Mission Slideshow

Monday, November 26, 2012

Week #22


Random Thought: I am wearing a Fanta Grape shirt right now. It's very purply...

HOLY COW!!!!!!! So good news! I slept the entire 10 hour drive to Campo Grande! On Tuesday I arrived in the city of Campo Grande where a bunch of Elders met me! I soon found out that none of them were my new companion and that we would have to wait another half hour or hour until the bus of Elders from Cuiabá arrived. When it finally arrived I met my new companion and he is GREAT! More about that later. We then got on our bus to Aquidauana and rode for another two hours until we finally arrived! I am sad to say that I was really disappointed about the weather. It´s still hot. Only a tiny bit less than Rondonopolis.

We finally saw are new house at about noon. I will say the truth, at first I was a little nervous! It´s in an ally way next to a paint shop and not all of the outlets work, our fridge doesn't work and only keeps thing a tiny bit cooler than if they weren´t in the fridge at all. Only one Elder has a bed frame and it´s not me, and my mattress is only about 4 inches thick but since its six years old my entire body touches the ground. Ha it was a shocker!

Only after we looked at the whole house, did the Elder that was already in this area tell us that we already had authorization to move and he had talked to the mission president and he said he would make sure that we will get our fridge and new beds! I´ve spent a week in this old house already and we don´t move until Thursday! I am happy though! Oh so happy! When I feel a little like complaining about the conditions I remember that I am privileged to be out here preaching and teaching as a representative of Jesus Christ! I am LUCKY to be a missionary and to be living in this house!

Elder Shuss took us to see the two options we had for new houses and we decided on one that is an upstairs apartment! There is plenty of space for us four Elders and everything is in good condition! The rest of Tuesday we spent meeting people in the area! The new town is much smaller than my old city, only about 45K people for us 4 Elders to teach. I don't yet know how big the ward or stake is or anything like that. More details next week.

Wednesday after lunch all four of us went shopping for appliances! This is a small town that is kind of isolated so anything here is a bit more expensive. We ended up looking at a few different stores but there wasn´t much of a difference in pricing. We should be able to get our new appliances and furniture about the time we move!

Thursday was Thanksgiving!!! It´s funny because we didn´t even realize it until it was almost lunch time. I´m sure a million missionaries have already said this but it just feels weird that no one makes a big deal out of it here. So what did I do for Thanksgiving!?!? Elder Shuss and I had divisions together and we taught until about 7:00pm when we walked up to a house with some people that Elder Shuss already knew. They immediately brought out a bench and asked us to sit down, so of course we accepted! We started talking and when they found out we were Americans they started asking us about a ton of stuff in the states! Well while we were talking more people showed up and then more until there were about 15 more people! During our conversation we found out that they were part of a reformed baptist church and that everyone who showed up was a part of that same church! Then out of the blue they said they were about to have a worship service if we wanted to join. Elder Shuss and I looked at each other, looked back at them and said,"Of course why not!?" So we joined them! It was a little strange but nothing that was preached was contrary to the teachings of the LDS church! During the whole thing we played a game where we would sing while passing match boxes in a circle and the whole point was that as a church and as followers of Christ we have to work together to continue faithfully on the right path! It was great! Everyone was friendly and loved having us there! They even invited us for the next meeting! So what did I do for Thanksgiving? I had family home evening with a reformed baptist group!

Friday and Saturday were fantastic teaching days! Elder Bresciano and I are turning out to be a great team! We are both from Washington (he´s from Seattle), We both want to work hard and we have set some pretty high goals! All of our lessons have gone great and with the help of the Spirit we´ve done some major work this week! We taught 29 lessons, and marked 3 baptisms in the 6 days we have been here! I LOVE WORKING THIS HARD!!! We are seriously working our tails off!

Saturday night we went and played soccer with a bunch of young men at the church! The church building here has a soccer court made of pavement that doubles as a parking lot on Sundays. Anyways, we played soccer while some sisters in the branch cleaned the building. After soccer we sat all the young men down and taught them the lesson of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. All but one of the young men were non-members so it was perfect! Elder Bresciano and I then went to the front of the building so we could get our proselyting clothes from inside the building, but it was locked! The sisters that were cleaning locked the building and locked the gate, so none of us could get outside the church property unless we hopped the fence! Since that was the only option that's exactly what we did! It was way fun.

Sunday was cool. We didn't have any of the young men we expected at he beginning of church so we talked with someone who had a car and we went and pick them up! I didn't know where the president of the young men was so I ended up winging a lesson that took up all the class time. This week was also the primary program and they don´t have anyone here who plays the piano, so when they heard that Elder Bresciano plays they asked him to wing it during the program! He ended up doing a fantastic job!

This week was fantastic and it looks like life her is going to be great! I am nothing but excited for this transfer!

James 2:17

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #21


Random Thought: I wish I could grow a new limb like Lizards do with their tails.

Transfers!!! I will be leaving at 10:20 tonight and taking a bus for twelve hours to Aquidauana (AH-KE-DO-AH-NA) in Motto Grosso del Sol! It's about 450 miles south of the mission home in Cuiaba. All I've heard so far is that it is going to be tough missionary work and that it will be colder! WOO! Way excited!! Also I will have an american companion, Elder Bresciano!

This week was better than last! Last Monday one of the young men from our branch came over at night and cooked us dinner! He also brought a watermelon! I ate half by myself, I LOVE watermelon here! All the fruit here is way better because it is so fresh...except oranges...they're green here. I have come to realize that my favorite fruit ever is Abacaxi (AH-BAH-KAH-SHEE)! Pineapple! Fresh pineapple is the best ever!

This week we had our district meeting on Tuesday instead of Wednesday because the traveling assistants of the mission president were here until Tuesday. It was nice because I already know one of them and we got to talk. Anyway it also happened to be my first time giving the lesson or training! I want to pause here and say that preparing lessons and talks is way easier now that I'm on my mission. So I prepared what I thought would be an hour lesson about Christ like attributes and I ended up having to stop three quarters of the way through the material I had prepared because I had no more time! I just love teaching about the gospel so much! Why would I ever want to stop?

We also had another family home evening with our investigators and a member family! This time we watched the film "Together Forever". It was a great film and I actually almost started crying, but for those of you who know me well understand that thats normal. Afterward we invited our investigators to ask questions and to comment. They really liked the film and they are so curious about temples. Then we had desserts! ("you looked stressed...you need desserts!" haha name that film) Evelyn (a member) made cinnamon rolls! Oh I how I miss desserts in the US! It was really funny becasue Elder Almeida is allergic to cinnamon so he had to sit and watch. I just told him thats how I feel when everyone eats beans.

Other than that it was a pretty calm week. I'm just loving life and living the dream!

Matthew 5:48

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week #20


Random Thought: One way streets are annoying when you're driving but not when you're walking, because when you're walking you only have to look one way.

WOO!! Uemerson was baptized!! His baptism was supposed to be two weeks ago but it fell through because his dad wouldn't sign the papers. Well we talked with our zone leaders and Uemerson about it and we got permission to have his aunt sign the papers instead because she is his legel gaurdian! He was baptized yesterday and it was wonderful! The other elders in our district had a baptism as well! Geison (Jason) was baptized yesterday morning and both of them will be confirmed next Sunday. I'm so happy!

On Tuesday we had another activity called "Activity of Geniuses". It was a mix of trivia, charades, pictionary, and a scriptural scavenger hunt. It was so fun! People here get a lot more into the activities than back in the US. There was a lot of yelling and laughing. I realized I'm not a huge fan of the game pictionary because everyone just gets mad at each other for not drawing or guessing right!

So about a week and a half ago Elder Paredes broke our mirror in the bathroom so we only had a tiny one for a while. BUT Flaviana works at a sort of "bed bath and beyond" place and we were able to get a new one! The only problem was how we were going to put it up! We needed a drill to put holes in the wall and use wall anchors and screws. But we didn't have a drill! While at lunch with the branch president we asked if we could borrow his drill and he said yes! So on Friday I put up the new mirror!
I'd to say a huge thank you to the stake for sending me a care package! I loved the pillow case and letters, they were seriously the best!!

The absolute best part of the week was on Thursday. Usually we have a zone/district meeting on Wednesday mornings but for some reason it was Thursday this week. Anyway we left the chapel and sat at a bus stop heading home. We were there for about ten minutes when this little boy with downs syndrome and his sister came to sit at the bus stop as well. The sister sat down but the little boy came up to us and gave each of us a handshake! It was great! Then he insisted on shaking our hands again, but this time he gave us a huge hug as well! But that's not all! He then pushed us aside so he could sit right in between each companionship! He sat there with us until our bus came and then gave each of us a hug goodbye!
Sometimes we feel the love of the Lord in ways we don't expect by his most precious angels! :)

D&C 68:4-6

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week #19


Random Thought: how are jelly fish living if they don't have blood or anything?

WOO! this week was great, again! I received two packages! One from Grandma and Grandpa Pahl and one from my mom!! Thank you so much for sending them!! I shared my gummy bears with my companion and some kids that we teach and tonight we are going to make peanut butter cookies with the mix I received! Also I gave the English books of mormon to two of the people I baptized! I decided that's going to be my present to the people I baptize!

So this week, while walking with Elder Almeida, I realized that we say the words "freak" and "freaking" a lot. So I proposed that every time someone in our house says it, we get to punch them in the arm, but just for a week. Not a knockout punch, but enough that it hurts. Needless to say we had a TON of punching each others' arms all week! It worked though! Good times...

THE RAIN CAME!!! Oh how I love the rain! It makes everything so much cooler!!! Last week, almost everyday was above 110 degrees! It was hard but I made it through alive and without being sunburned! Its been so nice this week with the rain and really a blessing!

I decided I want to have a better Portuguese accent so I asked the Brazilians in my zone how it can get better. They said to read out loud in Portuguese! So this whole week I have been doing that and they said its getting better! We have an investigator that used to never understand me but she said that my accent is getting better and I'm becoming easier to understand! So happy!

Last night we were in the home of a member having a little dinner. Afterward she asked if I would like some sardines. I was super surprised because I have never been asked that before so I said, "Sardines!?" They thought that because I said it as a question, that I didn't know what it was so they were trying to explain "sardines" to me. So funny! I finally told them that I knew what sardines were but I had just never had them. Well I ended up trying them and I really like them! I ate the whole can by myself! MMM!

Kind of an update;
I've cried once because I've missed home
I've read the old testament once while out here
I'm half way through the new testament
I'm halfway through the book of mormon for the second time
I'm a quarter of the way through the book of mormon in Portuguese

Helaman 3:35

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws