Letter received July 27, 2015.

Fastest week ever. Hermana Kennedy and I are doing some serious fist pounding around here! Jk, we are showing so much love to these sweet people but really with like... the velvet hammer. 

The big news of the week is that the elders got taken out of Barrio Union so now its just us! Which means our area/investigator pool just got DOUBLED. That's not saying too much when neither of us were having all that much success, but it definitely helps. Yesterday Hermana Kennedy and I both spoke in sacrament meeting and then taught the gospel principles class and then basically ran ward council! #askthemissionaries #weruntheshow

We were given a whopping 1 day notice about speaking, and we actually pulled it off. We picked really great topics, I think. 

My comp spoke on what makes Mormons different from every other religion (a question we get every day- as do the members). She explained clearly that we are different for 3 reasons that they could tell their friends:

1. We have a unique testimony of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We understand WHO THEY ARE!

2. We have living prophets with the power and authority of GOD! 

3. We have the Book of Mormon and fullness of Christ's doctrine.

Then I stood up and of course, testified of my companion's words, and then explained that they could all TELL their friends those three things, but it would mean a lot more if they could TESTIFY of them. I explained in my talk the obvious but powerful how-to of gaining a personal testimony and knowing these things for OURSELVES. Alma 5:45-46

1. Search the word. Alma 32:27

2. Meditate and chose to believe. D&C 76:19

3. Ask the father. Moroni 10:3-5, 3 Nephi 17:3

4. Live it. James 1:22. Juan 7;17, D&C 82:10.

LITERALLY I see miracles every day thanks to that little experiment that EVERYONE is invited to do. I love the gospel. I love the truth. I'm so grateful to know it for myself and to help others do so as well. If you have tried this experiment, try it again! And again. AND AGAIN! It's the happpiest thing ever. The Lord loves us and answers prayers. Love you all! Until next weeeeek.

hermana ras

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter from July 20, 2015

Familia!!!!

Just call me Sister Thomas Edison because this week we discovered a heck of a lot of people who did NOT want to accept the restored gospel. Haha! But it's been good. We have had to drop quite a few of the old sisters' investigators who were just too comfortable in their non-progressing state. It's been sad, but effective! We have been knocking doors and visiting members which has been... successful... for the thousands of bitter Catholics who have cursed at us and slammed their doors. 

But, we found one pearl.

I mentioned this scripture a few weeks ago, but it is oh so applicable, once again! See Matthew 13: 45-46 in English AND Spanish. Her name is Perla, or Pearl in English. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor in answering a pleading missionary's prayers. :)  She's 18 and we're still working on her family, but it's a start. We had a miraculous lesson one (the restoration) and were on pins and needles to teach her about the plan of salvation because she recently lost her little brother. She studies, highlights, and marks up every pamphlet we leave. She prays more sincerely than anyone I know. Seriously, it's miracle time up in La Victoria right about now. Can't wait to see what will come next.

Until next week!

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Week of July 13, 2015.

Hermana Ras didn't have time to write a letter this week, but she did send some photos along. Take a look...

 how to make a Peruvian skirt...

how to make a Peruvian skirt...

 ... out of pillow cases!

... out of pillow cases!

 nice work, hermana!

nice work, hermana!

 she loves her cute companion

she loves her cute companion

 taco time!

taco time!

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter received July 6, 2015

Hello hello!

We have had one fantastic week! I have a new companion! Hermana Kennedy. She rocks. She's my 3rd companion this transfer, but I think finally we'll be settled in together here for a while. :) Hermana Kennedy was my sister leader in Cajamarca for two weeks. She's seriously the best. We're having a ball!

But we are also getting this area whipped into shape! This area has about a million investigators. GREAT investigadoras that REALLY know the lessons, but investigators that are not progressing. So Hermana K and I have been trying to do all we can to figure out why the biggest thing for ALL of the investigators (and all the less actives) that we have been teaching is COMING TO CHURCH!

It's something so simple... so easy. But SOOOO important! I guess I've just been really blessed with my goodly parents that taught me very clearly that Sunday is the sabbath day. And on the sabbath day, we go to church. Well, because of that teaching, I guess the sabbath has always been a delight to me (to quote Elder Nelson)! But not everyone has had that same clear teaching all their lives... so as missionaries we're here to invite, drag, shove, and push them like loving parents) INTO THAT CHAPEL! And when they are rebellious and/or lazy, like any good mother, we guilt them after. :)

We are visiting this less active right now that is AWESOME. She has a strong testimony, great scriptural knowledge, powerful prayers, and all the desire to follow Christ... she just won't come to church. This week she promised us she was going to be there early, with her son, everything. But the hours passed and she never came. So we went to her house after church to see what happened... we had her son who was playing outside call for her and she cheerfully poked her head out of the upstairs window... In just seconds we watched her cheerful smile turn into horror. Let's just say, I hope my face doesn't look like that on judgment day.

We had an incredibly loving but incredibly frank lesson with her that day. Some may have said we were hard on her. But I know that the words we said came from the Lord. They weren't even our words; they were His. The Lord wouldn't be the one to smile and say, I"it's okay, I know church starts early and it's a whole 2 blocks from your house!" He would be heartbroken. He would be devastated. And so were we. NOT because we don't like her. But because we LOVE her and we know that she was not reaching her potential, but that through Christ's grace, she can!

We didn't know how she would respond. But we felt strongly that our words came from the Lord Jesus Christ. We just hoped she wouldn't take it like Laman and Lemuel (see 2 Nephi 1:26-27).

Our mouths could not be shut. And after we expressed our sorrow and love for her, she had tears streaming down her face. We were able to find her REAL need as she opened up to us. We have already seen a change in her as we have made goals and plans with her to strengthen her weaknesses. I know that His grace IS sufficient. But as Uchtdorf said in this last conference... "Grace is a gift of God, and our desire to be obedient to each of God's commandments is the reaching out of our mortal hand to receive this sacred gift from our Heavenly Father."

On my mission I have heard many sharp words... many sharp promptings... I really have come to know my weaknesses very well. But in that way I have come to know my Savior and His grace very well, also. (See 2 Nephi 4:17-19 & 30).

I love the Lord, I love the sabbath, I love you all!

Sigan adelante con firmeza en Cristo.

Hermana R


Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter received June 29, 2015

BIENVENIDOS A PERU!

Well Irvine, I'm sorry for your loss. It truly will not be the same in that city without my beloved parents! They are finally winning the battle of Bedford Falls and are onto bigger things! And can I just say... I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS TO COME!!! Amo este pais y ustedes. You're gonna love it.

This past week was fantastic. Lots of changes, but change is good! The new area is great. I'm in zona/estaca La Victoria in Barrio Union. It's not too big of an area, so I shouldn't get lost too much after my companion goes home tomorrow and I have a new companion... It's all good! As I taught Hermana Molina to say (in English), "Everything will be alright!" I know it will be. The members here are really incredible and ready to work. Hermana Kingsford has only been here a total of 3 weeks and all the members are throwing her parties and giving her gifts! They really are so loving. I love Peruvians. And I can't wait to REALLY get to know each of these families well.

Also, Hermana Kingsford is THE BEST. Even though we have only had a week together, I am so grateful for her and all that she has taught me.

So last Sunday was the temple dedication!!!!!! IT WAS AMAZING I love the temple! I miss the temple. My heart LONGS for the temple! But all is well. Last week we had just a little taste. President Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar both came and each of the stake centers were converted into "mini templos" and we got to watch the broadcast of the dedication and the cultural event! I got to see many of my young friends from Cajamarca dancing in the event, as well as hear one of the ladies from Atahualpa who always accompanied us visiting SPEAK at the dedication. She is one of the temple matron's assistants now. #tendermercies #gocajamarca

Because we are in Peru after all, there were a few technical difficulties, but what we got to see of the dedication was absolutely inspiring. Uchtdorf told an absolutely incredible story that really will forever be in my heart. I t really changed the way I look at the gospel, the world, and the Savior. I don't remember all the details, but he spoke of a man named Martin who owned a small shop. Martin had a dream one night that the Savior came to him and told him to be ready because the following day he would be coming to his shop. Martin got up early the next morning and cleaned and reorganized his shop in excitement over the Savior's coming. Well, the day passed by and the Savior did not come. In fact, hardly anyone had come in all day! In the morning, there was a man who passed by cleaning the street out in the cold. Martin had given him his only coat to keep warm. Later in the day, a woman walked by selling apples and a little boy darted past and stole one. So Martin went outside to calm the woman and have the little boy apologize. In the evening Martin saw another woman out in the cold with her freezing baby. He invited them in to eat some hot soup. It was the soup that likely kept the baby alive. Still as the day ended, Martin didn't understand: why didn't the Savior come?? Then he sat down for his nightly reading of the Bible. He felt inspired to open to a different chapter than where he had left off. He read in Matthew 25:35-40:

For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Martin then understood that the Savior had indeed come and that He had taken Him in.

I LOVE this story. I want to be like Martin. I want to be like my Savior. I want to be the one to take Him in. The one to lend a hand. The one to lift His heart. In the mission, I have truly seen the world in a very different light. Service is more than the sign-up sheet that is passed around in Relief Society, or the needed hours in National Charity League... If we're not serving and offering love to everyone around us every minute of everyday... are we really serving the Lord? Are we really loving the Lord? The Peruvians are oh so loving. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! They are the greatest examples to me. nd so are my pops :) They are giving up all their personal comforts to let the Lord in. They get it. And so did King Benjamin...

Mosiah 2:17 states: "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." AMEN. May we all serve our neighbor and serve the Lord just a little more. Love you.

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter dated June 22, 2015.

So there we were.... Hermana Monson and I spent all week knocking doors and being rejected.... but of course, enjoying the time together! When after a week of almost nothing, we get a call from President Williams on Saturday morning. He told us our area would be closed and we were being transferred on Monday to other areas! #CRYING 

So we figure, we have until Monday! We'll keep proselyting and all... enjoy our time while it lasts... when in the afternoon we get ANOTHER call from the assistants saying JKJK you need to be packed, having cleaned out your room and in the mission office by TONIGHT (Saturday night). The temple cultural event was Saturday night so basically we had less then 3 hours to move out and say our goodbyes. #CRYING

BUT HERE I AM! Saturday night I met my new companion! Hermana Kingsford! Also for the weekend we had Hermana Cruz (from Garden Grove) and Hermana Rochette with us! It was a party. I am now in Zona La Victoria in Chiclayo as a sister leaderrrrr! #AHCHICHIN #QUEMIEDO. Also my comp goes home next week so I will have another one very soon and will have to know my whole area and all.... and she got here a week ago, too, so we are just wandering around lost! ahahaha #CRYING

The Lord knows why and all is well! I am SOOO excited for what is just around the corner. D&C 45:62!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE YOU ALL! I'll try to write more next week. I promise!

Hermana Rassss

pics...

Goodbye Hermana Carmen!! (la pensionista)

#selfie

SO SAD TO SAY GOODBYE... But its cool. We are living together after the mish.... no biggie.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter from June 15, 2015

Hola!

How are things back home?? I'm on pins and needles waiting for mom and dad to arrive here in Peru!!! Just two more weeks and they will be but 2 hours away by bus (my zone actually touches their mission and parts of it used to BE their mission!) #nuts! And although I still won't get to see them until my mission is over, it'll be nice to have the moral support and knowledge that my pops will understand just a little of what it's like to be in a northern coastal mission of Peru. :)

This week was another toughy. We have spent full days knocking doors this week because we have pretty much lost all our investigators. But hey, Hermana Monson and I have just decided to have fun. This work is supposed to be fun, isn't it? We are teaching the plan of happiness, aren't we?? We better look like we are happy and having fun or who is gonna let us in their house? So as we experienced quite a  it of rejection and quite a few disappointments this week, we sang songs, told stories, memorized scriptures, and just laughed. This is not to say that we have been any less obedient, diligent, or focused as always... we have just been practicing our patience in waiting for the success! But it is ALL according to the Lord's time. One of my favorite scriptures of all time is Isaiah 55:8-9, which says: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

But let's just keep going here... verses 10-12 are my favorite: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. " AMEN! These hard times come so we may grow. Proclaiming His word will never be in vain. Just go forth and be happy! Isaiah? "What, like it's hard?" #namethatmovie

Anywho, I love being a missionary. I have no reason to be anything but happy. We have the greatest knowledge on earth; it really is a pleasure to share it! As Ammon said in Alma 26:12: "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore, I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. "

I love you all, and so does the Lord!

#sermormonesserfeliz

Love, Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter dated June 8, 2015

HEY YALL!

So, the moment that you have all been waiting for..... 

My new, rather old, compi is...

HERMANA MONSON!!!!

Remember my sweet CCM companion?? Well we have been reunited once again. And soooo sweet was our reunion! Frankly, I don't have much to write this week; we have just been working hard and doing a lot of catching up :) I love her SOOO MUCH!!!!

SAM_4202.JPG

I just want you all to know how much I truly love our Savior! This fallen world we live in can be so dark sometimes. On the mish i have met and come to love so many of God's children with such heavy burdens, just trodden down on life's path. Beloved children of God who feel alone, abandoned, broken-hearted, weary, oppressed, and really hopeless. The joy of the mission really only comes from the chance we have as missionaries to witness first-hand, front row, the healing power and love of the Atonement of Christ. I may have not been in their circumstances exactly and felt those same pains, but I know someone who has. In my own dark moments the Savior, with his infinite mercy and grace, has reached out, picked me up, and carried me. I love Him. I don't totally understand what he suffered on that dark night in Gethsemane and on the cross, and I probably never will, but I am learning every day and am so grateful for His glorious resurrection. That's why I'm here. These people need Him. I need Him. And so do you! Until next weeeek!

hna rassssss

P.S.: some great articles and talks I've been pondering on a lot....

"It isn't a Sin to be Weak" by Wendy Ulrich

"The Gift of Grace" by Uchtdorf

"Where Justice, Mercy and Love Meet" by HOLLAND

"Seeking Rescue" by Connie Goulding

 

SOOOOO GOOOD!!!

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter received June 1, 2015

Hello again!

Hermana Ras here. So this week things were definitely looking up! With the exception of one minor (actually MAJOR) bummer... Hermana Wood is being transferred!!! I'm actually gonna cry. We have had SO much fun here together even in the hardest of times. I seriously love this girl and have learned SOOO much from her. IT's cool, Canada's not that far from California, is it??

I don't know if you guys remember this mom & dad, but a few years ago (September 2012ish) we had a conversation in our kitchen where I expressed to you my desire to serve a mission. We had talked about it before but I specifically remember this conversation because I was complaining about how I would never get to go because 21 was just so far away. I specifically remember whipping out D&C 18:15-16, which states: "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"

I was upset because the guys had the opportunity to leave at 19 and for that reason they were gonna be happier than I was!!!!

It was kind of a joke. I hope. It kind of scares me that I thought that way before the mission to be honest... but anywho! Now we know the outcome. WIthin just a number of weeks, the announcement was made that sisters could then leave at 19 years old. I will never EVER forget that glorious morning and the tears in my dad's eyes as he looked at me in that very moment. And then instagrammed it :)

So why do I bring up this story? Well because I have learned something very different about that 18th section of the Doctrine & Covenants. Verses 10-14 read: "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hat risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people."

Here's the real deal. It's not about my happiness + joy. It's all about the LORD'S JOY! Why are we called to cry repentance unto this people? Because He suffered all that He did for these repentant souls and how GREAT is His joy in seeing them use His sacrifice. WE are called because the worth of souls is great in God's sight, not just ours.If we're thinking about our personal happiness then we have COMPLETELY missed the mark. It is ALL about the Lord's will. To quote Presidente Williams, "This life isn't about you, it's about the Lord."

Of course there is more joy in it for the humble servants than I can express, but that's not the reason I'm here. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact.

In all these weeks of complaining about the lack of success we have had here, I'm afraid I have been blind to one major success. Sweet Hermana Yolanda is of GREAT worth in the sight of God. She is a less active that surprises us everyday. She alone has seriously kept us going during this last transfer. We taught the her about the Holy Ghost and she was SO excited that she didn't have to be bored or lonely ever again! We taught her the plan of salvation and she explained to us about how she remembered the pre-mortal life.

We taught her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and she read the whole thing in literally a month. I LOVE HER! And The Lord does, too. My joy is so great because of her. And I know the Lord's is, too.

Thanks a million for all the love and support always!!! I got the million and 10 birthday cards this week... thank you SOOO much!! I love you all and love being a missionary. Stay tuned next week to see who will be my lucky fifth companion!!! Craziness.

Love you!

Hermana Ras!

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter dated May 25, 2015

Familiaaaaaa!

Here we are, Monday once again! This week's been a good one but also a tough one. :) We are working a LOT with less actives right now and we're finding some small successes there. They really are amazing. They just need to be reminded of the goodness of the gospel! However, on the side of investigators, we really are struggling. Lots of fallen appointments, walking, and copies of The Book of Mormon just WAITING to be given out! But ya know what? The Lord knows why.

The other day I found a SERIOUS treasure in the Book of Mormon that never before had meant so much to me as it does now. The book of Ether tells us the story of the brother of Jared and his people who were commanded by God to build these funny little boats to cross the sea to reach the promised land. WElll, in this ancient time, I'm sure it seemed completely illogical to make boats like this, and throw yourself into the big scary sea, but they did it.

Ether 6:4, reads: "And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and hers, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them-- and it came to pass that when they had done all these things, they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." I love that. THey had done ALL the preparations and things they possibly could and then all they had to do was "set forth into the sea" and "commend themselves unto the Lord their God."

Ether 6:5-7 reads: "And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a fuvious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind. And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind. And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters." They trusted the Lord, didn't they? They gave it all up to Him, didn't they? So why wasn't it easy? Sure, they were protected through it all, but the Lord could have just calmed the waters. Why didn't He?

Ether 6:8 reads, "And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind." IT NEVER STOPPED! The road to the promised land NEVER was easy. Ever.

Ether 6:9-10: "And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord. And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water." So what did this suffering people do? They praised the Lord with ALL their energy. They counted their blessings and thanked Him. They had food, light, and air. They were being protected and that's all that mattered to them.

Ether 6:11-12: "And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water. And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them." And so what happened? THEY MADE IT. And they were joyful. They recognized that it was ALL thanks to the Lord and His amazing tender mercies.

Each of us have these really hard and super scary seas to cross sometimes! The Lord wouldn't have it any other way. The brother of Jared and His people wouldn't have learned anything had the Lord just picked them up and placed them in the promised land. And we wouldn't, either. But that doesn't mean that the Lord has forgotten about us or that the super wild journey has to be miserable. We have WAY more reason to thank the Lord and sing His praises than we realized. Even during the storms, we can be happy as can be! Because we know that one day we'll make it. And it will be sweet.

This week has been tough. But we are counting our blessings and there are like a million! We are comending ourselves unto the Lord our God... JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL! I know with my whole hart he's got it because this is His work. I'm just grateful, SOOO grateful to be along for the ride. Thanks for your many prayers, I feel them everyday. Love you guys!!!

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter received May 18, 2015

Hola Hola!

How's life at home? Lambayeque is great. Also it's hot. But it's great! :) This week we had a multizone with President and Sister Williams!!! They literally rock. Among many things, this time they taught us about the great power and importance of the SCRIPTURES! And let me tell ya, they are incredible. The scriptures + President Williams = POWER! I had quite a few scriptures memorized and I thought I was good. Well, if you know President, good is NEVER good enough. So he challenged us to memorize ALL 100 scriptures mastery scriptures So that pretty much has been my week... memorizing, memorizing, memorizing! And I'm pretty sure that will be the rest of my mission, too. I love it. :) I've already been able to whip a couple new ones out in lessons this week. There really is nothing more powerful than the words of God. 

In our area this past week, we have found a TON of new investigators. To be honest, no one is progressing (yet) because we've been struggling to find the same people twice! #ohperuvians ... I really do love them. This week we have just taught a LOT of "como comenzar ensenar" from PMG chapter 10 and a lot of lesson #1 (The Restoration). Have I mentioned how much I LOVE LESSON ONE? Going back to the power of the scriptures... this week I read a chapter in the Book of Mormon that once again reminded me of the incredible nature of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Check out Mormon 9:7-11, and verses 18-20. Never before have I understood SO CLEARLY why the first point in lesson 1 was so important to understand the rest of it. The people of Peru are a faithful people They all know that there is a God and that He loves them. Hence the first point, G'd is our loving Heavenly Father."

That really is the essence of our message. We share with these people that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has not gone away! HE LIVES. And as He spake with them, He speaks to us. As He did miracles then, He does miracles now. As He loved them, He now loves us. And He offers us the Gospel to come unto His Son and be saved. There never was great love. John 3:16. 

It really is the greatest joy to be here and to be sharing this powerful message and seeing first hand these miracles of our loving Heavenly Father. There's nothing better than helping these sweet Peruvians come to truly know the God that they have been blindly trusting for way too long. I truly have a testimony that God is our loving and LIVING Heavenly Father, and I invite you all to find out for yourselves, as well.

Love you lots,

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter Received May 11, 2015

I don't have much to say this week because we talked yesterday obviously! It was so fun to see your funny faces and hear your crazy voices. I miss you and love you all so much, but there really is no place I'd rather be!! Mama, enserio, PERU ES LO MAXIMO! 

Hasta la otra semana! 

Hermana Rasssss

Pics: We celebrated the May birthdays after zone conf!

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter Received May 4, 2015

Hola All!

We have had quite the week. Well, frankly, quite the hard week. (This area has been known for being a little difficult...). Pero no importa! We're gonna turn this place around. So anywho, this week we did a LOT of walking, sweating, contacting, and yeah. That's about it. There were days where pretty much all we got was a sunburn! Not gonna lie, it was TOUGH.

But hey, luckily Hermana Wood and I are seriously a party! As we walked #ferdayz #literally, we sang and danced and talked to EVERYONE and just made it fun. Y aknow, the usual... hymns, EFY music, and the occassional High School Musical jam sesh. :) #sousisters. Another highlight of the week, I bought myself a new pen!! It's amazing how the little things just mean so much on the mission.

So this month of May I am trying to study and develop the Christlike attribute of HOPE. It's really a great one and quite appropriate for this week. As missionaries for the Lord Jesus Christ, we have this promise (ALma 26:27). All we gotta do is dilligently work and bear it all with patience, and we will have success, right?? Well that was our hope all week long.

In Preach My Gospel on page 117, it says: "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perserverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur." Well, that's just what we tried to do all week long. Trust in this promise of The Lord. Expect it to happen. Maybe sooner, maybe later. But that it would, sure enough, Sunday night. After another long day with not much to show for our efforts, we found a family. The sweetest family ever. We got to know them and teach them about "The Family" Proclamation to the world. My companion and I were both fighting back tears as we taught them and watched each of their faces light up in response to our message and the spirit that was so strongly present. After days of sore feet, sunburns, and prayers in the middle of the street, we had our little success that made all the rest of it well worth it.

I testify that the Lord always fulfills His promises in His due time. He is bound to when we do what He says. I love that about Him. Geez, He's perfect. And one day we'll get there; I just know it!!! Love you all tons.

Hermana Rasmussen

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Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter from April 27, 2015

Hola Hola Hola!

SO here I am. In... drum roll please... Demetrio Acosta, LAMBAYEQUE! And I am here with the lovely Hermana Wood. :) It's a party!!

The goodbyes, however, were not all that fun. Leaving that funny little city and some of my favorite people in the world actually broke my heart! But I really did feel like change was necessary. It's good. I'm happy! Very happy.

As I reflected on the wonderful time I had in the wonderful barrio Aeropuerto. I really can say that I did everything I could to help those saints. I really do love them! But thinking back to my brief time in barrio Atahualpa, I was always kind of troubled. Not because we didn't work hard, because we definitely did, but because we never really got to see anyone progress. I didn't always feel like I was helping anyone... little did I know we planted some pretty awesome seeds to be watered later on!

One was a sweet old man named Abel. Hermana Kimball and I rented our apartment in his house. His wife was a member of over 30 years. They had return missionary sons, and then one of their sons became the stake president in Cajamarca! But Abel simply never wanted to be baptized. Well, we taught him anyway. As you may or may not have heard from Hermana Kimball, he and his wife went to the states to visit family and he was baptized there. Hermana Kimball got to go. I couldn't be happier for him and his sweet family.

Another sweet story is about a lovely woman named Rosa. We taught her ALL THE TIME in good old barrio Atahualpa. However, with us, she never really progressed. Love her to death, she simply wasn't ready to make the necessary changes in her life yet. Well... last Monday I had just gotten on the bus after saying my last goodbyes to Cajamarca, Hermana Johnson, and a few of the people I had come to love so much, and I was feeling a little down. When the elder sitting in front of me turned around and asked me if I knew Hermana Rosa, my heart skipped a beat. I knew he had been serving in Atahualpa. Well, sure enough-- he showed me pictures of her baptism that last Saturday! #tender

It was just what I needed as the bus pulled out of my lovely Cajamarca to feel at peace. In that moment, I felt the strong assurance come over me that I had done all I could to help the work of the Lord move forward there in that beautiful little town in the middle of the mountains of Peru. It becomes very clear to me that I was a simple instrument that the Lord had used to do His work according to His will. In some cases his will for me to see the fruits, but in others it was just to plant the seeds. But how grateful I am to be part of this work, in any form it takes on! The Lord's work WILL go forth. In that we can trust.

I'm seriously STOKED to be here in this new little branch in Lambayeque. (Fun fact: it's just north of Chiclayo and is the part of the mission basically closest to Piura-- ah! Way too close). It's really hot here and there are lots of bugs, but it's definitely got it's own little charm about it. This area has been struggling a little, so Hermana Wood and I have decided that we are gonna TURN IT AROUND! We are gonna be contacting up a storm and teaching our little hearts out. To say the least, we're pumped. :) I love the mission. I love President Williams. I love transfers. And I love all of you!

Until next week,

Hermana Rasmussen

P.S.: Hermana Wood ROCKS! She talks like Amanda Bynes, laughs like Kayla Beckett, and is from Canada. We're already besties.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

BREAKING NEWS.

Hermana Ras is being transfered from Cajamarca. Repeat: she is LEAVING CAJAMARCA FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR 8+ MONTHS! She will not be finishing the training of Hermana J.

In other news, to close out this area we contacted 508 people in the street this week. No that was not a typo... WE REALLY DID 508 contacts and now Hermana J has TONSSSS of people to teach so its awesome. And all thanks to a contest with our zone....we got second place. 

Coming next week: WHERE WILL HNA RAS GO??? 

> That's all Hermana R had time for this week. Stay tuned. <

The farewell tour (in photos), below.

 Nicole &amp; Camille.

Nicole & Camille.

 With Carlita, an investigator of the elders who was baptized this week!

With Carlita, an investigator of the elders who was baptized this week!

 With Janet Nunez, a recent return missionary from the same mission cousin Brian Rasmussen is serving in in Chile!

With Janet Nunez, a recent return missionary from the same mission cousin Brian Rasmussen is serving in in Chile!

 With Hermana Daza!

With Hermana Daza!

 Hermana Doris!

Hermana Doris!

 One of Camille's favorite ladies.

One of Camille's favorite ladies.

 Some attitude!

Some attitude!

 With Nicole &amp; Samet.

With Nicole & Samet.

 Best photo with Carlitos!!

Best photo with Carlitos!!

 Sweetest boy.

Sweetest boy.

 With Hermana Celia.

With Hermana Celia.

 Familia Bringas Chicoma.

Familia Bringas Chicoma.

 Hermana Claudia.

Hermana Claudia.

 The valiant six of the ward.

The valiant six of the ward.

 Hermana Carolina, their former&nbsp;pensionista who just returned from Lima.

Hermana Carolina, their former pensionista who just returned from Lima.

 "Sweet Gabrielito has my heart."

"Sweet Gabrielito has my heart."

 Love Sofia!

Love Sofia!

 Baby Bebito!

Baby Bebito!

 With Hermana Melani.

With Hermana Melani.

 Hermana Elsa, their beloved pensionista!

Hermana Elsa, their beloved pensionista!

 Friends forever.

Friends forever.

 Hermana Milagros &amp; her fambam.

Hermana Milagros & her fambam.

 Familia Campos!

Familia Campos!

 Familia Bringas Castillo.

Familia Bringas Castillo.

 A tender goodbye with Mario, Melani, and a family that has meant so much to Camille.

A tender goodbye with Mario, Melani, and a family that has meant so much to Camille.

Final photo shoot with Hermana Johnson! #twins

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hello Hello!

Yet another week here in beautiful Cajamarca... my favorite (and pretty much my only) area! This week I don't have a ton to say, but I will share one precious truth that I have seen time and time again throughout my whole mission but ESPECIALLY this week: GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!

For the last nine months of my mish, I am going to REALLY study and develop the nine Christlike attributes in Preach My Gospel, chapter six. This month of April, I have been studying FAITH and have been working crazy hard on my own faith. I love the classic story in Matthew 14:26-31: 

 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

I may have come out on the mission taking that first great leap of faith simply WANTING to follow Christ, just as Peter did. However, I must admit that the longer I'm here, the more I realize how imperfect that faith really is. I see that for this time and for the rest of my life, I'm gonna get scared, doubt, start to sink, and call out, but the assurance I have is that the Lord will ALWAYS be there to catch me and ask me that same powerful, soul-searching question: "Oh though of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

 Sofia (Mario &amp; Melani's baby) is ready to be a missionary, too! #HermanaCerna

Sofia (Mario & Melani's baby) is ready to be a missionary, too! #HermanaCerna

This week as my companion and I have been working on "praying with faith," (PMG pg. 93 ROCKS) we have seen not only answer to our prayers, but we have felt the arm of the Lord catching us as our faith wavered a little, and then grew stronger.

Experience #1: We have a super sweet less active family we have been trying to visit. We made an appointment, but they are Never there when they say they will be. So about an hour before the appointment was scheduled for, we prayed that she would be there and that we would be able to teach her and her family. We decided to call and confirm the appointment, and they were just getting home and were there waiting fur us to come. If you only knew this family... It was a MIRACLE we were able to teach them. They rock.

Experience #2: We planned a "Noche de Hogar" (Family Home Evening) with one of our investigators in the home of our converts Mario and Melani. We were SUPER excited about it and were kind of overstressing about what we should teach as the lesson. (As much as I would have liked to have Mario give the class, he starts with a simple thought about prayer, then gets to the Great Apostasy, then the three degrees of glory in about two minutes). Well, during our planning session, we were STRESSING. We wanted to have just the right lesson & game for all of them. As we frantically looked through the Church Liahona magazines for ideas, we stopped and decided to pray. We were able to find a quick story about the spirit and it turned out to be a beautiful night! It was awesome.

Experience #3: We had a lesson this week with a VERY less active member. He was baptized more than 15 years ago... active for a while but then decided it all wasn't true. Let's just say he knows how to push my buttons. In this lesson this week as he spoke apostasy while trying to get us frustrated, we simply smiled and bore very BOLD and DIRECT testimony to him. He was caught off guard and committed with his wife to come to church (we pretty much dared them to come and NOT feel something). So all weekend long we prayed in faith knowing that the Lord could help him soften his heart. Well... they came. Serious #MIRACLE! They seemed to have a wonderful time and find some old friends. We have yet to have a lesson with them since, but I know they felt it. It was incredible.

Experience #4: Assuming I had forever to decide, I have been putting off a few kind of important personal life decisions... well, lately I've realized that maybe I don't have as much time as I thought and these hard decisions have been consuming my mind and prayers just a little too much. Without giving me the answer exactly, the Lord responded to me in the most powerful and direct way possible.

From these personal experiences, I testify that the Lord answers prayers of faith. He will always do His will but through our faith, His will can become ours. And when our faith is wavering and we are scared, He's there to catch us but He will always ask us, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" 

Until next week,

Hermana R

 Pizza on Pday.

Pizza on Pday.

 Hawaiian!

Hawaiian!

 Baking with the members on Pday.

Baking with the members on Pday.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter Received April 6, 2015

 Service fairies!

Service fairies!

 Also known as Hermanas...

Also known as Hermanas...

What an incredibly inspiring week! First of all, I’d like to apologize for my little #midmissioncrisis last week. It still just blows my mind! But I’m good. I’m feeling calm. :) 

 Easter egg decorating!

Easter egg decorating!

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General Conference this week was literally out of this world amazing! Some of the recurring themes I saw were: marriage and family, the plan of salvation, and the doctrines of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). IT ROCKED. How absolutely incredible is the great and perfect plan of redemption that our God has laid before us! I’ve been thinking a lot this week and throughout Conference about how I can deserve the love, grace, and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. I just love Him so. As we understand this plan, our desires grow to live His doctrine. Our faith grows, we desire to repent, we follow His example to be baptized, and we enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost to be able to endure until the very end. We teach these principles every day! But how sweet it is to be reminded of the power in each one of those. And the why: we live His doctrine to become perfect and inherit all that He has, and to be an eternal family. Oh how I love my family, and how grateful I am for the guidance I received from them in my life and the hope we have of being an eternal family FOREVER! I just LOVED #LDSCONF!

 Watching conference as a zone.

Watching conference as a zone.

But of all the amazing and inspiring talks given, my favorite would have to be from Elder Brent H. Nielson! Over the last few weeks, I have been studying, pondering, and sharing with many the simple but incredibly powerful parable of the prodigal son. Honestly, for 3 or 4 weeks I have been examining that small passage of scripture and have been searching for the words that I wanted to share with you guys in an email to explain my feelings for that little parable. I had not found those words, but Elder Nielson found them for me!

First off, the parable states:

 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:

 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husksthat the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthyto be called thy son.

 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.

 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Elder Brent H. Nielson shared this with us. Here is a link to his talk. GO WATCH IT!

This is possibly my favorite passage of scripture, and my favorite #LDSCONF talk. If you haven’t already, I invite you to ponder this grand teaching of Christ in your lives! I have found how it applies to my investigators, converts, and the Peruvian members. I have found it apply in my family. But most importantly, I have found how it applies to me personally. As one of our investigators, Victor, taught us this week, “Wouldn’t it be nice to meet Jesus one day, hug Him tight, and thank Him for what He did?” Yes, Victor. He’s waiting for and watching each of us. I love you all and know the Savior does too! Hasta Luego!

Love,

Hermana Rasmussen

P.S: Happy Easter!

P.P.S: All the gringos from the two Cajamarca Zones got a chapel to ourselves to watch conference, so you can bet we ate sandwiches for lunch (NOT RICE) and decorated eggs!!! #PARTY

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 Happy Easter.

Happy Easter.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Buenos Dias!

This week I made a crazy realization and burst into song… “OHH! We’re halfway there, OHHH living on a prayer!”

Can we all just freak out for one sec? How have I already been here for 9 months?? That should be way exciting to me, right? Well it actually SCARES THE HECK OUT OF ME. Don’t get me wrong, I love you family and I can’t WAIT to see you all in 9 months time. It just seems to me that not very much has happened to have half my mission behind me. Can that really be possible? This is still basically my first area. I’ve really only gotten to know and love the people here… but oh HOW I love them. I think these questions are natural to ask yourself when you hit that halfway mark, no? Am I doing enough? Am I the missionary I thought I would be at this point? Am I REALLY helping these people? #ahchichin (Kechua for “what the flip, that’s scary!”)

I really hope I am. But if I’ve learned anything in the past 9 months, it’s that we can ALWAYS be better.

In “Becoming a Consecrated Missionary” by Tad R. Callister (which I do and at the same time DO NOT recommend to missionaries halfway through their missions), it says:

“What is a consecrated missionary? It is a missionary who is willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice and to hold nothing back. It is a willingness to give every ounce of energy, every conscious thought, and every drop of passion to this work—to submit our will to God’s will whatever it may be. Every missionary who has been to the temple has covenanted to consecrate his all. The book of Omni records the depth and breadth of that covenant: ‘Yea, come unto me, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him.’ (Omni 1:26)

The law of consecration is the law of the temple, it is the law of the celestial kingdom, and it is the law of a celestial mission.”

The whole talk is SUPER powerful but this part struck me specifically. Have I given every ounce of energy? Conscious thought? Drop of passion? EVERYTHING to submit myself to the Lord’s will? Have I fulfilled my temple and mission call covenants with exactness? I hope so. I just know that I can always be better… and I’m going to be.

I really just adore Hermana Johnson. We have been working our tails off and even though we haven’t had TONS of success, she is so crazy positive. It’s amazing. Every time an appointment falls through, she asks, “Who is it that the Lord would rather us find right now?” Multiple times this week she has asked that question and because of her faith and dedication, we have found who or what the will of the Lord was. I just LOVE her and her incredible greeny energy. She inspires me every day to be BETTER!

This weekend was especially inspiring because of the AWESOME LDS Women’s Conference. Those talks might be a little cheesy but they really are INSPIRING! Also, this week was our Airport Ward Conference! For the first time in my whole mission, the chapel was FULL. So full, they had to open up the back. WHAT?! There were flowers, chocolates, and MUSIC WITH PIANO! The messages were beautiful and inspired. But the most amazing part for me was getting to see Carlitos pass the sacrament, and Hermana Daniel (Papa Infante) and the mighty Mario bless the sacrament and later receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. They just glowed. I love this ward. I love these people… there is no place I would rather be in the world! Obviously the Lord still needs me to be here, so I’m gonna give it all I’ve got and BE BETTER! I know I can do it. We live to be perfected in Him. Moroni 10:32-33.

I just pray that for the rest of my mission and for the rest of my life, I can just keep getting BETTER and becoming more and more perfect in Him.

#GraciasaqueElVive

#BecauseHeLives [watch He Lives here]

Con Amor,

Hermana Rasmussen

PS: Pics from ward activity of Lehi’s dream! Everyone go read 1 Nephi 8 and 11. :) The fruit desirable above all other is DEF chocolate chip cookies.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hola!

Hoping everything is still wonderful back home! Miss and love you guys so dang much. But I do love being a missionary…

This week we worked a lot with the members here in the airport ward. They are wonderful but they really need a LOT of strengthening. So this week, we had a family home evening just about every night with a different member family. They actually ROCKED. As we pondered about what to share with these members, Hermana Johnson reminded me of a classic childhood game that we decided to relate to the gospel. Wait for it… this week, “DON’T EAT PETE” hit Peru! Or should I say, “No Coma a Pedro!”

For those who are not familiar with this game… one player leaves the room and the rest pick one of the heads on the board to be “Pete” or “Pedro.” The first player comes back and must begin to eat the pieces of cereal/popcorn/candy that are placed on each face on the board, but they CAN’T EAT PETE. When the player goes to grab for Pete to eat that cereal/candy, the rest have to yell, “DON’T EAT PETE!” and their turn is over. The goal is to eat ALL the treats EXCEPT Pete.

You might ask, how on earth would you relate that game to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Well, with a missionary mind, I think just about anything in the world can be related directly back to the gospel. So this is what we did…

After everyone had had a turn to go, we did one last example. This time, the player did NOT leave the room and they knew exactly who we chose to be Pete. Then the game’s pretty easy, right? Well, they won! Because they knew exactly who Pete was and made their choices accordingly.

 Keke with the Infante Family

Keke with the Infante Family

 With Doris and Nicole.

With Doris and Nicole.

Well, all of us as members of Christ’s church know who “Pete” is. We know which decisions we SHOULD make, and which we shouldn’t. We know exactly what the Lord requires of us. We know His commandments, laws, and ordinances. We know of His gospel and we know of His love. So shouldn’t the game be just that easy? Why WOULDN’T we use our agency to win the game when we know who Pete is? Especially when we know that if we eat Pete, our turn is over and we lose that agency to keep making choices and enjoying the yummy candies. Just like how in our lives we can make our own choices, but we can’t always choose the consequences of our actions. We learn this principle all over the scriptures. Helaman 14:30-31 teaches:

"And now remember, remember my brethren, that whosever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosever doth iniquity, doth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.

He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you."

Also, 2 Nephi 2:27 is amazing! It says:

"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he skeet that all men might be miserable like unto himself."

And last but definitely not least in 2 Nephi 10:23-25 it teaches us:

"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves-- to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen."

If that doesn’t make you want to make good decisions, be reconciled with God, and return to His kingdom one day, I don’t know WHAT will! So all I have to say is…

No Coma a Pedro!

Until next week,

Love you!

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hola Familia!

It has been quite a crazy week! Hermana Johnson has arrived. I’m officially a mama!!! JK. But really. She is such a sweetheart. She is from Phoenix Arizona, is also 19, and did one semester at BYU before coming here. She’s a doll. I’m seriously already learning so much from her! Sidenote: her cousin (whom she has not seen in like, 6 years) is in our zone!! So basically that’s really cool.

 Green food because she's a greenie!

Green food because she's a greenie!

 Welcome to Peru, Hermana Johnson!

Welcome to Peru, Hermana Johnson!

But anywho, last night was probably the highlight of the week for me. We had an absolutely INCREDIBLE lesson with none else but the Marvelous Melani and Mighty Mario. Honestly, I think it was a lesson for me more than for anyone else… really, it all came down to Mario’s incredible testimony. It went a little something like this…

“You know what hermanas, when I first joined the church, I started doing all the things you guys invited us to do because I think I just felt obligated to. I stopped working on Sundays because you said it was a sin. I read the scriptures because I knew you would come asking if we had. I paid my tithing even though we really needed that money. I was pretty sure fasting was just like a diet for God. But you know what I found???

It’s not really about any of that. It’s about bringing ourselves closer to God. It’s about submitting our will to His and reconciling ourselves with Him. And you know what? I could never have imaged the blessings and joy we have received from doing so. I have never felt so close to the Lord in all my life.”

At this point in the lesson I had tears streaming down my face. I knew that I was looking at a TRUE disciple of Christ. When he saw my tears, he continued…

“THIS is the feeling. This is the same feeling I had the first time you guys invited me to repent.”

I don’t have words to explain exactly how he described that night of his repentance, but it really did remind me of the great experience of Alma the younger (Alma 36:18-21). He felt joy, light, love, and the spirit. He recognized His Savior and was able to be reconciled with God. He told us that when he experienced that, his way of thinking became different. THAT is true repentance.

In Preach My Gospel, it says that as we repent, our view of God, of ourselves, and of the world changes. I know that to be true. Mario felt that change. And he continues to see it still every time he obeys the commandments and makes decisions to please the Lord and to grow closer to Him. As our wonderful mission president, President Williams, has said, “this life is not about you. It’s about the Lord.” How true I have found that to be just in these first few months of the mission. We do what the Lord wants us to accomplish. HIS work. But how joyful it is to be a part of it. These sweet converts remind me every day why I’m here, what love is, and how to put The Lord first.

Thanks for reading another week on the MARIO EXPERIENCE! I promise, we’re looking for new investigators! Pronto.

Love you all,

Hermana Ras

 Bidding farewell to sweet Hermana Molina!

Bidding farewell to sweet Hermana Molina!

 True sisters.

True sisters.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga