Monday, November 25, 2013


Okay, so this story totally deserves to be told.

Like I said, we went tracting. And as we knocked on this door, we saw this dog, shivering on top of the stinkiest, oldest comforter ever. Sister Napper knocked furiously on the door while I tried to bundle this dog up. The poor thing was shaking and it's eyes just said "You're really sweet, but I'm going soon anyways." Napper and I definitely cried. We said a prayer... and then we called Animal Protection services. As we were coming back around, we made sure it was still bundled up. Napper and I were ridiculously torn up about it the rest of the day. Magnificently, it was also the day we found a new family to teach.

The importance of this story, however, is that later that night when I was praying... My heart was broken over this dog and we had just gotten out of a very heart-warming/breaking lesson with an older LA widow. I'm a slobbery mess and it just got worse when I realized that every soul we seek out shivers just like that dog. Holy moly, I felt so bad when I realized that.

It was a very emotional day.

Love, the bleeding heart animal protector Sister Gunson
UPDATE FROM LACEY: The dog is still alive! Hannah sent me a photo:

And since we're talking about animals, here is another animal photo.
"Yes, that is a member's cat. We put baby clothes on her. Her name is literally Fat Cat. Fat Cat lost weight. Actually."


Happy Thanksgivin' Y'all!!

This week, I got to study leprosy. How often do you get to say that...?  It's really nasty and awful.... I'll come back to that in a minute.

The first of this week felt like weird. There's just no other way to explain it. I felt homeless. Nowhere felt like home, not even Santa Barbara when I pictured it. I felt like a ghost, wandering around Justin, shouting pleas into a vacuum. I talked to Sister Napper about it and all she had to say in consolation was "I feel like that too. Have this whole week." We both sat there and looked at each other and tried and tried to figure this out. We thought "Maybe we're getting transferred?" and "Maybe the world is ending?" But eventually, we figured it out.

The Devil is the single biggest hater in this world and world to come. Like... DOOD.

We figured out that Satan knows the epic miracles and awesome work we have here to do in Justin. He tried to stop it by (trying to) drive wedges between me and my comp. That didn't work-- we're too awesome for that. So now he's trying to separate us from the ward and the area. We were having none of that. So instead of perpetuating our weirdy feelings.... we went tracting. Naturally, the night we decide to tract all day, it's a whopping 31 degrees. AND remember when I said you can't measure heat by thermometer in Texas? Gotta go by Heat Index? Yeah, well, same goes for the cold. Gotta measure wind chill. Dang you, humidity, you fun-sucker. But you know what, in spite of all that, we found an entire family to teach. BOOYAH

So, back to leprosy.... Bishop asked me to give a talk on Sunday about giving the Savior my thanks through my mission service. Pretty sure I could have taken the entire sacrament meeting on that. But I talked about the 10 lepers Christ healed and the one that turned back around and gave thanks. That's when I decided to pull out Jesus the Christ and read up on leprosy.

Dude, it's death incarnate. But more important than how gross leprosy is is the quote that went along with it: "What happens here in figure must happen in the reality to our souls because of the death of sin." However disgusting the body is when leprosy is eating away at it... that's what's happening to the soul when you decide to place yourself outside of the circle of light that is the gospel. Fortunately, we are all able to be cleansed from such abysmal spiritual maladies. Having experienced that phenomenal joy of being released from that agony... giving my 18 months is like a piece of cake. It's so small, yet so uniquely mine to give. This Thanksgiving, I love being away from friends, family, school, work, everything that the holiday is "supposed to be" about because I'm discovering what it's really centered on and what we're thankful for. It's not to celebrate the inevitable annihilation of an indigenous culture with gluttony... but to praise God-- from whom all blessings flow.

I miss you all... but I kind of don't. ;)

Gobble gobble!
Sister Gunson

PS: We saved a dog this week. We were rewarded by not getting tagged by fleas. God is good.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

No Limits, No Coincidences, No Fear

Ollo!  *Explanation from Janet:  That's how Mega Mind answers the phone.

Have you ever asked yourself "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" I think I asked myself that once and it probably had something to do with theatre. But asking it in a missionary setting...? It changed everything.

We had a Zone Conference this week. Basically, the cultural hall of the Denton stake centre was transfigured all day. It was a great day all around, starting with some epic news!! Somebody I taught in Hurst got baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sam Cripe, probably one of my favorite investigators, FINALLY got baptized. MAN. We were waiting forever. Apart from that, Zone Conference taught me to "remove the glass walls." Sometimes we set limits for ourselves that aren't actually there. I've decided that since with God, nothing is impossible, then what's stopping me?

Breaking limits happened all over this week. Cailee's mom is a couple steps closer to giving permission and after an entire transfer and a half of trying to get inside a less active member's house-- when members have told us that we can't get in.... they let us in. And fed us dinner. There's a good reason though why they haven't let people in though... We might've picked up some fleas. So when we went to dinner that night (yeah, we double-booked... Sisters can do that too...) we ate on her porch. Totally gained her trust though, once we explained the situation.

We also had Stake Conference this week! And it set everybody on FIRE. We'd been praying for some help with the work from the members. Thank you Stake Conference for being the cattle prod we could not be. Holy Moly it was awesome.

We had lunch with a recent convert on Sunday who bore such powerful testimony that I started tearing up. Honestly, he reminds me of you, Daddoo. He even has a goatee. He was given the Melchizidek priesthood on Sunday and... it's really cool to see how far people can come. He said "there were just too many coincidences, too many miracles for this to not be true, for there to not be a God." When once upon a time he was the epitome of a trucker. He still drives Peterbuilts, but now he has the priesthood. Brother... there are no coincidences. Not in this line of work.

My reasoning for this week then is if there are no limits and no coincidences.... there should be no fear. No crazy random happentsances to make you think twice, no actual wall to run into, you shouldn't be afraid to talk to anyone and everyone. Try it sometime-- the proof is in the puddin'.

Love y'all! Have agreat week!
Sister Gunson

Happy news!!

Hey y'all!

TRINITY GOT BAPTIZED. TRINITY. GOT. BAPTIZED. OHHHHHHHHHHHH my gosh. Finally. She's been waiting for a really long time!!!!!!!! When she went in for her interview, Elder Beckstrand (our new District Leader) said that she was excited and bubbly the entire time. During her baptism, she split her face in half, smiling so hard! Everyone was so supportive.... we were driving around in her neighborhood yesterday and we saw her totally having a party by herself. Just enjoying some sunshine, jumping, dancing around on her driveway... She was confirmed and received an astonishingly beautiful blessing. I'm so thankful for the ward and all they've done to help her progress.

I haven't been too clear about her, so I've decided that I'm going to start over from the beginning and re-tell this sucker.

At the beginning of last transfer, Sister Napper and I had the really strong impression that we needed to concentrate all efforts on our LA/PM (less active members/ part-member families) group. As we worked to strengthen the ward, we saw the benefits: LA's came back, we found good friends, and we found lots of new people to teach. One day, we were out "hunting" and we knocked on the her family's door. Trinity's gramma opened the door and said "OH thank goodness! I was just about to call you guys! This one wants to get baptized!" she pulled Trinity out of the doorway and introduced her to us. Trinity said "I went to primary a lot before and I really want to get baptized." From Day 1 of teaching her, she soaked everything up, like a sponge. She believed it was true, probably before we said it. She openly shared her testimony and feelings with us, describing what it felt like when she prayed and how she felt the spirit. When we asked her to read her scriptures, she decided to start at the beginning. Of her quad. Which is the bible.... she made it 11 pages in in 2 days! She understood more than anyone what this gospel could give her.

This is exactly what Christ meant when he said "Of such is the kingdom of God." If all of us were to be like Trinity... The world would be so happy. So peaceful. She accepted it, knew it was true, because she was so humble enough to receive the truth. She's an astonishing example to her family. She's an astonishing example to me. I want to be Trinity when I grow up. I wish I came home dancing and jumping from church.

This all being said, I'd like to ask if everyone could pray for Cailee and the Bishop of our ward. It's going to be an intense week, and everybody could use some prayers. I know God listens, hears and respects every prayer.

Well, I honestly can't remember what else happened this week. Trinity kind of takes the prize for best thing to ever happen EVER. OH! We found a stray husky yesterday and tried to take him back to his owner but he didn't have a collar. I didn't know how fast/long/hard I could run until I found myself sprinting after this dog.... And I had legit Thai food yesterday. Yeah, that's what happened this week.

Y'all have a good week!!
Love, Sister Gunson

Monday, November 4, 2013

If You Build It, They Will Come.

Hey y'all!

A little while ago, my companion and I were talking to the bishop of our ward. We wanted some guidance and counsel before we continued forward in our work. We decided that the best plan of action was to strengthen the ward. Our bishop said: :"If you build it, they will come." We have been building it, and the party just showed up this week.

Among the many many MANY miracles seen this week, my favorite one has to be Sean Taft. He just moved in with a aprt member family and is probably the most sincere investigator I've seen in a really long time. He has questions like "I'm scared of death because I think I'm going to Hell" and "repentance doesn't work for me." So maybe those aren't questions so much as they are statements that lead to teaching.... But we had a really powerful experience with him yesterday as we invited him to be baptized and take the lessons. He agreed to both and we're starting in on his conversion process! I know he's going to be real with all of this because his drive comes from the realization that hope might be around the corner. He reminds me a lot of someone back home. He's so teachable.... I'm so thankful I get to be a part of this!!

It has been a struggle to live these past couple weeks though. I don't understand God's plan. I don't think I really will. For a while, I was scared to wake up because I dreaded the next morning. But Paul has some good advice: Romans 5:3-4 says: Not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope." I wish Heavenly Father didn't trust me so much sometimes. And one day, I will have joy in suffering. I know, it sounds SUPER weird, and I kind of can't believe I'm saying that, so, I'm just gonna quote one of the greatest wizards of all time, Ronald Weasely: "You're gonna suffer.... but you'll be happy about it."


Here's to another week!
Love, Sister Gunson

What happened this week?

Editor's note:  When Hannah uses the word "transfer" it appears she is referring to the entire 6 week period between transfers.  She is going on a second 6 week period with the same companion and is still in Justin.  In another brief email to me she wrote in answer to my query about her location, "STILL IN THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH! Seriously. I cannot WAIT to take you and Dad here!!!! I see things and places and I'm like "my family needs to see this." It's..... almost better than Disneyland. Maybe better.... probably better." Isn't it amazing that no matter how hard a mission is, a good missionary would still rather be there than anywhere else in the world.   And Hannah could really use your prayers right now, btw.
I sat down to write this and I thought that. Hm. I guess everything goes by in a big blur. I'm so anxious to write everything down in my journal because I know I'm gonna forget it. I've finished my second journal, my 3rd transfer, and my 6 month... Starting in on the third journal, 4th transfer and 7 month and I don't know what number email this is. So....

First of all, we've had to move Cailee and Trinity's baptism dates. Just to the next week, but it was a bummer to cancel their interview and have our DL go "WAIT WHY?!" Well, that's what happens when people's agency interfere with other people's agency.

I've talked before (MANY a time) about how much Agency, as awesome as it is, gives me a rash. I love to choose! I love choosing to serve a mission, choosing to leave my family for a bit to serve the Lord. I love choosing the right! But I DO NOT like it when other people's choices make it so someone else can't choose. Trinity is on the straight-track to the waters of baptism. I don't know of anything that could possibly move her. Cailee is much the same way! She's so solid, the epitome poster-child of what missionary's call "the elect." And yet her mom has denied her permission to get baptized. She sees Cailee's personal improvement as being distant or whatever, the blood rushing to my head in anger impaired my hearing.
NOT A FAN, Adversary. NOT. A. FAN.

On the upside, we had interviews this week. I had been struggling a lot with my ADHD the latter-end of this transfer. Especially during prayers and studies. I hate the fuzzy brain! It separates me from God and spiritual development!! So I talked to president about it and he gave me some very good advice. He helped me see the line between killing the natural man and myself and how to overcome my obstacles.

I'm really not sure what else happened this week. The campers are setting up (already) for race weekend. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I'm right by the Texas Motor Speedway and Nascar is coming to town. Napper and I are rooting for Matt Kenseth. Sort of. We don't really know who he is, we just saw his name on the giant electric marquee. But he's number 20 this year, so we're excited!!! He's one of the best!... Apparently? Anybody want to do some research?

Love, Sister Gunson