September 28, 2016

Service at the Hartford Temple

What an awesome week!  Well I'm here!! I'm in Hartford, Connecticut I think. I will share what my days are consisting of at the temple!  This week so far up until the 30th are kind of prep days and VIP tours. We do the introduction to the video and give some brief points before everyone watches a wonderful 10 minute video of "what temples are and why they are so special." We also are in the receptions tents after people come out to answer questions and be warm and sincere to all who come!!!!  ( I'm loving this reception tent ) It is so fun being with 25 of the sweetest sisters. It's also super different being with 25sisters all day long. We live at members homes and we are living with the Coleman's. Sister Holt & Sister Morley are also with us here. The Coleman's are just getting home today from a trip so 4 Sister missionaries in a big home with no one else home for the weekend... what a strange situation!

The very first thing we were able to do after arriving at the temple was go through. We were the very first tour of this temple. Wow. This is an absolutely beautiful temple in every way. Every detail of this temple inside and out is New England, Gregorian. I've realized living upstate how in love I am of this style. I was blown away at the style of it, my favorite I've been through. It is so special! It is so white and bright. This is the Lord's house!  Brother Star told us one thing that has stayed in my mind this week. "The Lord only micromanages 2 things.. Bishops & temples. There is a reason you're here." I have seen that here as I have seen so many participate to make this open house a wonderful experience for everyone. Everything is done to the best because it is the most sacred place on earth and our Heavenly Father wants all to come and see.

The artwork is absolutely stunning and breathtaking. As we were walking down one hallway to the next, our tour guide stopped us and told us to just admire this painting. It was a painting of a fall scenery in Connecticut. He then told us, "it's amazing isn't it? Want to know something-the man who painted this is colorblind. " we all were so amazed at his painting and just paused. It's amazing how we can use our talents to help other come closer to Christ. That painting now will always have more meaning behind it because I know the story. I know that every picture in the temple is there for a reason. There is a story to all paintings and they are each in the right place in the temple. Next time you notice a painting inside the temple or even a church building think of maybe why they chose that one to be put up in that particular room.

Something also that was interesting when given a more detailed tour by Elder Wilson Monday with all the Boston sisters was this.. The church has done a survey and asked people this after visiting temple sq.. "What struck you the most from what you saw in your visit?" Number one is the Sister Missionaries!! It may be their pretty faces, but I think it's their warmth and the genuine feelings they leave with people.  People feel and see something special in those who serve their Heavenly Father. I have recognized the powerful influence we and many others will have and have had on people who visit the temple. The first day was all the men who worked construction on this temple. Hard work I tell ya! one of the wives of the men said, " my husband never complained after he came home from working on the temple like he normally would. " He knew this building was different. She  didn't want to leave that celestial room. There was also tours for residents living in the neighborhoods around the temple who've seen the temple being worked on for 3 years. So many of them were so grateful they had the opportunity to come and see. It's been so fun to see how amazed people are. There were also some tours given to stake leadership and other religious leaders. Last night I was talking to a Jewish and a Hindu man and they both were very kind and friendly. I'm amazed how I still am able to speak with and be with so many of other cultures from all over the world. The Lord is reaching all people everywhere so His gospel can have the opportunity to touch  all peoples hearts! This is definitely a softer approach and I'm happy that it is!

I love the Hartford, Connecticut temple and I'm so grateful to be here! We've done a lot of standing around this week and figuring things out, but I feel that we are absolutely helping others come closer to Christ.
I'm grateful for the Atonement that allows us to step inside His Holy house.

I hope each of you enjoys General Conference, it's soooo exciting.

The woman's Conference was so good for me to listen to. Did anyone else just relate to Elder Uchtdorf's talk on Faith? I just was all over that one. Go read!! I love you each so much and I miss you all daily.

Love you,

September 21, 2016

WE are Blessed

Hey, Many many many good things to share ;) So funny story first, we
went to a beach today for pday and took KFC, random right? As we were
eating chicken about 25 seagulls surrounded us so we thought it was a
good idea to throw some chicken to them to get them away, but after
that they about attacked us. It was like way scarier than anything
that happened in Harlem!! Hahaha we were laughing so hard.
This week has been incredible. I'm so happy & i'm so grateful for
lessons and places we've been. We feel like we're the luckies Sisters
and I am counting my blessings!! I love New Canaan and I absolutely
love the members in New Canaan. It is the coolest and strongest ward
I've seen. I've been thinking about how amazing it's only been 1.5
weeks and I feel like I have a pretty good idea about most the ward.
We've had some amazing experiences of sharing the vision of the temple
with the families here. I could go on and on about each member and
family, but I'll just share some of my favorites.

Because we only have the time we've had to be in New Canaan. We have
just stopped by members homes and tried our best to set some things
up, most mostly just dropping by on the fly. We have focused on the
blessings, sacrifices, and promises of the temple. It's been neat to
hear experiences and the ways the temple is special to each individual
person.  I have felt a few people we've stopped by have REALLY
appreciated it.  Ah they've been so great. They miss sisters and some
are even working towards going through the temple.

Sister Busby

We had a Facebook messenger miracle lesson through FaceTime with a guy
from Lithuania Sunday who messaged us about what we feel about eternal
marriage. The Elders joined us Sunday morning and we were able to
teach him in Lithuania. It is so cool to be a missionary right now
with the tools we have to share the gospel.

Sunday Suster Busby & I spoke in Sacrament on our assignment in
Hartford, Connecticut. We each shared our experiences of why the
temple is important to us. I talked about my vision early on of the
temple when we were sealed in the temple and the temple walk Cass and
I did that reminds me of always keeping the temple as a desire and an
end goal. We are beacons when we serve in the temple & invite others
to come and see. What a special time it will be to be on temple
grounds for 5 weeks and feel the spirit of the temple that will effect
my life and each and every person who comes to see. I don't even have
to do all the talking, that's the best part..THE TEMPLE WILL SPEAK FOR
ITSELF!!  I shared a part of a talk by Sister Elaine S. Dalton on
choosing things you will Always do. my greatest desire is to always
attend the temple and make it an important part of my life.
What are your list of Always??

We've been trying to serve and think of things we can do for the Pace
family because they are very kind so we did an family night with them
Monday. We did service at Waveny Care Center Yesterday. Waveny is this
incredible place for older people with Dementia. I thought about
grandma kimball as I was there. We were dancing with them, helping
them with flower arranging, going along with what they would say and
felt and I loved it so much! I do get a slight confused when I'm
there. Haha They have me all concerned about their problems!!

What else! Sister Busy is the best. She is so kind. I don't know what
it would have been like if I hadn't come here. I'm grateful for my
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I love them.

Oh! One more miracle that was the craziest thing. There's this lady
named sister Ohrn who's like a vogue model, fabulous, shic woman who
is a ward missionary. We were having lunch with her and Sister Webb,
another wanna be like kind of 82 year old. They invited their friend
to lunch but she didn't show up. After her house we felt like tracting
this apartment complex we'd been to the other week. While tracting we
got let into the same Sheryl who was suppose to have lunch with us and
who's had lessons before. Hahahah it was the craziest thing. The
spirit helped us out with that one. She's coming up to the open house
with sister Ohrn so we're excited to see them both.

Don't forget to email me what you all are up to! I love hearing from
you. I love you all.

Sister Vassau

September 14, 2016

Sister missionaries in New Canaan


I've had an awesome week. It's been so dreamy. Hahaha
We feel like the luckies to be in New Canaan. New Canaan hasn't had
sister in a couple years so we'll be here before and after the temple
open house. I am so grateful for the experience I will be having. So I
had a lot of cool experiences this week. The first being able to visit
with the Lanier's Wednesday. They loved the temple and want to go
back. Little Jeffrey said he never felt so much joy in his life.
That's very cool coming from a 15 year old. It always feels like home
there. I told them to write down their feelings of that day and Jeff
pulled out his journal from past lessons we've had over there, it was
fun to read those short one liners. Hahah The next day we went on a
split with the Westchester sisters. I spent the entire day in
Yonkers!!! Scarsdale and Yonkers have combined wards so the work there
has changed and I think it has been good for the two. Can you believe

Friday we went on a special temple trip to do a session with the other
sisters that will be in Hartford! President and Sister Smith, along
with President's parent who were on their way home from their mission
in Find Land, went through with us. THAT WAS SPECIAL. I love the
temple and I felt the spirit while I was there. I loved hearing the
Smith's testimonies of the temple and how central it has been in their

So Friday later is when we arrived in New Canaan and met Sister Pace.
They are a really great family and have been so good to us. I am
really grateful they are letting us live with them and practically
being our family for the time being.we feel very well taken care of.
They have 3 girls, one is on a mission in São Paulo Brazil! Ashlyn is
16 and LaNaya is 13. They are super cute girls! Sister Pace makes us
food a lot and they let us say family prayers with them. Hahaha so
nice! Bishop Pace has been traveling most the time we've been here.
He's awesome, he gave us a list of names when we got here. The Elders
also met with us to tell us about who we can work with! One of the
Elders served with Sister Baugh in Moscow before coming to ny!!! Small
world! The night we got here they took us out to sushi and we went
with Sister Pace to pick up her daughter and met a bunch of the young
woman. This ward is incredible!! Families practically come here for
the youth program. It was a rare group of girls:)

The members we have stopped by so far have all been amazing!!! Sunday
we had a meeting for the Hartford temple so we couldn't go to our
sacrament meeting but we went to ward council before and later to this
fireside and they were all so great!!! Everyone kept asking us how
they could help us. The fireside was for the stake youth for the
Celebration of the temple and they had us stand up so they could
announce that we were here to help everyone to invite people to the
temple!! Haha it was awesome.

The streets and neighborhoods here are so charming. The biggest most
beautiful homes I've ever seen all in one little town. This life is
not real. We had dinner with Sister Ohrn who's a ward missionary and
works in the temple who just LOVES missionaries and we were out on her
back porch having dinner. It was the most dreamy scene you would ever
see. Everyone has been so happy to see sisters, that's made things fun
for us. It's difficult not having a lot of clue what to do, but it's
also been kind of fun to just go day by day and follow the spirit.

We had a zone study on Joseph Smith History. This Elder in our mission
sang Joseph Smith's first prayer and the whole meeting I felt had such
a sweet spirit. Chills. I know I can always fall back on President
Smith's testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith.
I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I want to be a mother of
Faith, like Lucy who trusts and doesn't live in confusion.
I have for myself felt the still voice of the spirit teach me of how
true the restoration really was here in New York and Connecticut and I
am so excited for that anchor to my testimony. I can't wait to share
more about the New Canaan ward with you! I hope we will be able to be
in the homes here and share our simple testimonies of temples!

"Believe enough to ask, trust enough to follow."

Love you all

Sister McKell Vassau

September 7, 2016

next up...Hartford!


Oh my goodness. I can't wait to tell you about my week. Get ready for it. We have had the most incredible week together in Middletown. I felt wherever we were was the right place in the right time. I felt led by the spirit. We had incredible key indicators and I felt so blessed by the Lord! We taught 32 lessons and got 10 new investigators!  So 10 new people who have a next appointment. It was so cool. We just kept on saying how cool things were going. We found around all the people we had in our schedule and we were out walking.. that helped with feeling trapped in a car. We met Nelson, our brother, who meets with the Elders every day now! It wasn't that we were working so hard and killin ourselves, but just working smarter. 

I want to share one experience I had this week that stands out to me. So we visit Sister Casteleiro frequently to help her with her mail, groceries, trash. Things like that. She is a member who struggles getting around and since the sisters have been in her life it has changed her life. Have you seen the Mormon message Lift? She reminds me of that, so grateful. Well I love her so much. So on Sunday she came in late and sat in the back on the chairs by the door. Sister Zelaya nudged me and asked if we should go sit by her knowing she probably would like that. I thought to myself, well I'm comfortable here. (These chairs are cushioned.. Does Sister Casteleiro care?.... ) 
I took the sacrament and thought about the Savior and the promises I have made with my Heavenly Father. Not much longer after I felt, GO SIT BY HER. The Savior cares!!! 

Sometimes it's just not comfortable or convinced to do what the Savior would do. After taking a seat next to her, I thought about how much better I feel inside and how comfortable it was on the back row. Of course, Sister Casteleiro was so thankful, she always is, but I was thankful for learning that small lesson to care for God's children the that way he does. I don't think Christ would see her and say she's fine, I'm better here. I know this example is so silly and small, but I do have a testimony of following spiritual promptings and keeping the covenants we've made. Bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; ...mourn with those that mourn;... comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in.. Mosiah 18:8-10. 

I have news! So President Smith called us on Monday.. He told us he knew Sister Zelaya and I were suppose to serve together and that he has prayed & fasting and he would like me to serve in the Hartford, Connecticut temple open house with 8 other sisters in our mission and the 16 in the Boston mission. I would be leaving Wednesday (today) and be having meetings this weekend for more information about the Hartford temple open house. With Hartford not being in the mission, they are still figuring out the living situation so in the mean while, Sister Busby and I will stay in Yonkers for a few nights.. Haha (Not exactly sure what we're suppose to be doing. President kind of just gave us the keys/ lead to figure out where we can go for splits and everything... ) So when sister Busby and I got to Scarsdale today we had no phone, no plans, and no idea about what will be happening, just excited! We will likely go on splits in Scarsdale which will be amazing. It feels like a dream. We will have some trainings this weekend and then for 2 weeks be in New Cannon living with the Bishop and his family. He wants us to go to the different wards and share the news about the temple open house! I think from there we will be living in Hartford and be at the temple each day working & teaching & greeting people from all over. I feel so grateful!!!! I feel such a special love for the temple and I know that it will be an opportunity that will change my life forever more. sister Busby is very sweet. I really like her and it will be so fun to be around other sisters and members in the temple boundaries.  It's been a very interesting couple of days saying bye to people in Middletown where I loved so much, then also feeling in my heart that Heavenly Father has a plan and the temple has everything to do with that plan. 

It's been so fun to hear about the things you guys are up. I am SO THANKFUL Ethan is okay and that Isabel is doing better. That is so good to hear. Thank you for keeping me updated. I love you guys! 

Love, Sister Vassau