Mission Slideshow

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week #34 - "As usual, I'm writing slowly because I know you can't read fast.- Radar"


This week has been a very long, and incredibly fast week for me. I cannot even describe this feeling of living a lifetime in 30 seconds or less. So on to the real information that you want to hear. I am living in the wonderful bairro of Jorge Teixeira in the northeast corner of Manaus. My last area was as southeast as the city goes and now I am as northeast as it gets. It is a wonderful area that still has a lot to offer. A little bit of forest and and a lot of streets. If mauazinho is the largest geographical area in the city, Jorge Teixeira is the most densely populated! We have so many houses here!!! So many streets!!! I am excited because I finally get to meet some new people. I have committed myself to be able to navigate in this area within 2 weeks, and I already have a ton of the streets memorized. I hate being lost so I will avoid that.

My companion is Elder Everton from Rio Grande de Norte. He is 19 years old and only has barely 4 months on the mission. He is interesting to say the least. I am really excited to stay with him because his life is soooooo different from mine. His dad left their family and his mom died when he was young. He was baptized into the church at 11 years old but fell away and spent most of his teenage years outside the church (that is right, he has a tattoo!) He became active again in the church only a few years before his mission and he made a plan with the bishop to serve a mission. It is very interesting because for the first time ever in my life (how sad) I am living with a person who does not have a solid Mormon background. He is still relatively new to the church but he has a strong testimony and loves his mission. I hope we will be able to become good friends this next 6 weeks.

The members of the church here are awesome! First, they all love me because I am an American that can talk with them and understand them. Second, when I arrived I established with the bishop and all the members that I am an Elder who is going to work his tail off, if they are going to work with me. Immediately they agreed to start new programs so that they can work more hand and hand with the missionaries. Every Tuesday this bishop is going to go and teach with us and a handful of men from the ward want to go out and work too!! The young men's program here is very strong and they have about 15 young men. ALL plan to serve missions. WOW! One of them even came up to us and asked if he could spend Wednesday and Thursday with us working!

Random story/facts/things... So this house does not have cats that I can care for and help out. Instead.... our neighbors have 2 turtles. Yep turtles! They come walking (or is it waddling? What exactly is the verb used to describe the stride of a turtle?) up to our front door every day and my companion gives them a slice of bread. It is cool and the other day I told one to slow down because he was speeding. HAHA! Also, there is a young boy in this ward who decided to chase down his families duck this week while I was there. I took a photo. He actually caught it and plucked a feather. Crazy!!!

I finally decided I was going to make those brownies you sent mom. Upon opening the package I chickened out and decided to just make the batter. Then once I opened the plastic bag I realized I did not have it in me to risk raw eggs in Brazil, so I made a little bit of brownie batter with just water in my cup. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! I have decided now that I must always be kept in brownie, or in other words, anyone who sends me anything will be praised for placing brownie mix in the package. THANK YOU!!!

MY HOUSE HAS AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!! I AM SLEEPING IN HEAVEN!!!!! It actually get cold enough that I have to use my hammock as a blanket. I LOVE IT. Also, when I say cold, I mean it gets down to 20 degrees celsius (68 degrees F.), which is the new cold for me. I am actually dreaming again and I remember them, which I attribute to the coldness. I had a dream that Mom emailed me and said she was not coming to pick me up after my mission, but that she had a better idea and would not tell me.

MY HOUSE HAS HOT WATER!!!!!!!!!!! A hot shower is sooooo good after a cold night sleep. I have never been so grateful for a shower in my life!!! HOWEVER, hot water here means that the shower head has an electric current running through it and that heats the water. When the water leaves the shower head it separates in the air and the current is broken. But if a body part is placed close enough to the shower head, where the current still is in the water, said body part will be shocked. This is not of any real concern if the shower head is fixed high enough or one is short enough not to touch it. However, neither condition exist in my situation (the shower head is low and I am "tall" in Brazil) so if I stand up straight when I take a shower I will be shocked. Let me just say that it was very interesting experience when I discovered this... Regardless, I LOVE hot, electrifying water. Good stuff, such a blessing!

As for the people we are teaching, we have none because they all were baptised this last transfer. Soooooo, I HAVE TO FIND NEW ONES!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!! I am very excited. Time to grow on the mission. Our church building here is so beautiful. It is huge, clean, and it has a garden in the front. I cannot express how wonderful that building is. I feel something different when I go inside. It is just such a blessing.

There is a member of my new ward who is a stock broker. He speaks English, which he learned on his mission. GET THIS! He has an iPhone 4 and an iPad and he let me mess around real quick on them!!! I definitely tried my hand at angry birds again and failed miserably. Needless to say, I will have to re-learn technology when I get home. I just use a bare bones cell phone, a 7 inch DVD player, and my sweet camera.

Also, as a side note, everyone here loves my Portland timbers jersey and always wants me to give it to them, because it is beautiful. Yes, yes it is.

As for Christmas cards, I have received two new ones. THANK YOU ROMAN, my brosef!!!, and JORGE RODRIGUES, my neighbor. Jorge even sent me 5 bucks to buy a pizza ( pizza is actually way expensive because the people here consider it a "special" food - don't we all consider pizza special...?). THANK YOU both!!

Eu amo voçês,
Elder Asa Laws

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