Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26th Letter

Dear Family,

Hellooooo! I hope you all had a super duper week! Here are the highlights from mine . . .

Tuesday night we had a lesson with Jackie & Rachell. They both talked about how even among finals and midterms they found themselves not being able to put the Book of Mormon down. So cool! They are both starting to apply everything they are learning and to recognize the Spirit. It's so cool! We had a new sister stay with us tonight. She's 19! 

Wednesday was transfers and my 9-month mark . . . I just can't even believe that. We didn't have a transfer meeting this morning though because no one at the Battalion changed areas or companions! Except Sister Brown and Sister Patterson went out full proselyting so they went to the other transfer meeting. We will miss them! We studied and then weekly planned and then got a California burrito to celebrate our 9 months. We had district meeting. Our district is now 2 elders and 5 sisters, haha weird! Our district leaders said he feels more like a Relief Society president. It was a great district meeting though! Elder Sims talked about how we need to be accountable to the Lord and how we should think about if we had to go home tomorrow, would we feel like we became who He needed us to be and served Him the best we could? There is definitely a lot I need to work on. We had a lesson with Arthur about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then we had a lesson with Patrick about God's plan for him and invited him to make Patrick's plan. He just is having a really hard time with tunnel vision right now. Next we met with Raquel and we began by telling her we just wanted to do a little review with her and we went over the baptismal interview questions with her and she answered everything perfectly. Probably the coolest part was that she said she now has a testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. When we began teaching her she said that was something she wasn't sure about, but now she knows! Ahh, yay! We talked to her about talking to her parents. She said she needs more courage, and that this is what she wants, but she is really scared to tell her dad. We told her we'd keep praying for her to have the courage and for her dad's heart to be softened. We had dinner with Keri at La Pinata. She received her patriarchal blessing!! She said it was such a neat experience and there were things said that she is really excited about. 

Thursday we had MoBat. It was pretty busy! Arthur came and took a tour and then he watched the Joseph Smith movie and we talked to him about prophets. We updated records and then had dinner and a lesson with Jackie & Rachell before they headed home for spring break. We taught the Word of Wisdom which was an interesting lesson with them. They both have a different issue with it, but we just bore testimony of the importance of it and invited them to pray about it and to live it and see if it will make a difference. Next we had coordination and then a lesson with David. He is still awesome! 

Friday we had zone conference! Zone conference is so good. President talked about how we must utilize the Book of Mormon because it is the key. The assistants talked about having specific actions for our members. We also talked about creating a vision for ourselves, our area, and our investigators. For part of zone conference we split up into elders and sisters and got a talk about locking our hearts :) haha the mission president is just a little worried now that elders and sisters will be basically the same age, so he just wanted to give us a little reminder. At the end of any group meeting we have, the missionaries who will be leaving that transfer bear their testimonies. They were all super good and sweet, but one elder's testimony stood out to me particularly and actually was an answer to my prayers. I just think it's cool how Heavenly Father can answer our prayers through other people, we just have to be ready and open to receive it! We had MoBat after and I took the most adorable family on tour. 

Saturday we studied and then we found out we had a full day because the temple is closed for cleaning. We had a lesson with Arthur and read with him from the Book of Mormon to try to help him see how it can relate to his life. He said when he reads it he feels different. We told him that's the Spirit testifying that it's true! We had a lesson with Taylor about her baptism and she said it was really hard at first because her family was against it, but she was grateful that they have come around. We immediately thought of how she needs to come to our next lesson with Raquel! Carli, a member in our ward, got her mission call! She is going to the Chicago, Illinois West mission, Spanish speaking! Apparently they just barely created the West mission. She leaves May 29. We are so excited for her! We had lunch and then tried to visit some less-actives. We met these two guys on the street and they are from Idaho and they were both super nice! We told them they should try being Mormon, they said they are happy with their religion, but maybe they would think about it, ha. We tried visiting some more less-actives but no one was home. We tried Kelsey again and ended up talking to her roommate Jack for like an hour. He is quite the character and has some very interesting views. He doesn't believe in God and thinks we are just here for this time and that we should make the best of it. He said he doesn't believe in living off of faith, that there has to be proof. It makes me so sad when people think that we are just here and we don't have any particular purpose and we aren't working towards anything. Hopefully we were able to soften his heart a little. We had dinner and then went to see the Ghanas. When we got out of the car this guy started talking to us. His name is Casmier. He's 25 and lives with his sister and her family. He said he's looking for something in his life so we did how to begin teaching and invited him to church and added him! We also taught just a little about the Restoration. We talked with Bright and Pizarro. They said they both want to learn more.

Sunday morning MoBat was pretty busy. I took two awesome families on tour. Church was great! Tyler and Caroline gave awesome talks about fellowshipping. Casmier didn't make it to church :( We had a meeting with the bishop and the ward missionaries and friendshipping committee. Bishop told us his vision which I am excited about! He wants there to be smoother transitions between the missionaries and these committees and to get more people involved. We talked to people after church to set up appointments. We tried stopping by Kelsey's. Someone was home, but they wouldn't answer the door. They kept looking through the peep hole. We tried calling her and she would answer and hang up. We just texted her and said we aren't sure why she won't respond to us anymore, but that we love her and we are here for her when she needs us. We had dinner with Matt, Cy, David, and Lindsay. It was delicious! 

Monday we had MoBat this morning. I had a stressful tour because it was people from the school board coming to see if they want to allow the 4th graders to come as a field trip and we've been trying to get them to come for a long time and I just got lucky enough to take the tour! Ha, it went well though. After we had a lesson with Arthur about the ten commandments and keeping the Sabbath day holy. We figured out some of his concerns so that was good. Next we went to Pierre's. His friend was there who isn't a member and is agnostic so we ended up gearing our lesson towards him. He said he'd come to church sometime, but that we shouldn't get our hopes up because he too believes that this life is it . . . there's nothing after it :( so sad! Hopefully he can have an awesome experience at church though. Next we went to Casmier's with Ricky to see if we could get him to come to FHE and we were successful! There was a good turn out at FHE (they always do it combined . . . they don't have groups or anything). Everyone was super nice and welcoming to Casmier. We had a lesson with him after and he said he was super nervous to come, but that he felt a super good vibe from everyone and he really liked it. We taught him the Restoration and he was excited about it! He prayed for the first time and it was awesome. He texted us after and said that reading the Book of Mormon is his top priority now! I love miracles. 

I had a lot of good scripture study this week. Alma 37 is one of my new favorite chapters and Helaman 10. Ah such good stuff everywhere! Heavenly Father loves us a lot to give us these amazing tools. Also Satan is a jerk. It occurs to me even more on my mission how it really is in the littlest ways that Satan tries to get us. That's why it's so important to do the small and simple things like praying, studying the scriptures, and serving someone every day! Those will give us the solid rock foundation that we need. The gospel is true :)

I love you all so much! HAPPY EASTER!!!

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19th Letter

Dear Family,

Who loses a parrot? That has got to be hard. 
Today is phone call day! Tomorrow is transfers! The verdict is . . .  I am staying in La Jolla with Sister Riggs :) YAY!! I am not ready to leave La Jolla yet and I was really nervous that I was going to leave, but now I am not and I am so happy! Also this will be my longest area and my longest companion! I hope you had a great week! Here are the highlights from mine . . .

Tuesday night we had a lesson with Raquel about the Word of Wisdom. She said she already lives it so that's awesome! Next we went to visit a less-active that the bishop had asked us to visit as soon as we could and we got a little lost on the way. At one point we were on this street that wasn't a busy street at all and it was super dark so we couldn't really see the signs so we like stopped in the middle of the road to try to read the sign and then a car was coming so we started going and then like two seconds later a cop turned his lights on and pulled us over!! We were like what the . . . and then the minute he approached the window he just started laughing and he was like "Oh, sorry, girls, I thought you were some gangsters." hahahah. He then saw our name tags and asked what that was for and then directed us to where we needed to be, haha, it was funny. We met this less-active named Kelsey though. She left the church when she was 17 because her brother was going down the wrong path and she said everyone in her ward and family just judged him and were rude to him and she decided she didn't want to be affiliated with that and so she left. She has tattoos all over now and she smelled like alcohol. It was really sad :( We actually ended up having a really great conversation with her though. She has a bad relationship with her father and she said that plays part in why she doesn't want to come back to church, but after we talked with her she said she felt a lot of hope and would like to meet with us regularly to try to straighten out her life. It will be a slow and hard process for her, but it will be worth it! Oh-so- worth it. 

With the zone
Wednesday I had some great studies about the atonement. I just can't even comprehend everything about it, but I am so deeply grateful for it. If any of you haven't read "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox, you must read it! I know I've said that before, but it is such a good talk. We tried visiting people in Pacific Beach and then we had lunch with Rodney and Keri at Chipotle. It was delicious! MoBat was next. I took a returned missionary on tour and he said Uncle John and Aunt Diana were his mission presidents! He had lots of good things to say about them. 

Thursday was Charlie's birthday! Happy birthday, Charlie!  We had training and played this game about some of the rules we need to remember about the Battalion. We had temple today and it was a pretty day! I definitely got some sun. We talked to this one lady named Tracie forever. She is super religious and was drawn to the temple, but then it was weird because she said our religion isn't true because we have temples and Jesus Christ did away with temples when he came to the earth, so we tried to ask why she was drawn to the temple then and if she felt a peace while there and she said yes, ha, but she couldn't see how that correlated. We had a lesson with Raquel after and Carli came. Carli is getting her mission call this next week! We are so excited for her. Raquel also texted us after the lesson and told us she is really grateful that she gets to meet with us :) that made us happy. We had a lesson with Stanley after. We haven't seen him for a while. We taught about the power of the word of God which is actually an article in this month's Ensign and it is really good! We had dinner at the Institute and then had a lesson with Han. Han is great! We are going to have to take things real slow with him though because he is still learning English. We taught him how to pray. Next we had a lesson with a referral from the zone leaders. They just street contacted him a couple days ago so we went and stopped by. His name is Arthur and he is awesome! He is super open and we were able to teach him the Restoration and add him.

Sister Rasmussen and Sister Riggs with some of the Ghanians
Friday we had a full day! (When I say full day I mean full proselyting, no MoBat or temple.) We had district meeting and talked about goals. I love my district! We had district lunch after. Then we had a lesson with Jackie & Rachell about the reading, praying, obedience, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. The Sabbath-day-holy part was a little struggle, ha, but we promised them they would receive blessings for doing it and challenged them to just try. We were walking down the hall and we heard a cello playing and it was super pretty so Sis Riggs wanted to knock on their door so we did! It was this cute girl named Emily and we talked to her for a minute. She didn't want to learn more unfortunately, but it was a cool way to contact! We weekly planned and then went to Soup Plantation with David for dinner. It was delicious! I love that place. David is so nice to us. Next we went to the Ghanas to follow up with them on the fireside. They said they really enjoyed it and that they were impressed with it. Andrew even said he admires our persistence, but then he said he won't believe what we do in 100 years :( We had to drop them because they won't even try anything we ask them to do. It was super sad :( we didn't want to have to do it, because they are all such good and faithful people, but they are stuck in their ways. Someday I hope they will experiment upon the word. 

Saturday we went to El Cajon for a baptism of someone Sister Riggs used to teach. We had MoBat and it was super busy and then we had dinner with Brittany. I love her! She is leaving our ward soon :( but she is always so nice and makes sure we get fed. It was delicious. Next we had coordination with Ricky because Matt couldn't make it this week. Then we had a lesson with Arthur and he even brought a friend! We taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation, up to the Atonement. We really emphasized hope and they said they both needed that. Arthur said he'd come to church tomorrow and his friend said he'd even try as well! 

Sunday, happy St. Patrick's day! MoBat was good. Church was great! Arthur, Jackie, and Rachell all came! Also the zone leaders recent convert, Linda came and she really hit it off with Taylor and she loved the ward and is going to come to it now. Rachell pulled us aside at church and told us that she had an experience with the Spirit that she's never had before. When we talked about the Holy Ghost in one of our lessons I had told her the story about after I found out Chase had passed away how I went on top of the houseboat and prayed and I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort and how it felt like someone was hugging me. Well she said that her boyfriend broke up with her on Saturday and she was super sad and she found this article on lds.org about heart break and how Heavenly Father loves us know matter what and she said as she read the article she felt the feelings I had described and it was as if someone was hugging her! She was just glowing as she told us the story and it was SO cool. I love the Spirit! We had dinner with Jason and it was great and then we had a lesson with Raquel about tithing and talked to her about talking to her dad. She is going to Utah this next week to visit her boyfriend who is at BYU. 

Sister Riggs and Sister Rasmussen on the USS Midway
Monday we had a lesson with Taylor and then a lesson with Arthur. We invited Arthur to be baptized at the end of the month and he said yes! He said his life was feeling very dark until he met the missionaries. So sweet. Next was MoBat. I met this awesome girl named Lauren who has been a member for 3 years and she married a guy from Egypt and she does roller derby! She said she is going to bring her husband back to do the tour. I also took this kid on tour who got his mission call to Paris, France, Spanish speaking! What the!? And it also said he will study French as well. So awesome! 

Well, that was my week. I learned this week that Satan is pretty rotten. But I also l learned how incredibly amazing the Savior is. We are preparing and practicing for Heaven while we are here. We are to be transformed through His Atonement. Change is a process, but we must love that process because it helps us become like Him. 

Well I love you all A LOT! I hope that you have a great week :)

Sister Cassie Rasmussen

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 12th Letter

Dear Family,

Hello!! I hope that you all had a wonderful week. Here are some highlights . . . 

Wednesday we had MoBat and then ran a couple errands and then had a meeting with our ward mission leader so he could fill us in on a meeting with the bishop. After we contacted a less-active, Carlene. She is super funny and nice! It's sad though because she grew up in the church but has been less active for a while now, and she's not sure she wants to come back. She said she tried one time but it was just too much. She loves drinking and she said she's not willing to give that up yet, but that she would try to come to church. She is just confused and trying to figure out what she believes. We had a lesson with David after and he is still amazing! He told us he wants to serve a mission in one year!!! His original plan was to wait until he finished school in 3 years, but now he's going to go as soon as his time of being a member for one year is up. So COOL!!! Next we had a lesson with Raquel and she brought her friend Jessica. We had Carli and David there and we talked about the ten commandments and following the prophet. 

Thursday we had training and President came to talk to us about everything that's going on right now with Battalion now, just how our script has changed and such. He talked about our purpose as Battalion sisters and how we should be happy and grateful for this unique opportunity. We had zone meeting after and it was really good as always. My zone leaders are the bomb! And my zone rocks too. We weekly planned and then had MoBat. Two of the elders here (Elder Long & Cox) have this investigator who really wanted to get baptized back in December but he couldn't because of some things he did and so he went and turned himself in and he's been in prison and he got out of prison today and came to the Battalion to surprise him and it was such a sweet thing to witness!! He is getting baptized in a week :) I LOVE how the gospel changes lives. Also Mark Lusvardi, Steve Allen, and Brent Roberts came in today! They all told me how wonderful Rus is. 

Friday we had MoBat and then a lesson with Jackie & Rachel about the gospel and invited them to be baptized! They said yes and they are going to pray about a date. Then we had a lesson with Taylor. She is just so cute and sweet all the time. We had coordination and then a lesson with the Ghanas. It was going great until the two preachers, William and Basil, stepped in and just started bashing and twisting everything we said.

Saturday our garage flooded! Crazy. And our hot water heater broke, haha, it was a cold shower! We had studies and then lunch with Wilson. He is funny! We then had choir practice for the fireside. 

Sunday daylight savings! The one I don't like. Haha, I was soooo tired. MoBat was good except at the very end Rachell texted us and said that she sent us a confidential email and she would like us to read it before we went to church. She and Jackie got in a huge fight :( We went to church and you could just feel the tension between them. The theme of sacrament just happened to be the atonement and forgiveness though so that was good! Sister Riggs gave an awesome talk. After church we ate a yummy steak dinner with Jared and Ali. Next was the mission president's fireside! I love these firesides so much! Raquel was supposed to come but she missed her train :( but guess who did come?? Two of the Ghanas!! Hanifa and Andrew. We actually got them to come! Oh, and guess what the overall theme of the fireside ended up being and we had no idea? The Book of Mormon! Bahaha. We were like uhhh, well, I guess that's what they need! After we asked what they thought and they said it was very good and worth their time and they wanted to meet with us again :) so that was good news! We hope it softened their hearts even more. David Yang spoke! They always have testimonies of recent converts and their conversion story and he did so amazing! The whole time he was talking we were like he is unreal! He quoted prophets! And one of the last things he said was "I am excited that for the rest of my life I get to proclaim this great message to others!" Future stake president or area authority in China? I think yes!! Sister Riggs also sang with this elder from New Zealand and they did awesome! After the fireside I saw some Sadleir cousins! That was fun. 

Monday we had MoBat in the morning. Rachell came in to talk with us alone. She is just having a really hard time right now with Jackie and school and just everything and she feels really alone. We had a great lesson with her and then asked her if she wanted a blessing and she said yes, so Elder Affleck gave her a blessing. She said that as soon as he put his hands on her head that she just felt really calm. So cool!! She said she is going to read and pray every day and that she really wants to know if this is true. She is so sweet. I took this girl on tour and she said her friend just got her mission call to the Battalion but get this . . . Mandarin speaking!!!!! Bah. We are all so excited! We've been wanting Mandarin speakers so bad. I am going to tell President that I'll train her! Haha, I want to learn Mandarin! After MoBat we had a lesson with Taylor and then a lesson with Patrick. After our lesson with Patrick, he texted us and told us thank you and that the Holy Ghost worked on him after we left and he is going to try harder . . . yaya!! Oh, the Moore's (from Dad's ward) dad came to the MoBat! It was fun to talk with him. After we went to this fhe fireside/activity that the BYU Folk Dance team was doing for the YSA wards in this region. Raquel came to it! But also guess who I saw there?? Nate!! Our cousin Nate. It was so fun to see him and to catch up. 

Well that was my week! I learned this week that I can't be a missionary without the Lord. The story of Abinadi and Mosiah 23:10 really stood out to me this week. People wouldn't listen to Abinadi, but not matter what, he was confident and firm in his message and his testimony and in his service to the Lord. And Mosiah 23:10 just because it made me really grateful for the opportunity that I have to be an instrument in the Lord's hand. He can do His work regardless of what I do and what others do, but how much more joy will I have if I choose and allow Him to use me as that instrument. Wow, I don't know if that made sense, but mostly I am just trying to say I am grateful to be a missionary and for this time I have to let Him shape me into who He needs me to be. I think I might say that a lot, but it's the truth :)

Well I LOVE you all!! I hope you have a splendid week :)

Cassie Chea Rasmussen

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 5th Letter

Dear Family,

What a week! Here are the highlights . . . 

Tuesday night we had a lesson with James about the spirit and then a lesson with Raquel about fasting. We found the perfect fellow shipper for her. We invited her to have a special fast for her and her family--that she can have the courage to talk to her family and that her family's hearts will be softened. We told her we would join in the fast as well. 

Wednesday we have MoBat and it was pretty slow. We had a lesson with Taylor. She is so sweet! She is having a hard time feeling like she fits in at her school. We had a great long talk with her and invited her to fast this weekend. We also got a parking ticket! Boo . . .  but thankfully we were able to get it appealed :) Next we had dinner at La Pinata with Keri and her mom. It was delicious! Her mom is not a member so we had a great talk with her and Keri was testifying and it was awesome. Then we had a lesson with Patrick. He is really struggling right now with seeing the point of being active. He said it's hard because he feels like he has no support. We had a really great talk with him though and he said he won't give up.

Cassie and Sister Pagel at the beach

Thursday we had training . . . we got word that we have to change up the tour a bit so we went through the tour so they could show us the new way. We had MoBat and then after we had a lesson with Raquel about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We tried contacting a potential and then we were supposed to have a lesson with Cassandra but she never showed up :( so then we were about to leave and I was backing Sister Riggs and this guy was walking by and I just felt like I should talk to him so I did! Turns out he is from Korea and he is here learning English and his English is already way good! We talked to him about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and he was soaking it up. We told him if he would read the Book of Mormon it would help his English. We asked if we could come teach him more and he said yes! And that he want to come to church! We had dinner at the Institute. Then we had a lesson with Jackie & Rachel about the Restoration and one of our members came with us and she was perfect for them! 

Friday . . .  wow,  March!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!! I told everyone it was your birthday today, haha, I hope you had a great day! I love you! We had a full day today (as in full pros, no MoBat). We had study and then weekly planned and then went to forum and had coordination. Next was district meeting, which I always love! Elder Sims talked about the power of our thoughts and it just made me think of Grandpa's letter to Uncle John. After we met up with the zone leaders to give them some stuff and then to the mission office to talk to Elder Holley (he's in charge of all the cars). Next we had dinner with a member, Jared. He took us to this super fancy restaurant! It was really good. 

Saturday we had MoBat in the morning. Sister O'Neill and I had a really cool tour with these two Chinese people and then this guy from Texas. The guy from Texas was a member and he just brought his co-workers. He'd never been there before but he still went through the Mandarin tour with them because he wanted to make sure they understood. So nice! After we were able to give his co-workers Books of Mormon in Chinese and they gave us their emails because they want to stay in contact! They said if we ever go to China we can stay at their place! Haha, sweet. Jackie & Rachel came and watched the Joseph Smith movie and then I took them on tour and we had a lesson with them after. After MoBat we went and saw Tanner. Apparently he is moving to Arizona to live with his dad. He is pretty excited about it because he's only seen his dad like twice in his life. Next we had dinner with the Ghanians! They made us Ghana food. It was delicious!! And I was soooo full. We watched Bible videos and talked to them about the atonement. 

Sunday we had MoBat and then went to sacrament meeting and then we had a special mission-wide fireside with Elder Gay from the Seventy. He talked about our power and that it is to astonish people and creating visions for ourselves. It was awesome! He also was a mission president in Ghana so we ran up to him after to ask a few questions and he said he would write our Ghanians a letter! So sweet. We had dinner with Emerald and Brittany and it was delicious and fun and then we went to the CES fireside with Elder Bednar! Such a wonderful day. Oh, also Nate Pratt came to the MoBat tonight! I missed him though :( I hope he comes back soon! 

Bowling with her district and Sister Riggs & Sister Pagel

Monday we had another full day. We had a lesson with a member about faith and then we had a lesson with Jackie & Rachel about the Plan of Salvation. They are loving everything they are learning! They said they want to know it's true, but haven't gotten an exact answer yet. We hope they do! Next we were going to try a finding activity involving music, but it wasn't working out so well and so after setting up at this park, we decided to just try street contacting and then we saw this girl reading the Bible so we started talking to her. She said she is so happy because God is so good to us and gives us all so much! She then told us that her family sold everything about 7 months ago and now just go day by day praying and asking where God wants them to go. They live in 2 big white 15 passenger vans with trailers on the back. They also are super musical so they go perform and "sing praises to God for people" they kept saying. They performed for us and they are REALLY good!!! Then we sang for them and then we all sang together! It was really cool. They are such a happy and strong family and would make great Mormons! But when we tried to talk about the Book of Mormon they just shut off :( but we hope we were able to plant seeds in their hearts. Oh, then this guy came up to me and asked if I have headaches and I said yes and he asked if he could pray for me so I said sure and then he like grabbed my hand and "healed" me. It was very interesting . . .  my headache did not go away, but I was happy for him that he loves God so much. Then we went to an appointment but they weren't there and we saw this lady and she told us that we have the Holy Spirit in our faces! We just looked at each other and we were like wow, . . .  this day is crazy, haha. We had dinner with Brittany which was delicious. She is so nice to us! Then we had a lesson with Raquel. I love her! We talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy, praying, and reading the scriptures. She just gets everything. It is so great! Now we just hope she will tell her parents soon. 

Today! The reason I am writing so late is because this morning we went to the USS Midway with some of the elders in our zone. We got on for free through a senior Elder and it was fun! I am exhausted now, haha. We also got told today that our email rules are changing so we are being given more time to email! Sweet :) Well, I love you all a lot! I hope you have a great week! 

The gospel is TRUE :)

Sister Cassie Chea Rasmussen