September 9, 2014
I DID IT. I officially survived a whole year of being a missionary! I actually cannot believe that I have been on my mission for a year already. Time sure does fly by. It has been one of the greatest years of my life. I have been thinking the past few days of all the amazing experiences I have had and the people I have met.. and man it has been so good. About a million times better than I thought it would be. I never dreamed that I would have learned so much so quickly. Or that I would have seen so many awesome miracles! Basically this has been the best year.
And this week was also a super good week. So I am in my new area with my new companion Sister Heckert! I am serving in the Chardon West area now.. so I work mostly in Chardon! I live in Kirtland though...actually RIGHT behind the Kirtland temple! Which is so cool. I get to walk by it every single morning and it is so pretty and I just love it. I live with 3 other sisters which is actually pretty fun! I feel like a ton of things happened this week so I hope I have time to talk about them all!
So first of all leaving Lorain was super hard. I really loved the people there! But I was excited to meet my new companion! She is so much fun. She is from Orem Utah and is 19... and 6 weeks into her mission. It is weird being a trainer.. half the time I feel like I should be getting trained still not training someone else. But we are having fun together! There wasn't too much going on in the area when I got here... so we are working on changing that! Sorta the story of my mission... sometimes I feel like I am sent somewhere to bring it back to life. I have tons of faith we will find people to teach and that it will be an awesome transfer!
My first day in the area was pretty good... we were doing our weekly planning at this cute little café.. and then we went out to this delicious fancy pizza place for lunch... and we were about to head to some cool appointments... and we were just happy and chipper and loving life and then I remembered that we needed to move the car... so we go outside... and we had just gotten a parking ticket. BY THREE MINUTES. Three minutes. I mean come on that is just mean. Luckily it was only 10 dollars... but STILL. Haha luckily it didn't ruin the day at all. We had some good lessons! And later we had a cool experience. We went to see this girl named Fiona, and when we got to her apartment she wasn't there. So we were about to leave but I had a feeling like we should just knock on a few doors around her. So we spent like 20 minutes tracting, and then as we were walking to our car... Fiona came home! So we got to see her and have a good lesson. It was crazy timing but it was really cool.
And Friday we had a super cool experience too! I was going through the list of members.. and there was this less active named Fred that I felt like we should stop by. Apparently they hadn't ever had any success but we decided to just go for it. We get to his house.. and this guy named Jeff opened the door. He came out and started talking to us, and he wasn't even related to Fred just living there for a little bit. But I got talking to him about Christ and how he feels God's love and we got into a cool conversation about how he feels his love through music and praying. AND IT WAS PERFECT because we are having this awesome event next week. Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices Choir (which is apparently Grammy award winning) is coming and so I invited him and he is going to come! He was so excited. He said that he has really been struggling lately and that he has really been needing to be uplifted... and us showing up was totally an answer to prayers! It was awesome.
We also had some awesome lessons with the nicest member families ever. We were at a dinner appointment and this boy prayed and said "Thank you for sending the sister missionaries to us... to help us... get back to the Mormon ways" and right when the prayer was done his mom went "Okay.. can we clear something up? Are we far from the Mormon ways?" it was the funniest thing ever. hahah I love little kids and the funny things they pray for.
Saturday morning was the pancake breakfast with the Community of Christ! I just love living in Kirtland and getting to eat pancakes with cool people and being right by the Temple all the time. You just can't beat that sorry. And then we worked at the visitor center... and don't worry I only messed up like 72 times on my first tour. Haha I was definitely a little rusty. But I am getting back in the swing of things. We had a nice family from Australia come. I have a lot of mixed emotions at being back at Kirtland. It is fun because everyone is so nice and the spirit really is so strong. I missed that. But I also loved full proselyting. I am just grateful that I have such a cool mission call and that I have gotten to do so much.
So I am serving in a branch now... and it is TINY. Okay well not that tiny but compared to my last ward it is tiny. And it is very interesting. But I think I am going to like it a lot! It will be easy to get to know everyone... which is good because if things keep up the way they are I won't be here a very long time. But after church we had a super cool thing happen! There is a new family that just moved in and we went over to see them.. and their son was never baptized, so we got to talk to him and invite him to get baptized and we set a date for October 2nd! Which is really cool! I am excited because it will be perfect for sister Heckert to learn how to teach and experience helping someone get ready for baptism. Our like third day together and we are already seeing miracles!
We also saw the BIGGEST DOG IN THE WORLD. He weighed 252 pounds. It was so big that I actually almost had a heart attack and started crying when I saw it. It was literally the size of a horse.
And yesterday THE COOLEST THING EVER. So guess what! I got a letter from Michael! (My investigator from Astabula) and it basically made my life. He told me that he is still meeting with the missionaries.. and that his wife has started sitting in too. He said he is waiting to get baptized once she is ready (which is slightly disappointing but okay).. and then he said the nicest things. I will just tell you. He said " I pray for you often. I know being on a mission can't be all hearts and flowers. I really can't thank you enough for all you've done for me. You truly did teach me so much. In all my travels I haven't come to know many people like you. I truly feel blessed that you knocked on my door. It is hard to put into words. I don't mean to put you on a pedestal, but the way you are is better than most anyone I've ever known. You definitely made me a better person. I sure hope your influence stays with me forever. I hope I'm perceptive enough to keep feeling the spirit. I don't know how to express it enough... thank you for knocking on my door. Thank you for teaching me to be a better person and actually caring if I am or not."
GREATEST THING OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. How could I ever feel like my mission hasn't been successful when I get to hear things like that?? Biggest blessing in the world. Literally. I am just like overwhelemed with how grateful I am that the spirit prompted me so strongly to knock on his door. it was one of the most powerful experiences of my mission and it is amazing to see that it helped him so much. It completely strengthens my testimony that this is God's work and He really is leading me to people who need me. I know that it was one hundred percent the spirit that helped Michael, I just got to play a part in it. AND this is why I love being a missionary so much. Nothing brings more happiness or satisfaction than knowing Heavenly Father used me to help someone.
Yesterday was just full of tender mercies actually. I also got to talk to SHIRLEY. The awesome 90 year old from Aurora! The one who still mows her lawn. She is still kickin and doing awesome! She was like "Cassidy! I miss you so much! I worry about you all the time!" And then she said "You're almost done with your mission and then you can become the first woman president. But you better be careful. There are big fat snakes waiting to get you in Washington." hahah she is still so worried about snakes attacking me. It is hysterical. But man it was so fun talking to her! I have so many people out here in Ohio that I just love to death. A year ago I would NEVER have thought that I would have had so many people come into my life.
One sad thing though... I found out at transfer meeting that Gerald (my other investigator in Ashtabula) passed away. I guess the missionaries actually found him. They think it was a heart attack. It is the saddest thing ever. It doesn't even really feel real to me. I am really sad that he died so young, he was only 50 years old. But I am grateful because I do know that even though he didn't get to be baptized here, he will have a chance. I do feel blessed that we were able to bring him the gospel and help him feel so much peace towards the end of his life. It is really interesting to see the ways that God works. Gerald always told us that he was way happier since he met us and that his life was so much better... so I am grateful that at least the past few months were good for him. Still is just crazy to me.
Let's see... I think that is mostly it. It was a really good week! and the BEST YEAR EVER. Literally! I am so grateful to be a missionary. This experience has taught me so much and brought me more happiness than anything else. As cheesy as that sounds it is actually the truth.
I love you all! Have a good week! Have fun celebrating my one year mark because I sure am going to :)