Monday, February 10, 2014

Yay for Rain!!! The desert is still dry as dirt here :) | week 71

Hey there family!!!!!

What amazing news to get from home, one of my best friends receiving her mission call, a modern day rain miracle in the great state of California, and a happy family at home! All amazing news. I have been keeping Cali in my prayers for a while. What power prayer and fasting can and does bring! I love all of your pictures. It is funny to hear your perspective on mission time. I as well feel the same. I am excited for a new start to a new week. I think that is what your quote is all about. We must not give up ever. Many times it is after the trial of our faith that the miracles come.

I don't even want to think about Riley and Zach getting old. It is freaking me out a bit. For some reason I just think they never will grow up haha. They both look great. I love each of you so much. 

This week was a bit all over the place. It went so fast. Sometimes I get to the end of the week and wonder when I was supposed to have time to accomplish all that I need to do. The week was full of lots of small miracles and tender mercies of the Lord. Elder P and I are still pressing forward. For some reason, we have not been able to find investigators who are TRULY willing to progress. We are working on that. No matter what I always take comfort in knowing that I am doing all that I can. But the Lord always finds little ways to remind me that I am doing HIS work and he is at the helm. 

One of those was this week when we had a frustrating evening, all of our appointments fell through and our back up plans as well. We were left wondering what to do with the 30 minutes we had before dinner. We decided to try and see a member that we had been trying to see for a long time. We had tried many times and no one was ever home. That night she was home, and so we taught her a quick lesson teaching her how to invite her friends to hear the gospel. She stopped us and looked kind of amazed. She then explained that, she had been talking to her friend that very morning about the gospel. Something she had never done before, and that she had been left wondering how she should invite her friend to hear the gospel. Then we happened to show up on that night. We all were amazed to see the wonder of the timing of it all. Not a coincidence. There are no such things in this work. 

Another small highlight to the week was when M and R (who we passed off to the english elders) wanted to take the 4 of us missionaries out to eat. We ate at denny's and then had a great lesson. My favorite part being when we all talked about the Holy Ghost. One of the Elders described the feelings that the Holy Ghost brings us, and asked them if they have ever felt that. R than said "Yes, every time we are with each of you." What a joy it is to witness moments like that.

I went on exchanges to Silver City this week, and had a great time. I love being able to talk to younger missionaries and help them in their starts to their missions. At that time, I was kind of having a tough day. I was feeling down about the work in our area and why it wasn't working. Then on exchanges we went to teach a man who similarly was struggling with his own set of very different challenges. My companion and I and the member all taught and testified about the challenges our Heavenly Father gives them, and how to overcome them. The spirit through teaching him, taught me alot more. He taught me and helped me through helping someone else. That has truly been the essence of being a missionary. I have seen it over and over again. It really is the essence of being a disciple of Christ. And oh how it blesses us and all around us.

Towards the end of the week, we have seen some more success and we have found some more really awesome people to teach. People that I feel we were led to.

Like Tanner, we as well have seen lots of success in helping the less active members return to church. We had 4 of them at church this week.

One lady I just met in our branch made me think alot about you mom. She just returned to Deming from El Paso because she had been in the hospital with her 2 premature twins for the last couple months. I was only able to meet her briefly at church, but I assured her that my own mother could definitely relate to her. 

I have been reading in the Book of Mormon (my favorite book in the world) and this week I was blessed to read the powerful sacred chapters of Christ's visit to the America's. There is so much power in the book of mormon. I LOVE the Book of Mormon. Whenever I am having a hard time, I pick up that miracle of a book. It truly has power. I am so grateful for the opportunity to invite all to read it. My favorite way of contacting in public places is asking people " Hey, Do you like to read?" That one question has opened for me many conversations about my favorite book that we always carry as missionaries! 

I love you all so much. I love your words, and support and faith.

I have one last invitation for you this week. And this comes from President Killpack himself: I quote:

 I would like to present an opportunity to you. Here is an idea I want each of you to try. It comes from a conversation Sister Killpack had with two of our missionaries. She says, "So, the other day, I was talking to the missionaries while President Killpack was doing interviews. We were talking about finding and the importance of talking with everyone. I asked them who everyone was. I got the usual answers of people on the street, members, inactive members etc. I asked who else? Elder Landon said, "Well, my cousin told me of a friend she has here that we should teach." His companion Elder Obray said, "Maybe we should ask our family." 
With that we decided even though we can't use Facebook yet, our families can. So as missionaries we want you to ask through your weekly email to all your friends and family members:
Who do you know who lives in the Arizona Tucson Mission, who would be willing to have the missionaries come and share a message about the Gospel? If a name came to your mind, please send me an email back and I will have two amazing missionaries go visit them. We are excited to invite you to help us find people to teach and we love the idea of having family and friends more involved with our mission.

They could even post the invitation on their own facebook, twitter, etc... and invite others to send names our way. Sister Killpack posted the 'Who do you know...invitation' on her facebook just last night and has already received 3 referrals for missionaries in our mission and 5 others who shared the invitation with others. If each missionary received just 5 referrals back, that would be almost 1500 referrals for us to teach. Keep track of how many referrals you receive back and please forward them to the Office promptly. The Lord will bless us as we do ALL in our power to find those who are prepared to hear the restored gospel.

I have learned by experience that when I follow the counsel of this great man, I am blessed, and so will you!!!

I love you so much

Elder Hughes

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