December 30, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!

How cool is it that this whole year, twenty- sixteen I will be here in New York serving??

So, that means all my goals and plans can happen, will happen! No excuses!!! I have the Lord on my side. I know what's important to me is also important to God. What I sacrifice now will come as an expression to my Heavenly Father that I need his help with my goals. I have found that mastering goals is no easy task, but I also know that without them we could not become who our Heavenly Father knows we can be-- our fullest potential!! 
I know God has a plan (Moses 1:39) so we should have a plan too. 

Some of my goals: I want to gain as much knowledge as I can. 
I also want to strengthen my Faith in Christ daily and have my own experiences with Him! 

Christmas was really awesome. Thank you thank you for every little letter that came to me in the mail and all the packages from family, ward family and friends! So greatly appreciated!! They all filled my Christmas here with a little more joy. Skyping you guys was amazing! I loved that so much. The rest of my Christmas was great.

A couple things that happened this week...

We went to a funeral with an investigator named Briant at a Baptist church. Briant was found by the sisters and said if missionaries ever came knocking on his door he would get baptized. He is this huge man that is a family man with the most tender heart. Ah! I saw this big heart while talking with him at the funeral. He is a bouncer who kicks people out of bars and he told us if someone ever messes with us he will be there.  He is ready to make changes in his life starting with church at 11:00. He is so cool!!

One other thing I want to share, because it was one of the coolest things that has happened. We had made our goals this morning to find & pray for a prepared family.  Also, we have been getting an over flow of media referrals to contact here. They should be contacted within 24 hours, but many times don't have an apt. #. We traveled to contact this one and once we arrived there was no number. We looked at this big building and said we might as well try to find her.. Haha Show Our faith!? We were just laughing going up and pushed the level we felt and we said a prayer. We found this boy who wasn't interested but we asked him who he knows that would be. He pointed us to the 6th floor and that is where we found our family. A family of 7 and they are beautiful people!! I will definitely keep you updated on them. There was such a good feeling, then we asked her if she knew Mayra and she did!!!! Hahahaha we found Mayra's mom. 
Heavenly Father loves his children so much!

Happy New Year! We will be in by 7:00pm  because things could get a little crazy in the streets of Harlem. We'll be safe! Love you all! 

Love, Sister Vassau

December 25, 2015

Peace is Born

Christmas in Harlem, Yay! 

Christmas time here has been wonderful, so special! I will always remember this one. It could be my favorite one looking back. I am finding loads of joy from Christ-like service. I feel if Christ were here he would be doing similar things I am able to do, which reminds me of this quote we were given this week..... "YOU ARE THE SAVIOR'S HANDS" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation. This is what He would be doing if he were living among us today. It is what we should be doing as His disciples and members of The Chirch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  

As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirit grows stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more open to the whispering a of the Holy Spirit."  

Walking with the many humble and meek! I have seen so many tender mercies in the past two days it's insane. There is so much goodness that comes from sharing the gospel in Harlem

 For an APF we set up a tv inside our church on the corner of 128th & Lenox which played "A Savior is Born" (reminds me of the beautiful kids in Harlem), served hot chocolate, and gave out wrapped Book of Mormons, 1,0000 cards, ect. Even President came out for a little to do it with us. It was great! It was actually pretty successful. We did it by the city college earlier in the week, as well. We have been able to talk to so many people!! Our goal as a mission is to find 1,000 new investigators by the end of the year and to really push the initiative. On Sunday we walked down the streets of Harlem stopping people and showing them the video. We talked to about 10 people and found 4 new investigators. Haha it was crazy. We have seen a huge amount of miracles in our area from it. 

My favorite was walking home the other night.. We saw this tall boy who looked cool 
So we sped up to him and I asked him if he would watch this video. He said he would as he walked and then as I showed him I dropped all my cards... Hah OPS..!! He had to stop to watch it:):) 

We have also been singing hymns on subways. (Still small voice is still present on subways/ loud cities) although, it is much harder sometimes for me to feel it and recognize than before. Living in a distracting place can be hard. The spirit comes so quickly through hymns. Sister Sam studies music so her voice in angelic!!! My goodness!! The Christmas Devotional was the most powerful & beautiful thing ever and she helped put it together. 

Other thing. I finished the Book of Mormon this week. My goodness. I know it's true. 
I know because It hit me as a subtle feeling of peace. No man could have written it but one who was inspired of God. 

I know my Savior more personally by being his hands and mouth this season. This time to be with Him and serve him is no time I would replace. 
I am grateful he was born!!! 
I am so excited to see you via Skype! 
Christmas plans-- Skype I think around 1:00. Hopefully we will be back by then. We will be going to have a breakfast with the bishop who works in the Empire State Building. Seeing my family will be such a treat for me. Get ready!!!!
I love you all!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!! 

Sister Vassau 

December 16, 2015

So Many Children of God

So many thoughts going through my mind walking down the streets of Harlem.. Hahaha 
I would share, but there are too many. I will break it down to one thought.. 

All are Children of God and that is all that matters. 

Everything about Harlem yells unique. This great land of project buildings and African hair shops is filled with personality. There is never a dull moment, like ever!!!!! Hahaha I love it!

So my first night here we just walked out of our apartment through a bunch of these buildings and I saw this really crazy cloud that was moving super quickly but it wasn't a cloud it was smoke.... Cute sister Sam taps on this woman's shoulder and asks her if that smoke is suppose to be coming out of that building like that. The lady said, OH NO. sister Sam then calls 911 on this huge fire happening on the top of this building. I was just thinking where am I? Hahaha 

We taught a really sweet humble man from Burkina Faso who was the pizza man. He speaks French and his English is actually awesome. "He kept saying I'm so grateful for you guys. I'm just so proud of you guys." He also said he would do whatever it takes, he just wants God in his life. He will have to be taught by the YSA Sisters now. 

The Harlem 1st Ward consists of younger couples that have 1.5 kids and are either from Utah and just here temporarily or are here for work/interns so there's not too many families here to stay. Then there's the Harlem born members. They are great. There are so many awesome people and families! 

I feel I am needed here for many reasons in this area and that feels really great. I feel like having more chances to teach because there is so much work will be really good. Teaching with sister Sam is so good. This companionship is so good!!! We teach well together and I feel we are able to bring the spirit strongly in our lessons so far. I have already been introduced to some real life heavy problems. Harlem is a really special place with special challenges and blessings. 

Someone we are working with is Sandra and her family. She is really struggling right now and facing really hard things. We do know that when hard things happen and when we have temptations we can become more humble, more able to recognize our dependence on God. 
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27 (my favorite verse :))  
She is incredible and with faith she will be able to rise above what the world (or ny is telling her is okay). Seeing the way kids are being taught here amazes me. I have been so truly blessed to have been brought up in the circumstances I have with loving parents, good friends & family, and especially great leaders.. Wow wow wow. 

I & Harlem. I & the gospel! It is so true!!!!! 

Have a Merry Christmas. Do something for the Savior today! 
He can and will fill our hearts with peace, hope, and joy. 

December 9, 2015

Headed to the City for Winter

This week was one of the best weeks! I love being a missionary. I just felt super happy with how everything went and the work that we did. No one told me how special Christmas time is as a missionary. I love the Christ-centered music, the Spirit, and the message of our Savior! It's just the perfect time to share the Gospel. I have felt so much peace lately. We found some really great people and I felt such great love from this place, Sister Hislop, my other roommates and the tender mercies. 

We called a man on our phone who's name we did not know. His name is Ayele and he is from Ethiopia. He let us come see him and schedule a time to meet. He called us and told us to meet him at Barnes and Noble by us...Great!! We have no clue who he has met with before because we have zero records. We sat and taught him the Restoration. He is Orthodox, believes in Jesus Christ, is humble and the most kind man. Wow, it's so hard to leave these people! When we talked about the Book of Mormon he really tried to figure everything out and after a while he understood more of how it came to be. We told him he should come to church, and he did!!! It was such a sweet tender mercy on my last Sunday here for him to sit by me and stay the whole time. A couple in my ward, who were mission Presidents in Africa picked him up. I am so grateful. I was able to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting which was a really neat experience for me having him there. 

We also helped the Young Women. We talked about how they can invite others to come unto Christ. There are 2 main things that keep people from sharing the Gospel. 1) Fear 2) Not understanding what missionary work actually is. I can totally relate because little did I know it's the little things, not always a full on conversation on what we believe!! (Sometimes scary) These girls are some of the only ones at their schools that are LDS so you can imagine they are able to show courage and be examples of Christ everyday. I heard President Smith say this week, "You all have a light. OWN IT!!" :) I thought that was cute. 

Sister Hislop will be getting a new missionary so I got to go on a split with Sister Dunford!!! We were so happy. haha we have wanted to be companions since day #1. 

OK. HERE IS MY GOOD NEWS: I'm sure what you've all been waiting for...

                       SISTER VASSAU IS GOING TO HARLEM!!!! 

I will be covering the family ward with Sister Sam. Again, another one I was in the MTC with! Ha ha ha I will have been comps with all of them now. Who woulda thought? I am thrilled!!!! SO EXCITED!!! I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET MY PEOPLE IN HARLEM!!!! Haha Sister Sam is adorable. She is so musically talented and plays the piano beautifully. We also will be living with the Sisters serving in the YSA Ward. They just split the area because there is so much work. I've heard the mission in Harlem is like serving in a different country. 

I will miss this place, it does have my heart, and it's a special place for my testimony of this true Gospel. I'll be back and maybe I'll be living big in Scarsdale... Haha probably not, but allow me to dream. The good thing about leaving is I can always be reassured that the Lord has new faces prepared just for me in Harlem. There is joy everywhere in this work, it does not matter where. It really doesn't, but the joy and happiness of the Gospel is found in the hearts of those who live it in any part of the world. I just so happen to be able to serve those that are from all parts of the world and that is a huge thing I am grateful for. The Savior is for EVERYONE. 

Thank you for your emails this week. I love you all! Sister Vassau

My Christmas dress! 

I will miss Scarsdale, Sister Hislop and all of the amazing people here! 

December 2, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving, we had a great day! 

New York is getting supa cold! 

Missions ARE cool! 

It has been the first of the chili days here in New York City. We can feel it in the air and see it in our breath. I don't remember that so much in Utah. We knocked in the cute village of Bronxville with our newest video, A Savior Is Born! We were PUMPED to share this. Bronxville is our favorite spot!!
So we knocked on around 45 doors and we shared the beautiful video with one person, well an older woman (91) and her nurse who was so sweet and grateful for any message about Christ. What was cool was this older woman, who doesn't look a day over 70, told us her brother loves Mormons and knew a good amount about us. They each gladly accepted the Book of Mormon and her nurse wants to learn more about it. (She also recently lost her husband and so she was telling us how darling he was. It was soooo cute!) This was the first time we were able to share this special video and they were SO grateful. Well, out of all those doors, pressing onward with happiness, they were worth it. 

I love #ASaviorIsBorn because there are children telling the story. Their messages are real, brief, powerful, and enthusiastic. If a child can understand the message of our Savior than so can each of us. Each of us can share our own testimonies of Him. The words "Savior" and "Rejoice" are used multiple times. WE SHOULD REJOICE ALWAYS FOR THE SAVIOR WHO CAME AND DIED FOR US, for our sins, but also our sadness. It's not just when we mess up, it's for those feelings we all feel so much of the time; loneliness, frustrations, anxiousness, it's those too! He wants us to remember that he brings us peace. He can heal a troubled heart. The kids are from places ALL around the world.  God respects ALL people. He loves each of his children with an infinite love. His love can fill an aching heart and everyone needs to remember the beauty that comes from the Atonement of our Savior. My invitation for each of you is to Discover Why the Savior is important for each of you in your own lives. Please share this video with everyone you feel prompted to!! 

One more story...

A week ago we went to find a woman who we have received the information for that lives in White Plains. We were told she had a Mormon come to help her with her pipes in her home and they started talking and something may have rekindled a flame in her. When we went to her home her husband answered the door and asked us what this had to do with him. He went to get his wife and she welcomed us in kindly. We knew little to nothing about her so we quickly found out she is so sweet and has two children. She was raised in the church and was even a Young Woman President in Ecuador and understood everything well. Later in her life, after having gone through some things, she found herself in New York married for the second time to a man who is Catholic. For whatever reason 14 years later she has decided she wants to come back to church. She told us she has to work out some complications with her husband, so it is best if she reaches out to us. As we sat down with her, I could tell how sincere her desires are to come back. She had a peaceful confidence about her, which is amazing because shortly after her husband came out once and then a second time. Any spirit that was felt in that room was shot down. It's like the whole room changed. The feeling I felt, made it very clear to me that he did not agree or support his wife's decision and that by us coming it was distancing them. I felt a pit in my stomach for this cute woman. We expressed our love to her and how important the family is in the Gospel and that we know Heavenly Father knows her situation. 

Well... This week she came to church earlier...she waited for us so she could apologize to us & tell us the day after her husband came to her and he softened a little and he is able to work with her in what brings her happiness. This taught me what a blessing that God still works with those who have fallen away for lengthy periods of time. That the gospel blesses families and that Heavenly Father answers ours prayers. She told me how she remembered my face and was VERY appreciative for what we did and that we came to find her. 

I love this church and this gospel. I love this time of year. 
I love my family and the love my parents have. 
I will know this week where I will be for this amazing season! Love you guys!

Love being in the home of Sister Smith and President. I love their family so much! 

November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


This is not the first time I will be not with my loved ones for Thanksgiving. Thinking back on Thanksgiving of all Thanksgivings...there was Disneyland one year where we ate weird French food, remembering 2 years ago I was in India and boy, would I never give that one up, ate some curry & some more curry stuff and NOW, I'm here, NY, food can only be more appetizing than those.. probably will eat some amazing feast because The Darger's and Lanier's are just those kinds of families. They'll have all the good stuff, minus grandma's heavenly rolls.

Okay... The week began with the opportunity to go to an innerfaith Thanksgiving breakfast with around 300 people where we sat around a table and got to know each other. Jumpstart on the Thanksgiving festivities! There are far more similarities than there are differences! As we listened to the different speakers, I thought it was cool to hear Palmyra pop up out of the many different places that may be important to each of us. He then said you can ask someone at your table about these places.. Palmyra, New York. We have the opportunity every day, especially living in New York, to share the facts about Joseph Smith and The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a wonderful thing that I know the spirit can confirm to each of us who earnestly prays to know. That was really neat to see so many people come together, especially with everything going on around us.

We had met this man after tracting this whole neighborhood and no one was home. This one man said we could come back another time so we said okay, Thursday! Well Thursday came and mid weekly planning, I did not think we should drop everything and drive all the way to Valhala...not super close and it was pouring outside. Sister Hislop said we probably should since we said we would come back even if he did not seem so interested. We made our way back to Valhala through the rain to Robert's home. Robert opened and talked to us for about 45 minutes just about everything. Kindest man in all of Valhala. I've met maaaany. People call him Bobby Z. He told us about his lack of interest in the religion he's been raised in and a little about his life. His wife passed away and he has raised his 2 kids and mom for a long time. He is single and a selfless man. He asked us all sorts of questions... Even if we have events for single men like him :) yes we do Bobby :) And temples :) he wants us to come back after the holidays to discuss and feed us!  I felt so humbled that this man, I didn't think much of, is soooo prepared and I almost let him fly by us. Heavenly Father taught me of integrity also that every person we meet could be that one he has been working with because they are turning to Him. We don't know who our Heavenly Father's trying to communicate with. This day, Robert was that one. This man is a saint and absolutely needs the Gospel in his life. 

A small thing that was big for me that also happened was a specific prayer to find just one person to talk to. Just one! When we went to look someone up there was a group of people in the elevator. I opened my mouth and we were able to go into this ladies home to share with her a message and set a time to come back. Simple things like that are the big things here. This work never happens though if we don't open our mouths. Open your mouth= miracles. Heavenly Father will always answer a specific and sincere prayer if we do our part afterwards.  
Then, on the way down. I asked this man if he'd had a good day and if he's staying warm or something (it's getting supa cold) and he said, "no!" he works outside. I said, "do you do construction? Do you know Jeff Lanier?" He said yes!! He's grown up with him!! Nice guy. We gave him our card. Open your mouth!! You never know. 

Well, I am really thankful for each of you. I know that as I have been here the times I have had to dig out happiness I have tried to take a step back and look at the many things Heavenly Father has done for me. He blesses each of us so much. The secret is, the happiest people are the most grateful people so I want to be one with an attitude of GRATITUDE. 

Thank you for everything you all do for me! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and show some gratitude to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This is something I feel grateful for, especially now, is the closeness I am able to have with my Savior through the holidays away from home. 

Love, Sister Vassau 

November 18, 2015

Temple Day!

Here I am again!!! Writing to you from the subway. I love the state of New York. I feel like it had my heart even before I'd been here.

20 years old! 

Happy Birthday to ME! 

I am so blessed and I have been overwhelmed with love on my Birthday. You made me feel so so loved!!!!! Heavenly Father looked out for me. There is no place I'd rather be. I always love the week I get to celebrate with super special people. Kyle and grandma, I hope you were shown love all week!!! Next is big D. My birthday started off with 15+ emails from my mom.. Hahaha I got sung happy Birthday to that many times. My companion and I were LOVING THEM. Hahahaha I think my favorite was Brandon's. Actually, I can't decide they were all so good. I think it just showed her what a unique and fun bunch I have back home. You all are great. I woke up to my companion who decorated our place, made me breakfast, and then opened my packages of love. Loved everything!! I had an interesting lunch and got sang to by Sita sham (greatest lady), did so much finding, and then at the end of the night we got cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory because it's right next to us. SUCCESS!  Also the Lanier family bought me a NY Jets shirt because they loooove the Jets and are Treaver Reilly fans. That was so nice of them! Haha They love that we know him!  Every letter I read reminds me how much my family is sent here just for me. You all are special. Thank you, thank you!!

Another great thing was our Primary Program this past week. Westchester 1st Ward kids testimonies are so amazing of their Savior. Children just get it! We had ward council with our new bishopric before and I'm amazed at the leadership in this ward. Truly amazing. It's a really neat thing being able to be in on it all at this time in my life and see how each leader is so involved in this work. Bishop Mortensen does everything with such care & understands how it's the small little things in the church that are pleasing to God. Their consecrated examples have made an impact on me. His life and family is consecrated on the Lord. There are definitely a lot of things we have to give up to live the law of consecration in our lives!! 

Quote I love: 

"Christlike conduct flows from the deepest wellsprings of the human heart and soul"

The people we are teaching are great! We saw the Garcia's this week and taught them about the Plan of Happiness. We taught a lesson to the Lanier's and Cotton about the "Tree of Life" and they loved it because we talked about how the temple is on this straight and narrow path, but it's not the end, we have to endure. They are excited to get there because they understand that they can be an eternal family as they make it to the temple! Cotton is leaving for North Carolina for a month so that's sad, it will take time and patience to see him into the gates of baptism!! Aaaand Meava Meava is so great. Ahh, haha this is the woman from Ireland, who told us last night she wants to come to church and who knows maybe she'll really enjoy it. She has so many questions when we go over there. Only, she asked us to pick her up coffee this week. Uhh 

We had dinner with a member last night who has served his life in various callings. He was a mission President in Africa. Fun fact. He quizzed us on PMG. There are 126 chapters/verse references in PMG that he challenged his missionaries to memorize. They are all the doctrine and many of them did it and knew the doctrine so well. That is the basis of what he had them study on their missions and I thought that was cool. He showed us his marked up scriptures of the pure doctrine. After I finish the Book Of Mormon I would like to do that. He said they could dig into the scriptures as they did this. 

I'm going to the temple right now :) :) 

Have an awesome week.

Love you, Sister Vassau 

November 11, 2015

Spiritual Feast

I feel as if our area just exploded, there are so many families and people interested in the Gospel and we are just trying to keep up and plan well for them, because their Salvation is in our hands... No big deal. I'm serious. The blessings are pouring out to us. So we have the Gracia's who I will share more about, Karla Martinez and her family, Cotton, Lia, and a few more awesome people we have tracted and found. I literally have felt that this week we had so many experiences, meetings and trainings, that the spirit was so high we literally felt our bodies were exhausted. It's crazy how that happens because our spirits are even stronger than our physical bodies... Although my body is not so strong, anyways. This reminds me. I will start with funny because there are always funny times here, too.. This is New York City! We knocked about 2 doors later at night until this Biiiig man, I mean huge belly with no shirt on in his pj's yells at us on his porch, "Who are you? Go away! Leave!!" We didn't really even get to explain who we are, I don't think he would have cared anyway because it was dark and we were across the street, but the visual just made us laugh after the fact. The humor is sooo good sometimes. 

The Garcia's are a special family. They are the family who showed up at church, however they have been unable to come since. Coming into their home is one of my favorite things. It is humble. The walls with holes and drawings from the kids, small 2 bedroom home that they all six live in. One couch, so we sit on their baby chairs and the kids all just listen so intently. Annalie is the six year old, she's so beautiful. Coming into their home I just feel there doesn't need to be much to make a home of love and closeness. They each love each other. They showed us their pictures they have of Jesus Christ, but don't know much about Him. We were able to ask Priscilla what her relationship is with Christ and when she feels the closest to Him. We discovered that Priscilla not only went to church as a young woman, but was baptized. Her husband works now In New Jersey so is only here on the weekends. She is doing everything alone. She is sincere and wants to come to church, pray with her family, and read but it's so hard because she has to do it alone while her husband is away. Her son now has a baptismal date for December and is excited. We are still figuring out how we can teach the whole family. Keep them in your prayers

Sister Hislop and I were able to be at a training by President & Sister Smith with Elder Donaldson who was a mission President for the district. We sang for the elderly for Sister Friehofner, had stake conference and then zone conference yesterday. We have the most amazing leaders in this mission. We were even told by Elder Donaldson while he was here that he's been to many missions and the leaders in this mission are special, which was really cool. I was able to be taught many things multiple times, which is always how we should teach, in repetition because, boy, do I need it. A few things out of so many I wish I could share. Our mission is seriously going to double in numbers. We have a new standard of Excellence and it's amazing and motivating. We were able to see miracles just this week because of it and I can only imagine what it will be like in a few months!! 

The doctrine of Christ is what I hope will become written on my heart from here on out. 
It's what Christ taught and it must be lived!! It's so simple but it is everything. Everything!! 
(1 NEPHI 8) 

President talked about the iron rod, about his son William and how if William ever becomes tired of holding it...if he switches hands like he asked his dad he could do.. He will put his hand over Williams.... He will hold on to him... Wrap his arms around him and make sure he does not fall from it.... With tears in his eyes and a room FILLED with the spirit I thought of our Savior... When we fall and are barely holding on... Our Savior wraps us in his love.. He saves us... He will not let us fall if we but try to hold on.. I just felt President's overwhelming love for his son and thought of it in my life for those I love, who I will do anything for them not to fall, but most important our Savior's love for each of us, for the Atonement. We also were able to watch the new Christmas initiative we will be sharing with all of NY. It was actually my favorite one, you'll have to see why. I can't wait to share it with people! 

So much of our meetings were about Planning!! As a missionary you plan for everything and when we plan it should be a revelatory experience.  
Some of the things we here again and again are...IT'S NOT ABOUT US!!

"When we deal in specifics we rarely have failure,  when we deal in generality we rarely have success." Thomas S. Monson 

Today we are doing an apple theme Pday at the church with our Zone. Who knows what that means. It's the Big apple-- so apple cider, pie, apples to apples and more. 
I'll be 20 in 2 days.... I'm scared! 
20 year old advice for a girl on a mission anyone? 

I love you family, friends, anyone else who gets my emails. Love love love,
Sister McKell Vassau
Me and Sister Hisplop

November 4, 2015

Gratitude, Ideas, eh?


Sister Hislop and I are focusing in everything on relying on the Lord. It is so wonderful feeling just that and seeing the Lord literally take you places and then put prepared people in your path. This happened to us this week. This one day we were able to tract a lot. In the morning, we got out of our car didn't know which street to knock so we pulled somewhere and said a prayer to know WHERE. About 5 houses that no one answered and then turning a corner I saw a boy run in his house. I thought in my mind maybe not and then walked right up to the door to find this kind boy so open to here us and told us he loves to read, he has a lot of extra time right now, and thanks so much for sharing the message. We were able to find a good amount of people this day, but it was so long. Haha seriously the longest day, I don't know why. At more towards the end of the night. Once again, said a prayer asking WHERE we should go. Praying about an area is so great. I remember saying, "I'm so tired, but we're going to keep going." Well if we wouldn't have gone to this one specific area we would have not met the most incredible woman I have met on my mission who I just adore. She is a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Light seriously just shines from her. She is so happy & so filled with love. She shares the gospel with everyone.
Those were a few experiences... where we saw prayer & relying on the lord unfold. 

In my studies this week I am reading in Alma. I read about when Alma told of his conversion story to his sons just father to son, it's really cool. I noticed in verses 18-21 that Alma told about how much pain he experienced because of his sins. When he cried out, turning to Christ, he remembered his pains and sins no more. I love these verses: 20. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!  21. Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
I have been thinking about this a lot. The more deeply we feel pain, sorrow, sadness at times, the more fully we feel joy in our lives or "The greater our sorrow is the greater our capacity to feel joy!" There is a reason for trial, for opposition. All things work together for our good to help us in Gods' plan of happiness, believe it or not! 

I really feel I am being strengthened and helped every day here as I rely on the Lord. There are just so many wonderful people that I am able to meet every week and bring closer to Christ, but I couldn't do it alone. I am grateful for my Savior, His love, & for His help. I'm grateful for His spirit. The Spirit is what matters the most!!! I'm grateful for the times I feel the Spirit teaching and testifying because they are the most precious times here. I am also grateful that this month we can reflect on all we are grateful for. NOVEMBER!! Make it a month of gratitude. 

Here are a few things I am grateful for right now off my head:

-My family- best bunch in the world!!!
-love from home
-sister Hislop
-warm showers. Ours broke a couple times this week
-funny times that keep my spirits up, like when we went on a run & my companion completely fell face to the floor and we died laughing. 
-trader joes
-the opportunity to serve in Scarsdale NY
-The Gospel of Jesus Christ
See.. Already happier!!! Just like that. 

Ideas: gratitude door or wall, gratitude prayer each Sunday, rake leaves, pumpkin cookies, write someone new each week and tell them why you are grateful for them, show Heavenly Father you are grateful by serving someone TODAY.

Have an awesome week everyone. I'm so happy to have heard Lexi Lu had a fun birthday and that everyone is enjoying fall festivities. People thought we were trick or treaters this week. Haha we went in early and watched the Restoration. Yep one for the books.
Love you, Sister Vassau 

October 28, 2015

Goodbye Sister Eastman and Hello Sister Hislop!

Let's see. The highlight of this week was our Ward Halloween party. We helped the YW set up and this Ward knows how to throw an awesome party. Decorations were so cute. This was so great because the Garcia family came! Also, a couple other friends of members were there and we were able to get their numbers. One was being taught by sisters in another area and moved to this area. 

We found a woman living in Scarsdale interested in the Book of Mormon this week. That was a little miracle because knocking doors in Scarsdale is hard. Not many are interested. Sometimes I laugh remembering before I got my mission call wanting to go somewhere poor & humble (maybe like India where I love) then I'm walking down streets with the most expensive real estate eva and I think how Heavenly Father really has a reason for where he sends us & a good sense of humor i think. I guess there are both ends of the spectrum here! 

We had a media referral who we called and gave the Book of Mormon to and he had some questions for us. Does God have a plan? Is it a perfect plan? He is from France so that was so cool!! 

Sunday we helped knit and we sat with the Primary kids on the stage while they practiced for their primary program. This is silly, but that was such a highlight for me!! As the kids were wiggly and wouldn't stay still, some screaming the songs, I felt the spirit so much!! I LOVE PRIMARY SONGS. They are so simple and they are so true. Why did I never listen when I sung them once upon a time. Children are so pure and just hearing them sing "This is my testimony that HE LIVES- Jesus Christ, and He loves us," made my testimony grow. We've been singing it all week. Haha 

On my fridge was a quote for a long time that my mom had up. I read it again this week and feel that is exactly how I feel about the abundance of blessings that come from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shared it with a few members. "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life" so I'm going to relate my life or missionary service to this reeeeal quick... As I have served people here in New York I HAVE felt a deep joy for what I am sharing- The Gospel! It comes when I study it (read the Book or MORMON) then GO out and share it on door steps. My perspective on many things/ my vision for my life is changing/ has changed already! I know more of who I want to be & who my Heavenly Father wants me to be. This one is a good one... Because I feel like I'm suuuper slow at times.... Haha like my memory is HORRIBLE, but I'm asking Heavenly Father to help me remember things so I can teach better and I have seen he does help.. Missionary service is hard WORK. Waking up early and going all day is tiring but I have felt extra energy to do what I need here. My spirits have been lifted and I have been comforted as I've focused on my Savior, blessings do come each day (although, sometimes it's easier to see the challenges in each day.) I feel like the people here are my friends. I feel that the opportunity I have to meet such kind and loving people is a privilege and I know everyone can benefit from the blessings of giving ourselves more to God everyday and asking "what more can I do?" The blessings are Ours, He asks us that we only do our part and Keep the Commandments. 

Now I know you might be wondering who is coming to Scarsdale? I will be getting Sister Hislop who came out from the MTC with me, she is so sweet. She has been in Manhattan so I'm excited for her to come here, because this is the best place you could be right now! I think it will be really awesome because we are both at the same point on this mission journey. Well really, I feel like I just got here.. It will be so good. I always get anxious, but this scripture has really brought me peace. --- Alma 26: 7 But behold, they(I am) are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day. My companion reminded me that This is the Lord's work & he can do this work on his own. He knows His children and who Sister Vassau and Sister Hislop need to meet. All he asks is we have a willing heart and are His hands to do His work. I love her, my heart is a little broken but all is well! 

What else? We got our flu shots this week and then we both got sick/ ache... One day we went to the office building and President told us to "come on!!" He was taking us to lunch! Ha ha "Are you sure President?" He talked to us about how he started his career and to get things done in life! 
 Another thing I feel like writing because boy are my letters random.  Prayer is so good. Make sure to take 5 minutes every morning to communicate with Heavenly Father. Sit for a while and collect your thoughts and feelings and then check in with Him. How deeply involved in your prayers are you? I have found that I have had some really amazing prayers this week by putting in more effort. Prayer is a work! That's my invitation :) 

Okay I love you guys, 

Sister McKell Vassau

October 21, 2015

Happy Fall Days!

Dear family and friends, 

I would love to tell you everything about this week, but I really can't remember. This is where journaling comes in, but I'm not the best at that either. I try and then just think of Parker who wrote in his journal every single day on his mission and I feel horrible.. That's okay. I do try to write down one thing every day that I learned or that I saw God's hand in. God is so good and is ever so present in every little thing in our lives.

However, one skill I never thought I'd pick up on my mission, KNITTING!!
Sister Louis calls us and asks us if we will help her in her class knit with the kids because they want to do it so bad but they get so frustrated that they can't. So if 20 year olds can slowly learn how to knit, 7 year old can too... Right?? Still unsure about that. But hey ,we go knit with sister Louis and she teaches us. I love knitting!!!! In my mind I'm thinking why have I never done this before? Love it! She has a cat named Joe Joe. The thing about NY is everyone has cats. They love them!?!? There was one street this week I counted 7 cats. I started sneezing badly in her house, but consoled her that I'm only a little allergic.. .False!

This might be the fastest 6 weeks that ever hit us. Sister Eastman and I have laughed too much and loved serving together here in Scarsdale. Serving along with her has been a joy. She is an outstanding person and is going to do great things. We're going to start a business or something. Haha I don't know how I'm going to let her leave my side!!!!!! FAMILY- please take time to meet her and be friends with her.. I'll hold you all to it!! Our families have so much in common. We have some exciting things this week happening, like the ward chili cook-off. We are dressing up as twins with our matching dresses that I'm pretty sure all sister missionaries have. We will take some good pictures for ya. The Elders and us made it a goal to split up the whole ward directory and call every person and try to schedule a time to bring them a short message and invite them to bring a friend to the Halloween party. Well, we did this and on our list we were able to visit two families... Yep two.. That's OKAY!!! We have an awesome Ward, they are just busy people. 

We met with the Garcia family twice who showed up to church. They were unable to come this week because of the flu... That was a little bit of a bummer. We love them!!!! Their kids are the best, sooooo cute. We might be handing them off to the Yonker sisters so we are still figuring that one out, but they love when we come. 

Another really cool that happened is a girl that the elders met at WestChester Community College has a baptism date.  Miracles do happen from planting seeds at colleges. 

Today I am in the city, because the departing missionaries are going to the temple so I am with Sister Atkinson! Also, we will receive transfer calls this week so that should be fun. 

I love you guys! I love God! 
I love your emails, letters, and love. Thank you!! 
I appreciate every single one of them. 

Love, Sister McKell Vassau