Monday, November 16, 2015

Bipolar week!

Bipolar week! Both in weather and in events. Hot as heck, then rainy as heck, good days bad days.
First of all... I’M NOT GETTING TRANSFERED!!!! So that’ll be another good month and a half in Comalapa!
So everything was greaton Monday. We went over to Marvin and Eva’s house and ate with them again (he fried up some slabs of meat on a broken washing machine. I wanted to take a picture but felt weird asking). We’re working hard with them but Eva has been a bit reluctant on getting married. Marvin wants to it so bad, he wants "to be good with God".
Wednesday the WHOLE ZONE came over to Comalapa for our zone meeting and then we all went out to visit some families and investigators! 2 of those investigators were Luis and Nancy (Rosa’s kids) and they were both interviewed for baptism and they both have a date for the 21st of November!!!! We’re so excited for them.
We also visited some less actives this week named Margot and her husband Hector. After talking with them for a while they talked about how much they miss church and how Hector was almost going to get baptized about 3 years ago!!!! So we invited him again and he said YES! He has all the church attendances necessary, he just needs to start coming again and we need to go over the lessons again.
We also me with a man named Giermo and wow... he’s AWEOSME! He’s an old guy that’s been listening to the Jehovah's Witnesses so he was really confused! But we taught him the restoration and he cried as he said the closing prayer. It was such a spirit filled lesson! He sadly couldn’t come to church but we’re going to work hard with him this next week and have a member drop by for him!
The really sad part about this week was that we found out that Rosa hasn’t been as faithful as we thought. She’s been making some very poor decisions and it’s been affecting her and her kids. It really broke my heart and it’s been a really rough couple of days. But please keep her in your hearts and prayers. She really needs them.
Sunday ended with a fantastic fast and testimony meeting. Everyone was crying. Marvin bore a powerful testimony as well as Gil (the man whose daughter passed away). It was just a very powerful and great Sunday. Thinking it was going to be my last in Comalapa, I too bore my testimony and kind of told everyone goodbye... ha! oops! That’s what I get for trying to read the Lords mind! We ended our Sunday by visiting Gil, Lucy and their family. They’re doing great and staying faithful and strong in the gospel.
Well family, I love and miss you all very much. You mean the world to me. I know the Church is true and that our Savior really did die for us. I know the church has been restored and we have the privilege of being a part of it. The mission is hard.... but it’s totally worth it!
Love ya!!!!!
Elder Hunt

Comitan and San Cristobal Stakes

Ok so I don’t have a lot of time but it was a fun week!
Rosa is doing ok. We stopped by her house a couple times this week (we try to go every day but she’s not home sometimes, even when we set appointments) but she’s really trying to do what’s right. She is so sincere in her desires and her example has started to change her children too. One of her older sons, Luis (elder Cabrera and I were teaching him), told us on Saturday that he wants so get baptized!!!! So if I don’t get transferred next week, I’ll be able to tell you all about his baptism next month!
We also were able to visit an investigator named Mayer. He’s a 17 year old kid who’s looking for the truth. He loved the plan of salvation and the story of Joseph Smith. He’s showing a lot of sincere desires as well and when we invited him to baptism and set a date he didn’t even hesitate and said yes.
Sunday we had our stake conference and it was really great!! And there was big news . . . . they are going to split the San Cristobal stake into 2 districts, Comitan and San Cristobal. So now the members will have half the responsibility and stress and double the blessings and leadership. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me! Now all the little branches like Comalapa that are forever far away from San Cristobal won’t have to travel so long.
But the best of all the news is that Eva and Marvin came to stake conference and they loved it! We took pictures of them afterward so you can see them in Dropbox. Anyway it was awesome. Seriously, they’re trying so hard to do the right thing. Now the only thing that’s left is marriage and then BOOM!... baptism! then BOOM!... temple marriage! I love the gospel and I love being a missionary!
I love and miss you all so much family! I hope everything goes well for you and that you had a great Halloween! And a special shout out to Malcom and Amber for their birthdays this week!!! I wish I could be there with you all! I’ll bring back some presents for you guys I promise... just wait for like 9 months and you’ll be able to see ‘em! ha
Elder Hunt


Prieshood power

It was definitely a different week . . . but it was incredible!
Monday Marvin and Eva invited us over to eat with them. We ate this really good shrimp soup. We talked about baptism and Eva is really opening up more to us. She still doesn’t have a definite answer but she feels like she should go through with baptism.
We went over with Rosa and there was a man in the house with her and her kids. I hate Satan. We asked her about it on Sunday and she told us he was someone from her past and he’s trying to get back with her. Luckily she knows the right thing to do and she’s been trying to get him to leave but he won’t and her kids are too nice to tell him to go away. So please pray for her. Sunday she really opened up to us and explained how hard the enemy is working on her. We’re going to be dropping by a lot this week to help her.
Tuesday is our meeting day in Comitan. We went there and got to hear from the new ward mission leader in Comitan. He presented us a plan he used when he was a missionary and it gave him a TON of success . . . something our zone hasn’t been having a lot of, so we decided to apply it.
Basically it is the subject of the letter: Using the Priesthood to its Potential, which encourages missionaries to give blessings to ALL the members and their families, and all the Investigators that are progressing the most, and to dedicate the zone and our individual areas.
To be honest when he first told us I was a little skeptical, because it’s something VERY different than what I’m used to, but we did it and wow, the spirit was so strong! The whole day we were asking members and investigators if they wanted blessings and invited people to baptism. That evening we met with the 2 ward mission leaders and the bishops from Comitan and went to a mountain and had a prayer together. After we all said amen and I opened my eyes and everything looked brighter. It was awesome!!!
Wednesday we got back to our area and immediately we started seeing blessings from Tuesday. We got like 3 referrals and had a ton of lessons that day. One of the families that we gave a blessing to was Brother Gilberto and his wife and it made a big difference. Their house wasn’t so gloomy after we left, but was brighter and happier. We also visited a bunch of less actives and some who have been members for years but never had had a blessing.
By Sunday Comalapa was not so much like Sodom and Gomorrah! It seriously feels different now. We had a ton of less actives come to church this past week, one of them being Nahin and his non-member wife! It was awesome seeing them there and they really enjoyed it. After church, we hiked a little hill and had a prayer together as the Comalapa branch priesthood holders. It was so great and now were ready to start seeing some more progress!
It’s been such a great week and such a spirit filled one too. Our investigators are starting to really complete their commitments and Comalapa really is a better place now. I know the priesthood is real power and authority from God. If we use it righteously, we will be able to bless the lives of others.
One important point about this exercise is when you offer to give a blessing it is an invitation and not an obligation.
I know the church is true. Life is hard, but if we do our part, we’ll be able to succeed.
Love ya all and miss ya tons!
Elder Hunt

Rainbow after the storm

It was a sad week over here.
Karina passed away. It was depressing and very surprising news. Everyone was sure things would have turned out well, but I guess the Lord knows best. She passed away on Friday morning but we didn’t know until that afternoon. But before I get into those details I’ll let you guys know what happened earlier on in the week.
Tuesday we went to Comitan and had interviews with President and it went really well. I always love talking with him. He’s the best! After the interviews, we headed back to Comalapa and like 10 minutes before we arrived, we got a call from president’s secretary, Elder Florez, he told us we had to go to Tuxtla that day for fingerprints for my Green Card. So we went home real quick, packed some clothes and headed back to Comitan to sleep with the Zone leaders. But on our way to Comitan, there was a blockade. Sometimes they do this in Mexico when they protest the government. They’ll put like a million heavy loader trucks in the middle of the road and hope the government caves into their demands. Luckily Chiapas is pretty chill and things don’t get to violent, if I was more north, things would be more dangerous. So don’t worry mom no one does anything too crazy in Chiapas. Anyway so the combi took us to the blockade and then let us out and we walked through it to the other side where there were other combis waiting for us to take us to Comitan. We spent the night with the zone leaders and then took a bus to Tuxtla. It was a long 2 days of traveling just for finger prints but it had to be done.
Friday was when we heard the news about Karina, so we went to the church to help our branch president set everything up for the funeral. It took a while but we had a ton of help from everyone, members and non-members. Karina’s body got there at about 10 pm. We had to be in our house at 9:00. so we helped them as much as we could and went home.
Saturday we had the funeral. The branch president asked me to talk so I shared my testimony about the gospel and how it ties families together even if families are separated by death and that this is all made possible by the atonement. After the funeral we took the body to the graveyard. It was really interesting because here they have a tradition (pretty sure it’s a catholic thing), they put the casket in the back of a pickup and then slowly walk behind it to the graveyard. So we all walked the body to the graveyard while one of the brothers slowly drove and we followed behind the truck.
I felt so bad for the family, new converts, their daughter was investigating but hadn’t been baptized. We prayed and fasted, but the Lord had different plans. Prayers and fasting cannot change the will of the Lord. It was a very hard thing for the family to go through, but they are humble and seem to accept the will of the Lord. They never blamed God for anything, but as Gilberto, their father said, "When the doctors told me she passed away, I couldn’t believe them. Once it hit me what had happened, the only thing I could do was offer a prayer and say thank you Lord for giving me 23 amazing years with my beautiful daughter".
They all came to church on Sunday and there was a very special spirit present in the meeting. There were a lot of people there too. 40! That’s a record! We haven’t hit that number for about a year!
Family, I know the church is true. I’m so thankful that I was born into it and blessed with the kind of family I have. I know I have a year left in the field and I think of you often and am so happy that we get to spend all of eternity together. I know that even though we have to pass many storms here in life, that there is always a rainbow afterward. We have the assurance that the gospel unites families forever.
Love you all and miss you very much!
Elder Hunt
PS: Happy late birthday to the best twin brother and sister ever!!!

Surprise baptism


What an amazing week. Our Heavenly Father is one absolutely incredible being. I don’t understand at ALL how he does what He does.... but he does it. Based on time I’d like to focus on the baptism that we experienced and not talk about all the other things that happened this week. I’ll just say that Isis, Eva, and Lorena came to church!!! it was aweosme!!!!!
Ok, so we had exchanges with the zone leaders and I was with Elder Martinez (he was in my district when I was in Tapachula). So everything was awesome. We were working hard and working good, and then on Saturday morning we got a call from Elder Spence he said they just got a call from a brother in our ward and he just told us that Mayra wants to get baptized. . .
Ok, rewind a bit, I’ll tell you Myra and her family's story. Lucy, the mother of this family was super catholic, but because the church is true, got baptized and then was closely followed by her husband, though he fought with beer and cigarettes for months before he finally got baptized. Anyway they’ve been faithful members ever since he was baptized in November. Their son got baptized too, but went inactive shortly after. Gil (the father) and Lucy have 2 daughters, Karina and Mayra, who go to church, read their scriptures (when I say read I mean study, and highlight and cross reference), say their prayers, and attend all other activities in the church, but they have never been baptized. We as missionaries and the ward leaders have talked to them several times but they always refuse.
Last Sunday Karina got really, really sick and they had to take her to the hospital in Comitan. Then the doctor gave her some medicine and her body rejected it, which caused her skin to start burning and dying. She was put in a medically induced coma and has been in one since Thursday. We talked to the Z.L.s who live in Comitan, and they worked out a schedule with the members in the ward to bring breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the family and to visit the family and encourage them while they were in the hospital there. Sunday was Fast Sunday and both our branch and the ward in Comitan were fasting and praying for the family. The Lord works in mysterious ways and after waiting and waiting for these 2 girls to accept baptism, He sped up the process. Karina and Mayra both promised each other they were going to get baptized after Karina got out of the hospital, but after Karina was put into a coma, Mayra felt she needed to get baptized that Saturday.
. . . . now were back to the phone call with Elder Spence . . . . so we were ALL very surprised and so Elder Martinez and I dropped our stuff and took off to Comitan. It was a crazy day making programs and making phone calls but the baptism turned out great. There was a lot of member support from Comitan and Mayra was very happy once she left the water. Even though she was worried about her sister, she was at peace.
I know the Lord works in mysterious ways and it was incredible to see his hand in this. Even though it’s been hard on the family, they’re closer to each other and closer to their Father in Heaven because of it.
Love you all so much!! The church is true!!!
Elder Hunt