Sunday, June 29, 2014

100 in June!! JuneBoom!!!!

Such a good end to our Joyful June with our goal of 100 baptisms. We had a mission wide conference call with our mission president and his wife and also President and Sister Hamula the area president. They announced to us that we did it! Something that has never been done before in the history of the Australia Brisbane Mission as it currently stands, that is break over 100 baptisms in one month! We got 105 during this joyful month of June! I am so happy for the mission and mostly for all those 100 beautiful people who entered into those waters. 2 of which were people that I really had a lot to do with. The first was a beautiful young mom who I found and taught in Toowoomba who was baptised earlier in the month. We met her in January when we were following up on some less active sisters for our relief society president. The lady we were originally looking for didn't live there, but I think Heavenly Father knew who we were truly looking for. We taught her and saw her progress and start to truly build her relationship with her Saviour and with Heavenly Father again. I was so sad to be transferred but I knew Sister Fesolai and her new companion would be able to continue to help her and after much fasting and prayer and the softening of her husbands heart she was baptised!
The second baptism of the 105 that I was directly involved in was of Shaun. We had the baptism this weekend. I wrote about it in my letter to my mission president already so I might just copy/ paste that in here so I don't have to type it all again:

Dear President Henderson,
This week was one of the most epic, spiritual, faith building, weeks I've ever had. It was such a hard labour of love getting our investigator Shaun into the waters of baptism, I really can't believe it, but I can because throughout it all even when it seemed impossible Sister Moran and I had this overwhelming sense of peace in knowing that although we might not be able to see exactly how we knew that God would make it happen. On Tuesday Shaun was really flustered. He wanted to wait to be baptized on July 26th. He felt like he wouldn't be strong enough with his smoking to get baptized any sooner and he was not feeling confident or ready at all. We left that lesson not knowing quite what to do but feeling hopeful and having faith that he would in fact be able to be baptised this past weekend. We decided to just act in faith and have him interviewed for baptism anyways. So he was interviewed Wednesday and he passed his interview perfectly fine, which helped him recognize that he really was qualified and ready to be baptised, but he still wasn't really keen on this weekend. We had been fasting on Wednesday that he would be able to be ready and so we had a talk with him and shared scriptures from Alma chapter 18. I could really feel the spirit teaching through me. I shared insights to those scriptures in our lesson with him that I had never even thought of before. It was pretty incredible. In the end we committed him to pray and ask God if he should be baptised on Saturday. Later that evening he called us to say after we left he had gone outside to chat to the neighbours, who are members, and asked them about what they think he should do, and they encouraged him to be baptised "straightaway" so he knew he should go and pray to God about it and he did! He said he received an answer from God that he should do it now! When we heard that news we were overjoyed. The events leading up to his baptism and organizing things are all a blur. I know it was the enabling power of the atonement giving us the strength and clarity of mind to do more than we normally would be able to do as we organized a program, made assignments, found clothes for him to wear, made sure the font was filled and all those other wonderful things that need to happen. We somehow got it all done in time. He was confirmed Sunday at church and said he had a wonderful warm feeling of light all throughout him. I have literally seen the power of the atonement heal this man throughout the time we have taught him and I know now that he is baptised he will only continue to become more refined and more whole. It has been an amazing miracle! Thank you so much for all your love and support and encouragement and faith, our mission is in such a different place then it was just a year ago, it is incredible. 
Just to add a few more details. The morning before his baptism which was scheduled for 2pm, at about 12 we realized our new assistant ward mission leader was a bit lost and confused because after talking to him we learned that in fact there was only one confirmed speaker, no program typed up, and no one was filling the font. So off we sped to the library to make a program in about 20min. We drummed one up and added in a few speakers, while he told us he'd sort out the font. 1pm rolls around and we call him, turns out still no one is filling the we race to the chapel and we have to pick up the elders along the way. Their job was to find him some white clothes, turns out they don't have any pants to fit him. So on our way we pass a sports store and I suggest we just run in and buy some cricket pants, we park in front of an opshop and decide to check in there first and what do we see but a pair of white pants exactly the right size for him! Small miracles like that are what show me Heavenly Father truly is involved in every little detail of our lives. We get to the chapel and hallelujah someone had figured it out and the font was filling, and the rest is history, Shaun got baptized.  He did try to sit on the back row of the chapel for his own baptism which was funny but in the end it happened and Sister Moran and I were like too exhausted to even jump for joy. We also got a mini missionary dropped off to our house that morning for the week. So that should be fun!
Sorry for this extra long novel of an email but this week was really just epic.
Love you all!

Sister Rasmussen

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Joyful June in Full Swing

> Well joyful june is still in full swing. We were a bit disappointed when one of our investigators didn't make it to church so we had to drop his baptismal date. but all is well and we will persevere. Another of our investigators is preparing for baptism but he is just finding it very difficult to give up smoking. So we are doing our best to help him and have the faith that by the end of this month he will be fully smoke free! So that is exciting. Another exciting this is that Sister Moran and I are having an epic roadtrip this afternoon to travel to Maryborough which is about 3.5 hours north of us up the Sunshine Coast. I am excited to go on a roadtrip! We are staying with them for a day and then driving halfway back down and staying with the Sisters in Kawana Waters for a day and then coming home on Thursday night. It should be fun. I'm exctited to be anywhere that has "coast" in the name haha apparently Kawana waters has lots of surfers, so that will be great fun It's a bit hard to juggle the responsibility to go on tradeoffs with the sisters and our own area. We are missing three days of our own work and things, but I know that the Lord will provide for us with the enabling power of his infiinite atonement he will make it possible for us to do all the things we need to to serve him and provide a way for us to accomplish more than we thought we were able to and to get the important things done. Anyways I hope everyone is having as Joyous a June as we are here in Sunny Australia. Love you!

> Sister Rasmussen

Joyful June is Nearly Over :(

Aloha Family,
So this week has been pretty fun! and you know how time flies when you're having fun.... although I'd say that "fun" when you are a missionary is definitely defined differently. BY "fun" what I mean is that my companion and I have barely had time to think. fun=busy. So anyways you'd think we would be less busy now that our area is smaller and we are splitting it with the elders, but ever since they got here it's like we have had so much to do! and having the other sisters in our flat with us as well has been a bit hectic. We had to rearrange everything in the flat to accommodate for them to have a place to sleep and study as well. So everything has been a giant mess as we've moved everything around and so every spare moment, which isn't often, we've been having to organize, clean, and try and get things in order. We also have the elders ringing us every hour because they are totally lost trying to get around the area and they have no idea where to go. We finally have an assistant ward mission leader, so we are trying to correlate with him, and we have more appointments then we can possibly fit into a day. Which is great. We are sharing our car with the sisters and now we are one day with and one day without the car, so we have the added time constraint of trying to travel around. We are trying to organize for the elders to come with us to meet the investigators we have in their area that we will be passing over to them, and then trying to squeeze in time to go out and find new investigators and people to teach in our area. We also have the biggest region of sisters to look after, 8 companionships spread out from just north of Brisbane all the way up to the very top of the Sunshine coast. So we have to try and contact them throughout the week and make sure they are all doing well, and everyone has been SICK like something is going around. I guess because it's Queensland "winter" at the moment, which really isn't cold at all. So we have to fit in doing a trade-off with all of them in the 6 weeks we have, which now is only 5 because week 1 is finished. We did go on one this weekend, but 7 more to go in the next 5 weeks will be crazy. Then on top of and most important than all of this, we are putting all the faith and prayer and time and energy we have to getting our investigator Shaun to the waters of baptism this weekend. It is crazy because we have literally been watching the powers of God and the power of the adversary fighting over this poor man's soul. At least we know that good will always triumph over evil in the end, but it will take so much faith and so much work. This next week will be intense. I have faith though and I know if it's God's will that Shaun be baptised this weekend it will happen. So that's just a little bit of the things going on here at the moment. The work is rolling forth down under and I'm so grateful, blessed, and excited to be a part of it. Hope all is well back home. I heard the US is doing alright in the world cup :) 
Alofa Atu,

Sister Rasmussen

Transfer 11 in Now Underway

Well another eventful transfer day is now here again. I'm not going anywhere and neither is my companion Sister Moran, and I do know that she will be leaving me for sure after this transfer, she's going on the big transfer home, so that means I'll more than likely be here for another transfer after this. So that's a lot of time spent here in this area at the end of the day. But you know what?  I'm excited because I will really know what it's like to live here and I already love the people and the ward and can't wait to serve here and see miracles. However it wouldn't be a transfer P-day without craziness. So we found out this morning that our ward is getting a companionship of elders to come and serve with us! YAY! Really though I'm excited it's a big area and a lot to handle on our own so it will be good to have the elders and they will be able to engage the men in the ward in missionary work in a way that we really can't. BUT WAIT there's more. We are also getting two sisters moving into our flat who will be splitting the elders ward south of ours into two. So it will be two sisters and two elders in both wards, the same thing president has been doing throughout the mission in all the zones. But I'm just excited to have more sisters in our flat, even though it means shorter showers and less hot water haha I'm even more excited because one of the sisters is Sister Walter!! I love her and am so excited to be in the North Pine flat again with her. We are back to exactly the place we both were in one year ago next month. The Lord surely does direct his work in mysterious ways. We have this big mission goal of 100 baptisms in June so for the next two weeks that is our biggest focus in getting people into the waters of baptism. We have 2 investigators that potentially could be baptised next weekend the last weekend in June, we just need to help them quit smoking for good, and get to church. Smoking is so horrible!! But I have faith that it can be done, it might be harder then moving a mountain in at least one of the cases but it definitely can be done. So that's what is going on in my life at the moment. Also I just can't believe the short amount of time I have left here as a missionary. It is flying by much too fast and getting faster all the time. Anyways Alofa Atu and have a great week!

Sister Rasmussen

Monday, June 2, 2014

Joyful June!

Aloha Family!
So our mission dubbed May to be Miracle May and now we are going into Joyful June! Yay! Our mission has BIG GOALS for the month of June, like having 100 convert baptisms in June. The funny thing is that I arrived in Australia a year ago this week, and when I arrived we were in the midst of sending President and Sister Langeland "home with 100" baptisms in June that year. We definitely fell short of that goal. The thing is that this time around I can feel that we are going to see miracles and that this goal will be accomplished because this is Heavenly Father's goal. I think last time it was his goal too, but maybe it wasn't ours. The mission really wasn't in a place to accomplish the goal, we weren't as obedient, as skilled, as diligent, as prepared, etc as we are now. We have been through a lot of refining and what President Henderson has helped us understand is "the mighty change" in our hearts and the hearts of our members as well. Things are so different than they were a year ago, and nothing has helped me really see that then being in the exact same area that I was in a year ago. It's difficult not to make the comparison of where I am now, to where I was then. The mission has truly changed myself more than anyone else. It's funny because I remember before I left thinking to myself that I hoped I didn't change at all, I wanted to still be "me" when I got home. I'm glad I pretty much abandoned that idea within my first week at the MTC and I've been slowly and steadily handing over bits of myself to Heavenly Father to make what he wants out of me instead of what I can make out of myself. That's definitely a practice I've realized I will continue for the rest of my life and probably all of eternity as well. He just knows so much better what awesome things we are capable of, we limit ourselves so much. Stepping into this whole new leadership role where I have to step up not just for myself and my companion but a whole region of sisters and in a way all the other missionaries in the mission is definitely proving to continue to refine me but I know I'll get the hang of it eventually. 
In other news it's starting to get cold here First day of winter was Sunday. We got to go to the mission home and have P-day with President and Sister Henderson last P-day because sister Kjaw is going home and she is a chef, so she wanted to cook for them before she left and we got to enjoy the ride! Also sister Henderson had butter flavoured crisco!! WOO!! So I made cookies too ;) that made my day! here's a link to the pics: 
Hope everyone has a great weekend start to their summer! 
Ofa Lahi Atu
Sister Rasmussen