Sunday, May 29, 2016

A week of miracles

Eating one of his new "favorite"treats....see below for the "treat"
Dear All,
Last week I didn't write and I'm sorry. It was a crazy day of zone activities and my companion travelling all over Tijuana to say goodbye to converts and getting there late to a meeting with president and having him get on your case in front of everyone and yeah good stuff. But that's ok. Today I got a new companion, Elder Rojas, from Puebla, MX, and in a way I get to train him cause he's a brand new Zone Leader. So it'll be fun.
But yeah these past couple weeks have been nuts. We ate a ton this week cause everyone invited Elder Ortiz to come eat and I didn't really complain. We found a super duper chosen lady too, check this story out.
So we were knocking doors one day, and we talked to a lady, about 30 years old, outside of a pretty shabby house. She had a little kid, and as we talked to her, we felt like something was out of place, like she wanted to tell us something, but couldn't. I'm not sure exactly how the question was that we asked her, but the point is she told us her Grandpa, who had raised her, had died the day before. Of course, we testified of the Plan of Salvation, and we set up an appointment. When we get to the appointment, we started talking, and she told us that when her grandpa died, they were going through his stuff, and found a picture of him, dressed in white, with two Americans with black nametags standing in front of a picture of Jesus Christ. She said when she saw us, she immediately thought in that picture, and that's why she let us come back. The spirit was felt as we testified that we met her because her Grandpa had guided us to her house. It was a pretty special moment. 
We also got a call early one morning from a member who said that she needed us URGENTLY in her house. So we ran over there, and there she was, sitting on the couch, with another lady that we didn't know that was crying. Check this out. So the crying lady just barely got here from SInaloa, because she has a son in Prison here in Tijuana, but they were going to release him early because they diagnosed him with terminal cancer. She had been meeting with the missionaries in Sinaloa, and when she found out that the lady was a member, she went and looked for her and asked her to call us. 
That by itself is pretty cool, but here goes the other part: The member is a recent convert, and she told us she still hasn't told a lot of people that she's a member of the church. But the day before, she ran into a neighbor, and felt the impression to tell him that she was a member of the church. So then this lady from Sinaloa was going from house to house, looking for people who would let her do odd jobs for a little bit of money to help her son, she ran into said neighbor. As they talked the neighbor told her "Go over and visit my neighbor, she's Mormon, she can help you". 
To quote D&C 88:72-72 "Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and I will raise up elders and send unto them. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." and 2 Nephi 27;20, "...and I am able to do mine own work". I testify of these scriptures. The Lord does his own work. Are we ready for when he blesses us with the people the He has prepared to share the gospel? Are we Spiritually sensitive enought, like this sister, to follow the prompting of the Spirit, even though we may not understand why? You never know the impact that your words can have on someone. Recently, I was told that a missionary in Ensenada was having a lot of success in Universidad, where I started the mission, and his success came from finding Old Investigatores that Elder Vega, Elder Lopez, and I had left behind. According to the story that I heard, they still remembered us, and had been prepared in this past year or so in ways that only the Lord understands (Isaiah 55:8). 
I was studying a lot about the next life in these past weeks, and I feel like I am truly, 100% converted to this gospel now, I have had a testimony for a while now, but I think my true conversion is really happening. We were talking with the Stake President this morning cause he gave us a ride to take Elder Ortiz and his suitcases to where he needed to go, and he said something that really impacted me. He said "Your true mission starts as soon as you get home. That's where you get to see what kind of missionary you really were." I hope in these last few months I can get the habits that I need to be not only a successful missionary, but also a successful husband, father, preisthood holder, and one say, an Exalted Being at the head of an eternal family. There is nothing more that we could ever desire in this life or the next. There is no other work more important than this one, because it is God's work and glory.
Los quiero mucho, sigan siendo excelentes personas, obedezcan a sus padres y sus lideres en la iglesia porque son inspirados por Dios. Este es el Evangelio restaurado, completo, y perfecto. En esta iglesia se encuentran las llaves del sacerdocio necesarias para que volvamos a nuestro hogar celestial. Lo se y se lo testifico.
Los quiero mucho,
Elder Rawlings

PS enjoy these pics ;)
grasshopper treat

petunia the pig, before

petunia the pig, after

Sunday, May 22, 2016

No email this week

We didn't receive an email from Jenson this past week. :(  We will wait anxiously for his email on Monday to find out what he has been up to

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cold, wet week

Dear All,
So this was kind of a wet, cold week, lots of mud and lots of wind, but it was good. Also lots of meetings and food and all in all a solid week.
Before I say anything else, Happy mother's day mom, I'm pretty sure I forgot to say it yesterday, but as soon as I hung up it came to my head and so whether I did or didn't, there it is. I hope it was a great day.
So this week we started with a crazy monday, cause we decided to work 3 extra hours, so we didn't have a lot of time to do anything. The reason that we worked extra was cause on Tuesday my comp's ex-companion was coming to Tijuana from another part of the mission for the Leadership Counsel on Wednesday, and the ex-comp of my comp has a companion that was with me in the MTC, so we decided to go to dinner together at this place called Sirloin, which is literally the same thing as Golden Corral or Chuck O Rama. So that was pretty chill. It was a good time. Then the whole day Wednesday we were in meetings, then on Thursday we had another meeting in the afternoon with the Stake Presidency, where we report all the numbers from all the wards in the stake, which can go really good or really bad haha. This time was good. The last time we had that meeting I was half dead with some serious diharrea, so I didn't talk a whole lot, but this time was a lot better. The stake President is in our ward and he's awesome.
We also taught a less-active family of 12. Yes, that number is correct. There is a mom, a dad, and 10 kids. And when we taught them we all crammed into a room about 10' x 10' and yeah lets just say lots of little kids and lots of voices and those parents have got to be the most pacient people ever. They are super chill though, I know the missionaries that baptized them, so that was kinda cool to talk about old times. 
But yeah I pretty much said everything yesterday. I don't know if I told you guys about the paralyzed lady that got baptized? If not, here goes, there was a lady in the ward next to ours that comes to our same building, and she's like 76 or so, and half her body is paralyzed, but her son is a member and she decided she wanted to get baptized. So she got baptized. It took 4 of us to get her and her wheel chair into the water, and then between the 4 of us we lowered her into the water. Then at the end, they asked her to bear her testimony, and she just started crying and telling everyone how happy she was. It was super sweet.

I hope you have a great week and that you give at least 1 new referral to the missionaries. They'll love that.
Los quiero mucho,
Elder Rawlings

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Ward Conference

Dear All,
This week was pretty chill. It was Ward Conference, so the whole week we had activities that were supposed to unite and pump up the ward so that the Conference was super chill, and so that was kinda fun. We started the week with mass visits, which they told us an hour beforehand that we were supposed to be in charge of, and then the next day was a sports day, which we were also in charge of, and the third day was a Talent show but no one brought talents to share they just did a giant FHE haha so that was cool. It was just funny how it was like "hey let's just have the missionaries do everything." It means that they trust us, but it was like "ok cool but guess what I have to teach and preach and work as missionaries do as well haha".
We had some cool experiences this week too, about a week ago a sister gave us some hand made chorizo from Zacatecas, which is supposedly super super good. And so our ward mission leader, who is from Mexico City and knows how to cook, came over and taught us how to make Pambazos, which are like sandwhiches with chorizo and potato, but the sandwich is dunked in salsa and then fried and then you put lettuce and sour cream and more salsa and cheese on it and wow it is soooo good. I ate 3 and then woke up with such a stomachache it was not even funny but it was so worth it. And I wrote down the recipe so that I can make it when I get home. You're gonna love it.
Also this week we found a whole street of chosen people. We knocked one door and this lady let us in and then told us that her brother died a month ago and that she was also looking for the true church. That was cool. Then we started walking up the street and we met her brother, who told us he was looking for a church because ever since his brother died he had started to drink again. There were a few others on that street that let us in, and it was pretty cool. It was definitely following the Spirit.
We also thought we were gonna get kidnapped, but since it didn't happen I can tell that story here. So we started getting weird messages from some guy who said he was an inactive ward missionary and that he needed to talk to us. But it was really weird like he kept insisting and insisting and we were like ok fine be in the chapel at such and such a time and we will see you there. Our plan was to get there early and kind of scope it out from across the street, but we were running late and so we didn't make it in time. So we got to the church, ready to punch and kick and not get kidnapped, but turns out it really was an inactive ward missionary who needed to talk to us. It was also mutual for another ward in our building, which we didn't know, and so there was plenty of people there and it was all chill. Just so you know that I do try to take care of myself and not get kidnapped or robbed or anything.
Anyway I hope you are all doing great. Keep reading the scriptures every day and saying your prayers. 
Los quiero mucho,

Elder Rawings

Sunday, May 1, 2016

I love the Temple

At the Tijuana Temple with Elder Ortiz
Dear All,
Don't have like any time to write, this week we worked super hard and it went well, we lerned just how big pur area really is (HUGE) and I went on exchanges with an Elder who just finished his training and I brought him to my area and me and my companion decided we wanted him to see what real work was like so I worked the kid (for lack of a better term) like a mule. We went up and down and pretty much at a jogging pace, to the point where we would get to houses and he would just collapse in the seat. It was good though, we got along well and I hope he learned something. 
Also, super cool, we got a call from President on Friday, telling us that an ex Missionary from here who had been my companion's companion was getting sealed here in Tijuana and had invited Elder Ortiz to go with him to his sealing. We got to the temple, and I was supposed to stay with the comp of the other elder who was going to the sealing, but they didn't show up, and so Pres looked at me and was like, "Well, do you wanna just do a session real quick?" and I was like "HECK yes please por favor." and he was like "alright go for it." AND IT WAS AWESOME. I LOVE THE TEMPLE. 
But yeah that was the highlight of the week. Love you guys. Keep being great.
Los quiero mucho,
Elder Rawlings

PS one of the pics is from a while ago when I had to break into my house