Tuesday, August 26, 2014

God is For Us

So I'm doing good! Just have a bunch of random news for you guys today. :)
What's the name of Dan O'Rouke's trainer in Bahia Blanca? (Dan is a church friend from Amanda's home in Pennsylvania) Cause if it's Elder Figueredo... I met his mom haha. They're from here in Encarnacion and last week her son was expecting a new missionary to train! Cue small world after all music...

One fun new thing that happened this week is that I officially got started into teaching piano classes. Ah! I still remember one time when Sister Hansen (Amanda's piano teacher) during a lesson was like "Amanda you need to know this for when you teach piano lessons. And I was like, "what the heck Im never gonna have the guts or knowledge to teach piano!" ...and now I'm doing it... in Spanish. It's fun, and even though I was really hesitant to do it, it turns out its one of THE best ways to get people to at least walk into the church, so I decided Heavenly Father would help me and I could just try it out. I teach an hour of piano lessons and Hermana Tapia teaches an hour of English lessons every Saturday and last weekend they had a really good turn out! It's humbling for me though, cause I know music (well, mostly) but I don't know it in Spanish. So I ask a question like "what's this called?" and hope someone knows the answer because if no one knows than I say "well I dont know either haha". But it's all good :)
Oh, but one thing that is different here is that everybody and their dog learns music by do re mi instead of A B C, which I totally don't like but have to pretend I know what I'm talking about. I think it works, or at least the people I teach dont know enough to tell :)

This week we have a zone conference on Thursday which I'm really excited for!! And a large part of that is because it means maaaail!!! And maybe a birthday package! I'm especially pumped because its been two months since someone's crossed over from posadas with mail so hopefully there will be some!!

And then we're doing everything we can to help R get baptized on Saturday, so extra prayers please!! His leg is super bad and he needs a lot of help and literally has no money to even eat. So we're trying to help him out and if everything goes well, he'll be baptized on Saturday and start a new life. He's just the best.

And my only other exciting piece of news is that the church here is right next to the Japanese consulate... so I stuck my finger in through the rails of the fence and my finger has officially touched Japan. I'm just going all over the place on my mission :) 

I love you all a ton and promise I'm doing better and have more fun stories and love and spiritual thoughts and just so many things to tell you all that jamas will fit in a short email. I often imagine the moment I'll get to sit down with you all and share everything I want to! Plus I'm collecting fun presents ;)

I love you all eternally and loved something that Daddy shared with me this week: to never forget that God is for us. Psalms 56:9. "When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me."  And as a song I have here says "If God is for us, who can stand against us?" It's a pretty good song, but thats not the point :) I know that God is for us and watches over us. A word that has really stuck with me this week is "lovingkindness". I know that God is full of lovingkindness.

love you all!!
-hermana rawlins :))

Sorry I didn't take very many good pics this week!

 a picture from the ruins last week that I forgot to send
me and my homies. We were supposed to be making funny faces, but not everyone got the memo
We ate at a resturaunt that claimed to have a "Philly Sandwich". It was actually pretty decent, minus the bread.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My trip to Asuncion... and Chile!!

So I spent a lot of time sending you guys pictures since its been a few weeks!
I don't really have anything new to report this week. The most exciting thing we did was when we went to Asuncion for Hermana Tapia's paperwork, so I got to sit by the temple again, have another near-temple experience in the distribution center (haha), and then i got to go to CHILE!!!! We went to the consulate and since the consulate counts as a part of that country... well I've been to chile. I've even been to the bathroom in Chile, so it´s official :) But that was a fun look into dad´s mission because all the chilean missionaries were with us and all started off with their hilarious personalities, singing chilean songs and speaking a language that sounds nothing like the spanish I know :), and it just made me smile and think of daddy because I could totally tell he got along so so well with them. They all walked into the consulate one by one and introduced themselves by city, and I was last and walked in and they were like "and oh, she´s american" and the old man in charge shook my hand and took my shoulder and said "Well they´re our friends too!!!!" haha. (hallelujah that chile and the us are on good terms. phew.)
ALSO daddy, Hermana tapia´s mom, who is chilean, well Hermana Tapia said she talks ALL THE TIME about her liver and that anything that hurts its the fault of her liver. "oh your head hurts, hija? It´s your liver." hahaha I died when she told me about it :) 

In other news, it´s like spring here which is nice and springy, but also so not nice because it´s supposed to be pure winter in August and now that its already getting hot... it has like until February to keep getting hotter. I´m going to die. I honestly think I have a little bit of a psychological fear of the heat from what I passed through in my first months in Virasoro. So, prayers please?

Also, I wanted to share that a senior couple missionaries were here like 6 months ago and the people here still talk about them and how nice they are and how they helped everyone but doing simple things like teaching piano and helping with chemistry homework. So Grandpa and Grandma Rawlins, know that your influence counts and lasts! Hearing the people hear just makes me think of my own grandparents doing the same thing! (Amanda's grandparents are serving a mission in Bakersfield, California)

Soo... I don´t really have anything more to share. I´m doing fine and just chugging along. This morning I was thinking about instruments again and how even when the instrument thinks the notes are coming out wrong, well it is in the hands of the Master and He is the one reading the music. I know that is true and that He has a plan for us.

love you all,
Hermana Rawlins

my mate cup!!

we found a cute little lunch place and this is what happened

I remembered that as a little girl all I wanted to do when we went to the temple was to touch it, and I made Dad lift me up so I could touch the REAL brick of the DC temple, and not just the door. And I remember in that moment as soon as I touched the temple I felt the spirit. So that's what a did in Asuncion as well. 


I felt like my father´s daughter :)

today a butterfly ate out of my hand! ...kind of

Guys, I couldn{t remember any of my anatomy!!! SO SAD

This is a piece of the stone wall that fell off.

These are the ruins we visited today! They're called the Jesuit ruins from the European people who came and built them or something... I super paid attention to the tour in spanish haha not

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Like the Pioneer Children

So I don´t have anything huge or profound to share this week. It was a fine week, but it was also the week I felt the most ´maltratado´ ,or mistreated, in the mission. People weren't very nice to us. We walked and walked and walked. I´ve decided that saying for the pioneers shouldn't actually be with faith in every footstep it should be with pain in every footstep. haha. I´m super witty. Anyway, so we walked and contacted and walked some more. I´m losing weigth woot! That´s the plus side. Saturday was my ten month mark in the mission!! I really can´t hardly believe it. We celebrated that day... by walking eight hours. We calculated at the end of the day and we had only stopped for two hours, one of those being the hour we sat down for lunch haha. But yay, ten months!! Ive only got eight months left which is like six transfers which is nothing!! I´ll be home and struggling to speak english before we all know it. 

Sorry I had good pictures but again the computer has problems so I can´t send them. I also had a video for Ese´s birthday, but can´t get it up either. Happy Birthday Ese!! The video was me, looking very tired, holding a picture of Isaac and saying ´your baby´s cute.´ Also Happy birthday William too!! I can´t remember what day it is but I know it´s soon haha
One thing I forgot to tell you guys last week is that the M family sent me a package!:) I almost cried. N and S, the two twins, have both now started their missions in separate missions in Chile, so there were notes for them thanking us for the being the first sisters they knew and a GORGEOUS mate cup that says Amanda on it I was so touched and happy. I´ll send you guys a pic when I can.
and the other highlight of the week was when a tiny little girl came up to me and asked ´vos sos Jesús?´ meaning, are you Jesus? haha :)

Questions from the family: 
how are you?? do you have any investigators we can pray for? or is it best to pray that you will find investigators? 
I´m good!! haha yeah probably the last part, that we´ll find people :) But there´s also J, a little girl who loves the church but needs permission and support from her parents, and V, an old man who wants to be with his wife (who passed away) forever but doesn´t really let us talk to teach him. 

Really glad you get to go back to Pilar for helping them out. I’m sure you can be a godsend to a new American, especially.  You totally remember what that was like, I’m sure. What do you do for a 6 hour train ride back and forth, though? 
So yeah this week we went back to Pilar and it was really fun!! It was fun to surprise the members and see them all again. Going back, I felt as if the members knew that I had loved them and loved me for it, and so that was a satisfying and peaceful feeling to have from the trip. And Hermana Finlinson is the new sister and it makes me feel good helping her out. When she calls me I just try to listen. I do remember what it was like, oh yes I do. My goal is to be for her everything that I didn´t have. 
The six hour ride haha. Well, I´m still typical Amanda which means I pack all of the books ´just in case´ I want to read them and have big plans of all the things I´ll read and write... and then end up staring out the window the whole time. typical. :)

okay I love you all the work is hard but i feel good doing it!!
lots of love,

Hermana Rawlins

Back to Pilar!!

haha the titles not what you think keep reading :)

your pictures are so pretty! do you switch between your two name tags or is the one just for fun? 
thanks! I switch between the two but then always end up pointing to my tag and saying the church´s name in spanish and realize it says it in guarani, which like no one reads hahaha. all the missionary have the tags in guarani mostly cause theyre fun

So do you still get to learn more Guarani in Encarnacion, or that was only applicable in Pilar?
Theres way less of it here in Encarnacion, i think because it´s more of a city. but we can still say some things and people understand!
So I´m mad because I had some good pics to send you guys but the computer won´t open my card file because it says it has too many viruses. Which is concerning in many ways. wah!! my pictures! I will praise the day when Im not using a sketchy argentinian or paraguayan cyber as a computer. wanna stick my mac in my birthday package?
One of the pics I was gonna send is of me and my new zone leader, Elder Ollerton. Because JULIE FLENDERS FROM SATURDAYS WARRIOR IS HIS MOM!!!!!!! I DIED when he told me and then the rest of our zone lunch sang Dear John and various other selections. A sister in my zone said "I´m so glad you know the songs as much as I do because my companion )another American) thought I was sooo weird when I knew all of them. hahaha. Anyway, imagine a picture of me really excited next to an Elder awkwardly standing there. Best Tuesday discovery ever. 

Also, can you guys send me more family history? You can consider it a way of getting in touch with your family history and hastening the work!! :) 

In other news, this week we found out this week that we´re the HLC´s in charge of Pilar!!! So we get to go back and help out the new sisters get adjusted to Pilar and see some of our friends again! We´re excited and we´ll leave tomorrow probably to go down and do divisions with them until Thursday. (it´s six hours away so we´re staying for extra long to take advantage of it) It´s especially fun for me because Hermana Trillo´s companion is a sweet new American so I get to get to know her and be her friend and help her out! She called me last week and was like "is it normal to not understand ANYTHING your first day!" and I was like "sister... yes. you´re ok. don´t worry." So we´ll be off to Pilar yay!
Also, I think it´s funny that little Isaac (Amanda's nephew) is like basically on tour. How bout he finishes the rounds with Paraguay?

And I´m so glad to hear that girls camp and scout camp went well!! Mostly that dad survived scout camp, that was good news :) and that everyone left with all their fingers still attached. (at least that you told me :)
This week was actually pretty hard for us here, we felt like Satan was working way harder against us than normal. Like nothing went the way we wanted it too. Something always happened so we couldn´t work the way we wanted too. Plus our area is gigantic now that the other pair of hermanas left so we just walk and walk and walk. 

Friday night was the low point of the week for me. I was physically exhausted, emotionally spent, and spiritually numb. We were walking in the street and I was so close to crying, which hadn´t happened since the beginnings in Virasoro haha. Then right then I remembered that right then all my dear and lovely Morrisville young women and leaders would be sitting around a campfire sharing their testimonies and singing Walk Tall together. So I decided to join in and sing along from Paraguay, hope that was ok and that my testimony and love for all of you somehow made it across the way.
Right now I have a prayer deep within my heart,
A prayer for each of you there is a special part.
That you remember who you are and Him who lives above.
Please seek for Him and live His way; you’ll feel His love.
Walk tall, you’re a daughter, a child of God.
Be strong—please remember who you are.
Try to understand, You’re part of His great plan.
He’s closer than you know—reach up, He’ll take your hand.

Long before the time you can remember,
Our Father held you in His arms so tender.
Those loving arms released you as He sent you down to earth.
He said, “My child, I love you. Don’t forget your great worth.”

This life on earth we knew would not be easy.
At times we lose our way—His plan we may not see.
But please remember always—please—that you are not alone.
He’ll take your hand. He loves you! He will guide you home.
So I walked along and sang that in the street and felt a little better. God is closer than we know. I love you all and pray for you constantly. Know that I´m happy here in Paraguay and that the Lord is watching over all of you, and me too!
Hermana Rawlins :)