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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Just When I got Comfortable...

Well....I was transferred. Got a call from the assistants yesterday. Why? Because my situation is complicated. I will be transferred to Iguatami (which is our President´s ward) to stay with Sister Mora (sister trainer leader) for 2 weeks to open a new area....then in two weeks I will be transferred again. To open a new area in Castelo (which is basically Chapadão. Same church building just a different ward and the other side of the neighborhood.) sharing the area and the ward and all lunches with the....assistants (0_0)....with my new companion who will be American and who I will train. She is at the mtc in São Paulo for 2 weeks starting tomorrow doing the new two week intensive language study for missionaries who have been serving in the states. 

I know...sorry its complicated. Just to review: 

-2 weeks opening an area with the sister trainer leader in Presidents ward
-Transferred AGAIN
-American companion who just got here
-Opening ANOTHER area while training
-The transfer is only 5 weeks so....opening TWO areas, being transferred twice, and doing 6 week training...in only 5 weeks. 
-Sharing an area with the assistants
-Back to where I was just a few months ago 
-Living in a new house just the 2 of us
-Stake president is the richest man in brasil....lincoln martins.

Trying to stay positive. But it’s a lot of big and difficult changes to take in in only one day. I guess now that I am almost 10 months in President wants to make sure I stay on my toes and don’t get too comfortable. I could really use the Rocky theme song right about now...but Peace Like a River by Mormon Tab. is a close second. ;P hahaha.

Good news:
-........I will be close to Sergel the best ice cream place on the planet
-My zone is closer to the temple so maybe we will be chosen to go

Anyways....apart from being really sad to go and quite a bit stressed....WE HAD A BAPTISM! Our dear Pa was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was easily one of the most beautiful and spiritual baptisms I’ve seen.

On Saturday she showed up at the church at 2:00 because she was so excited. Her baptism was at 6. hahaha. We made her a cake and bought her flowers.She cried so much. It was very beautiful. I sang "I feel my Savior´s Love" in Portuguese for her. It was fun. I wasn’t even nervous (making BIG progress here). It was so sweet because right after the baptism there was a Relief Society activity and she immediately started helping set up everything, chatting with all the Sisters and making a ton of friends. We just stood there feeling completely useless watching her become a part of the ward in less than 10 minutes of being baptized. It was....comforting. :) The next day she was confirmed, gave the closing prayer, already paid her tithing, and the Bishop asked if he could give her a calling next week. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Literally. 

So....that was my week. :) Thank you for the emails of support. I really appreciate getting that extra boost every week. <3 Love you all. 

Sister Heyer

Ps- President gave all the missionaries the new manual about how to handle stress....just in time. It would prob be more helpful if it were in English though.... -_- Sometimes you get stressed just trying to read it all and understand what its saying about stress in Portuguese! hahahaha. Its ironic.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blessings of Safety and Peace

HELLO! Well...last week of the transfer. Can´t believe its almost over already. When we went to the temple on Saturday (explanation as to why will follow) I saw a couple from Valinhos carrying a tiny little baby....I remember when she told us that she was pregnant! It was very strange to see a living proof of how quickly time passes and how long I have been gone already. It was hilarious however seeing their faces as I talked to them in fluent Portuguese. ;P lol. 

This week was another great week! Pa wanted to go to the temple with us on Saturday so Sister M and I drove with Pa and M who is her good friend and recent convert in our ward. It was beautiful. There were FIVE weddings there. It was sweet to see Pa get all teary eyed as a Dad being sealed to his wife and little girl explained to his daughter that she, mommy, and daddy could now stay together forever and ever. Something that if I had heard I wouldn’t have really thought twice about because it is a normal idea to me, became incredibly special and incredible to this starry eyed 23 year old Pa. I realized how much we often take the gospel for granted. The gospel really is....special. 

Our zone leaders met us there to interview her for baptism. She will be baptized this Saturday. I found a really pretty of the Salt Lake Temple (where she wants to get married someday) and backed it on cardstock. I then made it into 6 puzzle pieces each with a quote about Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and as the endure to the end part I put in two beautiful quotes about eternal marriage and forever families. We will put a puzzle piece in her mail box every day this week until Sunday when she is confirmed. :) Figured that would be some sort of way we could do follow up with her every day this week amidst school and work that keeps her out of the house almost all day. Please pray for her. She needs it. Satan isn’t ever happy about new angels in God´s kingdom. 

Under the temple is a little tent where they sell custom made mormon knick knacks like key chains and CTR shirts and stuff. She bought a key chain that says "SUD" which is "LDS" in portuguese. She put in straight on her keys and she was so excited. hahaha. When we were driving home from the temple she stopped to get us Japanese food! It was so sweet of her. And very inspired because when we got out of the car.....we heard a nasty hissing sound and discovered her tire was slowly seeping lower to the ground. Seeing as how we were in the middle of Campinas she freaked out. We hopped into the car and with shaking hands and lots of "oh crappppssss" she desperately started looking for a gas station. Not surprisingly Sister M and I were totally calm. We said a prayer and sure enough....a gas station popped up and a nice guy helped us switch out her tire. We took the missionary moment to point out that God is protecting her as one of the blessings of her decision. She was very startled but became really happy when we pointed that out. She took the new found peace she felt from our words to take some pictures and post them on instagram. It is so funny teaching a young adult. hahahaha. Spiritual moments are always just so facebook worthy. ;) hahaha. Anyways we got really good food and made it home safely. Quite the adventure. 

We visited the family we are teaching  and P (the mom) told us an interesting story. Monday was a huge thunder storm. M (the dad) was on the roof fixing the antenna when he felt very strongly that he should get off the roof. He immediately climbed down and the minute he was inside the house lighting struck the antenna and burned out all their electronics....but M was safe. H (the son, now 11) was very startled by the event and quite traumatized. So when we visited yesterday we called a ward member who lives close by and he came and gave H a blessing. It was very spiritual. We also invited M to say a prayer as a family on our knees and to ask if the church is true. He did. He cried the whole prayer. It was a beautiful prayer. And I think he got his answer. He just is too scared to follow it for now. But P and M are becoming more and more impressed with the church and are really RECOGNIZING that God has been more present in their lives since we started visiting. I have confidence they will be baptized one day. I just don’t know when that day will be. They are hard work this family. But they are so special. We wont give up. 

When she walked us out, P made a comment about how it was going to rain and she forgot to buy a new umbrella. As we were walking away....I told Sister M that we were going to come back in a few minutes here. She asked why and I told her "We´re going to go buy P an umbrella!" She laughed (I think she thought I was kidding) and we literally ran down the hill to the first little shop we found and bought an umbrella. We then ran back and arranged the umbrella on the door and went home. It was fun. :) P called later that night and told us that never before had she seen such a precious and heart felt umbrella. She told us she will never ever throw it out. It felt really good to do something nice for her. I really love her and her family. 

Anyways….I'll stop going on and on and let you guys get back to your lives. But just as a spiritual message this week.....

This video really demonstrates the importance and the true meaning of loving one another. All of us are different but to our Heavenly Father we are all His children. May we look for those who are struggling, picked on, or who are needing a friend. Take the challenge that Jesus gave to all of us to “love one another, as I have loved you.”

I love you all. Have a great week. <3 
Sister Heyer

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Update From the Ark

Beautiful Jaguariuna
Well...it poured almost every day this week. If it weren’t for the fact that the scriptures say that God promised never to flood the whole Earth again, I would start building an ark. The best day was when we got home to find that the sisters left the front room window open and the whole study room was filled with about 2 inches of water. That was fun to clean up. Baptism forms and pass along cards were literally floating.... 

Apart from the rain, this week was AWESOME! Easily one of the best weeks on my mission. Which is funny because nothing super extraordinary or adventurous happened. We just....WORKED a ton. And actually had results! 

Friday night the other pair of Sisters organized two members to take them and a family who are investigating the church to the temple. After everything fell into place to take them, their investigator cancelled. They asked us if maybe we wanted to take the rides and invite one of our investigators to go see the temple. We of course accepted and started calling around. We thought in P and M, our family who we have been teaching. But she didn’t answer. Nobody was answering the phone. Finally we did what we always do....fell on our knees and said a prayer. Sister M said that the first person we call and answers will be who goes. We finished the prayer and called P again. AND SHE ANSWERED! Better than that....it only took her about 2 seconds to accept our invite! So on Saturday we split into 2 cars and took their whole family (mom, dad, and two sons) to the temple.

At the Temple
It was an amazing experience. The spirit was so strong the whole time and the temple was of course BEAUTIFUL. There is a little room inside the temple that is a waiting room open for everyone. We went inside and sat there for a while enjoying the peace. A temple missionary who happened to be an older American gentleman came in and in the cutest Portuguese explained about how families can be forever and that the temple is the house of the Lord where we can make everlasting covenants that stay with us even when we die. It was really sweet and the spirit was just so strong. It was interesting because H (10) and I (2.5) were super quiet and respectful the whole time. They listened very attentively and weren’t even bored even though we sat for quite awhile inside. After he finished sharing with them a little bit about the temple he invited H to come back and eat a big mac with him sometime. It was pretty cute. P and M were just glowing.

We took some pictures in the front and then stood talking for a while in front because P said she didn’t want to leave yet....Sister M asked I (2.5) what his favorite part was. He left us all a little teary when he immediately answered very sincerely and reverently "to go inside". It was incredible. We could tell P and M were really touched. He could have said running in the grass or sticking his hands in the fountain that is in front....but for him the most special and memorable moment as a little 2 year old was to go inside and sit on the couch quietly in the temple. On the way home I rode with P. We talked for a good hour about testimony and about eternal families. She told me in the end that she has always felt she was the only person on the planet who felt that a woman’s purpose is to be a mother and stay home and raise her kids in the word of God. She said that she has always felt strange or even alienated for this belief. And then she said that she felt this way....until she met us. And now she sees that she is not alone in her beliefs. That this way of life is not dead. She was so impressed. And she told me that she is just loving getting to know about the church. It was one of the first times that she didn’t bring up her church and compare hers with ours. It was the first time that she really had a spiritual moment and I believe a testifying moment....that this church is not just a church. And that maybe...just maybe it could be for her. 

The next day their whole family went to church with us. They loved it. She told us she has tons of questions and is so happy and curious and agreed with everything she heard. She wants us to come before our normal time on Sat. So we will go tomorrow. We are so excited because SHE is so excited. We know that she is very involved at her church and is very stubborn. But we have a lot of faith and hope that she will find what she is looking for within the walls of the gospel and that she will have the courage to enter in. Please remember her and her family in your prayers. 

Celebrating the halfway mark...9 months.
I don’t know if I have mentioned Pa before but she is our "eternal investigator". We have been teaching her for weeks. And she was taught by the Elders before us too. She had a date to be baptized but then the elders left (or I should say...THE elder left....-_-) and she got confused. She hasn’t been talking to us for about a week. As a last attempt we bought her M&Ms and wrote her a cute little letter expressing our love and concern with a list of inspiring scriptures about going back to church and not giving up. (My favorite being 1 Thessalonians 1:8...which was really true considering how determined we are to help her) We then put it in her mail box because she wasn’t home. The next day she called! And asked to meet with us. We thought she was going to tell us to beat it and leave her alone. But instead she made us a huge dinner and then asked if she could be baptized! 0.0 It was crazy!!! We set up her interview for this Saturday and then she will return to church and be baptized next saturday. It will be our last week here and we can finish it off with a very special and very spiritual baptism. We are STOKED. To say the least. We are going to go to the temple with her before her interview and then come back in time for the zone leaders to get here and interview her. She is so happy. She cried with us. Her dream is to find her true love and be married in the temple for time and all eternity. This one little dream is leading her to make the best decision of her life. (And as a side note I invited her to my wedding (in the future) and to come hang out with me at BYU Idaho. She is 22. And we love all the same movies and books. Found my Brasilian best friend.) <3 Please pray for her too. She needs it. As she said herself…every time she wants to get baptized something bad happens that keeps her from going through with it. But we are determined to see it through. She is just too special to give up on her. 

Hiding under Sister B's bed to surprise her for her b-day!
Anyways....that was my week. Two events that may seem little but for us....it was like a huge Christmas present. I am so happy. :) And as a cherry on top...Elder Nelson asked me to lead the music at our multizone meeting with Elder Costa (Area President) on Wednesday. I love leading the music. So I’m stoked. Again. :) I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!! 

Alright, well I’ll stop bugging you guys and finish this up. I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support. Have a great week! 

Sister Heyer

Ps- A wonderful friend of mine sent me a link to a video that I loved and thought I would share with you. :) Enjoy. 

4 But as we were aallowed of God to be bput in ctrust with the gospel, even so we dspeak; not as epleasing men, but God, whichftrieth our hearts.

9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and atravail: forblabouring night and day, because we would not be cchargeableunto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. - Thessalonians 2

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carnival, Desire, Tape and Gauze

Good grief. Probably the best way to describe this week. For those of you who don’t really follow useless Brasilian holidays (so...everyone) this week was carnival. The country´s excuse to not work for 4 days, drink until they drop, and do other horrible and disgraceful things in public. Needless to say I am not a fan. The only neat thing about Carnival is the competitive samba parade which is really quite neat seeing a ton of talented dancers doing themed Samba routines in the street around huge coordinating floats that make the Macy´s day parade look like grocery store brand cookies next to real Oreos. It would be ten times neater though if the dancers actually wore clothing. It is a mess of a holiday and even the people say so. But they still participate. It comes as no surprise to anyone that Brasil´s largest birth rate month is 9 months after carnival. Needless to say Mardi Gras is totally lame to me now and I have never been so glad  that we have a 9:00 curfew. :)

It rained a lot this week.  Not happy...
Apart from some unproductive contacts this week and lots of noise we had a few really great (and sober) lessons with some new investigators! We started teaching a new girl. She is 14 and she is so sweet. She has been to church twice and to seminary and then she asked her friend if she could meet with the missionaries. So we came and taught her the first lesson. When we shared about the first vision she cried. When we gave her a Book of Mormon she cried again. She was so grateful to hear that the truth exists and that she has purpose and most important of all that God loves her and won’t abandon her. Her story is very sad. Her dad left her and her mom and sister when she was little. Her mom has been dealing with schizophrenia and depression for years and so L has been the one who cooks and cleans and takes care of the family. She is very quiet and shy but very funny when she opens up. Her mom wants us to teach her too. We are very excited. When we teach L, the spirit is so strong it moves all of us to tears. We know that she is very, very special to our Heavenly Father. She agreed to be baptized in the first lesson. We just need to teach her mom too or she can’t be baptized for another 3 months of going to church because of the area rules about baptizing kids under 15. We are anxious to teach her mom this week. 

We have continued teaching P and M. It is very interesting because they literally believe in all the usually difficult things for people to believe in....prophets, Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon....etc. But they also believe in a whole stream of other things that are a bit conflicting. When we bore our testimonies this last time though the spirit was so strong it was almost tangible. M expressed that he believes and that where he is now in his church is not sufficient to him. He wants to make the change. She, however, is way more reluctant. We can see it on her face that she feels it’s true...but we also see the major conflict she feels about making a big change from something that she has been a part of for years. I can understand that must be difficult. 

Sorry Em, I am not bronzing those shoes! -Mom
This week Sister M and I were talking about how it is very interesting to find people who are looking for answers but when they find them....they don’t follow them because they still insist their church is enough. For me, if you are looking and praying to know about other religions then where you are is not sufficient for you. A person who truly feels they have all they need doesn’t look for more. Then it made me think back on my life growing up in the gospel and how not even once, did I have a desire to explore other religions. Not even out of curiosity have I been to another church or had a desire to hear from other missionaries. Thinking back I realize that its not because I am intolerant and don’t respect other religions. Or even that I am afraid to hear because I want to stay in my own little mormon bubble. But that in all honesty....it is completely unnecessary to me. I have no desire because I don’t feel anything is missing. I have what I need. My religion is more than sufficient and to me is completely unquestionable. I have no doubts. 

Sister M talked about how people who have a desire to look else where and find answers have it because God planted this desire to find the truth in our hearts. In every one of us we have a desire, be it big or small, to discover the truth of all things...to find direction...to find answers. This little seed of searching is what drives each one of us to read, to learn, to talk with others, to pray, to find, to think, and finally to know. What a beautiful gift. Imagine how much more difficult missionary work would be if God didn’t plant this natural desire in the human heart?  

Apart from this, my week was rather the same as usual. My friend Sister W almost cut my finger off with her razor and I almost had to get stitches but....seeing as how I made a vow never to set foot in a Brasil hospital I used tape and gauze and prayed. hahaha. (I joked how I have been wanting to loose weight but not really through blood loss and taking chunks out of me! ;P hehe) Also I got my two packages from Christmas! So we had a little christmas on Thursday afternoon. It was awesome. :) (Thanks mom!) <3 

I hope all of you are well. I love you all and am so happy to hear from you! <3 Have a great week! 

Sister Heyer

Sunday, March 2, 2014

God's Plan IS Families

A pool....don't even get me started...
Well this week was interesting. We had a number of run ins with people only interesting in fighting. Which.....like I said won’t happen. But it did inspire me to do an intense bible study this week and find lots of scriptures to support every gospel topic. There is just so much to learn! I love scripture study though. It is my favorite part of the day.

We found a new family. They are an adorable family. They are currently only interested in learning everything we believe and seeing all the evidence that supports what we say. It is hard to teach people who don’t want to walk by faith....but insist on hard proof. Sometimes the answer is how you feel and what the spirit testifies to you. It will be interesting teaching them. They come from a religion that really doesn’t like our church but they are very respectful and truly want to learn what we know to be true. I am excited. It may be a bit of a challenge but they are very intelligent and very willing to learn. We really love visiting them.
Every missionary encounters a dog...

The bishop told us some exciting numbers this week. When we got here the number of members every week at church was around 80. Since we have been here we now have a frequency of 130. We have reactivated over 5 whole families just by visiting with them. Not one did we go in and try to convince them to go to church. We just talk. And share a little scripture or sing a hymn. And then leave. It is amazing to see what a difference it makes in their lives just to show them someone cares and remembers them. Sometimes all they need is a little love. 

Future Missionaries!
This week was our meeting with Elder Evans and his wife Mary Evans (who I swear I have seen before...). He is the president of....all the missions in the whole world. He is the mission board president. He talked the whole time about eternal marriage and having kids. At first we (MISSIONARIES) were very confused.....and then it all made sense to me. We are here to help build families. We need to understand this importance and have this desire to build our own families one day to really be able to help others. Gods plan IS families. And that is our job right now....help and build families in the gospel. It was beautiful and I doubt there was one dry eye in the whole room. Even President and his wife were teared up. It was a very neat and unforgettable conference and I am so grateful we got to hear from him. 

I hope everyone is doing alright. Thank you for all the love and support from home. <3 You all have no idea how much it helps me. I love you all and wish you a wonderful week. <3

Sister Heyer