Monday, July 23, 2012


Another Busy week is on the horizon. Lots to do and hoping to be able to get it all done. This weeks line up, President interviews, Stake Correlation, youth Conference, Moving people and our Family Photo night. Next week will be another ZLC and Exchanges with the Assistants. Sometimes I feel like there's so much going on that my mind is swelling just trying to keep it all in. But Its been a fun learning experience, stress and all.
Our Family Photo Event is really coming along. Just a few more smallish things that we need to take care of. We were able to get it advertised in the paper, radio, and the public service station on TV! All for free too! So far we haven't had to cut into any of our budget we received from our sponsor. But the Event still looms over me as no one will know if it will be a success until it happens. I'm a little nervous but so far things are going well and we have lots of support. Just praying for a smooth Execution. 
Earlier this week we also went down to Lynchburg for an exchange, but we ended up both staying in the area (blitzing). I went out with Elder Price, who informed us that we'd also be doing splits with the members. Kinda funny being alone with a member of another area. But it worked out well. We visited a less active Family who lived out in Appomattox who happened to have 2 YSA's who were not active. I was grateful that though the circumstances seemed askew, the Lord was mindful of our objectives and we were able to help the Lynchburg Elders in their YSA Goals. 
We Were invited to help out at EFY this past week as well. It was pretty sweet. They gave us about 20-30 mins to talk to about 100 youth on how they could do missionary work and the effect that they could have on others. I love to work with the youth. My youth meant so much to me and I know that I was blessed with wonderful leaders and experiences that shaped my life. I really hope that at least some part of my future church service will be working with the Youth and helping them have the same kind of opportunities that were provided to me. 
Lately we've been struggling to get anyone on date for Baptism. That is the 1 or 2 people we've been teaching over the summer who are Non Members. I know Elder Gurneys discouraged by this and we've been working hard to have the faith that we can find and baptize even against the difficult circumstances of summertime in a Student Area. I'm hopeful that something will come through. But I'm also very pleased with the other work that is less visible in the statistics that we've done. We've been able to help several struggling YSA's to strengthen their testimonies and renew their commitments to live the Gospel. While it might not seem as exciting as seeing someone get dunked, to me this is just as valuable as there is nothing sadder than seeing one who once knew the truth of the Gospel and then fell away. 
If I were to do nothing here but to help the struggling members then I would feel a great measure of success. 
Elder Sunada

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mental Overloads‏

This may have been the fastest six weeks of the mission so far. And I can't even Recall half of what we did! But that's not for lack of doing anything. Rather we've been so busy that it all is just a big blur. 

From the looks of it this next transfer wont be any less rapid. We've got district meetings in Lynchburg, President interviews, Church Pioneer day picnics, 4 workshops at a youth Conference and all of the planning and execution of our family photo event. And this all in the next 2 weeks!! It has been unreal. I'm not sure how its all going to get done but I'm sure we'll find a way. Lots of planning, but mostly lots of praying. Prayers from home always appreciated!

Amidst all this I've been able to find more time to do some cooking (students feed less that families) and have been learning to cook fish, chicken, beef and pork. I even made Tonkatsu! Mexican Burritos for the first time last night. I get really excited about the produce section of the grocery store, particularly if we don't have to shop at Walmart. Speaking of which, We have to get going to shopping cause everyone else is finished. So I'll catch yall later! 

Elder Sunada

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yee Haw!

Hey Everybody!

Man its been hot!! And Humid. Ugggh. I know I shouldn't complain seeing as there are thousands of Elders in warmer places than I am, but still. its been in the high 90's and 100's (+32-38C) for the past 2 weeks. When your outside working you get used to it but the moment you step in or out of an air conditioned building the reality hits you in the face. Literally! Thankfully its cooled off a little this week. In fact, the Library's AC is currently down and its cooler outside than in. I'm sweating a storm just sitting here! The forecast is calling for lots of thunderstorms which is nice because the rain cools it off even more, about 70F (21C). Can't wait for some good ole Prairie weather!

Otherwise the work has been going well this past week. Not so much in terms of big events. EFY (Especially For Youth; a youth church summer camp) is in town at SVU and a lot of our students are working it for the next three weeks. We've been able to teach a few good lessons even though our Non member teaching pool is pretty small (normally 1 or two people). Oh! We had a great Sunday! There were some recent converts who spoke in Sacrament meeting that did a phenomenal job and really brought the spirit. We finally got some Ward missionaries and a Ward Mission Leader assigned to help us, which should make finding and teaching a lot easier we hope. 

This week is also transfer week. Elder Gurney and I will be staying together, though that's no surprise. I'm hoping to Die here, But so is he. Its inevitable before the end that one of us will have to leave to train who ever is coming into the area after us. However Elder Gurney's been in the BV area for 9 months at the end of this transfer and I doubt that he'll make it to the end. But Then again President Pitt has been unpredictable in his Transfer assignments. He threw several more Curve balls and moved people around that we didn't expect. Sadly Elder Kieren, One of the Younger Elders who lives with us will be going to Roanoke North, with an Even Younger Elder Confer, also from the BV/Lexington area. We're going to miss them but They'll both love each other and Roanoke North where they'll be stationed. 

Well I think that's all the News I have for now. Have a Great Stampede for everyone back in Calgary! Go Ride a Horse for me or something!

Elder Sunada

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Good gosh, where do I start? Ah, Monday.

With our new determination to Use P-days explicitly for what is outlined in the Missionary Handbook (laundry, shopping, writing, cleaning etc), its become one of the busiest days. No more naps, Its all I can do to find time to write out a short letter or two. But I'm going to try and squeeze out a few extra minutes to write to those that I really need too. Monday night we stayed the night in White Sulfur Springs again as we would be traveling to Charleston again in the Morning. From BV to Charleston its almost exactly 200 miles and 3 hours one way. It was my turn to drive as well. I did pretty well considering I slept on the floor and probably for only a few short hours. We had another Great Zone Leader Council and left uplifted. 

One of the things that has kept me busy almost since the first week that I got here was a project that Elder Gurney and I have been working on. We are planning an event to be held at SVU entitled "Preserving the Family". Its a free family photo shoot where members of the Community will be able to come as a family and have a professional Photographer take their picture and later receive a high quality 8x10 photo. At the same time we will be having other booths sharing our beliefs on Family Values and strengthening the family in today's world. I've never really taken on a project of this size before and I've been doing the majority of the planning on it, though we have formed a committee to help us delegate some of the responsibilities. This week we got permission from both the school and the Church to go ahead with the event so we've been scrambling to get everything in place and get advertisements out. 

Thursday was our Exchange with the Assistants to the President. Elder Gurney made the trip to Charleston for the day and Elder Brady and I were able to stay in BV and continue working. It was the first time I had to plan things out in this area on my own, which was stressful because I'm still learning lots but we were still able to have a Very Productive day. The Lord certainly blessed me on that one because I was fretting we wouldn't have very effective plans that day. We exchanged back Friday morning and we're able to plan for the rest of our week. That night we had another surprise though.

We got into our apartment and had just finished praying for our daily planning session when we heard a tumultuous noise outside. We opened the door and were hit with massive winds. We'd received a text from the Assistants earlier asking Elders to report damages from a storm, but we'd figured that it was somewhere else in the mission. Apparently it was a freak storm system called a mirco burst. But there was nothing Mirco about this storm. 80mph winds blew down tree's and wreaked havoc from Ohio through West Virginia and Virginia to New Jersey. From what we've heard over 6 million people are without power and water, including the greater part of Lexington and Rockbridge county. We are all safe. All the Missionaries are safe, however mission damages so far report 46 missionaries without utilities and 1 car totaled. The death Toll in Virginia alone was 14 people. 

During the storm the 8 elders in this area gathered in our apartment parking lot and examined the storm. Probably not the smartest Idea. We we're all blinded by sand and rocks as one particular gust hit us and almost knocked me off my feet. The sky was the strangest blue I'd ever seen. Apparently the same colour it turns when a tornado is afoot. I think I heard reports that some touched down near by but I'm uncertain. After the storm quieted down in our area we retired to bed. A phone call came in at 11pm asking us to meet at the school to help with clean up in the morning. At 7 am we were there and finally saw the damages. Lots of trees down on the hills especially. Tree shrapnel littered everywhere. on our walk up to the school we came across a members house where their carport had been totaled by a large oak, but fortunately the cars were saved with a few scratches. Others were not so lucky. We spent from 7 that morning till nearly 5 that evening helping remove trees from the roads and sidewalks. Most of the town was alright, but I think the outlying areas had more damage and power outages. They say there are chances that more might come up but we don't think they'll be as strong. Fun times though! Great Services opportunities! 

Well I think thats enough excitement this week so I'll Leave you till next. 

Love Yall!
Elder Sunada