Monday, February 23, 2015

Caucaia Week 2

Hey! Well this week was very, very busy. It involved a lot of planning, traveling, and meetings with other missionaries, but it was way awesome! We traveled all over our zone this week visiting and training the missionaries in each area. I took a ton of picture so I will tell all about my week using pictures.

This was my view for much of the week from the bus as we left Caucaia and traveled 
to visit the missionaries in each city (Paracuru, Pecém, and Itapipoca).

On Tuesday, we visited the city of Paracuru, where there is a small but growing branch 
of the church. These are the four Sisters that are serving there with me and Elder Evans. 
We had a great training meeting with them and they are excited!

The church there is just a house, compared to the regular, huge church buildings that are all over Fortaleza. It was fun to see where the members meet every Sunday.

This is at the Bus Station in Paracuru as we were leaving. After the training meeting 
we had a great lunch at a member´s house with the Sisters. 
It was great to visit Paracuru and I am excited to see the growth of the church there.

On Wednesday, we stayed here in Caucaia and had a great training meeting with 
the 2 other Elders in Caucaia, 4 Sisters from Planalto, and 2 Elders w
ho are serving in the nearby city of Icaraí. 
It is a great group of missionaries and it was a great meeting.

Thursday, I spent the day with Elder R. Oliveria in his area to see how things are going there 
and to train him. He has about 9 months on the mission and has a great companion 
so things are going great there. But it was fun to spend the day with him 
and we had a day filled of finding and teaching people.

Friday morning, Elder Evans and I traveled out to Pecém, which also has a small but growing branch of the church. Like Paracuru, the members of the church meet in a small house. 
This is us in front of the house!

Us with the Sisters in Pecém. We had a great training meeting with them as well and I am excited to see them find more people who are ready for the Gospel. It was a great trip to Pecém!

We woke up super early on Saturday morning to go to Itapipoca. 
This is us waiting for the bus at about 5:30AM.

IT POURED! And by the time we finally got to the Bus Terminal in Fortaleza,
we were SOAKING WET!

We had a great training meeting there and a great lunch with the Sisters 
and members there in Itapipoca.

Last photo. Look at what I found here in Caucaia!!! The biggest snail I have ever seen in my life! That is my hand next to it, and remember, my hand is pretty big haha. 
Seriously this snail was HUGE!

Alright, I have many other pictures but that is all I have time for this week. But know that I am doing great and really loving my new area and my new zone. Have a great week!
Until next week.


Elder Helvey

Monday, February 16, 2015

Caucaia Week 1

Bom dia! Here I am in Caucaia and I am absolutely loving it! On Tuesday morning, Luan picked me up from my apartment in my last area and we drove to Caucaia. It was good to spend time with him and it was a fun drive out here to Caucaia. And now for the first time, I am not in the city of Fortaleza. It was weird to leave because I have spent my entire mission within the city of Fortaleza.The beginning of the week was a little hard adjusting to a new area and everything but by Thursday I was already loving it! My companion is Elder Evans from Salt Lake City and he is a really good missionary and we get along well. We are working super hard and found some awesome new people this week. Our area is HUGE! Two or three days a week we have to take a bus to get to some parts of our area. Very different from Fortaleza. But it´s good and even with "Carnival" being this week we had a very successful week and had two couples that we are teaching come to church yesterday!

Thursday morning we went to Fortaleza for the Mission Leadership Council which was really good as always. It is so fun to see so many of my friends on the mission and to receive training. The rest of the week was just hard, hard work, in the hot, hot sun! It´s so great to come home at the end of the day exhausted. Our house is super awesome here! Super big! The biggest house I have ever seen in the mission. I usually come home at the end of the day and after we plan for the next day I take a shower and chill in my "rede" (hammock). I really like the missionaries I live with so that has been fun. One of them is my good friend, Elder Toffoletto, who Elder Allen trained in Canindé so that has been fun to catch up with him.

Anyway, it was a great week and I am excited to serve here in Caucaia. Our zone is huge (distance) and next week I will be traveling all over. On Tuesday we will do a training for the missionaries in Paracuru, Ceará, Wednesay here in Caucaia, Ceará, Friday in Pecém, Ceará, and Saturday in Itapipoca, Ceará. It will be a long week of traveling and trainings but it will be good and I am excited!

I hope you all had a great week and things continue to go well for each one of you.

Until next week!

Elder Helvey

Luan picked me up on Tuesday morning and drove me out here to Caucaia. It was super nice of him and it was good to spend some time with him. He is super excited to go on his mission!

The view during the drive from Fortaleza to Caucaia. A little different views then the road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles that I am used to. haha

Bem-Vindo A Caucaia!

This is a photo of me with 6 of the companions that I have had on the mission that were all at the Mission Leadership Council. Some of them will be going home this transfer so it was the last time that I would be together with so many of them all at the same time. It was fun and I have been VERY blessed to have such great companions.

Elder Toffoletto and I

Carlos, Juliana, and Julia. Carlos and Juliana are an awesome couple that we found this week and started teaching them. They came to church yesterday and loved it and have baptismal dates. We drank coconut water at their house last night!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Parque das Nações Week 18

Hey everyone! This week was really great and we had some awesome experiences. Anderson was confirmed a member of the church, received the Holy Ghost, and received the Aaronic Priesthood. It was so awesome to see how excited he was and also to see how happy his wife, Naizes, is. It has been such a blessing to see the change the Gospel has made in their lives. They are a very special family for me!

The best part of the week was Friday night and was definitely one of the best experiences of my mission. On Tuesday morning during our studies I received a call from Luan. As some of you may recall, I baptized Luan in May when I was serving in Aldeota with Elder Zwick. Anyway, he has been doing very well and on Tuesday he told me that he wanted to teach with us on Friday night. So on Friday, he drove here to our area after work and we ate dinner together and it was so fun to see him again and to see how happy he is. He told me that he had recently received his Patriarchal Blessing and has decided without a doubt that he is going to serve a mission! He has already talked with his Bishop and Stake President and plans to submit his papers in the next few weeks and leave as soon as he has one year as a member (May 25th). I was so excited and am so happy for him! I know he will be an awesome missionary and will bless the lives of many, many people for eternity.

We then did 3 visits with some of my recent converts and investigators here. As we taught and testified together I was overcome with such great joy to see and feel the difference the Gospel makes in people´s lives. I can´t explain everything that happened throughout the night but it was a very, very special night filled with miracles. At the end of the night after he dropped us off at our apartment I was overcome with gratitude to the Lord for blessing me with so many amazing experiences. I love being a missionary!

The rest of the week went very well and we had a few more of the people that we are visiting come to church yesterday for the very first time, which is always awesome. I really like this ward and the members here. They really help us out a lot and are really good when people come to visit for the first time.

But as we know missionaries are always moving around. This morning we received news of the transfer (every 6 weeks when missionaries are moved around throughout the mission). After a VERY successful 4 months here in Parque das Nações I have been transferred to Caucaia to be Zone Leader in the Planalto Zone. I am WAY excited! Why? Because it will be the first time I will serve outside of the Capital City of Fortaleza. Caucaia is a bordering city of Fortaleza so it´s not too out there but something that is cool is that my zone covers cities in "the interior" such as Icaraí, Paracuru, Pecém, and Itapipoca (look on google maps to see where they are). The church is VERY new in these cities. Icaraí will receive its first missionaries tomorrow and the other three cities were all opened for missionary work while I have been here on the mission. I assume this will be my last area on the mission and I am very excited for the work that is ahead and the experiences I will have!

I hope all of you have a great week and I thank you for all your thoughts, prayers, and love.

Elder Helvey

Dinner with Luan.

We visited Beninha and her sister, Cibely, and their friend with Luan. Such an awesome visit!

We also visited Anderson and Naizes with Luan.

We also visited our awesome investigator, Marcio.

It was way sweet to have a car to go fast to one teaching appointment to the other. Our area is super big and usually takes a while to walk but Friday we cruised to each one of our appointments.

Preaching the Gospel!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Parque das Nações Week 17

Wow, what a great week! Although we had many visits with a lot of the people we are teaching and even found some new people this week, this week was all about Anderson and Naizes! The couple that Elder Goff and I found my second week here in this area were married on Friday and Sunday, Anderson was baptized! It was seriously the BEST!

We spent a lot of the time this week focusing on them and making sure everything would go well. Thursday we went to the church with Anderson for his baptismal interview which went really well and we celebrated by buying ice cream cones in the Bus Terminal. Then Friday super early in the morning we went together with Anderson and Naizes to the Cartório in the Center of Fortaleza to have the wedding and then Friday night we had a big party in the church with a ton of members from the ward and some friends and family of Anderson and Naizes. It was super awesome and they were so happy!

On Saturday, Elder Moroni and I had the special opportunity to go to another wedding, the Group Wedding that the Mission puts on for any couple who is getting married and baptized. We did the baptismal interviews and got to participate in the marriage ceremony and the baptisms at the church. It was a super special day and it was fun to see other Elders and President and Sister Bonini, along with 5 couples that had decided to get married and baptized.

And to end the week out of course we had the baptism of Anderson! On the phone on Saturday night he asked me if I would baptize him and I of course accepted. He is super awesome and he and Naizes are a very special family for me and I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to find and help them. Now their next goal is to go to the Temple in Recife in 1 year! They are great!!

Amway, it was a great week and filled with a ton of blessings! Thank you all for the support and love. Things are going VERY well and truly loving every minute!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Friday morning at the Cartório in the Center of Fortaleza!

Me celebrating the marriage in a nearby park where we went to take pictures 
of Anderson and Naizes. The city had set up this stage in preparation 
for Carnival and I took to opportunity to do a little dance.

 Friday wedding at the Church! Us with Anderson and Naizes and Marcelo, our Ward Mission Leader. The ward is very happy and excited about the wedding and baptism!

We did a Service Project at a ward member’s house on Saturday morning. It was a good time!

Baptism of Anderson!!!