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