Mission Slideshow

Sunday, September 30, 2012

9/30/12 - Letter from the Mission Pres Wife

Dear Bro. and Sis. Laws,

We just spent the weekend in Rondonopolis. We spent quite a bit of time with Elder Laws. I want to tell you what a great YM he is. He is speaking well, and emerging himself in the work. He is doing awesome in Rondonopolis. The Work in that area is incredible. The members are working well with the missionaries. There is a trust and confidence there between the members and missionaries. The church has 3 Branches in Rondonoplis and that area wants so badly to have it's own Stake. It takes 5 Branches to become a Stake. No doubt that in time they will make it.

I have to tell you when we arrived Thursday, we got there just in time for a Ward Activity which the Missionaries were in charge of. They did a little simulation of a plane wreck and the degrees of glory. Even though it was very simply done, the message was so powerful. I felt such a strong Spirit there.

Zone Conference there went really well. I noticed he got a package from home. He shared all the goodies with the other Elders. It was like they all got a package from home. That's so incredible that he is able to share. For what ever reasons, many of these Elders (Brazilians, Chileans, Argentines) do not receive letters or emails from home. Some go months at a time only to maybe get a correspondence with a sibling. It is usually the Americans that receive pkgs and they share with everyone! It is so incredible.
Just know that your love flows thru your son! Thank you for raising such a fine YM.

Today, we attended Sacrament meeting with the 3rd Branch. It was Elders Laws Branch as well. We stayed for the baptism after. They Baptized a sweet lady, mother of 2 boys. I'm sure he has shared with you the story of finding her. They are being guided in this work and hearts are being prepared for the gospel.

I'm going to attach some pictures. I hope I haven't ruined his P-Day letter for tomorrow, telling news first. It will come better from him anyway! Just know how much we love him here. You do not need to ever worry. He is loved in this mission and he is working hard. With love to your family, Sis. Reber

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week #13

Great week!
RAIN! So it turns out that I brought the rain from Washington! It rained a ton this week and I'm so grateful because it makes the weather about 10 degrees cooler! It was so nice and I slept a lot better! I love rain!

On Thursday I did exchanges with Elder Nacimento, the zone leader, again and we had a ton of fun! He is an amazing example and I love doing exchanges with him! He came the our house just before lunch and we studied for a bit then left. This time we were in his area so we had to walk from the north part of the city to the center (I have a lot of blisters)! We met up with two more elders and then went to lunch. This lunch was the first time since I've been here that there was ONLY rice and beans. So I just ate rice (I'm allergic to beans).

After lunch we went to teach a couple who were going to be baptized the next day! Not really a formal lesson but to see if they had any questions or doubts. They didn't so we left them a little message about how we all need to develop a relationship with Christ by following all of his examples! I think it really impacted them and I'm so happy that they were baptized!

We then went to the house of another couple to teach them about the book of mormon, but they weren't home. There daughter and her three son were there so we taught her the first lesson and for some reason we felt impressed to invite her to watch a baptism with us that night! She thought for a second and then said she would! SO great! So we left to go get money from an ATM so we could use a taxi but there wasn't any ATMs anywhere near us! So Elder Nascimento said," lets go ask _______!" I didn't hear who he said, so I just followed. As we were almost to their gate he said,"I've never done this!" Then I realized we were about to ask the couple we just taught for money for a taxi!! Investigators! HA! It all turned out well and he was so willing to help! That night we watched the baptism and gave a tour of the church and she said that she really wanted to go to church on Sunday! It was great!!

We also did service this week for the first time! I loved it! We mixed and laid cement for a patio! I loved it because it reminded me of Saturday yard work with my dad! Believe it or not I miss that! A lot!!!

One of our investigators, Joabe, is so fun to teach! This week as we were talking about prophets he asked why we talk so much on prophets? Pointing to the bible and book of mormom he asked, "why not more on the scriptures?" So I felt impressed that I should show him the scripture Amos 3:7,
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
and then asked," Joabe, who wrote the scriptures?" We saw the light bulb turn on and he said,"The Prophets!" It was such a cool experience and we really made some progress with him that night!

Another of our investigators, Flaviani, will be baptized this week! I love teaching her and you can really tell that she already has the beginnings of a strong testimony! She came to church yesterday for the first time and when we asked her what she thought she said," It was great! I learned so much and I want to attend always!" What faith! One thing I've learned so far is that we don't just teach our investigators, we learn from them!

Our zone baptismal goal this month was 12 people with at least two being men. so far we have 13!!! We already met our gaol and it looks like we will have 20 by the end of the month!! I know its not about numbers but we are excited! Its the first time this zone has met its goal!

Bugs! We saw some weird bugs this week! Pictures to come, but one is called a whip scorpion and sprays acid when disturbed! LOUCO!

Anyway, it was a great week and I love my mission! This really is the best!

Alma 34:32-33

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week #12


Wood - Madeira
Fan - Ventilidor
Parmacy - Farmacia
Iguana - Teu
Stop - Pare
Window - Janela
Pan - Panela

What a great week!
Random thought...I think its weird that chickens don't have arms...

First I want to talk about one of our investigators! His name is Joabe and he is fantastic! We met him when we were going back home from a zone meeting and he was the city bus driver. When we were about to get off the bus he said ,"Hey what do you guys do?" So we told him and asked if we could get his address so we could teach him sometime. He said yes! So we've been teaching him this week and its been fantastic! He is so curious and has so many questions! I love it! It's so much fun to teach him and it's hard to leave for our other appointments! He is so smart and we can see that he really has a desire to learn about this gospel and receive an answer!

So because there is a man in our branch who raises chickens, we might be learning how to kill and prepare them! I'm so excited because if we do, then I will be doing something like what my dad did on his mission in Portugal! OH so we went to a members house for lunch on Saturday! When we sat at the table my companion asked what we were having and the member said pork and something else that I didn't catch. So we started eating and it tasted really good but about half way through the meal another Elder asked ,"what is this again?"and get this! WE WERE EATING BULL HEART! Bull heart and pork! So cool! I love these experiences!!

Saturday night it started raining! SO happy! It made everything a lot cooler and reminded me of the good old Northwest! BUT the really cool part was the lightning! HOLY COW! We opened the door and looked outside and at that exact moment lightning struck a tree about 3 or 4 houses down! It scared the crud out of us! Then there was a ton more, but far away, so my district and I took our chairs out onto the back porch and watched! It was fun! When we went back inside we realized the power had gone out. NOT good. because we don't have AC, we have fans. But without electricity the fans don't work! So we just laid there in the heat from about 10:30pm until 1:30am just dying. Then the power came back! We were so so so excited! even though we only got 4-5 hours of sleep...we got sleep!

Not much else happened this week! But I AM sending fotos! (in separate emails)

I want you all to know that I KNOW that this gospel is true! I wouldn't take two years out of my life to come thousands of miles, learn another language, and preach this gospel if it weren't true. I KNOW IT IS!

1 Nephi 9:6

Com muito amor,
Elder Laws

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week #11


Sun. Ferramenta - Tool
Mon. Caneta - Pen
Tue. Tatu - Armadillo
Wed. Pia - Sink
Thur. Cadeira - Chair
Fri. Quintal - Yard
Sat. Sorvete - Ice Cream

Great week! Last week we were walking to an appointment and passed this lady and her two daughters. Well my companion said,"hey we should talk to them" so we did and we ended up teaching them a lesson the next day! Turns out she has a son named Walison who is really interested in religion! We asked him if he believes in the bible and he said not absolutely everything because he doesn't think that the world just ends. SO we taught him about the plan of salvation and he soaked it in! It was fantastic! His family is also interested and when we went to teach them last night, there were TWO other families at their house! We had a wonderful conversation about religion and church and they want us to go teach them again today! Three new families this week! SO excited!

So a few nights ago we were hungry and decided to make pancakes! We only had this recipe from the CTM so why not try it! They turned out to be crepes but that doesn't matter because they were so good! While making them our Chilean room mate wanted to learn how to cook them so I showed him how to make a few things and he loved it! His name is Elder Paredes (which is funny because "Parede" is Portuguese for "Wall") and he had a nanny back home. So his mission is a big learning experience as far as chores go but he loves to learn! So far he's learned how to wash clothes, sweep, wash dishes, and cook a little! I might teach him how to clean the bathroom today! It's so fun!

Shout out to Jody and Nelli Cochran! There is an Elder Hullinger here in my zone from Alaska! After talking with him for a bus ride we found out he went to seminary with Nelli! I think his first name is Chase?

So in the entire city of Rondonopolis there are 12 missionaries! Four for each of the three areas or branches. I am assigned to branch three which is the northern third of the city! There are four missionaries in a district. The culture is different here than where Asa is in Manaus. Here the people love listening to Techno and Funk music! EVERYONE is blasting it in there cars! Everyones' yard is gated and there are no doorbells here so when you go up to the gate you clap to get their attention! It's was really weird doing this at first but I'm used to it now! I did have a few blisters on my feet but all is well now!

Ok here, its hot! right now the normal is about 100 degrees F. After two weeks I have a nice watch tan and I'm happy to say I have not been sunburned yet! I am pretty used to the heat now but not all the way! Some days are just too hot but now 80 degrees almost feels cold now! At night I get super hot while sleeping but I found a solution! Every night before bed I take my top sheet (because that's all I use) and soak it in water! Then I put it in this centrifuge machine that basically wrings out the water! So when I pull it out the sheet its damp but not to the point of dripping water! Then I go to sleep and by the time I wake up its dry from the heat; that and we all have our own fan!

When I arrived here, my house had so many things that were broken or not working right. My district didn't seem to care but I do! Probably something to do with how I was raised. So I fixed mine and my companion's wardrobe closet doors and drawers. The front door handle didn't work so they were using wood to bar it! So I fixed that so we can close and lock it normally now! Also one of the light switches wasn't working so I rewired it and now it works! I love doing it and now life is a bit easier in our house! Mom always said to leave a place better than you find it.

I love you all and pray for you every day! This is going to go by so fast! Time flies when you're having fun right!?

D&C 121:7-8

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week #10 - Rondonopolis is my first area in Brazil!


Então! I decided that I am going to start my letters now by giving seven Portuguese words for the week! That way you all can have a word of the day!
Mon. Cama (bed)
Tue. Roupas (clothes)
Wed. Avião (Air plane)
Thur. Pão (bread)
Fri. Legal (cool or awesome)
Sat. Porta (door)
Sun. Batismo (Baptism)

Alright! Crazy couple of weeks! So the last week in the CTM was pretty calm. The only thing that was different than other weeks was orientation which was in Portuguese so it was hard to understand.

On Tuesday we woke up at the normal time, 6:30, and took all our bags outside to these vans that would take us to the airport. There were a ton of people going to Saõ Paulo, Sul and Interlagos missions and it was cool because we all got to say goodbye and wish each other luck. Then we got into the vans and drove about 45 minutes to the airport! We all had to check in by ourselves which was a bit of a challenge because it was in Portuguese. Once all of our bags were checked we went to the terminal and waited about 30 min until it was time to board the plane to Cuiaba! It was a two hour flight and when we were finally there the plane circled about 4 times before landing! When we landed we pulled up to the terminal and it was cool because we got off the plain using stairs instead of a jet way!

We met the mission president after getting our bags and he greeted all of us with a hug! He is super cool and I really like him. For the ride to the mission home we couldn't all fit into the van so three of us got to ride in President Reber's car...WITH AC!!! It was great! While we were driving we hit a few detours because they are building the stadium for the world cup in Cuiaba, so we got lost until President Reber pulled out his iPhone! He told the other two Elders and I which areas we would be sent to while in the car on the way to the mission home.

While in the mission home we ate an amazing meal and all the other Elders were told their areas too! Some of them are an 18 hour bus ride from Cuiaba!! Anyways, next Elder Paredes (a chilean) and I had our interviews with the president first because we were leaving first. It was fun talking to the mission president and he really wants to change this mission for the better (he's new as of July)! I also learned that he is a huge Apple fan! Woo! Right after our interviews we all went to the mission office where we were taught about how to budget our money and how mail system works. SAD NEWS! The only way that they can get us our packages (and I don't know why) is during transfers with other elders or when anyone from the mission office comes to visit. Probably because we are four hours away from the mission home. That's it! So I will only be able to receive every-ones letters about once a month!! Its sad but Ta bom! I will however do my best try to continue sending weekly letters through missionties.com to friends and Sarah. Just keep in mind that when I write I will probably not have read your letters before writing. I am sooo sorry but its not my fault!

Next we went to the bus station to get tickets but there was a mix-up so we bought tickets for a later departure and went back to the mission office and waited another hour to leave. We finally left at about 7pm and didn't arrive in Rondonopolis until 12am! Our companions met us at the bus station and then we all climbed into a taxi the size of our old Chevy Aveo with three giant suitcases and all the packages for the Elders already here and had a very uncomfortable ride to our house! We didn't end up getting to sleep until about 2:30am! The next day (wed) was cool because it was my first day! We woke up and went to a zone conference with all the Elders in Rondonopolis (which is 12) and got our money from the bank. After the zone conference we walked a few miles to a members house for some lunch and then went back home to unpack the rest of our stuff and sleep for a couple of hours!! Don't worry we got permission. ;) Then the rest of the day we taught lessons and visited investigators and members.

On Thursday we went to a members house for lunch. They live up in the hills and farm area and they raise chickens! It was so cool and fun and I got a bunch of pictures but while messing with my camera yesterday I accidentally deleted all of them. I'm sorry, such a bummer. Anyway we later went home and packed to go BACK to Cuiaba for a mission conference! We spent all day Friday in Cuiaba for the mission conference and holy hot!! Cuiaba is ALWAYS 105-110 degrees! It was a blessing though because after returning the 90-95 degrees weather here in Rondonopolis felt great! So in total I traveled for about 16ish hours this week! I'm so done with bus rides!

Sunday was great! Let me explain. In the whole city of Rondonopolis there are only 3 branches and where I am the branch meets in a little meeting house the size of a home. Here they do the meetings in the opposite order we do at home! Sacrament meeting is last. It was hard to understand the Portuguese but I'm learning a lot faster out here! After church we had 4 baptisms two of which were people I helped teach this week! I baptized a 14 year old boy namedEleonardo!!!! Again sorry for losing the pictures!! It was so cool and everyone was so happy!!

Okay a little about various things!

Companion: Elder Herrera! He is so great and we get along perfectly! He doesn't force me to speak Portuguese but we sort of have this silent understanding that we should! So after a week I am able to have full Portuguese conversations with him but not yet with Brazilians though. They speak too fast! Anyway he went to BYU Hawaii on a scholarship for running! Get this, he averages a 5:30 mile or better in a 6 mile race!!! We have a ton of fun and I already love him!

House: Our house is pretty big (like the size of the downstairs in my house in Vancouver without the garage or piano room) and there are two bedrooms for two companionship's! We have two showers; one does hot water and the other does cold. There is a washing machine but no dryer so we hang dry our clothes. No AC but its cold enough at night that it doesn't bother me! So all in all its great!

My storm trooper: So while in the Portland airport before I left I bought a little Lego storm trooper key-chain and put it on my backpack and when you push his belly his feet are flash lights! EVERYONE here loves it! It is by far the BIGGEST conversation starter with kids and younger adults! I love it!

I am loving it here more than I can explain and I know its helping me grow everyday! I love you all so much and more than that!

Amos 3:7

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws