Random Thought: PORTUGUÊS! :D
This week was FANTASTIC!!!! Its super hard to know where to start!
After I got off the computer last week I went back home to eat some lunch and as I was eating I got a call from the Manaus Mission secretary. He asked if his missionaries arrived safely. I was totally confused! We were told by our office staff that we wouldn't have any missionaries arriving until Wednesday! So after talking for a while I learned the entire plan. Four Elders were to arrive on Monday. These Elders are the ones who were to eventually replace us, so from Monday until Wednesday we were to show them the area so that when four more Elders arrived on Wednesday we would all know the area enough to work! So we picked up the Elders from Manaus and just went to work!
The branch president went to pick up the two assistants and Asa and his companion at about 1:30 and we were to meet them at lunch at about 2:00. So as I am walking to lunch I see the car with these Elders just pass by. Since we were almost there I watched them all get out of the car and then three of them started pointing cameras at Asa. He wouldn't turn around to look at me while I was walking toward him so I just started yelling things like,"Hey are you afraid to look at me? I'm not that ugly!" but he just wouldn't look! Finally as I got close to him he turned around and I gave him the biggest hug I could!! Then the first thing he said was,"ow! you're hurting me!" Ha so I apologized and let go. Some things never change. I don't remember everything we said but we were just smiling the entire time! PICTURES TO COME! Then we went in to have lunch and everyone was making comments about how there are no similarities between Asa and I (I almost wrote me and Asa but I heard Dave Fannings voice in my head saying "Asa and I", hehe!)
After lunch we went to check the Manaus Elders into a hotel and drop off there stuff and then take the assistants to see our house. After that it was TO WORK!!!!!!!!!! We had a BLAST!! We talked with almost everyone that we passed! We arrived at one house and a lady was scrubbing a rug and we walked up and asked,"Would you like some help?" Of course she said she was good but we didn't take no for an answer and Asa just walked in took the brush and started scrubbing! So I walked in after him and sat down against a little wall and started to talk with her and when there was a pause in the conversation Asa whispered,"Teach her!" So I did!! We got her name and her address and taught about Baptism and the Holy Spirit and then had a wonderful prayer! It was so fun and so amazingly spiritual at the same time!
As we were leaving that house there were about five kids across the street and one of them said,"hey can you come cleaning my house next?" He said it jokingly to impress his friends but we looked at each other and said,"Yeah sure! Wheres your house?" He looked at us funny and then we crossed the street to talk to all of them. Asa asked if they had been baptized and none of them had so we started teaching about baptism! Two more missionaries came by and helped us teach and by then end of the lesson they all said that they wanted to be baptized! The area missionaries will follow up with them and their parents more. Next we stopped and talked with a man and his daughter who were just sitting outside their house and asked if we could share a message and they said yes but that they were already strong in another church. So we went in and had a lesson and then asked if we could come by and teach again but he just flat out told us no. So we bore our testimonies and left.
As we were walking in the street after-wards we ran into a member girl and talked a bit and then we decided to go to her house to talk with her dad. As we talked about baptism and the spirit Asa paused and said,"Irmão you have problems with drinking don't you?" his daughters jaw dropped and she said,"how did you know that?" Then he just said,"the spirit!" so we continued and it turns out he knows he needs to be baptized but that he just lacks a desire. So we closed the lesson and scheduled another time to go back. Amazing!!
We had time after that so Asa asked me where we could go next. I thought for a second and said there was a house nearby with less active members and that it would be cool to pass by there with him. So we walked and talked about our different missions and how we each could better our teaching and our work until we arrived at the house. We clapped at the gate and only one person was home so we asked if we could enter. This man is the only person in his family who still isn't baptized so we started talking and asked if we could leave a message. We had a prayer then asked why he wasn't baptized. He said he just didn't want to! So we asked if he believed that the Book of Mormon is true and he said yes! Asa said a few things then I started talking and the spirit was sooo strong! Then right in the middle of me talking he said something quietly so I stopped and said,"what?" he said," Deixa quieto." or "Be quiet." then ,"there has probably been 50 missionaries that have passed here and haven't baptized me and you wont either." So we bore our testimonies that he knows the truth and that one day if he isn't baptized we will have to bear testimony that we did all that we could. We prayed on our knees and then we left and went home for the night. Asa was staying in a hotel so when his companion got there we gave each other a hug and said goodnight and he went back to the hotel.
I woke up at the normal 6:30, showered and started studying. Asa was supposed to meet up with me at the house at 8:30 so we could leave to and appointment at 9:00. I wasn't paying attention to the time because I got super into what I was studying and then someone in the house said,"Hey Elder Laws, phone. It's Elder Laws!" So I grabbed it and Asa said to go without him because there were "problems" he had to take care of at the hotel. So I left with Elder Nascimento and when we met up at lunch I asked Asa what the "problems" were and his exact words were,"Oh our alarm didn't go off so we didn't wake up til 8:30" hahaha I just laughed. He made it sound a lot more serious on the phone. Lunch was great! MOM I am going to say this honestly. Asa is eating enough food. His problem is that when he moves, even just his big toe, his amazingly fast metabolism burns all his calories. But I swear he eats just as much as me!
After lunch we went to work again! A lot of our appointments fell but one of the places we went was the house of Dyozffi! Pronounced Jozephi. Weirdest spelling I have ever seen! We talked with a few young men and Dyozffi's mom and had a wonderful lesson! We left the Book of Mormon for her to read and she said she'll read it so we both hope something come of it.We went through the rest of the day doing contacts and giving people pamphlets.
It was about the same as Thursday but we also had appointments with Cleydson and Carlos! They are brothers and said already that they would get baptized so we had interviews with them! Both of them showed desire to get baptized and the interviews went really well! So we scheduled their baptisms for the next day at about 4:00ish! We were so excited!!!
I went with one of the Elders from church to go to píck up our investigators and take them to the huge conference we were having with all the members in the city and the mission Presidents. Well one decided not to go and Cleydson and Carlos were gone because their mom was having her baby!!! So we went back to the church and watched the meeting! It was fantastic! The presidents were explaining why this change with the missions was happening and putting all their doubts at ease. President Klein brought Asa and I to the pulpit to show an example of how special this week was and that we would all remember it! After the meeting there were three baptisms that Asa and I performed and we had 65 people there to watch! It was incredible! This is the picture you got of Asa and I dress in WHITE!!
In the morning I went to get Asa from the hotel but I was told that he was going to the afternoon sacrament and not the morning one. So I went to church and when I got there I asked for a ride again to go and get Cleydson and Carlos for church so that they could go and then get baptized afterward. I got to there house and only Carlos was there and he said he would go. I asked if he knew where Cleydson was and he said yes so we went looking for him in the car. We found him in the street on his bike and asked if he was going with us and he said he would but he wanted to go home to drop off his bike and change clothes. So we all went back to his house and then to church! We baptized them after the meeting!!!! The rest of the day was pretty calm with a bunch of family night activities! I left to the bus at 9:30pm for Cuiaba. Asa and I just hugged for a long time and told each other that we loved each other while people took pictures and then I left!
This week was truly a miracle and both Asa and I realized how much we love each other and that we are so lucky to have each other for family. I will NEVER forget this week and how blessed I was to have my bother as a companion.
Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws