Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 28, 2015
Hey, this has to be a fast letter because my comp is leaving and I have to take him to the bus terminal and he took all day to pack so we did not have more time to write. GAAAAAHHHH.

The baptism was very spiritual but not a lot of people came this time. Fortunately Emmanuel did not care about the people, he understood the importance of the ordinance and he even shared his testimony. Fidel Loiza, the second counselour of the Bishopric, performed the ordinance and confirmed him on Sunday. His mom came to his baptism and his confirmation which is about the first time we really got to talk to her.

They did not call us on Saturday. We thought we did not have cambios and that we would be together for another transfer. Then the Zone Leaders called to say what time my comps bus leaves. Turns out my comp is leaving afterall so we ran around saying goodbye yesterday because he did not say goodbye during Sacrament Meeting. Then today he spent forever and a half packing but hey. I want to think that I learned something out of these three months with him. The new elder shows up around 11 tonight and the Zone Leaders can't stay with me so I have to find a member to be with me for three hours because my current comp leaves at 7 30. Fun stuff.

I WAS DEVASTATED AFTER THE SKYPE CALL. Not because I was trunky, though I was sad that I could not see you guys, but because when I got home I went to eat some of the homemade jerky AND THERE WAS MOLD! I COULD NOT EAT IT! I OPENED THE BAG AND COULD SMELL IT BUT I ATE NOTHING OF DAD´S DEER!!! It was a dark day.

We had some fun Christmas activities during the week but Christmas itself this year was not all that great. My comp had more problems than me calling his family so we were there for 3.5 hours instead of the 1 hour we had planned.
I love the mission and I plan to work hard these next 6 months, but I really do look forward to spending some holidays at home. It just is not the same here in Chile.

I will let you know what happens with my new comp when he gets here. I hope you guys have an excellent New Years. Thank you so much for you love and support. Believe me when I say I would not be here without it. See you next year.
With much love, Elder Brock Hunter

Dear Kate,
This year was odd. To say the least it was odd. There were some good things but not my favorite Christmas. I have a few ideas to try out when I get home though. I know a lot more about church resources now. I can find all kinds of videos and things. It should be interesting.

I am staying in Valle Azapa and Elder Carter is going to be my new comp. I know nothing about him so far. We got one more baptism in for the year 2015 and now we are entering my last 6 months as a missionary. We shall see how this goes.

I am proud of you for finding someone that wanted to take you on a date to see Star Wars. Whoever he is, he has some good potential. Supposedly this movie is supposed to be the best yet. Just remember that the force lets them do magic tricks and Chewbaca is the one that goes "Grr" and R2D2 goes "beep boop" and the Jedi (the good guys) have the shiny sword things and the Sith (the bad guys) have the shiny sword things too but only in red. Oh yeah, and this all takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far away. (I tried to explain that in a way that even non-nerds understand. I hope it helped)

Take care sis. Love ya.
Elder Hunter


Francisco Lara

Francisco Lara

Skype call Christmas 2015

Moldy Jerky

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hey Family,
See you soon.
Con amor, Elder Hunter

Dec 20th Cont.
(Mom didn't see this and was a tiny upset)

Just kidding, I will say a little more than that.
We have our Christmas Conference tomorrow so I will find out tomorrow if your packages have arrived or not.
If I can't speak English, no making fun of me is allowed. I have had quite enough Chileans making fun of me for my gringo accent.

On Friday we had the baptism of Francisco Lara and it was super spiritual. By far one of favorite days of my mission. He asked me to baptize him and the Spirit was so strong. Plus Mario Navia, our other recent convert, gave a talk about baptism that was just stupendous. Next Saturday Emmanuel will get baptized too. We finally got permission from his mother. Daniela is more receptive now too. We have a few other investigators but not all of them are progressing very rapidly but even slow progress is better than none.

I miss snow. Brown Christmases are just not the same. I slept without covers last night because it was so hot!

You will have to explain why the Bybees are in Maui when we talk later. Anyway. Saturday we had several Christmas activities and none of them went according to plan... I will explain later. 

Love you guys. Regocijad, Jesús nació. (Rejoice, Jesus was born)
Elder Hunter

Random questions from a game we are playing that made me think of you

How long can a flea go without eating? The choice of 18 days? 18 weeks? 18 months?

 I dont know how long they can go without eating but they chose to eat me nearly daily. (Im gonna say 18 weeks)  Answer 18 months.

Relative to its size and weight which can jump higher a flea or kangaroo?

A flea jumps higher and you have to kill them with your finger nails because flip flops or your palm do not do the trick. And many times the insect spray also does not seem to work because they hide in your bed and in the floorboards of the house. Answer a flea

I hate fleas.


As a missionary we often would talk about how Missionaries were like the Jedi, it was even brought up in a Zone Conference, one of the Assistants said, “President Wilkey is like Yoda, listen to him”. At lunch, everyone talked about how Missionaries are like Jedi. Here are a few ways that Missionaries are like Jedi.
Belief in a higher an overarching power
The Jedi have the force.
Missionaries have the Spirit.
Dress code
Jedi have a dress code, most of them wear “Jedi robes”.
Missionaries have a dress code and also wear “robes”.
The Jedi receive training at the Jedi Temple.
Missionaries receive training at Mormon Temples.
Jedi when they need insight from the “force” they go meditate in the “meditation room” (in the Jedi Temple).
When Missionaries need insight from the Spirit they Pray, and if they can they go to the Celestial room (in a Mormon Temple).
Jedi have rankings; Youngling, Padawan Apprentice, Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, and Council Member, and Grand Master.
Missionaries have Leadership. Trainee, Jr companion, Sr companion, Trainer, District Leader, Zone Leader, Sister Training Leader and Assistants to the President, and the Mission President.
Trainee (Greenie) = Youngling
Jr companion = Padawan
Sr companion = Jedi Knight
Trainer/District Leader = Jedi Master
Zone Leader/Sister Training Leader and Assistant are all parts of the “Mission Leadership Council” = Jedi Council Members,
Mission President = Grand Master.
A “High Council of 12”
The Jedi have a High Council of 12 members, and is sometimes referred to as the “Jedi Council Quorum”.
Missionaries have a “High Council” that has 12 members, they direct the work, and often referred to as The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Strict Chastity
Jedi are not allowed to have Sexual relations (Outside of marriage, Married Jedi were allowed).
Missionaries are not allowed to have any romantic relations (Outside of marriage, married missionary aka Sr Couples allowed).
Jedi Padawan’s learn by accompanying a “Jedi master” on “Missions”.
New missionaries (Padawan’s) learn missionary work from their Trainer (Jedi Master), and from “lessons”.
The Jedi are always being attacked by the “dark side”.
Missionaries are always combating the “Anti”.
Armed with an awesome weapon
The Jedi are trained and instructed on how to use a Lightsaber, and they build their own.
Missionaries are trained and bear testimony of “The Book Of Mormon”, and must gain their own testimony.
Loved or Hated
The Jedi were either hailed as heroes, and loved, or as the “enemy” and hated.
Missionaries are either view either as angels and heroes and they are loved. Or they are hated.
Training Center
The Jedi have a Training center inside the Jedi Temple.
Missionaries have Missionary Training Centers (MTC’s) right next to Temples.
Everyone wants to be like them
Little kids always pretend they are Jedi.
Little kids say they want to be a missionary when they grow up.
Jedi were revered as scholars, who studied the past.
Missionaries set aside time every day to study the scriptures, and words of their leaders.

Much appreciated. I needed a dose of Jedi.

 We have several Star Wars Fanatics in our ward and they have been bullying me because they said the new Star Wars Movie is fantastic, by far the best of all the movies thus far. And I won' get to see it for at least another 6 months. For example, my mission leader Javier would start to explain something and then he would say "No, it would be too cruel to spoil it for you." Well, by the time I get home it should be out on DVD and Blueray with all the special features. I guess I will just have to wait for that.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dear Family,
Why has everyone been sick recently? Even I have been sick this week and it is not fun. Especially when Chile does not believe in public bathrooms. At least we have the keys to the chapel. 

Manda saludos a mis abuelos también. Dígales que les amo mucho. I wrote that in Spanish because I forgot how to say it in English. 

Translation:  Greetings to my grandparents also, tell them that I love them very much.

Answering your questions about pictures: the Christ Statue is on top of the Morro. It is 10 meters tall and has a Catholic chapel underneath. We actually went up there today (I will try to upload photos later). The Christmas decorations were in the house of the mamita. The cave is supposedly an old Pirate base from hundreds of years ago. The cave is on a section of land that used to be an island. Now they have built a road but the road is falling apart (which is why the road leads of the edge into the ocean). Plus, here in Arica there was a large battle between Chile and Peru and it happened on the Morro. The Christ statue was built there afterwards as a symbol of peace.

Elder Francis is from Farmington but he says that he does not know Aunt Meche. I will try to send a pic.

To finish up this email I want to say that I finally gave a baptism interview after being a District Leader for 7 months. No idea if I did it right but I felt that the kid has a testimony and was repentant of his past sins so I signed the paper. 

One last thing, what is the altitude of Cedar Mountain and Enoch? I wanted to compare it to the altitude of Lago Chungara and Arica.
Thanks fam. Enjoy this holiday season and always remember what it is that we truly celebrate this time of year, which is the Lord´s birth. (even though he was not actually born in December but details)

Love you guys. God bless.
Con mucho amor, Elder Hunter

About the Christmas call. I was planning to call on the 25th in the afternoon here. I will probably call around noon Utah time if all goes as planned (give or take an hour). The time change to Bolivia is different so my comp will call a little earlier and then I will call afterwards. that is the plan at least.

Let me know if that schedule works for you guys. I will be able to respond next Monday and then we will be talking :) See you soon.

PS. Did you guys here about the mission schedule change? I will be staying out 1 week longer now. I should be getting home on or right after Mimi´s BDAY. Crazy right?

Best advice I can give you, dont get sick. It is not worth it.
Since you did not want to follow that advice I wish you good luck and I hope you can get everything in before Christmas Break.
Some weeks are better than others but you just gotta stick with it and if you do your best then no one can ask anything more. Now, if you have not done your best or if you were lazy and procrastinated, that is a different story.

I bought a lot of sweets this week. Probably should not have but I did. I have no idea what we will do for Christmas besides call home. A few members have invited us over but nothing official yet. I did in fact decorate. I have the wall tree hanging up and one of my stockings. I also put out the nativity scene that I have. It is small but I feel good to have that on my dresser. 

The investigators are doing well for the most part. Francisco is going to get baptized on Friday (Saturday they will have a primary Christmas activity), Daniela has been a little more receptive, Emanuel is going to ask his mom for permission to be baptized, Karen wants to get baptized and has a baptismal goal set, and we have met a lot of new people this week. We still have a long ways to go but things are going well.

I wear sunscreen and I still get burned. I use AloeVera and I feel better at least. Anyway, take care sis. Hope this week is a bit better for ya.
Con amor, Elder Hunter

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dear Family,
Don't get sick. It was no fun talking to Jake when he was sick last year so please try to avoid it. It is weird to hear that so many things have already changed. Our family is involved with two wards, the Bybee boys are leaving home, Brynlee will be driving, and we will have neighbours again (that may be the weirdest).

I look forward to seeing more pictures of Lane and his shenanigans.

I honestly remember the missionaries coming over twice in my life and now they passed by twice in a week... it will be weird to see missionaries from the other side of things once I get YSA Wards don't exist here so we don't have the same kind of worries that they have.

JERKY! THANK YOU! HOW I MISS IT! oh yeah, and thanks for sending the scriptures, I am sure that Javier and his wife will appreciate them. I still have not heard from the scripture cover guy but we shall see what he says.

I am glad Kate is doing well with her dance. Hopefully she can do well in her competitions. And tell Cooper congrats for me. That is a great decision that he has made.
Now, as far as moving Kaitlin's room goes. Are you sure about that? I rather like the movie room. And I liked being the only person in the basement. And does she know if she is staying home or moving out when she goes to college? Because that could be a lot of work just to have her move out after a few months. Of course, I don't get home for 7 more months so what I say does not count for much right now. And if she has her room set up in the basement then I will just have to adapt. She is not however allowed to steal my mattress unless you plan on getting me a better one. I miss my mattress. And my pillows. Missionaries don't typically have quality items in the pensions. Also, will it be Mom's office or Dad´s? Let me know what you decide.

Now for an update on my side of things, Mario did get baptized this Saturday. Elder Mariscal was in the water with him and we had a good turnout from members and investigators. His baptism and his confirmation were really spiritual experiences. I was able to be in the circle when he was confirmed. Our Ward Mission Leader did not make it to the baptism but he did the confirmation. Mario has an interview with the bishop this Thursday and should be ordained a Priest next Sunday. His wife Daniela still does not want to be baptized but she is happy for her husband and she knows that this is a good (although maybe a drastic) change in their lives.
This week I also was part of a trio for two days. It lasted more than 24 hours so I think I can call him an official companion... anyway we were with Elder Austin Francis for two days because there was a special cambio. I think somebody went home because Elder Spanbauer was called to work in the office. We worked between our sector (Valle Azapa) and the sector of Elder Francis (Las Acacias) for about 2 days. We slept over in the pension of Las Acacias because they had three beds (not high quality but they had them). It is really weird to be in a trio. I really enjoyed being with Elder Francis but I did not enjoy being in a trio. Hopefully I will not be in a trio again.

Our investigators are doing well for the most part. Emanuel is going to ask his mom if he can get baptized, Francisco is coming to church again, Karen attended church and Mario`s baptism, Daniela is going to support her husband in his decision, and Natalia came to church with the Young Women's President. The sad thing is that Nico is not progressing. Actually he is in jail... we don't even know what happend. I'll let you know when we do.

Love you guys. Thanks for all you do and have done for me. I look forward to talking to you for Christmas. We had a member family offer to host us for our Christmas Calls but for now we still do not have a ton of details. Can you look up what the time difference is between Chile and Utah? I think with Daylight Savings Time it is about a four hour difference right now. Anyway, thanks again. God bless.
Con amor, Elder Brock Hunter

Mario's Baptism

Where am I?



It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Monday, November 30, 2015

Dear Family,
I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving. It sounds like you did. I ate some Christmas cookies... and that is about it. I did not have much of a celebration this year.
So, updates. The trip to Antofagasta normally takes about 12 hours if all goes well. We got there in about 16. Just 4 hours more but it was enough to make us late for everything. The investigators are doing pretty good. Nicolas has been doing well but he did not go to church yesterday. Got home late Saturday and did not wake up in time. Mario passed his baptismal interview and will be baptized this Saturday. His wife Daniela is still not ready and does not want to feel obligated. We received permission to baptize Emanuel if that is what he wants. We still have to talk with him and his mother but I am sure it will all work out. Francisco showed up at church again but now he does not want to get baptized :-/ we shall see what happens there.

So that you know, Teleton is a fundraiser that is broadcasted in all of Chile. Celebrities, organizations, and regular people donate money to help people with disabilities. There are a bunch of performances and stuff too in order to animate everyone and get them to donate. From what we have heard they raised a few million dollars this year. Not a bad days work. As missionaries we are not involved in anyway but I do believe the Church donates a bit too. Not sure though.

I still can't believe that you guys went out and got a real tree this year. We have not had a real tree since Jake was a baby. I hope you guys enjoy it though I do believe there will still be a few tree needles hanging around when I get home...

Keep working hard. Just a little longer and it will be Christmas Break. Time is weird in the mission so I am pretty sure this month will pass by flying. We still need to see what arrangements we can make to call home. This month we are also changing Mamitas because the Mamita we have now will be traveling to Colombia.

Now for some other random stuff. Tell JuneBug Happy Birthday for me. How old will she be now? Also, this week we had pension inspections and I had a weird sense of deja vu. Then I realized, it was the same sensation I felt when I had to clean my room or stuff-n-fluff the house because visitors were coming. Sometimes the mission life really is not that different after all.

Sometimes the mission is hard, sometimes I don't get along very well with my comp, and sometimes I cry because I dont get to see the new Star Wars Movie for another 7 months but serving a mission is always worth it. I love you guys. God bless.
Con amor, Elder Brock Hunter

Dear Kate, 
my comp is bugging me because we need to go buy food still so this will be short. This week was a rollercoaster. Some good moments and some really crappy moments but I am still alive so that is a good thing.

I finally talked to my mission leader for the first time in 3 weeks. He wants 2 copies of the spanish triple. One of them should have the name "E. Javier Delgado" and the other should have "M. Elizabeth Arias". 

I always use sunscreen and yet I still get burned... well, I bought aloe vera at least. 

take care sis, one more month in the semester. YOU CAN DO IT!
Love ya, Elder Hunter

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear family,
I am okay but I could be better. The miracle of the week is the change in Nicolas. His Mom found us in the street and said we have to keep passing by because it has only been a week and he is already much better than before. We have been passing by every day so far and we have emphasized that he can change with the help of Christ. Francisco on the other hand got in a fight with his mom when he said he wanted to be baptized and he canceled the baptismal interview and did not come to church this week. Mario is still going strong and should have his baptismal interview this saturday. His wife still is not convinced. Emanuel is still awesome. He went to a ward activity when we were in Antofagasta and he was at church before us today.

I know that a lot of other people read this letter and dont have a lot of time so long story short: bus broke down, we showed up late, we heard Elder Cook talk (awesome), did not get to shake his hand or take a photo with all of the mission (not awesome), the piano was ridiculously loud during our musical number, and we were all nervous and off key when we started but we finished strong.

Now, short story long: we started our trip at 8pm Friday. We had traveled about an hour and a half when the engine overheated. We were stranded in the desert. They called a mechanic and sent us on a different bus. That bus left us in Iquique (still 7 hours away from Antofagasta). Only 7 Sister Missionaries continued on that bus. The rest of us had to wait for another bus. It was 3 in the morning. When the bus showed up they refused to take all of us. Another 12 Elders stayed in Iquique and missed the conference entirely. We went ahead because we were in the Choir. We showed up in Antofagasta at 10. The Conference started at 10. We took several taxis from the bus terminal to the chapel but we had already missed one of the talks and half of the second. Elder Cook was the last speaker so we managed to hear him. He gave an amazing but simple testimony, "I know the Savior´s voice. I know the Savior´s face." And he gave an Apostolic Blessing. I hope that our mission president will give us a copy because I was not able to write all of it down fast enough. In one part he said "Your missions will bless everybody that you love." The spirit hit me so strongly when he said that. We sang our musical number at the end but we did not have any time to practice or get tuned. The piano was hooked up to the speakers and it was way too loud. The first verse was terrible. The second, third, and fourth were better. When we finished singing they said the closing prayer and Elder Cook had to leave. Which means all of us that showed up late did not get to shake his hand. The 12 elders that showed up later were able to meet Elder Cook and the other General Authorities and watched a recording of the conference. The rest of us ate lunch at the Mission Home and then we traveled back to Arica. Fortunately the ride home was not as complicated. We arrived at 4:30am and then we had to go to church. I loved being able to hear Elder Cook but I did feel a bit bitter about not getting to greet him personally like everyone else. Well, God knows why certain things happen. There were about 13 of us that did not get to shake his hand.

It sounds like you guys have had a fun week. I hope you all enjoy Thanksgiving. I dont think we will be doing anything this year. I am with a latin so this holiday is not very important to him. This week the Chileans have Teleton, which is a big charity event for children with special needs. Maybe we will do something with that.
Anyway, I think that is about it for this week. Love you guys. Take care and God bless.
Con amor, Elder Brock Hunter

Hey Kate,
This week was a bit slow. Especially when the bus broke down. I am still tired. I did not sleep well on the bus.
The investigators are there. Chugging along. Some better than others. I did not figure out the scripture details. And my companion has not killed me and I have not killed him. I call that success.

If you plan well, organize your time, and stay dedicated you can succeed in college. My comp was in college and had a reading level lower than Jakes. Seriously. If he can do it ANYONE can. (his words, not mine)

Take care sis. Thanksgiving es Día de Acción de Gracías. 
Love ya, Elder Hunter

Time sure has passed quickly. I recieved the two letters you sent. Thank you very much. It helps a lot to have those. Enjoy this holiday season and stay safe. I love you guys.
Elder Hunter

Mummies of the Chichorro Culture

Missionaries from Arica

Those who were left