Monday, August 30, 2010

Things are going good!

With fall right around the corner, I must shout Hallelujah, the temperature is finally starting to go down, and biking is becoming bearable (except the plague of my bike always wanting to break down on me, I think it's tried of having to carry me around everywhere and is trying to tell me it needs a break of something). I think the "crazy" parts of my mission may have seen their end, and I'm now stuck in the busy busy busy part, but I don't know, I'm just doing what I can. I keep running in to people that think they're related to me, which is weird, but it makes sense since southerners settled southern Utah, but I don't know. The work only seems to get crazier and crazier, so we have to bike more and more and more, but it's a welcome tradeoff. This week was so strange, it seems like a dream of some sort. We had several appointments that seemed to take way too long, and we just couldn't seem to find time to do all the things we needed to, so we just did what we could, and somehow it all worked out. We now have 3 investigators with baptism dates(the 11th, the 18th, and the 25th), which is super exciting, and we are working with a less active lady that is starting to show interest in coming back to church. We had an extremely rare opportunity to have our investigators meet Elder Hinckley of the 70, and Elder Burns of the 70, and our Mission President in a special meeting before Stake Conference (they re-did the Stake Presidency), and it was awesome, we had quite a few people there, and they loved it! It was so cool, I was soooo excited and we worked like crazy people all week trying to get people to go, and in the end it all worked out. Now it turns out that Elder Posey of the 70 is coming here this Tuesday for a special meeting, so the entire mission is going to be at the office, and it's going to be insane! I'm super excited about the work, everything is going great and we're staying busy enough that I can't see straight, so we must be doing something right. I want to briefly touch on the power of the scriptures, I know that when we truly study them, not just read them, but study them, and try to apply the principles they teach, the Spirit of the Lord will reveal unto us his will for us in our lives. What a great blessing it is to know what the Lord asks of us as we go forth trying to serve him faithfully and diligently to the end. I know that God lives and loves us, and that he sent his Son to die for us. Thank you all for your support, I hope to hear from ya'll soon, I love and miss you.

Elder Hughes

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekly News


This week in Georgia has been an interesting one, we had Zone Conference this week, and it was pretty awesome besides being almost 9 hours long. We got to learn a lot of cool stuff, and start working on learning the new missionary curriculum that the church has come out with. We also go to see the new Preach My Gospel DVD's, the District 2, which are pretty awesome if I do say so. It was a really good week, we didn't get a lot done it seems like, but at the same time we did. We found a new family that we've begun teaching, who seem pretty receptive. I'm excited to teach them and see what happens. We have an investigator going in for back surgery this week, so prayers would be appreciated. He apparently has a cist on his back that he has had multiple surgeries for, but they've never been able to fix. We have a baptism coming up in 2 weeks, which is really exciting, and we have started working with a couple of the part member families in the ward, so overall last week was a good week, but we rode a lot and sweated a lot and it didn't seem like anything was happening, but the tender mercies of the Lord have taken care of us. I finally feel like I might be getting the hang of this missionary thing, but we'll see. I haven't had any crazy experiences lately, so I don't have any cool stories to tell, but I'm sure there's something around the corner. Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers. I hope everything is going well at home, I love you all and I miss you. Know that the Lord will take care of us all, and that he is just waiting to help us if we will ask him. (Mormon 9:21) I know that our Father in Heaven loves us, and that he wants us all home, so lets try a little harder to do what we can to get there.

Love, Elder Hughes

Monday, August 16, 2010

Check him out....

Craig sent a few pictures of some of the new friends he's made...
They seem to like them tall in Georgia.

Weekly Update

Hello Family and Friends,
This week was an odd one, it was like one of those insanely hard weeks that seems like it was only a dream, but then something crazy happens at the end and everything just goes topsy turvy and you forget all the craziness. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Woodstock on exchange, we did some service and a ton of walking in the blistering hot sun with who knows how much humidity, then we spent the rest of the week biking all over our area from Heavens to Betsy, it was crazy. We had a lot of good lessons, one of our investigators wants to be baptized as soon as he can get away from his current church (he teaches primary), then another we finally got to teach him with his family, and they all agreed to read the Book of Mormon, but there was no clear commitment on coming to church. Then we gave our other investigator that just got back in town a date for next Friday, but it got cancelled because her Dad couldn't be there, so last night we had to reschedule, and it's now the 11th of September. It was weird, but I remember the first thing I thought when we set that was wow, what a day to have a baptism....I'm sure it'll be really cool. Anyways, we got a referral from some other Elders about a former investigator who came to church yesterday, it was awesome, and he wants us to teach him and his family so we're excited about that. We also met a new family last night that want to get back into a church and were happy to have us come back. The man that I mentioned last week who had been in the wreck, came to church with his family, and is hoping that his wife and daughter can be baptized soon, so that was really cool to see. In all we had 7 people at church yesterday (the record for my mission thus far). It was a touching experience, because we weren't expecting that many people to come. I truly felt like dropping to my knees and just giving gratidtude to my Heavenly Father, which I did later, but it was just amazing. I've been studying lately in 3Nephi, the account of Jesus Christ, and it always amazes me how many things he asks us to do, but then I always remember the scripture that we all know so well from the 3rd chapter of the book. I really have grown to love the scriptures, there's so many great things we can use to improve the qality of our lives, and work towards becoming perfect. I love the personal ministry of the Savior, he's just such a great teacher. I've really been trying to thinkg of the types of questions he used and apply it to my teaching, because our Mission President is really pushing asking inspired questions, and it definitely does work. I've also found it interesting as we studied the Christlike attributes in companionship study this week, that the whole time I was trying think of how to apply them, but all I could seem to think about was their role in the afterlife. It was weird, but cool at the same time. Then when I was on exchange, I found out that the other missionaries in our district just so happened to be studying the same thing, it was crazy. I have really been focusing on letting the Spirit lead, and it has been amazing to see some of the small miracles and things that the Lord has done, even in so short of a time. We're still having a hard time with finding, but things are starting to work somehow, so I'm just trusting the Lord and continuing to press onward ever onward, and I hope you are too. May we all try to remember the Lord and the influence he has in our lives, and strive to notice the small miracles that happen everyday to help us accomplish all the things we are able to. I know that as we do that, we will truly be able to feel the Love of God more abundantly, and will be able to know more about how much we have to be grateful for. I love you all, and I hope all is going well.

Elder Hughes

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mail Call...


After yesterday, I'm beginning to think that I'm some kind of joke to the Mission Presidency...President Alba one of President Kings' counselors was at church, and he told me how sorry he was that I was being picked on and how he had told President King to leave me alone for a while. The day before that, another missionary told me that he had told him the same thing, so I'm really starting to think there's some kind of conspiracy going on...But anyways, the comments must have worked because I'm still here in Allatoona (But I haven't made it to a full transfer here yet so ya never know). This last week was weird, Tuesday we had a meeting that lasted until 4pm, and Wednesday we had to go to transfers, so half of our week was pretty much shot. Then everything we tried to do just tanked, except for Saturday. It made no sense to me, we got more accomplished on Saturday then the other 6 days combined. But, we had a couple of really cool experiences...First was Tuesday night, we have started playing basketball on Tuesdays, but no one showed up last week, so we were walking home, and on the way this girl pulls over and starts talking to us. She was really nice, and agreed to meet some other time, so later in the week we met her at a fast food restaurant, and taught her the first discussion. It was really weird because she said she doesn't usually pull over for strangers, but she felt inclined to so it was cool, I'm not sure how well the discussion went since she was pretty argumentative about some things, but hopefully she's reading and praying. We also met a member who has been inactive for years, and had not let missionaries into his home for 10 years. Apparently a member about to go on a mission told a lie about him that cost him a 6 figure job, and was still able to go on a mission, so he figured he didn't want missionaries anywhere near his home anymore, and hasn't let them in since. But, recently he got in an accident where almost every bone in his body from his neck down was broken, and he actually died, but he never lost consciousness (or his Spirit never left), and he heard a voice telling him it wasn't his time, that he still had work to do. The Doctor in the ER sent him to another Hospital becuase he was proclaimed dead, but when he got to the other hospital he woke up. Not only did he wake up, but he started moving around and pulling himself up and things. After several months, he started physical therapy, and everytime he hit a roadblock, something would prompt him to keep going. For example the nurses wanted him to walk, but he didn't think he could, but he felt something hit him in the back of the head, and tell him to stand up. So he did, and he started walking. Then just a couple of days ago he was depressed about never being able to walk by himself again, and he heard a voice tell him to let go of his walker, so he pushed it away from himself, and then walked to it. As he was telling us his story, I could feel tears in my eyes, and as I stood there listening I felt like this man should be teaching me about the gospel not the other way around. But, he now knows what he's supposed to be doing and is determined to get himself back to church, and it just so happens that we are the first Elders he has welcomed to his home in 10 years. I don't know what this has to do with me, but for some reason I got to be here to see it happen, and be part of this mans' story, and I'm truly grateful for it. On top of that, yesterday our investigator that has been out of town told us in church that she would like to set a date to be baptized, so we should be able to do that soon, and it just so happens that our ward has a Temple trip coming up the day we want to baptize her, so we're going to try to do it early so she can go. I'm pretty excited about that. The Lords' work continues to roll on, I hope you all are doing well, I love ya, and I miss ya. One last thing, We talked this sunday about gaining a Testimony, and how we do it. I would like to challenge you all to try this with any aspect of the gospel. First, you learn about it, second you desire or hope to know that it's true, then you act on that desire, and you will receive your witness. I know that by doing this we can strengthen our testimonies of the principles of the gospel, and I hope you'll all take an opportunity to do so. Until next week,

Elder Hughes

Monday, August 2, 2010

Things are lookin' up..

Hola seniors and seniores,
This week in Allatoona has been a scorcher, and it has also been the week where I spent more time tracting than anything else. We also had an interesting experience at church, where one of the members bore his testimony to an investigator that was with us. It was a new experience to me, and I wasn't sure how it was going to be received, but it seemed ok, so it was cool. On the bright side, the work is starting to look up. we have a LOT of people to see this week, and aren't quite sure how we're going to do it. There's a lot of potential in the next couple weeks, we're just hoping that we can get things going. This tranfer has been a struggle, but the next one should be pretty rewarding. We have some investigators that are reallly looking good, and should be ready for baptism soon. I am also extremely relieved that as far as I know I don't have to pack for once (although, we still have to go to transfer meeting since Elder Christensen is leaving us(I'm praying for a car). I'm pretty excited about that, I'm just not excited about the fact that this has been one of the hottest summers on record so far, and they say it's going to get hotter. I'm not sure how that's possible, but they say it is. Trying to learn and implement the churchs' new missionary curriculum has been quite the task, and is definitely going to take time, but I can definitely see how it will have some long term benefits. It really focuses on getting the members involded in missionary work, and us doing everything we can to help them feel comfortable doing it. I would encourage you all to read the article in the July ensign about sharing the gospel, it's really good. I've been very impressed this week by a passage in the Book of Mormon, Alma 59:11. It says that Captain Moroni, the man that it says could shake the very powers of Hell because of his righteousness only a few chapters earlier, got discouraged. But what is extremely important to remember is that he was in a war, and could not afford to be discouraged, and that he never quit or gave up. He was up against an innumerable foe, and the government had seemingly turned its' back on him, but he continued to lalbor in all diligence, and he was delivered by the Lord, and went on to conquer his foe and retain his liberty. This was a very encouraging discovery to me, and I hope it is for you as well, may we all press on, trusting in the Lord with steadfast Faith in Christ. I know that if we do that, the Lord will deliver us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Hughes