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

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

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