Sunday, January 5, 2014



Wow.  This week has been hard but I have learned a lot.  The language has been difficult but my Kasama and me met with Brother Poole yesterday and we set some long and short term goals and a more explicit study plan.  We started it yesterday and my companion and me already feel a lot better.  My companion was having a really hard time with the grammar and it is especially hard when the teachers and me try to explain to her in English.  But yesterday, I could see the light bulb turn on for her and she was so thrilled!  I was so so excited for her, and I know that if we are diligent and study smarter, not necessarily harder, we can learn together.  She said to me that last week she felt like she was at the bottom of the mountain, that is Tagalog, and she was just sitting and staring at it not make any progress.  And then yesterday she took her first step up the mountain, and every day we can climb the mountain one step at a time.  She even drew a picture so that I knew what she meant.  It was so sweet.

Classroom: Elder Williamson, Sister Patolo, Sister Carter, Sister Johnson, Sister Ramsey, me & Sister Temwaaka.  We spend the majority of our lives there.

 Earlier this week, we were both frustrated because we couldn't communicate with each other very well and the language was mahirap (difficult).  We asked the two Elders in our district if they could give us a blessing and it gave both of us so much peace and faith that the Lord would help us to learn.  Elder Williamson gave his very first blessing to Sister Temwaaka and I knew that the Lord was speaking through him.  He was so nervous but everything that he said was so true.  I could feel it in my bones.  My companion and me are excited to continue working towards our new goals together.  We plan to master one new grammar principle every day and memorize 30 words a day using flash cards.  Our teacher also suggested that we try to SYL (speak your language) as much as possible.  He said that if we speak pure Tagalog as much as possible, then....milagro (miracles).  She is such a blessing to me and I think she will be one of my favorite companions, if not my very favorite.  The best is even when we both get sad or frustrated she can always make me laugh and make our burdens seem a little bit a lighter.

Sister Temwaaka & me.

What made yesterday even better was receiving that package with the clementines, stain remover, and the calender!!! I love it so so much.  My friend Sister Johnson has one almost the exact same and I was so jealous of her!  And then when I saw it I was so excited.  I love how it has all of my friend's and family's birthdays, and even my half-way day.  I love it!!! Thank you so so much.  And it is something that I will definitely use.  I love all of the pictures that we took at the temple.  Is everyone else happy with them?
So, I will try and fill you in a little bit more on what we did this week.  Sunday's are one of my favorite days because we get to go on a temple walk, and it was warm and beautiful outside.  

Left to Right: Sister Patolo, Sister Johnson, Sister Temwaaka, Sister Carter, Sister Ramsey & me, 
Bottom Row: Elder Wooden, Elder Howe (in our zone but not our district...he is soo funny) 
and then Elder Williamson

We also had our district meeting where we had just a little bit of a testimony meeting.  The spirit was so strong and I feel so close to everyone in my district.  They are like my family.  Elder Wooden gave a really cool testimony about the day before.  He said that last P-day he didn't do much and wasn't really feeling the spirit but then when we got to class he said that he just said a little prayer.  Then when we were practice teaching each other, he said that as he was testifying he could feel the spirit so strong, throughout his entire body.  He said that he felt like a real investigator would.  It was cool to hear that coming from him because he doesn't open up very much.
Later that night, I got to sing with the choir which always brings me peace, and then we watched a video later that night called "Character of Christ."  It was a talk given by Elder Bednar a couple years ago at the MTC.  He is definitely my favorite apostle now.  It was so incredible and he just talked about how as you study Jesus Christ in the scriptures, and really dissect his ministry here on Earth, it becomes obvious that everything he did and thought about was centered around everyone else.  Not himself.  Even in the midst of the atonement, when he was experiencing the worst pain anyone has ever experienced, he was thinking about everyone else, his mother, and the people.  He asked God to forgive the very people who were crucifying him.  Anyway, it seems like a reoccurring theme but if we really want to become more like Christ, then we need to forget ourselves as much as possible.  Anytime we sin, become prideful, competitive, mad, or anything, it all stems back to selfishness.  So I have been trying to work on that and it has helped me to become less frustrated with others and with myself.

 I can't believe how giving and selfless my companion is.  Earlier this week, she pulled out this tiger shirt that she got in Fiji and I told her how much I liked it and how much I love animal shirts.  She said, I want you to have it!  And I didn't think she was serious, but she just kept telling me to have it because I loved it.  It was darling.  I will keep that shirt forever.  And it's a sweet shirt too so I will take a picture so that you can see it.  When she saw that the Rasmussen Family had given her chocolates for Christmas she was so excited.  She was eating them and singing, "I love Rasmussen Mom, Rasmussen Dad, Rasmussen Brother, Rasmussen Niece,...etc."  So cute!!  When I got my calender in the mail, she looked at forever and could not stop laughing at all of the cute faces Brynna makes.  She loves her and thinks she is so cute.  She says all the time that she loves my niece.  I wish that she could meet her in person.
Sister Patolo & me on a walk at the Temple. 
 I'm trying to remember everything that we did this week but all of the days blend together.  Corm Thompson was right...a mission is like Groundhog Day.  It TOTALLY IS!  But it is the best.  I love it.  We started teaching two new investigators this week, Joy and Toni, and it is still so hard.  It is difficult when you are trying to really get to know the person, find out what their core or need is, and try to help them with the gospel...All in another language.  But I feel confident that as we continue working, it will start to become a little bit easier.  I feel so lucky   because all of our teachers are amazing.  Brother Langer, Brother Mace, and Brother Poole.  We did have Sister Sharp but I don't think she can teach us anymore because of   conflicts with school schedule.  I am sad because she is just so incredibly sweet,                              
but all of our teachers are amazing.              
I can tell that all of them were such good missionaries.                                                                                                                             
This week, Brother Langer asked me if I would think of a character, or maybe a close friend of mine who isn't a member so that I could act as them while we did a practice lesson.  I decided to be Holly from ballet, and it was such a fun but spiritual experience.  I learned a lot about teaching.  The main thing is that he really listened to me and cared about me.  He wasn't just teaching me a lesson, but teaching me.  Teaching a person.  Relating to them and helping them see how the gospel applies to their life specifically.  I hope that I can do this in the field.

Sister Nott on the left and Sister Otia          
         (pronounced Osya) on the right    
I love everyone in my District:  Elder Williamson, Elder Wooden, Me, Sister Temwaaka, and Sister Ramsey are all going to the San Pablo mission and then Sister Patolo and Sister Carter are going to Cavite.  I am sad because I am getting close to all of these other missionaries in our Zone but they are going to different missions.  Especially Sister Nott.  We have been running every day together at the gym and she is hilarious.  We have the same sense of humor and she is so great.  Her hair is crazy curly and everyone says that her personality is the same as her hair.  We also understand each other because she has a Kiribati companion as well and knows how the language barrier can be difficult.

This week I saw a girl that I worked with in the Math lab, a friend from BYU who teachers, Ben Lenhart (Is that how you spell his name), Brother Calder, and Eliza Glauser.  I see Bailee Bourgeois basically every day because we are on the same floor.  She is the best.  But I think that I know more teachers than I do other missionaries.  It's hilarious.
Anyway, I feel like I just don't have much else to say.  Next week I will write more in my journal and try to think of more that I can tell you.  I love all of you, think about you constantly, and pray for you every night.  I hope that you have a good week, and I will talk to you soon.  Love you!!!
Mahal Kita!!!

Sister Rasmussen

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