Monday, September 28, 2009

WEEK - 37 Ixtapaluca


for more pictures of Ixtapaluca.

Hola Familia!
Right now, we’re in a internet café around the corner from the Ripley’s believe it or not museum. We went with Elder King our District Leader and his companion. There’s a wax museum that was pretty awesome! I’ll have to send pictures next week, because there’s no place to put my memory card.

This week was awesome! Our Zone Conference was amazing, and filled with the Spirit.

President talked to us about the new Bible that came out. We read a verse in the Bible we use now, and then read the Joseph Smith Translation, and it is completely different! He talked to us about exact obedience and we read from the missionary handbook. We have a new rule, all the Mexico missions can’t drink coke anymore! I guess some missionaries were going and buying it and giving a bad look for the members so they made a new rule. They always give us coke to drink here, so that will be interesting when we tell them that we can’t drink it.

The Zone Leaders trained us on “programming” the investigators baptismal date in the first lesson. It is something that comes from President, and it really works! It made me realice(realize: neat to see how Spanish is taking over) how important questions are. When we use questions efficiently, the investigators realice for themselves that they need to be baptized. It is really a great experience, and I have felt the Spirit and I know they have too when they accept to be baptized.

This week we took the Manzilla Hernandez Family to the Visitors Center, and they loved it! They saw the Testaments and they all cried afterwards! They told us that in a year they will be in the temple! I told them to tell us so we can be there too. This family is awesome! After Roberto and his son, Beto, had their baptism we went to their house and I made them French Toast! Haha, they were all amazed by it! This family is great. Their daughter Fabiola doesn’t want to be baptized. She didn’t come to Church yesterday, so her date is for the 11 of October.
Yesterday when we baptized, we baptized with the other missionaries in our area. We had 5 baptisms in total, and all of us were in white except for my companion, (I asked him if he wanted to baptize too).The picture is awesome!! I’ll send it next week.

Also this week, we took one of our investigators Maria del Carmen to get married! Her son was just baptized, and we’ve been working with her. She’s really excited to be baptized, but she wasn’t married. We talked to her husband once and he basically told us to go away, and that he wasn’t going to get married. We talked to him on Friday and he said to his wife, “Oh, well if its so you can get baptized that’s fine” !! We took them early Saturday to get married and this Sunday is her baptism after the first session on Sunday.

The Lord is really blessing us! Elder Martinez and I are seeing miracles all the time. We try and contact as many people as we can in the week, and this week we tried extra hard to contact. A lot of people said no, and I told my companion not to get down on himself because it was probably a test of our faith! We were walking to an appointment and a guy called us and asked us what we do and why there’s always an American with a Mexican. We told him we’d like to teach him and he accepted! His name is Raul and I know he’ll progress.

Well I have to go, not much time to write! Love you all, thanks for your support and prayers! Hasta luego,
Elder Rasmussen

Monday, September 21, 2009

WEEK - 36 Ixtapaluca

Hey Everyone!
“Our Purpose is to Invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored góspel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.” (I hope I remembered it right? I can only think of it in Spanish!)
This week was great! Ixtapaluca is awesome, its the real Mexico! It’s a lot different than Pachuca, but I like it.
Mom and Trent asked me some questions…
Mom- we wash our clothes with a member in the Ward. He has a Lavanderia and gives us a discount of 5 pesos every kilo. Hot water and shower-yes. Food-YEEESSSS. They feed us a ton here! Everyone wants us to eat with them. I’m sure I’m going to leave this area fatter! No don’t worry, we eat a lot but our area has a ton of hills so we get a good work out every day. It rains about every day here, and it´s a little warmer, but nothing like Arizona!
Trent- My new companion is awesome! He’s a hard worker, and knows a lot about the work because he was the Ward mission leader in his Ward, and had the chance to work with the Zone leaders.
My new area… well it is called Bautizaluca for a reason! The people here are so ready to hear the gospel! It’s a little different working here. The streets are all “cerradas”, streets with a gate to close it off. If we have an appointment we have to shout their name or wait until someone opens the door for us. We do a lot of contacts in the street, and we’ve had quite a bit of success with that. The key for area is to work with the members, so w ego with the new converts and less active members to ask them for referrals. The sister who was baptized this week was a referral!
Yes I’ve dreamed in Spanish. I thought I told you about it already…last week I was talking in my sleep. I woke Elder Martinez up and he said I was propped up on one elbow and shaking my finger saying “Hermana, tiene que bautizarse…” –“Sister, you have to be baptized…” haha! I guess that means I dream in Spanish right?

This week Piedad and her daughter were baptized. They were so excited they could hardly stand themselves! Next week Piedad´s husband Roberto, and their son Roberto are going to be baptized. Roberto went to the Church farm on Saturday and had so much fun, and worked so hard he couldn’t get up on Sunday to go to Church! We told him if he didn’t go he couldn’t be baptized next week (they need three Sundays at Church to be baptized). He got up real quick and changed. Piedad´s daughter, Fabiola, is going to be baptized October 4th!
The Lord really blessed us this week. We found a new family that looks like they will really progress. The dad’s name is Alejandro and his wife Sarai. Alejandro has read the Book of Mormon before, and used to sell books in the Distrito Federal when he came across an original copy of the Book of Mormon! He really liked Church yesterday and wants one of the new bibles that the Church just came out with. Everyone is so excited for it!
My computer isn’t working, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to send you the pictures!

Our Ward meets in a different Casa de Oracion than the one Elder Hunt is in. He’s another District Leader in my Zone. Our Ward is called San Buenaventura. Dad, our divison is the street that says “ Paseo de San Buenaventura”. We have the part where the Casa de Oracion is, if you can find that you’ll know my area. Just a little about my area there are 25,000 houses, with about 4 people in each one so 100,000 people…mas o menos. We have half of that and some other little pueblos so our area is really big. (Since Elder Ras has no time to send pics I found these off the internet and he confirmed "this is his area" . . . amazing! ! ! !)

Tomorrow is our Zone Conference, and Elder Martinez and I have been assigned to give a 5 minute talk on “Our Purpose”. Wish me luck!

Okay I’m out of time because I was trying to send you a picture, I’ll have to send you more next week!

Elder Rasmussen

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WEEK - 35 Hello Ixtapaluca

Hey everyone how’s it going? I’m here in my new area, and it’s so great! Hope everything’s going well at home. Everybody is getting ready here for the 15 of September, its the Independence Day of Mexico, and everyone is going crazy for it!
It was really weird leaving Pachuca! I´ve been there so long, it was just so strange to think I was leaving. We ate three times on Monday because everyone wanted to feed us! Raúl and his wife Yadira fed us, then we went and ate with Mari, Antonio and their family, and after with Griselda and her family. Antonio gave me a painting/carving he made of a tiger. They all signed it and wrote a note. When we ate with Griselda all her kids gave me a Little picture of them that they get in school, I also got a recording of them talking so I´ll send that next week. One of the families in the Ward wrote a letter and gave me a snickers, it was pretty nice. They told me how much they appreciated my work in their Ward, and told me I could come back and visit anytime. When it came time to leave Tuesday morning I really didn’t feel like I was leaving!
Okay it sounds like you’ve all been wondering where I got sent so I’ll tell you, but first I want to tell you about cambios. We went on the bus from Pachuca and headed out for D.F. Elder Spencer was in Pachuca as well, so when he saw me he was excited and asked me if I was training as well. He was really excited and nervous to train, just like I was! We finally got to the “Manzana del Templo” or.. that translates into Temple square. The trainers had a meeting so Elder Spencer and I went to that. President told us how the assignment as trainer is one of the most sacred assignments he can give as president of the mission. He told us how the Lord expects us to give the best to our companions, to help them start their mission off right. I walked out feeling pretty overwhelmed! In this meeting there were all the trainers and all the new missionaries. Everyone was trying to guess their new companion! At the end there was only one American and one Mexican in the room, so they knew who their companion was.
The changes meeting is in the chapel. All the missionaries sit in the seats, and the new missionaries sit on the stand behind President. It’s pretty funny to see everyone so nervous waiting for the changes. President reads the zone and then he reads one Elders name and says who they’ll receive and what Ward or area they’re in. Everyone in my generation from the MTC has changes, Elder Bertin went to Palmar with Elder Mora, and Elder Spencer went to Constitución with his “hijo”, or the missionary he is training.
“Elder Rasmussen, you’re going to receive and train in the area San Buenaventura, Ixtapaluca. You will be working with Elder Martinez from Monterrey.” Elder Martinez is awesome! He’s from Monterrey, and is so ready to get to work. He was the Ward mission leader in his home Ward and got to go in divisions (splits) with the zone leaders all the time.
A Little about our area… Ixtapaluca (pronounced eextapalooka) has the nickname in the mission- “Bautizaluca”. Our area is called San Buenaventura. Its HUGE! It´s the biggest…fraccionamiento? Sorry I don’t know that translation of that. Its the biggest fraccionamiento (Housing Subdivision) in all of Latin America! If you look at it on the map there’s a road called San Buenaventura that divides the fraccionamiento in two. We have the biggest part. Everyone says they want to come to our area because its so elect. I think President knows there’s so much potential here that they put another companionship here. That road I told you that divides it in two also divides our areas. The other companionship is a trio, so we have 5 missionaries in our Ward! Our Ward was going to another church building kind of far away, and so they built a “Casa de oración”, a House of Prayer. It’s a three story building about twenty five feet wide. We had 150 people at Church yesterday, and we were all crammed in to it! They put in a tv system so there are people in another room that watch sacrament meeting! Its pretty crazy.

We’ve been so blessed to find people to teach. Elder Martinez and I decided to contact at least 12 people everyday, and we’ve already seen the blessings from it! We found a family of four that is just so ready to hear the Gospel. The missionaries before found a family of five that is also progressing for their baptism. The mom, Piedad, and her daughter went to Church last week and yesterday so their baptism is this coming Sunday. This sister’s story is really great… She had been praying that Heavenly Father would show her the right way, when she was in the park later that day someone in the Ward saw her and asked her why she looked so down. She told him that she has had problems with Money and didn’t have Money to make a phone call, he invited her to make the call from his home. When she was there the missionaries came over and she started crying! Those missionaries both left this last transfer, and we came here, when we set her baptism date she accepted full heartedly! Her whole family is progressing for their baptism.

I love missionary work! Elder Martinez and I have felt the Spirit guiding us, and helping us with this great work. Oh! I forgot, Elder Sander was here with Elder Mora! When Elder Sander trained Elder Mora they were in my same house! Everyone remembers them because they really helped out the Ward. I´ve already met some of their converts! Pretty cool huh? Well I have to go, my area is awesome, my companion is great, and we’re working hard! I forgot my camera so I’ll send pictures next week of everything you asked me for.

Con mucho amor,
Elder Rasmussen

Monday, September 7, 2009


Hola Familia
We´re reporting a Little early today. We have a ton of stuff to do because we both have changes!
Yesterday, Marisol was baptized. We sang a musical number with some people from the ward. Marisol was crying a lot! She really liked her baptism, and I am positive she felt the Spirit testifying to her that the covenant she had entered in to was real, and true.
Well, we were in her baptism, about to start, when Elder Tanner walked in to our church. He pulled us aside and told me I have changes. He told me I´m going to “train” or receive a new missionary. Elder Mora is changing areas to Palmar, where he´s going to be District Leader.

This last week was a little crazy, they told us on Monday that we had to find a new house in Palmar. We didn´t know why, but did what we were told! We had to find it by last Monday or by Tuesday. We found the only available department in the Department buildings in Palmar. That was Monday, and then Tuesday we didn´t have water so we went to our District Meeting without showering! (Don’t worry, we didn’t stink up Pachuca, we showered later) We had to fix the tank on top of our house almost all day Tuesday. Then Wednesday we had to meet up with the secretaries to put all the things in the new department. We finally got to work Wednesday night, it was a little strange to only have half a week to work!

This last Thursday, Elder Jaramillo finished his mission. He was one of our awesome Zone Leaders! He was a great example to all of the Elders in our District, I really looked up to him and learned so much. His last District meeting with us he said how as he was thinking about his mission, all he could remember were the happy times, all the blessings he´s received from serving a mission. Seeing him leave made me thankful for everyday I have in the field, time is going by so fast!!

Last night we went to tell the Tavera Family that I´m being changed. Maribel, Griselda, and their mom all started crying! Antonio, Mari´s husband, made me promise I would come back after my mission to visit them! I told Estela, their mom, that I was leaving. She looked really sad because I won´t be here for her baptism, we told her that it wasn´t too late to be baptized. So she might be baptized today! She has to do some things first, but she definitely could today!

I´m really going to miss this area. I am so grateful I started my mission here. It has been such a blessing to serve the Lord here in Pachuca. I will definitely miss the people! I can´t describe the joy I feel, to have seen these people change their lives. This has been a great experience here, that I will never forget! President, in the last Zone Conference, said "EN PACHUCA, SÍ, SE PUEDE!". There is a bad attitude in our mission that when you get sent to Pachuca, its a bad thing. Well I´m glad I was here, and I leave with "EN PACHUCA, SÍ, SE PUEDE!"

Well we don´t have much time to write, we have to pack and do a ton of stuff. We leave tomorrow at 8:30. We have our “reunion de cambios” or changes meeting, at the Stake Center right by the Temple in D.F. So next week I´ll have a new companion, Elder Mora was awesome. I´m grateful I had the chance to serve with him for 2 cycles!
Love you all, adios!
Elder Rasmussen