Monday, September 24, 2012

Upcoming conference!

Four Strong Winds‏

Hey Folks!

Good Gracious I love being a missionary. It always seems to be getting better. Or maybe its because I'm getting so old in the field that these days just seem to be golden. 

I'm starting to feel a little bit like a traveling missionary as well. Lynchburg one week. Then Charleston. Roanoke this past week. And Blacksburg tomorrow! Yup. Found out that 2 new areas have been unofficially added to the YSA Zone. The Blacksburg YSA Elders and the Morgantown University Elders now fall into our jurisdiction for spiritual guidance and direction in the work of Young Single Adults. The best part? They still report their numbers to their local zone leaders. More connections without the added responsibility of tedious administrative work! :) I'm a happy camper about that. 

We decided to hold our next district/zone meeting in Roanoke tomorrow, so that afterwards I could do an exchange to Blacksburg. I've only ever been there in passing so this will be my first experience with the city. For those of you who don't know, Blacksburg is the home of Virginia Tech. Go Hokkies! Sadly Morgantown (West Virginia University--Go Couch Burning?) is nearly 7 hours away so no exchanges planned there anytime soon. However we are looking into meeting with them Via Skype. Pretty sweet stuff. But with all of this going on it will also mean Elder Holder and I will have to sacrifice part of our P-day to prepare. 

As for the work in our area, we picked up a new investigator. Greg is a 6"8 african american who plays ball at the school and beat boxes for the schools featured singing group "Fading Point". You betcha bottom Dollar I'm loving it! He could seriously facepalm my entire head with his hands. 

The rest of the Elders have been picking up new investigators as well. During my Exchange with Elder Raffenspargar, who's still in his first transfer of the mission, we saw huge success in Roanoke. I was able to to teach with him to a Recent Convert, a golden Self Referral, a member who's going to hook them up with some more referrals, and setting up another appointment to pick up a former. Its happened time and time again. The Lord Uses exchanges to get missionaries excited for the work to keep em going strong. He was almost bouncing in his seat by the end of our exchange yelling "I love being a missionary"!! I do too. Its hard to count how many ways being here has blessed my life. I hope that others will be able to see the changes that I feel. Don't worry, there's still plenty enough of the old me that I wont be hard to recognize. Just less of the junk in the mind and a little more in the trunk. JUST KIDDING.

Anyways, one more week left in the transfer. One more Transfer left in the mission. And every day I still think to myself,


Elder Sunada

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week in Review

Its been another great week here in the BV YSA. Lots to do yet. I'm still always tired. Maybe this is just the pattern of my life. This past week we had an exchange with Lynchburg where I got to spend time with Elder Johnson. He's a pretty cool cat and we had a great time teaching together. There are so many good missionaries I'm serving around I feel pretty blessed. 

The member work is coming along pretty nicely. We now have ward mission leaders in every ward to help assist us in the work. Hopefully this will also mean my head will stop spinning as much as they will help us prioritize who needs help. One of them served as an Assistant to the President in the Salt Lake City mission. He told stories of how they'd always run into General Authorities and even the Prophet! Pretty Crazy. He's one on the ball guy and has experience in working a YSA ward. Actually at one point he Covered 41 YSA wards... what a headache! I can barely manage three! So his skills will be invaluable to the work. 

We had a great Specialized training meeting on Thursday and got to meet with President for a while. Its always nice to feel his love and see his example. Friday was our weekly planning and the evening was Bishop Walkers open house for the 2nd ward. He lives way out in the boons but has an amazing house. Probably most impressive is his sports memorabilia displays. 2 rooms filled wall to wall with autographed cards, posters, pictures, baseballs hats and anything else. Some of the greatest names in any game have their signature hanging from his walls. It was pretty impressive. 

Saturday was a Stake Luau, and they had a roast pig to boot! Cooked for nearly 20 hours in preparation for the feast. The activity was well planned and executed and everyone had a great time. Sunday night was the third Fireside we'd had in a row. This was a stake Fireside and it was way powerful. Wish I had time to go into more detail but Its time to go shopping and get on with P-Day so I'll say Adieu.

Love yall!
Elder Sunada

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good Day in the Woodshed.

Howdy Yall,
Another Great, busy, tiring week down here in good ole Buena Vista VA. I'm so tired all the time...haha but that's ok because we are getting work done! In one day we were able to teach over 20 students individually and combined. Its wild. I've never been able to get anywhere close to that in any other area in the mission. 

School is now back in full swing with the second week of classes now underway and kids are starting to get back in routine. For the most part that works ok though its hard to schedule appointments in the morning when most of them have classes. Most of last week was just spent working and teaching locally, which is great because this week is going to be more meetings and travels and whatnot. Leadership can be a bit of a drag sometimes because of how much things get shaken around. You have to have more things planned out in the weeks and months as opposed to the hours and days ahead. If I could I would have my own personal secretary to keep things straight for me and I'd just follow the program. But it seems that much of the purpose of all this is that I learn to do it. Or at least try. Remind me when I get home I don't want an office job. 

There were some cool events this past week however. Of course the Parade on Monday. There was a institute social on Friday which was well attended and allowed us to serve even more. We have several good looking potential investigators lined up (and by good looking I mean promising, they're all guys so far). And last night was Elder Hollands Church educational Services Broadcast. It was the Best!!! Maybe not as good as General Conference but just as cool because he can say things in a way that he couldn't at Conference. I highly recommend checking out the Broadcast if anyone who missed it has time. Pretty Powerful Stuff!

Anyways. I don't have much more in the way of big events or announcements but I do feel impressed to share how much serving a mission has meant to me. Its changed me in ways that I don't think any other experience could have. It continues to change me into someone better. I may not know what I want to do for the rest of my life, but I do know who I want to be and how I want to live. I'm come to understand to an even greater degree how serving others will always bring me more happiness that serving myself. Living the Gospel is the secret to happiness, the one thing that all the world is searching for, and its free for all. I'm sad that its getting so close to the end. I try not to think of it too much. Going home will be much harder than coming out. Yet I know the Lord will support me as He always has. I feel His love and I know with Him I can do all things.
I love you all very much.

Elder Sunada

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School!‏

Hey Everybody! 

Its been a pretty action packed week. Every first week of the month is usually pretty busy anyways and there's always something that makes it crazy. This week was no exception. Monday's Family Home Evening in YSA wards was a Marshmallow battle using cut up lengths of PVC pipes. Needless to say the Elders Dominated though I had several sticky spots which I had to clean off afterwards (The only way to get the marshmallows to fly well is to give them a slight lubricant...). Then It was early to bed, and much earlier to rise. We got up at 4:30 am to make the 400 mile round trip to Charleston for our Monthly Zone Leader Council. This time I was actually a Zone leader instead of a guest.  I also meant that Both Elder Holder and I had to do a heck of a lot more. 

Wednesday we had booked up almost full from appointments set on Sunday and we ended up teaching 7-8 lessons throughout the day. By this point many of the students, especially the freshmans, had signed into their dorms. Thursday was a painfully long day of planning. There is even more to plan for now. We had to prepare for our area, as well as for our Zone/District meeting the following day. Three hours directed between the two of us. There was a lot to cover and I was pretty nervous about going into it. But Friday morning we got up early again and made the trip to Lynchburg to meet with the other Elders. Surprisingly I think it went pretty well. I was much relieved when it was over. It was also helpful to get to know the new Elders in the Zone. We have pretty solid bunch and I'm excited to know I can trust them to work well in the area's they've been assigned too. That evening was SVU's freshman welcome party. This included many booths, an mechanical bull, Roof repelling, karaoke, blow up Sumo Suits, and many other stations. It was great to finally see the campus bustling again with students. 

Saturday we packed up early again to make our way over to the Washington & Lee campus in Lexington. It was their freshman check-in and the school had set up a local religious area where we were invited to set up a booth and make the students aware of our presence. The booth was kinda slow, Maybe we should have parked farther away from the Jehovah's Witnesses. But Elder Holder and I Reverted to the Ammon Approach by helping students carry baggage up to their dorms. We were able to talk to many more people this way. That night we had a great lesson with Navi. We'll get him one of these days!

Sunday was just as busy as all the other days combined. I think it will be a common occurrence for us to be at church from 8AM to 4:30 PM. Our evenings have been equally as busy with many appointments and firesides. 

Monday was Labour day. Apparently that has been a historically significant day for Buena Vista, particularly in an election year. Back in the Day, BV used to be a bustling little town where politicians started their political campaigns. Now years later, The glory of the town has passed, but the people still seem to make a big day of it and have a parade and fireworks. We used to opportunity to get some cards passed out seeing as the local politicians were passing out so many of their own tracts. It was crazy to see how many thousands of signs (and thousands is no exaggeration) were posted along the parade route and around the town. American Politics... Thank heavens I don't have to pick sides or vote here. It was pretty wild. But we got through it and spent the rest of the day visiting students and bishops. 

One Crazy Week. I need a nap. But I'm grateful to be so busy and to be so useful to the Lord here. I couldn't think of a better cause to wear myself out in. 

I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Sunada