Sunday, September 26, 2010


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 4:06 PM
Where do I start?
On Saturday at 10:15, President Hicken called me and asked "Elder Rasmussen, how long have you been out there in Neza?"
I told him 7 months, and how much I have grown to love the zone and the area. He told me that sometimes we have to have changes, then he said that day he had to send his assistant on a plane home and that he was missing one. He told me he was calling me to extend that calling to me. I said "Wow...I feel really inadequate" haha pretty lame huh? I guess I could have said something a little more faithful, but oh well. He said that when he was called as mission president he felt the same way, but that's when the Lord calls us. Then he asked me if that was a yes! haha, I said yes of course.
Yesterday, Sunday, I had to be in the Temple at 8:30 am because I went with Elder Lopez, the assistant. He goes home this next cycle (11/22), and  I needed to go today to learn how to train the new missionaries because starting next cycle I'LL be training a new assistant and be the senior assistant?!
It's hard to describe my feelings. I've been really trying to be the missionary and leader the Lord wants me to be. My companion, Elder Lara, is just great. He has helped me realize some things I need to do better as a leader. And I plan to really put them into practice.
I know the Lord has given me this assignment, I just need to trust in him and do the best I can.
It reminds me of a talk by Pres. Eyring in April, he said-
"This is the Lord’s Church. He called us and trusted us even in the weaknesses He knew we had. He knew the trials we would face. By faithful service and through His Atonement, we can come to want what He wants and be what we must be to bless those we serve for Him. As we serve Him long enough and with diligence, we will be changed. We can become ever more like Him."

I know I have a lot of weaknesses, but I also know that if I am diligent and trust in Him and His Atonement, I will be able to serve Him completely.
I love this work, and I feel really privileged to be here in The Mission. I know there are miracles if we have faith in the Lord and then act. Thank you for your love and support.
Love you,
ps- I want you to know that Mondays are going to be a little different now. Sometimes we don't have time to write at all.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WEEK - 87 Neza/Pantitlan Zone (Senior ZL)

Sept 13,2010


Hey everyone!
Wow what another great week! I’m truly enjoying being a full time missionary, and the best part is waking up everyday and knowing I have another day in the Lord’s work! It is an adventure, and the best thing. I’m so grateful I’m here in this wonderful country, with these people in this Ward. I really love them and their great attitude.  
This Wednesday is the 16th of September, and Mexico celebrates 200 years  since the Mexican Revolution! It’s going to be pretty crazy around here, so we all have to be in the house at 6pm and we can’t leave until 12 the next day. They’re so patriotic! EVERY house has a Mexican flag flying on their roof. This time of year is known for the awesome food they have. PAMBAZOS are awesome. It’s a roll soaked in chile, fried on a pan then with potatoe and chorizo, lettuce, sour cream and cheese…yumm! VIVA MEXICO!

We were able to do divisions with our District Leaders this week. That was a good experience. When I went to Palmar I was able to visit Patricia. She is still strong and active! She reads the Book of Mormon all the time, and she told me that she talked to her nephew in Idaho (who is also a member) and he told her that he would come to visit when she goes to the Temple in a year! I also went with the Assistant, Elder Rhoten. He’s been a great leader and friend to me, he taught me a lot on the divisions and I’m grateful for that.

I received a letter from the Reyes Garcia family from San Buena. I’m going to translate it and share it with you.
“Elder Rasmussen-
Hello Elder, thanks for the letter. We hope that you are well, thanks for writing us to know that you are okay. Well we really miss you and are waiting anxiously to enter the Temple and feel a great joy in our hearts. “ Jessica goes on to say that she went to EFY and has plans to go to Bene, the church school here in MX City. Braulio her little brother is going to be baptized soon. Sergio and Sara are working in church with their callings. Jessica finishes the letter like this, “We’ll see you in the HOUSE OF THE LORD, thank you for coming into our lives. In 5 months I’ll be in Bene and at 21 years I’ll be in THE MISSION, and I’ll be a sister who will take more precious souls to our Heavenly Father .”

They’re doing just great! President Hicken gave me permission to call them to make sure they start their preparation classes! I don’t know what’s going on in their ward, but the Bishop still hasn’t interviewed Braulio for baptism and he’s been 8 for a few months now. They  are so excited! In December you’ll see a picture of us!

Elder Lara and I are having a lot of success. We had 10 investigators in Church yesterday, and we feel privileged to see the Lord’s hand in this work. He is truly blessing us. I know that if we have success at all, it comes from him! This week we baptized Dario Hernandez Marquez. He was sooo excited! It was fun to see. In sacrament meeting they announced that he was going to be baptized and when they did he stood up really excited, without them asking him to. We baptized Gilberto, Elizabeth’s nephew, and Brayan a 9 year  old from a less active family. We have had to teach this family as if they were investigators, and it’s been a great experience to see them coming back to church after years of being inactive.

Maegan- Great work with missionary work! I would suggest to keep on encouraging your friend to read AND pray. I don’t know if you’ve done that, but one thing I’ve definitely learned in the field, is that if they NEVER read and pray, they’ll NEVER know. Help her to understand that she needs to take Moroni’s promise. I suggest that you do it as well, so that your can testify with power that this promise is true. If you do that, she’ll want to have that same answer. Remember EVERYTHING depends on whether the Book of Mormon is true or not. EVERYTHING. Keep it up Maeg!
That’s  all for this week! Les amo un buen!
-Elder Ras

WEEK - 86 Neza/Pantitlan Zone (Senior ZL)

México, Distrito Federal, México

Wow, a lot happened this week. Last Tuesday we had our zone leader’s council, we basically went over what we accomplished in August and put goals for September. Our zone has a huge goal, and I have faith we can complete it for this month. On Thursday we had our zone conference with La Perla. Elder Bertin directed, and Elder Lara and I gave our training. We used parts of the Best Two Years for our training, and everyone liked that. I was kind of nervous, but I know Heavenly Father helped me because I wasn’t nearly as nervous as the first time I trained in a zone conference! Afterwards we ate tacos al pastor (yuuummm) and root beer floats! There’s a dollar store here in Mexcio city that sells root beer. Of course it’s not A & W or anything but hey its root beer!
Today we had our zone activity. We played football in the morning while a brother from Pantitlan Ward, named Hermano Juan, made us “Gringas”. They’re flour tortillas with a ton of cheese and AL PASTOR meat in the middle! (yuuummmm!!) We watched the Best Two Years and then we went bowling. Everyone liked the shirts we made, and I hope it helps them stay excited to meet their goals for September. We have some missionaries that are going home this cycle, and it seems like they’ve lost the desire to keep finding people to baptize. It’s really sad, and I think we can do all we can to help them, but they have to decide to do it. I know how I want to finish my mission, and I’m going to try so hard to be able to do it!!

My companion and I found a new family this week. Elizabeth and her kids are really humble, and accepted their baptismal date. Even though she worked all Saturday night, she went with us to church yesterday. I know she’ll be baptized! Elizabeth (Seyka’s daughter, Yulirsa and Victor’s mom) is active and helping he kids. Victor is the Deacon’s quorum president, Yuli is the counselor in the Young Women’s organization, and Adolfo and Victor pass the sacrament every week. Fabiola was confirmed this week, and they will be able to enter the temple in a year from September 5th!  Dulirza is having a hard time right now. There isn’t anyone to stay in her tortilleria so she has had to stay and work it for a while, and Brandon is also having a hard time. I would appreciate your prayers for him!
Our ward is doing a lot better!! I’m so excited to see the change in the members. We did our play again but there were only about 30 people, not the turn out we wanted but the ones who went loved it.

I’m so thankful to be here! Time is flying by, so I’m trying to take advantage of every second. President Hicken encouraged us to never never lose a day in the mission. This is the Lord’s work, I know He has prepared many to accept the gospel. I know that in every part of the world there are elect. I encourage you to keep on with your missionary efforts! Sometimes the members here tell us that they’ve already invited a ton of people and that nobody accepts. We just assure them that they’ll receive the blessings and to keep on working hard in the Lord’s work!
Les amo un buen!
Elder Ras

Saturday, September 4, 2010

WEEK - 85 Neza/Pantitlan Zone (Senior ZL)

Hola Familia! 30-Ago-2010
Hey Familia!

Silvia Valdez Bolañoa, 29-Ago-2010
This week was just great. Elder Lara and I baptized Silvia and Gabriela. Sivlia is an older sister that lives next to the chapel, she has cancer in her stomach I think but it has affected her leg and her hand. She is very humble, but ALWAYS beaming with her toothless "sonrisa"! She was so excited to be baptized this last week.

Gabriela Hernandez- De La Cruz, 29-Ago-2010
             Gabriela is the daughter of an less active sister that hasn't been to church in years. Elder Galindo and I taught them in May, and one day I was with Elder Lara when I felt like we should go visit them. Right when we walked into their street they were leaving, we ran to catch them and they gladly accepted to go to church! Gaby was baptized yesterday, and today we went to marry Adela and Dario. Dario is going to be baptized this Sunday. The Lord is truly blessing    
             We have our zone leader's council tomorrow in Aragon. On Thursday we have our Zone Conference with La Perla, where Elder Bertin is zone leader. My companion and I are going to train the other missionaries on the scripture that is in Genesis 4:9. In Spanish it's, "Soy yo acaso guarda de mi hermano?" We're changing it to "Ser Guarda de mi Compañero"/ Be a Keeper of my companion" It should be a great training, and we're excited to have this chance.

Elders Ras & Galindo - Baptism of  Elizabeth 5-23-10
We are teaching Elizabeth's nephew, Gilberto. He is 12 and accepted his baptismal date for the 12. Elizabeth, Seyka, Yuli, Adolfo, and Victor are active, and go to all the activities. We are going to do "Te Hallaré Mi Querido Amigo" (I'll find you dear friend) one more time, but this time we are hoping to have more investigators to come. We are hoping the members will want to come now that they've heard that it was great!

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but I'm soo glad I took piano classes! I'm thankful for Sister Barton and the persistence of Mom and Dad to help me keep practicing! I play almost every week in church because nobody knows how to play. This Thursday in the Zone Conference I'm going to play as well. Maddie, I hope you can start to play! If not I'll teach you okay?!

Well Not much else going on, Love you guys so much! Thanks for all your love and support. I'm so proud of Trent, he's doing a great job.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Ras

WEEK - 84 Neza/Pantitlan Zone (Senior ZL)

Hey Everyone!
Wow, what a great week! We had “Leadership Training” this whole last week, from Tuesday to Friday, from 10 until 3.

First of all, Leadership Training. Dad mentioned that Trent had the same training, and YES it is the same training that the Church is using in the whole world. Basically, they summarized Preach My Gospel into 8 lessons to help the missionaries be more efficient. President Hicken taught us so much. I learned so much from what He said, and from what the Spirit taught us. There was so much, but here are just a few things.
-Kneeling down at the end of the lesson to say the prayer- This is something that Hermano Barrios in the MTC encouraged us to do, but I never really put it into practice. A few months ago, I was studying and had the impression to start doing that. I commented it to my companion, but we never actually did it. In the training we had, we learned that we should kneel down with the investigators to say the last prayer. As Elder Lara and I have done that, we have actually been able to feel the Spirit testify to the investigators that what they are listening and learning about is true.
-“We teach people, not lessons”- This is something that I learned in the MTC, and I am finally putting into practice. We learned to really teach to their needs and not just teach the lessons. We’re not robots here to teach the same thing over and over again without the Spirit. That’s why we have Preach My Gospel. I remembered an experience that I had a few months ago. I was on divisions or “splits” with another missionary, and we went to an appointment he had made with a sister in the street. We got to her house and as we were talking with her she told us that a few years ago her husband had died and how she was looking for peace. I thought to myself,” My companion is going to know to teach the Plan of Salvation” but he surprised me when he took out the pamphlet for the Restoration. I told him that we should teach the Plan of Salvation and he said that it would be better if we just taught the Restoration. That sister never listened to those missionaries again, and never went to Church. I feel like if we would’ve taught according to her needs, she would’ve listened to us more and even gone to church and been baptized. It’s a sad experience, but it shows the importance of teaching the spiritual needs of the investigators.
President Hicken is such a great man! I am so lucky to be able to learn from him and apply what he teaches. He has a vision that is really high for the mission, and I know we can achieve it with the Lord’s help.

Fabiola was baptized yesterday by her husband Jose! The Lord is blessing Elder Lara and me with a lot of success, this is really what we need to help the zone. I am learning new things every day and every week, I LOVE THE MISSION!

Fabiola, Jose y familia 8-22-10

Jose baptized Fabiola yesterday!! He was so excited and really nervous, he wrote the baptismal prayer down and was repeating it over and over. Fabiola when she went for her baptismal interview showed us her hand afterwards. She had written a ton of notes to herself on her hand because she thought the baptismal interview was going to be really hard!! She was just so excited and I know that excitement to keep the commandments is going to affect her daughter and son- Joanna and Luis. OH! I almost forgot, JOSE is the Elder’s Quorum Secretary!! WOW! He is so excited to do that as well! Brandon, Dulirza’s son, is going to be a ward missionary so he’ll be working with us a lot!
We married a lady named Silvia today. She is going to be baptized this Sunday. She lives in the street right next to the Church, and loves going! She is very humble- VERY humble. They live in a very small cement apartment. She has stomach cancer, and I’m not sure how but it has affected her hand and her leg and she has a very hard time walking. It is humbling for me to see the excitement in her eyes, and desire to be baptized.

The Lord is blessing us with success. We really didn’t have much time to work in our area this week, but the Lord provided. For example, we were blessed to be able to take 15 investigators to church. That was a huge blessing. We had a bad experience though, that I think we can all learn from. We took a new family of three, a complete family, they go to a Christian church but decided to go with us yesterday. We appreciated their step of faith to see if the church was true, they had read the night before, the Book of Mormon and were praying to know if the Church is true. We got to church and sacrament meeting (the last of the three hours) was so noisy and irreverent. The members were getting up and leaving the whole time and then they’d come back in. This family was sitting in the front, but they heard so much noise that they couldn’t really concentrate. At the end they came out and basically told us “Thanks for helping us come, but we didn’t feel anything. We are going to go to our Christian church, so thanks but no thanks.” Wow, I felt so sad because this is a complete family! After, another investigator said “I came to Church to sit down and listen and learn, but no one else here shows that respect. They were all getting up and leaving during the whole meeting, I didn’t feel anything! Why should I come all the way over here, you two just go to my house and teach us, because I don’t like it here.” I felt so bad for her as well. I think we can all learn something from this. REVERENCE is soo important, and its something that this ward knows nothing about. I hope we can all learn about that!

Mom and Dad, that’s great that Pres. Riggs is inviting everyone to take part in missionary work. Part of my talk yesterday was trying to help the members feel that it really isn’t that hard to be a part of the work. It can be as simple as just sharing your testimony, or talking about the church. You could give away a Book of Mormon with your testimony written in it, or ask the missionaries for a pamphlet to give as well. It really is so easy, and there are so many miracles that can happen. Alma 13:24 teaches us that the Lord IS preparing these people to accept the gospel. Just pray to know who they are, and He will help you. I just know it.
Thanks for all your love and support, les amo un buen!
-Elder Rasmussen (el mexicano!)

WEEK - 83 Neza/Pantitlan Zone (Senior ZL)

Hola familia!

Everything's going great here. I received my new companion, his name is Elder Lara. He's from Merida, Yucatan and is from my "generation". We both started the mission the same day. He is a great Elder and the Lord has already blessed us with a lot of success. This is his first cycle as a zone leader, and has been a district leader for about 8 cycles (one year!). Time flies!

Well some exciting things have happened this week. We had our zone leaders council with President Hicken. It was just great! He is an inspiring leader, and has such a high vision for the mission. He wants us to put high goals and elevate the vision. He taught us about "I will go and do" and I learned about going to work with a plan and with the Spirit. We talked about Grandpa and he was telling me how great Grandpa was with the missionary papers. He told me he hopes he's still doing that because he was so good at it! He said Grandpa was always on the ball, and that he never had to worry about anything with the missionary's papers! He loves Grandpa almost as much as I do!

This week we have our "leadership training", and by Trent's letter it sounds like that's why he was with another companion. Leadership training is for all of the leaders in the mission. It's going to be this week from Tuesday to Friday! We are going to be traveling to the Temple everyday for our training. It should be a great experience that is going to really help out our mission.
Elder Ras and Hermano Jose

Wow! Yesterday was great! JOSE blessed the sacrament! He came all ready in a white shirt he had just bought and a tie too. He was so excited, but I think he was more excited because his wife, Fabiola, came for the second time and their kids Joana and Luis came as well! Fabiola is going to be baptized this week, and of course, Jose is going to baptize her! That will be a great experience!

Yesterday Dulirza gave a talk on faith, it was just great! The ward sister missionaries went to help her out, and Elizabeth gave a talk on Prayer! She really put a lot of time and effort into it. She bore a powerful testimony of how she prays when her son goes to parties. It has been great to see this little ward grow and see how they really can help the converts stay. I can see how they are putting a bigger effort in. They are seeing that we as missionaries are willing to put time into missionary work, and they are doing their part to make sure they stay in the Church. Almost all of the men and young men we have baptized have the priesthood.

Rodolfo was confirmed yesterday and is going to receive the priesthood this week.
Mariana Ortega and sons, not sure which one is Brandon or Rodolfo 
        Mariana is just great! She wants to enter the Temple so bad, and told us that in one year she will be there! She told us earlier this week that she wasn't going to be going to church for the next three weeks because her work starts in three weeks and she needed a temporal job. She found a job but said she would have to work on Sundays. We were kind of bummed out but told her if she needed to do it that was okay. (She's a single mother and her son just had a bad motorcycle accident). We went to eat with her on Thursday and she told us "Well I decided not to go to work! Actually I quit! I'm just barely starting in the Church, I can't stop now!!" The ward sister missionaries have been going to visit her everyday, they're doing just great! Arenal is going to end up being one of the strongest wards in our stake soon, because the members are working!

Next Sunday we are going to give a talk, they just barely told us so wish me luck!!

Also a I remember a few weeks ago you asked me if the houses in one of the pictures was my house and it's not, they're just houses in the area. Our house is really really nice! Also, I'm going to be sending Tyler's scripture case next week. The sister that makes them lost it and had to do it again! Oops! I didn't pay again though, don't worry.

Love you! Thanks for everything. The work is progressing here, and I'm really excited to be with Elder Lara. I was saying all last cycle that he was going to be my companion. I think we'll probably only have one cycle together, but we'll make it count.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Rasmussen

WEEK - 82 Neza/Pantitlan Zone (Senior ZL)

Hola! 9-Ago-2010
Hey Everyone!
Wow what a great week, again! We baptized a man named David yesterday. He and his girlfriend are heading to the US soon, and so he came to church and said he had this desire to change and do better. He used to do drugs and other things, but he has really changed his life around. Another great chance to see the Atonement in the lives of these amazing people.

Well today I don't have much time to write. We received a call from the Assistants' asking us to go to Aragon (where the Temple is) to pick up one of the new Mexican Elders. I'm with Elder Lopez from Utah because both of our companions finished the mission. That made us kind of late and so here we are trying to write really quick.

NEWS ABOUT THE AMERICANS- Okay so here's the story about what happened with Elder Reed not having a visa at the end of his mission when it was time for him to fly home . It's really not as bad as you all think... well it's bad but not so bad. When we come to the mission, we have a visa for about a year and a half. When that time is up, we have to ask for the visa again from the government. Well it turns out that somebody in the church offices here in Mexico didn't do something right, and they didn't get their visa renewed on time. So the missionaries that were going to leave, didn't have their visa and if they try to leave it would create a ton of problems for the Church and for the visas. So they are all back in their areas again. Elder Reed is in our zone with three other gringos, they go home hopefully sometime this week with the rest of them. It's pretty crazy, but its not anything like not letting them go home because of the state they're from. I don't think they even see that!
Funny story, this week I got in a taxi and the taxi driver asks me, "Where you from guero? (whitey!haha) Arizona??" I was like "Uhh, no, why do you say that?" I guess everyone is still upset about the law, I really don't know what's going on over there so I have no problem saying I'm from Utah.

Well I'm really sorry I can't write more, we have to go. Tell everyone I said hi and please send this to Trent. It sounds like he's doing just great! I know he will be an incredible missionary.