Monday, December 16, 2013

Hola from New Mexico!!! Merry Christmas!!!!! | week 63

I asked both boys a series of questions about their missions. They both answered and what they had to say was amazing.

Hello there family!!!

It is so good to hear from you, I always love to hear your words and support! I love your Christmas idea. What an unconventional way to do Christmas! That is awesome. The Hughes family is always good at trying new things. That is one of my favorite parts of our family. I love your story about your new friend. One thing I have truly learned here on the mission is that the Lord truly leads us to those that he needs us to serve, especially as we open our hearts to it. I know that his hand is guiding each of our lives. It has guided mine. There are truly no coincidences :)

As for our week. It was a good one. We have been really busy. The nature of whitewashing an area is that it takes a while to get everything sorted out. We spent a lot of time meeting all the members, inactive members, and some of the investigators that were left for us to teach. Oh my goodness I love the branch that I am serving in SO much. It is really small, but the members are AMAZING. They are all so happy, supportive, and so excited to do missionary work. There is a really special spirit here. There is one big family the Q family that is famous in our mission, because of how awesome they are. I have quickly learned why. They are phenomenal. Almost the entire branch council consists of their whole family. We are so excited to be here.

Now for your questions.... :) There are lots so, I will try to answer as many as I can!! I love questions.

1. Where am I serving? I am serving in the small town of Deming New Mexico!!! It is 30 minutes from the mexico border, and right now it is freezing cold. It might snow this week! YAY!
2. My area... Is basically a run down old town. It is about the same as all of my areas as far as poorer goes. I have never been in a rich area. We work a lot in old trailer parks. It is a quiet little town, with quite a few Mormons here. There are 2 small English wards, and our teeny tiny little Spanish branch. I really like it though.
3. My apartment is great! It is a lot bigger and nicer than our apt in Los Reales. I have pictures of it that I will send to you.
4. Oh the food is wonderful! I love love love Mexican food. I do not ever get tired of it. It is every kind of Mexican food you can imagine. Honestly my favorite is Sonoran Dogs... which I am going through withdrawls right now. No one here even knows what they are :(
5. Do I eat things I never thought I would? Honestly no. It isn't anything insanely exciting or crazy :) but that's fine with me.
6. The craziest thing I have eaten? Um I guess probably Lengua, which is cow tongue. It is really good :)
7. The craziest thing that has happened to me? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm well. To be honest, I have been blessed and not that many crazy things have happened to me. I have a couple things that I will probably save to tell you mom :)  I have met some pretty crazy people. That is pretty common as we walk around and talk to lots of people. I have met some crazies, but they are always funny. I really find it quite funny to observe how people react to us missionaries. Many times people are very confused with how they should react to meeting missionaries.
8. The best thing about the mission? That is a wonderful question. I have pondered on that a lot. There is so much that I love about serving a mission, but I feel like the best part is how many opportunities I have to serve others. We always have so many opportunities to serve, but being a missionary is FULL of opportunities to serve. The happiest missionaries, are the ones that just love serving others. My other favorite part is watching the Holy Ghost come and touch the hearts of those we teach. Many people's hearts are hardened, through the hard things in their lives, and if they will just open their hearts up, the spirit always comes through and changes them. Just last night the Sister missionaries and us tag taught a family that has been investigating the church for almost a year. I got to witness the spirit touch their hearts. It is my one of my favorite things to see and be part of.
9. The hardest part of the mission? Another good question. I have thought a lot about that question. I can think of two things. I have come to understand that one of the hardest parts of the mission many times is self created. The 'hard times' come sometimes when I turn inward and think about what I want. It is the fastest way to be miserable in life. I have learned that truly life is so joyful for me when I am thinking of others. The other hard part I think would be when I feel like I have tried my very best, and there isn't tons of success. That hard thing has also taught me so much about what is really important. Small things are important to the Lord. The spirit has taught me that things are not always really how we think they are. The Lord uses his sons and daughters to help others. I have come to see that can be in many ways, even if the people don't get baptized now. So really the 'hardest parts' about being a missionary (and really just being a human being) are really some of the best things, because they teach us the most. Although seeing that is really frustrating sometimes :)
10. What makes me happiest right now? Another good question. Some I can think of: Feeling the spirit, being the answer to someone's prayers, laughing, good food, reading the scriptures, helping someone else, thinking about how much I love my friends and family, thinking about how blessed I am. Those are just a few.
11. Hard question. What have I learned most? Well the hard things about being a missionary that I spoke about above have sure helped me learn a lot. I have also learned that every single person is a beloved son or daughter of god. I have learned how real Christ and his atonement is. I have learned that truly losing yourself in the service of the Lord is the only way to true joy. I could probably write a couple huge books on the things that I have learned here. It really is impossible to express properly. I can't wait to sit down one day and talk to you all more about it, but meanwhile... there is still much more to learn!!
12. Yes and no. The Lord has an interesting way of waiting until we have enough faith, for him to give us what we need. So yes I have done things I have not thought possible, but they have only happened when I have actually believed they were possible. If that makes sense... haha
13. My Spanish is doing really well. It keeps getting better. I feel totally comfortable with it. No, sadly I do not think in Spanish. We talk in English too much for that to happen, but I can translate pretty well.
14. I am hoping to accomplish lots while I am still here. I am hoping to BAPTIZE lots more! And I am hoping to continue feeling the joy of serving!
15. Not yet on the Christmas tree! We are looking for one though :)

Ahhhhh Ok I don't have much more time left! I always run out of time! But I hope and pray that you all will have a great pre Christmas week! Our branch of missionaries have decided that we are going to make it the best Christmas ever, and try and serve as many people as we can. I am excited. I will miss all of you lots, as always, but I hope you feel of my love!

I love you all. You mean so much to me. I hope that you all remember Christ at this time!


Elder Hughes

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