Monday, June 18, 2012

Llamas! ...actually, they're Alpacas‏

Haha so its been a pretty crazy week. We've had a few pretty important meetings with the Stake and Mission Presidents, zone and also our activities committee. It was great to finally be able to sit down with the YSA stake presidency and President Pitt to talk about exactly what we are trying to do. The comforting thing was at least we weren't the only ones who where still struggling to figure that out. There are a lot of special circumstances around this particular stake and no one's really experienced with what's going on so we are all pioneering in our own callings and trying to figure out the "how" of what we are doing. But we're off to a good start. I think the most flustering part for me personally is the paperwork. Not only is the stake new but the wards are constantly changing with the school year. Trying to keep track of where people are is a nightmare. We've been trying to go around and talk to members from the conventional wards as well as the YSA's to see if they know people who we can see. The Records are scattered everywhere! Its going to take a while to clean that up but at least it gives us something productive to do! 

Another great perk of being a YSA missionary is going to activities! We've made appearances at water fights, service projects, A paint Dodgeball fight, and this week coming up our first Stake Social Ice cream in Maury River Park! Its strange being around people my own age again. Especially now that I'm 21 and considered an Adult by the State. Just a weird thought in my mind. 

So I'll share a quick story of how some of our adventures go. We had a name on a list of a YSA who's been inactive for a little while. We Got Thomas, an SVU student, To come along with us to find this guy. We had an address but the GPS couldn't find where he was. So we got some mixed directions from several members and started off on what would be a 2 and a half hour hunt to find our friend. Finally we found what we were looking for. An Alpaca Farm. Yup. Llamas. But Not who we were looking for. His family owned the place but he lived somewhere else. The good news is now we know how to find him! So goes some days. 

Oh! And we got a visit from the Covingtons for lunch this week! It was good to see some familiar faces again from Good ole Gretna. I hope to be able to see that town once more before I leave the mission, God Willing. 

Well I think that's All I have time for this week! 

Love ya!
Elder Sunada

Dana's Note: SORRY for the font/color weirdness on the blog!!!! I have been on a few times to try and get to the bottom of it but somehow it cannot stay fixed! I'll keep trying, stay tuned! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

ZL Conference

This has been quite the ride so far. I don't think my planner has ever been so full. 

Last week was pretty sweet. I was invited to go along to the Zone Leader Council, even though I wasn't a zone leader. I found out the night before too which was cool because the original plan was for me to stay in BV with the other Elders for the day. But Monday night we got together with the other zone leaders and drove to White Sulfur Springs to stay the night so we wouldn't have to get so early to make it to Charleston in time for the meeting. 

White Sulfur Springs is a small town just on the West Virginia side of the Border and is mostly known for its proximity to the PGA Green briar. But we'd have to be driving on past it. More important business was ahead. The Meeting itself was an eye opener as to how the mission really worked. It was especially interesting because most of the participants, including myself, were there for the first time. President had used the craziness of the last transfer to hand pick exactly who he wanted to lead the mission. And I don't think he could have pick a finer group. I knew many of those that sat in the circle. I have served around a lot of them and knew that they were solid in both Testimony and Deed. This ZLC was a special one. It was time for the mission to make some changes and President now had a group of faithful elders to do it. 

We reviewed that the mission had increased in our teaching and finding skills, but we were still not reaching our goals. He taught us how he received the revelation what needed to happen. He brought several things to our attention then turned it over to the council of Elders to determine what we should do about it. Many things were rough on us as we heard that we needed to changes some of the traditions of the mission that we had always been accustomed to. Even those that had always been accepted as okay. But as we sat there each of us received a witness that those were not only things that we could change, but things that we must so that the Lord could bless us more fully. In simple words, we committed to be Exactly obedient to all mission rules, and to be examples to the rest of the mission. We were to define the mission culture and chose that day the direction the rest of our missions would take. It was the most inspired meeting I have ever been in and driving home our attitudes were positive. We talked about things that we were excited to get rid of and habits that we were happy to drop. President Pitt is truly inspired. 

This week we have even more training meetings and 2 meetings with the Stake to determine the role we will play in building the stake. It's way exciting. 

Oh no! I have to Run! Love you all! Can't wait to share more! One of the things I've committed to do is to only email family as is outlined in the guidelines so I if you want to hear from me personally you'll have to write! 

love yal! 
Elder Sunada

Monday, June 4, 2012

Transfer pics

Bro. Pool

Goodbye Parkersburg District: Elder Squires, Penn, Tyler (invetigator), Moreang and I. 

Elder Reidhead, Allred, and Muirbrook. 
Reidhead was in Parkersburg South when I first got there. 
Allred and Muirbrook and I all came out of the MTC together. 
Muirbrook and his companion also share an apartment with us.

Elders who've served in the Cave Spring area: 
Pendleton, Maxwell (Canadian), Dumpke, Myself, Conger. 
Bro Shorter in front of course!

Buena Vista!‏

I love it Here!! Oh my gosh Its going to take several weekly emails to explain how cool this area is. But I guess I should go back to leaving Parkersburg first.

We got to visit a few more of the families which we'd come to love, Never getting enough time to spend with them as we'd like. It was pretty rushed in the last few days. Not only we're we being doubled out, But Sisters were being doubled in. President told me to make sure the apartment was fit for their arrival. And I'll be darned if that apartment has looked better in years! We tried to clean everything we could down to the baseboards. I spent about 4 hours shampooing the carpets, which is pretty crazy considering the apartments not really all that big. I did get a confirming report from the Sisters a few days ago that it was satisfactory and they approved of the many sticky notes we left to fill them in on everything. Sister Scannel, whom I've met a few times before is training a new Sister, who is very nice and I think will do well to take care of my old area. So Its all in good hands :)

Transfers. This was probably one of the most exciting transfers I've ever been too. Perhaps one of the most exciting transfers to happen since President Pitts been here. 20 missionaries going home! That means at least those twenty areas plus that need to be moved around. We filled up the whole chapel with Missionaries! It was Crazy. I'm going to miss them a lot. On the Drive down to Buena Vista (Pronounced BYU-NA Vista) I got to meet some of the Elders I'd be serving with in the Rockbridge district. Its Stacked! There are 4 of us that came out together, Gurney, Allred, Muirbrook, and Myself, And the other elders are Way solid Preach My Gospel Missionaries! We room with Elder Muirbrook and Elder Kieren, who was just trained by Elder Leah, so he's clearly a stud. Its been so much fun living with them! And the zone leaders live in the apartment building next to us! WILD!

So some clarification on our assignment. Elder Gurney is THE Zone leader for the Buena Vista Young Single Adult Zone. President may add another later on but for now he's it! We are covering one family ward and the consolidated YSA ward in the area during the summer, then when Classes get back in we will be covering 3 of the 6 YSA wards! Our priority even now is focus on the YSA and so far it has blow my mind! I've never seen anything like it in the mission. Part of what makes it so great are all the Return missionaries in the area who are stoked to go out with us and continue sharing the Gospel. Everyone who I've met has been so great so far! And With most people being students they are way more flexible to see us or schedule appointments with us. Its definitely a big change, but its been made easy by the willingness of the YSA's. 

We also have unheard of resources at our hands thanks to the high concentration of members and the Faculties of SVU. For instance, UNLIMITED FREE LIBRARY COMPUTER USAGE!! No more time clocks or restricted access. SVU holds its students to an Honour code system which grants them many liberties so long as they're living the rules. Its Kinda like BYU, but with its own flair. This past weekend they had a education week conference where many lds Scholars and well known members spoke. These included Brad Wilcox, Elder Ridges who's published over 20 books, President Hinckley's daughter and the Author of President Monson's Biography "to the Rescue" were speakers. I'll have to fill in more about the university itself as I become more acquainted with it. But They are very supportive of everything we do and help supply us with anything we need. 
I told President this week that I believe This area is the best Kept secret in the mission. 

We've also got a decent teaching Pool. There are a few people in the family ward who we have started to work with as well as at least 3 solid investigators who fall into the YSA Category. One of them we just picked up yesterday. A member invited a kid he worked with to dinner with us then we shared a lesson. We've got feedback that he really enjoyed it and had a great time! We also stared working with one less active who hadn't been to church in 4 years...He was there yesterday and said that it felt really good. Also he made a commitment to a friend (who may have been a cute girl) that he would come every week. At first that was a little concerning, but he's also shown desires that he truly does want to change and have the peace of the Gospel back in his life. Already so much has been happening and we've been greatly blessed. This is the busiest I've been with appointments every hour of our day. I can't wait to see what else will happen here in Buena Vista! 

Its Truly a Great Day in the Kingdom!
Elder Sunada