Sunday, October 18, 2015

Happy 20th Birthday Oct. 12 2015

Oct. 5, 2015

Hermana Bajaña, a RM that returned from Brazil gave me a Pregar meu Evangelho to help me with my portugues:)

trilingual:) ...well, not yet

Giving Birth-take 2
¡Buenas tardes con todos!

Last night Elder Melzer got the called he dreaded of transfers. After six months he said bye to the family he made here. He was a great companion and we grew a ton together! I'll miss him. But today when we got to Guayaquil they told me that I was going to be training again! I'm stoked! I've been wanting to get another shot at training to really focus on basing everything from mission work in Preach my Gospel. I probably won't be getting another Brazilian to help me more with my Portuguese but we will see Wednesday!

It has been a great week. Thursday we had a conference with Pres and it was great to get in the temple again and I'll be going back Wednesday with the greenies! I am so stoked for this week and these coming months! Conference was amazing and I learned a lot of things I needed to hear! It's amazing when God answers your questions directly! My first question was, How can I center my life completely on Christ. With the second talk it was answered very clearly and I changed "completely" to "perfectly". I think we all felt the Spirit testify to all of us that the 3 new men are true apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is His church, I know it and I will dedicate my all to build up His kingdom. That is the only way to receive the true and enduring happiness that comes from obeying His commandments and putting Him first always. 

Love you all! Read the Book of Mormon and I promise God will speak to you!
Elder Rawson=)

The Pinargote family at conference:) parents reactivated and daughter Veronica baptized last week!

Fabian, our new ward mission leader! por fin

The fun cake Junior made me! The kid's a natural baker!:)


OCTOBER 12, 2015

 Happy 20th Birthday today to my Happy Missionary                                   

Yeah so I think I've learned that you can't mention your birthday in Ecuador as a missionary. The whole world will give you cake. I can't even go a normal day fasting without declining 25 different refreshments from all the wonderful people. But it has for sure been a great day and I can't complain. I saw the patriarch from Panorama at the temple on Wednesday when we went with the new missionaries and he invited me over to his house for lunch which was not bad at all because his wife is an amazing cook!

The trainings we had with the new missionaries went great! The temple was fantastic like always. As we were waiting to enter the session I actually sat next to and met Elder Acarapi who was going to be my new "son". He is a genius. He speaks decent English and has a great testimony. Definitely knows why he is here. I'm super stoked for the companionship. Something that I have noticed about him is that when we pray together and I offer the prayers, that when I say "amen", he would wait like 3 seconds each time before repeating amen. At first I kind of smiled at it thinking it was funny how he did it but then I started to realize that he understood that prayer is sacred communication with God and I have started to apply the same habit of waiting a few seconds after each prayer instead of jumping up and getting busy. By doing so I have noticed a peace that comes and its really nice, so I invite all of you to get in the same habit of really listening to each prayer!

Yesterday the stake presidency changed because the stake president moved to my old ward of Panorama. So Elder Waddell from the 70 came and spoke. He spoke of 2 things which are most weighing on the minds of President Monson and the 12. They are, 1. that we need to seek out and rescue our fellow brethren who have fallen way from the church, or better, Go to the rescue. 2. Observance of the Sabbath Day. The  observance of the Sabbath has been a very big subject everywhere I have been throughout my mission. Go read Isaiah 58:13-14, say a prayer, and then think about what actions you personally have been doing on the Day of the Lord that may not be sending Him a good sign. Then, in prayer, make a covenant with Him and tell Him that you will do better to draw closer to Him. I promise your life will change if you do it!

I love you all and wish ya the best!

With the famous Lozano family last night

Meeting the fresh new comp! on Wednesday! He actually smiles a lot, just not much in pics! ha ha:)

Sept. 2015 Blog Updates

Sept. 7, 2015
Us with Souka Niang at church! The African investigator we found that I mentioned last week!

No puedo pensar en un tema chevere...

Great week, and with the new bishopric getting called a week ago things will be picking up a lot more smoothly now! I have worked with new bishops in all of my sectors and I love it because they are so excited and very good at getting things done! It definitely will help with all the less actives we are working with!   

For a cool little story from this week. We did exchanges this week on Wednesday with  our DL and his comp. I left to the Oramas ward with Elder Ulloque from Colombia.  In the afternoon we went to follow up with a contact they had from a few days earlier named Carlos. He was happy we got there and invited us to sit down. They had left him with the restoration pamphlet and immediately when Elder Ulloque asked how he liked it, he said he read it all and disagreed with all of it! He went straight to the page of church attendance and said he
didn't like how we went in white shirt and tie because God wouldn't do that and accepts everyone. He was very closed about everything and I saw no hope. But Elder Ulloque followed and wanted to start with the prayer. I decided that the least I could do was be patient and try to love him as well as I could. As I listened to him, he said that we all have our own ways of worshipping God and we should stick to our own ways. I thought of Isaiah 55:8-9 and read and explained to him that we all have our ways of doing things but so does God. And His ways are better and higher so really whatever ways we have don't really matter and we need to accept God and how he wants things done. We can only learn His will through His prophets and that is where Joseph Smith  comes in. Elder Ulloque helped him well too and he even said he wanted to be baptized later on! He told us at the end that we had changed his ways of thinking! I was so amazed leaving the lesson with how the Spirit had worked. I swear, patience and charity are the keys to missionary work!

Elder Rawson=)

Don't have the pics from today cuz my comps camera died but here's one from a few weeks ago playing soccer!

Sept. 14, 2015

Flash-back P-Day

So its been a great week! Today was awesome, I'm on late and rushed with time because we were over in Panorama, my first sector, today! It was so weird but way cool to be back over there! It feels like yesterday. Junior, that I baptized before leaving, walked around with us all day seeing the members. He is getting ready to study another semester of college before the mission in March! Hes also been the ward secretary for like 6 months which I didn't know. If anyone remembers of me talking about Javier Calderon a year ago, we went by his house and him and his wife are coming back to church and listening to the missionaries again! His two twin girls were even baptized last Saturday! He is now just waiting on the divorce which is almost impossible down here to get married and baptized! It was so cool to see the people again! Miss that ward!

This week I have really began to have a true love and deepening appreciation for the Book of Mormon. Christ is truly the central purpose of the book and one cannot reject the Book of Mormon without also rejecting its message, which is Him. Try something, grab your BoM and open to a random chapter and see how many times it testifies of Him. 

I have also thought more about charity and its importance. Without charity, or love/genuine desire, serving becomes a lot less fulfilling and almost not worth it. Just as faith needs works and works need faith, Charity needs service and service needs charity. 

Love you all!
Read the Book!

Elder Rawson=)

Sept. 21, 2015

"Buenas, Dios le bendiga"

Junior and Andrés Jaramillo from Panorama, swung by our house to sell us brownies! He's selling them for the mission! March he plans to be out!

It's been another great week trying to live the mish to the fullest. 
We've been working a lot with the Maridueña family who have been investigating the church for a few months now and made the choice to be baptized 2 weeks ago. The date is this week but they have had some difficulties to attend church the 3 hours for work and other things. We're trying to focus on that so they decide to truly turn to Christ and commit the 3 hours. The 2 parents should be baptized this Sat and the kids who have a bit more doubts will be following soon. The Pinargote Family is another family that we are teaching. The two parents, Pablo and Cecilia were inactive for about 30 years and they are now returning. Veronica is their daughter. Veronica is 33 years old but suffered from depression through her life and at one point she decided to intent the wrong and she was left with some brain defects. She's a little slower but can read and communicate and is excited to be baptized this week now that her dad came back from eastern Ecuador. 

I know this work is the Lord's and there is no other thing in this world that matters more! The Book of Mormon is true and if you want to come to know your Savior more, open the book and feast on the words of Christ! 

With the Jaramillo fam last week visiting Panorama

My mom sent me this post that Junior put on his Facebook!

Got my mom's trunky packages..

My buddy Jared who helps us a lot. He leaves December to serve in England Birmingham mission to speak English!

Sept. 28, 2015

Does this really have to end someday???

Definitely one of those weeks where I am very grateful to be a missionary.Wednesday we got to go down to Guayaquil and listen to Elder Calderòn, an area seventy. He was super powerful and funny. Talked about obedience and the role it has in order to actually bear our testimonies and be a real "missionary." It was great and I learned a ton. In the conference pres Riggins told us the importance of repenting immediately and sincerely. He told us, "Trust me, I need to repent every time I get in the car and drive here in Ecuador!" I've never driven with president but I've heard he's hilarious! 

Saturday the baptism of the Maridueña family went great! Even though we have a brand new bishopric without a ward mission leader and it was their first baptism! The assistants called earlier and asked if they could attend the baptismal service so it was cool to see them again. My comp baptized Eduardo and I baptized Nancy and their daughter Claudia! After the ordinances Nancy shared a great testimony that brought a few tears to my eyes. She's so faithful and has been so great in reading the Book of Mormon. Veronica Pinargote who had an accident 6 years ago was baptized in the service of the other ward at 6:30. We were wondering if it was right to baptized her but we talked to her parents and her and they all wanted to go through with it!

I really wish I could share all the crazy experiences and the lessons I'm learning but the best I can tell you, if you are able, is to serve your own mission/repent and live the Gospel and receive what God wants you to have!

The church has to be true! there is no other source of happiness that can compare the that which comes from accepting Christ and His principles!
I love you all and I know God does too! Ask Him to find out!

Elder Rawson=)

Family night! Maridueñas, Lozanos, and Betancourts!

The baptism:) Nancy Claudia and Eduardo

Elder Fernandez. Meu melhor amigo do Brazil:)

Veronica and the Pinargote family:) Fabian baptized her:)

El Recreo, my sector:)

Going to the conference:) 12 missionaries = no problem