Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Last Week

This is the last email which I will be sending home. I guess I'll be there soon enough that I can probably keep it short and just fill you all in when I touch down in Canada, but for the benefit of those who wont be in Calgary, I'll give an accounting of my final days in the Mission. 

Last Week was incredible! We had some great lessons, Wonderful Sacrament meetings, Fabulous meals, and 2 beautiful Baptisms! It was a huge blessings to be able to have both Jack and Sunny enter into the covenant of Baptism on November 10th. Strange to think that 2 years ago from that day I was entering the MTC with dreams of doing that very thing. Jack's Baptism was well attended by the YSA's and the spirit was so strong. It was amazing to think that his whole life has change in just the past 5 weeks. But he was prepared and happy to receive our message. His parents and grandmother drove up to see it and it was wonderful to me to see how his bold choice has had such an overwhelming effect on them. The Gospel of Jesus Christ Blesses Families. This I know without a doubt. Though we work with only singles here, we've seen how their families have grown with them. I'm so grateful that because my family has been so blessed that I've been able to help others experience the happiness that has meant so much to me. 

Yesterday we continued to teach. I'll admit its getting more distracting. Everyone knows I'm going home and many goodbyes are being said. I love the people here. One of the reasons its so tempting to come back to SVU is simply because of how great everyone I've met are. The Bishops, teachers, Students, and locals have won a huge piece of my heart. I will always miss this place.

Now I think I must come to an end. I'll put it in the words of the Apostle John in his Second Epistle:

 12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

And now I bid unto all Farewell. I loved my mission. I love The Lord, and I love each of you.

Elder Sunada

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hello Sandy

Hey Everybody!

So I forgot to mention last week that we had a trip to Charleston on Tuesday for my last Zone Leader Council. Which just so happened to correspond with the land fall of Hurricane Sandy. So we left BV at 5:30am that morning with the Lexington zone leaders with us. Through Virginia we had several small flurries and it was chilly, but not too bad. As we climbed in elevation up to West Virginia conditions got worse and snow started to stick. The ploughs hadn't made it out yet so we were left to travel in the ruts of the few cars and trucks who'd gone a head of us. On one particular section of road we noticed that the other side of the median that both lanes were blocked by trucks who'd lost traction climbing a hill and remained stationary. There was no going back anytime soon. Shortly after we received an text from the assistants stating that President Obama declared that West Virginia was in a sate of emergency and that our Zone meeting was cancelled. After we informed them that there was no turning back President told all those who were on there way to Charleston to continue on and take our time. Lets just say that we made it there safely, but Mud and Sand tires just don't cut it in winter driving. 

Power was out at both the Mission office and the Mission home. We ended up having a modified zone meeting once all of us had arrived safely. We were informed that we'd be spending at least the night in Charleston till things cleared up. After our meeting we went to the mission home and had one of the best days I've had in the mission. President taught us some doctrine in a level of depth I had never even considered. Elder Holder and I went with the Assistants to Target to get some lights for the night as we only had a flashlight, 1 candle and my headlamp. After returning we ate burgers from the barbecue then gathered in the Living room for a Testimony meeting. It had been years since I'd had such a powerful and intimate meeting with these Elders Which had become my brothers. Truly one of the most sacred experiences of my life to sit in a dark room with some of the greatest and hear each bear testimony of Christ and how he'd shaped each of us to become far more than we ever thought we'd be. At the close we settled down to bed and went to bed being full both temporally and spiritually. By the Next morning things had cleared up and we were permitted to return to our areas. 

The Rest of the week has been interesting. I've never been one to count down the days, but when its this close there's not much you can do about it, realizing that this may be the last time I do this or that. Thankfully I'm surrounded by good friends who've been able to help me keep going. We had an exchange with Roanoke where Elder Muirbrook came back to BV to spend a day with me. We were the oldest companionship in the mission at that time. It was pretty cool.

Jack and Sunny are both stoked for their baptisms next week! Jacks will be at 10am and Sunny's at 7:30. Its going to be an awesome anniversary. This last week its going to be weird but I think I'll make it alright. Speaking of which, much too do. Little time! 
Much Love!
Elder Sunada

Monday, October 29, 2012

So much to do and so little time


So Before even going to my emails today I had to check out for the Calgary Alberta Temple announcement! Found out that President Monson Himself dedicated the temple yesterday!! Luckily there were several news clips of the cultural celebration and the cornerstone placement. I even saw Logan and Adam O'Brien singing in a video! I can't wait to go see it myself. I also noticed that there's a good covering of snow, something I've been missing out on. I think I saw more snow in those few pictures than I have in my whole 2 years here. Thankfully there's good news on the way! Well, maybe thats a little selfish seeing as I'm getting excited about a Hurricane followed by a cold front. I'm glad for the proper weather for the season, however I've been told that this could really mess things up on the coast itself. We've only heard bits of whats happening, but we know that much has been evacuated. Hopefully all the preparations will save many lives and what property they can. 

This past week has been pretty sweet. Interviews with Pres, My last one till I sit in his office the night before I go home. So it was a pretty simple one saying that we'll talk more then. Tuesday was our P-day. on Wednesday we got up early and headed for Roanoke to hear Elder Scott D. Whitting of the 70. It was incredible. He spoke to us so directly. One of the things that stood out in my mind was his talk of how little we were aware of going on in the church. The work of the Lord is truly being Hastened and such exciting things are happening. I feel that we are about to embark on an age in the church in this dispensation that hasn't matched since the early days of the Restoration. We will cease to exist in obscurity to the world. I'm anxious for what great things shall happen. I'm saddened that I won't be on the front lines of the mission field for it, but I hope that my efforts have steadied the foundation for the work. 

After the main conference the Zone Leaders and a few other select missionaries were invited to meet with Elder Whitting in a smaller setting for some more personal council and question/answers period. I felt very humbled to be so blessed by this opportunity. I learned things that expanded my knowledge and increased my light. It was a profound experience. Reflecting on my mission I've realized that I've been privileged to be in the presence of many general Authorities. Elder Pieper, Elder Jay E. Jensen, Elder Lancing, and Elder Whiting of the Seventy, Elder Neil L Anderson and Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, and this coming week we'll be hearing from Russell T. Osguthorpe, General President of the Sunday School. Its been Truly amazing. 

The work in BV has been going well enough. Due to everything going on we had less proselyting time, but we still had some great lessons with Jack. He's so excited for his Baptism and he's determined not to let anything get in the way of the new found happiness in his life. We're Stoked for him! There's much to do here and so little time to do it. I've also seen other blessings come this week in others coming to me and sharing spiritual experiences. Man. I'm going to miss this. Gotta make the most of the time I got left so I'd better be going on now! 

Much Loves!
Elder Sunada

PS: Beka Rayburn Bids everyone back in Canada Hello! {She secretly wishes she was Canadian ;) }

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A good week.

What up!

So remember how last week I mentioned that I was staying in BV and not traveling around? Well that didn't happen. The night before the Blacksburg exchange we felt like something different should happen. So we prayed about it. And got the answer that I should go to Blacksburg with Elder Soloman. I was a little bummed, but only because I was more content to stay put rather than pack and such. But thank heavens the Lord knows whats best. We had a great exchange in Blacksburg and were able to get a lot done. Its cool to see what happens when you put your trust in him. 

Lets see, not a lot is coming to mind. Its been a good week. We have Jack on date for Nov.10th, and even though she's not in our area, Sunny's getting baptized that same day after a long delay. Kinda a nice 2 year anniversary celebration just before I go home. But I ran out of time to write today. 

Love Yall!
Elder Sunada

Monday, October 15, 2012


This week History has been made. We finally achieved the Missions Standard of Excellence! This is a first not only for this area, but the zone, as well as a new personal record. The Standard of Excellence are the base goals that we strive for as set by President Pitt in the areas of Finding, teaching and setting people with Baptismal dates. Not only did we meet it, but we exceeded it. But it was not so much that we are any good, rather that we were favoured and blessed of the Lord this week. We picked up and taught 4 new people, each with a strong desire to learn more and feel closer to God. At the start of the week we had set up 3 of these people to begin teaching. Then one day while we were filling time during a missed appointment I spotted a student who I knew wasn't a member. It'd been the first time I'd seen her since the beginning of the school year so I struck up a conversation. Assuming that she was a member, Elder Holder straight out asked if we could meet with her. Without missing a beat she agreed! Without knowing it, she'd also attended General Conference and felt really good about going. Somethings you just can't plan out that well, but The Lord is pretty darn good at it. Its so exciting to be serving right now. 

This morning we Got up early to go to the Butler home where newly called "ELDER Wesley Butler" was getting his suitcases together for his flight to Salt Lake City. He reports to the MTC on Wednesday. He gave a stellar talk yesterday. Elder Holder and I talked before him but he straight up blew us out of the Water. I'm excited to hear what great things he'll do as he serves in the Los Angeles Mission, Spanish speaking. It almost makes me wish I was just going out instead of going home. 

I did celebrate a little bit of Canadian Thanksgiving. One of our ward mission leaders is Canadian and after our Coordination on Monday he took us down to Subway where I got a Turkey Sandwich. Even with that I still felt pretty Grateful for everything God's given me. 

It looks like this week shouldn't be too out of the ordinary. We have a zone meeting but we're holding it in Buena Vista and afterwards I'm going on exchanges but staying here. The following week however is pretty messed up. We have President interviews on Monday, which means P-Day and emails will be pushed till Tuesday, then on Wednesday half the mission is meeting in Roanoke to hear Elder Scott D. Whitting of the 70 to speak to us. I'm pretty stoked. He spoke in General conference about Temples. Then in the following weeks will be more exchanges and at the end of the month another trip to Charleston for what will be my last Zone Leaders Council. Its going to be a wild ride to the end and I'm going to love every minute of it!

Love Yall,
Elder Sunada

Monday, October 8, 2012

Called to Serve Him‏

Holly Hannah What a Weekend!

Is it just me or does General Conference just keep getting better? The Lord surely is hastening His work with the announcement of missionary service now available to 18 year old Men and 19 year old Women!!! The ramifications of this will be huge! I can think of no better time in all the ages of the world to be a missionary than to be one in this present day. Sadly I will not be in the field to see these youngsters make their debut. However, I'm really excited to use these last few weeks to prepare as many as I can. We have a meeting with the Stake President and President Pitt later this week and I hope that they decide to let us focus even more on the Prospective missionaries here at SVU. At the time of the announcement Saturday morning the building erupted. Many men, including myself, sat in awe. Mouths gaping. Many Women Burst into tears and clung to each other. Now more Sisters than ever will have the opportunity to serve, and I believe the quality of those sisters will help to increase this work traumatically. I will always remember that day. I feel very blessed to be able to be here at this time with these people. 

The rest of conference was likewise inspiring. Addressing things that reduce members commitment to the Gospel Elder Cook said:
 "The first is unkindness, violence and domestic abuse. The second is sexual immorality and impure thoughts. These often precede and are at the root of the choice to be less committed."
 Elder Oaks spoke out strongly against abuses to children in all and anyway imaginable. He emphasized that 
“Children need the emotional and personal strength that comes from being raised by two parents who are united in their marriage and their goals.”
Though those talks outlined many evils we face in the world, I found it comforting that Elder Anderson then spoke on "How do we maintain our Faith" and Elder Bednar concerning "Testimony and Conversion." 

As if Conference wasn't enough to make my weekend, We also have 3 new investigators lined up for lessons this week!! One at least directly from conference. I feel like the Lord was waiting for this week to bless us. I'll be honest, hitting the last transfer of the mission was tough. It was worse that I expected by far. But Conference is just what I needed to buoy me up and help my resolve to work hard till the end. 

Oh! I forgot also that we had a Zone Leader Council on Friday. Also a spiritual Highlight. I didn't have to drive which allowed me to sleep the way up so I didn't fall asleep this time in the meeting (a first). It was a great meeting in which I was truly enlightened. Learning from President Pitt shows me just how many more of the Mysteries of Heaven I have yet to learn. A life long process indeed. 

Well I don't think It gets any better than that. FALSE. I made Crepes this morning :)
Sure Love Yall!
Elder Sunada

PS I can't believe I almost forgot this part!! Sister Covington took Elder Wilder and I out for Lunch!! So Awesome!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Beginning of the End.‏


Here it is. I thought perhaps this day would never come. Tomorrow is the first day of my last Transfer!!!...Gosh darn. But the good news is that I'll be staying here with Holder. Elder Turner and Parker will also be staying. But...ELDER WILDER IS MOVING IN JUST A FEW DOORS DOWN WITH ELDER BUTLER!!! I'm so happy that I'll be serving near him. I'll have 2 of the greatest companions together!! So I'm pretty stoked for that. 

This past week was another fun one. Elder Holder and I managed to pull off a decent zone meeting in Roanoke, then I got to travel up to Blacksburg with Elder Morgan. The VT Campus has a very different feel. For one its a lot larger. And its a technical school so most of the students are engineers. I did my best to keep up with them but I don't know much about nano technologies or biomolecular compounds and things of that nature. It was a fun time but It was good to be back in little old BV where kids just talk about Dante's inferno. I think I can keep up with that. 

The rest of the week went on pretty normal. Lots of appointments. Lots of meetings. Saturday I was getting a bit warn down with everything. Just having one of those days where you do lots but wonder if it meant anything. Thankfully Heavenly Father knows when we're going through rough times and knows who to send to cheer me up. Also Sunday was such a good day! There were some wonderful testimonies born and I felt the spirit pretty strongly throughout the day. We had a lesson right after church with a girl who told us that she felt her faith was growing and she could trust God. She still had bad days, but had a determination to do be happy no matter what. Felt good to know that we had helped her along. 

So Overall it was a pretty crazy week. Oh!! Today we went hiking with Wes Butler. But it was raining and we got pretty soaked. We went to a place called the Devils Marble Yard. Pretty much just a big bolder field along the valley side. It felt great to get some rock under my feet and to know that I could still get around up there. I didn't even feel that out of breath. But Maybe I'll just be feeling it tomorrow. 

Well I think thats all I got for now. I love yall and Can't wait to here from you Before I get home ;)

Elder Sunada