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)

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