Monday, February 22, 2010

Poor Puppies:(

Dear Family;
This week has been wild! We got rejected like crazy and I think I broke my
sweating record We went to Rosa's house and they had killed the puppies because they couldn’t feed them. We were a little distraught to find out that we had marched those little puppies right to their death. But alas, all dogs go to heaven.
It is always kind of cool to see rejection. I know that the Lord tests us to see if we will be faithful through trials. We thanked our heavenly Father this week
because we knew it meant that we were going to see more miracles, and we did! We found
some awesome investigators this week and one of the families that we have been working
with for a while came to church and have a baptismal date! We were so happy. When we got there the district president (like the stake president, just for branches) was there and gave a talk and an awesome testimony. It turns out that he is an old friend of the dad of the family! It really touched our investigator so much and he was very impacted when we went to talk with them last night. It was such a blessing and we were so incredibly spiritually drained.
We had some really funny moments too and are just having a great time overall. I am so incredibly happy here as a missionary. I am working hard and being obedient and diligent so that I can be the means of bringing someone else to salvation. There is no feeling happier than that.
The members here are really great people, we are just slowly trying to make things a little stronger and help the people be a little more self sufficient. I
seriously am so thankful that I have been able to see the wonderful examples of strong
wards and leaders in my life.
Can you believe it’s already almost march? Wow. This Thursday we travel to Ciudad del Este for the conference. I’m sure it will be a crazy week.

I wish I could tell you everything that is going on but there just isn’t room. Just know how much I love you, miss you, and love being a missionary. I am so happy.
Have the best week ever!!!!!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

¿Cómo estamos mi querida familia? It has been a great week here. Actually, a little bit tough, but we are fighting through and having a good time. Valentine’s Day was not romantic here. Just a lot of drunks and rejection. It is way sad when people won’t even look at or listen to us, but we try to keep a good sense of humor and just keep going. MY companion is hilarious and we have a lot of fun together, just soaking up the experience. Sadly, it is her last change, so our time is limited together, but we are trying to just soak it up. I can NOT believe that it is already half way through February! I will drop her off at the mission offices and then pick up my new companion in about three and 1/2 weeks.
We found some really cool investigators this week, but none of them made it to church. We went to look for like eight of them and none answered. That is always kind of discouraging but we will of course keep trying. There is one that we have who has a really cool testimony of the pamphlet that we left her about the Restoration. Her husband came home drunk and tried to beat her, but she had the courage to finally stand up to him, take her kids, and get out of there. She didn’t make it to church because her lawyer told her not to got to her house in case her husband came back. It is a mess, but she is reading the Book of Mormon and already knows that it is true. I pray that she will hold on to that conviction and keep progressing. She is really great.
Church was interesting yesterday. We were church. I directed the music, the Elders passed the sacrament, my comp and I taught the Sunday school class and the Elders taught Gospel Principles. The 4 of us gave talks in Sacrament meeting. I am learning a lot and we are really trying to strengthen the branch. They are good people with great intentions and desires.
We had some funny experiences this week. We went to visit a contact that we had done and when we got there she had a rooster in her hand and she was holding it by its feet which were tied with a cord. I asked her what she was doing with it (but Hermana Redmond already knew what was going on). The lady told me she was just about to kill it when we got there and that she was busy. I just kept looking at it and stroking its gaggle on its neck. I just kept asking her questions about it so she wouldn’t kill him. "But...but...whats his name? How old is he?" etc. It didn’t work though. The rooster met his death soon after. "Let´s go hermana" my companion said. I felt like someone had just told me that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Poor thing. I love all the farm animals here. We found a box of day-old puppies on the side of the road on Thursday so we took them to Rosas house. They almost didn’t make it, but ended up living. We fed them milk from a bottle. There is also a new born horse that we always see and it makes me think of you, Mom. I love it.
It sounds like you had a fun Valentine’s day! I’m glad that almost everyone was able to make it there. I just want us all to be happy. We are still getting letters and packages every Tuesday so we are blessed in that aspect. It rained yesterday so the mud (with the red dirt) was incredible. It was kind of fun though. It felt really cool.
I love my grandparents and hope they are all doing great. Thanks for the picture you sent mom. That was way cute. Tell Anna, April, Lauren, Natty, Jessy, Etc. that I love them all and wish them the best. Well family, I love you all sooo much. You are always in my prayers. Thank you all for your examples, love, and have a wonderful week.
Love, Rae

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 8, 2010

Hi family! It has been a pretty crazy week here in Coronel Oviedo. We had some disappointments and some great miracles as well. I am learning so much about how to be bold with people and tell them what we believe. As it says in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it brings salvation to the souls of
the children of men.” I have been thinking a lot this week about my responsibility as a member of the church to do missionary work. I am positive that I didn’t do everything I
could to bring the gospel to my friends and family when I lived at home. I just didn’t understand it was such a responsibility and a duty. Today, our email from our mission president talked about some statistics with member missionary work. He said that 80
% of the investigators who know a member get baptized. This is referring to the people who actually investigate the church. The problem is, that only about 5 percent of members participate in missionary work, including referrals that they give to the missionaries, lessons that they participate in, and talking with their friends and
neighbors about the gospel. Many are afraid to offend, but the more I love Gods children, the less afriad I am to share with them the gospel and be blunt and bold about what I know to be true. I don’t think our friends will get offended when they know that we just
want to give them peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. I hope that we can all not only be examples of the believers, but that we also talk about and look for every opportunity to share the gospel with others and uplift them. I am so
glad that you were able to have a wonderful experience in the Tongan ward.
The pictures are from this Thursday at the house of a member who was going to help us teach. Her name is Rosa and she is a convert of about 2 years. She is such a great lady and a wonderful example to me. She always asks us what she can do to improve and progress more in life. I hope to always be so willing and eager to learn. She goes to visit a lot of the people out in the campa that speak almost only Guarani. In the
first picture, sitting under the tree with my companion, I had just gotten done eating
the duck that they had killed that morning. The second is in front of the Nike cow. Yes, that is a machete in my hand, but you can see only the handle in the picture. This is us tracting but through mandioca fields. I am having a whole lot of fun adventures.
My companion is so great. We are having such a fun time together. She is so hardworking and such a great example to me. She is finishing up at BYU pretty soon here too, so we have a ton of fun things in common. And yes, she knows the Shaws! I guess Kelly just got called to the stake presidency. She said he is always way happy and laughing. It has been a great change so far but always is flying by! I can’t believe it!
We had some investigators at church this week! They are so great and we are hoping that everything will go well with their baptism that we have planned for the 27th of this month. They are so great. The members are really great here too. Things are different, but the feeling and the teachings are the same. I am learning a lot about the duties and organization of the church. It has been a great learning experience for me. Mom, that is way sad about Justin’s mission! That would be so hard! Tell him that I wish him the best though and that things will all work out. Everything happens por algo.

Happy Valentines Day! Congrats Mary and Andrew! Well, I gotta go! Until next week.
Love, Rae