Monday, August 24, 2015

A Mighty Change


Brazil is awesome!

My time in the Missionary Training Center is over and done, and here’s how going into the mission field went:

Last Saturday was our last day with Irmã Correa, our teacher, who we all loved as a district, and to make the day special, we all practiced singing Hymn 85 in the Portuguese hymn book, “Deus Vos Guarde”—“God Be with You (till we meet again).” We split it all into parts to sing, so it was right professional. We went before class to the MTC garden to sing but didn’t tell Sister Correa. We left a note on the whiteboard in our class for her to look out the window -- she would find us in the garden. We were all standing there when she looked and when she came out, we started our singing. By the end we were all crying and it was awesome. She said we couldn’t have done anything nicer :) 

The following Monday, the departing missionaries sat in the auditorium for an all-day field orientation. Rumors are that field orientation is the longest day, but I loved it! I actually was thinking that I could’ve used it on the first day of the MTC because there was so much useful stuff! Also, I answered a question correctly and won a Snickers bar, so that was quite excellent! 

Tuesday: we left for the mission field! On Monday night we had district prayer, and our last prayer together really reflected our district. We all burst out laughing in the middle! It could have been more reverent, yes, indeed, but we are all really good friends and I think it just showed how well we got to know each other; we are family. And then we elders sang "Popular" along with the sisters.

So now really: Tuesday. We woke up early and went down to the buses where we would drive to the mission home which was about 30 minutes away. On the way from my room to the buses I managed to 1. lose a lock, 2. move faster than I have ever in my life because we all wanted to get down to the buses as quickly as possible because we were running a little late, and 3. rip my suit pants. I was told to double stitch them in the MTC and did not heed the advice: double stitch your missionary pants, you will be so happy you did that thing. 

We arrived at the mission home and met the mission president and his wife—President and Sister Silcox! They are so nice and are really good people. I was assigned my companion, Elder Martins who is from Porto Portugal (where Caleb Judd will be serving his mission) and were told our zone: São José dos Campos! We are in an area called Jardim Satélite and are opening it for missionary work, so we are essentially starting from scratch. That’s fine though; looking forward to the opportunity! We took the ônibus about two hours to the area and had dinner at a church member’s house, and then went to the apartment. We spent all Wednesday cleaning and getting everything organized, and we have been out contacting every day since. It’s all going well; I’m working hard and having a great time! 

A spiritual thought this week: I’ve been thinking about repentance, and why repenting is a commandment. Because doesn’t Heavenly Father want us all to become obedient to the point where we don’t want to sin? The commandment to repent and change for good helps us work towards that. Besides needing to repent to show humility and become clean to return to live with God after this life, I think when it comes down to it, we need to repent to know God. Repenting allows us to continually focus on the blessings of Christ’s sacrifice for us personally. When we repent, we show we are still trying and willing to take the name of Christ upon ourselves, to turn our hearts to Him. It’s all in the sacrament prayer—to remember. We learn of God’s love and our purpose in this life: preparing to return to Him. 

That is the week! I’ll send photos next week when I remember my camera ... oops.

Love you all and I hope you are doing right swell!! 

Also, please send me notes of the blessings you all see in your lives! 

Elder Hughes 

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