Monday, June 22, 2015

This week was a bit less than last week (people at church)... like 44 people... but we are going to assume that a lot of people just traveled for Fathers Day and they will be here next week. I still need to meet (and remember the faces of ) several members. We are working hard but we have fun too. In our apartment we actually have two small nerf pistols to shoot each other with if we get bored. Plus we recieved permission to watch two Chile soccer games from la Copa America. The last one on Friday was great. Chile beat Bolivia 5-0. So that was a party by itself.

Pray for Guido, Karen, Claudio, and please pray that we can find the people that God is preparing to be baptized here. We are working hard on finding some new investigators and visiting old investigators so that we can find those that are willing to make the needed changes in their lives to be baptized and be converted in the Lord. The mamitas here are very kind women and they have both been Mamitas for about a year if I understand it right. The missionaries before me chose them as mamitas so that they can always have contact with the missionaries. We always invite them to activities and to come to church on Sunday but we can't force them to come either. The mamita for food usually comes to activities and the mamita for clothes sends her son to seminary but they very rarely show up on Sunday... we try to share with them when we can but they already know what they need to do. They just need to do it.

I really hope you guys are keeping a list of the movies I need to see when I get home. By then I will probably just watch them on DVD or on Netflix but I will need help knowing what I need to see. That movie you saw seems very interesting. (Cokeville Miracle)  There is a lot of bad in the world but there is good too. We believe in miracles, angels, and priesthood blessings. We also believe in good people who try to help others despite all the bad that is in the world.

I am currently studying Preach My Gospel. Then I plan to read Doctrine and Covenants in English and El Libro de Mormon again in Spanish. I can hardly believe that the time has passed by so quickly. The missionaries here used to have a tradition of burning items depending on the time you have in the mission. A tie at six months, a shirt at a year, a pair of pants at a year and a half, and a pair of shoes right before you go home. That tradition was done away with for pretty obvious reasons. Now there is not anything special that every missionary does. I plan on writing some goals, a letter to myself, and letters to all the amazing families I have met here in Chile so far. We recieve a tie pin when we have our first birthday in the mission field and a bag pin when we have our second birthday.

Before I sign off for the day I want to mention something that happened yesterday. We had just left the pension for the afternoon to go work and we were walking in the street on the way to an appointment when we saw an elderly woman laying in the road. We pass by and ask if she needed help, which she did, and we were able to help her walk to her friends house. Her name was Silvia Campillay and she has a disease where she has very little strength in her legs. She can walk with the help of a cane but when she had fallen she was unable to get back up. We walked her to her friends house which was four blocks away. Her son usually drives her around in his car but he went to visit his Father-in-Law for Fathers Day so she had tried to walk to her friends house on her own. The reason I mention this is because it was one of those small miracles. We had left the house about 5 minutes later than normal because I had to use the bathroom but because we were a little behind schedule we managed to find Silvia and help her. And now I have officially helped an old lady cross the street. It was definetly one of those "answer to a prayer" moments that we have as missionaries.

I love you guys. I hope you guys can enjoy your summers and get everything done that you need to. Keep up the hard work.
Con mucho amor, Elder Brock Hunter

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hello family,
So in Copiapo I left the boots I bought for the mud, a blanket, a jacket, some hangers, and I cant remember if I left anything else. In the pension here we still drink purified water from a 20L bottle (bidón) that we have but if we are offered tap water here it is not as dangerous as it is in other cities of the mission.

There are less hills here than in my other sectors but everytime we go down to centro we have to go down this long thing of stairs. I have an ingrown toenail so it hurts to go down so many stairs but it is still better than paying a taxi all the time. My sector here is larger than my sectors before as well. There are a lot of houses but on the edge of the sector there are more rural houses that have animals. I still have not gone up to that part of the sector but Elder Holloway says that there are pigs, sheep, horses, llamas, chickens, ect.
There is a mission leader in the branch. He used to be the District President so you could say he is active in the church. He is a good guy. I am starting to know some of the members here but our mamitas here are actually inactive.... fun stuff but this Sunday we actually had 71 people at church! They used all the sacrament cups but 1 in order to give everyone the sacrament.
I have only taught one lesson so far as District Leader because last week we had Zone Training. I finally met the 2 sisters that are in my district but they almost did not make it to the meeting because they got lost. As far as miracles go... We have met a lot of less active members and old investigators that are very receptive. Last night we met an old investigator named Paulina. She is really receptive and even wants to go to church, she only stopped sharing with the missionaries because she had a baby and never had time to share. Now her daughter is almost 2 and, though she is still a handful, Paulina can share with us again. We see a lot of little things like that happen because Elder Holloway is still new and has a lot of energy, hope, and faith.
We found that mask in the new house. It belongs to Hermano Cubillos and we thought about using it when we go proselyting but then we decided that might not be appropriate. So we just took photos with it on. I liked it.
Will Jake and Asher also be going on the Trek with you? Does that mean you will be celebrating Mom´s Birthday during the Trek? You guys seriously have busy summer schedules. And yet you still somehow find time to go to Laser Tag. Tell Jake I am impressed by his shooting skills and tell Kaitlin that I am glad she has fun with soccer and dance. It would seem that her hard work is paying off.
I cannot tell you how much I miss cobbler and smores. They have some good food here in Chile but it is not the same. (when I get home I will probably always say that I miss the food in Chile but that is the way it goes).

Tell Dad thanks for getting some dates set up for me. Just make sure she can speak spanish because I am not sure how my english will be when I get home. I hope Dad is able to outshoot the firearms safety instructor again. And at least he is in the doghouse, the dogs here in Chile just live in the street.
I love you guys and I hope you can get done all the things you need to. Take care and know that I am praying for you.
Con mucho amor, Elder Brock Hunter

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I am doing fine

but I did have to leave some things in Copiapo. I just could not get everything to fit... Hopefully my packing skills will improve before I have to go home. I was on the bus with Hermana Simmerman. She is in the same zone as me here in Vallenar but a different District. I had a front row seat on the bus so I was able to see the beautiful Flower Desert of Atacama. I did forget to have my camera with me so I could take pictures though... it was weird to see so much plant life in the desert. I sent the captions so I hope that can clear a few things up.
Elder Holloway and I are getting along very well so far. He is a bit of a nerd too so we have plenty to talk about. His journal is actually from Doctor Who. He also likes baseball and soccer so he is not a total nerd like me. He is from Gunter, Texas. He does not have a thick accent but it is more obvious with some words. Where do the Cunninghams live in Texas?
I am in charge of the District Meeting that we have each week on Tuesday, I have to plan intercambios with the Elders, and I have to report the numbers from each of the sectors in my District to the Zone Leaders each week. It is not too different from a normal missionary but now I teach the class we have each week.
The branch actually has enough members to be a ward but the problem is that they are not active... they recently combined two branches because one only had 10 people attending each week. This week there were actually 55 people in the Sacrament Meeting. The building seemed full. We hope to see more people in the church throughout this transfer. The city here is a lot greener than Copiapo or Antofagasta. People actually have grass outside their houses. Plus you can drink the water from the tap! At least in our sector it is more urban but on the edge of the sector there are some farms with sheep and other animals so... anyway, I do not know if this city has as much of a mining emphasis like the other cities I have been in.  I am still kind of lost here and I need to get to know my sector a lot better. Our sector is pretty large so we walk quite a bit and to go down to Centro we have to go down a lot of stairs. All I can say is I better have great thighs by the time I leave Vallenar. (V-eye-en-ar)
When will you guys be going on the Trek? I hope you can get everything ready. Does listening to the scriptures count as reading them for the 90 day challenge? Sounds like Jake has been enjoying his summer so far. When I get home we will see if I am any better at Laser Tag than Mom is.
Before I forget, Happy Late Birthday to Brooklyn and Happy Birthday to Matt.
I do not have any pictures to send today but I will work on getting more.
Tell my Grandma's and Grandpa's that I love them.  Tell them that I am grateful for their confidence in me. I am so grateful for their prayers and I hope that they can feel my prayers for them too. Give them a hug for me please.
I love you all. I hope and pray that all will go well for you guys and your busy schedules. Take care and God bless.
Con mucho amor, Elder Brock Hunter

Elder Holloway and me

Monday, June 1, 2015

Here we are entering winter. It is cold in the morning and in the evening but burning hot during the afternoon. Welcome to the Atacama Desert. I was transferered to Vallenar, the southernmost city in the mission. It was a very long 2 hour trip by bus but somehow I survived. I will be serving in a Branch called Baquedano. (pronounced baa-keh-daa-no) The work goes on. It is a lot greener here but I do not know anything else about the town so we shall see how it goes.

 I will also be serving as a District Leader for the first time. There will be 4 elders and 2 sisters in my District. I hope I will be up to the task. My new companion is Elder Halloway. He has 3 months here in Chile and is from Texas. I will let you know more details when I know them.

I did hear about Elder Perry. It is sad but it is part of our life experience here on the Earth. I am sure he is working hard over there on the other side. 
This week only 1 investigator came to church but that is the way it goes sometimes. Now I will be in a new area with new people. I will meet the Branch President tomorrow. It is always sad to leave a sector but I will go where the Lord needs me. What more can I do? I managed to get pictures with a lot of people in Copiapo but was unable to get photos with the Bishop and some investigators. I will try to send photos today.

I am glad to hear that you guys got some quality time together and that all is going well at home. I hope that you will all be able to manage your busy schedules. Infinite Atonement sounds like a good book. I will have a lot of reading to do when I get home. Thanks for all your help. I do not know what else to say so take care and I will talk to you next week.
Love you all, Elder Brock Hunter

I lied. I did get a picture of the bishop, just not his family. I do not have time today to say what all the pics are but I will do that next week. Love you all and take care.

Stairs to the cross
(Cerro la Cruz)

Selfie with the Cross of  Copiapo

Trail leading to the cross

Desert Flowers

Giant Metal Flowers

Always buy the cereal for the prize

Olaf, totally worth it:)

Zone Meeting in Copiapo

Elder Plowman and Elder Hunter

The hole in the road just got worse

Free Coat (gift from Nelly, our investigator)
I feel like Sherlock Holmes in this coat

District in Copiapo
Elder Pablo, Elder Francis, Elder Philips, Elder Preston, Elder Plowman, Elder Hunter

Foggy Day in Copiapo

Just building a staircase 

with Hermano Joel
Is this a good picture with my mask?

The pianos here are the lastest model

You can even uise Floppy Disks with them!

My last activity in Copiapo

Here I am with "Chuy" (real name Jesus) and Diego

Some people practicing a cultural dance

Hermano Joel was sad to see me go:(

The mamita Monica and her husband Carlos

You never know who you will see in the streets....

School buses here are just a little different
2 parked outside our house each night

Elder Hunter and Elder Plowman at the bus station

Pics of the new house that I only lived in for one month...
then I had to pack again...

Elder Plowman, Hermana Nelly, Elder Hunter

Elder Hunter, Hermano Eric (President of the Elders Quorom) and Bishop Santisteban

Elder Hunter, Hermano Tripainau (he is blind) , Hermano Fernando Fernandez Jr. (our mission leader)

Elder Plowman and Elder Hunter at the chapel

Hermano Tello ( he received the Aaronic Priesthood that Sunday) Hermana Francisca

Enrique Beecher and his wife
(he is an investigator and she is less active)

Los Bomberos (firefighters)

A crazy lady lived in this bus...
it was across the street from the chapel

This crazy dog loved us, but bites alot of strangers

Hermano Eric and his wife Maritza

Elder Plowman, Elder Hunter, Emanuel