Glad all you guys are settled in and getting back into the routine of things! I remember mom that was your favorite "routine". You are right this last year was a little crazy for us and the whole family! I don’t think we will ever forget 2012! I’m glad everything is going well. Wow! Z-Man first place in the wrestling tournament Dude! I wish I could of been there to cheer him on! And thanks for the email Zach I’m so glad you sent it! I’m glad the snow is better for you guys this winter, last winter was kind of tough. It’s kind of weird to think it’s actually January because it’s pretty warm here. In the 80´s usually. And the sun always feels really strong here! Mom I love your goals for this year. They are awesome! Goal setting is really important in our lives. Without goals and specific plans to accomplish them we really would not get much done or become the people we want to. A lot of times people get caught in the idea that things just happen to us in life and we are what life gives us. Yet we should set goals and take action to change and become more Christ like. Sometimes the goals seem pretty daunting... let me tell you guys, learning spanish can feel that way sometimes. Yet as the scriptures say "by small simple things great things are brought to pass". As we diligently work every day we look back after a while see something great we have accomplished. The mission is really teaching me this principle of planning and effective goal setting.
So, a little about my week. Sometimes I feel repetitive in my letters, but honestly the weeks can be very similar sometimes. We continue to work hard in our area! And this week Elder G and I have begun to see some "fruits" of our labors. We have been working hard with the members to try and receive contact references. Honestly the most effective missionary work is done with the members. Had a couple funny experiences this week. We have been working with the R family in our area. The husband and wife are having some problems with a lot of things. Tuesday we were able to give the entire family a priesthood blessing for school and for the parents, they all wanted one HA! As we were wrapping up they brought their dog over too! They wanted us to bless their dog! We said "Oh no we can’t do that but we will pray for her" The kids then asked if we would pray right now.... "Ok I guess we can do that" HAHAH Can’t forget… they made sure we knew her full name Nena R. It was pretty tough not to laugh HA! So our best of the week was one prayer for dog with a member present.... by name! We found a new investigator this week named J. This came from the family M who we have reactivated and got coming back to church. He is their grandson, his mom and sisters are less actives but we are going to get them back to church too! They really do want to come back. We really have felt blessed to find some investigators this week. There are others this week but it would take forever to tell all their stories! Just know things are heating up in Llano Largo baby!!!!!!
It still just is amazing to me the trials and conditions that these people face. I ask for your prayers for these people. Many tears are shed by single mothers and struggling families. I love these people and more importantly I love to show that love for them in what I do. That is the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Just the prospect of finding someone in need and sharing a message, smiling, and doing as Christ would do. On Thursday Elder G had to do an exchange with some elders in the district. This was kind of freaking me out the night before. Because a latino came to be my companion for the day and who didn’t know the area at all. Time to step up HAHA! The division actually went really well and built my confidence. We actually had a productive day and I was doing pretty much all the talking. Honestly I felt the help of the lord because let me tell you…I couldn’t have done it alone. Being the senior companion is tough…but taught me a ton!
More than anything else this week I have seen a huge jump in my spanish. It is really weird when you make the switch in your head when Spanish becomes... well spanish and english something else. I have a ton to learn but I feel for once comfortable. And I’ve been having like big sections of my dreams in spanish HAHA! Not a full one but tons of different parts ! A lot of people tell me my spanish is way good for three months in the mission but HONESTLY it is attributed to three years in school, and the spirit that literally is the greatest teacher.
I read President Uchtdorf´s talk from this last conference this week and I recommend it to all! It’s called of regrets and resolutions. Life goes and passes us by really quickly. My focus this week has been to implement the teachings of this talk into my life. He talks of three regrets that people have in their life and how the teachings and application of the gospel can help us avoid having them. They can actually become strengths. Regret 1. I wish I had spent more time with the people that I love. In our day it is really easy to just pretend to spend time with others. We have to spend meaningful time with the ones we love. Do things that cultivate memories! This is one thing I feel so grateful for in my life. I officially want to thank my mom and dad for spending meaningful time with me and cultivating memories. There is nothing that I cherish more. Regret 2. I wish I had lived up to my potential. We must follow the example of the savior to not have this regret. I love his quote here that "we certainly cannot do this with a dragging our feet staring at the watch approach to discipleship" Wow… life is a lot easier when we pick up our feet and make every day count! Last regret… I wish I had let myself be happier...We can’t wait to be happy at some later point in life where we will have some specific job, talent, skill or pretty much every other worldly thing, before we realize that happiness was available the whole time! This was my focus this week and I put it to the test. Yes it works! I’m naturally a happy guy but I found myself enjoying things a lot more and despite the circumstances smiling and just being happy! So that’s my challenge this week! Read the talk and put it to the test. I can honestly say it works! BE HAPPY!
Thanks for everything! Mom get feeling better ok! I will be praying double time to get that head cold away. LOVE you mom, dad, riley and zach!!!!! And everyone who reads!
Love Elder Hughes
On the roof for the Christmas Eve fireworks!