Monday, July 21, 2014

Tengo Fe

To my best friends in the whole world!

First things first … THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the ward and family members for my birthday treats!  We love the snacks and the kids just love all of their treats. Y’all are the best!

So lately I have been listening to a lot of Christmas music. Every once in a while we visit Esther (Antonio´s wife) and the last two times we sang Christmas hymns! I think I love it so much because one, it is just happy music; and two, it is so focused on Christ! Ahh, love it!  Needless to say, I think I’m always going to be the person that listens to Christmas music in July! 

We also had interviews with President Camarillo this week! He is literally the sweetest man. We talked a lot about the Atonement and how we can understand and apply it to our lives more. We talked about taking responsibility for all of our choices and making the most of this opportunity that the Lord has given us! He just really has a Spirit about him. He told me that Hermana Buttars’ Spanish is really good and he thanked me for being obedient as I helped her learn. He told me that he really trusts me a lot and gives me a lot of responsibility, even though I haven’t been out long. Wow! Now I just want to do everything in my power to never ever let him down! At the end of our interview I really felt like I should ask him for a blessing so I went for it. 

In my blessing, he blessed me with wisdom and a desire to study the Atonement more. He said that this study in the mission would bless and help my future spouse and kids. Wow! I am constantly thinking about my future family and now I can see why! I need to prepare so much so that I can be everything they need me to be. Something that really surprised me is that he said that I should give milk instead of meat to the kids that I teach .. that I should teach them line upon line. I was thinking that I truly haven’t taught that many kids, but maybe Heavenly Father has more in store for me! The kids here are truly so special to me. They are just so close to Christ! 

I was also encouraged to put complete confidence in the Lord. I think I still struggle sometimes to give Him everything. El Presidente gave me like a half hug after and I almost asked if that was allowed ;) He tells me: “Te quiero mucho Hermana Rawe”. He truly is an incredible President!

Hermana Buttars is the best. We had some real talk this week and I admire her so much. I feel like we both are changing a ton on the mission! We are just really firming up what’s important, what do we want for our futures? We talked about how so many people talk about missionaries that come home from their missions and then falling away.  We both have a fear of that, of just getting distracted when it’s not missionary work 24/7! We made a pact that we are going temple exploring in Utah every week and on the car rides recommitting each other to being good people every time! 

I had an epiphany this week!! We’ve started making these huge posterboards for families. We made one for the Reynaga family that says on top -  Tengo Fe en Jesucristo. Below it has the name of every single member of the family and we left some stickers. Every time we pass by, we’re going to see who has stickers and how they showed their faith. The kids LOVE it. Thanks to my package I got this week, we have sweet prizes too! I started thinking that we could do something like this for so many families depending on their needs. Some of them have trouble sharing the gospel, so we made ones that say -  Soy un Representante de Cristo. Every time they represent Christ and share the gospel ... sticker on the chart! I was just really loving this all week! We made one for Rosa Elía and her family too. First we watched a video about finding faith in Christ with the kids. Both Alexis and Nickole all snuggled up with Hermana Buttars and I. Not gonna lie, gave me major mommy fever. After the video, we talked about faith and how we can have it. All of their faces lit up when they saw the chart and the kids are so excited. I just love when you can see on people’s faces that they know that we care. 

We had two pretty special lessons with the Reynaga family this week. First, we taught the Law of Chastity with them.  We’ve been feeling that they need a refresher on some things and we taught it a little different. We started with the scripture in Corinthians that says that our bodies are temples. We asked the kids what temples are like. They start describing the temples and then Roxton says, “But, I drew on my hands on this morning, and I haven’t bathed in 3 days!”  Then he kind of does the classic Lexi head drop. I love this kid! These kids get it. They are so smart and they are learning so much about the gospel. They are reading the scriptures as a family and going to church. Even our teenager’s attitude is starting to change!  On Sunday we visited Hermano Pedro to see how he was doing with cigarettes. He asks us if we’re starting to see the fruits of our work in their home. Love this old fart to death. He tells us, “I don´t know if you noticed, but when we got to church, I went with JuanCarlos and Roxton and we sat on the other side.  I thought the girls were going to follow, but they went and sat with you two. They see something in you. Our home really is changing.” Wow! It’s so true. Their home is changing, they’re not perfect, but they’re improving. I couldn’t help but think back to when I was wondering why in the world do we come here?  They don’t want it!  The Lord testified to me to love them and stick it out and look at where we are. Ah, the Lord truly always has a plan. 

Now on to my other family members here, the Contreras and Flores families. We ate with the Contreras family on Saturday. Guess who was there to eat? Hermano Carlos and his son Fernando (who is also not a member).  We taught about how we can truly be cleansed from our sins. Wow! What an incredible lesson! I don’t know what it is, but I truly feel the spirit so strongly every time we teach Hermano Carlos. He talked about how he wants a clean slate, he just doesn’t feel like it’s possible, but he has this dream of his whole family being together after this life. My brain is about exploding at this time with the word baptism!  I talked about how there are things we have to do to be an eternal family, one of them being baptism. I invited them both and I don’t think I have ever extended a baptismal invitation with so much love in my life. Fernando and Carlos both said yes!! We talked about the preparation, about what it really means to work toward an eternal family. The night before I felt like their family poster should say -  Nuestra familia es eterna. Seriously!  We weren’t even planning to go there with the lesson and look where we ended up! Two hermanos preparing for baptism and a chart to mark when they make efforts to get there. I love this family. I love them almost like I love you guys.

We ate with the Flores family on Sunday because our food from the hermanas fell through and we decided I’m going to marry Angel (the Contreras son that’s on a mission right now so I can be in their family). Hermano JuanCarlos sticks his hand out and says, “Sister in Law!”  Ha! Ha! He and Blanca are literally Brad and Laura … so sarcastic, a little wild, but so committed to doing the right things. Entonces, guess I’m marrying a Mexican!

In all honesty, I got a little sad this week. It hit me that there’s a big chance I might be leaving in two weeks. I can’t believe almost another three months has passed by so fast. I love the people here and I think I might cry if I miss the baptism of Carlos and Fernando, but the Lord always has a plan right? I know that He takes care of us so much and I’m willing to go where He wants me to go. I’m willing to do what He wants me to do and I’m willing to be what He wants me to be. I love Him, more than I have ever loved Him in my entire life. I am committed to Him more than I ever have been. I just want to be someone that He’s proud of. I want to represent Him with every interaction. I feel so blessed to be here, to be with these people. I love my mission. 

Don’t worry, because I love you guys too, so I will come home at some time! Be good! Be examples! Share the gospel with everyone! Love you more than you know! 

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