Sunday, January 25, 2015

19 January 2015

Yoo hoo, Family!
So this week as been super crazy! I have been moved around so much this transfer I don't know what to think anymore haha. I will be staying in Marshall (as far as I know) for the rest of the transfer, unless something else crazy happens. I was on exchanges with the Zone Leaders when we got a call saying that some changes needed to happen, so after driving from Brookings, SD to Huron, SD (where I was dropped off to spend the night with some other elders while the Zone Leaders went on to Pierre) I had a great experience in Huron.
Huron is a very interesting town. 60% of the population is from Taiwan and hardly any of them speak much English. We were invited into a person's house to teach them and we sat on a rug and ate rice and some sort of chicken with our hands. It was a pretty cool experience, I couldn't understand what the heck they were saying but I learned a few words and had a good time. They all love Mountain Dew (some of the other missionaries brought it over to their house and we had it with dinner...they all went crazy for it). Looks like I finally got my wish to serve with Asian people! The other Elders did most all of the talking...I mostly just watched and listened. One pretty interesting thing happened while we were eating. I was sitting there enjoying my rice, and what I believe was chicken, when there appeared what looked to be a small cockroach walking across the floor. Now, I'm not sure that they have cockroaches up here, but that's what it looked like. Then, as I looked to my left, I saw that there were many bugs on the wall, so it's very possible that I could have eaten one and not even known about it--extra protein and fiber! After we ate dinner, we sat down with them on their rug (they don't use chairs or tables) and had a lesson. It was cool to see what it may be like to serve in a country where the people don't have much in the way of material things. The people are so polite and humble, and even though I didn't know what was being said, I could feel the spirit during the lesson.  It's so wonderful to have the spirit connect us all as human beings, as brothers and sisters, despite our differences.  It's also wonderful to have the spirit testify of truth.
Yesterday, we ate with a member who shares his house with a few other people. They were very "granola."  We had Thai food and most of it was vegan except for the pork which was only eaten by a few of us. While eating the meal, I instantly thought of Dad, and how much he would probably enjoy being there--soaking up all the granola-ness. One guy had dreads and and was super chill, the others were very much the same...very eco-friendly people.
Well, I will most likely be back in Marshall on Wednesday, but for right now I'm in Brookings. The weather here recently has been super nice, it has been sunny and up in the 40's--that's the best weather I have seen since I have been here, so no complaints there. Those are my adventures of the week!

I'm happy to report I haven't been sick so far. Though, no surprise, I'm ready for winter to be over already.  I'm tired of gloomy days, and cold temps.

Haha Mom, that's crazy that you saw a naked man running in the road late at night when the temps were in the 20s.  That must have been one of the craziest things you have ever seen?!? I do have a question for you, why on earth would you spend good money learning how to decorate cookies??
Love you guys a ton! I'm doing good, and having fun! 
-Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, January 11, 2015

5 January 2015

Hail, from Minnesota!!
So sorry that I was unable to write to ya'll on Monday. I was on the transfer train (AKA a giant 15 passenger van) for two days. I arrived in my new area yesterday evening and things are going well. We got a phone call at 10:00 p.m. the night I arrived saying that I would be put into a different area to help out another I was in Pipestone, MN, but now I'm in Marshall, MN.  Not sure at this time whether Marshall will be my new area or whether my stay here is just temporary.
Marshall seems to be a lot like Sheridan which is cool, but it's a lot colder here. I'll finally have a reason to use all of the winter gear I was given! Marshall has a population of about 14,000 people and from what I can see so far, the average age in Marshall seems to be older...a lot of senior folks here.  And yes, the people here do have that wonderful Minnesota accent..even though they don't think they do.  My new companion is Elder Lete. We are getting along great so far! I've only been here a few days so I'm still trying to get a grasp on everything. 
One of our good church investigators in Sheridan was baptized! I got to confirm her a member of the church and my companion baptized her. It was an awesome blessing to experience before I left the area. I'll send some more pics soon.
So that's my really exciting news for the week.  The people here are very friendly and just like the movie I watched with Dad before I left on my mission ("New in Town" with RenĂ©e Zellweger and Harry Connick, fact, Marshall is not too far from New Ulm, where the movie is set to take place) something similar happened to me. I woke up today and looked seemed sunny and there wasn't any wind.  I thought, well this won't be too bad...people probably just hype the cold up cause they need an excuse to complain. I walked outside and in about half a second was like, "HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL!!"  My nose hairs froze in a matter of seconds and when I touched my bike to put it on the bike rack it burned my hand because it was so cold. Burned by the of the strangest things I have ever experienced! That's all that has really happened here so far,  but I'm sure that something exciting will happen in the upcoming week! I'm happy that everything is going well at home; I love you and miss you all!
-Elder Rasmussen