Monday, February 27, 2012

27 Feb 2012

Hi family!

How is everyone doing?! This week was a little crazy! We had a zone conference this last monday. It was actaully awesome. I really enjoyed it a lot. It was really fun. We did a lot of different activities and ate some good food :)

I dont have a lot of exciting things to tell you. My birthday was a normal day. But thanks for everyone that wished me a happy birthday. 23...crazy!

Guess what?! I gave a talk in church yesterday. It was crazy. I really hope people understood me ok. Just think about it this way. Its like some person that is learning English and they talk in English but their accent is realllllly thick. You have to sometimes concentrate REALLY hard to understand them. Ya thats how its like for other people when they hear me talk...haha.

Ok the best thing that has yet happened to me on the mission (ok MAYBE thats an overstatement...) Sister Checketts and I have been going through training (because Im still a "new" missionary). And we have been really trying hard to listen to the Spirit and teaching people and not lessons. We want the Spirit to work through us and for us to really know what to do and say. Also, we have been wanting to use the Book of Mormon more. Because in our conference, we have been challenged to use the book of mormon more because of the power it has. Right now we are reading the book of mormon as a mission. Like everyone is reading the same thing every day. We are all on 2 Nephi 22. Anyways...
So here is the situation. Last night we clapped at some gate. It was an old reference in our Area Book. So we found a lady. Her husband was at church, but she didnt go. We found out later she doesnt like to go to that church or something like that (as much as I got in Portuguese). And so we sat down and started talking to her a little bit. And she started crying even before we openned with a prayer! Seriously...I cant even describe how everything happened. It was me and Sister Checketts there but it wasnt really. I guess the way I talked...was Portuguese and me and Sister Checketts worked REALLY well together. We were smooth and we both had these impressions of things we should say and scriptures we should read. Holy cow. I know Im not explaining it very well...but it was awesome. During one scripture she read (Helaman 5:12) she started crying to. She really saw how the scriptures we read applied to her. It was a "duh" question when we asked if she would read the book of mormon. After the lesson I really thought, oh so THIS is how it works! Haha. It was pretty cool. We will see what happens. But I do know that the Book of Mormon has more power in it then we think. So read it! Everyone! Read the book of mormon. With the family, by yourself. Its food for the soul!

Anyways thats about it for this week. Time to go!

Love you all!
Sister Empey

Sister Empey's 'little' birthday cake she made for herself.

A fun picture that was sent to mom by Elder Ellsworth's family. These three missionaries are in our home stake here in WA and are all serving in Londrina!

Another little snipet from an email for katelyn's mom. "Oh ya! I’ve been listening to my music every day since last Tuesday when I got my birthday package! We had the time change so it’s like 5 hours different here from home. I haven’t baked my cake yet that you sent me for my birthday. I’m going to bake it today so that we can share with my district in our meeting tomorrow :) And I’ve been enjoying the candy and all the other good stuff. By the way, you MIGHT be getting a letter from my AP. He doesn’t speak (or write) English, but Im thinking Elder Angerbauer (your missionary mom friends son) will help him write it. Me and him have an ongoing joke because I keep on getting packages from you. So he wants to write you and ask you for a package for him, because he would be the son you never had :) I wrote our home address down in his planner. So we will see if he actually does it. He had to make sure that you would like it and not get annoyed or mad at him. I told him you would like it. The little hands of Natalie’s and Charlotte’s you sent- we like....awesome :)"

Friday, February 24, 2012

22 Feb 2012

I know this is kind of weird getting an email from me today. But we had a zone conference on monday and couldnt email. And we had our P-Day yesterday, because our usual P-Day was taken up with zone conference. BUT, because Carnival was yesterday, we couldnt email the family. So President Tavares allowed us to send a QUICK email telling the family that we havent died :) And we are all good.Carnival was REALLLLLYYY tranquil. It was great. I think if people want to party, they go to Rio or something. Londrina was GUREAT! Yes, its my birthday. And we are going to be working! Whoop whoop! I got my package! Mom...honestly, it is/was awesome :) I gave some candy to my AP because he REALLY wanted some when I picked up my package yesterday. Anyways...this is all the time I have for this. Sorry. I love you all and I will write more next week!

Love,Sister Empey

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

13 Feb 2012

Hello all!

Before I forget...Carnival is next week. I think Sunday through Wednesday? So this is how it works. Im pretty sure EVERYTHING is closed Monday through Wednesday. So MAYBE Ill be emailing next week, maybe not. So if you dont get an email from me, dont worry. Im alive...just enjoying P-Day in my house :) Also, dont worry....Londrina is not crazy with Carnaval. When people want to party, they actually go to Central Londrina. There are actual streets that are blocked off for parties. But again, in our area its pretty quite. Im thinking a few fireworks and such...but thats about it :)

So this week was kind of crazy. We havent been having a whole lot of success in our area right now. And we had a Strong Area (where we spent most of our days) teaching and finding people. We spent 8 weeks mais ou menos there. And Friday, me and Sister Checketts decided we needed to move our Strong Area closer to the church. So we are going to go there. We dont have a lot of contacts there but we feel good about it. We have faith that if thats not where we are supposed to focus our time, God will change it for us haha.

We have been asking advice from a lot of people in the area. President Tavares, Stake President, Bishop. We ask them how we can do better. How we can change and make a difference in this area. And they all say that we are doing good and that we just need to keep on going and to continue what we are doing. Thank goodness this is Heavenly Fathers work. Because above all, he is in charge.

I think me and Sister Checketts are REALLY growing right now. We have learned a lot. Because Im still in training (the first 3 months are my "training months") we study for an extra hour a day. Some days all I want to do is be outside and be talking to people in my crazy Portuguese accent. But some days we have REALLY enjoyed studying and learning about how we can better our teaching. Its actually been really great and I secretly hope I can be a trainer for other sister missionaries so that I can learn again and try to apply the teachings again and hopefully I can be an even better missionary.

Probably the highlight of all highlights this week was one of our investigators came to church! (Shoot where did that hour go?!). It was awesome. I think she had an AWESOME experience and she is really excited to learn more. We thought that she wouldnt come and we even stopped by her house before church (I think we MIGHT have woke her up) but she came! Drove herself to church. It was awesome. Im excited for her and her family to get to know other members and things like that. We have a lesson with her tomorrow. Oh she is great! I sat by her and explained how the hymns work. Like how you read the hymns. Ya, I felt pretty special. Oh and she cried during a talk! I think it was a pretty good talk, I didnt understand a lot but ya it was good!...haha.

I think thats about it and my time is up for the hour! Next week Ill send a couple pictures!

Love you all! Keep up the good work with your lives! Dont miss me too much :P

-Sister Empey

Thursday, February 9, 2012

6 Feb 2012

Hello all!

I told you this week was going to be crazy! So it was transfers this last week. And we had 4 extra girls one night (Monday night) and 6 extra girls the next night. But we didnt find out about these until like MAYBE 3 hours before the girls arrived. So we needed to come up beds for them, food, and sheets for the beds. It was just a LITTLE crazy. And me and Sis Checketts are still trying to recuporate (sp?) from this. So yes, I will be a little bit lazy and take a nap today. My body is actually really tired. And Ive been doing this how many weeks?! Haha, Im a little worried about a year from now.

Guess what?!!!! So Saturday was Fast Sunday right? Um ya...think about this one. While you are all enjoying the cold inside houses and stuff. Im dying here in 104 degree weather!!!! Ya....104 degrees. And Im walking up and down stairs sweating like crazy! And it was Fast Sunday Saturday about 7pm Im reallly past being done with the day. Haha but I decided to use my brain when I left the house today. Im going to start wetting my undershirts down right before I leave the house. Its brilliant. They dry quick and keep me cool a little bit longer!!!! :)

We had a meeting with ward leaders and missionaries last night. President Tavares was there. It was cool and it got us really excited. The meeting was almost 2 hrs long and in Portuguese. And I was sitting on the front I had to try to pay attention. So about an hour into it I was a BIT tired. With this Portuguese thing, my brain has to work a little bit harder to understand and to fully comprehend. But I got the general gist of the messages :) And then the meeting went long so President and Sister Tavares drove us home. Our zone is the Londrina Zone, so we have meetings with President Tavares more than you´d think. And our house is actually only about 10 minutes away from the Mission Home, downtown area. So ya, it was pretty good. It was about our wards getting into the missionary work. Seriously, I have learned a lot about the importance of member missionary work. So family and friends, get going! You dont have to preach to the whole world or invite ALL your friends to be baptized. Just help the missionaries out. We are LOVING when ward members want to teach with us. They come visit a couple house with us. Then the least that happens is the members gain friends :) I love it. There is a girl that is 23 I think in the other ward. She has gone to teach with us a couple of times. The people we teach love it because she´s Brazilian, she is really fun, and she can relate to them. As much as I´d like to think we can relate to a lot of people. Sometimes I forget about life outside of right now. So its nice to have someone that can really relate and be friends. Besides we are so busy we cant check up on everyone ever day. And we will some day leave this area, but members wont. Or will stay here a lot longer. So ya, thats what I learned today. We can be a LOT more successful when we have members work with us :)

Also, one of the hardest things for me right now is how some people recieve a testimony. They know the church is true, they can feel the reality of the gospel, they know the book of mormon is true, but they just dont make the step of baptism. Its been hard to have the reality that people gain a testimony. But they just dont go a little bit farther. I get so excited every time someone says that our messages are true! And then after a couple of days, they dont want to have visits from us any more, or something to that fact.

But we move on. We teach, we talk to a lot of people. And Im sure people think we are crazy for walking out in the blasted heat like this! Dont worry, we drink a lot of water! So I guess that we have 2 months of this nasty heat. Exciting to make sure we dont die...haha.

So I met a sister in the CTM that is in our mission right now. She is a transfer behind us. And she is one of the girls that spent the night at our house on Tuesday. And I was so excited to see her. I remember my first night. I mean it was only 6 weeks ago. And it was SOOOOO tough! But it was really good to talk to her. She is going to be an awesome missionary. And it was a blessing for the both of us. Im so glad I was there to help her. It probably doesnt make a whole lot of sense, but being able to help someone out and know that I actually helped was a great feeling. I cant exactly do that in Portuguese yet, so being able to help someone out and say the things I really want to say felt good. I want to help people out so much so I try every day to be ready for that to be able to help them out. As for her, I hope I actually did help her out! Haha. It was a good conversation and Im glad I was there to help her!

Anyways, I really dont know what else to say. Another week! Here we come right?
I hope all is going well for allll of you! I love you all!

Sister Empey

PS: anyone who wants to write me emails can write me novels if you want. I dont read them with the hour that I have. I want to think, ponder, and pray about them (haha ok maybe not pray) but I read them when we get back to our house. I print them off. So keep the emails coming long or short! :)

Sister Empey and Sister Checketts outside their apartment.

Making cookies! Sister Empey has been asking for cookie and play dough recipes so that they can share with members and investigators.

P.S Sister Checketts shared with us that President Tavares is very pleased with their work. The members love them and are fighting over who gets to feed them. People don't normally like missionaries in that area but they are loving Sister Checketts and Sister Empey. Their ward mission leader has asked that they stay in that area for awhile and not be transferred. We're so excited for them!