Thursday, March 3, 2016

January 2016 updates (Weeks 17346 ish) !!!

#Ecuador

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 

Babahoyo

      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


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