Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey Guys! | week 43

Well you guys are tired that means it was a good week in Utah! I was thinking about you all this week. Glad everything went well! Loving the Bartons backyard I have only seen it once in the middle of Winter hahaha.

Ahh Thinking about grandpa Cahoon right now. I wasnt sure how his health was doing. I hope that he will stick it out for another year or so so I can see him again. Tell him that I say hi and that I love him. My prayers will be with him and all the family.

Bummer Rilo that you got sick. That is always the worst when you get sick on vacation. Its not fun in the mission either. What do you have flu? Love you Brother!

Yeah I can kind of relate to your feeling about home Mom..... hahahah. To be completely honest I cant really fathom what it would be like to be in the United States hahah. I cannot beleive that im going to be coming up on a year in the mission. WHAT HAPPENED! I was telling my companion this week that I feel weird to be turning 20 years old. That just sounds so old to me haha!

Well we had a great week this week. The Lord has really blessed us this week. I feel like Im starting completely over here in Acatan. When I got here there were about two or three real investigators and thats it. Haha. We have been trying some different ways to find some more people to teach. One afternoon we took a little time to make little business cards with our names numbers and information on different types of service we can provide. Like cleaning houses, teaching english ect hahah. We spent about six hours this week knocking doors seeing if we could give some kind of service. Well no one let us in all week hahaha. they all have doorbells with speakers and cameras. Pretty funny most of them answer tell us no and they dont even have to open their front door. We had a few people who might be interested in english classed for their kids so we will see! I feel like many of the blessing we received this week came from our extra effort to contact and open our mouths to everyone around us.

We are working with an Investigator named M. Oh Wow she is so amazing! The elders have been visiting her on and off for about three months now. Her daughter went to Germany to do the same thing Jamie Vanwagenen did and got baptized! Her Daughter is amazing and always skypes her mom telling her about the church and the book of mormon. The last two or three visits we have had with her she has really opened up. Everytime that we have visited her just randomly after fallen citas she has just gotten off the computer with her daughter. She was freaking out because the same chapters we leave and read with her in the Book of Mormon her daughter has mentioned the same exact day. Its amazing how the Lord sends his messengers and his message at the perfect time. She asked us how we were so connected with her daughter hahahah. Later in the week she broke down in tears and told us how much she wants to change and come closer to the Savior. She said " Ok ok you guys have got me Im going to come to church on Sunday I Promise" hahaha Thats exactly what she did. Bought a skirt and everything too! Sunday was amazing she already knew a ton of members in the ward and just loved it. Elder M and I could not wipe the smile off of our faces. Everything went so well in her classes and she just left glowing! With all of the struggles past elders and we have had to get the work moving here in this area it was so great to have someone new in the Chapel. I really have learned to appreciate these moments in the mission. Its simple things like bringing someone to church for the first time. Smiling, Laughing, and feeling the spirit. Thats what life is all about. I wish you guys could meet Maira hahah. We also got two new family references this week. It has been almost impossible to get references here and somehow we got six this last week. The Lord is really blessing us right now.

Oh good moment this week. As we were crossing the "Barranco" this week I completely ate it hahahaha. My feet started sliding and caught a root hahaha. Fell super hard. It was so dang funny my comp and I could not stop laughing. That was the first time that I have fallen in my whole mission. Graceful.

Sad news this week. And elder Died in coban on Tuesday. Im not sure if you guys have heard about this yet. Elder Burton was in an accident on his way to a service project in Coban. He was a ZL there. He broke his legs and his back. They rushed him to the hospital here in the capital where he went into surgery for six hours. He came out good and was recovering on Sunday night. They were worried that he wouldnt be able to walk again. It really was such a miracle up to this point. Monday night he had heart problems and passed away. We got a call early Tuesday morning that we needed to get the zone together to read a letter from President Watts. Where he informed us of what happened the night before. I had the oppourtunity to meet him a couple times. Everyone i ever talked to said he was a great missionary. Keep his family in your prayers I cannot imagine what his Mother and Father are feeling. I know that his mom was on her way here when he passed away. He is serving his Father in Heaven in the spirit wold. Keep Elder G in your prayers too he was his companion in Peten for a while. I talked to him the other night and is doing good.

I love you guys so much. I love this work. We have seen so many blessings from the lord this last week. Keep praying, reading, and doing what the Savior would do. We can only find true peace and joy in this life as we come unto the Savior and live his gospel. I am so grateful for this short time I have to serve as a full time missionary. Love you all!

If I dont write the next monday its because we changed our P day to Tuesday. Me and Elder M are trying to get a temple trip planned for the zone next Tuesday. So if I dont write monday I will write Tuesday hahah

Love you all so much. SMILE

Elder Hughes

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy PDay | week 42

Hey Family! Glad you guys finally made it to Utah last night hahah. We are the Hughes's so there has to be an adventure on the way out to Utah. We need to make a book about all of our stories so we dont forget them hahaha. Tell Aunt Megan and everyone there in Utah that I say Hi I love them all. See Rilo I knew you would like the Trek hahah. Sounds like they worked them pretty good out there in the mountains. Zman tell me about scout camp. How many merit badges? Wentathalon?

I couldnt help but laugh about that story hahahah. I just remember all the stuff that has happened to us on the way to Utah. So funny. What are your plans for Utah? Who is going to lake Powell? 

To answer some of your favorite questions mom.... The house is good. Where im at the housing is super expensive so we live in a little complex but its like a converted garage slash apartment hahaha Im not really sure how to describe it. I like it. And there is a little box that heats the water which is nice haha. I spent about three hours the other day cleaning it. Elders are super dirty in the mission hahah. And Mom just so you know you definetly rubbed off on me all those years. I cannot function when our apartments are dirty hahah. My companion Elder Mejia is awesome we get along really well. He is from Honduras and has only been a member for about three years. Super cool guy. We have already become good freinds which is nice because we do alot of walking together. My suit should be getting here this week yaya! 

We had a tough week in the work this week. I have never had such a hard time finding people to teach and helping people progress. We are really trying to change the culture of the ward. It reminds me alot of the ward in Rocklin. Great members and leaders but the missionaries really struggle. We are staying patient and trying to find some new creative ways to do the work. The highlight of the week definetly came this Thursday. We had interveiws with President and Hermana Watts. As Zone leaders we were in the Stake Center all day helping to organize and get all the elders where they needed to be. At about seven o'clock on Thursday we went into our interveiws with President and Hermana Watts after everyone had left. Probably some of the best moments I have had on my mission. In my interveiw with president we talk about conserating ourselves to the work. His advice and support was so helpful. We talked about the book of mormon missionaries like Ammon, Samuel, and Moroni. He told me that I have been put into a very key role. And that the this zone needs a leader someone who can change the culture. Wow. As president said the closing prayer I couldnt hold tears back. They just continued into my time with Hermana Watts. Hermana Watts told me that we knew eachother in the premortal life and that when she met me for the first time on December fourth we were only recognized eachother. After many impressions and experiences in my mission I ruly believe I was assingned to serve in the this mission because of President and Hermana Watts. Words cant describe the connection I have felt with them. My interveiws on Thursday were amazing and they have given me the strength to push through some challenges and work to improve the zone.

There have been some problems in the zone. I am going to teach a district meeting this week. This normally is the job of the district leaders but this district is in need of some help. 

Mom a Quote Hermana Watts shared with me was just made for you hahahahah "Be right, and then be easy to live with, if possible, in that order" Ezra Taft Benson I loved that!

Well on to another week. Im really excited right now. I love the challenge of missionary work. I have noticed in my life that I need to always have a mountain to climb or a new challenge to face. I feel so blessed in my life. My mission has already changed me. I know that this message is true. I thank my Heavenly father for my loving mission President and his wife. They inspire and teach me so much.

Love you Mom and Dad. I know I say it every week but I have the greatest parents ever. I love all my family. Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and Cousins! Have fun at Lake Powell this week! I pray for all of you guys.

Until next week!


Elder Tanner Hughes! Woooooooo!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hellooooo from Acatan! | week 41

Hey guys!

So nice to hear from you guys. I loved all the pictures from the rivercats game. Brother Voges I love the new get up hahahaha. I was showing some of the elders here in Guatemala too! Zman is off to scout camp how cool is that. I have alot of good memories up there at camp Wente. Im sure he will come back nice and tired. Riley your gonna love the Trek man. Just get out and enjoy it. I remember I made alot of new freinds on the trek especially with the youth from other wards.

Well Im now in la zona Palmita. I still continue as a ZL with Elder M from Honduras. President Watts put every Zone leader from the south mission with a Zone leader from the North mission. I am the only elder in the Zone that came over from the old North mission so I am getting to know everyone. I saw Elder Gondola at change conference! He is now a Zone leader in Atlantico where I started my mission. Super crazy that we are together now. Elder G got sent to Puerto Barrios which is outside of the Capital to open up a new Zone hahah. What a stud.

Kind of felt like a long week with all the changes. Wendsday I arrived here in Acatan. It is very different in our area. Elder M and I are in a really rich part of Guatemala. Our area consists of about three residencial areas. The Elders have not had hardly any success at all here. I think in the last three years there has been four baptisms which is super low for Guatemala. There are alot of factors that go into that. The members are amazing here. Definitely the best functioning ward I have been in on my mission. Lots of complete families that have all served missions. The members are willing to do basically anything for the Elders except talking to their neighbors about the gospel hahahah. With all the security and guards that walk around these places its really hard to knock doors. I am trying to bring some new life into the area because right now its pretty dead hahah. Elder M has been here for five and a half months and that much time can be challenging here. So Im trying to inject some energy and faith into the zone and the area.

Funny moment the other day. We ate lunch at a members house and she was freaking out saying that I look just like Richard Gere when he was youg hahahahaha. Not really sure who that is but maybe you guys do.

Thanks Duncan family! I love getting all of your poscards. You guys are awesome. And I have been using some of the family history you taught us here in the mission feild woooohoooo!

Got a letter from Brother Canning too! Such a classy guy.

Im so excited to be here in zona Palmita. Despite some difficulties in the area I am determined to make some changes and get thing moving here. I know the Lord gives us challenges so that we may be able to learn and grow. I found a quote that really inspired me this week by George Q Cannon it reads " No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, God will never desert us. He never has, and he never will. He cannot do it. It is not his character. He is an unchangeable being, the same yesterday, the same today, and he will be the same throughout the eternal ages to come. We have found that God. We have made him our freind, by obeying his Gospe, and he will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace, we may pass through the deep waters, but we shall not be consumed or overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties for the better and will be purer for them, if we only trust in god and keep his commandments" I try and put my trust in the lord. I love this work. Walking down quiet steets and sharing this message makes me happy! I know as we look at our trails as oppourtunities to trust in the lord and to grow we can become what the lord wants us to be.

Love you guys so much. Keep having so much fun up there! And talk to you next week from Utah!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Elder Hughes

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

week 40 | well......time for another change!

Hey guys!

Happy late fourth of July. To be completely honest It was about one o'clock on Wendsday when another elder reminded me that it was the fouth of July hahahaha. I totally forgot about that. When you don't live in the United States anymore I guess I forget that stuff now ha. Happy Birthday America. I was wondering if the river raft was gonna be coming out soon! Im excited to hit the river again one day.

Well speaking of fireworks Im just going to get this thing started with a "bang". Haha that was for Brother Pettey. Haha. For a little context I've only been here in zona Molino for one change or six weeks. We received the change calls from the assistants and I have a CHANGE! I still honestly cannot believe it. Almost all the companionships of ZLs have changes which is crazy. So now I'm packing my bags again and hitting the road. Maybe I'm going to be going outside of the capital to open up a new zone or something who knows??? I really have no Idea whats going to happen. The mission just split so with the five zones here in the capital we received five more from the south mission. So It seems like president is sending alot of us over to the old south mission. 

Quick little note. At the consejo de lideres on tuesday I asked around from the ZLs in the south mission and Shaun Gondola is now here with me in the East mission! How crazy is that! Me and Shaun are in the same mission and Im pretty sure we are going to go home together now. Im excited to see him.

This week was just a rollercoaster ride. On Tuesday we went to leadership meeting which was so good. I always feel so inspired and motivated to change after these meetings. President Watts is inspired. I feel like I'm am just now beginning to understand the role and calling we hold as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I feel privileged to have been called to serve in such a sacred calling. I went on a division this week to Durazno this week. Its a little pueble just outside of the capital and way up on top of a mountain. Pretty cool area. Its all dirt roads and little lamina houses. They have a beautiful chapel up there that just sits in the middle of the pueblo. Wow its pretty breathtaking. Unfortunatly the branch and the missionaries have had some difficulties. Assistance is way down and the Elders haven't had any success. So I got the chance to go up and see what we can do to help them. I loved it! For some reason the following day Thursday and Friday were so hard for me. To be completely honest some days on the mission are just flat out difficult. I relied heavily on the power of prayer this week. Its hard for me to explain what makes some of these days difficult but it is. I know all missionaries can relate. The cool part is the hardest days or weeks in life usually teach us the most. The lord lifts and carries us when we cant go any farther. I have felt this countless times in my mission. Especially with leadership assignments we are given superhuman stamina to keep walking and to keep working as hard as we can.

I was so shocked to have a change. I feel like I just got to know all the elders and members here in the ward hahah. I think the hardest part is remembering all the names haha. In just six short weeks I have grown to love the people in my area. I feel so blessed to have seen so much success in this last six weeks. I am a little sad to leave. But I know that the Lord needs me somewhere else in the time of change in the mission. I have a feeling I might be going to Puerto Barrios which is on the east coast of Guatemala. A new zone is going to open up there! President Watts has always been full of suprises for me. I strive daily to always be worthy of his confidence and trust. 

One basic truth I have seen this week is the fact that our Father in Heaven loves us. Each and every one of his children. His greatest desire is that we continue to change and better ourselves. In this last conference President Uchtdorf stated " Your heavenly father knows that you will make mistakes. He knows that you will stumble- perhaps many times this saddens him, but he loves you. He doesnt wish to break your spirit. On the contrary, he desires that you rise up and become the person you were designed to be" I love those inspired words. I have so much to improve on. But I know that our loving heavenly father is there right beside us cheering us on as we struggle to improve and overcome the challenges of life. Use his atonement and make a list. Write down a short list of things you need to improve on spiritually. Pray and make a plan of action. Make your dreams and wishes a reality. I know that the Savior lives. He has restored his Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith. If you do not know this, pick up a book of mormon, read and pray. You will see the fruits of the restored gospel shine through in your life.

Have a great week guys. Who knows where im going to be on Wednesday  Not really looking forward to pack everything up so soon but Im excited! I love you all so much. Mom, Dad, Riley, and Zach you guys are the best hands down! My family rocks!


Elder Hughes

Thanks for the money mom your the best ever! Im actually gonna get my suit made today I think and then get it sent to me wherever im at.

Love you guys so much. Keep having fun

Sunday, July 7, 2013

week 39 | Oh yeah, the Fourth of July is this week!

Hey guys!

Its so nice to hear from you dad! Its pretty hot in Rocklin eh? I remember those summer days haha. First of all congrats to Sarina and Chrisian. Holy Moly I cannot believe she got married. Its kind of weird to see everyone all grown up on missions and getting married. Your awesome Sarina. You and Christian look great in your pictures. I guess you will have to pay me back someday for getting married while Im out on the mission hahaha. Wish I could have been there for sure. Riley league champs thats awesome. Tell Jeffery and Jamie good luck for me. I know exactly how they are feeling right now. But everything works out and the lord will help and support them throughout everything.

Well this last month and change has just flown by. Im not really sure where June went whew! It really is like a time bubble here in the mission field  I was just remembering that I went through the temple exactly a year ago hahah. We had another very busy week. With zone conference and baptisms! On friday we had our zone conference with Molino and Las Victorias. It went so well. President and Hermana Watts always help me out so much. The more I get into my mission and my personal conversion to the gospel the more I realize how much I need to change hahah. I spent some time after the conference setting some personal goals and trying to apply these changes into my life. The good thing is I get to see them at leadership meeting tomorrow with all the ZLs. So excited!

We were able to find some amazing new investigators this week. We found B and her son L. We found them from a member reference which is always the way to go. They have been so prepared by the Lord. I havent seen someone grab and read the book of mormon faster than her. Sometimes people really suprise us. I sure love the people here in Guatemala. I know that if we pray fervently to be filled with charity which is the pure love of Christ like it says in Moroni, the Lord will fill our hearts with sincere love for everyone. Hermana Watts is the greatest example of this. If I had to describe her and president in one word it would be Love.

H and V were baptized this saturday. Another one of those special moments on the mission. It has been amazing to work with them for the last month. The gospel has really blessed their lives. For two very young people they have had some big trials in their lives. I was talking with H in the bathroom while we were changing and he told me he felt something indescribable when he came out of the water. He said he felt like someone else was their with him. I had the oppourtunity to confirm him a member of the church the following day. Like you dad I wish you guys could meet these people. I hope that one day we will be able to come back to Guatemala and do just that.

I would like to share a quote really quickly from president Monson "When we have sampled much and have wandered far and have seen how fleeting and sometimes superficial alot of the world is, our gratitude grows for the privilege of being part of something we can count on, home and family and the loyalty of loved ones. We come to know what it means to be bound together by duty, by respect, by belonging. We learn that nothing can fully take the place of the blessed relationship of family life" I love all of my family and the ward family that I grew up in. My heart is filled with supreme gratitude for my loving Father in Heaven who has blessed me with such amazing family and freinds. Im not sure what I could ever do to repay him or my loving earthly parents. I hope we all can express this gratitute for what we have been given. And the best way to do that is to serve the lord and those around us. I Love my Savior. And express my deep gratitude for his atoning sacrifice.

Have an amazing week! So much love!

Elder Hughes

week 38 | Guats up family!

Hola mi familia!

¿Como les va? que es eso hay lluvia en Junio!

Hey guys! Wellllll its that day again. I hope your guys are doing well! Im glad you guys could watch some of the conference last night. All the Elders and Hermanas in the zone watched it together in the stake center. Wow how cool was that! Its amazing to see how much emphasis they are puttting on missionary work. We are living in an amazing time. I feel really blessed to be serving with 70,000 other Elders and Hermanas in the world. I felt the spirit strongly in all the talks and videos. With the upcoming changes with technology in the mission field we were pondering that with my companions. I think we will see some changes and enhancements but not sure. None of us have cell phones in the mission here just a house phone hahaha. It really would make things easier for communicating but who knows.

We had a very busy and active week here in Sion. Its raining everyday now hahaha. We had a storm come in and soak us this week. On Tuesday we returned from some morning appointments to eat lunch and it started pouring hahahah. I dont think I have ever seen it rain so hard in my entire life. Just about daily now we look up in the sky and huge dark clouds come rolling in. "Quick get the jackets out!!!!" 

 We had the oppourtunity to baptize F this week. She is amazing, one of the truest converts i have seen on the mission. She was so prepared and has just learned at such a fast pace. Unfortunatly her boyfreind who is in the ward couldnt baptize her so we asked her who she wanted. To my suprise she chose me! It is such an honor every time I get to lead someone down into the baptismal font and baptize. I feel incredibly grateful and honored to be a part of such a special moment. We spent alot of time getting things set up for her baptism Saturday night. Right when the first hymn started she began to cry... what a special day for her. There is no joy greater than to see a son or daughter of our heavenly father enter the waters of baptism. Sacrifice does bring forth the blessings of heaven.

We have had a tougher time finding some new people to teach. I have found it hard sometimes to balance the time we spend preparing and baptizing and finding new people. This week we are really going to focus in on finding with faith. We are preparing our last two fechas J and V to be baptized this next Saturday. J is 13 and V is 9. We have reactivated the family and are working with their father also. I have seen a huge change in both of them. When we started visiting them they had lots of contention and problems within the family. Its amazing to see how the teaching of the gospel directly effects families. I already love these guys so much!

Just like Taylor said a few weeks back I feel like the Book of Mormon writers when they say they could only write a hundredth part of what they saw and experienced. Its hard for me to describe the many experiences I have weekly here in the mission. We had our zone activity today which went well. We went to a bowling alley by the temple. I actually bowled a 173 hahaha. All that bowling in Wisconsin is still paying off hahahaha. I am really excited for this coming week. We are going to have zone conference on Friday! Im a little nervous because I have been assigned to teach with Elder E one of the assistants about how to teach with inspired questions hahaha.

I was reading the Conference edition of the Ensign this week. I loved the talks by Quentin L Cook and Richard G Scott about finding peace in our homes and in our personal lives. Elder Cook stated " Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in him, love him, and keep his commandments" I know that when we live simple pure gospel principles true internal peace is found in this busy world. Prayer, daily scripture study, and living the commandments of the Lord qualify and purify us. Where can I turn for peace? We can always turn to the savior. Through him is found the only true and lasting peace. 

I love you guys! Have another great week! Mom I loved your thoughts about the June Ensign. I also read that article by President Uchtdorf. I pray for you all daily!


Elder Hughes