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

Monday, September 23, 2013

4 Months

[Today's email.]


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.]


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!!!

Sister Heyer

Happy Birthday to Me!

[This email came on September 9.]

Hello! Not much to write this week but I'll do my best.

Tuesday was my birthday! I feel really old. I cant believe I am not a teen anymore. Time flies. We had a district meeting and at the end my zone leaders surprised me with a cake and ice cream and they sang Happy Birthday to me in English Portuguese and Spanish (because that's where all of the missionaries in our zone are from). It was really sweet. :) The rest of the day....I worked. And worked and worked. It was an interesting birthday. Didn't really feel like a birthday but that's okay. :) It was a pretty good day so that counts for something. When we were walking home I used the money on my card and bought ice cream and pizza for all of us to eat for dinner. We cooked and ate by candlelight because the power went out in our house. When it miraculously returned we played Uno and went to bed. 

The rest of the week was a lot of knocking on doors and trying to find new people. We found lots of new people to teach this week so hopefully next week will have more stories. :) 

One cool story though is that we taught one lady the Plan of Salvation. She loved it and was moved to tears when we taught her about how we could be with our families. The next day we found out that her brother was in a huge motorcycle accident that morning and had passed away. The timing of the Lord is amazing. I am always so surprised when little miracles like this happen. It is amazing to be a part of this work. I know that although it is truly difficult to burden this grief....it will be a little more comforting for her knowing about The plan of salvation. 

 Love and miss you all more than you can imagine! 
Sister Heyer


[I apologize for not posting the past few letters.  I will post them all tonight...and then do better.  Here are some picture Emily sent us September 23.]

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sneaky Sisters

[This week we each received a letter from Emily via snail mail.  Here is Lilly's letter:]

I hope you like my little present!  [Emily included a little card with Care Bears on it.] It has a cool story behind it!  My companion and I were in the post office so she could mail some letters and we met a man who couldn't hear.  He was selling these "cards of happiness" for 1 reais.  He would use the money for deaf education anad other things he needs.  he was very sweet so we decided to buy one from him.  He had lots of different kinds but when I saw a care bear one I thought of you and chose this one to send to you! 

Did you your name in Portuguese is "Lirio?"  Lirio means the flower Lily but to help people understand your name I say "Lilly!  Como um flor, Lirio!"  (or "Lilly! Like the flower, Lily!")  They always say "Que Bonita!  Aww, que linda!" (or "How beautiful!  Aww, so pretty!")

On p-day (our one day a week we can take a little break) we went to the park to play Frisbee with all the elders...but one Elder had a little trick to play on the other Elders with our help.  He had water balloons!  So all the sisters snuck into the bathroom and filled up all the balloons and then we hid them behind a tree.  then we called all the Elders for prayer an when they bowed their heads and closed their eyes...We pelted them with water balloons!  They were very surprised! And very wet!  We then had a huge water balloon fight!  It was very fun and we felt very proud of our sneaky success.


[This week we also received a letter from Emily.  She sent one to everyone.  They were written the beginning of August.  There are a lot of cute stories that are so Emily that I want to share...Here is some of Sam's letter:]

Guess what Sam?  I killed my first cockroach yesterday!  It was huge and gross.  I hated it.  But I thought of my brave little brother and how he would probably think it's cool so I squished it with a shoe.  Its guts went everywhere and it was super gross!  Ugh.  I don't like them.  In Portuguese they are called a "Barata."  My companion always screams really loud when we see one.

We are teaching a little boy... [who] is 6 just like you!  Every time I come over he gives me a piece of bubble gum called "spish."  [Sam now walks around asking for spish.]

When I tell people here my brother's name is Sam they think it's awesome because no one here is named Sam!  I explain it's Samuel like in the Bible and they can understand better.

I love you Sam!  I miss you and I hope you have a great first week of school!  I  can't wait to hear all about it in your next letter!   Muito Saudades Sam the man!

Love, Sister Heyer

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Staying in Valhinos

[Sorry this letter is out of order.  We received it on August 26...so the information in this post comes before the post Two Miracles.]


This week was the longest week of my mission so far I am almost 100% positive.

Tuesday we had a district meeting in Campinas at 8 am. Which meant we got up at 5 and left at 6 to make it there in time. Then when we got home we got a call saying that Sister B and Sister A need to go to Junjiai for a Divisao so we ate lunch, packed quickly, and hopped on the bus for an hour and a half for Junjiai. We worked with the sisters in that area for a little bit before curfew and then spent the night. It was FREEZING. They didn't have extra blankets. So we didn't sleep at all. The next morning we got up at 6 and packed up and grabbed a bus for the other part of Junjiai to visit the other sisters. (Junjiai is huge). We worked with them all day long and went to bed at 12 because they were telling us all the problems they have and all the things they need for 2 hours. We got up the next morning at 4 to get back and returned in time for lunch in a members home and try to make up for lost time in our area. Friday Sister B went through the temple with Presidente so she got up at 5 to leave and woke me up to do her hair. Then Saturday we got up earlier to go to the church and decorate the church for the wedding. Then all evening and night we had the wedding and baptism after. Sunday we had church early and spent all day saying goodbyes and visiting people. Then we stayed up til 12 helping Sister B pack and celebrating. And got up this morning at 4 to get ready and travel to Campinas to the mission office to drop off Sister B. :P Needless to say it was a rough week and I am super low on sleep and there is sooo much to do this week. BUT its okay. I can do this. I will go home now and sleep.....after we clean the whole house and organize all of our stuff..... -_-  Aye. 

Anyways sorry for the boring low down. The divisao was actually really cool because I was companions with a Sister who arrived the same day as me....but she doesn't speak ANY Portuguese.  So anyways it was kind of scary for me because I had to do EVERYTHING. I taught 5 lessons and made 25 contacts and talked with everyone and shared scriptures and got 2 new investigators for them and everything. It was hard but it was really cool because everyone just kept saying that I speak everything! It felt good to know I can do stuff on my own. It was good because today my "mom" left and I have to lead this area now with a new companion. I did feel a little bad though because the members that we visited kept asking when I got here and when I would tell them the same day as the other Sister they would say "how come you speak and she doesn't". I'd feel worse but I don't think she understood what they were saying so....it was better that she didn't know so she won't feel bad. It was a cool experience though.

Saturday was amazing. A and T were married in the church by the bishop and it was a beautiful simple ceremony. The members of the church did EVERYTHING. They made the cake and brought food and drinks and decorations and did her hair and makeup and everything to help. It was amazing. She was gorgeous and they were so happy. T cried like a baby. It was sweet. Then one hour later she changed out of her dress and him out of his tux and they were baptized! She got to leave her crown in from the wedding and she looked like a princess. It was amazing. They were confirmed on Sunday and I have never seen anyone so happy. They are completely changed and ready to be full time members of the church and prepare to be sealed in one year. I will be here. I hope I can go. Sister B said she would return and we can go together. :) It was awesome. 

So....I am STAYING HERE! :D Thank goodness. And so are Sisters A and G so not TOO much will change. I am ready to love [my new companion] and be very firm about our responsibilities here. This area is ZION. Seriously. And they deserve the best missionaries possible. We have a lot of work to do. And it will be good for me to get some experience taking charge here because... Sister P said to prepare to train next transfer.... (!!!!!!!! EEP CRAZY!!!!) Anyways I am ready.....but prayers are always welcome. <3 

I will evaluate this week if I think I can talk to the bishop about teaching English this transfer in the church.  I hope so but it depends on my companion.

I am glad to here that all is well with you guys. Busch Gardens sounds like it was hot....but its good to get one last vacation in! :)  I miss you like crazy. Good luck to the kids with starting school! WORK HARD KIDDOS! :D I love you all! <3 

Sister Heyer <3

Two Miracles

[Last week, a dear friend of ours, Dan Morgan, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  We had no way to tell Emily until her weekly email on Monday.]

Well this week of emailing has been one of many tears. I am shocked about Brother Morgan. I am touched by his generosity toward our family to the point that I cannot express it. I pretty much forgot everything I was going to email to you this week....I am so grateful for him. And how amazing that you were able to go and help their family and participate in his funeral. He was like you both said....a wonderful man. Besides Dad I don't think I know a man more generous, loving, and close to the Savior. I don't think that Brother Morgan died....I think with certainty he was translated. There is a special place in heaven for Brother Morgan. As a missionary teaching the plan of salvation I can say with all my heart that I know he will see his family again someday. As a friend I can say with all my heart that he is preparing a beautiful mansion for his Queen Shelley and is standing beside our Savior smiling down on his family with pride and joy.
I am so glad that you received my letter! And that everyone liked it. :) I cried even more when I read [Dorey and Lilly keep them] under their pillows. Oh how I love you guys. Oh how I miss you guys. Its a little tough having a birthday here because I know what I am missing at home. I almost wish I could skip tomorrow. But its okay...I know the missionaries in my district are preparing to sing to me in the district meeting tomorrow and Sister A already said we could go to McDonalds for dinner so I could have real American food. ;) Butttttt ohhhh how I miss my sweet Dorey Lilly Sam Mom and Dad. 

This week was a little crazy but I am back on my feet. My new companion is Sister M. She came ready to work. She is ready to work and baptize the whole world. And that is just what we are doing....almost. We have one marked baptism date and 20 new investigators that are all looking promising. We are remaining optimistic. 

The best part about this week though were two miracles that made it possible for us to find and help two new people. Thursday we were walking around the center trying to find people to talk to and trying to think of what to do because all of our appointments had fallen through but it was time to go back to the house to change for the church activity. We started to slowly walk back toward our house praying that we would find someone to at least give the address to the church. We saw a guy sitting on a bench who was about 26 or so, so we figured....eh he cant walk away so lets go talk to him... ;) We said our spiel about where the church is and when our meetings are and then asked if we could share a message about Jesus Christ with him another day and he surprised us both by saying we could teach him right now. So we sat on the bench with him in the park and taught him the first lesson. He said that he was baptized but was baptized by a girl and he knows that that's not the right authority. And then he said that he doesn't believe in baptizing as a baby because they haven't sinned. Then he said he is looking for the "right way to be baptized". Talk about an open window for us! We taught him everything and gave him a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet and asked if he wanted to go with us to the church activity that same night (in about 2 hours from then). He said sure and so two hours later we met him a little ways from the church. In 2 hours he had shaved his beard off, cut his hair, showered, read the pamphlet, read the chapter in the Book of Mormon we gave him, and wanted to learn more. It was crazy! He had some questions so we ended up teaching him in the church and ended the lesson with a date marked for baptism. He is still a little shy and a little nervous but he is anxious to learn more and we are VERY hopeful his desire continues. He was truly an example of what it talks about in Preach My Gospel about "the Lord prepares people". 

The second cool thing that happened this week is we were walking in street looking for the house of an inactive member of the church and when we found it I was shocked to see that the address was the same address as sweet Sister I in our ward! She is a little old lady who we have had lunch with. She lovesssss music. LOVES music. She loves to sing and play any instrument and watch musicals and she loves making little crafts too. I love her! But I don't really know much else about her. I was confused why her address was listed for this inactive man so we decided to see if she was home and at least sing her a hymn. She was very surprised to see us at her gate but she let us in of course and was very excited. We talked with her for a little while and she gave us strawberries and sweet cream (SO GOOD). As we were eating we told her who were looking for and asked if she knew him. Turns out it's her husband. She was slow to talk about him so we didn't push it. We sang lead kindly light with her and then offered a prayer. In the prayer Sister M prayed that her husband would find the desire to come back to church. We finished and with a trembling lip she thanked us for praying for her husband. She started to cry and cry and told us that her husband introduced the church to her, was the leader of the young mens, they are sealed in the temple, that she loves him, and knows he has a testimony....but he is an alcoholic. And about 20 years or more ago he started drinking again and now can't stop. She told us she had been so sad all day long and had been praying for some sort of help or comfort and then....we rang her doorbell. It was so touching and so amazing to see how we could come at just the right moment. I truly felt like the Lord's instrument in that moment. We will be returning to visit her and her husband Thursday. We are going to bring a friend of his in our ward to give him a priesthood blessing if he wants. Our goal is to help them be able to go back to the temple together. We know the time is now. I think the time is now because they are both really old. I think this is in some way...the Lord's way of saying "this is your last chance son". Pray for them .

Anyways I am continuing to work hard here! The work is blooming right now and I am seeing the Lord's hand in my life. I am especially thankful for your support and emails and love. It means more to me than I can express. I think about you guys all the time and everything I do I do first for the Lord, second for the investigator, and third for you all. I want to do things that you will be proud of me for. I wear the name of our family too. :) I love you all so much. A big hug and kiss for the kids as they start school. It sounds like their teachers will be amazing! Thank you for the pictures too. Wish I could have been there!!! I am very excited about all the fun things we will do together when I get home. :) But for now keep having fun without me. <3 I love you all again so very much. You are all in my prayers.