President Ballard and Elder Soares Hold Area-Wide Family Home Evening with Brazilian Saints

Contributed By Alex Dantas, Church News contributor

  • 28 August 2018

Brazil Area President Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis joins President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, and Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve at the pulpit during a visit by the Apostles to the area August 24–31.

When the name Ulisses Soares was announced as one of two new members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the solemn assembly on March 31, 2018, the reaction of Brazilians all over Brazil and in the Conference Center echoed all the way to the pulpit, said President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Brazilian members had a chance to welcome back Elder Soares in his first official visit to Brazil as an Apostle of Jesus Christ when President Ballard and Elder Soares arrived in São Paulo August 24.

The two leaders first attended a missionary conference with about 800 full-time missionaries from the five missions in São Paulo. ‪‪Elder Wemerson Moreira from the Brazil São Paulo West Mission was one of the 800 missionaries attending the conference. “It was so inspiring to listen to an Apostle speaking in Portuguese,” he said of Elder Soares. “I felt the Spirit, and he answered questions that I had.”

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares speak during a visit to the Brazil Area August 24–27.

Elder Ulisses Soares and President M. Russell Ballard listen during a visit to the Brazil Area August 24–27.

Elder Ulisses Soares shares a message with Brazilian Saints during a visit to the area August 24–27.

Elder Ulisses Soares, who is from Brazil, greets members and friends during a visit to the area August 24–27.

Elder W. Mark Bassett from the Brazil Area Presidency, Elder Ulisses Soares, and President M. Russell Ballard take time to shake hands with leaders during a visit to the area August 24–27.

‪On Saturday morning the two Apostles and the area presidency held a leadership conference with the São Paulo Interlagos and São Paulo West coordinating councils.

Born and raised in São Paulo, Elder Soares began attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was just six years old, eventually serving as stake president and President of the Brazil Area. During the event, he met some lifelong friends who teared up as they heard the apostolic message he had brought to the Brazilian Saints.

‪Rosvaldo Avelino da Silva, a bishop in the Educandário Ward, São Paulo Brazil Rapouso Tavares Stake, attended the meeting. “When Elder Soares was a stake president here in 1998, … he called me to serve as a bishop. Now I am serving as a bishop for the second time, so I went to the leadership conference. It was very special for me to see him as an Apostle. When he and President Ballard decided to shake hands with all those attending the conference, I lined up with everyone else. When Elder Soares saw me, I extended my arm to shake his hand, but he pulled me into a warm hug,” said Bishop Rosvaldo.

‪After leaving São Paulo, President Ballard and Elder Soares flew to Rio de Janeiro, where they held another leadership conference, presided over two different stake conferences, and met with the missionaries of the two missions in Rio.

In sharing his testimony about the teachings of living prophets with the members at a stake conference in the Jacarepaguá Stake, Elder Soares said, “We can sustain our living prophets today by incorporating their teachings in our lives. They speak the word of the Savior for our day. Please teach your families that protection in these difficult times comes from following their teachings and from obeying the commandments of God. Every commandment has a promise associated with it. I can assure you that we can’t live without these promises in this life, especially in these challenging latter days we are living in.”

‪Elder Soares and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, each served a full-time mission in Rio when they were young, so they understandably were feeling emotional to be back with the people they grew to love when they were young missionaries.

‪“I know how good the people from Rio de Janeiro are. I shared the gospel with them, they welcomed me into their homes, they fed me. I love them,” said Elder Soares in the meeting with the two missions in Rio.

‪As their last assignment in the country, the two visiting Apostles addressed all the members in Brazil on Sunday evening through a Facebook Live event titled “Family Home Evening with President Ballard, Elder Soares, and the Brazil Area Presidency.” They were also joined by Sister Soares and the wives of the members of the Brazil Area Presidency, with whom they chatted about their family experiences raising children and strengthening their families in the gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days.

“We want you to honor the Lord, Jesus Christ, and let His love be in your home,” Elder Ballard said. “Be kind to each other, and teach each other.”

“Prayer is just one of the basic fundamentals to the home,” he said, but also emphasized the importance of family councils. “In my judgment, one of the most important councils we have in the Church is the family council,” he said, explaining that a council could also be conversation between a father and daughter, a mother and a son, and other one-on-one experiences with family members you are trying to help.

‪All over Brazil, stake centers filled with members who watched the event together. The live event reached almost 200,000 people and had approximately 75,000 views on Facebook.

From left: Elder W. Mark Bassett from the Brazil Area Presidency; Sister Angela Bassett; Sister Rosana Soares; Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Brazil Area President Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis; Sister Luisa Aidukaitis; Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella of the Brazil Area Presidency; and Sister Elaine Parrella.

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares, accompanied by Elder Soares’s wife, Sister Rosana Soares, and members of the Brazil Area Presidency and their wives, participate in a live Facebook event, “Family Home Evening with President Ballard, Elder Soares, and the Brazil Area Presidency.”

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares, accompanied by Elder Soares’s wife, Sister Rosana Soares, and members of the Brazil Area Presidency and their wives, participate in a live Facebook event, “Family Home Evening with President Ballard, Elder Soares, and the Brazil Area Presidency.”

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares, accompanied by Elder Soares’s wife, Sister Rosana Soares, and members of the Brazil Area Presidency and their wives, participate in a live Facebook event, “Family Home Evening with President Ballard, Elder Soares, and the Brazil Area Presidency.”

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares, accompanied by Elder Soares’s wife, Sister Rosana Soares, and members of the Brazil Area Presidency and their wives, participate in a live Facebook event, “Family Home Evening with President Ballard, Elder Soares, and the Brazil Area Presidency.”

Elder Ulisses Soares speaks to missionaries serving in Brazil during a visit to the area August 24–27.

Elder Ulisses Soares speaks to missionaries serving in Brazil during a visit to the area August 24–27.

Elder Ulisses Soares speaks to leaders during a visit to the Brazil Area August 24–27.

Elder Ulisses Soares greets members during a visit to the Brazil Area August 24–27.

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares greet members during a visit to the Brazil Area August 24–27.

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares greet members during a visit to the Brazil Area August 24–27.

Elder Ulisses Soares greets members during a visit to the Brazil Area August 24–27.