Recently, Elder Neil L. Andersen wrote an article about the remarkable life of our new apostle, Elder Ulisses Soares. In the article, which will be published in the October Ensign, Elder Soares's daughter Lethicia says, “When Jesus called His Apostles, He didn’t pick the most knowledgeable Pharisees, He picked fishermen. My father and mother are like that. They totally trust the Lord, and He uses them to fulfill His works because He knows they are selfless, willing to work hard, and humble enough to accept correction.” Elder Dale G. Renlund adds, “Elder Soares is an exuberant, committed, devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. I don’t know anyone who feels more keenly that he’s on the Lord’s errand. If he’s asked to do something, he does it with all his might.”
When Elder Soares served as president of the Portugal Porto Mission from 2000 to 2003, he became well known for using the Portuguese phrase “Tudo vai dar certo”—everything will work out.
“He taught it to us,” recalls Ty Bennett, one of his missionaries. “He lives his life with faith and optimism that if we do what the Lord wants us to do, everything will work out.”
He also taught his missionaries not to use the words difficult or impossible, says Richard Shields, another of his missionaries. “We referred to things as ‘challenges.’ That advice helped shape my life as I have looked at things as ‘challenges’ to be overcome rather than as ‘difficult’ or ‘impossible.’”
Such faith and optimism haven’t come from an easy life. Elder and Sister Soares know well the disappointment of going without, the weariness of long days of work and study, the challenges of ill health, and the heartache of miscarriage, stillbirth, and loss of siblings and parents.
But through life’s journey, they have put their faith in the words of Elder Soares’s favorite scripture: “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.”
“Challenges are part of our progress,” Elder Soares says. “But when we are patient in suffering, when we learn to survive life’s challenges, when we remain faithful, the Lord keeps us in high regard and blesses us with the blessings He has promised.”