Mission Slideshow

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week #63 - Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down! In the most delightful way!


So I was transferred last week... and I love my new area. I am so excited you just really have no idea. I have everything accept a working fan (which I will get soon) or air conditioning. So the nights are rough but the rest makes up for the situation.

So this week, I really do not have that much time to use on the computer because of some ridiculous circumstances but that it okay. I will still try to tell you about the really cool things that have happened.

First, my new companion. His name is Elder Pires and he is from São Paulo. He is 19 and has a very dedicated girlfriend back home. He is very short and I love the guy. He studied soccer for 15 years before giving it up and so with that amazing soccer ball Rachel sent me I have been training in the morning on how to play. Let me just say I am getting way better. Elder Pires is super new on the mission and I am only his second companion. He is very excited to work and I just hope that I can be an example.

My new house has 4 missionaries living there and that happens to be my district for which I am responsible! Elder Sant and Elder Gonçalves. They are really cool. Elder Sant is from the tri-cities area n Washington so we definitely talked it up about Miner Burger!!!!! He has nine months on the mission and he is Senior for the first time. Elder Gonçalves is from São Paulo as well! He is HUGE. The tallest guy in the house and he eats like no other creature on the planet. 10 liters of water per day!!!!!! And then he eats and eats and eats. It is just nuts! We all love soccer and we play little matches in our house because our house is so big. Man I am out of shape so I hope these games will help me out.

More about soccer. We got to play with the young men today!!!! We are going to play every p-day and I am just so excited!!!!! I have a passion..... AND ITS SOCCER!!!!!!!! I actually did pretty good too; getting 4 assists and I started learning how to dribble the ball through other players legs. Elder Pires was very proud.

My new area was not a very good area. BUT we spent the entire week trying to go to the members houses teaching them and inviting them to help us out. We spoke with the bishop, got a new ward mission leader, planned 5 family nights with members, and a devotional this Sunday with the members. We are going to work! I have come to a point on my mission where I just have to do my best. I want to be a excellent missionary. I want to leave the members and the ward better than I found them. I am feeling really good and I feel as though the heavens are helping me at every step. I am rushing through the work. We have calls, and appointments, and meetings, and just a lot to do. I am following every little rule and I am seeing the difference. I KNOW that my district will have a good transfer.

Well mom's package arrived just in time because I left a pair of shoes in Cidade Nova. They officially died! BUT the new ones are great. I am using them right now. It is weird because my other shoes have so little sole on the back, and these ones are SOLID so I have to get used to them. I Love THE new eyeglasses. They are great! I can see perfectly in them and they follow the rules of the mission (no transitions like my other pair). Thewasabi sauce will go to good use, as well as the maple and peanut butter. BIG SMILEY
Yes life is good. I feel good. I bought a french book of mormon and I am reading it. I am in chapter eight already, and I have 6 pages on words that I have learned. I am just ready to go out with a bang on my mission.


eu vos amo.
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week #62 - Disaster's in the air!! Disasteres vão chegar!! - Lion King

Boom! Roasted!
I cannot really believe how amazing this last week was and I am so grateful to be here in Manaus.

First, the information you all want to know. I am being transferred to Ajuricaba! I will be a district leader there as well. This new area is very close to the temple and is on the west side of the city. I have now lived in the south, the east, the north, and soon the west of Manaus. It is really cool because I basically know the entire city. HAHA. The reason I have not served out side of the city is that my 1 yr visa renewal has not come through from Brasilia so technically I am illegal for these last 6 weeks. So I am not allowed to travel or go anywhere outside of Manaus. It is really weird that it is taking so long to renew my visa because the other people before and after me have already received their visas. My new companion will be a brand new guy, straight off the training floor again. This will be his 3rd transfer and he is Brazilian. I am really blessed to have so many native companions. I have a great time with these guys.

Alright so this week started off really well. It was a week of faith. Real faith. Faith that was tried, tested and pushed to some seriously stressful limits but in the end I have come out stronger with a firm foundation built upon my Savior.

We decided this week that we were going to invite and baptize 3 people this week. THAT is a huge goal but we honestly, truly, had faith that it was possible. We prayed out who and decided to invite Luiz, Lucimara, Francinete, and Fabiola. Then, we went to work. We met with these people everyday and we tried our hardest to help them develop the faith and knowledge required to enter into the waters of baptism. Well as it turns out Francinete was baptized years ago but moved away to a city that did not have the church and has just returned. BOOM! Lucimara decided, after praying that she will be baptized, but that she needs to prepare more and we agreed. Luiz was all set and ready but after his interview to be baptized he and the president of the mission made a plan for him to be baptized in 2 weeks. Fabiola was baptized!

Fabiola was born in Tefé and while she lived there as a child she was taught by missionaries. She wanted to be a member of the church but every time that she planned to be baptized, tragedy struck, and the date never came. Eventually the missionaries left her city and she never was baptized. Yet now almost 10 years later we ended up knocking on her door and she told us, "look, I have wanted to be baptized for years, and the Lord gave me 2 chances to do so. This time, I will not pass it by." On Sunday, the day of her baptism we awoke and went to church only to find that she was not there! We called and called but she did not answer. We went to her house to find it closed. I was just freaking out that something had happened once again. I prayed a ton and told the Lord that I was here and ready, and that I was willing to do anything to show it. Well, then we decided to go to her house one more time before church ended. I went, praying the whole time. When I arrived the door was open and we discovered that Fabiola had been sleeping. Her son was sick all night and she had not slept at all. Yet she was so happy to see us that she took a quick shower and we caught the last hour of church. She was then baptized that afternoon. Boyah!!

This week I also went on a division in Guarany, with Elder França. He has been in that area for months and he is just sick of it, because the area has had so many problems. Well I went there to interview two people to be baptized and both interviews fell. Actually at about 7pm, the day had been really terrible, and Elder França was just steaming. I told him we were going to contact a reference from the temple. So we went and found a 13 year old kid, Leandro. This kid was one of the most special people I have ever taught on my mission. He was so prepared to receive this message when we gave him a book of mormon, he was just gitty to read it. It was truly a miracle. Then, out of no where we found on the the people that was supposed to be interviewed earlier in the week, Fayana. She had taken the wrong bus home, and she was really sorry. I interviewed her, and it took 2 house!!! She was so full of questions, and I tried my best to help her understand faith through doubt.

We also have been teaching a guy named Luiz. I think I have already spoken about him. He is incredible and I have never seen so many miracles happen to just one person. I just wanted to make an honorable mention of the guy because he is so cool and one of the best people I know here in Brazil.

What made this week so special was our missionary devotional that we held for our ward. Two weeks back we made a plan that would involve more the members of the ward in the work. So we made a powerpoint presentation and found some great videos that were super motivating. Then we presented all this work to the members on how they could help us. It was fantastic and full of the spirit. I gave a message on being called, qualified and chosen. My companion presented the plan and the Ward Mission Leader gave a talk on work. Rudson, the WML, gave the best talk I have ever heard in my life. He has about 4 months in the church as an active member and he blew me away. Something that really touched me is this statement he made, "Yesterday at 6:42 in the morning, a man came up to me at a bus stop and invited me to visit his church. He then gave me a paper invite. I do not know his motives for inviting me but I believe it was for honest desire to share what he found to be true. I reflected much about this invite he gave me and I have come to this thought: How many of US are up at 6:40 in the morning to preach the true gospel of Christ?" Wow! I was truly moved. We then shared a wonderful movie clip of a girl giving a Book of Mormon to friend who was then baptized and we then invited the whole ward to take a book of mormon and give it to a friend. All 40 books we had were passed out with the promise that they would be given to friends who would come to church with them. I felt so good and I know that these people will be extremely happy for there service just as I am so happy.

Faith is the key to miracles. Real faith. If you would like to know what faith is read the book "LECTURES ON FAITH". I promise you will not regret it.

ALSO: I SAW A JACARÉ this week in my area. I took sweet pictures and some video of us missing with it. Jacaré is a camen, or rather the brazilian version of an alligator! FOTOS COMING SOON!

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week #61 - I can go the distance!!! - Hercules


So I started this week off with a terrible experience. I made pancakes Tuesday morning for me and my companion. They were perfect. Probably the best ones I have made on the mission. I was quite proud. I buttered them well, places them on 2 plates, and then lathered them in syrup that my last companion left for me. We blessed the food and the we both took monster bites.... only to discover an odd flavor about the cakes. Something was not right. Something tasted wrong, old, even FERMENTED. Yes unfortunately my syrup had become alcoholic and we were forced to "abandon pancake-ship", dumping them in the garbage. I was so sad and quite hungry.

THE TEMPLE WAS DEDICATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




I am so absolutely, amazingly blessed to be here serving in Manaus, the best mission ever! Okay, now I explain what occurred this last week.

FIRST: There was the cultural celebration on Saturday which was a blast! President Uchtdorf presided with Elder Cook and it was really funny because the translator had a ton of difficulty understanding him in the arena because of all the resonance. So President Uchtdorf took the translator under his arm (he is a big man) and they stood side by side! It was quite funny because Pres Uchtdorf is really a playful guy and was just gitty to be in the rainforest. He was shocked when people told him that Saturday was actually a mildly cold day! He even ended up taking off his suit jacket because it was just too hot for him!

Then we left the arena after he spoke and the dances started but we really did not get to see them. But we definitely heard the music. It sounded like a ton of fun! The only things we really saw were displayed on a TV outside the arena but there were too many people watching so we did not see much. Though, what I saw was fantastic. Eventually we, the missionaries entered singing CALLED TO SERVE in Portuguese and it was fantastic. I instantly felt a special spirit about the celebration and I was so grateful to be there. The missionaries ended by encircling the outside edge of the arena and we then watched the end of the program, which was a reenactment of the Caravans from Manaus to the São Paulo Temple. Normally this trip used to take took 15 days!!!! 7 by boat and 8 on buses. So they depicted a boat entering the arena and traveling across the rivers of the amazon.Then they all got in a van that would take them to the temple. On the way, the van broke down and they became stranded so the men got out and tried to push the van. But it did not work. So they prayed. They prayed with all their faith and tried again, but this time they had angels helping, represented by us missionaries. I cried! Oh how I cried seeing that. I am actually crying at the computer telling you about this because these people in Manaus are so special. They truly gave EVERYTHING they had to the Lord just as the pioneers did in the US in the 1800's. They are a faithful, wonderful people who deserve this temple.

The next day was the dedication and I watched all three sessions. President Uchtdorf told of how missionaries first came to Manaus. In 1979 Manaus was part of the Rio de Janeiro mission and the president was hounded by the few members in the city of how they wanted missionaries. But the church kept denying there request. Well eventually the area authority told the members they could have missionaries under 3 conditions. 1. FREE airfare for just 2 missionaries 2. The missionaries were to do no finding but all they should do is teach those who the members prepared. 3. They could only stay for 4 months. At that time there was less than 50 members in this city. They saved the money for the airfare and then fulfilled all the requests of the church to have missionaries. The 2 missionaries were sent. The work EXPLODED and those 2 missionaries stayed in the city until the end of their missions. Since then, the missionaries have never left the city.

The people in Manaus love Christ and his work. They love his teachings and truly do try there very best even when their best really is not that much. Often I see missionaries complaining about a bad lunch on the mission. I myself have done that. But then I remember that often that lunch is the best they have for us and it is my privilege to eat with them. This week a member who is divorced, single, with 2 sons, and jobless asked to give us lunch. It pained me to see that but she recounted of how her humble mother who has nothing treats lunch with the missionaries as a sacred feast. It is her favorite day of the month because she gets to feed the servants of her Savior. This single mother in my ward told us of how she wants to feel that same thing her mother describes in her humble house as well. That tore me up inside. I hope I can live up to be exactly how they see me; a Servant of Christ. So I am not perfect and as my president made clear to me this week I make MANY mistakes. But I do really want to be better. I pray for that and look to be that way every day even though sometimes I do fail.

Back to the temple dedication. It was very special to watch. Especially because I watched it with many of those whom I have baptized. There perhaps is no greater joy than seeing those you have baptized, worthy to enter the Temple of the Lord.

The night before the dedication I got really sick and vomited throughout the night. It sucked. hahaha! A lot. I really just wanted to shrivel up and go away. At the dedication I was pretty under the weather as well and I spent most of the time bent over, praying that I would not vomit. But regardless,I felt the spirit, and sick or healthy, the temple was dedicated to my God. I cannot wait to go there!

Life is good, and really hard. But who said you cannot be happy and have a hard time?

Eu vos amo
Elder Asa Laws

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week #60

Boom! Roasted!

So, this week was basically the best week of my mission as far as the work goes. I literally taught over 60 lessons!!!! The temple has just been piling people in front of us to teach. So we will see how it goes here in the near future.

So, first let me talk about Luiz. Luiz is so cool! He is one of our investigators who is really open to the spirit. I think I already told you all about his story? eh? Well, there is more!!!! HE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!! That's right and he loved it so much he wanted to baptized in the baptism fount that is in the temple!!! Haha! He told us of how when he entered the celestial room (for all you non- Mormons, the celestial room is the room most sacred in the temple that literally represents being in the presence of God) he felt so overcome with joy the he began to sob!! He told us of how he knows this church is God's church on the Earth but he feels like he has a lot to do to repent and be baptized. Of course, we will stay with him every step of the way!!

This week I was blessed to take 5 buses of students to the temple open house. A member from our ward invited the school and the director there accepted! She called us frantically looking for people to help her and we were privileged to take these students over the temple, teaching them all the way there and back! Most of them were adults who are returning to school to finally graduate, so it was not like I taught a bunch of teenagers. Most were mothers and dads who wanted to build a better life for there family, so they've gone back to school. It felt so good taking these people there and I know many were touched by the spirit.

I was at the temple a lot this week and apparently some other missionaries did not like that and called the president... lame. So he kind of got after me for always being over there. I felt a bit mad about that because I was just trying to help as many people as possible visit the temple. Anyways, I will write to the President today and explain my position and he will understand even if other missionaries don't.

Also, I tried the best lime juice EVER!!!!!!!!!! Just saying, I loved it and I will be taking the secret home to the states. HAHA!

Really, this week was just a lot of work and planning, and bus rides, and work, and being tired. I do not have a lot of cool stories. However, next week is the temple dedication and I will be participating!!!!!!!!! More to come next week!!!

Eu vos amo!
Elder Asa Laws