Monday, July 23, 2012

Cool stuff and Pictures from Sitio São João

So, crazy week! Lots of stuff happened, so just a quick overview:

We found a gigantic rat, and tried to catch it, but it got away (my fault). While we were trying to figure out where it could have gotten away to, we discovered a large tarantula. It looks just like they do in the movies: hairy and creepy! Anyway, we caught her, put her in a peanut butter jar, and then ended up ``disposing" of her the next day (if anyone knows my Dad, you can guess the method we used: fire.) It was a rather cool experience:) I have attached a few close of pictures of her. Because she was getting weak from being in the peanut butter jar, and because I had been very close to her while she was in the jar, I got a little bit more brave, and took some very close-up pictures.

 Also, I received two packages this week! On two different days! I went to district meeting, and got a package, and then when we had interviews with the President as a zone on Friday, I got the other one. I received lots of cool stuff, including around 40 notepads (I can't believe you sent so many, Mom, but that's okay, I'll put them to good use), a shirt, some shorts, lots of candy (including gummy bears, bottle caps, root bear drops, and Reeses!), a wooden puzzle of the Plan of Salvation in Portuguese (I know some other Elders that have one, they are really cool and really nice). The only unfortunate thing about my packages is that my family also sent me a bottle of Axe, which in and of itself is not bad. It's just that the bottle opened and the Ziplock bag had a small hole in it:) So, lots of the candy at first tasted like soap, but as time passes the taste is going away:) Anyway, so it was a WIN this week.

And Elder Whitby also got a package FULL of candy, so that was good, too. He has another package that he has been waiting 7 months to arrive, and still hasn't got here, so he deserves a little something! This package got here from his house in 23 days. Talk about record time!

We had a really cool experience this week. We were looking through the Area Book last we, and we found a baptism record that was filled out, but the person hadn't been baptized. So, we went there to see what we could do. His name is Junior, and he is 9 years old. When we asked him questions about the commandments and the lessons, he remembered almost everything perfectly. It was amazing. He wanted to get baptized with the other Elders, but his mom said that he wasn't ready yet, and that he would have to wait. So, we asked to talk to his mom. When she first walked in, I could feel that she was not very open to letting her son be baptized. We asked her what she thought about it, and she said that she wanted to wait, and that he wasn't ready yet. We explained that he had answered all of our questions, and that he had remembered the material better than many adults that we teach! She said that she would think about it. So, we didn't push her, and were content with her changing her mind about thinking about it.

After we talked, she walked out of the room. Before we left, we asked Junior if he could offer a closing prayer. He did, and he gave one of the most faith-filled and heartfelt prayers I have ever heard offered. It was powerful. He asked that his mom might let him be baptized, and that everything would work out. Afterwards, his grandfather, who is a member and also was there, said, "See, no one is forcing him to do anything! He is doing this because of his own will, not because of any sort of pressure." So, we left there hoping that everything would work out.

Junior went to church that Sunday with his grandmother. Then, during the week, we passed by the house to ask his mom what she had decided. It was a little awkward inviting her and her husband to talk to us, but we did it. We sat down around the table, and I looked to my companion for him to guide the situation. But, he just looked back at me. So, I went for it, feeling nervous and awkward at the same time. I asked if she had thought about her son's baptism, and she said that she had. I asked how she felt about it. She said that she would let him get baptized. I couldn't believe it! Out of no where, as I was expecting and trying to be prepared for her to say no, she said yes! She said that she had asked him during the week if this was really what he wanted to do and to follow, and he said yes. So, she decided to permit him to be baptized. The faith of a child's prayer has power that we can hardly imagine. He wasn't baptized that Saturday nor Sunday, because the family already had another appointment. But, his baptism is marked for this Sunday.

I am so grateful for prayer, and the power that it brings into our lives. What a blessing to be out here, in this work, to seek to overcome obstacles and to help others to come unto Christ. I love you all so very much, and hope that you have a wonderful week!

Love always,

Elder Reid Empey


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quick! Again!


Man, the time flies! Another week come and gone, and I have to run! But, things are doing great in the area, and with my new companion. Elder Johnny is my first companion from São Paulo, and I am starting to sound like someone from the São Paulo interior:) We have a fun time learning and joking together. And doing crazy things like chasing a giant rat and a tarantula that live in our house (the rat got away, but we caught the tarantula. They are just as creepy in real-life as they are in any movie you have ever seen.).

The area that we are in is a good area, and we are receiving more and more referrals from the members. I am excited for this week, so that we can push forward with the work, and do what we´re here to do.

I have to go! I love you all so very much, and I promise that I will be more detailed in the next emails!

Love you tons and scoops!

Elder Reid Empey

Monday, July 9, 2012

From a New Area: Sitio São João!

Hey, everyone!

I was transferred! I am now in the area Sitio S鉶 Jo鉶, Castel鉶 Stake, and my companion is Elder Johnny! He in not an American, even though his name seems like it:) He's from an area called Riber鉶 Preito, which is close to Sao Paulo. I am very excited for this transfer, and for the new experiences that we are going to have.

I am sad to say that I really have to go, because my time is almost up, but keep moving forward, do what's right, and the Lord is always there right along beside you. Also, good job Josh and Dad for surprising my family with my Dad showing up in Germany unannounced! Like we say like in "The Incredibles," ``I love our family....!"

Tchau, tchau!


Elder Reid Powell Empey

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wow, really fast!


This week was a good one. Just quick, let me tell you one cool thing that happened:

We are teaching the brother of a member, and we were at his house this week. His cousin lives in the same house, and his friend was there with him so that they could study together. They love studying English, so they naturally wanted to talk to me. Anyway, we started to try to teach them, but they had to leave before we got anywhere. We invited them to go to church, like we do with everyone. They said that they would have to see, and didn´t promise anything (basically everyone says that here). So, I honestly didn´t expect anything.

We got to church after we passed by the house of a less-active member to pick him up, and the meeting started. Halfway through, Hélio, a member, came up to us and whispered to us that his cousin and his friend were there! I was so surprised, and I hope that we get to work with them more this week. They are both young, but they seem like very nice, bright people. We´ll have to wait and see!

I love you all! Take good care of yourselves:)

Love always,

Elder Reid Powell Empey