Friday, July 24, 2015

Gravity, Accents and Good Work

So this week I learned that flan is subject to gravity, does not stick to forks, and that ties are hard to clean. However, if you use water and a hand air dryer, you will be just fine!

We went to the temple today! We went to the São Paulo Temple, which was the first here in South America. It was super cool and when I was reading in the Livro de Mórmon, I didn’t even have to translate it in my head to English. Woot! We also have two new sisters in our district from Provo—their visas came through—Sisters Lund and Chandler. Our district is now 8 people and we all laugh until we cry—about every hour—so we get along really well.

This past Saturday through Tuesday the Director of International Missionary Training Centers was here at the Centro de Treinamento Missionário and spoke at a devotional on Sunday night. It was super cool. He talked about how all the different MTCs are essentially extensions of each other and we all have the same purpose: to invite others to come unto Christ. He had slide shows of all the different MTCs around the world, and in one of the slides showing the Ghana MTC, I totally picked out Elder Harris, one of my roommates at BYU! It was super funny ’cause I yelled out "I know him!" It was kind of like in Elf, only not really at all haha. I talked with the Director a few times over the few days he was here and he was a really nice guy.

One of the coolest things this past week happened on Monday night. We were all doing our planning for the next day as a district, when the four elders we flew in to Brazil with walked in. They had all been through the Provo MTC and were waiting in the U.S. until they got their visas, so they were only in the CTM here for two weeks; they were leaving early Tuesday morning. They asked how we were liking missionary life and they told us that they came over to bear their testimonies to us before they left for their areas the next morning. Elder Harden had been serving for 10 months in St. George, UT before his visa came through, and he is probably the studliest missionary anyone has ever seen. He told us that trying to be the best missionary we could be would get us nowhere, but when we try to be the most humble servant, then we’d be successful. It was a really good experience and I’m glad they were prompted to come talk with us. We all really look up to them because they've already been teaching and were really good, humble missionaries.

Our Brazilian roommates left for their mission areas this week too. Elder C Souza, a roommate, has only been a member for a year and 3 months. His entire family is part of another church and aren’t too supportive of him serving a mission. He decided to serve anyway, and is called to serve in the same mission the elder who baptized him lives in. Elder C Souza is a great example of faith and what it means to endure to the end, and I want his diligence in my own life.

Here in Brazil there is pizza. And the pizza has no sauce and sometimes it’s covered with chocolate and bananas and cinnamon and is really quite delicious. However, if you eat six pieces of that pizza for dinner and then go try to play volleyball you will have a hard time since you’ll be so full. I advise none of you to do that thing. Though you should try chocolate banana pizza if you have the chance because it is glorious.

That’s really it for this week! We are still studying multiple hours a day and are always exhausted. Next week we are going out into São Paulo to talk to people and proselyte. Should be awesome!! My Portuguese is getting pretty good I think, and all the Brazilians say I can understand a whole lot. I don’t have the accent yet, but I made it a goal this week to—by one year into my mission—have someone ask me where I’m from in Brazil. I got some work to do, but with diligence and obedience I know I’ll have help from above.

Love you all!!

Elder Hughes

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