Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Transfer Time .... Dun Dun Dun

Well I am staying in Toowoomba for at least another 6 weeks. WOOHOO that means I'm in Toowoomba for the entire summer!! Literally the coolest area of the mission all summer long, it is so great! Tender mercies everyone TENDER MERCIES. Also it just wouldn't be transfer time if nothing crazy happened to me. Sooo here goes:
We got transfer calls Sunday night, I had absolutely no inkling of what might happen to me or my companion. So our district leader called us and told us that all the sisters except my companion were staying.(So sister Tauti, and sister Su'a and I) after which I asked him is there any other instruction for me and he said NO. So then I assumed that would mean I'd be picking up my new companion at the meeting this morning and drive back to Toowoomba by the end of today. We ran our car out of Kilometres so we asked the elders that are on the other side of Toowoomba to drive us down to the meeting and they showed up with a borrowed trailer on the back of the corolla....ok elders. Then we all went on our merry way for the two and a half hour drive to the south side of Brisbane. Side note: we got there early and there is a surf outlet store right near there so obviously we went inside and I was in heaven and I bought some Australian surf wax. Then we went to the meeting where I was informed that I actually would not be returning to Toowoomba tonight with my new companion because once again I am training a new missionary! I was so shocked I stared at President with my jaw dropped until he said you heard me your training again and I picked my bag up and went to sit with the other trainers. And then imagine my shock and surprise when there were no other sister called to train. So this transfer there is only one poor sister coming into the mission and out of all the amazing and hardworking sisters who are far better then me for some reason Heavenly Father trusted me with training her. It is pretty humbling. I honestly think I've been doing a pretty lousy job of training although I have learned a lot each time so hopefully I'll be a bit better this time. I guess I can use this time to redeem myself a bit. One cool thing as well is that I already know who she is since It's just the one sister and she is also best friends with sister Tauti from back home in Auckland. I'll definielty be able to tell you more about her by next week but at least I do know I'll be living with three Samoan sisters from NZ. Good thing I already experienced living with three Tongan sisters early on, and I lived with 6 Tahitians at BYU and I according to the other sisters I might as well just spray paint myself brown at this point hahaha. I'm really hopeful and excited though and feel that we are going to see miracles in 2014 in Toowoomba. I can't believe I've been through half of my mission already it has seriously flown by and I have learned so much. Our area is showing a lot of potential and I get this fresh new faithful and golden sister from the MTC so I'm very excited and happy! I just have to make it home tomorrow with this dumb trailer that the elders left with me hooked to the back of their Corolla first haha. Thanks again for all the Christmas wishes and presents I love you all! I'll be speaking Samoan next time you see me, so better get used to it,
Alofa e,

Sister Rasmussen

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mele Kalikimaka

So we did get to email after all! Just not very long. Thank you so so much for the Christmas gifts I loved them all! This was like no other Christmas I've ever had, but it was still good. We had breakfast lunch and dinner all lined up. At dinner we played volleyball and had a huge water fight, that's what you do when it's summer time. Water fights instead of snowball fights. Anyways It was good and exhausting. We had our mission Christmas Eve party all day and we went to sing to old folks in the morning, then had a big BIG lunch together and dessert and then had a spiritual message from president and finally had pizza candy and watched "it's a wonderful life" which most of the missionaries were clueless and not that into but a few of the Americans myself included were stoked on. It was a really fun day for sure and I loved getting to see the sisters and elders that I have served around and catch up with them. It's weird being on the older side of the sisters now. It doesn't feel like that I still feel like I'm really new and have so much still to learn and figure out. I probably will never feel like I've got this figured out even up to the day I come home. It's also weird to think that I'll be home by next Chrsitmas and back to normal life...in a way I'm looking forward to that but also I'm really not. Thankfully I sitll have half a mission to go before that point. It was so good to see everyone on Skype! I didn't even ask about whether you got my package and liked the presents I sent you. Well I can't stay long I'll let you know next Tuesday (your Wednesday) how transfers goes. 
Love you!
Sister Rasmussen

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!
I don't even know where to begin with this email. First of all thank you everyone for your emails. I was feeling a bit depressed this morning I think but I got so many great emails from everyone and I'm just so grateful for great family and friends out there to boost me up! 
It's a bit hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it's boiling hot outside. Thankfully I'm in Toowoomba where it only get's hot for about 2 days and then these huge lightning and thunderstorms build and go all night and then the next day it's nice and cool. Today is a cool day and it was storming all last night., There was fog this morning so it felt a bit like Christmas then. I won't be emailing next week because I get to skype! Woohoo! I can't wait. But we have one more week of work, or as our mission president calls it hard yakka, which is Aussie slang for hard work. It's interesting because it's school holidays from now until the end of January and everyone is leaving Toowoomba and headed for the coasts, so our investigators and members are a bit hard to lock down at the moment. We have been going to all the big carols in the parks and festivals and things and handing out Joy to the World cards which has been fun. They have fireworks and stuff at their park Christmas Carol festival things. It's so weird, it's like the fourth of July but Christmasy. I don't know but I can't wait to get back to celebrating normal holidays again haha. We have been teaching some great families lately but they are going away for the holidays so hopefully we can pick up where we left off after New Years. Anyways I don't have a lot of time today because I was so busy reading all the great emails! Love you all and have a Merry Christmas!
Mele Kalikimaka!

Sister RAsmussen

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mele Kalikimaka

The Christmas spirit is definitely here even though it is the middle of Summer. It's so odd because they have the same decorations we have, which look so out of place in the warm. LIke icicle lights, which they call fairy lights because obviously none of them have a clue what an icicle is haha unless they've come from England or something. But they also have blow up snowmen in their yards and reindeer and stuff and it's just so funny to me. All of us missionaries here in Toowoomba went down to the center of town on Thursday night because they had this festival type thing where a bunch of choirs sang carols and they had cotton candy (which they call fairy floss) and popcorn and face painting. Then they lit up the big Christmas tree in the center of town and the lights on Town Hall and had santa come down the main street (in a sleigh haha it makes no sense) Anyways the eight of us went around passing out Joy To The World DVD pass along cards and inviting everyone to hear a message about the true spirit of Christmas. It was so much fun! My companion and I were able to talk to well over 200 people and the others were about the same so in all we were able to contact like over 1000 people in one night. Hopefully we will see some church head quarters referrals come from it when they call the number to request the free DVD. It was just good to be out in the community though and people were able to recognize us as the missionaries and know that we were out there standing for Christ this Christmas season. 
We have been out trying our best to find new people to teach and it's been awesome to see that we are being led to people. This week we were able to teach two different African families. One from Sudan and one from Uganda. It was pretty great because in both cases the families had met with missionaries before and they let us right into their homes. The only problem is the Sudanese family left the next day to go back to Africa for the holidays and the other family leaves at the end of this week to go into Brisbane and stay with family for the holidays. So hopefully once they are back we will be able to follow up and go from there. The family from Uganda is a bit of a miracle though because we found out that the 14 year old (who's name happens to be Jackline BONUS) was staying with family in Brisbane last christmas holidays and the sister missionaries had been teaching her family she was staying with but struggling because of language, but when she came she was able to translate for them and the whole family ended up getting baptized. We called the sisters that had been teaching them (sister Russel and sister Mafi both sisters that I've served in four-ways with) and they said she had wanted to be baptized but that she went home to Toowoomba before they could make arrangements. And then we found her again this week! So we are excited for that. Although their family is pretty active in their Lutheran church we have faith that the Lord will provide a way for them to see the importance of the restoration and finding the true Church. So anyways things are looking up here I'd say! 
Hope everyone is really feelin the love this Christmas! 
Much Aloha,

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, December 2, 2013

Yay Summer!!

Happy first day of summer everyone! Actually the first day of summer here was yesterday. Too bad I'm serving in Toowoomba and so the first day of summer was actually freezing cold. I'm wearing a beanie today. Toowoomba has some really crazy weather. But I'm super grateful to be here because it's super hot and super humid in Brisbane and so it really is a blessing to get called to go to Toowoomba during the only summer I'll have of my mission. Although I might get transfered in the middle of summer and go from here where it's so nice to Brisbane and die, who knows! 
We have a car now! That makes us so happy to be able to use our car and not have to share between 8 of us. it will definitely make our work a bit more effective. 
We just got new neighbors recently and it has been so fun getting to know them. A single dad and his two sons Ryan and Harry who are 7 and 9. They are great and on Saturday morning it was pouring cats and dogs and we were wondering what we could do that might be more effective than tracting when Michael knocked on the door. He said they were short on volunteers down at this place where he works and wondered if we would come along and help. So we got to go and basically play soccer all morning with kids and young adults with mental and physical disabilities. It was so much fun! So that was cool. Other than that we are working on a lot of things right now, and we have such a great ward mission leader who wants to help us think outside the box to find people to bring into the gospel. It's crazy how my short 6 weeks in Lansing Michigan have really helped me so much on my mission, especially here in Toowoomba because it really is such a similar feel to the area I was in in Lansing. We taught a once a week Bible/Scripture study class in Michigan and we are going to start one of those up here starting next week. I really hope we can get at least a few people to show up to it. It was a great tool to get people into the church and we were able to give tours afterwards and also invite members to come that would be good to fellowship with those investigators that we knew were coming. So that is pretty exciting. We are also starting up an English study class here soon because there are heaps and heaps of immigrants here in Toowoomba. The Australian government sends all refugees from Sudan and Congo to live in Toowoomba for a year before they are allowed to move anywhere else. So there are big communities here of people from Africa and also a lot of Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, Korean, and lots of other people we meet all the time. So we hope our English study class will help us to get into contact with those groups of people. We are also starting to use the family history center more. So when someone comes in for the first time the family history consultants offer them a free tour of the building. And we have a few other little programs like that in the works as well. So things are definitely getting exciting and it feels good to be doing more things and getting out into the community more. 
Toowoomba is so Christian as well that the Christmas spirit is everywhere even though it doesn''t feel at all like Christmas to me. I'm happy to be spending it here. We will be able to skype home, but I'm not sure the day or time yet so I'll have to let you know next week. 
Well I hope no one is too cold over there and I hope my lovely people in Hawaii are loving the beach and the surf comps and the big waves for me. 
Much Aloha,

Sister Rasmussen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Turkey Day!!

Well I have a pretty embarassing confession to make. I have been in Australia way too long, because I fully thought that Thanksgiving was last Thursday. But it gets worse because in my district there are 3 and a half Americans and we ALL thought it was last Thursday. I had to have an Australian google and tell me otherwise Thursday night. Not that it really matters, because no one here even knows what Thanksgiving is. So HAPPY THANKSGIVING coming up not just passed. I hope everyone will eat a big turkey for me and love it and enjoy the cold and the football and family and everything. I'll just be over here in the heat getting sunburned and knocking on doors where it's just any other normal Thursday in the summer. 
We went to the temple this morning which is why I'm late emailing, and the temple is just great. Although we did just go two weeks ago so now it will be a long wait to go again. It's crazy working in an area that is so far removed from everything. We had stake conference over the weekend and we had to drive in an hour and a half both ways Saturday night for the adult session and again Sunday morning. It was also complicated by the fact that our car got left in Brisbane the week before(long story) so we had to bum rides off members. The two wards here in Toowoomba were in charge of providing the choir for the Sunday conference and we got asked to participate although none of us really sing, but they just needed numbers I guess. It was hard to invite our investigators to come along since it was such a roadtrip to get out there and I've been feeling drained from all the traveling because we got home late and had to get up early as well. Then we had to get up this morning at like 430 to make sure we got to the temple on time as well. So lots of traveling the past few days and not much sleep. Hopefully I can catch up soon. It's getting way hot these days too but thankfully we are up here in the mountains so it is a dry heat unlike Brisbane where it's super humid. This transfer from here on out shouldn't have too many more roadtrips until Christmas and then we are getting together but I'm not really sure what we will be doing and transfers is over New Years so the first day of next transfer is January 1st which works out nicely haha. 
Well I don't have much else to say for this week. I'll be back to normal with p-day on MOnday next week. Love you all and hope everyone has a great thanksgiving!

Sister Ramsussen

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pictures!





I haven't had the chance to send pictures in a while so I thought I would send some this week. I'm staying here in Toowoomba and so is my companion, so that means we will be here for Christmas! Should be fun and at least it doesn't get super hot here like it does in Brisbane. From my four-way Sister Alberts, the other American, got moved and Sister Tauti is training a new missionary. Sister Tauti started training the same transfer that I did and we have both been training ever since. 6 months of it. Except she's had a different companion each transfer and I've trained both mine for two. Anyways she's pretty burnt out, as am I sometimes, but we hang in there together. And it's the Lord's work, it's meant to stretch us and we know we CAN do it, it's just that we also know how hard it is. But I'm really glad I have her and she is staying because I think I'd go crazy if I didn't. 
Anyways here are some recent pictures, temple trips and what not. 
my district at the temple
Sister Tauti and I
Brisbane skyline from across the river at Kangaroo Point lookout where the temple is

My MTC district reunited again, minus my MTC companion sister Solomon. Eventually we will all reaunite! Even if it's on the plane ride home haha

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Week of Craziness!!

Well Everyone I had so many crazy things happen to me the last week and a half that I don't even know where to begin haha
Maybe I'll begin at the beginning...It actually started off slow because my companion was sick. Our Zone came out to Toowoomba to hang out and go bowling during P-Day and I ended up sitting at our flat all day while she slept...lame but it helped her get back into working condition so we could do work Tuesday and not miss any time. The rest of the week was basically normal for a few days and then on Friday we went back to the wildlife ladies house to help her clean cages and stuff like that. She let me feed her baby wallaby with a bottle like a baby! It was the cutest thing ever. I didn't get any pictures but Sis Alberts did so hopefully I can steal them from her sometime. It's been on and off thunder storms here since Friday and Sunday night my companion and I got caught in one while biking home from the church and I thought we were going to get struck by lightning and die, but we are protected which is good. On Sunday our Sister Training Leaders came out and each of them paired up with one of our companionships to work, which isn't how they normally do tradeoffs, normally one of them and one of us would just trade spots for 24hrs, but they had to do it like that because we live so far out in the middle of no where. It was fun though and we had a crazy experience with her where we went to visit this less active member who lives in a retirement village. We didn't know anything about her except that she doesn't come to church and bishop said it's be good for us to drop around. Well she started off by saying/yelling "I'm a latter-day saint, are you my lot??" haha we said yes so she let us in. She is like 100% deaf and just started telling us her life story immediately starting with how she's dying of a disease that is so rare no one else in Australia has it and she really thought she would die on Friday and was so disappointed to wake up on Saturday. And the conversation just pretty much went from there, and by conversation I mean the three of us nodding and her just rambling crazily on and on. But I gained some great knowledge from her: 1. apparently the second coming will be sometime early next year 2. Apparently God has blue eyes 3. she told us several times that she's just thankful she has a good figure still and we should just pray we still have good figures when we are 88. There was a bunch more but those are the main points I took from the conversation. We were all pretty bummed to find out we wouldn't be able to be home before the second coming hahah jkjk She was a nice lady just lost her marbles a bit is all. It was also hilarious because like as she was talking we were able to talk out of the sides of our mouths without her hearing at all because she was so deaf, and that came in handy when she started telling us the exact same stories over and over. Finally I just told her I was going to say a prayer so that we could leave and I was like yelling a prayer at her so she could hear it. It was so great, just a day in the life of a Toowoomba missionary, heaps of elderly people, but I love them!
Monday I met a man in his 60's that loves surfing and wanted to know where is the history of the Maya and Inca people if the Bible is supposed to be the history of the world...so you better believe I told him all about that! He told us he will read the whole Book of Mormon in about two weeks and we should come back because he'll have heaps of questions. It was so great. That same day it was drizzling and we knocked on a ladies door, so she let us in and while we were teaching her it started pouring, and then after about 15-20min right as we finished teaching her it stopped, such perfect timing!
The last 24 hours have been a bit weird and the next 24 hours will be as well. So we had the temple this morning and we have zone conference for all the southern zones tomorrow, both in Brisbane. So our Zone leaders came up with this brilliant plan (SARCASM ALERT) so that we wouldn't waste too many Kilometers on the cars and gas money and all that. So they decided that we would drive into Ipswitch, which is kind of on the edge of Brisbane headed to Toowoomba, about 1.5 hours from Toowoomba. And they decided we would sleep in the elders flat there and those elders would go sleep in another elders flat and the Elders who are in the other ward in Toowoomba would also stay in some other elders flat. So we had to drive down last night and it was storming so bad. It was the worst storm I've ever driven through in my life. I could see lightning touching the ground all around us as I was driving and could barely see out the windshield even with the wipers turned all the way up. I was so scared, but we prayed before we left so I knew we were protected and I think it was better that we kept moving then stayed put in the middle of no where in the storm. So we finally got to where the elders had told us to go and found out that they gave us the wrong address....I could have killed them. So then they gave us the correct address..spelled wrong (cole rd instead of coal rd)...again I could have killed them...and finally we got to the flat we are staying at for two nights. Which upon further inspection of the map I realized that we were super close to some sisters areas where we could have just gone and stayed with them and avoided the whole sleeping in an elders flat thing, which even if they aren't there still feels weird a gross to me and those poor elders wouldn't have had to have their work disrupted for us to stay there. But obvioulsy the elders hadn't thought of that option. So I'm pretty annoyed with elders at the moment. I have no idea what we will do tonight when P-day is over because we aren't in our area and we haven't got a clue where we are really. So that should be interesting as well. At least we will be back home by tomorrow night after zone conference. So it's just been a great adventure the last few weeks! I hope you all are having adventures too! Thanks for all the emails I love it! Enjoy the cold winter Christmas season because It's getting hotter and hotter here and I just can't get in the Christmas spirit, forget Thanksgiving they don't have that here and there aren't many Americans in my ward to celebrate with. Next P-day I'll be writing to let you know if I'm staying in Toowoomba or not or if I'm staying with sister Tempany or getting a new companion. So lot's of crazy things going on here in the future.
Well love you all and have a great week!!

Sister Rasmussen

Sunday, November 3, 2013

G'Day

G'day,
So this week was pretty good. We had the car for a day and a half which was nice. I can't remember if I ever mentioned that there are 4 companionships of missionaries here in Toowoomba, two for each ward, and we only have one car between us. So we really have to plan well, and get in shape biking up hills. But because we had the car we decided to go "down the range"which means going down the huge mountain that Toowoomba is on top of and to the little small towns in the valley. We have a handful of members down there and most of them are struggling to be active in church. Distance probably has a bit to do with that, but it doesn't really take all that long to get up/down unless there is traffic. Anyways that was on Saturday and in the morning we had one lesson to go to before we headed down there, so one of the YSA girls in the ward came with us and our lesson didn't show so we decided to drop in on a few people around there that we hadn't met yet that were in our area book. So the first house we go to has this sign out the front that says Wildlife Rescue League and when we knock on the door this lady answers and she has a baby possum on her head like burrowing in her hair, and next minute I look closer and there is definitely something squirming around in her shirt as well. So my normal door approach flies out the window and I say to her "wo! you've got something on your head!" and that broke the ice haha. So she starts telling us about all the other creatures she has, and goes inside and comes back holding a baby wallaby and talking about how it sleeps with her and pees on her bed all night and stuff...gross...but it gets worse because as she is talking and holding the thing it poops in her hand and she just takes the poop and sets it on top of the bookshelf next to her and says "oh I'll get that later"...nasty. But it was super cute and soft. So we go in her house and she starts showing us the rest of her animals. I guess she runs a wildlife rescue company and used to be based out in the bush but she has health problems (not surprising) and had to relocate to Toowoomba to be nearer to medical care. So as she's telling us this she keeps handing me animals to hold,(baby possums and the like) and I went to hand one to my companion who was like NO WAY and next minute the lady hands her this nasty thing that looked like a rat with a long nose, called a Bandicoot, apparently they get to be like the size of a small cat...gross. But my companion's face was priceless holding this thing. And we got the grand tour of all her cages and creatures, she had one of those flying squirrels and some cool birds and lots of possums. And then we were able to sit down and share with her a pretty good message and give her a Book of Mormon to read. It was just the most random thing to ever happen to me on a Saturday morning. After that we went down the range to meet a family called the Pynes. The mom is returning to activity and has two teenage daughters, one of whom was just baptized in May. We thought they lived in one of the small towns on the highway, but she kept asking us if we knew how to get to their house and finally just said we could meet her and follow her to where they live. And then we ended up driving for ages into the middle of who knows where farmland. It was super pretty though and reminded me a ton of south/central Utah. Very similar climate and vegetation except it doesn't ever snow or get as cold. So that was an adventure and at their house they had two dogs who sat on my feet and like proceeded to start fighting on my lap, and then they took us all around their property to show us their horses which was cool. Then after them we went on to drop by another family and the man answered the door in nothing but his green undies...and he was old and fat and bald and holding a tiny fluffy white dog, so that was also just an awkward situation. The last house we tried nothing too weird happened except I had another dog sit on my feet while I was standing talking to a man. We tallied it up and in all ended up touching or petting 8 different species of animals in one day. So I won't be needing to go to the zoo in this area, I had that all covered on Saturday. But other than that our week was pretty good. We are starting to see things happening here and building up a teaching pool and getting lots of work done. Halloween was pretty sad, because they don't celebrate it really here at all. We went to a member's house for dinner that night and they have twin 14 yr olds and a friend over and the boys tried to scare us by dressing up their moms hair dummies but that was as halloweeny as it got for me, so I hope everyone had a great halloween and has a great thanksgiving coming up too!
Love you all!
Mahal Kita (we have been meeting lots of filipinos lately)

Sister RAsmussen

Monday, October 28, 2013

G'Day Mates!

G'day mates,
People really say that here. I say it back to them and they compliment me on my accent usually ha I think I'm going to sound super weird when I get home from my mission. Well this week was a bit rough no lies. Basically all the investigators we have dropped us in a matter of two days. We were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday and that didn't happen and we haven't seen that investigator for over a week now. So we are basically at square zero....but that's alright! We will keep on keepin' on. Sister Tempany had to go to a doctor's appointment at this huge hospital in the middle of Brisbane on Thursday, and ya'll know how I feel about hospitals....so that was an adventure. And it's hard because we are so far away from Brisbane right now that that took up most of our day and then we had to go in again for interviews with president the next day, once again taking up most of the day. I'm looking forward to this week, which we only have to leave tomorrow for a zone meeting and it's not quite as far away (45min instead of 2hrs) It's been hard getting the work really started here when we haven't really had a full week yet at all. But this week should be ok and the next week also, and then it will be the end of the transfer already! I'm already half way here. In a way it seems like I've been here for AGES AND AGES I think just because we have gotten off to such a slow start and had a lot of struggles, but what's life without struggles right?? I know I'll be stronger after getting through this, but that doesn't make it any easier, just more bearable I guess. I don't know what will happen going forward but I would kind of appreciate a break from training at this point....so because I said that I'm sure I'll train again. 
In other news! Toowoomba is BEAUTIFUL! They have these gorgeous Jacaranda trees that bloom with these super pretty light bluish purple flowers all over and these other trees that have this really bright reddish orange flowers all over. There are so many trees here it's crazy! I will take some pictures and send them to you next week, I forgot my camera cord this week. 
Enjoy Halloween for me! They don't really celebrate it at all here ;( It will just be a old Thursday. So take pictures and send them to me please! They have Christmas things out in the stores here already though...so early! They totally skip over Halloween, it's sad.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sister RAsmussen

Sunday, October 20, 2013

1 Year to Gooooooo!!

Well today (Oct 21) is my release date for my mission, in one year. Don't think that I'm getting trunky or anything, I just can't believe how fast time is flying by. It's pretty crazy! If the next year goes as fast as these past 6 months it will be no time at all before I'm home. That's kind of a weird thought. I don't know whether to be excited by it or sad or scared. But anyways I'll just try and live in the moment. 
Last week was good, we had to go into the city so that Sister Tempany could go through this kind of orientation type thing that our mission president is doing with new missionaries where they stay the night and have a "perfect morning" so we drove in on Tuesday and I got to stay the night with the sisters in that gross flat I was talking about last week. They made it look so nice and cute in the week after I left it! They got bunkbeds and everything and it was fun to spend time with those sisters again. I love making friends with all the sisters in the mission. Sister Carter is finally here from waiting for her visa for forever and she is training and my MTC companion sister Solomon is training, and our other MTC sister has trained twice too now; it feels so weird to  be the "older" sisters now, or at least old enough to be training, because I still feel like I just started. Here in Toowoomba  In my flat I am living with another American for the first time, sister Alberts from Idaho, and sister Tauti from Auckland. It's pretty fun, it's just always an adjustment getting a new companion, or getting a new area, and I got both! And a companion that is trying to adjust to just being a missionary, so it's been a bit stressful around here but I'm starting to get things together and have a bit more organization. There are two wards here in Toowoomba and there are four elders in the other ward, they are splitting that area as well. So they sent four extra missionaries but no new car, so the eight of us are having to deal with sharing one car and that is making things difficult as well because we have some really tiny little towns that we have to get out too as part of our area. But the Lord will provide a way somehow I know it. We had a few good investigators to start with that the other sisters had been working with, but just recently (like this morning) they all are freaking out on us, soooo hopefully we will be able to work out their problems but if not, then it's just back to square one! Oh well though we are sent here to invite others to come unto Christ, and if we have done all we can do it's still up to them to accept the invitation. This area is super different then the rest of Brisbane and there is a tree on every corner, it's super pretty and there are parks everywhere, they have a famous flower festival here every year and it's quite a bit cooler than any other part of the mission during summer, so that's a blessing. We had a ward activity on Saturday which was really fun, not as many nonmembers there as I would have hoped but we had a good time, I even let the Young Women spray color the ends of my hair blue and green haha (it washed out that night). Well that's about all I can think of for this week. Hope everyone celebrates Halloween extra hard for me because they are just party poopers on holidays here in Australia. 
Love you!

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, October 14, 2013

Toowoomba!

Well I moved everyone!
I'm in Toowoomba now, it's about 1.5-2hrs outside of Birsbane and it's up in the mountains. So it's much drier and cooler here than in brizzy, which is awesome because it was really starting to get hot down there. It's a bit like if Cedar city were part of the Vegas mission, I'd be in Cedar city. It's about that size as well. The whole dynamic here is way different. People here actually go to church and there is like a church on every corner. It feels like when I was serving in Michigan all over again. 
But last week was easily one of the strangest I've had yet on my mission:
Sunday night we went heart-attacking our ward members before transfer calls which is always good fun, then we got called and sister Tai and I were told we were leaving so then we celebrated our birthday's (we have the same birthday) and then started lining up who we needed to see to say goodbye on Monday and started the beginnings of packing. 
Monday we got up and after attempting to study, but not being able to concentrate at all we left the flat at like 9am and were out going from house to house and family to family so say goodbye, members investigators less active members and just everyone we had grown to love, we did that straight until 9pm and never stopped at all or went home or ate. It was labor day which was nice so everyone was home. It was one of the most tiring days of my life. Then when we got home we had to pack all of our things up so that took until about 1am. 
Tuesday morning I woke up at 430 and went with sister Russel to go pick up our bikes where we had accidentally left them in our ward mission leaders back yard and then we had to clean the car. Then I went home showered so fast, and Sister Walter and I went over to say goodbye to one last family before the kids left for school, that I love so much that wasn't home when we went Monday. Then we somehow managed to get all of Sister Tai and I's things into our car and drove to the south side to our transfer meeting where I found out I'd be training again. WOO! So I was companionless until my trainee got in later in the week but I was paired up with some sisters in Beenleigh. I also got reunited with sister Carter from my MTC district and BYUH for the first time since we got split up when our visas didn't come through. It was a sweet sweet reunion and we played BBALL all day haha So then I got put with two sisters for the night who were whitewashing/opening up a new area where two elders used to live. One of the sisters is also training and the other has a new companion that is sick and staying at the mission home at the moment. so none of us were each others actual companion but we were all together for the next little while, which just felt weird. And then it got weirder...so we found our way to their new flat, which used to be an elders flat except when we got in it became very apparent that the elders were still living there because their stuff was all over. So then we just felt suuuuuper weird even being in there and we left again. Apparently there was some sort of mix up and the elder's weren't aware that they were supposed to move out. So we called and get that sorted out and they hurried over and packed up their things and left as quick as possible, leaving us with a flat that had lots of random boy things still in it and was pretty disgusting. The elders had been sleeping on mattresses on the floor and just ewwww it was just ewww in there. So we were all really stressed out by that and left to buy cleaning supplies, as we were driving by the shops we found a mexican restauruant and ended up just stopping and eating because we hadn't eaten all day. POor Aussies attempt at Mexican food just doesn't cut it. So by the time we got back at night and did what we could to make it sleep able it was too late to do much else. 
So the next morning on Wednesday we woke up and cleaned the bathroom until it was decent enough to shower in and then got ready for our day and studied. then we changed clothes again and commenced cleaning the kitchen for the next 4 hours. Then the assistants called us and let us know that we could go pick up our new companions. So we went to the mission home and my new companion is sister Tempany from Melbourne. It's so nerve wracking getting a new companion, it's like getting picked for teams in school or something. Anyways the plan was for the assistants to drive us out here to Toowoomba that night but the meeting went too long and there were so  many things they had to sort out that by the time they were done it was too late for them to drive all the way out here and get back. So we spent the night in the mission home! It was so fun! We got to have dinner with president and sister Henderson and sister Massy (the sick companion from earlier) And sleep in nice beds and shower in nice showers and have a nice breakfast, it was just so great! 
So Thursday morning the assistants picked us up and drove us here to Toowoomba. Except we needed petrol and all the stations were all out so we had a bit of a panic where we thought we might be stuck and run out of gas, but we made it eventually. My new flat is awesome. I live with two other sisters sister Albert (Idaho) and Tauti (Aukland, NZ) Sister Labert has only been out 6 weeks and she is the only one who has served here so she's having to show all of us around and be in charge until we figure out what's going on and she is doing great at it. So we have been spending the rest of the week at  general conference and splitting our area up so that we know what's going on. It's been crazy. I can't wait until we have everything organized and we can go out and just be effective and start finding people to teach and working with people. We do have a few of the sister's investigators that are on our side of the split area and at least one that will be getting baptized here soon which is awesome. So good things here to come in Toowoomba and I'm happy to be here! Training is kind of hard, and I feel really inadequate most of the time to be doing it but that's ok, because I don't have to do it alone. 
Sorry this was such a novel but it was such an odd week I just had to share. 
Love you all!
Happy Columbus day! 

Sister RAsmussen

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"I Don't Know About You, I'm Feelin 22"

 Baptism of AJ Edwards

WOW I have so much to say and so little time!
First things first, I got transferred from North PIne, so don't send things to that address anymore. I don't know my new address so just send things to the mission PO box.
Ok back to North Pine: Aaron got baptized!! WOOOO It was so great. He invited 4 of his friends to come who weren't members and it was just a beautiful service. He is a man that the Lord truly prepared because we literally didn't have to do anything but teach him. He accepted everything we told him right away, and kept every commitment we gave him and showed up to every appointment. He had already made up in his mind that he wanted to start going to church but just didn't know where to start and then who should he meet but Sister Walter and I walking on the street one night...and the rest is history. He got confirmed on Sunday as well and it was also fast and testimony meeting. Aaron is a really shy person and it took him a long while to open up and talk much with us or pray in front of us, let alone in front of entire congregation but he got up and he bore the most humble simple and most powerful testimony I've heard without anyone asking him to. It was so special. The whole meeting was amazing, and easily one of the best sacrament meetings I've ever attended.
I absolutely love the North PIne ward and I was so sad to be transferred :( the ward members really took such good care of us and have risen up so well in the past few months that I've been there. They have really caught the missionary wave and are creating miracles in the ward.

I may only have 30sec left but  love you all! I'm training again :) pick up the new comp this week


ok sorry.I'm back for emailing round 2
I will send pictures of Aaron's baptism and going around and saying goodbye to everyone I love in NOrth PIne, It was hard :(
And I am now headed to TOOWOOMBA pronounced like it sounds. Apparently it's in the mountains? Australians have a different idea of what mountains are then we do so i will have to judge that for myself. BUt that will be nice because it's getting to be summer now and I hear it is much drier and not as unbearably hot there. Everyone should google it because I can't. I know it's south/inland of the city? Anyways I'm opening a new area, or rather splitting a sisters previous area. So that should be fun! And I'm training. So for the moment I'm staying with some sisters in a place called Beeleigh until I get my golden missionary (we use golden instead of greenie here) So basically I went to transfers expecting to find out where I'd be living and who with and didn't get the answer to either of those questions! YAY FOR SURPRISES! BUt i'm excited for new challenges, I've seen miracles already and I know what the Lord can do and more If I will just humble myself and let him direct me, so I'm expecting to see more of the same in this new place.
We get general conference this next weekend as well which is awesome. I've heard it is great and I am really looking forward to getting heaps of revelation from true prophets of God. So yep things are lookin up and I am excited! Hope everyone's week will go well.
Love
Sister RAsmussen

PS If anyone gets the urge to blast Taylor Swift on Saturday in my behalf I highly encourage them to do so :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's Me again!

So I feel like I just emailed you, which I kind of did since P-day was Wednesday last week. So I haven't got a whole lot more to say since It was only a few days ago, but this weekend was really good. We had a few investigators come to church which is really nice. Actually the last three weeks both sister Walter and I and the other two sisters in our ward have had investigators at church and our ward is doing a really awesome job of making them feel welcomed. Good things are happening here. In a way I feel like I might be getting transferred, just because I love it so much here! But we will find that out on Sunday and then if I do get transferred I will find out where on Tuesday next week and let you all know then. This past transfer has been so fast! I can't even believe it's almost over. I can't believe it's almost October either. It started to get really hot here and then this past weekend it has cooled down again and gotten cloudy so that's nice. I don't think I'm prepared for the really humid hot summers they have here, but it's something I've never really experienced before so I'm not sure what to expect. 
The kids have been on school holidays the past week and this week is the last week of their holidays. They go to school almost year-round here and every few months they get 2 weeks off and then over summer (which for them in Christmas) they get 6 weeks. I was explaining to someone how we get 3 months off in the summer and they thought that sounded crazy! Well the kids thought it sounded awesome and the mom thought it sounded crazy haha This week should be busy and good. The last week of the transfer always seems busier I think and we also have a baptism to get ready for on Saturday as well, but hopefully all will go well and I will have a lot to email about next week between that and transfers. If I get transferred I hope I go to either up North to Townsville or something, or to Tweed Head because that's where Kirra and the Quiksilver Pro are  and it's still my dream to tract into a pro surfer haha. 
Well I hope that school is going awesome for everyone and you're all loving the fall weather!
Love,

Sister Rasmussen

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Temple Week

Me, Sis. Healy, & Sis. Walter


See the baby kangaroo's feet hanging out of the mother's pouch??


Hey everyone!
Sorry my letter is later this week. It's because we had P-day on Wednesday because we went to the temple this morning. I just love the temple! We have to get up at 4:30am on temple P-day so that we can drive to the train station and catch the train into the city and then walk from the station to the temple, so I am pretty dead and I apologize if my email has parts that make no sense. 
It's been a good week though. this morning at the temple was awesome because sister Healy the less active lady who we have been working with for quite a while now was able to come and do baptisms for the dead with us today. Even more special is that we helped her enter and print out the names of her mother and grandmothers to take to the temple. It also just so happened that our temple P-day fell on her birthday. NO COINCIDENCES. There was such a beautiful spirit there as we witnessed her being baptized and confirmed for her family members. It was also sister walter's first time doing baptisms for the dead in the temple so it was a good experience for her as well. And as for me I love baptisms and it's the only time my whole mission I get to be underwater so that's a plus as well haha just kidding...kind of. It is just crazy for me to think back on the first time I met sister Healy and she told me that she just couldn't accept some points of Mormon doctrine and so she has turned back to her catholic roots. She reminded me that semi-tricked her into listening to us by asking if she would, as a favor to us, let us practice teaching our lessons to her because I was training sister Walter (We really did need practice so I wasn't lying ;) ). She told me today she saw right through my trick but she is so happy she said yes and we were able to re-confirm to her the truths she had felt 3 years ago when she was first baptized. It was awesome. 
We also have this great investigator named Aaron who was meant to be baptized this coming Saturday the 28th but we just re-scheduled for the 5th. At first when he asked to re-schedule I was freaking out because I was afraid he had cold feet. But after speaking with our ward mission leader we decided we would all pray about it and see if moving the date is Heavenly Father's plan or Satan's, because it has to be from one of them. So we decided that heavenly father is A -OK with a baptism on the 5th and that's what we will have. Aaron is just the best, and I can't wait for his baptism! 
Another fun thing this week is that it's school holidays this week and next week so all the kids are home. During school holidays here they have this program for laurel and priest age youth to come out on mini-missions for a week so we have a 16 year-old sister from here in Brisbane who has been with us since Saturday. 
One more crazy story I almost forgot. So on Sunday this man walks into church and tells everyone that he just got baptized last weekend in New Zealand while he was on holiday staying with his Nephew, but he lives in our ward. Crazy! So we get his address because he wants us to come over and meet his wife and family so we can teach them too. So we head over there and I realize I've been to his house before because on this paper in our area book full of potential investigators some past missionary accidentally wrote their address down when it was meant to be their neighbor. So that was kind of weird, but I remember his wife saying she wasn't interested. Anyways we went to his house to get to know him better and as he starts talking about what he does for work and more about himself I start to feel like I've met him before so I ask if he has family that lives nearby, and his daughter lives down the street. So I figured out that I had door knocked into him and his son-in-law one day while I was with sister Vaipulu and we had given him a pamphlet. After I told him that he remembered that day too and laughed and said no one read the pamphlet it's still sitting at the house, but here he is now 3 months later a baptized member! So that was just a testimony to me of a few things 1. again NO COINCIDENCES 2. The Lord has a plan for everyone, if he wants them joining the church he will provide a way 3. fellowship and finding through Part Member Families is the best way to go, he said he never would have been converted if his nephew (also a recent convert) hadn't started reading the Book of Mormon to him and sharing his testimony with him. So that was just a kind of crazy thing that has happened recently here, and I only have two more Sundays left of this transfer and then I will quite possibly be leaving this area! SAD FACE! I love it here, and will be sad to go if that's the plan, but we will just have to wait and see...
Love you all! 
Much Aloha
Sister Rasmussen

Monday, September 16, 2013

Koala Rescuers Down Under

We had some crazy/fun things happen this week which I want to share with you all. 
First of all on Tuesday I became a Koala Rescuer! So sister Walter and I went into an apartment complex to visit a few people and we parked across the street on the road. When we got back to the car there were some people standing next to our car looking up in the tree we parked under and there was a little Koala! She was so cute! Apparently she had been running up the street and was nearly hit a few times before running up that tree. She was shaking and so scared. It was a little tree and not the kind of tree Koalas usually chill in because they don't eat that kind of leaf. One of the ladies that almost hit her had pulled over to see if she could help and she called the Koala rescue people, but they were busy rescuing another koala and couldn't get there right away. She had a two year old with her and couldn't wait around and our car was directly beneath the Koala so we volunteered to stay and wait for them to get there, besides turning on our car would have probably spooked her out of the tree and into the road again. So we waited and watched her, and we decided to name her as well. We called the other two sisters because they were just one street over on bikes so they came as well.  So we named her Mahana, because she was in a tree haha you know like johny lingo? ("Mahana you ugly, get down from that tree!") haha except we wanted her to stay in the tree. So Koala rescue lady came and pulls out all these poles and nets and things and tells us she needs our help so she hands us each something and starts directing us how to catch the poor Koala so she can bring it somewhere safe. It was pretty awesome! Then she let us help her find a good park to put her in because of course as missionaries we have always have maps in our car. She eeven wrote down that we named her Mahana in her notes. And it gets even better! Sp the next day sister Walter and I were biking by the park the lady said she would put Mahana in and so we were looking in the trees and we found her again! It was so great! And then the next day we were in a different part of our area and we saw another Koala, so basically you can start calling us the koala hunters :) 
Also I'm not sure if I've mentioned the spiders here, but brace yourselves; I have a spider story. First off there are spiders EVERYWHERE here. Every single nook and cranny has a spider web, every single tree, bush, plant, twig, etc has a spider. And not little spiders either, like GIGANTOR spiders. So in case anyone isn't aware that is probably my worst nightmare. Every time we bike through the park I am so scared of biking through a big web. So back to the story: the same day we rescued Mahana sister Walter and I were doorknocking in some homes that were on big pieces of land with long driveways. We have to open the fence and walk in to get up to the house and I opened this persons fence walked inside and suddenly I hear screaming behind me. A Spider the size of my whole hand at least (I have giant hands as well so take that into account) had been climbing up sister walters arm. So she screamed threw her bag, stripped off her sweater and threw it and ran into this ladies yard screaming and shaking her arms around like a crazy person. It was hilarious but also so scary because then we couldn't see the spider anymore and that's the worst because you know it's there but it could be anywhere! We were just thankful that 1. the ladies yard was huge so she didn't even hear or see any of it 2. sister walter was wearing a sweater over her shirt and didn't run stripping off her shirt, although that would have been hilarious that's not super missionary appropriate lol and 3. that it was on her and not me because I probably would have been hysterical if that size of spider were crawling on me
Well that's all I can really remember from the week as far as scary/funny nature stories but I'm sure I'll have more to come. Other than that things are going swell, we have been able to find some really awesome new investigators and see some of our investigators who haven't progressed much start keeping commitments and things. Two of our investigators came to church for the first time on Sunday and had such a great time, our ward has really stepped it up and are really getting out their to fellowship and help our investigators. Right now it's planned for us to have the other sisters in the ward have a baptism this saturday and sister walter and I have on next saturday, so our bishop couldn't be more happy to see the ward growing. Love you all and hope you are having a great time for the start of school and everything!
Love,

Sister Rasmussen

Sunday, September 8, 2013

G'Day!

Another week gone by...time flies out here. Before I know it, it'll be transfer time again, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyways this week was a bit more of the same. We just keep going out and teaching, finding, teaching, finding, sleeping, meetings, teaching, finding, etc....pretty much no time for anything else and definitely not eating haha our ward members have become increasingly worried that we are like starving ourselves or something (not that I'm getting skinnier, I wish that were why), sparked by an offhand comment that sister Russell and I made to the primary president about having popcorn for dinner. (which was true but anyone who knows me knows that that is actually pretty normal for me haha) Anyways our ward is full of wonderful people and so we have been sent home with a number of frozen meals lately which has been great for during the week when we can't have dinner with members. So in case anyone was worried about me over here across the world, I am being very well taken care of :)
Things have been a bit rough with our investigators this week. It seems that as soon as we make any good progress with someone, the adversary just attacks them and even though we do all we can ultimately it's up to them to choose if they will follow Christ and overcome or just give up and carry on struggling on their own. Unfortunately thus far on my mission everyone I've ever set a baptismal date with has given up, and it's hard because I don't want to give up on them but if they've already made the decision in their hearts there really isn't much you can do, but hope that in the future they'll find the strength to follow Christ. And then we are back to the point of finding new people again. And then we have those investigators that do make progress but it's like two steps forward and one step back. It's good because it's progress but it's hard because it's realllllly slow. Those are the families I love so much because they are trying! That's all a missionary can ask for, is someone that is willing to do the small and simple things that are necessary to follow Christ.So anyways all I can do everyday is go out and work, so that's what I'll do, even if nothing goes right at least I've done all I can do. 
On a brighter not we saw a mama Koala with her baby last week that was so cute! So at least I can enjoy good weather and cute animals while I work :)
Hope everyeones week goes well!
Much Aloha

Sister Rasmussen

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy September!

Hello everyone! 
Well another week gone by here in the land down under. It's funny I actually have heard that song a lot since I've been here I guess it's like their claim to fame. The ward members have all been taking it upon themselves lately to teach me Australian things, like that pudding is not the kind of pudding we have but something that kind of looks like cake, but is floating on top of this boiling hot sauce stuff. It's really yummy and they pour custard on top,( which is what I would have called pudding in the first place).  It's all very confusing, but the end result is delicious. 
So I guess school has started now for everyone back home. How is it going? I'm losing all sense of time over here since we pretty much do the same things everyday and I am in this same area day in and day out. I would be getting a bit crazy except that we are so busy every day! It's wonderful really the amount of people we find to teach out here, and everyone is always really shocked but I think what this area needed all along was some sisters ;) The ward had a fundraising activity for this big youth conference they are having here in brisbane next year, kind of like EFY I think, and so they set up a tent at this sporting goods store and had a "Sausage sizzle". We went to help out because it was a good opportunity to serve the ward and also interact with heaps of nonmombers, so sister Tai and I get stuck on the grill cooking sausages. They don't have hot dogs here, they call them sausages and they are different looking and also they don't eat them inside hot dog buns they just put them on one slice of white bread and fold it over. It's so weird! Also they don't have normal sauces...no ketchup mustard and relish; it's tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, and sweet chili sauce. But it was a big hit and they made a lot of money for the youth. and we had a lot of fun selling them and cooking them with our bishop. 
Have I ever written and talked about the chocolate here?? well in case I haven't they have so much chocolate here! And it's all cadburry brand which is sooooo good. But they sell them in these huge blocks and they put the weirdest things in their chocolate. LIke pop rocks and jelly beans. There is a white chocolate bar that is flavored with L&P, which is a lemon flavored soda, so it's lemon and poprocks in the chocoalte and it tastes like lemon cake batter kind of with poprocks thrown in there. It's pretty good actually. I have to hold myself back from trying ever kind of chocolate i can get my hands on because there are so many different kinds I've never tried here and they are all so good! Except turkish delight, which was nasty. 
As far as missioanry work, things are looking good for this transfer. Sister walter and I found a new family that have so much potential it's amazing! They don't speak the best English but we took the mom on a church tour and you don't need language to feel the spirit so it was really good! The mom asked us when could she do the thing with the water? hahaha I about died of joy. So I'll keep you all posted on how that goes but things are looking up! and I'm excited to be here and be doing the Lord's work and be part of the big wave that is spreading over the world. 
Ofa Atu,

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, August 26, 2013

Transfers!!

Well this last week was our last week of the transfer and transfer calls were Sunday night. I had not a clue what to expect from transfers, but when we got the call we were all surprised because we are all staying! And not just the sisters in my ward but my entire zone is staying the same, other than the three missionaries who are returning home. So that's pretty exciting because I really like my zone. I have mixed feelings about it because I've been here three months and I'm ready for a change in a way, I think maybe because school semesters are three months long I'm just used to getting a switch-up around every three months. So I hope this next transfer doesn't drag along. I am also quite excited to stay just because I really do love the ward here and the people I've met and wasn't ready to leave them to some other missionary who doesn't love them as much as I do! It was actually quite sweet to hear so many members tell us they wanted to ring up president and tell him not to transfer any of us when we told them transfers were coming up. It's completely different in our ward now than how it was when I first got here. When I first got here we had ZERO support from members, bishop, or leaders. We were out here all on our own and it's taken a lot of hard work and patience and love but the ward has completely changed their attitude towards missioanry work. We are invited to ward council now, and all the leaders of the ward were telling us how excited they are to do missioanry work and they've never really been excited before. It's been so cool to see, and honeslty it makes me feel like I came to this ward for a reason and that part of the purpose of Heavenly Father sending me here was so that I could connect with ward members and get things going here, even if we haven't seen any baptisms yet I feel likemy last two transfers have been a real success just based on that. 
We have also seen a miracle with two less active ladies we have been visiting. We met them both on the first week of this last transfer. The first one sister Healy was baptized back in 2010 and went less active shortly after her baptism. When we met her she told us she wasn't mormon anymore and was going back to her catholic roots. She had some deeper doctrine questions that rocked her new faith and she wasn't able to get over them so she just kind of gave up and left and that brings us to now. So she brought up the issues she had and I honestly have no idea how I was able to find answers for her, truly the spirit brought to my memory things that I'm not even sure where I learned them, so thank you to all of the religion courses, sunday school, YW, and seminary teachers I've ever had because that knowledge that I thought went in one ear and out the other really did stop in there and stay and the spirit was able to bring it up again when I needed it. So after clearing up some of her major concerns, using Isaiah of all books! (I had no idea I knew anything about Isaiah until I started talking to her) she told us we could start from the beginning and teach her all the principles in the missionary lessons and she could ask any questions she had. So we have been meeting weekly with her and doing just that, we aren't even finished with the plan of salvation (she has so many questions!) but through out all of that she has now came to church 4 times in a row! She quit drinking coffee again without us even bringing it up, she started paying tithing without us saying a thing about it, and now she told us she wants to get her patriarchal blessing and work towards going to the temple!It's so amazing how learning about the principals of the gospel and feeling the truthfulness of them really helps people grow a desire to change. The more you study the gospel and feel it's truth the more you want to follow Christ. So that's just been incredible to see. And theres more! So the second lady is sister Bottaro and she is so cute! She is Australian but lived in canada the past 30 something years until she came back here for her health about 3 years ago. Well she got pnemonia and was in the hospital and rang the elders to give her a blessing and they told us to go visit her once she got home. So we did and she told us she wants to come back to church! So we have been visiting her and once she was well she came. Her first Sunday was also sister Healy's first Sunday. So we sat with them both and introduced them and now they are like best friends! Sister Bottaro drives sister Healy to church, they've been helping each other with the whole process of coming back and we missionaries didn't really have to do anything but invite and teach them and let the Spirit and Heavenly Father do the rest. I hope we get to see more success like this in our ward in this next transfer! Australia is a great place to be right now. OUr mission is going to have like 270 missionaries by November I think and it's growing so much! OUr new mission president is making lots of great changes and the whole place is just excited! I think the whole world is excited! So if you aren't involved in missionary work right now go talk to the missionaries in your ward because I know there is something for everyone to do in this work and the world needs it. Catch the wave! haha I love that expression so much ;)
Hope you all have a good week sorry for the novel!
Love,

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, August 19, 2013

We Went to the Zoo!!


We went to the zoo today!!! So I'll send heaps of photos, but I HELD A KOALA!!! 
And I fed KANGAROOS and WALLABIES!! It was magical. Mission goal accomplished. The zoo is just a small place over in our area but it was nice and they had a lot of really cool animals and lemurs and things and we were allowed to go around and feed a lot of them. The animals were all awake and moving around a ton too and not just sleeping in a corner like they usually are so it was just a really fun experience. Other than that this week has been a bit crazy and challenging but that's what Sundays are for and that's why we have new weeks to look forward to. Next week is our last week of this transfer! It's crazy how fast things are going. I don't know what I want to happen at transfers. In a way I really want to move on and experience a new area and everything but so much of me wants to stay here because of all the momentum we have been building here since I came, I feel like we are on the verge of miracles in this area and if we just carry on working as hard as we can a bit longer it will come. But I guess that's how the Lord works sometimes, and I'll probably get transferred right before all the good stuff. I hope all is well back home and everyone is enjoying their final weeks of summer. Winter here is a joke and it's already super warm and sunny everyday. Sorry this is short but I want to send photos!
Love you all!

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunny Australia!

Hey Everyone! 
We had a great weekend here in sunny Australia so I hope you all did as well. Church is always a good experience, and the ward I'm serving in is fantastic. It's amazing the way the ward has really started to catch the fire of missionary work here. When I first got to this ward spirits were low and it didn't feel very unified, people weren't super friendly with each other let alone to investigators that we would bring that they didn't even know but I've seen over the past 3 months how this ward is coming together and becoming more of a ward family through serving each other and working together. there is a lot of work to be done here and if we aren't united that work will not happen. When I first got here it made me miss the wards back home that I've lived in that were such close ward familes (Meadows 5th, Centennial Point, Laie 7) I have been truly blessed to live in wonderful ward familes that have always supported me so much and helped me get to where I am now. Those are the kind of loving ward families that investigators notice and want to be a part of and that's what we have been trying to grow here in the North Pine ward. 
Yesterday we had a mission conference with President Pearson in our Area Presidency. He is a member of the 70 and it was such a good meeting! He spoke to us for TWO HOURS STRAIGHT after we had an hour and a half before of other speakers. I've never ever experienced a two hour meeting I wasn't bored in before until yesterday. I honestly wanted him to keep speaking to us all day.Anyone who knows me knows I can't sit still that long, and I will admit my legs were shaking enough to move the whole bench by the end of it but my mind was all focus. That's a way that being a missionary changes your perspective definitely.We go around all day teaching people and uplifting them and taking their burdens on our hearts and so it was so so nice to sit and be uplifted ourselves, even if a lot of the upliftment was towards how we need to be better and work harder and do more haha. He did talk a lot about how wards and stakes need to be unified with missionaries for the work to progress. There are so many more missionaries in the field now but we won't see any increase in baptisms unless we all work together. It's pretty cool to be a part of the wave of missionaries that are out at this time. there are more missioanries in the field right now thatn ever have been and ever will be for a long time just in this 18-24 month period following the announcement. I'm glad that me, Tim, David, and James could all be apart of it and represent our family in this unique and exciting time. It's pretty exciting! 
I only have two more weeks in this transfer left and then I'm not sure if I'll be staying or going or what will happen so for any mail just use the mission PO Box. I'm conflicted about what I want to happen because of all the progress we have seen in this area I feel like miracles are just about to start happening here and we are building up to that so I don't want to leave yet but at the same time I want to experience other areas and see more of the mission and go out and help another area get going, so we will see! Either way I'll go where the Lord wants and it will be the best! At least I have two more weeks here at least to work as hard as I can. I hope everyon's summer is ending well, my "winter" is going great! 
Love and Aloha!

Sister Rasmussen

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"There is Beauty All Around"



First of all: Big Mahalos to everyone! I got SO MANY wonderful emails this week from the people I love. Thank you so much! I seriously appreciate the love so much. It always lifts my spirits a ton to hear from you and I want to know what is going on back home (Vegas and Hawaii) So thank you for keeping me updated! It is hard for me to reply to a ton of people just because we have to pay for our email time and we don't usually have much time but I will get back to you! 

I saw the  PACIFIC OCEAN last week after I emailed you all and it was such a beautiful moment! I will send you pictures. Last week P-day was actually pretty crazy we had to go to the doctors office because sister Tai had hurt her leg pretty bad the week before. So we didn't have enough km's on the car to go to the city to the usual mission doctor and sister henderson told us to find one in our area. One of our ward members had told us of an experience he had where he gave his doctor a Book of Mormon sooo...we called him up and found out who is doctor is and went to him haha just using every opportunity to find people to teach. So anyways sister Tai and I went into his office  for the appointment and he saw our badges and started asking us tons of questions and we basically had a lesson with him there in his office! she had to get an ultrasound on her leg which is what brought us to the coast and we had a fun time running around on the pier and NOT touching the sand or water :( sister Russel misses the Ocean as much as I do because she is from Durban, South Africa which is on the coast and she lives right on the beach too. The next day sister Tai and Russel went back to the doctor to have him look over the results and taught him again, even ending with a prayer right in his office! He is from Africa as well so that is just cool. The member who gave him the book of mormon is going to invite him over for an FHE type thing at our ward mission leaders house this weekend so I hope he comes and we can teach him more. 
Other than that this week was a little slow. A lot of lessons fell through and got canceled which is frustrating but just part of life I guess. Also we spent all day Wednesday in the city having interviews with president. The Interviews had to be like 1min long though because there were a lot of us and they had to go pick up three missionaries who got their visas mid-transfer. But sister Henderson told me during interviews that our mission now has a blog called australiabrisbanemission.com which shares stories of what is going on in the mission and miracles that happen. Our mission president's wife runs it but it has pictures and all sorts of good stuff on it so you should check it out. It's cool how into technology everything is getting. Our mission has a facebook page too (add it!) and president Monson is even on facebook apparently. I'm thinking that they will have missionaries in this mission on facebook soon enough as well which will be fun to see how that works. Well I haven't got a lot of time today because we got up early and took the train to the city this morning. After the temple one of the YSA girls in the ward who goes out with us a ton came and took us to lunch in Southbank so we got some sweet pictures and felt very Posh getting lunch in the city with our pretty dresses and catching the train. We went to Max Brenner for Dessert, and holy cow you all should go there! I know there is one in Vegas I can't remember for sure where...Venetian maybe? But the hot chocolate was delicious! haha anyways it has been a good and delicious day! 

Love you all!! 
Sister Rasmussen

Monday, July 29, 2013

Time Is Flying!

Hey everyone!! 
Well time is flying by over here! I can't believe how fast it is going. I also can't explain to you how much I love this work! This is the most rewarding thing I've ever done by far. I just love teaching people the gospel. Even though most people don't want to hear it I just love telling them anyways. This past week for some reason I think I got more bold with people but I love being bold. This is THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH ON EARTH. People need to know that. Their church might be great, but is Jesus Christ the one running it or just some guy who studied the bible a lot? The message of the restoration is amazing and it frustrates me so bad when people can't seem to understand it even when I explain it simply and boldly. But I love it when we find those people that you know you did touch. It's funny because this week was actually pretty tough for me, having a new companion and everything and having to lead the area is a lot of pressure, but I'm still so happy! Everything ends up working out in the end, and in the Lord's time. People may accept us or they may not but if we just keep doing what the Savior would do as his representatives than we are alright. 
Nothing super major happened this week we just kept on doing what we do :) Sister Walter is getting better at biking even though she still hates going up hills and she is super sore, she's getting into shape. She biked straight into a big signboard in front of the gas station the other night and I about died laughing, but she's getting the hang of it. Hahaha this morning there were these bird that flew outside our window when we were studying and they sound JUST LIKE MONKEYS and she looked up from studying like what the heck, so I told her they have monkeys here that swing around in the trees. She believed me for a while but I'm horrible at those kinds of jokes so I told her the truth. There are also these really pretty birds here that look like white and yellow parrots that sound like horrible dying babies screaming. NOT pretty at all. The animals here are just bizarro. There are also HUGE fruit bats here that swoop down over you when you bike under them and scare the living daylights out of me.  They have parks and trails throughout the whole area we serve in which is way nice for biking and talking to people and its really pretty except there are huge spider webs in absolutely every tree or bush, so you have to stay on the trail unless you want to be covered in spiders. Which all of you know is my worst nightmare. But it's a shame you can't go exploring in the trees. Next week we have Temple P-day and I'm pretty sure we are going to go to the zoo in the afternoon! We can feed Kangaroos there and hold Koala bears! So I will definitely send pictures next week if we do that. Anyways I love you all and hope you are having a great summer!
Love,

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, July 22, 2013

 Kangaroo on the Church grounds!!!!
 Fisher Family (investigators)
Pat & Moana (investigators)

Transfer 2 in Australia is off to a Good Start!

 Zone w/ New Mission President Hansen & Wife
 Companions & Lani
Memmott Family
G'day!
Well Last week was pretty crazy. I ended up with four different companions over the week. I started off Monday with sister Vaipulu, Tuesday I found out I would be training and so I was put with another sister, sister Pulusi, who was also  training while we waited for our companions to arrive, and so we drove all the way back home and as soon as we got home we got a call from the AP's telling sister Pulusi that her companion was at the mission home, but mine wasn't coming in until the wednesday or Thursday. So then I drove all the way back to the city that night to bring sister Pulusi to get her companion and got put with another sister in my zone, sister Parata for all of Wednesday. Sister Parata and I worked together in my area Wednesday just waiting for the phone call telling us to come back to the mission home to get our new companions. We were both freaking out all day we were so nervous. Sister Parata is from Wellington, NZ and she has been out the same amount of time as me, so we were both nervous to be training already. Sister Parata's eye was like twitching all day it was bad. But we got the call finally and we headed to the mission home again that night to get our new companions. It was a lot of driving to and from the city, I'm pretty used to driving on the other side of the car and road by now. I'll probably be super confused when I get back to the states. 
But anyways my new companion is sister Walter from Micronesia. She has been serving in the Nashville, TN mission waiting for her visa so she has been out almost the same amount of time as I have. So basically it's just the blind leading the blind again like it was when I was serving in Michigan. Except thank goodness we have the spirit to guide us or we would really be lost. She is really sweet though and I'm excited to serve with her. She's never really ridden a bike before so that has been a big challenge this week, but she has really been a trooper. I feel bad because I feel like I'm being the meanest trainer by making her bike when she's scared and sore and stuff, but we have appointments we have to get to and it's all part of the experience I guess. I just feel like I'm killing my trainee....
Anyways things here are great and I'm loving it! This next transfer should be really great and I hope we will have a few baptisms. The other two sisters I serve with got changed around too and so Sister Mafi left and sister Tai stayed and her companion is sister Russel from South Africa! OUr flat is so international! Four countries represented! My zone got switched around a lot as well so It's been fun getting to know lots of new missionaries this week. I hope everyone is having a great summer! Winter here is really nice and not cold at all except a little at night. But have fun in the sun for me!
Love,
Sister Rasmussen

 Fisher Family


New Companion/Sis. Walter

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Changes!!

G'day everyone how's it going?
I am in the middle of my first transfer P-day! It's been a crazy past week let me tell you. Transfers make everyone crazy I think. My lovely companion sister Vaipulu is returning home to Tonga/NZ tomorrow and so last week was a struggle for me to keep her motivated to do anything. She was so great the whole transfer and not trunky at all but she did lose it a little bit this last week haha it was hard to feel like I was pulling all the weight around here, but I may have to get used to that a little because I found out this morning I am going to be training a new sister! scary! but actually I think it is most likely that I will get a sister who was waiting for a visa like I was so she will be already half-trained probably and that's not so bad. I'll find out who I will be training either tonight tomorrow or thursday because they are getting here in different groups, from 2 different MTC's and other random missions. But I hope and pray that whoever I get will be a solid missionary because I am overwhelmed enough as it is. Everyone told me they thought I would train but I was still pretty surprised. I finished training myself two days ago?!? But as always I will go and do and the Lord will provide a way for me to accomplish the things he requires of me. I'm excited a lot for the new transfer because I feel like my area and myself as a missionary could really use a fresh start and new perspective. My investigators need someone new I think, to help them bridge that gap to become really converted and start keeping commitments better. We took a bunch of great pictures when we went around to visit everyone before sister Vaipulu left but I don't have my camera with me today.... sorry! next week I will send heaps I promise. and a picture of my new comanion as well. This week was hard also because Satan really has been working just as hard as we have with our investigators and all of them have been strggling in one way or another. We got dropped by one family that we had set dates with :( and other drama and stuff has been going on that was hard to deal with, without my companion also being an emotional rollercoaster. So I was really looking forward to today and getting a fresh start. Things are looking up though! and Satan will continue to work hard so I will just work harder. The great thing is that in the end I already know who is going to win and the Lord won't let me down as long as I am obedient to him. 
Thanks for all of the wonderful emails! I love hearing from everyone and finding out what you are all up to! 
Love you all!
Ofa Atu
Sister Rasmussen



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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Last Week of my First Aussie Transfer

Last Week of my first Aussie Transfer

G'day
Well this week was interesting. It's crazy how hyper-sensitive mission life makes you to the spirit. At the beginning of the week we didn't get our studying in like we should have and I could feel the difference it made in the rest of our week. Things just didn't go the way we had planned at all. But the amazing thing is that even though we didn't have the week we expected the Lord is still the director of this work and he still lead us to the places we needed to be and the people we needed to speak to. I remember before I left I would hear people talk about "lazy missionaries" or missionaries that were junk and when I got to Michigan I honestly couldn't even see how you could be lazy in this work, but now I realize that there's a difference between missionary lazy and normal people lazy. It's crazy how your perspective changes. But I'm going to try my best to never become any kind of lazy, even though I could feel this week the little things starting to creep up now that I'm getting the hang of how this all works. I just want to come home exhausted every night knowing there was nothing more I could have done for the Lord that day.
Sister Vaipulu and I are getting so overwhelmed in this area by all the people the Lord has placed in our path. It's insane and like I've said before it really scares me at times but I just need to learn to trust in the Lord. So some of the people we are teaching: The Fisher family; a single mom with 6 daughters! they are 19,17,14,13,10, and 6. we are also teaching the 19 and 17-year-olds boyfriends. They are Aboriginal and just the sweetest family, it will take some time and patience and a lot of work but I honestly know the Lord lead us to them so that we could baptize their family. Then we are teaching another single mom named Lisa and her daughter who is also 10 and her 7 yr old son. They are awesome and will be really great members as well.Then Another couple Michelle and Adrian and their, you guessed it 10 yr old son, and they have a new baby. Michelle is really cool and young and a baby nurse and the Memmott family have been helping us fellowship them really well. Then we have another couple named Rob and Nicole who are cool. They are both going through really rough times but they are super receptive to the message and I can already see their relationship with God growing. And then another couple named Suni and Renee was kind of a miracle find for us. So the very first night I was here we went outside our flat for something I can't remember and we were waiting for the cross walk sign to light up and Suni and Renee walked up to us. We started talking to them and found out they are pretty involved in their own church but they gave us their address and said we could stop by if we wanted to. So this whole transfer we have been riding by their house and we will stop and knock and they've never been home so we will leave a note on the porch saying that we stopped and hopefully we will see them sometime. So the other day we were in front of our flat again and Suni was coming out of McDonald's and when we talked to him he told us to come over Monday night! So we taught them and it was the best first lesson I've ever had so far on my mission. They are so ready for the gospel in their lives! So we will keep teaching them and get them to church and it should be all good there as well. Those are just the poepl we are teaching that have baptismal dates. We have 10 people commiteted to be baptized sometime in August. It's crazy! That is verrrry not typical for our mission, like we have more people with baptismal dates in just our area than most entire zones in the mission have in their zones. So that is why I feel overwhelmed sometimes. But The Lord won't give me anything I can't handle. It is stressful also knowing sister Vaip[ulu is leaving next week and I'll have a new companion on top of it all as well, but....with god nothing shall be impossible, so I got this. 
On Saturday we had a 4th of July BBQ at the Memmots house which was wonderful! We had burgers and hot dogs, which are not quite the same here but close. And all the typical BBQ things. But it got dark at like 530 and was "cold" because it's winter so that was weird. It actually wasn't cold at all it was like probably in the 70's but they have a different idea of what cold is in this country. I  made the sisters I live with sing the tar spangled banner with me on the 4th too. I hope everyone set off tons of fireworks for me!! You know how much I love the 4th of July! I miss Summertime as well and just the whole atmosphere of July, becuase here it is winter but not Christmas so everyone is all grumpy and wintery without having any Christmas cheer. It's trippin me out. So live it up in the summer sunshine please! 
Love you all!!
Sister Rasmussen