Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Already Time to Renew My Visa

Time's a flying by here in Santa Maria, I was shocked to say the least when I got the phone call that it's time to renew my visa! 
I own this town:))
1. Recent Convert Progress
This week Pedro got the Priesthood! I was super pumped for him. This week we had our follow up lessons with them and it was amazing to see how the Gospel changes lives! After Rose´s baptism she said she doesn't even feel tempted to drink coffee anymore! We had a family night and they made us pizza. They're the best!

Pizza/ FHE

2. Analee/Natalicia
We've been working with Natalicia, a less active of 40 years, who´s active these days and now we have the chance to teach her daughter! Analee read the Book of Mormon and told us how she loved the part about "the straight and narrow path" because Jesus had to follow a hard path when he suffered for our sins. Quite the 10 year old:)

3. Planning Pays Off
Our mission has been focusing on being obedient because we have a love for the people, and not just because we love to follow the rules! Our President promised us that if we would have a good planning session, God would send us where we were needed. So we did just that, but were bummed to find that we followed up to a fake address. We decided to ask a man on the street if he knew the person and he didn't but after talking to him he told us he was baptized 10 years ago and moved and would like to meet with us! It was cool to see how God puts us where we need to be.

4. Snack Foods
I´m in the Center Ward, so I walk through the commerce every day, and the street vendors are quite good at their jobs;) I´m a frequent buyer of the churros stuffed with doce de leite (3 reais/1dollar) and honey roasted peanuts (1 real/30 cents). It´s the real deal to say the least!

5. Zone conference
This week half our mission got together for a conference! President Louza continues to be my favorite person on earth, when he talks the Spirit always hits me hard! We talked about the carrying the joy we felt when we opened our mission calls into our day to day work. Loved it!

Thats the wrap folks! até mais meus amigos (translation:  See you, my friends)
-Elder Rawson
Zone Conference
Zone t-shirts

repping my new Ute gear (thanks Mom/Tyler)
my cookies attempt
My former comp Elder Prata was called as the new secretary
and is living with me again
The Flu Shot
Santa Maria Sunset

Monday, April 17, 2017

An Easter Weekend to Remember

1. The baptism of Rose and Pedro
This beautiful Easter weekend we had the chance to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, and I had the pleasure of seeing Rose and Pedro enter the waters of baptism! We found them one month ago doing contacts on the street, and truly the promise of 'God will prepare people to here the restored gospel' was made manifest! They are truly special people that I will never forget! After some setbacks, delayed interviews, and a hectic week full of fasting and prayer, they were baptized on Saturday! My testimony of God´s love for His children has grown, and truly there is no greater joy than a baptism!
Before the Baptism:  Elder Oliveras, Rose, Pedro, Elder Rawson

Leaving the waters of baptism.
 Pedro got first pick on which Elder would baptize him and he chose me:)
He is huge for Brazil standards- and only 12 years old!

After Rosa & Pedro's baptism
2. A butt ton of new investigators
Here in Brazil Easter weekend is HUGE, so Friday till Sunday had potential to be some of the most unproductive days yet, but we set out for the street with prayerful hearts! We contacted some of the addresses we had gotten from people on the street that week and we were able to teach a family of ELEVEN people! 1 mom and 10 children, ages twenty five to three. They were super receptive and gave us Easter candy and some of them agreed to go to church next Sunday! We were super happy and it made our weekend that much better!

3. District Meeting
This week we had our last district meeting of the transfer, and I had been worried/planning for our baptism, so I didn't have time to plan my best training for my district. Just as karma would have it, 10 minutes into our meeting, our mission President slipped in the back to listen in! I almost had a heart attack, but in the end it turned out to be our best meeting yet! The Spirit will always be there when you talk about attributes of Christ:)

That´s all everyone!
 Love you guys more than you know.
-Elder Rawson

Alma 7:15

Sometimes we make shirts as a zone, this is ours for this transfer:) 
The zone leaders design them and a member prints them.
victory Xis (hamburgers)
Oliveras & Rawson -- twinning and winning with the similar ties
When Gabriel takes our phone
When your mom sends 6 lbs.of  peanut butter
 with a family in your ward who was visiting Utah
-- it is a good day for the American Elders!

my favorite zone leaders!

Easter Sunday- fanciest lunch in the mission

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Priesthood Strikes Back

1. Assaults in Brazil
HELLO everyone:) so I don´t know if you all saw the video that went viral of the two Elders from Brazil who got assaulted but ended up beating up the guy who tried to rob them???  Our investigators here saw the video and asked if I was the huge American in the video, so I got a good chuckle there!

This week I got a call from two Elders in my district and basically the same thing happened to them! The man wasn't armed thankfully, and everything worked out okay, but Elder Bento broke his umbrella over the dude's head in the scuffle! The Lord protects his servants, and street thugs ain't got nothing on the Priesthood of God!

2. Testimony Meeting
On the spiritual side of things, this week was spectacular! We had 3 people at church and the testimonies were on point, so the Spirit was undeniable! It was great. Also a 12 year old (Gabriel) that we´re teaching got up and bore his testimony. Naturally, as the missionary teaching him, I was scared to death that he would say something blasphemous, but he told us his dad was sick and he prayed how we taught him that he would get better and the next day God cured him! Literally every woman in the chapel was crying. The power of a boy's testimony brought this church back to the earth, and it conquered the heart of our ward this Sunday!

3. Brazilian Hymns
Portuguese hymns are straight up beautiful, and people here BELT the songs during meetings! It´s so amazing to see how it effects the meeting in such a positive way! My counsel for you all is sing a little louder this week:)

4. Miracles with Investigators
I was humbled to see the Lord's hand in the Work this week! We saw miracles this week. After lots of prayer and fasting, Rose was able to get a job to sustain her family!!!!! She and her son Pedro have accepted and are preparing for baptism! Hearing her testimony of her conversion brought me to tears. God truly takes care of his sheep and brings them into the loving care of His fold!

Sorry for the novel, but the week was just that good:) God answers prayers of faith and helps us along the path to eternal life! Nothing is better than finding God's elect and bringing them to church:) I'm in love with the work.

-Elder Rawson

when your comp tries to take a cute selfie for his mom

dinner with Silvio

We found a frog hopping around our apartment

Monday, April 3, 2017

POLICE - Hands Up!

What a splendid week we all had! Conference is always a good charge to our spiritual batteries. If you didn't have a chance to watch Sunday Afternoon, go back and watch it cause it was a winner! On Saturday I was waiting for President Uchtdorf to crack an April Fools joke, but that would be "against Church policy" or something I guess. Watching it translated into Portuguese is different, but I was grateful for Elder Christofferson. He pre-recorded his talk in Portuguese for us so we got to hear his actual voice! Also, anyone else see Donald Trumps twin singing in the Mo Tab???

2. Getting to know the Brazilian Police
So we had an interesting experience here in Santa Maria Centro this week! We were teaching a less active woman and her non member daughter the Plan of Salvation (interesting enough, her daughter passed away during the Santa Maria fire and tragedy of 2013) and the Police busted in with guns a- blazing! They searched the house for a criminal on the loose, so we were completely fine but it was a shock to say the least! We had to reschedule the lesson for next week cause they had to lock down the neighborhood. Pois é, faz parte. (Translation:  Yeah, it's part of it.) All is well though!

3. FHE update
This week we had a STELLAR family night with our investigators and President and Sister Louza! Rose and Pedro are really moving along. They are still praying about a baptism date but I know that once they get baptized they'll be there to stay! We also had a family night with our ward mission leader and some investigators. It's one of the best ways to share the Gospel here through small and simple means.

FHE with Rose and Pedro

FHE with Chico and crew

That's all folks! Also we went on a forest hike for P-day so if you want to see photos check out my blog.

-Elder Rawson
John 3:16-17 (cited THREE times during conference)

Forest hike on p-day

Elder Rawson exploring the Brazilian forest

I made my comp a cake for his birthday!

Zone meeting

Splits with Elder Burton

I won the March madness bet!

we get rained on sometimes, but the work of the Lord goes on!

a HUGE spider!

Friend from Salgado Filho Ward
More Salgado Filho friends