Monday, June 1, 2015

Caucaia Week 16

Hey guys! Wow, what a great week it was. Seriously, one of the best.

Last P-day was awesome because Luan came out here to Caucaia and we had lunch together and spent the good part of the day with him. It was the 1 year anniversary of his baptism and we had a great time remembering it. He is so awesome and so ready to go on his mission!

We had some great visits that night and the rest of the week just got better.

On Wednesday we had Zone Conference which was AWESOME! It was so good to see so many of my friends throughout the mission that I hadn´t seen in so long, including Elder Zwick, who is doing really well. It was
fun to be with the rest of missionaries in my group who are ending the missions as well. We all bore our last testimonies and it was a great time to be there all together. I have been so blessed to have so many awesome people that have served with me throughout my time here.

The rest of the week was normal and we had some great success on Saturday finding many more people to teach. It was great! We were able to do a ton of contacts and found some good people that we are excited about. Sunday was also good at church and then in the afternoon and night we had a ton of success teaching with a recent convert in our ward, Felipe.

We have been teaching a 12 year-old boy named Lucas who is the son of a member. We are planning to baptize him this week! It has been awesome teaching him and helping his father return to church. We are pumped about his baptism and about the progress of his family! Miracle after miracle.

I am pumped for another great week on the mission. We are having a lot of fun working hard and preaching the Gospel. Dang, missionary work is fun!

Thank you all for everything and I hope you all have a great week.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey
Luan and I last Monday! It was a blast to see him again and spend time with him.

Elder Zwick, Elder Santana (the missionary he is training), and I at Zone Conference.

President and Sister Bonini and I. They are great!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Caucaia Week 15

This week was awesome! We are having some awesome experiences with the people that we are teaching.

We had our Zone Training this week so Elder Castillo and I prepared and trained our zone on Wednesdays and then I did a companion exchange with Elder Pinheiro, from Manuas, Brazil. He is a really good missionary and is training a new missionary now. It was fun to learn with him together and have a day full of teaching with a member in our area, Matheus.

The rest of the week was really good but passed by super fast. We were busy teaching a ton and on Friday and Saturday we also had a few baptismal interviews to do which went really well and we had some awesome people that were baptized in our zone this week. On Saturday, I spent the day with one of our District Leaders, Elder Lessa from São Paulo. It was good and it has been fun to see how much he has grown and improved since he has been here. He has become a powerful missionary and a great leader.

Yesterday was Stake Conference, which was way awesome because all of the missionaries in our zone came. All branches in the distant cities rented buses and it was awesome to be with so many members of the church. And the talks that were given at Stake Conference were so great!

Anyway, it was a good week and it should be another great week ahead because we have a few people who are preparing for baptism and we will have a Zone Conference with half of the mission on Wednesday. It will be great!

Anyway, I hope all continues to go well back home and I hope you all have a great week!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

All the Elders in our zone after Zone Training! It is a great group!!

It was Robson´s birthday this week so we bought a cake for him 
and had a little party with him and Tia. It was fun!

On the bus heading to Stake Conference yesterday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Caucaia Week 14

Hey guys! Another great week has come and gone here in Caucaia and things are really going well. As I told President Bonini this week: "a semana foi excelente!" It was very busy for Elder Castillo and me again because we did two companionship exchanges, traveled to Pecém for a District Meeting, traveled to Aldeota for the Mission Leadership Council, and had quite a bit of baptismal interviews to do. Indeed, it was a busy, busy week, but an excellent one!

Monday night we had an awesome Family Home Evening with a return missionary that hadn´t come to church in 15 years and his son. They both came to church and it was so awesome! Something I have loved throughout my entire mission has been visiting less active members and helping them come back to church and bringing their families as well. Another very special experience!

Tuesday I spent the day with one of our new District Leaders in the zone, Elder Thieme from Curitiba, Brazil. It was awesome because he is opening up a new area and we had a ton of success in his area and a very special experience finding someone whom a member had been preparing for us to teach but hadn´t told us yet.

Wednesday, Elder Castillo and I went to Pecém with a member from our ward, Matheus. I gave the training about the importance of church attendance for the people we are teaching and how members can help in the process. It was sweet and Matheus helped us out a ton! And then of course we ate lunch at our favorite restaurant that is right in front of the beach, which is always fun.

Thursday took the train into Fortaleza for Mission Leadership Council. It was AWESOME! It was sad because it will be my last one but I was so grateful to be there and be part of such an amazing group of missionaries.

Friday, I spent the day in my area with Elder Ricks from Sacramento who is also finishing his mission in three weeks. It was a great day and we taught A TON and found some awesome new people and families to teach! I was dead tired by the end of the day but it was way worth it!
Saturday was Elder Castillo in our area and we had three baptismal interviews to do, too, so that made for a long but good day. And yesterday, Sunday, was awesome as we had quite a few people come to church whom we have been visiting and helping. Things are really going well in our area and we are excited about the next few weeks!

Anyway, that was a quick summary, but it was a great week and things are going super well. The time is absolutely FLYING by. I can´t believe it!

I hope you all have a great week and thank you all for the love and support.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Spent the day with Elder Thieme in his area. He is a stud!

District Meeting and Training in Pecém, Ceará.

Us in front of the house where they hold church meetings in Pecém.

Lunch in Pecém with Elder Castillo.

Lunch with a few other Zone Leaders in the Aldeota Chapel after the Mission Leadership Council.

Pedro and Lucas with us in front of the church yesterday! They are awesome!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Caucaia Week 13

This week was great! My new companion, Elder Castillo, and I are working hard and we had some awesome experiences this week. We are really excited about the transfer and it has been fun helping all the new missionaries that arrived in our zone this week. We have some brand new missionaries that arrived from the MTC so that is always fun. I remember those days very well and it doesn´t seem like that long ago to me.

Luan, my recent convert from Aldeota, dropped one of the missionaries off here in our zone so it was fun to see him again and spend some time with him. He is getting ready for his mission and is very excited. The week was fairly normal as Elder Castillo and I worked hard in our area to find more people to teach and we had some great experiences with some the people we have been teaching.
We had some great visits with Robson, (Tia´s nephew), and we are working hard with him to prepare for baptism, although there are still many things he needs to change. We did a special fast with him and his Aunt (Tia) on Saturday and we now have a baptismal goal with him. It was a very special visit yesterday night as he ended it with a very heartfelt prayer. Powerful experience!

On Saturday, Elder Lessa and I traveled to Itapipoca to do a baptismal interview. We arrived in Fortaleza early Saturday morning to but bus tickets but since it was Mother´s Day weekend it was absolutely packed and they didn´t have anything until the afternoon. So we left Fortaleza around 12:45PM and arrived in Itapipoca at 3:30PM because the bus broke down 3 times on the way. Did the interview and did a few contacts to help the Sisters have more people to teach and then got back on the bus to Fortaleza and then got back to our apartment in Caucaia about 9:15PM. Very long day of waiting and traveling but it was fun and we were able to accomplish what was needed.

Anyway, it was a great week and of course was made even better when I was able to talk with my family on Skpye. Happy Mother´s Day to all. I love a quote that I heard at church yesterday. It says, "Motherhood lies at the foundation of happiness in the home, and of prosperity in the nation". I am very grateful for my mother and the example she has been to me throughout my life. Thanks for everything, Mom!

Thank you all for the support and love. Have a great week!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

 Luan is doing great and it was so good to see him and catch up!

District Meeting on Wednesday!

My companion, Elder Castillo from Salta, Argentina.

Preaching the Gospel in Caucaia, Ceará! This is behind the house of 
one of the families we are teaching.

On the road heading to Itapipoca.

The Church in Itapipoca!

Skype with my Mom and Dad!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Caucaia Week 12

Hey everyone! What a great week it was here. I am seriously LOVING this area. It was funny because yesterday at church I was looking around the room at all the members and I feel at home here. They feel like my family and we are all working together to help others be a part of the eternal family of our Heavenly Father. Yesterday at church was Fast and Testimony Meeting which was a very special experience because Elder Evans and I both bore our testimonies along with our ward Mission Leader, a member that always helps us, Matheus, and our recent convert, Aurilene, who was baptized a few weeks ago. It was an awesome Sunday and we had lunch at a member house that really love us and we love them. They are like our best friends in the ward.

Anyway, the week was super great because on Tuesday we got up at 3:30 AM to head to Fortaleza for our meeting with Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each one of us were able to meet him and shake his hand along with Elder Costa. They were both there with their wives. First Elder Costa´s wife spoke and then Elder Costa spoke. And then Elder Chritsofferson´s wife spoke and then Elder Christofferson talked with us for about an hour. He said so many awesome things and then opened it up for questions. It was so good and the Spirit was so strong and you could feel the love that he has for each one of us and more importantly the love that the Savior has for each one of us. It was truly a remarkable experience!

The rest of the week I tried so hard to apply the things I learned and to truly love each and every child of God that I talk to on the street or in their homes and to truly spread the love of the Savior more. It made a big difference during the week and we had some awesome experiences. Thursday we returned to Fortaleza to have interviews with President Bonini. It was great! President and I were able to talk about each missionary in my zone and talked about what needs to be done so they we can improve as a zone. We spent about an hour together deliberating and talking about the missionaries in my zone and he really made me remember the importance of "the one". I received news today that I will receive a new companion tomorrow. His name is Elder Castillo and he is from Argentina. I will be training him as a new Zone Leader so I am excited about that and President also moved A TON of things around in my zone so I now have a lot more Elders and switched somethings around with the leadership of the zone too. It should be a great 5 weeks as we all work together to move the work of the Lord forward.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I feel so blessed to be here serving the Lord in the Brazil Fortaleza Mission.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Special Mission Conference with Elder D. Todd Christofferson
(I'm in the back row, 5th from the right)

I saw Elder Marcum on Tuesday when both the missions got together!
It was so great to see him and see how he is doing.

We had lunch at a ranch of a member this week and he has a few horses.
It was great and we had a fun time!

On the drive from his ranch to our investigators house.
It was nice to ride in the car as that barely ever happens here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Caucaia Week 11

Hey! This week sure was great. It was a very normal week and to tell you the truth I don´t have much to report. We traveled again this week to Paracuru, Ceará for a District Meeting and had lunch there. It was a good time and I really like traveling to the cities in our zone to visit the missionaries there. We have some truly amazing missionaries in our zone and I feel grateful I for the opportunity I have to serve and learn from each one of them, even the ones that started their missions very recently. There is really so much to learn from each one.

Saturday was really awesome because we had a few really great visits and a 60 year-old lady that we have been teaching for about 2 months was baptized. We call her "Tia" (Aunt in English) and she was very excited to be baptized. One of the members that always helps us out, Matheus, baptized her. It was really cool because he is preparing to serve a mission so it was great to be a part of that experience too.

I am excited for this next week. Tomorrow we have a meeting with all the missionaries in both the missions here in Ceará with Elder Christofferson. It will be awesome! We have to leave Caucaia at 5 in the morning to get there on time but it will be great. I hope you all have a great week.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

I gave Matheus a BYU shirt!

Tia was baptized! What an awesome experience!!

A group of "Irmaõs" from our ward. Love these guys!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Caucaia Week 10

This week was great! It was a full week and I am absolutely exhausted. Today is a much needed P-day, that´s for sure. But this week was filled with a ton of awesome things and was one of those weeks where I am super tired but happy too. The week was made even better when a ton of people that we have been visiting came to church yesterday!

Tuesday I spent the day with Elder Lessa in his area and we had a good day. They have been struggling to find good people that are willing to do the things necessary to progress so we ended up just doing a ton of contacts on the street and teaching in the moment. It was good and Elder Lessa is from São Paulo and he is super chill and a good missionary.

Wednesday Elder Evans and I and went to Pecém to visit the Sisters there and help them in their work. I gave the training about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. I feel like it really helped them. All the Sisters there have less than 5 months on the mission and are having difficulty getting people to church so we are focusing on helping them a little more.

Thursday we moved from our huge house in one part of Caucaia to a new, nice apartment in another part of Caucaia. We live closer to the church now and the Center of the city and the apartment building is in the area of Elder Evans and I so we are loving it. A lot less walking for us but moving all of our stuff in the house was quite hard because our apartment is on the 4th story. But we had some young men and one return missionary from the ward help us out so it wasn´t too bad.

Saturday we went to Paracuru to do 4 baptismal interviews. It was awesome and they all went well and in Paracuru they baptize people in the ocean so that was a fun experience for them.
Yesterday was awesome because the family we found last week came to church and they loved it! They are preparing to be baptized on May 2nd, and Robson and Tia who have been coming for a while and we have been visiting them for a long time are preparing to be baptized this week. Things are going very well in our area and our zone so I am happy!

Also, some exciting news is that Elder Christofferson from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be visiting Fortaleza next week and will have a conference with all the missionaries in both the missions here in Ceará. It will be next Tuesday, April 28th! We are pumped and it will be great!

That´s about it for this week. I hope all is going well with each one of you. Thank you all for the love and prayers. Have a great week!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

 Us and the Sisters in Pecém, Ceará at the house where they hold church meetings.

The view from our new apartment. You can see Fortaleza from a distance.


Elder Evans and I at the Bus Station in Paracuru, Ceará.

Whenever we travel to the other cities in our zone this is what we see all the way there. 
It is very beautiful and tropical.

The family that came to church yesterday! Aurelio and Lindaura and their four kids.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Caucaia Week 9

Bom dia! Esta semana foi muito legal e estamos bem animados para o futuro!
Good morning! This week was super good and we are excited for the future!

Things were pretty normal this week. We didn´t travel to the interior and we didn´t do any divisions with other missionaries but it was good to stay in my area with my companion and work hard. We had another meeting with President for all the Zone Leaders and Disitrict Leaders in the mission which was the first time he had ever called for a meeting like that but it was cool and I liked it. 

Saturday we decided to visit a recent convert that hasn´t come to church in awhile and during our visit it was clear that his testimony had been shaken by a few preachers of other churches that live near his house and he told us that he doesn´t think he wants to go to church anymore. We testified of the truthfulness of the things we teach and invited him to do some visits with us. He accepted and it was awesome. The visits that we had planned on doing fell through and se we told him we were going to contact people in the street. The next thing we know he was talking to everyone and inviting everyone to visit the church and marking with people to visit them in their houses so that we can share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I was very surprised but it was awesome and it really got him excited and helped us out a ton. We ended up finding an awesome family with parents that are legally married and have 6 kids. It was an awesome experience!

Yesterday was super cool because Aurilene was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. She is super excited and super happy. We are now working with part of her family and we hope we can help them out to visit the church and accept the Gospel. We had an old lady that we have been teaching that we call Tia (Aunt), come to church for the second time yesterday and we are teaching her and her nephew, Robson.

Overall, it was a good week and we are working hard and receiving a lot of help from the awesome members here in our ward. It has been raining a lot here but it´s all good. I like the rain more than the burning hot sun everyday. This next week we will be traveling to Pecém and Paracuru!

Thank you all for the love and support! I hope everyone has a great week!!
Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Pictures taken by a member of the church in Cam's area:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Caucaia Week 8

Hey everyone! What a special week it was!! On Tuesday I spent the day in Icaraí, Ceará with Elder Ribeiro. It was a great day and it was great to spend the day with a fairly new missionary. He is excited and we had some great experiences teaching together and a few funny experiences trying to contact people in the street. It´s always good to keep laughing through it all.

Thursday, Elder Evans and I spent in Aldeota for the Mission Leadership Council. It was very good and makes me more excited about the work here in our zone. We received awesome training from President Bonini and the Assistants about how we can better help each missionary in our zones fulfill their responsibility as a missionary and how we can truly be part of the process through accountability and following up. It was awesome and this week will be sweet because my good friend, Elder Millett, will be spending the day with my here in Caucaia on Wednesday. Should be great!

The week was made even better of course with General Conference on Saturday and Sunday. I had the opportunity to watch all of the sessions in Portuguese with the ward here and it was truly awesome! I am so grateful for modern day prophets and the messages that we heard and the things we can apply in our lives now. I loved President Eyring´s talk about Fasting and Elder Nelson´s talk about The Sabbath Day. And Elder Holland´s talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ was outstanding!

The week was made even better when yesterday, on Easter Sunday, when Aurilene, the woman we have been teaching for about 3 weeks, was baptized! It was very special for her and for us and for many members of the ward that have visited her with us during these 3 weeks. She is a very special lady and is very excited about everything! She had been a little nervous leading up to the baptism but yesterday she said she felt a heavy feeling of peace and joy throughout the entire day and especially right after she was baptized. It was one of those awesome moments on the mission that we work so hard for and it has been such a blessing to see the change she has made in her life to follow the Savior.

Anyway, it was indeed a very special week here in Caucaia and we are excited for the next few weeks too!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

 Preaching the gospel in the Sand Dunes of Icaraí!

Beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean while we were contacting people in the street.

A HUGE dog that really liked me haha. Seriously, it is HUGE!

Saturday in between the sessions of conference we had to take all the water out of the baptismal font with buckets because the pump isn´t working. It took a while it was super hard work but it was way worth it in the end.

Us four in our house each laying in our hammock! Brazilian style!!!

Elder Evans, Aurilene, and I right before she was baptized!

There are HUGE snails here. I thought it would be cool to eat it since my brother served a mission in France. But for some reason I think the snails in Europe that they eat are different. Just kidding, I didn´t eat it but it is still a cool picture to show how big these things are!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Caucaia Week 7

Hey guys! It was a SUPER good week here in our area and I am SUPER happy!! As far as our area goes we had a ton of people come to church yesterday which was great because it was Ward Conference. Wednesday, Elder Evans and I traveled to Itapipoca, Ceará to visit the new Sisters there. The rest of the week was spent in our area and we had some awesome experiences. I will share one of them. We have been having trouble finding people who are really willing to visit the church and to really find out for themselves about the truthfulness of the restored gospel. Everyone says they want the blessings that come with following the Savior Jesus Christ, but few are willing to do what is necessary to receive the blessings through obedience (D&C 82:10).

Anyway, Thursday night when we were planning for the next day we had about an hour before lunch to do some contacts. We wrote down in our planner where we would contact and then that night and Friday morning when we were leaving the house, we prayed and ask Heavenly Father to put a family in our path who was ready to receive the Restored Gospel of Christ. We were doing contacts for a while in the area we had planned right before lunch (a lot of sun and a lot of heat). As we were finishing and about to head to lunch we saw a lady walking with two kids. We walked over to her and introduced ourselves. Long story short, we planned with her to visit her in her house later that night. The lesson went very well and yesterday she and her 3 children (ages 11, 10, and 5) all came to church and loved it. It was a very special experience and a testimony that the Lord hears and answers our prayers.

It was a truly great week. And it was all made even better when we were walking in the street Saturday morning and our phone rings. I picked it up and it was a very familiar voice. It was my good friend, Luan, whom Elder Zwick and I baptized in Aldeota last May. He called and told me that his mission call arrived and he has been called to serve a mission in the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission!!! He is very excited and of course I am thrilled as well. He will leave July 2nd! He will be such a great missionary and I feel very grateful for the opportunity the Lord gave me to teach and baptize him. The blessings of the mission are truly amazing!

Anyway, it was a great week and I am excited for this next week with General Conference! Have a great week everybody and get out there and preach the Gospel!

Elder Helvey

Us with the Sisters in Itapipoca after the training.

Lunch in Itapipoca!

I am so excited for Luan to go on a mission! Uruguay better get ready!!!