Monday, December 26, 2016

FELIZ NATAL!

1.Christmas in Brazil
This week was absolutely great! We had a chance to talk with a lot of people this week about the Light the World and our Church. Brazil has different traditions and stuff for Christmas, but we had a good time! Christmas Eve everyone has a huge dinner and stays up late and when it turns midnight they go crazy! I woke up to firecrackers and people blasting music! Presents from Santa and with family isn't huge here, because people focus on having a huge meal with their families! We ate well to say the least! It still didn't totally feel like Christmas because rumor has it that it hit 111°F...  But it was good to celebrate the birth of Christ, and of course talk to my family!



2. The Power of the Spirit in Conversion
We have been working with a guy named Emerson on preparing for baptism! He is super awesome and prepared, but he´s not legally married to his wife. She has been lukewarm with us, but we've been praying that she´ll open up to us so he can get baptized! Well we went there Thursday and she actually sat down and talked to us, then she started crying! She said she´s been feeling something different in her life lately and she wants to get married and start going to church too! We were blown away at her change, but when we put our faith in Him anything can happen!

3. My friend Daví
My little street kid friend has been doing super great, coming to church activites, reading the Book of Mormon everyday, but he´s going to travel out of the state for 3 months! I was super bummed, cause we´ll have to baptize him when he gets home, but I know the Lord will take care of him! In the photo below he´s the one on the left.


4. Obedience always wins!
One hard thing about missions is having companions with different standards and expectations! On Christmas Eve a member called us and invited us to their family party, but the problem was was that it was already 10:00 at night! My companion insisted we go, but the mission rules are clear about being in your house by 9:30, so I told him no! Him and the other missionaries we live with yelled at me for being a goodie, but I know I made the right decision! We all have tough decisions in our lives, but obedience will always bring happiness:)

Love you all!
Elder Rawson



December Photos


Santa Maria Town Center at Night

Santa Maria Town Center at Night - #2



Going on Splits

Thank you family for the awesome Christmas cards!


Churrasco dinner with an awesome member!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Seja a Luz do Mundo


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

1. Christmas Season
Christmas season is great here in Brazil! We've been handing out the Light the World cards and people love them! It´s cool to see the saints in Brazil embrace the campaign as well. We had a Christmas Conference this week and I learned a ton! My testimony is always growing. Our President challenged us to remember to give a present to our Savior this year, by sacrificing to do something nice, leaving behind a bad habit, etc, and I want to pass it on to you! Sacrifice brings blessings that help you become more like the Savior.

2. Christmas Dinner
Our ward held a Christmas dinner  and they challenged members to bring less active and non members-- and boy did they deliver! We were talking to possible investigators and writing down addresses all night long! Our party also reminded me of my home ward´s festivities which I loved as a kid!

3. Splits
Going on exchanges for 24 hours with another missionary is always fun stuff! I got to work in the Zone Leaders area for a day, and Elder Oliveira gave me the phone and keys to be the Zone Leader for the day! It was kind of crazy taking all the phone calls and passing on numbers for the assistants of the mission, but it was a good experience! We also snapped some good pictures so it was a successful day!

4. When tragedy strikes
Our ward suffered an unexpected death this week... Paulo Link, a member of the Bishopric, died in a work accident in the prime of his life. The funeral and everything was hard on everyone, but it gave us an opportunity to console people! The knowledge of the Gospel and where we will go after this life literally takes away the sting of death! If you would like to keep his family in your prayers it would be appreciated!

That´s really all for the week! Thanks for all your love and letters!
Elder Rawson

Preaching to the Lamanites!

President Louza drew my name for our Amigo Secreto gift exchange!



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Guaranteed to make you smile in 15 seconds





video

Sister Prado and her family are very good to Elder Rawson and the missionaries.  Receiving this from her pretty much made my night.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Building Zion!



Grêmio, the team that everyone in Santa Maria loves, won the Brazil Cup this week so you can say it's been a bit crazy! Also 5 months on the mish today!

1. Tchau Elder Ferris
Well, I´m on comp number 3 this  transfer! Elder Ferris had bad migranes so he had to go home to see better doctors... It was pretty sad cause he had the heart of a lion! But Elder Oliver is my new comp. He´s from Bolivia and speaks 0 English, but we communicate pretty well. People laugh at my American accent and then at his Spanish accent, but we´re getting along well!

Roommates:  Elders Rawson, Ferris, Rodrigues, Prata


2. Service Project!
This week we helped a less active guy build a house! His living conditions right now aren´t great, so it was rewarding to give him a hand! In the Brazilian culture people don´t accept our service offers because they think its shameful? But it was nice when someone accepted our offer to help! It also felt real nice to throw on a pair of Nike shoes and basketball shorts:)





3. An Answered Prayer
This week we got the Young Mens president to agree to come to a lesson with our street kids, but when we went to get the kids we couldn´t find them! I was super worried that we wouldn´t be able to teach them and that the YM president would think we wasted his time. I decided to say a prayer in my heart that we could find them and be able to teach them, and literally 2 seconds after my silent amen I spotted one of them, and we were able to round up the gang and teach them! The power of a heartfelt prayer is real!


4. Film Night
Every Saturday we have a Film night in the chapel to give the youth something to do, and it gives us a chance to bring investigators to the chapel in a friendly environment! Not a whole ton of people come, so support your ward activites people! Ward leaders plan hard to have success, so help them out:)

5. Stake Conference
This week we had a special stake conference! It was video transmitted from Salt Lake for some stakes in Brazil and Elder Holland talked to us!!!! He is literally my hero. He talked specifically to the people here and it was cool to listen to him! He talked a ton about the importance of temple work, and urged us to go to the temple as a family as often as we can! The temple here is 6 hours away, but it amazes me the sacrifices people make to go!

Enjoy a cold Christmas, cause it´s hottttt here:)
Elder Rawson

recent convert named Lucas we've been teaching!  I adore the kids here.

Cool train tracks we found in the forest
Go UTES!

Brother Antao got released as the ward mission leader



Monday, December 5, 2016

Catching fireee

It´s getting harder and harder to write these emails in English!

1. Baptism Dates
Our area really caught on fire this week! We worked super hard this week and taught a record high of lessons, and because of it our area is doing great! We got 3 baptismal dates marked with people, so I´m praying they can overcome their problems to meet their goal of baptism! We also committed 11 people to come to church this week! Not all of them made it, cause 9:00AM church for people here is brutal, but I´m happy to see people progressing as they live the Gospel!

2. Satisfaction 
I've decided my favorite feeling in the world is walking out of a lesson where the Spirit just dominated! Preach My Gospel says "There is no more compelling work than this, nor which brings greater satisfaction. The Lord will richly  bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him. More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced" and I testify to that! Days can be long and sometimes hard, but knowing you helped a soul come unto Christ makes everything more than worth it!

3. The singing sensation: part 3
This week our zone got together in the very center of the city to film our Christmas video! We stood in the middle of the square and belted Called to Serve, and boy did we get some looks! Ha, it was worth it though cause people came and talked to us after and we were able to get some addresses. I think it´ll go on Facebook in a couple weeks so stay tuned!

4. Street Kids
This week we were walking down the street talking to people, and we saw what I like to call 'street kids.' Basically boys 10-15 years old who do rowdy things on the street. We set up an appointment and invited them to church, and they accepted! One of them walked out of church and asked when he could be baptized. So cool!

Scripture for the week is Romans 13:11-12.
"Blessed are ye who actually look up Elder Rawson´s scriptures"

With love,
Elder Rawson


No pictures, but a short video this week:

video




Saturday, December 3, 2016

Snail Mail letter

November 2016: We were happy to receive a snail mail letter  from David.  Here is some of his letter telling us more about the culture of Santa Maria, Brazil.

I'll write here some things about the culture and funny things that have happened!  So Santa Maria is in the farthest south state in Brazil, Rio Grande de Sul, and it's very different here!  People here are a bit strange sometimes . . .Brazilian Elders say this is like the Boise Idaho mission of Brazil, but I love it here so much and every goofy Gaucho:)  

Every single person here drinks chimarrao (grass drink) on a daily basis!  It's just hot water with ground up barbecued weeds? People love to sit at home with family and friends and make churrasco (Rodizio style meats) and have a good time!

Manners basically don't exist here . . .  It's perfectly acceptable to like your plate clean and also to 
eat with your fork then use it to serve yourself more from the main pot.  

The public breast feeding here is out of control, but don't worry cause my eyes are "single to the glory of God."  

But honestly there is nothing better than being a missionary!  The power of the calling is real, and the Spirit  that I'm worthy to have brings SO many blessings into the work and into my life.  

I love you guys!  Your prayers for me strengthen me on hard days.


& some other fun things that were in the letter:
Completed Missionary Training Checklist


Presents / Pass Along Cards

Election advertising

McDonald's receipt -- only ice cream on the menu





 A "Dear John" letter to the English language -- written 8 days after arrival in Brazil!!