Monday, April 27, 2015

Zone Leader, 50th Baptism, Lazurus

Elder Hunt is leaving Cachoreihna and being transferred to a city called Itu

So first off, I've been transferred! I’m going to a place in the interior of Sao Paulo called "Itu." It is slower paced and relaxed there. There are no favella and the whole everything is different, so this should be a big adjustment for me. Also, I've been called to be a Zone Leader in this new area and be a Zone leader with Elder Farias, an Elder from Maseo,Brasil which is in the north.  Our zone is called Zone "Itu." Elder Farias is a very experienced Elder and he has already been Assistant to the President. It will be an excellent opportunity being with him because of the vast amount of experience he has.

I’ve also picked up the new mission nickname "Lazarus" because I almost died from Dengue, and now the whole mission knows about it. :)  It’s pretty funny, but now I’m alive and well. I’m back and ready to kill it in ITU!

Monday-I was dying of dengue last p day. While I've been sick we have watched a few church movies.  Saratov Approach, Ephraim's Rescue and other great Church produced films! :)

Tuesday-I was too sick to give my training, so one of our zone leaders gave it for me. Later in the day we ended up doing a division so we could get some work done. I stayed at Hugo’s house because Hugo’s dad is an Elder. Elder Nunes went out with a teenager from the ward and they worked a little bit. 

Wednesday-We did the same thing, but because Hugo’s dad wasn’t home I went to the house of Irmao Marcos, Rafael, and Pricila. I stayed with Marcos (60yrs) and sat on the couch bored out of my mind for hours on end trying to rest and recover. I’ve been pretty sick and weak. I have lost some weight, which isn’t good because it’s been a ton of muscle. :( But it’s whatever. 

Thursday and Friday-We did the same thing as Tuesday and Thursday except when I was at Hugo’s house again he made homemade banana donut holes and smoothies.  They were delicious. 

Adrielli, on her baptism day with her Grandma, Elder Nunes and Elder Hunt

Saturday-I was back up to almost full strength, so we worked like normal. We went to visit Adrielli, looking for a miracle. We taught her, cleared up her doubts once and for all 100%, and then we invited her to be baptized that day. About 4 hours later she was baptized! :) She just happened to be the 50th person I've baptized on my mission so far, so it was extra special for me. :) Now her, her Grandmother Vera (from 2 weeks ago) and her brother are all baptized! :)

The house Elder Hunt has lived in in Cachoreihna

Sunday-Today was when we found out about the transfers. It feels so strange leaving this area. I got here in December, but I am VERY ready to leave, but I will not lie, I will miss it. I stayed 3 transfers in my first area in Brasilandia, 3 here, and now I’m going to Itu; I’m seeing a trend. My companion will be staying here in Cachoreihna, it will also be his 3rd transfer here.

Church was good and then we had an amazing lasagna with Brother Silvano! And while he was making lunch he put on some old music with his record player ha. 

Music that Brother Silvano was playing

Elder Hunt says he is not a hipster

Monday-I’ve been packing my bag and this afternoon we are going to Outback with Hugo for our last "hoorah" all together as friends :)

Something I also wanted to share is D&C 121:34-35, ‘many are called but few are chosen.’ It says that MANY are called but only few are chosen because those who are called aren’t able to realize what things are truly of importance here on the earth and for eternal life.

I think this is something that all of us truly struggle with, being able to forget what others think about us and truly put the Lord and His opinion of us FIRST. This is one of the most simple and most important of life lessons, but it is honestly one of the most difficult to live. 

Itu will be amazing, here I come!

Elder Hunt

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dang It, Dengue

Elder Hunt in the hospital this week with Dengue Fever

Tuesday-I gave one of the best trainings I think I’ve ever given and my district agreed. I explained a huge, new, extreme competition I started within the district. 
Training Material

Then we talked a lot about regrets as being a missionary, the missionaries who were going home soon and those who were new, it was tense. D&C 18:16 is still my favorite. :)

    After we had a good lunch with the Bishop’s wife. Then we started our day in Vista Alegre. 

Vista Alegre

We found a bunch of interesting people, people who had been to church before, and people who were references. We worked super hard today. 

Wednesday-This is where the week starts going down hill. Everything was fine in the morning, but after lunch I started feeling very lightheaded and weak with a lot pain in my lower back, but I just told my self to push through it. We kept going until finally we stopped by Hugo's house to check my temperature; it read 103F! We called the health secretary and he told us to go to the hospital immediately. 

We got to the hospital waited about 40 minutes before I was taken back to be put in a chair to get an IV. I got the IV in my arm (did I say I don’t like needles?) and began to wait, and wait, and wait. The problem is that they are suppose to take your blood first, then give you the IV because it takes 2-3 hours to process the blood sample. So in the end, I sat for 3 hours with an IV without getting my blood drawn. 

Elder Hunt hates needles

I asked many times to be helped, but the attendants were quite rude; bloody Brasil. I got my blood drawn, another needle grrrr. Then I went back to the waiting room to wait with Elder Nunes to get my results, but only after a little bit I started to get worse and worse and worse, to the point where they took me back again. They put me in a chair but gave me no IV. My body was fighting the fever, but I was so cold that my entire body was shaking uncontrollably and my teeth were chattering as I started dazing in and out of consciousness. It was about 10:30pm. I still hadn’t eaten anything since lunch and I was very weak. I remained in this state for two hours and no one in the hospital did anything to help me, they just walked past me and watched. 

At one point, I drifted in and out of consciousness and remembered just one thing that make me start crying. It was Christ's voice in my head saying, "And now son, you have experienced just a tiny, tiny bit of what I suffered for you." I was in so much pain, I was so weak, but nothing compares to what Christ went through for every single one of us. 

Elder Nunes was very supportive and great through the hospital ordeal

Finally we got the results back and were able to see the doctor, I just wanted to leave the hospital and go home. I had to be wheel chaired back to the doctor because of my diminishing conditions. She told me she wanted to keep me the night because of how badly I was doing and I just about lost it. I couldn’t handle being in the hospital one more second, let alone another day. We waited more and more and more it was about 1:30am; I still hadn’t eaten, and I still had a needle and plastic tube in my arm that wasn’t allowed to come out and they were making me stay. This was torturous. It felt like a horror movie, seriously. 

At 2:30am we were given a room on the trauma floor for close observation. My bed was a gurney with no pillow and Nunes slept in a chair. I also had to sleep in my work clothes. And finally at 3am I ate a few crackers. We tried to sleep but part of the close observation meant that every hour they came in and woke me up to do tests on me...

Breakfast was a piece of bread and coffee... yeah thanks hospital; we gave them the coffee back. They also made me change in the morning into a hospital gown. 

Now enough of the bad stuff, I'll tell two funny stories that happened. First off there was this cute teenage girl helping her dad in the room across the hall from us. Once I had changed into the hospital gown, every time I went to use the bathroom down the hall, she would always be staring at me, but I didn’t understand why. Until Nunes helped me realize that the hospital gown has no back to it...ha ha.

Funny stories at the hospital help lighten the mood

As for the second, I was laying down and a very attractive nurse walked in to do some normal tests, she listened to my heart and all that good stuff with the stethoscope and then she paused on my abs for quite a long time. Then she pulled up the covers and gave me a light full handed double tap on the crotch, smiled, winked at me, and I never saw her ever again. Lol. Oh Brasil.

A Care Package from Sister Farnes!  So AWESOME!

Later that day, President Farnes came and visited me in the hospital and Sister Farnes made me a little gift basket, so nice of her. But President Farnes is the best! :) He gave me a blessing and you always just feel so much happier and spiritually recharged when you’re around him :)

After, I was cleared to leave and President let us take a taxi home. Also that night he let me talk quickly with my mom, it was so great! :)

Frozen Acai, one of the only things Elder Hunt can keep down

Black Guarana, Acai flavored

The whole rest of the week included buying medicine, sleeping a little bit, fever, body weakness.  I haven’t really gotten any better. But I will soon. The Bishop brought us the sacrament on Sunday. Today I went to the hospital again to get more blood taken. The nurse messed up and was digging in my arm with the needle and it hurt really bad, but its all good. I know this is just another thing I need to experience to become the man God wants me to become. Transfers are on the 28th, we will see what happens. 

Elder Hunt

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beleza- Beauty

Monday- Great P-day, email was great and in the afternoon I wrote letters, worked out and printed Hugo's baptismal photo and bought a frame AND his favorite desert strawberry pie.  :)
The 'w' sign with the arrow signifies 'baptisms'

Tuesday-We had a great Zone Training by the Zone leaders. The zone training meant that I didn’t have to prepare anything for this week. The zone training didn’t leave me "President Farnes mission training happy" but it was still good. I’m trying once again to have an especially amazing week like last week! 

We visited a ton of people, we had to cut people who aren’t progressing, but it was a fine afternoon. But that night was one of the COLDEST nights I’ve ever experienced in my life and 100% sure the coldest on my mission. 
It is Fall in Brasil and Elder Hunt is getting cold at night.  He is pulling out his sweaters and a beanie.

My comp is from Rio de Janeiro and he just about died. He slept with like 6 layers of clothes and a beanie because he’s not accustomed to the cold. But I honestly really did enjoy the cold.  :) 

Today I also got a letter from Elder Drake Marley that contained a very awesome note, pictures, and a tie with PEACOCKS on it. :) Thanks a ton Drake! 

Elder Hunt wearing his 'thriftshop music video' outfit

Wednesday-Today was fine, but slow. I wore the peacock tie to give it a whirl, the morning was cold so I also wore a multicolored cardigan Elder Zenteno gave me along with it, I looked like I should have been an action stunt double in the Macklemore "Thiftshop" music video. 

Today we did stuff with "Porque Ele Vive" or ‘Because He Lives,’ a campaign being used by the church right now. Phrase of the day from Drakes letter 
"Don’t regret the process of becoming strong."

Elder Hunt is doing 'bilingual study' - Spanish and Portuguese

Thursday-Today was my 9 month mission mark. We were given a list of people not baptized but who are on ward records and President asked us to go visit these people. Among the people on the list, we encountered a less active 40 year old man named Mendonça who we ended up finding out served a mission here in Sao Paulo North 20 years ago. When he passed through Cachoreihna he baptized many of the firm prominent ward members such as the 1st counselor in the Bishopric's wife. He is a very interesting man. We want to baptize his 9 year old daughter. 

Friday-Weekly planning. Fine visits. We found a family of 7 which has a little promise, they are very lost in the world right now, but we will see. This night was actually a little hot and I had difficulties getting to sleep. 

Elder Hunt made a friend

Saturday-Elder Anderson did an interview for us in the morning. We had a great lunch with some of our favorite members, Pricilla, Rafael, and Marcos! We were in our normal places today, Pery Alto, Eliza Maria, and Santa Cruz.

Mr. Goose

Sunday-We woke up early, got ready and ran to the church super fast to get there in time for our baptism at 8am. But she didn’t show up...We went to look for her and her granddaughter but they weren’t home. The morning was cool and foggy. Hugo was confirmed which was a small daily victory! #LiVE 

That afternoon we passed by to see what had happened with Vera and Adrieli, the two that were supposed to have been baptized that morning. It was complicated, but Adrieli had gone to the hospital and there were some problems. 

Vera on her baptism day with Elder Hunt, Elder Nunes and her family member

BUT, we called Bishop and our Ward Mission Leader and marked Vera's baptism for 4:30 pm. We gave a few blessings to people in the ward who had gotten 'Dengue Fever,' a really bad mosquito spread sickness that is getting a lot of people right now. 

We picked Vera up for her baptism and took a bus to the church.  I baptized her and it was a highlight of my week. IT WAS FABULOUS. 

Elder Hunt with a random Uruguay apron

We also found out that D Todd Christofferson will be coming to Sao Paulo North in the beginning of May, so it will be interesting to see what happens with that! :)


I love you all,
Elder Hunt

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Só Felicidades - Only Cheers :)

Elder Hunt with Elder Nunes, Easter Week

Just to start off, this has been an amazing week! This truly has been one of the best weeks of my mission and of my life! :) It’s cliché, but EVERYTHING truly starts with one's mindset and one’s attitude- the good, the bad, the easy and the difficult. Life is all about how we respond to what happens to us. It’s about trying to be a little better everyday and knowing that when we screw up, Christ’s Atonement is ALWAYS ready and waiting for us to use it. There is no sin too grave or problem too big that the Atonement can’t heal. Remember that you are loved immensely, to a point that we can’t even understand, and this is an unwavering, unlimited love that is, was, and will always be there. Always think, "What would Jesus do?" Also think to always put other’s needs in front of yours.

Elder Hunt and Elder Anderson

For those at home, do your home and visiting teaching. Just visiting many people is honestly one of the most important things we can do to baptize and reactivate more people, therefore hastening this grand work in these final days. Don’t be afraid to share the gospel! Also, I’m sure your missionaries are working hard, but kick their butts a little and tell them that someone doesn’t need to wait 6 months to get baptized so they’re "100 % ready- "where is the faith?!?!?!” Get the whole ward involved, have ward members make daily contact with investigators and recent converts, always encouraging them to help them stay firm. Why can’t wards in the U.S. baptize a ton of people and have them remain firm? WHY? And yes it’s hard sometimes, but SALVATION WAS NEVER EASY, so there you go.

'President Farnes with us as his army of missionaries.  
He is the greatest guy and is just the BEST!'

Preach My Gospel specifically states our purpose as missionaries is for us to "make disciples of Christ," baptizing and confirming members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints. Don’t be afraid and don’t make excuses, just do it. Visit and help more people become Disciples of Christ; lose yourself for His cause and find your life in Him and His work. There is nothing more satisfying in this world. 

As for the week...
Tuesday-I started off this week promising myself and my comp, that this week would be the best week of our lives, ready, go.

Good district meeting, I shared various things, but something important that I really liked was a study schedule my Aunt Elise shared with me about Christ’s last week on earth. I studied it this past week and it truly changed me. We also talked about how we can use the parables in Luke Chapter 15 to help our members get more involved in the work. I also started a competition in my district, every day there was a different challenge and whoever won the challenge won a chocolate. For example, Tuesday was baptismal dates, Wednesday was action of member (visiting an investigator etc), and so on. This created an amazing atmosphere of good, healthy, competition between our district members! It was a grand success!!! 

Today we fasted and President Farnes called me to motivate me! I really appreciated it; he is the best! :)

Elder Hunt and Nunes

Wednesday-I got an emergency transfer call telling me that I was being transferred to be an Assistant to President Farnes! :) .....April FOOLS haha.  We had good visits, a good lunch; I also finished the book, The Power of Everyday Missionaries. 

Also that night I decided we should visit our Bishop to get a better relationship with him and his family. His wife recently had surgery and has been recovering. Also, I decided to bring them a pie and they loved it! :)

Thursday-Another great day, great lunch, great studies, everything. Hugo's baptism is 100% good and firm for Friday! :) We put in great work today!

Friday-We had weekly planning. We filled and cleaned the baptismal font. We got Crunch chocolate Easter eggs. The weather here the whole week has been exactly like Southern California, it has been marvelous, a breeze, sun, a little clouds, it’s even to the point where my hair is starting to get bleached blond because of the sun, but don’t worry, I’m still a Vegas boy by heart. 

Hugo with his family on his baptism day

That night was Hugo’s baptism! His ENTIRE less active family came including his grandmother and aunt who live very far away. I now know why Hugo was baptized on this very special day and not that other day before. 
Elder Nunes, Hugo and Elder Hunt on the day of Hugo's  baptism

It was such a special service and everyone there felt the Spirit’s presence. This was also the day Christ was crucified and it was a National holiday in Brasil. My comp even said "Brasilians do whatever it takes to have a day off so they don’t have to work." 

Saturday-This was the first day of General Conference!!!! It was amazing!!! Because of the holiday, we had some of our other planned baptisms fall unfortunately. But Conference was amazing. From Saturday, I especially liked Dale G. Renlund's and Michael T. Ringwood's talk’s.  I felt like especially Elder Ringwood’s talk was directed at me.
The Americans together watching General Conference in English

All the Americans and I watched in English, but during the Priesthood session when Elder Ulisses Soares spoke we all ran from the other room- to the chapel -to watch it in Portuguese! It was sweet! 

Brasilians love their chocolate and so does Elder Hunt

Sunday-Happy Easter! I probably ate too many chocolate Easter eggs, but it’s whatever. I loved Brent H Nielson’s talk and Jeffrey R Holland’s talks! Super powerful!!! Today was an amazing day! We didn’t have as many baptisms as we wanted but we had a few investigators come to Conference so that was good! :) 

This week I learned how to make your own happiness. You don’t have to be reliant on other people, physical items, or events to make you happy. One of the secrets of life is finding how to be happy for YOU. This search is individual for every person, but when it is found it is an important lesson for the rest of life. I also studied everyday about Christ and his final week on earth, it gave me an increased understanding about what He went through all because of his great love for us and his obedience to his Father in Heaven. 

This was an amazing week and next week will be as well! :) 

With love,
Elder Hunt