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

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. 

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