Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let's see, this week has had ups and downs, but I like to focus on all the ups. =)  One of the best things that happened this week besides talking to you all was Elder Richard G. Scott came to our devotional on Tuesday.  He gave such a beautiful devotional about Heavenly Father and prayer.  I loved it and I wish I could have you listen to it.  He talked about how prayer is one of the greatest privileges that we have and I just really loved that.  So this week we had a couple of big changes.  So they are doing some renovations on our classroom building so they moved everyone to a totally new building.  In our old building we had really nice desks and the most comfortable chairs and in the new building we have not so comfortable chair desks with no room to put all of our things.  It's funny because it's really your classroom that is home because that's where you spend 90% of your day so it was hard to leave it and go to a new room.  Also they took away two of our teachers, Broeder Hulme and Broeder Norton.  There is a mission to Surinam that is Dutch speaking and on Wednesday they got a district of just two Elders so they got our two teachers and we got two new teachers.  It's ok thought because our teachers are just across the hall even though I will miss them very much.  The teachers here are just SOOO amazing!  I love them so much.  I think they are what I will miss the most from the MTC besides being with my district.  So mijn collega and I currently have three investigators.  Andy, Chander, and Jefferson.  We will also be getting a new investigator sometime tomorrow I believe.  So I want to share a really neat experience.  So without my whole time hear at the MTC I've felt inadequate in my lesson teaching.  Not even just the Dutch but how and what we were teaching.  I felt like mijn collega and I never were really in unity, and that we tried so hard to teach by the Spirit but it seemed like we were really just teaching lessons, not people.  This was really hard on my especially since I feel like teaching is one of my talents.  So I don't remember when but we read a really great quote in Preach My Gospel under the teachings skills chapter under the listen section.  And it just hit me.  I wasn't listening to these people.  I would ask some questions but I wasn't listening about what they needed!  So this is the quote; "More important than speaking is listening.  These people are not lifeless objects disguised as a baptismal statistic.  They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and they need what we have.  Be genuine.  REach out sincerely.  Ask these friends what matters most to them.  What do they cherish, and what do they hold dear?  And then listen.  If the setting is right, you might ask what their fears are, what they year for, or what they feel is missing in their lives.  I promise you that something in what they say will always highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear testimony and about which you can then offer more...If we listen with love, we won't need to wonder what to say.  It will be given to us - by the Spirit and by our friends."  -Elder Jeffery R. Holland.  This struck with such force to me.  I just love it.  And let me tell you, when we went in to all three lessons just with the intent of listening, we taught with unity, the Spirit was there, and we found out what they needed from the gospel!  It was amazing.  After our contacting appoinment with Jefferson, the first one we simply listened too first, he said my Dutch wasn't perfect but I "threw down" with my testimony!  Wow I felt great when he said that!  I knew that that was one of the biggest things holding me back from being able to teach effectivley. 
Hmm well I just asked my companion and I think that's about it for this week.  It's hard because we have the same schedule for 6 weeks.  I just LOVE being a missionary though!  Every day I learn something new and am humbled.  Every week I am amazed at how my testimony has grown, and how much Dutch I can actually speak.  This MTC is a place of miracles!  It's been so great but I really can't wait until I go out into the field!  I love you all!  When I get my travel plans tomorrow I'll email you on Thursday.  I love you all and I pray for you every day!  I love you!  Ik hou van jullie!
Zuster Cassie Mizell =)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hallo familie!
Well, this week has just seemed to fly by!  I can't believe how quickly the time has gone.  It seems like the days go on forever, but the week passes by so quickly.  We went to the temple and did initiatories today, and it was really wonderful.  So a lot of what goes on in the MTC is pretty much the same so I'll try to remember the things that stood out or where different.
Well first of all can I just say I LOVED GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!  Wow it was amazing! It really is amazing how the Lord speaks to you and answers specific questions that you need answered.  I think my favorite talk that stood out to me was the one by Eldar Holland.  He has such a powerful way of speaking and His message on faith really touched me.  I also loved Elder Uchtdorf, President Monson and some others I can't remember.  I meant to bring my journal with me so I could talk more about them but I forgot today.  It was pretty amazing to be sitting and watching General Conference with 3,000 other missionaries. 
So my companion is doing much better!  No problems as of late which is good.  The Danish left on Monday for Tennesse because their visas didn't come in.  Soester Peterson didn't get to go with them though because she got mono.  So she is here for an extra two weeks to recover.  We got 22 new Danish missionaries this week which was pretty awesome.  I haven't met many of them yet, but they seem great!  11 Sisters and 11 Elders.  Our zone was like 20 people when I got here and now it's almost triple that! 
So this week I am preparing a musical number to sing.  El Shaddia.  I'm going to sing in sacrament meeting and then also I'm going to audition to sing in one of the big meetings in front of all the missionaries!  EEK!  But why not!?!  It's a once in a lifetime chance right?  So this is my fourth week here.  Next week starts my fifth week which means I only have 2 more to go.  It really is amazing how quickly the time flies.  So we are teaching our other two teachers now Broeder Norton who is playing Chander and Broeder Wells who is playing Andy.  It's amazing how real it feels when we teach these "investigators".  It is really hard though, not only the Dutch but teaching the gospel.  I have learned that you really have to teach the gospel simply.  Nephi says, "And I delight in the plain and simple things of the Lord."  Truly the Lord's gospel and message is plain, simple, and precious, and that is how we are to teach it to his children.  Dutch is coming along.  It's never easy, but it's always possible.  I think that has become the motto of my life: It's never been easy, but it's always been possible.  There are some days (like yesterday), when I feel I just can't go on anymore, I can't do all of these hard things. But the Lord always provides a way and many tender mercies to show that I am loved and that He has called me to do His work.  It is His work and He will not leave me stranded. 
It was pretty neat, for Tuesday Devotional we had Gerald N. Lund come, who is the author of the Work and the Glory.  He spoke on recieving revelation and it was a really great devotional. 
Well unfortunately I am having a hard time thinking of anything to add.  I'm so grateful for the Savoir and the people he has given me here.  I am so blessed every day to be here in the MTC.  Missionary work is hard, but more than worth it.  I have no doubt that the Savior qualifies who He calls.  I know He will aid me in His work as long as I am worthy of His aid.  The Spirit teaches us and can guide is in all things.  I love this work and I love you all.  I will end today with a poem I wrote this week.
I'm all alone, I feel the dark
The pain that fills my broken heart.
I know not now where I should turn
For peace and comfort I do yearn.
My wordly comforts fail me now
I need my Savior, but how?
My life is full of sins and stains
But He is perfect as He reigns.
How can I call upon Him when
My heart is full from guild of sin?
I've learned this truth since from my birth,
"Ye are less than dust of Earth."
But one thing I have always learned
He'll comfort me when I do mourn.
His arms are always stretched toward me,
Inviting me to come and see.
He always waits so patiently
For me to fall on humble knees.
And then I speak my lowly words
"Lord, help me, I can bare no more."
"I've born this grief for far and long,
I need the Savior's merciful arm."
My words have barely sputtered out
When warmth and love I feel about.
There is no other person there,
But through His peace I feel His care.
I only had to act in faith
For Him my burdens quick to take.
He cured my aching broken heart
His light replaced my world of dark.
I know my Savior lives today
And through Him I will be ok.
Met veel liefhebben,
Zuster Cassie Mizell

Hallo mijn geliefde familie!
Wow I can't believe I've been here for two weeks now!  It seems like I just got here but at the same time it feels like I have been here forever!  I am still loving it!  Some days are certainly hard but the good moments are far more numerous than the bad.  There is an amazing Spirit in the MTC that is like nothing I have every felt before in my life!  In two weeks I feel like a completely new person, more grounded in my love for the Savior and my testimony of Him and His gospel, and it's only been two weeks!  I can't imagine what will happen after 18 months!  So my colega and I went to the temple today and did sealings.  We actually had a member of the seventy perform them.  His name was Elder Reed and he is from Samoa.  It was really neat to do sealings.  I guess I never realized how fast they go.  As missionaries we are only allowed to participate as the daughters not the wives but that's ok it was still really wonderful!  I love going to the temple!  So you know how I've never really liked the look of the Provo temple?  Well I have to admit the inside is SOOO mooi!!!  The chandeliers all over the temple are some of the most mooi I have ever seen.
So I guess I'll tell you a little about how my week went.  As you know here in the MTC things are pretty much the same every week but my companion and I had quite the crazy week.  Oh but first, our investigator Quincy, agreed to be baptized last Thursday which was our last visit!  I was jumping for joy when we got out of the discussion.  Now Quincy, who is actually Broeder Hulme is one of  our three great teachers which is awesome!  Ok so about my crazy week.  Well my companion had been complaining for a couple of days about her foot hurting her, but she didn't make it sound like a big deal so I didn't make anything of it.  Then on Friday when she said it was really hurting her, I insisted that we take her to a doctor right away.  She's one of those people that hates the doctor and tries to just avoid it until the very last minute.  So the health center at the MTC was closed by that time so we went to instacare in Provo and they told here that she had an inflamed tendon or a stress fracture.  They didn't have a boot in her size so we went to other places to see if they had one and they didn't.  They told us we would have to go to the BYU urgent care in the morning.  We didn't get back until 11 p.m.  half and hour past our bedtime.  I was so tired the next day.  You cannot believe how much 30 mins. makes a difference.  Then Saturday we went to BYU urgent care and got her boot and that took us another 2 hours or so.  Then on Tuesday they called her into the MTC health clinic to check on her and that took 2 and a half hours.  Then they told her the next day to go see a pediatrist.  So yesterday she woke up and said her ear really hurt and she thought her ear drum burst.  So we went to the health clinic here again for another 2 hours, then we went to the pediatrist and he told her she has Vamps disease.  It basically means that her bone that connects to her big toe is higher than her actually toe.  You should ask Brother Marble more about it.  So after we found that out we had to go back to the MTC to get her prescription for her ears and then we left the MTC to go shoe shopping for her.  She found some shoes that work though and she is no longer in pain YAY!!  Anyway it was just a long week and I feel like we missed SOOO much, but she is more important than learning Dutch.  I just hope that she doesn't have any more problems. 
So Happy late Easter!!  Thank you so much for the package and thank you Mom for the letter.  I didn't get it on Easter because they don't send us DearElders on Sundays but I got it the next day and it made me smile =).  I love and missed you all on Easter but it was really great.  We had the presiding Bishop of the Church come and all 3,000 missionaries took the Sacrament at the same time it was so amazing!  Then later that day we had Sheri Dew come speak to us which was also amazing!  Then we watched a Devotional called the Character of Christ.  This devotional changed my life!  It's by David A. Bednar.  I would encourage you to look it up and read it.  In fact I was wondering if you could find it and then send it to me, because I don't have access to google here.  I hope you all had a really good Easter.  Mom told me that you all got some leuk dingens (cool things) from the Easter Bunny! 
So you are all back to school and work now I suppose.  I guess sometimes it's weird to think that life goes on outside of the MTC.  There is no better place than the MTC to be in the world but not of the world.  When we spent all that time outside of the MTC I hated it!  I just wanted to come back and feel the amazing Spirit that is so abundant here.  It literally feels like a big fluffy comforter every where you go.  Lifting you up, making you feel warm and comfortable.
I would like to share some of the spiritual experiences that really stood out to me this week.  The first one is from Tuesday Devotional with Elder Ringwood of the 70.  He said that when we come back from our missions we should not adjust back to real life.  We will have just spent the last 18-24 months becoming closer to Christ and we should not adjust back to the way things used to be.  That rung so true to me!  I can't believe how much I have changed in just two weeks and I never want to go back to the way I was before.  The second one is about humbling.  Last week I thought I had been humbled but every day I realize just how much I cannot do this alone and how much I need the Savior.  Also how much this is NOT about me.  I was so focused for the first week or so on myself and what I needed to learn and what I could and couldn't do.  After watching the Character of Christ I decided to do something everyday.  Every single thing that I do I ask myself why am I doing it and then I answer in my head using as little possesive worden as I can.  From going to lunch, taking a shower, putting on clothes, studying, teaching etc. I do it all so that I can more fully do the Savoir's work.  It has changed how I feel throughout the day.  Those things that I cannot relate back to my work for the Savior, I try not to do or think about as much as possible.  

Ik weet dat mijn Verlooser lieft.  Ik weet dat de kerk van Jezus Christus van de heiligen der laatse dagen is de een waar kerk op de aarde.  I weet dat Jezus Christus is met ons altijd wanneer wij vragen hij.  Ik weet dat mijn familie samen voor  eeuwig kunnen zign.  Ik hou van mijn Hemelse Vader and Ik hou van Jezus Christus.  Ik weet dat Ik van God geroepend.  Ik weet dat de gave van tongen is waar.  Ik hou een zendeling zijn! 
That's a little.  I can speak more than I can write.  Oh also before I go I just want to encourage you to read D&C 50.  I found SO many great scriptures in there!  My favorite verses are 24 and 40.  And then I love D&C 84:88.  Well I hope you all have a wonderful week!  I hope to hear from you soon! 
Alle mijn liefhebben,
Zuster Cassie Mizell

Oh so here is a typical day here at the MTC.  So I wake up at about 6 a.m., by the way I've been doing really good about waking up on time no problems yet, and then I shower and get ready and we have to be in our classroom by 7.  Then Zuster Brown and I, mijn colega, study the scriptures together.  At 7:30 we have breakfast then at 8 we either teach our "investigator" Quincy or we have class time with our teacher for 3 hours.  Then generally we have one hour of personal study time.  At 12:15 we go to lunch and then at 1 we have language study for an hour.  Then at 1 we have the other that we didn't have before, either teaching our investigator or class time for 3 hours.  Then is additional study time which is usually companion study time.  Then at 5:15 is dinner and then at 6 is usally gym time until 7:30.  Then we usually have TALL which is language study time on the computers.  Then at 8:30 we have additional study time and then we plan at 9 until 9:30 then we get to go back to our residence hall.  There we get ready for bed, prepare for the next day, write in our journals and then by 10:30 I'm sooo tired all I want to do is sleep.  The 3 days that is different is on Tuesday we have service time in the morning where we get to help clean some of the buildings and the devotional in the evening.  Then Thursdays which is P-Day. And then Sundays which are amazing!
  So about the rest of my week.  Umm let's see.  Mijn colega Zuster Brown got here on Friday in the morning which was awesome!  Before she came I was with Zuster Wood and Zuster Djoukeng.  They are also great.  So by Friday we started teaching our "investigator" IN DUTCH!!!!  I couldn't believe they made us start teaching on the 3rd day we were here!  The lesson wasn't really all that good to be honest.  Then on Saturday I had a pretty hard day. (So anything I write in parenthesis is just for you guys and not for the bog so just make sure to erase it before you post it please.  So I had kind of a mental breakdown Saturday.  I was feeling so frustrated with myself and my abilities.  But don't worry I'm much better now. )  Sunday was relaxing and edifying, and amazing!  I think I am going to love Sundays!  Then monday was normal and ok.  Tuesday was another hard day.  We had to have our blood taken which I absolutely hate and we had to do something the other Dutch missionaries have called magic Tuesday.  Let me just say there is absolutely nothing magical about it!  (We had to do a stool sample for Belgium to make sure we don't have any parasites YUCK!  It was pretty awful!)  On Tuesday I talked to one of the Zusters going to Denmark because I was struggling and she had some amazing advice for me!  Wednesday was absoultely great!  Today we got to go to the temple which I loved and we ate in the temple cafeteria.  The waffles were SOOO good! 
So let me describe a little bit about all of the Zusters in my District.  So we are one of the first all girl districts.  There is Zuster Brown which is mijn colega.  She is absolutely as sweet as can be!  She is beautiful and always kind.  She always sees the good in others and reminds me to not get too worked up about the little things.  Zuster Anjeweirden is awesome!  She reminds me a lot of ReyLynn Reid actually.  She is very smart and has a great smile.  She's dedicated and fun!  I love her!  Her colega is Zuster Hudson.  She is blunt and soooo funny!  She does the funniest things and she always makes me laugh =).  Zuster Djoukeng is a diva!  She is so sweet though and is a great leader!  Then there is Zuster Wood.  She's very quiet and a sporty girl but once you get to know here she is so much fun to talk to!  So I room with Zuster Brown, Djoukeng, and Wood, and then yesterday we had some new Sisters going to Sweden join us.  Oh so in our zone there are two elders going to Iceland, 3 sisters and 3 elders going to Denmark, 9 Zusters and 3 elders going to Belgium and the Netherlands and then 16 sisters and 3 elders going to Sweden just got here yesterday!  WHOA!  Oh so I've seen Ryan Wilkinson the first day, Brianna Downey I saw today, I saw Chelsea Newitt yesterday, I saw Elder Hastriter, my FHE brother from freshman year the first day, and then I saw Ali Wickham today as well.  Oh by the way she told me hi from you Dad =)  Thanks. 
So let me talk about some of the spritiual things.  I have never felt more spiritually edified in my life than I have in the last week!  It is amazing the feelings I have had here.  It is overwhelming a lot of the time because there is just so much to learn!  I thought I was a good teacher and I knew it would be hard but I didn't know how hard it would be!  I have been soooo humbled being here.  It has been hard to teach our investigator in Dutch.  Originally we would write out the whole lesson in Dtuch and just read from it and we never really felt like the Spirit was there.  Also it felt like we were just all over the place. Then we had a devotional on how to become effective teachers.  And to teach simply like the Savior did and with love.  There is a scripture in 2Nephi that talks about how he loves the plainness of the gospel.  I realized that that is how I have to teach.  So for our next lesson we set out a lesson plan and just prayed for the Lord to help us.  It was AMAZING!  The Spirit was there and the words did come!  It really is true the gift of tongues is real.  I have only been here one week and I can speak more in Dutch than I probably can in French.  It is so amazing.  I am also learning that so little of what I am doing is about me, in fact none of it really is.  It is all about the Lord and our brothers and sisters.  I am basically the mouth for the Lord and in order to teach his children the way he would teach them, I have to follow and listen to the Spirit.  Truly it is amazing how I feel here.  It is so easy to become discouraged, but the more faith and trust you have in the Lord, the happier you are and more the Spirit can help you.
So I want to tell you really quick about my teachers.  There is brother Norton and Brother Wells.  They are both amazing!  Again it's amazing how much of the language I have learned is such a short amount of time.  Also you know how people always talk about Godly love?  Well it's amazing how real that is and how much I feel it here.  I love my teachers even though I've known them for so short a time.  I love my zone, I love my district, I love mijn colega, and I already love the people in Belgium and the Netherlands.  This is truly God's work and I look forward to continuing to learn from His Spirit and become the missionary that He wants me to become.  I can't do this, but HE can and He will give me the strength and the knowledge to share His gospel throughout the world! 

Met liefhebben,
Zuster Cassie Mizell
P.S. PLEASE send me letters and dearelder me!!  You just go to and put in my address and I get it the same day!  I love getting letters and hearing how things are at home and with everyone!  My address is
Sister Cassandra Carin Mizell
MTC mailbox #268
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604