Monday, January 27, 2014

More Pictures 1-27-14

Cassidy at the Fun Buffet. She said it was fun! Top picture is Cassidy in Aurora, Ohio. Looking happy!

PIctures of Cassidy 1-27-14

Cassidy outside her apartment in Aurora, Ohio. January 27, 2014

Photos of Cassidy 1-20-14

Cassidy received permission to drive, so watch out Ohio! Middle picture is Cassidy at the Hyrum Smith home, pretty much camping out! Bottom picture is Cassidy jumping for joy in the blizzard. Not really. She is jumping, but with the blizzard I don't think she was too happy!

January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014


Seriously, this week was so good.

First of all.... we have THREE new investigators! So yeah party time for that. Also we had a lot of awesome lessons this week. And we didn't die. So it was a success.

Last Monday night... we finally had a lesson with Jean (John) the awesome guy from India. So we went to His house.. and his mom was there and she let us in and she talked to us for an hour. And she doesn't speak super good English.. at all... so the whole time I was just praying for help to understand her.. and we were actually able to talk to her pretty darn well. She was the funniest thing ever. She kept telling us a story about how her doctors told her she was fat and that she needed to lose weight.. and she kept saying in an awesome accent "I cannot lose the weight, I cannot lose the weight!". And then Jean came home.. and we were like SURPRISE we are here. And then we were talking to him.. and I said "We want to come back and share more with you!" and he goes "like what?" And I said "Well one thing is what we call The Plan of Salvation.. where we were before this life, why we are here.. and what happens after we die." and he goes, "Tell me right now. I need to know that right now." so yeah OKAY we gladly taught him the lesson and it went so awesome. SO yep he is still the coolest person ever. And I am pretty sure his mom liked it to! When I was saying the closing prayer she was saying a bunch of stuff in a different language.. so who knows. But I felt good about it. And we are on hug level.. so yeah we are tight now.

Tuesday was one big massive service day for us. We started at the nursing home... this old lady named Florence who is my best friend there was saying some classic stuff. She was like "Last week they fed us spicy chili... and these old people can't have that" and she is like a billion so it was classic that she was calling everyone else old. And then she said "There is this crazy guy... and you know what he will say? He says ' I have to pee'.. he just says the word pee can you believe that? I said to the nurse... 'Put him outside or kick him out of the window'" hahaha such classic stuff.

Then we went and visited some old people in our ward.. and they are REALLY old. And so we get to the house... and first of all it is seriously in the middle of nowhere. It was actually terrifying getting there.. we thought we were going to die. It is in the most eery creepy place ever. Like where people get killed and no one ever hears from them again type creepy.  Anyways we get to the house.. and it was just really interesting. And they were really interesting. And there was about 1 inch of dog hair covering the entire floor... it was unbelievable. Honestly I was just not even able to comprehend it. And also this guys feet were straight up dead and his toenails were a good 3 inches long. It was just crazytown.  But it was good that we could visit with them and I think it really made their day. So even though it was a slightly sketchy experience, it turned out good and I am glad that we could help them.

So the other day we had someone cancel.. so we had a feeling we should go see the Waleys. They are the super nice couple we tracted into that gave us hot chocolate. We knocked on the door, and she opened it and she said "Girls! Get in here!" So we went in, she made us hot chocolate again, and then she said "You know what... I was just thinking about you and I prayed and asked God to know if you girls were okay.. and then you knocked on my door." HOW COOL IS THAT. Literally we were straight up led back to their house right when she prayed about us. Prayers are answered my friends, prayers are answered.

We also met the sweetest older lady tracting.. her name is Shirley. She let us right in the first time and we had a really good discussion about prophets and the Book of Mormon and all of that. She is awesome. So last night we went back over.. and she was telling us all sorts of crazy stories. And also so she is like 90 or 91.. and she was like "I was supposed to go hangout with my friends tomorrow, but they think the roads are 'too bad' so they canceled." and I was just like... how.. does.. she have more friends to hang out than I do? And she said "I just bought this new car.. and it has all of these weird things. Like pandora.. who even knows what that is? And this weird camera that backs the car up. I just bought it because the seat moved up and down and now I have all this other stuff." haha classic. And I asked her if she had a chance to read some of the Book of Mormon... AND SHE DID. and she LIKED IT. I mean for obvious reasons but still.

Last night was probably the best because we had a lesson at this awesome families house. They are so funny. They remind me of our family so it is always fun going over there. And they have a son who is a senior, and then his girlfriend was there too.. and she is not a member of the church, but she has been coming to church for a couple years. And we had such an awesome lesson about the Plan of Salvation. We talked a lot about the Atonement and how we can each use it more in our lives.. and how God has a specific plan for each of us. And it was just so cool. Even though... I did say the phrase "The Atonement is awesome. Then we die." hahah wow Cassidy good one. I am honestly surprised that anyone invites us back with me teaching hahaha.  It was fun because I felt like I was talking to Colin or something. Anyways it was just probably the best thing ever and I am  really excited to keep teaching them!

Kirtland was great this week too! Even though we didn't have anybody come because it was a raging blizzard.. we had some awesome chats. And not going to lie I have been a little bitter/resistant about chats because 90 percent of the time it is just people wanting to argue or mess with you or ask really dumb questions. But we had two super awesome chats this week and I am starting to have a lot more faith in chats actually helping people. The first was this guy named Benjamin and he lives in LA now, but grew up in Europe. We ended up calling him and talking to him for an hour and a half on the phone! He said that he got the Book of Mormon 10 days ago.. and he can't stop reading it. He said "I love the bible... but there is something even more pure about this Book of Mormon. I just really feel like this book is true." and I was like IT IS TRUE and it is the best book ever. And then he asked me to say a prayer over the phone... and I did.. and he said "You really just blessed me more than you will ever know. You are the nicest people I have ever met." So that was just super cool.

Then later.. this person gets on chat.. and I can't even really explain the chat but I felt the spirit so strong.. and when the person would send a message, I never knew how to respond. Like it was HARD... so i was just praying the entire time that I could help them, because I really wanted to.. and somehow I was able to come up with what to say.. and at the end the person straight up said they weren't going to give up because of me.. and that I had given them so much hope. They asked me if I could email them a copy of the chat so they could always have it. It was SO COOL. And that is why I now believe in chat.

AND one funny story for the week. So we were driving home from Kirtland... and it was a straight up BLIZZARD. We couldn't see anything. So naturally I was preparing to die. And we are on a 2 lane highway... and we get to this hill.. and the car in front of us gets stuck going up the hill. So we get out.. and start pushing her car. Yes. Two missionaries, IN SKIRTS, are pushing a car UP A HILL, in the middle of a blizzard. And it was so slippery that I fell about 87 times. And everyone was laughing at me.  And also pushing a car uphill doesn't ever really work. But it was quite the adventure. The police ended up coming and we all made it out alive... so I am counting it as a success. I just never really thought that I would be doing that but hey why not.

Overall. Awesome week. Life is good and my mission is great. I haven't frozen to death yet, so thank you for all of your prayers. I hope you all have a great week! Read the Book of Mormon if you aren't... and give one to someone else to read if you are. If there is anything I have learned on my mission it is that the Book of Mormon is not only true, but it will bless us more than anything else. I love it and I know that you guys will be blessed too if you read it and share it.

I love you!

Love, Cassidy

January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

Well I had a really good week this week! Except for the fact that everyone and their dogs decided to cancel on us... but it was okay we made the most of it and we were able to meet a lot of new people. We spent about 15 hours tracting, talked to over 65 people, knocked on like 800 doors, and survived without freezing to death!

SO here is basically a run down of the coolest things that happened.

On Tuesday we had a great lesson with this investigator Peggy. She has been struggling to read the Book of Mormon, so we read some of it with her... and the spirit was so strong that she literally started crying and said that "God really must have sent you to me". It was neat. Then I had this really strong feeling that we should go see this lady named Kathy. We had never met her, I just found a note written a long time ago that said missionaries should go see her sometime.. but they never did. And for some reason I really felt like we needed to. So we went and she was home! She opened the door.. and at first she was pretty cold. But we kept talking and then she told us about how she loved our church and she really wants to learn more.. but her husband won't let her.. and it is really hard for her. She said she wants to meet with us but she can't. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was so happy! She said that someday she will be a member of our church. And then she said "You coming to my house today was really a blessing from God." And it was SO cool because I know that she needed us to come over just when we did.. and I am really glad that I received that prompting and we were able to help her. It just reminded me that Heavenly Father really is inspiring us as missionaries to find the people that really need us!

Later that night when our appointment canceled... we decided to go see this guy named "Andrew Shults". So we get to his apartment and there is a car with the license plate "SHULTS" right in front of the door... so I was like "Splendid he is home". So this guy opens the door.. and I ask if he is Andrew.. and he goes "Uh.. no Andrew doesn't live here anymore he moved. My name is Brian" I was like... hmmm really? Is that why ANDREW's car is right there. I didn't say that though because ya know that would be considered potentially not socially acceptable. So we talked to him for a few minutes then he said he had to go... and then I said (by total accident) "Bye Andrew" and he was like "Bye!" and I was like.... LIAR you ARE Andrew not Brian. So yeah... Andrew is a scam... and it hurt. Okay not really but seriously if you are going to lie to 2 innocent missionaries at least don't be SO obvious. haha

Wednesday and Thursday we went tracting for what seemed like an eternity... mostly because it was freezing and windy and we couldn't feel our feet. But that is all part of the fun! We met some cool people so it was worth it. We met this lady Michelle and she was so nice. Funny story, so the other day I was studying and in the Bible Dictionary under "Gospel" it says that it literally means "Good News" so I have been saying "Let's go tell everyone the 'good news' everytime we go out and my companion has been wanting to hurt me. So we have a lesson with Michelle and then she goes "I really just appreciate you guys going out and spreading all of this GOOD NEWS with everyone!" I was like... how did you know Michelle how did you know? It is because it really is the best news ever.

And we had another one of those "we -are -tracting -for- like- 4 -hours- and- no- one -will- let- us -share- anything -with -them- so -we -pray- to- find -someone -and- then- at -the -next -door- we -do" experiences. This guys name was Ed. He said when we knocked " I would love to learn more. I have 10 minutes before I have to leave. Tell me everything you can!" And I was just like... wow this is a dream come true. So we talked about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and he said it was a lot to take in because it was so different than what he has learned.. but he said it could be possible. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he was really excited to read it! It was just cool because I don't know how Heavenly Father does it but everything just worked out so that we could meet him.

Kirtland was good.. nothing too exciting happened. It is the slowest time of year... so we just have to make it until March and then things will hopefully start picking up again!

Last night this old lady in our Ward invited us to come over at 7.... and we get there and there are a bunch of young people there watching football and eating pizza. She was like "I invited you to come to my grandchildren's party to share a message!" So... right in the middle of the football game 2 missionaries show up and start sharing a message from the scriptures. It was hilarious. The grandma was so sweet.. and everyone else was like "Who are you and why are you at our party". It was classic. But hey we got to share a message with a lot of people so go grandma!

One of the biggest miracles of the week.... was dun dun dun....  the Fun Buffet. Let me start at the beginning. So there is this super nice woman in our ward... who invited us over for dinner. Which is really so nice of her... but from what we heard.. it isn't the most sanitary experience in the world. So I was kind of dreading it. THEN she calls us out of nowhere... and tells us that she wants to take us out to a fun buffet. Needless to say we did a few celebratory dances in the street. And when she said "a fun buffet" she meant.... The Fun Buffet. hahah and yeah it was.... fun..... such a fun time at the fun buffet. And then randomly the lady started getting super emotional and started crying right there in the middle of the fun buffet.. and I was like "Come on Barbra, you can't be crying in the fun buffet... that just isn't fun." I will include a picture of the funnest place in Ohio. But really even though the Fun Buffet was pretty ghetto.... it was a serious miracle. And it was fun. So fun. Just too much fun.

Overall I had a really good week! We are praying that all of our appointments for this week will work out since last week things didn't go so hot. I am really hopeful they will!

Anyways I have to get going. I hope you guys have a great week and I am excited to hear how everything goes for Dad! You guys are the coolest and I miss you a ton. But I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to serve and bring the Gospel to others. Nothing makes me happier! 

Love you all!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pictures in Aurora 1-13-14

Cassidy in Aurora 1-13-14

Well Hey.

is has been a very very interesting week. First of all... I hit my 4 month mark on Saturday! I have been an official missionary for 4 months already. How insane is that? Pretty insane. I feel like I was just at the MTC.
As far as the week went... Monday and Tuesday were potentially the longest days of my life.. because we were stuck inside. But I am proud to say that I survived the great 2014 lockin and I only acquired one injury. And it was from jump roping on one foot... I guess I just am not good enough to do that anymore.  Consider it a lesson learned.
Wednesday was the only day this whole week that we were actually able to do legit work. But it was a really good day! We were able to have a lesson with this older guy named Bob. He was really nice. He had an autistic daughter who recently passed away.. so he is really struggling with that. We talked about how learning more about Jesus Christ and His Atonement can help him understand why that had to happen. It is just sad because he really doesn't know what to do.. I am hoping that He will let the Gospel bless his life because I know that it can help him so much.. but he has to want it to. Gotta love free agency... sometimes I wish I could make people read the scriptures or come to church because I know how much it will help them.
We also went to the nursing home for a little bit... and the funniest/sorta sad thing happened. There was this old lady who was sitting in this chair totally knocked out. Out of nowhere she woke up and sang in this like opera voice "I'm so lonesome I could DIEEEE" and then went right back to sleep. Hahaha it was pretty classic.
We spent a few hours tracting... luckily we all made it out alive with no frostbite. We got to talk to a few people.. but we had this dog that was following us EVERYWHERE. And it was sorta a big dog (like it was actually big I am not being dramatic haha) and so we would go up to this door and we would have this huge dog with us. I don't know what it wanted but it sure made tracting interesting. haha We did talk to this one guy who was a Jehovah's Witness and He was not too happy to have us at his door... he started  going at it with me arguing about things and I just backed away slowly and moved along. It was a good time.
We met the COOLEST family on Wednesday night. They let us in and gave us this tour of their house and they have this huge indoor pool and all this stuff. They invited us to come back over tonight at teach their family so pray that everything goes well!! We also taught a man from Vietnam... that was super interesting. Luckily he had like a Vietnamese book of Mormon and all that.. because there was a serious language barrier. I was like praying the whole time that we would be able to understand him.. and we were for the most part! Then we went over to this older guy named Gerry. He was crazy. He was going off on how he used to work for the FBI finding drugs.. and then he got caught in the middle of a shootout and so he quit.. and he was saying it was because the "Mafia" is controlling the Catholic church... I don't even know it was just super crazy. haha
Then we went home on Wednesday night... and we get a call at 10:30... which is our "bedtime" and it was the site director for Kirtland.. and he said "I have strict instructions that you cannot leave your apartment until 10 tomorrow for any reason. " And we had a meeting the next morning we would have to miss.. so we were like "Uh... why" and he said "I can't say anything except you can NOT leave your apartment." Then he hung up and we were like.... what the heck is going on. So we figured something weird was going on... but we couldn't figure out why in the world we would have to miss our meeting to stay in our apartment. SO 6:30 am rolls around and we get a call from the mission president telling us that.... PLOT TWIST..... My companion Sister Coontz is being emergency transferred because a different missionary got sick and had to go home. SO.... Me and Sister Smith are now the 2 Hiram missionaries. Which is super fun... and a little crazy because we both JUST got here like 3 weeks ago. So we basically have no clue what we are doing but we are figuring it out. And things are going pretty good so far! I enjoyed being in a triple up but it makes it a lot easier just having 2 of us.
Kirtland was good this week! One real quick funny story that may not be mission appropriate I am not sure but it is pretty funny. So we were helping this maintence lady put away all of the Christmas stuff... and there is this old house that they use as storage. And I swear all day that she was calling it the bumhole... and I was like why on earth is it called that... and then I was like "Does this box go to the bumhole too??" and she was like "Geesh it isn't that bad of a place".... it is actually called the Bump home. HOME.. not hole. Classic mixup really. And that is the story of how I made myself look like and idiot on Friday.
Moving along.. Saturday we had another cool tour... and guess what it was in Spanish AGAIN. It was three ladies from Venezuela.. and it was really fun! They loved the historic site! There was just a really special spirit on the tour and I am really hoping that they were able to understand a little bit.. and at the very least were able to feel the powerful spirit that is in Kirtland. I sure do love Kirtland and the more I learn about Joseph Smith and everything that happened in the early church... I appreciate the opportunity the that I have to serve at such a special place more and more.
Yesterday we had a great lesson with this woman named Glenna. She is from the Philippines. It is kinda funny how I am serving in Ohio but practically everyone I associate with is from different places. But we got to talk to her about the Restoration and how we have a prophet today.. and she really enjoyed it. She said that she used to always see Mormon missionaries in the Philippines and she has always wanted to learn more. It was a really fun lesson. It is just fun to have opportunities to share the gospel with people and share my testimony with them. Really nothing feels better than getting to tell someone how much I love the Savior and how much the Book of Mormon has blessed my life.
Oh and one last cool miracle story. SO the family that the members wanted us to go see were out of town last week. So we called the dad yesterday (and sidenote our schedule this next week is completely booked.. which is awesome..but yeah so ) he said "What times are you available" and we sorta lied and said "Any time that works for you" but our only open time was Thursday afternoon from 3-5... and then he said "Would Thursday at 3:30 work for you" and I basically died. I was like... that's it. The church is true. He picked the perfect time. So yep that was the miracle. I am SO excited to teach their family I might just die.
But yeah it was an interesting week with lots of changes. I am really grateful to have this responsibility of taking over this area. Me and Sister Smith have been able to plan a ton of awesome things this week.... we finally are going to be able to meet with Jean tomorrow!  But keep praying that things will go well! I am so happy I am serving a mission and I know that this is the most important thing I can be doing right now. I feel so blessed with time to learn more about the Savior and share it with other people. Missionary work is cool. You should all do it.
My favorite scripture of the week is John 16:33.... We are always going to have hard thing happen and we will be stressed and overwhelmed, but in the Savior there is peace and when we have Him as a part of our lives, we should always be of good cheer. I am so grateful for the Savior in my life and I really love Him so much.
Well I have to get going. Sorry this letter is all over the place. I love you lots and I hope you have a great week!
Love Cassidy

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pictures 1-6-14

Top photo is Cassidy on New Years Eve eating cold cereal out of a mug. Happy New Year! The bottom picture is Cassidy by the Christmas tree in Kirtland with her presents from her family.

Letter from Cassidy 1-6-14

Well it has been one interesting week! I got punched in the face by a grandma, "camped" in 30 degree weather, and had the coolest tour of my mission... in Spanish. And also I rang in the new year wearing a turtle neck. SUCCESS
Okay. I will explain. Starting with getting decked in face. So we were at this old lady's house (well she tried to tell us that she was only 58 but I am like 100 percent sure that she was AT least 80) anyways, so she is super spastic and randomly would like get super intense and yell and just go crazy. And when we were leaving she was like "HUGS!!" and I was like... okay... calm down... okay... so she gives me a hug, then she goes to give my companion a hug and she like had some kind of spasm and punched me right in the nose SO HARD. I literally could not help but tear up because she totally knocked the wind right out of me. And then my nose went numb. And I was trying to hide my pain because I didn't want to hurt her feelings... and let's be honest that is super embarrassing to get so injured from someone so old.. but it was so painful. Hahah it was really funny and also embarrassing but what can I do?
And I went camping!.... inside of a 200 year old house.... with a broken heater. IT WAS 30 DEGREES INSIDE. .. and I was on an air mattress. So it really was camping. There was a miracle though.. I happened to get the package with the sleeping bag inside of it earlier that day... so I didn't die! It was so cold though, I had to sleep with my fat coat on. My companion had her mittens on her feet. We weren't anticipating it so we just packed regular pajamas... and yeah that didn't cut it. It was so funny.. I felt like I was a boy scout Klondike camping or something. My towel actually FROZE... like it had icicles on it.  Once again... I am on a STATESIDE mission... you would think I was in like Outer Siberia with these types of things. Oh well we made the most of it, and it sure made me thankful for the nice warm apartment we live in!
Saturday we had the COOLEST tour at Kirtland! So this family from Mexico ( I think that was it) came in... and only the father spoke English. Then TWO minutes later these missionaries with their investigators (who are originally from Puerto Rico) come in.. and they only speak Spanish. So I was like... hmm... this is going to be interesting. I mean I know a little Spanish, but nothing related to the tours at all. So we went out.. and it was really just a miracle that both groups came in at the same time (I forgot to mention... we hardly ever have people come in who only speak Spanish so the fact that both groups came in at once was crazy) because they instantly became friends and the family from Mexico was able to like  explain things. Okay so we were in the School of the Prophets, and I had them read something in Spanish.. and the spirit was SO strong. And then I bore my testimony.. and one of the ladies said (in Spanish)  that she didn't understand what I said... but she felt so good and that it felt so pure. And that she couldn't explain the feelings she was having.. but that they were incredible. It was so neat because I was sort of worried about them not understanding anything I was saying.. and if they would still have a good experience. But it was amazing because even though there was a language barrier, they were still able to feel the spirit so strong. It was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father is just using me to reach out to people, and he can do that no matter what language it is. It was such a neat tour and it really strengthened me and helped me feel how much Heavenly Father loves the. Being a missionary is really just the coolest thing ever.
We had another cool experience on Wednesday! So we were out tracting.. and it was super ridiculously cold.. (okay it wasn't too bad I am just a whimp) anyways NO ONE was answering the door.. so we were just becoming iceicles and barely making it... and I prayed that someone would open their door, and let us in to share a message. Then we were walking by this house and my companion says "they don't even look home should we even bother trying" and I really felt like we should. So we walked on up and I kocked on the door... and then someone knocked back. Classic. I knew it was going to be good. This older lady opened the door and started talking to us and said that she had  a Book of Mormon.. but that she won't read it because she is happy with her church. And then we kept talking.. and she went "You know what get inside I will make you hot chocolate and we can talk more" ANSWER TO MY PRAYER. So we went inside, she made us hot chocolate, and then we got to talk to her about the church! It was so neat! We were there for like an hour.. she was telling us that she had been to an LDS church before awhile ago, and she really warmed up to our message. It was so cool. By the time she left she was like "Come back soon please!" IT WAS SO COOL.
Some other highlights of the week:
-Candy is still the coolest person ever. We have an appointment scheduled to go see her this week!
-Jean is also the coolest human ever. We talked to him yesterday and he was so nice and was like "Yes you need to come back over and teach me more!" So super pumped for that. I have such a good feeling about him.
-This member told us to go knock on their neighbors door.. and we did... and they want us to come back and teach their family. MIRACLE! That is literally a dream come true.
-An UN-highlight.... I was at Kirtland... and I was going down the stairs singing "Jingle bells batman smells robin laid an egg" in the loudest most obnoxious voice imaginable... and I get down the stairs.. and BAM mission president is right there at the bottom. No one even told me He was in the building. SO yeah, that happened. It is a miracle I haven't been sent home yet haha.
 Anyways.. we just have so many good things on the verge of happening and it is going to be so good when they all work out... I might not even be able to handle it. Okay I will but I am just really excited.
I am hoping it will warm up so we can actually be missionaries this week. As of now we aren't allowed to go out at all today or tomorrow because the weather is so bad... so lots of time to call people and study! But then later this week we will work extra hard to find and teach people. I know that we are being so blessed in this area and that Heavenly Father is helping us.
I am really excited that it is a new year! I have been thinking a lot this week about what things I want to work on. But the other day it hit me that I was setting the goals that I want for myself.. which are great... but I should be setting the goals that God wants me to set too. So I have been focusing on that. You all should think about that too! I am going to work on relying on the Savior more to help me find people and teach people. And I am also going to work harder on studying the scriptures, and being even more focused and dedicated to my mission.
I found some cool scriptures this week and one of my favorites is Romans 8:35-39.. nothing can separate us from Christ's love. And when we strive to come closer to him we can feel that love even more! I know this is so true and I see it everyday!
Thanks for everything I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!
Love Cassidy