Mission Slideshow

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Week #87


Random Thought: I remembered today what my family calls an electric mixer.

Hey people! This week was great. Tuesday was a holiday so we didn't do much contacting but we had some great visits with some less active families. Wednesday was our district meeting. When we have district meetings we do one week here in Sorriso, then the next in Lucas do Rio Verde, which is the city where the Sisters in our district are serving. So we switch every week. Well the company that marks our passage wasn't working because of the holiday so we had to get up and get to the bus station so we could catch the 08:15am bus. BUT when we got there, there was no more room so we had to wait for the 10:00am bus. Lame. So we didn't get to Lucas until lunchtime. When we finally got to Lucas the Sisters came to get us so we could go to lunch and on the way to lunch all of the sudden a man saw us and yelled,"Elders!!!" He ran over and just said,"The Church is in this city?!" He explained how he was moving from São Paulo to Lucas and that he had no idea the church was there in Lucas!!! He was super happy because his whole family are members. We then continued to lunch and had a fantastic lunch and district meeting. Then we went home and spent the rest of the day proselyting.

The rest of the week was pretty calm. But we did a cool thing called "Big Bang". What we did is reach all of our goals for contacts, lessons, and new investigators in two days and then we have the rest of the week to focus on the people who are really interested in marriages. It was really cool and we got a lot done. One of the ladies we did contact with was VERY rude. We went up to her and told her that we were missionaries and asked if we could share a message with her. She said no and that we were wasting our time with her. So we smiled and tried to talk more but she kept giving rude excuses. So my companion stopped and said,"Look, we are paying money and time to be here to speak with you and we don't even know if we are going home alive and well one day. So please listen for a second." She softened up a little bit but still rejected us.

That's all for this week, but I have a testimony that rejection is a big part of missionary work. The greatest missionary ever, was rejected and nailed to a tree. I think we can handle a little rejection.

Romans 1:16

Com muito amor,
Elder Laws

Week #86


Random Thought: You can't eat lunch without a lunch calendar...

Here in Brasil it is very common for people to live together and have kids together their whole lives and not get married. BUT there are three families that we are teaching and after talking with them all three are ready to get married!!! Getting married here is pretty expensive and that is always an issue with the couple we teach. So there is a certain process that can be done to get married for free that we are working through to help out these families.

I don't quite understand the whole process because the identifying documents you need are different here. Basically we get all of their documents and take them to the public defense office. They look them over to see if they need anything else and to make sure they are valid. Also they make sure that the couple doesn't make more than R$2,100 per month (about $1050 US per month). Then they make a documents saying that the couple is poor enough to marry for free and give it to us. Then we go to the notary office to get everything verified and then the couple will sign a few papers an wait 30 days then sign more papers then they are married!!!! We are excited for them.

Thursday President came to do interviews. In my interview he told me that I will not end my mission as a zone leader but that I will train. He said that he must have "another Elder Laws" in his mission and I was to train a new missionary to be just like me. Ha! What a compliment! I asked if I could ask to end my mission in a certain city, but he said he already knew that I wanted to end in Cáceres (it's my favorite area) and not to worry about it. We'll see what happens!

On Friday we had our zone meeting. We have three duplas training and they are fired up and ready to go. So at a zone meeting the zone leaders each give a training. My part was about teaching simply and clearly for others to understand EXACTLY what you are saying. It was really fun and I felt the spirit very strong. After the meeting we asked each missionary to share what they thought and felt during the meeting and everyone said they felt inspired and excited to work. It was great!

Well really that's all we did this week! I know that families are meant to be together forever and that is what we are helping other to do.

Ether 12:4

Com muito amor,
Elder Laws

Week #85


Random Thought: We have hot showers now :)

So this week was like every other first week of the transfer. But it seem that I can never get a smooth transfer.

On Monday at 21:30 all three of the other missionaries in my house left to go to their new areas. Which left me alone. SO I cleaned my house extremely well! There was a small mountain of trash that I took out. I was happy! When I was done I just sat and enjoyed it. I then stayed up until 02:00 so I could get my companion. I left the house at 01:45 and took a taxi to the bus station and sat there and waited. When the clock said 03:45 I decided to call the office staff and ask what was going on. This was the conversation:

ME: Hey so it's 03:45 and I have been waiting since 02:00 for my companion. Where is he?

HIM: Oh I called all the zone leaders and told them that they would just get their companions when they come to Cuiabá for the leadership meeting.

ME: Really? I didn't receive a call, and I'm a zone leader.

HIM: I didn't call you?

ME: No.

HIM: Oh I am so sorry.

ME: No it's fine just please make sure and let everyone know next time.

So I went home to sleep. The next day Elder Bowers was supposed to come at 14:30. So I spent all morning studying and cleaning a bit more and I left to get him at 14:20. So I sat at the bus station and waited. I am getting good at that. Due to a bunch of problems he only arrived at 19:30! We went home and he got unpacked and talked for a while. Interesting fact: He met Asa before the mission and hung out with him a bit. He has even been to my old house in Vancouver! I like him a lot.

The next morning (Wednesday) I got a call at 05:00am from the office telling me that Elder Bowers companion arrived at the bus station. SO we went there and picked him up! He is a good guy. He is from Maryland his name is Elder Smittenaar. So we went back home and he got unpacked and we all showered and then lunch!!

Lunch was at Sister Rosana's house. She has two daughters that are 15 and 18 years old. While we were talking, one of the girls asked whether I had a girlfriend at home, and if we are engaged or just dating.

I said,"Well I have a Plan A, which is to marry a certain girl." Then I jokingly said," But if that doesn't work out I don't know what I'll do. I might just come back to Brazil and get aBrazilian." I said it just joking and everyone started laughing and then Rosana (the mom) said,"Come back and get one here in my house!" But she was being serious!! Hahaha, her daughters turned red and said,"MOM!! I can't believe you said that!" She said,"What!? it's every mom's dream to have a son in law that is a returned missionary!" It's rare in this part of the country to have a returned missionary. It was really funny.

Then at 15:30 I left to Cuiabá to go to my meeting. I got about an hour outside of the city and my bus broke down. So we had to get out of the bus and wait for an hour and a half until the mechanic got there to fix it. There were a lot of people complaining. Then I finally got on my way to Cuiabá.

I arrived in Cuiabá at 02:00am and just went to sleep. The meeting the next day was great and I got my companion and we went back to Sorriso. We had a great Friday, Saturday and Sunday helping him get to know the area. Sunday was great!!!!!! The number of people at church was 68!!! When I got here it was only 36 people attending. The members are working with us and working hard and it is really paying off.

On Sunday we also had a baptism in the branch. Not from the missionaries. They asked if Elder Bowers and I knew how to sing. I said yes. So they asked if we could sing right before the ordinance. I accepted! We sang "Nearer My God to Thee" and harmonized. I don't think I have ever sung that well in my life. The Spirit was so strong and everyone was crying! It was such an amazing experience.

I want you all to know that I have a testimony of patience. I had to use it a lot this week and I invite you all to use yours. ALWAYS.

Romans 5:19

Com muito amor,
Elder Roman Laws