So I think I might just write the worlds largest letter for this week because I really do have soooo much to say this week. Wow a lot has happened and I am so blessed.
So, first things first. This week I did not work in my area. I went out to a small city in the middle of the state called Rorainópolis!! I went out there with Elder De Jesus and we had a blast!!!! Let me tell you about it. So to get out there you take a large passenger van that costs 35 reals per person. The road is mostly paved but some parts are just dirt trail so the trip takes about 5 hours to get there. Wow what a trip. I saw some of the flat lands. They say that Roraima (the state) used to be a giant lake so it is FLAT and very windy. LOVE IT! When we got there I was super nervous. We were the only official presence of the Church in the entire city, 400 kilometers from anywhere and anyone. SUPER COOL. We got in the house and then went out to find people to teach. It was wonderful to see the city. It is super small and has no stoplights. Half of the city just has dirt streets and the power goes out every day. Well that does not effect us and we managed to find some incredible people to teach.
I have never met so many wonderful people who are prepared to receive us. People are open and willing, and they have so much faith to do what the Lord asks of them. ANYTHING. There are people here who we taught who gave up coffee or smoking without a second thought! Incredible. The Lord always provides for those who trust him.
Thursday- Sara, Deuzarina, Eliene, and Kailanny were all baptized. They are wonderful examples to me.
Sara we met looking for her brother. From the moment I saw her I knew that she was looking for us. As we spoke, I could see in her eyes that she was feeling something and that see really truly believed what we taught. When she spoke, she told us of how she had been looking for the right path but never seemed to find it and that earlier that month she had a dream. She was fishing on the river along side hundreds of others. The first fish she caught was half eaten and rotten. She continued fishing and caught two fish at the same time; a white and a brown one that tasted wonderful to her. She testified to us, with watery eyes that she now knew what the dream meant. Elder De Jesus and I were the good fish that she had caught (I am white and Elder De Jesus is brown) and that she felt truly that we had come from God to give her what she had been looking for. She accepted all we taught and agreed to be baptized. I felt such a strong spirit.
Deuzarina, Eliene, and Kailanny are all the same family and we found them on the street. Wednesday night we taught them about the restoration and the gospel of Christ and left them to study and pray over the night till we returned. Well the next day we arrived and all three were ready saying "so, when can we get baptized?' We taught again and they all agreed to follow Christ's example and become members of His church. Elder De Jesus baptized them and I confirmed them by the side of the river.
Friday- Daniel, Kedson, Israel, and Ângelo were baptized on the banks of the river.
Daniel, Kedson, and Israel are all the brothers of Sara. We had spoken with them on Thursday, and Daniel and Israel even watched Saras baptism, however they were not quite so converted. So we left them with some pamphlets and with the invite to simply pray and ask God. Well, the next time we arrived and all three were ready saying " so, when can we get baptized?' We taught all the rest of the things they must know and they all agreed to follow Christs example and become members of His church. Elder De Jesus baptized them and I confirmed them by the side of the river.
Ângelo was a kid I met in front of a bar. My companion asked the bar owner if he could go in to use the bathroom, so I stood out front. Angleo was just listening to music on the sound box. This was about 3 pm, so no one was drinking there. I introduced myself and we spoke with him about how God calls all to come unto him through baptism. We gave him a pamphlet and said we would go by later. Thursday night we went by and taught him. He said he would think about it and ask God. He also wanted to talk with his mom. I really liked him too because he is super smart. When we came back, he had decided himself and his mother consented. I baptized him on that same river. What an amazing experience!
So to get people out to the river we had a man with and old little car take us out there. We dubbed his car the baptism-mobile (batismóvel). Man this car is old and beat up but I loved riding in the back taking people out there. The river is about 10 minutes by car from the city off on a dusty trail behind the city. So cool.
While out there I also got to hold a parrot and an animal called a "paca". I have no clue what it is in English, but I have fotos. So you will see.
Then on Sunday we held a church service with just a few people there and then we had to take a van to Boa Vista. It arrived late and I was very worried. Why? Because that night, Sunday, I had to take another bus BACK to Manaus for our Zone Leader conference. That bus left at 9pm that night. So I was worried about how later we would be getting back to Manaus. It's a 10 hour bus ride. But we made it on time, after many delays, and with 15 minutes to spare I made it on time and we got on our bus back to Manaus.
On the bus ride I had an incredible experience. At about 11pm Manaus time I felt an incredibly strong pain in my chest and it grew and grew. So I asked my companion for a blessing. I got pretty scared because it got hard to breath and it hurt so much, but I couldn't do anything. It felt like I was going to die. However, I trusted in what Elder Shepherd said in a blessing "the Lords is in control." 1 minute after that blessing, it passed and it was as if nothing happened. I was fine. No pain. Nothing. I was perfectly comfortable. We called the president when we got signal and he said that it was a miracle. I am so grateful for the power we have to give and receive blessings.
Well, now I am in Manaus again and I can officially talk about the fact that I will be with Roman for this whole next week!!!! I am sure you all know since it seems everyone already knows. I think I've neveer been more excited for something in my whole life! I knew a week ago on Monday and kept it on the down low. I just got off the phone with "Elder Laws" explaining to him what will happen with his area while I am there, based on the instructions from President Klein. haha! President Klein also spoke with Roman. It was super funny because Roman said he speaks too fast! hahaha. Well I will be flying there tomorrow and I will spend a week and the president gave me a job. BAPTIZE WITH YOUR BROTHER. He wants a photo all in white to send to the Liahona! hahaha. Isn't this the most amazing thing you've ever heard of? We just could not be more blessed!
I just got done eating pepperoni pizza for the first time in my mission and now I am just happy as can be. Tomorrow will be excellent.
eu vos amo.
Elder Asa Laws