Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31st Letter

Dear Familia,

Hello! Life is wonderful. Let me tell you about life here in San Diego. The Mormon Battalion shift is 9-3 or 3-9 except for Sundays and Tuesdays are different. We usually switch off morning or night shift every other day, and then the other half of the day we are in our area. Tuesdays are our preparation day and so the senior copules (mom and dad you should totally serve here) run the battalion until 5 and then we trade off having the Tuesday night shifts. Sundays vary, but we have 3 shifts so that the sisters can all attend at least Sacrament Meeting of their wards. It's a crazy busy schedule, but I love it! I love the variety. Also we are so blessed to have cars! Our area is about 30 min away, so it's a drive, but we do lots of practicing on our way there and back. I am definitely afraid for when I have to drive because there are so many freeways here! I feel like I could get lost in 2 seconds, but here is a miracle.... I know how to read a map now! Haha since I am the co-driver I am in charge of directions so I have definitely learned how to read a map.

This past week we got really organized and are starting to be more acquainted with our area. We have two investigators. Tana is an awesome guy and he has been taught by the missionaries for a long time. He knows it's true, but he himself said he just is having a hard time taking that leap and actually getting baptized. He travels a lot for work so it is hard to get in contact with him all the time, but we are going to help him see why he needs to take that step. Our next investigator's name is Melody. She is an awesome lady and she has been crazy busy with moving and her mom died a few weeks ago so we have been helping her move. She also knows the gospel is true, but she is scared to ask her husband if she can get baptized. She also has two adorable children. We are praying for her that the Lord will soften her husband's heart and that she will have the courage to ask him. We made a lot of calls this week. Oh one thing about our mission is that we don't tract! We can street contact, but we don't go knocking. We have a huge list of potentials so this week we have been calling them all and asking if we can come over and share a message with them about Jesus Christ. Most of them haven't answered, but the few that have answered were super hesitant at first but after talking to them for a minute, they said we could come over. We are meeting with most of those people the rest of this week and I am so excited! One of the things that is so hard for me is street contacting.. I don't know how to approach people without feeling like I am chasing them down or something... So if anyone has any good ideas of how to approach people? I would love the help.

So guess what amazing thing happened this week??? As some of you might remember, my mission president's wife is the daughter of Elder Ballard. So guess who was in town this weekend? Elder Ballard!!! Sunday night he had a special firside focused on investigators and less actives and pretty much all the stakes in San Diego were invited. It was so amazing! He basically just taught the first lesson and he taught it so powerfully and simply. It made me realize how I can better my teaching. One of the families in our ward who the dad isn't a member attended and we really hope that it touched his heart. Then yesterday morning, all the missionaries in my mission got a special meeting with him. He talked to us about how we must be terrific teachers, then he had a question and answer session. He also had President Clayton speak and he talked about the importance of being purified and sanctified. Oh goodness... It was all so amazing and I was sitting on the front row in the middle so it was just like a spiritual wall hitting me and I loved it! After we got to go shake his hand and say hi to him. He is so nice and kind and funny!! Wow. The whole time I was sitting there I was just amazed and grateful to be a part of that.

My companion still rocks. I love her so much! We have lots of laughs and good times, but we also know when we need to work hard. The Mormon Battalion is still awesome! I love it. I can now give solo tours without any worry. I definitely have had embarrassing moments during tours though, haha but I guess that has to happen to learn how to do them well. I still see people I know quite often. Elyse came in on Sunday with her in-laws!! Andrew was sick sadly. It was so exciting to see her. I love seeing people I know or people from Utah haha. Sundays are crazy at the battalion. It is just jammed pack and people are constantly coming. It is great though! I called my first referral from the mobat and it was a cool experience. He said I could send him a book of mormon and continue teaching him online, so I am starting to do that and hope that soon he will let missionaries in his area go teach him.

Well, I hope I gave you a little more info on how things are going here in San Diego. The weather is PERFECT :) I love you alll sooooo much! Thank you for your prayers. I can definitely feel that strength. I love this gospel so much and I love and am grateful for the opportunity I have to see miracles every day.

Sister Cassie Rasmussen

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24--First Week in San Diego

Dear Family,

Wow. San Diego really is the most perfect weather ever! I love it. It is so beautiful here! When we arrived in San Diego last Tuesday, the assistants picked us up and took us to the mission home. We ate food, took pictures, filled out some papers, had an interview, and got to take a nap, and then we had dinner. Then we met up with more sisters and went out and taught! I was with Sister Nelson and Sister Crawford and we were in the La Jolla area. We taught a Chinese girl named Da. She is so awesome and it was a wonderful experience and made me really excited! The next day was training meeting. My companion is Sister Stevens. She is from Layton, Utah, she is a beautician and she is 5'10! Woohoo for tall girls! She honestly is the most awesome person ever. She is so funny and kind and excited about missionary work! She is also so positive. She is very patient with me and helpful. I definitely got lucky. Best trainer ever! She also only has 2 transfers left so I am her last companion. We are having a great time together. The area we got assigned to is drum roll please...... Chula Vista!!! Rus, that does not mean doughnut. Hahah! Chula Vista is beautiful and we are white washing which means we are both new to the area and we are actually opening it up kind of because it is a new ward called the Otay Lakes Ward. It has been a lot of fun getting organized and getting acquainted with people in the ward to help us with missionary work. Members really are so crucial!

Oh I saw Esteban Villalobos! He is awesome. I also met an Elder and his teacher in the MTC was Lauren! Also every time I meet someone from El Cajon I tell them that my mom grew up there and they always know the Jesperson name. OH flashback real quick... there was a sister missionary in the MTC in my visitor center training group and she was from Greenland! She told me that I reminded her of all her Danish friends which made me so happy :) Also flashback... my temple square experience was way cool! My companion was Sister Leilua from Samoa. She is so great! We talked to a few people and I also gave a tour to about 25 people from Germany and Belgium. It was cool!

Okay back to San Diego... The Mormon Battalion is the coolest place ever! I was pretty nervous at first because the day we got here they gave us our script and it is huge and we have to act and I was just thinking there is no way I am going to be able to do this, but the Lord is helping me :) I now have the script down and I gave my first solo tour yesterday! The tour is so awesome. Everyone that comes through really enjoys it. Rus you got magical skilllllssss! Family, those of you who have not been here have to come get the tour someday in your life. The kiddos would love it!

Sister Stevens likes exercising which is wonderful because she helps me exercise more intensely then I probably would on my own. It is great! One unfortunate thing is my energy level seems to have decreased immensely. Ha, it's like it takes every muscle in my body to stay awake. I go to bed on time and wake up on time and I am eating well and exercising... I guess this is just the life of the mission?

Anyways, sorry I don't have a lot of time today. Hopefully next week I will send pictures. I love being a missionary!! Oh I had my first door contact yesterday. The lady was Catholic so she said she didn't want to change, but we bore her our testimonies and left her a Book of Mormon and I really hope she will read it. This gospel amazes me more and more every day. Life is wonderful!

Sister Cassie Rasmussen

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21--Mailed Letter from First Day in Mission

This was a mailed letter that Cassie wrote the day she arrived in the mission on July 17th. We received it on July 21st. 

Dear family,

So, I made it to San Diego! It's just as beautiful as I remember it. The mission home is beautiful and has a beautiful view! It is in Helix if that means anything to you, Mom. Also, we drove right by Mission Valley.

My mission president and wife are both wonderful. The weather is perfect here. I am exhausted but excited! My preparation day is Tuesday aka today. I won't be able to email today though which is why I am writing real quick.

President Clayton sent a picture of me with him and his wife to Dad's email. Dad, will you please forward that to me? I would like a copy of it. Also, Dad, it was good to talk to you and hear your voice! Mom, I hope you got my message.

Today we get nap time and fill out paper and have an interview with the president. Tonight we go out with the missionaries and tomorrow we meet our trainers and begin! The APs are really nice with helping us.

I seriously cannot believe that this is real life. I am nervous, but mostly excited beyond belief. I just wanted you to know that I made it here safely.

I love you all!

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17th--Sister Rasmussen Arrives in San Diego

Early on Tuesday morning, July 17, 2012, Sister Rasmussen left the MTC and flew out of the Salt Lake airport to San Diego, California and her mission. There she was greeted by her mission president and his wife, President and Sister Clayton. That afternoon the Claytons sent these photos of Cassie at her arrival and with the new missionaries in her group. 

Sister Rasmussen with President and Sister Clayton of the California San Diego Mission

Sister Rasmussen with the 13 other new missionaries in her mission and the mission president and mission mom. 

Also, this week we received a photo of Cassie in her costume for the Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center. She will wear this costume many, many times in the days to come. We are so excited for her decision and desire to serve!

There was no email this week as she was traveling but the mission president said that she would write a letter that day and send it regular mail, so I will post that letter when we receive it. Remember to send all letters to her mission address from now on. We are thrilled for her to get to serve with honor in beautiful San Diego. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 13, 2012

Dear Family,

It's only been a few days, but it's been a crazy few days. I'll tell you about it in a second. Thanks for the email dad! I love having updates. I indeed did get to talk to mom on Wednesday. Mom, sorry it wasn't long and I had to leave really fast. I felt bad, but I am really happy that I got to hear your voice! Dad, your golfing at the Hill place sounds awesome! I bet you loved that. The Family Ball is this weekend!? Dang.... you guys are going to miss my sweet dancing moves aren't you? Haha. Please take pictures for me! I want to see what everyone looked like and how the decorations were. Tell Mason HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! He is so cute. Dad, I will definitely be calling your cell phone on Tuesday morning when we have time at the airport. On to the past couple days...

Tuesday night we had an awesome devotional from an Emeritus Seventy. His name was Robert Steuer and he spoke about obstacles in missionaries lives and also how it is so important that we have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. He also talked about excuses and gave a quote by Spencer W. Kimball which is, "Any excuse, no matter how valid, weakens the character." I loved it! My new goal is to not have any excuses. Wednesday morning we got to go to Temple Square and we got taken on a tour by the sister missionaries. After some guys from the missionary department came and talked to us, aka Rus :) It was so good to see him again and he did such a wonderful job at getting us all pumped! After all the sisters told me I had such a cool brother and I was like duh!! Haha just kidding I didn't really say that, but I did agree with them. Rus you are way cool! The past couple days have just been busy with visitor center training... it's mostly just making me ready to get out there and have experiences!

Unfortunately I have been sick the past couple days. I have had a sore throat, headache, stuffy nose, body aches, all that fun stuff. I have almost already used all my cold eze so mom, I am definitely going to need some more of those when I get to California. I am feeling much better today and hope that I keep going up so I will be all the way better really soon. I get to see lots of familiar people all the time and it's great. Those who have recently entered the MTC and I have seen are Elder Paul Johnson (Mark's brother), Sister Brittni Ward (my friend from forever ago and she lived in our ward and her mom was Michelle? Remember her?), Sister Preslee Clawson (she is in the stake), and some other people I can't remember right now. I see Elder Nick Jesperson all the time and I LOVE IT!! I love that kid and I love having family here. I told him to say hi to anyone he sees at the wedding today. Also, how was the wedding?? I want pictures of that too!!

Lastly, the past couple days have also been crazy because they have been trying to figure out what to do for my companions situation. I told you guys in the last email that she has epilepsy and she had a seizure and apparently you have to go 6 months without having a seizure in order to be on a mission. She talked to a lot of different people pleading to stay because she really wants to be here and feels like this is where she is supposed to be, but this morning she had her last meeting and they said she had to go home :( That was at like 9:30 and she just left to go to the airport about 40 min ago. I am really sad and I am going to miss her so much. She has helped me so much and I am very, very grateful that Heavenly Father had us be companions. She is awesome and such a strong woman. She was being so positive as she left and saying that everything happens for a reason, so this is all part of the plan and she is just going to trust Heavenly Father. She has been such an influence on me and I am glad that we got at least 3.5 weeks together. Yesterday we got our pioneer dresses finalized, so today Sister Kunz, Sister Madsen, Sister Riggs, and I put on our dresses and took pictures with Sister Kunz so she could have some in her pioneer dress. Ah man, I am going to miss that girl.

Tomorrow we go to Temple Square again. This time I think we actually get a companion from Temple Square and we go around with them and actually get to teach real people! I am nervous, but so excited! I can't believe I leave on Tuesday. I think I say that in every email, but it's getting so close! I am reallllyyyyyyyy excited! Everyone better dance like crazy tomorrow night! And do my club can't handle me dance :)

I love you all so much!

Love, Sister Rasmussen

P.S. Have any of you read the talk "His Grace is Sufficient," from Brad Wilcox? If not, you should read it. It's really good! Oh also, mom I am sending a box home with Jake Robison on Monday. He'll probably bring it by a little after 9PM. If not, then Tuesday sometime.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10th Letter

Dear Family,

Yet another wonderful week! As you all know, I love roller coasters. The other day my teacher, Brother Pead, said that he loved roller coasters too, but that his favorite roller coaster was his mission. Haha super cheesy, but I liked it and I can already feel that be the same for me. By the way, at the MTC you only have 30 min to email and there is a timer in the corner that counts down and it stresses me out! I can't wait until I have more time so my thoughts aren't so jumbled. Also I forgot to say in my letter last week, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT!!! Love you brother and I hope you had a hip hop happenin' day :)

So it is kind of lame because the Provo temple is closed for cleaning which means we didn't get a chance to go to it while here at the MTC. Mom, Sister Pearce gave me the note from you. I love making connections. Thanks for the note! Also Dad, thanks for your emails! I love reading them and I love the updates. Sounds like the family all had a good fourth of July. Dad I love seeing people from the ward so I can tell them to tell you guys hello. Sounds like Uncle John, Aunt Diana, and Nick all did a wonderful job. I am so excited for Nick to come in tomorrow! I will be looking for him. It sounds like Lauren's bridal shower was a success. I am sure it was amazing since Mom was in charge. I can't believe La gets married this week! I am so excited for her. Tell her I love her! Also did someone take a flower to Chase's grave for me on the 7th? I know I never said anything, but I like taking flowers there. If anyone is ever nearby the cemetery, just drop by a flower for me please. Oh mom, they have biscuits and gravy here! It's actually pretty good. Yours are obviously still the best though.

On to this past week. Wednesday was the 4th of July. It was a normal day, but then we had a fourth of July fireside thing and then they gave us ice cream and we got to watch the stadium of fire fireworks! It was fun. Thursday was an interesting day. My companion had a seizure. She has epilepsy and she hadn't had a seizure for 3 years! She said it wasn't a bad one compared to the ones she usually has. She is doing much better now! A nurse told her that she might have to go home because you are supposed to go 6 months without having a seizure to be on a mission. She went to the neurologist yesterday and I really think she will be able to stay. I really hope she will! She is awesome. Dr. Rasmussen, what should you do when someone has a seizure? I felt so helpless. I had no idea what to do. I just called the MTC emergency people.

Friday we had in-field orientation. We basically were just with a bunch of other missionaries and we were taught how to work with members and things like that. It was really informative and a lot of the instructors were the missionaries on the District 2, so it was fun to meet them and to tell them that I was going to San Diego, because that is where they went and where it was filmed. Saturday night our teacher Brother Bradley gave us an awesome lesson about our life's mission. He had us study our patriarchal blessings and write down the kind of person we hope to be in 20 years or so, then he had us write down what was stopping us now from becoming that person. We tore up those things that were stopping us and he just really helped us see how we can be working on those things now. It was a really awesome lesson. Sunday's here rock! They are always such a spiritual booster. Our district sang 'The Spirit of God' for a musical number in sacrament meeting. Sunday night we got to watch the Testaments. Yesterday was our last normal missionary training day. We had our last lessons. My teachers are honestly the best! I am so grateful for all that they have done to help me see how I can be a better missionary. It was also our last day with the elders in our district. It was sad saying goodbye! I will miss them, but they are all going to do a wonderful job serving. We took lots and lots of pictures. I will send some to you when I get to San Diego. We can't send pictures here.

This next week we have visitor center training. I am really excited about it and I hope I get to see Rus! I think that we actually have another preparation day this Friday so you might be hearing from me that day as well. I fly out next Tuesday! I think my plane leaves at like 8:30AM. They said we can call from the airpot if we have time, so I am assuming that it would be around 7 or 7:30. Mom, I know you have temple, but will you be there dad? Or where should I call? Or what should I do? If you could let me know before Friday since I can check my email on Friday I can see where I should call if I get the time to. I can't believe the time to leave is coming so quick! I can't wait to be in San Diego.

Well I am loving it here. I can feel myself growing every day. I amazed with how much I have been able to learn in just 3 weeks, I mean don't get me wrong, I still have much to learn, but I am thankful for what I have learned. Remember in my setting apart blessing when he said that I would plant seeds in many people's hearts and they would accept the gospel after my 18 months of a mission? Well I wondered what that meant and the other day our Branch President was talking about something similar and said somewhat of the same thing. He said because we are at a visitor center and we have so many people coming and going, that their time at the site, will be when we can plant that seed. He said there were a few times on his mission when they found people who were so willing to accept their message because they had been to a visitor center a couple years before and had always remembered the feeling that they had there. I just thought that was super cool! I know I keep saying this, but I am really excited! I love this work so much. I can't wait to help people find the happiness of the gospel because it is truly what brings the most happiness. God loves us all so much! I feel His love every single day. I have been blessed with so many tender mercies and it helps me know that He is there and that He is listening.

I love this gospel and I love you all!

Love, Sister Rasmussen

P.S. Thanks for the letters! Eden thank you so much for the package!! It came on a much needed day and I loved it. Mom thank you for the cocoa roasted almonds and I am still trying to figure out exactly what to do with the skirt. I will let you know shortly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 3--Second Week at MTC

Dear Family,

Oh my goodness. I can't believe it is another preparation day. At the same time it feels like last time I wrote you was months ago. Crazy how that works! This week was full of learning. Last Tuesday night we had the amazing opporutnity of being in the presence of 10 of the 12!! Elder Perry is the one who spoke, but there were 9 other of them on the stand. We got in line a little more than an hour early and we were a little worried because we were quite far back in the line and we wanted to make it in and not have to go watch it in overflow. Luckily we were one of the last people they let in and they had people fill the back up first so we were like 9th row and it rocked! As all of you know I saw Rus on Wednesday. I was just walking into breakfast like every morning and I looked over and saw him and I couldn't help but let tears come to my eyes. I was so happy I got to see him :) I also saw the Rebers at the devotional! Unfortunately, they didn't see me and I didn't have a chance to talk to them, but I am glad I got to see them. Oh also during the devotional the opening song was called to serve. I was just waiting for that moment to sing that song with 1000+ missionaries and it was awesome to experience.

I keep seeing familiar faces and that is always fun! I see Jake Rob still a lot. Dad I saw Laurel Fugal, she works on grounds crew or something. I also saw Peter Mortensen and Cassandra Nielsen and I see Stephers all the time! Oh mom, one of the counselors in the Branch Presidency, Brother Pearce, his wife works at the Timpanogos Temple and I told her that you worked there as well. She said she used to work the Tuesday morning shift until they got this MTC calling and then she switched, but that she still subs on Tuesday morning. Anyway, she said she was going to be there this morning so I told her to look for you and give you a hug from me. Oh shout out to Jules. With everything we learn, we always do role plays. It just made me think of how much you would love it since you are always wanting brock to do role plays with you, haha! Dad thank you so much for your email and for keeping me up to date with what is going on and with the family. I am happy to hear that Uncle John and Aunt Diana made it home safely! Give them my love. I also can't wait for Nick to come in next week!! I will definitely see him. I don't know if I told everyone, but my departure date is July 17, so 2 weeks from today. I can't believe it. I also can't believe that tomorrow is the 4th of July! I hear a lot of you are in George and I hope you guys have so much fun! And everyone else. I think we get to watch some fireworks? I don't know, we'll see. Oh one more thing mom, I met this Elder whose mom is from El Cajon! All I got was that his mom's maiden name is smith and that they lived right in El Cajon. I know that is a common last name, but did you live close to any Smith's? Another thing, thank you so much for the water bottle mom and dad! I looooove it!!

This was kind of a trying week for me.. On Wednesday and Thursday I got to help the Zone leaders with orientation for the new missionaries in our zone. I enjoyed that. It was funny because I am in charge of helping the sisters and I had to take them back to their rooms to help them settle in and explain some rules to them and also to answer any questions that they had. First of all I was surprised that I could actually answer their questions and second of all, it was funny because they thought I was so smart and all knowing. One sister asked me how long I had been there and I was like oh just a week! They were all surprised. I told them that I definitely had so much more to learn, but that they would be surprised with how much they will learn in a week. I have been playing lots of volleyball since I have been here. I think I am remembering how to play! It's a lot of fun. I still love my district. They are all awesome. This is actually the elder's last week with us, and then it will just be us 4 sisters in our district for the last week.

Thursday and Friday were really hard days for me. I just had a lot of doubt and was frustrated with myself that I wasn't doing well at teaching. My teachers are awesome and so willing to help me and answer my questions. Sunday was an excellent day because it was just the spiritual boost that I needed. President Gubler had a meeting with all the sisters and me. He says he likes to do that because he knows that sisters are harder on themselves then elders and he just wants to make sure we were doing okay. It was just what I needed. He talked about how we may not be as good as we want to be yet, but as long as we are trying and that we have felt the spirit, we are good enough for that day. He also personally asked me what was bothering me and I just told him that I was struggling with having confidence in myself when it comes to teaching. I just kept feeling like when we were teaching we were just running in circles with our investigators. He helped me see that I am not the teacher, but just the messenger. I mean I knew that, but just being reminded of that helped me so much. He said as long as I have a good heart, the spirit can be the teacher. I am doing everything I can to be obedient, to use my study time effectively, so that I can be the Spirits messenger. Since it was fast sunday, we had a mission conference. It was awesome! Sister Riggs sang a solo and she is amazing! Seriously her voice is just wonderful and so is she. If Brandon isn't married when I get back, I am totally making him take her out. She is so cool! Things with my companion are going well. She is awesome and we are getting along great. Sunday night we had an awesome fireside about Joseph Smith. He is an amazing man. Yesterday was an awesome day. I had way more confidence in myself and all our lessons went really well. I could definitely feel the spirit being the teacher instead of myself because I would say things and then after I had no idea how I thought of saying that. This gospel is amazing!

Every day God let's me know that he loves me and I am grateful for that. Also every day he reminds me that I can do this with His help and that I am where I am supposed to be right now. I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday! I love hearing from you! I seriously have the best family in the WORLD. Thank you for your constant love and support. I am loving this experience, highs and lows.

I love you all!!

Love, Sister Rasmussen