Monday, December 26, 2016

I'm a Treinadora!

Happy Holidays! Feliz Natal! 

If you haven't heard it yet from my momma, I'm a Treinadora! I'll be training a new missionary! Yay!!  

Right now I'm in Porto Alegre. It only took 7 and a half hours to get here and 2 buses, but we arrived! Safe and sound! I spent the whole time talking with a Sister Smith (born and raised in Bend, Oregon! From Utah now) and planing how we will spend our time after the mission doing all the hikes in Oregon and Utah.

I'll be staying here for a few days, working with the Sisters from Ala Dois (2nd ward), waiting for my new companion. It looks like only 2 Sisters will be arriving! 

To be honest I don't know how to train any but I'll do my best! It's going to be an adventure for sure! 

Right now I'm serving with a Sister Melo, she is amazing. From Natal, Brasil. A few months ago she had to go home because she had a brain tumor, but she is back and ready to do miracles! She already is one! Wish I could stay with her for the whole transfer! haha But as it works out we will both be training at the same time. We're super excited.

This week was my last week with Sister Abdon, but guess what? She'll be staying close by! She'll be in Bagé still, but Presidente closed an area of Elderes and will be opening with Sister Abdon and a Sister Wright! She says that I have her number and can call whenever I need her, plus I'll see her every Thursday! She also says that she has my number and she'll call to bother me everyday! :) love her! 

We had an amazing time this last week together. We spent it caroling for everyone and gather a bunch of food to donate to some of our pesquisadores and membros with necessity this Christmas. We spent Christmas day with Irma Solange, who's son Christofer left for the mission just a few weeks ago. It was a simple Christmas lunch that ended perfectly, we were singing for her when we recieved a call from our Presidente, "Sorry Irma! We need to take this!" It was that moment when we found out that a Sister Abdon would be transfered and I would become a Trainer! Afterwards our day became super messy!

The Presidents assistents starting calling and saying that since it was Christmas weekend all the tickets were bought for Porto Alegre and we would have to leave Sunday night as early as possible and that maybe we wouldnt be able to talk to our families (I was like umm não por favor! haha) It ened up that we would have to leave 8pm for Pelotas, stay the night and afterwards ride to Porto Alegre in a van filled with missionaries!

We ended up talking with our families and I learned that I cant speak english anymore. So that was cool. Hope my family understood me! I don't even think they asked me any of the questions they wanted to because I spent a bunch of time just trying to explain that I would be leaving Bagé only to come back in a few days. #giftoftonguesgotreal 

But I was glad to see them, and I think the most wonderful moment was when I read, Moroni 10:34. The last verse of the Livro De Mórmon. What a blessing it was to share with my family that moment. I finished the Book of Mormon for the second time in my life straight through, but this time in Portugues. I will never forget the feeling I had as I approached those last words. 

 34 E agora me despeço de todos. Logo irei descansar noparaíso de Deus, até que meu espírito e meu corpo tornem a unir-se e eu seja carregado triunfante pelo ar, para encontrar-me convosco no agradável tribunal do grandeJeová, o Juiz Eterno tanto dos vivos como dos mortos. Amém.

34 And now bid unto all, farewell. soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reuniteand am brought forth triumphant through the airto meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovahthe Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.

I know with all my heart and soul that this is the only true and complete gospel on the Earth. This is the work of the Lord. A rolling stone cut from the mountains without hands, and it can not be stopped, because it is true. The Book of Mormon is true, simply true, grandly true. It was translated by a Prophet of God, Joseph Smith. He was not a perfect man, but he was a man led by God so that I could, as well as my family, with millions of others, receive the Lord's word and Church in my life. I know that this is the Church of God, this church, carries His Name which is the name of Christ. I know that He lives. He was sent to save His brothers. He was sent to save me. And as His church carries His name, I do also. Not just on my name tag, but every day more I carry His name in my heart. Im so grateful and feel so blessed. In His name, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Feliz Natal

We received an email from Sister Hemmert's mission president requesting a video for them to show all the missionaries during their special Christmas Conference. This was such a fun surprise for our girl and her weekly email and response is below:

This week was amazing! Though I don't have much time I want to say that I love you all and I love Natal! It's super super hot but super, super great!
This week we had our Christmas conference in Pelotas. The Sisters from Dom Pedrito arrived the night before and we all hung out doing our nails and my hair at the wee hours 10:30! haha Had to wake up 5:00 to get ready and take a van to Pelotas with our district. 

We had an amazing time! Did a skit with our district that was hilarious! One day I'll have to show it to you all but let me tell you, our presidente only laughed during ours! haha jkjk....but serio;) If it was a competition... 

I had the incredible opportunitity to see my family dancing as the silly family they are! Afterwards everyone told me how they loved my family! haha!! :) I love them too! They're pretty great.

I'm so grateful for this time that we have. This time of year is so amazing. It's a time to start over, a time to change, and a time to remember why our Lord and Savior was born. And I know that he was sent for each and every one of us. This is a time of miracles. A time of laughter and love and thought short on time I want to invite you all to remember during this time, our Lord. And as the Shepherds in Luke, feel the Glory of Deus, leave everything behind, and entrar the humble stable where lies our Lord. Leave behind the worries of this past year and place your New Year in His hands. Remember Alma 7: 10-12

Wish you a happy Christmas! 
Sister Hemmert
Practicing for our skit


Monday, December 12, 2016

We Will Make A Difference!

Its official gente! 9 months down, 9 to go!! Vamos! (Let's go!)

In just a few days I will have my first Christmas here in Brasil. It will also be the last Christmas I have on the mission! haha! Sounds strange. 

I received the packages from the fam this week! I was so excited to receive the voice recorder from Dad. It was such a Dad present, with his handwriting and instructions written above the factory instructions! Excited to use it!

This week was great! We had the opportunity to work with our Sister Leaders. Every transfer we have to do a division with them so that they can know how we work here and so that they can help us, mostly they just leave our apartment messy;) 

I got to share with them Poptarts! One of the Sisters from the USA almost cried;) haha She is such a sweetheart!

I'm starting to pick up more that just the accent here in the south but also the sass from my companheira. Everyone says that I'm turning into her! haha! Sadly, she will mostly be headed for another area at the end of this transfer! So glad I could spend so much time with her, learning and laughing and até o pó! (eating?) :) 

I got to share with one of our pesquisadoras a lição (lesson) very special. I was in division with a young women from our ward, Dhulyara, visiting Luzilanha. I don't know why but sometimes in division i get really nervous. I think it's a companionship thing haha jk! So i shared with her Ether 2:24 when the Lord ask the brother of Jared what he desires that the Lord will do for him. Que desejais que eu faça? 

The Lord knows that we can do anything with His help. He is willing and ready to help in our lives, we have to start doing our part, demonstrating for Him that we are willing and ready to work at His side, knowing that, 2N18:19-20, everything we ask for in righteousness in the name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we WILL receive. 

This week we had a treinamento with our Zone and talked about three things important that we have. Revelation, Authority, and Power. They asked how we can use these three things together. I responded that in order to receive revelation for our lives and those we serve we have to seek it, we already have the authority as missionaries to receive and work here for them, but in order to have the power that comes with authority we have to do something different. The moment we stop praying we have to get up off our knees and we have to start acting. The Lord wants courageous sons and daughters, so, we have to starting working. we have to starting exercising the power He gave us as His children. And with it, we will make a difference.

This is it! Love you all! 

Sister Hemmert

Monday, December 5, 2016

Stand Firm

So I dyed my hair black. Thought it would be a good change. Just kidding! But all this talk of lice is making my head itch!! 

To inform everyone, I'm free of lice! But I have recently found out that I'm in a competition with my BFF Sister Rebecca Gunn to see who can get the worst thing during the mission! Unfortunately, she is winning. My prayers go out to her as she battles the waters of Nicaragua and the lasting side effects.  

Anyways, all is well here in Rio Grande do Sul. We're preparing for winter here...i mean summer! Goodbye white Christmas, Hello Natal Brazilian style. 

We are preparing for our christmas conference that will be arriving this next week. We'll be traveling to Pelotas in style as normal :) Onibus 5:00am. But as for this week, I'm preparing for my 9 month mark!

Half way there! How can it be? Doesn't even seem possible! Its probably passing so quickly because I'm having such a wonderful time!

Sister Abdon got sick this Sunday and so I tried to make us dinner. She is a professional cook so she was instructing me throughout the process. Well, as she said, "Se for só você eu morreria de fome." If it was just you i would die of hunger." haha But I'm learning a lot with her or at least I'm trying really hard not to burn our dinner! haha

This week we got to work with a recent convert from another ward here in Bagé. Cinthia. She is literally amazing! We're trying to get her serve a mission! haha She was baptized just a few months ago with her sister and already has been such a great help here. She has such a desire to help and serve and has such a testimony to share! She explained how her and her sister were always challenging the other to be baptized, challenging and encouraging. In every visit with her I felt honored as a missionary to be able to not only help a pesquisador but also a recent convert grow. 

We are entering the Christmas season and ending another year. It is strange to think that we are entering 2017! 

Anyways, i recently reached the middle of 3rd Nephi!! Im so excited. I'll be finishing o livro de mormon before the New Year! Wanted to share with you all a few verses that i loved in 3 Nefi 14: 24-27 For the Christmas season, as we build our homes upon this gospel, that is a true gospel, we will always stand firm against the storm! 

Com amor, Sister Hemmert 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Adventures of Sister Abdon and Sister Hemmert: Lice, and a Gospel of Miracles

Happy Thanksgiving Sister Hemmert, you will never guess what i'm a so grateful for:

A companion who stays up until the wee hours helping me remove lice from my hair! Yes. For the first time in my life, I got lice! :( I had to call our President's wife and she prescribed a medicine for me to take. When we hung up she re-called and told us that we need to change all the sheets in our apartment (which we had already done!) but in the background we hear the very distinctive laughter of our Presidente. #vidamissionaria 

Today i'll be in the salon getting my hair done and i think I'll start coloring my hair so that this never happens again! haha! 

I was a little bit dramatic this week as a result of the lice incident of 2016, and it didnt help that in every house we visited my companheira brought up the topic of lice com (with) them. Sure, she didn't say that I had lice but only she got a kick out of it hahah gotta love my companheira 

Anyways, we have been working a lot with some amazing families here of pesquisadores and less actives. It has been such a privilege to help them return to church or see them experiencing everything for the first time. I'm truly grateful for this chance to serve so many amazing families through the gospel. 

One family, Rodolfo and Joyce, are a unique case. A few days ago he had an accident at work and decided to call a ward member to come pray for him. He was baptized with 11 anos (years) and when his family stopped coming to church he had been preparing to serve a missionary. His life took a turn and he starting working for people that he shouldn't have. Now, he is trying to turn his life around. He has a beautiful family that he is trying, this time, to bless with the gospel that he knows is true. 

Come Sunday morning it is pouring rain. On a good day we have 30 or 40 people in the sacrament meeting, but without fault, on rainy days our frequencia falls. We weren't expecting many. Clearly we were hoping and praying, but when we arrived to find Rodolfo and his son, Elizeu and his whole family(less active), Suelem and Rogerio (LA), and many more. 53 people in all, we felt extremely blessed. Such an amazing opportunity. 

I'm so grateful for this gospel and know with certainty that in this day and age, the greatest miracles are not healing the blind or sick or afflicted, because God has already blessed us with this as a daily miracle. No, the great miracle of our day is change in a life and person that comes through the principals of the gospel. 

This is a gospel of miracles. And I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

Anyways, these have been the adventures of Sister's Abdon and Hemmert, Bagé, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil

With all my love!
Sister Hemmert

Monday, November 21, 2016

Agradecer (to thank)

I think every single letter home will start will, "I can't believe the time is passing so fast!!" haha Because seriously, I can't believe it. Every week that passes I look back and think, "Didn't I arrive yesterday? How can it already be October? Halloween? November? Thanksgiving??"

Where does the time go?

Since it is Thanksgiving weekend I want to "agradecer" (to thank)

Eu sou grata por minha Família e o apoio eles me dão.
Agradeço por minha oportunidade servir em Brasil e aprender um idioma novo. Agradeço por minha oportunidade de sentir o espirito testificando para mim todos os dias. Sou grata por minha companheira e todos ela faz para nos, especificamente comida:) 
Agradeço por meu Salvador. Eu não estaria aqui se não fosse por causa Ele. Graças a Ele, eu vivo. Por causa Ele, eu servo. Graças a Ele, nos podemos voltar a presença de nosso Pai e viver com uma família eterna.

I'm so grateful for my Family and the support they offer me.

I thank my Father in Heaven every day for my opportunity to serve here in Brasil and learn a new language. I'm thankful for my opportunity to feel the spirit testifying for me every day. 

I'm thankful for my companheira and everything she makes for us, especially food:)

Finally, I'm so grateful for my Savior. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Him. Because of Him, I live. Because of Him, I serve. Because of Him, we can return to the presence of our Father and live in a eternal family.

I have a million more things I can "agradecer," but for now I got to go! Grateful I had this little time to talk with you!

I'm so grateful for every single one of you. I love you all and wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

-Sister Hemmert

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fruits of our Labors

Sister Abdon holding Pitanga -I don't like this very much but it is super pretty fruit! haha!
Maracuja do Mato
I'm staying in Bagé! 

This week was amazing! A week of miracles and exotic fruits! haha! I sent a bunch of pictures of all the fruit we've been finding these days! I hope you'll get them all! My companheira eats everything, and i mean everything that grows here! We've found hortelã (mint) and Oliveira and started making tea every morning! And anytime we pass a house with fruit in the yard we share with the owners what we have of "mais importancia" (the gospel) and they share with us what they have (fruits) kkk :)

It's been amazing serving here in Bagé and this week has topped them all. I forgot that I had an aniversario this week! 8 months! Can you believe it!? I doesn't feel like its almost Christmas but everyone is already decorating here! I super excited to spend my first Christmas in a warmer climate! And by warmer i mean boiling! haha The exact opposite of a white Christmas!

The weather here reminds me a lot of home to be honest. It's very bipolar! We experience every season in one day! I will never complain about the cold though, because I think I'll be begging for it come summer! 
This month we have a goal to baptize 5 people for every dupla de missionaries (20 in all). We've been working MUITO (much), to find these people who are waiting and ready to accept the gospel. 

This week we found so many people amazing! I can't remember if I told you about Daniel yet, but he is a student here studying in Bagé. He entered the church website the other day, started researching and deciding to ask for a Book of Mormon. We received the referencia from the Mission Home and headed off in pursuit of him! We didn't have time to leave a message with him the day that we encountered Daniel, but when we returned a few days after he already had read the pamphlet about the Resturação, the introduction of the LDM and the first chapter of Nephi! And he had a bunch of questions! 

This Sunday, a recent convert, Emerson, gave us a helping hand and brought Daniel to church. And guess what?? He sang every single hymn! Not kidding. Normally, Pesquisadores stay really quiet during the hymns. Nope! 

But I think it was really because this Sunday was the Primary Prensentation! We don't have many people active in our ward and those who are don't have many primary age kids, but one of the girls, Marjori, invited all of her friends to participate in the apresentação! Most of the primary kids were pesquisadores! haha It was adorable!

Normally we only have 40-ish people in the sacramental, but this sunday there were 72 peoples! and 10 pesquisadores! You would think with more people there would be more noise. But no. It was the most spiritual sacrament meeting I have yet had in my mission! I could not me more happy.  

And just to finish here. Saturday we received our transferencias. Sister Abdon was transferred for another lugar (place). I was really sad, because I loved serving with her. It was almost 10:30 when we got the call so I hopped in the shower real quick before bed. 
When I was done she informed me that 2 minutes after she had been transferred our Presidente called and said that he had decided that after all she should NOT be transferred! 

Looks like we have something important to do here! The Lord wants us here so here is where we'll stay! Here is where we'll work! The field is white and ready in Bagé! 

So excited! 
Much love! Sister Hemmert

Jabuticaba Tree and Fruit

Monday, November 7, 2016

Jejum (Fasting)

The weeks are flying by! I can hardly believe its already November! Soon it will be Dezembro and you know what that means?? 9 months da missão!! How can it be?

This week, though so fast, was amazing. I wish I could film every moment to send home so that you can live what I live and experience what I experience. So many blessings. I'm learning so much and gaining an appreciation for the scriptures that I never had in my life. But also, I starting to feel every day more the hand of the Lord guiding my steps.

Normally we don't have time to hear the classes in Relief Society or Princípios do Evangelho (Gospel Doctrine) because we are out bring our pesquisadores and MAs to church. This week we didn't have anyone who could, and had to trust in the Lord that someone would.

We were sitting in the Relief Society listening to the RS Presidente Helouisa lesson about A Mulher Santo Dos Últimos Dias (A Latter Day Saint Woman). And the first thought in my head was my mom. I am truly grateful for her example in my life. We discussed how some people are, "Sentados nos Ultimos Dias (Seated in the latter days). They let this life pass by and expect blessings to fall in front of them.

For me, my mom is an example of a Latter Day Woman. She is a "guerreira" (warrior) and one of the hardest workers I know. She goes after what she wants and what her family needs. I am so grateful for her. 

Yesterday I was with a Young woman from the ward teaching Suzanne. She has 4 little kids under the age of 12 and her boyfriend has 15 years less active. She really wants to be baptized but Cristiano doesnt want to get married. And yesterday before we arrived Social workers passed her house because someone had reported her as a possible unfit parent. 

I cant help but see her and her family and think of how blessed my life is and how much I desire for Suzanne to have these blessings for her life. She fights everyday to feed her family and care for them. 

I ended up sharing with her Mosias 4:14-15. And promising for her that she will receive everything she needs to do exactly what she needs to to care for her children and to establish her family over a firm foundation that is Christ.  

This week we also had an activty with the youth. It was super awesome! We set up a bunch of minute to win it it games for them! I need to have one of young women post on Facebook and tag me so that you can see all that we did! 

Afterwards, we challenged every single youth to fast. Some of them for the first time and Sunday morning almost every single one of them shared their testimony about the experience they had. It was super great to see how they are growing and becoming more involved in the work of the Lord!

How sweet is the work.
Com amor,
Sister Hemmert

Monday, October 31, 2016

"Eis que terminaremos a luta" (Here we will finish the fight)

This week the emails were a bit of discussion on Sister Hemmert's choice of when she will choose to return home: 

First email: So they don't have a transferenica sending missionaries home in September next year. Only in August or October. 

I'm going to think about it because if I go home in August it means I can start fall term. But I think it will be like the last week in August so I wont have much time at home, or anytime at home. idk. or I'll go home in October and miss fall term.

Either way I think we need to look into the stuff for school. I don't know when I need to start applying. I just remember that I started this process around this time of the year. 

What do you think? 

Second email, in response to me expressing my love and support in whatever she decides, although 14 years is NOT OK...:)
Thanks momma. I needed to hear this. I'm so excited to chat with you in December! I think it will be a good refresher for me:) I think I will pull an Ammon and Alma and stay serving for 14 years then ;) JKJKJK!

Final decision email, Be Still My Heart: 
I'm having a lot of mixed feelings, and I will talk with my Presidente but I think I need to stay until October. It's a really hard decision because I will not only be missing time with Ashers and you all, but I think if I come home in August I wont be fulfilling what I need to do here. 

To be honest this week was really hard. Im missing you all a bunch and I dont feel entirely certain or prepared for my decision but I was reading a lot today and yesterday in Alma. Alma 41-45. Also Acts 20. I love these chapters. I really love Alma 43. Its a chapter that is really sad but also really powerful because these people they were so small in numbers but were fighting for such a better cause. They were fighting for their freedom and their families. Their religion and their God. I felt like I was fighting everyday this week but still unable to see any of the fruits of my labors. But I know that I am in the Lord's service. I know this. I need to believe it. And I feel it in my bones. And because if this I know that He is working with me. Laboring at my side. And as it says in Alma 44:5. For me this work is worth the costs because it isn't just about me but it is about you all at home. It is for you and the boys. It is for our family. Our freedom. Our religion. Our God. 

Maybe I don't know what awaits me or how I will do this (Acts 20:22-23), how I will face the challenges that await (Acts 20:24) "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

The Apostle Paul served for three years and a lifetime at the Lord's side. Acts 20:31, "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." 

Acts 20:35, "I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
It is more blessed to give than to receive, said Him who gave His life for me. After this, the Apostles knelt in prayer, biding farewell to their friend, accompanying him to the ship. 

So, I knelt in prayer. And I hadn't said a single word when a scripture entered my mind. "Eu Irei e cumprirei os ordens do Senhor." 1 Nefi 3:7  "I will go and do." 

And just to confirm all of this. Minha companheira picked "Vinde Ó Santos" number 61 the Português Hinário. Tudo bem. (Come Come Ye Saints. All is well.)

Still this is hard decision I am making. It means that I still have a year before I see you all again. But I know that I have something I need to do here. I have a labor to complete. And I want to complete it with Joy. I want to complete it for you and our family. For our freedom and our God. Alma 44:10 "Eis que terminaremos a luta." (Here we will finish the fight)

So, this is my decision. I will be staying mais uma transferência (another transfer) until October. I don't know what you think. If you think it is possible. I know that I will be asking for more help to accomplish this, but I know that we all will receive because of what we are giving. And I'll keep talking with Deus (God) to find out if He will change His mind, but I don't believe He is a changeable God. And thank goodness that He isn't, because we wouldn't have so many blessings if He was. :) 

I know that He is transforming me into an instrument in His hands. I know that through me He will work a work maravilhosa for the children of men. And the least i can do is try everyday to be "digna" worthy of the confidence He has in me.

Então. É isso. Eu vou ficar até Outubro! (So. It is. I'm going to stay until October.)
Bah. Português:) Como eu amo. Sabe que é bem mais fácil falar em Português do que Inglês? ;) 
(How I love. You know it's much easier to speak Portuguese than English) 

All my love, 
Sister Hemmert

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Sister Knows What's Best"

This week flew by. I cant believe that my little brother officially has 15 anos! Can anyone else believe it??:) Happy Birthday little man!! 

Anyways, this week i got a taste of summer in Rio Grande do Sul and i will be honest: I'm scared;) As the Gaucho says, "When it's hots, it's hot enough to cook an egg inside the fridgerator!" I thought it was just on the pavement... haha! Thankfully summer is only a few months right? And then we'll be in winter again! 

So our mission has a new directive that we need to work a lot with the youth here. To be honest it's a privilege to work with them and support them. The Young Women here are seriously amazing. Though we only have 6 girls in the YW program they make an effort to visit our pesquisadores with us every single day of the week. It is such a blessing to work with them! 

This other day we were in Splits with one YW, Gabriela, who Sister Abdon nicknamed Pocahontas, visiting some people. Gabi and i were visiting with a pesquisadora Suzanne who's husband has 15 years less active. We are working a lot with them to help him return to church because Suzanne real wants to be baptized and have the whole family na igreja (at church). We are planning their wedding for this next month:) 

Anyways, we were visiting with her and ending up reading Enos. Afterwards, Gabi was so excited. She turned to me when we were leaving and said, "When we were teaching I want to tell you to read Enos with her but I thought, Nah. Sister knows whats best."

I love when the youth here have spiritual experiences in the missionary work. It is such a testimony builder for them and I know it will be another reason for them to serve a mission of their own! 

Afterwards I taught Gabi the importance of listening to the spirit. Everyday I learn this lesson and am trying every moment to really hear the Spirit in my life.

Yesterday, 20minutes before the sacramental, I was asked to give the last talk. Imagine me. I take normally 2 weeks to write a talk, in English, and I there I was, "Uh,,,,pode ser!" 

I ended up talking with them about exactly this: the importance of the Spirit, and the presence of the Lord in His holy house. 

I feel His presence in my daily life. I know His power is real. I know how much He loves each and everyone of us and I know that He is guiding my life so that I can serve Him every day more. Alma 5:45-46 

Com amor! Sister Hemmert