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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.