Monday, August 11, 2014

Hola! | week 97

Hola Familia Marvillosa!!!
It is good to hear from you as always!  Thank you for your love and support. It sounds like all is normal, and well at home. All is well here in Arizona as well! We had a good week.
We are at the start of a very exciting week, all of the students move back this week!!!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! I have never been so excited for school to start. We are gearing up and ready to go. We have spent alot of the last couple weeks getting ward mission plans made, working with our new ward mission leader, and working with the bishop. We have transfers next week, and they are probably going to be splitting our area with some sisters they will bring in. So we will probably by covering the one ward that is all on campus, and the sisters will cover the other three. They are also going to combine two zones, so we will be over one big zone of 32+ missionaries. Should be quite an adventure.
We had some really cool experiences this week. We have been led to some really cool experiences. I have truly come to see that God is so aware of every single one of us. He is aware of all of his children.

One day, our appointments had fallen through and we were just walking along the street. We walked up on a lady in the family ward we cover who was just leaving her work and getting in her car. We didn't know her very well from church, we had only said hi in passing. We stopped and talked to her for a bit, and she opened up to us about some huge struggles she has been having with her faith and testimony. She is a very active member with a beautiful family, but because of some things that have happened, she has recently been thinking about leaving the church. She opened up to us about all of this and we had a good conversation about it. We all talked together about the gospel, and our testimonies and the 'why' of our service in the church. After a bit, we all went our separate ways. As we walked on, Elder Hales and I both had the distinct impression that we had been led to that sister, at that time, for a special reason. I really know that we were led to her that day.
Another 'right place, right time' moment came this week as we walked down the street. We saw someone kneeling down on the sidewalk with their bike. As we approached we saw that she was hurt. We helped her up, and it turns out she is a YSA that just moved here, and she had just been hit by a car on her bike! It was crazy. It was a hit and run. Thankfully she was pretty much ok. She was banged up pretty good and bleeding, but mostly in shock. We carried her broken bike back home for her. She had just been hit when we walked up. 

The family that we have been working with are doing pretty good. Slowly but surely we are seeing progress in their lives. We had a surprise yesterday when one of the kids W came to church!!!! That makes our whole day when investigators come to church. I love it.
Also yesterday there were some cool experiences as an inactive member who we have worked with was recently reactivated. He served a mission and married in the temple, but over the years, he slipped away from activity. He taught the priesthood lesson on Sunday in his new calling, and it was so powerful. He was very personal about his journey, and his gratitude for his friends and neighbors for helping him come back. It was so powerful for me. It is amazing to see. The atonement is at work every day. I have come to love the challenge and joy of helping the lost sheep return to the fold. I have seen great joy in that aspect of the work.

We started teaching a YSA this week named J. He recently got out of jail, and he has a very pure heart. It has been really exciting to teach him. He can be really hit and miss with appointments, but every time we teach him things go so well.
We are looking forward to an exciting week. We are going to be spending alot of time helping people move in!!! YAY! That will be a good way for us to meet some potential investigators. It has already been fun contacting some people. Most of the people here right now are the football team. They are all from the south it seems like. Huge, intimidating black guys ;) They are pretty funny.

One of the days this week I was feeling a bit down. We went over to see Elder and Sister M, the senior couple we work with, because they had some things the needed to talk to us about. Just being with them made me so happy. I have learned alot about our influence as children of God. We have so much power to influence this world for good, if we will just let it. Elder and Sister Mathews have been that kind of influence for me. Along with countless others. When you are with them, you cannot help feeling happy, enlightened, full of the spirit, and full of hope. They inspire that in other people, by just being who they are. There is so much WE can all do to be just like that for others. More than just doing, it is actually about BEING. We can be a light to the world, to our friends, and family. There is enough despair, negativity, evil, hate, envy, lust, and sin in this world without our adding to it. I am so grateful for the lights in my life that have inspired me to keep going, and to be my best self. My family, you each have been those for me. For that I am so grateful. I love you so much for that.
I love you all!!!!!! Have a wonderful week. Serve someone!!!
Elder Hughes

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