Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A week of rejoicing | week 80

Hello Family!!!!

I love to hear all about your exciting times at home in California!!! The Hughes family never seems to slow down haha. Your baseball games and birthday celebrations seem like they were awesome! I love to see all of your pictures! Have fun down in SoCal. My thoughts were with each of you this week on your birthdays, I love each of you and wish I could have been there to celebrate with you.

Transfers are in! I am staying here thankfully! Elder F is headed off to my old area in Deming which is exciting! I will miss him, we have become good friends. My new companion is T. He is great! I just met him today, I am excited for what our new transfer has in store.

Oh what a wonderful week we had. Probably one of the best weeks of my whole mission. It was truly a week of Rejoicing! I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. We were very very very busy this week with alot going on, but it was wonderful. A and K got married on Thursday! So we put together their wedding for them. It was great. The ward helped us out alot. It went very well. Everything worked out perfect. A and K were so happy and so excited. A bunch of their friends and family came to join with them. The Bishop married them, and then there was a little dinner afterward. Elder F and I got sent off to pick up the wedding cake for them, and Safeway accidentally didn't make their wedding cake... so we had to bargain to get their money back and three extra cakes. I thought of you grandma barb, and channeled my inner Gbarb to get their money back. :) Everything went off well in the end. They didn't even care that much they were so happy to be married, K was actually happy to at least get her money back! 

We spent alot of the week getting all the investigators ready, interviewed, and prepped for the baptisms. We found some really cool new investigators to teach. I am really excited because we are teaching alot of families right now! I love teaching families, and I have not had the chance to teach as many as I would have liked on my mission. So I am excited to be teaching families. We have seen alot of success in getting referrals from members, of their family members to teach. The gospel is truly about families, so what could be better than sharing the gospel with our families!

The culmination of the week and the transfer came to this weekend! It was so wonderful. Elder F and I had to come down off of a spiritual high after such an amazing weekend. Saturday's baptismal service was for D and A. It might have been one of the best days of my mission. Their service went great. The spirit was strong and tangible. Both A and D were so happy. We all rejoiced together. As I witnessed each of them enter the water, I felt the sweet, pure, witness of the Holy Ghost I always feel at baptisms. As we come to know the sacrifice and faith that it took for each of these people to make it to this covenant, it shows us an even greater miracle. It is all worth it. No sacrifice is too great for the reward of rejoicing of a new covenant made with our heavenly father. President Monson is correct in saying 

"Those who understand the eternal blessings which comefrom the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, nostruggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings." There truly is no sacrifice to great. Not for us, not for the members, not for the investigators. Some of the sweetest moments came as we all went to the dressing room. Alfred's best friend baptized him, and so him and alfred and Elder Fairbanks and I all went into the dressing room. Alfred was so incredibly happy. He made me cry. He felt the immense joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all rejoiced together. It was a moment I will never forget. How incredibly grateful I am to be a missionary. I have been so blessed, and I would not trade it for anything. It is days like Saturday that make every sacrifice, every hour of work, every dropped lesson, and every exhausted drop into bed worth it.

We also got to participate in the Relay for Life this week! It was great! The member's we life with are awesome. They are truly like our parents away from home. I love them so so so much. That is who sent you the pictures. Their daughter beat breast cancer last year, so we were going out to support them. We had some fun too :) The family we live with are the Garner's. We have had some very powerful experiences with them this week. I love them so much.

The next stuff probably shouldn't be on the blog, Sis. Garner who is like our mom away from home is my hero. She is so awesome. She has a son who is struggling alot. Very much. He has immense anxiety and depression, he has been suicidal, and is a recovering heroin addict. Over 10 years of pain, it has been very hard for sister garner. Yesterday I went out to feed the chickens and found sister garner crying and very upset. I had to give her a big hug, and her and Elder Fairbanks and I talked for a while. We gave her a blessing. I truly have come to know how much god loves each of his children. He loves each of us so much. He knows how much we suffer. He knows how it feels. We all came away feeling uplifted, knowing how much god loves each of us.

It was a week I will not soon forget. I have been so incredibly blessed. I want to share one last thought today. In Ward Council this week we talked for a long time about people who need our help. There are many in our ward. It was eye opening. Our bishop is one of the best leaders, and most christlike people I have ever met. Our relief society president said something along the lines of "Bishop, we are losing him." Talking about a member who is falling away quickly. Our wise bishop said something that I won't forget. "No, we don't lose anyone. We only lose people, when we stop trying. The Savior never stops trying, he never gives up on us." The spirit was powerful, and he had most of the ward council in tears as we all were taught by our good bishop. I know that what he says is true. So if someone in our families, or wards, or communities is lost. Don't give up. Don't ever give up. There is always hope. With Christ there is always hope. 

I hope that this week we can focus on the Savior's life as we approach Easter. I love each of you so very much. I miss you and love you. God be with you til we meet again soon. (on skype) (in a couple weeks) (or in next week's email) :)

All my love

Elder Hughes

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