Sometimes you just never really know what is coming around the corner until you get there. I will explain later....
So this week was probably the greatest week of my entire mission. I know I said that last week but this really was THE best! I have never so tried hard to be the best I can be. I have never been pushed to do so much in so little time. We worked our tails off. Then we kept working some more. We walked, and run, and prayed, and fasted, and then we had to work some more. We worked in the morning and then we worked at night. At 1pm in 120 degree heat we worked and in raging storms we worked. I am extremely grateful for work this week and I have truly learned what you can do when you trust the Lord.
So this week was very interesting. Their was a large storm that came through the same night as the hurricane hit in the states. My house was completely fine but we know a few people that had their roofs torn off. It actually did a lot of damage in the city here and that night the entire city went without power. I did not sleep very well. We woke up to find our house still without power and our cell phone did not work because some of the cell towers were destroyed. AGH! It was a trying day because we're in the process of helping 2 couples get married and we needed someone to come get their documents from us and take them to the right place. But without a cell phone we had no way of getting in contact. When the call network came back on, we found out that the mission office was without Internet and cell-phone service. We were running around trying to get everything in order and solve our impossible problem, when Elder Fonseca remembered he had a telephone pre-paid card in his wallet to use at a payphone. We prayed the payphones still worked and THEY DID!!! We managed to get a very weak connection to the land line at the mission office and we got permission to walk to the office and deliver the papers. That day, we must have walked 12 miles! This week we walked and taught everyone we could find. We prayed and set goals, and worked our hardest to hit every single goal we had. We met almost every one.
We had a mission tour this week with Elder Costa, President of the Brazil area. It was quite incredible because Elder Costa was the first mission president of the Manaus mission. WOW. This tour was amazing. He had a huge zone conference with all the missionaries from 3 cities together in Manaus. We had a meeting with him as the mission leadership before the rest of the meeting. I was impressed at how he complimented us on our work and our dedication, and really he only gave a few pointers to help us grow even more. I felt like he really trusted us. He spoke with us about being a model of Christ and how we are to live in such a way that others feel our love of Christ in our hands. I was quite touched, especially by that thought. Then came the full meeting with Elder Costa. He decided to compliment every missionary personally. So we all got in line to shake his hand and the mission presidents hand. When I shook the mission presidents hand he said "Elder, are you ready for EVERYTHING?" I said yes, that my area was well prepared. But he did not let my hand go, and repeated "No Elder, are YOU ready for everything?" I said yes again even more emphatically, and I then went to shake Elder Costas hand. He asked me where I was from and I responded Vancouver Washington, to which he said "I love it there. The fish are great!" I laughed and told him I really miss salmon.
NEW MISSION RULE: NO MORE FOOTBALL (SOCCER) Yep, those new soccer shoes you sent me mother, are now baseball shoes. haha
The rest of the day was full of the spirit. It helped me see many of the things that I was doing that were great, and many new things I can do to become better. He did not talk about rules, or superficial topics that often many missionaries need. No, he spoke mostly about how the church is organized and how things work on the logistic side of things. Really it was a lot less doctrine and a lot more information than I expected. But I guess that just is because our mission is just doing so well that we do not need to be reminded on how to properly use a tie or iron a shirt or to shave every day. Mission Manaus, I feel, is finaly beyond those sorts of things. So that is why he committed us to a much higher goal than normal. We are going good. But we have to our best and leave nothing undone! haha. Give it our all the help those around us.
So, about the corner issue (fom the beginning of the letter). This week a new stake was organized in my mission and because of this, the mission decided to divide a few zones. They made 3 new zones this week and that meant mini transfer. Well, I now understand why the president asked me if I was ready because I was transferred to a new area, new companion, and new calling. I am zone leader in my old stake, Samauma, with Elder Doratiotto. He is a really cool Elder from São Paulo and we are going to have a blast! I am actually already in my new area today and I am already feeling that things will become very different. I am actually very sad about this change because I was in Ajuricaba for 5 months. I loved the members there. I was working with 3 weddings. I had the best house in the mission with literally the greatest companion ever! We worked together only for 2 weeks but Elder Fonseca and I had a blast!! 2 weeks that changed my mission. Now it is on to newer and harder things. It is very likely this area will be my last area on the mission. So I am feeling like I should get comfortable. Mom, feel free to send anything you want to me because I will be going to the mission office almost once a week now to pick things up. It will be an honour to serve in this new area and to serve these Elders. It is a wonderful ward that I have already had the privilege to know, months ago. I used to be in Cadade Nova, which is just a few kilometers away! haha! So for me, I am cool. I will probably end my mission with just 5 areas! haha! And only 4 zones!
Well, I bore my testimony on Sunday and said some things that I wish to be known here. FIRST: I BELIEVE IN CHRIST. I know he lives and I know he is my Savior. Second: JOSEPH SMITH SAW GOD. This is fact. I know it for fact because the spirit whispered so, unto my soul. I have no doubt in the truthfulness of this work. I know for a fact all that I teach and all I am learning, is sent by God for the salvation of His children. If you want to know more about how I know these things, write me, and then pray and ask God yourself.
Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws