Monday, July 20, 2015

13 July 2015 - Sierra Leone and Lots of Ice Cream...a Dog Too!

Well, I have some bad news...
looks like I'll be serving for 6 more weeks...
as a missionary...
but not in Marshall!
I had you going for a second there, didn't I? Well, I actually have some fantastic news! I was transferred and I'm now in the Old Mill Nebraska area. Not what you might think.  When I heard the name I thought, "Great...another tiny town where there won't be much to do." But it is actually right in the middle of Omaha so it's been quite a big change. So far I'm really enjoying it! There are lots of things to do here and lots of people to talk to.  When I met with our new Mission President, I told him I had been in my area for a long time, but that I would serve wherever he felt the Lord wanted me to be.
My companion is Elder Hansen from Nampa, ID.  He is pretty sweet--super quiet which is a quite change from my last companion who was VERY talkative. We get a long really well. He has been out for 17 months. Most of my companions have been Elders that are toward the end of their missions. Elder Hansen has red hair, is a little taller than me, pretty average weight and all that good stuff.
So yeah, I'm really loving it so far and we have a great ward. The Bishop of our ward is from Africa.  I'm guessing South Africa because he has a hint of a British accent, but I'm not entirely sure. He is a dentist and seems very successful and well off.
Our area is a mix of just about every range and type of people. We have very, very nice areas where people live in expensive homes and we also cover the straight up gangster ghetto, which is pretty cool actually...sketchy at times..but cool. There is a lot more diversity here and we are teaching a lot of people which is a relief from not having many people to teach--which was the case in Marshall.
People here are, so far,  much more open minded and are willing to let us in and hear our message. We currently have 6 people on date for baptism, and while some of them will probably change those dates for various reasons, it's so nice to know that we have people who want to learn about the gospel.  
We are teaching a woman from Sierra Leone, and she speaks very little English.  Luckily, we have a member who speaks French and helps translate for us.  The lessons are very different, almost  awkward, because Elder Hansen and I don't feel like the active teachers, but it's cool to hear them talk back and forth in French.
Things are going really well here and I'm looking forward to working with the people in this area. We live with members who are wonderful. They are an older couple who treat us like their grandkids so it's awesome. They have so kindly opened their home to us and invite us to eat whatever we want and such. We don't really eat their food but every night when we come in, they always ask us if we want ice cream and then will continue to ask and pry until we break down and have something to eat. I love them already and have really been enjoying staying there. They have a dog so that's pretty cool too; it's nice to come home and play with the dog for a few minutes.
It feels odd to be past one year. I wouldn't say that I feel I'm on the down hill side of things but rather that it feels that I'm starting over..after going into a new mission.  Since I don't know anyone and it's in the middle of the summer, it again feels like I'm just newly out, but that I actually know how to teach people now.  I will say that the days are going by very quickly, so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes overall.
Well that's about all for this week, love you all a ton, thanks for the prayers!
-Elder Rasmussen

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