Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hello! Remember me?

                                                                                       Feb. 1, 2016

Time is flying by still. I feel like I'm hitting some sort of crisis that I have to baptize and convert the whole world before I leave. This week was great. We had a conference with the President here. I'm so thankful to have Pres. Riggins here. He's awesome and will probably be an apostle someday. We were able to work with the Guallco brothers, Edison, Ricardo, and Jorge and Jonathan Medina for their baptisms. Jonathan was really happy for his baptism. I was a bit worried for the Guallco brothers and their conversion but we had already had the goal for the 30th and they still wanted to get baptized but that's why we keep visiting them for about 4 months after baptism too so they stay! 

Saturday was a trip, the water to fill up the font was green and nasty because the tank above the church was filthy so we emptied the font and then we were running out of time so my comp and I ran to the fire department and got the firemen to help us fill the tank! It was way sweet even though the water they filled the font up with was dark and brown anyways. But it was cooler because it came from the fire department! 
Yesterday the university called Edison in the morning for a job so he couldn't go to church to get confirmed so looks like we'll be on it this week because it needs to be done!

The area is great and we are working with some great families and march should be looking good for us! Love you all! 

"I'm trying to be like Jesus, I'm following in His way. I'm trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say."

Elder Rawson=) 


Feb. 8, 2016

Remember me? 
The mission is going well. We just got done with transfers today. My new companion is Elder Caramelli from Uruguay. From since I've been with him he seems like a good quiet, and humble guy. It was funny when we got to the house because the first thing he got to doing was clean! I've never seen the kitchen so spotless. even before unpacking! So a good humble companion that likes to clean is all I can ask for! 

This last transfer was a bit like a refiners fire for me. Can't say that all runs happily and smooth in the mission but that's how we learn is by getting out of our comfort zone! The last transfer wasn't exactly the smoothest that I've had. But this last week my old companion and I were actually improving quite a bit! But last night wasn't too smooth. To keep things short, lets just say sleepovers on the mission with members in missionary housing is against church policy. My comp got a bit upset being reported to the leaders for trying to have a member stay with us but we ALWAYS have to remember "which way we face". (oct 2014 gen conf) So things were a bit quiet finishing the night and the morning until he left between us. 
Im excited to have more time here in Babahoyo though because I feel like God has a few families for me before I leave! 

No pics today because its a holiday and all the good internet cafes are closed..

Always keep in mind that in order to do God's will and become more like him we must always strive to see as He sees, think as He thinks, and do as He does. 
Love you all<3

Elder Rawson=)

The new house

Feb. 15, 2016

Great week with the new comp. Cleaned the shower spotless in the house for probably the first time in the last 15 years the missionaries have lived here today. Jaciel Castillo, 11 years old, grandson of a nice lady we reactivated last month is getting baptized this Saturday. I'm stoked because he's my best friend and we even played catch with his football for like 10 minutes yesterday. 
Love you all. Look for God in all things!:) 

                                            Feb. 29, 2016

 Buenas tardes con todos (with a strong gringo accent),
Hey everyone, how's it going?
It's been a slowish week. I was a little bummed because like the whole week we weren't able to get in contact with most of the families that we had before that were progressing well. But on the other had we were able to find new families that were interested so we'll be doing follow up with them this week. I love focusing on families in mission work and helping each one. I think the importance of the importance of the role of the family in the Lord's plan has been engraved in my mind here on my mission. 
Well I think I'm basically used to what once was the craziest place on earth for me and all the things that go on around us, So it's harder for me to think of stories like that for you. But one can never get too used to the spiritual things! So this week what has been most on my mind was when I read in Jeremiah one day. I read the scripture mastery in chap1:4-5 that tells when he hears the voice of the Lord saying that he was called to be a prophet, but then I kept reading the following verses that explain why he was called. In 6, Jeremiah explains that he doesn't even know how to speak and wonders why. The answer is in 7, The Lord tells him that it's because he is WILLING to do what the Lord asks of him. I thought of this scripture considering the relation to Joseph Smith, who was willing to submit himself to the Lord's will in order to carry out the restoration of the Gospel in spite of all the persecutions. Same with Nephi and guiding his family to the promised land. "The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind." DC 64:34. I consider this to be a huge attribute of humility.(Ether 6:17)

Love you all!
Elder Rawson=)
Pancakes with Elder Howell


January 2016 updates (Weeks 17346 ish) !!!


Jan. 4, 2016

Hey people!
The life in Babahoyo is doing great. Its quite a bit prettier over here than my last area. My comp Elder Ascanta is great. We have a smaller ward that usually has about 110 at church but yesterday there was only 60 because the first rain of the year came and many weren't up for facing the opposition! 

I also completed 18 months/a girl mission. Many people would think that that means I'll be going back to the "real world" in 6 months. This week I was thinking about really what is the "real world". I came to the conclusion that it means what most of the world is really doing. And what is that? Sin. They are sinning and falling for the lies of the evil one that say that a person can find happiness in wealth, drugs, etc. That would make the "real world" not real and a world of lies! That's a fake world. Satan tricks and cheats and there is nothing real about it. In my mission and my time away from the fake world, I have learned that the real and true happiness comes from staying within the bounds that our Father has set for our protection and observing and living the words of His chosen servants. Please, I invite each of you to keep your eyes open to be able to discern what is real and what is fake.
I love you all!
Elder Rawson

Jan. 11, 2016

Hola mis queridos:)

This last week was great, I'm still getting used to the transfer and the new area, companion, and ward. I like it.  Its different but you know what they say, "variety is the spice of life." I cant remember who said that but it's true!
 I had heard a lot of things from other missionaries that have come through this ward and the problems with the members and the bishop. I see a lot of good people with testimonies but there is a fault of unity. There is so much gossiping, talking behind people's backs and a lack of respect for the leaders. Secret combinations are not from God! Lo que no edifica, no es de Dios! They are terrible and easy habits to develop but we should always watch our words and think if they are going to edify others or not before we say them. Patriarch Olvera from Panorama, my first area, once told me, "Once I judge another person, I cannot love them." 
I'm excited for the work though. From the first week I was here (last Sunday), the attendance of sacrament meeting more than doubled and we had a good amount of investigators and less actives there seeking to draw nearer to Christ.:)

Christ knows our situations perfectly and is willing to take as much time as we need in order to reconcile ourselves with God. He knows the way and asks just that we obey His commandments.

Love you all!
Elder Rawson=)

La casa

Saying bye to Elder Fernandez that I lived with in Quevedo, He's been the AP

                                       Jan, 18, 2016

Hey everybody!
Babahoyo is still going great. There's a big river in the middle of my area with a few bridges that go across. There's a ton of kids that go bridge jumping and its cool to see cuz I didn't think people did stuff like that here! 

The ward this past week has improved a ton! The bishop has been getting a lot more excited about the work and the members have been active in the meetings and are willing to help out! Elder Ascanta and I are doing great but are still getting used to each other. His trainer may have been a little less than diligent and obedient and I think he adapted to the mission a little wrong. But its great to be in a new situation like this and develop and change characteristics. I was thinking yesterday in church about many of the tests and trials I face and how they can help me to prepare for the future. I realized that if they were all taken away right now I wouldn't have the opportunity to change many old habits and tendencies I have always had. We had our interviews with President this week and they went well. On Wednesday we have the world-wide conference for missionaries in the field so I'm stoked for that!

Going Hard in futbol last p-day 


      Jan. 25, 2016

 Story from a member's talk yesterday:
There once was a frog and two cranes. One day they were talking and the 2 cranes decided that they wanted to leave and go somewhere warmer. The frog agreed with them because he too wanted to join them to go to a warmer place but he couldn't fly. The cranes were about to leave him when the frog said, "wait, I have an idea!" He grabbed a branch and told each of the cranes to grab an end and he would hold on with his mouth. They went off flying and the idea was working great. They came to a town and as they were flying over the people below saw the 2 cranes and the frog holding on by the mouth. Somebody said, "wow, what a sight, 2 cranes carrying a frog by a branch, who thought of that ideat?!" The frog heard and opened his mouth to reply, "I did!" Before thinking he let go of the branch by talking and fell to his death.
moral: manifestations of pride are often small but deadly.

The work here is doing great! My comp and I are great but have our differences. We are trying to be more united but we often have a lot of people to visit and lessons that double causing us to do splits with the members some days and when we are together, theres a member that leaves with us everyday and is basically like another missionary. He's great and helps us a lot but it sometimes keeps me and my comp from becoming as united as we should be. We did 2 exchanges in a row wednesday and thursday. Wednesday we also had the world conference of missionary work and had to travel to another city as a zone called Ventanas (windows) to see it. About a week ago I did an exchange with Elder Blackhurst from highland and for a finding activity we went and offered to bless peoples' houses. It went great. In front of the hospital in my area there was a big nicer house and we decided to go up for it. Freddy Alarc√≥n opened the door and accepted that we bless his home. It went great. He is an architect and designs hospitals. We weren't able to sit down with him again for a few inconveniences but Saturday on a split, I visited him with a member and met his family. They are so great and even though they have been blessed with temporal stuff they are very humble. I love finding new families and having spiritual experiences knowing that I have come to a certain area for them! 
I love you all and thanks for the thoughts a prayers!
<3, Elder Rawson

Bus to Ventanas

Sunday nights

Elder Cook that trained me when I first got here is soon headed home back to Utah

Trimoto taxi in Ventanas

Small doorways