Monday, January 18, 2016

Dreaming in Portuguese

Elder Amâncio, Bispo Alan Cardoso, me, J. and G after Saturday's baptism.

This was a good week and also a really wet one. It rains everyday now—and it’s summer—so it’s hot and really humid. And it makes me sweat. I’m getting used to it! 

This week we received many, many blessings. We met a family with the help of a church member, and they are eager to accept the restored gospel and be baptized! Awesome! Many other people appeared almost out of nowhere during the week who have interest in hearing and learning about the gospel and what it has to offer in their lives, and we’re super excited about the work in this area now! This week we had two baptisms—two sons of a member who were never baptized for various reasons. Awesome stuff. They are 10 and 11 years old, and were baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday (Sunday). Also, a wedding date and baptism date have been scheduled and set for M. and G. today! They are a 75- and 73-year-old couple who have been together for many years. They will be baptized on Valentine’s day. The examples and faith of these good people are incredible and I’m learning a whole lot from them!  I’m trying hard to be immediate in my giving thanks for the blessings. One of my favorite parts of the day is personal prayer at night and just conversing. Good stuff. 

I've been dreaming in Portuguese and practicing my pronunciation. I had a dream last night that I was traveling through Mexico, correcting people on their grammar because they were speaking Spanish. I have a better Brazilian accent in my dreams haha, so I think my mind is telling me that I have work to do. 

I love the scriptures and I feel like in Portuguese I’m understanding them much more and like I’m understanding not just the words, but also the doctrine and teachings, and why everything is important in Heavenly Father’s plan for all of us. I’m reading only Portuguese; English is hard. My testimony grows a little more each day and it’s awesome to see that and feel it too! It seems the more I fast and pray, the weaker my tear ducts become haha.

When I speak English now, I notice phrases and things that I use of dad's and mom's and it makes me laugh. I pick up Portuguese phrases from the people I live with which is fun too.

This week I was thinking a lot about the Atonement. The Atonement is Christ’s gift to us that allows us to become cleansed from sin and return to Him and to Heavenly Father after this life if we remain faithful and actually try and use those blessings. The blessings of the Atonement are essentially conditional upon our discipleship; we actually get to try and work to be worthy of that gift. That is why we have commandments and the ordinances of the gospel, like baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. They help point us in the direction we should move forward in to show Christ that we respect His sacrifice, and for Him. Doing this willingly, because He knows better, allows us to use the blessings of the Atonement completely. Christ said he died for his friends, and his friends are those that keep the commandments. I’d sure like to be a friend of the Savior! 

I hope you are all doing well, and I will continue to pray for all of you,

Elder Hughes 

In Vista Verde last week after splits with Elder Zamudio from Uruguay.

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