Monday, September 29, 2014

Magandang Hapon sa inyong lahat. Kumusta na po kayo?

"Good Afternoon to you all. How to please you?"
Sister Martinez and Me on our way to "training check-up"
Well family, another week has gone by and I can't believe I am e-mailing you again.  This week has been pretty slow.... it seems like one week is full of miracles and the next is hard. 

Sister Martinez and I went to San Pablo for a couple days for her "training check-up."  Here, they split up the trainers and trainees and then ask about the obedience and everything that is going on in the companionship.  Usually there are a lot of complaints and adjustments, but honestly there were basically no problems.  Sister Martinez and I realized how good of a companionship that we have. 

We were out of our area for a couple of days and then Sister Martinez was sick so it made it a little bit hard.  I have been a little bit worried about our teaching pool and feel that we need to build it up and do everything that we can to find those who are prepared.  I was feeling stressed about it when we came home from the check-up, but the whole day I just felt impressed that we needed to create a vision as a companionship and set goals of the things that we are going to do in the area before the end of her training and before I am transferred.  So we narrowed out who we really feel is prepared for baptism, set goals, and felt our faith strengthened.  Planning and setting goals really does help relieve stress and build your faith that you can work miracles.  We are trying to do everything we can to be exactly obedient, use our time wisely, and pray HARD so that we can find those who are prepared.  We are especially hoping to find a family, or complete a family before I go. 

Sister Martinez had a dream the other night that she saw a picture on the wall of this family that was baptized and she asked who the missionaries were in the picture and she looked closer and it was us.  Haha... so I'll just take that as straight prophesy.  Haha joke lang but yeah... we'll see if we can get some miracles happening here in Calapan before Nov. 20.

Right now, Sen (17 years old) who is super awesome about reading, praying, and says he wants to go to church every day, should be getting baptized Nov. 1 as long as everything goes as planned.  We also think Erika and Randy will be getting married and baptized soon.  We are just helping to strengthen Randy's testimony of the Book of Mormon and get everything settled.  I still remember the day that Erika approached us and asked us to teach her.  They have changed a lot since that day.  We are having a Family Home Evening with them later tonight, which I think will be fun, and help them feel closer to some in the ward.

I'm sorry that this is a short and somewhat boring letter.  The truth is, sometimes I just feel really tired and discouraged by the work.  Obviously missionary work isn't easy, and I knew that before I came out.  But I have found that the easiest way to get rid of those feelings is to keep going.  To just keep opening my mouth and sharing with one more person.  Keep praying that God will place those who are ready in our path, that the ward will work with us more, and that He can make my weaknesses strengths.  Then I think, I am so lucky to have the gospel in my life.  Out of all the people in the whole world, I was one of the chosen ones to have the truth, and I must do everything I can to share it. 
President Mangum, Sister Mangum, Sister Martinez & Me
Anyway, I have a feeling there will be some amazing things happening here in Calapan in the next month and a half.  If I can just ask for your prayers, to have the strength to keep going and to find those who are prepared.  Especially families.  I have learned that I need to be more specific in my prayers instead of just generally praying for the welfare of everything.  But I do pray about each of you and I hope all is well at home.  I love you with all of my heart, and I know that by the time I see you again this time will have gone fast. 
Ingat po kayo.

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bunga ng pagsisisi

"Fruits of repentance"

Oh my goodness.... 1) I have learned so much this week.. 2) We have been SO BLESSED in our work.
Me & Sister Martinez
Before that, you have all been asking me to share more about my companion.  She is 1 of 7 and is the 6th child.  Her parents are converts and are super strong in the church.  She always wanted to serve a mission and had to wait about 9 months to be able to come out.  (Sisters who want to serve a mission let their bishops know their intentions and have to wait 9 to 12 months before getting their call).  She is super sweet and happy and funny and one of the most humble people ever.  She is adjusting amazingly and I am the one learning from her.  She has such a desire to fulfill her purpose and I know that she will work lots of miracles.  I truly am so blessed as a trainer.  We love cooking together and like lots of the same foods.  I have learned how to make a lot of good Pilipino foods from her:)
"Our new Senior couple, Elder & Sister Cranstons.  They are soo funny.  I feel really close to all the couple missionaries out here - they all kind of feel like my grandparents/parents."
Ok so at the beginning of the week... I actually wasn't doing so great.  I am a little bit embarrassed from this experience, but I still want to share.  There was someone in my house who was continually making rude comments to me and Sister Martinez and I was letting it get to me.  I was letting it get to me and sort of letting my emotions take over.  I would just dwell on the things that she said or did and started to just think really negatively about her.  I became critical and judgmental of her.  It was the first time on my mission that I really felt like this.  I felt like I had no charity, and even though I was being civil to her and wasn't showing it in my actions, inside I was only thinking badly about her.  Anyway, I could hardly feel the spirit at home and was having a hard time following the spirit in our work.  

Thursday, the Sister Training Leader's came for exchanges.  
Thursday was my 9-month mark and a day of many epiphanies.  That morning as I was studying I kept feeling impressed to study Moroni 7, one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon.  I realized that I was only being selfish and prideful which left no room for charity,
 "which is kind, envieth not, and is not puffed up, and seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.." (Moroni 7:45)  
These are some of my favorite verses and I wasn't applying them.  I realized that as I didn't forgive her, the greater sin was only on me.

My anger started turning to godly sorrow and I knew that I would need to just communicate with this sister, even though that was the last thing that I wanted to do.  Sister Balcita, the sister training leader, and also the most humble and christ-like person I have ever met, shared an experience she had while at missionary leadership conference.  She said that a zone leader corrected her sort of rudely in front of everyone.  At first she was embarrassed and offended.  Afterwards, she had the impression to go and actually thank him for doing that.  It was the last thing she wanted to do.  But she approached him, and thanked him for correcting her.  She said she immediately felt peace and comfort and her relationship with him is even better.  That feeling is the spirit testifying to us that what we do is pleasing to the Lord.  Sometimes it is after doing something that we absolutely dread doing, but we know is right.  To me... that is repentance.  To give up our will, no matter how big or small, for the Lord's.  And when we do that, we truly have so much more peace and joy in our lives as the spirit testifies to us that what we are doing is right.

Anyway, even though I absolutely dreaded it, I openly talked with all 4 sisters about what was going on.  To be honest, I was basically the only one talking and opening up, but I apologized for anything wrong that I had done and just expressed that I loved the sisters and wanted the spirit in our apartment.  The conflict still wasn't completely resolved, but I had done my part and was waiting for the others to take the step.  I felt sooooo good.  I felt so much peace.  The next day, I could still feel that there was contention, but I wrote this sister a note about how much I love her.  That night, I felt so much peace, and I felt true love for all the sisters in my house.  In a small way, I recognized the blessing of repentance, and how amazing that peace feels.  It helped me to relate to my investigators and understand how as I invite them to repent and change, even though it is hard, I can be 100% sure that it will only bring them peace, happiness, love, and joy.  I can be bold about extending commitments, because I know that it is only through their obedience to the gospel that they can feel completely happy and burden-free.

Sister Balcita & Me
After that whole experience, we saw MANY blessings and miracles in our work.  When I went on exchanges, Sister Balcita and I got punted by an investigator and as we were trying to figure out what to do there was a lady from above yelling hello to us.  We looked up and she was waving and smiling and we asked if we could share with her and she basically begged us to come up.  We shared with her and her husband, who joined us later, and he asked us what they need to do to be baptized.  Super interested and super potential.  Then, we met potential part-member family. 
Me, Sister Smart & Sister Martinez
Sister Martinez and Sister Smart talked to this guy who apparently has been reading the Book of Mormon almost ever night and has lots of questions and wants to come to know God.  Apparently I gave him the Book of Mormon and he was waiting for us to come, but I don't remember AT ALL hahah.  Anyway.... He basically begged us to come to church and is very excited for us to come and teach him on Tuesday.  We had 8 investigators come to church (which was much better than last week... haha Sister Martinez was happy) and one of the couples that we are teaching is planning on getting married in October and baptized before I leave Calapan.
Sister Ting.  Neighbor across the street.  Hahaha yeah that is typical philippino birthday food for you.  Yep hotdogs on sticks with marshmellows and spaghetti in the big bowl.
There are so many people prepared for the gospel. It is amazing.  I know that no matter how hard we work, it isn't enough.  In the end, the Lord is who makes up the difference and this is his work.  I feel so happy and blessed that I still have 9 months to learn and to try and bring others to Jesus Christ.

Even when it gets rough... just keep swimmin... and I'll see you in 9:)

I love you!!
Sister Rasmussen

 P.S.  I forgot one VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL... ummmm.... I got lice this week.  BLEHHH.  I was in the bathroom and my companion saw one crawling at the top of my forehead and picked it out.  Then she started looking through my hair and saw two more.  I was sooo sad and confused because I thought I was pretty good using that teatree shampoo.  Anyway... we bought some medical shampoo and a comb and it already seems like it is gone.  It's not like it was for Sister Ott.  But I am still going to be careful and keep checking for like a week.  I am lucky that I caught it while it was early.  But just another fun and crazy thing about living in the Philippines.  But I still feel just as embarrassed that I got lice.  Grabe naman.  I love all of you.

Ingat na po kayo.

The pictures of the food is what we were supposed to eat for our zone pday today.  I didn't eat any.  They just put a bunch of rice down and then canned tuna and corned beef and stuff all over it and then everyone just ate it with their hands.  Nasty.

Elder Adamson & Me
Sister Martinez

I got the package mom!! Thank you! It was perfect.  My shoes are getting a little bit old but I think I can just buy some new ones here so don't worry about sending ones to me:)  But they are so comfortable and I am so glad that I got the crocks.  To be honest I didn't do anything special for my 9 month day but it was a really good day and I learned a lot.  The weather is pretty much the same.. sometimes hot sometimes rainy... but nothing extreme.  When you come it will be good weather so you don't need to worry about the rain.  Calapan is the biggest city here in Mindoro but it's still not that big.  It's just right.  When you are in a big city... people are so busy that they don't really want to talk.  I actually called the President's wife the other day because I got lice but other than that, I only talk to the Mission President's wife and the Mission President if there is a problem or something or if there is a big mission conference.  I actually called the President about everything that was going on in our house and he gave me a little more counsel.  He made the point that I had already done everything I could do and if I kept pushing it and wanting to talk about it then I was just making the situation worse.  He said that I couldn't be so worried about what people think and I need to just focus more on what the Lord thinks.  It was a good realization.  I love him because is very real - he is full of wisdom and knows exactly what to say without putting too much sugar on top.

Zone pday.  Just a pretty rice field

Monday, September 15, 2014

kalahati na... ano ba iyan?

"half ... heck is that?"
Minamahal kong pamiliya, kumusta na po kayo?

Me & Sister Martinez

Well..... I am literally shocked that on Thursday I will be officially half-way through my mission.  That is the weirdest feeling ever.  I feel like I am still new here in the field, but when I think back to those days in the mtc, ignorant and oblivious, haha they seem like a long time ago.  It's pretty cool to look back and see the progression that I have made personally and to cherish the experiences that I have had so far.  I thank Heavenly Father every single day that I am here.  I know I say it all the time... and perhaps you are sick of it... but I can't imagine if I hadn't come.  The things that I have learned are so invaluable.  I have truly been changed, and yet I still know I have a long way to go.  This week, I have been so humbled and have become very aware of all of my weaknesses.  However, it hasn't been a discouraging or disheartening kind of way.  Ironically I have reflected back again on my favorite scripture at the beginning of my mission, Ether 12:27
  “27 And if men come unto me I will show unto 
them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they 
may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble 
themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
I know that I need to continually depend on the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he can make these things my very strengths.  Sometimes I feel like I only have 9 months to accomplish this, but I know that it is a lifetime process.  My mind has truly been expanded and I have never felt so aware of the eternal perspective.  The time that we have on earth is so precious... we must use every moment.

ANYWAY.... I could go on and on about the things I have been pondering the past week, but I will get to the good stuff.  I apologize again if this seems like it has been a somewhat uneventful week.  We have a lot of potential investigators, but we need to do more following up.  I love seeing the gospel/atonement change these people's lives line upon line.  It seems like quite a few of our investigators had some "a-ha!" moments this week.  But successfully helping them to act on that epiphany has been a little bit of a struggle.  
Two of my favorite investigators, Joanne and Ryan (an unmarried couple with one baby) both suddenly came to know that Book of Mormon is true.  We were so grateful that it was simultaneously so that they could continue to progress together.  We went to their home Tuesday night and asked them if they believed it was true.  Ryan had a big smile on his face and for the first time he confidently replied, "yes."  He says that he now understands the fruits of the Holy Ghost and that every time he reads and prays he has a different feeling.  He says he feels happier at his job and even sleeps better.  He can't go without reading.  We turned and asked Joanne the same thing and she said she knows it is true because of an experience she had the other night.  She suddenly started bawling and explained a terrible dream she had.  I won't go into the details but she had a nightmare of bad things happening to their daughter in the Catholic church.  She woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't stop crying and so she started to read the Book of Mormon.  She immediately had a feeling of peace come over here.  She believes that the dream is a warning and for her.... that was the answer.  

Once again... for me... the spirit testifies through my thoughts and feelings but I have seen over and over that for my investigators... often times it is through signs and dreams.  The only problem is they are basically addicted to coffee and are not yet married.

That seems to be a reoccurring theme in our work.  Another unmarried couple has slowly been progressing.  Erika is completely converted and we have seen some small miracles with her boyfriend Randy's attitude has changed from complacency and indifference to a sincere desire to repent and change.  It is sad to see how many broken families there are in the Philippines - both of these people have other children from past relationships.  Even if we have repented, sometimes we still have to suffer the negative consequences from past mistakes.  Dad you are right - Satan's number one work right now is to destroy the family.
Elder Pulido, Elder Parry, Sister Lero, Sister Hingano, Sister Martinez, Sister Busby, Me & Elder Busby
Friday morning we had a surprise as the Busby's dropped by and unexpectedly explained that they were being sent home because of their health.  They are 80 and 85 years old and to be honest... it is probably good they are going home.  The Assistants to the President asked that we go and help them pack and clean their apartment so that the new couple missionaries could move in..... Oh my goodness it was a 6 hour endeavor and it wasn't even finished.  Elder Busby's memory is completely gone and Sister Busby was getting frustrated with me as I kept asking her questions... trying to figure out where things went or how we could help. I could not believe all of the stuff they had collected while they were there and I think that they had a hard time keeping it up and clean.... It stressed us out a little bit because we had to cancel a bunch of appointments but it felt good to have some service.  I ended up having a really great conversation with Sister Busby as I was helping her fold up her clothes and put them away.  It made me miss all of my grandparents... but I also thought that they are probably helping me quite a bit on this mission.  
Anyway, earlier today we met the new couple and they seem like they are going to be awesome.  They are soo funny.  I feel really close to all the couple missionaries out here - they all kind of feel like my grandparents/parents out here.

On Sunday, Sister Martinez and I had a good learning experience.  There was a big storm right at 9:00 am and so not one investigator showed up for
Church.  Not one.  Sister Martinez was Heart Broken.  During Sunday School
Class she couldn’t help but tear up.  I was sad, but I also know that they have their agency and all the Lord can expect is that we do our best.

After church, we studied and I shared with her the admonition of President Mangum a couple of weeks ago.  Heavenly Father NEVER requires success.  Not once in the scriptures does it say that we need to have success.  But it does say over and over that our sacrifice is required.  We must sacrifice our all, and the outcome is rather insignificant.  He gave the example of Shadrach Meshach and Abednigo and Abinidi from the Book of Mormon.  Both sacrificed and stood up for their testimonies.  Neither of them were really concerned if they would suffer martyrdom or not.  Abinidi's fate wasn't as fortunate as the former, but their sacrifice was the same.  Anyway, she felt a lot better.  We went out and opened our mouths and taught and both of us felt a new drive to keep moving forward.

As for funny stories... all I can say is that I am still afraid of bugs.  That hasn't changed much... and my roommates get a crack out of my dramatic reactions... which also hasn't changed much.  Haha and I was horrified the other night when Sister Martinez screamed while hanging up her laundry outside because a mouse ran over her foot.  BLEHhhhhkljjd.  Ayaw ko.

I love you all so much.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  It means a lot.  I hope I'm not completely forgotten :)  9 months pa lang.
Sister Rasmussen

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kumusta po ang pamiliya ko? Noon linggo namiss ko kayong lahat. Pero nagpapasalamat ako nandito ako. Alam ko na sa madaling panahon, magkikita po tayo ulit.

"How do I please the subfamily? Namiss weeks ago I got everything. But I'm thankful I'm here. I know as soon as possible, please meet us again."
(Lost in translation)

Well, at the beginning of this week we went to mission tour, which is basically like zone conference, but there is a cool guest speaker.  Elder Bowen, part of the area presidency and a member of the 70, came and spoke to us.  IT WAS MIND BLOWING.  Before he came he requested that we study out the Abrahamic Covenant, Baptismal Covenant, and Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood.  Basically, he went through all of this super deep doctrine and explained about the Abrahamic covenant and where all of us come from.  His point that when we understand truly who we are, and where we come from, we are permanently changed and our thoughts are forever changed as well.  And that happened to me.  I can't really explain everything that I learned but I have such a greater eternal perspective.  

He expounded more about what it was like in the pre-mortal existence, how Abraham and everyone was ordained to their callings that they now have on earth.  How mortality is just a few minutes in all of eternity, and if we can enter into the Abraham covenant of marriage, and stay faithful to it, we can literally have EVERYTHING that Abraham and God have.  That we can't afford to sell our exaltation for pottage, for trash, for pornography, for addictions, for laziness, for money, fame, etc.  

He explained that every time it says the word 'chosen' in the scriptures, it could be replaced with the word 'obedient.'  In other words, "many are called, but few are [obedient]."  Ahhh I feel like I am not doing even the slightest bit of justice to everything I learned, but it gave me a new drive and determination both on my mission and when I get home.  I thought back to my attitude before I left, while still at home.... easily distracted by the things of the world... but when we truly understand how short this life truly is and how amazing and beautiful the gifts of eternal life and exaltation are, we gain a new motivation to not just be active in the church (going to church every Sunday), but being active in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (feasting on the words of Christ, on our knees at least twice a day, serving, etc.)  Anyway.... I hope that all of you remember who you truly are and remember what is important.  I invite and encourage all of you to study out the same topics in your own personal study.

 I love my new mission president, although he is very different from President Peterson.  President Mangum is one of the most humble and temperate people I have met in my life.  He is a great leader by example, and he has received a lot of new revelation and is trying lots of new things in our mission.  I know that leadership and things change in the mission for a reason.  Even though President Peterson was an INCREDIBLE mission president, President Mangum holds the keys and is supposed to be leading this mission now.  He is moving it forward faster than President Peterson could at this time.  
Sister Hingano, Me, & Sister Martinez
Anyway..... We came home and went to work.  We are still building up our teaching pool and trying to help this branch to function correctly but we did have a couple of cool experiences.  We taught a new investigator, Jesee, who is about 19 years old.  He was soooo interested in our lesson, understood everything, and immediately and eagerly accepted the baptismal date.  It was just another witness to me that there are so many people ready and hungry for the gospel.  I think it is funny that in this area, all of my progressing investigators are in the 18 to 25 age range.  But, maybe those are the people that I was supposed to find here?  Who knows.

Ann, a young mother that we taught this week, shed tears as she explained her stress about not being able to give any time for her kids and family.  We challenged her to pray that night and ask Heavenly Father for a way to be able to spend more time with them.  The very next day, her husband explained that because of her work, in a couple months she will be able to just stay home and work a little bit from there.  She had super strong faith and for her it was a big miracle.

Most of the miracles that I witness are just little but powerful, according to the faith of my companion and I, or those that I teach.  For me, one other miracle was just watching the Restoration and feeling the spirit so strongly that it was almost tangible.  Jenny Rose joined the lesson and bore her strong testimony of Joseph Smith and I could see the investigator's heart changing in that moment.  It is hard to explain, but it is the best feeling.  I know with all of my heart that this work is true.

A couple of funny things happened this week.  During one of our lessons, I could feel something crawling on my pinky toe.  Now, maybe you are wondering why my shoes were off, but for respect (no matter how gross or dirty the floor is in the person's home we are teaching) we always remove our shoes.  Anyway, to be honest I wasn't that worried about it and actually figured it was a spider which surprisingly didn't scare me that much.  But then the investigator leaped up and whacked it off my foot.  To my horror, I asked what it was and they said it was a COCKROACH.  Ahhh I CAN'T HANDLE COCKROACHES.  ughhhhhh I freaked out.  I squeeled and then just put my feet up on the couch wiping off my foot as if it was still there.  I taught the whole lesson with my feet up on the couch.  They were all laughing at me but I was FREAKING OUT.  I am sure you could imagine.  I don't think I will overcome my fear of mice and cockroaches.
Elder Parry, Sister Martinez, Me, Sister Lero, & Elder Pulido

Sister Lero & Me
Me & Elder Parry
Also, this morning we went to this private beach at 5:00 am in the morning to watch the sunrise.  It was beautiful, and I was enjoying dipping my feet in the water when Elder Parry yelled, "Sister!  You might want to grab your flip flop!"  I looked and it had floated wayy out to sea.  I didn't know what to do because I didn't have any other shoes.  Of course it is bawal (forbidden) to swim so I tried to think of what I could do to get my shoe.  I told the other missionaries that I would ask the old man who owned the beach to swim out and retrieve it for me, and they all laughed like I was sarcastic.  Anyway.... I really did go ask him and he happily swum out for me.  I don't know if this really sounds as funny as it was but I could just hear all of your voices saying, "of course Haley would make the old man do that."  Anyway, I ended up sharing a message with him and he seemed happy to do the service.

Other than that, I love it here in Mindoro.  The weather really isn't anything different.  It is raining every once and a while.  I am so lucky because my trainee is already an expert.  She is so talented and I am the one learning from her.  She is absolutely amazing.  She is super smart.  Apparently she loved reading and loved history before.  She is amazing at both English and Tagalog and is the sweetest most humble person ever.  I am learning so much from her.  I am so grateful that she is my companion.  She has helped me a lot with my Tagalog as well.  We only speak Tagalog outside, and even within these past two weeks I know that my language has improved.  She says that 90% I am totally fluent and don't make any mistakes.  If I make mistakes it is only for like a couple sentences at a time.  That is encouraging.  I want to keep improving.

I know that we will see lots of miracles here.  I love all of you so much.  I know that this is the one and only true gospel.  I encourage all of you to not sell your inheritance for a bowl of pottage.  Even with the distractions of everyday life, remember that which is most important.

I love all of you.

Sister Rasmussen

Sister Lero & Me

The Zone

Monday, September 1, 2014

Magandang umaga!... o hapon pala... para sa inyo

(Good morning! ... Or afternoon turned out ... for you)
Sister Martinez and Me

This week has been amazing.  I feel so blessed.  So as you know... Sister Tafiti and I separated and it was hard.  For our last district meeting we sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" and as cheesy as it sounds we both bawled.  I am going to miss her so much... well I already do.  But the great thing is I LOVE MY NEW COMPANION.  Her name is Sister Martinez and she is from Mindanao Philippines.  So actually her native language is surigaonon... yeah I have no clue what that is.  There are 79 dialects here in the Philippines.  I am lucky to be in San Pablo mission  where I only have to worry about Tagalog.  But anyway... my companion is incredible at both Tagalog AND English.  So she can help me out.  I feel like my language skills have already improved even more.
But I will start with earlier this week:  Sister Tafiti and I rode to the mainland and traveled to a sisters apartment where we were going to sleep over. 
Sister Tafiti & I leaving Mindoro
As we were getting off the jeepnee at the sister's apartment, Sister Tafiti got the BIGGEST smile on her face.  She exclaimed, "BROTHER!" and started running across the street.  I went to meet her and she introduced him as one of her first converts in her first area.  He was super happy as well and told her that he was getting sealed in the temple Sept 2.. tomorrow!  Even though he wasn't my convert, I felt just as excited as Sister Tafiti.  He looked super healthy and happy, had a back pack on and was coming from school.  She explained that when they first started teaching him, he and all of his family were very skinny and very poor.  He would speak super quietly and wouldn't look you in the eye.  It is just amazing to see how a year later he is so much happier, healthier, and full of light.... all from the gospel and the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We both walked away with him feeling so happy - THAT is why I am serving a mission.  I hope that I will have similar experiences at the close of my mission and can see that change in some of my converts as well.

That night we had nothing to do but wait for the sisters to come home and so we started talking to their neighbor.  He is from Africa and is studying in the Philippines right now (it is superrrr rare to see a black person in the Philippines). 

Anyway, he had a really interesting story and is actually very religious and literate in the bible.  We ended up talking to him for about an hour. Unfortunately, we couldn't teach him because there was no other girl to be present for the lesson but we talked about many gospel principles and shared verses with each other.  It was so sad because so many of his beliefs were in line with ours and I know he would accept the gospel but the problem is he CANNOT accept that there is any other piece of scripture besides the bible.  He was so close minded about it.  I tried sharing 2 Nep. 29:3 and 6-8 but he was still super hard hearted.  It just made me sad how confused people are and the devices of the devil to keep them from the truth.  But, hopefully he will have another opportunity to accept the gospel.

The next day we went to the mission home to meet the new trainees coming in.  You can definitely tell the brand new missionaries from the ones that have been here a while.  Haha they all look so fresh and confused and a little scared (I know that I was like that when I first got in the field).  There were only two new sisters and one of them was super nice and smiley so I was secretly praying that she would be my companion.  Then we went into a big room and had an orientation and they announce the new missionary (who stands up) and then they announce who the trainer will be.  It is super climactic haha.  But I lucked out and got the smiley, darling Sister Martinez. 
Sister Martinez & Me On our way to Mindoro
 She is so humble and kind and just wants to be the best missionary she can be.  To be honest, these past few days, I have been the one learning from her.  She is so talented and I know that we were put together for a reason.  I am so excited for these next 12 weeks and I already feel so much love for her.  I know that through our faith we will be able to accomplish great things here in Calapan before I peace out. 
Sister Tafiti got transferred right into San Pablo.  My roommates are still here - Sister Lero and Sister Hingano.

I am sorry, but we didn't spend much time in our area so I don't too many cool stories, but I am sure I will have some next week.  We are also leaving again to go to Mission Tour so I am sure that will be awesome.

I love you all so much.  I miss you and pray for you lots.
 Sister Rasmussen
Pictures from my last week with Sister Tafiti.
Minda Mendoze and her son Ephraim.  They're hilarious.  
 Tatay and Nanay Aldevino, they're son brother Boy, and their grandson JM 
 Vanjie and her kids
On the boat to the mainland with Sister Tafiti.


On the boat back to Mindoro with Sister Martinez.

Our first week together...