What a wonderful week that we had. It interesting though because once again I am sitting in the mission office the week after I had left. Can't seem to get away, can I? I will explain later.
So this week we finally went back to Boa Vista by bus. The ride was wonderful actually because we got to take the executive bus and it had SO MUCH leg room. Seriously, I slept like a baby for the entire trip. Though, when we finally got home that morning, Elder Shepherd and I fell on our beds and slept for another 2 hours or so. Three weeks away from your house and traveling can really wear on you.
It is very interesting to get back to your area after 3 weeks and not know anyone! I knew nobody. The members had no clue we existed. Most thought Elder Shepherd had been transferred. Ha. Anyway, so when we started just showing up at peoples houses they were a bit confused to see two white guys for lunch! However, I am still happy because people still think I am Brazilian, so that is cool.
We felt a bit lost going back to Boa Vista because we realized we had no one that we were teaching so we would be starting from the ground up. I felt lost and I prayed a lot about it. It is super hot right now in Boa Vista and so it was a bit hard for me to motivate myself to go out and work. But we started to find some amazing people and I really like the members there so in the end I fell back into rhythm. What also helped us out was a division that we did with some really good Elders. Elder DeOliveira and Elder McIntosh. Elder De Oliveira is the same one who you sent the package too for Christmas. He received it and was super grateful for the socks and shirts. Also, he loves the old Spice antiperspirant. Hehe! But teaching with him was incredible. We taught an amazingly special girl who has lots of very complex dreams that she remembers and she had one that involved the Book of Mormon. She was super confused and had asked the missionaries to help her understand because she wanted to be baptized but felt a lot of pressure from others. She really just wanted to understand the dream. The whole time listening to this I was just praying in my heart to help her and I felt prompted to ask her a few other questions about her dream. I did so and then I really felt like I had to tell her what I thought of her dream. So I explained all the parts. I said things that just came. Then I stopped. She looked different. I asked her what she thought and she said that she felt that she had received what it meant to her. I helped her come to understand her dream and I pray she can have the courage to do what is right.
Lately, reflecting on current events and the end of my mission, I have come to realize a few things. Too much really, to put in this letter. But what I have come to understand is what now motivates me. It moves me. I have a new love and understanding of my Savior and this life, and the great and eternal plan of redemption. I think I better understand what was once said that grace is "strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means."
I have been super tired this week. I sleep more and I eat more. I do all I can, but in the end I am tired. But I know at the end of EVERY DAY, that I made it through because something other than mine own forces got me through the day. I can testify of that.
Sunday I gave a class and a talk at church. I was super tired. I was done. I was feeling a lot of discomfort. I did not know how I was going to get through that day. So I said a prayer and said "God, I have a purpose. I have things to get done and important things to say and to teach. I have to help lives. Please let me do this." When it finally came around to Principles of the Gospel, it just came to me. I lost myself and we had one of the most incredible classes about the life of Christ. The entire classes at discussing for 10 minutes and the things we learned just from one line, the first line in the class manual. I started the class talking about being active in our own salvation, and how that required an active learning part on the part of every single one of us. It went well. We ended and I gave my talk about the same things. I spoke of the active members of salvation and the passive approach that satan preaches the the members of the Theoretical Church. I explained that one of the biggest challenges to the the church as a whole is being passive members, members of a church of theory, that talks and plans, but does nothing and progresses no-where. I tried to convey with a lot of love that we have to become truly fulfillers of our own promises with God and we will receive great blessings for such. Afterwards, we received 5 referrals from the members and a marked to go out and visit another. One particular lady insisted that we come to her house to visit a family she knew, because she wanted to be an active part of the work of God. I was super impressed by the love of such members to do that. I hope that we can deserve this trust from the members of this Church of Christ.
So, this week we got a call form the assistants, Elder Gaertner, explaining that we were going to have another meeting in Manaus and that we were coming back to the city again (Manuas). However, this time we went by plane and not by bus. It was nice, but not as comfortable. Super fast though. That part I did enjoy. 1 hour plane ride is better than 12 hours in a Bus. So now I am back in Manaus. Fun stuff. We will be here for another day tomorrow. Good stuff.
I love you all so much. Read the Book of Mormon. Read the Bible.
Eu vos amo.
Elder Asa Laws