Email received September 5, 2016

This week went alright! We had our trip to Teresina on Tuesday almost all day and the meeting on Wednesday all day! It was a really good and spiritual meeting! I always love those meetings and have been extremely blessed by the Lord to have had to opportunity to be not only a Zone Leader but also to participate in those meetings for basically a year. It's not too common for a missionary to be any one thing (DL or ZL or trainer or whatever) for a year solid. But that just means that I had and still have more to learn about being a good leader. It has been tough at times and very stressful and tiring as well, but it has been very very rewarding and continues to be. I hope that I am able to carry with me everything I have learned throughout my whole life and that I can be a good leader if the Lord needs me in the future. I'm not sure what He has in store for me, but I will do my best to be what and who He needs me to be so that I can help not only my own family but also those around me. That's actually something that the Lord has told me in my Patriarchal Blessing is that I will be a big help to those around me, not only in the church but also in the communities where I will live. And when he was here a couple of weeks ago, Elder Aidukaitis said something that really touched me. He said that we cannot help the spiritually weak if we ourselves are spiritually weak. So in order to help others, we have to be in a good, strong position. That really inspired me to always be in a position that will allow me to help others when they need me to help them. I see that here on the mission a lot. There are days that I am all stressed out and down, but my comp is being strong and helps me out. Also when my comp is down and out, I create some kind of strength and determination to help him even if it's not easy. So it's been interesting to see how God helps me when I need to be helped but also when I need to help someone else. This week, after the meeting in Teresina, we had a bit of trouble in finding people to teach. But on Saturday we had a great visit with one of the references that that member gave us the past week. We went after them all and only found 2. One didn't want to hear us in any way, shape or form. But the other was very receptive and heard our message and everything else. His wife (since they are LEGALLY married[miracle in and of itself]) stopped what she was doing and delayed her going to work to hear us as well! They are members of another church but seemed curious to hear what we had to say and the woman even asked a couple of questions! So it was a really good visit and went well! We will be marking the next visit with the member that gave us the reference so that we can go with him. Other than that, not much else to report on here in the area.

Don´t get too stressed out or trunky! Stay focused on what you have to get done so that you don't forget anything! :)
Have a great week!!!
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Gunnoe

Email received August 29, 2016

This week was a tough one. Started out fine. I went to a city called Tianguá to visit the missionaries there with their District Leader. It is the place that most reminded me of home that I have been to here... You'll see why in the pictures. But it is a city that is on top of a hill (almost 2,000 ft) and because of that is a fairly cool place to be at night. I realized when I was there just how much cold I am going to feel when I get home.... It's funny how a person can become completely unadapted to a certain climate after so short a time. I have noticed that I sweat a lot less recently and don't feel as hot during the day even though the weather doesn't change. So in other words, when I get to BYU-I, I'm probably going to get sick because of the cold..... But it'll all work out! Got back to my area on Wednesday morning and stayed here the rest of the week. It's been really tough since I got here. Never have I seen an area with so much difficulty to find or even teach investigators. We mark appointments and we get there on time but the person is doing something else or isn't home or something of the sort. The people that we contact on the streets or in their own homes don't want to hear us, and if they let us in, it's just to talk and not to hear our message. Not exactly sure why it's been that way thus far, but we are thinking a lot about how we can change the situation here to make things better. On the bright side, we received 4 references from a member and he said they are really good people and wants to visit them with us! So that got me pretty excited! Hopefully we can get some new investigators there. This week, FINALLY, worked out the baptism of a woman that was taught by Elder Xavier and his last comp here. She was supposed to be baptized the week that I got here, but for one reason or another it didn't work out until this last Saturday. She's dating a man from our ward and I think she got to know the gospel because of him. He baptized her on Saturday and I confirmed her on Sunday. So at least the week wasn't entirely unproductive. This week we will be going to Teresina for our usual monthly meeting. We go on Tuesday and come back through the night from Wednesday to Thursday. Excited to see what I can do better and learn in the meeting!
MY birthday wasn't anything too special. We just worked like we always do. The Dias family gave me that loaf of homemade bread afterwards and Brother Dias took those pictures. He isn't our new LMA. And his son served in Australia, so he knows english and translated your email. They are a really great example of how a family should be. One of the best families that I have gotten to know on the mission. I was able to get the cake made, but one day late. Because the 25th was the birthday of another missionary that lives in the same house as us. So we made the cake and ate it on the 25th. But it worked out well! Just burnt around the edges a bit because we put the temperature a bit high to bake. but it worked out!
Had to be Kannon. But he's only doing what he spent two years learning how to do! He's still contacting new people looking for new investigators with the hope that one will accept his invitations and progress! :) And that´s exactly what I'll be doing when I get home too!
Sei lá eu... I think there´ll be around 10 families or so. And about 15-20 little kids. and some youth as well.
RELIEVED TO HEAR THAT MESSIAS WILL HELP US OUT WITH TRANSPORT!!!!!!!! That was really worrying me. Because if every place we went was using taxi, would have been a lot more difficult and expensive. One of the missionaries that I know here asked if you could bring Maple EXTRACT for him. Also (IF you find them) mint M&Ms. If not, no worries. But most of the people like those cake mixes you sent me and maybe some blueberry muffin mix for a member there in Teresina.
On the 25th, if possible, Lord, I would Follow Thee and a sacramental hymn that I don't have a clue the name or number in English. But in Portuguese it´s called "Com Irmaõs, nós Reunidos" number 117. But if I don´t figure out the name or number in english, just the first on is good!
Don´t worry about the camping class! I will look for some club or something like that that I can do. Or I can work a bit more to save more money and work less during my actual semester. But don't worry about the camping class!
Have a good week and don´t get too stressed out! It´ll all work out!!
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And thank you so much for everything you do and have done for me over the last 20 years! Wow. I´m getting old!

Elder Gunnoe

Email received August 22, 2016

This week went okay. We are still having trouble in finding and teaching people, but we are always trying to find new people! Not really sure what's been happening with people that they seem less open to hear us, but we are trying to find ways to get to talk to them. Maybe it's because of the better financial condition of the people that they aren't as open to hearing us. Because of this, we having been focusing more on finding less active members than new people. Because a lot of the time, a less active member is the only member of the church in the whole family, so we are trying to work a bit more on completing these families as a whole. Not entirely sure what we need to do different to be able to find more people and have more people to teach, but we sure need them! We are working well together and we don't have reasons to have misunderstandings or anything of the sort, so that helps a lot. It motivates me to keep working hard in spite of the difficulties we are having in the area. This last week I was able to get to know more members of the ward! The members are really nice and are helpful! As always, we have a few families that always help us when we need it and other members that are excited and willing to help. So at least we have good members and some that are willing to help us with the work! Our Ward Mission Leader was changed this week and now we have a really good one! He is a returned missionary and is very excited and enthusiastic about the work, so hopefully we can work well together to get things moving here in the ward.

I was able to bring all of the food that you sent in the box. And the toys I left with some kids there in Teresina. I left the YoYo with Adria's younger siblings, the Football with Mycahacnnen and his brother and the slinky with Vitor (all young men that I helped baptize there in Teresina). The food I brought with me and some of it I ate during the bus ride! I'm working out a way to have my cake soon! Will definitely work something out! Don't worry about that! Nate and Harrison enter the MTC this week? Glad to hear that it was a good Sacrament meeting and had lots of people! Also glad to hear that Kannon is well! I'll just have to talk with Josh to see how things went for him! Working on my talk a little at a time! Will have it all written and done before I get home!

Have a good week and keep trying to prepare yourself! Because the heat will be intense! But it'll be great!!!!

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Gunnoe

Email received August 15, 2016


Sobral is VERY different than Teresina or any other city that I have been to thus far on my mission. Even though it really isn't that far away (6 and a half hours) it's a lot different! The heat is almost the same, but here there is a lot of wind early in the morning and in the late afternoon. So that helps a lot to cool things off a bit. The city is quite a bit cleaner as well! There are always some parts of every city that are cleaner than others, but here is mostly better! The people are a bit different here as well. A lot of the times that I say Good Afternoon or Good Night to someone, they don't even respond when in other places they always returned the favor. So the people here are a bit more cold. A LOT of people are members of another church. There are some pretty big churches here that are very old! From what I understood, a while back, the separation of race and class was very big and because of that, the city has a lot of landmarks and separations in the city itself. Not sure if any of that made any sense... My english has gotten pretty bad... But more on the missionary side, the work has been challenging here. Because of the other churches culture, a lot of people don't even want to talk to us. When I got here, the group of people that we have to teach topped a staggering 4. But we are working hard to improve that! We have encountered some pretty good people and there are a few members that are preparing friends as well for us to visit. My comp, Elder Xavier, is from João Pessoa, Paraíba. But he moved to Piracicaba in São Paulo. He is one of the other Missionaries that Elder Medina trained! So we knew each other from a while back and things are going great! We are working hard and working together to change things around here. My new address is
Rua Domingos Arruda Casa 151, Junco, Sobral, Cerará.
We live in the second floor of the house. The address there in Teresina was
Rua Babaçu Casa 2826 (i think), Real Copagri, Teresina, Piauí

Glad to hear that all is going well and that you had a good sacrament meeting! Our meeting was a bit different yesterday. It was a Stake Conference in which the Stake Presidency was reorganized! So we had two 70's here for that! Was a very spiritual meeting! With an attendance of 1,364! Was a very full meeting!

Hope that all continues to go well and that your preparations for the travel go well! Get ready for some heat as well! :)
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Gunnoe

Email received August 8, 2016

Just got to my new area and don't have time to write much, just sending signs of life! I was transferred from Teresina to Sobral in Ceará! The only place that I had never been on my whole mission and now I'm here to finish things off! So excited to be here and be able to get to know new people and a new place! My comp is Elder Xavier from João Pessoa but now is living in São Paulo. Really excited for what the Lord has in store for me here!
Have a great week!
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

Elder Gunnoe

Still a Zone Leader here!

Email received August 1, 2016

This week went way better! We were able to get more done even though we had our Mission Counsel meeting on Wednesday all day. In spite of that, we were able to do a little bit more work wise than last week! So that was really nice! On Thursday we had a division with some of the young men here in the ward! My comp went with Wanderson and Paulo, and I went with Adria! It was great to visit some people with them and be able to help them create the missionary spirit within them! We were able to visit quite a few people that day. Then the other days we were able to work pretty well with visiting people. This Sunday was our ward conference. There were a lot of people there here from the ward and quite a few from the whole stake. Most of the High Counselors and their wives were there and the whole Stake Presidency and their families. So we had a lot of people at church on Sunday, 159 to be exact. But a good chunk were from the stake. But still a really good attendance! The meeting was well prepared and the classes and talks as well. We only had two investigators there, but better two than none! One that was there is the man we are helping prepare to be baptized in a couple of weeks. He is a very simple and humble man with very very little, if any, formal education and is very poor. He works selling water in the center of the city and sometimes that doesn't work out so well. So most of the stuff he has at his house is trash or things that other people give him. His couches his tables his clothes his shoes and pretty much everything he has has been given to him or he found on the street. But we are working with him to stop smoking and drinking coffee. So we'll see how his progress goes!

Glad to hear that all is well and that you are having a good trip! Hope you made it home safely and found everything okay! Now you'll have your hands full to get all the work done that needs done! But it's better to stay busy than to have nothing to do! Will be going to get my box pretty soon! Here in about an hour, I'll have opened it! Thank you so much!!!
Have a great week!!!

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Gunnoe

Email received July 18, 2016

This week went a little better! We had a division on Tuesday after our Zone Meeting and it went smoothly. We did a little bit of running around and taking care of things the better part of the week. But not too much. On Wednesday morning, we had a surprise meeting with the district and zone leaders here in Teresina. It was just in the morning so that was good. It was a good meeting that helped us as leaders know how to better lead and guide our districts and zones in a more effective way. We were able to receive instructions from President Melo and his assistants. We also ended up going to the doctor a couple of times because my comp isn't feeling all that well lately. So we went to the doc to see what's going on with him. He went and the took some blood to do some tests and we will be going back to the doc on Wednesday to see what is going on. We have been after new people to teach as well, but that too hasn't been too successful. We found only one new investigator this week. Even though we work hard and all, we just aren't having the success that we would like to. In spite of all the trouble, we were able to have 7 investigators in sacrament meeting yesterday! I was really surprised to see some of the people there that went, but they went! So we will work a little more with those people to see what happens with them!

As to the food on Sunday, I really liked what we did when I was leaving! (the cafe rio food) I also had a special request for a family dinner! The classic pot roast (took me a while to remember the name) with mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans! Oh how I love that dinner!!! Glad to hear that the activity went well and that a lot of people went! We are also starting to put on some activities here in the ward that I´m in and it´s going good! That´s one thing that really lacks here is activities with a good attendance. Not so glad to hear about Carter.

Do you know if Conner and Renee have anything planned for their summer break? Or just relaxing? I'm also guessing that Conner will continue working? I can imagine that 3 straight semesters with work is pretty stressful. But glad to hear that it all worked out! Hopefully they´ll take some time to do some temple work as well! Good luck to me! At least in the beginning I won´t have a wife yet. So I´ll be able to get settled in better. All will work out as it is supposed to! Maybe not as smoothly or easily as we would like, but it will all work out!

Have a great week! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Gunnoe