Friday, October 9, 2015

October 9, 2015

Alofa family and friends,
My heart is filled with love for my Heavenly Father as I write my last blog here in Samoa. I have accomplished all that the Lord required of me here in Samoa and it's time to come home.
I feel so humbled to be one of His servants. I have more fully understood and have a greater understanding of when the scriptures teach, " God's ways are not man's ways."  I have personally found that out, as I originally expected a mission call for 18 months. 

When I first arrived here in Samoa, Sister Tolman and I were talking one time about me extending my mission. I told her, "Of course I would!" With tears in her eye's she said to me, "Sister Cassita, I couldn't ask that of you knowing that you're alone. You will go home in October 2016 and then spend Christmas with your children." I started crying as I was filled with the love of God, as well as love from Sister Tolman.

Then when President Hannemann, arrived he asked me within the first 5 minutes of our conversation if I would be willing to extend my mission. I said, "yes! I belong to the Lord, whatever he wants I will do!" However my heart was breaking at the same time as my thoughts were drawn to my children and how much I missed them, but I knew and I know with every cell of my body that "this life is the test";
the test to see if we will obey His Will. 
Then came the real test. President Hannemann asked me how long and I said, "whatever the Lord needs". He then said 3 years! I said, "yes." He thanked me and then said that he would make the arrangements with the area presidency. I was truly humbled at that very moment, knowing the Lord would ask and I would say yes. I testify that He knows the intentions of our hearts. Coming to this knowledge has not been a comfortable ride but one that I feel blessed to have traveled. 

I also testify that God is a God of miracles!  To my dearest children, Houston, Taylor, Maddison and Zachary - If you have been praying for your mother to come home, your prayers have been answered!
I arrive at the Salt Lake City airport  tomorrow at 12:45 in the afternoon. Anyone is welcome to come.

I want to say a big thank you to my best friend Marci for being my missionary companion via skype and google hangout. Thank you to all my friends that have prayed for me and sustained me with your love. For this gift that comes from God, I am so grateful and humbled. I love you all!
              (Just a few of you pictured here)

Oh how glorious and wonderful is my King, my Lord and my God! 

I want to thank each one of you for all your love, support and sacrifice. It is you who have faithfully served Him. I'm just a helper and am humbled to have been able to go out. Please know of my love for you and for the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know He is coming soon and that we must endure to the end. Then will come that wonderful and glorious day when Satan is bound, and we will live with our families in the millennium with our Savior.

In closing I would like to share my testimony, that I know God lives and His Son Jesus Christ suffered and willingly hung on the cross to take upon Him our sins. All we need to do is come unto Him, repent, be baptized, and keep the commandments. We might find this hard at times because we are not perfect, but He is, and His Atonement takes care of all our sins if we turn to Him.

I know the scriptures are the word of God and I testify that as you read them and study and ponder them, His spirit will show you personally, "all things what ye should do."

Jesus is my best friend and I love Him with all my heart always and forever! In his holy name even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Just a nurse

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2, 2015

Dear family and friends,

Time is flying by, change is constant and I'm not sure where to begin so here goes...I will try to share just a few things happening in the mission here in Samoa.


Sadly, we had to say goodbye to President and Sister Tolman.
They had to leave for medical reasons, though it seemed their hearts were breaking with making the final decision. Saying goodbye to them at the airport was truly one of the hardest days of my mission thus far.They changed my life for the better and helped me in many ways to have confidence in my strengths. I love them dearly!

Elder and Sister Saunder's became our interim mission president for 3 weeks; then we got word that our new permanent mission president was coming in less than a week. whooo! talk about a wild ride! But these young missionaries sure have handled all the changes better than the senior missionaries.

 Well, this is President and Sister Hannemann,
They came out to serve within 2 weeks after receiving a phone call from one of the twelve apostles , WOW!  They are all about hastening  the Lord's work. They didn't get the regular mission president's training and not much time to pack a couple of suit cases, give instruction to their children on running their business and off they came to Samoa. Needless to say, they are awesome!

I've been busy helping with lots of sick missionaries as well as repairing and cleaning missionary houses.
I love how the Lord can use all our talents no matter where we serve.

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true! I learn it! I live it! I love it!
Sister Cassita

Oh, one more thing...
Since I am a nurse, I have to ask you this one question:

"How's Your Relationship with God? Maybe It’s Time for a Spiritual Checkup..."

This weekend would be the perfect time to check in with the Master Physician. No appointment is necessary, but special preference will be given to the following times:)

Saturday Oct 5th, 10 am - 12 pm & 2 pm - 4 pm & 6 pm - 8 pm  (MST)

Sunday Oct 6th,
10 am - 12 pm & 2 pm - 4 pm

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5, 2015

Dearest family and friends,

As I share some of my experiences of the past month tears fill my eyes and my heart is filled with a greater love and gratitude for the tender mercies my children and I have received. Truly miracles have come to us.

My daughter Maddison, was hit by a car while she was riding her bike to work. She, thankfully, went over the hood of the car and not under it. She suffers with some road rash, a sore knee and wrist and nightmares, but her life was spared.

That same day in the evening my son Zachary and his fiance Brenda were broadsided in their car. Both are doing okay but then Zachary was in the hospital in Las Vegas for the last 3 days. They found a cyst in his frontal lobe and some swelling in the nerves at the base of his neck which could be the contributing factor to his severe headaches.

And then today, I received a photo from Zachary and Brenda at church. Tears of joy ran down this mother's cheeks.
I had contacted a Bishop Tanner in Las Vegas (2:30am ugh). He went in the middle of the night and gave my son a priesthood blessing and invited him to come back to church.
Oh how grateful I am for this wonderful bishop. God's ways are perfect! As I serve Him here in Samoa He meets the prayers of mother so far from her son through another one of his children. We are all needed and loved by our Savior Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.
I know the Savior is coming very soon. I have had many witnesses of this and though there will be harder times and trials ahead, I find great peace in knowing that me and my children have been sealed in the temple of the Lord and will be a family forever! I love you Zachary, Houston, Maddison, Taylor.

I have been greatly blessed to have such a wonderful friend here on my mission. Sister Tolman has been such a great strength for me in some hard times. She is one strong and amazing lady.
On the nursing end of things I've cut out a few boils;

                              I like doing that:)

We also have Dengue Fever going around.

This is what is looks like in a more severe case. This missionary is all better now thanks to a priesthood blessing, miracle! Last night President Tolman went out and got a very sick missionary. He could barely stand and was in and
out of consciousness.I tried starting an IV with no success. I knew things were critical and I needed help. We called and ambulance and off to the hospital this elder went along with his new companion ( only out 1 week) but he was a trooper. Finally at the hospital they were able to get IV access and started some fluids. He was hypovolemic, tachycardic, febrile at 38+. He was also given some anti-nausea medication through his IV and was finally able to keep oral fluids down.They have had 4 to 5 patient's every day come in with Dengue Fever and the hospital is full. Luckily the mission has a 15 bed receiving room where I was able to take this missionary back to at 12:30.
He was complaining that he was very hungry, and rightfully so. He had been vomiting nearly all day. Anyways I got the two elders settled and then went to my apartment and cooked up 8 eggs with cheese and 4 pieces of bread with butter and jam. They were so thankful and it made my heart happy to be able to feed them. And about that, actually it's all of you that fed them. Thank you all for your generous donations that continue to allow me to serve the Lord in the capacity that I do. Some nights are very long but hopefully I will sleep well tonight.

I also had the opportunity to help some missionaries clean their houses. I've also been helping a Samoan sister clean up her yard. This is no easy task. They have this plant called elephant grass. It's awful. If it rubs up against your skin it feels like fiber glass. I've learned to wear a long sleeve shirt but it's very hot!

I went snorkeling with the senior missionaries.
They are so kind and we had a really good time. Elder and Sister Gillette have a waterproof camera and got some great pictures of the blue starfishes.

I sure do miss everyone. The church is growing and the missionaries are doing an awesome job here in Samoa.
Also Sister Corriveau from my stake arrived. It was so nice to meet her.
The church is true and I love my Savior with all my heart. Have a wonderful day!

Sister Cassita

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Missionary Summer in Samoa

Talofa my family and friends,
I'm amazed at the work of these young missionaries out here serving in Samoa. I got to spend the day proselyting with Sister's Grey, Davies and Aspinall.
As we started off on a dirt road that led us away from all that was modern, 
my heart began to fill with this incredible love. Tears filled my eyes and His Spirit filled my soul. I was walking slightly behind these three sister missionaries, just taking in the miracle that I was experiencing, knowing I was fulfilling a promise that I had made to my Heavenly Father in the pre-existence. It was so real that I could feel His happiness as if He were standing with me and speaking directly to me.

My heart is filled with such joy as I go about doing my Father's work each day. We met a darling family that are not members but had many questions.
As Sister Grey was sharing her testimony about the Book of Mormon and answering the grandfathers questions, I got to hold the newest member of this family,a two month old little baby boy. As I held him in my arms and rocked him I was able to sooth him.

At the same time my own spirit was soothed. His mother had no idea what this did for me. One of my most greatest joys in life is being a mother and of holding my children.  I thanked the mother for letting me hold her child.

This family is so sweet and humble and as you can see extremely poor. The grandmother had been out picking eggplant for their super that evening. My heart ached to want to relieve there struggles to just survive. But then I realized that God was the one already doing that. All their food and water came from the rich earth which God created.
I was grateful and humbled to realize this. Even so , I knew that I could help with some material things. One of my dear friends, Susan Sudol had packed a suitcase full of clothes for me to take when I left for my mission. These clothes have clothed many and I will be taking some to this family to clothe their children. Thank you and God bless you Susan. I will share more as I continue to go out with the sister missionaries to visit this family.

I got to spend some time with another dear friend from Kiribati, Timon and his family.
They came to be sealed in the temple. I also got to take them to the beach on my P-day,
 on the way we stopped to see some beautiful waterfalls. It was so fun to see the look on all their faces when they looked over the edge of the mountain, If you remember from my photos, Kiribati is FLAT. 

The other thing that was so fun to see were the faces of the children's excitement when they saw cows and a horse.
It was kinda like being at the zoo. The two boys on the horse were kind enough to stop and let us take some pictures with them.

My car was full. I had also taken Elder Memea who I served with in Kiribati and his cousin Stellar who is less active but I have learned that unconditional love is the most important tool for rescuing. I have come to love these two young men for their examples of love and service.

(Elder Memea - right; his cousin, Stellar on the left)
One night I got to watch all the children while Timon and his wife went to the temple together. I love serving and helping others. It's like oxygen to my brain. LOVE IT!
Zone Conference!

             (One of two zone conferences in Upolu)
What a wonderful, spiritual feast. We have 4 zones and I was asked to do a health training for in 3 of the 4 for 30  minutes. 

          (The other NW and NE zone in Upolu)
I really enjoyed it!  I loved learning from President and Sister Tolman.
(zone conference in Savaii)
 (Asst. to the President: Elders Suiaunoa & Wengert)

Feeding all those missionaries!

Elder and Sister Stonehawker are the Senior Couple serving in Savaii.

Afolua, she's our angel that does all the meals and cleaning around the mission office. This women is one very strong member and has served under 5 mission presidents.

Elder and Sister Gillette are the Senior Couple called to work here at the school. They are from Idaho and I adore them!

  I love you all so much and really miss being with my family. Thanks to everyone for your continued support! And thank you Teresa for my birthday package:) 

I know the church is true, I know the Book of Mormon was written for us in our day and I am a witness that if one reads it, it will change you. Some of my core behaviors and beliefs has completely changed for the better. I love my Savior Jesus Christ with all my heart.

Sister Cassita