Last week, I finished up at the MTC and took the train up to Ogden. It all went by so fast! We had about 20 new missionaries enter the Utah Ogden Mission increasing our sisters to about 70 and our elders to about 200. We spent the next 24 hours with our Mission Presidency and the Assistant to the Presidents. President Hiers and his wife are amazing! They are so kind and loving, yet they also know how to keep those elders under control! 🙂 But really, it was fantastic. We did some training with them and then they put us straight on the street doing some contacting and street approaches (I was only able to talk to a member, go figure 😉 ) It was still fun and overall a good experience. The rest of the day we spent in the mission office learning about our mission and the many people we get to work with.
President Hiers took us out individually to have interviews with us to get to know us better and receive revelation for what area we were supposed to go into and who our next companion is going to be. During my interview he asked me why I am out serving a mission, I always struggle giving a clear answer to this question. Heavenly Father gave me the choice and I said yes, that’s who I want to be and that is what I want to do. I am not sure why, but I do know that I chose to serve and through that choice I will grow immensely closer to God and Jesus Christ. President Hiers then asked if there was anything that I felt he should know about me. This is when I told him that he has probably heard a lot about me because I was the girl that lived in the mission before I received my call there. 🙂 He then asked where I lived I told him Ogden and Logan, so he wrote down on his notes Brigham City and I thought that I would probably stay there in that city for my entire mission hahaha. I was so nervous that he wouldn’t send me anywhere, so I said, “But don’t let that stop you from sending me where the Lord needs me. I want to be the missionary that the Lord needs me to be and just because I have a lot of connections in an area doesn’t mean that I am going to slack off.” 😉 hahaha
Then we had training to learn how to use our iPads….what??? Every missionary in the Utah Ogden Mission receives an iPad to help hasten the work. We now have access to all of the Bible videos, Mormon Messages, Scriptures, Manuals, Pamphlets, and Handbooks at all times. There is also an Area Book App (this keeps track of everyone you teach and have taught in the area since the beginning of time), our planner is also accessible from this app. It is crazy! I am still adjusting to the iPad so I carry around my own scriptures and pamphlets still. The videos make sharing spiritual messages so much easier, there is something about those videos that really brings the spirit into a room. It’s amazing. Finally it was bedtime, we were all so tired because we had to wake up at three in order to catch the train earlier that morning. Then we spent our last evening with our MTC companion. I am really going to miss Sister Gietz, but I am sure that I will see her around over the next eighteen months.
The next morning we had a celebration. All of the older missionaries were gathered in the cultural hall waiting for us to arrive. When we walked in they cheered and cheered and whistled and hollered. It was quite the welcoming 🙂 I knew at that moment that this was much more than just missionary work, but it is through the work that you find the fun. We then were assigned to our trainers. My first companion in the field is Sister Katie Wagner. She is from Simi Valley, California, so we are both California Girls! Also she attended three years at BYU-Idaho, but we had never met! She has been out for 17 months and we are excited to make her last transfer the best ever ;). She told me that our area was on Utah State University Campus! What?!? President Hiers didn’t confine me to Brigham City??? hahaha I was so happy and so excited to go to something familiar 🙂 We cover 2 YSA stakes, yes 2 stakes. That is 16 wards in total. 16 Young Single Adult wards. Needless to say this past week I have met so many people I feel as if I will never remember anyone’s name….
Our first day together, we picked up 2 new investigators. They are both so sweet and know that God has his hand in their lives. I love teaching them and getting to know them. We have a baptismal date for both of them on December 7th. Crazy! I am so excited for them and I hope that nothing distracts them from the goal that they have made. We also have an investigator that has been progressing for a while and she really wants to get baptized, but she is Chinese and her grandmother is the matriarch of the family and she is not ready for Rae to get baptized. We keep her and her grandmother in our prayers so that her heart may be softened and she will come to know that this is something that Rae really wants in her life.
The rest of the week we have been working with ward members. We are trying to have 4 member visits from each ward to help the ward understand what they can do to help hasten the work. My companion explained the word hasten very well the other day. When we say that we are hastening the work, we mean that the work between members and missionaries is becoming more and more integrated. I love that! Working with the members is best way! During our member visits we get to know them a little bit, share a spiritual message, and then ask them to pray for anyone that they think that they need to reach out to. Inviting them to pray for the missionary moments in their own life. I love this and I love getting others excited about missionary work.
Along with the many member visits that we do, we also had a lot of Less Active or Recent Convert lessons. There are a few less active members that we work with that I just adore. Their testimony is getting stronger and you can see the desire in their heart. This truly is a wonderful work and I cannot get enough of it. I actually didn’t even notice how much I am in love with the work until this very moment… haha. Heavenly Father has touched me and I in return get to help others receive their own connection with their Father.
PS one of the many insights that I loved from the past week is this: You do not serve a mission to see what happens, you serve a mission to MAKE things happen! I feel like this can apply to anyone of our lives so go out and make things happen! Go act rather than to be acted upon!
I love you all!
Sister Cassidy Hadden