Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chili Cook-off and Baptism!!

Dear Family,
Last Monday’s P-day was very different in Houlton.  It’s so much more laid back!  We got to do our emailing at the super “old-school” library, then got groceries.  I’m loving the price of groceries here!  We made some homemade crispy chicken sandwiches since we don’t have a Wendy’s anywhere near here.  I bought some hair cutters and gave myself a haircut.  And we played “mini-golf” in the hallway at the church.  Fun times. 
In the evening we had dinner with the Robertson’s and afterwards we stopped by Sister Beasley’s place to visit her.  She has a VERY old violin, and the minute I picked it up I could tell!  As I played the violin, it had AMAZING tone and I could tell it was high quality.  We looked at the tag inside the violin:  Nikolaus Amatus Fecit – Cremona – 1645.  I was playing on a 368 year old violin!  And when we looked it up online, the violin turned out to be very rare, and is worth a lot of money!  Sister Beasley’s going to take it to a specialist and get it verified.  AND she is also letting me use it while I’m in the area!  How cool is that?!?!

On Tuesday we went to Caribou (Maine) for a district training meeting.  We picked up Elders McIntyre and Tusa in Presque Isle on the way.  Elder Tusa is a big Samoan, and I love him to death.  It’s great to be in a district with E. West.  He’s from Morgan, Utah and he came out the same time I did. I’ve always wanted to serve with him, so it’ great to be around him, and we get along really well.  After the district meeting, which was really good, we went out for pizza.  After that we split up for exchanges, so for the rest of the day I was with Elder Tusa in Presque Isle.  We were knocking, and this guy opened the door and said he wasn’t interested. 
  So we kept going down the street, knocking.  As we got rejected again a few house down, we walked back onto the street, and there was that guy, just staring at us.  I walked back to him and began to talk.  He eyes swelled up with tears, and they began to run down his face.  He said that he was going through a rough time, and then walked back into his house.  I thought about him all night.  I went back and gave him our card and number, and he really appreciated it.  I hope he realizes that we (the gospel) can help him through this tough time.  Even though I don’t know him, I feel so much love for him, and I feel his hurt and sorrow upon myself and want the best for him.

After exchanging back with Elders Clark and McIntyre, it felt  so good to be “back at home” with my regular companion.  We’re just instantly loving each other, so we have a great time.  Still can’t believe how fast mail is here!!
On Thursday the 28th, Elder Clark and I had a dinner appointment in Canada with the Street’s, who are very funny and very English.  So naturally it was a great time!  It began to snow where we were driving there and eating dinner.  When we got done and went to leave, there was about 5” of new snow.  So we drove carefully and came to a hill, where we saw someone that was stuck.  We got out and went to help.  We met a young lade and her boyfriend.  We helped them figure out the whole situation with their car, getting it unstuck and up the hill, and of course we talked about the gospel, too.  Hopefully they will be willing to listen to use later on.  It’s always so cool how we are placed in people’s paths, and even though we were rushing to another appointment, it all worked out, and we made it to our lesson with Flo, who is getting baptized on Saturday.
At that appointment Flo asked Elder Clark to baptize her and me to confirm her.  When she said the prayer after our lesson, she asked for blessings to be upon us Elders to help us resist temptation and keep the commandments.  Most people forget that missionaries are still normal people, and face temptation every day, like everyone else.  So I was grateful for her prayer and understanding.
On Friday we went outside to drive to an appointment, but the car battery was dead…so we decided to walk instead.  We had to walk down to the church through all the snow, and we saw some great scenery and I had fun walking across a big, deep frozen river, which was pretty sketchy because I didn’t know where it was actually frozen since there was snow on top.  (Too much information for THIS mom!)  But we made it to the church where the branch had a “chili cook-off”  And Elder Clark and I were the judges!!  It was a lot of fun eating and socializing.  I felt badly when we found out that Flo had come to the church, but didn’t realize where the cook-off was being held, didn’t see anyone, so went back home.  It would have been so good for her to have the association with the branch members, but things have worked out.
On Saturday Flo was baptized after some long hours of concern, worry, and talking.  Elder Clark and I had to go over to the other chapel (Houlton’s chapel doesn’t have a font in it), and it hadn’t been used for quite awhile…there had been a fly infestation and we had to vacuum up over 500 flies throughout.  AND we were very concerned about the font being filled in time.  But it all worked out.  The font was full by the time the program started.  I spoke on Baptism and Elder Clark performed the ordinance.  All of the previous feelings throughout the day of fear, nerves, stress, etc., were all taken away and replaced with the comforting spirit, which brought peace and love.  Flo expressed her joy, good feelings, and happiness as well, which really helped me to feel better, and know that she was ready for baptism. 
I am learning SO much from all of my experiences.  I’m learning to trust the Lord, and my faith is growing as I have these amazing things to go through.  I’m learning how hard I need to work, harder than I thought possible, and then the Lord comes through and makes up the difference.  I’m reading a TON of scriptures and other church books.  Every chance I get I read.  Some of what I’m reading or have finished is:  “Our Search For Happiness,”  Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon (again), up to 2nd Kings in the Old Testament, and The Miracle of Forgiveness, which is definitely my favorite!  I love reading these words of God and His leaders.  AND getting to attend the CES Devotional Sunday evening was great, too!  Elder Bednar gave a remarkable talk that contained many things I needed to hear.  I love the way my life is being blessed with new insights/understanding of the Gospel and how it can bless/benefit my life now and in the future.  Serving a mission is an incredible blessing.  A lot of work, but a great blessing!!
Love you all!
Elder Hunt

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