December 30, 2019


Carlisle, PA


Elder Hope

The Empire Strikes Back

Hello folks, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all that stuff. You're probably wondering what's up with the title. It's because transfers are coming up, but Elder Hope and I are staying together for this next transfer. If you remember when I first got into Carlisle, I titled my email "A New Hope" because I was going to be with Elder Hope and it was a new companionship, so I figured it was probaby a good fit.

Well, Christmas was this week, which meant nothing really happened. At least, nothing happened on Christmas Eve/Christmas. Our ward mission leader had us over for Christmas Eve for some Indian food. It was actually pretty good, it's the first time I've ever had an Indian meal. On Christmas day, we weren't allowed to go out and knock doors (which wasn't on our list of things to do anyways), so it basically boiled down to texting a ton of people Merry Christmas. We were able to show The Christ Child to a couple people we're teaching, then had lunch with a member and a couple of her siblings. After that, we tried walking around the downtown, but it was eerily empty. Most every store was closed, there were about 10 cars parked on the side of the road, and there are maybe five people kinda chilling outside, so we just kept texting and stuff. At dinner, we went over to a member's house that said they wanted to feed us, and when we got there, they told us that they had been told that someone else was going to feed us. Luckily, they're super nice and gave us their leftovers, so it's all good. Just a fun situation is all.

Nothing too exciting really happened the rest of the week. We had dinner with a less active member, and the family was basically yelling at each other and the mom was shooting her kids with a nerf gun while we just sat there and ate, so that was pretty exciting. It was the most intense dinner I've seen thus far, I must admit. Elder Hope also threw up not 10 minutes after dinner, so that was pretty sweet too. He had just been feeling like garbage most of the day and wasn't hungry, but you gotta do what you gotta do as a missionary. Jen and Doug also brought one of their friends to church with them, which was really cool. Unfortunately, it was a 5th sunday, which as Elder Hope put it, is a Russian Roulette. It can either be a sweet lesson that is super engaging, or it can be a slog to get through. Our topic was on family history, which is great information and everything, but isn't the most exciting, especially when you don't have a church membership record so you can't follow along on and stuff. At least she was honest and said church was "alright", so hopefully we can get her to an exciting lesson sometime.

For Christmas, I got a book from Tad R. Callister titled "A Case For The Book of Mormon." Tad R. Callister provides both defense from the attack of the critics and offense on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The majority of what he talks about deals with physical stuff, meaning science, linguistics, logic, and so on and so forth.However, the final section of the book is solely focused on how to gain a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. In one section, he shares a quote from President Boyd K. Packer, who shared a story of two young girls going through a grand museum without much thought or care. When they left, they remarked that the museum did not leave much of an impression on them. The doorman tells them that the museum's beauty, quality, and grandeur is not on trial here. Instead, they are on trial as to how they will react to the museum. So it is with the Book of Mormon. Its divinity and truthfulness is not on trial here. One cannot deny the majesty of the Book of Mormon, but instead the question is whether you are willing to pay the price to know for a fact that the Book of Mormon is true. If you are willing to pay that price, and are earnestly seeking for the confirmation of the spirit that the Book of Mormon is true, you will receive it. If you aren't willing to pay that price, then the Lord won't trust you with that answer you seek. Science and time are great allies to the Book of Mormon, as Tad R. Callister proves in the previous pages, but those things can never replace the confirming witness of the spirit.

Well, that's all I got for y'all. My mom told me to take more pictures of things that include me in them, so that'll be something you'll maybe start seeing in the future, if I remember. If you don't see those pictures, just know it's because I'm bad at remembering things. Bye for now!
Elder Klepacz

- I forgot to mention that our district caroling in a nursing home on Christmas Eve, so there's the picture of us after I guess.


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