Elder & Sister Smith

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


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, May 25, 2016

The Power of the Priesthood

Hello everyone, straight off the bat I want to tell you of a miracle
with the priesthood, I was on a split with Elder Sanford, our zone
leader and I was in his area. We went to see this guy named Gabe who
told us that he feels spirits and he is being touched by these
spirits. Anyways we try to teach him the restoration and he starts
flipping out and telling us how he is being possessed or something and
he couldn't focus, so elder Sanford asks him if we can give a
blessing, but that we need to go somewhere more private. He did not
want us going into his house. He was freaking out so we told him we
would give him a blessing right there in the middle of the courtyard.
The blessings was quick, direct, and it helped him. On Monday night
elder Sanford calls and tells me that Gabe is normal and he was having
a good time and that the blessing helped a lot. I am grateful that I
am able to hold that priesthood that Jesus Christ held and that I can
bless people. It's been so helpful in my life! Also I am grateful that
I'm not from Utah because I was asked if I was from Utah like a ton of
times and I'm grateful to be able to say "No! I'm from California" and
that always catches them off guard because every Mormon is from Utah
right! Ha wrong!

Thursday we did weekly planning and taught Jose Buco, he did a Nu Skin
presentation for me, and showed us these videos and yeah 45 minutes
later we taught him the restoration in a simplified manner and it made
sense to him but we aren't sure how genuine he really is in learning
but it feels like he just wants us to join Nu Skin.. Haha he did come
and are a baptism and he came to church on Sunday. He is progressing,
but we will see.

Friday we went and did an APF at Madison Square Park with elder
Stevens and Essler(my MTC companion). People talked to us there and we
had this board that said Be Happy and then had a quote about how God
wants us to be happy, anyways this drunk homeless Vet comes over to us
and his grape beer was spilling all over the board and he was talking
to us and eventually he asked us to tell us what was in 1 Samuel, so
elder Stevens quotes the primary song about following the prophet
about Samuel the Lamanite. Anyways regardless I got some beer on me..
And the board was soaked.. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Afterwards we
split with the Zone leaders, yay! First I want to say the I love elder
Sanford, he is from San Diego and is very good at missionary work, i
always learn a lot from him. We saw Gabe as well as had Chipotle for
dinner with a member. We taught an investigator at that dinner and her
name is Tanya. She is really cool, we taught her the first half of the
plan of salvation, she really enjoyed it. That was probably like the
5th or 6th time I've ever taught the plan of salvation on my mission,
we usually will talk about it sometimes when we contact but it's a
less frequent lesson. We don't teach it much, just because lack of
investigators. It was a super good lesson though and it cleared a lot
up with Tanya. We talked to this guy on the way back who would want to
read the Book of Mormon. And also talked to this guy who met with
missionaries from New Jersey but then moved to New York! He will be
taught again! We wouldn't have found him if elder Sanford didn't think
to go an unusual way home.

Saturday we had a great opportunity to try to do some service, but
that didn't work because they needed us there longer than we could
have done it. So we talked to this guy who is super optimistic, he had
a 22cm tumor removed from near his heart. It was 10 pounds and was a
bowling ball. It was crazy. He showed us a picture and everything.
Crazy. We had coordination with their ward mission leader Hiro who is
Asian. He is super awesome. We then Unsplit. Had a cool APF in
Columbus circle, talked to a member from Idaho and Arizona. The one
from Idaho lived in Rigby Idaho but clearly they were less active.
It's cool to run into people from Idaho because I love Idaho! I'd live
there some day. We went to a baptism that Jose said he would come to!
We gave him an art tour since they have a lot of beautiful art work in
the 65th and Columbus chapel. Aka the temple building. It is
absolutely beautiful, Book of Mormon art work. When we come back I'll
show you guys. After Jose we gave a blessing to a sister in my
district, then to a members mother (who isn't a member) in a hospital.
I love being able to exercise my priesthood. It makes me want to
always remain worthy so I can exercise that priesthood. I had to carry
my stupid suitcase with me everywhere because I didn't have anywhere
to put it. I use my small suitcase for splits, I want to buy a back
pack. A suitcase is such a hassle.

Sunday we had church, I spoke on my conversion and how we can remain
converted. The members really liked it, I think. Jose came, also this
kid who is interning at Google! Church was fantastic as always. The
sisters have a baptism coming up so I got to interview their
investigator Lucinda, she is from Australia and is super legit. We
looked up a lot of people too but no success. Our bishop wants to help
us teach people, he tells us to invite him and that he will come.

Monday we had district meeting, I am trying to help the district to
teach more people but we aren't doing too great but sisters Hart and
Vassau are killing it. Our zone leaders gave us good advice, use the
area book and look up people. Since I got here we do finding all the
time and don't teach anyone. We have made some improvements and did a
lot of look ups. We are Still use the finding times. We set up a few
teaching appointments. It was successful.

Tuesday we did an APF in Washington Square Park and talked to this
dude named Isaac who talked about choice to us and how we never really
have a choice, that it's all predetermined.. Anyways. He was cool. We
got mail, looked up a ton of potentials and less actives. That was our
night, no success sadly.

Today I got my hair cut, it's super nice to have short hair, I look
pretty good. Just being humble.. Haha just kidding I probably look
okay. Ha. Anyways I love to study the scriptures and I am still
remembering scriptures everyday and it's been cool. I love New York
and I love serving here, it's cool to meet people, you never know who
you will see. I love meeting members here, I love the mission, every
day flies by, soon I'll have no time left at all. I know this church
is true. Here are some pictures!

Elder Casper

1. Empire State on the left and freedom tower on the rough and the
epic city in between.
2. Google
3. 23rd street from the hallelujah Easter video
4. Sidewalk chalk art.. Wow that's detailed!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Zone Conference and Get Thee Behind Me

Hello everyone, we had zone conference this week, also I'll explain
the title later. It's been a pretty good week. A very spiritual week
at that and we haven seen too much success but so far this week we
have seen some.

Wednesday we finished out the night eating dinner with the Calders,
while we were there, brother Calder told me of that amazing pizza
place acrostic  the Brooklyn bridge called Grimaldis and right next
door there is a place called Julianas which is really good too. I
won't ever get to try them on my mission but they are super good.
After the mission . Brother Calder gave us a brilliant finding idea,
to have a board that says "What are you most passionate about?" And to
be able to answer that question. Like I'm passionate about technology,
or the gospel ya know? They are super awesome!

Thursday we had Zone Conference! President had volunteers teach the
restoration in 5 minutes, it was super spiritual and you could always
feel the spirit when the first vision is taught, some sisters taught
it in Chinese and it was super cool. It made me want to be able to
teach it that simply and powerfully. We also had a training by a
senior couple about family history and how we can help retain the
people we teach and help them to be more involved in family history.
The church came out with a new pamphlet for family history which will
be super nice. The spirit was there, it's super cool to be able to
feel the spirit so often as a missionary. I will miss being able to
feel the spirit this much all the time, but I know I'll be able to
have spiritual experiences without being a missionary. President
talked about building relationships in the ward. Sister smith talked
about sacrament meeting and how we can make sure we have spiritual
experiences. I hope you all have spiritual sacrament meetings, it's up
to you and how well you prepare for sacrament meeting. Give all the
burdens you carry to the savior, forgive yourself. It is so powerful.
We had dinner with the Croppers, they are awesome. Good conversations
and delicious food, sister cropper made the Cafe Rio sweet pork, it
was super bomb diggity. They are a great family and they have a kid
named Ladd.. Like that is super cool.

Friday we did our weekly planning and then went to the Doxford's for
some pizza and a delicious cheese, beef, cream cheese, spicy chili dip
that brother Doxford was craving. His wife went somewhere so it was
just us guys and his 2 young kids. He has these posters up of New York
in his kitchen. They are called Ork Posters, I super want those
posters. Brother Doxford is super awesome, it was a fun dinner and we
talked about his life and his conversion story. It was awesome.

Saturday we had service, coordination meeting which was fun. A pretty
unsuccessful APF At Washington square park which is part of NYU. Not
many people are interested but it was cool to have the opportunity to
talk about temples. It was super legit. One of our members bought us
some Halal food and left it at the temple. On our way back to eat it,
we talked to some members from New Jersey, I love running into members
and talking to people. We walked around some parks and said hello to
other people and got to talk to them. It was a super tough day but you
have those as missionaries.

Sunday was good, Saturday was one of those days where I just wanted it
to be over and wanted the sacrament. I wanted to restart and try
better because last week was pretty bad. I was grateful to see Yun
come to church again. I am giving a talk next week, I already know
what I'm speaking on. My conversion. It will be super powerful, I was
pondering and praying about it and that's what came to my mind. After
church we finished our studies and then went to the Vogelmanns, they
are so cool, they had some members over from our ward and then 1 from
Manhattan 1st ward. We talked about the sacrament and invited them to
invite their friends to church. It was a super good day, and some
members are moving and they gave us missionaries a lot of their food
they can't bring with them. That's the disadvantage of living in New
York. People are only here for a small period of time because they
move elsewhere. That's how the wards are here.

Monday was fantastic! The zone leaders came to my district meeting and
it was way spiritual, we talked about ways we can make baptisms more
spiritual. We teach the restoration in 5 minutes and it will help. We
also talked about ways we can help each other find more people and the
simplicity of opening your mouth. It was super spiritual and we
learned a lot. I love when we can feel the spirit, I hope to feel the
spirit a lot when I return home. Elder Casela cooked us a ton of
Filipino food, vicol express, patim, lumpia, pork chop, siomai. It was
all super good, it was like mana from heaven in form of a Filipinos
cooking. We went to DSW and I had to exchange the shoes I bought for a
size bigger, now they fit really nice. Mail came and we picked that up
and walked around Union square park with a visit sign. We
taught 2 lessons but one person was trying to convert us to become
Muslim. This other guy was super legit. His name is Michael Herrera,
he's been praying to God to find the right religion, he is on a
spiritual journey. When we told him the first vision he knew what we
were saying was true, he knows that other churches don't have the
authority and he wants to come to church. He lives up in Washington
heights which is Inwood. He works down at Union square and said he
would come to our church sometime, so hopefully we will see him!

Tuesday we did all our studies and went to Washington Square Park and
talked to people, they are always doing street performances there and
they are always super good. We went to the church and went to do an
APF at Union square and it was raining but we talked to a guy who
lives in Brooklyn who wanted a Book of Mormon but wasn't interested in
meeting with us. We did a lot of street contacting. Then we went home
and ate and back out to go tracting. On our way to the projects we ran
into this girl. We just said hey and she asked us if we had a lighter.
She had a blanket around her and she asked us why we were dressed so
nice, she also asked if the Book of Mormon had Devils in it and she
thought I was engaged because I have the choose the right Ring on my
right hand. She was super crazy and when we told her that Jesus Christ
came to the Americas, she was like "yeah the melting pot" anyways we
got out of there and gave her the Book of Mormon. She asked where
elder Casela was from and he told her he's from the Philippines. She
starts to speaking to him in some random language like Ghanaese to him
thinking its a language from the Philippines. As we were walking away
elder Casela said get thee behind me Satan. We looked back at her and
she was running away. It was a weird. The whole time we were talking
with her she was sticking her tongue out and doing weird things. It
beats me. She was probably a drugee because of her initial question.
Tracting was fun but we ended up going back home afterwards. So there
is this guy from Provo Utah who recently moved to New York to work, he
got off his mission from Brazil 3 years ago but on Saturday night he
came over to grab his keys because we were holding onto them for him.
Last night he came over to borrow our ironing board and iron and he
brought us a bunch of chips. He is super cool. His name is Daniel. He
has offered to come to lessons with us, the only problem is he is in a
different ward, the Manhattan YSA ward. He is legit and he lives
directly behind us.

So lately I have decided to remember a scripture a day. Today I
remembered Doctrine and Covenants section 4. I know I have been on my
mission for a while now but I finally have it down. My mind has been
filled with scriptures lately which has helped me. One of my previous
companions told me of a promise that President Monson said quite a
while back when he was in the Quorum of the Twelve. "If a missionary
will remember a scripture a day, he will come back with a photographic
memory." I took on the challenge a little too late but I think it will
be really helpful for me to have a better memory and to understand
things better. I'm gonna keep it going and try to remember lots of
scriptures so they can be in my arsenal for when the spirit needs to
pull them out. I love this gospel and I hope you all have a great
week! Love you!

Elder Casper

1. Zone Conference, from left to right. Elders Stevenson, Essler,
Cheney, me, Sanford and Casela being lifted up.
2. Battery Park
3. That cool Jenga looking tower
4. New Jersey
5. Our area from the top of a project.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mother's Day and 18 Month Mark!

Hello everyone, I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day. It was my
last time talking to my parents on my mission. Tomorrow I hit my 18
Month mark, it still blows my mind how fast time is moving but I'm
gonna work hard for the next 6 months, I'll give my all so I don't
feel like I wasted time. This week has been crazy awesome, there has
been a lot of things going on.

Wednesday we finished out our night tracting some project buildings
and talked to some really cool people that we hope we will be able to
teach. It was fun, I love tracting!

Thursday we had weekly planning, we did some street contacting that
night at Washington square park which is the park on New York
University, we talked to a lot of people. I said hello to this guy and
he was like "what, you want weed? What do you want?" And I was just
like "no, just wanted to say hi and have a good day". That was
interesting in itself but then we talked to this gal and she told us
she was gonna check out our church next week. Then that same guy came
over to us and her and told her to start selling weed. Regardless she
was cool and they were cussing each other out so we were just like
okay, have a good one. Bye. Awkward. Funny stories you have on your

Friday we waited for our landlord who never came to come fix our sink,
we left at about 1:30 and decided to do some street contacting on 6th
avenue. We talked to this guy who asked us about what happened to the
part of Jesus that was circumcised, but we got to testify of God and I
even got to use something from my studies that morning in Mosiah 4:9
about believing in God and that he created both the heavens and the
earth. We talked to a lady who was older but knew about our church. We
also talked to this Chinese girl who thought that south was east, and
east was south.. Yeah we explained where she wanted to go and it made
sense and she left. We had a Mother's Day APF in the union square
subway station. A lot of people saw our sign and took pictures with
it. It's funny because as soon as we are ready to leave, that's when
everyone comes and wants pictures. It's super funny. We talked to a
lot of of really cool people! Even this guy who knew who Joseph smith
was and he was yelling how he loves Joseph smith. This other guy also
yelled at us and called us children of Satan and how we are Satan
worshippers. It's like "dude, you don't even know.. Last time I
checked we worship our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.. I mean it is
the church of JESUS CHRIST". We did some street contacting in the
financial district to finish the night.

Saturday we went to do some service at the village temple, we cut some
celery and carrots and I washed the dishes. Since I have been on my
mission I really love washing dishes. It calms me. I dislike when
people call us by our first names, hello my name is elder Casper.. I
don't like hearing my first name in person. Only because I'm a
missionary. Afterwards we went to the church and there we talked to
the ASL missionaries for a little bit, and there was an alarm going
off downstairs and we didn't know the password, after falling some
people to try to figure it out, one of the elders went over to it and
started guessing from 0000, to 9999, to 8888 all the way down and it
turns out the password was 1111.. Haha. The ASL missionaries from the
south mission come to the 15th street chapel for church and
activities. It's always weird to see them in our mission.. It's
awkward to talk with them because they are foreign to us and we know
from whence they came. We tried to street contact on the Brooklyn
bridge, that didn't work. They are all tourists. This random girl
screamed Elders! It was a group of friends who are going to school at
BYU but doing a semester in New York. They took a picture of us,
probably put it on snapchat. We went to Columbus circle after dinner
to do more Mother's Day stuff, this guy called us Satan Worshipers,
but he was kidding. He is American Indians, a Lamanite by chance? We
talked for a while with him and he really had a good conversation with
us. We talked to some cool people, a lot of people got pictures. We
ran into some members. This one member gave us an idea. Have a piece
of paper with these 2 statements. I'll join the Mormon church. And I
don't love my mom enough to live with her for eternity. We would
probably have a lot of new investigators.

Sunday was awesome, it started out pouring in the morning but by the
time church was over the sun was out and it was beautiful! Yun came to
church and Danny went to the Chinatown branch because he rides a bike,
and it was raining in the morning. He lives right next to the
Chinatown chapel. I felt the spirit so strong while I took the
sacrament, I am trying to make my sacrament meetings more spiritual.
Honestly I am grateful for the burden that was lifted off of me, all
the guilt that had been lifted off of me. I want to be better and I
strive to be better everyday, repent daily. A member Invited us over
for a Sunday dinner because she wanted us to have dinner on that day.
We had a wonderful time with them. Then I got to talk to my parents, I
seriously love my mom and dad and am so grateful for them. Everyone,
love your moms! They are the greatest and listen to them. You can
watch the Mother's Day video on, check it out.

Monday we had district meeting and we talked about how we can be
better. We need more accountability and we set goals and made plans.
We are gonna have a great APF with the big Book of Mormon sign, it's
gonna be fantastic. I love this district, we are all in tough areas
but it's amazing to see success. We have had a tough time but I know
that we will see miracles. Our area is a lot of tourists and people
have hardened their hearts. We had a pass of lesson with Danny, the
plan of salvation was taught by the other elders and it made sense to
him. I seriously love Danny and he has been learning a lot about the
gospel and is loving it. He is changing the way he is living which has
been incredible. That night we had Dinner with the Howells, brother
Howell told us he was in a bad mood. He also talked about how he had
nightmares about his mission. It was crazy over there, they are a cool
family. Love em. We did street contacting afterwards, talked to some
people so that was cool.

Tuesday was cool, we planned to go street contacting on one of the
piers, but the zone leaders called and asked us if we would like to go
do an APF with them in Central Park. We did and it was super fun! We
tasked to a lot of people and even taught the restoration to them. So
many members came to put where they are from on the huge board. A
member family came over, their daughter returned home from the south
mission a year ago. It was cool to talk with them. The sound of the
world caused everyone to stop coming over to us. There were people
doing this street performance near us so the sound of the world, the
great and spacious building.. Haha. We carried the board back to the
temple 65th and Lincoln center building. It was awesome. We had some
look ups, then dinner at our apartment. We went to the top of battery
park and talked to this guy named Bryan. To say the least, he is an
interesting fellow. He taught us about the history of battery park and
it was legit. We gave him a Book of Mormon and by the time we were
done talking with him it was time to go home. We walked back, it was
totally fun. It's not that far of a walk when you walk like a
missionary does, "walk quickly and with purpose".

Today is a pretty chill Pday, going to the Chinatown chapel for elder
Casela to get his hair cut by Jay. We will go shopping later, buy a 20
pound bag of rice. We go through rice way too quick.. 2 weeks we are
already done with a 20 pound bag. Wow. So quickly! I love rice.

"How else can we increase our power in the priesthood? We need to pray
from our hearts. Polite recitations of past and upcoming activities,
punctuated with some requests for blessings, cannot constitute the
kind of communing with God that brings enduring power. Are you willing
to pray to know how to pray for more power? The Lord will teach you."
(The Price of Priesthood Power by Russell M Nelson) I love this quote,
the talk itself is amazing, I've been reading it over and over again.
I would invite you to read this to learn how we can have more
priesthood power.

Elder Casper

1. The temple
2. The Empire State Building
3. Brooklyn Bridge view
4. Mothers Day APF in Columbus Circle

Power House Duo

Hey so one of the counselors on Sunday called elder Casela and I a
power house duo because we have been bringing people to church and the
members are noticing that! It was funny, he also called us Michael
Jordan and Scotty Pippen.. I wasn't sure what that meant but
regardless we are seeing miracles here in south Manhattan! The union
square 1st ward is growing. The members are incredible here and I'm
grateful for their desire to help in this great work! The weather here
has been pretty gloomy, the sun hasn't shown his face for about a
week. The clouds have been take over and the rain has been here, I
guess its springs? Haha. Also, I got a hair cut from Jay last Pday, he
cuts missionaries hair for free and he did a great job, I really like
my hair now. Short is better. Shout out to him. He lives in queens and
I told him that Justin served there and I told him his blog web
address and also mine so hopefully he will read this.

Thursday we had a wonderful opportunity to go to this company called
BioLumina down near the bottom of the island. First some back story.
This member in San Fransisco called us and told us her work colleagues
are coming to New York for a day to do a training at that company and
then will be going to see The Book of Mormon play on Broadway. She had
a genius idea to send us over there to give them each a copy of the
Book of Mormon. We brought 12 copies with us and gave them all out and
even signed one of the ladies Book of Mormon.. That was kinda weird
but the asked us a lot of questions and they were pretty cool people
to be honest. They asked us what we thought of other religions and
what we had to tell them. We invited them to read the Book of Mormon
and to pray about it and they said that they would! It was cool and
then they gave us these fancy cheeses and brownies and other things.
It was a cool experience. As we were walking into the room where they
were at, people were saying "oh it's them" and other things. They
noticed us. When we were weekly planning we were talking about how we
had no baptismal dates. I was joking around and was like "someone will
fall out of the sky and want to be baptized" and I'm not even kidding,
5 minutes later we get a text from one of our progressing
investigators Jose Buco, his text says "Hey! If I want to be baptized
on Sunday, can it be done?" We jumped for joy and told him he could be
baptized but not this Sunday because we still have more things to talk
about. We originally set the date for May 15th but he missed church on
Sunday so we moved it to May 29th. He is awesome, straight up slightly
crazy but a very good guy. I love him so much.

Friday was just tracting and street contacting all day with no
success. It was a tough week overall until Sunday. It's pretty
depressing when you don't see success. I know that this is what
missionary work can be at times but it always gets better.

Saturday was a good day, we helped with some service at the Temple
Village, it's a soup kitchen so we got to cut vegetables. We started
cutting onions... I don't know if I've ever cried as much as I did
when I was cutting the onions. It's always the worst after you are
done cutting the onion. The guy who was cutting the onions with us was
asking about what we were doing, why we are there, how the mission
works, what we will be doing after, and questions like that. His name
is Jason and hopefully he is there this Saturday so we can teach him!
After the service we went to the church to grab the supplies needed
for an APF we were doing up in morning side park which is up in
Harlem. The sisters in our district cover that area so we did a good
deeds dare APF where we challenged others to do a good turn daily. We
invited them to do service and people were really nice to us. We saw a
lot of success as we talked to people, the sisters taught the
restoration to a dude, it was pretty cool. I got some pictures too ill
attach. We did some look ups afterwards of less active members and
there was no luck. We talked to a good amount of people!

Sunday we went to church, the sisters got a call from a guy named Yun
who lives in New Jersey but is going to come to our church. He came
after the sacrament but he is cool. He stayed all 3 hours. Gospel
Principles was about Eternal Marriage and Yun comes from China with no
background in religion. He doesn't even know about God.. It was a
pretty deep subject for him but he understood. He says he will come
next week, and the members were talking up a storm with him too. He
felt welcome and he really liked it. He was telling us about how he
has stepped out of his comfort zone to even come to church. That's the
power of fasting, we fasted as a district for success in our areas and
since that fast we have seen a lot of success. We were gonna bring a
couple of our investigators to a baptism but they couldn't come so we
tracted in these projects and found a guy named Michael George, he
wants to learn! It is the best feeling when you find someone who is
genuinely interested in learning how they can bring their lives closer
to Jesus Christ and learn how to have peace in this life.

Monday we had MLC and us district leaders were invited to attend. We
met at grand central station at 7:30 to get on a train to Scarsdale.
MLC was awesome, here are some of the things that really struck me.
"Do we have the faith to believe to see miracles? This church is led
by revelation in every council of the church. We all had the faith to
come on our mission. We had faith. We are stronger than the adversary!
For the rest of your life, that's why you go to church to make a
covenant that this week will be better. That is why we come to church.
As you understand the atonement you marvel like Enos "Lord, How is it
done?" The sacrament becomes more important to you. Are we looking for
limits to press? What I want to do is who I am! What other limits do
you have? Other than what the Holy Ghost is telling you. Don't flirt
with sin. Be wise stewards, how can we find new people? Drift starts
happening, then you don't know where you are and you didn't mean to be
there. Key indicators is a life lesson. Do you have a sense of
gratitude for that burden that was lifted from you during sacrament?
We take the spiritual experience with us to church. We have to want to
have a spiritual experience. Do you have a sense of gratitude for that
burden that was lifted from you during sacrament? Afterwards we went
to the church with the other leaders in our zone and planned zone
meeting. All 3 of us district leaders were assigned to speak on
Sacrament meeting, I was stressing out a lot that night so we got some
McDonald's ice cream to chill the nerves. I prayed a ton to know what
to say. If I was a zone leader I'd be terrible. Probably not but I
feel like it wouldn't turn out well.

Tuesday we got to the church earlier than usual and prepared the
training, we prepared it nicely but when we gave the training, we
didn't have like any time so we just went through it pretty quick and
asked a lot of questions. It went well. We had a member come speak to
us about how we can use Facebook better and more effectively. He
taught us how Facebook really works and how we could use it for
missionary work. His name is Ryan Koch(Ko) and he told us that he
loves his job because he can talk about the gospel all the time but he
can't invite. That's where we come in! He also told us a really cool
scripture that I will put at the end of this email. We met with Danny
Tan who came to church a couple weeks back. We taught him the
restoration and everything we said made sense, especially with the
restoration and how God and Christ both appeared to Joseph smith. He
was like "oh yeah, like other prophets." He is so awesome! He loved it
and said he will come to church, he will read and pray about the Book
of Mormon and he said he will be baptized. We explained the gospel of
Jesus Christ to him to. Everything made sense! He is so awesome and we
will meet with him again on Monday. We had to wait for mail afterwards
which took way to long! They came over an hour late. Anyways that's
pretty much it. Our day wasn't super productive afterwards. We did
email Danny back and I Facebook messaged some of the people used to
teach in previous areas. I am grateful for Danny, I know that God has
put him in our path, the only sad thing is he technically doesn't live
in our area, so we will have to pass him off to other elders.

Here's the scripture the Brother Koch told us that I really liked:

"For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the
fullness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language,
through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration
of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus
Christ." (D&C 90:11)

Each person will hear the gospel in the tongue they need to hear it.
We are here to teach the people in their language! Thank you for your
love and support, it really means a lot to me! Can't wait for Mothers
Day, love you Mom, you have no idea how much more I appreciate you and
all you have done for me. I love you!

Elder Casper

1-5. Our little Chinatown apartment, my closet is the first room and
I'm bottom bunk.
6. Good Deed Dares.

First Week in Manhattan!

Hello, it's crazy to think that I've already been in Manhattan for a
week but I'm seriously loving it, the ward is great the people are
great. It's a new experience for sure! This week has been the longest
week of my life.. Not really but yeah it has been long because I'm
experiencing a new area. We do a lot of street contacting here and try
to talk to people, but people are so busy they don't have time to talk
to us. Especially because we cover the financial district, Wall
Street. Man it's busy but it's fun to talk to everyone!

Thursday we had weekly planning and discussed how we are gonna help
this area progress, because it really needs it. For dinners here, you
can text the members and ask if we can come by to see them and they
will feed us. I don't like asking for food but the members do love us.
We also did some street contacting in the financial district. We take
advantage of people sitting down chilling to go talk with them. I've
said "have a good day" so many times in the past week. It's great! We
talked to this guy named Muhammad but he lives in Brooklyn and he
wouldn't take the Book of Mormon because he is already reading the
bible, we gave him a restoration pamphlet and testified of the truth.
Hopefully he will call us and come to church.

Friday we went to look up this potential named Shaimaine and he wasn't
there. Here in the city you can't just go look up people without being
invited up so the front desk guy called up and no luck. On our way
back we ran into a member from the Manhattan 1st ward and we also ran
into a member from Arizona whose son is coming to our mission in July!
She got a picture with us, it's super cool to get pictures with random
members. We went home and changed into non pros so we could go help a
member move at 2. We helped the Burrs move, they moved back to Utah
but we invited 2 other Elders to help us. We got it done in 2 hours
because we are bosses. It was fun to do a move and it's convenient
when there is a service elevator. They took us to this huge food court
called Gotham west market.. I guess we're in Gotham city or something.
It was super good! So many different options for food. We tracted in
the 26th street project buildings and found a lady named Carmen for
Sister Hart and Vassau. Sister Vassau started her mission while I was
in Scarsdale and I was her district leader. I know sister Hart from
BYU Idaho, she lived in the same apartment complex and she was in my
ward so it's pretty weird. Carmen was awesome though, she has 6 birds
and a couple dogs. They birds were flying around the apartment and the
dogs were barking the whole time we were standing outside the door.

Saturday we had Coordination with Brother Leal who is from Brazil. Our
ward missionaries were there too, it was pretty successful. Sister
Leal fed us all a Brazilian breakfast. I could eat that every morning.
They are super cool and I can't wait to get to know them more. We did
an APF afterwards with sisters Hart and Vassau and Elders Driggs and
Stevens over in union square park. We have this huge board with a map
painted onto it and we had people come put where they are from on a
sticky arrow thingy. It was cool, we talked to so many people! We met
someone that used to live in Poland and met with missionaries, she is
moving to Astoria Queens but is always in our area, she said she would
come to church sometime. We had to wait at the church afterwards
because we had an investigator who was coming to see our church. His
name is Jose Buco. He is from the Philippines. He loved the church!
Then we went and saw our recent convert up around 42nd street, we met
at a Burger King. It was super fun he is a cool guy. We went home and
ate dinner and then street contacted.

Sunday was fun. The union square 1st ward is awesome, there are Aton
of good members here. A cool miracle happened, this guy went to the
Chinatown branch last week and he couldn't understand because he
speaks Cantonese not mandarin, so he had a hard time understanding
what they were saying. He decided to come to our ward and he stayed
all 3 hours and loved it. Jose Buco came to church too! We had 2
investigators at church! Danny wants to learn more and he said he
would love to meet with us. He is 33 but looks 20, it's weird. He is a
super cool guy! We also had Linner with the Vogelmanns, so much food!
I ate like a king. They had their kid visiting from Darien Connecticut
which is in our mission. They are super awesome and they have a cool
view of New Jersey haha. And the Hudson River. They are fantastic!
They are like our grandparents, they treat us like we are their kids.
We walked a lot after to do look ups.

Monday we went to the 15th street chapel to have leadership meeting,
instead of meeting together in one building we FaceTime each other and
it was pretty cool. District meeting was legit, it's us and sisters
Quackenbush, Johnson, Hart and Vassau. It's pretty weird to have us 6
and just to meet with the sisters. It's pretty weird but they are
super legit and we are gonna have a great cycle. They are super
awesome! We did a lot of street contacting and walking around saying
hey to everyone. People weren't interested. We walked so much! Some
members said hey to us so that's pretty cool.

Tuesday was a good day. We are in charge of getting the mail when the
office elders come and drop off mail. They have been doing it weird
and they change every week. So our plans went down the drain because
we had to go pick the mail up and wait for the other district leaders
so we could open the door for them. We waited for the other
missionaries for over an hour and we brought sisters Quackenbush and
Johnsons mail to them at the Lincoln Center chapel and this guy and
his wife are members from Connecticut, just spending a week down here
and we got a picture with his wife. It's always cool to be spotted by
members and it's cool that we can meet members from all over the place
here. We tracted after dinner in some project buildings and talked to
one of the sisters investigators who used to be close to baptism but
it was cool to talk with her. No one was interested. Everyone down
here thinks they are too cool for the gospel but they need to be
humbled and learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It seriously
blesses lives as we live it, especially with our families!

This week has been awesome, I'm getting a hair cut today and we are
gonna take it easy. I'm grateful for being able to study my scriptures
every morning, to come to know the word of God and how it can bless my
life. I've been feeling the spirit in my life more abundantly as I
take my studies seriously. I invite all of you to make some time to
I wanted to end on this scripture for you to ponder.
"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for
he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a
wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do
many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much
For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And
inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward." D&C

Elder Casper

1. Financial District
2&3. Empire State!
4. Ladies and Gentlemen! The freedom Tower!
5. Freedom tower at night

Goodbye Bronx, Hello Manhattan!

Hello, as you can see by the title of my email I am no longer in the
Bronx. On Saturday I found out that I was getting transferred to Union
Square at the bottom of Manhattan Island. My area covers  from 42nd
street all the way down to the bottom on the west side. We have such a
beautiful area, we cover the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial,
the freedom tower, and battery park at the bottom of the island (where
the ferry to liberty and Ellis island is). It blows my mind that I am
here in New York, it's so beautiful here. I was really shocked to find
out that I was transferring, elder Clark is taking over the area and
an Elder Vieira is coming to replace me. I have confidence in elder
Clark, he knows the area well and we have been finding a lot of cool
people to teach there so they will do awesome and work many wonders
among the people in the Bronx. I'm with Elder Casela, who is from
Isabela Philippines, he has been out for 5 and a half months. He is
funny and he knows how to speak English well. I'll talk more about
this area later.

Thursday we had our coordination meeting and did weekly planning and
planned a pretty awesome area and we went to city island afterwards.
We finally met up with Matt, who was a potential. We have been texting
him and haven't been able to get in contact with him but we finally
got to sit down with him. We got a tour of his big white mansion. He
wanted to feed us goat curry (Indian Style) next time we go over. I
wasn't expecting a 40 year old man, but he loves the Mormons and is
pro Mormon. He got a job offer in Provo once and went out there and he
says it's heaven. He is really cool. He had a church tour once in new
Rochelle and loved the church. He is really cool.

Friday elder Clark and I saw a lot of success. We took brother Ford
with us tracting in elder Newbold and Davis's area, he was telling us
that he doesn't want to know his neighbors because then they will be
knocking on his door and want things. The funny thing is that we only
found people on his floor and they are super legit! We had to take a
detour because of the stupid subways were not running on certain
tracks for certain times. I'm glad we did because we met this guy
named Bart who respects Mormons. He was telling us how we need to
leave a good posterity. He was also telling us how he is handsome and
how he is rich. Anyways very cool guy and says that missionaries are
welcome anytime. We tracted that street and on our way home we
couldn't get on the 2 train because they were all packed as we turned
around we saw our bishop sitting in a delayed train. It was super
legit. We also met a less active member who referred herself to get a
finding faith in Christ DVD. She said she would come to church! The
rest of the night was crazy, we split with our zone leaders, I split
with Elder Sorensen.

Saturday elder Sorensen and I saw a lot of miracles. We talked to a
lot of people and looked up some potentials. We were walking to this
less active and we said hey to this group of guys and we walked by and
one of the guys said "what, did god tell you not to stop and talk with
us?" And we said "no we can talk if you want", they didn't even want
us to talk with them. Anyways we looked up this less active, Sister
Rochester and Ashani. Ashani was home and he was saying how he needed
to clean before his mom got home so we offered to help and swept his
floors and carpet. We talked to him for a while and it turns out he is
doing the BYU-Idaho pathway program. He is doing online classes. It
was legit. We met with another less active as well as an investigator
named Rico Blando. He asked us so many questions that really didn't
matter. We answered questions and the spirit was there. Rico asked us
what time our church started, he came to church too! Elder Sorensen
got called as an Assistant to the president as we were talking to this
less active member named Megan. She is germaphobic and scared of large
groups of people. Why are you in the Bronx? On our way home we got on
this bus and this lady said "hey come pray for my son, he needs change
in his life!" We talked with him and he is probably 14 and was
interested in learning more and his parents wanted him to learn more.
He lives right behind the church too. What are the chances of that?
Elder Sorensen is awesome, and I learned so much about how I can be a
better missionary. I have been working on talking to people and asking
questions to get to know them and people are more interested. It's
really cool. We got transfer calls as we were un splitting. It shocked
me to find out that I was being transferred and I won't get to finish
training elder Clark but he will be fine.

Sunday we had to church and I said goodbye to a lot of the members.
I'm gonna miss Olmstead because every week is a new adventure and you
never know what to expect. Rico came to church and this solid
investigators of the zone Leaders named Jason and he got to church
early and he is totally legit. Church was great, we had an appointment
set up that night for a pass off lesson with the sisters and they
cancelled so our night was shot. We went to do less active look ups
and we found Monique, she is really cool just living with her partner.
We talked to them for a bit outside and they are totally legit! Her
partner really appreciated us giving her a Book of Mormon. Now she can
read the book and pray about it. They are gonna try to meet with her
partner and hopefully they will change their ways. They are super
legit! Monique was wearing a legend of Zelda shirt, dope.

Monday was great, we had a great district meeting and the spirit was
so strong. I love the spirit. We had the opportunity to eat a cross
Bronx slice, they are so good just so bad for us. When we come back
after my mission, I'll take you there! We looked up this media
referral named Tesouro Miranda who is super cool and wants more in his
life, he has a family and he speaks Portuguese. Elder Vieira speaks
Portuguese. It was legit. I packed from 6-9 and my suitcases were
bulging hard core, I was afraid that my suitcases were gonna explode.
They could very well. Haha they are pretty wrecked, not too much time
left now.

Tuesday morning I was pretty nervous to leave the Bronx because I was
scared to be in Manhattan where everyone is so busy and it's not easy
to talk to people. I'm in a highly populated area and I have to push
my self in order to say anything to strangers but I've met a lot of
people who are nice and a lot more who are rude and won't say a word
back to me. We got to the Inwood chapel where we switched companions.
I'm with elder Casela and elder larkin (I took his place) told me that
I'm gonna get hooked up in this ward. He was saying the members make a
lot of cool things and they just give it to us because they love us.
This ward is a very wealthy ward and they are very busy but make time
to feed us. Exactly an hour. Go in the door and the clock starts
ticking. I can't wait to meet the members. Elder Larkin told me I'll
probably be speaking in 2 weeks. We took an A train all the way down
to West 4th Street, then transferred to an F train to the last stop in
Manhattan, east Broadway. If we miss this stop then it's so long
Manhattan, then we are in Brooklyn. Haha so we got to pay extra
attention to where we are at. We don't want to go to the South
Mission. We live in the most tiny apartment I've ever lived in. The
last apartments front room is as big as this apartment. We live in
Chinatown. The sisters in our district live right above us. The stairs
up to the apartment were ridiculous to carry my suitcases. They were
super heavy. They are still in one piece though. We did a lot of
street contacting in battery park, we talked to this guy from Hawaii
who knows missionaries on their missions. He thought it was "pretty
freaking cool" that we are serving in New York. We talked to a lot of
people. We had a good time, we were tracting a project building and we
couldn't open the door, this guy yells to us "Pull harder!" We yanked
the door open. As we were leaving we talked to this lady named Vianny
and she talked to us a lot but speaks Spanish. Luckily I get language
study because elder Casela is called English. I'll study Spanish so I
can learn and teach her a bit. She gave us free Pastelillos, which are
like a little tortilla that's shut and has meat in it. So many humble
people here, they are trying to make a living in the big city and its
hard but they are so kind to us. I love our mission.

Elder Casela is awesome, he kinda reminds me of a Filipino version of
Conner Bowden! Haha. It's great though, he is awesome and we get along
well. He is funny and he told me that after his trainer he wanted to
be my companion because he met me once. I love him and we have so much
fun. I'm grateful for this church and this time the lord has given me
to serve in Manhattan, I know that I'm gonna see miracles and that
people are so prepared here. We have a lot of work to do.

1. The salinas family and I
2, 3. The Olmstead zone
4. Elder Newbold, Joe and I.
5. Freedom Tower
6. The plan of salvation=Love

Thursday, May 12, 2016

7 Month's Left!

Hello everyone, so first of all I want to talk about how hard of a
week it was. On Thursday I was super depressed because we weren't
seeing any miracles.. Everyday was tough and I honestly didn't want to
do anything but we continued doing work and we saw some cool things
happen. It was just a weird week but I'll go into it right now.

Wednesday night we got a referral for a bible, her name is Isabel
Vasquez. We called her right away and set up a time to go by, Thursday
at 3:30, so it was in our plans but we were excited because she seems

Thursday we had coordination like usual, it was a little longer
because Michael is planning a fireside for this ward, a service
activity that will help this ward be unified and be more effective and
want to do missionary work. We got home ate and then shot to planning,
we got like a third of the way through when we had to go see Isabel,
we went and buzzed for her apartment and we got let in. We went up and
there was this guy standing outside of her apartment, he was just
leaving. It turns out it is her husband Mike. She isn't there and he
tells us that she will be home around 8, so we tell him that we will
be there around 8. We went home and did more planning and then ate
dinner and went out to go see Isabel and Mike. When we got there at 8
we rang the buzzer twice, gave her a call and got let in by some
random people so we knocked on her door 3 times and no answer. I was
like whatever lets go do something else. We went and tracted with no
success. It was about 8:45 and we were walking by their apartment
building so we decided to try again. We buzzed a couple times, left a
message on her phone. Got let in by random people leaving, and we
knocked on her door. I was ready to give up but we heard something
behind the door and she came to the door. She apologized a lot, we
gave her the bible she wanted and we talked about the Book of Mormon.
She told us she had heard about the Book of Mormon before from her
husband and that "it contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus
Christ?". She let us in and her husband came out and asked if we
wanted to go into the living room. He was getting ready to go back to
do his own thing but we invited him a couple times and she also
invited him. He stayed and we talked about the Book of Mormon. He told
us that he notices the lack of gods servants at all the churches they
go to. They are super awesome and want to learn more. The spirit was
strong and they wanted us to go back today for dinner, they are Puerto
Rican so rice and beans! And lots of it. Sadly they cancelled
yesterday because Mike has to work overtime. They live in a project
building but the inside of their apartment is super nice, it doesn't
even feel like a project. Mike works a lot for everything he has. He
works hard and the funny thing was on the way out Mike gave us a $10
bill, even though we resisted. He wanted us to go buy some food if we
were ever out. We called president that night and told him about that
miracle! It was awesome.

Friday we were in coop city doing a lot of work and not seeing any
success. It was hard work, I was tired and my shoulder was hurting and
we walked a ton. But we got to take one of the youth with us, his name
is Clifford Oti. We looked up this one less active and this lady on
the other side of the door asked if we wanted juice immediately after
the door was opened. It turns out that less active passed away Several
years ago... Yeah and she told the missionaries about a year ago and
they didn't tell anyone. She has a parrot, she brought it out and it
literally started to laugh at us, like super loudly and yeah Satan was
that bird.. Trying to make our job more difficult. Dumb parrot. We
helped with scouts, we were actually in charge of scouts with the
other elders. After that it makes me not want to have kids, haha.
Elder Clark started to not feel good so after we got some subway and
went home.

Saturday was not legit at all. Elder Clark was sick and slept all day.
I read all of 1 Nephi and man could I feel the spirit. I love the
spirit and I'm grateful for what I learned. There were a few
scriptures I really liked. I finished from Ether 13 to the end of the
book and then restarted. My testimony grew so much of the truthfulness
of the Book of Mormon. We also had a dinner with a member, she cooked
us chicken curry! I love curry! We shared a object lesson with her,
her recent convert son who is 10. We shared the importance of
scripture study, prayer and going to church, using cups and knives.
I'll have to show you it when I get home. Anyways one of her less
active grandsons was there and he watched us do that object lesson. We
think his heart is softening. His name is Trevor and we want him to
come out with us one day to see how missions are and to help him come
back to church. Elder Clark rested again and I continued my study.

Sunday we had church and boy was it great to take the sacrament after
general conference. Sacrament meeting was boss, it was fast and
testimony meeting so there were some throw down testimonies. The 2nd
counselor, brother Salinas bore his testimony of how he isn't perfect
and how he tries, then this lady goes up and says "I don't believe
that we aren't perfect, we try" she was totally dissing on brother
Salinas and everyone knew it. The Olmstead ward though! This guy came
into church holding a pass along card with Jesus on it and was showing
it to everyone as he walked in. It turns out that he was found on
Saturday and decided to come to church. The zone leaders will be
teaching him. Church was fantastic. We went to go see Francis (who is
the less active member from Inwood). We rushed out of the apartment to
catch the bus because they were 30 minutes apart. I forgot my tag so I
had to use my pocket tag on my shoulder strap. You would think after
17 months of being on a mission, I would remember to grab my tag for
my jacket. Haha. We did a bit of walking, we had to wait for the bus.
It was super annoying because all the buses that pass are filled to
the brim. We literally shoved ourselves into the bus and rode in the
very front, buses are cool. I love public transportation.

Monday we had district meeting, I led it all on accountability and how
we can be accountable to our monthly goals we have set. It was a super
good district meeting, revelation came on how we can work better with
our members to have more member present lessons. It was a tough week,
we have a lot of other lessons to catch up on. We will catch up
though. It's going to happen! We got some cross Bronx pizza, man I
cannot wait for you to one day try it. Yummy pizza. We ate with the
zone leaders. They are cool people. We went and did work and were
called CIA because we wear huge black jackets and dress slacks. This
high schooler didn't believe us when we said we weren't. Whatever. We
did a lot of finding in a project building and found some really cool
people. Project buildings are awesome because we can find a lot of
people and work more effectively. We taught 6 lessons on Monday which
is a big help to help us catch up.

Tuesday was awesome. We were finally able to do 12 week and catch up a
bit. We got mail and I got Justin's graduation card. Donna Canceled
the appointment she set, and as of now we don't know when we will meet
with her again. Isabel and Mike also canceled our dinner appointment
too but they will reschedule. We brought 11 book of Mormons with us to
a project building to go tract and our shoulders were killing us. We
talked to a lot of people and I spoke some Spanish to a couple people
and actually understood them! The gift of tongues is real. My
shoulders are wrecked, I can't wait for the day when my shoulders
won't kill. 7 more months! Project buildings are ridiculous, there is
pee in every stair well, I swear people must have pee competitions to
see who can pee the highest on the wall. True Doctrine. That night I
made the mistake of not wearing a jacket, of course it then got real
cold. We talked to this girl named crystal who seems interested and
liked the invitation in the Book of Mormon to read, ponder and to pray
about it. She said she would text us and we could set up a time to
meet with her and her family. The only problem is she is probably 16
at the oldest. We did a bunch of tracting and tracted a building full
of Muslims. We ended up leaving cards on every door and leaving. We
didn't see too much success sadly. It was a good night, I'm grateful
for what Heavenly Father has done for us this week. We have seen
miracles and it's been a good week.

I've been reading in Acts, and hopefully you know who Saul is, in the
scriptures it says:

"As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house,
and haling men and women committed them to prison." (Acts 8:3)

Saul and 2 other men were with him journeying to Damascus and this is
what happens:

"3 Suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul,
Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom
thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me
to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it
shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9: 3-6)

In this account we see that Jesus appears to Saul asking him why does
he persecute him, with this vision Saul was blind for 3 DAYS! Until
Ananias came and touched Saul and he received his sight. That vision
was incredible, Christ appeared to Saul and then he becomes Paul and
is incredible. For the rest of his life he devotes his time to serving
Christ until he dies. I love reading in the New Testament, the spirit
is super strong and I know that this is the true church of Jesus
Christ and that we need to devote our time to the church and help the
missionaries, go to lessons with the missionaries and help them teach.
I love when members offer to come with us and help. I love it! Have a
great week!

Elder Casper

1. We had a zone activity and ate hot dogs and the sisters made a
chocolate chip cookie brownie cake for me.
2. We used photobooth with Zahil and sister Boothe.
3. Murica!
4. Cross Bronx in comparison to our heads.
5. We were alone in the subway... I remember Justin's picture when he
was on his mission.
6. Apparently they don't like Jehovah's witnesses. They didn't seem to
pleased with us either but they were nice to us.

General Conference and Happy Birthday!

Hello, before I say anything I just want to say how bipolar the weather here in New York is. One day it's pooping hot and then the next it's like Antarctica and then the next it's snowing and raining and just freezing cold winds blowing at us. Anyways it was terrible in the sense that the weather here just doesn't know what it's doing. Yep, and yes I did have a fantastic birthday, I'm now 21 so that's like super weird but it was good to be able to watch conference and to receive revelation on what I need to do with my life after the mission. I don't know if it actually spoke a lot about it but I felt like it was talking a lot about marriage, and being a father and in general just being a parent and not putting off marriage after the mission. I guess that's what the spirit was telling me.

Thursday we did the same old, coordination with Michael and then did weekly planning and then some referral looks. Elder Clarks metro card was expired so we did a lot of walking. Did a look up of this lady whose name is Brenda and it turns out her parents referred her to the church because they are members but she is not, she isn't interested but one day! We walked more and I got to practice my Spanish to a recent convert who moved from Oklahoma. We tracted in that building and this one guy from the other side of the door said "not interested, back away from the door, don't knock again, I'm calling the cops to come remove you". Anyways we just kept knocking doors. We have our ministerial certificate, the cops will just tell us to leave. Haha.

Friday was a hot day, we tested the weather by sticking our hand out the window and it felt cold and it looked like it was gonna rain. We wore our huge jackets to go look up this referral named Kenrick, who we just got in coop city. We went there and looked him up and it turns out he just referred himself that morning and the lady on the phone told him that he should be expecting 2 missionaries to come by and probably sit down and talk abit. He let us in and we shared some of the restoration with him. He loved it and he has a grandson in California who helped him be a little more interested. When we went outside afterwards it was way hot. We went to the 12 bus and we met a member who lives in the Kingsbridge ward. We talked the entire way back. He is a cool kid. He joined because he wanted to have a better life. That's exactly what the gospel brings! A better life! We dropped our big jackets off and went to see Gabriel Claudio who told us that he would want to come to all 3 sessions of General conference on Saturday, priesthood session included. Too bad he didn't come. We helped with cub scouts and we helped make the pinewood derby cars and paint them.. It was fun in a white shirt, I didn't get anything on my shirt though.. It was fun to help those kids.

Saturday we went to see our less active, Francis. He is doing awesome and we always brighten his day. It was raining pretty hard. We went to see general conference and I loved it. It was so much fun. President Eyring started off conference so perfectly. The spirit was so strong. All the talks were amazing! Elder Bednar's talk was good but I really loved elder M Russell Ballards who talks about family councils and those are inspired. I loved this quote "Now, brothers and sisters, there was a time when the walls of our homes provided all the defense we needed against outside intrusions and influences. We locked the doors, closed the windows; we shut the gates; and we felt safe, secure, and protected in our own little refuge from the outside world.

Those days are now gone. The physical walls, doors, fences, and gates of our homes cannot prevent unseen invasion from the Internet, the Wi-Fi, the mobile phones, the networks. They can penetrate our homes with just a few clicks and keystrokes." That hit me, that's council from our leaders in what we need to be doing in order to live a safe life, to have our own little refuge from the outside world. The priesthood session was my favorite. There was a lot of marriage talk and how priesthood holders should be better to their wives. I loved president Uchtdorf's quote "My beloved brethren, may I remind you, if there were a perfect woman, do you really think she would be that interested in you?" I loved how he talked about how can save our marriages and how we can have a successful marriage. It was so good! It was good to hear the prophet speak too, it was so short but meaningful.

Sunday I woke up dead tired but I rolled slash jumped out of bed because I'm on the top bunk. It didn't feel like I was 21, I still feel like the same old kid who entered the MTC at 19 and now it's almost 17 months later and I feel like the mission has changed me a lot. When I go home I'll be a completely different person. It's super cool. General conference was fantastic. Jeffrey R Holland ended it so amazing. Here is his quote "Satan wants people to not progress. Why does he do that? Because he never can progress. He wants us to be miserable too.. Don't listen to that. We can improve. The great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying.. Even if we don't succeed. If God were to reward the perfectly faithful, he wouldn't have much of a distribution list". We can all improve and become better and try to be better. Don't listen to Satan, it's true, he cannot progress but we can! It was so good to finally get out and do some work for a couple hours. It was freezing, we didn't dress appropriately for cold weather but we went out anyways and did work.

Monday was fantastic as well. We had Zone Meeting and we set a goal of teaching 568 lessons in the month of April. We set goals for every key indicator for this month. We are all so pumped up! It was a great day. We did go see Sister Archibald like usual, and John Cofie. He had to get up to use the restroom and as he was walking out of the bathroom, he said "By the Grace of God, I'm walking.. Have faith." Haha it was funny. He's a good guy. That's his saying for every answer "By the Grace of God." We looked up this Lady named Brilludene and she is super cool. She wants to come to church. Let's hope she doesn't get lazy on Sunday. Something I've thought about recently is as a kid we are told to never talk to strangers or go into random peoples houses. That's exactly what we do as missionaries, talk to strangers and go into random peoples houses. It's funny. We looked up some people that night. It rained all day. This bible basher started talking to us and he told us how Jesus was black and he proved it using Songs of Solomon.. Yeah we just said have a great day and walked away. We decided to stop by Donna and she answered! Hallelujah, she is alive and well and she wants us to come by hopefully this week! She misses us and we told her how much we missed them. It's gonna be dope sauce.

Tuesday we were supposed to meet with Kenrick but he canceled on us. We were asked to go get the mail from the office elders. Then we went to City island and had a wonderful time tracting and talking to people. We didn't see much success but it was super fun. We tried talking to people, no one is interested but there is some good potential on that island. It was pretty cool. We then had to go to the church to copy elder Clarks license for elder Garnder. We walked a ton, like 2 or 3 Miles on city island and the same for the rest of the day. We walked so much. And we didn't see too much success but we really tried. I love talking to people, you never know who you will talk to. We were so tired, my left heel has been killing me. When I rolled out of bed this morning I was limping hard core but it's better now. Stupid planter fasciitis. Anyways sleep last night was good, Ta bien (Dominican Slang for its good).

I love this work, I know I'm supposed to be here to find those who are prepared to hear the restored gospel. 7 months left, I'm working hard. I don't know how I've been out for this long but soon I'll have a couple cycles left. I love you all and am grateful for your love and support.
Elder Domenick Casper

1. Helping at cub scouts.
2. Selfie with the church.
3. These ads are all over the subways.
4. We found this in our apartment, look at the little piece of ramen next to it..Grateful it was dead.
5 & 6. City island view of Manhattan! And Queens.
7. 9/11 memorial painting graffiti art. It's dope.
8. Georges Diner, all us missionaries eat there pretty often. The owner loves us and gives us free Drinks and unlimited refills! It's good! And affordable.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Day of Urgency! Happy Easter!

Hello, what's up with y'all? This week has been epic and we worked so
hard. I love that feeling when you put forth all the effort and serve
Jesus Christ. What a beautiful week! It will now be my pleasure to
talk about what has happened over this past week.

Thursday we had coordination with Michael, and it's good to see him
again because he was in Washington for a while but he is back now! We
did weekly planning and then were asked by the zone leaders to go to
the church and wait for the office elders, so we waited and they
didn't show up until an hour later.. Yeah. We got some more initiative
cards though which were useful, 150 cards per English companionship.
It was seriously super nice to get some more cards. We went and looked
up a media referral named Yenice Rosado and she is so prepared. She
wanted a Book of Mormon. We showed her the hallelujah video and she
asked if she could share that video and we gave her a card. She wants
to learn more and so does her family. So we are going back this week

Friday was "A Day of Urgency" just like the title of this email. It
was a day in which as a zone we would reach the standard of
excellence, so 3 new investigators for each companionship. It was a
little harder because we had 12 week as well as lunch immediately so
we didn't get out of the house until 12 but we went straight to a
project building to tract and I have strong testimony of project
tracting. Of course as we were on our way there it started raining
hardcore, our faith was too strong for Satan to influence us. The rain
stopped. We knocked so many doors and talked to so many people and
shared the hallelujah video. A lot of them were interested and we
taught 6 people in that building and got 2 new investigators in the 3
hours it took to knock 63 doors. You never know what to expect on the
other side of that door. We talked to this lady who calls herself
"ghetto mama", who wasn't wearing a shirt in particular, just a jacket
that she was holding over herself. Like what are you doing woman? Put
some clothes on! We are two 20 year old young men who don't want to
see any of that. Seriously. She also told us that it's getting warm
outside so we need to duck.. Like what?! Anyways that was one of those
interesting experiences you have while on your mission. We also talked
to this lady named Shila who wants to bring the Book of Mormon to her
pastor for him to check it out.. Haha. We were walking around the
corner and this lady sees us and she waits for us. She asks us where
we were from and we told her "California and Idaho" she sees
missionaries at her job all the time. We shared the hallelujah video
and she cried! Yes!! Its not good to see a lady cry, but when they cry
because the spirit, it's like the best cry out there. She thought of a
friend who recently passed away and she was so grateful to see that
video. She goes to Times Square church.. A lot of people go there
here. Why go down to a church in Manhattan when you can just stay in
the Bronx and have a better experience? Blessings for days! Later that
night we tracted and met this guy named Gabriel who wanted to watch
the video. He's in his 20's for sure and he asked if he could grab a
cigarette. He loved the video. We talked to him for 30 minutes and he
loves spiritual stuff, he was awesome but as we walked away we
realized we forgot to set up a return visit. We texted him asking if
we could come back in a week and he told us yeah. We got our 3rd
investigator 5 minutes before 9. It was such a blessing. We prayed so
much for us to be able to reach that goal, and Heavenly Father does
answer prayers. We taught 11 lessons in total.. It was seriously a
great day, I knew I did everything for Jesus Christ. It was a great
night sleep for sure.

Saturday was pretty sweet too. We met with our less active who lives
in Inwood but is in a care center in our area, his name is Francis.
His life is changing and he says it's because of his bishop and us.
The spirit is strong and he called us good Samaritans for him. I love
him. I got pretty emotional while we were talking to him. I didn't cry
but I love him a lot. We did an area Proselyting focus at the
metropolitan oval and it was cool. We talked to so many people who
were prepared and we reminded them about the importance of church. A
lot of them said they would come to church. We talked to this guy who
lives in New Jersey too, but it's not as cool as New York. We shared
the hallelujah 4 times in English and 1 time in Spanish. Gave out 4
copies of the Book of Mormon and got 4 peoples contact info. It was
super successful and we talked to some crazy people. It was good. We
looked up potential and less actives the rest of the night.

Sunday was awesome, it was Easter Sunday. There were quite a few
people there. Church was great though. We taught elders quorum about
the first presidency message in Aprils ensign. It talks about how we
need to be prepared for general conference. So start preparing, write
questions down you are having and pray about them. General conference
is a great time to have your questions answered! We didn't have anyone
sign up for us to eat for Easter dinner. That was the first time on my
mission but it is my last Easter and I don't have any other big
holidays really. It's pretty weird. We did stop by the Danquahs and we
woke up brother Danquah but he is super awesome. I love him and he
gave us these big glasses full of apple cider. That was good. We
brought the sacrament to sister Johnson and then went back to around
our apartment and saw Sister Boothe and Zahil. We shared the Easter
videos with them, Hallelujah and Follow him. Sister Boothe wants to
feed us in a couple weeks.

Monday was fun too. We had a good district meeting, we talked about
our goals and actuals and how we can be more accountable and we had a
great idea. We are gonna be having a ward activity that we are working
on. We will talk more about that. And we need to figure out how to get
the ward council involved. We were super pumped. We need the people in
this ward to become more active and involved. We saw a few people
later and met this guy named John Williams (who told us to come back
last Friday when we knocked into him), he let us right in and we
shared the beginning of the restoration. He has a lot of other beliefs
but he used to meet with missionaries. We are for sure going back. We
split with a Elder Newbold and Elder Davis. I went with Elder Newbold
in his area. We set a goal to hand out 78 hallelujah cards on Tuesday.

Tuesday was awesome. We walked around and gave cards to as many people
as we could. We went back and forth because we had to get mail as
well. We did so much finding and tracting. We ran into this lady named
Ada who used to meet with missionaries too. And we talked to another
girl wasn't wearing anything but a bra. Dude people, do you even know
how to wear shirts? It's not a hard concept.. She watched the video
though and yeah we left after. She didn't seem interested at all
either. We went down to the bottom of hunts point and got some sweet
pictures and talked to so many people too. We met this guy who was
wearing an Oakland Raiders hat and we had a good conversation and
shared the hallelujah video with him. He told us that there must be a
reason we crossed paths. We ended up giving 84 cards to people.. We
were blessed by Heavenly Father for sure. He is a great guy and since
we are from the same area. Wilton and Lincoln California, Elder
Newbold is awesome and we have so much fun talking about random things
and we start cracking up about random things. I love him, he's a good

Here is a scripture which fits perfectly for general conference:
"Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I
have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand,
and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again."
3 Nephi 17:3. Prepare your minds for the morrow, prepare for conference.
It's really soon so start preparing. Oh I'm in the Book of Mormon in
the Book of Mormon! It's awesome. I'll be finishing the book within a
couple weeks. I love the Book of Mormon and I hope you do too!

Much love from the man above.

Elder Casper

1. Elder Clark and I at the APF with our sign.
2. Port Morris in Hunts Point.
3. Me and Manhattan.
4. For some reason I look super short in this picture.
5. A panorama of our area.
I also got a sweet Facebook cover photo, check it out! I love New York!