Monday, June 8, 2015

The final countdown

Last week..

I guess I just don't understand how it is already here.  I have mixed feelings... siyemps.  I am excited to come home, but just like it said when I was set apart, coming home will definitely be a day of sorrow for me.  I love these people so much.  I love being a missionary.  Mom and Dad... I can't wait for you to come so that I can share with you this experience.

This week was so full of meetings, which has pros and cons.  The pro is I am so spiritually fed and inspired but we didn't get to work that much so we saw less miracles.

Monday night we did a family home evening with the Reyes family, before Noel went back to work abroad.  We simply talked about our relationship to Heavenly Father and how it relates to our earthly father and his role in our family.  They all cried.  The gospel has COMPLETELY changed their lives.  I don't know if I told you this, but before, they would always fight, Noel would always drink, and Sister Lyn would
always gamble.  To be honest, Noel wasn't that excited to come home because he knew that they would just fight the whole time.  But now they are all so happy, quiet, and peaceful in their home.  They all literally always have a smile on their face.  Noel and Lyn were dreading when he would leave and he said that he is making plans to be able to stay for good upon his next return.  They all really understand better the importance of family and God's plan for


They can't wait to be sealed together in the temple when he comes back in 3 years.  Brother Noel also found out about a group of members that secretly meet every Friday there to take the sacrament so he got the phone number and is making plans to go.  The cool thing too is they can skype to have family prayer and family scripture study.  He is such a cool guy, and I am so excited and grateful that I could help him to receive the gospel.

At our special Zone meeting on Tuesday we talked about the importance of the temple.  They asked each of us what the most important decision in life is and every single one of our answers were related to temple marriage.  Haha because obviously it is the most important thing and absolutely necessary for our exaltation.  After that, they asked if we were to ask the same thing to our investigators and recent converts, would they also have the same response?.....I felt a weight in my chest when I realized that they did not understand the importance of the temple and how important it is for them to go as a family to be sealed.  That was the focus.  There are just too many less-actives here in the Philippines and even struggling to retain the new fruits. 

Sister Melosantos, Sister Mangum,
President & Me
President Mangum used a good illustration when he said that if there was a huge storm and a hole in the roof so that your entire house was being flooded... you would not want to START by cleaning up the flood.  Instead you would want to get to the root of the problem and fix the roof so that you could start to see any progress. So as for the church here, instead of focusing all of our efforts on cleaning up the mess that has already been created, we need to first fix the root cause and prevent any more damage from occurring.  I am so grateful to have a little more time here to strengthen my recent converts, especially the ones here in Sta. Cruz and help them to realize the importance of the temple.  I will also keep in close contact with them when I go home, always pointing them towards that sacred place!
Sister Cortez's beautiful Daughters, Sister Melosantos,
Me & Sister Cortez
Friday we had MLC where we had beautiful words of wisdom about stress, patience, and sincere prayer.  I have realized that unless you are giving great effort to your prayers, you can easily slip into the habit of just saying prayers, instead of really praying.  I really feel that our prayers are directly related to the state of our relationship with Heavenly Father, and how close we are to becoming like Him.
I was glad to have this reminder before I go home so that I can really pray over the field here in Sta. Cruz and receive revelation, comfort, and peace for the next step I am about to take.  I challenge each of you to really evaluate how your prayers are and to make goals to have a more intimate and sincere communication with our Creator.  I even challenge each of you to take the test in chapter 4 in PMG to have a better idea!
Unfortunately, yesterday we had no one come to church, but I did go on splits with two return missionaries and we had success teaching Sister Cortez's mom who is slowly progressing, and my favorite Nanay, Sister Emy Diola.  I have confidence that we will have lots at church this Sunday.

Splits teaching Sister Cortez's Mother
Anyway, I love all of you sa buong puso ko and I pray for you always.  I know that God really does live and love each one of us.  He is always there just waiting for us to come unto Him.

Love you!!

Sister Rasmussen

I Love Sister Melosantos!

Sister Galbraith (Mission Nurse)

Elder...., Me & Sister Cayacay
Me & Sister Galabay

Me & Sister Harding
Me & Sister Melosantos 

Sister, Me, Sister Melosantos, Sister Dula, & Sister

Monday, June 1, 2015


Hello family!!! 

Oh my goodness it has been a fast, miraculous week!  And I have lots to report. 
Me & Sister Melosantos

I love Sister Melosantos!
First off I love Sister Melosantos! Hahah she is such a good missionary and we have lots of fun together.  One of my favorite things about her is she is so magaling tumawad (good at bargaining).  She always ALWAYS talks down the price.  Haha it is one of the trademarks of a true philippino and she has taught me well.  She has really helped me to become a true philippino and I really do feel like I am one of these people... I don't want to leave!! Of course I want to see you... but I don't want to leave because who knows when I will ever see these people again.

But we found a ton of investigators this week and for me.... finding is really where you see the miracles.  Every part of missionary work is amazing but for me finding and seeing the conversion of people is even more rewarding then witnessing the actual baptism. 

I know that you are really familiar with the Cortez family (super active, used to be a Stake President).  Anyway, Sister Cortez's mother lives with Sister Cortez, and she is fairly old and I had assumed that she had been taught before but apparently not.  I had created a really good relationship with her over the past 6 months and she ended up agreeing to be taught by us.  She is in her 70's... but to my shock and surprise her mind doesn't show any sign of age.  She is sooo smart and quick with everything that we teach.  She read the Restoration pamphlet and understood every part of it and had lots of questions for us.  She is a member of the Church of God and is really active in her church so it might take a while for her to be converted, but the good news is she is really searching.  And when Sister Melosantos shared the first vision with her the spirit was so strong!! Oh my goodness.  And when we asked her what she felt after we shared it to her, she simply said, "I felt the Holy Ghost."  
Sister Cortez, Sister Cortez's Mother, me, & Sister Melosantos
She is not yet ready to be baptized or to come to church but she is already reading the Book of Mormon and pondering the message within.  I am so excited about her and I can see miracles in the future for her.

We also found another really prepared couple... Brother Aldrine and Sister Selene.  We actually went to contact a referral from Bishop, but she wasn't there and so we just knocked on the next door and we ended up teaching this young and excited couple.  They are both 22 and are really interested.  They understood the message and accepted Baptismal Goal Dates.  It just shows how although sometimes it is not the person you are actually looking for that is prepared, God provides away for you to be in that area or that time to meet those who are prepared.  This is His work.

Brother Marvin and Jhanelle Salvador are doing a lot better!! The youth of the ward came with us to invite them to youth camp and although they were a little hesitant, they joined and had tons of fun at the 3 day excursion.  We heard that they even bore their testimonies.  After that they both came to church on time which hasn't happened in a few months.  As they are preparing for baptism, it is helping Brother Gilbert to quit smoking so he can be worthy to baptize them.

On Saturday we had a half day mission where we went on splits with the ward missionaries to go and contact referrals and every group saw miracles.  In my group, we went to Mamu's brother who actually served a mission but is now less active.  He has 3 kids who are not yet baptized, and is going through so many trials.  He said that a few days earlier, the missionary that baptized him contacted him and asked him how he was, and the very day that we went to visit him, one of his old companions also contacted him to see how he is doing.  It looks like we were definitely sent to his house and he is being prepared by the Lord to come back.  I felt inspired to share 3 Nephi 9:13-14 with him and he teared up.  He is humble and ready to come back and it is an answer to our prayers as we found even another family to teach!  Not just a family but a part member family - what we call the low hanging fruit.

Brother Noel's baptism was a success and I think it will be the last baptism of my mission.  Tons of members showed up and I cried during the testimony of Brother Noel and Nanay Fe (the woman who was taught by the other sisters).  They were so short, pure, simple, but powerful.  I was grateful for such a spiritual final baptism that I would be able to witness.

I will end with the testimony that an Elder shared at our zone P-day earlier today.  He compared the long hike that we took up to 3 crosses in Paete to the walk that Jesus Christ took before he was nailed on the cross and died for us.  Instead of a backpack on his back, he carried a heavy cross.  Instead of a hat on his head, he wore a crown of thorns.  Instead of sweat dripping down his face, drops of blood came from his pores.  Instead of friends laughing and joking by his side, he was betrayed by his friends and made the journey completely alone.  We can't completely understand everything he went through for us, but as we consider it, it makes our little trials seem so light in comparison.  Especially when we realize that He has already gone through it and knows perfectly how to help us.  I know that the atonement is real because I have felt the strength that comes from it every day of my mission.  I am so grateful to give something so small back to Him in exchange for His eternal sacrifice that I might have a chance to live with you for all of eternity in happiness.  I love you and I love Jesus Christ, and I am grateful that His name is still on my chest.

I love all of you!! I will see you soon.

Love Sister Rasmussen