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Elder & Sister Smith

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)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

First Split as District Leader

Hello everyone,

Missionary life is good! We have just had a crazy week and a lot of
things going on. This last week the sisters had a baptism and we
helped a lot with that. Their names are Jeff, Rebecca, and Jeffrey
Lanier, they were baptized by their son Miguel Lanier. Miguel is a
recent convert who has the aaronic priesthood and is 18. There was a
wonderful spirit at the baptism and it was cool to know the family
before they were baptized. We taught Miguel how to baptize and
watching him do that to his family was just a cool feeling. I know
that baptism is essential and that our church is true and without that
proper authority, baptism is invalid.

Saturday we did a mini APF with the Spanish elders that live in our
apartment. We went street contacting and we saw some success. It feels
great to just Open Your Mouth and speak to everyone. Little
conversations go along way. It's always good to talk to people and
offer service and to get away from your companion. To be with another
missionary is always good and to learn from the other missionary. I
want to be better at talking with people, and making conversation.

Sunday was the Baptism of the Lanier family and we sang Come, Come Ye
Saints to them before they were baptized, the spirit was strong. Then
we had a dinner at a members, we had some dumplings which tasted
amazing and I liked them a lot. Their family is just off the hook and
we had a great day.

Monday I led my first district meeting. It went great. The spirit was
there and everyone in the district had things to say which made the
meeting even better. We also saw an investigator named Andrew. He
doesn't believe in Prophets so that is something that we will clear up
and help him believe. We had a dinner at a members house and had
potato tacos which were very good. We split with the Yonkers elders

Tuesday we had an epic split, I went with elder Essler (my MTC
companion) in Yonkers. It was a great split, we taught people and had
dinner and offered service. Elder Kuo and I have been annoyed at each
other and it's hard to get over that. I lost it last night while
driving home. I told him that I was done talking, and we didn't talk
the rest of the night. It's been hard and I just don't know what to do
and it's been stressful. He is very rebellious and I'm trying to help
him be more obedient but he does what he wants. I don't know.. I will
figure it out. I love him though, I just want more communication...
Anyways I love you all!

I hope you all have a great week and I will talk to you later! Sorry
it's so short!

1. Elder Kuo and I
2. Ladies and Gentlemen.. I present to you.. A Dam!
3. A member in the Yonkers Ward
4. Another member in the Yonkers Ward

Mom-

Hello! This week was crazy and long and interesting. I love sending emails home. I haven't gotten any socks yet, if you would like to send me some you can, I would like black, blue, and gray. Like a couple of each. My socks are a bit holy.. I mean they have holes. I don't really need much but send me whatever you want. You guys already do so much for me that I feel bad having you send me stuff. I can't believe I've been out for 9 months.. It just blows my mind. You can relate it to a house, the first 6 months is like a vertical climb, the next 6 months is like climbing up the roof. The next 6 months you're like sliding down the other side of the roof and the last 6 months you're falling off the roof down the other wall.. Make sense? Anyways it is going by quick. 

I can't believe you are having a family reunion without me.. But it sounds like you will have fun. 

The talks was cool, being a district leader is pretty stressful and just hard. You're dealing with the whole district and it's very hard. I'm glad I have this experience. Elder Kuo is from Los Angeles, West Covina area. Tracting is fun, finding in general is great, just talking to people is great. 


Mission life is great, my companion and I aren't getting along and we seem to fight a lot and it's really making me mad. I'm trying my hardest to love him and continue to talk but he just is stubborn. I don't know what to do. I've prayed a lot but I don't know what is happening.. Anyways life is good and I will continue to do the work!

Love you! I love sending pictures as well! 

Elder Casper









My First Talk on my Mission

Hello!

This week has been pretty fun and different. It's always interesting
to receive a new companion, it's always awkward. Elder Kuo is a great
guy and we have a ton of fun together. We have had a good week and I've
already had my first Baptisimal interview, well 3 interviews. The
sisters are working with this family who has been investigating the
church for over a year and I got to interview them. It was a really
cool experience and the spirit was so strong. They were my first but
not my last. I also gave my talk on Sunday and I was freaking out
pretty bad but then I went and gave the talk and everyone told me it
was super great and they loved it. I only had like a day to prepare
for it and I was just scared. All the fear went away when I was up
there and I felt so relieved afterwards.

Last Thursday we planned and tracted.. Simple as that.

Friday we helped with some service over in Yonkers and it was my first
time driving there. They gave us 3 boxes of pizza for helping so we
ate a lot. We also had dinner with the family the sisters are working
with.

Saturday we brought some Oreos to the sisters at the church because
they were being rejected hardcore by everyone they spoke to. We went
and saw Edgardo and he was introduced to Elder Kuo and they talked and
helped resolve some of his concerns. He still has a long time. And he
is converted to the missionaries and not to the gospel. That will be
something that needs to change. We tracted into this guy who was like
a modern day Korihor and he asked us why we don't believe in Zeus. We
really went into faith and belief. Eventually he didn't want to talk
anymore and he went back inside.

Sunday was church which went great and the spirit was there. It is
always nice to have that day of relaxation while we are at church. I
love the sacrament and being able to renew my covenants with God. We
helped with some service at a park activity. They needed help handing
out food, that's what we did. Went to do the Baptisimal interview and
I got a trader joe ice cream cookie sandwich.

Monday we had a great zone meeting. We learned a lot about how we can
better be involved with the ward members and how we need to be trusted
by the members. Also, we need to be number pushers and people persons.
Not just one or the other. We are planning a huge APF where we can
involve the members and street contact in white plains.

Tuesday poured pretty bad but it was a great day. We cleaned out our
area book and called everyone. That was nice. Then we looked up people
and then street contacted. We definitely saw success and people were
interested. This one lady listened to us and told us to stop by. We
gave her to the sisters.

Today we went to the Bronx Zoo for like 2 hours. We walked like 6
miles total. It was free to get in and I took pictures!  I had a fun
time. It doesn't even feel like you're in the city but yeah, you still
are. It's nice in there. We had a lot of fun. I love New York so Much!
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here. I'm having so much fun!
I'm loving it. And I'm also still losing weight slowly. I'm now down
to 205 . Anyways. I know this church is true and I know the work I'm
doing is blessing my life and those I come in contact with. I love
this gospel and it's so true. Read and pray about the Book of Mormon.
Love you, hope you have a great week!

What the pictures are:
The Bronx Zoo
The Pelham parkway subway stop
Elder Kuo and I doing service

Dad,
Being a district leader has really opened my eyes to what I can do
better and how I can improve. I've been getting advice from Justin and
a couple friends on their missions. I'm learning how to be a District
Leader and it's a cool experience. Our mission president will take us
out because he is in our Ward. It's a pleasure to be able to see our
mission President so many times.

I love seeing investigators at church because they progress and they
are feeling the spirit. They show their personal commitment to come to
church and they do meet the members.

It sounds like the Ward is going to get a bit different but it's
always good to have change in a ward. It sounds like there is a big
missionary push and it will be good for the ward.

Have fun in Idaho! Tell everyone I say hello and I miss them all. Also
just have fun at BYU-Idaho and Bear Lake. Sounds like you are all
having fun! I'll just be here serving the lord, and having so much
fun. I love all the blessings I'm seeing as a missionary. I spoke last
Sunday and I remember saying that I wouldn't trade being on a mission
for anything. It's so true.

I'm so happy that Brandi is being a good missionary, she will make a
great missionary. When she goes on her mission to New York... Hahaa
just predicting the future.

I've been chilling at my weight.. I'm around 205, my goal is to get to
185 as well. You made me want to recommit to working hard and trying
to lose my weight. Thanks!

I love you guys so much, today's my 9 month mark since I went into the
MTC! I'll get on the weekly email! I love you guys and hope you have a
great week!

Love,
Elder Casper






Transfers and District Leader Responsibility

Hello family!

As you can see by the title I am the District Leader now. Yeah so we
got a phone call on Saturday night which caught me by surprise. One of
the APs called and asked if would be a district leader, and of course
I said yes, I know the lord wants me to be one. Elder Smith is going
to South Manhattan to be a Zone Leader. President called him and asked
him to be a ZL. He was so shocked. I was super shocked when I was
called to DL. I'm not ready but clearly the Lord thinks so. I'm
getting Elder Robert Kuo, he is from West Covina California. He is
serving in my district right now and he is just moving areas. It's
weird to think but that's what President wants him. He told me at
church why he is putting him with me. President told me that I need to
help Elder Kuo get a fire started for the work. It was a cool
experience.

This week has went by pretty quick and it's a huge blur.. But I'll try
my best to write as much as possible.

We did a lot of work on Thursday and we found people and taught
people. Even though it's our planning day, we just did work and taught
people. It rained hardcore. We found people and we ended the night
with planning.

Friday was sweet, we had a District Leader training from our Zone
leaders and who knew that would be pretty useful. It was great and I
felt the spirit. We tracked for a bit and found this guy who thinks
all scripture is from Aliens. He thinks that Joseph smith saw an alien
who directed him to the plates. It was fun to testify to him. We had a
dinner with a member family and they are amazing and they have the
cutest kids. The kids are all so cool and fun. Dinner was great. We
finished our planning and that was it.

Saturday we helped a member with a charity thing for a domestic
violence shelter. We went to target and helped her and we had five
guys. That was delicious! I had a junior bacon burger because
everything is so expensive there! We then went home to grab Elder
Smiths name tag (he forgot it) and then we went to her house to help
her pack everything up with the sisters. We tracked for the rest of
the night and yeah it was pretty great!

Sunday was good, we had 2 investigators show up to church, one is Luke
and the other is Edgardo. We are teaching Edgardo again and that's
really exciting! Luke has been good to. He thinks he is a prophet and
we clear it up but he always says he is.. Anyways. Church was great,
President taught Luke with us and he went hard on Luke and Luke really
enjoyed it. Tracting again and we found some people.

Monday was the last district meeting of Elder Smith and the spirit was
there and it was such a good feeling and we all talked and shared our
thoughts. We took a zone picture, and had a "funeral" for the
returning missionaries. I'm going to miss the people in this zone. We
had Taco Bell afterwards and then we tracted with a recent convert and
had dinner with Edgardo at a pizza place with Cauliflower pizza and a
philly cheese steak pizza. So delicious! Elder Smith packed the rest
of the night.

Tuesday was a chill day, Elder Smith packed and we taught a few people
and said goodbyes. I am pretty excited to be District Leader, I'm also
very scared but I know that I will be fine. Whom the lord calls, he
qualifies. I'll be good and it's a blessing to be able to be in a
leadership position.  I know that as I continue strong in this gospel,
read the scriptures, pray and go to church I will be blessed. I know
this is the true church and I know that Christ will help me as I
strive to be the best I can. I love you all and I hope you have the
best week and I'll talk to you next week!

This is our lovely zone!

Dad,

It's good though that you have been working late, at least you have
work right? How is the yard doing? It seems like you're working a lot
and doing things you need to do.

Oh the Casper reunion! I loved those things! Who is all going? It
sounds like it will be fun! He says he might be going to NYC this
month as well. That would be super cool again! I can't believe Brandi
is going to stay in the Willows.. I love Sunrise Village way more and
I will definitely go back there after my mission. It is nicer but the
girls there have a bad reputation when I was there.. I always stayed
away from that place.

Church sounds like it was fun!

Work has been going great! We have seen a lot of Success in finding
people, we have a lot of Potentials to go look up and hopefully teach.
Everything is great! We don't do Zone Blitz but we do Zone APFs (Area
Proselyting Focus). It's where we all will focus on a companionships
area. A ward mission plan is good and I hope that you see success over
there and find new people to reach.

We do a lot of different types of APFs and it just depends. We have a
limit on how many times we can do it. This area is so ripe and ready
to be harvested.

We do a lot of different things and it all depends on if an area needs
it, but if none of our areas need it, it's kind of pointless and we
just tract more than anything.

Esmand dropped us for a couple weeks so that baptism isn't happening.
He is kind of not all there but he said come back so we will. We have
this guy named Luke who is slightly progressing and we are working
with him a lot. We also have Edgardo back, we dropped him for a while
but now we are teaching him again. Everything is great!

Thanks for emailing me dad, I felt like it's been awhile since I have
heard from you and I know you're busy. I love you! Transfers is today
and I'll talk about what is happening after transfers is over. You'll
get my email then!  thanks for everything!

Elder Casper






July Went Fast

Hello dearest family and friends!

So as you can tell by the title of this email, I have no idea where
the month of July went, I've been searching for it but I'm still on
the look out. July has gone by quick and we have seen so many miracles
this last week and I do know if I'll be able to remember everything
that happened but I'll try my hardest!

On Thursday we went to this guys office who used to be in contact with
the missionaries, he always loves having us come help him to service
and he was glad when we stopped by to see him! We have some cool
service opportunities up ahead so that will be fun. We saw a recent
convert named John and he is super cool and solid and we just teach
him simple lessons to bring him closer to Christ. We then stopped by a
less active who has been less active for 7 years but he wants to come
to church again. He has had some hard times, and he knows the gospel
probably better than I do but he is such a great man. We were teaching
him and he was like "you guys don't need to try to convert me, I'm
already a member". He continues to follow the mormon life-style even
though he hasn't been to church in a while. Finished our night with
tracting, always a good time filler!

Friday we tracted and we were walking down this street going door to
door and this guy in his car calls us over and tells us that he
usually talks with us and he really thinks what we do makes a
difference and he wishes everyone would do what we do, then the world
would be a better place. And it's true, just that influence of good
can make a big difference. We taught an atheist guy and he wasn't
interested but we did find this girl who was interested and she said
that we could come back so we gave her info to the sisters. Story
time.. We were walking down the street and we saw this old couple
walking towards us, so I say "Hey you having a good day?" He responds
with "Jehovah's or Mormons?" And Elder Smith and I respond with
"Mormons" in unison. He then proceeds to put his hand in a high five
position and I high five him! It turns out he must like Mormons over
Jehovah's. I think most people like us more. Anyways that was pretty
cool. We taught an online Facebook lesson with one of Elder Smiths old
investigators and it went pretty well, he is going to get baptized in
Ecuador. We also had a happiness group thing with one of our
investigators and I drank a Jamaican ginger ale and there was a strong
ginger taste, and we had a great time talking about what makes us
happy.. The Gospel of Jesus Christ of course!

Saturday we had a cool miracle! In the morning we had a bake sale with
a member who cooks super delicious cookies and delicious treats. We
helped her out and shared a thought about feasting on the words of
Christ. We thought that would be perfect for a chef aha. We also got
to see president and sister smith outside the church building and they
talked to us for about 5 minutes. We went to look up an investigator
but we decided to tract. We ended up knocking 2 doors and in the
driveway of the second one there was a guy getting out of his car so
after a bit of hesitation we went and talked to him. He told us to
come to his porch so we could share the because he lives video with
him and then he told us to just come inside. We shared the video and
shared the whole restoration with him. He had a bunch of questions for
us and he then offered us water and then a ham sandwich! He fed us and
he was a cool guy. His name is Troy, he may not want us to come back
but one day he will want the missionaries to come over to his house.
It was a good way to end the night.

Sunday I extended my first baptismal date to one of our investigators
named Esmand. He said yes to it! September 12th! And church was great
and we had such a cool day. This last week we taught 33 lessons which
is the most I've ever taught on my whole mission. 25 other lessons, 7
member lessons and 1 member present. So crazy. I've seen so many
miracles and I love this work.

Monday we had a sweet district meeting and Elder Smith and I weren't
feeling the greatest so that was a slower day. Sister Checketts is in
my zone, and she is the sister training leader. She sat in on our
district meeting and after the district meeting she told me that she
can see a difference in me from our Last zone. That made me feel super
good and it was kind of an answer to a prayer. I've been feeling like
I haven't been changing and that I'm the same guy I was when I first
came out but it turns out I am changing. I'm grateful for that
comment!

Tuesday was so awesome, we taught like 6 member present lessons. We
had a lesson with an investigator in the morning at a members house,
we then had service. We had a member come with us to 2 lessons and he
was so happy and was bearing his testimony. It was John the recent
convert. We had another recent convert who was baptized in June. He
came tracting with us and it was so cool to see him talk to people and
bear his testimony to everyone we talked to and it turns out people
want to hear stuff when he talks to them but when it's only us they
hide from us.  We had a wonderful day and the hand of the lord has
been in our so much and we are so blessed. We have been so wiped out
and dead tired every night but that's been a blessing to be able to
sleep quickly.

I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it's true
and the more you read it the stronger your testimony will be come. If
you are going through a rough time, the best place to turn is the
scriptures and your Heavenly Father. The scriptures will answer
questions to prayer and I promise you that you will receive an answer
as you continue in faith. I know this church is true and I know that
we have a prophet who leads and guides this church. And Christ is at
the top of it all, speaking to our prophet. I love what I'm doing.
Talk to you later! Love you!

Elder Casper

Mom-
Hi! That's good that this week has been crazy busy! I'm glad you guys have had things to do.  There is this sister in my zone named Sister Terry and she lived in Sunrise Village Fall of last year. She was way excited when she knew I lived there and she says after our mission we will hang out at college.. Anyways that was pretty cool I guess. 

California is going to like be discontinued as a state or something and break off of America. California needs water.. Like bad. 

I love my mission and I'm having such a fun time here and I love what I am doing.. Yesterday was a pretty cool day. I haven't gotten any physical mail from anyone in the longest time. I feel like missions are like that. Everyone remembers you when you first go out and then you are out for a while and everyone forgets about you until you are about to come home.. Anyways thought I'd throw that out there. I love you mom and you have been such a great example to me and I've learned so much from you. I hope your week is great! Love you!


Don't worry I'm not actually getting my nails done, we thought we would take a picture in front of this place in the galleria mall in white plains!





Another Week in Scarsdale

Hello to everyone,

Things here in Scarsdale have been good but more or less the same.
Nothing too crazy has been going on but intense rainstorms every night
and a lot of humidity. That's normal for a summer here in New York.
It's crazy how fast July is flying by and we are already pretty close
to August. We have been tracting so much it's crazy and we've been
seeing miracles and the Lords hand in our work.

Thursday was pretty fun, even though it's our weekly planning day. We
went and visited this older lady in a nursing home with an active
member. It was a very fun visit and I am grateful that we were able to
go. Had some nice conversation and we shared a little spiritual
message with them and it was a blessing to see how strong this lady is
in the church even though she is in a nursing home. She comes every
week to church. This girl came out to us while we were knocking a door
and wanted to know what we were sharing. We told her and she was
interested.

Friday we met with our investigator Edgardo, that we have been meeting
with for a while and we dropped him. He has been meets with
missionaries for about 4 months, he has a tendency to get angry at us
or talk about how our church secretly saves the tithing money and
keeps it and pays the leaders of the church. We cleared it all up for
him but he doesn't want to listen. He has probably been doing some
sort of research that is all false. We dropped him pretty hard and we
sent him a text later on telling him if he wants to meet again we can
but until then, read the Book of Mormon and call us when he knows it's
true. So yeah. Haha. We tracked and had dinner at a recent converts
house. She has a cute little 5 year old daughter named Ava who totally
crushes on all the elders haha. This recent converts name is Jessica
and her aunt was visiting and she lives in Queens so I told her my
brother served his mission in that area of New York. We had a long
conversation. We split with some elders in our district. I went with
Elder Kuo and Elder Smith went into Yonkers with Elder Essler.

Saturday was fun, we met with some investigators and had wonderful
visits with them and we tracked and didn't see too much success. Elder
Kuo and I had a lot of fun together and we got along great and did
work. We tracted a lot though which shows the Lord we are willing to
work. We unsplit and then elder smith and I tracted for a bit and we
ran into this guy and it was about 8:40 when we ran into him and he
talked to us for an hour at his door. He was telling us how he already
knows Jesus and we don't need to be baptized to be saved. He was
contradicting every thing we were saying and he wouldn't let us leave.
We were standing out front of his door the entire time and eventually
we interrupted him telling him we had to leave. We were proving things
he was saying wrong with the scriptures, he was telling us to think
for ourselves and not use the scriptures. It was annoying and I wanted
to punch him because he was calling us stupid pretty much. But I held
it back and we left. Yep.

Sunday we met with an investigator named Luke before church and he
came to Sacrament meeting with us and after Sacrament we taught him
for pretty much 2 hours and skipped all other classes. He had a lot of
questions and he isn't all the way there but he is still interested.
We had a dinner at the Larsen's and Sister Larsen is from Yuba City..
She knows Lincoln. It was a great dinner and their little kids are so
crazy. They are pretty loud and they pretty much won't eat anything
but they are forced to. In a loving way of course.

Monday we had district meeting, we tracted and sweated for days. We
ran into some salesmen who sell Verizon Fios and we thought they were
Jehovah Witnesses. But they were cool and they asked us a bunch of
questions and liked what we were saying. We tracted a lot and
eventually got rained on pretty hard. We have been seeing a lot of
miracles these past few days and we hope they continue!

Tuesday we tracted, had a former investigator take us out to lunch
with a member. It's his 2 year anniversary of attending the Mormon
church. It was a good Chinese lunch, he comes once ever 5-6 weeks so
it's pretty nice. We have been trying to spend our time in some of our
other areas because Scarsdale is primarily Jewish. People are
interested in what we have to say and I love it!

I love this work that I'm doing, I'm really enjoying the blessings I'm
seeing. I know what I am doing is what I need to be doing. I know the
Book of Mormon is true and I've testified of that to many people and
my testimony grows every time I read from it. The only way to gain a
testimony is to read and pray about it. I invite you all to do that. I
love everyone and I hope to hear from you soon! Adios!

Mom,

Hello! My week has been fun and missionary work. You guys aren't boring, it sounds like you will be having a fun time at girls camp. Yeah hope you guys drive safely!

I've been learning a lot from all my companions and I'm growing a lot because of it. Splits are great because you can learn new things from other missionaries. Elder Burrell is a great missionary and we had a lot of fun. Everything has been great and I already wrote my email. I love you mom, you have done so much for me and you have helped me grow into the person I need to be. And I can't wait to be able to show you the man I am after my mission. I regret a lot of things I've done before my mission. I never cleaned around the house and I was disobedient and kind of annoying and I've realized that. I'll be so different after the mission and it's such a great blessings to have. To go on a mission and to grow and serve people. Love you mom!

Have a great week!