Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 13 | Pondering, Pie, and Preparation

Comps at the temple

I am going to try to eat some pie this week. Tomorrow perhaps, as it will be Pi day! Only here there is no pie like there is in California. I will shed one tear and get over it.

This week was a great week here with a Temple trip, Zone Conference and a baptism.

We went to the Temple Saturday with André and Miriã. We took family names with them on the ward Temple trip. (There was Zone Conference this week so we asked/received permission to go from President Silox). It was a really great experience. They brought their parents´names and were able to be baptized and confirmed for them. Which was amazing. I was able to do the confirmations which was cool. Very good experience, and they are already planning their return trip later next month.

Thursday was Zone Conference, and we´d been asked to read 2 Nephi 31 and 3 Nephi 27 in preparation. Sister Silcox was teaching that part and she explained very thoroughly the Doctrine of Christ which was awesome. She talked about how the Christ’s gospel is: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  She said that even before faith, the first step is always having desire. Then she read 3 Nephi 27: 1-2 and talked about how Christ’s disciples had desire, how Christ appeared to them asking what they wanted Him to give them, and about the importance of how they needed to ask for an answer from Christ. Great conference. President Silcox also spoke a bit on proper use of technology.

In the temple trip, one of the Temple Presidency members talked about desire, pondering, and meditating as preparation for spiritual experiences. Essentially, this whole week was about preparation and desire for spiritual experiences and receiving answers.

Tamires was baptised! Her interview was Saturday, and yesterday she was baptised. This was a huge miracle; her family is being reactivated now and her brother Ricardo will be able to receive the Priesthood.  Elder Clawson performed the baptism which was his first ever. This is the family that contacted us in the street while we were walking to lunch one day and asked us to go to their house to teach Tamires. Miracles are real!

What I’m studying in the scriptures now is a lot about a lot of things. But recently I was studying the Restoration, and how Joseph was prepared, and how he clearly had desire for some sort of experience with Heavenly Father. Why did he pray? Because he had faith and accepted James’ invitation in the Bible. Why did he read the Bible? Because he was confused and wanted direction from God. Why was he confused? Because the people around him were in a war of words and had so many opinions. Why? The Apostasy. When he needed an answer, he accepted the invitation to ask God. He knew that if he called on God´s name, God would respond to him personally by name—which is exactly what happened. Sometimes we forget that God is a personal God and that He´s actually our Father, and that experience is a great reminder. When he was tempted to quit asking, he kept going and he received in the most difficult moment the answer to his prayer. How can we do the same? We can trust in God´s promises and trust that He will answer us and that He is preparing us for great things to come.

Love you all—you are my favorites!  
Elder Hughes

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