Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TRANSFER WEEK...for Elder Edmond.

Dear Family,
Well, it was Transfer Time this week, so Elder Edmond and I had a lot to get done.  On Monday we were getting some groceries and a car pulled up by us.  It was Donna, the niece of a lady in our branch.  Long story short,  Donna and her husband want us to come over and teach them the Gospel!  It was a pretty cool thing and I’m excited about this.  Too bad Elder Edmond is going to miss out!
We also found out that Ben and Molly are getting married at the end of the year.  They have a ring and everything, which is a great step for them.

After our district meeting via Skype on Tuesday, we went and hauled a bunch of wood for the Sides.  I was up in the trailer stacking the so the others could grab it, which meant I was crouched / bent over for nearly 3 hours.  My back is just “a little” sore.

At least we had a blast doing it!  We were belting out songs the whole time we worked and it was a really neat experience.  

Started out with stuff like Bohemian Rhapsody, and ended up with Primary Songs and hymns.  It was a neat experience to see a bunch of men work so hard, enjoy their work, and bring the Spirit to that work by singing…all at the same time.  Elder Edmond and I enjoyed that last evening of work together.  He’ll do a great job in Newfoundland.

Wednesday was devoted to seeing Elder Edmond off (we drove to Fredericton), then I worked with the Fredericton elders while waiting for Elder Skinner (my new companion) to get in later that evening.  We spent the night there, then headed to Houlton the next day.
Elder Skinner and I went with Bro. Robertson to visit Mike.  It was his 54th birthday and I had made some chocolate cupcakes as a surprise for him.  We snuck them in without him seeing, then, after a really interesting/fun lesson on the Law of Chastity, I snuck into the kitchen, put a candle in one cupcake, lit it, then walked out singing “Happy Birthday.”   Mike’s face just lit up and he was so happy.   He lives all alone in the middle of nowhere, so I knew we needed to do something special for him.  And we enjoyed eating the cupcakes together.
Oh, and Elder Skinner and I just mesh really well together with our teaching styles.  It is really fun to teach with him.
On Friday we helped the Street family move.  We worked really hard packing up their entire house into a moving truck in four hours.  I was the “packing manager” and directed the placing of everything.  It was like playing a giant game of Tetris, getting everything to fit just right.
Mom, I did the Medicine Wheel with a man in our branch and he really liked it.  He even kept his paper so he could study it and improve.  
Elder Skinner talks much more than Elder Edmond and it’s really fun planning together.  We’ve come up with some ideas for our area, like a sports night that some guys our age are pretty interested in.  We’ll be starting that next week… (I hope Elder Hunt is VERY careful with his knee!!)
Elder Skinner was going to University of Wyoming and is a collegiate high jumper.  He’s jumped 7’1”…that’s crazy!!  We both are really sore from all the service work we’ve been doing, and we both feel out of shape.  We have fun together since we both love sports.   AND Elder Skinner teaches me French as we walk around since he was called out here as a French missionary.  That’s been fun too!
Sunday meetings were so good.  We had four men get up and bear very strong testimonies about missionary work, and the need for all of us to be willing to share the gospel.  It was really good.  This Branch is really getting a fire kindled under it and being involved in the missionary work going on here.  It’s exciting!  We even sat down and created a daily study schedule for the branch members.  I love this Branch and feel like thae work is going to explode (that’s a good thing!) in this area!!
I hope you all are doing good.  I'm getting a few puzzles added to my wall.  It’s been fun to do.  I’ll be sure to send pictures of Elder Skinner next week.  I just couldn't take any in the library like you wanted me to, Mom.  J
Give all my nieces and nephews hugs and kisses for me, and tell them that Uncle Dallin (Elder Hunt) says “hello from Maine!!”  I love you all so much.

Elder Hunt

A few more pics from Elder Hunt...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Dear Family,
First of all, I loved the stuff you sent for my one-year mark.  It was great!!
Well, here goes another week:
Monday we spent most of the day cleaning our apartment because President Leavitt was coming for interviews.  I mean we REALLY cleaned it…got to keep up my reputation, you know!  But when President Leavitt came on Wednesday, he forgot his passport, so we ended up driving over to Woodstock (New Brunswick) and met with him there.  Oh well, we still enjoyed our ultra clean apartment!
And, there was a really cool thing that happened in conjunction with this little change of our plans.  While we were at the small Woodstock church that isn’t really used for anything, the church phone rang.  I answered it.  A lady was calling, wanting to learn more about the church and information about attending.  I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we “happened” to be at the church at that exact time.
During the week we talked to the “big porch of people” again.  They really getting to like us there.  They come running when they see us walk by, and they gave us seven referrals!!  They are pretty fun to work with.
During our district meeting this week (in Caribou), I gave a doctrinal discussion all about the Medicine Wheel, and we all did it as a district.  It provided some really great insights for each of our companionships, and ourselves.

After district meeting I did some splits with E. Gibbs in Presque Isle.  We rode our bikes which kind of pestered my knee a bit.  Then I got a flat tire.  Then it started to downpour for the next 3 hours while we were out contacting…and I didn’t have a jacket or anything because I had left it in Houlton.  Well, I’ll just say I got more wet than I have ever been in my life!  I was soaked all the way through my garments!!  Elder Gibbs couldn’t understand why I was smiling so much in spite of everything going on.  I really wanted to provide a POSITIVE outlook, because that’s what I’ve really been trying to get across to my district…that a positive attitude can change any situation.  So, we enjoyed the rain and everything that happened and just had fun with it!

 So Thursday was my one year mark.  The box that came from home had some new white shirts, snackage, pens, a pink “zipper tie,” a big thing of silly putty, and a Canadian flag!  I also got a card from Erika.  It was great to get some things and know that people remembered.  I also got calls from Elder Deem, Elder Evanson, and a text from Assistant Nzojibwami!! 
It’s kind of hard to describe how I feel.  It feels like I’ve been away from home for years because of how much I’ve experienced and learned.  But it also feels like I just came out yesterday because of how much I still have to learn.  It’s quite an odd sensation.  But it does feel a little different now that my time is counting down, instead of up.  My time as a missionary is very limited and I’m so grateful I get to serve a mission.  I’ve seen some of the Lord’s great success throughout my first year, and know that is only gets better and better each and every day.  It’s a great day to be a missionary!
We had dinner with Phil Henderson this week, and he had broken his knee so I definitely had some sympathy pains for him.  I often think about my knee.  It’s frustrating sometimes as I wonder if I’ll ever play rugby competitively again.  But I remind myself what Heavenly Father gave me through that trial…one last night with my brother and hero, Denz.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything in this world.  I get emotional, even just writing about it, so I better stop!  I guess I’m just saying there’s lots of different feelings about a lot of things.

On Saturday we helped a less active lady move out of her apartment.  It was a mess but we got it done.  She couldn’t take more than a couple of suitcases with her, so most of it was taken to the dump.  But what made me feel really badly was that about halfway through everything, her son walked in.  I guess he had been living away from home (kinda run away), and had come back…jus to find his mom leaving.  He was left to stay at a homeless shelter until he can get a job.  I doubt he’s more than 17.  I felt so bad, and it made me so grateful for a loving family who cares about me, and watches out for me.  I love you all so much.  There’s nothing quite like a mission to remind you how much your family means to you!!

Yesterday (Sunday) we received a text from the assistants telling us to check our email for transfer letters.  Turns out my companion is being sent to Newfoundland, and I’m going to be companions with Elder Skinner, a French speaking Elder who was trained by Elder Nzojibwami!!  I have been around Elder Skinner before and I love him to death!!  We’re gonna have a blast together!  I’m excited for that, but also sad to see Elde Edmond leave.  I’m so glad I got to do his birthday breakfast and treasure for him last week!!
Well, that better be all for now.  I sure love you all SO much!!  I love getting the pictures of stuff going on back home…and of the nieces and nephews…they are growing so much.  They’re not going to know me by the time I get home!!  I love hearing from you when you send letters and emails.  Thank you so much!!

Elder Hunt

P.S.  Did I mention we get a LOT of rain here?!?!  Ha!!  I can't remember a single Friday that it didn't rain!!  Gotta love our Fridays in Houlton and going to the Houlton Farms Dairy for hot fudge sundaes!
Latest Puzzle Therapy

Thursday, August 15, 2013


The Madsen clan came for a visit (in St. George) en route to Hawaii, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to paint the window a few days early...We sure are proud of our missionary!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Missionary Mobile!!

Dear Family,

Here's a rundown of this past week:

 It seems like it rains ALL the time out here!  But we get things done!  And we've had some good days of contacting people.  Our kilometers for using the car have been cut way back, so we're walking about 4 times more than we were before.  And I have been feeling it in my knee.  I thought it had been doing better, but it sure didn't feel too hot.  Who knows, maybe these changes are God's way of helping me to strengthen my knee.  (Maybe President Leavitt cut the miles back because they were seen sitting in this "Missionary Mobile!")

On Monday, I got to set up the new recording equipment that Bruce and Sue gave me.  I set it up at the chapel, and played for a couple of hours.  I was amazed at the quality of the recording, and feel so grateful to have received such a wonderful gift!!

We had our district meeting via Skype this week.  Technology is great and can make things fast and convenient.  Partway through, some of the elders seemed to disengage...so being "Captain Hunt" I stopped the meeting for a bit, asked them some "fun" questions, and after a few minutes everyone was laughing and paying attention.  Amazing what a little humor can do!

Too bad a little humor didn't help when we were out contacting one evening!!  I turned around from a door to walk down the porch stairs and I lost my footing.  I about ate it pretty dang hard down the steps.  My knee felt like it was going to snap!!  The rest of the night I had a headache, too!!  Good thing I know how to keep a positive attitude!!!

  One evening we called on a contact that was a referral we had been given earlier.  She wasn't interested, but she had two friends over that were.  We taught Jordan and Brady for about an hour.  As we taught them, lots of people were going in and out of the apartment house where we were teaching.  By the end, there were about ten other people listening in on the side of our lesson.  It was pretty cool!

Mike, our investigator, is doing so well.  Every time I see him, he has more light in his eyes, he's more positive and his faith is really growing.  We discussed baptism and confirmation today, and moved his baptism date to September 14th.  He's pretty excited and really looking forward to it.

There were a couple of days this week that things fell through, plans changed, lots of different things...and coupled with the rain, they just weren't the greatest of days.  But the positive in spite of all the things that were disappointments, frustrations, irritations, etc., is that the church is true, and Christ made it possible for all of us to return and experience complete joy.

I'm approaching the "one year" mark of my mission and I feel like I've learned so much, yet still have so much more to learn.  It's like I live a double-life:  My life out here on the mission, with all the people, experiences, and memories I'm making.  Then, my "normal" life back home, which is getting harder and harder to remember.  It's an odd feeling.

We met a Muslim couple this week.  We actually sat on their porch and talked for a good hour about Islam and Mormon.  There are so many similarities, it's incredible.  But the main difference is they don't believe Jesus Christ is our Savior.  But they were such great people and he actually gave me a really nice copy of the Quran.

Saturday night was a bit of a sleepless night, because it was Elder Edmond's birthday on Sunday, and I wanted him to have a good day, so after he was asleep, I made a treasure hunt, a birthday sign, and got things ready for breakfast in the morning.  I woke up early Sunday morning to make a delicious breakfast, and had it all ready by the time he woke up.  It was eggs, hash browns, coffeecake, bacon and juice.  And Elder Edmond was really surprised at the treasure hunt.  Pretty fun!!

Our Sunday meetings were really good.  Janice gave her first talk ever in Sacrament meeting.  She did such a good job and I was like a proud parent watching his daughter say her first words!  Mike was there, too, and was looking even more glowing.  The gospel is definitely making huge changes in his life!
After our Sacrament meeting was over, I put together an impromptu Gospel Principles class and taught nine people about God's plan and His love for each of us.  I was glad it went really well, especially since there was an excommunicated member and her non-member husband attending.  I sure love this Houlton Branch.  And I think the key to any real missionary work success is through working arm-in-arm with the members.

And, of course, there's the fun times too!  We went to the Side's to celebrate Amanda's birthday, as well as Elder Edmond's.  We had a BBQ and Chris had his sweet "side-by-side off-roader there!!

That about does it for this week!!

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRANDON...on a very memorable day of the year!!!

Elder Hunt

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Dear Family,

Transfers came out last week, and nothing changed for me or my companion, so I'll be in Houlton for another transfer.  That will only be six months here.  The record-holding elder served in Houlton for TEN months...

Last Monday we had a branch activity/FHE at the Carters.  We played softball and I hit TWO home-runs!  (Yes, our team won!)  Afterwards we sat around and roasted s'mores.  There were 8-9 little kids who piled around me, asking for help making their smores.  When they burnt them, they would ask me to eat them.  And I managed to attract all the bugs in the area too!  I have 30+ fresh big bug bites from the evening.  Good thing I don't mind sacrificing my body for a good cause!!  Sure love the kids!  Hate the bugs!!

One of the best things this week was when we met with Ruth and Kacy, teaching them the Plan of Salvation.  Kacey's daughter is Hannah, the cute energetic girl at the daycare I told you about last month.  I had promised her then I'd bring her a sticker if I ever saw her again.  When we met with them, I had a bunch of stickers, and she was the happiest girl in the world.  

I also learned, again, how good it is when we listen to promptings from the Holy Ghost.  One morning I was studying about charity and love when we got a phone call from Lucky to see if we could do some service for him.  Normally I would have declined because we already had a full day planned.  Instead, I told him we could.  We rushed over, did what he needed in 10 minutes, then rushed back just in time for our conference call with the ZL's.  While on that call, I had to change, talk, grab everything, and leave with Bro. Lee for our appointment with Mike.  We had a great lesson with him, and he and Bro. Lee hit it off really well.

Afterwards, Bro. Lee took us out for a steak dinner.  After that we were out contacting and  met a 23 year old gal who loved our lesson, and wants to learn more, but she is worried that her fiance  won't let her keep talking to the missionaries.  They are planning to get married in three weeks.  Why does it seem that it's the guys who are usually prideful and arrogant, whereas generally the women are more spiritual and receptive to the gospel message.

On Saturday we went to Fredericton for our zone training mission.  Elder Nzojubwami was visiting, so he and I caught up as usual and sat together.  We figure that our mission president will never actually let us serve together, so we take advantage of the times when we meet up.  
The zone training was really good, AND I got a package from the Hampsons back in the Eastern Passages area.  It had a really nice microphone, complete with recorder set and headphones.  Pretty quality stuff and it is a huge blessing to have gotten it from them!!  (Mom, be sure to tell Bruce and Sue THANK YOU for me!)  [Sue and Bruce, Elder Hunt says "Thank you" for the recording equipment!!]
After getting back to Woodstock from our zone training, we met with Angie, who has been less active.  She was so happy to meet with us.  Then we had dinner with the Peters, who took us to the Blue Moose restaurant in Monticello.  When we got home we were exhausted.  At the end of the night we went to Houlton Farms Dairy because they were celebrating their 75th anniversary, and giving out big hot fudge sundaes for 75 cents.  We also got T-shirts, that the servers signed, since we're so tight with them!!

And then Sunday was great.  Mike came to church after some "stuff" that needed to be worked out.  His heart is really in the right place.  It's a 45 minute drive for him to come to church, and he did it in spite of some things he had to work through.  We were so glad he did, because it was a really spiritual meeting.  (We also received a phone call from Mike's cousin, who lives in Tennessee, asking us when Mike's baptism date is, because he's going to fly up for it.  That was pretty great!)

I was grateful for the inspiration to take a care package of food and goodies to the other elders in my district when we went for zone training.  Turns out they had absolutely no food in their apartment...they didn't even have enough to bring a lunch to the zone meeting...so they were really grateful for the package.  Some people might call that coincidence, but I know when there is a power and a divine prompting higher than my own.  I'm just grateful to be able to help.

I love my Heavenly Father, and I know that if He didn't have perfect patience, He would surely be frustrated with me in my life at times.  But I try to live my life one day at a time, with a positive outlook.  This only comes through having an eternal perspective, and I know I'm only beginning to understand that perspective.

Well, hope you all have a great week.  I loved seeing Dad and Mom's pictures and video from their sailing excursion at Sand Hollow.  Looks like fun.  Maybe a year from now...

Elder Hunt