Monday, October 28, 2013

A Sweet Experience

Hi my family!

So, my companion is CHILEAN, he is from Concepcion, Chile. He is brand new on the mission from the Missionary Training Center in São Paulo, Brazil. Luckily his Portuguese is pretty good already. He can already speak well, definitely a lot better than me when I got here. So, I picked him up last Wednesday in Recife, and I brought him back to Goiana with Elder McFadden and his new companion. Elder McFadden is training a missionary from Peru and is District Leader here in Goiana. So we are super excited to get things going!

The first week of training was pretty crazy, a little stressful because I have never trained before, but there is a first time for everything! Yesterday was the highlight of the week. We went to a member’s house, and his wife is a member of another church. We brought some other members with us. It was a sweet experience. The wife started asking questions about our Church, and the member we brought just started bearing powerful testimony and answering her questions so well. It really made a difference because she saw that Mormons are normal people, and that we are happy! I was shocked to hear some of the doubts and rumors she had heard about our Church. With every doubt that was cleared, the more light and understanding she got, and the more interested she got by the minute! Then I shared my testimony and a scripture about the Atonement from the Book of Mormon, and afterwards she asked how I learned to speak so fast, and the member that was with us just lit up and said, this is the true gift of tongues, and bore his testimony about the Spirit. It was just an incredible experience to see her asking more and more, and the member just loving it! So, that was a great part of the week.

I am so excited to see the vision Heavenly Father has for His work. I love this opportunity! I feel like training is going to be kind of tough, but that’s I what I felt like when I first got here. Now I have another mountain to climb! I know I have the assistance of Heaven by my side. The key is to have the faith and the power to do it! No matter how difficult it seems, we will always be able to overcome. I love you all so much! Have a great week and keep up the great work!

Elder Hoyt

Monday, October 21, 2013

I am going to be Training!

So, transfers were today, and I am going to be training! I am so excited! We found out last night, and came to transfer meeting this morning in Recife. So, I am in an area called Pina right now. I will sleep here tonight, and pick up my new missionary tomorrow. We will be staying in Goiana 1, and Elder Mcfadden will train also in Goiana 2, and be District Leader. I have no idea who I will train, I am pretty sure he will be Brazilian. But I am so excited! I know I will grow a lot. 

Goiana is doing well! We got a reference yesterday from a member. She invited her friend to hear the lessons, and he said yes! So, I am excited things are going so well. We are also still working with Edna and her family. They were sad to see Elder D. Sousa go. Also, we have a lot of other potentials, and I just can’t describe how excited I am to train!

I am just humbled at the faith my Mission President and the Lord have in me that I will be able to do this. I also believe I can do it through the help of the Lord. The main reason I am excited is that I will really be able to experience the Atonement, because I know I will not be able to do this alone. And I really just want to give it my all, and be the best I can, and that’s when I will receive the strength I need. I have really been thinking that one of the most important things in this life is the influence we have on other people, because almost everything we do influences other people, whether by example or by direct influence. So, I think we should have the goal to be an influence for good wherever we go, and whoever we come in contact with. It is kind of like the baptismal covenant, to stand as a witness, and you can show your testimony and witness best through your actions. 

I don’t have too much time to write this week because of the transfer, but I will give a better update next week. But just know that I am so happy and excited to work very hard. And I definitely feel that the Lord loves me very much. I also know you guys love me! Thank you for all the support! I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Elder Hoyt

Monday, October 14, 2013

What Else Matters?

Hello my great family! I just read all your emails! You guys are all great! 

Our friend Ellison got baptized this last Saturday! He is a great kid, 17-years-old. So, now everyone in the family is baptized except the parents, but the marriage papers our coming. He said, "I don't know if this will be easy, or if this will be hard, but I know it is right." I thought that was really inspiring, for my life as a missionary as well. It reminds me of the talk, “It's True, Isn’t It? Then What Else Matters?” Serving my mission, so far, and giving all my time, really makes me wonder a lot, what else matters? Just like Lizz said, “shouldn't the purpose of God be our number one purpose, since we are His?”

This week was my second to last week in training. The 12-week program required that I take control of all teaching and planning situations. So, it was a little bit different, it was great though. Something I have felt this week, is that I am so incredibly weak. I don't know why, it just came out of nowhere. It was not a bad thing. I didn't get discouraged or sad. I just felt so humbled because I am here in Brazil as a missionary, unable to speak, scared, just a kid, selfish, and then I realized everything I have been entrusted with, and how much trust God has in me. It is a lot of trust that God has in us. But I am glad I felt like this, I read about Paul in the Bible where he says he glories in his weaknesses because he knows the power of Christ is within him, when he is weak he is strong. Just like in Ether, we are given our weaknesses to be humble. I know I will be strongest when I put my trust in the Lord, and not in myself. After hearing General Conference, and just reading your emails, I really feel this desire to improve, and everything I need to change is made clear. It is just becoming more Christ like.  

I really want to be the best I can, I want to fulfill the mission Heavenly Father has sent me to do. I know He wants me to be happy here. I am trying hard to understand the language still, no matter how tired I get. I really want to be an instrument in the hands of God to fulfill His purposes. That is really my goal. I am so excited to be a missionary in these latter-days, especially when the work is hastening. I know this Gospel is true. I love it all, and the Plan of Salvation, and the perfection of it. It really is perfect. The more I understand, the more amazed I get.

This last weak I learned a little more about opposition and why there is opposition, and about the choices we make, and our free agency that was given to us, and is key for our eternal growth. I remember a talk I once heard, where the Plan is compared to driving a car...when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, think of it as if they were in a car trying to drive, but the car was in neutral until they partook of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which brought about opposition in all things. Then they could move forward because there was such thing as backward. I think it is a really cool comparison, and really helps my understanding.

I am grateful for the trust that God has in each one of us. Also, for the love He has for us, and how much patience He has with us. I love you all, and I miss you all. The time here is really flying by though, these months are just going! I start a new month and it’s over! But I hope you all have an awesome week! Love you!

Elder Hoyt

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference Was So Awesome!

Hello My Dearest Family!

So, I am doing great! I got to watch ALL of General Conference in English, and I loved every minute of it. The Prophets are inspired, and everything was so true. The truth feels good to hear. It was broadcast in the Chapel, and I was in a classroom with a little TV taking notes with Elder McFadden, the other American. Loved Conference! 

I have noticed, I have a growing desire to know the will of God, and I place it at higher importance more and more. I have never been so excited for Conference as I was this time. I have never listened so intently as this time, because I am realizing how important it is. The single most important thing in the world is know the will and word of God, so we can act on it. General Conference happens twice a year, and everything spoken has been carefully prepared just for us, to uplift us, and provide us with spiritual strength. One thing I have been thinking about, that I think is pretty significant, is obedience. It is key, just like so many General Authorities said, and what was asked for in the prayers..."please help us, not only to listen, but act on these things, be not hearers of the word, but doers also." I love a line from King Benjamin where he says, "if you believe all these things, see that ye do them"--- simple as that. That is something I am working on, I know it is true, I just need to do it. 

I realized one thing that keeps us from being obedient is pride. In a way, it is where you are more worried about what other people think, than what God thinks. This may be one of  the biggest obstacles to obedience....being worried about offending people or losing friends. This fear keeps us from doing what God has asked, but it is in no way justified. That’s why I loved Elder Uchtdorf’s talk in Priesthood session, he kept saying “Rise up! You can do it, now! I know you guys can do it now.” 

A special theme I noticed in Conference was missionary work. One of my favorite quotes was, “be a real friend!” It is true, when people notice that you have a true desire to help, they can feel the love God has for them. Have this attitude and share personal experiences and testimony with friends. Follow the invitation and reach out to one person before Christmas. Pray for missionary experiences! And trust in the Lord and His promise that your mouth will be filled. 

Nothing else would make me happier. I know this is what the Lord has asked. I love you all! I thought of you so much as I watched Conference, I missed watching with you. Hope you all have a great week!

Com amor e carinho,
Elder Hoyt

Some of the roads we walk on