Elder Lunt

Երեց Brian Lunt
Եկեղեցին Հիսուս Քրիստոսի Վերջին Օրերի Սրբերի

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 100 - "Would have passed by them" Mark 6:48

Dear family and friends,

Another converted family to the gospel of Jesus Christ baptized and preparing for the temple. I feel that the Lord is hastening his work more than ever and the blessings are showing in every facet. With all of the recent blessings, miracles, and possible trials ahead of us, diverting our thoughts and attention on the miracles around us rather than the storm in front of us has been a fundamental componet of grattitude and faith. These passages of scripture have always had a special place in my heart as they illustrate a myriad of life long principles worth learning and following. 

Mark 6:48 "And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

 52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened."

I firmly believe that the Lord Jesus Christ walks the path of discipleship with his disciples, through both calm waters and ragging stoms. He is with us much more than we realize. Wether this be through His Holy Ghost or the people we love, He is there. Through a habit of prayer, constant communion and the apex of intelligence by pondering the "miracles of the loaves", in other words the daily influence he has in our lives, I feel confident in saying that unconsumated miracles, opportunities and the source of all power does not pass us by like it almost did the disciples in the storm.

One year ago in my first interview with you as an assistant, I asked President Carlson if he could change one thing in the mission what would it be. Intrestingly enough in a casual conversation coming home from Georgia just weeks before my last transfer as an assistant concluded, I asked the same question and was suprised by the same answer.

"Every missionary to understand how to rely on The Lord Jesus Christ, and stop trying to do missionary work on their own." This was his short but profound answer. As I was looking over Elder Kacher's notes and handouts from his meeting I still get the impression that we missionaries are still trying to do to much on our own. I speak by voice of experience, that we try to rely to much on our own skill, apptitude and experience when we more often than not forget who really converts, who touches and changes hearts and who establishes the church. I say what you already know, that only through Jesus Christ's Atonement, both reedeming and enabling power can we rise up, become and establish the church.

Thank you,

Elder Lunt

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 99 - Consecration by collaboration

Dear family and friends,
What a week! Lives changed, opportunities given and agency activated. Although I can not write all the minute details that each week consists of, it is often the small things that we appreciate the most when present. I love the feeling of waking up everyday knowing that I am "going about the Father's business". The divine purpose of bringing to pass the Lord's will of "immortality and eternal life of all men" invigorates each day with meaning and joy and love. 

Elder Peterson and I are doing well. The investigators are doing well and the miracle family will be living up to their title within the next week or two. Elder Peterson is a great missionary and we have a great time together. I am learning from him just the right things at just the right time in my mission. The ward council is doing great and the divinity facilitated by communication, accountability and unity has brought great revelation and results. 

The Divine council... To live up to such a title can be almost instant for some wards as others before us have sowed the price. Reaching divinity in most cases, includes longer than just a few weeks or even transfer cycles of missionaries that may never enjoy the shade of the seeds they planted. However, establishing the church isn't that small of a task either. But great things are brought about by great means. 

The body follows the head. Elder Ballard's statement rings to be true on every level, "councils are the most effective way to get real results, and are the Lord's way". The divine ward council is the head of the body of members throughout Armenia. To see real results in establishing the church, there must be a real council transcending into real action. 

We see temporal and spiritual results of a divine council in every way as ward members learn to emulate the example of their leaders in "imparting of their substance both temporally and spiritually that there may be no poor among them". They do so as they take hold of their primary responsibility of retaining and reactivating. Likewise, establishing the church through a divine council by continual counselling has lead to greater revelation and changes in the way we work, or in other words "hard work and smart work". Continual counseling and the manner of thinking to establish the church through a divine council is a foundation, means, and catalyst for something greater.

1 Timothy 6:18- That they do good, be rich in good works, ready to distribute, and willing to communicate.
19- Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, they may lay hold on eternal life.

"There is absolutely no point in doing missionary work unless we hold on to the fruits of that effort. The two must be inseparable". Finding, teaching, and baptizing is under the direction of the mission president while retaining and reactivating is under the direction of the bishop. But these two must be inseparable? With the direction of the work under two different bodies of leadership there is a natural margin for dissonance.

We believe that the fundamental purpose of all of this counseling and talk of divinity has been to merge the work of mission president's finding, teaching, baptizing, and bishop's/ward council's retaining and reactivating into one work. Two different bodies of leadership through congruence of the ward council and missionaries creating a venue to establish the church. This has been facilitated by weekly planning through the ward council.

One of Elder Kacher's commitments he left us and our councils, was every Sunday have the bishop hand out names of those in need of strengthening to each council member. More often than not, us missionaries try to activate and reactivate without the help of the ward council. And in the rare case that the ward council is fulfilling their primary responsibilities of activation and retaining then those efforts are not communicated.

Consecrate our performance--This past week we met with each member of the ward council and prepared them with information from chapter 13 for comprehension of "the doctrine". We asked each member of one active member they would like to visit (other than their home teaching assignments) the upcoming week--covering retaining-- and likewise one less active members. Each member of the ward council has an active member to strengthen and a less active to reactivate and clear instruction from the bishop to communicate with us their visits.  9 members of our council, each with two people (one active one less active) to visit, in the realm of retaining and reactivating our week is planned for the next week and efforts collaborated.

 "The work of proclaiming the gospel will move forward more powerfully when full-time missionaries and members coordinate their efforts and work in unity together". This took preparation beforehand with every member of the council especially the bishop as it all came from him. Counseling, like faith, is a principle of action. Combined efforts of members and missionaries in the ward council by weekly planning in the council has been the apex for continual counselling and a divine council. It is all one work, not one laborer, but only one work, when we all become laborers.

Thank you, 

Elder Lunt

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 98 - Supposed Him to be The Gardener

Dear family and friends,

I hope you had a great conference weekend and walked away with more than you came. The transparency of the words spoken not only segwayed into my personal conversion but underlined the things that really matter in life and reshuffled priorities and goals. 

With opportunity to practice what we preach, we went to appointments right after our viewing. The spiritual power and divine guidance was immediate. The difference was contrast as the spirit repleted the envoirnment with exuberance and clarity for us and the listener.

In my service of almost two years now I have come to learn that some of the most magnificent miracles are often times the easiest ones to miss. Through out the New Testament countless visions and manifestations of Christ were so common that sometimes the disciples and even Mary when "she supposed Him to be the gardener" following his resurrection didn't recongnize Christ. This has direct revelance in each of our lives. 

A few days ago we had one of these affirmation like experiences that we didn't fully comprehend until the moment and even later that day. Were lost in a part of town looking for a recent convert's home. We spent about an hour looking and couldn't find his home. With no means of communication with this particular member we decided to keep looking a bit longer. With increased seraching and decreased patience, we came into a certain part of town that I seemed to recongnize and remembered a women's home in the area who was baptized within the last year. We decided to visit this women instead while we happen to be in the area.

Unexpected, we knocked on their door. Her daughter (a faithful member) answered and invited us in to find this women draped on the couch with rags on her head. We talked to her and she said that she was having stroke like sypmtoms and was about to call 911. My companion and I looked at one another and made the instant unspoken connection. We acted and offered a priesthood blessing. At the close of the blessing this women sprung up and immediately was her old cheerful self. This women cried and was thankful for the immediate answer to her prayers thorugh us. We all shared this experience together and I didn't realize the magnitude of the Holy Ghost's divine guidance unil later with pondering in prayer.

The chruch is being established in Artashat Armenia. We see temporal and spiritual results of a divine council in every way. As ward members learn how to emmulate the example of their leaders in imparting of their substance and take part in retaining and reactivating efforts. Investigators baptized these past few days are forming strong realtionships with the ward members and leaders. Establishing the church through a divine council by continual counselling has lead to greater revelation, changes in missionary work and blessings in our area. A divine council has been paramount to the progress.

Elder Peterson is doing well and I learn much from his example of Christ-like meekness and humility. I have much to learn and accquire and he has much to give. Every companionship is insipired. I love and appreciate him in all regards.

The blessings continue to flow in every imaginable way. Much has changed and been magnified in my life, with all humilty and dependancy on Christ I feel comfortable saying that I feel powerful and capable in all endeavours. With increased apptittude to draw from His source, the blessings and predicted conviction flows.

Thank you, 

Love Elder Lunt

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 97 - More than a feeling

Dear family and friends,

Another incredible week! We are being blessed in more ways than just the work and we are enjoying every moment with these wonderful people. This last week a man named prominent man named Haykaz was baptized. He had been coming to our church every Sunday for the last 8 years. What changed his heart? The spirit brought by The Book of Mormon.There is an evident power in then Book of Mormon imparted into the lives of the honest seeker of truth when read and acted upon.

Things continue to heat up and the work hastens as another family member of a part member family will be baptized this upcoming Saturday. The son Stiopa was baptized 2 weeks ago, daughter already a member and the real missionary in this scenario, and their Mom is going to be baptized this Saturday. Within the week, this family will be complete and ready for the Temple in due time.

The miracle family is going strong and will make it to baptism. They continue to amaze me and I learn much from their example and steadfastness. Many other prospects for baptism are preparing and making the necessary steps for preparation.

The ward is incredible, self sufficient and together we cover all 5 areas of missionary work. Finding, teaching, baptizing, retaining and reactivating have become one and the laborers many. 

Divinity is a steep objective in any venue, but so is our progress. Continual counseling helps us achieve this divinity. Continual counseling --and the manner of thinking to establishing the church through a divine council--- is a catalyst for something greater...A divine council. Just as simple as continual planning was in refabricating planning. Continual counseling and the mindset of a divine council has influenced how we work in every aspect of the work. Clearly stated, we have found the doctrine behind it is establishing the church through a divine council. 

Elder Peterson and I are doing great! We get along great and we persist in striving for divinity in our companionships. He is a great man and there is much to be learned from him. The opportunities are endless in every situation. I am grateful for this time and these many blessings.

Thank you,

Elder Lunt