Sunday, February 8, 2015

I love being a Missionary!

Dear All,
Fun week. The first half was pretty normal, the only really exciting thing we did was exchanges, and I went to another area with an Elder who came out at the same time I did, but he's from Bolivia. And he and I get along super well, so that was way fun. Also, something cool: the rule in Mexico for all missionaries for about about 2 years now is that we are heavily discouraged from just knocking doors, because it can be dangerous and it's not super effective. But our Zone has been way down in success as of late, and Ensenada is probably the most peaceful city for 1000 miles. And just so you know why, it's cause all of the cartel member's families live here, so it's kind of a neutral zone. Or so they say haha. But anyway due to the lack of success and the peacefulness of the city, we have now been given full access to knock every single door we see. So that has created some fun experiences. For example, with Elder Peralta, the dude from Bolivia, he always tries to open the doors after he knocks. I don't know why but it's super funny. Anyway we knocked a door, and as he started to turn the handle, we hear a voice: "Elders...Elders..." and we are like what the actual heck. And then it kept going: "Tell me about José Smith Elders..." and then the door opened and this old dude was there.
He had a peephole that we didn't see and was talking to us from behind the door. We just thought it was like when the angel appeared to Alma and the sons of Mosiah.  So that was on Thursday.

 Now I'm gonna go back to Sunday real quick cause it relates to Friday. On Sunday, the ward secretary came up to me, pulled me aside, and said "Hey man, so I'm getting sealed in the Temple on Friday, and I don't have a suit, but we're about the same size, would you help me surprise my wife?" So I was like "do you want this one that I've got on or the gray one?" And so he borrowed my gray suit, and then got sealed in the Temple. So I'm just basically the ward wingman.

Also on Friday, we went to work, and it was starting to get a little bit cloudy. But we were like yeah whatever let's just go it won't rain. So then as we are teaching our first lesson, on the front porch of a lady's house cause she was alone and so we couldn't go in, it started raining. Hard. So we tried to make the lesson super long, but it kept raining. Eventually we just ran. And to where we ran, they weren't home. So we ran to the neighbor, who is a less active member, and taught a lesson there. Then we got a phone call that the lady with whom we were going to eat was stuck at work and if we could please go and buy something ourselves and she would reimburse us. So that meant about an hour's worth of travel to the nearest grocery store to buy something cheap but filling. And then as we leave the store, it had started raining again. But this time we had nowhere to go. So we walked home in the rain, and when we got there, we had mud up past our ankles and we were soaked through. Except not really, cause we were walking fast and uphill the whole way, so only the front of us got really wet. It was super funny and I should've taken a picture, but I was too worried about getting into dry clothes and eating haha.

Then on Saturday we had a baptism. It wasn't technically a convert baptism, but I'm gonna count it like one. I don't know if you remember the first picture I sent you guys of me and Elder Vega with a recent convert who had just reactivated, but that dude got to baptize his daughter. And we have gotten super close. Therefore, I know most of his life story. This guy was a drunk, he would cheat on his wife, and he was using some pretty hardcore drugs. Then the missionaries came by and he decided he wanted to change. He shaped up enough to get baptized, but he still had a lot of bad habits and he would mess up bad sometimes. But then, the last week in December, he called Elder Vega and I over to talk to him. And he said he really wanted to baptize his daughter, and that he was going to fast to be able to do it, and asked if we would join him. We said heck yeah, and then that Sunday, my birthday, he told us that he felt so good, and finally felt worthy to baptize his daughter. So after Elder Vega left, Elder Lopez and I have been passing by their house two or three times a week to help him memorize the prayer, understand the doctrine, and basically help him to not feel so nervous. And it has been amazing the change.

He is a different person. It is absolutely incredible to watch. And the baptism was so cool. This dude, who was basically a street thug, started to cry he was so happy. It was amazing. I freaking love being a missionary.

Anyway, that's my week. Hope everything goes well this week, and Sadie and McKay HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You're turning what, 9? I remember being 9, it was like 10 years ago. Love you kids.
Les quiero mucho,

Elder Rawlings

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