Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello's and Good-Bye's

July 28, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

On transfer day, Elder Heward made his last mission transfer.

Elder Hunt and Elder Heward

He is home now. At approximately 3:30pm on Wednesday, he touched down and met his dear family.  He was a good companion.

Elder Osborn, my new companion, has been in the mission field for eight months. He moved in from McKinney, TX which is similar to Frisco, TX where I served previously.  He is from Las Vegas. Here's a picture of us!

Elder Osborne and Elder Hunt
We got a bit lost in deep Anderson county visiting members of our congregation. I parked the car on the side of the road and when we looked up we were fifty feet from the mission boundary! It was a miracle that we did not accidentally leave our area!

After some good jokes about the mission boundary, I took this photo of Elder Osborn leaning against the "invisible wall" that prevents us from leaving the mission.

I have learned that attitude is what makes a difference in many things in life. On the mission it is the same situation. Some missionaries love their mission, while others carry the attitude of serving a prison sentence, struggling through it.  I personally can say I would not want to be anywhere else; this is the BEST decision I have yet made in my 19 years, four-something months upon this earth in this mortality. 

I am happy to share that David has come to church for the third time this past week. We don't know for sure, but suspect that there is some opposition going on. I thank God for the fulfilling spirit of the sacrament.  Other churches can copy a "spiritual-feel-good" feeling or a burning of the bosom, but they cannot copy the fulfilling power and wholesome feeling of being cleansed and spiritually fed.

Love y'all! 

-Elder Hunt

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Gospel Blesses Families

July 21, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Good news: David was with us at church again this week! We taught him the Plan of Salvation on Saturday.  It is one of my favorite lessons to teach because as you share the scriptures and information about it, people's minds kick into high gear. 

The next day at church in third hour it was brought up in class that smoking was looked down upon as we read from "The Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith" and included a story about smoking. David does smoke and we hadn't taught the Word of Wisdom yet. He was expressively surprised, so I asked the teacher if we could explain why Mormons don't smoke. It was a perfect setting for an initial introduction to the Word of Wisdom. With so many men in the room, some of whom are converts and overcame smoking, many put their input in as to why we have the Word of Wisdom. After the lesson, a few of the men came up and talked with David about it. One thing I've learned on the mission is that most people who smoke don't want to and have tried to quit before. Rather than becoming offended, David seemed happy to learn that so many others successfully quit, and that our church supported doing so. 

Beautiful Texas!
Tomorrow we drive into Dallas to send Elder Heward on his way. I do know my new companion's name! It is Elder Osborne (no guarantee on spelling though). 

Hearing from y'all about how the work is progressing in California is such sweet news. I have noticed that people take a while to join the Church.  They don't go from 0 to 60 in three weeks and they definitely do not flip a switch. Usually it takes time and patience to bring people to the fold of God, they must prepare themselves or allow themselves to be prepared before they keep commitments. Just as fruit ripens upon a tree, the children of God progress towards Him. And how sweet is the fruit! 

My dear family, I love you and pray for you. The Gospel blesses families and that's God's truth.

Elder Hunt

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Miracles in Palestine

July 14, 2014

My Dear family and friends,

I received a very 'Murica (America) package indeed this past week! What a delight it was to open it up and read all the kind notes and messages from so many of y'all. (We have had Shane's sister Renae, mother Delle, niece Jennifer and her two daughters Hailey and Kelsey visiting for the 4th of July weekend.  Everyone wrote a note for Graham to put in his package.)  Thank you so much for the time, thought and love you show to me with little things like that. Many missionaries who have been out the same amount of time that I have been out receive no mail of any sort, just some brief e-mails each week. So thank you, each of you for blessing my life so much!

A Monument Dedicated to American Soldiers located in Palestine, Texas

 Elder Heward prepares to return to normal life in a week and a few days.  Nathan and William, two young men in the Palestine ward, are also preparing for mission changes.  William left for Guatemala last week and Nathan leaves for Chile this week.  I realize that what people have told me my entire mission- that the mission is short -is indeed true after all! (I didn't believe them, I didn't believe them one little bit).

Congrats to Jordan Rex on his mission call to Malaga, Spain!  Both President Durrant and President Taylor served in Spain; the missions and their boundaries were different then but it wouldn't surprise me if Elder Rex serves in some of the same areas as they did. Both men speak fondly and dearly of their missions. They love that country (President Durrant so much that he chose to play professional basketball for Spain) and I know they would say that Jordan is headed to a wonderful mission.

Several weeks ago a little boy in the ward, Fransisco, sank into a burning pit at a dump after a service project and was burnt so severely that he was helicoptered into the ICU in Dallas. Doctors feared that he would have to have skin graft surgery. So we have been praying for him. He has recovered and is walking around and playing now. He won't have to have skin graft surgery.

If that isn't a miracle I don't know what is.

Yesterday at church was pretty interesting.  We had David, one of our investigators, at church for the first time and in third hour the lesson was on Priesthood Ordinances and they consecrated oil (something I havn't even seen before). He seemed to think it a bit weird. Thankfully we have the writings of Mark in the New Testament and after reading a little in Chapter 6, I don't think he found it too terribly odd. Elder Heward commented later that different things always happen at church when investigators decide to attend. Nontheless, David seemed to really enjoy church. We are excited that things are progressing.

Love Y'all!

-Elder Hunt

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Taste of Palestine...

July 7, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Well, I hope y'alls past 4th of July weekend was terriffic!

One of the most iconic things I saw was a restored old red Ford pickup truck with a huge American flag on a pole mounted in the bed, driving along the highway.  The flag was billowing behind in full splendor. 'Murica! 

As y'all know, Palestine is a city of churches. Many of these churches have sign boards that they will put certain phrases on. Elder Heward and I have been collecting these quotes. Some are funny, some are serious, some give helpful advice, and some I disagree with. Nonetheless here's a few:

Change begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Christ has risen! He is risen indeed! Alelujah!
The only thing you can give and still keep is your word.
Christ's love, not human nails, held him to the cross.
Christ crossed out our sins on Calvary.
If the grass is greener on the other side, fertilize yours.
Our lifeguard walks on water.
Right thinking produces right living. 
God's not dead.
Don't pray for rain and complain about the mud.
We need to put God back in the U.S.A. where He belongs.
The oak tree is the little nut that held his ground.
He who forgives, ends the quarrel.
Patience is a virtue that carries alot of wait.
Fun in the Son  V.B.S. (VBS stands for vacation bible school.)
(Father's Day) Children of God obey your Father.
Come Holy Spirit come!
Many people who say "our Father" live like orphans.
Prayer- the world's best wireless connection!
Work that is cheerfully done is usually well done.
Your words are windows to your heart.
(Auto repair shop honorary mention) We repair what your husband fixed.
Nature is God's signature.
God thinks one way, man thinks another; who needs to change?
God's bottom line- Believe in my Son Jesus.
When looking for faults use a mirror not a telescope.
God without man is still God; but man without God is nothing.
Don't let your yearnings exceed your earnings.
Purity, prayer, fasting, and love impresses God. Money, pride, and sexy don't.
The key to heaven is Jesus Christ.
The Bible: read it- believe it- obey it- live it.
Jesus is the answer.
(Christmas seasonal) Jesus is the reason for the season.
(Christmas seasonal) Happy birthday baby Jesus!
A person without prayer is like a tree without roots.
(Vet's office honorable mention) Don't get caught littering- spay & neuter.
Only one bound to Christ is truly free.
Yesterday and tomorrow are thieves of today.

Hope y'all enjoyed that taste of Palestine.  Have a great week!

-Elder Hunt

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Texas is beautiful!

June 30, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

I received some wonderful news today by e-mail. Tylar (recent convert of three months back in Frisco) and I have been e-mailing back and forth. He told me this week that he had received his patriarchal blessing and shared a few of the blessings. He told me he was considering serving the Lord full time as a missionary. I spent most of my time e-mailing him, so please excuse the brevity of this e-mail. 

In missionary work, it is inevitable that some who discover the gospel of Christ will be lost. That is why I think the references in the scriptures (D&C 4) to harvesting wheat and laying it up in store are so fitting. Elder Heward, who back home is a wheat farmer, told me about how you plant, grow, harvest, and store wheat. After wheat is harvested, it must be placed in safe storage. Rain, wind, storms and many other things can ruin the harvest you worked so long and hard for. That is why the Lord talks of laying the harvest up in store so it doesn't perish. Tylar had a very rough time and much adversity before he was baptized. I think of the saying that what we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly. Tylar had to struggle and pay a high price to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Now Tylar is thriving in the Gospel and it is awesome!

Texas is beautiful, never mind what they all say..

Love Yall!

-Elder Hunt