Monday, November 30, 2015

My Mission


This week was super exhausting and hectic, but absolutely fabulous! :)
I did a division in a huge favela called Ariston, in my old zone, Alphaville. 
And in our area Cantareira we had 5 amazing baptisms! My picture caption already explains it all :)- see below.

Elder Hunt with Fabiana, Lucan her son, Heliozee, and Andreza and her brother Gabriel.
"This picture makes ME sooooooo HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Also this month our mission broke our mission record with 309 baptisms in the month, 88 this past week, and also our zone, Zona São Paulo Norte baptized 49 in the month, breaking my previous record of 42!

On my mission I have had the privilege to take part in and witness many miracles, those in my own life and in those of others.

I have seen the love and gospel of our beloved Savior Jesus Christ change those who were blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, those who were only kept from the truth because they knew not where to find it. Nothing that I have done, has been by my own force or intelligence; EVERYTHING has been through faith and action, in living how the Lord Jesus Christ lived (James 2:17-26.)

I have learned and gained an outstanding testimony of simple principles that in practice, lead and guide us to salvation (LiVE-Little Victories Everyday.) And also being able to see the Lord's hand in all things and receiving all with gratefulness. 

In the words of President Farnes, "Nothing is better than being at the feet of The Savior with someone you played a part in getting there. We are cured and made whole in the process. This is The Gospel of Christ." We become those who Christ wants us to be when we lose our lives in Him and His service to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. We are not here for ourselves, we are here for others and through our dedication, obedience, worthy desires and actions we truly are able to arrive home from our missions changed.

President Farnes has raised my vision and opened my eyes of what is possible. He has helped me to believe more in The Savior and in myself. He has taught me humility, love, and sacrifice, President Farnes' Christlike example has changed me, not only my habits, thoughts, and ideas, but he has changed my nature, as a follower and believer of Christ. 

I know that Christ lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ and He atoned for our sins. I know that only through the saving ordinances such as baptism, we will be able to return and live with our Heavenly Father one day. I know that we must love how Christ loved, and do as He did to serve others. Only through Him and His everlasting sacrifice we will have our families and enjoy his blessings eternally. 

Elder Marcus Hunt

     "To come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, we will have to pay a token of that same price. For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
     I bear witness that He came from God as a God to bind up the broken hearted, to dry the tears from every eye, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prison doors to them that are bound. I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world"...Elder Jeffery R. Holland


Favella in Ariston, Carapicuiba

Elder Hunt with Elder Olsen from New York in the Ariston favella

A huge rainstorm with flooding yesterday

Nutella in Brazil

Look who stopped by the mission office?  My great friend Elder Burt! 

Today the President took us to Outback Steakhouse!

It is my cheat day so I had ribs and they were great!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Two Types of Missionaries

This is what Elder Hunt eats for lunch almost every day.

Tuesday- This was a hectic day. Long night in the mission office Monday night then waking up at 5am Tuesday morning to go to the President's house was sort of rough. At the President's house we had the welcoming for the new missionaries who had arrived. Amongst those who arrived, I met Elder Roberts, an ex football player and power lifter from Texas; he is super cool and we are buds already! 

One of the new assistants, Elder Felix lead the transfer meeting and it was great! Elder Medina is training a new missionary, so that means I got a little brother!!!

Elder Medina and a new missionary that he is training.  

After the meeting, us four assistants gave a training to all the zone leaders.  We had a ton of participation and we brought Hall's for everyone, it was a great hit!!! :)

Wednesday-Saturday we worked hard in our area finding tons of new investigators, marking tons of baptismal dates, and finding tons of miracles. 

Elder Hunt with Milena and Clarice on their baptismal day

Sunday-Clarice, her daughter Milena, and Christopher another young man were baptized!!! :) Our ward is not the most supportive, but we are making it happen. :)

Elder Hunt with Christopher on his baptismal day

Sunday night the others Assistants came by bus from Sorocaba to pick up the numbers early Monday morning.

Monday-We collected the numbers from all the missionaries.  After we had a long, constructive meeting with the President about how the mission is doing and even  more things we can do to improve. The mission is 79 baptisms short of hitting 300 for the month, something that has never been done before in our mission, and this is the last week of the month! 

Tomorrow we will be off to do a division with tons of new adventures to come!

"There are only two types of missionaries in this world, those who served in Brasil and those who wished they did!"
 –President James E Faust!

Monday, November 16, 2015

This Week In Brasil...

Elder Hunt didn't have time to send us a 'letter' this week but he did send some photos of his week with captions:

Some cool stuff from our Zone training this week

A family of 6 we baptized this week!

A training for the missionaries and their trainers, Burt and Leite were there!!!

President Farnes took us to eat Mexican food!
I love the Farnes family so much.

It's been a while since I ate Mexican food, oh I love it.

A Vegas keychain

Division with my old comp Elder Messick in my old area - Engenho Novo!

The President called another companionship of Assistants so now there are four of us.

I have a new companion now, Elder Da Silva pictured on the far right.
We will stay in our current area and the other two Elders will go to the Interior of our mission.

A Favella selfie!!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Do It For The Love

Elder Hunt (second from the left) on a division in Pirituba

 Monday-We picked up the numbers like usual then followed up with all the zones, after we found out that President Farnes would not be coming to have our usual Monday meeting because he had gone to Recife, in the north of Brasil, for a week long meetings for all of the mission presidents in Brasil. In the month of October, three zones broke their zone baptismal records, incredible work!

Elevator Selfies in Pirituba

After the rainstorm

That night in the rain, we headed out by train and on a bus to Pirituba, my very first zone and where Elder Medina (my trainer) and Elder Quero (a buddy from when I was in Itu) are zone leaders. We were sent to their zone because two weeks straight the zone didn’t baptize a single person. In the words of Elder Claudio R.M. Costa from the First Quorum of the Seventy, "If a missionary in Brasil goes more than two weeks without baptizing, something is wrong." Upon our arrival, we called the bishop of the Pirituba ward and told him there would be a baptism Tuesday night. We didn’t know who it would be, but we knew that through 100% obedience, diligent hard work, and the overwhelming pure love of Christ to save others, The Lord would bless us with a miracle.

Raining tons in Pirituba

 Mormon 9:19- "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."

Tuesday-That morning, Elder Rebouças went with Elder Quero, and I went with Elder Medina into the streets, faith level on high, doing all we possibly could to deserve God's miracles. To receive a miracle, you must do your part, your WHOLE part, which is being 100% obedient, but also acting, doing all that is possible within your power to accomplish your goal. You must act, teach, preach, and suffer in the name of Christ before you experience the triumph, before you are blessed with the miracle.

Favella in Pirituba

Ether 12:6-"...I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

Through tireless, relentless work between our two companionships, we were prompted to visit God's elects, those who God had prepared, those who were ready to receive and accept His message, His invite. 
Danielli, Kawan, and Henrique on their baptism day
A Huge Miracle!

That night, three people were baptized, Danielli, Kawan, and Henrique. It was a beautiful service with the sweetest spirit, and many members there with open arms to support these new members.

Elder Hunt and Elder Medina, working in the rain filled streets of Brasil

Once again as the rain fell, we returned back to the apartment with a new sense of humility, thankfulness, and awe of the wonder of God's miracles. That night, the two week drought in Zona Pirituba had ended.
Alma 34:38-"...humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."

     LiVE-Little Victories every day. Recieve all with gratitude. The little 'i' is to forget about yourself.

Wednesday-Today was full of finding novos, but the most interesting part of the day were the two elderly women who made us lunch. The two old women are friends of many years; one woman is mute but was able to communicate the story of her conversion. She said she had visited the church when we she just nine years old, but when she moved away she was not able to find the church again for 15 years. The day she found the church again she asked to be baptized, then she devoted her entire life to building the kingdom of God even with her disability. The love we were able to feel in that humble home was incredible. Not having very much, those two elderly women gave all they had, preparing a banquet for us. These two beloved sisters understand salvation and The Lord's Atonement. They are incredible.
That night, once again in the rain, we headed off 3 hours to Socrocaba, where we spent the night in Zona Santana.

Elder Hunt with Elder Aguirres on a division in Jardim California Zona Trujillo Sorocaba

Thursday-Early that morning, we divided and I went with Elder Augirres, my ex companion, who is Zone Leader in Zona Trujillo and Elder Rebouças stayed in Zona Santana. We spent the day in a poorer area in Sococaba (which basically doesn’t exist) finding news and marking baptismal dates.

Elder Hunt and Elder Aguirres' dinner

The missionary's house in Jardim California has the baptism sign 

And this baptism mural too of John and Baptist baptizing Jesus Christ

Look at the load on top of that van!

Friday-That morning we made our long trip back to São Paulo. We took care of some things in the mission office and then we went off to work in our favorite favela in Catareira, "Cemeterio Do Horto." But this Friday afternoon wasn't só alegria like usual. The whole feeling had changed, it was overcast, it was cold, in the air it could be sensed. The usual friendly faces and warm Brasilian smiles were no where to be found, it was silent, empty, and sad. Something had happened while were gone. High drug violence in the area was a probable factor. The harvest was not well reaped that day.
At the Sao Paulo temple with 56 recent converts, a day to remember

Saturday-Today made history. Today is the day that Mission Brasil São Paulo North took it's first caravan of recent converts to the temple. In just one zone, 56 recent converts were taken to the temple to perform baptisms for their ancestors. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! I am very grateful and privileged to have been able to take part in such a special day.


Jungle favella

Sunday-We were without a single person to baptize the entire week due to lack of time in our area. To baptize this week in our area was vital, as Assistant to the President, the example must be given in ALL things. We tried it all, using all our resources, until we remembered a list, which is held in the ward secretaries office. It is a list of people who were blessed as babies or were registered as members of the church with less than eight years of age. At 4:30 in the afternoon we finally we able to encounter a teenage boy named Israel. We got to know him and his family, we later found out that his family was very active in the church for many years, even his father was ordained as a high priest, but fell inactive due to long work hours and another son in prison among other things. We taught and testified with power and faith, until the right moment arrived and we invited him and his two cousins to be baptized. 

Elder Hunt with Israel, Kaio, and Jonathon on their baptism day

That night, at 7:30 pm Israel, Kaio, and Jonathan were baptized, taking the first step to eternal life and to help their families become reactivated members of the true church of Jesus Christ.

I tesify that due to our 100% obedience, diligence, and desire, God blessed us with this miracle. When you have sufficient faith, do your part of working hard and smart, and are exact in your obedience, the powers of heaven are put into action in our lives.

Jungle favella

Let us all remember The Lord's sacred promise to all of us in fourth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, independent of where we are in the world or our circumstances- "Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
 2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
 3 Therefore, if ye have desire to serve God ye are called to the work;
 4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
 5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
 6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility,diligence.
 7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen."
Elder Hunt slept on the floor of the mission office last night because they had so much to do.

Com muito Amor,
Elder Marcus Hunt

Monday, November 2, 2015

It's Been A While

Elder Hunt with Vinicious, Vitor, Allan, and Ketlyn on their baptism day
The two youngest children are twins.

Sunday (October 25)- Sunday morning after church we baptized Vinicious, Vitor, Allan, and Ketlyn! Vinicious and Vitor are the two littlest ones in the photo, they are actually twins! One white and the other a bit darker! 
Natasha, Raquel, Kaique, Joaozinho, and Paulo Henrique on their baptism day

We had a great lunch, then we went and worked like crazy rounding everyone up and getting everyone to the church for the baptisms of Natasha, Raquel, Kaique, Joaozinho, and Paulo Henrique!!! This was such an amazing day for us! This day we broke the mission record for most baptisms in one day, which is now 9. 

A cool owl 

Monday (OCT 26)-We picked up numbers and did follow up with all the zones then we ate lunch at our favorite churrascaria! We worked that night.

Tuesday(OCT 27)-Today we woke up super early to get to President's house before 8am, including bringing along another missionary and all his bags for 2 hours of metro and buses haha. But in the end we arrived on time and Sister Farnes had made us "Power Balls" delicious protein oatmeal balls! The whole 3 and 1/2 hours we conversed and discussed the latest mission happenings and ideas, it was great! 

Our division in Itapetininga with the Elders there

Eventually we arrived in Itapetinga, the farthest outpost of our mission, getting close to the border of Sao Paulo and Pará. President interviewed the missionaries there and we went out and worked like crazy! Our new methodology with new investigators is "if they don’t accept a baptismal date, we don’t count them as a new investigator." We do this to use our time with only those who The Lord has prepared for us to meet, teach, and baptize, because 2 years is not a long time! 

Later that afternoon we found a woman who had frequented the church for years and years and years and have never been baptized. We simply invited her and she accepted, she was just waiting for an invite, and a lot of the time, that's all it is, just inviting! 

This is the awesome churrascaria that the President took us to

That night President took us to an awesome churrascaria, it had meat, cheese, pineapple, and many other things all cooked up on the grill! 

Pizza with cheese and goiaba (a fruit) interesting

Wednesday (Oct 28)-We studied then worked in the morning, ate lunch in the Churrascaria again ;) then took an over 4 hour $100 bus ride way back to Sao Paulo. That night we worked on everything for the leadership counsel the next day. We worked all night until the point where we slept on the ground of the mission office. Then, waking up at 5am to go to the Leadership Counsel in Barueri! 

Elder Hunt with President Farnes at Leadership Counsel wearing the tie Elder Hunt gave him

Another first, I lead the leadership counsel and gave my ice cream training in front of everyone! Great day! I was super nervous, but The Lord blessed me and it all went great! :) In the counsel we talked a lot about the Dieter F. Uctdorf’s talk "A matter of a few degrees" and how its applies with obedience in our mission. We also talked a lot about how we can make the "tipping point" happen in our mission. That afternoon we did a division in our own area with a new missionary and a missionary who had just become senior. We took them to our favella and showed them the ropes, we marked 37 dates that night. 

Friday morning we once again woke up very early to go give a training at President's house for many of the new missionaries who had arrived in the field a few weeks prior. We gave out trainings, ate lunch and went to work in our area! 

Saturday-Halloween! Last day of the month! A member made churrasco for us for lunch and we worked like crazy! 

Raissa and Sebatiana on their baptism day

That night we baptized Sebastiana and Raissa! We ended the month with 18 baptisms, this is a first for our mission, especially for being the Assistants because we only work in our area 3 or 4 days of the week! We are arriving at a new level, the time had arrived, "tipping point" has begun.

Egg whites!

Sunday- Church as usual, muitas confirmações.
Monday-Protein protein protein, p day and tonight we are headed to Pirituba where we will do a division with paizão MEDINA!!!!! 

Elder Hunt

Bunnies for my sister who loves them