August 26, 2015

Spread Goodness People!

This week I was stretched a lot. I am grateful for weeks like that, you rely so much more on the Lord for help. They turn out being some of the best weeks! 

I had my first Zone conference on Thursday and I was spiritually filled. That meeting had some of the most powerful meetings I've been to. So last week President sent out an email to all to start doing some things to prepare. He wanted us to prepare a talk, our zone topic was.. How does the Book of Mormon help you to know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World? We also were told to invite a member to share a message or their testimony through social media to someone they thought of while they heard our message. Well I didn't think too much about the talk, but it really made me reflect on my conversion to the Book of Mormon. First up to speak in Zone Conference was Sister Vassau along with six others. Haha, sometimes I can sense these things, but this time I didn't. Well the Spirit helped me and I really am grateful I got the chance to bear my testimony that just as I know Christ lives & sacrificed for us, the Book of Mormon is true and all things in it point to him. I had many people say really nice things to me. I don't exactly remember everything that was said at this meeting, but I do remember the feelings I had. I was PUMPED. Ha, I just felt like THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE WORLD! I want to go share it with all of NY and I need to use it more. Have it always with me. It's the sickle. We did some role plays and the New York 2 minute conversation. I know if you take just 5 minutes every day reading it you will resist temptation, be happier, find strength, perspective, and your testimony of Jesus Christ will grow.  It's the best.  It's the place to find peace. You really do have to ask yourself if you are having your own experiences with that book. 

President Smith is incredible. He has an amazing way with the spirit and goes on and on about such inspired things. He talked a lot about "Our Vision." If we don't have a vision for our lives we won't end up reaching our potential. "I choose to bring myself closer to that goal or away, that choice is mine." Our vision for using Facebook is to help people "Come unto Christ" in our specific areas. Social media is my favorite. I'm guilty. I'm really excited to get it, just because I've always felt you can make such an impact on people with using it for good. "Flood the world with Goodness." That is really the reason missionaries have it. It was so cool because when President was called to the New York New York North mission he was told he was called here for many reasons. He is young and he gets technology. He does have a Twitter and he does use hashtags. Haha, well we talked about how Facebook has these gated communities that not everyone can get into, that is why members are so key. We are making a focus on member missionary work. 

The Lanier's got confirmed on Sunday and also were given the Priesthood! They are going to the temple for baptisms next week and we get to go with them!! That will be two times going to the temple this cycle. Yayy. We were asked to teach in Relief Society too. First official time teaching so I was a little nervous. Not much time to prepare, but it went GREAT!! It was on the talk "Returning to Faith." We really allowed the spirit to be there. The talk is all about focusing on what you do know, the gospel is simple and Heavenly Father will never leave us alone if we have questions. Later that day we went with the Lanier's to a member's home that  live in this little cute cottage. I love the style of it and the cute graphics. Brother Palmer and Stratford are graphic designers that work in the city for the company Case. They do a lot with Mormon videos and things for the church. They say a lot of Mormons actually work and intern there. That could be me!! Oh and Brother Simmons! He has been to our house in Carlsbad to watch a UFC game! Connections!! We taught the Restoration and there was quite the big audience. I'm grateful the spirit was there, because when the spirit is there I feel successful and happy. Happy happy day. 

I had a split with Sister Ralston, a new missionary. We found this girl that has so many challenges, more than I can fathom. I just felt much love for this 14 year old that has gone through things no 14 year old should go through. Wow. She wants to change her ways so bad, but needs help. She was introduced to drugs at a young age. I love her and want to help her change her heart so badly. She was our miracle this day! I am so anxious to go back. 

It's amazing out here the things you can accomplish as you give it all to Him. It is better to grow, than to not be progressing and becoming closer to Heavenly Father anyways! 

I love you guys. I am happy everyone is officially starting up school. Hearing all the updates make me laugh and smile. Doin great things out there in SLC. I have been praying for you all. I went to the Manhattan temple today!!! I love the city. AH it's amazing. Have fun this week & work hard in school. I am so grateful for my family. You guys are all the best examples to me. 

LOVE, Sister Vassau

August 19, 2015

The First Baptism Experience

School has arrived in Utah?? This is crazy. I'm really looking forward to school starting here, because that means Fall is closer and Fall is the greatest of all the seasons. Looking forward to living here for different seasons. Some days the heat isn't bad, but this week was toasty. 

So for this week. The highlight of course was...Lanier's baptism = :):):):) 

I am smiling big just writing about this day. A wonderful spirit was with us all day. Those sweet feelings of peace, joy, excitement. THE SPIRIT. Seeing Miguel baptize his family would have to be one of the highlights. He did an AWESOME job. He told us what a good experience it was for him. He never thought he would be able to baptize his family after he just got baptized. He was humbled by it. He gave them each a big hug afterwards that put a smile on everyone's face. 

The missionaries of the Westchester 1st ward, Elder Casper, Elder Kuo, Sister Gardner, and I sang "Come, come ye Saint", the Elder's last minute idea... We are NOT singers....It's the heart that matters anyways. Before, Jeff stood outside and listened to us as we practiced. Jeff is so sweet. Jeff about didn't come up when he went under the water. Oops!! Everything was perfect! 

Something that was said in one of the talks was to not live below our privileges as members who have the gift of the Holy Ghost. I liked that. That night they were all so happy. We just sat and talked about how they felt about the day. I think they felt so much peace. They finally made it! We also talked about how as missionaries and investigators, we feel like we know that person. The first time I came in their home, as well as Sister Gardner, we felt like we knew them. Rebecca feels like there are people who we absolutely have met before this life that are waiting for us to share the gospel with. People saying, "come find me." I loved that she thought about that and feels so grateful that her friends found her and helped her. The night before the baptism we went on a beautiful walk in Terry Town, the Rockefeller Center. 

Funny story. I don't really know what to think of it. 
So we had to go to Target to get some things for the Lanier's baptism. We go to check out and this lady asks us if we are Christian. She seemed so sweet and sincere! She said she has been praying because she just needs groceries to feed her kids and her friend left her. They are out of work. As she talks about how it was God's will that we were there she starts crying. Immediately I freeze and remember how a member gave me money to help someone and I said, "I can help you out." not knowing that we aren't exactly suppose to...I just thought it would be nice.. Uh,  I ended up buying some of this woman's groceries who begged us afterwards for money for a ride home...Well, I hope she was grateful!! 

Earlier this week we got a call from a man in Newburg. He said he works for an older woman that has become a close friend who he helps out around her house. Her name is Maeva and she has lots of questions about our church!! We drove right over there and met them both. We sat down and just talked about everything. She thinks we are some very interesting people. I guess we are pretty different. She had very interesting questions, mostly about what we do as missionaries. Maeva is so sweet!! Her home is new and beautiful. She gave us a tour on her elevator. We went back on Tuesday and had dinner with her. She is lonely and wants that company, but is very interested! 

Lisa Roberts told us we have a nice way of inviting her to do something. We extend it with love. 
This made me feel good. I am trying to work on being more bold, but with LOVE. Boldness with love is never over bearing. I always say it. LOVE is what it's all about. I know my love for people will deepen on my mission. I also know my love for my Savior will deepen. Pray for Love! 
You will be amazed by how you can start to love someone with a love you never thought you could. Moroni 7: 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. 

Today I had my first Stew Leanord's experience. That place is the best grocery store ever!!! 
Have a good week everyone!
Have a good first day of school little Sass. EVERYONE be sure to keep an eye out for this cutie in the halls of Cwood. Love you guys.

Sister Vassau 

August 12, 2015

Miracles and More Miracles

TWO month mark, Ah 

My companion hits her half way mark today. Ah

9 months!!!

How is everyone doing?? 

Great week. Here are the DETAILS. Mom I know you love details. Ily <3 Saturday night we went street contacting on Menerinick Lane and let me tell ya we met some very interesting people, many of them were the "usuals" we see all the time. Manerinick is right by us in White Plains and is filled with bars, pizza places, and bakeries. It's where most the people are! This night we tried to just talk to everyone because earlier was rejection.  We found many people to talk to.  You know how President Smith told us to find our Jesus...

Well, homeless Jeff on the guitar told us HE FOUND HIS JESUS!! He had sister Gardner take a turn and he invited her to be in his band..crazy Jeff.  A couple people just stopped us..homeless Stephanie stopped us and wanted a family home evening pamplet. She wanted to know where to get this specific one and also told us she was going to make us our own missionary rule book because she was worried about us...(missionary handbook?) but she was nice. Oh and Brandon. We see him every now and then. He told us "he's the brother of Jesus, Duke Almighty!! Then went off about Nazi Germany and told us listen! listen! you can hear him...???" Ohhh dear. What wonderful and unique individuals you find out and about while street contacting. 

Our friend Peter in our apartment said to us the other day, "Hey guys, you home for lunch? Don't eat too much it'll make you fat!" Wise words from Peter. He has asked us maybe 5 times this week if we shop at Bed, Bath, and Beyond because he has coupons. Haha.

Monday was incredible. One of the best days on the mission. One of those days that's just rewarding. I studied Joy that morning and it was JOY! Miracles all day. I guess that is just part of doing the Lord's work, but they were all so obvious.  

Miracle #1. The Elders gave us a referral for a girl they met named Alexis, only they put the wrong address.... Elders.... So we ended up taking a while to find this house, but we did and her sister, Ashley, was there instead. We showed her the "He Lives" video and she just smiled. She told us she really needed that. She said I think you were here today for me, not Alexis. How cool is that!? She has felt hopeless this week. She works from 6-12 so seeing her will be hard but we will try to find her at a good time again. 

Miracle #2.  As we tried to find a less active we ended up knocking doors the neighborhood down. I felt really good about this neighborhood and we were kind of just using up some time before a dinner appointment. After knocking our last door and not talking to anyone really we walked across the street to a man in his car that was starring at us. He asked us what this was all about and we told him our purpose. We played "Because of Him" and he liked it, but said he's Catholic. He said, "You're Mormon!" He said he would actually like to come check out our church, before we even invited him! We told him about the baptism Sunday and he is going to try to bring his family!! 

Miracle #3. At our dinner appointment. 8:00PM hit and we thought we should probably go before we had to call it a night because we remembered Courtney! Courtney lives in the projects. If we hadn't left at that specific time we wouldn't have met miracle tres. We went to Courtney's and she wasn't there so another girl Geralda popped in our head. We walked to the other project building and a girl held the elevator for us. We asked her if she was having a good day and she said, "no!" no... What? We told her we have an uplifting video for her (yes we use these videos all the time. They are powerful) and she said yes that is what she needs. She said how crazy it was that she met us because she has had the worst day. No hope, she could barely get out of bed his morning and she feels like she just can't do it anymore. She is NINETEEN!! We gave her a hug and told her of God's love. She thanked us for the Book of Mormon and then we met with her yesterday and she already read the intro and thought a lot about it. Jamila is such a sweetheart. Who knows what would have happened if we weren't there, if we didn't open our mouths in the elevator, and if Courtney was there. That was a learning experience for me because sometimes I just don't open my mouth. The Lord sent us to those people because this is HIS work. He knows his children. He is preparing hearts. How rewarding is that for a Monday!?

I feel very grateful the Lord trusts me in this area, especially with the Lanier family. They have become near and dear to my heart as I have gotten to know them more. Rebecca gives the best hugs, Jeff tells us to stop wearing make-up and tells us we are his sisters/ trainers and calls us "his teachers." Haha they are so easy to love, but I definitely can see why when you get to love someone, your desires for them to have the gospel changes. I am so excited for their baptism. At first I thought it was awesome, but I'm really feeling the joy that baptism and missionary work is as I am learning the importance of loving those you teach. They are so ready. They may have investigated the church for over a year, but this really is the Lord's timing for them, because now their hearts are firm and they are actually excited about the decision. As their faith has grown, fear has been replaced with excitement. And then I've just been thinking, "WHY ME!?"  Why does the Lord trust me to help them right before and why do I get to be a part of this joy and excitement? He is wanting me to feel that slice of joy that can come to a family as they turn their lives over to Heavenly Father. Wowza. I am blessed! Sunday will be a happy day for them, as well as me. 

Quote about Patience I love.. (still praying for patience over here!!) 
If you pray, if you talk to God, and if you plead for the help you need, and if you thank him not only for help but for the patience and gentleness that come from not receiving all you desire right away or perhaps ever, then I promise you that you will draw closer to him.”

Some times I feel like this is the story of my life. Wondering when will I be done with this challenge, when will HE let me get a break, when will I feel comfortable in all I do.. Maybe never??? UGH. Well I do know that challengs of life bring us to our knees and bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. That is something I KNOW because I have experienced it mucho mucho. Hahaha Working on my Spanish still. Thank goodness I am not a Spanish sister. Tender mercy. Still working on Somos misioneras de las Iglesias de Jesus Christo de los santos de los ultimos dias.. Hahahah struggles 

Well, that's about all.

Enjoy the last few weeks of sweet summer!

August 5, 2015

The Scar Sisters

WOAH. Today we spent the day in Ossining for transfers! The new missionaries are here!!! We drove by them yesterday as they drove to the mission house. I was thinking.. HEY.. That was JUST me, driving to the mission home all anxious. Feels good to have a foot in now and I made sure to give all those cute sisters big hugs because I loved that about my first transfer meetings. I met sister Brecken who just got here, so cute!! We were friends on Instagram and we instantly clicked! We will for sure be close friends and email. Hopefully we can serve together at some point!! 2 Sister's in this mission graduated from Cottonwood same year as Park and Mads, which is cool. I am staying in Scarsdale with Sister Gardner, which I already knew. I need her too much. We are getting a new roomie/Hermana today so we have been like deep cleaning our place. 

Transfers-- Presidents Smith:
-"Be yourself, the Lord called YOU!" 
You can help others with the things you've been through. 
-"One day our hearts will skip a beat when we hear/see New York. Because of the love we have & relationship we will gain with the Lord. Find your Jesus!" 
-What will you do today to help someone else, what will I do today to come closer to Christ. Forget about the other things the world confuses us with. 
-" Take it up to the Lord. I'm here!! What would you have me do.  Check in with the Lord. Ask him why you are in Scarsdale. There is a reason!" 

This week was a little bit of a blur for me. 
Friday morning we saw a miracle. We drove a ways away to go look up a media referral and it was this vacant yellow building. Sister Gardner was ready to leave. This time I just felt like we need to go talk to this family that was a little ways away in the parking lot. They were half way in their car so I didn't know if we should. I had the thought a couple times so we went over. I now know I need to be way more confident with subtle promptings because BAM! The dad, Immanuel, was who we needed to talk to that day. The family was from Ghana, but lives Upstate in the Utica mission. He told us that 4 missionaries have come by to see him before. They were actually trying to see him next week because he had so many questions. He is a good man and dad, I could just tell he loves God. This man had a lot of deep questions about the church's history. Not many I could really answer. He was so nice and respectful. We just bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and about Joseph Smith. I felt really peaceful as we talked to him. I told him that I know God places us in people's paths and today it led us to him. 

Saturday we went tracting in VAHALLA! We love that place. We knocked on this door and the guy opened was different than people we usually talked to. Something felt good. We asked him inspired questions concerning prayer. At first he was totally closed off and told us he prays every night, but then slowly he began to open up more. He then told us he felt like God isn't even answering his prayers. We testified to him that God is aware of his needs and will answer his prayers! When we were about to leave he told us we were lucky he didn't tell us to buzz off like he does most people. We asked him why and he said it was because he "felt something when he opened the door." I love those moments when you truly feel like a representative of Jesus Christ. The confirmation of being where you are supposed to be is priceless! 

Sunday after lots of rejection we met sweet Susan. She was a miracle. She let us in and showed us her bird. 

Monday was a slow day. District meetings in the mornings are always really good. We discussed The Book of Mormon and how it, along with prayer, is a powerful way God communicates with us. I came out with a goal for myself to turn to the Book of Mormon whenever I'm feeling down/sad/discouraged. It has brought a lot of peace to my life. 

Tuesday the highlight was probably Sita! Sita doesn't have a baptismal date anymore but it's okay! We just had a lesson about how the Book of Mormon blesses us! The spirit was so strong!! I will take a picture of Sita soon 

We had a sisters lunch with all our Zone this week. Jessica who has us over every week catered for us all. She is such an awesome person. We love Jess a lot. Not only because she makes us yummy food every week, but because she takes on a lot. She donates and gives a lot to this safety home for kids and moms who are living there temporarily. This week we got to help her a lot with that. She wanted us to be apart of it. We went to her bake sale, helped her get items at Walmart, and then made sure it was all good to go. She is a really selfless person and has the cutest children. She does not have an easy life, but gives everything that she has. 

Dinner appointment of the week: The Treu's 
4 kids. I'm in love with each of them. 
Weston's (5 yrs old) dimples and smile are to die for. 
The lesson was "Why is Jesus Christ important to you?" 
Weston: "He feels my ouchies"
"I feel him in my belly" ( the Holy Ghost ) 
Aubrey: His example
Kids are PRECIOUS and there is nothing better than simple and pure prayers and answers about what matters most.

We got Thai food with President, William, and his friend Matthew (friends with the Hanson's)!!! <3 my favorite food 

I had my first Skype lesson with sister gardner's old investigator, Jazmin! She is in North Carolina right now. It went really well and The Spirit was definitely there. The Lanier's were in South Carolina still this whole week so it felt different not going over there, but then we saw them Sunday. Their baptism is being moved back a week because most people will be gone that week in the ward. It will definitely be a big event. So many have been apart of their journey here. Miguel is baptizing his family and has been going out with the Elder's knocking doors. How cool would it be if he served a mission. I think he is definitely thinking about it. Miguel is VERY flirtatious, so yea.... I need to learn how to act when that happens. Some people here are just been very blunt & complimentary and I just smile! 

This new transfer will be AWESOME. We are going to work hard & hopefully see more little miracles. I hope summer is great and that everyone is having lots and lots of fun. 

Love you guys! 

Love, Sister Vassau