Monday, April 23, 2012

A New Chapter: From A New Area, Beiramar! (I think that´s how you spell it....)

Hey, everybody!

So, here! the news: I got transfered! I was in Parque das Na珲es, and now I am in Beiramar! It's a little bit cool, because my cousin, Elder Call, was in this area for his last transfer! So, I am taking his place, and his old companion is my new companion, Elder Baptista. I am excited to work in a new area, and for the new experiences and adventures to come.

It is incredible to me the wonderful blessings that we receive through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was reading in Enos this week, and he says that he was pondering about what his father said about eternal life, and also ``the joy of the saints". I love that phrase, the joy of the saints, because, when we are truly living the gospel, and trying our very best to keep the commandments, serve one another, and remember and follow Jesus Christ in our daily lives, we find a joy that cannot be found any other way:)

How blest we are!

I love you all very, very much!

Love always,

Elder Reid Powell Empey
Mission Brasil Fortaleza

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Juazeiro do Norte Monkey on a Wire!
Finally, some pictures! 
I remembered to bring my camera this week:)

District Elders in the newly remodeled Juazeiro do Norte Building

Elder Call and me.
Everyone thinks that I look like Harry Potter and that Elder Call looks like the kid from Home Alone, so this is us, in character...

Elder Empey with one 
of the shovels that was
used at the groundbreaking 
of the 
Fortaleza Temple site

March 5, 2012
The baptism of 
Ivis and Lucas

Elder Empey and
Elder Moreira Santos

Me and my companion. He doesn't usually look like that, we were at a members house and the wig was there.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It´s a Long, Long Trail A´winding here in Parque das Nações

Hey, everybody!
I´m really short on time (surprise, surprise), but let me tell you a little bit of what happened this week:
Catherina was baptized! The baptismal service was great, and I was reminded of my own baptism, the feelings and love that I felt. (It was a month after I had turned eight, and it was the Sunday before our Powell Family Reunion in La Wiss Wiss, Washington. So, there was a lot of family there. It was July 9, 2000, if I´m remembering correctly. The year 2000 seems like such a long time ago....12 years since I was, I´m getting old!)
(Also, the subject of this email is the title of a traditional Powell Family song. I have a copy of the family songbook with me here on the mission, and I cannot believe how much I love and miss singing together as a family. Those songs are more a part of me than I ever imagined, and remind me of the wonderful heritage that I have been blessed with:) )
We met an incredible investigator this week as well. We received his name as a referral, and he went to his house to talk to him. His name is Samuel, and he is 20 years old. He was in the house of a member some days ago, and the missionaries were having lunch in the member´s house that day. They talked to him, taught him the first lesson, and said that we needed to bring a Book of Mormon with us. When we went over to his house to talk to him, he happily invited us in, we were all really comfortable talking, and we explained to him about the Book of Mormon. He loved the concept that we have a record of the teachings and doctrines of Jesus Christ, but from a different perspective, the perspective of the people living here on the American continent. The teachings and the gospel of Jesus Christ are the same, just that the Book of Mormon and the Bible work together to help us see and learn more about how to apply the gospel in our lives.
We gave him a part in 3 Nephi to read, because he wanted to know more about what the Savior taught to the Nephites while He was here. When we came back two days later, he had read that chapter, the following chapter, and had begun reading from the beginning of the Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi! He said that the pictures made him curious, and so he went and read the references that are connected to the pictures. He said that he thought that it was really interesting, the story of Lehi and his family, living in Jerusalem, and that they eventually ended up the Americas as the Nephites and Lamanites. He understood the first few chapters of 1 Nephi and the other parts of 3 Nephi better than some members of the Church! And he started reading the beginning on his own. We didn´t even ask or invite him to start there after reading in 3 Nephi, he just naturally did it out of curiosity and desire to learn. He is incredible, and I am so excited to see what will happen this week. I hope and pray that he can truly gain a strong testimony that these things are true, and that he can become a member of the Church, and receive all of the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that he can eventually serve a mission! What a blessing that would be, in his life and in the life of his family, now and in the future.
I love you all so very much! The Gospel is true. Jesus Christ lives. Our lives are not perfect, other people are not perfect, and we are not perfect; but, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed of our sins, be filled with hope, and, because of that hope, we can live our lives in joy and happiness, knowing with a certainty that we truly can live with our families forever in the presence of our Eternal Heavenly Father. What a joy, what a blessing, what a privilege we have to partake of the grace and the love of God:)
I wish you all the very best, and hope that you have a wonderful week!
Love always,
Elder Reid Powell Empey
P.S. I know that it is finals time at BYU, and so for all of you BYU folks, I wish you good luck on your tests, and hope that you look back on the past two semesters as time well enjoyed and well spent:)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hot Days, Rainy Days, and the Work Moves Forward

Hello, all!

This week was hot (like it is today), and it was rainy as well. Last P-Day, we went to the Center of Fortaleza because I had some things to buy. It began to rain as we were on the bus. When we got there, the roads were full of water, and we were getting poured on. My companion had some things that he wanted to get as well, but the only difficulty was that as we headed to the store, we entered a road that was impassable because of how much water their was. I didn't want to completely ruin my shoes, and he didn't either. So, we had to find another way around, and even them splash and navigate through a bunch of roads simply overflowing with water. It was crazy:)

We are preparing a young girl named Caterina to be baptized this coming Sunday. She is the daughter of a member, but she is adopted, and has not yet been baptized. So, we are teaching her, and the baptism is set for this Sunday. She is a very nice girl, but she is a little bit afraid of water. So, we will fill up the font just enough to baptize her, so that she won't be worried or afraid:)

I love you all so very much:) The Church is true, and Jesus Christ really is our Savior and Redeemer. As we follow Him, I know that we will find more happiness that we can ever imagine. We truly have a living prophet here upon the earth, a modern-day Moses or Abraham, to lead and guide the people of the Church, under the direction of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. President Thomas S. Monson receives revelation not just for the Church, but for the whole world. What a joy to know that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has ordained men as prophets, seers, and revelators, to lead and guide us on our path back to Him. As we follow their teachings, we will find the strength and capacity to move forward, and we will feel the love of God even more in our lives along the way!

I love you all so very, very much! Have a wonderful week, and remember that Heavenly Father wants you to be happy:)

With all my love,

Elder Reid Powell Empey

Monday, April 2, 2012

What a Glorious Conference Weekend!

Hello, all! I hope that your days are happy, and that you´re finding joy in the simple things. I think that sometimes those simple things are the most important:)

I hope that you all had the privilege of watching General Conference! What a blessing we have, to listen, to watch, and to learn from the words of apostles, prophets, and other divinely-called servants of the Lord! As we hear their words, we hear the voice of the Savior, speaking to us all, each and every one.

It is a blessing for me to see how General Conference works in a foreign country, and in a foreign tongue. Here in Brazil, we watch Conference live. Because of the time difference, this means that we watch the Saturday morning session, which starts at 9 am in my home and 10 am Mountain Standard Time, at 1 pm in the afternoon. We watch the Saturday Afternoon session at 5 pm, which is usually at 1 pm at my home and 2 pm in Salt Lake. The Priesthood session is from 9pm to 11pm here, which is why they record it, and replay it the next morning at 8am, because it is easier for a lot of people. The Sunday sessions are at the same times as the Saturday sessions were.

What a privilege to learn and see that the Lord makes the technology available that all of His children can hear the words of His servants, in their own tongues, and in every part of the world. I was also blessed because I was able to watch nearly all of the sessions in English. I am improving with my understanding of the Portuguese language, and I need all of the practice that I can get, but there really is power in hearing the actual voices and words of the Lord´s servants. I felt the same Spirit that always attends the sessions of General Conference, and I felt the love of the Lord. What a blessing!

It was also cool to see the missionary choir from the Provo MTC. I only felt a little bit jealous, because I was at the MTC in Provo last Conference, and they didn't ask the MTC Choir to come to Conference last October:) But, what an opportunity for those missionaries now! I was also surprised to see a familiar face in the choir: Elder Barber, who is from my stake (or, at least he was from my stake before it split last year). Anyway, it was cool to see his face. I was also extremely surprised to see two familiar and beautiful faces in the audience of the Sunday Afternoon session: my sister Anna and my friend Alicia Brighton! I couldnn't believe my eyes, and I was so happy to see you both! I love you both so much, and I´m glad to know that you got to be there at Conference together. (It´s sort of a continuation of tradition, we all watched Conference together while I was at BYU)

Anyway, I love you all so very much! Keep pushing forward, and remember that the Lord loves us all, and will bless us as we follow Him.

With love always,

Elder Reid Powell Empey