Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Headed to the Temple

Last week I was on exchanges (finally learned how to use the mission language in English! Thank you Sister Lexus Cook!) in Cachoeira e Caçapava do Sul! Wow. It was amazing! I loved it sooo much! The Sisters there are amazing and the areas are super beautiful. When we travel we had to leave our mission, enter the Santa Maria Mission and reenter our mission again! Haha! When I saw the sign stating that we were in Santa Maria I couldn't believe! I'm always on the border! haha 

I want to write a special letter for you all today. Today is a very special day. Today, is a normal day as any other. A Wednesday, 28th of June. But today, after more than a year of waiting I'm headed to the temple in Porto Alegre.

What is a temple you might ask? What do those Mormon's do in their temple. 

Well, I can tell you! The Temple is the House of the Lord here on the earth. In the temple we are the closest that we can be to God because it is in the temple that we make covenants, or promises, with God. Like Baptism, a covenant that everyone needs to return to the Father's presence. But the highest covenant we can do is be sealed to our family forever.

This is God's power. That can be used in His house. And I will be eternally grateful for this knowledge and this chance that I have to live with my family forever.

I had the chance to teach a woman yesterday who hasn't visited the church in more than 10 years. 2 years ago her husband passed away. We had to re-teach everything to her and in the end I bore my testimony of Eternal Families and told her that I would be able to go to temple today. I would be able to visit the one place where families can be joined for time and eternity.

Gratitude is a part of hoping. I thank the Lord everyday for this knowledge and thank Him everyday that my grandparents were taught by missionaries long ago. I think Him for His forethought and His kindness in letting me grow in this church, His church with His gospel, this truth. 

As I teach here in Brasil I feel everyday my gratitude growing. I wonder what I did to deserve such great a blessing. But maybe it doesn't matter what I did or didn't do, but what He knows I can do with His gospel. He knows who I can be with this gospel and the difference I can make in my life and in the lives of others. 

I love you all and will be praying for you all.
Sister Hemmert

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Rains Came Down!

This week was one to be remembered. We are entering winter here and to just explain to you how is Rio Grande do Sul, last week we used everything warm that we own and this week it warmed up so much that we almost used sandals. It was beautiful until arrived Sunday afternoon and the grey thunder clouds rolled in! 

We were preparing during the whole week for a Ward Project on Sunday. Here in our Ward we have about 700 members on the record. But just 120-150 are active. So that our ward can be qualified with the correct number of High Priests per person we have to clean out 370 records. 

So, we planned everything. We marked with all the members and all the missionaries from our zone. Planned splits, printed maps, and Sunday afternoon we hit the streets to find out if these people still live in these addresses and to see if we can find new people wanting to hear about the gospel. 

We arrived drenched. Everyone shivering. But happy! Though the rains came down and the floods came up the ward members came through and worked together for our ward! We dont know the results yet but we are well on our way to forming a Stake here!

Its a wonderful work. I cant believe that I'm helping to form Stakes! Truly I'm working in the Lord's Kingdom.

How grateful I am!

Sister Hemmert

Monday, June 12, 2017

Who Is Christ For ME?

With little time left I want to share with you a message that I feel is very important.

Ask yourself, "Who is Christ for me? Who is He in my life?" 

Many times as missionaries we ask this same question for the people we teach and many times, all the time, they tell us that He is "tudo." Everything. 

Once, in Mateus 16, Christ ask the apostles what the people thought of Him. 

They responded that the people thought He was John the Baptist or knew of Him as the Son of God and other names.

But then Christ asks these same men, His friends who they thought He was.

If we remember, one of His apostles betrayed Him, one denied Him, and one doubted. Two walked with Him for a while and didn't recognize Him until He broke the bread.

But as read in Mateus, one responded, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

So who are we and what will we respond. Will we deny Him or doubt Him? Will we be unable to recognize Him when He comes?

My hope and prayer is that when He comes I will know and say, "Tu és o Cristo, o Filho do Deus Vivo." (You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God)

This is why I'm serving. He is why I'm here. He lives. And through Him I will live again. Live better and be better. 

I am here to know my Savior. Not just to know His titles. 

And I invite you this week to think of Him. To remember Him and get to know Him. Because His hand is on the doorknob. He is returning. This I know and wait for with joy. In His Name. Amen.
That release date is my date original that i received when i was arriving on the mission. But my date changed to august 30 because they had changes in the CTM this year that brought up the date one week sooner. I talked with the mission assistents the other day and it looks like already bought my tickets because they asked which airport i would land in. Tomorrow i will be going to Porto Alegre for a counsel meeting and i ask for my flight information and ill have them send it to you too. Dont worry your pretty little heart Momma!! The Elderes here are lax and have already forgetten about me one time #visamistake but ill set everything straight haha ;) 

Our baptism was Renato. His wife is a member but we are still working with her daughters so that they can be baptized. His slightly deaf so you can imagine how we taught him. His hearing aids broke and he doesnt have money to repair them but we are going to talk to our bishop so that we can do something to help them out. Renato looks like he is all hardcore in those pictures but really he is like the sweetest person. His desire to be baptized was basically because he wants to live a better life. None of the kids in those pictures are his. Not even the infant. When he and Tatiane started dating she was pregnant. When Raquelme was born, Renato registered him as his own. He didnt even tell Tatiane that he would register Raquelme, but in the end he told her, "Now Im his dad." 

They are really humble people. Tatiane had 14 less active, but now that she is returning they are learning together the gospel principles. For a good long time since she returned to the church Renato wanted to be baptized but he didnt want to stop drinking coffee. Sunday, one week ago they sat beside us in the sacrament meeting. We passed a note to him saying, "Congrats! Today is your last day drinking coffee. Prepare yourself because your baptism will be this Saturday!" He laughed a little bit, and finally (after a few more convincing notes written by the Spirit) he wrote back, "If you say so. Ok." After the baptism and confirmation i heard Renato talking to a pesquisador that he was feeling light, as if a weight had been taken off him!

I love missionary work! 

If you didnt know before, the average number of baptisms per missionary in brasil is 7. Renato was the seventh person that i helped be baptized. Now that i have reached this goal, im ready to exceed it. Double it even. It will take pray and faith and work, but im willing to work. Im praying and believing and giving everything that i am

Yesterday we had the oportunity to watch a special devotional with the Area Presidents and our Mission Presidents. 

Everyone from brasil and a few other countries were tuned in and watching as three youth opened there mission calls and Elder Aidukaitis and Presidente Costa explained the importance of our call to serve. 

Elder Aidukaitis reminds me of Mr. Gru! He even talks like him! It has been an honor hearing from leaders like him and Presidente Costa many times during my mission.

The explained a few things that touched my heart and made me want to work harder.

We are here to teach about Christ and His gospel. We are hear to explain about the man that changed the world. The Child that was born in a stable and laid on the hay. The boy that taught the teachers. The Son that did the will of the Father and gave His life, willing, for His brethren. 

He is our Savior and our King. His divine mission was to die so that we could live. He walked and breathed and bleeded for us.

One day, as we believe, we will live with Him.

Elder Aidukaitis explained simply for us all, "I want you to know how I hope your mission will be. I hope your mission will be the hardest thing that you have ever done and will ever do. I hope you wake up with pain in your joints and kneel down at night with tears in your eyes. I hope this will be the most difficult thing your can imagine. 

Why? Because one day when you are invited to sit with a Pioneer who suffered and died one the trail to Zion, or with Joseph and Hyrum Smith who gave everything for the truth and were martyred, or with the Savior, Jesus Christ himself,... I hope you will be able to look at them and to them and tell your story."  

This is our time to show what we are made of. To show who we are and where we came from.

We are children of God. We are in His service. Every. single. one of us. 

Dont waste the Lord's time. Dont waste your own time. Have respect for your call and give everything until the last day. 

Be you a full-time missionary or member, we are called to serve until the end of our life. We need to be examples of the faithful and the true. Be as the pioneers and the prophets and the Prince of Peace. Be you, a child of God. and as the Son that gave His life, give yours. 

As Elder Aidukaitis stated, "This [LIFE] should be the hardest thing we will ever do!" 

It is in this life that we work. The Lord simple asks that we be like Him. He suffered for us and so He knows us and He works with us and walks with us and cries with us. 

It will be the hardest thing that we will ever do and the greatest test of our love for God.  But as we do this we will be blessed and one day crowned with eternal life so that we can sit at the Master's side and hear His story and share our own. 

I love you all and pray that you will have the strength, that WE will have the strength to do these things.

-Sister Hemmert 

Monday, June 5, 2017

I Needed a Spiritual Experience

This week was crazy! I was transferred by surprise. Sister Melo needed to do a surgery so I traveled to take her place. She's doing great now. Recovering in Ala 2. For now she was willing be staying on the mission, but she has to take it really slow for the next few weeks.

I was taken totally by surprise. I didn't think I would be transferred for a long while, but now I'm here! I thought Capão was difficult but managed to find my way around! (Look up: Jardim America, Capão do Leão, Rio Grande do Sul in Google maps) 

Though I am just getting use to the area I'm loving it! We had the opportunity to baptize a young man named Wendell this week! It was really special! 

But the most special moment was when my testimony was tested. This week someone completely rejected our testimonies and denied what we were teaching. But this isn't something that I normally let get to me. This happens. But I responded differently this time. I needed a spiritual experience. So, Saturday night I prayed with the simplest questions. The same questions that I ask for all my pesquisadores to ask of God: Is this the true church? Is the Book of Mormon true? Was Joseph Smith a prophet? 

These are things that I have already asked. And God has already responded. But it doesn't matter how many times we ask or how we ask or when. The Lord will always answer. These questions are the foundation of our faith. And as I opened the scriptures on a random page I found the answer that is the reason I'm on this mission. 

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
23 Write the things which ye have seen and heard, save it be those which are forbidden.
24 Write the works of this people, which shall be, even as hath been written, of that which hath been.
25 For behold, out of the books which have been written, and which shall be written, shall this people be judged, for by them shall their works be known unto men.
26 And behold, all things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged.
27 And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.
28 And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.
29 Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Whatever we ask of God, He will respond. He will give answers. Line upon line, precept upon precept. This is His church. This is His truth and His gospel.

Christ gave His life for these things and for me and you. Follow His example. Be as He is and do as He did and you will always remain on the true path.

With Love,
Sister Hemmert