Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Target on my back much?

Hola mi Amigos! 

Once again, thank you for all the emails! I love you all so much and the emails just make me feel so close to you all.  I love it here and the time is going SO FAST.  One elder described it as:

The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days.


But, anyway, onto stories, si??

Well, We go to the temple on P-days (so.. Today)  and it is just BEAUTIFUL.  The power in the temple always feels like home.  I love it, and the Spanish twists make it that much more impressionable.  SO many Spanish words do not directly translate, so.. They have other words to fill the spot.  And those words have special meanings on their own... So that makes it interesting and fascinating.

Also, I found out by showing a fellow Elder a picture that he used to WORK with my Uncle Homer!!! Ask him about this Elder, named Elder Jake Hamilton.  GREAT stories to tell.

Also, I totally forgot to mention, Elder Collin Clark is in my district, so that is always nice! It is great to have a familiar face around here and there (Or, you know... All the time!).

So, this week was very... normal, as far as the MTC goes.  A lot of spiritual experiences that just affirm how real the work is.  I am known as the singer/actor/dancer among the Elders and Hermanas, which is nice.  I get told 'tranquilo' a lot... Which is frustrating cuz I CANNOT HELP BEING EXCITED TO BE ON A MISSION. SORRY.  I find myself performing old monologues by request ALL the time, I get asked to sing to an Hermana (or, a couple of times) an Elder cuz they heard I sing.  Usually pretty awesome reactions!  It is humbling to see how much music can unite people....  And I feel very blessed for the opportunities I had to use my voice so that here it can spread the gospel.  I am amazed every day at all the Lord has blessed me with, and even though I am told to calm down all the time, I just refuse to take those blessings for granted!

I want you all to know how much I love you and how amazing each of you are.  Every single one of you means so much to me, and I hope that college/school/mission prep/WHATEVER else is going incredible for you all.  

So, I began to read the Book of Mormon over again when I got here.  I am currently in 3 Nephi 13 (Best parts, RIGHT?) and I am just blown away at how real this book is.  I KNOW it is true, and I KNOW that it is a miracle and the strongest evidence that God loves us in this world.  Whilst reading, I came upon this scripture that I have adopted as my own, and I use it frequently. In the chapter heading of Helaman Chapter 16, a section reads as follows:

"Some harden their hearts - and others see angels."

This scripture hit me so hard... And it's in a chapter heading!!! I love that.  Yes, in the chapter that exact thing literally happens... But in our lives, this still rings so true.  Some will harden their hearts for one reason or another.  But others, despite the confusion, despite the pain, despite the fact that we DO NOT know all of God's plan, Will See Angels.  That is an incredible statement and one that we can all apply. 

As a missionary, I will tell you now... There are many here who have hardened their hearts.  You can see it in their countenance, and when the spirit comes, they don't notice.  But others... Others have become that exact thing that is promised in that scripture.  They have become angels of the Lord.  That is what I aspire for, every day I wake up.  Some harden their hearts, and others see angels.  Although I am far from perfect, I have never felt so close to my wings as I do these past few weeks.  

At one point, during a devotional, they had to stop the meeting cuz it was raining so hard.  Most went to the commodore to wait for the stuff to resume.

But what did I do?


Yeah, I was soaked.  The president of the CCM thought it was hilarious.  SO WORTH IT.

So, the President of the CCM, Presidente Cox, has not been here the entire time I have been here cuz of a sickness that kept him in Salt Lake.  Well, he came back about 5 days ago.

So What happens?  The WHOLE CCM is there waiting, and about 45 seconds into his 'I am glad to be back' speech, he goes...

"Oh yeah, and where is Elder Kristian Huff?"


"Uh... Hi?"

Apparently missionary work introduced him to my bishop.  And,... My bishop told him about me.  So...

"I am very glad to have you here Elder! Seems like your bishop and ward has high expectations of you, So I will too!"

Target on my back much? 



But honestly, I love it here. I CANNOT WAIT to get to the field, but still. It is wonderful.  Among other things, my hair is mostly back already, I have been initiated into at least 4 secret missionary clubs and I spend a lot of time dancing through the hallways.  Song of this week? Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley. Mom, POST IT.  (been posted) I looked up all the stories associated with it, and GHSGAGHSAFGAGSG I LOVE THAT SONG.

I love you all.  
Yo amo el Señor, y esté evangelio.  Esté iglesia es verdadera, y yo sé que mediante fe en Jesucristo y su Expiacion, podemos ser limpios del pecado.  Yo amo esté verdad, y si usted tiene preguntas acerca el Evangelio... Orá a Dios, y estudiá su palabras.

Vosotros estáis maravillosa. Hasta Vez.

Y estas cosas yo digo, en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Shout outs... Steph, Emily, Enoch, Lara, Caroline (Way to go Girl!), Gracie (Rock that music), Dallin, Kailey, Jeri, Lizzie and Assael.  I love you all. 

Talk to you soon!

Elder Kristian Huff

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Abide With Me; Tis Eventide

Hey everybody!!!!

Of course, again, shout outs to the emails I received, including Assael, Emily, Camille, Kailey, Crys, Natalie, Lizzie, Will, Nanny, Lara and the girls, Sanora, Trina, Steph and Dad. I love ALL of you so much, and it is so humbling to open my email and see all these messages... I love you guys so much, and you really don't know how much it means to me.  You are all wonderful people and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. 

To all the girls, remember that you are daughters of a Heavenly Father who knows you perfectly and understands all of the fears you have and all the endeavors you are capable of following... Talk to him. ALL the time. It makes all the difference and whether you are religious or not, it brings about his love... And I KNOW after these past couple weeks that he exists.  

To the boys, missionary work has been the most fulfilling conquest of my life, and I have only just started. Boys? PREPARE. Make it a priority.  It will change your life in ways you can't imagine... And honestly, only Day 14.  To all of you, I know that God lives and that the power of the atonement is real, for repentance and for drawing upon strength... Use it always.  

STORIES of the CCM....
First story, being district leader was hard.  I will probably be released this week, and HEAVENS was it difficult.  It often felt like like the moment they called my name, I became the enemy to many missionaries. But... Through a lot of friendship building, I can honestly say that my district is BY FAR the best in this CCM. No kidding - ask some of the others. They agree.

Next... Word got around that I sing, somehow. Not like I am singing everywhere I go or anything.
Of course not.
That would be weird.

Either way, the Hermana (Sister) called as the music director asked me to sing a solo on Sunday.  So... Jolley and I performed Hymn #98 (In the Spanish Hymnbook), called Conmigo Quedate, Señor. Better known as my favorite hymn... Abide with Me; Tis Eventide.  Jolley accompanied me, and it was wonderful. Music has a power no one can comprehend....

In fact, last night was the first send-offs in the CCM since I have arrived (the current 6-weekers).  So, what did we do, as the Guatemala MTC?  We all (149 of us) All bunched into a tiny room and sang hymns halfway into the night.  The sweat was gross... But very empowering.  I played drumbeats on the clothing cupboards (cuz that was the only place I could fit. Seriously, the rooms are tiny and there were A LOT of us).

There have been more spiritual experiences than I can describe.  The spanish is coming more and more, and... DANG it gets hard sometimes. Especially, because as of Wednesday, our teachers (the legitimate HARDEST in the CCM) decided we get a badge of honor... A little clip on the bottom of our missionary nametags that reads:
No Hablo Ingles...
Translation? I do not speak english.  EVERYWHERE we go... We are not allowed to speak english.  Do we anyway?  Yes.  Often?  Maybe to us.

The spanish language is beautiful.  Our classes are full immersion at this point, which means we are taught solely in spanish.  Hard... But so rewarding.  We teach in Spanish on a regular multiple-times-a-day basis.  Fun huh?

Um, one lesson that really stuck out to me this week is this:  Lehi was called (so to speak) by God to leave the comfort of his home to go into the wilderness, then eventually sail across the ocean to get to the promised land, right?  

First Book of Nefi (Nephi).  Great story. You all should read it.  And, it's way funny to imagine the Angel that stopped Laman and Lemuel from beating Nefi talking kind of like, "GUYS. REALLY.  YOU DON'T GET IT YET?  NEPHI is chosen to lead BECAUSE OF STUFF LIKE THIS.  You wonder why God has issues trusting you guys?  MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BEAT YOUR BROTHER THE PROPHET WHEN HE DOES WHAT GOD SAYS.  MAYBE.  JUST MAYBE.  THINK ABOUT IT.  Geez.... AND DON'T MAKE ME COME DOWN HERE AGAIN.  COME ON."  Etc... I always get a laugh out of it.

ANYWAY, our maestro told us that our missions kind of work the same way.  Call to serve, leave our homes of luxury to enter the wilderness - or in our case, the MTC.  He's not kidding.  Then, the ocean... The actual mission field... Hard, rocky and you might get tied up a couple times (just kidding Mom).  But, eventually.... We will arrive in the land of promise - back home with all of you, my wonderful friends and Family.  Well.. Here's the deal though.  Laman, Lemuel and Nephi all went on the same journey, sí?  Well... What made all the difference between them?  

Looking to God.  Obeying. Being loving.  Not beating your brother with a stick vs. beating your brother with a stick.  The concept is the same... The trip was hard for all of them, no doubt.  But Nephi's faith in God made all the difference.  

Life at the MTC is hard.  I love my companion dearly, but Mom, Dad, Bishop?  I know what you mean.  And I'm sure HE does too.  Teachers can be rough.  I LOVE them, and I respect them more than I can describe. They are powerful... But difficult.  The rules are strict.  There is no time in the day for relaxing usually... But that just means more focus.  More trust. More faith.

Yes, It gets hard... But it is so worth every moment.  And prayer... Sincere prayer MATTERS. God LISTENS.  I promise you all this, with every fiber of my being.  God LIVES. and He KNOWS AND MISSES YOU. ALL of you.  And I challenge you that if you DO NOT KNOW if he cares, cerrar sus ojos, cruzar sus brazos, inlcinar sus cabezas, and de rodillas and PRAY.  (close eyes, fold arms, bow head, on your knees).

I challenge you to do this THIS NIGHT after you read this.  You will know.  Have doubts? ASK.

Next.. if you are struggling with your testimony, PRAY FIRST, and then?  READ THE BOOK.  THIS BOOK IS PRECIOUS AND IT CONTAINS THE LITERAL WORDS OF GOD.  If God wrote a book and said 'hey, read this!', would you?  WELL THERE IT IS.  Have you been asking for a sign?  HERE IT IS.  YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Next, Feel like you aren't good enough?  DUH. NONE OF US ARE.  If you don't feel inadequate, you aren't doing something right.  All of us fall short of perfection.  That is what the Atonement is FOR.  That is what I am out here PREACHING ALREADY and exactly WHAT MATTERS AND APPLIES TO ALL OF US TOO. PRAY.

I Love You all.  I will miss you, but you will remain in prayers always.  And... Always write to me. I love it.  Stay strong... And listen to the song Be Still by the Fray.  I LOOVE it and it has been my anthem for my mission this far. (included on this blog page)

Nanny, your writing is impressive. Keep it up, and I will keep singing for you all the time.

Compartir el Amor.

Elder Kristian Huff

p.s. Mom, Dad, Jakob, Nanny, Lara, Caroline, Gracie, Ty, Assael, Lizzie, Emily, Camille, Kailey, Crys, Natalie, Will,  Sanora, Trina and Steph - I love all of you - I am sorry I can't respond to each of your emails, I will as soon as I can.

**Special Shout Out to Caroline and Gracie - I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!**

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Week 1 down - 103 left!!!

Hey Mom!!!  

Gosh I love you and I miss you SO much.  This week has easily been one of the hardest of my life - but also one of the most rewarding.  Yeah.. My hair getting chopped was sad... But it has already been growing back and they say they might cut it again soon (Yeah, not gonna happen).  I will not get my camera or mp3 back until I head to Honduras. No big deal - I am way too busy anyway to listen to music or take pictures or really do ANYTHING other than study Spanish and the gospel.

In other news... I have been called as the first district leader for our district (Lucas/Luke)! The leadership position lasts for 2 weeks, and in a nutshell, I go to a lot of meetings and if anything goes wrong - it is my fault.  It is great.  I sincerely love it and it is SO rewarding and challenging at the same time. ( I cannot for the life of me find the apostrophe on these keyboards... They are ALSO all in Spanish.  Great, is it not?)

 Elder Jolley and I are actually teaching our first investigator, who is our teacher but like.. an alter ego.  We teach him every day, totally in Spanish.  It is VERY difficult, but Elder Jolley and I get along really well, so it has been strictly difficult on the part of the language. Our relationship does not have any negative effects on our lessons.  We have studied how to pray and bear our testimonies in Spanish, and I have memorized the Missionary Objective, 3 different baptismal invitations, the first vision, the first 5 Articulos de Fe and D&C 4, verses 2-5, ALL in Spanish. I am very proud of that, just for the record.

Sundays at the CCM are CRAZY. Lectures all day. Good ones.. But long. We are pampered her when it comes to food.. And work out time.  No weight gained!!!

I went to the temple today, actually! Only me and two other missionaries got separated from the group.  They rest did it in ingles... Ours... ALL spanish. Most difficult task OF MY LIFE. But SOOO Spiritual.

Anyway, Now that you are caught up on my life, here are the spiritual things...
This has been humbling. I have never been so reliant on the Spirit, and OH how powerful it is here. Crying due to the power del Espiritu Santo is no uncommon thing... It is so easy to recognize, and as time goes on, I feel more and more in tune with the spirit - especially when I feel most broken and doubtful of myself.  I suppose that humility truly does draw the sprit.. And.. I have been very humbled.  I gave a lesson on Sunday on the priesthood... I gave the anology of a lighthouse.  A lighthouse can illuminate and give direction to all those around it.. But to itself, it can not provide light.  The priesthood is a purely giving mechanism, given to worthy men for the sake of 'protecting, presiding and providing' for his family (Family Proclamation).  So, with that in mind, I intend to let my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works and glorify my father which is in heaven (Matt. 5).  

I love you all so much. I miss you, but this work is so real. I have never known it so clear than now. 

Quiero compartir mi testimoio con ustedes, yo se que Evangelio Restaurado de Jesucristo es verdadero. Dios nos ama, y es muy real.  Jesucristo vive, y su Expiacion es hermosa.  Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios, y es otro testamente de Jesucristo.  Yo se que mediante la obedencia a las leyes y ordenanzas, podemos regresa a nuestro Padre Celestial.  Y estas cosas las decimos en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

OHHH And tell everyone on the blog THANK YOU FOR THE EMAILS.  I am praying for all of you and YOU ARE ALL in my thoughts! Email time goes by FAST... And this was my first P-day.  So.. Keep sending if you want, and I LOVE having them!  Alyssa, Lizzie, Kelsey, Ashley, Stephanie, Crys, Emily!!!!  I LOVE YOU ALL AND I MISS YOU! GOOD LUCK IN ALL YOUR ENDEAVORS and definitely check the blog! In other weeks, if I have the time, I WILL respond individually... So, that option is very open and probably will happen in the coming weeks. Love you all! God is good and he loves us nand this work is real and if you are having doubts or fears or concerns.. READ THE BOOK.  THE WORDS OF CHRIST WILL TELL YOU ALL THINGS WHAT YE SHOULD DO. Compartir El Amor!!!

There is that lay down. I am getting short on time, So.. I LOVE YOU!!! LET EVERYONE KNOW I LOVE THEM TOO - espcially Dad, Nanny and Jakob. 

Talk to you as soon as I can. P-day will not always be the same.. But I WILL write! Talk to you soon!


BTW... I bought Guatemalan Aladdin pants. They are wonderful.  


Tell Nanny I love her too!

Kiss Jakob for me. And.... 

I baked you a pie! 
Oh boy, what flavor???

Me and my district quote it ALL the time, just cuz of Jakob. Love you all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First of Many!!!

Hey guys!!!

Thank you so much for the emails... It meant a lot to have something to read and it helped me feel closer to you. I am here safely, and you actually saw me with my first companion, Elder Jolley! We went through security together.  He will actually be my companion for the 6 weeks I will be in the MTC. And yes... 6 weeks.  It is beautiful here. I love the spirit and I feel so close to God already.

And... I gave the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of my mission... Something I have never done before and will NEVER do again.

They buzzed my head. They took away my camera... So... no pictures sadly.... But, Thought I would let you know!!! Exciting right??

I love you all so much. God lives and he loves us and he has a plan for me and for our whole family. Stay strong, and know that you are ijn my prayers. Thank you for the years of preparing me. I LOVE YOU!