Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween!! I am thinking about dressing up like a missionary | week 56

Hey there family!
It sounds like all is well in the Hughes household! I love hearing all the news. It sounds like everyone is growing up! What the heck happened? Since when did everyone get so old. Zach man can never grow up!!!!!! Thank you for all the updates. I love getting your letters. That is good BYU news. GO COUGARS! President Killpack is a die hard ute fan, so us cougar missionaries tease him a lot and vice versa haha.
Transfers came in and I am staying here for another transfer, which I am so happy about. I love it here. I have felt everytime I have been transferred that I had completed what I needed to in the areas I was in. I haven't felt that here yet, so I am really excited for a new transfer. I love this work. I love my district. I have had an amazing district this transfer. All of us have become wonderful friends. On P day we would just go out to eat and have a blast talking for hours. Truly we all need good friends. Sis U who is in my district is from granite bay, and she is awesome. She goes home in December from the mission, and she said she wants to take you out to lunch mom! You will love her.
Elder B who I trained last transfer got his visa to go to argentina!!! He left yesterday! I am so happy for him! We became good friends.
One sad note this week. I regret to inform you that my precious backpack was stolen :( I am really sad. Mostly because it had all of my scriptures in it, the ones that I have had since I was 8. It was in the bed of the truck when we got out to get sonoran dogs, and the other elders were still sitting in the truck, so I didn't move it inside the truck, and it got stolen. :( It was a mega bummer. Some thief is going to get really disappointed that all he got was scriptures haha. SO I don't have any scriptures anymore, so I was wondering if we could figure out some early birthday present situation so that I can get some scriptures again. It taught me some lessons, one of which is how much I love the scriptures. They are so important. I love them, and I love reading them. My life has literally changed as I have feasted on the words of Christ.
As for this week. It was a good one! Really busy as always. We are doing everything we can to get our investigators to progress. Sometimes that seems like such an obstacle. In out Spanish zone, getting people to church is the hardest part. D came to church this week, which was awesome. He is doing great. We have had some good lessons with him. He has true desires to be a good man. He faces some pretty crazy family issues, him and his younger brother are basically raising him.
We have had a lot of great experiences this week. I feel like there are so many, I have a hard time expressing them haha. That it always the problem, there is really no way to convey to you all of the things I have experienced.
The spirit has blessed me this week a lot. I have felt his guiding influence. I have felt of your prayers. There is truly no better feeling in the world than to be the answer to someone else' prayers. I love this gospel.
We were able to help out a man this week, we has been homeless for 6 months. He had just given up alcohol after drinking for the last 40 years. We have been teaching him, and we took him to the er to get the help he needs. His family is actually investigators with the sister missionaries. It has been awesome to be able to help him. I have learned so much on my mission about hope and about how there truly is hope for every single person. No matter what. I am so grateful for that. That is made possible because of Christ.
Another quick experience. We were visiting a less active family this week. The less active lady's friend was there with her. The friend was asking us tons of questions and we taught her about the gospel. As we got up to leave, I had the thought to sing them a hymn. Elder P and I sing to people all the time, so it wasn't that out of the ordinary. We decided to sing I know that my Redeemer lives. I love that song, because it is a testimony. As we started the spirit was so strong, it was so powerful. We all felt it, and we all were blessed. I am grateful for the spirit that helps me do the things that the Lord needs.
We are pressing forward! I love you guys. I love this work. It is interesting that Tanner talked about prayer this week. I had some powerful experiences with prayer the last couple days. Truly the Lord answers prayers. He truly does. I have seen it, felt it, and experienced it over and over again. He answers when we truly have faith and we truly pour out our souls to him. I issue the same challenge that Tanner gave. To make all of our prayers meaningful. We can call down the powers of heaven every day. It doesn't matter what kind of problems or joys we are facing.
I love each of you, and I pray for you every day!
Elder Hughes

Taylor shared this link. A great story! The Elder they are talking about is Taylor's companion. Take a minute to read it, it's worth it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mi Familia Marvillosa!!!! (y amigos tambien) | week 55

Decidi que ustedes no han visto que puedo hablar en espanol. ENTONCES, voy a escribir un poquito en espanol. He aprendido mucho desde el tiempo que llege a nogales y tambien aqui en Tucson. Necesito mejorarlo mucho mas para que pueda hablar muy bien con Tanner cuando regresamos.
Anyway. I loved your letter and pictures as always. The Hughes family is as busy as ever. The new York trip looked AMAZING. I love that place. That is so awesome for Megan Hodgson that she is going to New York on her mission. Tell her congrats from me!!!! How awesome. I love this gospel so much. It is such a wonderful time to be a missionary. Rilo speaking for the Stake! How awesome. What a stud. I wish I could have been there to witness it. I loved being on Stake youth committee. I didn't know he was doing that. I loved it. It is such a great opportunity to serve and lead. You will use those skills every day out here as a missionary. Your photography stuff looks awesome mom. How amazing how far it has come. I brag about you all the time to people here. Oh since when did you get a MacBook pro?! That's way awesome! Grandma and grandpa looked wonderful in new York. I laughed really hard at the Obama picture. SO funny. I love you all and miss you so much. The primary program sounds wonderful. We have such a wonderful ward in Rocklin. I hope you guys remember how blessed you are. It is a whole different story here in the Los Reales branch. I think a lot about Elder Uchdorf's talk where he talked about how some church units are like fighter jets, they are efficient, stocked with faithful and converted members. There are also Piper cubs, that just barely make it along. BUT the joy of serving is still the same in each of them, just in a different way. Your primary program made me think about our primary program that they are preparing for. There are only about 5 kids in primary. My companion is the primary pianist. It is a whole different experience, but the joy is truly the same. I have seen that a lot here in Los Reales. We get many many opportunities to serve. We bless, prepare, and pass the sacrament. Lead and play the music, and talk in church every couple weeks. I know the Lord has big things in store for our branch. It has been wonderful to be able to help them a lot. The 6 missionaries who serve here have the ability to help the branch a lot, and I am grateful for that.
As for the week. We had a really good week here. Unfortunately none of our investigators came to church, which is the story of our life here in the South Zone. For some reason it is really hard for our Mexican friends to come to church. We are going to really focus on that with all of our investigators this week.
We found some amazing new people to teach. I love when we find people that are truly prepared, and who truly want to learn. We found this lady named M this week. She is an awesome mom of three kids. She truly just wants the best for her family, and she has big desires to teach them more about God. THE PERFECT STORM. I love it. I love teaching families. I haven't gotten to teach as many families as I would have liked on my mission so far, I love how much the gospel blesses families. It is one of my favorite principles that we teach. We are going by and teaching her every day. I am excited for the future for her and her family.
We also found some other really cool investigators that we are going to start working with a lot this week. 2 guys were working on their car, and we ended up teaching them a lesson about the book of Mormon. It turns out one of them had read the whole book of Mormon when he was in jail, so that is a good start. I have learned so much about talking with everyone as a missionary. Elder P is a master at it. He has absolutely 0 fear talking to people. It is so awesome. I have learned a lot from him.
E, R's daughter is doing great she is set to get baptized on the 9th of November. We have had some wonderful lessons with her. Raquel is doing wonderful. I love her and her family so much. I have seen a literal change in her. It is the most amazing miracle to see.
We have been teaching a lot of inactive members in our area as well. I love being able to go to the rescue, just like president monsoon taught us. It is such a fulfilling work, because it is truly the work of the Lord. It is what he would be doing if he were here. We are teaching this lady named R who is super cool. She was baptized a couple years ago, and fell away. We have been teaching her a lot and she is doing so well.
We did a lot of service this week as well, which I love. We volunteered at a food bank. It was quite an experience. It is kind of a sketchy operation of a food bank haha. it was really fun though. The people that worked there were hilarious. I think they should make some kind of reality tv show out of it, because there are some of the most insane personalities there. From the insanely bossy, do not cross her, boss lady. To the hilarious Mexican lady. The whole lineup. It was pretty awesome. Somehow the Mormon missionaries fit in there too haha. Also us and about 40 other missionaries in Tucson set up a big clothing section for a big welfare event in Tucson. That was pretty cool. And every week we clean up parks on sat. morning. If you go to Midvale Neighborhood park association or something like that on facebook. The guy puts up lots of pictures of us.
I have a new food addiction. SONORAN HOT DOGS. Look them up. I am obsessed.
A really exciting thing last night was a girl in the branch opened her mission call. We are all really good friends with her. She got called to...........ROSEVILLE CA mission!!!!! IT WAS AWESOME. Sister U. and I made complete fools of ourselves. We got really excited and jumped up and down and it was pretty funny. I will try and get my hands on the video because it was pretty funny. We have some norcal pride.
Also Do you remember Iv from Nogales? He is investigating the church again!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't stop smiling for about 6 hours when I found out. It makes me so happy.
I love you guys. I can't say that enough. I am doing so well. My message this week comes from the wise words of President Killpack. He is a powerful man of god. I love him so much. "One evening, an elderly Cherokee Chief told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all. One is EVIL. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.The other is GOOD. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generousity, truth compassion, and faith." The grandson thought for a minute and then asked his Grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee chief simply responded, "The one that you feed."
Lets feed the good wolf this week and every day :) It starts every morning with prayers and scriptures.
Elder Hughes

Monday, October 14, 2013

I have no creative titles for emails so I have written this boring email title | week 54

HOLA FAMILIA! (That is my favorite thing to say)
The Hughes clan is on quite a slew of adventures! How fun! I am sure grandma and grandpa and Riley are having a great time. It is always a blast to go on vacation with them. I remember well eating more than I ever had before haha. We got ice cream every single night! Good times. It sounds like everyone has been super busy, which is good. This week has flown by like all the rest of them. For her baptism I sang This is the Christ. Which in Spanish is "El Cristo Es"
That is crazy Spencer comes home so soon!!!! That is awesome. Time flies. It really does. No surprises about Mathew, he is such an amazing guy. It doesn't surprise me at all. I am honored to be his friend.
Elder P and I had a really good week. We have been really blessed here. We are still on the search for some new investigators. That is the huge challenge here. Sometimes we can find a lot of people, but almost all of them we have to pass off to the English missionaries, because we are looking for Spanish people!!! But it has been really good. We found this awesome guy from Africa named P. He was just outside weedwacking and we went up and talked to him. He was blown away by the fact that we would come out and leave our families to spread the gospel. We had one of the coolest lessons with him. I have 'holy envy' for the lucky missionaries that get to teach him. It was so cool to find him.
R is doing really well. She got confirmed this Sunday, and everything went great. I am so grateful for her. We are now starting to work even more with her daughter E. I have no doubt she will get baptized as well, she is just really shy so it will take a little more time. Not only that, but R is SUCH a good missionary. She invited almost all of her neighbors to her baptism, and she brought one of her friends to church on Sunday. It is so awesome. We all have a lot to learn about missionary work from the recent converts. They are the best missionaries.
We are teaching a guy named D and his little brother J and their mom L. We are super excited about them. D has been taught a lot in the past, but his big hold up was drinking. We could not get him to stop drinking. He really wanted to be baptized, and he loves the church, but that was the last hurdle. We stopped teaching him for a while, and one day he called us again after a couple of weeks and wanted us to come back and start teaching him again. Timing is so important. Now this time around, it has been so great teaching him. He is doing really well and he has a baptismal date for the 9th of November. Him and his brother are so fun to teach, because they are kind of like teaching kids. We teach really simply. I have come to see and learn that simplicity is so important. The gospel of Jesus Christ is really not that complicated, it just requires application. It has to be part of us. We cannot just talk about it, we must live it.
This week we made a lot of hospital visits which was kind of cool. The VA hospital is in our area so we get called in to go visit people there every so often. An inactive guy named C was there preparing for surgery. We had the opportunity to visit him a couple times. It was awesome. He is a changed man because of the trials he is facing at this time in his life. It was so cool to go and teach him and give him a blessing. He is truly changing his life, his perspective has changed. That is the key to life. Sometimes it takes big trials for that to happen, but we can learn to have that perspective change on our own. ALSO we got a call to go see Bro R who just had open heart surgery to remove a tumor from his heart. The R's are some of my favorite people of all time. They live in Duncan and I love them so much. It was awesome to go and visit him and his family. It was a surprise for them. Sister D was the one who called the mission office and sent us to go see them. It was so cool. It is a true miracle that Bro R is alive. Their family is so full of faith and love.
We have a lot of fun out here as well. In missionary work it is so important to learn how to laugh. Sometimes the situations we are in are pretty ridiculous especially when you knock on doors. We laugh a lot. One time this week, we knocked a door and all of a sudden I heard Elder P gasp and I look right to my left and there was a fake snake that looked SO real. I almost had a heart attack, because it was right next to me. We laughed for a long time about that one.
The work moves forward! We have been working so hard to find those that the Lord is preparing. I know that they are just waiting. I know that as we keep pressing forward we will find them.
The Gospel Principles class we have at the branch is the BEST sunday school class I have ever been in. I have been touched by the spirit so many times in that class. This week we talked about sacrifice. It has caused me to reflect a lot on why we make sacrifices and how grateful I am for the sacrifices that others have and are making for me. Ultimately, it has lead me to think about the sacrifice of the savior. He truly sacrificed for us. The greatest sacrifice of all time. We naturally come to love those who have sacrificed for us and those who we sacrifice for. That is why the Savior loves us so much, and that is why those who have used his atonement love Him so much. I thought of each of you on Sunday as we talked about this. Thank you for the sacrifices you make to make this possible for me. Thank you. I can never say that enough. Sacrifice is how we receive power. My life has been blessed by the sacrifices of others. When I am tired, when I want to take a break, I think of those who are and have sacrificed for me. Then I have the strength to keep sacrificing for the Lord. THANK YOU for your love and sacrifices for me. That has made all of this possible.
I love you all so much!
Adelante y Arriba (onward and upward)
Elder Hughes

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Monday once again!!! | week 53


It is great to hear from you guys as always! I always love getting your emails. It sounds like you guys are all doing wonderful. That is what I love to hear. It sounds like life is as busy as ever. The week FLEW by for me as well. I would pay alot of money to get some more hours in the day. I feel like that is the limiting factor sometimes is TIME. We all get the same amount though :) Rilo is cracking me up. I like your shirt. I love hump days. Have a BLAST in New York. I love that place. I am 

jealous, I want to go with you, you will love it. Tell grandma and grandpa I say hi! I love you guys so much. I love hearing about all of your adventures.

As for us this week it was a wonderful week! I LOVE BAPTISM WEEKS. They really are the best. Everything with R's baptism went wonderfully. It could not have gone any better. The spirit was so strong. She was so happy, and the branch came and supported here alot. It was great. There is something so special and so wonderful about baptisms. From a carnal mind, it seems like something so simple, but to us as members of Christ's restored church it means so much, and the Holy Ghost is always so powerful. I sang a musical number for her baptismal program as well, which went great. It was a wonderful day. She is such a special person. She is the elect of God. Now we are working on her other family members alot more. The gospel is a family affair, and it unites and blesses families so much. There is no better experience than to talk with a recent convert about how they feel after they are baptized. She said "I feel so clean, I feel so good. A burden has been lifted from me!" There are no more beautiful words than these. It was a day I will not soon forget.
Conference was also SO AWESOME. Oh I loved it so much. The spirit was so strong. I love the opportunities we have at conference to be taught from prophets and apostles and more importantly for the spirit to teach us. I felt it in abundance. It is truly the guide for our lives. What an incredible time in history that we live in. I felt the urgency of our message. The world is changing, and clouds are rolling in. We need to be prepared. Thank you for your quotes dad I loved all of those as well. Some of the feelings that touched me is our responsibility to minister, love, serve, and spread the love of Christ throughout our entire lives. I was so touched by Elder Uchdorf's talk in priesthood session. We must all rise up and become something more and something better. Truly Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet. My testimony of his prophetic calling was strengthened alot. As the choir sang. I truly felt I am thankful for a prophet to guide us in these days. What a wonderful blessing it is to be part of the Lord's church on the earth. Conference is such a spiritual feast. I am excited to study the talks more. Most importantly the spirit witnessed to me again of the truthfulness of this work. I know it is true without a doubt.
Alot of this week was spent getting R ready for her big day. Now we are moving into a new week. We are on the search for new investigators!! We are teaching some people, but alot of them are having a hard time progressing. SO we are going out to find some new people.
The year mark was this week! Holy cow! It was weird to think about. What was really awesome is that Elder R and I were on exchanges on October 3rd. So a year later we were companions again on the same day. It was a blast. We had a great time reflecting on our first year and talking about the upcoming one. I know that the Lord has alot in store. I can't wait to see what adventures and miracles he has waiting in year 2. The first one went by so fast, I can hardly believe it.

We had a couple cool miracles this week.
We got our apartment inspected by the housing missionaries. After that was done, they took us out to In n Out (it always reminds me of cali) and we had just finished our lunch. We were getting up to leave and this lady comes up to us, and with tears in her eyes started talking to us. She explained that she and her family are from pheonix and have taken the missionary lessons before. She said that when her husband and her saw us walk into in n out they both had a powerful, overwhelming impression that they needed to talk to us and begin taking the missionary lessons again, and get baptized. She was so emotional. She called us "mi angeles" or her angels. It was so powerful. It blew us away. All we did was walk into in n out and order a burger, and the spirit used that to guide one of God's children back to him. It was so powerful. Truly this is the Lord's work. We got her information, and sent a referral to the missionaries in Phoenix.
Another cool experience we had. One night all of our appointments had dropped, and we weren't sure how to spend our last 45 minutes of the day. We drove by a baseball park, and saw a bunch of people, so we decided to go out and contact some people. We did, and the first lady we talked to we shared a message about the Book of Mormon. Everything was pretty normal, very usual, until we were about to leave, and she said that we had just answered her prayers. That she has been praying for help, and that she believes that we are part of the answer that god has given her. I have learned over and over again, that if we just go about doing good, doing everything we can the Lord will put us in the right places at the right times. I love this work. I love it so much.
Elder P and I are excited for a new week with new opportunities. I am so happy to be here. I love the gospel. Always nourish your testimonies every day, we all need that. We all need daily nourishment. Have a wonderful week. I miss you all and love you!

Elder Hughes

Bowling with the District on P-Day!