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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello! 

Sorry that last week didnt really have a long email. It was a pretty crazy week it being Christmas and everything. Thank you for the Christmas and New Years wishes. 

Christmas Eve and Christmas were the most simple and beautiful days of my life. I made pasta for all of my companions here and we sat around our tiny little wire Christmas tree on the floor on Christmas Eve and just enjoyed the simplicity of it all. I mentioned that this Christmas was the closest that I have ever felt to Christ and we all cried and smiled together over the reality of that statement. It was the most simple and most humble Christmas in my whole life. No amazing food (actually the food was really gross....hahaha), no presents except for the litttle things we gave each other (one sister wrapped one of her skirts that I said I thought was beautiful a few weeks ago and just gave it to me....) and a big basket of food that we got from a family in the ward (Which was such a miracle that we really did cry for a while haha), no movies or Christmas lights or parades or Santa. Just a few street fireworks that we watched out the window and a warm feeling of peace and happiness that we could be here serving the Lord and experience a little of what Christ went through here on the Earth. It was a Christmas that I will never forget and will forever cherish. 

Christmas day was still simple....we worked. And talked to our families. Cried a lot....but out of happiness. :) It was interesting because we all commented that talking to our families didnt make us as anxious to go home as we thought....it just emphasized the feeling that it is not time to go home yet because we have more work to do. But that when we do it will be a beautiful reunion. :) We went to a members home for dinner and got to participate in their White Elephant gift exchange. It was hilarious and so much fun. At the end all of the silly little useful gifts they got....they gave to us. Even some of the kids parted with their little trinkets saying things like...."the sisters deserve more presents. The sisters could use this more than me." It was so humbling and so beautiful. We were so grateful. I may come home with a suitcase full of little things I dont need.....but I could never throw away something that was given with so much love and generosity. 

This week is transfers. We wont know till tomorrow night though because transfers were moved to Thursday so we wouldnt be traveling on New Years Eve. I dont know what will happen....but I wont be surprised if I am transfered. I am ready for change. But if I stay I will be happy too. :) I will let you all know next Monday where I am! Its a surprise for both of us. I found out as well that one more person from my district in the MTC got their visa and is coming! Sister Webster! I am so excited to see her! :) 

Well Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for everything that you do for me and my family. <3 Love you all!


Sister Heyer

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Weird but Neat

Hello!

This week was...interesting. Sister M and I had an experience this week that may be one of the weirdest but neatest I will experience on my mission.

We were begining our long trek back to our area after lunch and we passed a younger man in the road painting the sidewalk edges white. He stopped us and asked us if we were from the church. We said yes and asked him if he had ever heard about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He said no but he asked for a pamphlet. So we gave him one and invited him to church that Sunday. He then informed us that he can't because he in prison. He was in prison for a while and because of good behavior he is now living in a semi-open "detentional center" where they can do community service all day and sleep there at night and it has a library and they can play soccer and stuff. We didn't really know what else to say after that....I mean....he can't go to church, and we definately can't visit him. So we just invited him to read the pamphlet and call with questions if he....had access to a phone. hahaha. We then left.
 
About halfway down the huge hill we both slowed to a stop and had the same impression "go back". We literally stood in the middle of the sidewalk for a good 5-10 minutes debating if we should go back and if we go back what more to say! It was quite the struggle. Finally we both just deep sighed and started walking back up the hill to talk to the inmate. When we got there there were two other men who had joined him in the work....big strong scary looking men (one who seriously looked like the Rock...) but we just looked at each other and knew we had to keep going as crazy as it would be.
 
So we introduced ourselves and frankly said we felt we should come back and talk to them. In our shock one of the inmates saw the Book of Mormon in Sister M's hand and said, "I've been reading that book!" He proceeded to tell us about how he found one in the prison library and started reading it. He said he has been really curious to know more about where it came from. We started to do a brief intro of the book and he actually interrupted us and told us the whole story of Lehi and Nephi and what happened with their whole family. He even went on about how it's not to replace the bible but to compliment the bible and they have the same teachings. The other two were listening with interest as well and we gave copies of the Book of Mormon to all of them. They gave us their real addresses for when they are released (don't worry mom they live in another mission so it won't be US visiting them again) and the address of their prison (which is also in the other mission and I doubt missionaries can go there). At the end of the conversation Sister M commented that it's a shame that we can't visit with them more and may never see them again. And the one who has already been reading The Book of Mormon said "Don't worry. Right now its a little complicated. But you guys are planting seeds."
 
The one reading the Book of Mormon will be released in January. The one who asked for a pamphlet will be released in February. And the last man not until 2015 (afterwards Sister M and I laughed because she as well won't be "released" until 2015 hahaha). Who knows what will happen. But we know we did our part. It was an amazing experience. It really taught me about how....everyone are children of God and it isn't our place to decide who is worthy of the message and who is not. We are called to teach everyone.
The rest of the week was full of hot sun and little miracles. A ride home after a lunch. Another Panatoni. A trunk full of groceries. A lot of references. And the christmas program is tomorrow! And tonight we are going caroling. :)

Hope this week is a good one for all of you. <3 Next week is Christmas! :D I cant believe it. haha. I love you all!

Sister Heyer
 
[Note from mom:  I have not once worried about Emily.  Knowing she is doing the Lord's work takes away any/all worry.]
 
Me and my comp at the ward christmas dinner....
in brazil they put raisins in the rice for Christmas to make it fancy.
Not a new favorite.
The last English class before Christmas!
I sang Away in a Manger for them. :)
And we gave them all free Joy to the World Christmas videos. :)


Ward Christmas activity. The kids put on the Nativity.
It was adorable. In the middle of the program
one of the little boys took off his donkey head,
smacked the kid next to him on the head with it,
and then put in back on and kept singing like nothing happened.

Cantata de Natal

Oi familia e amigos!

This week was another blur. I think that EVERY week is a blur so I will stop starting my letters like that. Sorry!

Helping at Cantata de Natal
This week was the Cantata de Natal....which was a big multistake choir in front of the Campinas temple. Our zone was chosen to do reception for all of the visitors. It was amazing! There were so many people. Many of them came because they posted a big invite to the event in the newspaper! It was beautiful and exhausting. We stayed standing at tables full of church materials for 4 hours. I was pretty sure that only by some miracle could I walk again after that night. But it was worth it. We talked to so many people and so many people wanted to know more. The spirit of Christmas was in the air....even in the 98 degree weather. It was really neat and I was really glad that we got to be part of the experience.

Also this week our investigator D really made lots of progress. We had a beautiful lesson with her. We talked about repentance and about the love of our Heavenly Father. Sister M and I made a very detailed plan before we went to visit her....and we only used it as a backdrop. We were so guided in everything to say and ending up talking about many things unplanned but that she really needed. I think it was the first time I left a lesson feeling like I truly taught with the spirit 100% and not my background knowledge. She may not have accepted to be baptized and she may be moving slower than we want....but it's not about us. It's about her. And I will wait my whole mission or longer to see her be baptized because I know how much it will help her life. I will never give up on her. I just hope I am not transfered.....

In front of the Campinas Temple
F, our investigator who read the BOM two times already....went to the temple and loved it! And she came to a ward activity. She had such a great time and I think she is really starting to feel a part of the ward family. It was actually really funny because Sister M and I were so busy at the temple that we didn't have time to even say hi to her when she got there. We called her after to apologize and see how she liked it and she goes "Oh! I didn't even look for you guys! I was with G and I was totally absorbed in the program! I forgot to even look for you guys!" We felt so...unneeded. hahhaa. It was THE BEST FEELING! Which sounds crazy but it really made us super happy that she is so independent in making friends and being part of the church. Anyways....We will try to visit her today. She is praying to know if the BOM is true. 

The district
Also this week the President of the Young Men and his wife bought us a TON of groceries. It was such a miracle. We were really needing it. haha. They are such an amazing couple. We were so grateful. Then the next day one of the counselors in the bishopric bought us all huge Brazilian hot dogs (which....are actually way better than American hot dogs....) and soda. It was amazing. The members are becoming more and more helpful. We are super grateful. It is an answered prayer.

I finally got the Christmas program in order! Just in time for next week. It will be really simple and really beautiful. I am excited. I hope the other missionaries are too. ;P

Everyday I am more and more grateful to be here and to be with Sister M. We are learning so much together. She is hilarious and wonderful. The day she is transfered (or I am) will be a really hard day for both of us.

Anyways I love you all and I hope you are well. I am so grateful for your supportive emails! Have an amazing week! <3

Sister Heyer

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Because We Work...

Hello!

This week flew by. I feel like I say that a lot. But its true. I cant believe it is already DECEMBER. I officially am 1/3 done with my mission. Also can'
t believe that. Time is flying. 

This week....lets see. Sister M and I had a neat experience. We went to go visit a man who hasn't been coming to church because the girl he was dating in our ward decided that he wasn't for her and now is married to someone else. So anyways that was apparently a good enough reason for a return missionary with a firm testimony to stop coming to church. So we visited in the hopes that we could somehow convince him to come back to church. He was super nice and we helped him see that going to church is more important then some girl and that if he wants to meet someone new and get married he is not going to find her moping on the couch. It was a little tough love. But.....HE CAME TO CHURCH SUNDAY. So it obviously worked. And....we decided that we would really love for him to be the new Gospel principles teacher. hahaha. We talked to the bishop. We will see how that goes. Only the missionaries would ask the bishop if an inactive member could have the third most critical calling in the ward that is pretty much what determines if someone will continue investigating the church. I think our bishop thinks we are nuts. But he likes us because we work. 

Our ward has been a little difficult to work with. Mostly cause they don't do anything to help us with the work. They don't really want to leave their own bubble to get to know new people or visit strangers. Which is understandable but hard. We had an Irmá agree to go on a division with us on Tuesday night to visit a beautiful new family and it was AMAZING. They are like best friends now and the family is so excited about church. It is so amazing the difference bringing a member to lessons can make. Look for the missionaries in your ward and arrange to go on Divisions. And also give them food because the first thing I learned here is that they really are needing it. ;) hahaha. Also they may be looking for a place to talk on skype with their families Christmas.....like I am....and I think they might die with happiness if someone actually offers so they don't have to awkwardly ask to use their electronic devices on Christmas day. ;) 

Sister Perrotti (the Mission President´s wife put me in charge on the whole musical program for Christmas. And also told me she wants me to sing BOTH of the solos in the program. Wonderful. I am dying on nervousness. The two songs are Away in a Manger from the hymn book and Nearer my God to thee. There are speaking parts that I have to assign to different missionaries and various other songs that people sing together. I don't really know how to do it because it has the audience sing just the first two verses....then someone talks....and then they sing the third verse. How am I supposed to signal to the audience that is what is going to happen? Anyways its just the little things. I can understand why she put me in charge....cause she prob doesn't wanna do it. ;) hahaha. I love Sister Perrotti. I am excited. I just really don't wanna ruin 175 missionaries Christmas. :P

I completely overhauled our ancient and horribly organized Area Book. It is now beautiful and full of information that is actually useful. I have a big testimony of the Area Book. As it says in the District....those who don't use the Area Book don't understand their purpose as a missionary. That's how important it is. So anyways my companion and I heard that and felt guilty and cleaned ours out. hahaha. 

We decorated our house a bit for Christmas! Its gorgeous. Well...as pretty as it can get with Christmas tree napkins that we got for free and green bubble plastic bows. ;P

Anyways I am struggling to think of more exciting things to say. So that must mean I have finished summarizing my week. I love you all. Have a great week! 

Sister Heyer

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Good In Every Situation

This week was another GREAT week! I wouldnt say that we taught the most lessons or that it didn't pour all week or that I didn't get incredibly sunburnt or that our numbers were amazing or that we didn't walk for eternities....because that would be a lie.....but I will say that amongst all the not so great moments were some of the greatest and happiest moments of my mission so far. The pictures I'll send will support this statement. For example.....Sister M and I spent an hour and a half sitting in the middle of the sidewalk at the bustop waiting for the bus to come to go the the church activity, our legs burning, our skirts filthy, exhausted....but we took some of the best pictures ever and enjoyed popsicles and cups of water and lots and lots of laughs. So as you can see I am really starting to learn the value of happy moments and how to find the good in every situation. 

This week we also were able to actually find and teach a beautiful family! They are so amazing. They have a daughter who is almost 10 and she is blonde with greenish brown eyes, freckles, and glasses....yep I was super homesick for sweet Dorey the whole lesson. She reminds me a lot of her. I am so excited that we found a good family that is so prepared and wonderful. 

I also had a really neat experience when I was teaching the weekly English class on Tuesday. Before we got to the church to teach I had a feeling that we should talk to a woman that always comes and sits quietly on the side of the room. I mentioned to Sister M to help me remember to talk to her and ask if we can visit her. When we got there before the lesson even started she came up to me shyly and said (in broken english) "Sister Heyer...today I am sad." I asked her why of course and she said..."my mom is dead". I immediately gave her a huge hug and asked if we could talk after the lesson. After the lesson I got her address and talked to her a bit. We visited her this week....and the lesson was beautiful. We explained where her mom was in this moment and what she was doing. We explained how she could see her again. Then we asked her to pray and she was super hesitant. She explained that she hasn't been praying because she is angry with God. She said she asked Him before her mother died what she could do to be better for her mom....and before she got an answer her mother died. She said He isn't listening. I felt stronger than ever in that moment that we were her answer and that what she can do to help her mother now....is be baptized and then help do the work for her mother to be baptized too. It was overwelming. But the time was not then to explain. The time then was to help her regain her faith. She finally agreed to pray. She started to pray....and then started to sob. The spirit was overwhelming. Her prayer was so beautiful. It was a tender moment. Pray for D. <3

Also this week we had a really neat meeting with Sister and President Perroti....just the sisters. It was a beautiful meeting about self worth and true beauty. I thought I would share a couple of neat thoughts from the meeting and some links to some amazing videos...one about our true identity and one that shows into the life of Emma Smith (Wife of Prophet Joseph Smith who endured many many trials and hard ships because of the persecution of her husband and the church in the early days of the formation of the church). 

-We spend a lot of time worrying about how much we love other people and how much other much other people love you....but how many times do you ask yourself if you love yourself? 
-Don't look for your defects...look for your abilities and potential.

-When you talk bad about yourself....you are critizing Gods work. He made you. You are His masterpiece. To Him...you are perfect. 

-He has enough power that He couldve sent a rock to do His work here on the Earth....but He is loving and confident enough in our abilities to send us. 

-We are children of a loving Heavenly Father. We are of divine worth. 



Before I forget....HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Because it is not celebrated here...I really had no clue all week if it was last thursday or this week. So I decided that I will just let it go by either way without thinking too much about it so I can avoid becoming horribly homesick. (too late.... ;) hahaha) But I do wish to thank you all for your love and support. Each one of you have helped me through some rough times when you didn't even know it. Your words of encouragement and happiness came at the perfect time for me. I know that your emails are truly inspired to be exactly what I need in the moment. I am so blessed with family and friends who love and care about me like you all do and I am learning here how much that truly means to me and how truly rare and special this is. I am surrounded by many missionaries who don't have this support at home....and I see first hand how difficult it is and how much harder this journey would be for me if it weren't for you all. I love you and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. <3 God bless you and the rest of your friends and family. Até proxima semana! 

Sister Heyer <3

Sunday, November 24, 2013

An AMAZING week!

Good Morning!

Emily's new Companion...and a fusca...
This week was AMAZING! Tuesday feels like forever ago! My new comp is Sister M. She started her mission 5 weeks ago so I am finishing the last 7 weeks of her training. She is wonderful. She is amazing. I love her. We get along perfectly and we work SO HARD. It's funny because I am finishing her training technically but I feel like she is also finishing mine. It's amazing. We are studying the scriptures together and Preach my Gospel and every day I feel like we both understand more and more about our purpose here as Missionaries and more about the gospel. The blessings of knowledge really do come when you have effective and focused study. We are also finding that our day is filled with so much more inspiration! Thoughts just pop into our heads as to what to say and what to do to help our investigators and the ward that seem to come from no where! But we know that it is from our Heavenly Father. I love her. Oh....she is from Rodonia. (North of Brazil). She is 23 and hilarious and hard working and never ever complains and loving and....yeah okay I'll stop. But she is marvelous. We live with Sister W and Sister F. Its really neat because Sister W and I got here at the same time....and we are both finishing training of two other Sisters who arrived at the same time as well (5 weeks ago). So we are all really equal and new and are all helping each other out. It's nice having Sister W as well because we really value each others opinions and we both have the same worries that we have no idea what we are doing. ;) haha. So she's a good friend to talk to and get advice as well. 

This week we worked....I think harder than I have worked since I got here with Sister B. We have been teaching so many lessons and finding so many people. Miracles are starting to happen. We are teaching an old lady who is so adorable. And she agreed to be baptized in 3 weeks!!! So she has a date and we are working with her to help her go to church and feel more prepared. She is so sweet. 

The Poster
Our ward is starting to help us out more and more. It is slow going but we are really...honestly we are just being really stubborn and prob a little annoying...but it's working. We are also starting to really push them to come with us to lessons. Sister M and I had a moment of inspiration this week to help our ward. We made a poster that says "How can I help with missionary work?" and under it has three sign up sheets....rides for investigators....who can do divisions....and who is willing to hold family night in their house. We made it super big and cute. It was fun. I hope that it works. We also put together prayer envelopes....which was an idea that I pulled out of no where....aka The Lord. We write the names of all of our investigators...the other sisters do too. (Just their first names) on little pieces of paper. And every Sunday the relief society sisters who want to participate will draw a name privately and they are responsible for praying for this person all week. They can do it how they want. But for sure its personal and private. This way the members will see that we have PEOPLE that we are teaching and they have names and they have needs. It was our way of helping the members learn the names of people who may come to church one day, have a responsibility that will also help their testimonies grow, and they will feel more involved in our work here in their ward. I am really really excited. 

Em's new roommates and companion
Elder M is here and I saw him yesterday! It was so cool! It's awesome having someone else here that started out with me since the beginning. I can't wait for more people from my district to get here!! 

It is amazing to me how just a few changes have made this "dead area" seem brand new. I now never ever want to leave Chapadao. There is just too much work to be done to be transferred. ;) 

I hope everyone is doing well! I love you all! <3 Missing you all bunches but I am happy safe and working hard! Have a good week! 

Sister Heyer
Ps- Did I tell you the President's wife Sister Perroti asked me to sing at the missionary Christmas devotional....which will have ALLLLL of the missionaries and mission presidency and their families? Ohhhhhhhhh man. Any suggestions of a good Christmas song to sing....hymn or similar. I am thinking What Child Is This but in Portuguese.....but I don't know.

THAT email

Hello family and friends!

Well this is THAT email. The one that says... I am staying. And all of my other comps are being transferred. I have to admit I am really bummed. This next transfer will be 7 weeks and includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New years. I wanted to stay in this ward for all of it but I was really hoping Sister N or Sister H would stay here too so we could pass through these holidays together. I love them. But that won't happen. We will have to see who I put with. I know that I wont be training. But I don't know if I will finish the training of someone else or if I will be with a senior comp or something. No clue. The only thing I know now is I need to decide if I will switch rooms and desks or switch areas or anything. I don't think I will. It's kinda a mess here right now but I am ready to stick it out. New things aren't easy but its part of the mission.

This week we had another multi-zone meeting that was really cool. The President showed us a video based on the talk by Jefferey R. Holland "Missionary Work and the Atonement" which I LOVE. I think that this talk is not just about Missionary work. It's about our lives. My favorite part of this talk is something I think that really applies to everyone. He says:

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work [or who lives] will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid?... We believe in angels. We trust in miracles....

You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that [life] is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that [people] have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. [people] have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.

The Atonement will carry [everyone]. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life."


I love this talk. I think that it has really opened my eyes to how I should continue in my life....not just on my mission.

I also watched a video that is really beautiful that explains the perspective of Heavenly Father sending Jesus Christ to die for us. The words are in Portuguese so don't worry so much about that. Just remember when you are watching it that it is from the perspective of our Heavenly Father and how he must have felt. But....just as a warning. You will prob cry. Look up "A Ponte" on youtube or google. I dont know if it exists in English. But its still beautiful in Portuguese. But in English it would be "the bridge".

Campinas
Oh my district leader from the MTC Elder M is coming! I am so excited! He will be the first to come besides me from our District. I prob wont see him though for a long while but...its still awesome! I was so surprised to see his picture in our weekly newsletter.

I am excited to start fresh in this area. I have a lot of ideas. Don't know if any of them will work but I at least want to try. I guess it doesn't hurt to do new things. I am really determined to work so much harder this next transfer. That will help so I don't get too homesick too. haha.

My talk went well yesterday. I think. I hope. I felt like it went okay. I went over the "who, what when where why how and reason" of missionary work. I was hoping that it would help the members feel like they had a little more direction in how to go about doing missionary work. It had a good response. It's really nerve racking giving talks though. 10 minutes of straight Portuguese!

Anyways that'

s about it for me. I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all! Have an amazing week. Remember to always pray for a missionary experience!

Sister Heyer

Better late than never...

[I apologize.  It has been a few weeks since I have posted Emily's weekly letter, so I am a few behind.  I thought about just skipping to the last letter, but Emily shared so much in the preceding weeks and the letters give a clear picture of the ups and downs of being a missionary.  So, here is her letter from November 4.]

Bom Dia familia e amigos. <3

Well....this week was another blur but I will do my best to give a little more detail. Unfortunately not toooo many cool stories. Prob more sad stories than cool stories but I guess that just part of this journey.

Emily and another "fusca"
Good old Chapadão has become terrible "mole" which means...lazy, dead, uninterested, unreceptive.....the works. Our long list of people needing help and wanting to hear our message diminished to one person. We don't know exactly what happened. We would share a message and they would love it and practically beg us to come back....and then we would and they wouldn't be home. Or actually to be honest they were home...and didn't open the door. Remember T? Yeah we went to her house at least 5 different times and she never answered. This last time when we went we called her name....waiting a bit....started writing her a note to leave on the gate....and then her front door which was open....slowly started to shut. Either this area has ghosts or people don't want to talk to us anymore. :P Its been kinda rough and we have been trying not to get too discouraged but it's now the last week of the transfer and we are starting over. We only have one person we are teaching who is firm. I guess I shouldn't complain though. F isn't just a person. She is amazing and I should be grateful. So I'll stop complaining and talk about F now. :)

F is about.....28 or so. She has read the Book of Mormon all the way through....twice. In a month. Yeah. She's amazing. Now she is reading it again with the Bible. She loves it. She will go to the temple with us this week and we will invite her to be baptized. She is a little shy and a little hesitant so we shall see. But she has a really strong testimony and she is so happy with all the things we share with her so I cant help but get my hopes up even just a little. 

a baby pineapple
Yesterday we had our first Ward Family Night. We are trying to help the members by creating a weekly activity they can invite friends to. We have learned that it is almost impossible to find people without references from members. So we are doing our best to get them more excited. It's slow going but the activity yesterday went really well and everyone had a great time. We even had two inactive members come and they loved it. There weren't a TON of people there but it was our first one so we just have to stay firm and patient even if people complain or try to tell us how everything we are doing wrong. ;P 

I have been asked to give a talk next Sunday. It will be my first one. I am excited but nervous. The good news is I found an amazing talk by Jeffrey R. Holland that talks about the Atonement and Missionary Work. I've decided to use the atonement as my focus and use some of his points. We shall see. 

Other than that there really isn't much to report. Lots of working, lots of sun, lots of rejection, lots of blessings, lots of learning......oh and I officially have the worlds best watch tan line. :) 

Hope all is well with everyone! Next week will be the infamous "I've been transferred" or "I will stay" email! :) Love you all!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sharing a computer = short letter

Ta I don't have a ton of time because I am using the computer in the house of a member which means there is a long line of people wanting to write. :P So I will write fast.  

This week.....the biggest events were the multizone conference and that I sang at a wedding of the other elders investigators.

The multizone was amazing. Elder Snow spoke in English and he had a translator. It was awesome. He said a lot of really neat things but I forgot my journal so I will have to write next week the highlights. Sorry guys. 
Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Snow

I sang at the wedding. Someone Like You by Adele. It was really neat! I practiced almost all day and then got super super nervous and it wasn't the best. But it wasn't horrible. And also I think I am a horrible critic. I know I am. But its good. The bride loved it and everyone told me I did amazing so hopefully they weren't lying. It was a good experience to sing again. My zone leaders asked me to sing again tomorrow in the district meeting. Ugh. :P  

Only two more weeks of the transfer. It was a fast one. Getting really nervous for transfers.

Our investigator F read the Book of Mormon two times. All of it. Yeah, I think she will be baptized. She is amazing. She is the sweetest person ever. <3 We will go to the temple with her on Friday to invite her to baptism really special and hopefully Monday I will be sending pics of baptism. <3 

Sorry this is so short and lacking in a spiritual message but if I don't leave now this Elder might eat me. So I better go. I love you all and more to come next week. <3 Thank you for all your support. I miss you soooo much.

Sister Heyer

ps- 8 sisters are coming next transfer. Thats a lottttt. haha. Its pretty cool. 
Pss- I love where I live and who I live with. We 4 stay up giggling and joking almost every night. Its awesome. We have made quite the friendship....anddddd of course we will prob all be transferred. Great right? :P

Sunday, October 27, 2013

English class, Knitting, and Sunburns

Not too much to report this week I think but maybe as I get talking I will remember more. Did I tell you that I am teaching English here?? I think I forgot. We got here a few Tuesdays ago and were told there was an activity at the church that night. So we went of course to meet the members. When we got there....turns out its not an activity at all. Its an English class. And the teacher is...surprise...ME!  It was so sudden and I of course had nothing planned so I did my best. It was really fun! But also really really hard to teach your own language. There are about 25 people in the class and not one is a member of the church. My comp gave me a book on how to learn English so I'm using that as a guide and doing the best I can. I think its going alright. I hope. Its just basics but I hope that I am explaining alright. Its really fun though. I really like teaching. (Maybe my future job?? Who knows?)
Also I learned how to knit. Two different points. One on top and one....inside out. I have no clue the names for these points in English (sorry) but I'm almost done making a scarf! Its really fun. But I think crocheting is easier. 

Castle of Castello (which means Castle of Castle)  :)
This week we had a really amazing lesson with T and her husband. We taught the first lesson and I had the opportunity to share the first vision and talk about Joseph. The spirit was so strong. It was really special. They loved it and the husband kept thanking us over and over. It was really neat. And for the first time I gave this part of the lesson and didn't even feel nervous. I usually get really anxious I'll mess up or I can't explain it well because...its just so important and so special! But this time I was totally calm. I can really feel myself getting better at teaching. Not just reciting what I know but actually saying how I FEEL. Which is really a blessing because President held a special interview with my comp telling her that he needs her to prepare me completely to train. 26 new missionaries are coming in and there will prob be about 7 or 8 sisters. And there were 6 that came last time and still have one more transfer of training so there is a major short hand of sisters. Ive already packed my suitcase pretty much.  But we will see. Anyways its really satisfying seeing that I am improving. Now I just need to improve on having more patience with myself. 

Barbeque!
This week we have a muiti-zone conference with Elder Snow of the 70. I'm pretty excited. Sister Perroti and President are pretty much freaking out though that some missionaries will be late or come....unorganized. They have sent out emails and announcements by the dozen. But like my comp said...its more for the Elders than the Sisters...(sorrryyy Elders). 

This week has been outrageously hot so naturally the result is...I am sunburned "de mais". So that makes wearing a shoulder bag fun. But the good news is I finally have the "missionary shirt"! I am practically the color of all the other Brazilians now...with pasty American shoulders. ;P  Also we set our clocks forward one hour for summer. Weirdest thing ever....I keep forgetting its October. Also the most exhausting and sad moment of my mission so far.

Anyways I'm sorry this weeks letter was so boring. Ill try to have a more exciting week this week. ;) Hope everyone is doing well, is happy, healthy, and strong, and has an awesome week this week! <3 I love you all very much! 

Sister Heyer

"Blessed is the man (or woman) that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." -James 1:12

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oi from Chapadão!

Emily and her new companion
Well I have been transferred as you all know. My new area is called Chapadão which is a nickname for drunk people....so I'm not sure if I should be worried.  My companion is Sister B (she's from Brazil....she is not American although she looks like it). We live with two other Sisters again...Sister N who I lived with in Valinhos, and Sister H (from Arizona). Our area is in Campinas close to the mission office and Campinas Center. So we aren't too far from people. What's cool about this area is that we are 4 Sisters in one ward and that its been Elders here since the mission opened. But I guess President decided this ward was in need of a change and lots of help so he shut the area, bought a new house for 4 Sisters (us), and moved us in. Yesterday in church we were like celebrities. Everybody bore their testimonies about missionary work and how they are all going to help us and feed us. We already had two Irmás bring us chocolate and tell us that they will always bring us food and give us rides if we need it. Its a blessing because...we do need it! The church building is almost 2 hours walking from our house. Its a pain. And almost all the members live close to the church so everyday we walk to lunch (2 hours) and then after lunch the other sisters stay in their area and work and we return to our area (which is the neighborhood where we live). So just to eat lunch we walk 4 hours. Its tough. But there is no other way to do it. So this will be an exhausting 5 weeks....maybe more if I'm not transferred again. The compensation is that our ward is amazing and we haven't found one person that wont let us come visit them and talk with them or share an invitation to come to church. Everyone here is so humble and happy. Everyone that passes us in the street says hello and wants to talk with us. We have people stop US and ask US if we can visit them and pray with them. The people here are hungry for better lives and spiritual upliftment. Its amazing.

This week we had two people start crying in the street after we invited them to church. They want our help so much. We were passing a house and there was a woman sweeping her front porch. She looked to be about 35 or so and we decided to stop and simply invite her to church...our normal spiel about where the church is and when our meetings are. When we finished she didn't say anything for a minute...then she asked if we wanted to come in. We of course said yes and the minute we sat down she started to talk about her family and how her and her husband are having problems and she is lonely and sad. Then she started crying. She said she had been praying all day for God to send her help and to send her some idea of how she can change her life so that she is happy. She said she was praying and praying and then she looked up and saw us walking down the street toward her. She said from the minute she saw us she knew there was something different about us and that we were sent to her from God. She watched us coming toward her house praying we would stop or she would have the courage to stop us. And then we stopped. And then we were sitting there with her and she knows that we have the answer to what she needs. We started to cry with her. She was in so much pain and we could see how much she needed the hope of the gospel. We talked with her for almost an hour about her family, about how God loves her and a little about His plan for her. She said that she wants us to come back and teach their whole family together because she wants her husband to be a part of this. We will go back and visit her again this week of course with her whole family. She is a special person. Pray for her.

Helping Hands project at a retirement home with their ward.
Also this week we had a woman stop us and ask us if we could come in her home and say a prayer for her sick granddaughter. It was a tender experience. She had tears in her eyes. She asked us if we would come back. We of course said yes and as we were leaving she grabbed our hands and said: "please don't forget me....don't forget about me." I almost started crying in this moment. The pleading in her voice....the desperate need for love and comfort. I could imagine that this is a little taste of what it was like for the Savior. I began to think a lot about how we are representatives of Him not just in name but in spirit. People who are ready to hear the message look to us as the light they need. They ask for healing. They ask for help and comfort. They ask for strength. I feel a little bit like a super hero sometimes but its so much more than that. Its indescribable. I am just like them...a normal 20 year old girl. I have nothing more than they do and I am nothing special. The only difference is I have the gospel. And that makes ALL the difference. I am so grateful for the opportunity to lift the heads that hang down and hold the hands that are reaching out for something...anything...they will bring them closer to the light of Christ. 

As a closing I'd love to share a scripture that I found this week in study that I absolutely love. Its in John chapter 15 verses 12-20 and 26-27. 

12. This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you. 
13. Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 
15. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 
16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 
17. These things I command you, that ye love one another. 
18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater that his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 
21. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. 
26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. 
27. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 

I love these verses. For me it helps me know that hard times will come. Sometimes the world will hate the things we believe or do. But it doesn't matter. Because our goal is not to be of the world. We will not be with the world forever. But with our Heavenly Father....he is with us Always. Including after this frail life of imperfections, tragedies, challenges, and difficulties. If they rejected the Savior, the Son of God, they will reject us also. But it is for those that do not reject the message of God that we work, for them that we trek around day and night to invite them unto Christ. 

I love you all so much and I am increasingly more grateful for your love and support everyday. Have an amazing week!

Sister Heyer

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tchau Valinhos!

[Emily refers to General Conference a lot in this letter.  Every 6 months our church holds a conference shown throughout the world translated into 92 languages.  All of the talks given uplift and instruct.  If you are interested in hearing or reading the talks Emily refers to, click on the speaker's name below.  If you would like to see all of the talks they can be found here.]

Well...you guessed it. I'VE BEEN TRANSFERRED. Its incredibly sad and also a little exciting but mostly I'm just anxious to know where I am going. I wont know til tomorrow morning like everybody else this time. All I know is I am not training yet. Which is such a relief because I don't want to yet. haha. But I don't know anything else sooo that should be interesting. Packing my two suitcases was such a pain. I hate packing. I don't know what I was thinking when I sent in my papers to be a missionary if I hate packing because I will be doing a lot of packing for the next year and 2 months. ;) Yep that's right...year and two months....I passed 4 MONTHS this week. Time is flying. Anyways I am very sad to leave all the people here. I love the people here. But I am excited for a new chapter and a new companion. :)
This week....nothing really happened. hahaha. A lot of knocking on doors and teaching lessons and making contacts but no huge developments or major miracles. Just the little miracles like....everyone in my house got the flu (the cold kind) and I started to feel a little sick so I drank vitamin C and prayer super hard and the next day I was fine. Then of course two days later I ate something (still not sure what did it) and was up all night emptying my stomach. That was miserable. Still tired. But I didn't die and it passed so I think I'm okay. ;) 

Conference was beautiful. I loved it. I was able to use the bishops laptop and some head phones so I could understand everything. Maybe it's not the best way to embrace the culture but I was really looking for some inspiration so I was really grateful he offered.  I did however listen to various parts in Portuguese and I learned something really sad....they only say the talks....there were many people that started with jokes or cute stories...and they didn't say any of it. But it was interesting because I was able to tell when the apostles were speaking "live revelation" and not just reading what they had already prepared. It was pretty neat. 

I loved everything about conference. I took soooo many notes. It will be hard to share some favorites. I noticed that almost every speaker talked about preparing for more difficulties and persecution and preparing to return to Heavenly Father. I got the impression that things are about to get a lot worse and that the second coming is really soon...but also that we need not be scared if we are keeping the commandments, sharing the gospel, and doing what is right. I liked what Elder Hales said about how the greatest blessings of conference come after its over and that the messages are a protection. I loved what Elder Dube said about not looking back and thinking that you have done enough and that the past is to be learned from but not lived in (look ahead). I thought his accent was really cool too. ;) I loved Elder Uchtdorfs talk about how there is always a place in the church for you even if you have drifted and that if you are really looking for something...HERE you will find it. I liked what Elder Nielson said about praying by name for the missionaries in your ward and their investigators because if you dont know a name or a face God wont help you know their heart. I also really loved What Elder Dyches said about how when God gives us a commandment He also gives of the love and ability to keep it. Elder Hollands talk as usual was my favorite and very inspired. The day before conference we had been talking about how there are tons of people that we are teaching and in our ward that have depression. The next day he gave a very specific talk on depression. It was beautiful. I loved that he said "if the bitter cup does not pass...drink it and stay strong". And "if we don't take time to be well we will talk time to be ill". I loved this because it gave me an excuse to go home after conference and take a nap. (JUST KIDDING) I loved it because there are lots of people that don't take time to take care of themselves and then they aren't happy. Its important we take care of ourselves too. Its like the scripture that talks about how our bodies are a temple. Would we leave the temple dirty and always running wasting energy and sad looking and wasting away....no. So its important we don't do that with our bodies and our spirit too. (Sorry I'm going to keep going) I loved what Elder Eyring said for parents with difficult children "I gave him to you to love and care for him no matter what because I knew you would". I also loved what Elder Maynes said, "you must become the rock that the river cannot wash away". I loved what Elder Andersen said about how "the lens of mortality doesn't always give us all the answers". And that its our "destiny to prepare the world for the coming of the Savior". I thought the talk by Elder McConkie was especially pertinent to missionaries about studying the lessons and being good teachers. I liked that he said we cant fail because he will speak to us. That was encouraging. :) I loved that he said that "you know you are speaking from the Holy Ghost when you learn something from what you have said". I loved the talk by Elder Ochoa talking about looking up. And that there is safety in a strong testimony. And that if you meet something that causes you to question your testimony look up and ask the one source that has all the answers. And Elder Nelsons point " Sin even if legalized by man is still sin in the eyes of God". And his powerful statement that " the doctrine of God is not ours to change it is ours to learn and teach". Last but certainly not least I loved President Monsons talk when he said "shall I falter or shall I finish?" And also "the stronger the wind the stronger the trees" and "we are lifted up in our tears....He will not fail us".

With that I will say one more thing about conference that I think is interesting....I heard lots of things about staying strong and sharing the gospel....my companion and Sister A who are preparing to leave for home in the next two months heard a lot about eternal marriage, raising kids, and the temple. Coincidence??? I think not! ;) I think it is funny how we hear what we need for us in the right moments of our lives. 

Well that is all from me. Photos to come. And a big email talking about my new area will come too next week. :) Pray that my new area is awesome and safe and I wont get lost. ;) <3 I love you all so much and miss you all tons and tons! <3 

Sister Heyer

Monday, September 23, 2013

4 Months

[Today's email.]

Helloooooooooo!

This week flewwww by again! Only two weeks left of the transfer. Almost have 4 months. I dont believe it. 

Anyways. This week was awesome!
Monday we returned to L and L. L (the husband) said he would be baptized. And L (the wife) said that if her mom didn't come into town she would be too with him but if she comes she will be next week. L said that he wouldnt wait for her. He wanted to be baptized this week. It was kinda funny because she said "can't you wait for me for one more week" and he said..."no if you want to be baptized together you can be baptized this week with or without your mom here. I want to be baptized now." hahaha. Poor L. Anyways her mom ended up coming so Sat. was his interview. He passed of course and Sunday I almost died when he actually walked into the meeting! The first time coming to church. 8 weeks. Miracles happen. He loved church. And at 6:00 that night he showed up at the church on time.....and even brought L, her mom, and his two daughters to watch him be baptized. The baptism was the most spiritual and happy baptism I have seen yet. The spirit was so strong. While waiting for him to change instead of singing a hundred hymns, members of the ward got up and bore their testimonies about their baptism! I didnt realize how many converts there are in our ward. It was amazing. His family was really touched. I think they will all eventually be baptized. Even the skeptical mother in law was really impressed and really felt the spirit. When he came up out of the water I have never seen a smile so big. He was literally beaming and looked elated. It was amazing. After the baptism we all had cake. As they were leaving L (the wife) turned to us and said...."next week will be me." It was amazing. I am so excited.  8 weeks of patience and doubt from leaders and even from us....and he was baptized. It was a spritual experience to always remember. 

 Wednesday we literally woke a sleeping man up to invite him to be baptized and he said yes! Poor thing was sleeping and we came to his house to talk with his wife who is already a member. When we explained we were here to invite him to be batized she pushed us into their room where he was sleeping and woke him up right in front of us! He sat up in his bed and grogily said yes to being baptized Saturday.....not sure if he was really awake so we will have to see if that really happens but it was awesome none the less! It reminded me of that scripture in the bible...I think its in John but to be honest its Pday and my brain is mush right now. Anyways the scripture literally says....ARISE AND BE BAPTIZED! hahaha.

Friday we set up a table in the center with the other sisters and passed out cards and talked to what felt like a billion people about the gospel and invited everyone to church. We had a box of 50 Book of Mormons and by the end of 2 hours they were all gone. It was amazing! We decided to do this once every week. It was a great way to talk to people and make contacts. I am so excited to continue. It was a little scary at first and not everyone stopped to listen but at least 100 people stopped and if even one person goes to church because of our efforts I will be estatic. :) 

Today I went to the Police office and they took my prints and I got all my documents in order! I am officially legal!!! :D 

This week: Pray for C. Pray that she will feel ready for baptism Saturday and that her mom, sister, and daughter will like the message we are sharing with them tomorrow. <3 

Anyways thats about it for me this week. Sorry its not a lot. I love you all and I miss you all LOADS. Hope all is well. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. <3 

Sister Heyer

Time Flies...

[This letter came on September 16.]

Oi!

This week was loads better. It fleww by so like Dad said, that means things are going well! ;) This week we worked super hard in the HOT HOT HOT sun and because of it I have 25 mosquito bites the size of half dollars and a shirt, skirt, shoes, and watch tanline that is sure to impress all when I return...but also I have stories of miracles. :)

Monday we went to the coral in Campinas to play games and eat lunch with our zone and all the other Elders in Campinas city. It was really fun. The best part was when we were all on the onibus to go back to the rodaviaria to catch a bus to Valinhos Elder A. (One of zone leaders) dared me to stand up on the bus and make contacts (or basically to shout to everyone on the bus who we are and invite them to talk with the missionaries and go to church). He is learning English so he spoke in English and I translated to Portuguese. It was AWESOME. I was super nervous but I knew how to translate everything and it was a really neat experience. I was really grateful he pushed me out of my comfort zone because making street contacts is the hardest and scariest thing for me. It was fun. 

A little bit about some of our investigators this week. 

M and G- An old catholic couple who actually is listening to our message. M is quiet. She has a lottt of questions and believes everything we tell her. She is really special. But it will truly be a miracle if they get baptized because they are incredibly devoted to being Catholic. Right now she is talking as if she will apply all of our teachings to Catholicism and continue at her church because she is a missionary there and has a job there and everything. But who knows! We believe in miracles! So we will invite them to be baptized Thursday when we return. 

G and AP- A FAMILY! They have a daughter who is 8 and a son who is 5. They are a beautiful family. G was the only one home with the kids when we knocked on their door one day so we taught him about how his family can be together forever. We have yet to meet AP but he was very positive and said they don't have a church. They are a very sweet family and we will return Thursday and hopefully teach them both and if the timing feels right...invite them to be baptized too. 

MA- He is inactive and is married to sweet I. We visited him this week when he was sober. He was a lot more closed and distanced. This will be a bigger challenge than we thought especially since I don't know a thing about alcoholism. Pray we can know how to help. 

L and L- I'm sure that I have already told you a little bit about them. They are married and have 3 older teens. I have been teaching them since my first day in Brazil. They were my very first lesson. For eight weeks we have been teaching them and inviting them to church and every week they say they will go and then they don't show up on Sunday. But they've come to almost every church activity. Its been very frustrating because they are reading the Book of Mormon and they are praying together and like our message. And we love them soooo much. I refuse to give up on them. So this week during the district meeting we passed them as "possibles". (Every meeting our District gets together and talks about who they are teaching that will almost surely be baptized and is progressing. And "prometido...or promised" which means they have a baptism date. Then someone offers a prayer for every single person for each area. It's really neat.) Anyway we passed them as possibles for the 5th time. We felt really strongly we should. After the meeting my district leader told me that him and the zone leaders are tired of us passing them as possibles because they are "mali" which means they....are lazy and aren't really interested right now. They wanted us to pick new people. But we stayed firm. If we didn't pass them as possibles then we were basically closing our minds and hearts to the possibility that now they are ready. We won't give up on them and we trust our feelings. We went with our gut and kept them as possibles. 

This week we went to their house almost every night to teach and to see how they are doing. We decided to do something different and we watched Finding Faith in Christ. L cried. Afterwards L promised, a very firm promise, that this week they will go to church. She also told us her husband has been thinking about getting baptized and is actually really serious. If he gets baptized she will too. For the first time we left the lesson smiling and happy. Thennnnn Sunday came...and they didn't show up. AGAIN. It was so frustrating because we had so much faith they would come. So yesterday night we went to their house to find out what happened. Their motorcycle had broken down. -_- L was in the shower so we only talked with L(the husband) a little bit and he told us we could come teach tomorrow (today lol). So we left. As we were walking back to our house I felt very strongly that there was something we needed to do. I can't even describe it but my heart was aching and aching and I was close to tears and I didn't know why. I just kept having the same thought...go back. go back. go back. I stopped my companion and asked if we could say a prayer because something wasn't right. I prayed to know what to do and afterwards me and my companion both felt really strongly that we should go back. We had no idea why or what to say but we almost ran back to their house. When we got there he was super confused why we were back. We were too. It was a little awkward because we didn't know what to say. Finally I just burst out "we felt really strongly we need to come back and talk with you but we don't know why!". He asked if we were scared to walk back alone and offered to walk us back home with L (his wife). We said no that that wasn't it. And then my companion almost bust out the baptism invite. hahahaha. She invited him to be baptized this Sunday. And then she started crying. hahaha. He was a little shocked....but he told us he has been seriously thinking. We could tell he was a little shocked and unsure so we told him to pray with his wife that night and when we go back today....hopefully they will have an answer and it will be YES. I then said a prayer with him in the street in front of his house and choked up too. The spirit was so strong! He didn't really looked moved....just scared I think hahaha....but I KNOW he felt the spirit. This is the 4th time we have invited them to be baptized. But this time is different. This time I know with all my heart we have done our part. They have their agency so there is always the possibility that they answer will be no....but we left last night lightened and happy because we know we have done our part. If anything it was a really amazing spiritual experience that we will never forget. Pray for them. Pray they will accept. They are ready. They are prepared. They only are lacking a little faith. But we have faith. Pray for them. <3 

This Friday we are setting up a both in the park with the other two sisters here and passing out pamphlets and Book of Mormons. Yes we have permission. ;) Its legal. I am really excited. It will be something different! 
I am finding it hard to ignore everyone that doesn't believe in us and is constantly judging us. But my companion helps me a lot by reminding me that the only opinion we need to worry about is the Lords and He knows we are working. :) 

This transfer is almost over already. I cant believe it. TODAY I HAVE 2 MONTHS IN BRAZIL! I also cant believe it. haha. Time is flying by. I don't want to be transfered. But I think I will be. :( 

Anyways I hope that all is well with everyone. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa URen for the emails! I love reading them! Sorry I don't have a lot of time to write you individually but a letter is coming. :) I love you all so much and I am so grateful for you in my life. <3 Have a wonderful week!!!

Love, 
Sister Heyer