Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best Family Ever!

December 30, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks for a wonderful time catching up a bit with y'all!  It was wonderful to see you on video in real time from across several states!  Truly technology is such a blessing from God; information can travel so fast! 

I have a funny story about our Skype conversation.  After we hang up, I went into the other room and the family hosting us said I was very enthusiastic during my call. They said that I must have the best family ever - these were their exact words.  I said, "Yes," to be polite but in my mind I said, "YEAH THEY ARE!  I HAVE THE BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD AND THERE ISN'T A BETTER ONE TO BE FOUND!!!"  Of course I didn't say that out loud...

Love y'all! 

-Elder Hunt

Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2013

President Durrant said to give his love to y'all!  We plan to be calling at 11:00 am (Dallas time).  I will start with the home phone but only to set up FaceTime on an iPad or Skype or something.  I WANT TO SEE YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACES!! haha...  (One of the best parts of Christmas is each missionary calls home to their parents.  We had a wonderful visit with Graham via Skype on Christmas morning.)  

For most Christmas day is a day of celebration and gathering with family and friends.  However, for some Christmas is the loneliest time of the year.  It is a time when they should be with loved ones but instead find themselves all alone.  As representatives of Christ we will go out on the day we celebrate his birth and find those who are alone, to share some Christmas cheer with them.  We will set aside much of our traditions in order to (hopefully) bring that joy to others.

Last Friday, we had a training with President Durrant.  We practiced teaching and shared our prepared talks on what makes a successful missionary.  President Durrant gave us all a Christmas gift - an acorn!  He talked about the many things the acorn symbolized like the seed of faith and obedience to mission rules.  Well, it promises to be a great week!  I can't wait to speak to y'all!!

Elder Hunt

Elder Sharp is great!

December 16, 2013

My new address is 24222 Wallabie Way Sydney, Australia!!!!

 Just kidding..

This week has been crazy, going for the first time to a new area. Elder Sharp is a great, great guy and we get along very well. It is truly a blessing to be companions with him. 

Not only do we cover the Frisco 3rd ward but also the YSA ward too! We have two investigators, Tyler and Christian. We just set baptisimal dates with both of them in January!

Because we cover the YSA ward, our area extends beyond the borders of the 3rd ward, it includes Frisco, McKinney the Colony Little Elm and more, not that we tract or attend wards in those cities but we cover referrals there.

Most important however, we have a car!!! This is truly a blessing. I enjoyed the bike but it is good to be able to cover so much ground so fast.  Yesterday just before sacrament meeting started the Bishop of the 3rd ward, Bishop Fredrickson asked me to come up right after the sacrament and introduce myself and bear a short testimony. Talk about opportunity! I got to introduce myself and bear a heartfelt witness of the gospel of our Savior. That jumpstarted my quest to get to know everybody, rather than "oh- I didn't know we got a new elder" all day people knew that I had arrived and I wanted to learn their names and faces. 

Well, I hope to be sending more updates and writing more letters shortly. Dearest family of mine please, please, please know I love you and pray for you. Although it seems as if I will be gone a long time it will come sooner than any of us can imagine. The days and weeks fly by like a flock of Geese headed north for the summer. Time is very relative.

Elder Hunt

Ice Storm Adventures

December 9, 2013

So I woke up one morning to a beeping sound.  I got out of bed and searched for the source.  It was cold, quite cold and our heater had not been working for several weeks.  It was 5:00 am and the previous day we had heard much talk about an "ice storm" coming.  Well, turns out that it had hit and hard, too.  I went to flip on a light and nothing happened.  I went to other rooms and tried those but none of our lights would turn on.  In fact, there was no electricity in the apartment whatsoever and it was the first day after a raging ice storm.  Everything was covered in thick sheets of ice!

We had no heat, so we were ordered to head to our zone leaders apartment and stay there until further notice!  As we waited for one of the members of the ward who had a four wheel drive truck to pick us up, we could feel the temperature dropping even as we spoke.  We were at the zone leaders place for about 24 hours with four missionaries in one apartment.  Although it was not cramped, we still got cabin fever.

Texan cows have too much grit to let a little ice stop 'em!
In Texas, there is humidity and wind, which means that when it falls to 20 degree weather, it renders your coats and windbreakers useless.  The cold goes right to your bones.  Luckily, there is now a thaw and the roads are [uhh..] "safe" and things are considerably warmer.

The pictures will look like snow, but it is all ice and it was dangerous! Both Elder Kowalis and I have fallen and hurt ourselves already!  I got pics of a few higher end nice cars covered in icicles.  I was like a kid, playing in the ice, sliding around, breaking rows of icicles with a swipe of my hand.  I have learned something about myself:  I love winter and I love the cold!  The colder it is, the more I like it.  The wetter it is the more I like it and the windier it is the more I enjoy it.  This is something I never realized while in sunny warm So-Cal.

So I am getting transferred!  I am going to Frisco Ward and WE HAVE A CAR!!  I also will be working  in the Young Single Adult ward and covering young single adults in all of Frisco.  Apparently, this new area is even more affluent than Plano, something I have a hard time believing.  I don't know my new address but I will send a letter ASAP when I get there.  I will be with one "Elder Sharp" and I have heard good things about him.

Hope y'all have a most meerrryy CHRISTmas!  Please know that I love each of you...

Elder Hunt

Post-it Note Nativity

December 2, 2013

The package was delightful, but something was missing.  A nativity!  So I made one by rolling up post-it notes and drawing on them - Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.

However, the next day they unstuck and unrolled );  The tree also tilted over, so it was a fixable but rather dismal scene...

I had Thanksgiving with a family in the ward, the Bernfelds.  They are a younger couple and they have a two year old daughter.  They also had another family over, the Masons.  They have a five year old daughter, a three year old son, and a BIG baby boy!  As per tradition in the home of the Bernfelds, they choose one person every year to eat the leg.  They chose me and I chowed down on it hard.  I cleaned it to the bond, all that delicious dark meat!  Sister Bernfeld said that she had never seen anyone clean the turkey leg like I did.  Oh - I ate soooo much!

I love y'all, I pray for y'all, stay strong!

Elder Hunt

Feasting on the Word of God

November 27, 2013

I just received your package and am sitting here with a warm cup of peppermint herbal tea and I thought I would write y'all a letter with this brand spankin' new letter material!  Elder Kowalis and I loved this package, thank you for including him.

How did you get the Auzzie candy??? It was a treat to get it!  I have thoroughly enjoyed the Auzzie candy.  Please tell whoever sent that all over thanks on my behalf.  Tell the family down under Hi for me!

It has been quite chilly here.  Our heater in our apartment is broken, so we turn the stove top to high heat is we want to warm ourselves.  Because it has been so cold lately, I have resorted to putting on my bed my coat, towels and windbreaker/jacket to ward off the chill.  Last night, though, the wife of the Bishop of our ward lent me some blankets and I slept very warmly!!  It is amazing to see how much the Lord provides for me as a missionary.  That was yet another instance of blessing.

I have been feasting on the Doctrine and Covenants, eating something like unto 15 sections a day! Delicious!! Hope y'all feast well upon Turkey Day, the Day of Thanksgiving!

Elder Hunt

1,000 Turkeys

November 25, 2013

This week was amazing.  We lost all our investigators Thursday morning, with our last one dropping us.  We then had an appointment with George, a guy we talked to several days ago.  He took us to lunch and we talked about many things.  He had stage four liver cancer a year ago and by miraculous means we cured of it.  His body responded to treatment so well, that the doctors told him that is was not their efforts that were healing him but another power.  Our conversation flowed into the restoration of the Gospel and we related it to his life experiences.  We told him of the and testified about the Book of Mormon.  He seemed very interested in the Book of Mormon and said he was going buy one!  We quickly shared that we had one to give him.

That is not all.  Sam pulled over as we were tracking and asked us if we were Mormon missionaries.  We affirmed we were.  He said that we had talked to his son the day before and wanted us to come and visit him the next day.  The next day we met with Sam and he told us that he had read the Book of Mormon, knew it was true and asked us what was the next step he could take!!

Karl's baptism was last Saturday and I am so sorry I have not been able to send pictures yet.  We have had numerous p-day complications and neither Elder Kowalis nor I have our cameras with us now.

The weather over the past few days is bipolar with a dash of insanity.  It is in the 40's with much wind and rain.  If it isn't raining, it is wickedly humid which means that when the wind barely puffs at you it goes right to your bones.  We don't get snow - nice, fluffily docile snow...instead we get freezing rain!!

On Friday and Saturday, we did service at a food pantry.  They were giving frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving! Those also happened to be the most extreme days for the weather.  We unloaded the turkeys from the back of a freezer truck and we had not a glove between us elders.  Someone offered me a pair but they were too small and my hands were too wet/cold to put them on.  This weather was so bad that it was warmer to be in freezer truck than to be out of it!  All our pain did accomplish  amazing things. Being strong young men, we could work stronger and harder than anyone and we unloaded approximately 1,000 turkeys ranging from 35 pounders to ones the size of my fist.  (Yup, didn't give those away.)  The most amazing thing to me was that my strength was increased.  The Lord gave us energy to finish the job - well.  People noticed.

Well, I love y'all.  Stay strong in the way of the Lord for me!

Elder Hunt

The Great, The Grand, One Part of Sixth

November 21, 2013

Madre,  I'll be home before you know it!  Let the realization hit your head, permeate your personage because Elder Hunt is already one-sixth complete with his mission in serving the Lord.  Time is really flying by now, it is somewhat alarming.  I'ld lose track of days if I didn't have my planner.

Guess what?  On the 23rd of November, Karl gets baptized!!!!!  I'll send some pics via email so y'all can see it!  Elder Kowalis and I are getting along well.  We did a 75 hour week a couple of weeks back, but I forgot to mention it to y'all.  While still slow, the work is quickening its pace here.  I am a better missionary everyday.  There is plenty to master and skills to improve!

The whole minivan debacle is hilarious!  Much amusement and enjoyment out of that one!  I have read it over several times now.  (Our minivan, nicknamed the "white manatee" by Graham, finally had died.  To replace it, we purchased a Honda Fit that is also white.  Parked in the same spot in the garage, it looked like the "white manatee" had gone on a serious diet!)

I hope the family is doing well, extended and all.

Love, Elder Hunt


November 18, 2013

Yesterday was a SUPER day at church!  Elder Kowalis and I have been working with the members of our ward to help them invite their friends to church.  Two people, a young man and a young woman were at church today invited by the youth in the ward.  What is more, a certain Brother Harris who has been inactive for some time (with whom we missionaries are good friends) came to church as well!  With his wife!!  I am really beginning to learn that the key to success is through members.  We are blessed with people to teach, friends gain spiritual truths and a chance to accept the gospel, and the members receive the blessing of being joined by their friends.  I think of Alma from the Book of Mormon, who did not have success until he joined with Amulek, a local man in the community whose testimony strengthened the message.

(Elder Hunt is 3rd from the left and Elder Kowalis is 4th from the left.)

Elder Hunt