Monday, January 26, 2015

Parque das Nações Week 16

Another week has come and gone and it just keeps getting better here in Parque das Nações! We had a ton of success again this week and I am even more excited for next week. This week on Tuesday we went to the Center of Fortaleza with Anderson and Naízes for them to sign the marriage papers. It took a ton of time to get back from the Center back to our area because of traffic but it was a really great time. We are super excited for Anderson and Naízes. We have been teaching them for a super long time and this Friday they are going to get married and Anderson´s baptism will be on Sunday after church. The ward is really excited too!

The rest of the week was normal and we were able to teach a ton again this week. We did a companionship exchange with a companionship in our zone and it was really good. Things are really getting better in the zone. We had interviews with President on Thursday and he said he is happy with the way things are changing in the zone and with the work I am doing but he says we need to get even better and fast! So I pumped to keep working hard with this zone and trying hard to help all the missionaries have success.

Sunday was awesome again! A family we have been teaching for a few weeks came to church and they really loved it! And we had another couple that we are teaching come to church for the first time together!

We are ready and excited for another week here!

I hope all continues to go well for each one of you.
Until next week.

Elder Helvey

We went to the Center and we were the testimonies (witnesses) for the 
signing of the wedding documents for Anderson e Naízes!

Gilberto, Vanda, Guilherme, and Bia! 
They are such an awesome family that we found and are teaching.

President Bonini and I in his office. He is so awesome!

Elder L. Silva and me. It was great to spend the day working with him.

Church with the family and the couple that came together for the first time!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Parque das Nações Week 15

Hey! Wow, what an AWESOME week!! The week started off great with a Family Home Evening last Monday night and just got better until church yesterday with a ton of the people we are teaching there again!

Tuesday morning, Elder Moroni and I went to the bus terminal to meet up with the Assistants, who are both two of my really good friends. Elder Millett stayed with me in my area for the day which was so sweet. Elder Millett was in the MTC at the same time I was and we traveled here to Fortaleza together from Atlanta, so he´s been my good friend from the beginning. He´s also from California so that makes it even better. He´s from the Sacramento area. We had a CRAZY day with A TON of lessons and teaching with members, including the last two visits of the night with the Stake President, President Pereira. It was such a good day and we had a lot of success.

Elder Moroni and I then spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in our area together and had some great experiences. We are really teaching some awesome people, including 4 really awesome families!

Saturday I spent the day in another area in our Zone with one of our District Leaders, Elder Cradozo. He worked with me in the Mission Office and we lived together in Aldeota for 3 months so I already knew him well. He is from Paraguay and a super chill guy. We worked a lot and had some great visits. It was fun to spend the day with him after such a long time.

Things continue to improve here in our Zone and we are excited about that. Church, as always, was awesome yesterday! We had a lot of people there again which is one of the best things that can happen on the mission. But unfortunately, we also had quite a bit of people that couldn´t make it this week. So we will be working more with them this week and teaching about O Dia do Senhor (The Day of the Lord). Should be a great week!

I am excited about it all. Things are really going well. I hope all of you have a great week and everything continues to go well.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
Until next week.

Elder Helvey

P.S. I hear that this Friday night is the big Pinewood vs. Sacred Heart game. I will be rooting Pinewood on from here in Brazil. GO PANTHERS!!!

 Family Home Evening with a few members and Anderson and Naízes.

Elder Millett from Sacramento, California.

Elder Cardozo from Paraguay.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Parque das Nações Week 14


It was such a great week!! Well actually I was pretty sick this week and it was pretty rough for a few days because a lot of the appointments we had with people fell through. But we ended up being able to find some great new people to teach and ended up teaching even more lessons than we usually do in the week. And even though the week was hard it was all worth it yesterday at church.

Elder Moroni and I left our apartment early in the morning to pass by 3 houses to help them all come to church. After a ton of walking and getting wet in the rain people from each of the 3 houses came to church and when we got to church we were even happier to see some the other people we are teaching there along with recent converts and less actives who had not only come to church but had also brought friends and family. This is the third week in a row of Beninha bringing a friend or family member with her to church. So yesterday at church was AWESOME! The Stake President spoke and the Spirit was strong in Sacrament Meeting and then we had a great lesson in Sunday School, Gospel Principles. Everyone who came really loved it and wants to come back. Also, Adail, the man that Elder Goff and I baptized a few months ago, was called to be the 2nd Counselor in the Elders Quorum which was awesome, too!

We are super excited for this next week and to see all of the people we are teaching progress even more and get even more people to come to church next week! We have a big Family Home Evening planned for tonight which will be super fun!!

Anyway, it was a great week and while I was sitting there singing the opening hymn in Sacrament Meeting with a ton of people that I had been visiting that week, a deep feeling of gratitude came over me and I feel so grateful to be here serving and helping these wonderful people. Definitely one of the best Sundays of my mission! We now have 11 people with a baptismal date for the next coming weeks so I am excited and feeling the hand of the Lord in my work as a missionary.

I hope all continues to go well for each one of you. Have a great week!
Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Yesterday at church! Elder Moroni and I with a lot of our investigators, recent converts, and less actives. Dang, it was so great to see so many of the people we are visiting come to church. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Lunch with some members in our ward!

Marcelo left with us for the day to do visits and we decided to pass by the Super Market 
and say hello to Beninha. This is where we first contacted Beninha!

I did a companion exchange with Elder McDaniel from Texas. This is the second time I have spent the day with him and we had a great day and a lot of success. He´s a good guy and a great missionary. I always love doing companion exchanges!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Parque das Nações Week 13

Happy New Year! I hope you all are having a great start to 2015. Things are going super well here and it was an awesome week! We worked LIKE CRAZY this week and it was the best because we found a ton of people to teach including 3 awesome families!! One of them was super special because we did a contact in the street with the dad of the family when he was getting to his house from work and we asked if we could come in and share a message about Jesus Christ. As soon as we entered we felt a strong spirit as we met his wife and two kids. They are an awesome family and after teaching the Restoration of the Gospel it was clear to us that the Lord has been preparing this family. They weren´t able to come to church this week because he was working but we are super excited for next week! We found a lot of other people and I wish I could sit here and tell you all about each one but I just don´t have the time so a lot of the stories will have to wait. Just know that things are going well and we are really seeing miracles happen here in our area.

On New Year’s Eve we had a Zone Meeting where Elder Moroni and I gave a training. We have been having many difficulties in the zone especially when it comes to marking baptismal dates with the people we are teaching. Last week out of the 22 missionaries in our zone we only had 12 dates. We were seeing that many of the missionaries simply were just not inviting people to be baptized, forgetting about their purpose. We had a good training about this and a few other things and last night when all the missionaries reported in we had 45 people with baptismal dates. 12 to 45 in one week! Now we have to improve on many other things but it is a good start to helping this zone get better. We are excited!

Sunday morning we had breakfast with our Ward Mission Leader, Marcelo and a few other church members, including Beninha. We had French Toast which was fun. Then we all went out and passed by people´s houses to help them come to church. Unfortunately, we had many people that confirmed to go to church not come this week but it was still a great Sunday. After lunch, we did visits with Bishop and his wife. We visited Anderson and Naízes and planned for their wedding and Anderson´s baptism. And we visited Benhina, which was awesome and we talked about visiting teaching and preparation for a mission, which she already has a desire to serve. I love Sundays on the mission! Today we went to the Center of the city and marked the wedding date for Anderson and Naízes! It´s gonna be awesome!!

Anyway, it was a great week and I hope you all had a great week too. HAPPY 2015! It is gonna be a suuuuper great year!!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

There are a few lakes in our area. This is one of them that is near the Bishop´s house. There are always people fishing in them as you can see behind me. It´s super peaceful and pretty where the lakes are.

NEW YEAR’S EVE in our apartment! We went to bed at 10:30 like normal but we woke up with all the loud music and the fireworks around midnight and made chocolate milkshakes. 2015!!!!!!!

UECE! This is the big university that is in the middle of our area which is kind of annoying because we have to walk around it all the time and no one lives there. But it has a bank and that is where we get our money and we have done some contacts with people there, too.

Sunday morning breakfast! It was a ton of fun to spend some time with Marcelo, Marcílio, and Beninha and eat French Toast for breakfast. They are awesome and it´s awesome what great friends Marcelo and Marcílio have become with Beninha.

I found some Laker fans here in Fortaleza! I spotted that Kobe jersey from a mile away and decided I had to get a picture with him.

Back in Aldeota! Like every Monday morning, I went to Aldeota this morning to get materials for our zone and decided to take a picture in the streets that I used to walk and no so well for 7 months of my mission.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Parque das Nações Week 12

Hey everyone! What a great week it was here and such an awesome Christmas! I thought that since it was the week of Christmas and this week is New Year’s it might be pretty hard to find people home and available to talk with us but it ended up being a super awesome and successful week. I took a ton of photos this week so I will tell about my week using pictures.

First, we gave out presents for Christmas. My friend, Elder Larkin, who is the Executive Secretary, had the awesome idea of wrapping Books of Mormon and making it super special to give people as Christmas presents. On the front, it had James 1:5 written out and it was super awesome. He gave some to my companion and me as a Christmas present and gave some to Elder Zwick and his company in Canindé. It was a very thoughtful gift and the people we gave them to loved it!!

We gave one to the family that gave me a ride to the hospital when I brought the basketball hoop down on my head two weeks ago. In this picture is Claudia and Clarissa. They are a great family that we are teaching!

We gave one to Beninha, but not for herself because she obviously already has one and is reading it a ton. But this was for her to seek out a friend at work and give it to them. She said she had already thought of the person to give it to! It was great and she is way excited to share the Gospel with her friends and has already asked about what she has to do to prepare to serve a mission. She was confirmed yesterday in church by the Stake President. It was awesome!

After watching The Restoration DVD with them, we gave Lourdes, Margery, and Elias a Book of Mormon for Christmas. Elias was super excited and already claimed it as his own but said he would let them read it too, haha. They are awesome and a super special family for me.

The street I walk everyday right near our apartment.

We were able to spend the last hour of our day on Christmas Eve at the Bishop´s house with his family and some less actives that we have been visiting. This is a picture of Bishop and his wife and his two boys and a young woman from the ward. They are awesome and I LOVE this family.

Elder Moroni and I celebrating Christmas morning in Fortaleza, Brazil!

Christmas lunch with our Ward Mission Leader, Marcelo and his mom, and our good friend, Marcílio. So great to spend some time with such great friends for Christmas! I love these guys!!

SKYPE WITH MY FAMILY!!!!!! So awesome to talk with them for a little bit on Christmas Day. I really miss them but am so happy that everything is going so well with them. There were two more people than there were the last time I skyped them (my little nephew, Cooper, and little niece, Gwen!) It was such a blast!
Saturday I did a companion exchange with one of the District Leaders in our Zone, Elder Galvão. We had a great day and had a day of success (20 contacts and 5 lessons). Elder Moroni and I are really working hard to get things better in our Zone and we are excited to see things improve. This week with have the Mission Leadership Council with President so we are excited for that!

We had quite a few people visit the church yesterday which was awesome! This is a picture of us and Paulo, someone we have been teaching for a while and came to church yesterday. The Book of Mormon that is in his hand is the one we gave him wrapped as a Christmas present. He loves it! We are super excited about a few other people who came to church yesterday and excited to see them each progress even more!

We got a ride to lunch in the back of the truck of the Stake President. It was fun and reminded me of the days out at the Ranch in Utah and Idaho with Grandpa. Good times!

Anyway, that´s it for the week. I hope you all have a good and safe New Year and that you are all ready with your goals. I know I have some awesome goals that I am excited to do! Have a great new year. HAPPY 2015!!!!


Elder Helvey