Mission Slideshow

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week #59 "Hello...McFly!!!"

Boom! Roasted!

As you can see I have now added a word to the beginning of my letter. That word is to point out that it is HOT in Manaus, and thus I am now roasted (boiled really).

So this week, believe it or not, we had another meeting with the President. Actually I had two. The first was an all day meeting about how we have to continue to step up the game! It was just for the leadership of the mission. With the temple being open we are all about to have a ridiculous amount of people to teach and the President wanted to make sure we were all prepared for that. The second meeting was actually Zone Conference!!! It was basically about all the same things as the first meeting but everything was still very special. I always feel such a good spirit when I am at these meetings.

So with the temple being open and with all these meetings, we have spent very little time in our area actually working and teaching. Most of the time we spend working at the temple, or taking people to the temple, or riding the bus over to the temple. Lots to do with the temple! It is SOOOOOO beautiful there and we have such a privilege to be a mission that now has literally, the house of the Lord in our area. I love going there and I wish that I could just stay there all the time.

Before I forget, I got your package a couple of weeks ago Grandma Val!!!!!! THE SHIRTS ARE SOOOOOOO MUCH WHITER. Also wasabi anything is the perfect gift. (I think the package came sooner but I wasn't able to pick it up until last week)

So it is absolutely amazing how fast this year has gone by. I distinctly remember an email from Mom about how the whole year was to planned out. Graduation for Kati, Mission for Roman, Senior year for Hanna, then Christmas, Kati starts college in Jan, and then I COME HOME at the end of March 2013. Well it just hit me that 2 of those things are about to happen REAL soon. Though, I am pretty concerned because summer in Manaus is starting now and I am, to be honest, scared of the boiling heat that awaits me. So yea, also, I got really sick for a day again but I was forced to work anyways! I was super sore for no reason and my back was killing me. BUT, all is well now and today I woke up feeling great!

GISELLE! She is one of the coolest investigators and was baptized!!! She has been talking to missionaries for months but finally took the dip this week and it was amazing. The whole ward is excited for her and I am too. It was probably the best planned baptism of my mission. I felt so good there and I KNOW she is going to stay on the route.

I would like to take this moment to point out something to all those cool people who love my family and want to know why my family is so cool? Why is my house so comfortable and warm and welcoming? Why is it that there is something different about the Laws kids. Well let me explain. Though my mother works very hard to maintain a clean and good smelling house with bath and body works wall plug-ins, that is not the reason it feels so great in my house. It is because of The Book of Mormon and its impact on the trajectory of my family. This book is a record of Gods dealings with his people and teaches all to come unto Christ. Directly because of this book, my family is so amazing! It is why Hanna and Kati and Roman are such amazing people. It is why my Dad is so cool and chill. It is why my Mother is so loving caring to all of you. So, if you are looking to have a house and life like mine, you cannot do that without first reading and praying about this book. Ask my Mom, she will tell you the same thing. I am sure she or my Dad can get you a copy too! Please read it. For me, this book has come to mean everything.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week #58 - "Sorry it took so long pal. There was a lot of wood to go through."


So I had a meeting with the President this week, again. Hahaha. Yes, I see that guy a lot. Que Sorte. Anyway, we had a meeting about the temple and all those who will be working there to help out and he pointed out that our mission as a whole is doing well. Really well! We are all working a ton and trying so hard and we see the fruits of our labors! The President mentioned that because of how well our mission is doing, the Church will be trying to implement what Mission Manaus does in all the missions in the world!! He was not really specific what that meant but I think it means they will be taking a look at how we are organized, how we run everything, etc. My mission is a hardcore mission. We work, we work, and work some more. We are not worried about doing the minimum to earn privileges like watching Disney movies. We try our hardest and we do all this in the most effective way possible, as our President has designed it. We are not allowed to be slackers here in this mission. One of the best changes our President has made i that there is no more knocking on doors and a lot more working with members. We have seen this be far more effective. This land is special and these people are blessed. I have full confidence in that this mission will continue to be THE BEST. ;)

I went on a division this week, or rather exchanges as it is called in the states. I went with Elder Lessa for a day in my area and we had a really amazing time. Let me tell you about Elder Lessa. He is from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. He is 24 years old and he is the only member of his family that is a member of this church. His family does not really support his mission. He is from a very humble family and he pre-mission life has really opened my eyes. You know how I complained about the mattresses that the missionaries have (that's why I bought a hammock)? Well that night when I was with Elder Lessa, he told me about how grateful he is for the mission because for the first time in his life he has a "good" mattress to sleep on and a large room to sleep in. I felt so bad and ungrateful. I truly felt humbled by such an honest and pure missionary. He is happy, never complains, and is truly grateful just to be serving, because at least every night he came home to a roomy house and nice bed. Oh, how he left an impact on me and how I need to be a better person. I still have a lot to learn.

While on divisions with Elder Lessa, we taught Giselle. I do not remember if I have already mentioned her before but she is really cool and she really wants to get baptized but is always delaying. THEN... this we taught her a powerful lesson on following Christ and we were all moved by the words of Elder Lessa. Giselle then decided to get baptized next week! She also visited the temple with her boyfriend, a less active member who is coming back to the church. They were stunned by the beauty and spirit that they felt there and now she is certain that she will be baptized!!

We also had a very powerful lesson with a man named Luiz. He was very attentive and when we gave him a Book of Mormon, he was extremely excited to read. He told us a very powerful story:
he said, "Last week I was sitting at a bus stop downtown, waiting for my bus to take me home. I was on a bench by myself but I noticed a older man who was looking at me. He stared and then came over and asked me my name. I told him my name and he proceeded to instruct me on a few things, though I do not remember all that he said. Then before he left, he told me that that week I would receive what I had been searching for and that I should follow it. The man then turned around and walked away." He then proceeded with, "Well that day Sergio (a member who lives next door) invited me to the Mormon church and the next day you two (my companion and I) showed up and told me that you had a message for me that would change my life and that I should ask God if it was true. Now you give me this book and tell me of a temple and I want to know, is this what the man meant? Is this my path from God?" We testified that it is the path and we told him we will take him to the temple open house to visit. Sergio testified as well of how he read the Book of Mormon for 20 years before he was baptized! He said that it is all true and that it was going to change Luiz's life. Very powerful discussion!

So my companion is nuts. He decided that he would try to make a fire by smashing together the two stones I have that are from the granite of the Manaus temple. As he did so, he actually achieved a few sparks and a really nasty smell. He said, "Dude, that smells like burnt ants...I know because I have burnt ants before." I died laughing when he said that because he sounded so dumb. Man, a mission is full of crazy moments. Another crazy moment was when I was at the temple. I helped a NUN get into a wheel chair to see the temple. It was really cool! Also, Irmã Graça is so cool! I gave her my pants this week and she re-did the hem so they weren't so long and took in the leg. So now I am not drowning in my giant pants!!! YES. Now it is a lot cooler when I walk down the street.

So YES!!!!!!!!!!!! THE TEMPLE OPENED!!!!!!!!!!! I went there and saw thousands of people there. AMAZING! But what was even more amazing was the fact that I saw all my old member friends from the first two areas of my mission! ALL OF THEM form Mauazinho and Jorge Teixeira. I gave out many handshakes and hugs to the cool young men who always chilled with me playing soccer. It was awesome to see so many happy, loving faces that have meant so much to me. I love these people here and I will never forget about how much this all means to me.

Anyway, that was my week. Hope you have a great week as well!
Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week #57 - "NOT MOTHER?" -- (not Disney, nor MASH, but DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS)


Elder Rafael Socrates Martins. That is the name of my new companion. Yes, he is just as cool as that awesome name that he has. He loves heavy metal and was in a heavy metal band before the mission. Megadeath is his favorite band. HAHAHA! We get along great and I really like teaching with him.This week was the first week of the transfer and it was awesome. I love my area in Cidade Nova!

So I will start from the end and go to the beginning of the week.

MOTHERS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man I just love calling home and seeing all your beautiful, pale faces. I loved talking to you Roman, about your upcoming mission. Dude, that Leatherman is huge!!!!!!!! Also, thank you for all the cool xbox games awaiting my return. You have my permission to find my old xbox and see if it is all still working. Test out Mechassault!! Kati, I cannot believe you only have 3 weeks left of high school. I feel like I just graduated and now you will soon go off to college. Man, life just moves way too fast for me. Hanna, you are just as beautiful as ever and I am so excited that I will get to see your graduation next year. But that means that you have to do something really cool on stage when you graduate. Dad, I like your beard (gotee). I wish I could grow my facial out. The other day my companion saw that my beard already grew out half-way threw the day and he called me a mutant. Mom, the garden is beautiful and it was lovely to hear your voice. I am so happy that I was able to just sit and leave the Manaus heat for just a few minutes and return to amazing Vancouver, WA!

Just before calling home, I was actually in a surprise meeting with Elder Costa, Area President of Brazil. He gave us a special training because.... THIS WEEK THE MANAUS TEMPLE OPEN HOUSE STARTS!!!!!! And select missionaries in the city will be the receptionists at the temple for all the visitors. Starting on friday, there will be times where my companion and I will go to the temple to welcome people and keep the peace!!! Really it will be a really easy job but they want the first impression of the church at the temple to be clean cut young men. NO complaints from me. I am just excited to be there. We also got to take the first tour of the temple. WOW! I MEAN WOW!! It is an amazing temple and definitely the most beautiful thing in the whole city!! Every detail is just so special and well done. Nothing about it looks fake, or cheap, or poorly made. It was quite and so tranquil. I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!!!!!

We also had a wonderful baptism. Jairo, Diva, and Leticya (a family) all decided to be baptized together and it was beautiful. The whole ward came to the baptism and then they through a big party afterwards!!! I was impressed though I did not go to the party because we had to return to our house. These people mean so much to me and the joy I have to help them receive this gospel is immense. Zach Collier told me about how the people he teaches will be his life long friends and friends into eternity. I feel the same way and I am so blessed to be able to help so many people! MORE FRIENDS!!!

So this week we taught a guy named Julielson. He is a inactive member who is dating Giselle, one of our amazing investigators. Anyway, he is a master at Capoeira, a Brazilian dance martial art that is pretty dang cool. Look it up!! Anyways, he showed me the instrument they play while they train which is called a "Birinbal". It's really just a bowed stick with a steel wire and a gourd on one side to make the sound louder. You hold in with one hand and in the other you hold a stick to hit it with and a shaker. Well I played it and I took pictures!!! Coming soon! I got cool lizard pictures too!!

Eu vos amo
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week #56 - "Man-u-al: Relay instructions!"


What another amazing week under the sun!!

So I have a wonderful story of a family that we started to teach about 2 weeks ago. They are Jairo, Diva, and Leticya. So a few days back we were just walking up the main street in our area (it reminds me a lot of Padden Parkway for you Vancouverites.) As we were strolling along, a little girl on top of a dirt hill called us over. Elder Christiansen decided to talk to her and it turns out he had met her before. Her name is Leticya, a 9 year old girl from a family he had taught a while back who really didn't want to talk to us. Well we decided that go talk to them again anyways. The lesson was great! They even came to church! All was well and then last Tuesday, as I was writing my letter to all you all, Jairo sent us a message saying he wanted to get baptized!!! Amazing, right? Well we went over there the next day and he was all hyped up and ready. He had read the Book of Mormon, knew it was true, and he had instantly stopped drinking for good. Diva was not really on board though and we really could not seem to reach her. So we left and came back on Saturday. Saturday, Diva bore her testimony to us, and told us why she was so worried. She had read before and she had felt something different but just did not want to accept it. When we came by on Saturday she realized what God had told her and she was excited to be baptized. It was amazing! We took Maria and Tayana (recent converts) over there on Saturday too and they bore powerful testimonies of the gospel. I was so touched. If you have not been following, Tayana and Maria were baptized a few weeks ago and we are helping them integrate into the church.

We also had an amazingly spiritual lesson at a recent converts house. His name is Rudson and he is incredibly strong in the church but his wife is a bit weak right now. She does not want to come to church and she feels that everything is falling apart in her life. Their landlord kicked them out of their house for getting baptized. Some people are just so mean. Anyway, we tried to help her out as much as we could and ElderChristiansen spoke powerfully, really touching my heart, as well as theirs. Then Rudson gave the closing prayer. This prayer meant so much to me because Rudson thanked God. Prior to us arriving, he had been praying fervently that somehow God would help him with his wife and during that prayer, we happened to arrive at his house. We literally were sent by God to this man. I remember we were actually planning on going somewhere else at that time, but we both were like " hey, we have not seen Rudson's wife at church. Let's go there." It was amazing. I wanted to cry. I was able to be an instant relief through the hands of God.

So I went on 2 divisions this week!! Man, it was nuts. We marked tons of new baptismal dates and taught wonderful people. I really just love working with the other missionaries. I also have some really funny pics to send home. I got one of me lying in the middle of the road, mimicking a painted chalk line guy and and message on the pavement that says " stop the deaths". YEAP!

THANK YOU SO MUCH RACHEL STENBERG. Yes, that is right, I got your package and I received that amazing soccer ball. I want to make it known to the world that Rachel sent me a real deal PORTLAND TIMBERS soccer ball. Can you believe that?! Thank you so much!!

So last night we had a crazy long meeting with the stake president and it went on forever...... until 9 pm!!!! I had to call about transfers afterwards and I AM STAYING IN CIDADE NOVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is right. Good times ahead. I will have yet another Brazilian companion whom I have never met (but I will tomorrow). Elder Christiansen is going to the area that has the temple in it.... bum. He will be there for the temple dedication which happens this transfer. What luck! He totally deserves it. I am really sad to see him go.

I love my mission. It is the best thing ever. I am excited for all you cool guys who are coming to Brazil from Vancouver!! Portuguese is the best. I am working on trying to get a cool accent, though everyone still thinks I am from São Paulo.

Life is good

eu vos amo.
Elder Asa Laws