Monday, February 25, 2013

(no subject) | Week 21 | no creative subject this week

Hola mi familia! 

Hey guys! Well hope your all having a great Monday! Wow alot of big stuff happened this week here in the mission Guatemala Norte. As Mom already knows our mission is getting split. We got a call on Thursday morning that we had to meet together as a district to open a letter from President Watts. CRAZY! So Guatemala North is getting split so that all the areas outside of the capital like coban, polichic, peten, and verepaz will constitute the new Mission North. While the remaining fiive stakes and an additional four more stakes will be moved to the new Mission Este (Or East). This is pretty nuts. President and Hermana Watts will be here in Mission Este while the new North mission will receive a new President. This is all going to take place at the end of June. For me right now I would be in the Mission Este so to make it simple this change on the 6th is going to be huge for me. President told us that all of the changes in our mission would be normal until the switch. He is inspired and receives revealation for all of the mission so im going to be where the Lord wants me to be! 

A little about the week! It has been busy. We have been working really hard with our investigators to help them progress. I felt the spirtit guide our lessons this week. It is amazing how it works. We are merely messengers of a much greater teacher... the spirit! We baptized J on Saturday which was saweeet! The Zls also baptized a woman from their area on Saturday. J and his dad were just so happy. There are just so many details to this week I cant really decide sometimes what is the most important to write.

Some funny moments this week for Language study one day me and Elder G decided to teach Elder O the National Anthem of the United States complete with american flag tie and flag in the background hahahah! Hilarious. Number two this week. I think I had the worst tasting drink ive ever tasted in my life hahahah. We were given a drink by a member this week called "Arroz con Cascara de piƱa" or in english liquified rice with fermented pineapple juice that ferments for five days hahahahahah They love it here. Me and Elder G almost couldn't drink it all. Because remember you literally have to eat everything people give you or your going to see a civil war break out hahaha. Definitely once in a lifetime drink ha.

Im running out of time but I want to share a few thoughts I found this week in the Liahona or the Ensign. There is an article on integrity by Tad R Callister that I recommend to everyone. He highlights seven points of Integrity. Our integrity simply is who we are when no one is watching. What makes up our personal foundation of character, honesty, and truth. I loved a quote he shared " The man of Integrity who is true to self and Gad will choose the right whether or not anyone is looking because he is self driven not externally controlled" Elder Callister challenges us to look at our foundation of integrity. If there are any cracks or flaws we need to rip it out completely and replace it with the solid foundation of truth, honesty and true integrity. I have personally reflected on my past this week and recommitted personally to always have integrity. Because when we are true to ourselves and God we then in turn can be completely true to everyone around us. I love the gospel and the light it brings into my life and the life of others. The mission teaches me something new daily. 

I love my family and freinds! Thanks for all your support and love it means the world to me! This week is going to be exciting. Sunday night I will know if I have a change! I know Christ lives and knows us each personally. He knows how to succor, and help us through every trial. Rely on him. He is the rock of our salvation and our redeemer.

Love Elder Hughes

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hey familia! | Week 20

Hola mi querido familia y amigos! Que honda pue!

Wasn't it just Monday? Time is flying by! Thanks for the letter Dad your awesome. I loved it. Well all is well here in Guatemala. Changes are creeping up on us. This change is 7 weeks for us here in our mission because of all the changes in the MTC and ages. So we have change conference on the 6th of March and we find out if we personally have a change on the 3rd of March. WOW exciting news this week all these people getting their mission calls... how cool is this! Jamie to Brazil, Jeffery to North Carolina, and Tylers going back to the Big Apple soon! Jamie and Jeffery age going to be such great missionaries. How crazy is this so many of us our on or leaving for the mission! Im glad Grandpa Cahoon is improving and getting stronger. There are some people down here that remind me of Grandpa!

Mom, your back in the Primary Presidency! Kids are always the best to teach. I just love the little guys down here in Guatemala they really are so innocent and carry the love of Christ. So Dad to answer your question about my "gut feeling" this change.... To be honest I am not sure whats going to happen. We are opening thirteen new areas in the mission and about forty more missionaries are coming in. I think there is a chance I stay here in Llano Largo with Elder O and we get a new guy or I leave and goes who knows where! Im honestly a little nervous HA! The mission is crazy no one really knows whats going to happen. The cool thing about the Guatemala North mission is we have a little bit of everything. There are some crazy areas in Coban and Peten where life is alot different. There is a zone here called the Polichic where you learn to speak Q`eche a native language that looks crazy! The elders who get "chiked" usually go there early in the mission and stay there forever. All dirt roads and mountains. 

We had a good week in Llano Largo always walking, teaching, and problem solving! We decided to go running early in the morning twice this week. That always means dragging our Latino companion out of bed! HA We decided to run to the cemetary that is about a mile and a half from our house. Straight out of Remember the Titans! This cemetary sits out on a ridge that overlooks the valley we are in. Pretty cool early in the morning with a little fog as the sun comes up. I have always enjoyed running, that is something I really want to get into down the road. Another funny thing to share this week.... Got in the shower one morning to find a few freinds in there with me Cucarachas or "Cockroaches"! I see something new everyday here in Guatemala I love it. Guess what we are going to Baptize this week!! We have been teaching a you boy named J for about two months now. His dad is returning to the church after some disciplinary stuff in the past. I love J and his Dad so much! J is eight years old so it counts for the ward but we all feel really connected to him. I have never met an eight year old in my entire life like Job. The most humble, mature, obedient kid ever! It has been so amazing to teach him and get to know his dad as well. They both have some great goals for this coming year like going to the temple to be sealed as a family! J's Mom died unexpectedly three years ago. From what Ive heard she was an amazing woman and a great member of the church! In the numbers this Baptism doesnt count for the missionaries but we feel blessed to have been a big part in the process. Last change me and Elder G searched for him and his dad and have taught them ever since! We are also working with a woman named C in our ward. Her story is very long and full of trials that cant really be explained. She was excommunicated from the church years back. She has a testimony and is such an inspiration to me about the power of the atonement! We are going to re-baptize her as a member of the church March 2nd! We have been working with J and C from the time I got here to Llano Largo in December and It is amazing to see the progress they have made! As missionaries we have really been led to these people and I feel so blessed to have helped them along the path to Baptism! Wow, I love being a missionary!

Dad I loved your thoughts on how we need to be true to the gospel! Isn't that so true! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true, and it is real. It really blesses and changes our lives. The doctrines are to be lived and incorporated into our character. Christ taught us to follow him! Do as we would do, say what he would say. I love this quote by President George Albert Smith " I can say unto you, my brethren and sisters, the happiest people in this world are those who love their neighbors as themselves and manifest their appreciation of Gods blessings by their conduct in life" I can honestly say with President Smith that the happiest people in this life are those who serve, love one another, give thanks to the Lord, and LIVE the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that my redeemer lives! Oh what joy this sentence gives!

Have another great week! I love you Mom Dad Riley and Zach! And everyone that reads!

Love Elder Hughes

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heating up here in the Guat! | Week 19

Hola mi querido familia!
Sounds like all is well in Rocklin! Its been pretty hot here which is kind of weird because its Febuary. Wow Riley is a licensed (sorry mom I dont think I can spell anymore my english is getting terrible) Thats so cool I cant really imagine him cruising around woah! I think its super cool that you have the elders over alot. Kind of funny that one of them reminds you of me. I,m gonna have to meet him one day. I am praying for Grandpa Cahoon sounds like its been a rough stretch for him. Tell Aaron I say hi! I think about him down here. I love you Aaron your a stud!
Wow time is flying by. Spanish is improving everyday. I am beginning to really adjust to speaking and hearing it all the time. I have alot to learn but its coming. I finally feel like its not a huge problem or obstacle for me to communicate with people. I am a little anxious to see whats going to happen to me in a few weeks when this change ends! Who knows I could see myself staying here or leaving! Exciting stuff!
So a little bit about my week! Interesting week for us here in Llano Largo. We have a rule in our mission that we have to leave with a member after 5:30pm if we dont have a member with us we have to go strait back home. I love this rule it really forces us to work very closely with the members and develop strong relationships. It also helps protect us! However sometimes it can be difficult working around their schedules and especially when something happens right before we are supposed to meet up. Nothing is worse than being stuck in the house with our planners full of people to visit. This week was a tough one with the members. Three nights we were scrambling trying to find one last minute after our plans fell through.
Unfortunately alot of the investigators we have arent progressing. This happens alot here we teach set baptismal dates and invite people to church and nothing really happens after that HA! So we are always looking for the people who have been prepared and are going to progress. We were blessed last night to find a guy named P. We found his name in the Area book. He was taught twice by the missionaries here and when there were changes just kind of got lost in the mix. We taught him and his little brother M. P is a perfect investigator here. 23 years old has a good job, a house, doesnt work on Sundays and sicerely wants to learn and gain a testimony for himself. AHHH Perfect. So we are excited to work with some of these new investigators!
One experience I had this week stands out to me. Last night as we were walking down the street back to our house we ran into a member that lives in our colonial (Im not sure what to call it in english haha). She immediately was so happy to see us. She told us that she has been having a lot of problems in her marriage, with other family members, work and everything. Lots of things have just gone the wrong way for her the last week. She is active and a great member of the Church. She said she had been looking for us today to give her a blessing. We entered her house and gave her and her daughter blessings of comfort. Elder G gave her a blessing and I offered a blessing for her daughter. Right after we finished this faithful mother with tears streaming down her face just thanked us. We all felt the spirit and love that our Heavenly Father has for them very strongly. If anyone knows me Im not much of a cryer. None of us could hold back tears at this moment. I feel so privelidged to be put in situations to help people. Everytime I give someone a blessing the Lord gives me just a glimpse of the love he has for his children here on the earth. I can honestly testify that our Father in Heaven knows and loves us perfectly. I have felt his love for me and the people here in Guatemala. It is real.
B and F have both been at Church every Sunday after their baptisms! Nothing makes a missionary more happy than to see that. B is already beginning to prepare to serve a mission and we have set goals with F and V to get to the temple!
Im doing great I got letters from Sarina and Faith this week thanks so much!!!! Im working on letters right now for everyone that writes. Oh and got a Christmas Card from the Mayne family thanks guys. I have really felt close to the spirit this week. I know that personal revealation and conversion is so important. At some point in our lives we have to understand and gain a knowledge of these things for ourselves. We become converted over time as we apply the gospel and scriptures in our daily lives. I love being a missionary! I feel so privelidged to be a representative of Christ. Everyday I put the nametag on I stand in front of the mirror contemplating my purpose and my calling. I love my family and freinds. I thank my Heavenly Father daily for all of the blessings I have received in my life.
Have a great week everyone! Look for the small mercies and miracles everyday. I promise if we look we will always find them.
Con amor,
Elder Hughes
 Fine Dining in Guatemala
 Catching a ride home in a police car!


Hola familia! Como les ha ido!

Hope you guys had a great week back in the Rock town! I had a good week here in Guatemala! I have some good stories and experiences to share from another week in the mission feild. Sounds like the Super Bowl was exciting. Here in Central America I dont think many people know what that is HA! Im proud of the Niners! Go norcal Giants and the Niners what an exciting time. Mom and Dad loved the pics from your trip, you guys look great! How old are you guys like 25 or 26! I love San Francisco definetly cannot wait to make it back there again. So you guys are wondering about my white watch huh? It was a gift actually, someone from my district in the CCM gave it to me. 

First order of business.... Thanks for the package Jamie Voges and the youth of the ward! Wow I just loved it. You guys dont even realize how much that stuff means to me. Thanks for your notes of encouragement and all that was inside. You honestly cannot find that kind of stuff here in Guatemala. And just to let you guys know all that candy and stuff from the states tastes super good so enjoy it! I also got letters for Keri Hodgson, Julie Smith, Rachel Buxton, and a Christmas Card from Faith and the liberty square girls! Thanks so much. Promise I will write back. It really is nice to hear from you all so thank you!

A little bit about this week... Pretty funny way to start off our week. Probably about two or three days a week here we dont have running water. When we left our house last Monday morning we didnt have any. As we returned home to the house Monday night we definetly had water. About two or three inches of it all over our floor HAHAHA! Somehow the faucet got left on and while we were gone the water turned on and our house filled HA! We were laughing pretty hard at the whole situation. Because literally seconds before walking in we were cheering and yelling "Hay Agua!" or there is water! We spent most of the night soaking towels and finding creative ways to get all this water out of our house. Thankfully all of my important things were up on shelves so all is good. 

This week was good! It felt really good to have a more normal week in the mission. I feel like the last month has been pretty crazy! We are teaching alot of different people and families right now. This week it seemed like nobody was home. I think I walked more in this week than I have before. My area is not flat at all lots of hills and stairs to climb. Its crazy how conditioned you get in weeks like this. As a companionship we have been focusing alot on inviting people to be bapized. We invited 7 people to be baptized this week which was awesome! In total we placed five new baptismal dates. Two younger girls named A and M. And three members of the M family! I love these people so much. Sometimes its hard to tell if they are going to progress because none of them got to Church on Sunday but we will see. There are always lots of challenges to overcome with these investigators. But with the help of the Lord everything is possible. People just have to act and show their faith in Christ by keeping his commandments. We are working really hard and trying to get some of these investigators to progress. That will be our focus this next week also!

I will definetly keep Grandpa Cahoon in my prayers. My first thought when I heard that Josh decided to stop by and found him was the spirit. I definetly feel that the Lord guided Josh to Grandpa. Uncle Josh I feel grateful that you were able to be there at the right time! I love you guys! All of my family I think and pray for you guys daily. I just want share a few thoughts I had this week. I think its important to always remember to LIVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its easy sometimes to go to church and kind of go through the motions. Joseph Smith stated it well "When you joined the Church you enlisted to serve god. When you did that you left normal ground, and you can never go back" We cant go back. As we apply and live the Gospel principles our lives are enriched and changed. I promise that as we LIVE the gospel we can receive peace and joy in this life and in the life to come. I know this church is true. The Savior Jesus Christ knows and loves each and everyone of us personally. What an amazing truth. Trust in Christ and in his Church. I testify that he truly leads his church and his work.

I love you all! Have a great week and dont forget to SMILE!

Elder Hughes