Well, here we are again for the second and final time, just before Christmas. It has been quite the year since we last spoke and I wish to write a very special letter home.
First, I will write about the week.
Mother, some of those packages you sent to the other missionaries have arrived! All of them have thanked me and asked me to thank the ward for the wonderful gifts! I really felt a wonderful spirit knowing that there are amazing people back at home who wish to help the Brazilian missionaries! These are gifts they have never recieve. I think 2 or 3 of them still did not get the packages yet but they will soon come.
We had the Christmas devotional for the mission this week. It was super cool. Let me explain! About half the mission came back to the city and we held a large conference in the acariquara chapel! We heard truly amazing messages from our president and his wife and then we ate a fantastic lunch. We also had a giant secret santa again which was quite funny. When you told everyone whose name you picked, you had to say something about him. Well, the missionary that picked me did not say a word. He simply stood and then placed his pen behind his ear (something that I do quite often). EVERYONE knew then that it was me and started laughing. Quite funny and I was laughing hard. I won a cool mug from the opera house in the center of the city. So I was happy.
Then we went out to a local zoo called INPA. It was pretty cool and I took some sweet fotos of some big gators! I was happy too because I got to see all my old companions again who are all doing really great. Christmas is great, right?
We also got to sing at the temple this year. My stake president organized a large interstake choir festival at the Manaus Temple and we were invited to sing as a mission. Of course I went and we sang "O Come All Ye Faithful," but in Portuguese. What was incredible was that I saw so many members again! TONS of people that have become my friends and family on my mission. It was awesome. I saw some people that I baptized too! I even got to see someone from mauazinho again! I was super happy to see her, Irmã Ana. It is incredible how many people that I have come to know and love in this city. I love Manaus and I love Brasil. I will cry so much when I leave here.
We also had a baptism this week. His name is Ericsson and he came to us on Thursday and said "It is my birthday on Sunday and I have been giving a lot of thought. I want to be baptized on Sunday!" We were shocked and super happy! My companion showed him the baptismal font. He was super excited and the service on Sunday was super beautiful. Lots of people came.
We also had the primary presentation this Sunday! I was SHOCKED at how much more kids know than I do! There was a young girl about 9 years old who gave a talk. Her name is Ana and she gave the best talk I have ever heard about the Holy Ghost. She quoted scripture and modern day prophets. She used "The Friend" and general conference. I was so incredibly impressed. I felt so happy! I do not think I have ever felt so impressed in my entire life! She brought a pure spirit that penetrated my heart and left me smiling so big, my smile fell off my face!
Okay, now onto part two of this letter.
I wish this Christmas that EVERYONE I know understands something very real to me. A man born of women, but not of man, was brought to this world through power not fully understood. He grew, grace to grace, becoming what he had been called to be before the worlds were. He walked ancient streets as any other, but preached as none other. He lived the way no other could. He died the only way his Father willed. Today, tomorrow, and really every other day we remember HIM.
I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God, the redeemer of the world and the promised Messiah given unto the fallen man. I believe that He is the center of Gods great plan and that through His grace, I might be enabled to reach eternal life. I am truly grateful for this and I am HERE for this purpose, to help others understand and acquire faith and grace in and through Jesus Christ.
May this Christmas you find a special spirit in searching and celebrating your Saviour.
Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws