Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 46: August 15, 2016

Southern delicacy boiled peanuts

A nice river in Ocala
Gooood afternoon,

           This past week has been crazy all over the place, but amazing at get same time.  So first off I've had a car full time very day all day for the past 6 weeks.  This past week we received a call that we will be in a car share.  Which means we share the car with some other missionaries, so we bike half the week and then have the car the other half of the week.  So  we biked a little his past week which was good, I need to lose a little bit of the weight I've gained.  Then the other interesting change was transfers his past week.  Elder Bladen and I were going to stay together and get a new companion with us.  So we would be in a trio.  We left up to Jacksonville on Wednesday to get him, we picked him up and headed back down.  Mind you this is a 2 hour drive one way, when we got back to Ocala we got a call from the mission president saying he needed our new companion somewhere up in Jacksonville actually.  So we got back in the car and headed back up.  So, that was crazy.  We spent about 8+hours in the car Wednesday.  Fun stuff.

            Anyways the rest of the week was fast pace, I loved it though.  We knocked a lot of doors his week which was great.  People here in Ocala are really nice so we usually don't have any problems.  So that was awesome.  But the best part is some of our friends who are investigating the church who are progressing really well.  We had a couple people coming to church with us.  They are loving it so much and feel the spirit.  That is probably the best part of missionary work, seeing the spirit work on those who excessive faith and read the scriptures, prays about it, and comes to church.  We can't convert them, but the spirit can.

          Another thing that has happened this week is I haven't felt the best, my stomach has just been killing me.  Oh well, but to make up for it we had a lot of food donated to us which is great!!!  We had a lot of Mexican food donated to us as well as sandwich meat, cheese, and pork.  I love it, I have also been eating a good amount of tilapia.  I love fish, it is not as good as fresh fish from the north west but it's good.

So here is the spiritual thought for he week, this scripture comes from a revelation given to Joseph Smith, the first prophet in these latter days.

Doctrine and Covenants  112:13
13 And after their temptations, and much tribulation, behold, I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them.

I love this because as we endure through trials and be humble and turn to he lord, he will heal us.  And that is a promise to all those who do this, I have experienced it myself and know that God can heal us.  I'm so grateful for him, and everything he does for me.

Alright that's it for now, have a great week!!!!!!

Here is a photos of the St. John's river up in Jacksonville

Week 45: July 25, 2016

  Good afternoon y'all,

           This has been an incredible week, and it was so short because we were busy and saw a lot of awesome people come to church.  We had one lady came out of the blue and loved it, it was awesome!!!  We are hoping to teach her more this week and continue to see her progress.  

            So I don't have much time to write so I will make a quick summary.  So this past week we were able to give a lot of awesome service.  And this next week we have a lot signed up.
But another thing we were able to do was a lot of finding, we went out and knocked lots of doors, which was great.  We were able to meet great people and share he gospel with them.  

          But I think my favorite thing from this past week was my scripture study.  I have learned so much from the Book of Mormon this past week it has been incredible.  I'll copy one of them into this letter.

Alma 34:32
32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

I love this scripture because it points out what our purpose here on earth is, we need to prepare to meet God.  And we do this through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Through faith on him and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  I know that his is true, that as we follow the example of Jesus Christ we can prepare to meet God.  I love this gospel and know it is true.

Have a wonderful week y'all!!!!

Huge spiders, banana spider

Week 44: July 18, 2016

Good afternoon!!!!!

         This past week has been incredible, Elder Bladen and I have seen many miracles this week.  We met a part member family, which means one of the the people in the house is a member of our church.  So we met this husband and wife, the husband is a member.  But the wife isn't, but the great thing is she is super interested.  We shared the message of the restoration with her and she loved it.  She felt the spirit and was excited to read from the Book of Mormon and come to church.  So I'm super excited to see hew progression.  Such a great family.

           In other news Ocala has a very confused weather system.  We have had some crazy rain storms and crazy rain.  So that has been fun, got soaked fro rain and sweat.  But that's life in the Florida Jacksonville mission.  And I love it a ton.

        So I'm out of time to email but I want to leave y'all with one of my new favorite scriptures.

Alma 7:7
7 For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all--for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people.

I know that Jesus lives, I know that he is our savior and that he is our savior.  That there is nothing more important than him coming into the world and taking upon him our sins.  I love him so much because of that.  I testify that he lives, and loves us.

Have a great week, 

The Gainesville Zone

Week 43: July 11, 2016

Good Morning y'all,

         This has been a crazy week full of awesome experiences, Elder Bladen and I are having tons of miracles happen, as well as having tons of fun.  First off I need to comment on the weather like usual.  This week hasn't been too bad, it's getting hotter every day but I guess I've just learned to deal with it.  So it hasn't bothered me as much as it usually does.  Though this last Saturday we were walking at on some trails talking to people, and we thought it might be nice and shady trails.  Nope, none of them had tree cover so we just walked in 100 Degree and higher heat.  But then we realized we were a little behind schedule and had to be somewhere soon.  So to make up for some time we started running in our white shirt, tie and slacks.  It was fun, we had to stop by the apartment quickly to change because we were literally soaking wet.  It was a blast!

           But here I'll share a couple of the awesome miracles that have happened this week.  We have one member of the church that we have helped start coming back to church recently.  He really wanted to stop smoking though, so through a lot of prayer and fasting we have helped him.  He has been off smoking for about 2 weeks, which has been amazing!!!!  He is so great and we have an amazing relationship with him.  He is going through a lot of trials and it has been great to see him turn to Christ to help him overcome these challenges.

         I guess the last thing I want to mention is the power of prayer.  Over these past 10 months of my mission I have learned what prayer really can mean to me.  As I have gone through hard times, and the people I am teaching are going through hard times.  I have seen turning to God can improve a situation.  I've seen God step into my life and lift me.  I have also seen the continual comfort as I have prayed during the good times.   I know that God lives, and that he loves us.  He loves us so much that he sent his son, our brother Jesus Christ.  This gospel has blessed me and my family more than I can explain.  I hope that all of y'all can feel of God's love for you as well.

I hope y'all have a great week!


Week 42: July 4, 2016

Hey y'all,

       This weeks email is going to be a little short so I apologize.

        But I guess first off I happy 4th of July!!!!!!  I'm so grateful for he freedom that we all have in this wonderful country.  The freedom to worship as we will, it is something that I used to take for granted but I really appreciate it now. But My day has been great so far, a bunch of us missionaries went up to Gainesville for our pday.  It has been a blast, tons of games and a barbecue.  It has been really great.

         Welp, this week was really great.  We were able to visit so many members of church.  We were able to see many miracles, we have been able to have a lot of people come back to church.  

         This week has been pretty hot, rainy, humid, hot again.  So I guess the same as last week except a little hotter.  Oh man, well sorry but this is going to probably be the end.  So I just want to add a scripture that I read recently from the Book of Mormon that i love.

2 Nephi 22:2

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.
          Have a great week!!!!! And happy 4th!!!!!


Some photos of of a road in Ocala

Starbucks cups from WA state, a member in our ward
was stationed at Fort Lewis so she
showed me her cups.  I thought it was awesome.

Week 41: June 27, 2016

Good morning y'all, or what ever time of day it is when you read this,

             This has been a really awesome week with many wonderful opportunities to serve others.  We have been meeting a lot of new people so I have been able to get better at introducing my self and getting right to teaching them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So that has been incredible and I'm loving every minute of it.

            So a lot of changes has happened this week.  Our mission president, he is he one who is over all the missionaries serving in the Florida Jacksonville area, goes home tomorrow.  Mission presidents serve for 3 years and then go back home.  So tomorrow we will have our new mission president in.  So this might bring around a lot of change, but it is exciting.  I just can't wait to meet him and continue in this wonderful work.

             So I wanted to share a acronym with y'all.  I had forgotten about but found it in some old notes, it was said by my wonderful Trainer Elder Mann who just finished his mission 2 weeks ago.  The acronym is CPR, now when you think of CPR you think it helps renew life, bring breath back.  So this is what it stands for in gospel terms, Church Prayer Reading.  These three things can bring "breath" back to us, renew us.  And I know all these things can.

            This week at church we had three people who are investigating the church show up on Sunday.  So that was exciting, and every one of them loved it.  I hope they continue to grow spiritually as they come to church and read from the scriptures.  But yesterday was just lots of fun and is always my favorite day of the week.  It just brightens the rest of the week, I feel spiritually renewed as I partake the bread and the water.  I know that Jesus died for our sins, pains, weaknesses and everything we go through.  He knows how we feel, and wants to help us.  I love him for that, and know he will always be there for me.  Through thick and thin.

Well I hope y'all have a wonderful week, I will continue to keep all of y'all in my prayers.  Please let me know if I can do anything for you, I can't be there physically, but I can try to help.  

Here is a photo of the mission president and his wife and me.  

Week 40: June 20, 2016

Hey y'all, hope it has been a great week for each of y'all,

        So I guess the first order of business is the weather, I guess this will be a recurring topic in my emails.  But my report for this week is that it has been great!  Ahhhhh, it has been overcast and raining.  I mean it is still humid and a little hot but not as bad as it usually is.   So I'm be, very happy!

               This week has been amazing, we had many miracles.  First off C. L., he was the one who was going to be baptized this last Saturday, is totally fine with moving his date back a week so he could be off smoking for longer.  So his baptism is this Saturday.  And he is doing great, we are meeting with him everyday this week with a member present to help make sure he is ok and to get him introduced to more members.    We don't know when's the next trip down to the temple is but we have taught him about it and he is excited to go to the temple, or as he calls it, "God's embassy".  And he is also excited to come out with us to do missionary work after his baptism.  We are just super excited to have the chance to see him grow.

        Also L. C., the less active we reactivated a couple weeks ago is starting to be a great member missionary.  He has been inviting people that live in his complex to church and to meet with us.  One of his friends came yesterday to church and he seemed to enjoy it.  Hopefully we will be able to see some progression now soon.

        But all in all this week has been amazing and I am so happy to have the opportunity to be out on my mission.  I have loved ever second of it, and will continue to love it.

I appreciate all of the support I have received from all of y'all.  

Have a great week,

         ~Elder Guinup~Florida Jacksonville Mission

Week 39: June 13, 2016

The district

Goooooooood Afternoon everybody!!!!

           I hope y'all had a great week, I know mine was pretty great!  Luckily I won't have to report that it is like a furnace down here this week.  The temperatures were hot but not boiling.  It only stayed in the mid to upper 90s, so that was nice.  Plus we had a little cloud cover from a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico last week.  All in all I can't complain.

           So first order of business transfers are this week.  And I know what's goin on, but he question is, do y'all have any guesses on if I stay or if I go?  Well here is the answer, are you ready???  Drum roll please..........I'm staying with Elder Bladen here in Ocala.  But here's the catch, this ward has had 3 sets of missionaries of a while.  2 sets of elders and a set of sisters.  This transfer we have 17 missionaries going home and only 11 coming out.  So some areas had to be shut down.  So crazy enough the other elders area is shut down temporarily so now Elder Bladen and I cover their area.  So we now have a lot of amazing new investigators.  And here's the big catch, because of this change and having the other elders investigators, we are having a baptism this Saturday!  It's crazy to think, luckily we know the investigator pretty well so it should be great.  I'll send pictures in next weeks letter.

           But this week has been awesome!  It's been crazy how many amazing people we met this week.  It has been incredible.  Well not to much more to report, but I once more happens I'll keep y'all posted.

         Welp, I hope y'all have a great week, and be safe!

         ~Elder Guinup~
Florida Jacksonville Mission