June 19, 2015

Last Couple of Days in the MTC

This cute Sister was an Aggiette and is headed to DC South

Gospel + Packages + Happiness = Happy KELL

Our District

New York Sister Missionaries
The stay at the MTC has flown by!! So good! I'm so ready for New York. We got our Itinerary this week and we will be flying out Tuesday morning at 3am. That is too early, but I'm so excited to actually help people with all the things we've learned here. Let's just hope I can remember everything. Hopefully I get a good trainer once I get out there. NERVOUS KELL!

Okay, let me think about everything that happened this week. Sunday Sister Jones and I taught Relief Society about Repentance. It went pretty well. This week we teach on Baptism. Wish us luck. Each time we teach we will get more comfortable. I went to ward Choir and sat by Nat and Kenzie Morris:):) I was so happy sitting next to them in the Sunday Devotional. Seeing them just lifts me up.  

Our zone has had IPads about the whole time I've been here. So cool! We are some of the first missionaries they are training them on and research people are always coming in to ask us about how we like them and what we use them for. We are blessed. I don't see any other zone with them. I LOVE THEM!! Everything is in the gospel library and it's been nice to show videos in lessons and look up things because my memory at times struggles. The Spirit is so great at the MTC. Days are long. I've liked when I've been busy and am really enjoy learning in my classes. I have such great teachers, Sister Lyon and Sister Jenkins, whom I've met before through Natalie. My small district has become a lot closer. The Elders are funny and sometimes we all have a hard time focusing because they think they are pretty funny as well. Elder Morwood draws out  everything we talk about as stick figures on the board to keep things light and keep us laughing. Haha 

The food is okay here. It makes me feel a little gross. They have salads and healthy things always so that is nice. Great cookies though. Haha I get so confused with meals. Sometimes I think it's lunch when it's already dinner. Can't keep track of of time. 

We love walking out to the field to workout. Sometimes we run, but the highlight was playing kick ball with our zone. Sister Jones full on dove for the ball that Elder Hunt kicked, who I've actually hung out with before, friends with Robbie Hutchins. She caught it above her head then fell backwards. We all laughed so hard. It's wierd how much we love going outside the MTC gates. It's refreshing to see "normal people" again. 
I've been really focusing this week about being happy. This is cheesy but I made this LITTLE BOOK OF HAPPINESS/ MIRACLES this week. I've been writing in it simple things that happen throughout the day and little miracles I will see.... Like seeing Sister Jones run into her brother a couple times because he teaches German here. It made me think of Park. I love sibling love! You really start noticing those things when you are focusing on them and that Is what I've learned this week. I made this goal at the beginning of the week and I know it will help me stay positive in times of stress. "Smile, do your best" is what He asks. 

Mosiah 24:15-- And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

We watched the "Character of Christ" on Sunday and it's one of those talks that will change my mission if I listen and follow it. Bednar said that Christ turns out. The natural man focuses inward. "Stop focusing on me me me. Get out of the Cookie Monster mode. This mission is not about you. The work we do is a lot more about who we are and what we are than what we say." 

Tuesday night we had another devotional. David F. Evans came and talked about being astonishing. It's something I needed to hear because it was all about WORK & OBEDIENCE. The secret to missionary work is actually working. If we work we will have the spirit. The difference between an incredible mission and just a mission is work. He told about a story of a Elder serving in his mission who had mental health problems. He went from being very introverted to a leader and good missionary. He worked really hard and kept working on his own difficulties. He said he had such great success even with his hard challenges. "If I can't do anything else, I can work" This is all he asks. One last thing I loved after the meeting when we reflected on the meeting with President Lords. He said a quote that has stuck with me. 

"The day obedience became a quest instead of an irritation was the day I gained my power" 

Love that. He also told us to tell our families in our emails that "we are incredible" and that he doesn't say that with every group he gets. 

Yesterday we had In-field orientation where they layer a whole lot of things on us about the mission field, we did role plays, and learned how important it is to love people before teaching them. Really that's what it's all about, to teach people, not lessons. 

I love getting letters from you all. They really help me. I will try to write back, but it might be easier once I'm in NY.  Emails are great, but handwritten letters throughout the week are even better. I want to know about your lives and love all the updates on things. YOU ALL ARE THE BEST! 

June 13, 2015

Hello From the MTC

Hello Family and Loved Ones!

I hope I can collect my thoughts because the past two days have been crazy and long!!! Wow, they keep you busy here from the moment you wake up at 6:30 to lights out. I feel like once I'm actually in bed at night is when I can really think about everything going on. It's my favorite time to reflect on my relationship with my Savior and think about my favorite people back home. I'm tired by the end of the day, but my brain doesn't turn off so that's a problem. Ha!

The MTC is an incredible place. I would be lying if I said I'm not a little overwhelmed with just the two days I've been here with all the new things I am learning and the new way of life I have jumped into. I know the knowledge and skills will come, but the biggest thing I've realized is if you're doing your part, the spirit will be there in the moment you need it. 

Here is what my first day was like:

After being dropped off and saying that hard goodbye to the best people in the world, I was quickly taken inside to get my name tag with the special red dot and a bag of goodies. (favorite moment was putting on that name tag with Sister Vassau on my heart) It is a powerful thing looking down and seeing it.  I am a representative of Jesus Christ and what I do and say will be what He would expect of me. That is a lot of responsibility and I am thrilled!!

After that, I was taken to my classroom, and on the way, the first person I saw was SISTER BAUGH! Comforting! I Love her so much. Of course, she was happy like she always is. Then, I walked up the 5 flights of stairs into my classroom and met my district and companion. Mom, you would never believe who my cute companion is!!!!! Do you remember Hannah Jones (Sister Jones), my childhood bestie in Elementary? Yep. Her! Well I don't know how close we actually were, but I do remember playing with her lots. Park was also friends with her brother. WOW!! Crazy right? Actually... INSPIRED, I think. She moved after 4th grade and we haven't connected since. She is a sweet girl and we get along great. I'm in a pretty small district. The four girls that are also living in my residence are all going to NYNYN! So fun. We are all 19, from Utah, and they went to a year of school at BYU before. They are darling girls and it will be so

great having them as we fly out in a week and a half. I can hardly wait for that. The rest of the Elders are going to Chicago. It's a young group and I feel like we will all grow so much together.

I really feel like Heavenly Father's hand has been in my life here in the MTC. It is a place that is going to stretch me far out of my comfort zone, but that's the only way to grow right? This week 640 missionaries got here on Wednesday. We all met in a room and listened to the MTC Presidency speak and we sung "Called to Serve", which is powerful. This is a way bigger group than usual. I actually ended up sitting right behind my "twin", the girl in one of my classes at UVU that's going to Texas. It's so fun seeing so many familiar faces. I saw Elder Pierce the first day and went in for a hug...AH. That's a no no. I will figure it all out.

Last night we all got to meet our Zone leaders who are amazing. Elder Lords talked to us about KASH... Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, and Habits. He wanted us to rate ourselves on each of these things. If we are working hard in all these areas then the Spirit will be there. Right now I feel I have a lot to learn and skills that are not yet there, however, I can choose to have a good attitude. I want to keep climbing while I'm out here and recommit myself each day. I've been thinking about something I read yesterday:

"The attitude you have toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and his Son and your respect for the Priesthood."

I know this is going to be hard. There are moments when I am like, "Wow, I'm overwhelmed." but then I look around and see the other Sisters who are also imperfect and I look at my name tag and it motivates me to be a more outstanding person and I remember the Lord knows I can do it. He will help me in the time I am here to prepare me for New York. I know this because there are times in the day where I feel this is exactly where I'm supposed to be and He wants me to stretch like never before. These are the times that get me through. He has a plan and I have to give it all to him. Without him, I will fail at this work. 

I am happy. Don't worry about me. I wish I could write longer. I have so much more to tell you all. I feel like I have zero time at all to email so I will send letters to the rest of you with the time I have. I LOVE YOU ALL. 

Happy Birthday Cassidy!!!! I love you so much. You are such a special girl.

xoxo, Sister Vassau 

Sister Jones and I knew each other at Oakwood Elementary. She moved away
when we were in the 4th grade...REUNITED! 

June 5, 2015


Good morning Brother’s and Sisters!

This is it. 4 months ago I received my call to serve the Lord as a missionary in the New York, New York North mission and now is the time to answer that call. It still feels surreal. In three days I will be known as Sister Vassau. I am very excited to serve in what seems like the center of the world where the church is being seen on a big scale. The New York North mission covers the city of Manhattan, down to the Bronx, parts of Upstate, and into Connecticut. Those of you who me know that I have always dreamt of living in a big city and as a younger girl I absolutely loved going to NY to take dance classes from those on Broadway. Those that REALLY know me know how perfect getting called here will be for me for many DIFFERENT reasons. I know that New York now will become Holy grounds and I will find fulfillment in the people I am serving. I know that as I seek the Holy Ghost I will be led to the people He has prepared for me. I have felt like never before that Heavenly Father knows me SO well, he knows where my heart is, what my dreams, fears, righteous desires are, and he has extended so much love and grace to me in the time I have prepared myself. I don’t think I have ever placed as much trust on the Lord than I have with this decision. It has taken all of my faith. In return, I know he will comfort and strengthen me every step of the way.

I want to share today the process of my decision to serve a mission. I hope you will feel the spirit here today in my own experience and let it guide you in serving the Lord more fully, because the Lord deserves our BEST. We as young women are not expected to serve missions so deciding if it’s truly right for sisters requires prayer and seeking out the Lord’s answer. For me, it was not a quick decision but one sought out and prayed about for many months. It also has required my own family to pray and trust. (It was funny when I actually went forward with my decision, I told my dad I’m going! He said “No you’re not…Yes I am… Not you’re not… Yes this is what I want to do… and it went back and forth) ☺ Now they’re all on board and excited. My mom is actually getting really good at sending us off!)
The process of deciding has taught me some very valuable lessons I will apply to my mission and the rest of my life and is the reason I choose my topic FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY. These three things will be essential as I am serving on the Lord’s errand. They are also my purpose as a missionary to bring into the lives of those I serve in New York.

My desire to serve began my senior year of High School when I sent a brother and sister off on their missions. I saw and felt the blessings that came from missionary work. I felt my own desire to serve and share goodness in the world. I had my own experiences that year like traveling and doing humanitarian work in India where I learned that service is joy. As I returned home, I knew, that desire to share light was still bigger than ever. As I began my freshman year of College I was prayerful in just about everything. I asked Heavenly Father what things I should be involved in, who I should live with, and what he wanted me to learn this year. I decided to do the dance team at UVU and choose to live with girls I hadn’t known previously. (I chose not live with MADI + her RM’s) When my mom and I found out that two of the girls I was to live with were RM’s she told me they will for sure keep me in line and get me on a mission… and I don’t know now if she’s super glad that that prediction was right! The desire was so strong for me, however fear was also there. Doubts, fear, and confusion are the adversaries way of keeping us from doing great things, like serving missions and bringing others happiness. He does not want us to have joy and reach our full potential. There was a period of time where I actually completely switched my thoughts to a study abroad because I love all things art and adventure. I even went to the guy over the program and told him I was very interested. I continued to pray and HF kept bringing thoughts of a mission in my head. I started to notice every little thing I read or saw about missionary work and service and kept receiving little nudges and promptings. These desires and feelings got stronger and stronger the more I stayed close to my Heavenly Father and listened to the spirit. After months of this inner struggle to get over these silly feelings that were holding me back, I knew they were not from the right source and decided to go forward with faith and not fear. I continued to only listen to the spirit as I received my answer of what Heavenly Father wanted me to do and I have felt so much peace. I remember countless nights were I would cry out and tell HF all my weaknesses and the things that were weighing so heavily on me. I think we all get to points where we feel we just can’t do it. We feel our weaknesses outweigh our strengths. A question I had was, why do we have fear and hard obstacles in the way of our good desires?

I learned through my experience that it’s because Heavenly Father wants us to exercise faith in Him. A faith so strong that it is unshaken, believing that God has all power to help us in our shortcomings. We must focus on progress.


From the General Conference talk “Therefore They Hushed Their Fears” by David A. Bednar talks about how Adam and Eve after partaking of the forbidden fruit hid themselves in the Garden of Eden. God called unto Adam and asked, ”Where are thou? And [Adam answered], I heard thy voice.., and I was afraid” One of the first effects of the fall was for Adam and Eve to experience fear. This potent emotion is an important element of our mortal existence.

We read in the Book of Mormon about Alma’s people frightened by an advancing Lamanite army. “But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but… should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them. Alma did not hush the people’s fears. Rather, he counseled the believers to remember the Lord and the deliverance only He could bestow. The Savior’s protection enabled the people to hush their own fears.

One day when I was home for a weekend while I was in the process of starting my papers, I felt so strongly that I should be at the temple. I drove down to temple sq. and was let down to find out that the temple sure enough was closed for cleaning. I then decided to walk around and ended up in the visitor center talking to the sister missionaries and then sitting in front of the Christos. I had no clue why I was there and then 30 missionaries all came and sat around me. I quietly listened to them and watched the brand new missionaries talk and take pictures. I loved seeing all types of missionaries with different backgrounds all with the same purpose and love for the Savior…. The Savior has faith in us. He sends out 18-21 year old young men and women all over the world that don’t know everything, but rely on the Holy Ghost to teach such important truths. That is love and trust. The Lord molds you, trains you through hard obstacles into someone whom he can trust. So he expects us to stop waiting around. Go forward and act on answers. In that room that day, I felt so overwhelmed again that my Heavenly Father continued to give me little experiences and voices that I needed, like GO. Stop doubting. Start trusting. You know your answer. We need not be commanded in all things.


Trust and confidence in Christ and relying on His mercy and grace lead to hope, through His Atonement. This faith and hope invite peace into our lives and can eliminate fear, sadness, and anxiety. This life is all about what we can become!! I think we as people sometimes lose sight of that and rather expect perfection out of ourselves. We never will be perfect!!

Hope brings light into lives!

My amazing institute teacher told us about a metaphor that really has stuck with me. A German man by the name of Alexander Papaderous who had lived through the Second World War founded an institute for peace and understanding. One day in a lecture someone had asked him “what is the meaning of life?” He opened his wallet and pulled out a small mirror for everyone to see. He told about a small boy that came across a motorcycle accident and noticed all the broken pieces of the mirror lying on the ground. He tried to put them together, but couldn’t so he took the largest piece and used it as a toy. He was fascinated that, with this little mirror he could reflect the sunlight into dark places where the sunlight could never shine. As Alexander became a man he came to understand that he was not the light, nor the source of the light. But light, that is truth, understanding, and knowledge- is here, but it will only shine in dark places if he reflects it.

“I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world–into the black places in the hearts of men–and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.”

We should all make this the meaning of our lives. I feel as representatives of Jesus Christ this is our purpose; To reflect the Lord’s light into dark places and into heavy hearts. I too, am only a broken mirror and don’t have it all together. I have many of my own imperfections. However, I know that the gospel is perfect and is my source of all truth and light. I hope on my mission that I can help people realize that the true and lasting source of happiness is Christ and the Gospel. I hope to aid people in righteous decisions to create beautiful and happy lives for independent New Yorkers and families and give them the hope that I have.


We learn in Moroni that when we are meek and lowly in heart and have faith and hope, we must have charity. The pure love of Christ. The work of a missionary is to SERVE! I had the privilege of receiving my own letter from Thomas S. Monson himself. If you want one you should consider a mission.. I want to read a little of it, Dear Sister Vassau, you are hereby called to SERVE! We in this church have the questions to life and know how we can find peace. Others want to know these things too!! The Lord’s church is a church of service and of love. Jesus Christ himself taught, but most of all loved those around him. In his earthly ministry he taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to ALL people. We need to be missionaries! Missionary work should be exciting! Perhaps when we meet our maker, he’s not going to ask how many positions did you hold, he might ask how many people did you help? I may be going to serve full time for 18 months, which for me seems fairly short, but we each need to be in the service of our fellow beings at all times. It’s not always easy to love people and serve them when they hurt you or don’t treat you the way you want to be treated. Sometimes it comes with no reward, but it’s what Christ did even when he was persecuted.

One of my favorite videos I watch a lot is “Advice from Elder Busche.” You should all go watch it!
“When you cannot love someone look into that person’s eyes long enough to find the hidden rudiments of the Child of God in him.”

One of the most important things I can do on my mission and through out my life is seeing others as Christ sees them. If there is any judgment or rude feelings the spirit does not stick around.

A scripture I have always loved is in Moroni 7:45. It is one I have memorized and will repeat in my head in companionships and even within my own family.
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth in the truth, bearth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

I don’t know anywhere else on earth with such a diversity of people than New York City. There are all walks of life from the poorest to the most wealthy. I know Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of them. We are expected to do the same and share with others who we are and be proud of it. Lives can change when we show such qualities of Christ- like attributes through service.

I encourage each of you all to look at your life ahead. What will you do with it, who will you be? Be a missionary! In word or in deed

My institute teacher often would say, “It’s not about going, it’s about being.” We each know enough and can share a simple testimony with others we encounter. I know we will be blessed for it.

➢ I just want to thank the people in my life that have shown me so much love and support. I am so grateful to have good friends who have been my backbone for so many years.
➢ I have also received such great guidance in my life from the leaders and teachers in this ward. Ever since I was a little girl I can remember so many of you smiling and welcoming me each week with love. Thank you each for preparing me more and teaching me the things I need to know for the next adventure in my life.
➢ Heavenly Father has given me a family he knew I would need. Bigger than most and unique to many other families, my family is all linked together because of a Savior. I am so happy for the knowledge of eternal families.
➢ The Lord keeps his promises. As missionaries we are PROMISED as we go out and serve with all our heart… might…. mind…. and strength…. That he will in return blessed us. Our families will be blessed. Leaving them behind will be the hardest thing I will ever have to do. I know if I uphold my end of the bargain, the Lord will do the same. I just want to thank my family for loving me for who I am and supporting my decision. Because of them I have joy and motivation to help others have strong and happy families.

I know God lives. I know we have Savior. I have experienced and relied on the Atonement in my life, I know it’s real and always there for us. We each need it every single day. I know the Lord knows each of us and our situations, and He has a work for each of us to do on this earth. No sister or Elder knows too little or has too few of talents to be a force for good and bring others to Christ. I know that if we put faith before our fears we will find confidence and strength in the Savior. He is the only way. I know that the gospel has been restored to its fullness in these latter-days by a young boy, Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is true. I have read it and find my answers to life in it. I can’t wait to share it with New York and help others feel of Christ’s love for them. I know each of our lives is filled with purpose and He will help us to become who he knows we can become. I love you all and I love this church.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen