Friday, May 23, 2014

Greetings from Ashtabula 5-5-14 Letter


Hello from a different world! Seriously. I have no clue where I am.... but it is not normal. hahaha. I am now serving in the Ashtabula area... and I live in Jefferson. I am in the very tip top northern corner of Ohio. My area borders Pennsylvania and we are on Lake Erie! And it is a crazy place up here. I am definitely not near Cleveland anymore. I cover Jefferson, Pierpont, Andover, and this really odd town called Conneaut. I sure am in for an adventure up here...
First of all.. it is SO COUNTRY. And second of all... THERE IS NOTHING HERE. Okay well there are some houses (some that may or may not be a billion years old falling apart and smell like dying animals. PS I am getting super good and not breathing for long periods of time) but other than that.... a ton of country. We are doing service tonight.. and milking goats. Yep. I am at that point in life where I am milking goats... and apparently the Amish will be helping us. So just picture me milking goats with the Amish... it is going to be good and I am pumped. It will probably be a train wreck.. but hey I am sure I will have some kind of story to tell.  I really am so excited for this new area! It is really different but I think that it is going to be a ton of fun.
Oh my new address is
139 West Satin St. #B2 
Jefferson, Ohio, 44047 

I had a kinda crazy week this week! I was so sad to say goodbye to Hiram. Last Tuesday night we got to go to one last Bible study with my Hiram College friends and it was so fun! I think leaving them basically shattered my heart into a billion pieces.. but it is okay because I know I will see them again! That whole experience was just the coolest thing and still is solid proof that God is in control of my mission and putting me where He needs me!
Wednesday was transfers.. and my new companion is Sister Coontz. It is actually super crazy because I was companions with her before for 3 weeks... and people NEVER get put back together... but here we are! So it made it kinda an easy adjustment because I already know her. So yeah. We spent Wednesday and Thursday at Kirtland. My birthday was good! Sister Smith is just awesome and brought me Chipotle and decorated for my birthday it was so nice. And a guy randomly brought us 3 watermelons and if you know me I was in HEAVEN. I may or may not have eaten a whole one by myself. It was my birthday okay so don't judge me. Then we came and I moved into my new apartment... which is surprisingly really pretty nice! It is small but it is clean and that is all I care about.
My first day in my new area was definitely interesting. We went up to Conneaut and visited some people there. The first people are named Christina and Steffen... they are like 30 years old. They are very interesting. Let's just say I know more about dungeons and dragons now than I ever thought I would. Once we got past talking about the gaming world.. we actually had a super cool lesson! I guess that things have been slow going with them and that Steffen never really pays any attention.. but he shared this super cool experience he had and how he knows that God exists. Then we read some of the Book of Mormon with them and they were super into it. It was fun. I think they have a ton of potential so it will be fun to see what happens!

We also taught this younger boy who wants to get baptized.. and is like ready to get baptized.. but I guess his parents are divorced and his dad won't let him. So hopefully that changes and he will be able to! His house was like real life dungeons and dragons... I think I may have to start carrying a sword around with me or something in order to fit in in this place.
We also had an interesting lesson with this super nice lady named Sister Weise and her son.. who is from Germany and does not speak very good English. It went good even though he did criticize my outfit...  I had no clue 40 year old Germans know what is in style for sister missionaries these days. It was funny haha.
Saturday we got to do some service gardening, and then we got to go to my favorite place ever. THE NURSING HOME. Hahah just can't keep me away from those places I guess. We painted their nails and it was super funny. The ones I met weren't quite a big of comedians as in my last area.. but maybe they will get funnier. A lot of people canceled on us on Saturday which was kinda a bummer. And it is hard not knowing anyone an d just having to like go with what my companion has planned. Hopefully this week is better.
We did have a super cool lesson on Saturday night with this guy named Gene. He has been meeting with the missionaries for like a year and he is super smart. Too smart haha. He questions everything. He is one of those people who doesn't understand how we can "know" that the Book of Mormon or the Church is true. He doesn't really accept the idea of praying and receiving an answer from God. Which I get because that is hard.. but what you have to do.  And my companion is like too nice and  just tries to come up with nice answers to his impossible questions and at one point I just turned to him and asked him if he knew that God exists. And he paused and he said "yes I do know that." and then I said "how do you know that".. and then he said "I can't explain it but I just do." and i was like EXACTLY and you can have that same thing happen with the Book of Mormon and with the Church. That stumped him for a minute and then he said "You're a good one." haha no clue what that meant. But it was just a super intense and fun lesson and I am pumped to teach him again.
Yesterday at church was.... the funniest/interesting thing ever. So this ward is just so different than anything I have ever experienced. Once again I found myself on a different planet. I mean the people here are really nice and friendly and I love them already. But they are very different. So it was testimony meeting.. (best first day in a ward ever) and this guy goes running up there (and he is older and actually not all the way there. I wish I could remember the bad joke he told me about falling down when I told Him I was from American Falls) .. and he has something written out on a paper so  I knew it was going to be good. And oh boy was it a gem. So he gets up there and is at first just thanking all of the service men and women who sacrifice for the country... then he starts getting really worked up and is like "The only ones who don't care about our service men is our GOVERNMENT. All the government cares about is themselves and they are trying to TEAR US ALL DOWN. I AM APPALLED at this government and it is our duty to do something to change " and at this point the bishop had to ya know tell him to uh, stop, and then he goes "I am very sorry everyone. When I was a young kid my mom would give me the opportunity to do the ironing and pressing. And we are all like those clothes and sometimes we have to be "ironed out" by the Gospel of Jesus Christ." hahaha so... yeah it was super entertaining and I really wish I had that on video.  Good times in Ashtabula already.
The ward is just full of characters and this area is full of some gems of people. I know that I am here for a reason and that there are people here I need to meet... and I am so excited for the experiences I am going to have here. I am just constantly amazed at how God puts me where He needs me and then helps me love where I am and who I am with.  The next few weeks are going to be full of some interesting stories... so sorry this email is lame but next week will be a billion times better I promise!
Well I have to get going... but I really appreciate all of your support and all the happy birthdays I got! You guys are the best. SO EXCITED TO SKYPE ON SUNDAY! I can't believe it is Mother's day already! Best thing ever. Well actually being a missionary is the best thing ever but that is a close second. I love you!! Have a great week! 

Love Cassidy

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