Monday, September 30, 2013

from your 20 your old son/brother/grandson/friend | week 52

How are you guys doing?!  I hope you are all doing great!

I had a great birthday week here in the great ATM! It has been a great week. Full of learning and growing and watching the Lord's work blossom here in the desert. I have reflected alot this week. THANK YOU THANK YOU for the birthday box!!! I loved it. It actually came the day after my birthday, so we had a second mini birthday party with the stuff you gave us. Thank you for everything. I love the tie and I am currently rocking my new khaki pants. They fit perfectly. Thank you so much. I loved it all. I loved the t shirt too! That was a pleasant surprise, I had no idea that there were Heidi 
t-shirts. I love it. Thank you!
Thank you as well for your help with the drivers license stuff! I am glad it all got figured out!

My birthday was a good day! We celebrated with cake for lunch. Our district all came over and we had a little celebration. The night before we didn't have anyone signed up to feed us so Elder P and I celebrated early with sushi. It had been FOREVER since I had sushi, and I forgot how much I love it. It was a good day. I was reminded of what you used to say mom, that when we get older birthdays become normal days haha. I reflected alot on the first 20 years of my life and how blessed and amazing they have been. I have been incredibly blessed. Sometimes I don't really know how or why. Truly living the gospel brings us so much joy and happiness. Not just believing the gospel but living it. Arizona gave me the best birthday present of all, cooler weather!! It was 85 on my birthday. I don't think that I have ever been so grateful for 85 degrees in my whole life. It FINALLY is starting to cool down a bit here.
It was a great week. We have some exciting news! R is getting baptized this Saturday between conference sessions!!! I am SOOOOOOOO happy! I really know that she was one of the reasons that I had to come here to Los Reales. She is very very special. I feel like she has taught me much more than I have been able to teach her. She has an incredible amount of faith. We have been able to have so many powerful lessons with her. It has been a miracle to watch how the gospel has strengthened her. She truly has a testimony of the restoration. She has faced more trials and tribulations than any other investigator I have ever taught, but through it all her faith has prevailed. She is super ready for her baptism. I can't think of a better weekend, general conference AND a baptism! He daughter Emily is starting to progress too. She is going to take a little bit more time, but I know that the Lord will bless here as well. I am so excited for R, I have always felt a special connection with her from the very first time I met her. It has been a miracle to witness the process with her. Truly every single conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ is it's own miracle.
That has been the really exciting part of our week. Other than that we have struggled to meet with alot of our investigators. Alot of them are out of town, or we haven't been able to find them. Sometimes that is tough, but we keep pressing forward. Finding new investigators is all about faith. I have learned that lesson alot on my mission. Actually life is all about faith.
We had an awesome conference this week. We had spanish missionary conference, which they do pretty rarely. It was wonderful. It was probably my favorite missionary meeting I have been to on my mission. The spirit was so powerful, and it was like a big family reunion. I have made so many friends here on my mission, and sometimes we never get to see any of them. It was awesome. Elder D, T, R, and I were all able to catch up. It was the first time in the year that we all 4 had been in the same room. It was fun. We are all still good good friends. We learned some news about the new technology things that are happening. We are going to start using facebook in proselyting in the next month or two. This winter/early spring we will get ipads and iphones! Which we are all pretty stoked about. Pretty awesome!
Elder P and I are pushing forward in the work! It is such an exciting time to be a missionary. I love it. We have seen miracles here, and we are excited to see more. Truly when we just apply correct principles with faith and diligence, the Lord can use us to accomplish his purposes. We have seen some really sad situations this week. Sometimes as missionaries we help and council people that are facing immense trials. We have been working with an inactive boy in our branch who is 13 and is heavily involved in drugs and has major depression. He has been in and out of the hospital. With him and some other people we have worked with, I have reflected alot on why there is so much opposition in this world. Ultimately, we don't have all the answers for that. The answer we DO have is how it can be changed and transformed through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Of that I DO know. I am so grateful for that.

As we go into conference weekend I am so excited. I have always had a love for conference. I truly know that if we bring our questions, our doubts, and our problems prayerfully to conference weekend, the Lord will answer our prayers. He can send a message directly to us individually. What a blessing that is. The spirit is a perfect teacher, and through the words of our prophet an apostles our lives can be changed! So watch conference with a purpose! I will be doing it with you! I love you all so much. I miss you, and I was sad I could not celebrate with you. I am grateful for where I am and what I get to do every day. I am excited for a new year of life. If it was anything like the last year, I will never be the same.
I love you all so much!!!!!!
Elder Hughes
A Missionary Birthday Party!

I hope this is what Elder Hughes was able to do for his birthday!

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