Monday, March 27, 2017

Chutes and Ladders of Capão do Leão

If you ever visit Capão do Leão, buy a GPS. But be warned, you will love it so much that you will want to stay forever.

During my whole mission I served in the far south of Brasil. Rural. Cow country. 

I know. When you think of Brasil you think of the Amazons. You think of beaches and blue skies and agua de coco. Here you will be surprised. You will find cows and goats in the streets and normally people seated in the front yard (in beach chairs) drinking Chimarrão. In Capão they call it Mate. I here that its the opposite of sweet and come rain or shine (like summer heat that makes you sweat bullets with cars passing raising dust on the unpaved streets) there they are. Drinking the traditional bitter drink of the Rio Grande do Sul. The Gauchos. 

I love them. I love this place and the Lord knows what to do. Truly. 

Now that you know what is it´s like in the Rio Grande do Sul, I will explain a little bit more about Capão. 

This week we walked in circles. Literally. The streets here are giant circles. On the map it looks simple enough, but what the map doesn't know is that the people here made streets and alleys where they wanted. Basically: hey this street passes my house but my friends house is like three circles away so lets just cut down this tree and make a bridge here and done, I'm at my friends house. 

So. Our life from now on is just trying to find out how to get from one circle to the next. It´s like connect the dots with the Spirit. But sometimes I feel like it´s chutes and ladders!

The first couple days Sister Ampuero herself was trying to remember and pass everything for me. She only has 5 more weeks on the mission! I told her that I will be super trunky and super poor at the end of the transfer. Because LTS´s already have to spend everything they have to visit other Sisters and go to Porto Alegre every month and buy new shoes because every single pair that you have wore out at the same exact moment, etc. But besides all of this, the only thing we want to do during the last week on the mission is everything that we never did during the rest of the mission! haha. 

We decided to at least go on a diet. Project Selena Gomez/Jennifer Lawerence/Brasilian actresses I don't know about haha. Sadly, I'm in Pelotas. Some countries have Cities of Lights and Cities of Love...Well, Brasil has a City of Sweets. Where am I? Right in the middle of the this sugary paradise.

Also, since she is leaving so soon the members here just want to do family home evenings and fatten us up. Yesterday we were planning on visiting a family of less actives and when we arrived we realized that they were having  a birthday party and just about to cut the the cake! Oh Capão what will I do with you! I could turn down the second piece of cake anyways:)

Here is the biggest Ward that I have yet served. Its super cool honestly. The sacrament meeting is full of people. Though the chapel here is really simple there is a love here that you can feel when you greet the members. I´m loving the families here. Truly it´s great to be back in Pelotas.
I feel at home. 
Im not trying to predict the future or anything but I think I will settle down here (to finish out the rest of the mission :) ) 

Anyways, with the little time that I have I want to end with my talk theme from this Sunday. I was nervous (new ward) but had decided to talk about Christ. To express in a few words. I love my Savior. I don't think I will ever be able to say how much. But every single day that I wake up and that I serve Him I show Him and everyone how grateful I am for Him. He lives. He loves me. And He is protecting me here on the mission.

Com Amor,  Sister Hemmert

Monday, March 20, 2017

To state it simply. This week was amazing. It started great and ended great and I literally can not believe that we are already starting a new week!

To be honest I don't remember much of what happened at the beginning of the week. I know that it was great also, but I would like to use this time to focus on some of the miracles, prayers answered, and blessings given. 

I will start by testifying to you that here on this earth we have prophets, seers and revelators. Here on this earth we have witnesses of God and His majesty. Here on this earth we have people, prepared and preparing us, to live with God one day. To be the best people that we can be. I know that this church is true. I know that there is only one true church and one God. One Father and One Son who are One in purpose here. 

This week we were told to pack our bags. #roadtrip. 
Sister Aranha and I were a little sad because we would be losing a whole weekend of work because we would be headed to Porto Alegre Friday. Don't get me wrong, we wanted to go but we had a problem: 

Wednesday we found a family, Juliana and Izolda, when we were splunking with the Spirit in our area. Literally we were finding new streets in our area, exploring when we came upon a house with two women sitting in the yard. We deciding to visit with them and it turns out that they had just moved to this house and that they had arrived running from their past home in another area in our Zone. Where they lived was a situation dangerous. A area that the other sisters would never find and this family would never have felt really the Spirit. So when we started visiting with them it was a miracle. 

We have new rules in our mission so in order to make new pesquisadores we have to visit them two times. Well, we marked with this family to visit Friday. Wednesday night we found out that we would be traveling all day Friday!! Well we decided, lets just try to find them at home tomorrow and maybe they will let us visit again. 

When we arrived it didn't look like anyone was home. It was raining. We were clapping our hands at the gate and no one came to the door. Three times we waited. Three times for the Spirit to testify. 

And the door opened! They told us how they had read 3 Nephi 18 about the sacrament and we explained the Gospel of Christ. They excepted to be baptized in April!

Friday, we went to the police station before our Zone Meeting. I had to pick up my identity card so that I could travel, but it they had told us that maybe they didn't have it yet. When we arrived they had the card!! Woo hoo! Miracle.

After our zone meeting we ran to our lunch appointment. We ran into the Irmã on the way! haha She was picking up our lunch and so we helped her home. When we arrived her back patio was filled with stray chickens. Her patio is like a 10X20 foot space built into the ground because on booth sides her neighbors houses have inclines. Well, the neighbors chickens had jumped the wall and just didn't want to leave. Sister Aranha and I started hunting chickens. Most of them decided to scale the wall and fly over the top but there was just one that was determined to stay. When I finally caught him I didn't know what to do! His wings were flapping and Sister Aranha was screaming and so I just threw him up and over the wall! hahaha 

To thank us Irmã lurde served our plates.... I tried to explain to her that I eat very little Feijão (a bean dish here that is super heavy that they eat every single day...) Weeelll,,, Irmã Lurde just said, ´´Nooo,, you work too hard and need energy.´´ as she served three times more Feijão than i normally eat! haha oooh vida

Afterwards we sprinted to the church to take the van to Porto Alegre. 7 hours of Elder Bombardeli and Sister Aranha singing in my ears later ;) Misericórdia (Mercy)! We arrived! We hung out in the mission office for a bit before heading to the apartment of the sisters in Ala Dois. By the end of the night the apartment had more Sisters than rooms! 12 Sisteres! The whole mission was heading to the conference!

Saturday we got ready, got lost, got found again and finally made it back to the mission office so that we could take another bus to Porto Alegre Norte! Yes, we left our mission!

There we waited quietly as Elder D. Todd Cristofferson arrived. 
We filed by every single missionary in our mission and the other, shaking his hand one by one. As he read my nametage he looked me in the eye and said, Hemmert. That's a good name. 
I don't think I'll ever change my name now. Sorry future husband, I won't be taking your name now! haha

Afterward members of the Seventy, their wives, Sister Cristofferson and Elder Cristofferson taught us exactly what we needed to hear. Exactly what I needed to hear.

I will pass for you my notes in the following letters but what I will always remember is that an apostle of the Lord blessed me. Blessed my mission. Blessed my family and promised me that the Lord was accepting the work I'm doing here. The Lord is protecting me with His angels. Guiding me to testify and accomplish everything He has called me to do.

Well, the Lord called me to serve again in a new calling.
Sunday morning we received the transfer. This time directly from our Presidente.
´´Happy Birthday, Sister Hemmert!´´
´´Its not my birthday, Presidente.´´
´´Íts not...Welll I think someone is trying to trick me then!" (Laughter) Sister you are being called to serve as the new Sister Training Leader. Happy Sunday! Pack your bags."

Yesterday I said goodbye to Bage after 6 months and traveled ALONE!!! With a phone... to Pelotas. But I arrived and called the only number I remember (the number in Bage!) haha and quickly was picked up by my new companion. Sister Ampuero. 

I'll be serving in Capão de Leão, the only city I know that has circles for streets. What an adventure it will be! I'm so excited. 

And guess what! The Sisteres I'll be taking care of will be the Sisters in Bage!! Wooo hoo! I'll be able to visit my old area and my best friend on the whole planet Sister Aranha!! 

Im nervous and excited. I know that the Lord will help me. His very servant told me so. 

Love you all, 
Sister Hemmert

Monday, March 13, 2017

This week was amazing! Absolutely amazing. So lets start with the past week.

So I hurt my toe this last week. To tell a very long story in just a few lines. I had an ingrown nail. So I went to a foot doctor. He was hilarious. Like the Cole Johnson of Podólogas. He talked with me the whole time saying that I could yell at him and call him names if I wanted but the only person I couldn't drag into the conversation was his mom. "Just leave my mother out of this!"

Unfortunately, the situation didn't get better. I was limping everywhere and hurting so I marked another visit. Turns out you should let your foot rest after a mini surgery.  

Round two was worse than round one. I cried a little bit and my companion became me living cane afterwards. The same night, Presidente Cruz sent us to the UPA (clinic). Luckily its located on the same street as our apartment. I just needed to be anti-biotics but we arrived 9 hours there and left 11. Sister Aranha and I felt like we were in Grey´s Anatomy. If you sit long enough there you could just feel the drama bubbling hahah jkjk

Anyways, I stayed one day with Irma Nair in splits. Sister Aranha hit the streets with her spidy powers to fight crime and call the people unto repentance.  

This week was all the International Womens day. When I went to pick up my meds I got a free bombom! :) 

Sister Aranha and I were also stopped in the street by a homeless man who might have been a little bti drunk. He stopped us like a mime(?) in silence and when we tried to pass by he blocked our path... Well, we thought we would be mugged for the first time ever... Nope! He wished us Happy Womens Day and gave us a letter he wrote about how special are the women in the world. When I tried to put the letter in my scriptures, becuase i was still trying to running away he plucked it from my hands saying "NOO! Not in the bible! I'll just have to read it for you!" His name was Falcão and his dog, Sophia. Thankfully, help arrived in the form of Elder Bombardeli e Ixtacuy. They almost left us there but a Sister Aranha stopped them with her spidy powers. She threw her arm in front of them so that they couldnt pass by! haha

What a moment.

To finish we finally had a baptism this week! The sweetest most intelligent Young woman ever! Dienifer! She is wonderful! Sister Aranha will be sending the photos! My camera died! Anyways, Dienifer is amazing. She talked all about how she wanted to get baptized because she just couldn't wait to start doing Personal Progress! She already started the goals and projects and today we are going to pass by to work on Divine Nature with her! 

Que felicidade! 

Oh! Guess what! Elder Christoferson(?) spelling in a hurry!)! will be visiting our mission this week! WOO HOO! We are headed to Porto Alegre friday to meet with him Saturday! 


Love you all!

Sister Hemmert

Monday, March 6, 2017

One YEAR Mark!

To the people I love! I'm doing great here. Still in Bagé. Looks like I'll be staying for a bit more! Transfers will occur soon but I do not have a desire to leave here just yet! So many wonderful things are happening and my companion is seriously the best on the planet.

This week it's official. I have been out on the mission for one year. How the time just flies by. I'm amazed by the days that pass by and am so grateful for the time that I still have.

Yes, I'm missing you all. I will never stop missing the people back home. Today I passed the Policia Federal to pick up on identidade (which they didn't have yet) and I started chatting with the people at the front desk. They asked me where I'm from, if I thought portugues is difficult, if I was missing my family and so on. 

After one year I can officially say that the end is arriving but I don't want it to come! I'm loving so much this place, this mission, these people.

It rained the whole week and we were almost swimming to make it to our visits and lunches. The Fall time storms have arrived but we are just dancing in the rain. Because as the rain falls I feel the blessings shower not just on us but on the people that we teach. I'm truly grateful. 

I have little time, but I would like to end here with a promise. This is the Lord's work. He is our God. He does not change nor does He lie. So trust in Him and give to Him everything your worth because in His hands you will learn that you can do more and are worth more than you can even imagine. He. loves you. You are His child. So, don't worry, be brave. This is at least what I am learning.

With Love,

Sister Hemmert