Monday, February 29, 2016

Crossing Paths


So this week was so good. Loving missionary service.

Fun fact: Relief Society in Portuguese is Soc Soc, which is Sociedade de Socorro, e toda mulher precisa de SocSoc.

This week I have been thankful for answered prayers. We had an experience with S, a 15 year old who lives close to the chapel. He has been playing soccer with people here for the past a few weeks, and when we talked with him last week, he was really interested in the learning more about the gospel. He said he has been feeling strongly that he has needed to be preparing to be baptized, but he didn’t know where, or why baptism was important, so we’ve been teaching him, and he’s preparing for baptism this coming month! Awesome how the Lord crosses the paths of those who want to serve Him! 

At Zone conference this week we talked about the basic doctrines of the gospel, or Evangelho, of Christ: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then enduring to the end. This is also our purpose as missionaries—to bring the gospel to others and invite them to follow Christ.

President Silcox talked about 3 Nephi 11 and Christ’s love for everyone. He talked about Christ establishing His doctrine, about and how contention about doctrine, and contention between people is not of Christ. We have to eliminate this contention to actually follow Him, and to be effective missionaries.

The Sister Training Leaders talked about learning to understand the Spirit and how we need to listen and follow promptings, even if it’s hard sometimes. This all has inspired me to recommit to my calling as a missionary, and to try better to be worthy of receiving the Lord´s spirit while teaching true principles. I’ve borne my testimony many times this week about the Restauração.

I got my sweet package delivered at Zone Conference and opened it that night—YES. The coolest tie that ever existed! (Letters and tiny pineapples tie with "be optimistic" patch sewed on the back.)Thank you! I was seriously so amped. Ha ha.

Loving learning and feeling the Spirit. I’ve read about Elijah recently, and about “whole-souled” faith—real faith, tested and tried, to the very core of our beings” faith.  Awesome. Also reading 2 Nephi—one of my favorite books from the Book of Mormon, and chapter 4 is awesome. I heard one time that to get the full effect, you need to read Nephi’s words out loud (like a monologue of sorts, which I’ve never done, but maybe I’ll do that soon). I’ m almost done with the Book of Mormon in Portuguese and I’m really enjoying the experience. I feel like I’m learning more because I have to read carefully to understand. 

We have great people here, and we have stake conference this weekend. Should be awesome!

You are all a blessing in my life!
Love you,
Elder Hughes 
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Bonus email exchange:
From David to Elder Hughes: Yesterday I went with the Eagle scouts and Bro. Mills to the Napa Valley Gun Club. We worked on the Shot Gun Merit Badge. We had three scouts. They needed to hit 12 out of 25 clay pigeons. And do that two times. All three got it. At one point Carson was 14 for 15. Kid can shoot. Had I been a scout, I would have qualified too. And I have a kickback bruise to prove it.

Elder Hughes to David: At scout camp I did the shotgun merit badge, and it was the last test of the week—and the last extra badge I had to get before my Eagle. I was doing super poorly (like terrible) only hitting 3 of every 15 or so. I went about 3 times that day to shoot, and eventually they told me I had to just go for it, so I said a prayer and then shot 23/24. God knows guns. And me.
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Zona São José dos Campos.
Elder Hughes, Elder Vasconcelos, Bro. Jones, Elder Oliveira, Elder Amancio. Photo: Elder Vasconcelos
Batismo do Eduardo Guto

P-Day + Churrasco (BBQ). Photo Jessica Gonçalves
Zona São José dos Campos - Batismo do Adryan. Photo: Elder Vasconcelos

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Going forth with swiftness
This week I'm not gonna have much time to write because of Syd and Ben and needing to email them both and congratulate them. Super exciting news! Forgive me. But I love you all!

All is well; it's been a great week. We are working hard, helping people make commitments and progress in learning about the gospel. I am loving the scriptures. Truly am. I read them almost every free minute I have.

Praying for you all!
Love you,
Elder Hughes

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 "'The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people."—Elder Marvin J. Ashton
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Monday, February 8, 2016

A Continuous Commitment

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well!
Well, this email is gonna be a short one because I don’t have much time today -

The week! Tuesday we had transfers; I stayed here with Elder Amâncio, but Elder Vera was transferred to Itaquera in the capital of São Paulo. Elder Oliveira is here in his place -- he’s from Manaus in the Amazon, and is a cool guy. Before Elder Vera left, all 4 Elders and Clayton, Diogo, and Jota made açaí and it was awesome. It was all good—but change is also kinda sad. Gotta rip it off like a bandaid at times!

This week we worked. Hard. The week was good, but literally everything kept falling through. At least we are being diligent. And learning patience. Something I keep learning about myself is that sometimes I just want to get through my own plans when I actually need to rely more on the promptings I get. That’s the cool part of the work though, learning to rely just on Christ.

 It’s super hot now, and you have to be careful about that cause you get heat sick really easily. Bummer. You (meaning me) also sweat like crazy. The Brazilians think it’s funny how much I sweat. I often wash my face and don’t dry it ... because that’s less wet. Anyways!

We had a baptism this week—Nicolas is the nephew of a church member here named Sandra, who is like a mom to the missionaries here. He comes to church and is 8 and ready for baptism. Sandra’s mom, Grandma Maria, was baptized last week. I’m totally amped by all the people who accept the gospel, love it and then share it with those around them!

Carnaval starts here tomorrow, yikes! I’ve heard it’s pretty calm here in this part of the country, but I’ve also heard that elders from some missions have to stay in home for days at a time because the streets are just filled with wild festivities.

This week, remember that following Christ is a continuous commitment. We are members everyday all day long, and always examples to someone.

Well, I am praying for you all!
Have a great week!

Elder Hughes

Elder Hughes, Elder Amâncio, Jota Silva

Monday, February 1, 2016

Pumped Like a Tire


To begin! Transfers are tomorrow, so yesterday we got the transfer call—Elder Amâncio and I will both be staying here in Cidade Jardim for six more weeks. Ahh, yes! This will be my third transfer in this area and I love it to bits. The ward here is full and loves the missionaries. We have really good member friends in the area which makes the work that much more fun. Pumped like a tire to stay here! 

This week was a tough week, but we are working hard. I personally worked a lot on patience. Many difficult things popped up during the week that I’d normally get a little bothered by, but I worked really hard to keep my cool. My exercising patience is going well, but the refiner’s fire is certainly doing its job. I’m really happy where I am serving and being a missionary; I am just learning more to move forward with faith.

During the week we had the awesome opportunity to see the baptism of Avó Maria—Grandma Maria. She is the mother of a church member who takes good care of us here named Sandra. Maria has been going to church for a several months and decided to be baptized this week. It has been a really cool experience to watch her daughter, Sandra, help her grow in her conversion. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone, and the key is love! There’s a reason why love is the first commandment.

We very consciously applied this principle in our missionary work this week which was really amazing to watch. Love is the first great commandment, obedience is the first law of heaven, and faith is the first principle of the gospel. With these three things, we can have the Spirit in our lives. And with the Spirit, we are edified and we can edify others. One really cool part of the gospel is that the gospel is meant to help the individual reach out to others. The gospel motivates each person to affect the life of another. It’s meant to bless and uplift, helping us move towards the greatest gift—eternal life, or in other words, the fullness of love and happiness. We just need to practice the small scale now person to person! Awesome sauce! 

The week was extremely hot—and we also ate a lot—which was great. I’m learning to love the heat, and I have a righteous tan line from my watch on my wrist, and from my collar on my neck. Only the best. 

And that was the week. I am loving the work! 
I hope you are all well! 


Elder Hughes 
 Sandra and Avó Maria
View leaving the apartment