Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thanksgiving in the mission field

At the Tijuana Temple
Dear All,
Pretty solid week. Went to the temple 4 more times, 3 of them with investigators. It. Is. Awesome. We also started teaching some of the references that we've gotten from the open house. One lives in literally the worst part of the city. I would tell you the stuff we've seen, but it would be a sin just to read it. Just suffice it to say that the corner before getting to their house has strip clubs on all 4 corners. Yep.
But yeah there were some pretty cool experiences. We had one reference that we got the first day of the open house, and we had been going to try and find her every single day since we got it, and we never caught her at home. Finally, on Sunday night, we got her, but she said to come back on Monday. We went back, and wasn't home. We decided to leave a note on the door, and usually we just write that we will pass by another day, but this time we felt like we should put that we would come by the next day, at the same time. So we go. And she was there. And it was one of the most powerful lessons of my mission, and it only lasted 15 minutes. When we were leaving, she told us "You guys needed to be here today. At this time. Not yesterday or any other day before. Right now is when I needed you." Wow. Things like that just prove and re-prove to me the truthfulness and power of this calling and this work.
Thanksgiving was a pretty good day; started off giving my first Multi-Zone training. It was pretty cool. I'm pretty used to getting up in front of people and talking so it wasn't too hard. Then we went to go eat with a sister in our ward. Supposedly, we were getting a turkey dinner, but at the last minute there was a change and instead the sister gave us carne asada, probably my favorite. BUT, sadly, we couldn't eat too much. Partly because of an appointment, and party because we had already been invited to eat Thanksgiving dinner with and American guy in another ward. 
Which turned out to be the weirdest Thanksgiving dinner of my life.
So first off, my first day here in this area, we ran into an American guy who told us he was a member of the church, and also a member of a local motorcycle club. He's werid. There's just no other way to say it. He's had a rough life, but he's a strange man.
Turns out, that same man is the one who was going to give us Thanksgiving Dinner. But holy moly did the dude go all out. A giant turkey, 3 types of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and marshmallows, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cooked carrots, rolls, everything. It was all pretty good, but it wasn't like being at home. And then the dude tells us his whole life story. Turns out he's an ex-NYC Bounty Hunter. And he looks the part. He's probably about 50, gray hair pulled back in a ponytail, beard, flowy white hawaiian type shirt, the works. Nice guy, served us well, and we ate everything. The whole zone was there (except the sisters haha whoops) and we all spoke English. It was funny cause there's a brand new american kid here who is still struggling with the language, and there is another new Mexican kid who doesn't speak any English. So we are all chatting in English, and the new american turns to the new mexican and says, in broken spanish, "How you feel right now is how I feel every single day" haha it was just a weird turn of events.
Sunday was pretty dope, cause we got to go to the temple, just missionaries. They opened it just for us. So President Garcia took us through the temple and gave us lots of time to admire and ponder and pray and it was amazing. And that's when it's still not dedicated. It's gonna be so special, even if we can't go as often as we would like. But yeah. That's all right. 
This really was a good week. We've seen some miracles, and even though it's been super rough lately with baptisms, it's all good. I'm just happy.
Hope you are all getting ready for a great Christmas season, and I hope you are all sharing the heck out of the new video "Nos Ha Nacido un Salvador" (or whatever it's called in English.) If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out. It's good.
Los quiero mucho, 

Elder Rawlings
with the Robles Family

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