Sunday, November 22, 2009

WEEK - 44 Ixtapaluca


Hey everyone,
Well today was a national holiday so the San Andres family had the day free and asked us if we wanted to go anywhere. We asked if we could go to Teotihuacan, and they took us and the other Elders in our District, Elder Segura and Livingston. We had a great time, and I hope I can get some pictures off to you so you can see some more of it! Elder Livingston and Martinez had never been before, so they really liked it. Elder Segura had only been one time before and couldn’t see everything, so we all had a good time.

First I want to tell you about our miracle for the week. About a month ago we found a family who had been baptized about a year and a half ago. Their dad didn’t get baptized. We have really been trying to help him progress, but he never really showed much interest. About two weeks ago he came to church, so we went and visited him again and set his baptism date. He said he would read and pray, and then tell us. Well this week we went to visit him, and when we went in we asked him about how he felt for his baptism, and he said he was ready! His name is Dagoberto Barrera, we baptized him on Saturday and he was confirmed on Sunday. We truly saw a change in this mans life, he was really closed at first but we saw how after reading and praying about the Book of Mormon he realized this was true.

“Te hallaré mi querido amigo” went awesome! It was one of the best activities our ward has seen in a while. At the end we all sang the song. I dont know if it exists in English, but it really is an amazing song. As we sang it, it was really neat to look out and see some of my “queridos amigos”- or “dear friends”- that we have found. I really believe that we knew these people before, and that we promised them we would find them. We testified to the members of the ward that they have “queridos amigos” that they havent found yet. “queridos amigos” that are just waiting for them to share what they have now. I know this is true, and its true there too! At home there are a ton of people that are just waiting for us to open our mouth and share a little of the best thing that will bless their lives. I also wanted to tell you about a video, Im guessing its on YouTube. Its called “By Small and simple things”, we use it here in the mission to help the members give us referrals. Watch that video, and you’ll understand that it really is easy to share the gospel, and that by “small and simple things, great things come to pass”.
This week Elder Johnson the area president is going to come to tour our mission. Its going to be a great experience, and I know I will learn the things I need to apply to be a better servant of the Lord.

December 8 we’re going to the temple as a mission!!! I am so excited, its been way to long since I’ve been to the temple. Ill give you more updates on that when it gets closer.

Elder Segura and Elder Haro (another elder in my district) are going home next Friday. They have been telling us that since a month ago their family was telling them “Oh, can’t wait for you to be home, we have everything ready, do you want to do this or this?” They said its really really hard to stay focused when their family says things like that, so I’m just asking you in advance, please don’t “kill me” when I get to have that much time in the mission. Thanks!

President Bulloch sent us an inspiring message today. I hope you can translate it to be able to understand it. Maybe Ill translate it for you, it really is powerful. The title was, “Cumplir o morir”- Complete or die.

A través de los años yo he tenido muchos secretarios y asistentes administrativos. Los mejores son los que cuando se les pide hacer algo, lo hacen, lo hacen rápido, y lo hacen bien. He tenido otros que han regresado varias veces para explicarme porque no se podía, buscar maneras de pasar la tarea a alguien más, tardar de cumplir, o a cuestionar mi decisión.

“Through the years, I have had many secretaries, and administrative assistants. The best are those that when asked to do something, they do it. They do it fast, and they do it well. I have had others that have returned many times to explain to me why they couldn’t, to look for someone else to pass it to, to take longer to complete, or to question my decision.”

He goes on to talk about Nephi and how he wouldn’t leave until he had the plates, and how we should have that attitude as missionaries. Then he closed with this powerful statement,” Why does the Lord use a young man or a young woman to teach the gospel? The Lord uses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible. That is His pattern.” Elder Russell M. Nelson

I want to be a missionary that doesn’t ask why, try to slack off, or question. I want to do it. Do it fast, and do it well. I want to complete with my objective as a missionary the best I can and give all I have to the Lord.

Well, I love you familia! Thanks for all the support you give me, again I really enjoyed the package. I am still enjoying it, and will at my birthday.


Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WEEK - 43 Ixtapaluca


Mexico City gets pretty cold in the winter! The volcanoes have snow on them and because they're so close the wind blows and hits us with the really cold air.

Well, surprise! I got my birthday package already! It was pretty fun to get some very needed things from you guys, and Elder Martinez really loved his stuff that you sent him! The shoe inserts, and the pen. Everyone wanted my pen that Dad made me, and with the shoe inserts we feel like weŕe walking on air. I really enjoyed the recording that you made. I can’t believe how Seth sounds! Seth! You’re growing up buddy! He sounds like Chad! The Birthday card was awesome too, thanks to everyone for signing it!

This week was great. President Bulloch came to the house on Friday. Wow, we battled to get the house looking good. The missionaries have lived there for years, and even though it was clean as it is ever going to get (thanks to moms great teaching skills) President and Sister Bulloch recommended we find another house. So we are on a search for a new house in San Buenaventura, wish us luck! We had interviews with President in our house too, that was a neat experience. We were in our room where we study, and it was just so cool to have our President there with us. He blessed our home so that we can have the Spirit there and be able to work with power and authority. It was really special to have our mission president there, blessing our home. I’ll always remember that experience.

Yesterday we baptized a 15 year old girl named Jessica. Her aunt is the Stake Young Women’s pres., and she is really excited to be a member. I think I told you about how we found them... or maybe not. I don’t remember. We received the referral from the Visitors Center, and when we went to visit them nobody had left their direction there. We asked their aunt, but she hadn’t either! It was really a miracle. Her mom and dad are progressing for their baptism this week. The Lord is really blessing us with complete families!

Saturday we went with the San Andres Family to the Visitors Center. They really, really enjoyed it. They have the goal to go to the Temple in a year. I sent the picture we took when we went. It’s really cool, they have a room that talks about the temple, and when you’re in the room, you can see the temple through a big window they have. The sister missionary asked if they would like to go in one day and they all said yes!

This Saturday we are having a ward activity. We ve been planning it for a while now. It’s called “Te Hallaré mi Querido Amigo”- I will find you My Dear Friend. It’s about two friends in the Pre existence that find out one is going to be born in the church and the other no, and the one friend promises to find him and baptize him. Its going to be short, but great! It’s to help the members get excited about the work. We are going to act it out and then we have a presentation with pictures from the converts of the members in the ward, and the new converts in the ward, and at the end we have all the primary kids holding a little plaque that says “future missionary”. It will be great and we pray the members will get more excited about the work!

OH! Crazy news! Elder Martinez told me that a Sister Saucedo was one of the missionaries that baptized his family in Monterrey. Then he told me she lives in Pachuca, I remembered that there was a sister Saucedo in Palmar! We called Elder Bertin and asked him to check, and he called me back and said that Sister Saucedo (in my ward in my Pachuca) baptized Elder Martinez and his family 13 years ago! Small world!

Yesterday we confirmed 6 people- the San Andres family, and Adań and Viri. The other companionship in our ward had four confirmations, so in all we had 10 confirmations in our ward! It took up most of the time too! We confirmed them, they passed the sacrament, and like two people bore their testimony and it was time to go to the next class. It was overwhelming for me to see so many people being confirmed. I thought of the scripture in Alma 29:10. My joy really is full, seeing so many of our brothers and sisters coming to the Lord. This really is the Lords work, and I am so grateful for the time we have here to work with everything we have so that the work goes on even more.

Thanks for the letters, Ill be praying for you with Dad being gone, and for Trent! Love you,

Elder Rasmussen

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 42 Ixtapaluca

Hope everyone enjoyed Halloween, here they celebrate "Dia de los Muertos", that’s today! Everyone puts on their costume before Halloween! On Thursday and Friday kids were already in their costumes!

This week was amazing! We baptized an awesome family, The San Andres family. I know Ive told you about them. They weren’t sure last week if they were going to be baptized this Sunday, because they were going to go on a trip. We went last Monday after we reported and went to teach them. We went praying that we could convince them to not go on this trip. I guess I have to explain the trip. They wanted to go to this weird retreat thing, its a thing sponsored by Alcoholics anonymous. Basically they make the people that go write their whole life story down and they make them feel bad about it until they have an emotional breakdown! It’s crazy! Antonio (the dad) wanted to go because he said the last time he was there he asked Heavenly Father to show him the right way, the next day he said he saw us walking down the street and that’s when he said "Good luck!" We of course contacted him, and he said that he felt like the needed to go back and finish what he started. We talked to him about baptism and the importance of it, we used President Bullochs "Baptismal Invitation" and when we had finished, Antonio was in tears. This family is really special, they know the Book of Mormon is true, and they really wanted to be baptized. So they decided they were only going to go Friday, Saturday and then come back early on Sunday. We were by their house on Saturday and we saw their little girl, Sammy. We said hi to her and she said "Hey, my parents are here!" We went ot visit them, and they didn’t say anything but we suspected that they didn’t really like their trip. Later, after their baptism, Antonio told me they didn’t like it anymore!! Later last night we went with the bishop to visit them, Antonio told us how he used to think that living under commitments would be worse for him in his life, but he told us how he felt free to make choices, more free. The Lord really does prepares people to receive the gospel, especially families!

We found about 3 or 4 families this week. The Lord is truly blessing this area!! The Lord blessed us to be able to bring 17 people to Church this week too. Elder Martinez and I really saw the blessings of the Lord in the work. It's so amazing to see the people that the Lord is preparing. For example, we checked a referral from the Visitors center and it turns out the mom of the family has a sister that is our stake young women’s president. We figured she gave us the referral, but it turns out she didn’t do it, and nobody in the family left their name in the visitors center. They don’t know who gave the referral! This family is awesome, and they’re excited for their baptism as well.

Yesterday we had Stake Conference. Presidente Bulloch came to the conference, and gave a great talk. He basically told the members how important their job is as members of the church to help us in the work. It affected the people so much, that the San Andres family even commented on it when we visited them with the Bishop! They said how important their role is now as members of the Church to help the missionaries. It was a great talk!

This Friday President and his wife are going to come to our house to check it our and make sure its clean! We’ve been working hard because the missionaries before us left it a mess complete with skateboard marks on the floor that will not come off!! In two weeks Elder Johnson the Area President is coming to speak to our mission! We are getting ready for it! It's going to be awesome to hear him come. The Area Presidency mailed a letter about two weeks ago, inviting the members of the Church to pray and fast for the leaders of Mexico and for the members of the Church. It’s a powerful message, hope you can translate it on Google.

Mom, you are right! Its hard to think in English now, I know my letters aren’t as detailed as they were, its just really hard!
I don’t know if I was able to describe this week well enough, but it really was amazing. It was one of the most successful weeks I’ve had in my mission, and it all came because of the Lord. He gave us all of our success!! This work is the most important thing we can do, I hope you are still inviting everyone to come unto Christ! Don’t get discouraged if they say no, just think of all the people the Lord is preparing to hear the gospel!!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Rasmussen