Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week 52 ( HALF WAY!!!!)

Well, today was a great day to start this week off! We were able to go to Chimborazo today as a Zone. It's the first time in a year that I've toughed snow and I'm sorry to tell you all this but I still hate the snow :) 

So, it's super crazy that this week I hit my one year mark here on my mission!! It makes me happy but at the same time it scares me. I now realize how fast the time that God has given us here goes by. I know that the Lord has a lot planned for me in this next year. I just need to humble myself and do what he wants me to do. I look back and see how much I truly have grown here in this past year. I'm so grateful to be able to have so many wonderful people in my life that have supported me this past year! I am truly grateful to you all for that love and support that you have given me! 

This past week was a tough one. We didn't have nearly the success that we wanted and we didn't use the time we had as wisely as we should have. I know there is more that we can do here. I know that even though it's been hard the Lord knows what we need most and he truly has prepared people for us. We just need to be more diligent and find them. I'm anxious to make this week better than the last one! 

I have really noticed that we have to help the members out a lot. There are a lot of them that really struggle with the simple, basic aspects of being members. We found a member that told us that she's almost to the point of being an Atheist again. She doesn't have a testimony of anything the missionaries taught her before:( We both felt a huge responsibility to help her achieve that testimony on her own so she can continue to not only believe in God but to love him and feel that he truly does speak to us here on earth. It's really sad to see that this is happening to her but we know that it's not what she wants to happen and that she is willing to do what we have taught her. 

It really has shown me the importance of Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers! We have these programs to find out what the members need and to help them through strengthening them with the Word of God. I want to invite you all to focus more on those families you have to visit and do what you can to help them be better people and to strengthen them. Don't just visit them because you have to, do it because you want to, and love the people you serve! We truly need to focus less inward on ourselves and more outward on other people. Just like what President Hinkley's Father said, "Forget about yourself, and go to work" I know it is true and it allows us to do Gods will. 

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Con mucho amor, 
Elder Hunt

YAY!!! 1 year down - 1 year to go!!!!
~Taken at Maldonada Park in Riobamba~

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The Snow Covered Chimborazo Volcano

The Snow Covered Chimborazo Volcano

Visiting The Snow Covered Chimborazo Volcano

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Week 51

Well, unlike last week I can now start out with some good news:) The bed bugs/ fleas are dead and I now have a pillow to sleep with haha :) 

So, this past week was a pretty good one. The work here is still hard but we are working hard and we are seeing the fruits of our labors. We have really been focusing on the members here as we are yet to have a Stake here in Riobamba. When I got here, the members didn't offer much help and the references we received were not of great quality. Now I'm not blaming our lack of success on them but something that I have learned here, is that missionary work without members does not usually go very well. It's just like President Hinkley said that every member needs: 
1- A Friend 
2- A Responsibility 
3- To Receive and be Strenghtened by the Word of God. 
In these steps members are crucial and essential! It's great to see that all we are doing to help them know how to share the Gospel and how to become missionaries truly does bless their lives! 

This week we were able to go and visit one of the references we received from a member. During the lesson the members were able to share experiences from their own conversion process and share their Testimony of this Gospel. It was amazing to see how much it really does help the investigators in their conversion process. I know that it is also helping the members to make their Testimonies stronger! 

Yesterday in church I was able to give a talk. I decided to talk about Humility and was able to use much of the talk given by President Uchtdorf. It really is so true how important it is to be Humble as members of the Lords Church. We often times only think of ourselves and what we want and fail to think of what the Lord wants or even what others need/want. As human beings it is very difficult to look inward and to see our own weaknesses. We often times over estimate our own abilities and under estimate those of others. Without the lords help we cannot truly see our faults and weaknesses. I love what Ammon says in Alma 26:12. We depend on the lord for everything and should be willing to do what he wants done, when he wants it. As followers of Christ we need to be humble and work as one in this great cause. I love this Gospel and I love my Father in Heaven and all that he has done for me! I know that I am far from perfect but I am trying everyday to become better than I was the day before. I know with the Lords help it is possible. I love you all and hope you all have a great day! 

Love, Elder Hunt

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 50

Well... I'll just start out with the best news that I found out this week, I have fleas/ bedbugs..... haha. Let's just say that it's not fun!! Our house hasn't really been taken care of the best and I don't know how long these fleas/bed bugs have been there but they aren't my friends!! We are currently in the process of killing them off. 

It's almost like we are in a whole new mission here in Riobamba! It's definitely a lot different from Santo Domingo. There are a few things that I have struggled with, One, they don't eat much here and I'm dying trying to fill myself up and Two, it's really cold! Other than that (and the fact that we don't have many people to teach right now) everything is good. My companion and I really get along and it's going to be a fun change together! 

So, something I've noticed here on my mission is that the retention of new members isn't all that great:( I now understand a little bit better why. This week I was studying in the Ensign from December 2014 and found a few pages that talk about a perspective from a recent convert. It was really quite interesting to see how many things really affect them and how many things are really different for them. Often times we as members or as missionaries think that once they get baptized its easy for them, but its not! That's when they really face some of the biggest problems. 

This week we were able have a recent convert come with us to a few appointments we had. He actually lives in New Jersey but is from here and is visiting his family for a few weeks. He speaks English which is the best and he was recently baptized. His family have been members for a long time but he always resented the church. He recently had something big happen in his life and really became closer to God. He was talking to us about how even though he is baptized and believes in this church he still doesn't have a firm testimony of Joseph Smith or the Book Of Mormon but he is doing all he can to gain his testimony. 

We really need to take heed and remember one of the most important parts of our Baptismal Covenant which is given in Mosiah 18: 8-9. It is our responsibility to help them with what they struggle with and help them to truly come unto Christ. This is what they need but they need to know how to follow in the Path of Discipleship. We need to understand how things must be from their perspective and not from ours. It's hard having grown up in the church and never having attended a different church but if we truly do love our Brothers and Sisters, we will do all we can to help them stay on this path and receive the blessings from the Lord. Like the scriptures say "Be an example to the believers" so that one day we can become united in faith and work in the lords vineyard together. I love you all and hope you all have a great week! 
Love, Elder Hunt

Elder Hunt showing off the New Tie, Treats,
and Letters sent by the Young Women in our ward :D

Some of the Christmas Cards that Elder Hunt
recieved from loved ones. He loved them!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 49

First week down as District Leader here in Riobamba. Not going to lie, it was a tough one this week! The people here are very closed off and are not very willing to listen to what we have to share. I am now in a branch of about 100 Active Members and about 500 Members in total. It's hard not having as many members but our sector is huge like my last one. We walk a ton here and I've already lost some weight. 

So, basically as District Leader I receive a report from all the Missionaries in my District (about 6) and then I call the Zone Leaders to give them the report. I do splits with the Missionaries in my District and also give Training's on Thursday in our District Meeting. The good thing is that I now have a cell phone so now I can call my family and friends whenever I want to;) Haha JK! That's most definitely against the rules and will not happen don't worry everyone :) 

This sector is going to be hard as we have almost no one to teach and the ones we do have are going to be tough to keep progressing. We really fight a lot against the culture here and it makes things a lot tougher! It will be a good change though and I'm excited for what it will bring! My companion and I have been running in the mornings, talk about cold haha! It gets pretty chilly here at night and in the morning. It makes me not want to shower but I can't walk around looking and smelling like a bum haha! 

My companion and I have a lot in common and I hope that we can become good friends and work good together as a companionship! I don't have much more to report on other than I don't really like the food here, or the cold, but I'm trying to be humble as I realize you guys there in Utah have it pretty bad with the weather right now :) Can't say that I miss that weather yet but at least the houses at home actually protect against the cold! Well, I hope you all had a great New Years and can make this year better than the last! 

Love you all, 
Elder Hunt :)

 Baptism with the Sister Missionaries and the Members that were there.

 A sweet looking horse here in the mall :)

Me by one of the things they make to burn on New Years eve.

Today we ate at one of the only Carl's Jr's
here in Ecuador and it was the bomb!