Monday, April 1, 2013

Hello from the ATM (arizona tucson mission) :) | week 24

Hey Family!!!!!
Happy St. Patrick's day to you guys as well. Yes I wore a green tie. It sounds like life is as normal for you guys. Sometimes I feel like the same way in my emails to you guys now haha. Things are great here in Duncan! As for the new missionary email rules, I have heard about that. I am pretty sure it was for all missions. President Killpack hasn't informed us formally yet, but I am pretty sure that it is for us too. That is awesome. It will be nice to be able to email a bit with my missionary friends and with grandparents etc. That is awesome your guys' act of kindness. I am so much more aware of those things as a missionary. Truly serving others helps the giver more than the reciever. We find opportunities for serving all the time. I love it. Just this week there was a funeral here and they cooked way too much food. So naturally they call us, because everyone here thinks we are starving (not true, I have gained 5 pounds since I came to Duncan haha). They had a ton of food. So we immediately thought of one of our contacts who we know doesn't have very much food. We were able to take it over to them.
It has been a good week here in Duncan. It was one of those weeks where the 'numbers' didn't reflect the success. We started off the week in Silver City, where we had zone meeting with President and Sister Killpack. It was SO awesome. They both have a way of reminding me how amazing it is to be a missionary. President Killpack is very bold and very realistic about missionary work. We all talked about alot of the challenges and issues we face as missionaries externally and internally within the mission. It was great. I left the meeting wanting to be so much better. The 40 day purification we are doing has helped me a ton. There are many many things that I have to improve on, but it is amazing to me how the Lord answers prayers and how if we get on our knees he will help us. Sometimes we think we have to face our weaknesses all by ourselves. The Lord is the FIRST person that wants to help us be better. So yeah, our zone meeting was great. One thing President Killpack said blew me away. He talked about how he feels an urgency with the work that he cannot describe. We are missionaries at one of the most amazing times in the world. Oh by the way, I wanted to travel back in time and force my 13 yr old self to keep taking piano lessons. No one at the zone meeting could play piano.... so naturally my companion volunteered me. And as I badly plunked through the right hand of some hymns, I couldn't stop thinking "mom was right." Anyway, I never would have guessed all those years ago that I would be cursing myself 6 years later haha. Like always, you were right mom! :)
We spent much of this week looking for new investigators. That can be a big challenge here in Duncan. Not alot changes here over the period of many years haha. BUT we did find alot of inactive members tracting that invited us back. That was a big focus of our week to 'find the lost sheep.' There are many of those people that have strayed. They need the blessings of the gospel just as much as anyone else.
We started teaching this week a family, the G's. We have met them before now, but we started really teaching them this week. B, the mom, has some really serious alcoholism problems. Whenever we go over we have to make sure she isn't drunk because she is completely insane when that is going on. But she really wants to quit and they have taken the lessons before from some other elders. It was great the other night to talk to her husband. He really opened up to us about the trials he faces. His family is falling apart in many ways. He has alot of faith in Christ. There are so many people out there that have so much faith, even if they aren't members of our church. I have seen that alot here on my mission. We are out to share our message, and it is the true church, but I have seen alot more how people can have so much faith and be very in tune to the spirit in all faiths. So we are excited to keep working with them.
S and T are still doing great. In our lesson with them this week we really focused on helping her get a true answer as to what choice to make. The spirit prompted me to really commit her to praying to know. That is the key to the gospel. We can teach and testify until we are blue in the face, but eventually the investigator has to act for themselves. I can tell that S has felt the spirit. She loves the Book of Mormon, and she likes many of the doctrines of our church, but she also has fears. I think she is a bit afraid TO ask Heavenly Father, because the answer might be yes haha. I am always amazed at how the spirit guides us as missionaries.
The weather has been wonderful here. Absolutely perfect. I wish it could stay like this always.
To end I want to share how thankful I am for prophets! We have sooooo much revelation at our fingertips with the scriptures and with the words of living prophets. What a blessing!!!! I have thought alot about that this week. We have so much to learn from them. I started reading the Old Testament for the first time, something I never thought I would do haha. It has surprised me how much there is to learn from it. As I finished the Book of Mormon recently, the thought came to me that one of the main ways MY testimony has been built is through the words of prophets. It is all a little bit diferent for all of us. The spirit really does speak to me through their words. We have general conference coming up, and I am SO excited. I have always loved it. Continue to treasure the words of the prophets. Their words help me every day. I know that the Savior lives. I try to emulate him and remember him every day. He is the way we can have real peace and joy in life.
I love you all so much!!! I am so grateful for your love and support. I could never have gotten here without you all. Until next monday!
Elder Hughes
PS Tell grandma's and grandpa's to email me! I would love to hear from them!!!!

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