Mission Slideshow

Monday, January 28, 2013

Week #94 - "You´re killing smalls!"


Well, let me tell you that this week was one of the fastest weeks that I can remember on my entire mission. Wow, I cannot believe that I am writing you again. Stupid fast.

So, we WORKED OUR TAILS off this week. Seriously, we taught over 80 lessons this week! Are you kidding me? We are just really pushing ourselves to give it our all. Both of us are at the end of our mission, so we are doing everything possible to help others and we have been so blessed with the essential help of the wonderful members of this church! Our ward mission leader, Irmão Frank, is just giving it everything he has got to be able to help us do the work. We are so lucky to have him on our side.

So, this week was super hard though. We tried so hard but it felt like everything was against us. We have amazing people to teach but everything possible that could go wrong to tempt someone or to dissuade someone from learning with us and studying about the gospel, yea, everything of that nature happened this week with our investigators. We are teaching tons of people so we get to see a little of everything. Men who cheat on their wives and boys who are addicted to drugs. If you do not keep yourself thinking about the amazing work it could be really easy to get yourself down. I will admit, I did get down a bit because we are doing EVERYTHING in our power and in the end, it is not our choice. People choose to accept our help or not. We just preach with the Lords spirit to bring them to feel the truth. And to that end, I can say I feel a wonderful spirit in all of the lessons we teach. I feel the Lord on our side even if sometimes it seems like everything is against us. So for that, I thank the Lord every night when I pray.

Elder Drake and I are having a blast. Oh, how we joke around and just are 2 kids on the street. I do not think there are two Elder who quote more movies, make more jokes, and laugh as hard as we do every day. A few days ago he smiled and looked at me and said very slowly..."beef enchilada" to which I almost cried laughing and said "never has two words made me so trunky!" On Saturday we were sitting on the street when a little puppy came up to me. I pet him and he was super cute. So I turned to Elder Drake and said "You know, I would never punch a puppy in the face." Oh, Elder Drake died laughing for about 10 minutes straight. We have fun!

A young man by the name of Lucas was baptized this week. His older brother is a member and he is 17 years old. Really, before we met him, he never liked the church and had passed through many problems in his life. Drugs, police, gangs, etc. He has the scars to prove it. HOWEVER, he started coming to soccer at the church and he really liked talking with us. So we taught him the gospel and last week he came up to Elder Drake and said "what do I do to get baptized and be a missionary?" WOW! So we continued to try to meet with him but it was really hard because he lives so far away. Anyways, he was baptized and he asked me to do it, saying "you should do it, my life was changed because of you." I was touched. The first time I had seen him, I saw a punk. This Sunday he came to church in a button up shirt, smiling and just happy as could be. He sat with me at church and I confirmed him a member of the church. What a great story. I am grateful for these moments. I work for these moments. I pray, and sweat, and cry, and bleed, and work, and try, and fail, and pray again, all for THESE moments. What a blessing to feel such a love for another.

Well, if you ever wanted to know what motivates a 20 year old kid from urban northwest USA to live in the streets of the amazon, now you know. Its for the people and for God. It is for love and for feeling the spirit in the lives of others and in mine. Its for the work and the glory of my Lord. I am so blessed and privileged to give this work. I do not want anything else more than to do this.

eu vos amo
Elder Asa Laws

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week #93


Let me tell you that this week was the busiest, most work filled week of my life, and it was the most fruitful week of my entire mission. I am so happy.

So just so you return missionaries and others can get the idea. This week my companion and I taught 60 lessons! Yes, you read that right. We ran all over the place and we don't have a car. We were doing the absolute best planning. We really are doing 100 percent everything possible. This is truly the first time in my life I can say I have done EVERYTHING in my power and then prayed for the rest. And truly God has blessed us.

On Tuesday the very first day of this transfer my new companion and I, Elder Drake decided to visit a few young men. We went to a certain house, only to find that those young men were not there, but another man was, Aldary. I had met him once before but this time it was it different. We found in in a very sad state. He was quite put down and very concerned. So we spoke with him about Christ. He began to open up to us and he described how he felt such a desire to do something; to change his life and to find what he was missing. We testified of Christ and how he truly needed to be baptized to change his life. I have rarely felt such a spirit in my life as I did that day, in that house. It was precious as we testified to this man. His countenance changed and his eyes teared. He began to feel something. He told us that he knew that it was all true. So he then turned to the young man who had been with us that day, Italo, and asked "how is it? To be baptized by Gods' power?" This young man responded one word: "Perfect." At that moment, Aldary decided he was going to be baptized that very day! We left the house and flew! We made the calls and the district leader came to interview him. We talked with the members to prepare to font. EVERYTHING worked. It was as if angels flew before us preparing the way.Aldary asked ME to baptize him and as I did, I felt I could see God. He cried as he came out of the water and gave me the biggest hug. I felt something incredible. I later asked him "how did you feel?" He replied "Perfect. I am truly a new man." Wow. I was shocked. God knew of this mans need and we were there RIGHT WHEN HE NEEDED IT. I felt as Philip did in the Bible baptizing the Eunec or as Peter baptizing the 3000. He knew it as they did. This is the truth!

Oh man, so much more happened this week. We had the spirit with us constantly. We had scores of lessons where we knew that that person was touched. We met another women who told us that she had never felt such a strong force with her; that it was as if someone was by her side telling her to believe! We met 2 ladies from a referral; Seliane and Suellem. They knew the very first day, that what we said was true and they came to church with us. This week they are planning on getting baptized! We are just working so hard, praying so hard, walking miles and miles. Seriously, nothing will hold this work back. We have serious business to get done.

My new companion is Elder Drake. He is from Seattle Washington, Poulsbo actually, and he is INCREDIBLE. He has spent his whole mission traveling around the tiny cities on the amazon and baptizing people in the river. Absolutely crazy. For over a year he has baptized every week on his mission. WOW. I love the guy. We just play around all day. He is a mariners fan and the Miami heat. This week we tried to list out every NFL team and every MLB team as we walk. We got all the football teams but we had forgot 2 baseball teams. It took us the entire week to remember the Kansas City Royals and Pirates. But we finally got them all on Saturday. Also, we quote "The Sandlot" on an hourly basis. Basically he is the coolest guy ever and I love the guy. We have way too much fun. Seriously. Its good stuff.

So the members in this ward are THE GREATEST of all time. We have meetings that go well, people that go out with us EVERY DAY, and they actually do their home teaching. Irmão Ytlon gives us car rides whenever we truly need them (only about once a week). Our ward mission leader checks up with us DAILY on what we need and how the work is going. the young men walk with us. The leadership gives us referrals. We have EVERYTHING a missionary could ever want. We even had a meeting with the stake counsel, where the stake president kept telling everyone about how good our ward is going. I am so blessed to work here. Wow. Just wow.

We also had 2 other baptisms on Sunday as well. Gleyson and Antonio. So they are young men we have met at the soccer tournament this week. Last week I sat next to Gleyson at church and talked to him about the church. he said he was feeling really good and I testified that it was the spirit of God and invited to be baptized the next week. Well, he accepted and the whole week was just super excited. We had tons of people at his baptism and we are so lucky to meet good young men like him. Antonio is Aldary's younger bother who saw his brothers baptism and told me that he had felt something really strong at his brothers baptism and it had made his hair stand up. He wanted to learn more. So we talked with him every day and on Sunday he was baptized as well! It was amazing. It felt so good. They felt so good. I love being a servant of God. There's nothing better (Oh, oh oh!).

I love this mission. There is no place better. I love everything about his work. I just want to do my best, hang the rest, and give it all I have. I have a work to do and I have no time left to get it all done.

eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week #92


So I have a few things I would like to write about. But first, TRANSFERS!!! I will be staying in my current area and I will receive a new AMERICAN to train to be a Zone Leader. It will be really cool and I am super excited. This next transfer is only 5 weeks long instead of the normal 6 weeks. So we will see how it goes. His name is Elder Drake and I know nothing about him. More to come next week!

So, this last week we were able to help out with a huge project the the young men organized; a SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT! OH yeah, I was excited for this one. We have been teaching tons of the players but it was really cool to be able to start the tournament with a prayer and lesson. 40 young men were there! 10 of them came to church after wards. I was super excited! I still am. These guys are really good kids too, who just want to play and not get into trouble. They play just to enjoy the game.The thing is, you have two options in Brazil, you play on a nice field if you have money or you play on the street if you don't. And on the street there can arise problems. So tons of kids prefer to play at the "Mormon Church" because it is a nice court and everyone has to play clean. Anyways, I love soccer and I love being a missionary teaching the young men that are loving to play soccer. Now I get to mix them both!

So this week we went to a members house to try to find our ward mission leader because he had a meeting with us. We get there and a little girl popped her head out and said "hi". I spoke with her a bit and told her to go get her mom, which she did, running through the house saying " Mom! Mom! The Mask is here!" I started to laugh, but what was even funnier is I could hear her mother " What? what? Who is the mask? Are you talking about the Elder?" Man, I do not get it. I do not look that much like Jim Carrey!

Love you all!
Elder Asa Laws

Monday, January 7, 2013

Week #91 - "together we are many. Divided we are few. Alone, nothing. With God, everything."


Wow, we had a pretty amazing week, and I am just feeling pretty darn good as a missionary in 2013.

So, the new years eve party we went to was pretty darn cool. We drank a lot of soda and of course TERERÊ. It is basically the best drink ever. We played Monopoly deal all night long with Elder Pires and Elder Dias. Good stuff. However, I always find that new years is the weirdest holiday because I do not feel any different. The clock strikes 12 and I still feel like I did 3 seconds before. Nothing different, except the noise! I shared my Sriracha hot sauce with everyone and Brazilians are not into stupid, hot, so most of them hated the sauce. Very funny to watch irmão Renan chocking because his chicken was so hot. Cruel, but funny. Hey, don´t judge me.

We also happened to go to the temple this week and I was impressed with what I learned there. The temple is a house of God, a place of love and beauty. You can really find Heaven there if you are looking for it. The mysteries of God are beautiful.

I sent a box to Roman this week. It contains the secrets of the universe and two baseball gloves. I received packages too! That you so much Grandma Val and Bro. Lindhorst! But I do have to comment. Bro Lindhorst, the package came and the box was black and smelled very sweet. We opened it to find all the jolly ranchers had melted and everything became a giant sticky ball of goodness. I split my spoils between me, the APs and the mission secretaries.

We did a 2 day division this week and I went with Elder Dias to his area for a day then we went to my area. It was super tight. Miracles happened. They have been teaching a young man, Junior, for a while but his mother never let him be baptized. Well, we decided to talk with her one last time. I sat down and spoke with her for about 30 minutes then she said "No, my son needs to be baptized if he ever is going to be a good man. Baptize him tomorrow please." We were shocked. This lady was certainly touched by God.

Also, we bought a pizza and fruit loops and I ate an entire box of cereal and half a pizza. Oh, what a night!

Nossa! We had the coolest experiences ever this week on Sunday. We had another baptism, Juvã. He
is a kid who likes to play soccer at the church and he was extremely impressed with how he felt. Elder Doratiotto spoke with him and he chose for himself to be baptized! They went there and spoke with his family and they agreed to let him join the church! So we had the most amazing baptism ever! I was super happy!

We also had a wonderful experience with the ward! We have a wonderful new ward mission Leader, Frank. He is the man and I swear no one loves the church as much as he does. His life was terrible before the gospel and he is just grateful for the church and he just wants to share it with everyone! So we have been working on tons of wonderful things to involve the members more! We did an activity with all the the leaders where we went out and handed out fellowship cards to receive free DVDs. We went out and it started to rain HARD. Even then, all of them pushed forward and we grabbed over 400 referrals!!! I am super excited with this ward. These people are so special to me.

I Just love my mission and I want everyone to know. I just love the people here. I love the trials. I love the hardships. I love the peace and the smiles.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Week #90 - "I've got a soft spot for Klinger. He looks a little like my son, and he dresses a lot like my wife."


Wow this week just flew right on by, you know? I feel like I was here yesterday typing about Christmas, and now I am here typing about the new year! How does that happen? OH yeah, the world keeps on moving while I don't pay attention.

So, I have to first say that I am proud of my New England Patriots for making into another playoff year. That is how you get it done. Please, just win the super bowl this time. Eli will not likely be there again.

So, I would like to tell all you non family folk about how it was to talk with my family this last week. GREAT!!! Yes, it was wonderful and it was just in time too. I was feeling the mid-winter blues from being away from home during the holidays and a good chat with the ol' family did the trick in helping me out.

Hanna has turned into a gorgeous young women so look out all you boys, her older brother is coming home soon! Kati, I cannot believe it but you will be going to college and you will feel how I felt, except, Zach Collier will not be one of your roommates. You won't throw a gun in the air for fun and in place of snow, you will have sandy Hawaiian beaches. SO it will be much cooler for you. I am excited to see what you feel like after a weeks away from home. Roman you speak freakin´Portuguese and have what is called a "capira" accent, which the English equal would be a "hick" accent. (Sorry Bishop Rushing) It was super cool to talk to you and see the differences between my Portuguese, yours and Dads. Weird stuff. Speaking with you was definitely one of the coolest things about that call. Mother is good. She has an ipad mini so she is cool now! haha. Actually, I do not even know what is cool anymore. In Brasil the windows phone is what is cool..... weird. But it was really cool to just sit for a bit and talk about how I am feeling, IN PORTUGUESE! So yeah, calling home was cool!

The Christmas party we went to was super cool! We went to a recent converts house, Ilton, and we had a blast with the members. Brasil is really different because they feast on the 24th, not the 25th, and most people in Manaus couldn't care less about gifts. Most people I know do not get any. I made mashed potatoes and gravy forChristmas and everyone LOVED IT, so that was cool. My companion made brownies. I felt good to eat familiar things for the holidays.

We also did something rather special Christmas night. We went with a family in the ward, Luis and Auribel, to visit another family who we had recently baptized, Larissa and Rossinei. Rossinei has been without a job for a while and they do not have much. So we took tons of food over there and gifts for the kids! I wanted to cry because we brought them Christmas. They had nothing to eat and no gifts. It tore my heart out. What a wonderful thing to do on Christmas eve.

We did a service project this week, painting a door for Ilton as well and is was super fun to just get out of my tie and do something else.

Oh, I forgot to wear a tie to church! It was a huge embarrassment when I had to call a member and ask him to bring me a tie. Of all things! I wear one every day! How could I forget? Going to church? Well, it all ended well and we held the baptism of Joeverton. He is a young man who plays soccer with the member and it was a wonderful baptism! I conducted the music. Wonderful. Just great. Good stuff.

Today, I played catch with my baseball gloves in the rain. WOW. Once again I had forgot how awesome baseball is and how much I wish to play a game. Well, just a bit longer and I will play with SOMEONE when I get home. Also, I will play soccer with you, Reed.

I am having a good time. I just decided this week that I have so little time left that I have to just do my best, hang the rest, and stay smiling through anything. So that is what I am gonna do.

Eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws