Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Feliz Año Nuevo! | week 65


Hey guys!

I didnt forget to write you guys haha. We had leadership meeting Yesterday with President Watts so we didnt have the chance to write. Im glad everyone is home safe and you enjoyed your trip. Thanks Mom for all the pictures you sent. I love them. Riley and Zach you guys are getting so dang big I cannot believe it. Tell Dana Conratulations on the the engagement she looks happy in those pictures.

Well last week was a little crazy with the holidays and everything. I love holidays but as missionaries it makes things a little bit tougher. We have been working closely with the Bishop and our ward mission leader to make a new ward mission plan for this year. In this ward there were 20 baptisms in 2013 but almost all of them are not active. So we are setting some plans to have a better year in this ward. On Sunday one of our investigators that we have had for about three months came to Church for the first time which was awesome. Hermana D has three kids who are all members but she isnt. She has had one of the craziest lives I have ever seen and we have alot of work to do but everything is possible with the lord. We were able to set a baptismal date with a woman named S on Sunday. She is married to a less active return missionary and we are working with her and her husband. Things have been slow this last month for us but we know that there are people prepared to accept the gospel. President Watts has introduced us to a new mission plan for 2014 and it is awesome! 

Some cool news we got yesterday we are going to be having a mission conference the 21st of January and the following day we are going to have the priviledge of having Elder Quentin L Cook here in Guatemala for a three mission Conference wooohoooo! 

I really cannot believe that today is the last day of 2013. That year went by so fast I didnt even feel it haha. 2013 has brought so many blessing into my life. I was able to meet so many amazing people and to serve the Lord every day. I have felt the Lords loving hand lift me up many times. Whenever I feel like I cant get up, keep walking, or move forward I feel like there is someone behind me pushing me. Haha. I loved a quote by Elder Bednar from this last general conference he stated that " Sometimes we may ask got for success, and he gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of Grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, he may increase our resolve and resilience." God knows each one of us so personally. Sometimes we do not understand why things happen to us but I know that he does. And he will give us the strength to face the challenges of life. There will be angels on your right hand and on your left building you up. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of this restored gospel. I hope you all have a happy new year and that God may be with you in 2014.

I am trying to correct my spelling now that I know you guys dont correct it hahahah. Spanish is destroying my writing skills. Have a great week guys I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love

Elder Hughes

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Phone Calls | week 64


We did not get a letter from Tanner this week, we got to TALK to HIM via SKYPE! It was so wonderful to see his smiling face and talk to him. I can't even express in words the gratitude that I have for these boys. They are amazing. Their words are so filled with the spirit and the experiences they are having are amazing. Here is Tanner's week in pictures. He has done some amazing things!

Making tamales this week with someone we contacted 
We did a service project with some of the elders in the zone cleaning up a street and helping the people!

Alot of stairs to climb!!!! 300

These are some pics of our activity yesterday at an orphanage

This is when we sang songs with all the kids soooo coool!
This is paula she is 20 years old and has lived in the orphanage her whole life.... wow so special




Monday, December 16, 2013

Feliz Navidad | week 63


This week I sent both boys a list of questions to answer. I am highlighting the questions. A very interesting read!


Hey Guys!!!!!!!!!!!


Whew coming at you guys a little later today! Wasn't able to write in the morning. Im glad you guys are doing well and enjoying all the Christmas Activities. And what is this with opening one present a day hahaha. And Zach is heading to Disneyland woohooo! Thats funny because this afternoon I was just talking to one of the elders in the Zone about disneyland haha. 

Ok I would love to answer your questions for ya!

Where am I serving? Right now I'm in an area called asuncion. Its in the zona 5 of Guatemala, City. We do a lot of walking. There are three parts to our area. One part called Santo Domingo where most of the members live. Lots of hills and don't houses haha. La Chacara is the ghetto area. Not the most pleasant place to hang out but we have investigators there and some member families. Compared to my other areas its pretty similar to llano largo. Pretty humble settings but there are some residential areas that are a lot nicer too.

Apartment? We live in a little first story apartment. Its pretty simple got a little kitchen study room and bedroom. The bathroom is super small hahaha You can practically take a shower, brush your teeth and clean the toilet all at the same time haha

Food? and My favorite? I love the food here in Guatemala. They eat ALOT of black beans, eggs and chicken. One dish I love is called caldo de pollo. They make it in many different ways but its soooo good.

Craziest thing that has happened to me? Hmmm well I have some good stories for when I get home. Thats a really hard question to answer. Probably when one of my companions woke up screaming my name in the middle of the night telling me that there was people in our house. haha. I will have to explain that one later on hahahah.

Best thing about the mission? Another tough one. I love helping these people grow closer to the Lord and find the peace they are looking for. Experiencing that and seeing people change just never gets old. 

Hardest thing about the mission? Working through trials and having patience with yourself, the people and your companion hahah.

What have I learned most? I have learned that our Father in Heaven loves each one of his children individually and that we must trust him. Accept his will in our lives and love EVERYONE!

Am I doing things I never thought possible? Yes haha. I never really thought that I would be able to walk around in a foreign country, speak their language, and help others come unto Christ. I always tell my comps that I feel like someone is behind me pushing me all the time. I don't understand how I get up in the mornings ready to take one a new day of challenges. The Lord blesses his missionaries with His strength. I marvel at it every day.

Hows my spanish? Well I definitely know the language. I still learn lots of new words. Most of them are obscure uncommon words that you don't normally hear. I feel really comfortable and for most of the week Im thinking, dreaming and talking in spanish. My english has taken a hit hahah I still have a lot to learn though!

What am I hoping to accomplish in the time I have left? I want to reach my full potential as a missionary and bring as many people I can to Christ and his church. I have a lot I need to improve and the lord has a way of showing you weaknesses that must be strengthened and changed.

Mom I loved the story of your new found friend. Its amazing how the lord puts us in the path of others. I have learned out here that the there are NO such things as coincidences here in this life. Our Heavenly father uses us to answer prayers and uses others to answer ours. I am doing great. We had a better week in our area and are hoping to see some more success in January here in Asucion. Have a great week and we will be talking soon! I know this work is true. I love it! Enjoy this time of year and let the spirit of Christ enter into your hearts. Love you all so much!

Elder Hughes
We took one of the awkward elder and hermana pics :)


Monday, December 9, 2013

QUE TAL FAMILIA! | week 62

Me and Elder Sainz from Mexico

Hey Guys!!!!!

I loved all the pictures you guys sent me! This is such a fun time of year. Tell everyone there I say hi and that I love them.

Well for my weekly update I dont have changes Im gonna stay here for the next eight week change. I was pretty anxious last night waiting for the change call haha. Im gonna be spending this Christmas here in Asuncion. We had a better week than last week. We had a really cool experience early in the week when we were looking for some recent converts on the list of inactive members. We knocked on this door and they let us know that they had moved. Started talking with a man named C. About twelve years ago he got into contact with the church and he went to church with a group of young men. When the bishop who was working with him left to Canada he stopped coming and got into some bad things in his life. We asked if we could come in and began teaching him. He has been so prepared to accept the gospel. He was almost teaching us the lesson it was so cool. The problem is he works in a bread shop so he works a crazy schedule. He wasnt able to come with us to church but we will be working on it. We have continued to work with a new investigator we found named Alejandra. She has felt the spirit and is really interested in this message. We got her set up last night to watch the Christmas devotional on her computer because one of her daughters was sick. The problem we have been having is getting our investigators to church. 
Saturday was the annual "dia del diablo" day of the devil. They have this tradition here on the 7th of December everyone burns huge devil doll things and all the trash they have in their house haha Mixed with a bunch of firecrackers. I guess it gets all the bad spirits and stuff out of the house before Christmas time haha.

Hermana Watts made us some thanksgiving dinner
for all the ZL`s oh my gosh so good!
I went on a division with Elder N one of the district leaders in the zone. We have become really good friends and we taught investigators all day which was super fun. We went into a house and saw the biggest, meanest dog ive ever seen in my life haha. The guy told us he broke the chain the week before and was running loose in the house. This thing was like a small tiger haha. He told us that this dog can destroy pittbulls. Crazy stuff!

F is doing so good! He received the Aaronic preisthood on Sunday and has been coming to all the activities and everything.

Im not sure if you guys saw the Christmas devotional last night from the first presidency. If you have a chance you can watch it on internet. I love this time of the year. It causes us to reflect on the birth and life of Christ. I have always cherished the many traditions and the spirit we all feel this time of year. President Monson mentioned in his talk that we need to slow down this Christmas season and remember why we celebrate. I hope that we can all capture the spirit of the season and help someone who needs it. I love this work and I love my Savior. 

Until next week! We are headed off to go bowling with zone ah yeah! 


Elder Hughes

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hola from Rocklin | week 61

Elder Brooks, one of the best friends I have made out here.

Hey coming at you guys a little earlier today!

Wow im glad you guys had a fun Thanksgiving. I was thinking about you guys on thursday haha. I was on a division with another Elder from the States so we had our own little celebration with a hot fudge sundae at McDonalds. Tell Aaron I say Hi where is he living now? Utah?. Dad thanks for the message on Gratitude. I love that quote that "Gratitude is one of the most important human virtues and one of the most common human deficiencies." 

Well im doing good. Not going to lie this week has been one of those tough ones. I guess life and the mission cant always be roses and sunshine haha. Thats part of the mission and I have had weeks like this in the past. It just seemed like nothing was working. Alot of our appointments fell through and It seemed like nothing went our way. These are the times when I have really relied on prayer. We can only control so many things and then we have to put our problems and situations in the hands of the lord. He is like that clutch hitter who is in the clean up spot in the baseball line up. When runners are on base and the game is tight he always seems to come through and knock them in haha. There is my sports analogy of the week.
Me and Elder Kapp on Thanksgiving,
We ate Paches haha Its like a tamale with potatoes
Our investigator Ir was doing great to start the week. Everything was going great. One of our appointments fell on Friday and Saturday and then when we went to go get her on Sunday morning she was gone. We went to look for her on Sunday night and she was acting super weird. Idk! I have just learned to laugh instead of getting frustrated. Alot of the Zone has been having some struggles in their areas too. We have conselio with President Watts this week which should help us know how to move forward.

We get change calls next Sunday! I really feel like Im going to have a change but we will see what happens. In the mission we are going to open up some new zones outside of the capital which should be pretty cool. Who knows whats going to happen though. Oh and President Watts just gave us permission to use SKYPE this Christmas. Im not sure if im going to be here in this area or somewhere else so we will see what happens. 

I want to share a poem this week haha

I left a quiet harbor
In favor of another, I know not where
But at first, there are seas to cross
and storms to brave
how could I prefer the foreign deeps 
to the encircling arms of the bay
Because there are some things 
that can only be learned at sea.
Yes my craft is watertight
I can navigate the unknown
And lo, the wind that fills my sails
blow from home

There are alot of things in life that can only be learned at sea. I am so grateful for the oppourtunity I have been given to serve others. Thanks for your support and love. Like the poem says the wind that fills my sails blows from home. I am anxious to see what happens this week with changes. Hey If you guys have any questions for me feel free to ask. Sometimes I run out of things to talk about. I love you guys so much. Enjoy this holiday season. Isnt this the best time of the year. I think its because everyone in the world centers themselves a little bit more on Christ. Have a great week and we will be talking soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love 

Elder Hughes



Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! | week 60

Hey everyone!!!!!

Thanks for the email mom sounds like you guys have had a really busy week. I am glad that everything went well in Utah for Grandpas Funeral I was thinking about all of you guys on Thursday wondering how everyone was feeling. I have reflected this week alot about Grandpa Cahoon. I know he is in a much better place and will be helping all of us in our life journeys. Send my love to Grandpa Val and everyone I love them so much. Wow Mom I love all the holiday plans. Be sure to eat alot of Turkey for me this week. Here in Guatemala Thanksgiving doesnt really exist haha Got to love all the american holidays. Thursday will be a normal day but I will be sure to celebrate in my own little way haha. The good thing is this is the last Thanksgiving I will miss. Tell Aaron I say hi and that I love him. Give him my email I want to hear for him one of these days. 

Well not a whole lot to report this week but we have been working hard and finding some new people to teach. We found a woman we contacted in the street named Ir she is great. We finally found her in her house and she invited us right in. After talking for a while she expressed to us a deep desire to change her life and to come closer to God. She lost one of her daughters about three years ago and it has been a huge trial in her life. We set a baptismal date with her for the 21st of Decemeber. I really hope she starts to progress and can find the peace she is looking for. Me and Elder A are really searching for some new people who have been prepared to hear this message. We also were able to find a new family this week that let us in and we were able to answer alot of questions they have about the church. We then started teaching about the plan of salvation and one of the hermanas just got so excited as she told us that very day she was pondering about her purpose in life and where she came from. We taught her exactly that and she is really interested. I love moments like that in the mission. I think alot of times we take for granted the knowledge we do have. I know who I am, where I came from and where im going to go after this life. This knowledge gives us an anchor in the raging sea of life.

The stake presidency called me this week on Wendsday and asked me to speak in stake conference!!!!!!!! I was like "WHAT" alright so I spoke in the adult session on saturday. That was the first time I have spoken in stake conference in my life haha. I usually dont get nervous but I was sweating up there haha. I spoke about the retention of recent converts and how we can be freinds with and support those who are baptized members of the church. This is actually something really important. In this stake the retention of recent converts isnt good at all. Everthing went well though haha. On Sunday we had a Stake conference session that came in by sattelite from salt lake to all the stakes in Guatemala. It was really cool because President Eyring and Elder Scott spoke! Elder Scotts talk was the coolest because he knows spanish. He spoke about the importance of mothers and the divine worth of women. Wow it was so powerful. Not going to lie he got me all teared up. His talk caused me to reflect on all the great women who have influenced my life. First my wonderful mother who has given me so much. I owe everthing to you mom. Thanks for always supporting and loving me. Then my wonderful Grandmothers who have taught me so much. I sure love my Grandmothers. I have had many other aunts and freinds that have had a huge effect on my life. Dad thanks for always teaching me to respect and protect women. I remember you teaching me how I should treat my dates and do the little things. We cannot forget to do the little things like opening up doors, helping, and reminding women that they are loved and respected.

We are going to have a mini Zone conference tomorrow with President Watts. I am excited to learn something new and to have another good week in our area. 

I found a quote this week that I wanted to share with you guys


"You know sometimes you think yourself into unhappiness and depression. But did you know you can think yourself into happiness? By positive thinking, you will be well, you will prosper, and your prayers will be answered. Become the master of your thoughts. Stop thinking about how tough life is, stop worrying about the future and the past, think of Gods riches and love and express those thoughts daily, you will become what you think"

As Thanksgiving day approaches I think it is so refreshing to remember what God has given us and to give thanks. Gratitude makes what we do have enough. I am so grateful for my loving family and this gospel that guides and directs my life. I am grateful for the priviledge I have to serve the Lord for two years. It can be easy here when the holidays approach to miss home. I do miss you all so much but I know I am exactly where the lord needs me and for that I am grateful. I hope you all have a great week and watch some football for me ahahaha.

Until next week!

Elder Hughes

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hmmmm..... What I would give for a pumpkin cookie | week 59

Hey Guys!

Well I love all the pictures. You guys got all decked out in oregon gear. Well Spencer is HOME! I cannot believe that. I love the pictures too I cannot imagine how excited Jamie and Mark were. Im excited to see him when I get home.

Thanks for letting me know about Great Grandpa Cahoon. I was hoping I would be able to have seen him one more time before he left this world. I have been thinking about him what a great example he was to all of his family. He was so funny too haha. Im going to miss going over there on Christmas with all the family and having the classic mustard ham. All of my Grandparents aunts uncles and everyone back home will be in my prayers this week. Mom, Dad, Give them all a hug for me and tell them I love them. Death is a step we are all going to have to take one day. Im grateful that Grandpa was able to live a good long life and I know he will be watching over us up there. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of Gods plan of Happiness. Isnt it nice to know that if we do the right things here on earth we can return to live with our father in heaven once again! I love this knowledge and I know Grandpa is in a much better place.

As for my week we had a good one! F was baptized on Saturday wooohoooo! He didnt smoke all week and we were able to finish teaching him. We gave him a blessing on Tuesday to help him get through the week and resist all of Satans temptations to smoke. He told us later on in the week that when we gave him the blessing he felt the spirit really strongly and was able to turn down offers he received from his co workers to "Just smoke one". It really has been such a blessing to work with F. The Bishopric is already getting his calling ready to work with the young men which would be perfect!

We were able to find some more people to teach this week. Now its just getting them to church on Sunday. We started working with a woman named S who had a derrame i think that is hemorage in english haha Im forgeting words this is so bad. But her husband is inactive and served a mission. He has been working on coming back to church and we want to help. There are alot of other people but it would take a while to explain them all haha.

As a zone we are really trying to move the work forward and have success. Sometimes I feel stressed by all the responsibility and little problems we have to deal with. But the one thing ive learned about life is that it always seems to work out. Sometimes we get feelling overwhelmed by alot of the stresses but looking back its funny to see how those things helped me learn and grow. 

I love you all so much. In this thanksgiving time of the year i give thanks to my Father in Heaven who has given me so much. Such a wonderful family, freinds, and this Gospel that guides and protects me. The best way we can show gratitude to God for all of these blessings is by keeping his commandaments and giving our time and service to others. Lets show our gratitude to God and our families by serving them. Just look for little things!

I love you all and I know that this work is true. Have a great week and never give up!

Love


Elder Hughes

Monday, November 11, 2013

no clever title this week | week 58



Hey guys!

Its so nice to hear from you guys this week. Thanks for all the updates I love it. Glad to hear Whitney beat antelope to win league. How crazy that Elder Voges is coming home tomorrow! How crazy is that I remember like it was yesterday when he gave his farewell talk. Time is just flying by.

Well we finished the last week of the change. And.... Im staying here with Elder Alvarado. The weird thing is we are going to have changes again in a month. Had to change the date of changes in the mission because it would have landed on the 24th of Decemeber. So we are going to have a change of four weeks and then a change of eight.

C was Baptised on Sunday Morning. Wow it went so well. On tuesday we went to vistit with her and she was really down. She had fought with her Mom the day before and was feeling really down. Even doubting her decision to be baptised. Without fail Satan always come in and launches his full assault on these people. But after a two hour lesson she was ready to go. She went to girls camp and had a blast. I called her when she got back was just so excited. Sunday morning her uncle Hno Montes de Oka baptized her. All the sacrifice and everthing we go through is all worth it when C got up to bear her testimony to end the meeting and through tears and smiles thanked her heavenly father for the many blessings she has recieved. I love C and I have really developed a bond with her this last change.

The rest of the week was filled with alot of baptismal interveiws and fallen citas. We really had a hard time finding new people to teach this last week. Sometimes thats how the mission can be. I have been really trying to trust in the Lord more. 

Elder G is going home this week! I have been able to talk to him a couple times these last few weeks. He is one of the best freinds I have ever had. Im sad that he is going home. It all feels like a dream sometime and its not supposed to end haha. Look for him on Facebook!
One of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. That is
one of the volcanos in the background.

Im kind of at a loss for words today and Im not sure why hahah. Im feeling good! The mission always comes with alot of new challenges and struggles. It doesnt matter how much experience you have or how well you speak the language they are just always there. The great thing is that the Lord has supported me every step of the way. He seems to always lift us higher when we feel down or in a tough situation. He is the master teacher and he knows exactly what we need to improve and progress in this life. I have pondered this week on the blessing of eternity. Just stop to ponder on what our heavenly father has in store for us. If we are obedient and consistently apply the atonement of Jesus Christ we will be joint heirs with him. No eye can see no mind can comprehend all the things our father in heaven has in store for those who obey and love him. With an eternal perspective we can see how fleeting and superficial we can make life. Alot of the worries superficial things in life just simply dont matter. The simple joys of a happy family where there is love and understanding. Personal pray and communion with our father in heaven and the joys of service to others. These are the things that bring true lasting peace into our lives.

I love you all so much. I remember with President Murphy set me apart he stated that I would gain more appreciation and love for my family. I love you all so much. My Father in Heaven has been so good to me.

Have a great week! I love you all so much!

Elder Hughes



just some dogs in the streets.

This is fiambre its a typical dish that is only served on november first



Monday, November 4, 2013

Buddy the Elf whats your favorite color? | week 57

Hey guys! 

Happy Monday. I'm glad all is calm and cooling down in Rocklin. Like you Mom I count my blessing daily here in Guatemala. We are having our zone activity today we rented a bus and we found a place to play some lazertag hahah. I'm super pumped!

Well me and Elder A had a busy week! Lots of meetings and running around but thats how I like it. We continue to look for more people to teach. That seems to always be the wall to climb in the mission field  Nothing happens if we dont find people. While knocking doors we met F who is a teacher. He teaches night school to adults who never finished their classes when they were younger. Super humble guy who wants to learn more and loves to read! He lives in a really humble house and is building a new one close by. We are going to help him this week. He told us he just wants us to come and teach him but we are going to happen to pass by his house in the morning with a change of clothes in our backpacks hahaha.

C is so excited! She is going to "girls camp" with all the girls in the stake here for three days this week. I dont think there is anything better to get her ready to make covenants with the lord. She is going to be coming home Saturday evening so we are going to have her baptism Sunday morning at 8 and then she will be confirmed right after in Sacrament meeting. It is amazing the changes she has made in her life. Her mom has been telling us all about it haha. 

F is getting there. He has lowered his cigarrete usage to only 8 this last week in total. This next week is going to be really important he has to take the final step and leave them for good. Wow addictions are tough to face. But I know that with the help of the lord and the support of others anyone can release themselves from the heavy chains of addicion.

On November first it was "dia de los santos" where literally everyone goes to visit the gravesites of their relatives. There is a national cemetary close to our little apartment so tons of people came to celebrate haha. They eat a special dish here only on this day called Fiambre its a huge mix of vegetables and all kinds of meats. This thing has almost everything its crazy! A member family prepared it for us. I really liked it tons of flavors.

The zone is starting to really pick things up here. We should have about ten baptisms as a zone in the next two week! We are starting week 6 of the change too. I cannot believe it time is just flying by. I dont think that I will have a change but ive learned to expect the unexpected here in the mission.

A couple random things that happen here in Guatemala that I havent told you guys..... hahaha

If you want some fresh goats milk just walk outside in the morning there are always "shepards" we bring their goats around in the street so you can but your warm cup of goats milk hahahah. I havent gotten up the courage to try it yet.

Hahahah Oh well breast feeding here is just normal for everyone so if the babys hungry the women just pull their shirts down and start feeding their kids without covering themselves. When I first got here I was like what is going on..... Now its just normal but its a little awkward in the middle of a lesson and they just start feeding away right in front of us. HAHA

Well Im glad you guys are doing well in Rocklin! I meant to ask you guys what are your plans for thanksgiving and christmas? I have studied and taught alot this about the atonement of Jesus Christ. There is no truth more important than the knowlege we have that Christ payed for everyone of our sins, errors, and afflicions we face. We are all indebted to god. We are seperated from him physically and sin seperates us spiritually. There is no way we can climb out of this hole on our own. Our loving father in heaven knew this so he sent his only begotten son to pay the debt. Now he comes to us as and asks that we obey, and serve him. The demands of justice have been payed by Christ now we must serve him! There is no other way. His mercy is sufficient to save us after we have done all that we can! I love my Savior and I feel privledged to serve him. Not only for these two years but for all of my life! Go to him for help. And you will find peace and rest for your soul. I know this is true.

I love you guys! Know that I pray for all of my freinds and family and I feel your prayers. Thank you.

Share your smile with someone today!

Until next week


Elder Hughes

Monday, October 28, 2013

greetings from Guatemala | week 56


Whats up guys!

Thanks dad for the email I always enjoy the sports updates haha. Im glad you guys are getting away for the weekend and heading to San francisco I miss that city. Send me some pics next week of all your adventures. Congrats to Chase Blevins on his baptism woooowooooo! Give him a high five for me. It will be cool to see how everyone has grown while Im gone. I still freak out seeing pictures of Riley and Zach they are getting so big. Go Cougs! Glad Taysem is playing well. Did I ever tell you guys that I met him at the Clarks grandparents house in Provo.

Well just finished another good week in the mission feild. Time is just flying by. I have to stop every monday and remember what happens every week out here. As a zone we had the best week I have seen in all of my time in zona Palmita. We found 54 new investigators as a zone and it looks like we are going to have alot of success in November. Wendsday we had interveiws with President Watts, Hermana Watts had to go to Utah for two weeks to help one of her daughters who was having a baby. Im not going to lie it wasnt the same without her haha. As zone leaders on interveiw days we basically spend most of the day in the stake center organizing the interveiw schedule. At about 6:30pm I got to talk with President after everyone. Wow I just loved it! He really helped me out with some of the stresses I have in the Zone. I feel so blessed to have develped a strong relationship with President and Hermana Watts. We are going to have to go visit them when I get back. Hermana Watts already told me she will have to approve of my future wife hahahaha.

Thursday we got the oppourtunity to do divisions with one of the assistants Elder S. I woke up thursday Prayed and made a couple changes to our plans. We decided to bring one of our new investigators hna C to the chapel to show her around and have a lesson with her. We picked her up with a member and took her to the chapel. I remember she walked in and just stood there staring at the painting of Christ and his apostles in the entryway. We took her into the sacrament room and talked about the sacrament, the atonement and baptism. Im not sure how it happened but we ended up sitting down together in foyer. C opened up to us about alot of the problems she has had in her life. I cannot begin to describe the suffering and pain she has felt. She was abandoned as a litte girl and got by begging for money in the streets. For a time in her life she lost her sight completely and only by the hand of the lord she was able to get a surgery that corrected her eyes. She began to cry and at one moment said that her life wasnt worth anything. It was our privilege to testify and tell this tender hearted woman that she does matter and that she is worth  everything in the eyes of god. We just told her how much we love her. One of the coolest moments I have had on my mission. C has alot of things to overcome like her sister who wont let her leave the house to come to church with us. But I know that with the Lords help she will be able to come and feel the blessings her father in heaven has in store for her. We are going to head to her house tonight to try and talk with her sister.

Christina and Freddy are both pregressing really well. Chr went to church, mutual, and we had a great lesson with her on Thursday night. It is amazing to see the changes that take place in the lives of these people. F is doing well also. He has lowered things down to three cigarretes each day and our goal is that he will be able to be down to almost nothing at the end of this week. We set a baptismal date with him for the 16th of November!

I really felt the giudance of the spirit this week. It is absolutely key that we as missionaries and members have the spirit with us at all times. He whispers and guides our thoughts and actions. It amazes me sometimes how during the day or during lessons, examples or impressions come to my mind. This is the lords work and it is done by the influence and guidance of the spirit. It cannot be done in any other way.

We have a busy week coming up with lots of meetings! Got leadership meeting tomorrow, stake correlation, and zone meeting this week Whew! About once a month we have a week like this one. I am so excited with this zone right now. I have felt recently that we are going to see some really big blessings from the lord. We have started to see those this last week. I love the missionaries in this zone. I get attached to them and it is such a priviledge I have to work along side them.

I have been focusing on my prayers this week. Honestly I didnt really know what prayer was before the mission. Prayer is a sacred privilede we have to communicate with our Father in Heaven. I think sometimes we get to repetitious and lazy with our prayers. You can learn almost everthing about the relationship someone has with god just by listening to the way they talk to him. Are we really talking with him? Or do we just recite alot of words and phrases that we always use? As I was thinking and studying about prayer this week I went to my bed and prayed for a while. I testify that God does hear and answer us. If we will only ask in faith he can do all things! Lets focus on our prayers this week and make them meaningful. I love this gospel. I have never been apart of something so grand and important in all my life.

Have a great week Family and Friends.... I love you all so much. I hope you all know that. Dad thanks for always supporting me. I feel so proud to be your son. Give Mom a big hug for me today hahahah!

Love

Elder Hughes
I was using the restroom in one of the members houses this week and had this turtle hanging out with me while on the toilet hahaha only in Guatemala . . . . that is a huge turtle!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Guats Up | week 55


Happy Monday!

Glad to hear you guys are doing well. I am a little jelous right now seeing you guys in sweatshirts and fall stuff. Im glad you had a good trip Mom and Riley had a great time. I loved all the pictures he sent me hahah. Everytime I see pictures of Riley I just start laughing hahahahha Idk why Riley your such a great brother man. We will have to go back to New York someday and you can show me around. Mom that picture with you and Jackson is awesome he is GIGANTIC. He has always been a big guy. 

Felizidades to Megan Hodgson on her call to New York. Thats gonna be three Hodsons in the mission right now cool stuff! Yes Mom its getting to be that Christmas time again woooooo! I really cant believe it I feel like it was just Christmas here. I have talked to elder Gammon a couple times recently he is going home in three weeks!!!!! I still just love my trainer we were best freinds from the moment we left to Llano Largo. You guys are gonna have to look for him on Facebook and talk to him when he gets back. The lord definetly blessed me with my Trainer.

We had a tougher week this week. Sometimes it feels like an uphill climb trying to work with and find new people to teach. We did set a baptismal with C this week. We got a lesson set up with her at the bishops house. We set it for the ninth of November but she didnt make to it to church this week so we are praying and trying to help her. With F we are seeing alot of progress we taught him twice this week and he has set a goal to quit smoking in 15 days! He came to church and is just loving it. We are calling him ever night checking up on how he is doing.

We are really trying to help this ward. The bishop called a new ward mission leader that should help us out more. Sometimes it just takes someone to come in and to make changes. We have gained the confidence and support of the bishop and are trying to work with all the leaders in the ward. 

I really saw alot of tough situations this week. We meet alot of people and families that go through trials that are hard to watch. Alot of the poorer people here work all day everyday just fighting to put some food on the table. While contacting one day this week I just walked up some stairs to a little house and we met the A family. We talked with the mom and she is going through a really hard time her eleven year old daughter has Leukemia. We taught them a little bit and set a return appointment but when we went back the rest of the family told us they had to move to another part of the capital. But we did start teaching her sister who also has had an incredibly tough life. I am so grateful for the family and home I was blessed with. Count your blessing because I have met alot of people who have it alot tougher.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am an addict to Tortillas. I seriously do not know what Im going to do without fresh Tortillas for lunch and dinner everday in the States. Hahaha. I can eat like ten at every meal.

Everyone here is preparing for the first of November which is the day of the dead. Everyone celebrates and does thing for all their ancestors. There is a huge cemetery by our area so its gonna get a litte crazy here soon.

Random story this week we were walking down our street on Sunday afternoon and a woman came running around the corner with a huge broom in her hands, yelling at everyone she passed hahahah. She ran right up to us too. CRAZY! I think one of the switches shorted out upstairs or someting.... 

Im feeling good, We are continuing to work hard here in Asuncion. Sometimes things take time and patience in the mission. But I know the lord is guiding and blessing us everyday. I was thinking this week about something I like to call "Being a Do-er". I love watching the Ironman Triathlon world championships every year. It inspires me to see stories of people who despite all odds and opposition accomplish the "impossible". I have also seen this theme within church service. Stories of men and woman who serve the lord and obey the commandments no matter what the circumstances. There is a quote my I love its simple "The man who says he can and the man who says he cant are both right". I strive to be a doer of the word. To live the gospel. There is something inspiring about people to go and serve they dont make excuses or count the cost they just do. The scriptures are full of Do-ers. Nefi went and did what the lord commanded. Captain Moroni when confronted with problems and opposition tore off his coat and wrote the standard of liberty, then he fought for his people. I love the scriptures. Lets be do-ers and instead of talking about reading the scriptures or visiting the sick lets go and do it. 

I love this work. It is true. If it werent true I wouldnt be here. I love my Savior and I know he watches over every one of his children. Have a great week and keep moving forward. I love you all so much!

Love

Elder Hughes




Monday, October 14, 2013

Que tal! | week 54

What up Fam bam! Everyone is split up right now, we got Riley in New York, Mom in Utah, Taylor in Arizona, Dad and Zach in Cali, and of course I'm here in Guatemala, I think the Hughes family is filling the earth hahahaha. Thanks dad for the email I'm glad you are all doing well. And Riley wow just living it up in New York city so cool. I want to get to know the big apple some day. Send some pictures next week. 

So cool to hear about all the missionaries in our ward now. How many are out now? And Matthew that doesn't come as a suprise, great leader. I think about Matthew, Tyler, Jordan, Jeff, Scott and everone all the time. Can you remember when were all deacons together at scout camp. Where does time go?

Dad to answer your questions I took my shoes to a "zapateria" or shoe shop where they fixed them for like 60 quetzs which is like 8 dollars haha. Those things were destroyed. We walk alot here in Guatemala. There are no such thing as mission cars or bikes hahaha. So just got new soles put on so good as new.

Well your sportcenter update from guatemala this week..... Me and Elder A put in a solid week. We needed it. We finally feel like we know most of the members and can get things going here. We set a goal to find six new investigators this week and we reached it. On friday we had a cool experience after we spent the day walking around to alot of fallen appointments we stopped at about six and just said what do we do!!!! Pulled out some of the old investigators that the elders visited like six months ago and we started looking. We knocked on the door of a woman named J she let us right in and we were able to teach her the plan of salvation. Felt the spirit super strong and she just loved it. She couldn't come to church on sunday but said she would be able to the next week. Im not sure how many times its happened to me on my mission when I get to the point of saying thats it im so tired and nothing is working everytime we just walk a little bit farther something great happens. It happens playing golf too right when your about to storm off the course and give up you chip in from fifty yards and then you keep going hahahah.

Right now our ward is pretty down. About seventy five people came to church on sunday and everyone seems really disanimated and Im not sure why. Sometimes we see alot of structural problems with the church here in Guatemala. It definetly is a shock when you come from Rocklin first ward where its overflowing and everyone magnifies their callings. We have been working with the Bishop to help strengthen the ward. I have also been working with my companion alot this week he is great just isnt much of a talker. And kind of hard to be a ZL and not talk or develop relationships. But I know I have been put with him for a specific reason and he is helping me alot.

We are working with some other investigators named F and C. C is 15 years old and has been coming to church she just thinks she has to be perfect in order to make a covenant with the lord and be baptized. F is a guy we found who is good freinds with some recent converts. He is a great guy we just have to work with him on leaving cigarettes

I'm having a hard time thinking of cool things to write about sometimes we too as missionaries have weeks that seem very normal hahah. I have been thinking alot about the conference we just had last weekend. Its amazing to see how the lord is hastening his work. Like Elder Perry said its a great time to be a missionary. I am so grateful that Im serving at this historic time. Now with 80,000 other men and women. I marvel at the work. It truly is a marvelous work and I feel so thankful to have the chance to be a part of it. In this months ensign President monson said "Amid the storms of life, danger lurks. Men and Women boys and girls find themselves stranded and facing destruction. Who will guide the lifeboats, leaving behind home and family and go to the rescue?" It is our responsibility to help rescue our brothers and sisters. We can do this wherever we are at. Maybe its a less active, a family member, or just anyone who does not yet have the blessings of the gospel in their lives. We can go and find them, they are waiting for us.

Remember to take advantage of everyday. I think my comp thinks im crazy sometimes but I wake up most mornings singing church songs. I love the word enthusiasm. Get excited about life. Our father in heaven gives us a new chance every day to help one another. I love this gospel. I get excited just thinking about it.

I love you Mom, Dad, Riley, Zach, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Freinds!!!!!!!! Have a great week and find purpose in everything you do. 

Un Abrazo

Elder Hughes


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Suprises! The Lord always keeps me on my toes! | week 53

Hey Guys! Thanks for the weekly update Dad. I'm glad you guys enjoyed General Conference. I thought it was one of the best ones I have seen in my life. Even President Monson mentioned that. It has been a CRAZY week. 

Well on Monday afternoon right after I got done writing you guys I got a call from the assistants which started with them saying "Elder Hughes we have a suprise for you" I have learned from past experience to sit down and brace yourself when they say that hahaha. They informed me that I would need to pack my things with Elder M because I was gonna be changing areas within the zone. Due to alot of the problems we had the last change President completely cleaned out two areas called Asuncion 1 and 2. Two Elders who were serving in the ward went home and the other two were having some struggles. So I have been assigned to reopen the ward, Whew! So Tuesday I packed up and we said our goodbyes to the members and M. It was pretty hard saying bye to her she started crying :( Me and Elder M had a really special connection with her and her family.

Wednesday was changes and I went to change conference to pick up my new companion and head to my new area. My new companion is Elder A from Ecuador. He has been in the mission for about ten months or so. Really humble quiet guy. I have been working with him because he isnt a big talker and to be a zone leader you have to open your mouth and be a leader. We got to Asuncion at about one in the afternoon. The Elders that left just left the house in horrible condition. Gosh Elders can be so dirty sometimes. I have seen mom that in the mission that I'm just like you. I cannot work or function if my house or apartment is dirty hahaha. I just told my comp first thing we are gonna do is clean. So thats what we did for about three hours! We are opening the area which is interesting. I forgot how hard it is
to do that. I came to the area on a division about a month back so I knew where two members lived but thats about it. Its always a scary feeling to walk out of your apartment and to say I have no Idea where we are going or where anyone lives hahahah. I relate with Nephi when he was "led by the spirit not knowing beforehand the things I should do" Im so grateful for the Lords help. We left on Wendsday and just started walking when a man came up to us and said "Elders where are you headed?". We just said well "we dont know where we are at or where we are going are you a member?". We met Hermano C the ward secretary who led us to the ward mission leaders house and showed us around.

Asuncion has had some struggles lately. We spent the little bit of time we had this week to meet the members and leaders of the ward. The Elders left us with two investigators C and F. We were able to teach C this week, she has been receiving the Missionaries for a long time now. So we will see! I am excited for the oppourtunity I have to reopen this area. It has given me an oppourtunity to change and do things a little better.

I loved General Conference this weekend. It is always so amazing to listen to the speakers and beautiful music. Like you dad I loved Uchtdorfs talks on Saturday morning and In preisthood session. Hollands talk on depression was incredible. I must say my favorite had to be President Monson on Sunday morning I loved his message on making the gospel the center of our lives and how that will carry us through all of our trails and difficulties in life. It has been my knowledge of the truthfulness of this gospel that has carried me this last year. I feel like their is someone behind me that is just helping me along and lifting me out of bed at 6:30 every morning hahaha.

I love this Gospel. I felt the spirit gently touch my heart this weekend during all of the conference sessions. I know that God loves and watches out for ever one of his children. He has sent his son Jesus Christ to show us the way to have peace in this life and to one day make it back to his presence. I have also felt the my Heavenly fathers love for me and all of his children her in Guatemala. I pray that we can all  listen to and read the conference adresses and apply them in our lives. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. Only through his infinite and atoning sacrifice can we be cleansed from past transgressions. This I know to be true.

I love you all so much. We have set some big goals for this next week and I have alot of work to do. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming at times with all this responsibility and opening areas but I have felt the Lord comfort and help me EVERYDAY. Remember what Elder Holland said on Sunday "If we do not take time to be well. We definetly will take time to be ill" Take time this week to be well and read your scriptures!

Love you guys!

Elder Hughes


Monday, September 30, 2013

what's crackin' | week 52

“My life is like my shoes, worn out by service.” 
― Spencer W. Kimball

Hmmm where do I start. This last week was awesome!

M was baptized on Friday! Probably one of the coolest conversions I've been able to be a part of on my mission. We spent alot of time this last week getting everything set up for Friday and getting her ready. One day this week she told us she received a very strong spiritual impression or feeling that what she is doing is right. She just said while laying down on her bed for a few minutes she felt a peace come ever her. And a still small voice telling her that these thing are true. Friday she showed up to the service 45 minutes early just so excited. The coolest part is that we got her daughter G set up on skype from Germany. G was baptized there in Germany only a few months prior. When she walked in and saw her mom dressed in white they both just started crying. Wow it was so special to be apart of this moment. Since her daughter could only connect at night in Germany we had to do it in the morning. About 20 members were able to come and support. It was so intimate and spiritual. I wish you guys could have just been there to see it hahah. It touched my heart to hear M and G tell me and Elder M "thank you" for sharing and working with them. That is why im here. For these people. It has been amazing to see how the spirit has guided all of our lessons and timing. I work daily to have that spirit everyday in my mission!

My companion has changes! Looks like im going to be training a new Zone Leader here in Acatan. Im actually pretty excited it gives me an oppourtunity to step up and do things better. Half of the zone has changes which is crazy! 

Like you sometimes mom alot of the weeks seem pretty similar to me. But im looking forward to this upcoming week. We have changes Wendsday and leadership conference the following day which will be cool. Then to top things off with General Conference. I love Conference. I have spent alot of time on my mission reading and studying talks from the last couple years. My invitation is that we can all watch and more importantly listen for an answer we have been looking for this next weekend. I know that as we do so prayerfully the answer will come. 

Im feeling great right now! There are so many little experiences and things I learn everyday. Its always kind of weird to change companions in the mission. We really build such cool relationships with other missionaries and companions.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I got alot of emails. I had a great Birthday. The Hermanas bought me a cake and we stuck a big candel in it to celebrate. I want to set some new goals and really have another great year. Can you guys beleive that we hit the year this week. Its all downhill from here now. I love you guys. Thanks Mom, Dad, Riley, and Zach. I love you all so much

Have a great week and keep smiling and having fun!

Love

Elder Hughes


Monday, September 23, 2013

WHAT ITS MY BDAY????? | week 51


disclaimer: the longer Tanner is in Guatemala, the worse his English spelling gets. I don't go through and fix the errors, it's part of the experience :)



Hey guys!

Thanks for the early birthday wishes! I honestly cannot believe im going to be 20. I just keep telling my comp that sounds so old to me. I dont think I have ever had a year that has gone faster in my entire life. It all feels kind of like a dream and one day im going to be woken up haha. Im glad to hear all is well there in Rocklin. Finally done with all the heat. I loved all the pictures of Riley and Zach. Riley your looking good in your lifeguard stuff hahaha STUD! Z-man your gonna have to let me know how your soccer team does this fall. Everyone here is obsessed with Lionel Messi who plays for Barcelona haha. Mom, Im so glad your photography business is doing great. Im so proud to be your son. Ive got the coolest Mom in the world!

Well Mom im going to be twenty is that old or what? hahah. Can you belive that? I know I cant. I apoligize (I cant spell anymore) for the last letter. Im sure you felt it come through but I was so dang stressed out. I had one of the moments where you finally sit down to write and nothing comes out. We had a much calmer week which was good. Elder S who was staying with us unfortunately went home on Wendsday. I really wanted him to stay with us for a change to work out some of the problems he was having but he decided to head home for a little bit. Me and Elder M were so grateful for the three days we were able to spend together with him. My eyes have been opened alot and I have learned so much these last few weeks. Finally everything has calmed down in the zone which is nice. President told me he has been specifically praying for me and the zone and we have seen those prayers answered.

Some good news is that M is going to be baptized. It has been amazing to see the change that has taken place with her in the last couple weeks. She has been reading going to church and changing! Ever since we committed her to baptism she has been doing so well. This last week we had a hard time meeting up with here. Satan has been launching his attack this last week with her mom in the hosptal and many other problems. I really feel a special connection with M we have felt the spirit so strongly in all of our lessons. We are not sure if the baptism is going to be this Friday ( My bday) or on Saturday. We are still waiting to see if she is going to have to leave with her husband on a military trip this weekend. I sure hope not. hahah. 

As for the rest of the week we spent alot of time walking trying to help the members and contact people in the street. The search for more people to teach continues. We did get a sweet reference that we want to start teaching this week. All I know is that the mom is named M and she has two little daughters. They came to church a while back and we are going to see how we can help them. Changes are coming up this next week! I am pretty confident that Im not going anywhere haha. But my comp who knows I think he is going to stay but he has 8 months here in the area already so we will see. Elder M ends his mission in December. Funny thing about Elder M is he talks to himself hahaah. Super funny alot of times im in the bathroom or the shower and I can hear him just talking away hahaha. At first I got really confused because I thought he was talking to me I would always leave and just ask what he was trying to tell me hahaha.

Im doing good! We are going to have a busy one this week with Leadership meeting tomorrow with President, zone meeting, and a baptism wooo!

Found a quote this week that has helped me recently from President Monson it reads "I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me " I have so many problems, Such real concerns. Im overwhelmed with the challenge of life. What can I do? I have offered to them and now to you, this specific suggestion. Seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Yard by yard lifes hard, inch by inch its a cinch. Each of us can be true for atleast one day."
We have to take life on day by day. Thinking about the mission, life, problems and all the stresses can be overwhelming sometimes. But when we just break things down and seek guidance from the Lord one day at a time it all seems to work out. This advice from President Monson has helped me and I believe it can help you too! Take life on one day at a time. I have seen so many blessings in my life recently. I am eternally grateful for the loving family and freinds that I have. You support and love me. Thank you. I also have come to know how much our Heavenly Father loves us his children. It is real. Sometimes its improtant to remember one simple truth. You are a child of God...... Just think about that for a moment. The greatest most powerful all knowing being exists and loves you, and all his children. He has a plan for us, and we may all as we act in obedience to his commandments return to live with him. This is the message I share. I know its true.

I love you Mom and Dad, Riley, Zach and Everyone that writes and sees this. Thank you for all that you do for me. Im going to have a great Birthday this week. What could be a better gift than to have a baptism! 
Have a great week and take life on one day at a time. I pray for you all daily. LOVE YOU GUYS:

Love,

Elder Hughes