Monday, August 25, 2014

Biera Rio Week 13

Hey! Well it was another great week here in Beira Rio!! I love this area and I love this ward. And the better news is that I found out today that I will be staying here at least 6 more weeks with Elder Bini! Transfers are going to be tomorrow and we have quite a few missionaries that will be leaving our Zone which will be fun to get other missionaries. We also found out that our Zone will be receiving two new missionaries from the MTC. It should be another great transfer!

This week was awesome and I have a lot of pictures to explain the week.

Zona Litoral! The biggest Zone is the Brazil Fortaleza Mission!! We had our last meeting with our Zone on Wednesday. It´s always fun to be together with so many missionaries. Each week our entire Zone has a meeting where we split up into two groups have trainings on how to become better missionaries. It´s great to see the progress of so many and to become good friends with so many missionaries.

I did a companion exchange this week in another area in our Zone. I stayed with Elder Calisaya from Peru. This is a picture of me in front of a big lake in their area. We had a great day doing a ton of contacts! He is a new missionary so it was great to help him feel more comfortable with talking to people on the streets and in front of their houses. We did a lot of contacting and helped their teaching pool grow a little bit. It was a long, hot day in the sun but it was good.

Friday Elder Bini and I did another companion exchange. This time we went to their house early in the morning and made breakfast with them, which was fun!

I then returned to my area and spent the day with Elder Smyth from Danville, California. It was fun to spend the day with him and talk about all the mutual friends we have back home. We  had a full day of teaching and were able to have a great lesson with Carmosita, and we visited Junior, Elizangela, Vitor Hugo, and Ryan with two of our ward missionaries and we all read the Book of Mormon together. It was a great day!

Church was awesome yesterday! This is a picture of Elder Bini and me waiting at the entrance of the church to greet people as they walk in (something we try to do every week).

Michael and Lidiane! This is a couple that we have been teaching for two weeks now. They are so great and yesterday they came to church. They really loved it. Michael had been looking for the truth in his life when we showed up at his house. He is super excited about the Gospel and we are working a lot with him and Lidiane. They are preparing to get married. I marked their marriage today at the Cartório in Centro, Fortaleza. Their marriage will be September 19th. We are super excited for them!

This is us with Junior, Elizangela, Vitor Hugo, Ryan, and two of their cousins that they brought to church yesterday. This family makes me so happy! Yesterday during Sunday School in the Gospel Principles Class the lesson was on Missionary Work. Towards the end of the lesson, Elizangela rose her hand and started talking about how important missionary work is for her and her family. She explained a little bit about her conversion story and said the first visit with Elder Pedrosa and I she knew that this was what was missing in her and her family´s life. She said that the first visit, everything we said was exactly what she needed to hear. She knew that we were sent from her Heavenly Father and she says that she feels now like the doors of heaven have been opened to her, thanks to the missionaries. It was a great experience that she shared with everyone and made me feel super grateful for the opportunity I had to come in contact with her and her family and act as an instrument in the Lord´s hands to help them on the path back to our Father in Heaven.

We had our weekly meeting with the Priesthood Executive Meeting. In this photo there is, Felipe (Elder´s Quorum President), Elder Goff and I, Tiago (Ward Secretary), Bispo Felix (Bishop), and Paulo (Second Counselor). They are all great and I love working with them and learning from them every week.

Elder Goff and I cut our hair last night! It had gotten a little too long and it feels so much better to have short hair again, especially in the hot sun of Ceará!

Me in the park right near the Cartório in the center of the city this morning.

Elder Allen has officially left... It was awesome to see him one last time in the Mission Office this morning. He was just hanging out there before his flight today. He has been my best friend on the mission and it will definately be way different without him but I will take everything I have learned from him and be sure to apply it these last 10 months of my mission! And I´ll be sure to see him again at BYU!!

Anyway, that´s my week. I am ready and excited for another great week and another great transfer here in Vila Velha, Fortaleza!!

Elder Helvey

Monday, August 18, 2014

Beira Rio Week 12

What a great week it was this week! It started out great on Tuesday and it just got better. On Tuesday, it was Elder Bini and me here in our area. We had a few planned appointments with some of the people we are teaching,  but a lot of the day was spent contacting people on the street. We visited one of the families we have been teaching, Gonzaga, Francisca, Thayna, and Ruan. They are a great family and love it when we visit them. It´s an interesting story how we got in contact with this family. We visited a boy, Vitor, that came to our English Class once, and then from him we met his cousin, Robinson, so we visited his house, and then when we were visiting him one day, Thayna was there and another day we visited her and met her family. Tuesday, we also visited Marcelo (18 years-old), who came to church last week. We met his brother, Michael, who lives with him. He was super excited because he told us that he had been searching and praying to know the truth. The next day when we visited him we shared the message of the Restoration and when we invited him to pray to know if it´s true he said he already knew it was because of the feelings he had. It was awesome! They both have baptismal dates for August 31st.

Wednesday, we had our Zone Training, so Elder Bini and I gave a training for the 26 missionaries in our Zone. It was about how we can prepare the people we are teaching for baptism and to help them gain a testimony so they will stay active in the church and prepare to enter the Temple. I thought it went really well and I always love to be together with missionaries in settings like these. Elder Allen and Elder Lopes (the Assistants) visited for the training so it was great to see them and get to spend time with them. Then after the meeting we did a companion exchange and I spent the day working in my area with Elder Toffoletto. It was a great day spent with him. He is from São Paulo and has always been one of my friends on the mission because he was trained by Elder Allen in Canindé. We did a ton of contacts and were able to meet a lot of people who were interested. We met a man named Igor who saw us in front of his house talking to his neighbor and he wanted to hear what we had to say. We taught them both and Igor has a wife and 3 kids and is SUPER excited about the Gospel and the church. He and his wife are super nice and I am super excited to see the progress of their family. It was a great day spent with Elder Toffoletto and I am also excited to see him continue to progress on the mission. He also wants to go to BYU after the mission so that would be cool.

Thursday it was Elder Bini and I back in our area and we had a normal day visiting people in their houses and talking to more people on the street.

Friday was the BOMB because guess who came to my area to do a companion exchange with me? Elder Allen! We met them at the Bus Terminal (which is pretty big, by the way, and I don´t think I have ever talked about it, but I go there about 2 times a week). Anyway, we met them there and Elder Allen and I went back to my area where we spent the day. This is Elder Allen´s last week and I can´t believe his mission is coming to an end but it was great to spend the day with him. We visited a few of the families and people we are teaching and it was so awesome to teach again with Elder Allen (it´s been quite awhile since we were companions). It was definitely one of the best days of my mission. I am sad that he will not be here on the mission any longer but 2 years is 2 years and I am excited for him to get back home and I´ll for sure see him at BYU. He has helped me a ton on my mission and I will always be grateful for the impact he had on my mission.

Saturday we taught our weekly English Class at 10 in the morning, and received money for lunch so we made hamburgers at our house. It was great! After lunch we left,  and walked the streets and visited people in the hot sun of Ceará! But it´s all good, because I am used to it and that´s what we do every day. When it hits about 5 o´clock it´s not too bad but before then it´s pretty hard to stay in the street and so we always try to plan really well to have people to teach especially during those hours. But it´s also the time that most people are sleeping so we often are waking people up. But one thing about here, is that the people are awesome. They are really so loving and kind, and since it is so hot in the streets they will always let you in and give you water to drink. I often think about how lucky and blessed I am to be serving here. If you ask me, Missão Brasil Fortaleza é o melhor missão do mundo!

Anyway, Sunday was great as always. We had one of our families visit the church and two other individuals. I really love the ward and the members here. They are so good at making the visitors feel welcomed. As soon as we arrived with visitors, each of them had a member with them that would stay with them until the end of the 3 church meetings. It is so great to receive help from them and to make the people visiting feel so welcomed. Sunday afternoon we had our weekly meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, who is a new convert, and then the meeting with the Bishop and other Priesthood Leaders. Once we got home on Sunday night I made panckaes and us four missionaries just hung out talking and eating pancakes with nutella and jam. It was a great way to end an awesome week!

This week is the last week of the transfer so it will be interesting to see if I stay or not. I hope I get to stay at least one more transfer but of course I will be happy to do whatever the Lord has planned.

Thank you all for the support and love and hope all is going well for each one of you. Have a great week!

Elder Helvey

Elder Allen visited our Zone for our Zone Training!

Walking the streets in my area with Elder Allen!

Elder Bini and I in the bus on the way to Aldeota

We stopped at an ice cream shop on our walk to the Mission Office

Beira Rio Week 11

(Date for this entry is actually Aug. 11, 2014)

Checking in once again from Vila Velha, Fortaleza, Brazil. This week I actually spent a lot of time outside of my area because of Zone Conference and Mission Leadership Council. We had Zone Conference at the Stake Center of the Fortaleza Stake so it was fun to return to that church building and that area of the city. The Federal Police building is right down the street from the church building so I was in familiar territory. The Zone Conference was great! Elder Allen and Elder Lopes (the Assistants) gave a training on how we can develop Christ-like attributes as missionaries. It was an awesome training and they said many things that really made me think about how I need to improve to become more like my Savior, Jesus Chirst. It had been a great week trying to develop those attributes more. President Bonini gave an awesome training about things that are good, things that are better, and things that are best.

The next day, Friday we went to Aldeota and had the Mission Leadership Council which was awesome! It was great to get another training from President Bonini, this time on how we can be leaders like the Savior. It was great!

As for the people and families we are teaching here things continue to go well but yesterday a lot of them were not able to come to church again. A recent convert introduced us to her friend and we taught him once and he came to church yesterday. His name is Marcelo and really liked church so we are excited to return and continue teaching him. We have been doing a lot of contacts, try to talk to everyone we pass on the street. It has been good and we have started teaching some great new investigators.

My birthday on Wednesday was fun and everyone sang happy birthday to me at the ward activity. I spent the day doing a companion exchange with Elder Goff so it was fun!

Anyway, it was a great week!  Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Ward Activity Wednesday Night!

We had a birthday party in our apartment!

I waited to open my presents I got from everyone until my actual birthday! 
Thanks to everyone that sent me things. I loved everything!

American Pancake Buffet in our apartment!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beira Rio, Brazil Week 10

Hey! This week was great. Monday night a few of our appointments fell through so we decided to pass by the house of Junior and Elizangela to see how they were doing. When we arrived at the door they were all reading the scriptures together as part as their Family Home Evening. We didn´t want to interrupt anything so we just walked in and sat on the ground as they finished their Family Home Evening. It was so awesome to see them learning and growing as a family in the Gospel the very next day after their baptisms. As I sat on the ground just watching them finish up their Family Home Evening I felt so happy and so thankful to the Lord that I have had the opportunity to get to know them and see the Gospel change their lives.

The rest of the week was filled with teaching appointments and we had some great experiences. Unfortunately, many of the people and families we are teaching were not able to come to church yesterday. But we have some awesome people we are teaching and I am excited and hopeful for next week.

This week I went on a companion exchange with an Elder in our Zone, Elder Leite, from São Paulo. I went and spent the day with him in his area and we had a great day. We met with one lady that shared with us an awesome experience while reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.

Elder Bini and I had a few baptismal interviews to do this week which is always a great experience. Things are continuing to go really well for us and our Zone. Thursday we will have a Zone Conference (with half the mission) with President and Sister Bonini and Friday we will have the Mission Leadership Council. So should be a great week and I am excited!

Thank you everyone that sent me and email or card/letter to wish me a happy birthday! Crazy how fast the time is flying by. Thanks for everything and I hope you all have a great week.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Roman noodles for lunch!

We ordered Pizza on the companion exchange I did this week. 
Always fun to eat some Pizza and just hang out at night.

Me with Junior, Elizangela, Vitor Hugo, and Ryan in their house.