Monday, February 10, 2014

Cassidy's Letter 2-10-14

Well it was another good and cold week out here in Ohio! We had one "snow day" where we weren't allowed to leave the apartment because there was so much snow... but other than that things were pretty dandy. I am really hoping that doesn't happen EVER again because nothing is worse than being stuck inside all day trying to find things to do haha. We actually scrubbed the walls because we were that desperate for things to do. Yep. It got pretty bad. 

I made it through another transfer... and tomorrow is my 5 month mark! Can you believe that I left 5 months ago?? Time goes by so fast out here on a mission it is insanity. 

So for some strange unknown reason everyone and their dogs were not at home this week... so we spent a lot of time knocking on empty houses. Okay I take that back. There were plenty of dogs at home. I actually almost got attacked by one. We had just talked to this guy and then we were walking back to our car..  I was in the middle of the street when out of nowhere this huge dog comes and is literally about to jump on me when Ed comes and saves the day. It was a miracle. AND THEN we were out tracting on Saturday... and this dog comes up to us and practically took off my skirt. That was a serious nightmare. haha. So anyways the dogs were home but the people were not.  But we were able to see a few people!

We had a lesson with one family in our Ward.. and we were talking about the Restoration. At first things were not going too well..the mom had the kids all come upstairs.. and two of the boys wouldn't even sit or look at us and their mom said "Boys be respectful and listen to them" and one said "No this is stupid and waste of my time" and I laughed and said... we will see about that. Then we had a super awesome lesson. One of the boys was like 12 or so and he has a mental disability... and he started sharing all these cool stories and it was just so neat. The family is really poor and doesn't have much of anything... so while we were there it kinda just broke my heart. But it is incredible because the mom is one of the most sincere and nicest people I have ever met. She puts everyone above herself and it really inspires me. So we were sitting in this old dirty house, but the spirit was so strong and I was just so touched. It made me so grateful for everything I have been blessed with. And it made me want to help them so bad. So later in the week we got bags full of food people have given us.. and treats and candy we can't eat.. and we snuck by her house and put all these bags of food and treats on her porch and then ran. Yesterday at church we were talking to her and she said "some angles dropped of bags of food and treats that we could never afford. My kids were so happy it was better than Christmas morning." She said she doesn't know who did it but it really touched her heart. She started crying. It was the highlight of my week to be able to do something for her. 

We had another lesson with Bob. I think I talked about him a while ago. He is the one who had a handicapped daughter who just passed away, and He is really having a hard time. It is so sad because I just want to help him.. and if he would be open to being helped then we could. We talked with him about the Atonement and how Jesus Christ suffered so he would be able to help us through everything...but we have to let him help us.

 And we talked about faith... and something I learned about faith this week that I thought was pretty cool was in the bible dictionary there is a part that says something along the lines of "in order for it to be true faith it must be followed by some kind of emotional or physical action". And I have been thinking a lot about how I say I have faith in things or I even think I have faith... but if I am not willing to do what the faith requires then I really don't have true faith. And a quote that stuck out to me this week was "even if you have the strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. He will respond a piece at a time with what in His eternal plan is best for you." And that changed my life. Because especially as a missionary.. I feel like I do everything I can to have faith and show that faith, and I believe that Heavenly Father will make miracles happen according to that faith I have. But when things don't always work out I sorta get a little discouraged... and I finally have realized that I have to A. have the faith. B. continually show that faith regardless of what happens. and C.. trust that He will make miracles happen WHEN and HOW they are supposed to. And throughout the process I will grow and learn the things that He knows will benefit me the most in the long run. 

SHIRLEY was classic again this week. She actually makes my life. So we went over.. and she made us show her pictures of our families and tell her all about them. She said we have a "very beautiful family" so congrats you guys 90 year old Shirley thinks you are beautiful. Especially Colin. haha. And then she was showing us these pictures from when she went to Tahiti (and yeah it was torture because it was -8 degrees outside) and she told us this story about how her husband was showing off on a moterbike and broke his shoulder and then he ran into a palm tree and a coconut fell on his head.. and she said "And I was just delighted." hahaha it was hysterical. But she is still enjoying the Book of Mormon... at her rate she will probably have it finished by the next time we go over. She was so funny she said "ya know I was reading... and there are lots of weird names in the Book of Mormon.So I was looking through my bible and I couldn't find any of these weird names".. apparently I didn't do a good enough job at explaining it took place in a different part of the world. Now it will probably make more sense to her. Classic mistake. 

That reminds me, I finished the Book of Mormon for the 4th time of my mission this past week! This time through I focused on The Gospel of Jesus Christ- so faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I learned so much... and I realized how simple things really are. When it comes down to it that is what God is asking us to do. Have faith in Christ, and show that faith by repenting and being baptized. Then He gives us the Holy Ghost, and as we listen to that.. and keep showing our faith... He blesses us and we can be happy. Honestly I just love the Book of Mormon and if nothing else being a missionary and just totally being immersed in the Gospel every day has changed my life so much.. that alone has made every second of my mission worth it. 

Okay so this was funny. There was this couple that we have been trying to see for weeks. And every time we go over one says "my wife isn't home come back Friday" so we go back Friday and the husband isn't home. And this has been happening for weeks. So we show up the other day and they are clearly BOTH home so we were excited naturally... until she opens the door and she goes "who are you?" and I was like seriously you know exactly who I am now let me in... and she goes "actually we are Catholic and very churchy so we don't need you" and I basically died. People these days. Ohioians these days. ha ha 

We spent a little bit of time tracting this week... with no real success that we know of yet. We met one guy who has a ton of family who are Mormons.. and so he said that He knew a ton about the church. So I was asking him about what He believes.. and he said that He goes to some random church. I asked him why.. and he said "I guess it is just what is comfortable and familiar" and then I looked at him.. and I was like "Do you believe that it is the truth?". bam. hit him right where it hurt. He literally could not respond to me. So I am just going to let him think about that for awhile. Hahaha. 

Well I have about no time left so I better get this sent. I hope you guys all have a great week! I appreciate all of your prayers and your letters. I love hearing from you it always brightens my day. 

Have a great week!

Love Cassidy 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pictures 2-3-14

Cassidy with Shirley, bottom photo. Cassidy with lady who crocheted her the hat, top photo.

Cassidy's Letter 2-3-14

I had another good week out here freezing to death! We had one day that was supposedly "too cold" so they wouldn't let us go out and do work.. but other than that slight setback things are moving right along. Me and my companion are both staying in the area for at least 6 more weeks, so we have lots of time to get things done and I am excited about it!
Shirley basically made my life again this week. We went over to visit her, and she was so classic. We asked her if she has been able to read the Book of Mormon and her response was
"Well I haven't had a lot of time to devote to it because I have literary club on Tuesday and I need to finish that book first. So I have only been able to read half the Book of Mormon."  HALF. She has read HALF THE BOOK OF MORMON. In less than two weeks. WHAT.  I was actually speechless I just didn't even know what to say because that just does not happen. And she honestly read it because she can tell us all about it. It is mind blowing. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and she is really enjoying learning more about the Gospel. I just wish you could understand how cool she is. And she remembers EVERYTHING. She was like "Cassidy.. you are studying political science at a school in California correct?" And I was like... 30 year olds that know me can't even remember that much about me. And then she took us to the back of her house, and she has all of this cool stuff from her travels around the world. She has been everywhere and has the best stories. Like she has a brick in her wall that her husband stole from somewhere Hitler lived during the war. It is just a mine of crazy stories. It was basically the highlight of my week. When we were leaving I was like "Shirley you are the coolest person in Aurora" and she said "I know. I am cool. Wanna know how I know? My car is a Honda Sport. and it has a fin." hahaha I died.
We had a cool experience on Saturday. So it was cold and we had no appointments and I was trying really hard to stay positive but ya know things weren't looking too good.. and then bam miracle! It is so cool how that always happens. So I found this old potential from 3 years ago named William in our area book.. and I felt like we should stop by. So we go and this young guy (like early 20s) comes to the door. I asked him if he was William.. he was.. and then I said "Some other missionaries said they met you and that you might be interested in learning more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ" and he said "Yes I am really interested" and for some reason I was thinking he was going to say he wasn't... so then I said "Wait you are?" totally shocked and it was so funny. And he was like "Yes I actually am." and then we had an awesome lesson with him. We were able to talk about prophets and the Book of Mormon and how we can build a greater relationship with God.. and he wants to keep meeting with us! It was amazing. And I just really feel like the Gospel will bless his life so much.. and I think he is open to letting it do that, which is the most important part. So I am  hoping for great things with him!
I got to see one of my old investigators from my last area on Saturday and it was so fun. Her name is Brenda White (not the Brenda who couldn't quit smoking... which PS GOOD NEWS she supposedly quit smoking last week and she is hopefully going to be getting baptized here soon and I will be able to go! I was so happy when I found out I almost cried. I really miss Brenda Dougly and I am so glad she is still progressing in the Gospel. So yeah that was super exciting!) Anyways Brenda White owns a cute little bakery that is in my area right by my apartment building... and I didn't even know it was until this week. So I stopped in and I wish you could have seen the look on her face. She was so happy! She literally almost starting crying. She gave me the biggest hug and she said that it made her entire week to see me. Ah it was the best. I turned into a baby and almost started crying. It was cool because it just reminded me that even though sometimes it is hard and I feel like I am really not making that big of a difference in people's lives, I am. I was half expecting her to have forgotten about me.. but it was totally the opposite. It just reminded me how great this mission is, and even if I never get to see anyone I work with be baptized.. I know that Heavenly Father has me here with these people for a reason, and I just feel really blessed. Brenda gave me some of the best chocolate I have ever had in my life. It just made my week. And now that I know she is so close I can visit her more! It was definitely a tender mercy from Heavenly Father reminding me why I am here and why I am a missionary. And it reminded me how much He loves each of His children. I know that He loves everyone so much that He would send me out here to Ohio even if there was only one person I would help. And I am just lucky because I get to feel that love and witness the miracles of it every day! I have no reason to complain ever.
The ladies at Aurora Manor (the nursing home) were classic again this week. AND ONE OF THEM KNITTED ME A HAT. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever. It was so nice. We were there during their lunch.. and there was the funniest conversation ever between these two old ladies
Florence says "I have to watch what I eat. I don't want to become a blimp."
Then Mille (who is not the smallest person ever) looks at her and says "Hey. You better watch it. Or I am going to sit on you."
Florence said "You are going to sit on me?"
Millie said "Yes. Blimps are happy."
Hahahaha I was laughing so hard I though I was going to die.
Then Florence was talking to me and telling me about some mean lady that works there.. and she said "I told my daughter she either needs to take me out of this place or I am going to run away." I just laugh my head off the whole time I am there. It was good stuff.
Jean had to go out of town for business this week so that was depressing. But hopefully we can see him this week! We were supposed to go have dinner with the coolest family ever tonight.. but supposedly there is some kind of big storm coming so they had to cancel.. so hopefully we can find something to do so we don't have to be outside banging on doors begging for someone to let us in! But we do what we have to do. Everyone we talk to tells us that this is one of the worst winters they have ever had here.. and I am just SO HAPPY that the weather decided to act up the ONE YEAR I am here. This week there were "snow rollers" , which are apparently super rare and never happen...but I got to witness them I will attach a picture they are so weird. Ohio is a weird place. But I love it. Haha but we should still all pray that spring will come fast so I don't die or something.
Also a travesty happened. I LOST MY ONLY NAMETAG and now I don't get to be a missionary for a week and a half. I actually teared up. I had no clue how much I loved putting that thing on until I couldn't anymore. So yeah that was my sad news for the week.
But anyways a ton happened and I can't even write it all so those were just some of the highlights! This is going to be a good transfer I can feel it. So prepare yourselves.
Anyways I have to get going but I hope you all have a great week! I love you lots and am praying for you all the time!
Love Cassidy