Friday, August 30, 2013

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission

August 24, 2013

Hey Y'all!

Your young 18 year old missionary is doing well!  Fun Fact:  The man who wrote "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission" is in our ward.  It is funny I should meet him right as I begin my mission!

Today Elder Findlay has done some figuring and figured that today (8/24) is my one month day!  Since I have been out a month I figured I'd write to y'all.  I was doing some thinking myself and have determined that when I get home in 23 months the first thing I want to do is go with y'all to the beach and drink Bundaberg while watching the waves and the sunset.  I will prepare a spiritual thought to share.

This thought will be a culmination of all I have learned and experienced on my mission.  I don't know exactly what it will be yet, but after two years of learning and service for the kingdom of God, there WILL be something profound I will desire to share with you, my eternal family.

                                                    -Elder Hunt

Note:  Graham refers to watching the sunset and waves while drinking Bundaberg.  Bundaberg ginger beer is a family favorite soft drink from Australia.  The Bundaberg company is located in Graham's grandma's hometown in Australia.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What Is Love Anyway?

August 15, 2013

The mission is going well.  Today we had a special once-a-year Texas Dallas Mission Olympics!  Elder Findlay and I got the silver medal in the referral event.  YAY!!  So I'm sending the medal home for fun and a memento for you, family.

Madre, I love you.  It is because of your love and guidance to me that I can do the same for others.  Thank you for your loving, thoughtful and imaginative gifts and notes.

Fadre, I love you.  I know with a surety that you love me.  It is not just because you daily looked me in the eyes and said, "Graham, do you know I love you?"  "Yes, Dad," I would reply.  But now I better understand love.  When you have love for a person, you serve them, you make personal sacrifices for the other person's benefit.

One example of pure love is Jesus' atonement, which I am working to truly understand.  Another is your sacrifice to allow me to come on a mission.  You and Madre had me work hard in school so I wasn't able to raise a large enough sum of money to serve a mission.  Rather, you saved since I was a child, forgoing nice cars, a bigger home, better TVs all so that I might serve the Lord on a mission.  So when I wake up in the morning and think, "Ugh, I'm tired," I remember that I'm not the only one who's sacrificing for Elder Hunt's mission.  Thank you for that.

Brandon, my brother I love you.  You may not believe me but you are the one I miss the most.  This is true.  I am looking at the picture of our family.  I look at it daily down here in Dallas.  With me gone, you have to give twice as much love to Madre and Fadre.  But love is not just about hugs and verbal proclamations.  It is about reaching outward to others and fulfilling their needs as much as your own.  When Fadre comes in after a hard day at work and bishop duties, go greet him.  Do the dishes for Madre, unasked and uninvited.  Make these things not chores but expressions of love through service.

Your brother and son forever,
Elder Hunt


August 12, 2013

Nobody has said howdy to me yet, but y'all is quite common.  I am in Plano, Texas!  I am in the wealthiest area of the entire mission in the entire state of Texas.  Most of our area consists of wealthy neighborhoods and nice apartments.  Sports cars and huge trucks are common.  There is a Ferrari, Audi, Lamborghini, and a couple BMW dealerships in the area.

Did I mention that I don't even get a car?  Elder Findlay and I ride bikes in the 90+ degree heat plus humidity every day!  Cars aren't the only expensive things around, most of the area Elder Findlay and I cover is high-end apartments and neighborhoods.  They say everything is bigger in Texas, and it is not a joke!  By the standards of Plano, our home in California is tiny!

I've seen incredibly gargantuan mansions in some neighborhoods, and with the heat and humidity of this area, the AC bill alone would kill most people's finances.  Air conditioning alone!  To appreciate the size of some of these mansions, take our church building, place a second one on top of it, then double the size of it all and put it on a yard the size of a football field -- I'M NOT EXAGGERATING HERE!  That is the size of an average mansion -- they get bigger than that.

Being in such a wealthy area does have it's difficulties, however.  Most of our area is not tractable; we cannot go around the wealthy neighborhoods door to door or else we get thrown out by security guards.  The same goes for the apartment complexes.  This leaves us with very few places to contact people.  Thus, the area I am in has the extremes of being the wealthiest area of the mission and on top of that the hardest area in the ENTIRE mission!!  Which is awesome!

Thankfully my trainer, Elder Findlay, is a great person.  He is optimistic, we get along very well together, and we have the best conversations - whether it be duck hunting or deep gospel doctrine, we always strike up engaging conversations.  Our ward is great, and the food they feed us is just as the legends describe.  I promise I'll be coming back much heavier and filled out than when I left.

We met a new investigator a couple of days ago.  Tracking out investigators is unheard of in Plano so we have truly been blessed to have found him.

I love you all.
Elder Hunt

Letter from President Durrant of the Texas Dallas Mission

August 12, 2013

Dear Brother and Sister Hunt,

We are grateful to have your son, Elder Graham Hunt, serving with us in the Texas Dallas Mission.  He arrived safely, and I have enjoyed interviewing him.  His companion is Elder Findlay.  We have given him a strong trainer to help him get off to a good start.  He seems happy and eager to do the work of the Lord.  We will meet with him regularly.

Our mission covers the northeast part of the State of Texas.  It takes in a little portion of Oklahoma and goes east to the Louisiana border.  Nearly three fourths of our missionaries are in the "Metroplex" of Dallas, serving a population of almost four million people.  The life of a missionary is not always easy, but it will be a growing experience for him, one that will set him on a firm foundation and help him gain habits that will serve him well for life.

We extend our love to you and thank you for sending your son into the mission field.  We unite our prayers with yours for the well-being, success, and happiness of your son as he serves the Lord in this great work.


Devin G. Durrant
Texas Dallas Mission


August 6, 2013

Wahw!!  There is no adequate one word summary of this my first day in the field, so I made one up.  My companion is Elder Findlay and we are in Dallas suburbs.  It is much like California except more hot and humid.  I am near one of the wealthiest parts of Dallas.  Some of the houses are HUGE.  I get to be on a bike and you sweat soooo much!

Today Elder Findlay and I taught a recent convert family.  We met with the Ward Mission Leader and he is an awesome man who has served in mission presidencies before.  He is going to push me to get to a higher level of teaching.  He also took us out for dinner - fried rice and stir fry.  Wow, is Texas food good!  Apparently, Texas Dallas Mission is a "40 pound mission" so I'll definitely gain weight!!

I love you and hope you are doing well.  God be with you till we meet again.

Elder Hunt

Your Missionary Has Arrived!

August 5, 2013

Just a quick note to let you families of our newest missionaries know that your son or daughter has arrived safely here in the Texas Dallas Mission.  A great group of twenty-one new missionaries were greeted today to a sweltering 105 degree, sunshiny Dallas day.

Thank you for sending us a wonderful missionary.  We know that this will be a great experience for them in the Texas Dallas Mission!

Sister Larsen
Secretary, Texas Dallas Mission

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fond Family Memories

August 3, 2013

My dearest Madre, I love you. I have realized since leaving that our home was a mini heaven. It was peaceful and happy and we lived with joy. Thank you for making our home Celestial. However I have no feelings of homesickness. I thought without doubt I would struggle with that, but I have been blessed so that I can concentrate on learning as much as possible. 

You have said a couple times I was in "spiritual boot camp."  I would not really describe it like that.  Instead, the MTC has been like a firehose of information and spiritual learning. I have wrapped my mouth around the spout and poured it all down my throat. There is so much to say about the MTC,  I cannot write about all the things that I am learning and experiencing.  I now kind of understand when they write in the scriptures that they could not write all things that were said. 

My dearest Fadre, While here in the MTC, I have realized how well I have been prepared for this. Our home was truly a Mini MTC.  Although I went to mission prep classes during high school, the real mission prep began at a younger age when you taught me obediance. You taught me about God's love for His children by your actions and the way you lived. 

I have greater respect for you and Madre.  People are not used to living 24/7 with another person and you can see it in how some companionships are breaking down. I have great respect for you and Madre's one-ness of heart.

My family I love you all so much. You have been a blessing in my life and a glimpse into the Celestial kingdom I strive to enter into. 

Your son and brother, Graham

MTC Miracles

July 27, 2013

My dear family,
The three and a half days I have been in the MTC have flown by.  However each day seems to last an entire week as we learn and do so much. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. 

I have learned how to pray to receive revelation, not just me talking at God but talking TO God and receiving revelation back from Him. This is hard work, but such a blast!  I am having so much fun and I know that I am blessed by my Heavenly Father for this sacrifice. Moreover, God has taken what effort I have put into this, doubled it, and handed it back to me in the form of blessings. 

I have such a great companion here.  Elder Smith is so spiritual and just as enthusiastic as I and our personalities click. I have learned that God gives spiritual strengths and weaknesses to each of us.  Together we teach very effectively and I know that our companionship is an inspired gift from our Heavenly Father. I feel that my sentences fail me and I cannot fully explain my amazing experence here. 

I took President Brennan's advice and shined the shoes of my Elder Smith (along with my own) this Pday morning. 

I challenge you to pray today to our Heavenly Father sincerely, with real intent, having faith in Christ. In your prayer ask Him something He can respond to. When you finish your prayer sit for a minuite and wait for an answer. We can talk to God but we must listen in order for God to talk to us. I cannot count the number of times I have already done this, for it is many. I used to think I had a strong testimony about prayer but now my testimony is tenfold greater.

Your missionary,
Elder Hunt