Monday, August 31, 2015

Engenho Novo

Elder Hunt with President Farnes in matching suits

Monday-I packed a ton all day and at night we had a Family Home Evening where a bunch of my recent converts came and we shared our testimonies about the Gospel and the difference it has made in our lives. It was very special, spiritual, and heartwarming and it was hard for me to have to leave them there in Itu. That night it rained a ton and the Elders in the zone slept over at our house to catch the early bus to transfers in the morning.

Elder Hunt and Elder Alvis

Tuesday-We headed off to transfers, and I met up with my new comp Elder Messick! I've already done divisions with him in the past, so I've already gotten to know him. He's from Utah and he's 6'6! 

Elder Messick, Marcus' new companion

At the transfer meeting there were 27 new missionaries, the most there has been for a while! Also, I won two more ‘Desire Plates’ because Elder Alvis and I baptized all 6 weeks of the transfer and we baptized more than any other companionship in the mission. 

A view from Elder Hunt's new apartment

New apartment

Afterwards, we got a ride home with all of my bags. Our house is in an apartment building, which sits on the banks of the Tieté River, one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Our home stinks of rotting sewage because of the river being so close. We also live with another set of Elders in our zone, they work in another area really far away. That night we went and worked and I got to know the area a bit.

Elder Hunt and Elder Leite

Wednesday-Today was district meeting, which we started by giving training on how to give better baptismal interviews to all the Elders in the zone who do interviews. Then we did some fun training to hype up the zone, to motivate and excite! 

A yummy sandwich burger type of thing

After, we went had lunch at a member’s restaurant where we eat for free. The whole rest of the day we found news and visited some people who had gone to church the week before. 

Thursday- Today was a similar day to Wednesday without district meeting. I printed some of my baptismal pictures finally too!

The Favella King is Back!

Elder Hunt missed the Favellas

A Tight Squeeze!

Friday-I did a division in an area called Vila Dirce, which is super heavy favella.  I've been missing the favella; it’s good to be back.   ;) I did seven baptismal interviews, which made for a crazy day! I showed up to do all the interviews in my suit, which always makes things interesting. haha. 

NBA Event

Saturday-We followed up with tons of investigators to get them to church on Sunday. We were planning on having two or three baptisms if everything went right. Also, close by there was a huge NBA event going on which looked super cool.  There were a ton of activities and it looked like a lot of fun. I also met a member who has the most missionary family I've ever seen! He told me tons of stories of how Grandpa was a super good friend to his family and how much of a difference he made in their lives. It was so nice to hear. :) 

Elder Hunt's new area

Sunday-We organized all our rides to pick up our investigators; we went to pick them all up and no one was home. :( We didn’t get anyone to church despite our hard work throughout the week. Our baptisms also fell. :( Meaning that I stopped baptizing on my 12 week streak. :( Very sad.

BUT, our zone baptized 11, breaking the old record of 34 which was set by my trainer Elder Medina; we hit 37! :) This is the 3rd month straight that my zone has baptized the most in the mission. But 37 is not nearly enough, this month of September we need to work harder than ever to get over 40! 

Photos of New Area in Engenho Novo

It's tough sometimes, but the most important thing is that every single day we get the privilege to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and His church, no matter the rejection or the let downs- because we have the truth, and it will be spread in all nations and all tongues! I honestly feel like there is no better thing than being a missionary! :)

Colorado Street sign!

 Also, my new area is very urban.  There are little bits of favella here and there, but it is a great area with a great ward.  I am very excited to be here in Engenho Novo and Zona Alphaville!

Elder Hunt

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chau Itu, Hello Alphaville

First off, I have been transferred. I will be going Zona Alphaville and will continue to serve as a Zone Leader.  My new area is called "Engenho Novo." My new companion will be Elder Messick, an American Elder from Utah; he has about 11 months on the mission. 

My time with Elder Alvis has been great, I can honestly say that he is the best friend I have made here on the mission. We were a great team, and even though it is very sad for us both to part ways, we live in the U.S. so we will be buds forever and still hang after our missions, so it’s all good! :) But in the 6 weeks we had together we were able to baptize 12 people together all 6 weeks consecutively. Our zone also baptized 8 this week, so it was good, but we can do much better! I hope that all that has been built here and Itu can continue with success. All that I have learned I will take with me to my new zone and area to do the very best that I can. 

Monday- We had our huge pizza activity, but I ran out of time last week, so I wasn’t able to elaborate and tell you about it. We went to a chacara, which is a big piece of land that rich people live on. So a member in Cidade Nova has a chacara and used to own a pizza company, so he said if we bought the ingredients, he would help us make all the pizzas in his pizza oven. We made pizza, played football, and other stuff, it was a ton of fun! 
Ana Flavia on her baptism day

Tuesday- Ana Flavia was baptized! Ana Flavia is Amabile's sister, who was baptized last week! Great day, great service. That night a family of our recent converts made us dinner so that was nice :)

Wednesday- Our usual follow up, looking for news, and pregando O Evangelho de Cristo! But that night we felt something that told us to visit a the girlfriend of a recent convert (Natalia) who has been investigating the church. We starting teaching her, her little sister, and their mother. After a great lesson they all accepted a baptismal invite for the next day! It was a great lesson and a great experience. 

Thursday- Sort of a sad day, Natalia and her family flaked out on us and got mole. We were also in a division with Cidade Nova; I was with Zenteno, who is always super fun. haha :)

Friday-We literally got to Cidade Nova at 9:30am and got back home at 9:30pm. We spent the entire day in Cidade Nova doing their interviews because Zenteno went to Porto Feliz to do interviews for the sisters. By the end of the day we had completed over 8 interviews. But we got to know better Zenteno's comp Elder Alves, who is serving a mini mission. He lives in our mission and is just getting a taste of missionary work and he is super good! Usually young missionaries don’t know what to do and are shy, but this Elder Alves is super good!

Saturday-On another division with Cidade Nova, we followed up with everyone to go to church on Sunday. We had a miracle with a girl named Carol, who was interviewed and was going to be baptized! Later that night we went back to Cidade Nova to make sure their baptisms happened, and they did! During the whole day, Elder Alvis was in Porto Feliz doing more interviews. 

Elder Hunt, Almir, and Elder Alvis

Sunday-Transfer news. Carol was going to get baptized, but got nervous and didn’t want to anymore. :( We had lunch with Almir; We worked a little in the CDHU then we went to Salto to do interviews, but the interviews didn’t happen. So then we went and taught a bunch of mole Haitians who don’t understand Portuguese. Long sad day, last full day in Itu. 

 Monday- I packed up all my stuff, I only have a bit more to pack and transfer meeting will be awesome tomorrow! Excited for the new opportunities that are ahead! :) 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Making Families Eternal, One Baptism At a Time

Elder Hunt with some of his Brasilian friends
This week will mark one year in the field for Elder Hunt (after the CMT)

Acai for two

Monday-Tons of frango assado (roasted chicken), pull-ups, and Conheça Os Mormons (Meet the Mormons) hahaha, great day. Elder Alvis and I have too much fun together! Best comp!
Zone Itu

Tuesday-We had an awesome zone training! Today we let a bunch of awesome missionaries in our zone who usually never give trainings give trainings! We have two sisters in a zone called Porto Feliz, (or Happy Port) haha, who will be baptizing three weeks straight this next week. Generally Porto Feliz is a difficult area that hardly ever baptizes so we invited those two sisters to share with us what they are doing to have such good results! We also had two other great missionaries give trainings too! Great trainings!!! Fabulous!

Wednesday-President asked me to do a division with an Elder in our zone who wanted to go home to try and help him out. The division was fine, I did all I could, but in the end, the Elder went home :( 

Thursday-We did a lot of follow up like we do everyday. We are working a lot in Sao Judas and Aeroporto. 

Look at this cool bug!

Friday-Today was one of the best days in my mission :) We knocked a ton of doors today and we marked our baptismal interviews for later that evening. Our first 7 doors we knocked, people answered, and we marked baptismal dates with them! Every person accepted, it was great! :) 
During our door knocking, I was talking on the phone with one of the elders in our zone and out of nowhere, a 74 year old man opened his door and invited us in. He began thanking us and talking very well of us for leaving all we had in our homes to come teach and help him. He did that for about 10 minutes, then he stopped and for 10 more minutes he talked about how he went to church once and it was the best experience of his entire life- how he felt, how he was treated, everything. We then invited him to be baptized that Sunday, and he accepted without skipping a beat :) What an amazing man. 

That night 19 year old Amabile and her 17 year old sister Ana Flavia were interviewed. They have been in a huge fight for the past 8 months and finally through The Gospel of Jesus Christ they have been able to forgive one another. :)

Franklin, a recent convert is preparing to serve a mission.  
This is his One Direction tattoo.

Saturday-I went to Porto Feliz to do interviews for the sisters. I went with a recent convert of Morada Do Sol who is preparing to serve a mission. His name is Franklin, he is our buddy and we've done divisions with him before; he is an awesome fun guy. It’s him who had the 1D tat. 
Elder Alvis, David (new member), Elder Hunt
What handsome young men!

We also went with David to The "Tenda" which is like the Costco of Brasil and we bought all of our supplies for our Pday pizza making activity!

Andre on his baptism day

Sunday-We picked up Andre our miracle 74 year old! We brought him to church and to our surprise he is the relative of a very strong member of our ward. When the member saw him and found out he was going to be baptized, he cried and cried with joy!  After church, the member baptized his uncle Andre. 

Amabile on her baptism day

Amabile with her family 

Later that afternoon Amabile was baptized!!! :) It was amazing!!!!
The zone baptized 10 this week! And this will probably be my last week here in Itu, because next week are transfers! Next week we will see my fate! :)

P-day activity was to make homemade pizzas in a members special oven


Today we had a sick activity making pizza!  Loved it so much!!!

Elder Hunt

Monday, August 10, 2015

Só nas Milagres- Only In Miracles

Elder Hunt loves to grill meat and have a 'churrasco' at home

Monday-We are only eating chicken and eggs now, so every p day we grill up our chicken breast for the week! That evening David and Nany were having some marital issues, so we gave them The Family Proclamation to the World and wrote them up a little plan of how they can have a more loving marriage based upon the teaching of Jesus Christ.
All he is eating is chicken apparently. 

Tuesday-District meeting! We did a sick mini training to begin with, it composed of the Elders jumping over a broomstick low off the ground, slightly being raised after every attempt, at the point of where no one could jump over the stick. We put the broomstick very low off the ground and asked the Elder who jumped the highest to jump again; he did a little jump and cleared the stick with ease. After, we asked him why he only did a small jump to clear the low broomstick when we all saw him jump much higher before.  He responded, "Because that was all that you asked me to do," and that is where we made our point about raising our visions and pushing ourselves beyond our limits. 

Wednesday-We visited a teenage girl who is a reference from a member; her name is Ana Flavia and she is super elect!!! She accepted a baptismal date for the 16th! We had a long day looking for part member families in the area of Jardim Aeroporto. 

Elder Alves and Elder Hunt

Thursday-Today we woke up at 3:30am to go to leadership counsel!!!! The counsel was amazing! We learned so much and we learned more and more about The Atonement. The biggest things we were instructed to do are to teach more about the Atonement and The Temple! After we took a long bus back to Itu. 

'Um Lanche' - A 'snack' in Itu

After we had another similar type day like Wednesday, we worked super hard with a lot of diligence and focus in our work, but we did not have a ton of results. 

A strange site they saws this week in the town square

Friday-Friday evening I went to do interviews in Cidade Nova with Elder Zenteno. I interviewed a 9-year-old girl, whose older sister had been baptized a few weeks earlier.

I started off by asking her about her life goals and dreams. Usually 9 year olds don’t have a very good idea about things like that, but I felt inspired to ask. The little girl began to talk about the struggles and difficulties she has living with a mother who loves to party and stuff and her real father that lives in Itu. Out of anything in the world, she just wants an eternal family and she said she would do anything to get it, and that is why she wanted to get baptized. I was shocked and very impressed. As she spoke, she teared up and began to cry, but she was able to continue talking just fine. This made me begin to cry a little for her, her situation, and her Christlike desires. I believe we can all learn a lesson from her.  This night we also got home super late at night because of the bus.

Saturday-We had interviews in our areas and we had sort of a rough day, a lot of frustrations with people not being home and way too many excuses. 

The zone that has the most baptisms, 'wins' the banner for the month.

Sunday-All our baptisms fell today... :( BUT out of nowhere a man and his wife that I had never seen before were in sacrament meeting. We found out that the woman had been baptized a few years ago in a different state in Brasil and that they had moved to Itu a bit ago. They are legally married -YES! The husband had never been baptized, but had been to church a ton of times. We marked to return to their house that afternoon. 

Welliton on his baptism day with his wife and Elders Hunt and Alvis 

We had an awesome lunch with Vandy, a guy in our ward who is the high priest group leader. He is the man! That afternoon we returned to Welliton and Antonia's home. We taught about The Temple :) and Antonia admitted that her life's biggest dream was to be married in the temple. Baptismal invite, baptismal interview, Welliton was baptized that night at 8pm! ;) Miracles. God is blessing more than I can believe. 

On P-day today they ate chicken and watched Meet the Mormons.  
I asked Elder Hunt today when we were emailing back and forth if the part in the film made him feel sad.  This was his response, "It's sad a little, but it's really inspiring.  Watching the film just makes me love people more, people of every race and culture as God does.  I love being a member of the Church and having the knowledge of the restored gospel, the hope of eternal life, an eternal family and repenting every single day of the things I do wrong.'

Only two more weeks until transfers and we still have a ton of work to do here in ITU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Sunday was my 1 year and 1 month mark as well as Father's day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you Dad!
<3 Grato Humilde

Elder Hunt