Monday, June 29, 2015

Email received June 29, 2015

Well here's my departing testimony to the mission... Elders and Sisters of the greatest Ohio Cincinnati Mission,
What a wonderful opportunity it has been to serve among the most valiant souls the Lord has to offer for these last two years. I am eternally grateful for the influence of all those that I've been privileged to serve with and around as we've all labored in this sacred part of the Lord's vineyard. I have grown immensely and my Savior Jesus Christ has truly been able to change me through the enabling power of the infinite Atonement. Although I have not been anywhere near perfect and have made mistakes along the way I know that we are to learn from the past and continue to press onward in the cause of Christ. I know that my Heavenly Father lives and loves me, that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so that I would have a way to become the man He sent me to become and to be able to overcome my weaknesses and imperfections. I know that Joseph Smith is Their prophet, that he was given the sacred duty to restore Christ's true church and the priesthood authority back to this earth, never to be taken away again. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the true living prophet today and that if we follow his counsel with exactness we will never go astray. These have been the best two years of my life and I look forward to making these next two years the best years of my life as well, because through the Doctrine of Christ we should always be learning, growing and progressing and having the best years of our lives. I love you all and I pray for your continued success. I share my sacred testimony with you in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Time definitely has flown on by! We are doing fantastic here in the Western Hills ward.  We have a wedding/baptism this coming week for Jamie and her family :) It will be a wonderful way to celebrate the 4th of July!! It's been a rainy week and it has cooled down a lot which makes life wonderful. I cannot believe how fast time is flying. This has been an absolutely amazing two years. I can't believe it's almost over. I am excited to serve the Lord for this last little bit and then to continue to serve Him as I return home. I am excited Sister Porter Junior and I are working on arranging our departing transfer musical number :) So we're going to go work on that and then this week is going to fly by! I love you all so much and I will see you soon :)

Elder Gunnoe :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Email received June 15, 2015

Wow what a week that was! Rain, humidity, heat, mini missionaries, nachos, driving, ghetto basketball, fun times!! We had interviews this past week and apparently since it's my last transfer President Porter is saving it for my departing interview... needless to say I was bummed. But we had a very powerful role-play where we were able to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a great teaching experience. We had a couple instances in this past week where I was able to bear a powerful testimony about not only the gospel but the Book of Mormon specifically. I have been reading and listening to a lot of talks and devotionals and I've been learning a ton.. I have two binders for my last transfer of studies, one dedicated to the Priesthood and one dedicated to temples.. wonderful reading so far. Elder Bullen and I are doing great! I was also able to go on exchanges with Elder Clare in Fairfield this last week which was awesome!! talk about a flash back.... It was a great time :) I am looking forward to these last 3 weeks and how much I still have to learn and do! I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! #ducks #redphone #readyornothereicome

Elder Gunnoe with their "mini missionary" for the week


Monday, June 8, 2015

Email received June 8, 2015

HOLY COW!! Time? what's time?? I don't know.. it's kind of this unknown thing that flies at the speed of light.. anywho here I am in the beautiful Western Hills Ohio!! Life is so fantastic here.. some highlights from this past week include having a couple of super solid media referrals.. had an AMAZING dinner and evening at the Porter's house, had ice cream for the conference call Monday night at the Porter's, made a lot of progress with a couple of our investigators and life is just wonderful.. It's weird how fast time is going.. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. It'll be great though.. I've been listening to tons of talks and discourses lately so I've been learning and collecting immense amounts of information. It's awesome :) Everyone should read the Book of Mormon.. member and non member alike.. it's a true book and you can know for yourself when you read it and pray to know that it is true and you will receive an answer that it is true. I love you all so much and I will see you soon!!

Elder Gunnoe

Monday, April 27, 2015

Email received April 27, 2015

My oh my what a week that was and what a week we have ahead of us! Monday was a fairly normal p-day. Tuesday was interesting because we were able to meet a recent convert who moved down here from Marion Indiana and I had actually met her a couple of times in the 6 weeks I was serving up in Marion! That was cool.. Then dinner with the Yates family which was awesome and then we came in for the evening around nine and the Unklesbay's met up with us because I had to give them something and while we were outside our apartment building talking to them Sister Unklesbay was taking some pictures of us (she's awesome) and while she was doing so a couple of guys came out of the building and made a comment on her taking pictures of us so we started to explain to him that our mom's out west like pictures of us and then talked about who we were and why we were dressed up and what we do and then two more guys showed up and then it turned into lots of testimony bearing and turned out to be a fantastic lesson in the last 20 minutes of the day! So awesome :) Then Wednesday went by then a long day of weekly planning and working with the zone on Thursday then service on Friday helping Brother Yates with some yard work for a sweet mother's day present then we took David out with us which was great then the ward chili cook off that night which was lots of fun! Saturday it rained and we ran around seeing people getting ready for church then Sunday was a Stake Broadcast which was amazing! :) Now begins the fun week.. P-day today, exchanges tonight till tomorrow night, Stake Reports Wednesday night, Thursday 9am-5pm is zone conference which we actually have to be there around 730ish for preparations, then Friday from 9am-6pm is leadership council which will be amazing as usual then of course the weekend! :) Hooray for being busy! :) Here goes nothin! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Gunnoe

Monday, April 13, 2015

Email received April 13, 2015

Oh my Gosh... what a week... this has been yet another crazy week... it'll probably stay that way so don't be surprised if i say that again next week... So Monday was p-day of course, played some awesome basketball and cleaned, then I went on exchanges in Liberty with Elder Bayly which was  a good exchange! had a great dinner with a member of the stake presidency. Then Wednesday was fairly normal despite lots of phone calls and working with some missionaries, then Thursday we had Zone meeting which actually we planned on Wednesday so that was part of Wednesday. but zone meeting went very well, it went kind of long but it was great! So we were planning on initiating some sort of Zone Car Fast now that the weather is nice and so Elder Sunderland and I decided to test it out before zone meeting so we gave up the car and went walking for a solid 3 hours and found 3 new investigators and met lots of people so it was very successful! So we shared our experience during Zone Meeting and the Sister areas in West Chester and Liberty (Sisters always have a full time car) they took our experience to heart and tried it out themselves even before our actual car fast and saw a ton of success from it! It was amazing seeing the Sisters make that sacrifice and receive the grace they deserved! Then I went on another exchange this time to West Chester on Friday with Elder Goss and we did some service at a food bank and I got a free pair of brand new Nike training running shoes which was awesome and then we walked around quite a bit during the day and then an awesome dinner with Bishop! Saturday was pretty hectic with lots of service in the morning and at night and work in between.. Then Sunday which was another great day.. the weather is so beautiful now we've been having meals outside and meetings outside and no more suits... it's so wonderful :) I am staying here for at least another 6 weeks but I am absolutely devastated to see Elder Sunderland go... he has been an amazing companion and he means the world to me.. I know without a doubt that he'll do great wherever he goes.. Most of the Zone is getting mixed up so I'm very excited to see what the Lord has in store for us. I cannot believe I only have 12 weeks left... time is flying so fast.. I'm working on sending my winter clothes home which is weird.. and we just heard about a young man in the Fairfield ward that got his mission call and he reports to the MTC July 8th... the day my ministerial certificate expires... whoa.. anyway I love you all so much. Stay amazing :) Love you!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Email received March 23, 2015

Whoa what a week! Monday was an absolutely gorgeous P-Day and we were able to get together as a zone and play some ultimate Frisbee at a park here in Hamilton :) A guy from the local paper came by and got some shots of us enjoying the nice weather.. haven't been able to find the article though :/ Then Tuesday we got to go to the temple!!! :D It was inspired.. so our zone trip was originally on Thursday then it got switched to Tuesday at 11 and then it got switched to Tuesday at 1.. and when we showed up I found Brother Jordan and Bishop Maddox were there and Sister Jordan was going through for her own endowment during the 1pm session! So I got to see Bishop Maddox and his wife, Brother Jordan and his mom Sister Jordan, and Sister Knotts!!! Such a fantastic surprise!! :)) So the temple trip was amazing. Then Wednesday we had District Meeting and then we had exchanges with the Liberty Elders that day so I went to Liberty with Elder Spagnolo.. pretty good day! Then weekly planning Thursday and then we had exchanges with West Chester on Friday and this time I stayed in Hamilton with Elder Goss and we had a fairly good day.. then Saturday roles around and we're a bit behind for the week.. so we worked quite a bit Saturday and it was super fun because we had Bishop's son out with us all day :) We also had an amazing dinner out at Sue's! Then Sunday we still needed to teach 8 lessons so we buckled down and worked and we did it! Sunday was a great day :) We sang in ward choir in sacrament meeting which I loved :) Then we went out and worked for the rest of the day and had some awesome lessons and ended the day with teaching the Invite By the Spirit lesson to the Maddy family which was a blast :) Brother Maddy and his son's love baseball and he actually let me bat and pitch when he was helping his son practice at the church.. it felt sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.... I love baseball <3 The Zone is continually improving which is great to see! Something we've been focusing on in the mission of course, as I mentioned before, is being a Zion mission or being united. We are taught that just because we aren't seeing huge amounts of success in our area as long as we're doing all we can and being diligent and obedient the grace will be poured out where it needs to be in the mission :) Also my studies have been super in depth lately because I got a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and it has a Hebrew and Greek dictionary in it. So as I read the scriptures if a word stands out to me I can look up the original meaning of that word and it brings a ton of depth and meaning to the scriptures.. So wonderful :) Well all in all life is fantastic :) Time is flyin! #Halfthetimehasgonequick..thesecondhalfwillgoevenquicker.... Hope everyone is doing well back home!! I love you all so much! Stay amazing! <3

Elder Gunnoe

Monday, March 9, 2015

Email received March 9, 2015

Whoa!! What a week that was! Transfer week went very well.. we got 5 new missionaries in the zone and we had a very solid week here in the land of milk and honey (Cincinnati north zone). So Friday we had an amazing day at the mission home with President and Sister Porter for Leadership council! it was an amazing and very revelatory experience. President Porter towards the end of leadership council gave an amazing lesson on how we should be teaching the doctrine behind coming to church. lots of very real analogies and very obvious reasons from multiple scriptures and i don't share it on here because it is best shared in person :) We have had a lot of amazing dinners lately and I've been eating a lot :P and then doing a lot of sit ups to make up for it. :D Going to be a very busy week ahead of us as we have interviews tomorrow to run (as zone leaders we work with the sister training leaders on doing role plays and planner/area book checks for all the missionaries in the zone...:P) and then Wednesday we have zone meeting which we need to prepare for then in between we have preparations for Sue's baptism! Sue is a very amazing woman who we have been teaching for a while now. She is like a grandma to me she's so sweet and she has some amazing faith and she has studied and prayed so much it is inspiring :) I love her :) We're excited for her baptism this weekend and look forward to being with her on that special day :) Well other than that we are getting some warmer weather now which is amazing :) I'm wonderful, life is wonderful.... peace out!! #snowflake #Romans8:18 Love you so much!<3

Monday, February 23, 2015

Email received February 23, 2015

What a week this has been!! Monday we had our zone fun day which consisted of painting a "We Believe" sign, playing some chair soccer, and then going to take a tour at Jungle Jims!! Ate a larvae, some dragon fruit, super good pineapple, and some other foreign fruits.. good stuff!! Tuesday we were out working and we found a 93 year old woman that we're teaching now!! She's so awesome :) Super funny and quite hard of hearing.. hooray for a well projected voice! We also found a micronesian family that we'll be working with now as well which will be a little harder because there's a bit of a language barrier.. But it'll work out :) Wednesday was district meeting which went well and a scattered day of work.. Thursday lots of running around and an awesome evening with some investigators in the Bishop's home for a game night :D so many laughs and good times :) Friday was exchanges with Elder Bayly. Saturday was a very crazy day because we woke up to about 5 or 6 inches of snow that wasn't completely expected and we had service all the way across town so driving was fun with people driving super slow.. But painting at the Ruiz's was a blast :) Then we went to give a blessing to a recent convert who is having problems with his shoulder then an awesome pancake dinner with some awesome members and then we went and watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration with an investigator which was a powerful experience! Then Sunday.. -_- the plow crews plowed the church parking lot halfway through Saturday while it was still snowing and they didn't go back so there was still snow in the parking lot so bishop had to cancel church which was kind of sad but we got to watch a session of general conference with an investigator to make it still church on Sunday :) So that was awesome :) Then we had another awesome member dinner Sunday night and some awesome short lessons with our investigators including one who gave us a bag she prepared for us before we came over that had snacks in it! :D this was the first time we officially met her and she already did that :) Her aunt is a member and she's met with missionaries before but not for a while :) So great :) Lots of family history work getting done lately! If you haven't worked on it... work on it! it's so wonderful! :D i love you so much :)
#snowflakesarethebest #myloveforsnowflakesisnutty #God'sgraceiswonderful #lifeisgood :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Email received February 9, 2015

Oh my gosh what a week that was!! So we started the Final Four weeks leading up to March Madness and we started it off with a Finding Challenge.. We as a zone broke our record and we as a mission shattered our record for finding new investigators in a week with just over 1000!! So amazing. Zone Meeting earlier this week was great as we had a Zone Council on how we can improve and become united as we all work towards having a "Zion Mission." Tuesday we also had exchanges which was a lot of fun with the West Chester Elders. We were able to help a new couple move into the ward from Missouri which was a good workout ;) Wednesday we gave an awesome Chapel tour to one of our newer investigators and also gave a blessing to an elderly woman in hospice. Her granddaughter who lives in Las Vegas got a hold of us asking to go give her a blessing and also an uncle that lives here in Hamilton. In the blessing I told her she had fulfilled her purpose in this life and she could peacefully pass which she did the next morning. Very spiritual experience! Thursday we had an amazing Zone Conference in which we talked a lot about the Legacy we want to leave behind as 60% of the mission goes home in the next 6 months... That Legacy is as follows.

Be a Zion Mission-One Heart, One Mind
Be a Mission Family-No one left behind, no empty chairs
Be as the Army of Helaman-Each missionary obeys every word of command with exactness
Have Missionaries that love God and serve Him with all heart, might, mind, and strength
Every missionary is a leader who changes patterns
Have a spirit of positivity and enthusiasm for the work
We receive grace to reach ALL goals by living the power triangle.

and this is how we will fulfill that legacy...

Every missionary believes, doubting nothing
We pray for every missionary's success
We pray for the pure love of Christ
We see our areas as a land of promise
We do all the little things every time
We will see ourselves, our companions, our investigators, the members and the ward as God does
Each missionary reaches individual goals
Each companionship reaches companionship goals
Language is always focused on the cause
We live "Remember This" (in the back cover of PMG)

So that's what this mission is up to :) Elder Judd had a great insight as we talked about what we teach others and what they need to know and he said that every time we feel the Spirit, it is a manifestation of God's love for us. How true is that!! The Spirit comes from our Heavenly Father and it conveys truth and comforts us and does all of these wonderful things so anytime we feel the Spirit we can know of a surety that God loves us :)  What a great thought and truth!
It was a crazy weekend running around the area seeing everyone and also of course finding. It's going to be another awesome week and more miracles will rain down!! :) I love you so much! :)

Elder Gunnoe :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Email received February 2, 2015

This is just bits and pieces of our email with him today:

mornin!! not a lot of time today.. got stuff to do around the zone.. :/
I'm great and tired and good :) i don't know what's up with the mail... i got a card from nana thankfully on saturday which was a relief because hers have money in them. but i was worried about not getting yours that's why i had sis unklesbay ask when you sent em.. we might check with the post office today (he hasn't got any letters from us since he moved to his new area) i asked her to call and check cuz i was worried :) I might be slightly relying on her for pictures for now because of how much running around we've been doing and all that fun stuff... tired just because of how much we run... stake president reports were wednesday night, leadership council all day friday, stake conference saturday and sunday, zone meeting tomorrow, zone conference thursday, exchanges tomorrow and friday... life is fun :) no pics today because i didn't think we'd be emailing this early :/ we are going to another district's fun day because it's just a set of elders and a set of sisters so we're going to offset it so it's not like a double date... then Jungle Jim's later on here in hamilton and more preparing for zone meeting :) gators are doing well! it'll be a busy week with them as we have a finding challenge in the mission preparing for march madness... we're going to do something no mission around here at least has done and baptize 100 in the month of march and to prepare for it we're having challenges each with one with finding one with baptism extensions one with member presents and the last with gators at church. i probably won't be able to knock out a blog email today... It will be a crazy February and a crazy march!! we've had super mild weather... i'm loving it!! ya the weather out farther east has been crazy!! we've had a couple of semi spring like days as well just more clouds.  area is great!! It's fun being in a huge ward with lots of awesome families :)
we'll run by the post office because the same thing is happening to elder sunderland :/
today we're bowling with the liberty district.. we haven't planned our big fun day yet but it'll be awesome :)  i do love bowling :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Email received January 26, 2015

Well what a transfer week it has been!! I am now a Zone Leader in the Land of Milk and Honey (The Cincinnati North Zone) serving in Hamilton Ohio :D Just above Fairfield where I was born :) (Not literally - Fairfield was his first area out of the MTC)  It's so exciting to be here in this awesome area and this amazing Zone :) My companion is now the great Elder Sunderland. He's an amazing missionary and person, so this is going to be a fantastic transfer. We had an awesome first week, got settled in really quick and got to work! We found quite a few new investigators this week and one was actually quite the miracle! He came into the church dressed and ready for church on his own on Wednesday night because he thought there were Wednesday night services when it was actually just Mutual. So Elder Sunderland and Elder Christensen gave him a chapel tour after he met the bishop and Elder's Quorum President. Elder Wegrowski (Elder Christensen's companion) and I went to a member's house to help them move an old arcade game into their upstairs apartment which was an interesting experience... especially after the top part broke, so me and Elder Wegrowski were sitting there holding it sitting on the stairs while the guy freaked out that the top broke ;) not that it was heavy or anything.. ;) So that was fun.. weather was like spring this week which was really weird but then it rained yesterday and we got like half an inch of snow overnight so it's back to cold -_- But life is great anyways :) it's lots of fun being with Elder Sunderland and working here in Hamilton so I'm definitely looking forward to this transfer! I love y'all so much!! Have a fantastic week!! <3
Elder Gunnoe

Studying hard :)

New apartment in Fairfield, OH

New companion - Elder Sunderland

Monday, January 19, 2015

Email received January 19, 2015

Well what a week it has been here in Marion Indiana!! And sadly it is my last day here in Marion :( I will miss this area and the people in it and especially Elder Barrett. He's an amazing missionary and person and i know he will do wonderful as he trains a new missionary. I'm gonna miss him... Now I am off to another area to be a ZONE LEADER! Got the leadership call from President this morning and I will now be a Zone Leader somewhere in the Great Ohio Cincinnati Mission! :) We had a great last week of the transfer and the weather was a lot nicer to us :) We got around quite a bit, had interviews Wednesday with President and Sister Porter which went great and then exchanges with the wonderful Zone Leaders on Friday. Yesterday we had lunch at the Turner's after church and had the best meal ever ;) #welcometoIndiana #here'ssomesquirrel That's right ladies and gentleman we had squirrel for lunch ;) Prepared in a stew and it tasted amazing!! Still had a bit of hair here and there but it wouldn't be the same if it didn't ;) It was awesome i loved being at the turners :) #beatthatbrazil ;) anyways i will let y'all know somehow where i am and then return and report next week :) I love you so much!! :) <3 Have a fantastic week :)

Helping out at Center for Success

Found Brazil in Indiana (a bit colder though)


More exchanges

Monday, January 12, 2015

Email received January 12, 2015

What an exciting week we had here in Marion Indiana! It was a fairly mild weather week with temperatures staying below 0 and sometimes the wind chill hitting down to about 26 below 0 :) Fun times ;) We were able to accomplish a lot this week despite the weather as we worked with our ward mission leader on the ward roster and continue to find people and bring them back into the fold. We actually found a recent convert who hadn't been to church in a long while and no one had any way to get a hold of her since she moved but we, through the grace of God, got into contact with her, met up with her, and she was able to come back to church with us! When one of the Sisters in the ward saw her there she told us she had been praying for that girl and her kids for the past month that they would be able to come back to church so it was an amazing testimony builder to be part of an answer to prayers! This is the last week of the transfer so we will be finishing off strong and ending the transfer on a continued high note. Something that I've started doing is I'm reading two chapters of the Book of Mormon each day and marking every reference to the Savior in red. I would admonish anyone who is reading this (yes that means you) to start making it a habit to read at least a chapter of the Book of Mormon and witness the power it will bring into your life and see the knowledge you will gain and your testimony strengthened. Please utilize this wonderful tool that we've been given.. it's at our fingertips.. now let's use it :) I love you so much!! Have a wonderful week everyone!! By the way... I'm no longer a teenager ;) Woot woot!! #hangloose? #party #iamgettingbetteratspreadingbutter #practicemakesperfect
Elder Conner Gunnoe


Monday, January 5, 2015

Email received January 5, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! 2015 is here!! What an exciting time this is to be able to reflect on the wonderful year of 2014 and recognize the Lord's hand in my life and see what He has in store for me in 2015. We had an amazing week this past week and it was very eventful and revelatory. P-day we did our usual emailing and a bit of shopping but we mostly cleaned the downstairs apartment which we moved out of (so that it could be ready for a new tenant asap) and then organized our apartment and getting settled in. Something really awesome we've started is our 8pm appointments during the week. So winter time here in the Midwest is complicated because it gets dark around 5. With it being cold out it's hard to be running around doing work and with that, we find ourselves scrambling around the 8 o'clock hour to be obedient by staying out and working. but that's hard to do when we can't find anything to do. So something that we've started doing is filling up our 8 o'clock hour with effective lessons with members. So Monday nights we are going to Derek and Honesty's to read through and discuss Jesus the Christ with them. On Tuesday nights we are going to the Hughes' to read through and discuss the Doctrine and Covenants with them. On Thursday nights we are going over to the Temple's to read through and discuss Preach My Gospel with their older kids who are preparing to serve missions. On Friday nights we will be reading through and discussing the Book of Mormon with Brother Stover. On Sunday nights we meet with the Cooks to bring them the sacrament :) So we're making the least effective time of the day as effective as possible and as time goes on we will work on having investigators to some of these discussions :) #revelation! So for New Years Eve we had to come in at 630 pm and we weren't supposed to go back out until 3 pm new years day.. One might ask why we were "stuck" in the apartment for so long. So we were given a pack of statements and direction from President and Sister Porter of things to do during this time in the apartment. It started with cleaning and then the revelation started to pour down. We had some talks and scriptures and questions to read and ponder and we set a vision for ourselves not only for this year but of who we want to be when we're 50, what we want our life to be like, what we want our marriage and family to be like and how we can achieve those things! It was an amazing experience :) So the New Year started and we got to work. We were able to teach 10 lessons on Saturday and after having 3 investigators at church we taught 7 more lessons on Sunday, finding 4 new and seeing the fruits of fasting and prayer!! #God'sgraceinourliveswasmanifest We taught 31 lessons this past week and it was a good mixture of member present/member/investigator/less active recent convert lessons :) So this was an amazing week :) Elder Berrett and I texted President Porter and let him know that we came to the conclusion (after companionship inventory) that we work really well together so we won't be able to make it to transfer meeting this time around ;) he got a kick out of that :) We are looking forward to having another amazing week and finishing these last 2 weeks of the transfer off strong!! I love you!!! Happy New Year!!! :) <3

Elder Conner Levi Gunnoe