Tuesday, June 18, 2013

week 37 | what's up?

Hey guys!!!!!

Happy one day late fathers day DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Glad you guys are doing well. Mom I loved the pics of girls camp hahahaha. Loving the get up too! You guys are just so awesome you know that. I was shocked at how tall Zach has gotten in that picture with his scout uniform on Holy Moly! Riley and Zach look like they are just getting so much bigger ha. I think I might be shrinking hahaha. I have definetly lost weight here. I exercise every morning so im trying.

Well starting off with fathers day! Actually they celebrate Fathers day today here in Guatemala so Im not too late hahaha. Dad I was really thinking about you this week. I cannot not tell you how much you mean to me. I thank my Father in Heaven daily for the earthy father I have been blessed with. Dad your constant example of love, patience, and hard work did not go unnoticed. When people ask me who my heroe is It has to be you! Thanks for always spending quality time with me and really listening. I have to say my favorite memories were the times we would go on a drive and just talk! Thats probably one thing I miss most on the mission. Dad I love you! I feel so proud to be your son and I strive daily to be an example of both the names on my missionary nametag. One is Jesus Christ and the other is Hughes. I look at my name tag everyday before I put it on. Your soooooo awesome DAD! Never forget it. I pray for you daily and I am so happy to know that in a short time we will be able to go on another drive and talk! WoooooHoooooo! Happy Fathers Day!

I have had a hard time finding some big thing to write about this week. Sometimes weeks in the mission seem like a huge blur of alot of the same stuff. Theme of this week.....The Lord answers prayers. I had a few tough days this week as thoughts and feelings of inadecuesy( I cant remember how to spell in english ahhhhh), and self doubt. I have been praying for some help and support. On about three seperate occasions this week I found it. As the gentle calming voice of the spirit whispered "dont worry you are right where I need you". I know and testify of this simple truth. Our father in heaven answers prayers. When we ask in faith we will always recieve an answer. It might not come exactly when we want it but it will come. The Lord works on his timetable not ours.

We have continued to work with F. Wow she is so ready to go. We taught her all the commandments this week which went well. She has stopped drinking coffee completely and just loves the Ward. We are getting things all set up for her baptism on the 22nd! This next week is going to be a busy one. We are going to be running around doing baptismal interveiws for the other areas in our zone. As a zone we have thirteen baptismal dates set for the next two weeks! Elder S and I are trying to do everything we can to help the Elders reach their goals!

Crazy story of the week.... Randomly walking down a street the other day. Some guy just came running strait at us full speed. It literally all happened in like three seconds.  He had a bottle raised over his head just charging at us. It really suprised me but not one of us moved an inch. He got right up to us and just fell to the side and ran away. Hahaha. Super weird. Its really weird to me but as a missionary I have never been scared here. Im not exactly sure why. Missionaries do receive protection that I know to be true. Sorry mom if that was too graphic, your gonna have to tell me if you want to hear stories now or after the mission hahahah.

If I remember right I think Sarina is getting married this week. I might be wrong. Tell her I say hello and congratulations! Wish i could be there.

Well Im out of time. Have a great week everyone. I love this work! There is nothing better than helping and serving others. I love you all. Mom, Dad, Riley, and Zach. Enjoy the summer days baby!


Elder Tanner Hughes
 Tanner's new dwelling!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

week 36 | Sion!

Hola familia!

Hey Riley, Zach, Mom, and Dad! So nice to hear from you guys. I love mondays too mom! That sounds like some crazy heat there in Rocklin Whew! Shout out to Scott Pulsipher and Jordan Mayne. How insane is that same mission same day wow! That puts all of us in the mission field now. I love that group of guys I grew up with. 

Have fun at girls camp Mom! Get pumped. hahaha. Im sure your going to have a great week with them. Scout camp and girls camp makes a big impact on the lives of the youth. And the leaders have a big role in that. Enjoy it and be sure to send some pictures down here to Guatemala.

Well Im just going to start with your list of questions for me hahahah.

How is it where I live? We live on the second story of a normal house here. I will send you guys some pictures next week. Its nice, not very big so with three people here can be a little tight but I like it. We have cold showers hahaha. At first that was hard for me here in Guatemala but now its pretty normal. I just have to flex and man up before I run beneath the water hahahah. "WHOOO" pretty cold.

How is the area different? It is alot smaller and compact. I really like that part. Instead of waiting and taking busses all day we do alot of walking between appointments. I like working closer to the Bishop and Ward mission leader here. They really support us which is nice. Alot of the difficulties remain the same though.

Companions? I love my companions! Elder S is great. We are developing our relationship more and more. Elder C is good. A little different but I love him. Im not sure how much longer he will be with us though.

Resonsibilities of a ZL? There are alot of them haha. Basically if any of the elders or hermanas have a big problem or occurrence they call us. We oversee and direct the work in the Zone. We do alot of divisions where we travel and work with the elders in their areas. Its definetly alot of work. I am pretty beat right now hahaha But I love it. I just really try and support, love, and ecourage the missionaries. Thats really what we all need in life anyway!

Some highlights this week. On Tuesday we got up at four in the morning to go to something called "conselio" or leadership meeting. We have this meeting every month in the mission. All the Zls in the mission come to President and Hermana Watts house for training. I loved it. We go over some of the problems and news in the mission and then President and the Assistants adress us. The meeting the month before Elder Martino of the Seventy came. So on tuesday we skped him and reported all the accomplishments we had the month before. He set some big goals for us. In the mission we baptised 127 people in the month of May! He set new goals with us and informed us we will be coming back for the next meeting on the second of July ahhhhhh. Well we need to baptize 15 people in our zone this month hahaha. The coolest part is after we all go up to where president and hermana Watts live to eat a homecooked meal from Hermana Watts. Oh my goooooodnesss It was like going up into heaven for an hour hahahah. The best meal Ive had in my mission hands down! And we all get a little taste of home when were up there. It was so hard to leave hahahah. This was the last conselio for Mission Norte. The mission is literally splitting in a week or two. Poor hermana watts was crying when the elders from the new coban mission left :(.

We then as Zone leaders have a zone meeting every month where we teach and adress the whole zone. I was pretty nervous! We had our meeting on Thursday morning with everyone. I really tried to animate the zone. Getting everyone focused on our goals and our personal conversion as missionaries. I am definitely not the most experienced missionary. I cant say Im the greatest teacher or finder in the mission. But I try and have hope and enthusiasm in all that I do. We only have one mission. So we need to take advantage of every day.

To end the week we had a Baptism! C got baptised. We spent most of the morning cleaning the church and getting ready for the baptism. All went really well. Its nice when we can get everything planned and taught so that our ward mission leader directs the meeting. A member baptizes  And everthing is ready. So all we had to do was sit, watch and enjoy. We have our investigator F who is looking so good. She is getting ready for the 22nd of June!

Whew! this week has been a little nuts. With meetings, divisions, baptisms, and alot of other little problems hahah. Being here in Molino is going to be yet another big learning experience. The lord always knows how to stretch and teach us. I am so grateul for the oppourtunities I have been given to serve. I love that word SERVICE. We did not come to this world to be served. But to serve others. I have come to understand on my mission what real missionary service is. We do not need a nametag, a calling, or an invitation to serve. Every member of the church has a duty to serve. We all made a promise with our heavenly father that we would do so. Just read in Mosiah chapter 18. At the end of the day when we all stand before our Father in Heaven all the callings, jobs, and recognition we receive in the world and in the church will ALL be secondary to how much we have loved and served our fellow man.

This week just flew by! Im glad to hear summer is getting started with all the kids out of school. Enjoy it! I love you all so much. All my friends and family back home. I pray for each one of you. Have  a great week!


Elder Hughes
Hermana Watts
with Elder G!

a very large bug!

 all the Zone Leaders

week 35 | Wow, a week of change!

Hey Guys!!!!!

Well coming at you guys today from my new area in Los Preyectos Zona 6! So glad to hear you guys are doing well and enjoying time with Friends in Rocklin. All that food is making my mouth water. I think I have forgetton what American food tastes like hahaha. Well this week was a little busy to say the least. On Wendsday morning I headed out to change conference where I was informed Im going to be the new Zone Leader in Molino. AHHHH I was pretty shocked. My new companion is Elder S, he is from Mexico. The stake center where we have change conference is the Molino stake center so I didnt move very far from the conference.

It was pretty weird for me at first changing areas. I know Llano Largo like the back of my hand but I felt so lost at first. The thing with all the streets and adresses here is there is no order to it hahaha. You just have to learn by sight and experiece. I feel really humbled and excited to be a ZL. It comes with lots of responsibilities and extra things to do haha. President told the four new ZLs in an interveiw that we have to be perfect and the mission and missionaries cannot surpass the leaders. If we need to improve and have more success it starts with us. Whew! 

A little bit about my new area. Its called "sion" or zion in english haha. Right now im actually in another trio. We have Elder C with us. He is waiting for his visa to go to Peru and has had some issues so far in the mission so he is with us for a while. I love my new area. It's alot smaller than Llano Largo which I like because it seemed like we lost alot of time walking taking busses between lessons. Where we live its pretty calm and quiet. The bishop and about seven member families live really close to us so that is way nice! Our ward Mission leader Z is AMAZING! He was baptized a year ago in one of the coolest conversion stories Ive ever heard. He is a huge help to us here always leaving with us! He has a wife and a little two year old daughter. Im really excited about the area. Lots of members are active and strong in the church.

I will stay here in the new Mision Guetemala Este with President and Hermana Watts so im pretty excited about that!

We have three investigators here that are progressing well. We have a baptism planned this next Saturday for a woman named C. she is the only non member in her family. After working through a few problems this week looks like she will be baptized this coming Saturday! F is another one. She is a reference from her good freind in the ward. She is progressing and learning very quickly. We taught her the second lesson my first night here! And Lastly E, Love this guy. His wife D is a member and they just had their first child about a week and a half ago. We got them all to church on Sunday! I am excited to keep helping these people progress and receive the many blessings their father in heaven has in store.

Oh and O from Llano largo was baptized and confirmed this last weekend. AHH of course three days after I leave hahahahah. I was so excited to hear that. Elder M baptized him too!

I really feel like im turning a new page on my mission. I have spent a little time reflecting and looking for ways to improve. I love the concept that we can change and improve. In reality we are always changing and becoming someone new. Yet we can either change deliberatly or accidentally. Thats our choice! I love this gospel. I know that this church is true. And I love to be a missionary!!! The savior loves each and every one of us personally. I have been a witness of the purifying power of the atonement. Its real and people can and do change. Through our works and the power of Christs Atonement we can become so much greater. I love my Family and freinds so much! Have a great week!

Much Love

Elder Hughes

Sunday, June 2, 2013

week 34 | Big News!

Hola familia! 

I loved all the pictures Mom! I didnt even think about it being memorial day.....Santa Cruz, Ziplines, Giants games. That's how the Hughes family does vacation right there. I talk about you guys and California all the time down here. What a privilege we have to live in such a beautiful state. Big shoutout to Grandpa Val on winning the Utah, Senior Amaetur. Love you grandpa I even pray for your golf game down here. Even though all of yours should be directed towards mine for when I get back hahaha. Just have the docs put in the newest bionic shoulder and your gonna come back better that ever! I got a letter from the Harless' thanks! I love you guys.

Its change week sooooooo drumroll everyone................... I am going to have my first change in the feild!! My suitcases have sat in the back corner of my house for six months haha. Time to clear off all the dust. Im going somewhere else hahaha. They dont tell us where we are going on change nights. So I will find out on Wendsday morning at change conference. I do know that im not going to be training but thats about it.

Thats the big news from this week. It really feels weird right now. Llano Largo feels like my home and its hard for me to image walking around in some other place hahahah. I have been incredibly blessed in my first area. With companions, members, and many many great memories. The mission is like ripping a bandaid off over and over again. You get attached to your companions, members and investigators and then it all changes. I feel really excited to turn another page in my mission and continue to learn, grow and help others. For my "kids" Elder L has a change which really suprised me. Elder M is going to stay in Llano largo. I am really not sure at all whats going to happen. There are so many options for me. This change is really big because in a couple weeks the mission is going to split. Honestly I want to stay here in the Capital with President and Hermana Watts but we will see! But im good with anything. I really just want to go where the lord needs me doing his work. 

Someone left the sink on up there in the States because it is starting to rain ALOT! hahaha. We are definetly into the winter time now here. Im getting used to wet feet and being really wet hahaha. The rain really makes Guatemala even more beautiful. Everything is turning really green and the clouds sit really close to us. Guatemala is Beautiful!

I got my comps up early on Wendsday to go on a RUN! We ran for Heidi. I remember going on runs with her in the winter time. Heidi is always in my heart and thoughts here. And im definitely going to go on a run every 22nd for the rest of my life hahahah! Love you Greenwood family. I continue to pray for you guys.

The work seemed slower this week. Alot of fallen citas and missing members but thats the mission hahah. I really saw this week how the lord blesses us after we push through the trails and problems. I think I have mentioned to you guys an investigator named O. We reached a point in the process where we told him "O you have to get your own answer" We challenged him very clearly to pray with real intent, in a quiet place. Asking the lord if you need to take this step of baptism. He answered us a few days later. These moments always scare me hahahah But he told us he got his answer and he wants to be baptized this next Saturday. Music to every missionaries ears hahahah. We were also able to set another baptismal date with Alex this week. A young guy we found from contacting a few weeks back. The Lord continues to bless us here. It is REALLY hard to leave these people this week. 

Dont have much time but just want to share a quote I saw this week. "God does notice us and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore it is vital that we serve one another." Spencer W Kimball. I have seen this truth in my life. The Lord has surrounded me with so many amazing people. Family, freinds, teachers, mission presidents and other missionaries. The Lord watches over all of us. This I know to be true. Sometimes we just have to stop and look around to see it.

Love you guys! This week is going to be CRAZY!  I had a hard time sleeping last night. But Im so excited to see what the Lord has prepared for the next stage of my mission. I love this work! And I love all of you.

Until next week in a different area ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Elder Hughes

week 33 | the work of the Lord!

Hola familia!

Hey guys! I am actually very grateful for a normal week for you guys the last few months have been alot to take in. Mom I loved all the pictures. Your work is looking so good. Do you have a new camera lens? things look even sharper now. I loved the pics or Riley too! He is looking more and more like Grandpa Val haha. Looks like he is having a good time. I got a letter from Shea this week! Thanks Shea im going to be better at writing letters here haha. I just got to find the time somewhere. It was so nice to talk to you guys last week. I love you guys!

A little snapshot into my week. Tuesday we had a big conference for five zones here in the capital with Elder Martino of the seventy. This guys is so powerful. He taught us for about four hours about the atonement, and how we can be more effective missionaries here in Guatemala. I love these conferences too because it gives us a chance to see alot of mission freinds that are in different zones. I talked with Elder G for a while! Love my trainer so much. 

I finished the book of mormon in spanish for the first time this week. Ive been reading it for about twenty to thirty minutes every day for the last four months or so. I know it is true. The book of mormon has the power to change lives. It also has the power to teach you another language. I feel like reading the book of mormon daily in spanish has made "the" difference in learning spanish. It is the word of god and I want to invite everyone to read it and find out for themselves. Nothing can bring more revelation and divine help than daily scripture study.

We spent this week focused on M. Every investigator is different and she has required alot of attention and prayer. Up to this point I beleive I have had to sacrifice more for this baptism than any other. Things started getting a little crazy on friday night. We had an appointment with her in the evening for her baptismal interveiw. Of course wasnt there and was in traffic. The ZLs had to leave and do interveiws so we rescheduled it for Saturday morning. The next morning the ZLs never showed up to the appointment. We tried calling looking for them. At 12:10 we finally saw them get off a bus as our bus was pulling away hahah. I was freaking out because we were going to start at 4 in the chuch and she still hadnt been interveiwed hahaha. To be honest I was really fired up. I was not going to let this get away. Everything was ready to go. She had her interveiw and everything worked out fine. Sometimes it would just be so nice to have a cell phone here. With all the busses, traveling, and no cell phones we seem to always run into problems like this hahahah. 

The baptism went great. We had quite a few people show up from the ward. There was a moment in the baptism where I just looked at M and teared up. All the struggles and tough days are worth it. I really feel so blessed. Here in Llano Largo the Lord has been so good to me. I know that blessings always come when we are obedient and faithful. That applies to everyone, everywhere in the world. Im so glad that M decided to make this decision in her life. She doesnt have a job, and as she says it is "always fighting" and moving forward. I love her and feel so priviledged to have been a small impact in her life.

A quick story from Sunday evening. Sunday afternoons are the hardest for me here in the mission. Im not sure why. I think just after a long week and after luch satan loves to work on Elder Hughes hahahah. Sunday afternoon after a lesson with D and a few appointments fell. We had a feeling to visit G, a member of the ward. He was baptized about a year ago and has left with me everyweek that I have been here in Llano Largo. I love G. As we walked up to his house he was sitting outside not looking good at all. He was responding to us really slowly and complaining that he couldnt see very well at all. We went and found him medicine and gave him a blessing. I felt the spirit guide my words and fill the room. We sat down and talked with him for a while. In about ten minutes he already looked and seemed so much better. He later told us that just five minutes before we arrived. He was praying fervently that the elders would come and give him a blessing. He expressed his gratefulness and faith in the lord. I love a quote by President Monson who stated " The sweetest experience I know in life is to feel a prompting and act upon it and later find out that it was a fulfillment of someones prayer of someones need. And I always want the lord to know that if he needs an errand run. Tom Monson will run that errand for him." President Monson has given us the perfect example for us to follow. I echo his words. I always want to be willing and ready to run an errand for the lord. Nothing is sweeter than following the promptings of the spirit. I love this work. And I know this church is true. We have a true and living prophet who guides the Lords kingdom. It is a priviledge to be a part of the saviors work.

We are starting week six. Not sure it if it will be my last here in Llano Largo but im going to enjoy every minute.

Have a great week guys. Send my love to everyone at home!


Elder Hughes

week 32 | mother's day

We didn't get a letter from Tanner this week because we were able to talk to him yesterday on Mother's day. It was so wonderful to hear his voice and even better to be able to hear him talk to Taylor. It was a great, great day!