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Monday, December 30, 2013

Roller Coaster Rides

Life is full of its ups and downs. I've been stuck on a spiritual roller coaster the past few days. Up down up down up down.

Today I was hit hard, though. I made a choice, and once I made it the Spirit left me. I felt dark and cold inside. It was a scary feeling. I spent hours last night talking to the Lord and figuring out what I needed to do to fix what I had done wrong.

This morning Workers Comp finally got to me, again I am tangled in the legal issues of my work injury back in November. Then I ran errands for my mom, and lost a receipt that my mom needed for the business.

So I drove back to Target, where I felt like I lost it. I walked to the section that I thought I may have dropped it from my pocket... And it wasn't there. I felt hopeless. So with a broken heart, I turned to leave, begging Heavenly Father for help. I lifted my eyes and saw a small slip of paper on the floor.

And there it was.

I grabbed it and went to my car and bowed my head.

The rest of the day went fine until I got a text from my investigator. He explained that he didn't think this church was for him.

That, my friends, shattered my heart. I shot a text to the missionaries, explaining what happened. Immediately they responded with "Go pray about it." And I did. Not that long after my prayer ended I got another text from the Elders asking if my friend had read any of the Book of Mormon yet. He hadn't and they responded with "Ask him to do that before he quits. We don't have to meet tomorrow, but try to get him reading."

I told that to my friend and I got an "Ok" and nothing else.

What an awful feeling that is. I asked the missionaries what kept them from getting discouraged in situations like this one and they told me it was "the miracles that happen". I kept a prayer in my heart for that miracle.

Later my friend texted me about how upset he was that his game broke. I happen to have it so I told him I would ask my brother if he could use it. We talked about that for a minute and out of the blue he says:

"I've started Nephi"

I cried.

Miracles are real. They happen through Heavenly Father.

My life is full of many miracles. From Ben introducing me to the gospel to getting baptized to sharing the gospel with others. Every day He blesses us with a miracle.

What was yours today?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hooray for Sunday!!!!

Sunday is the best day of the week!!! Why? Because we get to take the sacrament! Isn't that fantastic? I sure think so!!!

We also get to hear many wonderful talks. Today I got to give one about missionary work. Oh- how I LOVE missionary work. If you would like to read my talk, here it is. :)

          Good morning brothers and sisters. My name is Casey Watts, I was baptized two weeks ago and confirmed last week. I stand here before you today because someone had the courage to open his mouth 3 years ago and I loved what was said.
A few months ago, my seminary teacher Sister Clark was thrilled about these delicious peaches she had gotten. They were so wonderful that everyone had to taste them! So she brought them to seminary with her the next day. I thought it tasted so good that I should take one home to my dad and share with him. This, my beloved brothers and sisters, is how we should be with the gospel.
In 1 Nephi 8, Lehi has the vision of the tree of life, whose fruit is desirable to make one happy. He tastes the fruit and is filled with pure joy, and of course, wants to share it with the people he loves.
A few years ago, we had the first Book of Mormon read a thon. I was still investigating the church and hadn’t read the Book of Mormon yet, so when I was invited I jumped at the chance. I remember being one of the last ones awake while a bunch of my peers had passed out on the floor and couches around me. Even though I was exhausted, I hung onto every word of what was being read. When we finished we all got in a circle and prayed together. I cried tears of joy and peace from the moment that prayer started until sacrament meeting the next day. I absolutely knew that book was true and I still know it is today. I know that the Book of Mormon can and will make people happy, I have experienced this myself and I have seen its teachings reach out and touch another person in my life.
I have a friend who has been struggling through life because of some mistakes he’s made in his past. Every single day I got a text from him that expressed the deep sadness and regret he felt. I testified to him about the church and told him that this church is what makes me happy and I knew that it would make him happy, too. So he agreed to come to a missionary discussion. Now, there have been a few bumps in the road with him, but he told Elder Christensen, Elder Saenger and I at our last discussion that he opened the Book of Mormon for the first time. The joy I felt was unexplainable, and slowly but surely I can see a change in him. His first text isn’t about how horrible his day was, anymore. I can see hope in his eyes, something that wasn’t there before.
Much like Sister Clark and her peaches, this gospel has brought me so much joy that I just have to share it. I want others to find the joy that I have found in this wonderful church. At stake conference, President Durrant challenged us all to use the “magic question” once a week for 6 weeks. I decided to accept that challenge and so far I’ve asked it 8 times.  A few people have said no, but some have said yes and so far 2 of my friends have met with the missionaries and one of my other friends wants to meet with them next week.
Missionary work is worth it. And the best part about it is you don’t have to have a name tag pinned to your coat like Elder Christensen and Elder Saenger do. We have the opportunity to paint one on our hearts, something Neil L. Andersen encouraged us to do in his talk back in April.  
I challenge all of you to talk to someone about the gospel this next week. Success in missionary work is not just getting someone to take the missionary discussions and get baptized. Success is sharing your testimony and the love you have for this gospel. That makes a difference in other’s lives.
Brothers and sisters, I know that if you take the challenge to share the gospel, you will see a change in both your life and your friend’s lives.

I got to bare my testimony over this wonderful part of the gospel and I think it went well. I was talking to the 6th ward missionaries near the door at the end and EVERYONE who walked by said it was a good talk. I loved it. Even if I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. Sister Lowry talked after me. She is a convert, too. She talked about her conversion story and some challenges she had as a convert. That talk was for me, Heavenly Father knew I needed that. 

I slipped in to the missionary class again this week and we talked about exhalation. I haven't ever learned too much about it. It was really nice to learn about something I didn't know a lot about. AND my missionaries taught it, which was a little different. I'm so used to Brother White teaching! :)

I didn't really want to go to third hour today. I stayed back and chatted with the Elders for a bit and set up some appointments. (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I meet with them. Twice for friends and once for me. I think they're starting to get sick of me. :) haha) I told Elder Saenger how I didn't really want to go to third hour and that I was thinking about just going home. He told me he thought I should go, but it was my choice. Then they started walking to class with someone else and while they passed the door, Elder Saenger opened the door for me to go in. So I went.

I'm so glad I did. We talked about the new theme for this year - Come unto Christ. I love that theme so very much. When I walked in, Bishop was playing this video. I invite you to watch it.


Then Bishop asked "What are YOU going to do to 'Come unto Christ?'"


As I was sitting there watching this video, I decided that I was going to take it seriously. This year I'm going to focus on these four things.
  1. Have a better relationship with my family
  2. Come to know my Savior, Jesus Christ
  3. Serve my fellow youth - each week I will pick a different youth and do what I can to serve them and make their week fantastic
  4. Be a missionary, ask the "magic question" every single week this year and give out a Book of Mormon once a month, at the very least.
In doing these things I believe I will be able to truly say I have taken the time and put in the effort to Come unto Christ.

And later, when I found the missionaries, Elder Saenger asked me how class went and then gave me candy. I like candy. :)

This Sunday was a great day. I still have more great things to come. My week is full of wonderful plans of missionary work and other fun church things.

Tonight I get to have my first meeting with my home teachers! :) I wonder whats gonna happen. I've never had a home teacher lesson before.

Monday I get to have lunch with one of my dear friends who is going to college and soon going on her mission.

Tuesday I meet with my investigator and the missionaries. :)

Wednesday I meet with the missionaries for my new member discussions.

Thursday I'm going to the zoo with some dear friends, after which I should be feeding the missionaries and then having a discussion with one of my other friends.

Friday I work then I go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.

I'm thrilled. This is going to be a fantastic week full of the Spirit. I'm so grateful for all of the wonderful things I learned during church today. I hope that I can keep them all in my mind as I go throughout my week. 



"Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him,
and deny yourselves of all ungodliness"
(Moroni 10:32)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happiness is...

HAPPINESS IS:

  • Missionary work
    • I am so grateful that I was blessed with the amazing chance to be a "natural missionary". I feel like I can talk about the church to anyone at anytime. I've recently challenged myself to start making more eye contact in public places and smiling at everyone. I tried this in the grocery store last time and I ended up talking to 6 different people!!! I didn't talk about the gospel yet, I still have to learn how to bring it up! :) I'm so grateful for my investigator. I love the change I'm seeing in him. He's so full of hope. Someone who was deep down in depression has finally found the Light. :) I love it.
  • Missionary Discussions
    • I love hearing my missionaries teach. Their testimonies are the strongest. I look to them as examples of who I want to be in the future with my testimony. You can see their testimonies in their eyes. I would love to be like that. Today we had another missionary discussion with my investigator and it turned out really well.  We walk on thin ice with him, so we hangout and play basketball and play Pokemon cards (his obsession) before or after our lesson. He feels so comfortable with the missionaries now. I love it.
  • Chatting with the missionaries
    • With all the trials I've been facing, from being yelled at by beloved ward members to being abandoned by the boy who introduced me to the church, the missionaries have really helped me. I was feeling discouraged because of a few things that have been happening at church and they sat me down and talked with me about it. It was really nice because that's exactly what I needed. I love it.
  • Feeding the missionaries
    • Today was the first time I ever had dinner with the missionaries. It was the best! :) I let them pick where we went and they chose Chick-fil-A (of course). It was a lot of fun, we talked more about the ward stuff and Elder Christensen ate like 15 salt packets and Elder Saenger nearly died because his sandwich was so spicy. It was a ton of fun. I'm so grateful I got to have that experience, especially today. I don't feel as alone, anymore. :) I love it.
  • Writing my talk
    • So during this craziness I was asked to give a talk. I have worked all week on it and I was getting discouraged because it wasn't turning out like I wanted, so I took a break and read over it and timed myself. I couldn't finish. The Spirit was SO strong, I just started bawling. I love it.
  • Reading the scriptures
    • I've always had a bad habit of not reading my scriptures. But recently I've been trying harder and harder to do it. I love them. I love each and every one of them. Its Heavenly Father's way of giving me guidance, sometimes. I really grateful for that, as well. I love it.
  • Praying
    • Ah, prayer. What a wonderful thing. I get to talk to my Heavenly Father whenever I want and He will answer. I love it.


I loved today. I was SO happy. :) I'm so grateful for all my many blessings. :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Rules.

Mormon. LDS. Latter Day Saint.

That's who I am. Today I was confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful feeling.

But my mind has not been at ease. This past week has been one of the loneliest I have ever had. The missionaries explained that when I was confirmed, they wouldn't get to talk to me as much. It was confusing for me. New rules started to come up that I didn't know. And suddenly everyone was just gone. I kept feeling like one day the missionaries were just going to say "we can't talk to you at all anymore." I've been scared all week. Afraid of being left alone and completely forgotten.

Today I got the courage to express my feelings to Brother White. And we had a long conversation about it. I feel a lot better. I got most of my concerns out there and feel a tad more at ease.

I'm still confused. I'm still lonely. I'm still sad. But now I have the Holy Ghost to comfort me. I have a constant companion who will always be there if I allow it.

Thank you everyone who has prayed for me. I can feel your love.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My day :)

What did I do while the whole city of Allen was at the Allen Eagle state championship???

Well, have a missionary discussion with my two favorite missionaries, of course!!!! :)

I've been so missionary minded the past couple months. It's great :)

Today I brought my friend Matt along. It was cool to hear his beliefs and how they compared to ours. I've been bringing my friend Zane along, too.

The gift of the gospel is the best gift to give this holiday season. <3

Monday, December 16, 2013

Baptism

(This was all typed last night (December 15, 2013) but I fell asleep before I could publish it! Sorry it says "today" :) )

What a wonderful day to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!!!

This morning I woke up terrified....

But after a while I was totally fine.. :)


I went to church early at 10:15 and talked to a bunch of the amazing people I know. :) After church I went to a class presidency meeting, then went back up to church and stayed until the time came. 


The missionaries and Brother White showed up at about 4:15 to fill up the font.




(Poor Elder Saenger and Pruitt were so nervous about teaching the first discussion!!!)

Soon Elder Christensen and I changed into our white clothes... And I got nervous all over again!
 But my little Elder friends were all smiles when I came out!!! :)

And then I saw my beautiful friend Savannah. :)
 And my friend from school (Matt)
 Then I saw my friend Sarah, who I nearly tackled.

 And my Mormon friend from work, Brigham (Brigy)
 And Elder Pruitt (I'm pointing to my other good friend, Jesus. Ever met him? ;) )
 And Tyler :) We're leaving room for Jesus in our hug. :)
 And of course, my wonderful, fantastic Elders. Some of the greatest friends I will ever have. :)



 And Rachel, who is the closest thing to perfect I know.
 Then my family showed up!!! :)
 The program went like this.

Welcome:                          Nathan White
Opening Hymn:                  #116 Come Follow Me
Opening Prayer:                 Rebekka Young
Special Music:                   Come Thou Fount
                                         Savannah Thunell
Talk on Baptism:               Cameron Bailey
Special Music:                   Live It
                                         Rachel Wright
Talk on the Holy Ghost:     Crystal Fisher
Baptismal Ordinance:         Elder Christensen
Witnesses:                         Elder Saenger
                                         Mike Fisher
Testimony:                         Casey Watts
Closing Remarks:               Bishop Christiansen
Closing Hymn:                    #136 I Know That My Redeemer Lives
Closing Prayer:                   Madison Jensen



It was AMAZING. So many people came. It HAD to have been about 250 people. It was SO cool.

The water was so cold and I felt like I was under the water for an eternity. Then Elder Christensen pulled me up and it was done! :) It was amazing.

Afterwards I got attacked by hundreds of people all wanting hugs. Then we migrated over to the Thunell home for a party. :)



  Me and my missionaries stayed after everyone else did.
Yes, Elder Christensen is coloring. :)
 Shes so happy :)
 And of course, by the end of the night the losers were back on the phone! :) Silly Elders.
Today was a fantastic day. I love all the people that were there for me.

It was an amazing day.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

3 days/5 days

The days until my baptism. :)

So many miracles have happened. But this last month has been really hard. It's so worth it though. I'm stronger now and Satan's got nothing on me! :)

Transfers are in 5 days. I don't like to think about losing my missionaries. The thought makes me sad.

BUT I know that wherever they go, they'll be huge blessings in the lives of their ward members. They need to go find the little Casey's of the Texas Dallas Mission!! :)

But I still don't like it.

I've gotten really close to the missionaries. They're some of my closest and dearest friends. They'll have to write me and come visit me when they're off their mission. :)

That's 5 days.


3 days until my baptism.

3 days until I finally get what I've been waiting for for 3 years.

But 5 days until transfers.


...


It's gonna be a long weekend.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Temple

 I love to see the temple.
I’m going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.



Today, the lovely Sister Thunell brought me to the temple for the first time. When my parents finally agreed to let me get baptized, I knew I wanted to visit the temple first. I am SO glad I did.

The temple is so pretty, and seeing it made everything feel so real. I know that I am going there someday, and I'm thrilled for when that day comes. :)

Mommy Thunell also brought me to the LDS bookstore (Where I spent $110.17... Oops?). I got my very own set of scriptures with my name on them, as well as many other things like:
  • Colorful scripture markers
  • Tiny cards to keep in my scriptures (2 of the Savior and one with a picture of a YW with the armor of God on)
  • Preach my Gospel 
  • A Temple calendar
  • "Who is your hero?" cards
Sister Thunell got me a tiny picture of the Dallas temple to keep in my new scriptures, too. :) It was really exciting. :)

I got a package from Brother Wilcox last night (yes, Brad Wilcox. We're email buddies, I'll have to make a post about how I got so close to him). He sent me a book called "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton Christensen. I love that book. Its so good.

Its been a really amazing day. I'm so thankful for Sister Thunell and everything she does for me!

I have good news: the Church is true! :)






Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Missionaries! <3

I got the opportunity to meet with the missionaries twice yesterday.

I LOVE my missionaries. I have fantastic missionaries and I thank Him for them every single day.

In the first meeting, I planned to have all these wonderful people come. It was me, my friend Willie (whose going on his mission in 15 days) and four Elders. Elder Christensen and Elder Saenger brought friends :)

It started off weird. Elder Saenger and one other missionary played random songs in the piano while Willie and I sat with Elder Christensen and another Elder whose name slips my mind. We talked about my baptism. And Elder Christensen wrote the program on the chalk board and we discussed and he explained to me that I needed to stop stressing about it because I have so many people around to help. He compared it to the movie "The Game Plan" when the little girl is pushing this sled with all we might and it won't budge. Frustrated, she turns around and says "I'm not strong enough!" And he says "it's not about what's in here" and pointed to his muscle "it's about what's in here" and pointed to his heart. So she turns around and starts pushing and it moves! She looks up and a couple football players are helping.

"Now, Casey, you aren't an 8 year old. You are 17, so you're pushing this sled and it's inching forward. But you don't have to do this alone. You have a whole football team that loves you and is willing to help you in anyway possible. Casey this isn't a ward, this is a family. That's why I love it here"

Elder Christensen's testimony shines through his eyes. It inspires me.

Later that night we met with the bishop and talked about everything and my nerves and stress set back in. One of my really good friends suggested a priesthood blessing of comfort the day before and I decided to go ahead with it. I am so glad I did. Priesthood blessings make my thoughts go silent an calm me down. I LOVE the priesthood.

I'm so very grateful for these stubborn, camera shy missionaries. They bless my life each and every day.





Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stake Conference :)

Stake conference was today and it's was really good. I always find myself getting really antsy after the first hour, though.

The main focus was missionary work? Which was cool because I sat right next to the Elders today :) it was fun.

As my baptism gets closer and closer I get anxious. And the slightest bit nervous for unknown reasons. And stressed. VERY stressed. There's so much to do before that wonderful day.

This is the final stretch of my first lap of my Church life. As the day approaches I feel myself gain more and more adrenaline and move a lot faster toward my goal. This is not the end of my journey. Again, this is my first lap. I still have many more to go. I'm so proud of myself that I have gone so far in this church.

I have good news: the church is true!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Elder Christensen

So many of you may be wondering "What made them say yes??"

Well, there is a missionary in my ward named Elder Christensen. I told him about how I gave my parents a Book of Mormon and a couple weeks later (November 3rd) after I bore my testimony during fast and testimony meeting he came to me saying that he had a revelation. :)

He told me he felt like I should set a baptismal date and go from there. So I chose December 7th. So I asked my mom to talk about me getting baptized with my dad and she promise I would have an answer by the next weekend.

Elder Christensen went around telling everyone and asking them to fast and pray for me. While I myself was fasting and praying. I know that this is why their hearts softened.

I gained a huge testimony over the power of fasting and prayer. That was something I hadn't actually experienced before. (Ironically enough I taught my laurels class about fasting a couple weeks before that).

I am so grateful that Elder Christensen did all that he did to help me get this far. He is a wonderful missionary and a great friend to me. :)

And so I have asked him to baptize me. He will be baptizing me on December 8th. :)

The Church is true!!!!!!! :)


Monday, November 11, 2013

Little Miracles

"Dear everyone. 
CASEY IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M GONNA CRY. She has been coming to church faithfully for 4 years and her parents have finally agreed to let her become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. CASEY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!"  -Savannah 

Yes. Its true. MY PARENTS SAID YES TO BAPTISM.

I will be baptized on December 8th at 5:30 (possibly 6 because of mission prep...)

Things are speeding up. Its amazing to me the things that can happen when you trust in the Lord's timing. This past year has been full of struggles and pain. For a while I was in a dark place where I felt like I would never come out. But with the help of the Savior, I found the Light again.

absolutely LOVE this gospel and everyone who has touched my life throughout my journey. He does amazing things. I have so may friends who are supporting me. I am VERY blessed.

I know that this church is true and I am so very grateful that I have such a strong support system in the church. I am so blessed to know as many people as I do and I pray that I will touch someone's life at my baptism. 

I am so very grateful for my life and all of the miracles He has woven into it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Forever gratefulđź’›

In church today we were talking about how being Christlike isn't just for you, it's for the people around you, too.

I have been really thinking about this today. I mean what if Ben never opened his mouth? Where would I be?

This gospel has helped me through trials that I would prefer to leave off the internet, I am eternally grateful for it, because I don't know where I would have ended up without it.

I admire the courage Ben had to invite me to the Nativity that day. And all the patience he had when he spent countless hours teaching me, comforting me and loving me. The latter, especially. Love is the most important part of missionary work. If I didn't feel loved, I wouldn't have made it this far in this church and in my life.

So thank you, Ben, for all you did for me.

I am also very thankful for my friend Savannah. She has always been this beautiful, glowing example of who a young woman of God really is and who she stands for. She has an amazing sense of fashion that's modest, cute and it shows the world who she is. I love that about her. She doesn't realize how big of a part she played in my conversion. I felt a little alone in young woman's the first few months because Ben obviously isn't a girl and didn't go with me. Savannah invited me into the little group, though. She taught me to always keep my head up and show off my smile. She's an amazing friend to have. Thank you Savannah!!!

I have many other people to thank. Like Sister Thunell, Bishop, Katie, Brother Herald, Sister Varela (it's weird to call her that! She's Mommy Varela in my heart! (And my phone.)), Mallory, Bethany, Cameron, Madison, Tyler Welburn, Willie and so many other amazing people.

If any of you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for being you and thank you for guiding me in my life. I love you all so much. You are great examples to me.

Keep smiling!! ❤️







Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rebekka's baptism (summary)

Rebekka.

Oh what a sweet person. She started coming to church about a month ago. She came to mutual on Wednesday, went to Seminary on Thursday and Friday, came to church on Sunday and on Monday night had her first missionary discussion.

And agreed to get baptized.


Today was her baptism. Oh my gosh it was fantastic. I cried. The. Whole. Time.

The Spirit was so strong... My favorite part was when she actually got baptized, the Spirit washed over me and I could not stop crying. Oh my goodness.

Rachel Wright also sang the song "Live It" and changed "I will live it" to "You will live it" and that made my blubbering start back up again. AND I got to get up and bear my testimony unexpectedly. That was pretty cool too. :)

The bad part is I have a migraine from all the crying... (I turned the brightness all the way down on my computer and I STILL feel sick. UGH!)

Baptism is a fantastic thing. I can't wait until its me in there. I'm still debating on who I will ask when my day comes but I have plenty of time. :)

I was planning on writing a huge post about the baptism, but I think I will die if I don't go lie down. I'll write more after church tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kind Hearts and Car Issues

Over the past few weeks I have been communicating with my missionary Ben. Short conversations are the extent of it, but it puts me in a happy mood.

So when I couldn't start my car today, I knew what to do.

We changed out the ignition thingy (I don't know what it's actually called, the thing you stick the key into...) and for some reason it keeps getting stuck and I can't turn my car on. After a few tries it usually starts right up, though.

But today it didn't.

I was going to drive a friend home, so we got in my car and I tried to turn it. It. Wouldn't. Budge. I started to panic. How would I get us both home???

I saw Ben walking toward his car like 5 minutes earlier, so I got this feeling to call him for help. So I did.

He tried to help over the phone but my weak arms couldn't budge it (even my friend couldn't move it). So he told me that he would come over and help.

He ran over. Yes, ran. From a totally different parking lot. In the Texas heat.

Of course it worked in the first time he tried. (I probably loosened it for him ;P). But I am so grateful that he came to help even if me and him are not very good friends anymore. It warmed my heart and it made that parking lot feel like a holy place, because the spirit was brought by that Christ-like kindness. :)

This experience has moved me and I am going to be a better person because of it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Late Night Baseball Games

Today, as I made pizza from scratch for dinner (a fantastic recipe that Katie Herald gave me) I had a spontaneous flashback to the days when I was taught by Ben, that I honestly forgot about.

My little brother Kyle was on the ASA Baseball team for a long time, Ben would come up to the games and me and him would spend time together. Most of the time we would talk about the Book of Mormon and he would answer my questions I had about the church (there were hundreds thousands millions, I might post a whole bunch of them from my journal with his answers at some point). There is one night I remember distinctly.

It was one of my brother's later games, they were the last ones in the park. Between the fields there is this concession stand, but since it was so late, it was closed. Me and Ben jumped up and sat together on the counters surrounding it.

"I want you to read the whole Book of Mormon," he said. "there is a promise in the end of it."

"What is it?" I asked. Like I said, I had millions of questions.

"I can't tell you, you have to see for yourself."

Soon enough I got the answer out of him, I think he enjoyed my curiosity. I soon learned about this promise, which led to learning about the Holy Ghost or the Spirit.

The Spirit was one of my most favorite things to learn about. I thought (and still think) its one of the coolest things. If you have ever felt it, you know what I mean.

The baseball park holds some of my dearest memories of learning about the gospel. I learned a lot of the things I know there. I remember things from when my mom asked what Ben had in his bag and he awkwardly looked down replying "Mormon books..." to me and Ben going through a huge trial together. I should explain that story, it was a really spiritual experience for me....

With tears in our eyes, broken hearts and crushed spirits we wandered into this nature trail. I followed him, bawling my eyes out. He was strong, but I could see the pain in his eyes. We walked along the trail silently for a few minutes. Then he did something that confused me.

He fell to his knees and looked up at me, asking if I would join him. I had no idea what he was doing at first, until he removed his hat and asked me to remove mine.

He prayed his heart out, saying everything I was thinking to our Heavenly Father. When we said amen, I opened my eyes and the sun was shining through a small hole in the trees at us. (This sounding familiar at all??) When we stood up we stood there for a minute, I was the first one to speak, commenting on the light that was surrounding us. But since I hadn't learned of Joseph Smith's first vision, I didn't think much of it.

I turned around and say a note on the tree, telling us to find light in our lives. (or something similar to that, I don't remember exactly because it was so long ago....) So we tried to keep our heads up and be happy.

Its amazing how much missionaries mean to their converts. I fondly look back on my memories of learning and I can remember just about every place I was taught something in the church. I am so happy to have this experience and even though being a convert is hard, I am so glad He picked me to do it. I have so much to be thankful for.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Acceptance

I'm a really lucky girl. Even though I argue with them, I have really amazing parents.

My mom has a huge heart. She's funny, she's caring, she's a lot of fun. I can talk to her about anything, whether it be about friend issues or just joking around. She's the best mom I could ask for.

My daddy is spontaneous, funny, and outgoing. He's a lot of fun to be around, too. He makes me laugh and he shares my love for shooting and country music. He's the best dad I could ask for.

They both are very open minded. At first, I didn't really think they were, but I've realized they are. I mean, their daughter is going to a church they don't really know anything about, and they let me go every Sunday, every morning for seminary, every Wednesday, every church dance, and even to other things going on at the church. I'm very grateful for them.

Yesterday, I was sitting on the couch playing with Allie (a 2 month old baby at my mom's daycare) when one of the moms came to pick up her daughter. The mom saw my quad in my church bag and asked "Are ya'll Mormon?" to my mom. My stomach dropped, what was my mom going to say?

"No, thats Casey's, Casey goes to a Mormon church. I'm Catholic, Keith's Baptist. We're a big mixed up family" She laughed. It made me feel really good because my mom recognized that I go to the LDS church, and wasn't afraid to say it. She accepts that thats who I am.

My parents have accepted my standards, too. Which makes me feel even better. They warn me when they're watching an R rated movie, they order me Sprite instead of Coke when we eat out, my mom helps me find dresses with sleeves, they realize I don't like when they swear and respect it.

I am very blessed to have the family I have. They accept me for who I have become, and they respect me. I love my family a lot. :)
 
(This was at the beach, thats why we're all red.)
 
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Today's Mutual

Today is Wednesday and that always means mutual. :)

We had Sundae Service today. That means that we all get split into groups and go to different parts of Allen to serve someone and then they give us ingredients for icecream. My group had some deacons (that honestly I don't know very well...) and the lovely Megan and Bailey. :) Megan is Savannah's little sister. She has the same sparkle in her eye as her big sister. Bailey is a huge inspiration to me. She is the strongest person I know.

We were sent to help the Zaugg's clean up. They have four kids: Jeffery, Dylan, Dawson, and Brooklyn. The girls did the dishes and then played with Brooklyn and cleaned her room. (She has so much room now!!!!)

So we got back to church and we had our icecream and it was fantastic. We went on a hunt to find Emma (Savannah's other lovely sister) and then we came home.

Some of the beehives seem to be in an argument, though. This bothers me greatly. I love my beehives, and the thought of them not getting along breaks my heart. I hope they work everything out.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity

Image

My beehives will be okay. I know they'll end up sorting things out. :)




(Like my signature? I stole the idea from Sister Thunell <3 I love you, Sister Thunell!!! )

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wondering and Pondering

Yesterday in church one of the people who got up to bear their testimony said something that struck me. He said to "never abandon your converts."
Me and my missionary, Ben, haven't spoken for three months now. And I did feel abandoned. Honestly, I still do at times.

At the beginning of my seminary year, my teacher told me she believed I was converted to Ben and not the gospel. I was devastated. I ran to the girls bathroom and cried my eyes out. I had experienced a fight with Ben right before that happened, so when Ben walked in and heard the end of the conversation, he said nothing. Right then I felt completely alone.

But with this experience I have learned that I am not converted to Ben. I have realized that this testimony is mine and, although he sparked my interest, I have grown it into a giant bonfire because I wanted to.

Which leads me to wonder this:

Does Ben really understand what he's given to me and how thankful I am? Sometimes I see him in church and I want to go personally thank him for everything he's done, but there's a barrier between the two of us.

I also wonder of Ben ever thinks about everything we went through when I was a brand new investigator.

What if he reads these too?

He answered my questions that I wrote in this notebook, he looked after me constantly because of my medical issue, he never got frustrated when I asked something about church, he lets me use his LDS.org account for various things (which he still does, he specifically told me I could still use it) and many more things.

Ben was a great friend while it lasted, and I hope with all my heart that he stays on the right track and has a wonderful life, even if I'm not by his side. He was a huge blessing in my life, and he opened doors for me.

Even though its ended, I'm grateful I was given him as a friend. He had a huge heart and I hope he continues to have it when he's on his mission. Love is the most important thing.

Check out the Mormon Ad for youth called Dare To Stand Alone. It's a fantastic one.