Friday, August 14, 2015

Mission Field on Tuesday!

So last week was Brazilian Fathers Day, so happy Fathers Day Pops! Love ya! 

So have I gained weight in the CTM? Perhaps, though the scale says I have lost one kilo. Also, we are in our last week here and we’re going into the mission field on Tuesday!! So exciting!! 

This week we were trying to translate "sponge cake" into Portuguese to ask for some more at breakfast, but we didn’t know how to say it, and the best translation we came up with was "damp bread." The Brazilians were quite confused and we were all laughing really, really hard! 

Elder Merrill was sweeping during service this week and swept a lamp for some reason, and he broke a huge light bulb -- the kind that lights a basketball court big. All the CTM knows him now haha. It’s all fine and everyone got a kick out of it! 

Last night I woke up to Elder Merrill and Elder Baker having a loud conversation at 3 am while I was trying to sleep and I had to ask what had prompted such a seemingly energetic conversation at such a sleepy time of day. Turns out, one of our Brazilian roommates had fallen out of his top bunk bed and got a concussion! (He’s doing well now don’t worry!) Elder Baker and Elder Batten went to get the doctor here, and Elder Merrill and I talked to him in Portuguese and helped him calm down. We gave him a blessing in Portuguese too which was super cool and he’s going about missionary work today just fine! 

Since I got here, I’ve fallen in love with Brazilian food, so I decided to play my cards right from the beginning and would always go for seconds since the first week. The Lunch ladies know me now, and they know that I know how to eat. Every once in a while--like once a meal--the lunch lady will sneak me the biggest piece of chicken left or give me two desserts, wink at me, then tell me to keep quiet. I don’t speak, and I remain happy. Works for me. 

This week we got new missionaries on Wednesday like normal...ONLY WE GOT 36 NEW AMERICANS. Before us, there were two groups of 6 Americans who got to the Brazil CTM in six months. Our branch had to undergo mitosis literally because there wasn’t a room big enough for all us! (Don’t hear of branches splitting too often, huh?) The work is moving right along here in Brazil and it is awesome!! 

So one teacher was in our classroom this week (the teachers sometimes just walk in and they aren’t even ours and they just ask us questions about how we study. Elder Merrill and I are like celebrities cause we pretty much have the accent and everything). This one teacher served in Chile though, and David Archuleta was his Zone Leader! He emails Elder A. every once in a while and they are good friends! 

A spiritual thought: I found myself not wanting to leave the CTM this week, but also really wanting to just go work in the mission field too. I remembered a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called “Theologians Tale.” In the poem, a priest is working and praying when Christ appears to him personally and they talk. Just as Christ appears to him however, a crowd shows up to the church because they need food. He has an internal struggle over whether he´ll serve the people, or stay and converse with Christ personally. He chooses to serve the people and provides free soup for them.

This was on my mind this week because the CTM is so spiritual, the people are so kind, and I have a comfortable bed and water and lunch lady friends and sometimes even an extra dessert if I’m lucky. But I’m here in Brazil to get to work and to serve. Missionaries are serving around the globe to bless the lives of others and not think about themselves, not to have a vacation for two years and think about how comfortable they are. Like the priest in Longfellow's poem, we each have to make the personal decision here whether we’ll do the job we’ve been called to do, or do what we think seems best for us personally. I decided I’m ready to serve. 

At the end of Longfellow´s poem, the priest returns to his room after a day of service, and Christ reappears to the man, and tells him that if he hadn’t gone to serve, Christ would not have been able to stay with him at all because the priest would have put his own desires over those of others. The point of the poem is that we need to have charity and we have to remember the greatest example of service there is--Christ. When we feel like we need a rest or we’re comfortable, we need think of Him who gave all, and we have motivation to follow His example with the blessing that He will be with us while we are serving. And it's fun! : )

Well, this week we head to the field, and I am quite excited! I pray for everyone back home and hope everyone is doing well and is healthy! Love you all!! 

Elder Hughes 

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