So, I had been feeling pretty bad about how short my last two letters have been. So I decided to be more diligent and write EVERYTHING down so that I could share the week. I did so, only to find that I forgot to bring my notebook to the internet cafe and now I have to wing it off of memory. Let's Go!!!!
We started this week off with two interviews and two more baptisms! Moisés and Augusto. Both have great stories.
Moisés has been a heavy drinker for most of his life. He had destroyed his family and his wife had LITERALLY took half the house with her (walls and all.) He came up to us about three weeks ago and told us how he had nothing. So we set a date, made a plan, and this week we finished that plan. Three weeks without beer, with daily prayers, with daily scripture reading, with the help of angels. Moisés changed his life. His kids moved back in one by one. Now his wife wants to come back because he has become a new man. It is amazing! It was just as fantastic for me when he asked that I baptize him. I felt honored.
Augusto is a teenager who has been coming to church for a few weeks. He is the man and he even started participating in all the activities at church! Anyways, his whole family are members of another church. His mom said he could be baptized, but also said that the family was against it. He decided to be baptized anyways because he knew it was the right thing to do and he had Cleilton, his best friend from church, baptize him. I was so happy!!
We also had Zone Conference this week. Yes, another week where I got to meet the president again. It was such a spiritual meeting and I learned a ton. I really felt great. But the real story is how we started the zone conference. Wednesday, the zone leaders called me and asked if I could buy 50 donuts........ for breakfast at the conference. I said yes and then ordered the donuts. TO MY SURPRISE, they actually filled the order and I arrived to the conference with three pizza sized platters of donuts. Yes, that was probably the first time in Manaus history that so many donuts were consumed in such a short period of time.
Anyways, the rest of the conference was great. After I went on a quick division with the zone leaders. Elder Gaertner went with my companion to our area to do our interviews (yes, we had more than two baptisms this week. Details coming). I went with Elder Squire to another area and he interviewed a really cool young man there. I did not get home that night until 11! That next Saturday I was very tired.
Random thought: So I found a big stick here. It will no longer remain a stick. I decided that I am going to make myself a baseball bat. The progress is good. Slow, because I have no time, but good.
THANK YOU MARYAM AURICH FOR YOUR LETTER. I responded and you should get it soon.
Anyways, on Saturday we were also very pleased to have two more baptisms. Sarah and Gabriel. They are brother and sister. Both have been coming to church for weeks and now they are members of the church they know to be true. In total for this last transfer, 6 weeks, my district was able to meet our goal of 13 baptisms!!!!
Side note: So my companion has been making an album of the ugliest dogs in Manaus. Seriously, these are some ugly dogs here. Not the normal cute breeds. He has taken pictures of about 10 dogs now that are hairless, friendless, toothless, and just plain ugly. We are still looking for the king of the ugly dogs though. We saw one at the bottom of our area that was UGLY! Really, I feel bad for the dog. No one could love that dog. So UGLY. Okay, I'm sure Heavenly Father loves that dog.
Yesterday I realized that in two weeks I will be 20. WOW. 2.0. That sounds so old to me. 18, I was still a kid. 19, I was just in the middle. But soon it will be official that I am not a kid and my love for Disney movies will officially be weird. Crap. I am excited, but also really freaked out.
SOOOOO, this week will be transfers! I will stay here in Jorge Teixeira with Elder Costa to finish his training. I am so happy because he is the MAN! However, Elder Reis from my district will be leaving and Elder Earl, my American buddy, will TRAIN an new Brazilian. I am way excited for this next transfer!
So I know that this letter is not that long but I want you all to know that this week was fantastic. My mission is just cruising by and I feel like it will be over tomorrow. That scares me. I love my mission so much. Every day I just know more that this is the true and living church of God here on the earth. I have this time to read and study the holy scriptures and every day I learn more. I invite everyone once again to read. Read the Bible. Read the Book of Mormon. Pray. It does good things.
Elder Asa Laws