Monday, September 29, 2014


Well, hello my dear friends and family! What an amazing week it has been! The weather has been lovely as we are catching the last of the summer here. I'm not gonna lie though, I'm a bit worried for winter. Everyone keeps telling me that it's gonna be a cold winter because all of the squirrels are getting quite fat. That is something that we see a lot here...are squirrels... and they are not like Utah or Idaho squirrels. They are  big and black and the're everywhere! And to be honest with you-I love it! Every time that I see one it reminds me of my little black dog at home! haha

This week has been amazing, and I feel like each week I just continue to learn and grown. On Wednesday, we went to a mission tour by Elder Carlson in Ottawa and were  so blessed to be one of three chosen to be interviewed personally by him. It was great, and I was able to ask him questions and receive some advice. One of my favorite things he said was that as a missionary we aren't called to "talk but to teach", and that wherever we are we should build Zion.

Now, at the end of each day me and Sister Gonzalez sit down and spend a few minutes to look back at the day and find the miracles throughout the day! Some days are harder than others and sometimes you just feel like you put all this work into the day, only to find that no one was receptive to the message or lesson. But when you reflect back on the small miracles in the day they help you to keep going! So here are some of my experiences this little miracles.

One afternoon we got on the bus to get into town to check on  some former investigators. On the way into town we decided to do some bus contacting. We had just spent the previous hour practicing contacting tips and role plays. We got on the bus, sat down, I took a deep breath...and I started talking to an older woman and after a while we started talking about religion. She had some friends that were LDS and even had a Book of Mormon and a Christ video. So we talked, and at the end of our conversation I asked her if she would like a video about Christ and she replied that she did, and she wanted this specific one, The Lamb of God. She than went on to give me her name, address, and phone number and told us that she was busy but that we should keep trying to get a hold of her. It was amazing!

On Thursday, we went to go teach one of our investigators. In the past she has been taught a few lessons but has had some questions and ideas that had stopped her from really progressing. But on this visit we decided that we were going to bring a member with us and it was just what she needed. By bringing the member with us she was able to relate to our investigator and answer some of her concerns and questions in a way that she could understand. So after a great lesson, we invited her out to our board game activity the next day, which she agreed to as long as we could find her a ride. We were so excited! So we searched for her a ride and searched and either people couldn't come or already had all the seats in their car taken! We got a little discouraged but I loved how Sister Gonzalez put it, "it's just Satan working against us so we just have to work harder" and so we did. We went though the whole ward list looking for someone who could give her a ride and...we  finally found her a ride! So we ran over to her apartment to tell her the good news (because she doesn't  have a phone) and we got there and she  thought it was tomorrow.... was super disappointing at the moment... but the Woman's General Broadcast was the next night so we said that's find and told her about the broadcast and how we would be decorating cakes and watching the broadcast and she agreed to come! And even more miraculously she asked us if she could bring a friend!! And she did! And as we sat next to her and her friend I thought, this is perfect for her! She needs to hear this!  How amazing in the whole scheme of things. God knew what she needed, though both activities were good, he knew that one of them was better for her. In the end it all worked out and we could tell that she felt something. I think it's so amazing  to know that God knows each of us so well and that he prepares us for what's coming next ! I know that God is preparing each one of us for is to come in our lives as well as preparing so many other people  to hear of his gospel. We just need to continue to live right, be where we need to be and to open our mouths when the time comes!
Lots of Love
Sister Rawlings

P.S. I made friend chicken!
P.S.S. Notice the bagged milk picture.
A member took us out to Morrisberg- beautiful! The leaves are gorgeous...may be a little blurry because it was taken in  a car.
The cake was for the general broadcast cake contest, where our team had to make a cake based on a scripture!
          We did the wise man built his house upon a rock. 
There is a really pretty church that is in the city where we walk past.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Well everybody! I'm here! Can't believe it, I still feel like everyday is a dream! It's been two weeks since I emailed so I have a lot to say, so hold on tight! The last week in the MTC flew by! So on Tuesday we got to Montreal with the biggest group of missionaries to come into the mission ever(29 of us)! The following morning President Patrick took us to the Mount Royal which overlooks the city of Montreal and it was beautiful! It was super powerful because we read section 4 from the D&C all about missionary work on how the field is ready to harvest while we gazed at the city before us. Afterwards we gathered together in the mission office and we were assigned our trainers and our first areas! Not gonna lie it is a weird feeling right before not knowing who or where your going to be be and be with for the next 12 weeks! One elder explained it like this, "it's like an arranged marriage!" haha. But I couldn't be more blessed with my companion and area. I'm serving in the Cornwall Ward, it's a large area, it's about 2 miles from the U.S. border and is famous for being the hometown of Ryan Gosling. The people are so sweet and kind and they speak English! So that's nice to be able to communicate with them. The ward covers the city of Cornwall (about the size of Idaho Falls) and surrounding area. My wonderful companion is Sister Gonzalez, she's from Utah and has been out for 7 months!   She's the best trainer and I feel so blessed to be here with her! Funny story, I've actually read her blog before I came out on my mission so that was fun!  With such a big area we have a car.  In my few days here I've already met so many amazing people. I already feel such a love for the people it's amazing!
A small miracle that happened this past week, we were visiting former investigator from a while back and when we knocked on her door and asked her if she wanted to learn more she said yes! She seemed really interested,  so I'm super excited to see where this goes. 

We meet really interesting people this week while we street contact, we met a medium, a Catholic deacon and a lady who believes in Mythology. When we asked the medium if she believes in God she was like, "I got a direct line." and the other lady was like "I believe in many god's and goddess and they all live inside me." It was interesting.Everybody is super nice though, and it's true, people in Canada really do say "Aye!"
 Something that has been hard for me is bus contacting. It's hard, you get on the bus and you just strike up a conversations and while your talking everybody else on the bus just stared at us... it's kinda funny actually and we try to get others joining in on the conversations. One guy started talking to us and come to find out he thinks we're Jehovah Witnesses, so that was interesting talking about how were different. 
To be honest I didn't like how everybody stared at us but than I read this quote by President Monson, that says "Dare to be Mormon, Dare to Stand Alone,Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to make it Known." I really have been thinking about that because our message is true and our mission is divine and we should be not be quiet to share what we believe because everybody deserves the message that we have. I don't want to get to heaven and have someone ask me why I didn't share with them the message of the Gospel. I don't want to be the reason that they didn't receive the gospel and all the many blessings that comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it makes a difference in lives and it  is the surest way to happiness in this life and in the life to come.
Sister Rawlings  

                                           My old MTC Sisters.
                                      My new mission companion.

9/14/2014 (snail mail letter)

So, it's Sunday and it's been a great last Sunday! I leave in one day. I can't believe how fast it has gone! I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of freaking out.
A lot happened today! Some really funny stuff. So every Sunday in our sacrament meeting they pick two missionaries to FRENCH! To give a 3-5 minute talk, which would be no problem in English. I've made it 5 weeks! I felt like in the first few weeks I was going to speak but after making it this far, I felt like the odds were, as they say in the Hunger Games, "ever in my favor"!
Today our Bishop came into our district, reminded everyone to have their talk ready just in case it was them. I was like, "why don'y you just tell us" and he was like, " I like suspense & the shock on the faces when we call on them." I then replied something to the effect, "that I was nervous," To which he said, "don't worry, you'll do great."   That was my fist clue.  During lunch we placed our guess, knowing the speakers would come out of the two departing Montreal Districts.

So we go to sacrament meeting and one of the counselors  is holding the door and shaking our hands when he shakes my hand and adds, "if I were you, I would be nervous about speaking."  ....awww, and that was that. I accepted my fate, still holding on to that small sliver of hope that it wasn't me till they got up after the sacrament and said, "today we will be pleased to hear from Soeur Rawlings & Elder Shaw." And that was that...I spoke. It went decent. I had written it , so I gave it in French, and only messed up once when I accidentally said, "", instead of "livre de Mormon" but it went well!

Weird to think that I could/most likely will be giving that talk next week in a ward in Canada!

                                                                MTC Sisters
                                       My first Tim Horton's! Hot chocolate and a doughnut!
                                                                   Pink day at the MTC!

                                                             Montreal or bust!
                                                      Sister Azemi-tabriz's Birthday

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

9/9/2014  #5 Mission Letter
Bonjour ma famille et mes amies!

This week I stumbled upon a scripture found in Romans 8:31, " If God be for us, who can be against us?" and it's a scripture that has lingered in my mind all week.  
So, in case you didn't know (probably 99.9% of you) I got my flight plans this week! Which I am beyond excited for-all 29 of us leave next Tuesday at 3:30 in the morning, bound for Montreal, Canada. While I'm  beyond excited, I can't help but be nervous! For the language, for speaking and teaching real people, among other things,but the scripture found in Romans 8 really has left an impression on me. We have to remember that this is God's work and that no matter what happens God's with us, and if God's with us why should we fear because through him we can do anything and overcome everything.
So, no week would be complete without a few funny one day my district and I were in our classroom and one of the elders was talking about Moses, and so than we started talking about how he had to hold his arms up for the sea to be parted... and well it turned into a contest of who could hold their arms up the And while we participated in this experiment we read Moses, and man-after about 10 minutes, the struggle was real, lol. But it was a great glimpse into the story.

This week has been great, and I have absolutely LOVED the MTC. I've made some life long friends and had some very memorable experiences. But I am beyond excited to get to Montreal and teach the sweet people there. It has been amazing to see how my French has progressed and I can't wait to see what's next!
Watch Out Canada HERE I come!
Love Soeur Rawlings
Twins (Sister Gammon and I)
Other District Elders

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Field is white to harvest, thrust in the combine (Idaho sickle)

  9/2/2014  #4 Mission Letter
Bonjour ma famille et mes amies!

This has been such an uplifting week. I feel like I was spiritually feed all week. Can I just say I love the French language, even though sometimes the grammar is hard and the pronunciation even harder! I feel like I have grown so much. When I first got my call, and I found out it was pretty much exactly where I wanted to go- part of me thought that when I was in here and the times got tough that I was going to ask God why he didn't just send me English speaking (and I have wondered it a time or two, and I think I found out the answer this week...
1) I asked for it!  So when I moan and groan I have to realize that I asked to go French speaking and 2) I think that without having to learn a language I wouldn't have had to depend as much as I have on the Lord. When  going into a lesson and  I  don't know how I'm going to share an experience I have leaned that if you put your trust in the Lord, put in your best effort, that he will do the rest. I've had words come to my  mind and phrases that I hadn't thought of truly is amazing! One experience is when we were teaching John Luc (Aka Frere Rodrigez) and me and Soeur Willis prepared but we just didn't know exactly what we were going to say and we got into the lesson and it went amazing! For the most part, I understood what he was saying. I was able to respond and it was a great lesson. I know that he isn't a real investigator, but something that I've learned is that it doesn't matter who you're teaching, if your teaching truth the spirit is still there.

It can be very stressful at times,  especially thinking that in two weeks from today I'll be on a plane headed for Montreal! The more I learn, the more I realize that I need to learn, but it's coming...slowly.  But it's amazing at the progress that everyone here is making. It's even more amazing to see how the Spirit guides us and opens our minds. I think a big thing for me has been learning that everyone has different strengths. This week we had a sub for one of our teachers and we had to do a door approach and it went well. The  following day we had to teach them one of the commandments. Soeur Willis and I were given Obedience (kinda a broad but hard topic),and given about 10 minutes to prepare a lesson that we did not feel like we knew. We asked the teacher which room he would be in and he replied that we would all be in the same room and watching each other teach. It was terrifying! It's one thing to teach in front of your teacher but a whole other thing to teach in front of your peers-all who have more experiences at French than me. We got in the room, and two by two the others taught and when it came to our turn(last), I'm not gonna lie, we felt nervous before most lessons but we were really feeling it this time. But when we started teaching about it and promising him blessing about being obedient and following the commandment of keeping the sabbath day holy it all just fell into place and we were able to ask him questions and be very personal. Now, in no way were we perfec. In fact, about the farthest thing from it. But afterwards the other groups evaluated us and told us about our strengths and our weaknesses, and through it I realized that Soeur Willis and I are very personal and really try to engage the investigator. Throughout each group, it was cool to see how each person had strengths and that it was hard to compare because we were each good at different things. It's like life, we have all been given talents, and how can you compare yourself to another because everybody's great at different things. But something that we all have in common is that we're children of God and n matter what, he loves us and we can turn to him for guidance. No matter who you are, what you've done or where you're from, he loves us all the same.
Soeur Rawlings
Acting out the pictures. We love this picture(above). Soeur Willis, Lindquist and me (below).

 Our Tahitian Sisters.
 The dress sent in a package (Elder Lund jumped in the picture).
 My Rosie pillow case.I love it sooooooo much!
Some of our really good friends in the other zone going to Montreal, Elder Petroskey who we nicknamed the Viking and Elder Hathoway.