Friday, January 21, 2011

WEEK - 103 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

Jan. 17, 2011

24 months. A new langauge, country, and culture.Serving the Lord for 24/7. People swearing as you pass by, being spit on, doors slammed in the face. The joy felt when an investigator and their family decides to be baptized, and then after a year of constant effort, is sealed as an eternal family. The sadness when an investigator doesn't keep their commitments. The sweat and pain that comes from walking the streets of the biggest city in the world for two years. The smile on their faces as they leave the baptismal font. Working until 9:00 even when the members offer to take you home early, and then finding a whole family that will progress in the gospel. Coming to know Christ and His Atonement as you testify to everyone that He lives, and that He is our Savior and Redeemer.

These are some of the many feelings that a missionary feels. What I have done over these (almost) past 2 years has been the hardest, most rewarding, difficult, joyful, sweaty, painful, exciting, fun, growing experience of my life. I absolutely cannot describe the many, many lessons I have learned as a missionary. I can say though, that this is the Lord's work. That I know without a single doubt that He lives, and that we are nothing without Him. I know that I desire to serve Him all my life, and give Him everything I am. I have grown to love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and feel that I cannot go a day without reading from the Book of Mormon.

I love the Mexican people. I love their devotness and love they feel for our Savior. Even those who are not members know that they can't do it without Him. They desire to help their fellowman and have the sincere desire to become more like our Savior. As my companions and I have labored to find those who will not harden their hearts, but listen to the message of the restored gospel, I have seen miracles take place. I testify that miracles happen. When we have faith and show the Lord that faith by acting, that is when the miracle happens.

I know that if we don't share this wonderful and glorious gospel with all the people that we can, we will remember it in the last day. I know that as we open our mouth, the Lord fills it. There are so many that are desperate and searching for the truth, but don't know where to find it. I have heard investigators and converts testify that before they heard of the restored gospel, they felt a "hueco", a hole, or space inside of them. As tears fill their eyes, they smile and say they don't feel that anymore. There are so many who need what we have. I know they're out there.

I know that as we're diligent, the Lord gives us everything we could ever need in this life. This usually comes when we know it is hard, and we strive just a little bit more to give Him all we've got. Then the blessings come. I have been called to serve for 24 months. Not 23 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days. I am going to complete what the Lord has called me to do. And, as President Hicken says, there is no break at the end. The Lord will keep on requiring more and more of us.

I testify as a representative of Christ, that He lives. I testify that as we come to serve the Lord with all our souls, we can become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that the work of the Lord will continue to go on . As Joseph Smith said, “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; … the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”

I love this work. I love our Heavenly Father. I love His children and desire to serve them all my life. May we all strive to find those who need these gospel truths, and be bold as we share it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
-Elder Rasmussen

WEEK - 102 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

Jan. 10, 2011

My companion and I are continuing to see the blessings of the Lord in our area. We baptized a sweet sister named Genoveva and her 11 year old daughter Dayana. They are such amazing sisters, and the ward really helepd them feel welcome!

The Garcia family is progressing. This week the 18 year old and the 12 year old girls told us "We don't care what THEY do, cuz WE'RE getting baptized on the 16!" Then on Saturday in our appointment with the family, Antonio said "I respect my family's decision, whatever they want to do is okay. But I'm getting baptized on the 16th!" We also found a great sister named Paolina. She lost her daughter and her baby grandson in a carwreck last year, and my companion and a zone leader (in divisions) taught her the plan of salvation. She cried through the whole lesson. She accepted her baptismal date for the 23, and is really excited!

Remember I told you on Christmas about a family we taught in the really dusty poor part of our mission? They got baptized yesterday, and their five kids are getting baptized this coming Sunday!  The Elders were really excited to tell me about them this week.

Today we went on a tour bus, we saw pretty much the whole city so that was fun.

I don't like to even think about this. I am realizing my time as a full time missionary is growing very short, and that makes me sad. I only have two more weeks to represent the Lord for 24 hours, 7 days a week. I want to give it my all. I want to get to the goal running. 24 months. Not 23 months and 3 weeks. 24 months. Grandma wrote me a letter in the MTC once saying how she thought a missionary would want to work the hardest those last few weeks of the mission so he could go home knwoing tha the had done his best. "Those few months could be the most successful of a mission." I don't want it to end, but I know it will. So I'm going to give it everything I've got.
Thanks for all your love and prayers.

Con mucho amor,
Elder Rasmussen

Monday, January 3, 2011

WEEK - 101 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

HOLA! Feliz año nuevoa todos!
I hope you had a great new year! Ours was...NOT quiet! Our neighbors decided to throw a big party and I slept pretty well from about 1030 to 12 and then I was woken up by all the millions of firecrackers for the next hour. It was alright though, some members brought us pizza because we had to be in the house at 600 that was really nice of them! The sister's son is in the mission in California. Those sisters always take special care of us! Mom I'm sorry the missionaries were rude, if I were there I would have said something to them!

WOW! Elder Walk and I saw a ton of miracles!!

First- Laura got baptized! Her boyfriend is the one next to her, Jo-el is from Nigeria and he's progressing towards his baptism as well.
Second- In the food appointment this week on Thursday we asked the Sister if she knew anyone we could visit, she sat there thinking for a second and said the usual- "Well, we've talked to that lady, and that lady, and that family... and nobody wants to!" Then she thought for a second and said "Actually there's two families I want you to visit.." They lived almost in front of her, and we went to visit them. One of the families listened to us but didn't want to go to church. We contacted Rosy and she was in her "estetica" (she's a hairstylist),she was cutting somebody's hair when we knocked her door. She stopped cutting and came running to talk to us. She is great! Her husband, and four kids are very elect. They all watched us with earnestness in their eyes as we explained the Restoration. One of the kids looked at us and said "Wow, that's the easiest thing to understand I've ever heard!" The Garcia family went to church this sundayand are progressing to their baptism on the 16.

Third- On Wednesday we were in the food appointment and when we asked the sister if she knew anyone we could visit- she said yes. She took us down stairs in her apartment building and Monica's son came out. He told us that she was showering and we put a return appointment. We didn't really think she would go to the appointment, because we never talked to her. We got a phone call from the sister at the hour of the appointment telling us to hurry over because Monica was there waiting for us. We hurried over and it was one of the best lessons we have ever taught. In two years, I think it was one of the most spirit filled lessons. And why? Because Monica came prepared for the appointment. After we started the lesson, she asked if she could share something with us. She said that after she got out of the shower, her son told her we had gone by, and so she KNELT DOWN and ASKED Heavenly Father if this was the way, "el camino", for her and her family. She said she felt a "cry", and she knew that that was what she needed to do. She shared with us yesterday at church that she has had a dream three times now that she is pregnant with a girl, that she feels is her and that she needs to "be reborn again". We quickly showed her in her Book of Mormon Alma 7:14-15. She started reading, got about two lines down and raised her eyebrows and said, "OOH...That's what it means!" She then looked at us and said, "Well, I think I need to be baptized then." Elder Walk and I looked at her , jaws open, and said "Uh-huh". Wow! The Lord prepares his elect. It was a great experience for us, and we were really thankful for the opportunity to meet somebody so elect. She needs to get divorced and married, but we're confident we can do it before the 16!

I am loving my time here in Mexico. Everyday I say to myself "The Standard of Truth", and as I do, I feel an excitement and fire in the bones that makes me want to go out and contact everyone! I love the work, I love Mexico, I love Heavenly Father's children. I want to give it my all every second!
Les amo un buen!
Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, January 2, 2011

WEEK - 100 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

Feliz Navidad....feliz navidad...feliz navidad, prospero año y felicidad!
I hope everyone had a great holiday with all the family and thinking about why we celebrate Christmas. We had a great time at President Hicken's house, we had a small devotional directed by President Hicken. We sang Christmas hymns while I played, and it was a really great spiritual time. Then of course we ate some great food! Sister Hicken's food is so delicious. On the 23 we went to the Temple with half of the mission, we ate at the Temple, and then we had a talent show and President Hicken spoke to us. It was a great day!
It was so fun to talk (and SEE) you all! I kept telling everyone that seeing your family is so different because we haven't seen each other in so long. Pictures just don't do it! It was fun to show you my nacho libre mask and to see you while we talked. That was the fastest 40 minutes ever! Sorry I distracted you all while everyone else was talking, I kind of felt bad about that after, I just couldn't help it! Anyways, it was a lot of fun!
This week we are going to baptize Laura, the sister I was telling you about. She is so elect and ready to be baptized. Her boyfriend, Jo-el from Nigeria, only speaks english and is coming to our ward from far away. President Hicken said we might be able to baptize him, depending on where he needs to go to find an English speaking ward I guess! We took them to the Visitor's Center and they absolutely loved it! It really is a huge blessing to have the Temple so close.
Today we went to Teotihuacan with Alba and Eduardo, it was fun to go one more time. I really enjoy it, every time I feel like I'm in Nephite lands!
Not much time to write today. I just want to suggest that we do what Presidente told us in his letter today. We usually make a list of resolutions we have for the year. Presidente said we should put a list of four things for the year, and then as we complete one of those things we can put another goal or resolution on. That way we are constantly asking ourselves and the Lord what we can do better on. I know that if we do that, the Lord will guide us and can use us in His work. Les amo un buen!
-Elder Rasmussen

WEEK - 99 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

Hola Familia-
What a great week! Zone Conference with Elder Tenorio, Temple with Reyes family, and a whole lot of miracles!!
Zone Conference with Elder Tenorio was just great. Sister Hicken talked to us about being disciples of Christ. She shared with us the story of the pioneer Henry Clegg. It was such a great story and she finished it by saying Henry Clegg wrote in his journal entry after all the hard times he had “Still Moving” (Sigo Adelante). We are starting this tradtion in the mission now, Sigo Adelante means we are still moving even though it gets tough. We have to have that faith and trust in the Lord. President Hicken’s talk was great. He shared with us how he went to the grocery store and saw a cereal that he hadn’t seen before that was called “Peace Cereals”. He said as he was eating the cereal he read the box and it described that all the profits from the cereal go to a foundation, and that was why it had the title the way it did. President asked us if we were a cereal what would our name be? We talked about that for a while and we talked about what we would want our name to be and how sometimes our name might be what we dont want it to be. Elder Tenorio talked to us about Mosiah chapters 12-16. We had to study them and then we had a discussion about it. They are really great chapters, and I felt that the central theme is on the Atonement. He shared with us on how to have more faith when we pray and how to really ask in faith. He read with us the story of Rebecca in the bible and shared with u show the servant did everything he could then prayed to the Lord asking Him that the first girl he saw would be the one. He shared experiences with us about that and said how we need to do everything on our part then we can expect and wait for the Lord to make up the rest. Afterwards I had my interview with him and that was quite an experience. It was short and simple, but just to be there with him and feel of his spirit was really awesome!
After the conference I ran over to the Temple to meet the Reyes family. They were so happy to see me, they were waving at me from inside the doors as son as they saw me. The session was great and the sealing was amazing. I was smiling so big and the Spirit was so strong. Afterwards they hug eachother as a family as the sealer told them to look into the mirrors at their new eternal family. I felt so honored to be there and to see them and to be a part of that special momento for them as a family. They told me they HAVE to go to the airport to say bye, I told them it would be at 5:30 and thy said “We dont care! We’ll be there!”
On Saturday my companion and I decided to put into practice what we learned from Elder Tenorio. We had two experiences, first- As you may know we have a rule that we cannot teach women wth just as and them. We had an appointment Saturday morning with a single sister and knew we had to take someone. We called everyone and nobody could. We prayed and asked the Lord to help us, to somehow make sure there was a man in the appointment. We got there and the first thing Laura said was “I want to introduce you to my brother who just got in from out of town.” We smiled and walked in and he was there for the whole lesson and wants us to send the missionaries to him in Tlaxcala. Second- We were working hard and all of a sudden we had some people cancel their appointment and we had a big space in our agenda before the next appointment. We didn’t know where to go, so we decided to pray. We found a somewhat quite nook  by a big apartment building (really hard to fidn in Mexico City!) and said a prayer. We asked Heavenly Father to help us to find a family of three that could progress and be baptized. We said we would do all our part to find them  through contacts and knocking doors. We went to work and the first man we contacted said he couldn’t listen to us but in that time his wife walked up and said we could contact her as well. She said that she couldn’t listen to us right then either and then we asked if we could introduce ourselves to her mom. She called her mom and her mom let us into her home. We got in and we asked if there was anyone else, and she said “Yes, my husband and my 11 year old daughter”!!  Those three accepted their baptismal date and went to Church with us yesterday.  This to me is a proof tha this is the Lord’s work and that He is willing to bless us with His tender mercies.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas! I can't wait to talk to you this week. As we remember Christ at this time, we should do all we can to be like Him, and to develop His attributes. I am so thankful for this time to serve and represent Him. I know and testify that as we do so, we come to know Him better and His Atonement.
Feliz Navidad!
-Elder Rasmussen

Please send to-

WEEK - 98 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

Hola familia, cómo estan?
       My companion and I are enjoying another great week in the work of the  Lord! We baptized Arturo yesterday. He kept saying how nervous he was, but
he was just really excited. Teresa cried during Arturo´s baptism as well, she was just so happy to see her son to be baptized! I'll have to send the picture next week, this computer won't let me load the pictures. 
I have some great news! The Reyes Garcia family is going to enter the Temple this week! This Friday the 17 we have our zone conference with Elder Tenorio, second counselor in the area presidency. Then afterwards I'll be going to the Temple with this great family, of course, with Elder Martinez. I received permission from President Hicken to call them and they were just so, so excited! It has been really hard for them these past few months, but they've kept strong and have made it to the goal.  Now the goal is to keep on going until the Celestial kingdom. I'm so thankful that we met this sweet family. I love them so much, I feel like they're part of my family!! What a blessing to know such wonderful sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. This is their message-

Estamos muy felices de poder comunicarle que por fin llegó el momento tan deseado por nosotros como familia  ¡YA TENEMOS NUESTRAS RECOMENDACIONES PARA ENTRAR AL TEMPLO! solo nos falta las entrevistas de Jessica y Braulio que serán el viernes 10 de diciembre con el obispo y ya solicitamos fecha para el sellamiento será el Viernes 17 de Diciembre a las 10:00 am; Elder por favor contacte al edler Martínez para que nos puedan acompañar, les extrañamos un buen, pero en fin ese día podremos platicar de muchas cosas, estamos muy agradecidos de que Dios los enviara a nuestras vidas y sabemos que cada día nos llena de bendiciones.                                               

"We are happy to tell you that the awaited moment has come for us as a family. WE HAVE OUR RECOMMENDS TO ENTER THE TEMPLE! Jessica and Braulio are going to be interviewed on the 10 and we already ahve the date for the 17 of December at 10. We miss you a ton, but we'll talk alot on this day. We're thankful that God sent you to our lives and we know that each day He fills us with blessings."

Great family huh? I'll send the picture next Monday.
We trained the new Elderes today. What a great group! Everyone of them seemed really excited to get out and  work. In our training we talked about working diligently, and giving your all to the Lord. I told them that they need to take advantage of everyday and work hard. President Hicken stood up after and said "Elder Rasmussen knows that the time flies, he's on his last cycle!" Everyone just kind of looked at me all weird and said, "Really?!" haha, one Elder even said, "Wow you look pretty excited for someone that's going home!" I said, "Hey, hey, hey I'm not going home yet!" Everyone seems to say those kind of things when they know its the last cycle. Anyways, the training was just great. Elder Walk is a great trainer. He shared an experience with them of how we contacted Teresa at night, and shared a scripture in Matthew 10:39 about getting lost in the work. It was a great training, but President Hicken's was even better. He is so wise and he just gets us so excited to get out there and work when he talks!

I'd like to share with you what President Hicken shared with us today in his letter-
"May God bless you. Do good always. Be obedient with exactness. Keep being constant. I promise you that if you do it, God will be satisfied when you finish your mission and He will tell you in that day as he did to Enos. "Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. "
THAT is a promise from the Lord's representative for this mission. I know it is true that if we do these things, the Lord will be able to tell us this.  Be obedient with exactness. Be constant.
Les amo,
Elder Rasmussen

Que Dios les bendiga. Hagan lo bueno siempre. Sean obedientes con exactitud.  Sigan constantes. Les prometo que si hacen esto Dios será satisfecho cuando terminan sus misiones y les dirá en aquel día como dijo a Enós. Enós 1:27 Ven a mí, tú, que bendito eres; hay un lugar preparado para ti en las dmansiones de mi Padre.

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

WEEK - 97 Casas Aleman / Aragón Zone - AP

Wow, I think I’m on an even slower computer than last week! We’ve been in here for 45 minutes and I just got it working…oh well!! I’ll have to type fast.
This week we were pretty busy again with Leadership Training. This training happens every third  month. We have this week and next week to work and then the 15 President Tenorio is going to be touring the mission. I’m not sure if we are going to go to that, but he is going to have an interview with Elder Walk and me! I’ve never been interviewed by a 70 before!

We learned so much from President in these trainings. He has invited us to keep a journal of the Lord’s tender mercies, and invited us to be more obedient. He has promised us great things, and I just know that as we are obedient the Lord will bless us. As I received the reports from the Zone Leaders last night, I read with them Alma 57:21-22. I know that if we are obedient with exactness to what President taught us, the Lord will bless us with more success.

This Saturday Hermana Beatriz entered the Temple! It was such a big blessing to see her there, she was so happy and when she saw me she wanted to give me a big hug then remembered she couldn’t. She told the sisters she was with “HE’s the missionary that baptized me!” They were excited as well. She said Gonzalo is working to enter the Temple this month, and that they are also working to change Pablo and Ariel’s last names so that they can be sealed to them. I sure hope that happens!! Brother Luis Perdomo wrote me and told me that the Reyes family is also progressing. He said that they’re having some marital problems, so please join with me in praying for them so they can make it to the Temple! Satan is going to do everything he can so they don’t make it!

We have a progressing investigator that is so elect! Her name is Teresa and her son is Arturo. She is so excited to be baptized this Sunday. Her son didn’t go to church because he said he had a bunch of homework to do. I hope he’ll get baptized with his mom. Elder Walk and I have really felt the Spirit as we teach this sweet sister. Alba and Eduardo went with us to the appointment and gave their awesome testimony of the Book of Mormon! They are so excited for Teresa, and are really helping her. It’s just great when the converts are friends to the converts!

HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING!  I gave a lot of thanks for all of you. I really am thankful for such a wonderful family! Alba and Eduardo made us a TURKEY! Alba really worked hard to make us turkey and even stuffing. It got to the time to cut it and we had no idea how to do it, and neither did Eduardo! It turned out really delicious!  Mom, I loved the idea of the thankful basket! I’m going to start that in my journal. Thanks!

Thanks for the recording! That was just great. I can’t believe I’m going to be 21. ESTOY RUCO!

I’m sorry I don’t have much time to write, we have to get going because my companion isn’t feeling too great. Love you!
Elder Rasmussen