Curitiba Temple

Curitiba Temple

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sunshine, Sister Drollinger, and the Yellow Shirts!

My dear family,
> I hope y'all had a great week! I just want you to know how much I love you. I feel so blessed to have your support and love. What brings me the greatest happiness is the knowledge that we have that we are sealed together for eternity. That is such a huge blessing that our Heavenly Father has given us! I love you all so so much.
> Well, I'm sure you received an e-mail from Sister Spencer with the picture she took of me and my new companion, Sister Drollinger! She's been out for 4 and a half months, and she last served in Savannah, which is where Sister Evans is now! I sure miss our old district. We all just clicked and had so much fun together. But everything absolutely happens for a reason, and I know we will learn to love our new district and that we will grow together. Exciting times! Sister Drollinger and I really started off the transfer with a bang by meeting with a lot of our investigators, setting up appointments, and working hard. It was a good week! It was nice and sun-shiny, so no more tights and boots and jackets, and lots of water. I seriously felt like I couldn't drink enough water! The sun felt so nice though, after being cold for so long.
> On Saturday, we had the opportunity to get on our yellow shirts again and help the elderly and disabled clear fallen limbs from their yards. This time, it was announced by the county, and the majority of participants were actually non-members! It was awesome seeing everyone get together for such a great cause. Between 9 and 5 that day, somewhere around 300 houses were served. It was amazing.
> We had contact with S***i during the week, who was in Pennsylvania for business. She wasn't able to make it to church yesterday because of her flight, but she had us over for lunch, and we taught the Plan of Salvation with one of my good member friends here, Lawana. S***i's beliefs were already pretty similar, but if there was any difference, she immediately put it aside and accepted what we taught to be truth. She has such a desire to know the truth and do what Heavenly Father wants her to do! I feel so blessed to have met her.

What happened to our house. It got fixed this week!

> This area has been hard for our entire zone, so we have all been praying for success, and I know those prayers have been heard and answered. If there's anything I've learned, it's that Heavenly Father cares about our needs so deeply. Even the tiniest little thing like food cravings. He knows what our needs and desires are, and as long as we're obedient and faithful, He will fulfill our needs in His own way and time. I have felt His arm unfailingly around me in times of need. I pray that you will seek out and feel His love for you, cuz it is so real, and we have every right to accept it into our lives.
> I love y'all so so so so much! I hope that you have a wonderful week at school, work, church, etc. You're wonderful people. Take care, and write soon. <3 >
> Love always,
> Sister Ramsden

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ice-pocalypse 2014, The Great Convergence, and Transfers!!!

My dear family,

Holy cow, what a week! I guess y'all heard about the ice storm that hit Georgia this week. We were on lock-down all day Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday we started out doing the normal studies and some weekly planning so we could be productive. We cleaned the apartment in more detail than P-Day normally allows us. And then the power went out around 1pm until about 6 or 7pm. We heard sirens next door, our neighbor who helps us with our maintenance. Turns out his wife went into pre-mature labor and the ambulance came down the icy streets to take her away. We went over to give them some cookies we'd made before the power went out. We borrowed our neighbor's game of Scrabble, and got ready for bed. It was storming pretty hard outside.

We kept seeing green flashes, our lights flickering, and tree branches falling. The sister sleeping by the window was super nervous. None of us could really sleep cuz we were super uneasy. We were kinda looking out the window to see what was going on, and all of a sudden we hear a huge pop, see another green flash, and our power is gone again, about 11pm, and a cable came down to rest right on our roof. Right when we decided to move a couple mattresses to the hallway and all sleep there, we hear a huge branch come down and hit our roof, right where the bed by the window is. Luckily it didn't expose us to the outside! That was a huge miracle. There was a branch sticking out that absolutely should have gone through our window. We know 100% that God was protecting us. It did pin that cable to the ground though.

Our neighbor called us and told us not to go outside, to stay safe. A family in the other ward told us to call the power company about the fallen cable, but the lines were all booked. Well, it was not a very restful night. We all got about a total of 3 hours of sleep. The branches falling continued into Thursday morning, and our front yard is covered with them. Luckily no other branches fell on our house, and our cars remain untouched as well. Sure gave us a scare though! We were inside most of the day Thursday, trying to stay warm, catch up on sleep, etc. There really wasn't much we could do. So we got permission to go the the Tiedes' house, a member in the other ward who did have power. We went and played Life with them and had a great time. We got home that night and our power was still out, so we got permission to spend the night at Brother and Sister Tiedes'. It was nice and toasty, and we slept pretty well on their living room floor.

Friday was a regular work day, and also Valentine's Day. A lot of places were still without power, and a lot of people had plans for the night, but we did get the opportunity to spend the evening with an awesome sister who has recently divorced. It was good being able to support her. Our power still hadn't returned, so we stayed the night at the Tiedes' again. It was about 10:25 when the six of us knelt down to pray together, when we feel the ground shaking beneath us. My mind went back to elementary school trying to remember what they taught us to do in an earthquake. It was a pretty good shake! But it passed after a few moments. I know y'all had heard about that, too. We finally got to sleep after Brother Tiede researched the quake for us, and after we made sure our sisters in South Carolina were safe, cuz they were close to where it hit.

Saturday, we spent the majority of the day doing service, helping people clear the trees out of their yards. It was an incredibly humbling experience realizing that we did not at all get the worst of the damage. There were power companies coming from other states to help restore the power to our county. almost 90% of us lost power. We finally got it back Saturday evening around 7. Just when we thought it was all over, we felt another quake yesterday around 4pm. Just a tiny one, but it hit somewhere in South Carolina as well. What a crazy week!

In other news, we had an investigator at church yesterday!! S***i, the lady I told y'all about the other week. She just soaked it all in. She learned a ton about the Plan of Salvation and realized that Latter-day Saints really aren't weird like people might think. She plans on coming back, and she wants us to talk to her husband. She's super cool and super nice, and we are so blessed to know her. Another big event occurred at church yesterday.

Our ward has been combined with the Spanish branch. A lot of releases and callings happened in sacrament meeting to help us support one another and become one ward together. I can't imagine what these dear saints are feeling, but I feel some pain for them. It must be so hard coming to a ward where your native language isn't spoken and having to adapt and get to know a whole new group of people. But we welcome them with open arms. It will be a wonderful experience working with them and seeing the opportunities that arise from this convergence.

Well, last bit of news for this week! As you know, transfer call was Saturday night, and Sister Evans is being transferred. I figured we wouldn't stay together longer than this transfer. It will be interesting to see where she gets sent and who I end up serving with here. I am excited for the experiences and opportunities that are ahead! I love y'all with all my heart. Thank you for your love and support! Thank you for the package, too! I got it Friday, and a made the cookies yesterday. They were delicious :) Thank you for all you do for me, especially for your prayers. I pray for you every day. Have a wonderful week, my beautifiul family!

Love always,

Sister Kashmir Janae Ramsden

Monday, February 10, 2014

Retirement Homes, Episcopalian Ministers,and Gypsies!!!

No, I didn't actually see any. But I did see their houses!! So this week, we had exchanges, and I got to go to North Augusta, South Carolina! It was exciting. It's funny, cuz I just got Dad's letter giving me more info about the gypsies, and then I got to see their houses the next day! Unfortunately, I didn't see any of the gypsies. That was just an interesting experience. It kind of creeps me out, but it's also really fascinating.

One of the gypsy houses... I'll probably be haunted for taking pictures haha. Notice how they board up the windows... Super creepy! But yeah, their houses are huge, and they have super nice cars!

I can't believe this is the last week of the transfer. Time seriously flies by! Sister Evans and I are on the edges of our seats, knowing that a phone call could come before transfer call on Saturday, and one of us could have our visa. But we'll be patient this week and continue working hard!

I know that y'all enjoyed the miracles that I shared with you the other week, so Sister Evans and I have been sharing miracles with each other every night so we can focus on those blessings Heavenly Father does give us on a daily basis. So on Saturday, we went with the other sisters and sang for some sweet elderly women. We got to this retirement home, and the ladies asked what church we were from. When we told them, one of the women shouts, "Not the Latter-day Saints! No, no!" So the nurse gently told her she didn't have to stay and listen, she had the choice to leave the room. As we began singing, the lady left the room. But before the hymn was even through, she came right back and sat down. Towards the end, she actually sang along with us! It was a miracle to see how the Spirit totally softened her heart toward us and how her attitude changed to one of gratitude by the time we finished singing. That one experience set the tone for the whole day, and all four of us sisters just had a really good day!

Sister Evans and I had a lesson with a woman named S***i, who told us she had a lot of questions for us. We went over planning to answer her questions and hoping to be able to teach the restoration, and it went really well! She is just genuinely curious. She didn't doubt a single thing that we taught her. We cleared up some misconceptions she had heard, and she even gave us a referral. We talked about prophets, and she was awed when we told her that there were prophets in the Americas. She has a huge fascination with Native Americans and took the Book of Mormon right out of our hands, she was so eager to read it. Her husband is out of town the next few weeks, but she wants us to meet him when he returns. She said he is very open :) It was amazing getting to teach her and just have a really great day. It turns out that the neighbor she referred us to is actually good friends with our stake president! The man is an Episcopalian minister, but he has great respect for the Church because of the influence our stake president has had on him. We as members of the Church can seriously be such examples to those around us. Something the stake president is pushing members to do is just make it known to those around them that they are members of the Church. If people know that, that's when they wonder why we're so happy and what's so different about us, and it will open the door for our associates to accept the gospel. I love y'all so much and I hope all is well! I know that the Lord does bless us every day, we just have to have eyes to see the blessings He gives us. Have a great week, and write to me soon, please!!

All my love,

Sister Kashmir Janae Ramsden

Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow!, Bottled Water, and Livin' Off of Peanut Butter Sandwiches!!

I don't know if y'all kept tabs on the weather here in Evans, GA last week, but it snowed!! It was super suspenseful all day Tuesday, cuz we knew that if it was precipitating and below 32 degrees outside, we were on lockdown. So we kept checking the temperature and looking out the window while we did our morning studies. One of the sisters from our ward stopped by with a case of bottled water in case our pipes froze, and we got text messages from other ward members making sure we had everything we needed. I've never experienced snow like this before, so I had no clue what to expect. But I was gonna take precautions and prepare for the worst! So we kept a faucet dripping and made sure we had food to eat in case the power went out (we decided to live off of peanut butter sandwiches), etc.

We went out to work at 1, like usual, still wary of the temperature and weather conditions. Well at 6 when our dinner time was over, sure enough it was below 32 degrees and we were on lockdown! Finally at almost 9pm, little white flakes started falling from the sky! The Elders made fun of me for saying I've never seen snow fall from the sky before haha. But it's true! It was such a cool experience. And the snow stuck! Since Georgians don't know how to drive in that weather, we were on lockdown until 4pm on Wednesday. I decided I love the snow! But I don't know if I could live in it... haha.

That was pretty much the most exciting thing that happened this week! We had a zone conference on Friday which was the best ever. President Cottle is just so inspired and so uplifting. We are so blessed to be placed under his direction and care. Most of the conference was missionary-centered, obviously. But one thing I want to share with y'all is something he said about fasting. Cuz it's super easy to complain about being hungry when we fast! So he told us that fasting helps us put off the natural man. Our physical body's needs get filled much more than our spirit, all too often. So fasting is a way of our spirit showing our body who's in charge. I really liked that, and it definitely helped me keep a positive perspective as we fasted yesterday.

Warner Robins district reunion!!! :) Elder Ecklof and Elder Clay are in the Augusta zone and Elder Pittard and I are in the Augusta zone

Y'all, this area is rough. But we're blessed with awesome members who are so proactive in sharing the gospel with the people they know and offering to help us in any way they can. And we're trying to keep our spirits high and our attitudes positive! Thank you for your love and prayers. I truly appreciate and need them. I love y'all so so much! More than you know. I hope all is well for y'all with school, work, callings, etc. Have a blessed week!

All my love,

Sister Ramsden