Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Early Thanksgiving! (or dia de accion de gracias) | week 60

Hola Familia!!!!
Como estan?! I hope your week was great this week. My thoughts were with you lots this week as I thought about all of you and about Grandpa Cahoons funeral. I hope that you could feel of my prayers for you. I love you all!
We had a good week here in Tucson. I feel like every week time flies by so fast that I can barely get a grasp on it!!! I have the sneaking suspicion that is kind of what the rest of my life will feel like haha. We had a busy week of lots work! Unfortunately we had some downer moments with our investigators this week. M who was doing wonderful and progressing a lot, is now unable to meet with us or come to church. Her husband who she was getting a divorce with came back to live with her and he really doesn't like Mormons at all. It is sad, but he has banned her from meeting with us and from coming to church. That was kind of a bummer, but we have to trust in the Lord and in his timing. Many times we as laborers in the vineyard are preparing the ground for future missionaries to harvest. It saddens us, but we move on. D as well is really struggling this week. We are hoping for a better week with him this coming week. Because of all that we have been focusing a TON this week on finding. We have been praying lots to find people that have been prepared by the Lord to receive the restored gospel. The Lord truly answers prayers. We have been blessed to find some really cool new investigators this week that we are excited to begin working with more. One guy is named J. We found him yesterday. He is going through a tough time in life and we had a really powerful lesson with him. The spirit was so strong and he recognized it. He commited to be baptized on the 21st of December. I have a really good feeling about him and am excited to teach him again tonight! We also are teaching his next door neighbor now as well! I love the opportunities and hope that finding new investigators can bring. Finding truly is all about faith. I have learned that lesson the hard way a lot as a missionary through failure, but truly the Lord leads us to his elect when we have faith.
I have talked with some of the most precious older catholic ladies here. I truly believe God loves these ladies so much, they are so awesome. What an example they are to us.
We have kept working a lot with R. She is an inactive woman that I have come to love so very much. I have always felt a special connection with her. We are working hard to build her faith and help her return to activity. The blessings of the gospel are truly always there waiting for us to come and claim them!
It surprisingly hasn't been to often that we have taught people that are very aggressive in trying to prove us wrong, but we taught one guy like that this week. We were out with some members that came with us to teach, and we decided to stop by this guy's house that we had contacted before. It was a very interesting, and tense lesson as the whole time he was trying to prove all of our doctrines wrong. This time like many others has increased my testimony and love for the Book of Mormon SO much. I have such a love for that book. It has saved me so many times as a missionary. All that we believe and all of the questions that others can bring up to us really all boil down to the question of if the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It truly is! I am so grateful for it.
We had a half mission conference this week that was wonderful!!! Elder Paul V. Johnson of the 70 came and taught us. It was amazing. He is the head of the Church Educational System, and is a powerful man of God. It was an inspiring and uplifting day. It never ceases to amaze me how the spirit is capable of teaching us so personally. I felt at times that he was speaking right to me. I have learned so much this week, and am excited to apply the things I have learned. We talked a lot about following the spirit, and about turning outward with charity towards others. Truly that is how we have true joy in life is when we forget ourselves and focus on how we can help others. I have felt that over and over again on my mission. I am the most happy and the most joyful when I forget about all of my little problems and focus on how I can reach out and help someone else. President and Sister Killpack gave wonderful talks as well. I love them so much, they are both powerful leaders.
IT RAINED IN TUCSON!!! It was a miracle. It was actually pretty weird. I had come to believe that it never rained here haha. It actually rained for two days straight, it was really nice. Everything feels so fresh and beautiful after a good rain. The last couple of days are the first days that have actually felt like fall. It finally came! I keep forgetting this week is Thanksgiving!!! It came so fast! What are your plans for thanksgiving this year?
We had stake conference this weekend in the Tucson Arizona stake. It was wonderful. The spirit was powerful and strong. What a glorious purpose we have as missionaries and members to bring souls unto the savior. This week I feel like I have finally come to understand what my purpose is as a missionary. I love this work. I love the joy it brings to my life and to everyone who will try it. 
You all have been in my thoughts this week a lot. As we approach the holidays I have been thinking lots of you. I miss you so much. I smile when I think about all the wonderful memories I have of Holidays with you. Thank you for those memories. Much more are ahead. I will miss you all dearly this week, but know that I am happy and well. I am so incredibly grateful for each of you. I am sooooooooooooooooo thankful to be part of such a wonderful family. I love you so much. Eat lots of stuffed mushrooms and pumpkin pie cheesecake for me!!! I will miss you this week like every week, but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Hughes

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