Monday, February 27, 2017

cArNaVaL bRaSiL 2017

Wow, so basically the biggest party of the world is going down right now in Brasil! Street parties got banned in Santa Maria because of all the craziness that happened last year, so our work has gone on as normal. Not a ton of people are receptive and a heck ton of people are drunk, but the 4 day holiday will end of Wednesday! Basically no one went to church so I ended up giving a surprise talk, but I think I was able to put a little fire in their hearts!

2. The Hippies
Santa Maria has it´s fair share of street people/drunks/hippies roaming the city, and since we walk 45 minutes to get to our area we see a bunch! This week a hippie wanted to talk to us and we made friends with him and his little group! They told us which streets to avoid at night and the good neighborhood details! hahahaha love my homies. I also helped a more than slightly intoxicated man find his home this week. He grabbed me by the hand and walkin' a long we went! A member drove by and honked at us so the ward was laughing at me on Sunday.

3. Baptism Invitations
Our focus of the week was to challenge everyone in our teaching group to baptism! We have some good people, but none that are super close to the waters, so the only way to help them is invite them to repent and be worthy to be baptized! People started to understand more of our purpose and now it's in their hands, and we´re praying they use their agency for good!

4. Lose yourself and go to work!
My favorite thing that my companion said this week was when we were walking home on Friday after a long day, and he was like "Dude, you never stop! I've never worked this hard in my life!" It made me ponder about my personal commitment to be a hard working, Christlike missionary! At the end of the day baptisms, service projects, less actives who came back, are all secondary to our personal commitment! I challenge you all to you your best to follow Christ where ever you are at in your lives:)

Feel like your burdens are heavy? Mosiah 24:13-14

Elder Rawson

They closed an area and opened ours, so the housing situation isn't ideal.
We walk a ton!

Eating X (Shiz) to celebrate Carnaval

Monday, February 20, 2017

Can I Have Some Water Please???

1. Water
Hello everyone! Hope your week was fantastic. Things here in Santa Maria are good! Both me and my comp are new in the area so we've been doing a lot of street contacts and trying to find God´s elects! We´re in a rich neighborhood so when we knock doors no one wants to talk to us, but Brazilian culture says if someone asks for a cup of water you MUST give it to them, so we ask for a lot of water to start conversations! It´s worked out well, and we found a family to work with, so we've been blessed!

2. District Meeting
This week was my first district meeting with my new district! I gave a training on "Teaching with Power" that I hope fired up my Elders seek the Spirit while they teach! Every night I get to call everyone in our district and talk to them about how things are going and help them resolve issues in the area and stuff, so it´s been fun to serve!

3. We´re coming for you less actives
The Bishop gave us a less active list, so we bought a map and have been contacting every one of them! It´s sad to see some people who literally deny us, but the joy of some peoples faces when they see that the Church cares about them is priceless! I`m loving it.

4. Investigators
We´re teaching a woman named Lucinda who is super special! Her husband and both her sons committed suicide at different points of her life, so it´s been amazing to see her joy as she learns about the Plan of Salvation! We´re also teaching a little teenager who wants to get baptized, but his dad worships statues so that makes things difficult, but the Lord will provide a way for Gabriel!

Remember your baptism covenants in Mosiah 18:8-10

-Elder Rawson

A new fan!!

New Apartment - Picture 1

New Apartment - Picture 2 

New Apartment - Picture 3

Monday, February 13, 2017

"Athletes Adjust"

1. Hello Santa Maria Centro B!
My first week in the new area was good! I packed up my bags and took a 10 minute taxi ride to my new area which is literally is just one ward to the side. Most transfers are like 5 hours on a bus so I was grateful! My new comp is Elder Olivares, my new buddy from Chili. He´s awesome! He literally thinks I´m famous cause a bunch of people from my last ward honked as they were driving by in the center, funny stuff.
New area

New area
2. Area Mix up
We are dividing the area with another companionship that was already here in the ward, but they gave us the area they didn't  want to work in, which is downtown with apartments and big stores, so basically we spent our first 5 days lost cause we were both new and they left us with 0 investigators! We taught a few new people cause everyone knows that an "athlete adjusts" to his circumstances! Well, the assistants came a calling on Friday and they put us in the right area, so all is well! We were able to visit people on Saturday in a normal neighborhood and got 3 people to church, so all in all I`m happy!

It wasn't the most eventful week but I´m happy to be here in my new area and do my part of His work here in Brazil!

With much love,
Elder Rawson

 Alma 37:37
Member cooking lunch for the elders

We had some champion lunches

At our first lunch the member was wearing a New Holland hat!
Made me think of my Idaho fam

 after 7 months saving my peanut butter from home I opened it with Elder Burton!
 (he´s in my district now, same group in the MTC)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Moving On

1. Transfers!!!
After 6 beautiful months in Salgado Filho I´m pleased to announce that I´ll have a new area! I got moved into downtown Santa Maria, so that should be interesting! It is in the area right next to where I am now. Me and my comp will be new to the area so it might be a little rocky at first, but the Lord will show us what to do! I was also called to be District Leader, so I`m humbled and happy to be able to serve other missionaries as well!

My comp will be a guy from Chile, but I already know him and he's great so I'm excited:)  I'll still have the same address because I'll be in the same city.

2. The Legend of Salgado Filho
My first area was amazing. It´s known in the mission as one of the top 3 wards in the mission, so I was blessed to be able to start my mission there! We literally never had to cook anything in our house cause we always had members giving us food, and the culture here is quite pleasant, so usually the houses we visit serve us a snack! We were able to have success here, and I hope I can bring that into my new ward!

3. The Last Push
This week we decided to visit "White Gate", which is a small city at the very end of our area. There aren't members there and I´d never been there, but we decided to spend the week working there and planting seeds! We gave out more pamphlets than ever and were able to talk to a lot of people who hadn't heard about "the Mormons," so I was happy to share my testimony with them!

4. Study Update
I've really been studying about the power of scripture study in our lives, and I love what Elder Bednar says: "We cannot expect to reap scripture insight unless we pay the price of regular and diligent study." I can honestly say as I've began a serious study of the scriptures as a missionary I've been able to see the light of the Gospel and the hand of the Lord even more in my life! I challenge you all to do a little more and expect blessings:)

Have a good one folks,
Elder Rawson

Walking to a lunch appointment

Our District

Pizza to celebrate my departure

When Dica tells me she smoked again

Elder Rawson & Dica

With Brother Forte -- you might remember the prank he pulled with me and this knife my first day in the field

My two English speaking friends - Pedro and Rubiago

The Bishopric

The most fancy restaurant in the area to end the transfer!