Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Birthdays and Cambios!

So first of all ahh so much birthday love!!! I can't handle it!! I have ZERO time to respond to everyone who sent me an email, but just know that I appreciate it all so much and they're all printed out for me to read and treasure!! Thank you for the love!! :) 
the birthday love started on Thursday when I got my package!! I couldn't wait to open it so promptly did haha :) Hermana Tapia and I took a video of me opening it like on Christmas, so you can all look forward to seeing that in the future :) I LOVED it all! packages are extra special because they're few and far between and so I was pretty happy :) I don't have time to name it all and thank you for it all, but THANK YOU!! :) there, that should cover it :) What it really made me realize though, is that what I love isn't in the things. they're not what made me happy (besides the mint oreos- those are pure heaven :). What I loved most about getting it was in the things that made me think most about you guys. I pictured Alli picking out the shoes for me, dad putting in all the crystal light packets like we drank together at work, and who is it that remembered mint oreos are my favorite? :) And ISSAC (Amanda's nephew) oh my gosh I looked at his pictures like 10 times over and over again. He's waay cuter than gmail does him justice, I can't wait to meet him!! (Oh by the way, ese I got your letter with the pictures too! thanks, so cute!! :). 
Also, it made me realize that one thing I am seriously lacking is pictures of my family. I came on the mission with two. One of the family together, and one of brian and Elder Espiritu Santo. So can you guys slip pictures in regular envelopes and send a few? Pictures of whatever really, kayla's selfies, me and brian, pictures of the family together, I don't have any of Alli's wedding, anything! I realize that this is probably super belated as I only have 7 months left. oops. Anyway yay pictures! I love you guys so much and want to see you! :)
Also another reason is because no one here believes me about what I did before in my life! No one believes I played soccer, was a lifeguard, or liked science. Anyway, I've gotten off on a tangent. :)

So the other big new item is cambios! I thought for SURE I was gonna stay here in encarnacion aand... nope. I'm going to Saltos del Guaira, which is super super far away from everything. It's six hours to Cuidad del Este and then another 3 or more up to Saltos. I've kind of always had a feeling that I was going to go up north to Paraguay, but also been kind of afraid to. It's really campo, not that that's a bad thing, just means more adventures!! And I think I'm going to miss the centro a little because... they have everything here. But I won't miss working in the centro, so that will be a nice change :) It's also super super close to Brazil so I'm hoping to pick up some Portuguese!! Eu no falo nada. haha. literally. I think thats super wrong.
Saltos is where Hermana Anderson started her mission, so I'm sure she's super pumped. You can probably check out her blog for pics. My companion is Hermana Torres, who is from Guatemala and has about 4 months in the mission I think? and I have never met her, but they say she's nice! And I'm also not an HLC anymore, which is fine. The zone already has one and doesnt need another one, so I'll just do my thing. 
Also, I'm going to miss Hermana Tapia. We've really had a ton of fun together and I love her a lot.

To celebrate my birthday we went to a cute place for lunch, worked on my present for Alli which is currently uploading to dropbox :), and then another pair of hermanas are coming once we leave the cyber and the zone leaders gave us permission to watch... SATURDAY'S WARRIOR yaaaayy!! :) It helps that the zone leader's mom is in it, haha :) So that'll be fun and then we have a family night with an AMAZING family here who is just really the best, and also with my favorite investigator that we have. I don't want to say goodbye to her she reminds me of my sisters! :) And then tomorrow will be full of packing and saying goodbye and then wednesday I'll be traveling allll day to Saltos! The next time you hear from me I'll be all the way up there!!

Okay I've got one spiritual thought for you guys this week that I loved. We watched Finding Faith in Christ with a family and at the part where Christ blesses the bread and fishes for the thousands, the thought came to mind. "It is the same with us." God has given us talents and ablities, but even when we do all we can do with them, it comes short. We manage to bless or help only a few people with our supply of 5 loaves and 2 fishes. "But what are they among so many?" (John 6:9). But that's okay with the Lord!! He didn't chastise or yell at the little boy for only having a little. Christ understands us and loves us. And it is only in the moment when we hand over what we have willingly to the Lord, we give Him our all, as little or humble as it might be, that a miracle occurs. We say,"okay, well today I've only got these 5 loaves and 2 fishes to offer", and He takes us, blesses us, and then only through His grace is our offering miraculously turned into something extraordinary. Because of His power and touch, it is made to bless thousands

I'm not sure if I explained that the way it is in my head, just think about it some and it will probably make sense :) 

I just love you all so much and am so so thankful for my eternal family and for the many many people I can call my friends. Your love means waay more down here in Paraguay than you will understand, but I will forever be thankful for it. 

here's to new adventures!! :)

Love love love,
Hermana Rawlins :) 

me and my awesome new shoes!! 
almost cried. legit. I still havent eaten them yet, saving them for the perfect moment... which will probably be this afternoon :) 

the Elder was good to his word and the package came with this stickey note haha :) 

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