TRANSFERS:

*the phone rings... it's the Zone Leaders*

"Hello?"

"Hermana Rasmussen, you're not gonna believe us..."

"Who has transfers??"

"Wait, let me walk passed this busy street..."

"TELL ME, ELDER!" (Digame, Elder!)

"Okay okay!! So and so has transfers and so and so and... wait for it... your companion has transfers. And you will be training!"

"WHAT?" (No me diga...)

So there ya have it, folks. I started my mission in Cajamarca, and I think I will finish it here in Cajamarca! #MissionPeruCajamarca! EVERYONE thought they knew that I would have transfers this time. I realized in our zone meeting that there is not one other missionary left here in this city that was here when I got here. No one that even came up with me! I had washed all my clothes, done recuerdos (like thank you notes) for the whole world, but no! Hermana Molina se va y yo me quedo. Quien Sabia?

Visiting Santa Apolonia!

Visiting Santa Apolonia!

As far as the second piece of news... I'm sorry... TRAINING?! I was kind of freaking out Saturday night when they told us. I got about 5 hours of sleep I think (maybe in the real world that's a lot but as a missionary we always have our 8 full hours). But no. I just stared at the ceiling pretty much scared out of my mind. I know I can do it... because I know that President Williams receives revelation on my behalf. 

Jeremiah 1:4-5: "Then the word of the Lord came unto me [through President Williams], saying, 'Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a [trainer for Hermana...].'"

The Lord knows me. He knew me before I came on my mission and before I came to the earth! He knows what I'm capable of and I trust Him completely. I'm way excited for this new opportunity to learn, grow, and serve. I love the mission. I really do.

Zona Cajamarca Norte

Zona Cajamarca Norte

With The Zone Leaders

With The Zone Leaders

Because I didn't write much of a letter last week, I'd love to share a few of my feelings about Doris and Carlitos' baptism. How glorious was that day! A little background about the Infante Family if I haven't been terribly clear before... their son, Herber, was the first in his family to be baptized about a year and a half ago. Then, in September, his parents, Daniel and Fidelia, were baptized, but they had 5 other adult children with families of their own who had yet to come to a knowledge of the truth! So little by little, we have been working with them. Doris is the oldest of their children and Carlos is her 12 year old son. Last week, Carlitos received the priesthood! He is stoked!!! He has been coming to church with his grandparents since September, has read through Jacob in the Book of Mormon, and already has the first vision memorized. #futuromissionero. Hermana Doris is the sweetest. She hasn't always had the easiest life but has found great peace in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What made this day so special was that Hermano Daniel got to perform the baptism of his oldest daughter, and Hermano Herber got to baptize his sweet nephew. Hermano Herber leaves on his mission to Bolivia next month and has been a wonderful example to his amazing family! Little by little they are entering into the covenant and will surely be an eternal family. I love them more than I can say.

And finally, I just need to express my overwhelming love for my sweet companion, Hermana Molina. I have learned from her so much more about how to teach, serve, and love. I never would have thought I would have a Bolivian best friend, but I do! I'll miss her SO MUCH, but I guess transfers are necessary to keep learning and growing. Also HUGE SHOUT OUT to my incredible trainer that I strive to be like every day! LOVE YOU HERMANA KIMBALL.

Last Sunday together.

Last Sunday together.

The mission is my favorite thing. It's beautiful and inspiring and fun and crazy, but I just love it. Can't believe how fast it's passing by. Love you all!

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hola hola!

Another week is gone. And this week was probably one of the hardest! By hardest, I mean a LOT of walking, not a lot of lessons, quite a bit of rejection, and not a lot of visible success…

There was one day in particular that we walked and walked and knocked doors and contacted ALL DAY LONG. We worked diligently and did all we could, but frankly, I don’t think we kept up our enthusiasm and faith the whole time. Rejection after rejection happened, and we actually just had to laugh! Eventually we started to expect rejection from everyone, and our faith and hope for these people was a little bit lacking! The truth is, there have been plenty of days like this in the mission, but why do I mention it now?

The Infante Family!

The Infante Family!

Banos del inca.

Banos del inca.

With Hermana Daza!

With Hermana Daza!

Well, because I learned something valuable from my companion this week. Hermana Molina is the best. We’ve now been companions for four months and I still learn more from her every day! I just adore her. She always tells me, “into hay que perder la fe!” It doesn’t translate exactly, but basically it means, “there’s no reason to lose the faith!” Then, this week in companion study, she shared with me a story in Mark 9:17-29. It was basically perfect for us, I think. It states:

17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

 18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

 19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

 20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

 21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

 22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

 23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

It’s a little long, but I LOVE this story. A father brings his dumb and dear son unto the disciples of Christ to be healed, and they claim that they cannot. And so, the father goes straight unto the Savior to ask for the same favor. And what does the Lord say? O faithless generation, how many times do I need to tell you? O ye of little faith! How long until you learn to exercise your faith in me?! (cough, cough, disciples…)

Okay so that’s not word for word in the scriptures, but that’s how we read it! Christ continues and teaches in verse 23 that, “all things are possible to him that believeth.”

When the disciples return to ask the Lord why they couldn’t perform this miracle, He told them to go fast and pray. :)  I love the Savior.

With this simple story, Hermana Molina taught me that we will never be able to have success until we have the faith sufficient. Moroni 7:37. It is only through faith that miracles are wrought. Our faith is the only way the Lord can work through us to save these precious souls.

D&C 18:10! Each one of His children. Alma 16:14! This one’s a little clearer in Spanish. It explains that Alma and Amulek preached to ALL people, no exceptions. I love that. I want to be that kind of missionary, and to maintain the faith! I want to keep moving forward knowing that ANYONE can change, and that through my faith, I can make it happen. I don’t remember if I have shared this Mario quote yet or not, but when he gave us a reference a while back, he told us: “Hermanas, you guys can really help this family, but you’ve gotta go with FAITH!” So that is my invitation to you: VAYAN CON FE!

Hermana Ras

Another day in the life.

Another day in the life.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Aloha!

You may all be wondering why I have greeted you in this Hawaiian way today… well, I’m about to explain. :)

This week was quite stressful, but also wonderful. We had a ward activity! It was the first one in quite a while. The missionaries planned it and put it all together, and let me just say that IT WAS AWESOME. We invited EVERYONE to come join in our activity que se llamaba, “Viaje a Hawaii!” or “Trip to Hawaii!” Who wouldn’t want to come to that activity?!

The invitations were these darling mock boarding passes, and the best part is that we are “Barrio Aeropuerto” or “Airport Ward!” So it was super appropriate. Anyways, as people arrived, Hermana Molina and I were waiting at the “Puerta de Embarque” or “boarding gate” with leis, all ready to welcome them onto their plane! They all filed in; we had to do two flights because there were so many people, HOLLA! The elders were the captains/pilots/comedians of the night, and the other sisters were the flight attendants. Hermana Daza from Bolivia spoke in Spanish and Hermana Chandler from Utah spoke in English! Only as Hermana Chandler spoke in English, she gave away the secret: that we were all gonna die! Sure enough, a few minutes later, the plane goes down and we all “died”!

Flight attendants!

Flight attendants!

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From there, we decided to give the people a little tour of the three places where they could possibly spend eternity! We went through the telestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, and finally the celestial kingdom, explaining all the while who would be staying in these different places. In the celestial kingdom, the bishop and his wife and children were all dressed in white, and the bishop taught about eternal families and how we can achieve this goal! We also watched a little Mormon message, and then ate Hawaiian inspired treats. Basically, it was AMAZING. It got everyone there really thinking about where we wanted to be for eternity and who we wanted to be with! (that’s when we handed out reference cards :) )

"Telestial Kingdom" representation.

"Telestial Kingdom" representation.

"Terrestrial Kingdom" representation.

"Terrestrial Kingdom" representation.

"Celestial Kingdom" representation.

"Celestial Kingdom" representation.

The Bishop & his family.

The Bishop & his family.

Basically, it was a hit. Over 100 people came, which is more than we even get to sacrament meeting! And of course, as we planned and carried out the activity, I, too, was pondering this question… where do I want to be for eternity, and who do I want to be with?

Major turn out!

Major turn out!

Where we want to be is pretty obvious: the celestial kingdom. As Mario explained to us, that’s where the food is! Better than Hawaii any day. The next question: who do we want to be with? Well, first of all, I want to return to my Father in Heaven, and His son, my Savior Jesus Christ. Next, I want to be with my family FOREVER! And of course, my friends, my companions, and my converts. Well, EVERYONE (Mosiah 28:3)! So how do we accomplish that? Bruce R. McConkie once said [rough translation]:

“People entering the door of repentance and baptism are themselves in the straight and narrow path that leads to the celestial kingdom. And through devotion, and faithfulness, and enduring to the end with righteousness and obedience, it is possible to obtain a heavenly reward.”

I love this. After we have taken those first steps, that is not all! Devotion is required to obtain celestial glory.

Dinner with the Infante Family!

Dinner with the Infante Family!

Playing NERTS!

Playing NERTS!

2 Nephi 31:17-20. This is a scripture we use possibly more than any other as missionaries, but how powerful and true it is! We don’t need to be perfect RIGHT NOW. What He requires in this life is that we press forward with steadfastness, hope, and love as we strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

Moroni 10:32-22. The bottom line is, perfection is required to enter into the kingdom of God. But that’s why our loving Heavenly Father provided a Savior for us: so that when we follow that first and great commandment, to love God with all our might, mind, and strength, His grace will be sufficient for us to become perfect and achieve an eternity of celestial glory with our Father, with Christ, and with all those we love.

With Hermana Molina.

With Hermana Molina.

My prayer is that each of us can enter in the way through faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring until the end so that we may be prepared to meet our maker. Alma 34:32.

Until next week!

Hermana Rasmussen

PS: Sorry for not emailing yesterday. This weekend was “cavnavales” here in Cajamarca! That means the streets are full of crazy people throwing paint, water balloons, acid, who knows! I was only hit by a couple of water balloons so I was lucky. Saturday we weren’t even allowed to leave our rooms! But yeah. Yesterday they cut all the power in Cajamarca so that’s why I’m writing today. J No worries! Everything is awesome! #missionadventures

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hey Everyone!

Another wonderful week here in beautiful Cajamarca! The oldest daughter in the Infante Family is Hermana Doris, and she has the sweetest 12 year old son, Carlitos, and this week we set a baptismal date with them!!! So that was way exciting. Doris has seen AWESOME changes in her parents and brother (who have joined the church) and has decided she wants to see those changes in her life, too. Carlitos has been going to church with his grandparents since they joined in September and he knows EVERYTHING. He’s read a good chunk of the Book of Mormon, and he has The First Vision memorized. He’s definitely ready for his own mission. We had a “noche de noyar” (family home evening) with him the other day, and he gave the lesson. He’s such a doll! We’re working closely with them and praying that they can progress enough to be baptized on the 28th of February! I think they can.

So other than them, I must admit, we’re having a rough time with a lot of our investigators. We have a LOT of investigators and have had a LOT of lessons, but very few are progressing in the way that they should be. This week we have been really trying to find the balance between not giving up on people, and losing time for progressing investigators with those that don’t progress. I know for a fact that ANYONE can change and be blessed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But what if they don’t want to? For example, we have one investigator who is wonderful. She has had all the lessons (including lesson one about three times), she prays, she reads, she understands… but she refuses to come to church. Focusing on lesson one with her, we have now read the first 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon. We’ve taught about the Sabbath day, and the importance of church attendance, but she doesn’t want to be “pressured.”

Another example is our Seventh Day Adventist investigator, who also understands all the lessons and knows the Book of Mormon is true, but thinks that the BOM is the only difference between our church and hers! Oh, and she doesn’t believe the Sabbath day is Sunday. We’ve taught her using scriptures, testifying of the principle, and we KNOW she has felt the spirit, but she just doesn’t want to admit it.

In these situations, my companion and I have been really trying to study this out. In Preach My Gospel, we learn that we should, “find them that will receive you,” (D&C 42:8). It states that, “such people will recognize that you are the Lord’s servants and will be willing to act on your message.” So if they receive us but don’t act, how long should we be patient? Or have we not done our part well enough as missionaries to find their needs?

One of my favorite missionaries in the scriptures that I’m going to mention once again is Abinadi. He was in a situation similar to this one, only a LOT worse. He was called of God to prophesy among a very wicked people, and no one listened to him, let alone acted on his prophecies! King Noah and his priests ultimately  put him to death! (P.S. the comparison between King Noah and Pilate is way cool!) But anyways, I have often wondered why he kept preaching when he thought no one was listening. In Mosiah 13:3 & 5, it says:

Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time.

...Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.

The bottom line is, he was filled with the spirit. It was upon him, and it shone through his face! And thanks to that spirit, he knew whether he had finished the message that the Lord had sent him to deliver, or not. We read again and again this promise of the spirit guiding us in the scriptures (D&C 31:11, D&C 75:27, D&C 79:1-2). This really must be my favorite part of being a missionary. Having the guidance and help of the Holy Ghost ALWAYS! Having the promise that I will know where the Lord wants me to go, what the Lord wants me to do, and what the Lord wants me to say. I’m really learning what it’s like to walk with a member of the Godhead. It’s the best!

I love my investigators. Each one is different. But for that, we have the spirit! Until next week, let the Holy Spirit guide.

Hermana Rasmussen

Lunch with Mario & Melani and their babies! Camille says they spend their p-days with investigator and new member families, for the most part.

Lunch with Mario & Melani and their babies! Camille says they spend their p-days with investigator and new member families, for the most part.

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Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hola!

Can’t believe another week has flown on by me. Crazy how fast they go sometimes. President and Sister Williams came so we had interviews and the most beautiful mission conference! I just love when they come. I could use that boost every week, thanks!

This week there’s not too much to report ,but let’s just say that I learned the TRUE meaning of Doctrine & Covenants 4. J We did a service project for Mario & Melani this week. Their yard was basically a jungle. And in this country there’s no such thing as a lawn mower… so we fixed up their yard real nice using machetes and you guessed it, SICKLES! And let me tell ya, I thrusted in the sickle with all my might! And it was tough, and I’m sore, but you can bet I loved it!

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This work is the best. It’s tough sometimes. It requires everything we’ve got. ALL our heart, might, mind, and strength! But it also gives us everything! Salvation to our souls. And makes us everything we want to be.

The field is white and more than ready to harvest! #hastenthework. Love you all! Hasta Luego!

Hermana Ras

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hey hey!!

Okay, moment of truth… transfers were this week… DRUM ROLL PLEASE… 

NO TRANSFERS FOR ME!!! YAYAYAYAYAYA!!!

Me toca otra seis semanas ague en la belleza que es Cajamarca. Basically this means I will (at least) have more than 8 months in the mission before I leave Cajamarca. ALMOST HALF MY MISSION! Craziness. I really do love this place. I thought for sure I would  be transferred and the miracle is that every other companionship in our zone had transfers except for us! #tendermercies

Lots of rain in Cajamarca!

Lots of rain in Cajamarca!

"It rains EVERY DAY these days, sometimes all day long, and when the sun comes out for one minute you know you're REALLY in trouble later in the day. OHHHH CAJAMARCA!"

"It rains EVERY DAY these days, sometimes all day long, and when the sun comes out for one minute you know you're REALLY in trouble later in the day. OHHHH CAJAMARCA!"

This week Mario said something to us that really stood out to me. He said, “Hermanas, sabe que, ser un seguidor de Cristo es bien duro… pero hay bendiciones tambien.” (In English: “You know what sisters, being a follower of Christ is really hard, but there are blessings, too.”) His statement is so true. He gets it. Since their baptism, they have had a LOT of trials. A LOT of challenges and hardships that just aren’t fair. And yet, they have been firm as can be in their faith! I really couldn’t be prouder of them. Last week,  Mario received the priesthood, and this week he passed the sacrament for the first time! And you can bet that they were one of the first families in the chapel that morning. 

In Elder Holland’s talk, “The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship,” he says,

"The road leading to the promised land 'flowing with milk and honey' of necessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with 'thou shalts' and 'thou salt nots'.”

Melani and Mario are basically my heroes in this principle. This week, their families turned against them for joining the church, Mario hasn’t had hardly any work, and they're buying one diaper at a time for their baby boy. Even so, they decided before all of these trials came that they would be obedient, pay their tithing, and keep the Sabbath Day holy. The road leading to the promised land always goes through Mount Sinai!

Like Mario said, following Christ is really hard, but there are blessings, too! I testify of these blessings. Some come soon, some come later, and some only come in the heavens, but for those who live the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come!

The Airport Ward Missionaries!

The Airport Ward Missionaries!

Four sisters, plus the zone leaders.

Four sisters, plus the zone leaders.

Camille is teaching everyone the art of the SELFIE!

Camille is teaching everyone the art of the SELFIE!

With Mario, Melani, and the other sisters!

With Mario, Melani, and the other sisters!

As always, our Savior was the perfect example. “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” (Isaiah 53). Following His example never was and never will be easy. But it will always be worth it. Being a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t the easiest thing, either, but people like Mario and Melani make it worth it! Alma 26:30-31. Until next week!

With All My Love,

Hermana R

PS: When Mario and Melani found out they would be having home teachers/ visiting teachers come visit them, they asked who they would be visiting. WHO EVEN ARE THEY?!?

Bonus photo from last week's adventures in guinea pig cuisine.

Bonus photo from last week's adventures in guinea pig cuisine.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hola!

How are things back in the US of A?! Things are really rockin' and rollin' here in the middle of the beautiful mountains of Peru. Have I mentioned that I love Cajamarca? #DONTMAKEMELEAVE #TRANSFERSNEXTWEEK #AHHCHICHIN

This week was wonderful, however relatively uneventful so I'm gonna keep it kind of short this week. I just wanted to share with you all how much I love Peru. Hermana Molina has helped me so much to truly embrace and become part of the culture here. Sometimes it still blows my mind that I live here... CRAZY. My life before seems like another foreign world! I've started to feel like I really belong here now. Hermana Molina and I are SUCH good friends, we literally have the BEST time.

The truth is that loving the people came easy to me; they're the most lovable people in the world, after all! But the culture took a little more time. I really feel like I'm a Peruvian through and through! From the daily rice and potatoes, to the crazy creative remedies for EVERYTHING, to the musical apostasy in sacrament meeting! I LOVE PERU! I love my Heavenly Father for sending me here. And I love what I'm becoming thanks to this place and the people here. There is no doubt in my mind that this is where I am needed. I am SO excited to share my love for this place with my pops in just a few months. We can be Peruvanos together. <3

I know God lives and He runs this Church. He is the father of our spirits, and knows us better than we know ourselves! He knew from the beginning that I needed Peru even more than Peru needed me. How grateful I am to be His servant here to learn, grow, and share the hope of this grand message. Now it just scares me that a third of my mission is behind me! But I guess that's fine. I'm going home in a 2-3 hour bus ride to Piura Peru anyways. <3

Alma 17:23!

Ciao,

Hermana Rasmussen

PS: I ate guinea pig today. THAT'S what I call embracing the culture! :)

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hey hey!!

WOWZA! What an awesome/ stressful/ emotional week. Mario and Melani were married on Friday, baptized Saturday, and confirmed Sunday! They are amazing. Have I mentioned that? They were so happy. Laughing at their “tella tubbie” outfits, squealing at the cold (and green) water, and then each bearing their testimonies at the end of the service—they are just my favorite people ever! They have already invited me to their sealing in a year from now in the soon to be Trujillo Temple! And I’m GOING. Deal, mom? :) 

Preparing for a wedding!

Preparing for a wedding!

At the ceremony.

At the ceremony.

Peruvian treats.

Peruvian treats.

A new family! Congrats to Mario &amp; Melani.

A new family! Congrats to Mario & Melani.

The after-party. Camille wrote that it was hard not to participate in the dancing. She misses that!

The after-party. Camille wrote that it was hard not to participate in the dancing. She misses that!

Beautiful, matching companions.

Beautiful, matching companions.

The happiest smiles!

The happiest smiles!

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                                                                    Baptism day!

Selfie!

Selfie!

"Tella tubbie" outfits :)

"Tella tubbie" outfits :)

Oh yeah, also they’re the best missionaries EVER. Their neighbors (and best friends since before we showed up- Hermelinda y Victor—otherwise known as “vecinos”) came to the wedding, baptism, and church on Sunday because of the invitation (and persistence) of Mario. This experience with them reminded me so much of this story that Elder Bednar shared in this recent General Conference talk, "Come and See": 

Another important episode in the Book of Mormon describes what happened to a man named Enos after his earnest and pleading prayer was heard and answered by God.

He said:

“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

“And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

“And I said: Lord, how is it done?

“And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. … Wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

“Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them” (Enos 1:4–9)

Just like Enos, Mario and Melani have felt that sweet change in their hearts and feel the strong desire to share it! I’m just so proud of them.

Confirmation day!

Confirmation day!

The same day as their baptism—AKA one of the happiest memories of my mission—was also one of the saddest: we ran into Erika and Michael again. They wouldn’t look at us. We tried to talk to them, see how they’re doing… they lied to us, then told us we weren’t welcome anymore. I must admit, I couldn’t even hold back the tears until we walked away. They were my family, too. I feel like with these two experiences this week, I have learned a LOT more about the Savior’s love for each of us. My companion told me she would feel totally successful and happy with her mission even if Mario and Melani were her ONLY converts, and it’s absolutely true! The Savior still would have made His infinite atoning sacrifice even if it had just been for one of us. He would leave the 99 to go after the one lost sheep! Hermana Molina is such an awesome example of that love to me! WE LOVE M + M.

With our great disappointment as well… I feel as if I understand just a LITTLE bit better our Savior’s love… even if their lack of desire and disobedience breaks my heart, I still love them. And wouldn’t change a thing we did! I still pray for them and love them, and I think I always will.

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The world today speaks a great deal about love, and it is sought for by many. But the pure love of Christ differs greatly from what the world thinks of love. Charity never seeks selfish gratification. The pure love of Christ seeks only the eternal growth and joy of others.”

I LOVE this quote (Thanks Sister Coleman!). I’m doing everything I can to develop this kind of love for every one of the people I talk to in the street every day. I have a testimony that as we do as Moroni advises us and pray with all energy of heart, we may be filled with this love.

And as we are filled with this love, we will become like Him! (Moroni 7:48) I continually invite each of you to take this invitation and follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. “There is no other way or name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.” (2 Nephi 31:21). Love you all and pray you have yet another fabulous week filled with this love.

Ciao cito!

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Letter received January 5, 2015

Hey Fam!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week. Things are rolling along here in Cajamarca! This week I am really learning what REAL ups and REAL downs are like here in the mission. Do you want the good news or the bad news first? :)

Let’s get the bad news over with and focus on the good, yeah? Erika and Michael (who we have been teaching almost every day since I arrived here in this area) HAVE DISAPPEARED! We have heard horror stories from all their neighbors and I’m just sick to my stomach over the whole thing. I just love that family so much and who knows where they’re at. Prayers for them.

Now let’s talk about the good news. MELANI Y MARIO! We’ve been teaching them two times every day (The Book of Mormon in the mornings and the lessons in the evenings). THEY ROCK. Exact quote from Hermano Mario about the Book of Mormon: “sabe que? Esta bonito lo que dice en este libro!” (It just isn’t the same in English- better in Spanish!). Basically, they’re the BEST. We taught them the Sabbath day this week and they have a little store so we were a little worried because they no longer would be able to sell on Sunday. #ohyeoflittlefaith They happily committed to keep the Sabbath day holy and one minute after we extended them the commitment, someone came by to buy something. They told her they wouldn’t be selling on Sunday because it’s the LORD’S DAY and that she should do her shopping on Saturday. They’re too wonderful! (Hermana Melani said to us, “eso es perfecto! Ahora tengo un dia para desconsar cada semani. LOVE HER!)

One more story about them this week… On Saturday we taught them about following the prophet. Background: both Mario and Melani have gained testimonies almost immediately of Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and The Book of Mormon. So we thought nothing of this lesson!

Well, I guess somewhere along the line we didn’t explain very well that we have a living prophet TODAY that leads the church and receives revelation directly from the Lord. Mario just could not believe it. He told us he was really scared and was trembling! Of all things, THIS was his biggest doubt. We taught him all we could, we testified, and we invited him to pray. He has received quite a few answers to his prayers, but this time he told us straight up that he just didn’t know if one would come! Well, we prayed harder than we ever have before that Mario would have the faith to receive an answer. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and it was the BIGGEST answer to our prayers and his. Almost ALL of the people who spoke testified that we have a prophet today to guide us. And every time someone bore testimony that this is the true church, the strongest feeling came over my heart. Hermana Molina told me the same feeling came over her. SURELY it did for Mario and Melani, as well. After church was over, his little girl came up and gave him a picture she had colored in nursery. It was of a prophet and she said, “I will follow the prophet.” #ANSWER! That night, we taught about the priesthood and why it was necessary to have a prophet with this power. He testified to us of his answer and that he KNOWS this is the church of God.

la zona cajamarca norte

la zona cajamarca norte

Moments like those make very sad moment in the mission worth it. We teach with the spirit of prophesy (Alma 17:2-3). They have the faith to receive an answer (Alma 22:16). They are truly converted (Alma 23:6). Now this is the question… has there been so great love in all the land (Alma 26:33)?

I love you all! Almost as much as I love these people. Jk I love you and The Lord the most! I testify that He answers our prayers and that the gospel changes lives. And the best part is, it’s all true!

Bastante,

Hermana Ras

PS- Some old fotos from Hermana Molina's camera!

Christmas!

Christmas!

Christmas singing in the plaza with the Airport Ward!

Christmas singing in the plaza with the Airport Ward!

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Sorry, I forgot to mention on Christmas that our next p-day wouldn’t be until New Years Day, but here I am! All is well. Wow, this Christmas really was one of the merriest I have ever had! It was so good to talk to you all for a few minutes and to feel at home with my family. I really wasn’t as distracted afterward as I thought I would be, either! We spent the rest of the day going from home to home to celebrate. Members, investigators, recent converts, and less actives! It was so fun. We ate PLENTY of panaton, hot chocolate, rosquitas, and them some more panaton. Good thing I LOVE IT NOW!

The truth is, never in my life have I felt the spirit of Christmas so strongly before. Never in my life have I understood more the love of our Savior than in this Christmas. Though I may not have been with my blood-family this Christmas, I really did feel at home and with family. Just like for my family back at home, I really can’t express in words the love I have for the people here. Today, I just wanted to talk about a couple of my families.

First, la familia Infante! They are recent converts of the elders. Daniel, the father, is the sweetest, kindest, most loving father and construction worker in the world. Fidelia, the mother, is the cutest, most faithful little mother who works in the market selling cow heads. They are pretty old and don’t understand a lot of things, but they have SO MUCH FAITH it just blows my mind. They have six grown children and a few grandchildren that are pretty adorable. Unfortunately only one of their children is a member… for now! Their son, Herber, joined the church a little over a year ago and just received his mission call to Bolivia! Fidelia and Daniel are excited for him but they are really gonna need some love when he leaves. We had a little gift exchange with them on Christmas… the humblest, sweetest gift exchange ever. AMO LOS INFANTE!

Another one of my families is La familia Cerna. Young and energetic Mario is a carpenter (and a former DJ). He is the friendliest, most selfless, and caring guy you’d ever meet. Melani is the simplest, kindest, most patient mother that I know. They live in one dirt-floored room with their three children (and one on the way). They have very little and still want to share and give us everything they do have. They are planning to be married the 9th of January and be baptized on the 10th. This week we did a “parillada” (basically, it’s a fundraiser selling food) with them to help them raise a little money to make the wedding special. Hermano Mario did NOT want anyone but them to pay for the wedding. He told us he knew it would mean more to them if they sacrificed for it. HE IS AMAZING!

la parillada for Mario &amp; Melani

la parillada for Mario & Melani

Mario!

Mario!

He drank a LOT before and now he has completely quit. Before we even taught The Word of Wisdom, we had mentioned the things we don’t drink. He was in a relative’s home that night and they were taunting him to drink and he told them, “no! I’ve changed and I follow Jesus Christ!” Literally, I could have cried when he told us this story. Also, we have not taught them Lehi’s dream and he LITERALLY HAD THE SAME DREAM. 

Okay, last Mario story… we had a lesson with them this week and a member family where Mario shared his testimony. He started by sharing the story of when we contacted him (Hermana Kimball and I, woo hoo!). He told us he didn’t take it seriously at first, but he felt something really special and wanted us to come back. He described the feeling he had as we started teaching… he basically described Alma 19:33. He no longer had the desire to do evil. He told us that he didn’t exactly understand why but he had the desire to do the things we were inviting him to do and to change his life to be more like Christ’s. I WAS CRYING. Basically, they ROCK.

Sweet Hermana Molina

Sweet Hermana Molina

The gospel is the BEST. I hope you all are living it and feeling that desire to continue on and do good. There are blessings and indescribable happiness ahead. Love you all, Feliz Ano. I can’t think of a better place to be for 2015 than here in Peru serving my Savior.

Ciao!

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

We got to talk with our sweet Hermana on Christmas, and it was the highlight of our day! Here are some photos she sent us from before we got to talk, plus a few photos and a video recording from our conversation with her.

We hope the warmth of our Savior's love will fill our hearts throughout the year. He lives, he knows us, and he loves us all. Merry Christmas and here's to a bright new year!

Two zones singing, bringing holiday cheer!

Two zones singing, bringing holiday cheer!

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Christmas Breakfast with Mario and Melani.

Christmas Breakfast with Mario and Melani.

Rosquitas and pantanon-- a traditional breakfast.

Rosquitas and pantanon-- a traditional breakfast.

Sweet Sofia with Hermana Ras.

Sweet Sofia with Hermana Ras.

Searching for an internet cafe to call home from.

Searching for an internet cafe to call home from.

Hello from Peru!!

Hello from Peru!!

What a treat! Until mother's day...

What a treat! Until mother's day...

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Feliz (casi) Navidad!

I love this time of year. IT ROCKS! Also, I love Cajamarca Peru and the fact that I’m not being transferred for at least six weeks! All this week we’ve been singing Christmas songs, helping people decorate their trees, and eating a LOT of paneton (I’m pretty sure it’s the boxed fruit cake that people in the states just keep re-gifting). But I actually LOVE it now. Who knew?

So next week I won’t be writing home Monday the 22nd. Instead, our P-day will be the 25th and I’ll be CALLING HOME! Craziness. So basically this week will be my Christmasy letter. President Williams came this week to celebrate with us here in Cajamarca. It was a blast! Skits, songs, traditions, videos, and of course the spiritual boost we all needed.

This week I’ve been studying about the Christmas story. Not the one about Ralphie and the BB gun, but about how our Savior came into this world! Every time I read the story in Luke 1 and 2, I am more and more impressed with the faith and humility of Mary. I can ALMOST understand why half the people in this country worship her! JUST KIDDING. That was a joke. *For real though, we have found people who would not accept the pass-along cards of the Savior because they only worship the virgin.* its fine, we still love them. ANYWAYS… my favorite verses this time reading in Luke were verses 37 & 38. This is when the angel appears to Mary to tell her of her important calling! After dropping the bomb, the angel assures sweet Mary that NOTHING shall be impossible with God. Her immediate response that we read in verse 38 is, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word.”

To be honest, I don’t know if that would have been my first response! I can’t even imagine her thoughts at this moment. She had just learned that she, as a virgin, was pregnant, her cousin Elizabeth, as an old lady, was pregnant, and to add to that, her baby would grow to become the Savior of the world. Oh yeah, and all that information was from an angel. Nevertheless, Mary’s first response was, “Be it unto me according to thy word.” I love her example of love, faith, and humility. Especially at this special Christmas time! The only thing we really have to give to our Savior as a gift in this time of year is our will. It’s the only thing we have that wasn’t first a gift from our Savior! So naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about how specifically I’m gonna give my will to Jesus this Christmas. In Luke 22:42, Christ once again sets the perfect example for each of us! He gave up His will to His Father. “Not my will, but thine be done.”

I love being a missionary. Every day I have the opportunity to literally proclaim these good tidings of great joy. Every day, to ALL MEN! I love it. I’m eternally grateful and humbled by the gift each of us receives this Christmas… the son of God. #HeisTheGift. There is no gift greater! There is no gift more important. There is no gift given with more love! I testify of the love Jesus has for each one of us. I feel it every day… His love for me as well as for all the people here in Peru! As His representative, He has blessed me with just a small, miniscule part of that love for all men. I invite all of you to discover this gift, accept this gift, and share it. Love you all, and have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hola Familia,

What an exciting week that has just FLOWN BY! El espiritu de la Navidad es en el aire y estoy muy feliz.

First of all, Pepito se bautizo!!! It was a bit of a struggle (the planning part, at least), and it was rescheduled like five times. But it finally happened!! And it turned out beautiful. A full room, my companion and I sang, sweet messages, and at the end he bore his testimony and I about died. All Hermano Jose wants is to reach the temple in a year and be sealed with Hermana Vanessa and their bebito, Valentino. Sweetest dad ever. Cutest eternal family ever. HAPPY DAY! (P.S. Pepe, Pepito, Jose are all the same person).

Camille 21.jpg

It never ceases to amaze me how much joy there is to be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we are lucky enough to be right here in the middle of all that joy! We have this knowledge. We have the master recipe for happiness. Are we using it?

I’ve heard it said that the mission is 98% struggle, disappointment, sorrow, pain, and difficulty. And 2% pure joy and happiness. But in all honesty, I don’t buy this for a minute. Yeah, the mission is hard and there are difficulties, but I have felt WAY more joy in the last five months of my life than sorrow. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve lived a happier five months in all my life! Maybe I’m still just new at this, but this is how I see it…

In 2 Nephi chapter 2 verse 25, it explains that we are here to live with the effects of the fall, and what is our purpose? TO HAVE JOY! Thanks to Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we can have joy, peace, and hope DURING the hard times. We don’t have to just endure, but we can enjoy! In this time of year we have the opportunity to reflect on this great gift we have: the life, example, and sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the Gift. I invite all of you to watch this video and reflect for yourselves on how we can find true happiness, hope, peace, and joy during this beautiful holiday season. I testify that this kind of joy is only made possible through the love of our Redeemer while we are here in this fallen world. And we have the key to this joy RIGHT NOW. This minute. We don’t have to wait for it.

Never in my life have I been so grateful for this gift. I love the Lord. I love the mission. I love these people. Until next week!

Hermana Rasmussen

#HeisTheGift

#Elesladadiua

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Hola Hola!

Another week gone and little fruits are springing up all over the place! I love this work so much. I’m so happy here. Thanksgiving came and went and I almost FORGOT! Jk. But really, I’m so grateful to be here in the mission. I feel like I can now honestly say that there is no place I’d rather be!

The mission is filled with moments I just never want to forget. Sometimes I feel like I just want to pause time for a minute. Today I thought I’d just share a few special moments from this week. Even if they don’t mean much to anyone else but me!

·  The moment when we walked by the house of Erika and Michael and they were listening to the Avdio Libro de Mormon. I just couldn’t love them any more than I do right now!

·  The moment when Melani and Mario asked us how soon they can be baptized after teaching only Lesson #2: The Plan of Salvation. If only they would come to church!

·   The moment when we were knocking doors and decided to go a completely different direction to knock one of the same doors twice. It was the house of a less active! She’s awesome.

·   The moment when Mario told us he prayed to know if our message was true and if it was, he asked the Lord to help him find work that day. A man stopped him in the middle of the street that day to offer him a job. To say the least, he knows it’s true.

·   The moment when Michael bears his testimony to us of the restoration of the Gospel and how he knows this is the Lord’s church.

Que mas… there are just so many. The primary program was to DIE FOR. Also, I die every evening with the incredible Cajamarquina skies. Basically a #WorldofColor every night. Also when surprises come to church and we end up having 8 investigators and 6 less actives en la capilla! What in the world?! Oh yea, and last night when we didn’t have water, light, or toiler paper. That was funny. And of course when the Peruvians contact US in the street. That always makes my day! Being a missionary is the happiest lifestyle—I am convinced.

I love you all forever and always! I promise I miss you and love you mom, but frankly, I’d rather be here. Next week is the baptism of Jose (my comp wasn’t exactly thrilled with me but he just wasn’t prepared for it this week!). This week we’ve really seen major progression and hearts changing right before our eyes. There are my favorite moments. This is the work of salvation and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!

Until next week,

Hermana Rasmussen

#HAPPY5MONTHSTOME

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

FAMBAM!

I cannot believe how fast time is going by! One more week and it will be DECEMBER. That is madness. Que miedo! AH CHICHIN! (lingo cajamarquina). But really, it’s craziness.

This week started off with intercambios! (don’t remember what the word is in English). But for the day, my companion was one of the Hermana leaders and Hermana Molina went to their area! La verdad, I never really look forward to intercambios but it always ends up being such a great experience to learn and grow! We get in such a routine with the same companions, it’s such a humbling learning experience to work with another Hermana. This week I learned more than anything, teaching skills! So SCORE.

Also this week, we had a wedding!!! Jose y Vanessa were married Saturday night, so we got to help decorate the cake, tables, and room (we worked with what we had, alright?). Jose is the sweetest little hipster Peruvian who just LOVES his wife and their little boy. He gave the sweetest speech at the ceremony about how he can’t wait to be baptized, confirmed, and in a year, be sealed with his family forever! His goal is to be baptized this Saturday, so we’re gonna be working with them every day this week to try and make that happen. He’s been reading in the Book of Mormon and seems to have a testimony already! He and Vanessa have now been asking for callings in the church! Que en el mundo? Love them.

So as easy and wonderful as the conversion of Jose (Pepe/Pepito) has seemed to be, I somehow feel like it would mean a little more to me if we had been working with him for more time, had seen his progress, and had really felt all the ups and downs right along with him… speaking of which…

ERIKA Y MICHAEL! I don’t think I could love them anymore than I do if I tried, but WOW it can be frustrating and heartbreaking with them sometimes. We have felt ALL the ups and downs of the rollercoaster with them. All of their spiritual experiences, prayers, and revelations, as well as their trials, doubts, and stumbling blocks. This week we decided to go back to the basics with them. LESSON #1! We soon realized as we started to go over it that they did not yet have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Yesterday, we had an AWESOME lesson with them on their topic in a member’s home where we watched The Joseph Smith movie. Que bonito salio!

I bear testimony as a missionary and representative of The Lord Jesus Christ that the boy Joseph Smith was called by God to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these last days. He was a prophet of the living God and thanks to him, we have the fullness of the doctrine of Christ once again. As a missionary, I share the words of young Joseph Smith over and over again regarding his first vision. I know with every fiber of my being that he did indeed see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the grove that day. The words we memorize and share regularly never lose their power to me. Satan knows the power in those words. And because he knows, he does everything possible to distract in that precious moment. It’s amazing to me how often in that very moment during lessons a phone rings, the movie skips, a baby cries, ANYTHING! The adversary will do anything to distract from this message. And why? Because it’s TRUE, of course.

See D&C 122:1-2. As Elder Andersen shared in this last conference: “Why does the Lord allow the evil speaking to chase after the good? One reason is that opposition against the things of God sends seekers of truth to their knees for answers.” It is so true. The only way in the world to learn absolute truth is from God in prayer.

Elder Andersen later says in this talk, “A testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith can come differently to each of us. It may come as you kneel in prayer, asking God to confirm that he was a true prophet. It may come as you read the Prophet’s account of the First Vision. A testimony may distill upon your soul as you read the Book of Mormon again and again. It may come as you bear your own testimony of the Prophet or as you stand in the temple and realize that through Joseph Smith the holy sealing power was restored to the earth. With faith and real intent, your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith will strengthen. The constant water balloon volleys from the sidelines may occasionally get you wet, but they need never, never extinguish your burning fire of faith.”

WE CAN KNOW! We can know he was a prophet of God. We have been given all we need to have a  personal witness of this eternal truth and all we have to do is act and find out. I invite all of you to continually gain a greater witness of the crazy important role of Joseph Smith in these last days. Without this knowledge, we can’t progress in the gospel. That was made clear to me this week. Can’t wait to see what the next week brings in this wonderful little corner of the world called Cajamarca! Ciao for now!

Hermana Rasmussen

P.S. I don’t know about you, but I will know Brother Joseph again.

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Buenas Tardes!

Another week has raced past me. I can’t even believe it! And what a week it has been. I can officially say I’m a missionary in South America because I got bitten by a street dog! HOLLA! Don’t worry, mom (I was debating if I should tell you or not), for all is well now so no se preocupe. This is why we paid a fortune for all my shots before I left. :)  BUT REALLY, DON’T STRESS MOM! I just have a small fear of dogs now. AND, for the record, I didn’t provoke it. We were just walking by tranquilo! All is well.

In other news, this week was actually pretty good! We had a realization as we were reflecting on the week last night. We are ONLY TEACHING FAMILIES! Thanks to the inspired guidance of President Williams, ALL of our investigators are families. He advised us never to pass a family or couple on the street without contacting them. He also implemented the rule that we could not teach anyone under the age of 18 without their parents. I LOVE this rule. And because we are only teaching families, we use the Proclamation in every first appointment. IT IS THE BEST.

So I’ve already introduced you to Erika and Michael. They were our miracle in this area! Our number one! Well, this week they took some serious steps back. Darn anti-mormon material. They had come SO FAR! One day they’ll get there. Just probably not while I’m still here in Cajamarca… It’s chill, I’ve still got faith!

Next we have Leisy and Junior who I talked about last week! They are SO RAD. They have some great questions and just love when we come. Just praying they’ll come to church this week.

Another family is Mario y Melani! They were a contact of Hermana Kimball and I. They’re great. We gave them a contact card that they put up in their little tiendita. Apparently, people have seen it and asked them if they are Mormons, and they say yes! HAHA I love them.

We have a few more awesome possibilities we’re hoping to see fruits from, but I’ll just mention one more today. Jose and Vanessa. Okay so we met them yesterday. Vanessa is less active and Jose is her soon to be husband… they’re apparently getting married next weekend and he wants to be baptized the same day… so we’re visiting them every day this week! I really don’t know where they came from. But hey, we’re stoked!

So this week as we have been doing EVERYTHING possible to get these families to progress and ACT, I’ve been thinking a lot about why people act. What motivates them to keep their commitments as investigators? I believe people act for one of three reasons.

First: out of fear. Is that bad? No. The fear of God can lead us to do great things! Mosiah 4:1-2. They were afraid when they heard the truth, so they changed their hearts. Who knows, maybe some of our investigators would do the same if we were a little more scary?!

Second: a sense of duty. This isn’t bad either! It’s a good thing to act out of a duty to God. Alma 7:22. Perhaps if I could just get my investigators to understand their duty to God, they would act!

Third: because of love. People act because of love. In John 14:15 we learn that if we love God, we will act. We will keep His commandments. We will do all He asks of us!

Yes, good things come from fear and good things come from duty, but these good things don’t come close to the miracles that come from love. Jeffrey R. Holland said in a recent conference that, “pure Christ-like love flowing from righteousness can change the world.” I know that to be true. I’m giving everything I’ve got to show these people the love of God because THAT will make them act and progress a lot quicker than duty or fear. I know God loves us. There have been hard moments on the mission but I have NEVER felt alone. He’s there. I feel Him. That love inspires me to act, to get up every morning and give it my all for another day. All I want is for my investigators to feel it, too. Not just love from me, but from our Heavenly Father. John 3:16. What more evidence of God’s love could we ever need?

I hope all is well at home! I love you all lots and lots and pray every day you see the influence of God’s love in each of your lives. Ciao ciao!

Hermana Rasmussen

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

Mi amado familia!

What a wonderful week it has been! The first order of business…

BIENVENIDA A LA HERMANA MOLINA!!!!!!!!!!!! She is literally the BEST (okay, who can be better than Hermana Kimball?). But really—she’s great. She is 22 years old from Bolivia, Santa Cruz. She has quite an accent, but I’m catching on :)  We were fast friends.  She’s learning English as I learn Spanish so it’s just always a party! She’s just totally adorable. Also she likes to work so that’s the best news of ALL! It is clear the Lord was involved in putting us together :) He knows each one of us SO WELL.

Ciro and Carolina.

Ciro and Carolina.

Sweet Olcena.

Sweet Olcena.

Carolina y Ciro y fam.

Carolina y Ciro y fam.

Familia Bringas!

Familia Bringas!

Ciro and Carolina ("she's our pension and bestie if you didn't know it") :)

Ciro and Carolina ("she's our pension and bestie if you didn't know it") :)

Missionaries in Aeropuerto.

Missionaries in Aeropuerto.

More missionaries!

More missionaries!

Familia Infante (recent converts they are working with).

Familia Infante (recent converts they are working with).

Farewell Hermana Kimball.

Farewell Hermana Kimball.

Camille's area for a day in Chontapaccha.

Camille's area for a day in Chontapaccha.

Companions for a day!

Companions for a day!

Hermana Montalvan-- the hermana leader.

Hermana Montalvan-- the hermana leader.

So, AWESOME as my companion is… this week was still kind of tough. I feel like such a newb, but look, running an area is hard!! The majority of our appointments fell through this week and when that happened, it was up to ME to know where to go. Even then, we always had a long list of backups… that also fell through… BUT! As the Lord promises us in the scriptures (Alma 26:27), “bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success!” And so… we contacted, we knocked doors, we re-contacted many of the same people, and we re-knocked many of the same doors. And frankly, nada.

But wait! Then who should walk on by but Hermano Ciro from the ward. “Hermano Ciro! Do you have any friends?!? We need someone to visit!”

Welcome Hermana Molina!

Welcome Hermana Molina!

Hermana M has been in the mission for 6 months-- she trained for 3 and was a trainer for 3.

Hermana M has been in the mission for 6 months-- she trained for 3 and was a trainer for 3.

Well, Hermano Ciro told us that yeah, he did have a buddy he had been thinking about so he calls him (because he’s just the best like that). We soon find out this buddy of his has a wife and two little girls (SCORE! FAMILY!). But that their little newborn girl is really dangerously sick and having trouble breathing. So… awesome Hermano Ciro offered to give a blessing to the little baby. Next thing we knew we were on our way to a lesson to teach a family WITH a family. The Lord works in mysterious ways!

Meet: Junior and Leisy! Cutest young couple ever. He speaks English and Italian and works with Hermano Ciro. She is basically a supermodel and she just had a baby!? She loves her family more than anything and wants to live with her dad again (who recently passed away). They both want to come to church and learn more. I died. Our first lesson with them when Hermano Ciro gave the baby a blessing was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission so far. After, as he and his wife (Hermana Carolina) bore testimony of the power of the priesthood, it was absolutely amazing! TALK ABOUT “HOW TO BEGIN TEACHING”!!! The second lesson we had with them was about the proclamation on “THE FAMILY.” They loved it. They rock.

I love the spirit. I love being a missionary because I get to feel it ALL the time. I know the Lord blessed us for all our hard work this week. Even if it wasn’t from one of our millions of contacts or doors knocked. He knows us-- each one of us completely and totally and personally! For this, we have reason to sing joyful praises to His name at all times. The rain has REALLY started coming down here in Cajamarca this week. It poured on us all week long during the most frustrating moments. But you know…

What happened immediately after our first lesson with Junior and Leisy? IT STILL POURED. However instead of walking along with our heads down hurrying to our next appointment (or lack thereof), you know what we did? We danced, we skipped, we sang in the rain. It was the best. The Lord knows us. He won’t always lighten the load we bear, but He will help us learn to dance in the rain. 1 Nephi 21:13-16!

That’s all for now, love you all forever and always! Thanks for your wonderful examples to me and keep dancing in the rain!

Hermana Ras

Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

WOW, HOLA!

I'm just so glad the news is out because I can't hold in my excitement anymore!!!! Wait! Let me start from the beginning...

Last Friday we had that multi-zone meeting. It was AWESOME. After Elder Waddell spoke to us, President Williams and his wife addressed us. They're the best. Have I mentioned my President is just fantastic?? Well, during that meeting and as President and his wife spoke, I had the most distinct impression that my dear parents would be in their position VERY soon. I wrote in my journal that night that I just knew they would get that call. I wrote, "one day they'll win the battle of Bedford Falls and get out of Irvine!" Well...

THE NEXT MORNING, we got a phone call. Hermana Kimball answered. She sounded confused. Then she asked in English, "Why are you calling??" Then I was interested. She told me slowly to "sit down, here's the phone, it's your dad..."

WHAT! I kind of freaked out. Scared to death for the lives of all my family members! No one ever calls unless something REALLY bad has happened. Well, I said hello and we started talking. He told me not to worry, and that he had permission from President Uchtdorf...

WHAT! Then I knew. He and my mom proceeded to tell me they had been called to be mission presidents. Then came the screaming, and also a few tears. Also the, "I totally called it! I was gonna write you this week to start learning spanish, mom!!!!"

Despite what you're all thinking, the fact that I had this revelation is not the reason I am through the roof excited for them and this new adventure. I've heard countless times that more often than not, missionaries are called to a president, rather than a place. I can testify of this with my own experience, as well! President Williams es lo MAXIMO para mi! And I know with all my heart that there is a mission (to be announced) full of missionaries who will really need my sweet dad and wonderful mom to guide them in this once in a lifetime amazing experience! Que suerte estos missioneros van a tener!

I know Jesus Christ is the head of this church, that He leads this work. I'm so excited to have another Hermana Rasmussen out working with me in this awesome cause! Oh yeah, and Presidente :)  Hermana Kimball has officially left me and is on her way to you now! She was sent home with plenty of hugs and stories for all of you! It was pretty sad to say goodbye to my little piece of home. She really is the BEST. The best trainer, example, and friend I could have ever hoped for. As sad as it was, I'm excited for the next adventure! My new companion will be coming on Tuesday night and until then, I'm playing hot potato and jumping around from area to area with some other sisters. It's pretty exciting!

Wow! With all these new and exciting changes comes a lot of emotion and a lot of gratitude. I love my family. I love my trainer! I love my new area. I love my investigators. I love my President. I love my calling. I love this work. I love the Lord.

I love you all! Can't wait for the changes and news to come. I have a testimony that this will all be for a reason. God's plan for us is perfect. He knows us and knows what is best for each one of us. He sees our potential and is there pushing us along every step of the way. 1 Nephi 20:15. He calls us, brings us through, but it's up to us to live up to our potential and mike our own ways prosperous. SI SE PUEDE!

Ciao for now. Much love and prayers,

Hermana Rasmussen (Jr. :) )

P.S.: I've got my answers ready when 10000+ people ask for Hermana Kimball this week. Alma 22:3-4.


Posted
AuthorAshley Ysasaga

HOLA QUE TAL COMO ESTA QUE DICE??

I love Peruvians. Thats how they greet you ALL THE TIME.

Anywho! I'm gonna keep it short this week. On Friday we had a conference ALL DAY with Elder Waddell of the First Quorum of the Seventy! He's the man. I heard from Him in the CCM too. It was just awesome this time to hear both Him and President give us so much of the same direction and revelation. Jesus Christ directs this work, it is just SO clear! 

Ready for church with Olenca and Maria!

Ready for church with Olenca and Maria!

Our new scripture cases

Our new scripture cases

Feeding His sheep!

Feeding His sheep!

We are to focus on FAMILIES. We are never to pass a married couple or familiy in the street without contacting them! And there are a LOT of those in Peru. He shared again D&C 2 and how after the First Vision, that was the NEXT revelation Joseph Smith recieved for the church: THE SEALING POWER FOR FAMILIES! As a mission we have also been studying in depth The Family: A Proclamation to the World. We have been using it a LOT in our work with the families here and have been seeing miracles. I testify of the power of that sacred document. I testify of the plan the Lord has for families. Elder Waddell told us the purpose of the church is to gather Israel and seal families. I LOVE being a part of this great purpose. I love my family. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings us together even when were far apart! I love the Lord and His love towards my family. I'm so grateful to be a part of His family with eternal glory as my potential. 

In THE FAMILY we read: "The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally." I love God's children here in Peru and I'm so grateful for my opportunity to be HERE at THIS time. I know these callings are of God. Until next week!

LOVE YOU ALL

Hermana Rasssss

Posted
AuthorDanny Rasmussen