Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We are having a "White" Christmas in Guatemala! | Week 11

 One of Gammons recent converts has a house near us and yes a porsche! 
Nicest thing we will see in Guat! haha


Well what an awesome week it was here in Guatemala. Its crazy we baptized B on Saturday! Me and Elder G feel so blessed we were able to open this area and immediately find B who has been prepared by the hand of the Lord to be baptized. When we arrived he had already attended church four times! So the end of last week and this week we had to teach Bruno the first four lessons so he could be ready for Saturday. All of our lessons went well and we could really feel the spirit in all of them. On Friday in our last lesson it ended up just being Elder G, me and B because the members were gone for some reason. As we were teaching the spirit literally guided our words... to make a long story short he all of a sudden opens up and tells us about dreams he has had about his family and the church WOAH! The people here in Central America have a lot of specific dreams/revelations, that's definitely a gift the people have here. And B asked me to baptize him crazy! We had a service on saturday with some families in the ward. Things here in the church are not as organized as in the states, thats for sure, but it all worked out. But we baptized him, the spirit was so strong and as I was walking out of the font the water literally started to get warm it was such a cool moment. I will send pictures, it's one of the coolest things I've had the privilege to be a part of in my life. I love this guy and we want to work with his mom she is a great woman. So that was definitely the highlight of the week but there was so much more crammed into this week as well. Elder G and I feel so blessed by the Lord in all that we have been given this week. And we are working hard everyday to learn and do the Lords will in his work.

I'm really starting to settle in here in my area. We finally feel like we know where were going and we have been spending alot of time working with the members here. There is a whiteboard in our apartment just filled with names of members and references we are trying to contact. I love these people here in Guatemala me and Elder G always talk about them and how our capacity to love others just changes and grows on our missions. I think it was Friday we had a amazing day! I have never felt more guided by the spirit to go specific places and have things work out the way the Lord needs things to work out. 

There were definitely some challenges for us this week. Wednesday nothing worked for us at all. Literally all our lessons fell through which isnt very fun when you walk forever to get there HA! But it always amazes me how the Lord blesses us after the trial of our faith because the next day everything worked so well! My spanish is improving. Honestly learning spanish and being able to communicate well is one of the toughest things I've ever done. I really saw a big improvement from this week compared to last week. So I'm just trying to keep studying hard. Sometimes I just have to be more patient with myself. It's going to take some time and as long as I have the spirit miracles can happen.

Sounds like everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit back home! I love this time of year. Honestly Christmas is really different here. Its kind of weird cause its 80 degrees and sunny! Feels like a summer day in California. We bought some ghetto christmas lights and hung them up in our apartment haha! We had a family night with some memebers last night with a gift exchange which totally reminded me of home! Not sure exactly what were doing for Christmas I think we might go sing Carols to the members but I'm not sure. Im so excited to talk to you guys ahhh! The members and people here eat a ton of tomales here for Christmas. At first they are different but I love them. They also always give us something called ponche which is like a cider kind of drink with tons of different fruit in there. 

So some funny/interesting things this week. The busses here are crazy and we ride them all the time because our area is massive. You would not believe how many people they fit in these things. I mean we are mega tight. Its hilarious as we go to exit and I always have to look at Elder G, there is no way we can get to the exit over there HA! Two big gringos walking through all these people! It is unbelievable to me how these people live. Life has a different outlook here. Its more about survival than anything. I have been brought to tears a few times seeing some of these kids and families that live in such desperate conditions. Many of the men cant find jobs and when they do have one they work a ton of hours for so little. We really cannot complain about anything in the States. I have been blessed beyond belief with my home, family, and oppourtunities to be successful. This is what makes the message we carry so important. The gospel can bless and enrich our lives tremendously. So as we sit in a warm house around family friends and love, all I ask is that we thank our Heavenly Father daily for everything in our lives. Gratitude is an eternal principle and I know that this Christmas season I'm grateful for my wonderful family, friends and abundance of blessings in my life. I know that Jesus the Christ lives. I have seen his spirit and his teachings change the lives and hearts of people here. He has changed my life forever and most of all this Christmas season I give thanks to him. What a wonderful season to show your gratitude.

Mom i love the pics! And the ones of Riley and Zach look awesome!! I have some good looking brothers thats for sure. I have been thinking about you guys especially this time of the year. I love my family! I talk about you guys all the time too! Im glad things are going well. Tell Sarina I got her letter today! Made my day and I will write back promise! I love this work. I feel so much joy as I serve these people here. All the work, stress and frustration is swallowed up in the joy we feel as we serve and bring others unto Christ. Enjoy the Christmas season and capture it in your heart. I love you all!! 

Elder Hughes!

I dont know if you have the mailing address for the mission now. Always have people send everything to this adress for the entire mission. 

Mision Guatemala Norte
Apartado Postal 951-A
Guatemala, Guatemala CA

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wow! Im in the GUAT! | Week 10

Alright! Greetings from Guatemala!!! My P-day is on Monday obviously so I have more time to email today!  I have so much to talk about. I was so pumped on Tuesday I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! The last six days have been off the hook. I will start from the beginning on Tuesday! The mission president and his wife picked us up from the mtc! They are awesome! Hermana Watts is the second kindest woman I’ve ever met in my entire life. Behind you of course mom! She is the sweetest lady and when she walks in she just instantly loves you so much! We went to the Watts home in the city and had meetings with the assistants and interviews with the President! Both were good, my interview went well and the President is such a wise man and I’m excited to get to know him better! In the afternoon Elder H and I from my district went out in the city with some trainers to do some contacting! I stayed at the Assistants house in the city with Elder H and a bunch of trainers which was fun. We got to hear some crazy stories! The next morning we woke up and went to change conference to see where I’m going and who my trainer is.... My trainer is Elder G from Logan, UT this guy rocks! He is one of the best missionaries in the mission! We get along great. He has been out for thirteen months. We got assigned to open a new area! This is so cool but a lot of work because we don’t know anyone to start. We are in an area called Lleno largo 3. Our area is on the outskirts of Guatemala City! So there are five zones in the city and five zones up north! I have so much to tell you about this week. I am not going to lie. It’s definitely a culture shock! Everything is different here.... like everything! It’s crazy how poor these people are. We live literally in a cement house! It’s Awesome!! We have been working really hard to learn the area and get to know people in our area. Right off the bat we meet and start working with this young man named Bruno. He is sixteen years old and he has been going to church for a few weeks. We had a lesson with him on Thursday and I committed him to baptism! He said yes and we are now teaching him all of the discussions. Bruno was definitely prepared by the Lord before we got here! His baptismal date is set for this Saturday and it’s looking good. He has been reading the scriptures and looks so ready. I can’t believe in two weeks in the mission and it looks like we might already have a baptism! We feel so blessed! I love the members and everyone in our area. A lot of them are incredibly poor yet they have so much faith! We are also working with some investigators who have been coming to church and along with getting to know the members.
Friday was "Quemar el Diablo" day here in Guatemala! Everyone burns these devil doll things and light off fireworks! These fireworks are crazy loud. I think it might be a before Christmas thing, I have no idea. The first five days have been crazy opening this area. There were missionaries here sometime in the past. Not sure how long ago but we do not have many contacts or member information. Starting in a new area is sure a lot of work! Elder G has been great! He is an awesome guy and is teaching me a lot! He is so funny too. Spanish is improving I think. It’s definitely a lot harder out here in the field. I can understand probably about 70% of what people say. It’s just hard to speak. So I’m trying to be patient with everything. A lot of the missionaries just say to be patient it’s going to take time but it will come. This is definitely a challenge for me. A lot of the people speak in slang and use words I do not know but Elder G helps me. He is really good at Spanish so that helps. We try and speak it together as much as we can.
I have never been more tired in my entire life! Especially the first three days. We have been working our tails off. But I’m kind of getting used to things here now. The food, where I’m living, the people and everything here is different. But I love it. And I love the work we are doing. I have seen some things already that are....very different! I have so much I need to learn. To actually be an effective missionary in the field is a learning process. But Elder G and I work great together and we are excited for this next week. I’m so excited for Saturday! I already just love Bruno and these people so much. The families that we have met are awesome!!
Couple things I’ve learned this week
1. In Guatemala the Cars do not stop for anyone or anything!
2. Learned how to eat food that I do not like at all! They like to feed us these platanos things fried in a sauce.... No Bueno!
3. Yes it’s true... I have already fallen asleep on my knees before bed HA!
Spiritually and physically we are tested on the mission. I rely on prayer a ton! I have already seen mini miracles every day when we are out working. Amazing! The Lord guides his work that I know is true. Your capacity to love on the mission just grows so much! I love you all! Sounds like you had a good trip to DC! I love and pray for you guys all the time! I KNOW this church is true. It really does change people. That happens through the atonement of Jesus Christ! Reach out to others and do as Christ would do! 

Love Elder Hughes!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Surprise e-mail | week 8

Hey surprise email!!!!! 
They let us email today before we leave tomorrow! I can’t believe it ahhhh! So I hope you are all doing well
back home. I can’t believe its December already. So I leave here about
8:30am tomorrow to go to the mission home. I’m so pumped to go and
excited to see who my trainer is and where my new area is located. The last two months
just flew by so fast! I feel like I have had so many growing experiences.
I fasted for Tyler on Sunday. So send him my love. I’ve been
thinking about him. I bet we will get back from our missions at the
same time now ha! So the last couple days have been a bit different
here. Nothing to crazy, just getting our last preparations in before we
leave. I’m going to miss the new friends I have made here at the ccm.
I just loved my district and I had the opportunity to give three
blessings last night before everyone started leaving. Wow the power of
the priesthood is real! My testimony has strengthened alot here at ccm
and I’m so excited to start sharing this amazing message with others.
There is nothing more important in the world than this message I get
to share. I know this church is true and can change and bless the
lives of all people. 
I’ve been thinking about you guys a lot…. Mom, Dad, Riley, Zach and all who read these.
I just love you guys so much! I’m so excited to call you guys for Christmas in a few weeks!
Who knows where I’m going to be then?!?! 
Some interesting news for you guys. Elder Christofferson is coming from the quorum of the twelve in
January. So there is a chance I will get to meet him. That’s kind of
cool! I will be thinking of you guys tomorrow. I’m glad you are going to
be able to talk to Taylor! And tell him sorry I haven’t been able
to respond to his emails because I haven’t had enough time to
write you guys while I’ve been here. But they give us more time to
email in the field so that will be better. 
Mom the picture of Rachel was great btw! Whew model status! Tell
Rachel Hi for me. I’m glad you guys got to visit them this last week.How
fun is that!!!! 
Well I don’t know exactly what to say. Nothing new to write. 
Just that I’m so excited!!! And a bit nervous to go out! I am a very happy elder!
The gospel along with obedience makes you happy.
I feel so blessed to have such good parents, brothers, and friends! I
feel so blessed in my life. I know there are going to be challenges,
especially in the next couple weeks. But I know this is the Lords work
and those he calls he qualifies. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and
know he lives. His church has been restored on the earth today through
a latter-day prophet Joseph Smith. The book of mormon is true. That one
book alone has changed my life. Wow I love this church. Farewell
MTC……on to the real work. Tomorrow is going to be a huge day. Thanks
for all your support and love! Not sure when I will email next but I think
President Watts and his wife will send you a picture of us at the mission
home! Have a great week! And remember to serve someone! Go out of
your way to do something for someone else…… good or small!  
Elder Hughes!

I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve | Week 7

Hola Familia!!!!
Whew!! I’m leaving for the field in like three days. Wow!
I’m so excited! I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve.... lots of
butterflies. I’m just excited to see where I’m going to be. It could be
So about my week. I had a challenging one. Not sure why.
I do know that god answers prayers. He has answered some of mine this
week. I just finished the Book of Mormon. I’ve been reading like crazy
to finish it in two weeks! So I can tell you it can be done! All of
our normal classes and stuff are done and we had field orientation
yesterday so that was fun! I leave on Tuesday morning to go to the
mission home which isn’t too far from the ccm here. And I think I’m
spending Tuesday night there but not exactly sure. I know we have
training and meetings most of the day. I’m excited to meet my mission
president too! I’m excited to meet my trainer. I’m going to be with
him for the next twelve weeks. Crazy! I have just loved the MTC here
in Guatemala, such a great place. It’s like one big family here.
There were some tough times like being sick... but I have had so many
great experiences! I’m so grateful for my opportunity to come and
get to know all these people. It has been nice because I have
adjusted to how the natives speak. When I first heard the people here I had
no idea what they were saying! 
Wow mom you’re in Maryland! How sweet!!!! Tell everyone hi for me. I think about all you guys!
Tell Wade I’m going to go pick up where he left off in the North! Love you guys.
Dad I started smiling just imagining you putting up
Christmas lights! I remember the old house was alot more
difficult! Have fun going to Stockton! I got grandma and grandpas
letter so tell them thanks and I will write back! Thanks to the
Harless´s and the Jays for letters. Harless´s you guys rock love you
CAITLIN! WOW! Madrid Spain… that’s so sweet. Tell her congrats for
me. What an exciting time! Congratulations Caitlin you won’t regret it.
A mission is the best thing ever! And Tyler….dang!  Bummer! That is no
fun.... and I do feel his pain. I know he always has the best
attitude about everything though. I will be praying for him! It’s so
fun to hear about everyone heading out on their missions! Already I just
love my mission so much and time is going by too fast! It’s already
December ! I love this work. There really is nothing more
important in the entire world! I feel so privileged to have this
 I have been thinking this week alot about why having
faith is so important! Everything in life takes faith and we need to
always be exercising our faith in Christ and Heavenly Father. Faith
and your attitude to everything in life make ALL the difference. I
know this is true. Miracles are accomplished through faith and nothing
else. There are miracles all around us, we just need to act, move, and
serve with faith and I know amazing things can happen. Sometimes the
Lord tests our faith to see what we have and to see how faithful we really are.
But I know that after the trial of our faith we receive a witness from
the spirit. I love this work and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know he
lives and loves us perfectly! I heard a short quote this week that
says "No matter what we go through, when we feel we can’t take more.
Just stop and think of Christ he has been there before" I love this
gospel and I love my family and friends. I’m a happy missionary right
now on the "eve" of the mission field! Love you Tyler Clark! I love
you Mom Dad Riley Zach and everyone!!! 
Elder Hughes

Your Insides want to be on your Outsides | week 6

Hi Family!!!
Happy thanksgiving!!! It was kind of weird being gone
for the first holiday. But we just did the same thing we always do
here so didn’t feel different to me. They did make us some
Guatemalan style thanksgiving dinner which was awesome. So we tried to
stuff ourselves the best we could! 
Ok busy week this week. It’s getting down to crunch time with
only about a week and a half left until the field! 
Very excited but nervous also! I set some new goals for the
district this week and have been trying to set a good example of
diligence and obedience. After spending 8 weeks sitting in a classroom
it can be difficult for missionaries to remember our purpose and why
we are here…to prepare. So that has been good. My district has been
sick alot and we have had a bad cold going around so I had the opportunity
to give some blessings! 
Well I have quite the story to tell. On Wednesday I felt pretty crappy.
We walked up to the temple and for lunch we had fish.
Which isn’t my favorite meal here at the CCM. So
two hours later I felt terrible. In the middle of a meeting I had to
book it up stairs and then the fireworks began! I puked 4 times
for like 3 hours! It’s funny thinking about it now but at the time
when you’re in church clothes in a Guatemalan bathroom and as Brian
Regan says "your insides want to be on your outsides" not a fun
feeling.  By far the worst part of my mission so far. Not going to lie
mom, all I wanted was a big hug on Wednesday! But it’s all good now. By
the end of that night I felt alot better. I think it was just
something I ate. From what people tell me, I should get used to
stuff like that! So, that’s my exciting story of the week.  I
have now seen and tasted Guatemala at its finest and I don’t think I’m
going to be able to eat fish ever…ever again. Wow! The mission
is full of so many experiences. I wish I could tell you guys all of
I have challenged myself to read the book of Mormon in two weeks.
I love that book so much. I can’t get enough of it….seriously!
Tell Sarina congrats about the engagement. I’ve been thinking
about her this week! How exciting!! I wish I could be there to see that
special day! 
Hodgsons thanks for the letter! I got that on Wednesday
night which was exactly what I needed so thanks again! 
Dad I’m friends with an elder here named Andrew C who works up at Camp Loll
with Mr. Conner! I talked with him about that for a while.Small world!
 I’m glad you guys had a good thanksgiving! How fun was
six flags? And snowboarding as well!  Riley and Zach will probably be
pros by the time I get back! Mom you got all of your holiday stuff up?
I’m going to miss that... but I’m excited to spend the
holidays with the people down here too! I’m doing well!  Just trying to
become the missionary the lord needs me to be. There are some tough
moments sometimes but the lord always lifts you higher! I love having
the opportunity to serve my district the best I can. Still have comp
problems sometimes but just trying to help him any way I can. 
What am I grateful for this thanksgiving?? Number one having an amazing
family! I can’t tell you guys how blessed I feel to have been raised in
such a great home! There is no substitute for a righteous mother! Mom
you are the best and being on the mission opens your eyes even more.
You have done so much for me and I just feel so blessed! 
For my packages…. whatever you think I would
like. It’s hard to think of things. Maybe a way I could listen to church
music. Maybe an old iPod along with some little speakers.
That’d be kind of nice!
I know this church is true and it blesses families so much. I love sharing that
message with others. Family is central to god and this church. We can
find true happiness and peace within our homes and church service! I
know this church is true. It is burning in my heart. I love my mission!
Good times and the difficult ones. It’s all part of the journey.
LOVE you all. Sorry I wish I could write more. I will have
more time in the field!
Elder Tanner Hughes