Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gifts from Mapleton

Our heartfelt thanks go out to Bro. and Sis. Mellor and all the wonderful people of the Mapleton 5th Ward who donated so much time, effort and goods to our Eagle Butte and Cherry Creek branch members here in South Dakota.
I'm not the world's best blogger, but I've attempted to post the pictures I took of people receiving their quilts, etc., and a couple with some boys in Cherry Creek with their quiet bags.  Those work like a charm, by the way.  We had 88 people attend church in Eagle Butte a couple of weeks ago, and the kids were reverent!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these..."

 In our companion prayer last Wed. morning, Jeff and I prayed that we might find more priesthood for the area. That's something that's severely lacking in Eagle Butte and Cherry Creek. I stayed in to cook two turkeys and six pies, 'cause the Young Men & Young Women had a turkey dinner for the community that night, and we had a pot luck at the church on Thanksgiving. So Jeff left to walk the 10 feet to the elders' trailer to spend the day with them, and he looked back over his shoulder and saw a couple walking, so he said, "Hi," and they said hi back, then walked over to him. They have four kids and were out of food. They left the house that morning to go walk the streets and try to find help. Jeff invited them to dinner that night and the next day, and offered them a ride, but they were going to walk to the tribal offices and see if they could get some help, but Jeff found out where they live before they left.

Then Jeff and the elders went to work at the Commodities Center to pass out government issued food to the poor. He told the center about this family, and they provided a bunch of food. Jeff and the elders added to that from our limited stores, went to buy some milk and bread, and delivered it all to them. The man greeted them with arms raised in praise, and called his family together to have a prayer before they left. He has 3 priesthood age sons, and one who's eleven. That's 5 potential new priesthood brethren. The dad and two of the boys came to the dinner that night, and they want to be taught the lessons, and said they'd be to church on Sunday. "Ask and ye shall receive."

With the cancellation of District Conf. on Sunday, we had a small congregation for Sacrament Meeting in Eagle Butte and no speakers lined up, so Pres. Inu had people come up and say what they were thankful for and tell about their favorite hymn, then we sang it. It was one of the most spiritual sacrament meetings I've ever been to. I led the singing, and tears poured down the cheeks of the dear sisters as we sang. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt. 18:20

Jeff had some wonderful insights given to him by the Spirit on the hymn "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" as we sang it. He wrote them down, so I'm going to share them:

Vs. 1 - "I had not power to ask his name, where to he went nor whence he came." - It doesn't matter who we serve, or at what station of life they are, what their sins have been, or where they think they're going. We are to serve them as we find them, and be no respecter of persons.

Vs. 2 - "Once when my scanty meal was spread..." - It doesn't matter how much we feel we have to offer or what our inadequecies are. "I gave them all," - What matters is we give our all, our best effort, the best we have. We hold nothing back, this is what matters to God, not how great or small our contribution is. "Mine was an angels portion then." - When we do God's work, we receive His wages.

Vs. 3 - "The heedless water mocked his thirst" - I saw two meanings in the water; 1. It represents the world hurrying by, too busy in life or too deep in sin to see the importance of the gospel. 2. It represents the living water, Jesus Christ. "I ran and lifted the sufferer up," - We must be anxiously looking for souls to bring to Christ, so focused that when we see one, we run to lift them, without a wasted moment.

Vs. 5 - "Stripped, wounded, beaten nigh to death, I found him by the highway side." - This, to me, represents the people I'm serving, the Native Americans. Stripped of pride and tradition, wounded by sin, beaten almost to death by poverty and alcoholism. The devil is running amok here, reaping destruction. "Roused his pulse, brought back his breath, revived his spirit..." - We need to teach them who they really are, what God has promised them, and how essential they are in His plan. "And supplied wine, oil, refreshment..." - We need to bring them the gospel, bless them with the priesthood and the power of the temple, and they will be healed.

Vs. 6 - "The tide of lying tongues I stemmed and honored him mid shame and scorn." - These wonderful people really are being discriminated against, misunderstood and scorned. They are ashamed and can't break the cycle of poverty and despair they are born into, by themselves. Yet there is much good in them, much to love and admire. There is much of honor and peace in them. Everything I believed about them before coming here wasn't true (the tide of lying tongues.)

Vs. 7 - "The Savior stood before mine eyes. These deeds shall thy memorial be, fear not, thou didst them unto me." - We are blessed to work with God's chosen people. To try to restore them to their promised place. To help them blossom as a rose. God's chosen people, the people of the covenant.

After the meeting was over, we went to deliver the sacrament to the elderly widows and shut-ins. There's something deeply spiritual about seeing an elder of Israel kneeling on the linoleum floor of humble surroundings in his suit next to the bed of an elderly blind woman, blessing the sacred emblems of our Savior's atonement. I feel to echo the words of Jeffrey's first letter home to us from the MTC, "I'm addicted to the Spirit!"

It's hard to express in words the incredible experience it is to serve a mission. I see now why my boys shared such a special bond when they returned home. This church is so true. Heavenly Father is real. I'm eternally grateful for that knowledge.


Elder and Sister Hunt

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Comforter

We're having our first snow storm of the season here in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  It's really quite beautiful.  We were supposed to go to Pierre for District Conference, but the meetings got cancelled.  I'd like to hunker down and have a snow day, but Elder Hunt is trying to think of people to go visit, so I don't know what we'll end up doing.

We had a neat experience the other night of a lady at our 12-Step meeting feeling the Spirit when Elder Hunt gave her a blessing of comfort.  She said she had a warm feeling all over.  I've never had someone, who knows nothing about our church, describe feelings I've been taught to recognize my whole life.  I know this church is true and am so grateful for the gifts of the Spirit.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


My favorite thing from the MTC was a video clip of a talk by Pres. Jeffrey R. Holland in which he quoted a poem translated from French which goes:

Come to the edge.
No, I'll fall.
Come to the edge.
No, I'll fall.
Come to the edge.
So I came to the edge,
And you pushed me,
And I flew.

I loved his follow up statement, too.  He said you have to go to where the miracles are.  That's how I feel out here.  You're not going to experience miracles sitting home in your easy chair, flipping through tv channels.  Don't you ever wonder how Pres. Monson has so many neat stories?  He goes to where the miracles are.

When Jeff was in Takini on Monday, a woman flagged him down.  Actually, she was a member we'd been trying to contact.  She said she wanted to come back to church, but she needed a new windshield in her car.  He went out to check, thinking it was cracked, or maybe even had a hole in it, but no, there was no windshield.  A legitimate beef in 30 degree weather.  We went back the next day to visit her, but her son answered the door, and was obviously drunk.  He said she was taking a shower, and we were afraid that maybe she was drunk, too, so wouldn't come to the door.  She called us the next day, though, and said she'd left when he'd started drinking 'cause it wasn't safe to be there, so that was a relief.  She also told us she'd found a windshield she could afford, and had borrowed money from relatives to buy it, but it was in Pierre, and she had no way to go get it.  That's 90 miles away from where we are, and we've been bleeding money like we cut an artery, so we didn't really want to make that trip again, and weren't sure we could fit a windshield in our car, anyway.  But it just so happened that there was a young man up here from Pierre who went on splits with one of our elders just that morning, and he was about to head back to Pierre.  And he had a truck.  And he was coming back the next day.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  To top it off, a woman we'd never met knocked on our trailer door as we were about to head out to visit people again, so we had her come in and visited with her instead.  When the young man from Pierre came over and we were trying to figure out where this windshield place was, she just happened to know exactly where it was, 'cause she'd lived right by it.  So cool.

That evening we were trying to find more people to visit, but no one was home, so we finally gave up and went to the Lakota Mart (grocery store) to buy some ranch dressing, and there was a sister from our ward standing there between the double doors of the store.  She didn't have enough gas to get home, and didn't know what she was going to do, so Jeff was able to follow her over to the gas station and help her out with that (I swear, these people never look at a gas gauge!)  The ranch dressing was too expensive there, so she must have been the reason we went.

Today we drove around all afternoon looking for one of the little widows in the Eagle Butte branch.  We finally gave up and went to visit another sister instead.  She happened to know where the widow had been moved to, so we went and found her, and she was sitting in her wheelchair in this house with no heat, no furniture, no dishes or pots and pans, just trying to keep warm.  She told us she'd been praying all afternoon and knew someone would come.  Jeff bought a propane heater for our car a while back in case we ever get stuck somewhere, we won't freeze to death, so we were able to take that over, along with some other supplies.  And the branch Welfare meeting was tonight, so Jeff was able to apprise the President of the situation.

Go to where the miracles are.  Heavenly Father is aware of his children.  He just needs our hands to help bless them.  I'm so grateful to be part of this great work.

Bro. and Sis. Hunt

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Beginnings

The past month has seen many lasts in my life -- the last Christmas in my home of 19 years (even though it was a fake Christmas celebrated in September), the last Sunday dinner cooked and enjoyed with my children and grandchildren in our home, the last time I slept in my room or showered in my bathroom. The last time I drove away from that driveway.
Now I'm enjoying some firsts -- we're the first couple to ever stay in this particular room at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. I'm the first person to ever have used this shower. I enjoyed singing with an army of missionaries in the MTC choir for the first time. I was the first person to use the eliptical machine in the basement of this building. My husband and I taught our first lesson to an investigator as missionaries (even though he was a fake one for training purposes).
Life if full of firsts and lasts. The key is to enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My cute grandkids, Groucho style.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Doggone you, Ethan

Since it's summer, as embarassing as it is, I'll regale you with my infamous family reunion story. I attended my first Hunt reunion before I was even married.

The Hunts have a game they call “Deer.” It is a campsite version of “Hide and Seek.” One person is the hunter and carries a flashlight. Everyone else are deer, and hide in the woods. When the hunter shines his flashlight on a deer and identifies him or her, they become a dog and must help the hunter find the other deer. The dogs, however, are only allowed to bark. They can’t talk, shout out names, or use any other forms of communication to indicate when they’ve been successful in locating a deer.

This was my first experience with the game, but I was gung-ho, ready to make my mark and impress my future husband with my prowess. I started out as a deer, but unfortunately, was soon located, identified, and transformed into a dog. That was okay, though, I’d be the best darn dog they’d ever seen.

Stealthily, I crept through the bushes trying to locate the hidden deer. Success! I found Uncle Ethan hiding in a thick stand of brush. It was too dark to see him clearly, but he was the only one in the family that big and burly, so I began to bark furiously. Usually, when this happens, the deer bolts and tries to escape, but Ethan just stood there. I was afraid he would try to run, though, so I reached up and wrapped my arms around his neck to hold him in place and continued to bark, louder and louder, but no hunter appeared. “Yip, yip yip, where’s that darn hunter? Bark, bark, bark …”

Finally, I tired of barking at poor ole Uncle Ethan, who never made a sound, and curiously, never tried to run away. I decided the hunter wasn’t going to show up, so I let go of Ethan and headed back to the campfire. To my dismay, there sat Ethan.

“Ethan, what are you doing here?” I exclaimed.

“Oh, I didn’t play this round,” was his horrifying answer.

“Then who …” I didn’t finish the sentence, and tried to sink down into my chair, but the story was soon dragged from me of what I’d been doing out in the bushes for the past fifteen minutes or so.

It was concluded that I’d accosted a neighboring camper as he’d tried to relieve himself in the bushes. No wonder he didn’t run! This story has probably become legend around the stranger’s campfire as well. I made my mark, all right. But Jeff married me anyway.