Friday, April 25, 2014

Picture of Cassidy 4-21-14

Studying outside on a rare, warm spring day.

Cassidy's letter 4-21-14

Hey guys!
I hope you all had a good Easter! I can't believe it is the end of April already. I got my mission call a year ago Saturday... which is crazy! I feel like that was yesterday. And now I have been out here on a mission for over 7 months.. time flies... especially when it is actually warm and springy and lots of great things are happening! This was a great week.
I am just going to start with the COOLEST thing that happened. So hopefully you guys remember Ed. I will refresh your memory real quick... we found Him tracting on the coldest day of the world and it was a huge answer to prayers.. and he has been reading the Book of Mormon? Okay so we met with him this week at McDonalds to talk about what he is reading and all that. So he has really been enjoying the Book of Mormon! A few weeks ago when we talked to him he said it was good.. and that "it could be true, but it could not be true... I am not going to say either".. so we were working with that because he was open and stuff. So he is pretty far in, and it is cool because he isn't just reading it he is studying it. He knows it better than a lot of members do. Anyways so we have this awesome discussion about it and he was sharing all of his favorite verses and everything. And then when we were leaving I asked if we could say a prayer. And this is good stuff okay. So here we are in the middle of McDonalds... and I am praying... like it is totally normal... and I said "Please help Ed to know if the Book of Mormon is true or not" and right after I said that Ed YELLED "THAT'S NOT FAIR. IT IS TRUE. I KNOW IT'S TRUE" and I was like...... woah... so I looked at him and then went back to praying and said "We are grateful that Ed KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true"... hahah it was the coolest thing that ever happened. After I was done he was like "I know it is true". And I was probably the happiest missionary in the Northern United States because I have never had an investigator yell at me mid-prayer in the middle of McDonalds because he knows that it is true. So that was basically the highlight of my week. It is so cool to see how much he loves it. He said he will sometimes feel like he should read other books.. but something just keeps making him come back to the Book of Mormon. It's because it is true and it is the coolest book ever.
The Bible Study girls have been out of town because their school is on break... so we haven't got to see them for awhile which is bummer. But they will be back next week!
There was some pretty classic comments at the nursing home this week. So we were in the activity room... and this lady walked in.. well I guess she wheeled in.. and she had just got her hair cut.. .so I said "Margret your hair looks really pretty!" And she goes "Thank  you everyone than you very much" and I was the only one who had said anything.. haha so funny. Then I was sitting by her during bingo, and this worker guy went to get her coffee.. and she goes "Is he your sweetheart" and I told her no.. and she said "Well you should try to make him your sweetheart. He is very good at teaching us how to play games" so she is officially trying to set me up... not sure how that is going to go. Then she was trying to EAT the bingo chips.. and I was trying to explain to her that they aren't real chips... but she wasn't getting it. The food must not be too good at that place.
Things are going great with the Smiths! They are all set to get baptized on May 4th! I am praying that I will get to be there somehow... it will be sad if I have to leave right before. But they are as cute as ever and I am just so happy that I have gotten to teach them. It Is neat because I just know how much it can change the rest of their lives to grow up having a relationship with Heavenly Father.. and I feel really blessed that I have had the opportunity to help them! Hunter was funny.. he kept asking us to take "usies" with him... I guess it is like a selfie but with "us".. no clue but it was super cute.
We got to do some solid biking this week! I was in heaven. My companion almost died a few times... we had to do the walk of shame up a hill because the wind was about to push her over haha. But it is fun. We biked to Joans and helped her do service. Which was fun. Except Joan kept saying "I love when you come over we get to giggle so much" and the word giggle kinda freaks me out and she kept saying it.. and also I am not sure if she is "giggling" at my helmet hair or what. But it was fun.
Kirtland was busy this week! We had quite a few tours. And we got to meet Elder Teh from the 70! He was the one who spoke on Sunday in General Conference! It was super cool to meet him. He was really nice and he told us we are really lucky to serve at Kirtland and that we are doing a great job. It was cool! That reminds me... guess who is coming in a month.... ELDER HOLLAND. I am so excited! He is meeting with us missionaries and it will probably be the best thing ever. It is an Easter Miracle.
We had some super fun tours! We had this one group that was from New Zealand and they absolutely loved it. We had one group that had a kid who wanted to challenge everything I said... like I told them not to touch anything and he was like "My feet are touching the ground" "I am touching my nose" and after 2 hours of that I had to reward myself with some ice cream because I may have had a desire to throw him into the stoney brook river... haha but I refrained. I am sure learning patience. Oh and on one tour my companion said that Emma Smith was 12 months pregnant with twins. Ouch. hahah good times. Shoutout to Joe!
We had a good Easter Sunday yesterday! It was a beautiful day and I am glad that I get to be a missionary and share my testimony of Jesus Christ every day.  I love my mission and I love seeing all of the small miracles that are in my life. I have been thinking a lot about how it is the small things that make a difference.. and we always learn that God works through small and simple means, but I really know that is true. I see people making little changes in their lives that bring huge blessings. Simple things like praying everyday go a long way. And I am happy that I can help people make changes that allows them to have the blessings God has for them.  My life sure has been changed by serving a mission and I am grateful every day that I have this opportunity!
Have a wonderful week! I love you all!
Love Cassidy

Picture of Cassidy 4-14-14

This is a picture of Cassidy with a little girl who followed her around the visitor's center and stayed underneath her umbrella.

April 14, 2014 Letter from Cassidy


Well it was another good week out here in Ohio. I have some beautiful news. THE SCOURGE HAS BEEN LIFTED (fun fact so there was a scourge placed on Ohio when the early saints were persecuted and forced to leave.. and then it was lifted about 10 years ago when Kirtland was dedicated...) but the real scourge has officially been lifted. It was 75 degrees the past two days and it is actually spring! After that long winter it has been the best thing in the world to not have to put on my fat coat and look like a waddling marshmallow knocking on people's doors. So the weather alone made it a good week. I kinda feel like not a ton happened but oh well here we go.

Last Tuesday was good. We went and did service helping a lady clean her house. It was the house we help at a lot. And boy it was as interesting as ever. My companion was cleaning out the baking cupboard.. and she found a rotten egg. Yum. And I was sweeping up the family room and if you only saw the pile of dog hair I swept up... it was literally 2 times bigger than Chloe. The good news is, none of the children were home to knock me off the ladder to my death so that was a bonus. But in all honesty as sketchy as some of the cleaning we do is... I really enjoy it. It's so true that when you are helping other people you totally forget about yourself and you are a lot happier.
Gentonda had us over for dinner on Tuesday night! It was super fun. It was funny she was wearing spandex pants.. and yeah she is 75 and everything but she can surprisingly pull them off because she is, as she said "firm".. but she was like "I am so sorry for what I am wearing. My neighbor told me that I am wearing spantechs and that they are underwear. My granddaughter gave these to me.. I had no clue they were underwear, I guess I am necked. " hahah it was so funny. So first we taught about what spandex is, then we taught her about the Gospel. Things are looking up with her... we are going to dinner again tomorrow night and we are teaching her about the Plan of Salvation.. which she is going to love! Her husband passed away earlier this year and she misses him a ton, so I am excited to share with her how she can and will be able to be with him again.
Our homies at the nursing home were doing good this week! There were no fights.. so that was a slight disappointment. They did tell us that if we ever want to get boyfriends then we will have to learn how to waltz and do the jitterbug. So yeah I guess I am single for life.
We finally got to go see Joan and Arlie Lawley again! Arlie has been super sick so we couldn't go for awhile. But it was fun. She put us to work moving furniture and cleaning.. and yeah who knew I was strong enough to put a huge recliner into a car while wearing a skirt. I didn't. Guess the push ups are paying off.  Then she was eating rotten apples.. it was so weird. Like these things were brown and mushy and literally moldy.. and she was eating it and me and my companion were trying not to gag and she said "Yum. Nice and crisp." So yeah it is officially confirmed she is a crazy old lady. Then she took us to this creepy storage shed.. and I felt like I was potentially going to get kidnapped slash killed but it all ended up alright. I am starting to think I spend too much time with crazy old people...
We tried to see Martha this week.. but didn't work out. When she moved her phone number got disconnected.. so we couldn't call her so we were just trying to stop by her apartment. And it has like the buzzer thing.. and hers wasn't working.. So I tried all 20something apartment buzzers.. and NO ONE WOULD LET ME IN. It was incredible.  Then a bunch of people were rejecting my pass along cards.. like I asked this lady if I could give her a card to our website and she almost bit my head off.. this one lady yelled at me and said " I AM NOT INTERESTED" and I was like calm down my paper is not gonna kill you. It was somewhat comical.
Things are still going good for the Smiths! They are getting baptized on May 4th. Conveniently 3 days AFTER transfers.. so with my luck I will probably get moved and not be able to be there for the baptism.. but oh well! I am just glad that they have the Gospel in their lives. We taught them about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. That was a quality time.
Kirtland was so good this week. It was all warm and fun and we were super busy with a ton of tours! We had people from all over.. like England and Portugal.. it is so fun to meet all these different people.  And we get to have such cool experiences with them. I love when they share their personal stories about how they knew the church was true, or hearing how the Book of Mormon has blessed them. It always strengthens my testimony. But man it is hard work. I know that visitor centers sound like a nice easy vacation.. LIES. You hardly get like 24 seconds to eat and you are on your feet all day trying so hard to focus on the people and give them the tour that they need.. it is exhausting. I hope I can survive the summer haha.
Yesterday we did our rounds visiting the rest of our oldies. I have no clue why but we were at this lady named Maxinne's house.. and I guess I was drugged or just tired.. anyways I fell asleep and woke up to her saying "ain't nobody gonna pay 1000 dollars for that!" and she sounded exactly like the ain't nobody got time for that video. It was hysterical.
Some other interesting things
-I officially ate "road kill" at a members house. And it didn't even taste that bad.
-I embarrassed myself once again in front of my mission president. He called and I panicked because whenever he calls it is either because something bad happened or you are getting transferred. So I answered and said "Hi this is Sister Jensen and Sister Derrick. Uh I mean this is Sister Jensen and Sister Smith!" and then he was like "Ummm what is going on." and I was like OKAY I realize I have been with Sister Smith for 4 months and I am dumb and still can't even answer the phone right. Hahah I am 90 percent sure he thinks I am a train wreck. Probably true.
But yeah that is about all that happened this week. Sorta slow. But I am super excited for Easter this week! It is great because people are more open to talking about Jesus Christ than normal. It really is great to celebrate all that He did for us. You should all watch this awesome video that the church just made. It is only like 2 mintues long and it is so good. EVERYONE watch it. Promise it isn't boring. hahah. I will add the link! But I am sure grateful that I can be out here on a mission representing Jesus Christ and teaching others about His sacrifice for us, and about the truth we know that we will all be resurrected. And that we know we can live again with our families for eternity. That brings me so much happiness, especially while I am out here away from my family. I am just so grateful for all of the blessings of having the Savior in my life and I want everyone to at least know that He loves them and that forgiveness and peace is all possible through Him.
Here is the link:
WATCH IT. You will like it I promise. Okay bye.  
I hope that you guys all have a good week and a great Easter! I miss you and love you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pictures of Cassidy 4-7-14

Top Photo: I am finally a biking missionary! Bottom Photo: Sister Mohler and I. She was my MTC companion. She has to go home for medical reasons. I will miss her so much!

Cassidy's Letter 4-7-14

Hey guys! 

I hope you are all doing well! Things are great out here in Aurora! The sun was out this week and it was actually kinda warm... warm enough to bring out the BIKES! Yep... I became a biking sister missionary this week and it was the greatest thing ever. Even though I must say that biking in a skirt is more challenging than I originally anticipated. It may take a little while to master the whole "hold the skirt down while I pedal up a hill in the wind" thing.  Still it was so fun. Hopefully it will be warm more often so we can keep riding them! 

A ton of funny things happened this week. And a ton of miracles. So just get excited.

FIRST... there was a fight at the nursing home. That is right people A FIGHT. Get ready this is good stuff. So we are just sitting there enjoying the Tuesday morning trivia.... when Dorthy comes wheeling in saying "come here puppy... come here" and then she goes over by the window.. and starts crying because she can't find her puppy. And it just like broke my heart because she was alone and crying, so I went over to talk to her to TRY to make her feel better. Bad idea. I went over and she said to me "Where did you put my dog?" I tried to say I didn't have her dog. Then she said "You put my dog outside and left her there and you are not supposed to do that." And I tried to just change the subject.. and then she said "They told me to report you when you do that. SO that is it. I AM REPORTING YOU" and I was like... whoa... so I backed away slowly and returned to my seat. Well apparently Dorthy was pretty worked up.. because she then wheeled up to this lady who was just completely asleep in her wheelchair.. and said "That is my dog I have been looking for. You have my dog." the lady woke up, really confused, and said " I do not have your dog." Then Dorthy said "I will run over your legs." And then the lady said again that she didn't have the dog. Dorthy then said "Do you like having your hair pulled" And then she reached up and pulled this huge chunk of the lady's hair and the lady started screaming.. and the nurses started running.. and everyone started freaking out... it was intense. I really never thought I would witness a hair pulling fight between a couple of grandmas... but I did. And it was something I will never forget. hahah I am just really glad that Dorthy didn't pull my hair or run over my legs haha. 

So that was one good time this week. We had an awesome miracle last Monday night. So we ate dinner, and then we went out to try and see some people. But one by one NO ONE was home... all of our plans and our backup plans completely fell through.. so we really had no clue what to do. So for some reason we decided to drive out and try to see this member who never invites us over... and we got there.. and she wasn't home. And at this point I was feeling sorta frustrated because I wanted to be productive and find the people who needed our help... but I felt like we weren't accomplishing anything. And then all of the sudden I remembered a lady who lived close who we gave a Book of Mormon to a few months ago. So we decided to go stop by... and she was home and she let us right in. And she told us she has been reading the Book of Mormon and that she really enjoys it! We had an awesome discussion and she invited us to come back tomorrow so she can learn more! It was so cool. And it was just crazy because Heavenly Father made all of our other appointments fall through so that we would go out and find Verna. It was a great reminder that He really is working through us and helping us find people! 

We had another cool experience Tuesday. Last week we helped this elderly lady named Martha move to an apartment. She has a friend in the church, but she isn't a member. So we went back over to help her unpack.. and at the end we got to teach her all about the Book of Mormon too.. and she is really excited to read it. The coolest thing was she said "Please come back. I really love having you girls in my home. You bring such an incredible spirit." And after I said a prayer she said "That almost brought tears to my eyes. I am so grateful for you girls." It was just so neat how she was able to feel and recognize the spirit! I love her already. 

Then Wednesday I went on exchanges with Sister Derrick my trainer! It was so much fun to be back with her! We were in her area.. so it was fun to see some different parts of Ohio! We had one really cool miracle! So we went to stop by this guy named John.. and we get there and the garage is open and so is the front door... good sign right? Well NO ONE ANSWERED. And we kinda just stood there for an awkward amount of time because we didn't want to accept that they were ignoring us... and then I decided that maybe we should check the back yard like they were back there or something... so we walk to the back (and yes I realize that by now you all think I am a super creeper... and I guess I am) so we get to the back yard.... and nothing. Haha so that was a fail. So we take the walk of shame back to our car, get in, and RIGHT as we are about to drive away... a car pulls into the driveway. We get out and awkwardly walk to the garage and meet Maria, who is the coolest lady ever! She let us in and we had an awesome discussion. She has a special needs daughter, and she owns a company that makes glasses for people with special needs. And her daughter is the cutest thing ever. It was just pretty crazy because if we hadn't walked to the backyard like creepers we would have left before she got home and we wouldn't have ever gotten to talk to her. Such a cool little miracle! 

Oh I forgot... I have another good nursing home quote. So I am pushing this lady Martha down to the dining room.. and I asked her if she was hungry, and she said "Not too hungry. They feed me so much here. I am getting Fat!" I told her that she wasn't fat, and she said "Oh yes I am. And fat is ugly! My clothes are all getting really tight. And I just don't want to be fat." hahah it is so funny how much the old people here are concerned about how they look. Then when I said I had to go she said "You are leaving me? I have to wait until next week? That is just such a long time for me to wait."  I am glad at least someone likes me. 

So I found out that Shirley the 90 year old mows her own lawn with a riding lawn mower. Just picture that for a minute. You are welcome for that laugh. hahah I told her to call me the next time she does it so I can get a picture because a 90 year old on a riding lawn mower is just too funny to even make up. Good ol Shirley. 

Also, the sweetest old lady in our ward took us out to dinner. She was so nice she said on the phone "I can't wait for dinner. Because I know the restaurant will be clean. The food will taste good. And I will have good company." So cute. And it was good... and the best part... we totally got to teach the waiter all about the Restoration and why we love the church.. and he pulled up a chair and we got to talk and teach and it was cool. And also I got free ice cream. So that was obviously a successful lesson. 

Other than that... General Conference was sure good! I loved it. I know that I learned a ton. Something that really stuck out to me is how important it is to truly love others.. and to do things to show that love. So I am going to work on that. Another thing I loved was about gratitude.. and how we all need to be grateful for what we have always, not just when things in life are good. We have so much to be grateful for. I have been so blessed my whole life, and I am blessed every single day of my mission. I see God's hand in my life constantly, and I really know that when we try to have a grateful attitude..everything is better. I mean in all honesty we all have so much, even when things are hard. And being grateful allows us to be happier and gives Heavenly Father the opportunity to bless us even more. And I know that is true! 

And with that said... I am so grateful for all of you! I pray for you always and hope that things go well for you. I am also so grateful for the Gospel in my life and for the blessing of being a full-time missionary. I love you! Have a great week!

Love Cassidy 

Pictures of Cassidy 3-31-14

Top picture: Cassidy with Sister Hosey and her son. Bottom picture: Cassidy with her new friends from England and Wales.

Cassidy's Letter 3-31-14

Hello again! 

It sorta feels like I am always writing these emails. I hope they don't bore you to death haha. This week was great! I realize I say that basically every week but it is because things actually are just always good out here on a mission so yeah. 

BIBLE STUDY was amazing again. They are literally a dream come true. I actually didn't think that it could possibly get any better than it was last week.. I was wrong. It honestly just keeps getting better. There was a new girl named Jessie this week and she is awesome too! So we have Faith, Natalie (she is the one who loves Chapman), Hallie, Jessie, and Aaron. And they are just so cool. And our meetings are the funnest time of the week. This past week we all just talked more about what we believe and it is so cool because so much of what they believe personally is really similar to what we believe. And the spirit is so strong that it makes the whole thing so fun. Natalie said that this has changed her life because she said she always thought what Mormons believed was so different and out there.. but we have a lot more similarities than differences. Oh and they asked US if they could come to church... and I almost died. Once again we normally have to BEG people to come.We are like all basically best friends now and we just get to get together and talk about Christ and it is so much fun. Then on Saturday night Hallie, Faith and Natalie came and watched the women's broadcast at a members house! It was so good. And they loved it. And it made my whole life that they were there. They really are like too good to be true! 

Let's see what else happened this week. The Smiths are still doing great! They are getting funnier and funnier because they aren't shy around us anymore. It was classic so we were teaching them about the 10 commandments and we were like having them match examples to the commandment.. and Hunter reads one that says "Your mom asks you to clean the bathroom and you don't do it" and he said "She'd spank you. That's what my mom would do" hahah we were dying. 

Some funny things that happened this week.. 

We had dinner with one lady, and it was so funny. She is the sweetest lady and she made us chicken and asparagus.. and she goes to put the chicken on my plate.. and she gave me a piece the size of a silver dollar. Not joking. So there was just this tiny piece of chicken on my plate and then normal size on hers and my companions. Me and Sister Smith both almost started laughing. I guess she thought I don't like eating or something. It was hysterical. 

OH and okay this is a good one. So there is this older member named Judy who lives in a nursing home but we go and read the Book of Mormon to her every week. So we go last week and she wasn't in her room.. and they said she was down the hall. So we go hunt her down and she is waiting by the doors where people go out and smoke. And we were like "Judy! What are you doing?" And she goes "Uh.. nothing.. just waiting to go outside." And so we asked what she was going to do outside and she said "I am just going to um talk to people" and we were like.. oh okay... and then when the doors opened she thought we were going to go outside too and she said "Don't go out there you won't like it out there." and she got all panicked. It was so funny she was literally trying to lie to us about smoking! And everyone things she is crazy and out of it... I beg to differ. She knows she shouldn't be smoking and she was being all sneaky! Old folks these days.. you never can trust em. 

We visited this other lady in our ward who never comes to church.. and I asked her if she would come and she told me no. So I asked her if she would at least pray and ask God if she should go to church.. and she said "Fine I will pray but don't hold your breath" and I said "Oh I won't. I'm not worried. It is between you and Heavenly Father and it disappoints Him when you don't go, not me." and then she got all mad and said "Well great. Now I have to go." hahah it was funny. 

And the old folks home was good as ever. We made it during bingo this week and boy were they into it. It is hilarious to see how mad they get when they don't win. Then this old guy named Hank came up to us and said "I just want to say you are the most beautiful and nicest girls. And I ain't saying that to try to flirt with you. I really mean it from my heart." and then this other guy says "Hank here borrow my glasses I think you can't see right." hahaha we got some jokesters on our hands. 

We went and visited Shirley last night.. she is as good as ever. She bought a gift for the family so I will be mailing that home to you! I'm not sure if I told you but she has a chihuahua named Tiffany.. and she is 15 years old.. and last night Shirley goes "Tiffany you are so old." and I was like Shirley.. you are old. And then Tiffany peed on the carpet and Shirley goes and is on her hands and knees scrubbing up the floor.. It really is pretty incredible. She told us she bought Tiffany diapers but she didn't like them. And then Shirley had this little card with the Articles of Faith on it.. and she pulls out this big magnifying glass so she could read it.. and starts drilling us with all sorts of good questions. It was just a solid time. 

Okay. THE COOLEST THING JUST HAPPENED. Right now. Okay, so two weeks ago up at Kirtland we took this couple on tour.. I think I might have talked about them in an email. Anyways they have been meeting with missionaries.. and the guy read and prayed and knows the Book of Mormon and the church are true... but his wife doesn't. She has been sorta meeting with the missionaries but is a really devout Methodist. So her husband has been like waiting for her.. and yeah.  Well anyways we had the best tour with them ever. We were in the School of the Prophets are the spirit was so strong. I was praying the whole time that they would feel the spirit and that I would be able to bear my testimony and help them somehow. And it was just crazy because I felt the spirit so strong and I have been thinking about the tour ever since. Well I just got an email from the guy... (no clue how he was able to find my email) and I am just going to copy and paste some of what he said because it has made my entire life complete. 

"When we came for our visit that day, I was glad to see you and Sister Smith again. I knew you had something special to share and you really nailed it! Your testimony in the School of the Prophets was one of the most beautiful and moving testimonies I have heard to date, (granted it is full of the spirit there) , but I could feel the Spirit so strong as you shared your testimony and I will recall that at my baptism as an important event in my and my wife's conversion. " Then later he says " I can imagine how hard and how fulfilling being a missionary is, but you both should get to know when you have impacted someone's life and testimony. My wife may not be ready yet, but she could not deny the beautiful Spirit that was in that room. I wish I would have known your name was Cassidy then, as that is my daughter's name also! I know you are not our missionaries but you deserve some of the credit for what you did that day.' 

I am honestly a baby and just about started crying when I was reading his email because it was such an incredible tour and I have thought about both of them so much. I am just so so grateful that I got to be a part of it and got to help someone feel the spirit. Kirtland is such an amazing place.. but sometimes it is hard because we have these neat experiences and then the people leave and we never ever get to hear from them again. So this is a miracle that he emailed me and an even greater miracle that he and his wife felt the spirit so strong! Times like this make my whole mission worth it. Oh and at the end of his email he said " I hope I can write again because I have GREAT NEWS to tell you"... so hopefully next week I will have an email and we can find out what the news is! Wow this is so cool I am so blessed. 

Oh and since it is spring break there have been tons of people coming to Kirtland which is so fun. We had this group of people from England the other day.. funnest tour ever. One of them was a super genius and he was teaching us. Literally we sat down in the School of the Prophets and he got up and said "For today's sermon I have three things I would like to talk about" and he had an awesome accent so it was the best. Kirtland is cool end of story. 

My mission is cool end of story. 

My life is cool. Really. Okay now the end of the story. 

But honestly miracles are happening right and left up here in Ohio and I am just lucky to be a part of it. I am super excited for general conference this weekend! We have been inviting everyone to watch it... but also to pray and have specific questions that you want answers to.. and as you watch it you will get them. Because I know that it is Heavenly Father using the prophet and apostles to speak individually to us.. so we really should take advantage of it. So do that okay! Good. Well I have to go I hope you have a great week! 

Love Cassidy