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 ...