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 :)

1 comment:

  1. Sister Rawlins- Thank you so much for sharing your missionary experiences ! it is a blessing to know how the Lord is working through his children to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It sounds as if the teenager, 'B' has been touched by your testimonies and you've brought light into his heart reminding him of the Saviors love for him- I pray that he will continue to have an open heart and continue with spiritual enlightenments that come through missionaries such as you.
    You are an example to all and your sweet spirit radiates through your testimony shared. Thank you for being the terrific missionary you are and for selflessly devoting yourself to serving the Lord in these latter days.
    Love to you from PA
    Sister Lynch