January 27, 2016

Walked Through the Blizzard

I've heard that the blizzard here was the worst one in a real long
time. I thought it was so fun!! We looked out our window in the
morning thinking it wasn't that bad... We still had appointments, but
most ended up cancelling. So we decided to walk to our church on
Lenox. We live on 116th and Pleasant. So we walked though this wild
blizzard. No taxis or trains were running. I couldn't stop laughing
because we kept singing press forward saints and I was wondering what
the heck we were doing. I was also thinking my trainee doesn't like me
right now, but she was happy and couldn't see anything. :) we got to
the church and I had icicles on my hair. Hahahaha then we did some
planning and calls and wow it was a long day of not being able to talk
to people. Later we looked up a less active and her daughter Adriana
who has not been baptized because they don't come to church. They are
so funny. Sister Staley met the funniest people this week, but that is
just every day in Harlem. I felt bad about some of the people who
stopped us on the street. Such rude and Vulgar things sometimes come
from their mouths. There are like fiery darts thrown at ya here, but I
find my self singing hymns in my head so much which is way cool. One
man did stop us and give us $20 and he didn't look like he had twenty
dollars to give. He would not let us give it back. He was sooooo cute
to us. He said it was from God.

Another crazy thing is I got us lost on the first night we were
together in the subways station and I think we were in the Bronx for a
sec. but we made it back and talked to a man who didn't understand us
at all from Africa and invited him to church. The lesson learned was
Heavenly Father helps me so much. He loves me because now I know the
area SO WELL. Easy. Everyone needs to get lost before they figure
stuff out right???  Figure life out?? Sometimes. Haha in my case yes.

This week was a hard one. And rewarding. Sandra Perez relapsed this
past week and it is really frustrating to her when she does. For us,
yes, but we understand the healing power of the atonement. She is
still morning the loss of her mom at times. Well not that that was
good but it got the whole family to come to church FINALLY. Even after
a storm. She wanted to take the sacrament. Church was combined at 1:00
for an hour.  It began with a fire alarm... Haha We had prayed so much
for them to come and the talks were about faith and failure. The best
part is Dayron who has not been in on the lessons is going to start
meeting with the elders once a week. They need your prayers! They are
wonderful people and if I haven't talked about Daniel yet. He is
special. He gives these prayers that are so incredible. He has gifts
of the spirit.

We looked up media referrals and met super cool people from that. I
love them because they request mostly Bibles but some of them are so
open. I feel like a lot of people here are super open and switch
around churches.

New York is now just a slushy mess. At first we were climbing
mountains and now it's puddles. Thankfully I followed a prompting to
buy snow boots last week. Heavenly Father is near and humbly coming
to him gives you so much added spiritual strength!!! I know this!!! He walks with us!!!

Love. Sister Kell Vassau!

January 21, 2016

Families are Forever

I had really meaningful experiences this week I want to share with you back home!! 
My mind has been a lot with my grandma kimball this week. 
I went to a funeral service this week that was baptist. A woman in our ward who we went to sing to a few times, Mary Barnes, passed away and she was the only member in her family. Walking into the funeral service sister Sam and I knew this would be an interesting experience to say the least. A journal entry kind of night for the Mormons girls in the room. Right before I was informed that sweet grandma was not doing well and she had only but a little time with us. 
I held back tears through that prayer. 
The meeting was a whole lot of hallelujahs and in their words "a party" 
Gospel music was sang loudly (Harlem gospel music is famous) and even a hip hop praise dance solo then a few scriptures read in the bible. 
The room was so loud I could hardly hear my own thoughts!! Or any communication coming from a loving Heavenly Father. I love Harlem. I love the religions and I love that they praised God, in all different forms. They trust in God. Good people filled the room, which showed me what kind of person Mary was. The bishop and a few others also sat by us! It felt different than any funeral I have ever been to.
I left this burning love for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!!! 

Monday came and I opened the Book of Mormon and read about the tree of life for someone named Moddestine, a recent convert. I love her!  I really love the people here in Harlem. They are special and sister Sam and I have been talking a lot about how Heavenly Father puts you with certain people at a time they need you. Everyone can do different things. I feel that sister Sam and I have been together for a couple people this transfer. Marie-France and the Perez family. I love that I can relate with others through my experiences. They have progressed so much in the time we've been together. Back to the scripture!! I read this on January 18th. 
1 Nephi 8: 12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
My study was spent looking at my families Christmas cards ( ha I do not always do that) which stand on my desk. Arriving at the chapel I knew that Heavenly Father welcomed home his daughter on her birthday! A sweet reunion. Our district meeting was on faith and we all shared tear filled testimonies on our love for our Savior's atonement. I felt the hour was comfort. It was a sweet tender mercy to me. The atonement is very real. 
It is so real it brought my troubles heart peace this week. I went back to the scripture I read in the morning about how the gospel (the atonement) is the most desirable thing one could want in this life. It is for me. Families are what matter most. The gospel blesses families. The plan of salvation answers our questions. It brings us the most peace that only He can give us. I want my family to all share this love because that is what will keep US together for time and eternity. That is why I'm here. I know trials are here as part of mortality to bring us closer to Christ. 
My prayers are with my grandpa this week and all my aunt and uncles. 
There is no sweeter joy than clinging to the Atonement. 

I know grandma is learning and blessing others around her right now!! She was given so many gift & talents and she knew how to use them. She is probably sooooooo HAPPY. CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW HAPPY SHE IS:)  SO HAPPY!

             Selfies with Sister Sam. She is headed to New Rochelle. I am going to miss her! xo
Add caption

This is my new companion that I am training. Her name is Sister Stahley is from Idaho and is a dancer, also! 

January 14, 2016

Happy Holland Day!

What a special week in the New York New York north mission. I love my
mission. I love being in New York. It has it's difficult things, but
everywhere does, that's life! It's loud and there are so many people
it's difficult for me to open my mouth sometimes, but it is so cool to
step out of the temple grounds or walk down Lenox and MILLIONS!!! (7
millions I think) all need truth and light! I understand more every
day why missions are hard and take all your heart, might, mind, and
strength. Elder Holland said it perfectly!!
"What we obtain too easily we esteem too lightly."
"Why is it suppose to be easier for us than it was for Him,
Jesus Christ."

We had a special opportunity to have an apostle of God come talk to
only us this past week in the Lincoln Sq. Building. For me it was cool
to step off the 65th Station and see missionaries everywhere rushing
in with prepared hearts and minds!! I sat on the front row by Sister
Sam, Savannah, and Lauren and could see eye to eye Elder Holland
speaking of such sacred and eternal truths!! The room was so reverent.
he shook each of our hands because he could then see how we are doing.
Many things were said I could share, but I will share only some of the
things that were meaningful for me.

He spoke about how this is the last & final dispensation. The most
important work in the universe is the salvation of a human soul. He
talked about visions and knowing who we are. How we can NEVER GO BACK!
no matter how good things were, we believe in eternal progression.
What has stuck with me so much is how much love he just expressed to
us. Out of all the things, he said that the mot important thing he
would say is how "I do love you." How much he appreciates us for being
I think that is exactly what Christ would say if he were here to teach us.
What was personal to me is when he talked about how those that love us
back home are praying their hearts out over us. How we have those
kinds of people. And I DO have those kinds of people. I have an
incredible family and a support group back who no matter what are
praying and thinking of me. That gives me so much strength knowing
that.. you all have no idea.
So "YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to damage the image of a missionary!"
Mission changed. So many things!!! The feelings are hard to describe
in an email home.

I don't know what would have made my week any better than that! It was
a really awesome week for the work in Harlem. We were really busy
running from one thing to another.  I felt like we did so much
walking. My legs always hurts. Haha I feel like I'm still dancing
again but then I'm so inflexible it's amazing.. I did teach my
roommates how to do ballet this week. Almost graceful!

We found quiet a few people this week by our efforts to find and look
people up. I am convinced that when we plan somewhere to be and we
tell the lord there is always a reason why we are there. We looked up
a media referral where we actually came back at a later time and the
door next to her was a man who came out and asked us if we are from
Utah. He lived in Provo and went to UVU! He said he will come to
church. Things like that always happen!

We also had an awful experience this week when the spirit was not with
us. There is this woman who wanted to have an appointment with us who
has a really strong personality. As we sat down all she wanted to do
was show us her homework for bible study. We weren't able to share
anything nor could we without the spirit in the room then she goes and
turns on Son of God and practically forces us to watch parts of this
movie. We had to tell her we needed to go.
Something I love is how the spirit is so much stronger in what the
church puts out and not in what the world creates. It was amazing to
me how so clearly I can feel if certain people carry with them the
spirit. The spirit does not dwell in unholy places!!

I will be training a new missionary next transfer here in Harlem. What
a huge responsibility and an opportunity to stretch and love and work
hard,,, like STRETCH A LOT, and a lot!!!!

Thank you again for "praying your hearts out" for me. I am doing the
same for each of you. I love you all. I know this gospel is true and
life is not easy but it's so good and worth it to follow our Savior.

Love, Kell
Sister Vassau

January 7, 2016

Closer to Christ

Hola mi familia 

I went on a Spanish slip yesterday and I failed. I was honestly amazed I went though lessons without understanding a sliver. nothing! But we got fed the yummiest food! 

Let's see. This week the city got COLD. Finally, winter has come and I've been doubling up on everything!! 

As I have focused my studies more on the Restoration this week I have seen how each time we teach, Heavenly Father brings an increase of ability to teach it more clearly and understanding to my mind and to others. I love how God prepares people overtime with understanding when they really do pray, study, keep the commandments. We taught the Restoration to Marie-France again and this time things just clicked more for her after 6 months. 
Marie-France is amazing. She is from Haiti (like so many others here) and she is a happy and sassy woman. I love her. Her son Jivvy is the only one who comes to church with her right now. She stopped taking lessons for a while, but now wants us to actually come to her apartment. She also has been translating French for the YSA sisters. Another great thing is we have been trying to get this dad, Troy and son, Troy to come to church. (They remind me of the dad and son in pursuit of happiness. The mom left and Troy always takes Troy Jr to ChuckECheese.) :) they are sweet. They have come to church now 2 weeks in a row and enjoy it!! 

We had an APF where we asked everyone their New Years goals and "How will you come closer to Christ this year!" 

The bishop in this Ward is so awesome, younger man. He is so compassionate and Christ-like. He had us for dinner this week. They have almost 5 kids and live in this tiny little apartment. 
Talk about LOVE.

A couple things from this week that made us LOL.  We were warned by a true harlemite how God is justice and that we better be careful what we are teaching because she doesn't want us to turn into old ladies and say to her I told you Betty. She was pretty positive we worshiped Mormon. Another thing. One second I was with sister Sam right behind her hoping on the subway, next thing I know it she is on the subway I am not and doors CLOSE. Through the glass we looked at each other without being frantic and just laughed. Ahh it was awful and I was ALONE!!! I felt super uncomfortable being alone. Of course I said a prayer in my heart after waiting a while for the next one to come and the first person on that subway was an investigator name Vinny who looked at me very confused. Hahaha! Thankfully, he kept me company until I was back with Sister Sam. 

This has been my personal favorite scripture this week. Helaman 5:12-- So many things pulling for our attention. How can we stay focussed, pure, and happy without our Savior to look to every day. We have to build our foundation on Christ if we want to come out with strength and confidence in this crazy world we live in. One thing we can count on are our own mists of darkness. The points and moments I have felt darkness or sadness here I have been able to see the strength and depth of my testimony of Jesus Christ and the gospel. It only gets stronger when they come. That is what a mission has definitely done for me. I so am grateful for the Atonement!! I am grateful for daily repentance. For the chance to feel The power of Gods love in the moments I feel are the hardest. << 12 And now, my sons (daughter :) ), remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.>> 

There is someone really special coming to our mission this weekend. I will share more next week. I feel so privileged to be serving here at this time.