"Thats all you do. Bird imitations?" - MASH
What a crazy week! Really, I am extremely tired.
So first things first. TRANSFERS!! YES! I moved for real and I am now in the Northern Part of Manaus. My new companion is Elder Christiansen. The name of my area is Cidade Nova.
NEW HOUSE. So this area used to be an area that had sister missionaries in it so EVERYTHING we have in our apartment is nice. Our house is well painted, safe, and very clean ( thanks to my companion. I will get to that later.) We have HOT WATER and an AIR CONDITIONER. Our washing machine is fantastic and my shirts are actually mildly white now-a-days. I have a nice bed. Our house is roomy and I love it. NO complaints at all.
NEW COMPANION. Yes, Elder Christiansen is an American from Utah, though he grew up in Wisconsin. He is taller, skinny, and blonder than me. But that is just the surface. He is a crazy neat freak and that is really good for me. He has been getting on me about keeping my stuff picked up and it has been really good. I try harder now to clean up after EVERYTHING. I wash dishes right after I use them. I take off my shoes at the door and my flip flops before I enter the bedroom (he has quarantined the bedroom). Nothing but clean, washed , dust free bare feet are allowed in. So it has been hard to get used to, but I am glad he is helping me return to be a civilized human being. He waited 2 years before coming on his mission, so he already is 21 years old, because he wanted to go for the right reasons. No one was going to push him into going on a mission. So because of that he takes it VERY seriously. I have never met a missionary who is so on top of making sure EVERYTHING is EXACT. He did not come out here to waste his time. So we study EXACTLY on time. He also believes a lot in being very effective. He does not like to do things that are not the most effective use of our time. I think sometimes it gets in the way, because we sometimes find ourselves standing on a street corner analyzing what would be a good use of our time. Rather, I would rather just choose and go. I do not like to just sit. So I will have to adjust (or help him adjust). I would be lying if I said this week was easy though. I was not exactly prepared for my new companion. I thought an American would mean someone I could relate to more. Rather, it has been to tough to break the ice. I have just spent so much time with the Brazilians and we are so different, that sometimes I feel a bit uncomfortable. BUT, I know he is meant to be my companion. He will mold me into a better missionary. I will try my hardest to do as he does because I trust that he won't be an idiot. So, after talking with him a bit, I have decided he is AMAZING and I cannot wait for this transfer to move forward. It is going to be great!
NEW AREA. So this area is NOT POOR. I was completely shocked when I first arrived here. This neighborhood is actually a very well planned, clean, and well kept part of the city. There really are no enormous hills. They streets are well paved and flat. Peoples houses are not made of wood, but rather are larger and concrete. I am blessed to be here. HOWEVER, we have no one to teach. My companion was a bit depressed because we had very few investigators and no one that wanted to be baptized. So we worked our tails off. We tried so hard. Really, and in the end, our fruits were few. Just 5 new investigators this week. BUT we have 2 investigators that want to be baptized! So I have high hopes. All will be well.
Actually this week has been a huge test of faith for me. Not just normal faith but true, hard, step into the dark faith and hope God catches you. And you know what, I felt like I grew a lot. I have tons of new challenges before me but I just know it can't go wrong. "You can't go wrong doing right."
This week I decided that I need to to learn to write more clearly. So I have been teaching myself to write in cursive. EVERYTHING I write in my planner, or journal, or all of everything else, I try to write in cursive. It is getting better and it is interesting because it looks a lot like your handwriting, Mom.
A mission is full of trials. There are many paths to take. Sometimes people think that a missionary just has one thing to do all the time. Well, that is just not true. I have hardships and trials and temptations and problems and sometimes I just feel like I need a break, or a hug, or a moment with my ipod. The difference on a mission is I DO NOT HAVE THOSE CHOICES. NO breaks, no hugs, and no jamming to Mumford and Sons on my ipod. I have to have faith, prayer, trust, hope, and patience. It is SO HARD. But, in the end I have already felt the personal change I have developed on this mission. I am not the same, overly dramatic and excited Asa Spades. I am a new, more sanctified and hopefully pure Asa who loves his God and all that that statement implies.
Eu vos amo.
Elder Asa Laws