Tuesday, April 24, 2012

23 April 2011

Helllloooooo everyone!

This week was crazy and I just have a feeling that its only going to get crazier! So this is the deal. Im starting this week with a lot more time so I can talk more.

Im getting really good at feeling when something is going to happen. This is the topic of the first part of my email.

1) So our zone is really small. It only has like 10 people in the whole zone. So the ZLs call for us specifically every day because they can. So it was really like 10:15 and we were laying down, ready to start sleeping right? We were thinking "yes" lets start sleeping earlier!" And then I told Sis Ayumi, no, we are going to get one more phone call from someone. We havent heard from our zone leaders all day. They are going to call in the next 10 minutes. And about a minute after I said that...they called. And one of our zone leaders is American. Hes really awesome. Anyways I answered the phone and it was silence and then all he said (American) was "hello"...thats it...seriously...he is keeping us up to say hello?! But he talked more after that and it was good because we talked about our investigators and possible baptisms. But it just goes to show you...I am right some times (´cough´ ´cough´...mom)

2) Sis Ayumi and me always bet chocolates at who is right with the roads. Like I say...no its this number on this road...and she doesnt believe me...so we have bet I think 5 times or something like that at who is right....I am winning a lot of chocolate :) Haha I have yet to lose.

3) I feel like I will get transfered. Really we dont know yet. But I REALLLLLLLY hope Im wrong on this one. The worst fear...or one of the worst fears as a missionary is leaving an area (getting transfered, or leaving for your house at the end) and not feeling like you made a difference. And up until this point in Campo Mourao, Sis Ayumi and I feel like we arent done with this area and there are soooo many more people to talk to and to help...so we will know later if we will get transfered this week. We are all meeting together (all missionaries) in Londrina and will transfered right after the meeting with Elder Cook on Saturday.

4) Ok Im really happy I was right about this one. Me and Sis Ayumi got packages on the same day! I just knew my package would come like Wednesday or Thursday. And it did! It happened to be our best day this week. It was awesome. And it was actually really fun because we both got reallllly good packages at the same time :) We had awesome numbers for the day! Found a new investigator when we were clapping at gates. Oh she´s awesome. Shes a new mom. She has a brand new baby (2 months old) and she reallly liked our message (just a scripture for the first day) and was excited for us to come back. And when we came back we left a BOM with her. We did a teaching record for her because we know she has awesome possibilities to progress and stuff. With her husband too but its reallllly hard to find him at home because he works so much. Anyways really cool. It was one of my favorite days on my mission so far. We really did a lot of good stuff and accomplished a lot of things and then got packages to finish off the day. We had a little party opening packages in our room haha

5) Also I was right about this...and NO ONE believed me....I knew that we would have one extra week in the transfer and I knew that we would all join together and have transfers all at the same time in Londrina. And no one believed me! Haha. But we are allllll super pumped for this weekend. We have the conference with Elder Cook and then after we will leave for different chapels in Londrina to have lunch and learn where we are going. It will drive me crazy not know exactly where (if Im leaving) not knowing until Saturday...but its all good. And this last week was awesome! The mission had TONS of baptisms. Ok not tons, but there was A LOT of baptisms and we were all pumped for all the baptisms. President Tavares asked that we all continue for the safety and health of our mission so that we can all be ready for Elder Cook. And that we can be spiritually prepared to receive promptings and revelations that we need to be better missionaries. We are all instructed to be on our best behavior :) haha

So I know...this letter may seem like I am a little prideful...but...I just I am learning to trust my first insticts. Through this...these are just silly things that dont matter a whole lot. But it is showing me that Heavenly Father gives me ideas through the Holy Ghost...and a lot of times...we just have to trust our first insticts. They may not always be right, but if they are REALLY wrong...Heavenly Father will change it for us. Heavenly FAther loves us SOOOO much that when we do whats right and try to do whats right, he will protect us and he will guide our lives. We may lose a chocolate once in a while or something like that...but whats more important is that we trust the quiet ideas that come into our minds and just go with it. Thats what faith is...just going blindly sometimes and if you feel like something is right...just do it. And talk with Heavenly Father and say...look....I dont know what Im doing...but Im going for it and Im in your hands. Anyways just an idea.

Now for a little more....Sis Ayumi has been a bit sick this week. And we have been in and out of the house for 3 almost 4 days...ugh. Its driving me crazy! The Area Book is beautiful again and I updated all of our investigators and stuff like that...so thats good :) Anyways...shes actually feeling pretty decent today...so we are all praying that she will only get better every day. Heaven forbid that she will be sick and not be able to be there with Elder Cook. Also...you all will get a kick out of this....my district sure did. So President Tavares wants all missionaries to learn a language...obviously Portuguese...but also Brazilians to learn English. So every meeting we have (district, zone) we always have someone bear their testimony in Portuguese and someone bear their testimony in English (usually it is a Brazilian...you know to practice their english). But my district leader thought it would be a good idea to have me bear my testimony in English...holy cow! That was sooooooooooooooooooo hard! They all laughed through the whole thing. I started by saying "Elders and Sisters" and then starting talking in portuguese again....and then my district leader had to stop me because I didnt realize I was talking in English. I started saying something...trying to talk a little faster...ya didnt work...started talking in Portuguese....ya...finally...choppily, I could say I know the church is true and the book of mormon is true...and a couple other things that didnt have a whole lot of good grammar in the middle...

Until next week!

Love you all!

Monday, April 16, 2012

16 April 2012

Mom asked a lot of questions and Sister Empey spent a bunch of time answering them, so her main email is short. So, we thought we’d add some of the information she sent Mom!

(Mom asked if she was getting in good shape with ALL the walking she’s doing.) Her answer: “Haha no. I am losing a little weight but I’m eating whatever is in front of me haha, because I need to eat or I just die. Im scared to be too careful of not eating enough because I dont want to faint or die or something. I still sweat a lot and I get a headache if I dont eat enough. When we walk fast because we are late for an appointment or something...we get a gooood work out and Im sweating a lot by the end haha. People in brazil dont really watch what they eat usually...and we cant exactly turn food down when people make us meals...”

(Mom asked if she’d heard that Elder Quentin L. Cook was coming to her mission this month) Her answer: “Yes, I found out last week that Elder Cook is coming. Im super pumped and we are
prepping to go to Londrina. Oh Im soooo flippin excited because the WHOLE mission is coming together in Londrina. Im so excited to see all my friends that Ive made and stuff. We are all prepping as to what we are going to wear and stuff haha because we have to look our very best :) It has been 9 years since an apostle visited our mission so we are pretty excited.”

(Mom asked why she has to get on a bus and travel to a distant location) Her answer: “Our district is not close to us. So when we have district meetings every week either the elders from our district come to Campo Mourao (like a 2 hr bus ride) or we go there. So thats why we rode a bus...because we had a district meeting in Maringa, which is where the stake center is...and where the rest of our district is. And we have to leave at 6:30 from Campo Mourao to get there
on time.”

(Mom asked if it was turning colder there yet and if she had enough warmer clothes.) Her answer: “Im fine right now with the weather. Im not dying...and I can definitely buy things if I need to. But right now....if it rains...we just get soaked for a little bit :) Dont worry about me!!!!!!!!! I welcome a little bit of chilly sometimes...”

(Mom had heard that Missionaries weren’t allowed to hold babies, and she asked if that was the case.) Her answer: “Yes...a rule in the missionary handbook says you cant hold babies, babysit, tickle or play with kids, feed babies...anything. Its seriously a trial when I see a mom struggling and I want to help her out and hold a baby, or a baby is reallly cute and I want to hold her or play with her...cant do it....”

(Our family has a tradition of every Sunday having popcorn. Mom was worried she was missing it, and she asked if she had any.) Her answer: “If I get popcorn...I make it...but its really good. We do it over the stove with oil....and then add salt...mmmmm :)”

(Mom wanted to know if they had cute clothes there.) Her answer: “Ill just wait until I get home to have cute stuff and clothes :) Haha and Down East doesnt exist down here :)” duh…

(Mom was curious how her Portuguese was coming and if she could read it really good.) Her answer: “Im getting better with reading Portuguese. When Im reading scriptures I still need my English version, but I dont have to look at them as much. And I can scan read faster which is really nice. It takes less time to read :) And I dont know how my accent is...im just talking is all, and its probably getting a little better. But I dont know...people still can easily tell that I have an accent haha!)

(Mom asked if there was any really poor areas in Campo Mourao). Her answer: “No matter what city you are in in Brazil there is a HUGE difference. Like you could walk down the street and find some real ghetto houses, really poor area, but then you walk 5 minutes and have these HUGE houses. I forgot the word but there is huge inequality here in Brazil...like middle class, upper class, lower class...we have it all in rich abundance...”

Then she just started talking…
“One in Brazil...almost always music in movies (and in this case general conference) is in English. They cant just change the words but keep the sounds the same. So there is a lot of music in Brazil that is English. So general conference music was all in English :)

K...phew...the other email wont be very big because I was answering so many questions!!!!!!!!!
But I like it! It was good :)

(Then her letter to everyone)

Holy cow!

Family...each week time is going by faster and faster with this one hr thing. Lets see how much I can write in 4 minutes!!!!!!!!!!! Haha

Um this week was good. But its been a little crazy. We had a lot of things to do and our key indicators were not very good! Ugh...frustrating. But we are back at it and its a new week!

Elder Quentin L. Cook is coming to our mission the end of this month. We are all super pumped! The first time in 9 years that an apostle visited our mission! We all have to look all professional and fancy. Im pumped :) Cuz I wont sweat for a day haha

One quick story. We had lunch at a young moms house. She reminded me of my sisters and how you are always running around crazy, and meal times are crazy! She was awesome and giving us lunch too! So I decided to be nice and help out. It was like helping my sisters out...kind of...haha. There was a baby crying, and the little boy was running around crazy. We cant help like hold babies and stuff, but we did other things like help out making food and doing dishes. Ya...crazy
moms! Moral of the story...you all will be blessed for your service :)

The church is true! The missionary service and work is alive. So sorry for this email...blame mom and all her questions haha.

Love you alllllll!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

9 April 2012

Hello everyone!

Man its getting a little bit harder to type in English. Mainly because Im reading some things in Portuguese from our mission website and then trying to type in english, but the letter to our mission president obviously I have to type in Portuguese...anyways...a mess.

Ok I have less than 10 minutes...so no pictures this week. Sorry, I read too much and didnt write enough. This week was really good. We had a couple of really good lessons.

We had a weekly planning session that seriously clicked for me. It was so good. I dont know why I was such a retard before haha. But we decided (ok I decided and Sis Ayumi followed) that we would mark these people that we were planning for in our day to day plan during weekly planning so we wouldnt forget about them. Because what happens is we plan for the people, but then we dont look at our sheet until the next weekly planning and forget to follow up during the week. So this way we already have a plan written in our planner to not forget. Perfect! Anyways, Im excited because this week we already have a lot of things planned. I lkike when our schedule is full already.

Well yesterday we had a HUGE rainstorm. Bigger than I have ever experienced. We were soaked in 5 minutes and had to wait it out because we had HEAVY rain and wind at the same time. It was great but it got really cold really fast. Especially when it was dark and we were still soaked and there wasnt rain, it was only wind. Yuck. Anyways. We found a really really inactive family that we visited last night. It was a gooooood lesson. The first time, we just visited the mom and she didnt really say she had a testimony and couldnt remember it. But last night, she said that she still believed Joseph Smith was a true prophet and we helped her recognize that that is a testimony. So we will visit them again with other members to try to see if we can help strengthen them again. They havent been to church for YEARS! Anyways, we will see...hopefully we can help them through giving them lessons and stuff.

Well we had to travel by fancy bus until Maringa Thursday and had to wake up at 4:15 to leave and stuff. And we have to do the same thing tomorrow. Wish me luck and that I can sleep on the bus!

Have a good week everyone. Sorry this was so short!

Love you alllll!!!!/
Sister Empey

2 April 2012

Hello alllll!

So this week was actually a fairly normal week. Sister Ayumi and me are still trying to get used to all the walking that we do. We are so tired by the end of every day. But its getting a little easier.

I cant remember what day it was, but some day this week, we worked in an area that was kind of far away (like 45min walking). And then we were going after some references and did some contacting on the way. We ended up walkikng REALLY far away! And to get home at the end of the night, we had to walk for like 1hr and a half almost. That was rough haha. We were soooo ready to be done for the day. But something exciting...we received 73 references in one week! The goal that President Tavares set for mission every week is 70. And sometimes its really hard to do that. But we did :) We got 73. Only my second time that thats happened since Ive been out here. Also, our area book is looking more and more pretty and complete. But our desk has been a complete wreck this week because we have so many parts to the book that are out of order and everything.

We had a couple of interesting experiences this week. One, we met a family. It was actually really funny, because we set an appointment with only the Mom. And then next night we visited them. And we saw one son there. And so we started talking, and then 2 more kids walked in. And then I thought...awesome! We can help a big family! And then 2 more kids walked in...and I thought...wow, we can help a BIG family (and how big is this house?). And then another kid walked in! This family is huge! 8 people all together. Anyways. It was a super good lesson. We bore testimony and talked about the restoration. And then we all asked them to pray about the church and our message and they all agreed. There was a really good spirit there. And then, preach my gospel says that we should invite the people we teach to be baptized during the first lesson...unless we feel like we shouldnt. We felt like we needed to, there wasnt a reason not to. And so we asked the dad, the person in charge first. Ya...my hope was dashed a little after that. He said that he was born in the Catholic church and raised in the catholic church and will stay catholic until he dies. It was so sad. We have plans to come visit them again because they did accept the invitation to pray. And we believe in miracles right?!
Another experience was with a lady and her husband and grandkid. It was actually really funny. Because what happened at first is we clapped at their gate and the lady came out. And of course it was me who was doing the contact. And every person needs to ask me where Im from because of the way I talk...anyways she said she had another religion and she didnt care to talk about another religion. And then she asked where I was from and I said the US (but I was expecting to walk away after that because she didnt care). And then she said...actually, we can pass by another day and talk to her. And then she invited us in. We ended up staying FOREVER! And she gave us food and talked and talked and talked. Haha it was really funny. Shes like me...but I swear still she talks more than me..haha maybe not. Anyways, she said she really really liked having us there and she wants us to come back another time and that we are her friends :). Now...she just needs to accept the gospel!!!!!!!

I hope you guys liked conference! I really didnt understand a whole lot. But let me tell you, I appreciate the president of the branch here. He is awesome. He told me they had a room with the english version of conference that I could watch. But me and Sis Ayumi need to be in the same room so I told him because of that I couldnt go and watch in english. And then the next conference session, he tried to set it up where I could watch in the back of the same room so Sis Ayumi could watch in Portuguese, but it didnt work out. It was really nice of him that he tried to figure it out. And last night after the final session, I THINK he said send a hug to your parents. So there...heres a hug from him (at least I think thats what he said haha). Also...Elder Scott speaks Portuguese! It was crazy! While he was speaking, they had the recording of his own voice giving his talk in Portuguese. It was kind of cool. Also...we were doing something else during the first session, what temples were announced?

Also, another funny story. There is a lady in the ward that served a mission and shes kind of crazy and I love it. Last night she said (talking to another sister in the ward) that she has only known me for like 2 days and she already loves me. Haha kind of funny. She said that I remind her of herself when she served a mission (only she talked more). Oh if she only knew...if she only knew that I actually would talk a lot if it wasnt this language barrier thing...

Anyways, I gotta get going.

Love you all and hope you all have a FANTASTIC week!

Sister Empey