Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Long, Tall Elders

March 23, 2015

Hello All!

As we had transfers this past week, Elder Sorensen was sent to Idabel, Oaklahoma. I am now with an Elder Lindquist.  He is very young in the mission. Having played basketball in highschool- he is quite the shot.  I hope to learn and improve by learning a few things from him. He is the same height as me- we are both about 6'4 or 6'5ish so the drawback is that people can get kinda intimidated. Talking with ward members in the halls of church yesterday, I felt some people were. The good thing is he is about the same weight too, so we aren't too much Elder altogether! 

I love you guys, I hope yall continue to do well!
-Elder Hunt

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Transforming Power

March 16, 2015


So this past week we found two new people to teach!

The first is Ken.  Elder Sorensen was looking through former investigators and he felt prompted to call one person on it. It was Ken who he called. Ken had been meeting with the missionaries a year ago. He had been making changes in his life but some stuff in the past caught up with him and he was sent off to prison for several months. Now released, we were able to get in contact with him and start teaching him again. It has been a blessing to work with him, the spirit has been present in our lessons and he notices it. His wife's name is Amy and they have two children about two and three years old.

We also found JT.  JT was contacted by the missionaries two months ago- he was interested and set an appointment with them which fell through. Last Wednesday we were on exchanges and I was with Elder Rimer. We were contacting in an apartment complex and it was getting to be time for us to go. I felt we should do one more section before we moved on.  On the third floor we met JT. He let us in and we answered his questions and bore our testimonies before agreeing on when we could come back. 

It is cool to see the Lord using both of us as tools to find people. 

I do have some news- we found out this morning that Elder Sorensen is to be transfered. We are both sad to have this happen, but I know that Elder Sorensen is needed elsewhere and has much good to accomplish. I know this is Christ's work we are learning and doing. 

Following the Spirit's promptings to use the atonement on the mission is an amazing vehicle for conversion- taking immature young men like us and giving us purpose, helping us to develop maturity, allowing us to work through God's grace to merit the Spirit in all aspects of our work and lives. It transforms people. Then we get to go out and share that transforming power with every single person we pass by. Pretty good deal.

I love you guys, I hope you feel my prayers for you because I really feel y'alls prayers for me.

-Elder Hunt

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dynamic Change

March 9, 2015

Elder Sorensen and I have seen quite a bit of dynamic change.  We are now working with another family: the Clarks.  We met with them with the Mackillops (church family) and had a great lesson with them. We continue to meet with the Allens but Martin has hit some roadbumps. There are more people than this but I will ask y'all to say a prayer for the Clarks, Allens and Martin.

I have been pondering about how throughout my entire mission I have had good times and bad, like a cycle of darkness and light. I have always wanted to just be fine all the time, and not "backslide"- ever. God has taught me that just as the sun rises and falls, with daylight and dark night, we too shall have these seasons till we are perfected in Christ. 

One purpose of these spiritual days and nights is explained well in another analogy- spiritual pruning. As we grow and progress, we may grow in a way that is incorrect. We have sins and on top of those sins, imperfections. When we have those dark nights two things happen: 1. We realize our sins.    and   2. We rely more upon God.   

Just as when you put anything under pressure and stress, like a chain being pulled, a tree in a whirlwind or an athlete in intense competition, those parts not as strong or resilient crack under pressure. You see a link bursting, a tree falling, or a bad pass by an (American) football quarterback. After the weakness shows, we know how to best strengthen ourselves, whether it be strengthening the chain link, growing stronger and deeper roots or practicing passing a ball. 

Spiritually, God shows us through our faults and actions where we must improve. Like a rosebush cut back (which is not very beautiful), it is necessary to prune or cut away the bad and unnecessary growth so the plant can grow back all the more beautiful.  Moreover, now that we are humbled by our weakness and hour of difficulty we turn to God, and (hopefully) place ourselves in a position to follow his council and guidance as we draw upon his strength. This allows Him to guide our growth until we become prideful or complacent, or loose the Spirit through sin or any other way we distance ourselves from Him. 

So long as we accept his pruning and continue to cultivate faith in Christ, repent of our sins, turn our will to align with His, partake of the sacrament weekly remembering Christ always, we will become perfected in our life long process. If we can live worthy to have His Spirit abide always within us and stick with Him, not falling away nor choosing other paths, we can through His help blossom as a beautiful rose bush, robust in size, vibrant in color, sharp in thorns, deep in root and broad in leaf. 

Without His pruning, we cannot develop into all that He wants us to be.  Wild rosebushes just don't grow into the same material that beautiful plants hand tended by master gardeners become. Yet do not forget that without the plant growing steadily, day by day the process would be equally impossible. 

I wish I could talk on this further but I have run out of time- Know that I know that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He does not desire for us to be chained down by sin, slaves to iniquity. He will make us free so that freely we may choose to follow Him. His path is the path that will lead to happiness in this life and Eternal Life in the world to come. 

-Elder Graham Hunt

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Faith and Prayers

March 3, 2015

Would I be able to ask yall for some help?  In Mosiah chapter 27, Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah are going about seeking to destroy the church of God. As they traveled about an angel appeared to them, in their astonishment they fell to the earth, and the angel spake to Alma saying, "Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.  And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith."

Because of the prayers of the righteous (and I personally feel Alma the elder and Mosiah had done all they could do to try to bring their sons to rightousness) God arranged for experiences to bring about the true conversion of Alma and the sons of Mosiah.
Alma the younger, after this powerful experience of converting to Christ, teaches this same principle. In Alma 6:6  "...the children of God were commanded that they should gatherer themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God." 

This principle that the Book of Mormon prophets of old taught still stands today. We have been going to the members of our ward and inviting them to join us in mighty prayer for the Allens and Martin. Both have their concerns and reservations, but there is something I learned from Alma 23:14. I call it the testimony of the lone Amalekite. When the sons of Mosiah and others went to preach the gospel to the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters they converted many Lamanites with much success. 

Alma and Amulek and others went to the Zoramites to preach as well, similarly with good success. But of the Amalekites and Amulonites, hardened and wicked dissenters from the people of God, only one Amalekite was converted. Think about the opposition this individual must have faced. Family opposition, community opposition, and much more worked against the conversion of these two peoples, yet even then it was still possible to come unto Christ. The testimony of this one person stands as a witness that no matter where we come from or what we have done, it is always possible to repent. 

True conversion brings true commitment to Christ.  On my mission I have seen people that allow the littlest excuse or difficulty keep them from church, such that really anything will keep them from coming unto Christ. Others remain fathful no matter the adversity or difficult circumstances, such that nothing can keep them from coming unto Christ. The difference is the depth of a person's conversion, or complete lack therof. I know that no matter what happens, if we choose so we can overcome anything in the name of our Lord. So please pray for the true conversion of Martin and the Allen family, and we will rely on God's grace after all we can do.

Love you guys!
-Elder Hunt  

Ride Hard, Have Fun, Honour God

February 24, 2015

Well, we have had an ice storm blow in last night and today- there has been freezing rain. I am a bit disappointed because it has been a rather wimpy ice storm, however it has made things difficult.  The bad part is that it got above freezing today and the ice melted and is now re-freezing on us. Tomorow morning more freezing rain is expected so we will see what happens. Don't worry, Madre I am completely safe and warm and dry and the clothing and gear I came out with is plenty enough to keep me warm through it all. 

We went on excellent exchanges this past week.  I was with an Elder Schow and Elder Sorensen with an Elder Powell and we had great learning experiences. Elder Sorensen and I have realized a pattern: When we go out and talk to everyone we see and throw ourselves into the work we can turn bad days into good ones. Talking to people and sharing this gospel makes me feel good, and I love that. I love you all too, and pray for you and hope for the best for y'all. Elder Sorensen and I have been striving to pray more often- we have seen a new spirit come into the work with doing so.

Back in Henderson, there was a "cowboy church" (cowboy themed church) called Bar None Cowboy Church. They had a billboard up with their slogan: "Ride hard, Have fun, Honour God." Elder Witkowski and I thought it was hillarious- but now that I am on a bike it is very appropriate to what we are doing.

Love Y'all!!!

-Elder Hunt

Family History Fan

February 17, 2015

Hello Family,
Thank you so much for those stories of my ancestors. I remember when you had me go to the temple for Sydney Whittingham and you told me a little bit about him and his story. Thank you for taking the time to send me quality family history. I have been a bit doubtful with using family history for missionary work, but as I read about Sydney and Issac Hunt, I felt the Holy Ghost give that good feeling. I feel that this approach to missionary work will open up doors for people to choose to progress in their journey to follow Christ. Because of this I can put my faith and trust in this directive from the mission.
I love you Madre, Fadre and Brandon. We are so blessed to have each other, to be sealed, to be blessed by God with his priesthood power. It is a wonderful thing to be out here sharing that blessing and so many other blessings with everyone around me. This is the place the Lord needs me, and the place I need and want to be.

-Elder Hunt