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!