Monday, January 28, 2013

Week 11, 12, 13, 14 Where to Start?!!?!?!

My Dearest family and friends,
Oh how deeply I have come to love my Savior, Jesus Christ; and yes…” I need Him every hour.”

I pray, as I share my testimony, that your spirits will be inspired and uplifted.

   “Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ”                      and 
“Lean not unto thine own understanding” 

“That they may see your good works and Glorify your 
Father which is in Heaven.” 

I am thrilled to have received another 
assignment!! I have been called to serve in 
another part of the Lord's vineyard. I will be 
serving in the Marshall Islands on the Atoll of 

If you are wondering what an Atoll is (like I did) it's smaller than an Island. When high tide comes in the Marshall Islands and Atolls are situated such that it creates a lagoon. The highest point of land on Tarawa is 10 feet. (I'm hoping that that measurement is at high tide!) I have always loved the Hymn "I’ll go where You want me to go, dear Lord, over mountain or plain or sea". Every time I have sung it I longed for the time when I could go and Live It! And I am!
I'm a Mormon


I know it!
 I live it!


I love it!

Sister Ann M. Dibbs shared this in her conference talk in October and I adopted it immediately and "lived it" in Cape Verde. When Sister McKnight and I would go out for our morning walk I always wore this t-shirt. (Thank you so much, Mansells) The greatest thing,was the stares that I would get from the Capevardians that can read English. They would read it out loud and then I would turn around and they'd read it out loud in Portuguese.

I want to send a huge THANK YOU! To all of you who helped out with the Starfish Project. With your generous donations Gracinda officially now owns her home free and clear and all of her past taxes were paid. So now that allows for any remodeling, repairs or work of any kind to be done. And as I will not be there to help facilitate this (getting a toilet put in her home), the Lord has opened another door for this to happen…which is perfect!

Gracinda not only has the safety of knowing that she owns her home free and clear, but she now has an even a greater gift…the home of her Heaven Father. Yes, Yes! Gracinda was baptized on January 26, 2013. So the other door God has opened, is her new ward family; her own people; and she will be the one (because of her humble heart in allowing others to serve her) to teach her people how to serve one another. I love you, my dearest Gracinda and oh how much I truly miss you and your children. I am so humbled to have been given the wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with you and so very happy for you. I know, if for no other reason than this one Starfish being saved, my mission here is complete.

I did not know until I received these pictures of her baptism, that 2 of her 3 older children, (Edu and Carla) were baptized with her! I feel confident that their mother's great example will have a profound influence on them and that Manuel (age 15) will soon follow them into the waters of baptism.

Oh, how I will miss the wonderful people here. Partings are so hard when they tug at my heart strings. I do, however, find comfort in knowing that I will see them again. I know that this church is true and by living its true teachings and keeping our sacred covenants we will all be together again someday. The missionaries in Cape Verde, Praia are great warriors in God's army. It made me feel special that I could help them with their illnesses, either through my skills, or that of the doctors there, or by Elder Swensen that served over me as the Area Medical Adviser  He was so wonderful to work with.

I know my Savior lives and that he loves each one of us. I know that there is no better work that I could be doing at this time right now than that of missionary work and saving souls. God wants all of His children back with him. I know that this church is true. I am so very grateful to have met and served my brothers and sisters in Cape Verde. God will be with you till we meet again. Oh how my heart longs to be with you again. This I know to be true. Stay close to Him, trust Him and He will feed you. I shall miss you all but our hearts are one.

I share this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Sister Cassita

P.S. I will be sharing some of my adventures in Cape
Verde during the next few weeks until I arrive in the Marshall Islands. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Week 10 - It's A Girl!!!

And you're all probably saying, “What????”

Earlier in the week, my neighbor, Gracinda, had an ultra-sound done and found out she had lost her baby. I went with her to the women's center at the Hospital, to have a D & C done. I was talking on the phone with one of the Elder's, when all of a sudden Gracinda grabbed my leg and said, “Sister, Sister, ajudar! (help!).” There were people everywhere! I ran outside to see what was happening, and as the people parted to let me through, I saw a taxi with a woman in the back seat that was in the process of delivering her baby. I climbed in just as she took her last push, and out came this beautiful baby. I caught her in my shirt, (that wasn't white any more, but that didn't matter for a second.) A new spirit had just entered this world and I was blessed with the opportunity to assist in the delivery. What a wonderful experience!

 As I was holding the baby in my shirt, we lifted the woman into a wheelchair and took her into a room where she was cleaned up. A nurse came and took me behind a desk and let me sit down. I sent Gracinda to a store to buy me a new shirt. After I got cleaned up, it was time for my dear neighbor to have her dead fetus removed from her body. As the nurse came to take her, we looked deep into each others eyes. Tears filled my eyes as they took her into the procedure room. As I was waiting for her, my emotions were getting the best of me; I had a difficult time getting control because of the pain that my friend and sister was having to endure.

The social worker, Angela, took me back to meet the mother of the baby that I had delivered. Her name is Lu and she named the baby Lucy. She let me hold the darling baby. Lu, the mother kept thanking me for  helping her. I have worn many different hats on my mission but this one sits at the top. After I was done visiting with her, I was in the waiting area were three other mother's needed help with their babies, not delivering them, just holding them. I was grateful to be able to help them, (who doesn't want to hold a baby?)

While I was sitting there, I introduced myself to a woman sitting in front of me. I shared a little bit about the church and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was delighted for this information. Then she shared with me that her friend was having a procedure done because she didn't want her baby. My heart sank. I said, “Oh, no!” and then I realized that we all have our agency to choose. Oh, how our Heavenly Father must cry for His children. Talk about mixed emotions! Three mothers, three babies and three completely different outcomes.  My heart is filled with gratitude for a loving Savior who makes everything right, through his Atonement.

 I made arrangements to meet Lu in her town and brought a gift for her baby and a Book of Mormon  for her; the greatest gift of all! She held the Book if Mormon so tight. I told her that the missionaries would be contacting her. She was so grateful, sweet, and kind. I love these people and they love me; it's a wonderful thing!

On Sunday I got to take a gift to the nursery and primary. I met a member of our church on my plane ride to my mission, (Salt Lake to Boston). His name is James. We shared some conversation on the plane and when I got off he asked for my information and said that he wanted to help. I was touched; here was this man that I had just met and he was already reaching out to help with the work of the Lord. Well, James and Diane, may I say, “Thank you, thank you!” from me and also  from the children here in Cape Verde. I think that your own children shared some of their own toys! What a wonderful sacrifice- that of a child for another child- half way around the world. Thank you!

One day while Sister McKnight and I were walking, I stopped and poked my head into a fence to see what was happening. I could hear children-a lot of children- that were very happy! A sister from a catholic church came over and invited me to come in. She explained that the church was handing out gifts to poor children that would not otherwise get a present. The children were darling; so sweet, and it was a very humbling moment to see just how little these children have.Most of the children were without shoes, dirty and malnourished, but their spirits spoke loud to mine and I knew that I was among God's precious children. They love to be hugged, to be smiled at and they love to rub my skin and to play with my hair. Some of the children  that I held had wet pants, but it didn't matter. I am drawn to love them. “Oh, thank you, Heavenly Father for this wonderful opportunity to serve.”

I know that God lives. I know that He loves his children. I find strength, through our Savior's example, as I read in the New Testament. Becoming a true disciple of His is a wonderful blessing.

"Disciples, like diamonds, are developed in a process of time and heavy pressures, and both the disciple and the diamond reflect and magnify the light that comes through them."(Neal A. Maxwell)

 Sister Cassita