Monday, November 25, 2013

Aldeota, Brazil Week 2

Well,  another week has come and gone. Man time is really flying by, I don´t really like it. This week has been good. I love the ward here in Aldeota. Everyday at noon we eat lunch with members at their homes. It´s always great to get a break from the office and be able to visit with a member family. I really love the members here and am excited for the time I have to be here and get to know them better. Just to give you an idea of what I do on a daily basis here are some of the the things I have done this week in the office: I have sent letters from President Souza to families and stake presidents of missionaries who got a new calling in the mission such as trainer, district leader, zone leader, etc. I sent letters from President Souza to all the recent converts in the mission. I marked a doctors appointment for an Elder. I registered Elders in the Polícia Federal that need to renew their visas and scheduled a day for them to come with me to the Polícia Federal. I call missionaries for various reasons such as missing baptismal records, money for ordering mission bags, etc. Also another thing I do is call taxis for missionaries that have to go to the hospital because they are sick. And sometimes that is in the middle of the night, such as this week, I had to call a taxi at about midnight for two Sister missionaries. The mission has an account with this taxi company so whenever any missionary needs a taxi I need to call for it, which is something that happens a lot. Anyways, sorry the office work isn´t too exciting but that´s what I do every day.

But we were able to teach a little more this week which was awesome! Missionary work is a lot different here in Aldeota when compared to my last area because everyone lives in a tall apartment building and we have to get let in by someone so it´s not as easy as walking around and asking people if we can enter their house and share a message like it was in my last area. We have to work with the member´s a lot and to get them to refer us to people.

Allen and I taught a referral this week who they had taught before but he had never come to church. His name is Bruno and he is awesome! We had a great lesson with him and he accepted to be baptized. He came to church yesterday and loved it. He is super excited about it all and it´s been awesome to be with him and to see of his love for the gospel. I am very excited for him! We passed by his house to walk with him to church and he was there ready in a nice clean white shirt and needed help with tying his tie. He is 21 years-old and really excited about being the first one of his family to join the church. It has been a great experience to be with him and to feel of his excitement.

This week we have two zone conferences to get ready for and I have a HUGE stack of baptismal records I have to enter into the church database. I forgot to say this last week but I accidentally knocked my computer over and we had to get a new hard drive. I felt super stupid because here I was first week in the office and I already broke the computer, but the exact thing had happened before. The computer was on this little wheely thing underneath the desk and super easy to accidentally tip over. But now it is sitting on the desk underneath the monitor in a much safer position. Oh and then the next day I broke my chair. Seriously, I sat down in it and it just collapsed. It was pretty funny but again, I felt pretty ridiculous. So anyways I had entered a lot of the baptismal records into the church database system on my computer but hadn´t entered them into Salt Lake yet because we wait til the end of the week to submit them all, so now I have to redo a TON. Oh well, it´s my own fault. It´s a cool experience to be able to enter each person that is baptized in the mission into the church records. It´s awesome to see what great work the Lord is doing here with the people in Fortaleza, Brasil and I am lucky to be apart of it!

It´s been a great week overall and I hope everything is going well for everyone. Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for this opportunity to be a missionary and all the many blessings the Lord has blessed me with. I hope everyone remembers and gives thanks for all the Lord has blessed them with in their lives on this great holiday. Thank you all for the love and support!


Elder Helvey

  This is us walking to lunch at a member´s house. We were walking in a single file line because we wanted to be in the shade. Remember how I said it´s not too hot here because of the coastal breeze? 
Yeah, well it´s been hot this week haha.

This is me in the Mission Office at my desk.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Aldeota, Brazil Week 1

Hello from the beautiful city of Fortaleza, Brasil! This week has been super busy but super awesome! As I said last week I am the Mission Secretary and so I work in the Mission Office all day. It´s been really cool to see how the mission runs and functions and it has been a long week of doing a lot of things I didn´t ever know had to be done.

Before I describe my week, one thing I forgot to mention last week is that Elder Christiansen and I started teaching this couple, Daniel and Isabella, with 2 boys, ages 10 and 5. Well Daniel and his 10 year-old son came to church with us and also stayed for Matheus´ baptism. They loved it! I was super excited for them. Daniel and his "wife" are not actually married so we were working with them on getting married. Well I got a call from Elder Christiansen this week saying that they are getting married and preparing for baptism! I´m super excited about them and look forward to hearing about their progress. We came in contact with this family by talking to Isabel on the street one day. It´s awesome to see how a simple street contact can turn into all that!

So this week has been great. I am now living in Aldeota, which is a part of Fortaleza. My apartment is right across the street from the building where the Mission Office is. We are right at the heart of the city. Lots of bustling and a lot of really tall buildings. It´s crazy how different this area is when compared to my last area I was serving. Our area is right on the coast so we get a nice coastal breeze so it´s not as hot here. I live with 3 other Elders. Elder Allen, who is my companion and training me how to be the Mission Secretary, and then Elder Muniz who is the Secretary of Finances, and Elder Cassimiro who is the Secretary of Housing, both of them are from São Paulo. Also, the Assistants live with us sometimes when they have to be in the Mission Office because their area is far away. We all have a lot of fun together and it´s also been great working so closely with President and Sister Souza. They are awesome!

Tuesday we welcomed 28 new missionaries to the mission. It was a very hectic and crazy, but also really exciting day. We picked up 21 missionaries (Brazilian, Americans, Argentinean, and 2 from Cape Verde) that came from the São Paulo CTM and then later that night we picked up 7 missionaries that came right from the United States. I had to give a training to all of them which I was a little bit scared for since I´m still not too confident in my Portuguese but I did it and it went well. I am in charge of making sure all of them give me all their legal documents, make sure they all have health cards, make sure the missionaries from São Paulo all sign this change of address form and then make sure they all have their police clearance documents, which shows they are legal in the country. For the missionaries right from the United States I had to get all their passports and visas and other government documents and then later in the week I have to register them with the Polícia Federal and schedule a day for them to come with me to the Polícia Federal and get their documents that says they are legal in the country. Anyways, I´ve gone on a little too much about what I have to do. It was great to interact with all the new missionaries!

Throughout the week we have had a lot of work to do regarding the new missionaries and with the new transfer. A lot of miscellaneous things that missionaries call and ask about or need help with this or that, a lot of paper work, and a lot of things for Church Headquarters in Salt Lake. It´s been really cool to see how it all works!

Last night was numbers night. Every Sunday night all the Zone Leaders call into me and report all the numbers for their Zones that week and also tell me what materials they need. It´s a long night of being on the phone and writing numbers and materials but it was good. Since I work in the office all day I feel like I shouldn´t be as tired as I was when I was walking the streets all day, but I have been absolutely exhausted at the end of each day. Not so much physically tired but mentally tired. I am excited to continue to learn a lot and work hard here in the Mission Office. This week we didn´t get too teach very much because we were so busy but Elder Allen said that is normal for the first week of the transfer. We taught one man named Taciano and he came to church too. He lives with his wife and 2 teenage daughters. We are hoping to teach all of them this week.

Well anyways, that´s it from me this week. It has been quite the week and I am excited to work here in the Mission Office. It´s also cool because I get to interact with so many different missionaries. My Portuguese is really coming along now. It really is a miracle! The Lord has really blessed me to learn it so quickly and every day I get a little better. I hope all is going well for everyone back at home. Thank you all for the love and support!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

The monumental passing of the keys and phone that they said needed to be documented haha. 
Elder Allen passing the keys and the cell phone of the Mission Secretary over to me.
 I feel very unprepared but he´ll be here for a few more weeks to train me 
and help me out and show me how to do everything.

  The Mission Office is on the 16th floor of this building.

 Aldeota, Fortaleza, Brasil. The view from one of the windows from the Mission Office,.
My apartment building is in the bottom right hand corner of this picture.

The view from the window right behind my desk.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sevilha, Brazil Week 6

Oi! Well my first 6 weeks in Brazil have come and gone and this week was the last week of the transfer. Elder Christiansen and I had a great week! We set goals for this week to beat all our goals from previous weeks and we did! We met and taught many new people and we´re excited about many of them. This week was especially great because we had a baptism!!! It was awesome!! We have been teaching this 11 year-old boy named Matheus. His aunt and cousins are members of the church and he has been going to church with them for awhile. We weren´t sure for awhile if we could baptize him or if it would be other missionaries because there was some confusion on where his primary residence is. But we got it all figured out and so when we were teaching him on Saturday we told him that he could be baptized Sunday, like the next day. Right when we told him that he jumped out of his chair and shouted for joy and came and gave each of us a big hug. He then went around the room high-fiving and hugging his family. It was awesome!

So after church we had the baptism. It was such an awesome baptismal service. Many members from the ward stayed for it and the room was packed. After the baptism we sang many songs from the hymn book and it was just an awesome experience to be in that crowded room with all those people singing Portuguese hymns. I am so happy for Matheus and he has already talked about how when he serves a mission that he will be called Elder Silva. He is a great kid and I am way excited for him!

Well,  every 6 or so weeks we have transfers and today was transfers. I thought for sure I would be staying in my area since I had only been there for 6 weeks and had just finished up the missionary training program, but last night the Zone Leaders told me that I was being transferred, but no one knows where they are going until at the transfer meeting. So I packed up all my stuff and we went to transfer meetings this morning. At transfers President Souza announces all the new companionships, trainers, zone leaders, district leaders, APs, etc. So he went through the list and then announced that the new Executive Secretary of the mission would be... Elder Helvey. I was quite shocked and in all seriousness had really no idea what that meant. Still don´t know all too well. But I have been transferred to Aldeota, Fortaleza and will be working in the mission office. My new companion, Elder Allen, is from Arizona and he will be with me for the next 5 weeks training me to be the secretary of the mission. Not sure what all I do as the secretary but I will find out soon. Elder Allen has told me a little bit and he says that I do a lot of things to get ready for the new missionaries coming in and also correspond with Church Headquarters a lot, and pretty much do whatever President needs. He also has told me I have to translate for President Souza sometimes. It was all kind of a shock and I´m still kind of in shock and feel very under qualified for all this, especially my Portuguese. But Elder Allen says I will learn it all really fast and will be surprised at how used to things I will get. As for now I am excited! Tomorrow we will pick-up 28 new missionaries at the airport.

Anyways, that´s my week. It has been good and I am doing well. My Portuguese is improving really fast but I still have a long way to go! Thank you for the love and support. I hope you are all doing great!

Until next week.


Elder Helvey

 Matheus and his family! It was such a great baptism!!

 Átila and me. He is a member in our ward that came out a lot and taught with us. He is awesome!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sevilha, Brazil Week 5

Oi! Has another week really gone by already?! Wow, time is flying by. I am loving it here and we had another GREAT week! We taught a lot this week and got some awesome new investigators although we are having trouble with people not coming to church. We have an awesome group of people and families we are teaching but a lot of them are not coming to church which is disappointing. Most of them really want to come to church but unexpected things come up that make them not able to come to church. But we continue to work hard and do all we can and we know the Lord will help us out with this. We made our weekly goals last night and I am way excited for this next week!

We attended a birthday party of a 9 year-old boy in our ward and it was a lot of fun to see how Brazilians celebrate birthdays. We had a great time and had lots of food and cake. Also, this week I went on a companion exchange with Elder Wadsworth from Idaho. He came into my area and it was a ton of fun, we were laughing a lot and I really enjoyed the day with him. This week we ate lunch with a member from the ward that had just gotten back from Utah. He had been there for conference and stayed with some friends in Salt Lake. He also said he got a tour of BYU so it was a lot of fun to talk with him. We also got to attend our ward mission leader´s chapel wedding this week so that was a lot fun.

A funny moment this week was when Elder Christiansen and I were out teaching with a member named Átila and we were at the door of this house and a car drove by and drove through this big puddle right next to us and it completely drenched Elder Christiansen and Àtila. We were laughing for quite awhile about that one, especially me because I didn´t get wet at all.

Yesterday there was an American family visiting from Utah at church so it was fun to talk with them, although pretty weird to speak English outside our house. He had served a mission here 15 years ago and was just returning now with his wife and parents. It was cool to spend some time with them.

We started teaching the man named Daniel this week and we are so excited about him. We taught the Restoration to him and he loved it and we are excited about his potential. Although he owns his own bakery and a lot of his business is on Sunday morning, but we taught about the Sabbath Day and he said he is going to prepare and make plans to be able to attend church. It was awesome when he said that because we can tell he really wants to come to church and is willing to sacrifice for the Lord.

We taught many other new people and continue to teach our normal people too. I wish I had time to write about each one of them and tell you all about them but I don´t have time. My Portuguese is really coming along well! I have been diligent about studying and the Lord has helped me a ton. This week he blessed me with the courage to open my mouth more and just talk and it has really helped me improve rapidly this week.

Well I have to go, I hope you are all doing well. I have felt the love and prayers this week, so thank you! I hope you all have another great week!

Until next week.


Elder Helvey

 Last week we decided to de-ice our freezer and we turned the kitchen into Antarctica. 
We used the broom to play that Olympic sport, curling. haha it was fun!
 This is a picture of me at my study desk. I got O Livro de Mórmon and The Book of Mormon, 
going back and forth between Portuguese and English, Portuguese and English.
This is a picture of Elder Christiansen and me with some kids from a family from the ward. 
We had lunch with them after church.