Monday, March 31, 2014

The following is from an email Elder Gunnoe sent to his mission president. The mission is gathering information from the missionaries for a book they are putting together. So proud of him ...

Questions of the Soul Answers:
#1 What does Jesus Christ expect of me?
In 2 Nephi chapter 31 we find Nephi teaching the Doctrine of Christ. He talks about how Christ was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and that He set an example for us. But being baptized isn't all we need to do. Nephi goes on to talk about enduring to the end which includes having a steadfastness in Christ and a perfect brightness of hope with a love of God and of ALL men. We also need to feast upon the words of Christ or the scriptures because they are given to us for our benefit and will help us to stay on that straight and narrow path. In Mosiah chapter 4 we learn from King Benjamin that believing in God and having faith in Him and His Son is what helps us to retain a remission of our sins. He also talks about needing to serve our fellow man, to provide for the poor and needy and to remember the God who has blessed us so much.

#2 Why does God allow evil and suffering to occur?
In Alma chapter 60 verse 13 we learn that God allows the righteous to be slain so that justice may be brought upon the wicked. The righteous are blessed when persecuted by the wicked when they endure it well with faith. In Alma chapter 12 verses 31-32 we find that everyone receives the God given right to freedom of choice or agency. Through that agency we have the ability to choose good or evil. Those choices that we make, whether they be good or bad, bring consequences and sometimes we have to suffer from the negative consequences of other people's actions. This is what allows the plan of redemption to be available and to work. In Helaman chapter 14 verse 30 we are able to reaffirm the fact that we each have the ability to choose and that we alone must in the end suffer the consequences of those actions. It is a God given right that cannot be taken away.

#3 How can I avoid sin?
In Moroni chapter 7 verses 11-19 an example is given that helps us to see how we can know good from evil. It says that a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water and a good fountain cannot bring forth bitter water. This means that we know of a surety whether or not what we're doing or seeing or hearing is of the devil or of God. All good things come from God and all bad things come from the devil. If something doesn't bring us closer to God or doesn't fulfill His purposes then it is of the devil. later on in these verses we find that in coming to this earth we receive the Spirit of Christ which helps us to know good from evil which brings us to a perfect knowledge whether something is of God or the devil. In Helaman 5:12 it says that if we build our foundation upon the rock of our Redeemer that when the devil tries to tempt us and lead us astray that he will have no power over us whatsoever. 2 Nephi 32:9 talks about praying unto the Father in the name of Christ dedicating whatever we are doing unto Him so that He will consecrate our performance that it can be for the welfare of our souls.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Letter received March 26, 2014

"Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, other people MAKE it happen!" - Michael Jordan

Dearest Familia,
What up?!  What a 2 weeks it has been.  As you found out Monday I have 3 cavities.  I get them filled on the 28th.  Fun stuff!!  We should be having a baptism in a couple of weeks!  :)  This past Tuesday we went to .... THE COLUMBUS OHIO .... TEMPLE! :)  It was so awesome and amazing and spiritual.  It's smaller than our temple.  Such a wonderful opportunity.  Then afterwards we went to Olive Garden.  I was in heaven twice that day.  Soooo good! :)  It's been an awesome week this week.  Went on exchanges with my awesome District Leader Elder Tanner.  He's my bro for life.  I love what it talks about in Mormon Chapter 9 - how God is a God of miracles and He only ceases to be a God of miracles when we loose our faith in Him.  In order to live in the realm of the miraculous, as we assist God in hastening His work, we must rely on Him and His Son and the doctrines they have given us through the Holy Scriptures.  It's His work, we're just the ones helping to carry it out and see it through to the end.  He will provide a way to accomplish the things which He has commanded us to do.  How have things been back in the 909?  I hear dad got a new toy...remember to not be too hard on it for the first 1000 miles so it's broken in...I remember a dealer telling us that.  General conference is coming up!  I'm so excited.  It's going to be awesome.  Transfers are on the first so no mail for this next week.  Who knows what'll happen.  Coming up on 9 months.  Time is flying by.  What a great weekend.  We have Wakita on date for the 12th of April.  Woo!  We've been running around so much lately.  Saturday we went and did my kind of service.  We worked on the Gambill's house.  I had so much fun.  We fixed some leaks, hung some blinds, and I chopped a bunch of wood which you know how things go when I get an ax in my hand.  I couldn't stop. :)  Now I'm super worth it.  I love it here.  I'm having so much fun and we meet so many wonderful people.  We taught another 15 lessons last week.  Very solid.  It needs to warm up.  We're all done with this cold stuff.  I love you guys so much!  Have a great week!  One more thing - as you saw in my pictures we now have Elder Goose joining us at our apartment.  The story behind that is that here in Indiana a ton of people have these concrete geese either on their porch or in their front yards.  A lot of people dress them up.  To us they are know as a Hoosier Goose.  Elder Reeves has been wanting one for a while and while Elder Tanner and I were doing service the lady we were doing service for had one in front of the house she was cleaning out.  Naturally (with her permission) we kidnapped it. We then went to Goodwill, got it some clothes and now we have Elder Goose!  So awesome!  Love you!
Elder G.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Letter received March 5, 2014

What a week it has been!  Monday for P-day we went bowling again, then went and played some basketball.  I love bowling...Imma get into that when I get back.  Anyways..Tuesday evening we had Stake President Burdett come out with us.  We went and saw Greg who is an investigator that randomly showed up to church which is awesome!  Then we went to see Lowell who has been a member for a long time.  He used to own a trucking business.  He has this massive, gorgeous log cabin with a 300 foot wrap around porch!  Such a beautiful house!  Then we went and saw Chopper...he's always fun to see :)  The Zone Leaders wanted to go on exchanges that next day and didn't tell us until 9pm and we didn't end up getting back from being with President Burdett until about 10.  So Elder Fivas and I didn't get to Anderson until almost midnight.  Fun stuff!  So in Anderson on Wednesday we had District meeting then went out with a member for a while.  Then we found this guy named Larry who we taught the Restoration to.  He's an awesome guy.  It's always fun hearing other people's stories!  Then switched back that night.  Connersville is doin well.  Went and saw the Caldwells Thursday then Brother Knotts that evening.  He's such a great guy.  Love him to death.  Friday was so sweet.  In the evening we had an appointment with Tim, who Elder Reeves found while we were on exchanges.  We met Tim at the church.  We were able to give him a super awesome chapel tour!  Then we taught him the Restoration in the foyer.  The Spirit was super strong and we were able to answer a lot of his questions!  He's agnostic but we were able to get him to pray!  He's starting his journey towards learning the truth!  Fantastic day!! :)  Well - there went the nice weather.  It's currently snowing and we only had sacrament meeting :(  We're going to try and get around to see some of the people that couldn't make it today.  Sounds like Cali is getting pounded with weather.  Do they think it'll help at all?  Everyone here is so done with winter.  Just makes me reflect on our winters.  As you see attached is the letter to Mary.  (Elder Gunnoe wrote his Uncle Stephen and his new wife Mary (who has had a few questions about the LDS church) a 7 page letter and sent them the Book of Mormon and the book - Our Search for Happiness.  I would love to post the letter here so you all could read it but it is a little personal.  I will say it is an amazing letter and makes me so proud of the man Elder Gunnoe is becoming)  She should have received it on the 1st.  I really enjoyed writing it and really hope it is of benefit to her!  I hope she enjoys the books as well.  We taught 16 lessons this week!  That's a record for this area for a while.  Time to go email my amazing parents.  I love you all!
Elder Gunnoe