Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Gospel is 100% true

Dear All,
So last week was just a really funny story. On Sunday, we got to the sister's house who was going to feed us. And she served the food and we asked her if she was going to eat with us (most times they don't I don't know why) and she said , "no we already ate, actually we already said the prayer too so you guys just go ahead." and we were like "Ok we trust you guys" and started to chow down. It was decent food, nothing to complain about, but at about 2am that night I woke up and my insides were just hurting. Spent the night on the toilet again. Actually me and my companion took turns running in and out. Not fun. So it got to the point where we were going to go write, and we felt pretty decent, we had taken pills and stuff, and we thought it would be all right. But we have to take a bus to get to the nearest internet, and I think the bus ride kind of jiggled everything loose and as we sat down we knew it was going to be a struggle to get through the hour of writing. I was doing all right, but I could see my companion basically folded in half with his face on the keyboard. I poked him and asked if he was all right. He looked at me and didn't have to say much, just "We have to go. NOW." and so we paid super quick and ran out, leaving the emails half written and everything. We found the nearest bathroom, next door in a movie theater, which was weird cause we are missionaries that's like the last place we should be. But yeah that's why I didn't get to finish writing last week. 

But yeah these past couple weeks have been weird. Lots of ups and downs. One of the ups was a salsa competition that we did with the ward, in which my salsa took 3rd place. Whatever. No big deal. Another up was the face-to-face with Elder Holland, and the biggest was this weekend's stake conference. It was a way dope meeting, presided by an area 70 from Guadalajara, Elder Jesus Ortiz. He was super cool, and when it finished we went to go say hi to him. Turns out he and my companion had the same tie on, so of course we took a picture. Then he told us that he's going to write and article in the Liahona in a couple months and is gonna use that picture. #famous.
Other than that things have been pretty chill. This morning we went and ate breakfast with a guy in our ward. That was pretty chill. I'll forward you guys the pics cause the ones I have on my camera don't want to upload right now. But yeah everything is going well, the work is good, the ward is awesome, and the zone is working hard. What more could we ask for?
This Gospel is so true. 100%.  Every detail, doctrine, and teaching. I love it so much, and I love seeing how it works in people's lives. I love how the Lord prepares people to learn about Him and get back to live with him. #Aleluya is amazing. We had a lesson the other day, and it was a pretty chill lesson, and then at the end we showed the video and everyone was crying. Then, when we knelt down to say the closing prayer, the brother, and ex alcoholic, said "Thank you, Lord, for softening my heart and letting me know that I can have a new life." Those are the moments I live for. It was so special. 
Look for missionary moments in your lives, you wont regret it.
Los quiero mucho,

Elder Rawlings

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Super short email this week

**This all we got from Jenson this week, an incomplete email, I am sure we will learn more in his upcoming email**

Dear All,
This week was cool, we started our hardcore exchange cycle, going on two exchanges this week, which was kinda rough, but it was cool at the same time. For example, I got to go with Elder Lopez, my first trainee, who is one of the District Leaders here, and that was super weird. Just imagine working alongside someone for three months, trying to teach him everything you know, and feeling like he´s just not good at learning and getting frustrated and stressed every day, and then not seeing him for a year, and then coming back to work with him and wow he is a stud missionary and working hard and a lot more mature. It was really cool kind of like a proud parent moment. But yeah so with him we pretty much just decided to knock doors for a few hours cause his comp doesn´t like to and they don´t have a whole lot of investigators. As we knocked doors, we came across one where an older gentleman answered the door. Literally as soon as he saw us, he told us to come in. That was weird to start off with. Then we sit down, and he was like ¨Yeah I´m catholic, but I´ve been thinking for a while now about becoming a Mormon.¨ And in my head I was like ¨Nahhh this has got to be a sick joke no one is this cool.¨ BUT IT WASNT THIS DUDE WAS BEING SERIOUS. So that was a pretty cool thing that happened.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Remember to make sure one of you have the house keys

Not a recent picture of Jenson, but one that his first companion in the mission field posted on Facebook.  I love to see how much he as grown and developed this past year and half

Dear All,
So this week was pretty cool. We only worked in our area for like 3 days in total because of all the meetings and conferences and stuff, but we ended up having equal or better numbers than most of the zone, so that either says a lot about how we are working or how the rest are working haha. But yeah this was a week of miracles. I'll do my best to remember them all.
One, we have an investigator here (I still don't know who she is) but my companion told me that she is super chosen, but she got cancer a few weeks ago and is in the hospital getting chemo right now. So anyway we went to the hospital to see her and give her a blessing and stuff, and to get into hospitals it is kind of hard here (maybe it is the US too but I can honestly say I have never tried to get into a hospital in the US so I don't really know.) But we had to pass by two security guards. The first one we just pulled a Mission Impossible and walked by confidently and he just assumed we knew what we were doing. The second one wasn't so easy. She asked us for our passes, which we defintely didn't have. So we back off a little and try calling the investigator, who hadn't answered all day. As we call, a nurse comes up to us and says "Hey, Elders what are you doing here?" and we explained that we wanted to go give a blessing to the person. She asked us what bed she was in, which we didn't know. BUT in that very moment the investigator's husband answered the phone. We asked him right then and there what bed she was in, and told the nurse. She takes us over to security #2 and tells her that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and we won't be longer than 10 minutes. Not sure how it happened, but we got in. She told us which elevator to go up, where to go, and everything. And then she was like "Yeah I'm an RM". Woah cool. So we went up, and the lady wasn't there, but we left a note on her bed. When we came back down, friendly nurse wasn't there anymore, and neither was the security guard. You can take that as you will.
Another was that I almost, but didn't, get arrested hardcore. But before I tell that story, here's another one.
My companion has some converts here in this ward who were going to move. We tried all week to visit them, but because of already mentioned meetings we just couldn't until Friday, which was they day that they were going to leave. So we get to their house, knock, and no one comes out. We were like dang, looks like they already left. My comp was pretty sad. But then as we turn to leave, we decided to knock the house next door, where the mom of this family lived. So we knock, and boom, there comes the convert family. They told us that we came in the exact right moment, cause they were about to leave like 15 minutes later. It was a pretty sweet moment.
Ok yeah now I'll tell you about how I got arrested.

So on Wednesday, we had a meeting with all of the Zone Leaders in the mission, which means that those from Mexicali and San Louis Rio Colorado have to come in the night before because the buses can't get them to Tijuana early enough in the morning. So we were expecting a companionship to come from Mexicali Tuesday night. And that day was kinda crazy, we had to go back to the house in the middle of the day and fill out a progress report for that night. 
So we came back to the house to get that report, and when we left, I thought my companion had the keys. He must have thought that I had the keys, but neither one of us said anything. So the point is that they keys were in the house, and we had no idea until we got there that night, with another companionship. So we were straight up locked out. The first thing we tried was climbing up on the roof, letting ourselves down on the other side, and seeing if the back door was unlocked. It wasn't. So the only option we had was break or cut the lock on the front gate. Let me describe the house real quick. Its one story, blue and has a space in front for a car or patio or something. The point is that there is a metal fence that serves as a garage door pretty much, and then like 20 feet behind it is the front door. So we had to break the padlock that we put on the fence to get in. The fence doesn't swing or anything. it slides back and forth. So the next thing we tried was pulling on the fence to see if the lock would just break open. On like the third try, we noticed that the fence was getting pulled out of the walls and bringing a solid chunk of wall with it. That seemed a little bit more expensive than a lock to replace, so we put a stop to that. We knocked on the neighbor's door, and he gave us a hammer. We tried hitting it, but just couldn't get a good shot. Then the neighbor come out with a hack saw. Boom. I grabbed that sucker and started cutting away. I'm like halfway through the lock, and hey look over there a cop car coming this way. He sees us, turns his lights on. and as he passes sounds his siren. Keep in mind, from the looks of things we are breaking into this house. And I was the one with the tools in my hand. These were my thoughts, in Spanish:
"No invente. Ya valĂ­. Me voy a dormir en el bote."
I was convinced that I was gonna sleep in a freaking mexican prison. That would be a sweet mission story, right, but I don't thing Pres. Garcia would like that too much. It would probably be one night in prison and the next in Cumming. My whole life flashed in front of my eyes.
But then the cop car just passed right along. I don't know how or why it happened, but I about had to change my drawers. That was really a miracle.
So yeah. Pretty interesting week. Having an American companion is the funnest thing ever.
Keep being cool, read your scriptures every day, and remember that this church is true and the only one that is led by a living Christ.
Los quiero mucho,
Elder Rawlings
PS since I was the one sawing, I didn't take any pictures, but they will be sent to me by next week. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Transferred to a new area called Americas

Dear All,
First off, yes, I got transferred. My new area is called Americas 1 and my new comp is named Elder Gove from Layton Utah. It's kinda cool cause my last area, Independencia, was the first ward and stake here in Tijuana, and Americas was the second. So that's pretty chill.
But yeah this week was pretty freaking cool. On Tuesday, we got a call from the asistents that there was an Elder coming here from Brazil who was going to get here a week before the rest of the new ones and if we could please take care of him for this week. So we were in a trio this whole week and I started learing Portugese. Which was cool cause on Monday I bought a Book of Mormon in Portuguese to start learning, so it was like a dream come true. His name is Elder Rodrigues, and he is a stud. He is one of the most prepared missionaries that I have ever seen. He didn't seem new at all. He taught well, wasn't afraid of talking to people or knocking doors, overall an awesome missionary.
But yeah the week was pretty dang good, which is kind of how I knew I was going to get transferred. The weeks before I leave an area always seem to be like super great, and this week was no different. We just worked super hard and started finding some really chosen people. And then investigators that we already had started getting way cooler. Like that lady I told you about last week, who was super chosen, she's already reading in Jacob in the Book of Mormon, and she's been preaching to her whole family about it. She said she loved the part about how there are only two churches, and then she turned around to her husband and was like, "Hey honey did you know that your mom goes to the Devil's church? Cause she doesn't go to this church and this one's God's church." So that was pretty flipping sweet.
It was pretty hard to say goodbye to some people. Independencia really is a great ward. The members were legit, they helped us out a lot and they were super funny. And they all knew how to cook really well so that was sweet. We pretty much spent all day Sunday saying goodbye, which was cool cause we ate in every house except for one. I decided that I need to learn how to really cook Mexican food before I go cause it's really really good.
But yeah that's about it for today. We'll see if this area is more dangerous that the last one, I doubt it but it's a real possibility (not to worry you or anything mom<3) 
The church is true.
Los quiero mucho,

Elder Rawlings