Monday, September 8, 2014

Dear Family | week 101

Hello there!
It sounds like life is good in Cali! I am glad to hear that. Mom is always happy when she gets her fall stuff up. Dad, I am bummed that you didn't get the job. I love your perspective on everything though. You are so right. We have been so so so blessed as a family. I marvel at it regularly. Zach man is tearing up the football field. That is awesome. You look good in the maroon gold and white :)
It has been a whirlwind week for us. I feel like I am a broken record in saying that, but it's true. It might have been the busiest week I have had on my mission. The Lord is blessing us immensely. I am so very grateful. We have been blessed with many people to teach, and we have seen many miracles. The work of the Lord is vibrant here. That has come mostly from the consistent and successful efforts of the members in sharing the gospel. I have learned much from their example.
At the institute here there are lots of activities, devotionals, firesides, classes, and games that the members bring their friends to. So when Elder G and I aren't in our 'home' (the institute library) teaching lessons we are usually at institute events. We teach almost all of our lessons in the library. I kind of like it.
A is doing great! He is progressing well, so is his friend V.
J also is progressing well. We taught her about the temple this week AT the temple! There is no better place to teach someone about the temple, than right in front of one. After the lesson we went inside and sat in the waiting room with her and the members. There is such a beautiful spirit in the temple. I enjoyed just sitting there for a while. The chair I happened to choose faced the door into the lobby. Right in my view was a beautiful painting of Christ. I looked at it for a long while, and I was reminded of his role as our redeemer and the reality of the temple being his house. I am grateful for those moments. J is very close to the spirit, and she is very close to receiving her own answers from God.
S is doing well, we are slowly making progress with him. He came to church on Sunday dressed up very nicely. He struggles a bit understanding the principles of the gospel, but I have seen that he feels something here. Which, really, in the end, that is what it is all about. The understanding comes with time, and study, and diligence. Elder Bednar has said that investigators will not always remember what you taught them, but they will always remember how you made them feel. I am excited to keep working with S.

We witnessed a beautiful miracle last night. It was the highlight of the week. We started to teach the friend of one of the members of our ward. Her name is M. She has grown up her whole life here in the Gila Valley, so she knows quite a few mormons. She has an amazing story that has led her to us teaching her last night. She grew up here, but in high school she struggled immensely. She rebelled pretty badly, and was in some pretty bad situations. She said that she swore she would NEVER go to church, and the God would never be a part of her life. She felt completely ok with that decision, but life continued on. She goes to beauty school here, and she met her member friend Mo. Mo's example and love has changed her life. She said she had a 'strange desire' to ask Mo if she could go to church with her. Mo of course started bringing her to all of the activities and firesides, and M has already seen and felt a huge change in her life. She said she is happier than she has ever been. Last night we taught her for the first time, and it was so powerful. One of the most spirit filled lessons I have ever attended. God's had has been guiding M and Mo since the beginning. It was so wonderful! It is times and moments like this that I want to be a missionary forever. It truly is the most joyful work in the world! We are excited to continue to teach them.

There are many others who we are teaching and working with. The Lord has blessed us so much. We don't have enough time for it all.
My thoughts this week have been focused on the gentle Christ. His example of love, forgiveness, peace, and gentleness are a model for us all. I fail consistently, but I have been trying to be a little more like him every day. I have come to learn that truly "the words of Christ shall tell you all things that ye should do." The answer to every problem no matter how complicated can be found in his words and example. What a miracle that is! So let's use it. As we become more like him, our influence for good grows immensely. I have personally seen that to be true.
I love you all so much. I love the work of the Lord, and I am so grateful for all you do for me.

Elder Hughes

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