Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Week 3 Pics

Week 3

I thought this week would be harder being away from the family and all, but it was actually really fun!!! When one is 100% focused on the true meaning of Christmas, there is a beautiful spirit during such an important day. I feel like i lived my first real Christmas. I know that sounds kind of weird, but sharing the message of Christs birth all day and thinking about it constantly truly makes these days more special.Christ truly is the first gift of Christmas. On Christmas eve we were definitely over fed... we ate 4 full on meal in a span of 5 hours... all the families in the ward are really generous(: 

We ate with 3 families from our ward. Fam. Chaves, Lorgas y Augilar. These 3 families are amazing. Brother Augilar shared with us a beautiful story called "The Forgotten Carols". He basically depicted the entire story by memory and the spirit of Christmas was so strong! I recommend everyone read that story. Afterward my companion, bro. Augilar and i bore our testimonies of Christ and this beautiful time of year. The spirit was so strong i'd pay 1 million dollars to re-live that moment. Unforgettable. I know that Jesus Christ came to this earth to atone for our sins and pains because he loved us. I know that because of him everyone that has ever died on this earth will live again. I know that because of him i can receive forgiveness from my sins and find true joy. 

Also that night, we got together with a bunch of other elders in our Zone and had a huge Nerf war and enjoyed some fireworks! I didnt sleep much that night, but it was worth it! On Christmas day it was the opposite compared to Christmas Eve food wise hahaha the family we were going to eat with forgot about us so we ended up not eating hahaha Good old PB and J for a nice Christmas dinner(; 

Our area Christmas day was like a ghost town because everything was closed so no one was out. It was the best!!! hahaha 

I hope all of you had a good Christmas and have a happy New Year!!!


-Elder Hagues

Monday, December 22, 2014

More Week 2 Pictures - Elders Quarters and scenes from Tapachula, Mexico

Week 2

This week passed by insanely fast! This week i got a cold, but at least i dont have dengue yet! I feel like my body is acclimating to the heat, but it still feels really hot here everyday! Next week i am going to go visit some pyramids and the tree of life rock because im 20 minutes away!!!!! i will definitely send those photos to you all! This week Elder Carreon and i found some really good new investigators (people who want to hear our message)! Its been kind of a hard week because everyone is in a rush to get things ready for Christmas and not very many people want to listen to us, but i have still seen many miracles this week! 

The highlight of the week was definitely this spiritual experience we had. So it was about 8 oclock and practically all of our lessons dropped so we had no one to teach and 1 hour left in the day. So my companion and i were a little bummed out to say the least. Then i remembered something that a missionary told me in my district. He said that i need to trust in God and not necessarily in our investigators. This doesnt mean to say that i dont have faith or trust that my investigators will progress, but i have begun to realize that above all i need to trust that God will provide us with people to teach and with people who will accept the gospel. Anyways, we were a little bummed out so as we started walking again, i pulled my companion off to the side of an alleyway and said that we should pray. I said that prayer and i asked god that if it be his will, we would find someone ready to hear the gospel. 

As we turned the corner of the alley and began walking down the street my companion saw two people sitting down on the curb and he said that we should go talk to them. We presented ourselves as usual, but this time the couple accepted our invitation to hear our message! As we began to share with them about God being our loving heavenly father and how he sent his Jesus Christ to die for each of us, the spirit was very strong. This couple opened up to us and they expressed how they were having problems with their relationship. We shared some scriptures, bore testimony of our savior Jesus Christ and expressed that the gospel of Jesus Christ can truly unite families! Both of them even bore their testimonies and i could feel a strong spirit from them! We were all crying because we could truly feel the spirit of our loving heavenly father. We ended with a hymn and prayer and are going to meet with them again tonight! I know that they are prepared to hear our message! I know that God exists and he is aware of the little details in our lives even if we do not realize it. I know that we were led to Thomas and Aynet by the spirit of God. 

Well that was definitely the highlight of the week, but another amazing part was the Christmas event we had with our mission president, President George! We received instruction from him and 2 of the assistants, had a live nativity put together by some missionaries, a Christmas themed talent show and a testimony meeting. It took up all of Saturday basically. I was definitely able to practice my piano playing a total of over 8 songs in the talent show. Everyone needed someone to play for them while they sang Christmas hymns hahaha I was also able to perform The First Noel/ Christmas Waltz arranged by David Lanz which was a lot of fun! Overall it was an uplifting experience and its always enjoyable to get together with all the missionaries in the zone! 

I love all you guys! 

-Elder Hagues

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

First Email from Mexico! Dec 15, 2014.

Due to the lack of time to write you all, i will be sending out a general email. Sorry for not responding last week, but i was flying down to Mexico! (: So i landed in Tuxtla Gutierrez and the mission president, his wife and 2 of his assistants were there to get us. It is super green here, just as i expected! I can during months were it doesnt rain much so thats a good thing. People, including my mission president, drive like mad down honestly i thought i was going to die on the way to the mission presidents home. That night we ate, had some interviews with the pres. George and we went out to do some contacting (going out to talk to people in the street about our church). Pres. George is an amazing, loving and extremely spiritual person. I am blessed to have him as a father figure here for 2 years. 

The next day we had some meetings in a church building next to the temple and then we were paired with our companions. My new companion is Elder Carreon. He is from puebla mexico, is 19 years old, and is a really good guy. Hes only been out on the mission for 3 months and he was called to be district leader and my trainer. I have honestly been extremely blessed to have him as a companion. Theres not really much not to like about him, except for his tone death singing (; hahaha 

My first area is a city called Tapachula Mexico which is literally right next to Guatemala. It is the hottest area of the mission of course......its December and i am sweating 24 7 here hahahha My area is Tapachula Central, so it is the city city...if that makes sense. There are basically just a lot of stores here so when we contact people most of them dont live in our area which is a little hard. I still have a lot of hope that we are going to have a lot of success here. My testimony of Jesus Christ and his atonement has grown immensely here and i am already beginning to love the people here. 

One day we talked to this girl and we taught her about the Plan of Salvation. I can say without a doubt that we taught with a powerful spirit to her and i know she could feel it. As i testified to her that she will see her mom again in the next life, i knew she knew that what we were saying was true. She was willing to continue to meet with us and be baptised, but turns out....she was going back to Guatemala that week. It was a bummer, but i know she will continue to learn from the elders over there and i know her faith in Christ grew. I know that my purpose here is to help people increase their faith in Christ and that is what i am trying to do everyday. Not so much so that they can be baptised, but so that they can feel the love from their Heavenly father and Jesus Christ. 

The food is amazing here! some of it is super weird but i havent gotten sick yet :D in fact, since i got to mexico, all the health problems i had just went away! Truly a blessing! The people here are all extremely poor and they all work extremely hard to sustain themselves. Some people i talk to just live in their hammock under some trees, with what little possessions they have. It is really polluted here in the city so i think im going to get a smokers cough hahaha 

I testify that our Heavenly Father loves each one of his children. Jesus Christ can heal you from your sins and any other pain you have in your life. If you don't know this to be true, ask with a sincere heart and he will answer. 

I love you all and i will send pictures next week of this amazing place! 

With love
-Elder Hagues

Monday, December 8, 2014

Elder Hagues has flown South! This is what it would look like if you were to drive what he just flew.
He flew with his MTC companion, Elder Gonzalez, through Atlanta, Mexico City and on to Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter to Family - Nov 27th, 2014

Today is Thanksgiving so I actually have a little time to write a letter! I've only been here a week but it feels like an eternity!

I no longer have much stress from being a Zone Leader. I am getting used to the responsibilities and schedule. I am able to play the piano for priesthood and sacrament meeting so it is going to be good practice. I am starting to get better at teaching in Spanish..
One thing I have learned here is that this is not my mission but the Lord's. I need to forget myself and go to work. The character of Christ is turning outward, when the natural man would turn inward. I am continually trying to have the character of Christ. For example, after Christ had just suffered  for all the pains and sins of the world, and had bled from every pore, he healed the [servant's] ear. The pain he felt was unimaginable. When the natural man would turn inward and want everyone to feel sorry for him, Christ turned outward and healed the [servant]. This is the character of Christ (turning outward).

When things aren't going well in the mission, and I am not having success, I need to remember the character of Christ. Today was an amazing day!  Elder David A. Bednar came and spoke to us! He spoke of having faith and becoming truly converted. Also he showed us that the Spirit is the teacher, not us. We are teaching people, not lessons.
You guys are not going to believe what else happened... We were chosen to have a special lunch with Elder Bednar! The lunch was good and I got to shake hands with him and we had a little conversation. He talked to me about when he visited Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. He said all the kids were very reverent. After lunch we had a question and answer session, but we were the one's getting asked the questions. Mostly everything was centered on teaching with the Spirit and getting to know your investigators. He has an amazing spirit!. I am very grateful for such an amazing experience!

We also had a huge humanitarian project where all the zone leaders were in charge of a mini-assembly line. We made 576 meals (of rice, veggies, lentils and pink himalayan salt in a plastic bag). Everything is going good except I'm tired some days...
Elder Michael M. Hagues