Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26th Letter

We got to talk to Cassie on Tuesday, December 25th for about an hour. She sounded so very, very good. Miss her like crazy but so happy she is serving the Lord.  --Eden

Dear Family,

Merry Christmas!!! Oh my goodness it was so wonderful to talk to you all yesterday :) I love you all so much! And sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! Here are the highlights from the week . . . 

Wednesday there were SO many BYU fans who came through the MoBat. I loved it!! Made me feel right at home, haha. We had a lesson with a potential investigator from Germany. She is so sweet! She had a lot of good questions and she wants to meet with us again soon! She even brought her friend who also wants to learn about our beliefs. We ate real quick and then we went to the BYU football fireside! The team gave like a Christmas fireside and Bronco spoke at the end. It was pretty cool. Oh and I didn't know that one of my friends from high school is on the team so I saw him and we got to catch up so that was fun. Oh and Cecil Samuelson was there! I talked with him after for a minute. After we had to go rescue some sisters whose car died.

Thursday was my 6-month mark . . . what the what?? Time is so weird. I feel like I just left, but at the same time I feel like I have been here for years, haha it's awesome. We had district meeting today and then we met with a member and then we had MoBat which had a lot of BYU fans again. Oh also I took this girl on tour who asked if I had a sister named Megan and I was like yeah! And she was like yeah because you look a lot like her and then I asked how she knew her? And she was like she's in my singles ward! Hahaha I was like uhhh whoa different person, my sister is married! So that was weird. Megan, apparently we have someone else who looks like us and even has your exact name. Leon & Callie and their kids came through, but I barely missed them unfortunately. They left a nice note :) We had a Christmas concert tonight at the mobat that was really good!

Matthew and Matt visiting Cassie at the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center
Friday was quite the day. First of all the world was supposed to end . . . but that didn't happen, haha and also during one of my tours I see out of the corner of my eye someone walk in who looks exactly like Matt and Matthew!! And what do you know, it is them! Hahah, so sweet! I knew one of my brothers had to be coming down for the game. I took them on tour and chatted after. It was fun :) Matthew is so big! I can't even believe it. After MoBat we had a lesson with our new investigator Keith. He is confused about whether God is real or not. I can't wait until he figures out that He is real! We talked with him about prayer and the Book of Mormon and how if he does those 2 things consistently and then also comes to church, that he will be able to find out that God is there and loves him so much. After we had dinner and then we were getting ready to leave to go contact some people and some elders from our zone called us and said they were having a last-minute baptism and were wondering if I could play the piano and if Sister Pagel could lead and we were like sure! We show up to the baptism and find out that the girl getting baptized is Muslim so they got permission and everything but she had to keep it kind of quiet so it was just me, Sister Pagel, the elders, President Hunt, the girl getting baptized, her husband, and their friend. It was interesting but cool! Afterwards her husband wanted to take us all out for dinner and he is a very wealthy man so it was quite the experience. Haha, we kind of felt like we were in a movie because we got valet parking and we went to this super fancy restaurant and ate fancy food and wow. I had scallops for the first time and they were delicious! I also had crab and corn chowder soup that was super good! It was an interesting experience.

Sister Rasmussen & Sister Pagel with some elders at the mission Christmas party

Saturday morning was our mission Christmas party! It was so fun! We had breakfast and got to visit with everyone for a while and then we had gift exchange and then we watched a slideshow of baptism pictures and then President spoke to us and we also sang lots of Christmas songs! We have such awesome missionaries in this mission. MoBat was good tonight and busy! 

Sunday morning we practiced our song and then I helped Elder and Sister Seegmiller figure out some technology stuff haha I love helping them. We went to a different ward today because ours was combined with another ward at 9am and we couldn't make it because of MoBat so we went to a family ward and it was fun! The members were all excited and thought they were getting sisters in their ward haha. After we contacted a former and had a great conversation with him and he says we can meet with him when he gets back from his Christmas vacation. We had dinner with a member and it was delicious! Then we went to the MoBat for the Christmas concert. I sang 2 songs with Sis Riggs, Davies, Madsen, Miller, and O'Neill. It was fun! I am getting a little less fearful? But not really because I was supposed to have a solo part in one of the songs and at last minute I begged Sister Miller to sing with me hahah. I don't know what my deal is. Sister Day sent you one of the songs though so you could see our performance :) It was a lot of fun! Sister Riggs sang like every song and she did amazing as usual. The MoBat was packed!! 

Monday we had MoBat and it was busy and then the Afflecks bought us pizza! Yum! We went to the mission office to make a last minute run for Christmas packages. We visited some referrals and then we went to dinner! Some elders in our district had some members in their ward who asked if there were any missionaries who didn't have a Christmas Eve dinner and that was us! Haha just because our ward is students and they all went home for Christmas. Anyway so they had us over! It was SO DELICIOUS!! They were the cutest family. And they were so nice! They got all 4 of us missionaries gift cards to Jamba Juice, McDonalds, and some pajama bottoms! So nice of them. They also sent a picture home I am pretty sure :) After we went caroling with our district. After planning Sister Pagel and I had our own talent show hahah and we opened one present each. 

Tuesday we woke up and went running as usual and then we got ready and opened presents! Thank you so much everyone :) And then we read Luke 2. After we had a service project at the MoBat and then we got to call our families :) which was the best ever!! Haha I love you, family. We had MoBat the rest of the day. It was a really great Christmas! 

Cassie on Christmas morning in her mission apartment

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well. I am so grateful for Christ's birth, life, and His atonement. Life would be a lot harder without Him and His teachings. 

I love you! I hope you have a great week!

Sister Cassie Rasmussen

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18th Letter

Dear Family,

Christmas is in one week. What the what!?!? I can't even believe it. Also I am pretty excited to talk with you :) :) Here are the highlights..

Tuesday night we had a lesson with the guy we met a week ago who used to be Mormon but has decided to put God out of his life. Everything we said he came up with some argument so we finally just asked him to experiment, to try reading his scriptures, and praying, and going to church again and just see if it makes a difference, but he wouldn't. We just bore our testimonies and left it at that. I was kind of upset after because it made me so sad inside for him. He went from being a dedicated Mormon to not even believing in God. I just don't see how people can put God out of their lives, but I am grateful we got to share our testimonies with him. After we went caroling with our district. It was great! Except there were a lot of people who didn't want to listen, haha, sad! Where is the Christmas spirit?

Wednesday we had zone conference. It was amazing! I love zone conference so much. We learned how to better teach people about prayer and also how to use the Book of Mormon in our teaching. Those two things combined are so vital to someone's conversion. Prayer is how we communicate with God and the scriptures are a way that he communicates with us and a way that we can learn how to better follow Him. It was cool to have those broken down by President. After zone conference we had the temple shift. Guess who I saw??? Carl and Jan Robison!!!! Ah it was so great to talk with them! I took a pic with them and I forgot my camera cord so I will send it next week. They gave me a little update on the Sharon 5th ward and on the family. It sounds like everything is going pretty great in good ol' Orem :) 

Thursday it was pouring rain. It's actually been pouring rain like every day this past week. This is San Diego winter, haha weird. We had a great lesson with a recent convert today about Joseph Smith and then we had dinner with some members and then went to a Christmas concert at the MoBat.

Friday was cool because we had an appointment with a referral that we had gotten a few days prior. While meeting with her we found out that her parents actually got baptized a few years ago. We asked her why she didn't get baptized and she said it was hard for her to talk to the missionaries because she is really shy, but she is super sweet! We talked with her about prayer and the Book of Mormon and she said she prays every day and she tries to read every day. We also asked her if she had a desire to continue learning with us and join her parents and she said yes!! We really felt like we were meant to meet her. She is so great! Next we had a lesson with a member and then we had district meeting. We went over the 8 fundamentals so it was really good and then we took a Christmas picture, haha you can look forward to seeing that. We had temple again. It was rainy and cold, but fun! We still got quite a few of visitors.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday we did some service for a lady named Leila. She wanted Christmas lights put up on her house so our district helped her out. She started crying while we were doing it and she said she was crying because she was so happy and she could feel the Spirit even with us there putting up Christmas lights and that she was just really happy we were doing that for her. It was really sweet, and it was fun! I never knew I was pro at putting Christmas lights up, haha. It was quite a task though because she has lots of random bushes and trees in front of her house. The elders were kind enough to clean up her yard as well. We had an appointment with a former investigator named Clifford. He is from Ghana. His friend who is a pastor was there and kept saying that no where in the Bible does it talk about Jesus visiting people other then the ones in Jerusalem and he kept saying convince me that you are right! And we said we aren't here to convince you, just to share with you what we know to be true, but you can find that out for yourself! And then the pastor guy said that we shouldn't have to find things out for ourselves, we should just know . . . it was interesting, but we left them with some reading assignments and Clifford said he still wants to learn more. We also contacted this guy named Black Ant and he just kept talking about how the world is an awful place and we talked with him and got his information to teach him more. 

Sunday was good! MoBat was super slow and Church was great! Wenchao and Iris both came to church. We found out Iris is moving to L.A. next week :( but she asked us to send her the missionaries there and she said her roommate currently wants to meet us! So that was awesome news. A member in our ward named Tyler gave the funniest talk about dating . . . hahah oh the joys of serving in a singles ward. We had dinner with our bishop and his family tonight. His daughter served in Hong Kong and she knew the Goos! We went caroling with our district again. I love the Christmas season.

Monday we had a song practice because some of us are performing Sunday night. Then we went and helped a former investigator at her storage and then we had a lesson with Wenchao. Wenchao knows God is real and he knows the Book of Mormon is true, but he worried about getting baptized because he's afraid he wont' be able to follow all the 'regulations' he called them. We had a great conversation with him and challenged him to pray about what Heavenly Fathers wants him to do and he said he would. He gave us a little Christmas present. So nice! We had the temple again tonight. It was super busy!! FHE. We met some awesome people. We met a couple from Denmark! They said I look Danish :) and we met some kids from Germany. I really feel so lucky to be able to meet all these people from all over the world! Tonight we found out one of our fellow Battalion sisters has to go home due to medical reasons :( we will miss her so much! But we have high hopes that she will be able to return to us in a few months.

Today is super rainy again. This week in my studies I was just thinking about how important and fundamental prayer, scripture study, and going to church are. They really set the foundation for us being able to more fully follow Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They help us be in the right mindset. I am so grateful for these tools that we have to help us become better disciples. I hope you all have a wonderful week and Christmas!! I'll talk to you in one week :) 

I love you all so much!!!

Sister Cassie Rasmussen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11th Letter

Dear Family,

First of all I want to give a shout out to Ric, Tami, Jorgen, Karsten, Cacia, Daven, Ayden and Soren. They all wrote me a letter this past week :) thank you so much! I will write you all back soon! Also happy birthday to Ric on Sunday!! I hope it was a very happy day for you! Here are the highlights...

Tuesday night we met with Keri and we also had a lesson with Da. My first night in San Diego I went out with the La Jolla sisters and I got to teach Da, so it was cool to be able to teach her again as her actual missionary! We did a demo with her that helps visualize why we have the gospel. It really helped click in her head and she loved the demo.

Wednesday we had to take one of the cars in the shop to get fixed so we did our studies while that was happening. After we had a district lunch which was good :) Then we had a lesson with a recent convert named Hugh. We talked about temples and are working with him to be able to receive his endowments. Next we had a lesson with William about his beliefs in the gospel and about keeping God's commandments because we felt like we needed to let him know that if he goes to Hawaii he will be breaking one of God's commandments which is obeying and honoring the law. At times it would click in his head, but then other times he would justify why he was going :( We had temple shift tonight. It was so pretty!! I love the lights. Hopefully I will show you pictures of that soon. I love the Christmas season.

Thursday we had zone meeting. We talked about getting over mental blocks. It was really good and truly inspired by our zone leaders. I am the only one who plays the piano in my zone . . . which is surprising to me so I think I will get good practicing this transfer. After we had another lesson with William and his mom and some of the elders. Keri had her baptismal interview tonight and she was so nervous! She is so cute. But she knows everything so she passed :)

Friday we met some potentials and invited them to the Christmas Sunday program. During the Christmas season at the mobat we have both of our theaters open and this awesome tree and we play the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert with David Archuleta and it makes us all so happy and in the Christmas Spirit. We had a lesson with a member about building the foundation of going to church, praying every day, and studying scriptures every day. He is getting married soon so we felt like it was a good thing to talk to him about so he can have that good foundation for his marriage. He also brought us delicious food!! 

Sister Page and Sister Rasmussen with Keri at her baptism
Saturday I took a HUGE tour and this guy passed out! It was really scary. Thankfully he was okay though. Next we had Keri's baptism!! It was SO wonderful! The Spirit was strong. I love her so much. She had to get baptized like 6 times because her foot kept popping up, haha but it was great. After she bore her testimony and it was so sweet about how the gospel has given her hope and made her really happy :) I got this really overwhelming feeling throughout that whole baptism of gratitude to be a missionary and represent Jesus Christ and invite others to come closer to Him. It's amazing. We had coordination after and then we ran to give a book to that guy we met last week who used to be mormon but now doesn't believe in God. We feel like we met him for a reason, and I just felt like I needed to give him 'Our Search for Happiness,' by Elder Ballard. Such a good book!!  Next we went to our ward Christmas party. We got to know some people in the ward better and we had two potentials come! 

Sunday the MoBat was pretty slow. I made a Christmas banner that tells of all our events going on. Sister Jarrett and Crawford helped as well. During sacrament meeting today we had a special Christmas music program. It was awesome! There are so many people in our ward that I had no idea they were so musical. Also we had a really cool miracle . . . yesterday we got a referral from the temple of a girl named Iris. We called Iris last night and invited her to church. She came!! We talked to her after and she had a great experience and we taught her about God and about prayer. She is from China and she said she doesn't believe in God yet, but she really wants to and she feels like He can help her with her life. We were like yes he can!! We invited her to pray and she did with us :) it was her first time! She said it was really cool and then she asked for a Book of Mormon :) we are meeting with her again this week! There was also a member who brought a friend and we got to meet her and get her information and she too wants to learn more. Wow! Miracles. Oh also Keri was confirmed today! It was so wonderful. We met with her after church to talk to her about her experience and she already wanted to pay tithing so we showed her how. She is so awesome! Next we met with a former at the temple. His name is Wenchao and he's from China. He is the most tender spirit I have met thus far on my mission! Oh my goodness. He said he knows God is real and that the Book of Mormon is true. We were like, why are you are former!? Haha we didn't really ask that but we wondered. Then we went to our stake Christmas concert and met some potentials who members in our ward brought. We also met this professor who is from Austria and was part of the Holocaust! He was an amazing man. 

Monday the MoBat was unusually slow . . . we practiced our song for the Christmas concert. We tried seeing a few potentials and then visited a less active. We went to the temple with our ward and some potentials and Wenchao came! The temple had a Christmas concert outside tonight. It was beautiful! 

Well that was my week! I love the Christmas season so much. Everyone is closer to the Spirit and I love that we all come together to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is my everything! I am reminded of that every day. 

I love you all so much!! And I hope you have a greeeeeaaattt week! 

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen

P.S. enjoy the VoiceMale concert!!!  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4th Letter

Dear Family,

It's December! What the, what!! I can't even believe it. First of all, I really hope to get ALL of your Christmas cards this year please :) and second of all, I was thinking the other day what you all were going to do without me this Christmas . . .  I mean I wrap all the presents, I help with shopping, I make you all go to the Voice Male concert, I deliver the secret gifts . . . geez, I really hope you get by! Haha just kidding :) I know you will! Okay here are the highlights . . . 

Wednesday we helped our new investigator moved and it ended up being awesome because we got 2 potentials out of it and we met a potential there who we've been trying to get a hold of!! We were definitely in the right place at the right time and we got to help our investigator move which she was very grateful for. I took a really cool tour today at the MoBat with this LDS guy who opened up to Sister Miller and me about his wayward kids and it was just so cool to have a gospel discussion with him about it. This guy brought us all really good rootbeer! So that was cool. Sister Pagel and I had a couple lessons at the MoBat since it was slower we had people come there. I also had a little bit of a rough day with a few things and it was cool because I've realized that a lot of times that Heavenly Father answers my prayers is through other people and at the end of this rough day I came across a talk that Dad had sent me the day before and I hadn't had a chance to read yet so I read it and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear at that moment. So thank you Dad for following the Spirit and sending that talk to me. 

Thursday we had training in the morning and Sister Seegmiller taught us how to be ladies . . . hahaha walk like ladies, sit like ladies, stand like ladies. It was super funny. We had district meeting today and it was about how we need to create a vision each transfer, so Sister Pagel and I created our vision for the La Jolla YSA ward. The Seegmiller's got Adobe products so that I could start helping with designing flyers and banners and things so they don't have to hire someone and so I started working on our Christmas flyers. It was so fun!! You all know I love that kind of stuff. We had a lesson with our investigator Keri. It was about the gospel and one of our members came and it was great! She opened up to us about her life and how she just wants to start over and she really feels like the gospel will allow her to do that. She is seriously so prepared! I played Christmas songs on the piano. Thankfully we have a piano here at the MoBat so I can go play when it's slower so I won't lose my piano skills. It was fun too because a lot of the sisters came around the piano and we all sang Christmas carols together :) I love Christmas!! 

Friday we had some school groups come in and Sis Pagel and I played the violin with them. Yup mom I played the violin! Haha I still remember somehow. We also taught them how to march so that was fun! Oh today was so cool because Elder Marcus B. Nash came to the site! He was in town for a stake conference and he knows Elder Seegmiller pretty well so he came through the tour and then we got to talk to him after for like an hour!! Oh my goodness . . . P.S. he gave a talk about faith in the past conference that was so good! He talked to us about how we are all representatives of Jesus Christ and how we must help people understand the atonement. He read 3 Nephi 11 with us and showed us this pattern that Christ followed and how we must follow that same pattern when we interact with people. It was such a cool experience! After MoBat we had coordination with our ward mission leader and then we got really lost to an appointment and then we did a blitz for some elders in our district. Everyone we met was SO nice, but just didn't want to change their lifestyles . . . it was super interesting. We also were trying to find this one house to visit this guy named Robert and we couldn't find the house, but we saw some people walking up the street so we decided to street contact them and as we were talking to them we figured out that it was Robert! So cool. 

Saturday we had MoBat and then we had a lesson with Keri at the temple. We talked about praying, reading the scriptures, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was funny because right before we started the lesson she started asking us questions about keeping the Sabbath day holy and we were like, that's perfect! We are talking to you about that today. She ask all the right questions and she just understands and accepts everything we teach. Next we had dinner with an investigator Chen. She is from China and she made us the most delicious food! We had a great talk about God and prayer. We got to see the temple tonight! It was the first night that they turned on all the Christmas lights and it looks so amazing!! Ahhhh, I love Christmas. 

Sunday the MoBat was pretty slow this morning, surprisingly. Church was wonderful today! Except we found out one of our investigators is moving to Hawaii and we don't know why. We are trying to convince him not to because technically he isn't supposed to leave because he is on probation. We had a lesson with Keri after about the ten commandments and following the prophet and obeying and honoring the law. Once again she asked great questions and understood why we have these commandments. Each time we teach her I am amazed with how prepared she is. Next we had a lesson with a recent convert. She is the cutest! She lives in the dorms at USD and it reminded me of my good ol' freshmen days, haha. We went to the Institute and had a lesson with a member and then watched the Christmas devotional. Ah, President Uchtdorf's talk?? So good! All of them were so good! It's crazy because last year I was at the devotional! Haha weird. Sister Pagel and I met our goal of teaching 20 lessons this past week! Woohoo!

Monday was kind of a weird day. MoBat was good except I felt pretty sick. I had a great chat with this guy who is Roman Catholic though and he said he loves Mormons because they are so nice! Haha. Then I took a couple on tour who is going to Disneyland on Thursday to meet up with their family and going until Saturday and then Sunday they are going on a Disney cruise the whole rest of the week! Fam, we should definitely put that in our plans. After MoBat we tried to go see a recent convert but he wasn't home. We got a phone call though from one of our investigator's mom's (she isn't a Mormon, but she loves that her son is trying to become one) anyway but she told us that her son spent a ridiculous amount of her money and she said that bipolar runs in their family and she thinks he has bipolar but that he won't go get checked for it and she is just at a loss with what to do, and now he is trying to run away from his problems . . .  it's so sad! We are meeting with her and her son and some elders later this week to try to figure it all out. I can totally see how he would have bipolar though. Next we went to Costco to have dinner with a member which was delicious! I love Costco . . .  Scary thing though was on the way there we almost got in an insane car accident. It was one of those moments where I saw my life flash before my eyes . . . this huge van should've smashed our car . . . but somehow it didn't. I know whole- heartedly that Heavenly Father's hand was in that moment last night and that He protected us, for that I am immensely grateful because it was scary! After dinner we had a lesson with Keri. Once again before we started she brought up questions about exactly what we were going to teach her! She is so excited for her baptism which is this Saturday! We are so excited for her :) Then we went to our ward's home evening to give the spiritual thought and then we stopped by a former's house but ended up talking to his roommate. It was a sad conversation because this guy used to be Mormon and served a mission and everything and now he says he doesn't even believe in God. He asked us if we could really believe what happened in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and we said yes and he told us we were childish. It was just sad! I felt so bad for him. We just testified of what we knew and left it at that. 

Today has been good! We are going on the trolley tour later so that should be fun! In my studies this week though I've been reading the Ensign with the October conference talks, and the prophets and apostles and general authorities know exactly what we need to hear and exactly what we need to be doing! I just love it so much. I love that Heavenly Father has given us these amazing leaders to help lead and guide us and help us to be happy. This gospel is so true! I felt that even more strongly as I talked to that guy last night who doesn't believe anymore. I just hate that Satan can get people that way. But I am deeply grateful for my unwavering testimony and for all of you who have helped it become that way.

I love you all so much!!

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen