Thursday, August 21, 2014


Painting the window was just one of the many things we did to get ready for Elder Hunt's return.  Good thing the whole family was here to give us lots to do while waiting for 5:00 p.m. to roll around on Friday!!  Went horseback riding, swimming, and playing with all the grandkids.

We got to the airport with time to spare, and eventually his plane arrived. . . 
I know I took more than my share of time hugging this boy, but I couldn't help it.  
I didn't want to EVER let go!
Elder Hunt completed the sign Brandon was holding... 
"Brothers don't shake hands...BROTHERS GOTTA HUG!!" 
.Harrison and Tyler were there to greet him, too!!
Good thing SOMEONE thought to take this picture BEFORE the plane arrived!!  *_*
.And Elder Hunt was pretty excited to be home, as well!
.At 9:30 p.m., Elder Hunt was released from his missionary service,
at the Stake Center, when President Harris arrived back from Chicago.
....when we left, I handed Dallin a note from his girlfriend...
who was hiding behind the air conditioning units at the church...
...the note told him how proud of him she was and couldn't wait to see him...
and to TURN AROUND. . . 
...and then he spotted her, threw his missionary name-tags he was holding in the air...
...and RAN to meet her halfway...

We ALL love having him home!!

Friday, August 15, 2014


Had to record some of the fun we've been having this last week, waiting for Elder Hunt to return home!!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Last Few Days of My Mission...

The last few days of my mission. . . were pretty intense.  Last Monday was weird, when I emailed home and said, "See you on Friday!"  The day was sufficiently busy with errands and things to do, then we taught the FHE Group at the church, which went well.  Afterwards, Donna had her baptismal interview via skype, with Elder West.  (How fitting that Elder West did my last baptism interview)  She passed her interview with flying colors and we were so happy for her.

Tuesday we met with Dave and he is keeping his commitments and wants to learn.  Later, we met with Donna and had one last lesson with her before her baptism on Wednesday.  In the evening we had dinner with the Maclennan family.  We enjoyed a "last supper" together...and I really like them!

Wednesday was amazing!  We spent the day running around, getting everything ready for Donna's baptism.  It all came together and everything was in place.  Donna looked so good in her white dress, and I could tell she was ready for this important step in her life.  The service ran so smoothly and the Spirit was incredibly strong.  As we got to the actual baptism part of the program, I began to make my way into the water.  (While in the font, I barely tapped the water faucet and the entire thing snapped off, metal and all!  It fell into the water and I could see it had been rusted through.  What a miracle that it happened AFTER the font had been filled, rather than before!)  As we stood in the water, I said the baptismal prayer, and then lowered Donna under the water.  Elder Blum was in the font as well, for extra help and security for Donna, but I was able to baptize her completely the first time, and there was no trouble getting her up.  I took some time as we stood there in the water after the baptism to look Donna in the eyes and help her understand/soak in that amazing moment.  We finally got out, changed, and the rest of the evening went just as smoothly.  It was one of the greatest events of my mission and there was no better way for me to finish my journey.  My relationship with Christ and my Father in Heaven has grown immensely over these two years and it has completely changed me.  My mission has been, and probably always will be, the greatest learning opportunity that I'll ever have.  My heart is full of gratitude, love, joy, peace, comfort, and all of the fruits of the Spirit.  I know this is God's work, and I have been privileged to be on the Lord's Errand.

Thursday started a lot of weird feelings.  We got everything packed up and on our way.  We had a big breakfast with the Paxman Family, then finished up a bunch of errands before heading tot he Mission Office.  When we arrived there were so many missionaries there for transfers.  I said goodbye to Elder Blum as he got his new greenie.  Then all of us missionaries went and did a session at the temple.  I loved the newest film, and learned a lot.  After the temple, we came back to the Mission Home, where we had a big ham dinner and then a testimony meeting.  The Spirit was so strong!  We finished the night with a great talk from President Leavitt on "How To Get Married Right!"  It was a lot of fun and there were many useful points.  :) travel home day.  I could hardly sleep last night, neither could Elder Layton, so we went to the kitchen at the mission home and had a great long chat about life and the future.  We finally got to bed and slept for about two hours before waking up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready to leave for the airport at 5:30 a.m.  It was a great ride to the airport because Elder Skinner and I got to ride with Elder and Sister Hendrickson!  We had to rush to get through baggage and security, said quick final goodbyes, and then I was on my way!
I got a seat next to a very large man, but we had a great chat as we flew to Detroit.  The three hour layover there wasn't too bad as I ran into a few members of the church, which was kind of neat.  Elder Skinner, Elder Kunz and I flew to Salt Lake City together, but that's where they left me to meet their families.  

Now, as I write this, I sit here alone...the last missionary to keep traveling.  But I'm not really alone because I feel so close to Heavenly Father.  I can already feel the difference, just sitting here in the Salt Lake City airport.  It feels great to be back and headed home.  I have one last flight to St. George and I am so excited to see everyone.  This is the moment every missionary dreams of for their entire lives, and now it's here.  So, here I go...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Elder Hunt's LAST Mission Letter!!

Dear Family,
This is SOOOOO weird.  My last email home!  So, I'll try to update you on the amazing things going on here, not to mention the butterflies that have taken up residence in my stomach!!

Last Monday we had a busy P-day.  We met up with a bunch of Elders and went to Flip-Burger.  8 out f the 10 missionaries took on "the challenge" -- eating a 10" tall burger, a box of fries and the drink...within 20 minutes.  Elder Torrie and I were the only ones who were smart enough not to do it!.  We watched and laughed as they all failed miserably and got so sick!  But it was fun.  In the evening we went to a Seniors Home, where we put on a musical show.  I've really come to love Seniors, and feel grateful I've been able to do so much with them over the course of my mission.  The music went well and I'm so grateful for the talents with which I've been blessed.  Besides the joy it brings others, it is a great stress reliever for me and brings me so much happiness.  (I'm so grateful he took the opportunities he had growing up and has grown his talents to such a degree!!)

Tuesday seemed to be a bit slower...but we had a great lesson with Donna.  Elder Blum is having some stomach problems so we were to the doctors to have some tests done.

On Wednesday we made some biscuits for Donna and took them over while they were still warm.  It was so nice to see her face light up like it did.  We also laid some tile for Phil Jack.  Later we had a lesson with Donna, and Bishop Johnson came to that.  It was on the Law of Tithing and Fast Offerings.  Once again, she understood everything very well. In the evening we had dinner with the Evans family and I really enjoyed that, especially when they told me they had met and married at BYU.

Thursday was quite the day.  We traveled to Bridgewater for my final district meeting.  It went really well and the spirit was so strong.  I also did my Exit Interview with President Leavitt via Skype since there are 16 missionaries returning home at the same time and he wouldn't have time for anything else.  President Leavitt has taught me some incredible, live-changing things during my mission.  We reviewed all of my areas, companions, experiences, etc.  It was a pretty intense feeling reflecting on all of it and how much it has shaped and molded me. It is a strange thing to reflect on my mission and take a look at the big picture.  I think it may be harder going home than I had thought...but I'm up for the challenge!

On Saturday we did a few different service projects.  At one place we helped tear out a bunch of drywall and demolished a few things and then afterwards had lunch together.  They were neighbors to some members who had mentioned we might be able to help.  At one point the gal said, "If I were to be anything, I'd be a Mormon!"  We had a nice chat together, finished up and left.  Found out later that the gal came over after we left and asked if she could go to church with the member family!  Great things continue to happen in Sackville, and I'm so grateful to be serving here!

Sunday was my last day at church in the mission field.  So strange. . . Before church we checked our transfer letters, and sure enough I'm being transferred home and my next companion is "undetermined."  But the real shock came to Elder Blum when he read his letter and it said he will be training a brand new missionary!!  He's been out 6 weeks and now he'll be training!
Church was great and it was sad to say goodbye to so many people.  I've absolutely loved this Sackville ward and we've seen some incredible miracle in the 6 weeks we've been here.  It has hit me pretty good today that I'm leaving.  I'm sad to go, and it's hard to explain my feelings.  And at the same time I'm excited and ready for the next chapter of my life as well.

So fam, I'll see you in a few!!

Elder Hunt

(Oh, how I have loved watching this missionary son learn and grow and SERVE the people that I loved and served 37 years ago.  I am SO grateful to the many people who have loved him, watched over him, FED him, and prayed for him.  We are definitely sobered at the thought of not having a missionary son in the field anymore, BUT we are beyond excited to have him come home!!   *_* )

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Past TWO Weeks...Since the parentals have been on vacation...

Dear Family,
On Monday, July 21st, we had our regular p-day which was good, and then we went to the mission home to practice for the performance on Wednesday.  We had a lesson with a former investigator...but he wasn't really ready to hear the Gospel, so we got out of there and met with our investigator, Donna, at the church.  She had attended the FHE group and absolutely loved it.  Then we gave her a short tour, and she said she'd be to church on Sunday.  After that I had a lot of planning to do for the musical concert on Wednesday, district meeting, and an exchange on Tuesday!  I wish there was a way to explain how busy AND tired I am (in a long-term mission sense.)  But I also realize that the rest of my life will probably be like this so I better get used to it!!  Ha!

On Tuesday (22nd) we travelled to Bridgewater for District Meeting.  I stayed to do visit working with the sisters and an exchange with Elder Cox.  It was so cool being back in Bridgewater, since Mom served part of her mission here. 

On Wednesday Elder Cox and I worked all over the Bridgewater area, and we went out to Lunenberg for a lunch appointment with the Jewer Family.    While we were there I found out they had been around the area for quite a while.  They had me sign a "Guest Book," and as I looked through some of their old guest books, I found something amazing!  As I looked, I saw the name "Sister Patrice Barton - Newbury Park, California, May 21, 1978"  I couldn't believe it!!  Mom had signed that very book when she was serving as a missionary, sitting on a couch in the very room where I was standing!  I took a picture of me sitting in the exact spot that she did as well.  Who knew that 36 years later, her son would be in the same exact location, also serving the Lord.  It was such an amazing experience that bonds us even closer than we were.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, but this opportunity was a very blatant blessing and tender mercy from Heavenly Father!  (I totally agree with Elder Hunt!!!  This was absolutely amazing and cool, and everything else!!!)

This evening I went back to Sackville to perform in the concert we organized for the Seniors' Conference.  It allwent so well and the Spirit was very strong!  It was a great, incredible day!


The lady sitting next to me on my left is the two year old "Sister Barton" was holding on her lap in the picture above!!
Brother and Sister Jewers and some of their grandkids!!

On Thursday we did some service work for Phil Jack, which I loved!!  We built a rock wall for him and it turned out great!!  Later we had a lesson with Donna, who shared a really cool experience with us that had to do with a dream she had.  She has been so prepared to receive the gospel!!

Sunday was a perfect day at church!! Donna was there for the first time and we had three less-actives (individuals) there as well!  It was especially nice since we were part of the program.  Elder Blum gave a great talk and I performed "Be Still My Soul" on the violin with Savanna Maclennan on the violin, and accompanied by Sydney Maclennan on the piano.  It turned out so well, and there were many people who had tears pouring down their faces.  It was nice to be able to set the tone for the meeting and invite the Spirit there.
Donna really enjoyed all three hours and was excited to come back.  In the evening we went to the waterfront where lots of people congregate.  I took my violin and played while Elder Blum spoke to people.  It went very well, and there were even people who wanted to pay me money!!  Ha!


This past week has been amazing, too!!!

After P-Day stuff, The zone leaders from Kentville arrived (Elders West and Willoughby), and Elder West and I went to the FHE at the church.  Donna was there and loved it.
Then, on Tuesday, we had our District meeting, and it was great having the zone leaders there for their input.  After that, we went out for Suishi since it was Elder Willoughby's birthday.  Believe it or not, I didn't throw up!!  Funny what a mission can do to a person.
After lunch I got to do a Skype interview with a girl who is ready to be baptized, and it went really well, so that was nice.  After that, Elder West and I went to a lesson with Donna.  We taught her about baptism and she committed to be baptized on August 13th!  that's my last full day in the mission field, but I made sure to tell her not to do it just because I'm leaving.  We extended the invitation and it was so cool as she paused for a moment, then said, "Yep, I can do it."  I am so happy for her!!

On Wednesday we did some service and we also had another lesson with Donna.  We taught her the 2nd half of the Plan of Salvation and she loved it.  Elder Blum asked her, "Why did you decide to prepare for baptism?"  She replied, "I've been searching and now I've found what I was looking for!"  The spirit filled the room and it was such an amazing feeling.  
Afterwards we had dinner with some non-members, Jon and Sharon.  It was a delicious roast, and fun fellowshipping with the Haas family there.  Then we drove up to Truro where I did an exchange with Elder Davidson, my first trainee!
Elder Davidson and I worked hard together to help him get a foundation for working with the members.  He is the District Leader there, so we also took care of some "sister drama" stuff.  :)
When I got back to Sackville and Elder Blum, we held our Family History workshop, which went really well, and we're having more people come out!  

And suddenly it was August 1st...the month when I go home.  How crazy is that?!?!
Since it was Thursday, we got our weekly planning done.  I enjoy serving with Elder Blum and he is good at serving the Lord.  I'm betting he'll be an assistant one day.
Later I got to to a Facebook chat lesson with Storme' Peters, so it was great to talk to her.  Then we had a lesson with Donna.  She is one of the most prepared people I've ever taught.  Today we taught the word of wisdom and she was totally clean of everything except coffee...which she has already been decreasing because she read about it on her own, on the church's website.  Talk about a solid investigator!
In the evening I took a call from a less-active member who was distraught and wanting to end her life.  We talked for quite a while and I shared my experience with Denzel.  It brought back a lot of emotions, which are always tough to deal with.  I'm looking forward to going through the temple with the family to do his temple work when I get home.

On Saturyday (August 2nd) I got special permission to go on an exchange in Cole Harbour, so I went with Elder Clark over there.  We loved being back together again!!  We had dinner with the Voisey's, who had been completely inactive when I served there, and I had even knocked on their door a few times, but they'd never let us in.  But there we were!
After that we went to see the Bruce family.  Amelia was there, and leaves for BYU on the 26th, so it will be cool to see here there.  

Sunday was amazing at the Cole Harbour ward where I began my missionary service.  It was really kind of surreal.  With it being Fast Sunday, I bore my testimony...only fitting that it was the first place I bore my testimony as a missionary, and the last ward as well.  After church we had supper with Bruce and Sue Hampson.  I love them both so much and it was so good to see them again before I leave.  It was kind of like having Mom here in the mission field, knowing that Mom and Sue are good friends, and the missionary influence Mom had on Sue and her family when she was here serving a mission.  I also got to visit with Bill and Linda Thompson who are doing fairly well.  We met with Stephanie Kenny at the church.  Had a great lesson with her and it's so nice to see these converts I taught still strong!  We also visited the Pinsent family, who I just love.  I was so glad I got to say good-bye to them.  

And then I headed back to Sackville. . . where I was sufficiently trunky! 

I hope you had fun in Alaska, Dad and Mom!!

Elder Hunt