Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Feliz Año Nuevo! | week 65

Hey guys!

I didnt forget to write you guys haha. We had leadership meeting Yesterday with President Watts so we didnt have the chance to write. Im glad everyone is home safe and you enjoyed your trip. Thanks Mom for all the pictures you sent. I love them. Riley and Zach you guys are getting so dang big I cannot believe it. Tell Dana Conratulations on the the engagement she looks happy in those pictures.

Well last week was a little crazy with the holidays and everything. I love holidays but as missionaries it makes things a little bit tougher. We have been working closely with the Bishop and our ward mission leader to make a new ward mission plan for this year. In this ward there were 20 baptisms in 2013 but almost all of them are not active. So we are setting some plans to have a better year in this ward. On Sunday one of our investigators that we have had for about three months came to Church for the first time which was awesome. Hermana D has three kids who are all members but she isnt. She has had one of the craziest lives I have ever seen and we have alot of work to do but everything is possible with the lord. We were able to set a baptismal date with a woman named S on Sunday. She is married to a less active return missionary and we are working with her and her husband. Things have been slow this last month for us but we know that there are people prepared to accept the gospel. President Watts has introduced us to a new mission plan for 2014 and it is awesome! 

Some cool news we got yesterday we are going to be having a mission conference the 21st of January and the following day we are going to have the priviledge of having Elder Quentin L Cook here in Guatemala for a three mission Conference wooohoooo! 

I really cannot believe that today is the last day of 2013. That year went by so fast I didnt even feel it haha. 2013 has brought so many blessing into my life. I was able to meet so many amazing people and to serve the Lord every day. I have felt the Lords loving hand lift me up many times. Whenever I feel like I cant get up, keep walking, or move forward I feel like there is someone behind me pushing me. Haha. I loved a quote by Elder Bednar from this last general conference he stated that " Sometimes we may ask got for success, and he gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of Grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, he may increase our resolve and resilience." God knows each one of us so personally. Sometimes we do not understand why things happen to us but I know that he does. And he will give us the strength to face the challenges of life. There will be angels on your right hand and on your left building you up. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of this restored gospel. I hope you all have a happy new year and that God may be with you in 2014.

I am trying to correct my spelling now that I know you guys dont correct it hahahah. Spanish is destroying my writing skills. Have a great week guys I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Elder Hughes

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Phone Calls | week 64

We did not get a letter from Tanner this week, we got to TALK to HIM via SKYPE! It was so wonderful to see his smiling face and talk to him. I can't even express in words the gratitude that I have for these boys. They are amazing. Their words are so filled with the spirit and the experiences they are having are amazing. Here is Tanner's week in pictures. He has done some amazing things!

Making tamales this week with someone we contacted 
We did a service project with some of the elders in the zone cleaning up a street and helping the people!

Alot of stairs to climb!!!! 300

These are some pics of our activity yesterday at an orphanage

This is when we sang songs with all the kids soooo coool!
This is paula she is 20 years old and has lived in the orphanage her whole life.... wow so special

Monday, December 16, 2013

Feliz Navidad | week 63

This week I sent both boys a list of questions to answer. I am highlighting the questions. A very interesting read!

Hey Guys!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew coming at you guys a little later today! Wasn't able to write in the morning. Im glad you guys are doing well and enjoying all the Christmas Activities. And what is this with opening one present a day hahaha. And Zach is heading to Disneyland woohooo! Thats funny because this afternoon I was just talking to one of the elders in the Zone about disneyland haha. 

Ok I would love to answer your questions for ya!

Where am I serving? Right now I'm in an area called asuncion. Its in the zona 5 of Guatemala, City. We do a lot of walking. There are three parts to our area. One part called Santo Domingo where most of the members live. Lots of hills and don't houses haha. La Chacara is the ghetto area. Not the most pleasant place to hang out but we have investigators there and some member families. Compared to my other areas its pretty similar to llano largo. Pretty humble settings but there are some residential areas that are a lot nicer too.

Apartment? We live in a little first story apartment. Its pretty simple got a little kitchen study room and bedroom. The bathroom is super small hahaha You can practically take a shower, brush your teeth and clean the toilet all at the same time haha

Food? and My favorite? I love the food here in Guatemala. They eat ALOT of black beans, eggs and chicken. One dish I love is called caldo de pollo. They make it in many different ways but its soooo good.

Craziest thing that has happened to me? Hmmm well I have some good stories for when I get home. Thats a really hard question to answer. Probably when one of my companions woke up screaming my name in the middle of the night telling me that there was people in our house. haha. I will have to explain that one later on hahahah.

Best thing about the mission? Another tough one. I love helping these people grow closer to the Lord and find the peace they are looking for. Experiencing that and seeing people change just never gets old. 

Hardest thing about the mission? Working through trials and having patience with yourself, the people and your companion hahah.

What have I learned most? I have learned that our Father in Heaven loves each one of his children individually and that we must trust him. Accept his will in our lives and love EVERYONE!

Am I doing things I never thought possible? Yes haha. I never really thought that I would be able to walk around in a foreign country, speak their language, and help others come unto Christ. I always tell my comps that I feel like someone is behind me pushing me all the time. I don't understand how I get up in the mornings ready to take one a new day of challenges. The Lord blesses his missionaries with His strength. I marvel at it every day.

Hows my spanish? Well I definitely know the language. I still learn lots of new words. Most of them are obscure uncommon words that you don't normally hear. I feel really comfortable and for most of the week Im thinking, dreaming and talking in spanish. My english has taken a hit hahah I still have a lot to learn though!

What am I hoping to accomplish in the time I have left? I want to reach my full potential as a missionary and bring as many people I can to Christ and his church. I have a lot I need to improve and the lord has a way of showing you weaknesses that must be strengthened and changed.

Mom I loved the story of your new found friend. Its amazing how the lord puts us in the path of others. I have learned out here that the there are NO such things as coincidences here in this life. Our Heavenly father uses us to answer prayers and uses others to answer ours. I am doing great. We had a better week in our area and are hoping to see some more success in January here in Asucion. Have a great week and we will be talking soon! I know this work is true. I love it! Enjoy this time of year and let the spirit of Christ enter into your hearts. Love you all so much!

Elder Hughes
We took one of the awkward elder and hermana pics :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

QUE TAL FAMILIA! | week 62

Me and Elder Sainz from Mexico

Hey Guys!!!!!

I loved all the pictures you guys sent me! This is such a fun time of year. Tell everyone there I say hi and that I love them.

Well for my weekly update I dont have changes Im gonna stay here for the next eight week change. I was pretty anxious last night waiting for the change call haha. Im gonna be spending this Christmas here in Asuncion. We had a better week than last week. We had a really cool experience early in the week when we were looking for some recent converts on the list of inactive members. We knocked on this door and they let us know that they had moved. Started talking with a man named C. About twelve years ago he got into contact with the church and he went to church with a group of young men. When the bishop who was working with him left to Canada he stopped coming and got into some bad things in his life. We asked if we could come in and began teaching him. He has been so prepared to accept the gospel. He was almost teaching us the lesson it was so cool. The problem is he works in a bread shop so he works a crazy schedule. He wasnt able to come with us to church but we will be working on it. We have continued to work with a new investigator we found named Alejandra. She has felt the spirit and is really interested in this message. We got her set up last night to watch the Christmas devotional on her computer because one of her daughters was sick. The problem we have been having is getting our investigators to church. 
Saturday was the annual "dia del diablo" day of the devil. They have this tradition here on the 7th of December everyone burns huge devil doll things and all the trash they have in their house haha Mixed with a bunch of firecrackers. I guess it gets all the bad spirits and stuff out of the house before Christmas time haha.

Hermana Watts made us some thanksgiving dinner
for all the ZL`s oh my gosh so good!
I went on a division with Elder N one of the district leaders in the zone. We have become really good friends and we taught investigators all day which was super fun. We went into a house and saw the biggest, meanest dog ive ever seen in my life haha. The guy told us he broke the chain the week before and was running loose in the house. This thing was like a small tiger haha. He told us that this dog can destroy pittbulls. Crazy stuff!

F is doing so good! He received the Aaronic preisthood on Sunday and has been coming to all the activities and everything.

Im not sure if you guys saw the Christmas devotional last night from the first presidency. If you have a chance you can watch it on internet. I love this time of the year. It causes us to reflect on the birth and life of Christ. I have always cherished the many traditions and the spirit we all feel this time of year. President Monson mentioned in his talk that we need to slow down this Christmas season and remember why we celebrate. I hope that we can all capture the spirit of the season and help someone who needs it. I love this work and I love my Savior. 

Until next week! We are headed off to go bowling with zone ah yeah! 

Elder Hughes

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hola from Rocklin | week 61

Elder Brooks, one of the best friends I have made out here.

Hey coming at you guys a little earlier today!

Wow im glad you guys had a fun Thanksgiving. I was thinking about you guys on thursday haha. I was on a division with another Elder from the States so we had our own little celebration with a hot fudge sundae at McDonalds. Tell Aaron I say Hi where is he living now? Utah?. Dad thanks for the message on Gratitude. I love that quote that "Gratitude is one of the most important human virtues and one of the most common human deficiencies." 

Well im doing good. Not going to lie this week has been one of those tough ones. I guess life and the mission cant always be roses and sunshine haha. Thats part of the mission and I have had weeks like this in the past. It just seemed like nothing was working. Alot of our appointments fell through and It seemed like nothing went our way. These are the times when I have really relied on prayer. We can only control so many things and then we have to put our problems and situations in the hands of the lord. He is like that clutch hitter who is in the clean up spot in the baseball line up. When runners are on base and the game is tight he always seems to come through and knock them in haha. There is my sports analogy of the week.
Me and Elder Kapp on Thanksgiving,
We ate Paches haha Its like a tamale with potatoes
Our investigator Ir was doing great to start the week. Everything was going great. One of our appointments fell on Friday and Saturday and then when we went to go get her on Sunday morning she was gone. We went to look for her on Sunday night and she was acting super weird. Idk! I have just learned to laugh instead of getting frustrated. Alot of the Zone has been having some struggles in their areas too. We have conselio with President Watts this week which should help us know how to move forward.

We get change calls next Sunday! I really feel like Im going to have a change but we will see what happens. In the mission we are going to open up some new zones outside of the capital which should be pretty cool. Who knows whats going to happen though. Oh and President Watts just gave us permission to use SKYPE this Christmas. Im not sure if im going to be here in this area or somewhere else so we will see what happens. 

I want to share a poem this week haha

I left a quiet harbor
In favor of another, I know not where
But at first, there are seas to cross
and storms to brave
how could I prefer the foreign deeps 
to the encircling arms of the bay
Because there are some things 
that can only be learned at sea.
Yes my craft is watertight
I can navigate the unknown
And lo, the wind that fills my sails
blow from home

There are alot of things in life that can only be learned at sea. I am so grateful for the oppourtunity I have been given to serve others. Thanks for your support and love. Like the poem says the wind that fills my sails blows from home. I am anxious to see what happens this week with changes. Hey If you guys have any questions for me feel free to ask. Sometimes I run out of things to talk about. I love you guys so much. Enjoy this holiday season. Isnt this the best time of the year. I think its because everyone in the world centers themselves a little bit more on Christ. Have a great week and we will be talking soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Elder Hughes