Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Hey Family!
Sorry about the late email again. We went to safford for P day yesterday and we didn't have any time to email. SO you get the email today! :) It sounds like a pretty big week in the Hughes family at home. Rilo is getting old.... wow it is so crazy. I feel like I was just 16 myself. It sounds like his birthday was awesome. And mom and dad I hope your anniversary was wonderful and that your trip to Carmel goes great! I know you love that place :) I understand where you are coming from mom on your reality is setting in missionary mom days. I feel it sometimes too. Not super often, but every once in a while. It usually starts when I think about how awesome our family is and how much love and happiness is in our home. I love you all so much, and believe it or not I hear your voice in my head sometimes haha. I think I will hear your voice in my head my whole life :) I miss you guys and love you too, BUT I love being a missionary and serving the Lord SO much. I am jealous of the Les Mis tickets. It's killing me a little bit inside haha. Just don't burn out on it before I get back :)
Another week down here in Duncan. Time flies when you are spreading the gospel. I cannot believe how fast time is flying on the mission. Every week I get to P day and can't believe how fast the week has passed. We had a pretty good week. We started teaching one of our investigators that we haven't taught in a long time. His name is T, he actually lives right next door to us. He is super nice and is a very interesting guy. He is a falconer and has hawks and falcons, which is pretty awesome. He is also a born again Christian, so his lessons are definitely some of the most challenging I have had haha. He is super open to what we teach. He knows his bible SUPER well so we have to do alot of preparation :) We hope we can keep teaching him, sometimes we can't figure out if he just wants to do some kind of comparitive religions study or actually investigate the gospel. That is one big challenge here. Alot of our investigators don't take it super seriously, we are trying to figure out ways to help people see that we don't want to just have nice chats about god haha. Our next lesson with T we are going to bring a member of the ward who used to be a pentecostal minister. Terry has some interesting concerns like, praying in tongues. So... we never know how to respond to that haha. SO that is why we are going to come back with some member wisdom :) We had another kind of cool breakthrough with the M's. We went by their house to talk to them for the 1st time since they dropped us, and it went about the way we thought it would. They kind of told us all of the things they had told us before. But, on Saturday they randomly called us and invited us to their daughters birthday party that night. We were very surprised, so we aren't sure what will happen in the long run, but we are hoping and praying to start teaching them again.
A is still on track to get baptized on Feb. 16 in Texas. We are still so excited. I love him and his family so much. We found out that we won't be able to go to his baptism. Since it is out of our mission boundaries by about an our. We had a funny phone call with the mission president asking him if we could go. He knew we would call haha. Apparently, even President Killpack isn't allowed to leave the mission boundaries. So that is a bit of a bummer. I REALLY wish I could go, since it is my first baptism, but we are excited nonetheless. Our lesson with A was so awesome this week. At the end he opened up alot about why he has decided to get baptized now, and it was amazing. The spirit was so strong. I know that the Lord led us to him. Besides that we have had a tough time tracking down alot of our other investigators. Sometimes we feel like the FBI trying to find people and set up appointments. The members her in Duncan are so awesome. We had the most wonderful dinner on Sunday. It opened up into quite a gospel discussion. I felt the spirit SO strong.
Not to much else to report. Nothing crazy exciting happens in Duncan haha. I did talk to some members the B's who used to live in Oak Harbor! Small world. They lived there in the 70's and 80's. It was kind of cool though. We get to to alot of service. We do that alot in the afternoon. Since we have a really hard time finding things to do in the afternoons. Everyone is in work and school, and we have already tracted out every house in our area. The work is moving forward and I am happy and grateful every day to be doing what I am doing. I learned such a great lesson from you mom, about how every day is a new day, with new chances, a new start, free from mistakes. I am so grateful every day to wake up and be a missionary for this church. It is truly the truth on the earth today. I know that with all of my heart.
I have learned alot about love and charity. When it all comes down to it. Every commandment, talk, lesson, ordinance, and part of this gospel comes down to love. I have learned how to love others in a way I have never felt. As a missionary there is truly a new capacity to love people that I don't even know. As representatives of Christ we get the tiniest glimpse of what that love is like. I am so grateful that His love is in our family. I love my Savior, and because of that I can love others. I have learned already that when things get tough, I can kneel down and call down the blessings of heaven. I have felt that power. I love you guys so much and hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy your trip mom and dad. You deserve it. And know that I am happy and well. The only way I could be better is if I was with all of you. I love you so much!
Elder Hughes

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pictures from Duncan, AZ

After many failed attempts to upload and send photos from Duncan, Taylor finally just sent his card home. Here is a collection of pictures! Even a funny video, but keep in mind that Chris says that I am the only one who likes to watch it. I secretly enjoy hearing his voice, it makes him seem that much closer. Enjoy!

The 100 year old farmhouse where they live. 

The scorpion that they kept for a pet

This is the reason that they drive a full size truck

experiencing life in Duncan, AZ

Hello again familia!!!! | Week 16

Hola Hola Hola
Happy Tuesday! Sorry this is a day late, whenever there are holidays the library is closed which means no letters :) I am doing wonderful here in Duncan. It finally feels like what I thought an Arizona winter would feel like 65 degrees and beautiful! We are so glad. I loved your letter as usual. Mom I am so jealous of your many viewings of Les Miserables, we will have a great time watching it in october 2014 :) Wow this is a BIG week for our family. Rilo, HAPPY BIRTHDAY or feliz cumpleanos in spanish :) I love you, and hope your birthday is awesome. AND the two greatest parents in the whole world are having their anniversary. Wow 21 years of our family being together. I love you all so much. Yes, mom my whole life has been filled with wonderful memories of growing up in your loving home. I am SO grateful. I reflect all the time and even smile and laugh to myself about some of the amazing times we have all had together, and the future will be full of many more!! I am SO pumped for Sheldon, he will do awesome! And Rachel also, wow Rocklin 1st ward is reppin all over the world. Tell her I am so excited for her and that she will be an awesome missionary! I love that talk by President Uchdorf as well. He is a very inspired man. If you want to hear an awesome talk listen to his CES devotional from this January it is great.
Well as for Duncan, this last week was kind of a tough one. We faced alot of probably my least favorite thing about missionary work, dropped appointments. Almost all of our lessons canceled this week which was a bummer. We prepare for lessons and even make refreshments for FHE's and sometimes nothing works out haha. So that was kind of the story of our week, but the week ended well and we are really excited about the future. Our investigator A who's family is all members is getting baptized February 17, and we are sooooo excited. Their family is so awesome. I love them so much. They came to church on Sunday and it was so great. He is getting baptized in El Paso, so there is a .01% chance that we will be able to go, which we are bummed about but we are so happy for them. They are some of the funniest and nicest people I have ever met. We also are teaching S a Spanish guy that is really cool. We are teaching a couple other investigators and less active members so we are staying busy, which is just the way I like it. So much of missionary work is about being proactive. That is one of the first things that I have learned out here, that if we don't make anything happen nothing will happen.
We see all kinds of wildlife here in the desert. Google Javelina Pigs. They are the wierdest animals ever. They are pretty much a rat pig hybrid and they are all over the place. We see coyotes all the time as well.
We got to do service this week for a lady named B. She is very poor, many many people live in poverty here. I am so grateful for opportunities to help people. We helped her clean up her yard that is full of trash and junk.
We had the most amazing Sunday at church this week. I felt the spirit teach me SO much. This message is true, every single part of it. I stand in awe sometimes at how true it all is. I know it with all of my heart. I truly know that this gospel is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It is so wonderful that we have it, and now we just need to share it.
We had interviews this week with President Killpack. Him and his wife are some of the greatest people I have ever met. He is truly a man of God and I am so greatful that we have leadership like him.
The message I would like to share this week is about the reality of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. We can never spend enough time studying and pondering of his life and ministry. The true test is if we can incorporate his teachings into who we are. I have been reading the New Testament and am almost finished. I encourage you all to read of his life again. As I have read it I have come to know him even more. I know that he lives, and that he loves us all. He want nothing more than for us to come closer to him.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your love and example. I am so happy, and hope and pray you all are as well.
Elder Hughes
PS thought of something you could send. I need some good church music CD's so that we can listen to music in the car!!
I have a goal to write alot better letters haha. I need to start writing them out beforehand, because I always run out of time!

Hello from freezing cold Duncan! | Week 15

Hola Familia!!
I am staying here in Duncan for another transfer!!!! I was really glad, I didn't want to get transferred at all, so I am happy! Like you guys we are freezing our butts off, although I doubt that you guys are colder than us. On Sunday our car thermometer said 0 degrees when we drove to church at 8 in the morning. So.... yeah.... and I thought I was coming to a warm Arizona winter!! But we go from our car straight into people's houses usually so it isn't too bad. Yes, so we began a new transfer. My first one FLEW by, it was crazy how fast it went. This transfer is going to be really unique because it will only be 5 weeks. Because of all the new missionaries and the change in how long missionaries are in the MTC, alot of missions have to change one of their transfers to compensate. So this transfer will only be 5 weeks.
So this week was full of high's and low's. We have been teaching the M family, the family that has been progressing the most. They have baptismal dates, and are reading the book of mormon and everything was awesome. We had another lesson with them this week that was SO powerful, the spirit was so strong as we talked alot about prayer and how important prayer is to us. Then on Sunday we got the phone call that is in every missionaries nightmares.  It broke our hearts. It was the first time on my mission that I thought I might cry, just because I love them so much and I know that they have felt the spirit as we taught them. It was a big bummer on our week. That is how missionary work goes sometimes. We are going to continue trying to help them and make contact with them. Besides that we did find a new investigator this week B who was a referral, we are excited about teaching them. OK the Library just told us they are closing early right now so I don't really have anytime!!! AHHH!!!!!
I am so grateful for all the investigators we are continuing to teach. Elder Z and I are excited about many of them. We are working hard and enjoying our time here. I am being so blessed. I love the Savior. I know he lives and loves me. I am so grateful for his eternal sacrifice. I have learned so much about how to follow the spirit in just 6 weeks.
My singing in sacrament went really well. Did you see Les Miserables mom?? I want to hear how it was?!! I love you guys!! 

I love you guys SO much. I wish I could write more. Riley should be expecting a letter for his birthday!! I'm glad you got my tag!!!
Elder Hughes

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hola from Elder Hughes!!! (because I cannot think of a creative title right now) | Week 14

 hiking to some native american petroglyphs

Hola Familia!!

I loved getting your letters and emails as always! Z man congrats on your wrestling success AND you are repping the Y... so double the awesome. Mom, I hope you feel better soon, I used to hate it when you were sick and still do. I love you guys so much. Thank you so much for braving the DMV for me, haha. Maybe a mission blessing could come in the form of a painless experience there... probably not.

I cannot believe that I have one week left in my first transfer, it FLEW by and everyone says it just gets faster. The work is going SO well. The Lord is blessing Elder Z and I. The most exciting part of the week was we set 2 baptismal dates with the M's! It was awesome. So their dates are on Feb. 2nd. It is definitely a leap of faith to invite someone to be baptized, but the spirit was so awesome. It is funny to me how members sometimes don't really understand how missionary work is done. The members who were with us at the lesson with the M's looked like the were gonna fall out of their chair haha. The members were way more shocked at the invitation than the investigators haha.  Every lesson we have had with them has been awesome. Their daughter B who is 3 is a crackup she is hilarious. B is always crazy when we come over and sometimes teaching is tricky, but I am amazed at how the spirit guides us as we teach. They always look at each other and say 'this makes so much sense' and Elder Z and I are always amazed at how much they understand, because we know it doesn't come from us being good teachers. It comes through the spirit. We have been so blessed here. We found another new investigator! We got a referral for his dad, and we ended up teaching him. I am always so amazed at how the Lord leads us to the people he has prepared. We taught him the 1st lesson this week in Spanish, which was a challenge. I need so much more practice, but I always know enough to sufficiently teach the lessons. We are excited to keep teaching him, we have quite a few investigators which keeps us real busy. I love being busy as a missionary, that's is exactly the way I like it. The key to what we have accomplished here in Duncan is all about the members. I am so glad I was sent here because I have truly to learn how to truly work with the members. Alot of missionaries struggle here, because if the members dont trust you, then the work is hard here. The members here are so awesome. They love us, and through their efforts we have been so blessed. One family the J's here are awesome, and make us feel like part of their family. They have the cutest kids in the whole world who get so excited when we come over haha. There is NO better way to do missionary work than working so much through the members. There is no other way here in Duncan because we really cannot tract or contact.
Well, if I didn't have enough practice changing a tire, I do now. We had our 6th flat tire of the transfer last night. We are so confused as to why we keep getting them! So definitely know how to change a tire now... haha. We are also making a member missionary work video by interviewing members. Also today, only in Duncan do you have to pull over and help member corrall their loose horses that are all over the road haha. Saw something else I have never seen before. It was time for the members who live next door (Wilbur) for meat harvesting day!! Got to see a cow that was still alive hung upside down and tied to a tractor and driven over to his soon to be death...very interesting... I had a small world moment this week. We went on exchanges and I was with my District Leader Elder E and we got to know each other. Turns out the guy that Tanner and I worked with this summer that we had to take to the hospital, went to highschool with Elder E. It's a small world. The exchange was great we had a blast. I am singing in church on sunday, which I am nervous about as usual. I will let you know how it goes!!

So next week I might still be in Duncan or I might be somewhere else... I am hoping and praying to stay here! I really want to be a part of getting all these people baptized! The reason we aren't sure what will happen is because I am spanish and my trainer english so they might be moving me... we don't know. BUT I hope not. I love it here. (No I haven't decided that I want to live on a farm) but I love the people, and the slower pace of life. We will see what will happen. P day will be on tuesday next week for transfers.

I know this gospel is true with all of my heart. It is our number one priority. If we keep it at number one, all other things will fall into place. I love serving the Lord,I feel so blessed to be a missionary. I love and miss you all as always. Keep the gospel as your most precious possesion. 


Elder Hughes

Feliz Ano Nuevo!!!! | Week 13


It was so good to talk to you on Christmas it was hands down my favorite part of Christmas. Sorry this email is a couple days late. There wasn't a library in many miles that was open the last two days. I know you are probably worried mom. I am doing just fine :)

Congrats to Sheldon! I love Boston! I am so pumped for him!

Thank you so much again for the call on Christmas. I love you guys so much. I was so happy afterwards. I loved getting to see you all and hear your voices. I am SO blessed to have you all as my eternal family.

Yes it is a new year. I was reflecting alot on this last year for myself. What a crazy year it was for me. I cannot even begin to explain how much I have learned in one year. I have learned so much about myself. I have had to stretch and push myself harder than I ever have this year. I have left home, and had to be completely responsible for myself. I could not have done it all without you guys. Thank you for your support and love. And now to a new year! 2013 is gonna be such a great year for me. Missionaries call it their blackout year. A whole year of my life that I get to devote to serving the Lord. Some of my goals are to become fluent in Spanish (I have a LONG way to go haha) I really most of all want to help others come unto Christ. I want to be a part of bringing people the joy of the gospel that I feel. I know that if I continue to work hard and be obedient the Lord will bless me with success. I want to also come closer myself to the Savior. Another goal that will make you laugh mom, is I want to spend some time practicing this year and re learn how to play the piano. Big mistake to stop learning piano. :)

As for the work here in Duncan. It is going well. We are still teaching the M family, a family that I love SO much. They came to church on Sunday which we were super excited about. We are going to set baptismal dates with them this week. I want them to be baptized so bad. They are so awesome, I wish you guys could meet them. We are also teaching A still who will be getting baptized in February in El Paso! He and his family are awesome, they are pretty much golden investigators. We are also teaching a guy named E, I don't know if I have told you about him. He and his wife M are proof of how the gospel can help all types of people. He and his wife have an insanely rough past full of drugs and violence. E is very childlike and so we teach him very simply, and I am amazed at the spirit at his lessons. He wants a much better life for himself and the gospel can help him! So that's about it as far as people that are progressing. We feel so blessed that we even have people to teach. Alot of missionaries in our zone are really struggling to find people to teach.

We found a scorpion in our bathroom and kept him as a pet. I have learned to do things here I never thought I would do haha like harvesting pecans which are delicious by the way.

We get to do service ALOT here in Duncan which I love to do. We scrubbed one lady's house with tons of smoke damage from a fire for 5 hours the other day which was crazy. We get to do service pretty much every day, and I love it. I think I have told you about Sister D, this lady in our ward is probably one of the funniest people I have ever met. We did our 12 days to her and we do service for her all the time, and then we usually end up talking for a while and she tells us all of her stories from her life. They are seriously amazing. I can't wait to take a road trip back here one day and bring Tanner with me, and he can meet her. She cannot be described, She is so awesome.

I am so thankful last of all for the spirit. I learn something every day from the spirit. I cannot even describe how amazing it is to be able to study the scriptures every day. I finished the Book of Mormon in the MTC, the doctrine and covenants a couple weeks ago, and now I am halfway through the New Testament. I have grown to LOVE the scriptures. I love reading all about the Savior's life in the New Testament. I truly am trying to serve Him as best I can. I encourage you all to make scriptures an every day part of your lives. We have POWER when we feast on the words of Christ. I have felt it. Just this week I was reading and the spirit washed over me and I felt the love of the Savior for me specifically. The scriptures are truly the gateway to revelation. I love you guys so much!!!! I miss you and think of you every day.


Elder Hughes

Only a phone call away | Week 12

A regular letter did not arrive from Taylor this week. We spoke on Sunday evening briefly to set up our skype date and it took everything I had to hang up. We anxiously awaited his call on Christmas Day and were able to Skype/FaceTime/Chat with him. The reception was horrible on Skype and we only could hear about every third word, we tried to FaceTime on the iPad but that was not any better. We finally muted the iPads, Taylor called on the house phone (he was at the Stake Presidents house) and we were able to see each during our phone conversation. We were able to talk for about 1.5 hours and loved EVERY minute of it. Of course there were tears at the end, buy hey, Mothers Day is not that far away, right?