Mission Slideshow

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week #76 - Stop following me, okay?! - Dory


So our roof has been fixed but for some reason it still leaks two two parts! In the bathroom and on Elder Adhan's bed!!!! Ya, he really did not like that it has been raining all day and we came back to the house only to find his bed SOAKING wet. Well, that is how it goes int the rain forest. It is so stinken hot!!! Just thought you should know. Over 105 every day! I am melting...

Also, we have a rat that lives in our ceiling that has been eating a hole in the ceiling panels. It has gotten pretty big now and we talked to the owner of the house. He really does not feel like it is a big problem but we do!! So, as you can see we have a few problems in our house and I want to move. I already found a newer nicer place but let us hope that the mission approves the move!

Oh! also, our fridge broke! We spent the whole week without water in our house, which was harsh when we got home and had nothing to drink! Here is what was lost in the wake of that storm last week and not fridge:
spoiled Brownie mix
Jam went bad
All our tererê was ruined
no cold water
My syrup for pancakes went bad
my root beer too!

Even though all of this happened we had a wonderful week!! I loved basically every minute of it, other than the stress of our house issues. Yes, three brothers were baptized and it was so cool to see there progress this week. Abner, Ary Adler, and Cassio. They are all sons of a member who has come back to church recently and their family is just so cool. I love teaching them. There situation is quite humble but they have amazing hearts and you just have to to love them! Sunday they all were baptized and all just dancing with excitement. Cassio basically threw himself into the water when he was baptized! I love my mission.

We had interviews with the president this week and it was great. I just sat and spoke with him about my district and how each of them were doing. We really got to discuss the needs of my missionaries and it was nice to see how much he trusts me. God has a plan in all of this that goes on and I am so thank for for every single one of the missionaries in my district. They are all doing a great job and really pushing to get better. We see miracles daily.

So, right now is voting time in Brazil too and I hate politics here. It makes American politicians look like saints. I do not really need to go into details but here, there are a ton of problems and really no body has any solutions. Heck, a drug dealer is running for mayor here!!!! Anyways, I am glad that I do not have to vote here.

The week just goes by so fast now a days and I cannot believe I am coming up on 1 year and six months. That is just not fair. Sorry, I feel like my letters are getting super short, but really, we just work, and joke, and have fun. The mission is going great.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week #75 - She´s gonna eat me! - Lion King


This week was quite an interesting week. I feel good because I have a few good stories.

FIRST: I almost died!!! Ya, it was the first time that I can remember where I seriously could have died. I was eating a granola bar at transfers, waiting to get the new members of my house when I made a funny joke. OH man, it was funny. We were talking about dreams and I made the comment that I have never had a dream about eating something. Then I looked at Elder Sant, is a bit overweight (and he is proud of it I might add) and I said "I bet you have". I was just playing around and it was so funny. Well I inhaled a large piece of the granola bar and found myself incapable of breathing. Nothing, no air at all! So I got up, looked at Elder Sant, motioned that I could not breath, and let him know that he needed to save me. He laughed but then said "wait, really"? I rolled my eyes and then turned, waiting for the Heimlich, which was actually not as painful as I thought it would be. Well, the granola piece came out and I lived. Gasping for air, I turned to Elder Sant and said to him "This granola bar is really good. Thanks". I then took another bite and we continued our conversation. About 2 minuted later it finally hit me, "wait, you were choking to death". Up until that point, I did not even think about that. I was not afraid at all. REALLY WEIRD. Anyway, after a week of a sore throat, I am fine. Okay, Mom?

Second: We had a really cool activity this week that we put on at the church. We called everybody down for " choco-night". We set up an activity and lesson from the Book of Mormon and in the end, everyone won chocolate! Here's what we did. In the chapel we ran a rope about 150 meters long and made a complicated, very difficult path to follow, and called it our "Rod of Iron." Yes, we explained to everyone Lehi'sdream from First Nephi, Chapter 8 in the Book Of Mormon. We put on a play to explain it and I, dressed in all white, was the angel that appeared to Lehi. My companion wore brown pants, a green tie, and held out branches to represent the Tree of Life. Well. Then all 70 people that came were blindfolded and we had them follow our crazy web of a trail through the chapel. At the end of the line I waited with white chocolate for all of them. It was really cool! Every one had a blast.

Third: We had a huge storm pass by Saturday night and it did a bit of damage to our house. Let me explain. We were all sleeping when we were woken up by what sounded like grenades being thrown on our roof. They of course were not grenades, but actually mango's form the tree behind our house. It was a severe wind storm that was bursting all the windows open and sounded like thunder on our heads. LOUD. We closed up the apartment and grabbed our clothes which were hanging outside. Just in time too, because it began to rain and thunder!! THEN! we found leaks in our ceiling. Lots. TONS!! Turns out, the wind tore off a section of the roof and mango's busted holes in the tile shingles. Our kitchen, bathroom, and main room were really wet. It even rained on one of the other Elders beds. Not mine though. So now we have had to go the long process to fix our house. Today, I hope we figure it out.
Fourth: I got a new bed! Finally, after weeks on a broken frame and old mattress, I have a new bunk-bed in my house and it is great. I love it. I sleep on the upper bed and that means that the AC blows right on my face. I love it. I am sleeping quite well.

Fifth: So Tadeu, the man that went to church last week all by himself, he is the man. We went to visit him this week and we found out his story. He grew up in the church and everybody knows him. He used to drink, smoke, and do all kinds of bad things. Well, because he wanted to be happy again he remembered the church in his life and BY HIMSELF, stopped drinking and smoking and all the other bad things. He told us this week "I am not coming back to church. I am already back, for good." All of his family went to church and they are all so cool. It was funny because his three sons, 12, 10, and 8 years old, all went in green shirts! I named them "Los Verditos". The "little greens" in Spanish, if my Spanish is correct. I love this family already.

I am having such a good time on the mission. All is well. I love my new shoes I bought. Comfortable. No complaints here!

eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week #74 - "I can show you the world!!!!" - Aladdin


So the Disney quote from this week has a purpose. The man who lives in front of my house decided to blast this song for the whole world to here this morning. Quite funny! American child film music is popular enough to be loved by all in the amazon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So this week was Independence day in Brazil, 7th of September and I live close to the city stadium. So that meant that at 5 pm on the 7th we saw 10 helicopters pass just feet above the rooftops of the houses. THEN............ an F-5 jet passed by. LOWER THAN LOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I could throw a rock to hit him. He made two passes and I was just geeking out!! Just ask Elder Carvalho who was with me at the time. I had a very hard time bringing back the focus. Seriously, so stinken cool. If anyone who is reading this happens to own a jet, I humbling ask permission to, upon my return, take my thrills to mach levels!! PLEASE?

As you might have known we have also arrived at transfers once again and I have news. I will be staying in Ajuricaba with Elder Moreira (my current comp) and I am still the District Leader! I am excited because we have a lot of people to baptize! However, I know it is going to be a hard transfer. Let us push onward!!!! My district will now consist of 6 Elders (used to be 4), 1 American (me) and 5 Brazilians. So, that is how it goes for Elder Laws. I am just going to be Brazilian for awhile. We can talk more soccer then..... hahaha

Also, my zone have become addicted to a new P-day activity....... Pokemon!!!!!!! hahahaha I know right! They found a re-saler than buys them from other parts of Brazil, new, and sells them in Manaus. Pokemon was never really as big as it was in the states so all the Brazilians think it is pretty darn cool!!! It has yet to hit my district though because we are far away and have no real way to buy cards. But I really did not come to Brazil to play pokemon, did I and neither did the other Elders in my district.

OKAY to more important things. Sunday was absolutely the best day of the week. Neyderson blessed the sacrament. He was sooo happy. Seriously, his face was beaming in that white shirt!!! hahaha. A man named Tadeu came to church telling us how he was baptized roughly 14 years ago and that he was back to the church to stay, and how he has 4 kids and a wife; all of whom will be coming with him. He was so excited to be there and he really wants to get married soon!!! We also had a missionary return to the ward and give his homecoming talk. Man, that was weird listening to someone who just got down doing what you are doing. Really weird. He is a really cool guy and I hope he has the desire to help us out. WE NEED IT! We also had a baptism as well. Julio Cézar, who is the son of a family we are re-activating into the church. He is really funny, and we were at his house when the helicopters passed by! He freaked out too!

At his baptism, however, my camera broke. (Sad face). I am not happy about that, but life goes on. I am also not here to take photos. I am here to do the work of the Lord in the way he wants me to.

I am good.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week #73 - "When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do?"


First, we played baseball in our house this week; Americans vs Brazilians. It was quite funny. 2 bases, dust pan bat, and fruit snack ball!!! We won of course, 5 to 2 after 3 innings. It was quite ridiculous!

I went on a division this week to another area that I have never been to that is just WAYYYY out in the middle of no where!1 It is in the middle of the jungle on the other side of the airport and it was way cool. LUNCH WAS GREAT! There was a family there who had just an amazing house off in the jungle far away. It was quite there and much cooler. The food was to die for! The nature came right up beneath your feet and they told us how monkeys often swing by every day and how sloths steal papaya in the night from their trees. We heard the sounds of the rain-forest birds and I was freaking. It was really cool. Just really cool.

However I will be honest, this week was a really hard week for me. Not a lot happened, the work was slow and I was just feeling quite useless. We did almost nothing. We taught no one. It broke 105 degrees every single day and I was dying from the heat. Nothing seemed to go right. Then Sunday came around, no visitors came to church and I was feeling quite sorry for myself. "Where were the miracles", I thought? Well, I got one. Yago, the eight year old who I baptized just a few weeks ago got up in front of every one to bear his testimony of this gospel. He approached the microphone with ever so much courage and not expecting it, yelled into it, falling backwards and thus becoming very embarrassed. He sat down again shaken up but what he had done and almost everyone was laughing. HOWEVER, he would not be silenced. He returned to the microphone with courage and determination to state the following phrases which penetrated my sad heart.

"When I was baptized, I felt such a spirit of peace and happiness and I thank God for this. I know that this is his church and his path for me because I feel the truth. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I am so grateful that God sent His missionaries to teach me these things so that I could be baptized and be here with all of you. I know they are sent from God. In the name of Christ , Amen."

I cried after these words for they truly opened my heart. I had felt as thought my work had meant nothing, that I was an unprofitable servant who was a waste of a white shirt and tie. But Yago told me otherwise. God spoke to me through him. God humbled me with the words of a boy in a brand knew white shirt, which was too big for him.

Then as if that was not enough, Maria do Carmo bore her testimony. She is the wife of Neyderson, who was baptized the same day as Yago. She spoke through her tears of the endless prayers she had given to God asking that her husband could come with her to church, stop drinking, and become the father of the house. She bawled as she said she often had lost hope because missionaries would come and go and he would do nothing to change. Maria poured her heart out in thanks to God for two Elders that had reached his heart and brought full joy in her heart.

Oh how God had proved me wrong and brought me down into humility, showing me His mighty works through His Elders. I realized many things, some a little too private to state here, but I am forever grateful for I learned and felt. Never had such a feeling of peace come upon me at church as it did this Sunday, confirming to me the truths I now know and what I have yet to learn.

"Christ never gives us pain we cannot support."

Sorry my letter does not have a lot of cool stories but this was the only real landmark moment of the week to share.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws