The Character of Christ

Wow this week has FLOWN by!

We were very busy again this week with all sorts of things! We had Zone Conference, a ward picnic, exchanges, multiple service activities, and a funeral. I felt like every second of every day we were constantly on the move with something big to take care of.
 I am sad to say that the work is struggling a bit in this area. Our ward is amazing but investigators and potential investigators are lacking. We have spent hours this week trying to find new people! Both of our investigators are struggling keeping commitments and can’t seem to get a grasp on the word of wisdom! I am very positive about all of this because I know that it is the end of summer and many people are busy cramming in last minute day trips and vacations. We know that once September comes it will be much easier to get return appointments. Until then, we are busy doing 3-4 hours of finding a day. At the end of the week we finally hit up an apartment complex full of new people to teach! We met some amazing people so I am excited to see what the next few weeks bring with them. It is so interesting to go from an area like Parkland to here. It is very different but I have complete faith that the Lord has prepared a lot of people here! I can feel it! Some great things are about to happen! We have 7 missionaries in this ward now and we have a lot of work to do. I am so grateful for such a loving, supportive ward. 
This past week we had a tragedy in our community. A little 6 year old girl was killed. She was a member in the ward next to ours (our district leader’s ward). The funeral was Saturday and we pretty much spent all morning and afternoon serving there. It was definitely the biggest funeral I have ever seen. The entire community came, friends, family, the police, reps from the church, etc. It was quite the sad story. The little girl’s 3 sisters spoke and it was absolutely heartbreaking. I was trying to be happy and focus my thoughts on serving those that were there but I could not help but mourn with them. I learned a lot from this experience. I learned to NEVER go a single day without telling those around you that you love them. It is never worth it to be angry at someone. I also learned from the father’s testimony about forgiveness. He was SUCH an example. He had already forgiven the man who killed his daughter. The Bishop spoke and said something really profound about all of this. He said, “Anger is like drinking poison expecting it to hurt someone else.” There were so many non-members there and I couldn’t help but feel for them not knowing our Father’s plan for us. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation because we don’t need to be sad for those that leave us. 
Because of this and other events that happened this week I spent a long time studying the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. Out of all the talks I have ever read, this is my favorite! He talks about how without the character of Christ, there would have been no atonement. Christ was completely and perfectly selfless. “The greatest indicator of character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to others facing challenges.” “Character is revealed in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering.” One of my favorite examples of Christ’s character was when he was fasting for 40 days and was being tempted by Satan. Angels appeared to comfort Him and He sent them to John who was in prison because he felt he could use them more. 
Christ’s loving character allowed him to give us the Atonement. The Atonement allows us to heal, to change, to love. I am so grateful for the infinite mercy of my Savior. I have had a lot of selfishness to repent of this week. I have a lot of thoughts of “how could they do that to me” or “why are they acting that way to me.” I know that my character is not as Christ’s yet and that is okay. I know that I cannot change alone but if I let go of my pride and submit my burdens to Him, then He can help me. I challenge all of us to try every day to be more Christlike! 
On a lighter note, I am having SO much fun with my companions! We need to be better at going to sleep on time because every single night is like a sleepover! Sister K is SO funny and we are always in a constant state of laughter. Sister Murdoch is doing soooo good. She is absolutely amazing. She is growing so fast. I am so proud of her! Last night we all stayed up making funny videos and telling stories. I think I got an ab work out from these two!
I love you guys so so much! Thank you for all that you do! And Grandma Dean thank you for the sweet package!
Sister Cassell

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