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!


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!