Friday, June 28, 2013

Mom's Birthday Tribute to Elder Hunt (taken from the Hunt Family Blog)

Today is Elder Hunt’s (Dallin’s) 20th birthday.  Since he is a few thousand miles away, and we won’t be able to celebrate with him in our usual way,  I headed down “Memory Lane” by going through some of his baby books.  Some sweet, poignant pictures…I finally had to put them away.  But I took pictures of some of the pictures, so here they are:

Dallin was born on June 28th, 1993, weighing 8 lbs 13 oz. The very next day he came home from the hospital,  and wanted a picture taken with his best friend, Harrison Schram.  Harrison had been born 41 days earlier.  They were wondering WHAT they had gotten themselves into!!

12 year old Denzel took good care of baby Dallin!

At two years old, Dallin was very into all kinds of adventures…running in the driveway, wrapped in a large Halloween bouquet,
"Look!  I can fit in Hershey's kennel!!"

How about surprising Mom by climbing on top of the computer monitor without her knowing it...

Or jumping off the 4-drawer filing cabinet…

. . . with encouragement from the siblings . . .

. . . while Dad and Mom were gone to choir practice!!  He only missed landing on the pillows once, and he wasn't a REALLY big gash on his head that we came home to. . .

And then there was the time he accidentally broke Mother Goose . . .  my FAVORITE cookie jar!!

But when he ran out of steam, he ran out of steam!!

(Erika, do you think he may have been dreaming that in 17 years he would receive the best birthday surprise of his life through that same pantry door??)  

Now let me see. . . 

. . . there was the time that Dallin managed to convince Natalee to cut off his BRAND NEW pair of pants when he wanted shorts like his sister!  I wasn't very happy, but he liked his shorts!!

And he has always loved his sister(s)!!

(Too bad I ran out of steam to look for more pictures!)

And Dallin LOVED football!!  Dallin and Harrison wore their gear to Denzel's and Brandon's high school football games.  #4 was THE number!!

He loved helping his mom when she had foot surgery.

And I managed to be there for many of his mishaps!!

In 2000, our family horse pack trip to the Dolores Mountains in Colorado was VERY memorable, but the fishing expedition was NOT Dallin's favorite.   He was SOOOO bugged that he didn't catch anything when everyone else did, AND that Brandon caught SIX fish!  He tried to smile for the picture anyway!  (I think I threatened him with walking back to camp. . . a two hour horse ride!)

July 2001
His baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was very important to him, and he was always so proud of his brothers, (his sisters, too, but I didn’t see many pictures with them!)
Well, I could go on and on, but I’d just work myself into an emotional hole, so I’ll just share a few more pictures…

When Dallin was young, he could really throw the royal tantrum.  As he grew out of that stage, he entered the “pout like a lout” phase.  One day I had had my fill and gave him an “academic” punishment…he could practice his penmanship while driving home a point:  He got to write it 25 times:  “I will not pout when I don’t like the way things go.”   He really hated that at the time, but he is a VERY positive young man, now!! 

And last week, in his letter home, Elder Hunt mentioned that the girl at Houlton Dairy Farms knows Elder Hunt's “the usual, please” means a hot fudge sundae with nuts on top, I saw this picture and thought, “Some things NEVER change!!”

Elder Hunt, you have such a special place in our hearts.  We love you SOOOOO very much!!  Hope your day was memorable!!

Love you forever,


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Dear Family,
There sure are some unique things you see on a mission!!
Gotta love the mail system in Maine!!
King of the Brownie Mix!!
Early birthday dessert, is Mom's guess!!  Right, Erika?!?!

Sooo, here are some details about my week:

District Leader responsibilities definitely take more time and effort, but I'm learning lots.  There are a LOT of bugs out!!  I've got SO many bites, over 30 of's looks like I've got chicken pox!!  Gotta love the Maritimes!

We've had some great days of contacting and teaching.  We have some new investigators lined up and I'm excited about the opportunities we have coming our way.

On Tuesday night there was a fiesta party for all of the graduates.  There was tons of good Mexican food, which was incredible to have since there isn't a single Mexican place to eat at up here.  On Wednesday we travelled to Weston (approx. 35 miles), to teach Mike.  While we were there two older guys came to fish in his pond.  One guy caught four trout in TEN MINUTES!!  Each was 14-18 inches long.  Pretty good fishing!  They were both Vietnam vets and their language wasn't the best, but Elder Edmond and I couldn't stop laughing because they reminded us of the two grandpas on "Secondhand Lions."

One of our new investigators is TJ.  He's 16 and a really great guy.  He's really into motorcycles and has 3 really nice ones.  We taught him the Restoration and he was very intent.  He just sprained his wrist, so he can't work as a waiter right now.  Because of that, he's able to come to church.  I don't think that's any coincidence!!

We had a great visit with Janice at her house for the first time.  Her mom let us come over and we all had dinner together, then we had a lesson with Janice about service.  She is doing so well, and makes a great member of the church!

On Saturday we drove to Fredericton for our zone training.  I gave the doctrinal discussion on the power and authority of our calling as missionaries, and it went really well.  I also gave Elders Dupin, Tusa, Corbett and Urick their "presents" I had bought for them earlier in the week.  They loved them and it made me feel good to brighten their day so randomly.   Also at the training, we did role-plays with "practice investigators" from the ward...that is everyone except me.  I got to teach the REAL investigator the law of chastity.  The elders who have been teaching her asked me to meet with her and teach that discussion.  I could tell they were apprehensive.  So, I taught it to her, and it went more smoothly than any Law of Chastity lesson has ever gone for me.  That was her one concern, and now it's resolved.  She's getting baptized on July 13th, so that was really cool!

Mom sent me a copy of the stress management booklet.  It was a great reminder for me, and Elder Edmond really liked it, too.

Last, but not least, was Sunday.  I got to give a talk in church...whittled my 15 minute talk down to 5 minutes when Pres. Carter flashed me the "only speak for 5 minutes" sign.  Like I've said before, you learn how to do all kinds of things on a mission!!  I'll send a copy of the whole talk to mom.  Maybe she can put it on the blog, or email it.

And I really loved the worldwide broadcast on missionary work held Sunday night.  The spirit was incredibly strong throughout the meeting.  I'm so grateful to be led by a living prophet, and apostles of God.  Throughout the meeting I saw a few people I know.  It was especially cool to see Elder Henry Walton (I swam with him on SCHS's swim team) in the missionary choir.  I'm am SO happy to know he is out serving the Lord.

It's great being a missionary!!

Elder Hunt


Monday, June 17, 2013


Dear Family,

Last Monday I got a phone call from one of the APs.  He informed me that I would be the new District Leader for the Presque Isle district.  I'm staying in Houlton with Elder Edmond, but now have many more responsibilities.  It feels a bit overwhelming, and there is a LOT to do, but it will just keep me working harder.

My first district meeting as DL was on Tuesday, and everything went great.

On Wednesday we contacted a lot of referrals, one of which ran a day care.  While we were there one of the little girls took a liking to me.  Hannah is 3 years old, and is the cutest little girl!  She ran up to me and gave me a huge hug, like she knew me.  Then she wanted to know everything about me, and to play together.  So we did for a bit, and she insisted on taking one of my cards home to her mom.  She also had some stickers, so I asked if I could have one so I'd remember her forever.  She gave me one and made me promise to give her one of mine the next time we see each other.  As we left she ran and gave me the cutest, longest hug, then gave me a kiss on the cheek.  It was very sweet!

On Thursday we drove all the way down to Weston, Maine to contact a referral.  It's out in the middle of nowhere, but on our way we stopped at the "Million Dollar View" and it was a pretty cool sight to see.  We met Mike, our referral, and he lives all alone, in the middle of nowhere.  Because of the circumstances of some of the stuff he has been through it seems like he is really ready to hear about the gospel, and without much distraction, he has plenty of time to read the Book of Mormon!

After that visit, we got a phone call from Donald, a man we met in the store on Wednesday.  He is a French cuisine chef and his house is basically the dream home...lots of land, a beautiful view, wrap-around's perfect!!  He has started to play the violin so that was fun to play and show him some things.  I'm so grateful my mom made me learn how to play "Oh Danny Boy" because Donald asked that very first thing when he heard I played the violin; and I was able to play it on the spot from memory.  He just loved it.  The I played some songs on his beautiful piano as well.

Donald gave us a cooking lesson, and taught us how to make some really delicious meatballs & spaghetti; he also made some French bread that was the most delicious bread I've ever had (except for Mom's homemade bread, of course!)  (Elder Hunt is a VERY smart boy!!)  He said he's not interested in our church, but loves what we do for people.  Well, we'll see...  Donald also showed us some pictures his father took "back in the day" when he was a photographer at Yale.   They included Babe Ruth, JFK, Marilyn Monroe's husband, and George Bush Senior.  Pretty cool stuff!!

We had a meeting with Janice and it was a great lesson.  It was good to talk about the mistakes we make, and how as we repent and take the sacrament each week, it's like being baptized again as we renew our covenants.  I think it helped her a lot.  After that we went to the Carter's to practice a musical number that I arranged of "O My Father" for a funeral we were going to play at.

That evening when we were out contacting, we ran into a large group of kids our age that were just heading out to the woods to go 4-wheeling, dirt biking, camping, etc.  It made me miss those things, but I love being out here MORE than I love those things.

My new responsibilities as DL are a lot but things are going well.  I love my elders and I run a tight ship...clearly, because they all call me "Captain Hunt."  We have a tradition out here in Houlton of Friday night Date Night.  Everyone goes to two places on Friday night.  First, the movie theater, and then Houlton Farms Dairy, a really good ice cream place.  Since we can't go to movies, we go to the dairy every Friday night.  It's a really popular place.  When we went in there were about 30 people there.  So, when it came time for me to place my order, and the gal asked me what I'd like, I turned around and looked at all the people there and asked/yelled, "What kind should I get guys?!?!"  Well, I got a favorable response from everyone, and chose of the the 20-ish flavors they shouted back.  It sparked a really fun, good discussion among everyone there, where there hadn't been much talking before.  So I was happy to brighten their night and bring a little fun to the place. Elder Edmond probably thinks I'm crazy because he is very shy; I guess, clearly, I'm not!

Saturday was the funeral and it went really well.  The lady who died was a non-member, but her sister is a member.  The musical number went really well and I received several compliments.  The funeral was somewhat tough to get through for me.  It was the first funeral I've been to since Denzel died, and so many emotions flooded back into me.  My knee hurt quite a bit during the funeral and after, but I got through it.

My knee has definitely been improving with overall pain and surrounding pains.  But there is still the main part that gives shooting pain when I walk on it.  The overtime, it all gets achey. Oh well.

On Sunday President Carter gave a talk about being temple recommend worthy.  It was good and I think it's what many of the people in the branch needed to hear.  There's never any benefit to putting off temple worthiness.  It only brings you further and further every day from that happiness we're all so earnestly looking for.

So things overall are going well.  I'm glad you're all praying for my knee.  It helps!!  I love being a missionary and serving the Lord.  There isn't anyplace I would rather be right now at this time in my life.

Elder "Captain" Hunt

Friday, June 14, 2013

WHAT THE KNEE!?!?!?!?!

Dear Family,
On Monday we had dinner at the Hann's and their 8 year old daughter, Rebecca, asked me to sing a song with her in Sacrament Meeting.  So, in a few weeks, we're going to sing "A Child's Prayer."  She is such a sweet little girl!

And now for the part you DON'T want to hear about!!

So Tuesday we travelled to Caribou for our District Meeting, then went on exchanges.  I stayed in Caribou with Elder Dupin.  We had a good day teaching lessons and finding a couple new investigators.  In the evening we had dinner with the Judd's.  After that we taught Insia, and then had sports night at the church.  We played a bit of basketball, and I was being very careful, but I felt a big pop in my left knee.  It didn't feel like something very serious, but now my knee has really been aching a lot.  In my defense, though, we weren't playing a game or anything.  We were just taking turns shooting the ball, and when I shot, I came down on it, it twisted a little, then popped.  I can't feel any pain by pushing on any part of my knee, so that scares me a little, knowing that it's inside...

 On Wednesday we stayed in the apartment for the first half of the day, working on our area maps, due to my knee and the pain.  I'm have been wearing my knee brace and that helps me to get around.  We went to see Brother Boisvert later in the day and it was nice to see some horses again.

Later that night we had dinner with the Robertsons, then had a lesson with Storm'e.  She's been doing well, especially since she got up to bear her testimony on Sunday in church.

My knee was a little swollen on Thursday.  After doing stuff in the apartment and planning, we went to see Brother Spinney, who is a doctor at the Houlton hospital.  When we were at his home he said I need to get it checked out with an x-ray/MRI.  So we'll see how that goes.  After all of that we went to the Sides' home for dinner.  Brother Sides has an incredible BBQ and we had some really good steaks.  

I received a text from Janice saying she's been smoke-free for a week.  I asked how she has been doing it and she said she just pictures me with a cigarette hanging from my mouth and how grotesque that would look.  Then she thought how that's how it must look on her.  I thought that was a great strategy!
A piano here in Houlton

Sunday was a great day at church.  The Hann kids (Rebekah, 8 and Daniel, 6) came and sat by me.  As the meeting went on Bekah kept scooting closer and closer to me.  I started to write gospel questions on a piece of paper, and she would write her answers.  My favorite was when I asked, "Do you want to serve a mission?"  She replied, "Yes, because I want to help people and be a good person just like you. :)"
After church we had a correlation meeting with Brother Marshall and had dinner there, too.  

I've been icing my knee a lot this week.  It got really stiff on Sunday and there hasn't been much improvement.  I have a lot of mixed feelings and emotions, but the Lord has also been answering my prayers for peace, regardless of what happens.  The longer the day goes on, the worse it gets, and there are mostly sharp, sudden burning pains, while walking.  Other than that, mostly just aches and throbs while sitting.

I'm getting a priesthood blessing on Tuesday, so I'm hoping that will help.  No matter what happens, I'll keep a good attitude, right?

I love you all.  Thank you for your love and support!

Elder Hunt
(P.S.  Elder Hunt was made a district leader this week...)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Deep-fried June Bugs and Thunderstorms Galore!!

Dear Family,

Last Monday was Memorial Day.  It was the day that I tried my first "deep-fried June Beatles."  They weren't too bad at all...just tasted a bit like burnt popcorn.  The only kind of weird thing was feeling the texture of the legs in my mouth.  But in the evening we had a delicious dinner of smoked/BBQ chicken and had brownie sundaes (my ultimate favorite!) for dessert!  We spent the rest of the evening getting Elder Clark packed and cleaning our apartment.

On Tuesday, we had our district meeting in Preque Isle.  We had lunch together and took pictures before saying farewell to Elder Clark.

My new companion arrived on Wednesday. His name is Elder Edmond and is a great Elder.  He did a lot of cross-fit training before coming out and we both like to eat healthy, so that's a plus!  We had a great lesson with Janice and she is ready for her baptism.  There was a point where she had read some anti- stuff, but everything is really good!  In the evening we did a bit of knocking on doors while the weather turned back to raining really hard.  We got drenched and still no one invited us in.

Thursday was great!  I got to practice the violin a bit in preparation for playing at Janice's baptism.  Had a good lesson with Janice, then did some work with Bro. Lee on writing up a newspaper article on the missionary work we're doing.  We had dinner at President Carter's house then went with him to a lesson with Molly and Ben.  The spirit could be felt so strongly.  It was amazing!

On Friday we had a really good lesson with Janice in the park.  We read through the whole Joseph Smith History which she loved.  And it was a great experience to see things "click" in her mind.
After a lesson with Evan and Kim, they took us to Houton Dairy Farms which is the most popular ice cream place in Maine.  While we were in line outside, a huge thunderstorm gathered and dumped on us.  Lightning was striking all around, too!!  Pretty intense!

Saturday was brutally hot!!  AND with 100% humidity!  I was sticking to EVERYTHING!  I felt like I was serving in the Amazon or something!  After we went and bought some big fans for our UN-air conditioned apartment, we had dinner with the Marshall's shortly before Janice's baptism.  Luckily, we held the baptism in Woodstock, where the font fills up in 40 minutes rather than 9 hours!  And the baptism went great!

Janice F. was so prepared and ready to be baptized.  Even though it took 3 tries (a hand came up, then part of her dress...), she DID get baptized by IMMERSION!  After changing, I performed "If You Could Hie To Kolob" on the violin.  It was a great arrangement, with no accompaniment.  The spirit was very strong throughout the baptism and I felt so much joy and happiness for Janice.

On Sunday I was able to confirm Janice a member of the church, and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  What a great experience that was.  It was one of those special times, where, as I spoke the words, I could physically feel it being given to Janice.  I was able to bear my testimony, and I also got to lead he music in church, too.

After Church we went out to the Peters.  A freak thunderstorm came out of nowhere, and Storm'e and Annie got caught in it out on the lake.  Thankfully, a nice gentleman picked them up in his motor boat and brought them home.  Ben, Molly and I had a really good talk together about some important things, and how even little things make such a big difference.  They are doing SO great!

As Elder Edmond and I were driving home ANOTHER storm (even BIGGER!) hit and we had to stop driving for awhile because it was so bad!  When it calmed down we drove home.  En route we saw a lot of trees destroyed and even one that took out some telephone poles and wires, dropping them onto the road.  Some pretty eventful stuff!  And I'm loving it!  Drenched in 3 Seconds!!  (click "Drenched in 3 Seconds" to see video!)

Elder Hunt