Monday, December 26, 2011

Hello Again!

Hi, everyone!

The week leading up to Christmas was unlike any other this year, but I磎 glad that I got to spend it with my companion and cousin, Elder Call:) What a blessing:)

I was thinking about some experiences that I have had in the mission so far, and I thought about something that I am so grateful for about my area: the people talk to us! It is incredible to me how much we talk to people on the street or just while we磖e going somewhere because they call us over to talk to us. This week, we were walking down the street, and an older woman was standing in front of her house. As we walked by, she said, ``Hey, come here for a minute. I want to read what your tags say!创 We talked to her a little bit, and learned a little bit more about here. She is a sweet, dear woman, and yet she has health problems that make it so that she hardly ever leaves her house. We asked if we could share a short message with her, but she said she didn磘 have time then, but that we could pass by anytime, because she磗 always at home. We will probably pass by in the next couple of weeks. I磎 so glad that we got to talk to her.

I feel blessed, because things like this happen all the time on the street, and I feel like this sort of thing wouldn磘 ever happen in many other missions in the world. The Brazilian people are so open to talk, and not afraid to ask you if your German or something (It happens quite a bit, and I was never expecting that...), and they are a very loving people. I am so grateful for the chance I have to be here. What a great blessing!

I love you all so very much! It was great to talk to my family yesterday, and I am so glad for the blessing of families in our lives. It truly is God磗 plan for us! And through them, we receive the happiness and joy that He wants us to feel and have:)

I love you all so very much! Thank you all for the letters, and the packages, and the prayers! They all mean so very much to me:)

Love you all tons and scoops,

Elder Reid Powell Empey

P.S. Aunt Marilyn, your package came, and we are so grateful for the gifts! We wore the ties on Christmas, and showed them off at church while we gave our talks:) Also, thank you family again for the package! I will let you know when the others get here:) Love you all tons and scoops!

Merry Christmas, All!

December 19 Email

(I am so very, very sorry, but my email to Presidente Souza deleted itself again! And I had to re-type it completely...therefore, this will be another very short email:( But, I will try to make the best of it!)

Hello all! I hope that the coming days are exciting and full of joy for you. Christmas is a wonderful time, especially for family and friends. It is a time to ponder the things that are most important in our lives. And, it is a time to be grateful and express thanks for the matchless gift of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Of all the gifts that we will receive in the coming days, we need to remember that none of them are as wonderful and grand and joyful and loving as the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. What a blessing, that we can repent of our sins, that we can be free from the pain and burden of our transgressions! We can be clean again, and return to the presence of God, with our families. This is one of the most glorious parts of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, that through His Gospel, His sacrifice, and our willingness to be obedient to His commandments, we can be sealed to our families forever, and live together with Heavenly Father for all eternity.

The Atonement surpasses our capacity to comprehend, yet as we apply it in our lives, we begin to feel of the joy and happiness that is to be found in repentance. And, through the Atonement, we can change. We can let go of the habits and tendencies and character traits and attributes that cause us discomfort, pain, and sorrow in our lives. We can take upon ourselves His name, His attributes, and His goodness.

What a glorious gift our loving Heavenly Father gave to us! And what great love doth the Savior have for us, that He would lay down His matchless and perfect life, take upon Himself our sins, our imperfection, our weaknesses, and our pains and afflictions, that we can be made whole, and that we can truly become as He is.

My dear family and friends, let us never forget who we are. Let us never forget that the hands of the Savior are always extended out to us, no matter what we have done, what we haven´t done, or how we feel in the moment. He is there, waiting for you. And if you accept His invitation, and be willing to obey His words and commandments, you can feel that joy, love, and peace that you so desperately want to feel.

Let us never forget, also, that the love that we have and share, one for another, is God-given, and that as we feel it and share it, it will grow, and our love for the Savior will grow, and we will begin to experience just a tiny, little, infinitissimally microscopic piece of the wonderful joy and love that our Heavenly Father has for us, and that we can have forever and ever one with another, even into the eternities.

I love you all so much. Please remember this Christmas the marvelous gift of Jesus Christ, and His Atonement, in our lives. And also remember that this gift is simply too good not to share with others:) As we do, our own love and gratitude and joy of this matchless gift will grow even more.

I love you all so very much. Please remember that too!

Hugs, and kisses, and bucket fulls of love,

Elder Reid Powell Empey

P.S. Neither the letter nor the package have arrived as of yet:( Maybe tomorrow, but maybe not. So, even if it doesn´t come know that I still love you all so very, very much! And that I will most likely get it some time in the future:)
P.P.S. Geneil, the things from you guys hasn´t come yet either:( But, that´s okay! I love you all tons!
P.P.P.S. I´m not sure yet what will happen as far as calling is concerned. You will be getting a call sometime during the week, most likely on Friday. So, please keep your cellphones on and with you. If I can´t get a hold of one of you, I will keep trying for all of you until I get somebody. So, please be ready!! Love you tons and scoops!

Happy Holidays and Birthdays and Wedding Days and More!

December 12 Email

Hello all!

I´ve heard all sorts of news about weddings and birthdays and Christmas plans and stuff like that, and I´m glad to know that things are still bustling and jumping all over the place like usual:)

It is strange to be in a tropical climate around Christmastime. It´s hot (actually, this time of year is the hottest:) It will be hot until the rain season will be an adventure to say the least.), it´s humid, and even the thought of snow is impossible to even entertain.

I love the scriptures:) I´m so glad that we have them to guide and to help us in our lives. Through them, we truly can invite the Spirit into our lives, and learn more about Heavenly Father´s will for us. We can learn what we need to do differently, and what lies we are telling ourselves that are hindering us (Hel. 3:29-30), and we can find the assurance to continue pressing forward. Please read the article written by Elder David A. Bednar in the October Edition of the Ensign. The whole Ensign is about the Book of Mormon. Even if you are not a member of the Church, please read this magazine (Ensign is the name of the magazine). It explains more about the Book of Mormon, why we have the Book of Mormon, and how it can bless our lives. Here is a link to read this edition of the Ensign online:

Anyway, the article by Elder Bednar ( is about the importance of continually holding fast to the Iron Rod, or the word of God. He discusses the significance of the story of Lehi´s Dream in the Book of Mormon, and what we can do to learn what we can learn and what we should and need to learn from the principle of continually holding fast to the Iron Rod. It really is a wonderful article:)

I am almost out of time, but I want to let you all know that I know that I am where the Lord wants me to be. I know that He wants to bless each and every one of us with the things that we need, and sometimes even the things that we would like too! But, He cannot bless us unless we are being obediant to the commandments. Also, we can´t keep the commandments if we don´t know what they are, or perhaps if we have a wrong understanding of what they are. Because of the need to know clearly the commandments of the Lord, He has given us those who can show us the path, and tell us how we need to prepare for the future. We have the blessing of the Lord to have the guidance and the direction of prophets, both the sacred words of the ancient prophets and apostles in the holy scriptures, but also the priceless and heaven-sent guidance of a living, latter-day prophet. I bear my testimony that we truly do have a prophet on the earth today, and that he leads and guides the Church under the direction of Jesus Christ, who Church this is. I know that Thomas S. Monson truly is a prophet of God. I also know that everyone can know that this is true for themselves, not just because I say that it is so. If we will pray to Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ, really desiring to know and to act upon the truth, He will show us, through the power of the Holy Ghost, the truth of all of these things.

Please, never forget that you are never far from the gaze of a loving Heavenly Father. Pray to Him. He wants to hear from you, just as badly as you want to hear from you children, the same as you what to hear their voices and hear the things that are going on in their lives. Sometimes we just want to hear from each other! And so it is with Him:)

I know that as we seek after Him, in prayer, in scripture study, and in being obediant to His commandments, we will find joy and peace and happiness in our lives. He will shows us where we need to be, where He wants us to be, and we will be better able to see His Hand in our lives. And not only that, but we will begin to see that His Hand has always been in our lives, and directing our path for good.

I know these things to be true. I love you all so very much:) Please, don´t be afraid to follow Him! You will be blessed more than you can know see or perceive. Pray that He will open your eyes. There is more at work than you can see (

I love you all so very, very much! Keep moving forward, press forward in Christ, feast upon His words, and you will find the joy and the happiness that you seek.

Love with all of my heart,

Elder Reid Empey

P.S. So, some not so fun news for the family: no Skype:( But, that´s what President says, and that´s how it´s going to be. So, you will be hearing in the coming weeks about when the call will happen, the details, etc, etc. I love you all so much:)
P.P.P.S. Good luck to all of you will your traveling, driving, and meandering! Love you tons!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Greetings from Juazeiro do Norte

Hello, my dear family and friends!

I hope that you are all well and happy, and full from the holiday season. And it´s only just begun!

As far as being here during these times, it´s a little bit out of the ordinary to say the least:) There are Christmas decorations in stores, and some people have Christmas trees and decorations in their houses, but it really doesn´t feel like December at all. Well, granted, it is significantly hotter here than where most of you are, but it still doesn´t feel like December.

As far as where I live in Juazeiro do Norte, I live in Bairro Centro. In Brazil, every city is divided into ``bairros,´´ which are like districts or ``neighborhoods´´. The Bairro Centro is where almost all of the shops and stores are, so we are close to places where we can buy things. Right now, the branches here in Juazeiro are meeting in a large house while the ``capela,´´ or chapel is being renovated. This house is located on the corner of Rua São José and Rua Da Conceição.

The actual chapel is located on Rua Doutor Flora ( I think that´s how you spell it:) Anyway, the basketball court is outside, and we have only played there once because we got special permission. We haven´t done it since.

Anyway, I have to go now, but remember, please remember, that I love you all so very much; and, more importantly, your Father in Heaven loves you so very, very much. We can´t even comprehend how much He loves us. Go to Him. Pray to Him. Cry to Him. He will hear you. He will help you. And you will be able to feel to love that He has for you. Whatever the hurt, pain, or discomfort we feel in this life can be relieved, healed, and comforted through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He lives. He loves us. And He wants to bless us so very much.

I know that I am not perfect, and that I have many, many things that I need to do differently, but I know that I am here for a reason, and I know that Heavenly Father wants me to be here, right now, as His servant. May God bless you, and may you feel the redeeming love of the Savior, is my prayer and hope for you all.

Love and hugs and kisses and more, from the bottom of my heart to yours,
Elder Reid Powell Empey

11/29/2011 Quick Lettre from Juazeiro

So, this week I ACTUALLY don´t have much time to write. My computer´s had some problems, and my letter to my mission president might have been deleted...dang, I think it did....

Well, this week has been hard. Again:) Might as well get used to it! Actually, I think that it´s good to know that all missions are hard, even the ones that everybody says you will baptize a lot in. It´s encouraging:)

I really do love you all, even though this is a very short letter today. I hope that you are well. I am doing fine, and I am seeking to rely on the Lord in His work. I know that He lives, and that He wants to help all of us with our trials. Seek after Him, and you will find relief and rest in His will, His commandments, His mercy, and His grace. What a wonderful knowledge that we get to have:)

Really quick, here is my Christmas list (or, at least, all that I can remember right now):
  • green ointment (I think that I left my big container in São Paulo. It will be good for you to know, however, that I left it because it was out of my bags AND I WAS USING IT. So, please send me another if you can. I´m sorry...)
  • Pilot G-2´s - Just can´t have enough of them. I wrote over 120 pages in my study journal in the MTCs, so I need more. Please don´t send me .7´s, and actually I´ve discovered that I really like the .38 because they´re really thin.
  • Pictures of all of you, and pictures of my friends too! Actually, you can probably just send them in emails. Please actually get everyone to send me pictures, or to you so that you can send them to me. I really want and need them, because everyone asks to see the pictures that I have, and I don´t have very many! I will be printing the ones you just sent me off here, so please, send me more!
  • I can´t remember anything else right now, but as I think of things, I will write them down, and send them next week. Sorry!
Anyway, I love you all so very much. If you have questions that you really need answered (like, doctrinal or personal questions), ask Heavenly Father. Elder Bednar said that if you learn one thing from having one experience to ask a General Authority questions, you should learn that you don´t need a General Authority to answer it for you. Ask Heavenly Father, and He will answer. (And keep asking, searching the scriptures, going to church, the temple, etc. so that you can receive your answer when He tells it to you, k? K:) )

Love you all tons and scoops,
Elder Reid Empey

P.S. Claire, you can use some of my sweats if you want, but you´re going to have to fight Mom for the keyboard:) Whoever wins can use it, as long as the keyboard itself doesn´t get broken in the process:)