Monday, October 27, 2014

Parque das Nações, Brasil Week 3

Hey! Well it was another great week here in our area and we are having a lot of success with the people we are teaching. We really are teaching some amazing people that truly have a desire to learn more and are very excited to progress. We also found some more people this week that we are excited about including an awesome family that has already become some of our good friends.

The week started on Tuesday spending the entire day with a 13 year-old member in our ward. He stayed with us the whole day visiting and teaching with us. He is only 13 but he is about the same size of Elder Goff and I so it was quite a sight to see from some of the people on the streets. 3 huge guys all well over 6 feet tall walking down the street. I think it was something that many of them had never seen in their lives. It was a lot of fun and we talked with a lot of people and had a great day of success.

We had a great visit this week with Adail and Sibeli a father and daughter that we have been teaching and they came to church again this week. They are really great people and we love them. They are preparing for baptism this week so we are all super excited!

We also have been visiting Priscila a lot this week and reading The Book of Mormon with her. It is so great to just sit down with the people we are teaching and read from The Book of Mormon together and really feel the Spirit present in our lessons. She is doing really well and we love visiting her!
We had a great missionary activity at our ward this week. It has been something that we have been doing since I got here. Throughout the month all the ward members have been doing missionary work and each thing they do they receive points and then at this activity everyone brought food and desserts and then you can buy things with the points you had earned. It was awesome and had a ton of people there! I really like this ward and the members here.

Saturday was one of the best days of my mission. We started the day early visiting a less active member named Ismael. He has become one of my best friends here and Elder Goff and I love visiting him. Before we read The Book of Mormon together we did some fishing in the river that runs through his property. It was awesome! We caught a ton of fish and had a great time getting to know Ismael better and helping him feel our love. He is going through a difficult time right now in his life but he is a man of much faith and we are excited for him to come back to church. He is so great! The rest of the day was filled with visiting people and teaching. Pretty much everyone was at home so we taught a TON and were able to find some new people to teach too. It is days like that where you get home so tired but it is so great to just take a shower and lay down in bed to sleep. It was truly a full packed day of missionary work, teaching, teaching, teaching. It was awesome!

Sunday was great as always and we had a great lunch with the Stake President and his wife. They are so great and love the missionaries! I really love them.

Anyway, it was another great week and excited for this next week. I wanted to quickly write and give a huge shout out to The World´s Best Dad! This week my Dad will be celebrating the BIG 50th Birthday with my family! Happy Birthday Dad! You´re the BEST! Have a great one!

I hope all continues to go well for each one of you and you all have a great week.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

P.S. GO GIANTS!!! While I was in the Mission Office this morning I received word that my beloved Giants are one game away from winning the World Series. YEAH! GO SF GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!

We did a service project at the house of a member in our ward. It was awesome! 
We had us and a few men from the ward. We cleaned up her back yard,
 weeding and all and then burned it all. It was sweet!

Ismael and I fishing and drinking coconut water before we sat down right next to the river 
and read The Book of Mormon together. It was great!

Elder Carrasco from Peru, Elder Souza from Curitiba, Brasil, and Elder Goff and I. 
Elder Souza ends his mission this week so we will be getting a new Elder in our house. 
I will miss Elder Souza, he has become one of my good friends.

The view from our apartment building yesterday as the sun was setting. It is so beautiful here!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Parque das Nações, Brasil Week 2

Hey everyone! This week was really good and I really love this new area and zone already. We did two days of companionship exchanges so that kind of made it for a long and tiring week but also a great week! We had a great Family Home Evening at the house of one of the families we are teaching. Edna and her daughter (9 years-old) had us over and a few other members including the Bishop and his wife. It was so great and really provided a great time for the members to get to know them better and we had a great lesson on the life of Jesus Christ where we watched the church´s Finding Faith in Christ DVD. We also had some great cake and soda afterwards which is always good.

Elder Goff and I started traveling around the Zone this week to give a training to all the missionaries about how to plan better and how to really help people understand and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We gave it to one district this week and now have 3 more districts. It is always great to be with the missionaries and understand their needs and help them improve. I am learning so much everyday it´s crazy!

I left my area and went on a companionship exchange on Wednesday with Elder Bishop from Kansas. He was also in Zona Litoral with me so I already knew him pretty well. It was a great day and we had quite a bit success and found and awesome mom and three kids that really seemed excited when we taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel. That night I also did a baptismal interview of someone that had been coming to church for 5 years and had finally decided to be baptized. It was awesome!

Elder Goff and I had a lot of success in our area this week. We continued teaching many of the same people but also found 3 more families! It was great and we are super pumped!! Many of the people we are teaching came to church this week so that always makes the week even better.

On Friday, I left my area again and did another companionship exchange with Elder L. Lopes from João Pessoa, Brasil. I had talked to him a few times throughout my mission but it was good to be able to spend a day with him and see how he works. He teaches very well and I learned a lot from him. They have been having some difficulties in their area and we were able to talk about them and create ways to resolve them. It was a great day!

Last week a few of the people we are teaching had some difficulties coming to church and many of them have already been taught almost everything we teach as missionaries. So this week we decided to just visit and read a chapter or two from The Book of Mormon with many of the people we are visiting. We truly felt the power that The Book of Mormon has and can really see the difference it makes in people´s lives when they read it and understand it. As I continue to use The Book of Mormon more and more in my mission I know I will continue to see the miracles happen.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission here in Fortaleza, Brazil! I truly love it here and love these people. Things continue to go well for me and I am happy and excited for what the rest of my mission holds. I was talking with Elder Goff who is ending his mission in less than 4 weeks and we have had some great discussions about the mission experience and how it has changed our lives.

Thank you for all those that continue to write me and pray for me. I feel blessed to have so much support. I hope all continues to go well for each one of you.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Elder Goff and I went and visited a less active, Ismael, and he showed 
us around the property that his family owns. It was awesome!
 There were a ton of tress with a lot of different fruit on them and a river running 
throughout where he went fishing. We cut down some coconuts for us and 
we drank them right there. After he made benches out in the middle of all the trees 
and right next to the river and we all sat down and read parts of the Bible 
and The Book of Mormon together. It was such an awesome experience!

Elder Goff and I planning and doing our Weekly Progress Report 
for the meeting we had with Bishop.

Elder and Sister Evans invited us over for lunch today at their apartment 
in Aldeota because Elder Goff and I have to go to Aldeota every week 
to pick up materials for our Zone. It was the BEST lunch ever!
 Sister Evans made Cafe Rio salad with that salad dressing. 
It was soooo good! We ate with them and the Mission Secretaries.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Parque das Nações, Brazil Week 1

Hey! Here I am in my new area and things are going great! It´s always a little hard to leave an area where you know all the streets and you know and love so many people and then you arrive in a new area where you know nothing and nobody. But it was a great week! I am LOVING having Elder Goff as my companion. It was his birthday this week so that was fun! We had some great times together in my last area and we have had a lot of fun already here in Ala Parque das Nações in Zona Montese. It was great to arrive in an area where we already have some great people that we are teaching. We are teaching a man named Adail and his daughter Cebeli and they are great and progressing well. We are also teaching a mom and daughter, Edna and Ravena and they are progressing well and came to church yesterday. And Ravena even brought a friend with her which was awesome. We are also teaching Priscilla who is planning on getting married and she came to church yesterday too.

We found a less active member this week named Ismael and he was very excited to see us. We taught him in his house and he is super awesome and has been reading the Book of Mormon and has a desire to come back to church. We are planning to teach his wife and help him and his family go to church. It´s gonna be awesome!

A big thing changed in our mission this week. Before each Zone would meet together once a week. So usually we had weekly meetings with about 20-26 missionaries all together. Now every District is going to meet together, which means it´s 4-8 missionaries. It´s going to be a lot better for helping the missionaries specifically and will help the District Leaders help their districts better. As Zone Leaders we will be traveling around the different Districts each week and giving trainings which will be really cool and I am excited to get to know the missionaries in a more personal setting and to help each one of them specifically.

We had the Mission Leadership Council this week in Aldeota. It is always great to meet together with all the other leaders and President and Sister Bonini and to receive instruction from them. Now we are going to be traveling throughout our Zone each week to pass the training to the other missionaries. Elder Goff and I also have a lot of companionship exchanges planned with a lot of missionaries so it should be awesome. Our Zone has a lot of potential and a lot of things we can do to improve so it´s gonna be great!

Some cool things about my new area is that we can see the big soccer stadium here in Fortaleza called Castelão from our apartment and we have a big super market in our area. The only thing is that our area is HUGE so we are doing a lot of walking, but it´s good! It was a great first week in the area and I am excited to be here in this area and zone.

Thank you all for the support and love. Happy Columbus Day and have a great week!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Junior gave me a ride to my new area on Tuesday morning. It was so nice of him and I am 
going to miss him, Elizangela, Vitor Hugo, and Ryan so much!

Elder Goff and I decided to make mega-sandwiches for lunch one day this week! and 
we enjoyed eating some Doritos!

Us doing exercises on the roof in the morning.

Elder Goff's 21st BIRTHDAY!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Beira Rio, Brazil Week 19

Hey! This week was SO awesome, and General Conference was AMAZING!! Elder Bini and I had a great week as we visited a lot of less active members. Tiago, our good friend, and Ward Secretary gave us a list of a lot of them. We had some really great visits with a lot of them and found 2 young men that were baptized a few years ago but stopped coming to church. They came to General Conference and are excited to return to church! While we were working with our list of less active members we found a family (parents and 3 kids) that had just moved into their new house the day before and we have started teaching them. It was awesome!

We had a great visit with Junior and Elizangela this week as we all read a chapter of the Book of Mormon together. It was great and I love that family so much!

Because this week we have transfers Orlando and Fátima, a recent convert family, invited us over to eat dinner and have a Family Home Evening. It was awesome and they are another family I love hear in this ward!

By far the best part of the week of course was General Conference. It was sooo good! We were able to watch all the sessions in the Stake Center here. Most all of it in English too which was great, but we watched a little in Portuguese too which is always good, especially when Elder Godoy from Brazil spoke in the Conference Center in his native tongue of Portuguese! That was sure exciting here!!

I really liked all the talks but some of the best for me were Sister Cheryl A. Esplin about the power the Sacrament can have in our lives each week, Elder Holland about helping those in need, Elder Uchtdorf in the Priesthood Session about asking ourselves "Lord, is it I?", and President Monson about walking the path of our Savior in our lives. And my two favorite talks were Richard G. Scott´s about the 4 tools we have in our lives, prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and temple work, and of course Elder David A. Bednar when he spoke to all non-members of the church about why we as members are so anxious and excited to share the Gospel. The story of his two sons was sooo awesome!

Anyway, as I said previously that this week is transfer week. I found out this morning that I have been transferred! Tomorrow bright and early in the morning I will go to my new area which is called Parque das Nações in Zona Montese. I am suuuper excited because I will be companions with Elder Goff!! He is my super good friend that lived with me for 3 months here in Beira Rio. It will be his last transfer on the mission. He is so awesome and I am excited to get to know the Zone there. I am a little sad to leave Zona Litoral because I love this zone and the missionaries here but I feel super good about leaving and feel like we have done a lot of good stuff here in this stake! I am excited and ready for a new area and zone but I will dearly miss the people I have come to love here in this ward. I have some great friends here that I will always remember!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! I know I will!!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

(no pictures this week - technical difficulties)