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!