Monday, February 29, 2016

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!

Hello all!

The weather's been nice, so the insects haven't crawled out yet. But there are Volkswagens everywhere. I think everyone in the Palm Harbor area drives a yellow bug. It's made the slug bug game pretty easy.

I'm in a regular companionship now. We moved one of my companions to another area just after I emailed last week. We went out tracting (knocking on doors) that evening, and there was this one lady who let us in and had us eat dinner with her and her boyfriend. They weren't interested in our message, but the ribs were good! We had a really awesome discussion with another lady that night who requested a Book of Mormon on She seems like she genuinely wants to learn more, so we're hoping that we can find times that will work with her schedule in the near future. 

District meeting was really helpful. We talked about how to make initial contact more effective so that people will know our message is important.

We've had some difficulty finding people to teach the last couple days. This morning, we read the account of Samuel the Lamanite. We are here for the one who is ready. We're excited to find them this week!

I gave a talk yesterday. It was about applying the Atonement in our lives, "drawing closer to the Savior." It has been amazing to see how new converts in the area have faced a lot of trials, but through the Atonement, they can have so much faith in the future. It is so inspiring. It reminds me of Paul, who turned his whole life around and had trials as one result of his change. But he moved forward with faith, saying "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." True happiness isn't the lack of trials. It is the presence of the Savior in our lives.

Sorry for the lack of pictures again, I'll send some when my iPad gets set up.

Have a great week!

Sister Hunt

Monday, February 22, 2016

Finally in Florida

Hello all!

This week has been crazy but I'll try to remember as much as I can. 

On Tuesday, I left the MTC to head to Florida! It was very bittersweet. I had a wonderful time there, but I was excited to get to work! I got to call home that morning from the SLC airport. We had a layover in Atlanta. As we were landing there, the back of the plane, which was filled with probably 30 some missionaries, started softly singing "The Spirit of God." I was worried at first we might bother someone, but the Spirit was so strong on that plane, and I think the other passengers enjoyed it.

When we got to Tampa, there were 25 missionaries. Usually there are about 13. The assistants picked up most everyone, but my companion and I rode with the president and his wife. He asked us what our fears were as missionaries. It was a little intimidating, but he promised that as we were exactly obedient to the Lord and mission rules, we would be fine.

I'm in a tripanionship! Well, at least until noon today. Sister Handley is being transferred to the mission office so she can be off her feet with her pinched nerve. It is very different than having one companion. I think it'll be good for me though, because I have a few different perspectives to think about when we approach teaching people. My trainer's name is Sister Minson. She's from Gilbert, so she can compare some places here to places there to help me understand the area.

By the way, I'm in the Palm Harbor area (yes, we have a beach, but I haven't seen it yet). 

We met with some recent converts on day one. It is incredible to see how the gospel changes lives and makes hard things possible. I know that as we follow the Savior, He will help us to accomplish more than we could on our own.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

sorry... one more :)

My lovely companion forwarded this to me so I could have a picture to send.

MTC Update

Hello everyone! I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures. The computer isn't reading my SD card. I'll send them on my next P-Day. 

The MTC is AWESOME. I'm actually a little bummed I'm only here for 2 weeks instead of 3. We follow a pretty tight schedule starting at 6 AM and ending at 10:30 PM. We study, we pray, we go to class, we pray, we teach. All day every day. 

It is incredible to experience the spirit that is here. As I have been studying the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, I have felt of Christ's love and concern for myself and for my investigators. I know that that spirit is not unique to the MTC, and that as we follow the Savior we can feel His love any time, any place.

So we don't go tracting or anything here, so we get investigators through the TRC (Teaching Resource Center), where people in the area can come to be taught by missionaries. We assume that they are all non-members, but some are converts or have gone on missions themselves. Many will come because they are curious about what we believe, especially since they live in a highly populated LDS area. The cool thing about teaching at the TRC is that whether or not they are truly investigating the Church, each is a child of God and needs His peace in their life, and as representatives of Jesus Christ, we can help them come closer to Him.

My district is awesome. We have 3 sisters going to Tampa, 2 elders and a sister going to Ft. Lautersdale, and 5 elders going to Tucson. We have 2 teachers, Bro. Norris and Bro. Slavens, who apparently knows Megan and Sarah Chapple! I've seen a lot of people I know from high school and BYU here, which has been a fun surprise.

Today we get to go to the temple. I'm so excited. Besides that, we get to use today to prep for the upcoming week and a half so that we can focus on the Lord's work the other days.

Yeah. That's about it. God loves you and has a plan for you. Let Him in your life and you'll see miracles.

Love you all!
Sister Hunt

Monday, February 1, 2016

So long, farewell!

"How did you decide to serve a mission?" Story time.

The summer before my freshman year of high school, my parents decided to take the family to some of the church history sites in New York and Ohio. I'll admit, some of us were a little less than excited to go… but it ended up being a great experience. I was able to tour simple places where sacrifices and miracles occurred. Leading many of these tours were sister missionaries. This is when I started to think that I wanted to serve a mission.

I started high school and went to seminary. I learned more about the scriptures. I kept a mission in the back of my mind as an option, depending on my ability at age 21 to take off in the middle of pursuing a degree. My sophomore year, the prophet announced that young women could begin serving as young as 19. A mission became a reality.

Sometime in my Junior year of high school, I started attending mission prep. Not going to lie, it seemed intimidating at first. I was asked to participate more than any other church class I've ever been asked to participate in. And it was so worth it. I felt such an amazing peace in my life as I went. I gained a greater understanding of the simple gospel truths. Mission aside, I will forever be grateful for that opportunity.

I was at a farewell talk when I realized I never prayed about whether I should serve a mission. That night, I told God that I wanted to serve a mission, and asked if this is what He wanted me to do. I opened my scriptures to Doctrine and Covenants 4:3, which says, "if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work," and felt an overwhelming "yes" answer.

In September, I submitted an application to serve. I haven't felt so much opposition in all of my life. It was hard to focus in school. I worried a lot about whether I was "good enough" to serve. I prayed that God would send me where I could grow the most and serve the best.

One month after I submitted my papers, I walked down to the mailroom, expecting a package from my sweet mom, who, I knew, was sending me some goods. When I told the girl at the desk my verification code for the package (I received a notification that morning), she said, "oh, I think I know what this is…" and instead of a box of gifts, she pulled out a white envelope. Hopefully my disbelieving scream of joy didn't freak her out too badly.

As I walked back to my apartment, treasure in hand, I had an undeniable feeling that whatever the contents described was exactly the mission that I needed to go to.

I had to go to an opera that night for my humanities class, so I figured I'd just open it the next day when my dad would be home from work and I could FaceTime my whole family. Instead, my mom had my six-year-old brother guilt me into opening it that night (she was excited too, okay), after the opera at 9:30 (when my dad would be home). The opera got out a little late, so I (literally) ran straight to my apartment to be on time for my call opening.

"Dear Sister Hunt, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Florida Tampa Mission."

I finished off the semester (still a little hard to focus, but better will a call in hand), packed up, and came home. Spent a month getting ready (buying clothes, riding a bike, learning to go to bed at 10:30, all that jazz).

It's crazy to think that I report this week! I am so excited! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and to love. Along the way, I've come to know of God's love for me and for each of His children. I want to share that. He has a plan for each of us. I want them to know that because of the Savior's sacrifice, we can have joy in this life and in the eternities!

That is why I will serve.