Friday, December 30, 2011

Back to the Streets

Wassup yall!
For an update from last week, I am doing much much better! I was discharged from the Hospital on Tuesday evening and stayed the next two nights at the Overbys, who took great care of me and nursed me back to health. We stayed at Souths apartment the rest of the week through Christmas, which made it easier to share the car seeing as I wasn't able to do much work on my feet. But my recovery was rapid! I'm currently back on my feet, off all painkillers as of last Friday. Since then I've been getting around very well. Rarely do I ever feel the surgical pain. I'm almost at full mobility again (I still have a hard time stretching all the way backwards like I used to but all good aside from that). So This week I'm planning on getting back into the full swing of things again as though It never happened.
Christmas has been really fun this year too. Spending it with the other Elders made it so much more enjoyable as we all were able to keep the excitement up. They are good Missionaries who are hard working and fun to be around. I'm in a great District! I really hope Elder Heiner and I will be able to find some to add to our teaching pool so we can get the ball rolling. I've had a much harder time Street contacting here than in any other area. Most people will tell you straight up that they're not interested and just walk off. I guess that's just city folk though. But There are good people here I know it!
OH! And there's also something else way exciting here. I ask the locals what there is to see and do around town. The Answer is typically, Not much. haha but what they don't realize is how cool it is that they have Not one, but TWO TIM HORTONS!! That's right. Timbits in Parkersburg West Virginia. I nearly Cried for joy when I saw that beautiful Canadian Icon. We even have gift cards to go there!! I'm super stoked! But I think that's All I got for the moment.
Thanks again for all the Prayers that went out on my Behalf. My biggest fear was that I'd be stuck in recovery mode for weeks of my mission. But I'm now ready to continue the work I was sent here to do. I know it was by the Power of God that things went so smoothly and that I am as healthy as I am.
I love you all so much and I hope that each of you were able to feel the Spirit of Christ this Christmas Season.
Elder Sunada

Monday, December 19, 2011

Still kickin folks!!‏

Hey everyone

So I'm sure many of you have heard that I've been having a very interesting weekend. Friday night I started feeling stomach pressure and thought I was just suffering from bad gas. Later that night however I couldn't seem to lie down without feeling extreme discomfort. After upchucking twice I asked my companion to give me a blessing of healing, after which I threw up once more and fell fast asleep.

Saturday morning we consulted with the mission nurse who said there was a flu bug going around and it would be best to rest in bed all day. Though the feelings of nausea had faded I was still left with bad stomach cramps whenever I moved and a fever with chills. Sunday morning I noticed that the pains had become localized in my right side. After giving the nurse another call we were told we should go get it checked out at a clinic. The parkersburg south elders left church to come pick us up and after a few quick checks the clinic said that I'd better get over to the ER. After registering it took a few hours to get into a room. All the signs suggested an appendicitis. A CT scan an hour or so later confirmed. I was scheduled for surgery shortly there after. The last thing I remembered was being in the anesthesia room at 10:10.

The operation lasted less then an hour. Pres Pitt and Sis Pitt came up to see me last night as well which brought great comfort. The ward has been great in doing little things for me even though I know them very little. Members from Gretna also gave me a call which was awesome. The surgery itself went well. Even though my appendix had ruptured I got lucky as the were able to remove it through 3 small holes instead of through a large incision. Saving me a gastely scar and some recovery time.

Today I've been doing my best to recover and eat and drink. Currently I'm using a members phone to send this out so I'll have to fill in more details later. I'm so grateful for all the prayers and blessings. I know I've come out better because of them.

I love you all. I'd love your letters too! Merry Christmas!
Elder Sunada

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Send a prayer Kurt's way

Elder Sunada went into the hospital this evening for an emergency appendectomy. Both his mission President and wife arrived at the hospital to stay with him through the night and until he is stable. Mom was able to speak to Kurt for a few minutes and he is doing okay, but was a little groggy from pain meds. We feel he is in good hands and expect everything should go well, but a few extra prayers for Kurt couldn't hurt!

Thanks and we'll keep you posted,


Thursday, December 15, 2011


1107 32ND ST APT 2
Hey just a quick update! This is my new address. I'm really excited to be in Parkersburg. We have a lot of work to do and Elder Hiner is Great! 
Well thats all I can do for now. Love ya!
Elder Sunada

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'll Be in ******* For Christmas‏

Hey Everybody!

What A Busy Week in Gretna! We did Even more service this week trying to get people ready for the winter season ahead. More Chopping and Delivering wood and even installing a chimney sleeve 30 feet up! It felt good to get up on a roof again. Its Finally starting to get cooler in Gretna. Meaning there's actually some frost on the Ground in the mornings, but it normally disappears by mid day. Elder Wilder and I have been doing a lot of running around and visiting people. Oh! We went to Lexington Last Sunday! Got to hear Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the 70 and the Stake president give some good talks! Sadly we didn't have any investigators show up. They all ditched a few days before. Its hard to get people to understand just how important coming to Church is in the first place, not to mention when there's a General Authority there. Until they actually go they'll never fully understand that its so much more important than whatever else comes up Sunday. I'm glad I've learned for when I go home not to miss Church unless I absolutely have too. I can't afford too! Luckily the Covingtons saved the day again and we went with them using Mark as our "Less Active" hahah. I am going to miss them both so dearly, as well as all of the other Familes in the Gretna area because....
Yes, I am finally getting transferred. No big Surprise. Not to pleased either. I would have loved to stay for Christmas, but I'm ok with what the Lord has in store for me else where. I'm going to be serving in a ward. A good Ward from what I hear. In a small city. But then again, all of the cities here are small. Its going to be farther north which means... Yup! You guessed it, I'm Finally going to be serving in WEST VIRGINIA! Parkersburg North to be exact. Its one of the most Northern parts of our mission, so I'll be going to the opposite end of the mission (long Drive tomorrow...) Its on the boarder of Ohio along the Ohio river and we will actually get to cover part of that state as well I Believe so I'm super stoked for that!! And Hopefully with the northerly climate I'll get some snow along too!! The Down side? From what I hear we share the city with another set of Elders, and also share a car. Meaning one week we drive, the next we walk. In the winter. But that means maybe I'll get back into shape! My companion is Elder Hiener (I think thats how its spelt). I know I've met him once before but I still can't recall his face. I hear he's pretty legit though and I'll get along with him great so I'm excited to meet him and work with him. 
Well, thats the main bit of news. Now I just have to cope with leaving behind the Town I love, as well as a great Branch (perhaps one of the best in the Mission) and a fantastic companion. Elder Wilder and I have had way too much fun together and we never got in a single fight or even argument. I can't wait to chill with him in the Future. I'm excited for the new challenges ahead, and to finally be a real West Virginia missionary. Its going to be a blast! 
Love you All! 
Merry Christmas Season!
Elder Sunada

Monday, December 5, 2011

Last week before transfers...‏

That's right, its that time again. Transfers is coming up right around the corner. Let this be a reminder that Next weeks email will come Tuesday. Also this could mean that I may be leaving the little Town of Gretna just prior to Christmas. People keep asking me if I'm tired of Gretna. Really I'm not. I could stay one more very easily. I have a form of Family here. People that I love and care for, and they do so in return. I guess I'll have to do as I've done thus far, and trust that Wherever the Lord sends me, it will serve his purpose and not mine. I've taken comfort in the scriptures:

Isaiah 55
¶For my athoughts are not byour thoughts, neither are your cways my dways, saith the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my aways bhigher than your ways, and my cthoughts than your thoughts.

So come what may, I'll keep my head up, and love it.

Last night was the First Presidency's Christmas devotional. For any of you who didn't get to see it, may I suggest that you go watch it soon?

I wanted to share one of the exciting things that was released during the devotional. President Eyring shared that the Church's work on short videos based on the Bible is now becoming available for all the world to have. He described it as a gift from the First Presidency of the Church to the world. A 9 min Clip was shown of examples during the conference which was so neat to see! Also the Church has announced that some 100 Short clips will eventually be released based on Stories from the bible, free to the world.

“We intend for these videos to be used freely by individuals, families, and groups,” said Elder Lynn G. Robbins, Executive Director of the Media Services Department. “We want to help our own members strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ, and we offer this freely to other churches who may wish to use these videos in a similar way. The message of the Lord Jesus Christ needs to be shared as widely as possible throughout the world.”

I'm super stoked to be able to check these videos out in the Future as well as share these with others to help them strengthen their faith in Christ. I can't wait to make watching the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional a yearly tradition in my family as I feel it really starts off the Christmas season well and with Christ as the Focus.

As for this upcoming week, its going to be a busy one! It always seems that you have the most plans on the last week of the Transfer. A lot of this week is service based. Chopping more wood, scraping up old floors, moving furniture, burning leaves, etc. I've actually got some callus back on my hands! Feels Great :D But we also have some good lesson's planned and are working towards a special focus this week. This upcoming Sunday in yet another special one. Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Quorum of the seventy will be in the Buena Vista Stake and has asked for all missionaries serving in the stake Boundaries to invite all investigators, recent converts, and less actives to a special meeting Sunday morning just prior to the regular Sunday services. Way cool!! Another General Authority this Transfer. Apparently Elder Jensen used to be the Chancellor of Church Education. The Drawback? The meeting is at 9 am in Lexington, some 65 miles way, over a windy mountain pass. So it may be hard to get some of the people we've invited there but I have faith that If they truly put forth the Effort, God will bless them in securing a way for them. Exactly what is going to be said there is any one's guess, but I know that the Spirit of God will be present and all in attendance will come away with a Strengthened testimony of the Restored Gospel. So, if this is my Final Hurrah in the Gretna Branch, then I'm going to do my Darnedest to get people to this conference and leave the Area on a high.

I realize that I'm jumping around quite a bit but I just wanted to comment a little more on Yesterday. We had such a great fast and testimony meeting yesterday! The Spirit really was strong and many great testimonies were borne. I wanted to get up and speak knowing that it could be my last Sunday, but the time went over and I was not able to get up on time. So make sure you never let those awkward moments pass when no one else is getting up. Be the one to start the trend! I will make sure not to let that happen next time. We visited a few other families that afternoon and had a Great Supper with the Covingtons. I really could write a full email just about them and how much they do for us. They even prepared for us a special gift that I will cherish forever. May Heaven Bless them Both!

Well I think I've gotten out most of what I need to for the time Present. I hope that everyone is able to get into the Christmas spirit soon this year. Look for opportunities to serve and give to others. Remember always that Christ is at the Centre of all our Christmas Celebrations and it is all in Loving memory of Him.

Much Love,
Elder Sunada

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy (American) Turkey day!‏

Hey Everybody!
So I'm back in Lynchburg for Pday, meaning I'm using junky computers 
with limited time so it may be a shorter one. As aformentioned, it was
the American Thanksgiving weekend and I Got STUFFED. So much food! But
Good Food! And I think I'm going to have to go on a diet now haha.
Well maybe I'll just work better at controling my portion size, Until
Christmas that is. 
We spent Thursday partying and eating with the
Rainvillies who had a bunch of their family over. We were able to play
games (it was P-day because we sacrificed time on Monday for it) eat
more food, and just relax. But we were also able to give Bro.
Rainvilles grandaughter a blessing so we made use of it anyways!
Friday we had a district meeting in Lynchburg and were supposed to
have an appointment right afterwards, but it fell through. It actually
worked well because then we were invited to the Campbells family
gathering in Lynchburg for MORE FOOD. 
Yep, I'm going to start running
I think. And I'll have to run now because its going to clock me out in
15 secs.
ELder Sunada

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Great Trip to Charleston!‏

Again I'm a day late, I know. There is a legitimate reason however. Due to the American Thanksgiving this week out P-Day was split up for Monday Morning, And Thanksgiving Evening. Yesterday we needed to get Laundry done and I didn't get around to an email so we've made a quick trip to the Library today. Thursday We'll be enjoying a feast with the Rainville Family and I'm pretty stoked for that.

So Last week was a great one! We went up to to stay with the Bedford Elders Friday night so we could catch a ride with them to Charleston early the next morning. Its always fun to stay with other missionaries. We got up around 4:40am and stopped in Roanoke at a McD's for Breakfast where I was able to fill my Timmys mug with hot Chocolate and give out a pass along card. Great Start already! The Drive up was fairly uneventful, aside from Elder Wilder and I singing in the back seat, and we arrived in Charleston about an hour before the meeting. The WHOLE mission was there! It was Crazy! No missionary currently serving has ever had it happen in the mission so that in itself was a special event. I got to see Elders that I haven't seen since the MTC days. It was wonderful. We filled every seat in the chapel and were crammed in on the pews. I got the end seat by the aisle I knew Elder Andersen would be walking down. I thought about how cool it would be if I could shake his hand as he walked by... We studied quietly in our seats and tried to invite the spirit as we waited for him to arrive.

When he entered the room we all sood as he walked in with a warm and friendly smile. As he passed he did not shake my hand, But before even getting up to the stand it was announced that he desired to shake everyone's hand in attendance! The coolest thing is how normal and relaxed he was. He'd say a few words as you'd pass by and look at you with a beaming smile. Once the meeting was officially started he stated that he hadn't prepared any specific message for us, but that we'd be able to ask questions and the meeting would be led by the spirit. Elder Andersen was in town for the Charleston Stake Conference the following day but made a specific point to ask and see us missionaries. Also accompanying him was Elder Seldon of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 I believe. He ask if Elder Seldon would Share his conversion story and a bit of his Bio.

I can't share even a portion of the things he said, even thought I tried my best to take as many notes as I could (probably more during that time than any high school class), but I will share some of the things I feel are relevant and that stood out the most to me.

He told us to pay close attention to Pres. Pitt, and always look to his example throughout our lives. He cautioned us not to compare ourselves to others but to "compare yourself with your best self." He talked about some of the experiences with the other Apostles and Prophets. In a meeting with Pres. Monson just last week he said that it came up that he was ordained an Apostle 48 years ago, and that within a month of that occasion, Elder Andersen was ordained a Deacon at 12 years old. We all feel inadequate at times, but its important to Remember how much Christ loves us and will help us through our challenges. He went into how the Priesthood has a part in all aspects of everyone's lives. He broadened our perspective on the "Paradox of Man," in that In view of all Gods great creations we are nothing, yet we are also his Children and his most prized with the potential to become his greatest. Every Soul is of Great worth.

He encouraged us that in order to help others we must "do our best, and Keep doing it. No goodness that we do will never do anything but help. There is power in being True and Faithful. He said many more things to us that I've been pondering lately and have grown in both knowledge and spirit from. But perhaps one of the greatest things he shared with us was his Testimony of Christ, Boldy proclaiming that he was his Witness, and that He Loves each of us. The Merits of our Redeemer mean we will live again with him in Judgment and Mercy. There was no doubt in my mind that this Man was an Apostle of the Lord, who had been commissioned for the work in which he was engaged. Hearing him speak of Christ increased my testimony as well.

His Final Challenge to us was this. The question that Jesus himself posed Rhetorically to the Pharisees in Matt. 22. "What think ye of Christ?" If we truly ponder that question in our minds and hearts we will grow closer to him that brings us peace and happiness throughout the eternities. Truly it was a day to be remembered in the Mission. I hope I was able to convey at least a small part of the spirit of that meeting. I don't know the next time I'll be under the direct sound of the voice of a servant of the Lord, but I know that I'll always strive for every opportunity that presents itself to do so.

Elder Sunada

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just a little late...‏


Sorry for the days delay. Yesterday we went out on a hike in Bedford County with the Covingtons. We got to the Covingtons early for a Big Breakfast, then Elder Wilder and I climbed up the Peaks of Otter, which are some of the higher Points of Virginia. It was a fairly decent hike. I'm feeling a little bit of it today in my legs. Partly because yes, I am out of shape for climbing, BUT Also in our defense, we made it to the top in half the time it recommends (about and hour and a half). We booked it up!! And after a short break at the top we ran down in 20 mins. It was really good just to get out and spend some time in nature and to feel the mountain breeze at the top. The Covingtons had Lunch for us at the bottom and we chilled out the rest of the P-day with them. Way fun!! And They are way funny! I've been so blessed to have met such great families on the mission.

We are also getting really excited for This upcoming Saturday's conference with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles! I've included a few excerpts from My mission President's Email to the Missionaries about this special event!

Our Dear missionaries,
This is going to be an extra-ordinary week as we prepare ourselves to listen to an apostle.  Because of the growth of the church, for an apostle to visit every stake it would take about 27 years to get to them all.  So it is a rare privilege to listen to one, let alone be a missionary who has the chance to listen for two hours as he addresses just the missionaries.

“The Twelve Apostles form a quorum and are second in authority in the Church.  They have delegated to them the duty and responsibility to preach the Gospel, and to see that it is taught in all the world.  They act under the direction of the First Presidency and are called by revelation.  The Twelve are called to the office of the Traveling High Council, and are to preside over the churches of the Saints, among the Gentiles, …and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles…and to unlock the door of the Kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature.”

So hopefully that outlines a little bit for those of you who don't know much about the Church how cool its going to be to hear from an Apostle of the Lord! And the entire Mission will be there!! I'll do my best to take notes and relay what I can for you about his address next week.

This past week for us passed by like most others. I spent a few days in Lynchburg on exchanges with Elder Penn. We had a party and were able to teach a great investigator of theirs. And Elder Wilder and Elder Rish were able to get a new investigator in Gretna! So we had some good success on both ends. We've also been clocking a lot of service. Most of Saturday we helped out at a fish Fry, and we've been cutting lots of wood to help people get ready for the Winter. I'm still doubting they ever get winter here. Its been borderline hot to me these last few days. However, the Signs of fall are clearly here as all of the trees have changed Colour and most have dropped their leaves. Very Pretty indeed.

Well I hope all that is able to make up for my lateness in writing. Love you all and would love to hear from ya!
Elder Sunada

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mmm That's good stuff...‏

Hi Everybody!

This has been another good service week for us. We've been helping The Smoots chop wood several days and getting in a good work out while were at it! In Fact, We decided to spend the better part of our P-Day today helping some more. It always feels good to put on a pair of work gloves and just "Get 'er Done!" My experience of cutting down tree's at LaFarge has come in handy as well. Everytime I pick up a chainsaw I think "yeah, I could be a lumberjack." But I've also had to learn how to cope with the hardwoods out here. It takes a little more"Umphff" To get through some of them. Last week one log in particular got the better of me. It was being stubborn and I couldn't get it to crack or stick enough to drive it with the sledge hammer. I kinda got into a frenzy swinging as hard as I could at the same spot. This mini rage got the better of me and my accuracy was off. I swung a little to far ahead and the handle hit the log breaking off the wedge. I was just a little upset about the whole ordeal. But I learned that sometimes its just not worth it to get too worked up over a little stump. I felt a little better when this morning Elder Wilder did pretty much the same thing and broke his axe handle.

Last Friday night the Covingtons took us out to a real Southern Restaurant which featured good ole country style cooking. Yes, there was fried chicken, Fried Fish, Biscuits, Buttery mash Potatoes and BBQ Ribs. But There was also some other things that I'd never seen before. Try Pork feet for instance. Pretty much from the Elbow of the hog down, just boiled I think. Tasty right? Well you know I had to try some, cause I'll try just about anything once, and there might now be another time to try this so what the heck. It was very fatty. Lots of Cartilage and goupy tissue. In the Heel I did find some meat that was a little more palatable though. I tried to eat as much of the Non-Fat parts as I could. Apparently people who like it will suck everything off down to the bone. Mmm. Then Brother Covington coaxed me into trying one of his favourite dishes. Its called Souse (pronounced Sao-se) meat. Its served in little inch sized cubes and looking at it is a mixture of pink and white gelatinous mass. Wanna Guess what it is? More pork feet. Just ground up and pickled or something. This was a little more hard to get down. I had to pull a bone out, gag twice and drink a glass of water to swallow. Interesting aftertaste as well. Gotta Love that country cookin!

So I'm still learning a lot about the south. Another fun Family is the Rainville's, who are originally from the New England area. I think the Cockney accent is awesome! One of these days I'll have to make a trip back down here and swing by the North East Just to see how things are different up there.

But I think thats all thats going on this week. I'm going to plan on getting some new investigators in the upcoming weeks. I'm excited to do some more teaching and hope that we'll be blessed in our finding but We'll just have to see how things pan out. Holiday season gets people busy so I hope that by having a bunch of names to go visit at least one of them will always come through.

Love you all! Enjoy the Good Eats back home!
Elder Sunada

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Almost over the Hump‏

Hey Everyone!
Happy Belated Halloween!! Guess what, I was Dressed up as a....missionary! Thought it was pretty clever myself. I did have on a orange, grey and Black skinny tie to help better match with the season. We spent last night in Lynchburg so I'm just hoping the apartment didn't get egged. Like all missionary apartments there's a picture of Jesus on the front door, so perhaps that was enough to deter them. 
Lets see, this past week we had a branch trunk or treat/ potluck. Sadly the weather outside was cold and rainy so they just had it all inside and had the kids go around to the classrooms to collect their candy. The treats that I got in my package came in Handy! And there wasn't too many kids either so I still had plenty to snack on with the other elders. The Event was well attended though! We even had to set up extra tables in the cultural hall. A fun night and our fridge was again replenished with a weeks worth of Leftovers. No complaints though. Gretna Branch knows how to cook! I don't think we've had to buy any real food besides milk in a few weeks. 
Sunday we both were assigned to give talks in Sacrament meeting. The topic was on Scriptures so I decided to talk on how the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price all focus on Jesus Christ. It also helped that I had almost finished reading Elder Talmages "Jesus the Christ" (I finished it yesterday, started back in January!). So it went over pretty smoothly. I feel better every time I give a talk. Less scared every time. But there's still times I'm thankful that I've been given the talent of being able to think on my feet. 
Well Seeing as tomorrow is Transfers Your all eager to hear where it is that I'll be going. Its a little town about 40 Miles South of where I am now. Yes indeed, I am staying in Gretna! (I'm in Lynchburg at the moment.) To both Elder Wilder's and my's surprise and pleasure we will be sticking it through till at least December 14th. Which makes 7 and a half months in Gretna, and 13 days over a year in Virginia. Who Knows where I'll be for Christmas but at least I'll be sticking around here for American Thanksgiving! Mmmm
In other news, we found out that on the 19th of November, there's going to be a mission Conference. Yes, the WHOLE mission will be meeting together in one place. Elder Neil Anderson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostle's will be coming to visit our mission and speak to us!!! Way cool!! Super Excited!! 
Also the 10th of November is the day the tides changes for me. It will be my "Hump" day, and the days that I've been out will become greater than the days I have left. A bitter sweet thought, like many things, but I'm working on making the next year even more productive than the first! 
Well I think that's All I got for now. Love you all!
Elder Sunada
PS: For anyone who hasn't yet, you should make a profile and then let me know about it so I can share it with others! You can be a missionary too!

Monday, October 24, 2011

There is a season, Turn Turn Turn‏

Hey Yall!
Good News! I'm Pretty much over my Cold. Bad news. Elder Wilder has been working through his this past week. Which meant another slower week as he needed more rest and we tried to avoid farther spread of the germs. But we did have some good highlights. We were able to do some good yard work this week. Elder Wilder got his education on a ride on lawn mower. I cut the first half of the lot then instructed him on how to do the rest. As I set him out across the field I realized I didn't tell him what to do when he got to the Ditch. Sure enough he tried to go straight down it. Luckily it wasn't to steep and he was able to get it out without damage. I had a pretty good laugh and he did a good Job on the rest. 
The trees are really starting to turn pretty down here. Anther week or tow and they'll be perfect colours. I'm also trying to make a point of Keeping my "U"s in my words so that I can Retain my Canadian Stature. We're hanging out in Lynchburg today with Elder Parker and Taylor. Its nice to have another Canadian around. At least the odds are even and we can hold our own if we get picked on. 
I'm so glad we have a good branch. The members are very good to us. Maybe too much at times. I haven't had to spend much money on food because Our fridge is always full with Leftovers. They also do a great job of helping us out when we need it. Hopefully I can help them out and grow the Branch a little more before I leave. Transfers is coming up pretty soon. Almost 1 full year in Virginia! Wowzas! 
They keep us pretty busy at church too. Yesterday Sis. Tuck had me do a musical number on the Piano again. a Marvin Goldstien arr. of "Lord, I would Follow Thee". Considering the lack of practise i had it went alright. Only 2 small hiccups. Then I taught the lesson in Sunday school. E.Wilder taught Priesthood. But it feels good when they keep us busy. Next week, We both Give 20 min talks! yay. Oh and a Trunk or treat on Friday! I'm dressing up as Elder Wilder wearing his Badge and a fat Poly tie. He'll wear one of my Skinnies. But yeah it should be a better week with both of us feeling better now. 
Love Yall!
Elder Sunada

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Change of Season

Hey Everyone!

Its been a fairly quiet week for us here in Gretna. Last Monday we went Bowling with the Lynchburg Elders. I bowled over 100 again! Hey, its a big deal for me.

I've had a bit of a cold going on this past week which has kept me rather tired. I went to bed before 10:00pm one night!! I don't think thats happened more than twice before on the mission. So I've been getting more sleep in. Taking lots of naps during lunch hours too. I'm just about over it at least so no worries. A lot of people around have been sick lately due to the changing of the seasons. Its made the work a little slower as well unfortunately but we're still finding ways to keep busy.

We had kind of a neat moment the other day too. We were looking for a less active woman who's address doesn't exsist... We knew what street she lived on but there was no house at the number. So we were able to ask a random walking out on the street if he knew where we could find her. He was kinda a sketchy character but he said that he knew her and she lived in a trailer just down the road. We stopped by that day and found no one at home. Then this past week we tried to stop by again. A young man, about our age answered the door. She didn't live there nor did he have any idea who she was. Oh well. But right after we talked to him for a few minutes he invited us in. We had a pretty good conversation with him and he agreed to let us come back and teach him more about the Gospel. So even though somethings don't work out the way you want them too, Heavenly Father always knows where we need to be and who we need to see. Its always a good reminder to us that its his work that we're doing and not ours.

Oh! The Fall season is setting in down here. The Tree's are starting to change colours and the leaves are everywhere. It came a little quicker than I was expecting. I'll try to get some pictures so yall can see what its like.

Friday was a pretty crazy day. We drove over 160 miles to Buena Vista and back for a Zone meeting. I love the Elders and Sisters in our Zone! They are way too funny and cool. Elder Klain of Cardston and I are dreaming of the day when we're both home and will be chillin in Southern Alberta Together. Waterton here we come! When we got back to our area we got a call to help a member move back into the area, but they lived way out in the Boons so we ended up driving another 50+ miles that night! It was pretty crazy but luckily We were able to stop at the Campbells for some great food and company.

I think thats all thats been going on lately. Well I love Yall and Hope to hear from you soon!

Elder Sunada

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy CAN T-Giving!

Hey Everybody!
This week has been pretty crazy. Yet again more Travel and much Service work. Sadly this also meant less teaching. But here's what went down. Monday we went over and Helped out Bro. Covington do some work on his house. Typically you don't do service work on a Pday but the Covingtons are chill enough that even when working Spending time with them is awesome. I call Sis. Covington Mama Covington because she takes such good care of us (feeding, mending clothes, scolding, etc) OH NO! The computer says I have 4 mins! Lame. I'll have to keep this one brief and try to finish tomorrow as I'll have work to do on the computer anyways. 
Thursday we went helped out at a funeral for an Elderly Woman in our Branch. We sang a short number and then helped with serving the Family lunch afterwords. It took the better part of our day to get it all done but we got to talk to a lot of less actives which was great and there were also Funeral Potatoes. You can't be too sad when your eating Funeral Potatoes. 
Well I'll have to finish this story tomorrow Ya'll. Love you much and Catch ya later!
Elder Sunada

Alright, So I have a few minutes to continue on where I left off.

The Weekend was a particularly busy one for us. We stayed in Lynchburg Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday morning we traveled to Buena Vista for President Interviews/ district meeting, and Sunday morning we got a ride from Lynchburg to Lexington with President Fowler for the Stake Conference. It was super awesome as the Majority of the talks were those of either recent converts and reactivated less actives. There were many strong testimonies born and stories of the Miracles that took place for those people to be where they are today. Then the stake President got up and spoke on Honest and Nailed in home. It was pretty intense but I think it was a great reminder for everyone just how important it is to be exactly honest in all of our dealings. President Fowler took us back to his home afterwards where his wife had made us a grand Sunday feast! These southern Biscuits may just be the end of me one of these days...

Monday we stayed up for our P-Day and spent it hanging out with Elder Stucki Who's going home this week. He was part of the other mission before it was joined with ours so his time is up and he's finally going to "the Land of Eternal P-Days". Actually he's pretty bummed that its all over so we tried to console him that at least now he can go hug a girl.

Last night The Smoots fed us again. We pretty much have a standing appointment to eat there on Monday nights. They are so much fun to be around! Sis. Smoot Always makes great home cooked meals. She even remembered to wish me Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! That was really nice and made me feel better about being here in the "Land of the Free and home of the Brave" thing. I was also able to talk to my other Canadian Cohorts in the mission and we offered each other a greeting and some comfort. But it was all good.

I got a letter from home last week with all the family in it! Thanks Guys I love you! Mail has a surprising effect on missionary Moral.

Well I guess that's all I got for now. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Elder Sunada 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pictures/ Come Listen to a Prophets Voice!‏

Hey Everyone!

So its been a fun week of traveling around and gettin er done!  We tried to do some service for a man by helping him Harvest Tobacco... don't ask me because I Don't know. For better or worse we couldn't find him in the Fields so Bro Smoot just showed us how to pic it and Elder Wilder Snagged a few leaves haha. We also put in some more great time at the Nursing home. It can be a lot of fun with some of those people. Your never sure just whats going to come out sometimes!

I'm afraid todays will have to be somewhat short but I wanted to touch on some of the highlights of this weekend.

ITS FINALLY FEELING COLD...ish. Getting down the the low 50's and sometimes even 40's! Feels good :)

Also it was General Conference!! For anyone who hasn't seen it yet I recommend watching it Asap!  I absolutely loved it! There was so much great guidance that I got from it. I love listening to a prophets Voice! Especially because Pres. Monson was so funny. His opening Remarks were this " HELLO. Now who should I call on to substitute for me this morning?" haha but more than that I felt strongly what he said was true. that the change in what the World thinks is morally right is growing rapidly. I see far too many families without Fathers or Mothers. Kids growing up in homes that are broken and destitute. So many don't know how much God loves them and how the Gospel can bless their lives. To have the words of a living Prophet to lead and guide us is such a great blessing! I can't wait to study the conference Ensign in the coming months. I also Loved Sis. Daltons talk on how Fathers should raise their daughters. I know, I've got a few years to go but I felt it was wise council I'll log away till then.

Well I really do have to be running. Love you all!

Thanks to those who've written letters. Each one Brightens my day!

Elder Sunada

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Transfer week‏

The Start of another Transfer always is a hectic time. Elders Coming and going. Getting up early or staying up late to get things done. Trying to update new planners and getting everything settled just takes a lot of time. But Thus far its all been awesome.

We stayed the Night in Lynchburg and got up early in the morning to Take Elder Bolan to the drop point. After we gave our farewells Elder Stucki and I went back and crashed for a few more hours (we had to have them at the drop at 4am). When we got up we decided that their apartment needed a major overhaul cleaning so I spent nearly 6 hours in the kitchen going over floors, walls, appliances, organizing cupboards and sanitizing everything in sight. Just so you know - I'm not a clean freak but when I see a dirty space and I feel the need to clean I get a little crazy about it.

Finally the Transfer train came in and we picked up my new companion Elder Wilder. He's is as awesome as he sounds, its true. We've been having a great time thus far. I have more in common with him than I have anyone else up to this point so we've been talking alot and quoting music and movies that we used to know back home. Even more exciting is that he's not afraid to get out there and talk to people! We also had our first lesson last night and I felt we did a good job of backing each other up and filling in where the other left off. I'm very excited to get some good work down this transfer and find out what else the Lord has in store for keeping me here. Elder Wilder is loving the area thus far. He's been in more urban area's and was shocked to see how far away houses were and got really excited to see all the fields of Tobacco. He wants to get a service job harvesting Tobacco plants haha.

Lets see, other than that we've just been getting back to regular work. Teaching him the area and meeting lots of people. Oh! President Fowler asked us if we would set up the satilite Broadcast at church for the General Relief Society meeting. Seeing as we didn't have anything left to do at that time we decided to watch it. First time I'd seen it but I really loved Elder Uchtdorfs message about the "Forget me nots" I think it was a great talk that applies to everyone. Check it out!

Well that seems to be all for the moment. OH WAIT. GENERAL CONFERENCE IS ON NEXT WEEK! Its that time again to listen to a Prophets Voice. Its probably one of the most exciting times of the year for missionaries. I hope everyone gets a chance to sit down and watch a least one session.

Its about time for me to get running now.
Love you all Much and Can't wait to get your Mail

Elder Sunada

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Filling the Font

I feel like a Hobbit

 Tiffiney's Baptism! President Fowler on right

 The Lawn Mower I killed...Don't worry it got fixed!!

Campbells and I

 At the Training meeting. 
L-R Sis. Stoutenburg from Wyoming, ME, Elder Klain from Cardston, Sis. Robago from California.

I'm going WHERE?!‏

Wow. Busy Week. Long Week. Much Happened. Much yet to Happen.

So Last Monday Elder Wiederholt and I went on Exchanges. We Spent that night, Tuesday, Wednesday and  Thursday Morning together. Tuesday he was able to give Tiffiney her interview for baptism. Wednesday we both Got up at 2:50am and Drove to Roanoke, then caught the Van up to Charleston. I actually managed to stay awake the whole trip up and back. Dozed a few times in the meeting but besides that I didn't get sleep till 12am that night! We got home just a little after 11PM. It was such a great meeting though! There were trainers from the MTC who flew out and taught us how we could improve the mission. After that meeting my Philosophy on many areas of Missionary work changed. I've got a way better sense of my purpose now. I know how to make Weekly goals happen through Daily Action. And I'm finally seeing why and how the things I've been taught and been teaching to Elder Bolan can be so effective when done properly. It was so cool and I'm excited to see changes across the mission! There was also nearly a Third of the mission there if no a little more so I got to see some old Friends again including Elder Pendleton (My Trainer) and Elder Partridge, who as it turns out is going to be the new zone Leader here! It was a great Trip and I'm so happy I was able to go and learn so much.

Friday was the Big Day for Tiffiney. Big day for us too. Thank heavens for the Branch members who helped out so much in getting things ready. It was the first time a Baptism actually happened in the Area I'm serving in while I was there! So I learned how to do all the Paper work and such. Tiffiney asked President Fowler to Baptize her which was way cool cause he's helped her so much and she said He never forced her to do anything but was always there to help her. He's so great!

Also on Sunday the Lot fell to me to confirm her a member of the Church and Give her the Holy Ghost. That was pretty sweet and something I'd never done before but it wasn't as scary as I would have thought at the Beginning of my mission. I've become quite comfortable now giving blessings and serving in that capacity. So we had a great week all in all.

I suppose your all now wondering where it is they'll be sending me...Well I got the Call and.....I'm going to Gretna!!! haha That's right had you all fooled. Had me fooled too. I'd packed up my desk and nik nacks. Small task mind you. Elder Bolan will be going to Peterstown WV, Which is awesome because I've heard great things about the place. But I'm totally cool with Staying another in Grenta! I've got much left to do here and I'll be getting Elder Wilder, Who I'm told is a very fun guy, to finish up what I've started. I'm super stoked! its going to be a great Transfer I'm sure!

So Don't worry My address will stay the same and I'll be here till I hit my Year mark 6 weeks from now...WHOA.

Till next week, LOVE YALL!
Elder Sunada

Monday, September 12, 2011

On the Road again...

Alrighty, well I've got a busy week lined up! But first I'll do a brief recap on last week.

We've had a pretty good week of meeting with people and getting things ready for Tiffiney's Baptism. We were able to get in contact with and meet with some people that have fallen off the Radar for a while. Sometimes as a missionary there's so much going on that you get overrun and don't know who to see, or who even wants to see you. But I've been surprised more often than not that when I put forward the faith to go and see someone who I don't think really wants us there they often are excited to see us and wonder where we've been. Its a huge blessing and relief and I'm making better efforts not to get those ideas in my mind and just let the Lord direct me where to go.

We spent a day of service at the Campbells. They're so Awesome! Sis. Campbell is a hard worker who's always busy running around doing something (she's also the Relief Society Pres.) Bro Campbell is always good to talk to for a laugh and to make you feel welcomed. Bruce...haha I'm going to miss him too when I get sent out of here. He Keeps me on my toes. He's got smart aleck remarks like Dad which make me feel more at home as well.

Friday was another trip to Buena Vista for a Zone Meeting, Where I was informed I would be heading to Charleson WV for a special leadership training this Wednesday. A good chunk of the mission is going to be there, which is awesome because I love seeing other Elders I've worked with before. Apparently they're flying in some people from the MTC to brief us on some of the changes being made in the missionary program and how we can help transition that in. I'm stoked to get back to Charleston or West Virginia in General. That news made this coming week all the more busy. Today Elder Bolan will be going to Lynchburg on Exchanges and Elder Wiederholt will be spending today, tomorrow, travel on Wednesday and Thursday morning with me. Super long Exchange but we figured it'd make sense since we'll both be going to Charleston. The one thing that is a little messed up is that its a Leadership Training... As of yet I've only been a trainer. News like this is questionable especially when Transfers are the next week. (which reminds me no Email till Tuesday next week)

This may then be my last week in Gretna. I've grown attached to the people here and the quiet lifestyle of the country. There is a chance I could stay but I'm kinda Doubting it at the moment. I wouldn't mind it at all if I stayed but if the Call goes to go elsewhere then I'll be stoked for that as well.

Oh yeah, BAPTISM THIS FRIDAY! Yay! I'm so Excited for Tiffiney. She's changed so much since I met her and I see how much the gospel has changed her life. Its wonderful. Farther happiness and blessings await her I know it! I'll be sure to let Ya ll know how it goes next week.

Till then, Much Love
Elder Sundad

PS. New exciting Letter Policy! Anyone who writes me a letter this month will get a prompt Reply and a limited edition picture! Limited time offer so get those letters rollin!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept 2011 pics

Chillin With Freddie at his B-Day

The Lynchburg District. Minus myself..

More Great Southern BBQ! (I still haven't gained any weight since Cave Spring FYI)

This is in memory of the Don, (Bro Blackmore) One day I will own a corduroy suit coat. 
Just try and Stop me.

Just A short one!‏

Hey Everyone!
This week will have to be a short one due to the Holiday monday and I'm trying to write this at a members before Dinner time!
Its been a great week! We had some great lessons and a great Fast Sunday meeting where many great testimonies were born. Elder Bolan and I also got to go to Sharing time in Primary to help out on a missionary lesson! I miss being around the kids! Even though that primary was pretty small (only 2 kids in attendance that day) it was still awesome to relive some of those long lost memories. 
Today we did another Photo Shoot with Sis. Joiner from the Lynch 1st ward. Photos of that will be posted some time or another soon hopefully so I'll keep you updated. It was a great chance to spend time with Elder Jensen and Elder Parker. Elder Jensen is of course from Lethbridge and Elder Parker is from Fort McCloud area so we all know people and places in Common back home. Elder Parkers even been through Gargantua cave so we had a good time reminiscing about that. We Also decided to spend some time shopping around at Burlington Coat factory trying on different styles just for kicks and looking through discounted ties. Ties are a big commodity to Elders and trading can be fierce for a nice one. I'm hounded for some of the nice ones I have. I think my collection thus far runs around 50 or so but some elders exceed 200. 
We have a solid baptism set for Sept 16 for Tiff and we're super excited for her! 
Well I really hate to cut this one short but know that I love you all and I'll try to make up for the lack later on. Perhaps I'll get a small chance tomorrow but if not, I'll be sure to do a proper fill in next week!
Elder Sunada

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rockin it

Still Rocking it out here in Virginia!

My Bud, Elder Houghton

Doing my Best to Represent!

You know we're cool....

yup I found another Fire Hall :D

Rumble, wind and Itch.‏

So its been an interesting week Down here in Virginia.

As some of you may have heard there was an Earthquake in Virginia! It was pretty sweet! I was in the house talking on the phone to an less active when all of a sudden I heard this mighty rumbling beneath the floor. At first I thought a large truck was maybe passing down our street or that it was the train. But after a moment it clicked that this was something bigger. Elder Bolan exclaimed "I think its a Earthquake!" and proceeded to jump in the Door Frame. It was pretty sweet though it lasted maybe 15 seconds. But there was no damage hear nor anything really major besides that all the phone lines got tied up and I couldn't make any calls for about an hour. That was a pain. But I've now been in an earthquake!!

We were also scheduled for a Hurricane to hit this past weekend. It fizzled down to nearly nothing and we Didn't get any rain here the day it was supposed to make landfall. We did go through a pretty Messed up rain/Lightening storm last Thursday driving back from Buena Vista. We had an another awesome zone conference with Pres Pitt. Mission presidents have an amazing ability to expound Doctrine! You can learn so much from their insights! On the way back we had to take it pretty slow as the rain was causing large puddles to form instantly on the Roads, but he Impreza has taken good care of us thus far.

So that Covers the Rumble and wind, But what of the Itch you may ask? Well I almost mentioned it last week but I didn't think it was very much at the time. This week I found out I got much more than I bargained for. The Wednesday before last we decided to help out a Family with some of the weeds around their house. Some of them were literally as tall as I was. So I got right in there and started lopping them down with some hedge trimmers. Then later I took everything down to the Root with a Weed wacker. I cut down a small forest enveloping their house. when I was done I looked like the Big Green Giant covered head to toe with Munched up greenery. Just like back home working on the Golf Course. Unlike the Plants of the golf course though, some of the indigenous weeds found here in the east are not very friendly... starting Friday I noticed that my arms were rather itchy and I was waking up in the night Scratching. It wasn't until Tuesday night that the real rash started appearing all over my body. small Red bumps soon turned into large clusters where the skin would turn bright red and swell a great deal. By Thursday morning we had confirmed that it was Either Poison oak or Ivy. And it was Just about everywhere on me. FUN STUFF RIGHT? Luckily I got hold of the Mission Dr. who prescribed me some Prednizone and itch cream so I've been managing much better. It still itches but the worst is by far gone. Sometimes I'm not sure about this whole East thing. They got some messed up stuff over here but I guess its still a pretty great place haha.

With all of that going on our week was slightly less productive than most. But we were able to teach 2 awesome lessons last night and we still have Tiffiney on goal for Baptism coming up! I'm stoked to end the Baptismal Drought in the Branch. And with any luck in the coming weeks we'll have a few more dates posted.

We'll I think that's all for now. I love you tons!
I love you tons more when I get mail too ;) ahah
Elder Sunada

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tiff & Josh

Hey So this Weeks is going to have to be a quick one. The Library filled up and things are way slow!! No Good! Also no pictures till next week at least. sorry!
But I'll get straight on to the good news then. We've had some really great Progress this past week with our investigators. We set a solid date for one on Sept 17th!  I'm also hoping to set another date later this week but we'll see. Its so cool to see how the Gospel changes lives. I've had a huge testimony boost of this lately. 
We had a lesson with Tiffiney and Josh. Josh hasn't been around much lately but since Tiffineys been back she's had some tremendous changes. Josh has noticed too and he really wants to change as well. It was especially cool when She bore her testimony to Josh about how happy she is now and how much her Baptism means to her. At first I was worried that Josh's interest was just so he could be with Tiff but in a later meeting we learned of his sincere desires to change and to be a better man in his life.
Tiffiney was able to make it to church this week and she looks so much different than when I first started meeting with her back in May. And no only in appearence but you can actually see that she's more peaceful and happy. Super cool! 
This week we have another Zone Meeting which means more Pres. Pitt and probably some more nifty little surprises that are going to change the mission. I'm excited to see what both he and the Lord have planned for us next! 
Great week over all. 
Miss ya'll.
Elder Sunada

Monday, August 15, 2011

Schools in Kids! hahaha

So Today as we were driving to the Library I noticed that there was an absurd amount of cars parked in the School parking lot. It baffled me for a moment until I remembered that School's back in session as of today for all of Pittsylvania County! HAHAHA Oh man I love being graduated from high school. I just had to throw that in.

Transfers were this last week. Only the zone leaders and Ourselves Stayed the same. All other areas were changed up some. So the next Zone meeting should be an interesting one. I was sad to see Elder Houghton go. We have some great plans to get together in the Future and Rock the World. Also a good deal of the elders down here have been trying to get me to think about going to Utah State University. I'm not so sure about it, but there are some pretty awesome people that I've met that are going there. I'm not sure thats enough to make me want to go but its a start. Anyways.

The rest of this week has been more of a quite one. Friday was spent mostly doing various service projects for different people. Lawn mowing, Bingo, visiting Ect. All good stuff. Oh Saturday we spent 2 hours tracting and knocked on 8 houses! Saw a lot of beautiful country side. On the Last house we knocked we stopped and talked to a man for well over an hour. He said we could come back and talk some more and we had a really great time. Sadly he's only visiting in town from Florida. So no new investigator but Heavenly Father did lead us to share the Gospel with someone. So our efforts walking miles around in the heat were not in Vain! There are many Tender Mercies that our Father in Heaven has given us. I've been reminded of a few this past week. Especially Sunday as there was a Baptism! It wasn't a missionary Baptism however, But a former member had made changes in their lives to work hard to get back into the Gospel. Seeing the changes that people will go through to feel the blessings of the Church is amazing! They were so happy being able to come out of the water again as a new person.

Well I'm going to have to Cut this one short but I'm so happy to be a missionary right now. I know the Gospel is true and its so wonderful to see if make other so happy and give people hope and comfort here.

Love Yall
Elder Sunada

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Maple Leaf District‏

Hey Everyone!

Sorry for the delay on emails this week. I forgot to mention that tomorrow was transfers and thus Tuesday (today) would be emails and not Monday. But Alas here I am! 
Its been pretty crazy this last week. Lots of Driving. We had to drive to Buena Vista for a Zone meeting, and from there we piled in the back of a Malibu for another hour to Roanoke For a special training meeting. The training meeting was great! There's exciting things going on in the Missionary world. The First Presidency has just rolled out the new Unified Train the Trainer for missionaries. Its an intense program which has a very structured 12 week program to follow for all new missionaries Globally. It also includes some new hardware. We got a Portable DVD player added to our apartment! Pretty soon all missionaries will get them but seeing as we are training using the Preach my Gospel Dvds we get first dibs on the new Tech. Sadly we can't take them out of the apartments to use in our teaching but thus far its been a great tool for morning studies. Our companionship study has improved immensely. I was running out of things to go over with Elder Bolan but I knew there was so much left to cover. Now we get a full 2 hours for companionship study and we almost always run out of time on what I want to accomplish. Much more productive. New missionaries are going to be much better teachers from here on out. I wish that I had the opportunity to go through this but at least as a trainer I get to do it as well and perhaps even benefit more from it now. So that's the main bit of exciting news. I'm part of the first generation of the new training program! 
Aside from that this week we've done a lot of running around Gretna. We had some good Book of Mormon Loans tracting, which is impressive considering how few houses we knock due to mass distances between properties. Have some new investigators! Oh and on Sunday we had some great news! One of our old investigators returned from North Carolina and is working to set up a date for baptism again and Also We had another investigator in Sunday school who said she really wanted to be baptized and wanted to know right away what she needed to do in order to prepare for one! So we should finally see some baptisms lining up this upcoming Transfer! I'm pretty stoked and I know that Elder Bolan is too. I really hope that we can make things work out to get these two in the water quickly. 
I most of the Zone is transferring out which is sad because we've had an awesome Zone. I love everyone that I've worked with so far. But its kinda neat too because we'll be getting the only other Canadian Missionary currently in the mission to our district! We'll be the Maple leaf District!! I'm way excited for that. Elder Jensen is going to try to secure me a copy of  O Canada for our Next District meeting. I've had to play all of their patriotic Songs, Its time for some Canada!
We'll I'd best be running and getting everything ready for the rest of the week. I miss ya'll lots. Can't wait to see your letters in the Mail ;) 
Elder Sunada

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hanging by a thread

Sis. Robago made a missionary Pinata! I tied the Noose.

Some great Elders from our District.

Freddie and I. He's way sweet. Gave me a cool jacket!

Elder Bolan and I on the Way to Buena Vista

Monday, August 1, 2011


Oh man I ate too much Chinese food too quickly today. The reason why I'm doing emails kinda late is because we went with the L1 Elder To Appomattox today. Its a town in there area which was were Gen. Lee surrendered with the Confederate army to the union and ended the war. It was pretty neat because up till now I haven't been able to stop and spend anytime in Civil war sites. This is a pretty important one so I was pretty stoked. A member from their area, Bro. King, took us and gave us a bit of a guided tour, then took us out to Chinese for lunch. We stopped by his place for a little while and showed us his Dairy goats. We got Some Cheese and Feta!! I'm excited to go home and eat some more later on. Anyways that's been my P-day so far. 
Sunday was a busy day for us in Church. It being a branch and the 5th Sunday of the Month it automatically designates us for giving talks in Sacrament meeting. I was a little worried for Elder Bolan Because he informed me that the longest talk he'd ever given was 7 mins. That was his Farewell talk. Our assignment was for 20+mins and he was to go first. So I was a little worried he was going to hang me out to dry but He did a good job and was able to pull up a solid 18 mins. I also kicked myself for sending home some of my previous talks that I've given. I could have saved them and improved upon them instead of rewriting them. I've learned. But we got through that well and I did an ok job of winging a Sunday school Lesson. Then we tried to go out and visit a bunch of less actives in Hurt, a little town on the northern edge of our area. I think we tried 7 or 8 houses and no one was home. Lame. Its always a little frustrating when you think you've got lots to do then it all fizzles out and you have to make plans on the fly. But we did alright. We finally got to the Covingtons, who fed us well and sent us on our way to Lynchburg. 
Earlier this week we had our first interviews with President Pitt!! It was awesome to be able to spend some time with him and his wife and get to know them a little better. He's also a great man, who's got a different style of doing things than Pres. Thornock but he's already gained my trust in his abilities to run the mission and to seek spiritual guidance from. It was awesome!
Oh I think I forgot to mention that a few weeks ago I had to play piano in Sacrament meeting for a musical Number. First public performance I've given since I was probably about 11 or 12. I practised as much as our schedule would allow and I did alright. I had a few more hiccups than I would have liked but I got through it and the Branch seemed to enjoy it. 
I found out today that I'll be staying in Gretna for sure for at least another transfer. It was expected anyways but Now I know for sure. they're Introducing a whole new training curriculum and they want those who are half way through training to start working on it too. So on Wednesday after our Zone Meeting we'll be heading into Roanoke again for some Train the Trainer meeting. Sadly I don't believe I'll be able to spend anytime visiting anyone there because their zone leaders will be driving us and we'll have to make it back to Gretna that night from Buena Vista. Crazy day but it should be fun. Well I think that's all the big things going on so far. 
Love you all and miss ya!!
Elder Sunada
PS.I'll try for some pictures next week.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Paint it Red.‏

Icarumba! Es Muy Caliente!!

Or in other words, ITS BEEN WAY TOO HOT!

Haha so this past week there was a bit of a heat wave with temperatures getting up to the 100F(38C) or up to 110F (over 40C) on the Heat index taking into account for humidity.

So what did we have planned for these days? Service in the Sun!! Friday morning we went over to the American legion to help distribute food to fixed and low income families. We started at 8:30 in the morning when it was already almost 90F. We helped unload boxes of food for a good few hours, but after that we had a great lesson with a very promising investigator and some members in the Church! It was great as we were able to give her a tour of the building and have a great lesson! THEN she showed up to church on Sunday! :D Its been a little while since Gretna's had a solid investigator so I'm really Excited for her!

After our lesson we helped deliver some food and then went for our weekly Bingo at the Nursing home. Some of those Seniors are really growing on me! We go there about twice a week to visit members who are staying there as well and I always have to stop and say hi to someone in a wheelchair rolling down the halls. Its pretty sweet.

After that we had some more service! Out in the sun... haha it was really really hot but I actually enjoyed it. We were helping a Part member Family paint a deck. Practice staining the fence back home helped out so I guess I owe you a thanks Mom and Dad ;). The next day, we decided we hadn't had enough and again went out into the heat to paint. This time I got to get up on a ladder and paint! I miss being at heights. Whatever my job is when I get back home I hope it involves me way up in the air looking down on everything. They are a pretty sweet family though. I also scored a sweet Jacket out of the deal! I was going to Trade Freddy a CFD patch for one of his old ones when he brought me out one of his old Jackets with a few patches on it. Freddy's the man! So most of our numbers were a little lower this week with all our service but that didn't bother me so much because we had some really great lessons on the side and our next week is almost fully booked already which means, Less Tracting in the Heat!! :D

We stayed in Gretna last night because were staying in Lynchburg tomorrow night. In the morning we have our first President interview!! Followed by a district meeting and some more service for a family in their area. I'm really excited to spend some 1 on 1 time with President Pitt. I was talking to Elder Jensen last night about how much we love and Miss President Thornock but also about how cool its going to be to get to know the new President and see what he's bringing to the table. Its been going great and I can't wait to see what the next week will bring!

Miss you all and I hope all is going well on the home front! Let me know whats going on ;)

Elder Sunada

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gluttony fest at Macado's

In all we ordered 50 wings and two 2 foot long Hindinburgs between 4 of us.

Picture from Fishing a few weeks ago. This is Bruce. one of my Favorite Rednecks.

Our little Salamander Stow away.

Leaping Lizards!!‏

So this was a fairly typical week of tracting, going to appointments, getting stood up, more tracting ect. Haha its been alright though because we did get some awesome lessons in with Members and some less actives.
Some of the people here are too funny. Elder Bolan and I were waiting in our car in a parking lot waiting for someone to meet us (sounds sketchy right?) If your driving around with a big cigar and a NASCAR hat, you might be a redneck. If your dangling a young child by the arm wearing only a diaper into a sit down restaurant, you might be a redneck. If your using foodstamps to buy a case of redbull, well you get the idea. Its pretty ridiculous sometimes what you see just sitting still in this town. But at least it keeps things interesting. Oh speaking of sitting around! Every Evening once the sun starts going down and if your driving into town up mainstreet, I always look to the first house on the right, because there's almost always this old bearded man who looks like Uncle Jesse off of the Dukes of Hazard who sits on his porch and waves to everyone going by. He's like the Walmart Greeter of Gretna! It defiantly makes the town feel more welcoming haha.
So we were checking up on some old investigators to see if they would be interested in taking the lessons again. Going up to a house I found a Watchtower magazine laying on the ground. Seeing as it litter and an eyesore to that persons lawn i took the liberty of picking it up so that it could be properly disposed of ;) I put it in my pocket folded up and went about our business. When We got back to the car I took it out and unfolded it to read the cover when all of a sudden a little black creature screeched out of it!! it caught me quite off gaurd and I through the paper into the back seat of the car. Turns out he was a little salamander of sorts. He disappeared into the back of the car where we couldn't get him but later he appeared and we caught him again and set him free. I thought maybe dad might like that story.
Oh Last Monday we were in Lynchburg for P-day and we decided to go to Macado's to eat. The Monday night special is 29cent wings and 1/2 price Hindinburg subs. We kinda ate our selves silly but we also had lunch for the next few days :).
This week the Lynchburg Elder Decided to come to Gretna for a change. I'm not sure what were going to do today to keep busy. Maybe go to the parking lot and watch people walk by. Anyways, I'm still loving it out here and can't wait to get another Baptism!! I feel one may be coming up soon. I'll Keep ya Posted.
Love Ya!
Elder Sunada
Oh PS! If anyone goes to the Temple grounds and gets some pictures, send them along!! I'm kinda sad that I'm missing the Temple being built in my own city so I gotta keep updated on it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Holt Reunion 2011

Dang it sounds like Everyone had a lot of fun at the reunion! But I'm alright with that. I hope that the next one we can get as good of a turn out. I can't even remember the last time I saw Zach! My memory wants to say when we were down and he got home from his mission, but I'm sure there was another time before that! I Would love to go to Denver for the next one!! On the Condition that I either go down a week early or stay a week later and go mountain climbing! Kinda a forward thought But I'm really missing the Rocky's. I'm afraid that when I get home I won't be in good enough shape to do what I was doing before. Granted we do walk a few miles a day but here its mostly flat or low rolling hills at best. 
Also Glad to hear you finally got some good weather. There hasn't been even a remotely cold day the whole time I've been in Gretna. I'm getting a little more used to it though. Better at ignoring it anyways. It kinda makes me jealous when the kids around here always talk about going to the Beach (the ocean) or even the pool. But I was never a huge swimmer anyways. 
I'm stoked you'll be getting my package today! I was wondering when it would get there. I think some of the mail coming from Canada is still backlogged. I got a bunch of letters from a recent ward activity from the Youth and it was awesome! I'm working on responding to some of those that added their addresses but I'm so behind on letters its not even funny! To put your fears at rest, I got the Package. AND IT WAS AWESOME!!! I loved the Random Canadian Goods, as did the other elders who Mobbed me until I imparted them with some small trinket. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Timmy's Mug. I've had a good cup of hot chocolate out of it almost every morning since I've got it. The Apron and pot holders was a good touch too. I've never had an apron before so I often strut around our house in it just because I Can. I've also been proving to everyone down here the insuperiority of their chocolate with All the chocolate that got sent up. Sadly a little bit of it got melted somewhere along the way. Not surprising considering that its always hot and we can never keep things cool in our car without the AC. But nothing was spoiled and it was all good! Probably one of the Best Birthday boxes ever! Oh and I've made great use of the Canada Roots Sachels. They're the right size to fit a bunch of Pass along cards, BoM's and a water bottle which is much nicer during hot days than my backpack. Easier to run away from dogs too with it. 
I'd tell you more but Were in Lynchburg again so the library is dumb and my time is just about up. I guess this will have to be my main letter for the week unless I get a chance to fill up my hour time slot back in Gretna.(it gave me about 40 Mins)
Well I love everyone and and missing them lots! The Work is going great and Elder Bolan is improving very well! I'm proud to have him as my boy. 
Enjoy the nice weather while you can!
Elder Sunada

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Canada Day!! (and 4th of July)‏

Hey Everyone!!

This past week has been pretty fun. Didn't get up to much last Monday. Mostly just some lazing around. I've been a little more burnt out these past few weeks of training. Its about the same workload but I seem to be working harder and getting way more tired. Tuesday we had a pretty good District meeting in the Morning and I got to go on exchanges with Elder Squires. We Both Love food. And Better than that, he loves to cook :D Great Combination. I cooked up a pot of Rice, and he fixed some veggies and chicken cordon bleu. It was Rockin. The next morning he used the left over rice to make Congee, A mix of rice, cinnamon and honey. Excellent. Then we found a great follow up contact!! So we had a pretty good time. I got Elder Bolan back that afternoon and we went back to hitting the streets tracting.

Friday was a busy service day which was awesome because I got to do some more manual labour! We helped out the Smoots clear off a small private grave site that had been overgrown for years. It looked a world better when it was done! Then we got to go play more bingo at the Nursing home. Its pretty funny and kinda sad how excited they get about Bingo for Quarters. If I ever get that excited about bingo someone please pull the plug.

I love Sundays in the mission! Especially fast and testimony meetings. It was great to be able to see the faith of the members and to see that even though the branch is old, its still strong! So Today was my First 4th of July in America...and really I don't think I even noticed. Probably because we went out fishing this morning in a members pond. We went with Bro. Covington, Campbell, and Bruce (half naked guy in the picture who's Bro Campbells Bro-in-law) I caught my first Bass!! The first one was maybe only a pound and 9in. long. But the next fish I landed was nearly 5 pounds! It was a nice pound Bass. I gave it to Bruce who caught one about the same size to cook up. I thought I had a pretty looking fish till I saw Dad's 94 Lb. Halibut. I'm glad he got a good catch this year! To bad that Won't be around when I get back. Just Means you can't retire from Fishing yet Dad!

Anyways I best be getting on now. And hopefully I'll be able to get a few letters back to Canada Now. Its been a few weeks since I've had anything from north of the Boarder but they should get it all caught up soon. They didn't Deliver the mail today due to the holiday. But Its all good. The Lord been keeping me busy and thats all I need :)

Love you all Bunches!

Elder Sunada