Tuesday, October 28, 2014

For Halloween I think I'll be Hermana Nethercott

Questions from the family:

How's it going with your new companion?
Awesome!! Seriously awesome.
Who accompanied you for the picking up trip?
We traveled together to Cuidad del Este on Tuesday night, then I spent Wednesday with Hermana Cuevas in Cuidad del Este just wandering around cause it was neither of our áreas. Which was actually a huge blessing, she's great to just talk to. Then Hermana Nethercott arrived, we spent the night in cuidad del este, and made it to Saltos Thursday afternoon!
Sorry you don't get to see your buddies before they go home! Crazy you have friends going home!! We're excited about April! 
me tooo!! And you're right, it is crazy. This morning I made the mistake of counting how many weeks I have left in the mission. Its 22. I told Hermana Nethercott and she was like, "wow think about it, you'll only write to your family 22 more times, and then you'll see them again". WHAT. So we're sticking to saying 5 months, because the weeks sound way too short. I promise Im not getting trunky, I'm still working hard :)
How did your haircut turn out?
It didnt. We got lost and couldnt find the beauty salon. Im gonna try again next week, but I'm getting seriously worried because ALL OF MY HAIR IS FALLING OUT. Like it usually does, but lately a craaazy amount falls out. Like chunks!!!! Its ok for Elders to bald on the mission, but not Hermanas!! I need my hair!!
So things are super good!! I feel super blessed to have Hermana Nethercott as my companion. She has answered SOO many of my prayers already, its amazing. Heavenly Father listens!! She is relieved to be able to talk in English and she loves chocolate too so at nights we just buy chocolate and lay on our beds and talk, it is wonderful. She helps me learn soo much spiritually too. Love it. Love her.
She still struggles with Spanish a little and so poor thing now besides that everyone is talking to her in Portuguese and Guarani!! This morning I was in the bathroom in the mall and hear her say "Hola, como esta?" to someone (in Spanish) the person goes "tudo bom" (in Portuguese) and all of a sudden Hermana Nethercott goes "wait, what?!" ...in English. I cracked up :)
But I LOVE the mix of languages, its so much fun. Im steadily picking up my Portuguese! :)
So yesterday during church it was apparently the missionaries turn to speak, which not one of us missionaries knew. Hooray for surprise talks!! I decided to share the miracle of the butterflies with them, and then at the end I said like two sentences of my testimony in Guarani. And everyone liked the butterfly story, but no one would stop talking about the two sentences of Guarani!! And I was like, seriously?? I just shared a super good experience, and all I said in Guarani was "God loves us"!! But that's really all that mattered to them, was the two sentences in Guarani. So if you want to win a Paraguayan over, learn Guarani :)
Also this week, we were walking down the street at night heading home, and a random man pulls over on his moto, stops, hands us a bag of three apples, says "Here's a present for you" and then drives away. We were both too confused to do anything smart like ask him what his name was or anything, we just took the apples like "...what??" and watched him drive away. So thank you man who gave us apples!!
Also, I MISSED MOLE DAAAYYYY. I looked at my calendar from Pri this morning and couldnt believe it. So shameful!! This year there werent any molasses cookies from Ese in the mail to remind me :)

What stresses you out the most at this point of your mission and what do you do about it?
This is a really good question, so I saved it for last.
I honestly dont really know how to put it in words. What stresses me out at this point (and always has) is the constant push for improvement. I really struggle with perfectionism or feeling like my efforts are never "good enough" because there is ALWAYS something to improve. I feel like the mission is a magnified, intensified, mini "life" experience, and that seems to make things like this harder.
 And as a student who could always tell if I was doing well or not based on my grades, it is hard to know if my best is my best. Before I could always push myself really hard, (or not really have to, depending on the class :) and perform well. Now I struggle to know if what I am giving is really my "all" (though I dont know what more I have to give) or if I need to continually push myself harder to be better. The answer is, of course, that if we give it our all the Lord is happy and then yes, we do need to push ourselves continually to be better, but I just find the whole process exhausting and anxiety-producing.
How can one know if they are reaching their potential?  How do I know if I really AM doing the best I can? 
A while ago my zone leader gave me a blessing and it said "know of a surety you are doing the best you can" but at the time I totally felt normal, even mediocre in my efforts. So is that the way my best feels? just... normal? 
So THAT is the hardest part of the mission for me. Any thoughts, from anyone, would be appreciated :) How do I cope with it? I dont really know, try to talk to other Hermans and just pray.
But I promise I'm doing well and I promise I'm happy. I love you all so much and am extremely grateful for you and your love!!
Hermana Rawlins
p.s. the computer today has an annoying habit of autocorrecting my words to spanish, sorry.

this is me and hermana cuevas trying not to get robbed in cuidad del este 
people need to stop having birthdays so I can stop having to plan surprise birthday parties
this is the best picture we've managed together so far. still working on it :)
Hermana Torres has always wanted to do the mentos and coke experiment, but they dont sell mentos in Guatemala apparently. Well they do in Paraguay, so our last day together we had a Little explosión together in our front yard :)
Remember that sombrilla that I bought? Yeah, well it was destroyed after like 4 days. I bought a new one, ish
Goodbye Hermana Torres!


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