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