March 30, 2016

God is Good...all of the days!

Someone said that on the street this week and we've been saying it too
:) (he is;))

I hope you all had a great week and Easter.
Easter Sunday we had so many people at church. Love that! There were
so many kids. it got so loud. Haha Daniel was sitting next
to us and kept turning around and getting frustrated.. Hahaha I love
that about our Church. We love reverence, but we also love little kids
and want them to learn to feel the spirit at a young age so we let
them sit through sacrament meeting and teach them and it makes moms
super anxious. :/ That's been a big concern here with some less active
moms we work with. That is the reason Bernadette Latimere does not
come each week. Her and others have lots of children so the ward
has really tried to embrace getting them here and having others help
them. The sacrament should be experienced as a family! It was also CJ
Latimere's baptism and confirmation this weekend so their family was
all there. At last!! We have been working on that the whole time I've
been in Harlem. The baptism was awesome. Only the Elders, right before,
told us the water was yellow... Gross. CJ didn't mind. He said that
was the water Jesus was probably baptized in too!

Sister Smith, Lauren, and her friend from Brooklyn came to Harlem to
join in on an APF.  I haven't seen Lauren in so long!!!! I was so
happy to have them in Harlem. Lauren and her friend handed out
Hallelujah cards with us in front of the church. Who could say no to
those two? It's always humbling. Afterwards they took us to Harlem

Our sweet sweet member helped our investigator Stephanie understand
the second two hours of church are optional... OH DEAR. Stephanie was
happy having heard that. (... & That's why so many people here leave
after Sacrament!!)

I love Sister Stanley (the name she has been given by everyone in
Harlem). Haha This week she taught me this Book of Mormon song and she
makes sure I know it during comp studies. What would I do without her?

Every Tuesday we do service at the New York common pantry. We usually
bag things for them, like cabbages so we call ourselves the cabbage
girls. We are trying to find more opportunities for service because
service is just so good. If ya haven't heard go check out JUSTSERVE!!
Service is really living the gospel.

In Harlem, I am learning how to really live the gospel, which is
faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.
I love this definition of faith.. "Faith is a strong belief that
motivates a person to act"
Faith in Jesus Christ is more than a passive belief in Him.. It is
ACTION! Then it leads us to have a desire to be a better human, to
truly & sincerely repent.
"As you repent, you will experience a change of heart. You will no
longer desire to sin"
You can feel peace, comfort, and joy again!
We can have new life in Jesus Christ like when we were baptized when
we take the sacrament! That is such a blessing. Be careful what you
are doing with your time so that having the Holy Ghost becomes first
priority in your life.
I have just met a lot of people who feel so much guilt. It's really
sad.  Which is why many New Yorkers tell us all their problems,
because they see our name tags and know we can help them as a
representative of Jesus Christ. That is cool.
I know when we are honest to Heavenly Father in our short comings, he
can help us, through his Atonement and the help of others. It's
difficult for me to ask for help, but I know it is a way to become
better & stronger. This, I am learning.
I'm looking forward to praying about some questions I have for
Heavenly Father. Through prophets we can receive answers.

I love you people. You all are such a strength to me here. Thank you!!
Love, Sister Vassau

March 23, 2016

Such a GREAT Week!

Here is my week!!! (Sorry it's long) read it all if you will!!!

There was an African American Genealogy Conference at the Harlem
chapel that we helped out with on Friday. We found someone on the
street that came so that was pretty cool.

Sunday night we didn't reach our goal we set to have members to come
to lessons so the Elders gave us this girl Elizabeth and we found out
there was a member in her building so thankfully she comes with us
right before and Elizabeth is the most prepared person and wants
to get baptized and the member wa a perfect match for her
because she is a convert too. It was the coolest.

So do you remember the huge bouncer I told you about?  We went 
to his moms funeral. Well this is really sad news, but he passed 
away last week. We went to his families little viewing and showed 
our support. This is really sad, but it's cool he was able to learn about 
the gospel right before this all happened. We were able to give 
Hallelujah cards to one of his cousins who passed
them out to a lot of the families. He is with his mom now!

We had such a happy, spirit filled lesson with Marie-France last
night. I was with sister Terry. We showed her Peter walking on water
and she was so cute. Hahaha she was like getting all tight and
giggling because she didn't want Peter to fall. Haha we talked about
doubts, fears, all those good things we feel. We read 2 Nephi 31:
10-12 with her, talked about baptism and prayed with her on our kneels
about the date of April 9th. She's the most ready person. She was so
cute. Ah she said the prayer. They're long and she says them in
Creole. All I could understand was she asked for faith like 3 times.
For some reason that woman thinks she lacks faith.

We had zone study & interviews with President this week. He just
really cares for each of us. I love him for his love and the spirit he
always has to council with us. A few things he says often. Don't
settle for average!!!! Raise your vision! It's the small and simple
things that bring you to Christ and the small things that take you

Something I love about my mission is the culture. Understanding values
and the way people have been raised back in their own countries and
learning from them! There are some values I hope to look past, haha
(so many...)  but there are such faithful and loving people all over
the world who come to Harlem. So I feel like I see a lot of different
side to people... (Sometimes scary) ask me about one that happened
this week one day..... One example of this is Sister Benson who is a
less active we have found this week, which I don't know why she is
less active, she's absolutely amazing and her heart is gold. She is
from Liberia and has been through her own heart aches and challenges
like loosing her best friend/ dad and having miscarriages. She has
taken on the role to be a mom to other children. She is a nanny for
members of the church all over New York. Everyone loves her and wants
her to work for them full time. Right now she is working up in
Connecticut. She had us over for dinner this week and showed us all
her kids. Her favorite aspect of the gospel is love. I can actually
relate to her on that one. Love is my motive. She has been through the
temple and wants help to get back there soon so she'll have to figure
out the work part. I love her. She was so kind to us! I want her to
make it back there. This week I have had a lot of thoughts about my
motive for being on a mission. Everyone has to have motivation for
their goals. Obviously the temple can be our biggest motive and goal
for our life. Each person comes on a mission for various different
reasons, and I have asked myself again, what was that reason? For me I
love Jesus. I feel a great love for Gods children and KNOW the gospel
can make all who live it truly happy.. But for me, I want to serve
because I know that full-time service can help me be the best person,
mom, and wife I can be. I know the veil is thin for our loved ones,
before and after. I have seen my mission put me through challenges
already that i wouldn't exactly envision for myself, but that I know
Heavenly Father needs me to feel and experience for a reason. I am
grateful I can put my life and goals in his hands.

We have found 6 new less actives in the past few weeks. In Harlem--
I have found a love for working with less actives. There is a
pattern of people being too busy with work or lazy to come to church.
I have found that super frustrating, but it is only building my
testimony that when we keep the commandments we are blessed in all
things. What's important to us is important to God and when we do what
he asks he will provide in other areas of our life. We went to go look
up a vernice and it was so cool because when we came to the building a
boy walked in with us.. He was a darker shorter man with Down
Syndrome. He walked to the same door we were going to. He knocked
three times and no answer.. Obviously we were there to show him the
Easter initiative. He silently watched it and I couldn't help but
think he was special and that through Jesus Christ he can find new
life some day. All will be made perfect through Christ. Then!! Vernice
opens the door. We sit down and can feel the pain she is going
through. I feel that most people go through really hard things here..
And they aren't truy happy to me. We asked her if there is something
we can pray for and she told us her daughter and granddaughter. Tears
just filled her eyes and through that prayer she just cried. Ah. She
hugged me and told me I have a really good spirit about me. It made
me really happy.

Sorry this email is a bunch of words and getting sooo long. A lot just
happened this week. It was so good!!

I love you guys. Have a good week and go outside. So many beautiful
things to see and feel.

Love, Sister McKell Vassau!

March 16, 2016


Hi! Ah man weeks go back so fast here. Especially in the
city...Everyones is so fast pace. Tid bits of miracles happening this
week as we share the beautiful video #Hallelujah. One was on the
subway. A sweet man offered us his seat. Then later at the bus stop we
smiled and waved to him. As we hopped on the same bus I knew we had to
stop to share this video with him. Robert is this tender Puerta Rican
who was so moved by the video. He said, "you will most likely see me at
church on Sunday!" :) Oh, he was cute. That was such a small and simple
act of kindness and it led to another good thing. I went on a fun
split with Sister Heeder, (Sister Training Leaders/ China town sister)
we live with. We street contacted outside of Columbia, which is
actually just right outside our area.  We shared Hallelujah in all different
ways on the subways. We have these amazing speakers we just play 
the video and give our iPads to people to hold. Haha It's perfect. 
Everyone is on their phones anyways these days!

Things are going so good with Sandra and Daniel. Sandra just keeps
fighting for their family to stay together. We were over in their home
on Monday after a few weeks of not having lessons. She gets so tired
after work. Together they prayed about a baptism date and came up with
April 15th. She understands she needs to put more effort into coming
to church Sunday she just is exhausted after a long week of work and
so she is trying to get everything done on Saturday to be able to be
there. She found the solution to her own problem! Their hearts are so
good. Daniel is the most tender human. Love that boy. They are so
ready. Sandra is just trying to cut coffee and some other things out
of her life. We introduced her to the addiction 12 step program from
the church and she was really excited about that. Many people could
really benefit from that program here. Sister Staley and I have even
thought about going through it with her, and Melissa!

Missions are really great at showing you everything you're good at and
a lot more of what you're not good at, I feel at least. I feel tender
feelings for my Savior. I have felt this week that Jesus Christ has
before felt my pains. I heard something this week that was how God
loves broken things. Jesus Christ fixes broken things. There are many
things I think I can fix on my own or figure out all by myself, I
don't need any help... but missions/life always reminds us, that Is
not the case! We can't do it alone!! We don't have to. I know Jesus
Christ is my Savior and the Redeemer of the world.

I was able to be in the temple today and I'm grateful for the
covenants we make in the temple. I just feel so much love there!!!
Everything is OKAY. Just go to the temple. Stay worthy and righteous
for those good good blessings!! We need those blessings in our homes!

Sister Vassau

March 9, 2016

Feels like Spring!

I'm sorry everyone. I'm really sick today, so it's taken me like all
day to write this, and that might explain the parts that might sound a
little bland, or weird grammar wise. But just picture me being really
excited about all of this because I really am. I just don't feel like
moving anything more than my typing fingers right now. :)
Alright! So here's my daily miracles:

We called Michelle to ask her if we could come see her sometime soon,
and we ended up doing a full lesson over the phone. She wanted to give
us back the Book of Mormon after reading just the 1st chapter. We told
her we weren't gonna give up on her because we know how important this
is. We talked about why the Book of Mormon is so important and how it
is very different from the Bible, but that that's what makes it so
awesome. It adds a separate, yet similar witness of Jesus Christ and
his gospel. We explained that if she reads the Book of Mormon, not
just a couple chapters, and prays about it, that she will get a
witness of its truth. Then she will know that this church is Jesus
Christ's church established again on the earth and that Joseph Smith
is a prophet. We committed her to read the Book of Mormon and pray
about it. She reluctantly agreed, and when we saw her again, she
didn't try to give us back the Book of Mormon. She said she's going to
give it a try but that church was too much for her. She said she can't
do the 3 hour thing. It's too long for her. So we told her to just
come once a month, or every week just for the first hour. She's not
going to stop meeting with us, because she likes us :) but she thinks
she's not gonna get baptized either. She doesn't know what the Book of
Mormon does to people yet. :)

Bernadette is a less active in our ward who is just the sweetest mom.
She has a hard time coming to church because she has four little boys
and the two youngest both have autism. She says that it's just really
stressful because they're so loud in sacrament meeting and then, when
she brings them to primary, they end up getting brought back to her 15
minutes after she drops them off because they are "too much" for the
primary workers. She just doesn't come to church because of it. We're
trying to work with the ward council to help the primary workers help
them. But we haven't gotten their whole family to church yet.
Sometimes it's just her husband and the two older boys, but other
times none of them are there. When we went to see her today, we talked
about how motherhood is one of the greatest responsibilies God gives
women. We shared the story of the 2000 stripling warriors with her. We
told her that even just her example to her boys is something that will
help them want to change and become the people God wants them to be.
We talked about how her boys were sent to her because Heavenly Father
trusts her to rear them in a home that is Christ centered. It was
exactly what she needed, and the Spirit was stronger in that lesson
than I think it's ever been.

We saw Narely, who has been an investigator for a while, but just says
she's always too busy to meet with us. This lesson was a little bit
difficult because of Narely's kids, but we talked a lot about the Book
of Mormon and how it blesses lives. We also talked about how reading
the Book of Mormon will bless her family. We read the introduction of
the Book of Mormon with her and talked about questions she had about
it. She really is golden and she said she really wants the gospel for
her kids. Our goal is to get her to the point where she wants it
enough to actually go after it. She is on her way there though, and
that's a miracle.

Ah! So we were going into an apartment building to see someone, and a
guy named John held the door open for us. Such a nice guy! He stopped
us and asked us where we are from. We told him about our church and he
said he's seen it and he's "been meaning to go"!! :) we invited him to
come to church with us. We asked him if he knows about the Book of
Mormon. He's heard of it, but nothing more than that. We gave him a
restoration pamphlet and he said he's going to read it to see if he's
interested in meeting with us. He may not ever call us, but people
only need 8-9 run-ins with the church before they're curious enough to
take lessons. Maybe we were 7! He will be baptized one day. :)
Raman is Selina's, another investigator's, brother. He answered the
door when we came looking for her and said he was there doing her
dishes because she is sick. We talked to him a little bit and he told
us he really appreciates us coming over to talk to her about God. He
has strong faith. He wants Selina to keep meeting with us and
strengthening her faith because she has her struggles. He seems to
take good care of her. He told us he would like to join in on the next
visit. We showed him Because of Him. He really enjoyed it. We gave him
the Book of Mormon and told him this book would bring him closer to
God than any other book. We invited him to read the intro. He agreed
and thanked us again. He's very cool and hopefully he will have a good
influence on Selina. Maybe they can get baptized on the same day!! :)

Moddestine is a recent convert who is just so cute. She's got the best
heart I think I've met out here. She just really wants to do what's
right. She and her 4 year old son Levi live with her mom. Her mom is
not the nicest, and she told us that she really wants to get her own
place. We talked about ways you can invite the spirit into a home and
she told us she has tried, but it's really hard because of her mom. We
talked to her about doing scripture study and prayer every night with
Levi and family home evenings once a week. We also reminded her that
the spirit can at least reside in her room if it can't be in the whole
house all the time. She said she's trying really hard to get the
spirit in her room by hanging pictures of Jesus and such. She also
said she framed the family proclamation we gave her. We had also given
her another one and asked her to share it with someone. She told us
she had given it to her nonmember sister and that her sister had
framed it as well!

We had set a goal for today to teach 3 lessons. By the end of tonight,
we had only taught 2. We wanted to reach our goal, but I was feeling a
little sick, and I really wanted to get Sister Vassau back home
because she was feeling super sick. But I asked her if she wanted to
go home, and she said that we should tract the floor we were on to
reach our goal. A few seconds later, a girl came out of the elevator
and walked past us to her apartment. We asked her if she knew any of
her neighbors, and she said she did know a few, but we ended up
teaching her. We started by showing her "Because of Him" and she
really liked it. She said her family might be interested and that we
could stop by again sometime to see them. She has 5 siblings and she's
13. We felt we could go home and rest now that we had reached our

The church is so true. The Book of Mormon is true and is convincing
evidence of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the
prophet Joseph Smith. If you haven't read it, read it!! Read it daily!
Even if it's just a little! It's the best book ever and it will help
you through any situation you may be in. It is the Iron Rod that will
lead us to eternal life! Love you all! Keep the weekly miracles
coming! I love hearing about them! I love you all! Have an awesome

March 2, 2016

Park and Jos ENGAGED!



I am so happy for the both of you and for myself, of course:) 
One more sister and friend in my life for forever. Jos, you are loved and I am
ecstatic to have you as an addition to our family. You bring so much
light to all our lives. Happy engagement! I love you both so much.
Secondly, Happy Birthday Dad :) I love you. You are the greatest human
in my eyes.

A few things have been on my mind this morning. I feel like life is
FULL OF DIFFICULTIES. but I am so grateful to step back and know of
the plan. It all leads to Joy. And part of that is finding joy on the way. 
This is the message of the Gospel being shared on the streets, subways, 
mostly projects of Harlem. I read a couple scriptures on Patience 
this morning. How can we find joy in patience?
I struggle so much with patience!!! Some of my favorite verses on my
mission have been of the sons of Mosiah. (17:30-31) Sister Staley and
I decided we are doing some major seed planting here in Harlem. We are
usually the first /second contact with the people we meet with the
church. We try to make it a good one:)

We finally met with our sweet Marie-France this week!!! The doctors
call her a miracle. He'd say "you are my miracle" She told us the full
story of how everything happened as it was told to her because she
doesn't have memory of anything from when she was rushed to the
hospital. I was in my seat and Ahhhh! she was sitting there with us
laughing and spending time together.  She has been able to see that life
is fragile and that we must treasure relationships. That is one thing
about her that I have always felt. People all over the world have a
love for Marie-France because she makes everyone feel so loved and
special. People were praying all over the world, especially in the 24
hour time period they gave her to live. Now she knows prayers are
heard. She is a witness of that. God is so good! Her heart was at 7%
and for ten minutes she was gone until one last try to get her heart
back and she came back. It feels good to talk with her again and teach
her about what Gods plan is for her life.

We met this way awesome girl from tracting last week and we've taught
her a couple times and she came to church on Sunday. Well in Sacrament
meeting she saw one of the members we've had planned in our schedule
to get to know and she said she grew up with her. She knew her mom who
passed away. So cool. Well Melissa sat through all of church ... We
aren't sure what she thought. She kept making sighs like the meetings
were way long. But Melissa came again!! Also, we met a less
active who wants to come back. She cried with us and told us she left
and no one reached out to her. Baby steps.

Last person... who is fabulous - is our sweet Rhonda and her daughter/ aid
Diane. A week before requesting a Bible/ Book of Mormon she met a
Mormon. They are your typical baptist gals. The first time we talked
with them about the Restoration, Diane stood up and waved her hands up
and you know what they do..... Then the second time!! Completely
different. They read and had all these questions and put circles all
around the celestial kingdom. Then Diane stood and said "I want to go
to the terrestrial kingdom...!!! " You mean Celestial! Haha "Yes, That
one!!" I love baptist woman. They have a true honest desire and real

I know that peace is there when we need it and I find my peace in the
Book of Mormon and prayer each morning and night. I know Jesus Christ
is our Savior. He will never leave us comfortless.

Love, Sister Vassau