Monday, December 29, 2014

A Very Very Merry Christmas!

Okay it was so good to see you guys again!!! (Amanda got to skype us on Christmas!) You make me so happy and I just loved chatting and laughing with you!! thanks for putting up with how many times I obnoxiously say "chulinaaa". Its a habit I will probably never stop :) (click for explanation
That was totally the highlight of everything so I don't have much to say this week!! I'll just send some pictures to tell you about the week I think.
How are your investigators doing?
they're good! Its hard for me to tell you guys about the people here because I just feel like every time I tell you guys about someone, they stop talking to us or something bad happens, and I don't want you guys to get sad about that. Our best new investigator is named E, he is our 31 year old man neighbor who is AWESOME. He's been praying for direction and guidance because he wants to be "a son of God". and told us "well, I think He Heard me :)". Also he prayed "I want you to show me the truth... and I think you are already showing it to me. " He rocks.
this letter is tiny but I'll send along more pictures which tell better stories then me. :)
love you guys a ton!! Thanks for making me so so happy!! Family is everything. CHULINNAAAAA :D
love,
Hermana Rawlins

random pic of us taking a shortcut through the campo 
"its a jungle out there"
this is a pic after one of our christmas devotionals. and hermana nethercott praying :)
this is me and F, one of my favorite little girls here, and Elder worthington photo bombing
this is a blurry picture of crazy Little kids throwing Fireworks around on christmas eve. I thought they were gonna hurt someone. when you picture christmas eve in paraguay, just think about the fourth of july. thats exactly what its like 
its not christmas eve without an asado
my christmas morning setup for hna nethercott (and me :)
we made cinnamon rolls for the elders. we're obviously their favorite people ever
christmas morning district meeting 
christmas night and more cinnamon rolls
typical.
then the christmas tree we made... broke. merry christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

FEEEYLEES Navidad

I totally cant believe we'll talk in 10 days. Christmas is in 10 days?? Seriously??

okay first, I laughed so hard about Elisa and William teaching Issac (Amanda's nephew) how to say Obama. And then I told my companion and the Elders and they were all dying too. So so funny. Hows that going??

This week was good!! One of the highlights was when we taught Y, a teenage girl who when we asked her if she had any questions for God she said "I'm just wondering like what I'm doing here?? Why are we here and where do we go after and what do we have to do here in life??" And we asked her "what would you say if we told we can teach you all the answers to your questions?" And she was like "wait... seriously??" And we were like "yeah, really!!" And taught her about the plan of salvation and she was sooo interested and excited it was awesome. 

Right now I am in Encarnacion because Hermana Nethercott had tramites in Argentina again so this time I'm hanging out with Hermana Mann!! We started in the same district, Do you remember that one time a long time ago when I had to do divisions in Santo Tome right when I was new and she was too? And we couldnt believe we survived? Well now we're back together again :) and feeling a lot more comfortable in south america haha. Shes the greatest. 
Then like tonight or tomorrow we'll be headed back, we have the branch christmas dinner on Wednesday night (maybe this year we'll actually get food :) and then on Thursday we have our Christmas devotional with President LaPierre!! 
Did you guys know that as a mission we can never have mission conferences because its literally impossible for all of us to travel there with collectivos and passports and living accomadations and everything, so everytime we do something there has to be 4 different meetings. Have I told you this? One in Encarnacion, one in Cuidad del Este, one in Iguazu, and one in Posadas. Anyway, thats why mine's so early before christmas. I'm pumped, hopefully it will feel like Christmas and its at night so we're gonna have a christmas dinner together and everything. We'll be traveling Thursday morning to go and then going back Friday morning I think. 

I was totally expecting Christmas to not really feel llike Christmas this year because I already lived it once, but its Hermana Nethercotts first time so she was all excited and now not so much. So we were talking about what we could do to make it special and we decided to take turns doing nightly christmas devotionals every night by candlelight. Well, we havent found a candle, so by flashlight, but still :) Its nice, I like it. 

aaand thats about all I've got for this week. My christmas skype plans remain the same, sometimes after lunch like early afternoon time. The elders are checking the web cam on the church computer today to make sure it works. 

oh also, I just want to say that I LOVE morrisville ward. Seriously so much. I've been praying that the people around you guys would make this Christmas special for you, and well the morrisville ward as a whole never fails to answer prayers. So thank you all, you who are doing something for my family. I love you all so much.

love,
Hermana Rawlins
me and hermana mann :)

Miracles Are Little Things

I’m glad my Spanish didn’t make you cry because it was so bad! I’m sure I speak like a gringo, but I don’t get much practice!
actually, I was suprised at your (Amanda's dad's) accent!! You still say "vamo" instead of "vamos" which is pretty chilean!! :) I was impressed :)
 
Hey just one thing you guys could do for me as a favor... is not put spaces, like enter spaces, in your letters. Its not a huge deal I just always end up deleting all of them to save paper when I print, and it would save me like an extra 5 minutes. So if you can, that would be nice. If not, no one will die :)
 
So this weeks been good!!
I usually like think of a few things to write you guys before hand and write them in my agenda... well today I forgot to do that. So sorry if this letter is sort of lacking.
 
Its just been our normal, busy week!!
I've started a hand of the Lord journal that I really love and its awesome to see the way I'm being blessed in the little tiny things each day. Like butterflies. :) So I hardly ever have anything huge or miraculous to share, and am running pretty dry today. But its really been an awesome week. Some of the highlights were that we had a family night with a less active part member family where the dad has been really hostile to the church before. Well we convinced them to let us have a family night together and prayed a ton that the dad would be there and participate, and he did! We had a really fun time with them and taught about the restoration in a really fun way that was totally inspired. Me and hermana nethercott were really impressed that we even thought of the fun lesson, because neither of us consider ourselves very creative. miracles :) It involved jenga and chocolate, which is a win win situation no matter what :)
Also this week we met J and A, who are AWESOME. Lots of prayers for them please!! They are just totally ready for the góspel and its a total miracle we found them, cause they were just gonna sit inside but on a whim went outside by the road to drink terere and then we walked by and we were late for something but when we walked by I just felt the tiniest twinge to talk to them and literally almost kept walking but by some miracle took two steps back and started a conversation. They are an awesome, young, strong couple who are looking for peace and belonging in their life and the Restoration makes perfect sense to them. They are super stoked to come to church and yesterday when we taught about the Book of Mormon, J goes "cool, I'd always wondered why the Bible doesn't talk about the Americas, because obviously our ancestors were living here before! i just never understood why they werent included in the bible!"
I think my mouth honestly hung open a little. No one EVER gets it like that!! Hooray for miracles :)
 
Questions from the family: 

How is your health?
pretty normal, I'm on the meds and nothing exciting has happened. My hair is still falling out at a nice rate though.
 
We figured Hermana Anderson is home now, right?
Yup. She's home!!! I didnt get to see her before she went but thought about her tons as we had cambios and she left!

I just think it's interesting that you're comps with another twin. Does that make it even easier to get along and be friends? Cause you're both chill about always living with someone?
I would say so, but not like dramatically so. I dunno, because I dont know what getting along with Hermana Nethercott would be like if she werent a twin! But it is really easy to get along with her. We just sort of go together really well. And I think we're both enjoying talking about our twin antics. Like the other day she told me she called her twin "pookie" too, and I died. We also talk a lot about all the stupid questions people ask twins. But at the end of a mission, you've just like spent so much time with some many girls 24/7... thats its like always being a twin anyway. So I dunno. But it is true that Hermana Nethercott is really easy to get along with, its like natural whereas with other companions you really have to try sometimes :)

Also dad asked about Christmas plans, which is weird for me cause it still feels like totally NOT christmas. I have problems feeling Christmasy down here. Anways, I think I'll most likely be skyping like early afternoonish time. Is that fine with you guys? We only have one hour of time difference between us and I figured with Em's time difference she'd probably skype more later in the day. 

aaaand so ends my really weird letter for this week. 
OH just kidding, I forgot other news!! This week there were emergency transfers in the zone and the other companionship of sisters got switched up and the HLC left, so the Zone leaders called me and told me that now I'm HLC! whiiich... is fine. I'm nervous to be the HLC all by myself and not with a companion, but I'll just do what I can, which is all the Lord expects!!

and now ends my letter. I'll try to think of something vaguely interesting for next week :)

love you all a ton!!

Hermana Rawlins
p.s. we're talking about flight plans?!? seriously?! :O

 
we really want to put another sign under this that says "y el libro de mormon también" :)
here is me and another little kitten
this was our zone before the cambios 
 heres me and some bananas
hey mom, look what I found! 
heres a cool sun

Monday, December 1, 2014

An Un-Thanksgiving-Like Week

Question from the family:

What did you find out from the doctor?
So I finally heard the results on Thursday night and they said that the thyroid test came back normal, so that the doctor wants me to take low doses of a prescription for a few weeks to see if that will kickstart my hormones again. I don't entirely understand the chemistry of it and I wish someone would explain it to me or I could study it, because I am less than excited about that. But whatever, I'll do it. Assuming that is, that I can actually find the meds here cause I went looking for them and havent had success yet. We'll see what happens.
okay, LOVED the video you guys sent me!!! Super funny. Best part was dad saying "now we all know how awkward it is to sit in front of a camera and think of what to say". hahahaha :) my life. Also, Dad's spanish made me cry. (out of happiness and love, not because it was bad or anything. it was really good :). And this time I actually understand you!! Very different from our summer at lexicón :)
this week was nice in that we actually spent all of it in our área! So we could really get down and work and we got a lot of nice results. Besides that, it was totally just a normal week. As you can see, our thanksgiving celebration was a hersheys bar. Also we made a few hand turkeys.
Another highlight of this week was that an Elder from the branch came home! He's actually the first missionary the branch has sent out here, and its awesome to have him back. He's pretty cool. But it also made me realize just how weird it is going to be going back to real life. Heaven help me. Maybe I will just stay here. :) I think it must be one of the most awkward things in the world. Also, he served in Brazil so he speaks this hilarious mixture of spanish and portguese that I find highly amusing.
Then Sunday was also awesome because President LaPierre and Hermana LaPierre came up. They are really just the best and we never want them to leave whenever we are near them. After everyone left at church we were there with them and President LaPierre told us our cambios (transfers) early and said "nothing changes here, just keeping working the way you are".
Which is really an answer to prayer because hna nethercott and I have felt strongly like we still have work to do here and have been praying and asking for more time.
 And then when President shook my hand to leave he said "Is there anything I can do for you?" And I said, "Just leave me here, I've still got work to do." And President said. "Well, He did that. Make hay while the sun shines" :)
But I thought that was really interesting. A whole lesson in three words. HE did that. What President does really does come directly from God.
Well, thats about all I have interesting to share for the week. I never know what really to share from the work we're doing, so sorry if I dont share very much of that. Its just hard to explain or express in hastily typed words. But we really are doing missonary work here :)
I love you all so much!! After this transfer with Hermana Nethercott I only have 2 more left. What?!?!
lots of love,
Hermana Rawlins

p.s. SINCE WHEN IS KAYLA SO GORGEOUS?!?!?! (Kayla is Amanda's little sister) Seriously me and all the hermanas are sitting here dying. Hermana Nethercott's words were, "Dang, i was really ugly when I was 14!" I said "me too" :)
p.p.s. ISAAC (Amanda's nephew) IS JUST THE CUTEST THING EVER I WANT TO MEET HIM

This is the Gomez family. I love them all SOOO much.
This was the extent of our thanksgiving celebrations. Honestly, everything day is like thanksgiving here based on the quantity of food they give us, so I was totally okay with just this hershey's bar
here is a picture of a spiders web.
this is how we made our english class interesting this past week. The Elders were suprised I knew so much :)
this is president lapierre, being awesome.