Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I am well but I am tired. It was an 8.5 hour bus ride to Copiapo. I am now serving in the Barrio Los Minerales. My companion is Elder Juan David Ortega. He is from a small town close to Santiago, Chile. He does not speak english very well but wants to learn.

Copiapo is not close to the sea but it is A LOT more green. I have not taken any photos yet. I will probably take photos next Monday and send them the following week. Last night I met the Mamita de comida and the Bishop with his family. I met the Mamita de ropa this morning.

I traveled at 12 yesterday. The bus ride was long but there are worse trips. Arica to Vallenar is about 23 hours. The pension here is not as big as the last one but we are just 2 Elders so we will see how I adjust. The bathroom is made for people much shorter than me though.

Can you make me a copy of the missionary stories? But then you can keep it in the house until I get back. Unfortunately I have too much stuff and not enough space. I barely managed to fit what I have in my bags. I have three options: learn to pack better, send stuff home, or leave stuff in the pension and buy everything new in the next area. I will try option 1, maybe option 2, and will try to avoid option 3.

I continue to pray for Grandma Hunter to heal well and rapidly. I hope that you guys can get the tub problem worked out. (I have my own shower problem now.)

I forgot to bring my journal and I did not read it before leaving today either. All this traveling has got me confused. I dont know where all my stuff is... the point is that next week I will try to write more about what happened my last week in Bolivar and my first week in Los Minerales. 

I love you all. I pray for you. I will see if I have time to send pictures today.
Con mucho amor, Elder Hunter

Chad:  So uncle Dennis went to a fireside at the MTC this Tuesday night. Him and Becky sat down and another couple came and sat down by them. The couples name is brother and sister Lawrence. There were hundreds of couples there but this particular couple set by Dennis. They started to ask what were their mission where were they going ect. The Lawrences said they're going to be in a mission presidency in chile. Dennis asked if it was northern chili. They said yes Antofagasta.  uncle Dennis said I think I have a nephew there. Being in the mission presidency they had pictures of all of the companionships that are there right now. So sister Lawrence looked you up and showed him a picture of you and your companion. Dennis said yep that's him. Next time you see him slap him hard on the back of the head and tell him that is from his uncle Dennis. So watch out if you meet brother and sister Lawrence they'll be out there next week sometime. It is a small world. With all those missionary couples they sat next to Uncle Dennis kind of funny. Hope they get to see you and tell you about it. just had to share with you while I was thinking about it.
Love you

Elder Hunter: Dennis wrote me about that experience too but said the last name was Stewart... I will find out soon enough if they are coming here. 
You know that the Lord has a sense of humour when seemingly miraculous coincidences like that happen.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kaitlin: The Godhead can be a little tricky to teach but it is OH SO IMPORTANT. Many people just do not understand that they are 3 distinct individuals. We have God, our Eternal Father; Jesus Christ, our Savior, and the Holy Ghost, who testifies of the truth. This has been a stumbling block for a few investigators.

As for your calling, I have this advice; pray hard and work harder. I have no idea what your calling will have you do but do your best and work with those around you.

I am always red but occasionally I peel. It is usually between 70 and 90 degrees at any given time.

(from Kaitlin) Haven't had any snow for a bit but it's chilly... Haha it's funny because right now in Chile it's hot, and here it's chilly.. Haha punny :)

Humor definetly changes in the mission but I can't say I miss jokes like that. Sorry Kate.

Love you and good luck with your new part in the ballet.
Elder Hunter

Dear everyone in the family who is not Kaitlin because she already got her own letter this week,
Tell Grandma Hunter that I love her too and I am praying for her. I am very happy to hear that she is recovering well. I will try to follow the advice given to me by Grandpa and Grandma Hunter.
(Don't break your hip)
I think I already asked you guys not to lie to me in your letters. And if that is the case then why did you say that Dad gave a talk on the pioneers and did not break down? He always gets emotional talking about the pioneers (I do too for the record). Sounds like a really good talk. Any chance you could send me a copy? 

A robot competition? Is Jake becoming a nerd too? Well, at least he will be a nerdy jock and not the other way around like I was. Also, congrats on the Hunter Safety stuff buddy. Just remember to always be careful, guns are serious business.

It is weird to hear that you will soon have 12 new beehives. There are 7 Young Women total in this ward and 11 Young Men. 

Thank you for your prayers on my behalf and for your prayers for those people with whom I share the gospel.
As far as the package goes that sounds great. I cannot think of anything else I need right now.

So last Sunday the battery of my watch died. I looked down at the time during priesthood meeting but the time was not there. I always like to have a watch so I bought a cheap watch for $8 on Monday after I emailed you guys. Then that watch broke 5 hours later... dumb wrist strap. I have a pocket watch now. I did not include a watch in the things I need because we have cambios this Saturday and if I go to Iquique or Arica I will be able to find a better quality watch for cheap.

I am not sure if you should send the khaki pants. Khaki pants are bad luck. On one pair I spilled super glue and then this past week a dog peed on me while I was wearing the other pair of khaki pants. Guess I should have expected it from a dog named Loki. Trickster indeed.

President Dalton wants us to do our family history. I will use the pedigree chart to do what I can but for names of Great Uncles and Great Aunts I will need help. I think I am doing this up to my Great Great Grandparents and their siblings. President wants us to have this as an example to show our investigators and the less active members.

The only other thing I have to say this week is that I walked a lot and taught little. Many people went to the beach or are out of town for vacations. Gotta love summer time. I know one family that went to the beach for 6 days in a row (including Sunday) and did not go for 7 because one day was cloudy. Oh well. We just have to work hard with the people that ARE here. We have one investigator with a baptismal date but until she goes to church we can not consider her "progressing". Why does the beach and jobs have to get in the way of going to church?

I am doing well (even if I am sweating a lot) and I want you to know that I pray for you guys everyday. I read some advice that Jason gave me that said "Remember to smile always. Always Brock." It really changed my week. Walking in the sun is not my definition of fun but trying to smile has really lifted my attitude. I encourage you guys to try it too when you are having a rough time.

Love you all. Stay well. I will send a few pics today.
Elder Brock Hunter

They burn these things in order to bring them luck in the new year (or something like that)
Personally I think they just like fire. (they being chileans in general)

Tangled Lanters

Rooftop Fireworks

Zone Meeting

Service for Hermano Margot and Hermano Lestor

Hermano Lestor


Hermano Lestor and his daughter Tonka

These houses were not here one month ago

Bolivar Missionaries
Elder Hunter, Elder Riveros, Elder Pineda, Elder DeLaMare

Family Cisternas

Not my papitos but I love this family

Think I have a watch line??

I like sunsets....

Love the grafiti

The Conversion Story of Elder Brock Chad Hunter

My conversion really starts after I attended a Youth Fireside about the Pioneers. I asked myself if I had the faith to do what they did and I realized that at the time I did not have that kind of faith. I started to pay more attention in Seminary because I had questions about the Church and the Gospel. I felt the need to know for myself if all that I had been taught was true. I had a time of doubt where I did not know if I believed in the scriptures or in a Savior that knew me personally and loved me.
My Freshman Year in High School I met Robert Cooke. We took the same bus to school each day and we would talk for the 10 or 15 minutes before we arrived at the school building. Then during Sophomore Year we both attended SUCCESS Academy, an early-college high school. We had every class together and we became best-friends. Robert is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. His family is actually ex-FLDS. His father was excommunicated because he disagreed with Warren Jeffs. Robert´s family in general has problems with organized religion now, though they all believe in Christ. Robert and I would often discuss religious topics. I would explain what the Church teaches but because I did not have the spirit to help me and because of my own doubts I know I was not very convincing.
I started praying more and I asked if all that I had been taught over the years was true. One particular night I went outside on our trampoline and I looked up at the night sky. I said a prayer and I just felt sure that it was all true. I knew I had a Heavenly Father who loved me and I knew that Jesus Christ was my Savior. I still lacked knowledge about the gospel itself and I still had a few questions and doubts but I no longer doubted my testimony. I came to serve a mission in great part because I wanted to know how to better explain the gospel to Robert. I have not heard a word from him since before my Mission Farewell but I keep studying and I keep working with faith that one day I can help him accept the Gospel of Christ in his life.

There were certainly other faith and testimony building experiences in my life, and I had the help of a lot of people along the way, but these events in particular, along with my Patriarchal Blessing, are what helped me decide to serve a mission. My conversion is still ongoing.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tell Jake that he can always improve. If he missed two that means he might miss his first deer. Gotta be careful that your pride is never greater than your skills.

I had to laugh at the fact that Dennis and Becky will be driving up to Canada in a Prius. Tell them to look for recently returned missionaries named Brother Peralta or Brother Osorio. Their parents are Latinos but they live in Canada (I do not know what part.)

Send Grandma Hunter my love. I will be praying for her. I hope she recovers quickly and completely.

We did not have a knife for the past 2 weeks because Elder Pineda broke our only knife while making Fried Bananas (patacones) . The green bananas have a harder peel than the yellow variety. We finally went to Centro and bought a new one today. All kinds of experiences during the mission. 

Last Monday we finally used the marshmallow guns. At first it was just Elder DeLaMare and me but later Elder Pineda and Elder Riveros joined in. It ended in a war between the Gringos and the Latinos. We had to clean the pension afterwards. Marshmallow was everywhere.

This past Tuesday we had Zone meeting and I got two letters. One was from Grandma Mellor and Haylie. It was a lovely drawing from Sleeping Beauty. The other was from Grandpa and Grandma Hunter. I was very grateful to receive a Christmas letter from my Grandparents. I know you guys are thinking of me. Muchas Gracias. 

On Wednesday we had a service project. We lifted some 50 bags of cement up onto the roof. The family is finishing the second floor of their house and are preparing to build a third. Also, on Wednesday we had a meeting with Bishop Reyes and he asked me to give a talk on Sunday. I prepared accordingly (Saturday night). In my defense I did read the assigned message beforehand. I used the talk that President Monson gave during the Sunday Morning Session of the last General Conference. In Spanish its "La Senda de Tus Pies" but I don't know what its called in English... mine was just a short 5-8 minute talk to fill time. I was nervous at first but I said a prayer and calmed down before I went up. Everyone said I did well but they also told me my Spanish was good when I first got here. Considering at least 10 people have told me "When you first got here I could barely understand a word you said", I do not know if I believe them or not. Elder DeLaMare also gave a talk. He practiced in the pension and it was about 10 minutes. He cut it down to 3 during sacrament meeting. It was a good talk but he was nervous and talked fast.

On Sunday Maria Jose Gutierez came to church with 3 of her kids. The oldest daughter did not want to come but the 10 year old son, José, and her twin sons, Javier and Juaquin, came to Primary. Maria has been inactive since she was 15 and she came on her own yesterday. We were working with her a lot about 3 or 4 months ago but have not seen her very much since because she was always busy with work. She said she has had a lot of problems lately and felt the need to be closer to Christ. This proved to me that we really are planting seeds in the hearts of these people. Even if they don't come back right now or get baptized right away we are helping them to know where to look for help. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is like a beacon of hope for these people and I have the chance to help them find that light. (Can I still count this as a Christmas Miracle or is it too late?)

I think that is it for this week. I love you all. Stay safe and work hard.

Elder Brock Hunter

Glad you are enjoying your job. Tell Mimi thanks. Not just any Aunt will go to Chuck E Cheeses rather than the adult dinner. 

The investigators would be doing better if they would go to Church. As members we know "It is Sunday and we are going to church. There is no question about it." The investigators want to go to the beach, sleep in, work an extra shift, etc.
The weather is usually between 70 and 80 degrees at all times but the sun beats down harder here. I am not going to lie. I LOVE when I get something from home but I also know it can be expensive to ship so many things. I am very grateful for the packages you guys have sent already but I feel guilty when I see that each package is so expensive. I kinda need the pants so I will want those but other things can wait. 2 years is a short time to wait.

Love ya sis. Elder Hunter

Monday, January 5, 2015

I am glad you guys enjoyed New Years. Sounds like a lot of fun.

I think that giving Mamita Estrella something is a great idea. Now what do I give her? You know I have always been bad at buying gifts and things.

I am not even there and you still have to clean my room? What are you guys doing over there in my room? And I am glad that you liked "The Noticer." It is one of my favorite books. My book selection is a little more limited now. The books are all great but I am used to a little more variety. I have read all of the Missionary Library and am currently reading the Book of Mormon and El Libro de Mormon together. I read a bit slower in Spanish. I am in Alma right now.

That is so weird that you guys actually met Elder Stratford. Well, Brother Stratford now but it still feels weird to say that. As far as investigators go that he would know... these people are not really progressing but we visit them on occasion. We still visit Alejandro sometimes. He is the older guy who was always working on his machines outside his house. He recently went to Santiago for cancer treatment. Pablo is getting kicked out of his house because Ariela, his mom, is moving to live with relatives down south like she said she would. I hope this will help him finally start over with his life and grow up. 
The Family Herrera are not investigators but they opened up a fast food business about a month ago. Garrett is lucky that this business was not open when he was here. There is no way that his diet could have worked. It was bad enough with the completo stand that was around the corner from the pension.

Lidia, Jose, and Juan are doing well. Please also pray for Maria Araya if you can. Though we work with a lot of people, they are the ones with the most potential at this time to be baptized.(well, Jose is already a member but the rest of them).

New Years Day we helped Benjamin, the mamita's son that said hi during the Skype call. How did we help him? We taught him how to ride a bike. He got this bike for Christmasbut did not know, or at least could not remember, how to ride it. At the end of the day he was a little scraped up but there were no broken bones. We told him that now he will serve in a bike riding mission.

Tell my grandparents that I love them. Tell Brycen Happy Birthday. Work hard at work and school. Vacations unfortunately can not last forever.
Love you all. Stay well.
Elder Hunter

P.S. I found this article recently and I really like what it says at the bottom in Temple Facts.

Temple Facts
The Cedar City Utah Temple will be the seventeenth temple built in Utah.
One of the great temple hymns, High on a Mountain Top, was written by Joel Hill Johnson while living in Enoch, Utah, a suburb of Cedar City.

That is great that you got a job with Jeanine. I hope that goes well for you.

New Years was great. We ate a lot of meat. A Lot of meat. We ate dinner with two different families and one of the "salads" was a hot dog, fried chicken, roast beef, and potatoes. The meal was a giant hamburger that was a bit bloody. That was dinner number one and we had to leave before dessert in order to get to dinner number 2. We had to be back in the pension at 9 because President Dalton did not want us to run into dangerous people at night. (a lot of alcohol here for New Years).

You have to understand that fireworks are illegal here for safety concerns. Only the city can use fireworks for big events. So for New Years at midnight we went out on the roof and watched the City Fireworks. They were small and few but I liked it. We also saw flare guns being fired off, balloons, those lanterns that they have in Tangled (I saw at least 30 of those), illegal fireworks, and giant paper machete dolls that were burned. The dolls have old clothes from the last year and burning them is supposed to bring good luck or something...

I have sewed a little bit here. Fixed a few buttons, a few pockets, other simple stuff. It is not very pretty but it works so...

Love ya sis. Enjoy school while it lasts.

I realized that this will be my year to serve the Lord. Literally all of 2015 will be dedicated to missionary service. I want to make every day count. I don't want to waste any of my time. I am not saying that I will never waste time this year, I am not perfect, but I will always try to use my time effectively and I will always try to be obedient.

I could use some more socks and garments. Those things are somewhat helpful out here. 

Try not to get trunky on me. I have a lot of time left still. Though I do understand what you mean. Some days feel like an eternity that we are outside walking but the weeks fly by. It is hard to explain.

I get home June 15 or something like that. Just short of 2 years. I don't know when the turkey hunt is but I would like to go out if I can. I may not be crazy about hunting like some members of the family but I do enjoy it and I love the time we spend together as a family. At what age can Jake start hunting deer? 12 or 13?

I love you dad. I hope I am representing my Savior as well as my family name well.
Elder Hunter
Elder Stratford with the Fam @ Pizza Factory