Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back in the States. . . BARELY!!

Hello Family!

Monday (Feb 18th) was a pretty good p-day.  We had dinner at the Frank’s again, and I’m sure going to miss those wonderful 4-course meals!!  And the people, too!  Afterwards we went to the Bruce’s to say goodbye. We’ve gotten close to that family.  Hannah (14) put her hair extensions in my hair and it kind of made me look like a native…now that I’ve had my hair put into a pony-tail, I can check that off my bucket list.  We basically had to pull an “all-nighter” to get everything packed, and the apartment cleaned out, since we were going to be busy with lessons, zone training AND transfers!  Such good times and memories, and there was so much to do!!
On Tuesday (February 19th), we headed up to Kentville for zone training.  Elder Moran is our new zone leader, and he did a spectacular job in providing training, insight and the spirit.  He brought in real members from their ward, and had us role play with them.  It made a huge difference.  One man we taught used to be a professional organ player for another denomination.  Then he was baptized.  I really enjoyed getting to know him/teach him.  His name was Brother Horn.  

After Zone training we travelled back, and had our (my) last dinner with Sheila Jordan.  I’m really going to miss her, but I’ll be back to go through the temple with her on September 29th when it’s her year mark from being baptized.

 Later in the evening we met with Mike at the church.  He is going to be baptized on March 9th!  Sadly, I won’t be there to participate, but I’m grateful for the part I had as a missionary in his conversion.  Mike expressed much gratitude to me, and said we’d always stay in touch.  I hope we do. 

Wednesday was my very last day in Cole Harbour/Eastern Passage Area.  We attended a session at the temple, then went out to the Hampson’s for lunch.  We had taco salad, chocolate candy-bar pie, and Sue also sent me with some brownies for the transfer trip.  She definitely knows me!!  (Way to spoil our boy, Sue!!  Thank you for taking such good care of him!!  Hopefully he’ll be back in the area at some point later in his mission!)  

After lunch, we had a last lesson with Bill and Linda Thompson and they gave me a leatherwork wristband with a Celtic symbol on it.  We had a great dinner with the Kidd’s and I was asked to give him a blessing.  It is such a special experience to be asked to do that, and I am grateful I could.  Then we had a last lesson with Stephanie.  She gave me a really nice card, and it was good to be able to say goodbye.

Thursday morning (February 21st) we woke up at 4:30 a.m. and went over to the mission home to meet up with the AP’s (Elder Nielson and Elder Unger), and the transfer van.  We all got arranged, I said good-bye to Elder Davidson, and then we were

I got talking a lot with one of the new missionaries during the driveHis name was Elder Tusa, and he’s Samoan, but lived his whole life in Australia.  He played a lot of rugby, so it was great for us to talk about so much and pass the rugby ball around a bit.  We stopped in Moncton, New Brunswick and met other missionaries there.  
I got to see Elder Deem (Elder Hunt’s trainer), Elder Layton (from the MTC district) and many others, which I loved.  

Then we packed up and I went with my new companion, Elder Clark, and we drove all the way down to Houlton, Maine.  He’s a great Elder, and I already love him!  He’s Hawaiian, but lived in Bountiful, Utah.  We both went to BYU as well, so we have a lot in common. 
Our apartment and new area are just over the border and I like this apartment much better.  My other apartment was called “the dungeon” because there wasn’t much light in it at all.  I’m stoked to be in the states again because now I can use flat-rate shipping, cheaper prices, and everything!  One of the first things we did, of course, was make the apartment spotless from the way we found it! 

Friday, (February 22nd)  was a good day of planning and really trying to organize this area.  I’m kinda OCD, so I’ve really been paying attention to detail in getting things rightly placed.  Elder Clark is a really great guy, and we have been getting along very well.  It seems like this area has had missionaries in it forever.  Every single person in this small town must have a teaching record in our Area Book.  Elder Clark and I are determined to be obedient and trust in the Lord to help find those who are ready to hear the Gospel.
We had a dinner with the Spinney’s tonight, and then contacted a lot of referrals.  It feels a lot colder down here than it did in Eastern Passage, even though it’s not.  This town really reminds me a lot of downtown St. George.  It’s nowhere near as big, but has the same style and feel of long-lasting heritage.  All the houses are huge old Victorian’s and are pretty cool.  In the evening we had a lesson with F. Phillips, a lady who is from the Micmac Indian Tribe.  She will now be getting baptized on March 2nd!  She also wants us to help her wash her big dog in the tub next week…it’ll be great!
Saturday (February 23rd) we were out contacting, and then we stopped by the church meetinghouse.  Our building here is an old Anglican church that was remodeled inside.  It’s definitely got a different look to it, but you still feel the spirit just the same.
We stopped at a less-active’s home.  She had the biggest k-9 ever!  It was huge and was pretty vicious, but it loved me, so thank goodness he didn’t shred me to pieces!  In the evening we had dinner with the Carters.  He is the Branch President for the church here and they have three great, hilarious kids.  Love them to death already!  Later we had a good chat with a native man on the reservation.  I’m really going to have to get used to their speech and how they talk with their language.  Also, when we got home that evening I was overjoyed to see I had mail!  I got a letter from Erika, a letter from Amelia, and a package from Mom!!  (I was pretty excited, too, to know I could send a package on Wednesday and Elder Hunt would receive it by Saturday!!  I just might try sending him some cinnamon rolls!!)   It only takes 3 days for mail to get here, and I love it!  So that will be pretty convenient while I’m in this area!
Sunday, February 24th, was our first day at church in this area and it was great!  I thought it was going to be way different being in such a small branch.  It was definitely different, but I loved every second of it.  The people here are so great!  They are so strong in the Gospel, and willing to serve/help in any way they can.  We had such a strong, spiritual meeting, and I was so comforted feeling and knowing that the same spirit I’ve had in any other place was the same spirit I felt at my new branch.  I met a lot of great people that I’m really looking forward to getting to know.  Sister Tarbell, who is the mother of a lady in my ward back in Cole Harbour, lives in this ward, so that’s really fun to have those connections.  There’s also a lady who has a 300 year old violin she wants me to try…so I’m REALLY excited to get over there and play it.  I’m really loving this branch and the people here, so much!  Elder Clark and I are getting along perfectly.  We’re very similar and both love to laugh a lot, so we’re having a great time.  He was trained well, and just finished being trained.    I’m so grateful to have him as a companion.
So, that about tells you what’s happened this week.  Thanks, again, for the mail that came so quickly.  As you know, I love getting mail!
Love you all!
Elder Hunt

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Farewell poster from Cole Harbour
Dear Family,
On Saturday (Feb. 16th) we went and checked transfers.  I really wasn't expecting what I saw...I found out that I'm being transferred to Houlton, Maine!  I'll be serving with Elder Clark.  Don't know too much about him yet, so we'll see how it goes.  Elder Sloan and I were on exchanges on Saturday and we really love being together!  We met a lady who explained to us in great detail how she's using electric cigarettes to quit smoking.  Interesting.  And that evening we found a big poster on our car from a couple of the girls in the Cole Harbour ward saying good-bye since I'm getting transferred.  That was really nice of them!

Bruce & Sue Hampson - Valentine's Party at Cole Harbour Ward???

Elder Davidson & Elder Hunt

Elder Hunt, Elder Davidson, Amelia Bruce? and ???

 Now for more details of the week:

February 11th was p-day and me and my companion made a big pile of snow in our backyard, intending to make a snow cave.  But the snow was too soft, so we just carved in a few chairs and benches to chill on.  In the evening we had dinner at the Misners, who invited a friend (Heidi) who was the lady who brought us hot chocolate last week when we were shoveling snow.  She has two daughters named Lienna and Claire.  They are such sweet little girls!  We had a fantastic dinner and enjoyed a lot of great laughs...especially since giving Brother Misner the neckname of "Steva!"  We had a good lesson about the restoration of the authority of God and of His church.
Later in the evening we went to contact a referral, who wasn't home, but while we were walking back to our car, I looked at a house and felt really strongly that we should go there.  Well, I brushed it off and got in the car.  My scriptures happened to be flipped open (which never happens) to Deuteronomy 17:16 which reads "Ye shall henceforth return no more that way."  I "happened" to look at that verse right when I was thinking we should just finish our evening appts.  But when I read that, I thought and felt that we needed to return to that house.  So, I got out of the car, and told E. Davidson, "Let's go!"  He didn't understand why, but I knew.  We knocked on the door, and immediately were invited in.  It was an older couple and we sat and talked, getting to know them, and testified when it was right.  At one point their 14 year old granddaughter came out to join us.  It was an incredible night, and as we were leaving, the husband looked at us and said, "Ya know, I've got a really good feeling about you two..."
It feels so good to hear that -- as a missionary --and to know again that the Spirit works within people.

February 12th was a fantastic day!  We had a great lesson with a recent convert.  She told us again, how in tune with the spirit we were because it was exactly what she needed to hear.  She is a true convert, who accepts and fulfills callings, goes to the temple weekly, and I couldn't be more proud of her!
We had some fun knocking on doors, and had fun times with a guy who constantly said, "I don't believe in the Mormon!"
We also had a dinner with Elder and Sister Edwards.  They had "Touched By An Angel" on the tv, and it brought back so many memories from watching that show as a kid!
Afterwards we had a great experience!  Normally, we never stop by Mike's place before 7:45 because he always has his kids.  But as we drove, we felt prompted to go at 7:20...so we went.  Mike answered in a pretty rough condition...very low, so we went in and had a lesson.  We hadn't been able to meet with him for a few weeks, but during our time with him, and because of the things we discussed, he committed to be baptized on March 9th.  He really needs the Gospel in his life to help him handle all the stuff he is going through.  I'm overly-happy that he is deciding on this!  He's an amazing guy and I love him so much!

On Wednesday we had a lesson with the Thompsons and discussed forgiveness after watching a touching Mormon message about it.  I thought about Denz a lot and how I've had to forgive a lot of different people and things throughout this process, but I'm so grateful I have, because it allows me to progress even more, and ultimately grow closer to my Heavenly Father.

Valentine's Day in the mission field was odd because you see everyone else being lovey, but as missionaries we can't be.  I was, however, able to have a great start to my day, by opening packages from both my mom, and the Madsens.  My mom's had a poem that said: "Roses are red, violets are blue, It's Valentine's Day, but only chocolate kisses for you!!"  Good one, Mom...*_*  (That was actually a joint effort between D'melia and me!!)
I got so many great things from everyone, and of course, I especially loved the things Erika sent me!
And the rest of the day was good for the most part.  We came back from one lesson to find our car had been backed into...some dents, and the front left headlight was smashed...
We also had another lesson with the older couple (the Nobles) and their 14 year old granddaughter.  She is now a new investigator and wants to be baptized and come to church.  We are excited to teach her more, and help her understand and learn the gospel.  The Lord has truly been pouring out blessings upon us this week!
February 15 was my SIX MONTH MARK!!  so as is missionary tradition (it is???) we burned a tie.  That was in the evening when I was on exchanges with Elder Sloan.  (We always have such a good time together!)  Earlier in the day E. Davidson and I went to contact a referral out in Lake Echo.  We knocked on the door and they invited us in for dinner...first time that's ever happened!!  We talked a lot about the church over dinner, and then they showed us their music studio.  I was in Heaven!!  We have a return appointment, but I won't get to go since I'll be in Maine...
On Sunday (Feb. 17) I had to say goodbye to a lot of people that I'll really miss since it was my last Sunday in the Cole Harbour ward.  We had my "last" dinner with the Kearleys and it was really cool to hear Bro. Kearley offer such a beautiful prayer!
It will be an interesting week ahead, saying good-bye to everyone I've grown to love so much.  But it's all worth it because the Lord knows where I need to be and who I need to be there for.  So, I'm really looking forward to Maine!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blizzards, and then some!!


February 4th – On our p-day we got to clean the temple in Dartmouth.  It was such a neat experience, and one that not many missionaries get to have.  I was able to clean the Baptismal Font, both endowment rooms and I got to clean the Celestial room.  I even got to clean the massive chandelier in there.  While I was in there I had a long chat with the temple president about so many things in the temple, their meaning/symbolism.  My mind was blown with the many things I learned from him, and I now understand so much more.  After that I had the rare privilege of cleaning the mezzanine (attic) of the temple.  While I was up there I got to go up to the Angel Moroni.  Very few are allowed to ever do that in their lifetime.  I have now been in literally every inch of the Nova Scotia Temple.  It was a great day!

February 5th – Tuesday, we were walking up to Bishop’s house.  I was at his driveway when I slipped on some ice, feet flew out from under me, and I landed flat on my back.  I smashed my tailbone and my head pretty bad.  From hitting my head I was a little loopy for a while, but I’m all fine now.  I’m just glad I didn’t re-tear my knee or something.  We’ve had some interesting food…like mushroom pizza…but I ate it, and they never knew I didn’t like it. 
February 6th – Wednesday, we had a really good zone conference.  There was a strong emphasis through all of the different trainings on the urgency of missionary work, and really how we don’t have that long to do it.  This is the one time in our lives when we get to do this, and it’ll go by in a flash.  This work is so important and I see it more and more each day out here.  People, left and right, who simply don’t know what the Gospel is.  I’m sure I sometimes take for granted this call that I have to represent the Savior.  I am learning many lessons out here.  I’m learning more patience and long-suffering, and although I don’t like it, it is really helping me to become more like my dad, which is everything I want to be and achieve.
February 7th – Thursday, we had an adventure.  We had a referral for a gal name Teresa who lives all the way out in Meagher’s Grant, which is about an hour away.  So we headed out there with our mapbook but discovered our map doesn’t even cover that part of our area…and there are actually no maps recorded for that area at all…we were out of cell service range, so we couldn’t even call and tell her we were late and couldn’t find her.  As we were driving back to the city we say a really nasty semi-truck flip over…it was a pretty bad accident. 
We got to pick up a new office chair since mine broke last week.  It’s pretty sweet!
AND I got a BIG package from the Madsens!!  Woohoo!!!

February 8th – Friday, we had another interesting lesson with Tom W. After that we had to have our car fixed because of some problems with the oil.  We spent some time at the mission office while it was being taken care of.  I love our senior missionaries so much!  Elder and Sister Weibe are so outgoing and fantastic.  Elder and Sister Thatcher just got out to the mission field, and I love them especially since we do a lot of music stuff together.  And then there is Sister Calvert.  She is my absolute favorite person in the mission.  Her husband died about a year ago, and so she decided to come on a mission.  We’ve spend a lot of time together and really developed a strong/fun relationship.  She always comments on how many letters I get, and threatens to hide them to keep the “girls away from me…” (aka Erika). 
Elder Sutter and Elder Dubyk
I also got to go on exchanges with the Dartmouth elders…E. Sutter and E. Dubyk…trying to share as much as I can with them, to lift their spirits and get their area going…they have been feeling pretty discouraged.  So I’m learning much as well.

February 9th – Saturday, we had a pretty huge blizzard and conditions outside were horrible.  We got about 35 cm of snow in one day.  And it was a pretty rough day.  This evening we had dinner with Sister Vincent.  Turns out she was taught by my mom when she was on her mission here.  So Sister Vincent called my house right then and there and talked to my mom and then gave the phone to me for a couple of minutes.  It was great to hear her voice and was much needed for a rough day.
(I felt a little bad because Sis. Vincent said, “Here’s your son…it’s not against the rules because he didn’t call you. .. I did.”  And then Elder Hunt was saying, “Hello.”  He didn’t sound the greatest so I interpreted that as feeling awkward about the phone call.  We made it short and sweet…so I’m glad it gave him the little boost he needed!)
February 10th – Sunday, this morning we woke up to even MORE snow than the blizzard delivered on Saturday!  So we headed down to Rosewood, parked our car, and asked someone on the street for extra shovels.  Then we shoveled almost every house on the long street, and met a lot of great people.  One lady had her 15 month old baby in a stroller, so we took over for her real quick.  Then another lady offered us $20.  Of course, we didn’t take it, but we shared our message with her.  A girl came out to help us shovel.  Turns out it was the daughter of a former investigator, and when the former found out we had shoveled for her, she had her heart softened and we are going to meet with her again.  Then, another different lady pulled up to us in her car.  Turns out it was a referral we had, that saw us shoveling for everyone, so she went to Tim Hortons and bought us hot chocolate, then brought it out to us.  Such a great lady, and we’re having dinner with her tomorrow.  Then we ran out to the Hampson’s.  We shoveled their very long driveway, and got a good portion done before Bruce noticed and came out to help us.  It was a fun time, but lots and lots of snow.
Then had supper with the Kidd’s and then went out to do more shoveling.  I now have 5 blood blisters and a really sore back, but it was worth it.  The best part is, we’re supposed to get another storm, like this one, next weekend!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

"The Piano Elders". . . making a name in Nova Scotia!

Hi Family!!
Last Monday (the 28th) we went to Peggy’s Cove for P-day.  President Leavitt asked me to drive the transfer van with all the other elders and it was a beautiful day!  Since it’s winter, the water coming over the rocks was frozen and they looked like icebergs.  There was hardly anyone else there since it was freezing, so that was nice.  Then we drove back, and we had dinner at the Pinsents.  Such a big, loud, fun family.  Later we went to the Bruce’s, and Amelia Bruce and I put together a song we’ll be singing in Sacrament meeting in a couple of weeks.  We also worked on two different songs we’ll be performing in Charlotttetown, Prince Edward Island this weekend for the fireside.  Lots of fun!

On Tuesday we had a great district meeting.  I got to lead a discussion on humility, which is probably my favorite Gospel concept, and I learned a lot for preparing for that.  After our district meeting we went out to the Podeszwa’s to help move a bunch of wood.  I had a great chat with the lady across the street while we were moving the wood.
We were covered in wet muddy dirt and bark from our work, and we had to go straight to the mission office like that to take care of some stuff.  So, we walked in, with our hoodies on and asked, “Is this the liquor store?”  SO funny as they didn’t recognize us at first because of the dirt and hoodies.  Good times!
We had a good evening of contacting.  My companion doesn’t feel as confident as he’d like to be, so I’m trying to be the best mentor I can be, and help him understand how to do these things.  I think by my being a “people person” it just comes naturally to me, so I never really have to think about it.  But I guess not everyone is the same way.

Then on Wednesday (30th) we went and picked up Elder Jaden Jensen from the mission home.  He and his companion are down from New Glasgow because his companion is really sick and has to be sent home because of it.  So E. Jensen spent today with us.  He’s a great Elder and we get along really well.  We had lunch at the Podeswa’s, and then had breakfast for dinner at the Nelsons.  We had a lot of good times in between as well!  A couple of lessons fell through today, but we’re just trying to keep a positive attitude no matter what.  I know I’m not perfect, but I sure can try!

Thursday (31st)  we picked up Elder Jensen again, since he was still in the area.  We had a lesson out with R. MacDonald and it was a complete turnaround from last time we met with him.  He was talking about wanting forgiveness and not wanting to give into temptations anymore.  So it was great, and hopefully we see him at church on Sunday.  After that we did a “surprise visit” to the Hampsons.  They made us lunch and we had a good chat.  (Oh, this makes me HAPPY!!  When I hear Elder Hunt has been visiting with Sue and Bruce Hampson, it’s ALMOST like we’ve had a visit with him!!)  On our way back we stopped at Lawrencetown Beach.  The weather was crazy … wind getting up to about 100k’s per hour, and we were getting blown all over the place!  Then we had dinner with the Stewarts.   I’ve been feeling a lot better this week.  It’s interesting that I don’t find a lot of things amusing when other missionaries or members often do.  Maybe I’m maturing or something, but stupid little things are just stupid now.  I’m the same old Dal I’ve always been, but I’m seeing a lot more now and learning from it.

Friday morning was the first of February, so I made some Navajo fry bread for breakfast.  We ate them with honey butter, and they were delicious!  What a great start for the day.  Our planning time quickly turned into a “long apartment cleaning session,” so now our place is nice and clean.  This evening we met the Bridgewater Elders at the mission home, and they followed us back to our apartment.  They are staying at our place tonight because Elder Woodward and I are traveling to PEI on Sunday for the musical fireside, so we are all together for the next couple of days.  Elder Steed and Elder Woodward are great, and we all get along really well.  Hopefully they’ll be able to help us pick up our area with some new investigators.  I’m feeling pretty good again today.  It’s been fun playing my violin with Elder Woodward playing the cello.  He played with the BYU Symphony, so we’ve had some really cool duets and making music.  I wish I could just serve a purely musical mission.  How awesome would that be???  Maybe someday with my wife!

On Saturday we had a really great morning study session.  It’s been really tough to help E. Davidson get into role plays and take them seriously, but today he finally began to understand.  For lunch we had our entire district and Bridgewater go to Ms Vanelli’s for our favorite pizza again.  It’s great to see everyone in the mall turn their heads when we’re in there.  Then E. Woodward and I went to the mission home to practice our quartet musical number for Sunday.  The mission was having a Seniors Conference, so they were all there and got to listen.  Elder Call (the head of the Music Department at BYU-Idaho) is letting me use his amazing violin, and it’s got an incredible sound!  The quartet came together very nicely, and should turn out great for the fireside.  Tonight we had a really good lesson with Stephanie, too.  She’s been having a rough time, but she will finally be at church tomorrow, and I couldn’t be happier! 

Sunday came around with a snowstorm that almost shut down our travel to PEI for the fireside.  We decided to make the trip anyway, but Amelia Bruce couldn’t go due to the weather.  We went up with the assistants, E. Nielson and E. Unger, and arrived about 7:05 p.m.  The fireside started at 7:00, so we arrived, walked in and performed right on the spot.  Elder Call and I played a violin duet, and we also did the string quartet.  People around the Maritimes are beginning to call us “The Piano Elders,” kind of a take-off of “The Piano Guys” that are so popular.  I guess we’re kind making a name for ourselves with the people here!

After we ate some food, I got to see Elder Layton (from our MTC days) who was at the fireside, and then we were set to drive all the way back to Dartmouth.  It’s about a 4-hour drive, so I was writing in my journal at 2:30 a.m.!!  Haven’t missed a day yet!  Overall, things have been really good!

I sure love you all.  Don't forget to write!  I love hearing from you.

Elder Hunt

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oops! Almost a week late!!

Mom kind of blew it this week, with not getting any of Elder Hunt's emails transferred to his blog this week!  I'll try to back-track, and at least put up a few pictures!  I'll do better when he emails tomorrow!!