First things first: This week was both really rainy and really hot, and we even found a Wal Mart that had American things! I did not find any 3M stuff at Wal Mart Brasil, so that was a bummer, but I did find Snickers Bars! They didn’t have any Colossal 100 Protein Bars. I shed a single tear and sucked it up. However, our ward mission leader who works for Pepsi is going to Dallas this week and is gonna hook an Elder up.
Yesterday we had a fireside at the MTC in São Paulo with the area presidency of Brazil. They showed a clip of missionaries in Brazil. John Frye was one of them, from Napa Stake! I think he served in Recife. It was cool to see people I knew!
Elder Hurst and I (the two Americans here in São José) decided that we loved patriotic music during the mission zone blitz this week. We sang about 5 songs over and over, including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “You’re A Grand Old Flag,” and “I’m Proud To Be An American.” Never have I ever been so happy to sing American music! We sang and laughed.
To explain a blitz: a mission blitz is when all the missionaries in a zone go to the same area for a day to visit people on the church ward (congregation) list to see if they still live in the area, share messages and help with any needed service. We also do contacts during the blitz to help the people of that area-- the blitz was in our area of Jardim Satélite. We had a great time and helped a good deal.
This week we also had interviews with President Silcox, mission president here. He interviews missionaries in our mission every three months to get to know each missionary better and to give support, advice, answer questions, etc. He had very good advice for me that was specific just for me. My interview was really good; President Silcox is awesome! He had great, specific advice for me and talked about specific things I’ve done well. He really cares about the mission, the missionaries and the people here! He started the interview with me in Portuguese and we just continued it all in Portuguese. He’s pleased with my progress. He shared scriptures with me about giving thanks and about gratitude, and strongly advised me when I go to the temple this Wednesday to just give thanks, so that’s what I’ll do!
This week I also gave my first talk in Portuguese at church. Right before the meeting, the secretary from the ward asked me to speak for 3 minutes on faith. Cool, I can do that, I thought. However, when I stood up to speak, the Bishop asked me to take 15 minutes!! What?! I gave a good talk for 5 minutes, rambled for another 5, and then closed when the Spirit guided me to a perfect closing thought. My organization was creative, but everyone said I spoke really good Portuguese, so that was a success! I felt somewhat like a child speaking so awkwardly, but hey; such is the Kingdom of Heaven, right? Haha.
And this week I have been thinking a lot about faith. This area is hard -- hard to find people willing to listen, and here you need to have faith to keep working hard and not slack off. I remembered Abraham this week. He waited for so much time to have a son, only to later be instructed to sacrifice him. However, because he endured the trial of faith and accepted that he would follow the God’s will, Isaac was spared, and Abraham and was blessed beyond measure. The trial of our faith brings blessings that we can’t comprehend. Family scripture: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. We can’t even imagine all of the blessings.
That was the week! I am doing swell! Serving makes me happy!
I’ll continue to pray for you all. Love you!
Elder Walker Hughes