Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jeorge's baptism

We have transfers. I’m staying here in Aguilas and my companion is going to the mountains of Chiapas to a little city called Yajalon! He’s super excited but at the same time nervous. It can get a little sketchy there. But my new companion comes tomorrow and then next week were going to divide our area again and were going to have sister missionaries in the ward!!! They’re going to be in my old area Aguilas 2 (It’s where I was before the trio, it’s the nicer part of our area), which in a way stinks for me because our next 3 baptisms are in that area! But oh well. I’m still counting Carmen, Angela and Yuriana (spoiler alert) as my converts! Anyway let’s talk about the week chronologically.
Tuesday we went over to teach Jorge and as we were pulling up in the taxi, we saw him fighting some kid! It wasn’t anything too bad, they’re only 10 years old, so we paid the taxi really quick and jumped out to see what the heck was going on. Once we got out, Jorge was really embarrassed and hid behind a car. The kid he was punching was the bully on the block and it sounded like he was making fun of Jorge for being poor and for talking with the Mormons. We talked with the bully and we were able to calm them down a bit. After going inside Jorge’s house, we talked about repentance and about loving others even when they don’t love you. Then as we said the opening prayer, Jorge asked if he could say it. As he did, he started praying for the bully "that he can be happy and not hurt anyone" and that he (Jorge) could be forgiven. It was such a simple and precious prayer that surely fogged up my eyes.
Wednesday we got a referral from the elders in COMALAPA!!!!! Sounds like one of their investigators lives a week in our area and a week in their area. His name is Jose Luis and he’s awesome! He’s from Nicaragua and wants to get baptized. He works with a brother in the branch in Comalapa named Eduardo. So the missionaries there are working with him. We only were able to meet with him once this week and then we went back to Comalapa, but it was nice to have that kind of teamwork from the missionaries in my old area!
Thursday we met with Adolfo . . . . I REALLY want you guys to meet him! He’s such an amazing man. He went home teaching this week with brother Sanchez and told us afterwards "what church cares so much about their members that they visit them like this, not any other church but the Church of Christ" then he started crying and said "you guys have no idea how much you’ve done for me! Thank you so so much" I love how amazing Adoflo is and I’m so happy that God chose me to be one of the missionaries to help him.
Friday we had a movie night at the church. It went ok. There were a lot of technical difficulties and the young men burned a bag and a half of popcorn before actually getting it right, but it was awesome. We watched Meet the Mormons and everyone seemed to love it, especially Jorge and Angela.
Saturday was a fantastic day. Everything went just about perfect for the baptism (YES THERE WAS WATER IN THE TANK) Elder Perez got to baptize Jorge so he was really happy about that. Once Jorge was baptized, his mom Carmen was crying. Her and Angela are excited for their baptism on the 9th of April and so are we! 
Sunday was great as well. I was able to confirm Jorge and it was a really a special experience. After church we went to the Rodas´s house because Yuriana (the referral we contacted about a month ago) finally was able to meet with us. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and it was a great lesson, especially since we had 2 returned sister missionaries and 1 future missionary with us. When we invited her to be baptized she said yes and we invited her to get baptized the 16th of April (she’s gone to church 5 times already but we need time to teach her the lessons) and she said yes again! Everyone was so happy after that lesson.
It was an awesome week with so many miracles. The Lord answers prayers. ALWAYS. Just 6 months ago I was so worried because I didn’t have a baptism. Now I know that the Lord was preparing me for the Aguilas ward.
Love you all so much family. The Church is true!
Elder Hunt

Monday, March 21, 2016

Last week in a trio

This was our last week in a trio. Friday at our multi zone conference, pres. talked to us and asked Elder Rosas if he could go to another area because another elder had knee surgery and went home so his companion was without a companion. So that was a miracle in and of itself. Now Elder Perez and I are happy and already seeing miracles!
Tuesday we gave Adolfo a blessing. He’s now home and out of the hospital but still really sick. After the blessing he started getting a lot better and by next Sunday I’m sure he’ll be able to go to church. We visited him on Thursday as well. He’s still faithful and reads and prays even though he can’t come to church right now he stays up to date in his Gospel Principles manual, he’s so awesome! 

Tuesday was a bit sad though because the father of a very faithful and awesome family died. He had been separated from his wife and didn’t live in our area but the family helped us with everything. One of their sons, Cesar, always is going out with us and so we stopped by their house to see how he and the family were doing. I now know what it’s like to mourn with those that mourn. They’re doing a lot better now, butTuesday was rough.
Wednesday we got permission to go to the temple and it was a much needed trip. Being in the trio was really hard and so the temple gave me and Elder Perez a good time to relax and feel the spirit.
We visited Carmen and her family a couple times this week and Jorge is going to get baptized on Saturday!!!!! WOOHOO! We also put a baptismal date for Carmen and Angela and they said yes to the 9th of April! So were super pumped and they also came to church!!!!
Friday we had our multi-zone conference and it was so special! The spirit was strong and we learned so much about the atonement! I’ve grown to have a great appreciation for the Savior as I’ve been here in Mexico and know and appreciate more that Jesus Christ paid for the sins of the world.
Saturday, once Elder Rosas left, we started seeing miracles! Elder Perez had a dream that we should see an old investigator and teach him about family history. It was something that we weren’t expecting, so we went and visited him on Sunday night. He lost his wife about 5 years ago and so we talked about how families can be together forever and we watched the new video that the church has. Hallelujah! It was perfect. He’s now a new investigator and is really happy that we’re visiting him again. We also did divisions with some youth in the ward. Cesar and Paul. I went with Paul and we went beast mode! It was so great.
Well family, sorry for the randomness of the letter. There’s so little time to tell you about everything and there’s so much we have to do now for the baptism. We’re going to be seeing Meet the Mormons Friday so we have to plan for that as well. I love and miss you all so much and I know the church is true and that God loves us! I’ll try to make the next letter make sense! 
Elder Hunt

A trying week

It was a hard week with so many prayers answered and a happy ending.
Being in a trio is hard sometimes. I don’t want to publicly talk about our problems (that will be something for when I get home) but all you need to know is it's been hard. I prayed a lot this week and can’t tell you how many times I found a scripture or had someone tell me something or had overwhelming peace that let me know everything is going to be alright. It was very stressful sometimes, but the Lord brought so much comfort to me. If you want to know some of my answers, look up the talk by D. Todd Christofferson called "As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten". There’s a scripture, D&C 136: 31, that really helped me know what God’s will and plans were.
Part of the stress and frustration of this week was also that our investigators are having a hard time progressing. On top of that Adolfo was hospitalized this week. He got pneumonia, and for a 72 year old with cancer, that can be deadly. Thankfully he’s much better right now and everything looks like it will be alright.
The week wasn’t all trials, something great also happened this week. We have 2 new investigators, Alfredo and Mary. They have actually been investigating the Church for a year now. Why do we still visit them you may ask? Because they come to church and want to be baptized. Now I know you are wondering why they haven’t been baptized. Because they’re not married. However . . . . on Thursday we went to the Registro civil (don’t know what it is in English) to get their daughter’s birth certificate and now that they have that, they can get married!!!! So basically at the end of April, we have 2 sure baptisms!
It was a rough week but I’m still thankful for it. I don’t know what I would do without trials. The mission honestly wouldn’t be the best 2 years without them and I am a better missionary because of them.
Love you all so much and thank you for the letters. Also, thank you for the Christmas letters Aunt Sandy and Aunt Jessica, I just got them this week. 
Elder Hunt

New investigators

It was a good week. I love being a missionary and seeing the Lord answer prayers. He has answered many with the trials and blessing of last week.
We visited Adolfo this week and had a great lesson with him. He even called us on Monday and said "I have so much to tell you guys but I’ll wait till our lesson on Tuesday to tell you". Even though he’s an elderly man he has the excitement of a little kid. I love the guy, he’s so great! When we met him for his lesson he talked about how he had a ton of miracles happen to him on Monday and a lot of prayers answered as well. He lost a very important medical card that he needs for his medicine and cancer treatments and prayed to find it, then one of his co-workers walked up to him and said "Adolfo you dropped this". The doctor says he has the blood pressure of an 18 year old kid (he was especially excited about that), and many other things. As he expressed his excitement, he started to cry, then he said "I never thought the Lord would answer my prayers so fast. I never could have imagined that I could feel so happy". It was hard not to cry right along with him. I love being a missionary.
We found a new investigator named Mario and his brother Luigi . . . . just kidding. But yeah, the man’s name is Mario and we contacted him in the street. We stopped by his house and taught him the restoration. He wasn’t surprised or doubtful regarding the part of Joseph Smith restoring the gospel, but of course had never heard of prophets in our day. He said he is willing to pray and read.
We found another new investigator named Rolando. He’s a construction worker that’s working on the house of one of the members and he went with them to the stake conference! So we talked with him Sunday. He’s a great guy. He’s not highly educated but he’s willing to find out for himself if this message is true.
Friday I got my ingrown toenail taken out . . . . again! I’m turning into a real Mexican! It was sad because it was the same toe as last time, but this time on the other side of the nail. When we walked into the place, the same lady that took out my ingrown toenail last time was the one who took it out this time. As I sat in the seat I apologized for making her touch my gringo feet again. She laughed and said "don’t worry, you have like 7 other companions that come in often for the same problem" I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!!! We did divisions on Friday and Saturday and I was still able to do the work! 
We had a great experience with Jose Luis this week. When we visited his family, he asked for a blessing. He has diabetes and has been really weak and bad on his sugar levels. We gave him a blessing and as we did so the spirit filled the room. He started to cry as we promised him he would be healed and that his Heavenly Father has a plan for him. I’m honored and yet humbled to hold the priesthood of God.
This was a good week and full of different experiences. I love representing the Lord. I know that he lives and that this is his work and that it will not be stopped. I love and miss you all tons and thank you for the letters and support.
Elder Hunt

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Adolfos baptism

Awesome week! Stressful one too!
So Monday the pope came to Tuxtla. It was crazy because we got to see it from the roof of our house! He came in a helicopter and landed in the Jaguar soccer stadium. We could hear the music that was playing from our house! It was so crazy. I took a video so hopefully you can see it.
On Tuesday we met with our investigator named Carlos and had a great lesson with him. He’s an investigator who has a lot of problems and has gone through a whole ton of stuff in his life. Without going into details, he REALLY needs the restored gospel! As we taught him he expressed his doubts he asked us "how did you guys come to know all this is true" so we all shared our conversion stories and afterward he said " you have powerful testimonies. Thank you for sharing with me. I know what I need to do. I need to read and pray" it was awesome! We had our last lesson with our investigator Adolfo Sarmillento Canel and talked about repentance. It was a great lesson and a great topic to go over before his baptism. We taught Carmen and her family about prophets and they were glad to hear that we have a prophet today.
Thursday we helped a less active sister paint her little beauty shop. Well, it’s going to be a beauty shop anyway. It was fun but took WAY longer that we thought it would. We were there for 3 hours before we left and still didn’t finish completely. We’ll go back Wednesday I think to finish everything.
Friday we had our multi zone activity. We went to the zoo!!!! it was nice I guess, as nice as a zoo in southern Mexico can get, but it was pretty cool. It was a zoo with all the animals of Chiapas. There were monkeys and ant eaters and leopards and pumas, it was pretty cool. It was also great to be with all the missionaries and ex companions! 
Saturday was the coolest and most stressful day of my life! So we got to the church at 3:00 to start filling up the font. The bathroom was a disaster so we had to clean that up and take out the trash too. As we were doing that we noticed that the water wasn’t flowing much, so we went out back and checked the water. . . . we were out of water. The sad thing is that the day before we checked EVERYTHING, the boiler, the drain, the piano and TV. . . . but not the water tank. (Mexico problems). So long story short, we called a water truck to fill up the tank and the font! It was the most stressed hour of my life! but everything went perfectly afterward. Wangela and Jorge came to the baptism and loved it and Adolfo had some of his friends come too. It was such a great moment. Adolfo said at the end of his baptism "I don’t know how I can repay you guys, I feel as light as a feather, and I’ve never been so happy". Sunday he was confirmed and received the Aaronic priesthood!
 It was a great week and hard week. It felt so good to help a child of God with 72 years on this earth find and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know the church is true and I know that by living according to the principles taught, we will receive eternal life.
Love and miss ya all tons and thanks for your love and support!
Elder Hunt


Conference with Elder Oaks

OK, all I have time for are the highlights of this week. I’ll save Elder Oaks for last.
Adolfo didn’t get baptized. He drank his last coffee on Saturday so he’ll be baptized this coming Saturday! We’re excited for that and thankfully he still is too, after having to push his date back over and over again.
Jose Luis and Maria (de Carmen, she likes Carmen better so I’ll be referring to her as Carmen, sorry now there are 2 of them) are doing ok. The kids are sure more excited to progress, but we're working with mom and dad. We had a great lesson with them on Tuesday and they fed us lunch as well. Before leaving they asked for a blessing for Carmen.
The other Carmen and her kids are doing good as well. We’re going to have a FHE with them and with the ward mission leader who happens to be a former mission president. Seriously our ward is incredible!
We found a new investigator this week named Isis. She’s a single mom but is looking for the truth. She was catholic but attended a Seventh Day Adventist school and almost got baptized there but didn’t feel right about it. We contacted her last week and she said when we contacted her she felt something very special. 
Ok, now for Elder Oaks . . . .it was awesome!!! I think there are pictures of the conference on the LDS Mexico facebook page, though I’m not sure since I can’t go on facebook but the members say there are pics! Anyway, so we had to be at the stake center at 7:30 in the morning. The whole mission was there so we got situated and waited for him to come in. He arrived at about 9:30 and he was accompanied by Elder Clayton and their wives. We got to shake their hands one by one and that was cool! When I shook Elder Oak’s hand, I said "it’s so nice to meet you Elder Oaks" and he said, "Oh it’s so nice to meet you too Elder Hunt" IT WAS AWESOME!!! The conference was great as well. He and Elder Clayton talked about so many things. One topic that I loved was when they talked about the importance of teaching repentance thoroughly before inviting the investigators to baptism. "We don’t want investigators converted to “the Church”, we want investigators converted to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ", so true. Then he talked about how we need to prepare the investigators for baptism. Pres. George talked about that as well. He talked about the parable of the sower for a bit and then said how we get good soil. He talked about how the soil needs to be prepared for our investigators to grow in the church and the gospel. They need friends in the church, good teaching, people to share hymns with and others to welcome them when they come to church, then they will feel the spirit and be converted to the gospel.
After the conference we went to work and immediately started seeing miracles. I’ll share with you something I shared with my mission president.
When walking we passed by a less-active woman’s house and she said, “Elders, please come in, we have been praying for you. We need a blessing.” She told us that her husband, he’s Pentecostal, almost died of a heart attack the day before. So we gave him a blessing and afterward he sat up and turned to me and said “You have a lot of faith, when you gave me the blessing I felt heat or power enter into my body and heal me, you are sent from God.” It brought tears to my eyes because I have been struggling a bit lately, feeling like I’m not a good enough missionary. I’ve been praying a lot to know whether or not what I’m doing is pleasing the Lord. I feel it was an answer to my prayer.
Sunday we had another conference with Elder Benjamin de Oyos of The Seventy. It was an awesome conference. Only Adolfo came to church so he’s the only one that has a baptismal date but were working on that this week
Such a great week full of experiences that are truly unforgettable. I love being a missionary and love serving the Lord!
Love and miss you all very, very much!
Elder Hunt