Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6th Letter

Dear Family,

WOW. What a week. Here are the highlights...

Tuesday night we finally got to see a recent convert I have never met my whole time in Helix. His name is Ryan and he's great! He said he's been having a hard time with prayer and he doesn't like feeling forced to pray so we tried to help him understand better why we pray and teach the simple doctrine behind it. Sister Frampton and I had a meeting with the Seegmillers and we talked about training. 

Wednesday was amazing! It was my companions 20th birthday, woot woot! We also had Elder Ballard come and speak to our mission! We all got to shake his hand which was amazing. I remember doing it last year.. I can't believe that. He talked about how we must always maintain an eternal perspective, and how that is what is going to make us successful on our missions and just in life. He talked about 3 Nephi 27:13 and how we are here because our Father has sent us here to San Diego. We must pray, pray, pray because we can't do this work without Him because it is His work. President Clayton and President Morgan sang a duet and it was awesome! I didn't even know President Clayton sang. Elder Ballard then answered questions and one of my favorites was an elder asked how we can maintain serving with all our heart, might, mind, and strength? And Elder Ballard talked about how we just have to maintain that perspective and to keep gethsemane in the back of our minds always. He talked about how sometimes he is exhausted and doesn't know how he is going to do everything he needs to do, but then he remembers gethsemane and remembers that in the strength of the Lord we can do all things. He told us that a great way to go home is exhausted, and I loved that! He said that the Lord will lift every burden if we really turn our hearts to Him. Ahhhhh it was amazing. He just really helped me to want to be more committed. We ate lunch and then had the temple. We talked to some really awesome people! I talked to this brother and sister who were originally from Costa Rica but live in Rancho Cucamango now. They referred! I also got to see one of my favorite people from La Jolla, Brittany! She is so cute. She brought me the new efy cd from Brandon :) so that was exciting (it's amazing by the way!) We went to a barbecue at Edgars after because Sister Lehmitz told Edgar that for her birthday she wanted him to have a barbecue and invite non members, so of course he did! He has such a big heart. The food was delicious and everyone he invited was really nice! We talked with them all about prayer. Also edgar got this awesome cake made for Sister Lehmitz that had a edible name tag on it! So sweet. We went to Jen's house after and talked with her about the book of mormon. Her non member friend was there so we kind of tailored the lesson towards her and she got really excited about the Book of Mormon. She was like, "So wait.. if I have questions about things.. this book can help me?" And we were like yes yes yes!! And shared some experiences. We asked if she wanted to meet and then found out she's only 15! She's way mature for her age.. ha so we are going to pass her off to the family ward missionaries. She's super prepared though! Her name is Ellie. 

Thursday was an insane day. We had training and we had this really awesome scavenger hunt planned that was meant to be fun and help the sisters work on their presentation skills and we took forever planning it and preparing it and we messed up on one tiny thing which kind of messed the whole thing up and it was just a big failure, ha but we were able to tie it in to missionary life so that was good! Then the Woolstenhulmes came and shared their testimonies with us because they are leaving soon :( They are incredible human beings and I am so glad I got to serve with them! They definitely have taken care of all us sisters. Sister Frampton and I then went to mission leadership council and guess who came?? Elder Ballard! Two days in a row with him.. so SWEET! He talked about how we can do more and that we have a power beyond what we realize and that as leaders we must set the example and have faith that we will be successful. We have the power to do it. We just can't do it without the Lord. We must get on our knees and call down the powers from heaven. He also said we are not just missionaries, we are empowered sons and daughters. He made us a promise that we could find, teach, and baptize someone this month! If an apostle of the Lord promises it, I know it can happen! I am so excited for what's ahead! But then the coolest thing every happened.. He prayed. I have never heard an apostle pray before, and it was the COOLEST thing. The way he communicates with Heavenly Father is unreal. And he even prayed for us specifically! All I can say was my mind was blown and tears were definitely coming out of my eyeballs. Probably one of the coolest things I have experienced and I am so grateful I was able to. He left and we all discussed with President what he counseled us to do. We ate lunch and took some pictures and then we headed back to the battalion. Elder Seegmiller was being all sneaky and told me he really needed to talk to me and took me to one of the rooms on the tour and then Rus and Marin were there! Ahhhhh so good to see him and to finally meet her! She is super nice and cute! It was definitely a healing experience to see Rus so happy :) All the sisters thought he was so funny and they were like 'we can totally tell you two are related!' I was hoping that meant that they think I am kinda funny :) haha. We went to edgars to have a lesson with Sam because apparently they live together now, but Sam wasn't there so Edgar gave us some ice cream and we talked to him about teaching his sister, Nayna. We tried Tiana's and she wasn't there, but we talked to her mom again and told her about the Book of Mormon and prayed with her. She's so sweet! We tried to see Roosevelt next but he wasn't there so we left him a note and as we were walking back we passed this kid who was on the phone and we kinda felt like we should talk to him, but he was on the phone so we ended up talking to these ladies and found out that we were trying the wrong apt for Roosevelt so we decided to go back and we were like if that kid is there and not on the phone we are going to talk with him. Well he was still there and not on the phone so we did talk with him! His name is frankie and we just talked about God and prayer. We prayed with him and invited him to learn more and to church and he said yes to both so we got his information. So cool how God places people directly in your path. We went to Kevin's and read 3 Nephi 18 with him and talked about the sacrament. Kevin is still so excited to get baptized and just trying to keep his chin up and wait patiently for everything. After the lesson, Sister Lehmitz asked if we could see his garden real quick so he took us to the back and was showing us and then there were some cages and he was like this is my bunny and those are my guinea pigs and I looked in and one of them looked dead and he saw it to so he just reached right in and grabbed it and it was dead and he was so sad and it was just a really weird situation.. we felt bad, but we also kinda laughed about it after because it was just so weird. But he did say...'well at least he's with our Father now' Ahhh he has such a good perspective. 

Friday we had a lesson with a referral named Gabriel. He is so COOL! So down to earth and just so open and awesome. We taught the plan of salvation and talked about baptism and he said nothing is really holding him back from getting baptized but he just wants to learn a little more and come to know it's true. We are excited for him! He does this thing called body bi vi and he's super into it. We had district meeting about prayer and went over what elder ballard talked about on wednesday and then we had lunch and celebrated Sister Lehmitz birthday. Mobat tonight was great. I got to take Carli Barlow's family on tour! She was in La Jolla ward and is on a mission now :) It was fun to see her family and hear how she's doing.

Saturday was Sister Benfield's birthday! Woot! I went on exchanges with Sister Madsen in Mira Mesa! We first got to attend a baptism for a girl named Becca who Sister Madsen taught and who I got to teach on exchanges once. It was one of the most amazing baptisms I have ever been to. She just is one of the most prepared amazing people I have ever met. I also played the piano for it haha they didn't have a piano player last minute. We ate some food and then we went and taught a guy named Albert who used to be muslim. He was so cool! We started with how to begin teaching and then before we even got to get into the restoration he was like, "do you have a book I can read to find out if this is all true?" And we were like why in fact we do! Haha so we gave him the book of mormon and talked about it and he said he really wants to know the truth so we were able to add him! We then taught a recent convert named Lynn. She has an amazing story and we read with her in the BofM. We then went to contact some potentials and ran into a former investigators of theirs. Her name is Cynthia and she is incredible and so prepared, she is just a little stubborn. We had a cool lesson with her though. We had the temple next and it was crazy busy, but awesome. I met this awesome chinese couple, Alex and Grace. They told me they just wanted to learn more about mormons and had been researching about them when they found the temple and decided to come see it. SO COOL!! I got their emails so I could continue talking with them and then I am also sending them the missionaries. I love, love how Heavenly Father guides people and how His timing is so perfect. I loved being with Sister Madsen. Her and I are really similar and we had some really good conversation about the atonement. 

Sunday we had ward council and church. We ended up teaching sunday school last minute. It went pretty well though! We had break the fast and then battalion. It was CRAZY busy. I honestly can't remember what happened because of the madness, hahah. Okay not that bad, but there were so many people. We then weekly planned and Sister Frampton and I had to make some schedules for some missionary training that's coming up.

Monday I had another meeting with Sister Frampton and we got all the schedules done so that was nice. We then went to see Frankie but ran into this guy named Flint. Flint is interesting and a little crazy, but super open. We talked about the restoration and gave him the Book of Mormon and he's coming to church on Sunday. We then had a lesson with Tony. Tony is less active. He served a mission, but it was on his mission where his testimony started faltering just because he felt like he was doing everything he could and nothing was happening.. We talked about Heavenly Father and about prayer and found out that his biggest fear is that when he asks if this church is true.. that he won't get an answer and then does that mean that it's not true? Holy moly the Holy Ghost was definitely guiding that lesson because I said things that I honestly can't even remember what I said and I felt literally like words were being put into my mouth. I have felt like that a lot on my mission, but it was more prominent this lesson for some reason. I love being a missionary :) We had battalion and it was great! I took a family on tour who is in Uncle Ward and Aunt Janet's ward! So that was fun. Also Arthur, recent convert from La Jolla, he always comes to the battalion and recently he's been bringing his friend Chris. Chris has a lot of dark past and you can just tell there are a lot of things weighing him down.. he's not quite open yet, but we were able to have a pretty cool conversation. Also guess who else stopped in? Chris Stopa!! It was fun to catch up with my cousin and just hear how he's doing and I am so glad he stopped in. 

Basically it was a really great week! I also have been studying Elder Bednar's talk again "The Answer is the Doctrine," and it just blows my mind every time. And from my experience with Tony and being guided by the spirit there was this part in Elder Bednar's talk that said, "Things that you have studied and put into your head and your heart will be brought back to your mind and to your memory by the power of the Holy Ghost. And it will not be, that you are such a great teacher, it will simply be that the Holy Ghost is operating through you and you have prepared yourself to be that vessel through whom He can operate. Because the Holy Ghost is the teacher. It's never me and it's never you." That is why studying the scriptures, and the ensign and the gospel is so important! Because the Holy Ghost will literally guide our words when we are talking to our family, friends, or random people we don't even know! And then we are able to be that vessel so someone else can feel of God and the Savior's love for them. It's so amazing. Also I found my new favorite quote in his talk, "The atonement of Jesus Christ can strengthen us to do hard things that in our own capacity we could never do." How true that is. I am SO grateful for the atonement. I am so grateful for how much I am learning about it on my mission. I love this gospel so much.

I love you all! I hope you have the best week ever :) 

Sister Cassie Rasmussen

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