Monday, September 30, 2013

what's crackin' | week 52

“My life is like my shoes, worn out by service.” 
― Spencer W. Kimball

Hmmm where do I start. This last week was awesome!

M was baptized on Friday! Probably one of the coolest conversions I've been able to be a part of on my mission. We spent alot of time this last week getting everything set up for Friday and getting her ready. One day this week she told us she received a very strong spiritual impression or feeling that what she is doing is right. She just said while laying down on her bed for a few minutes she felt a peace come ever her. And a still small voice telling her that these thing are true. Friday she showed up to the service 45 minutes early just so excited. The coolest part is that we got her daughter G set up on skype from Germany. G was baptized there in Germany only a few months prior. When she walked in and saw her mom dressed in white they both just started crying. Wow it was so special to be apart of this moment. Since her daughter could only connect at night in Germany we had to do it in the morning. About 20 members were able to come and support. It was so intimate and spiritual. I wish you guys could have just been there to see it hahah. It touched my heart to hear M and G tell me and Elder M "thank you" for sharing and working with them. That is why im here. For these people. It has been amazing to see how the spirit has guided all of our lessons and timing. I work daily to have that spirit everyday in my mission!

My companion has changes! Looks like im going to be training a new Zone Leader here in Acatan. Im actually pretty excited it gives me an oppourtunity to step up and do things better. Half of the zone has changes which is crazy! 

Like you sometimes mom alot of the weeks seem pretty similar to me. But im looking forward to this upcoming week. We have changes Wendsday and leadership conference the following day which will be cool. Then to top things off with General Conference. I love Conference. I have spent alot of time on my mission reading and studying talks from the last couple years. My invitation is that we can all watch and more importantly listen for an answer we have been looking for this next weekend. I know that as we do so prayerfully the answer will come. 

Im feeling great right now! There are so many little experiences and things I learn everyday. Its always kind of weird to change companions in the mission. We really build such cool relationships with other missionaries and companions.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I got alot of emails. I had a great Birthday. The Hermanas bought me a cake and we stuck a big candel in it to celebrate. I want to set some new goals and really have another great year. Can you guys beleive that we hit the year this week. Its all downhill from here now. I love you guys. Thanks Mom, Dad, Riley, and Zach. I love you all so much

Have a great week and keep smiling and having fun!


Elder Hughes

Monday, September 23, 2013

WHAT ITS MY BDAY????? | week 51

disclaimer: the longer Tanner is in Guatemala, the worse his English spelling gets. I don't go through and fix the errors, it's part of the experience :)

Hey guys!

Thanks for the early birthday wishes! I honestly cannot believe im going to be 20. I just keep telling my comp that sounds so old to me. I dont think I have ever had a year that has gone faster in my entire life. It all feels kind of like a dream and one day im going to be woken up haha. Im glad to hear all is well there in Rocklin. Finally done with all the heat. I loved all the pictures of Riley and Zach. Riley your looking good in your lifeguard stuff hahaha STUD! Z-man your gonna have to let me know how your soccer team does this fall. Everyone here is obsessed with Lionel Messi who plays for Barcelona haha. Mom, Im so glad your photography business is doing great. Im so proud to be your son. Ive got the coolest Mom in the world!

Well Mom im going to be twenty is that old or what? hahah. Can you belive that? I know I cant. I apoligize (I cant spell anymore) for the last letter. Im sure you felt it come through but I was so dang stressed out. I had one of the moments where you finally sit down to write and nothing comes out. We had a much calmer week which was good. Elder S who was staying with us unfortunately went home on Wendsday. I really wanted him to stay with us for a change to work out some of the problems he was having but he decided to head home for a little bit. Me and Elder M were so grateful for the three days we were able to spend together with him. My eyes have been opened alot and I have learned so much these last few weeks. Finally everything has calmed down in the zone which is nice. President told me he has been specifically praying for me and the zone and we have seen those prayers answered.

Some good news is that M is going to be baptized. It has been amazing to see the change that has taken place with her in the last couple weeks. She has been reading going to church and changing! Ever since we committed her to baptism she has been doing so well. This last week we had a hard time meeting up with here. Satan has been launching his attack this last week with her mom in the hosptal and many other problems. I really feel a special connection with M we have felt the spirit so strongly in all of our lessons. We are not sure if the baptism is going to be this Friday ( My bday) or on Saturday. We are still waiting to see if she is going to have to leave with her husband on a military trip this weekend. I sure hope not. hahah. 

As for the rest of the week we spent alot of time walking trying to help the members and contact people in the street. The search for more people to teach continues. We did get a sweet reference that we want to start teaching this week. All I know is that the mom is named M and she has two little daughters. They came to church a while back and we are going to see how we can help them. Changes are coming up this next week! I am pretty confident that Im not going anywhere haha. But my comp who knows I think he is going to stay but he has 8 months here in the area already so we will see. Elder M ends his mission in December. Funny thing about Elder M is he talks to himself hahaah. Super funny alot of times im in the bathroom or the shower and I can hear him just talking away hahaha. At first I got really confused because I thought he was talking to me I would always leave and just ask what he was trying to tell me hahaha.

Im doing good! We are going to have a busy one this week with Leadership meeting tomorrow with President, zone meeting, and a baptism wooo!

Found a quote this week that has helped me recently from President Monson it reads "I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me " I have so many problems, Such real concerns. Im overwhelmed with the challenge of life. What can I do? I have offered to them and now to you, this specific suggestion. Seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Yard by yard lifes hard, inch by inch its a cinch. Each of us can be true for atleast one day."
We have to take life on day by day. Thinking about the mission, life, problems and all the stresses can be overwhelming sometimes. But when we just break things down and seek guidance from the Lord one day at a time it all seems to work out. This advice from President Monson has helped me and I believe it can help you too! Take life on one day at a time. I have seen so many blessings in my life recently. I am eternally grateful for the loving family and freinds that I have. You support and love me. Thank you. I also have come to know how much our Heavenly Father loves us his children. It is real. Sometimes its improtant to remember one simple truth. You are a child of God...... Just think about that for a moment. The greatest most powerful all knowing being exists and loves you, and all his children. He has a plan for us, and we may all as we act in obedience to his commandments return to live with him. This is the message I share. I know its true.

I love you Mom and Dad, Riley, Zach and Everyone that writes and sees this. Thank you for all that you do for me. Im going to have a great Birthday this week. What could be a better gift than to have a baptism! 
Have a great week and take life on one day at a time. I pray for you all daily. LOVE YOU GUYS:


Elder Hughes

Monday, September 16, 2013

week 50 | what's up guys! (yes, we are on week 50, that means just two weeks until we hit the one year mark!)

Hey! Im coming at you guys late today. It has been aabsolutely crazy day with zone activity along with some tough situations in the zone that we are trying to deal with. I'm gonna have to keep this one short lame. I'm glad you guys are doing well. So cool to see pictures of the quarry bowl this week. Looked like it was a packed house. Riley, dude you are awesome I love the school spirit man. Dad I loved you message on daily bread. Thanks so much

Sorry to be honest I'm having a hard time focusing right now haha. We have had some big time problems in the zone this week. (content removed for privacy). I have really learned alot through these experiences. Satan works hard on the missionaries and sometimes they face the consequences. I love these Elders so much.

We set a baptismal date with M this week. As we left the zone conference on Tuesday me and Elder M had the strongest impression that she needed a date and a goal to work for. We had an amazing lesson with her and after about an hour and a half she accepted a date. M is so ready. We have really seen the Lord work in her life. The coolest part is that right after the lesson her son Julio who never wants to talk to us came up out of nowhere and said Elderes I want to talk with you guys the next time you come over. I think M was the most suprised out of all of us. She should be baptized the 28th of September which would be a great birthday present haha.

There are so many other things that I wish I could talk to you guys about right now but I just dont have time. This week has been so amazing. We have seen many miracles and tender mercies from the Lord. I love you guys so much. I feel bad that this is such a bad email home hahah I just want you guys to know how much I love you all. I love this work. The Lord continues to push and stretch me in many ways. This work is true. I have felt that on so many occasions out here in Guatemala. Thanks for all of your support and love. I promise my letter next week will be better. I tried to send alot of pictures.

Love you all so much,

Elder Hughes
The Central Park of Guatemala City

He talked about the beautiful sunset? Maybe the camera
didn't quite capture it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

week 49 | anotha week

What up guys! Hope your monday is treating you well. Glad to hear everything is calm in Rocklin. I remember the steady rthymn of work, school, practice and football games woo! Im glad you guys were Wildcat fans this week. I got my representatives there for me hahaha. Dont worry mom the heat will go away I promise. Its really bizarre the weather here in Guatemala. It really doesn't vary throughout the year. Right now it just comes in about four in the afternoon and just pours rain for a few hours and then stops hahah. I took some video this week of a crazy afternoon storm that hit us on Tuesday.

Well we had a pretty insane start to our week. On Tuesday while I was taking a shower my companion let me know that one of the Elders in our zone just left! His companion called us to let us know that while he was showering his companion threw his stuff in his suitcases and left. This started a crazy day. We immediately called President Watts and left to go stay with his companion and look for this Elder. To make a really long story short one of the guys in charge of missionary security found him at a bus station where he was about to get on a bus to return to Nicaragua. Super Crazy! The Assistants met up with us and we had to do divisions. I went with Elder C to work in their area while my companion stayed with our runaway elder in our house as he would wait to be put on a plane home the following day. Me and Elder M have been laughing every week it seems to be some other crazy situation thrown at us hahaha. 

We spent alot of the week contacting. It is really difficult for us to visit members from about 2-6.30 in our area. We are trying to get as creative as we can hahah. While knocking doors this week we did find some success. Finally someone opened the door on Wendsday we talked with E It really suprised us how accepting she was. We talked with her about the Book of Mormon and eternal families. We set a cita and went back Friday but they weren't there. Sunday we passed by and met her husband. For the first few minutes it looked like it was going to be a dead end. Its really funny to me how people always say no to start. After talking for a little bit longer we were able to get things looking better. We set another appointment with them for this week! I use alot of the things I learned knocking doors all last summer in Wisconson hahaha. 

Things are getting there. We are still working hard with M and the N Family. Right now they just are not progressing. This can be hard for us sometimes. It really is simple. If people read, pray, and go to church the Lord will send countless blessing their way. Too many times many of us become so distracted from the basics in our lives. I really feel like we are progressing. The members are beginning to change their outlook on missionary work which excites me! We really need their help in Acatan. President Watts has mentioned that to me multiple times lately.

I love this work! My Heavenly Father has taught me so much these last two months its crazy. I found some inspiring words from President Monson this week. ¨There is no going back, only forward. Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of TODAY, of here and now, doing all that we can to provide pleasant memories for the future¨ As I approach my 20th birthday I have been thinking about this alot. First off I cannot beleive im going to hit the 20´s. Life goes by so quick. And as Ferris Bueller says it ¨ we have to stop and look around every once in a while¨. I have taken a few moments this week to look around and enjoy the journey. I invite everone this week to pause look around and enjoy the Sunrises and Sunsets in life. It makes life fun and enjoyable.

I love you Family and Freinds! Im excited for this upcoming week we have zone conference tomorrow which should be great. Have a great week and always remember that im praying for all of you!


Elder Tanner Hughes

Monday, September 2, 2013

week 48 | what's up!!

Hey guys! Coming at you guys a little bit later today. I had not a clue that it was Labor day weekend hahahaha. I hope that you are enjoying your day off of school and work. I loved the letter and pictures dad! Im a just a little jealous that college and high school football has gotten started haha. I cherish and love the memories I have playing, watching and spending time around the football feild. Some of my favorite times have even been just to go see games together. Dont you guys just love that time of year haha. (Cue song about football by kenny chesney hahahaha). Super cool to see that Jake is fighting for the back up spot at Oregon. I remember sending messages back and forth with him when we both got into college for the first time. Mom Im glad all the fall boxes are empty and decorations out woooooo! Zach man your in Sierra wooooo! Your going to love Mr Bechler hahaha Did he burn barbies the first day of class like he always did? Your gonna have to see if Mr Champ remembers me too. I sure do love you guys and I love to hear all about your week! Dad thanks for the high school and college sports updates I love them. You guys just have to make me a promise that you will go to at least one Whitney game for me this fall hahahah. 

Whew! Well this last week just flew by! I honestly blinked and it was over. Tuesday we had Leadership meeting which helped me alot. These monthly conferences save me hahaha. President Watts is such an inspired man. I always seem to find the answers to my doubts and questions through him. He spoke alot about how we as leaders and missionaries need to open our mouths. Contacting and teaching the gospel can be scary sometimes hahaha. Yet the Lord has helped me so much overcome those feelings and share this message.

As far as the work this week felt slow. We have been trying to change some things and really work on contacting more people. Nothing happens in the work if we cannot find people to teach. This can be frustrating sometimes for Elder M and I but we know there are people waiting for us we just have to find them. We had a great lesson with M this week. She is slowly progressing little bit by little bit. I invited her to be baptized again this week but she doesnt feel ready to make that decision. Sometimes it can be hard for her to see how the Lord has answered her prayers. I know she will make that decision someday we just have to be patient and wait upon the lord. 

I have had the oppourtunity to serve specific elders in the zone this week. I am so thankful for the oppourtunity I have been given to serve and help other missonaries. I know that I was sent here for specific reasons and those have come through other missionaries in the zone. I hope and pray that I can be a tool in the Lords hand. There really is no sweeter joy that to serve and help. I truly beleive that many of our problems would be solved if we would all look outward. We then seem to forget about our struggles.

Wooooo! I love this work. I love the challenge of the mission and the challenge of my Area. I am so grateful for my loving freinds and family! All of you! Love really is the center of a happy life. There is a reason that when Christ was asked what is the greatest commandment of all it was first to love the lord thy god with all of thy heart and second to love your neighbor like yourself. John Byytheway one of my BYU teachers once stated that "In the end all we have learned from books, how many scriptures we have read, how many years of service we have adquired or how many callings we have completed will all be secondary to how much we have loved" Isnt that so true? My invitation is that we love one other. I promise that more peace and happiness will come into our lives.

Well im out of time. Im excited to start a new week. Have have set some new goals for this week and are hoping to find someone new who is ready to accept this gospel. I love you all and hope your week is a great one!


Elder Hughes