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