Mission Slideshow

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week #68 - "He's not a real cowboy. He doesn't even have a hat!" - Toy Story

Boom! Roasted!

What a week! Really we had quite a week and I am pretty darn grateful for this week. I can not even begin to tell you how much I have learned and how much I have grown this week.

So this week was just incredibility hot and my companion was dying!!! This is his first summer in Manaus and he was just melting. So funny. I must have looked so stupid last year. We drink so much water though. Seriously. EVERY SINGLE HOUSE we stop at they give us water and as a rule, I always accept.

TRANSFERS!!!!!!!!! So, as it turns out Elder Pires will be leaving and I will stay in Ajuricaba for another 6 weeks. He is going off to Acre, which is another state, and I will be getting a new companion. ELDER MOREIRA. If you recognize the name it is because he has been in my district twice already and I have done many divisions with him! He is a super cool guy who happens to LOVE the same soccer team I do!! Elder Sant, my American buddy will be staying and he will get a new Brazilian companion. I am super excited because he really was struggling this last transfer.

Oh!! So Elder Pires' toe nail fell off!! Yes because he was playing with shoes not meant for soccer his feet were getting torn up and his big toe nail started turning green!! Well, it fell off today!! And I got pictures. Absolutely disgusting! HAHAHA.

Really I do not any crazy stories this week. Everything was quite calm. No rain storms. Nothing! Just the fact the the Olympics started and everyone is watching the soccer games. Brazil is kicking trash and the US women's team is undefeated!

Oh! I remember something interesting that happened this week. We had a guy chase us out of his house! We were talking to his wife and he busted in half crazed, yelling at us. He called us gay demons sent from hell and he commanded to leave his house or he would kill us! It was pretty cool. I did not even know what was happening until we left because as he was yelling and I was still teaching, and my companion grabbed me, told me we had to leave and we booked it. THEN, afterward he explained. Man, I should pay more attention sometimes.

I am really excited! Our mission baptized 340 people in the last 6 weeks! That is just amazing. God has literally opened the windows of heaven and we are just having a ball! The whole mission has been blessed by having this temple in our city and we can really feel that people are more willing to listen. Many are curious about the temple and ask about eternal families! I love it!

Anyways, not much else happened this week, but know this: Eu vos amo.

PS. I like ties if you want to send me one.
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week #67 - "Sorry, I was a little vague on the details. - Finding Nemo"

Boom Roasted!

Man, it is really starting to get hot here! Especially when you are playing soccer in the morning. Man, if you are not careful that sun will just bake you!! LOTS A WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah, we went to play soccer today and it was just a ton of fun. I am getting.... better, but it is really hard for me to play in a court. In Brasil there is soccer and futsal. Soccer or Futball is played on grass. Futsal is a shortened version of Futball na Salão or street soccer. It is way harder for me because I just do not have the techniques tojuke around guys. On the field it is a lot more passing and tactics. Futsal can be won when you have 2 really good juke guys playing with you. Well, I still made some sweet goals and I am getting better. Though I have sad news. My toes shoes which I love and adore have met there match playing every week and they are tearing on my left foot. I have a hole now that is growing and I do not know how much longer they will take our crazy games. Seriously, we can really get into it sometimes. Well, we will see how long they last. Its true when they say, don't take anything expensive on your mission. It will just get ruined.

This week A LOT happened and i am really excited. First, let me talk about how our MICROWAVE!!!!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly, I am now the proud ower of a brand new microwave (well, for as long as I stay in Ajuricaba I am the proud owner of said microwave.). We had our zone conference and interviews with the president, and the president decided to buy 3 microwave gifts for the missionaries. One went to a Sister Dupla and the other went to some Elders. Then he asked who lived with 4 missionaries in their house and we were the only 4 group there, so he gave the 3rd one to us!!!! Yes, I have already heated up cake in it and it was delicious. No more cold cake! No more cold pizza! No more cold! IT'S HOT BABY!

So, as it was already pointed out this week we had a zone conference again (man, it seems like I have a lot of these conferences.) and this conference was very special for me. I really felt like the Lord had prepared that meeting for me and for the other missionaries in my district. Afterwords, the president decided to do all the interviews for the zone and it took forever. It was crazy for me because I was without credit on my phone, trying to verify the plans for our popcorn night that would happen that night at 7pm. I knew that the projector for our movie had not been located and I was frantically trying to get a hold of a projector. I even asked the president if I could borrow his!! He told me no because if Elder Laws got to use the president's things then every elder would ask him. Well, in the end it all worked out. Giselle, who is the wife of Paulo, who is or Ward mission leader, she brought her own 40 inch plasma to the church for us to use and the activity ended up being a huge success. We had 3 visiting families there who saw that our church really is not a stuck up rich people church. That is one of the hardest things to get out of Brazilians minds. Our chapels are very nice compared to the rest of the buildings in town. They are expensive, official, legal churches. The temple is giant and everybody in the city sees these things and thinks, " Oh it is only for rich people. That is why they have a gate out front." So, I felt really good that these families came. Lots of fun!

My interview with the president was very interesting and very special for me. Sorry, I really cannot share it with you, but know that President Klein is a man inspired of God. He is different than the average bear. I feel the Savior's love in his eyes. It was interesting for me as well because I had just read my cousin Laws' letter from his mission and he talked about his interview with his president. My interview was very different from his.

OH! So there is a lady that lives in our area who has some mental health problems and because so, she patrols our barrio NAKED, just looking around at everything. At first she freaked me out. But now I just feel so sorry for her. She is treated like a passing street dog. When she walks by peoples houses they come out and yell at her and chase her away as if she was just a stray. Where is her family? Who is supposed to help and save her? It just makes me realize all the more that the family is ordained of God. I also do know that we are all children of God and that no one should be treated like how people treat her.

Me and my companion got caught in a flash rainstorm for the first time this transfer. It was ridiculous. Literally, no less than 5 seconds after my companion asked me if it would rain, IT DUMPED. Cats and Dogs have nothing on that monster storm that poured over us. It was not really rain. It was more like a waterfall from heaven sent to cleanse the earth. I imagine that maybe it rained like that for 40 days and nights for Noah. Man, he must have been brave. Though, the weirdest part was that it passed in about 5 minutes. REALLY FAST. The weather here is so weird.

Me and Elder Sant, the American who lives with me, decided to make AMERICAN LUNCH. Yeap, we made mac and cheese, homemade root-beer, beef jerky, and Brownies!! Best lunch ever!!!!!! If anyone is wondering what I would enjoy in a package, know this: I want mac and cheese and Jerky!

As a side-note, I am low on ties. Some have been destroyed. Some were given to special people. Others were translated to heaven. But the real situation is I am low on beautiful ties. Please send beautiful, mildly skinny ( they cannot be full width cuz I am really skinny right now and it looks weird.), polyester ties (no silk, the humidity destroys them). I like purple ones. Dark.

Well, as far as the work goes, things are improving. We are building a really good area and I am trying hard to help these people. I really am. But, I can do more. the president wrote the mission today and spoke about that. We can be better and do more. We can be more devoted. We have to be willing to pay the price for miracles. I am willing.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week #66 - "You know, for a clown fish, he really isn't that funny. Pitty." - Finding Nemo


So there is a family in my ward who likes the movie the "Jungle Book" and they named there dog Baloo. How cool?!!

It is absolutely incredible how fast a week can go and yet how much can really happen in just one week. Really, sometimes I just do not get it. But alas, I am just in this crazy time warp of a mission and I have to just keep going, though I do not really know where I am going or how fast. I am sure I am going to some place cool right, at a very ridiculous pace! Kind of like that scene from Willy Wonka when they are in the boat and Wonka is singing the crazy song "There's no earthy way of knowing..." Except, I am not on a boat, it is really hot, and I am not freaked out. So really now that I think about it, it is nothing like Willy Wonka. "Scratch that! Reverse it!" Ha!!

This week, actually this transfer, I have been learning about doing consistent, hard work, and being on top of everything 100 percent of the time. Every detail and every moment. I am learning to be a better leader I think, and it is a very hard thing to do. I have learned a lot about taking advice, and criticism, and using it actually, truly, to become better. For example, my mission president is always on top of everyone, about everything, and I have learned that he does that for many reasons, but to be mean, mad, a jerk, or to just be difficult, those are NOT the reasons. He is a wonderful man that expects us to do our very best at all times. No excuses. (reminds me of Norfleet) So I try to just learn the "why" behind everything and improve.

We have really been trying to not just be normal missionaries but missionaries that make an impact and help the ward here become better than it was before. I want to leave this area, and my mission, knowing that I really did try to make a huge difference. So we are having family home evenings almost every night and we have a calender now to have the young men come out teaching with us to prepare for their missions. We will have a popcorn night this Friday for the members an there friends and we will watch a good movie there (church approved). We go to our meetings and we are trying to build a ward that is ready to accept converts into the gospel.

Ronaldo, one of the coolest guys ever, is a member from my ward here and he went to play soccer with us this morning (I scored a goal). He then took us to a really expensive, nice resturaunt and then dropped us off at the post office! THEN, on his way back, he happened to find us walking home and gave us a ride home. Such a cool guy!

I got really homesick when I thought about the following food this week: BISCUITS AND GRAVY!! Man, I really miss that stuff.

Also, this week my broken, terrible fan finally died on me and I refused to go out and by a new one. So what did I do? I took out my handy leatherman, opened that sucker up, hot wired it up with electrical tape, and now I have the best fan in the house!! Boom, that is how you get it done. Thrift is the way to go!

Sorry, my letter is not really big this week, but I have to go and write a letter for my family. They will be having a family reunion and I want to write them something special.
Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week #65 - In honor of Owl City...

Boom! Roasted!

...because the spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly...

This week we broke 40 degrees celsius!!! Google that and you will see.... THAT'S HOT!!

So this week was a pretty good week but I figure that I say that in every letter. But seriously, you all need to understand that they all really are good weeks. I am feeling the love of my Savior and the desire to continue to serve him. I am just loving my mission and having a great time. Something that I love is that people tell me that I am always smiling. I feel good when people say that because it is a personal goal for me to smile. Here, it is not really customary to smile. In their photos as a family, they are always serious, with big old frowns to prove that their family is amazing! Well I am not a fan and I want more people to smile. Sometimes I see someone on the side of the street who looks pretty down and I just throw them a big smile. I hope every time, that my smile helps them out in some way. I hope that they feel the love of God in my smile. Manaus is a hard place to live. Modern conveniences are here but only for the wealthy and most aren't wealthy. I do not really need to go into anymore detail on that. But really, I feel that a smile does really make a big difference. At least for me it does and I hope for you. So to all of you, this is my digital smile, personally sent just for you. :)

Side note: I love pancakes!! Every time I make them I just think about all those p-cakes I ate at home without truly knowing of the true value of them. Syrup is great! Chocolate milk to top it all off. Man, it is good stuff. Enjoy your breakfasts!!! They are worth every bite!

This week my ward did Açaí Night!!!!! We had 4 investigators there and I was so excited. We played running charades and then I gave a lesson on faith to everyone. It went really well. I drank a ton of açaí juice and had a fun time making up the lists of things that they had to mimic in the game. Quite interesting to see how a Brazilian mimics the film TITANIC. HAHAHA!! Also the president called me and told me that I cannot call the activity P-Night. But whatev's. We will find a new really good name.

So as you may already know soccer is a big deal in Brazil. I like a team here called Palmeiras. Why? Because their jersey is really green! Anyways, their rival team is Corinthians and this team won the club south american championship. That sucked for me. What is worse is that 2 of the missionaries in my house like Corinthians and rubbed it all up in my face this week. This rivalry comes close to Yankee/Red Sox in the US. There, that was my random soccer side-note of the week. I hope you enjoyed. ;)

So we have been teaching an amazing couple Tamie and Everton. Tamie is super interested and had a date to be baptized last week. She went to all the activities and has been reading the Book of Mormon and everything. Everton has been asking really good questions and making progress as well. Well there was a tragedy. Tamie did not go to church! She would not answer her phone! We were very worried so we hiked it up to her house and found that she was not home. But her mom was though and she told us how Tamie came home really excited on Saturday and decided to check out the Mormon.orgwebsite. Then she somehow ended up finding really anti-mormon websites out there and she became really really scared, left the house, and was not returning any ones calls. Man, I am still just so.... I don't know, I just do not feel good about that. I really want to talk to her and she whats up. Please, do not go looking for things of such a nature. One who looks for crap, will most definitely find it. One who looks for the Lord will find him, IN HOLY PLACES. Please remain firm in holy places!

Side-note: it sucks living with an american, because today we started talking about music and we remembered Owl City's "Vanilla Twilight". Sappy terrible lyrics that just tear out missionary hearts. Look it up! Haha!

Today we went to play soccer with the young men again and it was awesome. I took out the baseball gloves and taught a few of them to throw a ball and catch. It is SO FUNNY because they have absolutely no point of reference. Seriously it is so foreign for them to "throw" a ball instead of kick it. So they were all over the place. Surprisingly, they were not scared of getting hit well, at least until they did get hit because it does really hurt. Definitely an eye opening experience to see the difference in culture. I really do love baseball. Way more fun! But soccer comes in a close third (turkey bowl is second).

I gave in and bought an english Quad......... or for all you non- mormon folk that would mean scriptures. I had been studying just in portuguese but it is just not the same as your own language. So I grabbed Jesus the Christ (GREAT BOOK) and I am studying about Christ using all the references I can find in that book and in the topical guide. I have learned SOOOO much. I found a very good passage of scripture that just hit me in my heart.

 6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou astir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of clove, and of a sound mind.

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

This really just hit me and I encourage you all to give an extra effort to studying the Savior through Sacred Scripture.

I hope that Roman is doing well and I cannot wait to hear from him. I will be sending a special package to him in the mission field. Haha. It will be interesting to track his mission whilst I am a missionary and after.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week #64 - "And what are you, a sheep?!"


So our week was just a pretty normal week. Not really to much happened that was very special. However, the keyboard that I am using to write this letter is actually blank because all the letters have worn off and it is really testing my skills as far as remembering where all the keys are. I hope this will be legible.

We are really trying to work with the members in this area and it has been quite an uphill battle. We planned 4 family nights with the members. One of them fell through and for the other three; no one brought any of there friends. That left me a bit mad and frustrated but then I remembered that all of this work is very new for the people in this area and they have not really caught the dream yet. I gotta have faith, (as George Michael says) and a bit of patience. However we did another devotional about missionary work and it really worked out. I felt a really strong spirit testifying of the importance of this work. We gave EVERYONE a Book of Mormon to give to there friends and they all accepted. I have a wonderful photo of the whole group that I'll forward along later.

I would like to take this moment to talk about my new ward mission leader. His name is Paulo and he is the man. He works for Ford selling the new Fiesta but he drives a chevy and I never tire of giving him a ton of crap for that. haha! But he just tells me that in Brazil, all American cars are the same: EXPENSIVE! and he's just blessed to have one. Anyways he is a so ready to just work!!! He has planned divisions and he came up with a sweet idea. P-NIGHT!!!!! It will be a bi-weekly activity at the church to invite friends so they can see what a Mormon church building is really like. This week will be the first one and the activity is boss!!!! AÇAÍ night!!! (pronounced Ah-sy-ee). It is the best fruit ever and we will just invite everyone to come by and have a good time. If you want to know Açaí can be found in the states on the menu at Jamba Juice. Seriously, go try it. It is good!!

My companion is the man! He is so strong and he loves following the rules. He is flexible and patient and he has learned so fast. It has been really weird for me on my mission that ALL of my companions have been fresh new guys (except one). So I have always been trying to help them become better teachers whilest I was still learning myself. Well this guy has just adapted so fast and I love teaching with him. We are going to have a great time together.

So, I have been thinking about Roman a lot. Man, that guy..... he is just a few thousand miles to the south of me and probably just having the time of his life at the CTM. I wish I could have been there to see him off at the airport but at least I will be there to greet him when he gets home. I would love to pick him up actually because when he ends his mission is EXACTLY in the middle of the 2014 World Cup!!! and there will be lots of games to go see! So I would love to go to a game with him in Cuiabá! Roman, if you see this, Eu te amo brosef!!

I am doing real good. I am tired as heck. I love this work. I WOULD LOVE A LETTER FROM EACH OF YOU! PLEASE WRITE ME!! (see address to the right - postage is $1.05)

Eu voz amo,
Elder Asa Laws