Monday, September 14, 2015

July 27th, 2015

Wow man, It´s been a week!
Well, if you've been keeping track of my emails and stuff, you know I've been in a trio because Elder Ypis from Bolivia was finishing his mission.  Earlier in the week we were thinking how one of our families, la familia Mora, had accepted a date to get baptized this Saturday so we decided to get pilas (wake up, get on the ball) to see what could be done. So we re-invited them to get married and baptized in one week and they happily accepted.  We had another member family help do a sale of empanadas and everything went well and they got married and baptized!  At first I was a little worried that the whole process happened too fast but they are super happy now and enjoying the spirit!  Its so cool to see the light that comes into the people after being baptized and confirmed.  Its hard to describe but it's real!  Then last night a family that Elder Ypis taught and baptized 2 years ago (He started and requested to end here) threw him a big family home evening at their house with the ward. vThe Mora family went and their daughter who wasn't interested in the church for a long time, told us yesterday that she wants to get baptized too! Probably this Saturday even! 

-Elder Rawson=)

Today in the morning Elder Ypis and Elder Mendoza, (who I lived with in Quevedo and got transferred here to see him die) went off to Guayaquil and will be flying back tomorrow. 

 Today Elder Melzer and I went back to La Isla de Santay. I went a year ago and its still way pretty! Its nice to ride a bike and get some fresh air!:)

Aug. 3, 2015

This week was pretty normal. Nothing too crazy happened... OK that´s a lie, I'm in Ecuador. So if any of you were here with me you would have plenty to say.
My area has a ton of people and is a lot different than Quevedo and Panorama.
This last week we taught some great lessons and we have some awesome investigators but when Sunday morning came around Satan was able to get in and we had 0 investigators at church which is a first in a very long time, so I got a little down but I have to keep positive! 
On the bright side Dominique, whose parents were baptized last week, got baptized and confirmed! The Mora family is doing great and are so excited to get active in the ward! The mission is great! Keep enjoying life and looking for those tender mercies of the Lord!

Elder Rawson:)

Aug. 10th, 2015

Great week, I think I am actually beginning to feel Ecuadorian by now. I complete 1 year officially in this country in 2 days! I think my letters are going to start getting shorter just because I'm getting more and more used to this place! This week went great. We were really busy and did a lot of splits with the members to make it to all our appointments! The members here and great and my dreams that I used to have of members calling us to go teach have come true! Its a great ward other than the fact we don't have a bishop or a ward mission leader because of some complications they had before I got here.

We have some great investigators but once Sunday morning rolls around, we find that Satan was able to get in there over night. One investigator that we have been teaching for a bit has failed 2 weeks in a row to go to church now, when both times he was sooooo sure that he would be going. When we went by in the morning, he was just getting out of the shower getting ready to go to Guayaquil. I got a little down but I tried not to let it get to me. It was hard though because he is so good and even memorizes the scriptures in the BoM that we assign him. At  church we had quite a bit of less actives that went to church and are really excited to get back in the Gospel. I always have loved working with less actives like the Tubay and Sanchez families. I love seeing the change of heart that they receive when they repent and readily accept God's hand that is reaching out to them.

This week I have come to really know that pondering is very important to receive revelation. A few nights ago as I was writing in my journal at night, I began to think about what I had done on the mission so far and the people I have worked with. Then the Spirit suddenly overcame me and I knew of  a surety that God was telling me that he was pleased with me and what I have done and am doing as His servant. I hadn't received anything like that in a while but it was a nice tender mercy to keep me going. I know that God always has a plan for every one of us, even if it appears that we have wandered away too far. He's perfect and His Son provided us the perfect way to get back to Him.

Elder Rawson=)

Subimos al faro hoy en Guayaquil:)

On the top of the light house I met up with a member from Guayaquil from the West Mission who lives in a ward that my cousin Melissa Fish served in and he served in Mexico city South Mission and Elder Tyler Teerlink was his last companion!! Way crazy!! Tender Mercy:)

                       Mis compras de hoy:)¡Las familias son eternas!

Aug. 17th. 2015

So, short letter and no new pics cuz the old camera started being dumb.

This week has been one for learning patience for me. I realized it on Wednesday i think when we left to do splits with two of the members. I went with Ronny Jalil to visit our investigators and the lessons weren't working out. People fail and I was thinking about it and why. Then I realized that in that morning I studied patience and the article in this last months Liahona and noticed that I'm in a trial of my faith and that God always is in control. Because.. Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.God always has a plan for us, we just have to recognize it and do our best to prove to Him that we deserve His blessings. After that day, and for the rest of the week, my patience has been tested many times but I'm doing me best! If we don't give others a chance to do better and understand our differences in imperfections, we are just hypocrites.

Love you all! Be good!
Elder Rawson :)

                                    Aug. 24, 2015
                        "Always be ready, always be pure in heart"

Long week of lessons falling, LOTS of walking, sore legs and the ojo de pollo on my foot sure doesn´t feel better. 
Yeah it's been a slow week in finding people and helping them to progress, but aside from all the negative there are always the good things that make up! We still have been able to work some great less actives that are returning the the church. There's the Palma family where there is 2 brothers that started coming back on their own and Roberto the older one who is a RM that became inactive shortly after returning from Mexico is attending with his wife and little baby. Another less active was baptized when he was really young and went inactive shortly after, has been receiving us and loves the church now and even quit his job so he could attend all 3 hours of church!   Then another nice lady who has had a hard past with her husband who wasn't very nice to her, is attending and super happy to come back to God. I was thinking yesterday how much we are all worth to God as His children and even us who have made mistakes and maybe even turned our backs to Him for a while still have great value in His eyes. The mistakes and sins that we make in life don't take away our worth but just hides it. Like a nice little house that has had messy missionaries living in it for a couple years, just needs a little cleaning (and a lot of clorox..) 

But the reason for the title is because we just went to the hospital in Guayaquil to visit a less active that we have been visiting. Brother Cheves was in a bad motorcycle accident Friday night and is in intensive care. We went to go visit them and they were going to let us in at 1. through the morning I tried to keep a steady prayer in my heart  to be able to retain the power of the priesthood so I could act in God's name if I was to offer a blessing. We were with the family members outside of the care unit when they called the visitors in. They only let two in and the family told us to go in to see him. We went in and he was on the bed asleep with anesthesia. He suffered some injuries to his head and was in bad shape so we didn't dare put our hands on his head to give him a blessing. Instead my comp offered a prayer and we went back out. When we left and saw his wife and dad and uncle they told us that they weren't able to go in to see him and it was only us 2 that could go in. I didn't know about that rule. I thought the family would have gone in after us. I felt bad and thought there was something more that needed to be done. But my comp told me there was nothing we could do and we did what was good. I still felt I was to have done something more. I don't know what would have happened but maybe if I had had more faith to at least try to do something more I would have left with a better feeling like Pres Eyring said in his last talk in priesthood session. I know this will be a learning opportunity and I can prepare myself better now for the future when these moments happen. I love you all, I know this church is true, and I am happy to be a representative of it. Be prepared!

Elder Rawson:)

Elder Flores from our house left to Bolivia and lets just say this explains the relationship we had..:)

Saturday we stopped by some investigators, Estaban limpiando tripas de chancho para hace un caldo de salchicha.... yumm! haha..

Da zone of last week. (but looks like a district for other missions..) he he

                                                                Aug. 31, 2015

Hey all!
Compared to last week, This week has been way busier and a lot more productive! The other two elders in our ward left so we were left with us two to care for both areas! We have been working with a lot of the people the other Elders left and they had some great people! Just in this last week we have really grown to love them very quickly! Some great less actives and investigators. The people in our sector from before have been doing well also and we had a great turn out at church with 13 investigators and 10 less actives in the sacrament meeting! 

Yesterday they also finally called a new bishopric so we now have a bishop and are just waiting on the ward mission leader still! My dream of finding, teaching and baptizing a black man  are now very possible because this week we met Suoka Niang! And he is African! He is so cool, he just came up to us before lunch one day and started talking to us in English. Hes lived in Africa, Italy, France, and England before moving here. We found his house this week and he lives with a baptist family that picked him up in taxi and he didn't have a place to stay so the dad invited him to stay in their house. We taught him with the mom, they are pretty strong in their church but the mom really likes us and Suoka told me after the lesson he felt really good and loved what we told him! We also have to explain and teach him mostly in English cuz he came without speaking Spanish even though he doesn't have super good English either. 

Then Saturday in personal study, Elder Fernandez who I lived with in Quevedo, now assistant, called me and told me that the Sanchez family, we found and taught and I baptized the son in my last day in the sector, was getting sealed the same day and wanted me there! I couldn't believe it at first, but we ran to change in our suits and got out the door to make it! It was cool because basically the whole ward from San Camilo came down to go to the temple! It was such a great spiritual experience to see them and other converts got to do baptisms for the dead! The sealing was so spiritual! That family has changed soo much! The Gospel is true and definitely changes people! After 26 years, Alfonso has truly repented and is now guiding his family to live together forever! I love this gospel, church and my Savior more than ever! I know it is all true! Just read the Book!:)

Elder Rawson=)

Me and Elder McMinn met Raul (second to the left) in Quevedo as a less active. Elder Mcminn got transferred here, Raul has family here and was visiting and saw Elder Mcminn and presented his family, basically the whole family got baptized and today they fed us 8 missionaries after playing soccer for 2 hours! Awesome family!!

Saw Elder Vitor at the sealing!

With Patriarch Olvera from Panorama at the temple!

Elder Fernandez

With the Sanchez family after the big day! Las familia son eternas!

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