Recently, I noted my two oldest children spending a lot of time on Facebook. I decided it would be a good idea if I checked it out, so I created me an account and started looking around. Within moments, I was hooked. I found old classmates from Morgan High, former coworkers and former neighbors. It was a lot of fun.
I started wondering, who else might I know on Facebook? I noticed one of my good friends was a member of a group from his lds mission, so I checked and found two groups for me (I served under two different presidents).
Now, I must confess I am horrible with names, and most of the people in the groups did not sound familiar. But I remembered Elder Hunter had married a former sister missionary, and I saw an entry for Becky. I wasn't sure if it was his wife, so I googled her name. What I found was shocking. Elder Hunter had passed away back in 2007.
I went through a range of emotions. Firstly, I was shocked. He was so young, so energetic. How could this happen? I felt ashamed for not keeping in touch with him. He was one of my favorite companions, and I had done nothing to keep in touch. I felt concern, wondering how his family was dealing with this loss.
Now, I mainly want to put down some memories of him. Honestly, I'm not sure why, but it just feels like the thing to do.
Hunter and I became companions when I was 22 months into my mission. He was the perfect, inspired choice for me. I was feeling run down and tired, and his enthusiasm was contagious. I was the zone leader A, but in truth he was A+. He gave me a renewed drive to finish strong which I did not think possible. Most of journal entries reflect this. He truly was an inspiration.
One funny memory I have is of an experience with a lady named Roseanne. We had been teaching her for weeks, and things were going well. In fact, she was close to baptism. We had invited her to an activity at the church one night. I don't recall the activity, but I recall her insisting she needed to talk to Hunter alone. Since we were in the church, we figured this would be ok. They went into the kitchen, and I stood outside the door.
Well, it turns out she wanted to confess her love for him. She chased him around the kitchen, trying to steel a kiss or a hug. When she finally abandoned her plan and left, he was an absolute wreck. It was probably just minutes, but he looked like he had been working out for hours!
I also recall an entry he made in my journal. It was addressed to my future children. He bore a quick testimony and urged them to listen to their father. It was not a long entry, but it shows his thoughtfulness and foresight.
I remember him having such a strong testimony and an ability to relate to others. He had a way of reaching all. He was a great leader, and really took our zone to new heights.
One particular young lady had been investigating the church for months. She had been taught by numerous missionaries. There was nothing we could teach her that would help her make the decision to be baptized. We bore plain and simple testimony to her, and eventually she chose to be baptized. I think it was due to the way Elder Hunter could reach people, the way he knew what to say.
He truly was a great missionary. He turned the last two months of my mission into two of the most productive. There simply was no way you could not be enthused around him. Every day was filled with a desire to work hard and do your best.
I regret not knowing Cory's family, and for not staying in touch with him over the years. He truly was a great young man when I knew him, and I am sure he left behind a lasting legacy.