Thursday, July 3, 2014

June 23, 2014 Letter from Cassidy

Well I have to say.. this week I heard some of the funniest things of my entire mission. AND also  had some of the coolest things happen with our investigators! It was such a good week.
So first of all.... my life is going a lot better now. Last Monday we got a new investigator named Jerrell. And he is the only African American guy in this whole town. And he is SO cool. And I just feel a lot better about things now. He has 2 little daughters that are the cutest things I have ever seen. And we have been back to teach him and he is so nice and I am just super excited about it.
Last Tuesday we got to see our best friend Bridgette. She literally loves us so much. Also, she is so dang funny. She went to Maryland last week... and she thinks that Baltimore is its own state... hahaha. She said "it is just so fast paced out there in the real world... I saw all sorts of things.. like drug dealers." hahah it was so funny especially because where she lives is like drug central. Literally everyone we talk to says that those apartments in Andover are drug capital of Ohio.
We had a super awesome lesson about the Plan of Salvation and how we can live with our families forever. And her sister Carol was there too and her husband just recently passed away and so she absolutely loved what we taught. Oh and at one point, Bridgette said "I don't understand how anyone could be an Athean." She meant Atheist... but said athean and it sounded like alien.. and I started laughing so hard. It killed me.
Things are still going super good with Gerald. He wears a shirt every time we see him so clearly he is making progress in the Gospel. But no really he has been reading the Book of Mormon.. and he said that he is starting to notice a big difference in his life. And it is really cool to see him make so much progress. Especially when he prays.. like when we first met him he didn't even know how to pray, and now he is praying at least twice a day! It is the coolest.
Wednesday morning I had a super cool miracle. So there was the biggest thunder/lightning storm in the world.. it woke me up at like 5:15 because it was shaking out whole apartment... and I literally prayed it would stop so we could still go running because I HATE exercising in the apartment... and when I got up at 6:15 it had completely stopped raining... and it didn't rain the whole time we were outside... and right when we got back to the apartment at 7... it instantly turned right back into the huge storm. It was probably the craziest thing ever. But hey, Heavenly Father answers prayers.
We were at Kirtland Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday last week. It. Was. Insainty. We gave so many tours.... I felt like I got hit by a bus BEFORE the huge bus tours even showed up on Friday. It is so tiring. haha. But we had some really cool people come in... also so interesting ones.
There was this one group.. and we are inside the Whitney store which is an original building from 1830s.... and this guy asked me (and he was dead serious) if the air conditioning upstairs was original...... I think I about died.  And then there was this guy who was asking the most irrelevant questions in the world. I was talking about Joesph Smith and the revelations he received in the store.. and this guy goes "Were the labels really stenciled on the bags like that?" and I was like... are you serious? Haha sometimes people are really just mixed up on what matters. And then their was this boy... and we are at like a serious part of the tour.. and I asked if anyone knew who Orson Hyde was... and this kid who is like 17 says "Yeah. He has a brother named Jeckell."... which okay might have been funny if he didn't totally ruin the spirit. And then he sat on the FLOOR in the middle of the tour and started kicking his sister... it was the craziest thing I have ever seen.
But then we have super awesome families come in and it makes everything so worth it.
We had a lot of youth groups come in this past week too. We had like hundreds of youth from Chicago come in and we had one of the coolest tours ever. So naturally they were a little bit rambunctious because they are like 16 year old kids... but we got to the upstairs of the Whitney Store... and I asked them how the Book of Mormon blesses them... and this boy who had kinda been joking around the whole tour bore his testimony of how the Book of Mormon converted him and helped him join the church.. and he shared how now it brings more peace and happiness into his life than anything else. It was really incredible to hear a young boy share how much it means to him and the influence it has had in his life. And then in the School of the Prophets I felt the spirit so strong. It was at the end of the day, I was totally drained... but when I bore my testimony to all of the youth about how I truly know nothing brings greater happiness than living the Gospel and following Christ.. I was so completely happy and grateful to be there. Even if it is super hard and tiring, I wouldn't give up the opportunity to help people and share what I believe. And the feelings I have when I bear my testimony confirm to me every single time that this Gospel really is true.
Saturday we got to come back to our area and we had an awesome day! Okay... so it was actually some of the FUNNIEST stuff of my mission. Get ready everyone, you are going to die.
So we went to do some service at some members house... and lets just say they are very interesting. They had a Jesus statue nightlight in their room. And about 97 cat statues around their family room. So yeah. And they are a little bit older... (they are the ones that came teaching to Gerald with us last week.) anyways just super funny. Her name is Rose and she was like "Sit down girls... I need to teach you some things." and then she literally told us her entire life history. I know waaay too much about her. At one point she said "I broke my leg... and they wouldn't let me use the car to get it fixed.... and then a week later the break in my leg fixed itself and there was nothing they could do." hahah yeah uh okay.  hen she was struggling to get up and she said "I can't get off my fat butt.... butt... butt..." and she started singing about it. 
And then she showed us this cat poem she is going to crochet onto something.. and it was called "Meow they lay me down to sleep". Basically the funniest thing in the world.
And this was the best part. So I asked if I could use the bathroom.. and she said yes. And then she was talking quietly to herself and she said... "I hope you don't have diarrhea. I don't have any medication for that. We might have to put you in a diaper. That is what I have to do sometimes."

And me and my companion died. Actually I am still dying. It was hands down the funniest thing of my entire life.
Saturday we also had a super good lesson with Michael and Kerri! They are making awesome progress. And they said their daughter Mariah took and hid the Book of Mormon becasue she wanted to read it! So we had to get them more copies. But I am really excited about their daughter. She is 13 years old and really searching for the truth... and I am positive that she is going to love the Gospel.
And then we had the best lesson ever with our investigator Gene. He is my favorite person ever. Probably because he is super normal. haha. He is the one who has been all over the world... like he literally has been everywhere and lived all over the place.. and he just has all these awesome stories and insights about people and things. I hope I can be as cool as him someday. And he it is super funny he wants me to run for president because he said I am "true" and he said he really trusts me. I'll take it. But he also has so many deep questions and is having a really hard time finding what is the truth about God and religion and what happens when we die and everything. I think he confuses himself a lot of the time. Deep down he knows what is true.. but is having a hard time just accepting it. And he has had some really hard stuff happen with his family and so working with that is hard. But we are making such awesome progress. He prayed for the first time ever with us... and the spirit was so strong. It was like a prayer where you truly know he was talking to God. I literally had chills. And then.....
I was sitting on the stand and when I saw him walk in I literally almost jumped out of my seat I was so excited. My talk went really good and he said he loved it! So that was a success! I spoke about how we can only find true and real happiness by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And how nothing in the world, no matter how fun or appealing it seems, will ever bring as much satisfaction and peace as being close to Christ and living how he wants. There was a quote I shared from Elder Wirthland and he said :

"The abundant life is a spiritual life. Too many sit at the banquet table of the gospel of Jesus Christ and merely nibble at the feast placed before them. They go through the motions—attending their meetings perhaps, glancing at scriptures, repeating familiar prayers—but their hearts are far away. If they are honest, they would admit to being more interested in the latest neighborhood rumors, stock market trends, and their favorite TV show than they are in the supernal wonders and sweet ministerings of the Holy Spirit."
And it is totally true. I think that we all put things, even if they aren't bad things, above living the Gospel. But we really are just cheating ourselves out of what can make us the happiest. I have such a strong testimony of how putting God first always makes us happier. I just want to challenge you guys to figure something out this summer that you could do to put Christ first in your life a little more and I know you will be happier.
And that is all. I have to get going because I am out of time... but I love you all and I miss you so darn much. Have a great week :)
Love Cassidy

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