Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 26 | Christmas, loving the mission, and upcoming transfer

Hi all! You are my favorite!

Wow, what a Christmas present to get to talk with family.
I hope all was good yesterday!

This week was a really great week filled with lots of visits and lots of holiday-inspired reflections. I was thinking about how Christ´s birth has made a difference in my life personally. Because Christ was born, do I act differently? Or, how am I a different person because Christ was born? And how does Christ´s birth affect those around me? How does Christmas make me who I am? I think when we answer these questions we see our faith in action. We see where we place our faith and how it grows, and how it can bless us as well as those around us. 

It´s interesting to think how because Christ was born, all of us can be reborn. I like the fact that the gospel is Christ´s way of saying that He believes in our eternal potential. In fact, He believes in our potential so much that he was born so that he could die for us. President Hinkley once said that we can't really understand Christmas without Easter—the knowledge of Christ's atonement and resurrection can change how we act and how we see the world and everyone here. When I think of Christmas, I think of how I can do my part to bring this message to others and how it can bless others.

Loving the mission. Loving serving and talking with people. And sharing the gospel and listening to their stories.

My companion Elder Chartrand is a classical pianist so he played a little of the Messiah this week for us. It was pretty great. Cool how God inspires us to bless others in unexpected ways. Handel, who died many years ago, is still blessing others through his music. His ministry has continued after his death. Just like Jesus.

So tomorrow we will have the transfer! I'm  going back to São José dos Campos in the ward Jacareí. That´ll be my third ward in that stake; should be good! At 3pm, I need to be at Estação Portuguesa Tietê to get a bus to São José! Woot! And bonus, São Jose has really good açaí ha ha! I hope you all are well and loving the Christmas season! 

Love you lots; it was great to see you and talk to you! Have a great week! 

Elder Hughes

December 19 | Tender Mercies

Hi --I love you all lots!

We met many new people to talk with and teach this week which was really great ... One couple is Rose and Antonio. We went to an appointment the other day and it fell through, but Rose and Antonio were in the street where we were, and they spent some good time talking with us. They are a couple of about 77 years a piece. They invited us over to talk more with them.

When we were at their home, they had a whole lot of questions about the church and the restored gospel which was awesome. They stay at home reading philosophy and the Bible and religious books of all types all days. They both know Hebrew too. Their house has a library that is super open and has a piano too. They offered us Russian black tea at the end of the lesson, and we said no thank you, we don't drink black tea, so Rose said she had a different tea we could enjoy. It was super good, and we ate organic homemade apple-walnut cake she made too. She also gave us cocoa sugar which was awesome!! I kept the little paper wrapper from the tea and the next day I read it ... it was in French and said “Thé Noir.” Oops ... we ended up drinking black tea in the end... good thing we were innocent! They are super interesting people and feel a great need to be part of a church; their difficulty is in getting around and out to church, but we are hoping they come this week. Pray for them!

As for tender mercies, we have been able to recognize the Savior's hand in this area since we found so many new, interested people this week. There were three days where a whole lot of people came to us to learn about the gospel which was so different -- people stopping us in the street, the market, etc. Awesome and clearly a miracle.

My companion, Elder Chartrand is speaking extremely well for his two transfers in the mission field and is doing really well with the learning and adjusting to missionary life, so that is a miracle too. Overall, all is going really well!

Our sacrament / church meeting will be at 5pm our time here. Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas eve until (at least) midnight here.
Please pray for Rose and Antionio and Marcia and Rose (a different one) and Nilda this week!

I hope you have a great week and I can't wait for Christmas!

Elder Hughes

Secret Santa exchange: Elder Bush gave me a pig tail and chocolate. Yum!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

December 12 | Missionary Work

Elders Amancio, Vasconcelos, me
This was a good week!
It’s extremely hot here—got a sunburn through my shirt the other day while singing at a stake choir performance of Christmas songs here on a street corner on Saturday—good stuff!

What I love about missionary work right now is how we can see the gospel have a huge, transformative effect in peoples’ lives. I feel like maybe I’m understanding missionary work these days? Maybe? But I think the greatest thing I’ve learned is that love actually is the greatest commandment and the best way to teach and work in our service. That's often easily said but sometimes so difficult to do. God´s love is manifest through the gospel and the gospel changes us into who we can be eternally if we want. Seeing the changes that people choose to make with the gospel in their lives is awesome and shows that a loving God has a plan for each one of us.

What I really love about my mission right now is how I get to learn everyday and be converted to the Savior.  I love seeing how the Savior helps God´s plan unfold in our lives as we live the gospel principles. The Gospel put in context in the plan of salvation makes that conversion possible I think.

This week we had the Christmas Zone Conference devotional which was cool. It was with the Penha Zone in Penha. There was a training on our desires and how they affect our priorities and how our priorities affect our actions, thus determining where we go and who we become. The point was about making resolutions for the coming year and I thought it was really cool. It made me think about how I use my agency every day—how I choose to follow the gospel, follow Christ, and how I set my priorities and goals.

Also, yesterday we had a Regional Conference of sorts—this one was for all of Brasil. It was from Salt Lake with Elder Holland, Maynes, Presidente Costa (General Authority President of Brazil Area), Elder Costa (General Authority Seventy from Argentina) and Sister Cordon from the Primary Presidency. Elder Holland spoke in Portuguese for a good 5 minutes too and then spoke in English with a translator, but he bore his testimony in Portuguese in the end which was awesome! 

Have a great week!!  Love you all!
Elder Hughes

Thanks for all the birthday wishes too! Not a surprise, but we ate pizza which was an excellent choice if you ask me haha.

Generations: Elders Chartrand, Martins, me and two "sons," and Martins’ trainee Elder Heredias del Cid
Me and Elder David
Com Papai Noel
Elder Merrill and I

December 5 | Sharing Hope and Being an Influence for Good

Hi all!

This week was good and I'm feeling a lot better, though the sickness got a lot worse before it got better. I called Sister Silcox and got a medicine that helped, though I think it made me a little loopy (maybe) 'cause every night this week I dreamed about Thailand. Odd, but maybe cause Syd and Ben were there? Who knows.

This week was fairly uneventful due to the getting sick but we had some cool experiences with contacting people in the streets and talking about the Light of the World program that we are also participating in. People are much more gracious for talking with us and most of them invited us back for second visits so that was a miracle! Good stuff is happening here in Sao Joca!

As for those quotes* that everyone can be an influence, and that we all are influences...

Ive been thinking a lot about how we can have a perfect brightness of hope in everything and how we can share that hope, and how we can be an influence for good for others around us. When we talk to people on the streets and teach people, we often don't ever see the full fruits of what we share, but we know we are able to influence peoples’ lives in some small way as we talk about Christ and share how He can bless us and change us. Teachings have an amazing way of teaching for years after the teacher leaves. For example, a brother from the ward shared a story with us that he heard while on his mission, which we then shared with like 5 investigators and members afterwards, and I’ll definitely share it more times. That brother heard the story from a companion on his mission who heard it from a family tradition story telling. So one story being shared has influenced the lives of probably hundreds of people over many years. That is wild to me. And very clearly shows me how we can all influence others in some way, whether small or large. 

Well, tomorrow I will be 21. Tomorrow I will be old. Like even more unto an Adult. Though I don't feel like an adult. I feel like a missionary, which is safer. I will be old and such and we will likely eat pizza which will be rad! Wish me luck and health! 

I hope you have a great week! Love you!
Elder Hughes

- - -

*" Every person who lives in this world wields an influence, whether for good or for bad. The effect of our words and acts is tremendous in the world. Every moment of life you are changing to a degree the lives of the whole world." —President David O. McKay

" God does watch over us and does notice us, but it is usually through someone else that He meets our needs." —President Spencer W. Kimball

Somewhat awkward photo in Corinthians jerseys.

November 28 | Being Sick, Gratitude, and the Road to Emmaus

Thanksgiving Feast
This week was a good week. It was both super hot and super cold and rainy like normal (which is odd at times). But there´s no complaining. However, I did get sorta sick this week so any prayers would be excellent! We spent the day at home on Saturday. First time of the mission like that for me but very necessary. I was having a rough time—had a wild fever but that's gone away now, now its just a cough and sore throat. Called Sister Silcox and she gave me some ideas for medicines to buy so I will do that today right quick! Worst sickness I've had since Junior year of high school I think, when I stayed home for a week, though I´m quite better and keeping positive! All good! Tell the grandparents I'm praying for all of them to get better soon too.

On the 7th of December we have the Zone conference/Christmas conference with the Penha zone as well. Elder Martins, Elder David (both of whom are leaving for casa on the 27th of Dec.) are in Penha, and so is Elder Amancio (all previous companions)! It´ll be cool to see them all again! And yes, we will be doing the Christmas Light the World acts of service! We have a little card that tells us what each day´s theme is so we can participate. Should be great!

I really like that story about the disciples on the road to Emmaus. It´s one of my favorites in the New Testament. Shows how powerful the Sacrament can be for sure. And how many times is Christ by our side but we don´t recognize Him?

I´m happy the holiday went well! What all did you cook for the fam there to the Calistoga? We ate some pizza to celebrate Thanksgiving—though the pizza we ate was quite glorious, so that was quite worth it—tough due to lots of pizza recently we are now abstaining from pizza these days ... though pizza here is so good... sigh. Elder Miranda has been making horchata for us all these past few days which has been pretty awesome. Definitely tasty! Also the house is all painted and is doing well. I missed you all on Thanksgiving too, but as for the saudade, I felt saudade only like this, "Man the family is all together! Next year will be great!" Your prayers worked in my behalf.

Maria and Eduardo are excellent! They noticed I was a wee bit sick yesterday at church so Maria gave me lots of sickness medicines that she had with her in her purse haha. 

This was a great week filled with gratitude and thankfulness. I think sometimes we don´t recognize the Lord´s hand immediately (at least that's something that I am trying to do better with). However, one of the keys is gratitude. Showing and giving thanks for His hand in our lives is how we can better recognize who He is. Like the disciples going to Emmaus, they only recognized that Christ was Christ when they ate bread He had given them. When we recognize the daily spiritual bread Christ gives us, we can understand who He is and know how to come unto Him. And we feel happier --

Love you! That was the week! It was good and filled with gratitude.

Have a great week!

English class on Thanksgiving

Attempt at making tacos

November 21 | Transfers, Painting, and Ponderizing

The Zone
Hi all!

This week was pretty great. This week was transfers, and my new comp is Elder Chartrand from Turlock, CA. He studied Piano and Chemistry at BYU for a year before the mission. He was in the Itaquera zone for a transfer; he is in his second transfer of training right now, though again, I am the one learning. Going well!

We got a call from the House Secretary on Wednesday that he was gonna pass by to look at the house since we had asked him to come last transfer. He ended up re-cementing the floor in the bathroon because it was leaking, and he came back Friday to paint inside the house! So essentially two days were used for the house repairs but they were much needed. We are putting the second coat on right now so after email we are going to paint! Woot!

Ruana was baptised yesterday. She came to church a few times my first transfer here and then wasn't able to attend again until more recently. Elder Moraes and Miranda have been teaching her, though I had taught her a couple times in the first transfer. We are all super happy for her. The baptism was yesterday at 4pm and was super good. There were a bunch of people there to support her and the Young Women sang a hymn for her. Overall super cool experience!

This Thursday will be Thanksgiving and we will have English Class! Will be good to speak some of the native tongue on the National Holiday.

As for this week, I was ponderizing what it means to truly do something and to act in Christ´s name. In the GEE (Bible Dictionary in Portuguese) it says that to do something in Christ´s name means that we do what He would do and act as He would act and speak as He would speak. I think doing thing´s in Christ´s name means that we always remember Him, that we keep the commandments, and are willing to take His name upon us. The Sacramental prayers. At Ruana´s baptism, a ward member commented how quick the ordinance of baptism is, which made me think about how quickly we can make the change to follow Christ. Then as we make these small changes continually to follow Him every day, we can act in His name.

Well, I love you! Have a great week!

Painting the house--Elder Melo

Me, Ruana, and Elder Chartrand

Taken 30 minutes ago, finishing the paint job

November 14

At the Temple
Lost on Avenida Paulista

Elder Rodrigues´last day (with Eduardo)

Forgot how to spell class in english class

Breakfast today

November 7

Zone Photo, half of us thought it was serious and half funny

Eduardos baptism and his family!

October 31

October 24 | Setting off Alarms and Kneeling in Prayer

Hi all I love you to pieces! :)

We went to Vila Mariana on Thursday to do a baptismal interview, and the sisters who were also there had stopped by the Mission office earlier that day, and they brought my box! I was very happy, I do say!! I now have happy feet. Thanks for sending everything!

This was a pretty great week. The busiest day was Friday. We had interviews this Friday so we all went to the Stake Center in Monumento (where we had the independence day activity) and when we got there, President hadn't gotten there yet. We tried to open the chapel but ended up setting off the security alarm so that was fun. It turned off really quickly but we went in and waited for President to get there. We had interviews with Sister Silcox in our duplas about the Area Book and planners and then with President. It was all super quick and then we went home.

That afternoon, we had a lesson with Adriano. We were teaching him (following up really) about the Book of Mormon to see if he felt it was true after reading, and after praying to know. We had a good discussion, and he then asked to be baptised the next day! That was awesome! He will be baptised this coming Saturday because we all felt it better for him to invite his family to come to the baptism. Super happy for Adriano!

At night we taught Eduardo. He is Maria's husband—Maria, who was baptised recently. We called him earlier in the week to schedule, but he couldn't come. He called us Friday morning after the interviews that he could come that evening. We went to the chapel to teach him right after Adriano. It was one of the most strongly spiritual lessons while teaching on my mission. Eduardo has been going to church ever since Maria's baptism some months ago but never has accepted a baptismal date because he wants to wait to know the church and the gospel better. We taught about how we have to open our eyes and ears sometimes to see God in our lives--we have to actually try and work for it. In the end he accepted to go through the baptismal interview which is awesome. He didn't accept a baptismal date but stepping stones! Good lesson.

We also had stake conference which was super good and President Silcox talked about what our life would be like without the gospel, and without divine help, which was perfect for some of the great people we are teaching.

This week I read that in only one place in all of scripture is Christ´s mode of prayer described. In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ kneeled. It is so simple but He kneeled to suffer for our sins. When we kneel to pray every night, we do so in the likeness of the Savior in Gethsemane as He suffered for our sins. That made me think differently about personal prayer. As I repent of my sins on my knees, I do so in the likeness of the Savior as He suffered my sins. I felt that was really interesting too. Prayer is a powerful tool, and I wonder how much I underestimate it at times. And what would the quality of my life be like without prayer? Prayer is powerful and is necessary; it is how we can also seek the Heavenly Father´s will, and not ours.

Well I love you! I hope you have an excellent week filled with foods and good things!

Elder Hughes

Also, I am feeling a little bit with a cold but I'm doing good. It's Elder Rodrigues and Miranda that are sick now. I hope its not because of me! Love you!!

October 17 |


Saturday, October 15, 2016

October 10, 2016 | Learning to pray in Spanish

This week was James’ baptism. James came to Seminary many weeks ago with his friend João, and we were able to start teaching him. He accepted the baptismal invitation and was baptised this past Saturday. On Saturday, James had to work until 12 noon, and the baptism was scheduled at 3. We (missionaries) all got to the chapel at 2 to clean the font and have his interview, but he didn't get there. All of his friends showed up, but we were missing him, the Ward Mission Leader, and a member from the bishopric—so pretty much everyone necessary for the baptism haha. James arrived at 4:00 because he had to work late a little, and the WML and Bishopric counselor arrived at the same time, so that was also great. I shall send photos!

Elder Rodrigues is doing well in his adjustment to Portuguese again haha. He sometimes starts speaking in Spanish without knowing it which can be pretty entertaining. He taught me how to pray in Spanish which is pretty cool! I’m gonna try and take advantage of the three fluent Spanish speakers I live with and learn some Spanish. I think Elder Rodrigues speaks better Spanish than Elder Miranda though (He’s almost forgotten everything. Oh yeah, I live with Elder Miranda who was in Sao Jose and Mogi with me. We’ve essentially followed each other the entire mission, never companions, but always having church in the same chapel. We were in the trio (with Elder Wengreen) only for one working day and then there was General Conference. This week working/serving with Elder Rodrigues went really well. We were blessed helping James prepare for baptism,  and have a baptism scheduled for this week too. Pray for Adriano!

This week I was thinking about how God is present in all of our lives, whether we recognize it or not. Since God really is our Father, I think He wants to be present in our lives just as our earthly parents want to be present. He´s blessing us continually with all sorts of things and sometimes we just don’t see that. We each have a personal history and relationship with Him, but again, at times we don’t realize that He actually wants to make Himself present in our lives. Yesterday we went to a member´s house and left a short message with them. I was planning on sharing a scripture in the Book of Mormon with them, but when I opened up my scriptures; the pages opened to Doctrine & Covenants 31, and I read the first verse I saw, which was verse 9. I read that as well as verses 11-13, and the Sister said that she felt God talking directly to her, and that that verse was exactly what she needed. God made himself present in her life through a scripture, and we were there to witness it. That added to my testimony that God really is our Father, and really does love us!

Well, that was the week. It was super good and super hectic but those are the highlights! I hope you have a great week! Love you!!

Elder Hughes

Cleaning the font before the baptism.
James in the middle, me and Elder Rodrigues.

October 3, 2016 | "So even babies can understand."

Elder Rodrigues is second from the left.

This was a great week with Conference and such. Last Wednesday President Silcox called me and he informed me that we´d be getting a new companion this week. We picked the new comp up from the bus station Thursday. His name is Elder Rodrigues from Fortaleza. He was serving in Argentina for 8 months but last week he got a call from his mission president there who called him to his office. His call had been changed in Salt Lake, and he´s now in the Sau Paulo Leste mission. Elder Wengreen is being transfered to Sao Jose Dos Campos, and  Elder Rodrigues and I are staying in Ipiranga. Elder Meireles also was transferred, and Elder Miranda will be in our area with us too. Good stuff!

Teaching English this week to Maria about clothes vocab:
Maria: Is that panters? Elder Wengreen: No, that is jeans.
Don't know why but I laughed quite a bit!

I thought there was a huge emfassiss (that is spelled wrong but I don't know how to spell it) on faith and repentance. I also noticed there were many talks that included first two lessons in the missionary discussions-- the Restoration of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation and how the plan was made to make us all happy. I am trying to learn how to simplify my language a whole lot so even babies that can't speak can understand when I'm teaching the lessons.

I also liked President Eyrings talk about Gratitude and the sabbath day, and Elder Renlund's talk about repentance being joyful, and Elder Bednar´s about do we know things about Christ, or are we learning so we can know Him. Élder Christofferson did his own translation for his talk in Portuguese which was cool! He almost doesn't have any accent, though he said a couple words in Spanish. He served his mission in Argentina which explains that. I'm guessing he did the translations for Spanish and Portuguese on the same day. And I have never heard another talk so fervent about home teaching as Elder Holland's. That was something else.

I also found President Monson’s talk about the Word of Wisdom really interesting. If the Prophet speaks it must be pretty important. That's one of the commandments that has to be lived before baptism, and we teach the principles to all of our investigators. I was happy to receive instruction from our leaders and be taught more about the gospel to better live it.

This week was a really good week and I'm excited for the next transfer here in Ipiranga. Hopefully all goes well. Please pray for us! I know the Gospel is true!
Love you all!!

Elder Hughes

Elder Hirst went home this week.
Ben and Jerry's and Grapefruit Soda are a rarity here -- between conference saturday sessions.
With Elder Merrill, MTC comp.

Zona Ipiranga
Elder Ambriz, Melo, Martins, Hughes (that's me!), Wengreen
Elder Wengreen found a US Air Force toy and became overjoyed.

September 26, 2016 | Pants, Paulino, and experiencing grace

Paulino’s baptism

This was a good week. We taught more lessons this week that I've ever taught on my mission and we found three families to teach! So that was a blessing. We were seriously blessed this week for trying new things to find investigators which confirms that God guides us to those who are prepared to receive the Gospel.

One major experience this week was a baptismal interview I did with a man names Paulino from Cabo Verde, Africa. He is from the Vila Mariana ward so I went there to do the interview since I'm the District Leader of that area. Paulino has been in Brasil for a year and 8 months and works and studies from 5am to 11pm every night to support his family in Africa. He first got in contact with the Church in Africa before he moved here but lost contact after the move. He passed a year and a half here without any contact with the Church. One day about a month or two ago he saw two Elders in the street and called for them to talk with him, and he started going to Church. He lived in the Sisters area in Vila Mariana though so he started getting the lessons from them.

Paulino was very committed to be baptised in the Church but the Sisters found out recently that he was going through some serious family issues and was feeling like he couldn't be baptised last Saturday (when I did the interview). Saturday, he told me all this and was nearly in tears and asked if he could be baptised with such a heavy heart. I told him that he needed to pray for a personal conviction that his baptism was the right thing. I told him we were going to use faith that moment and that if God would give any answer, he would give an answer to know if following His Son was the right thing or not. He prayed and immediately after he asked for a piece of paper. I got him one and he ripped it in four pieces and asked the missionaries to all come to talk with him. We were all wondering what he wanted--yikes! When we all gathered to talk with him, he'd written the names of the four Elders there to choose who would baptise him! Ha! Paulino said that since everyone had the priesthood, it didn't matter to him who it was so he wanted to choose a name. His feelings had completely changed because he had faith that God would inspire him to do what was right.

That's the uplifting grace of the Atonement that he felt. That he was baptised for remission of sins, the forgiving power of the Atonement. In one hour, Paulino experienced the fullness of the Atonement´s power, to both lift, and forgive and be forgiven.

That was one of the best experiences of my mission I think because I was taught so much and Paulino was taught by the Spirit God´s will for him so immediately and clearly and distinctly. Heavenly Father knows His children.

In terms of health I'm fine and good and kicking. I've managed to rip two pairs of pants this week. I think I'm being tested with my pants as part of the mission because literally every pair I've worn has ripped :) We´re working hard and getting a lot done. I hope you have a great week and that all goes well! I'm excited to hear what you learn during Conference!

Love you !

Elder Hughes

We were drawing with our eyes closed while waiting at the church for an appointment ...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Independence Day in Brasil

This week was really good. Silvio was baptised Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. His baptism was full with people from church and his family from Itaquera. He was ecstatic to be baptised. We had some new people at sacrament meeting, and Eduardo, Maria’s husband, is progressing towards baptism! There is a group going to the temple this week and hopefully Eduardo will be able to go. We will be able to teach him in the waiting room there. We also had the Independence Day /7th of September activity which was awesome!

Last Monday night I woke up at 4 am to pouring rain and was thirsty so I went downstairs to get a cup of water but when I went back upstairs, I slammed the door on my finger! That was not an excellent experience, but it was memorable haha. Also, it rained quite a bit this week. 

On Wednesday, we went to the Stake Center which is where the Monumento ward meets, for the Brazilian Independence day activity. While we were there, the missionaries paired off with the young men to hand out pamphlets about families at the actual monument there where Dom Pedro declared independence from Portugal (Elders Ambriz and Martins who are Portuguese had a good time taking pictures there haha). I was with Elder de Souza (who I was gonna train in Penha before I was transferred elsewhere when I left Mogi), and Joao and Juninho from my ward here. We shared a bunch of pamphlets about the importance of families which was awesome. Before we started, President Nigri, the Stake president, asked us to follow the spirit to find the right people to talk to. Joao wanted to talk to a guy and a girl who were sitting on a bench in the park, so we talked to them -- a returned missionary with his girlfriend who isn’t a church member; so that was great! We invited them to go to the church and learn more about family history. Juninho wanted to talk to a security guard we saw, so we talked to him and turned out that he had worked in the Missionary Training Center here in São Paulo for 7 years but wasn’t a church member. He’d lost contact with anything church-related for about 3 years and we were able to refer him to the chapel in Monumento and invited him to join us at church on Sunday. The two young men were guided by the Spirit just like Pres. Nigri asked them to be. 

On Saturday we went to the chapel at 3pm to prepare for Silvio´s baptism. We filled up the font but lo and behold, there was an ant problem that no one saw. We tried to scoop them all out, but there were some visitors in the water during the baptism. However, no one noticed, so that was a nice tender mercy. Silvio´s family from Itaquera was there which was really nice. He has goals to be married in the temple in a year with his girlfriend who is a member. Silvio is the referral I called a few weeks ago, who, when I told him we were the missionaries, asked to be baptized while we were on the phone! It astounds me how the Lord prepares His children to accept the gospel when the opportunity presents. 

This week we taught the mom of a member here in the ward named Marta. Marta is trying to decide which church she wants to go to. She had a lot of questions—whether she should continue in her current church, or join her son´s church now later in her life. It popped in my head to share the parable of the laborers in the field, where the laborers who worked for different amounts of time all received the same pay at the end of the day. I asked her why they all received the same pay and she responded because they all did their part for what the Lord asked them. We then shared in 2 Nephi 31 that the Lord asks us to be baptised and follow His example. We explained the doctrine of baptism and how is has to be done through the restored priesthood authority. She said it made sense to her, and that she would pray to know if it was true. She didn’t come to church Sunday, but we recognized the inspiration to say the things Marta needed to hear for the Restoration to make sense to her. I had a few experiences where words were put into my mouth this week to help investigators better understand the gospel which was awesome. The Lord inspires us through the Spirit, and that is a tender mercy. I love the Lord, and the mission is converting me to Him more than anything else I think.

That was the week! It was a good one despite jamming my finger in the door haha. I started rereading the Book of Mormon this week. Essentially 1 Nephi is all about receiving treasures from heaven according to our obedience and faith. Revelation, tender mercies, miracles, guidance, it’s all there. I liked in 1 Nephi 7:16-18 about Nephi being bound but praying for strength to overcome, instead of praying that his situation be changed. We can all rely on the grace and gift of the Atonement for this—the ability to change instead of lamenting over the imperfections we see. That is why Christ sacrificed for us, and we have the opportunity to follow His example to overcome and progress. As His representative I bear testimony of it!

Hope you all have an excellent week! Hope all is well at home. Love you! 

Elder Hughes 
Silvio is in the red tie!
Monumento ward / Stake Center
Dom Pedro's palace
Zona Ipiranga
Attention: Works of the Lord
(found in our apartment while cleaning)