Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January 26, 2015 "Fruit Harvesting in Chile and the importance of Hometeaching and Visiting Teaching"

  HEY!!!! How is everything going up there in North America?? Sounds like you guys had an awesome stake conference..... those three men will do a great job as the new stake presidency. That is an awesome experience that Elder Johnson had on his mission.. like Paul said, the church is like a body and the head of the body is Christ.. every part on the body is needed to function perfectly... even the fingernail is important.. even though it may not cause the body to die, it will cause  alot of pain to the body and discomfort... everyone and every calling in the church is super important and Christ trusts us to take care of his body.... 
   So this week has been a little slow... and hot... during this time of the year, the big fruit orchards need to harvest the fruit and they hire a lot of people to do it.. almost everyone here in Rio Negro works there during this time until about March... so either no one is home or they have  just gotten back from working in the hot sun carrying fruit around all day and dont want anything from us... so we have been doing a lot of tracking and walking visiting members.. the branch in Rio Negro can almost become a ward, but they need more people doing their home teaching and have temple recommends, so we have been visiting alot of the members to help them get their recommends and to do their home teaching.. 
    We had our zone conference with two other zones.. it was so good and I learned a lot.. we talked a lot about working with the members more. The truth is that the members do all the work and the missionaries just teach and invite people to be baptized.. it is becuase the bishop has the keys to leading the missionary work.. not the mission president, the mission president only has the keys to baptize and confirm.. and when the members get involved with the investigators, the investigators feel more welcome and comfortable when they go to church. Plus the missionaries are only there for 6 months at the most and the members are there for... like 40 years. So the members are truely supposed to be the missionaries of the missionary work.. I have seen miracles that happen when the members get involved with the work..  so we have been trying to get the members more involved, but alot of them work alot or dont really want to and the president of the branch is going to be married in a few weeks, so he is stressed out.. so it has been a lilttle difficult, but we will keep trying. 
   We havent been able to teach any of our investigators this week.. we want to go and talk with them so bad, but they work like crazy and dont have any time, hopefully we can talk to them this week...... 
   One last thing.. how is your home teaching and visiting teachiing?? I have seen how blessed we are in the US and to have enough peopel to do home teaching and visit the members and strengthen them. Home teaching and visiting teaching are inspired programs from God to strengthen members (active and inactive) and to hasten the work.. because if the members are having problems and are not strong, how can the missionaries bring more people who need help and who are new to the church. The home teaching and visiting teaching here is something that is wished by every missionary. So that we can focus more on investigators and not members who are having problems.... Basically what I am trying to say is DO YOUR HOM;E TEACHING AND VISITING TEACHING!!! and dont just show up at the families house and share a little somehting them never talk to them until the next month.. the LORD has trust you to watch over those specific families.. prayerfully ask the Lord to help you share something meaningful to the family and to stay in contact with them and be there for them... treat them just as the missionaries treat their investigators.. (that is why an apostle said that every member should have a preach my gospel...) take care of the people that the Lord has entrusted you with.. feed his sheep that he has asked you to take care of. Have a great week.. 

With Love 
Elder Hughes

Our chapel in Rio Negro

Elder Alder, Elder Cleverly. and Elder  Jeppson-Elders from my zone at the CCM 
who were at our zone conference last week.

Elder Johnson, my first companion in Chile and his new trainee....we met up at zone conference.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 19, 2015 "Cherry trees, riding in packed buses to Osorno, and feeling the blessings of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, temples, and family!"

Our Zone right before transfers

  So this week has been a lot of fun.. last P-day we played volleyball with the zone and had a barbecue.. Then later that day when we got home, we realized that we have a cherry tree in our back yard.. right now is the time where the fruit is growing and we can literally walk down the street and pick berries while we are walking.. I'll send some pics next week...
   I don't know if I have explained this yet or not, but where I am now in Rio Negro, there are two companion ships here, and it is a small town 30 min from Osorno. In order to get to Osorno, we take a bus.. and most of them are small buses that are usually packed with people and we have to stand in the aisle.. and with my height, I have to scrunch down and bend my head because I cannot stand up straight... we always get a laugh out of it.. but we have had a lot of meetings this week in Osorno, so I have probably shrunk from having to bend down so much... 
   Also this week we have been visiting a lot of less active members and teaching them about temples and trying to help them get back to the temple (if they have already gone) so that they can receive the blessings of the temple. A lot of them came back to church and it was so awesome to see them return and renew their baptismal covenants through the sacrament.. 
   The two families that we are teaching are doing well.... we haven't been able to talk with one of the families because they have been super busy (the family that doesn't want to pray). But the other family is doing great. We haven't given them a baptismal date just yet because we don't feel that they are ready yet. The other family is really receptive, but the problem is that they don't know a whole lot about Christ or the bible or church.. so we have been going slow and helping them understand.. for example, we have taught them three times this week and we are still talking about lesson one...  I am so glad that I have been able to have the gospel and a knowledge of Jesus Christ my whole life.. I  don't know how anyone could live without it.. I am so thankful to have the gospel and to have the scriptures so that I can learn and become a better person. I am so glad that where I live (in the US) there are temples only 30 minutes away so that I can feel the peace and joy that comes through the temple.. how blessed am I  to have such an awesome family. Cousins.. aunts and uncles and grandparents who each raised me in the gospel.. thank you for everything.. have an awesome week!
With Love,
Elder Hughes

Our "Copa Rahue" Zone before transfers....we played volleyball and had a barbecue! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015 "What are my favorite sins?"

  HEY!!! How is everyone?? Well, this week was good for me. We had interviews with the president tuesday and it was so good. I love talking to President Obeso. He always is filled with love and always wants to help everyone. 
      Friday I went on an intercambio(split) for a day with one of our zone leaders Elder Jacobson. He is a funny guy and I learned a lot from him.  Also, this week was Transfers... and Elder JAcobson is giong to be the new AP..  Elder Holt and I are staying in Rio Negro and so is Elder Winward and Elder Linford..We have two investigator families who are doing well and progressing.  We are thinking about giving them a baptismal date.. one of the problems is that one of the families, doesnt want to pray. They say that they feel obligated to pray and that they want to pray when they feel it is necessary.... and Prayer is our biggest tool for conversion because through prayer you can recieve an answer from God.. for example, we talked yo a person in the street and they said they have read the Book of Mormon but the only problem they have is that they dont believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet.. so what did we ask her?? ``have you ask God if he is a prophet??`` they said no but that they had studied and they dont think that he is a prophet. so we invited her to pray.. 
        Also on wednesday, we ran into an investigator named Jose. He was drinking and sitting in front of an old store. And we sat and talked with him for a while. He told us that he wants to stop drinking because he knows it is bad and a bad example for his kids. So we told him to take the wine he was drinking and to throw it away in a nearby garbage can.. he said that he couldnt because he had already paid for it and didnt want waste his money.. ELder Holt felt prompted to tell him that if he threw it away, he would find more money before the end of the day.. but Jose still would not give up his wine.. we tried one more time nad he still refused.. we felt so bad that he was so addicted that he couldnt give it up.. Elder Holt and I talked after about how maybe some of us have a ``favorite sin`` that if called to give it up, we would not.. if we have a favorite sin, even if it is small... we must get ride of it now while we can so that we can progress and repent... even though it is hard, we must make the sacrifice so that we can take of the burden of sin and be made free through Christ. 

With love,
Elder Hughes

PS Sorry, my computer isnt cooperating to send week?

January 5, 2015 "Going foward is good, but we must have a direction.. a plan..... a goal"

   ¡Feliz año! happy new years!!! 

   So the weather took a turn and it has rained almost everyday this week. But that is okay because I like it better than the hot. 
    Monday we had a first lesson with a family ( the mom is a sister of hermano jacob ) and they all sat down and listened. We taught them the first lesson and they are such a good family. We also were able to teach Carlos and Javiera (we first taught them about two weeks ago) and had a good lesson about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and prayer. They both understand really well, but they still only see it as good advice and something good. They dont have too much of a religious background so we are working to get them to pray and ask if what we are teaching is true.  Tuesday we went to a really small town 30 min outside of Rio Negro called RiaChuelo. We dont have any investigators there so we were trying to talk to people in the street. tTere were not a lot of people adn the ones who were outside didnt want anything. So I started to pray in my heart that we would find someone and right as we turned the corner, we ran into an older gentlman who let us share the first lesson with him and his wife. Even though they are both strong catholics, they said that they felt something different about what we said and they want us to come back and share more.. I am so glad that Heavenly Father is watching out for all of us and answered my little prayer. He is worried about all of us and wants to help us and he will do what he knows will help us the most. 
       There is a family in our sector where the dad and daughter are members but the mom and son are not. The dad and daughter dont come to church alot... and last week they found out that the mom needs an operation for her something inside her intestines.. it has taken a huge hit on the family.. first of all becuase they are dirt poor and also becuase the dad now has even more stress.. we passed by the other day to talk with him and see what we could do to help. We talked for a while and the dad said to us.. I am doing all I can do and it doesnt seem like anything is happening.. I felt that i should ask him if he is paying his tithing and reading his scriptures.. he told us that he hasnt and we talked about the importance of doing those things.. after, I realized that even though it might seem that we are doing everything right, there is always something htat we lack or that we can do better. We always need to try to change and become better in every moment.. we should never say ``all is well in zion´´ because we cannot be satisfied with our current condition.. we always need to be doing better. 2 Nephi 28:21..   
      Now is the beginning of a new year and now we can all do something better. Make goals and plans because they will help you to have a destination and a specific route to follow. It is a lot easier to follow a GPS or a map instead of just walking. Going foward is good, but we must have a direction.. a plan..... a goal. 
With Love,
Elder Hughes 

"We went and picked raspberries at a members house yesterday and made smoothies!"