Saturday, December 13, 2014

Good Week in the Mission Field

Playing Spanish Charades with Elder Vega and a family
Dear All,
I´m just gonna jump right in by saying that I made one of the best
(dumbest) choices of my life this week. And it was monday, so it set the tone for the week.
So we were shopping for food, and we are supposed to focus on buying fruits, veggies, ya know, stuff that we are supposed to eat but never do. But Elder Vega and I have both been trying to eat more healthy, so we were buying fruits. And that´s when I noticed that the watermelons were really cheap. So of course I put one in the cart. Then I was like hey smoothies thats basically fruit right? So then I went and put a gallon of milk in the cart too. And then other stuff, apples, oranges, bananas, good stuff, and then we paid and then we left. And that´s when it hit me. The grocery story is at the bottom of a hill. A big hill. And we live at the top of said hill. So guess who had to carry a watermelon, a gallon of milk, and a ton of fruit up the side of a mountain. I couldn´t lift my arms the rest of the day. Just to describe this hill, I´m gonna compare it to the one between Publix and Aberdeen (my GA buds know what´s up there). So yeah.
Tuesday and wednesday not a whole lot happened, but then on thursday we had FHE with a family who had invited a less active sister with a daughter-in-law who isn´t a member. So we taught the Atonement, how it had to be infinite, how every single person living, that has lived, or will live will recieve those benefits, and how we can use it to be clean from sin and sadness. And it was powerful.
And then after the lesson we played a game, as is tradition with a Family Home Evening. And it was movie charades. And it was in Spanish.
And I rocked it. I had to act out ¨transformers¨ and then at the same interpret titles of movies rapidly in my head because most of them are named super differently here. But it was way fun. Mexicans know how to party.
Friday was good too. We were at lunch with a member (she works so she just had us meet her at a restaurant so that was cool) and we got a call from an investigator who we had set a baptismal date for Saturday with, but she hadn´t been progressing, and so we had stopped visiting her. But she called to ask us how many lessons she still needed and if we could give them all to her that night so that she could be baptized the next day. We kind of laughed and said no, she needed to attend church a few more times before we would be allowed to baptize her, and she was like ¨ok, when is the soonest I can get baptized if I go to church?¨ And so we went to her house right after that, and set a new date, and then she came to church on Sunday, and is super excited. So that´s super exciting.
On Saturday, we decided to go up to an area of our Area that´s called Sauzal. I think I told you guys my area is HUGE. We usually only work in the bottom fifth or so, cause that´s where all the members live and where we´ve had success in the past. And even that part is huge. But we decided to take the 30 minute bus up to Sauzal to look for all the less-actives up there and contact the heck of it, and it was awesome.
Most of the addresses we had were bad, but there was one that we both felt determined to find. And finally we found it, at the top of an apartment complex. And we knocked on the door and a young lady answered. We asked if the name we had lived there, she said no, but then we started to do our missionary thing and talk about Jesus. She loved it. We gave her a pamphlet for the Plan of Salvation and she started reading it in front of us as we talked to her. When we asked if we could come back to visit she pretty much jumped in the air as she said yes. So that made us feel good.
Later Saturday, we went back to the area where we normally work to eat, and it was so good. It was with the lady who gave us the gigantic bananas, and this time did not disappoint either. It was a stew with beef and what I thought were jalapeños (but no, but I´ll get to that in a sec), and beans and rice and carne asada and zuccini and basically enough food to feed us for about a week but she wouldn´t let us leave until we ate all of it. Worth it.
We left to catch a bus to go visit a recent convert who had stopped coming to church. He is super hard to get ahold of, cause he goes to school from 8am to 2pm and then works 2:30 til 11pm. So we had prayed a lot to be able to go visit him. And we get on the bus and who do we sit next but this guy. So that was cool. And then it got cooler. He told us he was going to get off earlier, but at the last moment decided not to. So we taught him, reminded him a little bit of his testimony, and then he was at church the next day. So yeah that was way cool.
Sunday was a heck of a day. There is an american in my ward who just moved here after getting baptized in Ohio, and he´s getting ready to recieve the preisthood. He just needed an interview. But he speaks zero spanish. So I got to translate the interview. And holy cow. What I testimony I was able to gain for the power and authority of the office of Bishop. It was kind of like I was the straw through which this american was drinking the Spirit. Weird metaphor I know, but I can´t think of a better one at the moment. So that was super cool.
Then we had ward council after, and that was hilarious. All these leaders of organizations yelling out suggestions for what we are gonna do for the Chirstmas activity. The best part was the Bishop yelling back that he was gonna set the schedule and just make assignments. And then he told us the schedule was gonna include a dance because he missed going dancing with his wife. And people cheered. Lol. It is so different here.
Then we got home from church, and we had some down time, so I made a shopping list. That´s when Elder Vega told me that if I like the ¨Napoles¨ from yesterday then I should buy some cause they´re cheap.And I  was like uh what what´s that? Turns out that what I thought was jalapeño was FREAKING CACTUS. I ATE A CACTUS. And it was so good so good.

Dad asked me if I could share a little bit of my testimony, so I´ll go ahead and do that here.
I know that Christ lives. I know that he is my Savior, that he loves me, and that He knows my name. He has, just as he always has, extended His merciful arm to us here on Earth in the form of living Prophets and Apostles who lead and guide us today. I know that along with that, He has restored his Holy Authority to the Earth. I know that there is real evidence of this truth that we can all have, and that evidence is the Book of Mormon. I testify of the power of that book. It will answer any question of the soul, and, as the Prophet Joseph Smith said, we can grow closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book. I invite everyone to read, pray, and find out for yourself. I promise, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that you will find peace, safety, and security that only the Spirit of the Lord can bring.

Que estén bien es mi oración,
Les quiero,

Elder Rawlings

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