Monday, May 19, 2014


Hello family!! How are you all?  It was so nice to talk to you on skype.  I loved seeing your faces and hearing your voices.  I felt like I had just seen you, yet when I thought I wouldn't see you again until Christmas it felt really far away.

This week hasn't been AS great as last week, but still good.  So first off earlier this week, I had this little spot on the top of my foot/ankle which I thought was just a bug bite.  It sort of itched so I itched it for a second and then I stopped.  Later that day I looked at it again and it seemed sort of swollen and I was asking the people we were visiting what it was from and they weren't sure.  Then, later that night I looked at my foot and it was starting to really swell and was hot and I couldn't really flex my ankle.  So I called Sister Peterson and she thought I was having an allergic reaction so I got some benadryl (sorry if I spelled it wrong).  I took that night and slept great haha but it didn't really help.  Half way through that day my foot just hurt so bad and it was really red and swollen.  We went to go teach one of our part member families and all of a sudden my stomach was hurting really bad.  As we were sitting talking to the members they asked me what was wrong and I started tearing up haha I was SO EMBARRASSED and I felt like I was just being a baby but I just wanted to keep going.  I showed them my foot and you could see a red streak coming from my knee and wrapping around to my ankle because of the blood supply.  I was basically crying and they kept saying oh it's a "pigsa!!"  But they didn't know what that was in English.  Anyway, as I was sitting there a little bit miserable, the mom of the family just started dancing like a crazy person trying to make me laugh and I couldn't help but just laugh.  Haha I started laughing my loud cackle, Rasmussen laugh like I know you all know.  Haha I was just grateful for her and helping me to not take it so seriously.  Anyway, I found out it was a boil!!! So weird.  I honestly don't even know exactly what that is or what causes it but now I am just taking an antibiotic and advil and it is slowly going away haha.

Luckily it has gone down enough today because we had our zone pday where we went to the 1500 steps at cuenca.  SO BEAUTIFUL.  Oh my goodness.  I forget that I am actually here in the Philippines in the middle of Asia and there are some beautiful sights.  It is this big gorgeous turqoise lake and you have to go down
 1500 stairs to get down.  Sister Ott told me the rumor is that in the middle of the lake is an island, and on that island is a lake, and on that lake is another island (now keep in mind that the Philippines itself is an island in the middle of the ocean).  So apparently they call it, or maybe just Sister Ott, inception lake.  Haha anyway it was beautiful haha but a lot of the sisters legs were shaking when we got to the bottom because of all the stairs.  We played basketball and games and just walked along the beach.  So beautiful.  It is good for your soul to take a break every once and a while and the sight was so gorgeous.  I was very grateful.  Coming back up the stairs was pretty hard afterwards but I felt pretty accomplished after. 

One food that I ate this week which I thought you would think is interesting was just a boiled banana.  Haha they have these really fat big bananas that taste kind of different and she just stuck it in boiling water with the skin still on.  It was good though!!
Classic Haley Face

So, I am sure you are all wondering what happened with Mac and it didn't end well, Unfortunately.  But it was a good learning experience.  We followed up with him and he had only read one page of the Book of Mormon but was doing a lot of research online.  Of the bible and of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  When we met with him he was talking and talking and wouldn't let us get a word in.  He offered a lot of false information about the church, but Sister Hingano and I both felt very impressed to not say anything.  He said that he prayed, not to know if the Book of Mormon was true, but just prayed in general about the truth.  He said that he received a very direct answer from God that said, "I have already given you what you need.... why are you still searching?"  I respect him and his interpretation, yet that answer doesn't sound at all like God.  He always encourages us to keep searching for truth, keep learning, keep progressing.  I was looking at him and listening as he was giving all of his reasons, almost getting red in the face, and I just felt two things.  Love for him and sadness.  I was so sad for him.  I was sad about all of the blessings that I have that he won't know.  I was sad about his future.  I wished that he could have heard all of the contradictions that he made while he was explaining.  I just realized that you have to just respect others' agency and love.  That's all you can do.  You do your best, but we all have our agency, which is a beautiful gift from God.  We left that lesson sad, but grateful at the same time.  It was a good learning experience.

We felt better later that night when we went to teach Ronnie and Hellen.  Unfortunately, Ronnie was gone, but you can see the HUGE change that has been made in Hellen's life.  If we ever pass by their house, she is inevitably outside reading, and studying her Book of Mormon.  She told us how she has seen so much more peace, love, and happiness in her life as she has been praying morning and night and reading every day.  She says that feels so wonderful and she doesn't ever want the feelings to leave her home.  She loves to go to church and says that she wishes she could go to church every day and she always hungers for the scriptures.  It was so great to hear.  I teared up as she just thanked us so sincerely for bringing this truth into her life and into her family.  I am so grateful to be here and help bring some light to the lives of my brothers and sisters in the Philippines.  Her husband Ronnie however is a different person when we are there, or at church, but apparently he has anger issues and a hot head.  Hellen says that she tries to remind him to read the Book of Mormon and pray but he just won't apply these things in his life.  He is not yet convinced of the truth, but we know it is because he is not acting.  So we are really trying to work with him to humble himself and just experiment - just TRY and act.  Because once again, no matter how long he'll never know the truth through us or anyone else.  Only through himself and his own actions.  We love both of them so much.

AND Sister Estellita.  Well, almost all of her siblings and her parents are members but she has a very hard head.  One of her sons has served a mission, and one is preparing right now.  Missionaries have visited her for first time visits only because before, she was so hard.  But the change that is happening with her is also incredible.  It is all about timing.  The first few visits with her were a struggle, but we finally convinced her to read the Book of Mormon.  We explained that it is the key and evidence to our entire message.  She finally said, ok, I haven't read the thing yet so I will.  When we went back the first time she had read way more than any of our investigators have and she has continued.  The Book of Mormon has really helped her to feel of the truth.  She says she wants to read a book (like 1 Nephi or 2 Nephi) every week so she can finish as soon as possible.  She wants to read the whole thing for herself and make a decision for herself, which is great.  It is super important.  Her son also told us how she used to drink coffee all the time but now she has stopped.  Last night, we had a testimony meeting with all of her siblings and it was so spiritual.  Sister Estellita teared up multiple times.  She will be baptized soon, and I am grateful that I could help her in that journey.

Her family, the Austria family.  I love them so much and I will visit them all again at the end of my mission.  They are the pioneers of the area which means they were the first baptisms in Rosario.  For a second there, with all of them together, it made me really miss my family and extended family.  But I am so glad to be here, I wouldn't be anywhere else.

I love all of you so much!! I know I say it every week but I do.  Whether you think so or not I miss you but I know I am in the right place.  I am so grateful for the things that I am learning.  Invaluable.  I love you all!!!

Love, Sister Rasmussen

There was a ward pool party and that was the nicest pool ever.  I never expected to see anything like that here in the Philippines.  Just in a super rich nice subdivision.  There are some really poor areas but also some really rich areas too.

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