Monday, March 30, 2015

To answer your question, some streets are open. The streets in Centro are still covered in mud up to the knees. There were plans to bring several families from Paipote, a pueblo about a half hour from here, but the families were determined to stay with their houses. We ended up gathering and sending supplies up there. We had one family that stayed in the chapel through the night and several that stayed there during the daytime hours. At night there was usually 12 people or so because it was a large family and the Bishop or Elders Quorum President was always there as well. Sometimes with their families.

I am up on the hill. We had a few drops of water in the house and that was the sum total of the damage we had. I am fine and I dont even have clothes with mud on them yet. We have done a bit of service but currently we are waiting for a truck with supplies to arrive from Santiago. When that truck gets here, all the missionaries of Copiapo will go out to do service together. In the meantime we are under the direction of our Bishops to do service in the ward. So far, very little has actually happened in our ward (which is a good thing) but that means we are under orders to stay in the pension. Even the family that was in the Church has moved back into their house so yeah. We are just waiting for the opportunity to help.

I will probably ruin my clothes when we finally get to work doing service as a stake but helping those families is much more important than some clothes. I may take out some cash to buy new jeans and new sports shoes when all this is finally over but for now I have money so thank you for your concern. 

The missionaries have a habit of buying food week by week becuase they never know when they will be transfered. I have a habit of buying in bulk when I buy eggs, bread, toilet paper, cheese, ect because it is cheaper to buy in bulk. In other words, although some food manages to sit on the shelves for several transfers gathering mold, the majority of the food is bought week by week. I buy in bulk because I always make sure I have a reserve fund so it does not matter if I get randomly transfered right after I buy stuff.

I hope you enjoy Sea World. I dont think our family has been to Sea World since we had the family reunion in California and Dennis got splashed by Shamu. I still remember the whale toy we bought when we went there. I believe that toy is in the wardrobe that I keep my books in, on the first or second shelf from the top. Be sure to take pictures of your trip. (not of the boring seminar part though).

It sounds like everyone has stayed very busy. I can hardly believe that you guys are getting ready for Spring Break. That blows my mind. The time has passed so quickly. March has literally blown by. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to GRANDPA HUNTER AND AUNT LAURI. I still can not believe that April is already upon us. Soon it will be Easter Sunday. I will be spending my "Semana Santa" doing service. What about you guys? 

I hope everyone is ready for General Conference. The Stake Center is currently covered in mud so we may not get to watch conference. On the other hand, General Conference is one of the best times of the year for a missionary so we will all be working hard to clean everything up so that we can hear what counsel our leaders have for us. This past Sunday there were zero meetings in any of the church buildings. All of the families were given permission by the Bishop to have the Family Patriarch prepare and bless the sacrament. The missionaries, along with several other priesthood holders, visited all the families that do not have worthy priesthood holders in their homes so that they too could benefit from the blessing of the "Santa Cena".

I am glad that Grandma Hunter is steadily recovering. I hope that her health can continue to improve and I hope Grandpa Hunter can manage to get ahead of the weeds.

I love you all. Take care. Keep those prayers coming and I will be praying for you as well.
Elder Brock Hunter

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 27, 2015
We recieved permission from President Dalton to write home today. I do not know if you guys have heard about the situation here in the North of Chile but we are currently in a state of emergency. It rained and the people here are not prepared in the least. The streets have become rivers in some parts.
We are up on the hill so we are fine. It is the parts at the bottom of the valley that were most affected. Our chapel is going to be a refuge for people in other wards who were affected by the flooding. They are even bringing people from other towns.
I have access to food, water, electricity, and good shelter so do not worry about me. The only problem I have had the past few days is boredom from being stuck in the pension. We have done service where we could but most of the time we were confined to the pension. I will give more details the next time I can write but I just wanted you guys to know that I am fine. As far as I know all the missionaries here are safe.
I love you all. Do not worry because God is protecting his missionaries.
Take care. Elder Brock Hunter

Pictures from internet of Copiapo

Flood rescue in Copiapo

The military has been deployed to Copiapo to help with the emergency

Monday, March 23, 2015

Joseph Smith said that Temple Work and Missionary Work are the most important things we can do. They are the same work for different people. We have to do our part to help this work progress.

I remember when it was only 75 degrees outside... those were good times.

Elder Plowman does not know if his mom is on Missionary Moms or not. The pants fit great (when I use a belt but I have to use a belt anyway so...)

I did not sleep very well last night so my mind is a bit cloudy at the moment. I cannot think of what to write... yesterday an investigator showed up at the Chapel after all the meetings were over in order to give us a lemon pie. THAT was probably the weirdest thing that happened this past week. We have been working hard trying to visit people but they are not home or are too busy to share. Then, miraculously we find new investigators by talking to random people in the street. "Do you know what time your neighbour gets home?" "No, I dont. But my sister is a mormon and she is visiting right now. Why dont you come in and teach my grandkids." "Okay, we can help you with that."

Weird stuff happens in the mission sometimes but that is okay with me. I get to help people and I have cool stories to tell afterwards. Dont know if I will remember them all but I try to write down what I can in my journal.

I am sorry to say that the MP3 you guys sent has died. That is to say that it has a virus and deleted all the songs and now it wont connect to the computer. Fun stuff. I think I will start looking for a new cheap MP3 after I finish writing everyone. Or maybe a different type of speaker so I can use a pendrive. Thanks for the CD of the Redeemer. Good stuff. I can listen to it right now on the computer.

The night before Elder Plowman arrived I had to stay with the District Leader and his companion in their apartment. There was no extra bed so I got the couch. I think I can understand just how comfortable your hotel was. But did you get bit by fleas? Because I did. I had been flea free here in Copiapo until I slept on that couch. It sucked and I still itch.

Thanks for telling me the advice of those missionaries. I love talking to recently returned missionaries here. I love hearing how the missions are different or similar. One returned missionary was serving in Provo, Utah. He got home one month ago. He talked about gravy and fry sauce and how the cultures are different. He speaks english very well now. We ran into him today and he bought us lunch (another reason to love returned missionaries).

This week was hot and we walked a lot more than I would have liked. The combining of the two sectors has made it a bit harder to plan but we are getting used to it. Pray that the investigators can go to General Conference. Seeing the living prophet can have a big effect on investigators and less active members. They start to realize what really matters.

In the mission Chile Antofagasta we normally watch General Conference at the closest Stake Center and there is normally a "Gringo Room" where the english speaking missionaries can watch it in their native language. We just recieved 8 Brazilian Missionaries in the mission and I do not know if they will watch Conference in Spanish or Portuguese. We will likely go watch the talks in spanish with the members if there is another native spanish speaker. The members here normally cannot watch conference in their homes so they all go to the Stake Center. Some watch Conference on the internet afterwards but it can be hard to get a good connection when the sessions are "live". 

Love ya Take care.
Love Elder Hunter

Random Face on a Cactus


Emanuel Nunez, a teacher in our ward.
He did kickboxing and now regular boxing.

Lots of rabbits and gerbils

Familia Sapiain

Baptism of Hermano Hector Cortez (Tello)

Owner of the house of Francisca and Tello

Fireside  about missionary work

Last day of Elder Ortega

Chapel of Jotabeche

Peace Statue

Chilean Flag

Water Fountains


Giant Cactus

Lemon Pie

Ice Cream
(I am not starving here - don't worry)

Old Train Station


Hermano Esteban Rojas,
recenlty returned from his mission in Provo, Utah

Esteban Rojas' s friends daughter

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I missed out on the greatest pi day ever! In latin culture they put the day first. So it was 14-3-15. Dang it, what kind of nerd am I if I forgot about pi day?
The dessert here depends on the person. It can be icecream, cookies, pie, cake, fruit with cream, jello, flan, leche asado, ect.
Every family has their own traditions. Of course there are holidays that only apply here in chile but I could not tell you what they all are. They have a tradition of taking a bite out of the birthday cake. 

A lot of walking this past week because the Sisters left us with their appointments as well as our own. This week we can choose who we want to visit a little better. We have a lot of people we need to get to know.

Of the investigators from the sisters: several were not home, one refused to let us enter, one told us she is atheist, one tried to hide when we knocked on the door, and one was actually receptive. We shall see what happens. We have a lot of work to do and a lot more people we need to visit.

I am supposed to lead the companionship. We are a team, we work together, but it is my job to use my experience to help my companion. Elder Plowman is from Logan. He is the first missionary because his two older sisters are already married. He played lacross and hockey in High School. He has one cambio less than me, that is to say he has 6 weeks less. He entered the CCM when I entered Chile. We get along great. We talk about all kinds of things. Stuff from home, missionary stories, what we want to do after the mission, ect. I am the better cook so far. We shall see.

For now it is still hot but we are getting a little more wind. So that helps.

That is so cool that you got to see so many old friends. I nearly went into shock when I saw the chistmas cards. I still see Bert in my mind when he was a little kid. And to hear that now he has recieved his mission call! You are still young mom but I feel old.

Yesterday we had Zone Conference so I was not able to write. We have our Pday today instead. I feel this next transfer could be a turning point for my mission. I was excited to be Senior Companion but then I heard that 9 people from my group are going to be trainers this transfer and 3 of them will also be District Leaders. I felt a little down because I thought the Lord has more trust in them. He does not think I am ready. Then I realized something. It doesn´t matter. I have a different role to play. Not a less important role, just different. The fact that we are now in charge of an entire Ward shows that the Lord does have faith in me. The problem was that I needed more faith in him. Elder Plowman and I are already finding new people to teach and if we have faith and work hard the Lord will bless us with even more success and opportunities.

The Church is doing a new program for Easter. It is called Because He Lives. It involves a video and advertisements just like He is the Gift. The video is not quite out yet but I invite you guys to watch the video, share it on Facebook, show it to all your friends, and remember why we have Easter. I look forward to General Conference too. General Conference is like vacation for missionaries.

This past Sunday we had Stake Conference and we had to walk 40 minutes to get to the Stake Center. In a suit. It was hot. But more important than that is that we found a less active member while we were walking home. He said that he had just lost his job and wanted a priesthood blessing. He wanted to come back to church and he wanted his wife and kids to be baptized. WELL, we can help with that. He lived in the area of the Zone Leaders so we gave them a call and sent them to his house. I dont know what happened with that but it shows that the Lord is always working. Sometimes we dont recognize it or we are working towards one goal and the Lord has another thing in mind. In the end the Work goes on and we recieve the blessing of being instruments in the hands of God.

I dont know what else to say this week so I will talk to you guys later. I love you. Thanks for the packages. I got the pants and the birthday balloons. Thank you so much. The ink and sharpie got everywhere but I could still read all the messages. They are the messiest and most amazing birthday balloons I have ever recieved. I also love the CD, the birthday card, and the ties. We will not decorate the apartment just yet but maybe later. 
Elder Brock Hunter

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hermano Tello is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. He said that after his baptism he slept without any pain. The baptism of the sisters did not happen this weekend. Sadly, very few people came to attend the baptism but what is really important is that the spirit was there. Hector Javier Cortes Tello was smiling when he came up out of the water. It was great to see. Three less active members and two investigators were there and I know that the spirit impacted them as well.

Good luck to you guys with the Trek. Sometimes a group of five youth only needs one adult to supervise. Then a different group of five youth needs seven adults to supervise. I am sure you will figure it all out. And congratulations to Jana Fowler on the new addition to the family.

They DID have Daylight Saving Time but this year the President of Chile said no. I am not sure how this will work out. We are not supposed to take naps but sometimes when you are really tired... and it is really hot... and it is study time and you are in one of those genealogy parts of the scriptures where it just has a lot of names...

You guys are staying busy in everything. School, church, work, and sports. Life is better when you are more involved in things like that. You make better memories. You learn more. You bless more lives. Of course there has to be a little personal time or some time to relax but God did not give us life so that we could do nothing. We have to be active.

Last night we had a Ward Fireside about Missionary Work. Alex Cubillos and his friend Juan were both set apart last night. As future and current missionaries we bore our testimonies about the importance of the Work of the Lord. They also had several parents of Missionaries bear their testimonies. They read one of the Call Letters so that the investigators and family members that are not members of the church could understand a little better WHY we serve. Fernando Jr, our new Mission Leader and recently returned missionary, was not able to attend. He is on vacation with his family. But still, it was a very successful activity. This morningat 9 30 Alex and Juan left for the CCM in Peru. 

We had a "special" cambio this weekend. The Sister Missionaries are leaving the Ward and Elder Ortega is also leaving. Sister Sotec and Sister Simmerman will remain together with the addition of a third companion. They will still be in Copiapo but in another Ward in the other Zone. Elder Ortega is headed up to Arica as a Zone Leader. In the Ward of Los Minerales there is now only 2 Elders. Elder Plowman is my new companion but he does not arrive until tomorrow morning. We took over the sector and the investigators of the Sisters. I will be CompaƱero Mayor (Senior Companion) this transfer. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I know that the Lord has placed us in this situation for a reason. There are people prepared to learn about the gospel and be baptized. There are also inactive and less active members who just need a little help to be able to return to the church. We need to do our part and I know the Lord will bless us.

For today I will stay with the District Leader and tomorrow we will pick up my new companion. I love you guys and I am praying for you. Stay well and God Bless.
Elder Brock Hunter

Monday, March 2, 2015

Completos are Chilean Hot Dogs. They normally have homemade bread and avacado. Sometimes the mayonaise has garlic in it. That is about all the difference there is. Chilean Pizza is not like american pizza. There is a lot less meat normally, aceituna (olive) and the crust is different. I dont know how to describe it. There are businesses like Pizza Hut here but it still does not have the same taste.

Sounds like you guys are finally recieving much needed snow. We need some rain over here but nothing so far... I am very glad that you all managed to stay safe too. Sorry that Dad is under the weather. I hope he gets well soon.

We had another activity this Friday. It was mostly improvised games using balloons and chairs. (game night) We also had pasta but everyone had their arms tied together. You had to work with the people next to you or no one could eat. It was fun but some kids got carried away. One even pushed Francisca, the 63 year old convert, so she fell into the chairs. That ruined the mood a bit but she kept playing even when the kid refused to apologize. 

We also found 3 new families this week. They are all prepared to learn about the gospel. So of course one family is moving by the end of March and we had to pass another family on to the Sister Missionaries because it is a house of all girls but the important part is to be part of the process. And we still have one family that we get to teach. I look forward to working with them. They are all new families so I can't tell you who else to pray for but I hope you guys are praying for personal opportunities to share the gospel. The work is going on in all the world, not just in Chile.
It is starting to cool down a little bit. By using a combination of sunblock and long-sleeve shirts I do not have the perma-burn. I do, however, have a terrible farmers tan.

The hard part of missionary work (or at least one of the things) is when you know how the people can improve their lives but they refuse to put the neccessary effort in. We are working with a lot of great people and I feel blessed to know them, if you would like to pray that their hearts may be softened that would be much appreciated.

I dont know what kind of stories you want to hear. I had an intercambio this week where I was with a different companion for one day. Elder Tippets is from Hyrum Utah and traveled to Cedar City every year for the Summer Games. We had a blast working together but we spoke a lot of spanglish. I don't know how it will be for the Skype call on Mothers Day...

Yesterday I blessed the Sacrament in Spanish for the first time. Normally I just help with passing it but our Priests did not show up for whatever reason. I also got to teach the Gospel Principles Class. Lots of responsibilities as a missionary. I think that is about it for today. I love you all and hope that things are going well at home. Stay safe.
Love Elder Hunter

Felis Cumpleanos Herman Simmerman

Party with Family Cubillos


Pday with Lations
Elder Solis, Elder Ortega and Elder Pablo

Dionsuars in the Mall

River of Copiapo


Walking on the train tracks

Noche de Hogar
Family Home Evening

Loved this story


One night a man had a dream, and in his dream he reviewed the footsteps he had taken in his life. ...He looked and noticed that all over the mountains and difficult places that he had traveled there was one set of footprints; but over the plains and down the hills, there were two sets of footprints as if someone had walked by his side. He turned to Christ and said, "There is something I don't understand. Why is it that down the hills, and over the smooth and easy places you have walked by my side; but, here over the tough and difficult places I have walked alone, for I see in those areas there is just one set of footprints." Christ turned to the man and said; "It is that while your life was easy I walked along your side; but here, where the walking was hard and the paths were difficult, was the time you needed Me most, and that is why I carried you." 

Love you guys. I take requests for pictures but I do not work well with deadlines... Talk to you next week.
Elder Hunter