Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mother's Day Phone Call, May 8th | email, May 9th

Mother's Day phone call: Elder Hughes in Brazil, Syd in Africa, Ben in Utah.

Dear family,

It was excellent talking to you yesterday! And to meet Ben. You all look really good and happy which makes me happy! The call seemed so short, and I wanted to talk more, but I’m just glad we were able to talk to each other.

I’m loving working hard every day. I’m also working to improve my leadership skills—essentially the biggest thing I’ve been learning is that love actually is the greatest commandment and motivator, and the only way to be an effective leader. Something I’m really trying to improve on.

Quick email today ’cause we talked about most things yesterday. We had the Leadership Council this past week -- we had training from President Silcox, the Assistants, and Sister Training Leaders, and this week we will present the same training to the Zone here in Mogi with the Zone and Sister Leaders from the Itaquaquecetuba Zone. Should be great!

Love you all! I’m grateful for the support you give each week and each day! You give me motivation to work harder and find new people to teach.

I hope you see blessings in your life this week!

Zone Mogi das Cruzes
Moving sand to make cement to make a house: me and Elders Ewerton, David, and Miranda

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

April 25th from Mogi das Cruzes

Pickin' up the moon
How are you all? I love you! 

I’m glad y’all were able to get work done before you left to the old west there in the Utahs to see Syd. I do have saudades of the Utahs. Saudades is a word which here means reminiscences or something. It’s a Portuguese word that doesn’t translate in English. It’s like if “scrapbook” were a feeling. 

I’m glad, too, that you ate at La Dolce and Macaroni Grill. Did you eat french toast at Kneaders? We will do that many times when I get back, and I will be happy. 

The week was good here. We saw more successes in the area especially, which was good. We have more and more church member help now which is great, because that’s a really integral part of the work. Without it, it seems like very less progress is made. We had some good success with a young man who planned an activity with his friends to play basketball and learn about the restoration of the gospel. He brought about 9 friends to the activity and several of them have good interest in talking with us and learning more. Go Dimitri! We´re getting more comfortable in our Zone callings and the companionship is good. 

We´ve seen lots of tender mercies this week where small things happen which liven our spirits or when we´ve been able to help a fellow missionary or member. 

Human foosball (in Napa) sounds like an AWESOME activity!! That would be a dangerous thing here in Brasil I think, since everyone is studly at soccer. I’m improving my skills as we play on P-days but I’m still not on par with the Brazilians. I still move like a football player at times and want to tackle haha. 

Thinking about Mosiah 29:26—the importance of the voice of the people—that verse is one we studied in PoliSci at BYU along with 2 Nephi 2:14—which talks about the ability to act and to be acted upon. Agency is a wild thing that makes my brain hurt at times when I think about it. But we talked a lot about those two verses when discussing the inspired organization within the Church. We talked about the same in Econ, and a lot of what makes everything work is motive: in the Church, we’re motivated by a love of God and covenants, and it’s not about who we think would be better serving at a position than the other person. Spiritual motives help us use agency with much more wisdom. I’m for sure gonna go back over those verses this week. 

One of the biggest things I´ve realized on my mission is that God is mindful of every one of His children and He perfectly knows each situation and each difficulty, and every triumph and victory as well. I read a quote this week that said that the mission is a time for the missionary to repent. That is a very true statement. The mission helps us realign ourselves to Christ and “awake unto God” each day. And that is a tender mercy! 

I also really like the Isaiah verse and quote from Elder Holland*. It’s one of my favorite verses; I don’t think I’ve ever heard that quote before. Thanks for sending it my way! We try to use the words of living prophets in our lessons too, so I’ll be using that one! 

Please pray for rain here. 

Love you! Have a great week! :) 

Elder Hughes

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Isaiah 49:16. “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands”

*Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:
     “Even though the power of the Resurrection could have—and undoubtedly one day will have—completely restored and made new the wounds from the crucifixion, nevertheless Christ chose to retain those wounds for a purpose, including for his appearance in the last days when he will show those marks and reveal that he was wounded ‘in the house of [his] friends’ [Zechariah 13:6; see also D&C 45:52].
     “The wounds in his hands, feet, and side are signs that in mortality painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect, signs that tribulation is not evidence that God does not love us. It is a significant and hopeful fact that it is the wounded Christ who comes to our rescue. He who bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love, the emblems of humility and forgiveness is the Captain of our Soul. That evidence of pain in mortality is undoubtedly intended to give courage to others who are also hurt and wounded by life, perhaps even in the house of their friends” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 258–59).

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Dinner after splits: Elders Miranda, Hughes, David, Ewerton, Batchelor (fresh out of the MTC), Almeida.
6 pizzas, 6 liters of coca cola, no more money. 
Elder Miranda, Elder Ewerton (pronounced Everton), Elder David, Elder Hughes