2 Corinthians 12:9-10

What a wonderful time to be in the MTC! We had the privilege to attend the Provo City Square Temple dedication and hear from an apostle of the Lord; we had the marvelous opportunity to hear from Elder Ballard in person on EasterSunday and to spend our Easter surrounded by people with strong testimonies of the Savior, Jesus Christ; and next weekend is General Conference! Plus since the summer rush hasn’t come yet, the cafeteria lines aren’t as long and hectic as they usually are;)
I love every email I receive! Thank you so much:) I get to hear about your mission calls, your lives, your exciting news and I get to rejoice with you! And when I hear of your struggles and worries, I remember I’m not the only one that has any and we can work on coming closer to Christ together through our trials! Thank you for being missionaries to me:) You may not have a missionary badge on, but treat the Book of Mormon like your name badge. Carry it as often as you can, refer to it often, and find purpose in it.
It has been a very trying but hope filled week. One of our companions (Sister Davis) left for Indonesia yesterday. She will be missed but we are so excited for her. Sister Dhakal, Sister Capin and I are now officially 24/7 companions:) We love it. We also get 3 new sisters for our zone on Wednesday! And they are all learning a different language! Crazy! They will technically be companions but they really are solo sisters since they have class separate and alone. I couldn’t imagine not having my amazing district beside me. Even if one person was gone, it would be so different. God truly did have a purpose in putting us all together and i’ve learned so much from each person.
This week we talked to Phii Banjurd (I guess that’s how you’d say it? haha) and were trying to help him give up tea. We told him to throw it away and he was a little reluctant saying he didn’t have that much faith. We told him he did. We also volunteered to give up chocolate for the rest of the week so we could understand him a little better as he sacrificed tea. That week the Elders had fun teasing us with candy and seemed to always have chocolate on them…One of my teachers (Brother Tirrell) asked me if I knew the definition of an addiction when I said I felt like I was going through chocolate withdrawal.
A sister from Thailand came to our room the other day and just sat down and asked us to speak Thai to her. It was really cool. She said it sounded like we were learning from white teachers (haha maybe because we are;)) but after we bore our testimonies to her in Thai she said we actually did a really good job. We had her bear her testimony to us and the spirit was strong and we understood most of what she said.
I’d just like to end this email by bearing my testimony:
This week I finished the Book of Mormon and the spirit of joy that filled my heart when I read Moroni’s promise and the last few pages of the Book of Mormon cannot be described. My love and gratitude for the Savior grows each and everyday. I know Jesus is the Christ. This week we all wrote the names of Christ that we found peace in/saw while reading during personal study and while studying the names of Christ, I realized He is my All. He is my peace, my hope, my joy, my best friend, my Redeemer, my anchor, my rock, my advocate, my Savior. His grace gives me power, His love gives me strength to do all things. “Christ hath said: if ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” and I know this promise is true. When  we have faith, we can have power, we can have hope, charity, happiness, guidance, knowledge. I know by reading the Book of Mormon, our faith will increase and that by relying on the Savior in ALL things, we will be given all that we need. My testimony is simple but it is real and true: I know my Savior lives.
Sister Dhakal, Sister Davis, Sister Capin, Me!
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this week, invite someone to listen to conference! The Lord will let them hear the message they need to hear! Do not be afraid to invite! Also, for those watching, have a question in mind and it will be answered!
A bright picture of our district! Elder Van Gils, Elder Lovelock, Elder Earl, Elder Grant, Elder Blocker, Elder Hunt, Elder Santeco, Elder Dugquem, Sister Casper, Sister Capin, Sister Davis, Sister Dhakal
 
Love,
Sister Casper
HAVE THE FAITH TO LOOK FOR MIRACLES:)
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Halfway!

Hello all!

I’ve reached my halfway point in the MTC! Only 4 ish weeks left. Time is flying! I have so much to say today, I’ll put it in list form. I love lists! (I have like 3 million sticky notes on EVERYTHING with just tons of lists)
1. The gym was closed the other day so we had to go to the “real” gym where they keep the weights and treadmills, etc. Well Elder Lovelock challenged me to do 15 of these crunch type things (not sure what they are called but I hadn’t done them before). Anyway, it’s been 3 days and my abs and arms are still sore haha. Just thought I’d let you have a good laugh over my physical weakness;)
2. I truly discovered what being “set apart” really means not only for missionaries but for everyone with a calling. When you receive a calling, you are chosen by God to do the work He needs YOU to do whether that be YW/YM president, primary counselor, nursery leader, Sunday school teacher, etc. When you are set apart, you are given the power from God that you need to fulfill that calling. You are set apart to be able to fulfill your responsibilities and to help those you are called to serve. You have a right to call upon the power of God to help you fulfill your calling.
3. We read the COOLEST thing (side note for a moment haha. I tend to use capital letters and over exaggeration in my emails because in Thai we can’t make our voice change or get excited when speaking or else we change the tones so in emails I get really excited that I can change how I say something:) Okay back to the really cool thing) the other day in Preach my Gospel as a companionship “The time in which we live is referred to by Bible prophets as the last days, the latter days, or the dispensation of the fullness of times. It is the period of time just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ”. When we read that we just went off on this amazing spiritual tangent. In the pre existence God knew that the latter-days would be some of the hardest times for His children due to the iniquity of the world but the most important time for bringing His children unto the fullness of His gospel. I like to think that Christ asked who would be willing and able to live in these times, with these challenges, and still remain strong and even more, bring more of God’s children closer to Christ, closer to their Savior before the Second Coming. We were chosen, we wanted, to come down in this time because we knew we could handle these challenges, could grow stronger because of them, and could help others grow stronger too. Thinking about this gives me great strength and hope.
4. One of our “investigators” accepted baptism the other day! We are so excited to see him progressing and growing in the gospel. He told us that everything we told him sounded kind of crazy but when he just followed through on our simple commitment and promise that the Lord would answer His prayers and that reading the Book of Mormon would give him answers, he received his own personal witness of the truth of this gospel. We got so excited when he said yes and then had to flip through our dictionary super fast because we didn’t know how to set a date or how to say April or anything.
5. My teachers are the greatest people. I’m grateful the Lord has given me such amazing leaders and examples to help me grow.
6. In TRC last week (where we teach and meet with members of the church in the area who speak Thai) we spoke with a man who said he felt like he didn’t really have a purpose anymore since he had just recently returned from his mission and his name badge has been taken off. We had a great opportunity to tell him (and now I can tell all of you!) that his purpose, that your purpose, is the exact same as mine!! To invite others to come unto Christ. “Others” includes your family, friends, members, nonmembers, strangers, everyone! Help them feel the happiness of the gospel more fully!! This week I had the WONDERFUL opportunity of going to Temple Square for a few hours (perks of having an international companion) and I saw so many people walking the streets that could use more happiness; a happiness that I can share with them!
I love you all!! I figured as a missionary I have a responsibility to commit you all;) Everyone should read the Book of Mormon this week EVERY DAY. Make time for it. It will bless your life so much.
Love,
Sister Casper
1. Brother Tirrell was helping me to learn script and wrote this sentence for me on the white board to practice reading. The message was amazing. I copied it down to remember. It says “when we use faith in becoming missionaries, we will see miracles every single day”.
2. Elder Dugquem and Elder Blocker forgot to invite their investigator to church so they “texted him” hahaha
3. My companion and I on the steps of the Salt Lake City Temple! We got to hear the Cristus message in Thai. It was so so so cool.
4. A blurry picture of half our class. Most of us got to go to temple square because 3 of the missionaries in our class are from Australia and then the companions got to go with.

Bagels and Cream Cheese

I have the best companion! I was having an interview with our last sister training leaders and while I was gone she wrote this for me:) We don’t like to be apart. Good thing we aren’t supposed to be!:)
Hello all ye faithful followers of Christ!
It has been a great week! As I feel every week has been. I am climbing an extremely steep mountain right now (as we all are) and the journey is tiring and difficult and it feels like I will never reach the top, but when I turn around and look down the mountain, it’s AMAZING how far I have come. Angels have truly carried me this high. I couldn’t have done it alone. I started reading script this week!! And by reading script I mean that if you gave me a script card and 3 hours and a Thai dictionary, I could translate a verse in the Book of Mormon for you. Seriously though, I understand the need for opposition in all things. If I didn’t have the difficulty of learning script, I wouldn’t feel nearly as overwhelmed with joy and God’s love when I finally read and was able to understand a verse in Thai. For those who don’t know: Thai doesn’t have spaces and there are so many archaic rules. So I can’t just “look up a word”. We have to try and decipher what the word even is then how to pronounce it based on the different tones or “silent” letters that change the tone or don’t even exist and THEN use a very complicated dictionary to look up the meaning. In short, I’m grateful for the spirit of the Lord that has guided me in learning this language. We aren’t allowed to use our “romanized” hymn books anymore and have to use the actual script hymn books so when we sing everyday we sing like one note every 15 seconds so we can figure out the words.
The past few weeks we had been asked as a District to host the new incoming missionaries (we must be REALLY good because we were asked to host again tomorrow). Anyway, last week we had the ookad (opportunity) to host the international missionaries. I hosted this beautiful sister from Cambodia named Sister Yin. I had to take her off MTC campus to the BYU health center and help her get situated and get clothes from the missionary clothing office (on a side note: I saw my roommate Ashly Weight from college while at the health center! That was so crazy. Love you!) Sister Yin has been my example of selflessness and perseverance. Her english is phenomenal but you can tell she’s still learning. She taught me something I don’t think I can, and I hope I never, forget: we were in the clothing office when the older sister who was running the office told Sister Yin she really liked her bag. After an hour of being in there and Sister Yin trying not to make any trouble for the sister and me trying to convince Sister Yin that the sister was there to help her and she would love to go back and get another size shoe since the one she had on was way too tight, Sister Yin started emptying her bag. We asked what she was doing and she said, she really wanted to give the sister her bag since she had said she liked it so much.  My heart broke. Here was a brand new sister missionary who had just spend some odd number of hours on a plane, was jet lagged, was in a brand new country with a language she had just started learning and has just gotten X-rayed, poked and prodded at the doctor’s and shuffled around every number of ways, and she was the one who was trying to make everyone else feel better, more comfortable and loved. She even tried to get me to sit down while I was helping her because she felt bad that I had been standing for so long. I see her all the time now and always get the biggest of hugs and smiles from her. God blessed me with her example this past week.
On another note, apparently I’m like the most awkward person? Why did no one tell me this before I came out on a mission. Literally my companions and the other sisters have agreed I’m super awkward. And Elder (Zac) Johnson as well. Oh well. I’m awkward but I “wear it well” I guess. They told me to be myself when I was a missionary! I wasn’t going to stop being awkward when I put the badge on.
My mom said no detail was too small. I love the bagels we sometimes get for breakfast. Especially the cream cheese. Chan ca ben ooan…. (I will be fat;))  I also had a dream the other night that my little brother Parker and I were being attacked by a moose and that we had to climb a really high tower to escape and the moose still got us some how….also, I’m learning to sign! It’s awesome. I can sign “I have secrets” I don’t know what those secrets are but I can sign that I have them! I am grateful for moments of laughter and happiness.
I’m sorry I didn’t send very many individual emails this week. I love each and every one of you! There was a time constraint due to the printer not working this morning. I do read and love each email.
A few last things before I sign off and get back out there to serve my Savior:
1. The Lord has asked me (as a Sister-training-leader, missionary, and disciple of Christ) to be the perfect example of faith in the Savior. He has not asked me to be the perfect Thai speaker or perfect teacher. He hasn’t even asked me to be the perfect example of diligence or obedience even though those are both so important. He has asked me to be the perfect example of faith. When I make a mistake I need to repent and correct my mistakes. When I need help paying attention, I need to fall to my knees and plead with God for help and direction. All of this shows my faith even if it doesn’t show me as a “perfect” person. This doesn’t just apply to me thought. Be that perfect example of faith. Philippians 4:6-7. The footnotes help explain that we should not be “unduly concerned”about anything but do all things with faith in the Lord and you will be given a peace that you can’t even comprehend.
2. An Elder in my District needed a little personal help learning Thai during a study time this week so I volunteered to help him out. He just turned 18 and he is having a hard time learning the language but he is the most diligent missionary I have ever met. He studies so hard. We practiced grammar concepts for a little bit but then I felt prompted to ask him to do something else for me. I asked him to share a scripture with me and bear his testimony all in Thai. This is something we practice doing a lot so I thought, “oh okay he can probably do this and it’ll just boost his self esteem a little bit when he realized he can do it”. He exemplified what it means to have faith and what God means when He says He will make our weaknesses into strengths. The Elder’s Thai was nowhere near perfect but the scripture he shared and the testimony he bore was exactly what I personally, as Sister Casper not as a fake investigator, needed to hear at that time. God is looking out for ALL of us.
3. I was talking to one of my companions and I remarked how sometimes I don’t know how to receive revelation for my investigators and her wise, short reply was “praying is never a bad idea”. I prayed all day for how to receive revelation, how to hear the Holy Ghost, and every devotional and talk that day guided me towards my answer.
I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for my trials and mistakes because without them I wouldn’t understand or feel God’s power in my life quite as much.
I love each of you!
Sister Casper
(I can spell my name in script too! it is iffy as to if they will pronounce the “s” in Thailand though. We will see!)chloe

Khwaamsug le Santisug

I don’t even know how to describe this week. It was filled with so much khwaamsug le santisug le khwaamrag (happiness, peace and love). The spirit penetrated my life in a way I’ve never experienced before.
For those who are reading this who may be entering the MTC soon or are starting their papers: There has never been a moment that I have regretted being a missionary. Have I cried? Been frustrated with myself? Felt a little inadequate? OF COURSE. But have I ever regretted being a part of bringing this gospel unto God’s children and coming closer to Christ myself? NO WAY. I  have never gone to bed disappointed or upset with this work because when you focus on your purpose (helping others to come unto Christ) you come closer to Christ yourself and when you feel the Savior’s love and His spirit so tangibly, how could you ever feel like being a missionary, despite its trials and difficulties, is subpar or not worth it?
Some cool things about the Thai language:
1. Klabcay (pronounced Glahpjai) means to repent but it literally translates to “”to return to your heart”. When our teacher Brother Yuen shared that with us, he was like, Sister Casper you’ll really like this. And I did:) To repent truly is returning to who you are; the son or daughter of God who chose to follow God’s plan in the preexistence. It is returning to your heart and ignoring the natural man or any justification to sin that comes from your mind.
2. Kawcay means to understand but it literally translates to enter into your heart. I liked that too. When you truly understand something, it enters into your heart. Do you understand the immensity of the Atonement that was performed for you? I know I thought about it a lot this week and tried to understand it not just with my mind but with my heart.
3. Sister Khao finally explained Thai to me in a way my choir mind could understand. Thai is like singing WITH ONLY FIVE NOTES. YES. The 5 tones=5 notes. It’s literally gotten so much easier to do tones since she told us that.
4. My gift of tongues isn’t working. I keep switching into Spanish during class. I’ve spoken more spanish since coming to the MTC than I did in all those years of high school spanish. Oops. I’m also learning sign language haha. (An elder in my district is deaf [has hearing aids now] and knows how to sign)
On Sunday, Sister Capin (the best companion ever) and I were assigned to be Sister-Training-Leaders. What a great opportunity to learn humility! Haha I was also assigned to be the Branch Music Coordinator since, with a bunch of the zone leaving, I am the only one left who can (kind of) play piano. I trust the spirit will guide me and my companion.
I am learning so much and I wish I could just dump all my memories onto a memory chip and send it home so you could experience what I’m experiencing. Since I can’t though I hope that through my words you can see my growing testimony each week and my growing love for this gospel.
Yesterday we had District inventory. One person sat in a chair and we all went around and complimented that person. Multiple times has the Branch Presidency and our teachers and other districts commented on how close and strong our district is. I’ve NEVER met more loving and gospel focused people. They inspire me.
Yesterday we taught about the Atonement to Phii Nok. He had never even heard of Jesus Christ before and for someone who grew up singing about Jesus wanting me to be a sunbeam, it was a hard concept to grasp. There are people out there who do not know they have a Savior. That carry their burdens, sins, and trials on their back not knowing there is someone who has already suffered all of that for them. When I think about the people of Thailand who do not know how loved they are by their Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, that there is someone who died for them, that there is someone who cries when they cry and rejoice when they rejoice, it saddens my heart. It also gives me motivation. Every time I see my name tag it reminds me that I am a representative of Christ, bringing the extreme happiness of this gospel to the world.
One of the Lord’s tender mercies from the week: I used to be tired all the time and would always need naps. Since being on a mission I have not been tired at all and my district asks how I am getting enough sleep. The Lord has blessed me with this tender mercy to have enough energy to do the work and I am so grateful for that.
Never forget who you are.
Also, keep smiling:) Never be without a smile.
I love you all!!
Sister Casperchloe pic
chloe 2
FINALLY SOME PICTURES:) One of them is of our zone, the other is me with two Australians from our district experiencing snow for the first time.

“Lay it Down” by Jonathan Meyers

Sawaadii khaa tokkhon! (Hello everyone)

I have no idea how long I’ve been here! The other day someone had told me I had been here 10 days and I didn’t believe them. My companion and I don’t count the days at all. WE TRY AND MAKE THE DAYS COUNT:)
The MTC is amazing. I can’t explain. I guess the only way I can think to explain is the way that they explained it to me. The MTC is where I am Making The Change. I am changing so much. Learning and growing more than I even foresaw.
Literally the song “Lay it Down” by Elder Meyers is my theme song. My companion sings it now because I literally listen to it on repeat when in the TALL lab. It reminds me to give my burdens to the Lord, that life is hard, but that life is a blessing. “When you’re hurting, trapped with sorrow, just remember there’s hope for tomorrow and a work that you’re needed to do”. I suggest listening to it.
Exciting events from this week….hmmmm…..nothing. The MTC is boring.
KIDDING. The MTC is THE MOST exciting and spiritually uplifting place I’ve ever been. We are constantly doing something to better ourselves and help others.
Update on where I left off: We taught Phii Baw that next day and the spirit was so much stronger when we didn’t bring back up and when we relied on the Lord. Since then we have taught so much better. We still struggle and make mistakes and Sister Casper still mixes up words but the spirit is there and our love for the investigator is there.
This week my companion and I had a goal to do one random act of kindness. With a suggestion from another Elder, the whole district pitched in to buy Elder Santeco new scriptures since his were basically completely broken. His gratitude reminded me how grateful we should be for every gift we have been given. Family, friends, food, home, trials, yes trials. I am grateful for my trials and weaknesses and for ALL that God has given me.
More fun language facts: The first word of the first vision is the formal word of “I” to signify he’s important BUT the word is 3 syllables and if you add too much of a space in between the first and second syllable the “I” of the first vision becomes “Kill Buddha” PRETTY MUCH THE WORST THING YOU COULD SAY IN THAILAND. Who thinks of this stuff? Jeez haha. I need to watch my tongue in Thailand. And my feet! It is so rude to do certain things in Thailand like point your feet at someone or cross your legs towards them.
My district has dubbed me the excited one. I’m always beatboxing into the TALL lab microphone while practicing, or waving ecstatically to people a 2 feet away from me or writing happy quotes on the board. There’s so much about this work to be excited about. The other day we learned the word for excited and Sister Capin said “or in other words, Sister Casper”.
The most important thing I am learning is to center my whole life around Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and Redeemer. He loves us. He suffered for me. And all He asks is that, despite my imperfections, I repent and follow His example. I try and refocus on my purpose each and every moment: To help others come unto Christ. Others includes myself as well. (Side note: I have my purpose memorized in Thai!)
This week we practiced “summarizing” the first discussion in a minute and a half. I could not do it for the life of me. I was trying to tell Elder Lovelock it (the district leader) and I kept forgetting, messing up and getting frustrated with myself. He did it perfectly 3 times. The teacher walked over and asked me what was wrong and I explained that I couldn’t do it. I will never forget what she helped me realized. That I may not be able to tell someone something in a minute and a half but I can certainly make them feel something (the spirit). This gospel is personable to me. When I thought of the discussion as it applies to my own life rather than trying to summarize someone else’s words, the spirit was so strong and I felt the comfort of it pierce my soul.
I am grateful for all of you and for this work!
They kicked the crutch out this week so no more romanized. I pray every second of the day.
I can’t work the card reader so no pictures again:( I’ll try again next week.
I love you all!
Sister Casper