Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mission Accomplished

Well, I can’t believe this day is here, I honestly don’t know what to think. I have so many conflicting feelings. I’m happy, sad, nervous, scared, anxious, excited, yet calm. I don’t know how to explain it

I know this work that I’ve been privileged to be a part of has changed my life, I’m coming back a different person, and I can feel the difference. I understand why they call it the best 2 years. It’s something hard to describe let alone put into English, but it’s the most beautiful feeling to help others come unto Christ and help them change their lives, and with the present condition that the world is in, this work is the most important work that can be done!

The youth in the Church MUST go on a mission. It is on a mission that they can best learn to become like Christ and to help other people become like Him as well, and with the current events that are taking place all over the world, the Gospel is the only thing that can cleanse the pollution's that the wickedness and foolishness of mankind has created.  

I can say that I know my Savior more, that I understand God´s plan better, and that I know the Church is truly Christ´s church. The priesthood is a real power that God has given to man to perform miracles and bring men to salvation. Heavenly Father is a REAL being that watches out for ALL of His children. Jesus Christ DID die for each and every one of us, and it is ONLY by and through Him that we can progress in this life and receive Eternal Life in the life to come. I know that because of a simple and heart felt prayer in 1820, Joseph Smith was able to restore Christ´s church again to the earth. One of the fruits of the Restoration is the Book of Mormon which testifies of God´s love and Christ´s sacrifice for all people. I also know the Book of Mormon is true. I could not have sacrificed these past 2 years of my life if I didn’t know these things.
I love you all so very much. Thank you for the love and support you have given me over these last 2 years, years that have come and gone much too soon! Nos vemos al rato.


Elder Jonathan Garth Hunt

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The American and the Indigenous

Pretty cool week as you can tell by the title.

So here are the highlights of the week:

Remember the American referral I told you about last week. Well we contacted him. His name is Lance and he’s a great guy. He´s really honest too. He said that the missionaries that taught him a couple years ago pushed baptism on him a lot and he said they didn’t teach him much. The thing about Lance is that he wants to know what the Church believes rather than how he can change his life, he’s a very philosophical kind of guy, but at the same time he told us "who knows, this could be a new start for me." He was going to come to church with us but ended up not. We’re visiting him this Wednesday.

After working a good couple days in our area we shot over to Ocosingo and went on splits with the elders over there. It was great. They had a baptismal candidate and so I got to interview the man and that was a great experience. The missionaries there have been struggling with some things so we were able to talk with them and work some things out.

Juan Pablo isn’t doing too good, he hasn’t been to church for 2 weeks in a row now, and the last time we went over there he looked pretty messed up and was definitely hung over. We asked him what happened and he didn’t go into too much details, which I’m glad for because just what little he told us he’s getting into a lot of trouble. We’re trying to help him as best we can, but it’s hard when they don’t apply the principles we teach them into their lives.

Sunday was pretty good though. I went to Oxchuc( Ōsh- Chook) with a man in the ward named Fernando. We have what they call here a "family group." That’s when there is not enough priesthood holders to be a branch. Basically it’s just a group of families who are too far away to go to the ward or branch and gather together to meet. In that area most people speak Spanish but the indigenous language is something called "Tseltal". So I and Fernando went there while my companion stayed in San Cristobal. It was quite an experience. There’s a special spirit there. Our sacrament meeting was held in the courtyard of a tiny little group of apartments. There was about 24 people in attendance including me and Fernando. Everything was in Tseltal except for the hymns, sacrament prayer, and my talk. I was thinking a lot about how the Church started. It was organized in a little log cabin with only a handful of people present, only 6 were baptized and confirmed. How did they feel about the church at that time? I know they knew it was the true church, but did they have any idea what it would become? That it really would go to every nation, kindred, tongue and people? It was a beautiful feeling being able to witness that prophesy comes true and that I know that this is Christ’s church set up upon the earth. Yesterday, in that little courtyard, my testimony was strengthened by those faithful members and their testimonies and desires.

I love you all so much and can’t wait to see you all soon!

Elder Hunt

The Lord is Merciful

What a week! It started up, then shot down, then shot up again.

Monday and Tuesday we went to Tuxtla for our zone leader meeting and it was great! This month we’re going to focus on lessons with members present again, which is just perfect because this last month the mission saw miracles. All our indicators went up by having more lessons with member present; investigators with a baptismal date, progressing investigators, contacts, baptisms and conformation, etc. It’s awesome! So we are super pumped! 

Anyway, when we got back from our zone leader meeting, my companion got explosive diarrhea, it was bad. he got so sick so we were in the house until Friday! It was awful. I hate not working, especially since this is my last transfer. It’s hard to be happy and not work, actually it’s impossible, but thankfully by Friday we were able to start working again.

After not working for days on end it hurts because momentum is lost, we had to go try to visit people without having a set appointment which isn’t good, we had to start from scratch. We were able to visit Marisela and Porfirio though. We taught them a part of The Plan of Salvation. They love listening to us, but never come to church, which is a bit frustrating. They’ve also been going out of town a lot, so we can hardly ever see them. Sorry for writing all the bad stuff that happened this week, but don’t worry Sunday was amazing.

So Sunday we woke up a bit discouraged, with the very little work we were able to do this week we honestly didn’t expect much on Sunday. We called Juan Pablo to see if he was coming, but he didn’t answer so we just though great, now what are we going to do? When we went to church it looked like none of our investigators were going to be there, and then it happened, within 15 minutes, the church was FILLED! Not just with members, but Enemias came again with his son and Raphael came with his sons as well, then and we had a family bring some non-member friends to church also. We got their names and numbers and we plan on visiting them this Tuesday. Then after church, missionaries from another area told us that an American contacted them and wants to know more about the church and he lives in our area!!!! And it didn’t end there, after lunch we were basically just walking around finding people to contact because it was raining like crazy and all our lessons fell through. As we walked by this little house some little kids came running out and asked if we were lost. They pointed in the direction that we had to go and we followed it, then, about a minute later they came running over to us and started saying "where are you from? What’s your names? What are you doing here?" anyway they ended up taking us to their house and we met their mom, older brother and their friend that lives in the same house with them. We sang a short hymn and told them about the restoration. The mom wasn’t too interested, but the neighbor sure was. She told us to come by any day and that she would be waiting for us! It was an amazing day with many tender mercies and I’ll never forget it. 

I’m reminded of a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that says, “For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.”

The Lord really does love blessing his children. Even though we weren’t able to accomplish much this week, the Lord saw it fit to bless us. He was merciful enough to give us some amazing referrals and guided us to that house on that cold and rainy Sunday afternoon. I know God loves us and he really DOES want to bless us. The Church is true, simple as that!

Love you all so much and I can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks

Elder Hunt

Guided by the Lord

Guided by the Lord.

So this was a great week, but sadly I got sick. Not really what I wanted on the last transfer of my mission but we still saw amazing things.

So after being sick we were finally able to go to work on Thursday and we went on divisions (I think you say exchanges in English) anyway, I went with Elder Moravec and the whole time it was dead. We were thinking “great what are we going to do?" By the end of the day we only had taught 2 lessons and our last lesson was with Freddy. As we were walking up to his house he came out and when he saw us a huge smile came on his face. When we went in and sat down, he said "Elders, I gave in this week and I had a drink" it was sad to hear, but at the same time I was totally calm. We talked about repentance and when I asked him why he drank he really opened up. He talked about losing his job and that he has had a lot of persecution from family and friends, he also has had some girl problems with a girl in the ward. He said he had been really depressed and Satan got him off the path for a while. As he said the closing prayer he broke down crying and asked for forgiveness from the Lord and thanked Him for sending us at that time. Afterward he said as we came to the house to teach him that day that he was leaving to go drink again. Sunday he talked with the branch president and so he’s getting back on the path.

Friday we taught Marisela. Sadly Porfirio wasn’t there so we couldn’t teach a lesson but we shared a scripture with her and her niece. We also taught Juan Pablo that day. We finished The Plan of Salvation with him and wow, he’s so awesome!!!! He wants so bad to be baptized and he’s "echando muchas ganas" (that’s like saying working really hard).

Saturday we went on splits and NO ONE WAS HOME!!! As we were going back to the church to meet up with my companion and the other member, we walked by 2 people that were sitting down and I had a very strong impression to talk with them. I kind of brushed it off, but it kept coming back so we turned around and talked to them. One of them didn’t want anything but the other was GOLDEN! His name is Nicolas and he said he was looking to better his relationship with God. He gave us his name number and address without us even asking. I don’t know why, but the spirit was very strong as we talked with him. Sadly he’s not going to be home next week because he and his family are going out of town, but NEXT week were going by! After that, our last appointment fell through so we decided to visit a less active, recent convert named Rafael. Again, I think we were guided right to him. We talked about the 10 commandments to him and his non-member friends that were present. As we talked about the Sabbath Day, he brought up many objections and even after reading with him in the scriptures and explaining that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ he still wouldn’t drop it but kept asking why the church worships on Sunday. Anyway we weren’t making any progress so we just bore our testimony about modern prophets and continuous revelation and that we need to show our faith and be obedient to receive blessings. As we did the spirit filled the room and guess what, he went to church on Sunday. After church he thanked us for coming by his house the night before and asked us when we could come again. 

I love the way the Lord works and how much he cares for each of us. He wants us to be happy and as we listen to the spirit we can find that happiness and bring it to others.

Love you and miss you all! HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!!

Elder Hunt

PS. Happy birthday stink face!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Secret Weapon of Members

We are working with members a lot now and it’s AWESOME! We’ve been seeing so many miracles with it. Even just finding new people to teach!

Juan Pablos is doing great! He´s really progressing and he came to church yesterday!!!! He loves it and loves learning. Every time we visit him he talks about the peace that he feels while listening to us and reading the Book of Mormon.

Wednesday was "Miracle Wednesday." We accidentally found a family that has been less active for years and they’ve been sealed in the temple!!!! Their names are Flor and Cristobal. They’re really great but for some reason or another, they went inactive.

We also met with Freddy and he’s doing great. He gave me a full 8G USB and told me to delete all his music on it and put hymns and Mormon Messages on it instead. HE’S SO GREAT!

Then we contacted some referrals with a member named Rebollo. He is also great! Then we contacted a lady with her 2 daughters and guess what? They have family that are members in Palenque!!!!!! They’ve talked with the elders before, but over in Palanque. They were really happy to see us! It was awesome. We have a lesson planned with them this Saturday. 

We also found 2 new investigators, Marisela and her boyfriend Porfilio. They are living with their sister who’s a less active member. When we taught them the restoration, they were at the edge of their seats the whole time. They accepted baptism and are so hungry for the truth.

It’s amazing how much God loves his children and how much trust he has in us. He really does care for us and wants the best for us. As I look back on these last 23 months, I can really see how the Lord can make us instruments in his hands. I love our Heavenly Father and my savior and I know that this is their work. The Church is true!


Elder Hunt

The last transfer. Nike!

Elder Kitrass is the bomb!!! He came on a rainy cold Tuesday from dry hot Oaxaca (wa – hawk - ah) and he got sick, poor guy, but I gave him a blessing and the next day he was fine!

So a little bit about him . . . . he’s from Winnemucca Nevada but he tells everyone he’s from Las Vegas. They can relate to Las Vegas, but Winnemucca? Not so much. Anyway his dad is Greek and so he’s got a ton of cool stories. We’ve just been having a blast "gringoing" and getting into the work. He’s been in the mission for about 18 months.

This week we visited a man named Juan Pablo. I think I told you about him last week but basically he’s a taxi driver we contacted 2 weeks ago and wants to get baptized!!!! He’s so great. We taught him The Restoration and The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He tells us every time he reads the Book of Mormon that he’s filled with peace and hope! He’s so great. He didn’t come to church though and we’re not sure why. We called him and he said he was coming but he never came. We’re going to visit him tomorrow.

Freddy is doing ok, but the trials are coming. He lost his job. They told him he had to work 3 Sundays a month and only 1 Sunday free. He told them he couldn’t do that so they gave him the choice between his job and the church. He chose the church. It shows where his heart is. Please pray for him so that he can stay strong in the faith and find a job. 

Another great thing we saw happen this week was with a woman named Elena. She’s a lady without work and was looking for help. She has a neighbor family who are members and when we passed by to visit them Elena was there. We talked about the gospel with her and sang "Nearer My God to Thee" (it’s nice having an American companion who can sing and harmonize. Not that Mexicans can’t, but none of my Mexican companions could) anyway, music has such power and it brought her to tears. We promised her that her Father in Heaven loves her and that she has a purpose here. The whole visit was a right place at the right time kind of thing. it was incredible!

This week we were able to improve on many aspects of the work. I often feel inadequate especially in my new assignment as a zone leader, but I know that even with my imperfections the Lord will help me have success. In Greek, the work Nike means Victory!

Love you all so much!!!!!!!

Elder Hunt

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Last transfer. "And so it begins".......

Elder de Jesus got transferred, I’m so sad, he’s been the best companion I’ve ever had and he taught me so much. We had a good last week here together. My new companion is ELDER KITRAS and all I know is that he’s from Nevada and that he is awesome! He goes home in 4 more transfers.
So now for the week . . . .  Monday and Tuesday we were in Tuxtla for our mission leader conference and it was amazing, as usual. The goal in the mission this month is to have lessons with a member present and so we talked about really getting the members involved in the work and not just having a body present! President George sure loves us, every time he speaks to us, you can just here it in his voice.
Thursday we had our zone meeting and it all went very well. I love working with the missionaries and teaching them. After the zone meeting my companion blindfolded me and lead me to a room where we celebrated all the June birthdays! It was awesome! Then I got my face smashed in a cake. It’s a Mexican tradition. Everyone chants "Mordida! Mordida!" which is "Take a BITE! Take a BITE!” I’ll explain it all later.
 The highlights of this week . . . .
Asusncion – she’s a less active lady and her husband and kids aren’t members. We visited her and talked about family history. She really wants to go to the temple, she’s never been before! She came to church and she’s starting to get her life back on track.
Anamias – he’s a less active man who had some problems in the church and hasn’t been there for almost a year. We’ve been motivating him and he too finally came to church! It was great to see him walk thru those doors.
Alfredo is reading the Book of Mormon and really likes it, he just hasn’t been to church yet. This week were going to go with one of the young men so that he has a friend at church and feels more comfortable coming.
We found a new investigator named Elsi. She’s a 30 year old single mother and her ex is a ward member. Kind of weird but we had a fantastic lesson with her about the restoration,
Freddy is AWESOME! He’s staying strong and we gave him a white shirt and tie on Sunday. He just about cried, especially when we said that Elder de Jesus was getting transferred, but he’s doing great and staying strong!

So that was basically the highlights of the week. The time is going by way too fast! I can’t believe how fast it’s gone but I’m ready to end the race sprinting and can’t wait to see what the Lord has prepared for me these last few month of my mission.
Love you all and miss you all tons!
Elder Hunt