Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AUGUST 26 2014 Hola Amigos!

Chicken, Rice and Beans daily for the next two years!!  


Hola Amigos
I just want to let everyone know that I am already fluent and can talk perfectly in Spanish! .... Jk, not even close. I'm pretty much just some tall white guy that looks like spiderman and eats all of the members food. I always feel bad when they try to talk to me because I never know what they are saying so I pretty much just sit there and nod and smile. I think for the most part I can sell it pretty well.But me and Elder cook are both very new to this area called Duran that we are assigned to. So we didn't really start off with much so we are trying to get investigators and get things going. We have a lady that just moved in from Guayaquil and had a baptismal date there so we are going to baptize her this Saturday which will be pretty cool! But what I have kind of noticed here is either people want nothing to do with the missionaries. Or they are very welcome and accept us very easily. We have a baptismal date from another kid named Herman and it almost seems like he will do anything we ask. Its great he agreed to be baptized but I really wish that I could see the big change in him and so he can realize how huge and important this step is in his life. But we still have time to get to know him better. His family is very Catholic and I don't think they support him at all and might give him a hard time. We will do what we can though.So I really don't have to much time each week for emailing but I still love to get updated about what is going on. I will try to email everyone back after all my family and those emails. And I left some people out on my last email so go ahead and check out my blog and there will probably be pics too.The mission is great but Id like to remind everyone to keep me and all the other missionaries you know in your prayers because it is definitely a tough time sometimes!  I love you all so much and miss you all! A LOT! But this is where I need to be!:)
Mucho amor, Elder Rawson 

Hey mother!
 I'm doing well down here. the food is good, and the members are great! they love to feed the missionaries. the people in this area are pretty civilized, i kind of think of this area like the draper of Guayaquil. its a very safe place apparently and the people are nice. The heat isn't too bad. its hot but bearable. I guess its December and January that are the hottest months. that's also when it rains like crazy too. this place is super gross though. I will have to take some pics of all the garbage and stuff that is EVERYWHERE. I swear, you have bad manners if you throw stuff in a garbage can here. But That's crazy that Baylee already started school again! and that Matt Larsen already left and Garrett leaves next week! that's insane. but you don't have to worry about me getting hurt. I am safe here and I will make it home safe. The thing that i am having the hardest time with is definitely the language. they talk sooo different here and the way they say things is so weird.  i can pay attention as long as they are talking about churchy stuff though. but It kind of stinks because i cant really talk to people, i often feel kind of alone and like no body really knows me. i really just sit there and try my best to understand people and smile. but i know that there are 85 thousand other kids going through the exact same stuff that i am going through. but for the most part I'm pretty happy. i love playing with the kids here and the food is for the most part pretty good! i haven't really eaten anything to gross or messed up yet. but maybe i will after i get transferred. I'm safe though so don't worry about that! My comp is Elder Cook and he is from Woods Cross and been out since the middle of January. He is cool. he isn't that much better at Spanish but he can understand pretty much everything and talks faster. but i know quite a bit but i just cant understand and talk super fast yet. i kinda wish i did have a native companion at times. but he is a pretty cool guy. i just don't feel like my Spanish is going to get that much better because i is super easy to understand and how he talks compared to the people are completely different!. i wish we could bond more than we have been though. we try to talk in Spanish a lot so its hard to joke and have fun sometimes. but i like him. i get impatient in the mornings sometimes. mornings are when i have a hard time and in a bad mood at times. but after we get out of the house i enjoy myself a lot more. but its good.  i wish i could read all of the letters and emails from all the other missionaries but i don't have time. i mainly just looks at pics and scan over stuff. but it was funny to see Elder Measom in Drakes email! i see that kid quite a bit because he is in my zone!
When i see yours and dads pictures of all your trips i get soo jealous. when i come back from my mission, i just want to go up to the mountains and stay there for a while. because i miss the mountains and i miss fresh clean air! but we are getting off and thanks for talking to me! I love you!!!!!!!!!! and miss you!!!
Elder Rawson:):):):):):)

Few more MTC pics and First Week in Wonderful/Stinky Ecuador

Elder Kramer Morton in the MTC
I'm guessing the boys are admiring

their muscles at the MTC before they

lose them over the next two



 A few more pictures from the MTC
 before leaving to Ecuador.

A room full of pillows and Missionaries looks like TROUBLE/FUN!!!
 Ha Ha Ha :) :) :)

July 18, 2014
Hola from wonderful/stinky Ecuador! This has no doubt been one of the craziest, strangest, most confusing, hardest, funnest, and most unexplainable weeks of my life! The people here are crazy! I swear there is no traffic laws here! The bus drivers drive funner then Taylor with his STI! The taxi drivers have amazing reflexes too! Ive been making a list of things to say so i didn't forget because so much crazy stuff has been happening!
The comida here is pretty dang good! the members love to feed the missionaries. The elders all say that they have gotten fat instead of skinny while here which i sure hope doesn't happen to me! One time we were eating at the familia Avilas house and the mom has a baby. and just while we were talking, with no shame she just whipped her boobie right out and started feeding he baby. But of course I never looked. Apparently that should happen a lot here this next 22 months... Yippee.

 I have already been to 2 different baptisms, one for another companion ship then one for ours! I was in a trio but then Elder Barrett left yesterday. He was a very good guy and pretty sad to leave. both the baptisms were through a young man named antony. His best friend Luis and his sister maoly. it was pretty cool to see elder barrett baptize his last convert and to see antony baptize his sister.
Yesterday was extremely sad to watch Elder Barrett say goodbye to the ward he has been with for 4 months. He had no clue how much he meant to them. We took a huge picture with them and they all said at one time, Gracias Elder Barrett!! I had to try so hard to stop from crying. especially when i looked over at his eyes while he was giving them all hugs. He looked pretty scared when we dropped him off at the mission house last night. I have wondered if I will be like that when my time is up. He said the time flew by for him these last two years. I seriously love the people down here and I feel really bad when they try to talk to me and its hard for me to understand them. I absolutely love playing with the kids!! they are so funny. I will have to get a pic with the kids in this ward because they are the best!
Everybody here calls me Spiderman! They all think I look like the new spiderman guy! so its fun when i always pretend to shoot webs at the kids. They are very fun to play with. Cant wait til I can actually understand them. I can pretty much say whatever i need to say but they talk so fast and weird here that i don't know what they are saying! I just keep praying for help for when I will need it! Last Friday we were in a meeting with the ward missionary and his sister. I could hardly understand anything because elder barrett had a crazy accent and was native to Spanish. So I pretty much remained quiet. I could tell they were talking about me sometimes though. Then at the end the ward mission leader asked his sister to give the prayer and she said, ¿yo? yo no entiendo español... then laughed and said the prayer. Then yesterday at church i went up to her and said, ...yo entiendo español.. her eyes just got big and she got an awkward look on her face and walked away. it was pretty funny:)
Something that has been weird to me is that Robin Williams is dead!! i saw it on the TV at the airport. its so sad how he went. It just goes to show you that you can be loved by a million people but if you don't realize the love that god has for you then you can still feel alone. I think everybody should go look at the new Mormon message on lds.org. it was well done and it really applies to people outside of the church with a different perspective. and how a man went from the lowest point in his life to joining the church and finding that there is no other way where we can find more happiness than the joy that comes from Christ.
One last little story.. So there are dogs EVERYWHERE here. just all over the streets and all the good stuff. Sometimes they will keep barking at us while we are walking by, then elder barrett would give them a really angry look and start walking towards them and they would hurry and run away. it was hilarious when he would do it. so one time i tried doing it to a dog on the other side of some fence that was barking at us. I tried to give it a scary look then it ran closer to us on the other side of the fence still and started barking even louder. and i kid you not, i almost peed my pants because when i looked into the eyes of that dog, i saw Satan.. the freakiest thing i have seen here yet. So looks like I have to work on my scary face!!
But I love you all. I miss you all so much. I will try to keep the stories coming now that I'm in the craziest place on earth!!
<3- Elder Spiderman (Rawson) :):):)



Friday, August 15, 2014

Dillon arrived safely in Ecuador on Tuesday evening.

His Mission President and Wife

His new companion

out in front of the Ecuador temple

Dillon's first letter from Ecuador after his arrival


Surprised Dillon at 3:30 a.m. at the airport for one last hug goodbye before he catches his flight to Ecuador for the next 23 months!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One more week in Provo MTC then off to Ecuador!!!

        His visa and Ecuador flight schedule have arrived and I don't think his smile could be any                                                                           bigger!!! 

 I'm not sure but I wonder if this companion of his might be glad he will soon be rid of Elder Rawson (the prankster) after seeing this picture and reading his letter today!

 I like the relax/study time!

Hopefully Dillon has been enjoying some cooler Utah weather before heading to the very HOT and HUMID Ecuador next week!

                                                                      Week #5

Aug. 5th, 2014

 I got my travel plans!!!! My visa must have came because I arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador next Tuesday at 7pm, which is 6pm in Utah so not a big difference. I have officially completed one month of my mission and I only got 23 more left to enjoy this once in a lifetime chance. It has been a great week. I wish I had a bunch of cool stories and experiences but if you have been through one day at the mtc then you have seen them all! Something that never gets old here is the wonderful spirit that is felt and the great lessons that we learn.

My main bro TROOKS came last week on Wednesday, still lookin as sexy as ever. Its been tough at times to not be able to just be with him the whole time but we have had our time to catch up and talk. I know with out a doubt that he will be an amazing missionary, simply because he already is. He came in and one thing I noticed about him was that he came ready to work. I know the lord blesses is servants that are willing to give it their all for the growing of his church. Here's a big shout out to Rooks if he takes the time to read this, love you man! and also to my mom and dad, I love them too:)\

So this week, me, Elder Morrill, elder smith and Elder Groen all thought that it would be funny to pull a little joke on Elder Fowers. He is from Georgia and has a big confederate flag hanging in our apartment. They do cleaning checks on our apartments to make sure we keep our living spaces clean and leave a write-up. So one day, Elder Smith and Elder Groen left gym time a little early and went into our apartment and hid Elder Fower's confederate flag. They left him a very official looking note that stated that that flag was against our church standings and that he wasn't supposed to have it with him on his mission. They also said that the matter would get up to the mission president Nally. When we returned form gym, Elder Fowers was not in the very best mood. This would have been the second time that President Nally would have discussed Elder Fower's misbehavior. (He also got in trouble for having a backpack in the cafeteria then he wrote a mean complaint in the suggestion box about the matter) Elder Fowers was very mad and wanted to go show his feelings to the people that took his flag. It was pretty amusing to listen to him tell all the other missionaries about it at meals and stuff. When we finally revealed that is was a prank, It was very funny. He didn't know if he should be really mad and angry or really relieved. 

I have learned a lot of lessons out here and something I have kind of thought about is if God wants you to do something and expects you to, then why wouldn't you? Now obviously pulling pranks on your companions and stealing their stuff isn't a great example so I do have some improving to do. But when it all comes down to it, whatever we want to do and whatever seems "important" in our eyes can be completely pointless from an eternal perspective. My whole district and I one night had a big conversation where we all shared different experiences of where we shared our testimonies or maybe we didn't take an opportunity to. The big thing that I took away from that is that you will never regret sharing the gospel with somebody else or even baring a little testimony. But you will regret not taking an opportunity for whatever reason, whether you are scared you might offend someone or you think somebody might judge you. You will think back on those moments and realize that you could have done a lot of good. You have no idea how important your words can be to somebody. 

So I would like to leave a little commitment with all of my loved ones reading this at home. This next week, you WILL have a chance to share your testimony or tell somebody what they need to hear. Please keep an eye out and listen for that gentle nudge from the spirit when there is someone that needs to hear something that you can tell them. There is nothing better then when people come up to me and tell me that I said or did something that allowed them to feel the spirit, that is definitely the greatest thing I can hear. 

I also want to say something if there is anybody who reads this that is having a hard time and they have some questions that they need answered. I promise that God will answer any prayer if you are willing to put in the effort and show Him that it is important to you. I also testify from personal experience that when God answers our prayers. He lets us know. Whenever I have experienced personal revelation, it is not in a way where it is some little way. When I receive personal revelation, it can be through little things like scriptures or something someone tells me, but it is the great spirit that warms my body that tells me that I have just received an answer to my prayer. So I would like to invite everybody to, whenever you have a question or need to know that you have somebody who loves you, hit the knees and sincerely ask God what it is that you need. I promise He will answer you because He has answered me when I have needed Him.

I love all of you and the next time you will receive a big letter like this one from me, it will come all the way from Ecuador!:) I love all of you and I want everyone to know that you have all had an impact on my life and helped me to get to this amazing time in my life. Make sure you all keep me updated.

Con amor
-Elder Rawson


So excited to see his buddy       
     Elder Taylor Rooks!