Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 26th Letter

Dear Family,

Helloooooooo! From sunny San Diego :) Haha, just teasing. I am sorry if you are all freezing. This week was wonderful! Here are the updates . . . 

Tanya's Baptism
Tuesday we went to the temple! I love the temple :) Then after we played volleyball with our zone. It was fun! We had a pass off lesson tonight with Tanya. The UC 2nd ward got sisters so we had to pass her off. I love her! I am so glad that I got to teach her. Next we went and met our Vietnamese friend and gave him a Book of Mormon and talked to him about it. Next was a lesson with Raquel. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she loooooved it! She said it sounds too good to be true! But that she knows it's true. We invited her to be baptized and she said she wants to, but she is really scared to tell her parents because they are Jewish. She doesn't want to do it behind their back so she said she needs some time to get the courage to talk to her parents about it. She is awesome and I know that she'll get the courage to talk to them soon! We told her we would pray for her to have the courage and also that her parents hearts would be softened. 

Wednesday we had lunch with a member and it was delicious! We also weekly planned and then we had MoBat. One of Mom's temple friends came in with her daughter and her daughter's family. They were so adorable! I got to take them on tour so that was fun. 

Cassie with a MoBat visitor's bird
Thursday Sister Jarrett and I cleaned the courthouse during MoBat time. After we had a lesson with Cassandra about the Plan of Salvation. She is so sweet! She said she wants that for her and her daughter. Next we met with Jackie, who is a former, and her sister Rachel. Their parents got baptized a few years ago and are inactive now, which is super sad, but the girls said they both want to be a part of the Church They said they want to just start from scratch and learn it all again. Next, we had a dinner with a member and it was the funniest situation ever. When we got there she had this guy over to eat with us and he looked SOOOO familiar, but I couldn't figure out how and he was looking at me like I looked familiar and he asked if I knew someone who served in his mission with him, which I didn't. Then I asked him where he's from to try to figure out how I knew him and he said he's from San Diego so then I just thought maybe I'd seen him at the Battalion or something. Then he asked where I was from and I said Orem and he was like do you know the Stopas? And I was like Yeah! They are my cousins and he was like oh my goodness . . . we are cousins!! Haha, it was Scott Sadleir! So that was a fun to catch up and reminisce about our family reunions. 

Friday, HAPPY sweet sixteen to Karsten!!! I hope he had a great day! We studied and then had a lesson with Taylor about the temple and encourage her to get her recommend to go to baptisms. She's excited about it! Then we had district lunch and meeting. We had a lesson with Max about the Restoration and he said he thinks it's a nice story and we were like well do you think it could be true? And he was like definitely! So we invited him to pray and ask if it is true and then if it is . . . what that means for him. We had coordination with our ward mission leader and then MoBat  We took down the Witnesses of Christ art exhibit tonight :( The walls look so empty now! 

Saturday we had MoBat and then we were supposed to have a pass off lesson with the zone leaders but when we got there they said they found out that the guy had mental issues so they didn't want to pass him off to us. They did introduce us to this awesome kid named T though who is a less-active and can come to the YSA ward, so we had a lesson with him about the sacrament and he said he'd come to the YSA ward if we could get him a ride. Next we had a lesson with Alex who is preparing for a mission. Then we tried visiting James but he wasn't home, and then we had a lesson with the Ghanians. We don't quite know what to do with them anymore . . . they can't take that the Book of Mormon is also the word of God. They say the Bible is the only way and truth and they don't need another book. We are trying to figure out what we should do next or if we should stop seeing them for a little bit. 

Sunday morning was MoBat and it was pretty busy. David came in and watched the Joseph Smith movie. We had ward conference today and the bishop and the stake president both gave excellent talks on standing in holy places. The ward choir sang a musical number and Sister Riggs and I joined them. After church we had dinner with a member, Jason. He had invited his roommate named Gleb. Gleb is from Russia! He's 18 and plays tennis for Mesa College. We talked with him about God and prayer. He said he believes in God, but he doesn't really pray or anything. We invited him to read a talk and Jason said he is going to have us over for dinner again so we can follow-up with Gleb about the talk. Next we had MoBat again because we were covering for some sisters. We also had planned this ward activity called "Missionary Movie Night" our slogan, "You bring your friends, we'll bring M&M's." We thought it'd be a genius idea to have a movie night and show the Testaments or Joseph Smith movie and then people could bring their friends and it'd be super non-threatening and then after we could have an open Q&A. Genius idea right?? Yeah well not so much. Only ONE person came . . .  and it was a member . . . bahaha. We ended up having a really cool lesson with him though, so I guess that made up for it. We'll try again. Hopefully our ward will try harder next time.
Jessica's Baptism

Monday we tried visiting a less-active but she wasn't home and then we had a lesson with a member. Her name is Julie and she lives in the cutest apartment! Next a member, Jared, took us to lunch at Casa de Guadalajara! It was so delicious!! I love Mexican food. Next we had a lesson with David reviewing the plan of salvation with emphasis on the atonement. David is just so in tune with the Spirit and has such a sincere heart to do what's right! It's awesome. We watched the Mormon message, "My Burden Was Made Light." You should watch it. It's all about the atonement and forgiveness and it's just so good. Makes me almost cry every time. Next was MoBat. Another one of Mom's temple friends came in! Haha, it was fun I got to take her on tour too and she was also so sweet. 

Basically it was a great week! I am just grateful for this opportunity that I have to be a missionary and for what I am learning each day and for how Heavenly Father is making me stretch and grow. This week I was studying about trust. How important it is to trust in the Lord. He knows what's best. He'll never leave us alone. He knows our hearts. He loves us. I really really really love this gospel. 

And I love all of you!! 

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19th Letter

Dear Family,

It has been a super week! Here are the highlights . . .

Tuesday after email we went and hiked Cowles Mountain with our zone and it was AMAZING!! Bah. Best preparation day ever. First of all, hiking in California is not hiking, haha, it is more like walking up a hill, but it was still way fun! Oh, we also ate at Firehouse Sub!! Yum. This night we had a lesson with Raquel who had showed up to church on Sunday. We taught her the Restoration and it was a great lesson! She has a Jewish background though so she said the ultimate thing she wants to figure out is if Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. She also said it's going to be hard for her that if she does find out that this is true, to realize that everything she has been taught growing up is wrong . . .  It was sad! But she is really excited about learning and says she just feels peace and comfort when she reads the Book of Mormon. We then had a lesson with Tanya. She said she is so happy now :) Sister Pagel and I ate some ice cream for our goodbye party. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be companions with her and become great friends with her. I have learned so much with her! And I love her a lot.

Wednesday was transfers! Sister Riggs and I are together in La Jolla! I am excited :) We had temple today and it was pretty chilly. Also at one point this family got out of their car and started walking towards us and they looked super familiar and then when they got closer, the daughter had a missionary tag on and it said Sister Jesperson . . .  haha, I was like wait I think we are related?? It was Thad & Sydney Jesperson! And two of their kids. It was fun to run into them! Their daughter had just gotten home from her mission. We took a picture together. We had a cool experience with this guy named Bryan who has been super less active for a while and wants to come back to church and he came to the temple because he really wanted to see it. We had a cool talk with him about the atonement and then he asked us to pray with him so we did. After we had car trouble so we were trying to figure that all out and then we stopped by our Relief Society activity.

Thursday was Valentine's Day!! Happy Valentine's Day everybody!! One year ago today I got my mission call! So crazy. That was such an AWESOME day. We studied and then had district meeting and then weekly planned. We have two more sisters in our district now so that's fun. We had a lesson with David about enduring to the end. He is so awesome.

Friday we had MTE's. We talked about simplifying and intensifying. Making it so we can teach the lessons in 3-5 min and how much that would help for door contacts or street contacts. President also talked about how we should use Joseph Smith history when we teach because his own words are so powerful. Sister Miller was our coach today. She is an incredible missionary! Bah. I have a lot to work on, haha. It was so great to be able to learn from her today. We had temple and I got to see some of my Chula people! After we had a lesson with Tanya about missionary work and invited her to write her testimony in a Book of Mormon and share it with someone :) She is so good at keeping her commitments and she just glows now! She said her mom is coming and making her papoosas (?) and I don't know how to spell it haha but she invited us over for some! Unfortunately we could not, but she said she would save us some. Next we taught Taylor and she is so sweet. Next we went to the Ghanas and it was a cool experience. We wanted them to come to the Battalion to watch The Testaments, but they wouldn't come! It was cool though because our member April started talking to Basil (one of the preachers) and then Sister Riggs started talking to William (the other preacher) and then Sister Miller and I were able to talk to Andrew, Bright, and Pizaro (the open ones!) They actually listened and I could tell the Spirit was touching and softening their hearts. They actually accepted to read the introduction of the Book of Mormon and they commited to coming to the Battalion on Sunday!! Ahhh. It was REALLY cool. We also were able to figure out Andrew's concern which is that he feels like America has to have their version of everything so this is their version of religion. We testified of how God prepared America for this purpose but that this is for everyone all over the world. We also helped this great guy named Gary to carry in his grocery and testified of the Book of Mormon because he said he has a Mormon friend who gave him the book and we invited him to read and asked if missionaries could come visit and he said yes! It was a sweet day with Sister Miller.

Saturday we finished MTE's and talked about extending invitations and keeping commitments. After we had coordination at the temple and there were tons of weddings! We had MoBat and today MoBat was an intense day! My very first tour at the end when I was taking pictures of everyone, I took a picture of this couple and they started asking me questions. They were born- again Christians but then they went off about how they saw this archaeological documentary made by some BYU graduates who are Mormon who wanted to discover proof for the Book of Mormon and that they weren't able to find any proof . . . I seriously tried everything with them . . . analogies, testifying, simplifying and intensifying the Restoration, using the Joseph Smith history, asking inspired questions . . . haha, but they were so adamant and stuck on this video. Anything I said they would try to twist what I said and then they said they knew the Bible really well but when I would ask them about certain scriptures . . . they had no idea what I was talking about. They told me that faith can't just be feelings, that you have to have some proof as well otherwise you are a fool and being led away by Satan. They also told me that they are just messengers and that I can choose to accept or reject their message . . . haha, I was like "Wait, who is the missionary here?" But it was a super interesting and cool experience. We exchanged emails and I invited them to read the Book of Mormon and they invited me to pray and ask God if I know this is true. We talked for like an hour. After I was like dang, I should've said this and I should've said that . . . but throughout the whole experience I just had this amazing feeling of truth. I KNOW all of this is true, no doubt in my mind. Nothing they said could make me doubt because I know it's true, because I can't deny the feelings I've had and do have and because I have experienced the gospel. When I knelt down to pray that night I told Heavenly Father that I told them I would ask if it was all true again so that I was asking, but that I already knew it and then he confirmed to me again that it is nothing but TRUTH. I LOVE this gospel.

Sunday MoBat was pretty busy because of President's Day weekend. We had to go to ward choir practice and then church was great! David blessed the sacrament for the first time. We had a lesson with Keri after and I love her so much. Next we had dinner with a bunch of the members and it was delicious and great and then we went to the Ghanas. And guess what?!? They actually came!!! Well just Pizaro and Andrew, but at least those two came! We watched The Testaments and bore our testimonies after and then Andrew said the prayer and he asked Heavenly Father to help them know if this is true and to keep their minds open to new possibilities. It was SO COOL!! And then they set another appointment which is a big deal :)

Monday the MoBat was busy again and then we just went out to find people!! We were able to add two new investigators and set up an appointment with a potential and to get a referral for some of the elders! It was an awesome night! We also had a lesson with David about the priesthood.

It was a really great week! I am constantly grateful for this experience that I am able to have. I have learned so much since I've come on my mission and I am excited for what I have yet to learn :) I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12th Letter

Dear Family,

Transfers . . . what the!? Time just flies by . . . Our verdict is that Sister Pagel is leaving and Sister Riggs and I are staying in La Jolla together. We'll see exactly what happens tomorrow morning. Here are the highlights..

Tuesday we played sports with our zone and then we had a lesson with Tanya. She was at Disneyland this past weekend and brought us some Mickey lollipops. So nice of her! She is really excited for her baptism. Next we had a lesson with James and he seemed in higher spirits and said he would come to church on Sunday. We had a lesson with Patrick after and he is wanting the desire to come back to church, so we are excited for that improvement. David told us that he went to the temple this morning and did baptisms!! Haha, he is so awesome.

Wednesday we have zone meeting which was good! It was a great reminder to really know Preach My Gospel. I am so grateful for PMG. We had a lesson with Taylor and talked with her about enduring to the end and invited her to make a promise to herself about it. MoBat was good! I met this guy named Brother Whittaker who knows Dad!

Thursday we had training and it was wonderful. We talked and practiced our initial contact with people when they come and then shortly after I met this guy named Dan who drives tour buses from Canada and I was able to apply what we practiced and it was so cool! He knows some Mormons and he was just so awesome! I invited him to read the Book of Mormon. It was just a really cool conversation. We met with Tanya after. We taught her the last of the commandments and then she had her interview and she passed :) Next we met with Brandon and then we stopped by a potential and she sadly didn't want to learn more so we left her our info and some things to read just in case she changes her mind. 

Friday happy birthday to Adam!! We had studies and then went to the chiropractor. He is helping me so much! We had temple today and it was freezing! I met this family from Orem . . . last name, Preston! The guy knew Adam and Matt and the daughter knew Abby! I took a picture with him and he sent it to Adam I think. We had coordination and then a lesson with David about eternal marriage and temples. We invited him to read the Family Proclamation. I love the Family Proclamation! Next we met with Stanley and talked to him about the importance of the sacrament. He said he'd come to church this Sunday. He hasn't been for a while. Next we had a lesson with a potential and we added him! His name is Max. After we had a lesson with Daniel. He is warming up to us! 

Saturday was AWESOME! It was Tanya's baptism and that was wonderful. She was so happy and her roommates came to support her and said that she had been so excited for this day. It was very short and sweet. One of the people giving the talks didn't show up and so they asked David to speak about baptism and he did awesome! Right on the spot. After we had choir practice for the mission president fireside and then I went on exchanges to Chula Vista! Because guess what?!?! Brandon's mom, Jessica, got baptized!!!! And Brandon baptized her. It was SO cool!! Sister Davies, Mulipola, and I sang at the baptism (P.S. Mom that video you got from Sister Dibelka was meant to be of us singing but she accidentally sent the wrong one, haha) but it was such a sweet experience! We had dinner with them after and then we went and taught the Cruz family. It was cool to be back in Chula :) but it also made me realized that my heart is in La Jolla now! Haha, I think Heavenly Father just is so nice to allow us to be able to love wherever we are and know that it is the right place for us. 

Sunday MoBat was pretty busy. We went to Tanya's confirmation and then went to our ward. David passed the sacrament for the first time! Church was really great. This girl named Racquel came. She isn't a member but her boyfriend is and goes to BYU so we set up a time to meet with her this next week. After church we had dinner with a member, Brittany. I love her! She is so funny and the food was delicious. Next we went to the mission president fireside which was so good as always! David came and we asked if he would speak at the next one and he said yes :) Sis Riggs and an Elder (Elder Dehlin) sang a duet that was so good! 

Monday we had a lesson with Stanley about setting goals and making Heavenly Father apart of the goals and then we tried contacting a few people and then had a lesson with David about service. Sister Pagel and I took our last tour as companions :( haha we can still take tours together, but we won't be companions so it won't be the same. 

Sorry if this is scattered . . .  Phone call day is always CRAZY!! Lots of distractions haha. I am doing great though! Love being a missionary, love every opportunity to learn and grow! I hope you are all doing well and that you have a great week. I love you so much!!!

Sister Cassie Rasmussen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5th Letter

Dear Family,

First of all, part of the area I serve in right now (Pacific Beach) is actually where Mom, Dad & I stayed for one of the Ashton trips in 2007. It has always looked familiar to me and yesterday we actually drove by the place we stayed at and then everything came back to me and I remembered the IHOP we went to and the path we walked to the beach! Haha so that was cool. Here are the highlights . . .

Wednesday, happy birthday to Jorgen!! I can't believe he is 18. And happy anniversary mom and dad! I love you! At the mobat today, Sis Pagel and I gave an awesome Mandarin tour and 5 of them referrred! They were straight from China. The Chinese are so humble. We also had some 4th graders and Sis Pagel and I played the violin for them and marched with them. We had a lesson with Tanya after and she is still progressing so well. Next we helped our zone leaders, Elders Kirchhoefer & Poulson. They had these three sisters who were going to get baptized but because of female reasons they didn't know if they could and they just wanted to talk to some girls, haha so we helped them out. It was interesting though because when we arrived the elders were just going to introduce us and then leave, but the girls started telling the elders how they didn't even want to get baptized anymore . . . it was kind of an awkward situation, haha, but we told the elders we could handle it and we'd figure out what was going on. The sisters were so cute! They told us their concerns and we had a great talk with them about the feelings they've felt from the Spirit and why God wants us to be baptized. We sang them "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" and by the end they were so happy and excited. It was really cool! They just needed some girl talk, haha. The elders called us after and were freaking out, and then they were so happy and kept saying they owe us big time, haha. We had a lesson with a less-active and then we went to dinner with some members at CoCo's. It was fun and delicious! We had a short lesson with David.

Thursday we had district meeting. Oh, MoBat was intense this day! Some guy was running away from the cops and ran through the Battalion and so there were like 8 cops searching all around the Battalion and we had to stop our tours so they could search it. It was nuts! David came to the Battalion and we had a lesson with him and then while he was waiting for his baptismal interview we played a Mormon message called, "Lessons I Learned" After I asked him if he liked it and he said no because it made him cry, haha it was funny. Then we had him watch God's Plan and after he was crying again so we talked about how he felt and about the video and he told us that his friends' baby just recently died and that he knows that they will be able to see their baby again. It was so tender! He had his interview and passed :) For the law of chastity invitation we had him write a promise to his future wife and today he showed us and it was adorable. I will take a picture of it and send it sometime. It's too long to type right now, haha but it was so awesome! David is just awesome.

Friday MoBat was pretty slow. We had a lesson with David after and all just bore our testimonies about the gospel and being baptized and then he bore his testimony. Next we had a lesson with our Ghana friends. Two of them kept saying they won't accept anything but the Bible . . . they literally won't even open up the Book of Mormon and read the title page . . . it's a difficult situation.

Saturday was David's baptism!!! It was so wonderful. A lot of people came :) The talks were so good and Sister Riggs sang I am a Child of God and sang a part of it in Chinese. It was really pretty. At the end he bore his testimony and it was so sweet and sincere. He said after he was baptized he just sat in the locker room for a second and felt the Spirit tell him that this is right. I feel so honored and grateful for the opportunity I have had to get to know David and to teach him and help him along his path to coming closer to Jesus Christ.
David and Sister Rasmussen on the day of his baptism 

Sunday David received the Holy Ghost and the priesthood! He even got his own nice set of scriptures and he was so excited about it. Oh and he fasted and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. So SOLID!! We met with Keri and then James, both recent converts. We went and talked to our Ghana friends about faith and we tried to set up a time that they could come to the Battalion to watch the Testaments. We think that could help.

Monday we ran to the mission office and then tried contacting some less actives and then had district lunch! The thing I love about being in public places is that you always know when people members because they say hi to us :) haha .We had a lesson with David about the priesthood and missionary work. He wants to go on a mission! Oh and he did baptisms at the temple this morning!! Seriously, unreal. MoBat was great!! I met a senior couple serving here in San Diego named the Kramers . . . they are from Orem!!

Well, this is the last week of transfers . . . I can't believe it! I have a feeling things are going to be shanken up a bit this next transfer. We shall see though :) In my study this week I read a lot of talks from the amazing compilation that Eden made me. And one of the talks that really hit the spot was "Becoming a Disciple" by Elder Maxwell. I'll just share a couple of my favorite parts . . . "The more we become like Jesus, the more we come to know Him." "God will not withhold from us certain growing experiences that He, in His infinite wisdom, allows us to undergo for our eternal benefit. His timetable, if followed, prepares us incrementally for the journey of discipleship and for going home." "the cross of discipleship must be taken up daily." "One of the dangers we face in discipleship is drifting . . . not that we become necessarily wicked, but rather that those who drift merely exist and are not truly alive in Christ." "God is in the details of our lives." Ahhh, I just love it. He really is in the details--every little one! We are working on becoming alive in Christ and to do that we must do and become . . . not just sit and stew. This gospel is the truth!

I love you all so much! And I hope you have a wonderful week :)

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen