Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dearest Everyone

Hey, guys!

This was another week full of events. Here磗 just a few:

A girl named Linda Vit髍ia (translated ``Pretty Vitcoria创) stopped the other elders who live with us on the street. She said, ``Hello! How are your guys doing today?创 Elder Matos said that he saw that she was very inteligent and very different from regular people. because she talked to them. She said, ``You guys are the Mormons, right?创 They said yes. She said, ``Yeah, I used to go there a long time ago.创 A young man from the ward used to be their neighbor, and brought her with him to church a few times. Elder Matos said, ``Do you want the missionaries to go to your house and leave a message with your family?创 She said, ``Sure! We live on such-and-such road, and my parents are at home usually at night or on weekends.创 Let me tell you, this is incredible! And it磗 even more incredible because she is eleven years old. So, we went there and taught the family. Her mom understood really well the message, and later she understood the importance of the Book of Mormon in gaining a testimony of Joseph Smith. They need to get married before they can be baptized, but the whole family is going to church this coming Sunday!

This is just one of the cool things that happened this week, but I am out of time and have to go. I love you all so very much. You are in my prayers, and in my thoughts. This week was a good week for me, and I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father for all that He does for me and my family and friends. Keep moving forward, and don磘 forget who you are. (And for my family in particular, ``use your road-rage if you have too!!!创

Com amor e carinho para todos voc阺,

Elder Reid Powell Empey

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Crazy Fast!

Hey, everyone!

So, I am running late as usual, so just to let you know a few quick things about this week:

Happy Birthday Anna and Grandma Empey! I hope that it was a great one, and that you feel loved and appreciated by all who know you. You both are blessings in my life, and I love you so very much!

This week was a bit scattered. How so? We are trying to figure out where we want to focus in our area. AKA: It磗 not very efficient to run from one end of the area to the other in the same day, because are area is quite large:) So, we are moving more towards the west side of the area, and we will see what fruits will come of our labor.

We taught a woman and her son, Rejane and Paulo. They are really great people, and Rejane is very interested. They weren磘 able to make it to church, and we felt a bit disappointed, but we will see how things turn out this week.

I have been putting forth an effort to focus more on the Book of Mormon in my personal study. I know that as we use the Book of Mormon for our own personal conversion, we will come to know, even more than we now know, that the Book of Mormon is true. If the Book of Mormon is true, Jesus Christ truly lives; Joseph Smith truly was a prophet; and this church is the true church of Jesus Christ here upon the earth. The Book of Mormon is an evidence, even a proof爐hat these things are true, because we have the promise that if we read it, ponder about its message, and ask of God, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto us (see Moroni 10:3-5). If we do these things, we will know, without a shadow of a doubt, that these things are true; and that testimony will fortify and strengthen us through whatever trial we face.

When all is said and done, the testimony that most strengthens us and allows us to keep moving forward, and the truth that the Book of Mormon most testifies of is this: that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. As we ponder or relationship to Him, study His teachings, and apply His gospel in our lives, we will gain a testimony that will allow us to wade through whatever storm we may face (see Helaman 5:12). Why is the Book of Mormon so important in this? Because, along with the Bible, it testifies of His divinity, shows us His teachings, and restores the ``plain and precious创 truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and shows us, even more clearly and powerfully, the way that we must walk to return back to the presence of God. It truly was written for our day, and allows us to receive the Spirit more fully in our lives.

I know that God lives, and that Jesus is the Christ. The ``good news创of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and paid the price, that we don磘 have to be perfect to return to God磗 presence, but that through following His Gospel, His commandments, and His perfect example, we can take upon us His holy name, and His perfection, becoming ``perfect in Christ创 (Moroni 10:32-33), and receive all of the blessings that the Father hath in store for us. What a blessing it is to know of these things, and to have my testimony strengthened day by day as I seek to learn, study, ponder, and apply His word!

I love you all so very much! Read the scriptures, pray often, and seek to apply His example and teachings in your lives. As you do this, you will find the strength and the grace to meet the challenges you face. Keep pushing forward, especially爓hen its hard, 醤d you will find that things get better:) I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love, as always,

Elder Reid Powell Empey

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Weekly Report from Beira Mar

Hey, everyone!

So, I´m running as usual, but here´s the scoop:

I neglected to also give late birthday congratulations to my father, Kim Empey, who, for the umpteenth time, turned 13 on May 26th. I love you, Dad:)

My birthday was a little interesting yesterday. Quite unlike others that I have had. Firstly, I am no longer a teenager. Weird. I am twenty years old, and in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language, and I can´t believe how fast the time has gone! Also, as a wonderful birthday present, the Manaus Brazil Temple was dedicated, and I got to watch by satellite! The first ten minutes or so didn´t   come through, they were having technical difficulties. But, they got us online, and I got a chance to sit in the Stake Center in quiet, reading my patriarchal blessing for a few minutes. It was great.

An interesting thing to note is that, during a temple dedication, the stake centers that receive the transmission become extensions of the temple, or even extensions of the celestial room of the temple. As our mission does not have a temple close by, we cannot go to the temple. It´s about 10 hours away by bus:) But, yesterday, I had the opportunity to ``be inside the temple´´ during the temple dedication. I felt the Spirit strongly, and I tried to imagine that I was really there in the celestial room. What a blessing!

Anyway, this week was good. We´re still having a bit of a challenge finding new people to teach who want to act on the message, but I know that as we follow the Spirit, our capacities will be augmented, and we will find those who are being prepared to receive and act upon the message. It is getting better and better with every week that passes!

I love you all so very much:) And, there is a new little bundle of joy to love, too! My niece was born this morning, at 4:03am in Germany:) Her name is Laci Rhiannon Johnson (I think the spelling is right). How grateful I am that technology allows me to know about this wonderful event almost instantaneously, even on the literal other side of the world! Imagine if we couldn´t use email on the mission: I would have to wait for this news until a letter would arrive. But, because the Church is divinely directed, and because technology is truly a gift and a resource given to us from a loving Heavenly Father, I can learn about my niece´s birth, and even see pictures if and when they are sent! (Which I would love, by the way:) )

Have a great, awesome week! Pray as if it were all up to Him, and then get up off your knees, and work as if it were all up to you! In this way, He will bless and exponentialize your efforts and the effects of your efforts, to the point where you can have an influence far greater than you ever imagined possible.

Love you all tons and scoops!

Love always,

Elder Reid Powell Empey

Monday, June 4, 2012

Birthday Wishes, Temple Dedications, and the Same Old Heat!


I am almost out of time, but here´s a quite update for this week:

My new companion and I worked hard this week looking for new people to teach, and me showing him the area. It has been a bit of a challenge now that I need to know what street we´re on and things like that, but we were able to get things figured out fine.

Happy Birthday to Joslyn Empey, my sister who can now legally drive! And also date, which is more than a little bit weird if not scary for me....It´s crazy how fast the time flies! I love you very much, and I wish you a happy, happy birthday, and a good, fun, exciting week as you and Mom get ready to go to Germany (My older sister Geneil is having a baby girl, and Mom and Joslyn will be over there in Germany to be a support to her. And to have a great time in Europe!).

My birthday is this week, June 10, which is this next Sunday. It´s actually the temple dedication of the temple in Manaus, Brazil! So, I get to watch the temple dedication on my birthday. What a great present! I will be turning 20, which it strange....I have the personal opinion that the difference between 19 and 20 is almost infinitely larger than the difference between 18 and 19. I will no longer be a teenager! CRAZY!!!

Anyway, I really have to run now, but I love you all! Things are busy, and interesting, and always a time to thank Heavenly Father for every day, every experience that He gives me. What a blessing it is to know that He loves us, and wants to best for us, and will help us as we seek after His goodness and His counsel.

I love you all!


Elder Reid Powell Empey