Monday, November 14, 2011

Finally Here in Fortaleza! Except……….I’m in Juazeiro : )

Hello everyone! I won´t be able to write very much this week because the computer I have been using is very slow and it took some time to read the other emails.

However, for those of you who don´t already know, I am in Juazeiro do Norte, a town that is in the south of the state of Ceará. It probably has right around as many people as the Tri-Cities, except they are all squished together, so it is much smaller than that.

My first companion in the field, my trainer, is in fact my cousin, Elder Dallin Call! I was so excited to hear that we are able to have this opportunity together on our missions. I am excited to see where
things go, and how these next two transfers turn out.

By the way, I have some news for you that I think no one is going to like, including myself. Due to the very far distance between Fortaleza and Juazeiro, I only recieve letters, mail, or packages once every 6 weeks in Juazeiro. That´s once a transfer:) So, if things get to the mission office address (my mailing address) by the end of those six weeks (not sure the exact date, but it´s around five weeks from today), I will receive it before Christmas. If not, I won´t receive it until the end of January :( I can still write and send mail to you, because I use the postal system directly, whereas my mail from all of you goes through the postal system to the mission office, and they handle those things. I don´t think I´m supposed to give out my actual address to circumvent that, so I guess I will just have to wait:)

Anyway, things are crazy around here. And very hot! Juazeiro do Norte is apparently hotter than Fortaleza, so it´s pretty hot:) We played basketball at the chapel (which is beautiful, and being renovated at the present), and it was blistering hot on the basketball court.

Anyway, I have to go, but I love you all so very much! I am finally out in the field, and I want so badly to do the very best that I can, and do what the Lord would have me do. Read your scriptures, cry unto the Lord in prayer, keep your covenants that you have made, and seek for the Spirit in your lives. One thing that I have learned from the scriptures is that the principles of missionary work (especially concerning the spirit of revelation and prophecy, and the need for faith to accomplish the work of God, and to see miracles, and to receive the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for us, and to open our mouths, bear our testimonies, and be missionaries to the world) are the principles that apply in our everyday lives. As members, and parents, as children, as priesthood holders, as glorious mothers and daughters and sisters and aunts and friends, and as the children of God, we are to use these principles to draw nearer unto God, just as any missionary would. Yes, there is a difference in being set apart, being ordained, and having the authority given to use to preach the word of God. But the principles that we use are the same as the ones that we all must use for the rest of our lives, and for eternity. That means also that the blessings are powerful too! We can receive wonderful, glorious, faith-building, and awe-inspiring experiences in our lives. And as we are obedient (which is DEFINITELY an important principle in missionary work AND for the REST of our lives), and have faith in Jesus Christ, His Atonement, and His power, Heavenly Father will bless us as fast and as greatly as we will let Him. (Read Moroni 7, it´s really great:) )
I love you all so very, very much! Please continue to pray for me. I need all of the help that I can get, and I am receiving it already. Please know that I pray for you too, my dear family and friends. May you be blessed and filled with love always (Moroni 7:48),

Elder Reid Empey

P.S. And may your expectations for the future be replaced with gratitude for how things actually turned out:) One of my favorite sayings is this: ``Life is what happens when you´re planning for something else.´´ And I think that Heavenly Father intended it that way:) Love you all!
P.P.S. Hugs and kisses and love to my dear family.
P.P.P.S. Especially to you Mom:)
P.P.P.P.S. Especially to you Joslyn! :)
PPPPPS. Zerbers for Anna
PPPPPPS. And especially to Dad:) I hope that you find some more magpies, I´m sorry the others slipped out of your scope:)

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