Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hey everyone!

Today we went to the police station to get some things done, but there were some issues and we ended up just hanging out for 4 hours.  One of the really cool things was that an American came up to us and talked with us. Turns out he was a missionary a few years back and he just stayed in Brasil after. He served in the Sao Paulo East mission and he was super cool and gave us some great advice! Then on the way home I rode home next to a missionary from Argentina; we were able to have conversations in Portuguese and understand each other! I obviously missed a lot of words, but we were able to have a very basic conversation! I felt so good about it!  Even though it was very basic and I have SO much to learn, it was still super cool.  

One of the most motivating things are the Spanish speaking and Brasilian missionaries here. Most of them come from absolutely nothing and come to serve the Lord because He has given them so much. Many of them have been members for only a year and they still want to serve more than anything; they are so amazing! They are making the same sacrifices as me, but so much more! I love them!    All the Latinos and Brazilians sort of love me down here hahahaha. They all call me Hulky, which is the equivalent of Hulk, especially when I wear my Brasil soccer jersey. They all are fans of muscles, they are so silly, but I love them too. One of them jokes with me and puts his fists up to fight and says, “You want a piece for me” like, “you want a piece of me?”, but he doesn’t know how to say it properly in English.   

On Friday we taught a TRC lesson which is just a lesson that is recorded so we can watch and learn from our mistakes. So in the middle of it, I was trying to pronounce the word DIARIA or something like that and it came out as diarrhea- lolol. You pronounce your Ds with a G sound. Our investigator burst out laughing and then I couldn’t contain myself so I burst out laughing too. Then to make it even better, we got to watch it again that afternoon. We definitely lost the Spirit in the lesson after all the laughing, but it was a silly experience.  I’m still learning.  

On Sunday I started talking to this guy named Elder Zenger, he is from Winsor, Colorado and he is one week ahead of me, but we started talking and he is a straight stud! He is good at everything! He did football, basketball, track, parkour, he’s a DJ, he dances - he does everything! And he’s going to go to BYU after his mission the same time I am!!!!!! He and I are super close friends already! He is so cool!        

Tuesday night we had an amazing fireside about mission challenges and how to overcome them by President Broadband, the President of the Sao Paulo south mission! It was so inspiring and great!      

Today we got to go to the Campinas temple! It was sooooo pretty. Also, a prayer of mine was answered and I was able to bring my camera and takes pictures today! Unfortunately, the Sao Paulo temple will be closed for cleaning so I couldn’t get pictures from there.  I also forgot to mention that we got 2 new sisters in our district last week from Provo, it changes the dynamic in our room quite a bit, but they are cool, so its alright. We also have a new kid joining our district today, so we will see how that goes.          

Overall, I’m still feeling good, I’m trying to work as hard as I can and I am already starting to notice a lot of changes in myself. I get less angry and frustrated, I am more patient with myself and with everything in general, and I have been humbled as well. I love serving the Lord. I miss you all at home very much. I still have very tough moments here where I miss home an insurmountable amount and it lingers a bit and slows me down, but the Lord always comes through and helps me.  And most of all I can’t wait to get out of the CTM and get into the field! I can’t wait to get out of here!!!! That is where the real work will begin!

Elder Hunt

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Week 3- The Language is Coming Along!

Sao Paulo, Brasil

Hey everyone! 

Its been a great week! The language is coming along and I've had some minor experiences with the gift of tongues. We'd be teaching lessons and my comp usually carries the lessons because his Portuguese is better than mine, but then at certain times he will turn to me to say something, and I'll just bust out 1 or 2 fluent good clean Portuguese sentences. But the language is really hard. 

We pray a lot here and strive to have the spirit with us at all times. It's much easier to have the spirit with you here than at home, but you still have to have tons and tons of faith, and you have to pour your heart out to the Lord sincerely in every prayer. 

I still absolutely love my comps! They are great! I've had some really rough times here this week. Just sad about the people I miss, but when I pray for help I always receive it and I am comforted, always. You have to have the spirit with you all the time to be able to learn. A goal of mine I've had while I've been here, and one I will continue to have, is to never waste time (especially falling asleep) during study time and things like that. No matter how tired I am, I fight to STAY awake and pray for focus and energy to continue. 

 A cool experience I forgot to share from my first week was my encounter and friendship with a Brasilian named Joao Pedro Rodriguez Alvez, or Elder Alvez for short (haha). The first day we met each other he introduced himself in English. He said he lives in Canada but his mom is Brasilian and he visits Brasil often. He has light brown skin, not white. He said he liked me because I am muscular and for some reason took a special interest in me. He was my good friend the whole rest of his stay at the CMT. I found out he used to be a bodybuilder and he showed me pics and stuff and he was actually pretty big. He can back-flip, speak fluent Portuguese, English and Arabic. He is also AMAZING on the piano! We nicknamed him the international Chuck Norris haha. What makes this story more interesting was that on the second day I had met him, he asked me to give him a priesthood blessing to help him because he was sick. This was my first time performing a priesthood blessing on someone, and out of everyone in the whole CTM, he asked me to be the one to do it, totally crazy! It was such a great experience for me, so spiritual, I will never forget it.    

For the past 2 days my whole district has been sick, including me. I have had a terribly sore throat,congestion, fatigue, all that bad stuff. None of us feel good at all.  Brasil is a crazy place! No one follows the rules when they drive or anything. Last P-day we went out exploring and it was wild. Crazy stuff going on. Very dirty and sketchy. Everyone looks like they want to rob you. We saw drug deals and stuff going on. 

I also met an elder named Elder Marchant. He is a visa waiter who served 10 months in Oklahoma before just getting his visa and coming here. He is the only person in the whole CTM who I have met who is going to my same mission! Also very cool, I found out that his aunt is Sister Tingey! He's only here for 2 weeks though, maybe he'll be my senior comp in the field or something haha. 

Overall its been a great week. I'm very motivated and excited to be here, but especially to get into the field! We all want out of here haha! Only 4 more weeks!

I love you all and please continue to send me letters as much as you can. They really get me through the week. We all look forward to getting them and everyone is SOOOO happy when we get one. They really help me get through the week and I cherish them immensely.      

My shoulder is still hurt, it's slowly, very slowly getting better, but it's still sorta bad.  My weight has stayed between 201-204lbs here so that is good. Maybe I've lost a little, but not too much.The workouts are alright, volleyball is sorta fun. This is a very different lifestyle.There are some very, very hard times, but there are also some very glorious, loving, unforgettable moments as well. Elder Kagi, who I have mentioned before, (the British one), I have been able to open up to him even more. I am able to talk about my problems to him and he helps me feel better. He is a loyal, good friend who is a very good listener, I'm very blessed for my friendships here. 

I love you all and I can't wait to hear more from all of you. Once again, I don't have much time, send me more letters!

Elder Hunt

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Week 2- The CMT

     The days here are very long. A whole week is not very long but it feels extremely long and short at the same time. We get so much done, but a week is such a short time. My first day was fine, I've been comforted by the Spirit very much. Elder Stevens is my first companion here at the MTC or in Brasil it is called the CTM haha. Elder Stevens is our district leader (we only have 4 guys in our district.)  The good thing is that he wants to do the right things and be obedient, which are both things I want to do as well. I've been blessed with a pretty great companion for my stay at the CTM. Our district is very very close, just as close as me and my companion. But to be honest, I'm much more close with the members of my district than my own companion. We do everything as a district, all our meals, classes, exercise, everything, and we all live together. Elder Buck from Arizona is in my district and we are very close, he wants to do what is right and all that too, I like him a lot and he is very funny. But the person here I am honestly the closest with is Elders Buck companion, Elder Kagi, from Dorset, England. He is extremely funny and smart. For some reason he and I just click very well, we get along super well. So far I've really enjoyed my companions, they are my best friends.  I've known them such a short time, but we spend all day together and we are going through alot of the same trials so its great to be with them.  I've been very blessed, I love them very much, they will be lifelong friends.

     Our room is sorta small, bunk beds, a closet type thing, NO HANGERS btw, we all 4 bunk in the same room with 2 Brasilaroes, meaning Brasilians who speak no English.
     Being American and white we are the minority here, which is annoying because everything is in Spanish or Portuguese, so it is very difficult to communicate.
     The food here is alright, usually a small meat main course with extra fruit beans rice etc. I eat a TON of beans because it is really the only consistently good thing to eat here. The food is not terrible, but it is also not good. We had beef stew yesterday and we found bone and a ventricle artery in it eww gross.

     BTW, my time to email is very short, less than 45 min.
     A big change that I was very frustrated with but I'm dealing with and being obedient with, are all the rules. There are SO many rules here, A LOT of dumb rules. One dumb rule is NO SENDING PHOTOS, so you will not receive any pictures from me for 6 weeks...

     We also are not aloud to take pictures at the temple ( I was able to go to the Sao Paulo temple this morning)  or even bring our camera outside of the CTM or take pictures in the lunch room. There are tons of other rules, but I've just decided that to be blessed the fullest I am going to follow all the dumb rules anyways. I know that is the right thing to do.

     We are allotted 40 minutes to workout 5 days a week and they actually have a cable machine and pull up bar so I'm getting short OK workouts, we also play volleyball alot here.

     As for Portuguese, out of the four in my district, I'm probably doing the worst, but I am making improvements everyday and that is what matters. In the beginning I was getting super, super frustrated because I was having a hard time learning, but things are getting better and I'm being more patient with myself. Every single thing you do here is in Portuguese, all of my classes, everyone, everything is in Portuguese.

     An inspiring thing are all the Latin Americans here to serve missions, there are so many! And I know they are making the same sacrifice I am by serving, it is very inspiring that God hears their Portuguese and Spanish prayers the same as God hears mine in English.

     Soon we are going out into Sao Paulo to do our shopping for the week. 
Have to go!

  Eu amo vocemos!
 (I love you all)!

Monday, July 14, 2014

First Week

Hey everyone!

      I am in the MTC and have been assigned a companion and a room and got my name tag! My companion is named Elder Stevens and he is from Georgia. He did a semester at BYU Provo and is a year older than I am. We are already super close. We first met at the gate in the Atlanta airport, so we`ve been together for a while haha. Also at the airport at the gate I met Elder Buck who is from Arizona and is also super cool and in the same room with us. Then there is Elder Kagi (pronounced keggy) he is from England.  He is 20 years old, so older than all of us.   All these guys room with me and we are already great friends! We eat together, hang together, and will be going to all of our classes together.
     The plane rides were not too bad. I watched Divergent and Skyfall and slept a little bit haha.
     All these new things are a little nerve racking, but I'm very calm and happy. I have really been blessed so far. I'm very excited to get to work and continue building these relationships with my companions. BTW, none of them are going to the same mission as me. I am the only one so far going to Sao Paulo North.
     I have pictures, but I dont know how to upload them yet... no one does, but when we figure it out i`ll send them!

Below are some pictures of sending Elder Hunt off and his first morning at the Missionary Training Center.

At the Denver Airport- July 8th, 2014
Marcus leaving for his 2 year mission to Brasil for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In the Atlanta Airport making his connection.
He met up with other missionaries going to Brazil!

At the Brazil MTC the first morning he arrived.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014