|Brazilian rainstorm from my window.|
This week was good and we’re finally finding people to teach who are really interested. Also, I went to a meeting this week with an investigator (a good ‘ole trade of church meetings, though he didn’t end up going to ours).
This week it rained cats and dogs so much. I actually caught a pretty bad cold this week too, which was a real bummer, but I walked it off. We had a Zone Conference this week with the 1st counselor in the Brasil Area Presidency, Elder Mazzagardi, who is in the 2nd quorum of the 70. It was really cool! He talked for hours to us without stopping and we all felt like complete rule breakers haha. It wasn’t meant to be a rebuking, but we all realized how much more potential we have as missionaries. President Silcox (Mission President) surprised me and called on me from the pulpit to give the closing prayer.
I gave the prayer, and blessed the food we had to eat, and when we were eating, all the missionaries here asked me who I was and I explained that I was new and that this is my first transfer. They were generally surprised at my answer! One Brazillian Elder asked me how long I’d been in country, and I told him I’d been in the field four weeks, and he told me he thought I’d been in the field for at least seven months! That lifted my spirits from being sick (I had a fever during the whole conference I’m pretty sure).
We also did divisions this week, or splits as they are called in the US. I went to Vista Verde with Elder Morales from our district, and we taught one man who was very receptive and asked about the age for baptism. We explained that we don’t baptize infants, and I felt impressed to share Moroni 8 with him, that talks about how "little children are alive in Christ." He really liked the message and asked many more questions!
This week we switched up my training program to where essentially I’m acting as the senior companion now, and I try and cope haha. Really it’s not that bad and I like the structure that I have when planning now. I make all the phone calls to the members about our lunch appointments. My first phone call in Portuguese was absolutely terrifying and I had no idea what was being said to me, so Elder Martins politely called back for a repeat of the conversation.
Also, yesterday we had lunch with Manu and her husband Rogerio whom we love! And a lucky surprise... we also had dinner with them! Elder Miranda from Mexico and Elder Monteiro also came along who live nearby and are in the other ward here, and Elder Miranda made tacos. So good! I missed Mexican food so much. I wore my suit to lunch right after church, and when we left their house the first time, we received a call from them that "Elder Hughes might not know, but he has a hole in his pants. Like really really big!" As it turns out, not only had the hole reopened, it got worse. As Elder Martins would say, "Que bênção." (The phone call -- what a blessing) haha. Also, I have now learned twice about the importance of the double-stitch. Guess it’s time to do the double-stitching.
During the week I was thinking about the change of heart talked about in Alma 5. At some point we all must experience this change of heart to fully accept the doctrine and Gospel of Christ. This change of heart is what allows us to "awake from a deep sleep, and awake unto God." I like those verses in Alma 5 a lot (verses 1 to 7). At this point in my mission I am ready to more fully devote myself to the work even more; I have been ready and focused pretty much all my mission and am trying to be 100% obedient every day, but the more skills I learn here the more I realize I’m capable of. Like with the language, I didn’t know I apparently speak like I’ve already completed a quarter of my mission! (ha ha). With our testimonies, we always have room to grow and always have room for more potential in our conviction. We just need to work everyday on how we each personally can awake unto God.
Well, that is about it! This week went fast as have all the others. I’m healthy and going strong.
We need all the prayers we can get.
Love you all and I will continue to pray for you!