Elder Hunt is out of the Mission Office!! New address is on the right! :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spain letter 3/30/11

Whew, what a week! I love it here in Spain and I know that this is the mission for me!  To update you on the American vs Italy soccer match, we won. 5-4 I scored two goals.  I love the Itailianos here and it is so fun to learn not only Spanish, but I'm starting to pick up on Italian! Man, Europe has it right with the languages! Everyone here speaks a least 2 languages, and the people that only speak 2 are embarrassed about that because most people speak 3-4!  But back to soccer! We play every day and it is just so much fun! The Italians are really good so its lots of fun to play with them.  Yesterday while we played an Anziano(Elder in Italian) and I kicked each others feet and I could feel my toe nail peeling back.  Needless to say my entire toenail on my big toe is completely black and purple.  It's funny though, because it reminds me of dad.  As a kid, I always remember dad having nasty purple-ish big toe toenails. ;p hehe

This past Saturday we went out to a huge park and started preaching the Gospel! It was so cool to actually be doing missionary work!  But I can sum up my experience in the worlds of D & C 84:70 "And the dumb shall speak"  Now when it says dumb, in my case it means the same meaning as a 10 year old would use.  Boy did I feel dumb.  I could easily introduce us, but then, they would ask a question or say something and I'm sure I looked like a dear in headlights!  That actually only happened 3 times because only 3 people talked to us.  the rest of them said "no tengo tiempo" (I don't have the time) or something similar. One guy told us he was sick of talking to Mormónes, and he seemed pretty ticked off so we left him alone.  But still, 3 people talked to us! it was the coolest thing ever! We spent an hour at the park preaching and talking and we had 26 contacts.  They say that for every door knocked on in Europe, there is a baptism in South America.  That might be true, so that means that I'm gonna be knocking on doors till me knuckles bleed so missionaries in S.American can get those baptisms! I gotta help somehow!

Very few people listen to us.  It's pretty sad, but Spain is a pretty depressed country.  There is a 24% unemployment rate and everything is so expensive! The motto of the CCM here in Madrid is "Tenga Fe" Have faith.  And I think that speaks for itself on how successful we have been here. But the work is going on! Because of me at least 3 people already have sort of  heard about the Gospel (In broken Spanish obviously). It is such a cool feeling!  I love the opportunity to serve and I have learned so much!

The CCM president is the coolest ever.  He knows pretty much everything and before he was here he was a judge and was making some serious bank.  He didn't tell us, but we can tell.  It was kinda funny, on my first interview with him, he asked me, "So, Elder hunt, do you have a girlfriend back home?" I said no kinda proudly, because at the MTC in Provo they said the missionaries with girlfriends back home have a harder time focusing. Then he looked shocked and said "Well why not?!" I really didn't know how to answer him.  I think I said something along the lines of, "uh..." He is a great president though.  He stresses marriage all the time in all of his lessons.  But he is great and I have learned so much from him.  He is a die-hard BYU fan and he said he hasn't missed a football game since 1978. My hero.  Oh, he also asked me what I was involved in at BYU and I told him that I tried out folk dance and he said he has a niece in it as well. He asked if I wanted to get back into it when I get back and I said, I did.  He then said, oh good, you'll find your wife there. whoa....I'm scared to get back now.

I would like to testify that God knows us on such a personal level.  He knows our wants and needs and does his best to make life good.  On Sunday, while we ate lunch, President Earl walked up to our table and said, we don't have anything until 3 o clock (it was 12) and so you can go and take a nap if you want. My eyes widened and I think I dropped my fork. God knows me and sent me to Spain so I could take naps on Sunday! Oh the church is so true!  This place is the best! We even get snack time!  The food has been a challenge because it is a lot of fish.  I seriously pray that i will have the capacity to eat the food in front of me.  Also, the lunch ladies glare at you if you don't eat their food. Oh! the Fanta here is sooooo good! its just like the kind they had in Germany! the America junk is garbage, but here, oh it is amazing!

Today for Pday I think I'm gonna check out the sites Madrid has to offer. And there is a store that sells cheap indoor soccer shoes, so I might have to invest in a pair of those bad boys.

The CCM here is located on the temple grounds and it is cool to see everyday! Everywhere in Madrid is covered in graffiti.  Everywhere except the temple grounds.  The Lord truly does take care of his house and it is a shining beacon in a dark city.  The CCM is right next to the temple and so I really do live next door to God.  It is such a blessing.  This morning, we got to do a session and it was incredible!

Well I loved hearing from you all and maybe later today I will be able to send some pictures, I don't have many, but I have one of me in front of the Madrid Temple. Oh, and hopefully I'll be able to find a stinkin transformer or whatever so I can plug my razor in!

Oh yes, and I will only be here for 3 more weeks.  They usually just have us spend 8 weeks instead of 9.

Next week the Italians leave and we get some French, yea, not too excited about the French coming.  But I'm praying for charity.

I love you soooooo much and think about you often! I appreciate your prayers and support! I love you!


P.S. I had my first WAY out there food...we had horse burgers...
only...we didn´t find out till the next day...and not gonna lie...they weren´t too bad

**Jason also sent us a few pictures!! (Though he did not include captions, so I can’t really tell you where he is in each one…) Enjoy!**

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pictures From Jason!

Here are the first pictures we’ve received from Jason since he’s been out! These are from before he left for Spain, and complete with his own captions ;) Hope you enjoy!

?mmm.. como se dice, suave in espanol?
img128just hanging out at the temple
img129Hey! It's me!
img130The 4 of us are all going to Malaga!
Left to Right: Elder Geest (my companion), Elder Walton, Me, Elder Peterson

oh look half of the temple

Oh look, me and half of the temple... my companion is a terrible photographer
img132This is how we all felt when the visas weren't in yet.

Hurray that he has made it to Spain! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 25, 2011

hola from espana


Today we were lucky enough to fly in on P day! - and let me tell you - the CCM in Spain is 10x better than Provo! And get this - there are only 20 people here in the CCM, so we pretty much got the royal treatment!  Plus as I mentioned  my P days are still on Thursdays!

It was so nice to talk to you today and there was so much more I wanted to tell you but once we started talking I forgot it all!  We have already had amazing missionary experiences on the plane over.  In Atlanta, we were looking for a seat during lunch and a worker yelled out, "Elders! Over here my friends" and he prepared a table for all 6 of us and then disappeared.  The people next to us were like, what was that all about? and started to talk to us!  Then in the airplane we talked to and gave a pass-a-long card to a German gentlemen! It was just so cool!

I am so tired but I am so glad to be in Spain.  It is just unreal.  While we traveled, I'm not sure how to describe it, but I think the word is powerful.  I just felt powerful while people watched and talked to us.  I truly am a messenger of the Lord and I know his presence is with me because I know that I would never strike up a religious conversation with people while sitting in a 8 hour plane ride!  

Fun story.  Remember in Atlanta when I got to call you and in that conversation, Dad said "don't worry, the church knows where you are".  We get off the plane in Madrid and maybe an hour later we got picked up.  It was kinda scary, we are at the airport, tons of luggage, and no ability to speak the language.  I tried to listen to the intercoms at the airport and in the plane while they spoke Spanish but they were just way to fast for me!

It is so cool to be in Europe again!  Its just so...European! haha- my room even has reladins (not sure if that is how you spell it but those blinds that close all the way and block out all the light. Oh yea!)  I wrote the family a nice letter while I was on the plane and I have mentioned some of it here but right now I am suffering some serious vertigo while looking at the screen.  We can't go to bed until 7pm though, but since it is P day, we get to go out into the city!

The Spain CCM is located on the temple grounds so we have a pretty amazing view! It's great!  We get to go to the temple tomorrow morning.  This CCM is a serious upgrade from the last one I was at.  There, you were a number and herded like cattle, here, at least so far, they have been so nice and helpful.  There are two groups here - An Italian group and an American group, so I guess everyday for the working out hour they have a Italians vs. Americans soccer match.  I'm pretty excited! Another reason it is sweet here is because on P day we can go to museums and what not.  madre oso I'm tired.  I don't know if I will make it through the day!

I fell in Love when I got here, Spain is beautiful! wow! The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, and apparently everywhere else as well.  I guess it has been a pretty wet week.  I guess we brought the cold and bleak of Provo with us.

I miss you so much and I look forward to more adventures coming up this week!  I'll mail my letter as soon as I can! or maybe just type it out next week! That would probably be faster!

The plane ride wasn't too bad,  slept most of the time.  But they were playing some pretty good movies so it was a pretty big temptation!

I'm anxious to see what the food will be like! But so far I've had a great first day!  I'll be here for the next 5 weeks. A group leaves next week so I'm not sure how many will be left here in the CCM once they leave, but its pretty exclusive for us.  The rooms are great and the beds are so soft.  They can have a lot more people here, but they don't, so each companionship gets their own 6 bed room.  Lots of space.  It's way nice!

Well I love and miss you so much! I loved talking to you today and I can't wait till next week to see your email. It's great to be here for the Lord and for the Church. 

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


There will not be a posting this week directly from Jason, so as the mom I will fill you in on the good news.  Jason called for only 5 minutes on Tuesday to tell me he had his visa and this travel plans!!  He would be able to call for about 30 mins on his layover in Atlanta on Wed.  He was able to give us a window of when  he would be calling and we tried to stay busy all day while waiting for him to call.  If you know anything about us, staying busy is not a hard thing to do, especially on Wednesday where we have every extra curricular activity on this day.  Jeff came home early and we all waited at the appointed time for the call.

I LOVED hearing the sound of his voice!!  He did sound tired but really excited about being one of the "lucky 5" missionaries who got their visas and could leave for the Madrid MTC.   Jennifer & Cameron told him about our trip and some of the things they had written to him.  Jason filled us in and the endless classes and studying that he did for the past 4 weeks.  He was able to give the word of wisdom lesson all in Spanish and was very happy about that.  He did not know much about what to expect when he arrives in Spain.  They told him that only 2 missionaries know English so he felt a bit like it was a sink or swim experience coming his way.

He was at his max weight for both his bags at 50 lbs - whew just made it.  He took all his snacks that we sent as he had NO intentions of leaving them behind.  They gave him lots of books both in English and Spanish and that counted for lots of his luggage weight but gratefully he made it within the limits.

He left at 645pm from Atlanta and will arrive I think by 8am Spain time Thursday morning.  We don't know how long it will be until we hear from him again so we will be anxious for the first pday. 

He was very grateful for all the letters that he received from everyone.  He hopes they do not all disappear now that it costs twice as much to send a letter overseas.  Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers on his behalf.  He will be 5 more weeks in the Madrid MTC then to Malaga.  His Spain MTC address is included on the right side of the this blog.  Ashley will remove it once we know he has arrived in Malaga.  Thanks again for all your love and support.  We sure love the tall son and it was so wonderful to talk to him today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Week 3

Jennifer - I got your story about Luke and I LOVE it! I can't wait to see the next installment! It sounds like you are having a blast with the Skankeys in Florida! Boy am I jealous! Disney Quest sounds so fun! I love you so much and I hope that you continue to have a great vacation! what kind of wand did you get? you should tell mom to get me a sweet universal T shirt!

Cameron - Harry Potter World sounds so much fun! But you got a wand?! what kind is it?! But those rides you told me about sound great and "Sheesh Kabob" AHAHAhA that's hilarious! There is an Elder in my district named Elder Walton and he has a little brother who loves the Muppets, so we quote from Muppet treasure island all the time!  I got a pass down from some Elders that left and it was a stick that they called a wand. Guess what they named it!? THE ELDER WAND! GET IT! haha The Atlantis ride sounded awesome and it reminded me that my dorm is a lot like the Hermes tent from Percy Jackson! The elders who only speak German or Japanese are going to Germany or japan and live in the Germany or japan dorms but those that are speaking Spanish go all over the place, so in my dorm is just like the Hermes dorm. I think so anyways

Mom - I'm way impressed that you were able to wake up so early and get your test done! way to go! =] I think Universal is a great reward for it too! Those sound great and the butterbeer sounds delicious! mmm! and way to be brave on all the rides! Isn't going to Orlando a great tradition I started?!?! ;p  Oh yes, i got your package with the razor and also the letter from Grandma, wow it was amazing!  and the razor cuts my getting ready time by a lot! so thanks so much!  I love you so much  and thanks for your daily letters! hopefully I'll be in Spain soon, right when i get my visa i leave, maybe even the day of, they want me out of here, and shoot, I don't mind that at all! again, I love you so much and I wish I had more than 30 minutes to write, I'm seriously power writing right now!

I love all of you so much! and have a great time in Florida, eat a funnel cake for me!

here is my week

I think that every single prayer in the Church includes the following phrase: "Please bless the missionaries and the Prophet".  I can feel those blessing in my life in all that I do here in the CCM.  I have been so blessed while I have been here.

This week has gone by so fast! I've learned so much!  I can now speak in past, present, and future (in-door plumbing, it's gonna be big).  Now I'm working on mastering those tenses and increasing my vocabulary.  It amazes me how easily I pick things up.  I remember in HS having the hardest time with grammar rules but here, we just talk about it and I've basically got it!  This truly is the Lord's work and me learning a langue is his will and is a miracle to me.

This past week I focused on mastering the past tense ( In Spanish there are two ways of doing it)  so Elder Walton and I tell each other stories.  They started as real stories from our childhoods, but the more we told them, the more they sounded like movie plots.  One time Elder Walton was at an opera but he changed into a Phantom and cut the rope that held up the chandelier.(Phantom of the Opera) and one time I was climbing a mountain and I saw a hairy monster and he was crying because he couldn't walk.  So i sang to him (in Spanish) "put one foot in front of the other". (the Kris Kringle Claymation movie)  It is so fun to tell each other stories because we can't say all the things we want to so we sorta act it out as we go and it is just hilarious.

I had a great experience in the TRC this week.  My comp, Elder Geest) and I were teaching a lesson on the Plan of Salvation. Right after I had testified about a specific part in the lesson, I had a thought come to my mind "It's time to talk about baptism" but baptism had nothing to do with what we had just been talking about, but because I testified, i had passed the baton to my comp. so it was his turn to speak.  But then He started talking about baptism! We started spitting out both Spanish and English that we hadn't planned on! I wanted to jump for joy because we had the spirit with us! it was incredible!

This past Monday the elders going to Spain in my district went to the travel office to check on our visas.  They said mine would be here today (Thursday) or Friday so I should have my travel plans real soon! But my comp didn't get his stuff turned in or the FBI didn't do his clearance so they said he would have a minimum of a 3 month wait for his visa, its a real bummer.

D&C says that the lords work will hasten in it's own time and i am so lucky to get to witness it!  On April 26, they are changing the training program so the missionaries are more effective.  I'm actually kinda jealous that I won't get the new training.  They also have some new workout program for missionaries that they said was "Intense" but it was cake.  ( remember, my humility is a 6)  At gym they asked for volunteers for an "intense" new workout so I raised my hand.  It was basically P90X for missionaries.  I am actually in surprisingly good shape.  The gym hour 5 days a week is the only chance to really move around so I work hard in that hour!  I started with 200 sit ups a day and each week I added 100.  So this week I'm supposed to be doing 500 sit ups a day.  again. cake. haha.

The snow on the mountains melted this week so you can see the Giant Y on the face.  It is hard not to look at it and get distracted, but I don't want to end up like Lot's wife and turn to salt, so it hasn't been to big of a temptation.

It is so weird how the days seem to last for eternity but then you blink and its been a week! I wish I had more fun/funny stories to share but all i really do here is study, so I hope what I send was somewhat entertaining/interesting.

Thank you so much for your letters and your support! This is an amazing opportunity and I'm so glad that I am part of the Lord's work.

Paz and gozo, (Peace and Joy)


Friday, March 11, 2011

An Installment of Pictures

Here are some pictures of Jason just before he was off to the MTC. We’re still waiting on pictures from Jason, apparently it’s hard to attach pictures on the computers they send their emails from.

(You can click on the pictures to make them bigger)

Our grandparents visited before Jason left, here they are at the Washington D.C. Temple
DSC00057DSC00058DSC00059DSC00060DSC00061Jason also got to see from BYU friends right before he reported to the MTC.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Week 2!

The mission is all about losing sight.  When I say that I mean your own personal sight, the way you see things. As you study the atonement and gain charity, you will no longer see people with your own experiences and bias, but you will see them the way God sees them.  We are all children of our loving Heavenly Father.  We are his children and  in Acts 17:29, the first few words say so quite bluntly. I've learned so much since entering the MTC and I feel so much closer to my savior.

The CCM (MTC in Spanish) is incredible.  The spirit is so strong and I know the spirit guides me daily. I was thinking about what to study and a thought came to my mind and it said "Moses" I grabbed my Book of Mormon, but the voice that directed me to Moses said, "Not that one" So I grabbed my Old Testament and opened up to Exodus. In Ex. 3:11 Moses says to the Lord,  “Who am I that I should bring the children of Israel out of bondage.”  In the next chapter the Lord says "Go, and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say.”  After I read this, I understood my purpose as a missionary. The Lord said "teach", so this scripture, to me, means that I can only bring others unto Christ if I have studied and understand the scriptures in order for the Holy Ghost to direct me what to say.

But back to the Children of Israel. They ate nasty manna but the Lord made it sweet to the taste. God is the same yesterday today and forever, so just like in OT times, he made the nasty food sweet to the taste.  I think the purpose of MTC food is to purge your body of all the good food you remember so then the MTC food starts to taste good.

The Travel office told me that the Spain Visas are about a week late so I should have mine in about 3-4 days! (34 days?! no, 3 TO for 4 days, hehe)

I found out that my building, number 14 used to be the party spot. Other missionaries would all gather in building 14 and just be plain crazy.  The MTC presidency found out so they weren't too happy about it and so it used to be party at 14, but now, its Stalag 14.  We have a branch presidency member show up randomly at night to make sure we are following the rules.  It gets quite annoying.

My Mom sent me a package and in this package was a box of "Tangled" fruit snacks (the Disney princess movie) and as I was opening the box, another elder in the room saw it, grabbed in and took off with it yelling "It's mine now!" or something to the effect.  I chased him down and tackled him onto a bed trying to wrestle the box out of his hands.  About 4 more elders saw the Box with Princess Rapunzel on it and tried to take it as well.  Finally when there was just a huge mass of elders attempting to take the box and was able to wiggle it out. I booked it to my room where I threw it into my closet and threw my pad lock on it! HA! SHE'S MINE!  I need to be more careful when my mom sends me snacks with beautiful Disney princesses on them!

All I really do in the CCM is study.  I wish I could send pictures but the computers here are pretty wack-o.  The other day in class my companion and I (His name is Elder Geest, from Grand Junction CO.  Every time he says "Grand Junction" I say in a loud western accent "All Aboard!") taught a lesson but the objective for this lesson was to only speak for 15-20 seconds.  It was pretty fun and we did and well because we watered down the whole first lesson to the main points.  We taught the investigator the whole first lesson in about 2 minutes.  It was fun! 

My Spanish is improving every day but I am much better at understanding it then I am speaking it.  I can't say much but I understand when the teacher speaks only in Spanish.

Well I am glad I am in the service of the Lord and that I will be used by the Lord to bring salvation and his restored Gospel to all the ends of the Earth.

Thank you everyone who have been mailing me letters! I hope that this email finds you all well and in good health!

- Jason

Thursday, March 3, 2011

week one!

First of all- Mom: I love you! Thank you so much for the letters every day! I honestly get choked up every time I read them.  I thought that I would be fine, but being away from home at school and being away from home on a mission are two completely different animals!
I took notes from all the letters you sent me so I could hopefully address all your questions
Mom: I am so glad that you were able to get that stinkin' wiki done! I know that you worked so hard on it and if your teacher doesn't give you a good grade, she deserves to suffer the wrath of God.  I am sorry you were feeling under the weather! I hope you feel better soon! tell Cameron I am so proud of him for doing so well on his math exam! He doesn't get that from me! Jennifer: Don't worry about not getting a blue ribbon! Science fairs are for nerds! Focus your efforts on worthwhile things like... interpretive dance...or sending me letters with pictures drawn on them!  Oh yea, I got the debit card! thanks
So I'll try to address the rest of your questions in this next part of the letter!
Week one is finally over! But I feel like I've been here forever! The first couple of days were really hard for me but I really had a change of heart on Sunday.  The speaker talked about "turbulence" and how we all go over turbulent times.  He invited some Elders to go up to the mic and talk about tough times they are experiencing.  I thought of how much i hated the food and how annoyed I was with the members of my zone.  But the first elder talked about how his dad had been gone for the last year because he was deployed and his dad got home the same day he left for the MTC.  He only got to see his dad for 3 hours before he left for Provo.  Then he got a letter from his mom saying that his dad deployed again for another year leaving her with his 3 little brothers.  The second elder said that the first letter he got in the MTC was from his parents saying that they were filing for divorce.  After these two elders spoke, I felt so guilty.  My troubles are so small compared to his.  I am truly blessed.
The food here sucks.  I would get the worst stomach aches so as I prayed for strength I prayed that the aches would go away.  I got some pretty simple revelation.  A clear "Well stop eating the food" came to my mind.  So the past few days I've only been eating cereal for all the meals.  Honey bunches of oats and frosted flakes are the from above.  I think of the Children of Israel and how stupid they were because they had to eat nasty manna for FORTY years before they were humbled! Man I ate one meal at the MTC and was humbled! Shoot!
I've seen quite a few friends from school and I have the same meal time as Amy Moffat so that is fun. I've also seen my buddy John Bennion a couple of times and that is always fun.
I've been studying the atonement lately and the more I study it the more I am filled with mixed emotions.  I've been so blessed in my life. The gospel has always been in my life and after being away from my family on am mission, with zero contact, I am filled with so much gozo(joy) that I will be with them forever! I am so excited to share the gospel and to let other children of God experience the peace and joy of knowing that our families are forever!  On the other end, the more I study the atonement, I feel so inadequate to be a representative of Jesus Christ.  He lived a perfect life and atoned for the sins of the world! What qualifies me to be his representative!
My biggest regret about coming on the mission is that I didn't bring any pictures. I was stupid to think "oh, well, I don't want to dwell on my friends" and not be focused.  But pictures of home keep you sane! so whoever is reading this, family, friends, random blogspot browser, please send me pictures!  I have seen first hand how stir crazy you can become while here in the MTC!  In the movie inception, the characters have a "totem" that lets them know if they are in reality of the fake world.  My totem is a blue shoe lace that used to tie my BYU blanket.  If I'm feeling down, I stroke it through my fingers and it takes me to my happy place.  There are some really strange elders here. I vow never to become that way.  It's embarrassing.
I find out if my visa has come through next week, so I know what I'm fasting for this Sunday!
The Spanish is actually going along very well.  I remember a lot of things and I'm pretty good at grammar.  The gift of tongues is actually working a little too well for me.  The other day I was trying to say that we needed to say something slower.  But I said it in German! everyone looked at me and was like...huh?  So not only am I remembering my Spanish, but I'm also remembering my long time dormant German!
My companion and I added up the hours we work a day and we are up 16 hours a day, with 14 of them in a single class room.  Please send me pictures, I don't want to go insane!
When I first got to the MTC they had us take a Christ like attribute exam and here are my numbers: It is out of 5.  Faith: 4.4 hope 4.0 Charity: 3.7 virtue 4.5 knowledge 4.2 patience: 4 humility 3.8 diligence 3.8 and obedience 4.7! Are you kidding me?! a 3.8 in humility! I should have gotten a 6!
Well my thirty minuets is about up.  I hope to hear from all of you because letters are the source of life.  If I don't get letters.  I will die.  For those that don't die, the food gets them.
Remember to always pray for strength.  We are weak, but He is strong and through Him we can accomplish all things.
Lots of Love,