Monday, August 29, 2016

Greetings from Elder "Haw-seen!"

Hellooo everyone! Finally made it to my area! Everyone botches my name so it´s usually pronounced something like Haw-Seen or haw-sin.
1. First Area
My first area is actually in the outskirts of Santa Maria! Everything is much more humble than anything I´m used to. It was pretty hard adjusting the first couple days, but I´ve grown to love the dirt floors and houses the size of my living room! My companion is a Brazilian, Elder Prata, but he is basically fluent in english so he helps me when I struggle, cause it´s a lot! People talk SO fast and I don´t get much, but I have easily learned more in a week in the field than 6 weeks in the CTM. Progress!

2. The First Day
So we were walking down main street, getting to know our area, and a dude hollers at us to step in his shop. So we step in and a 4 foot Brazilian with a 5 foot machete jumps out and is angrily yelling something about Joseph Smith, and I was terrified for my life. Turns out he´s a member and it was a joke, but it was easily the scariest 20 seconds of my life!

3.The CokeVilla Mircale
We were knocking doors in a very humble part of town and I was exhausting and incredibly sweaty and it was tough! I prayed for someone to at least hear our message or something! Not 5 minutes later a man sipping a beer, fixing his car invited us over and went inside and got us a 1 liter glass bottle of ice cold Coca-Cola! It was an answer to my prayer and the best beverage I ever did have:)

4. Cultural Differences
Wow everything here is so different! You clap outside of houses instead of knocking, there are literally hundreds of homeless dogs on every corner, and there is trash and graffiti everywhere. Houses are very run down and are in poor condition, a lot with dirt floors, even though most people have a HD TV and a smartphone. But the people are so kind!! The Brazilian spirit is alive and well!

5. The Food
Members feed us everyday, which is thee greatest! They always serve the best they have and give us thirds everytime, and it is phenomenal! There is something about sitting on camp chairs on a dirt floor in someones house eating Rodizzio meats that makes me so happy to be here! Other than than, lots of rice and beans and sausage and such.
Well I love you all, keep me updated on life:)

Much love, Elder Rawson

PS, if you feel so inclined to send me a letter my address is:
Caixa Postal 339
Centro-Santa Maria- RS

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mom loves Pictures from Brazil #2

Another sweet Brazilian sister sent this today.  Grateful that Facebook exists in Brazil!
Beloved son in in our ward salty son 
He's fine and well in Portuguese

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mom loves pictures from Brazil!

Many thanks to Sister Prado in Santa Maria,  Brazil who found me Facebook today and sent me a picture of David. Love her for feeding him too!

Ola querida, gostamos muito de conhecer seu filho 

Ficamos muito feliz por ter pessoas boas fazendo missao em nossa area

And thank you Google Translate for helping me read her message!

"Hello dear, we like to get to know your child.  We were very happy to have good people doing mission in our area."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I made it! (to Santa Maria)

I made it to Santa Maria! my first area is actually going to be here in the city so that´s cool. Our house is definitely very humble... haha but my companion is elder Prata and he´s sick! he’s two inches shorter than me so we´re are HUGE by brazil standards! he knows enough English to answer my questions so I´m pumped! I am definitely pumped and a bit nervous for everything ahead, but the Lord will bless me:) they want us to send mail according to our area so this one is this

Caixa Postal 339
Centro-Santa Maria-RS

That should work for mail but I’ll let you know! I don´t have time to reply to anyone, just enough time to send the fam a quick one! Lots of stray dogs and homeless people and sketchy things, but they say it´s safe so pray for me! Love you all, keep doing good things in the world!
Helaman 5:12

Thanks for the secret letters in my suitcase!

Much love, Elder Rawson

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Last week in the CTM!

 It's crazy to see my spiritual and language growth in just 6 weeks:)

1. Proselyting
We got to go hand out Book of Mormons in public again! We handed out 11 in less than an hour, it was amazing! We got people's addresses to give the local missionaries for them to teach, and it was amazing to testify of Christ in 60 seconds and convince these people that this is the true church! Got me so hyped for the field. Also gave a Book to a dude in a Spiderman costume performing, I gave his agent my email so we may have pictures of that encounter coming soon!

2. The Blessing
Sister Smith in our district has had this nagging stomach pain that flares up from time to time, and the doctor didn't really know what was up, but she asked me to give her a blessing! I was nervous and was stumbling over my words a bit like an 18 year old does: then I had the prompting to tell her she would be healed. That was 5 days ago and she hasn't felt a thing since! I'm so grateful for the Priesthood and that I could be a worthy instrument in the Lord's hands.

3. Cultural Fun Fact
I was pretty bummed when I learned that I couldn't drive on the mission, but after seeing people drive around here I'm SO glad I don't have to drive in this chaos. The police don't enforce much, so people literally just drive 60 down residentials and pass people when they definitely shouldn´t! Bikers weave through traffic and drive on sidewalks! The road rage is unreal.

4. CTM conclusion
Gotta say all in all that I loved the CTM! Missionary work is a roller coaster of emotions but I had a great time and learned so much! And Brazil is the greatest so I´m truly blessed!

My P-days will be mondays, so till then!
Love, Elder Rawson

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

One month in the Books!

Crazy to think it´s been a month already! We're literally busy every second of every day so time flies and I love it!

1. Temple/City Adventure
The São Paulo temple was closed so we got to go to the Campinas temple! Literally the most beautiful temple I've been to. Google pics of it to see it cause it´s amazing! It was a 2 hour bus ride so we got to see the city and culture so that was great! They are holding all the Olympic soccer games in the MTC city so the city is alive and partying! A senior couple here got front row tickets to a game for ELEVEN dollars. Considered breaking out to catch a game, but they had to wear special bug spray so they didn't get Zika cause that´s big here right now.. Missionary is way more exciting anyway!

2. Portuguese
Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than walking into a lesson with nothing but your Portuguese scriptures. We don't have to read anything anymore and we can answer all the questions our investigators ask and the Spirit gets so strong! The Lord has really blessed with me with this language. We get soo much time to study the Gospel too that my testimony is growing so much as well! God is good to me. Mosiah 2:41 is worth the read!

3. New Companion
Elder Oberholzer got his visa so we got a new companion! He was at Provo before. Trios are weird but he´s a great guy and his Portuguese slays so we were happy to add him to the team. He´s from Vegas and is a funny guy! Elder Talbot and I are happy!

4. Devotionals
Every Sunday and Tuesday night we have devotionals! Last month Elder Holland spoke so I was bummed I missed that. Most of the time they're in Portuguese so the Americans get headsets and someone sits in the back in a booth and translates! Well this week they were reading a the scripture about "My bowels were filled with mercy towards the children of men" and when the translator read it in English he said a word similar sounding to bowels that had the American Elders laughing their heads off.. #TranslatorFailz

Every night they bring around Lanche which just means snack, and it´s a juice box and a chocolate treat! Basically the best part of our night. The Provo MTC doesn´t have it because "Brazilians must have their late night munchies" so I´ll take it!
Well I love you all, always choose the right and God will bless you!

much love,
Elder Rawson

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ballers turned Elders

Since David won't be sending  pictures for a few more weeks, I wanted to add this one. This picture is of all the seniors from the 2015-1016 American Fork High School basketball team.  As of yesterday, all seven of them are now missionaries!

Elder  Condie - Ohio
Elder Brimhall - Philippines
Elder Rawson - Brazil
Elder Bailey - Washington D.C.
Elder Johnson - Italy
Elder Judd - California
Elder Hucks - Chile

 I wanted to recreate this picture of all these guys in their missionary suits palming a Book of Mormon, but didn't get it done before they started leaving.  Just imagine how great that picture would be and maybe I can get it after their missions!

So grateful for David's good friends and excited to hear of their missionary experiences the next two years.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tudo Bem meu amigos! (Well all my friends)

Another great week here Brazil! Lots of cool stuff happened.

1. My amatuer singing career was born
Everyone here is required to be in the CTM choir, and they ask for people to sing as companionships all the time. I jokingly volunteered me and Elder Talbot for it and we got picked! We sang the first part of I Stand All Amazing at our devotional in from of the entire CTM! When Brazilians sing duets all the Americans laugh because Brazilians are awful at singing, so we were heros!

2. Real missonary work!
This week they took us on a bus to São Paulo main street to hand out Book of Mormons to people! It's the busiest street in Brazil and it was such a great experience! We handed out a bunch and got some good contacts for the missionaries! We got rejected a bunch, but I just try to give people a happy image of our church by smiling! It was also super sad cause their were homeless people everywhere. We talked to one lady for like 15 minutes but she wouldn't take a book, so I said a prayer for her in the middle of big city chaos. Great experience!

3. The Elevator
So we live on the 7th floor, right? Well we have been guilty of taking it a time or two when we're in a hurry. Well a couple nights ago we take it when we should of walked, and we get to the top floor and it wont open! Without touching anything it just sent us to the very bottom! We were hitting buttons and nothing worked, so it must the Lord telling us to be obedient!

4. P-day
P-day is such a blessing! Going to the temple is always amazing and we get a couple hours to go outside and experience the culture and buy food from carts on the street and talk to people! The churros here are like a dollar and they are stuffed full of chocolate and carmel! It´s great.

5. The Holy Ghost
One of my favorite things about being a missionary is always having the Spirit with you! I always just feel so happy! We have so much time to search the scriptures and ponder gospel topics and I really enjoy feasting on the words of Christ! The Church is true y´all!

Till next week!
-Elder Rawson