Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! | week 60

Hey everyone!!!!!

Thanks for the email mom sounds like you guys have had a really busy week. I am glad that everything went well in Utah for Grandpas Funeral I was thinking about all of you guys on Thursday wondering how everyone was feeling. I have reflected this week alot about Grandpa Cahoon. I know he is in a much better place and will be helping all of us in our life journeys. Send my love to Grandpa Val and everyone I love them so much. Wow Mom I love all the holiday plans. Be sure to eat alot of Turkey for me this week. Here in Guatemala Thanksgiving doesnt really exist haha Got to love all the american holidays. Thursday will be a normal day but I will be sure to celebrate in my own little way haha. The good thing is this is the last Thanksgiving I will miss. Tell Aaron I say hi and that I love him. Give him my email I want to hear for him one of these days. 

Well not a whole lot to report this week but we have been working hard and finding some new people to teach. We found a woman we contacted in the street named Ir she is great. We finally found her in her house and she invited us right in. After talking for a while she expressed to us a deep desire to change her life and to come closer to God. She lost one of her daughters about three years ago and it has been a huge trial in her life. We set a baptismal date with her for the 21st of Decemeber. I really hope she starts to progress and can find the peace she is looking for. Me and Elder A are really searching for some new people who have been prepared to hear this message. We also were able to find a new family this week that let us in and we were able to answer alot of questions they have about the church. We then started teaching about the plan of salvation and one of the hermanas just got so excited as she told us that very day she was pondering about her purpose in life and where she came from. We taught her exactly that and she is really interested. I love moments like that in the mission. I think alot of times we take for granted the knowledge we do have. I know who I am, where I came from and where im going to go after this life. This knowledge gives us an anchor in the raging sea of life.

The stake presidency called me this week on Wendsday and asked me to speak in stake conference!!!!!!!! I was like "WHAT" alright so I spoke in the adult session on saturday. That was the first time I have spoken in stake conference in my life haha. I usually dont get nervous but I was sweating up there haha. I spoke about the retention of recent converts and how we can be freinds with and support those who are baptized members of the church. This is actually something really important. In this stake the retention of recent converts isnt good at all. Everthing went well though haha. On Sunday we had a Stake conference session that came in by sattelite from salt lake to all the stakes in Guatemala. It was really cool because President Eyring and Elder Scott spoke! Elder Scotts talk was the coolest because he knows spanish. He spoke about the importance of mothers and the divine worth of women. Wow it was so powerful. Not going to lie he got me all teared up. His talk caused me to reflect on all the great women who have influenced my life. First my wonderful mother who has given me so much. I owe everthing to you mom. Thanks for always supporting and loving me. Then my wonderful Grandmothers who have taught me so much. I sure love my Grandmothers. I have had many other aunts and freinds that have had a huge effect on my life. Dad thanks for always teaching me to respect and protect women. I remember you teaching me how I should treat my dates and do the little things. We cannot forget to do the little things like opening up doors, helping, and reminding women that they are loved and respected.

We are going to have a mini Zone conference tomorrow with President Watts. I am excited to learn something new and to have another good week in our area. 

I found a quote this week that I wanted to share with you guys

"You know sometimes you think yourself into unhappiness and depression. But did you know you can think yourself into happiness? By positive thinking, you will be well, you will prosper, and your prayers will be answered. Become the master of your thoughts. Stop thinking about how tough life is, stop worrying about the future and the past, think of Gods riches and love and express those thoughts daily, you will become what you think"

As Thanksgiving day approaches I think it is so refreshing to remember what God has given us and to give thanks. Gratitude makes what we do have enough. I am so grateful for my loving family and this gospel that guides and directs my life. I am grateful for the priviledge I have to serve the Lord for two years. It can be easy here when the holidays approach to miss home. I do miss you all so much but I know I am exactly where the lord needs me and for that I am grateful. I hope you all have a great week and watch some football for me ahahaha.

Until next week!

Elder Hughes

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hmmmm..... What I would give for a pumpkin cookie | week 59

Hey Guys!

Well I love all the pictures. You guys got all decked out in oregon gear. Well Spencer is HOME! I cannot believe that. I love the pictures too I cannot imagine how excited Jamie and Mark were. Im excited to see him when I get home.

Thanks for letting me know about Great Grandpa Cahoon. I was hoping I would be able to have seen him one more time before he left this world. I have been thinking about him what a great example he was to all of his family. He was so funny too haha. Im going to miss going over there on Christmas with all the family and having the classic mustard ham. All of my Grandparents aunts uncles and everyone back home will be in my prayers this week. Mom, Dad, Give them all a hug for me and tell them I love them. Death is a step we are all going to have to take one day. Im grateful that Grandpa was able to live a good long life and I know he will be watching over us up there. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of Gods plan of Happiness. Isnt it nice to know that if we do the right things here on earth we can return to live with our father in heaven once again! I love this knowledge and I know Grandpa is in a much better place.

As for my week we had a good one! F was baptized on Saturday wooohoooo! He didnt smoke all week and we were able to finish teaching him. We gave him a blessing on Tuesday to help him get through the week and resist all of Satans temptations to smoke. He told us later on in the week that when we gave him the blessing he felt the spirit really strongly and was able to turn down offers he received from his co workers to "Just smoke one". It really has been such a blessing to work with F. The Bishopric is already getting his calling ready to work with the young men which would be perfect!

We were able to find some more people to teach this week. Now its just getting them to church on Sunday. We started working with a woman named S who had a derrame i think that is hemorage in english haha Im forgeting words this is so bad. But her husband is inactive and served a mission. He has been working on coming back to church and we want to help. There are alot of other people but it would take a while to explain them all haha.

As a zone we are really trying to move the work forward and have success. Sometimes I feel stressed by all the responsibility and little problems we have to deal with. But the one thing ive learned about life is that it always seems to work out. Sometimes we get feelling overwhelmed by alot of the stresses but looking back its funny to see how those things helped me learn and grow. 

I love you all so much. In this thanksgiving time of the year i give thanks to my Father in Heaven who has given me so much. Such a wonderful family, freinds, and this Gospel that guides and protects me. The best way we can show gratitude to God for all of these blessings is by keeping his commandaments and giving our time and service to others. Lets show our gratitude to God and our families by serving them. Just look for little things!

I love you all and I know that this work is true. Have a great week and never give up!


Elder Hughes

Monday, November 11, 2013

no clever title this week | week 58

Hey guys!

Its so nice to hear from you guys this week. Thanks for all the updates I love it. Glad to hear Whitney beat antelope to win league. How crazy that Elder Voges is coming home tomorrow! How crazy is that I remember like it was yesterday when he gave his farewell talk. Time is just flying by.

Well we finished the last week of the change. And.... Im staying here with Elder Alvarado. The weird thing is we are going to have changes again in a month. Had to change the date of changes in the mission because it would have landed on the 24th of Decemeber. So we are going to have a change of four weeks and then a change of eight.

C was Baptised on Sunday Morning. Wow it went so well. On tuesday we went to vistit with her and she was really down. She had fought with her Mom the day before and was feeling really down. Even doubting her decision to be baptised. Without fail Satan always come in and launches his full assault on these people. But after a two hour lesson she was ready to go. She went to girls camp and had a blast. I called her when she got back was just so excited. Sunday morning her uncle Hno Montes de Oka baptized her. All the sacrifice and everthing we go through is all worth it when C got up to bear her testimony to end the meeting and through tears and smiles thanked her heavenly father for the many blessings she has recieved. I love C and I have really developed a bond with her this last change.

The rest of the week was filled with alot of baptismal interveiws and fallen citas. We really had a hard time finding new people to teach this last week. Sometimes thats how the mission can be. I have been really trying to trust in the Lord more. 

Elder G is going home this week! I have been able to talk to him a couple times these last few weeks. He is one of the best freinds I have ever had. Im sad that he is going home. It all feels like a dream sometime and its not supposed to end haha. Look for him on Facebook!
One of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. That is
one of the volcanos in the background.

Im kind of at a loss for words today and Im not sure why hahah. Im feeling good! The mission always comes with alot of new challenges and struggles. It doesnt matter how much experience you have or how well you speak the language they are just always there. The great thing is that the Lord has supported me every step of the way. He seems to always lift us higher when we feel down or in a tough situation. He is the master teacher and he knows exactly what we need to improve and progress in this life. I have pondered this week on the blessing of eternity. Just stop to ponder on what our heavenly father has in store for us. If we are obedient and consistently apply the atonement of Jesus Christ we will be joint heirs with him. No eye can see no mind can comprehend all the things our father in heaven has in store for those who obey and love him. With an eternal perspective we can see how fleeting and superficial we can make life. Alot of the worries superficial things in life just simply dont matter. The simple joys of a happy family where there is love and understanding. Personal pray and communion with our father in heaven and the joys of service to others. These are the things that bring true lasting peace into our lives.

I love you all so much. I remember with President Murphy set me apart he stated that I would gain more appreciation and love for my family. I love you all so much. My Father in Heaven has been so good to me.

Have a great week! I love you all so much!

Elder Hughes

just some dogs in the streets.

This is fiambre its a typical dish that is only served on november first

Monday, November 4, 2013

Buddy the Elf whats your favorite color? | week 57

Hey guys! 

Happy Monday. I'm glad all is calm and cooling down in Rocklin. Like you Mom I count my blessing daily here in Guatemala. We are having our zone activity today we rented a bus and we found a place to play some lazertag hahah. I'm super pumped!

Well me and Elder A had a busy week! Lots of meetings and running around but thats how I like it. We continue to look for more people to teach. That seems to always be the wall to climb in the mission field  Nothing happens if we dont find people. While knocking doors we met F who is a teacher. He teaches night school to adults who never finished their classes when they were younger. Super humble guy who wants to learn more and loves to read! He lives in a really humble house and is building a new one close by. We are going to help him this week. He told us he just wants us to come and teach him but we are going to happen to pass by his house in the morning with a change of clothes in our backpacks hahaha.

C is so excited! She is going to "girls camp" with all the girls in the stake here for three days this week. I dont think there is anything better to get her ready to make covenants with the lord. She is going to be coming home Saturday evening so we are going to have her baptism Sunday morning at 8 and then she will be confirmed right after in Sacrament meeting. It is amazing the changes she has made in her life. Her mom has been telling us all about it haha. 

F is getting there. He has lowered his cigarrete usage to only 8 this last week in total. This next week is going to be really important he has to take the final step and leave them for good. Wow addictions are tough to face. But I know that with the help of the lord and the support of others anyone can release themselves from the heavy chains of addicion.

On November first it was "dia de los santos" where literally everyone goes to visit the gravesites of their relatives. There is a national cemetary close to our little apartment so tons of people came to celebrate haha. They eat a special dish here only on this day called Fiambre its a huge mix of vegetables and all kinds of meats. This thing has almost everything its crazy! A member family prepared it for us. I really liked it tons of flavors.

The zone is starting to really pick things up here. We should have about ten baptisms as a zone in the next two week! We are starting week 6 of the change too. I cannot believe it time is just flying by. I dont think that I will have a change but ive learned to expect the unexpected here in the mission.

A couple random things that happen here in Guatemala that I havent told you guys..... hahaha

If you want some fresh goats milk just walk outside in the morning there are always "shepards" we bring their goats around in the street so you can but your warm cup of goats milk hahahah. I havent gotten up the courage to try it yet.

Hahahah Oh well breast feeding here is just normal for everyone so if the babys hungry the women just pull their shirts down and start feeding their kids without covering themselves. When I first got here I was like what is going on..... Now its just normal but its a little awkward in the middle of a lesson and they just start feeding away right in front of us. HAHA

Well Im glad you guys are doing well in Rocklin! I meant to ask you guys what are your plans for thanksgiving and christmas? I have studied and taught alot this about the atonement of Jesus Christ. There is no truth more important than the knowlege we have that Christ payed for everyone of our sins, errors, and afflicions we face. We are all indebted to god. We are seperated from him physically and sin seperates us spiritually. There is no way we can climb out of this hole on our own. Our loving father in heaven knew this so he sent his only begotten son to pay the debt. Now he comes to us as and asks that we obey, and serve him. The demands of justice have been payed by Christ now we must serve him! There is no other way. His mercy is sufficient to save us after we have done all that we can! I love my Savior and I feel privledged to serve him. Not only for these two years but for all of my life! Go to him for help. And you will find peace and rest for your soul. I know this is true.

I love you guys! Know that I pray for all of my freinds and family and I feel your prayers. Thank you.

Share your smile with someone today!

Until next week

Elder Hughes