Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where Else Am I Going to Have an Experience Like That?

So anyway, we had quite the average week. We are all systems go for a baptism this week. Two kids will be getting baptized and will be confirmed member of the true church. I will get to baptize Cristian and my comp will baptize Aixa. I am pretty excited. Two weeks later we should see another baptism, and then there is another guy that will get baptized just as soon as he decides he wants to talk to us. the husband of a member lady has been to church a hundred times, he just doesn't like to be rushed. I'm pretty sure all we are going to have to tell him is that his wife deserves someone she can be with for eternity and stuff like that and he'll be in the water. Another brother needs to stop smoking. He is the son in law of the stake pres in the other stake, and is the only member of the extended family not baptized. He really wants to but is having a lot of trouble. I give him three weeks and he'll have it beat.
It’s a miracle I'm not sick right now. Last night we all went out to a city called Santo Tomé to work in the hermanas area. We were there from about 4:30 to 7:30 and at about 6 is started to pour (rain). It was already really really cold, and once it got wet, my suit seemed to suck the heat out of me, but we kept working as any missionary would do...hoping and praying to get into a house! The bus ride home was pretty fun too. The bus was beyond capacity by about 20 people, so we were all scrunched up in the back of the bus. When else am I going to have an experience like that? I love the mission.
Our ward mission leader picked up some food for our lunch with him on Friday from an Arab restaurant. We ate what the Lord might have eaten in the last supper. Meat and trigo (sorry, forgot the word in English, ask dad), flat bread, garbanzo paste and some weird meat/trigo biscuit things. It was pretty tasty.
A family in our ward has a kid in a Jewish school. He would be learning Hebrew, but he has to focus on learning Spanish first. He got to go to a synagogue the other day and hear the real story of Noah from the torah. Cool huh. I would love to visit a Jewish synagogue, just to see how it is and stuff. I have started to be a lot more interested in Judaism. I can't wait to take a class about it at the Y or something like that. I know of a few, but I'm sure there are millions of things in the Book of Mormon that are common in Jewish culture and writing. Just more proof that Joseph smith was a prophet.
I am currently trying to read the Book of Mormon again before I get home. I kind of have a vision of finishing it on the plane right before landing. But anyway, I'm in Alma, and a verse from chapter 31 stuck out in my mind. I think it’s the last verse in the chapter, but it is talking about the sons of Mosiah and Alma and their compañions and how their trials were consumed in the joy of Christ, which I guess can mean the atonement. The part I liked was the fact that because they were on the Lord's errand, doesn't mean they didn't have trials and afflictions. Their afflictions were bearable, even unimportant, because of the hope that they had in the atonement. That all of the injustices and otherwise unfair things that happen will all be made right. They certainly had quite a few trials and afflictions, much more than I have had to face in my mission, but their joy is that much greater. Anyway, just thought I would share.
Anyway, that’s about all I can think of. I should have some interesting pictures for next week though. I'll see if I can get some off today. Just know that I love you all and love hearing from you every week, even when I don't hear from some of you....just kiddin...
The church is true and we have a prophet. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Jesus Christ is our Savior.
Elder Rau

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tomorrow Begins My Last Transfer

Hey familia,
How are you all doing? It was really a great time talking to Mom and Dad and a little to Jake and Annika and Anson. I was shocked at the conversation that I could have with Anson. He’s just so big now! What a cute kid! I hope all you mothers had an awesome Mother’s day.

Well, tomorrow begins my last transfer, and there will be no more changes for me. Me and my hijo are stickin together and will be able to see the fruits of our labors in the next six weeks. I am very excited for it.

Last night all of the elders in the zone came over to our house and we had a big sleep over. Kind of childish, I know, but it was a lot of fun. I don't know how they pulled it off, but the ZL got permission to use a portable DVD player and we watched the best two years. One of our zone leaders just became the new assistant to the president, so he wasn't actually there, but maybe he had something to do with it. Other elders are getting transferred, lots are staying. The only change is that I am no longer the district leader. The district stayed the same but me and elder Soza changed positions. I am going to be able to focus one hundred percent on the area! It should be nice.

So we are looking at four baptisms in the next 3 or 4 weeks. All are children, but we are going to be finishing, or getting close to finishing the families. The almost atheist dad of two of the kids said that he will come to the baptism! The kids are all really excited for it and love church. The Tira Family (the one that contacted us, I think I already told you about them) is doing so good! When we went to go pick them up for Church, we ran into them on the way to their house. I mean, we were walking towards their house to pick them up, but they had already left. I guess they wanted to get to Church earlier. They were all dressed up and everything. Kevin (9) was really excited to show us his tie. It was cool to see them all walking together.

We kind of got robbed again. Not really, someone just took advantage of a situation. We were in a taxi the other day, and when we got out, I guess our cell phone fell out of my pocket or something. We called it a few times, and when they turned it off, we called the offices to tell them about it and to turn off the phone. So now we will be without a phone for as long as I am here. Sad, but I guess that’s just how it goes. We have to share with the other elders in our apartment. I think maybe the Lord is punishing me. I haven't really been using the phone as much as I should have, to arrange appointments and so forth, so maybe he is saying, let’s see how you do without this great tool I have given you! I took it for granted...I learned my lesson

The mission is such a cool thing. I don't know what I'm going to do without it. It feels like my life has just been like this. All of the memories of my "previous life" just feel like dreams or something I saw on TV or something like that. I have to remind myself that it’s true. It still doesn't feel like I should be going home soon, but as everyone is quick to remind me, the time is getting closer. I'm starting to see "my lasts" Like last planner, last area, last comp, last "work Monday" (by the way, p day will be Monday from now on). This is all just too weird.

I still know without a doubt that this is the true church of Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was, indeed, a prophet, foreordained to bring about a marvelous work and a wonder in these days, and what a privilege it is to participate in it at such an intimate level as I have been.

Anyway, I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from you next week!

Elder Rau

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Mission is the Best!

Hola Familia!
Thanks for the letters again this week! I loved seeing the pictures Ari sent me of all the kids playing and stuff. Looks like y’all had a great time! We had a pretty good week here too. Not quite as much playing though.
Last Friday we were looking for some less active family that we had on our ward list. When we lack things to do, we just start looking for in-actives. It’s a great source of new investigators. So long story short, we found a family, but not the one we were looking for. Virginia Tira is a member of the church, but inactive for about three years due to lots of trials and difficulties in life. She lost contact with the church, then moved, so nobody knew how to contact her. We were walking by, and the kids yelled, elders! When are you going to come teach us the discussions? So I guess they contacted us. We talked, taught and set the goal to go back to church. Saturday she said good bye to the Jehovah witness’ that knew to come by, and Sunday came to church. The members were great and swarmed her. IN about 10 minutes she had met the entire relief society and a few hermanas set times to go over and visit her. Last night in ward counsel we talked about helping them out a little bit. It was such a cool thing to see the ward in action. Everything worked exactly the way it should, which is the way the Lord has designed it. Two of her 5 children will be baptized in the first part of june. They are already reading and praying together every day. Pretty cool huh.
That was the big story of the week. Everything else is going good. Two other part member families should become a little more complete next week. We have a baptism planed for Wednesday, but we’ll have to see if they can make it to church this week. The mom traveled this Sunday and couldn't bring them, so they didn’t come. They are doing great though. I love teaching and baptizing kids, but I have yet to see a whole family come into the church. I would love to see that before I go home.
News from other areas. I think I might have mentioned it a little bit before. Every week we get an email with a list of all the people that were baptized in the last week, as well as announcements and so forth. It’s been so exciting reading it in the last few weeks because a ton of people that I got to teach have been getting baptized. Last week a couple that has been investigating for a long time, but hadn’t been able to get married just got baptized. It makes me so happy.
From my first area, the dad of a young man (right now on his mission in Ecuador) got baptized. I think I might have told you that already. That was especially cool. It looks like his wife is also investigating.
The mission is the best!
It looks like p-day is going to change back to Monday next transfer, so I will keep you updated on that. As far as the call, I still don’t know anything. Ha ha! I’m sure I will be calling you later in the day. After 3 o clock your time. I’m pretty sure there is a four hour difference. I will write down that number mom gave me, and I’m sure it will work, but I will also have a backup plan. That is, I will buy another card just in case, and then you would have to call me back. I’m sure the Verizon card will work though.
Well, that’s all I got for this week. I love you guys so much and am pretty excited to hear your voices and talk to you on Sunday. I’m so sure that the church is true and that we can be a forever family! I’m so grateful for Christ’s atonement.
Love you guys!
Elder Rau