Monday, March 24, 2014

March Madness | week 77

Hey Guys!

Well im coming at you guys from my new zone Alameda. I am now with Elder D from the Dominican Republic. Still as a zone leader. Elder D was here for one change already. The changes were pretty crazy on Wednesday lots of movement and changes in the mission.

Alameda is in the Zona 18. Its not too far from Llano largo where I started. It was tough saying goodbye to everyone in Auncion and in the zone. They all made me cry on Tuesday. It was such a blessing I had to work with the church leaders and people there. It is never easy saying goodbye to these people. The good thing is that M, M and everyone should be baptized soon!

I am getting settled into my new ward and area. My area is called Columbia. The members are great and the bishop gave me the welcome this week with a talk on Sunday. Our house in Alameda is one of the biggest in the whole mission. All the missionaries who enter into the mission always spend there first night in our house. Im working on cleaning it up. Haha.

I got some awesome news this last week! F and L are going to be sealed in the temple in the next couple of weeks! I called them and they are soooo excited. I dont know if you remember but we baptized F last January in Llano largo. Im going to talk to President and I should be able to go and be with them for there sealing. It was so cool to hear how excited and happy they sound. This has been my dream to be able to go to the sealing of one of my converts.

Elder D and I are really excited. We found some new investigators this week and set four new baptismal dates for April. We are working with a Family. The grandmas name is M and her three grandchildren. Wow! M has so much faith and is just one of the those choice spirits. Just being around her makes you feel good and filled with faith. We set dates with them for the 12th of April. We are also working with a woman named C. She has been investigating the church for many years. Her kids are all grown up and are members of the church. She has decided that it is time to be baptized! 9 investigators came to church on sunday so we have alot of work to do.

Zach! Brother! I cannot beleive that you are going to be ending 8th grade here soon! I love you. And I look up to you alot. Im a little scared that im going to be literally ´looking up´´ to you when I get home. Your getting huge. Keep moving forward and remember to say your prayers. Your Heavenly Father will help you ever step of the way. He just needs to hear from us.

Heidi was in my thoughts this week. I cannot believe it has been a year. I love and miss her. I carry a picture around with me every where I go. My prayers go out to the Greenwood family. I know she lives still and is watching over us.

I am so grateful! I have been given so much in my life and my mission. Im grateful for times of change. It gives us oppourtunities to re start and do things better that we did them before. This week I felt the love that Heavenly Father has for me and for my brothers and sisters. He is a loving merciful God who desires to bless each of us. I am working and I want to take advantage of every day, week, and month I have left to serve full time here in Guatemala. I love the people here. I hope everyone has a great week and that we can all look for the blessings God has given and gives us daily. We will be happier for it.

I love you all!

Elder Hughes

Monday, March 17, 2014

CHANGES! | Week 76

Hey guys!
Well been an absolutely crazy week haha! To get things started I got change calls last night and after 9 months as a ZL here in Palmita Im heading out! It wasnt too big of a suprise for me but not going to lie im sad to leave..... We have had an amazing change and lots of people are going to be baptized in the next couple weeks.
As you probably saw in the pictures my companion was on crutches this week! On Monday while playing soccer he hurt his knee. We could never figure out what happened but on Tuesday he couldnt walk at all :( It felt like someone put the brakes on. We have been working really hard and have this area moving. We were able to get to some appointments and set a new baptismal date with J in the morning. Javier is a reference we got and he is progressing REALLY fast. He has been so prepared and accepted a date for the 29th of March. Such a cool guys and his story really reminds me of your conversion Dad. He has been looking for a long time for the truth and peace in his life. He met his girlfreind C who lives in our ward and she has helped him alot. He grew up in a tough family situation but is so receptive and humble. We taught him twice this week and is just rocking it. He has plans to later get married to C later on this year!!! I shared with them the story of you and mom. You guys are such a great example to me and the people here in Guatemala.
On thursday we had a multi zone conference with Elder Adrian Ochoa the second counselor in the area presidency. Wow! Such a cool conference he talked alot about faith and how we can be more effective as missionaries. It as so nice to learn from him and President Watts. I felt the spirit really strongly and we all left excited and animated!
My poor companion hobbled around all week. Every night we would use ice and heating pads to keep him moving. On Wendsday he stayed in a members house while I left to go to the appointments.
M is going to be baptized this next Saturday! Im so bummed im not going to be here :( Her mom is doing great too. They have been coming to church every week and we have seen a huge change in there lives. Man Im going to cry saying goodbye to all these people haha.
M and her daughters are doing so amazing too! M's oldest daughter is going to seminary every morning now and she isnt even a member yet! All of them are ready to be baptized we are just working with lawyers to get there legal documents figured out so she can be married to her husband. We are hoping that at the end of the month we will have everything ready. Ahhhhh
We were able to have stake conference on Saturday and Sunday with Elder Carlos Amado the area President. It was AMAZING! He is one of the most powerful speakers ive ever heard. As a stake we were able to have 725 people there on Sunday! 10 of our investigators came too! We almost didnt fit everyone into the building. It has been really cool to work with President Watts and the Stake leaders here. Oh and one of Mayras sons from Acatan was baptized last week. Her husband and youngest son are progressing too!
I love this stake and it has been such a blessing to have been able to get to know many of the members and to work with the stake presidency. This is going to be hard to leave, but I know that the lord has more in store for me. It was so cool to listen and learn from Elder Ochoa and Elder Amado this week. They are truly men of god. I have a testimony that everything we do in this church is done by revealation. Who the lord calls he qualifies. We all have the responsiblity to magnify our callings and give our best to the lord. I have felt his support throughout my whole mission. I know that God loves everyone of his children. The Gospel is here on the earth so that we can find true peace and happiness. Elder Amado stated on Sunday that "Our problems will all be solved when we take them out of the center of our lives" It is when we center out lives in Christ and his restored that we find peace and rest to our souls. I love my Family and I am so grateful that we have made covenants in the temple and that our family ties will last for eternity! I hope everyone has a great week and that we do the small things that bring the spirit into our lives.
Love you all so much!
Elder Hughes
Thanks so much for the package! I just loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

march showers bring . . . | week 75

Hey Guys!

Thanks for the update Mom! Im glad you are getting some rain. Oh Riley I remember those days. I have heard a ton of great things about Utah State. Thats where Elder G studies and he loves it there. Better than going to U of Utah hahaha Kidding. I second what you said about Dad isnt he great! Well bad news about the package still no sight of it here. Can you guys track it to see where its at?

Well we had another great week! Got it started with Leadership Meeting on Tuesday. President is really stepping things up and pushing us to do more. I love it. President and the Lord have high expectations for us and that has helped us to be more diligent in the work. We have something here in the mission called the Standard of Excellence which is a set of numbers that we strive to accomplish. We have been finding so many new people to teach its crazy. Elder G and I have been talking with alot of people and really working on sharing this message with everyone we can, everyday!

We had the oppourtunity to do divisions this week with one of the Assistants Elder B from Ecuador. This Elder is awesome! I always learn so much from him. On Thursday we spent our entire day in houses teaching. From two in the afternoon until the end of the day we taught five lessons with members. There is nothing better than being able to teach so much. We have a problem right now because we have so many new people that we cant get to all the apointments. We have been doing divisions and splitting up to cover every thing.

D who I mentioned last week came to church on sunday for the first time! He stayed all three hours and wants to come back. We had six investigators there. M and her daughters came to church. M is ready to be baptised the only problem we have is with her documents. Most of the people arent married, Its not hard to get married it just costs alot to get divorced so most of the people just dont want to commit haha. M is from Nicaragua so it makes it hard to get her papers ready. We are going to bring a Lawyer who is a member of the ward to her house this week to see what we can do. M and the F Family are doing great! She is looking good for the 22nd of March. We have many other people we are teaching that are doing really well.

My faith has grown alot in the last couple weeks. The lord has asked more of us and it has been cool to see the miracles that come when we serve with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. I think i am just now discovering the kind of missionary the Lord knows I can be. I strive to improve every week and I am seeing the blessings.

I woke up a little bit sick this morning haha. I have what we missionaries call "Boo" haha I will have to explain to you guys what that means after the mission haha. But im good!

If you guys havent read Elder Scotts entry in the Leahona for Febuary called "living a life of peace joy and purpose" I recommend it I loved something he said "Wherever you live, whatever your occupation of focus in life, you will be drawn into the battle for the souls of men and women. Be valiant in the struggle it is waged on the basis of character by resolute opposition to the will of our Father ond consistent violation of his commandments. Your character is being solidified by consistent right choices. Throughout your life you will be rewarded for the efforts you expend to choose correctly."  Choose the right and let the consequence follow. Obedience is the key to happiness and peace in this life. I am grateful for my parents who taught me to "choose the right" because the consequences do follow.

We are going to be having a multi zone conference with Elder Ochoa from the area presidency this week. Should be awesome! And on Sunday Elder Amado the Area president is going to be coming to our Stake conference here in Palmita. Should be an exciting week. Sadly this is the last week of this change. I cannot believe it haha. 

I love you all so much. I hope you know that. Thanks for all your prayers and love. I pray for you.

Elder Hughes

Thinking of Heidi this week. I love her.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Onward ever Onward | week 74

playing some futbol
Whats up guys! 

Well first I have to wish Heidi a Happy Birthday. Mom your picture made me cry haha I know she is doing so well right now and always smiling. Thanks for your letter dad and your thoughts! Tell Brother Wellman and everyone there that I am so thankful for them and I love them!

Well we had another great week this week! Zone conference went really well. I felt the spirit really strongly and we have been seeing alot of miracles in the mission. President has been talking alot recently about diligence and faith. Me and Elder G have really been stepping things up and working to our limit. The lord has continued to bless us in many ways.

On Tuesday we found some sweet new investigators. We decided to knock part of a street in our area. We talked with J we felt like we needed to go inside and say a prayer with him. So we asked and said "Ok im going to give you guys five minutes nothing more" well more than an hour later we left after he told us his whole life story and is super interested. J is a firefighter and has had a crazy life. We also talked with his daughter who is really interested too!

We had some great lessons with M and the F family this week. We set a baptismal date with her for the 22nd of March. We brought her and her mom to Mutual for the first time this week too.

We recieved another blessing this Sunday. We have been talking with J who is the Boyfriend of one of the members in our ward. Super cool guy but with his work schedule it has been almost impossible to teach him. On Sunday after we taught the gospel principles class his girlfriend and him said they wanted to talk to us and just said. Elders he is ready hahahah. We are going to start teaching him early in the mornings.

 On Sunday we found a young man named D. We were looking for someone else we had contacted and he answered the door. After talking with him for a couple minutes we asked if we could come in and share a message with him. We ended up teaching him in the street for about 40 minutes haha. D is awesome and has a million questions for us. He began to open up and tell us about some bad experiences he has had recently. He stopped for a moment and just said can you guys visit me everyday? Well we set up an appointment on Tuesday. The lord has been leading us to alot of people who are prepared to recieve the gospel and its blessings.

I feel like the Book of Mormon Prophets who could only write a hundreth part of the experiences they had. We have been seeing alot of blessings here in Asuncion and in the Zone lately. The mission really is the University of life. I am so grateful for the oppourtunity that I have been given to serve at this time in Guatemala. I think of my parents, family members, and Preisthood leaders that helped me along the way. I have a testimony of this Gospel. I know the message is true. I have seen evidences and changes not only in my own life but in the lives of all who truly embrace it. President Hinckley said once that life is like riding on an old train. There are setbacks, smoke, dirt, and delays intermixed with beautiful sunsets and exciting high speed straitaways. The trick is thanking the Lord for letting you go for a ride. Life is quite a ride and it does us all good to look around and enjoy the journey. Lets do it right and live the gospel so that we can be enriched and filled with peace.

I love you all so much! I hope you know that. Thanks for all your sacrifices and support. Until next time!

Elder Hughes

His new shoes cannot get there fast enough. Let's hope they even make it. If not, someone is enjoying a nice pair of Ecco shoes. Crossing fingers for next week. It's been 9 weeks since we mailed the package.

warm goat milk? they deliver it fresh every morning. Tanner is not a fan.

Tanner's companion celebrated his 17 month mark by giving him his own money & tie. :) Sounds like a great companion. Tanner loves him.