Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12.18.13 {week 21}

It's comin' on Christmas, they're cuttin' down trees...

One week until Christmas!  Can you believe it?  It basically already feels like January here.  Until you go to the center of Milan and there are lights everywhere and it's beautiful and Christmas-y.  Ugh I love it!  I love Italy, guys.  You should all come here someday.  It's the best.  As far as Italy and Christmas go...Italians are not the biggest Christmas fans.  It's pretty interesting actually.  For being so obsessed with Mary, you'd think they'd be all over it, but it's just another holiday here.  It's definitely a bigger deal in America, I've come to find out.  But it's still a beautiful time of year and you can feel the Christmas spirit.  Our ward is doing a Christmas program this Friday night, so that should be fun.  I love this ward and I never, ever, EVER want to leave Cimiano.  Sometimes I forget and I think that I'll just be here for the rest of my mission.  And then I remember that I'm probably leaving after this transfer and it makes me so sad.  But, such is mission life, I suppose.  We'll see what happens.  You never know!

This week was super weird.  We did, in fact, end up moving apartments this week.  So we spent Friday and Saturday and a good chunk of Monday packing and moving and cleaning.  It was CRAZY.  But now I live in an Ikea catalog, so that's pretty exciting.  Also, we're right next door to this church that has bells!  So we get to hear bells in the morning while we're studying.  Sometimes the songs don't make any sense and I think a child has gotten a hold of them, but it's fun nonetheless.  And we live on the cutest little Italian street.  There are Jehovah's Witnesses EVERYWHERE, but that's okay.  We just smile and wave and they think we're one of them!  

Last Thursday was a pretty exciting day though.  We ended up getting three new investigators that day and setting a baptismal date for December 26!  His name is B., he's the father of a lady in our ward, and he's in his 80's.  He is the most adorable old man.  Basically the Italian grandfather I never had.  So he decided he wanted to be baptized and we were stoked.  So we were like, "Okay, how about the 28th?"  And he was like, "Actually, how about the 26th?"  And everything was perfect.  And then his daughter called us on Saturday and said it was cancelled because he talked to his son who is contro and now he has all of these doubts and he doesn't want to be baptized anymore.  He refused to come to church on Sunday and he won't meet with us this week.  We are heartbroken.  Seriously heartbroken.  So that's that.  Hopefully we'll be able to see him soon and just see how he's feeling and what's going on.  That ended on a somewhat depressing note.  Sorry about that.  We were handed buckets and buckets full of referrals this week, so we're working on sorting through those and seeing which of these people are ready to change their lives and come closer to Christ!  Speriamo.  We've been doing a lot of caroling this week down at the Duomo.  The six of us in our district go, and then whichever GANS are available.  And then a couple of us walk around handing pass-along cards and talking to whomever stops to listen to those of us who are caroling.  It's pretty awesome.  I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE THIS CITY.  I love it.

Anyway, I've got to cut this a little short because we're going to the opera tonight!  (I know, Mitch already told me I'm spoiled.  I know.  ;)) We got a little group together to wait in line today and now, in an hour we'll be sitting in La Scala watching "La Traviata."  :)  And a week from now, we'll be skyping!  How strange.  We'll be spending most of Christmas day at Giulia's house and then basically trying to see any members that will have us.  We feel a little unwanted, but that's okay.  ;)  I'm sure it will be a beautiful day.  I hope you all have a wonderful week leading up to Christmas.  Being on the mission at this time has really reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas.  The fact that our eldest brother, Jesus Christ, was born for us.  That he lived for us, died for us, and lives for us again.  I'm so thankful for this knowledge.  I love you all!  Buon Natale!  AMORE!

Sorella Gunnerson

Our new home!

Our cute little street and piazza!

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