Monday, July 28, 2014

Isa pang magandang linggo


(Another good week)
Family!!!
 
Me, Sister Tafiti & Wayne
Well it has been another great week and the cherry on top was Wayne's baptism.  But let's start at the beginning.

So earlier this week, we went to go teach Lovely.  When we went she started crying in the lesson and wouldn't stop.  We didn't know what to do.  I can't remember what I have told you about her but she has had a rough past.  She is only 18 but was living in Manilla with her boyfriend.  She was pregnant and her boyfriend beat her up so badly that she was sent to the hospital for head injury and the baby was killed.  There are obviously more details but you get the gist.  So anyway, we talked to her about priesthood blessings and offered the Elders to come and give her a blessing of comfort.  We explained that her healing would depend on her faith and the faith of her loved ones.  She agreed to have them come.  Later that night, she seemed to be fine again and was fairly happy.  The elders asked her what she hoped would happen from receiving the blessing.  As she was explaining that she just wants to feel peaceful and to be able to forget, she started to tear up again.  But as soon as Elder Pulido put his hands on her head we could all feel so much peace.  The spirit was thick.  As soon as he finished the blessing she started weeping.  I went over and gave her a hug and she was weeping so hard in my arms.  None of us knew what to do.  She was speaking in Tagalog and I could not understand her words mixed with sobbing.  This went on for about 10 minutes and we were so sad and felt a little awkward.  We didn't know what to do.  Finally, we told her we had to go but we assured her that everything would be ok, and that if she read the Book of Mormon, prayed, and believed in Christ, she could be healed.  Later on, Elder Pulido told us she was just saying that she couldn't stop thinking about it and that she wants to make revenge and things like that....Well we went back to her in two days and she was sooooo happy.  She was so much better.  She expressed how grateful she was for the blessing and that ever since she has been completely happy.  I already have such a strong testimony of the power of the priesthood from my own personal experiences, but this was just another confirming miracle.  The priesthood is the power of God.


Lovely is going to be getting baptized on the same day as Jenny Rose on August 16th.  They are both very excited and have even expressed desires to serve a mission... which to say the least would be my dream.  They are so amazing and are prepared of God.  I feel that with them, and Wayne, we just kind of sat back and watched their conversion.  We were just lucky to find them at the right time. 
Elder Pulido, Sister Lero, Me, Sister Tafiti, Wayne & Elder Parry
Wayne's baptism only had a few attending but it was beautiful - the spirit was very strong.  Sister Tafiti and I sang a duet and Elder Parry baptized him.  Haha I don't know if Wayne knew he needed to stand back up or if his feet just slipped out from under him but it looked for a second like he was just floating and enjoying a swim in the font haha.  His feet were paddling back and forth.  Elder Parry was using all of his strength to try and get him back out of the font and finally he stood up.  Haha we laughed a little bit about it after but it was awesome.  Then he shared his testimony and everyone was very touched - he is truly converted and his life has changed a lot more than I realized.  He hand drew a picture of Sister Tafiti and I which is pretty cool.  I taped it in my journal but I will have to take a picture of it so you can see.

We also had a really good lesson with the Acedillio family.  They are amazing.  I am sorry I also forgot if I told you about them.  But the father in the family is an ex convict and actually used to be a drug dealer.  The first time we taught them we just tracted into them and I didn't really know how potential they were but of course we had faith.  Well, they ended up showing up that Sunday.  This week we taught them and one of the District Presidency members (President Flores) attended the lesson with us.  When he was sharing his testimony the whole family was dead silent and so interested haha it was awesome.  President Flores talked about how he had been investigating Inglesia ni Cristo (the second largest church here in the Philippines and I am convinced that it is of the Devil.  I will explain more about them later).  Anyway he said that they basically tried tricking him into baptism.  One Sunday they took him in this back room and these priests were interviewing him.  One of them asked him if he was ready to accept Christ.  He said he thought to himself, "I have accepted Christ for a long time now haha."  Then another one came in and was asking him more questions and he realized that this was baptism.  Suddenly he heard an audible voice tell him, "do not get baptized in this church."  He ignored it, and heard it again.  The third time he heard it he stopped the priest and told him he would not get baptized.  The priest was super super rude, said some offensive things, and left him there in the room alone.  He said that experience confirmed his decision.  Then he was working abroad and came home for only 15 days.  The first day he was home, the missionaries knocked on his door.  They came everyday and he read the Book of Mormon and knew with all of his heart that it was true. Stayed home, got baptized.  Now 8 years later he is sealed in the temple and a member of the District Presidency.  Brother Acedillio (our ex-convict investigator) responded saying that he has tried going to church in other sectors and never wanted to go back.  But it is only in the mormon church that he really felt the spirit and he can't wait every sunday to go to church.  In fact he surprised his wife last sunday morning as HE was the one getting dressed and getting all their kids ready to go.  He only has an elementary education and it is hard right now to get them to read the Book of Mormon, but I know that we can help them do it and after sometime, they will get baptized.  

They are fish vendors and had extra fish they brought home, haha so Sister Tafiti and I ended up buying some, gutting them that night (which actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be), and cooked them the next day.  That was my first time cooking fish but I love it and I think we will do it more often.  I am becoming a pretty good cook, at least of Philippino dishes, if I don't say so myself.

One funny thing that happened at the end of the FHE last week in our branch; the elders were going to give us all a ride home.  But Sister Tafiti and I told them that we would just catch a trike.  well we ended up climbing in the back of their truck.  We rode all they way to our apartment (because they were dropping off the other sisters) and when they dropped them off we banged on the back window and screamed.  THEY WERE SOOO SCARED.  It was so funny mom.  We couldn't stop laughing.  But then when we went back in the apartment, I saw a giant cockroach on all of our dishes and I FREAKED OUT.  My housemates were on the floor crying it was so funny and Sister Lero kept saying, "it's the karma!  It's the karma!"  Haha because we had just scared them in the car.  Anyway, I am so happy here!


Surprise for Sister Hingano
Sunday was Sister Hingano's birthday and so we woke up early and decorated the apartment (with all of that stuff you sent me mom:) ) The night before, we didn't have any treats or anything and our landlord already locked the gate outside of our house.  Haha so I ended up jumping the fence so I could buy her a cupcake at the shop across the street...


haha I felt like I was breaking out of jail.  Even though it wasn't much, I still think she liked it a lot.  We stuck one candle in it haha and sang to her.  I hope she had a good birthday.



Happy Birthday Sister Hingano
Later that day we went visiting/home teaching with President Asis (branch president).  All of our appointments weren't home, but as we were about to leave this house, we noticed this woman on the side of the street who had a TON of rice she was trying to put in these big bags.  There were about 5 of us, so we started talking to her and then all of us finished the job for her in about 2 minutes (something that would have taken her about another hour and a half).  I thought about in the New Testament when the Jews used to judge Jesus for performing miracles and serving on Sunday... thinking that He was breaking the Sabbath.  As we were driving away she had the BIGGEST smile on her face, and a man ran over with an amazed look.  We shared a little message with her... it's amazing how just a little service can really lighten one's load.
Nanay Nori.  We work with her lots and I just thought it was a cool picture with her and her grandbaby.  It just looks philippino.
There was a similar expression on the face of another investigator when we told her that this Saturday we will come (along with some ward members) and help her remove all of the garbage in her back yard.  It's always fun when we have opportunities to serve.

But, this reminds me that I have been studying the New Testament lately and it is AMAZING.  But I have really been enthralled lately with the idea of laying up treasures in Heaven.  Before my mission, it was so easy to get caught up with the worldly endeavors/treasures, however worthy they may have been.  And it is ok to pursue those things, as long as you put that which is most important, the gospel, or the Savior, FIRST.  It is easy to be distracted by those things that are corruptible.  We need to remember the Savior's words, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."  This last part is my favorite: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (3 Nep 13:19-21)  Of course it is easy to maintain that eternal perspective as a missionary, but I hope that when I come home I will be able to keep my eye on the true prize.  Here are some other scriptures that you might want to study:
Helaman 5:8
2 Nep. 9:50-51
and my favorite Bread of Life Sermon: John 6:22-65
I guess I just challenge you to ask yourself... Where is my heart?  What are my treasures?  Am I placing that which matters most at the mercy of that which matters least?
One quote from Talmage, Jesus the Christ:
"Take a lesson from even the dishonest and the evil; if they are so prudent as to provide for the only future they think of, how much more should you, who believe in an eternal future, provide therefore."
I just keep thinking about how close the second coming truly is.  Are we prepared?

I love you all so much.  Thank you for everything... support, letters, prayers.  I am so grateful.

Ingat po huh?

Sister Rasmussen

Fruit at the market

The fruits are super good but I still miss Mangoes.

Rambutan - sweet and juicy when fresh. Rambutan literally means hairy because of the 'hair' that covers this fruit.
Durian (top left)

Once again our Refrigerator 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Surprise:)

Family! 

Sister Hingano, Elder Pulido, Sister Lero, Elder Spezia's parents, Elder Spezia, Elder Parry, Sister Tafiti, me
Kumusta po kayong lahat?  Oh my goodness so we had transfers this week. 1) I AM SO HAPPY because Sister Tafiti is not transferred.  We get to be together one more transfer and harvest some of the fruits of our labors.  She is one of my favorite companions and turning into a best friend.  I love her so much.  2) GUESS WHO MY NEW HOUSE MATE IS?  Sister Bennion is transferred and Sister Lero found out her new companion is...drum roll.... Sister Hingano!!  Can you believe it?  What are the chances that we would be together AGAIN??  So weird.  So I will get to live in my little comfort zone for the next 6 weeks.  I am so close to my companion and my housemates and I love this branch so much.  I feel so blessed and lucky.  I know that it won't always be like this and so I want to enjoy it while it lasts.



Sister Tafiti in the rain
Anyway, I know all of you are worried about the bagio.. typhoon... but don't worry about it.  I think I am in a really safe area that isn't affected too much by storms.  The President did text us to stay in our apartments Tuesday which was a big bummer because we had some really good appointments that day and nothing even came until Tuesday night.  Tuesday night while we were sleeping it was just raining REALLY hard and windy, but that's it.  The next day it was calm but we were just out of power.  But... this is rainy season.  It's stormy season and so it is just going to be like this and we have to deal with it.  I do know that Manilla and Alaminos (mission home) were hit REALLY HARD and they have no water and electricity.  Super sad for all of the people living there.


 But on Thursday, while Sister Hingano went to the mission home and road the boat over here, I got to work in my first threesome.  Sister Tafiti, Sister Lero, and I worked together and it was way fun.  We were laughing all day.  Even though it is kind of hard to teach, with transitions from one companion to the next, it is still so fun.  That night we went to follow up with a member about referrals.  Haha so embarrassing... at the end of the lesson I meant to say, "Don't worry Sister.. I am Philppino in my heart (puso)!"  But I said, "Don't worry Sister.. I am Philippino in my cat (pusa)!"  HAHA the member started laughing, and she has the wheeziest funniest laugh, and could not stop.  We were all crying laughing so hard.  
Me & Sister Tafiti at the market


Then Sister Tafiti talked about how her last companion used to always say, "Ahhh!  There are so many chickens (manok)"  Hahahah but she meant "Ahhh! There are so many mosquitos (lamok)" HAhahhahaha when we told her that I was scared she was going to have a heart attack she was laughing so hard.  All of our stomachs hurt afterwards.  The next day I was speaking to Sister Lero in Tagalog and we were talking about boys.  I ended up telling her, "Well sister you know there's still lots of ocean in the fish" Hahaha gosh.  
Our Refrigerator
I have been terrible this week.  I probably needed to be humbled.  Then we went to the pier to pick up Sister Hingano and my companion and I hid behind a big truck and popped out and scared the heck out of her.  Haha she is so happy though.  It has been her dream to come to Mindoro.  I am so happy she is here.  It is also her birthday next Sunday if you want to contact her.
  
Friday night, Sister Tafiti and I spontaneously decided to eat our first balut (philippino delicacy).  It is an egg with a half developed baby chicken inside.  The ones we ate were cooked but there are some that are raw.  No... we weren't that buck wild.  Haha anyway... we sat down in the middle of the night market and peeled it off and it smelled so sketchy.  But all around us were Philippinos just downing them like it's no big deal.  We kept trying to convince the other to take the first bite. 



Finally we went in together and it was soooo nasty (even after we tried to cover it in salt).  Looking at the little bird covered in blood and bones and feathers.  Bleehhhh I thought I was going to throw up.
Gross!
We went in for the second bite right when there was a brown out (a black out, but here they call it brown out).  So it was pitch black in the middle of the market.  There was no way I was going to finish it like that.  I ate a few more bites of the yoke which tastes ok but I couldn't.  I will never attempt that again.  But I guess, at least I can say I tried.
Me & Wayne
As for our investigators they are really progressing.  Wayne had his interview on Saturday, and the District Leader told us afterward that we should be really excited.  That he is truly converted and ready for baptism.  I guess we didn't really notice it but Wayne told the District Leader that his life has completely changed since the first time he took lessons.  He prays every morning and night and loves to read the book of Mormon.  He is much happier and feels like there is purpose to life - but to us he has always just been a really good kid, prepared of God.  


That night we had an FHE in the ward.  So fun.  We played a bunch of games and then watched the Testaments (about Jesus Christ's mortal ministry) with a projector outside.  It was awesome because all of these less actives came and then ended up coming to church.


FHE


Yesterday, we met with a referral, Sam and Zenaida.  Zenaida is very open and interested but she won't do anything unless her husband takes the lead.  So we are really trying to focus on him.  Last week, our first lesson with him he was very argumentative and had tons of questions but was still interested.  Yesterday, we went to go teach him with Sister Mau (a return missionary in the ward).  It was amazing.  He started by asking all of these questions trying to prove Joseph Smith wrong.  Sister Mau is an incredible scriptorian and she calmly and confidently answered his questions and showed how both the Book of Mormon and Bible support one another and why the Book of Mormon is so necessary.  By the end we finally told him that he doesn't need to and shouldn't believe us.  That the only way he can truly know is to ask God himself.  He had no argument for that and he said that he would read and ask God.  We know he needs more time but we are really excited to see where things go.  We think that if we can get him to pray about the Book of Mormon his heart will soften.  


Then we taught a couple who actually approached US earlier this week.  She basically begged us to come and teach them.  We went and they are SO PREPARED.  Holy cow.  She said that she isn't Catholic because she thinks that their doctrines and practices are corrupt.  She said that she has gone to lots of churches and felt like the spirit wasn't there at all.  She had lots of questions and we ended up teaching them the Plan of Salvation first, which is really rare.  They are both searching for the truth, especially as they have one baby and another on the way.  We are excited to follow up with them.


Elder Pulido just became my new zone leader and so he is in my ward.  He is Philippino and SUCH AND EXAMPLE.  He is 21 years old.  He was actually baptized when he was 12 and was the only one to be baptized in his family.  His friends really encouraged him and helped him to prepare for a mission.  His family is very catholic and very against the church and especially against him serving a mission.  But he worked for a couple years before in order to save up the money to serve.  He continually asked for their approval and said that he cried a lot as they continually rejected his desire to serve.  Finally, he decided to go without their support and said that the day he left he just called out, "ok. I am leaving now."  No hugs, no goodbyes, no nothing.  He has been serving for a year and has not had one contact since.  So sad.  But he is and INCREDIBLE missionary and knows why he is here.  Such and example.  But I just realized how grateful for all of the love and support that I have.  Thank you!!



The crab picture was when we were teaching the Acidilio family.  The father and his sons were trying to catch something behind the cupboards (some animal and me and Sister Tafiti were a little freaked out) and they brought out that crab and showed it to us.  They kept letting it run around on the floor and we were freaking out haha it was super funny.


It is hard to explain all of the incredible/funny/embarrassing/spiritual experiences that I am having here in one e-mail, but I hope that you get a taste.  Besides the ginormous cockroaches and rats that scare my pants off - and give my housemates quite the laugh at my dramatic reaction - I love it here soo much.  There are too many miracles and I feel the spirit too strongly and the effect of the gospel is too evident in people's lives for me to deny the truth of this work.  I can't.  I know that God lives.  He is our Father and He sent His son Jesus Christ.  I have been studying the New Testament and feel as though I am coming to know Him more.  But it is through the Book of Mormon that I know that He is our savior.  He is the way and there is no other way (2 Nep. 31:21).  I love all of you so much and I am so grateful that through temples we can be together forever.  I miss going to the temple and encourage you to go more.  There are people waiting anxiously in the Spirit World for those ordinances to be completed for them.  I love you so much.

Ingat po.  Mananalangin ako para sa inyong lahat.

Love,

Sister Rasmussen 
Elder Kuhlmann who was on the same flight to the Philippines with me. He is being transferred to become a trainer.






Monday, July 14, 2014

Masayang masaya

(Happy happy)
Family!!

Kumusta po kayong lahat?  Ung week na ito ay mahirap ipaliwanag.... lalo na kung gaano masaya and pinagpapala!!!  Gustong gusto ko ang trabaho na ito.  Napakaswerte ako!

This week has been amazing!! Ahhh I am so grateful to be here... it is hard to explain.


This soup is called Ginaatang gulay and it is my favorite.  It has vegetables, squash, and coconut milk.  So good.  I learned how to make it from a packet and spice it up a little bit.  Look it up and make it!  I know you would love it.
But first... a few random facts.  I know this sounds disgusting... but lately I have been doing a fried egg/peanut butter sandwich.  Don't knock it till you try it.  And this sounds even worse but Sister Lero (the philippina living with me) taught me to mix corn beef with an egg and cook it in a pan.  Again sounds absolutely gross... would I have eaten before my mission?  No.  Haha and the color.  BUT.. it actually is good.  And I have eaten it for a few meals.   In Calapan there are like no mangoes.  I am so sad:(  But there are lots of other weird fruits.  And I always buy pineapple. 


 Also... my back is constantly itchy.  I don't know what's going on.  I think it might be the water or maybe sweat haha but I don't have any acne or bites or anything.  But sometimes at night... haha my sweet companion.... she will just itch my back super hard for me.  I know this is weird.  But just an example of how lucky I am.  



My companion is the best dad.  I feel like she is one of my best friends.  I hope that we will be together one more transfer but it all depends on the Lord.  The new mission president is super nice and humble.  Different but great too.  I miss President Peterson. It is a hard adjustment but all apart of life....

Also, if you were to witness the traffic here in the Philippines you would freak out.  No, there aren't really traffic laws.  Well if there are, no one follows them and there are no Policeman to enforce them.  And you might also think that everyone is road raged and ticked off all the time because they are constantly honking but it is more of a courtesy thing.  Like, "excuse me, coming up on your right" or "passing" haha yeah.  




And another New Zealand slang: wagging=sluffing/skipping school.

Sister Tafiti and I had another embarrassing experience.  Let me preface the story by saying that people in the Philippines are very blunt and will tell you your fat or have zits and no one is offended.  In fact a lot of Philippinos like it if they are overweight because it means they are wealthy and well off.  Anyway, we were contacting this woman on the street and Sister Tafiti asked when she was due (because she thought she was pregnant).  And then all I heard was Sister Tafiti say, "oh.. you're not pregnant?"  And I couldn't help it but I started laughing and then Sister Tafiti started laughing.  It was terrible.  Luckily, unlike America, the woman wasn't offended at all but I couldn't control my laughing.  I just had to walk away.  Once again.... I am trying to get control over myself.



 So some sad news:  Sister Temwaaka is going home.  TODAY.  I guess she has been really sick the last 3 weeks and they haven't figured out what is going on so she has to go to the hospital at home.  She was really sad and called me last night to say goodbye.  She has written me a few times and I can't believe how amazing she is at both English and Tagalog.  She has improved so much and she told me how she has learned SO much about the gospel.  She hopes that she will be able to be healed and return.  So we can keep her in our prayers.
   Well Wayne won't be getting baptized this Saturday but the next.... long story short.  We did a practice interview with him on Tuesday and thought that he would need to be interviewed by President, which would mean we would have to wait three more weeks for the President to get out here and interview him (one downside of living on the island).  Anyway, turns out everything is good but because of the mis-communication we have to wait one more week.  Haha so okay.. we're not PERFECT at Tagalog.  Hahaha.  

Sister Jenny Rose is progressing amazingly and we are truly seeing fruits in this area.  We have about 6 VERY POTENTIAL referrals from members.  We taught one couple, and the husband had lots of questions.  He was a sort of intellectual and had basically lost all faith in the bible and religion.  But the spirit was so strong and by the end he was tearing up (a big tough cop) and he ended up praying.

 
We also tracted into this girl named Lovely who loves reading the bible and has been searching for the truth.  She asked if we could come the next day she had read the entire first lesson pamphlet, taught herself to pray, and prayed about the truth.  That NEVER happens.  We went back to teach her and her mom said that she has had a lot of things go through her life.  Suddenly she burst into tears and wouldn't stop crying.  We didn't know what to do!  She ended up coming to church and was fine and then the next second started bawling.  She wants to open up to us but we're not sure how to handle the situation because we're not really supposed to counsel investigators.  But from talking to her father, I think she was previously living with her boyfriend, got pregnant, and was beat up so badly she had to go to the hospital.  As in... almost fatal.  Wow.... so grateful for the gospel in my life and the commandments of Heavenly Father to help us to avoid terrible things like that.  But her mom said that this is her second chance and you can tell her heart is softened and she needs the Atonement so badly.  I feel so grateful to be able to deliver the glad message to her.



Tatay Abas' (an eternal investigator... we have stopped teaching him for now but might go back) grandchildren.  They are so darling.  It's not even posed.  They were all crowding around me like that.  So darling.




And one more family that we tracted into.  The funny thing is... we went to a member's house to try and get a referral but they weren't there so we decided to try and tract their neighbors.  They immediately were interested and ended up coming to church.  The member was SO SURPRISED that they were the ones that were interested and actually came to church.  Apparently the member had been referring missionaries to all of his other neighbors except them.  Haha and the husband I guess has had a really rough past - ex-convict - ex-drug dealer.  Just goes to show that we never know who truly is prepared to hear the gospel and ready to receive it.





But overall we have seen God's hand in our work.  There are so many ready hearts.  The FIELD IS WHITE.  Yesterday, 6 investigators came to church and we expect more next week.  We have been so blessed and I know that it is all the Lord's doing.  I am so grateful for this work and this calling.  My heart is full and I love these people.  I know with a surety that not only God lives, but this is His kingdom on earth.  That even though there have been billions and billions of people.. He truly knows each one.  Something our little human minds can't comprehend.  He knows us and loves us one by one.  And that love is also something that we can't even fathom.  I feel it for me, for you, for our new Jace, and for those I teach.  I love you.

Ingat po.


Sister Rasmussen
Our Bathroom

Our Bedroom








Monday, July 7, 2014

Maraming himala!

(Many miracles!)



Hello family!!

Ahhh I am so grateful that you sent more pictures of Jace.  He is so cute!! I can't handle it.  I pray for him and for Lindsay's recovery.  How is Brynna taking it?  What does she think of having a brother?  Ahh I miss all of you so much, but I am so grateful I am here.  I cannot express the feelings of gratitude that I have.  I still have a year left and I already know that this is the single most important and defining decision of my life.  And the work was sweet this week with a few miracles.

First, Sister Hingano received the package that you sent her mom!  She LOVED it.  She was so grateful and felt so special and I guess the skirt is SUPER cute.  You are amazing mom.  Thank you.  Sister Hingano e-mails me.  I am making a greater effort to e-mail her because she is going through a hard time.  Especially because at Zone Conference this week I received the unfortunate news that Sister Hingano is having a really hard time with her companion this transfer.  So keep her in your prayers.  But I know that she received the package at just the right time.  Thank you!!  

Other news from my old area:  Estellita's baptism was last week and apparently it was an INCREDIBLE baptism.  Since it has been a long anticipated day, there were tons of people there and tons of food.  Non-members and members were supporting her as she finally humbled herself enough to repent and step into the waters of baptism.  Apparently, she was bawling as she was being baptized and as she was receiving the Holy Ghost.  I wish I could have been there to hear her testimony, which I heard was very sincere.  I know that she is completely converted and will endure to the end.  I feel so grateful to have played a small role in her conversion and change of heart.  Sister Hingano says they have a baptismal date set for Hellen at the end of July but we'll see what happens.

I have met Sister Brown.  haha she is super nice I like her a lot but I don't see her that much because we are not in neighboring Zones.


In our area, Wayne is completely ready for baptism.  He has really been searching through prayer, study, and church attendance.  He wanted to make sure for himself that it was true and that this was the right decision.  When we met with him on Friday, we were at the church and the sister that was supposed to teach with us wasn't there.  We have to have a girl in the lesson if we are teaching a male investigator.  So we didn't know what to do until we saw sister Jennyrose.  She isn't a member.  Her boyfriend is preparing for a mission and she has always liked the church and wanted to be taught but always claimed she was too busy.  Well she was just waiting for Raywin, her boyfriend, while he was in institute.  So we asked if she would be willing to just sit in the lesson while we taught Wayne.  Well we ended up having SUCH a spiritual lesson.  He had read so much from the Book of Mormon, and even created a notebook called "Ang Aklat ni Wayne," Which is like the Book of Wayne.  Haha so he writes down any spiritual impressions he likes or things he likes and any questions he had.  He said that it made his studying so much more fruitful and he knows through prayer and the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon was true.  At the end of the lesson, we again extended baptism to solidify the date July 18th.  It was dead silent as we invited him to follow Christ's example and be baptized by someone who holds the right authority.  The spirit was thick.  Sister JennyRose who was just sitting there had the biggest smile on her face and he excitedly accepted and she said she had chills and goosebumps everywhere.  Anyway, we gave her a Book of Mormon because she didn't yet have one of her own and she begged us to teach her.  Haha she miraculously "found time" for us to teach her.  I know that the other sister who wasn't there for the lesson didn't show up for a reason.  We were supposed to have JennyRose in the lesson.

Me, our new Mission president - President Mangum, & Sister Tafiti


Our Zone with our new Mission President
Then on Sunday, we prayed and fasted to be able to work with the members more effectively and see referrals.  I am a little bit ashamed to admit that I had not yet asked God to bless the members to give us referrals.  I don't know why.  But I was just depending on my own efforts.  Well God answered our fast and prayer almost immediately.  We were flooded with referrals and members who want to meet with us this week.  We know that it is God's way to work with the members.  It is more effective and efficient.  But sometimes we just have to ask for His help.  Anyway, it was such a great day.


Me and Sister Grace (A member that I love)
Then after church, JennyRose asked if we could teach her right then.  She had already read all of the intro and witnesses in the Book of Mormon and apologized because she felt like she hadn't read enough yet.  (But I wish you knew how hard it is to get the Philippinos to read but one page.  They really don't like reading and the Tagalog translation is very deep and sometimes hard to understand)  Anyway, the lesson went amazingly.  She is so prepared by God, I can't believe it.  She excitedly agreed for baptism and to read and pray to know for herself that these are true.
 
Me & Sister Tafiti
So anyway, the work is really picking up here in Calapan and we are excited for the progress.  I am hoping so badly that Sister Tafiti will stay here one more transfer, she has 5 months left.  But of course, it is all according to God's will.  But I think there is a chance because I found out today that I won't be training.




Today we had a zone p-day at Bulaklak Beach or Flower Beach.  It was so beautiful, and sometimes I forget that I am actually on an island in the middle of Asia.  It is nice to take some time every once and a while to appreciate the beauty here in the Philippines.

Sister Tafiti, me & Sister Lero







It hasn't been raining very much!! But I wish it was.  

Sorry I don't really have any funny stories from this week, but they are always coming.  I love all of you so much and I know that this is the true church on the earth today.  Not only do I know that, but I know that God lives.  That he is literally our Father and He understands us even more than we understand ourselves.  He loves us so much He sent His son, who has provided the way for us to return.  It is that very way, the Atonement, which is the basic doctrine for everything else.  Literally everything stems from that doctrine, that sacrifice.  I have learned more about the atonement these past 6 months than in my entire life and I still don't fully understand it.  But I do know that as we make it a priority to study every day, KNEEL and pray morning and night, and follow the commandments (not choose which ones we will follow and half-heatedly or choose not to follow certain ones, like I am sad to admit that I did before my mission).  If we want to know Jesus Christ, then we must follow His example and do the will of the Father.  I think that is the biggest thing I have learned this past month.  Jesus Christ loved the Father so much, that he did nothing that was not in accordance to the Father's will.  We aren't perfect, but I know we can be perfectly obedient to some of God's commandments: like paying a full tithe, kneeling and praying twice a day, and reading our scriptures.  I encourage all of you to evaluate how you can come closer to the Living Christ...  how you can more closely follow the Father's will, make a plan and act.  This mortal life is shorter than we know.  We can't procrastinate.


 
I love you all so much.  I am so grateful for the knowledge that I can be with you forever.

Do not fear.  Only believe.


Sister Rasmussen
I found Sister Ott!