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!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Caucaia Week 6

Bom Dia!

Well I have completed my first transfer here in Caucaia and we received word today that Elder Evans and I will be staying together. I am excited and should be good. This week was really good.

We stayed in a trio this week because Elder Toffoletto left. It was good and we found some new really awesome people to teach and had some great people come to church. We are preparing for Ward Conference next week and then General Conference the next week. Should be great!

We traveled to Paracuru on Wednesday and I gave a training to the Sisters there. It was good and is always fun to travel a little bit and get to know Ceará and the missionaries in my zone better.

We are excited about these next 6 weeks for sure. I am really liking it and really love a ton of the members in our ward. They help us out a ton!!

Anyway, this week’s email is short but know that I am doing good and having fun while preaching the Gospel here in Ceará, Brazil!

Until next week.

Elder Helvey

Me in front of a big river that passes through our area.

My good friend, Elder Toffoletto, left on Wednesday morning to go serve 
as a Zone Leader in Bom Jardim, Fortaleza.

At the Bus Terminal in Paracuru, I met a man named Greg that was born in Cupertino, California 
and attended De Anza College. He now lives here in Ceará. Small world. 
He was quite shocked when I told him I was born in Mountain View, California. 
He has been receiving the missionaries in his house.

Us in Paracuru with the Sisters after the training.

Me in front of the house where the Paracuru Branch meets.

It poured yesterday and Saturday so we got soaked but here is a picture of me in the rain. 
It´s actually kinda nice to get a break from the sun and heat for a little while.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Caucaia Week 5

Hey! This week went really well for us here in Caucaia. I spent Tuesday with Elder Toffoletto in his area, which was super fun, and we had a ton of success. He is a very, very good missionary and it is great to be able to spend time with him and learn new things with him.

This week we traveled to a distant city in our zone called Pecém. We had a training meeting with the 4 Sisters that are serving there and it went really well. We did a baptismal interview there too and it is really great to see the church growing in Pecém. We had lunch there and got to see part of the city. It is a very beautiful city right on the beach and it was fun to see some views of the beach and feel the feeling that you are in a beach town. I would call it the Santa Cruz of Ceará. It´s just missing the Boardwalk, haha. But it was fun and we talked to a few people and invited them to church, too.

I also received a phone call from Elder Muniz from the Mission Office. My good friend who served with me in the office completed his mission and is now home in São Paulo. Which is super weird for me but it was good to say one last goodbye to him. It is super weird when pretty much all my friends who I served with are going home, but it´s good, and makes me appreciate the experiences I had with each one of them.

On Thursday, Elder Evans and I went to a part of our area called Tabapuá. We have been working a little bit there but had not had much success at all because it is pretty far away from the church. But on Thursday we had big time success there and we had a family visit the church from there on Sunday. So that was exciting. We found some other great people there too and I am excited to visit them again this week.

Friday I spent the day in my area with Elder Riberio from São Paulo. He is serving in Icaraí and has 3 months on the mission. He is a great missionary and we had a ton of success and some really cool experiences. We taught a lady named Arilane. She is super awesome and seemed to really enjoy our visit. She came to church too and really loved it. We had a great visit with her yesterday with a recent convert and it was a very special experience for the 4 of us. I will definitely never forget that visit.
Sunday morning we woke up to clear skies and hot sun which was the first time in 3 weeks. We had some great people come to church which is always the best. Marcio came to church again. He has been coming to church for a while now and has a baptismal date for this Saturday so we are excited for that. Overall, things are going well here and I am excited for the next few weeks because we have found some really great people and we should have a few baptisms coming up. The mission is awesome!

Have a great week!

Elder Helvey

Elder Toffoletto and I with our Angel Moroni shirts on P-day!

We went to Pecém this week. This the pool at the house 
where we have church meetings and where they have baptisms.

Elder Evans and I chilling on the curb outside the house in Pecém.

The Atlantic Ocean in Pecém, Ceará!

Elder Ribeiro and me.

It was just me and 3 Paulistas (people from São Paulo) on Saturday.

Me in front of our house. I think you can be sure that I am not in Fortaleza anymore.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Caucaia Week 4

Another week has come and gone here in Caucaia. To sum up this week I can say one word: RAIN! It rained a ton this week which is strange because it barely ever rains here. It is usually always sunny and very hot! It made for an interesting week. We just stayed in our area this week and we got some help from a few members to do visits with us. It was good and we found a few people that are very excited and have a ton of potential. Unfortunately, Sunday morning it absolutely poured! And since very few people have a car here and the church is about a 20-30 minute walk for most people, very few of the people that we have been visiting came to church.

When we woke up on Sunday morning it was raining, but at about that time we were leaving to walk to church it stopped. While we were on the way it started to absolutely pour! And when it rains here, the roads turning into rushing rivers. By the time we arrived at the church building, it was as if all four of us had just jumped in a lake. We were absolutely soaked! Luckily we were the first ones to get to church, so we were able to rinse out our clothes a little bit and be presentable for church.
Looking back, it was a funny experience, but overall it was a bummer because barely anyone came to church. This week I am excited to visit everyone and teach them more about the Sabbath Day and Church Attendance. And no matter what, rain or shine, we all need to be at church on Sunday to receive spiritual strength for the rest of our week.

Anyway, we have a ton of work to do this week in our area with the people we are visiting, and I am excited for it! Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here serving the Lord and the great people of Brazil.

Until next week.

Elder Helvey
Me at the house in my hammock. If I am not in the street contacting and teaching everyone this is where you will find me. Laying in my hammock reading the Bible, Book of Mormon, or General Conference talks. It is always something I look forward to at the end and beginning of each day.

My companion, Elder Evans.

Elder Toffoletto, from São Paulo.

Elder R. Oliveira, from São Paulo.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Caucaia Week 3

Hey! Well another week has gone by here in Caucaia. It was another busy week as we had Zone Conference and a Church Building Open House in Fortaleza two different days during the week. I also did four divisions this week. Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday I spent with our two District Leaders which was good to train them a little bit and help them with their work. But it made it for a strange week and I barely spent any time in my area doing normal missionary work.
Tuesday I spent in a nearby city called Icaraí with Elder Ricks. The church has a small group there and it was fun to spend the day there working with him.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Bom Jardim, Fortaleza. It was awesome! We rented a huge van with 18 missionaries and we all went there together. As always it is great to receive instruction from President and Sister Bonini and a training from the Assistants. President Bonini gave an awesome training about the Atonement of Jesus Christ! Very powerful and really helped me remember why I am here. It helped me renew my desire to preach the Gospel to everyone! As always at Zone Conferences it was awesome to see so many missionaries that I haven´t seen in so long. I will send a few photos of me with some of my best friends on the mission.

Friday I spent the day with Elder Toffoletto. We spent the day in his area and in my area visiting the people we teach. It was very good and a super fun day!

Saturday, Elder Toffoletto and I went to Fortaleza to particpate in a Church Building Open House that was put on by the Fortaleza Stake. It was awesome! We had over 450 people there, members and visitors. There was an awesome missionary choir and I helped out with the tech part of things (computer, videos, and lights). It was awesome. It was something that the missionary couple, Elder and Sister Evans, planned and organized and it was great to help them out and feel the Spirit so strongly throughout the meeting. It was so great! It was also so good to see so many people from the Aldeota Ward.

Yesterday was good because we had church. Unfortunately many of the people we had to visit church with us didn´t come. And two families that we have been teaching and two other people all did not progress these week. It was hard because many of these people were so excited about church and baptism and now each one seems to have major difficulties. But it´s okay, because that is what we are here for and I know that these weeks we will be working like crazy to help these people out. It´s often hard as a missionary but this week I was reading in the Book of Mormon about a few missionaries that had many difficulties and challenges, too, but the Lord comforted them and they were able to bring many souls to repentance and to the Savior, Jesus Christ. I have definitely felt the Lord´s comfort this week and I am excited for another week to start!

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers.
Until next week.

Elder Helvey

I spent the day with Elder Ricks and before we left to teach we set some things up 
in the new house in Icaraí. It was a good time!

Elder Toffoletto and I with the van that we all took to the Zone Conference in the back.

My good friend and old companion, Elder Muniz, who will be ending his mission in 10 days.

Elder Shelton, my companion in the MTC. It had been a very long time since I had seen him 
so it was good to catch up.

ELDER ZWICK! Enough said.


Elder Toffoletto and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity we had to be in Fortaleza 
and eat at Subway! Dang, it was good!

It was so fun to see so many people from the Aldeota Ward, including Bishop and his wife. 
One of the nicest couples and families I have ever met.

I was sad to see Elder Larkin go home this week.  He's like a brother to me.