Monday, October 28, 2013

greetings from Guatemala | week 56

Whats up guys!

Thanks dad for the email I always enjoy the sports updates haha. Im glad you guys are getting away for the weekend and heading to San francisco I miss that city. Send me some pics next week of all your adventures. Congrats to Chase Blevins on his baptism woooowooooo! Give him a high five for me. It will be cool to see how everyone has grown while Im gone. I still freak out seeing pictures of Riley and Zach they are getting so big. Go Cougs! Glad Taysem is playing well. Did I ever tell you guys that I met him at the Clarks grandparents house in Provo.

Well just finished another good week in the mission feild. Time is just flying by. I have to stop every monday and remember what happens every week out here. As a zone we had the best week I have seen in all of my time in zona Palmita. We found 54 new investigators as a zone and it looks like we are going to have alot of success in November. Wendsday we had interveiws with President Watts, Hermana Watts had to go to Utah for two weeks to help one of her daughters who was having a baby. Im not going to lie it wasnt the same without her haha. As zone leaders on interveiw days we basically spend most of the day in the stake center organizing the interveiw schedule. At about 6:30pm I got to talk with President after everyone. Wow I just loved it! He really helped me out with some of the stresses I have in the Zone. I feel so blessed to have develped a strong relationship with President and Hermana Watts. We are going to have to go visit them when I get back. Hermana Watts already told me she will have to approve of my future wife hahahaha.

Thursday we got the oppourtunity to do divisions with one of the assistants Elder S. I woke up thursday Prayed and made a couple changes to our plans. We decided to bring one of our new investigators hna C to the chapel to show her around and have a lesson with her. We picked her up with a member and took her to the chapel. I remember she walked in and just stood there staring at the painting of Christ and his apostles in the entryway. We took her into the sacrament room and talked about the sacrament, the atonement and baptism. Im not sure how it happened but we ended up sitting down together in foyer. C opened up to us about alot of the problems she has had in her life. I cannot begin to describe the suffering and pain she has felt. She was abandoned as a litte girl and got by begging for money in the streets. For a time in her life she lost her sight completely and only by the hand of the lord she was able to get a surgery that corrected her eyes. She began to cry and at one moment said that her life wasnt worth anything. It was our privilege to testify and tell this tender hearted woman that she does matter and that she is worth  everything in the eyes of god. We just told her how much we love her. One of the coolest moments I have had on my mission. C has alot of things to overcome like her sister who wont let her leave the house to come to church with us. But I know that with the Lords help she will be able to come and feel the blessings her father in heaven has in store for her. We are going to head to her house tonight to try and talk with her sister.

Christina and Freddy are both pregressing really well. Chr went to church, mutual, and we had a great lesson with her on Thursday night. It is amazing to see the changes that take place in the lives of these people. F is doing well also. He has lowered things down to three cigarretes each day and our goal is that he will be able to be down to almost nothing at the end of this week. We set a baptismal date with him for the 16th of November!

I really felt the giudance of the spirit this week. It is absolutely key that we as missionaries and members have the spirit with us at all times. He whispers and guides our thoughts and actions. It amazes me sometimes how during the day or during lessons, examples or impressions come to my mind. This is the lords work and it is done by the influence and guidance of the spirit. It cannot be done in any other way.

We have a busy week coming up with lots of meetings! Got leadership meeting tomorrow, stake correlation, and zone meeting this week Whew! About once a month we have a week like this one. I am so excited with this zone right now. I have felt recently that we are going to see some really big blessings from the lord. We have started to see those this last week. I love the missionaries in this zone. I get attached to them and it is such a priviledge I have to work along side them.

I have been focusing on my prayers this week. Honestly I didnt really know what prayer was before the mission. Prayer is a sacred privilede we have to communicate with our Father in Heaven. I think sometimes we get to repetitious and lazy with our prayers. You can learn almost everthing about the relationship someone has with god just by listening to the way they talk to him. Are we really talking with him? Or do we just recite alot of words and phrases that we always use? As I was thinking and studying about prayer this week I went to my bed and prayed for a while. I testify that God does hear and answer us. If we will only ask in faith he can do all things! Lets focus on our prayers this week and make them meaningful. I love this gospel. I have never been apart of something so grand and important in all my life.

Have a great week Family and Friends.... I love you all so much. I hope you all know that. Dad thanks for always supporting me. I feel so proud to be your son. Give Mom a big hug for me today hahahah!


Elder Hughes
I was using the restroom in one of the members houses this week and had this turtle hanging out with me while on the toilet hahaha only in Guatemala . . . . that is a huge turtle!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Guats Up | week 55

Happy Monday!

Glad to hear you guys are doing well. I am a little jelous right now seeing you guys in sweatshirts and fall stuff. Im glad you had a good trip Mom and Riley had a great time. I loved all the pictures he sent me hahah. Everytime I see pictures of Riley I just start laughing hahahahha Idk why Riley your such a great brother man. We will have to go back to New York someday and you can show me around. Mom that picture with you and Jackson is awesome he is GIGANTIC. He has always been a big guy. 

Felizidades to Megan Hodgson on her call to New York. Thats gonna be three Hodsons in the mission right now cool stuff! Yes Mom its getting to be that Christmas time again woooooo! I really cant believe it I feel like it was just Christmas here. I have talked to elder Gammon a couple times recently he is going home in three weeks!!!!! I still just love my trainer we were best freinds from the moment we left to Llano Largo. You guys are gonna have to look for him on Facebook and talk to him when he gets back. The lord definetly blessed me with my Trainer.

We had a tougher week this week. Sometimes it feels like an uphill climb trying to work with and find new people to teach. We did set a baptismal with C this week. We got a lesson set up with her at the bishops house. We set it for the ninth of November but she didnt make to it to church this week so we are praying and trying to help her. With F we are seeing alot of progress we taught him twice this week and he has set a goal to quit smoking in 15 days! He came to church and is just loving it. We are calling him ever night checking up on how he is doing.

We are really trying to help this ward. The bishop called a new ward mission leader that should help us out more. Sometimes it just takes someone to come in and to make changes. We have gained the confidence and support of the bishop and are trying to work with all the leaders in the ward. 

I really saw alot of tough situations this week. We meet alot of people and families that go through trials that are hard to watch. Alot of the poorer people here work all day everyday just fighting to put some food on the table. While contacting one day this week I just walked up some stairs to a little house and we met the A family. We talked with the mom and she is going through a really hard time her eleven year old daughter has Leukemia. We taught them a little bit and set a return appointment but when we went back the rest of the family told us they had to move to another part of the capital. But we did start teaching her sister who also has had an incredibly tough life. I am so grateful for the family and home I was blessed with. Count your blessing because I have met alot of people who have it alot tougher.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am an addict to Tortillas. I seriously do not know what Im going to do without fresh Tortillas for lunch and dinner everday in the States. Hahaha. I can eat like ten at every meal.

Everyone here is preparing for the first of November which is the day of the dead. Everyone celebrates and does thing for all their ancestors. There is a huge cemetery by our area so its gonna get a litte crazy here soon.

Random story this week we were walking down our street on Sunday afternoon and a woman came running around the corner with a huge broom in her hands, yelling at everyone she passed hahahah. She ran right up to us too. CRAZY! I think one of the switches shorted out upstairs or someting.... 

Im feeling good, We are continuing to work hard here in Asuncion. Sometimes things take time and patience in the mission. But I know the lord is guiding and blessing us everyday. I was thinking this week about something I like to call "Being a Do-er". I love watching the Ironman Triathlon world championships every year. It inspires me to see stories of people who despite all odds and opposition accomplish the "impossible". I have also seen this theme within church service. Stories of men and woman who serve the lord and obey the commandments no matter what the circumstances. There is a quote my I love its simple "The man who says he can and the man who says he cant are both right". I strive to be a doer of the word. To live the gospel. There is something inspiring about people to go and serve they dont make excuses or count the cost they just do. The scriptures are full of Do-ers. Nefi went and did what the lord commanded. Captain Moroni when confronted with problems and opposition tore off his coat and wrote the standard of liberty, then he fought for his people. I love the scriptures. Lets be do-ers and instead of talking about reading the scriptures or visiting the sick lets go and do it. 

I love this work. It is true. If it werent true I wouldnt be here. I love my Savior and I know he watches over every one of his children. Have a great week and keep moving forward. I love you all so much!


Elder Hughes

Monday, October 14, 2013

Que tal! | week 54

What up Fam bam! Everyone is split up right now, we got Riley in New York, Mom in Utah, Taylor in Arizona, Dad and Zach in Cali, and of course I'm here in Guatemala, I think the Hughes family is filling the earth hahahaha. Thanks dad for the email I'm glad you are all doing well. And Riley wow just living it up in New York city so cool. I want to get to know the big apple some day. Send some pictures next week. 

So cool to hear about all the missionaries in our ward now. How many are out now? And Matthew that doesn't come as a suprise, great leader. I think about Matthew, Tyler, Jordan, Jeff, Scott and everone all the time. Can you remember when were all deacons together at scout camp. Where does time go?

Dad to answer your questions I took my shoes to a "zapateria" or shoe shop where they fixed them for like 60 quetzs which is like 8 dollars haha. Those things were destroyed. We walk alot here in Guatemala. There are no such thing as mission cars or bikes hahaha. So just got new soles put on so good as new.

Well your sportcenter update from guatemala this week..... Me and Elder A put in a solid week. We needed it. We finally feel like we know most of the members and can get things going here. We set a goal to find six new investigators this week and we reached it. On friday we had a cool experience after we spent the day walking around to alot of fallen appointments we stopped at about six and just said what do we do!!!! Pulled out some of the old investigators that the elders visited like six months ago and we started looking. We knocked on the door of a woman named J she let us right in and we were able to teach her the plan of salvation. Felt the spirit super strong and she just loved it. She couldn't come to church on sunday but said she would be able to the next week. Im not sure how many times its happened to me on my mission when I get to the point of saying thats it im so tired and nothing is working everytime we just walk a little bit farther something great happens. It happens playing golf too right when your about to storm off the course and give up you chip in from fifty yards and then you keep going hahahah.

Right now our ward is pretty down. About seventy five people came to church on sunday and everyone seems really disanimated and Im not sure why. Sometimes we see alot of structural problems with the church here in Guatemala. It definetly is a shock when you come from Rocklin first ward where its overflowing and everyone magnifies their callings. We have been working with the Bishop to help strengthen the ward. I have also been working with my companion alot this week he is great just isnt much of a talker. And kind of hard to be a ZL and not talk or develop relationships. But I know I have been put with him for a specific reason and he is helping me alot.

We are working with some other investigators named F and C. C is 15 years old and has been coming to church she just thinks she has to be perfect in order to make a covenant with the lord and be baptized. F is a guy we found who is good freinds with some recent converts. He is a great guy we just have to work with him on leaving cigarettes

I'm having a hard time thinking of cool things to write about sometimes we too as missionaries have weeks that seem very normal hahah. I have been thinking alot about the conference we just had last weekend. Its amazing to see how the lord is hastening his work. Like Elder Perry said its a great time to be a missionary. I am so grateful that Im serving at this historic time. Now with 80,000 other men and women. I marvel at the work. It truly is a marvelous work and I feel so thankful to have the chance to be a part of it. In this months ensign President monson said "Amid the storms of life, danger lurks. Men and Women boys and girls find themselves stranded and facing destruction. Who will guide the lifeboats, leaving behind home and family and go to the rescue?" It is our responsibility to help rescue our brothers and sisters. We can do this wherever we are at. Maybe its a less active, a family member, or just anyone who does not yet have the blessings of the gospel in their lives. We can go and find them, they are waiting for us.

Remember to take advantage of everyday. I think my comp thinks im crazy sometimes but I wake up most mornings singing church songs. I love the word enthusiasm. Get excited about life. Our father in heaven gives us a new chance every day to help one another. I love this gospel. I get excited just thinking about it.

I love you Mom, Dad, Riley, Zach, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Freinds!!!!!!!! Have a great week and find purpose in everything you do. 

Un Abrazo

Elder Hughes

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Suprises! The Lord always keeps me on my toes! | week 53

Hey Guys! Thanks for the weekly update Dad. I'm glad you guys enjoyed General Conference. I thought it was one of the best ones I have seen in my life. Even President Monson mentioned that. It has been a CRAZY week. 

Well on Monday afternoon right after I got done writing you guys I got a call from the assistants which started with them saying "Elder Hughes we have a suprise for you" I have learned from past experience to sit down and brace yourself when they say that hahaha. They informed me that I would need to pack my things with Elder M because I was gonna be changing areas within the zone. Due to alot of the problems we had the last change President completely cleaned out two areas called Asuncion 1 and 2. Two Elders who were serving in the ward went home and the other two were having some struggles. So I have been assigned to reopen the ward, Whew! So Tuesday I packed up and we said our goodbyes to the members and M. It was pretty hard saying bye to her she started crying :( Me and Elder M had a really special connection with her and her family.

Wednesday was changes and I went to change conference to pick up my new companion and head to my new area. My new companion is Elder A from Ecuador. He has been in the mission for about ten months or so. Really humble quiet guy. I have been working with him because he isnt a big talker and to be a zone leader you have to open your mouth and be a leader. We got to Asuncion at about one in the afternoon. The Elders that left just left the house in horrible condition. Gosh Elders can be so dirty sometimes. I have seen mom that in the mission that I'm just like you. I cannot work or function if my house or apartment is dirty hahaha. I just told my comp first thing we are gonna do is clean. So thats what we did for about three hours! We are opening the area which is interesting. I forgot how hard it is
to do that. I came to the area on a division about a month back so I knew where two members lived but thats about it. Its always a scary feeling to walk out of your apartment and to say I have no Idea where we are going or where anyone lives hahahah. I relate with Nephi when he was "led by the spirit not knowing beforehand the things I should do" Im so grateful for the Lords help. We left on Wendsday and just started walking when a man came up to us and said "Elders where are you headed?". We just said well "we dont know where we are at or where we are going are you a member?". We met Hermano C the ward secretary who led us to the ward mission leaders house and showed us around.

Asuncion has had some struggles lately. We spent the little bit of time we had this week to meet the members and leaders of the ward. The Elders left us with two investigators C and F. We were able to teach C this week, she has been receiving the Missionaries for a long time now. So we will see! I am excited for the oppourtunity I have to reopen this area. It has given me an oppourtunity to change and do things a little better.

I loved General Conference this weekend. It is always so amazing to listen to the speakers and beautiful music. Like you dad I loved Uchtdorfs talks on Saturday morning and In preisthood session. Hollands talk on depression was incredible. I must say my favorite had to be President Monson on Sunday morning I loved his message on making the gospel the center of our lives and how that will carry us through all of our trails and difficulties in life. It has been my knowledge of the truthfulness of this gospel that has carried me this last year. I feel like their is someone behind me that is just helping me along and lifting me out of bed at 6:30 every morning hahaha.

I love this Gospel. I felt the spirit gently touch my heart this weekend during all of the conference sessions. I know that God loves and watches out for ever one of his children. He has sent his son Jesus Christ to show us the way to have peace in this life and to one day make it back to his presence. I have also felt the my Heavenly fathers love for me and all of his children her in Guatemala. I pray that we can all  listen to and read the conference adresses and apply them in our lives. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. Only through his infinite and atoning sacrifice can we be cleansed from past transgressions. This I know to be true.

I love you all so much. We have set some big goals for this next week and I have alot of work to do. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming at times with all this responsibility and opening areas but I have felt the Lord comfort and help me EVERYDAY. Remember what Elder Holland said on Sunday "If we do not take time to be well. We definetly will take time to be ill" Take time this week to be well and read your scriptures!

Love you guys!

Elder Hughes