Missionary blog of Sister Emily Heyer, Brazil Campinas Mission, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Last Email

This is my last email before I am home! :) 

Just wanted to thank you all for your love and support these past 18 months. This was the best decision that I could have made for my life. I am excited to be home and see the differences that these experiences have made in my life.

A mission was not something I planned to do in my life.  It really was the furthest thing from my mind. But I prayed to know if it was something I should do, and I could not deny the answer I received.  Now it’s the only thing on my mind. It seems impossible to close a chapter of your life that was so....crucial. That literally changed EVERYTHING about my life. There is a mormon ad called "watch your step" I think. Although that exact situation in the message does not apply to me....the idea of where my life would have taken me, and where it will go now is almost as drastic. I can literally see playing out in my mind how THIS decision to serve a mission has changed my eternal course and refined my journey back to Heavenly Father. I know that there will be even more effects of the mission that I can’t even see at this moment because I am still here. President talked about that in the interview. He said that I can’t even begin to imagine how much MORE I will see as a result of my service in the next few years. That is a beautiful future blessing. I know that I was supposed to come here, to Brasil, and meet the people I have met. I know that the Lord is pleased with my work.

This week, I said goodbye to many people who I have taught. One woman told me, crying, that I will never imagine the difference that I have made in her life. She is right. I cant imagine it. I just did what the Lord sent me to do. I am humbled by this experience and grateful each day that I have been lead and guided to make changes in my life to grow spiritually. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is the true church of Christ on the Earth. I know that for who takes a chance to just hear the message, and ask God if the message is true, will receive an answer for themselves that it is true. It is a message that brings eternal happiness and light to your life that you cant even begin to imagine. I love this gospel,  I love the Lord, and love each of you for making a difference in my life. <3 

See you soon! <3

Sister Heyer 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Will She Still Remember Me?

Only one more email until I am home! 14 days! 

I just finished my very last interview with President Perrotti. It was wonderful. I am very excited to come home. But there is still some work to be done. 

This week was lovely. Not a lot happened. No one went to church. No one really accepted our visit. BUT we did have two visits with two people who....maybe just needed a smile and a friend. We visited one man whose wife died 2 months ago from Cancer. He lives all alone now. We taught him and his son the plan of salvation. They were very touched. The son asked a question that I will never forget because it was a question that I have never even considered....

"When I see my mom again....will she still remember me?"

I almost cried in that instant. It amazes me sometimes at what the world doesnt not know or is not familiar with. As someone who always grew up in the church, these questions came with simple answers from the very beginning. I am so grateful to bring some light into the lives of those who are simply in darkness because they dont know the truth. 

We also visited a little old man whose wife died 6 months ago. He is 90 years old and lives all alone. NOVENTA! That is really impressive. When we knocked on his door....he walked down his driveway, saw us, and just started bawling. We helped him sit down on the ledge by the driveway and we sat at his feet and talked with him for 40 minutes or so. Just asking him about his life. We shared a scripture and told him that he would see his wife again. We prayed with him. When we left he was smiling and even laughing. I don’t know if this man will live long enough to be baptized and come to church, he can barely walk anymore.....but I am content just knowing that he is happier than he was before. The Lord is merciful with his children. He loves each one of them so much. 

These experiences are just small events of a very uneventful week....but as I always say....they were the events that most mattered. I love my mission. I am excited to go home and start on my next mission....but there are things that I have learned here that I will never forget and will thank the Lord for, for the rest of my life. This was the best decision I could have ever made. 

Have a great week! <3 See you all reallllll soon. ;) 

Sister Heyer

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2 Emails Left!

It’s getting closer! 

This week was a lot of knocking on doors. We are searching. It’s the last days of work in the vineyard for me so we are working non stop and trying to ignore the fact that it is 110 degrees every day....starting at 7:30 am. ;P It’s a real challenge.

One thing I learned this week....the Lord is merciful. 

I asked myself many times this week: Why am I always surprised when the Lord answers my prayers? He is our Father. He loves us. He WANTS us to be happy. So why do I always become so surprised when things work out? 

I have decided to focus this week on my attitude. Focus on being more positive. Focus on truly trusting the Lord. I know that things happen for a reason, that there are no coincidences, and that the Lord has our best interest in mind when He guides our lives. 

As I finish my mission I have been trying to pay close attention to my relationship with my Heavenly Father and recognize how I have changed. On the outside I look a bit older, probably a little chubbier and definitely more burnt, but apart from that I don’t think I look much different. However, on the inside, I feel like a completely different person. This was something that I did not fully expect. But then again, if life is meant to be a series of progression, change was the only sure outcome of these 18 months. I am excited to see where the Lord leads me next. There are good things to come when you have a Father in Heaven who loves you and guides your path. 

Have a great week everybody! 
Sister Heyer

Check out this beautiful video.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Last Days

[As the days until Emily gets home tick by rather quickly her emails get shorter and shorter.  We are sure it is because she is busy filling her last days with mission work and saving all the stories for when she gets home.  We are so excited to have her home!  Here are her fourth and third to last emails home...]

October 20

It has been 40 degrees every day, all week. And at night the winds rip through the city like The Wizard of Oz and there is lightening. But no rain. It is hotter than hot and I am more and more excited to feel the cold in a few weeks. However, I think that after being so used to this heat I might die the minute I step off the plane. ;P Minor detail. 

This week I was transferred and moved into my new and last area, Iguatemi, (yep....returned!!!!) with Sister P. Sister P is from Fortaleza and is the funniest person I have ever met. We laugh every single minute of every single day which keeps us alive in this sun. We have consumed at least 100 popsicles this week and have taught many many lessons melting on people´s couches.

 We also had 2 baptisms this weekend, a couple named L and N. They are excellent and full of faith. They bore their testimonies and we had the privilege to participate in one of the most spiritual and beautiful baptism meetings I have ever been too. The ward was very supportive and the talks were spot on. I got to sing, which is always fun, and they were so happy. L cried the whole meeting. haha. :) They are amazing people and they have taught me so much.....funny role switch. 

Cute story a member shared about his grandkids......Their grandma was in the hospital after having a heart attack and they were at school. That night the teacher sent them home with a note that said, "Today *Fernanda (4) and *Guilerme (5) did not accept a popsicle after lunch. When I asked them why they would not eat they said that they were going to "fast for grandma" until 3:00 pm so they would not eat or drink anything until then. Lunch was at 12:00. And the afternoon snacks are given at 3:00. At 3:00 they participated in snack time. Thought you should know that your children have a lot of faith." 

I thought that was just too sweet. The simplicity of a child, where even just a 3 hour fast of faith and dedication can make a big difference. Their grandma is home now and doing better than ever. 

I am loving my last area. I have 4 more emails home before I am actually home. I am excited and nervous. I am making the best out of every moment here and trying not to count down the days because it just makes it go by slower. ;P I love you all and have a great week! 

Sister Heyer

October 27

This is my third to last email. :) Three weeks. :) 

This week R was baptized. It was a beautiful baptism. We literally saw on her face how she was cured by baptism. All of the pains she had from the death of her son were washed away in that water. She forgave the Lord for "taking her son" and is learning how to accept the will of the Lord in her life. Her baptism was beautiful. 

This week we are on the hunt for new investigators. Wish us luck. 

Sorry it is so short. The best part of the week and the only part I really remember was R’s baptism. :) Which is exactly how it should be. :) 

Have a good week! See you all very very soon. :) 


Sister Heyer

Sunday, October 19, 2014

But for a Small Moment

This week was a bit tough. Physically and emotionally. The work didn't go as well as we hoped and I have never been so exhausted in my life. But next week is a new week. :) 

-Monday I had the chance to go to Campinas and visit with various recent converts and inactive members that I worked with in Castelo. It was such a wonderful experience to see them again. Sheila, bless her heart, even cried when she saw me. We had the chance to chat for a good 2 hours, it being p-day, and catch up on what is new with her family. They are preparing to receive their Patriarchal blessings and be sealed in the temple. They are aiming for November 22nd....the last sat. of my mission so that I can go. We are praying that this date will work out. :) Bernadete did not know that I was coming and we had a blast sneaking up on her in her kitchen. She was floored! She didn't talk for a good 3 minutes out of shock....just kept hugging me. It was wonderful to see her again. 

I also got to spend the night with my dear Ware who left today for home. We stayed up later than we should getting our last mission chat in. It was wonderful to talk to her, but of course left me very depressed. Thankfully she only lives a few hours drive away, otherwise I might have died saying goodbye. There are few people in this world who have helped me and loved me more than Sister Ware. This month will be a challenge knowing she is not here but I am immensely happy for her that she served with honor and is now on her way to some long naps and pedicures. ;P <3 

Tuesday was my last multizone meeting. It was a wonderful meeting. But was difficult. I had to bear my last testimony and afterwards we took pictures and everyone was saying goodbye and asking me what I will do next. I think it all started to really hit me in that moment that 1. I don’t know what I will do next..... and 2. I am leaving. How do you just say goodbye to 18 months of your life. I am currently in mission limbo.....half saying goodbye and being told my flight plans to go home....and half being told to keep going because I still have 5 weeks left. Talk about torn emotions. It’s a challenge I was not expecting but I am adjusting. 

This week I was also informed that I will be transferred. Something that I was definitely NOT expecting. But the Lord clearly has other plans for me than I had for myself. I know that He has prepared very specific challenges for me in my new area but that He is also preparing a way for me to be more blessed and grow even more, for the last time on the mission. It will be a struggle but I know it is what He needs me to do now, so I will do it. I am excited, but.....very very exhausted. VERY. I have never felt so physically drained in my whole life. 

This week the heat came back. In full force. 38 degrees C already at 8:00 in the morning. Or....100.4 in F in case you are thinking that that isn’t very hot.....Bad news….I'm even more drained. Good news....I have lost 6.5 pounds in 4 days. If this keeps up Ill be smaller than Dorey when I get home! ;P haha. 

Oh quick cool story. A guy stopped us in the park this week and told us he is visiting from another city and that he is a recent convert. He then told us his story. He was a pastor for the baptist church. He was earning excellent money, he had tons of success, and even got his own apartment paid for by the church. Well, he had a certain difficulty come up in His church and he said that he came to the moment where he needed to know if he was really preaching the right things and if his church was true. He prayed....and felt that it wasn't right. Shortly afterwards he met the missionaries. He read the book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price in 3 months. He quit his job, lost his apartment, and all of his friends. His congregation was furious. He said that he tried to explain to them that he had taught them all he knew and all he knew to be true but that that was only to a certain point. He had shared ALL he had with them, but now he is learning more and seeing that there is MUCH more than he had to share with them. Many actually followed him, met the missionaries, and were baptized. Many cut all contact with him forever. He said that he knows with every fiber of his being that the church is true. He studied theology for 6 years, and all that he learned fits perfectly with the doctrine or is even further explained because of the teachings of the church. He said he understands to a small degree what Joseph Smith went through to come to the truth and that although he sacrificed everything, he wouldn’t trade it for anything. Oh and btw.....he is only 26 years old. It was an incredible story. I am so grateful for this tender mercies to meet people that can change your life just through their simple conversion story. He is an incredible person and I am grateful that we were in that park at the right time, to meet him and hear his story. 

Well....that is it for this week I think. I love you all. Have a good week!

Sister Heyer


Sunday, October 12, 2014

If there are no goats...then the week is great.

Well, this week was normal! I know....such a bummer for my faithful readers. ;P haha. General Conference was the highlight of the week! An excellent conference with MANY inspired talks that truly helped me. I strongly encourage those who did not have a chance, or simply did not want to watch, to take a look at some of my favorites when published on the site in a few days or less. 

Favorites:Elder Chi Hong Wong, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Calos A. Godoy, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. 

We had many opportunities this week to do family home evenings with many members. It was a week full of visiting members and getting to know them better. I think many times we, as missionaries, get so hung up in the blur of new investigators and the basic rhythm of the work that we forget to "strengthen the unit in which we serve". We cannot do this work alone, nor should we. I liked what Elder Bednar said about how missionaries help members to fulfill their sacred responsibility to share the gospel. It seems like we were one step ahead of Elder Bednar this week because THIS was exactly our focus of the week. We took more time to visit each member, get to know them, and ask them their availability to go on visits with us. We talked about our investigators and helped them to feel as excited as we are about their progress and the new friends that they will have the chance to make. Or at least, that was the goal. Whether or not it worked or not will only be apparent in the next few weeks as we work harder to include them more in our work. :) There are some wonderful members in our ward. I really hope that I will have the chance to finish my mission here. I will find out on Sunday about transfers and new comps and such. I hope that nothing will be changed. 

Well I love you all. Tomorrow I give my very last testimony at our multizone meeting. And I will also sing. It’s a strange feeling to only have 6 weeks left after 18 long and wonderful months. I wish I could hit pause and soak it all in for a minute, but before I know it I will be on a plane, finishing one chapter and on to the next. :) Im trying to make the very best of it. Like Elder Holland said in conference about Mary, "She hath done what she could." (Mark 14:8) May each of us look to, do what we can, to help ease the burdens of someone around us. Take the challenge to find someone in need and serve them. By doing so, we serve the Lord! 

Have a good week! 

Sister Heyer

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Watch Where You Step

Well....this week was interesting. 

We worked our butts off and had a wonderful week....until Friday. We had lunch at a members home who lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere. It was a delicious lunch and wonderful company. She has a goat, 2 geese, 4 dogs, 20+ cows, 50+ chickens and roosters, baby chickens, horses, and a variety of other interesting wild life. She showed us around her farm (which was very beautiful) and then took us to her garden to pick fresh lettuce to help make the salad. That’s when the adventures began. 

As I was picking lettuce I suddenly felt as if 100 needles were being pressed into my feet and ankles. I looked down to see that I had planted myself right in the middle of an ant hill and that they were now sending troops of hundreds to attack my poor feet. Thankfully, because of my nametag, I kept my cool and stepped aside and calmly asked my companion to please help me brush off the hundreds of biting ants before they consumed my whole body. She, of course, screamed....and we started to swat them off together. Well...with my feet burning but a smile on my face we started to walk back to the house. However, we were not informed that these 2 geese are angry, jealous, and proud animals and our lack of attention on them sent them running out of the coop with blood in their eyes. I was bitten on my leg twice by the monster. Finally we escaped into the house and I excused myself to the bathroom to wash my feet and examine the damage of the bite (thankfully only left a bruise like when you pinch your skin). The welts of the bites were already becoming apparent though and the itching had started. Wonderful. 
We ate lunch and then we were invited to meet her goat. Well you would think by now I would have known it’s better for me to just stay inside...but NO...missionaries must please everyone. So I went to meet the goat. He loved me. So much that he almost ate my dress. Thankfully I came out with my dress still intact and all my limbs accounted for. Next time though I can’t be so sure that I will have such luck. Next time I will come with armor. To seal the farm adventure it started to POUR and made it impossible for us to leave until almost 4:30 in the afternoon, making us loose almost a whole day of work. 

To really put the cherry on top I got home and noticed that not only were my ant bites quite swollen and horrible (I made it out alive with only 12 on one foot and 8 on the other), but the rest of my body was suddenly red and splotchy and itchy. 
-_- I took a shower and then called Sister Perrotti to know what medicine to buy in the pharmacy. The conversation was quite hilarious looking back....

Me: Hi Sister just a quick question....I went to farm today and now have an allergic reaction of some kind. Do you know of a medicine that could help? 
Sister: Okay....what did you eat?
Me: I think it was because of the animals that I met today
Sister: Oh okay. But you don’t have any bites or anything right?
Me: Well........
Me: Maybe just a few ant bites from when I stepped on an ant hill and a goose bite....
Sister: (laughing)
Me: ehhhh today was a bit intense Sister
Sister: (still laughing) Sister Heyer, I don’t think you were born to grow up on a farm....
Me: Yah, I really don’t think that will be a part of my future either Sister. 
Sister: (still laughing gives me the name of the medicine and wishes me luck)

So I covered myself in some random Brasil creme, and finished off our day making contacts close to home.....still in the rain. I learned a very important lesson this week....1. Farms are NOT for me. 2. Opposition can even come in the form of our furry friends. 

Oh and my companion passed the day with one ant bite on her finger and lots of funny pictures. -_- 

Well....have a good week! <3 love you all and hope you have an excellent conference this weekend. And if you weren’t planning on watching it or didn’t know…go to lds.org to hear the prophets and apostles testify of Christ and give instructions to help us find happiness in these latter days. :) 

Sister Heyer

"Watch your step":