Monday, March 31, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you enjoyed my Star Wars reference. Anyways...

This past week our New Yorker friend Ed or ''Citizen Mr. Ed'' as you might know him from his author name has made a concerted effort to get off the drink. And he has been really successful! He recently got a sponsor from AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) to support him. He is supposed to call him every morning. We also promised him we would call him every night at about 9:30. The first night we forgot, but he was still ok. So we set an alarm. And now every night we call him. If he is still good today, that would be 6 days without alcohol now. He has started wearing a black suit with a black shirt and a black tie and a big black crucifix, and his tinted orange glasses haven't changed.

We hadn't been able to contact Basil until Thursday, where it was mad. We prearranged to meet an indian guy named Hassan from something -istan at 1, Basil at 3, and our recent convert Peader would help us teach him. Then Basil canceled and told us he had classes that day. So when 1 rolled around, Hassan was at the wrong location (the other Ulster Bank in Sligo) and we had to direct him towards the church by phone. By the time we arrived at the church and started teaching him, it was 1:30. At 2, Basil arrived and said classes were canceled, and listened in with Hassan. Then Peader showed up early. It was kinda awkward. But it went well. Basil made it to the 2nd hour of Church, because he forgot about the hour change (so did we, but we were there early, we were lucky).

Elder Dustin and I also want to improve our teaching pool, so we set a goal to find 2 new golden investigators, and we are going to work really hard to achieve it. (A New Focus)

Nothing else happened this week, except for a haircut. Thanks for your emails and support! I enjoy hearing from you. I hope you all have a good week!

Elder Devin Jay Hunter
P.S. Kirk out!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dear family and friends,

This week was one in which I have learned a lot about myself, and work.

First off, we met our miracle man Sean on Saturday, and it was an amazing lesson. We taught him about the Restoration, and he already knew TONS about Joseph Smith and shared many lessons from videos he'd watched with us. At one point, Elder Dustin starts talking about a short film he saw, and Sean had seen it too. To my surprise, Sean turns and starts teaching me about the video that he saw. I couldn't help but smile.

And then on Sunday morning, we got a call from Sean. He had experienced a lot of opposition from his wife and he had a ''blowout'' with her about coming to Church. He informed us that he wouldn't be able to meet with us because he didn't want to upset his wife anymore, but he said he would continue to study the videos and would contact the Elders in future. It was a hard moment for me, but I have faith that the Lord will guide him back to the path.

Basil has been in Dublin, so we won't be able to see him 'til Wednesday.

Tabby is still meeting with us, but hasn't seen any success yet. Morris is the same story.

Thursday was also Zone Interview Training, where the Assistants to the President, the Sister Training Leaders, and President and Sister Brown came to give us training. It was very uplifting, especially because I got to see Elder Boehme again! He is still awesome. I have no doubt that I will not forget my companions or not think of them in the years to come. Elder Dustin also bore powerful testimony, and we grew in our strength as a companionship. He is always serving and polite and I feel privileged to be serving with him.

We also went on exchanges on Friday, and I got to talk to Elder Banks about his family. He has gone through similar experiences, and it was a learning experience.

Well, that's all for this week, thanks for your prayers and your emails! I love you all!

Elder Hunter

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dear family and friends,

Another week has gone by in Sligo, and good things are happening. We saw Sean on Saturday, and we were again pleasantly surprised by his reaction and his story. It turns out he has had missionaries on and off for years, but never really went through with it. The last Elder he met was Elder Wallace, which, according to President Cunnane and Sister Ducusin, had to be before 2007 at least. Sometime this year, Sean was looking on the Internet, and happened upon a video of a young person opening their mission call, and started watching more of them, which led to more exploration of the Church. He watched some of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Bible Videos, and even the District! :) Then he made it to Church on Sunday, and he made friendships with a lot of members, especially with our young 18-year-old recent convert named Evan, who he had a good lengthy conversation with. In Sunday School with him and with another less-recent convert, Michel, who is a refugee from Togo, we had a lesson planned on the Holy Ghost. I'm glad we did, because we found out that although Sean has a strong desire and determination, he has learned little of what we are going to teach him; the Catholic church was his childhood church, and he says it was ''bet'' (which I think means beaten) into him. He was very surprised and intrigued by the nature of the Godhead, but picked up on it quickly, which is a good sign. So we'll keep up on him.

Anyways, the ward here is great! There is the Branch President, Donal Cunnane, (I haven't met his wife though) and then the amazing Ducusin couple, a young Filipino couple who lead the youth program, and our ward mission leader, Joe Tiernan, a cheerful, humorous old man with much spring in his step, are just a few of the members here. It is a bit strange using a car - it is a good opportunity for getting to know Elder Dustin, and it is fantastic for transportation, but it also makes GQ-ing a bit different, because we can't walk everywhere.

Basil didn't make it to Church, but we're going to call him and find out what's going on. Among Basil, there is a less-active half-Catholic New Yorker named Ed, an older man who is taking things really slow but is reading consistently named Morris, and, which is really cool, a man named Tabby. Tabby is a world-famous rock star who made it to the final round of X Factor in its first season. He is very honest, seeking truth, and is obsessed with finding out what the truth is. He is also very energetic and has seen the corruption high up where he was in the music world, with immoral influences and people being abused, and now has a great sense of charity and genuine love. He has great potential.

Well, that's all for this week. I also studied Moroni 10, and learned a lot about the gifts of the Spirit and the different ways answers and witnesses of God can come. We all have different talents and gifts from the Spirit, and they can be used to greatly benefit others. I have the gift of music, and I am working hard to prepare hymns to play in the Branch on Sunday. I challenge each of you to ponder on what gifts the Lord has given you, and then to make a goal to use it in the service of someone else.

I also was pondering on the case of Sean, and I had an interesting thought - because of one person that accepted the call to serve the Lord, and then shared it with others around the world through simply posting it online, and then many others doing the same, a man has come to desire to join the Church. We are all becoming more connected through media and worldwide communications, and the little things we do to share the Gospel can result in souls being brought to learn about the Gospel. I know that simply sharing the Gospel can bring blessings to countless lives, now in different countries even. I know that the Lord leads His Church and His Work.

Have a great week! Thanks for your prayers and emails. I love you all at home, and abroad!

Elder Devin Jay Hunter
P.S. Kirk out! :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dear family, friends, and all loved ones,

This week has been SO crazy! It started with the move to Sligo - we took a bus to the ferry, which was the most miserable bus ride of my life! It was quite enjoyable country scenery on both sides, and we came by the ocean as well! But, I suddenly, out the blue, started feeling really queasy, and I had to migrate back to the bathroom of the bus. There, I commenced in swaying and sitting and kneeling 'til, finally, I threw up. Then I went back to my seat, and then I started feeling sick again, but I never threw up again. Then the ferry ride was pretty good and scenic, where I met up with some old missionary friends: Elder De Vries, whom I sat by on the airplane ride over; Thomas, the missionary from my group that was alone in the Provo MTC; Sister Kline, one of the sister training leaders in Scotland; Elder Barney, a choir tour friend; and a few others who I made friends with. Then, when I arrived in Dublin, I was warmly welcomed by Elder Dustin, Elder Elliot, and, oh yeah, I met Elder Banks on the way over as well. They make up our district, as well as the zone leaders, Elder Lee and Elder Scott, but they are too far away to attend District meeting each week, so it's just us and Mullingar mostly.

Anyways, Elder Elliot drove to Mullingar, with Elder Dustin and I squished against each other in the back of the old Mireva, and then I drove to Sligo. I am the designated driver, and Elder Dustin's license already expired, so I will be driving for a few weeks. We also had to drive the long 3-4 hour drive for the sessions of stake conference, which were fantastic. Our investigator Basil attended (pronounced bu-ZIL, like Brazil without the r). We also had a miracle with a man named Sean  who pulled up next to us in the Dunnes parking lot right as we were walking by. He asked if Elder Wallace was still here, and then introduced himself and his situation. He asked if there was a way for blind people to read the Bible. We told him about Gospel Library, and he thanked us. He has troubles reading on his own, so those will benefit him greatly. Then he told us he talked to the Branch President, President O' Farrell, about joining the Church, and said he had to talk with us as well. Next will be his wife. Then he gave us his phone number, and drove off. We were so surprised! Elder Dustin has never met this guy, and he has never even heard of Elder Wallace. Anyways, that's all for this week. Thanks for the love and support and emails and prayers. I love you very much! Have a great week.
Elder Devin Jay Hunter

P.S. Kirk out!
P.P.S. My new mailing address is 8 Old Mill, Sligo, Sligo County, Ireland
Tanks! :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

I am sorry, I spent a lot of time writing my family and taking care of moves affairs, but moves' call was yesterday. And....

I am moving to...

Sligo, Ireland! :) With Elder Dustin!

Slygo, Ireland is in the Dublin zone, and it is a small branch where Elder Tinsley (the current Assistant to the President, and, we also just learned, Elder Boehme is being trained to be the new other AP this transfer!) said that there are ''not many people, and that I will make friends with many deer and rabbits while I'm out there''. I am looking forward to it! This might also mean that Elder Dustin and I will be leading the branch! President Brown or Elder Tinsley also informed me that there is no pianist there, so very likely I may be the new branch pianist for sunday! Which means A LOT MORE PRACTICING ON THE KEYBOARD! It's crazy how these things work out with my own talents and the keyboard being given to me... :) Elder Dustin is a very experienced missionary who I have not met yet, but apparently there is no more loving missionary than he. I will miss Cumbernauld quite a bit, Elder Christensen, the ward, Stephen, Joe, Bridy, Betty, Nick and Lee, Mary Whitton, Brother McGuinness, and so many more people! More next week when I arrive. I love you all! Please write me letters as well, I have not received a letter since January, and I don't want to sound ungrateful, because I am grateful for what I have, but I would love letters from anyone or everyone that would like to send them! I can't complain though, because I get usually around 15 emails each week (7 from missionaries, and 8 from President and others), so it's pretty good. I love you all, go Meadow's Ward Missionary Army, and have a great week! I know the gospel is true. I also know the healing power of the Savior's Atonement, and that he can also heal us through others. For example, I gave Elder Christensen a back massage to help relax (because he is training a new missionary in Cumbernauld this upcoming transfer, and the next transfer as well,) and he has stepped on my back to straighten it and help it crack, so it feels better and is less sore. At least, I hope that is good for my back... anyways... ) Have a great week! I LOVE YOU, friends, family, and brothers and sisteren in the work.

Elder Devin Jay Hunter
P.S. Kirk out!
P.P.S. Sligo might not be spelled right.
P.P.P.S. I just looked it up. It is spelled right. :)