Sunday, May 31, 2015


Dear All,
Memorial day.
We killed our pet.
Now you're caught up. 
So this morning, we got up, said prayers, and my companion went to go finish passing numbers to the Zone Leaders, and I come stumbling into the kitchen half asleep, and then my compaion starts yelling at me. That woke me up fast. He told me to go look what was sitting on his blanket. I was thinking like a cockroach or a spider or something like that. But then I looked. And this is what I saw:

​(Dont worry that isnt the blanket he sleeps with)
He told me he had seen it when he got up to go to the bathroom, but he thought he was dreaming, but when he had passed by again he realized it was what he thought it was. A very dead mouse. RIP Mátelo.
So that's how I started this week. And this last week was all right too. We had exchanges 3 different times. So that was cool. On Monday the Zone Leaders came here with me to Robledo, and that was fun even though it only lasted like 2 hours. Then on Tuesday night another Elder came here and on Wednesday we went to his area cause our companions were in Tijuana. And the on Friday we went with the Zone Leaders again. It was nuts. But super fun. Except for Wednesday cause I was on bike and I hate bikes.
But yeah we had some interesting experiences. Lots of people jsut straight up rejected us. Which is something that hasn't happened a whole lot since I've been here. Also several people who we had been teaching and who even had baptismal dates just straight up disappeared. Like they don't exist anymore. Which kinda creeps me out a little bit. But whatever. The work moves forward. We keep finding people, we keep getting better, and this ward keeps growing.
It's actually kind of cool how that works. I've noticed that the attitude of the missionaries influences a ton how the ward works. For example, Universidad and Robledo are two areas notorious for being difficult. Members who aren't involved in Missionary work, hard hearted people, things like that. And yet, when we just put our shoulder to the wheel, the whole place changes. For example. This Sunday, we had three less active families that came to church. And we didn't even visit them. They just said they felt the need to be there. The more we work, the more the Spirit is in this area. And those people who have recieved the promise of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost are more perceptive to its whisperings. That's where the desire to come back into the fold takes place.
But the coolest thing of this week. We had lunch with this awesome dude on Sunday. He's an English teacher so guess what we spoke the whole time. And then he tells me he served in the Mexico Couliocan mission. And I was like "Hey I feel like I know someone who also served there." And then when he was giving us a ride to our appointment, it hit me. So I asked him, "Hey did you ever meet an Elder Stock on your mission?" And guess what. He said yes. So take advantage of seeing Brother Stock tonight to tell him I met the guy who came in to replace him when he left the mission. His name is Daniel Rosas. He said they only knew each other a few days but that Elder Stock was famous in the mission. SO yeah I thought that was pretty cool.
Anyway, my week was pretty normal. Hope you guys enjoy yours.
Les quiero mucho,'

Elder Rawlings

Sunday, May 24, 2015

100% chance of rain

("formula for success: pick a house that looks promising, knock on the door, and they will let you in" shown in the photos)
Dear All,
What a week.
So remember how I kept saying that Mexicali was super hot? It still is. But this week was different. Everyone was telling us "watch out guys theres a 100% chance of rain on friday" but we were like yeah ok haha here we are in the middle of the desert it'll rain for like 10 minutes and then it'll just be super hot again. So yeah. More on that later.
It was a pretty good week. On Tuesday we had a training with Presidente Garcia; he came to talk to all of the bishops and Ward Mission Leaders here in this stake. And he asked for the missionaries to be there. So that was cool. And he pretty much exhorted everyone on all sides. It was way fun to watch. And then the Stake President spoke. Man that dude is powerful. Incredible speaker. And when he talks his has this face like he is furious at something and he moves his hands a lot and the whole thing just gives it this dictator-type vibe, but talking about the Gospel. It's super cool. 
On Wednesday we had a pretty cool thing happen. We went to go visit someone who we have been teaching kind of off and on because she doesn't go to church, but she really wants to learn. Also she has a son with a knowledge of the scriptures that is absolutely mind-blowing. So we went to visit her. And she was telling us how a couple months ago she and her husband were talking about how they wanted to join a church, and that day her husband had come home from work (he's a taxi driver) and said that he had met some "Hermanos" and had invited them over to the house, but then they never showed up. That made me think a little bit. About two months ago, when I first got here, I had gotten into a taxi on exchanges and we had spoken with the driver, who had given us an address on the same street that this lady lives on. But when we had gone to visit, they said that no one lived in that house with that name. So yeah we left it at that. But then I pulled out my Planner and looked at the reference and asked the lady what her husband's name is. Yep. It's the same dude. I think we heard the number of the house wrong. But still. It's pretty cool how the Lord works to make sure his children get home safe.
Not a whole lot more happened this week. It was a good week. 
Haha just kidding. I know you're dying to know what happened with the rain. Here we go.
So we left the house at about 10:45, after we had finished studying. And it was raining, but not a whole lot. So I was like yeah, whatever. But it didn't let up. And so we started working, and we ended up finding some pretty cool new people. And then it started getting worse. And we didn't have umbrella, jacket, nothing. So that was good. So we went to our house, cause members were going to bring us food, and when we got home we were soaked. We changed real quick, ate, and then left, but with umbrella and rainjacket. And it just kept raining and raining, and holy cow it's still raining. It finally stopped at about 6:30, exaclty when we finally had a member available to give us a ride. So we went to a lesson, and when we left we had the option to take the long way, or pass through a field and get to the next appointment in about 3 minutes. We decided to take the field. After all we were in a car what could possibly happen.
SO yeah about 30 seconds later we were stuck. So this guy gets out, we get out, his girlfriend takes the wheel, we roll up our pant legs and start pushing in the mud. Pretty soon it got unstuck, and she just took off, leaving us about 100 yards of field to cross on foot. So we got out of there and all of us were about 3 inches taller cause of the mud on our shoes. It was pretty fun. Overall, it was a good day. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Well yeah that's my week. Hope you guys had an even better one.
Les quiero mucho,

Elder Rawlings

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another transfer down

Celebratory root beer floats in honor of  making it though another transfer 
Dear All,
Holy cow this week has flown by I feel like I just talked to you guys yesterday. Weird how time works.
Anyway this week has been pretty cool. On Monday after I wrote you guys we went to a member's house with all the Young Men and played pool for a few hours so that was a pretty solid day. Then of course we went to work and had a pretty cool lesson. It was with a family we found knocking doors. They had let us in, and we had shared a little mini lesson with them, and then on Monday we had set an appointment to go visit them. And at the end of the lesson, we asked them to pray. And one of the daughters offered to do it. So we taught her how, and when she prayed it was super cool. It was one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard. When she finished, her mom was crying super hard. It was a pretty solid moment. 
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty solid, and then Thursday got weird. About 5 in the afternoon, the sky started getting cloudy and then it started getting really windy, and I started getting really excited. I thought it was gonna rain. And I miss rain. But no. It didn't rain, it just got pretty cold. (Actually they told us it was like 70 but when you compare that with 105, it's pretty freaking cold.) And Friday was the same way.Super "cold" haha. But it felt nice. It was the first time I haven't sweated in my sleep since I've been here (and if sweated isn't a word, judge ye). 
Also on Friday we were on exchanges and I was with that guy from Mississippi I told you about. He is a blast. There's a neighborhood here called "Caminos del Sur" (Ways/Paths of the South) and so he went and took a picture of it so that he could, in his own words "send it tuh mah daddy" (You've gotta say it out loud) because "The South gon' rise again!" 
Saturday was brutal. I don't know if I have had a day quite so physically demanding in my whole mission. We literally didn't sit down until about 7:30. Every single lesson we taught was outside the person's house. And they didn't feel like bringing out chairs. So we were on our feet from 11 am to 2 pm when we ate, then we left at 3 and were standing until 7:30. It was a hard day. But I had been listening to that talk from Elder Wirthlin "Come what may and love it" and so I was doing a hard job of not complaining, just laughing at how rediculously hard it was and how incredibly my feet hurt. But it ended up being a good day. We found a few solid new people to teach and we gave away all the Books of Mormon we brought with us. So yeah. Worth it.
Sunday was pretty solid. We went with some members who have laptops and let us call, and so that was nice. They made us steak and pasta and salad and it was like a normal sunday dinner at home. And then I got to see you guys and all your cute little faces and it was pretty cool.  I just forgot everything I was gonna say. 
Then we got home and celebrated a little bit one more transfer completed (see attatched photos.) It was pretty solid.
So yeah that was my week. Another transfer down, only 10 more to go. As much as I wish it was 20 or 100, that's just the way it is.
Stay classy,
Les quiero mucho,

Elder Rawlings

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Adventures in hot Mexicali

Dear All,
Calm down guys I have hand sanitizer haha. And I already fixed my shoes too so yeah. I'm doing pretty well.
But this week was SO HOT. Holy heck. It was brutal. And with the heat the people either don't leave their hose, so there's no one in the street to talk to, and the people in the street already hate being outside and then two dudes with shirts and ties try and talk to them and make them stay outside longer just makes them mad. It's not that they're bad people, in fact I totally understand. I hate being outside too.
But yeah that's about how it goes. I had my first experience almost getting killed, so that was cool. We went to this one neighborhood where it looks like they're some decent houses; they all have two floors and we saw a few cars (which means they can go to church by themselves haha) and so we went to knock doors. But then we started noticing that the vast majority of the houses and cars were straight up abandoned. And then we knocked a door and this dude was like "Yeah last night we got robbed and while were in the house and so we are cleaning up right now sorry come back another day". Warning bells 1 and 2. And then we get to the end of the street, and I see this guy coming out of this giant empty field behind the neighborhood, and I think "OK yeah he looks pretty sketchy I'm starting to not like this". But I didn't really look at him closely cause I didn't wanna start anything. But then my companion grabs my arm and says "Elder, vámonos ya" (Elder, lets get the heck out of here). And so I look at the dude again and notice he's hiding an ice pick behind his back and looking at us kinda funny. So we wait for him to turn the corner and BAM we take off running. Never again are we headed back there. 
Other than that nothing really interesting happened this week. I got sick for the first time, a combo of dehydration and some sketchy mexican food. But yeah I'm all better.
Two funny things about this place: this week we have started seeing a ton of giant inflatables. Apparently there's a ton of little business that rent em for like 600 pesos ($50) for a weekend. So these people have these giant inflatable water slides for their kids to play with while the parents sit around cooling themselves off the old fashioned way. And by that I mean they just get drunk. 
Another funny thing. 5 de Mayo has no meaning here. I don't think there's school today, but other than that no one celebrates anything. It's a normal day. So yeah haha we Americans are pretty dumb.
Also I found something kinda funny in the scriptures the other day. In Alma 10:6 it mentions the exact date of Amulek's conversion. Go look it up. It laughed for like 10 minutes.
I hope you guys are all doing well. I'm doing fantastic, in spite of the fact that's it already getting to be more than 100 degrees here.
Les quiero mucho,

Elder Rawlings

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A solid week in Mexicali

Dear All,
Pretty solid week. Actually not so much it was pretty hard. But it was all worth it.
So we have been taking hits these past couple of weeks with investigators who either start working on Sundays and can't go to church or they just literally disappear. It's super frustrating. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and he when he wants us to know how much we are loved he does it in a huge, amazing way.
This week started off kind of like last week. We were finding lots of new people. But, as the scriptures say, "Many are called, but [very] few are chosen". It applies to missionary work. For example, of the 63 new investigators that we have found since I came here to Mexicali, we have 10 baptismal dates. It's hard work in the extreme. However, I feel like I'm growing a lot (hopefully a few inches ;) )
I don't have a whole lot to say this week, so I'm just gonna tell a funny story and then tell you guys about the baptism.
So we went on exchanges this week so that the Zone Leaders could do the baptismal interview for the people we had getting baptized. And the dude is American, played football, loves BYU sports, and is crazy, so I knew it was gonna be a fun day. Anyway, we were walking down the street practicing our English, and this lady calls to us. "HEY Elders! How's it going??" So we whip around and start talking to her. I sort of half recognized her, and the last time I thought I saw her I swear I remember her having a young child with her. So I asked her how her kid was doing. HAHA. Whoops. She got kind of serious and then said the following: "Yeah, he's good I guess. He'll be out of prison hopefully May 5." I died. I was fighting so hard not to laugh. It was so bad.
And then, still with the American dude, we started knocking doors. One lady let us in, and she was in a wheelchair. We asked her what had happened and she said that when they were putting the roof on her house one of those metal bars fell down and stabbed through her foot. And when they went to the hospital the doctor basically said to put a bandaid on it. So it got infected. But she trusted the doctor who had told her that it would heal pretty much by itself, so she let it go about 6 months without treatment. Then finally she went and had another doctor look at it, and right there and then he did surgery. So just imagine what this foot looks like. It was repulsive. And the whole time we were teaching here, she's sitting there rubbing the heck out of it. I threw up in my mouth about 9 times. And she had this powder on her foot, I don't know what it was for, but all of the sudden, from within the hole in her foot comes a drop of liquid. And I watched it trace its way through the powder, and then splat on the ground, nice and yellow. And then she shook our dang hands with that hand that had been rubbing that foot. I wanted to cry. I think I did.
But yeah that was on Friday, and then on Saturday we had Interviews with the president. That got me hyped. And then we had a baptism. It was pretty cool. They were two kids of a family that we've been teaching for a while. The mom and the dad couldn't for other reasons, but the kids were right there. Super awesome. Heck of an experience.
To answer your question, Mom, the ward here is about the same size as Universidad, about 70 or so active members. We do have our own building, but it is smaller than the Casa de Oración in Ensenada. The area is very big; we only work in a small part because there are a lot of gated neighborhoods who don't like missionaries. But its pretty cool. In my ward there's two English teachers, so I can practice a little bit. But it's a pretty good ward, I don't have really any complaints. They aren't tied to the missionaries like Universidad, but they're good people.
Anyway, that was my week. Hope you guys are all doing well.
Les quiero mucho,
Elder Rawlings