Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Callahans have been visiting a lot recently. I guess that means that baseball is going well for them. I still have never been able to get up on waterskiis for more than 10 seconds and right now water sports are prohibited so theres that... I am glad everyone was able to have fun at the campout but why does everyone keep getting hurt or having medical problems?

On my mission I have discovered that talks are the same everywhere in the world. That is why we have a tissue box next to the podium. As far as my journal writing goes... I do write in it every night but I already know that I have forgotten to write certain details... oops.

This week we have recieved several references and made several contacts with people that just seem prepared to learn about the gospel. The problem? We cant seem to find any of them in their houses... missionary problems. The investigator that has been making the most progress during this past week is Jackeline Vega but she does not want to get baptized without her husband and he wants nothing to do with the Church. We are working on her situation. This Sunday we had several less active members there but we were lacking several active families, including our Mission Leader! Now if we can just get everyone there on the same Sunday...

Not a whole lot happened after Pday last week but this week we are making a concentrated effort in finding new investigators. WE ARE TALKING TO EVERYONE. Not my cup of tea but it needs to be done. 

It has stayed between 50 and 65 degrees here. I celebrated my year mark with food and goals. That is about it. I will celebrate my two year mark with a movie marathon :P

That Arrow of Light is very different than mine but it looks cool. I like it. I still think of Swayzie when she was the age of Payton. And now she is so big and has two little sisters. I do not understand it. Apparently they have another older sister in Acey as well (him in the dress). Jake looks normal and so does Trysten. Your tea party is sideways but I loved the sound of the boys fighting in the background. It made me feel like I was at home watching them again.

Alright, I dont know what else to say today so I just want to say that I love you guys. Take care.
Con amor, Elder Hunter

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This has been an interesting week, as you can probably tell because I am writing on a Tuesday and not a Monday. Tell your heart that it can calm down because I am not dead. (and I am very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very sorry that I did not tell you earlier that I would not write on Monday. SO sorry)
First of all I want to say that I am glad that you are all doing well and I hope that this next week will be a little less stressful for you all. I am especially happy to hear that Grandpa Mellor is doing better and that Cody Dawson gave his farewell talk.
I am a bit short on time so I will try to summarize my week. We had cambios this last Monday but the Zone Leaders had gone up to the mountains to touch the snow that had fallen the night before. The problem is that the trip took longer than they had planned and they were not able to get the bus tickets on time so they called me and had me do it. It was simple enough to do but the Missionary who was with the Zone Leaders and had to go to a new sector just BARELY made it in time. Then on Tuesday Elder Malan arrived from Arica after a 24 hour bus ride. He is the same Elder Malan that lived with me in my first sector and now we are in the same Branch but in two different houses.  Wednesdaywe had Correlation Meeting with the Ward Mission Leader and we decided to do one large well planned activity each month in order to encourage investigators and less active members to come to church. Thursday we visited some less active members that we did not know before. Friday we worked hard to find new investigators but we just knocked on a lot of doors. I did hear a spanish version of Teenage Dancing Queen though. Saturday we worked with the Branch President to get a plan and support from the Branch Council for the activities we had planned. Sunday I played the piano in Sacrament Meeting because Elder Malan can direct the music.
Then we get to Monday. We had a conference with Elder Jorge F. Zeballos of the Seventy. He spoke during the last General Conference. The conference was in Copiapo so we had to travel there early in the morning. Our bus was supposed to leave at 6 50 but it left at 8 15... we were just a little stressed when the bus did not come. The conference itself was very spiritual and I took a lot of notes. I was also able to see several missionaries that I have known from all over the mission. The only sad part is that I was not able to visit anyone in my old ward even though I was right there in Copiapo. I did write several letters though and gave them to the new Missionaries that are in that ward. We finally got back to Vallenar at 9 at night. We were denied the opportunity to see "el desierto florido" on the way there because of thick fog and on the way back because it was dark. But what can you do?
Today we went to a place called Jilgaro. It is found just outside of Vallenar and you have to hike to get up there. It is super green with waterfalls and everything! It does not look like anything else I have seen here in the mission. It was so cool. Plus we cooked "choripanes" while we were up there. 
Tell Aunt Greta Happy Birthday for me and tell Bailey that I dont believe it and she must be lying (12).  Why have the Callahans come by to visit so much not that I am gone? I guess I understand who they REALLY like in the Hunter Family (total sarcasm).
Lots of walking and yes it is cold. I am fairly certain that my jersey is a fake but I had to buy one after Chile won the Copa America. SO theres that. The area has been a bit slow lately actually. We have some good references to visit people but we cannot find them in their houses.
I have not eaten anything strange recently. Just food. (actually, I have eaten a lot of jello with fruit in it and this one corn cobbler thing that nearly made me puke. I love the Hermana that made it for us but it was just bad...)
Anyway, tell Jake and Sydnie thanks for me, teach them how to spell in english and I will help them in spanish. 

To end this letter I just want to wish you all a very happy Pioneer Day and let you know that I love you all. Take care and God bless.
Elder Brock Hunter

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dear Family,

 It is great to hear that you guys enjoyed the rodeo and the carnival. That is definetly something I look forward to for when I get home. I am glad that the Girls Camp went well and that you guys were able to see so many little miracles. I look forward to cousin overload someday but for now I am just glad that everyone is doing well. I am glad that Grandpa Mellor is doing better and I hope he will have a quick recovery. I am grateful for the prayers of Grandma and Grandpa Hunter and everyone else too.

It sounds like Dad is power-packing his Ward with some good leaders. The Lords Work will always go on but it helps to have people who are worthy and willing to work. I still cant believe that I have over a year in the mission but really that just means I have to make every day count. We had transfers this weekend but I am staying here with Elder Holloway. Elder Leon and Hermana Robison from my District are leaving. I do not know who the new people will be yet.

So A LOT of stuff happened this week. Something that is a bit funny is that the plaque of Elder Holloway broke in half. We are not quite sure how he did it but now it is held together with glue and popsicle sticks. Something that is not so funny is that I had fleas again but I think I managed to kill them off before it got too bad. I also recieved a huge thing of bread from some members 2 Sundays ago and this week I decided to make a giant hamburger. There were two patties, 4 slices of cheese, mayo, bbq sauce, and thick homemade bread. I only used half of the loaf but I still could not finish it.

We also had a District Activity (like a Stake Activity) where we watched Meet the Mormons on Friday. We went to watch it with our Mamita de Comida and she liked it. She also came to Church this Sunday for the first time in around 10 years!!! It was great! Also on Friday I ran into the Cubillos Family from Copiapo! There were here in Vallenar because a cousin had passed away. For some reason we had chosen to walk past the cementery that morning and they saw us. It was great to talk with them and they told me that their son is doing well on the mission and that they will soon be able to reclaim their house in Coquimbo that had been rented out from under them. We also recieved references for several of their relatives in order to share the Plan of Salvation with them. One of them, Nicole, I met in Copiapo when she came up to visit. While in Copiapo she had gone to church and now she wants to share with the missionaries. I had sent the reference to the other missionaries before but they were not able to find her in the house so now I get to teach my own reference! That is one of my miracles for the week.

This Sunday I was able to give a talk during Sacrament Meeting but I was not assigned a topic to talk about. President Dalton, our Mission President, recently told us that a missionary should never give a talk about "La Obra Misional" in Sacrament Meeting because all the members just zone out and take naps. So, I decided to talk about music. I read the Preface of the Hymnbook and the music section of For the Strength of Youth. I always direct the music in Sacrament Meeting so I think it fit well. Also, Sunday night it started to rain and it did not stop til after lunch time today. We had a few leaks in our roof but no major flooding. We managed to get pots or buckets under all the drips. They said this was a dry desert, and it might be, but I have seen rain in all 3 of my sectors so far and a lot of it.

Today we helped clean out the Zone Leaders pension. A lot of Elders have died there (ended there missions) so a lot of junk has been left there over the years. We decided what stuff we wanted to keep and threw the rest of it away. I got a lot of ties that I cannot use in the mission (Looney Toons, Basketball, Animals, ect), a deck of cards, a wind-up flashlight, a Childrens Songbook in Spanish, and some basketball shorts (dont worry, I have already sent them to the Mamita to be washed before I use them). Overall it has been a very productive day. Tonight we will be in a trio as we wait for the new elder to arrive tomorrow. (he is traveling from Arica)

I love you all and I am very grateful for your prayers. I also pray for you guys every day. If you have any questions about the pics, just let me know. Take care.
Love, Elder Brock Hunter

Monday, July 6, 2015

We have seen some good progress with some of our investigators but our real success this week was with less active members. We did get the water heater to work (at long last!). We have hot water, even if we do not have very much water pressure but we are grateful for what we have.
Sounds like you had all kinds of weather during the Trek. Fun stuff. I am glad it was a success and that everyone got home safe (even if they were a little sore). I look forward to seeing the video and pictures later. (and just so you know, the other missionaries find it hilarious that I am from Utah but have never gone on a Trek).
I have been and will continue to pray for Grandpa Mellor. I hope that he can heal up and get out of the hospital. I am glad that everyone is doing well and that you guys enjoyed July 4th.
As far as news goes, we watched another soccer game this past week. We watched Chile versus Peru and Chile won! We were excited to watch Chile in the Final game of La Copa America. Then we were told that we could not watch the game for safety reasons. Our President was worried that something could happen when all the drunk fans went out after the game. It was a smart move but I am still sad we did not get to watch Chile verus Argentina. We knew that something was going to happen whether Chile won or lost and when Chile won in Penalty Kicks the Country went crazy. Some people died from heart attacks because they got so excited.
We had a very spiritual testimony meeting yesterday. We had a baby blessing and a lot of people came to support the family. The babys

Other news is that I went to Huasco today. They had a huge feria over there for a religious festival so we went shopping as a Zone. I bought a soccer Jersey (I just had too) and a scarf that says Chile. We took some pics at the beach and I got a picture with a giant snake! Fun stuff. I will try to send pics today if the computer will let me.
I cannot remember anything else that happened this week so I will sign off. Love you guys and I am grateful for your prayers. Enjoy your summer!
Love , Elder Brock Hunter

Watching soccer

Getting into the soccer celebrations


Sunday, July 5, 2015

June 29, 2015
This morning was spent trying to fix our water heater. We had our Branch President, his Dad, and our Landlord working on the dumb thing and we are still not sure it works. We literally took it apart, cleaned everything (sometimes with acid), and replaced several small parts. If it does not work this week we will just have to buy a new one but they are kind of expensive (which is why we worked so hard to just fix the one we have).

This week at church there were 44 people, but a few different ones from last week. We will keep working so that we can see growth here in our sector. Guido is progressing well but he was sick on Sunday so he did not go to church. Claudio finally found work but Karen went to go live with her parents for a week (possibly more) because they did not have any more food in the house. This week we lost a few investigators (one moved away, one did not want to share with us anymore, ect) but we found several less active members who are receptive and some of them were at church this Sunday.

It is weird to hear about other people who are ending their missions. Has it really been 2 years since Cameron Palmer left? And I know he spoke Spanish but he was also in the States so there was a bit of English too. Here, everything is Chilean (I cant even say it is Spanish).

The jersey is not mine. I wore it just for the pic because it was the first soccer game I was able to watch in the mission. I am not a soccer fan just yet but I may watch highlights from Chile´s soccer games when I get home. Just to support Chile.

I am glad that the website works. Hopefully that will make it easier for me to send pictures and see them too. In the future I will organize it better but for now I will have it split between the first year of my mission and the second. Hopefully I can get it to work. I am glad to hear that Jake is doing well with his piano lessons. In this Branch I do not play the piano because I have to (sorry, get to) direct the music. The good thing is no one else knows how to direct music so they do not know if I do it correctly or not.

I will be praying for Grandpa Mellor so he feels better. I understand foot problems and they are not fun. I will also be praying that everything goes well with your Trek so that none of the youth get foot problems. 

I really do not feel like I have been out here a year. I obviously have but I do not believe it. Anyway, Happy Birthday Mom! I will celebrate your birthday by having one year in the mission.

In our mission we are encouraged to do service when we can but there are weeks where we do not have any formal service projects. Other times, like during the flooding of the Region Atacama, we do service nearly every day depending on the needs of the people in our sectors.

Brennon Crankshaw is getting married? It is just too weird to hear that people from High School are getting married... it is even weirder to think that Kaitlin will be a Senior.

I forgot to tell Dad in my letter to him but I used his scripture in a talk I had to prepare for Sunday. My topic was "La Santificaci√≥n Personal". I ended my talk with his scripture from DyC 121:34-46. Many are called but few are chosen. That applies to us as members and to the investigators as well. We invite all to come unto Christ but not everyone chooses to do so. (I just deleted 2 paragraphs of stories because we had some experiences this past week but I am choosing to focus on the positive. so...) We had 5 less active members, with their families, who came to church this week after we had visited them. They chose to come back to Christ and renew their covenants with the Sacrament.

I have been getting along well with my companion and the members here. Felipe, who is the son of the Branch President, leaves on his mission Tuesday. He is going to Concepcion in the South of Chile. We will miss his help here but we know he will be a great missionary.

We get to watch another Chile Futbol game today against Peru. If they win they go to the Finals of the Copa America. If they win then I may just have to buy a soccer jersey afterall.

I will try to upload a few more photos today but no promises. I love you guys and I hope that you enjoy your week.
Love you guys, Elder Brock Hunter