Wednesday, August 14, 2013

08.14.13 {week 3}

Ciao Family!
Here we are again at another P-Day.  Cosa??  That's cray. 
This week was pretty normal except for ELDER SCOTT SPOKE AT THE DEVOTIONAL LAST NIGHT.  It was seriously incredible.  We've known since choir practice on Sunday that there was going to be someone big coming because we found out it was going to be broadcast to all of the other MTCs around the world.  So we were really excited.  And for good reason!  He spoke about missionary work a little bit.  When he first got up there he could barely speak because he was so emotional and then he said, "I love missionaries."  Cue the sniffles throughout the women's section of the choir.  He mostly focused on prayer.  And it was so refreshing because he kept telling us things that we say to investigators a lot:  "Prayer is communication with God.  He wants to hear from you.  He loves you."  I feel so blessed to be on the "giving" end of those words almost every day, but it was so nice to be on the "receiving" end.  He also talked about the three ways we receive answers to prayers.  First, we feel peace, which indicates "yes."  Second, we feel bad or a stupor of thought, which indicates "no."  Third, we feel neither of these feelings because we just need to make the decision on our own.  And then he said, "When God gives you no response, thank Him for having so much faith in you."  Incredible, right??  I had never thought of that before.  And then, after the closing prayer, everyone just sat in silence forEVER because the spirit was just so strong.  And then Elder Scott finally got up to leave the stage, so we all stood and he just kept waving to us as he walked out.  And then at one point he yelled, "Be good!"  I adore him.  Guys, I can't even explain how happy I am to be on a mission.  Last night, after the devotional, I was practically giddy with happiness.  I just couldn't wipe the smile off my face.  I am so in love with this work.  It's hard and my patience is tested every second of every day, but I seriously love it.
On to other things...I got the most incredible packages in the mail this week!  Thanks to Tammy, Mom and Dad, Mitch, and Bep!  I was so overwhelmed with love this week from everyone.  Thank you!  Yes mom, I got the cookies as well.  SO YUMMY.  And thank you for sending my nail polish and everything else in there.  It was perfect.  And Bep, thanks for almost making me cry with the letters/pictures your kids did for me.  ;)  I showed off JB's letter to my district and they all thought it was adorable.  Probably because it was.  And thanks to everyone for the letters/dearelders/emails I've received!  I'm working on getting back to everyone!  (P.S. Amy, I haven't received any doughnuts should definitely talk to that company you ordered them through.)
We had a fire drill in one of our buildings today.  That was exciting (we're a little bit starved for excitement here, can you tell?).  I decided it's because the Anziani kept yelling "Fuoco!" the week before.  They were practically asking for it.  But, alas, no fire.  I've found that the quickest way to gain respect from the Anziani in my zone is with four simple words: "I have a degree."  Haha, hey it's good for something!  ;)  Also, praying in public isn't weird anymore, so that's weird.  Everyone's just praying in public all the time here.  Good ol' MTC.  Oh, I got my chicken pox vaccine on Monday and my body is reacting kinda strangely.  I have a large hive/rash thing right where I got the shot.  We've been tracking it, and it keeps getting bigger every day.  But I don't want to go to the health clinic because I think they'll make me spend more money.  And that shot was a hundred bucks!  Anyway, I'm sure I'll be fine.  If it gets worse, I'll go get it looked at.  It's just kinda strange.
Mom, to answer your question, no I have not sung in Sacrament Meeting.  I do play the piano for all the songs though.  There are only three weeks for me to have musical numbers (because the other two weeks are fast Sundays) and I really wouldn't be comfortable taking one of those for myself.  We had four of the Sorelle in our zone sing this last Sunday and we have an Anziano playing a piano solo this Sunday.  We have a ton of musical talent in our zone, so I am just here as a support.  :)  I am going to audition to sing at a fireside/meeting thing though.  Speaking of, Mom, can you send me a copy of "Once There Was One"?  Their music library here leaves much to be desired.  If you could send that to me ASAP that would be great!  Thanks!  You da best!  Anyway, so we'll see how that audition goes.  I'm also accompanying people in my zone for three other auditions.  Yay music!
I'm glad to hear the reunion went well!  I hope you gave everyone my love and painted as many faces with a big red "U" as possible.  ;)  Can someone please give me an update on Reesie?  I'm worried.  And I did not like hearing about what happened with Grandma.  I hope she's okay.  Hopefully the transition to Aunt Jan's house can happen sooner rather than later.  She's in my prayers.  You all are!  Hey I got the pictures you sent and that suitcase is AWESOME.  Thanks, Dad!!  Good eye!  I can't wait to see it...when I get 18 months minus three weeks....  (But who's counting?)
We got to go to the temple this morning!!!!  Oh my goodness, best morning ever.  And we got to watch the new temple video.  Have you guys seen it??  It's so incredible!  I loved every second of it!  Also, you know NieNie?  And her sister CJane?  Well I've followed CJane's blog for forever, so I feel like I basically know her and her family (even though I obviously don't) and CJane's husband is the new Peter!  I was shocked!  Anyway, it was awesome.  Go to the temple, everyone.
This is random, but my companion has a blog also!  Just in case you want to hear about our experiences from her point of view.  :)  She's the best, so I have no doubt that her emails are awesome.
We had a bunch of lessons this week.  Some great!  Some good.  Some...not so good.  We have one simpatizzante (investigator), Dario (who's actually Fratello Cena), who didn't believe in God when we first met with him.  That's super hard.  Because you have to try to get them to build that foundation.  During our second lesson we taught him about the Restoration and I recited Joseph Smith's vision (memorized in Italian!) and toward the end of the lesson he said, "I'm sorry, but I don't understand why this is important for me to know."  Dude.  It broke our hearts.  It was rough.  At our third lesson with him, we talked about the Holy Ghost and at one point he got all teary-eyed and the spirit was so strong and I felt like I should ask him if he believes in God.  So I did.  And he said, "I don't know, but I want to."  YOU KNOW, DARIO.  That's what I wanted to say.  It is so hard when people won't recognize that what they're feeling is the spirit!  The love of God!  And this isn't even a "real" person!  I'm sure it will only become more heartbreaking when I'm in Italy.  But the spirit was there and I know he felt it, so I have faith that he will continue to progress.  We also taught a "less active" member this week.  We went in with this whole plan of what we were going to talk about - we were going to talk about prayer.  We had scriptures ready and everything.  But we got in there and he started telling us about hard things in his life and we didn't even touch what we were going to teach.  We ended up going a totally different route - talking about il piano di salvezza and l'amore di Dio.  It was such a cool experience.  It was one of the first real missionary moments for Sorella Carter and me.  It was awesome.  Missionary work is so great, guys.
Things we learned from watching "The Testaments" on Sunday night?
How to pick up chicks 101:
1. Throw rocks at her
2. Use creepy pick up lines (i.e. "I know your name...")
3. Trip over the baskets
(Also the end of that movie made me bawl like a baby.  You should all watch it.  Right now.  Just watch it.)
Anziano Petersen, in the most serious, concerned voice: "Guys, I have a secular song stuck in my head..."
Anziano Barrow: "In the real world, the saying is 'There's an app for that.'  In the MTC, the saying is, 'There's a rule for that.'"
Well, I'm running out of time, but I love you all!  Lots of love from the MTC!
Sorella Gunnerson

Our living quarters!  (Amy, be sure to show Ava that her pictures are taped up right by my bed.  And Bep, Claire's and JB's will be there soon!)  (Also, did you notice my awesome companion's awesome bedspread?  Yeah, we're best friends.) 

 I just had to take pictures of the incredible things Tammy sent me!  It was so incredibly nice of her!  And look at those cookies!!!

Some of the anziani in my district.  They're the best.  (And we found an elder with the last name of Franco!  So Anziano Hansen [the lost Franco brother] borrowed it for a sec and we took a picture.)

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