Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the latest letter from your favorite sweaty American here in Virasoro!

(her title, not mine)

hi family!

Questions: are there any particular experiences with families you are working with that you can share?
Umm I´m not sure what kind of thing exactly you want me to share. I´ll put a note in about S., one of my favorite people here. He is totally a friend from the premortal existence, and I am absolutely positive of that. He was baptized but had some pretty hard family problems, and is now inactive. We´re trying hard to help get him back, because he´s totally amazing and we need him. He still has his little consecrated oil holder on his keychain. The problem is actually getting him to ACT. He knows what he needs to do but doesn´t want to do it because he knows it will be hard. I can relate to that.

You talked about some least favorite parts of your days when we skyped. What part do you like most?
haha, I was meaning to tell you guys that too. :) My favorite parts of the days are tied between the hour that I get to email you guys and feel your love and support, and the other 7 hours of the week called personal study where I get to talk to Heavenly Father and feel of His love and support.

Are the new missionaries coming in tomorrow?
Yup, cambios are tomorrow and me and hna gonzalez are on edge. Four new zones are opening up with the increase of missionaries, so that means new zone leaders and new sister training leaders. President emailed out and announced that and talked about how with the increase lots of people don´t have a ton of experience but we still need to respect their position, etc. We haven´t gotten the call telling us what will happen yet, but we´re gonna come back to the cyber at the end of pday to let you guys know, assuming we know by then. AH!!

Update from later email: ch ch ch changes…...aren´t happening to us this time!
We get to stay here in Virasoro and stay together for this transfer, which we´re both happy about! The big changes I still don´t totally understand the details but I know Virasoro is a new zone. But our district still includes Santa Tome, and so we´ll be traveling to Santa Tome (an hour away) every week for district meetings because our new district leader is there. It´s even closer to Brazil, haha. A new set of Hermanas is coming to Santa Tome as well, one of them being a sister training leader who leaves in February, and she´ll be training. I hope it´s an American so I can have a friend and someone to help. :) aaand that´s about it.

Did anyone in the ward give you Christmas gifts?
Yup, I´ve started a little stash of gifts and stuff like Dad has from his mission in Chile. The members here are really great!

Okay so I LOVED talking to all of you, minus the part about saying goodbye. Rest assured I was sad for a little and then was quickly cheered up by the Brazilian telenovela that the Moragas were watching in the family room, that made me laugh. 

I attached a few pictures from Christmas, one of us with a family loving the snow
(we sent her a little bottle of “just add water” snow), and the other with my little Christmas tree I set up Christmas eve as tradition.  Also you can see part of my really sweet tan line.

I wanted to read this thought to you that I had during personal study on Christmas while we skyped, but ran out of time. (Seriously it felt like 5 seconds). In Posadas at the Christmas devotional one of the assistants challenged us to think of what Christmas meant to Heavenly Father, how He felt that Christmas night. I honestly don´t think I have the emotional capacity to fully understand that, so instead I decided to think about what WE felt that Christmas night. This is what I wrote in my study journal.
"What did we feel as we watched our older brother prepare to leave our Heavenly Home and atone for our sins? Was all Heaven silent with reverent awe as the Savior of the world was born to Mary and Joseph in that lowly stable? And then did each of us, with all the strength and faith we could muster, burst forth into singing with the Heavenly hosts, praising God and declaring that our Savior had started His Earthly mission? "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Surely we stood with our loved ones there, squared our shoulders, and determined to fulfill our own mission on Earth, to have faith and honor this Perfect Son who came to suffer for us, with us, so that we could be exalted. Surely we bore testimony that only through Jesus the Christ we could have peace on earth, good will toward men. Surely our hearts were full of these glad tidings of great joy."
I have a testimony of that, and am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ. 

Also I wanted to tell you more about everything here. Its hard wanting to describe and tell you guys so much and not even knowing where to start! 

my area has random horses walking around. We´ll be walking down the street and randomly men in traditional Argentine clothes or little boys doubled up on a horse will walk by. I really enjoy it actually. :) There´s also this one street where two random goats live and no one seems to claim them so they just wander around, which I think is really funny. And on that same street with the goats, we were sitting outside a members house sharing a scripture and all of a sudden hna gonzalez said "Mira! El mono!" and these two monkeys were climbing around the tree across the street. It´s at those times I stop and go OhmygoshwhatamIdoingwithmylife and crack up a little. Those moments happen a lot here. 

I love you all a ton, and am learning to just go along with the crazy hardness of a mission! Some days that works better than others :)

-hermana Rawlins

OH I forgot I wanted to tell you this morning that it´s so hot that sometimes the cold water supposed to be coming out of our faucet isn´t even cold. Which means that the shower water isn´t cold. That´s right, not only is it hot enough that I WANT to take cold showers, we complain that the water isn´t cold enough. I´m going to melt here, so it was nice knowing you all.

love you a ton!!

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