Thursday, August 28, 2014

Picture of Cassidy 8-25-14

Preparation Day spent at the Cleveland Zoo.

Letter from Cassidy 8-25-14

August 25, 2014

Guess what.... Today is my 50th Preparation day! Can you believe I have sent 50 of these letters? That is crazy. And to celebrate... I will send the shortest letter I have sent so far! Congrats you don't have to hear me ramble as much! hahah.

Today has been a super fun busy day. We got to go to Cleveland and go to the zoo and out to lunch! It was really fun. I got to wear PANTS everyone. I felt like I was a normal person. I almost forgot that I have legs. But it took a billion hours so that is why this will be so short.

Overall it was a pretty good week! But actually not too much happened. We had a zone conference, my companion got sick so we had to stay in, and then we were in charge of this big ward barbecue/activity on Saturday so we spent most of our week getting things ready for that... so I don't feel like I got to do a lot of missionary work which KILLED me. Literally I think I almost died.  I am really excited to just get to work this week!

But I will just tell you about some of the highlights of the week!

So things are going awesome with Nibby. She is the nicest girl ever. We met and she said that she had studied and prayed about the Plan of Salvation and she really believes it is true and that it brings her a lot of comfort. As completely cheesey as this sounds I can honestly see that this is making her happier. And it just totally makes my whole day knowing that I am fufilling my purpose in helping people feel the peace of the Gospel. She always is so grateful when we come and it is super refreshing because half the time I feel like we are begging people to let us come back. But Nibby is great.

Another cool lesson was with this lady named Charlotte. I can't remember if I talked about her before or not... anyways she is older, her husband recently passed away, and she is still super depressed about that. But we got to teach her about the Plan of Salvation too and man was it good. We read the verse in the Book of Mormon about how right now is the time for her to prepare to meet God, and  we told her it is the time for her to prepare to meet her husband again, and the spirit was so strong. She started crying and said that she is going to keep learning and hopefully get baptized. She is a really sweet lady and once again it is just the coolest thing ever to see the spirit touch people and give them hope. It is amazing the power the spirit has to help people feel happier. Nothing really can compare to teaching people that they can be with their family forever. I feel so grateful for that knowledge because now that I am on my mission and am way more appreciative of my family, nothing means more to or motivates me more than knowing I can be with them forever if I do what God asks.

the "Great Dog Lie" (me having to lie to people and tell them they have a cute dog when it is actually super ugly) is up to 42 in the past 4 weeks. That is a lot of ugly dogs. And  lot of lying.... I should probably repent for that. haha.

The barbecue was super fun and we had like 60 non members and less active members come! So it was a huge success. We were in charge of the kid activities while all the adults/non members took a tour of the church to learn more about it. And yeah it is official I don't want kids for another 3054 years. Okay it wasn't that bad haha. We did some fun games like a donut on a string eating contest and all that good stuff. It was fun but I am sure glad it is over.

Let's see.. what else... a few people flammed us as usual. We got to do some solid tracting. On one street we met two old guys from Greece... and they definitely smelled like old European men.. haven't figured out what deodorant is apparently... but that was entertaining. Had a good discussion with a lady from Estonia who ranted for like 79 hours about Americans being overweight. She did come to church though so that was cool!  One door I rang the doorbell and I didn't think it worked so I knocked on the door... then this lady came and yelled at me and said "I DONT HAVE WINGS, I HAVE TWO BAD KNEES" and it was terrifying and funny at the same time. And she wouldn't even take my picture of Christ. People these days.

Yeah seriously a slow week... I guess it was boring for all of us. Minus Jaxon and Colin. But hey, there is always next week! One perk I did find the best ice cream in all of Ohio everyone so don't worry. Also.. next week is transfers. I can't believe I have been full proselyting for 5 weeks already. It has flown by!  But it sure has been a great experience. I have a feeling I am headed back to Kirtland... and I am not totally sure how I feel about it. Being full proseltyting is definitely easier I must say. And as weird as it is.. my call is to Kirtland and I almost feel like that is where I need to be. I guess I will have to be patient and wait and see! I offered my mission president money yesterday to give me a hint... but yeah I got shut down. Whatever happens I have total faith that it will be what I need and what the people I am serving need. It is amazing to me that everything I have gone through on my mission has been so perfectly tailored to what I needed to learn. Every area and every companion has totally made me a better person and I just love it. I have such a strong testimony that this work is completely inspired and I feel super blessed to just be right in the middle of it.

I have to go.. sorry this is seriously the lamest email ever I feel like a loser. I apologize if you are bored to tears right now.  But what can ya do... I will make up for it next week!

I hope you all have a good week! I LOVE YOU!

Love Cassidy

Pictures of Cassidy August 18, 2014

Letter August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Well hello!

I am here and happy to say that no one kicked me off of their property this week! So basically you could say it was a pretty good week. I actually was just thinking about sending a picture because I think it sums up my life better than anything I write can....but I guess I will come up with something to say too.

This was a week of a lot of tracting. We are on a mission to find some new people.. and it is sorta a slow process.. but the good news is it is always entertaining! I will just include a picture now so you can understand who I am dealing with out here.

Yep this is real life people. This is Rich. We walked up to his house and he was standing there painting these creepy doll statues without a shirt on and it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. He is really nice though. Him and his wife Pam loved us. They were giving us all of their lives stories... down to him delivering their first child, him going to war... I mean you name it we heard about it. But honestly it felt good to be around some crazy old folks again. I haven't hung out with any in awhile. And I am sorry but this is just the funniest thing ever. It sums up my life perfectly.

We also started teaching this lady we met named Christine... she is very... interesting. She is obsessed with stuffed animals. And she told us that she is going to get a pet raven. I think I will be getting some quality stories from teaching her! Stay tuned for those gems.

We got another new investigator named Nibby. She is almost 21, and she is so nice. She has had a really rough life. She lived in Jordan for like 10 years and I guess her dad was not the best guy... and about a year ago her mom committed suicide. It is just such a sad situation. But we were able to teach her about the Plan of Salvation and how she can be with her mom and her family forever, and it was a really powerful lesson. I felt the spirit so strongly testify to me that it is true and man I am more grateful every single day that I know that. I am glad that we are able to teach her and I hope that we can help her feel some peace and hope. It was a huge blessing that we were able to meet her and I know it was definitely no coincidence. And another cool thing was- she lives with her grandparents, and we were meeting in the front room.. and like halfway through her grandpa turned off the TV so that he could listen to us too! It was awesome.

Also I went on exchanges this week... so I went to a different area. It was North Olmstead/Westlake.. and it was really fun to see a different part of Ohio! And I had a pretty funny experience. So we stopped by this guy who I guess the other sisters had been meeting with until his fiance got super mad and told them they weren't allowed to come back.. so yeah not really sure why we were going back but anyways I just went with it... we go and the guy Gary was super nice, but his fiance was not a happy camper. She gave him the Book of Mormon and told him to give it back to us, and he felt really bad because he actually does want to learn more (he actually said that the missionaries finding him was an answer to his prayers.. ) but he said he can't learn right now because of her. Which is really sad. But he super dramatically and slowly walked over to me... then he slowly kissed the Book of Mormon and said "It's like kissin the feet of Jesus".. and then handed it to me.... and I had no clue how to react. It was one of the funniest/dramatic things I have ever seen. It was classic.

On exchanges we spent a lot of time trying to find people whose addressed didn't exist... and I hate that. Then I went to give these guys a card and my hair got totally stuck in a tree so I looked like the biggest idiot literally stuck in a tree. Hopefully they at least check out the website so it was worth it haha. Also I don't know what happened but lately I have just gotten super bold with people.. I have just got a little tired of lame excuses and I have a strong testimony that what we invite people to do is actually important.. and I have been a lot more upfront with people. Because there is just no time to waste on unimportant things and people need to realize that. . Like this guy said that he knows the Book of Mormon is true but that he just doesn't have time to come to church because he needs to work in his yard on Sunday.... and I was just like baffled by that comment...  so I told him that (In a nice way don't worry) that God blesses us with everything we have the least we can do is give him 3 hours on Sunday. And I bore my testimony that every sacrifice we feel like we make for God will be more than made up. Which I can completely say I know is true because I have felt that so much while serving a mission. I have given a lot of good things up to be here.. but the blessings I have already received far outweigh any sacrifice I have made. And he couldn't deny that. Hopefully he starts going to church.  Oh and I asked this lady who was walking her dog if I could give her a card and she said "No I am sorry I am too busy right now." ..... too... busy.... to take a card? What does that even mean? People amaze me sometimes haha.

We had a pretty solid lesson with Brother Clapper too. He is the hairy pork chop guy. Even though he canceled on us once because he had to watch a "really important tv show".... I mean that is low flaming us for TV come on people. Anyways it was terrifying and hysterical all at the same time. So we were talking about the Word of Wisdom because we are trying to help him quit smoking... and he said "I know I need to do it... I just am lazy. I mean there are a lot of things I should do. Like I should probably shower every day... or at least every other day... but I don't do that either...." Me and my companion BOTH DIED. I am grateful we meet outside where there is fresh air. That comment made the hairy sweaty pork chops we had to eat 10 times nastier. Then as we were leaving he said "are either of your vegetarians?" (which... obviously not we ate pork chops...) but then he said "I am going to have you over for dinner again and make you something really good." I better start praying now that I somehow move or break a leg or something happens so I don't have to eat there again. I survived it once I better not push my luck.

We got to spend a few hours last night at the hospital visiting a sweet lady in our ward who is sick. Her name is sister Ientile. It was really fun because I knew that we were really helping her. It is so true that when you are serving other people you are the happiest. I totally feel that way. At the end of the day I feel so much better when I know that I was actually able help someone. And one of the nurses was so nice and said to me an my companion "You guys brighten up this whole place. You have something in your eyes that just makes people want to be around you! I don't know what it is but it just make me feel happier!" It was probably the coolest compliment ever.. and the answer to her question is THE GOSPEL. It is hard to not be happy when we get to teach people about the best thing everrrrr.

Let's see what else happened... I think that was mostly it. It was kind of a slow week. I am a little bit glad that summer is almost over because then people will have more set schedules and maybe the will stop canceling on us (seriously on Saturday FIVE of our appointments canceled.... it was at the point where it was getting comical.) But also the thought of winter coming makes me want to cry myself to sleep. I just want it to be 75 degrees for the rest of my mission.. is that too much to ask? Maybe. But still. Oh man like we didn't get to meet with Mark and Sarah AGAIN. Heart was broken. I am dying to know how he is doing with the no smoking. I guess I need another lesson on patience or something haha. PRAY we get to see them this week.

Anyways I will stop my rambling. I hope that you guys all have a good week! Thanks for your prayers and emails and letters and for actually having the patience to read this boring letter! I love and miss you a lot!

LOVE Cassidy

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cassidy's Letter 8-11-14

Well... it was one interesting week here in Ohio. It was pretty good. We had some cool stuff happen... also I experienced some of the meanest people I have ever met... but I survived and as of today I have officially been a missionary for ELEVEN MONTHS. Yep. Mind blown.

But yeah as far as this week goes... not sure why it was like "everyone be a hater" week . Okay just a few people. Well mostly just one guy but it was pretty messed up. But anyways. Last Monday night we met the most hard-hearted person I have EVER met in my life. We were talking to him JUST KIDDING he was talking and not letting us say anything.. and it was so frustrating but at the same time totally funny because he was so ridiculous. He said that all that really matters is his job and his house and cars.  He like was hating on people that go to church and said that people who do things without getting paid are "stupid" and then like 10 minutes later he said "My wife keeps saying I run myself thin serving others. I am really such a giver. I am currently working on so many projects for other people." and he was dead serious. And then he was trying to say all these horrible things about Muslims and he was so uneducated so I had to politely correct him. Something I HATE is when people bash other religions, even if it isn't ours. It is just so unnecessary and mean. I wish everyone could just respect others and their beliefs and be a little be more loving and not quite so judgmental. This whole world would be a whole lot better.  Anyways he was crazy. At one point this mom and daughter rode by on their bikes and he started cussing and freaking out saying that the mother shouldn't be allowed to have children if she was going to let her little daughter ride a bike in the road... it was so insane. He also said his dog took a bullet for him. He was just crazy. I feel really just sad for those type of people who all they care about is their house and money and the never know what real happiness is. Makes me super grateful that I have the Gospel and have a perspective of what really matters! And I wish I could just make him read the Book of Mormon and help him understand.

And unfortunately that was not even the only frustrating thing of this week. So there is this "investigator" the sisters have "taught" (I don't actually think he has learned anything...)  before... but he is actually just so mean. I had met him once briefly.. but not really. So we go to our appointment, and the first thing he does is start bashing everything we believe and accusing us of being a cult. Which is whatever, but he was being really disrespectful and critical and I was doing my very best to politely respond. And then out of nowhere he starts saying the most horrible things about me... and he doesn't even know me! Like he said "In all my 47 years of being a state trooper I have seen a lot of personalities.. and I have never met anyone that has had as bad of a personality as you do. I have loved ALL the other missionaries who have come, but I don't like you one bit at all. I have never met anyone that was so rude and anyone who has such a horrible way of communicating with people. I can't even talk to you. And I have never even seen you smile" and at this point I was just SO CONFUSED because I literally had only said like 8 words and it wasn't anything even rude.... and I said something to try to lighten the mood.. yeah that didn't work hahah.. and then he said "I am just discussing things which I will do with her (my companion) but not with you. You just have a horrible personality." and I said that I was sorry and that we would leave.. and he said he didn't want me there but he wanted my companion there... awkward? So I just stopped talking and then like 10 minutes later he brings up how "horrible" I am AGAIN. So I as nice as I could said "My purpose in coming here is not to have you criticize or analyze everything you think is wrong with me" and he said "Well I am going to. You know what, you are not allowed to talk on my property. So DO NOT TALK." So he literally banned me from "speaking" on his property... what the heck? Is that even real life? And my companion didn't do anything! It seriously was the craziest thing I have ever experienced. So I sat there and just had to deal with it and wish I could actually say what I wanted to but... first of all I am a missionary and I was trying to be the bigger person... and second of all... I was banned from speaking. I am still just baffled. WHAT kind of 60some year old guy is so rude to a 20 year old girl who did nothing to him?? Then as we were walking away he said "hey I am sorry" and it was really just so not genuine.. I mean I will forgive the guy because it is not worth it... but also it was just the most insane experiences. I have never seen anything quite like it. And the worst part is my companion wants to go back to teach him tomorrow..... wonder how that will go? It will be interesting to see if I am able to speak or if I get arrested from his property... hahah I wouldn't doubt it. This guy is crazy. Pray that I don't end up in jail or something for talking....

LUCKILY... those were the only real downer experiences. A lot of cool things did happen!

Like MARK! Okay so he is the guy we found last Saturday. Well, apparently he got sick so he had to cancel our meeting... but on Saturday we got a text randomly from his wife that said
"Praise the Lord! Mark is 5 days cigarette free. After speaking to you girls.. he came inside and said that he needed to change his life so he could be closer to God, and smoking is not part of God's plan for him. So he quit!!" HOW COOL IS THAT. We didn't even say anything about not smoking... that was totally the spirit! And that is so crazy he just cold turkey quit! It was such a huge miracle. I am still so excited about it. It is incredible when people just make changes and act on the feelings they have. Man I am excited to teach him!

We have gotten to see a lot of less active members this past week and we have had some really good lessons. There is this lady who is really sick and has to stay at home and when I first met her she was the saddest person I have ever met. But it is kinda cool as we have been meeting with her it has been fun to see her get slightly happier. She said that when we are there she feels a lot better and feels hope. Which is comforting sometimes to know that we are actually helping someone!

A lot of the investigators they were teaching before I got here have kinda fallen off the face of the planet. Most of them were not really committed which is disappointing.. but it happens. So we have been hitting the streets and doing some good ol tracting. Which I actually love. It is also so entertaining and the coolest stuff happens. We went to one neighborhood and there was a backyard baseball game going on, totally brought back some good memories, but it was so funny we went to knock on one door and this mom answered and said she wasn't interested.. and then her young son (who had been playing baseball) came running and said "Mom! Listen to them! They are just trying to spread good things about God! Please!".. it was so cool! I mean the mom still didn't listen to us but hey. Then the kid offered us water and said he hoped that we would have lots of success. Why can't adults be as nice as 10 year olds?

So this is actually a super weird story. So I picked this street called "Doe Crossing" to tract because it just sounded funny... so we tracted it.. met some cool people but nothing too amazing. Then we went to the other side of town and we were tracting a random street.. and we tracted into some members of our ward that I had never met. Which was a pleasant surprise! Weirdest thing though... they have a daughter who is 18 and she has a friend that she wants us to meet with... and her friend lives on DOE CROSSING. We had just been tracting in her friends neighborhood. Unfortunately we didn't talk to her friend then but the girl called her friend and we are going to have dinner with them on Wednesday! I mean nothing too amazing has happened with it yet... but it is not a coincidence that we tracted her friends neighborhood and then legitimately tracted into them too.  So that was cool. It will be fun to see what happens.

Okay so this is actually my very favorite thing that happened this week. We were tracting... and we met this really old sweet lady who is Baptist. But she told us that she had been to Salt Lake and to Temple Square and that she loved it. Then she told us a really cool story. She said that she went to Utah with her son because he had some meetings there. But she said she starting having medical problems and she would randomly pass out and get really sick, and she was worried about what she would do while her son was in meetings. And at this point she started crying as she was telling the story. She said "My son said to me 'Mom, if you get sick or something happens... just get inside the gate. They will take care of you there' and he was right. Those people were so loving. I truly know you are nice people who love others." It straight up gave me chills. That is my new favorite phrase. "Just get inside the gate". And it is SO TRUE. Also it is just so amazing that he and that she knows that the most important thing to us as members of the church is to serve and love others. It really inspired me. And I always want people to know that I will love and help them whenever they need it. That really is what this Gospel is all about.

Another crazy guy I met tracting thought I was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Literally he said "are you starting high school this year?" And when I said I was 20 he about had a heart attack and said "Are you kidding me? You are saying you can drive?" hahah it was so funny. I realize I look young but 15 is a bit dramatic.

Let's see what else happened. Attended a wedding for some of our investigators... it was interesting. Met some real interesting people too... like a guy who said he was the true inventor of Star Wars (I didn't tell him that I hate star wars) and that soon (and this is a direct quote people) "CSI is currently testing a document I have that will prove to the entire world that I am the TRUE inventor of Star Wars. Just you wait." hahaha I had THE hardest time not laughing. It was too classic. Also met a guy who said "If everyone in your church is as attractive as you girls are then I definitely want to join" uh CREEPY. Ran away from that as fast as we could.

It was really just a weird week. I don't know how I feel about it. There were definitely some cool things but a lot of really interesting experiences that I am not particularly wanting to have again haha. But I learned a lot. And time just keeps flying. This transfer is half over.... which is terrifying because it means I might be leaving and going back to Kirtland in 3 weeks.... and there is no way I will be ready to leave here yet. Man missions are weird. And awesome.  When it comes down to it I truly have learned more in the past 11 months then I ever thought I would. I have had some of the hardest days of my life, but also a lot of the greatest. I have seen God's hand working miracles in so many people's lives, especially in mine. My testimony of the importance of this Gospel has been strengthened every day. And I truly know that Christ lives and that His Atonement is the greatest miracle. And no matter how many people criticize me or say rude things or slam the door, I am grateful that I have this time in my life that I can share what I know with others and help them come closer to Christ in whatever way I can. I really am so lucky. This is the greatest thing I can be doing and I don't regret a single second of it.

I love you all and I hope things are great for everyone. Thanks for your prayers and your letters they really mean a lot!

Love Cassidy

Pictures from Cassidy 8-11-14

Cassidy with her companion from the Netherlands. Enjoying ice cream!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Picture of Cassidy August 4, 2014

Cassidy and her companion from the Netherlands enjoying a victory shake!

Letter from Cassidy August 4, 2014


Well here I am again trying to remember all the things that happened this week. This is my like 46th time writing a weekly email... you would think that by now I would actually be good at it... but oh well haha. This week was really good. The weeks are so different now that I don't work at the visitor center. I love it. I feel like I get to see so many more people. And this week I got to finally meet most of our investigators and I am starting to figure out the area and this is one good place! We found some really cool people this week and I ate a lot of ice cream so it was a definite success.

One of the coolest things was this lady named Amber and her family! Missionaries met with her awhile ago but for some reason lost contact for awhile.. I dunno.. anyways we stopped by and were able to teach her and her family, and it was awesome because she said she feels really confused about all the different churches and wants to know how she can know which church is the one true church (so basically she was telling the Joesph Smith story) and we talked about the Restoration and about how we can personally know the truth if we pray.. and she loved it. She even got all emotional when we briefly started talking about how we can be with our families after we die. She definitely was touched by the spirit. Which is the BEST.  So teaching the Plan of Salvation tomorrow is going to be the best thing ever. It is so fun to teach people who are totally open and willing to learn. You can tell such a big difference because they are actually able to feel the spirit and have it teach them because they are willing to be taught. And she has such a cute family I am praying that everything will work out!

Our other new investigator is this guy named Mark. PS I feel like 90% of the people I have taught on my mission have the same name... what is up with that? Anyways he is super cool and open too. He used to be Baptist but thinks that they have started to contradict themselves and change their teaching to fit what man wants.. so he is like against them now which is super interesting. But he said that he has researched our church and said all he could find was good and he took a Book of Mormon and really seemed genuinely interested. It was funny though because he was trying to give us all these tips on things... and "prepping" us for the weird arguments people might have... and it was actually hilarious because they were all of the arguments that my investigator Mark in my last area had. Funny how that worked out. Then he said... "Here is the test. If someone is trying to teach you about God... then they have to say the phrase 'Jesus Christ is the Son of God' and if they say that then you know they are good." So we said it and he thinks we are good. I wish it was that easy with everyone... hahah

I am glad we were able to find some cool people! Especially because like half of this week was filled with people straight up ignoring us. It seriously happened more than like my whole mission put together...  we would knock on someone's door and they would look through the window and then not open the door. It happened like 4 times in a row with some investigators.. and I was just baffled because how hard is it to open the door and say "sorry I am not interested" but nope. People these days. But it is okay because it gives us more time for people who are actually interested... or more time to be ignored by others. Either way. haha.

So it was my companion's birthday this past week which was fun because people felt bad if they didn't let us in so it made for a super solid day. And it was funny so this member had us over for this fancy dinner.. and then they had bought her this huge personalized cake which was super nice.. and then the family we went to after them had made a huge cake too... and then gave us a bunch to take with us... so we had this big cake in our car, and we the first family told us to come back because they had something to give us.. .and they had all the whole cake packed up.. and it was funny because the lady insisted on bringing the cake to the car for us so I had to run and try to hide the other cake... it was a nightmare. Serious fat girl probs. The biggest problem was it was all chocolate so I couldn't even have any. Talk about torture.

OH I forgot we had a super cool lesson with this investigator named Jay... and his girlfriend who is a member. So anyways we shared the talk from conference called "Where Your Treasure Is" and I really recommend that everyone go read that. It is such a good reminder of what really matters. We talked about how there are so many things that we have to do... or chose to do... that take our time and attention, but they aren't things that really bring happiness in the end. And so many of the superficial or worldly things seem appealing, but in the end leave us empty basically. So only when our heart is set on following Christ, strengthening our relationships with our families, and helping other can we be truly happy. And it was super powerful. It was amazing because they both were really touched by it and she even started crying and said it was exactly the reminder that she needed. It was one of those good missionary moments that make it all worth it.

Let's see... what else.... Oh I got to visit with this awesome old lady from Ukraine, I think, I dunno she had a crazy accent and she was telling me all these crazy stories from the war... and my companion was talking to her husband in Dutch... it was weird. Then our investigator flamed 2 appointments in 3 hours... then we went to help these lady pack her apartment to move.. and I felt like I was in a soap opera there was so much ghetto drama. I was trying not to laugh. The things that some people get worked up about are so funny.

We got to go to a baptism on Friday and it was super good. Third one this week. I am telling you this area is like blowing up. Anyways funniest part was this guy who rides a jazzy went up to like welcome the guy to the ward or something.. and he kept running into everything with his jazzy and then beeping and backing up... it was hysterical. I love jazzys. As long as they don't run me over.

Oh almost forgot that I almost died this week. Okay not really. We just had one of the sketchiest meals of my life. This guy that we read the bible with invited us to have dinner at his house.. well we ate outside because he is single.. but it was creepy my friends. It was some kind of "pork chop" but it literally had hair all over it... not sure if it was his hair or his dog's hair... I think that I hope it was the dogs. Anyways then these things he said were potatoes... but it looked like soup and it was bright orange.... I couldn't even do it. And a store bought salad (which I thought would be safe) but it was way expired.  I poured SO much salt over everything and he said "I already heavy salted everything it doesn't need any more" and I was like " I LOVE SALT OKAY" it was the only way I could get it down. But we lived. Mostly because my companion prayed before and literally said "Please bless that the meal he makes won't kill us." Prayer works. Livin proof. Also he was dripping sweat and it was flinging all over all the food... oh man it was so bad. I was literally about to fake sick. Well lets be honest it wouldn't have been faking...  But it worked out because after literally 15 minutes he said his back hurt too bad so we had to end dinner early (TENDER MERCY) so we didn't have to finish. AND that my friends is how I know God loves me.  Then we went and treated ourselves to the best ice cream EVER. We felt we deserved it after barely escaping death.

But overall it was a super good week and I feel like a stronger person... hairy pork chop and all. No really I am loving this area and my companion. There are so many awesome people here. I do miss Ashtabula surprisingly enough... I really am dying to know how Michael is doing. And the testimony meeting in this ward was really.... normal.... hahah no one went up and lectured us about how the government is possessed. I guess I really am back in a normal place. But things are good as ever I am super happy. And super out of time. I love you all and hope you have a good week. Thanks for all the letters you are theeee best.

Love Cassidy

Sunday, August 3, 2014

More Pictures from July 22, 2014

Top Photo: Conneaut-Not as good as it seems… Middle: The Mack Family  Bottom: Porz photo with kitty cat clock

Pictures from Cassidy July 22, 2014

Top: This sums up my time in Ashtabula…. Middle: The Porz family and Gerald  Bottom: Bro. Finley

Cassidy's Letter July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014


When it comes down to it.. this has been the weirdest and possibly one of the best weeks of my mission. I have never felt so much love from Heavenly Father. And my testimony of the truthfulness and importance of this gospel has grown so much this week. I witnessed so many miracles and have felt the spirit so strong. I just feel really blessed.

I will just start with how Heavenly Father answered my prayer and made me the happiest person in the world. Two words. FULL PROSELYTING. So basically my entire mission, but especially recently, I have been dreaming that I would get to go full proselyting. (Which in case anyone doesn't know, that means I won't be working at the visitor center). I mean don't get me wrong I absolutely love Kirtland and it is one of the most amazing places in the world,... but I really want to just be a regular missionary and get to work in a new area with a new companion full time. It has been the dream of my mission. Especially since it is summer and Kirtland is so busy (one of the miracles I saw last week was the fact that I actually survived 4 straight days of Kirtland. One day we gave 7 tours and I almost died.) But anyways I haven't ever said anything to my mission president about it because I only wanted to go full proselyting if that is what Heavenly Father needed and wanted me to do. Because my mission isn't for me or about what I want. So I never said anything it has just been my secret dream. And last Wednesday I had an interview with my  president... and he asked me about my mission, and all I told him was that I felt like I really need something new to challenge me or something... and he asked me what I had in mind.. and I said "I don't know." and he asked me what my biggest mission dream is... and I told him that it would be to go full proselyting. And then he said (as he was looking at his ipad)... "Well, I am looking at a picture of you and your new companion.... in your new full proselyting area." And literally I just started crying tears of joy no joke. Sounds dramatic and I am dramatic but it was the best news I have ever heard. He told me that He had felt really inspired that I needed to go full proselyting but He didn't know why... until I told him it was my biggest dream. He said that it was really crazy that out of all the sisters he picked me. And it is crazy. But it is because Heavenly Father LOVES ME so much that I don't even deserve it. No one could ever tell me that he doesn't hear my prayers. There is no way in the world that my mission president would know that I needed to go full proselyting if Heavenly Father wasn't inspiring him. I have always known that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers... but this was honestly the most incredible answer ever. I just know that He loves me and He wants me to be happy and I CANNOT WAIT for my new area and companion! This is going to be the best thing ever. Also it came at the best time ever too!

BUT... it does bring some other crazy news with it... the area I am in right now... is being taken over by two Elders. So for the second time of my mission guys are taking over my investigators. Nightmare. Hahah. Okay no but it is so stressful breaking the news to our investigators. But it really is inspired but just tough. We still haven't told 2 of them and I am dreading it.  I am going to miss them so much though. I have the best memories from this place. I think we can all agree that this was the funniest place in the world... Ashtabula pride FOREVER.

That reminds me... last week we taught Gerald the law of chastity with some members in our ward.... most classic lesson of my entire LIFE. If I had it on film I could make a million dollars. Viewers discretion is advised.  I will just include one quote that basically sums up the whole lesson.  The lady in our ward said "Part of the law of chastity is you have to be modest. Like if you have a nicely built chest area... and you aren't wearing a shirt.. women might look at you and think 'you is sexxxxy'" then Gerald said "I never thought of anyone thinking I am sexy" and then she said "Well, I will be honest. From an artist's point of view, and as you can see I am an artist, you have a very attractive facial structure. Except that eye. That has got to go."

I was actually speechless and didn't fully know how to recover. I mean how do you respond after that. You just can't. It was hysterical and I will be laughing for the rest of my life about it. Also.. it was so uncomfortable. Just wait until I include some pictures of Gerald and the people we teach him with . You will all love it.

But okay.. the real biggest miracle of this week is Michael. I know I say that every week but this week really is amazing. I have never in my life seen the Gospel change someone the way I have seen it change Michael. We were able to teach him the word of wisdom last Tuesday... and he told us about how he is literally so addicted to coffee that he has to have it... but he also committed to quit. He told us "If you would have asked me to stop drinking coffee 4 months ago.. I wouldn't have even considered it. But God is changing me and helping me see things with new eyes.. and now I fully understand why I need to quit." SO COOL. And then on Friday he came to Kirtland while we where there (and it was crazy it was so busy all day... until right when he came it then there was no one.. so we had time to teach him in the school of the prophets and it was just so amazing. miracle number three thousand) and he told us that he had already completely quit drinking coffee at work. Which is huge. And when we were talking to him about the Book of Mormon and how he is feeling, he said "It is impossible for me to put into words the way I feel. I just feel so uplifted and peaceful. When I read and when I talk to you I just have these feelings that are like all of inside of me. I can see myself changing and I can feel it. And it is the feelings that are telling me that what you guys are teaching and what I am reading is true." How amazing is that. He is letting the Gospel change him. I have always known that what I am teaching has power to completely change people's lives... but I haven't seen it to this extent ever. It is such a blessing to be able to witness someone's life completely changing. It breaks my heart that I won't get to see him be baptized... but I know that he will and that his life will forever be changed. And so is mine. He has been the miracle of my mission!

Also we had 3 investigators come to church on Sunday. It was the most of my entire mission. We have made such amazing progress!... right in time for me to leave! hahah it happens every time so I am used to it at this point.

But the past few days have been busy and also really good. They have been some of the most spiritual days of my mission.

The real way my testimony has been strengthened this week has been because of the peace I have felt about Grandma passing away. I really wish I could describe the sense of peace that felt when my mission president called and told me that she had passed away. I haven't been able to even feel sad, because I truly know with all my heart that she is with me. I know that the plan of salvation is real, and that we really are an eternal family. And I feel her with me right now. I think for the first time in my life I understand what an eternal family means. God promises that we can be with our family forever. And right now is part of forever. Right now is part of eternity. And because of that I truly know that she is with me right now. I have felt her with me the past few days comforting me and helping me. And it is impossible to be sad when she lived such an incredible life. She is the most Christlike, charitable person in the world. And her example has changed my mission and my entire life.

But the peace and comfort I have felt from Heavenly Father the past few days really have just confirmed to me that this is all true. What I am teaching is true and powerful. And it is the most important thing in the world. I honestly just wish that everyone could feel this same peace that I have. That is why I know I am right where I need to be. I need to share it with everyone I can and I am so grateful that I get to do that. And I am so grateful that I now have my grandma with me to help me do it.

The week has been full of tender mercies. Saturday night I got home from my long 4 days at Kirtland, and I had a letter waiting in the mail from Grandma. At the end of the letter it said "I love you so much. See you soon." and when I read it, I didn't feel like she meant she would see me when I get home in 6 months.. but that she would see me a lot sooner than that. And the next morning she passed away and I know she was instantly with me. And I also know that I will see her soon. And that we will be an eternal family. I am just so grateful for  loving Heavenly Father who blessed me with this Gospel and who has given me the greatest family, and so much love this week.

I hope this hasn't been the worlds most boring letter. I just have had my testimony strengthened so much and feel more blessed than ever before. I am so thankful that God loves me so much and that He has answered so many of my prayers. I am so so so excited for my new area and I can't wait to tell you all about it next week! I will get you my new address then!

I have to get going but I love you all so much! You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

Love Cassidy

Pictures from Cassidy July 28, 2014

Top: Me and my companion with Michael  Middle: Me and Gene  Bottom: Melody and Emylie

July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Greetings from Lorain!

So I was transferred to the "Lorain West" area... but it covers a little bit of Lorain, and then Amherst and Vermilion. And I am really loving it so far! It is a nice area... IN CIVILIZATION (there is a Chipotle within 4 minutes of our apartment... dreams come true everyone) and not a single Amish. It is completely different than my last area. It is a fun change! And we already had 2 baptisms.... so yeah things are going pretty darn good. And being full proselyting is the best thing EVER. Okay it has only been like 5 days but I love it.

Leaving my last area was sad though! It is always sad. I feel like I should be used to it by now because I get transferred more than anyone else in the mission (probably not a good thing... haha maybe there is something wrong with me...oh well) but it is still hard breaking the news to our investigators. It was depressing saying goodbye to Gene. He has been one of my favorite investigators ever. I have so many funny memories with him. (That reminds me I got the bird video off his computer... I will send it to you somehow so you can laugh your heads off). Our last lesson with Michael last week was super awesome. He committed to get baptized on September 6th! It was so cool! He also has cut out coffee so much and he was almost completely done reading the Book of Mormon. He said "Okay what book can I read next now that I am almost done. I want more." it was awesome. He was the most solid investigator I have had my whole mission... which made leaving pretty depressing. But the cool news is I know he will keep learning and growing in the Gospel and that he will get baptized.

Wednesday was transfers and I was so excited to meet my new companion and get to my new area. My new companion is so cool. Her name is Sister De Wilde (it is pronounced like devilda... like curela deville... but with a da at the end...) and she is from the Netherlands! I have always wanted a foreign companion. It is so fun. Also she is like one of the funniest people ever so I have been laughing my head off the past few days. She speaks super good english but she still says things really weirdly sometimes and it is the best. Plus she is just cool and we get along super good so it is going to be an awesome transfer.

We had a pretty busy week! We have lots of investigators and we actually had 2 baptisms on Friday. It was a mom and her 9 year old daughter. Their names are Melody and Emylie. The baptism went super well! Melody was really nervous I could tell.. but Emylie was so excited. If you could have seen how big her smile was right after she got baptized.. it was the cutest thing ever. Then later she bore her testimony and she said "I feel like Heavenly Father made a perfect copy of me.. and took away the other one and now I am the clean new copy." And she was just so happy. It was adorable. Baptisms are just really fun and the spirit is always so strong. It was pretty cool to get transferred here and then have a baptism the next day. This ward is having 4 baptisms my first week here.... so basically this ward is on fire and this area is awesome. I am so excited to be here. I can't even wait to see how the next 6 weeks will go.  I am already praying that I will get to stay AT LEAST 2 transfers here. Pray for me. Thanks.

I haven't gotten to meet a lot of the investigators yet but I did meet some. One was named Cecil and he is actually one of the meanest old guys I think I have ever met... but it was actually pretty funny. I think that 90 percent of my mission will be me teaching old guys.

We also met with this lady named Selena. She is super nice and we had a really good lesson about the Plan of Salvation. Which especially lately is my favorite thing to teach because it is the most comforting and amazing thing in the world and I want everyone to know about it. Selena also came to a fireside we had last night and she really liked it! She seems like she has some solid potential. I will keep you updated on her.

Saturday night I almost got to witness a fight. So we were, as Sister De Wilde calls it, having a "Bible Read" with this guy named Brother Clapper... and it was pouring rain outside so we were meeting in the hallway of his apartment building.. and let's just say it is pretty ghetto... anyways this guy was banging on the door and Brother Clapper said "I am not authorized to let anyone in. I cannot be held responsible" and we thought it was super messed up and weird especially because it was a fat storm... but we were like okay... well eventually the guy got in the building, and was NOT happy with Brother Clapper. And he wasn't the smallest or nicest looking guy.. and he didn't have the nicest things to say...He was like "I am a man of God too and YOU KNEW IT AND WOULDN'T LET ME IN" and he was coming at us.. and I think he was drunk possibly... but then his wife came out of nowhere and started screaming at him and somehow pulled him back. It was crazy. And super entertaining. But after that things calmed down and we had a good Bible read. hahah.

My companion and I decided we are going to start keeping tack of how many times a week we have to lie and tell people that their dog is cute when it really isn't. That is like the world's most common missionary lie. Because some people have the ugliest dogs but we can't say that so we have to say "Aww your dog is so cute" when really it is hairless and nasty. Take a guess of how many times we will say it this week.... you will be surprised.

Church was really good yesterday! The ward is very welcoming to say the least. On the FRONT of the program there was this big thing that said "WELCOME NEW SISTER JENSEN" with information about me (it said the phrase, "Sister Jensen hails from American Falls Idaho"... hahahaha so funny) ... it was the best welcome I have ever received that is for sure. Maybe a little excessive haha.

Sunday school the most CLASSIC thing happened. So there is this guys named Rodger in the ward... and he looked super familiar... and I finally figured out why. So in the middle of Sunday School this old guy gets up and says "I don't mean to take up your time everyone. But there is a Sister in here that I knew before. And I need to thank her. Sister Jensen, I have something to show you." Then he whips out this photo album, stumbles through it for a few minutes, and then finds a picture of Kirtland... turns out I took him on a tour before he was baptized! So he wen ton to say "I will always cherish this day. Sister Jensen took me on a tour of Kirtland on November First" and then he went on to say how it changed his life and how he will always remember it. It was really cool and super funny at the same time. I remember taking him on tour and it is pretty cool that he actually remembered me, and it is cool that he enjoyed it so much! But the way he made the announcement in front of everyone was super hysterical. I am slightly terrified he is going to talk about it in testimony meeting next week.... haha. Oh well it was a good time.

It was just a super hectic and good week. Being new to an area is always challenging because you know no one and have no clue what you are doing... so I am excited to get the hang of things and figure everyone out. The people here seem really nice and normal.. which is fun. I am enjoying being in a new place having new people to meet and learn from. And there is a real grocery store so things really are looking up people.

Oh and here is my new address so everyone can send me letters ( I know you have been DYING to send me some....) :)

1310 Shaffer Dr. Apt A.,  Lorain OH 44053