Sunday, November 30, 2014

The parable of the lost camera

Bus "selfie" on the way to Tijuana

Dear All,
Holy this week has been the best week of my mission so far. And the time keeps flying. Like I feel like I just wrote to you guys yesterday. But yeah. What a week.
So it started on Monday afternoon. After we finished writing, we went and found a little hamburger stand that sold two burgers for 25 pesos so we were like heck yeah score (but based on the aftereffects we probably wont do it again) and then we caught the bus up to our area so that we could be there before 6 when we had to start working. And as we sat down on the curb to eat, I noticed that the pocket where I keep my camera was empty and my camera was missing. Now when I say that you're gonna think that me saying this was the best week of my mission was sarcastic. It wasn't. Just wait.
So I'm pretty upset. I thought I had left it in the little cybercafe where we were writing, but Elder Vega thought that someone had stolen it. Either way, there was a very small chance that we were gonna find it.
So let me backtrack a little bit. On Sunday, we heard a talk about praying for specific stuff, that way its number one easier to recognize when a prayer is answered and two so that we Heavenly Father can know exactly how to help us. So we were praying on Monday morning, before we left, and Elder Vega out of nowhere pauses and says "And please let us find a family of 4 to teach" and I was like wow ok that would be pretty sweet.
So anyway we lose the camera and at that point it was too late to go back into town to look for it, so we decided to just go the next day, cause we had zone conference, so we would be passing by anway. And of course we said prayers to find it and all that good missionary stuff.
So zone conference the next day was super good. It was all about how there are 4 types of missionaries: the ones that get sent home, the ones that should get sent home but don't get caught, the ones who do what they want but come home the same person, and the ones who completely lose themselves and are completely different when they come home. It was all about who we want to be. So that was awesome. And then we went and stopped by the cybercafe on the way home, and they told me that no, and that even if I had left it odds are the next person took it. So that kinda sucked.
BUT THEN. We were standing at the bus stop to head to work and this teenage girl comes up to us. And shes like "hey did you guys lose a camera yesterday?" And I'm like who is this angel coming to help me yes I did indeed lose a camera why do you ask? And she told me that her brother had gotten onto the bus after me the night before and sitting in my seat was this sweet camera with some pictures of a gringo and a morenito in tie and nametag. So he took the camera home.
Turns out this girl was his sister. So she told us she was headed to the same place as us, we could just follow her to her house and pick it up. So we did so.
So of course when we got there we started talking to her mom and brother and her about missionary stuff. They returned the camera and the lady said she would like to talk but wasn't sure her husband would be down. But she promised to talk to him and let us pass by sometime this week to find out whats up.
And then as we left Elder Vega was like "hey did you count how many that was?"and it freaking hit me. Ä FAMILY OF FLIPPING 4!!! Like what the heck. Holy cool.
Then that night we were walking home from mission coordination meeting and instead of us contacting people on the street, people contacted us and told us they were interested. Which never happens.
Then on Wednesday I had an interview with President Garcia. Holy cow I am so grateful that he is here. What an example and leader. And he told me some good stuff.
Thursday we went to Tijuana for a checkup of all the Trainees and Trainers, and I left with this awesome feeling of gratitude for Elder Vega. There are more than a few whose trainers aren't obedient, who waste time, who don't do the things that missionaries should do, and I don't have the displeasure of having a companion like that. So that was good.
Holy Friday. We contacted a lady about a week ago who told us that she wanted to talk to us so that she could convert us to her church. Lol some people. But oh well we arranged a meeting in a member's house, and when she got there we just kind of let her run things. She told us what she believed and we just kind of established common ground. Then after a while we asked if she wanted to just listen to a shortened version of our message, and if she didn't like it well no harm no foul. So we started lesson 1 from the beginning. And she got more and more into it. Every time she threw something at us, we calmly pulled out scriptures that clarified everything. Then we got to Joseph Smith.
Which is my favorite part. And I got to talk about the First Vision.
And as I recited those amazing words, the Spirit freaking kicked down the door, guns blazing, testifying the heck out of it. She kind of sat there for a sec, then she was like "well its beautiful, but it says in the Bible that no man can see God so I can't believe it." I looked at Elder Vega, who had his eyes closed. The dude was either praying or asleep, and so I had to answer. I told her how I think that God is all powerful, and if he wants to show himself to someone, He's gonna do it. And then Elder Vega opened his eyes, pulled out Exodus 33:11 where Moses talks to God face to face, and that was that. She believed it.
She ended up accepting a Book of Mormon and promising to pray and ask.
But it was so powerful. It was the first time that I have genuinely felt the Spirit testifying and opening hearts and minds through the words that He was putting into my mouth. Holy cow.
Saturday we found a lady, taught her lesson one, and set a baptismal date for her and her daughter, then Sunday we found two teenagers, taught them lesson 1, and set two more baptismal dates. So right now we have 4, with 4 more that we have set, but theyve missed church or haven't kept a commitment, But December is looking good. 

Les quiero mucho, y no puedo esperar hasta nos veremos. Cuidense mucho.
Hasta ver,

Elder Rawlings

Snap shot of Jenson's desk

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