The title of my letter is very important this week. Why? Because my new companion might just be the coolest companion I have ever had. His name is Elder Fonsca and he is from São Paulo. He is 24 years old and was baptized at 22 years old. He made a promise to himself at baptism to follow all the teachings of the prophets and that meant serving a mission. So, now having 10 months on his mission, his has in total as a member of this restored church 1 year and 10 months under his belt. What a good guy! Also, this is why he is the coolest guy.... He a music major at São Paulo University and is focusing in conducting!!!! Yes, please read that again and try to imagine the vague tunes of Bach and Handel oozing out the the front door of our apartment everyday and the massive grin on my face!!! He is a huge fan of baroque music, if you know what that means haha! So we talk about this sort of stuff all the time. Well, actually only at home at night because during the day we have to WORK!
Seriously, I have never had a week quite like this week! I have not learned so much and grown so much in such a short period of time, in a LONG TIME. WOW, it is amazing, a mission. It really is. This week we set some incredibly great and hard goals. We planned out everything. Every moment was to be used. Every person was to receive what they needed. We wanted to teach and help as many people as possible! I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO TIRED IN MY LIFE! but is a good tired. It is a tired that gives back to you, knowing that you can keep going, doing exactly the will of the Lord. Miracles happened. People were touched. We felt a wonderful spirit guiding our footsteps. We prayed our hearts out to know the path to take and the people to teach. We are constantly looking around every corner for that one person God has sent to us to teach. We have very high goals, but we have a very powerful Father who is helping us. And for that, we succeeded. We do all we can and in the end, it is the Lord that has given everything to us. I am so glad for that. I have seen what I can do by myself. And that is not enough. I am thankful to feel the Lord's help everyday.
So, here is a interesting story. I have a friend who just ended her mission in Belém and informed me that she would be visiting Manaus to see the temple. Well, the other day we had lunch with Giselle and Paulo (on wednesday) and we were on the way to their home in their car when we began to talk about the temple. Giselle goes to the temple many times throughout the week, so she loves talking about the temple. I forget how it was brought up, but I mentioned that Sister Welch (my friend) said she was going to temple with her family, but I did not know when.
Giselle turned around and said to me "Wait, is she a short American who speaks Portuguese?"
I said, "Yes."
She said, "brown hair, blue eyes?"
I said , "Yes."
She responded with, "She was with her parents, a really tall guy and his wife?"
I replied, "With her parents, yes. But I really have no clue if her dad is tall or not."
Giselle then started laughing and told me that she happened to meet them in the temple and spoke with them that week! Just a testament to how small the world can be sometimes, right?
So I GOT YOUR PACKAGE MOTHER!!!!!!!! The one with the water bottle. It has already arrived and I am thankful for everything in it.
Water bottle- I use it but I am sorry to state that it does not maintain cold water in the Manaus heat. Just mildy cold, lukewarm water. But I ask for new water every house we stop at, so it is all good.
PB and Jelly- GREATEST SANDWHICH EVER. I love just making a sandwich whenever I want.
Rubik's cube- Endless fun just before you go to bed. I find it really helps out to calm me down in preparing to go to bed. Mindless puzzle...
Emergen-C - wonderful. I feel really good. I feel REALLY good. Lots O Energy!
Lego guy- Sits on my dresser reminding me I am a child and always wish to remain so.
Garlic- at first I was confused with this choice of item. There is fresh garlic here too. BUT, now I do not have to buy it and chop it up. I can make garlic eggs every morning now! Very good. I really like garlic-ee eggs in the morning!
Really, I just enjoy the comforts from home. They make me feel not so far away. Sometimes it is hard to remember that I am in Brazil. Sometimes I remember all too easy. Thank you for sending the goodies!
ALSO, The tie is beautiful. Thank you Dray family!!!
Side-note- my companion thinks its funny all my ties are all purple, or close to purple. I like purple ties!
We did a service project this week where we filled bags full of sand, and put them on the side of a members house. The night before it had rained so the sand was WET! Much heavier! But we managed to get most of it done until we ran out of bags to fill. The member is a wonderful old women who lives relatively alone. She is the only active member of the church in her house sometimes. Her grandson went on a mission and she feels so far away from him and it tears her up. So she loves talking to the missionaries to feel close to someone. She felt so bad as we worked and wanted to pay us! We refused, so said "give me a minute." She went to the store, bought some great food and gave it to us, saying to me so carefully "Please accept it. please." My heart just wrenched and I accepted the food. I was glad to do the work, because wearing a tie every day is sometimes just too much!
This week Elder Costa of the 70 will tour our mission. He was in Roman's mission a few weeks ago if I remember correctly. I am excited. I will get to meet him again.
So, I am happy. I am tired, but happy.
Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws