Monday, December 29, 2014

This Was A Week of Milagres/Miracles

Elder Hunt's Zone at the Mission Christmas Party

This was one of the best and most interesting weeks of my entire life.
Monday-We played soccer in the morning, followed by email, then we made my Nana’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe.  We realized our oven is we ended up making them in the microwave and they were delicious!!! We also found pasteurized milk! An extreme rarity here in Brasil! It also rained a ton in the night hours. We met a less active man who races Formula 1 cars and is OBSESSED with Michael Jackson.

Mission Christmas party

Tuesday-We woke up at 4am to get on a private bus to take us to the interior of Sao Paulo for our mission Christmas party! It was so fun! President Farnes gave 2 amazing firesides about bringing MORE souls unto Christ with the focus on baptism (that’s what I like to hear :)

Haka Haah

We had a talent show and my zone did the Haka haah, the Polynesian war dance, it was super fun! We had a present exchange and lunch and then ended back home late at night. 


Wednesday-Christmas Eve! It was wild. Holidays in Brasil are very crazy!!! All day people were lighting off fireworks and throwing firework bombs around! One of them was even thrown at us and we lost our hearing for a bit...Everyone rides their motorcycles; everyone is in the streets.  There are BBQs, music, and it is just pure craziness. It was getting dangerous enough that we went home a bit early because it was just getting too crazy.

Steak on the grill, Brasilian style

Christmas Eve 2014

All of us in our house decided for the fun of it, lets have a barbecue. So we went and bought all the stuff spur of the moment, then we got home and got started and spur of the moment again we decided that we should make a desert. 

 Elder Burt and I decided to make an Apple Crisp! An American classic!!!

That night we pulled our couch and table outside and ate out on our deck/patio. We ate like kings and enjoyed fireworks for hours on end. We sat perched at our little top of the world and just enjoyed the craziness of Brasil.

Christmas package from the Nissons and Trumans

I also received and opened a package from the Nisson and Truman families from my Anthem home ward in Las Vegas. It was filled with letters and treats and so many amazing things!!! I am so grateful for that! 

I will never forget this night and it will remain marked as one of the best nights I’ve ever had. 

Christmas package from his family

Thursday-Christmas!!! We woke up and we all open our Christmas boxes from our families! I also bought everyone a little something for Christmas too :)

After, we went to a huge breakfast a woman in the ward provided. Then we went to a huge lunch that someone in the ward provided. They even had ham and potatoes au gratin, food from home!!! It was great, but we definitely ate too much. 

After, we went to the chapel to skype our families! My comp went first and I went after because we only had one computer, but it was fast and good quality. But talking to everyone was AMAZING. Talking to everyone in my family absolutely made me the happiest missionary in the whole entire world! :) Everyone looked so good and was doing so well! It was hard to say goodbye, but that’s just the way it has to happen. 

Friday-We got back to work as usual. We found a family who had been previously taught a while back, we marked a lot of baptismal dates, and found a lot of new investigators. We have been working very hard and very smart, but I was still wondering why we are not having the success I want. 

Saturday-I thought very long and very hard about what was preventing us from having the success I wanted. I studied a ton about faith and ended up deciding to fast all of Saturday. I decided that this day I would work harder than I ever had and would show the most amount of faith that I ever had.

Rogerio on his baptism day

We went and taught many people and pushed through the blazing heat until we came to the house of a man named Rogerio. He is the nephew of a very strong member in the ward, but he’s been trying his hardest to repent of things he’s done in the past and start again as a new man. He is a single father who loves his son very much and we also found out that he has been to church many times.  We went to his house and began to teach about faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

In a moment of pure faith, I invited him to be baptized...RIGHT ON THAT SAME DAY. He accepted the baptismal invite to be baptized on that very same day. We taught him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, he was interviewed, and we baptized him that night. We showed the faith, it was in the midst of a difficult fast, and everything went right :) I could not have been happier. Jesus is the Christ and He lives.

Sunday-We woke up especially early to look for investigators to bring to church. We went to at least 10 different investigators houses, but no one was home...we had one investigator who came on his own, we took the sacrament and then went back out to look for more people.  Then we went to one house of a teenage boy who had been taught a while back, but didn’t even want to talk to us during the week when we went to visit him. 

After some waiting, he came out of his door and told us he wanted to be baptized today. I couldn’t believe it, but my faith was still there and we had another miracle. He was baptized later that day :)

Monday-We played a killer game of soccer this morning! It was super fun! 

This week was the week of learning how far faith can take you, believing, and working for what you know is right, this was a week of MILAGRES! (MIRACLES)

I love you all!

Elder Hunt


Cachoeirinha, Elder Hunt's new area in Sao Paulo North.  It is poorer than Brasilandia, his first area.

Monday-I packed a ton and finished up all the finishing touches on the packages I was going to send the next day. I told the family whose sons I had baptized that I was leaving and they cried and cried a ton. It was very sad because I began to really love this family, but the Lord needs me in Cachoeirinha.

Tuesday-That same family called us early in the morning and said they had a surprise for me. We went to their house and they had made me a huge breakfast! How fun! :) It was great and I really appreciated it! They all cried a ton again. It’s just nice to know that I truly made a difference in their lives and I will return to Brasilandia to baptize the other 3 family members soon :) 

Elder Hunt with Elder Zenteno, his new companion

We went to the transfer meeting and on the way there I sent my packages! Then I got there and saw all my friends, which is practically everyone, which is great. I try to make sure I am a friend to everyone! Then I met my new companion, Elder Zenteno...                              

Elder Zenteno

AND HE’S AWESOME! He’s an American from Miami, Florida.

His parents are Bolivian, but he’s 100% American. We get along great and he’s HILARIOUS.

Wednesday-I got a good look at my area and it a worse favela than Brasilandia, much worst...which is great for us! :) My comp literally said to me "Elder Hunt, I don’t know how to baptize, and I want to baptize, so I’ll just show you the area and you just teach me and do your thing." I loved hearing that.   I forgot to take pictures of our house, but it’s huge like the Brasilandia house, and a whole lot cleaner!  

Elder Burt and Elder Hunt, housemates and friends

We live with Elder Borba (my bud, from Uruguay) and Elder Burt, from Oregon. Elder Burt is awesome. He’s such a goof and I love him. He played football and lifts a bit, and we all get along super well in our house. My comp has been out 1 year in the field and visa waited in the Salt Lake City West mission for 2 months. I love his sense of humor and one other thing, Americans just ‘get’ other Americans. We just understand each other better. 

Thursday-I got to my new area and we literally had nothing. No baptismal dates marked, and only 1 progressing investigator. So I went to work. We marked 10 baptismal dates in 2 days and 14 total by Sunday. It’s a great area with A TON of potential. We marked a date for a baptism on Sunday with Sergio, a 13 year old boy who had been taught and gone to church a bunch of times.

I also wasn’t able to get my bags to unpack until today because no one could pick them up for me, so I’ve been wearing my suit and dress shoes everyday.

Elder Hunt with Elder Lene from New Zealand

Friday-We did a division with the zone leaders because my comp is the district leader. I went with Elder Lene, remember - the huge Poly from New Zealand who I did baptisms with? Yeah it’s him, and we’re pals too! :) 
It seems like they eat a ton of pizza

The day was good and rainy and we talked to tons of people.  That night we got pizza with a chocolate filled crust and it was amazing! :) And Elder Lene had way too many wild pre-mission stories, but he’s the best.

Saturday-We have been working super, super, super hard trying to build up this area. We have tons and tons of new investigators, lessons, baptismal dates, everything. 

Brasilian James Bond

007 in Portuguese

A huge crowd and police cars surrounded a dead man in the street,  He'd been shot in a fight with someone. It’s very grim the amount of dead people I’ve seen here. 

Elder Hunts says they only get pizza on 'special occasions'  Really?

Sunday-The ward is smaller than Brasilandia, but it’s much better. Everyone likes us, the bishop is great, and the lunches are amazing too. Our church building didn’t have water because the government shut it how are we going to baptize?  We fought incredibly hard to baptize Sergio, but his mother is not willing to allow it. I gave it everything I had, every last ounce of energy I had, but it just didn’t work out.

Elder Hunt baptized a family from Puritiba that he taught as he worked there on exchanges.

But during this time I realized as representatives of Jesus Christ, we should be fighting super hard for every child of God. We should be emotionally, spiritually, and physically drained after fighting our best fight with all we have for every single person, just as Christ would and did for every one of us. 

Soccer game with his new pals

Monday-We went and played soccer this morning with some other Elders and I bought all the stuff to make my Nana’s famous chocolate chip cookies! I’m going to make them today! :)  Tomorrow is the mission Christmas event and then Christmas is Thursday! I’m so excited; everyone is! Merry Christmas everyone and remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s loving sacrifice for us during this holiday season. 

                               Love Elder Marcus Hunt

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Melhorei, Mas Não Perfeito- Improved but Not Perfect

Elder Hunt at the Sao Paulo Temple this past week

I’m sorry for the very bitter tone of my last email, things are still difficult, but have improved a bit.

Acai ice-cream cone

Elder Hunt with Elder Lima Neto on his 20th birthday

Monday-I was still very sick on Monday, but my debit card was fixed and I was able to buy food and soap, yeah!!! :) It was also Elder Lima Neto’s 20th birthday! So we had to celebrate! :) We bought açai ice cream cones and pizza.

Sao Paulo Temple

Tuesday-Since we won the zone vs. zone competition for the month of November, we went to the Sao Paulo temple again! :) We went and did baptisms again because somos batizadores. But, while I was there, I just happen to see my CTM companion Elder Mayfield from the Sao Paulo west mission! It was so good to see and talk to him! He was my favorite from the CTM.

View from President Farnes' apartment

After we went to President and Sister Farnes’ apartment and ate pizza. After we played football, soccer, basketball, and minute to win it games down on the courts by their apartment. It was so fun! :) I loved it!!! :) Unfortunately it was raining and I was still sick and I got a bit worse. 

The bus ride home

Sleepy Elder Augerres

But afterwards we took the bus and it took 4 hours to get home. Also, while I was sick, I made a workout plan for the mission! (President Farnes asked me to) and I gave it to him and Sister Farnes on Tuesday.
Elder Hunt with his American friend, Elder Fields who also likes to workout

Wednesday-We had our zone meeting and we had some training by 2 of the assistants. Their emphasis was on "Ele e O presente" or in English, "He is the gift," a program being set out by the Church for Christmas.  It’s a YouTube video and everyone should go watch it.

Elder Costa, Elder Hunt and Elder Gimenez

I’m still sick, but I’m getting better, but I have insomnia and now I can’t sleep and I don’t know why. I go to sleep at like 4am every night because I can’t sleep- it’s horrible. I also bought 4 little packages to send out to family and loved ones, so I’ve been in the process of getting things together for the packages.
From the Farnes' home

Thursday-Elder Lima Neto and I spent a large amount of time talking about and spreading the "He is the Gift" message in the streets. We also have a good amount of new investigators that I’m very confident will be baptized and will help our ward a ton.

So grateful for SOAP!

Friday-I got my shoes back from the Zapateria and they look great! Out in the street there was a huge crowd with heavily armed police surrounding a guy laying down crying on the street. There was also another man in custody. I don’t know what happened, but it was strange. The family of Mateus and Nata (the two young boys we baptized) love us! The mom always makes us food and she went out of her way to a far away Brazilian market in a different town to buy me a Brazilian treat to put in my packages for my family! They are the best and our plan was to baptize their 2 teenage daughters and teenage son Sunday morning.

Saturday-We had Stake Conference that night and we planned on baptizing a teenage girl named Natalie after the meeting in the stake center in Prituba. I feel so bad for this girl, her she has a difficult home life. The parents have no money, so we paid for their bus fair to Pirituba to watch Conference and their daughter’s baptism, (it certainly was not easy.) After Conference, Natalie was in her white baptismal clothes all ready, when the Stake President said it was too late and we needed to wait until tomorrow. Natalie would travel the next day, so that is why Saturday night was chosen. Elder Augirres and I were furious. Our ward leadership also blocked our 3 other planned baptisms for the next day. We are having tons of problems with them and our companionship was extremely angry that our baptisms were blocked.


Sunday-Stake Conference morning session and we got our transfer calls. My dream was to stay 1 more transfer in Brasilandia, be district leader, senior comp, and finish the training of Elder Lima. I was certain that was what would happen. All the zone leaders, district leader, and Elder Costa, (who was assistant to the President), they all said I would get promoted this transfer because of how well I’ve been doing. But that is not what happened. I will be transferred to Cashoreinha, which is very close, but I will be companions to a guy named Elder Zentanna. He is an Bolivian American, with a lot of time on the mission.

After Stake Conference, I baptized some people who I had met and marked baptismal dates with during a division in Pirituba, so that was pretty cool :) Also, President Farnes was there with his family to watch. After, he talked to me about my transfer call. He told me that my new area is a very, very productive area, but the missionaries there are not having a ton of success like they should be, so he is sending me there to be the catalyst to help everyone baptize there because he knows that I can.  I feel that President Farnes has a lot of confidence in me. After he said that to me, I felt a bit better. But I was still bummed that our leadership blocked our baptisms, and I will be leaving tomorrow. But this will be a new experience for me and I know I will learn and grow a ton.


Monday-Happy Birthday Hannah Hunt! I hope you have a wonderful day! :) For my last day in Brasilandia, Elder Lima Neto and I went to all the different Padarias (bread/sweet shops) here and bought 1 donut each for fun, ha ha.

I am super pumped to talk with my family in 10 days for Christmas. As of now I don’t have any information regarding this, hopefully I will receive it soon. Overall I’m doing all right, not great, but not horrible.

New challenges and triumphs are on the way in my new area with my new comp. All I can do is my very, very best for the Lord and his children. We will succeed; I will elevate this new area and WE WILL bring more souls unto Christ.  Now I’m going to go pack my bags!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sofrimento- From Hero to Zero

The beginning of the week when Elder Hunt was healthy 

I will not lie, this week I have suffered like I never have before.
  Monday-I made my moms famous stuffed peppers for everyone in my house, it was perfect and it was a huge success! :)

The final product


Dirces and her whole family.  She is so good to us.

She made me a donut with my name on it.  "Hunt"

Some protein pancakes from early in the week.  Protein powder and eggs only.  So good.

Christmas package from his Nana and Papa

      Tuesday-I don’t know exactly why, but on Tuesday I was sad and "trunky,' a term used in the mission to describe when you miss home. I think I felt this way because of how close we are to the holidays. My crazy Brazilian comps in our house took advantage of my sadness and convinced me to open my packages. In hopes of becoming happier, I did. Really, they wanted to see what was inside more than me. The packages were awesome! 

Quest bars

I received more Quest protein bars, an awesome Clay Matthews Packers Jersey and a ton more! The gifts were great, but after I opened it, I still felt sad because I had a "things don’t make you happy, the people you love do" moment. Also, if I were transferred, I would not have space in my bags for the packages.

      Wednesday-I woke up Wednesday morning sick as a dog. I was super congested, very, very weak, a sore throat, and a wicked cough.

  I was so sick that I wasn’t able to go out and work, so Elder Lima Neto, stayed home with me. One present I received from my Nana and Papa was a little book called "The True Gifts of Christmas" written by my grandfather James E Faust. I was planning on saving reading it until Christmas, but something told me to read it. I read it and it literally changed my life. I read it and cried and cried and cried because of how touched I was. Every single person needs to read this book and realize how important our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice was and is for us.

      Thursday-Once again, I remained sick but my comps bought me some medicine to help me out. But I had to stay in again because I wasn’t getting any better. 

Elder Hunt's empty refrigerator

And oh yeah, remember last week with our full refrigerator and we were eating like kings? Yeah well that ended pretty quick. 4 growing hungry missionaries run out of money real quick. 
We went from hero to zero in like 2 days. At this point I had to start eating strange things. For example, in the house I only had quest bars and sour patch kids, so that was i all had... Not the best diet for someone who’s sick.

       Friday-Once again, I stayed home and got worse. I went out to buy more medicine, but my debit card doesn’t work and I’m all out of money. I got more and more sick. We got 50 Reais for lunch, so we bought steak, but then that ran out too.

       Saturday-I felt a little bit better, but was still bad enough to stay inside. But I wrote 5 letters, which was good. We are eating strange things because we are out of money. Elder Lima bought a cheap ice cream key lime pie, and it was good. 

We also found a couple of boxes of muffin mix so I made those for all of us to share.  Its literally the only we had to eat in the whole house and no money to buy anything.

But, we are living in filth, with no soap to clean our dishes and barely any food.  There are maggots in our house and I have no way to get rid of them because I don't have any soap or money to buy it because my debit card isn't working.


       Sunday-I woke up feeling horrible, horrible. But I had to go to church. After sacrament we had a big fight with our Ward leadership, it didn’t end well. And I continually got more and more sick until a guy in our Ward said he was taking me to the hospital right then.  I called the mission and they said I could and so we went, thank goodness. 

We went about an hour away to a hospital called Albert Einstein; it is the best hospital in Latin América. It was quick and I was diagnosed with a bad throat and sinus infection, which figures since I spend my days coughing up blood and mucus.

I am supposed to use this crazy contraption

       I bought an antibiotic and also was instructed that I have to clean my nasal cavity with salt water every 2 hours...hmm all right.

       With our fight with our leadership they said we could not have baptisms on Sundays anymore, but Sunday is our main day for baptisms and is what we are instructed to do from President Farnes. Later that night our Bishop stopped by to "see how I was doing" but really, a counselor in the stake presidency told him that the missionaries can baptize on Sundays, so he came to sort of apologize.

       I have baptized for 12 consecutive weeks without stopping and this news came from the Bishop saying we were good to go. So at 8pm at night, super sick, I put on my clothes, and prayed one of the most sincere prayers I’ve ever said, and I prayed for a miracle. 

We went to an investigators house who had already been to church a bunch of times and we tried as hard as we possibly could to have a baptism that night. I gave it my all, coughing, sweating, I even cried during the lesson because I tried so hard and I wanted a baptism. But it didn’t happen.

       That night, I got worse and worse to the point where I couldn’t sleep because my coughing was so bad. I wasn’t able to get to sleep until 545am. Now I’m here today, I’m still super, super sick, and I’m suffering. I hope the antibiotics work. I’m out of food, money, and I’m very, very sick. I’m not in the best conditions right now. Happy December.

A note from Elder Hunt's mother- We have called the bank and got his debit card to work again.  There as a 'restriction' on it because he is in Brasil and Brasil is a country with lots of corruption and danger.  The bank's security had put a restriction on the card.  We explained the situation and were told that the card would be active again immediately.  I told Marcus to buy some food and cleaning supplies and to disinfect his whole house and wash his linens.  Hopefully he will be doing better soon.  But if you could include him in your prayers, we would appreciate it a lot.