Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mexico Week 34 -- Blessings of a Loving Family

Buenas Tardes to all my favorites!! 

So it turns out this week that this one time I didn’t understand English. We were walking down the street and I said ¨Buenas Tardes¨ to a stranger and he walks past me and says something but I didn’t understand.  I turn around, ¨Mande?¨ or it is like, “I’m sorry, what?”  He said, ¨Buenas Tardes¨ and shook my hand and left.  As we walked away my companion starts cracking up and said ¨He was speaking English!¨  Turns out he said “Good Afternoon” and I definitely didn’t understand.  My companion just kept laughing and laughing! Ha! Ha! 

Another fun fact ... transfers are in another week ... WHAT?? I feel like we just had transfers! Y que creen? I already fell in love with Tlaquepaque. But I learned my lesson the last time, and we won’t be praying all week to stay here.  We are going to start praying for humility and going where the Lord wants us to go! 

Another fun fact about this adventure in Mexico ... We were without light or electricity half of this week.  Sometimes you should listen to your companion when she tells you three times you should pay the bill.  Sometimes I get distracted with work and well you see what happens!  Good thing mom went all Psycho Sally sending me with everything I might possibly need on the mission …  because we put that mini-flashlight and a few other things to good use this week! Ha! Ha! But the good news is, now we have light. Shout out to Charly Bear who watched “Scooby Doo’s Adventure in Mexico” with me .. it was the same thing, just us instead of Scooby!

This week we found our favorite twins walking home from school with their mom! We shared a message with them and are they just the cutest in their uniforms!! Turns out their dad is well, not with the family for some things that he did. The kids have been super stressed and sad and she went to visit him the other day. First things first, he’s sober and without drugs! She said that he told her that sometimes people visit them there to share the word of God but he said that he can’t go because he’s Mormon. She told us that she whipped around and said ¨You’re not even baptized!  How are you Mormon?¨  He responded, ¨Nope, I’m Mormon, and I’m getting baptized when I leave here.¨  He wants her to bring him the Book of Mormon and everything. Wow, the Lord truly always has a plan. 

This week we had interviews with President!  Wow, those days are my favorites! We talked a lot about my companion and all that’s happened in these short months. He reminded me what an incredible blessing it has been to be raised with so much love. Not everyone has that, and because of it, they need even more love and support.  The Lord needs us reaching out, supporting each other when we struggle, and loving each other despite our weaknesses.  We talked about the power and happiness that I felt last week and how much the Lord was blessing me. He says that if I just keep working, one day that power will reach her too. 

Now after all this when I was all choked up he tells me, “I’m a pretty faithful reader of your blog.”  I started thinking, “Oh no!” and asked him, “How is it treating you?”  He said he has a good time there.  He said, “Hermana Rawe, enjoy your mission and have fun.  This is a short time! Just enjoy it!” 

Also, we were speaking in Spanglish the whole time. Ha! Ha! Presidente likes to practice his English. He is incredible, a truly incredible person and a disciple of Christ. I feel so blessed to know him and to be able to learn from him. Did you know that he goes home 6 days before me? He’ll be my President my whole mission!

Now I know you’re all wondering about our golden investigator!  Well he is progressing incredibly!  He has just about finished 1 Nephi in about ten days.  He’s reading so much and he loves learning. We talked about temples and he is so committed to getting baptized and preparing this coming year to go the temple. His mom, well, she’s my favorite. We took a picture outside of church this week.  She hasn’t gone to church in about 6 months and she went this week!  Ahh, how beautiful right?  We have such amazing lessons with them both and ahh, I am in hook line and sinker. I may or may not have already promised myself that I’m coming here in a year when they both enter the temple. Mom you’ll come with me right? Just a real quick weekend!  I think I really love being with them because they remind me a lot of you guys. Hermana Elsa is sick and tired of being on bedrest and she decided to start climbing stairs this week against doctor’s orders ... remind y’all of anyone? Hermano Oscar, her son, our investigator, reminds me a lot of dad. He is in love with kids and does everything for them, a little tender hearted just like Dad when it comes to his kids. And the other son of Hermana Elsa, is straight up Rach, right down to how he walks. Ha! Ha!  His mom says he doesn’t like to talk about how he feels.  Everybody thinks he’s a little wild, but deep down, he is such a solid good guy. It’s like walking into Rawe household over there! 

I just want to tell you guys that everything in this life is worth it. All of the repentance, all of the hard things, all of the tears, all of the temptation, all of the efforts to be obedient, all of the family tiffs, just this whole life is worth it. It’s worth it because we learn and ultimately we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and be kings and queens in his kingdom. This too shall pass. We are so incredibly blessed and our Heavenly Father knows us inside and out. He knows what we’re capable of and he knows our weaknesses. He loves us, and He supports us one hundred percent. I love my mission and I am pumped for life! I just know that we can do it! 

Love you all to the moon and back! Be happy! Smile! Work hard and keep missing me!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mexico Week 33 -- True Joy

To all of my favorite people in the world!! This was by far the best week of my entire mission. 

First things first, I’ll explain the pictures! We bought potatoes last week and we made french fries! Almost as good as yours mom! 

Also, this would be a huge plate of fruit with honey. It has changed my life. I eat 1-2 plates like this daily.  I literally live off of fruit. The sad part is, all of my favorite fruits don’t exist at home :(

This beautiful P-Day we went for ice cream! I had ice cream that was the flavor of Nutella! So good! 

Also, we decided that running in the morning just wears us out too much and we really only did it like two times ... about a month and a half ago! Ha! Ha!  This week we decided that speed walking was a good balance.  Just imagine Phil from Kath and Kim speed walking at 6:30 in the morning.  Cracks me up the whole time we are doing it!  

Okay now for the good stuff!! 

Our single mom is progressing so well! We keep working with her, keep sharing our testimonies, and she wants so much to come unto Christ. It is an amazing feeling to just want what is best for someone. We love her so much and we worry about her, we study for her, and we are trying to help her receive the blessings the Lord has prepared for her. 

Another miracle is another investigator that we have. She is in her 50’s I think, maybe 60. She is a nurse that works nights and she is precious! We met her like when we first got here, but it is really hard to visit her consistently with all of the schedules she has. But wow, she is so prepared! She is reading the Book and Mormon and this week she realized how much peace she feels when we go visit her. She was super busy Saturday and we didn’t get to give the lesson we had planned and we were thinking she wasn’t going to go to church. We get to church, the sacrament happens and we’re thinking NOOOOOO, another week without investigators at church?  I’m just praying asking Heavenly Father what else? What more do I have to do? What am I not doing?  All of the sudden, she shows up in her nursing gear and we just about squeal! Ahh, we are trying to work with the whole family but their schedules are so crazy! But, I know that she is someone prepared by the Lord. 

The miracle of the week the son of Hermana Elsa, remember our less active member that has such a strong personality but we get along really well because of it? Well actually, about two weeks ago, we talked with her son that lives with her. He accepted a baptismal date was going to go to church and then one day he just tells us he doesn’t want to meet with us anymore. Hermana Elsa tells us that he just listened to us because he thought I was cute ... I may have cried about that. But anyways, at the beginning of the week we visited her and arrived another one of her sons. She says ¨Hold on a second. I really want you to talk with him. He doesn’t believe in God or anything, but let’s see if he listens to you¨.  She talks to him and says ¨These are missionaries from my church and they want to share a message with you.¨  Both of us almost laughed! But he did listen to us! He just barely separated from his spouse and is going to live with her now. In the second visit, he had read the pamphlet of the Restoration and told us he believed all of it, that he had prayed, and that it all just felt right. He accepted a baptismal date and tells us “I know that being a member of your church is hard. I know that there are a lot of commitments, but it shouldn’t be so hard if we feel real love for God right? I mean, we should just pray every day for the strength to be able to do it¨.  He is always so prepared for lessons.  He’s reading the Book of Mormon. HE WENT TO CHURCH. Showed up a little late, but he came! He was talking with so many members and just said that he felt good. He has his baptismal date in mind and is truly trying to prepare himself. I have never taught anyone like him. He listens, feels the spirit, and he honestly wants to know. Wow, it’s just incredible! He told me in the first visit, ¨People can see when a person is close to God, and you, are close to God¨!  It was the most incredible feeling. People can see when we have the Spirit, even for you guys too, people know. We just have to fearlessly share what we know. 

This week I just felt happiness, a true, complete, deep to the bone happiness. It’s awesome! I feel strong!  I feel filled with love!  I feel like I can do it all! I can take care of people here!  I can contact EVERYONE in the street!  We can find people to teach!  I can love and serve my companion!  I know the Lord will inspire me through his Spirit!  It was just an amazing week!

I love you all to the moon and back! Keep fighting the good fight, it’s not easy, but you can do it! Love you! 

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Aunt Laura

I shared a Coke with Aunt Laura today ... Love you!

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mexico Week 32 -- Miracles

To my dear eternal family :)

How are you all?  Missing me but surviving right?  Ha! Ha! Love you guys tons! 

Did you know that my mission is officially half way over? I hit 9 months this week...that is beyond crazy. 

First things first, funny story. Remember my four year old twins that are to die for? We were leaving the other night and they always hug us and give us a kiss on the cheek (typical Mexican thing). I say ¨Leilani, ya nos vamos, donde está mi besito?¨She answers me ¨Ven pues¨! Ha! Ha! That’s like, “Well, come over here then”!  I was laughing so hard and her mom just puts her face in her hands. Definitely a good laugh for the day. 

We were working this week and the zone leaders call us, ¨Hermanas are you busy¨?  We were with a member, had some really important appointments and I’m kind of feeling sarcastic, so I say ¨What time is it? Before 9? Obviously we’re a little busy¨!  They tell us we have to go to the bus station and pick up some hermanas that needed to stay with us.  So we went and picked them up. Slight problem, I’m not in Cruz del Sur anymore and our house isn’t well equipped for visitors. Good thing I bought that Frozen blanket because I rocked the cold tile for the night!

A little shout out to Emma Gathro, whoa that’s weird! I got a letter and birthday card from her this week and I LOVE the roommate pic that she sent me.  Sister Cohen is also the sweetest and I received about the third letter from her this week. She’s the best! 

We had our zone meeting this week, and these are the other Hermanas in our zone! Hermana Castillo. She got here when I did, but she has been on the other side of the mission this whole time. She is adorable. Hermana Sanches: also the sweetest. She goes home in December but she is a doll! 

Now for some miracles! This is our single mom! Remember her? She sleeps about three hours a day and works nights. We haven’t seen her for a bit because she said she had family in town.  We visited her a ton this week!  We got to her house after teaching the Restoration and ask her if she did her homework. “Of course!”, she says, “I read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and it mentioned a scripture in Moroni and so I went there and read and then prayed. I’m not sure when the answer comes but I know it will.”  We start talking about the spirit and how she can recognize her answer and we teach her about prophets.  She says ¨Hermanas, I know the conference will be really special tomorrow and that I will receive so many blessings for going.¨ Poor thing, she worked Saturday night, and it was a rough night, and she was trying so hard to stay awake during conference. Her daughters were with a friend, and after conference, she just sat there for a minute. She was so quiet!! We were like ¨soooo, how’d it go? How do you feel?” She says, I’m just thinking about so many things right now.”  Good things, we hope!  She kind of smiles and says yes. She said that she just really liked what they said. We are visiting her tonight and we’ll see if she opens up a bit more!! 

I know that she was our miracle for the week and that we will keep seeing miracles in her. I know that our Father in Heaven loves her and has prepared her so much! Wow, I never seen somebody like her before. I know that there are more people like her and we just have to work so hard, so diligently, so that we can find them! 

I loved General Conference. I can’t even pick a talk because I loved them all too much. Every single talk that mentioned the family, especially Elder L. Tom Perry, really hit me. I realized that things I’m learning aren’t just for my mission. I received a powerful testimony that Heavenly Father is preparing me to be a mom and wife. He is going to send me some pretty special spirits and I have to be ready for them. My understanding and application of the Atonement is going to be so important for my future family. I also loved Elder Holland´s talk too.  I know so many ¨poor¨ people and we are called to rescue, we are called to support and as President Monson said, we are called to represent Christ, to walk as He did. I love how this conference focused on changes. We are on this earth to change and become. Everyone comes with their faults and shortcomings and weaknesses...we are here to grow. We need not be discouraged because we aren’t the best! Ha! Ha! I have met so many people who just get down and say they can’t.  Or get discouraged because they feel they have too many changes to make.  That is NOT the message of this life or of Jesus Christ. The message is that we all to change and with Him it’s possible and fulfilling. It is so desperately and urgently important that we understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

Last little thought from conference. I loved that Sister Esplin talked about the sacrament. She mentioned a young woman who quickly got discouraged because as she thought about how she needed to improve, she become discouraged because she was making the same mistakes every week.  Ding! Ding! That is so me sometimes!  She mentioned that the sacrament is also for realizing how we grew, how the Lord helped us to change, how He strengthened us and helped us to do good in the week.  This was revolutionary for me! Wow! It’s true. The sacrament is also a time to reflect on how the Lord has changed us, not only how He can change us. Good stuff. 

I love you all. This is the Church of Jesus Christ and the apostles and prophets are representatives of Jesus Christ. This is His Church and He is at the head. We need to bring these blessings to EVERYONE! But in order to do that, our own faith and conviction in Jesus Christ needs to grow. Love you to the moon and back! Be good! 

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Mexican Independence Day

So Mexican Independence already passed, but here is us celebrating a little Mexican pride and being in this glorious country. I decided it’s okay that sometimes we buy moustaches and sombreros because they do it too! Ha! Ha!

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