Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 28th, 2014 Last Day in The CCM

Our district with our branch presidency Presidente de Hoyos(far left), Presidente Barron(right in black suit), and Presidente Tello(far left)

 Hola!!! I can´t believe that I am finally leaving the CCM. I have mixed emotions about it. I am sad because I wont be with my district. We are basically like family, but luckly we are all going to the same mission. I am so excited to finally leave and get out into the mission field and teach the people of Chile. In two hours i leave here for the airport. We have an 8 1/2 hour flight to Santiago, a 6 hour lay-over in santiago before taking a flight to Osorno.
           Yesterday, our district had an amazing experience. All the Elders in our district gave the all the Hermanas a priesthood blessing. The Hermanas choose who they wanted to give the blessing and all the Elders stood in the circle. after the Hermanas, a couple of Elders wanted a blessing, it was so amazing. 
            We watched a recording of an MTC devotional by Jeffrey R Holland. It was so amazing. try to find it. It will be well worth your time. It was given in January 2013 and he also dedicated some buildings.
            I am so glad that the Andrus Reunion was lots of fun. i wish i could have been there. i am so happy for Erin and that she gets to experience the missionary life. i am so proud of her. 
           Something interesting i learned (from the devotional) is that a testimony is not enough in this life. You need to be converted. Satan had a testimony. He knew God lived and all of those things, but he was not converted. Christ was and that is why he was chosen. Many things will happen in this life that will shake our testimony and it wont be enough, you need to be converted and you will never fall. Alma 23: 6-8  and  Mosiah 5:2. 
         I know that the Book of Mormon is true. Reading it should be a want instead of a book to read. because of this book, my life is filled with hope and peace. it is hard, but the burden is light  through Christ. 

I love ALL of you!!!
Elder Hughes
Our district with Hermano Martinez (a teacher)

Our district with a bunch of people after dinner yesterday (Sunday July 27th)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Last Week in the CCM

"This is a picture of my district they took at the CCM to add to a video
 they make for those who are leaving"

Buenos Días!! This week is my last week here at the CCM. I am so excited to get out into the Mission field. Thats so exciting that Braxton leaves so soon. Yesterday we got our flight plans. our flight leaves at 8:25pm monday night. we have an 8 hour and 3 5min flight to Santiago, then a 6 hour lay over till we fly to Osorno. So it will be a long day. But I am still excited about it. I have made so many new friends here and will be sad that we wont see each other for a while. There are about 25 missionaries going to Osorno with me so I wont be alone.
       There are so many people here at the CCM. It went from about 250 missionaries when we got here to 1000. It is amazing to see so many people who are willing to serve. 
      I have decided to start reading the Book of Mormon and focus on one topic and highlight everything about it in a seperate Book of Mormon. It is so amazing how many things I find in the words of the prophets and how I can apply all of them to my life. After I finish, I will pick another topic and do it again. In 1 Nefi 18, I found a verse that I had never paid attention to. In verse 16... that chapter is about faith and also having the Spirit. I loved it. Because Nephi had the faith and the Spirit, he was able to guide the ship. (also look up D&C 123:16-17 and James 3:4)
      I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I know that a man can get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts. James 4:8.
With love, 
Elder Hughes 
"Looks just like the picture of Christ and the Second Coming"

"Mexico City!"

"Nacho Libre bike, they have a lot of these in Mexico City"


Elder Hughes' District
(this picture was sent by Brother Lara, one of his teachers)
 "I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I know that a man can get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts. James 4:8."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Although it is hard, difficult, and tiring, it is still so awesome here. I would not give this experience up for anything in the world. I am learning so much.

 I hope everything has been going well for all of you. time is going faster but still feels as though we have been here for years. there is really no need for time and that time does not exist here.
   Elder Root, Elder Zentz, Elder Hammond and I got a new companionship in our apartment. both of their names are Elder Lopez. one is from L.A. but doesn't speak a lot of English. the other is from Columbia. they are both really nice. they are the zone leaders for their zone. Elder Lopez from LA has been out in the field before but got hit by a car and had to have major surgery. unfortunately, the other day he was playing volleyball and stepped wrong and did something to his back. at first, the doctor here at the CCM though he had to have surgery on his back, but it turns out that he just needs to rest. 
     everyday is basically the same. the food is okay but not the best. we study and learn and study more everyday... I am a little anxious to get out into the mission field and actually teach investigators. a district in our zone left yesterday.  one elder in that zone is from Richfield. his name is Spencer Henderson. he is such a nice guy and I was sad to see him go. 
      our zone leaders are Elder Murriel and Elder Williams. Elder Murriel and Elder Ryan are good friends and played basketball against each other in high school. Elder Ryan is from Kaysville Utah and went to Davis High School. Elder Murriel went to Bountiful High school and was the 4A MVP this year. after his mission in Nicaragua, he is going to play basketball for Utah State. 
      Also today during lunch, i ran into Elder Nygaard!! (Dr. Nygaards son)was not expecting that. i thought he was going to the Provo MTC. we talked for a few minutes. i also got my first haircut here at the CCM. although it was good, it wasn't the same as mom´s. 
     although it is hard, difficult, and tiring, it is still so awesome here. I would not give this experience up for anything in the world. i am learning so much. 
     a couple of the biggest things that i have learned this week is that getting released as a missionary is just a calling to be a life- long missionary and that missionary work never ends. just like Peter in the last Chapter of John was asked to feed Christ sheep, we are all called to feed HIS sheep. another is that the spirit cannot work on you if you do not give it something to work with. James 2:18. also that no matter the circumstance, if though you cannot control the circumstance, you can still control your feelings. Philippians 4:11. 
      I hope everything is going well. 

With Love, 
Elder Hughes
My companion and I.....we got caught?!

It rains everyday, I love it! No Sprinklers needed.

Some Elders from my zone, in one of our classrooms.

A picture of a t-shirt they gave all the Elders.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8, 2014 "I Love Being Here Serving the Lord"

                  Elder Hughes at the Mexico City Temple!
I was able to visit the Mexico City Temple today, the temple is under construction,
but we were able to tour the visitor center.


 All is well here in Mexico. lots of rain and thunder. this place is amazing. although it seems as though i have been here for years, it is slowly getting faster. the Spanish is getting easier. i can hold a conversasion with the natives. and i have started using some spanglish words instead of English. my english is not doing so well. my grammar and spelling is going downhill. my spanglish is perfect, but i still need to work on spanish. the water fight sounds like it was a blast. for the fourth of july, they decorated all the comedor, or the cafeteria, and we had pork sandwhiches, french fries, coleslaw, and lots of watemelon. we also sang the national anthem. it was really cool.
             Elder Root and I are teaching two ´´investigators´´. it is hard with the spanish because i know what to say in English but i dont know how to translate most of it. but i have learned not to worry so much about the language because the Spirit teaches in all languages. as long as we can have the spirit, the investigator will learn more than what we can ever teach them.
              I love the people here. they are so nice and courteous. we have two teachers, Hermano Martinez and Hermano Lara. they are both amazing people and have taught us a lot. there is another teacher that our district has come to love. he is the funniest person ever. it is so nice to have your spirits lifted from laughter. 
              saturday was very spiritual. hermano martinez shared a video with us about using the atonement as a missionary. Elder Holland and Elder Erying talked about receiving strength through the atonement to push beyond your physcial abilities. it was amazing, you can find it on youtube. then Hermano Martinez shared his testimony about always working even though you are tired and deserve rest. It was never easy for Christ, it wont be easy for us. but if we allow Christ to help us, then the trials and challenges will be much easier. we started our 24 hour fast after lunch. even though it was difficult. the fast was a spiritual booster. 
             sunday, we watched an older devotional from Jeffrey R. Holland. it was amazing. he talked about Peter and the twelve apostles after Jesus death. how they went back to fishing and christ appeared to them after they fished all night without any catch. ( i believe it is the last chapter of John). he compared it to missionaries coming home and falling away from the church. once we are called ( like peter) we can never go back to our old habits or life. if we love christ, then we must continue to feed his sheep. that night, we watched Joseph smith, the restoration. it was so awesome and the spirit was strong. it helped to increase my testimony of Joseph Smith and the restoration. 
              today we visited the Mexico City temple. it is beautiful. although the temple is closed for construction, we visited the visitor center. also driving through mexico city was a treat. there are so many people and so much poverty. i am so glad to live in the US were everything is clean and there is order. the streets of mexico are crazy. i would never drive there for a million $. 
               i love being here serving the Lord. although it is hard. my testimony has been strengthen and i have made new friends. i hope everyone can experience a mission at some point in their life. not only does it teach you spiritual things, but you learn so much more that will be important in your life. i love the Book of Mormon and know that it is true. i invite all to read it and experience for themselves the power of the Book of Mormon. Alma 5: 45-46...
With Love,
Elder Hughes
                                                      All dressed up and no place to go:(

All the Elders in my district

Elders Hammond, Zentz, Hughes and Root....roommates. 

 Elders' Zentz and Hammond took Elder Roots' bed and put it on top of my and
then switched closets and desks.
Elder Kartvord flying from Las Vegas to Pheonix to meet up with other
 missionaries to continue on to Mexico City.

"I hope everyone can experience a mission at some point in their life. Not only does it teach you spiritual things, but you learn so much more that will be important in your life. I love the Book of Mormon and know that it is true. I invite all to read it and experience for themselves, the power of the Book of Mormon. Alma 5: 45-46..."

Friday, July 4, 2014

Letter for July 1, 2014 (the last post was for June 24, 2014)

Hey!! How are all of you?? The days are going by faster but they are still slow. tomorrow will be three weeks since i have been here at the CCM. the spanish is coming along, but is still difficult. last tuesday i found out that every Tuesday we have Costco pizza for dinner. i guess there is a Costco around somewhere. 
          my district is great. as you said, it seems that i have known them my whole life. Elder Ryan especially. we have become very good friends. he is from Kaysville, Utah. 
          all last week we had an ''investigator'' that didnt know any english. it was hard with communicating because we had only been at the ccm for 2 days. but he turned out to be one of our teachers this week and he is going to college to be an english teacher. his name is Hermano Lara. he teaches us in the afternoon and Hermano Martinez teaches us in the morning. this week we alternate between them everyday and teach them for 20 min. the people here are amazing. the latinos are so nice and loving. they always say hi. it is disrespectful to not say hi... i can get use to that tradition. 
            here at the CCM, you are either assigned to a dorm or house. elder root and i share a dorm with Elder Zentz and Elder Hammond. they are the best. they are both going to Ecuador and are both pranksters. on day they switch our sheets. then one day they took both beds and set them on top of each other, then they switch our closets. took all of my stuff and put it in elder roots closet and took elder roots stuff and put it into mine. they help to raise my spirits. 
 Our teachers have been emphasizing how important it is to have the spirit so that the investigator can feel it. also to teach people, not lessons. we must focus on their needs and what they need to hear instead of what we want to teach them. that has been something that i have needed to change and it has turn my experience around. if you get to know the investigator better (even if they are just fake investigator) you feel a love for them. we begin to feel the love of Christ towards them. last friday, Hermano Martinez taught us about Mosiah 23. he compared our potential to diamonds. to become a diamond, there must be lots of heat, pressure, and time. that is how life is. God sees us as diamonds or our potential to become like Him so he ''polishes'' us to help become a beautiful diamond. Hermano Martinez also shared that there are many shapes and sizes of diamonds and that some require more heat or pressure than others. that is why some people experience more difficulties in life, because God sees their potential. another thing he pointed out is that we need to view everyone as God sees them... as potential Gods and Goddess. 
   the Devotional on Sunday was amazing. we watch a recorded devotional on Sundays and live ones on tuesdays. they played one that David A. Bednar had given 2 years ago. it was amazing. first he said that it is more important to remember how you feel reather than what had been said. as a missionary, i must help the investigators feel the spirit so that they can remember that feeling because you will always remember how you felt. he then talked about Christ and the natural man. the difference between Christ and the natural man is that the natural man turns inward when Christ turns outward. in Matthew 3:8-11, it talks about satan tempting Christ. at the end it says that angels strengthened him. but if you look at the JST, it says that Christ sent angels to minister unto John in prision. Christ, instead of turning inward(even though he had just experienced what he had and deserved to be strengthened spiritually and phyiscally) he turned outward and look for the needs of others. even while he had just finished the atonement in Gethsemane and peter cut off the guards ear, Christ still helped that man even after being through what he had been through. he talks about a lot more but he also said that the greatest conversion in your life is yours. all the members of the church have testimonies, but many are not converted. true conversion is being true to your testimony. that is something that we all need to work on, being converted. 
    everything is going well here. i am tired physically, but spiritually, is the exact opposite. it has been hard, but i can already see blessings and outcomes from it. I hope everyone had fun on the hike. dad, thank you for telling me to go to work. it has kept me going. I love you all and miss you. 

Elder Hughes 
It's official!!
What to start with.... Como Estan?? (how are all of you) so much to say and only short amount of time to say it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD. tell everyone how much i love them. the plane ride was great. first flight was very short. Elder Kvartford is an awesome guy. he is from St. George and goes to Desert Hills. when we got to Pheonix, we waited for the next flight. missionaries kept coming in and soon most of the people in that gate were missionaries. it has been crazy.. my cold is finally gone. Wednesday was very laid back. but everyday this week has been hard and busy. sixteen hour days everyday. . my companion is Elder Root. it has been fun having him as a companion. Elder Zentz and Elder Hammond are the other companionship in our dorms. they are both going to Ecuador. Elder Zentz is from Ogden and Elder Hammond is from Idaho. they have both been fun to have around. earlier today we left our door open to our room, so they switch our beds and everything. it was very amusing. the other companionship in our dorms were two natives, Elder Yagual and Elder Saugo. they both left monday morning. they were very funny.(even though they spoke very little English.) it helped with our Spanish talking to them. our teacher is Hermano Martinez. he is such a good teacher.
 on thursday, we went to workshops that pointed out that we are teaching people, not lessons. it was very good. we learned that we needed to know our investigator and gain a love for them before you start teaching. once you start getting to know them and you have the spirit, the spirit will do the rest and will help gain a love for them. afterwards, we meet with our branch presidency. they are all wonderful men (even though i cannot remember their name).  outside, it had been raining cats and dogs... and we had all forgotten our umbrellas. we had to run about 1/4 - 1/2 mile to get to our dorms. we were soaked. my shoes are waterproof!! also, throughout the day, fireworks had been going off from people in the city. (probably for the World Cup). 

   on friday we got an investigator!! (we concluded that they were not real because he was wearing garments and he had to sit through 3 hours of new missionaries who knew no Spanish teaching him the gospel) his name is Humberto. each district has an investigator and take 30 minutes everyday teaching him. even though he is not a real investigator, it is such a good experience to practice. finally yesterday(monday) we committed him to be baptized. he had wanted to know where his deceased dad was. when we taught him the 1st lesson, we shared that through thetonement, he could be with his father and God again but only if he obeyed Gods commandments. we shared John 3:5 with him and said that baptism is a commandment and that he must be baptized in order to be with his father. so he said he would be baptized. it is difficult to talk with him because he ¨says he doesnt know any english. i know what i want to say to him, but i dont know how to say it in spanish. but we still fiqure it out in the end. 

sunday was such a wonderful experience. it was nice to take the sacrament and to take a break. everyone in the branch has to prepare a talk (in spanish) because no one knows who will talk. later, we watch a devotional from Elder Richard G Scott. it was wonderful and just what i needed. he talked about missionaries (expecially those who had to learn a language) and how we can receive strength through prayer. he also said we were not put on this earth to fail and we were not put on a mission to fail. also the change from asking for things you want to asking what God wants you to do. such powerful words. then we watched The Testaments. it was such a spiritual booster. but i hate it because it makes me tear up everytime i watch it. but especially now too. while we were getting ready for bed, Elder Root bumped into the shelf that had the iron on it and it fell on his head. nothing serious. just a big goose egg. 

 have i mentioned that it had rained everyday this week. and the weather has been perfect. thunderstorms are very rare where i come from. last night there was thunder soo loud that we saw the windows shake and car alarms went off. it was awesome. 

 sorry i cannot write more. not a lot of time. Congratulations Tyler. it willl bless your life soo much. mine has. I Love all of You!!  Hasta luego.
Love, Elder Hughes
Here are some pics.  There is my district.... Elder Cleverly, Strat, me. Root, Jeppson, Nielson,  Smith, and Elder Ryan. Hermana Maready, Wyatt, Oross, and Hermana Jenkins.  They are all awesome. Seems as though I have known them for my whole life.They are all going to Osorno Chile as well. 

June 18, 2014 Very First Letter!

Nathan was allowed to send a quick note the night he arrived....we were so thrilled to receive it! Here is the mailing address for the CCM (MTC). How are you!!?? I am doing wonderful. I am still trying to get over the whole elder thing. It will probably hit in a couple days. Ihe flight to pheonix was quick and no problems. Blake is from St. George and is in the same mission I am. In Pheonix we met up with a lot more missionaries.. about 30. It was awesome to see all of them. The flight to mexico was.... uncomfortable.. slept a little bit but mostly taught Blake how to solve the rubix cube. The sight was extraordianary. It was beautiful. Mexico City is huge....... bigger than anything I have ever seen before. The airport went smooth, just long.. on of the elders lost their luggage. hopefully it is on its way.. most of the elders and sisters went on a bus but me and a couple of elders were transported to the CCM in a Mercedes van... and it was stick shift.. another thing about mexico is there is no stop signs or stop lights. everyone just goes for it.. people run out into the middle of the street with carts.. it was crazy. Also seeing all the poverty. The city has 23 million people in it.. everything is going well here at the CCM. My CCM companion is Jess Root. i am excited to get started tomorrow. I found out that I leave for Chile July, 29. My P-days are Tuesdays so I will email you then. I love all of you. Miss you. Elder Hughes

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nathan's senior year ended with many great are a few
Court of Honor
Nathan and Tyler
May 25, 2014

Nathan and Tyler, best friends, having spent the last 17 years doing
 everything together, including receiving their Eagles' together. 
Nate's wonderful cousins and best friends, Rachel and Erin.
Tyler, Bishop Allen, Nathan, and Brother Haderlie
Great leaders, friends, and mentors
      May 26, Memorial Day...a big day for our family.
 This picture is of Nathan and his grandparents and a few cousins at the St. George Cemetery
visiting his ancestors' graves.
June 1, 2014 Seminary Graduation

June 5, 2014 High School Graduation

June 8, 2014 Farewell
Friends and Great Aunt and Uncle Leo and Susette Sullivan
 and their daughter Stephanie Barnum
                                         June 10, 2014 family trip to the Manti Temple.  Nathan
was able to baptize Brock.  Brock had just turned 12 and received the priesthood the same day as Nate's farewell, so this was his first trip to o baptisms.
Family...the path to eternity 
                                            Nate and his sister             Nate at the water park

    Our next stop was in Salt Lake City to visit other temples and we stayed at Cherry Hill Farm....this picture of Nate helping Matt up over a difficult part of the rock wall is a perfect example of how he is in our home.....helping and lifting.

June 17, 2014

 Our family spent the day.....playing.  We went to the bowling alley, something we had not done for awhile and had a delightful time.  Jayson's family joined us a well.  We spent the evening finishing packing and had a family dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Andrus, and Laurie and kids after Nate was set apart by President Jensen.

A Bunkerville Tradition
Las Vegas Airport

Nathan's flight left t 6:40 am,we left our house at 3:30 am......what a sight we were. Our goodbyes were difficult, we will miss you Nate.



Elder Nathan Hughes

Hughes Family
May 2014