Thursday, February 2, 2017

January 30, 2017 Fantastic and peachy week

Goedemorgen, goedemorgen, goedemorgen!!

It's been another fantastic and peachy week as a missionary! Lots of fun, exciting, and testimony building events happened this past week. One of the biggest things that happened this week is that all missionaries worldwide participated in a broadcast done by the church's missionary board. They announced some new changes that will be taking place in the missionary schedule. I'm not sure mom and dad would understand much but I know John and Drew, you would be interested in the new schedule. It gives missionaries more flexibility in their daily schedule. Missionaries are now given an extra half hour of personal time in the morning and at night. Daily Planning is now in the morning, just before studies. Also, Personal study is the only study hour required before going out to proselyte now. The flexibility part comes in because now missionaries can choose when to do Comp, Twelve week, and language studies, as well as Lunch and Dinner during the day. Missionaries then go back home at 9 pm, and then can choose to either go to bed an hour early (9:30), or get an extra hour of personal time (9:30 to 10:30). We also get two more hours of P-Day!

The church would also like the missionary schedule to be adjusted to the culture in their part of the world. They said for example, that missionaries in Latin America could wake up at 7:30 and go to bed between 10:30 and 11:30. There was a really neat quote by Elder Bednar, who said that the church develops and becomes more refined, "line upon line, precept upon precept". This is but one example of how the church is developing more spiritually, to fulfil the Lord's commandment to "fill the world with [His] gospel".

We keep working with our investigators. It's been a bit difficult to sit with our most progressing investigators, but we keep striving to sit with them. I had an absolutely bizarre experience this week. I'd never experienced it up into now. We just came out of a lesson and our following lesson had fallen through, so we had a little bit of contacting time before we moved on to our following lesson. So we decided to contact some houses that we'd tried before but when no one was home. The very first house we talked to, a man came outside, and we started introducing ourselves. This man ended up being a crazy bible basher (I wouldn't be surprised if he were a JW) who insulted us by saying we didn't know the bible and shouldn't be preaching the gospel. This guy ticked me off though, and got my blood boiling. I'm telling you right now, for all of you that know me as the calm person that I am, I'd never felt my blood rush like that ever in my life. I walked out of that situation just mad, and I calmed down for a bit. We then tried to contact another lady, who again, was a JW. She went off on some tangent about Abraham and Adam not being prophets, so we just left. It was so weird. I'd never experienced anything like being rejected like that before.

The time then rolled around to go to our next appointment. It was with Zelfie, and we taught her about the Plan of Salvation. I remember sitting in that lesson, and just pausing for a little bit while my two companions taught. I remember just this wonderful sense of peace come over me as we taught. The thought then came to me that "Spiritual light and knowing God does not come from Biblical knowledge, but from living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ". That desire of having God in our lives can be described as a light that we feel. The great, spiritual truths of the gospel that enable each on of us to return to our Heavenly Father, really are simple and easy to understand. We are so blessed to be given the fullness of the gospel, and to have the Book of Mormon. It brings in that spiritual light that we all want, to return to our Heavenly Father.

Have another fantastic week. I'll talk to you in seven.

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt

What they ran into!

Ik en mijn collega's

time to cool down

Jan 23,2017

Goededag iedereen! Het lijkt als het al koud en snieuwachtig thuis is. Hier in Suriname is het lekker heet!

We had another great week. We had some fun experiences teaching people this week. A trio companionship is always a bit awkward because it's hard to figure out who should teach when. We're getting a good routine down that lets us all teach in unity though. For our zone activity today we went and played volleyball and soccer. Elder DeSeil is very good in soccer! He and the other Nederlander missionaries creamed the rest of us. (After a sports day you always feel sun burnt and sore).

We found a really nice lady to teach named Zelfie. We contacted her a couple of weeks back. She was apparently a previous investigator. Between the time the last missionaries taught her until now, she read through the entire Book of Mormon, in 6 months, ON HER OWN FREE WILL! She's super cool, and thoroughly understands everything that we give her to read. She likes to talk a lot, and will talk at us for hours if we don't cut in, but it's super cool to teach her and to see her willingness to learn now.

I also had a neat experience last night. We were planning on seeing an investigator after we went and visited some members. We saw our investigator at another house as we were biking to our appointment with the member. After the lesson we called her to see if she would be at that house or if we needed to go to where we normally teach her, but her phone wasn't on. We weren't sure what that meant, so we continued to bike on to where we normally teach her. But as we were biking we pasted the house I thought I saw her at (I wasn't exactly sure), and something told me to stop and go to that house. As we did a man walked outside and up to the gate. He greeted us and without saying anything else opened the gate for us and let us walk in. He pulled up three chairs for us to sit, and we started talking to him. He proceeded to talk to us about all these political/economic problems he's been dealing with. We then had one of the most spiritual Restoration lessons I've ever had. It was so cool to see the spirit work through you to tell you to do something for someone else.

I'm running out of time but I wish you all another wonderful week!

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt
Made his Dad's Italian sandwiches 

Suriname food

Hanging out with the monkeys

Zelfie's cute dog

Amazing Sunsets

Dutch style building

Jan 16, 2017 Wake up I am on!

Goedemorgen en groetjes vanuit Suriname!

We've had a good week. We've been focusing a lot on finding investigators lately, and have met some really cool people that have seemed to be prepared. We met one lady this week who was really sad when we talked to her because her son had ran away from home with her car recently. We talked to her about a lot about the Plan of Salvation and how the Lord knows what happens in our lives and will assist us and give us a reassurance of His love for us. We then tied that into the Restoration by talking about how these truths were Restored back to the earth through Joesph Smith. The spirit was really strong and was but one example of people we met. We also met others who were previous investigators, and again, would talk to us about the Book of Mormon and how cool they thought it was, without us even bringing it up.

We also met a really cool man from the Philippines, who was very interested in the Restoration when we talked to him about it. He's been all over the place and has visited many churches. Our first lesson with him was really good. He was asking us so many different questions like if we pay tithing or if we drink alcohol or if we do baptism by immersion, and he believed everything that we taught him! He had a good excitement about him, not sure sheer curiosity of 'that one church down the block'.

We had District Conference again this week. (District Conference is the equivalent to stake conference), and we worked really hard to get investigators there. It was really cool because three of them came and we're very happy that they did. It's a funny story because it was announced that the conference would begin at 10am. So we missionaries get there about 20 minutes early and I being the 'designated piano player' started playing prelude music as normal. After 20 minutes of playing another missionary taps me on the shoulder and informed me that the meeting was postponed for an hour. So I ended up playing piano for like an hour straight. I played like 40 minutes of prelude for a chapel stuffed with people and then another 20 minutes accompanying them while they sang.

The reason being why they postponed the meeting was because the church ended up broadcasting a message from Salt Lake City, live, to the Caribbean area for stake/district conference. Elder Christensen and Elder Cornish from the Sevently, Sister Burton, and Elder Neil A Anderson spoke, so it ended up being a mini General Conference. It was cool because the church flew three translators out of Belgium over to Salt Lake to translate the conference so that our district here in Suriname could hear the conference in their native language. It was a really good conference.

I was reading an article out of the Liahona about how we can recognize the Holy Ghost. I personally think that recognizing the promptings of the spirit is one of the hardest tasks to do in the gospel, but it's crucial for us. We take time and train ourselves to drown out the sounds of the world to recognize the spirit talking to us. It's a skill. It's like learning a language. We have to work. We have to struggle. It takes time. It we stop listening then we start to lose our ability to listen. Elder Christensen had a really cool quote. He said that we can recognize the spirit because "we have spiritual feelings within us". It makes thinking about the spirit easier to understand when you classify those feelings as 'spiritual feelings' or 'feelings from the outside'. D&C 136: 33" For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite"...

Have another great week!

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Elder Hunt