Monday, April 28, 2014

A letter from Guatemala | week 82

Hey guys!

Well Dad like Taylor im also very glad you were able to pass my message on to Grandma Jeanette. I have been thinking and praying for her and all of your family. Lots of exciting news from you guys this week. Please let Dana know that im so excited for her! She has been a great friend  I hope to meet her husband when I get back haha. Pretty strange everyone is starting to get married haha. Shout out to Steven Ford so glad he decided to serve. The lord is going to need his many talents. Also give Matthew a big hug for me this week. I cannot beleive he is already done. Time is just flying by. Ah I love all of you guys!

Well I had another great week here in Guatemala. The lord has blessed me so much. C was baptized on Saturday. Everything went great. C has a pretty cool story. Her kids were baptised a long time a go. One of her daughters invited a young man to church and he was baptised went on a missioin and has become great family freinds with C. He now is our new stake President. President G. He baptized her so that was a really cool moment for them. I always feel the spirit so strongly in these baptisms. We love C. Ah you really get attached to these people haha.

We didnt get the change calls last night. President Watts was pretty busy all week and so he needed an extra day to get work them out. So right now we dont know who is going to have changes this wendsday haha. I really shouldnt have a change but some crazy stuff always happens. President is getting the whole mission ready for the new President. We shall see what happens...

I had the oppourtunity to go on divisions this week with Elder W. He is from Lincoln CA just up the road. He moved there a little while back but I was already here in Guatemala. But it was pretty fun talking with someone who knows Rocklin and Folsom haha.

I had some experiences this week working with investigators and talking with people. It is unreal some of the problems people face here in Guatemala and in life in General. The world is moving farther and farther away from the laws and spirit of God. We can see the effects of sin all around us. President Monson once said. "The face of sin today often wears a mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, uneasiness, and pain" I am a witness of the consequenses of sin. We have all felt them. Like the prophet Mormon says "Wickedness never was happiness". I cannot describe the pain, suffering, and heartache that I have seen. Its amazing to me the stuff people tell us young missionaries. We cry together and find hope in the Atonement of Christ. Through sincere repentance the pain, suffering and guilt of sin is washed away. Lives are changed everyday! My plea is that we can all avoid these consequences. Chastity and self control are so important. Satan is on the loose. Do not let him into your lives our your homes. He has bad intentions. Would we ever let a robber into our homes? Of course not. Thats exactly what Satan is doing robbing the children of god not only of their peace and happiness here on earth but also for eternity. We have to protect ourselves. I know these things are true. I have felt the peace of forgiveness and the joy of the gospel. Like everyone of us I also know what it feels like to make mistakes and to be without the spirit. I love you all so much. Mom, Dad, Riley, Zach, and everyone who reads these letters. I know that God loves you too. He desires the best for us. Let us be strong and obedient to Gods commandments.

Side note I keep forgetting to tell you guys that M (from Acatan) is doing great and just recently the rest of her family were baptised. Everyone! Husband and her two sons who had not yet accepted the gospel. Haha!

I randomly ran into a family I taught in Llano Largo too this week! The A family. They were really really inactive when Elder G and I found them. They changed alot while I was there and they are doing great. I have never seen them more happy! Their son is also preparing to serve a mission now!!!!!!! Haha.

We have alot of people we are working with. Im excited to keep working here. The Sisters who came in with me are going home this week. Cannot beleive that haha. TIme is flying.

I love you all so much. We will be talking soon!!!


Elder Hughes  

Monday, April 21, 2014

How is it possible it's Monday again? | week 81

Me and Elder D. My companion loves to cook which is nice because Im not a fan of cooking!
Hey Guys!
I send my thoughts and prayers to everyone on Dads side of the family. I was really hoping to be able to have seen Grandpa Shirley one last time. I know that death is part of Gods plan. It is something that none of us will be able to avoid. I know that because of Christ there is life after death. I have always looked up to Grandpa Shirley and to listen to his stories. I will never forget that he gave me some of his cherished stamps that he collects. I know he is in a better place. I love you Grandpa.
Mom I loved all the pictures you guys sent. And Riley I love that sweet GoPro pic you're inspiring me haha. Im glad you guys were able to have some fun and get away.
Well I dont have a whole lot to report on this week. It was a bit of a struggle for from Thursday until Sunday. They celebrate "Semana santa" here and so most of the people are off of work and head to the beach. Its kind of like proseliting on Thanksgiving haha. But we were able to visit alot of the less actives and to work with some of the members. We found a great new investigator named E who is really receptive and has alot of promise. We are preparing this week for C's baptism. She is doing great. We hadnt seen her for a while because she left out of town. But she was in church on Sunday!
Lots of "Bolos" or drunks walking around this weekend. haha There are always a couple who love to talk to us and hug us. Not the most pleasant thing but always keeps us laughing haha

I was able to really cherish this week and study alot about the life of Christ. The Bishop asked us to speak again on Sunday. We can learn so much about Christs example to each and everyone of us. I love learning about him. His life changed the world and changes each and everyone of us. We are all endebted to him. Im going to look for that video that you mentioned mom on the Churches site sounds pretty good!
I would like to share my testimony of Christ. I know that he lives. I love the words in the new testament when Mary was standing near the empty tomb. "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" "He is not here, but is risen". What comfort our souls. I cannot really understand and I stand all amazed at what he did for me. It is such a priviledge I have to be able to be one of his reprasentatives here on earth. I love him and know that he will never abandon us. Never. He bled and pled to his Father utterly alone. "Father why have thou forsaken me?" He knows us and knows how to succor us perfectly. What a blessing! What a priviledge to know this!
Well we are heading into the last week of this change. It went by very very quickly. Im excited to start a new week and to keep improving. Remember to look for someone that you can serve and help this week!
Elder Hughes

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Holy Week | week 80

a view from our house.

Hey Guys!

You guys sound busy! And two Giants games this week Wow! Mom and Zach I hope you guys had a great birthday. I was thinking about you both this week. And Madison Bumgarner hit a grandslam just for you mom haha. Good job Zach with student of the month how cool is that!

Well It was another very very busy week for us in Columbia. We were blessed to have interviews with President and Hermana Watts this week. I love them so much and I was sad because that was the last interview Im going to have with them in my mission. They are leaving at the very end of June....;( But we are going to welcome in the new President for a couple of months. His name is President Crapo from Utah. I saw a picture of him and he looks young!

We had a great start to the week finding a sweet new family L. We found them while knocking doors on Tuesday. There are five of them and they are excited to learn more.

Highlights of the week definetly were on Saturday. Probably one of the best days Ive had in my life haha. We got up at 5am to head to the temple for the sealing of F and L. It was so nice to see them It has been almost a year now haha. We went through their first session in the temple together. I will never forget when they walked into the celestial room for the first time and started to cry. I was able to give Francisco a hug and talk with them in there. There is nothing better ahhh! We then went into the sealing room and they were sealed with V, their daughter. What a powerful moment. I know that families can be together forever. What a peaceful happy doctrine that is. I love the temple and I love these people.

After getting something to eat and coming back to out area we quickly got the baptism ready for the M Family. The water was cold but the spirit strong. It was touching to hear M the grandmother bear her testimony. The Gospel blesses each and every one of our lives and it is for everyone! Young, small, mature and grown. They were confirmed on Sunday and were so happy!

On Saturday I had the rare oppourtunity to see everyone of the 5 saving ordinances that are necesary for us to return to our Father in Heaven. I know that covenants and ordinances are KEY to our salvation and happiness in this life and the next. Baptism is the start. We enter into the waters of baptism and begin our journey back to our Father. We can then receive the preisthood and enter into a holy temple to receive more knowledge and make covenants with the Lord. How grateful I am to have been baptized and to have been priviledged to enter into the temple. I love the temple and it is there where we get a sense of what Heavenly peace feels like.

News on Elder V
he is walking great and doing just fine now. I still think and cherish the experience we had last week.

This week is called "Semana santa" here in Guatemala. They celebrate the last week of the Saviors life in many ways haha. Lots of people get the week off of work and head to the beach. You should see some of the pictures its CRAZY. I am grateful for the Saviors sacrifice. The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes up the center of our faith. His Sacrifice makes all of this possible. We can repent and feel the joy of repentance and change in our lives. I am so grateful for this. I testify that Christ desires that we repent and "come unto him". I hope we can all center our lives on his gospel. Remember what is really important in life. Please remember.

I hope you all have a great week! Have fun in Southern California! I love you guys so much and look forward to Mothers day as well!


Elder Hughes

OH Ps: One of the Elders from my zone told me that his mom has been reading the blog you have made Mom for my mission. She started reading before he went into the mission and now he is here with me hahahah Pretty cool stuff. Thanks for posting the letters.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Monday! | week 79

You sound a little busy mom haha! Life always goes by faster when we have alot to do. I want to wish you both a happy Birthday this coming week. I cannot believe Zach is turning 14 Holy Moly. They are supposed to stop growing while im gone.
Like you guys we had a very hectic week. Going to the Temple on Tuesday threw us off a little bit but we got things going. Rondomly a huge rainstorm hit us on Thursday. We were eating lunch outside at a comedor and it started coming down for a good 30 minutes. The streets flooded and nobody could leave. I took some good video for after the mission to show you guys. We ran home to get our rain jackets and found our bathroom was flooded on the first floor hahaha. The water rose so fast that it came out of the shower and drain. It smelled horrible so we took an hour cleaning that up haha.
Cool story this week. President Watts had to close one of the areas in our zone this week. Something happened with some missionaries and there were lots of Emergency changes. We got a call Thursday Afternoon that we had to go find the Elders in their area and let them know about the e changes as soon as possible. Well the missionaries dont have cell phones here just the ZLs so we started looking for them. After about an hour and a half we decided to pray and ask for the Lords help again. Shortly after we felt like we should walk down one last street. And there they were walking towards us. I know its simple but after two hours God answered our prayer and led us right to them in there very large area haha.
I loved General Conference. I felt the Spirit in every session and am so grateful for our church leaders that Guide and direct us. I loved Talks by President Uchdorf on Sunday Morning on Gratitude and President Monson about love. President Uchdorf talked about being grateful "in" our current curcumstances. It is then that we experience peace amidst the storm. Loved that!
Well M and her two grandaughters are going to be baptized on Saturday. We are so excited for them. I love them so much and I know that are making the best decision. C Posponed her baptism so that her son and daughter in law can be there with here. She is doing great though. She will be baptised the 19th of April now. I feel so blessed right now. It is such an honor to be one of the Lords missionaries and I have felt so much love here. Me and my companion have been doing so well and have set some new goals for the coming week.
I want to leave you guys with a very special experience that I had today. I already hold this really close to me but I would like to share what happened.

I witnessed a miracle today in the life of Elder V. While playing volleyball today as a zone. Elder V fell down writhing in pain. We all ran over to see what happened, he was distraught. He has struggled with knee problems and surgerys before the mission. Actually had surgery on both knees before the mission. He immediately began to sob. He just told us he did it again and he is going home. He wouldnt stop crying and was so upset. He of anyone knows what it feels like to tear your ACL he did it twice before the mission. He went into the church and refused to talk to any of us. We got everyone together and knelt as a zone to pray. A few minutes later we then gave him a preisthood blessing. He asked me to seal the annoting and to give him the blessing. I have never felt the spirit so strong. My words were guided there came a moment in the blessing where I felt the spirit so strongly and the only word in my head was "Caminar" (or to walk) I told him to walk. He stood up and stopped at the door, paused and Elder V literally walked down the hall and began to run....Tears could not be held back. I seriously cannot describe it but was healed in front of our eyes. He was in shock and so were all of us. I could not stop crying. I know that there is Power in the preisthood and it is Gods power. I have not seen such a miracle in my entire life. I love these Elders and I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. God is a God of miracles and we were all witnesses of this power today. How grateful I am for this restored gospel. I pray I can always be ready to answer the Lords call and to act in his name. My faith has increased and I am a witness that Priesthood power is real. Elder V was walking with us the rest of the day, smiling as he went. 
I love you all so much. I hope everyone has a great week and that everything goes well I love you Zach and wish you a happy birthday!
Love you all
Elder Hughes

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools! | week 78

Well its great to be writing you guys today. First thoughts definitely go out to my childhood friend Ronin. So sad that Grandma and Grandpa had to put him down. Wasn't he the best dog you could ever have? So loyal and faithful. I believe in Dog heaven and he earned his mansion.
We went to the temple today as a zone so we worked normal yesterday. Ah The temple is always such a blessing. I always feel close to my Father in Heaven there and know that it is his house. I invite everyone who reads this email and who has a current temple recommend to go and take advantage of the blessings that come in temple service.
To answer some of your questions Dad. On Sunday I gave a talk on the importance of scripture study and of course got to tie in some missionary work. The spirit helped me and its a little easier to talk in church when you hardly know any one in the ward haaha. And Im so looking forward to General conference. I love hearing from our church leaders. I hope we can all write down some questions or doubts we have and then listen to the spirit teach us what we need to hear.
We had a busy week in Columbia. Got it started with Leadership conference which is always good. We talked alot about faith and how we are going to exercise our faith so we can baptize and retain!
I dont have a whole lot of crazy stuff to report. Its HOT right now here in Guatemala. Its a really humid thick heat that drags on you. We have been seeing lots of success finding new people to teach. C is prorgessing so well and she will be baptized on the 8th of April. She has investigated the church for a very very very long time. Im not sure what the difference was this time. The Lord always knows when people are ready. Sometimes we plant seeds that give forth fruit 10 years down the road. M, the grandmother we are teaching is sooooooo amazing. I have met few people with the burning faith she has. Satan is working overtime right now and is doing everything he can to impede her and her family. So we have been pasing by everyday to support them.
I have been thinking alot this week about gratitude. President Monson said that to  "live with gratitude is to touch heaven." Do we realize and understand all the blessings our Father in Heaven has given us. My time in Guatemala has left an impact in my life. We must also express our gratitude to God, our families and friends daily. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. Isnt it so nice to be with grateful and loving people? My heart was filled with joy this week as I conteplated the many blessings I have been given. Ahhh I just love this gospel and the wonderful family I have been given. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and his infinite sacrifice. We must think of him and remember this every single day of our lives. That is why we partake of the sacrament every week. It isnt just at Easter time that we celebrate and remember him. Every week should be filled with Christ. I love this work and I am so grateful that Im not done serving here in Guatemala. I love you all so much. I will be thinking of you all this week.

Love your son, brother and freind,

Elder Hughes

Ok mom I need to know your shoe size...... hahaha Its a suprise so dont ask me why. I know you love suprises. I love you Mom Dad, Riley and Zach. I hope you all know that.

My comp snapped a pic of me dead on the couch after all the calls

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