Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 15: December 28, 2015

Merry late Christmas and a happy new year!!!!!!!

        Christmas was so much fun this last week, I hope y'all were
able to have a great time with your families and friends.  It was
kinda weird though for me, mainly because it was 80 something degrees
on Christmas Day and was so humid.  But besides the heat it was a
great day, I was able to Skype my family which was really awesome, and
then so many families took us in and fed us.  From a Chinese dinner on
Christmas, to a pot of crab legs and craw fish, to just a traditional
ham and turkey.  But there was a lot of fun opportunities to spend
that time with other families.

        Also with Christmas last week a bunch of us missionaries got
together and went caroling.  It was a lot of fun, there was about 12
of us and we were able to go out and sing for about 2 hours.  Of
course with it being Florida we were sweating while walking around at
8pm.  Doesn't make sense but at least it is supposed to start getting
cold in the next couple days.  I'm so excited for it to finally cool

       Besides all of the fun activities this last week it just dawned
on me, it's 2016 this Friday!!!!!  Oh man I can't believe how quick
this whole year has gone by.  And with the new year comes the goals.
I don't have all of my goals down but I do know that one of them is to
get better at these emails.  I always feel like I don't write enough
each week, but I'm going to try to find more stuff to write about.

        But I am so grateful for this time I had to reflect this last
week on the saviors birth and what it means in our lives.  I truly
have felt his love this season and I hope y'all were able to feel it
as well.  We are all blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father who sent
his son to come and be our savior and redeemer.  I love this gospel
and the many wonderful opportunities I have to share it with others.
I love and miss you all.

     So have a happy new year and be safe, I'll talk to y'all next week!

Elder Guinup
Elder Bangerter and Elder Guinup- Happy Companions!
Christmas at Neptune Beach

Friday, December 25, 2015

Week 14: December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas Y'all,

       Mann Christmas is this Friday, that's crazy.  It's a little
weird to be away from home around this time of the year but I know
everything will work out.  Also it is weird because the weather can't
decide what season it is.  It was really hot and humid last week and
now it has been cold and humid so that the wind bites you to the bone.
I don't know, it seems a little weird to me to have the weather like
this in December, but I am in Florida so I guess it makes sense.

      But I hope everybody is having a great week so far, and
hopefully have a lot of awesome plans for Christmas.  I just can't
wait because we have so many awesome families in the area who have
invited us over.  But it should be a great day, one of the families,
the Walters, are having a Chinese Christmas dinner just for fun.  So
this should be fun!

      But here's the meat of the email, it is about what happened this
last week, so before transfers elder Mann was on a trade off with
elder Carillio and they found a guy who was super interested and
accepted the invitation to be baptized.  So on Saturday night Elder
Bangerter and I went and visited with him, he was so sincere and knows
that this is the time in his life where he needs to come closer to
Christ.  So we invited him to prepare to be baptized on the 16th of
January, he accepted and was super excited to come to church and to
continue to learn more.  Then that next day at church he just
immediately started fellowshipping with the members on his own, he
loved it there and had just amazing question during Sunday school.  I
am so blessed to be able to be here and help him in this journey as he
prepares for baptism.

I hope y'all have a great week, and have a merry Christmas!

Elder Guinup
Elder Guinup: Christmas 2015
Richard's Companion: Elder Bangerter

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week 13: December 15, 2015

Good morning y'all,

       This last week went by super quick, also transfers are this
week.  We found out who is going where last night.  I'm staying in the
Jax beach area but my companion Elder Mann is going more south to the
outskirts of Jacksonville.  So that means I get a new companion, Elder
Bangerder (I think that is how it is spelled) is coming to the
beaches.  I don't know much about him, I just know he is an amazing
singer.  So this should be fun.

       With Christmas being next week it was starting to feel like
winter time and the cold season.  I was dead wrong, it was nice and
cold last week, but this week it has been hot and humid.  I don't
understand how it can be December but still in the 80s.  But that's
Florida I guess, but I have been loving the overcast because then it
looks more like home.  Besides all that I am loving it down here,
there has been so much good stuff happening.

      So this last week I had an awesome experience, the first was
this last Thursday the whole mission, about 200 missionaries, got
together for a Christmas party.  It was a lot of fun, each zone did a
performance.  The zone I'm in, Jax east, did Felix navidad.  It might
not have been the best singing in the world but it was a ton of fun to
do.  There where other zones who did skits and songs and it was so
much fun.  But then after dinner and the performance, we had a
devotional where there where some Nice songs and then the president of
the mission spake.  It was so awesome to be in that room, you could
feel the spirit so strong when President Craig was speaking.  He was
talking about how we can relate the birth of Christ into our lives.
When Mary and Joseph where looking for a place to have Jesus be born.
And nobody would let them in, the same is in these days.  There aren't
many people who want to let Jesus in. This time of year, Christmas is
so commercialized, so it is on us to let Jesus into our lives during
this season.  This is why I love this season, we have so many
opportunities this season to bring Christ into our lives and our
friends and family as well.

I love you all and hope y'all have a great Christmas season,  I'll
talk to y'all next week,

Elder Guinup

Week 12: December 7, 2015

Good morning y'all!

       It's crazy to think that it is December.  I know that just about every email I send out is talking about how crazy it is to me to see the time just fly by.  But it is crazy!!!!!!  It has been nice over here though the past week, it is started to get cold and that means it is sweater weather.  It is nice go out side and not immediately start to feel sweat on your face.  But this weather keeps getting better and better, I love the cold but I know that this won't last for too long so that does make me kinda sad.

       Since it is Christmas season that means there is so much awesome stuff coming out about Christ's birth and I feel that this time of year just makes people happy.  Anyways one of those things is
the church Christmas video, it is all about his birth.  The video is just so awesome I won't spoil it for y'all if you haven't seen it yet, if you haven't seen it go to it is just an awesome website with that video and many more.  I invite y'all to go check it out, it has definitely brightened my day and has helped me think about my savior during this season.

      So if you can't tell I love it down here so much.  The work down here is going great, especially because of the season.  I feel people have a bigger desire to learn more around this time.  So one of the things that would help share the message is that video I was talking about.  That's why I am so glad we have iPads out here.  I can't remember if I told y'all when I first came out they gave us iPads.  They are monitored so we don't abuse them, but it helps us share the message because we can have videos and other resources downloaded onto the iPad which makes it so easy go just share it out on the street.  I'll share one experience,this last week we were just walking down by the beach and ended up sharing the Christmas video with someone.  He wasn't to interested before and was reluctant to even watch the video but after he watched it he wanted to learn more.  So he told us to meet him at McDonald's the next day.  So we did, he ended up having a lot of questions but we were able to answer them.  It is so awesome to see people change as they let themselves learn more and start to recognize that they need God in their life.  He is now really excited to keep learning more and to
grow his own faith in God even stronger than it is now.

I love you all and hope y'all have a great week,
Elder Guinup

Week 11: November 30, 2015

Good Morning y'all,

           I still can't believe it, it feels like I was just sending off an email
yesterday.  The weeks go by so fast, I just don't know how to
comprehend it.  It's even more crazy that today is the last day of
November, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh where did the time go!!!!

           But anyways since this last week was thanksgiving we had
the opportunity to go and visit a lot of families.  There was so much
food because we went to multiple dinners, and we ate so much food it
was insane.  But for my companion Elder Mann it wasn't the best of
days.  He woke up not feeling good at all.  So sadly not the best day
for him but it was still great to see all of the members helping us
make the holidays not as hard while we are away from home.

           Life down here has been good down here, I am just loving
all the work that is happening and it is incredible to see people
continue to change.  There is one older man we have been meeting with
and he is really starting to progress.  He has great knowledge of the
bible and has really liked reading the Book of Mormon so far.  We just
can't wait for him to make that next step in his faith by obeying
baptized.  He has shown some desires to take that step, so hopefully
he will eventually get to that step soon.

I love y'all and will talk to y'all next week,
Elder Guinup

(We sent Richard this wall Christmas tree and he loved putting it up and decorating it).

Week 10: November 23, 2015

Oh Boy!

      I feel really bad for my lack of time management last week and
not sending out this email.  So I'm going to try to write more than
usual to make up for it.  I hope y'all will forgive me, I'll try to
not let it happen again.

      But let's forget that for a moment, this last week has been
good, maybe even great, or awesome, let's say I have the courage to
say it was fantastic.  The weather is finally starting to cool down,
but it is cooling down quick, yesterday it was none chilling cold.  I
liked it but at times my hands were getting a little numb.  Rather
cold and numb than hot and sweaty.  Oh and another this, thanksgiving
is his week ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!  Where did November go, I thought
that it just started.  My mind right now just can't comprehend what is
going on!!!!!  Oh boy I got to calm down.....

          Anyways the Missionary work is beyond fun, but besides fun
it is amazing to be apart of this work and be able to see people
change as they put their faith in Christ.  One of those experiences
was with a member of the church.  His name is josh, he is preparing to
serve his mission and actually has his call.  He leaves for Perth
Australia next month, what an awesome place to be called, almost as
good as Jacksonville.....  But anyways he was with us on a mini
mission, where he lives with us and does everything we do for 10 days.
So he can get an idea of what he should be ready for.  But it was
really cool to be able to see his faith grow as he took part in the

         As missionaries on of the major things we do besides teaching
is just doing service.  We usually do about 10 hours of service a
week, it's interesting to see how service though brings no self gain
is incredibly enjoyable and makes your day 10 times better.  One of
these service opportunities was this last Saturday, where we did
something called farm share.  It is where people needing food line up
to go through and get bags of food.  It was crazy to hear how some of
the people got up at 2am just to be one of the first to get food.  But
we were there to help carry their food through the line and back to
the car or bus stop.  But there were so many bags and they were really
heavy so my arms are nice and sore.  Besides all of the bags we had to
carry and how tired we all got so quick it was really awesome to hear
how grateful all these people were for this little act of service.
That because we were able to just carry their bags their day was a
little easier.  This experience really touched me, if I could
encourage y'all to do anything it would be to take a little time
during this holiday season and just go serve someone.  It will bring
the Christ more into your life as you are able to do this.

I love y'all and hope y'all have a good thanksgiving!

Elder Guinup

Week 8: November 10, 2015

Hey y'all,

         This last week has gone by crazy fast, it's so weird that the
transfer is ending this week.  The transfers are every 6 weeks, so I
could be in a area from 6 weeks to about 6 months.  But I'm staying in
Jax beach with Elder Mann.  I was so glad into to stay with him, he
has been teaching me a ton.  But I have two crazy experiences, one was
that on Sunday it rained.  And I don't mean just rain it poured.  It
just didn't pour it was like the faucet in the clouds broke and was
just gushing water!  But it was fun because we got to bike in it and
we're biking through puddles that were about 1 to 2 feet deep.  It was
so much fun even though we got soaked to he bone.  Funny enough the
rain stopped after we were done biking for 30 min!  Oh Florida is so
weird, only here can you either be soaked by he rain, or put a jacket
on and be soaked by sweat due to the high humidity and 80 degree
weather in the rain.

One a better note I had an awesome experience this last week.  I had
been praying to have a spiritual experience to where I felt the
promoting to talk to someone or to knock at a specific house.  Well
this last week we were biking to dinner and passed a guy on the bus
stop, I felt the need to talk to him but kept going.  But then the
feeling kept telling me to go and kept getting stronger and stronger
till I couldn't keep biking.  We stopped and turned around and talked
to him.  It ended up being a waste of time at first, he wasn't
interested at all it didn't want to talk.  But right as we were about
to go another man came to the bus stop and saw our missionary name
tags and immediately began to ask questions.  We hen found out that he
was interested in turning his life around and coming back to church.
We set a date to have a lesson with him and set on our way.  As we
biked away I relived that my prayer was answered, that if I didn't go
back to the bus stop we would have never met him.  This help
strengthen my testimony, I know that God hears all of our prayers and
will answer us.  It might not be right away but he will answer, we
just have to listen for it.

I love you all,
Elder Guinup

Week 7: November 2, 2015

How are y'all doing!!!!

It's crazy to think that it is already November!!!!!!  I am trying to
write as much as I can right now but I have a big head ache.  But this
week went by fast but was slow because we didn't have much going on.
My companion was sick for a little bit so we were stuck in our
apartment for a little bit.  But besides that we found some amazing
people this week.  It is still so awesome to see that there are people
that God has prepared to meet us and ready.

But I have a quick thing that came to my mind, this last week I read
Daniel 3:17-18

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the
burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve
thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

This really hit me and it really makes me want to strive to always
follow God.  No matter what happens I should never change my beliefs.
I know that this gospel is true and I can not deny it.

I love you y'all,

Elder Guinup

Week 6: October 26, 2015

How y'all doing!

       This week has gone by so fast, it's so crazy.  But sadly I
don't have that much time to write y'all. But here's a brief overview
of this week, we have had a crazy amount of meetings this week.  But
it is so nice to see the blessings from all this work.  We had a hard
time finding investigators this week so we had a fast to get help from
God to find those who want and need he gospel.  A fast is when you
don't eat or drink for 24 hours.  It is a way to show your faith to
God, and it is a way to call upon his help.  During your fast you
focus your thoughts on God and Christ. After we ended our fast we went
out and found 3 new people who are so excited to learn more.  It
really strengthened my testimony blessings of the fast.  That God
really wants to bless you when you show faith in him and really do
your best to follow Christ's example.  I'm so sorry I don't have more
time to write but I will next week.

Love y'all!
Elder Guinup

from left to right, Elder Mann (my companion), Me, Elder
England, Elder Fisher (they are in the Fort Caroline Ward next to us)
We were at dinner at a Mexican restaurant and took a picture.

Week 5: October 19, 2015

Hey y'all,

      This week has gone by crazy fast, I can't believe i left over a
month ago.  Time goes by super fast. We have been doing a lot of
teaching out here.  The people out here are so nice and have been
feeding us a ton.  We had some fun today though, we went to a members
house and went fishing and BBQ.  We caught a bunch of fish and I
somehow caught a crab with a fishing pole!  It was weird, it latched
on and I just brought it in.  It's funny how quick weeks go by, but I
know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Anyways besides all of that the one thing I would like to share is
that the Holy Spirit really guides. This week it has helped me so much
by leading me in the right direction to where I have found those
interested in the church.  I know that no matter who you are, what you
have done in you life, that God is with you and wants to help.  That's
why he gave us the Holy Spirit, because he loves us so much.  I have
struggled with that through my life but have found peace and comfort
when I ask God for forgiveness and truly follow his commandments and
teachings, and because of that I am so grateful.

I love you all, until next week,
Elder Guinup

Week 4: October 12, 2015

Hey y'all,

       This week was crazy, there was so much going on and it went by
so fast I couldn't believe it.  I left home about a month ago.  That's
crazy to think of.  The area I'm in I have a car to drive every other
week.  When we don't have the car we bike but it's not bad because
Florida is flat.  The only hill out here is a bridge.  Which is only
bad when it is really hot outside......which it is most of the time.
Anyways besides that it was so awesome to go around finding people who
want to learn about the church.  There was his one man who actually
called us over because he said he heard a voice telling him that it's
time to call us over and learn.  It really got me thinking, there
really are people that God has prepared to learn.  All we have to do
is have faith that God will lead us to them.  Also yesterday at church
I gave a talk on Galatians 5:22-23.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

It got me thinking, we can feel the spirit and receive its fruit when
we follow Gods commandments.  But I knew that and I kept thinking what
am I missing.  Then it hit me, the fruit of the spirit is good, we can
"Taste" it, but it being fruit we can share it with others.  And
that's when it hit me, that's what I'm really doing.  Not just
throwing church doctrine at people but that through the spirit we may
know the truth of all things.  That is what's so amazing, through our
faith we may know the truthfulness of Christ's teachings.

I miss you all,

Elder Guinup

Week 3: October 5, 2015

Hey Y'all,
I'm out out in Florida now.  I hope you all are doing well at home, Florida is awesome.  It can get
really hot and humid but right now the weather is starting to get cold and I'm super excited for that.  But when it is humid it hits you like a brick wall.  It's so crazy how it you like a brick wall.  Besides
that my companion (or trainer) is Elder Mann.  He's really cool and has helped me a ton.  There is so much to learn but I think I'm getting it down.  We are in the Jax East Zone, and in the Jax Beaches
Ward.  So I get to see the ocean just about everyday.  It is so cool over here, there are so many types of plants and trees of different colors so it makes it interesting to look around at.  There are also
so many lizards out here, they are so small and I keep steeping on them.  No alligators yet mainly because I'm in the city.  But I hope y'all are doing well.

Love and miss you all,
Elder Guinup

Week 2: Welcome to the FJM 9/29/15

 I made it safe to Jacksonville today, it is so flat.  You can't see any hills or mountains anywhere!!!  Also once we stepped foot out of the airport you could just immediately feel the humidity! Oh my gosh i started sweating so much!!!  President and sister Craig are so awesome and i am so glad that i am finally here.  I love you guys so much and was so glad i was able to talk to you all today.  Thanks for all of the support!!!!

Elder Guinup

Week 1: September 23, 2015

This week has been crazy, there is so much to learn here.  The schedule is crazy long here at the missionary training center.  we get up at 6:30 and are learning in a classroom till 9:30.  But somehow it is all still so much fun.  It is also easy when you are with a bunch of people who want the same thing as you, and so there is so much support.  It is just amazing how much we are able to learn and even remember and it is only because of God.  I don't have much time to email today but i will in the coming weeks.

i miss you all,
Elder Guinup