Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Pictures 12-25-13

Top picture: Cassidy and Phyllis each with the quarter they won playing bingo on Christmas Eve. Bottom picture: Cassidy celebrating her first Christmas in Ohio.

12-30-13 Letter From Cassidy

WELL.... I hope you all had a great Christmas! 

It has been a good/slow week. Christmas Eve was really fun! We had a meeting then we ate at Chipotle (which, lets be honest, makes any day good) then we went and hung out at a nursing home. I got to play Bingo with some of the people. I even won a quarter! You would be so proud. I am pretty darn good at being a million years old. It was super funny because this lady named Phyllis kept winning every time and all of the other people were getting mad at her. I was dying. It was fun to spend time with them! 

Then we had dinner at a member's house and it was nice! Then we went out caroling with the elders. It was way fun and apparently we were incredible singers ( I mean what can I say, I am amazing? ... hahah not.) because everyone was offering us money. I am gonna remember that when I get home and I have no money. But people were taking pictures of us and dancing to us singing (I think they may or may not have been slightly intoxicated but still) and some people said that we made their whole Christmas. It was good! 

Christmas day was fun! We had a really chill day... and I took a real nap for the first time in almost 4 months. PS I have almost been on my mission for 4 months can you even believe that? That is literally insane. Anyways it was really fun getting to skype you guys!  It was hard hanging up because seeing you reminded me about how much I miss you and how fun it is to talk to you guys. But I am really grateful that I could talk to you for awhile it made my Christmas!

Thursday and Friday I was up at Kirtland. It was pretty slow... we only had a couple of tours. We took some people from Brazil on tour and that was fun! But other than that nothing too exciting happened there. 

Saturday my companion Sister Coontz was sick so me and Sister Smith did lots of studying and work in the apartment. We were able to go out Saturday night and we had a couple lessons. Candy (Edna..) could't meet but she did say she wants us back over for the new year... for tea and crumpets... hahah uh yeah we don't drink tea and I didn't actually know that people these days were just casually having crumpets. Who knows. Could be super interesting. I am excited but it is just fun to have someone actually wants us to come haha. 

We met with this investigator Saturday night... it was super interesting and kinda sad. I guess he has been meeting with the missionaries for awhile and he was about to get baptized and he backed out the day before.. and now he is doing everything he can to try to prove that the church is wrong. So he was asking us all sorts of weird questions and was never satisfied with anything we said. It was sad because you can tell that he isn't happy.. and he has zero faith in God or anything. And faith is actually probably the most important thing. Ever.  I mean there is really no physical way to prove God... except everything around us basically shows that there is...But you have to have some degree of faith and something to hope for. I mean I am so glad that I have a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ and that I can always hope for better things. It was actually kinda heartbreaking to see him just doubt everything. But we did all we could do to help and that is the best we can do. 

Yesterday  we had lunch at this members house and it was really good.. and then she was like "do you want to go shopping in my pantry" and I was like uh.... what...... and then she took us in it... and it was literally like a store. She had AT LEAST 200 boxes of cereal. She had everything. She is one of those intense extreme couponers... and she had so much stuff. I just stood there with my jaw dropped for like 10 minutes. And then she gave us grocery bags and told us to take whatever we wanted... so I stocked up on some good stuff! It was awesome and super nice of her. It was just crazy. hahah I was excited to meet an extreme couponer in real life.

We did some tracting last night.. and I have determined that the people in this area are not as weird as my last area. Which is slightly disappointing because me and weird people get along super well. But there are still cool people here too and I am determined to find some solid people to teach! We are in the process of just finding people right now... so I don't have a ton of stories this week. Especially because it was Christmas and things were slower than usual. Next week I will have better stuff to tell you! 

Oh one quick funny story. I made up this Book of Mormon song and recorded it on our cell phone and made it our alarm. And it starts off with me whispering and eventually I am yelling... and it went off this morning and my companion had a heart attack. It was the funniest thing ever. haha and I realize that this isn't actually funny and that I am a nerdy missionary who finds dumb things hilarious. But really... if you could hear it you would laugh. Okay that's the end of the story. 

Anyways I have to get going. I hope you all have a good New Year. My New Years is gonna be kickin... going to bed at10:30 and all that... hahah I really am a grandma. Oh well. I love you all!  

Love Cassidy 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pictures 12-23-13

Top picture: Cassidy with her new companions in Hiram, OH. Bottom photo is Cassidy at the Johnson Farm Home. She said two people pulled into the parking lot immediately after she posed for the picture.

Merry Christmas 12-23-13


Well...... I was transferred right next door to the Hiram area! I live in Aurora, which is really close to Twinsburg. I am still in the same district and everything. And plot twist... I have TWO new companions. Yep. TWO. It is crazytown. But the area is really pretty nice! It is a lot more country than my last area... everything is really far apart which I don't like as much... but we are the only missionaries in the ward so that is nice. 

Transfers was really hard.. and I miss Sister Derrick a lot, but I have had a really good week. Minus saying goodbye to Brenda D and Inger. Brenda was so nice she gave us gifts and everything. It was funny because since she smoked whenever we would leave her house we would smell like an ashtray... so I would take all of the clothes off that I could and leave them in the car. And she would always get mad at me for wearing short-sleeved shirts in 12 degree weather. So she gave me a hat and gloves and warm socks and everything because she is afraid I am going to get sick. She is the nicest person ever. She was the hardest to say goodbye to... but the good news is I  can still go to her baptism!! Before we left she said a prayer and she said "Heavenly Father thank you so much for sending these missionaries into my life, even if it was only for a short time. They have both changed my life and I love them so much. Please protect them because I will miss them dearly." I started tearing up like a little baby. It was a depression fest but it is okay because it will all work out! 

OH cool thing at Kirtland. Well, okay actually at transfer meeting. There was this Elder who had come with his investigator to Kirtland like the first month of my mission, and we took them on tour. And He came up to me and told me about how Kyle (the investigator) ended up getting baptized... because of the tour and what he felt. He told the elders that I had a special spirit and that the tour changed his life basically. It was one of the coolest experiences of my mission. It was neat because we give tours a lot and meet lots of people... but we hardly ever knows what ends up happening with them. So it was really neat to know that the tour had such an effect on this guys life. I am still so excited about it. 

Kirtland was pretty slow last week, so i was excited to get to our Area on Friday. They didn't really have anyone solid that they were teaching in this area.... so we are sorta starting over fresh. Which is good and hard alll at the same time. It kinda makes me want to pull my hair out because I just left behind like 5 solid people... to come to basically none... but it is totally okay because I am on a mission to find people. And we already have! So okay backup to my 2 companions. All 3 of us have only been our for like 3-5 months (PS I AM OFFICIALLY DONE TRAINING... So I am a real missionary now... which is exciting and not because I can't use "I'm new I don't know what I am supposed to do" as an excuse anymore when I mess up... it's a hard life) so none of us really know what we are doing. And both of them did things really differently than me... like they never tracted or worked with old potentials or anything. So me being me decided to change that and our first day.... potentials and tracting. AND WE MET THE COOLEST PEOPLE.

We go out and the second door we knock on this guy in his late 20s from India answered. We start talking to him and he is acting really not interested and I tried to crack a stupid joke (cause uh all my jokes are stupid) and he didn't get it or really find it funny so it was super awkward and then I randomly just asked him if he knew about the Book of Mormon.. and all the sudden he goes "I have heard of that. Okay will you come inside and tell me everything about that book?" and I was like Yes. Yes we will. There is actually nothing we would like to do more than tell you everything about that book. So we go in and start talking about prophets and the Book of Mormon and missions.. and he was asking the coolest questions. We were there for like an hour or so and by the end he agreed to read the Book of Mormon! He said "I will try to read it for the next time you come." and I was like uh... it's kinda long you don't have to read it all that quick.. and he said "I am a pretty fast reader" and I was not gonna argue with someone wanting to read the WHOLE book. And he will do it because he is actually that cool. He is an engineer and he is pretty dang smart. Also His Mom was at his house, and she was in the other room. And when we first came in she kept watching us very suspiciously.. and slowly and slowly she kept moving closer and closer from the other room. Then she was sitting right by the door so she could hear. And when we said we were going to leave she jumped up and said "Please let me make you my famous tea!!" So pretty sure she warmed up to us. We had to explain that we don't drink tea or coffee or alcohol or anything... and they said "That explains why you are all glowing so much. You are all pure" and we were like... okay sure. I am 99 percent I was just glowing because it is winter and I am super albino.. but hey I will take it. Then I asked when we could come back.. and he said "oh do you want me to commit?" and I was like "What? Are you scared of commitment?"and it was so awkward and hilarious at the same time. good times.  Oh and when we were leaving he said "I have learned so much today that has changed me." So yeah it was probably one of the coolest things to ever happen. His name is Jean.. pronounced "John" with a fancy accent. He's the coolest. 

Also I found this lady in the potential list who the missionaries had talked to like years ago and her name was Edna. And I decided we had to go see her because with a name like Edna she had to be cool right? RIGHT. She was probably the nicest person I have ever met. She let us right in, talked to us all about Jesus Christ, gave us hugs, prayed with us, and told us that we HAVE to come back before the new year. And I was like.... someone is telling us we have to? We aren't begging for them to let us? THIS IS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. But really it was. And I am so excited to see her and her husband again. 

SO yeah already finding super awesome people and I have only been in the Area 2 days. Heavenly Father is just leading us right to them and I am feeling so blessed! Also the John Johnson Farm is in my area, so we got to go there and get a tour and study there yesterday. I will send some pictures! It was so neat because there were 16 sections of the Doctrine and Covenants that were recieved there... and seriously the spirit is so strong. Section 76 was recieved there, and I studied it while I was in the room it was received in. And all I can say is it's true! You guys should read it! Any sections that say they were recieved in Hiram were there... so it was awesome to see it. 

Also Saturday night we went to a Chritmas Party at the Eliza Snow's old home (where Lorenzo Snow lived, and also Joesph Smith came and visited). The people who own it are Catholic and super nice. It was really fun! They gave us a tour, we sang, and ate lots of food. Also they told me that I should become the President when I am older. That was like the eleventh person to tell me that on my mission. So I guess I probably should. Who knows. But it was really fun! This is a super cool area and the ward seems nice! 

But anywho that was my week! I am still getting used to there being three of us, but we are making it work and having a lot of fun. I can't believe that it is already Christmas! I cannot wait to skype you on Wednesday! I love you all and I really appreciate all the Christmas cards/packages. oh PS my new address is 234 New Castle, Aurora OH, 44202. So send stuff there now!! 

Okay I hope everyone has a great Christmas!! I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to serve Christ and help other people feel of his love. I truly know that He loves each of us, and that when we make Him the center of our lives, we will be happier. And I feel so blessed to know this and be able to share it. 

Love Cassidy

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pictures 12-16-13

Cassidy and Sis.Derrick with their mini Christmas trees, Cassidy with Lavonne and her daycare kids, Cassidy pointing to a street sign which says "Home"

Happy Holidays 12-16-13

Hey guys! 

|t was the craziest week of my mission. It started out really great! We had some awesome lessons. We had a lesson with Lavonne, she told us that she repented for the first time and that she felt the holy ghost so strong. She asked us what she can do to have that feeling more and we were so excited. She is GOING to be baptized on January 11th! We spent a day with Sister Baker doing service and it was so fun. PLUS she made potato donuts for us and they were delicious! Felt like home! She's the best ever. 

On Saturday I had exchanges... and all of our appointments fell through. And I was like GREAT now what do we do. So we were going to tract... and there were just all these people outside shoveling snow. So we talked to this one guy and taught him a lesson. He said he had always been confused about why there are so many different religions and how he could know what was true. We talked about the Restoration and Joesph Smith and how he can know. Also his name is Eguene Fitzgerald (Which sounds like a celebrity but we can't remember because we are cut off from society) so he was awesome. Then we were talking to this lady Susan, and I told her how we have a modern prophet living on the earth today. And I asked her if she thought it could be true.. and she said "I don't know, but I just got goosebumps" and I was like THAT IS THE SPIRIT BECAUSE IT IS TRUE. It was so cool. 

Then Saturday night. Everything burned to the ground. Okay not really but... .things got bad. SO our phone starts ringing.. I grab it and it says "President Vellinga" And I was like crap either someone is dead or we are in trouble. I was almost too scared to answer it. But I did. And he said he needed to talk to Sister Derrick. SO FIRST... she got called to be a training leader.. which means she is getting transferred. So I was bummed because I love her and I didn't want her to leave... but I was a little happy because that meant I would get to stay... right.... then PLOT TWIST.... President Vellinga says "Sister Jensen... you are going to be transferred too." And me and Sister Derrick both yelled "NOOOOOOOOOO" into the phone for like 20 seconds. 

THEY ARE CLOSING OUR AREA. It was the most heartbreaking thing of my entire life. First of all I am devastated I have to leave. Second... there will be elders who are taking over our area.. and all of our investigators. I just started crying because I love our investigators SO much and the thought of new people just taking over killed me. Especially because we have built up such strong relationships with these people. And typically at least one of us would stay and just ONE new person would come it. But now it is going from 2 girls to 2 boys who do not know them at all. 

Anyways so we begged our mission president.. and he said he would try to figure something else out. You see the problem is that there are 3 sisters going home, and none coming.. so they have empty places. So okay this was funny, we were driving when he called us back, (Oh and we aren't allowed to talk on the phone while we are driving) and Sister Derrick just stopped the car in the middle of the road to try to answer the phone and I was like You cannot just stop hahah. It was funny. But he said there is nothing he can do and we both have to leave. So I was just sitting there crying because I am a baby... and President said "Sister Jensen?" and I couldn't really talk so he said to Sister Derrick "How bad is it?" and she said "Pretty bad." hahaha so that happened. I was just so shocked and sad. 

 SO I was in depression basically all of Saturday night. Honestly just because I can't even describe how much I love the people we are teaching, and the ward members, and the area. I am in no way ready to leave... and I thought for sure I was staying so my whole world was shattered. PLUS being in a new place with new people right before Chirstmas is a little depressing. But the good news is the church is still true and I still get to be a missionary and this is all part of the plan!

It has been a really humbling experience for me. Because it was one of those things where I didn't understand why God would do this to us and to the people we are teaching. It just felt like we were abandoning them. So I had to pray a lot about it, and I realized something the other night when we were in a lesson with Brenda. We were talking about how she prays for help.. but she says "God take away my desire to smoke but don't let me get sick". I was explaining that God can only really help us when we are willing to do it His way, not ours. And while we were talking about that it hit me.. that I wanted to do the work my way.. not His. And both of us leaving is His will... it is the way that He wants the work to go. And I have had to trust Him that this is for the best. And I really have felt so much peace about it. Even though I am so sad I am leaving, I have felt such a reassurance that the people will be taken care of, and that I will go somewhere else where more people need me to bring them the Gospel. 

So that has been the journey of this week. The past few days we made all of our investigators cookies (I only burnt one batch... so it was a success) and we have been saying goodbye. It has been SO HARD. Brenda D was really upset... but guess what SHE CAME TO CHURCH!! Me and Sister Derricks last Sunday together we FINALLY had someone come. I was so happy I actually was dancing around the church. No wonder they are kicking me out of this area. hahah. 

Lavonne was so sad. It was hard. We had an awesome lesson with her last night and she just kept saying "I can't believe you guys are leaving me" and I wanted to just staple my feet to the ground so I couldn't ever leave. The spirit was so strong the whole lesson and I am just so happy that I was blessed with the opportunity to spend time with her. At the end of the lesson, all of the kids she watches... which was like 8 or something... all knelt down with us as we were saying a prayer and it was the neatest experience. A lot of them come from really rough homes and it was incredible to know that they felt God's love at least the times we were all praying. 

We still have to say goodbye to Inger, Brenda D, and a few more people. It was the hardest saying goodbye to Sister Baker. She has been so great and I love her so much. It is just tough But it just makes me realize how much God has blessed me. I got to serve in the most incredible place with an amazing companion, and with the best people in the world. 

OH and yeah.... another fun thing happened this week. Yesterday morning I woke up and half of my face was the size of an elephant... so we had to go to Urgent Care... and I HAVE STAPH INFECTION ON MY FACE. So we spent a good while there... and then getting medicine... and I am supposed to keep heat on it... and then I burnt my face with the hot water. So it has really just been a hot mess. Literally.  I mean I am cool with it but getting it the day before I have to MOVE is not exactly perfect timing. The good news is I am not going to die. It was funny though because all of the nurses were making fun of me... and then I could hear them talking and they were like "Who is she? She has a nametag" and they were trying to figure it out.. and I wanted to yell "I AM A MISSIONARY FROM THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS AND THE GOSPEL WILL BLESS YOUR LIFE." But I didn't get to because the Doctor ruined it. Super bummer. Oh well I will get them the next time my face decides to start on fire. It hurts pretty bad though actually and I do not recommend this to anyone. And also.. I can't smile... and I look like I got beat up. Oh well happy holidays! Hopefully it will heal before I skype you... if not you can make fun of me because it is hilarious. Every time I see my reflection I laugh my head off. 

Okay well since I am getting transferred I have to go pack my life up. I miss you guys and I cannot wait to skype you on Christmas! I hope you all have a great week. I am realizing now more than ever that I have been so blessed. It is going to be hard not being home with the family for Christmas.. but I am grateful that I have you and that I am able to spend this time serving the Lord. Christ is what this season is all about, and I am grateful that I get to be one of His missionaries and teach other people about Him!   I am so happy that I can be here and I love every single day. Thanks for your emails and letters!! I LOVE YOU GUYS.

Love Cassidy

Monday, December 9, 2013

PIcture 12-9-13

Hey guys! 

It has been a pretty cool week! The highlight was mission conference last Tuesday. We met inside the Kirtland temple with all 250 missionaries in my mission. It was the most missionaries that have ever been in the temple. Some different stake presidents spoke, and Elder Seldon (An area 70) and then my mission president. We had time to read the scriptures that happened in the temple and it was so neat. The whole thing was just cool... I mean we are the only mission in the world that gets to do that. Plus the spirit in the Kirtland temple is incredible. We sang the Spirit of God, which has always been my favorite song, and it felt like we were back in time singing in the Kirtland temple. I really have no clue how to describe the experience to you, but just know it was awesome and that Kirtland is probably one of the top 5 coolest places in the world. The end. Oh and  It was probably the best thing of my entire life when all of us missionaries sang our mission song together. I mean 250 of us and the whole time I was thinking... we are all out here away from our families serving in Ohio.. and we are all experiencing miracles.. and missionary work is the coolest... and Ohio is awesome and the church is true and I am so happy that I get to do this and I love it.  That is what I was thinking.  Mission Conference just basically reminded me how lucky I am to be a missionary and made me want to work even harder. And it got me all in the Christmas spirit. Oh and at the lunch afterword the funniest thing happened. So me and my companion got there first.. and so we got our food first.. and we decided to get desserts first before all the good stuff was gone.. so we had SO MUCH food. Like a full plate, a salad bowl, and then a plate of desserts. So we are sitting there and then all the sudden, Elder Seldon and his wife.. the Stake Presidents.. and Karl Anderson and his wife ask if they can all sit with us. And we just have a mountain of food in front of us and we were like.. "Of course!" and inside I was like shoot. Must hide food. So I tried to hide some of my desserts in my bag while they were getting their salads.. but there was really no hope. The meal was fun and it was cool to sit with them! I have no clue how we ended up being the only missionaries to eat with them. But so afterward... we were sitting there and one of the Stake Presidents commented about how they had noticed how much food we had... and I basically crawled into a hole and died. Then he said "But you sister's look great!" And I was like... how do I respond to that? It was awkward and hysterical at the same time.

We had some cool experiences with investigators.  Lavonne is going to get baptized in January! We had a lesson with her.. and at first she was really confused about things. She has a coworker who is a Jehovah's Witness and they were telling her lots of stuff about our church that is not true... and then her coworker told Lavonne that she has messed up her life too much already and there is no way she can make it to Heaven with God. And I was getting super worried while she was telling us this. Anyways, so Lavonne was all down thinking that she had no hope... luckily we were able to fix that! We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and about how we can all be happy  and with our families forever... and man if you could have seen her smile! She was the happiest person in the world. When we were teaching her it really hit me that I am so lucky to not just think that I can be with my family forever... but I Know without a doubt that I can be. And it brings me so much happiness and I don't think I ever realized how blessed I am to know that. So anyways the lesson was awesome and she is working so hard to come closer to God and it is incredible to see how her life is changing. Missionary work is real and it is COOL. Also she randomly called us late Thursday night and said "I just want to sincerely thank you for coming into my life... I feel so much happiness and peace.. and I just really wanted to thank you." And I danced around like a crazy person for 4 minutes and it was one of those times when everything I am doing is all worth it. To know that someone's life is better makes knocking on doors in the freezing cold weather is 100 percent worth it. So yep, basically Lavonne is the coolest and I am obsessed with her. 

Also we had a really cool experience with Brenda. We had some members come with us and He gave her a blessing to help her quit smoking. She has a lot of faith, and so do we, that it will help and that she will be able to quit. She is getting patches today and hopefully then she will be done! But her husband was talking to us about the church and Brenda was telling him all of the reasons she wanted to be baptized and she was like "I have to get baptized by the RIGHT AUTHORITY" and they were fighting and it was so funny. It kills me that she has such a strong testimony but smoking is preventing her from progressing. The other night we decided to just give her a Preach my Gospel because she basically knows it all anyways..and she read this part that said something about missionaries teaching someone for years because they couldn't give up their addiction and when we came the next time she said "I found a part in this book where they wrote about me." Then she read it and said "They literally wrote this about me but forgot to put my name next to it!" and we were all laughing so hard. I mean she knows that she hasn't been progressing and that smoking is holding her back. It is just such a struggle for her. Sometimes it is really hard for me because I care about her so much and I want things to get better for her.. and it is so hard to have no control over it.  All we can do is pray and have faith that Heavenly Father is going to help her and I know he will. Even if it takes time.  BRENDA WILL get baptized. Mark my words. And I will probably be the happiest missionary in the world. 

Let's see I feel like a ton of other stuff happened but I can't even remember. Joe's brother passed away last week and he asked us to come to the funeral.. that was interesting. We were able to go to his house after and talk with him for awhile. He was being hilarious as usual. I can't remember any good quotes right now but I am sure there were some classics.  Oh and okay the scariest/funniest thing happened to me at Kirtland. So when people get on they can chat with missionaries... and we are the missionaries they chat with. So we were talking to this guy and telling him about what we believe... and all the sudden he threatened to kill me! He said this long thing basically about how he wanted to peel off my flesh with a rusty knife and then turn me into a jacket potato with sour cream and chives.... and not only was it the most horrifying thing I have ever heard... but it was really confusing because NONE OF US can figure out what the heck a "Jacket Potato" is. I have no clue, but it can't be good. So luckily the person doesn't know where I live and I am safe from becoming some kind of cooked food. It was creepy... but I was also laughing my head off. I don't think I would look good as a potato... but I am from Idaho so maybe it fits. 

So yep it was a pretty interesting week. We didn't get to meet with Patricia or Frank and Maurice this past week so hopefully we can this week! Well I have to get going but I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Thanks for your emails! I love you! 

Love Cassidy 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pictures 12-2-13

Letter December 2, 2013

Happy December! I cannot believe that I get to skype you guys in like 23 days... I can't wait! It will be so fun to tell you stories in person... so you can actually understand how awesome and funny everything I tell you is. And I miss seeing you so it is going to be really fun and I am super excited and yeah. SO THIS WEEK was pretty great. It was slightly slower than normal because people were so busy with Thanksgiving and all that jazz but we still had some pretty incredible experiences. So I am just gonna skip straight to the good stuff. 

OKAY THIS NEXT THING Is probably the coolest thing that has happened in my whole mission. Maybe my whole life. Either way. So it is a freezing cold blizzard outside.. and we are headed out tracting. The thought of walking around getting rejected by people wasn't sounding all too fun, but I bundled up like an overweight snowman and we headed out. Oh and backup to the night before.. we were planning.. and we pick out the night before where we are going to tract. So we were sitting staring at the map... not feeling really inspired about anything... but we did feel slightly lead to a street called Serene. Okay so fastforward we get to Serene.. and start knocking doors. The first one... nothing.. get to the second door.... and this teenage boy answers. We talk to him for a minute, give him the normal spheal (I don't know how to spell that word but I really wanted to use it and I don't have any way to figure out the spelling sorry...) ... and then all of the sudden his mom appeared at the top of the stairs and invited us in. We were obviously excited because we got out of the freezing snow. We start talking to her.. and her name is Patricia. She had an awesome accent and she told us that she is from Argentina. AND then she told us that when she was 18 in Argentina, she took all of the missionary discussions, went to church for 3 years, lived right by a temple, and that she wanted to get baptized. But her dad was a hardcore Catholic, and she said he was dying and she didn't want to break his heart.. so she didn't get baptized. Then later she married an American.. moved to Ohio.. and didn't really know/think that there were missionaries and a church here. She said that she still prays the way the missionaries taught her.. because it helps her to have a personal relationship with God. She said she loved all the things she learned from the missionaries and they spirit she felt. The whole time I was standing there in shock. Honestly PLEASE do not try to tell me that we just happened to pick Serene street... and then just happen to knock on someones door who almost got baptized and loves the church... because we were straight up lead to her. And it was the coolest thing ever. So we had an awesome talk with her and we are going to teach her the lessons again! SHE IS SO COOL I just am so happy and thankful that we were lead to her. Just another miracle of being a missionary. When we left her house me and my companion both just stood there for a good 5 minutes just not even able to comprehend it. It was just the strongest testimony to me that this really is God's work and that He is using us to reach out to the people that need the Gospel. It was just so evident to me that He loves Patricia and that He needed us to find her. It was one of those times that I realized how important and significant this work that I am doing is.

So yeah that was really the biggest highlight of the week. We had awesome lessons with both Inger and Lavonne! At the end of Lavonne's lesson she was just so happy about the things that she is learning and how much she is feeling God's love now that she is learning more about him. She said in her prayer "Dear Heavenly Father, my bible study went GREAT today." It was awesome. Hahah it is also funny how all of our people call us "The Bible Study Teachers" no clue why but it is hilarious. 

Brenda Dougly is doing pretty good! Still working on the smoking thing. This week was a bit crazy because her daughter got married... and yes we did attend the reception which was on Thanksgiving. Oh that reminds me Thanksgiving was great! We went to my bishops house for like 12 hours.. okay only like 6 but still. The food was all really delicious. My bishop said "The goal is 4500 calories" and I am proud to say that I far exceeded that goal. hahaha just kidding. Somehow I lost 2 pounds on thanksgiving even though I ate like a starving animal? No clue how that worked out. Hahah I don't normally eat that much at thanksgiving because at home with Mom cooking every day is a thanksgiving status meal.. but now that I am a missionary.. when there is a chance to eat lots of good food we go for it. We also played scrabble and I got third. Weak. I did use the word Pique and it was pretty impressive. Also I used the word LSD.... hmm... I was debating about it because ya know I am a missionary and that is a drug.. but my bishop agreed that it was worth it because I got a TON of points. Hahah wow okay anyways so after we left their house we went to Brenda's for the wedding reception. It was the funniest thing ever. We show up... and there are all these people like "WE GOT SOME WHITE GIRLS IN THE HOUSE" because we really were the only white people there. They like gave us all this cake and candy and we pretty much were the talk of that party. It was awesome. We did get to have a lesson with Brenda and it was great. And we gave the married couple a Book of Mormon and Bible as their wedding gift. Classic times. 

We were up at Kirtland on Friday and Saturday, and it was the opening of the big Nativity event so there were lots of people! Okay funny story. So there was this "lighting ceremony" on Friday night to kick off the event... and so everyone is outside waiting to turn the lights on. And we realized we forgot our cameras, so we ran up the stairs to get them.. and then we came out the back of the building.. and then we heard counting... so we started running... and RIGHT when we turned the corner the lights came on and I yelled "WE MISSED IT" And then I realized that I was standing right where the lights all came on and right where everyone was looking..... so I slowly backed away and hid in a hole. Basically ruined the entire Kirtland Christmas lighting ceremony..... it is amazing that they didn't send me home from my mission. Hahah. It was so embarrassing. I am still trying to recover. But besides that damaging experience Kirtland was great! It is really pretty with the snow and lights and everything. And since we started this event there are a lot more people which is nice because it is more opportunities to share about the church! 

I have a few Joe quotes for you this week!
"I used to be a great dancer. You can ask anyone in this town and they will tell you. Actually, you can ask anyone in ANY town. " 
"LISTEN TO ME MISSIONARIES. When are you going to come to my house and teach me everything so I can be baptized?" Hahhaha he really wants to get baptized. We set a date for January 4th
"I made myself a punkin pie, bought a turkey.. and tomorrow I am going to stuff that baby up." 
He also told us that pizza was his idea.. hahaha we were dying. 

OH and last night we had a lesson with Barbra. The lesson went pretty well and then we asked her to say the ending prayer. She started praying (oh and just a little background her daughter had a baby really early.. so the baby has been in the hospital and has to have surgery) and she said "Please bless my granddaughter Ariana, cause she is kinda tiny and has no clue what is going on... and please bless my other granddaughters because they really get a kick out of seeing someone so small." hahahah we all started laughing so hard. If you could just picture the Barbster you would be laughing your heads off. She is awesome. 

Well my time is up and I have to get going. I hope you guys all have a great week! I love hearing from you and I am so glad that I have so much support. I think about you guys all the time and I can't wait to skype you in a few weeks. I am so happy that I am here in Ohio and that God has blessed me with so many amazing experiences. I feel so lucky. Tomorrow we get to have our mission conference, with everyone in our entire mission, INSIDE the Kirtland temple! It is going to be the coolest experience ever. My mission is super cool and I love it. The end. Okay but really I have to go I love you all!

Love Cassidy