Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20 | Museu da Missão, Miracle Shoes, and Being Bold in the Work

Hi all!
Today marks two years since I opened my call to serve! Two years goes by quickly!

This week was good! We had interviews with President on Saturday here in Jacareí at 8 am, and I had decided earlier that day that Saturday would be the last day I’d use my brown Sperrys because I had worn completely through the sole … so I was like walking on the ground a little... but President brought my box delivered a few days before with the new Sperrys, and my feet are in heaven! Woot! Miracles are real! Got the envelope with candy and photos too which was great!

Mosquitos are a plague here but we’re getting through it. Not any really huge changes than the hour later time to get up / hour later to return. We do our comp study in the street though so everyone looks at us reading the scriptures haha. Getting noticed.

Training is going very smoothly. The trio is doing great and we are being able to focus well; there were many miracles this week so that’s nice. One man called to us in the street this week while we were on our way to lunch, and he said he was a church member but hadn’t attended in two years and his daughters hadn’t been baptised yet. We were able to teach them, and they are now preparing to return to church, and one of the daughters is preparing to be baptised which is exciting! Huge miracles!

We had the ward activity too, the Museu da Missão, or Mission Museum, where members brought their scriptures, photos, name tags and things to make a mini museum of their missions set up in the chapel. President really liked it. It was pretty cool, I thought, and it was enjoyed by many. The devotional also went well. One of the speakers had to cancel an hour before the program, so I spoke about "What is missionary work?" and the missionary purpose, which actually went surprisingly well with no time to prepare haha. Sister Silcox said she really appreciated it. Lucas Galhardi, who recently finished his mission, spoke about how to prepare for the mission, and Sister Silcox spoke about the Restoration a little, and President spoke on growth and member help and how Jacareí will be a stake. Overall, it was a great activity, and I think all who were in attendance enjoyed it.

This week I was thinking about how we can trust and understand Christ’s promises to better begin to understand Him, like Elder Bednar talked about in conference. Which makes sense since His promises are just as eternal as He is. When we serve Him, and serve other people, He blesses us generously. Always. And when we serve, we come to know Christ better. And that helps us know how to come unto Him to receive and believe in the promised blessings of the gospel. Also read in 2 Timothy where the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy with a reminder that God had called him to do His work boldly and with power, love and a sound mind. Great reminders to be bold in the work.

And that’s essentially it for this week. I will send lots of photos today! Keep praying for us here in Jacareí!
Love you!!

Elder Hughes 

The District
The Zone
A Jacareí sunset
3 Elders and Presidente and Sister Silcox
Wore through the inner sole of the shoe, though I put another temporary one in
so I wasn't totally walking with only a sock on the ground.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 13 | Generations

Me, Elder Clawson, Elder Freitas

Elder Alves, Elder Amancio´s son (my mission grandson)
and Elder Begnini,  Elder Alves´s mission son (my mission great grandson)

Us ansd (Elder) Vasconcelos who was visiting in the area

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 6 | Transfer and Training



Got the transfer call yesterday and I’ll be training indeed in Jacareí. Elder Freitas will be training as well! We’re staying in the same area, same district, and same house—the house is quite large actually—so we’ll all be here! We have the trainers’ meeting tomorrow at 9 am at the escritorio. We´re about three hours away by ônibus so we’ll go tonight which will be good—we’ll be on time. 

This week wasn’t too rainy actually! Only at night it rains now and sometimes during the afternoon after lunch. It’s been getting pretty hot other than that. I’m looking a wee bit tan! Woot!—only it’s the odd tan lines on the neck and arms though, so that’s cool. There hasn’t been any flooding where we are which is good, though they say its a frequent problem in Sao Paulo this time of year. We’re hoping none of it comes this way. The only difference in how we work when it’s raining … is that we use an umbrella... only mine broke this week so I’m fixin to get me a new one. 

We got a good bit done this week here in Jacareí which was great—loving the work and the people. Rita and Adriana have been difficult to contact this week so that was a bummer but we´ll keep trying this coming week. On the 18th, we are going to have a ward activity about missionary work to help the youngsters get excited about serving missions. President Silcox is going to be here and speak which should be awesome. We´re working on getting everything all planned out and such—we´re going have a mission “museum” with photos from ward members who served missions—have their mission shoes and scriptures and such here too. Should be good! Pray it goes well! 

I had the realization again this week that when we partake of the sacrament, we show that we want to align ourselves with Christ, and as we do that He promises that He will sustain us as His. It´s a “where is my heart?” relationship that we can renew each week, where we are able to evaluate ourselves and start over and recommit to be better the next week. And He promises that we can have His spirit with us and receive a remission of sins. Sounds like a pretty good relationship to me. 

And that was essentially the week! This week should be awesome and filled with good stuff with two greenies in the area! We´re hoping it goes really well. Keep praying for us and I will pray for you. Have a great week!! 

Love you lots,

Elder Hughes

About to rain
In a hammock hammoc hammok? Don´t remember how to spell that word. ’Tis a mystery!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

January 31 | Miracles are happening!

Sunday—sunny outside with rain falling
Dear family,

This week was a good one. There was a worldwide devotional/training meeting for all missionaries on Wednesday which was very cool. We were gonna get the bus to lunch and then go back to the downtown area of the city to get another bus to the stake center here to watch the transmission from Salt Lake. However all buses were running late and we were late to every appointment that day haha. However, we got there—and the training meeting was great. We sat in on a missionary executive council meeting with Elder Oaks, Elder Bedar and several others. The transmission from last January's meeting was recapped, and there were also some sweet new schedule changes announced for missionaries. We were also reminded about our purpose as a missionary to invite others to Christ, trusting and living the gospel ourselves as missionaries, and how to be better teachers.

The schedule for us may still be adapted, but in South America most missionaries will now be up at 7:30! Bed will be 11:30pm—so the schedule just shifted a little bit to be able to be more flexible with most people's schedules here. Comp study after lunch and planning for the day in the morning. 

Sacrament was awesome here yesterday. A man spoke who served here twenty years ago and is now married and is a father. He was visiting, and was able to bear his testimony about serving a mission and how it has blessed him in his life.

Something I learned this week: In the Book of Mormon reading that President invited us to do as a mission this year—we are highlighting each name or pronoun of Christ in the Book of Mormon, along with every word that Christ says—with the promise through recognizing that we will come to know Him and not just know things about Him. However, as I was reading in Second Nephi, highlighting names and quotes, it almost became second nature and I realized I wasn’t focusing on what I was reading and what it was meaning. So I began asking myself two questions: How does my belief in Christ strengthen and change my life? And: Do I personally believe and have faith in Christ, and are His words part of me?

Asking myself those questions as I continue reading. I’m coming to better know the Savior through unexpected ways, and am learning that believing Him is trusting Him.

We saw the Lord’s hand yesterday when two investigators came to Church wanting to be baptised! We’ll be teaching them more this week. Please pray for them. Miracles are happening!

I love you!

Elder Hughes

The district
I have a year and 6 months in the mission and only have 5 more left,
Elder Freitas has 5 months in the mission and has a year and 6 left.