Sunday, August 24, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

August 18, 2014

Howdy fambam! How are y'all? When does school start? I heard you haven't been updating my blog...BUSTED. How is good ol' Texas?

The Trail Center is lovely! I saw the Spicers and Munozs from Columbus! Tender mercy! It's kinda different because you're on shift there for 6 hours and sometimes you only have like 1 there is lots of down time. Thank goodness I came when I did because if it was earlier in my mission I probably wouldn't have used this sacred time like I should but now I'm all about the Lord's time and so I'm constantly studying or writing stuff down. There is so much information on the pioneers and golly I have this huge booklet I'm trying to read and it's not all sticking...but it will come :) I don't really know how long I'll be serving here so I'm soaking it all in and trying to enjoy every second of it! I am so grateful!

I have such a strong testimony that each tour we give is for US. When you're sitting in 1st chair, that person or family is meant for you. I know it. I've been so fortunate because I've given most tours to families or cute newlyweds. I love it! And I keep getting all these mesa kids! Goodness. I can't get rid of them haha. Actually one tour was for 3 BYU boys and 2 of them were in President Cowan's stake! funny stuff. I love how we meet sooo many different people. One of the senior couples said, "Remember, you could be their only tour for their whole life. Make sure it's led by the spirit and what they need." Presssuurreeeee. I'm still learning but with every tour it gets better. Probably the most spirit led tour was for this family--and Hannah is actually coming to this mission next transfer!--and I could just feel the spirit the whole time. It was a really tender experience. Like I just knew that I was needed for that tour to help her feel more excited and less nervous to come here to the Nebraska Omaha Mission and to help her family feel at peace that she was going to be taken care of. Thank you so much for your prayers! I really need them.
Hannah and all the Sisters.
SO. Heavenly Father is such a gem. I needed Sister Frisina in sooo many ways it's insane. And because of her I truly have been changed for the better. I was reading in Helaman 7 and Nephi is super depressed and wishes he had been living in the earlier Nephi---beginning--time. And his life is in shambles...but did this Nephi realize what 1st Nephi went through? It just made me think of all these things that happened to Nephi...leaving his home, getting beat by his brothers, having to kill someone....he had a rough life! But I love Nephi because he was just so positive and  kept on going. Maybe this Nephi didn't know that, just  how we don't know the lives of others and their struggles. I'm totally guilty of seeing other missionaries or happy sisters and wishing I was them. But I CAN BE ONE OF THE THEM. It truly is all based on attitude and how we're WILLING to look at things. And that's where I am right now. HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. And it took me a very long time to figure that one out, but I'm so grateful that I understand that now. I'm sure Heavenly Father has toughened me up some because being with Sister Purcell is a whole new ballgame. I'm just constantly happy and able to brush things off and forgive. Mom--your motherly  curse came true :) I was thinking about it and some things that happened this week....and I'm not the same person I was almost a year ago. I'm truly different. I am a better me. I am more like the Savior-and although I'm still no where close to being like him, I'm better off then where I started. I love my Savior! I love this gospel! I will be forever grateful for this tender time in my life to serve Him. 

love always,

Sister Case
Doughnuts with the New First Presidency.


August 11, 2014

Howddyyyyyyyyy. So BIG NEWS. Are you readyyyyyy? I GOT TRANSFERRED. AND I'M NOW A VISITOR CENTER SISTER. Can you believe it? I'm actually serving at the Trail Center! Ahhhhh! That like never happens anymore--moving from full proselyting  to trail center. And I have noooo idea what I'm doing there. I will more than likely be giving my 1st tour all alone some prayers would be oh so lovely...because I know nada. Golly. This will be an interesting transfer. Like why me? Out of allll the sisters in the mission, why did Heavenly Father want me to go serve there? I'm excited to find out. Secret fact: when we were giving the Roots a church tour, Sister Frisina did almost all the paintings and stuff because she served there when all of the sisters first started coming out after the announcement was made and our mission didn't have areas for sisters to serve in yet. and I thought to myself "THANK GOODNESS I WILL NEVER BE A TRAIL CENTER SISTER. IT SEEMS TERRIFYING." woof. Well now that's me. I've really been working on relying on the Spirit and when giving tours that is what it's all about! So I will be stretching even more! yayayayay for more growing :) Heavenly Father is the BEST. 
Fun fact: I've now served in all the big areas of the mission (for zone status): Sioux City, Lincoln, Grand Island, and now Omaha..ish..I'm in Kaynesville, IA! and we live with the sweetest members. I was super scared at first but I love them! I will have to send you pictures of this tender house of theirs! AND I'M THE SENIOR COMPANION. There's a 1st time for everything. So it's weird because Sister Purcell just finished being I'm helping her since she's still new to the mission....but she's training me on Visitor Sister stuff. And I'm driving!!! Tiwi is being nice to me right now..yikes.

My comp is Sister Purcell and she's from like all over--but right now her fambam is in good ol' Provo, Utah! She's Samoan. She's kinda sorta really like Sister a different way? So this shall be fun!

So I realllyyyy loved Hastings. Like BUCKETS. In 12 weeks it felt like home and I was happy and loved all the people and it just felt aka Heavenly Father said TIME TO GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. But they really felt like a family! I got the call that I was getting transferred and I just started crying...I love the people there! I love the people we're teaching and the ward and my heart felt like it was ripped out. But I'll see them all again one day. Sooo many people were not happy though! hahaha The cupcake lady (duhhhh i was bffs with the cupcake lady) was TICKED. She said, "who do I need to call? Well I will tell Mike (aka President Michael Weston) that I am not happy. What if I bribed him with 2 dozen free cupcakes a week?" hahahahaha love her. Other favorites from people: "Why are they punishing us?!" BILLIE. i Love Billie. We just had a lesson with her about Joseph Smith and she prayed to know if he is a prophet with us and I love her. I can't wait to tell you alll about her one day! She said, "why are they making you leave? I need you! Especially right now during my conversion!" Goll I'm crying right now just thinking of that gem. Julia struggles take 2. I loveddd Hastings but I'm very excited for this new chapter of my mission!

And I love and miss Sister Frisina so much! I am so grateful for her. She taught me so much--and one of the most important things that I learned was how to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ and how to use the atonement in my life. I will NEVER forget her. Heavenly Father knew I needed her to help strengthen my testimony in ways that honestly--I didn't want to work on. She forced me to stretch and change and be molded into a better representative of Jesus Christ. And I know I wouldn't have been able to be HERE with Sister Purcell and at the Trail Center if it wasn't for having Sister Frisina first. I am so grateful.

Welll I have no idea what I'm doing but the Lord does and that's all that matters. Alma 26:12 is my favorite Scripture at the moment.  Yea, know that am nothingas to my strength am weak;therefore will not boast of myself, but will boast of my God, forin his strength I can do all thingsyea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
but I know that Heavenly Father can and will help me through anything! Time to saddle up and get ready for this next gem of an adventure.


Sister Case

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lead Kindly Light

August 4, 2014


This week was pretty great! We had exchanges and that always does wonders for my soul and testimony. I'm so grateful for Sister Smith and Sister Dumont! I talked to Sister Dumont about choices and happiness. I haven't been happy for awhile now but I felt like I wasn't CHOOSING to not be happy, but I wasn't being willing to change at the same time. I love the talk Manner of Men. I read it this week and it really put things into perspective for me. This week I tried to be more loosey goosey. Let the Spirit guide and have faith and confidence that every little thing would work out the way it needed to--and it was hard! But I was less stressed and more happy. It's incredible what can happen when we put our trust in Heavenly Father. OH. and at the dinner with Sister Dumont in Kearney, this little boy in the family got to choose who said the prayer. With a straight face he points at me and says, "THE CAGE." hahahahahaahhahaahahha so you can all start calling me that if ya want :) xoxo

Our members are beginning to see the vision of missionary work! We had 2 members give us referrals for their friends this week and they both seem like they could really progress! One of them we met on Saturday and she came to church yesterday!--Chantel-- and She committed to be baptized! The other came over for dinner with us--Shelia-- and the Kisters and she is so sweet. I'm just so excited and you can tell that these members that are having THEIR friends listen to the lessons want it sooo bad for their friends and are such great fellow shippers!

OH MY HEART I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT BILLIE NEXT WEEK. SHE IS MY BEST FRIEND. She's like 40 years older than me...but ehhhhhh we're kindred spirits.

We sang Lead, Kindly Light in church yesterday and that song just hit me so hard! The words truly touched me. I just want to allow Heavenly Father to lead me! I want His will to be my will! I want to be so focused in on the mission and so I'm taking a look at my life and this week I'm going to see what I can sacrifice to be more consecrated. Heavenly Father is incredible and I'm so grateful to be on a mission. I'm working on being more grateful. Do you have any suggestions?

Have a great week! I love you!
Love Always,
Sister Case
I got to go dumpster diving for some service...yeeehawwww
I have like 102 million picutres I need to send.... I'll work on that.


July 28, 2014

HOWDY. I think I just said I like food? Eh. I'm trying to be cool like all of my friends and it's not working. And hey! This spanishy family was talking to us and was like come eat some food and lets talk about Jesus. LOVE THEM. and we talked about Vera Bradley. Like are we meant for each other or what? Pray that things can work out with them! anywhooo HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY TO MY FOXY SISTER ASHLEY. 17 YEEEHAWWW. I LOVE YOU SISSY.

Jessica and Jeremy are doing great! We had a lesson with them and while we were teaching the Restoration, Jessica goes "Wait. So how was the priesthood restored?" BOOM. LOVE. MISSIONARY YAYNESS. And then Jeremy was like--"I want to meet your Bishop. Is that possible?" So guess who has a church tour with them and Bishop Perry tonight?! AHHH I LOVE FAMILIES. AND THEY ARE SO TENDER. Pray that it all works out!

The ward is not close at all and it breaks my heart! We're trying to do service for them but it seems like they don't want help. But we will keep trying! Slowly and surely we WILL get into the hearts of the members of Hastings! We met with the Young Women's president this week to help her out and let her know that we really want to help her and the young women in any way--and it went great! We even taught the lesson yesterday!

I'm learning lots about open communication and patience and seeing how many arguments I can LOSE. One of our members was talking to us about her schooling and how it was extremely hard but the way she looked at it was that 7 years was going to fly by no matter what--and in that 7 years she could have a PhD and all these other things, or not. But the 7 years was still going to come. And it made me think of our actions and trials we go through. They will come...and they will pass...but what we do while we're in them and what we learn is what makes the difference. "This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."
 I am very grateful for the trials I have because I know Heavenly Father loves me enough to grow. When I was studying this morning this verse really popped out at me! Alma 34:41 "But that ye have patience and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." I am grateful for the opportunities that Heavenly Father is giving me to learn patience because I KNOW that is something I really need to work on!

I love my Savior and I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I love this whole learning thing. I mean it totallyyyy stinks but at the same time it's the best blessing in the world! Is Heavenly Father such a gem or what?!
love always,
Sister case

Families Can Be Together Forever

July 23, 2014
Howdy fambam! Soooo this past week was cold. Like I wore thermals under my skirt and Sister Frisina made hot chocolate? WHAT IS NEBRASKA DOING TO ME? Honestly I just think I'm still defrosting from the winter....

So I've been reading lots about Moroni lately and wellll I'm in love. Like really. And I've been thinking lots about my own future family and stuff like that. Our last zone conference wasss alllll about the family. I want my family to be like Nephi's-- 2 Nephi 5:27--"and it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." Nephi's life was hard. There were times of hunger, thirst, danger, family problems, etc but he still had a positive attitude. His family still had a happy home. I love that! (When the Westons told us all that it was okay to think about marriage and our future families all the sisters felt kinda weird and uncomfortable like ummm boys...eww...and all the elders were so pumped and high-fiving each other. I have never met so many 18-21 yr old guys who were SO excited to get married. Okay was a tad bit tender.)

We talked lots on eternal marriage and families and the family proclamation. I LOVE that thing. If you haven't read it or haven't in a whilleee--doooo ittt. It straight up tells us how to have a happy home. How to be a forever family! How to be a better man, women, mother, father, spouse. Like who doesn't want help and guidance on that?! It was really neat too b/c President starts asking us to name great people in the scriptures...Ruth, Ester, Noah, Nephi...we could go on forever--and then he says they were all a missionary in some way and every single one of us is a missionary too! "The Lord calls unlikely people to do the impossible."

Next thing I know, President Weston is telling us to get married soon after we get home and to start planning for it NOW. We don't need to be focused on our careers or having enough $ before so many little things. PLAN with your spouse. "Marry young to grow together." So we were given a piece of paper to begin making goals and plans for our future and who and what we want and to begin to match that. So reading about Moroni this past week really made me think of the ways I need to improve my own self so I can become what Heavenly Father wants and needs me to become. Sister Weston said, "If we make plans for our lives, Heavenly Father will make them better as we put our hand into His." We're supposed to have our eyes and ears open while on the mission to see how others raise their kids, things we want/don't want in our home, just take notes.
Golly...I've always been like ehhhh catlady please...but really truly I can't wait to get married. I have no idea why in the world I'm telling you this...but I'm learning lots about eternal marriages and I really am excited for it all! Is it weird that I pray for my husband and ask that Heavenly Father can help him honor his priesthood? And that I like to ask Him to say howdy to my future kiddos up in heaven for me? ehhh maybe. BUT I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET THEM SOMEDAY. I just love families and can't wait to start my own family and help raise these precious souls in righteousness and help them build their own firm foundations! Like I can't even really describe how I feel...but I want it so badly...and I really didn't care before the mission. Like to the point where "marriage" was a swear word to me haha but the more families I meet and the more I hear about how the temple has blessed their lives...the more I fall in love with Heavenly Father's beautiful plan for each of us.
I am so happy to be on a mission right now to help others to #comeuntochrist and be with their families forever. "Families are the treasure of heaven." --Elder Neil L. Anderson.

I love it all. Plain and simple.

Love always,

Sister Case

Friday, August 22, 2014

Miracles on Hastings Ave.

July 18, 2014

Howdy fambam! How is y'alls summer? S/O TO PAYYYDDENNN FOR RETURNING WITH HONOR. I love you cousin dearest! So Sister Frisina and I had some incredible miracles happen this week. I wish I could tell you all of them! onneeee dayyyyy

So we just got out of this incredible lesson with Trina (IT WAS INCREDIBLE. The member totally invited Trina to read the Book of Mormon and come to church and helped download the church app and HOLY MOLEY EVERYONE GO OUT ON TEAM UPS WITH THE MISSIONARIES BECAUSE YOU CAN DO SO MUCH TO HELP WITH OTHERS  CONVERSIONS. okay I'm off that one now...) and we're in the car about to drive away and Sister Frisina is apparently making awkward eye contact with some guy in the car next to us that is our age and next thing I know she's yelling at me to hurry and get out of the car....I grab my stuff and next thing I know she goes "Hi, so um I think I caught your eye back there." *face palm* His name is Chris! and apparently him and his fiancĂ© are looking for a church to join and we gave him a Book of Mormon and we have a lesson with them tonight! I can't wait! We were really just there at the right time and Heavenly Father set it all up.
We had interviews with President and boy do I love him! I'm really trying to follow God's will and not my own. I was reading one of your letters mother dearest and you were talking about how Brother Hairel was teaching mission prep on the atonement and I had 8 million emotions go through me. Almost a whole year ago I was teaching mission prep on the atonement and I was so scared to teach it because I didn't understand it. I didn't know what to say. I didn't have a testimony of it to the point where I was like "ahhhh I'm leaving for my mission in 2 days and I don't understand anything! I can't go out there and tell others about it!" I still remember 6 am seminary, being asked to go up and draw the plan of salvation and freaking out and wanting to cry and then having Tyler Hinckley or Mark Pike crack a joke and go do it for me. I really was secretly terrified to come out into the field. But I knew I needed to and I knew God wanted me to. The thing that kept me going was reading the white handbook before nanny time and D&C 64:34 and D&C 4 really hit me. I had the desire and a willing heart. but I felt sooo inadequate! But I knew I needed to go and that was all that mattered. So then reading and thinking that a year ago i was so scared and I didn't have a testimony to NOW--I just burst into tears for such joy and gratitude. To realize that my testimony has grown tremendously. That I understand the atonement more now then ever before. That I have a love for the plan of salvation! I just hit my knees and cried and cried for the testimony that I have gained thus far on my mission and for all the wonderful opportunities and experiences my Heavenly Father has given me. I lovvveeddd my life before the mission, but it was MY life and all about me. Super selfish. But my eyes have been opened and I love my life and those in it even more now. I gave up things that I thought meant the world to me--but Heavenly Father gave me something far better: a testimony, a love for the gospel, an understanding and relationship with the scriptures and my Savior.
I am so blessed. I have so much gratitude in my heart for my Savior and this opportunity that I have to share the gospel with others. I love y'all!
Love always,
Sister Case

My Atonement Moment

July 7, 2014
Howdy fambam! Destin looks soooo fun! I can't wait to hear all about it! And when is efy? The 4th was great! It sounded like WW3 with all the fireworks. I LOVE FIREWORKS AND NOT BEING ABLE TO PLAY WITH THEM WAS SO SAD. But I saw 8,000 different shows from all our our neighbors from our window haha and the members we spent the evening with bought fireworks so we could watch them use them and have sparklers. So tender. I feel like I latch onto a family in every area and the Kisters are my Hastings parents. Why doesn't TX have a million firework selling tents too? Rudeee. But I love America. And Fireworks. And Hastings.
We have this really special family that we're teaching! Jeremy and Jessica Root--and they have a 2 yr old daughter. We were trying formers in a certain neighborhood and accidentally went to their home, but no one answered. When we realized that we went to the wrong place, we had a feeling we should just try them again anyways. Jessica was super open and willing for us to come back! We set them for baptism on their first lesson and they accepted! Our first lesson was about the family proclamation and they loved it. And on our second visit we brought a member and they seemed to really click. Things are going great and I'm so excited for what lay ahead. They feel as if we are a blessing in their life and that their marriage and communication is getting better through our lessons and learning about the Book of Mormon. I love them! And I love knowing that Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. They have definitely strengthened my testimony to be in tune to listen and follow the spirit. You never know what it might tell you, or who lay behind each door.
I had a really special 'atonement moment' this week. I've just been struggling with some things and finally had a break down on my knees during one of my prayers. I told Heavenly Father that I was carrying around a big bag of boulders and that I really couldn't do it anymore. I needed His help. I needed the atonement to fix me. I needed a hug from my Father in heaven. I poured out my heart to Him and asked Him that when I got up to get ready for the day that He would be there for me. I said amen, and I hadn't even gotten up when I felt such peace and comfort. I felt the atonement truly work within me. A weight was lifted off of me and it felt incredible. I've never experienced that before but I'm so grateful for it. I know that the atonement is real and that it can work within each and every single one of us.

I was reading in Alma 38 and it made me think of my own life. How often do we go our own "3 days" before we finally break down and ask for help?

8 And it came to pass that I was three days and three nights in the most bitter pain and anguish of soul; and never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins. But behold, I did cry unto him and I did find peace to my soul.
9 And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.

I love how there is NO OTHER WAY. That ONLY IN AND THROUGH CHRIST can we be healed and saved and return home to Heavenly Father. We truly can't do it alone. We just can't. No matter how big or tough we may seem--we're just not strong ENOUGH. That is WHY we have a Savior. And it's not until we turn to him and say, "HELP ME! I CAN'T GO ANY FURTHER!" that he will come. I think it's interesting that we allow ourselves to go soooo long before finally hitting rock bottom. To hit our knees. To ask for help. Why don't we just ask for help ALL along the way? Why do our lives have to be in shambles for us to be humble? PRIDE. grrrr. But hey, I'm learning! And maybe one day I'll get it right, but until then I'll keep trying. And I can continue turning to the Lord.

Alma 37: 36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

I'm truly gaining a testimony of prayer. I feel like I'm beginning to gain a relationship with him. I love the scriptures and they are coming alive to me! I get so excited for my studies now because I know that as I open up my heart and mind, that I can receive revelation for myself and those around me. I love this life. I love the gospel! I will be forever grateful for it and the opportunity that I have to share it with others.
I love y'all soooo much. How have your studies been?
Love Always,

Sister Case