Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10.23.13 {week 13}

Ciao Family!

It was so good to hear from so many of you this week!  Thank you so much for all of the emails and support (as always).  It really does make such a difference.  :)

In all honesty, this week has been pretty hard.  It's definitely different living in a house of two instead of a house of four.  And we've also taken on a much bigger load, which is AWESOME.  But hard.  ;)  We had two lessons this week with investigators (one we were meeting with for the first time and one we've met with a couple of times before) who literally just quoted Alma 32 and didn't even know it.  They both started talking about how faith is like a seed that needs to be nourished and then it will grow and all this stuff.  So we opened up to Alma 32 and we were basically just like, "Hey, meet this guy."  And then the one we were meeting with for the first time said, "Yeah, I just don't understand why there's only one God but so many churches..."  And we were like, "Hey, meet this guy named Joseph Smith."  It was awesome.  And such a testament to me that there really are people who are prepared to hear this gospel.

So I don't know if you've heard, but it's humid here in Milano.  How humid, you ask?  Well, the other day I needed an envelope.  But when I went to my stack of envelopes I realized that they were all sealed shut.  Yep.  THAT humid.  Mamma mia.  Also, the mold problem has worsened, so they're going to start looking for a new apartment for us.  Basically in our free time, we just get out bleach and kill mold (and probably some brain cells...).  It's fun stuff.  ;)

Anyway, that's it for this week.  Hopefully I'll have more exciting news next week for you all.  :)  Thanks again for everything!  AMORE!

Sorella Gunnerson

My first district in the field.  :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10.16.13 {week 12}

Greetings from Milano!

How is everyone doing?  Sounds like autumn is treating you well.  I'm only a little bit jealous.  ;)  So, we found out about transfers on Monday night and (drumroll please) I'm staying here!  I was not surprised about that at all.  I basically knew that Sorella Palumbo and I would stay.  BUT we found out that both Sorella Carlock and Sorella Bucco are leaving.  I'm seriously so heartbroken about this.  Not only that, but their companionship is being closed, so Sorella Palumbo and I are taking over ALL of their investigators, less-actives, everything...  It should be interesting.  There's a ton of work to do, but I'm excited about it.  But they're leaving!  I'm so sad!  I should really start getting used to this.  I was telling Sorella Palumbo on Monday night how sad I am - "They make me leave my family.  Then they send me to the MTC where I get a new family and I adore all of them.  And then they separate us.  And then they put me with these sorelle who I fall in love with and then they take them away!"  She first asked me who "they" was referring to and then I realized that it's Heavenly Father and I should really stop being so bitter.  ;)  At least I've met so many people who are incredible and make it so hard to be separated from them!  Better to be sad that these two sorelle are leaving because I adore them rather than be happy they're leaving because I don't like them or something.  So.  That's the big news from this transfer.  I'm really sad.  It's going to be a huge adjustment.  Living in four was awesome.  But I know it's all for the best!  And I know these sorelle are going where they're supposed to be going and I know we're staying here for a reason.  It'll be great!

It was a weird week.  It involved a surprise trip to the dentist (for Sorella Palumbo, not me), a long morning/afternoon at the Questura to get my Permesso, and long days.  But that's okay.  We're still working with our investigators and less-actives and just gearing up to double our load for the next six weeks!  Nothing too exciting to report.  :)

BUT this morning was exciting!  We went to see the Cenacolo (Leonardo DaVinci's "Last Supper").  That was pretty awesome.  We had to get the tickets, like, a week ago.  And then they only let you stay in the room for, like, ten minutes.  But it was huge and awesome to see.  We even took some scriptures in there and read about the actual last supper while looking at The Last Supper.  It was pretty great.  After that, we went shopping for boots (and I finally got some!  Success!).  Then we had gelato and then a good old-fashioned American lunch at Burger King!  (Yes, in that order.  Don't judge.)  Man, I've missed burgers...  So it was an eventful morning!  I love Italy, guys.

 OH I FORGOT. I have a funny story!  So on Monday morning we were doing a deep cleaning of our house and I was going through some pictures and getting ready to put some new ones in my album, so I had the one of me with Mom and Dad in front of the Provo temple sitting on my desk.  And Sorella Carlock comes in my room and starts FREAKING OUT.  She goes, "THAT'S YOUR DAD?  THAT IS NOT YOUR DAD.  IS THAT YOUR DAD? NO WAY."  I SWEAR she had seen a picture of you guys before but I guess she hadn't.  Anyway, it turns out she was in Dad's last Isaiah class at LDSBC and she seriously adored the class.  She was freaking out for the next half hour about how awesome Dad is, how awesome the class was, how funny he was, about how she gave her book from the class to her Mom because she learned so many things and yeah.  Anyway, make sure Dad reads this.  She said he probably wouldn't recognize/remember her but she was seriously so excited.  It made my day!  Dad is awesome. 

Anyway, I think that's about it for this week.  OH AND WE HAVE HEAT IN OUR HOUSE.  Best day ever.  Now our house is nice and toasty and we don't have to do planning and studying in hats and gloves.  :)  Also, I've decided I'm going to be a Tiramisu-making machine when I come home.  Because everyone makes it here and it's incredible.  Basically my new favorite thing.  So get excited for that.  ;)  I love you all!  Send me updates about your lives.  Please and thank you.  AMORE!

Sorella Gunnerson

A sign on the street near the church where The Last Supper is.  I guess it means there's a work of Leonardo DaVinci nearby?  Kind of funny.

The church of the Cenacolo.

outside the church.  my sisters!

Inside the church.  I really like to take pictures of pretty ceilings.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10.09.13 {week 11}

Ciao Everyone!

First of all, I can't believe Grandma is gone!  (as in moved) I got surprisingly emotional about it while reading everyone's letters about it today.  Sweet Grandma.  That must have been hard for her.  But I'm glad she's somewhere where there are lots of people to love and take care of her!

Second, Andrew has been blessed!  It sounds like the baby blessing went wonderfully.  I'm so glad to hear it.  Just wish it could have been put off for about...16 months.  ;)  Thanks for the pictures, Mom!  Also, SNOW!  And colorful mountains!  I'm a little bit bitter about the fact that I missed fall in Salt Lake last year AND this year AND next year.  But I'm sure it will make it that much better for two years from now.  Oh man, I love autumn.  Speaking of the weather, it is COLD here.  We go to sleep cold and we wake up cold and we walk around cold and it's just cold.  Didja get that?  COLD.  Part of the problem is that it's a wet cold, so it's just...worse.  Also, the heat in our house isn't on yet.  Nor is the heat in the church.  My towel never dries throughout the day.  I hang it up after I shower and then at night when I wash my face it's still wet and cold.  This is a problem.  So, like I said, we're just always cold.  We do our best to fix that though.  Sunday afternoon found the four of us in the kitchen around the table with our language study materials, taking turns holding the blow dryer and rotating it around the room.  It actually worked pretty well after we closed the kitchen door so that no heat could escape.  And then when we realized how desperate we had become we started laughing pretty hard.  I seriously love these sisters I live with.  Transfers are next week (yep, my first transfer is almost over) and I really hope that no one leaves.  But I'm sure whatever happens is supposed to happen.  I doubt Sorella Palumbo and I will be leaving, but you never know.  Also, before we get off the subject of our house, it's so humid that we have a mold problem on my wall.  Yep, just on the half of the wall where my desk is.  We clean it and it comes back, like, two days later.  They might have to open up the wall and see what's going on.  (Sound familiar, Bep and James?)  What an adventure.

General Conference was THE BEST.  Holy cow, I loved it.  We still haven't seen the Sunday afternoon session.  We'll probably just have to wait until they're in the Ensign.  I suppose I could get on and print them off  Anyway, the other three sessions that we got to watch were just incredible.  They blew me away.  And there were so many moments that were meant just for me and other moments that were meant just for our investigators.  It was PERFECT.  Two of my favorite talks?  Elder Uchtdorf on Saturday - "Doubt your doubt before you doubt your faith."  YES.  So many people don't understand this!  And also Elder Scott's on...Saturday? Sunday?  Can't remember.  But about keeping covenants.  Also, so many talks about missionary work!  (coughmembermissionariescough)  Seriously though, so many perfect moments.  I love this gospel so much.  And, yes, we got to watch it in English.  There were a ton of missionaries who came to our chapel to watch it, so the room was pretty full.  (Also, there are actually 8 missionaries just in our ward, which is pretty unheard of.)  Anyway, it was wonderful.  I love conference.  I cannot wait to get the Ensign with all of the talks and read them over and over again.  Also, the past two days I have just been so happy.  I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of this whole "being a missionary" thing.  And I'm starting to really love it.  I still don't understand everyone.  And I'm still far from speaking fluently.  But I can definitely see progress in my comprehension.  It's really nice.  And I can see a huge boost in my happiness when I'm giving my all to the missionary work.  It's hard.  Ha!  That is the understatement of the century.  But I already know that it is so worth it.  :)  I literally see miracles every day.  There have been multiple times already that we've met people but haven't been able to get their number or they haven't been responding to our calls/texts or something and then we just randomly run into them on the street or on the metro!  I don't believe in coincidences.  The Lord is so involved in missionary work because it is His work.  Man oh man, I love it.  And I'm in ITALY.  Sometimes I forget.  But then I remember and I want to skip down the cobblestone streets!  I love this country!

Anyway, all is well here in Milano!  I love you all!  I pray for you multiple times a day and constantly thank Heavenly Father for you and your support.  :)  AMORE!

Sorella Gunnerson


Remember how I said it's really cold?  This is me this morning as I was waiting for everyone else to get ready to go do fun p-day stuff.  SO COLD.
Also, Sorella Palumbo and me this afternoon making the trek up to the top of the Duomo!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

10.02.13 {week 10}

Ciao, Family!

How is everything in America?  Man, sometimes I miss that place.  What does that even mean?  I have no idea.  There's someone smoking outside of this internet place.  Like, right by the door and it's giving me a headache and making me write weird stuff.  Okay, moving on.

Hey, Bethany had her baby!  How exciting!  Little Andrew Edward is adorable. I can't wait to meet him when he's just a little over a year old!  Okay, that seems like forever away.  But I'm sure the time will just fly!

I don't have a ton of exciting news from this week.  I had to go to the police station this last week to work on getting my permesso, so that I can be legal and everything, and they had to take my fingerprints.  It was so exciting!  I kind of felt like a criminal, but I'm not.  Don't worry.  We also went to this lady's house this last week who is...kinda crazy.  She legitimately thinks we can resurrect her husband for her.  She became a member about 30 years ago, but has been inactive for about 20 and the one part that she remembers really well about the Book of Mormon is...the three Nephites.  So she just doesn't understand why we can't all just be like the three Nephites and never die.  Oh, she also said that she met Jesus once and that his new name is Roberto.  It was an interesting hour and a half, to say the least.  We might just keep going back and visiting her just so she has people to talk to.  We're going to count it as service.  She's a nice old lady, but a little confused.  Good times.

So, something exciting that happened this week:  We set a baptismal date!  I was pretty excited about it.  She's about my age and her sister is a member of the church.  We're meeting with her tonight to give her a baptismal calendar and everything so that she can really start preparing herself.  :)  Cross your fingers!

Also, General Conference this weekend!  Mamma mia, words cannot express how excited I am for General Conference!  Prophet!  Apostles!  Spiritual enlightenment!  English!  I am SO excited.  :)  I've never been more excited for General Conference in my life.  Anyway, all is well here.  I had my first real Italian pizza today for lunch.  It kind of changed my life, it was so good.  I'll send pictures.  :)  Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well!  Enjoy Conference!  I know I will!  AMORE!

Sorella Gunnerson

Sometimes Sorella Carlock and I look the exact same on accident.  (This was taken last P-Day.)  I just love her!

PIZZA!  (I realize that most of my pictures are of food.  I'm really sorry about that, but those are literally the only pictures I've taken these last two weeks.  I blame Mitch.)

The Kebab we had last week and the gelato we had today!!