Monday, October 12, 2009

Weeks Fly, Mormon Helping Hands, Testimony

Howdy, 10-12-09
This week has definitely flown by me. It wasn’t filled with much success either. We placed a baptismal date with a less active member’s husband for the 22nd of November and for the next few days I was in the other area helping out. My comp got sick and with Elder Aguilar in a cast it was slightly difficult to work things out. My comp is all ready feeling better so this week should be different.
I think will be going to Monte Caseros this week to ship all the stuff from the old pench to Libres. That area was closed about 6 months ago. We will also be traveling to Curuzú Cuatiá to do a special district meeting for the elders of that district. I hope to be able to spend more time in my area than out of it.
Last Saturday we finished painting the school we cleaned about two weeks ago. It used to be green and pink and is now green and aqua green. I was thinking green and white would be nice but whatever. My comp thought red, white, and green would be a good color combination. He probably would have wanted a few eagles with snakes here and there. Haha.
Time is running short and my comp and I really want to baptize a family but things are tough. We spoke with three Brazilian men the other day. They spoke in Portuguese and we spoke in Spanish. I was pleasantly surprised to the fact that I could understand them fairly well. We talked for about an hour outside of the gas station they were eating in.
My companion continues to help Elder Hinostroza to build some muscles. When we started exercising he couldn't even do one pull up by himself. After two weeks of exercises he can do two whole pull ups by himself. He can do thirty or more with the help of Elder Ramos. Elder Ramos wants to make him into a man before he goes home in January.

It rained like crazy on Sunday and hardly anyone went to church. However, we had a really spiritual fast and testimony meeting. I’ve been thinking a lot about the atonement this weekend and how it works and all that stuff. I’ve gained a much better understanding of it and I’m even more grateful for it. I know that we are able to become clean and that justice will be satisfied because a perfect being suffered for things he had not done. I love our Lord and Savior with all my heart and know that he died for me. God will hold us accountable for those things that we do without repenting but he will be more than merciful when it comes to things we repented of. I love the gospel and wish more people would come unto Christ and receive the joy and peace that he gives freely. I love you all and we’ll speak soon. Chau

Elder Hunsaker


Monday, October 5, 2009

Zone Conference, Soccer, Helping Hands

Hello fam,

Yesterday our zone was in Corrientes cap for zone conference. It was a really good conference. President spoke about the godhead and how Christ is both the father and the son. It was a very interesting topic he chose. I’ve thought about that ever since Clorinda where one of our investigators was an extreme evangelist and that was basically the only doctrine he couldn’t understand or want to understand. To him, God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost were all just one person and that person was Christ. We talked with him for a long time trying to help him understand but he couldn’t understand. I wish president would have come with us to talk with him one time. I’m pretty sure president could baptize anyone. President used a good example of titles by talking about a cake that Sis. Del Castillo made. He said that she could be classified as the “mother” of the cake because she was its creator. The same thing goes for Christ. That isn’t the only reason why he is known as the father but it was just a good example so I decided to share it.

General conference was amazing. I missed part of the first Saturday session so that would explain why I didn’t know about the temple announcements. I’m kind of disappointed that dad didn’t go to the priesthood session. Heavenly Father definitely wants us to love more and serve more. We watched conference in the security room so that we could listen to it in English. Yes, Elder Holland’s talk was awesome and so was Elder Christofferson’s. Speaking of Elder Christofferson, one of his nephews is in this mission. Elder Erickson from my group is his trainer. He’s a really good kid. Elder Erickson said that he is non-stop when it comes to talking with people. He was happy to have a comp like Elder Christofferson so that he doesn’t die out before going home.

Last Thursday we had consejo (zone leader meeting) in Resistencia. President talked about preordination and pre-assignation. He taught us the difference between justification and sanctification. I decided that I should probably read more church books when I get home. President knows a lot of doctrine. He always tells us that when we are mission presidents that we will be able to have books outside of the missionary library. I finally took a picture with Pres. Del Castillo and Sister Del Castillo. I believe that this is the very first one that I’ve taken with just them. After consejo I picked up some cheez-it crackers from Wal-Mart that were delicious. It was a tough to choose between gold fish and cheez-it crackers.

I received news from Elder King. He said that his new area doesn’t have a cyber and that their super market is a glorified kiosk. He has to travel to Ibarreta every p-day to shop and to email his family. I’m glad that I wasn’t there for the summer. He might just fry before he goes home in January.

This Saturday we will be finishing the service that we started two Saturdays ago. We are going to paint the school we cleaned up in September. This is part of the annual service project that the church does. We will surely be putting back on those “helping hands” vests again.

Today we had the whole zone in Libres for p-day. We went out to a park that overlooks Uruguaiana. We played soccer in the rain and had a good time. Elder Aguilar seems to have dislocated a toe but we aren’t sure. He went to a clinic but he won’t get an assessment until 3pm because everyone was on break taking the siesta. Hopefully it is just a minor issue. Even though he’s all messed up we still had a fun time. He was our goalie and just sat in front of the goal and smacked the ball when it rolled within his reaching range. We made make-shift goal posts out of bamboo shoots and leaned them against palm trees.

Hope that all is well at home. It sounds like everyone is doing really well. Congratulations to Shawn, Steve, and Darren for completing the marathon. Good job! I love you all and we’ll see each other oh too soon. Nos vemos.

Elder Hunsaker

P.S. Elder Aguilar went to the doctor and will have a foot cast for 20 days. He isn’t supposed to walk until he gets the cast off. Hopefully we don’t have to send him to the office to wait it out but it might just happen. Sometimes the doctors here don’t give good advice. When I sprained my ankle really bad the doctor told me to chill in bed for 15 days without walking and just keep the ankle elevated. We see what the mission doctor says about it all. At least he and Elder Hinostroza were able to have a baptism before this occurred.
Me and the music man

Elder Aguilar and Elder Hinostroza´s first baptism in Libres

Playing the music man’s accordion

Dirty politics
(This guy lost to his cousin Ricardo Colombi)

Monday, September 28, 2009

New companion, Elder Ramos, enjoying my last weeks in Argentina

Dear you all, 9-28-09

Last Wednesday my companion got transferred to Ibarreta, Formosa. He was sad to leave but what are you going to do. My new comp is Elder Ramos. He's from New Jersey. His dad is from El Salvador and his mom is from Mexico. We get along really well and he's a really good kid. He goes home in January. So Libres will send yet another elder home. He was baptized when he was 12 with his mom, brothers and sisters. His parents have been divorced for a while but his family is strong in the gospel.

Time is ticking down for me and I'm trying to work as hard as possible. I'm hoping to see miracles with the members here. I think it's funny that now that there is so little time, I enjoy the mission more than ever.

I don't know if I'll know what to do when I get home. I'll have a new bishop and ward and who knows what else. It is certainly going to be interesting. There are way too many changes going right now. I think the next change I should hear is that Mom and Dad are moving into a new house. That would be a miracle.

Our investigator pool is a little dry right now. We are praying and fasting to find those that are prepared to receive us. I truly hope that the Lord sees us worthy of his blessings.

General Conference has us all excited. We talk to everyone about it. We are hoping to have lots of non-members there for some of the sessions. We handed out invitations to the members so that they could invite their friends. It will be nice to listen to conference in English this time around.

This Thursday we will be going to Resistencia to our regular meeting with the zone leaders and President. Next week we have conference and some time in this transfer we have to make a trip to Monte Caseros to pick up the things that were left there when it was closed three transfers ago. My comp said that Monte Caseros is the only place in the whole mission where you can see Uruguay so I'm pretty stoked about that trip.

Bueno, love you all and expect to hear from you before I come home. CHAU

Elder Hunsaker

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baptism of Marcos

To whom it may concern, Sept 21, 09

So on Saturday we had the baptism of Marcos Quiroga. We finaly completed the Quiroga family. Elder Rapp baptized the mom but none of the kids wanted to be baptized then. But now they do. Romualdo lost his baptismal date and I doubt we will be putting another one with him. It seems to me that he was more interested in $$$ than in true religion. We are hoping that his thoughts do not affect those of his daughter. I had felt something before going there and I basically knew exactly what he was going to tell us. So I stopped him and told him what he was about to say. We will see what happens in the future with this fellow.

Yesterday we both gave talks and it was probably the last time that E’ King would talk here so he was crying and everything. It was a nice time at church even though we didn’t have a single investigator there. I’m hoping to pick things up this week and we’ll see what transfers send me. I really want to have another latin companion.

Pres. del Castillo had the whole mission doing 10 visits with members this past week to teach them the restoration and then make a list of friends that could be taught in the homes of the members. We teach the lesson, write down the names, pray for guidance, and then we place a date for when the member will have the selected person or family in their house for us to teach. I know we will see lots of success mostly because of who the members are here in Libres.

Last week it rain a lot here and in Brazil and so the river rose up about 9 meters. The brand new costanera was completely covered in water. The uruguay river is a lot wider now. I hope to be able to take a picture from the bridge so you can see it better. Luckily the rain stopped by Sunday so it was a nice clear day. Today was perfect weather for soccer so that’s what we did.

I hope everyone is doing fine back home. Love you all. Adios

Elder Hunsaker


Monday, September 7, 2009

Paso De Los Libres

Dear Family, 9-7-09

So today has just been filled with news and my email account is now filled with megabytes. I am really excited and happy for Darren and also sad about the 8th and Franklin chapel. All of the pictures I received were great. I love the picture of dad snatching worthless cinder block bricks from the 8th and Franklin rubble. He’s crazy. He did however take nice pictures of the demolition. It would appear to me that I will not be giving my homecoming talk in that building. I’m still in shock from the whole “Darren is getting married” news. I'm super excited to get to talk with Emily’s abuelos (grandparents). I’m for sure going to drink some mate with those guys and talk about politics and Boca or River (huge soccer teams) if that’s how they roll. Haha.

The baptism that we were planning for this week fell through when he didn’t make it to church on Sunday. I went to his house in remis to see what was up and he wasn’t feeling so well. He had a really painful tooth ache. I can understand that one by the way his teeth are. It was definitely a good excuse for not going to church. He is for sure going to get baptized; it is only a matter of when.

Tomorrow we will be making a trip to Mercedes to do a special district meeting for the elders there. My comp will probably get sick from the bus ride like he always does. It doesn’t really help that he is all ready sick now. This kid gets sick more than dad and I thought that was impossible. Hopefully I “die” before he actually dies. Keep him in your prayers if you would.

Our branch here is truly amazing. On Sunday our branch president did interviews and extended callings to about 6 people. Now the Relief Society has a full presidency with secretary. The Young Women have a president and 1st counselor. The Primary has a president and two counselors. I have never seen so many people in church in any of my prior branches. On Sunday there were 50 people in church and the week before that we had 62 people there. I play the piano every week like always but at least they have a chorister that knows how to lead the music. Paso de los Libres is awesome.

We almost got our goal of 96 baptisms in the mission. We got to 92 baptisms in August. In November the mission needs 154 baptisms to duplicate the baptisms from the year before. Pres. Del Castillo is following the prophetic words of Pres. Hinckley when he said we could double the amount of convert baptisms in the church. Elder Zivic said that Pres. Del Castillo was one of the few mission presidents to raise his hand rapidly when they asked if doubling baptisms could be accomplished. They discussed the topic in the meeting that the area presidency had with all of the mission presidents. I believe it can be done and we’ve done it here in Libres.

That is pretty much it for now. I hope that things continue to go well for everyone. Tricia told me that Steve and Nate were thinking about coming to get me. I think it would be fun and all but I would rather return after I have been released. I found out that everyone in my group will be flying home in the same plane. It’s going to be a blast. I love you all and we’ll talk soon.

Macanudo, chau!

Elder Hunsaker


This is the welcome to Libres sign at the rail road station.

We eat tasty chicken burgers here about once a week.

MIRINDA orange soda

The sky

I found this freaky weird bug on my study table. I hope Nathan likes it.

This is Hugo Navarro’s finger after it went through a saw at the butcher shop, OUCH!

My comp just couldn’t stop laughing when he saw this truck.

Morning sky.