Monday, January 27, 2014

I shook hands with . . . | week 69

 Hey Guys! Mom I just loved all the pictures you guys sent from your trip.
It looks like you guys saw it all. I'm glad you and dad could get away and
celebrate. I was trying to count back this week was it your 22nd wedding
aniversary? I'm going to keep California in my prayers I didnt realize the
drought was that bad.

Sounds like the ward is going to split hmmmmmm dang I love Rocklin 1st ward
I could not imagine it in two sections. Remember we thought it was going to
split before and it didn't happen. Do you guys think you would be on the
Whitney Ranch side???

This week was so cool! We had the oppourtunity to have a mission conference
on Tuesday with all the missionaries in the whole mission. That had never
happened before. We all came into it fasting for unity in the mission and
the spirit was felt in abundance there. I am starting to feel a little
"old" in the mission now hahaha. Most of the missionaries are new here
haha. On Tuesday night we had some elders from outside of the capitol stay
with us and then to conference with Elder Cook on Wednesday.

Wednesday we got up at 4.30am to get everyone at the stake center early. We
went to the stake center Montufr where everything all started here in
Guatemala and Central America. Three missions were there with 700
missionaries in all. It was quite a site. Elder Cook came in and as he
walked down a distict spirit filled the whole building. There were musical
numbers and the area presidency spoke to us. The coolest part was he had us
all shake his hand. Elder Cook has brown eyes hahaha. He told me thanks for
serving. The Conference was amazing and Elder Cook talked about love. Love
for the people, our companions, mission presidents, and for Jesus Christ.
He left a blessing with all of us that we would feel peace and would have
strength to overcome some of the difficulties we sometimes face. Elder Cook
is such a nice guys and it was really cool to hear from him. He doesn't
speak spanish but someone was next to him translating the whole time.

We took some to that spiritual power into the week with us. We were able to
find a new family that is really interested in this message. They have been
having some problems in their marriage but we were able to talk with them
and explain how the Gospel changes us and our hearts. I have felt the Lords
hand in the last few weeks as he has led us to members, missionaries, and
non members who are really in need of help. I was sitting with one of the
members in our ward Hermano C, he is middle aged and hasn't gotten
married yet. Lost his job and has been going through a tougher time. I have
learned on my mission that everyone that is around us has difficulties and
trials. There are so many hidden doubts and fears that cannot be seen. Only
spiritually discerned. I am grateful to my Father in Heaven who has led me
to specific people.

We are going into the last week of this change. Whew I cannot believe it
but I've been here in Zona palmita for 7.5 months now hahaha. I think they
are gonna give me a calling here in the ward and build myself a house
haha. I am excited right now. I love this mission and my mission
president. The lord is really hastening his work. We are all being asked to
share this gospel message with the world. This is a work of love and thats
what gets me out of bed every morning. I invite all of you guys to look for
someway to share the gospel with someone this week. You will be blessed for
it. God loves an cares for each one of you. You are his children. I have
felt that love he has for me and for all fo his children.

Like Taylor we have leadership conference this week which is always
motivating. I love you all so much. Have a great week and keep recovering
from the trip. I was thinking about you Riley this week. Hope you had a
good Birthday.

"Have Faith, Have hope, Live like his Son, help others on the way"

Elder Hughes

Monday, January 20, 2014

Miracles | week 68

Hey guys!

Well I just love getting your letters! Sad the Niners lost haha. A random guy in the street invited me to his house to watch all the football games yesterday. I cant really remember what that would be like anymore. I had a great week this week with a ton of really cool moments. As I started the week I decided that I was going to focus on the positive and look for tender mercies in my life and in the mission. I'm going to highlight a few that I wrote down this week.

On Wednesday we had interviews  After getting everything organized and set up all day I was the last interview. Me and President talked for a half an hour hahaha. We were able to find solutions to some of the problems we have been having. The Lord answered so many prayers in my interview. I know I always say it but I love my mission president and his wife. I know I was sent to them.

C who we found knocking doors came to church for the first time after about 16 years. He was all dressed and ready to go at 730 on Sunday and we went and picked him up. I sat next to him and he was just so happy. Finding C was a miracle and I thank the Lord for guiding our footsteps.

During the second hour the primary president pulled us out of our class and had us help teach all the primary kids. There is something so simple and beautiful that is watching little children learn about Jesus Christ. I thought of Christs words when he told the children to come unto him.

I had an opportunity to give a priesthood blessing to one of the Sisters here in my zone. She got a phone call that her Grandmother suddenly passed away. As I set my hands on her head and gave her a blessing. The spirit guided every word. There have been times on my mission where during a blessing I feel like I'm not talking. The lord is. I felt the spirit strong and the love Heavenly Father has for this sister. I am grateful for priesthood blessings.

There were many other "moments" this week. I know that our Heavenly Father is aware of each and every one of his children. As we look for blessings and tender mercies in our lives I promise that we  will find them.

Tomorrow we are going to have the first ever mission conference. All of the missionaries from mission este will be together. And then on Wendsday we are having a three mission conference with Quentin L Cook!!! Im super excited. 

Mom I loved the letter that you got from your freind. It really is just another testimony to me that this is a work of miracles. The Lord works in many ways and I am just grateful the mission im serving is a blessing to others.

Happy aneversary Mom and Dad and Happy Birthday Riley!!!!!!!! I cant believe your going to be 17 hahahah

Love you guys so much!

Elder Hughes

Monday, January 13, 2014

Guat!!!!!!! | week 67

Hey guys! Thanks dad for the email I always love your sports updates and to hear from you. Sounds like its going to be a big super bowl this year haha. Go niners! 

Well I dont have a whole lot of news alot of the weeks can be very repetitive for us. J is doing great and is reading the book of mormon for four hours everyday! haha We are just looking for the way to get her to church. She also let us know when we mentioned baptism that she has a water phobia haha. So thats going to be interesting haha. F, a professor we are teaching is also reading and progressing just doesn't want to come to church yet. We finally were able to set two appointments with him this week instead of one! I have never in my mission had a harder time getting people to come to church for the first time. Satan really works against that.

We had alot of success this week with some less actives. One afternoon we decided to look for a family that we have heard about that got baptized about three years back. We knew vaguely where they lived and starting asking people and knocking doors haha. One older lady called out to us and started talking with us and later we found out we had been looking for her! She was so excited to see us. She said she has been waiting for someone to come visit her and her family. We were able to give her and her daughter preisthood blessing. They said theyd be coming to church but didnt make it on sunday so we are going to keep visiting. Cool experiece!

We have interviews this week with President Watts I'm pretty excited I am in need of a little advice. I really trust President. 

The mission can be a rollercoaster of emotions sometimes. There are moments of such joy and excitement and others of challenges and stresses. I think thats how life can be for all of us. I love what president Hinckley says that we need to "enjoy the journey". The mission is a journey and we all have those "days" that we just want to end. But the most amazing thing is that God always gives us another sunrise. Another chance to start again. Christ died for us and payed the price for our sins so that we can start again. I am so grateful for the atoning sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ. It is the fundamental base of our faith. Without it we would have no way to return home once again. I love the Savior and it is a priviledge I have to be his witness. He lives.

Thanks for all of your prayers and love. I cannot describe the gratitude that I have for you guys. I really have been so blessed in my life. Thanks for always being there for me Mom and Dad. There are alot of people in this vast world that face challenges that seem insurmountable. With the Gospel as the center of our lives I know that we can and will be an eternal family!

Some cool news. M who we baptized in Acatan is second counselor in the relief society. F who we baptized in Llano Largo is now an elder. F here in asuncion just got his first calling as young mens 1st counselor. There are only three active young men though :(

Love you guys so much!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Hughes

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year! | week 66

The view from the house in la sabana.

Happy Monday! Got to love Pday! Im glad things have gotten back into the routine Mom. This is going to be a great year I just know it. Im so glad you guys found Elder Gammon tell him I say hi haha. Riley I love the sled pic hahahahaha Did you smash your face in the ground as you landed haha?

Thats a wrap with all the holiday celebrations. Im pretty glad they are over. As a missionary all that stuff is fun but the members and people get really distracted by fireworks and tamales haha. We had a good week in Asuncion. We found a new family to teach. The C family they are awesome. The husband is really receptive to the message and he wants to learn more. Sometimes when it seems like we have looked all week for new people to progress the Lord sends us a blessing. We also have found and started to teach a woman named J. One of the nicest ladies I've ever met. Whenever I talk to her I just smile and start laughing. She has a passion about life that is unforgettable. She is reading the book of mormon and really wants to come to church. She is a nurse at one of the hospitals here in the capitol and gets called in on the weekends to work. She told us she wants to quit her job so she can start coming and to learn more. 

I had the oppourtunity to go on divisions this week with Elder K from Idaho. I really enjoy being able to go and help other missionaries in the mission. I always leave learning more than any of them. We had a really cool experience walking down the street. We felt like we should visit some of the members when a little girl ran out in the street and told us that her parents needed help and her dad was really sick.This family is from Nicaragua and go to church every week they just havent been able to figure out all the papers to get them married. The dad was really sick that morning and barely made it back from work. We were able to give him a preisthood blessing and a blessing to his wife. She was crying and was really distressed. We shared with them a message from D&C 121 when Joseph was in liberty jail. I felt the spirit really stronglyand as we left the spirit just filled their humble home. Its amazing how the Lord can guide us to the people who are in desperate need. 

Elder C who was one of our district leaders went home this week. He finished his mission but just went home a couple weeks early to start school. He was in my district in Llano Largo when I started my mission and I was his ZL here for almost 6 months. I hope you guys can meet him one day one of the funniest freinds I have made on the mission here.

Me and my companion have been working alot with the stake leaders here in palmita. Since I have about 7 months here I have been able to really get to know and develop a relationship with the stake president and his counselors. I remember when President Murphy set me apart he mentioned that I would love the missionaries and church leaders. I have seen that come true here in palmita. It has been such a blessing for me to support and work with them. We are planning a big stake missionary training meeting with all the ward mission leaders and the Elders and Hermanas. We are going to see if President Watts can come too.

I have spent this last week reading all the talks from this last general conference. I think the highlight is President Monsons talk on Sunday titled " I will not fail thee nor forsake thee" he spoke about the trials we face and how we can overcome them. He said " Our Heavenly father who gives us so much to delight in also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heart breaking sorrow, when we will grieve and when we may be tested to our limits. However such difficult allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our heavenly father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were, better than what we were." The challenges we face everyday give us all oppourtunities to respond the way Christ would and to change. How can we cope with stress and trials President Monson said we must "make the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of our lives. This is what will pull us through whatever comes our way. We will be able to face them, meet them head on and to emerge victorious" I know that these words are true. If we build our foundation upon the rock of Christ and his gospel the tempations and opposition we face will have no power to destroy us. I have felt this comfort and strength in my life and my mission. I pray that we may all make the Gospel the center of our lives and we will be able to overcome anything. I love this message and the oppourtunity I have to serve full time. I love being a missionary. There is nothing Id rather do. I love you Mom, Dad, Riley and Zach thanks for being so awesome. Have a great week!!!!!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Hughes
Some houses here. Be grateful for the house you have!