Monday, October 6, 2014

Well Well Well Week 105 | week 105


Hey Guys!

Thanks for the email Mom. I always have felt your love through your letters. I want to thank you and Dad. There has not been a single week that I have not received a well written love filled email. Thank you. I love you all!

Thanks for the homecoming pictures! I still cannot beleive that Riley is a senior this year. Im excited to see my brothers! Well I feel good. Pretty exciting this week to hit the two year milestone. Now Im in bonus time. Im very grateful that I have been given the oppourtunity to serve my Savior. I am taking advantage of everyday I can wake up in the morning and put that nametag on.

We had a very busy week! It was tough for us to get into a rythmn with leadership counicil on Tuesday and lots of unplanned suprises. Sometimes life is just Crazy! I just loved General Conference on Saturday and Sunday. So inspiring. It was amazing to see how everyone talked about following the prophet and supporting him. I am grateful to my father in Heaven for a living Prophet that we have to guide us in these latter days. The earth is filled with uncertainty and lots of problems and setbacks. The good thing is the Lord has not left us alone. We have a guide!

Some of my thoughts on the Conference....

I loved Elder Hollands talk on Saturday! I have been able to really come to a better understanding here in Guatemala on the effects of poverty. I like elder Holland have cried with and for these people.

I felt uplifted by Elder Scotts talk on Sunday. He talked about the four tools we must have in order to have peace in this world. 1. Prayer 2. Daily Scripture Study 3. Family Home evening 4. Temple attendance. I love what he said. "Dont listen to the lies that satan tells you. That there is no time. It is a lie. Make time and we will feel peace in our hearts" Or something like that Im just quoting from my memory.

I loved Elder Ballards talk and of course I thought of you dad! Rafting! And I love rule number one "Always stay in the boat" hahaha Where have I heard that from?

As for some of the investigators. The L family is doing so awesome! They came to conference on Sunday Morning! We were so happy! They are reading their scriptures and really progressing. We havent been able to set a baptismal date but they are looking like at the end of this month!

We have felt how the spirit has guided us to people and members who needed some help. There is a family here that is going through some intense problems. We with the bishop have met with them. It has been amazing to see how the spirit supports and calms the afflicted soul.

We had the oppourtunity this week to speak at a funeral service with the Bishop. The Bishop here just loves his missionaries and we are like his little body guards haha. We spoke at the funeral of a Mom of one of the members here. I had met here on a couple of occations and even taught here the plan of salvation a while back. IT was a cool experience and we were able to testify and teach lots of nonmembers. Im so grateful for the wonderful knowledge that I have of the plan of happiness! Oh how it comforts the soul!

Well I love you all so much. I have lots of mixed feeling right now going into the last full week on the mission. Thank for all that you do. I love my Savior and this glorious work. It is true. 

See you soon!

Elder Hughes



Monday, September 29, 2014

Birthday Fun | week 104


A BIG thank you to Erwin and his family for helping us to surprise Tanner for his 21st birthday. I love Erwin & his family, we are so excited to have met him online and look forward to meeting him in person on Skype when Tanner returns home.
Hey Hey!

Thanks for the birthday wishes! Thanks Mom and Dad for coordinating a cake and everything haha! When I asked who had bought it they told me you had sent money. Just want you guys to know how much I love you and no matter how far away I am you always make these days special. I cannot believe that I'm 21 holy moly! How did that happen?

Tell Tyler that I say hi this week! Im excited to see him soon.

I have been doing great. We had another good week. Unfortunately D wasn't baptized this week. She is ready and wants to follow Christ and be baptized. We had a lesson with her and her family. She summoned up all the courage she had to go and talk to her Dad one more time. Unfortunately he still will not give her permission. She was crying and really sad. Then her Father who we have taught and talked with on multiple occasions came down and told us that he will not give permission. Cant lie it was a tough moment. I just felt like crying for the rest of the day. There is always opposition in all things and I know that one day Darlyn will be baptized. She continues coming to church and progressing.

We found an awesome new family this week. The L family. M, A, and N just got married a month ago and are expecting their first child! We found them and began teaching this week. Wow! We felt the spirit strong and we have felt that they have been prepared by the Lord. They even came to church on Sunday! We are going to continue working with them this week.

Well on a side note I ate one of the worst things on my mission this week hahaha. One of the members here gave us tamales and we ate with them. They usually have chicken in them. Well as I was eating I asked hmmmm "what is this" well pigs ear haha. Never going to forget the texture and taste of that hahahah.

Also learned how to make tortillas this week! I have been putting it off all my mission. One of our investigators taught me. Pretty challenging because you have to do it with your hands,  I struggled at first but got the hang of it. We then ate bean soup with fresh tortillas and salt. One of the most humble meals here but so good! There is just something about fresh beans and tortillas here that just doesnt get old! Im going to have to make you guys some typical food from Guatemala.

I'm feeling good! I'm really trying to take in every moment here in the mission. I absolutely love the ward here. I have made some of the best freinds and I love the people. They are so humble and so full of life. We went to watch one of the young men here open his mission call. There house was packed full. H is going to be serving in Brazil! 

We planned a service activity in the zone today! We have been working with the leaders of indexing and family history. The area office let us borrow 10 laptops while we indexed for like four hours! We indexed 2000 names! It was fun and It gets me excited to get into family history after the mission.

I love this work so much! I am excited to see General Conference this coming weekend. This is going to be my 5th General Conference in the mission! I love it! I hope we can all pay attention to ALL the talks and receive personal revealation. I know that the we have a Prophet who leads this church and Christ is at the head. As we follow the Prophet and the teachings of our Church leaders we will be led and guided in all that we do!

Love you guys so much! Have a great week! Thanks again for the birthday wishes!

Elder Hughes





Monday, September 22, 2014

Hola | week 103




HOLA!

Thanks for the Email Dad! I just loved it. Thanks for the birthday wishes. 21.... this week that just looks so old haha. Thanks for the updates too! I want to wish Grandma Barb a very happy birthday! We will have to celebrate a little late in October.

I have heard about that Movie that is going to come out. Should be pretty cool!

Well we had a very standard week! The highlight definetly was N's Baptism on Saturday. Everything went really well. There were no problems and the

Spirit was in abundance. I am so happy for N and I have seen such a change in her. She has through many months and even years before changed her life. She has found the hope and joy the gospel bring to all of us. She even defends the missionaries and the church when her co workers start talking bad and rudely about the Church. I am enjoying every minute!

We have a new ward mission leader which is helping alot. We havent had one for a long time. Things are clicking and we are going to be able to work closer with the members here in Sion which is a blessing.

We had the blessing to have interviews with President Crapo this week. I had a great interveiw which really helped me alot. I have been praying alot lately and President was able to answer my prayers. I know that the Atonement is real and that through Christ a healing and comforting power is found. I thank my Heavenly Father for the people he has sent me throughout my life and my mission that have helped me to progress spiritually.

We have been finding lots of new people to teach. We are going to really be focusing on setting new baptismal dates this week. 

We did divisions with the Assistants this week. I worked with Elder L one of my good freinds here. He wants to go to BYU but is in the same situation I was in. I told him about the Salt Lake Center. He is excited! It has been a blessing to make lots of new freinds here in the mission. Your going to have to meet some of them!

D, a young woman we have been working with for a long time could be baptized this week. She is so close. She wants to be baptized and has been going to all the Young Woman activities at church. We have just had some problems with her Dad who doesnt support her decision. We are praying so that she can be baptized this week.

There are so many other stories and people to talk about. We could write books haha. I just want you all to know how much I love you. I know I say it every week but it is because I really mean it. I have a testimony of this gospel and this work. It is true. It brings true joy and happiness. I hope you have a great week and that you take time to pray and talk with God. He wants to hear from you. 

I love you all! 

Elder Hughes



Monday, September 15, 2014

A rainy Monday in Guatemala | week 102

Hey guys!

Thanks for the email Mom! Yeah I have been reminded alot today that I have a month left haha. All the missionaries in the zone starting singing God be with you til we meet again today haha. I still have time. The weeks are going by so fast I cannot even feel them. Im glad you are all doing good. Riley so pumped that you got a sweet new job. That is so cool your a photographer! Send me some of the pictures that you have been taking id love to see them. Zach your looking good in the maroon and gold. Looks like it was another hot quarry bowl. Those pictures remind me of the first year we played at Rocklin. Im glad the freshman won!

About the travel arrangements still dont have anything. We are going to have interveiws this week with President so I will see what I can find out haha.

We had a good week. I feel like a broken record sometimes haha. It has been raining ALOT. We got soaked playing soccer today with the missionaries. Today is the 15th of September which is independence day here in Guatemala. Its like the fourth of July haha. 

Well some good news. N who we have been teaching for a long time is going to be baptized this Saturday. After quite some time she has finally decided to be baptized. We are so excited for her! We have been praying alot so that she would feel the spirit and make the decision. I know that it was the Lord that has helped her make the decision. We are working so that J, B's sister and D can be baptized on the 27th. Yep all I want for my birthday is two baptisms haha.

I continue to see many blessings in my life and in the lives of the people here in Guatemala. We really felt the spirit guide us this week to the people and members who needed some help. A young woman here passed away this week. She was only twelve years old. We spent some time helping her family. They have been going through lots of trials in the last couple weeks. I was very inspired by the words of Hermana L. She said that "God has helped me all my life through every trial. And is helping me right now. I love him." I love the faith of the wonderful people here. I have seen lots and lots of sadness and trails in the lives of the people. Yet those who are close to our Heavenly Father and embrace the Gospel receive help from on high. I was reading in the Ensign this week and found a quote that I just LOVE from Elder Holland he states,

"Everyone of us has times when we need to know things will get better... My declaration is that is precicely what the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness... dont you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying... It will all be alright in the end. Trust God and beleive in good things to come... Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some dont come until heaven; but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ they come." 

Lets keep moving forward in the good times and the tough ones. I have seen how the Lords lifts people and helps them. He has lifted me up and carried me when I couldnt go any further. I love this Gospel and I hope we can all REMEMBER him. Everyday.

Have a great week and know that I love you all so much. Thanks for your support and love. I cant tell you how much I appreciate it. 

Love 

Elder Hughes

Monday, September 8, 2014

A week of Blessings | week 101



Hey guys! Dad thanks for the email and the sports updates. Go cougs! haha
Zach great job in your football game. I'm itching to come and watch you
play. Great job with the character award too. Thats the part that really
matters after all. I was thinking about you today. Dont worry if your not
getting all the play time you might want. Christian Daniels one of my
freinds on the team. Didnt get play time freshmen year and he just kept
working at it. By the time he was varsity one of the best players we had. I
always looked up to him. Mom im glad all the fall stuff is out woooohoooo!

Well another week in the books. Time is just flying by. It seems like
everyone here wants to remind me that my mission is coming to a close. It
makes me laugh. I feel great! We had a busy one. Lots of meetings and
things to do. On tuesday we had change conference here in the stake center.
This is always a longer day for us. We have to coordinate alot of things
and get up pretty early to get it done. Almost half the zone had changes
this last week. So lots of movement.

We also had the oppourtunity to have leadership council this week. I always
love this meeting. We have a new vision right now in the mission. We have
recieved some huge promises from the general authorities that have come to
visit. They told us that by the end of the year we should be seeing 20
baptisms every month! So we are working to move toward that!

Some cool experiences this week! We were walking down the street and after
an appointment fell we started talking with a young man named N. He
let us in his house and almost immediately we started talking about
baptism. After reading a little bit from the book of mormon we invited him
to baptism. He said he wants to change and be born again. We returned the
next day and taught him again with his Dad. They were not able to come to
church on Sunday but we are excited to work with them more. I know that God
prepares his children. We found lots of new investigators that are looking
promising.

B was baptized on Saturday! There was alot of opposition but
everything went well. Right before the baptism was supposed to start it
just started pouring rain hahahah! We had lots of the young adults
supporting here. When B came up out of the water she took about 10
seconds and cried. It was so COOL! I just wanted to give her a huge hug
hahahah but cant do that haha. B is a great convert she really has
embraced the Gospel and is doing great even though there have been trials
in her life. I am enjoying everyone of these moments.

Another interesting moment this week. We found some new investigators this
week and we began teaching them with some members that live close by. The
father has been the most receptive. As we were teaching the restoration to
the whole family everything was going well. The Mom belongs to another
Church and when we got to the apostacy and the restoration of the gospel
she stood up and walked off... Soon she began to throw stuff on the ground
and yell at her husband. She then refused to even look at us. We finished
the lesson but it got a little hostile in there haha. I felt calm and we
felt bad for the rest of the family. Sometimes the message of the gospel
seems to be a stone of stumling or a rock of offense. Christ was rejected
and mocked and he was the Son of God. While there are lots of people
willing to accept and receive the blessings of the gospel, there is
opposition in all things.

We have a group of people who we are getting ready for baptism this month.
We are working with B's little sister and some more young adults we
have found. I am so happy to be doing the work of the lord.

I read something today that impacted me and I feel like I should share it
with you. President Uchdorf while talking about the trials and things we
face in this life said,

"Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking
back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we cannot
see the lords hand in our lives until long after the trails have passed.
Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks
that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future
oppourtunities, understanding, and happiness."

Dad I love that you saw that even though you worked so hard in your job
interveiw that you realize and accept the will of God after all is done.
That is called humility. Like President Uchtdorf says sometimes it is only
from the ¨mountains of our future¨ when we can truly understand why we are
in the valley right now. I have seen how my past experiences and trails
have shaped and prepared me for the future. Our Heavenly Father knows us
and he can see the big picture. His perspective is eternal and we should
work to develop the same perspective. I love you all so much. I love this
work and I am taking in every minute. I have been taking more time to take
in the sights the air and the people of Guatemala.

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Hughes



Monday, September 1, 2014

Boys of Fall | week 100

Whats up guys!

Happy Labor day!
Thanks for the email Mom. I am imagining football getting started up. I love the fall too mom. Here in Guatemala its the "eternal spring" so for all those that like spring time Guatemala is the place.

Zach man Im loving the football pics haha. Sick jerseys too! What position are you playing? any action on the feild?

Mom your pictures looked great of Carters wedding. I remember seeing him on campus at BYU walking around. Tell the Zufelts I say hi too!

Well we had a very standard week here in the mission field  We are really working to try and apply the instruction we received from Elder Alonso in our conferences. It has started to rain alot this last week. The weather here is so funny. There are thunderstorms almost everyday. They just come in and start pouring for like ten minutes and then it clears off.

We had a very "rainy" day this week. We have an investigator named L. She has cancer and we saw a miracle a while back. After we gave her a blessing in 30 minutes she rose from her bed and began to walk. She no longer felt any pain. On friday I wanted to bring my new companion to go and visit her. We headed over and to our suprise she had passed away only a couple hours before. L was a really strong woman who had alot of Faith in Christ. We were able to share a message with her family. I am grateful for the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation. What a blessing!

Some good news! B is doing great. She is just embracing the gospel. We got a call this afternoon from one of her friends telling us that she went to a young adult conference last night and wants to be baptized as "soon as possible". She has a date for the 13th of September but we will see about moving that up closer haha.

I love this ward! We had a correlation with the bishop last night. We set some high goals and we are working hard to accomplish them. We got the change calls last night and I will be spending my last change here in SION! 

I love this work so much. I am so grateful for the oppoutunity that I have to share the gospel. I appreciate the people whos sacrifices make this possible. Above all I thank my Father in Heaven who loves all of his children unconditionally. I have seen and felt the love that God has for all of his children. I love the words of a michael mclean song which describes our responsibility to help rescue our fathers children.

There are refugees among us
They are not from foreign shores
And the battles they've been waging
Are from very private wars
And there are no correspondants
Documenting all their needs
But the refugees among us all 
are yearning for relief

This is a call to arms
To reach out and hold
The evacuees in the dark.

Let us reach out and hold the people who need our help. I pray we can look for the them this week. I love the people of Guatemala. Have a great week and know that I love you all!

Elder Hughes

Monday, August 25, 2014

I love you guys! | week 99



Hey guys it is so nice to hear from you! Thanks for the email Dad. Sounds like school and football is getting kicked off. Riley Im so excited that you are going to be with Brother Murray. Tell him that I say hi and I hope you learn alot this year. Seriously seminary helps alot when you get out on the mission. Your going to need to know the scriptures. So take advantage. Thanks for your testimony Dad! It strengthens mine to hear it.

Tell Kyle Fletcher hi! I actually met a returned missionary here in Guatemala that served in Washington DC and was in the same zone as Kyle haha. I cannot remember his name but small world.

So to answer some of your questions. Elder R is from Honduras and is 24 years old. He is a cool guy and we get along great. He has been in the mission for about 15 months. He made a sacrifice to come on the mission. His Dad (Who isnt a member) was completely against him going on the mission. I really look up to alot of missionaries here that through lots of opposition decide to serve the Lord.

Well this last week was a good one! We have been working with D, we were able to talk with her father which went really well. He is a member of the church but is really inactive. We had a sweet lesson with him and felt the spirit really strong. Kind of difficult bringing up the baptism of his daughter. He decided to think about. So we are praying that this week she will be baptised.

We saw a ton of progress in the investigators this week. I dont know if you remember B. She is doing great and her little sister J also wants to be baptized on the 13th of September. We brought J to the stake activity on Sunday and afterwards she came up to me and said "Elder Hughes I WILL be baptized on the 13th of September" So cool!

We have also seen a change in an investigator named A. We have been working with her for a long time. She has a really good friend S who is a member of the Church. Slowly we have seen her progress. She has been coming to all the activities and church meetings. A is 16 years old. We invited her to be baptized this week and she really wants to!

A little bit more about our activity on Sunday. We organized a museum of the restoration where all the missionaries in the Zone was assigned to be a prophet or important character from the restoration. They assigned me to be Joseph Smith haha. We had fun looking for our costumes. Everyone came by in groups of 10 and we each had 3 minutes to share with them. I was able to share with the members and investigators a little more about Joseph Smith and the first vision. As I testified I felt the spirit so strong. It was so cool! I have always looked up to the Prophet Joseph and I know that he was called of God. He did see God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is true. Read it. Ponder its teachings and the truth will be manifest to you.

It was a big success. We are planning on doing it again in a couple weeks. We are going to try and make it bigger this time.

I forgot about the zone conference. Wow Elder Alonso was so powerful. He taught us more about the plan of salvation and how we can work more effectively in the work. It is amazing to be able to meet and learn from the General Authhorities. I know that they are men called of god. We must always follow the Prophet and put into practice what his servants teach us. 

I love you all so much. Have a great week and make everyday count. I appreciate all that you have done for me. I know this work is true!

Love!

Elder Hughes

H went to church in Los Angeles and wrote me to tell me he is going to be receiving the preisthood soon!




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I love to see the Temple | week 98


Hey Guys!

Mom thanks for the email! I loved it. Woohooo. School is already starting I cannot believe how fast that summer went by. To me it all feels the same here haha. The weather here never really changes much. Half the year it rains more the other half it doesnt rain as much hahaha. 

Well sorry I didnt write yesterday. I forgot to tell you that we were going to be heading to the temple today. Erwin told me you wrote him hahaha. We had an awesome temple trip today. I love going to the temple. It has been a blessing to be able to go every three months now.

Well where do I start! It was a really busy week. I think I have just gotten used to being on the move 24/7. My first week with Elder R was great.

On Wednesday H got baptized. Ahhh it was such a special night. H has been one of the most prepared people I have taught on the mission. The Lord literally sent him to us. The baptism was simple and spritual and you couldnt get the smile off my face haha. Im telling you guys there is no greater joy than to see one of Gods children make covenants and with a sincere heart enter into the waters of baptism. He told me afterward that he wants to serve a mission!

We have been working with a young woman named B. She is 23 and was introduced to the church by her boyfreind who recently returned from a mission. She reminds me alot of you guys mom and dad. I shared with her your story about how you guys met and Dad was baptized. See you guys are doing missionary work down here! She has been coming to church the last couple weeks and accepted a baptismal date for the 13th of September.

Some simple things I was able to do and see this week....

- Help someone who had recently lost a loved one.
- Defend the truth when it was needed.
- See one of my teachers in the ccm Hermano S
- Ponder the blessings I have received in my mission and in my life

We are looking at having a baptism this week. We have been teaching D. We have worked with her Mom who returned to the church. She is ready to go just been difficult with her Father who is an Inactive member and doesnt like the idea that she is going to be baptized. We are praying alot for her.

There are so many things I just dont have time to write about haha. We had a family night last with one of our investigators G. The sister who gave the lesson talked about the importance of the family in Gods plan. I know that the Gospel blesses families. I have been able to see that here in Guatemala and within my own family. I love my family so much. And I love how the spirit brings us together and unites us. Although I havent seen my family for a while. The love I have for you has grown and deepend. I hope you know how much I love you all. I know that families are forever when we live the gospel and make covenants in holy temples. I look forward to having a family of my own some day ;)

I love you all so much! We have a multi zone conference this week with Elder Alonso one of the seventy. Should be pretty cool!

Have a great week and keep smiling!

"The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired" Gordon B Hinkley

Elder Hughes


Monday, August 11, 2014

E Changes | week 97

Hey guys!

Well it has been a crazy P Day! We got a call this morning from President Crapo and there were problems with a Zone Leader outside of the capital and we have Emergency changes. Elder G was sent to Chiqimula and I got a new companion today! Im sad Elder G and I have been doing great together. I love him so much! But I know that it is what the Lord wants. I am now training a new ZL Elder R from Honduras. He was just as suprised this morning when they called and told him about his changes.

But aside from that all is well haha! Im glad you guys are doing well. Im glad you talked to Erwin he told me that he found you and chatted for a while. I told him to look for you guys Haha. Erwin is so awesome he has helped us out so much here. He is the first person here that can really talk to you guys in English.

We had a good week! Some of our Investigators have been facing some opposition and problems but they are getting there. H is going to be baptized this week! Im so excited for him he was definetly led to the church in an improtant time in his life. Wendsday night he will be baptized.

We had some great lessons this week with G an investigator we have who has been progressing. He really wants to make changes in his life and is willing to learn and humble himself before God! We taught him the plan of salvation which really hit home. Its amazing how many people dont know what their purpose in life is.

We have a great Bishop here in Sion! Obispo Baltrons loves missionary work and is so funny! The culture here is that if we hit the goals we set he takes us out to pizza haha! We hit our goal last month and when we called him this morning about the E changes he left his job and took us to pizza hahaha. Its amazing how much the members here trust in the missionaries.

Its going to be a little different this week! New companion but Im excited. I told the Bishop today Im going to give it everything ive got for my last little bit here! 

I love this work and I just love being able to walk down the streets and teach those around me the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I have learned alot about repentance here in Guatemala. We all really have a need to repent. Its kind of like carrying a really heavy backpack. There are so many people who are burdened down by sin and the chains of addiction. Repentance is the only way to take the backpack off and rest in Christ. Christ atoned for each one of our sins but he has given us the oppourtunity to come unto him and take off our backpacks. I know that God wants to forgive us. Christ has opened the door we just have to walk through it. I personally know this is true. True sincere repentance of sin brings peace, and love. His grace is sufficient to heal us. Go to him.

I hope you all have a great week. Keep doing great things. Dont forget the small stuff!

Love 

Elder Hughes

Monday, August 4, 2014

HOLA! | week 96



Hey guys! 

Thanks for the email Mom! I loved your thoughts about the things that matter most. I think that is so important. I love what President Monson has told us that "Do not let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved" As long as we keep life simple and with Christ as the center of everything we do things seem to work out. Thank you for your support and love throughout my whole mission. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

I love the news update! And im glad you guys got a little rafting trip in. I always tell my companions about our rafting adventures. Tell Grandpa that I say hi! I am always praying for all of my grandparents and family.

We had a very normal week this week! I try and share things that I havent talked about before haha. We have been very busy getting people ready for Baptism. We were able to set 7 new baptismal dates this week! One of the people we found is named H. He is actually from California. We have been teaching him and has come to church the last couple weeks. He is 22 years old and is just soaking up everything that we teach him. He has been here this summer visiting family. He is going to be Baptized here before he heads home to the States. Hows that for a life changing summer vacation Haha. I want to go and see him when I get home!

We have been Juggling lots of investigators that are progressing. We had 14 investigators at Church on Sunday haha. So we have been running around making sure that everyone feels comfortable and welcome.

We have had the oppurtunity to teach alot about the plan of Salvation. As a missionary I have taught this lesson many many times but I do not get tired of it. Gods plan for us gives me direction and purpose in my life. Without this knowledge life doesnt have much meaning. We are all preparing to live with our father in Heaven. He loves us and has given us all the tools we need to return to live with him. Mom I think what you shared goes right along with this, Lets take advantage of the time we have and focus on the most important things in life.

I think Im going to make a list.

What is most important to me....?

-Loving and Serving God
-Family and Freinds
-Temple Marriage
-Learning both temporal and spiritual
-Following the Spirit
-Finding Joy in the journey

Well other news this week. I Got pretty sick on Thursday night. Im not sure what It was I think a virus. Hahaha Sometimes you just have to laugh. Long night and day on Friday but im getting better. This is only the second time ive gotten really sick in the mission. Been pretty blessed with health in the mission. But this is not helping me with my goal to not lose more weight hahahaha Im feeling a bit better now ;) 

We have Leadership Meeting tomorrow which should give us a little boost we need! I Love this work so much. I am working on enjoying every minute I have and as you say mom focusing on the most important parts of the mission! And that always involves the people. I love you all so much. i hope you know that. Thank you for all that you have done for me. I have been so blessed in my life.

Have a great week and fill everyday with the most important things.... that always includes Family scripture study, prayer, and home evening!

Love

Elder Hughes



Monday, July 28, 2014

Greetings from Guatemala | week 95


Hey guys! 

Thanks for the update Dad. I'm glad that Riley and Zach had a great time on their high adventure trip. Backpacking in Tahoe. Riley im so pumped that you have gotten into Golf and Go Pro haha. You are going to have to update me. I think alot of things have changed while Ive been here in Guatemala. I cannot believe Zach is going to starting High School Whew time flies!

We had a CRAZY week! I think I always say that but honestly here in Molino and in this area we are very busy. On Tuesday we had to get everything set up in the Stake Center for change conference. We had to get up at 4:30am haha. President has done the changes differently. It was a longer meeting and we all ate lunch afterward. We then were in charge of cleaning everything haha. I think we left at like 6:00pm. Long day. 

We have continued to see so many blessing in our area this week. The work is thriving here in Sion and the whole ward is getting involved. Hermana L and A were baptized on Saturday! Everything went great we were running around getting everything ready to go. The culture here is funny because alot of things dont get organized well so we are always running around for the baptisms. L was so happy! She bore her testimony afterward and cried. She has been working toward this day for so long and it finally came. I am just glad that the Lord gave me the oppourtunity to be a small part of it.

L was baptized in the afternoon and we combined a ward missionary work activity with A baptism. When we started lots of members were there for the open house activity but didnt bring any friends with them haha. The bishop stood up and asked that everyone go and find a less active family or non member to bring to the activity and that it would start an hour later. Everyone left! And in an hour we filled the chapel. It was a miracle! We had most of our investigators there to see A's Baptism and to go through an open house. We were so happy.

We can just feel the missionary spirit starting to spread in the ward. On Sunday there were 215 people in Sacrament meeting. We have been moving up from 180. We had to bring in extra chairs so that everyone would fit.

I have forgoten to tell you guys that we started english classes in the ward every Saturday at 10. We have had lots of people coming and it has been a blessing to be able to teach english. There is a return missionary here named Erwin who has helped us alot. He served in Idaho and is like our best freind here. Always willing to help us.

Ahhh I feel so blessed. I have been studying and thinking alot this week about humility. I love a talk that was given in General conference October 2013 by Ulisses Soares called Be meek and lowly of heart. I think we all can improve on these character traits. Being meek and humble is a really improtant part of our own personal progress. When our "soil" is soft and teachable the seeds God has planted within each of us begin to grown and expand. But when our "soil" is hard and dry nothing grows. I have seen this in the lives of many people. The people who progress in life and in the gospel do so because they are humble and teachable, willing to obey and submit to the will of God. Elder Soares said that "Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self worth and self control." Are we patient with others? Tolerant and forgiving of their mistakes and shortcomings? I hope we can all develop these attributes. They are going to help us progress in all areas of our lives.

I love this work. I know its true. And I love the people here in Guatemala. Thank you for your prayers. I hope we can have a great week! I love you all so much.

Elder Hughes


Monday, July 21, 2014

HOLA! | week 94


Hey guys!

Thanks for the Email Mom your words of encouragement and love always help me and motivate me. I'm glad you are home safe and sound that was quite the trip you guys had. Talking with Dad last week he was missing you. I know what you mean about drawing a blank sometimes... haha. I love you all so much.

Well we got change calls last night and I'm staying in Sion! WOOOO! I was pretty excited President told all the Zls on Tuesday that quite a few of us were going to be training this change. Elder G and I are excited to be staying here together for another change.

We started the week off with leadership conference with President and all the Zone leaders. It was really different than what we were used to but it went well. The mission is taking on a new style haha. Its interesting how the missionaries and the mission adapts to a new mission president. President taught us about how we can really help our investigators obey the commandments. We missed Hermana Watts food but Hermana Crapo is a huge exercise fanatic. Haha She had all the zone leaders doing exercizes to start the meeting hahaha. She taught us how we can improve our exercises in the mornings. I have been doing mine pretty much through the whole mission but I just keep getting skinnier haha. I have lost like 15-20 pounds hahah. Im not sure why I think from walking alot and the different food.

Some stories this week. The Hermanas in our zone have been teaching a woman who with just a week left for her baptism was rushed to the hospital. The Doctors found a big tumor in her brain... kind of scary. We have been working with the hermanas to help her. We have been searching for ways so that she can be baptized. We joined the Hermanas in a fast for Elizabeth and President Crapo sent us to the hospital on Thursday and Friday to see if we could talk the Doctors into letting her our of the hospital for an hour so that she may be baptized. We interviewed Elizabeth on Thursday and had a really cool experience as I talked to her about repentance I felt the spirit so strong it washed over us and I couldnt even talk with tears in my eyes. I cant even remember what she said I just rememer feeling the purity of her testimony and repentance. We returned on Friday to talk with the Head nurses and Doctors but they wouldnt let her leave for a little bit. So kind of a bummer but we have faith that she will be baptized in the future we just hope everything goes well with her treatments.

The Olsons the senior couple went with us to hospital on Friday as we left the building........ hahaha Well I have a story for you guys that will be better told after the mission..... hahaha

I am grateful for the healthcare and hospitals we have in the United States. General Hospitals here in Guatemala is a whole different experience. BE GRATEFUL!

My testimony of Preisthood power has grown alot in the mission. We have seen more miracles in our area from preisthood blessings. I was feeling pretty sick on Sunday afternoon I have had a cold the last couple of days. I asked Elder G for a blessing and we left to vistit. I felt way better and without any problems.

Hermana L and A are to be baptized this coming Saturday. After some struggles Hermana L is ready to be baptized. She came into contact with the church when she was 9 years old and about 25 years later she is ready to enter into the waters of baptism. I think she knows more about the church than I do haha. 

A is the sister of a recent convert here in Sion. She is doing so great and is SO excited for her baptism.

Well things are going great! The Lord has blessed me so much. I am really feeling good and learning more than ever. I am commited to making these changes permanent in my life. We are all on a journey. We know where we want to go. We know how we can get there. Now it is time to act and do what the Lord has told us. I love Brigham Youngs wise words "There is neither man or woman in this church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and its to do good, to promote righteousness and to teach the principles of truth, and to prevail up themselves and everbody around them to live those principles that they may obtain eternal life"

I love this gospel and the peace it brings to my life. I love my family and the truths I learned while I was young. They have stuck with me and helped me along the way. I love you all so much. Have a great week and keep doing great things!

Love

Elder Hughes



Monday, July 14, 2014

Im running out of......T......I......T.....L.....E.....S | week 93

Hey guys! 

Thanks for the emails. Im glad everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer adventures. Zach good luck with football camp you will do great. Just do the very best you can and "Finish the Drill" as Coach Gimenez always said. I will be praying and rooting for you! Remember that with football there is a strange phenomenon that when you hit running full speed you wont get hurt. So dont hit soft it always hurts more haha. Mom I hope your doing well in your photography conference out there in Texas. Have you seen Aunt Meg and Uncle Brandon out there?

Well I dont have alot of time to write so I will try and keep it the most important things of the week! The Lord continues to bless us so much here in Sion. I have learned that It is the Lord the gives us success we just have to work hard and give it everything we have.

We found a sweet new family this week. The G family. It was such a simple contact. After one of our appointments fell through we saw a woman selling lunches in the street. Elder G and I both had a strong feeling that we needed to talk to her. We met L she was SO nice to us and just talking to her we felt like the Lord has been preparing her. We set a return appointement and began teaching her and her three children. They are so "Pilas" as we say here in Guatemala. They love learning about the gospel and they all came to church on Sunday for the first time.

The highlight of the week had to be the baptisms. The familia Y and Hermano M were all baptized on Saturday afternoon. Everything went great. We all felt the spirit and left happy and excited. I know that our assignments are inspired I love the people here and I know that the Lord sends us to certain people that specifically need our help. 

We are striving to baptize 8 this month. Its a stretch but we know its possible. We set a baptismal date this week with A whos brother was recently baptized. I have never met a more Christ centered 9 year old! Hermana L had some last minute obstacles with her baptism and so we are planning it again for the 26th.

Im at a loss for words today haha. I just have felt so blessed this week and throughout my whole mission. I have seen so many blessings and miracles in the lives of the people here and in my own life. I know without a doubt that this gospel is true. It blesses lives and calms the aching soul. Christ is our Savior and he rose again on the third day. I pray that we can all pray to know these things.

Have a great week and make everyday count. Read your scriptures and ponder on the words of the Living Prophets.

Love you all!

Elder Hughes

Riding in a Tuk Tuk. We use these three wheeled motorcycle things to go lots of places here in Guatemala.




Monday, July 7, 2014

Shakin' in Guatemala | week 92

Hey Guys!

Riley thanks for the email. I think this is the first time that you have sent the weekly email haha. Thanks for the reminder about 100 days haha. I will let you guys do the countdown haha. Its bittersweet when you get to this point of the mission. I still have alot left to do here. Im glad you all had a good time in Yellowstone! I have always wanted to see what its like out there. Your going to have to send some photos next week. Im glad everyone got home intact. There are always new stories when we go on family trips haha.

An earthquake woke us up this moring at about 5am! Everything in the house started shaking. Elder G and I both stood up and ran outside. I guess the epicenter was near the border of Mexico and Guatemala.

This last week was a trial week! Sometimes we have those weeks to help us learn and grow as missionaries. But I will talk about that a little later. We met our new mission President and his wife this week. Me and Elder G had a meeting with President Crapo and his wife on Tuesday with the Stake President. We were able to talk and get to know them. They are from Boutiful Utah they live right near the temple. Wow they are both so great. Really new and excited to learn and get involved in the work here in Guatemala. Hermana Crapo does not know spanish at all but is learning quickly. President Crapo is a pretty well known lawyer in Utah. He has alot of energy and his testimony is inspiring. Later in the week we had interveiws with them and were able to talk more. Im excited to work with both of them and it has been a blessing to be able to serve and help them.

For some reason Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all difficult days for us in the work. Lots of fallen citas and it just seemed that nothing was working out, no matter how well we planned it. There also came a moment where our investigators with baptismal dates for this next week were all having struggles. Without fail Satan attacks us whenever we are choosing to follow Christ and take a big decision in our lives. We specifally fasted for our investigators on Sunday and so much improved. By Sunday evening everything was better and ready to be baptized this week. This coming Saturday Familia Y, M, and possibly Hermana L are going to be baptized. I love each one of them so much. Mario has been such a blessing. We found M about a month ago from a really simple contact in the street. He is thriving and has completely changed his life. He is looking forward to his baptism on Saturday.

The Lord has blessed us so much this week. There were moments where it seemed like nothing would work. I think that is when the Lord wants us to really pray, and trust in him. I have learned that we really cannot do anything without the Lords help. We should always recognize that we need him. The lord takes the little that we can give and makes up the difference. This always means miracles and power beyond our own. Whenever we feel that we cant do something we are right. Alone we cant do much. But two people can do anything, just as long as we are working along side Heavenly Father. 

There are alot of details and stories that will have to be told later on. I love this gospel and I cherish everyday God gives me to be here in Guatemala. "Life is forever. Live each day as if you were going to live eternally for you surely shall" Gordon B Hinkley.

Have a great week! I love you all so much! Zach have fun at EFY!

Elder Hughes

Pic this is my last toothbrush hahaha Thanks Bro Petty!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Saludos de Guatemala | week 91


Hey guys!

Thanks for the email Dad. Sounds like the summer is heating up out there. Congrats Zach for earning the Lunchbox! Thats what we do in the Hughes family work hard hahaha! Proud of you man and I'm so excited to come see you play this fall. Wooohooo! 

Well President and Hermana Watts are home. It feels weird not having them here but we have felt a love for our new mission President and his wife. We havent met them yet but on Wendsday we will have our first interveiws with them.

Whew been a crazy week! So much to tell you guys. We have been working really hard to help the Zone baptize this last week. As a mission we are really close to meeting our baptismal goal for the month. Im not sure if we reached it but we shall see.

We had baptisms on Friday that went really well. A, J, and A all got baptised. It was really special. Angelica is such an elect daughter of God. You guys wouldnt beleive the opposition that she has faced. I dont know how she does it but always meets her difficulties with a smile. She told me after her baptism that she felt so good and that she felt a warmth come over here. Ahhh. Thats what the gospel is all about. We saw a miracle just before the baptism started. It was pouring rain outside right at the time that A was going to be leaving here house to head to the church. She has a little brand new baby and she cannot let her get wet. Elder G and I ran home to grab a few last things for the baptism and we decided to pray. We knelt together and asked for Gods help so that she would be able to get to the church. During the prayer the storm quietly tapered off and stopped raining completely. A tender Mercy from the Lord.

We set a baptismal date with a woman named L this week. We had one of the coolest lessons with her. She is actually the sister of a member family I knew in Acatan. She has been interested in the church and her 15 year old son was baptised at the start of the year. She hasnt taken the step of baptism for many reasons. Recently we have seen a change in here and on Saturday she opened up and the spirit helped us commit her to baptism. She started crying and said ÏTS TIME! The whole room was filled with the spirit!

We have been seeing lots of blessing and little miracles everyday. The lord continues to bless us here. 

As a zone today we got up early and went to Durazno. Its an area in our zone. Its like an hour away in Bus. We found a cool hike that takes us to a little Pond lake thing haha. We had a great time and it was so nice to get out of the city for a little bit. It was really the first time Ive been able to do anything like that here in Guatemala haha. Been in the city the whole mission. But we are so tired haha.

I love you all so much. I hope you know that. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us personally. He has sustained me through everyday of my mission. It is my prayer that we can all be ready to follow the whisperings of the spirit that will guide and direct our lives. We are the Lords hands here on the earth and God has lots of people ready for us to help. He is just waiting for us to act. So if you have felt that you should visit, call, or help someone. Just DO IT! Its kind of like the nike ad haha. Just do it.

I love you all. Know you are in my prayers day and night.

Love

Elder Hughes







Monday, June 23, 2014

Saying Goodbye to the Watt's | Week 90



Well HEY!

I hope everyone is doing well on this Monday Afternoon. Im excited for all the summer activities that you guys are going to be having soon! Mom I really felt your concern and love in your email. Thank you. You and the family have been such a support for me during my mission. Thank you there is something so nice to get such inspiring letters from you every week.

Well It was a great week! The only sad part was on Wendsday we had a multi Zone conference to say goodbye to President and Hermana Watts. They shared their last messages with us and bore their testimonies. I know I have said it many times but I love my mission President and his Wife. I want you to meet them someday.

We were running around all week. Lots of lessons and work to do. Sion is really getting heated up right now. Lot of people progressing. We have been able to do alot of divisions and to cover more ground.
This week A, Familia Y and two grandchildren of an older woman named M should all be baptised. Its going to be fun! A is doing great and she is so happy. I have met very few woman with the faith that she has. We should have 16 baptisms in the zone this week!
The lord has blessed us with oppourtunities to help those around us. Just today we were coming back in a taxi when we saw a man unconcious in the street and he had running clothes on. We quickly jumped out of the car and helped him. He passed out and as he came to he passed out again. First aid merit badge comes in handy in life haha. We helped him and he started throwing up and convulsing. The firefighters got there quick and we left.

I got to have my "last" interview with President Watts today. My temple recommend is going to expire so I got that renewed. We are excited to welcome in our new mission President this week. Should be exciting. Not sure how things will change but I already feel a love for him and his wife.
I was pondering this week about courage. Living in the last days as a member of the church definetly requires some courage. There is a lot of opposition in the world. The moral fabric of the world is moving farther away from the eternal laws that we have been given. President Monson said in this last conference " We all face fear, experience ridicule and meet opposition. Let us all - all of us- have the courage to defy the consensus, the coarage to stand for the principle, courage not compromise, brings the smile of Gods approval. Coarage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully but also as the determination to live decently"
Riley and Zach have courage. Do the right thing always. Your freinds will respect you forever when you decide to do what is correct not what is always popular. Respect for yourself and from others lasts forever. Popularity ends on yearbook signing day.

I love you all so much! Have a great week and remember to SMILE!

Elder Hughes


Monday, June 16, 2014

Feliz dia del Padre! | Week 89

Hey guys!

Well Happy late Fathers day Dad. I hope you had a good one. I hope you know how much I love you. You have been such a huge example to me. Your selfless service and sacrifice for our family has made an eternal impact on my life. Thank you and I look forward to returning home to my earthly father in October. Love you Dad.

Well it has been a very busy week. On tuesday we hosted all the new missionaries at our house. Its kind of crazy coordinating everything but all went well. I got all packed and on Wendsday went to change conference. I have been sent to zona Molino as the ZL here. They sent me back to my second area hahahah! I was really excited because I was only here for one change last year from june to july haha. I loved this ward and it is so exciting to come back to an area where I was before. My new companion is Elder G from Guatemala. He is a great missionary and we are getting along great. We are actually in a Trio right now. We are also here with Elder S. He is from Colorado he is going to end his mission in like two changes but is going to be with us for a little bit. We all get along and it has been fun to work together.

It has been really weird walking around here in the Zona 6. I keep having Deja Vu moments. The members were really excited. The ward here has continued to do really well. The missionaries have been baptizing alot and the ward has been growing. There were 180 people in Church on Sunday. One of the coolest things was when I was here a year ago we started teaching a family called the familia M. When I got here the my comp told me they had recently gotten back in touch with them and Angelica the wife is doing so well. She is going to be baptized on the 28th of June. What a blessing after we found them over a year ago!

We hit the ground running this week and saw a miracle. We contacted a man named M outside of his house on Thursday. It was so crazy how receptive he was. We immediately set an appointment with that very day and taught him. M has had lots of problems in his life drinking but wants to change. He even came to church on Sunday. He loved it and the ward is really supporting him.

We are also working with a family named the Familia Y. They are doing great and while facing some opposition came to church on Sunday. They should be baptized near the end of this month.

I was reading a talk from the last General Conference a Talk by Henry B Eyring called "The Priesthood man" He talks about his priesthood heroes that he looked up to as a child and young man. I was so blessed to have grown up with amazing leaders and they truly have been my heroes. But after all is said and done Dad you have been my "Priesthood Heroe" President Eyring said that "When we choose heroes, we begin to copy, conciously or unconciously, what we admire most about them." And that those who are heroes "do not easily recognize that they possess heroic qualities. In fact they seem to have difficulty seeing those things that I so much admire in them." Thanks for being my Heroe Dad I love you so much and im so grateful that you opened your heart to the Gospel and decided to be sealed in the temple. I look up to you so much. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

I know that my Savior lives. He is our heroe and has saved us from death and the effects of sin. He just asks us to repent and to align our will with the will of God. I love you all. have a great week and keep your faith burning bright!

Love

Elder Hughes