Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September 9,2015 Hey everyone!!! Fawaka?! Hoe maken jullie het?

Hey everyone!!! Fawaka?! Hoe maken jullie het?!? It's been another great week in the MTC. I'm now the district leader of our fun little district of four. I don't get a cell phone though, Zuster Parker gets it.

It's been suuuppppeeerrr busy at the MTC. This last devotional we had 2,500+ Elders and Sisters and 100+ senior couples in attendance. What else is crazy.... language is coming. We hit our half way mark last week. We have just under 2 weeks left in the MTC. Class is going well. I feel so tired all the time now. We have 3 teachers right now, but really two. We're just been studying and teaching in Dutch and studying and teaching some more. We've been SYLing (Speak Your Language), as much as we can. It was cool cuz Broeder Norton told us that speaking what Dutch we know is a sign of faith, and that through the power of the spirit we can eventually become fluent in this crazy language!

TRC last Thursday was amazing!!!! I absolutely loved it!!! We taught an Broeder Hoortes, and elderly man (probably in his 80's) who immigrated to the US from Amsterdam, Netherlands after World War II due to housing. It was funny and slightly confusing because he would switch in and out of Dutch and English. He had a really deep voice so it was difficult to understand his Dutch. We taught a second lesson to Zuster Robertson, a lady probably in her mid 50s from Den HaagNederland, (the Hague) and lives in Utah to help out with Dutch family history work. I loved TRC, it was very refreshing to see other people who spoke Dutch besides our teachers.

On Sunday we had an amazing devotional. Brother and Sister Ashton, Provo Temple President and Matron spoke to us. Sister Ashton had a really cool quote that I absolutely loved. She was talking about how the missionaries in the Toronto, Canada mission were getting discouraged so she posted this quote on all the doors of the missionaries' apartments in their Mission. She said "As a missionary, you have been: called, chosen, endowed, anointed, dedicated, washed, blessed, clothed, sanctified, redeemed. -Hold Nothing Back-". This was super powerful for me since I'm super nervous to get to Suriname and be totally petrified to speak to people in a language I don't know very well.

That night we watched a devotional by Elder Holland, called, Open Your Mouth. It was an amazing devotional, I hope it's on LDS.org. He pointed out the necessity of opening your mouth. He said that faith works by words. People can't be touched by the spirit unless we have the boldness to open our mouth.

Gesteren, we had the opportunity to listen to Brother and Sister Causse of the presiding bishopric. They talked about the necessity to be a bold missionary. Sister Causse talked about how it was hard for her to leave her native France to move to Utah. She said though that at times of our callings, we love our home/friends/family,etc, but we love the Savior more. She also said that it's ok to feel inadequate in our callings. As long as we do our best our savior will help us do the rest. Brother Causse gave an amazing talk. What was even more touching was that as he canceled the closing hymn of the devotional and instead played probably the most beautiful rendition of Come, Come Ye Saints I've ever heard on the piano.

Slowly but surely I'm becoming a better teacher and becoming better at teaching with the spirit. We're now teaching three people a day. Last Friday we probably had the best lesson we've had in the MTC. We were discouraged because our investigator, Evine, wasn't really progressing. And we had pretty much  talked about all the lessons we could talk about. So we decided to talk about Joseph Smith and the priesthood. But we didn't talk about Joseph Smith and the priesthood when we got in there. We began to talk her, and she began talking about her experience with the scriptures. We began talking about it, and gave an amazing lesson about the importance of the scriptures and the power of prayer. I remember being able to feel the spirit as I bore my testimony about the power of prayer and how it has helped me in my life. After the lesson our teacher complimented us on our lesson, which was super cool because normally they don't talk about the lessons at all. It's been super interesting. 

Our teachers swapped. Zuster Schwab couldn't teach us anymore with her BYU schedule, so we have Broeder Bonny, who served his mission in the Netherlands. In our lesson teaching our investigators, our teachers are supposed to imitate investigators that they've had on their missions. So for Zuster Larson and Broeder Bonny we've been getting Hollanders that we've been teaching, while we're actually teaching a "Surinamer" with Broeder Norton. It is so fascinating to see the difference between the two. Our investigator with Broder Bonny, Julio, is not progressing at all which is frustrating. Evine (Zuster Larson), just committed to baptism. We've only taught Jerry (Broeder Norton) twice, but it is so fascinating to see his willingness and the faith he has. Kinda gives me reassurance that people in Suriname are actually teachable.

Anyways, next week is onze laste Vorberiden dag in de MTC. Kinda crazy! Don't feel ready for Suriname. Oh, we're only in the MTC for six weeks, not seven. The taki taki thing didn't work. We get our travel plans this Friday! Het is gekke! Maar ik ben ophefed! Ik hou van de geest dat ik hier in de MTC kunnen voelen. Ik ben heel dankbaar voor onze Heilands evangelie en for zijn verzoening. Het is een leuk kans dat ik heb tot onderwiz over het!!

Ik hou van jullie!!

Elder Hunt

(It is amazing what they can learn in 4 weeks! ..  I keep asking Josh to send me pictures.. so grateful for them)

Love there goals!!!                                                                     Our new teacher, Broeder Bonny. He served in the Netherlands.

The other is finally of all the Dutch missionaries in the MTC. Elder Young is starring at the sky maar it's the best photo I have haha

(I think they get sick of Studing all day long sometimes and the have to relax a bit)

September2,2015 Pictures

This pictures is of all the Dutch missionaries in the MTC, minus Zuster Parker.

(The MTC will change a lot over the next few years. This his building he stays at  most of the day)

New haircut in the MTC                                                  Broeder Norton one of our teachers

September 2,2015 Goededag! Hallo iedereen!

Goededag! Hallo iedereen! This week has been amazing!!! So many things have been happening. We're soooo busy in the MTC that we don't have any down time. It's making the time pass by so quickly. We just got back from playing an amazing 2 hour volleyball game with the Nords and Swedes.

K, you guys get a mini Dutch reading lesson so you know how the heck to pronounce all of these crazy words that I send home. In Dutch the 'g' and 'ch' make guttural sounds. A couple of the Dutchies have been getting sore throats because they're not used to the guttural sound. One of our favorite hymns to sing is spirit of God, because in the chorus there's a 'ge ge ge' strait in a row, which we find funny. 'v' makes an f sound. 'ei' makes the i say it name, and 'ie' makes the e say it's name. 'oe' makes a oo sound like move. We're told to speak as much Neder-engels we call it- mixed Dutch and English.

Our teachers are amazing! Broeder Norten is so good at inviting the spirit into the classroom. He's been at the MTC longer than 3 years but they're letting him stay because the rest of the teachers are pretty new, and he's the only Surinamer teacher anyways. He told us that in Suriname, you don't knock on people's doors, you knock on their gate and say/shout, kloop kloop- knock knock. We've had some funny teaching experiences this week. I was talking to Evine about baptism, and asked her to read Matthew 18:18, what is bound on earth is bound in heaven. Only I didn't say Matheus 18, I said Johannas 18:18. After Evine read it I asked her "Wat zegt dat schriftuur?". She's like, "Het praten over vreure.", - it talks about fire- sort of in a confused voice. We read it after our lesson in English, and it gave us a pretty good laugh. It gave the Nords a pretty good laugh too. Elder Burr tricked my into thinking we were locked out of our room. I went to call the front desk, and while I'm on the phone he holds up the key to our room. It gave the Dutchies and Nords a pretty good laugh too.

I've had some amazing experiences teaching our investigators. In the MTC they have you do TRC's. John and Drew know what I'm talking about. It's pretty much just doing family home teaching but in your called language. The MTC collects volunteers from around the Utah valley and has them come so that the missionaries can teach them. It's not like a make believe lesson with an investigator, you're just teaching them as they are. We had this guy who served his mission in Holland. We were so bad at teaching him. I felt horrible afterwards, just thinking 'I can't do this'. Right after that we taught Evine. We were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation, I think. Anyways I had talked about pre earth life. Elder Burr just finished teaching about the atonement and was baring his testimony about it. At that moment I had this sudden urge to bare my testimony to Evine about the atonement, so I did. It wasn't anything crazy. I didn't open my mouth and then all of the sudden words just started coming out. It was just a simple 3 sentence statement about my testimony of the atonement. But I remember afterwards, I had this overwhelming feeling of comfort that came over me. It was a really special moment for me because I was struggling with teaching and felt like I wasn't being an effective teacher. That was a really special moment for me.

Saturday I had another awesome teaching experience with Evine. We were teaching about the importance of reading the scriptures and praying to onze Hemelse Vader. Zuster Parker suggested that I just make bullet points with certain words and their translations that I don't know. I felt confident about the lesson I had prepared. That lesson was really the first lesson where I really felt like I was teaching someone face to face. I referred to my notes for help, but all in all I was able to give a lesson about the scriptures completely in Dutch. I remember that I could really felt the spirit there.

I've learned that you seem to gain a 'missionary spirit' as you teach with the spirit. I first felt it when John and Drew gave that prep lesson before I left. I felt it again when they had us teach "investigators" our second day here in the MTC. I hadn't really felt that spirit until this lesson with Evine on Saturday, which was awesome. I can definitely see that my lessons are getting better.

The devotionals here are amazing!!! We got to hear from Elder Dallin H. Oaks yesterday. Call me weird, but I've found that there are few things more majestic than a room with 2,000+ missionaries singing Called to Serve with a roaring organ accompaniment- or just singing with an organ in general. Elder Oaks talked about the importance of taking the sacrament as missionaries. It's the key that allows us to teach by the spirit. Sister Oaks gave an amazing statistic. She said that a study done by the church found that 10 out of 100 converts to the church, knew the church was true when they saw the missionaries walking by them. The spirit that they should radiat as well as their appearance are huge in missionary work, which I hadn't really thought about till then. Oaks also talked about the importance of de Heilsplan- plan of salvation. It explains the 'why' to so many different questions investigators have about the church, he said.

I'm loving it here in the MTC. The spirit is so powerful. Ik kan de heilege geest voelen.

Ik hou van jullie!!

Elder Hunt

August 26th Pictures

 the 4 in their group


He is writing in Dutch! He has only been there 14 days

    This is us with some of the Nords (Norwegian) elders that are in our zone

Our District

Our teachers usually speak Dutch to us 60% of the time. Usually meaning that they'll say complex words in english. My teacher Brother Norten has been teaching us some Taki Taki too. You'll do great in school. I'm running out of time on the computer but I'll send you a hand written letter.

Ik hou van jou! te shweeti!

Elder hunt

August 26,2015 Hoe gaat het?

Hey guys!!!! Hoe gaat het?!? Fawaka?!? The MTC's been an amazing place! Time flies by in the MTC. I've had almost no down time whatsoever. It's been difficult cooping to this new kind of life with the new rules and all. It's been difficult for me because they've completely banned personal music from the MTC. We've been listening to Mo Tab from LDS.org a little. That rule's been hard. I got the three packages you sent (THANK YOU THANK YOU!). I've enjoyed eating the chocolate since I won't be able to  in the mission field. I've had a cold the last four days so I haven't eaten a tone of it.

In the MTC you're either in your classroom, in the devotional hall, in your apartment room, or the cafeteria. The schedule doesn't really deviate from that. We're continuing to teach our "investigator" (she's our teacher). We have three teachers now, Broer Norten, and Zusters Schwab and Larsen. Zusters Schwab and Larsen both served their missions in the Netherlands. Broer Norten is the only Dutch teacher in the MTC that's served in Suriname. It's interesting because they talk a fair amount of English to us. Usually if we're having a spiritual discussion they'll talk in English. We can usually get what they're saying though in Dutch. I'd say they speak a good 60/40 with Dutch/English.

I'm getting to the point where I can teach the first few lessons in very simple Dutch. There's words in Dutch that are completely different from English, like agency is de kuizevrijheid. The grammar is very similar. The sentence structure is different. I'd say that's the most difficult part of Dutch is learning the sentence structure. Cuz like your subject is first, the subject's verb is next, and then all the other verbs in the sentence get pushed to the end of the sentence. Everything else in the sentence is normal pattern.

Dutch is a really cool language. It's a very old language too. In Dutch there is no direct translation for "will", like we will go to the store. You use zallen, or shall, Wij zallen naar de wenkel gaan. There also isn't a translation for 'so', you just use dus, or 'thus'. Zuster Schwab told us that in Vlaams, or Flemish/Belgian Dutch, they actually use bible vocabulary like gij (thou), instead of you.

Broer Norten has also been teaching us some 'Taki Taki' (Suranan Tongo). To say how are you, you say Fawaka! (literally how's it walkin'?). To respond you can say a bun, or tong bon, which means like awesome/chillaxed/good/etc. Saying goodbye you can say te shweeti (stay sweet). Zuster Larsen read us a couple of emails from some of the Surinamers who were in the MTC just before us. One of the Zusters used the word crazy like every sentence. One of the Elders said that when you're wondering about how the missionaries are doing in Suriname, they're probably getting rained on. He said when you're on a bike, you're either getting rained on or getting chased by dogs.

What else... We've been playing a tone of volleyball. We usually play with the Nords. Other then that I'm either eating, sleeping, or in class. The devotionals have been AMAZING!! Last night we listened to Elder Corbridge of the seventy. He gave an amazing talk about teaching, which was exactly what I've needed to hear. It's been difficult because I'm learning 1. how to missionary (teach effectively/with the spirit), 2. learning how the heck to say those words in Dutch, and 3. cooping with my brain frying every night. Hey John and Drew, could you guys give me some advice on the ordering of lessons, what an effective order would be? Our investigators have been super easy, they're merely just fascinated or want to learn more about the church.

Elder Corbridge then pointed out that the most important thing we do as missionaries is to help people know the importance of baptism. Everything else is reinforcing this idea of the necessity to baptize. He asked us what God's most precious gift was to us in this life. He answered that it was baptism and being made clean through the verzoening van Jezus Christus (atonement). John, Drew, did you guys listen to Elder Bednar's talk on the Character of Christ? That video was life changing for me. He pointed out that we need to always turn out instead of turning in. I've learned that as a missionary, I must turn out, or serve others, and teach effectively and with clarity.

I am lovin MTC life! I'm grateful that my district is so small, it makes it so much easier for us to learn.

Ik hou van jullie!

Elder Hunt

more pictures from August 19,2015

Elder Josh with one of his best friends Elder Josh White. He was so excited to get to see him a few times before Elder White left for Arizona.

 Studying hard in the classroom
 (I asked for pictures of what you do each day..)
 with Elder Burr
where is comp likes to study

August 19,2015 Well.... where do I start?

Well.... where do I start? The MTC's been great. Like I said I'm in a trio companionship with Elders Burr and Buelher. Elder Burr is from California, San Fransico area. Elder Buelher is from Highland. Our district is called the Suriname district. In our district is our companionship, and Zuster (sister) Parker. She's a solo missionary. She's from San Diego area. I feel bad for her because she's the only sister in our zone of 72 missionaries haha. Our zone or branch is the Scandinavian zone. We have the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, and Dutch missionaries. We're the Dutchies or Surinamers or Surinamer Dutchies. It's super nice since our district is so small and it's just four of us in our classroom versus 11-12 missionaries in other classrooms. It's nice because our companionship has our own room, so we have plenty of space in our apartment complex thingy. It's weird since we're the only people from our zone on our floor. We have a bunch of English speaking/12 day/state side Elders who occupy the rest of the floor. They're super obnoxious. But like our zone leaders said, "enjoy their stupidity". The other Dutchies headed to Holland left on Monday, so we've been the only Dutch missionaries in the MTC. More are coming today though. And they're right next to us in our board rooms, so we won't feel so lonely. The Danes are in the basement of our building, but other then that we don't have anyone. It's cool at sacrament and at zone prayer because everyone is expected to give talks/prayers in their mission language, so we hear a bunch of Swedish and Norwegian and Danish and stuff. Oh also, Surinamer Dutchies are in the MTC for 7 weeks not 6. The reason we got pushed back a week was because they wanted the first "Trinidad Dutchies" to have a seventh week to learn "Taki Taki", a Dutch dialect in Suriname.

K, John and Drew, did you guys have to teach investigators 3 days into the MTC?? Cuz that's what's happening with us. Our third day here we were expected to teach an "investigator" the first lesson in Dutch. We've taught our investigator 4 times now. The first lesson was rough. That little missionary dictionary they have for the MTC was our best friend. Since there's 3 of us though we're each trying to teach and coordinate, etc. We never knew what the others were talking about. It was rough, to say the least. The second lesson was so much better. We split up what we wanted to talk about, and bore our testimonies after we were done talking. Me and the Elders teach in one session and then Zuster Parker teaches by herself. She spoke Dutch as a kid though so she has an advantage.

Life at the MTC has been amazing! The MTC is a spiritual powerhouse. The struggle is the same for everyone (except for the English missionaries who are so obnoxious). We have a really nice schedule. We wake up and have personal study time. We then eat breakfast and had to gym at 8:30. The field is usually too wet to play on so we've normally been playing volleyball with the Nords. We played soccer on Monday with some Swedes though. We have the best teachers in the MTC!!! Zuster Schwab and Broerer Molten. Zuster Schwab served her mission in Holland, and Broerer Molten served in Suriname. Broerer Molten gives the most spiritual lessons. The spirit is so powerful when he's teaching. Zuster Schwab teaches is us Dutch grammar, since she knows "proper" Dutch and not Surinamer Dutch. Meals are good, not as legendary as I thought they were. I've seen just about everyone I know here. I saw Elder Christensen my first day here. I see Elder Muir a tone. I've seen Elder White. It was cool because he was in the room just above ours. I only got to see him a couple of days though. He's shipped off now.

Sunday was really cool. We went to choir cuz the Nords told us to, so we did. Turns out the choir was singing with the Nashville Tribune Band live. Our "devotional" was we got to hear from the Nashville Tribune Band live (It was a concert with opening and closing prayers). I got a picture with the lead singer afterwards.

I'm loving it here at the MTC, the spirit is so strong here. It's hard teaching lessons in Dutch because you're trying to balance teaching a lesson, translating it into Dutch, and then abiding by the spirit (in Dutch) during the lesson. It's also been hard since our district is so small. Our branch presidency says that the four of us are a companionship since Zuster Parker is supposed to be with either us or her companionship all the time. We feel kinda lonely in our residential floor too because there's no one from our zone there. We get the new Dutchies with us today though! I'm super excited for that.

The Dutch is coming along. Our investigator is supper easy. Greet komt uit Gent, Belgie. Pretty much she's confused about Christianity so she wants clarity. There's a bunch of crazy Dutch words though like "de gehoorzamheid" means obedience, "de barmehaarteheid" means mercy. My favorite words right now are alstublieft, gebracht, and geweldig. I'm liking Dutch though. You can sound pretty snobbish speaking Dutch. It's cool though because it sounds so medieval.

Ik hou van het hier in de MTC, Ik hou van de evangelie van Jesus Christus. Ik weet dat de kerk true is.
Ik hou van jullie!

Elder Hunt

He is so happy                                                                                         these are all the books he got on the first day

This is there classroom... The spend A LOT of time in there      Lead singer of Nashville Tribute Band

Bible and Book of Mormon                                                                    Pamphlets in English and Dutch

August 14, 2015

Hey guys!!! I'm loving the MTC! I'm in a trio companionship. My companions are Elder Burr and Elder Buehler. My P-day is on Wednesdays, I'll probably be writing anywhere from 8:30 to noon. Not sure yet. I'm doing great, love you all!!! There should be a letter coming in the mail with more detail.

Ik hou van jullie!

Elder Hunt

what we learned from a friend who served there 20 years ago

“I spoke French and served in French Guyana and Guadeloupe. When I was there 20 years ago the Surname elders had 1 apartment and transfers were literally move from this room to that room. The People in Surinam are terrific and he should have fantastic success. They are very accepting. he may spend a stint in st Marteen which is beautiful. 
I was just there (The mission not Surinam) last summer and I am Aching to go back again. Elder Gamiette is the area general Authority he is from the Islands and a fantastic man. I had the privilege to meet the mission president while we were there I can't remember the names but they were fantastic as well. It is a fantastic mission he will see plenty of wild life lot's of monkeys. My personal favorite beast was the Sloth very cool.

There are several mission blogs that should give him a good flavor for what to expect. 
It is awesome he is going to the greatest corner of the world created.”

So its a different experience for dutch speaking missionaries, because there are only about 12 or 16 of them. He will most likely know all of his companions as transfers sometimes are just moving bedrooms in the house they live in. The poverty of Suriname and Guyana is noticeable, and their are big bugs etc. but he will adjust. He will on occasion have to take bucket showers, deal with power outages, and bad food. However, the missionaries are take care of there. They have very nice apartments and have plenty of money for food etc. 

They eat a lot of rice and chicken. It rains and everything turns into mud. People still use donkey karts to haul things around. Some of the most spiritual moments of my life came sitting on five gallon buckets in the dirt floor homes of people we were teaching in Suriname and guyana. With that said, dirt floors are rare. 

They will not be tracking in the jungle. He will be in cities with faithful members. The church has been there since 1990. If he does fine camping, Suriname and Guyana will be a breeze. Trinidad is very nice and very much like the states. 

It really is a special mission. Not many missionaries are called there. He will meet many Hindu and Muslims, Christianity comes in a close 3rd. 

August 12, 2015

Going to the MTC

Got to have one last pictures with these two cousins whom he will be serving with at the same time

Our Awesome neighbors who cheered him on as we were on our way to the MTC

Last family run to JCW's shakes... Family traditions 

Last Family picture with all of us!

We are so proud of Elder Josh

Zac came to support! (and take pictures :) )

the quick drop off