Thursday, December 25, 2014

22 December 2014

Hello, Hello Again!
So this week was pretty sweet! I mentioned last time that one of our investigators was trying to quit smoking. So far she is doing very well and has only had two cigarettes in the past few days! She is doing really well, and has even mentioned she wants to move up her baptismal date.  It is truly awesome to see how the Gospel works in peoples lives.
So about the tiara picture, I was not pleased to pose in that picture but I did it anyway. It was going to happen sooner or later. I will have to tell you guys the story of how I got my nickname and all that jazz when I call home for Christmas.
Something really awesome happened with the "He is the Gift" initiative that the church has released. We have seen a ton of success, and more interest in the church since the video was released. The Bishop in our ward invited a co-worker over and we shared a Christmas message with her and the family. After sharing that message, we felt prompted to teach her the about the Restoration. It was such a cool experience she really felt the spirit. She committed to read the Book of Mormon and come to church next Sunday. We will be teaching her this Friday and we are super excited to meet with her again. So for any of you who have not seen the "He is the Gift" video, you should go to and check it out!
Sheridan is now full of people who have come to visit for the Holiday season.  While at Walmart today, we had a bunch of church members stop and talk to us about where they were from and why they were here visiting for Christmas. One of them actually invited us to go to lunch with them (and their friends) as we walked in the door. We gladly accepted! (Cort was right, it's one of the best feelings in the world as a missionary when someone offers to pay for your lunch.) Their friends are an Amish family which they bring into town so they can get groceries and stuff. They were super nice and each had a great sense of humor. I felt sorry for them because a lot of the people in the restaurant were giving them weird looks and saying things about them. I felt compassion for them because I know what it is like to have people just stare at you like you are some type of alien because you are dressed up in a suit and have a name tag on.
I'm super happy that I'm out here on my mission!
So yeah, to answer a few of your questions...I too was worried about my package because you said it was going to be there on Thursday and it wasn't, so I thought someone had taken it or something. But as it turns out, they came to deliver it on Sunday (I thought there was no post on Sunday?!?..Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon lied to us!) and I wasn't there to get it, so they took it back to the post office. I picked it up today and I now have it so, THANK YOU!
I talked to the members whose house we are going to for Christmas..I WILL BE CALLING AROUND 11 so be ready! Make sure to tell Austin, I will tell him as well so hopefully he will be able to come. I guess I will keep this e-mail short so we have more to talk about on Christmas!
-Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, December 21, 2014

15 December 2014

Hey there!
So this week was a very good week for Elder Edwards and me.  Two of the wonderful people we're working with have set dates for baptism.  We feel the dates they have picked are inspired and it is amazing to see them as they work hard towards those dates everyday. I hope that I will be around to see their baptisms--there is nothing more I would rather see than for these two wonderful people to be blessed by the covenant of baptism, but I also feel that my chances of staying here another transfer are slim.   
Everything in Sheridan is going really well, while there are days we struggle to find new people to teach we have been blessed to be able to teach almost everyday--both people who are investigating the church and members we don't see often at church.  We are going to start a 15 step program with one of our church investigators, which is a smoking cessation program.  My companion has seen it work successfully a couple times in the past, so I'm really excited to be able to share it.  
My companion is going to receive his "trunky (going home) papers" soon, most likely in the next week. He only has 2 1/2 transfers left which, right now, I can't even comprehend. He doesn't seem too excited to go home.  If you think about it, the life of a missionary is pretty "magically appears" in your account, you don't have to worry about bills, gas and a car are paid for, and sharing the gospel is your only real responsibility.   
One of the people we have been meeting with asked us, "So did you guys ever do anything fun before your, did you have normal lives?" I responded by saying, "Oh yeah, during the summer my friends and I would find a nice shady tree, and read scriptures all day long..we loved talking about the doctrines of the gospel and how it applied to our lives.  There is nothing better than staying up all night feasting on the words of Christ!"  She looked at me in shock and asked, "REALLY?!?   That sounds horrible!" My companion and I burst out laughing, thoroughly enjoying that we had her going for a few moments.  We confessed that we did plenty of "normal stuff."  Nothing quite like a little missionary fun.  
We went over to a member's house today to give a blessing and he said, "Hey Elder, come try this suit on." So I did and it fit perfectly!  It's a brand new suit and is freaking sweet! I felt so happy and fortunate with his generosity.  It was a custom-made suit looks pretty expensive, so I'm super stoked that he would offer it to me. This family is easily one of the coolest families in the ward.  He said he wore it once and that was it, he said he was too big to fit in it now. I'll wear it on Christmas so you guys can see it when we Skype.
I love you guys a ton! Looking forward to Christmas day!
-Love Elder Erik Rasmussen

Monday, December 8, 2014

8 December 2014

Hello Everyone!
This week was an awesome week! Elder Edwards and I are doing great here in Sheridan, Wyoming. We have been able to see a lot of success in our area this past week and are able to see how the Lord is blessing us with opportunities to teach and meet new people.   In our last meeting one of the people we're blessed to work with told us she knew that the Book of Mormon was true, which was a great thing to hear. She is super solid in the faith and now just needs to take that last leap of faith into baptism! I'm so excited for her and for all these good people and for the blessings that they will begin to see should they choose to be baptized. Another one of the people investigating the church is coming to services every week and said she knows now that she wants this in her life and knows it will bless her. I'm so happy for all the progress she has been making and it is sweet to be able to see her faith continue to grow and her knowledge of the gospel as well. When we go over for lessons she can pretty much teach them to us which a really cool thing to experience.  A couple of other good people are also doing well so we feel very blessed right now to be working with such wonderful people.
We ran into a nice brother at McDonald's the other day, we started talking to him and said he wouldn't mind if we stopped by.  We stopped by one night and they (he and his brother) were watching a football game. We asked if it would be a good time to teach him and he said, "Ah man, not right and my brother are smoking and drinking, so not right we are watching the game!" My companion said, "Dang!...we better let you go then, we wouldn't want to interrupt the game!"  We asked when a good time to come back would be and after giving his response his brother said, "Yeah, and you guys can come help us move a couch too!" Then he proceeded to say, "We are all God's children, he loves all of us...even that little white kid back there!" (Pointing at me). We all just laughed and told him we would stop by another time. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to meet with him yet but I'm hoping that we will be able to soon!
Something really crazy happened the other night, we went over to a member's house and started eating dinner when one of their kids started choking on a piece of fatty bacon. His dad ran over to him and tried the Heimlich but I don't know how well it worked the kid eventually just threw it up, that's when the dog proceeded to eat what he threw up! That's my crazy story for the week. =)
It feels kind of weird being on a mission during Christmas time.
The holidays so far haven't felt different/special the way they used to because our days are so much the same as missionaries.  It's also very hard to contact people because everyone is with their families and don't really want to be bothered. I'm thinking Christmas will be more fun for us though. I'm excited to be able to talk to everyone! When you said that all you want to do when it gets cold outside is eat and hibernate it reminded me of that sign Caitlin and I saw that said "Don't feed the Mom" I got a good chuckle out of it!
1) Yeah, I got the advent calendar! It's fun to see what the item of the day is.  I have enjoyed all of them so far.
2) Yes, we did get to watch the First Presidency Devotional; it was really good! A member invited us over and we watched it on their projector which is huge so it was pretty sweet! 
3) My shirts are great I have only ironed them like twice. Once when I first got to Sheridan and another time because I left them in the dryer. They only get wrinkled if I don't hang them up right away.
I'm pretty sure that Austin is going over to the Anderson's so hopefully we will be able to call at separate times so that he can talk to both Jacob and me. Let me know if you find out when Jacob is calling and I will do my best to call before or after that. The member's that invited us over are having us for dinner So I would guess that I will be later in the day, but I'm not entirely sure. I love you guys a ton! I'm getting excited to talk to y'all.
-Love Elder Rasmussen

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

1 December 2014

 I'm glad to hear that Thanksgiving was good! My Thanksgiving was pretty fun.  We went over to the Gilbert's house--they had 7 of their 10 children there, most of whom also have kids so the house was packed, but it made me feel like I was back home in Parowan for Thanksgiving. The food was really good...she makes a mean turkey dinner and we ate with gold plated forks, spoons, and knifes, so that was pretty cool. They also have these way cool goblets, complete with their family crest and name. I felt like a king dining in a royal hall, even though we were in a small was a good day. Everyone loved my turkey tie!
My new companion is way sweet! He looks a lot like "Uncle Bill Sutherland" to me for some reason; I'll send you a picture of him and perhaps you'll see why. He is from Riverside California...which sounds like is about an hour away from the beach, mountains, Disneyland, lakes, and much more.  Sounds like a great place to live.
I'm really happy I get to stay in Sheridan for Christmas.  We've been invited over for Christmas dinner by a family who is also graciously allowing us to Skype at their house! I'm super excited to go over there.  Their son, Josh, has super nice computers so we should have a pretty good connection while Skyping. I'm excited to talk to ya'll!  I would like Austin to be there if that's alright with you guys? I told Cort to pass the info on to him, I have no idea what time I'll be calling or anything, I suppose we will figure that out as that time gets closer.
Noah better not get too comfy, cause when I get home...oh boy am I gonna have a good time. I'm going through scaring companions haven't reacted nearly as good as Noah does. So I'm really excited to get to scare him some more! =)
That iPad dream seems to be sticking with all seemed so real, I was pretty upset with Noah.  Who drops a brand new iPad in sand right before his brother is getting shipped back to his mission?!? I haven't heard anything about the missionaries in our mission getting iPads yet, I guess we could get them anytime from this month to next July when we get a new mission president. 
I'll keep an eye out for the package; I have been thinking about some possible Christmas gifts. One that came to mind was a USB so that I can safely have a second storage device for my pictures and such. I feel like I've previously asked you for something else as well, but I can't think of what it is at the moment so I'll keep thinking. I'm not sure about the Christmas packages, I'll talk to the family who is having us over and get back to you on that. 
1) It's pretty cool to be a district leader's companion; it's all I have known so I don't know what it would be like to not be one, but it's pretty cool I guess.  You certainly get to see how leadership in the mission works.
2) Yeah, our car is more only walking in the snow! =)
3) I may possibly need another bag/suitcase. I could probably squeeze everything together--cause I'm a guy and know how to pack everything into what I'm given, but I suppose another bag wouldn't hurt. The only thing I'm worried about is paying to get it home when I'm done out here. Not that that is anywhere near, money, money.  Just trying to be frugal, dontcha know?
Ah yes, the Amazing Race! I love that show.  When we go over to people's houses and they have their T.V.s on, it's hard not to listen/look at it when it's talking about a cool new movie or video game coming out. I mean, it's a lot easier now than it was at the beginning of my mission, but still getting used to that.
Glad to hear that everyone is doing well! I love you guys thanks for all you do!
-Elder Rasmussen (Eri-Eri-ERIK)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

24 November 2014

Hey Family!
This week was a bitter sweet one in the Sheridan area. Elder Johnson was transferred to Casper Wyoming, which is one of the windiest places in the state.  It was great to be able to serve along side him. He taught me a lot and I know he will do awesome in Casper. I'm excited to get a new companion, (By the way I'm staying in Sheridan!!! Yay!) His name is Elder Edwards. He has been out for 22 months so I will probably, as the mission lingo goes, "Kill Him," which, in other words, means I'll be his companion until he goes home. I'm hoping that we can make his last two months, two of the best of his mission.  

Some days it is hard to stay motivated, that's why I'm glad that Elder Johnson was always motivated to go out and work--it helped me to have a better attitude about the day, especialy if I was feeling down. I know at some point it will be my turn to try and keep my companion(s) motivated to work and so I want to be a great companion to Elder Edwards until the end. I will still be the junior companion (which is fine with me) and Elder Edwards will be the new district leader. We are combining two districts together this transfer, which is sweet because the last time we were together with the missionaries from the other district we got a lot done and it was very motivating.  I'm also happy that Elder Ehlert (who was in my MTC group) gets to stay here in Sheridan as well. Today we get to be companions until our new companions get here and it has been really fun so far. We have a lot in common and have the same sense of humor so we get along really well.

This week was full of visits to the hospital, one of our members had appendicitis and so we ran up there to give him a blessing. We had another member go into the hospital because she was having heart problems, and another sister has been having some issues with her memory and speech. So we were up at the hospital a lot this week. We have to walk everywhere now, because our car went into the shop to get fixed (from the tree stump incident back in August).  So I'm going to be very thankful for the snow gear that I have. The weather here isn't all that bad, it isn't much different than Utah, just a little more windy. A couple of days ago it was in the high 50's so that was really nice--being able to walk around with just a suit coat on...felt so good.
So the other day I had this dream that I went home for Christmas and you guys got me a new iPad for my mission, (which I was to finish after Christmas) and Noah dropped it in a bunch of sand and ruined it.  Needless to say, I was not happy with him. Why there was a random box of sand right next to where he was holding it, I'll never know, but it just shows, "I don't trust him...not a bit!" Ha!

I feel like I've "grown up" a lot since I have been out here. All of the ward members say that I have aged about 3 years since I have been out...which now means that they finally see me as being 15!  (I'm slowly making my way up to 19.) One of our less-active members is Native American and has been teaching us how to speak little parts of his language. I know how to say "Brother," "sit down," "food," and "eat." I think it's pretty cool, always wanted to learn a new language. 

The other day Elder Johnson and I were cleaning out the car (with those free vacuums at the car wash) and two employees came and talked to us as they were putting up Christmas stuff. They asked where we were from, and after telling them, I heard one guy say.."yeah back in Parowan, Utah I used to do all sorts of crazy stuff." What are the odds that I meet yet another connection to Parowan. I swear, people move from Parowan must move straight to Sheridan. I have met 6 people who have lived in or have connections to Parowan--crazy small world.  Speaking of Parowan connections, I was at the Sluaghter's house the other day (our 6th cousins or something like that) and he was telling me that I had the "Rasmussen Chin" I asked him what that meant and he went and grabbed a picture of grandfather Christen (Christian) and said.."Here's the Christian Rasmussen Chin."   Lo and behold, we do have very similar chins. I guess in the Slaughter family, they refer to people with this chin as having the "Rasmussen Chin." So that was kind of a cool thing to hear/see. 

Answers to Mom's Questions of the week:
1) I did indeed receive the package, thank you so much for that. It was awesome, I wore the frog tie Bryce sent me to church and got many compliments on it. (When I first got the tie, I thought the frogs were turkeys.) I'm planning on wearing Cort's turkey tie on Thanksgiving.
2) We are going over to the Gilbert's for dinner, they are going to have a ton of family over that day so it will kind of be like I'm in Parowan.
3) Yup got everything!
4) Winter gear--I think what I have right now will work great, the items you sent is really warm and I sometimes have to take things off cause I get too hot =)
5) The blanket does a great job keeping me warm at night, thanks for the advice on cleaning it!

Please Thank Damon and Jamilla for the letters! They were awesome to get! Tell them I sent them some letters! =)

I love you guys! I'll be thinking about you this Thanksgiving! Say hello to everyone for me!

-Love Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, November 23, 2014

17 November 2014

Hey Mumzy, et al:

This week was a lot better than last week.  We heard from the young woman whom we thought had decided not to be baptized—she is still very much wanting to be baptized, but is wanting to go home for Thanksgiving to discuss her decision with her parents.  She’s hoping to gain their support and understanding, as she makes this important decision.  I think her decision is a very good one.  I would hate to rush anyone into baptism, or anything else important like this that they weren't ready for or didn’t feel good about. She is super solid and knows that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true! It has been awesome to be able to watch her testimony grow and to see how she is able to stand up for what she believes in, and to see that she has the courage to do what she knows to be right even though those around her may not fully understand or support it. She has also brought one of her friends to the lessons and we are now teaching her as well.  Her friend is progressing very well and I can see that she’s beginning to gain her own testimony after just a few lessons. It is amazing to experience what the power of the Holy Ghost can do. 

Since I have been out on my mission, I’ve had the opportunity to look back at all the opportunities I had to share the gospel but didn’t—because I didn't want to stand out or seem weird.  My love for those I really care about has grown.  I’m grateful our family has been blessed to have friends of other faiths as a big part of our lives.  I think about how much the Smoyer's have done for us and how much you love them.  I’ve realized I share that same love for my own good friends—Jacob and Austin.  I don't think there is really anything they could ever do that would cause me to stop caring for them/being their friend. When we were together we didn't even think about religion, meaning it was never a source of contention.  I'm really grateful for our friendship and to think that one day we will be able to reunite is what keeps me going sometimes. Jacob is already over the year mark on his mission which is sweet! Jacob and Austin are already talking about stuff that they are going to do when Jacob gets back and I sometimes think, "Here I am again…always lagging behind." But I’ll get over it. :)

Yeah, I know Elder Cloward; he is a way cool missionary! He trained Elder Byron who was one of my favorite people in the MTC!  It really is a crazy-small world. Was Brother Johnson in South Dakota to go pheasant hunting? Would have been cool to see him, but I'm super happy that I'm still in Sheridan. 

So transfers are this Saturday…Elder Johnson and I are thinking that it is probably his time to go =(.  He has been here for 7 months and that is a really long time for someone to serve in one place. I’ll admit, I hope that I will be able to stay, I would love to spend as much time here as possible. If I were chosen to train a new missionary next, I would most likely be here until February which would be OUTSTANDING! I hope that my new companion, whenever we get together, will be cool. I don't really want to have a companion that is unmotivated or doesn't follow the rules…that would make things very hard for me.

A’s to mom’s questions for the week:
1) I got the boots; they are fantastic and fit great! It's a good thing that Dad got a size bigger because they were a tight fit due to the amount of insulation that they have.
2) There is nothing special that I need; I'm already very grateful for the awesome winter weather gear/outer wear I have received!
3) One thing I gotta let you know Mom, is that 0 degrees here in this mission isn't “too cold” to go out…our cut off is more like -30. The coldest it has been here this winter is -20, and yes we were out and about. Again, I’m glad you sent all the winter stuff! =)
4) Trying some Vitamin D would be great!  If it helps some people with mood, I’l be happy to give it a go.  I’ll do anything I can to stay positive and have noticed my mood go down a little since it has started snowing so much.

I have a Q for you:
1) Can I wash the blanket you sent me? (The one I got last Christmas) If so, how?

Well I love you guys and hope that you all have a great week!

-Love Elder Rasmussen 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

10 November 2014

Mi Familia!

This past week was full of ups and I'll start with the bad news first. The two baptisms scheduled for Saturday both decided to reschedule, one decided she wasn’t ready (and we haven’t heard from her in over a week now) and the other guy wanted to push out a week.  So that was really sad for us, we hope that we’ll hear her soon and that the other guy will keep his new date.  The young lady that was going to be baptized this week said she, “Talked to her parents about us and told us she had some bad news for us.”  She added it doesn't mean she won't be baptized, but we have the feeling that most likely that she won’t.  We are however, holding out hope and praying for the both of them.  We want them to be happy.   Adversity can put doubt into people's minds, and it’s been really annoying these past few days.  Ha!  

Yesterday was 50 the high is 20..and it is a blizzard outside...and oh, tomorrow it is supposed to be 7 degrees so that's cool. *Budump chhss* What the heck Wyoming? This weather is more bipolar than Utah weather!

Okay, now for some better news, yesterday we had 7 members come to church that hadn’t come out in a long time…which was an awesome thing to see! We also got to see one of our recent converts receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and another member newly returned to activity, receive the Aaronic priesthood. So that boosted our mood after hearing all of the not so good news.

So yeah, it’s was kind of odd to think that I have been out for 4 months already…I mean that isn't a long time, but at the same time it is. I wonder if I will be going home a transfer early due to the fact that my end date shows the 4th of July 2016.  That date would be in the middle of a transfer period so who knows?..ain’t nobody got time to worry about! 

So, the Summer's sold their house huh? That was quick! Crazy to think that almost none of the original neighbors live there anymore. I think only the Brandelmayer's  and Anderson’s are still living there (of the people I knew well, anyway). Spent some good years running around that neighborhood playing and having fun. Change is good though.  The Summer's will be living closer to us now, correct? I bet it is a really nice house that they are moving into.

1) The cold is cold.. nothing I haven't experienced before, I'm ready for spring already however!
2) I Did see Meet the Mormons! We saw it in Gillette because that's where our zone leaders are.  Since we aren't aloud in movie theaters, all the missions got an advanced copy of the DVD. We watched it at the church. I thought it was really cool! Surprisingly, I didn't cry during the missionary mom part..but I did get a lump in my throat.  Still, no tears were shed :)  (A manly triumph, to be sure.)
3) Yes, our apartment has a Christmas tree, we probably won't put it up until after Thanksgiving though.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I always liked the Thanksgiving holidays we spent in Parowan, seems like we had more excitement and family bonding. 

Nothing too exciting happened this week, although something kind of crazy happened last week that I forgot to mention.  At the Rapid City mission conference we went to, I saw Allison Lamb from the Copper Hills 4th Ward. Apparently she is serving her mission here too. I didn't recognize her at first so when I saw this sister missionary starring at me I was thinking "Oh great, what is this about?” It wasn't until I actually starting talking to her that I recognized who she was. I mean, she looked familiar but it didn’t connect at first.  Another interesting thing that happened was when I was at the other elder's apartment and I was looking on the wall of all the missionaries who served here (they had all written their names), and Marissa Monson's name was there.  I was aware that she had served in the Rapid City Mission, but it's pretty crazy that she served in the same area that I am. Just shows that it is a pretty small world.

I hope that everything at home is still going well, I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys again! Hope that Caitlin isn't going too HAM with the baby and all. Oh yeah, please tell Aunt Marie thank you so much for the scrubbies, they are awesome and will most certainly be put to good use! 

Love you!

-Elder Rasmussen

Monday, November 3, 2014

3 November 2014

Hello Mumzy, et al:

Speaking of the weather, it is starting to get cool, but amazingly today and yesterday have been 60+ degrees…so I ain't complaining! I couldn't ask for better fall weather. The wind is starting to pick up, but other than that some of the trees here are still green which the locals say is crazy.  Thanks for helping me locate some good winter wear items, I'm excited to get them...I think they look pretty sweet!

So Meet the Mormons was good, huh? I don't blame you for crying during the last story about the departing missionary. I imagined you would. We get to see it this Thursday in Gillette and I'm really excited. I don't doubt that I'll likely shed a tear or two myself.  It is awesome that the gospel is being spread through media, as good people like the ones featured in the film tell their stories.  We have had a lot of members take their friends to see it which has subsequently generated a lot of questions. We are hopeful that we may have others who are interested in learning more about the church and the Savior because of the movie—which would be outstanding! 

Speaking of people investigating the church, one of the people we’ve been working with is getting baptized this Saturday, and another is getting baptized on the 15th. I'm so excited for them. It feels good to see people having new light come into their lives and to see that your visits have played a small part in helping them get to a better place (all of this due to the holy spirit, of course). I have seen, and been able to feel, when the Holy Ghost is manifesting and testifying of truth as we teach these great people. An awesome feeling enters the room and you can just see in their eyes when they know what you are saying is true. I'm so excited for Saturday and will make sure that I tell you how everything goes. 

We had the opportunity to go to Rapid City this past week for a Multi-Zone Conference. We were able to hear from Elder Nash of the Seventy and his wife. It was an awesome opportunity. Once you entered the room the spirit was so strong it hit you like a brick wall. It was also really cool because I got to see a lot of the Elders that were in my MTC group.  It was fun to reminisce about the 12 longest days of our lives and all the crazy things that happened. Our adventure on the way home (or I guess I should say my companion’s adventure on the way home), was pretty interesting. We ended up traveling in different cars and on the way back, the car that my companion was in hit a 4X4 8 ft. board in the road, and damaged two tires. So my companion had to stay the night with the Elders in Spearfish, while I stayed in Gillette with some other missionaries. They had to drive home the next morning on a doughnut and a leaking tire. They could only go 50 MPH so an hour drive turned into a 2 1/2 hour drive. I was glad we traveled safely and that I was spared that little adventure.

So yes, I really did get to carry a dead deer up the mountain. I was thinking that very thing as I hiked up the hillside, "This really is as cold as a dead deer." It was pretty fun. I don't think I'll ever be able to say, “put it on my tab” while on my mission, cause AIN'T NO ONE got money for that. 

So how did cousin Taylor learn about the lady in Spain that he donated the bone marrow to? Glad to hear that he is doing well.

Answers to Mom’s questions:
1)I love the new camera you sent as a belated birthday gift, it's great! A lot better than what I had.
2)For Christmas?  The only think I can think of right now is a good pair of sunglasses. I hear the reflection off the snow kills your eyes after awhile.
3)Halloween was fine.  After dinner we passed out candy at a member's house and had a nice visit, it was pretty chill. We also had pumpkins to carve but we never ended up with time to do it, so now they are our "Thanksgiving pumpkins" We had pizza for dinner...didn't see that one coming, ha! It was pretty good though.

Sorry to hear that Noah isn't a "perfect student" anymore with his first A-.  I never came close to a straight 4.0, so I don't know what that's like.

That's all for this week, folks. Love you and look forward to emailing you next week! Thanks for the prayers and support.

-Love Elder Rasmussen

Monday, October 27, 2014

27 October 2014

It's always a happening time here in Sheridan!

Ah man, I remember Friday Halloweens were the best because they took up the whole day at school so you didn't have to do any work.  You just partied all day and then went home and got more candy! It was fantastic!  Plus, you could stay out late because you didn't have school the next day. Those were the days! Reminds me of the year Jacob, Austin, and I went trick-or-treating and we were like 15-16 (even though our mommies told us we were too old). When we stopped at the Bennett’s house, Mrs. Bennett gave candy to Jacob and me because we looked like we were 11, but she wouldn't give any to Austin cause she thought he was 17!  Hahahahaha! We had some good laughs at that—at least Jacob and I did, Austin was not too happy. So far, we don't have any special rules for Halloween. My companion said that last Halloween they tried to talk to people but no one was having any of it; and in fact got mad when they opened the door and found out it was missionaries and not kids. I believe that it will be a regular proselyting day until 6 pm, and after that we have a dinner appointment with a ward member family and they have invited us to also carve pumpkins so we are pretty excited about that.

THAT’S A JOKE! OF COURSE CARLTON WOULD BE ON DANCING WITH THE STARS WHILE I'M GONE!! He is like my idol and with Whitney...ah man..don't even get me started on her!   This is a cruel joke. They better win! I mean, how can you beat those dance move he does!?! That is outstanding that he did his dance to “It's not unusual" by Tom Jones. I will certainly want to watch that when I get home!

Yeah, the Meet the Mormon's movie has been a huge thing in our mission. We are encouraging all of the ward member's to invite their friends to see it. I was actually going to ask if you guys had seen it yet. I hear it is really good, and the beginning is funny. We aren't aloud to watch it in theaters but we will be able to see it in November during a private screening.

It is crazy to think that by the time I get home Apple will probably be releasing the iPhone 8, which is baffling. I have seen the I phone 6 and it didn't look very different to me so I haven't been all that impressed from what I have seen. 

I had one of the best experiences the other day, a member went hunting and shot a deer. Well, his knee is broken (he is the only guy I know who would go hunting by himself with a broken knee) and needed some help packing it that's what we did. Drove up the mountain and hiked around until we found him (he called us from his cell and explained to us where he was).  After we found him, Elder Johnson and this other kid that came with us (who was a family friend) took turns doing the fireman carry with the body. I got to carry the head up the mountain so that was pretty cool. First time that I have ever held a dead deer head..and let me just tell you, that thing was as cold as a dead deer! =) I named the head Melvin and everyone got a kick out of that.  On the way up the mountain, his tongue popped out so that just made it all the better. We had to hike up a really steep mountain side (because he shot the deer in a valley, which made things difficult) in the dark, so it took almost an hour and a half to get it out. Boy, I will tell you though, I felt like a mountain man carrying that thing up the steep incline…working to feed my family, who was stashed away in a cozy log cabin somewhere.  Ha! That was my big adventure for the week. We then went up this morning and helped him pack the rest of his gear out, so I will post some pictures. Elder Johnson and I also were able to lure a cat into our apartment with a laser pointer. Once it was in, we closed the door and played with it for like 5 minutes and then let it out. It was a pretty cool cat. 

I love you guys! Thanks for the packages and tell Caitlin and Bryce thanks for the PEZ!

-Love Elder Rasmussen

20 October 2014

This is “Wranglin' Rasmussen” coming to you live from the beautiful town of Sheridan Wyoming! It's another beautiful day! Looks like temperatures will be in the low 70's for the upcoming week with potential snow next Monday and Tuesday. So enjoy the weather folks, cause it's about to get real cold round these parts!

See what I did there? If you didn't well, I'm sorry you will have to figure it out on your own.  So yeah, the weather has been fantastic here the past two weeks, and has been in the low 70's and high 60's which you can't beat for October. I have been thanking the Lord a lot lately for blessing us with warm weather cause I hate the snow.  Folks around here say it's a miracle that it hasn't snowed nearly as much as it usually does.

I have some suggested baby names for Caitlin and Bryce…I was thinking Jamantha, Jimantha, Jumantha, or Jabius. All those names would work very well for them, I think. So Caitlin is showing huh? Can't picture it. It still doesn't seem real, I feel like you guys are playing some sick joke on me and that when I get home there isn't gonna be a nephew for me raise in the ways of video gaming and you all will start laughing cause I fell for it. 

Thank you for the baby gender reveal package. When I first opened it, I only saw the part with the Binkey on it and I was very confused as to what it was, but I obviously figured it out when I turned the box around. The stuff in it was actually almost exactly what we needed--I almost bought a scrubby so I could clean the kitchen a bit better. For your information mother, I’ll have you know our apartment gets cleaned every Monday and it looks fantastic. I feel keeping the place clean is important and my companion helps out too. 

Yes mom, I have had my haircut..It's been over 3 months since I left home. That would mean my hair would be way long which isn't allowed, ya big silly! We go to Great Clips; it's a fantastic place and there happened to be a “blessed daughter of God” who cut my hair today.   Actually, it may have been the best haircut of my young life!

My companion and I were out tracking, going door to door; we knocked on this door and heard from the inside, "It's just those darn Mormon boys again." So we kept knocking but they never opened up the door. My companion had a crazy experience while we were on exchanges. They knocked at one house, the guy answered and started swearing at them and my companion had a hard time not laughing because the man happened to be butt naked from the waist down!   So after the man slammed the door,  they walked away, laughing as they went. This place is crazy and you never know what will happen when your knocking on people's doors..strangely a lot of people here claim to be both Christian and Buddhist, still trying to understand how that works.

Love you all have a great week! I love you guys, thanks for all you do!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

14 October 2014


Apparently here in Wyoming, people actually celebrate Columbus Day…many get the day off of work and most kids got out of school. I thought that was “re-donk-ulous.” Who gets THAT day off of school?!? That never would have happened in the Nazi Jordan School District…I'm surprised we didn't have to go on Christmas!  Ha!  

That's sweet that you finally found out what the baby's gender is…I'm gonna go ahead and say it's a girl. No one has spoiled it for me, but that's what I have been feeling. 

Of course you guys do fun things with the Bob Rasmussen's while I'm gone! Seems like we rarely did things with them. You ladies crafted?!? That's crazy talk. You never do anything like that!

So about transfers...I GET TO STAY IN SHERIDAN!!! Hoo-rah for Israel! I’m so happy that I get to stay. I was not looking forward to leaving yet, but luckily I get to stay here for 6 more weeks (and hopefully longer).  This being my first and only mission area, I can't imagine serving anywhere else right now. We have a lot of great work going on here and we have two great people who have set baptism dates. I'm really happy I’ll have the opportunity to stay and see them get baptized. My companion is also staying, which is fine with me!  Sure, we have our good and bad days just like any companionship would, but almost all are good days—rarely do we have bad ones. 

So I finally met a lady who has a Minnesota accent—it is super sweet to hear. She said to us today, ”I'm from Minnesota don't cha' know?" as well as "Oh yeeeeah, I know all about the Atonement of Jesus." I was like, wow...guess some good Minnesota folks really do sound like you hear in the movies.  She has three cats that are extremely fat and you know what they say, the only good cat is…a fat one!  My favorite of the feline trio is the fattest of them all; his name is Connor, an orange tabby.  She also has a cat that looks exactly like our former cat, "The General," so I love going over there. The cats all jumped up on me and today; I had all three of them sitting on my lap..ok well, one was on the upper part of the chair and the other two were on my lap so I felt like the "Cat King." I soooooo wanted to get a picture, but we were in the middle of a lesson so it wasn’t appropriate to stop and take a picture.

I also had the opportunity to go up to Ranchester, Wyoming recently, which is a town even smaller than Sheridan--population about 800 or 900.  I went to Ranchester as part of exchanges (with other missionaries) and it was an interesting time. We ran into this guy who barged out of his home as we approached (and I immediately thought,  “Great!  Here comes the yelling and the, Get off my property!”  (*insert shotgun pumping sound*) But he invited us in, warmly shook our hands and we ended up having this crazy and entertaining 2 hour conversation about his life.  We talked about a lot of subjects and as many tangents.  Doesn’t seem especially interested in learning more about the church at present, but he was a really nice guy and it was a good time. 

Yeah, I’ve been doing my hair differently lately. Don't know what got into me…I just one day decided it was time for a change and have liked it, so it’s my new do.  Seems to be getting the job done. 

Yeah, Lexe's (a nice girl Cort has been dating) cousin is way sweet.  He takes us out to dinner every month or so, and has a super cool family.  We were surprised when we realized that my brother had dated a girl with the same name as his cousin.  And I thought, no way it's the same person…but he showed me a picture and there she was! Crazy small what are the chances that would happen???  One evening we were talking about how if Cort and Lexe ever got married, we would be cousins-in-law. We had a good chuckle about it.  It’s strange how many connections I’ve discovered and experienced since being here.

I'm excited to find out what Caitlin and Bryce’s baby is, and I'm still working on my birthday package…I don't have much free time, don’t cha know?

I love you guys and can't wait to hear from you all again.

-Elder Rasmussen, Eri-eri-E-Rik

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

6 October 2014

Hola, Mi Familia!

It is once again a pleasure to hear from you.  Yeah, things are starting to cool down here and the wind is really starting to pick up.  It’s becoming rainy and cloudy almost everyday now.  Now that General Conference has passed, the suit coat rule is in place (we have to wear our suit coats every day until the April General Conference).  Not a fan of the suit coat, but hey…I’m on a mission and you gotta do what you gotta do.

For once, I really enjoyed General Conference.  I know many people look at it as “more church” but for us missionaries, its a welcome change and break. I can't even tell you how nice it was to sit back and relax for 4 hours a day while someone else teaches you! We watched every single session…which I don’t recall ever having done before (mission field confession). We watched the Saturday morning session at a member's house, and the mother of the family taught us how to crochet—so I can do that now, kind of.  We watched the afternoon session at the church and it was just my companion and I, so we got the whole place to ourselves and it was really nice. We then watched the Sunday morning session at a less active member's house, and then watched the afternoon session at our Y.S.A. Branch President’s house so we were all over the place. It was really neat to hear the people talk in their native tongues. I thought that they would have subtitles on screen as well and was a little disappointed that they had the English guy voice-over the speaker. The best was the brother who spoke Mandarin Chinese…I was having a hard time listening to the actual message because I just wanted to listen to his freaking sweet language. I instantly thought of Caitlin, waving her hands back and forth, teasing me that I love all things Asian.

Cort got a new job? What does he do? I feel bad for baby Noah having to work all night..haha not really—about time that kid started doing some work =). I don't see how he can carry a vacuum around when he can't even push a lawn mower! But hey, I guess if he is able to do it, good for him. Has the bathroom been a disaster since I left? And his room? I think about that every P-Day while I clean.  I just think, “Man, that room is going to be a huge mess without me there and now there is even more room for Noah to buy stuff and put all over the place.” He is going to need 10 storage boxes to hold all his stuff when he leaves on his mission.

Dang, Caitlin! Getting that baby bump and what not.  Ha! I’ve long felt like her first baby was going to be a girl, but cool if it is a boy—when I get back I can teach him how to do fun things like play video games. (Get that boy loving video games and then Caitlin will have to deal with them her whole life! Muhahaha! =).
I got an email from Jackson Walker who is in the Detroit Michigan Mission and he is in Flint, which is the murder capital of the world.  I was just thinking to myself, “Boy, am I very glad I'm in peaceful Sheridan Wyoming. I could not handle going somewhere like that.”

Transfers are coming up soon and I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous about the thoughts of leaving.  The ward members and other missionaries all say that I'll stay and it will be my companion who moves on.  We’ll see. 

I love you guys!

Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, October 5, 2014

29 September 2014

Greetings, my kin!

This week was a great one! I'm not really sure why because not a ton happened, guess I’m just feeling the joy of service.  The weather here has been pretty crazy as well. It was 85 degrees one day, then two days later it was raining and today it is what they call “misting." It's so weird, I had never had it “mist” before, at least that I can remember. It feels like you are standing underneath a hose with the "mist" setting on the nozzle. It’s a pretty cool feeling. Recently, it has just been cloudy with a little wind, nothing too bad.

So Damon and Jamilla had their baby, huh? I guess Caitlin will have her own new baby to call "Precious" and will no longer be doting over Baby William?!? Oh well, “Caitlins will be Caitlins.”  =) It seems like Jamilla had been pregnant for way longer than 9 months (perhaps for her too?).  I don't know, but I bet she is glad to get that baby out. 

Good to hear that Kayleigh Shaughnessy got married.  A lot of fun and exciting things seem to be happening there at home. I saw that picture of Marc coming home off of his mission and it was good to see him, wish I could have been there for it…have they told him that they are moving yet?  

Tell Uncle Bob and Aunt Brenda Thanks! I'm so thankful for all that they have done for me and for the humor that they bring into the family. Nothing quite like an "eyebrow salute" to get your day started. I loved Uncle Bob's video that Dad sent me! You can also let him know that there isn't anything other than the farmer wave and nod here…it's all these good folk know how to do! I told my companion about it and said, "Watch this…when I do the farmer wave, he will either nod or put one finger up on the steering wheel as his wave."  As the car passed, I waved the farmer wave…and sure enough there it was in return!  I told my companion all about the farmer wave/nod, and that would happen without fail.  It’s the way of things...the way of the farmer. He got a good kick out of that and now we smile every time someone does it. Nothing like spreading the "farmer wave and nod!"  God bless the farmer.

So the other night, I had a dream that I was playing Banjo-Kazooie but I was fighting a giant Boo (from Mario) and every time I hit it, it got smaller and smaller. I remember thinking to myself in the dream, that I didn't understand why this boss used to be so hard for me to beat? When I beat the boss, I woke up and thought.."What the heck!?!"  Those two characters aren't even from the same game, so who knows why I had a dream about the two of them? 

Speaking of dreams and what not, one night I woke up and sat right up. I stared at the clock trying to process what time it was…it was 5:59 a.m. and you know how you get when you are super tired and you can't really think straight? Well, that happened to me, and I was thinking that my alarm as set for 6:00 (but it was set for 6:30). So I was just waiting for it to go off, and when the clock showed 6:00 a.m., I closed my eyes expecting to hear that annoying tone…but nothing happened. So I thought to myself, “Well, I guess it's a good thing I woke up or we would have slept in!" I walked over to my alarm clock and flipped the alarm "Off and On" buttons a few time to see if it would go off.  I then thought, "I bet Elder Dettenmaier changed my time so we (Elder Johnson and I) wouldn't get up on time." (We had been on exchanges and the Elder I was with was Elder Dettenmaier). So I went to go grab my watch from downstairs to see what the time it showed, and on the way out of our room (keep in mind that it was still dark so I couldn't see anything) I slammed my knee and head into the partially opened door.  I thought, “To heck with it, I'm going to bed." It wasn't until then that I realized we didn't have to get up until 6:30 and was quite angry with myself.  Not only because I got up early, but that my knee and head now hurt. 
When I laid back down, Elder Johnson sat up really fast and said "Is someone breaking in?…I heard a huge thump!" I told him no and that I'd tell him what happened when it was time to get up. 

Okay, one more story about nights as a missionary. I woke up one night around 3:00 a.m. and laid there for a little trying to fall back asleep when all of a sudden, Elder Johnson sat up, looked at me and shouted “Hoorah for Israel! I looked at him and then started laughing as he laid back down, talking to himself and settling back into sleep. When I asked him about it the next morning, he said he didn't remember a thing. Good times!

Answers to Mom’s Questions for the week:
1.Yes I got the package of wool socks. The things you sent were awesome and they all fit really well. I love the socks, I'm wearing a pair right now.  My companion wants to know where you got the "Andrew Marc" coat, he really likes it. That thing is amazing!  It feels like you are wrapped in a marshmallow.
2.  Fishing was really fun, I didn't catch anything because I was learning to fly fish so I was getting used to all that goes along with it. I knew that when the mission office called you about the fishing license you would think something crazy was going on, so when I read what you thought when you saw the call come in, I chuckled to myself.
3.I do share some of my many sound effects as occasion permits, but not as much as I did back home (occasions here don't normally allow for such things). It was funny though, because we saw a motorcycle go by that sounded EXACTLY like Edgar's motorcycle from the Arisocats. I thought,  “Oh man, if my family were here right now I know they would all look at me and expect me to make the noise, and Caitlin would start laughing her cackle laugh.”
4. Transfers are in two weeks. I'm getting a little nervous because I don't want to move to a new area yet, things are really starting to pick up and I would love to see some of these people get baptized. I have built a really strong bond with the people in this ward. So, I’m hoping my time here is not yet done, but I'll go where the Lord wants me to go.

I forgot about all the family birthdays (Cailtin, Bryce, and Mumsy)! I will be sending a little birthday surprise home for all of you, so keep an eye out. I’m still working on getting some of the things I’m planning to send. I wanted it to be a surprise, but I thought I should tell you so you can report when it gets to you. I'll let you know when I mail it.

Love you guys!

Elder Erik

Thursday, September 25, 2014

22 Sept 2014

How's the whole Fam Damily?

Yeah, the snow really sucked but it warmed right back up and is now a perfect 75-80 degrees, all day everyday, so I'm not complaining. For PDay, my companion and I are going to go chop wood with a member and then go fishing. This member is freaking awesome! He’s a wildlife biologist specializing in fisheries sciences so he knows all the good fishing spots in the area.  After chopping and fishing, we are having dinner with he and his family and then we're staying for FHE, so we’ll be spending the whole day with them. Fine with me because they are a really cool family. Hopefully by this time next week I will have some pictures of me holding a delicious bass and I can say “SEE, BASS" (Animal Crossing).

My bike is fine now, I got it fixed at a bike shop..I had to get a new crank but everything else was fine! The bike repairman found why my handlebars where all screwed of the Elders who helped me assemble my bike put them in upside do you manage to do that?  I’m casting no stones however, because I didn't notice either. 

Thanks for all the packages and such, it's fun to get them.   All the Elders in my district are jealous of all the stuff I get. I always share what you send me with my companion, of course.  One day we were talking about our houses and we drew simple floor plans.  They tease me about being “rich” because  I get cool packages from home and have “the nicest house.”  I’ll never hear the end of it now, but at least they can now tease me about something other than being skinny :) So yeah, thanks for all your support.   I'm always excited to see if there is stuff in the mail for me. It's pretty much a highlight of the day…4:00 pm is a great time!

That's so crazy that Marc Summers is coming home from his mission and weird to think that Cort has been home for over a year now.  I know it’s a ways off yet, but I would love if Marc and Austin could come over during my Christmas call.   Would it be possible to Skype a Skype and link Jacob in too?  Ha!  

Yeah, I heard about the new iPhone from Dad. So is the new iPhone basically an iPad mini? I'm telling you phones keep getting bigger and thinner every time a new phone comes out. Soon phones are going to be bigger than iPads and as thin as a needle! Crazy people!  Can't even imagine what the new phones will be like by the time I get back. 

Anwers to Mom’s Questions for the week:
 1. The area I live in is perfect….it is right next to the church so we walk every Sunday.   We are about a mile from "Downtown Sheridan” which is pretty much the size of Jordan Landing shopping center…maybe even smaller. Makes me laugh when people say, “I'm going downtown today.”  It's like, no your not, you're going to the only place in town with shops and it's one street! haha! People out here really make me laugh because of the things they say like, "There is so much traffic out here!…I had to wait at a stoplight for 2 red lights before I could go!" I just put my hand to my forehead and think…"If traffic were like this at home, I would never again get angry while driving" (except at 4 way stops, because no one ever knows how to operate at those things).  We only have to drive to Walmart…we could bike, but ain't no thinking man trying to bike up that huge hill with groceries to get back home.
2. Breakfast…I just eat cereal most of the time. I actually do eat eggs quite often now—about every other morning—helps keep me more full and I gotta have enough energy to get me through the day. I have biked up more hills since being here than the rest of my life put together.  I'm gonna have T-rex legs by the end of my mission. Oh, and don't know if I ever told you this, but my mission president doesn't care if we wear backpacks so..I bought one at the Walmart for $15.  It’s is a lot better than the shoulder bag while biking though I do wear the over the shoulder bag to church and meetings, so it still gets used.

So Bingham won their homecoming game huh? No surprise are Noah's trophy shining classes going? Copper Hills won?!? What is the world coming to? Heaven forbid!…they never won anything while I was there. 

We are working with two new investigators.  They are doing really well and are enjoying what we have taught them so far.  Two younger kids, but they pick up on things so fast and are understanding things very well.  Last week in church, our bishop talked about repentance. I can't remember which of the general authorities he quoted, but it was one of the best talks I’ve heard.  He talked about how Satan works on us and tries to get us to not feel worthy and not good about ourselves. In 1 John: 3:20 it reads, "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things." This scripture really helped me out.  Often times the people we work with think missionaries are near perfect and that we don’t make mistakes. And for a long time, it was hard for me to get pass things that I had done, I was telling myself that I wasn't truly forgiven or worthy.  In a sense, “my heart was condemning me” like the scripture talks about, even though I had been forgiven. I now know that I have been forgiven of those things in my past and feel that I can finally move on. I am truly grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ!

Saturday we did a ton of service! We woke up at 6:00 and by 6:40 we were out doing service. We helped spread gravel for a member (after shoveling up the load of gravel and packing his truck bed with a load of bricks at Home Depot). We first had to prep the ground by pulling all the weeds in the area and then worked to evenly spread the gravel.   After that was finished, we went to a house and helped a member load up boxes of stuff to take to a storage unit. We then went to another member's house and helped them lay sod for their new yard. But wait, there’s more….we then went to the food bank and unloaded a truck of food.  After that, we went to a member's house and mowed their lawn for them. These items took the whole day..there is nothing quite like service!  I am enjoying the blessing of working along side these good people.

Well, I love you guys a ton and hope you have a great week! I miss you and love getting letters from everyone! Thanks for all of the support. I'll send more pictures soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

15 Sept 2014

So yeah, it snowed pretty hard here last week.  It was pretty cold until the late, late afternoon came, then it started to warm up. Of course, that was the one day when we didn’t have much scheduled so we went tracting for 3 hours. Luckily, I brought the “mission jacket” Cort gave me and that kept me really warm.  It was certainly good enough for the temperature that day. The snow actually stuck to the ground even though no one thought that it would. I did end up buying a sweater and a scarf from the local JC Penney—they were on sale and are really nice. The sweater is 5% cashmere so I feel distinguished and wealthy when I wear it.  Ha!  Cashmere…it just sounds fancy, doesn’t it.  I feel like saying to my companion, “I’ll count the money, and you count the diamonds! Ah ha! Ah ha! No, really…I feel sort of classy when I wear them…in a humble sort of way, of course. I think the thing that is next on my priority list is a warm pair of gloves. Tracting was not fun when my hands were cold.   Also, some head wear would be nice. I have asked what people suggest wearing, including specific brand names, but they all say, “No one brand is best, just layer up and wear wool.”

WOW! That’s crazy awesome that Jon Frank is Bishop Frank now! That's freaking sweet! I'm sad that Bishop Anderson won't be  the bishop anymore, but we really couldn't ask for a better new bishop! I know he will do a great job and I'm excited to see him when I get back, and I'm able to report to him. It's funny because my bishop here is a dentist so I guess they are just taking over…Dentists, Unite!  Boyd will make a sweet addition to the bishopric, I'm sure great things will continue to happen in the 5th ward!

When I thought about mission life, I was honestly pretty worried about how I was going to fall asleep at nights because it was often hard at home (as you know), but it really hasn't been a problem.  I’m  normally out within 10-20 minutes.  Current arrangement is that we turn a fan on low and point it at my companion.  He loves it really cold and I like the "white noise" if you will.  Works for both of us, such teamwork :)

For PDay this week we participated in the Sludge Trudge (like the Dirty Dash or Tough Mudder runs) and it was really fun.  This week we also did service for the fair grounds (which is where it took place) directing cars in the parking lot for the National Indian horse relay..It was freaking sweet!  Instead of passing sticks/batons as the horses run the track, the riders jump off one horse and on to another one while riding bareback! It was an amazing thing to see. You'll have to look it up…it's a pretty amazing event. I wouldn't mind watching it yearly. And, since we helped as parking volunteers, we got in for free and got $20 worth of food so that was fantastic.  One of the ward members here owns one of the BBQ places at the fair grounds so we got some great BBQ for free as well! People are so good to us.

Things continue to go well and this week was busy with good BMS (basic missionary stuff).   We had another service opportunity at the food bank this week.  We unloaded a large moving truck that was full of Coke products. I have never seen so much soda in my life!  The products were all donated to the food bank and our job was to unload the truck, and then stack it back up inside of a storage area. There were a number of punctured/smashed cans and bottles in the storage area and so that also meant there were a bunch of hornets in there going crazy—that didn't help at all!  Pretty much the highlight of my week. They terrify me but I'm slowly getting over my fear of them.  I used my Ninja/Jedi reflexes and took out 20 or so wasps and hornets that got trapped inside.   Got those suckers with a fly swatter! If you haven’t gathered, bees and the like are all over the place here and continue to bother me where ever I go.  Since I just got the new scarf and sweater, I can’t blame it on the cashmere.  Perhaps the Lord is just helping me learn to “bee full of courage.”  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)  Peace and blessings, peace and blessings.  Thanks for everything!  

Love, Elder Ras