Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 27, 2014 "Nothing is more spiritually lifting and strengthens my testimony more than when I see those that I come to love change and come unto Christ."

Where to start..... so monday night at 10pm, Elder Johnson and I recieved a call from Elder Ward (the AP of the north part of the mission...awesome guy). we both got transfered out of Angachilla. they were going to bring Hermanas into our sector, but it got changed that they went into the sector of Elder TErra y Elder Salgado while they went into our sector. we felt the our sector was a little too unsafe for the hermanas (we kinda lived in the sketchy part of Valdivia). Elder Johnson got transfered to Puerto montt and i got transfer to Entre Lagos with Elder Dolinar.so we were scrambiling all day tuesday to do everything, pack, get pictures and give them to people in valdivia and such. we stayed up almost all night tuesday night to pack and get the paperwork fill out, the area book, all that jazz. wednsday morning we left about 10am and i got to entre lagos at about 3pm(after stopping at the terminal in osorno to meet my companion.)  Entre Lagos is so pretty. it is a small town 45 min in bus east of Osorno. there are 4 valcanos that surround area that we can see and there are two lakes on each side. (entre lagos means in between lakes in spanish...)there is a small branch of about 20 people. Elder Dolinar is from Pleasent Grove and has 2 cambios left.. he is almost done with his mission... he is a really nice guy and i am excited to work with him. we have a 16 year old investigator named Sebastian who is so awesome. he is for sure going to be baptized and he knows the book of mormon is true. he is so cool. friday night we went and played basketball with him and Josè. Jose is a member and so is his sister. their parents are not members but are super nice. we rent a house from them and see them everyday. we have a mamita that we go and eat at her house everyday. she is the wife of the branch president. everything was going well for two days and such, but friday night, Elder Dolinar and I got a call from Elder Ward. he said that we were going to have a whitewash(When both missionaries leave the area like with me and Edler Johnson) and a sober cambio(an emergency transfer). we were going to switch areas with two Elders in Rio Negro (black river) the next day. i guess there was a big misunderstanding with some of the members and there was some contention or something.. i dont know a whole lot about it.. so we had to stay up all night packing (again) and left at 10am in the mornign and met with the zone leaders in the Osorno bus terminal. it turns out that one of the elders in Rio NEgro that we were switching with was Elder Holt! (i dont know if i already wrote about him, but we meet each other 4 years ago at EFY and i didnt know that he was here in the same mission until i saw him in a blog spot when before i left, my mom and i were looking through some to see what Chile was like.) he has 1year and 3 months in the mission and is an awesome guy. it was cool to see him again. so this past week has been crazy. meeting so many new people and leaving others as well. my mind is fried trying to learn everyones name, the investigators, menos acitivos.. all of it.... plus Rio Negros use to have a lot of members, but now there are alot of inactive members and lots of iglesias that teach about the Book of Mormon but claim to be Evangelico.. it crazy.. but the memebers are awesome.  They are kind and helpful for us. we have a small branch of about 60 members. Elder Dolinar and i had to teach the Gospel doctrines class sunday because the teacher didnt show up. it was crazy because the guy told us right at the end of sacrament meeting and we had 5 minutes to prepare.. but it was good and we had a good discussion. there is two sectors in Rio Negros and two sets of mssionaries. we live in the same house and the house is huge too... we thought that there would be the other companionship to help us with the sector and the members because they had been there longer, but it turns out that they left as well and then put Elder Root ( my companion in  CCM) and his companion in the other sector.. so all of us were new and none of us knew what was going on.. luckily the member sare awesome and showed us our sectors and helped us a lot..
today we came to Osorno and played basketball with a bunch of other Elders. it was a lot of fun. especially because we have  an inside court in Osorno (the only one in our mission.)
  so that was my week this week. it has been crazy and tiring. but i am here for a reason. i am so glad to be here and to serve others.my testimony has  been strengtened so much. i could not have learned what i have learned any where else. nothing is more spiritually lifting and strenthens my trestimony more than when i see those that i come to love change and come unto Christ. nothing can replace that feeling. even those who i taught for two days in entre lagos:). i love you all and remember, remember, that it is upon the rock of Christ that we most build upon... Helaman 5:12. because nothing else can hold us up and support us like he can. Nephi 31:17-21 is now my favorite scripture.. look it up.. so good.. well all of the Book of Mormon is good and is my favorite but these verses caught my attention..
With Love,
Elder Hughes

Jose and Sebastian after basketball Friday night

Patricia Diaz and her family

One of the volcanoes in Entre Lagos

At a family home evening Tuesday night before we were transferred

Our district in Valdivia

A street sign we came across in Entre Lagos

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 20, 2014 "This week is transfers and the end of my training!!!"

 So First things first. This week is transfers and the end of my training!!! Crazy.. usually we know who is getting transferred Friday night, but on Tuesday last week we received news from the President that we wont find out until tonight... so i still don't know what the news is on that. so you guys will have to wait until next week to find out. sorry...
     Homecoming looks like it was a blast.. brings back so many memories. I cant believe I already graduated... also, sounds like this week was crazy.  
     This week was sunny and really nice at the first part of the week. I got a little sunburned while playing volleyball. (the ozone layer here is really thin. so you get sunburned really easy). Then Friday until today it just rained like crazy... our investigators are doing well. Patricia Diaz is doing really well. She is trying to stop smoking and has made a lot of progress. But last night we had a lesson with her and it was very spiritual about the 10 commandments and the law of chastity. At the end, she told us that she has this huge debt. Here in Chile, when someone dies, you can rent a spot at he cemetery for three years. If you don't pay a certain amount of money (its a lot.) They move the body. Patricia's mom is buried there and none of her sisters want to help her pay for the spot. She has to come up with the money al tido.. ASAP... the due date is sometime next month. Elder Johnson promised her that if she read at least one verse and prayed with her family everyday, she would some how come up with he money... crazy... also we learned that Claudia (Estebans mom) has cancer in her throat and that the dad of the Family Soto Contreras has cancer in his colon and stomach.. We haven't been able to talk to family Soto contreras this week because they have been gone, but we have a lesson with them tonight.. hopefully they are there and we can help them. Claudia is so strong and when she found out about the cancer, she was with her friend, and she told her friend, let's not talk about it, lets talk about something else.. she is such a happy person and is so strong. the whole family is doing well and is coming to church every week, (well except Freddy and his dad.. still working with them.) After we had a lesson with Freddy and Claudia, a bunch of little girls who were playing came and talked to us. the mom of one of the girls came out and we started talking to her. She didn't want anything the do with the church, but something happened and she told us that she had a  24 year old daughter that died and few years ago and she has a lot of depression and sadness. We told her that we had a message about the next life and so on.. (the plan of salvation).. we have a lesson with her tomorrow.. 
   I cannot express the happiness and joy I feel being out here and helping people overcome their difficulties. It helps me become more humble and recognize my own shortcomings. Even thought I have disappointing moments as well, I am so glad to be here. I know that this church true. The hope and joy it brings into the life of others. Freddy told us how much the gospel has changed his life. Even though he still has a lit more room to improve, he has come so far already. Preaching the gospel has also helped me see how much I don't know about the gospel. D&C 11:21. Preach my Gospel has helped me so much. It is truly a book written by revelation to the prophets and apostles today. I love all of you and pray for you always. 
Elder Hughes
                                                            "Here's to you little sister"
Here is a cool picture that Elder Strate and I found at the airport in Mexico
on the stewardess' cart (sorry he had the picture and he sent it today).

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 "I love you all and remember to always do what Jesus would do."

Well this week went by really fast.. really weird.  Next week is transfers and I will be done with training!! Crazy thought... 

   Aaahh homecoming.. sweet memories of planning and craziness.. Lo Siento... Life is moving by fast. It seems like yesterday I was singing songs in primary about serving a mission... it is weird to think that after my mission I will just leave for college. but i can at least come home on weekends. 
    This week we had inter transfers.. I went with Elder Terra because he is the district leader and because I end my training... he doesn't speak any English, but I could still understand most of what he said. He is such an awesome guy and does a great job as district leader. Our investigators are doing well. We invited the family Soto-Contreras to be baptized on Nov 16  after talking about Lesson 3 and priesthood authority. They are catholic and so we stressed about the priesthood authority and how we are the only ones who have it. when we invited them, the dad said... I have already been baptized..... so we told them to pray about it and see if it is right... hopefully they do it.. We have been doing English classes for three weeks and there  has not been a lot of people.  But we found a nephew of the stake president who is not a member and is interested in learning English because he is going to America for work. He is very receptive and they told us that if we were passing by during once (or dinner..snacking thing) we could eat what them.. so nice. 
    All of the missionaries were given ....a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" by Lawerence E. Corbridge. It is so good and if you can find it, read it. It is not only for missionaries but for everyone. Something that caught my attention it is that the ultimate question is not if we are worthy or obedient because like in the parable of the ten virgins, all were morally clean and obedient, but only five entered into the house of the lord.. the  question we must ask ourselves is..... "Who are we and who will we become?"
    Also another thing, here we walk in the streets alot (all the time) and we talk to people all the time. Set a goal to try and talk to someone every week that you don't know and who you know about not just the gospel but to befriend them. It will help your social skills for one thing, but you will get more friends...;) and that is a good thing... I love you all and remember to always do what Jesus would do. Not to ask yourself ''is this wrong'' but ''is it something Christ would do''. 

Love, Elder Hughes

  " For p-day...we played volleyball at the stake center. 

Lots of fun."  (Nate is setting the volleyball)

"Well we finally have a stove. Home made hashbrowns and an omelet. 
10 times better than cereal and oatmeal"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 5, 2014 "I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here in the mission"

6 De Octubre
Wow!!... I would just write about the conference because it was so amazing, but all of you probably know that already. It was so good and I learned so much on how to become a better missionary and a better disciple of Christ. The Greengos (Americans) were about to watch it in English in another room. So I was able to understand all of it;) the priesthood session (because of time difference) was at 9:00 and we didn't get to bed until 12:00.... funny story.... There is a man named Jorge that we have befriended and tried to help. He is a less active and has..... well he has a lot of problems. And sometimes he tries to tell us his life story but of the things he has done and we are like, we dont want to know.. and try to change the subject.  The bishop and a few members are helping him even though he lives in another ward. Well we invited him to conference and the Stake Center to watch it. He was there for a little bit of the saturday afternoon session. Then on Sunday he came, but he was a little loopy (drunk and probably high). It was crazy tryijng to get him settled down in the chapel. He kept going around and saying hi to everyone. So we took him to the room where we were going to watch it in English and he was crying and throwing his phone..... it was a lot of fun. Finally we got a member who has helped him before and she took care of it... all in all, it was a good experience, I guess.

  Our investigators are doing a lot better. There are a few families that we are going ot commit to baptism this week. They are both very interested in the church. Also Patricia Diaz committed to be baptized on the 25 of Oct. We had a wonderful lesson with her about prophets, church and the Book of Mormon, she was in tears by the end and told us that she knows the church is true.!!!! Por Fin..... Finally.. hopefully we can help her continue to have that desire the rest of her life. 

  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here in the mission. I am learning so much and it is such a blessing. I am able to see how important the gospel is and my testimony of it is strengthened when I see it change the lifes of those we teach. There is an essay by a mission president called the Fourth Missionary. It is so good not only for missionaries but for members too. It applies so well. Try and find it on the internet if you can. I am also grateful for the trust that the Lord has for me to teach his gospel to others and to be a member of his church. I am striving to live up to my responsibility as a son of god to help others come unto Christ. I have also learned that this responsibility is not only for missionaries, but for members as well. It is a life long duty...... ´´Predicad Mi Evangelio´´,,,´´Preach my Gospel´´...

With Love
Elder Hughes 
*The fourth missionary Nathan referred to is by Elder Lawrence E.C. of the first quorum of the seventies and it is 29 pages long. Here is a small part of it.
"So, do you see that the question is not only "are you obedient?" nor is it only, "are you worthy?" Rather, the central question, the critical question is "who are you, and who are you becoming?"

In the parable of the ten virgins five are prepared and enter the Lord's presence and five do not. Why does the Lord choose to use the metaphor of "virgins" in this particular parable? Why not ten maids, or ten servants? Why virgins? It is the only time that He employs the characterization of "virgins" in a parable. Is there a reason?

What does virginity imply? Purity. There were ten worthy, pure maidens and yet five did not enter His presence, despite their worthiness. Why not? He said to them: "Verily I say unto you, I know you not." (Matthew 25:12)

Do not misunderstand; obedience and worthiness are crucial, absolutely essential. Worthiness or purity is a quality of godliness, but it is only one quality of godliness. It is not the whole of it. The question may not be merely "are you worthy, pure and clean?" It may not be only "have you been forgiven of your sins?" It may not even be only "were you obedient?" The central question is more likely to be: "Who are you?" Who are you and who are you becoming?"
Missionaries on a "service" project
               Chopping wood for a sister in our ward....Nathan is truly a giant of a man in every way.