Monday, February 25, 2013

Another week down! | Week 21

Hello Family!!
What a wonderful sight, I got letters from all of you guys!! I love reading your guy's letters so much. Thank you for your love and support. I love hearing about all that you guys are doing even if it is simple details. I love you guys so much.
It sounds like everything is life as normal in Rock Town. That sounds so exciting about the RHS basketball. I remember when they went to arco years back, it was so exciting. Z man I loved your spanish, keep up the good work man! I can't wait to come back and go skiing with you guys. That is awesome that your weekly letters help you with some reflection mom. I need that all the time. Sometimes as a missionary things go nonstop and I have to take a step back and evaluate as well. I laughed so hard at what you said about sending pictures haha. It really is insane. I have tried so many times on these stupid computers here and I can't get it to work. I will send you the sd card soon. I am so horrible at taking pictures. I think once I can send them, I will take lots more.
About the work this week! It was a pretty good week! It takes a bit to get back in the swing of things with a new companion, but it is going well! It was a pretty normal week. I was racking my brains earlier today to think about my week. Thank goodness for journals, sometimes I really don't feel like writing in mine every night when I am tired, BUT I am determined to stick to it. Tons of missionaries give up and stop doing it, but I am not! They help me remember alot about my weeks. We continued to work alot with S this week. She is our most promising investigator. She is awesome. They came to church this week and it went really well. So we are really excited about them. We taught them about the Book of Mormon this week. I have learned SO much about how the Book of Mormon truly is our most powerful tool in missionary work. I love testifying of it.
Besides S we are struggling with alot of our other investigators. Sometimes it can be so tricky trying to help people progress in the process of coming into the gospel. BUT one thing about missionaries that probably drives people nuts is we don't give up haha. We said it would probably scare people that we teach how much we talk about and pray about them. Our whole mission is to invite and help these people to come unto christ and feel the joy that I have felt as I have done that.
A has been working 12 hour shifts all week and so we haven't been able to see him yet and talk about his baptism!! I am soooooooooo excited for this week to be able to meet with him. We called him this week and he is so funny. He said "I think you have the wrong number..." I was shocked and as my usual gullible self bought into it. Then he said "Because I am a NEW A!" I love that man so much. I can't wait to visit with him this week.
We continue to press forward. Elder L is great. He is pretty much the complete opposite of Elder Z in every way haha. But he is a super funny real laid back guy. I just have to keep him motivated :) Sometimes it can be tough for missionaries right at the end of their missions.
Sister Rapier's son came home from his mission this week. He gave an awesome talk. It made me realize how short my time is. I have to give it my all every day. I try to do that every day, to get on my knees and promise heavenly father that TODAY I will give it all I've got. It can be easy to slip into a routine and forget how exciting it is to be a missionary. Sometimes I still can't believe it when I put my tag on.
We got to do lots of service this week, which I love to do. I also need to love putting sunscreen on every day, because I got roasted. It is nice and warm here now. Although earlier on in the week it snowed like half an inch! Bipolar weather.
I tracted for the first time this week! It is definitely not the most productive way of doing missionary work, but sometimes that is our only option in the afternoon when everyone we teach and all the members are at work and school. It flooded back all the memories of this summer to knock doors haha. I realized that although this summer was it's own form of torture haha I learned so much from it. It definitely takes alot to phase me when it comes to tracting. They do alot more tracting in Tucson than out here, but I know what I learned this summer will come in handy in that part of missionary work.
We visited lots of Inactive members this week. I used to be apprehensive about that. It seemed awkward to me, but now I really like to. We had some wonderful visits with people. Sometimes going out for the rescue of those that have wandered is the most important work we can do.
We went hiking and exploring today in Clifton in some of this little slot canyons that are pretty cool.
I highly recommend a CD called the Nashville tribute to Joseph Smith. Elder L has it, and it is awesome.
Mom! I would love to see some more of your photography work you have done! Send me some pics!
I realized the two week difference between Tanner and I as well last week. HMMMMMM I'm not sure about it. I think it would be awesome to come home on the same flight. BUT that is far far away :) I like focusing on who I am still out here to find :)

I love you guys so much. This week I have thought alot about being positive and loving with people. This world is full of so much negativity. We could all have a full line up of people pointing fingers and bad mouthing all of us. We also ourselves line up and dish out the same negativity. I have thought so much about the Savior. He always lifted people up. No matter what sins or weaknesses or imperfections we have, he is truly a perfect helper. He builds us up always. I have tried to recommit myself to always building people up. We all have things that bug us about others, but talking about them never changes anything. The pure love of Christ blesses us all no matter what. He asks us to do the same for others. SMILE! Life is good!
I love you guys so much. I can never say that enough. I tell people all the time about how amazing my family is. I love how close we are all to each other. Give everyone my love! Until next week!
Elder Hughes

PS Mother's day is getting closer! :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm still here in Duncan!!!! | Week 20

Yep, I am staying in Duncan another transfer! We got transfer calls on Sunday, Elder Z is gone back to Tucson to train another missionary and to be a district leader. My new companion is Elder L, he is from Ogden Utah and he is a super nice guy. He is almost done with his mission, he only has 2 transfers left so I will have to keep him going to the end! I love Duncan so I am totally cool with staying here another transfer. Missionary work has lots of changed involved in it, but I am excited for what the future holds for us here!
CONGRATS to Jamie and Jeffrey for your mission calls!!!!! You guys are gonna be AWESOME missionaries. YAYYYYYYYY Our ward is really cranking the missionaries out!
That's awesome mom on your new calling!!! I LOVE working with kids so much, they truly have the joy and love of Christ in them. You will do awesome. That's great to hear that everyone in the family is doing well including Aaron and Grandpa Cahoon! RILO is a priest, THAT is crazy. That makes me feel old. Elder Z and I would go in with the young men in the wards here all the time because we still don't feel old enough to be in Elder's quorumn haha. I'm so pumped for you Riley. Being a priest is awesome. Now is the time to start really preparing to be a missionary. Tell Bro Pulsipher hi for me!
This last week was a really good week for us here, It was great. Elder Z was finally feeling back to normal (thank goodness) I couldn't handle one more day stuck in our house haha. On Monday we went and visited a spanish lady named H who we have contacted before and nothing every really worked out. We finally were able to talk, and she is facing alot of trials in life. She has a tough job and her car broke so she never gets to go anywhere. We are working to figure out some ways we could get her to church and to some lessons. I realized talking to her how bad my spanish is. I need so much more practice, and I really never have the opportunity here. BUT for the most part I am able to express myself. We also have been teaching E & M R, I can't remember if I have told you about them. They are very poor and have overcome some pretty crazy addictions. We teach them every week. A member family have worked with them for years to help them improve their lives. We know that it will be a slow process, but this week our lesson was really good! And they came to church! So we are excited with continuing to work with them.
I got a haircut this week, which is a really unimportant detail, but sometimes getting a haircut just makes you feel better haha.
Wednesday was an awesome day for us. We found a new investigator S! We had gotten her referral many times from members, and we were working with members to help us to make the transition to her taking the lessons. Well... we could never get the members to do it, so we just went over and asked her ourselves haha. She said yes and we had a lesson with her and her husband on Saturday! Then on Wednesday we had our last lesson with A before his baptism. It was soooooo amazing. The spirit was so strong. He told us how we were the missionaries that were meant to teach him. I was amazed at the hand of the Lord in bringing me here to Duncan. They are excited to get married in the temple in a year, and Elder Z and I will be able to come back to the Gila Valley temple and see it!! If your investigator goes to the temple while you are still on your mission, you get to go with them to the temple! SO awesome. I can't wait. Days like Wednesday are really our pay days as missionaries. I was SO happy.
One thing we talked about was reaping and sowing. Sometimes as missionaries we reap (like with A) and sometimes we sow (like with them M's). I have to remind myself of that all the time. Sometimes we want results right now, but usually the Baptisms we have have had other missionaries that have sowed for us.
One scary thing. There is a senior couple in the area next to ours who had an emergency this week. Sister S had something go wrong and she had to get airlifted to Tucson. It was a bit scary... we have been praying alot for her. From what we have heard she is doing okay now.
Thank you thank you thank you for the Valentines package. It was perfect. We gave out many of the valentines and now we have enough muffin mixes to last me for my whole mission haha.
Our lesson on Saturday with S was great. It was a bit complex. Sometimes being a missionary is not always straightforward haha. She is a really spiritual and religious person, but she has lots of concerns and past history to work through. Sometimes lessons have the tendency to get really complex, but I have to remind myself to keep it simple. The gospel really is simple and beautiful. With the witness of the spirit through the Book of Mormon, most everything else falls away and is much simpler. So we are gonna focus on that with her this week.
I learned how to cut huge logs and stumps with an ax this week. And Elder Z and I were sore for many days after haha.
A was baptized on Saturday. From what we have heard it all went great. We haven't been able to visit him yet and hear about how it was. I am really looking forward to that this week.
The last couple days have been about getting Elder Z all ready to get shipped off. We were so busy going around and seeing all the amazing people I have grown to love so much. I wish you guys could meet some of the amazing members here. We also had some fun with one of our recent converts K. She is awesome, she is pretty much our best friend haha. It has been a long standing joke that we were gonna spray paint her goat pink. She never though we would actually do it. But we did. It was awesome. So she has an orange/pink goat. She thought it was the funniest thing ever.
One cool experience I had. We were sharing a message with a less active family that we visit alot. I usually share one of 5-6 scriptures that I usually use. For some reason without thinking I shared the account of Joseph Smith when he is in liberty jail. It seemed pretty normal, until Sister H started crying and she told me how that was exactly what she needed to hear. I am always amazed at how the spirit can lead us without us even knowing it.
Transfers were today. Elder Z had to go to Tucson a day early because he is training so I spent the night in Silver City. I stayed at an elder's place. Which is actually a mansion. No joke. Some Elder's there live with a member in an enormous mansion. The member is a single guy and so the elders live in his mansion with him. It is AWESOME. Complete with heated bathroom tile floors and yeah... it was awesome. It is famous in the mission. Definitely a big difference from our humble pink house in Duncan.
So as you guys know I am a worrier. It has been like that my whole life and guess what nothing has changed haha. Transfers sometimes can be crazy heading into new situation with new people. I am so grateful for the spirit. It helps me see clearly and focus on what is important now and to not worry about the future. I truly felt peace last night as I began a new transfer. Truly the Savior is all that matters in the end.
My time with Elder Z was awesome, we had a great time together, but I am excited to see where my mission takes me. Elder L is great as well.
I love you guys so much. I pray for you lots. Thank you for your prayers. I LOVE YOU ALL!
Elder Hughes

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hola Familia!!! | Week 19

All the Missionaries in the Arizona, Tucson Mission

Happy Monday to you all. It sounds like you are all doing wonderful! That is great to hear! That is awesome that you guys are hanging with the Elders in our ward! I know firsthand how much comfort and love members give us. We definitely have some of our 'favorite' members here who I love so much. There are some amazing people here in Duncan. Sounds like life as normal in good ol' Rocklin :)
As for this week of missionary work. There is really not much to say haha. Elder Z got this nasty nasty 7 day flu that alot of members have had. Since he was so sick we couldn't do any proselyting this whole week, which was MEGA LAME. People don't like it when someone with the raging flu comes and sits down in your living room haha. Not gonna lie it was the longest week I have had yet on my mission haha. Elder Z slept all day for about 6 days and so I read alot. I am almost halfway through the Book of Mormon :) Yeah, I definetly had the case of cabin fever myself... I was DYING to get out and do something this week. As a missionary we can't just flip on the tv or surf the web. Thank goodness I never caught the flu myself. It was a nasty one so I am so happy I didn't get it. So because of that we weren't able to really do anything as far as missionary work goes this week. BUT it was really unproductive, but there were some really good things about it too. As a missionary we go nonstop every day 7 days a week, so sometimes it feels like I never get the chance to take a step back and evaluate. So it was really nice to have alot of time to reflect on what I have learned already as a missionary and how I want to apply that to the rest of my mission. I am getting closer and closer to the six month mark!!! It is crazy. I feel that pressure of not having alot of time. Our window to share the gospel and help change people's lives is so short. I have made alot of new goals for myself. That is one really interesting thing about missionarywork, we have amazing tools like preach my gospel and the scriptures, but there is really no way to know how to adapt to all the places we go and the people we meet. Duncan has challenges for missionary work that are very unique and so it takes some creativity to get things movin. We have to rely on the spirit to help us. I have learned that without the spirit to guide me, I would be so lost as a missionary. I am SO grateful for it's direction. This week as I have been able to study and ponder and reflect alot on myself and where I want to be as a missionary the spirit has guided me so much. I am so grateful for prayer. If I didn't have prayer to help me, I have no idea what I would do. I need the guidance I recieve through prayer.
That is what is so amazing about being a missionary. It truly puts your faith to the test. There is nothing in the world that tests you and pushes you more than helping and inviting others to our savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be a missionary. There is nothing else I would rather be doing. 
We had a Zone Conference on Tuesday which is basically a big meeting of missionaries with President Killpack and the assistants. It was awesome. Elder Z was really sick on that day, but he toughed it out and I am so glad. It helped me get recharged. My mission president and his wife are SO awesome. They are inspired in all that they do. I wish you guys could meet them. The conference was great, we were able to learn alot about working with members and how to improve ourselves as missionaries. After the zone conference we went to the doctor for Elder Z. The doctor that we all see in Safford is the stake president there. We also had stake conference this weekend. It was great as well.
A is still set to get baptized next weekend. We are long distance planning his baptism haha. I am so grateful for him and his family. I will get some pictures with them this week. He has the cutest daughters in the world. This coming week is gonna be about getting things moving again here in Duncan. This is our last week of the transfer!!! This transfer was only 5 weeks, which is super rare. This next transfer we both have no idea what will happen. At least one of us is leaving we do know that. It will be interesting to see. So P day will be on tuesday next week. and I may or may not be somewhere else!
Thanks to the Voges for the package!!!! I love you guys. I also got a letter from Jacob Zufelt which was awesome. I love that kid! Give Elder Barney a big hug for me if you ever see him again.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I am reading it this time with a fresh copy and highlighting all the references to Christ and the atonement. This has been awesome. It helps me focus on him as I read. And that book is FILLED with references to Christ. It truly changes lives. It has changed my life, and it changes the lives of all of our investigators. I have grown to LOVE the Book of Mormon.
I love you guys so much every day of the year not just on valentines day haha. I love you all. I pray for you every day. I am doing great, I am excited for a new week and continue to grow and learn as a missionary. Les amo mucho!!!!!
Elder Hughes

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Hola Familia!!!!!
Sounds like it was a great week in the Hughes household. I am so glad your trip this weekend was great mom and dad. You deserve it. The pictures are beautiful! What a fun time! Thanks so much for your letter Dad. What an exciting week for Rilo. CLEAR THE ROADS!!!  Riley, enjoy your first solo rides!!! I still remember mine to go get a haircut, and I didn't have mom or dad there. It was quite nice haha :)
I wasn't online with Tanner earlier... but we do send each other email every week, which is great.
I will be praying for Grandpa Cahoon. How scary! I am glad he is doing ok though. That is awesome for Aaron as well. I will pray for him also. Thank you for the package! It was perfect. Did Rilo get his birthday letter from me?
We have zone conference tomorrow with President and Sister Killpack. I am excited. Their words always inspire me to keep going and to do better.
This week has been pretty good here in Duncan. We are still struggling to find more people to teach and help those we are teaching to progress. Somedays like Wednesday this week are strange, because you will work hard the whole day, and see no success at all. But as always A is our ray of light haha. Thursday this week started off interesting. Some elders that were driving to a meeting in Tucson ran out of gas on the freeway. So Elder Z and I got a call at 5:45 in the morning for us to go rescue them. It took us three hours the whole trip. An interesting way to start off. Also our landlord (who's farm we live on) has a trap to catch the Javelina pigs. He caught a whole bunch and we naturally had to go torture them a little bit. They are WICKED animals. So weird. We taught a lesson on Wednesday to the K family, a part member family referral we had. It went really well. The spirit was guiding us so much. They had a lot of pretty tough concerns, but it was a really good lesson. It was one time where I really realized how much I need to improve in my teaching. Teaching is something that we ALWAYS have to be improving on as missionaries. We also went to the Duncan High School basketball game that night, because some of our potential investigators were going there. And whenever there is a game, literally every single person in our area goes, so we can never find people to talk to haha. So if you can't beat em join em. All this week we have been painting an elderly lady in our ward's house, which was great. I love doing service, it is one of my favorite parts about being a missionary. 
A is doing awesome. We had a wonderful lesson with him this week. On Friday we saw a mini miracle. We were prompted to stop by his house on our way up to our exchange. It turns out he had a really really bad day, for lots of reasons. He was considering packing up and moving his family and leaving his job. We gave him a blessing that night, and the spirit was so strong. The priesthood is real. Then on Sunday he talked to us about the powerful feelings from the spirit were as we gave him the blessing. I know that the Lord led us to him on Friday. He guides our way, and most of the time we don't even know it.
 We also went on exchanges this week. I went up to Clifton this time. Clifton is kind of a cool place it is a really old mining town. Where the mine is, the city is called Morenci and the entire place is owned by this huge mine. There are lots of cool trains, I thought of Grandpa Bill. He would like it there. So the exchange was really fun. Sometimes it is good to switch it up for a day, and try something new. Then on Saturday and Sunday and today Elder Z has been REALLY sick. With this awful flu/cold thing. He can barely get out of bed. It is really bad. Alot of members around here have had it. Thankfully I haven't gotten it (knock on wood). So because of that I have had many many hours of study time. Which is not as good as proselyting, but is till awesome. I love the opportunity I have as a missionary to feast on the scriptures. I have recieved so much personal revelation in the last few days, it is awesome.
As for your questions Dad. T is a bit wishy washy. We keep trying to set up a lesson with him, but he never has the time. S has literally fallen off the face of the earth. We text and call him and stop by his house all the time, and he is never around. So unfortunately we haven't been able to teach alot this week. We are working so hard to find more people to teach. We are working on quite a few potential investigators who look good. We are hoping and praying that they will be receptive to us.
I finished the New Testament today, and what a blessing it was to read it. This church is the true and living church on the earth. I know that with all of my soul. The spirit has given me it's special witness. Christ lives! The spirit has been teaching me so much this week about discipleship. We have been called and ordained as disciples of Christ. I know that in following him, and walking the path he walked we can achieve all of our dreams. He enables us to do it. We must just trust in him. We cannot go wrong if we are loving others and serving as he would serve. I have felt his strength come to me. There are times when I doubt, worry, and fret about what I can do more as a missionary. I have felt that I must just do all I can every day, and all will be well.
I am doing great. I love being a missionary as always. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I have already been changed forever. I have learned more in the past 4 months than any other time of my life. I am so happy everyday to serve.
I love you guys so much. Never forget it. I am so thankful for our eternal family.
Elder Hughes

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