Monday, July 5, 2010

I have been a slacker and forgot to post on Hailey's blog- Needles to say, there has been a lot going on in her first 5 months of the mission. She has settled in and you will be able to tell from this letter from her how well she is doing!

Hello family and friends!
Happy late 4th of July! Yesterday was crazy here in Washington. There were tons of fireworks going off and they weren’t just the dinky little ones we use in Utah. They were loud and there were a ton that went up into the sky. The best way to describe it is that it was like a war zone. Haha They go all out here! It was funny too because our apartment is across the street from a bar so you between the short, almost non-existence, stops of fireworks, you could here the drunks across the street. It was very interesting to say the least but I’m safe!
This week our new mission president, President Todd Larkin, and his family arrived in Seattle. On Friday, my zone and two others met at the Auburn Stake Center to meet him. Before him and his family got there, all of the missionaries sang hymns ( I got to play the piano). Because I was playing the piano, I didn’t see him come in but immediately I could feel the spirit so strongly! When he walked in the door and came and sat on the stand, I knew without a doubt that he had the priesthood authority and keys to direct the Washington Seattle Mission. The spirit was so strong as him and his family spoke to us! President and Sister Larkin have 3 kids and they are all adopted. The oldest son, Jordan, got dropped off at the MTC last week and he is going to Japan! Because his dad is a mission president, he can go on a mission when he is only 18. What’s crazy is that he is only 17 now! He turns 18 in a few weeks. They also have a 13 year old boy named Levi and a daughter Allie (can’t remember how old she is). They are an amazing family and I can’t wait to get to know them better.
When President Larkin spoke, he focused on unity and how important it is for us to have individually, as a companionship, and as a mission. If we are ever going to truly find our Zion, we have to be united. If we would only be united, then we could see limitless miracles and we could change the world. He also talked about how wonderful stateside missions are. There are a lot of people who think going on a mission in the USA is not that exciting. In fact, many people tend to look down on us because we didn’t get called to some “cool” foreign country. However, President Larkin said that we are so blessed to serve in the USA. Serving in the USA is really tough! The Lord needs his strongest children here to build up the strong stakes of Zion. It’s such a blessing to be able to serve in strong stakes among strong leaders! It was nice to hear that. He said a lot of other wonderful things but the most important thing is that I could feel the spirit so strongly as he spoke. Even though I will miss the Moffat’s, I KNOW without a doubt that President Larkin is suppose to be the mission president at this time. I’m excited to see what direction he takes this mission.
The last couple of weeks we have been struggling finding new investigator’s but we did get 1 new one this week! Her name is Linda and she is probably in her 40’s. We tracted into her last week and had a short lesson with her. She has a lot of struggles in her life right now and she hasn’t really been able to feel any peace. We stopped by again this week and she let us right in so we shared a message about how the gospel can help us in hard times and the peace and strength we can receive. I really feel like there is a lot of potential with her. The gospel could bless her life so much! Even though I barely know her, I love her and want to help her see that she is truly a daughter of God. We are visiting her this week so hopefully it goes well.
A couple of weeks ago, we tracted into a less active named Fran. She is probably in her late 40’s/early 50’s. She was so sweet and told us she really wanted to come back to church. It had been a long time since she had been. Yesterday she came to church and I was so excited! As we sat in sacrament meeting, I could tell she felt at peace. I’m so glad that she was able to find her way back home! It hit me that no matter what has happened in your past, whether you made mistakes or you were offended by someone, you can always come back to church. There are so many blessings waiting for us! I want everyone I know, especially my family to know that it is never too late to come back to the church. Our Heavenly Father wants to bless all of us and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, anything that is unfair or any wrongs we have been dealt with, he has already paid for those heartaches. Jesus Christ’s arms are always opened! If we follow him, he can guide us and make our burdens easier to bear.
Fast and testimony was powerful this week and I could really feel the spirit. The bishop, Bishop Jensen, bore powerful testimony about temples, the plan of salvation, and eternal families. Everyone else seemed to focus on families too and it really helped me feel more love for my family. More than anything, I hope I will be able to live with ALL of my family in the eternities. That is my only wish and desire!
This week has been crazy busy but I’m loving the work. Missionary work is tough and it can be discouraging but its so rewarding. The lessons I am learning now are shaping me into the person my Father in Heaven wants me to be. I know he does this to all of us too. We are all his children and he knows our potential!
I know this church is true. I would not be on a mission now if I didn’t know that. Everyday I see countless miracles or instances that help me realize that we are all God’s children and he has a plan for each of us. If we just follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost and follow in the footsteps of our Savior, we will be able to make it safely home. More than ever before, I want to do everything I can now so I can make it back to live with my Father in Heaven and to be with my family for eternity. I can’t think of any greater blessing!
I hope everyone has a great week!
Much love,

Sister Hughes

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