September 23, 2015

The Big Apple

What a fantastic week. I've been so happy. So happy:) It's so hard to write out how I'm feeling and the rich experiences I'm having. Words just don't do it. I'm convinced Sister Eastman and I are the same person, but different. We are twins my friends. We are sooo much a like and both really just want to be DILIGENT!!  I feel like we both just do things similar & it's great. That's when missionary work is so fun. She is one of the best people, so kind, so much fun, and has such a good energy. I love her so much. We got asked about 6 times this week if we're sisters!! I'll take it. 

This morning we went apple picking in the beautiful fields of Stuart's Farm with a couple cute families in our ward. We even picked up Lauren, our Mission President's daughter. I guess it's an east coast thing. We got a big thing of apples and the best donuts eva. Such sweet moms and their kids. SO MUCH FUN!! So I guess this week we will be making apple sauce,  apple pie,  apple cider, anything APPLE so if you have any recipes please send them over. 

We had a pretty crazy week. We have been so busy and I love the feeling of being exhausted at the end of the day. It seems like we have so much work to do! There are really good things happening here. So many golden people we have found that we love. We also had some really weird things happen this week that really showed us the Lord works in mysterious ways. But first, we actually tracked "BeyoncĂ©'s" house... We were laughing so hard. Hahaha! We just thought she needs the gospel too?? I think we were the first brave souls to do it... A man that was not BeyoncĂ© answered the door and denied the BOM. We're convinced it's one of her cousins or something.... HA!  Okay so,   we went to go look up a potential investigator in this apartment building. She wasn't there so we knocked that floor and the floor down. We got to this one and there was a cute rug (things we notice) so Sister Eastman said, "This one will be a good one!" So this girl answers and immediately lets us in to sit down. She was so nice.  She was studying lots so she had sticky notes everyone in her house! Everywhere. She starts talking and said that last week she was praying really hard because she felt so lonely and then this week she got a call and someone proposed to casual.. She's Muslim! Well she is thrilled and she'll get married in the next month. Anyway. She said that sister missionaries have met her before and she has talked with them about the similarities of our religions. There are actually many with the Muslim religion. They are very religious and devoted people. She is such an intelligent and interesting person. We introduced the Book of Mormon and told her what it is. She said she was going to read it and was quick to give us her skype account and phone number without us even asking for it. She said we can Skype each other and talk about it. We left her place and put her in the area book and her name was already in the area book!!!! Whaaat. Hahahaha Super cool. Out of all people in White Plains. Interesting! 

Another interesting thing was meeting with Tika in the morning and discovering that a less active we were going to ask her about had passed away a few days before. Not really sure the story. It was really strange how she told us.. As we went to go visit a potential investigator, Jaquai & Betsy, a car pulled up and he said he knew us. He told us Annie Bell, Tika's mother in law was his mom. That was so random we met him that day... Then we connected all the dots. On Sunday, we asked Annie Bell about her son and she said he was baptized as well. We gotta find out about his family!!! Oh yes. And Sunday was so good because our less active Lakeshia Brown we have been working with came to church for the blessing she received! She's having a baby in 2 weeks!!! Whaooo baby Jezoly. Cotton was at church, as well! We found so many of the people we planned to see & had a thought to see this week.  They were there.  What a big blessing! 

Couple fun things we did: 
-Service on Saturday morning-- breakfast on Ferris. We made chocolate chip pancakes for around 200 people. We are now great at making them, but it came with some trial and error. We were laughing so much.
-We went to a baptism on Saturday night for the Spanish branch because the Hermana's asked us to right before. Sister Eastman on the piano. She does not play the piano. We sang a musical number. Who woulda thought I would be singing so many musical numbers. Those expensive singing lessons when I was younger are really paying off!!! The spirit helped us sing beautifully, of course. 
-We went and checked out this community college that we are going to start spending time.  We got talking to this woman sitting by us as we waited. She told us when we left that she knows we meet people for a reason. I loved the atmosphere at the college! Discovering great ways to find people, especially as Fall comes around and General Conference is near. We have been handing out General Conference cards! 

It's amazing the change that can happen in your heart as you do all you can for the people in your specific area. You start really caring about them and wanting to do all you can to help them progress in the Gospel. I feel that change and it's only through the Savior. He makes that space in our heart's bigger. When we come unto Christ he helps us change our hearts. I was able to be in the President's home last night as they welcomed two new missionaries into the mission. We were also asked to stay for the testimony meeting. What a wonderful spirit was there. I just thought about myself in the short time I've been here. Growth! And instead of seeing things as a sacrifice, they are a huge blessing. Serving the Lord is such blessing. This work is amazing! I am so grateful for my testimony. It's the most important thing we can have. To KNOW. It's something I hold dear and that I am trying to share more freely. 

I love you guys!!!!
Have a fantastic week and BE DILIGENT IN ALL THINGS!! 
Love, Sister Vassau

September 16, 2015

Celebrating a Week of Surprises

It's been a week full of birthday miracles. We celebrated Sister Gardner's birthday all weekend with birthday cake and ice cream. Sister Gardner got sang to I think 6 times.

We got transfer calls and we did lots of missionary work!! President called us at night when it was pouring rain and we were driving on the Bronx River Parkway so we almost crashed because of excitement. I will be staying in Scarsdale and it's a big surprise who's coming in with me her last cycle on her mission. SISTER EASTMAN!!!!! Mom, she is the beautiful girl you told me about before my mission. Sister Eastman has served in Scarsdale before so she is actually coming back! She has been serving in South Manhattan as Sister Training Leader. We have been talking and we're practically twins. It's funny because some people in the area have told me I look like her and everyone just loves her. She grew up in Denver, Colorado then went to Lone Peak then to UVU for a year and wants to study graphic design as well. She has 9 siblings also and tried out for the tennis team in high school too. Hahaha Those are just a few things I have learned about her. She is awesome. So cool. I know she is going to strengthen this area once again with me and it will be such a great cycle. I'm so happy the Lord needs her here. Jessica, the recent convert loves Sister Eastman, so we have lunch with her today and we are going to surprise her soon. She will die!! Sister Gardner is going to New Rochelle, which is in our zone as Sister Training Leader with Sister Checketts. Shocker! So she will go on splits with me and get to come back to the Scars. Yay!! 

I know Heavenly Father knows exactly where He wants us and trusting in that gives me so much confidence.

I feel like a lot happened this week, but one that's harder to remember so forgive me for the lack of information. Word from the Lanier's is they are loving Utah and it's been raining lots. Good news everyone. FALL IS NEAR!! I can feel it in the air and it makes me so happy! Soup season. Sweater season. All things gooood. Being in Scarsdale for the Fall will be amazing. Sister Eastman keeps saying that this area is the best (her favorite), which I already knew, but I am just grateful to be able to serve in such a beautiful place with good people. 

I loved transfers today! The meeting was so spiritual once again. Some of the things said just confirmed to me the HE IS IN CHARGE. He really is. He knows all things, our Heavenly Father knows us, He knows what we can accomplish, what He can make of us if we allow HIM to. He has a plan for each of us. It's so important we listen to the voice of the Lord because it's real. We have to have faith, and a lot of times fear is what causes us to forget to just trust in him. There will be times when we will receive direct promptings and we follow them and things don't always work out, but Heavenly Father sees the reason for all things and the only one who sees the end. The end to a personal trial. There is just great things ahead for those of us who live the gospel. There is a whole bunch more happiness in store. Each step in this journey, my mission & just life in general are preparing us for what he has in store for us. HE HAS SO MUCH IN STORE because he loves us guys!! 

Isaiah 55: 8-9 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Our mission is doing a Book of Mormon challenge and trying to read it all together by December! I highly encourage all to jump on board and read it to feel the peace it brings. How much closer you will feel to our Savior as you read it every day! 

Love you guys! SO SO SO much. Sounds like football was the theme of the week. Football is cool, I guess! :)

Sister Vassau 

September 9, 2015

The End of 12 Weeks!

This week was good! 
I usually try to write my emails in the order of how the week went, so here it is!

I'm finally into my last week of 12 Week Training & I can't believe it! It went by way fast. I have learned a lot, now pray for Sister Vassau and Sister Gardner with whatever happens next. I'm sure it will be whatever I need to learn and do. 

Our thought this week was religion in New York is like pizza places in New York. They are everywhere, every corner!! I don't know which place is the real deal. Everyone has their own religion for the most part and you'd be surprised how many people don't agree to hear a message. It's sad that it is usually the humble people and places that are more receptive. So we just go where we feel prompted, but this week we did a lot of look-ups just trying to clean out the area book because we have so many potentials. Trying to find the people that were once taught before and it seemed like it was hard to find anyone, but we still taught people and were able to serve!

The Lanier's went to the temple guys!! How awesome is that? They made it and we got to be there with them this night. It was so special. I will always remember that peace that I felt and also that I know they felt. They loved the temple. This day was actually pretty crazy getting there. We started off the day doing what we could so they could take a family name to the temple. We have been working on family history a lot with them and we finally figured it out and got them each a name. We drove down there with them so we could make it to the temple in time to meet Brother Barlow. We have been thinking about every other thing, so we didn't think or know to make reservations to do baptisms. We are just Utah girls. We found this out on the way there and were stressin!! The next time we could go was 6 that night in order for there to be enough ordinance workers. This was the only time they could do it together as a family before Miguel leaves so we made it happen!! We went to dinner before and it all worked out. Nothing was more important than getting them there as a family! That's what I felt when we were in the temple. That is where they needed to be. I definitely grew more of an appreciation for family history and temple ordinances, because I did one of Jeff's family members and he was SO thankful. It was so sweet. Hahahaha Jeff almost drowned again. He'll get it down. I want you all to meet them. They are so awesome. They are going to be in Utah this week!!!!! AH We made them a "Lanier Utah Bucket List" and at the top was Cafe Rio, then the temple, and some other okay things.. They are going to love it! We are teaching their cousin Cotton still and he has been coming to church each week! Cotton is a gooood man. His big smile rocks as well. We had a lesson with him that was so spiritual one night and good things happened.

We taught primary for 2 hours Sunday. Who knew it could be such a struggle teaching primary on fast Sunday with gold fish. I wanted gold fish so badly.

Zone meeting this week was all about how we can be more consecrated and obedient. Because "it's the small and simple things are great things come to pass." They asked three questions for each of us to write down. Why am I here? What did I give up? What lack I? Yes, as a missionary you give up a lot, but there is so much more to give Him everyday. We all lack and sometimes just don't have the desire to give up some things, but as we ask Him for the desire and try to be unconditionally obedient we will see his hand and he will bless us. Matthew 19:26
A consecrated missionary is a repenting missionary. If someone is falling off that iron rod, pull them back on it. If someone is sleeping through the fire drill (or alarm clock), get them up!! Pick people up when they fall because we all fall at times! 

This week I am grateful for the Atonement, for the power it has as we apply it personally to our lives. I have felt this overwhelming feeling of God's love for me these past few days and I just want to share with you how I know that through our Savior we can change and be strengthened where we are weak. I know He loves us. I want everyone to feel it so I encourage you if you don't feel that love to pray to feel it. I know he is near and that we can overcome anything with his help. I love you each so much. 

One last thing!! I found this and wanted to share it. 
“Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if [we] choose to serve [God] this day.”

Always serve God first today and things will be better tomorrow!! 

Love, Sister Vassau

September 2, 2015

Cake Confusion and China Town

Well well well.. Guess what happened this week? 
Back to last week, it was late and we said a prayer in this project building about where to go. A little while later in the elevator (miracles happen in elevators) we met Luis. We went in his grandmother's apartmentt, thinking she was home and then rushed out after we found out she was not. Luis lives out of our area so we gave the zone leaders this man's address. They have met with him a couple times, he came to church, and he wants to get baptized!! How awesome it that? 

We had an APF, area proselyting focus, in White Plains this past weekend. We had some creative ways of showing that the Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul. Sister Gardner and I worked on the corner, held up signs, and handed out lifesaver mints. We didn't see too much success, but handed out a good amount of BOM's and threw some in these 2 boys cars. Success

We went on another nature walk with the Lanier's!! It was this beautiful countryside, which then led to this forest. New York is just filled with trees & bugs. At one point on our walk we just stopped and imagined Joseph Smith's first vision. The whole walk was so peaceful. We also ran into the same Asian lady we had met and talked to when we went the first time!!! She's been to Salt Lake. It was crazy in the fact that she doesn't go there often!! We shared another message. Rebecca is the one who remembered her face so she must be someone who needs the gospel! We also met Hillary's mom that night and turns out her uncle is Mormon. It seems like the people we have met recently have a connection or have been contacted by someone who Is LDS. Like they say, it usually takes people 7 contacts before they join the church. 

This is so funny. At least it was at the time. Friday's at the old folks center we get to see the sweetest people and everything is very organized. They can be pretty stubborn about their food sometimes. So Madonna insisted on giving us some of her birthday cake, which she wasn't suppose to. She left it on the table for us after we finished what we were doing..only an older man took the cake.. Madonna goes and hunts down the old man with our cake and she yells, "GIVE ME BACK MY CAKE!!!!" Really loud so everyone hears. Sister Gardner gave it back to him and then the person in charge says he can't have it and then things got heated. He wanted this cake so bad, but it got blown out of proportion. Hahaha I was dying. We ended up taking the cake home and gave it to Peder.

This quote helped me this week. 
" If you will be faithful, you have nothing to fear from the journey, The Lord will take care of his Saints." M. Russel Ballard 
          ALSO this scripture 
Alma 26:27 
That chapter is SO good, but this verse is also great! I come back to it again and again What scripture helped you this week?? 

I had a split with Sasster Checketts this week. She is so awesome. We had some good laughs. Love her. We met this lady named Betsy who is a doll. She teared up talking about the people in her life and things she is going through. Her husband is diagnosed with cancer. She says we can come by any time and talk to her!! She will prepare tea for us, maybe even a pizza and we can bring friends. HA! What a nice & humble lady. Then, her son came out! He has talked to missionaries before. He works for the government and went off about all sorts of interesting things. At first I was like. "Oh no... we are going to hear it." Wow! He is so intelligent and a loving dad and person, once we got to know him more. Super respectful, full of questions for us.. The gift of tongues is real people!!! We talked about the Restoration. He said it would take him 90 days to read the Book of Mormon. He wanted to read it and would research all about Joseph Smith. We just warned him about things he would find on the Internet and to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it! He is going to so we'll see what happens. We also had a lesson over Skype. That was a new thing for me! It's so cool the ways we can share the gospel. ALL sorts of ways through technology. Getting creative and thinking out of the box is important as well & it's a lot of fun! 

I am working on just seeing people for who they really are, feeling their pains, and expressing love. I love the people of New York. I can't do it all sometimes. Sometimes teaching something can be challenging, but I can choose to have charity. It's a promise if you love the person, you will know what to say.  We read that out of faith, hope, and charity. Charity is the greatest. 1 Corinthians would have to be one of my favorite chapters. If we don't do things with charity, like serve a two year mission or 18 months, it won't do ourselves any good. We have to do all things with the right heart. Your heart's desires are so important! They are everything to God. All your good won't benefit you personally if you don't allow yourself to take on Christ's very nature. Here are some of my thoughts for the week. 

For P-day today we ended up in the China town church building singing songs with the cute Sisters for their visitors. We came at a good time because we ended up at Elder and Sister Goo's home afterwards. Fun fun adventures today. 

Everyone has to tell me their highs & lows from their first few weeks of school!! I'm expecting it. It's really hard for me to write back people individually so be patient with me!! 

Love you, 

Sister Vass-u 

(what my trainer thought my last name was before my arrival. Also, President Morgan thought and told Sister Gardner I was from Fresno California. It was all resolved quickly) hahaha 

Me with Sister Wang