Monday, July 27, 2015

Four Teenage Boys!

Elder Alvis and Elder Hunt

Monday-We made homemade pizza and we found a super elect family! We were walking to an appointment and out of nowhere Elder Alvis is like, "STOP, let’s knock this door!” We did, and taught an awesome lesson and found a ton of elects! That night we followed up with all of Claudionor's friends (Claudionor who got baptized last week); they are a funny group of boys. 

Homemade pizza that Elder Hunt made- one chocolate, one with meat

Tuesday-District meeting. Ugh way too much on the bus today. Bus to district meeting, bus back, bus to lunch in Jardim Aeroporto, a bus super far away to as Chacaras dos Machados. This Chacara is a huge, rich ranch that is far away. We marked to visit at 3pm, we got there at 3pm and they said they were leaving...we asked them if we could at least pray with them to not lose the long trip and they said no.  L We then took another bus to get to another bus stop to get a bus to Potigaura (another place in our area.) We taught a lesson with a girl who goes to church every week and is the sister of a member named Rafaela. 

Wednesday-Our awesome recent convert David works at Herbal Life and has a good buddy that works there named Marcio. He wanted us to go there and teach him, so we did. We taught him the Restoration and explained a lot about who we are and why we are here. He showed interest but was also very strong about his beliefs, but hey, at least we got a free protein shake, haha. 

Members made us a BBQ with a ton of meat for us for lunch! It was great!!! That night we went back and visited all the Ceramica country folk. 

Thursday-We made a ton of preparations for the church soccer game that would be held that night. We bought all the teenage boys we are teaching food and soda for after soccer. We picked them all up, they played, ate, and we taught! It was great and they loved it! 

Friday- We had lunch far away again in Potigauara so we used the opportunity to teach Rafaela. We had a good lesson especially with her older brother being there. He is strong in a different church, but we totally changed his mind. :) We found a bunch of news and once again visited the Ceramica folk.

Cidade Nova
The swimming pool where a child was baptized!

Saturday-Today we did a division with Cidade Nova. There in CN they interviewed and baptized a kid in a swimming pool because their chapel was out of water, how cool!

Elder Zenteno and I got A TON of interviews done in our area! Great day!  That night David bought us pizza too!

Maycon, Luan, Walison, and Joao Vitor on their baptism day 
with Elders Hunt and Alvis

Sunday-We picked up all our investigators for church. A lot of them made excuses and didn't go...but the four teenagers did and they were baptized afterwards! It was sick! It was so great! Maycon, Luan, Walison, and João Vitor were all baptized! Today was an awesome day. 
Elder Hunt earned the 'desire' plate last week in the mission.

After we ate lunch and had a meeting with the Stake President discussing ways we could improve the zone. Today was a very good day. Also we found a ton of novos (new investigators.) This week I found the most new investigators than any other week in my mission; we found 62 this week! 
A huge papaya!

Our zone is still in 1st place in the mission competition! We have 30 baptisms in the month and we need 11 more before Saturday to break the mission record! Let's go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm doing great here and love the work,

Elder Hunt

Monday, July 20, 2015

When I thought it couldn't get any better, I got Elder Alvis

Elder Hunt with his new companion, Elder Alvis, from Texas

This week were transfers! I am here in the fabulous big city of Itu for my third transfer with my new comp, Elder Alvis, from Texas. He is a huge fan of football, working out, protein, and baptizing; we're already off to a great start :)  Our morning workouts are killer, he makes incredible scrambled eggs, and I've never met anyone who can make me laugh quite like Elder Alvis!

Last night before transfers and Elder Farias and Hunt got new comps

     Monday night Farias and I visited our recent converts and he gave his last good byes. Also, Elder Quero and Galeano slept over at our house Monday night to catch the early bus to get to transfers the next morning. 

Elder Limo Neto and Elder Hunt at Transfers

     Tuesday-TRANSFERS!!! Transfer meeting was sick! I won "the license plate of desire" for baptizing 10 in the month. It was super cool!  I met up with all my old buddies and met my new comp, Elder Alvis! :) After we had a short leadership meeting with the President, he talked a lot about the difference between having a testimony and being converted. On the bus ride home I gave a huge motivational talk to the zone.
Itu is a fun place

Showing Elder Alvis around town

     Wednesday-We had district meeting and taught a bunch of new things for the zone. We had great trainings and the zone is pumped! On our way to lunch we saw one of our recent converts. She was with a ton of her friends and her friends became quite "interested" in our message, and us. At one point we asked one of them about one of the children that was with them. One of the women responded "He's mine, and soon he could be yours too..." woahhhhh snakeeeeeeeeeeee. Yikes.

Eating Acai

     But also today we had a huge miracle. We went to an area I've never worked in before looking for a member reference. We knocked on a door looking for the right house, and we starting talking to a woman, and she began to weep. She explained to us that that very morning she had ran out of food and money and she prayed to God, asking to send her two of his angles if he had not forgotten her, and in that very afternoon, we arrived at her doorstep. She was humbled and amazed. She accepted a baptismal invite instantaneously. 

Elder Hunt and Elder Zenteno

     Thursday-We did a division with Cidade Nova to do baptismal interviews. I was able to be with my old comp Elder Zenteno again! He is one of our district leaders here in the zone! It was so great to be with him again! :)

Elder Hunt found this suit in the closet at the house he is living in.   

At the wedding of Gilmar and Leonar

Gilmar and Leonor on their baptism day with their family

     Friday-We had the wedding and baptisms of Gilmar and Leonor! They are my 2nd marriage here on the mission and in Itu! Farias was able to come back to be a testimony and after he had to go back to his area. 

     The rest of the day we left our area and did baptismal interviews for the areas Salto and Monte Serra. It was quite the day! Interviews and a ton of walking haha :)

     Saturday-We did more baptismal interviews and worked A TON!!!! 
Claudionor, on his baptism day

     Sunday-We went to pick up the people who were to get baptized that day and they had already gone haha. But they never showed up...later on we walked back, found them and called for a ride for them. In the end, just Claudionor, a teenager, the child of the miracle woman on Wednesday, came. He was super nervous, but he was baptized.
A new area that is in the countryside where Elder Hunt went finding.

It is a brick factory.

This is where they fire the bricks

     We had lunch and that afternoon we walked SUPER far away into the countryside looking for a brick factory. We found 3 very good and very humble families who all accepted baptismal invites for here in 2 weeks, it was spectacular!!! :) 

Elder Hunt and Elder Alvis' homemade pizza

     Great week!!!! We made homemade pizza today! The zone baptized 9 this week and we are still in 1st place in the zone competition!!!! :)

Much Love, 
Elder Hunt!!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Temple, Paintball, and a Baptism- One Year Mark

Elder Hunt and Elder Farias at the Campinas Brasil Temple

Monday- P day was normal. We prepared and were super excited for the temple! We had a great family home evening and marked four baptismal dates (1 that was baptized this week ;)

Campinas Temple

Tuesday-We went to the Campinas temple, and it was fabulous! It was my first time going to the temple since January and my first session since last September. Whoa it's been a while. BUT, it was super special and I had an amazing experience, super spiritual and I was able to feel such peace. The temple is literally where you go to get out of the world; worries, problems, and anything that is not virtuous; it is Nirvana. 

There is a street near the temple that is named after Elder Hunt's Great-Grandfather, President James E. Faust.  He was a missionary there as a young man and then also went back later as a General Authority with the responsibility to oversee the building of the Sao Paulo Temple.  He is beloved by members and non-members alike in Brasil.

It was great to see again "Rua james Esdras Faust" too, its always nice to see that and remember Grandpa. :)

Division with Franklin, a new member who is preparing to serve a mission

Wednesday-Today it rained a ton and was very cold and nice. We bought a ton of meat for our churrasco (BBQ) for the next day! We also did a division with young men from our ward and from the stake to get more work done! It was great, I was with a recent convert of less that 1 year preparing to serve a mission. His name is Franklin and the whole time he tried talking to me in English about the band Simple Plan. 

Zone Itu won the Mission Competition so the President took them Paint balling

Thursday-TODAY WE PLAYED PAINTBALL!!!! We got up early, and as a zone we walked really far to a super sick forest area in ITU (it looked just like the woods on the east coast.) President Farnes and his family played paintball with us! Well, President Farnes and his 2 sons did! 

President Farnes with his sons and Elder Hunt

In the beginning I played on a team with the President and his sons.  It was super tactical, Skylar (President's son who just got back from a mission in South Africa) and I strategized and destroyed!!! After that, the President switched teams and got me really good in the arm! (Which is still bruised, lol) In the end, we had so much fun, we left the forest exhausted and covered with welts and yellow paint.

Barbecue after the paint balling

Elder Hunt had his picture taken this week on Thursday at the July 9th Street sign.  July 9th marked his one year mark in serving his mission.

Even more for our "we won the mission competition party," we had a little BBQ at the church with our missionaries; it was great! 

Friday-Today we did all our baptismal interviews, but everyone in the zone was a little slower because of we were all feeling sore. haha. I also woke up feeling super sick which sort of stunk- runny nose, bad cough. I couldn’t even workout or anything. 

Ana on her baptism day

Saturday-We had the baptism of Ana Giulia!!!! She is SO elect!!! She literally told her parents that she had a dream that she was baptized in the church last Sunday night.  We showed up Monday night and marked the baptismal date and she was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. 

Ana's family is wonderful and supportive

Ana's uncle baptized her

Her family members are super strong members of our church, her cousin is on a mission in Brasilia and her extended family helps us out A TON.  Only her father is less active and her mom isn’t a member, yet ;) but her uncle baptized her and it was a beautiful baptismal service.  There is so much support and love in that big family. 

Saturday night we found out about transfers! I will stay in Itu for my 3rd transfer and I will train a new zone leader, Elder Alvis, an American from Texas who played football! This will be great! It will be another great experience for me to grow, learn, and teach others, I’m pumped! 

Sunday-So there is this guy who is 17 years old, a really good friend of a member, always goes to church, knows the Bible front to back, is really strong in another church and his name is Guilherme. He had his Joseph Smith moment where he knew it was true so he decided to get baptized. Everyone cried and was so happy for him because he is so amazing and smart and will do such wonders in his life and in the church...but 20 minutes before the baptism, his dad flipped out and didn’t let him. It was super, super sad :(((((((((((( But I know that soon it will all work out :)

Monday-We had a churrasco this morning and found out that for the 2nd week in a row, our zone is again in 1st place in the mission despite a rough slow difficult week for the zone. 

A ton of new things are going to happen and I’m super, super excited for it all!

Much love,

Elder Hunt! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

39 in 4

Irene on her baptism day 
(from last week)

Monday- While we were celebrating because our zone had won the competition including 35 baptisms in 4 weeks, we received a call from President Farnes. He congratulated us but asked us if we thought we could do more. We responded yes and then he reminded us that it was only the 29th of June and that Tuesday would be the 30th, technically the last day of June...Challenge Accepted. 

Tuesday-Today was one of the most wild district meetings ever because we had just one more day to break the mission record of 40 baptisms!!!! Everyone left district meeting CRAZY to win! 

Estevam on his baptism day

Everyone gave it their all and by the end of the night we had baptized 4 more people as a zone, including the baptism of Estevam in our area. We came so close to beating the record, but for being the rich (generally more difficult) interior, we did pretty well. We ended with 39 baptisms as a zone and 10 in the month of June as a companionship. We still have A LOT to improve; I know we can do so much better this upcoming month!

Wednesday- It was a rainy colder day, but the work was good. 

Elder Hunt with Elder Medina and his 'grandfather' on the mission

Thursday-We woke up at 3:30am because we were to attend leadership counsel in the capital. The counsel was great! Elder Farias and I shared what had gone well in our zone, and we learned a ton too! I also made a workout and meal plan for President Farnes' son Skylar, so it was cool to be able to talk and hang with him a bit. We had a bus ride home after the counsel so we got home a bit late. 

A 'Juliana' (Summer) Party

Friday- Our ward had a ‘Julina party,’ which is a summer party with a ton of corn. :) We had our little booth and we did a drawing, so all the people who aren’t members put their names, addresses, and if they've been to church before ;) on little pieces of paper and we had a prize and everything! It was a huge success; we got a ton of references!
Dressed up for the party!

Elders Farias and Hunt with their prizes

Elders Hunt and Farias with David, new member

Brasilians know how to PARTY!

Saturday- Happy 4th of July! I didn’t see a single other American today...but we did a division for baptismal interviews. It was also a cold, rainy day and it was soooo nice. 

 Sunday- We picked up everyone who we had baptized the week before and we had 5 confirmations! The ward went wild haha. We both also bore our testimonies and had a great Sunday. We had a awesome lunch with a return missionary (he’s older) but he’s our bud and it was great to talk with him.

After we went to Cidade Nova to do more baptismal interviews. In the end, we finished with 10 baptisms this week in the zone! We also talked with President Farnes.  Because we won the mission competition, we will play paintball this Friday! How sick!!! 

I am so very happy with the progress we have made as a zone from when I got here in Itu, to now. I am proud of the personal progress many have made in the zone as well as my own personal progress as a follower of Christ. Through it all, I am a completely different person than I was before, and I still have a lot more to improve.  But that is honestly the process of life as we read in Alma 34:32, every single day of our lives we are preparing to meet God. Every day we win or lose little battles with ourselves, our thoughts, actions, etc, that in the end makes a huge difference in our progress of becoming more like Christ. We may not be perfect, but the decision to become more like Christ, is now, not later. 100% obedience is just the first step, being the light and example like Christ. 

Also, after my (almost) week long fast last week, I got on the scale to see that I had lost 13 pounds, wow, LOL, I don’t even feel any different. This is the last week in the transfer, so it will be my last week with Elder Farias; transfers are always interesting times. J 

AND, this Thursday I will hit my 1 year mark on the mission, how crazy! 

Love you all, até mais! <3

Elder Hunt