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

Monday, November 16, 2015

Dear family (and other people who read this email), 

The photo of me with a snake and an iguana was in Huasco (a port town of Chile) during a local festival. You tell me not to do it again but it is not every day you can hold a boa in the driest desert on earth. I had to give it a shot. Plus it happened four months ago so...(I was wondering why no one had asked me about it sooner) 

I also managed to find my Mom´s car here in Arica. It is parked outside a church building and it was only the second time I have seen a car like that here in Chile. I had to take a pic. Grafitii is common here in Chile but I only take pictures of the grafitii I like. I would not say that grafitii on cars is THAT common but I have seen it more here than in Utah. Of course, I do not know if there are not those things in Utah or if I just did not get around like I do now as a missionary in order to find that stuff.
This week was rough. We taught very little. We found only 2 new people. But. You know what. This was the best Sunday I have had in this sector. We had an attendance of 85 and 6 Investigators in Church. Plus it was the Primary Program which is always a hoot. Francisco wants to get baptized (he should have his interview tomorrow), Mario wants to get baptized and his wife is more receptive now, Emanuel wants to get baptized (he participated in the Primary Program!), and Nicolas wants to get baptized (found him last night). Lots of good things even when the work is hard. Mario and Daniela have attended twice now and Mario is sharing the gospel already. He went out to visit people with us on Wednesday and he introduced us to Nicolas. Nico had problems with drugs but wants to leave all that behind. He is only 18 but he has passed through a lot.
This morning we went to see the Chinchoro Mummies. They are older than the mummies in Egypt. It was pretty cool walking around the museum and learning about this ancient culture. My comp kept getting excited because he compared everything with the Jaredites from the Book of Mormon. It was the first time we actually did something fun for P-Day here in Arica. Apparently I will be with Elder Mariscal for another 6 weeks so hopefully we can make this transfer more enjoyable than the last.
This Saturday we have our conference with the entire mission and Elder Cook. There should be some other Seventies such as Elder Ulisses Soares and Elder Walter F. Gonzalez. Something big must be going down because it is rare that there are so many authorities in one place (well, other than Utah). I have videos of our choir practices but I doubt we will be able to record the actual performance. It actually turned out very well in my opinion.
I am glad that you guys are doing well. I love being a missionary but I do miss being able to do normal things. I plan to do a lot of "catch up" in order to know about movies, shows, books, news, technology, ect. I like to be informed. This week we learned about the terrorist attacks in France by pure chance. We had no clue until we entered a house and they just happened to be watching the news. Of course my focus is not on the world for now but I plan to stay updated once I get home.
Anyway, I love you guys. Thanks for your support and enthusiasm. It truly makes a difference. And even though I am fairly certain that I already have skin cancer, I put sunscreen on everyday so don't worry. Take care and God bless.

Con amor, Elder Hunter

Dear Kate,
can't use youtube. Not even for things from the church. Thanks anyway for the update.
Lots of crap is going down and it was all prophesied many hundreds of years ago. yet the people still dont listen. Gosh dang stubborn planet Earth. I am still in Chile so yes. There are still doors that are too short for me. I have pegged my head twice in the current house. I talked to my Mission Leader.... and I forgot to tell him. Sorry. But the man does not have a cell phone so it is hard to actually get in contact with him. I will see what I can do.
Take care sis. Con amor, Elder Hunter

Monday, November 9, 2015

Dear family (but let's be honest here this is mostly Dear Mom),

I have had a lot of issues trying to upload videos (through correo or on onedrive). I will see what I can do but I believe that for the majority of the videos you will just have to wait til I get home. Sorry. For everyone else that wants to see my photos:

These are my first year photos.
These are the photos of my second year in the mission.

Our investigators here are doing fantastic. Francisco wants to get baptized on the 28th of November. Emanuel wants to get baptized and loves church. He will participate in mutual this week with the Young Men. He is only 11 which means he can't get baptized alone so now we are working on his family. Royers left the city to go fishing... but that is his job. He is a fisherman so we hope that he is reading the Book of Mormon on the boat. Mario Navia is another investigator that we have and he has his answer. He knows this is the true church and wants to get baptized but now he has to start living all the commandments... his wife, Daniela, still has a few doubts but we are working with our Mission Leader so that they can share with more members and make this decision. Maxi and Nathaly, the recent converts, are also doing well.

We have been seeing some good progress here but we have also been struggling to keep our appointments. When we go, the people are not there, and if we do not go or if we get there late the people were waiting for us... someday we will get this to work out.

Not a whole lot more I can say this week. I am doing well, using sunscreen, still can't remember peoples names, ect. I thought my Spanish was pretty good but a few people shot me down this week. Guess I need to study more.

Anyway, Love you all. Take care and God bless.
Con amor, Elder Hunter

You are a good, dedicated Bishop and father. I would like to see more Bishops like you here in my mission but hey. I am sure each one is just trying to do the best they can. Unfortunately I feel that many of them are like I was. They procrastinate, are pessimistic, and blame others for the lack of progress. I guess I am still like that in some ways but I am doing a bit better. 

It is interesting how you see the best and the worst as a missionary. I see great examples of faith and diligence but I also see plenty examples of laziness and blame. I can't count the number of times I have wanted to smack someone because they tell me that they don't go to Church because of the Bishop. I always try to help them remember that their baptismal covenant is with the Lord, not with the Bishop nor the missionaries and some people listen and come back. Sadly, many do not want to listen to the spirit because of their pride. Now, I am not a perfect missionary (though I am sure Mom tells everyone otherwise) but I do wish that people would understand that their eternal salvation is at stake for something so simple as not partaking of the sacrament.

sorry. needed to vent a bit. last week we had an attendance of 48 in a Ward. I was kinda frustrated. This week we got up to 73. Doing a bit better. Love you Dad. Thanks for your example and your advice.

Kaitlin, I appreciate your enthusiasm but I have no idea what policy change you are talking about. I have one day of the week that I can use the computer and I use the majority of my time writing you guys. All I know is that the Church is true and the book is blue. (the triple technically has other books so the Book of Mormon is blue and true)

A few of my socks have had holes but I sewed those up. A few of my pants had holes, sewed those up too. A few of my shirts have had problems with the front pocket, sewed those up too. The only things that I have not been able to really fix are the insoles of my shoes, the tags on the garments, and my Pday shoes. 

Enjoy the snow. I still have to wait a year... but I have sand in the meantime! 
Love ya sis, Elder Hunter

We haven't seen pics for several months.  These are a few of my favorites from the 600+ we got today!!
Duck Brock Duck

He is on the Atkins Diet

Dryest place on Earth

One year later

Pday Shoes

Elder Hunter, Elder Holloway

Elder Acosta, Elder Hunter

Elder Mariscal

October Conference 2015

Brock thought Mom was checking up on him

Chilean Wal-Mart

This one's for Mimi - Brock got in the pic

Atacama Desert

It's a small world after all
Tie Couch

Cushions filled with ties

Ay Caramba!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dear family,
This was an interesting week. A good week but definetly interesting. We were able to find several new families to teach out of nowhere. The Lord is helping move his work along. Sadly, only 1 investigator came to church this week but he is getting ready to be baptized in November so we will be happy for him while we are sad for the rest. Hurray for Francisco! 
Emanuel did not come to church this week. His Mom came down from the mine (she works 10for10) and she does not like us as much as Emanuel´s grandmother.
We have three people with set baptismal goals . If you want to pray for people then please include Francisco, Emanuel, and Royers (Rojers) in your prayers.

I had an intercambio with Elder Francis this week. The last time I was with him was 6 months ago in Copiapo. It is cool to find people again later in the mission. We are preparing a special musical number for when Elder Cook comes. I am learning to sing bass. There are two missionaries who know what they are doing (Elder Hinton and Elder Childs) and the rest of us are kinda lost but I think the song sounds pretty good. We are singing Praise to the Man (in spanish of course). I also had a heart to heart with my comp. Things have been better with him so far. Hopefully it continues.

Halloween was fun. Elder Mariscal and I switched name tags and we worked dressed as each other. No one seemed to notice but oh well. There were a lot of kids dressed up this year. We also found a lot of people who were completely against the holiday and they blame the North Americans for bringing it to their country. Oops. 

We have recieved a lot of help from the members recently. We have even been able to do splits and visit several families at a time. I have been able to do splits here more times in 4 weeks than I have the rest of my mission. It is weird sometimes to be with members instead of my comp but it is good.

I am very sad to hear about Nate Wagner. It is weird to hear that people I know are getting married but even weirder to hear that someone I know has passed away. 

I am glad that you guys enjoyed Halloween and I hope that you can get prepared for Thanksgiving. I look forward to being able to celebrate with all of you next year. But for now I have to focus on the mission. SO, I will talk to you guys next week. Love you, God bless and take care.
Con amor, Elder Brock Hunter

ps. I heard from a member that David Archuleta has a new song about Family History Work but they have only seen it in spanish. It is called Nunca Pensé (I never thought). I was wondering if it existed in english or not (as I cannot actively search on google as a missionary I hope that you can help me know)

This week has been interesting. To say the least. The way to celebrate day of the dead is to go to the cementery. We did not go but most everyone else did Saturday or Sunday

In truth, my garments are getting worn out. The tags at least are torn to shreds... you cant see my name anymore (and I have had to rewrite my name several times with a sharpy).  Garments, jerky, and a skype call should be good for Christmas this year. I still have the christmas decorations from last year and next year when I get home if you want you can give me more things. For now I don't need more "stuff" (nor do I have space for it). 

If you are determined to give me a "gift" this year then there are options to buy some personalized leather scripture cases here in Chile with the logo of the mission. If you send some money then that would be a great christmas/ birthday present for this next year.

Also, my mission leader here in Arica has a request. He wants a triple set of the scriptures with the gold leafing on the pages, tabs for the books, and his name on the front. Apparently you cant buy those here. He is willing to pay for it but was wondering if you could send it in the next package for me. His name is Javier Delgado.

Chile does not have any form of Thanksgiving. That is a gringo holiday.

That should do it for now. Take care Kate. Keep working hard.
con amor, Elder Hunter