Monday, April 26, 2010

The Life & Times....


This week has been a rather interesting one, we had a fairly slow week, but it had it's ups and downs. For District Meeting this week we talked a lot about how much God must have loved his children to call another Prophet. It really made me think about how much God really does love us. I think the scripture John 3:16 is often taken lightly, because it is so commonly used. But if we take time to think about the blessings we have in our life because God loved us enough to restore the truth about the gospel, it gives this scripture a whole new light. This week I've tried some interesting food, that has really been difficult to manage, but somehow I've survived. I taught my first Jehovah's Witness that actually listened to what we have to say, and was engaged in the conversation. A lot of people here view the Jehovah's Witnesses as bad people that have really far out beliefs, but they really don't. A lot of their beliefs mirror ours, they just lack the understading of Jesus' life and the scriptues that we have. It is really interesting to talk with them though, becuase they really truly believe they have the truth, the only problem is they don't ever ask God if it is. He wouldn't accept a Book of Mormon, but at least he was open to learning about our religion. We seen to also be running into a lot of people that have been taught never to associate with Mormons, so that has been really interesting. I'm still learning how to deal with situations like that. The highlight of the week to me, was definitely yesterday. Church was super good, it was all about enduring to the end, and how we can't just endure, we have to do it well. That really hit me considering my present situation, and I felt chastized for not doing a better job, but it has strengthened my resolve to work things out and try to do my best. Later in the evening time, we were talking to a Pastoral candidate that claims we dont' truly know what the Bible said. It was a very difficult conversation for me, because he made several remarks that grieve my heart. He told us that God was a respecter of persons, and that Jesus Christ suffered because of Gods' wrath, and that he didn't suffer for all people, only some. That hurt, but the part that hurt worst of all was when he looked me straight in the face and told me that Joseph Smith was a false Prophet. While we were conversind with him, you may imagine that a hard time not interjecting and rebuking this man, but I remained calm the entire time. The Lord guided me about what to say and when to say it, and I confounded the man several times, and he couldn't answer any of the questions I asked. Then right after he had talked about Joseph Smith, I was prompted to stop the man so I did, and I leveled my eyes into his and seemed to peer straight into his soul, and I bore my testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. The man had nothing to say to that, but he would not accept anything we said, so we left him but before we left my companion said "in the after life, just remember to say yes." We talked a lot about that one later, and what we could have said, but I think we said exactly what we were suppposed to. This last week I've been studying a lot in the Bible, and I've been looking specifically for scriptures that support the lessons we teach. It's been really amazing to me to see that everything we believe really is in there, people just don't see it the way we do. Another funny story that I forgot to tell you guys occurred last week, and the week before. On the 14th, we were coming home for the night, and as we rounded the corner we noticed that my bike had been stolen. I was devastated. But, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father if I was going to be able to get it back. He told me that I would, so I tried to wait patiently, but it was hard having lost something so important to me. As the days past my faith that I had heard him right was beginning to shake. But then on Monday, we got home from basketball and got ready to head out, and lo and behold my bike had been returned, on the bad side my companions had been stolen. This really helped me strengthen my faith, and has prepared me for the days ahead. I want to leave you all with my testimony again, that I know beyond doubt that the Book of Mormon is true. Love you all, and hope to hear from you soon.
Elder Hughes

Monday, April 19, 2010


Hey y'all,
How's it going? Things in Kennesaw are pretty repetitive right now. We have a lot of people in our potential teaching pool, but it's extremely difficult to get a hold of them because they're always busy, or at school and finals are coming up andverything. So we don't get to do a whole lot of teaching, mostly walking around and knocking on doors. We are teaching a couple people, and we should have another baptism or 2 coming up pretty soon. We are just trying to get people to church, which is as always a challenge, but the ward here is very helpful for getting people rides and helping out. This last week I had to give a talk in the singles branch, about prayer, and it really made me see the imoprtance of taking prayer seriously. I think as people we all tend to slack in this department sometimes, meaning not taking prayer as seriously as we should. One thing that I've found helps me is imagining that I'm literally talking to my Father in Heaven, it really helps me focus. I had my first experience with struggling to talk to someone this week, it was really funny because I got all shaky and I couldn't breathe and everything. I think the person probably thought I was hyperventilating but my shy side just came out. Hopefully I'll figure out how to fix it, because we're going to see said person tomorow so that'll be interesting. We had interviews with President King this week, which was cool. He gave me some advice on following the Spirit when it comes to certain situations, and it was really good. My companion and I are not gelling quite as good as we could, but I'm trying to work it out. It's hard though becuase he's on a really high horse and likes to argue with me about everything. But I'm trying hard to make it work so I'm sure the Lord will help me out. Basketball today has been cool, other than getting punched a couple of times and having a fat lip. We had a zone P-day so we have like 20 missionaries here balling it up. I've been studying the Old Testament a lot lately, and it's been really cool to see how things all got started so I can actually know what I'm talking about when I tell people stuff. Over all, I'm having fun and I continue to learn everyday. I miss you guys and I love. Hope to hear from you soon.

Elder Hughes

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mail's Here...

Hey all you peoples of the not Atlanta area,
The weather in Atlanta is heating up, pollen is everywhere (thank goodness I don't have allergies), and the work is going well. My companion and I have started to work together a lot better. This last week has been pretty eventful, we went on a team-up with a less active RM and the original guy wasn't home, so he was like "who are we going to go see?" So Elder Lee and I decided to go visit this past media referral we had that we've been trying to get in contact with. So we call him up and he's like sure I'm at the cemetery just come on over. That should've been a sign but you know how 20 year olds are.... So we get to the cemetery and Elder Lee stops us before we get out of the car and we pray. We approach the guy, and before we even say anything he says "I can't talk to you guys yet, all you are is androids to me, you don't have any symbols." So he pulls up his shirt and he has all these tattoos of different symbols of Gods, and I was kind of freaked out, but I stayed cool. He starts talking about different dimensions and how he's from Saturn, and how we don't even know what we are gender wise. He gives us a dollar bill, and says that's my symbol -referring to the eye on top of the pyramid- and then he starts talking about how he's into -and on- drugs like meth and shrooms and stuff, and then he starts talking about how he's been to jail a bunch of times and knows the cops really well. Then he starts talking about how he's a Mason and his wife called the cops on him once because he was floating, and about this time he gets to this point he starts foaming at the mouth, and he starts getting really fidgety and touching Elder Lee and he was getting worked up. Then out of the corner of my eye, I see this cop car come creeping past this tree down into the graveyard. It pulls up, and has 3 behind it, one of them was unmarked. So the guy just walks backward, and says don't worry I know these guys real good. They walk up, and start talking to him and Elder Lee starts to leave so one of them flags him to stop. Then the seargant comes over to us, and pulls us aside. Out of the blue he starts asking us about our missions, and it turns out he's an RM. I was like "huh?!?" so he asks for our ID's and he runs them, then tells us not to mess with this guy cause he's crazy. So we leave, and the member was freaked out, but I felt like I should've done something, I just don't know what. Apparently run ins with cops are quite frequent on the mish, or at least mine. Earlier in the week, I was threatened to be escorted out of an apartment complex by the police if we didn't leave so it's been a scary week. Anyways, the other big event that happened was we had a baptism this week, of an 84 year old lady who's son was converted a year ago. That was pretty cool. I also had my first lesson where the law of Chastity was being broken in another room of the house by the girl we were teaching's roommate. That was awkward! Other than that though, it's been a good week, we had some really good lessons with some of our newer investigators, and have found a lot of prospects so things are really looking up. I love you all, and I hope you're doing well. I want to bear you my testimony that I know that when we're in dangerous situations, the Lord will send his angels to watch over you. So weirdest part about our police encounter, no one called them in, 4 police cars just so happened to be in the exact same spot at exactly the right time. I don't know what may have happened, but it wouldn't have been pretty so never think for a second that you're ever alone.

Love, Elder Hughes

Monday, April 5, 2010

Transferred...So Mail on Monday again

I was thinking about playing the guessing game again to see if anyone could figure out where I am, but since my companion doesn't like to check mail it would be completely pointless. I would like to thank you all for your love and support, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the letters that I have gotten. I'm now serving in the Kennesaw Ward/Big Shanty Branch in the Marietta zone. From what I've heard in the short time i've been here, I'll probably be transferred again in 6 weeks, so I'm living out of my suitcases right now because I'm straight up sick of packing. Things here are interesting, there happens to be a college campus included in this area. However, we aren't allowed to proselyte on the campus so unless someone talks to us first we can't talk about the gospel. The members here are very cool, most of them are YSA and are returned missionaries that like to help with the Work, and know how much we appreciate it. There is a bad reputation for missionaries in this ward, because of past transgressions that has shaken the wards trust in us, and caused this area to be shut down for a while. It was opened the same time as my last area, and as such we have a small teaching pool, but we're working hard to try and get things going here. My new companion is Elder Lee, He's from DC, but was born in Germany. He's been out slightly less than my last companion (starting to notice a pattern there), and has a very strict way of doing things that I don't necessaryily agree with. I'm not saying I don't like him, just that I don't agree with some of his methods. I hope and pray that all of you had the chance to watch General Conference, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A lot of great advice was given about the most sacred calling in the church, that of a Mother or Father. I hope that all of us may learn from these things and follow the counsel we have been given, so that we can fulfill our sacred responsibilities. As a missionary those things are obviously a long way off for me, but it's never too early to start preparing. I would also hope that all of us will study these talks when they come out in the next Ensign. I think I liked the last piece of advice given the most, turn to the lighthouse of the Lord. What a powerful statement, we know that we can always trust in the Lord to lead and guide us, and we also know that as we seek his light we shall find it. As I thought about the Savior and his Atonement, it really sparked my desire to live a more righteous life, and I hope Conference has done the same for you.

This week has been pretty much me following my companion and trying not to get lost. There are so many people, and I'm back in the city and we're on foot, and things are crazy, but it's been fun thus far. I can't believe I have been away for 5 months already, it seems like only yesterday I left. I hope this finds you all safe, happy, and knowing that I love you all. I pray the Lord will watch over you all.

I would llike to leave you with my witness that Jesus is the Christ, that his Atonement was the ultimate sacrifice of love, that he gave up his life and was resurrected for us, that he lives today, and that he loves us all and wants us all to strive to follow his example, In the name of Jesus Christ Amen, God Bless

Love, Elder Hughes