Thursday, December 31, 2015

Holy Nights

My Beloved Family and Friends,

I find myself here, at the edge of a new page, ready to turn.  I have thought a lot about today and what I'd like to tell you all as the only full year of my mission comes to an end - and I think I finally have found the words to say.  I sincerely pray that the Spirit may convey my words to your hearts, that you might know the love and gratitude and sincerity that I wish to express.  I have thought a million times that a single weekly letter can do little for a person - but perhaps a yearly letter might have more worth.  So, if I had to write a letter to summarize an entire year of a life - of my life - this would be the letter.  

When I began this year, I entered in a prayer.  I begged my Heavenly Father to allow this year to shape me as I dedicated myself to Him.  I had many doubts about myself being a missionary - I felt as if I would never be the kind of missionary that could actually do the work of the Lord.  I didn't know how to work.  I couldn't speak the language well.  I didn't feel like I was good enough.  And as the year went on - I realized... I was right.  I DIDN'T know how to work as a representative of the Lord.  I DIDN'T speak the language well.  And frankly, I WASN'T good enough.  Now, I make none of these remarks to degrade myself or make it seem like I was useless as of a year ago - that would be a mistake, and a lie.  I had potential.  I had nerve.  I had a firm, great desire to be better.  And THAT.... That is all that was required - and that has been 2015.  Let me explain.

Christ, in one of His many parables, compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed.  He explained that such a tiny, humble seed, if properly nurtured, would eventually grow to become a great tree.  Alma, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, taught a similar comparison, as he elaborated the manner in which we nourish our faith as if it were a seed.  He explains that if one only has the DESIRE to believe - God could make that faith stronger.  In another parable, Christ explains that we ought to be cautious of putting our love in things of the world, explaining that worldly desires lead to disappointment (as explained by a remarkable playwright, 'you can't take it with you', in the end), recognizing that such things can be attacked by time and outside forces.  Christ then explains that wheresoever we put our treasure, then, our heart would most surely follow.

These two parables have had a great impact on me during this year.  As I consider the implications of both parables, I have come to realize that they are deeply intertwined.  Any given desire that one decides to plant will always begin to grow - be it a righteous or evil desire.  As Christ also stated, the world rejected the light because it loved the darkness more - and this love was a result of it's own continued wicked acts and works.  Thus - we see that if one plants a seed of evil, it will definitely grow, if one continually gives it opportunity to do so.  And as one places their treasure in those evil things - their heart, in a very real sense, slowly grows more evil.  Slowly, but surely, all desire and love turns to, simply said, bad things.  I'm sure you've all seen this, be it in yourself or a loved one - it seems that one bad decision rapidly leads to another, until so many decisions are winded together, it seems impossible to escape.  

This is what the adversary wants us to think.  He wants us to feel trapped and lost, as if there is no hope.  He would have us convinced that once the seed has began to grow, it has all been lost.  'Now there is no chance,' he would say, 'you've already made the decision far too many times.  Now there is no turning back.  You are now one of THEM - one of the BAD ones.  Therefore, just keep doing those bad things.  It will be too hard to change now...'  

My Beloved Family and Friends, I have been blinded by these same dirty, filthy lies far too many times.  And now, having had those dark seeds cleaned from my mind and heart, I can testify before the world that those words are exactly that - lies.  So now, allow me to explain what 2015 has done for me - and I will do it by continuing the parable.

When this year began, I had many bad seeds that were still planted in my heart.  I had been smart enough to have torn away the branches of bad habits that had formed, and I had believed that I was done with those dark seeds that were planted, even years and years before.  So, what was the problem?  As we all know, you can tear away the leaves, but if you do not uproot the seed, the leaves will always grow back.  But HOW?  How was I to rip out those hated and cursed seeds that had destroyed my peace for so many years?  I had spent so many nights broken and hurting and felt as if I had no way to make it end.  What was the secret?

What occurred is nothing short of a miracle for me.  Until now, even as I've been writing these words have I come to understand.  Those seeds are NOT the acts we commit.  Any seed planted is not planted by making any kind of outward decision.  When a seed is planted, it is because one planted something much more simple than an act - one only needs plant a desire.  So, I planted several desires.  I desired to know how to work.  I desired to speak the language well.  I desired to be good enough to represent the Lord Jesus Christ.  And those desires were planted in my heart, and even when I failed to do the things I wanted, I had trusted in someone much more experienced to make sure that the seeds had chance to grow.

Finally, after years of searching for answers - I found them. I had planted good seeds.  I had been taking care of them to the best of my ability, and I felt as if my heart itself had started to change.  I was almost there.  But I was confused.  I had spent years before trying to plant the SAME good seeds.  I had tried to find peace in many different ways, but FINALLY it worked.  And How?  What was the difference?

The answer is the same answer I give when one asks me why I'm serving a mission.  The answer is simple, and it is an answer that is now deeply rooted in my heart.  I declare it before all the world, that what we look for comes in no other way.  

The Gospel of the Saviour of the World, Jesus Christ.  

It changed everything.  There are many beliefs in this world.  At times we feel lost and confused, due to the many seeds that are planted in the hearts of many.  But the Gospel has not changed, nor will it ever.  Through the Gospel, purpose is found.  Hearts are cleansed and healed.  Peace is achieved.  Love becomes the center of all we do.  Every question that one could have and every doubt that will arise can be answered through Him and the great plan that He made possible.  It is personal.  It is REAL.  It is POSSIBLE.  And it does not require anything more than what's possible.  All that the Gospel requires - is the desire.  A single, tiny, humble seed of desire to do better.  

To conclude my thoughts - I have fallen many times, even during my mission.  I have made mistakes and I've felt like giving up.  But what carried me through all those moments?  Well.... The exact thing that began the journey.  With every bad decision I've made this whole year - I have never let a day end without fixing it with my Heavenly Father during those silent, holy nights knelt by the side of my bed.  I'm not yet all that I hope to be - but I'm much more than I ever was before.  Because finally I've found what I was looking for - I'm Happy. 

Allow yourselves the opportunity to try.  Allow yourself to fail.  Allow yourself to learn.  Allow yourself to plant another little seed - by just having a simple talk with He who knows all that you need and hope.  I promise, it can, and will, all change. I love each and every one of you.  These have been my experiences of this year - and now I hope that these trees that have began to grow will help others as they search for the fruit that I hope to give.  That was my 2015, and that will be my 2016.  Thank you for your support - I love you all.  And remember - He lives. And you can know as well.

Elder Kristian Huff

Monday, December 28, 2015

Silent Nights

Hey Everybody.

Sorry I haven't been very good about writing lately - the time just goes by way too fast, and then I find myself without a message for you all.  But, today I think I have time, so.... I thought I'd write a special kind of message in two parts.  As we come to the end of another year, I find myself closing the only full year in the which I'll be serving in Honduras.  2015 was that year - my one full year.  And as it closes - I find myself reflecting a lot on what I've accomplished and learned during this year.  And seeing as I have the blessing of writing the first half of the message on the 24th and the second part on the 31st - I feel that I should take advantage of the situation to tell you the things that have had the most effect on me during this year. So.... I think I'll just start.

To begin, I want to take a look at where I was during this year to be able to describe a little better the things I want to tell you. 

December 10th - January 21st:  Danli - Elder Tuft
January 21st - April 15th:  Villa Olimpica - Elder Naupoto
April 15th - July 8th:  Villa Olimpica - Elder Putnam
July 8th - September 30th:  San Marcos - Elder Espinoza
September 30th - November 11th:  San Marcos - Elder Rogers
November 11th - December 9th:  Amapala - Elder Huaman
December 9th - Now:  Amapala - Elder Batista

So - the run down.  During the year 2015, I have had 4 areas and 7 companions. I have seen many baptisms and many reactivations in that time, as well as seen many struggles amongst those who are still searching.  I have seen tragedies and miracles.  I have seen conversion take place in some while doubt and pride blind others.  I've seen love and hate, acceptance and rejection, tears of joy and tears of pain, sickness and health, war and peace and every extreme I think one could list.  From every area I've learned more and more what it means to be a good person and even more about being a good missionary.  From each companion I've learned a million lessons, and for each companion I've developed a deep love and respect.  

And... To be totally honest, I doubt that words will ever be able to express all that I've learned in this year. I wish I could find words to put the whole thing together, but I think that what I wanted to tell you more than anything, is that the most important moments didn't happen during lessons or during a moment in the font.  The most important moments of this year, the ones that had the largest effect on me, occured during those quiet moments in the night time, kneeled at the side of my bed.  That's why the first of the two messages is called silent nights - because this Christmas, all I can do is marvel at how much I've learned during those silent, peaceful nights talking to God.  

This year has been the biggest year in learning about the plan that He has and our part in that plan.  And those silent nights were the moments that I had, being able to come to know who God is - and it amazes me to understand that we were probably all in awe during that precious moment, during a silent night many years ago, when the world came to know her god in the flesh - that precious night when the saviour of the world was born.  And more and more, I'm coming to understand all that can happen in one quiet, peaceful, silent night.  

So, as the first part of the message of the new year to you all, I just want to beg you all to not lose those moments.  Take advantage of those silent nights, where you will be able to allow yourself to see your life through Heaven's Eyes.  I will actually be talking a lot more about that in next week's letter - but please.... Start tonight, and kneel and make the habit and the determination to talk more with God.  Please - it makes all the difference.  And just as that same gesture prepared me for this year, I hope that it will be an appropriate preparation for all that I'll try to put in words next week.  I love you all, and I hope you'll all take time to talk to God about He whom we celebrate during this time.  Remember Christ during this Christmas. I know I'll be thinking about Him a lot.

I love you - Merry Christmas, my beloved friends and family.

Elder Kristian Huff

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Ocean

Hi All -

Well, this is unfortunately not Kristian writing - it is his mother.  He apologizes again for not having a message for you.  The area he is at has very poor internet service, so instead of sending a message...he sent pictures!  Amazing pictures!!!

Just an update...he is currently on a beautiful island, Amapala.  It is a difficult place and also an amazing place for missionaries.  They have come across some very mean and brash individuals, but on the other hand they have come across some of the most loving and caring individuals - a couple families namely that love the missionaries and would do anything for them (makes my heart happy to hear those stories).

They had changes this week and he had to say good-bye to Elder Huaman, whom he loved dearly and is really going to miss.  His new companion is Elder Batista, who is an incredible missionary and Elder Huff has really enjoyed getting to know him.

Before Elder Huaman left, there was a little miracle and he was able to baptize a sweet girl that has been having the missionary discussions for several months - she didn't want Elder Huaman to leave until he baptized her, so she prayed about being baptized and...well, we all know what happened next!

Not only was Elder Huaman able to baptize before he left, but there was also another sweet woman who has an incredible testimony and she has been wanting to be baptized for several months and asked Kristian if he would baptize her.  YES - Kristian also got to baptize in the ocean!

We finally have pictures also from Carlos and Judith's baptism from San Marcos - they are both amazing individuals!

I hope you enjoy the pictures!  There will be a message next week from Elder Huff!

Thank you to everyone who reads his updates, prays for him and loves him.  Your support is very much felt and appreciated by all of us.  Kristian loves you all and is so overwhelmed by the love he feels from each and everyone of you!


Elder Espinoza, Carlos, Judith and Elder Huff

The bus ride on the way to Choluteca for Carlos and Judith's baptism

Elder Huff, Judith and Carlos - Congratulations!!!

The ocean on Amapala - the day of the baptism!

They got to be baptized in the ocean

Elder Huff and Elder Huaman and the newest members in Amapala

A baptism in the ocean - amazing!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Weeks like Days

Hey everybody!

There's always so much to say and I'm just not good at finding the words to say them.  I suppose there's always something in my mind that I want to tell you - but then the words just stop as I begin to say them.  It's just not the same as saying them face to face, you know?  For example, I remember something a missionary told me when I was beginning my mission.  He said,

'The mission is like this, Elder Huff:  The days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days.'

And, at first, I understood the first part perfectly.  I LOVED the work, but OHHH the days went by slow!  But... Then, all of a sudden.... The days don't feel long.  The feel too short.  And before you know it.... Several weeks have passed and you barely had a moment to watch it go by.  Guys, it breaks my heart.  But incredibly, thanks to several friends and family this week, I was reminded of a very special celebration that we hold in the States (it doesn't exist here - obviously) that happens to fall on the day that I get to write you.  

So.... Those weeks that seem more like days end up making me reflect on how beautiful this world is.  How amazing it is to be a part of this world, in all its perfections and imperfections. I end up just being humbled by the love shown by so many and lives that have such an effect on each other - so, maybe it's typical, but with all my heart I want to write a letter of gratitude.  So... Here goes.

First, I want to express my gratitude for all of my dear friends back at home.  You have all had such an effect on me, and I want you to know how much I love you.  Everyone from Satori, from Theater, from Dance Co., from the Scera and Hale, from the Springville Playhouse, from Cries of Freedom, friends from school, friends from the city, friends from everywhere.  I love you all so dearly, and I MISS you.  When I come back, I'll do all that I can to let you know how much I care for each of you - so thank you for being a part of my life.

Next, I want to express my thanks for Danli.  Beginning in the most beautiful, peaceful and homely area was a welcome to Honduras that I will always be grateful for.  I love everyone there - my ward, my investigators, my converts, every hill and colonia, and every day I got to spend learning about the mission from wonderful missionaries who welcomed me in.  I love you all, and thank you.  I'll see you soon.

Then, my beloved family in the Villa Olimpica.  I feel like there's very little I can say.  Just... Thank you.  To every person who had something to do with me while I was there, thank you.  You are those who made me feel like Honduras and Teguc were my own - and as I said before, I plan on keeping my promises to all of you.  I love you.

One of the hardest ones I'll have to give is thanks for San Marcos.  That place is my little piece of heaven.  Our time went by very fast... Too fast.  But during that time, I came to know some of the best people in this world.  Stay strong - your day will come.  Thank you for letting me be a part of you.  I thank God every day that He let me be there -  and someday I'll try to give back a little that you gave me.

Amapala - we're on the way.  I'll be telling a lot of stories in the coming weeks about you, Amapala - so in the meantime, I'll be showing you my gratitude every day for the coming months.

Next, I'm thankful for the mission.  I'm grateful that God let me come here - it has changed everything.  I love it.  I love the lessons I've learned, the people I've met, the places I've been, the person it's let me become.  I'm not who I hope to be - but thanks to this amazing gift, I'm on the way. I'm grateful for this opportunity, more than any other opportunity I've had.  

I'm thankful for my family.  My Mom, my Dad, Nanny and Jakob, my brothers and Chemo and Ya Ya and all the Greenwood's, all of my beloved cousins and sisters and aunts and uncles and all those who have been a part of my life as I've come to this point - what amazes me more and more, is that everything we learn in the gospel comes down to all of YOU.  My Family. I love you.  More than words can say, I Love You.  Thank you - I wish I could thank each of you personally, but that's gonna have to wait until I get home - until then, Thank You.  

Finally.... I'm thankful for my Family in Heaven.  I'm grateful for what they've given me and all they've done for me.  The honest truth is, that's all I can say.  Anything else is too personal for specifics - but all that they've taught me, the Gospel, the Fall and the Atonement, the apostasy and the restoration, the commandments, they ordinances, the opportunity to hold the Holy Priesthood, to be a missionary, to know that there is so much that we don't know, and so much we've already done and so much we still have to do gives me a peace and a confirmation of everything I knew in my heart that just needed to be connected to words and doctrine - and I will forever, eternally be grateful for those truths.  I love the Gospel and every truth that has come with it. I love my Saviour and I stand as a witness of His divine calling and life - it is all true.  Read the books.  Say your prayers. Keep the commandments.  And then - you'll know, just like I do.

Once again, I love each and every one of you.  These are my sincere and short words for this Thanksgiving - I hope you can feel the love I truly do have for each and every one of you.  I will see you soon.

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week - Hey Soul Sister

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Only Constant is Change

Hey everybody!!!

So... I don't even know where to begin.  I've had some HUGE things happen this week....  And, I guess I'll start with this.  There are two big things that happened this week, so.... Just read along and it'll be pretty clear.

First, my p-day has changed, due to the fact that I have officially left San Marcos.  The change was coming, and.... I suppose it was my time to leave.  It was hard saying goodbye.  In a way, San Marcos felt a little like my baby - I got to see it grow so much, and I had the opportunity to meet and come to love so many incredible people.  It was hard - and there's a little piece of my heart that will forever remain there.  I will also miss my second baby, Elder Rogers, but I'm sure he'll do just fine - plus, the missionary going in is a really good, hardworking missionary.  So.. I'm not too worried.  I hope that in the near-future we get to see San Marcos reach its potential - so, all in the Lord's time.  Until then - I love you San Marcos and all my Sanmarquitos, I'll be missing you.

BUT - that then begs the question, where am I now?  Well... My dear friends and family, I've just been transferred to one of the craziest areas of the mission.  I'm still in the South, but now I'm in the HOT part of the South,  And it isn't just hot because we're south - I actually am close to a beach.  And... By close, I mean, I live on the beach.  More or less.  You see, the weird thing about this area, is that I don't just take a bus to get to my area - you actually have to take a boat as well.  So... I'm in an area called Amapala.  And this area is crazy - because it is an isolated island off the coast of Honduras in San Lorenzo - you can google search it.  It's in the pacific Ocean and it is BEAUTIFUL.  We're also a small little group of members here in Amapala, barely having more than 20 members or something along those lines regularly in church - so, a lot like San Marcos.  But, because of the situation, I will now be writing on Thursdays until further notice.  So, I'll be keeping you updated!  

So - that's the first part of the two.  The next one has something to do with a LOT of people - but not just Honduran people.  Yeah, there were a lot of Hondurans involved as well, namely from my beloved Villa Olimpica - as well as several americans and dear friends and family, as well as several MISSIONARIES and, yeah, you can believe it, my MISSION PRESIDENT and his WIFE. I really don't know how many read this blog, nor do I know how many of you are aware of something that my mom has been planning for the past... well, the past YEAR or so.... But, if you were/are in on it..... I got it Yesterday.


OH MY GOSH MOTHER YOU ARE CRAZY.  AND SO ARE ALL OF YOU.  I'll have pictures of everything up next week - I haven't had a ton of time to prepare because of the changes, but HOW did you all manage to take part in it and how did I NOT know for SOOOOOO long????  OH my heavens, for those that don't know, the WHOLE past year, my mom has been carrying along with her a big sign that says 'Happy Birthday Elder Huff' - and SEVERAL of YOU have pictures with that poster from all kinds of different events - be it from special places of ours or be it big moments in your lives that I couldn't participate in - it seems like I was still a little involved!  OH MY GOSH it is insane! 

BUT, my dear friends and family, your secret participation was then driven to a WHOLE new level, when I opened up a page, and there was my MISSION PRESIDENT with a similar poster, followed by SEVERAL MISSIONARIES FROM MY MISSION WHO ARE CURRENTLY SERVING DOING THE SAME THING.  HOW IN THE WORLD DID THAT HAPPEN? Well, I am at least aware that it was in large part thanks to Odeth Cerrato (girl, you are crazy too.  THANK YOU so much.  You have no idea how much that meant to me - but I'll write more about what you did in a moment.), to President and Hermana Bowler, to the AP's, ZL's AND the Hermana Training Leaders, as well as many other missionaries and people involved in the mission honduras Tegucigalpa.  YOU ARE ALL WONDERFUL and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I was kind of freaking out, and my new comp, Elder Huaman, was laughing pretty hard when even HE showed up in the pictures.  I love you all so dearly - I feel honored to be serving at your side.  You are the best of the best, and I'll be sure to tell each of you individually in the coming weeks.

BUT, STILL NOT OVER.  In addition to all of the missionaries that were in on this - and I still thank you all with all my heart - I then was shocked to see many deeply beloved and sorely missed faces from a place I was in not too long ago - the wonderful ward of the Villa Olimpica.  So - First off, Odeth, I thank you dearly for all that you did.  I do not deserve such an amount of love and support, and the fact that you played such an inctricate role in this whole thing just - blows my mind and humbles me so much - there are no words of gratitude.  So, Odeth, do me one more favor - make sure that all of my dearly beloved friends and family from the Villa read this next part, okay?

Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas de la Villa Olímpica - o, mejor dicho, mi amada familia, 
Ya recibí el regalo que mi mamá estaba preparando - el cual consiste en muchas fotos de USTEDES con un cartel para mis cumpleaños.  PUCHIKA, si solo hubieran podido visto mi cara cuando abrí ese álbum LLENO de fotos suyas!  Les AGRADEZCO con todo mi corazón - ustedes son maravillosos y no hay palabras para expresar mi gratitud.  Les amo MUCHO.  Voy a traer el libro la otra semana para que yo pueda escribir un poco de todas las fotos - pero, hasta entonces, ustedes tienen que saber que yo les extraño a ustedes demasiado.  Ustedes hicieron tanto para mi, y de repente, encuentro que todavía están haciéndome montón de cosas... Les hice una promesa, y la voy a guardar.  Voy a verles bien pronto, si solo es para recordarles de mi amor para con ustedes y para decirles que realmente son las mejores personas en este mundo.  Doy gracias a mi Padre Celestial por haberme dado la oportunidad de conocerles - y nuestra amistad perseverará  por muchos años que sigan. Gracias por todo - y otra vez, les amo.

And the same goes for all of my dear friends and family from all over the world - I love you all.  Thank you again.  I'll probably write a little more about all of it next week as well - so, until then, I love you all, every last one of you.  May God bless you and keep you.

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the week - Dedicated to Odeth Cerrato - You've Got a Friend in Me (Latino style!!!)  Thank you Odeth, this gift would not have been the same if it were not for your help!!!  (Love, Mama)

Monday, November 9, 2015

And That's 15

Hey everybody!

It is a great day here in Honduras, and sadly I don't have much to report for the week cause I got hit with something bad in the stomach - so I was pretty much out cold the majority of this week.  And then my kid got it too.  So then he was in bed for a little while too.  

But it's getting better!  That's what is most important.  ;D  Sometimes, little things like that come and you just - kind of have to deal with it!  But I actually learned an interesting lesson this week because of it, even if it was just a little personal revelation, as small as it was.  

I don't claim to be the best missionary - I know I'm not.  But I am not one who doesn't want to be out working, either.  I don't like being inside when I know that there's people that need my help, and the ONLY time I will not be outside during the day is if... well.... I'm sleeping.  And the only time we sleep here during the day whilst on the mission is.... when you're sick. And you don't want to do anything else.  So... That's pretty much what happened this week.  Now, what I learned, though, is this:  


I don't mean to say that 'if you truly have faith, it doesn't matter if you're sick, you work anyway!' Faith without works is dead - and if I have faith I'll get better, I should probably put that faith to work and get the rest necessary so that you can get out ASAP.  Better than drag the sickness out for like, 2 months (right, Mom?).  And here's what I learned about agency this week:  depending on how you use your agency, you'll see the consequences come, but you are not able to choose said consequences.  They just come.  So, you can choose when you want to push yourself, but you cannot choose what happens to you because you pushed yourself.  The principle of agency really is a simple one, but I want to reveal a little of an idea that I had.

The ONLY way that we can truly be instruments in God's hands, is by giving our agency back to Him.  I'm CERTAIN you've heard that before.  BUT, that doesn't mean just go through the checklist of things He's laid out (although in most cases, that list won't lead you astray), but rather that you must take part in an ACTIVE ask and receive process of communication with God.  THAT is what it means to give our agency to God.  There are times, for instance, when we're sick, when things NEED to get done.  God knows that.  Here in the mission, for example, I'm pretty sure that God knows that there's people that need to hear.  But, giving your agency to God DOES NOT mean getting up and going to work all day anyway, when you won't be able to teach effectively because you feel so crappy you can't focus.  That seems pretty OPPOSITE of what God would say.  But it doesn't mean just going to bed every time you feel under the weather either.  What giving your agency to God means, is ASKING Him what it is He needs for you in that moment.  It might mean get a blessing, get up and work.  Many missionaries can testify that such occurrences have passed.  It might also mean take a couple of days to get back together - maybe God has a plan for what's happened and can use that time to prepare people for when you can go out again.  

It's a delicate line that only God Himself knows - But He's ready and willing to tell us everything.  All we have to do is ask.  He listens.  And most importantly, He Answers.

I love you all, and you're all in my prayers.  Stay Strong always, and know that God is with you.  May we all learn to depend more on the Lord every day.  I LOVE YOU ALL ONCE AGAIN.

Elder Kristian Huff
Song of the week: We're Just People by Madilyn Page

Monday, November 2, 2015

No Email this week!

Sorry everyone - 

This week, Elder Huff was unable to write an email - but he will explain everything next week!  

He does have a song of the week however....Rockstar by a Great Big World - dedicated to Life!

More to come next week!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Juventud de La Promesa

Hey guys.

Honestly... This week is kind of... bittersweet.  It's strange.... It's not that big of a deal, but in a way it is a very big new beginning.  It's one we only get about 7, 8 or 9 times in life.  The start of a new decade for me really, more than anything, is just a new chance.  And so.... I guess what I want to do with this email, is give advice to the rising generation, from one who is now leaving the teenage years and beginning a new page of life.  So.... Here goes. ;)

My friends, those from high school or from shows, or those who are older than me, and really everyone from this generation and anyone who is currently reading this, I want to talk to you as if you were a dear, close friend.  My life has been one full of experience.  I've seen many beautiful instances of pure love and I've seen the bitter gall of loss.  I've seen some of the best and worst of existence in these short 20 years (or, at least it has felt so in my short time in this world), and I've learned many things.  Things that I want to share with all of you - things that I hope will maybe let you know that you're not alone, and maybe you can get a little bit of a second opinion.

It's hard to put all of this together on the spot, but I hope and pray that it will all come together.... I feel as if the best way to put it all in one piece is by sharing the stuff I was glad I did, and what I wish I had done.  I have no regrets - but perhaps you can learn the same lessons I learned, but a little faster.  Learn from my mistakes, and learn from my strengths, I guess.

One thing I'm glad I did, is that I made a relationship with my Heavenly Father early in life.  I never prayed when I was alone like I did when I was in public... when alone, I prayed as if I was having a conversation with God.  Because of it, it taught me how to feel His presence and helped me learn how to recognize answers when I searched for them.  Just talk to Him.  It DOES make a difference. 

One thing I wish I had done earlier is treasure the scriptures.  I know, 'oh missionary....', but I'm serious.  I have found such solace and direction from those words that I wish I would have taken more advantage of earlier in my life.  Honestly.... If you are waiting for something to get you to start the habit of reading regularly, NOW IS THE TIME.

Now, less gospel related.  I wish I would have been less stressed out about 'girlfriends' during my teenage years.  Guys, don't look for 'the one' right now (if you're still in high school).  You don't need that right now.  The day will come, but now is not that day.  Don't try to make something serious when it can go literally nowhere. And I promise, you are not mature enough to handle it right now - I learned from experience.  (sorry, the counsel of the modern prophets too!!!)  I WISH I would have learned that faster!!!

One thing I'm glad I did, is I was never scared of looking stupid.  ENJOY your life!  Live every minute of it!!!  Don't keep yourself shut away because MAYBE somebody MIGHT say something.  Who cares???  Dr. Seuss baby, 'those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind!'  

I wish I would have listened to less stuff in my ear and hands.  Headphones shut the world out when it WANTS to be in!  Be with people!  Stop texting!  The phone isn't going anywhere!  Just be with people!!!!  Take out the earphones and talk to somebody new!

I'm grateful that I read like I did.  I still have so much I want to read, but what I DID read had a huge effect on me.  Words can become written on the soul - let the stories and thoughts of other people shape your own mind and let those words become a part of your experience.

I wish I would have been less focused on me.  This life, as I'm still realizing, was never about me. It's about everyone else.  Make someone feel needed.  Be less concerned about what others think or about what you want.  Think about other people.

I'm glad I used my talents.  I LOVE to sing and act and dance.  At times, I had people say 'but you'll never make a living that way!'  Well... My first year of college is totally payed for.  And I met some of the best people I've ever known by doing so.  So.... I'd say it was pretty dang successful.  I'll say it like this:  why would you spend your life doing things you don't want to do, to get money to keep doing things you don't want to do, and all the while think about what you'd rather be doing?  

I'm sad I didn't give more time to my family.  I'm sad I didn't tell them I loved them every time I got the chance.  I'm sad I let other people's words push me so far.  I'm sad I didn't spend more time in the mountains.  I'm sad I didn't enjoy scouts as much as I could've.  I'm sad that I didn't care about essays and opinion projects like I might've.  I'm sad I didn't break bad habits early and that I started good ones late.  I'm sad I didn't learn to listen more than talk.  I'm sad I got so accustomed to lying about little things.  I'm sad that I didn't take every opportunity to tell a dear friend that they're important and needed.  I'm sad I didn't realize who I was earlier.  

But I AM proud of every character who's life I got to live.  I'm grateful for every song I got to play on my guitar.  I'm grateful for every late night I had texting someone who said they didn't want to live.  I'm grateful for every hug I gave, whether the person was expecting it or not.  I'm grateful for every risk I took on myself and on someone else - I was never let down.  I'm grateful for every drive I had with my grandma to play practice.  I'm grateful for every cast I got to know and become a part of.  I'm grateful for every late night talk with my parents, when I'd end up going to school exhausted - TOTALLY worth it.  I'm grateful for every late night Taco Bell trip with Jakob, or late night doughnut drives with my Mama.  I'm grateful for every time I asked my Dad for a blessing.  I'm grateful for all the times I would play-fight or dress up with my little cousins.  I'm grateful for every sleepover with Assael.  I'm grateful for all the stories I wrote with Caroline and Gracie.  I'm proud that I always asked those who meant most for advise, even when I didn't want to take it.  I'm grateful for every picture I've ever taken.  

And, really above all.... I'm grateful for every time I ever said 'I Love You.' And I'm even more grateful to say that every time I did, I meant it.  

So... Where can I go from here?  Well... I guess I want to start out my 20's in a good way.  There's a lot of little habits I'm gonna break.  Things I'm never going to return to.  Promises I'm gonna keep.  People I'm gonna help.  And... a lot of 'I Love You's' I'm gonna be saying.  And, I'll do all I can to never lose a moment of my time doing something that's not making someone feel better about themselves and letting them know they're loved - and I'm never gonna miss a chance to feel the song of redeeming love that comes from a true understanding of our divine past, our divine purpose and our divine potential - and I'll never miss a chance to remind them who they are, and who's always waiting for us to come back.

I Love You ALL.  There's no other way I can say it.  I do.  Thank you for everything.  We are the youth of the promise.

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week:  Say Hey, I Love You.  Michael Franti and Spearhead.  Dedicated to everybody.  ;D

Monday, October 19, 2015

Once Again, Big Things Coming!

Hey guys!

So.... i'm just gonna cut to the chase.  It's HARD to write something interesting every week!!  So.. I guess the only thing I can tell you guys is that there's some more great things in the works!  But I'll just tell you about it this time - it's not really a secret, because I don't have any final decision.

SO.... San Marcos is not a ward, or even a branch.  It's just a little growing group that the stake wants to see do something.  Just see what happens. WELL.... This week was a big week full of meeting and stuff, because right now, our group president and us are fighting and working to make little San Marcos a Branch!!!!  which would be HUGE!  And, we've already gotten most of the things done for the proposal.... now, all we can do is wait!  We might be rejected, or maybe accepted, we have no idea!!!!  But, we have high hopes!!!

Other than that.... San Marcos is still hard for new people... But, we are praying and working hard!!!!  I LOVE YOU ALL, and if anything interesting happens, you'll know about it!  Sorry for the lack of content....  But, the biggest things are still to come!

Elder Huff

Song of the Week: Intro Theme from Disney's Robin Hood (the whistling one ;D)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Modern Prophets and Modern Promises

Hey everybody!

This has been an amazing week, and I find myself learning new things still, every day. It seems that there aren't adequate words to express the gratitude in my heart towards our Celestial Father.  And I feel that the only way I can truly show my thanks is by sharing what I know with others, with the hope that they too will benefit and learn more about our Heavenly home.  

So, with that said, what I want to say today is that God really does answer prayers - which is a simple lesson I've learned over and over again during these first 14 months of my mission.  There are many things that I could tell you all - but I once again, for the first time in some months, feel the prompting to share a blessing I recieved this past couple of weeks - and one that ought not to remain unsaid.

During my mission, my faith in God and His existence, and His infinite knowledge and progression, and His unwaivering love towards us has grown unmeasurably.  My trust in the Saviour and his divine mission and sacred calling and His unfailing eternal atonement has become one strong enough to change my whole mode of thought.  And with a testimony of these two eternal principles, the perfection of the doctrine and the fulfilled prophecies of the scriptures that have come to light through the restoration, the truth of the restored gospel leaves me speechless with gratitude.  I've said it once, and I'll say it again and again until the whole world knows, I know that Joseph Smith was called of God and that the Book of Mormon is undeniable evidence of the everlasting gospel having been restored.  

But, even with a response of such strength from the Holy Spirit, I still doubted in one simple, fundamental doctrine.

I wanted to really know if there are prophets in these days.  

I LOVE our General Authorities - of that, there is no doubt.  But to think that they have the same God-Given calling as prophets, seers and revelators, even the same as Moses and Daniel and Peter of old, was a thought that I didn't truly accept for a long time.  

Until this past General Conference.

My dear friends and family, I hope that what I say touches your hearts the way that mind was touched.  It is next to impossible to invite the spirit through a simple 'blog-entry', but I pray that you'll know as I now know.  

After having watched our beloved prophet stumble over his words and nearly fall, and having heard the testimony of the three new apostles, and having seen how these men speak with one voice in such a perfect way - I recieved my testimony.  And it was sealed by President Eyring's words, telling us so clearly that the spirit has revealed to us that these men are called of God Himself - and I was among those to whom he was speaking.  I had already written it down as a personal note - and then he said it exactly as I had written it, word for word.  

And now . I KNOW that they are exactly what they are called as.  They are the chosen and elect of God to guide us in these days, even as those prophets of old.  We can trust in them - trust in their counsel - they will not lead us astray.  They are preparing us for the biggest event of our human existence.  This I know, with all my heart.  I thank my Heavenly Father for having revealed it so clearly - and I invite you all to read their words, and ask Him, who knows all things, if what I've said is as true for you as it is for me.  I promise He'll answer.

I LOVE YOU ALL.  Thank you for everything - I appreciate all your prayers and support.  We will talk again soon.

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week:  Into the West, Annie Lennox.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Big Changes and Big Hopes

Hey everybody!!!

Honestly, there comes a point where you don't really know how to say everything you want to say.  You just kind of get on and do it and hope for the best... So.... I think that I'll just tell you the big things that are happening and some of the thoughts that came to me during the week.

First, I had changes, but I'm still here in San Marcos.  I am grateful and astonished to say that I HAVE GIVEN BIRTH AGAIN!  This past week I was given the amazing opportunity to welcome a new missionary into the field:

Elder Rogers!

..Yeah, another gringo!  That's TWO gringo babies in the mission!  ;D

Second, I think that the biggest thing that hit me during the week was General Conference.  For one thing, it was my third in the mission.... Only 1 left.  That's a weird feeling.  BUT, WHAT a conference it was.  I think I might actually organize a little GC letter next week, showing some of the amazing parallels I saw throughout the conference.  The biggest ones are these:

1.  Exaltation is the goal.

2.  Exercise your faith.

3.  Honor the Sabbath.

4.  Modern Day Prophets are exactly that.

5.  Be a light in a world of darkness.

I LOVE YOU ALL, I know the letter is short.... But, You all know that after big things happen... there's a little pause.... Then comes the boom.  ;D  I'll be keeping you all up to date!  LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week:  Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Call It Miracle

Hey Everybody.

So.... It's hard to even know where to start.  First off, I want to begin by saying that the Lord is good.  This is His Work.  He always has a plan.  And... That plan, here is San Marcos, is finally in action. 

So... Let me explain by telling a story.

When we began in San Marcos, we had a regular attendance in church of about 11 people.  We had many investigators who never came to church and a ton of issues amongst the members.  We fought, taught and practically begged the people to act upon the truths of the restored gospel, but to little avail.

Then we started to ask Him for a little more help.

We thought that the miracle had come so many times, but every one led to disappointment and a hard wake-up call:  we're searching in all the wrong places.

So... We started asking harder for help.  I've never prayed so much in my life.... And I say this not to boast - I know that what He had in store didn't come because of me.  We just had to be ready to recieve it.

Our apartment has a guard - he's a sincere person.  As a sincere person, he was VERY sincere, in that he didn't want to know much about the church.  BUT, my companion was persistent.  At night, we would always talk to him for a little, sharing little parts of the message we bring.  Still, to little avail.

Then, we gave him a pamphlet of the Testimony of Joseph Smith.

The next day, he couldn't stop asking questions.  He wanted to know EVERYTHING about the apostasy and restoration and everything else we could possibly give.  He started reading the Book of Mormon, and started to open up about true doubts - and then came a really big question.

'Could we share all this with your family?'

And then followed an even bigger question, followed by a bigger answer, followed by the biggest weeks of any of our lives:

'Are you and your wife married?'

'No.   ......  But should we be?'

The past few weeks have been some of the busiest of my life - and, my dear friends and family, I have some big announcements.

Number 1:
Elder Espinoza and I have officially married the family.  They were married last Friday, and that set the course for the next 2 announcements....

Number 2:
This family was baptized on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday.  I had the priviledge of baptizing the husband and confirming the wife, and my companion had the blessing of baptizing the wife and confirming the husband.  San Marcos welcomes two new members and their beautiful 5 year old daughter - and San Marcos, since they made the decision to get married and get baptized, has lead to the activation of several members, and we now have a regular church attendance of 20 people.  God has big plans for this area, guys.


Number 3:
This family has set the plans to go to the temple in one year - and have asked that my companion and I be present at their sealing.  I doubt there are blessings bigger than that. And to be a part of it, is.... A dream.

So, my beloved friends and family, what can we do from here?

Well, I suppose we can call it a Miracle.

But I think it's just the Work of God - He does things like this every day.  We just have to learn to see them.

I love you all.  Thank you for your support.  We have big plans....  And I'll keep you updated.  Thank you for your patience and for your prayers - it was well worth it.

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week:  Time of your Life, Green Day.  Dedicated to the Newlyweds. <3


Monday, September 21, 2015

Just a preview of what is to come!

Elder Huff was unable to send an email this week, the internet wasn't working very well.  BUT - there were a few pictures that he was able to upload!  This is just a preview of what is to come next week!

STAY TUNED!!!  Great things are happening in San Marcos!!!  (things that haven't happened there in a few years!!!)

Song of the week...