Friday, December 25, 2015
Monday, December 21, 2015
Dear family and friends,
Truly a week of miracles...I have never seen a transformation for good in such a short amount of time. We have been blessed to say the least. We have been focusing much on facilitating Faith in Jesus Christ through constant prayer and eleveated thoughts. "Works without faith is dead". We have seen the maginitude of this statement this past week as many were found and taught.
Artashat is amazing.The Ward loves us and sees the work taking off. They are on board and already supporting us. Our Ward Mission Leader, Bishop and Clerk are stalwart members. Our Ward Mission Leader is a younger guy and a returned missionary. He is esctatic about the work as we are.
We were blessed to meet many great people on the street right by our church. We were able to bring many straight into the church and have lessons. I have been amazed with the humility and love of these people. I have changed my teaching style to teach according to their needs and in ways that intrests them.
As we meet with many families, it was incredible to see one in particular that was ready for the gospel. A member introuduced us to this family and told us they were his realitives. It was neat to see this recent convert teach something so dear to his heart and spread that love to his family. I was filled with joy and love for this family, and for this member.
This is just one example of the many mircales we were blessed to see this past week. I am learning much. I have much more time to reflect on all that is happening and has happened. I am soaking it all in and living it up.
I love Elder Porcelli and I am learning much from him. Sometimes the change is hard for him as he sees what could have been last transfer. We talk through everything and I love and respect him. He is a good man and I have never see someone who applies things he learns so quick. I love these people. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I love you
Love, Elder Lunt
at 9:20 AM
Monday, December 14, 2015
Dear family and friends,
I am doing great! I was just transfered from Yerevan to Artashatwith Elder Porcelli as my new companion. From what I hear it sounds like you know more about the area and transfers than I do...Ha I appreciate others keeping you all updated. Elder Porcelli is great! I love him and I am impressed with him in every way. He just got off a unique transfer, in his words "it is hard making a 180 degree change", he says he feels like I do everything at the highest level and he expressed that he feels behind after last transfer. However I reminded him its not me but "us" doing missionary work at the level we need to be. He is doing great and he embraces the change, we will work miracles together, and I am excited to learn from him and grow together in every aspect.
President had a good talk with me and paid me some complementary remarks and thanked me for all that I did as an Assistant, I learned so much in these last 9 months, life long lessons and things that changed my life in every way. When I came into the mission officefor transfers, all the missionaries welcomed me in and said thankyou. They all came up to me and shook my hand or gave hugs. I love all these missionaries so much and I did my best as a leader, the Lord changed so much through me as an instrument in his hands.
I feel all of the missionaries love and respect they have twoards me and I do my best to exude that same love and respect back. Often times I feel like I get put on a pedestal for consistently following basic principles of the gospel and progression. I was asked what I would do different as a leader, initiating the prinicple of accountability,I thought for a minute then I responded, "there are things I could have done better, however that is life and the reason for the Atonement, but I would not do anything different... I gave it my all". In whatever accquisition in life I will repeat that sentence throughout until one day I can say it to our Heavenly Father, with Jesus Christ mediating at my side.
There is a lot to change in Artashat, the ward doesn't trust the missionaries, the appartment was disgusting (6 hours cleaning it, welcome to your new area!). I was not to happy about that, but atleast it is clean and up to par with inviting the spirit. No prior serious investigators. I got in, sat down and talked about goals with Elder Porcelli and all that we were going to accomplish this transfer. We have some high goals and then we talked about the "how" of accomplishing all that we are setting out to do.
We are focusing on faith in Jesus Christ in all that we do, obedience in every way and we are working hard and smart. No growth in a comfort zone, No comfort in a growth zone. We are helping each other improve in every single way and we have the same vision, goals and mindset to do so. We are going to win the trust of the members by showing them we are here to work. The people here are so nice and warm, I would say 7 out of 10 people will talk to us on the street and accept our message. The potential here is limitless.
There is greatness in every single one of us. I change so much daily and I am greatful for all that the Lord has given me. My companion asked how i consistently do all that you we are expected and more? You have to start where you are at and simplify your approach to discipleship as mentioned in general conf, rely on the Lord then get up and go to work. The question of doing it or not fades completely as you focus on becoming and turn outward, doing what we are suppose to do and progressing daily becomes a habbit rather than a task. I am so grateful for my mission, the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the love of God and Christ and their perfect understanding.
Love, Elder Lunt
at 10:58 AM
Monday, December 7, 2015
at 10:56 AM
Dear family and friends,
For the missionaries:
All is well. I can't believe it is already that time for transfers. It seems like just yesterday that I came Yerevan. I am so grateful for all that I have learned in my time as a missionary and specifically as assistant these past 9 months. I am grateful for all that I have yet to learn and the enabling power of Jesus Christ to do so.
This last week, Elder Jowers and I have been focusing on finding families. Well that is exactly what happened. We were blessed to find two amazing families ready for the gospel. The strength of the church truly is the family unit. We have been blessed to find many waiting and ready to hear the gospel as we talk to everyone on the streets and try to be an example worth following.
Elder Jowers and I are doing awesome! We are sad to see such a great team come to and end, but we are both ready and excited for what the future holds. He has been a great brother and I know our paths will meet again in the future. I truly am grateful for all that I have learned from 6 months of being around him and enjoying his company and presence. The same goes for Elder Cornett and all that I learn and cherish from him. These companions and so much more than friends and have helped shape my life.
I am doing great! I am happy to see things going so well in our area and the mission in general. As I thought about the change that has taken place these past 9 months I was overcome with joy and satisfaction, that the Lord through us has established his church more fully and hastens the work. I love these people, I love the missionaries I serve and serve with. I am so fortunate to be here at this time with these incredible people, in Armenia.
President and I had interviews this last week, it was great talking to him about the change in myself that is hard to recognize sometimes and the change in the mission. I treasure all that I have learned from so many great people and the Holy Ghost.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes, letters and packages. I love you all and miss you!
Love Elder Lunt___________________________________________________________________________
For the missionaries:
9 months ago Elder Cornett and I sat in President's office and discussed expectations and plans we had for the mission. 6 months ago Elder Jowers and I did the same. 3 months ago the cycle repeated. Only a few days ago, in the same setting, we looked at the original goals and plans. As I share a few of those original goals I would ask that you think about your personal development and our overall progress as a mission.
Happy healthy missionaries
Faith (confidence) in Savior
D&C 4:2 (understanding)
Teaching style (triple play)
At the conclusion of any task we pursue in life, we all ask ourselves a similar question...
Jacob 5: 41,47,49 "
As the Lord of the vineyard asks himself this question three distinct times in these passages, we too, being our own biggest critic, naturally ask ourselves "what more could I have done"?
We have made leaps and bounds as a mission. It is incredible to be apart of. We have further developed Christlike attributes, skills in every phase of the work, and acquired an understanding of what it means to serve with all of our heart, might, mind and strength. As you can see the happiness of the mission is top priority for leaders. When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we follow the pattern The Lord of the Vineyard displays...We start where we are at and go to work.
Through out Moroni 7 a different question is posed but again three times is repeated... "Has the day of miracles ceased"? They do if we doubt and more importantly if we fail to recognize them. We have had an awesome year of missionary work. Recognize that and embrace it! As I do so it motivates, and strengthens my faith. We ask you to ponder the changes you have seen in yourselves. The biggest miracle is the change in ourselves.
Let us "retain a remembrance" of what we have learned this past year and let the rest go. Let us always focus on the task at hand and envision our future. Where will we be in? That is all up to us...Let us consistently give our alland desire the things that bring happiness. "We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellency is not an act but a habit". Thank you for a wonderful 3 transfers, and all that you have taught me.
We love you!
Elders Lunt & Jowers
at 10:45 AM
Monday, November 30, 2015
To the missionaries:
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! It was great to be able to celebrate with very few distractions and to focus on what I am truly thankful for. In response to the question "what are you grateful for"? Given by my oldest sister, Heather. I thought of many things, my thoughts initially went straight to my parents and my family and all that they have done for me. After briefly reflecting upon my conversion, I am filled with gratitude and love for Heavenly Father and the Savior, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the personal witness I feel from the Holy Ghost when I ponder the verses of Mosiah 14. There truly is much to be thankful for.
Elder Jowers and I are doing great I love him and appreciate his constant friendship and brotherhood. I am sad to see our time winding down together. Towards the end you start thinking about the begging and everything in between. I am grateful for the many things we have learned together that will play major roles in our futures. As I now share a quarter of my mission with Elder Jowers and all the experiences, ups and downs that entails, it unites us and strengthens our friendship. These last two transfers have truly been amazing and ones worth remember. There is still much great to come in our small amount of time left together.
This last week was full of greatness. We try our best and the Lord does the rest. I see this time and time again in every way. We have a lot of great investigators that I know will be baptized. Many of them are progressing at their own rates but we are doing all we can to activate their agency. This last week it was incredible to see the Lord place many in our path to find and teach. There are so many people that are ready out there. The Lord knows where all of them are at and how to reach out to them. I pray daily to be filled with the spirit to know where to go, what to do and how to do it. The idea of heeding to the spirit is so general but as we act (faith), the spirit becomes specific and unique for the situation and the individual being taught. It truly is all about keeping this member of the God head with us at all times.
As I have been studying the gospel in greater depth I recognize the simplicity it contains. I am grateful for the scriptures and the pure knowledge they contain. I have recognized them to be a blue print for our days and the pattern of life that brings true, lasting joy and happiness. I am learning many things and trying to internalize them all, however, I take solace in the fact that having the spirit in my life through the basics of prayer, study and applying Christ like attributes encompasses all the areas of improvement. I love you all and I hope we remember the basics and cut out the noise in our lives. Smile!
Love, Elder Lunt
To the missionaries:
Much has happened these last few weeks, as we have been blessed with revelation, the work hastens to an even greater degree. It is clear that "the principle of gaining knowledge by revelatio
n is the principle of salvation" (progression). Lately, as we receive knowledge and revelation in a variety of different methods and small means to accomplish our purpose more fully, it is critical to remember that it is given to us to simplify our approach in discipleship and help us more effectively help others-- in essence, our core purpose.
Alma 37:6 "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass, and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."
"The more fully the details are understood, the greater will be our appreciation for the theme, If we fail to catch the glimpse of the theme, we fail in our comprehension no matter how many details are understood." -Bible dictionary; revelation
The theme is The Gospel of Jesus Christ; faith, repentance, baptism, receiving The Gift of The Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Everything we do is an appendage of God The Father,Jesus Christ and their gospel. Our part is inviting all... Why? Because we love those we serve. How? The Holy Ghost, which by pure osmosis encompasses all areas of missionary work and more.
"Life is hard, not the gospel". As we seek to internalize and apply what we have learned and will learn, let us seek to remember the overall theme and appreciate it as we understand and apply the details--small and simple things. Let us keep things simple, not overwhelm ourselves with things that are out of our control (1 Nephi). Happiness is the product of righteous actions and desires. From there happiness is a choice. Faith, hope, charity and virtue "qualify him for the work"--The Holy Ghost.
Elders Lunt & Jowers
at 10:44 AM
Monday, November 23, 2015
Dear family and friends,
Thank you for all of your emails, love and support. It sounds like everyone is doing well and is enjoying the holiday season. This last week was full of learning and confirmations of faith. Elder Kacher finished up Zone Conferences in our mission and left us with plenty to facilitate and ponder. He is a great leader and I am thankful for his advice and counsel.
There were so many incredible miracles that took place this last week. As I was reading in the book of Alma, specifically Alma 29 I was pondering what it really means to be a successful missionary or person in that sense. I have often felt that the happiest times on my mission is when I can feel that the Lord is using me as an instrument in his hands, and like Alma says "that is my joy".
At times it is hard to know weather or not you are doing what the Lord wants you to do. It goes back to supplicating the power of the Holy Ghost, the right to have a member of the Godhead with us all the time. Heeding to that power that Heavenly Father waits so anxiously to give. Many of which were the items that we talked about during Zone Conferences.
As I had a self assessment one evening this previous week I felt that I was changing lives as an instrument in God's hands. Allowing him to work through me, as a tool in his hands. As I notice God's love by feeling the Holy Ghost speaking through me, expanding my knowledge and granting to me gifts of the spirit, I feel so blessed and at times wonder why I have been given all that I have. Although I have a ways to go to attain the level of conversion Alma had, at times I feel so immersed with joy and love that all I want to do is be better in helping others come to Christ and "my joy exceeds that of my strength".
There is evident power in ordinances done by correct authority. We are currently teaching a family from **** (Husband, wife and they have a son that doesn't come for now..). The husband could be baptized tomorrow and has received his answers. The wife was having a hard time with understanding faith and the true relationship in which we have with our Father in Heaven through prayer. She had prayed many times and didn't get direct answers.
She and her husband came to a baptism this last week and as we met with them after the baptism the wife looked at me and in her best English said "Lunt, I felt those feelings you were talking about. I got my answer". The spirit of revelation pervaded the room and then what happened next magnified the presence of the spirit.
She said they both want to be baptized but because it is to dangerous for them, only the husband will be baptized. At this point both of them in tears, the wife said "If something happens to us for converting to Christianity, one of us needs to be alive to raise our son". As I looked into their eyes, I was overcome with such love for these amazing people who only want the best for their family in this life and the life to come. I asked them to think and pray about it and whatever they decide I respect. They agreed and we had a great lesson on faith I will never forget.
The missionary fireside was a great time and we had a lot of fun with the youth, practicing role plays and getting them involved. The youth in the Church in Armenia have such great potential that I love to see the leaders foster.
I love this work, I love this knowledge that keeps me grounded in a world of shifting values. I love my companion and his example and many things he has taught me. I love these people and how open their hearts are to the gospel as they connect with the light of Christ.
I am so grateful for my many opportunities and blessings. I am overcome with joy and happiness whenever I think of the perfect love of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. I am grateful for my earthly parents and all that they went through to teach me. Truly each of us has much to be thankful for. It is in our example that we truly exude that love and light as a sign of gratitude towards all and our Father in Heaven.I love you all and I pray for you daily.
at 10:42 AM
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Dear family and friends,
This past week was great,full of much learning it was probably one of the most tiring weeks I have had on my mission, however much learning followed. We have many investigators but only a hand full are progressing for now.
On a more personal note I found myself with out any clarity or ability to really connect with the spirit simply said. I felt like I was relying on myself and natural abilities for the majority of this past week without the spirit or his guidance and help and it was obvious. It was exasperating and demoralizing, however full of learning opportunities.
I am grateful though for the things I learned in much in pondering, prayer and the importance in "maintaining the simplicity in Christ". I am grateful for Pres's and Elder Kacher's inspiration about the Holy ghost and how to supplicate his presence. I am grateful for the myriad of things learned this past week.
Elder Jowers and I fasted for the investigators this last week, for personal revelation, the work to pick up and to help us know how to change in every element of the work to bring the desired results. There is an excitement and change that is taking place in the mission as the work hastens and we more rapidly start our ascent to reaching another level of missionary work. All for helping others...
I learned much from Elder Kacher and his wife and you and Sister Carlson. I thank you for that and the amount of preparation put into to all of the Zone Conferences. In our interviews I got some great advice from Elder Kacher about leadership and what to change. I am grateful for him and his inspired discipleship and profound advice.
The miracles and the power behind us further outweigh the trails and task ahead. We found some great families this last week and many of which will make it to baptism. One of which we found in a park while on our way to another appointment. They are from Jordan and speak Arabic and English. They are incredible and progressing.
Another funny highlight, I got thrown off a bus for preaching the gospel about the Book of Mormon specifically, yes literally "thrown" luckily they stopped the bus. It was pretty funny. A guy at the bus stop saw the whole bus yelling at us and kick us out and asked what happened. I just said "I don't even know". It was something Elder Jowers and I had a good laugh about. Elder Jowers is awesome and I love him much. We correct each other and build each one another up in every in every way out of a motivation of love.
Love you all!
at 10:40 AM
Monday, November 2, 2015
Dear Mom and Dad, family and friends
Wow, it has been a while since I have been able to write you guys a personal note. I want to start off telling you how much I am learning and growing in every single way. I have been blessed in every facet of life.
As I reflect upon my mission the reality of God's omniscience and power is incredible.I attribute all accolades of success, empowerment, joy and more which I have experienced upon him. I also want to underline the fact that nothing has come without exhausting effort, disappointment and set backs, there is always a price for anything we aspire to do in life.
Today I want to take a brief moment and express my thoughts and feelings; as I realize that many of my letters lately have been a bit impersonal and abstract to address a general audience. This may be on the blog or social media sites, but today this letter is directed specifically for my family.
As I said earlier I have grown in so many ways. I often only write about positive uplifting experiences, but as I said nothing has come with out a price. It is not always easy, there is a list of things that try and test me daily many of which I will wait to talk about until I tell you in person but there a few I will share with you today and more importantly the power to overcome and become.
I miss you, I miss my friends that have passed away while serving my mission, I hurt for these people when they have an opportunity of a lifetime and throw it away. I hurt for missionaries when they limit themselves and feel that they are the exception and can't overcome their trials. The list goes on. The solution is small but the consequences are enormous. The power of reaction. "Life is based upon 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react".
The biggest difference is to whom we turn to in times of trial. At times I look in the mirror and just think "look what you have become"; in all reality it goes like this "look what you have let him make of you". I often think of the C.S. Lewis quote "Give unto me yourself, hand it all over, no half measures will do, I want the whole thing, give me your all and I will give you my all. I will make of you a new self in my image". We all have divine potential within us, foreordained purposes, the power is within us all if we give all of ourselves to Jesus Christ in times of both tranquility and testing.
A brief explanation about my future as I have pondered and prayed about some big decisions that need to be made and after a few months of procrastination I felt I needed to tell you now. I plan on going to U of U when I get home and becoming an officer through the OCS program (use the guard to get me where I need). I want to go into law or business and set my path for Harvard or an ivy league school, after that the options are limitless, politics, CEO, etc. I want to have the biggest sphere of influence for the good. Biggest priority is and always will be family.
I love these people so much and I cherish the eternal relationships with them. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity and learn much from those I serve. Mission Leadership Council this last week went well. After the matter I was overcome with exhaustion but I thought after the meeting how much I have grown and learned. I love Elder Jowers and this time with him I learn so much that prepares me for marriage and life. He is a great man and a partner for life.
Although it's nothing close to what I would like it to be, these are just a few personal thoughts, feelings and promptings, I wanted to let you all know. I miss you and love and pray for you daily.
at 10:38 AM
Monday, October 26, 2015
Dear family and friends,
We had a great week full of ministering to missionaries. I realize that ministering is the most influential aspect of leadership. It is so important to delegate and help missionaries to help themselves, that means showing the example then letting them do it. From my experience and a few others these things are what separates the great leaders from good.
We went on 3 separate exchanges this last week and we have been able to more fully understand many of the missionaries and help them know "how". "When you know what to do and you do what you know, you become different".
I have also learned many things from them on how to be a better leader and earn others' trust faster; such as, asking for their advice or addressing problems in the mission and giving them the opportunity to help you; this instills and reinforces equality, trust and love.
It is a blessing to come back to our area after so much time out and see that investigators are keeping commitments and many came to church. Elder Jowers and I are very blessed. The list is endless of things to think about and change for myself and the Mission.
I have never received so much personal revelation for myself and others in such a short period of time. It is an incredibly simple process that we often hear (pray,diligently study the scriptures with prayer and questions in mind, and attend church) , yet on such a deep level tailored to our needs and those whom we study for.
We have a big week coming up with many meetings and specific changes to be planned and prepared for. There is always so much to change and doing so while maintaining the divine attribute of gratitude. As a leader It's about thinking 5 steps ahead while enjoying the present.
Along with personal revelation, I have never progressed this much in such a short amount of time. I am learning so many things everyday that are given and magnified through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, as I act and then I get to share it with others. We see so many miracles daily. So many lives are changed and influenced for the better. This truly is the greatest work. I love these people my companion and the Lord. This is true happiness.
P.S. Sorry for the length and vagueness of my emails lately. I will write longer, detailed emails when I am not an assistant.
Love Elder Lunt
To the missionaries:
Dear Elders and Sisters,
"Your greatest work: your most important creation is and will ever be you". This simple declaration of eternal progression continually transpired itself through out last General Conference.
Through the doctrine of repentance and the principle of accountability we become aware of what we need to improve. So how do we close that gap of what we know and hear so often and what we are and becoming? How do we become that missionary we dream of? How do we just do it?
In these verses, as you keep or replace the word fear with what it is it that limits you and the word love with what it is you desire, the solution independently stands, thus seeing the reasons may be many; however, the solution is one; faith in Jesus Christ, which will manifested by the love we have for him. As we are more concerned with the will of the Lord, the will of man dissolves all together. We are empowered. We qualify for the grace of God. We act, do and become.
Elders Lunt & Jowers
at 10:36 AM