Monday, August 18, 2014

“Jack, he cry when he hungry!”

Pulling over for a phone call

Dearest Family Family Dearest,

It has been a whirlwind of a week. Sitting at this computer ...I can't really even remember what happened...

This week Sister Zaugg and I went to Nong Khai. It is one of her old areas that is right on the Laos border. Because there are no longer sisters there (they were just taken out this transfer) we had permission to go make sure all of the previous sisters’ recent converts are getting taken care of and doing well. We were able to find Brother Tii ; he is doing well.

We have found many people while contacting this week who have been really prepared. One of our new investigators, Som, walked out of the mall we were at and when I asked her if she wanted to go to church, she said, "I just bought this book. Can you help me understand it?" She pulled it out and showed it to me—“15 Ways the Bible Can Change Your Life.” I just smiled. Pray for her! She has a really good understanding of what we are teaching her and I think it is beginning to change her. She is really busy, though, because she is about to graduate from college. Send some prayers her way!

Last night we celebrated Sister Zaugg's last Sunday in country with a dinner at the Brown's house. Here in Udon, we (the sisters, elders, and the Browns) all live on the same street in this little tiny neighborhood. I love that we are all on the same street. The Browns had a dinner for the sisters. We had PORK CHOPS and MASHED POTATOES and CHOCOLATE PUDDING. Real American food that none of us have eaten for ages. It was so yummy. Elder Brown served his mission here in Thailand when he was younger and is now back serving with his wife. They are so cute :) And guess what? Elder Brown taught Pa Gua. Yes, that is right. Elder Brown taught Pa Gua when he was a missionary. I feel like my mission has come full circle.

I have been instructed by the Browns to tell you this, family: "Elder and Sister Brown love me and think I am a great missionary." So there you have it. :)

Today we had a mini zone training to continue to encourage greater unity and to get everyone excited about the work here in Udon. There are 7 companionships in our zone; that is tiny! We met together and talked about loving the Lord and serving Him as best we can. Because I am one of the Sister Training Leaders, I had the opportunity to speak. (It was a little terrifying. I'm not sure why.) I spoke about Ephesians 3:14–21. I love these verses. They have changed my entire mission.  I'll tell you why.

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

These verses are from a letter the apostle Paul wrote. It illustrates so beautifully why we need the influence of the Holy Ghost in our teaching and what can happen when we listen to and follow divine guidance. When we seek and pray, we can be blessed with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and we can be strengthened according to the riches of God's glory. Christ will dwell in our hearts. Our learning and preparing and teaching will be rooted and grounded in love. This will become the foundation of all we do. And when this happens, we will begin to understand, with those we teach, just how big and life changing Christ's love for us is. It is deeper, taller, wider than we will ever be able to understand. When we do this, when we work with the Spirit, God will do more with each of us than we can even think to ask for. 

An important principle I have learned on my mission: my efforts and what I give to the Lord are important. He will take what I have consecrated to Him and use it for His purposes. Miracles can and do happen. I have seen them. They may not always be for me or for my companionship—it doesn't really matter where the miracles happen. I don't need to worry about how and where God uses my efforts as a missionary, because everyone is His child and is in need of blessings. I may not always see the fruits of my labors, but it never means they go unnoticed by Him. I am so grateful that God does more through my companions and me than we can ever know. 

God is good. And His work is the best work I have ever been a part of.

I love you, family!!

Sister Hughes

Quote of the Week

Brother Jack, a member in the branch here in Udon, was nicely teasing Sister Zaugg about crying when she bore her testimony, and Brother Ooh said this in English in response (maybe it's funnier if you know both of them, but it made me cry; we all laughed so hard):  "Jack, he cry when he hungry!"

Dinner with the Browns : )
Sunset at Nong Prajak Park
Banana lady
A temple and sunset in Nong Khai
Happy Thai Mother's Day
I have never met someone so full of laughs or smiles.

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