Mission Slideshow

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Week #43


Random Thought: Always smile and be nice to the person who works at the DMV. They catch enough flak.

Great week!! Transfers! I am staying with Elder Paredes here in Cáceres.

Tuesday I received a call from the Branch President here in Cáceres saying that the Mission President wanted to put two more missionaries in this city. So after talking for a bit I learned that it was conditional to me finding another house and furnishing it for all six of us to live in. So Tuesday Elder Paredes and I went to look at houses and found one that was really good and pretty cheap. So we started preparations to have the mission office start the paper work and the next day, Wednesday we were told that the owner decided not to rent the house and that he was going to live there instead.

So it was already planned to do divisions on Wednesday and I was going with Elder Kennington, a greeny. So we spent the afternoon doing contacts and getting prices for fridges and washing machines and so on. It turned out to be a great day and we got a lot done.

Thursday we still hadn't found a house so Elder Paredes and I went house hunting again! We found one on a realtor's website so we went to their office and asked about it and ended up going to look at it. Turns out its PERFECT. Everything is new its kind of small and cheap! BUT its an hours walk from the church...so of course we chose it and started the paperwork! After doing everything I could I called the office and told them what I did and what they needed to do next and we closed the contract and had the keys in hand the next day! The finance secretary said,"Holy cow...that was the fastest contract to rent a house in the history of the mission." After getting the house we just had to get the electricity and water turned back on in the house. We finished up what we had to do today and tomorrow we move to the new house!! I am super excited!! This was great practice for the real world when I get home and get married!

Friday and Saturday were great because it was back to normal missionary work instead of playing house hunting monopoly. Friday we were walking and after getting rejected a few times we started praying for a miracle. Then we turned the corner and heard voices in a house and decided to clap there to see if they were interested in hearing a message. Out came two college girls (the college is super good here) and said we could teach them. So we put the chairs out in front of the house and taught a great lesson and they were actually interested in the message and not us! At the end we asked one of them to pray and while she was praying one more girl showed up. She didn't hear the message so we asked if we could come back on Saturday. They said that "coincidentally" they were going to have a study group there on Saturday and that we could come by right after they were done studying. So we marked and were on our way.

Saturday we went back to that house and had a lesson with EIGHT people all from different houses! They all participated in the lesson so we are excited to see what happens!

Sunday we waited at church in the morning and out of nowhere a young man we invited to church ONCE, just showed up! It was super cool! So we took him in and stayed with him throughout the meetings.

Today we were asked to go speak in a school about the differences in the US and Brazil. Nothing prepared or anything but more of a question answer session. It was soooooo much fun! They asked all about the government and health care and houses and security it was a super interesting experience! There was also a young woman from Germany answering the same questions!

Anyway this week was fantastic!

Moroni 10:33-34

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week #42


Random Thought: I like big dogs, not small ones.

Great week! Thursday the Zone leaders came to stay with us and do divisions for two days and it was awesome! Elder W. Santos was my companion for the day and we had some wonderful experiences. First, lunch was at that one far house where we have to cross the crazy bridge and the zone leaders thought it was super cool! So we took pictures with them there. Then we had a few appointments but the best one was with an old man whose real name I do not know! He just told us to call him Casquinha, which means little ice cream cone. Silly right? Anyways he is the dad of a recent convert in the branch and he's got some major problems with his lungs so he can't really leave the house. BUT he is progressing with he gospel! The first time we went there he had already read 124 pages of the Book of Mormon and when we went back on Thursday he had read up to page 334! This guy is great! He is also very intelligent and always has really good questions about how things happened in the book or where Christ was during certain parts of the book! Its wonderful! So we talked and taught for about an hour and a half before we left.

After that lesson we had to walk an hour back home so that we could get to our house and I could grab my white clothes before we went to the church for an activity! It was the same activity we did in Rondonópolis a while back where we made three rooms represent the three kingdoms of glory! This time I was in the Celestial Kingdom and then at the end we sang "Mais perto quero estar" or "Nearer my God to thee" and it was wonderful. Some people didn't even want to leave the room after!!

On Friday Elder Paredes and I left to work just like normal. We visited a family that was baptized a few months ago and they are the best! They always have great questions and stories about the Book of Mormon! The last time we were there they had questions about sins and their children and how if they don't teach and raise their children correctly they will have to answer for the sins of their children. So we used scriptures and stories to teach. This time we went there and they were super excited to share a scripture they had found just by opening the scriptures and just pointing to a verse. It was Jacob 3:10:

"Portanto vos lembrareis de vossos filhos, de como lhes afligistes o coração por causa do exemplo que lhes haveis dado; e lembrai-vos também de que podeis, pelavossa imundície, levar vossos filhos à destruição; e seus pecados serão amontoados sobre a vossa cabeça no último dia."


"Wherefore, ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts because of the example that ye have set before them, and also, remember that ye may, because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins be heaped upon your head on the last day."

It was so wonderful to see the faith growing in them! They believe for sure the Book of Mormon is true! After that lesson was over we started walking and saw the neighbor outside the house so we did a contact and they invited us into the house to teach! So we did and they accepted baptism! Yes sometimes it happens that fast when people have been prepared by the Lord to hear his message! Well see how it goes now!

So I don't know when, but we were told that two more missionaries will be added to this city soon and that they will only work with less active members! I asked President if I could be one of those Elders to work with the less active members because I love it so much, but we'll see what happens. Sunday was great! We have a new ward mission leader who is great! We had a meeting right after church and he basically said he wants to get the members working more so that we don't have to worry at all about retention! He has a lot of good ideas and I am super excited to be working with him now! Right after that meeting we went to a barbecue we organized in the home of a less active member! We bought all the food and drinks days before and gave a message during the barbecue, to all the guests that attended! It was wonderful!

Enos 1:4-8

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week #41


Random Thought: There was a lizard on my soap on Friday.

Well this week started off great! Then it ended ok...

I'll start with Wednesday! Wednesday was cool because I did divisions with the other dupla and it was super fun! I went with Elder Reed to appointments and to do contacts and just normal stuff! His dupla has an investigator who has been looking at the church for a while now named Kelly. She is very smart and really has read all the pamphlets and is reading the Book of Mormon. Well she believes that it all is true but has never accepted a baptismal date. So I went there with Elder Reed to interview her and too see if I could help her with her doubts. The interview was SO spiritual! I feel like I wasn't talking! It was all the Spirit! After the interview she said that she will think about when she would like to be baptized! I was SO happy!

After a family home evening that night with puppies we headed home! As we got closer we passed the bus station by our house and this lady motioned to me. I thought she was just waving so I waved to her! Then she shook her head and motioned for me to come over to her. So I called Elder Reed over and we said hi. She started talking and my first thought was,"Wow this lady is crazy, shes just talking jibberish." Then she said the word," Estoy" which is Spanish! So I started paying attention a little more and found that I could understand about 85% of what she was saying! People I understand THREE languages! that's nuts! So we talked for a little bit and found out that she is a member passing through and that sometimes she stops here on the weekends and wanted to know where the church is so she could attend on Sunday. We called Elder Paredes over because she didn't understand a lot of Portuguese and he speaks Spanish and he explained everything to her! Then she told us what happened. She arrived in Cáceres and was supposed to wait there for her friend who was coming from Cuiabá and wanted to know when her friends bus was supposed to arrive but didn't understand a lot of the language. So she started praying and Elder Reed and I walked by!! SO cool! So anyways we called President Reber to ask permission to stay with her until her friend arrived so that she could have someone to talk to and help her if she needed it and she wouldn't be left alone on the street at night. He gave us permission!

Thursday was the day we went super far to lunch over the torn apart bridge! After lunch we started over the bridge and I looked down into the little stream and saw a biggish snake! It was dead! So when we got to the other side we decided to fish it out with a stick to take pictures! Well it was really alive and I got BIT! ...KIDDING. We took pictures with it and then left it there! It was pretty cool. Then we tried to find the house of someone who asked for a visit and as we were walking a guy motioned us to come to his house. So we went over and started talking with him! Well after a little bit we found out that he is a recovering drug addict and that he just liked to talk religion. He was a little crazy because of how many drugs he has done but something that happened really hit me. We said we had to leave about 10 times but he kept asking us to stay and I couldn't help but come to this conclusion. This guy is in darkness and he knows it, and when he talks religion he can feel the light. So when we said we had to leave he tried to keep us, or the light, in his house as hard as he could. Sometimes those situations are uncomfortable but if you put yourself in their shoes you see why they are acting the way they are.

Friday I gained a stronger testimony about agency. We went to teach one of our investigators and she is a pretty big lady and has a bunch of problems in her life. So I used my life as an example! About how I was really overweight and sad and without thinking about it I said this,"...and then after years and years of this and asking 'why me' I had a sort of realization. This is ALL because of me. A lot of people ask why God would let their lives be bad or why he would have this plan for their lives when in fact it was never His plan. He has a perfect plan for each and everyone of us! BUT WE are the ones who ruin it. If we choose to do whats right we will fulfill the plan laid before us by Him. If we do wrong things we can't fulfill that plan and automatically we have a new one that isn't as good..." When I got done talking she was crying and said she understood. She said she would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

After that appointment we walked an hour home in the cool, pouring rain. And I loved every step!

Jacob 3:1

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Week #40


Random Thought: What kills mosquitoes the best? Electricity!!!

Alright! What a hectic week!!! This letter will be VERY uneventful!!!!

So I will start with Monday even though I already talked about it. I was told I was going to leave at 2:00pm on Monday but then the protests started up so they canceled my bus and told me that I would travel on a later day. I went back to the area called Parque Cuiabá to stay with adupla until I could travel! So I stayed there on Tuesday as well and then on Wednesday the office called again to tell me that at 2:00pm on Wednesday I would leave!

So I packed up my bags and waited until about 1:45pm then I called the office to see what was going on and it turns out that the only cab the office ever calls (because he is a member and knows where all the missionaries live) was broken down! So they rescheduled my bus again to be at 6:00pm that night! Cool! So I went to go get a hair cut and visit with the other dupla and then we went back to the house. The cab came at 5:20pm and due to traffic and rain I missed my bus!! So I went to the mission office to see what they would do and where I would stay. My bus was then rescheduled...again for 5:00am on Saturday morning! So because I was with the office staff we didn't get to their house until 1:00 in the morning because it was the day of the transfers. So I decided not to sleep because I was getting up at 4:00am anyways! Well I stayed up all night and then showered then took all of my bags to the street at 4:30am to wait for the taxi. Well I waited and waited and then at 5:00am he hadn't shown up and I had missed my bus...again.

So I went back inside and told the office staff and they figured out that the normal taxi guy had called someone else to get me but he didn't show! So I went to the bus station with one of the secretaries to buy another ticket! The bus was now leaving at 9:00pm and the secretary was waiting in the bus station to make sure that I got on the bus! He reserved my seat with a different bus company than normal because the one we normally use didn't have another bus until 6:00pm that night. SOOOO finally I got on my bus at 9:00am on Thursday! As I was getting on the bus the secretary stopped me and said,"Alright remember that there are TWO bus stations in Cáceres. You need to get off on the SECOND bus station in downtown. ok?" I said ok and I was off! So at about 1:00pm I arrived to the first bus station on the outskirts of the city and thought,"Oh this looks cool! But I have to get off at the second bus station." So I waited. Then the bus passed through the city without stopping and I was on my way to Vilhena again! I got up and went to the bus driver to ask how far the next town was and if I could get off there and get a ride on the next bus that was going to Cáceres. He said that the next town was about an hour away and that i could get a ride on the returning bus at 3:00pm, so i decided to do that. BUT the next bus going back didn't show up til 6:00pm! I got on it and finally arrived in Cáceres and was picked up by the mission president who was already there. WOO!

Friday we had a great activity here! A barbecue with volleyball and swimming and soda it was awesome!!

Saturday and Sunday we worked normal and today we are p-daying it up!

I love you all! Remember to be patient because there could be a little Elder in Brazil in a worse situation!

Alma 47

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws