Thursday, November 20, 2014

milagritos.. little miracles

"kiss the frog! he will turn into your prince!" catching frogs with some ninos

Well this week was a good one! We have been working HARD! It feels so so good. My companion is doing well with adjusting to missionary life, everyone takes time, but she is handeling things really well. 

So our week did start off a little rough. Tuesday at lunch (our pension is a restaurant) this man was just staring at us and then asked if we were from America. He started speaking in English and said he was from France. He asked me what we were doing here in Peru and I explained the whole missionary thing. Well... then he went off on a rant on his beliefs in not believing in Christ. It hurt so bad to hear someone talk that way. Then he started going off about the states and saying horrible, not true things about the army, the people, the government.. a lot of things and even started threatening. Then he started attacking us for being gringas and the rant ended a little like this "Get out of here. GO HOME. No one needs your help. No one needs your money. You selfish gringas. Just go home" I told him "enjoy the rest of your lunch" and i turned around. My comp was in tears and it was just a rough moment after all the nasty things and even some rude hand and finger actions. I realized in that moment.. that man did nothing but strengthen my testimony and make me more grateful for the life the Lord has blessed me with. I am thankful for these hard moments that in the moment are heart breaking, but just make me stronger.

Well we were in a trio for a couple days with Hermana Nelson and it was fun working in the 2 sectors getting to know each others people and learning from one another. Well it was really awesome. This week we saw even more suffering. Emotionally, temporally, spiritually.. everything. It is so heart breaking to see people like this. The jungle is a rough life! It hurts a lot when you just LOVE these people so much. But we had a theme going this week in every lesson.. the answer to solve all this suffering is to make sure you study the Book Of Mormon and say your prayers every day. As an individual AND (this is KEY) as a family. This makes miracles. The spirit is in the home. There is more love, peace, patience. Your attitude changes,, you are more HAPPY! The "endure to the end" part of life- which is the hardest part- becomes easier. You have God on your side helping you through everything.. when you do these things. Of course going to church and keeping all the other commandments is crucial, but if we dont read and pray, the rest dont happen as easily. Some of these people have such testimonies of this. We went to a married couple that has two kids and they just arent getting a long right now and we asked them if they are reading the BOM and praying together.. they said no. We asked them what life was like when they did. They said "there was a lot better communication in our marriage when we were reading and praying together." .... yep. there you go! It is something so simple, but like elder Oaks said "JUST DO IT!" Miracles, MIRACLES come to pass when we do these two simple things. Our desires to be better are stronger. Our understanding of the gospel and its importance are a lot clearer. Everything is just better! The people out here progress in life when they read and pray as individuals and as families. It will do the same for all of you. Do not miss a day. It is something so crucial in these times. I am so thankful my parents made our family wake up early in the morning to read and pray. It taught me just how important it really is. DO IT. 

Milagros came to church yesterday! She loved it. She was just so cute and has so many questions so we are gonna go this week and explain every little thing to her. We took her home after and her whole family was at the house. They were super friendly, as always, but still not wanting to listen. Poco a poco! Milagros is the most amazing 15 year old girl. Just craving to learn more and listen and in church she asked "Hermana Hunter, how old do i have to be to be like you?" I asked her what she meant and she pointed at my missionary plaque. I was so filled with joy! and I told her 19, and that she would be the best missionary. I am so thankful for her. She teaches ME! She told us this week she doesnt hang out with friends from school much because they dont do good things so she likes being with her family. She is gold. Before I didnt know how i felt about letting her get baptized without a family member, but I feel like she is just progressing so fast. She answered questions in Sunday school perfectly! ahh i just love her. Yesterday I just thought about my friend Rachel Cornelison. She was a 15 year old girl looking for the truth as well and now she is on a mission, even though her family wasnt being taught at that time she was, she was faithful. Joseph Smith, searched for the truth at 14 years old and stayed faithful. Why not Milagros? I am so proud of her. She is amazing.

Well my funny side note is that on our way to Triunfo in the bus, we stopped at a stop light and the bus jolted forward and when it did that.. the little kid sitting in fron of me leaned over and hurled all over my foot. Yep. I was just proud of myself for not vomiting.

I love you all so much. I love being a missioanry. I am just so happy! It is hard, but I see miracles every day. Miracles that are so small, that they turn out to be huge. I love these people here. I feel attached to them already! I love this work, and I love this Gospel. 


love always,
    Hermana Hunter

happy halloween!

we had time on halloween to go grab some ice cream to celebrate

Im a mom


Elder Justin Jensen and I !!! so fun to see a friend

Hi everyone!

Well this week was mostly in Cusco, but I have some fun things to say. So i traveled all day tuesday and got to Cusco tuesday night and I got there and Hermana Arroyo, Hermana Hoskins, and Hermana Purse were all there in the Cusco house waiting for me and welcomed me with a tackle to the ground. It was so fun to see the Hermanas from my group! I just love them so much. Hna. Purse had a change back to Puno! And Hna Arroyo and Hoskins are training as well! It was so fun to catch up. Well Wednesday I got my hija! Hermana Whit from Washington. She is so cute. She wanted to serve in the Jungle so she is loving it here in Puerto. It is so fun to see her just love the people already and want so badly to communicate with them and they are being so kind to her so I am so happy! We got to go contacting in the plaza in Cusco at night and it was so fun. I told her to lead me and to start up every conversation and she looked at me all scared, but then did it! Its so awesome having someone so new. Its just all this excitement which makes everything so fun! 

So we got back here to Puerto on Friday and got right to work. My heart broke. We started visiting all of our people and they all completely opened up to us and everyone is suffering. I really dont know what happened, but its like this dark wave of problems hit puerto. Everyone is trying to look for jobs, family members dying, people in need of phsycological help, husbands hittling their wives, hearts hardned to the message, struggling for food on the table.. everything!!! My companion was just in shock of the suffering here. We even watched as Hermana Luz told her children that she wasnt going to cook didnner because there was no food left and the dad hadnt gotten back from fishing, which is the only way they can eat. My heart just broke more and more every visit we had! But something amazing happened. It seemed that, for the most part, everyone realized they were in need of our visits more than ever. Even members are asking us to come visit them to help strengthen them. My heart was so touched this week as some of our less actives that have not been to church in MONTHS came yesterday and some even brought non member friends! As much as it hurts to see everyone suffer, it was so happy to see poeple like Giovanna come to church with her kids. One experience that really touched me was with a 20 yr old girl named Judith. We got our first visit with her and asked her why she got baptized and why she doesnt come to church. She wants to come back to church, but her parents dont have a job right now and she had to quit studying to take care of the kids during the week and then she works on the weekends to help her family. It broke my heart. We had a powerful lesson on enduring to the end and then she offered the prayer. After the prayer she was in tears. She then opened up telling us what really was going on in the family, but asked us not to share with anyone. It broke my heart into pieces. But she was touched and she is going to try and come to church next week.

 Something funny that happened.. we were talking with our pension yesterday and Tom asked my comp is she has a boyfriend and she said yes and told him that he is waiting for her. Tom then looked at me and laughed and said "hermana hunter, all of your comps have had boyfriends waiting for them at home. you dont! do you get sad?" I looked at him and just laughed and said "hermano Tom I am not worried and no I am not sad I am on the mission." Then he got all serious and started to say to Karen and my comp "Hermana Hunter is a very special girl. As I get to know her I realize she is one of the few girls that is super fun, but is also spiritual and she isnt crazy. She is just a good mix." Then said "Hermana Hunter, dont worry, the day will come. You are a super cool girl. Just try and hurry up and get married when you get home before something bad happens:" I am still a little confused but to me it was just the funniest thing that has happened to me. Hermano Tom likes giving me life advice. Then i teach him how to live the gospel;) I love them. They are like our little family out here.

  I love these people so so much!! I am so grateful to be here serving. I am so grateful to be a missionary in this time. It is a hard time to be here on this earth, but the Gospel is our anchor to hold us still in all the storms of life. I love this gospel. I love the mission. I am more and more grateful every day for the many blessings I have. I love all of you. Read, pray, go to the temple- Its the little things that make enduring to the end a little easier. Its a crazy world, but be strong. Thats what I learned this week.

I love you all!

Hermana Hunter

my investigator has a Utes football!!! WHAT

transfers are always a surprise

the triunfo hitch hikers

Hey everyone!. Well today was transfers! I have never had a transfer go by so so fast! Its crazy! Anyways, my companion and I thought we were both safe for one more transfer here in Puerto together, but our district leader called and changed everything. We really thought he was joking because he began with "both of you have a change" and i thought what?! i just got here!! Well he told my comp she is serving in a little pueblo close to Puno and then said "Hermana Hunter, you will be training a new missionary" Oh my.. I was not expecting that. I still cant belive it! I have 7 months out in the mission, but I still feel like a baby out here! I am so nervous, but so excited to have this amazing opportunity that not many missionaries get here in this mission. I know that not only my President has trusted me with this assignment, but also the Lord. And I trust in them as well. Just pray for me!! 
 
  Well this week a lot of things happened and it was pretty rough! But I have learned so so much this week and I am so thankful for that. On Tuesday we had a cita with some of our investigators, Maria y Milagros. Well Maria, the mom, wasnt there so we just taught Milagros. Shes 15 and just the cutest. Well in this lesson Milagros told us that she prayed and she got the same feeling that she gets every time we teach. She said it was a feeling of happiness, but it was a different happiness that she has never felt before and its through that, that she knows the church is true and feel in her heart that what we are teaching is true. I was amazed at this 15 year old girl! Just so confident in what she was saying and that she sincerely looked for an answer, recognized it and wants to act. She even asked me "how do I get baptized?" Well I told her to start by coming with us to church on Sunday and she told us her mom said she needs to go to the catholic church and that kinda threw everything off. We then prayed that her mom would soften her heart and that both Maria and Milagros could come to church. We called Milagros Saturday and she said was allowed to come, but that Maria didnt want to. Well we went to pick up Milagros yesterday and no one was home and the neighbors said that they had traveled to the monte (deep jungle) I was so sad!! But I know that maybe right now isnt the time for Milagros to be baptized, but one day she will.
 
 This week we were invited over to one of the members houses for lunch (lunch is the big meal of the day) and oh my. it was SOO good. we were there with the elders as well. it was so fun! then we had to walk a long way back to the bridge to catch a bus, so jokingly i put my thumb out acting like i was hitch hiking and this man pulled up in a moto car and said "jump in! I will take you back to the city!" it was sooo funny! so we all hopped in the back and rode back. the elders said "we need to walk back from triunfo with you more often!" ha. it was my first official hitch hiking experience.
 
 Remember Hans and Giovanna?? well they have to get married. They want to progress, but cant until they are legally married. 6 Different sister companionships have worked with them! Well me and my comp had said that we wanted to teach in the way that the prophet and all the counselors spoke to us in this last conference (yes i finally watched it! and in english!) STRONG and DIRECT! Here, the people kinda need it. so I wont go into detail, but this lesson was absolutely incredible. There was no beating around the bush and trying to be all mushy with them. It was straight up. Their faces said it all. They finally understood. But... Hans said he wanted more time. He wants do do whats right, but now is not the time. Before I could even think the words came out of my mouth.. "Hermano Hans, this life is not a game. The time to do the right thing is NOW" The spirit really helped us in this lesson. It was amazing. We felt the impressions and we acted. We didnt listen to the impressions and say it in a different way, we just spoke. The way it ended broke our hearts when Hans said he just wants to be "perfect" before getting married. We testified so strongly. I wish I could say it all, but this lesson really impacted me. After the lesson my companion and I both needed to just sit down. We were heart broken and literally spritually exhuasted! We sat down by the river and just broke into tears. As missionaries we can literally see the potential people have. What God sees in His children. It is easy to see the distinct difference between lite, and dark, right and wrong. This is a blessing, but in this moment it hurt so bad! This family knows whats right, but they just will not do it. To know of their potential and the blessings they are missing out on literally breaks my heart. 
 
  I want to testify this week that God lives. The church is true. This gospel is perfect. It is the only way back. Satan is so so strong right now. I see it every day and it breaks my heart. But I do know this as well, God lives. We are His beloved children. He has provided the way and it is up to us to live it or not. When we dont live it we are simply lost. But when we do live it, we can so clearly see how true it is and how much joy and hope it brings us in this world. Every day if we are doing our best to do what is right, every day it gets easier and easier for us to see the path set before us. Every day, try a little harder to be a little better.
 
 I love this gospel. I love missionary work. Some days I feel like I just cant keep going, but each time I make it through. The Atonement is real. Use it
 
I love you all! I will be in Cusco until Saturday so it wont be so interesting next week, but pray for me and my new hija!! 
 
Hermana Hunter
xoxoxo
 
My first coco agua experience!! its nasty.... i dont know why they love it

I Am A Child of God


cake to the face

Hola a todos!! 

  Ahhh. the mission! Oh my I have some awesome experiences to share. 

First, so it was our Pension's daughters second birthday and we had cake, then i told the little girl, Carly, to go put whipped cream on her dads nose, she did it, then to all of us.. well then it ended up in a cake fight! we all were COVERED with chocoalte cake and whipped cream and laughing our heads off. It was such a fun experience because our pensionist's were returned missionaries who fell in love, were going to get married, got pregnant, now Tom doesnt want to marry Karen and says hes not in love. We are working sooo hard with them! They left the church for 2 years and recently are comming back. Its a tough situation, but this night we saw a little change. They had FUN together! and as a family. So I guess.. if theres problems, just throw some cake!! 

  We are teaching a less active little boy with his non member parents and we watched the Joseph Smith movie and then talked about the BoM and then I asked Giovanna <the mom> if she prayed about Joseph Smith and the church. She smiled at me and said si! I asked, ok.. how did it go! she smiled and said _ I got my answer, I know the church is true. I was amazed!! this was our second lesson with her! I was so happy to be reminded again that there truly are people prepared to recieve this message. It gives so much hope to all. The gospel is for everyone. I asked her to be baptized and she said she wants to pray because she is catholic and was baptized there and theyre all about the one baptism. one faith. thing. But for my companion that was her first lesson with Giovanna and she was amazed. I asked her why she was so shocked and she said that before, the mom was always pushing them out the door and never wanted to listen and now she's thanking us every 10 minutes in the lesson for being in her home and teaching her and accepting the church and completing her commitments to pray! That made me so happy. Everyone has their time, but the gospel is for everyone. 

  So president came this week and as always, it's the best and we leave with bien animos to work so hard! One thing he told us is that something so simple, that everyone needs to absolutely understand is that they are a child of God, and that He LOVES them. When you understand, you change. You no longer want to do your will, but the will of God. We were told that if needed, we can have a whole lesson on just that basic principle. I loved that! So it was interesting, we went to teach some of our less actives, Maria y Juan. They had a son die in a moto accident a year ago when he was only 21. They stopped going to church a little before his death, and haven't been since. We could tell that this pain was causing a hardness in their hearts towards the church. Maria even said <why did this have to happen?> So that first lesson we taught the plan of salvation, then we went back on Saturday and were going to teach the Restoration. Well we began, and it hit me that we needed to teach them how they are children of God and that He loves them. Just that. I was amazed at the spirit during that whole lesson. Maria could barely breath she was crying so hard and Juan even was choked up. That basic principle really is something so powerful. They have been mad with God for the death of their son, but once they understood that God LOVES them and they are His children, they CHANGED! they were softer, more accepting, more willing to change and even said <we are going to church tomorrow.> I was so overwhelmed with what we had just felt and what we had witnessed in that lesson. I think Maria, Juan, my companion, and I all left that lesson with a better understanding of who we are and how much God really does love us. We all were changed, and we all gained a new testimony. It was incredible. 

  We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. He loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend. He has a plan for us. Its not going to be easy, sometimes we will ask the question.. why? but its because He loves us. As we come to better understand that we truly are children of God, we understand more of why we are here and what we need to do. Ask God if He loves you in your prayers. He will let you know. This knowledge is the most precious thing to me. To know I am a daughter of God and that He knows me and Loves me, has helped me feel more confident. More happy. More willing to except lifes challenges, and more willing to do His will and not mine.


 I loove you all bastante!!! until next week

Hermana Kenzie Hunter

puerto has some cool art

elections, flu, temples. what a mix



my favorite little jungle kids!! 

Oh my what a week.

Well, tuesdsday and wednesday were full of amazing experiences!! We worked SO hard!!! We had a visit from our hermana liders and I got to go out with Hermana Chipunavi, from Bolivia. She is so funny! It was so fun to learn from her and get to have a different feel in the lessons. I had two experiences that really impacted me.

 1. we went to a less active that we have only visited once named Betty and we walked in and she was a little different. Then her monkey started going crazy and I was trying to start the lesson... only in the jungle. Well she then said "hermanas i am gonna leave now to the city." so I asked her if we could leave her with a prayer and she kinda just looked at me and didnt respond and then i asked "or we can just come back tomorrow?" and she said " hermanas, its better that you just dont come back" i was schoked. my heart sunk!! I just had all these thoughts in my head like "no! this cant happen! she needs to raise her kids in the gospel, go to the temple, have a forever family!" Me and Hna. Chip. just started testifying to her and she wouldnt look at us. Then I said "hermana, can we please come back?" and she said "bye hermanas, nice to meet you." and stuck out her hand to shake our hands which here, you greet everyone and part ways with a kiss on the cheek. We walked away and I felt as if I just watch my sister walk into a dark path. As missionaries it is so amazing how you can litterally feel things and even though i barely know betty, i so strongly feel that she is my sister! It hurts!!! But I am just praying and praying for her and I want to go back in a couple weeks when maybe she is more calm

 2. we have a less active couple that we are trying to help with their papers to get married, they are almost all done, but now for some reason they want to hold off. NO!!!! Their names are Hans y Jovanna. Oh my. I LOVE Jovanna. She wants so badly to do what is right. She wants to go to the temple so badly. Our branch is going to the temple in December and so her family is going to get sealed, but if she doesnt get married, she cant go in with the rest of her family, or her own kids and husband! I feel such an ergency to help them so that they can go to the temple.  Well we decided to read a talk with them about why the temple and the ordinances are so essencial in our lives. Its by Robert D. Hales and it is beautiful! It talks about the pioneers and how they new they needed to be endowed before making the rest of their journey and how it helped them overcome trials and challenges. Then it goes into forever families. Oh my the spirit was SO strong. I started testifying to them about my temple experience and that covenants really are so essencial and so beautiful and help us in every day of our lives. Then i testified about how much a forever family means to me. Oh my. it was amazing. Hna. Chip. also gave such a powerful testimony! Then Hans was going to tell us something and then said "ah, i just lost what i was going to say" it was so frustraring!! we were so close to getting something out of them. But they both kinda bore their testimonies of the gospel and it was so special. Jovanna shared that her non member sister waited outside the temple while the rest of the family was inside. She started to get teary then we were both in tears together. I then told her that I dont want to see them waiting outside the temple, I want to see them inside making covenants with God.

  I can honestly say that was one of the most powerful lessons ever. Then a couple days later Hans saw us walking and bought us Inka Kola and chased us down to give it to us. SO cute! There was a little change. I know that we can help them progress now. Just kinda had to give them a wake up call;)

 Well that night we went out to dinner with the hermana liders and well... the next day i was regretting that. Yep... sick sick sick!!! it was such a bummer!! But I got a blessing from the distict leader who heard i was sick and then came straight over. It was so nice! 

 So Peru had elections yesterday. Everyone has to go back to where they were born and you HAVE to vote. Also, we werent allowed to have church. yep! thats a law too! no meetings on election day. which meant no conference. So in the morning yesterday while all of peru was voting, us and the elders played uno. ha! it was fun. yesterday we kinda had to stay hidden in houses for my safety as a gringa on the craziest day here. It was kinda funny.

 Well, i want you all to know that the misison is easily the hardest thing i have ever done, but I am so happy to be here. Every day I feel a change inside me. I learn something new everyday. I become more and more grateful everyday. I understand Gods plan for me more and more every day. I love the gospel more and more every day. I truly realize what life is all about. And I now understand what the important things in my life really are. I am so thankful for this time I have to be here, to learn, to grow, and to become more of the girl God wants me to be.

  You are all amazing. Thank you for supporting me here. I love you all!!!

Hermana Hunter


Uno with the elders and our "mommy"

Just call me Jane of the Jungle




bananna chips!!

Hi family!! im alive.. i dont have a lot of time so I just wanna share with you what happened today

So we got invited by some members to go to their chacra o monte, or in other words DEEP JUNGLE. they grow bannanas and pineapples so they have huge property in the jungle. So we traveled for 2 hours in a "moto car" (sorry mom) its in one of these pictures. anyways we got their and we chopped down pineapples, bannanas, and went fishing and then made ourselves lunch with all of it. SO FUN!! we also studied our scriptures out there which was so awesome. so then after lunch we decided to go explore. We brought machetes and water and decided to go for it. So we are walking on the trail, enjoying the jungle, the trees, bugs, and then we thought " hey, we should go off the trail into the deeper part of the jungle. no path will be so cool!!! total Indiana Jones!" so we did!! well it was pretty cool, but the deeper into the jungle we went, the more anxious i felt, like not very safe. We then got so deep that we were cutting our way through with these machetes and trying to press forward. We then decided to go down  by tis little river, well we went down and I was right behind Moises, one of the members and we found ourselves in a pile of HUGE fire ants that bite "fuerte" anyways, so we run out of that situation. The other two hermanas and my comp are screaming, tripping, and I am just jumping over things and didnt care about the other spiders and jumping bugs haha. then Moises said "you like the adventures dont you? youre not afraid of the bugs and getting dirty. your husband will love you." I laughed and said "I grew up going camping and hunting with my dad and brothers, I am an outdoors girl for sure." Then I thought, wow, all of that really did help prepare me. these other girls think they are dying! so we kept walking on, then we had to cross a narrow log that was SUPER high up above the stream to get to the other side to hopefully find our way back, it was so scary crossing it and I did it without screaming like our other friends;) and then we kept walking and it seemed like we kept running into dangerous obsticles. Finally, we found our way to the path again and it was a wave of relief!! We had been in there for an hour! 

So on our way home I was thinking about how we thought it would be so fun to go off the path because the jungle just looked so much cooler off the path, then we got lost, ran into challenges that were a little scary, and how I was just feeling unsafe the whole time. Well thats life! We are on the path, living the gospel, doing what is right, then we get tempted. Something that the outside world offer can seem super cool, but once we get off the path, you run into other dangers, you dont feel good because you dont have the spirit, you feel lost, and it can be hard to find the path again. It is so important to stay on the path! and when we waver a little, do everything you can to get back on the path, because the farther away from it you go, the harder it is to come back and the more dangerous it becomes. 

 We have the gospel, we have the path set out before us, we have to make the decisions that will help us STAY on the path. The path is narrow, but dont lose it. When we are on the path, we have the spirit, He will help us along our way. Dont get stuck in a pile of ants or have to cross a super scary log or get lost. Keep that ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. 


   I LOVE YOU ALL!!!


Hermana Hunter



me and my friend Niko the mono!!!



going off the path....


the scary moment...



our hot ride

Welcome to the Jungle!




yep, river... i was wearing my comps glasses and forgot

Hi everyone!!! Well, I am in Puerto Maldonado now!!! Oh my... It is HOT!!! Like really, I went from Puno where it was snowing to here where I feel like these people are crazy for living in this heat. But oh my it is beautiful!! Our sector has the main part of the city and then the real life jungle! We have Triunfo, Puerto Viejo, and Pueple viejo and then the plaza de armas, a huge bridge that takes 15 minutes to cross. Here in Puerto we are only 2 hours away from Brazil so there are Brazilians here and we hear some portugese and its fun- im learning for you dad!. oh my it is so different than my last sector. It was actually super hard leaving Puno and my companion. It was my home for 5 months! Now I am meeting all the people here and trying to get around this huge sector, it has been a hard change, but I am excited for what's ahead. My companion is from Peru, she is from Lima and she is such a cutie. She speaks English well too! But I told her I will help her with her English and speak to her when we are in the house, but outside we just speak spanish and it has been great. Just in one week I feel a lot more confident speaking. My grammar is good now, I am just working on learning new words. 

  Well this week was mainly me meeting the people, and it surprised me, but we only have 2 investigators. I still haven't met them, but yeah the problem here is everyone is inactive, thats why its just a branch, so we work a lot with less actives which is cool, but all the ones we visited didn't come to church. They all said they were busy chopping down all the plants, picking the coconuts and selling them, unshelling nuts and selling them... ahh jungle life. It really is hard though, but I got my companion excited about finding new people to teach and really figuring out what the deal is with all these less actives here. I can tell there has been a slip in the work here, but I want to work SO hard and I just want to help these people and help this rama become a stake. Its gonna be hard, but I am excited. Also I was informed that all the missionaries that come here to Puerto stay here for a realllyy long time. like I will probably leave when I hit my year mark. So that will be cool to really get things going here.

  Well some funny things, my first night here I already had to take a shower, we take about 3-4 a day, and I came out and there was a HUGE cockroach!! I kinda squeeled and made my companion kill it. She laughed and said "welcome to the jungle" yeah the bugs here are HUGE. Oh my. And every missionary has a bunch of scars from all the bug bites!! Also, the other day we were teaching a less active and it started raining SO hard!! Like we could barely hear our own voices. So when we left we RAN to catch the bus back into the city. Well we went and got boots on to walk around in the water the rest of the day and oh my.. i kid you not the roads down in the jungle were literally mini rivers!! I feel like Indiana Jones here no joke. Its an adventure every day!! 

  Something I learned this week is about forgiveness. I learned that when we forgive others, no matter what may have happened, we immediately feel the love of God, for us, and others. It is an amazing feeling. It isnt always easy to forgive, it take humility, and many Christ like attributes to really forgive, but it is so important. I know that is we cant forgive others, God wont forgive us on our part. It is better to let things go and keep moving forward than to keep something nagging at you forever. This life is filled with trials, and some of the trials come from other people, but if we forgive and move on and focus on what God thinks of us and that what we are doing is right, we are filled with His spirit and love. So I hope that we can all forgive others and also treat others the way Christ would. Life is a lot happier!

  I love you all more than you know!! Seguir adelante con fe

Hermana Hunter
xoxoxoxo


found some kids chopping down stuff with their machetes.. livin the life

Im Going To The Jungle!!!

Maria, 86, cant really see or hear, tells us to read her the BOM and we have to yell it.. shes lo maximo

EVERYONE!!!!!I IM GOING TO THE JUNGLE OF PUERTO MALDONADO!!!! IM GOING TO BE WITH THE MONKIES!!!!!!!! It isnt even a stake there! They are all branches. My new companion is Hermana Valenzuela from Lima. I travel tomorrow so I will tell you more next week!! I am so so happy about this. I am shocked! But the adventure continues!! I have loved these past three transfers here in Puno, but I am so excited to meet those humble people there in the jungle! HACE COLOR!!!! bring on the heat!!! But really, its 120 degrees there right now with humidity...ouch!! big change! Im also very excited because my friend Elder Tosch Truman is in Puerto as well! We are going to be in the same zone! 

Well, this week, we visited a lot of members to strengthen them and get better relationships, it was a great experience. We talked a lot about family history and why it is so important. I have had some cool experiences with my family history here on my mission. I have read stories,looked at photos and searched for new family and as I have been doing this, I have felt their presence from the other side of the veil. I have felt them push me as I feel like I need to sit down and take a break, they have saved me from these crazy drivers.. remember that story? And they have helped me feel so grateful for the gospel and how truly it is the most precious thing we have, the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God is hastening His work here on the earth, but also in the spirit world. But heres the thing, God needs US to hasten the work on the earth, but also in the spirit world. Do your family history, I promise you it is an amazing experience and it helps you feel so close to the family we never had the opportunity of meeting here in this life. Its also true, Satans influence is not as strong when you are doing this work. I have grown to love family history and I hope you all do as well!

Cool experience, me and my comp were walking home the other night and we found this tiny little girl and she was crying, we asked her what happened and if she needed help and she said she got home from school and has been waiting ever since and her family had not gotten home. It was 8 at night! So we took her with us to find her house and figure things out, well she hadnt eaten since breakfast so we got her food and took her to her house.. which is right on the lake and its SUPER dangerous. There were drunks and passed out people and scary dogs..oh and it was hailing and lightning and thunder.. no wonder she was so scared! Her family wasnt home, but we eventually got her with some really nice neighbors. We walked away knowing that God had put us in the path of this 7 year old girl. 

 Always follow the promptings of the spirit, God is going to put you in the paths of people who need you when you wont even expect it. Always be worthy to recieve the promptings of the spirit, he is a necessary guide and teacher. Pray for the spirit every day. Work for him, listen to him, act on his tiny promptings. You will be overwhelmed at how many things He will do for you and say to you everyday. I love this special gift from God, please just remember to work for his presence and remain worthy of him always.

I love you all so much. Ill be emailing from the JUNGLE next week!!!

Im the real life Indiana Jones!!!


   Hermana Hunter



SOPPING WET!!! snow, hail,and rain!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

rain, hail and a baptism



Hi!!! How is everyone?? Well I dont have much this week, but there is some good stuff. Its been raining and hailing every day here! And everyone gets so scared its so funny. anyways...

  First of all, we got this referencia from a member of another ward so we went and visited her on Tuesday. Her name is Ana and she is 24. SO cute!! Anyways, we started talking to her and she told us how she told her cousin she would go to church with him one time, but just once. But she loved it so much that she said she wanted to meet with us and come back again!! She even told us that that morning she went out and bought three skirts to keep coming!! I asked her what made her want to come back and she said that she just felt this peace and love there and wanted more. I then explained to her about the Holy Ghost and how we can tell if we are feeling His influence and how she can feel more. Then, the coolest thing. She opened up to us about her life and she asked us not to tell anyone, but it was amazing. It was our first time meeting her and she told us something that absolutely no one knows and she is scared of anyone knowing. It was such an amazing spirit there in that room. It was exactly what me and my comp needed and by the end we were all in tears together. I love Ana already. Keep her in your prayers! I wish I could say more, its kinda hard to be able to understand, but just pray for her!! But I know that we were sent to her. She needed us Hermanas to open up to and now we are really going to be able to help her. I am so excited!!

  Second, ELMER GOT BAPTIZED!!!! FINALLY!!!! Oh my it doesnt feel real!!! It has taken a LOT of hard work to get him to this point, but I am so happy. And he is so happy!!! His inactive sister came for the baptism and after she told us that she wants to come back to church. Now Nilton said he will be baptized. Thaira has a date for the 13th this month, the mom, Gala is really thinking about it, and the dad said that when he gets back from his travels in December he will be baptized!! his exact words where "December will not go by without me being baptized" WHAT?!?! It was like a domino effect!!! I am so so so happy!!! We visited the family last night and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then I told them that baptism is just the door to the real goal, the temple and there was such a sweet spirit and then Gala said "I want my family to be able to go to the temple together" Oh my. This was one of the happiest moments. We also found out that before, Elmer was Athiest and we helped him belive in God and that Ever used to be so mean to the missionaries when they would knock on their door and would reject them so hard, but he let us right in. He said he was praying and wanted a different life and then we came. I am speechless. God is so powerful. Their hearts and lives have completely changed thanks to this perfect, powerful, and TRUE gospel.

  I know this church is true more than ever before. I know my testimony has strengthened so much. I have a lot more to go and a lot more to learn, but now that I will be hitting 6 months, I have reflected on how far I have already come and I am grateful for this opportunity. The gospel changes lives. I know for asurety that God and Jesus Christ live and we will one day live with them again if we do our part. Hang on to the iron rod with all that you have, and keep going forward. Hold on to the truth, it will lead and guide you through the darkness.

  I love you all. Seguir adelante con FE

Hermana Hunter



Rollar Coaster

I dont know if I spelled that right, Im kinda loosing English and spelling is horrible all the time now, sorry! Anyways, ok well this week was a crazy one.

  I started off the week on exchanges with Hermana Olivaras and shes from the jungle and super tiny so everyone thought it was so funny- us walking around together. Anyways, well one of her investigators left her key in her room and so we were locked out and Hna. Olivaras decided to climb through the window! I held her up and pushed her through as the investigator just sat there and stared. I was laughing so hard. It was quite the sight. But then we also visited this woman that had an artificial heart and she didnt get it replaced so now she is partly parylized and can barely talk, and her mom kept telling us she is going to die. I was overwhelmed with love for this woman immediately! She would always look over at me and just smiled and I would smile back, that was all she could do and it wasnt even a full smile, but you could feel that we were communicating through simple body language. We then sang some hymns to comfort her and her mom and it was so powerful! I was so grateful in that moment to know that one day she will have a perfect body and live without pain. I am so thankful for the gospel message and the hope it brings!

  So the funniest lesson, oh my. We went to visit a less active woman and she told us her non member uncle was going to join us- well he stormed into the room holding his bible, opened it up and said "Tonight I would like to share a message from the bible" whipps out this message about giving up your life for your friends and had me then share my thoughts on it. Well I related to Jesus Christ and his atonement and how he is our best friend and he gave his life for us because he loves us and we can trust in him and that he knows us more than anyone. Well every other couple words I said this man would shout "AMEN hermana hunter! Amen!!" "Amen halleluya!!" I was trying not to laugh and trying to really testify! Oh my it was pretty funny. 

  Well then the week went really interesting. I went back to my sector and companion and we were in weekly planning and we just poured out our hearts to each other. We both have been struggling with getting answers to prayers and feeling Gods love, it has been SO hard and I have been trying to just figure out whats wrong and figure it out on my own, but I found out my companion was struggling too. We talked for hours about the atonement, obedience, repentance, and what might help us. We then decided to get blessing from our zone leader. Well we basically got the SAME blessing and it left us so confused and I hate to say it, but comfortless. My companion then kinda broke down, and I lifted her up and said "For some reason God has given us this trial, for some reason to the both of us, for some reason He can not help us the way we need Him to help us right now. There is something we have to learn from this, we have to grow." It is sometimes so hard thought to really accept challenges that come our way. Its hard when I only have God to rely on and sometimes He cant come to my rescue. Sometimes I cant help but ask "why? wnhy this? why now?" The trials come, and even though we may feel so weak, we have to realize that we are strong and that we can only become stronger. After that, we had consejo de barrio and we walked in and ALL the members were being so cold to us and just straight up rude, my companion kinda went "this is just icing on the cake" it was really hard, we have no idea what we did wrong, but something was off. Its God handing us more trials, but I know that I must be strong, I know that I can do this. I know that there is something that we have to learn right now.

  But I do have an announcement, yesterday in church Elmer asked me for my parents response about his baptism - he has been out of town all week- I sat him down and told him that he should be baptized now, because there is something greater ahead. The temple is the real goal for all of us, to make the most sacred covenants. I told him to be baptized now and that my family would like to go to the temple with him in one year. He sat there for a second, then looked up at me and said "Ok Hermana Hunter, tell your parents thank you. Can I be baptized this Saturday?" I sat there SPEECHLESS!!! ELMER IS GOING TO GET BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!! I can not explain my happiness!!! I am SO excited!!! I know that soon, the rest of his family will follow. Thaida, the 8 year old told us that she wants to be baptized. We are watching the family come together and make this big step and open the door to eternity together. It is SO happy!! Last night we had a lesson, gave Gala, Thaida BOM with messages, Ever a picture of his baptism and Elmer a BOM in English- hes actually pretty good at english- and evryone was so happy and excited! Then we ate dinner with them. It was amazing how fast I forgot about everything else, and just was overwhelmed with happiness for the Family Luque. I know they will all go to the temple together one day. Keep praying for them!!

  Well I love you all, thank you for the love and support. I want you all to know that despite how hard it has been, I am so happy and would not want to be anywhere else. I know this is Gods work and I am part of His army, and He is just helping me grow.

Hermana Hunter



What is this?! A mission or a vacation?!




Well to quickly explain the headline... we were at the bishops house and we were talking to his wife and she wanted to give us money to go to our next cita and I said "Oh dont worry, we have money!" Then she looked confused and I told her how each month we get a certain amount of money for food, laundry, transportation and all that stuff. She asked who cooks lunch for us - we cook our breakfast and dinner- and then she was so surprised that someone does our laundry and she said "que es esto? una mision o un paso?!" We were laughing sooo hard!!! Then I told her that they are some of the little luxuries that we have and we enjoy them. Also, tthere was about 6 dogs chasing us from our door of our house and they were big! and then all of a sudden our neighbor just DUMPS water on the dogs and literally saves us. How great is that?

  Anyways! on to other things. Cool experiences this week! Last monday we were just knocking on doors and we saw a cool one, decided to knock and the man answered, Hector, and he immediately said "I believe God sent you to my door. Come visit me this Saturday. My mom was baptized and is old and not active, but now that you are here, I will take her to church." I was blown away!! So we visited them Saturday and oh man, the mom, Maria is hilarious!! She can't hear very well so we had to YELL everything and she just YELLS back. We were laughing so hard. But she is so sweet! shes 86 and still goin! She also said "I want to go back to church so that I can be healed" SO cute!!! But she and Hector didnt come yesterday so that was sad. 

  Another cool thing, so we havent been able to find Marria ever since she agreed to be baptized and we were up the mountain again trying to find her ad then I told my comp we should jut ask her neighbors if they know where she is. So we walked over and their door was open, we said good morning and then the woman, Lidia just said "Come In!!" AH!! So we did! Turrns out she has had this rreally bad infection in her foot for over a year and cant really walk and her husband, Rene, was in bed and he just got his leg amputtaded. We started talking about the church and they said they wanted to be healed but didn't have the money, the other church said the more money they give them, the better chance they have at being healed. How sad is that?! We then told them, you don't need money. All you need is faith in Jesus Christ. It was amazing! Oh and they dont speak much spanish, they speak Amayra and so their daughter was there to help us. Such a cool thing! We talked about the pristhood and how this is Christ church with Gods power. We made an appointment to go to them the next day to recieve a blessing of health. So me and my comp decided to start a fast that they could be healed. We went the next day with the bishop and someone from the stake and we didnt find them! We were so upset! Also their kids said they would come to chuch and they didn't. 

   Well also, of course we visited the Fam Luque three times this week. Ever asked us to teach eternal marriage so we brought the Family Prroclimation and I whipped out a pretty straight up D&C scripture telling Ever he needs to get married to go to heaven. He undertood after that;) And then Elmer told us to come back the next day. Well we did and he dropped a bomb. He is leaving this week to go work in Lima and he doesnt know if its gonna be 20 days, 2 months, or no return. I literally felt my heart break. We have worked SO hard with him and he is SO ready!! Then on Friday he dropped a bomb on just me. He said "Hermana Hunter, I know baptism is close for me, very close. I know its the right thing. And I want YOUR DAD TO BAPTIZE ME" I just stood there shocked not knowing where that came from. I guess he had a dream of all of you, my family, at his baptism, and dad, you baptized him. And then, he told me he got accepted to Stanford and is coming in Septtember 2016. He even asked me again last night in front of his whole family, and our ward mission leader if Dad, you can baptize him. I just told him, I ll talk to my dad tomorrow. So Elmer is just making things really complicated. He then last night was not budging to be baptized this September. I was so broken hearted. He also said he has questions. so i looked at him and said "You have faith, you know the church is true, you want to be baptized. I have told you, I had questions before too, I asked God and I felt peace and was told I wont know everything, and a lot of questtions wont be until we are with God himself. So, you can put your questions behind and keep pressing forwarrd in faith" Ever then began to tear up! Then Elmer just smiled and said "Thank you"
My comp and I went home and just got so frustrated saying what are we doing wrong? We have had all these cool experiences and then nothing happens. It really is hard. We work so hard every day, we fast, we pray, and it seems like nothing goes well. It seems like everything goes so well, and then your world just crashes down on you, even when you are doing all you can. I realized that this has happened to me before in life. We do all we can, but it seems like we get nothing in returrn. Then I was just praying so hard and I got a confirmation.. As long as we are doing what we know we are supposed to be doing, we are doing all God askes us to do, then its ok. Things may not go our way, but that's because its not our plan, Its Gods plan. Also, the only approval that matters is the Lords. If you are doing everything you know you are supposed to be doing, then the rest is up to God. We have Gods approval when we do whats right, its not that we are doing something wrong, yes we could probably be better, but God knows our hearts, our efforts, our desires. He knows we are working hard. We have His approval, the results are just up to Him and we hae to keep going. I know its hard, but once you can recognize that the Lords approval is what matters, the perspective changes.

  God loves us, we are His children. We are part of His plan. Keep going, keep doing what is right.

  I love you all!!!

   Hermana Hunter 




August 11th

makin tacti with Constantina!!
Oh my I cant believe I am already writing again!!! Crazy. 

   Well I have a couple fun things to say! First of all,we visited the fam Luque on Tuesday and they told us they had a family night reading the book of mormon, and they watched the restoracion movie! We didnt ever tell them to do that!!! How happy is that?! They are seriously the best. And Ever got the priesthood yesterday and he is going to pass the sacrament next week!! I am so so excited.He has changed SO much! I cant wait for you to meet them. So we also went to their house on wednesday to watch the Testaments movie since they had questions about Christ in the Americas- it was such a fun night! They were so funny, the whole movie they kept saying "This is totally in Peru" "oh this is puerto maldanado" I think they got a little caught up on that part,but it did answer their questions and we ate some cake and hot chocolate! We have been having so much fun with them and making the lessons super fun. But yesterday Ever, Elmer and Nilton all came to church and they sat with me and my comp alñways plays the piano and so I sit with them alone and I somehow always get put in the middle of them. Well the sacrament talk theme was Eternal Marriage and how you need to keep the romance alive. Well that was easily one of the most uncomfortable moments I have had out here. That and their friend kissed me on the cheek yesterday after church. Oh man,I have gotten so scared of men. And to have to listen about romance in your marriage while sitting to my investigators that are all in their early 20s and Nilton is 19. Oh man.
  
 Anyways, cool moment, We were at the TOP of the mountain visiting a family and I told my comp I wanted to go down the mountain a different way this time, well as we were coming down a woman stopped us and asked for help. She knew we were mormons and knew we could help. Well she started crying telling us that she has no money and that her parents sold her while she was younger and now her mom came back and is living with her and needs her to take care of her, but Maria has nothing. She kept saying "I sometimes dont want to live on earth anymore. I just want to be in heaven" so she came to church, we have had two lessons with her that have been so powerful and all of us are just crying and she agreed to be baptized! But please keep her in your prayers. She has a lot more going on in her life too and we really are doing all we can to help her spiritually. We even were asked to cast devils out of her house! It was so scary. My comp and I agreed to not go inside and deal with all that spirit stuff, but we opened the door and just offered a prayer. So freaky!

 So as we were coming down the mountain one day again, it was raining and dark and then all of a sudden HUGE dogs just started running after us. I thought to myself "this is the day i get bit" everyone gets bit in Puno. But I just grabbed a huge rock, threw it at them and me and my comp just started BOOKING it back up the mountain. Oh my it was so scary! The dog was right at my leg and I just pleaded Heavenly Father to protect me and I kept running and the dogs eventually gave up! God has saved me so many times from these dogs!

Ok to finish, we had interviews with President this week and it was so nice. To just sit down and talk with him and have him asking me questions. He asked me what one of my goals was here on the mission and I told him that it sounds silly, but Ive talked to Heavenly Father about it and I realize its what I need to work on right now. I am trying to be more confident. The Lord has called me, McKenzie Alexis Hunter to serve here in Peru and here in Puno at this time. I have let the lack of Spanish overrule my confidence sometimes and I dont say a wholelot in some lessons, but recently with the Luque family I have completely opened up and I have been completely MYSELF. I have noticed the difference it has made when I open up to my investigators and I try to be confident. Because they need me, not someone else. Im a loud, goofy girl, not a shy super serious person! After I told this to President he started to cry! Then he said "If more sister missionaries or even women in general had your goal, the world would be a much better place." I then felt confident in my goal! I even have had more confidence this whole week with everyone and I have seen the investigators open up and even the members of the ward open up andmy relationships with everyone have gotten a lot nbetter. I have even gotten so many compliments on my Spanish! Elmer yesterday said "I belive that Joseph Smith was able to translate the Book of Mormon with the gift of tounges because I have seen Hermana Hunter recieve the gift of tounges" That was an amazing moment for me. To know that my struggles, then overcoming them and progressing have helped an investigator belive in Joseph Smith. so the message is, be yourself, God has created you the way you are for a reason. Be confident!

 I love you all SO MUCH!!!


Hermana Hunter



enjoying solcito in cold puno

Suprisa!!


Hi!!!

   Well I have a pretty great surprise!!! So on Tuesday there was a young single adult activity that all of us missionaries went to and we went into groups to go with the "JAS" to visit some people. Well we invited Ever and Elmer and they came!! They came dressed in their sunday best and were looking sharp! Well Elmers surprise for us was actually just super cool pens, but after the activity I kinda pulled Elmer aside and asked him about how he felt being a missionary. Well he started telling me that the experience was beautiful and then he said "Hermana Hunter, I want to be baptized. I want to get married in the temple for eternity." Then I asked him when and he told me that he doesnt want a date right now and just wants to learn more. I then explained to him that he doesnt have to know everything before baptism. Thats the beauty of this church, we are constantly learning! And as members we also have the holy ghost. That also helps us learn because it is a guide and his mission is to testify of truth. After talking he kinda just smiled at me and said "Ok Hermana, I will promise you this. within this change and before you leave I will get baptized." So we are one step closer! But this is where it gets good.. he then said "well why dont you ask Ever about his baptism? He wants to get baptized THIS FRIDAY!!!" My mouth kinda dropped. I then turned and walked over to Ever and my comp and said "Ever when do you want to be baptized?" He smiled at me and said "This Friday. I want to this Friday" So guess what... IT HAPPENED!!!! We had to teach him SO much, but he was just so excepting of everything which was so amazing!!! Then at his baptism Elmer and his parents came! They were able to see him take this huge step. It was truly amazing.
  
Before Ever got in the water, Elmer was sitting next to me and turned to me and said "What were you thinking in this moment when you were baptized?" I really got to sit there and reflect for a second about my baptism day. All I could remember was that I was surrounded by people I love and that I was just happy and I understood that what I was doing was right. After Ever went under the water and came back up, peace filled the room and my heart was just so full. I turned to Elmer and asked him what he was feeling and he said that he felt peace and that he was reflecting about his life and the future that he wants and then he said "I am thinking about my own baptism" SO HAPPY!!! I got to give a talk about the Holy Ghost and I was just overwhelmed by the happiness I felt that day. 

So yesterday was Evers confirmation and Ever came with Elmer and their 19 yr old brother Nilton!! Nilton is so awesome and really wants to learn more. Well after Ever was confirmed he came back and sat next to me and I asked him how he felt and he said "Hermana Hunter, I feel new. I feel clean, I feel calm, I feel confidence, I feel happy. And I know what I did is right. Thank you for teaching me the word of God" Then as he bore his testimony I noticed that he now has a light about him. He looks different! Last night we went over to their house and Hes just a happier person now!! It is truly amazing. I know that Evers choice will set the way for the rest of his family. I am so excited for what the future holds for them! I LOVE THE LUQUES!!! Have I said that enough?! 

  Ok one funny story. Well we were walking along the road minding our own business and all of a sudden water just gets DUMPED on us. I looked up and there was a man with a bucket just looking at us. At first I was so mad, then I just laughed. Not everyone likes us here! Thats ok. He just made me toughen up and learn how to take it! Plus, it was actually a little hot that afternoon ;)

Oh also- Elmer yesterday said to tell you all that my Spanish has improved a lot in the short time that I have been with them and that your prayers are working for me. He also said "Tell Dan, Kimberly, Brigham, Tanner, Logan, and Maggie I say hi from Puno Peru!" I dont know how he remembered all your names, but hey! He wants to meet you all one day.

Also, we have a Latina in the house!!! I am getting to practice Spanish with her and she even asked me "How much time do you have on the mission? 9 months?" I laughed and told her I am coming up on 5 months and she was shacked!!! She said that my Spanish is super good and that I sound like I have been out for a while. I guess I am the only one that thinks my spanish is horrible! So thank you for the prayers, keep it up! They are working!!!
 
 I am so grateful for this gospel and the difference that it makes in our lives. I know that it is the only way to eternal happiness. I know that we all knew the gospel before we came to earth and I am just here in Peru to help my brothers and sisters remember the things they already knew. 

I love you all and miss you every day.

Hermana Hunter


1. Luque family!!! Minus a couple. Plus Elder Brey