Monday, June 27, 2016

I Am a Part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed

This week was crazy to say the least. We ran all over the place trying to contact people to have lessons with members. Every day we crossed the city at least a 5 times. Arroio Grande isn't a big city and doesnt have too many hills, but my goodness, when you have one appointment in São José and one in the Promorar it gets pretty crazy! Let me tell you. It's a least an 45 minutes of walking! We actually called and asked our president if we could used bikes! Turns out, in Brasil, no one can use them! Oh well!

 This week Sister Knuth passed the 1 year mark for her mission!! Yay! Irma Dina made her a cake to celebrate! 

Honestly, I have a million things to say and yet no time at all. This week was one great miracle. During my interview with my President last week I think he gave me some advice that I started to apply this week. He told me to stop praying. Of course when he said this I thought, "Huh? Did I understand him correctly? Because you know portugues." But afterwards he explained how I needed to start conversing with my Father. Tell him about my hardships and my joys. Truly express what is in my heart. This was what I really started to do this week, because sometimes it is difficult. Portugues is a new language and I dont know all the rules or words I want to use, but as I try and express these things in every prayer I feel myself growing and growing closer to my Heavenly Father. 

This week we were teaching a lesson with a new investigater Tainá and it was seriously so incredible. Even as my mouth was moving and truly talking in portugues my brain was going, "Woohhhh! I'm talking. I just used estava! Woahhhh! I said what?"

It is incredible. And the more I ask for help, the more I receive. Every day I recognize the Lord's hand in this work. Every day I feel how much He loves me. I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. Sister Knuth shared this with me the other day. Please view the PDF below. 

Anyways, finally I want to mention one other experience with the Gift of Tongues. The other day our district leader Elder Lopes from Cabo Verde, Africa announced we have to start praying in ingles (not me of course :). He leaves at the next transferencia for home and doesnt know much ingles, but he proceeded to close our meeting with the most heart felt and simple prayer. Since then Sister Knuth has been trying everyday to master Thee, Thy, Thou, and Thine. Everyday I have felt the power of the Lord working miracles with these people and have nearly been drawn to tears every time. This experience is seriously amazing. I know this work is true and this power is real. Again. View the Pdf attached. 

All my love, 
Sister Hemmert

Attached Pdf:
I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit’s power. The dye has been cast, the decision has been made. I have stepped across the line. I am a disciple of His. I will not look back, slow down, back up, or be still. I am done, finished with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, promotion, applause, or popularity. I do not have to be right, first, tops, praised, recognized, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk in patience, labor with power. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my vision is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will no longer hesitate in the presence of my enemies, I will no longer pander in the pool of popularity, I will no longer meander in the maze of mediocrity. I will not give up, let up, shut up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I will preach till all know, I will give until I drop, I will labor until He comes, and when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner is clear. I am completely HIS! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Come What May and Love It

Let me tell you. Less active member lists are the best! One address was an empty field and one was an abandoned brickstructure and one was a number that didnt exist! haha 

But when we do contact people, it's amazing. Like yesterday for example. I will explain.

This week was crazy. I was cleaning the bathroom and moved the showerhead because it was leaking which apparently was not a good idea because the thing the heats the water is very tempermental...anywhooo. We lost hot water for a week or so... And it turns out not a single person in Arroio knows how to fix our shower. Only Presidente Cruz, in Porto Alegre. Well we called and he explained how to do it and we tried, but we couldnt get the lid to come over the shower head! And trust me, we were twisting it and turning it with all our might (and prayers) and it wouldnt move a milimeter!  We ended up having an interview with Presidente Cruz in Jaguarão with our District thursday evening. Which was really great! We were practicing contacting people in the street when Presidente came into the room. Of course I was the next person and I was soo nervous to speak Portugues in front of Presidente! But I just went for it! Ha! Afterwards, Presidente drove us back to Arroio Grande. This drive is normally 45 minutes by Onibus. Right before we started driving Presidente asked me, "Sem emocione ou com emocione?" Meaning drive fast or slow. Sister Knuth answered sem and I answered com, but after I asked him, "Mas talvez fica neste lado na rua." But maybe stay in this side of the street :) because he was drifting while adjusting his mirrors! 

Então, he ended up making the drive in 20 minutes...I think I'll say without emotion next time! 

When he dropped us off he also fixed our shower in about a minute! I'm pretty sure we loosed the showerhead because it literaly took him a second! And we could not be more grateful because now our shower is almost too hot! ha! 

Saturday I had my first divisão with a member, Jordana 14, because we had too many people to visit and not enough time. And Sister K. needed to walk to "Uruguay" to visit a family, in actuality this location is called the Promorar all the way across the city, over a bridge, in the outlands. Over the river and through the woods kind of situation. 

I ended up finding new investigators all on my own and teaching entire lessons by myself in Portugues! It was so awesome! And seriously Jo and the other member, Kuane, were such blessings. Jo and I were able to stay in the city contacting people and visiting families while Kuane and Sister K visited the family of Nixon and Skarlet(recent converts) in the Promorar (who ended up not even being in casa so imagine if Sister K and I had gone all the way out there only to have wasted a whole day of work!) Seriously Kuane and Jo are the best little member missionarias we could ask for!

Sunday we followed the spirit the entire day. First we went out to the Promorar to visit the same family, Josiemara (mom of nixon), and her other children. Josiemara is amazing! She has such faith and understanding of the scriptures. She is so ready for the gospel! 

Anyways, I dont have time for much else, but I want to leave with you a talk by Elder Wirthlin I read this week called Come What May and Love It. He gives us some amazing advice but one in particular is learn to laugh. Simply put, in our lives no matter what, we need to learn to laugh, we can face any challenge and say, Come what may I will love it. 

I promise you that come what may, our Heavenly Father will help us and hold us up and bless us. Come what may. 

All my love
Sister Hemmert

Monday, June 13, 2016

Oops, I got engaged!

This semana. What can I say. 

I'll start with a recap from last week.

(The following story may not be appropriate for all ears..Seriously!)
 Fast sunday we had a huge break the fast at a members house and nearly the whole ward showed up (which isnt hard because they are basically all one family 40ish people). The other day we had lunch at this Irmas house and Sister Knuth said how she doesnt like exotic foods (tongue, intestines, etc.). Well, during this lunch on Sunday we were eating with some of the Irmas and they all started hounding me to try the soup that was being served. Mind you Sister Knuth can refuse because she is a Brazilian and has already tried it in her life and doesnt like it. I'm a little american so I have to try at least once in my life. 

It didnt taste bad, I honestly dont know what it was, but i think I wont be having seconds ever. in my life. again. :) 

Anyways, they were all talking and Irma Roli (owner of the house) and her daugthers (Patricia, Wife of the Branch President, and Chiani, wife of the Branch 1st Counselor I think). about this "foods exotic" concept. Well it turns out Roli thought "exotic" was actually something else...Erotic! Oh my goodness. We were dying because she was saying, "I didn't understand what Sister Knuth meant. Foods with Pimenta?!" And she proceed to really mix up the words and ask another Irma, "So do you like foods erotica? Exotica!! I meant exotica!!" 

This story is for everyone!
Remember Gilson and Cristina? Maybe. The family who has the dogs that I prayed for? Anyways. it's been a little difficult teaching them. Gilson follows through on commitments, but Cristina often doesnt. She likes our visits, but doesnt like that she has actually ask God for answers and read to know it is true. Well, this last visit we explained to her the nature of prayer using the Nosso Pai (Our Father) and other instances of prayers in the scriptures. Explaining how we need to express our own sentimentos and not vain repitions. Pai nos is a beautiful expample of the love Christ has for the Father, but just that. An Example of how we should pray to our Father. When we invited them to pray and ask God if these things our true this time, Cristina answered this time, "Vamos." We will. Without delay. 

We were just leaving when the dogs woke up. Sister Knuth, I might have said, is seriously afraid of dogs. Especially big dogs. Well, she tried to run away, ducking first behind me, then behind Cristina, and I tried to say, "No dont run," but seriously couldnt remember in Portugues when all of the sudden Sister Knuth yelped and I heard a THUMP! 

I looked but didnt see her, looked down and saw that the rug was lifted up a little and looked back and there she was, having tripped on the carpet and landed in the dog bed! "Por favor não me morde!" Please dont bite me! With the dog barking at her! (BTW the dog is blind). We were all laughing ourselves to tears! and Sister Knuth and I laughed all the way home until my head hurt! 

This week we went to Pelotas for the Festival of Dulces! Just kidding! We wish! But we did have a reunião de zona which was great, but we ended up getting locked in the church because the Elders didnt know we were in the bathroom and they left for their lunch with ward members! Ha! We had to call them to come and let us out!

We were visiting Irma Dina this week for lunch and they were all in a rush trying to leave for the festival, so Sister K. and I started to clean their kitchen for her so that she could get ready. Mind you, no one here likes it when we try to do a little service. "Sister, deixa la! Deixa la!" Leave it there, stop! haha 

This time however, as I was sweeping, Irma Dina was talking about her son who is serving a mission in Rio de Janeiro. When she said to me something that sounded like, "Casa e comida, filha." House and food. So I responded, "Sim, Irma." 

She started laughing! Turns out she actually said "Vai casar meu filho?" Will you marry my son?

She has taken to calling me, Nora (daughter-in-law), but has warned me that she has promised many other sisters her sons hand in marriage. Including Sister Marlow of Blackfoot idaho! haha!

What else to say. I gave my first talk in Portugues! We showed up to church and Presidente goes, "Sisters, ready to speak?" Say what!?!? 

So we ran home, grabbed our Liahona's and frantically started writing discursos! I will briefly mention mine.

It was about Escolhas. Choices. Specifically about the talk by Preseident Monson. I love this talk and am so grateful I had an opportunity to hear it in the CTM. This life is truly about our choices. Everything we do has an effect on who we are. Where we want to end up matters. And unlike Alice in Wonderland who didnt have a destination, we do. We want to someday live with our Father in Heaven. And we can. If we continue doing all we can to follow His Son, we will receive eternal life. This is His Promise for Us. Everyday choose the harder RIGHT rather than the easier wrong. 

How I love this work and wish I could tell you every little thing! 
Finally, the other day we were teaching Eleneia when Sister K goes ,"Eleneia, voce quer ser batizado?"


It was so wonderful. Turns out she has watched missioinaries come and go for years and has always wanted to ask them what they are doing. When we knocked on her door my first week here we answered a prayer 20 years in the making. Please prayer for her. She is very dear to my heart!

Sister Hemmert

Monday, June 6, 2016

If Any Of Ye Lack Wisdom...

This week has been nothing less than hilarious. We literally laughed our entire walk home last night. I'll explain in a bit.
Sister Knuth and Sister Hemmert

Let's start with Segunda (Monday). We have this investigator, Lucia, who's daughter, Juliana(11) is a recent convert and all their family are members of our little Ramo(branch). Last week we had family home evening there to help them make this a tradition in their family. This last Monday it was Juliana's turn to give the message and we were a little apprehensive because she is a little shy. Her message was about the Restauração and it was amazing. She used the questions and scriptures in the back of the pamphlet for her lesson and explained everything with just a beuatiful understanding and testimony! Afterwards we had some cake (more like half a cake because Lucia kept serving us and finally we really had to refuse, though it was delicious!) Today is Lucia's turn to teach the lesson and it will be on a Palavra de Sabedoria. It turns out though, one of the reasons she picked it is because she thinks the picture of the Profeta José Smitch é muito bonito! Ha!  

The Backpacker
As we were returning from our reuniao de districto we were just finishing paying the Onibus attendant when a man in the seat in front of us asked, "Our one of you American?" We ended up chatting with this backpacker, Mark, from Seattle. He had just entered Brasil from Uruguay because you no longer need a visa to enter the country. His family were members when he was younger, but the left the church when he was three. We ended up sharing with him our testimonies about the Book of Mormon (Which Sister Knuth happened to have in english!) and then when we arrived in Arroio Grande we invited him to listen to a lesson about the gospel. We all got off the bus and headed for the Igreja where we taught him about the Restoration (in english). I discovered that after three months, my english is a little rusty! Ha it was difficult to express everything without slipping in a few portugues phrases! 

I suppose I'll never know what happened with him. He had told us how he felt purposeless and how he had always wanted to get closer to the church but his problem was with Joseph Smith. He actually knew a lot about the church because he has many friends that are members. He said they would be happy to know he had finally received missionaries! Ha! I hope in some way we helped him and this message was able to reach his heart. I know that the only way to truly know these things is to read and to ask. So we gave him the Book of Mormon and we promised him this. If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God. 

Oh bummer. I cant share my funny stories! I don't have time. But I just want to leave with how grateful I am to be serving here. This place is truly amazing. Every day I love it more.

I guess you'll just have to wait in suspense for what hilarious events happened in the life of Sister Hemmert. Tune in next time for the update:)
As always, all my love X
Sister Hemmert