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

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's raining, it's pouring, but missionaries are never snoring

Helloooo. :)

This one will be short! sorry.  

This week we marked two more baptisms with B and V. They are children of some inactive members who want to go back to church now. They are 15 and 16. They are awesome. They are reading the Book of Mormon and they go to church every week alone because their parents are still working on getting back to church. They are the ones helping their parents find their testimonies again and come to church. It is really neat to see. We love visiting with their family every week. 

This week we have a multizone meeting (again) but this time it is with the area president of Brasil Elder Costa. So....basically we are in major lock down right now because its kinda huge he is coming to talk to us. Hence why everyone got their hair cut today (even me) and half the sisters are buying new clothes (except me because I don’t want to). haha. That should be exciting. :) 

One of the assistants to the President was released and called to be our zone leader. That has been interesting. He is really helping keep our zone stay on track though so that’s a bonus. The new assistant is a different American now, Elder...well forgot his name and you wouldn’t know him anyways. I don’t know him yet. haha. But I’m sure he will be great. 

It is pouring rain these past few days like Noah´s days....which has been a blessing for Brasil because they were entering into a major water crisis. Butttt....as for missionaries made for a tough (and very wet) week.

One of our lost investigators came back!!! P wants to hear the lessons again. We had so much fun getting to know her this week. I love her. haha. She is very perky and happy. We will (hopefully if President lets us) be going to the temple with her on Tuesday evening. :)

 Read a great talk this week! 

Well thats about it from me. Sorry its boring. I love you all and I hope you are all doing alright. <3 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

How is it that thou canst weep?

Well...prayers are answered because tomorrow is transfers and....I WASN’T transferred! Nobody in my house was. So....we are just carrying on. The members are super happy. Which made us feel really good. haha. THEY ACTUALLY LIKE US! 

The woman that thinks women are not capable of serving missions....got up and bore her testimony last week about how she was wrong and she loves the sisters. She apologized to everyone for judging the sisters before getting to know us. Then she went on a division with us this week and afterwards bought us all pastels and took us to her house and gave us a TON of new skirts and dresses that dont fit her anymore. It was a great day. Another proof that miracles happen.

V wasn’t baptized. She isn’t talking to us anymore. It was really heart breaking. But we won’t give up on her. I at least want to get a hold of her one more time so she can explain what happened and why she doesn’t answer the phone or is never home anymore. Or maybe we just need to let her go....find someone else. I just....struggle with dropping investigators. They are not just lessons and baptisms. They are people. And we love them. 

The hottest day of the year happened this week. That wasn’t the best day. 109 degrees.

Our week wasn’t very exciting. Just the normal stressed week before transfers....just to find out nothing will change so just keep going. :P Sorry that its so lame. 

Before I close I would just like to share a little spiritual thought that I received that fit perfectly with everything that I had been studying this week. Hopefully she won’t mind if I share her message but it was just so perfect and inspired that I had to include it. 

"It was a very good week for studying the scriptures.  I found a new favorite in Moses 7:28-47. [I will include some of the best verses of this scripture for you all. :)]

28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon thearesidue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains? 
 29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst aweep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own ahands, and I gave unto them theirbknowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his cagency;
33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should alove one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they bhate their own blood;
 40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.
48 And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the aearth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am bpained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I crest, and be dcleansedfrom the efilthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?

This is so touching to know how much our Heavenly Father loves each of us.  When I was teaching this in Sunday School, I asked the class to go home and read it again and ponder about when He could have been weeping for us and the challenges we are going through.  As the world gets more and more wicked and is getting to the same places of evil that existed before the flood, I'm sure He weeps for us.  This makes it so much easier to try to ease burdens of those around me and to try to encourage others.  This really helps me to be more kind and loving.  We just have no idea what others are going through.  We just need to be better at being "our brother's keeper" and care for one another."

I too was reading this chapter this week and I made a personal vow to do all I can not to make my Heavenly Father weep out of disappointment and sadness over me....but out of happiness and relief that I am trying my best and that I made it home to Him some day. After reading this thought from someone I love dearly I realized that part of my little vow should also include that I will do all I can to help my brothers and sisters also witness the tears of joy on God´s face that they conquered the fight and made it home. 

I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week. <3 

Sister Heyer

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Miracles are Real

Hello friends and family! Hope all is well. :) 

There was really only one thing this week that I can remember because of how incredible it was. So this email may be small but the miracle that happened was not small for Sister M and me. 

This week ALL of our appointments fell. We had about 15 marked and ready to go through out the whole week...and all of them fell through. We made 200 contacts just walking around trying to get into houses. So needless to say by Saturday we were a bit depressed. We went to the church to use the phone in the Bishops office (yes we have permission ;P hehe) and after we had all of our appointments for Saturday also say they can’t anymore we just sat there wondering what to do, a bit defeated. Sister M spoke up and told me a story about when President Costa (who is the area president of Brasil) was president of one of the missions here, an elder went in for an interview and started to complain about how he couldn’t find any work to do. President Costa asked him if they were being obedient, making contacts, getting member references, fasting, praying....the elder answered yes to all of the above. The President Costa asked...."Well who do you want to find?" The Elder looked confused and answered "investigators". President Costa proceeded with a number of questions: 
Elder: A Family
 How many members of the family? 
Elder: A mom, a dad, with two little kids
What age? 
Elder: The parents are 25-30 and one kid is in primary the other is a youth.
What do they look like? 
Elder: White shirt, jeans, she has a flowered dress....etc.
Where will you find this family? 
Elder: In the neighborhood____. 
What street? What day and time will you find them? 
Elder: Street ____ Wednesday at 5:30 pm. 

And finally after the Elder had gone through and created everything about this family he wanted to find and teach....President Costa said: "Okay Elder. Pray for that. And good luck." He was instructed clearly that he and his companion needed to get there EXACTLY at 5:30 pm like he said. If they got there too early Satan will put people in his way that seem like the ones....but will just make them miss the real family. If they get there late they will lose the opportunity. The Elder, probably thinking President Costa was a little nuts....knelt with his companion and they did just that. And at 5:30 on Wednesday they went to the street and found a family....EXACTLY what they had described. The family was baptized. 

It was a neat story. A crazy story. But....missionaries in general are a bit crazy, so when Sister M finished the story I looked at her and said, "Well...lets pray!"

Telephone booth?  What's that?
We knelt in the Bishops office at 6:30. We prayed to find a recently and LEGALLY married couple of 21-26 years old who have a baby who is 0-1 years old. The husband would be wearing shorts and a white shirt and she would be wearing a pink shirt and jean shorts. We would find them at the park which is just a little bit down the street from the church at 6:45 on the dot. They will be looking for something different in their lives and they will be receptive. 

We closed our prayer and carefully started on our way to the park. We had 15 minutes to spare so we took the long way, being very very careful not to be stopped by crazy people or get run over by a car or something horrible. haha. Finally we got to the park entrance at 6:44. We waited in the entrance for one minute so that we would enter exactly at 6:45. Finally my watch struck 6:45 and we walked in....slowly...searching for our miracle. I think we were both full of faith but also emotionally preparing ourselves for disappointment. We looked and looked and nothing fitting the description was there. And then... a car pulled up to the park....and we held our breath as a woman, in a pink shirt and jean shorts, and her husband, in a white shirt, and shorts helped a little 1 or so year old baby toddle out of the car and walk into the park. Sister M and I just stood there staring, shaking, and completely dumbfounded as our MIRACLE walked onto the playground and sat on a park bench just a few feet away from us. Finally after gulping in some air and back some tears we went to talk to them. A and L (ages 24 and 25) are a new couple legally married who don’t really frequent any religion and have a 1 year old baby boy. They were receptive and kind and we talked to them for a long time. They live close by and they had heard of the church before. We tried not to cry as we told them about how their beautiful little family could be together forever into the eternities and have everlasting happiness. 

Never ever in my whole life have I experienced such a clear and VISIBLE miracle and answer to a very sincere and desperate prayer. Miracles are real. God is real. And better yet....He loves us enough to answer our prayers. When I got home I opened up my scriptures and found these beautiful and clear verses found in Mormon 9:15-19:

15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do ano miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
 16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous aworks of God?
 17 Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his aword the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was bcreated of the cdust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?
 18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty amiracles? And there were many bmighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
 19 And if there were amiracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he bchangeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

A very large lizard Emily almost stepped on!
My invitation to all who are reading this is to look for the little (and big) miracles in your every day life. Every little thing that our loving Heavenly Father gives us. And then when you find them (as I know you will), fall on your knees and thank God for sharing His little miracles with you so that you can find just a little more happiness that day. That´s my personal goal for not just the rest of my mission, but for my life. 

Thank you for all of your love and support. And for the advice on how to cook the Talapia that we were given last week! Dinner will be fancy tonight. ;) As always, you are all in my prayers! I hope you all have a wonderful week! <3 

Sister Heyer 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

These aren't Lessons. They are People.

Hello from the land down south where it is about 2 degrees away from being able to bake a cake on the sidewalk. 

Currently it is raining....but the skies are bright blue with puffy white clouds. Rain is falling from a perfect sky. Is that one of the signs of the second coming? Brasil is sometimes a very strange place.  

This week....was hot. And fast. Longest days but shortest weeks= a mission. This week we marked a baptism date with V for February 8th (please pray for her). We also made 435 contacts in one day (not a joke...it was awesome). I taught a man on a park bench all by myself the entire first lesson including the first vision while my companion taught someone else close by. That was a first. I have never taught a whole lesson somewhere that is not inside their house. We were given a huge carton of Talapia (the fish) from an investigator...no one really knows how to cook it so its in the freezer. Went on my first division with one of the young women. It was so much fun. And we had 4 progressing investigators, and 3 inactive families at church on Sunday. It was a GREAT week. 

Saturday we did an activity with our ward in the center of the city where there are tons of people. We set up big posters of Christ, Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, a girl praying....all with scriptures on the bottom. We had two tables full of pamphlets, O Livro de Mormons, The Family Proclamation, pamphlets on the temple, and a TON of pass along cards. The members came and passed out cards and talked with TONS of people. We all were able to get more than 50 addresses of people who are interested in learning more. Even the primary kids had fun giving out Liahonas (oops the Ensign) and invites to church and candy for the kids. It was so neat. The members really did an amazing job. Various taught about the gospel to people sitting around the center and they were so excited. Especially the Young Women. One of the women in our ward who thinks that girls shouldn’t serve missions was actually there....looking a lot like a sister missionary. And she taught multiple principles of the gospel and got us some great new families to teach. She seemed super happy but when we caught her eye she got super embarrassed and huffy about it. It was....well no offense but it was funny and gratifying to watch her realize that missionary work is for EVERYONE. :) It was an awesome activity and our ward will now do it once every month. 

We had a multizone meeting that basically changed my whole mission. It was so....inspiring. And we did some amazing practices that were SO hard but we really walked away from it learning something. I realized that I can teach a lot better than I give myself credit and I need to stop being such a baby about feeling insecure. We did one practice and I actually nailed it for the first time ever. And I felt so good. I think what made it all work out was that I just said what I felt and was confident about it. One thing President talked a lot about is how we need to teach with confidence because we know it is true. We have no reason to fear or doubt what we are saying because we know it is true. Just speak the truth. If they don’t agree or accept move on. But you can leave knowing you spoke the truth and you did your part. He encouraged us to be more creative as well. Not to fall into habits of saying the same thing like its a rehearsed play. These aren’t lessons. They are people. It was overall a wonderful meeting and I walked away from it with a new vision and a new determination to enjoy these last 9 months. 

Yep....9 months left. I am just a few weeks away from being technically half way done. But since I will be coming home a week or two early because of transfers....I am already half way done. The strangest part....well besides the whole "I cant believe how fast it went" part....is that now I am missing home less and starting to miss my mission. And I’m still here! But even just imagining leaving makes me sad. The future is full of so many questions. Here is just....work, serve, do your best, be obedient, and draw closer to the Lord. Everything is planned and....although it is not easy....it is a bit easier in a way than real life because you loose yourself so much in good things. It’s really just....the work of the Lord. No big life decisions. It’s funny how when you leave home a mission seems like such a sacrifice, then for the first half it becomes a challenge, the last half it is a blessing and then as you finish….it's almost a sacrifice to leave it all. I love my mission. Took me half of my mission to realize it. :P haha. 

Anyways enough sappiness and reflecting. Thank you for all of your emails. I love you all and I wish you a great and cold week while I sit here and cook (my new nickname here is Sister Pimenta....Sister Pepper). ;P Tchau! 

Sister Heyer