Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 2 in Mountain Home

HEY YALL!! (yes, that is something everyone says out here...hahaa)

I'll keep this week short and sweet with lots of pictures:)

I LOVE IDAHO! AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Seriously, there is nothing like it. I've come to know that when you are focused 100 percent outward, you are the happiest. That's how the Savior lived, and I am striving every day to be more like Him.

I read an article in The Ensign this week, which is the church magazine. It was about living with real intent, meaning that every decision you make is for the right reasons. It's a concept that I've been trying to better understand. When you live purposefully for the right reasons, your life is blessed because you see real results and real changes happening in your life. This week, ask yourself why you are doing what you do and strive to live with real intent. It's a game changer.

Love, Sister Boyce


**Edit from Cassandra's sister, Carly. For some reason, she could only get one picture to load. Hopefully there is more next week :)

Here is my MTC district!! After two weeks together, we were family:)

Monday, September 21, 2015

IDAHO IS FOREIGN

HEY HOMIES!!

So you all know how I said I wasn't going to a foreign mission? Plot twist for yall... IDAHO IS FOREIGN.

Everyone here is about 30 years behind the times. It's so hard to even begin to explain. I haven't even been here a full week, but I am still amazed everyday how people live. BUT I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!! They are some of the most hard working and genuine people I've ever met. They have so much gratitude for the humble lives they've been blessed with. They don't worry about the trivial things of the world like their clothes, or their cars, and a lot of them don't have cell phones or internet. They only worry about things that truly matter. They work hard and serve other people and many of them want to know Jesus Christ. That's what matters most.

My first area is in Mountain Home!! Population size 10,000... and the next biggest town, Grand View, is about half an hour away... population size 400. I kid you not, we drove for half an hour and probably passed two cars and about 500 cows. Just picture flat ground and mountains in the distance with a bunch of sage brush and wild sunflowers. And the sky is HUGE!! You can see for miles and miles. Throw in some green farm land and tons of cows and you get Idaho. SO different from Boston, but so beautiful.

My current address in MoHo (short for mountain home). Send letters to the mission office and they will forward them to me. That address is:

421 Maurice St. North
Twin Falls, ID 83301

I'll be here for at least the next 12 weeks, so feel free to write me! I also don't have anything on my walls in my room, so if you want to send some pictures or quotes, then my room won't look so lonely!!

Every day since I've been here has been packed with teaching appointments and service activities. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! Here's what a typical day in the life of Sister Boyce would look like:

6:00 AM RISE AND SHINE
Pick up the other sister missionaries in our stake and head to work out at the track.

6:30 to 7: We work out under the stars and watch the sunrise. Y'all know I hate the mornings, but this aint so bad when you get to see the stars like you've never seen them in Boston. You can see so many more and they're so bright!

7 to 8: Shower, get ready, and eat breakfast.

8 to 9: Personal study. We study the scriptures and our teaching tools with the people that we will be teaching that day in mind. It is so cool because when we study for them, we better know what they need to hear when we teach.

9 to 10: Companion study. Sister Anderson from Las Vegas ROCKS!! She is so cool! I absolutely love her and am so grateful for her. During our study together, we talk about what we learned and plan what we will be teaching based on what we studied in personal study.

10 to 11: Some days we have training for an hour. that's just something we do when we are new missionaries so we can better understand what we are teaching and how to teach.

5:00 PM: Dinner at someone's house from our congregation!

9:30 PM: Daily planning- as a companionship we talk about our goals and the needs of the people we will be teaching the next day.

10: Get ready for bed.

10:30: LIGHTS OUT!

Between 11 AM and 9:30 PM, we have appointments with people that want to learn more about our church. We have different lessons to teach but they are always centered on Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice.

Christ's Atonement was when He suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and then was hung on the cross. He took upon Himself all of our sins, weaknesses, pains, sicknesses, and imperfections.  He knows us personally and perfectly because He has felt everything we are going through. It is so hard to comprehend- one person taking upon all that we individually suffer. But Christ did. I know He did. And He did it because He loves us and knew that it wouldn't be possible for us to live again with our Heavenly Father if there wasn't a way for us to repent and come closer to Him each and every day.

That is why I am out here on a mission. The Atonement is REAL and it has the power to change you and can bring you more happiness and peace in your life than you ever thought possible. That is the message I share with people everyday and I have seen it change lives.

I love 1 Nephi 21:16 in the Book of Mormon. It's actually my favorite verse about the Atonement. It says, "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." This verse reminds us that Christ will always be with us and will help us with any trial we may face because He suffered for each one of us individually.

I know that Christ lives! His Atonement blesses my life every single day as long as I turn to Him and acknowledge that everything I am and can become is due to His grace and mercy. I come closer to Christ through prayer and studying the Book of Mormon. If you do those things with sincerity of heart and a desire to know, you will come to know that Jesus is the Christ and that the Book of Mormon truly testifies of Him.

I love being a missionary. But more importantly, I love being a representative of Jesus Christ. That is what I've been set apart to do for the next 18 months. I will dedicate everything I have to offer to helping others because that's what Christ did. That calling to represent the Savior is often something I don't feel like I could ever live up to. But I know that it is because of Him that my weaknesses can be turned into strengths. Only He can make me qualified for this work.

KAY, LOVE YOU ALL!!

Don't forget to smile today, life is so so good. Everyone has a reason to smile and everyone could use an extra smile today!

XOXO
Sister Boyce

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I MADE IT!

Hi Fam!

I MADE IT TO TWIN!! My bags were 49 and 51 pounds... miracles happen people. I love the area already and my companion, Sister Anderson from Las Vegas! My first area is in Mountain Home!

My Preparation Day is on Monday! I'll write more then but I love you all and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox
God Speed,
Sister Boyce

Friday, September 11, 2015

Week 2 Letter and Pictures

HI EVERYONE!!

Kay so time is short today but I'll give you the quick low down on my second week here in the MTC!!

The two people we are teaching right now in the MTC are AWESOME!! Mark (one of our teachers but keeps character) is so cool. He has accepted to be baptized and has so much faith! Sister Miller and I have taught him four times and. This was kind of our trial run before we taught Lisa Chamberlain in TRC! dont really know what that stands for but its where we teach people we've never met haha. She's amazing. Her first lesson was really hard because she didn't believe in God. But our third lesson with her that we had last night went really well. I LOVE THIS WORK! Every lesson, and study time, and prayer is for the people we are teaching. I love giving 100 percent of myself to this work because it is amazing how happy you can be when your life is focused on other people.

This MTC experience has been really good. But don't be fooled. It's also been hard. I just want the best for all of these people we teach and am sad when they aren't receptive to it. But all of those hard things are just making me a better missionary, bit by bit and pretty slowly because I'm kind of stubborn. But I've also learned that those hard things have helped me better know that this is God's work. Not mine. I will do my very best and rely on Him to make up the difference.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK- Character of Christ. Christ exudes everything I want to become. He is our greatest example because every time the natural man would turn inward, Christ turns out. I am so thankful for Him and my knowledge of the Atonement! (more on that next week)

Today we went to the Provo temple. SO COOL! And then Sister Miller and I played basketball with the boys in our district. The Elders all call me Sister Moist... one kid actually thought that was my name... hahaha I love my comp and district so much. It will be hard to leave them on Tuesday when we leave for Idaho!!

LOVE YOU ALL!! Keep being the rock stars I know you are:)

XOXO
Sister Boyce


OH AND PS- DearElder.com is golden. It's free and you can write a letter that will get to me the same day! you can also send snacks.... :)


Sister Miller - Cassandra's companion!

Sister Miller - Cassandra's companion!

"BEST DISTRIC SISTERS EVER"

Trip to the temple with her district!

Trip to the temple with her district!

Sister Mower - Cassandra's freshman roommate at BYU!

Sister Williams - Cassandra's friend from Boston

Sister Williams - Cassandra's friend from Boston

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

THE MTC Rocks my Socks

HI FAM JAM!!

Surprise, surprise!! I've only been here for about 48 hours, but Friday is our Preparation day so we got to email home!! And I've been waiting for this since I got here because I've so desperately wanted to tell you all how much I LOVE THE MTC (Missionary Training Center)!! It is everything good about BYU and I know this is the place I should be! Since I said goodbye at the curb, this experience has been nothing short of amazing!!

My companion, Sister Miller, was a bit lost for the first half of the day. She arrived late, so our district (or our group of missionaries that work and learn together) had already left for orientation. But once she finally found the other sisters and I, we immediately fell in love with her! She is from Houston, TX and she is so funny!! She's also going to the Idaho Twin Falls Mission so I'll have someone up there that I know!

On Wednesday, I was one of the very first people here at the MTC because my last name is at the beginning of the alphabet which was a bit nerve racking. But the spirit here is so strong, so I felt at peace. From the moment I walked through those doors, I've known that I am not alone. I feel the Spirit working through me and making me want to be a better missionary every single day. It brings things to my remembrance, it lifts me when I feel discouraged, it comforts me when sad, and teaches me things that I need to hear in that very moment. I am so grateful that I can have the blessing of the Holy Ghost as my constant companion because I was baptised. That is the knowledge I want to share with so many others! When they are baptized, they can receive that gift, which is one of the greatest gifts of God.

Wednesday really just took care of housekeeping and logistics. But yesterday was truly life changing. One thing that was really drilled into my head in the short time I've been here is our Missionary Purpose. Our purpose as representatives of Jesus Christ is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We are here to invite and help strengthen the relationship between those we meet and God. What a wonderful purpose to have in life!! I am so excited for this opportunity and can't wait to invite others to come unto Christ so that they can feel of His love and grace every day of their life.

Another thing that we've talked a lot about since I've been here is how much God, our Heavenly Father loves all of His children. We were asked yesterday to write down some things that we wanted out of our mission. And I certainly had to repent after that exercise. This mission is not about me one bit. There will be plenty of blessings that will come with my service, but I realized that ultimately, I wanted to help all those I meet feel of God's love for them because of who I am and the spirit which I strive to keep always. If you haven't read it already, First John 4:16-19 is a passage in the Bible that changed my life yesterday. One of my teachers shared it, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.

Family and friends, I just want you to know how much I love you all! I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that they live and love us more deeply than we can comprehend. They know me better than I know myself and want more than anything to help us to return home so we can live with them again! I've learned so much in the past two days and have a deep desire to change and become better. That change is only possible because of the Atonement, performed by Jesus Christ as he took upon himself every sin, every weakness, every pain, and every imperfection of God's children. The Atonement is what allows us to repent, and change, and become the people that God would have us become- to reach our full potential!! He died for me and He died for you. Is there any greater love than that? Because He took upon Himself the Atonement, He can bear whatever burden we feel we cannot carry. He will be on our right and and on our left to bear us up. We are never alone. He will always be there for us because He is the only one that knows exactly what we are going through! And I know that is true!

MUCH LOVE FOR YOU ALL!! Until next Friday!

XOXO
Sister Boyce