What ‘stunned’ the Elder and Sister Soares upon their return to Portugal?

Lisbon, Portugal – In March 2000, church leaders introduced that 41-year-old Ulysses Soares and his spouse, Sister Rosana Soares, would function the new leaders of the Porto Mission of Portugal. The couple had three younger kids collectively and hoped that the new calling would include its share of challenges for the total household.

There have been new colleges, new wards, new associates, a brand new dwelling, new meals, and new customs to undertake.

The home the place Elder Ulysses Soares and Sister Rosana Soares lived whereas serving as mission leaders in Porto, Portugal.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Returning to Portugal 20 years later, in September 2022, gave Elder Soares, now a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, the alternative to mirror on how a lot has modified since that decision for his household.

Elder Soares mentioned, “Coming again right here in any case these years is a blessing and a young mercy from the Lord on my spouse and me.”

Elder Ulysses Soares of the Council of the Twelve Apostles smiles during an interview on September 11, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Elder Ulysses Soares of the Council of the Twelve Apostles smiles throughout an interview on September 11, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Prior to his name to function a mission chief in Portugal, Eldar Soares mentioned that a number of normal officers made “great guarantees” to members in the nation.

“These guarantees included that Portugal would develop into the lighthouse of Europe,” he mentioned.

marvel of being a lighthouse

Lighthouse symbolism additionally turned an vital a part of Elder Soares’ teachings of the missionaries with whom he served.

“Being a lighthouse is turning into a spot the place folks can see the gospel, be sturdy, be an instance to the world, and invite folks to come to Christ,” he mentioned.

A lighthouse on the coast near the city of Porto in Portugal, where Elder Ulysses Soares and his wife, sister Rosana Soares, served as mission leaders from 2000 to 2003.

A lighthouse on the coast close to the metropolis of Porto in Portugal, the place Elder Ulysses Soares and his spouse, sister Rosana Soares, served as mission leaders from 2000 to 2003.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

When the missionaries arrived in Portugal on their mission, Elder Soares took them to a lighthouse close to the mission home, and defined the objective of a lighthouse to stop incoming ships from colliding with rocks and sinking.

He mentioned that he inspired missionaries to mild the flames of their personal safety in their particular person lighthouses, and then share that flame with others in order that they too may develop into lighthouses for these alongside the coast the place they traveled throughout their missions. Will preach the gospel. For these nearing the finish of his mission, Elder Soares reminds him to “stay a light-weight to the world”.

“It was an important a part of my ministry,” he mentioned.

Sister Rosana Soares smiles during an interview on the grounds of the Lisbon Portugal temple on September 9, 2022.

Sister Rosana Soares smiles throughout an interview on the grounds of the Lisbon Portugal temple on September 9, 2022.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

miracle of overcoming challenges

On her return to Portugal, Sister Soares thought of 4 issues that stunned her.

The first pertained to the anticipation of the hardships their kids felt whereas transferring to Portugal.

“At first I assumed it will be a problem as a result of I had younger kids: a 5-year-old daughter, a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old son,” she mentioned. “But I assumed it was great as a result of my children additionally gave of themselves. They cherished being right here, they cherished the folks, the different children at school, and the children in the church.”

Elder Soares mentioned that when he moved to Portugal his kids left faculty, associates and household. And after some time he mentioned, “They discovered friendship… They discovered love, they discovered household right here. It was nice to see the transition.”

the marvel of returning to the ancestral dwelling

Second, Sister Soares mentioned that she felt that the name to serve in the Porto mission of Portugal was a return to the homeland of her ancestors and the ancestors of Elder Soares.

Sister Soares mentioned, “It was great to give you the option to come again as a result of I even have Portuguese blood in my veins.” “For instance, the meals they eat in Brazil could be very comparable to what they eat right here, as a result of our dad and mom, our grandparents and our great-grandparents had comparable habits.”

The streets of the city of Coimbatore, Portugal, where the grandfather of Elder Ulysses Soares was born.

The streets of the metropolis of Coimbatore, Portugal, the place the grandfather of Elder Ulysses Soares was born.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Soares expressed his gratitude to his grandparents for their resolution to go away Portugal, as the blessings he would obtain would develop into accessible to him as soon as he moved to Brazil.

“What a privilege, what an honor, what a blessing, particularly on this land, on this specific land the place our grandparents have been born,” he mentioned of his return to Portugal.

He mentioned that his household witnessed many miracles throughout his three years and 4 months of service in Portugal.

“One of these nice miracles was to discover many names of our ancestors that weren’t accessible in Brazilian information,” he mentioned.

He mentioned folks outdoors the household of Elder Soares additionally helped with the household historical past work.

Elder Soares shared the instance of a person who requested the title of President Soares’ grandfather. A number of months later, the man shared a household historical past of tons of of names that Elder Soares couldn’t entry in Brazil.

Sharing the title together with his household was a blessing, however Elder Soares mentioned that the church members took the subsequent step to carry out temple ordinances on behalf of those members of the family by taking the names of most of them in the Madrid Spain temple. lived from 300 to 400. Many years in the past.

The Wonder of Knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Third, transferring to Portugal allowed Soares to take one thing again to a rustic his ancestors didn’t have entry to once they lived there: the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister Soares mentioned, “It was great to be born in Brazil and to give you the option to know the gospel like my husband.” “And after that, we each had the alternative to serve right here in the land of our ancestors. it was excellent [da maneira] As the Lord has ordained.”

Elder Soares mentioned that his household met and joined the church in Brazil in 1965, when he was a baby. Had he grown up in Portugal, the church wouldn’t have been accessible to him practically a decade later, in 1974, when the preaching of the gospel was formally approved there.

In a gathering held for some 45,000 church members in Portugal throughout the four-day ministry of Elder Soares, he shared his testimony of the Savior as an antidote to at this time’s issues.

“With all the worries, with all the challenges, with all the opponents’ assaults, how is it doable for us to survive all this, overcome our challenges and be completely satisfied?” He requested. “Brothers and sisters, the invitation the Savior has given us is to flip our hearts to Him.”

Temple of Miracles

Fourth, each the Elder and Sister Soares served missions in Brazil as younger adults. They skilled the blessings of dwelling close to a temple, worshiping and making covenants there, together with their personal seal. Sister Soares mentioned this was one thing the two usually talked about with their missionaries and members.

Lisbon Portugal Temple, pictured September 9, 2022.

Lisbon Portugal Temple, pictured September 9, 2022.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“To see the temple is a miracle. It’s a miracle to see the church develop,” mentioned Elder Soares.

Being in the temple grounds, per week away from the third anniversary of the dedication of the Lisbon Portugal Temple, crammed Sister Soares with nice emotion.

Those who go to the temple grounds really feel “the energy of this excellent gospel,” she mentioned. “I hope everybody can actually come and really feel the energy of the Lord.”

Elder Soares mentioned his emotions for Portugal are sturdy and deep in his coronary heart at this time.

“I’m so grateful for the privilege of being right here,” he mentioned. “Portugal is holy land for me and my spouse.”

Read extra: ‘We are additionally explorers’: Elder Anderson compares historic Portuguese sailors to temple devoted to Lisbon

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