Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In the Twinkling of an eye...

Ok yes, I know. I'm a day late. Again. But I have a good reason!! I was in Charleston most of Yesterday and didn't have a chance to write. But I'll start at the top of the week.
During the First part of the week things were going pretty normal. Had some good lessons and Elder Heiner and I were getting more accustomed to getting around by bike. The work was going well and we stayed pretty busy. Thursday however Elder Moreang became pretty sick. It was decided that he would stay in our apartment with one of us while the other two Elders would take the car and try to make the appointments of both North and South Parkersburg. So I spent all of Friday and half of Saturday inside taking care of him. I figured it was only fair as He'd done so for me when I was recovering. It was also a great chance to get some cooking practice in! I made several meals for all of us so the Others could come, eat and run. Did some good cleaning, and took a well needed nap. Thankfully he got better by Sunday morning and things went by normally for Church. We even had 2 investigators and a Random who showed up and said we could teach him!
After returning home from Church however we got a phone Call. Elder Heiner answered. It was President. He would be at our apartment in 45mins so sit tight. After he hung up we sat there looking at each other. "Did you commit any large or grievous Sins lately?". Nope. Hmm. Its always a little unnerving when President says he's stopping by Randomly. Last time it happened I was informed that Grandpa had passed away. We waited somewhat uneasily to hear what News or rebuking we would get. I'll confirm right now that we didn't do anything bad! Turns out it was something quite different.
They Showed up around 3. When he walked into the door he gave us only a brief greeting then said he needed to meet with us both privately. He and Elder Heiner went up stairs while Sister Pitt and I talked about missionaries and mission experience. After about 10 or 15 mins Elder Heiner came down and we exchanged places. Presidents opening words to me after a prayer were "Now the Elders down in Russel are having some problems..." I knew that could only mean one thing. Emergency Transfer. Either Elder Heiner or I would be leaving Parkersburg, and soon. They were both good Elders who just really struggled with each others personalities for even the remaining week before Transfers. President Explained that after giving the situation considerable thought and prayer he felt it right that Elder Heiner should go and Replace Elder Penn in Russel, and that Elder Penn would join me here in Parkersburg. We were to meet in Charleston at 9am Monday morning. I admit I was a bit shocked. Elder Heiner and I had accomplished so much together. We had worked hard to build an area that had only 2 people to a whiteboard full of investigators and potential contacts. Also we'd come a long ways in our personal journeys. We'd both been tried and tested together and Also built a great Friendship. It was going to be sad to see him leave so suddenly.
And then there was Elder Penn. I've actually served around Elder Penn in Lynchburg. He was one of my District leaders there just before I left. He's from Ventura California and is a Recent Convert of 3 years. Part way through his mission he had to go home and get spinal surgery. He returned a few months later and has been working on adapting to the mission again. There's a good reason why they don't like sending us home half way through. Its always hard to find your place again once you've been released and called again. I'm not sure if its comforting to know that President trusts me enough to put me in difficult circumstances haha. But If I do know anything its that I can trust that He is the Lords servant, and this is the Lords will. I've seen it many times that President Pitt is inspired to lead this mission. In fact in this past transfer has been the most successful Transfer the mission has ever seen. He's been inspired to send me help even though he had no idea I was struggling. I know that whatever comes of all this It will work out.
The Other Missionaries joined us for his last night of packing and getting things ready for the following day. I got to bed pretty late and up early to drive. We got to the mission home and made the exchange. For Elder Heiner even though he hated leaving Parkersburg he did get one perk. He's serving with Elder Rollins, whom he'd served with near the beginning of his mission. He told many stories about him and is excited for this rare exception of getting to reserve with a old companion.
The first order of Business Elder Penn and I had was to get new tires for the car. The steel wires were showing on one of the tires and the rest were pretty bald. We had said a prayer going down that they'd last us till Charleston. Waiting for the tires gave us some time to walk around and catch some lunch together. He was way excited to serve with me, and despite his exuberance of energy at times, I was kinda grateful for him too. I knew it was going to be an interesting Transition (for instance last night, he likes it really cold when he sleeps. I froze out but we'll work through that) He also has the most Baptisms in the mission at 26. There is much excitement about it all!
Before heading back to Parkersburg there was one other thing we had to do. We walked into the ICU at Charleston Memorial to go Visit Scott Walker, The Very man who met me in a hospital bed a few months before. He'd had a heart attack at a stake dance the weekend previous. He was grateful to see us and we gave him another blessing. It was nice to be able to pay him back in a way.
Well my times up. I love you all. Always be grateful for the challenges God gives us to Grow.
Elder Sunada

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yarnball FIGHT!

Hey everyone!
Its been another great week in the West Virgina Charleston Mission! Elder Heiner and I have been able to recover from the slight drop in the past weeks performance despite me even getting sick for a day! I think something I ate didn't agree with me and for the last part of the day into the night I wasn't doing so Hot. But I got everything cleared up and felt back too 100% by the morning.
We've been able to teach some great lessons this past week and were able to pick up 5 new investigators, included in which are 2 young families :D! Its so much fun to teach when you can teach a family together, even though it presents its own challenges. We were also able to get some people to Church on Sunday and it was a great meeting! One of the most stressful things is waiting before church for Investigators who say they are coming. We try to help greet them and make sure they know where they are going. But it always gets down to the last 5 minutes and you start to sweat, Are they coming?! Thankfully this time they did! well at least a few of them.
Talking to one who we've been trying to get to come for the past month she was telling us how much she enjoyed it and felt welcomed. Everything went well once she was there but there's always so much opposition from the other side that stops them. I've noticed that especially as we've had more success there have been more things that have been more problems that come up that prevent people from being able to meet with us, or come to church or read. Whatever it may be there is always a struggle. But more from the mouths of our investigators than our own, when you just put those struggles aside and try and live the Gospel, you find that it really wasn't such a struggle, and it was all worth it. Its such a wonderful thing to see people come to know for themselves that they can be happy and that they know they are loved.
Want you all to know I love you too!
Elder Sunada
Parkersburg along the Ohio

Sweet Mama they got a Timmy's!

Yarn Ball FIGHT!

I won.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy SA Day!

Hey Everyone!
The Winter weather Finally came! We had our first decent snow dump, which was still pretty weak. Only 2-3 inches fell and stayed. But None the less it got decently chilly for a few days! Elder Heiner the Arizonan was not impressed. It also was Souths turn for the car, so we got to walk around outside during the worst of it. I can't wait till I get to experience a real winter again! Even the Locals say this is a strangely warm winter, though they don't seem to be complaining about it.
The Work this week was a little slower. In part due to the weather and the accompanying colds and sicknesses that have been going around. We're still very excited for the work to continue here in Parkersburg. We had our Zone Conference last week and President Pitt gave a wonderful message encouraging all of us that we could find teach and Baptise before the end of the Transfer. I've decided that I need to work more on my faith to become a better servant. During the conference we were talking about how to deal with certain situations in which their may be exceptions to the goals we had planned. Then Sister Little spoke up and said that we just needed faith that If we do what we need to we have the Lords Promise that we will be successful. She didn't question. She Just Believed. I'm going to work on following her example over the next several weeks. Which gets hard when sometimes that includes Night Tracting. But Something to work on right?
Well this weeks letter was short, but I still want to let you all know how much I love you and how grateful I am for the support that I get from the Home front and anywhere else.
In the Words of Pres. Thornock in his email to us last year,
"Happy Singles Awareness Day!"
Elder Sunada

Monday, February 6, 2012

A good week.

My goodness. What a week. I don't even know where to start! Of course I mentioned last week how
It'd been one of the most trying weeks in the field thus far, but that it had an upturn towards the end. Well I'm happy to report that its still going up! To start off I got some great mail this week From Friends and Family, which always puts a smile on my face :). But its also to do with some of the other things we received this week. Such as 8 new Investigators! With the addition of the people that we found to teach this week we now have more investigators in our Teaching pool than I've had in the rest of my areas combined. To get those investigators we taught 9 lessons, 6 of which we had members with us, which always helps us out and doesn't happen nearly often enough. We were blessed not only through our own efforts but through the Tender mercies of the Lord in Sending us people to teach. I'll just share a bit about a few of the new people we found.
Bishop Bohning has really pulled through for us. we asked him if he knew of anyone who might be open to hearing the Gospel. He took us to two of his Neighbors in his apartment building to meet and teach them the Restoration of the Gospel. The first woman was an older lady, who was happy to listen to us to learn more about "The Mormons" but is pretty content to die the way she is. But the Other couple is one which he used to work with. At first I didn't know if they were just being nice and listening to us because he was there, but then I asked a question and it opened up a window to other questions they had and their interested was peaked. They happily agreed to have us back and learn more as well as read from the Book of Mormon through the week. Way to go Bishop!
We also took him to another appointment which we had set up earlier that day. While checking on a potential investigator a woman called out across the street asking if we were Church People. I replied we're from A Church. She came over and explained that she was in a great deal of distress. Due to some pretty crazy events in her life she had come to an emotional and spiritual breakdown. She had grown up with a faith in Christ, then went the way of the world for a time. In Lieu of recent events she knew now that the only way to help herself and her young Family was to turn back to God. We met with her and Bishop Layed down Pretty good!! Bishop Bohning is known for his Boldness and Bluntness and he just Says it plain and simple. No beating around the Bush with that Guy. He told her how She needed to repent and Live the commandments. Bless her Heart she was humble enough to take everything he said and agreed with it. Then he turned it over to us to teach her about Faith, repentance and Baptism and how she could be cleansed from Sin. It was a great lesson and she really wants to come to church. She would have been there Yesterday but found out Saturday night that she'll be needing Surgery on her leg as earlier as today. She's on some good pain killers at the moment. Next week though!
Also! We got a Referral from Pres. Pitt 3 weeks ago for a family out in the Country side of our area. We almost never go out there because its so sparse. But he's been on us to get to this family and keeping close track on it. Saturday we finally got to teach them. The Guy mentioned multiple times how he got Goose bumps and certain things hit him during our lesson. He's been searching for a new church, one in which he can find answers and be spiritually fed. He's very excited to meet with us again and learn more about the Book of Mormon which he's going to read during his Lunches this week.
Well I'm out of time! So much more to Say. Love you all
Elder Sunada