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.

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