My Heart is Full

Hello family and friends! I am sad to say that this is my very last email:( Words cannot even express how I feel right now. I have no idea what to even say. I feel like my heart is being ripped out. The Wa-Tac has become my home and it is hard to leave.

IMG_3796

The Lord has blessed me SO much this past week. I had the most incredible “end” to my mission. After the departing missionary temple trip, we were able to go to the temple with our new convert to do baptisms for the dead. We were able to get her records in fast enough, get her an interview for a recommend, and find her a family name to take all in 5 days. It was definitely the most sacred and special day of my mission.The Barney’s were able to come with us which just made it all the more special. The Barney’s have really become like my second family. Brother Barney was able to baptize us all and Sister Barney was the temple worker who helped us out of the font. I can’t explain how cool it was to be in the temple with my recent convert. The spirit was definitely very strong! We took the ferry over from Bremerton to Seattle which was SO cool. We definitely have to do that when we come back up to visit! Seattle is amazing.
Part 2 of this really cool week was that our other investigator got baptized!!!!!! The elders had been teaching him after us and he FINALLY got baptized this weekend. I cannot even tell you how happy I was to see that man get baptized! His wife was so happy. It was such a special day. All of the missionaries who had taught him got to come back for his baptism.
IMG_3793IMG_3791
IMG_3789
This is one of my favorite families in the ward. We got to say goodbye to a lot of people on Sunday. It is honestly crazy how much I love this ward! We are close to so many families. It was hard to say goodbye.
I love you all and will see you in two days!!!! Thank you for all the support I have been given for the past 18 months. I want you to all know that I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have had a front row seat for 18 months seeing how it has blessed and changed lives.
Love,
Sister Cassell
Advertisements

The Font Fiasco

DSC07242
Hello Family!!! This picture you see above has quite the story to go along with it. So… first things first, our young woman investigator GOT BAPTIZED. It was an amazing day to say the least. It was one of the most special moments I have had on my mission. I am very grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be a part of that day. Before I go into more details about the baptism, I would like to explain a little more about what happened behind the scenes πŸ˜‰ The story proceeds as follows:
Sister Liao, Sister Johnston, and I arrive at the stake center at 2:00pm on Saturday for a baptism for a little girl in our ward. We had been asked to speak at the baptism and everything went really well. The little girl who got baptized was able to sing a song with her little sister and it was very sweet. We noticed that the water in the font seemed a little low..it was fine for an 8 yr. old girl but NOT for anyone else. We got it in our heads that when her baptism was over we would turn the water back on and fill it more for our investigator’s baptism. When we proceeded to do so, we found that it could not be filled past where it was because of the overflow drain. We were so upset and determined to have the water level higher. I had been to one too many baptisms where the convert basically has to break his/her back trying to get fully immersed in the water. Our investigator is by no means a big girl but it was better to be too high than too low. We brainstormed a couple ideas and concluded that we would try to “plug” the overflow drain with anything we could find so the font could fill up more. We had a member of our bishopric in on it and everything! We got into the church library and started gathering supplies. It was working but sister Johnston’s skirt got SOAKED trying to reach over the font to the drain. We were panicking but luckily our investigator had brought a hairdryer so we could try to tame the damage. Hahaha it was too funny. But wait! The story has just begun……
DSC07263
We proceed out to the foyer to take the traditional baptism pictures and greet all of the people that are filing in. 30 mins go by and we forget about the font….Sister Johnston runs in to check on it while Sister Liao and I go in to get seated. All we hear from behind the curtain was “BROTHER BARNEY! THE FONT OVERFLOWED!” The room erupts into laughter as Sister Liao rush back to the aid of Sister Johnston. We were able to take care of everything and the baptism went just fine. It was pretty funny.
DSC07271
These are SOME of the youth who came to participate in our cute young woman’s baptism. We had the girls in her young women’s class do everything on the program. It was one of the sweetest baptisms I have ever been to in my entire life. The spirit was so unbelievably strong. Her non member family members were all there and all in tears. TONS of ward members came to support.President Blatter even came! It was a day I surely will never forget. Our newly baptized member bore her testimony in sacrament the next day and was crying through it all. It was a special moment. I think that it really bonded the ward together, especially the young women.
DSC07274
Surprise surprise! I saw my lovely cousin Madison Pilster at the fireside Sunday evening!!! I was soooo happy to see a family member that I flew out of my seat to meet her. It was really good to see her. I love her to death!
We also had a mission tour with Elder Snow this week that was AWESOME! He is the church historian and a member of the 70. We basically had a big meeting with him and learned a lot! He was a really cool guy.
I am so out of time! I love you family!
Love,
Sister Cassell

Greetings from Bainbridge Island

IMG_3689
This is my view every night when I get home and every morning when I wake up:) For you who know me well, you will understand why I am in complete and utter paradise πŸ™‚ One of the sisters covering Bainbridge Island ward had to go home early for medical purposes. So on Monday we got an unexpected call from President saying that we would now be covering not only our area, but Bainbridge as well. Lets just say that covering two areas (30 mins apart) is a lot harder than it seems. We are doing just fine though and enjoying our new home! We stay part time in Silverdale and part time here on the Island. On the Island, we live with a cute grandma named Marla Vail. I am completely attached. She is just DARLING. We call her Grandma and we are all just one big family. It is kind of nice staying in an actual home again. Her house sits right on the water and you can see Seattle! It is fun to look at when it is all lit up at night. She has these “pet” raccoon’s that she has been feeding for years that wait anxiously every morning and night for their food:) They are soooo cute! There are 11 of them total. We call them the quorum of the 11 raccoon’s. We are enjoying working on Bainbridge and there are some promising people to work with. The members here are incredible. Everyone lives in a fancy rich home! We are getting quite spoiled. I cannot wait to vacation here with you guys! You will LOVE it. It is absolutely beautiful.
IMG_3691
Here is my lovely new companionship! It seems as though I just can’t escape trios can I? πŸ˜‰ I am loving it though. Sister Liao is absolutely adorable. She is 19 years old, from Taiwan, and has been out for a whopping 6 months. She is a bubbly crazy Asain! Haha I love her to death. There is never a dull moment. She is literally the cutest girl in the whole world and a very good missionary. I guess now on top of learning some Cambodian and Thai I get to learn some Mandarin! We are having a blast and working as hard as we can. Sister Johnston has been experiencing some Vertigo for the past couple of days and that has been very rough for her. We are trying to help her with anything we can. We are still taking time to go to Silverdale and teach our young investigator! She is all set to be baptized this Saturday! Remember how I told you about our new investigator last week? Well, we had an awesome lesson with her this week and she is wanting to be baptized on the 22nd! Can you believe it?? God is really blessing Johnston and I to leave our missions with a bang. We have seen sooo many miracles this week that they are too plentiful to mention. I am very grateful for God’s hand in all of this. I have been able to feel the spirit a lot this week and I can feel His love for each of the people we teach. That is truly incredible. There is no greater feeling than feeling God’s love for another person. That is the pure joy I have experienced this week and the past 18 months.
IMG_3690
We did exchanges this week with these lovely sisters and we have one more to go! We did a little lunch on this train and that was fun. We are excited for this up-coming week because Elder Snow from the 70 is coming to talk to our mission! I cannot wait to be spiritually fed and uplifted. We have a busy week ahead so I better run but I love you all and want to thank you for all the letters and emails. Sorry if I didn’t cover everything!
Have an awesome week and see you all in 16 days!!!
Love,
Sister Cassell

Love the Navy Base

Hello my dear sweet family and friends!

Here we are, another week has flown by. Sister Johnston and I are both ending our missions here shortly and there will not be any sisters in the 6th ward to replace us:( It is a super depressing thing. Because of that though, we are working SO hard to finish all the work the Lord needs done here. We are working with the members extra hard. We are teaching them how to be missionaries (which they are already great at) and sharing with them the joy we feel while sharing the gospel. It has been such a good experience. We have a goal to meet every member in the entire ward. That is very hard considering we are a Navy ward and people move in and out every week. It has been soooo fun working on the Bangor Navy Base. I had no idea what life was like in the military. It is so hard. The dads are literally never home. It definitely has its benefits but you sure work a LOT. We get to go on base at least once a week and visit all the less active ladies on there. It has truly been such an experience. There are sooo many ladies in our ward who have husbands that are not active or ex-communicated. The wives then fall away and it becomes a big mess for the family. I can’t express the love I have developed for these Navy wives the past 4 months I have been working with them. I have been able to see their desires grow little by little.
Speaking of less actives, we have been doing a lot of that this week as well as active member visits. We are going to keep that as a goal for this coming week as well. It is interesting to get to know these members because each one comes with their own story. I can’t go into too much detail but there is definitely some precious moments I have shared as we teach the gospel to these members who have fallen away. Some of them even came to church this Sunday!!!
Our young woman investigator is doing SO well. She is came to church again this week for the 3rd time. We were also able to meet with her twice this week to teach her more of the lessons. She is so solid. Her grandparents have benefited from the lessons too, her grandpa went in and met with the bishop and now after 50 years of inactivity, he is getting a temple recommend πŸ™‚ Her cute grandma is also taking an interest:) We have had the Barney family at every single lesson and the spirit is always sooo strong. Sister Johnston and I really cannot get over how lucky and blessed we are to share this experience with them and the Barney family. I am so happy words cannot even describe πŸ™‚ She is all set for November 15th. It will be a very special day for them and for the whole ward.
Halloween was fun! We just played games, ate, and watched the Best Two Years. That movie is seriously one of my favorites! It has a whole other meeting now that I have served a mission! I can definitely relate haha.
Love you guys sooo much! I want you to know how happy I am. I am the happiest I have even been and I am taking in every last second of my time here.
Love,
Sister Cassell

Happy Halloween

Dear Family,

I have a suuuper busy day today. I have permission from my mission President to figure out school stuff today and next week so I am not sure I will have time to send home the greatest email today. I just want you guys to know that I am alive and well!

This week was awesome. We have spent a lot of time with our investigator and her family. We taught her the Restoration this week and the spirit was the strongest I have felt it in a long time. We invited her to say the closing prayer and as she started crying. We had the Young Women’s President there with us and her daughter and they started crying too! She is on date to be baptized for November 15th! After the lesson she said that she had a special announcement for us. She asked everyone of us in the room to come to her adoption next week. She had talked about it with her grandparents and she really felt like she wanted us there. It was the sweetest thing! We are getting permission to go! Her grandparents are adopting her because she has lived with them ever since she was born.
Everyone else is doing well. We are struggling putting our investigator who cancelled his baptism back on date but he is still taking the discussions with us. The ward trunk-or-treat was this week and that was way fun! Sister Johnston and I dressed up as “traditional sister missionaries”. It was pretty funny! I am so glad we don’t have to dress like that anymore! Our Young Woman investigator and her family came and had a great time.
For Halloween this week we get to spend from 3-8pm with our zone eating and watching movies so I am really looking forward to that! It should be a good time.
I love you all so so very much. I hope I can write more next week!
Love,
Sister Cassell
The pictures below are our Halloween costumes and the night our “trunky papers” arrived. For those of you who have no idea what trunky papers are, they are flight and travel information and stuff like that. It means I am going home soon! 😦
Dressed up as 'Missionaries?' for the ward Halloween Party! :)

Dressed up as ‘Missionaries?’ for the ward Halloween Party! πŸ™‚

Trunky Papers!!!

Trunky Papers!!!

Miracles Are Happening in Silverbell!!!

Hello my wonderful family!!!

I had an awesome week! Lots of ups and downs but the ups have definitely outweighed the downs! Sister Johnston and I are getting along really well. She is SUCH a good missionary. She is helping a lot with the work here. We both feel like we have soo much to do here before we go. It is exciting! It has been a fun week getting to know her. She was companions with Sister Espy too so that is fun to talk about πŸ™‚ We love our Esp! Here are some things I got to know about my dear Sister Johnsty this week. She is from Toledo Ohio, she was on the drum line at BYU, she is an only child, she goes home with me, she is majoring in Sociology at BYU, she is sweet, funny, and caring.

Okay first things first. Our dear investigator did not get baptized. On the day of his interview he got really scared and worried he was not ready yet. We explained to him that Baptism is the first step but that we would keep teaching him and helping him prepare. It is heartbreaking when you come to love someone and watch them change and they make the decision to postpone. Baptism is the most important thing for him at this time and both sister Johnston and I feel a sense of urgency with him. We have a ton of member support though and he will get there in the Lord’s time. He is still meeting with us weekly, coming to church, reading, and praying. Keep him in your prayers!
On a happier note, we experienced quite a miracle this week! We were in a meeting with our Bishop this week and he told of us this man who has been inactive for over 50 years and has expressed his desire to come back into the church and that he wants his granddaughter to be a part of it. Bishop told us that his grandaughter, is ready to be baptized and be involved in the church. We were so excited to meet this family! The next day we went over and met Brother Collins and he told us his whole story. He expressed that the greatest time in his life was when he was involved in the church and that he wanted it for his grandaughter. She lives with him and has since she was teeny tiny. She is 14 years old. We got to meet her the next day and she is the SWEETEST thing in all the world. She is completely on board with everything and wants so badly to have a church family. We got to give her an overview of everything we would be teaching her and then she proceeded to tell us that she wants to be baptized. She even gave us a picture of her so we could always remember her when we go home. It was the sweetest thing! We got the whole ward involved and when she came to church she was greeted with open arms. The Young Women were able to fellowship her and take her around to all the classes. That night we had a missionary fireside and the Barney’s and a couple of the Young Women brought her and she had such a good experience!
Β It was really neat to see how the young women’s testimonies of missionary work grew in just that day. We know that this is going to be such a good experience for all of them. I am truly grateful that the Lord has blessed me enough to let me be a part of this sacred experience. My words cannot express how sweet this week has been for me. This young ladies life will change forever now. Young Women’s was really when I gained my testimony. Sister Johnston and I also taught the lesson in relief society yesterday. The lesson was on sharing the gospel, perfect right? Being able to share with the relief society my experiences of my mission and the pure joy that comes from sharing the gospel was amazing. I felt the spirit so strong and it is really going to be hard to leave this place:( I want to tell you guys that I truly have felt more joy in sharing the gospel than anything else. There is nothing better than sharing with someone this beautiful gospel and helping them home to their Father in Heaven. You literally get to feel the love that the Godhead has for that person. I challenge you to all go out and have a missionary experience this week whether it is going out with the missionaries or telling someone they look beautiful that day. I challenge this to you because I know it will make you happy.
I love you guys, have a good week!
Love,
Sister Cassell
DSC_0941
Sister Cassell and Sister Johnston πŸ™‚
DSC07179
Sis Cassell and Sis Johnston
DSC07182

Last Transfer Calls

Hello Family!!!

Okay here we go…..I got my last transfer call Saturday night and I am staying right here in Silverdale 6th ward! My new companion is going to be Sister Johnston! She is from Ohio I think. We were in the MTC together and I just love her. I will have more to say about her next week when I know her more but I am excited. πŸ™‚ I think she is the perfect companion for me my last 6 weeks. I have made a lot of goals for myself for my last transfer. I keep coming back to the quote from Elder Holland “If you have got anything else left, you ran it wrong.” I do not want to have anything left in me by the time I go home. I am ready to give it all I have got. You guys are going to have to call an ambulance to pick me up from the airport! Haha just kidding.
So our baptism didn’t happen this week. He needed more time. We hadn’t finished teaching him the lessons yet and we all felt like one more week at church would be good. He called us late Saturday evening and told us that he prayed about it and would like to get baptized this Saturday the 18th! We were SO excited. We announced it at church yesterday and started making the plans! He loved church yesterday. He got to know a lot more members and everyone just LOVES him. He is so sweet and sincere. As requested, here is a little bit more about our dear investigator:
He is 54
has 5 kids (divoriced)
is a captain of a commercial fishing boat
he lives on the water
has a yellow car
we found him knocking but he was in a hurry and we didn’t see him again until 5 weeks later! The first time we saw him again after 5 weeks we taught him the restoration and he was SUPER interested. Ever since that day we have met with him every week at the church with a member present.
Other than that there has not been too much to report on. We have found a couple good potentials and I am excited to see what the next 6 weeks brings! I have been having a BLAST with my companions this week! I love them so much. I am going to miss them. I cried when we got our transfer calls 😦 I have said this before but I will say it again, my companions are the MOST precious things to me from my mission. Every single one of them. I really have been so lucky!
I love you guys and hope you have a good week!
Love,
Sister Cassell

Follow the Prophet

Hello Family!!!

Before I jump into my week I have a couple business items to mention. I guess you would all like to know that my flight for Wednesday, November 26th is expected to land at 1:30pm. I have no idea how I know that already…. 😦 Transfer calls are this Saturday. This Saturday I will find out where I will end my mission and with what companion. CRAZY. I cannot believe this is my last transfer call! My transfer guess is that Sister K and I will stay here and that Sister Murdoch will go somewhere south. We will see!
So this week was AWESOME! We were able to teach our investigator (the commercial fisherman) lesson 3 with a member at the church and it went really well. We reviewed everything that we taught him in the past and followed up with the commitments we left him. He said that he has been reading and praying every day and that he believes that he got his answer that it is true! How amazing is that? It is so cool to watch how anyone with a humble heart and willingness to change can receive such important answers. He has agreed to be baptized this Saturday! We still have a lot to teach him but he is so ready. We watched conference this weekend at the Barney’s house and he was able to join us for the Sunday morning session. He loved it! Brother Barney is working with him on finalizing the baptism plans. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful ward mission leader.
Conference was amazing to say the least! I don’t know what it is but conference is the best time as missionaries. I know that I have gained a greater appreciation for it while being here. I don’t have as much time as I would like to to share what I learned because of my limited email time but here are a few take-aways:
1. Lynn G. Robbins: “Are we okay with self contentment or self improvement?” “Always remember whose disciples we are.”
2. D. Todd Christofferson (aka my fav apostle and fav talk): “God does not save us just as we are. Things don’t just happen on a whim but by our will. Christ died not to eliminate our personal responsibility but to offer us repentance. A God who makes no demands is equivalent to a God that doesn’t exist. Not believing in gravity won’t keep us from falling of a cliff.”
3. Neil L. Anderson: “You may question Β the news but you never need to question the testimony of the prophets.”
4. Eduardo Gavarret: “Can we truly follow the Savior if we do not keep the commandments?”
5. Jeffery R. Holland: “We obtain a remission of our sins by the Savior’s atonement but we retain a remission as we care for the poor.”
6. L. Tom Perry: “The wheat and the tares have grown so close together that we might not tell them apart. We have to separate them.”
Β Baaaahhh I am out of time darn it! But I LOVED the Sunday sessions as well. The overall theme I got from them was to FOLLOW THE PROPHET. Times are only going to get harder but if we continue to obey the prophet then I know we will be protected.
One quick funny thing that happened this week:
Sister K is a major sleep talker. It is hilarious!!!! Usually she sleep talks in her native language, Thai. Lately, however, she seems to be having dreams about Koda!!! She loves him so much that she sleep talks about him hahahaha! I guess that is what I get for talking about my cute little pup so much. A couple nights ago I woke up to her saying “No! Don’t eat Koda!”
We also got to help Larry the farmer pick his pumpkins this week so I will include some pictures!
I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do for me! Have a great week!
Love,
Sister Cassell
Bunch of Cuties!

Bunch of Cuties!

She has fun everywhere she goes!

She has fun everywhere she goes!

Zion’s Camp- Round Two

All I have to say is WHAT A WEEK. This week was absolutely crazy. We really only had 2 full proselyting days!!!!!!! It was crazy. Here was my week for you.

Monday- P day
Tuesday- Full proselyting day
Wednesday- Missionary Leadership Council day at Zion’s Camp
Thursday-Full pros day
Friday- Northern half of mission day at Zions Camp
Friday night- Ward talent show
Saturday-K’s English test in Seattle
Saturday night- General Woman’s broadcast.
That is not even half of what we did but you get the idea. I am grateful that today is P day! So I will begin by telling you about Zion’s Camp.
Zion’s Camp is a place in our mission where we can go and do a ropes course. We did it last year if you remember me talking about it. There are about 6 stations that you rotate through and try to accomplish with your group. There are groups of elders and separate groups of sisters. The trust-fall, the wall, the tire, the cable wires, the stumps, and the spiderweb. The purpose of Zion’s Camp is to create more unity in the mission and with your companions. Sister K and I got to go up Wednesday with the other STL’s and Zone Leaders to do a run through. The trained us on how to make it a sacred experience for the other missionaries. Our job was to run each element and make it challenging for them. We give them instruction and then they are to complete it on their own without any talking. At the end of each element, we discuss what can be learned. There is really no way to describe Zion’s Camp other than to experience it! I know for me last year it was a turning point in my mission. You learn a lot of spiritual things by physically struggling. For instance, you learn that the only way to accomplish each course was to only think of your companion and rely on the Savior. On Friday, Sister K and I were in charge of running two of the elements. The stumps and the cable wires. The cable wires is my favorite. There are two cable wires that run from one tree to another and the goal is to get you and your companion from one end to the other. The only way possible to do it is to push equally against your companion but we couldn’t tell them that. They have to stuggle and figure it out on their own. It is crazy because I hardly know anyone in the mission anymore! Everyone in our group were pretty new sisters. They were all darling and sooo young. When did I get old??
Friday night was our ward talent show and Sister Murdoch and I learned a song in Thai so we could all three sing it together! It was a little kid song about Elephants. I will send you the video. We had costumes and everything! The ward got a kick out of it. I don’t think we will be forgotten! But I know Thai now so that is cool! πŸ˜‰
I am running out of time but the General Woman’s meeting was soooo good. If any of you didn’t get to see it pleeeeease watch it! It was amazing. I learned so much. Elder Uchtdorf’s was my very favorite. He talked about preparation for covenants and how sacred they are. He said “Does God really care about how many pictures you have on Instagram and Facebook?” I feel like the world’s perspective and priorities keep getting further and further away from God’s. It really made me think about what kind of life I want to live when I get home from my mission.
I love you guys tons! Thanks for all the love and support!
Love, Sister Cassell
Zion's Camp

Zion’s Camp

DSC_0496

Mission Leadership Meeting

Mission Leadership Meeting

We cannot know the Master we have not served.

Hello Family!!!!

Well time has escaped too quickly again this week and I am not happy about it. Thank you all for your letters/emails/packages/etc. I have said it a million times but I will say it again, I have the BEST friends and family. I am truly blessed!
So this week was super busy again. We had zone meeting, a day on the navy base, interviews with President, and Stake Conference. WOW. Our newly baptized member was able to attend the Saturday night and Sunday morning sessions of Stake Conference with us and that was awesome! We are meeting with him again tonight at our ward mission leader’s house to have pancakes and learn about family history! He is progressing rapidly towards the temple! We love him. One of our investigator’s and her 2 kiddos also came to Stake Conference with us and loved it! Right after the meeting, she marched right up to the the Stake President and introduced herself.
Stake Conference was so good this weekend! I was really touched by the talks on Family History. I really never had a testimony of doing before my mission but now I feel like I have a better understanding of it. It is just as important as missionary work! Doing missionary work, for the living or the dead, is the most important work that we can do. I have a testimony that if we put missionary work first in our personal lives, family lives, and in our ward council, then all other things will fall into place.
We have been focusing this week on Member Missionary work and have been trying to get the ward more pumped about it! We talked to our Bishop about creating a more reachable Ward Mission Plan and taking it to every member in the ward. The members in this ward are SO good about missionary work. It has inspired me! We were able to share some examples to Sister Blatter and she shared them in her talk at Stake Conference!
We have also continued our goal of opening our mouths and talking to everyone this week! This tiny town in our area had a festival on Saturday and we went down and shared the gospel with 66 people in just 30 minutes. It was crazy! There were TONS of people there. We even did a chalk drawing of the Plan of Salvation and had people stop and talk to us about it. What an experience.
Our struggles this week are not finding new people. We have knocked every single day for at least two hours plus outside finding time and still no new people. We have found tons of potentials though and we are not letting ourselves get disappointed. I know without a doubt that the God prepares his children and we will find them.
I am so grateful to be a full-time missionary. It is a rare occasion that we have 24 hrs every day to be the Lord’s servant. Sharing His message never, ever gets old. I love studying his word and learning from it. This week I was studying Mosiah Ch. 1-6 and it was all about service. I know that obedience to the commandments changes our hearts. When our hearts are changed, we have a desire to serve God and His children. I have seen that in my own life. I only have a desire to work hard and love everyone when I am being obedient. It is my testimony that we do not know Christ until we serve Him, I am grateful for the time I have left to serve with all my heart, might, mind and strength.
I love you guys! Have an awesome week!
Love,
Sister Cassell