we
only could teach lessons on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The snow has
kind of messed everything up.

Our Bishop has really been pushing lightening rounds at quorums and
auxiliaries of our ward. Which are basically simple, short lines of
doctrine that you can bring up so easily in simply conversation. So we
have been focusing on being examples to everyone and sharing these
with all quorums. Elder Tancayo has been asked to give a talk next
week, and our bishop was telling me that I will give one sometime
soon. I also found out that Linsey Stirling the violinist served her
mission in the New York New York North mission! A celebrity served in
our mission.. Totally crazy.

Monday we woke up with way more snow that the storm of 2015 last week
was. So we were grounded all day so we offered our service to everyone
and got some delicious pizza that night with the Portuguese speaking Elders
members. The place is called Famous Pizza, I got a shirt and it is
super nice fitting and looks great! Got some pretty sweet pictures,
had a really fun day and really enjoyed what we  did.

We were supposed to have our zone meeting on Monday but it got moved
to Tuesday because of that storm. The meeting was about our new
initiative this month, which is to share the expressions of love
mormon message. And we talked about how to strengthen investigators
and keep them strong in the gospel. I got to share my testimony at the
end of it, and I got to talk about how I still have pretty much 2
years left of my mission and I don't want to have regrets after my
mission. The spirit helped me talk about the importance of our calling
and we need to take it seriously. We have this opportunity to share
the gospel with everyone we see, so open our mouths and do all we can
to help everyone and be representatives of Jesus Christ. I was getting
emotional about it all, I made a decision that I would work the
hardest I have ever worked to make my mission amazing in every way
possible. Make the best of all the time that I have free by studying
the gospel, learning new things and keeping myself close to christ and
the spirit. I truly do love this gospel and every aspect about it, it
doesn't make sense that people don't understand what we feel, they
need to feel that spirit that we feel. They need to recognize it, pray
about it and read the Book of Mormon.

That is pretty much it for this week. This week has not been
interesting at all, but we have had a good time. Driving is fun, I
drive a 2013 Chevy Cruze and it is seriously a smooth drive and weird
to be driving a new car. It's pretty sketchy to drive in snow because
I've been sliding around, like I'm from California and I don't know what
this stuff is. We were trying to go up a hill and we were sliding back
and forth left to right. If someone saw that they would be laughing.
We were trying to imagine what that would look like from behind. Haha
well I don't have much more to say, so I will talk to you later
family! :) have a great and blessed week!

Love,
Elder Casper