Elder Lunt

Երեց Brian Lunt
Եկեղեցին Հիսուս Քրիստոսի Վերջին Օրերի Սրբերի

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 32

Hello everyone, It was good to talk to all of you and hear your voices. It was an interesting experience, one that I couldn't put my finger on until the next day. After wards I felt something had changed. I just felt so different from you guys, its almost a betraying feeling but I realize its what I've been praying for, to not dwell on home or family. Its a hard feeling to explain and not sure if its what I wanted but I will explain it in person after my mission. Its something that I wrote about quite a bit in my journal, I would like my family to read when I get home. As for Skype I am also bummed david didn't come, I am not sure whats going on with him but I just let him know that I love him. I dont know why he didnt come but hes a good guy and I am sure he had his reasons for intentionally not coming.  

Well this week has been a week full of lots of hardships and miracles. I am so close to so many of these people and my love for them is indescribable. We were blessed with a baptism, her name is hikeanush, shes so smart and such a leader, very elect lady, I have no doubt that when the church grows in Alaverdi that she will be one of the leaders behind the growth, if the elders after me take good care of her. I wanted Elder Burt to baptize her but its always their choice and she said in front of him that she wanted me to because I talk and am her elder. Although that was nice of her. I am concerned for E Burt. This whole transfer has been exhausting,teaching him, worry about him , helping him. Its all been focused on him and he just is barley realizing that. He hasn't been happy and I can see his quiet discontent and frustration of not giving his full heart and mind to these people. I have talked to him a lot about this and tryed to help him but I am not sure he really listens to me anymore. And this whole transfer I have been carrying the communication and it is absolutely exhausting. He doesn't talk and its hard because I have to fish his bad feelings and unhappiness out of him so it doesn't affect the work, but its been happening more and more. The Armenians aren't as sensitive to his social awkwardness as we are and they call it out all the time. It makes me feel really bad for him, but I cant make him do anything against his will and neither can the lord. I also gave him quite a bit of responsibility this last few Sundays and this Sunday and its been way hard for him. I cant confidently say that he would be emotionally and socially ready for training and group leader, but I know if that's what the lord calls him to do that that is what will happen, and that I am confident in. I don't want to end the transfer on a bad note or the "bite the bullet" of waiting it out. I want to leave ( if I leave) knowing that we left off on a good note and that we helped each other out. I will still try to talk to him and work things out but as always actions speak louder than words and I plan on serving him at every opportunity. Hes a good missionary with a good heart and I love him, I don't think he realizes how much I try to help him and pray for him and all the things I do for him, until he trains. Just like I will never know all the time you spent on your knees, sleepless nights and thoughts centered on me, until I become a parent.

 I am so blessed to be in this area, it will always have a special place in my heart. I have never been happier in my life, if only you guys knew... Well this week was full of many miracles. And we were out of our area for 2 days and we had a split so it was to hard reach our full potential through but with hard work through the lord we saw many of the miracles. We were blessed with baptism this week. And so many lessons I have felt the spirit so strong and I just feel so powerful with the spirit. It makes you feel unstoppable, and you can promise so many neat things. There have been so many inspired things that have come out of my mouth but that I didn't say, this happens daily. I love you guys so much and will share some of my goals with you next week for the next transfer and some long term goals. I love you all and want to say three things I have that will change your life if applied, just as they have changed my life. I want to say again that my hope is that we can "Maintain the simplicity in Christ" I said that over Skype but the connection was bad. Many people think that the gospel is so complicated but as I teach the basics of the gospel daily, I realize its the basic gospel principles through the spirit that bring conversion which brings happiness, joy, peace of mind and every other quality of light. If we do what we are suppose to we are happy. We are blessed, we are confident because we are worthy to receive the Lord's help and guidance. My hope is that we will remember these things and let them change us as we give everything to the Lord. The last two commitments are talks from my brother in law (Jake) that have changed my mission and my life. I try to read them monthly. First is "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" and the "4th missionary". Please don't make the mistake of thinking that just because your not a full time missionary right now that they don't apply to you. These are talks that I plan on reading the rest of my life. When we experience joy, peace and change through the Lord, our desires are to share it with others, especially the ones we love. And that's what I wish to do now. I love you all and am so grateful for all that you have given me and for all the cards and presents. Don't worry about me or think that I am homesick or lonely because I am not home for the holidays, I am the one that is actually happy because of what I get to do everyday. As Elder Hoalland says " I am the one actually living". Love you all more than you can understand. Be Happy, smile and have some fun with those that matter most!

Love Elder Lunt

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week 31 Early Christmas for us! PICTURES and SKYPING

Brian wrote on Monday telling us the people in Alaverdi that owned the cafe they would email at decided to leave to go to Russia with no plans of coming back. We were a little nervous we wouldn't get to talk to him for Christmas. He emailed again saying he would be on skype this morning. We were so beyond happy and excited to talk to him. He is doing great and it was touching to see him and hear his voice. He has developed a slight accent and was having trouble with his English at times :) It was every bit of awesome! We miss him so much but have never been more proud of him and the important message he is sharing as he brings people to Christ. We know he is doing what our Heavenly Father intended him to do!

Brian's testimony:

Elder Lunt's testimony in Armenian  (click on link)

Message to friends and family   (click on link)

Skyping with Brian

Mission President's letter

President's email
Well done! That simple saying summarizes beautifully the pursuit of excellence, which I would like to speak about today. Many of you probably recall the wonderful talk Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave at the last general conference. He spoke about “good, better, and best,” too, but his comments revolved around the quality of activities we choose to give our time to. My thoughts today will use this same phrase to consider the quality of our output as we strive to excel.

Have you ever stopped to consider that the pursuit of excellence is a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ? It should even be a defining characteristic of members of His church.

Elder J. Richard Clarke has counseled and encouraged us to “accept the challenge to set a Mormon standard of quality, unique because of its excellence.” Today, I would like to reiterate that challenge and offer a few suggestions of how you wonderful students here at one of the Lord’s universities can accomplish this goal.

President Hinckley believes that striving for excellence is a God-given directive:

“The mind of man is the crowning creation of God, in whose express image man was made. The development of the mind is a companion responsibility to the cultivation of the Spirit, as set forth in the revealed principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”
And, in case that was unclear, he later rephrased that thought and got right to the point:

“Don’t be a scrub! Rise to the high ground of spiritual, mental, and physical excellence. You can do it. You may not be a genius. You may be lacking in some skill. But so many of us can do better than we are doing now. . . Don’t muff your opportunities. Be excellent.”

Be excellent! But what does excellence mean, exactly? To “excel” means “to go beyond a limit.” I never really enjoyed, or even understood, calculus, but I know that going “beyond a limit” sounds really hard! College basketball coach, Rick Pitino, said that “excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.” Is it possible to improve infinitely? Well, right there is the Plan of Salvation, isn’t it? The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we CAN improve infinitely, line upon line and precept upon precept.

I believe that the magical mortal ingredient of excellence is actually ATTITUDE, or, in other words, will not skill. My mother, who was a wise and caring teacher, often said that, as far as her students were concerned, she appreciated “I will!” far more than “I.Q.” A five-year study of many top US athletes, musicians, and scholars recently found that “drive and determination, not great natural talent, led to their extraordinary success.” One prominent self-improvement guru described that “drive” as “an absolute sense of mission,” and considered it to be the common thread of all outstanding people. That “sense of mission” is often coupled with a willingness to sacrifice. Excellent people understand that there is a price to be paid for success. And the underlying element, supporting both a sense of mission and a willingness to sacrifice, is faith, both a person’s faith in their self and his or her faith in the Lord. Todd Skinner, a world-renowned mountain climber, summed up this faithful drive toward excellence when he said,

“We do not change the mountain, we change ourselves. We cannot lower the mountain, therefore we must elevate ourselves.”

Sometimes we put limits on what we think we can do, but our capacity for excellence is far beyond what we might currently imagine. One important way to begin to see our limitless potential is to surround ourselves with excellence. Excellence is inspiring and contagious. That’s the reason why records are constantly being broken, and why a certain team, group, or family might seem to possess a disproportionate number of outstanding members. We might think it has to do with genetics, or even a performance-enhancing drug, but, more often than not, it’s nothing as simple as DNA or steroids. Rather, there is a Spirit of Excellence that can inspire and motivate us. When we surround ourselves with excellence, when we study it and expose ourselves to it, that inspiration and encouragement can eventually begin to help us disregard what we might have considered stumbling blocks to success: A lack of natural talent or skill, an absence of resources, less than ideal circumstances, or even past experiences or failures.

These two women did exactly that, and I want to share their stories with you as a way of inspiring you to reach a little higher.

I imagine you’ve all read or heard at least a little about the woman on the left. This is Helen Keller. Helen was deaf and blind but became a great humanitarian around the world, traveling and giving speeches about everything from her history to human rights. When Helen was just a toddler, she contracted a raging fever. The doctors of the time diagnosed this as “acute congestion of the stomach and brain” but, whatever it was, it robbed this previously healthy child of both her sight and her hearing. Her parents were heartbroken at what had happened to their darling baby girl. Incredibly, though, no one could take Helen’s determination and will away from her, and, by the time she was eleven years old, she could position her hand with her middle finger on a person’s nose, her forefinger on their lips, and her thumb on their throat and thereby understand what they were saying, all without hearing any sound from their throat or seeing any movement from their mouths.

Helen went on to attend and graduate from Radcliffe University, the top women’s university of her day. Referring to her preparation to attend Radcliffe, one of her tutors commented that “her ambition and her confidence in her own power to master whatever she has once undertaken are two of her most marked traits of mind”. This same tutor, on learning she had passed the rigorous entrance exams, called her accomplishment “a triumph of ambition stimulated by obstacles”.

And Helen herself said, just prior to her graduation, “There is nothing good or right which we cannot accomplish if we have the will to strive”. Helen Keller obviously possessed that will, that “absolute sense of mission”, required to overcome her obstacles and achieve excellence.

But she didn’t accomplish these things alone. The other woman in the picture, on the right, is her teacher, Anne Sullivan. And Annie’s story and achievements are every bit as remarkable as Helen’s. Annie was the daughter of two penniless Irish immigrants. Annie and her younger brother, Jimmie, both suffered with disabilities: Annie was half blind from an eye disease, and Jimmie walked with a crutch because of a tubercular hip. When Annie was ten, her mother died, leaving her alcoholic and abusive father to care for the two children. Within a year, the two children were sent to the poorhouse in their small Massachusetts town. Living in the Tewksbury Poorhouse was a nightmare. There were rumors around town that the only thing the children had to play with there were the rats.

Annie and Jimmie clung tightly to each other. They were all they had in the world. Annie refused to allow them to be separated, as was the practice, so they were given a small bed to sleep in back in a dark corner next to what the residents called “the deadhouse,” the place where the bodies of those who died were kept while awaiting burial. This frightened the two children horribly but, as long as they were together, they would be alright. However, tragedy struck within about a year and Jimmie died one night from complications of a high fever. By the time Annie awoke, his body was gone, taken to “the deadhouse,” and she was alone.

Somehow, Annie survived the next few years by herself. Then one day, by sheer persistence and determination, she was able to convince a visiting authority that he should help her escape her awful fate and go to school. She succeeded and, within a year, found herself recovering from two eye surgeries and beginning school at the Perkins School for the Blind. At first, her schooling was even worse than life at the poorhouse. The students, and even the teachers, laughed at this 14-year-old who couldn’t even spell her own name. She recorded that she was actually “homesick” for Tewksbury!

But again, her persistence and determination paid off, and, a few years later, she graduated as the top student in her class. But her degree was certainly not the end of her pursuit of excellence. When she was 20 years old, a professor from Perkins asked if she would go and teach a poor handicapped child named Helen Keller. When Annie heard of Helen’s circumstances, she was positive she could not be of any use to her. She had no experience teaching a deaf or blind student, and certainly not one who was both! Fortunately for both of them, though, Annie needed the money so desperately that she took the job.

A short while after moving in with the Kellers, she wrote a letter to Mrs. Hopkins, back at the Perkins School. In it, she summarized her feelings at that point about helping Helen.

“Something within me tells me that I shall succeed beyond my dreams . . . I know that [Helen] has remarkable powers, and I believe that I shall be able to develop and mold them. I cannot tell how I know these things. I had no idea a short time ago how to go to work; I was feeling about in the dark, but somehow I know now, and I know that I know.”

It wasn’t long before Annie was able to break through Helen’s dark, silent world, through a teaching method solely of her own creation. Twenty years later, after earning a college degree with honors, Helen spoke to a fascinated audience, saying, “The doors of the bright world are flung open before me and a light shines upon me, the light kindled by the thought that there is something for me to do beyond the threshold.”

Both Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan had so many doors closed to them but their desires to excel opened those doors and allowed them to step over and beyond those thresholds. Each of them was able to accomplish far more than anyone would have ever thought possible. Each of them literally changed the world.

1 Corinthians 1:27 reads, “. . . God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

At times, each one of us feels like we have reached a closed door. We feel weak and incapable of opening the door and stepping over and past its threshold. But the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Plan of Salvation, teaches us and encourages us to do precisely that. Our individual pursuits of excellence can unlock, even fling open, those doors, and expose us to that bright light Helen had seen, the reality that there is something more we can do!

Let’s consider a simple diagram that may help clarify the pursuit of excellence. If we divide a triangle into three sub-sections, the supporting or base section can represent faith. Living in faith and righteousness is at the core of achieving excellence. Consider these scriptures:

“All things are possible to him that believeth.”

“For with God, nothing shall be impossible.”

“Seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”

Faith, believing in our own potential and believing that God can and will help us, is crucial to “crossing the threshold,” or going “beyond the limit.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks has counseled, “Your faith will sustain you and give added meaning and increased accomplishment to your secular studies if you will live to deserve the blessings of the Lord.” Living faithfully and righteously is how we live to “deserve the blessings of the Lord.”

Remember the Stripling Warriors? We read in Alma that “they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness.” Do you remember the excellent outcome of their big battle? Every single one of them was injured, but not one died. Now that is going “beyond the limit.” They deserved, or had earned, the blessings of the Lord.

One of the greatest blessings of the Lord is the gift of the Spirit. 

“When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He . . . enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman. . . We feel strengthened, filled with peace and joy. We possess spiritual energy and enthusiasm, both of which enhance our natural abilities. We can accomplish more than we otherwise could do on our own.”

I know without a doubt that when I am living in faith and righteousness, when I deserve the Lord’s blessings and the company of the Holy Ghost, I can do so much more than I could possibly do on my own.

I am currently enrolled in a family history course at BYU–Hawaii. Those who know me well know that I am “technically challenged.” For several years, I have been afraid to become involved in much of the newly developed computer technology that is so prevalent in genealogical research today. Through attending this class, however, I have begun to feel enlightened and empowered. I know that this is the Holy Ghost helping me learn. I am gradually overcoming my computer fears because I have faith, coupled with a strong and righteous desire, or will, to do family history research.

Annie Sullivan lived in faith, too. Though I know nothing of her religious beliefs, I can tell from reading the excerpts of her letters that this was a woman of faith. She said she had no idea of where to begin but “somehow I know now, and I know that I know.” I believe she was led by the Spirit on how to proceed to teach Helen.

The left portion of our triangle diagram represents that “sense of mission,” or will to succeed. This requires us to set goals. We all hear a lot about goal setting, especially in January, but let me point out that the surest way to miss your mark is to not even have one. And by setting that mark just slightly out of reach, slightly beyond our current ability, we learn firsthand that there is always room for improvement. We develop humility as we realize that we can always do a little better, especially with the Lord’s help.

Annie and Helen were world-class goal-setters. When Annie set her mind on finding a way out of the poorhouse and into a real school, she determined to do whatever it took, even if that meant literally throwing herself at the feet of a man of power and position. When Helen informed her parents that she would begin studying to pass the college entrance exams, they thought she had lost her mind. “Impossible!” they said.

Of course, setting a goal isn’t enough. We then have to make it happen. We should adopt President Kimball’s motto as our own and “Do it!” This is where the right side of the diagram comes into play: Sacrifice. Sacrifice means giving up something good now for something better in the future, and that is exactly what the pursuit of excellence is about.

Since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, mortals have been required to sweat. President Benson counseled us to “Work, work, work! There is no satisfactory substitute.”

Often, the difference between “work” and “hard work” is not as much as we might think. Champions don’t win by running twice as fast, or scoring twice as many points as their opponents. Usually they win by just a fraction of a second, or by just one extra goal. If we were to work just a little harder, say 15 minutes a day, over the course of a year, we would have worked an extra 91 hours!

Of course, hard work usually requires sacrifice.

Two secrets to hard work are to pay attention to the details and to form good habits. General Colin Powell recognized this when he said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” And Aristotle could see thousands of years ago that “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

By combining these three keys to excellence, living in faith and righteousness, setting goals to solidify our will or “sense of mission,” and sacrificing through hard work and attention to detail to reach those goals, we will be able to eventually succeed in whatever we are pursuing, but the eventually part can be discouraging. Patience will be critical. Remember, “the view of a champion, and the glory that surrounds him, must never be overshadowed by the long process of becoming one.” We love our instant messaging, we require instant relief, and we pay big money for instant satisfaction, but excellence does not come instantly. Persistence and patience are required.

We will experience setbacks, but they are one way we learn to improve. Remember that past failures do not predict future successes. My mother-in-law, Ann Coulam Wheelwright, firmly believed that failure was never in doing but only in quitting. With her, quitting was never an option. She considered failure as simply the price of growth and development and a chance to reflect, regroup, and then proceed with renewed vigor. The great painter, Whistler, once advised a friend to “hang on the walls of [his] mind the memory of [his] successes. . .” We can do the same and thereby find the endurance to keep trying and keep working until we reach our goals.

The Lord wants to help us reach those goals. He wants to reward us for our faithful living, and He wants to bless us for our righteous sacrifices. This is where grace comes into the picture. Grace can be simply described as the Lord making up the difference, after all we can do. And grace is what will take our best efforts to a higher level, what will make it possible for us to go “beyond the limit,” or over and far past the threshold of what we assume is possible. Grace is the Atonement at work in every aspect of our lives, including the pursuit of excellence.

Helen Keller said, late in her life, “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” Her dear friend and teacher, Anne Sullivan, certainly did her very best for Helen, and Helen knew firsthand what miracles had been wrought in her life because of it. And therein lies the real secret to the pursuit of excellence. When we do the best we can, we never know what miracles the Lord will see fit to bless us or someone else with because of our desire to excel.

President Hinckley has said:

“My plea is that we constantly take the position that every one of us can do better than we are doing now. We are in a constant search for excellence. That search must be continuous and never-ending. It must be consuming and unrelenting. Happily, such a lofty and crucial pursuit does not require genius. ‘What can I do better today so that the Lord can bless me?’ We must not sell ourselves short. We must make a little extra effort. We would be wise to kneel before our God in supplication. He will help us. He will bless us. He will comfort and sustain us. He will help us do more, and be more, than we can ever accomplish or become on our own.”

I am so grateful for all of the miracles the Lord has blessed me with in my life. I know that He lives and that He loves me and He loves you. I know that with His help and direction our lives can be filled with experiences and opportunities far beyond our mortal abilities. The Atonement is real and blesses each one of us when we allow it to change our hearts and our minds. I know that through His grace He will make our good better and our better best after all we can do. I am so grateful for that knowledge and assurance.

I pray that the Lord will bless each one of you in your striving for excellence, that, as President Hinckley has urged, we will all have this as a continuous and never-ending desire in each of our lives. 
Margaret S. Wheelwright 

As we work towards accomplishing our goals this week remember the most important thing to remember is that there is a name attached to each number, a daughter or son of our Heavenly Father. Our brothers and sisters. As I was sitting in Sacrament meeting today the thought occurred to me once again of the importance of finding strong families with one or more potential priesthood holders that will strengthen the stake.

As we strive for excellence, and achieve our goals that will be our gift to the savior this Christmas season and throughout the years to come.

We love you all and wish you the merriest of Christmases. That is totally up to you.
Be safe!

40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Luke 2:40

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 30

Dear friends and family, 
I'm doing good. It sounded like everything went well and the Navy did an honor guard for his service. I was more prepared for Grandpa's passing during this time than Josh's passing, so I am at peace with it, that being said it still hurts and takes consistent prayer to overcome. "He went home for Christmas", I like that simple, short statement. My companion is doing good ( I think) he is still very quiet I have gotten use to it, I didn't realize how lonely it was until Elder shields came on a split with me. It was good to have someone to talk to. I am really close to elder shields so it will be hard to see him go on Wednesday.  I love him and learned a lot from him during the split and the last 6 months here. As for Elder Burt and I, we have open communication but I feel like there is something he might be bottling up, he will be fine though, he's a good missionary. We have been extremely blessed with investigators, when Elder wood and I started we didn't have any and now we have been blessed with around 30, I would say over half are progressing towards baptism at their own rate but only a handful come to church . We are extremely busy and there could easily be getting another companionship here. The people here are different than the rest of Armenia, there is a lot more poverty here but the people are so humble. Well sorry its a short one. Love you guys and look forward to getting on Skype!

Love Elder Lunt

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

No more pictures :(

From Elder Lunt:
 I just heard that we are not suppose to be sending any pics home and they are pretty strict on it now, mostly because of Russia.  If people see someone is with the mormons they go beat them up (Never happened here only in Russia, but we fall under the same rules as them) if you could just take them off the blog, the ones with other Armenians and my companions. I dont know why and its a dumb rule but I will never understand why if I don't follow it. Love you guys and thanks for running things back home.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 29

Dear family and friends, I love hearing from all of you and the updates back home. This last Sunday we went to stake conference in Yerevan and listened to general authorities, we took many of the investigators and most of the members in 2 vans, it was hard gathering everyone but it all worked out for the most part. I had the chance to meet that guy Jorge who spoke in General conference and he's really cool and normal, I was going to get a pic with him but some Armenians needed something and he had to go. Anyways we are doing well, Elder Burt is a good man and good missionary. He gets stressed and worried with planning for the day and when things fall through. But I am working on it with him and he's doing better and better each day. He still doesn't talk much at all but i've just gotten use to it and It makes prayer that much better and talking with Armenians. I am grateful for this opportunity to be here and its indescribable how much I love these people that I serve. I will always remember this service here in this special area. I don't have much time left and my fingers are way cold so its hard to type fast but I love you all and miss you. Some quick things I want to share from Stake conf when Jorge (is that his name?) spoke. He said that our only motivation for doing the things we are doing needs to be because we love god. I really thought about this and am applying these words. He also said that we need to be doing 5 things to keep us strong, first daily thoughtful prayer. second daily scripture study and pondering and applying what we study. three church attendance all 3 hours. "I am a general authority and I need all 3 hours of church" were his exact words. fourth thing was accepting all callings and like my Dad always says leaving it better than you found it, no matter what your assigned to do. Fifth thing was pay full tithe and share the gospel. He promised so many blessing with each one of these and I promise you the same blessings. I cant say what it will be for you individual lives but I know the blessings will come. So many times people we teach wonder why things are so hard. Yes life is hard but when we don't do the things that make us happy and bring blessings its even worse. Mosiah 2; 41 is one I use a lot with people and blessings of commandments and Heleman 5;12 for staying strong against the world and satan when we do what we are asked. Love you guys and invite and pray that you guys do these things talked about. Love you all and am grateful for your impact and example that got me to this point. I am grateful for all the bday wishes and letters from all of you, I apologize that I don't have time to read  or respond to all but I am grateful for your thoughts and good wishes. Love you all.

Love Elder Lunt

Never thought I would say it...I am vegetarian, I don't eat the meat/try not too because of the nasty processing. This is the average meal fruits and veggies, this week a summer salad. Well love you guys!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 28

Dear all, 
I am doing great and have been really blessed. We had a good thanksgiving (beats mine last year with the army...) I thought it was neat that if we were really thankful we would show it by our works and thats exactly what we did this thanksgiving as we treated it as a normal day of missionary work and I fasted for this work, people and you. As i did so the blessings came, noticeable and others not so noticeable. We had our first baptism, and I she chose me to baptize her, it went well, her name is susuan. The longer I serve in this area, the more I realize that It was prepared  for me and that I was prepared for it. These great people that I have formed such close relationships with them, they are my type of people, good, humble, soft hearted people. I love them, and I hurt when they hurt and am happy when they are happy, I would do anything for most of them. I hate seeing the pain in sadness in their eyes from their heavy load of burdens but the joy and happiness I feel when I see the light and hope from this perfect message is one I cannot describe. 

I realize as I look on the promises from my Patriarchal blessing that the Lord knew about this my whole life, even long before that. And all that I have experienced in my life good and bad has given me experience for this. I feel that everything in my life has lead up to this point, here, now and serving these people. Its the first time in my life where I feel that I have reached my what I am capable of. All of this is part of his great plan.  The Lord has prepared them for me and me for them. So much that has happened in my life in the military and even before the military has prepared me to lead, love and learn and grow from these people. Its indescribable how inspired and divine His plan is and how everyday I notice so many things of why I am here at this time, and why I opened this area last transfer. I wish I could fully describe it to you, but it just builds my testimony even more. To know that the Lord is always aware of whats going on and that he always has a bigger plan and purpose for all of us in mind, that only we can accomplish through him. I realize that none of this experience and potential would have ever been reached if I had not turned everthing over to him and desiced to serve a mission. And as I can only describe so much all my thoughts feelings and testimonies in most of these letters, I simply say that he lives, loves and knows every single one of us. I know that if we turn everything over to him and "fear not" he will provide a way to accomplish all that he asks of us. 

This week I noticed Elder Burt ' himself and I felt that I needed to ask how he was doing and so I followed that prompting and he broke down and said that the grind of all this was taking its toll on him. I put everything on hold and we had a good man to man talk for over an hour. He said he felt a lot better and expressed his thanks. He is a great missionary and just a great person. Hes never said anything rude or bad about anyone. We are extremely different in likes and intretests, but same in purpose and I love him.  We get along great. And It was a good reminder to not over work him but not take the load he feels, I cant rob him of that opportunity to grow. The latest news on the building is that the paperwork is in moscow, and the decision is being made, I heard 2 or 3 weeks, but nobody really knows for sure. I am praying for sooner, to give these great people what they deserve. The work is great in our area and I am so close with so many of the members and investigators. I wish you could meet them. I taught guitiar lessons to a girl the other day, her dad is petros (the guy we rebaptized 2 months ago) It was fun jam out a little even though it sounded awful (out of tune). So many of the people we met with ask "when are you coming back". The spirit is with us and I told my great parents in a personal letter, that one of the best things of being a missionary is the power and capabitly you have is limitless, with and only through the Lord. I will share a quick experience this last week, as we were in a lesson, this new investigator said quote "whoa when you speak I feel something burning inside" Without hesistation through the spirit the words left my mouth "every time you meet with us, I promise you will feel this happy feeling you feel now". It was a neat experience and is just one of the many that happen daily. This is real, this is true, and its the only thing that will bring you real joy and lasting happiness in this hard life. I love you guys and pray for you all daily. Love your son, brother, friend, soldier and missionary. 

Elder Lunt