Mission Slideshow

Monday, January 28, 2013

Week #31


Random Thought: Cockroaches are fast!

What an eventful week! Last Monday I decided to screen the window in our room. I made a frame out of wood to fit tightly in the window and then I bought screen and wrapped it tightly around the frame and nailed it to the frame. It turned out really great and there's been A LOT less mosquito's. I'm doing three more windows in the house today! I guess I was one mosquito too late putting it in though because I picked up Dengue! For those of you who don't know what Dengue is, its a virus you can get from mosquito's that makes your head, stomach, and bones hurt BAD! I can honestly say it was the worst I have felt in my life! Luckily it passed fast and I'm all good now!

Wednesday we planned out a great day and went to it since I was feeling a lot better! We had a few appointments then went to one of our recent converts to have a little lesson with them. When we arrived there the dad was at work and the mom had Dengue so she was down and out, and the little 6, 8 , and 9 year old kids were using a machete to try and open coconuts!! So naturally Elder Bresciano and I stepped in to help them out! So when you open a coconut you have to get all the fibrous wood off the outside and then you can make a hole and get the water out and then break it open. Well as I was chopping at the outside of the coconut my super super dull machete decided to hit the coconut and then bounce and slam back down on my thumb! Mom I am totally ok...but I cut off my thumb above the first knuckle. Just kidding! I cut above the nail. Just the tip. I thought it was super deep at first but when we got to the doctor we found out that I basically potato peeled the skin off the tip of my thumb. I didn't even need stitches and it's almost healed now! Super lucky!
Thursday we finally had a normal day and had a wonderful teaching experience! We went to the house of someone we contacted a while back and when we got there she said she had to shower and go to work but that we could talk to her parents. So we sat down and just started having a nice conversation about who we are and what we are doing here, then that lead into us teaching a few principles! As we were winding down the lesson this lady looked at me and asked,"How do you say 'Deus' in your language?" I told her "God" and she thought it was a beautiful way to say His name. Then she told us that she thinks what we are doing is amazing and beautiful and that under God, Christ and the Prophets that she thinks we are some of the best people that exist because we do this work. Now I'm not so sure I agree with her but it was nice to hear that rather than "The Mormons" that worship Joseph Smith.

Friday we had RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! For about a week our room had been 94 degrees each night, but it rained and made everything better! Its super hot today though so I will probably be sleeping in the heat tonight again. Just to give you an idea, almost every day gets up to 105 degrees and 90ish at night. A cold night is 84.  I was just so thankful for the rain I started just dancing for like five minutes! THE BEST!
That night we went to a wedding that the other Elders organized and it was wonderful! It opened up a door for that family to all get baptized together!

Saturday we had divisions and one of our appointments was a little old lady of about 70 years. We talked for a long time and figured out that her husband of about 50 years is leaving her and that her kids are as well because she has some pretty bad kidney problems. I WAS MAD. But she is reading the Book of Mormon and wants to go to church! We asked her what she was searching for in religion and God and she just said, "Peace". So we are working hard with her now and I sent the Relief Society over there because she so lonely! I hope that everything will work out with her.

Sunday we had lunch with a member and received a call while we were there to go to one of our investigators that lives at the furthest point in our area! So of course we went! When we first started walking we were stopped by a guy who was alone at a bar drinking soda. We talked a lot and he asked where the church was so that he can go next Sunday! He was super impressed that Americans would leave their comfy home to serve a mission at "the end of the world" haha. A lot of people say they will go to church and don't but for some reason I believed this guy. Then we left and walked to our appointment and the rest. When we got home my legs were DEAD. The most tired they have been on the mission. My companion and I looked at the map and decided that we walked around 18 miles that day! Way to work! 

I love you all and I am loving my mission so much! Yeah its hard sometimes but those are the moments I think, "I've got two years to serve and then I've got eternity to think about what I did."

Exodus 34:6-7

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week #30


Random Thought: I want birthday cake.

Good week as usual! Monday we were in a bigger city called Campo Grande again because we had a conference with the zone on Tuesday. So after emailing on Monday, about half the zone (including me) went paint-balling for p-day! Nope it isn't against the rules to do that here! Cool right? We played for a couple of hours before we were finally done and it was a ton of fun! Elder Bresciano and I decided to stick together after the first round and it turns out we are a fantastic team! One of of us would look forward and one would look backward the entire time so we just dominated! Then we went home and played Monopoly deal.

Tuesday was the zone conference! I love having those because the trainings are really helpful and we get to see more missionaries than just the four in our district! The training was all about how we need to go forth with confidence and not be afraid to open our mouths. Also that we need to change our attitudes constantly for the positive. If you think you will have baptisms, then you will! It´s as easy as that! Our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions! Zone meetings are great!

Wednesday we got home right before lunch so we just went straight to the members house! When I was sitting there eating I had two weird realizations. One, more or less I have eaten food every day of my life, and two, I´m really sick of eating! Ha don't worry I wont go anorexic or anything its just that all I do I walk, teach, and eat!

After lunch we went home to drop all our stuff of at home and plan. We had been talking about getting haircuts for a while but we've been too busy to actually do it. So we made it the first thing on our list to do. We heard of a place that does it for 5 Reis (2.5 dollars) so we decided to try it out! When we got there someone was already getting there hair cut and when he was done there was this awkward pause of "who will go first?" So Elder Bresciano being the nice person he is says,"You can go first." Well I thought up a sneaky little plan in my head and said,"No that's fine, you can." The plan was to let him get the 2 dollar haircut first and see how good it was, then I would ask the barber to do the same or change it a little if he didn't do a very good job! The guy did a great job and I just got the same haircut! To be fair I told my companion the little plan I had after-wards.

Thursday was interesting! We went throughout the day as normal until about 5:00pm. We were in the middle of teaching a lesson when a bunch of people from another church just started showing up to the house! It was basically a repeat of Thanksgiving but with a different church! They all showed up and asked us to join their little church service! So we did! Almost everything their speaker said fell in with the beliefs of our church and it was really fun! We had marked for a dinner with a member after that so we headed straight over. We ate.....Cow foot soup with Pique! Now I'm usually not one for weird foods but the cow foot was actually pretty good! They took the hoof off so at least it didn't look like a foot. Pique is a fruit here. Think of a small yellow golf ball with a million tiny spikes inside ready to prick your tongue.that's pique. You have to scrape the outside of it with your teeth to eat it. if you bite into it all those little spikes go into your tongue and mouth and you have to have a doctor take them out because they are too small! It turns out I don't like the flavor of pique.

Sunday we were supposed to have a baptism but our investigator didn't show up so we are going to have to find out what happened. Also because the branch is part of the mission now we Elders are allowed to have official callings in the branch. One of the other Elders here was called to be the young men's first counselor! I will probably get called to something next week! That night we also had a great Family Home Evening! A bunch of different members showed up and even some non members! We all sat down and then instantly I was covered in a blanket of children! Literally! I had two on my lap, two holding each arm and two at my feet! If 93 degree weather wasn't hot enough...add all their body heat as well, ha but I loved it and the Sisters from the branch kept looking over, pointing and laughing.

3 Nephi 15:9

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week #29


Random Thought: Americans like exotic fruits like Passion Fruit or Star Fruit, but a lot of the people here like exotic fruits like apples.

Alright there really isn't much to tell this week but here we go!

Tuesday we went about our day as normal until about 6:00pm. We went with a member to contact a reference she gave us and when we arrived there we clapped our hands (that's the way they do doorbells here) a lady came out and after talking to her for a bit we found out that we were at the wrong house and that the house we wanted was actually right next door. So we went there and clapped our hands! No one was home...So we turned to leave and the lady we wanted to talk to was right there in the road walking toward us! Coincidence that she arrived about the same time as us? I think not! She invited us in and we found out that she had heard that we can give healing blessings and wanted one from us! So she called all her family over from the house next door and we gave her a blessing for the sick. It was really cool and we really felt the spirit! We stayed afterward and talked about how we are Americans and they asked a ton about what we are doing here in the middle of Brazil and why! It's the best when people do that. It really opens up the teaching opportunities. Then came the question EVERYONE asks,"Both of you have the name 'Elder'"? Ha we said yes. Then the next question is always,"Are you brothers?" So my companion said,"Twins!" This lady is kind of old and she doesn't see very well, so she said,"Well how marvelous!!" Haha we all started laughing and then told her we were kidding but it was really funny!

Wednesday we were KIDNAPPED!!! Ha kidding. We went to a members house and we were planning a Family Home Evening. Then all of the sudden she said,"Let's do it tonight!" So she grabbed her husband and we all hopped in the car and we went around all day inviting people to this family night we were planning. It was a little annoying at first because it was taking so much of our time but the family night ended up being a huge success! We had popcorn and cake and Passion Fruit Juice! A member gave a great lesson and all of the investigators had a great time.

The rest of the week wasn't very exciting until Saturday. We knew that the APs of the south and one of the mission presidents counselors was coming but they ended up coming really late and because of a lot of miscommunication we ended up doing very little on Saturday. When the counselor and the APs finally arrived we all went to the church to have a fireside. Well again because of a lot of miscommunication almost no one knew and only about 5 people showed up! So President Oliveira (the second counselor) rescheduled everything for the next day after church.
So Sunday we had church as normal and then after, we had two baptisms!!! WOO HOO! It was two kids from a part member family. Their little brother was there too and so as we are getting ready for the baptism the little brother, Claudeir (6 years old) comes up to me and says,"Can I be baptized too?" Well since he is only six I told him that he can but that he needs to wait until he is eight. He was really sad about this and walked away. We started the baptismal meeting and as we were walking to the baptismal font I realized that Claudeir wasn't with us! So I went through the chapel looking for him and I found him behind an open door crying! :´(
So I calmed him down and talked with him about Prophets and baptism. He cheered up and then we went and watched the baptism together, him in my arms.
The fireside that night was GREAT and it really got the members excited! It was announced that the branch is no longer a part of a stake but now it's part of the mission! Its going to help the progress so much!
Please read this scripture!
Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, January 7, 2013

Week #28


Random Thought: Elders know how to do magic!

Good week! Wednesday we had our day planned out and our first stop was a members house. So we went there and she talks with us for a while, gives us three or four references and then decided that she is going to go contact them with us right then! So she went to get ready (even here in Brazil it takes an eternity for a girl to get ready) and woke up her son so he could go with us in the car. I want to pause here and say that when you get a ride in a car here you realize how bloody far you walk each day! Seriously! We talked with a member and on average with all of our appointments we walk 10-15 miles each day depending how many appointments we have and where they are! So while we were driving in the car I just thought,"this is too easy". You Elders and Sisters in the States have it way easy!! Anyways we ended up contacting all the references she gave us and now we have a bunch of new investigators!

Now as my random thought said, all Elders know how to do magic. Also, all little kids know it! I've learned about four or five magic tricks out here already and I love to use the toothpick trick my dad taught me! Anyways, one of the families we contacted had four children and a fantastic way to break the ice with the kids is to call them over and do magic for them! It also gets the parents to open up a little too. So I did a few magic tricks and then we started the lesson! It was wonderful and we scheduled to go back there!

Thursday we stopped by some recent converts and the little boy there looked like he got punched right in the eye. So of course I asked him what happened and he said it was the wasps! They all showed me this big wasp nest they have in there backyard and told me that what happened was they were all throwing this fruit at each other and someone hit the wood right under the nest and the wasps were startled a little bit so they stung the little guy! So someone (I won't mention who...me) threw a rock at the nest, hit it dead on and yelled ,"RUN!" So Elder Bresciano sees me running around the corner with a HUGE cloud of wasps following me! I didn't know they were following ME until I saw his face with sheer terror on it. Then I started running faster! We ran out into the street and I stopped and none of the wasps were around me so I just started laughing. I looked over and Elder Bresciano still had about ten around him so he took off up the street while taking his tie off and then stopped and used his tie as a weapon and killed every single one of them! So we go back to the house and help kill some more with sandals and it was super fun! So I looked at one of the young men at the house and at the same time we just said,"again?" then we did it again! Haha good times. (Don't try this at home)

On Friday we had divisions and Elder Grantham and I went to a members house and then to a reference she had for us! We taught the first lesson and asked if she had any questions. She said yes and asked us what we thought about a verse she read in revelations about people having a mark on their foreheads or there hands. We asked her what she meant and she started talking about how she read on the Internet that the government might start putting computerized chips in peoples foreheads or hands and if they try to take it out they will die. So as you can imagine it was a weird subject to talk about. I didn't know how we resolved her doubts but after talking a little she didn't have any more questions!

Sunday!!! Sunday was weird. We went with the bus in the morning like we do every Sunday now but we kind of became discouraged because not a lot of people were getting on the bus. It's really discouraging when you work so hard during the week and then the investigators don't come to church. Then we arrived at the church and one of our investigators arrived at the same time! I was SOO happy! The meetings started off normal but after the sacrament we had testimony meeting. Well there was a man visiting and he is kind of...not all there. So he wanted to bare his testimony but our branch president said not to let him because he would preach things that aren't beliefs of the church. So this guy gets up to bare his testimony and we are trying to ask him not to but he was adamant that he was going to! So he did! Half of it was really nice but the other was really strange and he did say a few things that we don't believe. After he was done a few other people got up and bore really powerful testimonies and it brought the spirit back really strong, so it all turned out good!

John 14:15

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Week #27


Random Thought: I learned how to do a rubiks cube on Christmas day. Sweet!

Alright! I've got two weeks of stuff to cover! (week #26 was Christmas week and no letter that week because I skyped with my family instead)

First, Transfers!!! Everything is staying the same for the Elders in my area! Haha Elder Bresciano will stay my companion!!! I am super happy about that because we'vebeen doing great work!

Two weeks ago was kind of hectic. We had a mission conference for all the areas in the south of the mission so we had to travel to the main city here in the south calledCampo Grande. It was so much fun!! We stayed in our Zone Leaders house for the week and during our off time L learned how to play that monopoly deal game that Asa talked about already and it is so much fun! We will be playing that when I get home. Also I helped teach some of the other Elders how to play the game Settlers ofCatan! We had a good time at that house. The conference was super cool as well and its always fun to see all of the other missionaries! We had skits and food and talks from the President and his assistants! I have a bunch of pictures to send if I could get my email to work right!

There were also a bunch of meetings for my companion to attend because he is the district leader so I got to do a ton of divisions while I was there! They were all with an Elder named Elder Sehn! He is a Brazilian that came into the field with me and he is super cool! The first night we were doing divisions we started walking away from his house and after about 15 minutes of talking and walking I looked over at him and said,"Elder where's your tie?!" Ha, the expression on his face was priceless! He could not believe that he had actually forgot his tie at home! Luckily we were going to a members house so he asked to borrow a tie while we were there. The second day of divisions I did with him, he took me to a members house that is at the very top of this fifteen floor apartment building! So we got to go out on the roof and take pictures! I was scared to death about how high I was up and there was a ton of wind but it was awesome! We a took a bunch of pictures and again i'll see what I can do about getting them home.

Baptisms! Alright there's good and bad news. First we have three more baptisms marked for this Sunday! We are super excited about it! It's the rest of a family that we baptized a few weeks back so now the whole family will be members together! The bad news is that José, a man that we baptized two weeks ago, decided to run away before being confirmed and is drinking again. So now we are trying to find him so that we can work with him but we have no clue where he is! Please pray for him! We have been working a lot with him and we wanted him to continue progressing!

OH! A story from about two weeks ago! My Elder Bresciano and I took a young man who is going to get baptized with us to teach some of his family. Well as we were walking back to his house to drop him off at night we saw this drunk guy stop in the road. He was kind of crying and asked us for help, so we asked him why he needed help and he said that he was without Jesus. So I reached in my bag and pulled out a pass-a-long card with a picture of Jesus on it and said,"well now you have Jesus! When can we pass by your house to talk more with you when you´re not drunk?" So we got his address and went to shake his hand but he pulled each of us in for a hug and then gave each of us a huge kiss right on the ear! It was so funny! I LOVE MY MISSION!

Christmas was fantastic! I LOVE MY FAMILY SO MUCH! It was great to talk to everyone and to actually see your faces! AND SARAH! Thank you so much for being there! It was just a perfect Christmas!!!

New Years Eve we had a cool experience where we were talking about how its cool when get to hitchhike (we do that a lot) because its a cool way to do contacts and right as we got done talking about it a car pulled up asked if we were missionaries and then offered us a ride! He was super cool and invited us back to his house!

I love you all!

Exodus 4:10-11

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws