Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Top picture: Cassidy with new convert, Heather. 
Bottom picture: Members of Cassidy's district.

Bedbugs, Mice, and Happy Thanksgiving! 11-25-13

Well hey it was another pretty great week out here in Ohio! 

 And I am officially an adult. I caught a mouse in our apartment! Hahah bet you didn't think that I would ever do that. I didn't. And also.. the house we stayed at while we were in Kirtland had bed bugs... and they did bite. They didn't bite me thankfully. Some other sister's got bitten (is this even a word?)  bad!  But we are still not sure if they got into our stuff so we now have them at our apartment. Hopefully not.. I mean I came to OHIO on my mission not like Nicaragua.. so this is a scam that I am having to deal with bugs and rodents. hahaha. I want a refund! Also.. we may have slid into an intersection on the ice the other night.. but we were protected and luckily we did not get hit and we were kept safe. It was a Christmas miracle! But we will make it out fine so don't you worry mom! Hahah really don't worry it was a freak accident. But I really know that we were kept safe... Heavenly Father was looking out for us!! 

In terms of missionary work this week... a lot of people had weird things come up and they had to cancel. Which was a huge bummer. But we were able to meet with Brenda a lot, and with Lavonne. Lavonne is doing so good! She is the funnest person to teach ever. She just eats it all up and asks awesome questions and really wants to learn. The other night she said that when we come over she feels a lot of peace, and calm, and it brings her a lot of hope! We have an awesome lady named Heather, who just joined the church a few months ago.. and she came teaching with us. She was telling Lavonne about how the Book of Mormon has helped her, and how the church has had such an amazing impact on her life. It was great having her come because she really could connect with Lavonne. Plus Heather is just really awesome! She had us over for an early thanksgiving dinner last night and it was so good. I may have gained like 8 pounds. 

Brenda, Brenda, Brenda. So she was supposed to be done smoking this week... and tried.. and she ended up caving. Which kinda broke my heart.. but we are in no way giving up hope. She realizes now that she can't just do it on her own and that she is going to need help. Which is a huge step. She has gotten really discouraged and doesn't have a lot of faith in herself and it is really sad. I have been really focusing on helping her understand that God loves her always, even when she messes up or feels like she doesn't deserve his love. I really hope we can help her because she is the coolest lady probably ever and I have really grown to love her. Plus she cracks me up too. She tried telling us that if you want to be skinny then you need to eat Chinese food for every meal... and I just sat there like.. what. hahah. And then she said that she "Can't wait to be in the white jumpsuit and get baptized!" It was classic. 

Yesterday we had a lesson with this family from India. We went into their house and I felt like I was in a different country. It was so cool. They are Hindu and so they like told us about their beliefs and we told them about our's.. and they were hands down the nicest, most respectful people I have EVER met in my life. They were so impressed that we give up 18 months to teach people about God. They are like Hindu missionaries.. and spend around 5 days a month doing missionary work. And they go to Australia every year and do work there! They said "We have to teach people about God because he gives us everything. Like my tongue.. if it got all dry... I would die. But everyday God puts drops of water on my tongue so I am alive." I was like yep I totally agree. I am still blown away about how cool they were. This is maybe my favorite thing about my mission... meeting people and being able to just talk to them about what they really believe. I mean I have met people from all over at school and stuff, but you don't get to actually talk about God and what matters most to them in their life. And even though our religions are totally different, when it comes down to it they love God and are trying to put him at the center of their life.. and that is exactly what I am trying to do as well. They really reminded me of what my purpose is and why I am on a mission. And also they said "Tell your parents thank you for raising you right. So many young kids people like you just want to be with friends and hangout. You are actually helping the world. Thank your parents, and thank Jesus for you guys." SO yeah they were officially the nicest/most inspiring people I have met. 

We didn't get to see Joe AGAIN this week.. it is starting to make me depressed. But we did talk to him for eh like 123 minutes on the phone. He reallllly likes to talk. But I have some good Joe Quotes for you this week. 
So we invited him to be baptized on January 4th and he said "Well... my birthday is on December 25th... but okay sounds good." and we were like what? hahah Then he said "I won't be nude will I??" And then he said "I have to go under the water? That will mess up my hair! Actually I don't have any hair I just said that as a joke." I was laughing so hard. 
Then he was saying that he is going to cook for us.. and that he wants to cook for everyone at church. And he said "I will make chicken. There are 6 different ways to make chicken. I can make it with or without calories." ha ha ha I was like... wow Joe you can cook food with no calories? Sign the whole world up for that one.
And he was telling us how he will quit gambling.. but he said "I was sitting there and then I asked myself... WHAT THE HECK does texas hold em got to do with anything? I just don't understand." hahah we have a lot of things to explain to him. But he always makes it entertaining. 
And Joe has been really stressed because A) he is really sick. And B) His wife has been in Arizona with his daughter because she has Alzheimer's, and I guess she doesn't do well with Joe anymore. And he called us all panicked because she was going to come home this week. We said a prayer with him over the phone to help calm him down because he was honestly in tears. He called us back an hour later and said that a miracle had just happened, and his daughter called and said that his wife isn't coming back anymore. Joe was so relieved and he said it was because of our prayer. It really was a little miracle that Heavenly Father was able to just eliminate that stress for him.  He said that us coming to his door saved his life, and that he is so thankful to God everyday that he has us. I mean my mission is already all worth it because I know Joe. He said too that he loves my family.. so he loves you guys. He thinks you are all really cool. You get the Joe Zarlino stamp of approval. Good work. 

Well.. that is pretty much it for this week. Hopefully I will have some more exciting news next week. I did meet an old African American guy who has gold grills... that was pretty cool. Anywho I have to get going but I love you all so much and I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving. I wish I could be home with you.. I will be missing you guys a lot. I am so thankful for you and for all the support you give me. I am probably the most blessed girl in the world. 

Have a great week!

Love Cassidy  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sleepy Cassidy Photo 11-18-13

Cassidy's description of this picture: Sometimes when it is late and dark outside and we have no appointments we have to come home and make phone calls all night. Sometimes people talk forever and ever and I just lay down on the floor. This is missionary life in its prime. Ha ha, but really-this is so funny!

Picture of Cassidy and her companion 11-18-13.

Cassidy and her companion. November 18, 2013

11-18-13 Letter from Cassidy

HELLO. HI. Hey everyone. I miss you guys a lot!  But I am one happy camper here in Ohio and I had such an awesome week and I just want to tell you all the cool stuff so here we go. 

Okay the coolest thing happened last Tuesday. So Monday night we were planning for Tuesday, and we were finding old (like people who used to meet with missionaries) to stop by. We found a few promising people, and then I was flipping through people and I saw this guy Frank. He didn't look promising really but for some reason I felt like we needed to stop by his house. So Tuesday, none of the people were home.. so we headed to Franks. We get there, knock on the door, and a woman answers and tells us to come it. First I hate heart failure because no one just lets us in before we even say who we are... but hey I am not complaining. So we went in and asked if Frank was there... and she said that she had just bought this house. So I was like, GREAT Frank moved this is a nightmare. But then the lady (her name is Lavonne) said "I met with missionaries like you once before I moved here". I really did have heart failure that time. She thought that the other missionaries might have sent us to her, that is why she let us right in. And she went on to say that she knows God sent us to her, and that us showing up was Him reaching out to her. She said she really needs help right now and that she was so happy that we came by. I was literally dying. Dead. I mean she moved into this old potential investigator Frank's house... and I was lead there. I mean there is no way that God is not leading us because this does not just happen. It was the coolest experience ever. I know that missionaries met Frank years ago, so that we could go back and find Lavonne now. And getting to see these miracles is coolest thing ever. Man I love being a missionary. So we have been back teaching Lavonne, and we are teaching her more this week. She is the coolest! She is so willing to learn, and it is fun because she is really straightup about things. Most of our investigators make it a mystery if they have questions or concerns.. and we spend half the time trying to dig into their souls and see if they even understand what we are teaching. But Lavonne just tells us everything and it is so fun. 

I also had a really cool experience up at Kirtland! So on Thursday, these other missionaries brought in one of the people they are teaching, and his name was Frank. There are a lot of people named Frank in my life right now, it's gettin weird. haha. But anyways so he was an older guy.. and he comes in, and shows us this picture that he drew of a Sawmill. We looked at it and we were like "Wow you drew the Kirtland Sawmill!" and He told us that  TWO months before he met the missionaries, he had a dream of the sawmill, and woke up in the middle of the night and drew the picture. Last week the missionaries gave him this Kirtland coin and for some reason it made him think of the Sawmill... so he showed them the picture and they freaked out. And the sawmill in his dream was the exact same as the Kirtland one... and he didn't even know it existed. So he took it as a sign and we got to give him a tour! It was so incredible. I never really liked the sawmill because I thought it was kinda boring (whoops) but this changed my whole perspective and now I kinda love the sawmill. It was just really neat that God spoke to him through something in Kirtland. It was just a really cool experience. 

Other than Frank, Kirtland was really slow this week. They are getting ready for our big Nativity event (where there are over 500 different nativity sets) so hopefully once that starts going next week we will get busier! One day we were bored, so we just did a lot of studying. We got to study some of the Doctrine and Convents in the rooms that they were received in. I can't really think of  a cooler place to study the scriptures. And we also thought it would be a good idea to eat chili peppers that are growing in front of the Whitney home.... BAD IDEA. My mouth and lips were literally a raging inferno and I thought I was potentially going to have to die. Never again will I pick a random pepper and eat it. It did spice up the day thought... (see what I did there? Ha ha.) 

We didn't go tracting at all this week because we had so many lessons... which is amazing! I feel so blessed that we have so many people to teach. We taught Barbra about the Word of Wisdom.. and I was kinda nervous because I had never taught it before really, but she took it really well and she said she is going to stop drinking coffee.. so that was cool. Brenda is going to be done smoking by Thursday this week (AH SO EXCITED) so she can be baptized! She is doing so good since she has been praying for strength to overcome it.. and I really have a lot of faith that it is going to happen. Keep praying for her! 

The hardest thing this week was a lot of bad things keep happening to the people we are teaching (like family deaths, getting robbed, ect...) and 2 of them this week said "I don't understand why now that I am trying so much harder to be better and get closer to God, that all these hard things are happening." And it is really hard to watch them go through stuff because I really do love them. We have been trying to explain that sometimes bad things happen before great things do, and that sometimes things happen to test our faith. I am praying that they will not give up because I know that things will get better for them and that the Gospel really will bless their lives. 

Joe had to have surgery or something on his leg.. so he wasn't able to come to church. Which was a major travesty. I wanted to cry. But I got to talk to him for a good hour on the phone... because he never quits talking. He was telling me about before he found God he was some tough mean guy supposedly.. and he said "I used to be like 'I DONT NEED YOU CASSIDY' (in a loud booming voice)." and he went on saying "THE ANGRIER I GOT THE MORE POWERFUL I GOT" And I was literally laughing so hard. It was the funniest thing ever. And he was saying that he would try to come to church, but that he couldn't walk. So I told him we could get a wheelchair to push him around.. and he said "NO ONE in the church is going to see Joe Zarlino in a wheelchair. People look at you if you are in a wheelchair. I will crawl, hop, or skip if I have to. I know in my heart and in my mind that I can do it." hahahaha I was dying. IT kills me everyday that I can't make a Joe Zarlino twitter account.. because the things he says are too good. I actually get really sad all the time that I can't put stuff on youtube.. because I meet like 6 people a week who should be youtube sensations. Ya know the "Hide yo kids, hide yo wife" and "Aint nobody got time for that" I am literally teaching 48 people who are like that but funnier. I mean I could get rich with these people... it is a lot of wasted potential.. but what can I do.  I just wish you could see them. Heavenly Father really loves me because he sends me to the funniest people on the planet. I actually spend WAY too much of my time laughing.. it is becoming a problem. I just am having so much fun being a missionary and getting to meet so many different people. They each have blessed my life so much, and I know that the Gospel is blessing their lives as well. Missionary work is probably the coolest thing ever. 

Well, I have to get going but I hope that you all have a great week! I love you lots! 

Love Cassidy 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013
First snow Picture

November 12, 2013 Letter from Cassidy

Hey everyone!

I have officially been on my mission for 2 months already.... what? I swear I left last week. Time is flying WAY too fast. Well it was another great week here in Ohio! It was slightly less exciting than normal.. and we have had a lot of rain.. and today it turned to a lot of snow.. so I might not make it much longer... but we are really blessed and are able to meet with really awesome people! 

We have so many great people we are working with right now, it is almost a little unreal. Like how did I get so blessed?  Who knows.  But really this is funny. So we are teaching 2 Barbras, 2 Brendas, 2 Joes, and 2 Jeffs.... so let's just say praying for investigators gets REAL confusing. And I will call Brenda Barbra and then I will call Barbra the Barbernator while we are praying in a lesson and things are just a struggle sometimes. hahaha. And sometimes I pray for Barbra and my companion says "Brenda" and then I lose it.  But I am working on it and hopefully by the time I am done with my mission I will be able to say people's names. It's a process with me. 

So one of the Brendas is the one I talked a little bit about last week. We have been meeting with her a lot and she is really working on quitting smoking. We had break through the other night.. I asked her if she had prayed to have God's help to quit.. and she said she hasn't. She said that she knows if she prays that He will help her and take it away.. but she is scared that she will get sick and that's how He will get rid of her desire to smoke. But last night at our lesson we had her say a prayer and she asked for His help and man the spirit was so strong. It is really neat to see her have faith and realize that she can't do it on her own. She has been trying to quit for years on her own.. and she really knows she can't do it alone. I mean that is how I feel basically every single day here on my mission. I am in no way qualified to help these people.. and most of the time I have no clue what to do. It is actually so hard because I love these people and it is hard to feel like I can't help them the way they really need.. but the great thing is that I know I am not doing it alone. I feel Heavenly Father help me so much every day. It is incredible how me and my companion will be able to find people and teach people and help people in a way that we never planned to. Honestly every single day is just full of miracles and I feel so blessed to be a part of it. But back to Brenda, she has a really strong testimony of the church and the Gospel, and she is really working to quit by the 21st so she can be baptized on December 14th! I am excited because I know she can do it with His help. 

One of the funniest things that happened this week was it was a really nice day and we were helping a lady in our ward do some painting. And after we were headed to go tracting. And we were in our car saying a prayer before we started... and literally RIGHT then it started pouring rain. Pouring. It was the funniest thing ever. Everytime we got to knock some doors it becomes a torrential downpour. And then when we are done, it stops. It is classic. But we do what we gotta do. 

We had the COOLEST lesson this week. So we were teaching this old guy named Maurice Mackwhinnie (yeah coolest name ever) he is really old but super nice. (Of course he is old... hahaha only the old people like us) but so we were teaching him.. and then there was another guy at his house and he sat down and started listening. And  we were sorta talking about how God works in mysterious ways..And we started talking about the Book of Mormon and all the sudden the other guy (his name is Frank) says "I have one of those books!" and he ran downstairs and came back with a Book of Mormon. He told us that his step-brother just committed suicide in September.. and the one thing he got from his house was the Book of Mormon. He is not sure why his brother had it... but that is what he took.  And then he was just sitting there looking at the book and said "God does work in mysterious ways.. and I think this is one of them". It was the best thing ever. He is really having a hard time with losing his brother and I know that the gospel would help him so much. It is just amazing how God lead us to him. This whole week I have just been so blown away by how we manage to find these people who need to know more about God and life and what happens after we die and everything. So hopefully we can help Frank out more because that was one of the coolest experiences of my mission! 

Last night we taught a lesson outside in the pouring rain.. to a lady who has short term memory loss.. she has a really rough life and she doesn't think that God really loves her personally or answers her prayers. We were able to teach her a little and she said she will read the Book of Mormon!.. Hopefully she remembers us when we go back over.. that could be really interesting haha. 

Joe was out of town this week in Columbus.. but he did say some classic #joequotes over the phone. like "If you take me out with you to find people to teach... ain't nobody gonna be slamming no doors in your face." And "I will be at church on sundayand NO ONE can stop me." hahaha then he said "Life is not a straight road. It has curves in it." Deep. and then he said he wants to go with us so he can be our guardian angel so nothing happens to us. He makes me laugh so much. I am really glad we have him to make us laugh all the time! 

We had another cool lesson with this lady named Mary. The cool things she said were "This  Book of Mormon must be true and important because Satan is really trying to tear it down." And I was like AMEN SISTER. But really.. the Book of Mormon is the best thing in the world. I have read it twice on my mission already and it just basically makes my life. I really think everyone should just read it once.. just give it a shot.. and then see what you think. It strengthens my testimony of Jesus Christ so much every time I read from it and I really love it so much. I mean I liked it before my mission... but now that I have been really studying it and using it to help other people, I have realized how powerful and incredible it is. I am a little bit obsessed and I just sometimes wish I could force people to read it so they can know how cool it is... but agency is a thing so I will just have to let them chose to read it. Hahaha.

ANYWAYS I am done with my rants. I am loving the people and my mission and I love all of you guys! I miss you so much and I would LOVE to hear from you.. in letter form! I know you are all busy but if you ever have time just send me a short letter! I sometimes really miss you guys throughout the week and it would be so fun to get the mail and have a letter. Thanks for all of your support and prayers! I hope you all have a great week!

Love Cassidy 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Joe with Cassidy and Companion 11-4-13

Cassidy with Joe and missionary companion, week of November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013

Well it has been such a good week. I feel like I probably say that every single letter... but that is because I have just had a lot of good weeks haha. Hopefully it stays that way! 

I never know where to start because I have so much to tell you and so little time. But I guess I'll just go over the highlights of the week. 

We had two lessons with Inger this week! The first one we had a member come with us.. and she is sorta an old crazy lady... and let's just say she confused me with what she was saying. She was talking about the Jewish religion and about reading the Bible 20 times and I was just sitting there terrified that she would scare Inger away. But luckily she let us come back on Wednesday and we helped her not be so confused. She is so awesome and I love meeting with her because she is A. The nicest person ever and B. She really wants to learn and improve her life.. and it is fun to be a part of that. 

We had a few funny/awesome tracting experiences this week. So there was this one day we stopped by a member's house who lived in a really fancy neighborhood.. and we were scared to tract it because rich people are scary to tract hahaha dumb but true... so we looked at the map and we both felt impressed to go to this different area... so we get there... and the houses were the biggest/fanciest houses ever... and we tracted. It was just funny because we were chickens on the other street so we left... and the next one was WAY scarier. But we did it and we are now stronger people haha. We were tracting in a really poor area later... which is way more fun.. and we met some serious characters. This one guy opened his door..and let's just say he was not a small guy in any way.. and he wasn't wearing a shirt.. and yeah it was just terrifying. And he said his name was Willy.. but I am pretty sure it was Wooly.. like a Wooly Mammoth. hahah okay just kidding but really there are just some things you wish you could un-see. Then we met/had a lesson with this old lady named Edith... and she was a hoot. I could only unerstand about 2 words she said.. so I was just nodding and saying yeah... yep... great... and then I was talking about prophets and she was like "I didn't know there were popets". She is basically the coolest hahah. About 90% of the people we are teaching are very elderly... so things are always interesting and awesome. 

On Wednesday we were tracting and we were telling this guy about how we have a living prophet today and he says "I have been waiting my entire life for this!" He said that he always thought there should be a prophet today.. because God loves us as much as he loved the people in the Bible so why would there not be a prophet.. so when we told him he was literally so excited. It was really cool and I am super excited to teach him more! 

We have had a few more lessons with the Barbernator.. and she has a baptismal date! She is literally the coolest of cool I wish you could meet her. She cracks me up so much. She is kinda old.. I would guess in her 70/80s... but she acts like she is 100 or something because she has a lot of health problems. But she has 5 grandkids who live with her.. and they are so sweet! I just love them. They don't get a lot of attention from their parents so they love whenever we come over. Last night we were there and we were telling them church stories and I gave them all pictures of the temples and they were so happy. This little boy named Noah who is 3ish gave me a hug and said "Can you guys please not leave us?" And it basically broke my heart. I am glad that we can go and help their family and just help the kids feel loved. 

Thursday... we had a lesson with the one and only Joe Zarlino! So you can bet it was very entertaining. We met him in a town Hudson.. and then had him follow us to this woman Allyson's house where we were having a lesson. I am like 90% sure that Joe shouldn't be driving but that is a different issue. So we taught him about the Restoration.. sorta.. he just likes to talk too much that it is a battle to get a word in. So we are sitting there talking and he goes "Cassidy you're short. And you make a good crutch. I just really wish you would lose a few more inches." haha I was like... thank you. Then he got super serious and said "I don't care where you are in the world.. I will be at your wedding. Even if you are in Egypt. I will be there." So I guess we can plan on Mr. Zarlino making an appearance at my wedding... which will be good so you can meet him and understand how funny he is. Then he was talking about all his medical stuff and he said "They took my kidney out, dusted it off, and then put it back in." What? Who knows.  And we were talking about tracting and he said "Soo... how are the reviews of this week lookin?" classic. And oh man this was so funny so my companion told him that we only had 30 minutes before we had to leave and he freaked out and was like "If you were 40 years older I would have to break one of your rules and marry you just to shut you up." hahah I was dying of laughter. Then he was like.. "If someone made me chose between you two.. I would have to get shot. I just love you guys too much" He literally loves us so much I am pretty sure  just being with him and talking to him makes him so happy. And he just always makes me happy. It is weird to think that we knocked on this random door.. and met this crazy old guy.. and now he is a huge part of our lives. It is really amazing. It is just proof to me that God is leading us because Joe needed us and we needed him, and finding him was not a coincidence. 
I was at Kirtland Friday and Saturday. It was pretty slow this weekend and I only gave a few tours. On Saturday the Community of Christ Church (the ones who own the Temple) had a pancake breakfast that we got to go to. It was great! They are the nicest people and I was just talking to two people that worked there and they are such great people and they are so nice and supportive to us. People think that we must hate each other because they own our church's temple.. but really they are so nice. I got to give a tour on Friday to a guy who got baptized on Saturday. It was really great! Hahah sometimes I say really dumb things though.. Like I said that John Hancock built the walls in the store instead of Levi Hancock. That was embarrassing. Like yeah John Hancock signed the Declaration and then came on over and built some walls. I am so dumb sometimes hahah.. luckily everyone laughed and no one threw anything at me. 

Yesterday Joe had to go to Colombus so he wasn't at church.. which was depressing. Last night we met with this lady named Brenda.. and she is honestly so cool. She has read the Book of Mormon and everything and she loves the church and knows it is true.. and she has a baptismal date.. she just can't quit smoking. She is trying but having a really hard time. So we are going to do our very best to help her quit. Pray for her! I know that she can do it but man it is really hard to see something so dumb have control of her. It is really sad. But I know she will do it!!

That was basically my week! I am loving Ohio and being a missionary! It is really just so fun to meet new people every day and to be focused solely on other people and not myself. I am learning so much and really learning how to understand and help people.  I really appreciate all of your prayers and support! I miss you all and hope you have a great week! 

Love Cassidy