Wednesday, July 26, 2017

hello hello I'm on (zerg voice) for the last time July 24,2017

Pannenkoeken met poffertjes! I need to find these things in Salt Lake! They're so gooood!

Last Sunset in Suriname

JULY 17, 2017

Goedemorgen en groetjes uit Suriname!

It's been another great week! Lots of rain this week and lots of lighting storms. The weather is changing from the rainy season to the "dry season" so there's been a lot of storms. We've had some great success teaching and finding this week.

Zuster Haidy is doing well. She's getting so close to stopping her addiction. It's so cool to see how the Lord can help investigators overcome these challenges as they pray for support. When we pray there really is another sort of power that enters our lives. That's the Lord's help as an answer to our prayers.

We're really excited to Shahida. She'll be getting baptized this week. There's a number of baptisms this next week. It'll be a great service. We've gone on a few exchanges this week with other missionaries. I was able to go with Elder Ricks. It was fun being able to get together with an old companion.

I was able to see a strengthening of my testimony this week with a special experience I had last Friday. We'd been finding a lot of people and teaching some new investigators. As a missionary you run into so many ideas and religious beliefs that challenge the validity of your beliefs. I'd had that experience on Friday. I've had experience like that before. But as I was pondering these things I felt the influence of the spirit which reminded me of that simple peace that I felt as I prayed to know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that the Lord knows that that's all that I need to help me go through those times of 'challenging faith'.

I also felt the spirit very strongly as I came across John 14:26-27. It's a scripture I'd read so many times before and one that I use a lot on teaching. But as I was thinking about all of the challenges and problems we face in life I was reminded of the Lord's promise in this scripture.
26 But the Comforterwhich is the Holy Ghostwhom the Father will send in my namehe shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give unto you. Let not your heart be troubledneither let it be afraid.
I had an awe inspiring moment about that word peace. It's something that everyone wants. It gives us the reassurance that things are ok. Many people look for peace in different ways. There's many ways people 'find peace', (yoga, meditation, retreats,etc.) lots of worldly ways of finding peace. But the peace that the Lord speaks of here isn't worldly peace. It's a different kind of peace. It's a peace that comes from the Holy Spirit of the Lord. It's something different and often times separated from the world. But by qualifying ourselves for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we can enjoy this peace.

I can't believe I'm entering the last week of my mission! Me and Elder Dubbeld are really going to make sure that we end it off with a bang. Have a great week!

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt


Teaching Aniel again

Beautiful sky

Biking in the rain

Picture for wedding

JULY 10, 2017

Goedemorgen en groetjes uit Suriname! Deze week is vol van wonders geweest!

This week has been great. The weather is getting back into what Surinamers call the "dry season", but it's translated more appropriately into "the less rainy season". It's been great serving with a Dutch companion, Elder Dubbeld. I always wanted a transfer waar ik kon al mijn engels achterlaten. I haven't eaten so many apples, stroopwaffels, and potatoes in my life.

The Egberts were in town this week. We had an awesome Zone Conference. All the missionaries were able to learn so much. I did for sure. The theme was Teaching unto Repentance and how we focus our teaching on teaching the elect. That was my last Zone Conference! Crazy! Me and Elder Dubbeld have been busy making plans and goals that we can set for our zone as well as our area. There's some good things happening in Suriname. President Egbert interviewed Shahida for baptism, and she passed! Two weeks before her baptism is scheduled. Seems kinda funny but that's how things role when your Mission president lives in a different country. She's doing awesome though. She's been coming to church and reads everything that we give her.

Zuster Haidy has been doing well. We brought the Relief Society president, Zr Marlene, with us so she would be better grounded in the Relief Society. Zr Marlene is an absolute saint.

We had a cool miracle happen on Sunday. A former investigator in the Uitkijk branch came to church here in Paramaribo. His name is Duncans. He's from Haiti, and speaks good English but little Dutch. I translated for him during Elder's quorum. Translating is really exhausting for some reason. He's super awesome though. He brought a friend with him to church. Both said they want to keep coming.

Have a great week! I'll hear from you in a week!

Ik hou can jullie!!!

Elder Hunt

Pday and Picnic

Rugby Playing
Dragon Fruit

Companion from Netherlands 

JULY 3,2017

Goededag en groetjes uit Suriname!

It's been a bright and busy week here in Beekhuizen. We've got all sorts of stuff happening this week. We just had a combined zone sports day here and it was fun to see all the other missionaries here. We had a sort of 4th of July luncheon at the park. It was fun.

We've had a couple of fun experiences teaching investigators this past week. One investigator we're teaching is named Mariska. She was a referral that we contacted last week, and were able to have a couple of good lessons with her. One lesson we brought a steller member with us, Zuster Nilla. She has a lot of similar background as Mariska. Zr Nilla also brought her two children with her, including her 6 year old daughter. We had a great lesson about God and how the gospel blesses families. She understood and wanted those blessings for her family. Then Zr Nilla's daughter said the closing prayer. She said the sweetest prayer, and afterwards we saw the look on Mariska, and how she was touched by this little girl's prayer. It really showed her how the gospel helps raise the rising generation.

Our investigator Shahieda is doing very well. She really wants to be baptized! We reviewed the baptismal questions with her this last week, and she's ready! The only problem is, is that she wants to be baptized in the Tammenga church, the branch next door. I've never been in a predicament about how an investigator wants to be baptized in another branch. We're going to see what we'll do to help her prepare. She's been going to Tammenga branch's institute class for two years, is friends with all of the single young adults there, and has family in that branch. She knows no one from Paramaribo, so we don't really know what to do... everything will work out though, and the spirit will help us know what to do.

Zuster Haidy is doing great! It's been so awesome teaching her because we've finished teaching her everything that she needs to learn before baptism. So now we're at a point where we're going over to help strengthen her to help her overcome her Word of Wisdom problem. It's been so cool preparing lesson for her. I've learned so much.

We had a really spiritual experience this week. We brought the Crawford's with us and together we taught to her needs. She was telling us about a lot of difficulties that she's been running into. Elder Crawford shared Mosiah 24 talking about how the Lord lifted the burdens of the people, and how her situation was like that. As we were having this discussion, I read verse 15 and read "and they did submit all the will of the Lord". That part of scripture always amazed me. These people were slaves. They'd repented, they'd fled persecution. And now the Lord was allowing them to come into bondage. Doesn't that seem unfair? Doesn't that not seem right? They were doing all the right things. Why was this happening? The Lord answers "and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter" (vs 14). I know that it's possible to submit cheerfully to the will of the Lord when we put our focus and our attention to the things that He has done for us, and for WHAT WE CAN DO, because of what he's done for us.

Anyways, the lesson was really good and it helped her a lot. We were also able to attend a baptismal service with her this last week. That also really helped her. She got emotional during the service, and later told me how badly she wants to be baptized. Please keep her in your prayers.

Well, that's that. Have a great week. It's been great hearing from you all. I'm so grateful for the support I've received from you over these two years. Missions are very fulfilling.

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt
Pine Tree in Suriname????
Popcorn Popping
Look on our way home

JUNE 26,2017

Hello family! Sorry I don't have much time today. We've had an awesome week of teaching and finding new investigators. Zr Haidy is doing really well. We had a powerful lesson with her on Tuesday about accessing the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. The spirit was really strong. We had a crazy number of investigators come to church...and three show up.. That's how Suriname roles but it's been great to teach these people. I've never been busier on my mission.
Talk to you next week.
Ik hou van jullie!!!
Elder Hunt
Our investigator Zuster Haidy. The Crawford's came teaching with us for a lesson.

JUNE 19,2017

Goedemorgen en groetjes uit Suriname!

Wow, this week has been one of the busiest and stressful weeks of my mission! Haven't had a dull moment this week.

First off, I'm in my new area in Paramaribo branch. I'm in the area that Surinamers call Centrum en Beekhuizen. It's so good to be back in Paramaribo and see all the familiar faces. I get a Dutchman for my last companion. His name is Elder Dubbeld, and he is from Utrecht, Netherlands. He's a computer geek like me ;) He's also a stellar reader. He read through the Old Testament in a month!

Wednesday was transfer day when I got to my new area. Elder Burr was will us too because his new comp didn't fly in from Bonaire until Sunday. So we were a trio for a good 5 days. Thursday we had district meeting, Friday we had another MLC. We skyped in. Not as good as in person, but it was still really good. Saturday was Somalee's baptism! It was an awesome service and she shared a really good testimony. Sunday was church! Everyone was happy to have their organist back hee hee.

Sooo, busy, busy, busy. Our area is super cool though. It's right in the middle of everything. There are humble people here. Our most progressing investigator here is Zuster Haidy. She's awesome! She's humble and teachable. She'd already be baptized if it weren't for a Word of Wisdom addiction that she has. We're bringing by some members this week that will really help her out. Please include her in your prayers!

I had a really cool experience teaching an investigator. We were planning to teach the Restoration. She ended up talking a lot, so it was hard to teach doctrine. I tried listening and exercising the principles we learned at MLC to see what it was she needed to hear. I was a bit frustrated because I felt like we weren't going anywhere in the lesson. At the end of the lesson we testified of the Plan of Salvation and that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of His children. We said a closing prayer and were leaving, when she thanked us for coming. She said she feels something special when missionaries come by her. That really was a confirmation to me that the spirit will testify to the hearts of those we teach, when we're focusing on and listening to those we teach.

Other then that, it's been a normal week :)

I read a fun parable this week in Matthew 13:45-46. It says 45 ¶ Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
The gospel truly is a pearl of great price. It requires all of our commitment in order to acquire the prize. We have to surrender all our worldy alliegencies in order to put it at the center of our lives. There can't be any fence sitting.

Have another great week! Talk to you later.

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt

Somalee's baptism!

Lunch with Elder Burr

Biking Home

JUNE 13,2017

Well, it's Tuesday. Sorry, Nieuw Amsterdam had a really nasty power outage yesterday. So, we weren't able to email.

But I'm on today though. They were just updating something in the power system. The weather has gotten a lot better this week. It doesn't rain as much, but we had a pretty crazy storm yesterday. Suriname is kind of like Utah in that way. One moment, everything is still and peaceful, the next, there's a big storm. We had to take shelter at a member's house to wait for the storm to pass over.

Well... I got my last transfer call. I totally thought I was staying in Commewijne my last transfer. That makes sense right? Well, the Lord threw another curve ball at me, and... I'm headed to the city my last transfer. I'm headed to the dead center of Paramaribo.

Somalee is getting baptized this week! I've been working really hard to see someone baptized here in Commewijne. And of course, the week it happens, I get transferred. That's alright though, President Egbert has given me permission to go to the baptism. The Lord has let me see a baptism in every area I've served in, since I've gotten into this mission.

Again, I'm short on time and I've got to go, but I wanted to share an experience I had while doing personal study one day. I've been reading in Our Heritage, a brief history of the church. I've been reading about the organization of the church, and how there were small, young branches organized throughout the US, Canada, and England. It's awesome to read these stories. As I was reading, an impression came to me of how Commewijne is like that. It's young, with just a handful of faithful members. The work we're doing here in Commewijne is much like that in the early days of the church. This work too, is pioneer work.

Reading the stories about the early days of the church is so fascinating. In the scriptures it talks a lot about "coming unto a knowledge of the fathers". That phrase is frequently rehearsed throughout the Book of Mormon. In 2 Nephi 30:5, Nephi writes why he's quoted Isaiah. He says:
And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among themwherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.
As latter-day saints, coming to a knowledge of our fathers is what is contained in the church history, Our Heritage. The Nephites and Lamanites learned much about their fathers, and so should we. We become grateful for our blessings, and helps us know about where we come from, Our Heritage.

Have a great week. I'll talk to you all later.

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt

Amazing member in Commewijne

MAY 15,2017

Goedemorgen iedereen! It's been a great week in Commewijne. We've been able to see great success in the group this week, and it's exciting to see everything coming together.

We had a great time at church. There were 25 people that came! That's the highest I've ever seen it here. One of my most favorite parts of the Sabbath is playing prelude before Sacrament meeting and watching everyone come in. It was great to see the room so full with members who were coming from all parts of Commewijne. That was a very special feeling to have.

Rosieta and Somalie were also able to come to church yesterday. They enjoyed the company of the other members. Somalie actually a very good friend with one of the young women here in the church, so that helped her feel much comfortable in what might seem like a small and different group. They're reading in the Book of Mormon and are excited about their baptismal date. Rosieta learned about the idea of the temple and service in the church this past week, and learned about how there's so much more after baptism, which made her really excited.

We've met some really cool people. Do you remember Elder DeSeil, one of the missionaries I trained? We contacted his uncle this week. He told us about how he was happy his nephew was in Holland preaching the gospel. He told us he'd be very interested in learning more about the church's belief's. Unfortunately, he doesn't live in our area, but he'll be great to teach. We had another fun experience this week when we pasted a man cutting grass out in his lawn. We offered to help, and he gave us two matchless and we helped him cut grass for about 15-20ish while he rested. We got talking with him about the gospel and was interested to learn more. He was probably wondering why two Americans dressed up in a white shirt, time, and slacks were coming to help him cut grass. He was interested though and we past off his info to some other missionaries.

Other then that, it's been about the normal grind. Biking everywhere... talking with people... dealing with the rain. It's been a good time.

President Egbert had encouraged me to study more about the Gathering of Israel, to learn more about my role in it. One day during personal study I stumbled upon the dream of Kind Nebuchadnezzar, where it was prophesied that the gospel would go throughout the world. In Daniel 2:44-45 it says "And in the days of these kings (i.e. the European kingdoms going throughout the world) shall the God of heaven set up kingdomwhich shall never be destroyedand the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it (the kingdom) shall stand for ever.
It's awesome to be able to witness that. This gospel really is an ensign and light that is going throughout the world... "and it shall stand forever".

Have a great week!

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt