Friday, November 29, 2013

Letter received November 29, 2013

Woo!  What a week!  Monday we went to Marion for P-Day.  Quite the carnage up there!  Some of those people just got power back.  Crazy stuff!  (He is referring to the damage from the tornadoes that went through the area)  We taught Ron that night with Phil Norris who got baptized in June.  He did freakin bomb!  He connected with Ron so well!  The power of recent converts is amazing.  He is way into family history and already has 100 names temple ready!  Phil has been through a lot.  He got divorced a few years ago but his ex-wife keeps taking him to court over stupid things.  He's had multiple cars repo'd, at one point he had $25k racked up in court costs.  He makes dang good money but she's basically draining him.  Luckily paying tithing is helping!  Tuesday was sweet!  We went and saw the Phillips.  Then we met Mario Santiago!  He's this super awesome little guy from Mexico.  Great member :)  Then that evening we taught Teresa Blake (her husband died a few weeks ago).  She seems to be doing really well!  We're helping her understand some parts of the gospel that confuse her which is awesome.  Wednesday we had District Meeting up in Marion.  That evening we had dinner with the Phillips.  Then we had Branch Correlation.  Then we finally met our golden investigator!  Her name is Lisa.  She just moved in from Kokomo last week.  She was taught there by the Elders since June.  She's a super solid investigator, knows everything is true so all we have to do is get her to quit smoking!  If we baptize her...she brings along 8 kids, 4 of which are baptism eligible...5 convert baptisms at once!  Her husband is a work in progress for her for now.  But still that'll be sweet.  Oh ya, Tuesday we saw Randy D.  He's the guy I gave the patch to.  So his story is sweet.  He was in the Marines for 10 years.  He has gone on multiple tours being a Sergeant.  Later in his military career he was in the Presidential Security Team!  He flew with both the Clinton's and the Bush's.  He said he hated flying with the Clinton's because Hillary was a jerk.  He loved the Bush's though!  He said Laura made the trips super fun.  So at the Pentagon there's a place called the Pin Pad where they wait with the Helicopter.  On 9/11 he was on duty with the VP when the plane hit the first tower.  They took off almost immediately.  5 or 6 minutes later the terrorists planted the plane right into the Pin Pad at the Pentagon where he was standing.  4 days later it was his birthday.  Then on the 19th the captain he was flying with took a detour in flight and surprised him by dropping him off at the hospital where his daughter was born just hours later.  He said it was interesting going into the hospital with 2 shoulder holsters, 2 thigh holsters and a rifle locked and loaded ready for war.  He has close to 1000 patches from around the states and even the world.  I got pictures of about 300 of them to show why I wanted the CHP patch for him.  He's a great guy.  Hopefully he'll be willing to apply the gospel to his life.  Yesterday we ran around seeing different people.  We went to Brother Wisman's after he came out with us.  He's a family history guru!  He showed me some tricks and I can't wait to get my family history library goin when I get home!  You may already have the enclosed papers but I thought it was super cool finding them.  We met with Ron again last night and he said he doesn't feel like he can be a member of our church.  He loves our church but can't be a member of it. We'll give him a break and see if he comes around.  We taught Teresa Blake again as well!  We went over the story about how the Book of Mormon takes place in America.  She understood it after we explained so that was good.  Today will mostly be a member day.  Just working towards our 20 lessons per week!  So ya everything is pretty good around here!  Been a mostly cold/rainy week which is nice since we have the car :)  Well Monday we find out if either of us leaves!  I doubt I'll leave.  Hopefully not.  I like it here and we have to baptize Lisa!  Hope everything is well back home!  I love you!  I apologize for being late on letters.  I never forget about you!
Elder Gunnoe
PS.  I love you.  I love you.  I love youuuuuuuu! :)

Elder Gunnoe is staying in Elwood, Indiana for at least another 6 weeks.  This letter was written and mailed prior to the transfer meeting.  But now we know he is staying.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letter dated October 25, 2013 and Emails dated October 28 and November 4, 2013

Letter dated October 25, 2013
I would have written at the beginning of this week but I've been on exchanges in 2 areas until today.  I was in Marion Monday night to Wednesday morning and then Muncie Wednesday day until today.  Marion was super awesome with Elder Chamberlain.  Taught a less active that's trying to get to the Temple, did some street contacting teaching a few Restoration discussions and getting a couple of new investigators out of it.  Taught an investigator a lesson on the Book of Mormon and then talked with another investigator for a bit.  Muncie is super awesome.  It's where Ball State University is so it's a buzzing college town.  Got a new investigator who is still considering the possibility of a God or not.  He was super open.  We'll see how future lessons go.  That's the Zone Leader area so they'll teach him.  Studies have been great lately.  Going to be using the last few chapters of 2 Nephi to help an investigator continue progressing.  We need a baptism in this area!  Well I gotta get this sent off today.  Hope all is well back home.  Cole - I'll email you Monday about your question letter.  Lookin forward to chatting again Monday!  It's 34 degrees this morning.  Cold days are comin!  Love Y'all!
Elder Gunnoe

Email dated October 28, 2013
How are you?  What has your week been like?  I'm doing good!  Sad cuz I forgot my gps case and so I can't send pictures today.  I had a crazy week!!  I was on exchanges for 4 days so I wasn't in my area for most of the week.  I sent out my letter when I got back on Thursday so it should be there today.  I sent out letters to you, papa, grandma and grandpa, Anastasi's, Bradshaws, Stephanie, Mallory, Taylor, Hansons, Miranda, Hannah, and I still have Ma and Pa and the Martins to write to.  The work is good, the Branch is good, just had a funeral (everyone dies where I go).  Is your weather getting cold?  Ya the weather has been getting down into the 30's at night.  It may warm up into the 50's, maybe 60's for the first part of this week but other than that it stays in the high 40's to low 50's during the day.  It snow flurried last week but nothing yet.  They get legit ice rain out here.  We have Trunk-r-Treat on Wednesday.  We have to be in by I think 5:00 on Halloween.  I'm chattin with Sister Gulledge (Elder Gunnoe's cousin who is serving in Nebraska) How is she?.  She's doing well.  She's covering the largest Young Single Adult Branch in the USA.  I love her!  Have you had the chance to teach or speak at church?  We've taught a few lessons and we always have input in any lesson we're in but no talk yet.  So, is Elwood a town you think you'll have success in?  How is it being in such a small town vs where you were?  Do you prefer the small town or the bigger city?  Elwood is a town that success is possible's just having it.  I absolutely love the small town - it's quiet.  All we can do is "invite" people to the gospel - right?  It is up to them to make that decision.  True but WE the missionaries have the responsibility to teach with the Spirit and address their concerns.  We need to not focus on the problems people have and focus on how to fix the problems.  I hope you get the chance to be a Zone Leader sometime soon.  What does it take to be moved into that sort of position?  What "jobs" are there besides that one?  Do you think you would be ready for that?  Are you good about personal study time?  What are you studying right now?  I hope I get to train here in Elwood next transfer!  It takes being a good missionary but honestly it's up to the Lord :)  There's Senior Companion, District Leader, Zone Leader, Trainer, and Assistant to the Mission President.  I'm ready for anything!  I'm good about personal study.  I'm reading a lot in the Book of Mormon and the Ensigns - which are my favorite thing ever.

Email dated November 4, 2013
I wore Elder Ewell's tag and he wore mine so we dressed up as each other for Halloween :)  How's the work?  I love it here!  Last week was an ok week but this week looks promising though!  We're supposed to be teaching at least 20 lessons a week now.  I'm gonna make it happen!  How was your weather this week?  The news always makes it sound like your getting bad weather.  The weather has been off and on but pretty cool.  It rained all of Halloween so we were drenched when we came in.  It's been in the 40's 50's and 60's though but mostly 40's.  Chilly and foggy but that's Indiana.  Are you loving being a missionary?  How has it changed your plans or expectations for the future?  I am loving being a missionary.  It gives me the heeby jeeby's thinking about not being a missionary.  It's a great way of life :)  I wouldn't say it has really changed my plans or expectations but it's changed who I'll be as a member in the future :) a lot more missionary minded!  Dad is leaving today for training in Carlsbad for the week.  It is something to do with carseats.  Cole and I will be getting some of the things he needs for college this week.  He is getting excited!  That's awesome dad is getting more training!  I'm sure he'll enjoy that!  I bet Cole is quite ready!  Hopefully he'll thrive in a new atmosphere :)  How are you?  I am not sure how this is going to go when Cole leaves.  I am foreseeing it not going very well.  I know you guys are doing what you are supposed to and I am happy about that - it just all happened so fast.  Amy Brake was saying that she can't wait for her last few kids to move on to their next phase of life but when she said she has been in this "process" for the last 27 years and I told her that mine has completely changed in 1 year she understood why it has been so hard.  Oh great - now I'm crying :(  Mom, everything will be great.  I promise this will bring new opportunities into your life that you can't see right now.  You and dad will grow even closer than you already are, you'll be blessing the lives of the sisters in the Branch, you'll be able to serve in so many ways.  It doesn't change anything..we're still your sons, we still love you, you're still the best mom on the planet and we have to share the things we've learned while growing up with others so we can bless their lives.  Our families will be immensely blessed because of you and dad.  I see all these missionaries out here who have such distorted views on life and have no purpose or plan but I'm sitting over here looking at a future with 2 degrees, a promising career, leading God's children as promised in my blessing, and having great success all due to the fact that I was raised properly and successfully, and you get to sit back and watch the fruits of your labors grow into two fine young men married in the temple raising their families with the same goals and standards that you raised us with. We were blessed :)