Monday, February 24, 2014

Courage Take!

This week was up and down for me, but we had some miracles happen which was super awesome. I don´t have time to type them all sorry, but here´s a small one.

Hermana Gonzalez lost her tag, we´re positive she was wearing it as we left the apartment but then it fell off so we retraced our steps and couldn´t find it anywhere. She was pretty disappointed, but we´re all given two in the beginning so it wasn´t the end of the world, just inconvenient. Anyway she woke up Sunday morning, two days later, and her tag was under her pillow. :)

In other happy news R. and M. are gonna get married and then R. baptized this week! So extra prayers that everything goes well cause if the paperwork doesn´t work out for the marriage, R. can´t be baptized. I really love that family so much, attached is a picture of Thati and Pato (nicknames I have no idea what their actual names are haha). I had my camera to take pictures with the family and they ran around saying take a picture of me doing this! take a picture of me doing this! So they climbed this tree and I told them they looked like monkeys. Also the other picture is us with all of them!

One thing I´ve been learning on my mission is that we really are literally in a battle against good and evil. There are both good and evil forces around us. But the happy news is that good is destined to win. Courage take, for goodness sake :) and when you´re outta courage and you´re ready to break... you´ve got your father and mother, sister and brother, pulling to together we can work it out! haha go saturday´s warrior (an old Mormon movie). but really, I am so grateful for you guys, your support and love, and I love and miss you all a ton!

Questions from the family:

Any more carpincho encounters?(the rodent Amanda ate last week that tasted like rancid tuna)
thank heavens no!

You said your companion was practically puking after eating the carpincho but were you not?? how did you stomach it?? 
haha yeah hermana gonzalez was gagging in the street but it didn´t make me nauseous, just the taste was horrible and both our stomachs hurt after. 

What's your favorite experience teaching someone a lesson?
It´s hard to pick. Off the top of my head I´d probably say the one teaching B. that I already told you guys. It´s just always awesome when you can tell that the person really gets it, and can feel the spirit touching their heart.

One of the things Alyssa (a recently returned missionary and friend) said, was she wondered why they call it Pday because it's really P hours. You still have the same morning schedule and then only a few hours to get so much done and then the evening is regular proselyting again. Is that similar for you?
AMEN. It´s exactly the same, and it´s honestly hard sometimes. at least for me. Also, it´s called preparation day and not personal day for a reason. You really only have time to do everything you didn´t have time to do the rest of the week. agh.

And do you pay every time to get to use the internet at the cyber?
yes, but it´s relatively cheap and it doesn´t bother me at all because it´s so worth it!!

Loved seeing the pictures and hearing about the youth activities!  You are the only blonde. Where did you get the cute white shirt with dots in the youth mission picture? I don't recognize it. 
Hermana Moraga just recently gave it to me as a present. It´s from the Maria´s, the giant yerba mate plantation corporation thingy right next to Virasoro and as far as I understand it is the reason we have a town here.

Also, you look very "you" in the gardening picture, like it is something you are very comfortable doing. Remember your awesome job of manure mixing you did with Dad? Who knew then that the fields and hearts of Virasora were awaiting your touch?!
haha yeah it was fun, and something familiar so it felt good. I do remember that, how fun it was and then I was all brown after! :)

How is it going with your companionship project of you feeling like a good missionary?
it depends, but goodish. The hardest part I think is having the humility and energy to just keep trying and trying and trying. and trying.

How is your language comfort level by now?
pretty good, I can understand about everything in a lesson, and about 80-90 percent of just random encounters. depends.


hermana rawlins

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hooray for Mondays!!

I´m doing well, this week seemed kind of long and Valentine´s day made me suuuper trunky, but things are good here in Virasoro!!

This week we had the special privilege of eating carpincho. Look that up and then cry for me. It´s some local animal and it tasted like horrible rancid tuna. Hermana Gonzalez was basically throwing up in the street as we walked home haahaha. So hopefully we don´t get served that anymore. ugh. 

I have never sweated more in my life. But there was a storm and the heat broke so it´s been nice and cool the past few days, which was a wonderful break. I actually wore a cardigan one day! Woot little blessings :)

My mission is unearthing a talent in me for being resourceful, which I didn´t know I had! I do things like that all the time and just make it work. We had a problem because our air conditioner was dripping water on the sign of the hairstylist below us and making it dirty, so he told us to do something about it. I successfully fixed the problem with an old tube laying on the balcony from a previous air conditioner, plastic from a water bottle, and tape. Go me. And then I was like, I´m totally my father´s daughter :) 

This week we also did a service project which was fun except I got super sunburned because I forgot to wear sunscreen (sorry mom!) and then on Sunday we had a class with all the youth where we talked about missions and gave them all little plaques so that´s the other picture. 

Sorry this letter isn´t all that great, but I promise I´m doing well!

I love you all a ton, pray for you always, and am so thankful for your love and support.

love, hermana rawlins

Monday, February 10, 2014

disculpame por este belated letter

helloo family!!

Sorry this letter is coming so late, our leaders decided to have us travel to Apostoles for a meeting and activity with our zone there (which we weren´t that excited about) and there wasn´t room in the cyber there so we had to wait until we got back to virasoro to write. But here I am!

So I´m doing well! Transfers are this week but we found out this morning that Hermana Gonzalez and I are staying together here in Virasoro. I´m happy about that, because I really love Virasoro. But it´s also a little hard to think that maybe it´s because the Lord thought I couldn´t train. Which is probably basically true, but I was a little down about that when I found out. It´s the kind of thing where I don´t believe in myself and don´t want to do it, but I do because I want to see that I can, or that the Lord thinks I can. I have little self-confidence in myself as a missionary, but have told Hermana Gonzalez that and so our project this transfer is to help that. Anyway, that´s that. 

 Mom asked if there´s anyone in Virasoro that I want you guys to pray for. I´ll tell you about R.  and M. Her family was the first ones baptized in Virasoro when she was a little girl, but after there were problems and she completely went inactive for years. Her 15 year old daughter has faithfully come to young women´s for I don´t know how long (since she was 12 ha) and so we visited M. when we got here. There wasn´t really any progress so we stopped, until G., the daughter, left for Buenos Aires for vacation, and sent us a message that her mom missed us and wanted us to visit.

So we did, and her husband was there (I literally just forgot the word husband and was about to type esposo oh gosh). He for years has been against the church, and was known to throw books from the church around the house and yell at them or whoever visited. Apparently some poor visiting teachers practically left running from the house sometimes. Anyways, we invited him to sit down with us that time we visited, and the Spirit touched his heart and long story short they´re going to get legally married, he wants to be baptized, and have a goal to go to the temple. The gospel really is about change.

Anyway, the reason I´m telling you this is because we´re having all sorts of paperwork problems for them to get married. Argentina is kind of ridiculous sometimes. So that´d be something great to pray for and we´re excited for that family and the very real changes that we´ve seen in them just from the time we´ve been here. (Also G.  still hasn´t come back from Buenos Aires to see her family saying prayers and going to church together and having family night and everything, so we´re really excited for her to come back to that :) 

One thing I´ve really felt on my mission so far is how grateful I am for you guys and all your love and support. It really means everything. I love hearing from all the people I love back home and really appreciate everything you tell me, your love and encouragement for me, your funny stories, and when you say things in your emails that sound exactly the way I can picture you saying it. Anyway, I just love you all a ton. Enjoy valentine´s day for me!!  I´ll be sending my love for everyone from here, and eat some candy for me!!

Questions from the family:
Do you like the walking shoes you bought? Are they good mission shoes?
Yes I do, the black ones from missionary mall are nice except with the heels (they´re not really heels just arch support) they´re kind of hard on unpaved roads because the ground is uneven. I also wear my other leather pair really often, they work pretty great because I added in the arch support, and they match with the light colors I wear most often in the heat here. I wear the keens the least, they´re not as comfortable for me.

lots of love,

hermana rawlins

Monday, February 3, 2014

I Survived Santo Tome (and I want a tshirt saying that)

So this week´s been good! I was in Santo Tome until Wednesday night. Something funny that happened on pday when we were at the border. Everyone in the restuaraunt we went to was speaking Portuguese and all the Latino missionaries freaked out. They were like "I can´t understand anything, I feel so lost!!" and all of us American missionaries were just sitting there calmly cause it was 100% normal (to not understand what’s being said around you) and so we said bienvenidos a nuestro mundo and then Hermana Gonzalez was like wow, you guys sound buenos! So that was honestly rather satisfying, though probably not the most Christlike feeling to have haha :)

Then in Santo Tome our leaders decided it was a good idea to have us do a division (temporarily switching missionary companions) where me and Hermana Mann got left to our own devices in Santo Tome. Hermana Mann has less time in the mission then me, so we were like why are you gonna leave the two gringas alone in Santo tome!?! Santo Tome is also a really hard area, like casi apostate. Literally. So we were pretty much terrified together. But we managed to leave and teach a few lessons and somehow we found the guts to actually try to contact some people in Spanish.

But it was also fun to just get to chat with Hermana Mann in English. Their pension is horrible with cockroaches and frogs just running around on the floor and all sorts of other problems. Not exaggerating. Only on a mission will you find two gringas walking around a border town of Argentina, trying to talk to people in Spanish, then come home, relatively calmly remove the frog from the kitchen and the cockroach climbing onto the ceiling above their beds, and then go to sleep with peaceful hearts. So that was my Ihavenoideahowthathappened moment of the week. The enabling power of the Atonement is so real. So often I think I can´t do this I can´t do this, and then somehow you just kinda stand up and do it. 

Another highlight was when we got to teach B., a teenager the sisters found whose family was inactive. The first time they visited he was just not interested at all and so Hermana Mann followed a random prompting to offer to teach him English and he was interested so they started doing that. Then apparently the day after Hermana Mann offered that he tried to kill himself. So they very specifically were focusing on him and trying to help him. I met him Monday night after pday when we went there and he was pretty happy to see two Americans to teach him English :), and then we went Wednesday as well. 

Wednesday we decided to share with him Alma 7:11-12, my absolute favorite scripture about the atonement. We read it and were like what did you understand and he said honestly bascially nothing. So we were like okay, what do you know about Christ, and he said bascially nothing. So we very simply started explaining that Christ came to earth to save us. Our mistakes have consequences, like when you touch something really hot getting burned is the consequence. So Christ came to the earth to feel all the burns of everyone, so that He could help us. We told Him because of this Christ is your best friend. Oh my goodness his face literally changed. It lit up with hope and happiness with the knowledge of His Savior and best friend. Then we talked about prayer and how because of this you can pray for help and he said "hace tres dias I´ve been praying" (sorry I´m bad at translating) and we said thats awesome! how do you feel, and he said what translates to "I´m walking happier" :) Then he offered the most sincere prayer at the end of the lesson and me and Hermana Mann walked away almost crying. Things that like make it ALL worth it, if even just one person will realize that they have a loving Savior who is willing to carry them through every trial and hardship.

So that was one of my favorite moments of the week :)

Questions from the family:

How is our favorite Amanda that we love?
I´m good, glad you haven´t replaced me quite yet :)

The main thing I want to ask for you to see now is if you want to write anything in particular to the ward
(local congregation). 
Honestly I don´t have anything particularly, I´m not very good at being profound on the spot. :) Just send everyone my love!

How much ice cream do you eat on a weekly basis? There seems to be a recurring theme in pictures...
haha funny em, you come here and try not the eat the ice cream in this heat. The answer actually isn´t that much, like once a week, but it´s also just one of the things I take pictures of cause it´s something fun :)

Any more stampedes of horses?
nope, I have been safe recently from stampeding horses.

Has J. accepted that he is in fact 12?
haha probably not, unfortunately he got moved back to live with his dad (it really is unfortunate and not a good situation for him) so I haven´t seen him.

I love you all a ton and pray for you lots!!
love, hermana rawlins

my feet after a really long, dusty day


my letters I got this week!! One each from Brian, Pri, and morgan.
That was one happy night :)