Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Beira Rio, Brazil Week 18

Hey! This week was really great. It´s crazy how the weeks seem to be going by so fast. This week started out great with a Family Home Evening at the house of our Ward Mission Leader. He and his family are fairly new in the ward and they are awesome! We brought Michael and Lidiane (the couple we have been teaching that got married last week). The other two missionaries in our ward brought a couple that was recently baptized. It was awesome! We watched two videos, one about the story of the Ugly Duckling based off of a talk by President Uchtdorf and another video about the Temple. It was so great to be with a strong family in the church so that these two young couples could see how the gospel of Jesus Christ truly blesses families and what they can do to have that same happiness in their families.

We had another Family Home Evening the next day with a long time member in our ward, Liliane. She invited her daughter, Ana Paula, who is not a member of the church. We watched the DVD of the Restoration. It was so great and I am hopeful that Ana Paula and her family will visit the church sometime soon.

After our weekly meeting with our Zone, I did a companion exchange with a missionary in our zone, Elder Leite, from São Paulo. I went and stayed in his area for a day. It was great and I learned a lot from him. We were able to spend the entire day teaching with two members of the church. His area is super big so it was a lot of walking and even taking the bus but it was great!

I did another companion exchange on Friday with Elder Dias, from Cape Verde. We were able to teach a few people but then we had to take the bus to another part of our Zone because I had to interview a few people for baptism, which is also an awesome experience. This week 9 people were baptized in our Zone so Elder Bini and I were busy doing a lot of interviews, and it is so awesome to interview a person who is truly prepared for baptism and to feel so strongly of the spirit and the desire they have to follow Christ. We really have some great missionaries in our Zone and the Lord is truly preparing many people. I was able to interview a man who had been coming to our English Class every week and the Sisters started to visit him and teach him and his wife. They were both baptized yesterday! It was awesome to hear how our simple English Class gave him the opportunity to get to know the church and the missionaries and now he is baptized!

I am super excited for General Conference this weekend! I hope all of you are able to watch it this week. It is such a blessing in our lives!!

Anyway, things are really continuing to go great here in our area and zone. I really like the zone and the missionaries we have here. Next week we have missionary transfers so who knows what will happen. But until then, we just keep working hard and trusting in the Lord. I hope you all have a great week!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Family Home Evening with the family of our new Ward Mission Leader and with Michael and Lidiane.

 Pizza night on the companion exchange with Elder Leite. It´s a tradition!

I met while I was spending the day in another area! His name is John and he is from New Hampshire. He is studying abroad here for a few months. He is here with a group of like 8 students.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beira Rio, Brazil week 17

Hey! Well this week was great and really went by fast. I really am not believing how fast time is going by. This week started off great with a Family Home Evening in the house of our recent-convert family. Junior and Elizangela hosted a Family Home Evening and invited lots of people. One of the families we are teaching (Gonzaga, Francisca, Tainá, and Ruan) were there and they loved it. We also had the opportunity Tuesday night to teach our couple (Michael and Lidiane) with a member from the Stake High Council who is in charge of missionary work. He is awesome and really helped us out a ton! He really helped Michael understand the importance of receiving an answer from God that this is the true church on the earth. The next day we returned and Michael explained how the night before he had received an answer and told us that he now knew that this was the true church. We marked a baptismal date with them both and we are all way excited. They also had their wedding on Friday which was awesome too!

On Wednesday after our weekly zone meeting I stayed in my area with a brand new missionary in the mission from Bolivia, Elder Torrico. It was great to spend the day with him teaching and getting to know him a little more and see how he is enjoying the mission. I always love having the opportunity (usually twice a week) to do a companion exchange with a missionary in my zone. It´s so great to get to know so many missionaries and see how we can all learn from each other.

The rest of the week was filled with teaching and finding people. The members are really helping us out here and we have a few that spend almost the entire day teaching with us, which is awesome!
Sunday was the best because Ruan was baptized! Ruan is the youngest child of Gonzaga and Francisca and brother of Tainá who was baptized last week. We have been teaching this family for quite awhile and it was so awesome to see how excited Ruan was and his two parents. They truly are a great family! They love the church and Gonzaga and Francisca have a strong desire to be baptized and we are working with them to work out a few issues. Sunday night we had a devotional in our ward with Fernando Araújo, who was the first missionary from this state to serve for the church and it was awesome!

Anyway, it was a great week. And it just seems that each week gets better as the time goes by. I hope you all have a great week!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Family Home Evening with Junior and Elizangela and many others!

Michael and Lidiane got married!

Lunch with a family in our ward. Lunch was suuuper good!!

Ruan was baptized!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beira Rio, Brazil Week 16

Boa tarde! What a great week we had here in Vila Velha, Fortaleza. This week was a week full of pictures.

Me and the donkeys on the streets of Fortaleza!

Our ward has really been focusing on missionary work recently and have been helping us out a ton! Part of the Ward Mission Plan is to have every family have a Family Home Evening in their house every month where they invite friends and family who are not members of the church and invite the missionaries. We had 2 this past week and have 3 more planned for this week. It is awesome! This is a photo of one of them at the house of our new Ward Mission Leader. It was great and it is incredible to see the difference when the members are deeply involved in missionary work. We have already seen miracles and will continue to see them as we continue to work with the members.

This is Jeremias. We have been teaching him for about two weeks and he turned 89 on Wednesday! We visited him, and sang happy birthday to him and had a mini birthday party. It was fun and he is very excited to visit the church.

Me and my cow friends...

Mosiah 28:3, "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature..."

A recent-convert family that we visit every week. They are awesome! Orlando is an English teacher and helps us with our English Class every Saturday. They are a great family and I love visiting them!

To end my companion exchange with Elder Toffoletto from São Paulo I made Banana Milkshakes! It is a great way to end a hot day in Fortaleza.

We took a middle of the day trip to the Center of Fortaleza to be the witnesses of the signing of the marriage of Michael and Lidiane. We have been visiting them for about two months and they will have their wedding on Friday. It was fun to go with them and to see how happy they are to get married. They are a great couple and I am excited for them!

A view from one of the missionary apartments in my zone. I did a companion exchange with Elder Phillips from South Carolina who was in my District in the MTC so that was fun!

Yesterday Tainá was baptized! Tainá is a girl we have been teaching for a while. She and her family are awesome. Tainá was the first in the family to come to church but recently the rest of her family, Gonzaga, Francisca, and Ruan have all been coming to church. They love the church and Tainá was super excited to be baptized. She was baptized by the Elder´s Quorum President in our ward that teaches with us a lot. It was a great Sunday. The Young Women in the ward are all super excited to have a new girl in their group. It has been such a great experience seeing how the Gospel has changed the lives of this family. Gonzaga and Francisca always talk about what a difference it has made and how thankful they are. It was a great day yesterday and we are excited to see the rest of the family become members of the church,  too.

Elder Oliveira, Elder Bini, Elder Cachay, and I eating at a member´s house after the baptism yesterday. I love lunch at this member´s house! The member´s are so nice to take care of us every day for lunch.

Anyway, that´s it for the week! I am super excited for this next week. We have some awesome things planned and it should be another great week. I hope everyone has a great week too!


Elder Helvey

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beira Rio, Brazil Week 15

Hey! Checking in once again from Vila Velha, Fortaleza. What a great week it has been. It started off great Tuesday when I did a companion exchange with a brand new missionary from the MTC. His name is Elder Yaman and he is from Panama, which is pretty cool. He is adjusting to the language and culture and I always like spending time with new missionaries because it makes me remember when I first got here. I love being able to help them and make them feel comfortable. We did A TON of street contacting just so we could be active and talking the entire day and we had some great visits with some of the people we are teaching. The Ward Secretary, Tiago, spent much of the day with us so that was awesome because he is one of my best friends in the ward here.

Wednesday was definitely the most exciting day of the week. It was just a typical Wednesday with our weekly Zone Meeting and after Elder Bini and I were walking to a member´s house for lunch. Our cell phone rings. It´s my good friend Elder Zwick. He says that he had just received an email in the Mission Office from my sister saying that I have a NEW NEPHEW!!! I was so shocked and couldn´t believe it but soooo excited! (He was a month early.)  She had sent an email to the Mission email (thanks to Elder Allen), and Elder Zwick read it to me over the phone. There I was on the streets of Vila Velha finding out that my sister had had her baby! It was awesome!! The next day at the Mission Leadership Council in Aldeota, Elder Zwick gave me the photo of Cooper James Smith! Congrats Brittany and Corbin!! I am so excited for you guys!

The monthly Mission Leadership Council with President and Sister Bonini was so great! President explained a lot about how to be a leader and really motivated us to become better and to remember that the Lord trusts in us. He reminded us that we were called leaders for a reason and that we need to always follow the Savior example on how to lead. It was great and it really motivated me to work even harder as a leader and to have more of a desire to help the missionaries in my Zone.

Friday I did a companion exchange with one of our District Leaders, Elder Tenney from St. George, Utah. He is the man and we had an awesome day doing a lot of street contacting and teaching some awesome new investigators. He has the same time on the mission than I do and he plans to go to BYU after the mission. We focused on having fun as we shared the Gospel with people that day, and it truly was a blast! (And I would just like to give a shout out to Elder Tenney´s mom because he told me that she reads my weekly blog!)

The rest of the days this week Elder Bini and I really worked hard and were able to continue teaching many of our progressing investigators and also met some great new families that we have started teaching. Unfortunately, it was a little hard to have people come to church yesterday because of people traveling and celebrating Sete de Setembro (Brazil Independence). But one cool experience was when Elder Bini and I went to visit someone this week and they weren´t in their house. As we were walking away, a ton of little kids came running up to us asking me to speak English (happens about 3 times a day, everyday). But this time it was cool and one of the little kids said that he and his family had visited the church before. I asked him if his parents were home and he said yes as he led us to his house, where we met a couple who had been taught by the missionaries and had visited the church but had a few doubts so they didn´t continue going or continue receiving the missionaries. They seemed very excited to see us and welcomed us in. We spent about the next hour and half answering their questions and helping them resolve their doubts. It was a great experience and they really are excited to have us visit again and said they are excited to come to church again next week.

Anyway, a lot of other things happened this week, including an awesome visit with a less active couple as we talked about President Uchtodorf´s talk "Venham, Juntem-se a Nós" and we had a great meeting with our new Ward Mission Leader and all the Ward Missionaries. The world better watch out, because Ala Beira Rio is about to go crazy with missionary work!! I really like this ward.

I hope you all have another great week. Thanks for all the love and support.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Elder Yaman from Panama, Central America.

Elder Tenney from St. George, Utah.

Elder Bini, Felipe (Elders Quorum President), and me

Elder Zwick, baby Cooper, and me in the Mission Office!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Beira Rio Week 14

Another great week here in Fortaleza! We had our first weekly meeting with our new Zone on Wednesday. It went really well and I really like the new missionaries that arrived in our Zone. I am excited to work with them all and get to know them all better throughout these next 6 weeks. We gave a training to our 5 District Leaders in our Zone, where we talked about reporting, giving trainings, baptismal interviews, and the way of the Lord to serve and lead. It was good and I really like them all. It´s cool, two of them are from my District in the MTC.

We had a really awesome visit with one of the couples that we our teaching and preparing to marry, Michael and Lidiane. Michael had invited one of his friends, Lucas, to come listen to us. It was awesome as we taught about the Restoration and Michael, our friend that we have been teaching for only about 3 weeks testified about the importance of living prophets. It was really awesome to see how already, Michael is wanting to share the Gospel. Michael and Lidiane´s wedding is planned for September 19th, and then they are planning to get baptized. They are a great couple and it has been awesome getting to know and teach them, and see the difference the Gospel has made in their lives.

This week we had a Mission Tour. Elder Mazzagardi from the Seventy was here. Friday we had a Conference with him and it was awesome! He said a lot but one of the things I liked the most is that he told us how sharing the gospel has to be fun and we have to have fun while doing the work of the Lord. It was great and something I am applying more and more everyday. Before the Conference he wanted a meeting with just the Zone Leaders. It was awesome receiving instruction from him as we all sat at the Stake High Council Table. He instructed us on how to lead and how to teach with the Spirit. It was awesome and an experience I will never forget!

I did a companion exchange with one of our District Leaders, Elder Flake, this week. He is from New York and it was awesome! We had a great day teaching and contacting people. He has a love for the work and it was a great day full of hard work but also a lot of fun. At the end of the day I interviewed one of the people they are teaching for baptism. It was a great interview and it is so awesome to see the happiness the Gospel brings in people´s lives.

This week we also found an awesome family that we started teaching and they came to church! The family is HUGE!! Some of them came to church yesterday and they seemed to really like it. We also had another family we are teaching, Gonzaga, Francisca, Thayna, and Ruan all at church, which was WAY awesome!

Thiongs are really going great here and Elder Bini and I are really working hard. I love this work and I feel sooooo blessed to be here serving the Lord!

Have a great week everyone! 

Elder Helvey

Elder Goff got transfered! It was an awesome 12 weeks with him here and he´ll definately be one of my bros back at BYU!

Elder Goff and I infront of the house here in Vila Velha, Fortaleza!

Elder Flake from New York!