Mission Slideshow

Monday, December 9, 2013

Letter from Mario Nunes

All - I got this wonderful letter today from a member where Roman is currently serving and I wanted to share it with you. This man served a mission in the US 9 yrs ago so his english is pretty good! Such a tender mercy! The comments in parenthesis throughout the letter are mine.

Dear Laws family

How are you doing? Hope this email finds you well. My name is Mario Nunes and I'm the ward mission leader where Elder Laws is currently serving. Just want to send you some news about him.

We would like to thank you for you son. He's a stud missionary, truly working hard and helping everyone around him. Ponta Pora is small town with no more than 120,000 people (that's small?). But we are right on the border with Paraguay, there's just an avenue dividing both countries. The paraguayan side has 150,000 people living there.

Our ward has about 120 of members each sunday, Elder Laws is the zone leader together with his companion Elder Maughan. Right now its summer time, so is pretty hot down here and he's very tanned already. lol The ward helps a lot with lunch, rides and everything they can. We do have a meetings each sunday night and I'm in charge to take care about them, if they have food, clean clothes, clean house and of course good health. So please do not worry about him, he's eating well every day, walking a lot and smiling. He's a happy missionary and bishop and every member really love him. We share the same chapel with another ward and all the member from the other ward already love him, invite him for some dinners, activites, etc.

He got a nickname from the "bad "missionaries because he's too obedient (some of the disobedient Brazilian missionaries call the obedient american missionaries "delete"). He really follows the rules everyday as zone leader and this is why we love him. I got back from my mission 9 years ago, got married with Kelly who's a dentist and serves at the Relief Society Stake President and we have Isabela which is 4 years old. Attached you can see a pic we took yesterday.

I know he's going to be a blessing to your lifes again when he gets back home. So please be sure he's doing allright here, we're praying for him and watching over him every day. Let me know anything you may need from our side.

with love

Mario Nunes

Week #74

Random Thought: Chicago's version of "The Little Drummer Boy" Is the best ever!

So this week wasn't full of funny experiences or anything because we had a big mission conference and I had a lot of meetings this week.

We traveled at 1:00am by bus so that we could be in Campo Grande in time for our meeting. We got there at 7:00am and then we went to eat and had our meeting with the mission president. It was awesome and we talked about several things. The rest of the day we helped clean up that chapel because of all the food. Then we went to the house of the second counselor of the mission! He is a great guy and that night we stayed up talking. He shared some personal spiritual experiences that really helped grow my testimony. Also while I was staying there I learned that my wonderful sister, Kati will be serving a mission in PORTUGAL!!!!!!!!!!! (The same mission as my dad!) I literally jumped up and yelled when I read the email!!! PARABÉNS Kati! I am so happy and so proud of you!!

Then the next day we had our Christmas celebration in the morning. It was really funny and we had a lot of skits and laughing but the afternoon was the best. We had our mission tour. This is where a member of the area presidency comes to the mission to give a fireside. This time it was Elder Gavarrett. He is the second counselor in the area presidency! So now I have met and shook the hand of all three members of the Brasil area presidency! Anyway I really really liked him. He is very direct and funny. He gave a bunch of advice and a talked. I know that this man was called of God. One thing he did was allow the Zone Leaders to get up and talk about their zones.He asked us to give an account of each month and explain what has happened. So Elder Maughan and I got up and I started talking about our zone and the baptisms we had each month. In October our zone only had 6 baptisms. I said that and he said,"No in october your zone saved 6 wonderful souls!" We all laughed and I rephrased what I said. He then asked why only 6. I told him that it was because of a lack of unity in our zone. His reaction was funny. He said,"..wait wait wait. You've captured my attention. What do you mean by that?" I said,"Well our zone had problems with Elders forming opinions about one another and then talking bad behind others backs all the time. This ended up discouraging the zone and making us lose our focus." He then said,"Wow, you are very brave to stand up and say that in front of the whole mission. Good job!" Then he went on to the next zone.

I really liked that experience. A principle that I am trying to learn and apply is not only to be honest and sincere but direct as well. I'd like to share an experience of how I applied this. On saturday President Reber did a conference call with all the zone leaders in the south and said that he is giving us more authority and that we can now act in his name without calling and asking him. So Elder Maughan and I decided we wanted to do interviews with all the Elders in our zone on sunday. We wanted to talk about unity and sustaining one another. Well there is a certain Elder in our zone that does not like Elder Maughan and I at all. I had the privilage of doing his interview and I started by asking him how he was and if he needed anything. Then I said,"Alright Elder. I want this conversation to be honest and I want to be direct. Elder I KNOW that you are talking bad about Elder Maughan and I to the other missionaries and to the members. I want to know why." We had a great conversation and by the time we were done we both left the room smiling. He walked over to my companion and said,"Elder Maughan, I talked with Elder Laws and I am going to give you both another chance." Then they started talking and getting along and having a bit of fun.

I know it's a weird testimony but I have a testimony of being honest and direct. One day when we see the Lord, it is how he will act and how he will treat us, honestly and directly.

Moses 5:6

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week #73

Random Thought: It's already December!

Alright people there's not a ton to say this week! We are just busy teaching!!

Tuesday was a pretty normal we had a good day visiting around, preaching and teaching. Then at night after we got everything done and right before bed Elder Maughan wanted to do curls with the weights we have. It's one big bar with weights on each end. He wanted to do his max so he started going and I counted. He got to 135 before he put the bar down! Then we started teasing each other and I ended up getting up to do as many as I could. I got to 150! And then Elder Maughan got to 200 and beat me.....but it was fun and hilarious! Anyway I am explaining all this because we all know that when we do heavy exorcises there's always a consequence...pain! So the next day I DIED of pain! I literally could not open my arms more than half way. haha! Luckily my companion wasn't feeling well that day so we had to stay home! It helped me heal a bit but I haven't had zero pain until today. I feel like I'm getting old or something...

Friday we dedicated the entire day to doing contacts. It was cool! We marked a lot of appointments and it was fun talking to a lot of people. Right before that though Elder Maughan and I were talking and changing our plans and out of no where it got VERY cloudy and black and we thought,"Dang, now we can't do what we planned." So we knelt down and said a prayer.... Well not one drop of rain fell the entire day and we were able to go along with our plan just fine. I love that the Lord hears his missionaries!

Something I learned or re learned this week! We went to a members house and while leaving a message we talked a lot about trials. I want everyone to pay attention to me right now. TRIALS HAPPEN TO EVERYONE. We aren't perfect and we won't be, in this life. Trials happen to the bishop, the stake president, the prophet and they definitely happened to the Savior. Something that I have heard in my life is that when trials happen and you get knocked down...you need to get back up!! But for some reason something this member said hit me hard!!

"Not only do we have to pick ourselves back up, but we have to do it as fast as possible. The longer we are down, the easier it is to stay down. Satan uses these moments to get to us. We can't let him."

I had never thought of it that way. So to all of you I say GET UP AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

Moses 1

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week #72


Random Thought: The pen is red and will always be red. That's the truth and the ONLY truth.

Transfers: I am staying here in Ponta Porã with Elder Muaghan

So this week was kind of awesome! Our ward mission leader is the face (you'll only get that if you speak portuguese) and he invited us over for a family night! He made barbecue and he has a basketball hoop at his house and we played around. They were all making fun of me though, they said"Ha I have never heard of an American that can't play ball!" It was really funny and we had a great time. This family is the best.

Tuesday was pretty normal and Wednesday as well. OH Ha Wednesday we had a zone meeting and for a little part I decided we should do a little activity. Everyone had to get up and share a funny experience, a spiritual experience, and an attribute that your companion has that you want to develop. So we went through and every one was saying good stuff and then we got to one of the Assistants. He got up and said his funny experience. He said:

"So while my companion and I were at the bus station last week, a blind man walked up to us and said,"Hey excuse me but do you know where the exit is?" I didn't realize the man was blind so I told him that I did and pointing, I said,"Over there!" He just got a serious look on his face and said,"You've got to be kidding me." and I said,"No I'm serious it's over there!" Then a lady came up and took his arm to guide him and I realized that he was blind. My companion was already laughing." It was really funny and we all almost fell over laughing.

Sister Reber, the mission presidents wife, designated one day in the last week of the transfer to clean our houses. So Thursday we decided to clean literally every inch. We were sick of living in a dirty house because no one has ever cleaned it before. So it took all day and now it is VERY clean. It looks like it hasn't been clean since the missionaries started living there. Anyway, I am allergic to dust mites and it turns out there were A LOT. So all day Friday I was in bed sick. At the end of the day a member called and Elder Maughan mentioned that I was not feeling well and they said they were coming to get us to go to the pharmacy to get medicine! We got an anti allergy medication and I am now 100%! The members here are great!!

Sunday was stake conference and I was invited to sing in the choir! It was cool and the meeting was great!!

I love you all!

Mosiah 4:16-18

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week #71


 Random Thought: I slept really well last night!

SO this week we had a lot of rejection! Like a lot! Out of like 70 people we talked to and actually invited to read or to pray or to go to church only 27 accepted us. So what does that mean?? It means we are working and doing what the Lord expects of us! Isn't that great?! (You do your best and hang the rest)

So on Monday night we got home and I realized that our power was out! After talking with the finance secretary and much investigation we figured out that it was shut off because the september bill wasn't paid and that we hadn't even received that particular bill. SO he paid the bill BUT they wouldn't come until the next day. So that was a very hot night without a fan.

Thursday was so cool. The day before, we were talking about how we could unite ourselves as a zone and help each other out. So an Elder suggested that we do something called "Blitz". He explained that the ENTIRE zone goes to one area and does contacts just to help the Elders in that area! So Thursday we put the idea into practice. We all went to the more isolated area and all together we were able to get 83 contacts just for those Elders! It was really fun and I got sunburned a lot because it was hot that day but it was worth it.

Thursday night we were invited to help some of the young members to cut up fruit for the dance that was going to happen Friday night! All the missionaries showed up to help, but it took a while for everything to be ready so we could get started and as a zone we had planned to eat pizza together to celebrate two Elder's birthdays. So all the Elders left. Only Elder Maughan and I decided to stay. So we didn't get even get close to done. The next day we were invited to do an ALL day service project helping them get the church ready in time for the dance. There was not a moment where we weren't doing something! It was pretty tiring but really fun. I felt like I was back helping my parents again with the Stake dance. Anyway, we got done a little before 8:00pm which is when the dance started! Then we left. It would have been cool to stay and watch the dance.

Also this week we started teaching a young woman named Anna. She is super excited about the church and she speaks English fluently! We found out that she learned by herself at home and that we are the first people she has talked to in English! It was really cool! We already have her Baptism marked!

D&C 106:7-8

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #70


Random Thought: I miss pumpkin pie...

So last monday we decided to go to the bishops store and get ourselves a little speaker box for our music on our flash drives. Now we have awesome new music playing all over our house when we are home.

Tuesday we went with some awesome members to a reference we received. It was great! They are really curious and are more spiritually in tune than I thought. At one point Elder Maughan said,"How can you figure out if this is true?" One of the ladies started talking about how they need to do their part and be open to receive God in there hearts. The other lady stopped her and said,"I think I know what the Elder is getting at. He's trying to say that we need to read, think, and pray about these things. If we don't then we can't receive and answer." I was very surprised by her answer and had a little "YES!" moment in my head. Nothing is better than when you know that your investigators are understanding what you are trying to teach them.

Wednesday was...interesting. We had a great day planned and went to it! But every plan and backup plan fell through. Also I was very sick and felt awful all day. BUT we all know that God has a sense of humor and that he let's funny things happen. When our last appointment fell we decided to go get a smoothy. So we went into a tiny restaurant and sat down at an aluminum table with aluminum chairs. I ordered my drink and Elder Maughan and I started talking then I realized I didn't have any cash. I said,"Hey do you accept cards?" She said no. SO I asked her to stop making it. Then as I leaned my head against the wall one of the legs of my chair broke in half and I fell on the ground and smacked my head on the wall. There was nothing else to do but laugh!

Wednesday night I got a call from the assistants saying that on friday morning at 9:00am my zone would have interviews with the president. OK. Then on thursday morning I got a call from president asking if I could have the whole zone at the chapel at 3:00pm that day! So I called everyone and we had interviews that entire day! They also brought letters and packages from the mission home! I GOT ONE!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you mom! I shared the candy with the whole zone and already gave the little toys away to little kids!

Saturday we had baptisms! Priscila was baptized!!! It was great because we combined the service with the other ward so there was a lot of people and it was really spiritual. Priscila started crying and her little 3 year old daughter came up to her and said,"What is it mommy? Why are you crying?" It was so cute I almost died.

I love you all! Remember that the church is true!
D&C 103:36

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week #68


Random Thought: This is a joke I heard from a brazilian,"There was a dog that ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran andranandranandranandranandran and fell...

So first I want to tell you what I am most excited about. Priscila. She is not a member and is married to a member who has been inactive for a long time now but now they have a daughter who is three years old. They got to talking about their daughters future and how they wanted her to grow up with values and principles what they want her to learn. Fabio, the husband, talked to Priscilla about the church and so we have been teaching her this whole week. She always says she's going to have questions but when we get done with each lesson she says that she doesn't have them anymore. On wednesday I went there with one of the assistants on a division and we taught about the gospel and how it's essential to be baptized by someone who has authority. So at the end I looked at her and said,"SO we have been talking a lot about baptism...Priscila, do you want to be baptized?" She said,"Elder Laws, I want to be baptized!" BEST WORDS EVER! She will be baptized this saturday!

Another fun thing this week was cleaning out the library at the church. The second counselor of the ward was looking for something and turned and looked at me and said,"Elder Laws can you clean and organize the library this week? I'm tired of asking the members and no one doing it." Oh did I ever cleaned it. Elder Maughan and I spent 4 hours on thursday taking EVERYTHING out, organizing and putting it back in an orderly way. I was also told that anything old we could throw away. We decided to make it fun seeing who could rip through the biggest books or stack of paper. Good times.

Really that's about it. Other than that we have a pretty normal week. So I want to tell you all something random. While being here I have discovered a certain snack that I LOVE. I tried it a few weeks ago and since then I eat it every time I can. I LOVE CHICKEN HEART SPITS (kabobs). I think they are way better than even the burgers! 

Anyway I love you all! Pray for me!

D&C 90:24

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week #67


Random Thought: Elder Maughan woke me up this morning by shoving a hard boiled egg in my mouth!

Well this week was fantastic! Let me tell you why.

Transfers: I will be staying in Ponta Porã with Elder Maughan for another 6 weeks!!!! We work very well together and we love our zone!

Last Monday we went to play catch (baseball) and basketball with a couple of the Elders in our zone! It was a bit hot but it was really fun! I almost died though because Elder Maughan throws the ball so hard. One time he threw it at my leg and I had a bruise for a week!

Wednesday was probably the most discouraging day of my entire mission! We did contacts almost the whole day and NOT ONE person said yes. Everyone was too busy or said no. BUT I tried to not let it get me down. I was just super tired when I got home. It was also very rainy that day. Some days are very hard.

Sexta (Friday) was great! We contacted some less active members that the Bishop gave us and they are really cool! One of them is Felix. We learned that he was the first person to be baptized in this city! He was the first branch president as well. It's very interesting that he is not very active now. He has this huge library with a ton of really old church books too. He is just a really interesting old guy. He is also hard of hearing so it's funny to teach him because we have to yell. Ha,"SO WILL YOU COME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!?!?" It was fun and then we left a message and he felt the spirit and cried. He went to church on Sunday! I think we we see more of him now.

Saturday and Sunday I had two really spiritual experiences. On Saturday we were at the house of some recent converts to leave a message I decided to tell them why I was on a mission! I told them that before the mission there were three main reasons. One, because my Dad and brother went and I wanted to be like them and do was they did for people. Two, because my patriarchal blessing said I would. Three, because my girlfriend told my at that time that she would not marry someone who wasn't a returned missionary. Everyone laughs when I get to that part. But I told them that that changed after a while and that now it's because I have tasted of the sweetness of Christ's atonement for us. I know what it feels like to be forgiven and I want EVERYONE else to feel that feeling! Very spiritual!

Sunday I bore my testimony, probably the shortest of my life, but by far the most spiritual! I got up in front of everyone and said,"Brothers and Sisters (cue crying)....................Christ's atonement is real,.................................. and it's the reason I'm here...................................................In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

So for all of you, Christ's atonement is real, and it's the reason I'm here.

Alma 5:14

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #66


Random Thought: Whenever we get on the computer Elder Maughan is always on my left side.

Well it was a good week! We had a ton of lessons with the members and we are super happy about that! Our plan is to get the ward members excited to work with the missionaries when we ask. So far it's working and the stake president is very happy with our work.

This week some members asked if we could teach their kids and that there would also be two non member girls who wanted to take the lessons as well. So we started teaching them and all four of the kids we are teaching will be baptized together! We are super excited about it and we can't wait!

So this week it rained A LOT! During one day we were walking and there was a low point in the road we couldn't pass. So we tried to jump and ended up getting our shoes and feet all wet! So after that we didn't even care we just walked right through the ankle deep puddles no problem. At the end of the day we were only dry from mid thigh and up. When I took off my shoes and socks I found that my socks dyed my feet black! That was four days ago and my feet are still black! It kinda scared my companion when he saw it!

Other than that the best part of the week was DEFINITELY conference! There are a bunch of people in the ward who speak English so they had a room set up just to watch it in English! Ha even the Brazilians said it's way better in English because it's the speakers actual voices.

Favorite talks were by Elders Uchtdorf, Holland and L. Tom Perry!

If there is something I have learned this conference it is this. That the Lord is a lot more ready to forgive us than we are to repent. ESPECIALLY when we are willingly repentant! Sometimes repenting looks scary. We think,"What's going to happen? What will the bishop say? How will my family react? Will there be disciplinary action?" Well the answers to these questions really don't matter! The real question should be,"Do I have enough faith in Jesus Christ to trust in him and his atonement?" If the answer to this question is yes then nothing else should matter!

He is at the door. Will you open it?

D&C 19

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #65


Random Thought: My companion likes to hurt me with baseballs.

So we had a kind of a hectic week this week! Monday was an awesome p-day but it was cut short because we volunteered to help some members move to another house. It was super fun but I didn't get to email with my family as much and I would have liked this week. ALSO HANNA I'm calling you out! You are writing my COMPANION more than me now. Unacceptable...unless you marry him...that would be freaking fantastic! He's the Maughan (man...inside joke).

Anyways, Tuesday was fun because we decided to visit our recent converts and menos ativos (less actives). These are amazing people who have gone through amazing things! There is a man who used to be one of the richest pessoas (people) here in the city but somehow he lost his farm so he is now one of the poorest. BUT he is great! He works his tail off collecting used things in the city to resell to support his family. It's a difficult life but he is doing just fine. I helped him take a lot of electronics apart to get the copper out to sell. He is always telling us about how his son WILL go on a mission so that he can learn what the world is like and so that he can help other people.

Wednesday we went to teach the girlfriend of one of the young men in the Ward, Aléxia. She is fantastic and we can tell that she isn't just doing this to please her boyfriend. She accepted all the lessons and has no problems with any of the commandants! She was baptized on Saturday and on Sunday she was confirmed! It was awesome! She was definitely ready and she is doing super well. I love it when we find people like that to teach, it really helps us to stay encouraged and happy.

Thursday was awesome! We had lunch with Bispo and the night before his wife said we could choose whatever we wanted to eat and my only request was Pavé! I LOVE IT! I ate half a pan by myself! I felt so fat afterward but we never get to have it so I decided to take advantage of the situation! Then we had to go and deal with the Realtor again so that we could start the contract on our new house. It will be a lot closer to the chapel and to our area. I am super excited about that. The contract should be done this week and we will move in! I feel like my parents right now (we are buying a new house).

Friday we had a zone conference in a city called Dourados. It only takes 2 hours to get there so we left in the morning! I love that because then we don't need to sleep at someone else's house. Anyways the conference was awesome. My companion and I spoke and we learned a lot from the others that spoke! THEN LUNCH. At lunch I grabbed a bunch of food and sat down and started to eat when my companion said,"Elder Laws! Stop eating, there's beans in that!" I looked at my plate at the farofa (ask Asa what that is) and it was full of beans! I didn't even notice because I was so hungry! So I said a quick prayer, took the rest of the beans off my plate, and kept eating. Well it didn't hit me until our bus arrived back here in Ponta Porã. I got off the bus, sat down and just sat there dying of nausea and pain until our ride got there to take us home. Then I just sat in the seat with my head down trying not to throw up! I told my companion that when we got home he was to open the door in ten seconds because I was just going to leave the car, take off my suit, get in the bathroom and throw up. And that's EXACTLY what happened. I felt SO much better afterward though! When I came out of the bathroom I said,"And that gentlemen is why I can't eat beans. Questions?" (everyone doubts that I am actually allergic to beans)

Saturday was our baptism and happily everything went well! We are super happy with Aléxia!

2 Nephi 4:16-22

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week #64


Random Thought: There was a Tornado in Brasil!

Alright people! It was a fantastic week! Tuesday we planned an awesome day and talked to a ton of people. It all went as planned but other than that nothing special.

Really nothing happened out of the norm this week but I am having the best time of my life! Friday was a good day because we went to the Fisk school almost all day just to do contacts and introduced why we are here! It was really cool because all the classes wanted to talk to us! I felt like a celebrity doing public relations or something! But I really love going there to help them out. The instructor there is named Junior. He is a cool guy and he learned English in Canada so he has a funny Portuguese/Canadian accent. He invited us to go to his birthday the next day so we could meet his friends. So we did! We went to his house and met some of his friends, but sadly no one accepted us to teach them.

Sunday was great! We had a bunch of investigators at church and we have a baptism marked for this week! We are super excited! Everything will go right with it and the members are excited for her!

Then that night we had a meeting with the Ward mission leader and the ward missionaries. Our ward mission leader is the MAN! His name is Mario and he has a lot to do every day but he manages to get it all done and STILL magnify his calling and help us out so much! Today we are going to help his brother move.

Also random note. I started using Herbalife so that I can be more healthy! I usually don't eat breakfast or dinner, so I decided to start with this and it's really helping me out! My companion is the man and we are doing exercises everyday so we are getting a lot more fit!

This week my Spanish scriptures finally got here from Paraguay and I am so excited! I am reading them every day and I am learning Spanish a lot faster! I hope by the time I get home I can speak well.

D&C 9:8

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #63

(We are in the process of moving, so I apologize for the delay in sending some of Roman's letters. It's been a crazy few weeks/months)


Random Thought: AbRipperX is fantastic!

Fantastic week with Elder Maughan! We worked hard! Last Tuesday we decided to just take the street of the church and knock all the doors, so we did! We did a ton of contacts and met some good people. One of them was a woman named Simone (SIH-MOAN-EE). She is a wonderful lady and loved our message. She is going through some hard times but she is trying to put her trust in the Lord right now. She is going to be fun to teach!

On Wednesday I took Elder Maughan to the Fisk school to introduce him and get some addresses. Well they are loving us there and keep inviting us back! One night while we were there the boss came up to us and asked if she could talk to us. We said okay and went with her. We sat in her office and she asked if we could mark a day to go in and talk with almost all of the students together. Half of them for one hour and half for the other hour! We were totally up for it and marked a day to go! Then she thanked us and asked how she could pay us! HA! We told her that we don't want payment we want addresses! So she told us that she can get us a list of addresses! HECK YES! That means we are going to get like 50 addresses to visit! Can you say references??

Anyway later in the week we passed by again to confirm the date and plan a little more about what we are going to do. We just mentioned that we were trying to learn Spanish personally at home and she said,"Well if you want, you can come to Spanish classes here in trade for all the help you are giving us!" Our jaws dropped and we were so excited. It turns out that it works out perfectly to use our language study time on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to go to Fisk and study the language there! We are super happy because it doesn't mess up our schedule or take our proselyting time away! What a blessing for us!

On Sunday we decided to just do contacts and teach lessons to new people. Well we knocked on a door and a girl came out to the gate. Elder Maughan and I noted that it looked like she had been crying and while she went to push the button to open the gate I said,"I'll bet she was just praying to the Lord for an answer to her prayers." She then came out to us to talk and we explained who we are and why we are here and she asked us to come in. So we sat in front of the house to have a lesson. It was really spiritual and she had a lot of questions! She really liked it and wants to go to church. At the end she said,"Can I say something? Right before you two showed up I was in my room praying and crying and asking for the Lord to show me the path he wants me to take. Then you two came to my door! I think the Lord is telling me something!" I just looked at Elder Maughan with a huge smile and we explain that He is telling her something. I LOVE when the spirit talks and I can hear him.

Ether 9:22

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week #62


Random Thought: I went for a two mile run this morning.

Well hello there! This week has been fantastic! Elder Maughan is the man and I am super excited to be his companion. We are best friends here on the mission and now we are just working our black socks off! I am super excited about it.

The first week of the transfer is a little annoying here as a ZL. We have a meeting in Campo Grande the first week of every transfer and that is very far away from Ponta Pora. So we had to leave our area at 5:30pm on Thursday and take a six hour bus ride. Friday we had an all day meeting with the president and then we got on a bus at 1:00am to get back into our area at 7:00am on Saturday! It was an adventure!

First when we got to the bus station I asked Elder Maughan for the phone and he told me he didn't have it. Oops! So we went two days without our phone. Then while we were on the bus I was talking with my companion and after I asked if he was feeling lazy, a book fell from the top storage right on his head! I DIED laughing! Needless to say the bus ride was fun.

Saturday we didn't get much done either because we were busy cleaning up a mess with all the baptism forms and then going to bed early because we didn't get much sleep on the bus. Out of the last 12 baptisms 0 of the forms were filled out right, so we had to go hunt down a bunch of information so we can send them to the office.

Sunday was great! We worked hard and got a lot done. At night we had a meeting with our ward mission leader and he is the man. He helps us so much and is a really cool guy. He also served in the US so he knows English. Something he said was that we need to work hard enough so that when we leave here, we leave a good impression.

Sorry for the short letter this week was just traveling and meetings. Not a lot time with investigators or teaching. More to come next week!

D&C 121:36

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #61

Bazinga! (from Sept 2nd, sorry it's late but we were moving)

Random Thought: The Lord helps us. ALL of us.

Transfers: I will be staying here in Ponta Pora and Elder Maughan (from Florida) will be coming here to be my companion! I am excited!

Well another wonderful week here in Brasil! Not much happened out of the norm so this letter will be short as well.

During the week we went to the Fisk school again! When we got there a woman came up to us and asked if we were the Americans. I said yes and she went on to say that she is the director there and wants to schedule a day where ALL the students of the school can talk to us! I said of course! So now we are going back this week to mark a day! I am super excited! It's a really fun way to do missionary work!

Also yesterday we left with the bishop to do visits in our area! This bishop is amazing and I am super excited that I get to stay here and continue working with him. He knows a lot of people and always knows how to get people to open up. Anyways, yesterday as we were leaving we asked if a boy named Moroni would say the closing prayer.
He said,"No, I prayed that other day you were here!"
Bishop said," Did you also eat lunch that day?"
The boy said, "Yeah."
The Bishop replied, "Did you eat lunch today?"
Again the boy said, "Yeah."
The Bishop came back with, "Then you can pray today too!"
It was super funny and now I have a new technique for when people say they don't want to pray!

Well that's all I've got this week. It's been a trying week with a frustrating companion but all is well now that we are having transfers and I know the Lord loves me!

Ether 2:22

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, August 26, 2013

Week #60


Random Thought: It is 48° today. Something Asa never experienced on the mission.

Well it was a great week! On Tuesday we had a good day and at the end of the day we took one of our recent converts (Samara) to seminary. While we were walking I stopped talking and Samara asked,"Why aren't you talking?" Before I said anything Elder Groff jumped in and said,"He has this weird disease that sometimes his voice shuts off because his vocal cords won't move." He said it really serious so I decided to go along with it, just to be funny! She ended up believing us and asking Elder Groff how to sign different words to me. It was pretty funny.

On Wednesday we had our zone meeting in the morning. We heard about some problems with gossip going on in the zone so we decided to ask each Elder to come and talk to us one by one in another room and we ended up clearing up the situation. Words of advice to EVERYONE reading this. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SOMEONE OR SOMETHING SOMEONE IS DOING, TALK TO THAT PERSON DIRECTLY. DO NOT SPREAD RUMORS AND GOSSIP! As humans we have this nasty habit of telling everyone else what is going on EXCEPT the person who we need to talk to about it and it causes so many unnecessary problems and hurt feelings. This is one of satan's tools to cause contention and divide us. DO NOT LET IT HAPPEN!

On Quinta (Thursday) we went to do a service project at a members house. There is a really cool guy there named Junior. He has this little train that he made out of a diesel truck and for work he takes people on tours, or people pay to have parties on the train. Well the train is also his normal car. He is the one who asked us to help him in with the service project so he picked us up in his train! I love this guy he is super cool and always gives rides and buys food for the missionaries. The next day we continued with the service project and then he took us to burger king! It was great.

On Saturday we did divisions and this time I went with Elder Paredes. It was really fun! We bought chocolate, we spoke English Spanish and Portuguese together, and I met some really great investigators too. One of their investigators is training and studying for a career doing the same things as CSI. She is specializing in the bugs that eat the body after someone dies. The next part of her training she has to kill a pig and do tests with it. Very interesting!

Speaking of pigs we also met a little pot bellied pig this week! I decided to name it Rodrigo, but then I found out its a girl...but I still want to call it Rodrigo.

I was missing the states this week and I was praying for a little boost from the Lord. Well that night with Elder Paredes we decided to stop and get a little dinner. So we walked in this little tiny restaurant and sat down and the first song that started playing was "Africa" by Toto! Elder Paredes knew the song too so we started singing at the top of our lungs and just laughing at each other. Then to our surprise then next song was "Love isn't always on time" by Foreigner! They played a bunch more familiar songs after that too and I was cured of missing the states. It's funny how the Lord works sometimes. Tender mercies!

On Sunday we were invited to give a training to all the priesthood leaders in Ponta Porã! It was really fun. The Stake President spoke, then Elder Groff and then me! The spirit was really strong and we all learned a lot. I hope we made an impact.

3 Nephi 30

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week #59


Random Thought: Yo hablo un pocito de Español.

Hey everyone! This week was a little packed.

The first part of the week was just normal missionary work, so I'll start on Thursday. I we went to the other district on the other side of the city to sit in on their district meeting and then I stayed there to do divisions with the district leader there. He's a good guy and it was a fun day. First we went to lunch and the lady who made lunch asked me where I was from. I told her that I was from Argentina and she was shocked! She said,"But you have such an American face! Don't you speak English?" I told her no and that I speak Spanish. Now because I have been learning Spanish I spoke Spanish a bit with her and she believed me! After about 3 more minutes talking, I admitted that I am American. What's funny is there was an Elder listening in only for the first part of the conversation so after lunch he came up to me asking where I was from and what it was like in Argentina.

The rest of the day was good. We did a lot of contacts but we weren't finding any "elect" families so Elder Elizeu (the other missionary) said,"Man I'm tired of this, I want to find an Elect Family!' The next house we went to had a family that was ready to hear us and even said they wanted to be baptized. It was awesome. After we left I said,"Didn't you say something about an elect family?" We joked a bit and had a good laugh.

Friday I went back to my own house and did another division with Elder Pereira. We had a great day! He just completed one month on the mission and he is really smart. I learned a new technique to teach the about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At 7:30pm we had an appointment at a school called FISK. They teach other languages and one of them is English. We were invited there by a man in our ward who is taking classes there. It was really cool! I felt like a celebrity. Everyone was a little nervous but wanted to talk to me in English. We had a few practices and at the end they asked me to introduce myself in English and talk about why I am here. The teacher was a little funny because he said dude a lot and he has a Canadian accent because that's where he learned English. We got a few addresses and found some good people to teach! We are going back there on Wednesday! After the class, the guy who invited us took us out to grab something to eat before going home. There are some really cool members here.

Saturday we got to go to the chapel after lunch to do a baptismal interview and then watched the baptism. This boy was super excited and said that one of the reasons he wanted to be baptized was to make his parents proud.

Sunday we had meetings with the stake president, the bishop, and the ward mission leader. A few weeks ago the stake president asked us to make a training to present at a meeting that will happen with all the leadership here in the city. So yesterday we showed him what we are going to say and he was happy with it. He is a really good guy and we are happy he likes us. The bishop didn't really schedule a meeting but just grabbed us in the hall to talk to us. He is the best! He taught me a lot and after we were done he looked at me and said,"Elder Laws, you know I love you right?" I kind of laughed and said yes, but then I looked at him and he wasn't joking. It was a weird moment because I truly believed that he was being 100% sincere! I was really thankful that he did that because it is one of the only times I have felt that someone truly loves me who is here on the mission.

3 Nephi 12

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Week #58


Random Thought: If you had to choose a scalding hot shower or an ice cold one...which would you choose?

This week was great! We've been working more with the people we baptized to get them confirmed. Last Monday night we had a family night at the house of a really cool lady in our ward. She invited her friends and we taught them about The Book of Mormon and the restoration a little bit. Then for a little activity we played a fun game. Each person has to write down a color on their little piece of paper and then we went in a circle taking turns asking the next person to guess which color we had written down. If the other person guessed correctly you got to throw a tiny cup of water in their face. It was super fun!

Throughout the week not too much happened. Just the normal stuff, I played with a dog, a bird bit me, we tied up the greeny in our house... HAHAHA!

So the new missionary in our house decided he wanted to mess with me and my companion while we were reading our scriptures before bedtime. He put on my boxing gloves and started punching us. My companion and I looked at each other at the same time and he said,"Vamos?" or "Let's go?" so we jumped up at the same time and pinned him down on my bed. I grabbed a rope and tied his legs together, tied the rope around his waist and then tied his hands behind his back (not very tight). Then we found his camera and took a picture. It was really funny and we all had a good time.

Now I have some sad news...in one of our houses in the mission, about six months ago, I found a plate with Santa's face printed on it. So naturally, every single time I've eaten since then I have eaten off that plate. Well Elder Paredes was washing the dishes the other day and used a little more force than he should have and my Santa plate broke. To be completely honest I was seriously sad. I loved that plate. So above the eyes on one piece I drew angry eyebrows and told Elder Paredes that he has to keep that plate forever now to remember what he did. It was a sad day indeed. These are the days in the life of a missionary.

Sorry for the short letter. I'll write more next week!

Helaman 5:30

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #57


Random Thought: I love Pavé!

Well another fantastic week here in Brasil! We had two more baptisms this week and our zone is doing fantastic!

Monday we play a great game of soccer and I am terrible. I played hard though! Only to find out that I'm getting old :P. I payed for that game for about 4 days afterward. We also whet to this GIANT bigger than Costco place, called Shopping China. They have EVERYTHING there. Everything we have in the states and more! Peanut Butter! They have Peanut Butter! Everything is priced in dollars as well! It was pretty cool!

I don't remember which day it was but while talking to a few of our recent converts they teased us because they didn't get any presents from us after their baptisms. SO we decided to make a cake! Elder Groff made the cake and we he pulled it out of the oven it had only risen on one side because our oven is not level. How do missionaries fix that? We grabbed four of these little snacks which are like the equivalent of a Hostess Ding-Dong, crumbled them up a bit and then put them on the side that wasn't risen and then we put frosting on it! NEEDLESS to say that family loved our cake. haha!

Wednesday we had our zone meeting and it was my first time talking in front of the zone as a zone leader but it went well and I think I got the message across I wanted to share. I talked about confidence in our work. I suggested 5 things that we need to trust in. The Lord, The Spirit, our companions, ourselves in our callings, and our testimonies! There were a bunch of scriptures I used as well and it was fun to share with everyone.

After our meeting we had lunch and then I did divisions with the Elders in another house for two days. One day with one companionship and one day with another. We had some good talks and some good times. On the second day while walking with Elder Martins, a man stopped his car right next to us, stuck his head out the window and said,"Hey do you see that red house right there? Can you go there and wait a few minutes? I'll be right back, I'm just going to buy bread." We accepted and he left. Just like he said, about 5 minutes later he came back and invited us in! We sat down and he said,"Well what do you have for me?" Ha, we were surprised and talked a little bit and then just dived into the lesson. Him and his wife were super curious so we ended up teaching about baptism, the restoration, and The Book of Mormon! It was super spiritual and they said they'd go to church, and they did! I saw them at church and said hi. I really hope they decide to get baptized. Please pray for them!

These are just a couple of the good things that happened this week but I want to say that I love you all and that I feel so loved and special that people would actually take the time to read my letters. Now if you could ALL write me it would really be appreciated. You can use email! roman.laws@myldsmail.net

Alma 53:2

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week #56

Random Thought: I love hugs!

Wow so it was kind of a crazy week! I didn't leave Cáceres until Tuesday! It was a four hour bus ride back to Cuiabá and then a twelve hour ride to Campo Grande. When I got there I was told that because I would have to go back to Campo Grande anyway for a meeting on Thursday if I went all the way down to my new area, so I just stayed in Campo Grande and did divisions with the Assistants and then left Thursday night to go to my new area. It was a long and crazy week!

So a little about the new companion and area. My companion is Elder Groff and I have never met someone as fearless in missionary work than him. The way he teach and bears his testimony is amazing! More on that later. The new area is great! When I got here and for this past week it has gotten down to 53 degrees at night. THAT IS COLD! Almost 100% of the houses in Brazil are without heating, so I have been sleeping with three giant blankets and taking freezing cold showers (there is rarely heated water here either. It's warmed up a little now so it's all good.

Random side-note. I am in the same house as Elder Paredes...again!

Ponta Porã is a city that borders with the country of Paraguay and the cool thing is that there is no wall or division. We just walk from one side to the other. The really cool thing is that Paraguay is literally 60 seconds from my house on foot! Now because of this everything here is cheap! Like milk is only fifty American cents! Also Paraguay uses Dollars and Guaranies! Its just a really interesting culture bash.

So I have only been in my new area for three days but I have learned a lot and we had two baptisms on Sunday! Our goal is to baptize weekly and I am finding, that here it is very doable. Elder Groff is teaching me a lot as the Sr ZL. He looks a lot like Asa and is even a little crazier! During one of our lessons the other day a man showed up to visit the woman we were teaching and asked us how we baptize. We told him how and he just started to tell us that we were wrong and wouldn't stop, so Elder Groff just used his testimony and said,"I say to you that this is the only true church, I say to you that we have received authority to teach these things and that we have been called of God to do this work. What we say is true." The man just stopped talking about religion after that. What could he say?

Sunday when we were going around to take our investigators to church one of them (Felícia) said that she wasn't going because she had a headache and needed to wash the dishes. So Elder Groff grabbed the sponge and started washing and I took Felícia to the front door and we told her to go get dressed while we washing the dishes. So she went inside! There was no plumbing at this house so while Elder Groff washed the dishes outside I went to the well and got water and we finished all of the dishes before she got back outside!

Church was a lot different. I'm serving in a ward now and it's weird to see how different it is than a branch. The bishop here is really great. I talked with him for a little while on Sunday and he was telling me about his family and how the gospel has blessed his life. He has two brothers and they are both in prison. I told him about how my mom has a story a bit like his and he told me something I will never forget. He said,"When you look at the people you teach, look at them as if they are your mom waiting to hear the gospel and have the same happiness she has today."

I say to you all without shame, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth with the complete gospel of Jesus Christ. I have authority given to me by God to testify of this, and I will not deny it, no matter what.

Alma 42:11

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week #55


Random Thought: It's 62 degrees today in Caceres!

Alright so first, today is transfer day and I will be going WAY down south to Ponta Porã (approx 600 miles south of where I am right now)! It's a town by Paraguay. I will be a Zone Leader with Elder Groff, a Brazilian Elder. I am pumped!! I'll tell you more about it next week after I get there and get moved in.

So this week wasn't too exciting! But I will do my best to tell you all about it. We were having some good days proselyting and really having fun and then on Wednesday I got a call from our zone leaders saying,"Hey I know this is really last minute...but we are coming to do divisions with you tonight!" I just said ok and we continued our day! They finally arrived at about 9:45 at night while I was taking a shower and decided to smack my window to tell me that they were there. I about died because it scared me so much! I jumped and almost slipped.

So the next day we had a district meeting and usually it's the district leader (me) who speaks in front of everyone. So there's this talk that's been inspiring me lately and I decided to base my training off of it. It's called "Cast not away, therefore, your confidence", by Elder Holland. Afterward as I was putting my stuff into my bag and another Elder who is going home this transfer came up to me and said,"Dude, that's exactly what I needed." I asked what he meant and he said that he is worried about going home and becoming inactive or not feeling that the church right anymore. I had no idea he was feeling like that. Sometimes we receive promptings to do things without knowing why, or who it will affect. I am so glad I followed that prompting to speak on that subject.

Anyways after that was lunch with the zone leaders in a restaurant! There is a man here who isn't always home so he just pays for the restaurant whenever we go! Our zone leaders are super cool and kind of crazy so we decided to drink enough juice to make a pyramid out of the cans! It was really cool and we took pictures.

This time I went with Elder W. Santos. I really like him and we get along really well. We taught a little kid and it was really cool. He explained some principle of the gospel and I gave him physical examples. He has a hard time focusing and I know how that is, and I remembered from my childhood that if I had an example that I could feel or touch or do, then I would remember it a lot easier. It was a really fun lesson and I was glad for the experience.

So Elder Combs is leaving here to go home today. I have to admit that makes me trunky. It always does when another missionary leaves. Elder Combs was awesome! We had a ton of fun and he is really great example to me. I can't help but think things like ,"What is he thinking? What will I think when it's time for me to leave? Will it pass fast or slow for me? Is he happy with what he did on his mission? I want to be happy with my mission." Just a lot of things like that. But then I slow down and just think,"All in due time" and continue on. I am going to miss my mission so much, so I really need to cherish it while I'm in the moment. This is the work of the Lord. This is what I'm supposed to be doing. This is the Only true gospel of Jesus Christ

Alma 40:25-26

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week #54

Random Thought: Patience George.
Fantastic week!!
After Stephane's baptism last week we met her sister! So we've been going by her house to teach Stephane more and her sister so she can be baptized!!! BATISMO! Going to their house we found out that their are six girls and four kids living in that house and the whole house is only the size of my kitchen! We are trying to teach them all but everyone is always coming and going.
Thursday we went to renew my visa in Cuiabá! We got up and left to get on the 8:00am bus and had a four hour bus ride to Cuiabá. When we finally got there the bus was caught up in traffic so I got up and asked the bus driver if we could just get off where we were, which was on the same street as the mission office. Without saying a word he just opened the door and we got off. 
Then we walked to the mission office where we waited to go to the federal police. The office missionaries are great and the finance secretary even bought us lunch at a self service restaurant. They are super funny and the time passed really fast. We then went to get pictures taken and then the federal police! I had to get my finger prints taken again and right before I went in the Elder that was helping me told me a story about how people have already left that room in handcuffs because their prints matched that of a crime scene! Everything went well and I got my new visa. Then we got on the bus again and came back to Cáceres the same day. So glad that is over with!
Now for THEE story of the week. Yesterday we went to have lunch with a recent convert and her family. Her name is Dora. She has a son, Hector, and a daughter, Brunelli. Dora is a funny little lady and she is always happy. Hector has been addicted to drugs for a long time and it's basically fried his brain so that now he has the mental capacity of a 16 year old but he is 25. Brunelli, I don't know that well but from what I have seen she is super nice. 
Well yesterday, as we finished with lunch, Hector got home and grabbed a plate of food and went to sit on the couch. Then a few minutes after, Brenelli came home with her cousin who just got into town. As they walked in I shook their hands and said hi and while I was talking to the cousin something SLAMMED in to my head, and it was hard. At first I thought,"What the heck was that!!??" Then I looked and Hector was standing next to me. Then I realized that he had just punched me full force in the head!! Everyone was on him immediately, getting after him and asking why he did it. Then he started screaming at me to get out of the house and yelling profanities so I stood up and said "ok I'm going". So I passed by him and then he punched me again right in the back. I just kept walking and then he threw his elbow into my back. The I said,"Let me just grab my backpack and I'll go." As I bent down to get my backpack he spartan kicked me right in the back again and I almost fell. I remained calm and took my back pack and we left! I AM NOT HURT so no one needs to worry. Actually I thought it was pretty cool. I felt like I joined the ranks of Alma and Amulek! Then as we were walking my companion said,"Wow man I am so glad you were so patient in all that." I asked why, then he said,"He still had the knife in his hand from when he was eating!" I had no idea!!! 
Again I am completely fine AND safe. It turns out that after I left he "came to" and had no recolection of what happened. MOM, do not email the mission president or sister Reber. They already know what happened.
Just another story from the mission!
Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Week #53


Random Thought: Do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?

Hello world! Great week! One of our investigators, Stephane decided that she wanted to get baptized! We had only taught her two lessons and this was only the second visit. After the lesson we asked if she had any questions and she said no, but she had an answer to our invite to be baptized. Her answer was YES! So we marked a baptismal date for Saturday! It was really cool because President Reber would also be there! Everything went as planned and we had an awesome baptism.

So the reason President came was to have a meeting with the liderança (leadership) to start two new things. One is the 5 minute meetings. The 5 minute meeting is not 10 minutes, it's not 6 minutes, and its not 5 and a half minutes. The 5 minute meeting is 5 minutes. After church the liderança (leadership) gets together and for 5 minutes discuss who wasn't there that day and who is going to visit those people THAT DAY. Not later. I really liked the idea of this. President said,"Parents, if you lost a child how long would you wait to find him or her? It's the same principle. Immediately look for them and rescue them.

The second thing he talked about was a new way to strengthen the branch. The ward mission leader, with the missionaries, chooses 3 people who have strong testimonies. Like super strong members. Like SUPER members. Then these members bring a person such as a less active member, a new member or non member to a meeting at the chapel once a week. At these meetings, the members will help us teach the lessons. This happens until the person being taught either decides to stop or is baptized. Then after a while the people being taught will be the people helping us teach! I am super excited about this too. It's a way for us to work together to see real growth here in Cáceres.

Also Sister Reber told me to write home about this so I am. Please know that I say this as humbly as possible. Last week President Reber went to a meeting with a bunch of the leadership in Cuiabá. One of the high councilman stood up to speak and said,"Look brethren (showing a report) there is a branch in Cáceres, out baptizing our stake!" President said he was very happy to tell us this and told us to keep it up!
OH I almost forgot, on Saturday we got permission from President to go to the alligator reserve! We went in the morning and had a really cool tour and then they told us we could pick them up if we wanted. So the first one I grabbed was only about 6 inches long. Then when we were closer to the big ones I grabbed one that was a little more than two feet long AND they don't even put tape on their mouths! It was really cool.

I love my mission. I love Baptisms. I love the Lord, and I love you all.

 Alma 31:38

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Week #52


Random Thought: One day when I am a daddy, I will have to clean my baby because she threw up all over herself and me...and for now I'm looking forward to it.

This weeks letter will be a little short because we had a zone conference this week. Tuesday we didn't have much happen because we had to leave for Cuiabá. BUT this time the bus ride was super fast and I had some good thinking time. Sometimes thinking is good.

Wednesday we had our conference and it was so great. The topic presented was how to become a consecrated missionary. There were six talks all about a different word that keeps us from becoming a consecrated missionary. Fear, Laziness, Pride, Disobedience, Discouragement, and Worldly Passions. The part I liked the most was about Laziness...because I am lazy. A Sister gave a talk about not being lazy and compared the mission to a process that eagles go through in their lives. I learned that eagles can live up to 70 years BUT to gain the last 30 years they have to go through a renewing process first. They have to smash their beak on a rock until it falls off, then they have to wait until it grows back and then rip off their own talons. Then they rip all of their feathers out. Sounds terrible right? They have to go through this if they want to live another 30 years. This process was compared to the mission. The mission is to completely serve the Lord by serving other people. IT'S HARD. BUT going through this process, it changes who we are for the better. There is also a lot of symbolism to think about when you compare the story of the eagles life cycle to our own. Pretty intense!

Saturday I decided we would do divisions. I went with Elder Combs in his area. I learned a ton. Elder Combs is leaving to go home here in three weeks. We had some great talks and became great friends just in the 24 hours of divisions. Honestly I want to become a missionary like him.

Other than that the week was pretty normal! Sorry for the short letter but I still love you!

Alma 27:17-18

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week #51


Random Thought: I didn't see a Tucan yesterday....

Well it was a pretty good week! Let's start on Wednesday. The branch here has a Family night every week on Wednesday in the houses of the members. This week it was in the house of my recent converts, Elton and Jussara!! Elton was the one to give a message this time and it was fantastic! He decided to use the scripture that answered his prayers about joining the church! It was D&C 6:14-15. The message was really spiritual and then he left the floor open for comments. A few people spoke first and then Jussara, Elton wife said,"One thing that helped me know that the church is true was The Book of Mormon. I know it's true and if someone says it isn't, they're lying." It was so great to see them saying things like this. I just couldn't stop smiling!

On Thursday we had a great lunch with a member family here. After lunch the mom said,"Elders I am wanting to kill two chickens here but I am feeling lazy." So immediately we offered to help! So we went out into the yard and she grabbed the two chickens she wanted handed them to us and said to wait a minute. We waited. Then her and her husband came back out and showed us how we were supposed to do it! So I grabbed the machete, lifted it up over my head, then brought it down and......STOPPED. Ha it was a weird feeling. I hesitated because I had never killed anything in my life! I tryed again and still couldn't. Everyone was laughing including me! So I tryed one more time and this time WACK off went the head! Then we learned how to pluck out all the feathers and how to gut them. It was really cool and now I know how to if I ever have chickens!

Also on Thursday I took a bible over to that old man we have been teaching. He only has a really tiny one that is only the New Testament. I have NEVER seen someone so grateful in my life. It really left an impression on me.

Friday night we had a branch activity called "A Festa da Jeca". Jeca is like over exagerated hick. Everyone showed up in terribly matched clothes and straw hats, the women in pig tails. It was really fun! There was food, soda and everything! We even got a lot of references! It was a fantastic time.

Also I had a very spiritual experience. I've never had the strongest of testimonys about prayer and I wanted it to get better. So I studied prayer this week and then prayed and asked the Lord if he was hearing me. Then I felt impressed to read the book "True to the Faith". I didn't know where to start so I just opened it and started reading. This is the first sentence I read,"Your prayers, when offered humbly and sincerly are heard and answered." Wow!

Alma 22:15

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week #50


Random Thought: Avocado with sugar is good.

Great week!! Nothing too exciting until Wednesday! We had another baptism! The other two Elders baptized little Joice. She is eight and I had the privilege of interviewing her. She is super quiet and shy but she knows all about what the Elders taught her. The baptism wasn't anything fancy or big but there was a great spirit there.

Thursday was pretty normal and we went back to that old man again. I FINALLY learned his real name! I have just been calling him Casquinha this whole time because it's a nic name he's had his whole life. He got the name because when he was younger he worked on a farm and one time when he and his buddies went to get ice cream they all got milkshakes and he just asked for a small ice cream cone or "Casquinha". Anyway, his real name is Valdomir! We went to his house again to talk again and he is reading the bible a lot. He still didn't give a definite answer as of then. Please continue to pray for him.

Friday was divisions with the zone leaders! I love our zone leaders. They are good guys and it's always a lot of fun doing divisions with them. I decided to take Elder Fernadez with me to Valdomir again and we talked a lot about baptism again. This time he said that he is getting closer to an answer and that he thinks it will be "yes". It was a great lesson and then as we were leaving he needed to use a little machine that pumps medicine and air into a little mask for him to breathe. After he stopped, he had a lot of trouble breathing so he asked for a blessing. We gave him one and then said goodbye and left. I didn't know until Sunday when his son told us, but the rest of that afternoon he had trouble breathing, but the day after he had ZERO problems and breathed just fine. I love miracles . :)

Sunday was fantastic! A lot of people came to church! Priesthood quorum was a little weird though. There is a man here who is very intelligent, speaks a few languages, studies science and such. Well it was his turn to teach and the lesson was about tithing, but because he knows so much about history and the way tithing and the church and the world works, we ended up having a lesson on Marxism! Really weird.

After church Elton received the Aaronic Priesthood!! I helped ordain him and I felt the spirit so strong when it happened!! Happy Fathers Day Dad! I miss you!!

Moroni 1:2-3 (Put your name in place of Moroni)

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week #49


Random Thought: Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I.


First I know my family wants to know about transfers. I will be staying here in Caceres as the DL and my new companion will be Elder Cayhuan. This makes me very happy because we are doing great work!

SO last Monday we went fishing! I hadn't been yet here in Brazil but it was fun! We used meat to try and get the fish to bite but they are sneaky. They eat the meat without us noticing and leave. They come, they eat, they leave. Then we went to our investigators house and had fish soup! It was sooo good!

The rest of the week was pretty normal until Wednesday. We had an appointment that fell so we decided to go to the house of an old man who is the dad of one of the members here. He is just skin and bones and is very week because his lungs don't work right so he can't leave his house. We've been to his house a few times and he has read most of The Book of Mormon. Anyway, he asked us a question that is pretty common here on the mission. "I was baptized in the catholic church when I was a baby. Is that baptism valid?" I will pause here and say that what I am about to say is not meant to offend anyone. I will only say what I KNOW to be true. When I answered him I felt like and decided to be very direct. I said,"No, for three big reasons. One, it was done before the age of accountability. Two, you weren't completely immersed in water like the example Christ left us. Three, and this is the biggest reason, it wasn't performed by someone who has authority from God." He looked at me and was silent for about 30 seconds, then I said,"BUT If you want your baptism to be valid we can baptize you here in your house, being that you can't leave." Now I thought he might ask us to leave or maybe be mad but he just said,"I'll have to think about it. We'll see." So for now we are just letting him think. I will be going back soon. Please for him.
Also on Thursday we taught a new family for the first time. We don't have any big story with them yet, but after hearing the first vision the mom just said,"Quemaravilha" or "How marvelous." We invited the family to church and she said we could be certain she would go. Then on Sunday SHE WENT! I love it when people say they are going to do something and then follow through!!! We'll see what happens.

Friday we had a family night at the house of Elton (our investigating family) and it was FANTASTIC! He is amazing with doing a barbecue. We had the family of the branch president and the family of the second counselor as well. It was a ton of fun and really helped Elton and his family develop friendships outside the Elders! The members here help so much and I am so happy that I am staying here!

Saturday was perfect. Elton and Jussara were baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are just amazing people and I feel so at home when I am around them! After the baptism I gave each of them gifts. Jussara teaches English so I gave her an english Book of Mormon and she was thrilled. I also gave her the DVD of 17 miracles and she is excited to watch it. Elton served as a sergeant in the military for 8 years and has a collection of knives. SO I made a VERY hard decision and gave him my Leatherman. BUT the look on his face and how excited he was made it TOTALLY worth it. I just want to give this people everything!

I have nothing else to say other than I am so happy.

Alma 5:14-16

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week #48


Random Thought: This pen is blue!

Fantastic week!!! SO remember the family I talked about in my last letter? Elton and Jussara? Well in Thursday we marked there baptisms for the 8th! They are super excited! They are reading a The Book of Mormon AND Doctrine and Covenants AND The Pearl of Great Price AND the Gospel Principles book AND talks from the apostles and prophets!!! They are so excited about the gospel and everything they learn just makes them want to learn more!

On Saturday we went to there house to teach more about the commandments. They have no problems and immediately accepted to CONTINUE living the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Elton then ask if hew could say something. We said of course, and he started:

"Well I wanted to say something about this whole situation of joining the church and being baptized. I have been thinking a lot about the date we set and I will admit that I have had my doubts. Doubts like,"Maybe this is going too fast" or,"Maybe it isn't the right time." But then I started reading the talk you gave me (see below) and I saw this phrase "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." And I decided that I believe everything I have learned and that you have taught is true. 100%! So yes I will be baptized and become a member of the true church of Christ."

Lord I Believe by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

What an amazing experience as a missionary to hear our investigators bear their testimony to us!

We went to visit them again yesterday and because Jussara couldn't make it to church, Elton wanted us to teach about the priesthood and priesthood blessings because he learned about it in church! So we did and he was sitting there commenting every once in a while and smiling. He is super excited about the fact that all worthy men can have the priesthood authority and that he can have it and use it in his home and with his family.

Then we went through a bunch of questions they had about the sacrament and such until we got to the subject of temples. They didn't have too many questions but they are already excited to go and Jussara said,"It's going to be a marvelous experience the first time we go." Today we are going fishing with them!

I want you all to know that this is why I am here. To see and experience this. Elton and Jussara are no doubt prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel with their arms open and smiles on their faces, and I am here to make sure that happens. I challenge and invite ALL people who read this who are not members of the church to search to learn more and be baptized into the only true church of the Savior Jesus Christ. His gospel has been restored!

Mosiah 27:14-15

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week #47


Random Thought: I still don't have Spiderman light up shoes.

GREAT week!

So Elder Paredes and I started off the week by talking about the work we are doing and how we can do better. Then we decided that we were going to rock it this week! And then.......WE DID!!

Tuesday we started doing contacts like mad men and one of the first doors we knocked on opened. We said hi and introduced ourselves and our purpose and she let us in! As we walked in there was a man already there on the computer so we asked him his name and if he would like to hear our message as well. He said yes! So we started teaching and in the middle of the lesson a woman showed up. Let me explain here. The woman who answered the door is Maria and the man who was already there is Elton, her son in law, and the woman who showed up half way is Jussara (JOO-SAH-RAH) Maria's daughter and Elton's wife. So we finished the lesson and asked if they had any questions or comments or anything to say and Jussara spoke up and told us that it was weird because the day before, she saw us walking in the street and said to her husband that she wanted to hear what the Mormon doctrine is and then we showed up! She was really curious as well about The Book of Mormon and wanted to know more so we marked another day to go over there and talk about the book!

We went there later in the week and they had already read the pamphlets we had given them and Jussara even said,"These pamphlets were cool because every time I finished reading a part I wanted to know more so I wanted to go on to the next part." Then we left The Book of Mormon with them and made sure that they were going to church on Sunday.

On Sunday they went to church, and it was AWESOME!!!! Elton participated in Elders Quorum by answering questions and even raising his hand more than the members, to comment on things! Then when him and his wife were in Gospel Principles class, the lesson was about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it helps us and how we feel it. In the middle of the class the teacher was talking about his experience when the missionaries taught him and he said that it seemed like when the missionaries left the Spirit left too. Jussara put her hand up and made this comment,"It's funny that you mentioned that because that's what we are seeing right now. The way they teach and the things they ask of us are different than other missionaries or preachings we have already heard. We are also seeing this here at the church" People this family is ELECT! This week the plan is to mark their baptisms!!

Also throughout the week we have been teaching a different family.They are wonderful and are so loving and giving. The other night Roselene, the mom, invited us over for dinner so we accepted and went. The food wasn't anything fancy and their house is a little small but it was wonderful we talked a lot about them and their family and about the gospel and at the end we left a message. It about Christ like attributes and how there family is really good at having charity and sharing it with us. Then I had a strong impression from the spirit so I followed it and said,"Do you have faith in Jesus Christ and do you have faith that we are representatives and servants of him?" They answered yes to both so I said,"Then as a servant of Jesus Christ that whatever you ask of the Lord for you family right now that is good, you shall have it." Please pray for them.

I want all of you to know that this Gospel is true. Jesus Christ directs this church and this work and nothing can stop it.

Mosiah 13:1-4

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week #46


Random Thought: I met Scooby.

Great week!

Wednesday we finally got electricity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week we have been working a lot with one of our investigators who was baptized on Saturday! Larissa! She had been an investigator for months and finally decided to be baptized!!! She asked that Elder Paredes baptize her and that I confirm her. Everything was done this weekend and now its up to the ward members to keep her going! They are going to do a great job!

Because Larissa was being confirmed on Sunday, her mom and grandpa came to church with her and now have questions! One question her grandpa asked me was about people who died without being baptized. So we talked for a bit and I taught him about baptisms for the dead and how everyone will get a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ in Heaven and to choose for themselves. Well he knows the bible very well and I expected a little bit of argument from him or maybe just more questions but he just nodded and said,"That makes sense." Then we walked to sacrament together. The other Elders are going to start teaching him now because he lives in their area.

This week we have been having a bit of trouble motivating people to go to church and such. I may have mentioned this before but I was thinking about missionary work and I remembered a talk I heard by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland that talks a lot about why its hard to do this work and he is exactly right! Why isn't missionary work easy? I came up with an answer in my own words. Imagine the following situation:

Elders (or Sisters): Hi! We are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and we have a message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will change your life for the better if you live it! BUT living the gospel will be harder than anything you have ever done, or ever will do!
Person at the door: No thank you!
Elder Holland's talk was very clear that missionary work is hard because what we offer is salvation and salvation WAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER BE EASY. YOU HAVE TO EARN IT! For some people that is just too hard and the Lord has to prepare them. So I was talking to Elder Paredes this morning and we are going to experiment with any kind of way to contact that we can think of and see what happens with each one. I know we aren't the first missionaries to do this but we are excited to see what happens.

Sunday was my birthday! Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!!! It was a good day and I even got cake!! I like cake. Especially birthday cake!!

The rest of the week was pretty normal.

Mosiah 9:17-18

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, May 13, 2013

Week #45


Random Thought: Asa convinced me to buy new sandals.

So another week without electricity! Not as big of a deal this week though because of our awesome neighbor! Why is our neighbor awesome? Well on Saturday night when we got home he came out because he heard we didn't have power so he brought out a giant extension cord to reach through our window so that we can sleep with fans and use a lamp at night! After he brought everything he said,"Anything else just let me know!" When he left I looked at my companion and said,"We need to pray." So we knelt down and thanked the lord for the kindness of a complete stranger.

This week was a little rushed as well because I had to buy the rest of our furniture, such as desks and chairs, but we got prices and purchased everything! Now we just have to play everyone's favorite game. The waiting game. I called this morning and we should have everything tomorrow afternoon! We are excited about this because to get pens and pencils and books we have to dig through our bags.

We also had a visit with the family we are teaching and they are just really great! This time we taught about The Book of Mormon and when we were done I asked what they understood from everything we discussed. He said from what he saw and heard that its easy to see that the book is true!!! Talk about a GOLDEN answer!!! So we invited them to read with the whole family and to pray about it! We are trying to get them to accept baptism but they said they want to go to church more first. Pray for them!

Speaking of baptism. We were supposed to have one on Saturday, Larissa, but due to personal problems she asked if we could move the date one more week. After listening to the problem we accepted! We are talking with her everyday to make sure everything is on track for this Saturday and then on Sunday she will be confirmed!

Now finally! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all mothers, ESPECIALLY my mother! I want to take the time to publicly thank you mom for everything you have ever done for me. I have realized and remembered all of the ways I could have been better to you growing up, and I would like to say that I am truly sorry and that even though I am far away I still love you and continue to love and appreciate you more each and every day! I wish I could say more!!

Dad- How did you get so lucky as to be able to marry mom? You too are the best and I am so thankful for a father like you! Thank you for always getting after me or giving me advice and for sharing your funny stories with me. Você é o cara!!

Asa- Go on a date and get a wife. Also you are such an amazing example to me! One day I would like to reach the same level as you but when I get there you'll already be two more ahead of me.

Kati- You're growing up! We didn't get to talk that much but you are doing great and you're only getting prettier! Just work your tail off and you've got it made!

Hanna- You too are getting prettier! From what I hear you are rocking school and just ready to start life! Keep it up and congratulations on getting the job!!!!

Mosiah 7:11-12

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws