Email received February 16, 2015

We are here in the Lan House early today because we have an activity marked with a family after lunch.
This was a good week and at the same time a tough week! We had good moments and also difficult times.

Basically the whole week, all of our appointments fell through, people weren´t home, they were leaving, didn't have time, blah blah blah. We had very little success this week. We found a couple new families, but they came only after others fell through or we were harshly rejected many times. There's a church here and the people of this church are HORRIBLE!!! Every person here that isn't LDS is part of one of those churches. And for some reason, they can´t allow us to talk a little bit with them, they have their religion and will not here anyone else! And the people who are not attending any church are usually the few that we can talk with. But after we leave, the people of the other churches feel the need to leave their own house, go to the house of the person we talked to and they proceed to talk bad about us. Telling these people awful things about us that we all know aren't true. These people feel the need to leave their house and go talk bad about the Mormons. And it happens almost every time! So then those people we talked to won't talk to us anymore or will not answer the door. Makes me really sad. But like it says in the scriptures, When the truth comes, the people will do anything to stop it. Just another  testimony that this is the truth!
Other than that (which is normal here) was a fairly good week! Ended on a great note!! We were supposed to baptize an 8 year old kid with his brother a couple weeks ago, but it didn't work out. So his baptism was set for this Saturday that just passed. We were all very excited and happy that he could be baptized! Then we turned our focus to his mom! She was basically ready, just needed to be taught directly. So the 8 year old spent the whole week asking her if she could be baptized with him on Saturday. On Friday, we went to teach her in the morning. The first thing she said to us was that she wanted to push back the baptism to the 28th for her to baptized with her son!!!!! She told us she would be baptized without us even talking directly about it with her!!!! So we said we would talk with her son about it. But the son wouldn't push back the date. The poor kid was supposed to be baptized the same day as his brother, but he wasn't able to. So he had to wait. And now he didn't want to wait any more. So we talked with the mom about being baptized with him on the coming Friday. She said that would work! Great! But the son still wouldn't let us change the date. So then we talked with our new LD (the other was transferred early) and he said he would talk with her. After they talked, she accepted for that Saturday!!!! Together with her son!! So amazing how the Lord worked with her to help her be baptized on Saturday with her son and be baptized by her son that we baptized a couple weeks ago! Such an amazing experience! So we ended up with 2 baptisms this week!
Was a good week and now we transition into the last week of the transfer! I am excited to continue working and finding success wherever we can!
I hope everyone is doing well at home! Have a good week and stay out of trouble!!

Elder Gunnoe

A snake we came across (obviously dead)

Helping an investigator build his house

Baptism pictures of the mother and younger son with the older son baptizing

Email received February 9, 2015

Week 4 as you all know started out with me in Teresina! I was there from Monday until Wednesday night. Did all the medical exams and all that jazz. Got poked with a needle a couple times, took some x-rays, and talked to a lot of people. But all went well! Ended up degressing from almost pneumonia to bronchitis. The doctors told me I could come back and to take some medicines for a few days. So that basically takes up Monday through late Wednesday. But on Wednesday, had a pretty funny experience.  I had gotten very wet. I went out with a couple Elders to visit some of their investigators. The appointments fell through, so we went to make some contacts. After talking with a lady for a bit, we left to do some more work. But then it started raining... And I mean RAINING! So we just decided to go back to the house for the night. Only problem was that the house was a good 15 minutes from where we were. So we ran at times and walked very quickly to get back to the house. But by the time we got back, I was COMPLETELY soaked! Planner ruined, clothes like I had taken a shower with them, and scriptures and journal almost ruined! Luckily the bag kept most of the water out. But man was I wet! It was funny to be running back to the house in a flat down pour at night and everyone dry in their houses watching us. Good times. Then on Wednesday at 11:30pm, I got on the bus to come back to Parnaíba.

     Thursday I got here at 4:30am. Slept for a little while in the ZL´s house, then came back to my area at 10:30ish. Went to lunch and had a good meal! Then went to work. We didn't do a whole lot though because I was wiped out. We just took it easy and visited some families close to our house. Spent the day very tired!

     Friday - Pretty chill day. We were able to count a couple different families as new investigators and had good lessons with them. These families will be a bit of work. Gotta help them with some problems with alcohol and one with we think drugs. Don´t know for sure. But it was a good day Friday!

     Saturday we weren't able to do anything in the morning. No one was around for us to visit. After lunch we visited a bunch of people and found a couple new people. A mother and son accepted a baptismal date!!! And we just had a very good spiritual day!

     Sunday was up and down. We started off very late for church because we wasted time waiting for investigators and left late and all that. So we got to church very late. Not happy about that... But in sacrament we had 98 people (very high number for this branch). So our branch president sent us out to bring in 2 more people to the sacrament meeting. Another Elder and I went out into the street and tried to bring a couple of my investigators, but didn't work out. So we talked a couple péople walking down the street into visiting for the last 10 minutes! In the mean time a couple other people had showed up! We ended up with 103 people in sacrament!!!! So amazing! So many people! Now we need to maintain that! With more than 90 people every week for 3 trimesters, the branch will get a chapel! And we are in the second month of the first trimester with more than 90! So we are on the way to a chapel!

All in all not a bad week! Glad to be back here working in my area again! And a HUGE thank you to all those that have been praying for me! The prayers have helped a lot! Still on the way to 100% again, but definitely am better than last week! Have a good week and always find opportunities to share the gospel with everyone!!

Elder Cole Gunnoe

Email received February 2, 2015

Today's email is a bit different - he didn't have time to write a "blog" email so I am sharing what he sent us in his personal email:

Não deu para falar muito hoje. Só tenho pouco tempo aqui. Mais de tudo é porque não estou em Parnaíba....
Can´t talk much today. Only have a little time. It´s because I´m not in Parnaíba. I am in Teresina today until at least Thursday....
Why are you in Teresina?  Are you ok?
I am in the early stages of pneumonia.  They told me it's not too bad at this point, but that if with this medicine I am not getting better by Wednesday, I need to go back.  I left Parnaiba yesterday at 1830 and got here at midnight ish.  And I'll be here at least until Wednesday.  With the way things have been, I am very surprised it's only in the early stages.  At times, you can hear it clearly in my breathing that there's the liquid in my lungs and the coughing and breathing when I lay in bed.  Surprising it's in the early stages.
Did Elder Medina go with you and were you able to still have your baptisms on Saturday?
He stayed with one of the Zone Leaders and the other Zone Leader came with me because he has to get an ingrown toenail removed.  One of the brothers was able to baptized on Saturday.  Elder Medina baptized him and I did the confirmation on Sunday.
Were you able to get some mail? (he only gets mail delivered to him once a month when they have District meetings)
I got a bunch of letters and cards!  From you, nana, Shari's package with 30 American dollars, a card from Bonnie and Jerry, and if I remember one from Grandma.  And a Valentine's card from you I got today in the mission home and the letter with the chocolate and another card from nana.

Please keep him in your prayers for a quick recovery so he can get back to the Lord's work