Hello my beautiful family!
Wow.... this is already the end of the transfer. I never cease to be amazed at the way time flies. This means I only have 3 transfers left. I am sad... but I also feel like this is the climax of my mission and I want to make the most of every single second.
So.... I have been struggling to fight off thoughts and feelings of home this week as Sister K and I have now separated and she is currently in the mission home preparing for her return back to Hawaii. By the end of the week, I wasn't thinking about home anymore. It was a good test of my consecration and self-control. In some ways her going home makes it seem more real, but then part of me feels like that day will never really come for me. The ironic thing is this last week was very anti-climactic. Haha.... we got punted soooo many times and there were lots of setbacks and disappointments... but the great thing is because we knew we were being exactly obedient and doing absolutely everything in our power... we were not discouraged or anything. In fact... we were equally just as happy. I was surprised to see how we just maintained a smile and positive attitude day after day... and each night as we talked about the day, we still found many blessings and miracles.
|Me, Nanay Conching & Sister Kekauoha|
Monday night, while waiting for one of our investigators that never showed up, we were chatting with Francis, one of the YSA of the ward. I referred to Conching by just saying her name. Haha he was shocked and gave me such a hard time!! Apparently, when you refer to older Philppino's you MUST have a title like Nanay (mom) or Tatay (dad) or at the very least Sister. hahaha I was so embarrassed because I have been doing this my whole mission. This whole time I should have been saying Nanay Conching. I felt so bad as I reflected on all of the times that I texted her, "Conching!" or every time I saw her just saying her name. We dropped by afterwards and apologized to her about it. She didn't seem as concerned about it as Francis was but she wanted us to call her Nanay anyway because we are so close to her and she basically is our mom out here. By the way... she made me a beautiful dress that you will see in the pictures I sent home (the turquoise one with the white collar).
|Me, Nanay & Sister Kekauoha|
Wednesday night we had a powerful lesson with one of our families. We started the lesson just sort of teaching a standard lesson on repentance, not really teaching them personally. In the end, we asked Brother why he wants to listen or why he wants his wife and children to be baptized. I was literally shocked by the things that came out of his mouth in response. It is like he has gotten even HARDER than the first time we visited him. He explained that he has searched a lot of religions and that they all basically teach the same thing. That he just likes Mormons the best. He said he wasn't even sure if this was the only true church on earth. He doesn't want to give up his vices that go against the word of wisdom. Finally I just bore a bold testimony to him that these things are true and that he needs to repent. Sister Morales, the member working with us, then bore an incredible testimony about the Book of Mormon. How Sister K and I wouldn't have come all the way hear, on our own support or the support of our parents, and struggled to learn this language, if this book is not true. That it is the most important book on earth and how she never learns as much at church, or even from us missionaries, as she does when she reads the Book of Mormon. I don't remember everything she said but I just felt the spirit so strong. I cried for the first time in such a long time (partly because of the spirit and partly because I am just so sad about Brother and his blindness... I was thinking about Nephi how he says his tears water his bed at night because of the wickedness of his people).
I couldn't even look him in the eyes, but Sister Morales committed him to read and he accepted. Afterwards, she said that she could feel the Lord in the room, literally speaking through her. She said that she could tell in his eyes that he now had an intention to read the sacred book. They still didn't come to church... so I guess we will see what happens.
|Sister Morales & Me|
Connie... I am not sure if I introduced you to her last week... but she is doing INCREDIBLE!!! ahhhh I am so happy and excited about her. She is reading and already had a spiritual witness that it was true. She said she asked in sincere prayer and couldn't stop crying.. she said she cries when she is really really happy. She came to church on Sunday and I was so happy with the members welcoming her in. The only thing getting in the way of her baptism is her husband, who isn't against it, but is just always working and always busy. Connie is just worried about her family splitting up, especially when it comes to belief. I don't blame her... it's against God's plan of happiness. We are praying for her and her husband.
|Me, Sister K, Sister Krisubanu & Sister Williams|
Saturday was a special meeting where President Ardern (Philippines Area President) and Elder Beck came to speak to us. Almost all the missionaries in the mission gathered to listen to them, and they actually followed Elder Bednar's lead and did a question answer panel instead of sharing. Of course it was amazing. President Ardern is from New Zealand and is so articulate!! Haha I loved listening to his accent and the way he would word his sentences. It reminded me of Beau as he would seriously say things like, "Well that was a splendid edition wasn't it!!" after someone made a comment. But really, these leaders, AND THEIR WIVES, are so knowledgeable in the gospel and in the scriptures. It makes me excited and hopeful for the future and glad that I can and will continue to study and learn every day my whole life.
|"All Food Has A Story To Tell"|
-Ma Nay Chefs
|Sister Krisubanu & Me|
That night Sister K and I went to go teach her last few appointments here in the mission. You remember Tatay Vitaliz? Well you will be glad to know that he is doing amazing. He has stopped smoking, is coming to church, and gave us 2 really great referrals. We also taught the Barcenas family and they made us Philippino spaghetti and bought us yema cake (our favorites!!)
|Me and Sister Krisubanu|
Sunday, we went to church, I sent Sister K off (feeling emotionless.. I couldn't cry? It just doesn't seem real) and then I met up with Sister Krisubanu. We will be companions for a few days until transfer day this Thursday.
I will be companions with SISTER MAAGAD!!! I am so excited. She is philippina which has been my prayer and she is amazing. I have heard she is nice, funny, and crazy... haha so I think we will do JUST WELL together!
The last thing that I am going to do in my e-mails from now on is something called... "Life Lessons." This is what Elder Ardern counseled us to do in the back of our journals. At the end of each week, write one simple statement or lesson learned that week, and then underneath that describe the experience that helped us to learn it.
So this week: "God answers prayers"
Ok so you probably won't be surprised at this.... but you would be so proud of me until this week!! I am so much more thoughtful and careful with my things and rarely lose anything. Well anyway... if there were two things on my misison that I wouldn't want to lose it would be 1) my retainer 2) my scriptures (which are re-leather bound by this philippino lady and full of my revelations that I have written in them.) Well this week I lost both. But not at the same time. One morning I realized my retainer was gone... I looked everywhere (not even freaking out like I would have had it happened before my mission... I remained faithful, hopeful, and kept my cool) After looking for quite a bit, I knelt and prayed for help. Despite having looked in the garbage twice... I looked again and found it!!!!
Then, at the special meeting, while saying hi to some friends in the mission before the meeting, I set down my scriptures. I didn't have them the whole meeting and didn't know where they were. I started second guessing myself thinking that I left them on a tricycle or jeepnee, in which case I would have no hope of getting them back. I started praying that I would find them. After the meeting I was anxious to check the seats when all the missionaries were gone, but to my horror the room immediately started filling up with members who had a meeting right after ours. BUT... I remained faithful. Finally, an Elder came up to me and handed them to me. So grateful.
God answers prayers.
I love you so much!!1
Love Sister Rasmussen
Sister K, Me, Sister & Brother Espiritu and Family
|Sister Morales, Me, & Sister K|
|Sister K playing the piano|
|Me and Sister Williams|