Curitiba Temple

Curitiba Temple

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday P-Day to Start Packing

Oi familia!

As I am leaving the MTC on Monday, today is my P-Day so I can pack everything up and get all ready! Honestly, I'm not even nervous, which is surprising. I'm really excited to go to Georgia! And Sister Wilson is coming with me! She hadn't received her re-assignment yet when I e-mailed on Thursday. So, we're both going to the Georgia Macon mission! So excited.

Okay, I'm sure you're dying to know if we really did get a special speaker during Tuesday night's devotional. And the answer is yes! Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Twelve came to speak to us! He brought a former missionary who served years ago when he was a mission president in France. So we didn't actually hear a lot from him, but it was cool to see him! When the devo ended, we were informed that there was a thunderstorm outside, and we were at the Mariott Center on BYU campus, so we couldn't go back to the MTC yet. So Elder Andersen decided to come out and shake some hands. Well, he started walking up the aisle where I was sitting! He was shaking hands with sisters one row in front of me, and then he stopped to wave. So I didn't get to shake his hand, but I was literally two feet away from him! And he looked me straight in the eye and said "Stay dry out in that rain!" Feeling of his spirit just confirmed to me that he really is a prophet of God. His calling is divine, and he knows what we need to hear as missionaries of the church.

On Wednesday, we got two new districts! It's been a little overwhelming meeting with all the sisters every night now because there are so many of them! But it really has been a privilege and such a great learning experience to serve them. My capacity to love has grown so much through this experience. Sister Wilson and I will be released from our calling during Sacrament meeting tomorrow, and the new Sister Training Leaders will be sustained. They are awesome sisters and I know they will perform the work well! Also, one of our elders, the first ever in our whole district, got his visa on Wednesday! We are all so excited for him. If anyone was to get it, a lot of us hoped it would be him. He just has such a kind nature. He was our first District Leader and he really looked after us well and showed so much care for us. We know that the Lord has great plans for him and for all of us. Everything happens for a reason!

On Thursday, we had In-Field Orientation! It was basically one big workshop. We had a lot of speakers and did a lot of activities to help us become familiar with what we will experience in the field. It was a long day, but we learned a lot! I can't wait to be out there! We all got our re-assignments Thursday too! 5 are all going to Ohio Cincinnati, one to Ohio Columbus, one to Florida Jacksonville, one to Tennessee Nashville, one to North Carolina Raleigh, and two to South Carolina Colombia. We're all so close to each other! The Georgia Macon mission touches Jacksonville and Colombia, so we joke about waving from across the border haha.
Yesterday was our last day as a whole district, as our first left early this morning. During our morning class, we had a testimony meeting with both of our teachers. It's incredible how our love for each other grew so much in the short time we knew each other. We really just became a big family. I am so excited for all of them, and I will miss them! But I know that we all came here with the same purpose in our hearts, and our time at the MTC has only strengthened that purpose.

I'll arrive in Atlanta around 2:30 pm on Monday, and I'm not sure if I'll get to write again that day since it will be their P-Day or if I'll have to wait a week. Just know how much I love you all and how incredible proud I am of you for all you've accomplished while I've been gone. I pray for you every single day. Wish me luck in Georgia!!

All my love,

Sister Ramsden

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Oi familia!!!

I just got my re-assignment!!!!
"Sister Ramsden:
At this time, we have not received your visa to travel to your mission. You will be serving a temporary assignment in the Georgia Macon Mission until your visa arrives."!!!!!!!! I'm going to Georgia!!!!! I am so excited for this opportunity to serve the Lord there! I absolutely know that this is where He needs me right now. There is someone I will meet who needs me to teach them the gospel! I will be leaving the MTC on Monday morning at 4:30am, flying from SLC at 8:30, straight to Atlanta Georgia!! I love you all so so much and hope to hear from you soon!!!

All my love,

Sister Ramsden

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hosts, Sister Rasmussen, and January of Next Year

Oi familia!

How is everyone doing? I love and miss you all! I can't believe my time at the MTC is already coming to an end! This Thursday or Friday, we will find out where the Lord wants us to serve now. We think that if people get visas past 3 weeks of being here, the travel office might hold them until the entire district gets re-assigned, so maybe we'll have some visas with our re-assignments. Two districts left this week, and four people got visas while everyone else got re-assignments! But we're all very excited and very ready to go wherever the Lord sends us. We've all grown so close that it will be kind of sad leaving each other, but we have each other's e-mail addresses, so hopefully we can keep in touch.

Last Wednesday, our district got to host new missionaries! We just helped them get their stuff out of the car, took them through the lines to get the name-tags and such, took them to the bookstore, dropped everything off at their residence, then dropped them off at the classroom. Each person took maybe 20ish minutes, so I got to host 4 new sisters. The work just keeps moving forward! We got one new district this week, which included four new sisters that Sister Wilson and I have had the opportunity to get to know. We still love our calling! We just sent ten sisters off to Brazil and various states here. And we get 14 new sisters tomorrow! Now we are the oldest district. It's a weird feeling. I feel like we just got here! Time really is flying.

On Thursday, we had TRC, and we were supposed to Skype with native speakers in Brazil or Portugal, but they only had one volunteer that day, so Sister Wilson and I taught Irmão Miller as himself. It was kind of cool talking to him as someone other than an investigator or our teacher, just as a regular person. We talked about how to receive revelation through reading the scriptures, and I could feel the Spirit so strongly.

On Friday, we taught Juliano and committed him to baptism! What was funny though, was we set a date for next month, and he was like "Yeah! In 2014!" And we were like uhhhh.... Actually this year. He said he would commit if we made it January of next year, so that's what it is! When we ended, Irmão Cannon told us that a lot of Brazilians will accept your invitation for the following year. Sadly, we only have one lesson left with him, so we won't get to see where we could have taken him. But next week we'll be doing all of this for real! So exciting!!

This week again, Brother Egget (choir director) told us that tonight's devotional will be broadcast to all the MTCs! He didn't make it as obvious as he did last time that it would be an apostle, but my district has been buzzing with ideas of who it might be. I think the general guess is Elder Holland. So I'll tell you all about it next P-Day! Also, I said the closing prayer during Sunday night's devotional in front of thousands of missionaries! It was super nerve-racking, but I got lots of compliments. Then yesterday, I was in the cafeteria, and I hear an Elder calling, "Sister Rasmussen! Sister Rasmussen!" And even though that isn't my name, I looked around to see who it was for some reason. Well, it was this blonde elder who looked familiar. I look down at his tag: "Elder Fillerup"!! So I went over, and Ian Fillerup and I talked for a little bit! He's going to Argentina on his mission! It was cool but kinda funny to see him.

On Friday, both of our teachers taught spiritual lessons that I feel we really needed to hear as a district. They taught us enough that I think it taught each of us something different that really helped us individually. With Irmão Cannon, we learned a lot about the importance of obedience and diligence before, during, and after our missions. At the end of class, he went around the room and individually invited us to commit to certain things that were specific to our needs. It was a perfect message. I hope that we can all more fully apply that to our missions and the rest of our lives. The second class, Irmão Miller ended the discussion by having us write in our journals what we learned about Heavenly Father's will for us individually. It really opened my eyes and helped me realize and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is pleased with my decision to be here on a mission. He knows I can do this. He has already strengthened me so much to fulfill this work. If there had ever been any doubts in my mind whether or not this is where I was supposed to be right now, they all went away. I am so happy to be here and to help bring the Lord's children to the truth of the gospel. I am ready to go where He wants me to go! When I receive my assignment, I will get to e-mail you, so check your inbox Thursday or Friday! I love you so much!!! Write me soon!

Muito amor,
Sister Ramsden

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Germs, Hugs and RICHARD G. SCOTT!

Oi familia!

How is everyone? I love you all and miss you! This week was alright, not much different happened compared to the other weeks. Other than new responsibilities as Sister Training Leaders. But we have so much fun with it! We have really grown to love the sisters we serve. I haven't fully recovered from being sick. I feel fine, but I definitely sound like a man. Today more than any other day. But everything feels fine! I'm sure it's just the number of people at this place. Lots of germs floating around.

The Chico sisters!

So, like I said in my letter Tuesday, our devotional last Tuesday was with Elder Richard G Scott! It was really inspiring seeing him in person. The Spirit testified that he truly is a prophet of God. His words are inspired. He is one of the closest men to God. It was amazing. He is a wonderful speaker. He spoke about prayer and how to receive answers. He really said some amazing things that I needed to hear. He was just so personal with us as missionaries. He really emphasized how important his mission was to him. Towards the end, he said this, with tears in his eyes: "If I have seemed emotional tonight... Perhaps I can tell you why. I have had the strongest impression that my wife has been permitted to be in attendance here tonight. And for that, I am truly grateful." His wife passed away almost twenty years ago. I'm pretty sure we all broke down when he said that. I am absolutely sure that she was there with us, watching her husband as he spoke to us. It was such an incredible experience, and I will never forget it.

Our sisters with the former Sister Training Leaders

We had TRC again this Thursday. It went much more smoothly than last week. We spoke with a man, Brother Haynie, who lived in Brazil for a few years. He was the happiest, most helpful man! It was so nice talking with him. He was very helpful when we struggled with words, and his Portuguese was so easy to understand. Sister Wilson and I felt the Spirit so strongly, it brought us to tears. We could feel the love he had for us and for the gospel.

District Temple day :)

Funny story for the week: Thursday night, our teacher was leaving, and he always hugs the elders goodbye and shakes the sisters' hands. Well, I was standing next to an elder when he was going around, so when he got to me, he almost hugged me! I just put my hands in front of me and said "Woah!". He was super embarrassed, but it kind of made my day! It was just really unexpected and really funny.

Goin to Curitiba!!

Sister Wilson and I have been reading the Book of Mormon together in Portuguese, and one day some elders decided they wanted to join us. So we all read a verse in Portuguese then decipher it together. It's been a cool experience. It can be tough, but we'll pull out our English Book of Mormon and compare if we need extra help. The elders are way into it! I'm really proud of them. They have grown so much since we've been here. They are awesome missionaries.


What's new in all your lives? I hope everything is going well. I love you all so so much. Know that I pray for you constantly. You're always in my heart and on my mind. Write me soon, my beautiful family.

I love you forever!

Sister Ramsden

Doctrine and Covenants 50:21-22 "Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth? Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wixom, Yoga and STLs

Oi familia!!!

How is everyone?! I love you all so much! Thank you for your letters and for the package this week! I have been enjoying dry fruit all week. I can't say the chocolate lasted me that long :) This week has been a crazy one! I'm feeling much better than I was last week, though I still have a tiny bit of a sore throat. And now Sister Wilson is sick too! :( But getting better. We now have two investigators, and we started doing Training Resource Center. That means that we teach members of the church who are just themselves. So we teach them as members. It was a different experience. It's almost harder than teaching investigators because you don't know how much to ask them! But we'll be learning a lot from that.

This Sunday has to be the best day so far. We had Relief Society in the morning, and Sister Rosemary Wixom, General Primary President came to speak to us! She gave us really cool insights. She just radiates sunshine! It was awesome. Then, Sister Wilson and I had the opportunity to prepare a lesson about the importance of the Book of Mormon in our District meeting. Well, the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency, Brother Jackson, and his wife came too. And when class was over, he asked to speak with the two of us... Sister Wilson and I have been called to be Sister Training Leaders!! We are so excited. We were already sustained in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, the former STLs left yesterday morning, and our responsibilities have begun! It really isn't a huge responsibility. We have meetings on Sundays and Tuesdays, and we visit all of our sisters (7 rooms worth!) every night before quiet time at 10:15. Our hearts have already grown so much, and we have received nothing but the greatest love and support, especially from our district. They really are so great. We have become like a big happy family! They call me their mom. But they do say I'm a cool one :) I taught them all yoga on Wednesday, and they loved it so much that they want me to teach them every week! It's cool seeing how the Lord has allowed me to use my talents and teach others. The Lord is blessing us so much!

I don't think I told you how visas work. So if someone in our district gets their visa by tomorrow, they get flown out to the Brazil MTC right away. If someone gets it any later than that, they finish the MTC here, then go to Brazil instead of getting a reassignment. So far, no one in our district has gotten their visa. I will continue to keep you posted on that!

Dad, you asked about choir. The Elders GREATLY outnumber the Sisters! And they sound phenomenal. We have an awesome director, Brother Egget. It's actually funny you should ask that this week. Cuz Sunday practice, he told us that this weeks Tuesday devotional would be broadcast to all the MTCs, and we all flipped! We have no idea who's coming, but the buzz is that it will be at least one apostle! Hopefully I can get on later tonight and tell you who it was! I love you all so much. Thank you for the love and support and prayers. I am so incredibly proud of you all. You are the best family in the whole world! Write soon. <3

Te amo para sempre,

Sister Ramsden

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

MTC, Week 3: Devotionals, Disney and Yummy-smelling Trees

Oi familia!

How is everyone? How was your week? I hope things are going really well for you all. It's been quite the eventful week here! Tons of people in my branch have been getting their visas, and our district leader is convinced that a few of us will get ours in the next week. I guess we'll see! Pretty exciting stuff. When I first got here, everyone would tell me that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. I didn't understand that until now. That literally is exactly what it feels like! The days go on forever, but looking back, the weeks are so short! It's crazy.

My district

I'm still getting over a head cold today that started on Saturday morning, but I'm doing well other than that. Sunday was hard though because it was fast Sunday and my district decided to have an "English fast" as well. That only lasted the morning really. I seriously love my district so much. I'm already dreading leaving them when we all head off to our missions. The elders have offered to give me blessings or anything they could do to help me get over my cold. They're great.

My companion, Sister Wilson, and I with Sister Heffernan from Hawaii and Sister Beeson from Virginia :)

Last night, a few of the elders were singing Disney song to us sisters. It was the sweetest thing. We have an Elder Packer (yes, 4th cousin of Boyd K.), and he seriously reminds me so much of you, Skyler! Just the things he says and his facial expressions. It's hilarious. I miss you, buddy! He is also fascinated by Punjabi, so I taught him the few words I do know. We all learn so much, so fast! An elder told me last week that the gift of tongues doesn't necessarily mean that words you don't even know come to you in a moment of need, it also means Heavenly Father aids you in speeding up your ability to learn the new language. And we have totally seen that. It's incredible. We learn so much. Brother Cannon taught us about the importance of helping our investigators strengthen their relationship with Heavenly Father. It's cool to have a relationship with them personally, but we need to remember our purpose as missionaries and use that to push them toward developing a relationship with Him. I just really liked that outlook.

On Thursday, we had our last lesson with Antonio, and it went so well! He loves the scriptures and the feelings he gets when he reads them and when he prays. So we testified of the importance of baptism and told him that through baptism he could have that companionship of the Holy Ghost forever as long as he lived righteously. We had just been working on memorizing the baptismal invitation in Portuguese, so we decided to try it out, and he accepted!! We were so excited, and we could tell he was too! It's amazing how these situations are pretend, but the Spirit is still absolutely there and testifies of truth. We testified to him that through his decision, he'd be able to live with his wife, Laticia, forever. He just smiled humbly and said "Eu quero isso." I literally almost cried.

This tree smells like creme soda! It's amazing!

And then the next day, we knew we'd get a new teacher. So we're all goofing off in class, and in walks Antonio! He's really Brother Miller, and he will be teaching with Brother Cannon for the rest of our time here. We're all very excited that we get to continue working with him, even though our roles have been reversed. He pulled me and Sister Wilson aside after class one night and asked us if we could try to keep the class in order while he was gone. We tend to get a little crazy. We just love each other too much :). So we agreed, and then he asks me: "Sister Ramsden, do you know a Cami Greenall?" I was way excited! I guess he met her through a friend of his at BYU and she saw the picture of his new class at the MTC and she recognized me! Such a small world.

Yesterday, we got a new investigator, played by Brother Miller again. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to get over him being Antonio, but it was actually really easy. He's a junior in high school who loves soccer and loves his family. His family is Catholic, but they only go to church on Easter and Christmas, and he isn't really familiar with saying personal prayers. So we taught him about eternal families which he really seemed to like. And while I was giving the closing prayer, he was whispering everything I said, repeating me so he could remember how to pray. It was way cool! Sister Wilson and I realized they probably play roles of people they actually met on their missions, which is really cool.

Our class with Brother Miller :)

On Sunday, we had our devotional, and Sister Jenny Oakes Baker spoke to us. She is Elder Dallin H. Oakes' daughter and she is an accomplished violinist who graduated from Juliard. She played a few songs for us, and it is incredible how the Spirit can testify of truth through music in that way! It was beautiful. She taught us the importance of using our talents righteously, to build up the Kingdom of God. That really made me think about what talents I have and how I could be using them to lift others and build the Kingdom.

Anyways, I love you all so so much! Please write me soon! I want to hear from you. Also, if you haven't sent that package already, I like love Trail Mix. In fact, if you got me some Costco trail mix instead of Clif bars, I'd be one happy Sister :) Maybe some pretzels too... Just a thought :) And Dad, you asked how long Dear Elder takes to get to me. Well, you wrote on Saturday, and I got it after dinner on Monday. Our district leader checks the mail around 5 every day but Sunday. But I think they come pretty much the same day. I hope everything is going well for all of you. Know that I pray for you every night. I want you to continue growing and improving.

Love you forever, family,

Sister Ramsden

"And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst." - Doctrine and Covenants 84:80

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Week 1, Part 2: Getting started

Arrived via e-mail on Tuesday, her preparation day.

Oi familia!!

How is everyone?! I love you all so so much! Thank you so much for the letters. It means so much to me to hear from you! It's been a crazy week! Probably the longest of my life! But I've learned so much already. It's really an amazing experience. The day I entered the MTC, over 600 other missionaries from around the world also entered this MTC alone! It's amazing, and the Spirit is so strong. We jumped right into learning Portuguese the first day, but it was very chaotic with people arriving at different times. Our district has 10 elders and 4 sisters. The elders are all super young, haha. But we have so much fun together, and we've already become like a family. All of the sisters are going to Curitiba Sul together! We're so excited. The four of us all live together, too. So orientation was just a lot of information. I felt so empowered though, being in that room with hundreds of other young people with the same purpose. It was amazing. We learned a lot that day, participated in 3 group teachings where like 50 of us took turns asking investigators questions and teaching them the gospel. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted! The MTC is HUGE. My companion and I walked the perimeter one day, and it took us over 20 minutes. Oh yeah, my companion is Sister Lacie Wilson, just like you said Mom! We get along really well. We've already had three lessons with our investigator, Antonio, in Portuguese. He's in his mid 20s and his wife was a member of the church, but she passed away 2 years ago in a car accident. He really wants to know why she believed what she did, and he wants to feel peace in his life. So we taught him about the plan of salvation in the second lesson, and the Spirit was so strong. We told him he would see his wife again, and he could be with her eternally as a family if he was baptized. The room was quiet, and when he looked up, he had this emotional look on his face, and he said, "I want that." I almost cried when he said that! It was amazing. It's amazing how much the Lord helps us in learning the language so that we can communicate the message that we prepare on our own for every lesson we teach.

On Thursday, we met the Branch President, President Radebaugh, and his counselors and their wives. They're very friendly and encouraging, but also funny to keep us feeling light. Church on Sunday was good. We had a ton of meetings. Choir was fun! We watched a talk by Elder Bednar called the Character of Christ. It was so inspiring and really helped us understand the importance of seeking others who need help and trying to meet their needs. That will really bring us closer to Christ and make us more like him.

The temple is closed until August 10th, but we've been on the grounds twice already, and the Spirit is still there. I love our classes. Our teacher, Brother Cannon, is super enthusiastic and patient in helping us learn Portuguese as well as how to preach the gospel. He also served in Curitiba, so he's been giving us sisters lots of advice. It was really cool, cuz one day Sis Wilson and I stayed back to talk with him, and he told us how he appreciates our focus and how hard we study, and he asked us to be an example to our other classmates. That was really nice. I've gotten to see Sister Seagraves and Conley a lot because we're in the same zone, but I've only seen Sister Larson a couple times in passing. Its so awesome to be here with all of them!! Exercise time is such a nice release from all the info we receive every day. Sis Wilson and I usually run and use the arm/leg machines, haha. One day we did yoga. And they have a dance class for the sisters at 6am, so we're gonna try and do that soon! The food is alright. I mean, it tastes pretty good, but it isn't super healthy. But there is a wrap bar during most meals. So I eat that sometimes. Sorry my thoughts are so scattered, I'm running out of time. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to upload pictures in time. I'll try to figure that out for next Tuesday.

I love you all so so much!!! I love hearing from you! Skyler, Im so proud of you. You're becoming such an incredible young man who will be an awesome missionary some day. Good job, Dad, for being his faithful companion! I'm praying for you. And let me know if there is anything at all that I can do for you all! I know I can't do much from here, but if you are struggling, please tell me and I will be on my knees. Momma and Summer, stay strong my beautiful ladies!! Tell Sara I love her. I don't have her email address. Thank you for the prayers, I absolutely feel their effect while I'm out here. They give me the strength that I need to make it through these big changes. Send my love to all the family, too.

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" I know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much, and He is just waiting to bless us if we are obedient to Him and ask Him in Faith.

Love you forever,

Sister Ramsden