Monday, April 28, 2014

Aldeota, Brazil Week 24

Hello!! I am super excited to write this week because there are some awesome goings on here and so much to be excited about. This week was good. Elder Vallo and I started teaching a man named Antonio. We visited him with a member in our ward, Irmão Ismael. We visited him in his very humble circumstances and had a great lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can help him and his family, he has 3 sons (ages 2 months to 5 years). We learned a lot about his beliefs and taught him about how anyone can change and become a better person as we learn of Jesus Christ and strive to follow him. He expressed a desire to come to church but unfortunately when Irmão Ismael passed by his house to walk with him to church he couldn´t come. Irmão Ismael is a powerful teacher and his love for Antonio is easy to see when he teaches with us.

This week was the last week of the transfer so I had a lot of work to do in the Mission Office getting everything ready for next transfer. We also had a little farewell party at Irmão Ismael and Irmã Jane´s house for Elder Muniz since he got transferred today.

Anyways, today has been the most eventful day. Today we had transfer meetings so my day started with getting up at 4AM and taking Elder Armoa, from Paraguay, to the airport. At 9AM we had transfer meeting which is always awesome! It´s always so fun to be together with so many missionaries and see so many of my friends that I haven't  seen in awhile. One cool thing that happened today was for the first time all of the Elders that were in my MTC district that are assigned to Fortaleza were all together. All 6 of us were together for the first time since the MTC, which was way awesome! This transfer meeting was also awesome because President Souza announced some awesome news to all of us. He announced today that Elder Neil A. Andersen will be visiting Fortaleza in May and will have a meeting with all the missionaries. That means both missions in Fortaleza will all meet together and will be having a meeting with him! We are all super excited. It will be the morning of May 19th. How awesome!!

Also, some other very exciting news is that I have started training the next Executive Secretary of the Mission. My new companion is Elder Zwick from Alpine, Utah and he will replace me as the next Mission Secretary. I am excited to train him and it also means that I will be leaving Aldeota in 5 weeks. I am super excited for this next transfer and sad that I will be leaving the great ward here and the people I have come to know and grown so close to, but I am also excited for the future! I am super excited to continue to work a lot with the members here and continue to find people to teach and help. I also dropped Elder Young and Elder Bonds off at the airport after the transfer meeting. Elder Zwick has only been here for 6 weeks which is how many weeks I had when I was called to the office. He already speaks really well and I am excited to be his companion for the next 5 weeks!

Anyways, things continue to go well and I am excited for this transfer. I hope all is going well with all of you. I think about you all and pray for you daily. Thank you for the continued love and support. I am so blessed to have so many great friends and family members.

Until next week!


Elder Helvey

Elder Muniz, President and Sister Souza, and me at district meeting on Wednesday.

Oh I forgot to say that I visited the hospital this week. 
I have had a terrible pain in my left ear for awhile and on Thursday I couldn´t sleep because of the pain 
so I visited the hospital. They helped with the pain and I visited a doctor the next day 
and now am on meds and am getting better. 
But anyways, this is a photo of me and the friend I made at the hospital.

Goodbye party for Elder Muniz with Ismael, Jane, Jorgy, and Vinícius (who took the photo).

Elder Young and me  on his last night in the mission.

Elder Allen, Elder Zwick and me... the lineage of executive secretaries.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aldeota, Brazil Week 23

Hello and Happy late Easter! I hope everyone checked out and was able to focus on the life and teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Last Monday we said goodbye to Bruno as he left for Europe. It was sad to say goodbye because we have become such close friends and I will miss him but I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to share the gospel with him and see his life change. What a blessing the gospel has been in his life! On Tuesday night we headed down to the main shopping center in Aldeota to see the performance of Jesus the Christ. It was a multi-stake production by the church in Fortaleza and it was so crowded. They did a great job and I knew some people in the show and I was also able to see some people from my first area, Ala Sevilha, which was so fun! Also, there were a ton of missionaries there so it was great to see so many of my good friends here on the mission.

Elder Vallo and I received a referral this week and when we looked at it, it was our neighbor. He literally lives on our same floor the next door over. It was great to visit him and then to also teach his mom and another lady that lives in our building. We had a great lesson with them and we explained our purpose as missionaries and had a great discussion with them about the importance of Christ and his gospel. Unfortunately, they had other appointments Sunday and were not able to come to church but I am hopeful they will this next week. He was driving by us on the road this morning and yelled "Oi, Élderes!" which was fun. He is a great guy who lost his leg in an accident when he was in his 20s but he told us "don´t you dare feel sorry for me because I don´t feel sorry for myself! I have kept on living life to the fullest and I think the most important thing in life is to just be happy and stay positive." He is a great example to me about making the most of your situations. I am excited to continue to visit him!

We had many appointments this week but a lot of them fell through. We went out to teach and visit people with Jorgy, the son of Irmã Jane one day. It was a lot of fun getting to know him better. He is 19 and I called to see if he could come out with us and when we showed up he was ready in his church clothes which was so great. He is preparing to serve a mission so it was a great time!

One day this week Elder Vallo and I spent much of the day out of our area doing things for the mission. We had to go to a hospital to pick up some exam results for a missionary and we went to visit and get everything ready at a new house that the mission is renting for next transfer. Which by the way, transfers are next Monday which of course is always a fun time in the mission office. Unfortunately, Elder Muniz will be leaving because he is done training his replacement so I will be sad to see him leave the office since we have been here together for such a long time. As for me, we´ll see if I train the new executive secretary this next transfer or not. We will be getting 13 new missionaries so it will be exciting to welcome them as it always is.

Well that´s about it for this week. Sorry there isn´t too much else going on. Next Monday is transfer meetings which means early morning drop off at the airport and then transfer meeting and afternoon drop off at airport. Should be a long but awesome week! I hope all is going well for all of you and as it says on a little paper we have taped up in the mission office "Have the best week yet!"

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

 All four of us played a game last week at the church for P-day! It was a lot of fun!!

View of the city in the background from our church building.

We had one last get together with Bruno, his dad, and some of his friends.

It rained a lot this week and after walking to a lunch appointment, 
we got there and were completely drenched. The ocean is in the background of this picture.

This is what I make myself to eat these days in our apartment when we get home each night at 9:30. 
Some juice, and a nice ham and cheese sandwich with mustard! haha just like home!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Aldeota, Brazil Week 22

This week was filled with a lot of work and one big surprise!

On Wednesday after our weekly Zone Meeting the Zone Leaders stayed with us the rest of the day to help us build our teaching pool. The problem here is that we can walk around all day trying to contacting people but all the contacts we do no one lives in our area. Aldeota is a part of the city where many people work but few people live and if they live here they live in a very tall building. It was a great experience though to go out with them and do contacting. I got to go to one of the town squares with Elder Echeimberg from São Paulo. It was great meeting people with him and talking with them. We were able to get a lot of contacts that we passed to other missionaries since the people don´t live in our area so that´s good. But spending part of the day with him really helped me to become more comfortable with doing contacts and Elder Vallo and I have been doing a lot of contacting this week. And like I said before a lot of the people we come in contact with on the streets here don´t live here but last night after one of our appointments fell through Elder Vallo and I decided to just start walking and talking to everyone we came in contact with. We started to do that and we ended up talking to quite a few people and ended up meeting to different people that live in our area and we are going to visit them on Wednesday. We are quite excited because it has been awhile since we have been able to visit a new person who is interested in the church. Most of our work has been with new members or less active members. The Lord really does bless us when we do our part even when it is as simple as opening our mouths and inviting people to learn more.

This week I got to go on a split with Elder Muniz. It was great to have him as my companion again even if it was just for a little bit. We visited Irmã Jane, Irmão Ismael, e Jorge. We work a lot with them and they are such great missionaries. We were helping them learn English so we gave them a lesson on Thursday. It´s always so great to visit them and feel of their excitement they have for missionary work. Yesterday both of them bore their testimonies and with tears in her eyes Irmã Jane pleaded with the congregation to help the missionaries. She said, "I love the missionaries in our ward. These young people leave their homes and their families to come here and share the gospel with people. Please help them. They need our help!" Irmão Ismael also shared of his experience with bringing people to the gospel such as his friend Vinícius who was baptized a couple months ago and who we have continued teaching. They are both so great! Elder Vallo and I are going to visit our new contacts on Wednesday with Ismael. It was a great church service yesterday!

And now for the big surprise of th week. Bruno called me on Tuesday asking if we could come visit him that night. When we arrived he was very excited and told us he had some great news. And then he said, "well good news for me, and bad news for you." He had been applying to work on a cruise ship and he told us that he finally got accepted as a waiter on an Italian cruise line. He is leaving tonight for Europe. He will start in the Netherlands and travel all over Europe for the next 9 months working as a waiter on a cruise. He is very excited but he says he will miss Fortaleza a lot especially going to church and having us visit him. When he was explaining all of this, one of the only things I could think of was how this was going to affect him in staying strong in the church. Before I could even say anything he said, "and don´t worry! I know people are going to say that I am going to go less active because of all the parties and stuff on cruises but I´m there for work. I’m going to stay strong in the church. I’m going to bring the scriptures and then when I come back in 9 months I´ll continue going to church!" We had a great talk about how he can continue to study the scriptures and pray during the next 9 months and stay strong spiritually. We had lunch after church yesterday at his house with his family and some members from church. It was great! I of course am sad that he will be leaving and will not be able to visit him anymore but it was has been an amazing experience with him. From the first day Elder Allen and I walked into his house in November until now it has been incredible to see the changes in his life and how he has been blessed so much because of the gospel. He bore his testimony in church yesterday and testified of the truthfulness of the gospel and the ability it has to change people’s lives. He´s awesome!

Well that’s it from me this week. Check out The Church has an awesome new video and page to help focus on the Savior this Easter. Watch it! Read it! Share it! Have a great week! Thank you all for the love and support.

Elder Helvey

The Mission Office got new computer monitors! They are awesome. The church decided to use our old monitors somewhere else here in Fortaleza so we got new ones. They´re huge and super nice so it was like Christmas day here in the Mission Office.

Elder Muniz celebrated his year mark on his mission this week so we had a little party in our apartment with Pizza and chocolate cake.

Bruno and I after church Sunday where we stood together on December 1st when he was baptized. 

 Visiting with Bruno and Carlos (member) after lunch yesterday.

A group of us ate at the little food shack near the Mission Office today for P-day lunch. Always fun to spend time with other missionaries!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Aldeota, Brazil Week 21

Hey everyone! How was Conference weekend? Wasn´t it so great?! I, too, got to watch all the sessions this weekend which was awesome, but first, it was another great week here in Aldeota.

For Family Home Evening Monday night we visited Irmão Ismael and Irmã Jane and had one of the recent converts in the ward, Vinícius over. It was so great to spend time with them and be able to teach about the importance of General Conference. It was especially great to hear the strong testimony of Irmã Jane and how General Conference has helped her over the years to be re-energized to follow our Savior Jesus Christ more in her life. Every time I go over there I am amazed at the love that both Irmão Ismael and Irmã Jane have for the church and inviting others to know more about the church, but most importantly I am humbled and amazed by their love and trust in Heavenly Father. They both have had very difficult lives but they continue to trust in the Lord and know that "everything will work out in the end" (something we learned from General Conference this week). Unfortunately, our Family Home Evening was cut a little short because I received a call from Sister Souza and we had to go help some missionaries at the hospital and give them a document that they needed, but none the less, it was good.

Our lunches this week were exceptionally good! We had lunch at the Mission Home with President and Sister Souza, at the Stake President´s house, at the chapel for the Mission Leadership Council (with President and Sister, the Assistants, and all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders), the 1st counselor in the Mission Presidency's house, and at the house of two of my favorite families in our ward. It is always so great sharing time with so many great people and I feel so blessed to know these people and be able to spend so much time with them and learn from them.

Work in the office was normal this week which is good. I visited the Federal Police with an Elder from Paraguay that is going home at the end of this transfer. It was great to be with him and be able to talk about his mission with him during the visit to the Federal Police.

We had a great meeting with our Ward Mission Leader and next week we will have a meeting with him and ALL of the ward missionaries which will be awesome because the Bishop just called 7 new ward missionaries including some of our recent converts so that will be great!

This weekend was especially good because of General Conference. Saturday we watched all 3 sessions (including Priesthood) in the Mission Office and Sunday watched the two last sessions in the our new Stake Center. I was able to watch all sessions, except one, in English. I am able to understand everything in Portuguese but I enjoyed it a lot more in English because it is their own voices and of course, is what I am used too. I absolutely LOVED General Conference. How great we are to have such amazing leaders to help us and guide us to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. I loved the topics that were covered in all the talks and I am excited for them to come out in print. I look forward to studying them and sharing the words with the people I visit and teach! I loved President Monson´s closing where he encouraged us to be a little bit better than we have in the past, and of course loved hearing about all the Christ-like attributes that we can all continue to live better. How blessed we are to have General Conference! I hope you all take the opportunity to read and study the talks given and try to apply the things into your life.

That´s it from me this week. I hope to be able to have more time to leave the office and go and teach people. Unfortunately, none of our current investigators are doing the things necessary to come closer to Christ, which can be frustrating for us, but we will continue to have patience and continue to help them. Our work with recent converts and less actives is going well and brings much happiness to us. Elder Vallo and I also have quite a bit of contacts and references that we will visit this week and I am really looking forward to that.

Thanks for all the support and love I receive from back home. I am really so blessed to have so much support! I continue to pray for you daily and I hope all is going well for each one of you.
Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Watching General Conference on the projector in the Mission Office.

 Us having a good ol´ time riding the bus!

A few of my friends throughout the mission and I decided to make a shirt together 
because one of them is leaving this transfer. It turned out great!

A group of us during lunch after the Mission Leadership Council.