Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas December 21,2015

Hallo hallo en groetjes van Suriname! Holy cow it's been a crazy week this week! A lot of stuff has been happening and my head is still spinning from it all!
I am absolutely loving it here in Uitkijk! The first thing I have to say about Suriname is I can't believe how much of a European influence there is here. Having spent about the same amount of time in Europe as I have in Guyana, it's super interesting to see how Suriname is similar to both. There were three things I was looking forward to the most here in Suriname, I would be able to use my Dutch finally, I get a Dutch bike, and there's strop-waffles all over the place.
We left for Georgetown Tuesday night and flu to Voog en Hoop, Suriname Wednesday morning. Me, Elder Burr and Elder Buehler left from Guyana that morning. Sister Parker also got her MKV so she flu into Suriname that night. It's awesome that we all got here so quickly. I remember my first impressions of Suriname were that it was very similar as Guyana, only all of the sudden everything was in Dutch. It was a bit of a shock to see that. Suddenly all this stuff I learned in the MTC's become very relevant haha.
We drove to Uitkijk, where I met my new companion Elder Dibb. Elder Dibb is an awesome guy. He's from Pleasant Grove, Utah and has been out a year longer than I have. He speaks great Dutch and despite what he says, he's also very fluent in Sranan Tongo (literally Suriname Language). Here in Suriname the official language is Dutch, but the further and further away from the city you get the more and more likely people are to speak Sranan Tongo. It's a language developed by the slaves here way back when that didn't want to learn Dutch, and people still speak it today.
We have some awesome investigators here in Uitkijk. We are currently working with the Ranarajo family, a fun family of 7 that are very receptive to everything we teach them. The only thing that's keeping them back from baptism is church attendance. Other then that they've been reading and praying and doing everything else we've asked them to do. They're awesome. Another of our investigators is Melissa, who's been very receptive to everything as well. She's been reading and hopefully we can get her to church within the next few weeks.
I honestly am very glad I got assigned out here to Uitkijk. It's very beautiful and very clean. As President Skipper (our Branch president said), "Het is heel vreugde en stilde uit hier in Groningen. U #### dit niet vinden in de staad". We do a lot of biking out here. We bike on average 20 to 30 miles a day, about 110-120 miles a week. I have a super nice bike to help with it though. It's a Dutch-made beach-cruiser, imported from the Netherlands, who have some of the best bikes in the world. I can't' help but think "Don't mind Elder Hunt out here. He's just hanging out in Suriname, riding his imported, Dutch beach-cruiser through the Amazon jungle." The people out here are awesome too. The only things I really don't like here are the amount of biking we do, and at night you have to keep your eye on the road for anacondas. Other then that Uitkijk is awesome!
I don't have a tone of pictures for this week which I apologize for. I don't have my camera yet but hopefully I'll get it this week. I am absolutely loving Suriname though! Where else can you find cobblestone roads and chocolate and cheese delicacies in the middle of the jungle? One of my favorite parts of Uitkijk is that there's a huge Chinese store (all the grocery stores here are owned by the Chinese) that is in the center of our area. When we're just absolutely beat we'll go get some Dutch chocolate or  drinks or icecream. It's pretty great.
Thank you for all that you've done and all of the support that you've given me. I'll be back next week with more to come!
Elder Hunt

The Abbensets


Their tiny airplane!


Burger king in Suriname

pictures from December 14,2015

First picture is me and Brother Hilton. He's a convert of about 4 months and is an awesome member here in New Amsterdam. 

The next picture is of Kelly and Pria, the two investigator's we've been teaching. 
Next is me with Adrian, our other rock solid investigator who's been coming to church.

DECEMBER 14, 2015

Hey hey hey!!! A tone of stuff has been happening this last week (as usual). I got my transfer call and I'm headed to Uitkijk, Suriname! Uitkijk (pronounced out-kike) is legendary in the mission for being very spread out, so the missionaries do a lot of biking, and if you want to serve in the Amazon Jungle, you go to Uitkijk. It'll be fun stuff!!

This week has been a nightmare though. I wasn't able to serve in my area until Thursday evening. Monday was P-day and I was taking it pretty chill, sorta relaxing. We just got back from shopping and I was doing some laundry before we left to go email. Then Elder Cook gets a phone call from the ZL's which said something like "tell Elder Burr and Elder Hunt to start packing their bags, they are leaving for Suriname NOW!" So we scrambled to get our things together and then we get another phone call saying that we weren't going to Suriname, but that we were headed to Trinidad to do some MKV paperwork to go to Suriname.

We left for Georgetown that night and spent the night at the Guyana mission office. We met up with Elder Buehler in the morning and the 3 of us flew to Trinidad where we spent the day with the AP's doing paperwork. We went to the Suriname embassy in Port-of-Spain where we received our visa's. Apparently you don't need your visa to apply for an MKV. So my MKV was applied for before I arrived in the mission, that's why I got it so fast. We flew back to Georgetown that night and dropped dead at the mission office as soon as we got there haha.

Wednesday I was in Rosignol, across the Berbice river to go on an exchange with Elder Parker. We spent the day in Bush Lot and Rosignol contacting and teaching people. It was refreshing to be in another area, not sure if that's a good thing haha. Thursday I made it back to New Amsterdam. We taught some awesome lessons as well. We taught the Seonerine family. They are a recent convert family that are absolutely awesome! Brother Seonerine just got back from working in the interior. He is from Suriname so me and Elder Burr were able to speak some of our Dutch with him. We also taught Kelley and Pria and had an awesome lesson with them.

Adrian got back from his trip from Corrantine and so we were able to teach him a lesson. He came to church on Sunday which was awesome! His sister is LDS but she is still in Corrantine so he went to church with barely any support which was awesome.

Saturday we had PEC (Priesthood Executive Committee) which is being held regularly now which is awesome. That's something we've been working on in our branch as well, is getting better organization. We've been helping train our branch clerk, and we're currently in the process of getting home teaching and visiting teaching going in the branch. If we get those things going Sunday attendance will definitely rise.

We got transfer calls on Saturday as well. Elder Burr is headed to Paramaribo and Elder Cook is training another Dutch missionary that will be arriving. I've just been so scatter brained this week going to Trinidad, preparing to go to Suriname, and saying goodbye to people. I have made some very dear friendships here in New Amsterdam. Despite all the things that can drive me crazy here, it'll be hard to leave. You truly won't know how much you'll miss something until you have to leave it. I'm excited to go to Suriname though! My new comp seems super cool and I WILL FINALLY BE ABLE TO START USING MY DUTCH!!! Everyone says to be grateful for being able to speak English for a time but I personally think the sooner you get to your area the sooner you'll get the language down.

I am grateful for this chance that I have to be able to serve as a missionary here in New Amsterdam. It's been quite the ride on my mission and I'm excited for more of the things the Lord has in store for me. It's been relatively crazy but in the end it will all work out and we will have fulfilled the Lord's purpose. I have learned some great lessons in Mesa as well as New Amsterdam. A favorite scripture that I found this week is in Alma 7: 22-24. Verse 24 says:

 24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

Behind it all is the importance of having charity. When we have charity, we will "abound in good works". Thank you for all of your support! I am super excited to be headed to Suriname! I'll be back next week with more to come!

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt


Randy Seonerine family in Guyana

Service project.. breaking the floor

flying to Trinidad to work on MKV's

"I love to fly"

Dec 8, 2015 In Trinidad

Hey hey hey! This last week has been hectic and I am in Trinidad currently doing paperwork for my MKV. As far as I know I have received my MKV. I have no idea how I got my MKV this fast (it's you're fasting and prayers). This does not officially mean I am headed to Suriname yet. I don't know.

I don't have much time so I'll write about the extra special highlights this week. My birthday was great! We were fed at every appointment we had that day which was crazy but also kind of nice because that never happens in Berbice. We had some lessons in New Amsterdam as well as in Edinburg. Elder Cook made me and Elder Burr a birthday cake, and YES mom and dad I have received your package, thank you thank you thank you!!! The chocolate is delicious. The Belgian Chocolates didn't melt that much, and they're super good!!!

For service this week we cleaned the church building. We cleaned that place inside out. A problem in Berbice is that cane dust gets everywhere. Cane dust comes from burnt sugar cane fields and it's ashes get all over everything.

We have a new investigator, Nafeeza. She is doing very well and is receptive to everything that we teach. It's been hard teaching her because she doesn't really know her work schedule.

We had some awesome lessons with some other investigators we've found. Pria and Kelly are sisters that help their uncle and aunt run a family store. They were referred to us by Sister Seonerine, a sister in Edinburg. We have had some awesome lessons. This one lesson me and Elder Burr went and taught them the Plan of Salvation. The spirit was so strong in the lesson. Kelly gave the closing prayer to the lesson, and the prayer was absolutely beautiful. She started crying after the lesson. And with tears in her eyes she said "I have been looking for something like this my entire life". When we were leaving Pria told us "Thank you for coming to teach us. We feel so happy when you come and teach us". They are absolute golden investigators it will be exciting to see how things play out.

We had an awesome rest of our week. We taught almost 10 more lessons than our average which was awesome!!!

Monday we went over to Rosignal apartment to do a pig roast. It was... interesting. Quite the experience. Then me and Elder Cook get this surprise phone call that I'm leaving for Trinidad that night. I thought I was headed to Suriname that night from what it sounded like. But me and Elders Burr and Buehler flew to Trinidad to do some MKV work.

I love you all. I will know where I'll be going by this next Monday. Thank you for all of your support!

Ik hou van jullie!!!
Turned 19

biking in Guyana

Pig roasting.... on a ironing board

last week in Guyana

Pictures in New Amsterdam, Guyana

The THREE Amsterdam Muskateers

loved playing with puppies

practicing piano at the Chapel in New Amsterdam

Birthday Package
 Happy birthday grandma! Hope all is well in Orem! We share the same birthday as one of my companions Elder Burr. Me and Elder Burr both got our packages which have our birthday presents in it. Some members are making food for us which will be fun. Sister Kirtan our branch president's wife will be making us a cake. Other than that we will be doing missionary work as we always do :).
This Sunday we had an awesome lesson by brother Ramnarain, one of four Melkezidik priesthood holders in New Amsterdam. He gave an awesome lesson on the importance of temples. The spirit was so strong there in that lesson. I felt as though I were at the temple, and I am a 3 hour airplane ride away from the nearest temple. It reminded me how much I love the temple and how much I love doing family history work. It made me really excited to teach the people here about temples and eternal marriage, and that their family can be together forever. We had unexpected visitors at church a few weeks ago. It was a couple from Brazil that were temple workers at the Manaus temple. They said they wanted to get a shuttle going from New Amsterdam to Manaus so that the members can do family history work. The members are missing a lot here, like temples and patriarchal blessings, but that is why we're here :) To strengthen the membership here in New Amsterdam. In the dedicatory prayer for Guyana it included the fact that there will be temples that will dot the land. A little weird but a cool blessing!

I'm loving it here in New Amsterdam. Thank you for your prayers I really do appreciate them! Have a great birthday tomorrow!

Elder Hunt
what his first apartment looked like in Guyana

He has no idea why the fridge is in the bedroom

First Thanksgiving in the mission field

First thanksgiving in the Mission

Love pumpkin Pie

November 30, 2015

Hello everyone! It has been another awesome week here in New Amsterdam and a lot has happened within the last week.

We have had some great lessons this week, and have been able to meet some new people to teach. You remember the 3 that we taught. They've been super awesome and have been doing everything we've asked them to do, except coming to church. Well this week we were able to get in contact with R and A's mom, R. R has been raised a Hindu which is interesting to teach someone who is Hindu. Once you help them gain a basis of who God and Jesus Christ are it's fairly easy to teach people. We've had 2 lessons with R so far and she has been accepting of everything we taught her. She was very excited to tell us that she has a brother who converted to the Mormon faith, served a mission in the states, and is currently an active member up in Toronto, Canada. She even took a video of the three of us and sent it to her brother haha. She's been reluctant to set a baptismal date but we told her to talk to her brother about it. That will hopefully help her relate to something she knows.

We got two investigators to church this week. A came with her husband again, and a newer investigator named Ad has been coming as well. Adrian is in his mid teens and lives with his grandma and sister. His sister A is a member of the church but very inactive. We were teaching all three of them, but then A left on a trip to Corantyne area, about an hour drive east from New Amsterdam. It's been difficult to meet with his grandma as well. But we've been able to teach Ad and he's been awesome about everything. He's been reading, praying, and feeling the spirit. He then came to church which was awesome. Getting investigators to church here is definitely the most difficult part of missionary work here in New Amsterdam, as is most of the Caribbean.

We've been able to meet with A more. She's been doing great. We have her on date for Baptism on the 16th of January. It's been difficult because she knows enough English to communicate but she can't really understand a lot at church. We'll be getting her a Dutch Book of Mormon here momentarily which will help her a lot.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with the rest of the Berbice zone at Elder and Sister Avondet's house, the senior couple here in Berbice. They're the if-anything-goes-haywire-call-them couple. They help us survive pretty much. They made us Thanksgiving dinner (pictures are coming) which was delicious. They're saints haha.

We've been doing a lot of work. Elder Cook is an awesome trainer. He's only been out a transfer longer than me and Elder Burr have too. He literally went from being trained to training missionaries. He is really good at helping us plan efficiently and finding new people to teach.

Lots of good things are happening here in Berbice. I am so grateful for the chance I have to be here. Guyana is a really interesting country. It gets more interesting the longer I stay here haha. The people here are kind of wild haha but they are very respectful of the missionaries. You know someone has met with the missionaries when they call you Elders. We usually get called the white boys or the Jesus guys or something haha. Christmas is a huge holiday here. I heard Christmas music back when I was in Trinidad. There isn't spring cleaning here, but everyone does Christmas cleaning haha. It's help us though because people have started playing American Christmas music instead of blasting Hindu or Reggae music or something haha.

I got your package mom thank you! The Avondets picked it up in Georgetown on Monday and brought it to Berbice with them. I will open it up on my birthday tomorrow. There are some members here that want to make us some food since it's both mine and Elder Burr's birthday.

Thank you for you prayers! I will be back next week with more to come!

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt

made no bake cookies....memories of home

boat in Berbice

pictures from November 23, 2015

I have really enjoyed the food

New Amsterdam, Guyana

You can see all the smoke from burning the garbage

November 23, 2015

Hello and greetings from New Amsterdam! A lot has happened over the past week (as usual) so I will try to cram in as much as I can in the hour I'm allowed.

We've been having a busy week. We've been teaching this one family that is so fun to see. I swear we gain a new investigator every time we go over to their house haha. It's one of those families where everyone lives close together and grandma's house is sort of central headquarters haha. We're currently teaching these three kids, a girl, her brother, and her cousin. They're super fun to teach and they do everything we ask them to do. They've all been reading the Book of Mormon and they've all been praying about it too! We've been having trouble getting them to church though. We've been trying to meet with their three cousins. One girl cousin is already a member and is inactive. We were hoping that she could bring the group to church but she was busy Sunday. We were over there last night and their grandpa said that he would like to sit in on the lessons! He'd be good support for these kids.

We got our first investigator to church since I've been on my mission, haha. She is our investigator from Suriname. Her husband is already a member and came with her to church. She said she enjoyed being there. She's been progressing but we've been having difficulty having her read the Book of Mormon. She speaks good English but she reads better in Dutch. We've been trying to get her a Dutch Book of Mormon, but it's months out before we receive it.

One investigator we have She has a baptismal date for the 5th of December. We had an awesome lesson with her on Thursday about baptism, the Holy Ghost, and the Priesthood. We were able to show her our Priesthood lines of authority which she was really impressed by. She's been having a hard time coming to church, which seems to be our biggest difficulty with all our investigators.

We've also been able to get in touch and teach a lady. She is in a smaller town just south of New Amsterdam in Edinburgh. It's about a 20 minute bike ride to the town, which makes it difficult to get members up to New Amsterdam. Elder Cook and Elder Burr had been teaching her, but then she got sick and had to go to Georgetown. But now she's back and wants to learn more!

Our area that we cover is huge! It's super long and borders Brazil. The furthest south we go is Edinburgh. It's super fun to bike down to Edinburgh. You can see the Berbice river which is a river that starts back in the Amazon. You'll get to Edinburgh and see miles and miles of Cane fields. We're trying to get a trip planned where we can go see the bush and maybe even some of the Amazon jungle.

I've been able to communicate with people pretty well here, but Guyanese English is pretty different from American English. Apparently each English speaking country here in the Caribbean has it's own dialect, but there is some English that all the Caribbean shares. The best way I can describe the accent here is that Witch lady on Pirates of the Caribbean (except less creepy). For example, in Caribbean English, the word 'soon' does not exist. Instead of saying "We will be there soon",  you say "we will be there just now". Or you don't say "We were just at the store", you say "we were at the store just now". Another fun fact is that when you pass people on the street, you either greet them with good morning, afternoon, evening, or night. That was the first thing I noticed was different here. Good night is a greeting, which I thought was weird.

Love you all! The Trinidad Port of Spain mission de leukste is. What other mission is dead center in the tropics, with 6 different countries, 5 different languages, 6 different currencies, and two time zones. Being able to say you served in the Dutch Caribbean (or even being able to say you served on Aruba) is the coolest. Everyone here wants to go Spanish speaking so they can make it to the ABC islands haha. I'll be back next week with more to come!

Ik hou van jullie!

Elder Hunt

Love the food here

our apartment area

great sunsets

Pictures from November 16, 2015

NOVEMBER 16,2015 food poison in Guyana

Hello hello and greetings from Guyana! It's been a very crazy week with a lot going on. There's been so much stuff this week!

I am adjusting to Guyana pretty well. Berbice (our Zone/Eastern Guyana) is the poorest region of the entire mission. Elder Cook told me kind of jokingly that the conditions that I'll serve in can only go up hill from here haha. Definitely an adjustment though. What drives me crazy here is the garbage. They throw their garbage off to the side of the road. Then eventually someone comes by, puts the garbage in a pile, and burns it. So literally everywhere you go it smells like fireworks (burning garbage). I'm getting use to it though haha. I love my budget here I can actually afford to bake stuff now haha.

Tuesday was an interesting day. It was Deepavali, a Hindu holiday that's pretty much like the 4th of July. Everyone (mainly the Indians) celebrates Indian/Hindu culture by baking Indian food and desserts. I remember we tracked this one family's house (who were Hindu) and the lady there gave us some Indian pastries, and we had only been there for 2 minutes haha. The people here are awesome!

On Wednesday we got 12 new investigators in one day! We'll obviously sort through them but people kept coming to our lessons we had planned. I remember we had a lesson planned with a girl. She asked that we teach at her friend's grandmas house which was down the street. We went over and she got her friend to sit in on the lesson. Her friend then got her grandma and her 3 cousins to sit in on the lesson as well. So we had this awesome restoration lesson with these kids that were no older than 14 with their grandma. Everyone was very accepting. We asked her friend to give the closing prayer . That prayer we sat in on was probably the most precious thing I can say I've been apart of here. These two sweet girls who had never uttered a prayer out loud in their lives were helping each other say this closing prayer. Their grandma helped them out too which was cool. They're the coolest bunch every!

On Friday we had zone conference and I finally got to meet President and Sister Egbert. They are such an awesome couple. We got up at 4:30 in the morning to make it to Demerera (next to Georgetown) by 8. We had an awesome conference on the importance of Branch council and working with the members. Very informative. President Egbert was so excited to tell everyone about his story and operation he had with his eye (his career is in the Medical field). He talks very fast. After the conference he interviewed me for about 10 to 15 minutes. Apparently the interview was really short. Apparently President Egbert's interviews go anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour with each individual missionary. He loves talking to missionaries and he loves to talk his Dutch with the Dutch ones haha. Probably half the interview was in Dutch.

I will tell you right now one of the reasons I was called to work in the Trinidad Port of Spain Mission was to have President Egbert as my mission president. We have a lot in common and I can tell it will be an awesome time serving with him. He speaks fluent Dutch and speaks some Spanish as well. On top of that he is learning Papiamento. He's an awesome leader.

Well to the fun part of the week. I started getting stomach cramps after lunch at Zone Conference. I got some pep-dough on the way home which helped me that night. On Saturday I called Sister Clawson, our mission doctor, who said to stay in for the day. I was feeling pretty good and I got a lot of sleep/scripture study/cleaning done. At the end of the day Elder Horsley (my Zone leader), asked if I'd go with him to drop some missionaries off. I went with him and was feeling fine on the way there. We got there and dropped the missionaries off. Then it hit me like a brick wall. I started getting severe stomach cramps that got so bad I couldn't stand up straight. I started getting light headed and my arms and legs started going numb. By the time I got to the apartment I was starting to shake. President Egbert (thankfully and conveniently) was in the area doing some work in Berbice. He was able to come over and give me a priesthood blessing and gave some instructions to my companions on how to help me. He diagnosed my condition as food poisoning. DO NOT GET FOOD POISON IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! It isn't exactly a pleasant experience.

I was allowed to go to church the next day but then had to stay in the whole day. So I pretty much spent my weekend in bed. It's been fun :) I'm doing SOOOOOO much better now. I don't think I've been in that much pain in my life. Sacrament was good we had a lot more come than what we had last week. I was able to play piano since the power was on this week haha. Elder and Sister Rasmussen, who are based in Georgetown, came and spoke in sacrament and gave beautiful talks on the importance of Tithing and maintaining good administration.

It's definitely been a weird/cool/ adjustment to Guyana life. Everyone perceives things here very differently. Guyana is the one and only English speaking country on the South American continent and very much so has a Caribbean culture. A very cool and unique country with a very vibrant and passionate people.

Guyana's awesome and I'm loving it here. I'll be back next week with more to come!

Ik hou van jullie!

Elder Hunt

November 9, 2015

International Day of Service on Saturday. The New Amsterdam Branch put on a blood drive. We got a tone of contacts from it.

Hindu Parade in Guyana