Mission Slideshow

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Week #87


Random Thought: I remembered today what my family calls an electric mixer.

Hey people! This week was great. Tuesday was a holiday so we didn't do much contacting but we had some great visits with some less active families. Wednesday was our district meeting. When we have district meetings we do one week here in Sorriso, then the next in Lucas do Rio Verde, which is the city where the Sisters in our district are serving. So we switch every week. Well the company that marks our passage wasn't working because of the holiday so we had to get up and get to the bus station so we could catch the 08:15am bus. BUT when we got there, there was no more room so we had to wait for the 10:00am bus. Lame. So we didn't get to Lucas until lunchtime. When we finally got to Lucas the Sisters came to get us so we could go to lunch and on the way to lunch all of the sudden a man saw us and yelled,"Elders!!!" He ran over and just said,"The Church is in this city?!" He explained how he was moving from São Paulo to Lucas and that he had no idea the church was there in Lucas!!! He was super happy because his whole family are members. We then continued to lunch and had a fantastic lunch and district meeting. Then we went home and spent the rest of the day proselyting.

The rest of the week was pretty calm. But we did a cool thing called "Big Bang". What we did is reach all of our goals for contacts, lessons, and new investigators in two days and then we have the rest of the week to focus on the people who are really interested in marriages. It was really cool and we got a lot done. One of the ladies we did contact with was VERY rude. We went up to her and told her that we were missionaries and asked if we could share a message with her. She said no and that we were wasting our time with her. So we smiled and tried to talk more but she kept giving rude excuses. So my companion stopped and said,"Look, we are paying money and time to be here to speak with you and we don't even know if we are going home alive and well one day. So please listen for a second." She softened up a little bit but still rejected us.

That's all for this week, but I have a testimony that rejection is a big part of missionary work. The greatest missionary ever, was rejected and nailed to a tree. I think we can handle a little rejection.

Romans 1:16

Com muito amor,
Elder Laws

Week #86


Random Thought: You can't eat lunch without a lunch calendar...

Here in Brasil it is very common for people to live together and have kids together their whole lives and not get married. BUT there are three families that we are teaching and after talking with them all three are ready to get married!!! Getting married here is pretty expensive and that is always an issue with the couple we teach. So there is a certain process that can be done to get married for free that we are working through to help out these families.

I don't quite understand the whole process because the identifying documents you need are different here. Basically we get all of their documents and take them to the public defense office. They look them over to see if they need anything else and to make sure they are valid. Also they make sure that the couple doesn't make more than R$2,100 per month (about $1050 US per month). Then they make a documents saying that the couple is poor enough to marry for free and give it to us. Then we go to the notary office to get everything verified and then the couple will sign a few papers an wait 30 days then sign more papers then they are married!!!! We are excited for them.

Thursday President came to do interviews. In my interview he told me that I will not end my mission as a zone leader but that I will train. He said that he must have "another Elder Laws" in his mission and I was to train a new missionary to be just like me. Ha! What a compliment! I asked if I could ask to end my mission in a certain city, but he said he already knew that I wanted to end in Cáceres (it's my favorite area) and not to worry about it. We'll see what happens!

On Friday we had our zone meeting. We have three duplas training and they are fired up and ready to go. So at a zone meeting the zone leaders each give a training. My part was about teaching simply and clearly for others to understand EXACTLY what you are saying. It was really fun and I felt the spirit very strong. After the meeting we asked each missionary to share what they thought and felt during the meeting and everyone said they felt inspired and excited to work. It was great!

Well really that's all we did this week! I know that families are meant to be together forever and that is what we are helping other to do.

Ether 12:4

Com muito amor,
Elder Laws

Week #85


Random Thought: We have hot showers now :)

So this week was like every other first week of the transfer. But it seem that I can never get a smooth transfer.

On Monday at 21:30 all three of the other missionaries in my house left to go to their new areas. Which left me alone. SO I cleaned my house extremely well! There was a small mountain of trash that I took out. I was happy! When I was done I just sat and enjoyed it. I then stayed up until 02:00 so I could get my companion. I left the house at 01:45 and took a taxi to the bus station and sat there and waited. When the clock said 03:45 I decided to call the office staff and ask what was going on. This was the conversation:

ME: Hey so it's 03:45 and I have been waiting since 02:00 for my companion. Where is he?

HIM: Oh I called all the zone leaders and told them that they would just get their companions when they come to Cuiabá for the leadership meeting.

ME: Really? I didn't receive a call, and I'm a zone leader.

HIM: I didn't call you?

ME: No.

HIM: Oh I am so sorry.

ME: No it's fine just please make sure and let everyone know next time.

So I went home to sleep. The next day Elder Bowers was supposed to come at 14:30. So I spent all morning studying and cleaning a bit more and I left to get him at 14:20. So I sat at the bus station and waited. I am getting good at that. Due to a bunch of problems he only arrived at 19:30! We went home and he got unpacked and talked for a while. Interesting fact: He met Asa before the mission and hung out with him a bit. He has even been to my old house in Vancouver! I like him a lot.

The next morning (Wednesday) I got a call at 05:00am from the office telling me that Elder Bowers companion arrived at the bus station. SO we went there and picked him up! He is a good guy. He is from Maryland his name is Elder Smittenaar. So we went back home and he got unpacked and we all showered and then lunch!!

Lunch was at Sister Rosana's house. She has two daughters that are 15 and 18 years old. While we were talking, one of the girls asked whether I had a girlfriend at home, and if we are engaged or just dating.

I said,"Well I have a Plan A, which is to marry a certain girl." Then I jokingly said," But if that doesn't work out I don't know what I'll do. I might just come back to Brazil and get aBrazilian." I said it just joking and everyone started laughing and then Rosana (the mom) said,"Come back and get one here in my house!" But she was being serious!! Hahaha, her daughters turned red and said,"MOM!! I can't believe you said that!" She said,"What!? it's every mom's dream to have a son in law that is a returned missionary!" It's rare in this part of the country to have a returned missionary. It was really funny.

Then at 15:30 I left to Cuiabá to go to my meeting. I got about an hour outside of the city and my bus broke down. So we had to get out of the bus and wait for an hour and a half until the mechanic got there to fix it. There were a lot of people complaining. Then I finally got on my way to Cuiabá.

I arrived in Cuiabá at 02:00am and just went to sleep. The meeting the next day was great and I got my companion and we went back to Sorriso. We had a great Friday, Saturday and Sunday helping him get to know the area. Sunday was great!!!!!! The number of people at church was 68!!! When I got here it was only 36 people attending. The members are working with us and working hard and it is really paying off.

On Sunday we also had a baptism in the branch. Not from the missionaries. They asked if Elder Bowers and I knew how to sing. I said yes. So they asked if we could sing right before the ordinance. I accepted! We sang "Nearer My God to Thee" and harmonized. I don't think I have ever sung that well in my life. The Spirit was so strong and everyone was crying! It was such an amazing experience.

I want you all to know that I have a testimony of patience. I had to use it a lot this week and I invite you all to use yours. ALWAYS.

Romans 5:19

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week #84


Random Thought: I have a blanket!

Transfers: Out of the 4 missionaries here I will be the only one staying. I will receive my new companion at 2 in the morning and two more missionaries will come tomorrow and Wednesday.

So this week was not very rushed at all. Monday was a normal P-day but this time I was happy because we cleaned the house! I REALLY like a clean house. Wednesday my companion was sick so we went home for him to rest and get better. At the end of the day we went to a few appointments that we had already marked and ended the day well.

Friday we had the baptismal interviews of Iara, Iago and Igor! All three passed perfectly and were super excited to see how ready they were to be baptized. Saturday came and we spent the day cleaning the baptismal font and getting everything ready for the baptism at 5:00pm. When they arrived at the church we were super excited to see them! Then Neusa (their mom) pulled us to the side and said,"Hey, we have a problem. Igor said he doesn't want to be baptized." So we pulled him into a different room and talked with him about baptism, the Holy Spirit and a few other things and he accepted to be baptized. So we went ahead with the meeting. They were baptized and onSunday received the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

Yesterday was great! It was the end of day light savings here...and we forgot. We were supposed to go to the church at 07:30 but we got there at 06:30 instead and we were wondering why no one was there. The branch president walked in at 07:30 and said,"Forgot about day light savings Elders?" Then it hit us.

After church a couple in the branch came up to us. Brother Nelson and Sister Rosana (they use first names here). They take care of the houses of the other Elders. They said,"Elders. I have a question. Is your house as bad as those other houses?" My companion has been there already and said,"Absolutely not. I even told them to clean before you went there!" She went on to tell us about how she was shocked and disappointed with them and how she is going to stay on top of them now. Brother Nelson just said,"It was really bad. It will take 2 p-days to clean it! It just made me wanna.......eat lunch!" Ha, he is a really funny guy.

The mission has now assigned couples to help take care of the houses of the missionaries. Really that means that all the houses will stay clean now! WOO!

That's all folks!

Moses 1 :39

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #83


Random Thought: Se pedir truco, É 6!!!!

So this week was full! Lots of great stuff. Not much happened other than teaching this week but we had some GREAT spiritual experiences. There are three main investigators right now and each one has a story.

I will start with Raisa. She is 18 and very into a different religion. BUT she is extremely nice and receptive. One of the things I asked her to do in the first visit is to keep her heart open to what we would teach. So we have taught her three times now and we still aren't sure what to think.

She prayed about the Book of Mormon and received an answer that it's true. So we explained that with that knowledge all other aspects of our messages are true. But then we invited her to be baptized and she said,"But I was already baptized." So we explained more about authority and invited her again! She gave the same answer. So my companion and I looked at each other and he said,"Alright, let me be a little more direct because I think that you still aren't quite understanding. You were baptized, but the man who baptized you doesn't have authority." She stopped and with a confused look on her face said,"What do you mean?" Ha my companion was a bit frustrated so I cut in and explained.

I said, "Look at my companion's tie. What color is it?'
She said, "Green."
I replied, "Ok, now is there another truth? Is there any other true answer than green?"
She said, "No."
I said, "Is this truth different to me or to you or to any other person?"
She said, "No to everyone it is green."
I responded with , "So automatically any other answer is not truth?"
She answered, "Yes."
My final response was, "It is the same with the gospel and with authority from the Lord. There is one gospel, one authority, and one truth. You just said that you believe The Book of Mormon to be true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. If you believe that then you have to believe that Jesus Christ restored authority through Joseph. Which means there is ONE true authority, and ONE church where it is found."

She understood but is still having a very hard time accepting, but in that moment I felt the Spirit talking through me.

Second there is Igor (15), Iago(14), and Iara (11). We found them a few weeks ago just clapping at their gate. THEY ARE ELECT! They have accepted everything we have taught and are really into it. Iara is just a young girl but has started studying The Book of Mormon like I have never seen! Igor and Iago are accepting and living all the commandments! On Sunday they were in the young men's class and the branch president asked,"What do you most want?" He went from boy to boy and Iago said,"To be baptized." Igor said,"To learn more about the gospel." We are super happy with them and their progress.

Third are Rogerio and Maria. They are a couple that isn't married but are VERY interested. When we first showed up at their house Rogerio had a lot of doubts about other churches and authority and such. We taught the first lesson. The next day we went back and they both said that they want to be baptized! He said that while he was thinking about what we had taught he said a silent prayer and asked for a personal answer. That night he had a dream and saw white and heard a voice that said,"My son, this is the truth that was lost." He was excited to share this with us! I just smiled when I heard it.

Other than that just little adventures! I ate cow stomach and last week I ate liver! pictures to come!

Proverbs 25:28

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #81 - (Jan 27th - sorry it's out of order)


Random Thought: I ate an entire melon by myself last night.

This week was a bit rushed! But that is my life now. Tuesday was a great day, Just a lot of work and contacts and lessons and normal missionary stuff.

Wednesday we got on a bus at 1:30pm to go to Cuiabá for yet another conference! Due to a bunch of unforeseen complications we didn't get there until 2:00am! Then we walked to the secretaries house to sleep the night there. The next day we went to the conference and it was great! President Reber always has a new change in the mission that he introduces at these conferences.

This time he talked a lot about how we are treating each other. He received a lot of letter from the greenies talking about how the other missionaries were giving them flak for stuff they say or do. Example: President received a letter that said when a missionary got into his first area the other missionaries in the house asked,"Are you a righteous missionary? Or are you chill and like to have fun?" So we talked a lot about this.Then we got on a bus at 6:00pm and didn't get home until 3:00am. It was very tiring, the travel, but it was fun!

Friday we worked as normal and Saturday we did divisions with the members! Let me explain. The members here have gone through a lot. The area hit rock bottom before I got here and now it is starting to get better. After the visits we all went back to the church to do a little feedback session. I was so happy to see how it effected them. Then on Sunday because of our efforts we had 20ish more people in the church. We were very blessed.

Saturday I poured a bucket of ice water on my companion in the shower (we don't even have hot water in the shower). So Sunday night while I was using the bathroom Elder Pinheiro poor a bucket on me. It was so cold but way funny.

D&C 121

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week #82


Random Thought: Miracles are happening.

Well this week was another exhausting week but that's a good thing. So on Monday we talked with the assistants and they wanted to do divisions in their area on Wednesday. So we planned everything and got all our bus passage marked. OnTuesday, as we were getting on the bus, the assistants called and said that we couldn't do divisions because President called a meeting at the last second, BUT that we were still to go to Cuiabá to attend the meeting so that we wouldn't waste the money paid on our passage. So all of Tuesday we were on the bus. We got to Cuiabá and walked to the office and then went with the assistants to eat pizza and then to their house where we slept the night.

Wednesday we got up and went through the normal routine and went to lunch. One of the assistants, Elder Rolim, wasn't feeling well so he didn't eat. It was a good lunch and we left a message and then left to catch a bus to go to the mission office for our meeting. When we got to the bus stop, Elder Rolim didn't sit down and wait for the bus but went over to a trash can. Our bus arrived but as we were going to get on Elder Rolim started throwing up! So we had to wait about another 10-15 minutes and help him (I gave him tic tacs). Then we waited for the next bus and went.

The meeting was about learning English! Ha it only lasted about an hour! Since the assistants couldn't do divisions because of Elder Rolim we had permission from President to stay in the office until we left. So we went and got McDonalds and waited there until l hour bus came.

Our bus left at 10:00pm and we were traveling to a city called Lucas do Rio Verde. That's where the sisters in our zone work and we were going there to have our district meeting. The bus was supposed to get there at about 6:00am and we would just have to walk to the church and wait. Well the bus decided to be faster this time and got there at 3:30am!! So we decided to do this. Got to the sisters house and grab the keys to the church, go back to the bus station and shower, then go to the church and sleep there. So we did!! When we got to the church we lined up chairs to make a bed and slept there. That afternoon we finally came back to Sorriso and got to work again.

Sunday was the best! We have a family that we are teaching that are awesome! Unfortunately on two of them could go to church. It was great and we had 64 people at church! (Normal was 35). Then as we were taking these kids back home, the member that was giving a ride asked if they were baptized. They said no. He then asked if they wanted to and they said yes!!! BEST WORDS EVER!!!!!!! The branch is really getting into the rhythm of the work and we are all excited and ready to go!

3 Nephi 19:35-36

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws