Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Birthday! | week 31

Feliz cumpleaños a ti, Feliz cumpleaños a ti, Feliz cumpleaños a tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Wow happy birthday Dad! What are you turning now like 25! Still looking as studly as ever. I hope your day will be a good one i'm thinking about you guys. Im sure mom made you some of your favorite cheesecake hahaha. You can go ahead and eat my slice for me! Dad your so awesome. I look up to you so much. If I had to answer the common question of who my heroe is It would have to be you Dad. Your humble and constant example has always inspired me. Love you tons. I will sing to you on Sunday dont worry.

Well sounds like the spring activities are starting to wind down and summer is getting started. Well its the opposite here in Guatemala, May officially starts winter or the rainy season here. I have seen a change in the climate and it is starting to rain alot! I think im going to have to get used to just being soaking wet all the time haha. Just want to thank Rachel Buxton I got your card with the photos of Heidi. Wow I was just touched by your thoughtfulness. I carry the pictures and her testimony around with me everywhere I go.

I'm pretty dang excited right now because were going to be able to talk this week woooooo! 

This week in Llano Largo was a quality one! On Tuesday all of my district and the Zone leaders went to Los Pinos to work in their area. The Elders there in my district have had a tough time the last few changes so we are trying everything we can to help them. All together we found them seven new investigators and a new family. I enjoyed it and its kind of fun to work in a different area for a little bit.

I honestly beleive that we can see a couple more baptisms before this change ends. We had the best turnout of investigators that I have seen in all my time here on Sunday. There were five that came and three for the first time. Its kind of freaky when you start having dreams about your investigators coming to church hahahaha. I have had some crazy mission dreams lately that are like half english half spanish hahahaha.

We continue to work really hard with O and M. There are always challenges especially when you get closer to baptism dates. Satan works hard on them. Really hard. I had a couple experiences this week that just assured to me even more that I am exacly where I need to be on my mission. A family that I was able to help activate a while back pulled up to us in their car while we were walking home just to say hi and tell me thank you for helping them. Wow love that! Hermano P is doing well. After a few more slips and struggle of late I gave him a blessing Saturday night. There have only been few other occasions where I have felt the spirtit guide so directly in a blessing. I just love the people here. I am humbled weekly as I see and feel the kinds of problems and situations people face here. To state it simply the mission is a humbling experience.

Well I have spend some time reflecting and pondering about my wonderful Mother! I sat at my desk this morning thinking for a while about what my Mother means to me. I sure have a soft spot for you mom. Mom I just want to thank you for all that you have done and taught me in my life. Nothing in this world can replace the influence and effect of a righteous mother. Mom thanks for always teaching me lesson number 1 "never give up" I remember with me and Taylor you never let us settle. Never let us end some thing early. Thank you. That is something I have used alot here in the mission feild. Lesson number 2 "when you do something do it all the way" I laugh as I remember the nights when I had to vacume the whole house over again because it wasnt done right the first time hahaha. I only have one mission. And I am doing everything I can to "do it right" hahah. Mom I feel so proud to be your son. I love being able to say that my mother is my best freind. I love you soooooo much. I am so excited to talk to you on sunday! Never ever forget it Tanner Loves you.

Thanks for everything Mom, Dad, Riley and Zach! Love you guys all so much. Talk to you soooooon!


Elder Hughes

Getting Wet | week 30

Well HI guys! 

Thanks for the email Dad I love hearing from you guys. And thanks for all the updates. Congratulations to Grant, Mcall, and Kevin! Everbody is starting to get married how crazy! 

What a week! I have so much to tell you guys and not enough time to do it hahaha. Well Tuesday was probably one of the top days I have had on my mission. After getting the wedding and baptism all planned out it turned out great. We went over on Tuesday morning with the Sisters to give S and A a white shirt and ties, and a cool dress for A that the sisters picked out. We had a wedding ceremony at three and the relief society president married them, she is a lawyer so that worked out perfect. It wasnt anything grand or crazy, just simple and full of love. We got about forty people there from the ward to support them! To be honest the wedding was one of my favorite parts of the week. I even signed as a witness hahaha. We went strait into the Baptism after that. Such a great sweet spirit was felt there with all the members and all of us in white. I just could not stop smiling and A and S were so happy. S was pretty nervous before but all went well. He gave me the biggest hug in the font. There is no price in all of the world that can be put on moments like that. When marriage and eternal covenants are made a sweet joy is felt by all who are present. We got two cakes for after the Baptism.... typical Tanner forgot to get forks and plates hahahah that would be nice. Somehow those things got lost in the mix. Thanks to the Sisters they ran and got some for us really quick. Looking back this past week was such a blessing filled one. I thanks my Father in Heaven daily for the R family and my oppourtunity to be just a part of this great and marvelous work.

Wendsday we had interveiws with President and Hermana Watts. There are few things I enjoy more than this. I love my mission President and his Wife so much. I strive daily to always be worthy of their confidence in me as a missionary. To be honest I do not want to go up north before the mission splits. I really want to stay with President Watts hahahah. But my interests dont really matter. Its about what the lord wants.

Some highlights this week! We set two new baptismal dates with an investigator named O! He is dating one of the young women in the ward. We have been teaching him in the house of his girlfriend with here family. Humble kid. We are really sriving to help him have some spiritual experieces and make this decision because he wants to do it! We also set a date with Maria Riviera. I have worked with here for about two and a half months. I think we have invited here three times already hahah. Felt the spirit so strong in our lesson Saturday night and asked her again. She acceped! Both O and M are going to be our focus. We need to fast, pray and keep them progressing!

To answer some of your questions dad. How am I feeling? Feeling great!! after a good chunk of time here I think my stomach is adjusted. Just had to get put through the gauntlet first!

My favorite food? I love pretty much all the food here. I love the colored beans and tortillas here! I will have to make you guys a standard Guatemala meal one day!
How are the new guys? My companions are doing well. I love them so much. Elder L really has a gift for learning languages. So he loves it when I help him with his english. I think a change might be coming my way here but who knows!

I loved a quote by Brad Wilcox in his talk "His grace is sufficient" he said " Do we earn a sunrise? No. Do we have to be worthy of a chance to begin again? No. We just have to accept these blessings and take advantage of them. As sure as each brand new day." Every day is a new day! The sun always comes up again and we start over. The Savior offers each of us a spiritual sunrise. The question is if we take advantage of his gift and we progress, learn and grow from our experiences. any one can change and we can make that choice right now. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I strive to use his wonderful gift to change myself and lift others. I know without a doubt in my heart that this message is true. I love my savior and I strive to spread this love in all that I do. Thankfully there will be another sunrise tomorrow. Another chance to begin again and to learn.

I love you all! Have a great week. The Savior knows and loves you.

Much Love,

Elder Hughes

 the wedding

 the baptism that followed the wedding

 the kids are maybe Tanner's favorite part of his mission

Hey guys! | week 29

Hola familia!

Well I cannot beleive it is Monday already. I literally feel like I was just sitting here at this computer Ha Time is just flying. Things sound like they have been very unsettled and a little crazy at home. My heart goes out to the Treseder Family. Let them know I care about them and I am fervently praying on their behalf. I always remember Brother Treseder being so freindly and kind to me back home. Tell Sheldon I love him and give him a nice big hug from his freind. I feel for Aaron. I was just hoping things would really turn around soon for him. One thing I do know is we can never give up on him. Ever. Let him know I love him. From a different perspective I have seen how spiritually and emotionally draining this month must have been for you guys. I know the Lord gives us trails and challenges so that we may learn and grow. Stay strong and go back to the fundamentals of the gospel. Nothing is more important than a firm gospel foundation in our lives. See Helaman 5:12 in the book of mormon!

Well the week got started off a little crazy with a change of plans wendsday I went up to Juan a de Arco to do a baptismal interveiw for them. And since I was up there I just decided to stay and work with them the following Wendsday. So I "left my kids home alone for the first time" hahahah. Fighting a little cold and on the road wore me out haha But I just enjoyed it. There is nothing that I love more than to help other people and other missionaries. Also baptismal interveiws are just my favorite! In about forty five minutes you get to see and really experience the conversion of one of Gods Children.

Tomorrow we are gonna have a Wedding and the Baptism of A and S R! Everything is ready to go. Im going to baptize S while Elder M will baptize A! Im so excited for Elder M it is his first in the mission. I really feel like this wonderful family is such a blessing from my Heavenly Father. My testimony of fasting and prayer has grown so much. If you want to unlock the powers of heaven and see a miracle. There is only one combination. Sincere, fervent fasting and prayer ALWAYS works. Dont forget to add the faith in there too haha. After alot of this comination Samuel was able to get his schedule changed for work! I know this work is true and that the gospel blesses families! 

I had the oppourtunity to teach the young men this Sunday at church which was great. I love the youth! I have really reflected recently on the powerful effect my youth leaders had on my life. Everyone of them changed me for the better and helped me get to where im at now... on the mission! I just want to thank all those leaders in my life. There are too many to name right now. Love you guys! I think it is a true reflection of their influence to see so many from our ward serving missions.

I am excited for this coming week. We seemed to face alot of rejection the past week. Sometimes missionaries ask themselves "why is it so hard to find people who want to listen to this message we have?" Every missionary has asked this question haha I know I have a few times lately. Patience is the key. Patience, Patience and dilligence is what I keep telling myself hahah.

Hey if you guys have any questions for me, ask me! haha If there is anything you want to know about Guatemala, the food, the people ask me hahah Just thought id throw that out there.

I want to share a few thought that I had this week on a talk by President Uchtdorf. As I was flipping though an Ensign looking for an added boost and a little help from the Lord I landed on a conference talk named "Forget me not". I beleive it was given a few years back in the Relief society session. There is a section where he talks about focusing on the "why" of the gospel. And that sometimes in life and in the church we get caught up in the "Whats" and "hows" of the gospel and our daily life. What we are going to do, and how we are going to do it. I have seen this in my own life and in missionary service. I think we get blinded by the "to do list" way to look at church and family service. I have found that when I understand and focus on the "whys" of the gospel and my missionary service something changes. A different light and understanding comes. True joy and love is found in our lives and our relationships with others. The coolest thing is we know WHY we are here. Why we serve. Why we have families. Why we serve missions. And Why we follow the Savior and obey his commandments. I think it will help us all to ask and remember "why" we do the things we do.

I love you Mom and Dad. My companion just showed me a mormon message named "Earthly heavenly father" Im sure you guys have seen it but maybe not hahah I loved it and It reminded me of my earthly mother and father. Love you guys!

Thanks for all you do for me. Send my love to the Treseder Family. And all the people back home. 

Hasta la proxima Lunes!

Elder Hughes

Lightning has struck again | week 28

Hey family!

Sorry this is coming at you guys so late. This day has just been crazy. We had our zone activity all day today and I have all the elders in my district write first. The internet place closes in about 25 minutes so this is gonna be fun.

So glad everyone had a great birthday in Rocklin! Mom and the big Z man! Happy birthday again. So this week was a little crazy. Im not really sure how the missionaries keep going sometimes haha. We dont do it alone. On Tuesday night got a call from the assistants telling me that I will be receiving another companion from Brazil! I now will be training two hahahha. Elder L is from Sau Paulo Brazil. He arrived the following day by taxi. Honestly at first I just felt so overwhelmed, lately I have asked myself how this is all happening. Six months, training 2, and DL...... It definetly isnt happening by my own strength ha. The craziest part is Elder L is learning spanish, his native language is portugese. At first It was kind of hard to understand what he was telling us. Portugese and Spanish are very similar in structure and vocabulary. Lucky for me he already knows quite a bit and communicating isnt too huge of a problem. Sometime me and Elder M have to have him repeat things for us. So my posterity is growing! We were laughing the other day. All of us grew up learning a different language. We now all live and work together 24/7 speaking the same one spanish! How cool is that!!

We fasted and prayed this week for Familia R. S was able to come to church on Sunday. We are just waiting to see if he will be able to change his job schedule for Sundays. But everything is looking good for the 23rd of April! We have found and are teaching a number of families and Investigators! The hermanas in my district baptized this Saturday! A little boy named J. I was able to meet him and do my first baptismal interveiw as a DL whew! hahah It went so well.  Such a blessing I have to meet these people and get to know them better haha.

Today officially starts my fourth change in the feild and here in Llano Largo. Which I cannot believe. It honestly just feels like one big dream I'm having and one day im going to wake up. This last change summed up in one word was a challenge. I have never been brought to my knees with so much frecuency in all of my life. Through all the challenges, doubts, obstacles, and difficulties I have learned more about myself and my Savior than in my entire life. I felt like this change was such a turning point in my mission. I took a huge step forward in responsibility, and influence. If I have learned one lesson it is that all things are possible if we rely on the lord. I have felt the Lord pick me up out of my bed in the morning so many times hahah! I have a hard time describing in words the experiences and things that have happened here in Llano Largo and in my life.

I received letters from Faith, Rachel Buxton, and Maria Duncan today! Also many emails here in my inbox. If I didnt respond to you this week I will the next I promise hahah. Thanks for all your love and support! Ahhhhh Running out of time hahah Sorry this letter was a little crazy. I just want to leave you guys with a quote from President Monson!

"God bless all those who endeavor to be their brothers keeper, who give to the ameliorate suffering, who strive with all that is good in them to make a better world. Have you noticed that such individuals have a brighter smile? Their footsteps are more certain. They have an aura about them of contentment and satisfaction...for one cannot participate in helping other without experiencing a rich blessing himself " 

I also know that this is true. I feel so priviledged to be a small part of the lords work here on the earth. I know that our father has reaching out to his children in love once again. He has restored his church again on the earth. Joseph Smith was his chosen prophet to bring forth this great work. With all the desire in my heart I ask everyone talk with the missionaries THEY CAN HELP YOU. They have a message for you! And it will bring more peace, happiness and joy into your life than you possibly imagine. 

Love you Mom, Dad, Riley, Zach and Aaron! Until next week when I have a little more time to collect my thoughts haha To all I send my love and prayers.

Elder Hughes

6months......I cannot belive it | week 27

Hola familia!

Hope you guys all had a great conference weekend! I know I enjoyed all the sessions! Im so glad you guys have gotten to know the Elders in 1st ward! Keep helping them and everything they seem like great elders. Mom I just loved the picture of Heidi you sent me. I printed it out and hung it by my bed. Got a package from the Jays this week! Thank you guys so much. Every holiday I have gotten a card from you guys. Thanks for all of your support and love it is much appreciated. Also got a letter from Rachel and Wade Buxton! Thanks guys.

Our week felt a bit slow trying to get things going, finding, and helping people progress. We did set a baptismal date with the R family. We are looking at April 23rd for their marriage and baptism. We are praying and fasting for S so that he can get his work schedule changed on Sundays. I know that there is power in honest prayer and fasting. We are putting this at the Lords feet and I know we can see a change. We continue the search for more investigators and especially new families!

Conference weeked was so great! We got together with the whole zone on Saturday to watch conference together. After alot of work and persistance we were able to get a room set up in English. A few one liners that I loved on Saturday!

"There are few things more powerful than a thoughtful prayer of a mother" Elder Packer

"Stay on the Lords side and you will win every time" Elder Scott

"Dedicated missionary service brings eternal joy....... A mission is a family affair" President Monson

I was touched by the powerful words of the Prophet Saturday night during preisthood session. I feel so priviledged to be engaged in such an important and amzing work! I also noticed a few themes in all the talks about finding peace. I know that through our personal obedience and loving service to others we are blessed with a profound peace and calm of the soul. Nothing in this world is of more value. Elder Cook talked about how if we have this peace of the Savior in our lives it does not matter what trails or heartaches that come. We will be build on a foundation where we cannot fall and will not be detered.

On Sunday Morning in the Chapel everyone came and watched conference together. As I was waiting for the session to start my jaw dropped as Hermano P walked in with his little son! If you guys remember he is the man we have walked back to his house about five times now. Just a few days earlier Elder M and I took him home in the night and brought him some food and water. I could not beleive it. He looked good, clean shaven, and with a huge smile on his face. I could not stop smiling!!! He gave me a huge hug and told me that everytime he had the overwhelming feeling to leave the house and return to the street he would look at a picture of the Savior pulling Peter up out of the water. He just thanked me telling me that I was the one who never gave up. I could not help but tear up. The atonement is real. The Savior will always be there to lift us out of the water. It is never too late to change. Ever. 

I love my family! I know I say that every week repeatedly. It must be said hahah. Dad thanks for the letter this week. I feel so blessed to call you my father. You humble quiet example of hard work and love for others has touched my life. Just want you to know I love you so much! You never take the credit so Im just going to give it to you hahaha. Thanks for showing me the way. 

My prayers go out to the Greenwood family. Remember how much I love you guys. I pray for all my freinds and family! 

Much love from Guatemala,

Elder Hughes