I thought this week was going to be a pretty quiet week for me... NOT SO!!
So first of all, I am not living so far out into the jungle to see all over the news that a new iphone came out and the Steve Jobs died. Especially because apple is opening a new ipad factory in Brazil ( people LOVE THAT).
This week my companion had another leadership training meeting which meant I was able to sit with Elder Page and chill in the staff offices of the mission. It is always really nice to just talk to other missionaries and see how different their experiences are, and how similar. I like having that perspective.
So I forget if I have mentioned this yet or not but our house has been without water for a LOOOONNNG time now. 3 weeks! Yea we have to fill up 2 liter bottles at our chapel and then carry them but to our house. Very annoying. We have a 25 liter tub tank thing that one of our investigators gave us that we fill up and use to take showers. I use a large cup and have to pour the water over me to shower. Very lame and yet totally cool. I am a jungle missionary!!!! Anyways, one night it began to rain HARD! So we got into some shorts and went outside to take advantage of it. It was a very cold shower but still quite refreshing. We even had the smart idea to use a bucket to collect some water...... which ended up being a horrible idea. We filled the bucket and added it to our large tank thing not realizing the rainwater we collected fell off our dirty, nasty roof. Anyways we contaminated ALL of our water and had to dump it down the toilet and get more from the chapel.
To wash our clothes.... we had to take them to the church and wash them all by hand. It took about 3 hours and by the end my shoulders were sore. BUT, I had clean shirts!!!!! ha ha. Luckily a member who lives close has offered us the opportunity to take our clothes to his house and wash them because his house still has water.
Actually, we got a little bit of water in our house yesterday and I tried to wash some clothes with our washer but it was taking FOREVER to fill the machine we have. Just when I almost had enough water to fill the machine for the rinse my comp messed with some buttons trying to help and drained all the water out..... annoying. But I was not mad at him. He just did not know that would happen. So its all fine.
We are having some good success teaching the gospel I think. Actually, three families we are teaching are talking about getting married (most people do not marry here in the north of Brazil) and I can really see the blessing of our work and their faith in theirs lives. It is just amazing to be able to watch the gospel of Christ applied to someone else. To watch them grow and change. I love my mission. I learn so much every day.
Sunday this week was testimony meeting (meaning any one in the congregation can stand up at the front and share their testimony of God and Jesus Christ). It was very powerful. It was my companions last Sunday with the ward because next week is the area stake conference and then he goes home. He bore his testimony and it was great. A lot of people talked about the blessings of missionary work. Jefferson, who was my first baptism on the mission, bore his testimony. He is just a kid but I was smiling soooooooo big! Then his mom bore her testimony. She shared an amazing story too. It was the following;
"On his special day when he was baptized, he shared something with me which I feel to share with you. He came up to me and said that he was not alone that day. Someone was their with him. I did not understand, I just saw the other people there. He then described the man who was with him during his baptism. He saw a tall man, dressed in white robes standing in the air. His hair was long and he was smiling. I had no clue who this was, because I did not see anyone like that at the meeting. But I soon realized who the man was."
I wanted to cry when I heard this. It was so touching. This kid who I truly look up too had seen something I couldn't at the time. Because he was so strong and faithful, hopeful, and willing, he saw a glimpse of heaven. Oh how I wish for all those I meet here to see that! We also heard a wonderful testimony from the bishop of the ward here. He served a mission and he was just so grateful for my companion to help the ward here.
I also was able to meet a family that Elder Soelberg has known here for a while. They were way cool, and they made us delicious food and we talked a long time about the states, how Soelberg is leaving and many more things. It was a ton of fun. It just is wonderful to build strong relationships with the people here and to really catch a glimpse of the full spectrum of what life really is here on earth. To live here in Brazil has really opened my eyes. I had a pretty set image of how the world was and what the rules were of life. But since arriving my perception of pretty much everything has been shifting and changing. It is such a blessing to learn a language, love a new culture, and really grow temporally and spiritually.]
Anyways, life is good.
Eu amo voçês
Elder Asa Laws