Saturday, October 16, 2010

WEEK - 91 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP


Hey Everyone!
Well today’s Saturday, and I wasn’t able to write for last week. So what I’m doing is sending pictures of my journal entries for those days, is that okay? I can share some of the experiences that we had though.

On the 9th we baptized Gerardo and Oliver. Gerardo is from Casas Aleman and Oliver is from Campestre (the Carmona family, his mom and brother and grandma, are getting baptized tomorrow).

On the 10 we baptized the Medina Martinez family. They are so great! Their cousin Dan Lopez came all the way from Utah to baptize them. He’s going to be here tomorrow for their confirmation.  They had quite an experience. Lalo (the dad) didn’t want to get baptized, but Alba did. We went to their house last Wednesday and invited Lalo to read and pray. He did so, and when we came back to take them to their interviews, he said he was ready to go! 

 We took them to their interviews at the visitors center, and they loved being at the Temple. I don’t remember if I told you this last week, but they can see the Temple from their house! 

Their daughter, Valeria, is so funny. When we went to the Temple for their interview, she was like “Oh! I can see that from my window at night! The other day the lights went out, but they didn’t go out in the Temple!” haha, she’s cute, and reminds me a lot of Maddie! Last night we went to visit them and they are so awesome! Lalo said the prayer, and it was so humbling to hear it. He gave thanks for being led to the truth and for the opportunity to be able to go to the Temple in a year. What a great family! I’m going to be saving so I can be here in a year!


This week we are going to baptize the Carmona family. Lupita, Brandon and their Grandma, Porfiria. Porfiria is 86 years old, and has diabetes. She can hardly talk but when she does, she makes it clear she wants to be baptized! She can’t go to church, but President said that it would be good for her to be baptized because her husband is a member, and that way they can be sealed. We are also going to baptize a sister named Blanca. She is a referral from her sister in McAllen, Texas. She is also very excited to be baptized. She has arthritis so bad that her hands are bent. But she makes it every week to church. We visited her yesterday and she is really excited as well.
What a blessing to be here! The Lord is truly blessing this area, and it is so humbling to see. Wow! Elder Lopez baptized a family in San Buena a year ago, and a week ago they went to the Temple, so we were able to go with them. A lot of the members from that ward were there as well, and they told me that the Martinez family is getting ready to go to the Temple. Can’t wait to be there with them. It was very special to see a sealing. Bro. Luis Perdomo was there, remember him? He told me he would help me out, and let me know how they’re progressing. 

Elder Agurrie & Ras at La Honda.  This is the restaurant where we take all the new missionaries. THIS is the meat for the tacos Al Pastor! 
aaAAHHH ! ! ! !  The joys of Tacos Al Pastor ! ! !

Les amo un buen!
-Elder Rasmussen

Monday, October 4, 2010

WEEK - 90 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

October 4, 2010- Another Great Week in Paradise!        

 Hola, Familia,

               General Conference was inspiring as always, I learned so much that I can apply to the work. I really liked Pres. Uchtdorf's talk, that was great! 
This week we baptized Alejandra Davila Torres, and Valeria a 9 year old daughter of a sister in the ward. Alejandra was so excited to be baptized, she is very elect. It was so amazing to see how the Lord prepares his children to accept the gospel. Eduardo and Alva are progressing. They have had some problems between them, we're praying that they can resolve these problems and decide to be baptized together. We're going to baptize Gerardo this week as well. He's 19 and is doing a great job at keeping the Word of Wisdom. He went to almost every General Conference session in a suit and vest! He used to have problems with drugs and smoking, but he has completely stayed away from it. Wow, what an example of the Atonement in our lives!

                Last week my companion and I had meetings with President Hicken Tuesday, Wednesday and then Thursday was our zone leaders counsel. The week just flew right by! We spent a lot of time with the Secretaries. I don't know if I've mentioned that Elder Israelsen is the Financial secretary, so we have been able to spend a lot of time together and talk. He's such a  great missionary and friend. I'm excited to get to work with him more. We have to spend the night at the secretaries house a lot because its on the other side of town. Last week we were in the offices quite a bit, and Elder Lucas, one of the secretaries, decided it would be funny to buy mine and Elder Israelsen's plane tickets!! He bought them in two seconds and said "Hey Elders, look what I got?" We kind of smiled weakly and we decided to make every minute count before we have to use that stupid plane ticket! It's not going to get to me that's for sure!!!
Elder Ras at his NEW dream Apt . . . Notice the Barbwire ?? ! !

                President Hicken is such a great example. He talked to us about always being positive in the zone leaders counsel. He says that every week he gets letters from the missionaries and a lot of them are negative! He taught us that negativity is not from the Spirit and that it actually impedes our success as missionaries if we are being negative. He invited us to look for all the positive and be grateful so that we can have the Spirit with us. I had never thought of it that way before. I'm so thankful for this chance to learn from such a great leader.

Our new apartment has a built in stove, with built in natural gas tubes (normally we have to buy the tanks), it has CARPET and two bathrooms. It's basically a  missionary in Mexico's dream apartment!

                I'm thankful for your prayers, I honestly felt them all last week. I'm really thankful for my parents that put the example for their kids and teach us to consecrate everything to the Lord. It has made me reflect on if I'm doing that as a missionary. I have this short time to dedicate everything I am to the Lord, Am I really doing everything I can? Am I giving every second to Him? I want to be able to do this after the mission, but I guess I better start now huh? Love you family!
-Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, October 3, 2010

WEEK - 89 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP


 Hola Familia
           Elder Lopez and I have had a great opportunity to get to work with President Hicken more closely, and WOW have I learned a lot! Pres. Hicken is truly guided by the Spirit and I learn in every meeting with him. We do have quite a few meetings, but I think you have a different idea of what we have to do. For example, we spend most of our time in the area, but we do have several meetings. For example, with last week and this coming week we will or have had -1 training with new missionaries, - 2 Planning Sessions, -1 Training with Zone leaders, and -1 Transfers meeting. As Assistants our job is to, well, assist the President. We’re here to serve him and help him in all we can. We train the zone leaders, and are expected to set the example with baptisms.
            Even though we are not in our area full time, the Lord has blessed us so much! Its amazing! Last  Thursday night we were contacting everyone in the street and being rejected by pretty much everyone. We saw a family out of the corner of our eye and caught up to them to contact them. Whenever I see a complete family I get excited and want to run up to them. Luckily, I kept my cool and we got up to them and contacted them. Alva and Eduardo gladly accepted and told us that they’d be there at their house at 5. On Friday we got there at 5 and they weren’t there. We left a note asking them to call us, and my faith was starting to waver when we received a message at 9. It was Alva and Eduardo saying that they were really sorry that they couldn’t get there, but that they wanted us there the next day. We got there and found out that Alva is Elder Dan Lopez’s cousin! I told you about Elder Lopez, he’s from Utah. About two Mondays ago he visited his grandma and family and Alva was there. It’s amazing to see how the Lord prepares his elect. Alva was ready to accept the gospel, but just needed that extra push from Elder Lopez. I know they’ll progress! Elder Lopez from Utah just wrote me and told me that his cousin sent him a message saying that she went to church with us! She and Eduardo are going to be baptized on the 10th.
Another experience. We contacted a lady named Angelina on Wednesday night. We only had about 3 hours to work because of a meeting we had on the other side of the city. We contacted her and she said thanks but no. We kept on walking and for some reason we felt like we should contact a lady in a hot dog stand, which we never do. We contacted her, and she said no. We turned around to go and as I turned I saw Angelina hurrying to catch up to us with her baby stroller. She whistled at us and asked, “How much do you charge to visit people?”  I’m sure we almost shouted “nothing!” and we went to her house, and she also accepted her baptismal date. 
 I gave a talk this Sunday. I used a part of Pres. Kimball’s talk of “Is this all we can do?” I think that would be the translation. I talked about how it really is easy for the members to just share their testimony to share the gospel with others. Elder Lopez talked about “hermandad”… fellowshipping! That’s the word. It was great.  A lot of members afterwards came up the investigators and shook their hands and took time to talk with them. That helped them feel so much more at home.
Can you see how this is the Lord’s work??  Really we are nothing! We can’t do it on our own, and have to depend on Him. The elect are there.  This is HIS work. I know that every single one of us knows somebody who is ready. Ready to accept the gospel in their lives and receive the blessings. If you don’t know what to say, simply bear your testimony that God lives, because “that is the greatest testimony in the world” (Pres. Kimball). This week, really pray for those opportunities, and the Lord will open doors. HE will do everything if we are willing. I heard Elder Tanner has contacted several people and offered the Book of Mormon. Remember, it’s easier than we think sometimes, just be an example and you’ll be blessed.
Enjoy General Conference! It’ll be just great! Les amo!
-Elder Rasmussen