Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12.31.14 {week 75}

Happy New Years Eve!

I'm so sorry, but this email will probably be super short, seeing as I have zero more time to write.  And, hey, I got to see you guys last week!  That was awesome!  I guess I'll just start from there.  After skyping I headed into the other room and started watching Tangled.  :)  IT WAS THE BEST.  I was watching the first half all by myself because that's when Sorella Gregg skyped.  I literally was, like, giddy as I was watching it.  Laughing outloud, singing along, trying to relax...  (I may or may not have forgotten how to do that.  I'm sure it'll come back to me quickly though, don't worry.  ;))  Then we finished it together that night after going to eat MORE FOOD with another part-member family.  The food is so good, but there is just so much of it.  I'm pretty sure my stomach has grown three sizes this Christmas.  On Friday it was back to work as usual!  I headed down to Montevarchi to do a scambio.  It was great!  Learned a lot.  Taught a lot.  Laughed a lot.  Good times.  Then Sorella Gregg and I tried to drive back in time for her to make it to an interview with President Dibb.  Unfortunately, we tried and failed.  We had a good 20 minutes of cushion time, but then we got stuck on the freeway for THREE HOURS.  Wanna know how far we got in those three hours?  SIX KILOMETERS.  Man, it was crazy.  Luckily, the Dibbs were understanding and she'll do her interview this Friday.  Then Sunday was normal.  Monday we did another scambio and I went to Siena.  Oh my goodness, Siena is beautiful.  (SIDE NOTE: While in Montevarchi we had a few lessons in this town called Arezzo - where that movie ("La Vita è bella") was filmed!)  Then we got back last night and now I'm here writing you!  We have to stay inside tonight starting at 5 pm because New Years gets kind of crazy in Italy.  So that should be fun!  And we might be heading to Firenze for part of P-day today.  (How great is that?  I MIGHT be going to Firenze today.  That's just an option for me all the time.  What is my life?)  Then a normal day tomorrow.  Consiglio in Milano on Friday and then Zone training on Monday and then it'll practically be P-day again!  Sorry this email is so short.  Happy New Year!  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12.24.14 {week 74}

Buon Natale, Famiglia!

Wow, can't believe it's Christmas Eve already.  This week just flew by and now here we are!  And I'll be seeing you guys tomorrow!  Woohoo!  Okay, so let's rewind to where we left off.

Last Wednesday, after emailing, we took a train to FLORENCE, ITALY.  It was literally a 15 minute train ride.  We are SO close.  And can I just tell you?  I AM IN LOVE.  Florence really is just as amazing as everyone says it is.  It was so beautiful.  We got there and walked around lost for a little bit until we found the David.  We walked in and there were all of these huge paintings in the room and then you turn a corner and you're in this long corridor and there he is.  At the end of the corridor.  In all his glory.  Haha it was awesome.  And, can I just tell you guys?  It is amazing.  Like, sometimes I see pieces of art that are pretty famous and I'm like, "Hmm it's alright.  It must be cool from, like, a smarter person's point of view."  The David was totally not like that at all.  It is just massive and beautiful.  So detailed.  So REAL.  To sum it was incredible.  There.  Then we headed over to the Florence Duomo.  We went inside and got to see the preseppe that they have in there.  The Florence Duomo is MASSIVE.  I want to go back sometime and go up to the top.  Maybe next P-day!  :)  Then we headed over to Ponte Vecchio.  Mamma mia, it is beautiful.  You know, it's the famous bridge that you always see paintings of.  So we got a good view of it from the next bridge over and then we walked down it and got to see all the shops.  It's mostly just covered in REALLY expensive jewelry shops.  And then the day was basically over and I was in love.  The end.

Well we saw some pretty great miracles this week!  First:  I parallel parked perfectly TWICE.  I didn't even know it was a talent I had.  And I should probably knock on some wood really quick.  ...  Done.  Second:  I'm finally getting used to the Tuscan accent.  I had always heard about the Tuscan accent up there in Piemonte, but I didn't believe it could actually be real.  It is.  Basically down here, they just substitute all of their "C" sounds with "H"s.  So instead of saying "queste cose qui" ("these things here") it sounds like "hweste hose hui."  EVERYONE does it and it's actually really funny to listen to.  My favorite one?  "Hoha Hola."  (Coca Cola)  Third:  We had an incredible lesson with this member's friend on Thursday.  Her name is F.  This member, Sorella F, asked us to come over last Monday night just to talk with her a little bit about her missionary work.  Umm yes please.  So we went over there and she and her husband already had a list written down of friends/acquaintances they wanted to share the gospel with and then they basically just wanted our help in brainstorming how to best share the gospel with the different people.  They even got their 12-year-old daughter involved - talking about one of her friends.  I was BLOWN AWAY.  I've never seen a family so...willing and ready to do missionary work.  I was seriously just ecstatic.  Anyway, we went over again on Thursday to share a little Christmas message with this friend, F.  She is just pretty confused and trying to figure out what is truth and what is not.  She was actually Buddhist for a long time and doesn't know what to believe.  So we had shared "Egli è il dono" and then read some scriptures.  And it was a really spiritual experience.  She shared her feelings about everything and we (and especially this member) bore testimony about the birth and life of Christ.  Then we felt really impressed to talk about personal revelation and how you can read and pray to know the truth.  We gave her a Libro di Mormon and she was really touched.  She's excited to meet with us again and continue learning more.  This whole experience was just really great.  Especially so close to Christmas and everything - meeting someone who is so ready to learn more.  But more than that, I was just so taken aback by this member - her desire to share the gospel and then her willingness to ACT.  It really made me reflect on the member I want to be when I go home.

Other than that this week has been full of Christmas fun!  We've been doing LOTS of caroling.  (I totally talked the Anziani into it and now they're addicted.)  And for the last two nights, some of the members even got involved!  It's been a lot of fun.  This week we don't have a full P-day since President wants us in as many homes as possible.  So we have a lunch appointment today with members and then a few more tonight.  THEN IT'S CHRISTMAS!!  We bought ourselves stockings this morning.  Haha we're classy like that.  I just wanted to leave you with this little talk that I printed off about a month ago, that I've re-read all season long.  It's really short, so give it a read: 

"Keep your faith.  Look for the good in your situation.  Do something kind for someone.  Seek Christ devoid of wrapping and tinsel.  You will find that despite external circumstances, Christmas - like the kingdom of God - is 'within you.'"

Also, my classic Christmas message that I've been sharing with everyone this Christmas season:  Alma 7:10-13.  Let's remember the reason Christ came to this earth.  The holiday will mean a lot more if we do.  :)  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12.17.14 {week 73}


Well, here I am in the lovely city of Prato!  Where to begin?  I guess where I left off.

On Wednesday night, Sorella D'Ambrosio and I went to visit with a few more people before we left.  First stop was the L. Family.  Then we went to see the C. Family.  Man, that was a really hard goodbye.  I love that family SO much.  They are seriously so special to me and I just didn't want to have to leave them.  Little S. said the closing prayer and asked Heavenly Father to make the trains not work the next morning.  Haha.  I miss those girls so much already.  Then we were able to go be with my dear, dear friend A.  I just love her so much.  But at least I'll be heading home relatively soon and there's skype and stuff.  (Meno male!)  That night we stayed up wayyyy too late trying to finish getting everything done - packing, organizing, writing information.  Just everything.  And then we got up the next morning and got on our way.  

Luckily two of our Anziani also had to head to Milano on Thursday morning and they offered to help us get our bags there.  Oh my goodness, I literally have no idea what we would have done without their help.  Haha it would have taken us HOURS.  This is why sisters just should not be white-washed.  We both have too much stuff!  I'll send pictures in a few minutes of the journey.  We were a sight to behold.  We got to Milano and quickly headed to Milano Cimiano.  We got to the parking lot and I got the first look at my NEEEW CARRRR!  And then we watched as they tried to stuff all six of our suitcases into it.  It was pretty funny.  Then I went with Anziano Harmer to the gas station so that he could show me how it's done here in Italia.  (I still wasn't allowed to drive yet because I still needed to be trained.)  Anyway, we headed back to the church and I was finally trained.  Then I headed out to the car and had to move the car so that the Dibbs could get there car out.  YEAH.  I had to back into a parking spot in front of the APs, Anziano Harmer, and President Dibb.  I think I might have been freaking out a little bit.  But they were all just laughing and I'm pretty sure they got lots of pictures.  Then President Dibb gave me a lot of pointers about how to get out to the freeway, how to turn on the lights, and all that good stuff.  I'm so glad that day is over!  Haha.  The Cimiano church is also where all the new trainers and trainees go to be placed together on their first day.  So we were there while all of that was happening and therefore I got to meet my granddaughter!  I don't think I mentioned this last week, but Sorella Tokarski is training this transfer!  So I got a picture with them, we ate lunch, and then we headed on our way!  Driving in Italy is basically the same as driving anywhere else, except for the lanes are miniscule, the parking spots are miniscule and there are a million one-way streets.  So Sorella D'Ambrosio and I drove a good three hours to Bologna.  And then we just cried a lot when I dropped her off and picked up my new comp.  I miss her a ton.

Anyway, ever since Thursday night, we've just been here in Prato (and Pistoia) trying to meet with people and get to know the city.  They have two baptismal dates set, but I still haven't met either one of them yet...  Anyway, the work has been a little slow.  I think Sorella Gregg is just trying to find her bearings as the companion who knows the people and the city the most.  And I'm just trying to learn as quickly as possible!  Oh, funny story.  On Saturday night we had a ward Christmas party.  SOMEHOW I got roped into being MARY for the Nativity skit.  Hahahaha it was awful.  And I was reminded of how horrible of an actress I am.  Anyway, I feel like I have so much more to talk about, but no time!  We're heading to Florence in a few minutes!  Hopefully I'll be seeing the David today!  :)  Anyway, love you all lots.    AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12.10.14 {week 72}


Wow, it has been a CRAZY five days, guys.  Okay, so Saturday we both woke up so ready to get transfer news.  Our bet was that I was leaving and Sorella D'Ambrosio was staying.  Well, President knows how to surprise us!  Sorella D'Ambrosio was really nervous that she was going to leave and I was going to stay, so when we got the call from President he talked to me first and said that I'm headed to Prato!  (Don't worry - I didn't know where it was either...)  He quickly explained that it is 15 minutes from Firenze and it's the old apartment of a senior couple who just headed home and apparently there's a nice parking lot and stuff.  (Have y'all heard?  I'm getting a car tomorrow!)  So I mouth to Sorella D that I'm leaving and she gets this look of relief on her face.  So then I pass the phone to her and he started talking and ... I knew something we weren't expecting was happening because of her face.  Well we're being white washed!  Sorella D is heading over to Bologna to open a companionship!  She is going to be with a sister two transfers ahead of her and they are going to be AMAZING.  So tomorrow, we'll head to Milano, we'll have an hour long training for the car.  And then I'll drive her over to Bologna.  (Seriously, some extra prayers tomorrow would be greatly appreciated...)  In Bologna will be our new comps!  So I'll drop Sorella D off, pick up Sorella Gregg (my new comp!  She came in D'Ambrosio's group, so I'll be bottle breaking her) and we'll head down to Prato.  President said that the drive from Milano to Bologna is easy.  The drive from Bologna to Prato is a little more difficult.  I think he said something about around 25 tunnels???  And lots of hills.  Anyway, it will be interesting.  Haha.  I have a feeling the first impression my new companion has of me is going to be ... psycho driver lady.  Sorella D, on the other hand, can't wait for the drive tomorrow.  :)  I will be over the sisters of Pisa, Firenze, Siena, and Montevarchi.

We had our last day at church on Sunday and I sat by my dear friend, A., and we both just bawled as Sorella D got up to bear her testimony.  Leaving Alessandria is really hard for me.  I can't say that I'm shocked - I was 95% sure I was heading to a new city, but this little city is just so special to me.  I really have made lifelong friends here.  I'm sure Prato will be great.

My birthday started being celebrated at lunch on Sunday!  Ever since C. found out about my birthday a couple of weeks ago, she's been reminding us of this lunch appointment.  So we went and she had a couple of adorable, hand-made gifts at our places.  Then a lovely lunch and a cake after!  With candles!  I think there's a video somewhere of them singing to me.  You guys will watch it someday.  Anyway, it was just really sweet.

On Monday morning I accidentally woke up early and then couldn't get back to sleep because I was so excited that it was my birthday.  #fiveyearsoldontheinside  Mostly I was just itching to open that awesome package that my sisters sent me that I had been saving.  And it was TOTALLY worth the wait.  So awesome.  I also opened a card from Mom and Dad (THANK YOU!) and then there was something else new there.  A letter from Tokarski!  And a gift from my two daughters (Tokarski and D'Ambrosio) that they bought MONTHS ago when they were on a scambio together.  Ha!  I love these girls so much.  It was really touching.  Then Sorella D made birthday crepes, but we couldn't eat them.  (The nutella jar shattered on the ground a few days ago...  Sorella D tried to salvage the nutella but......there was still glass.  As we found out that morning.  Hahaha.)  Then I started getting phone calls and texts from missionaries and members and investigators and EVERYONE.  It was awesome.  (And also due to my dear little Sorella D who apparently sneakily texted everyone to remind them and then erased the texts - all while I was in the shower.)  After studies we had a district meeting and the Anziani brought me cake!  So I got to blow out more candles.  After that we searched for and found sushi.  SO YUMMY.  I forgot how good it is.  And there were lots of Asians there, so you KNOW it was good.  (SIDE NOTE: Apparently Prato is full of Asians!  Literally three different people have told me that.)  After that we went to have a last lesson with our dear investigators C. and F.  We all just cried a lot.  And then we visited Sorella Borromeo one last time and also C. (the Sunday woman).  Then we headed to centro to carol with the Anziani!  After that we all went to a birthday party that the Fillipini threw for me.  (In my defense...I thought we were going over for an FHE with that family.  Haha and then ALL the Fillipini were there and there was a cake with my name on it and it was amazing!  I LOVE ALESSANDRIA.  Have I mentioned that yet?)  And then we went home that night, attempted to pack and slept.

It was an amazing day.

Tuesday was full of more goodbyes and tonight will be the same.  It's kind of the worst.  But I guess I should just be thankful that I know so many wonderful people who making saying goodbye so hard.  Anyway, thanks for all the nice birthday messages!  I'm one spoiled girl.  I'll talk to you guys next week - from Tuscany!  :)  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Saturday started off like this - I'm going to Prato!

Me and S.

Us and random members.  :)

Birthday lunch after church on Sunday - with C. and L.!

Sorella B. came to lunch too!

C. gave us presents.  :)

Cake #1  (Yeah, I was a little spoiled...)

Me with N., O., and kiddos!

Woke up birthday morning to crepes!  (They came to be known as "death crepes" after finding glass inside them......long story..........)

I also woke up to an incredible package from my lovely sisters!!  Here I am with the banner.  Also, just ask Sorella D'Ambrosio - I was, like, screaming and jumping around when I found the April 18th present.  :)  SO EXCITED.

I would like you all to meet my son, E.  I love this boy SO MUCH and we have a special bond because we look exactly like each other and he looks nothing like his parents.  We're best friends.

Last night with GANS.  :(

Cake #3 (at the birthday party all of the Filippini threw for me!)

#selfie (after caroling the night of my b-day)

Birthday lunch!  Sushi!

C., F., and A.!  Love them.

Me and D'Ambrosio in Acqui Terme - by la bollente!

Me and E.

Me with D. and little S.

Us and F. (her 10 year old daughter was taking the picture haha)

Us and A. and D. at the pizzeria!

Cake #2 (after district meeting)

District Picture - last District Meeting of the transfer


Friday, December 5, 2014

12.05.14 {week 71}

Hello Family!

I hope you all had a wonderful Giorno del Ringraziamento!  People don't really know what that is here, but I'm sure it was awesome in America.  We celebrated the day after by making the most incredible garlic mashed potatoes I've ever tasted.  (Or they might have just been so good because I literally haven't had mashed potatoes in a year and a half...)  And we made lots of turkey/gratitude hands with people.  It was fun.  :)

This week has been CRAZY.  And I have to apologize that I totally ditched you guys yesterday.  Our P-Day was supposed to be Thursday but then there were scambio complications and we had to switch it to today.  Between Monday morning and Thursday night, we did three scambi.  Haha, it was seriously crazy.  It wasn't supposed to work out like that, but with lots of flooding down in Genova and just the busy-ness of this transfer, that's how it worked!  It was so much fun though and I just love all these sisters that I get to hang out with and be companions with for a day!  I always learn so much and want to be a better missionary because of them.  On Monday I had a scambio here in Alessandria with Sorella McPeek.  She and I go way back to my second and third transfers in Milano.  She's a transfer behind me and was trained by my lovely friend, Sorella Harward.  So we would hang out on P-Days all the time.  It was so fun to do missionary work with her!  On Tuesday I was here in Alessandria with Sorella Stott - she was trained by another dear friend from my Milano days - Sorella Carlock!  Holy smokes, this girl is an incredible missionary.  I learned so much from her - especially about the importance of being obedient and respecting the rules - even if/when we don't understand them. And then on Wednesday morning we had a zone training here in Alessandria.  It was also kind of our Christmas conference.  For the last hour, they had an Italian dessert for us and we got to hear a couple of musical numbers and then sing some Christmas carols together.  It was really nice.  And then we ran to catch a train to San Remo!  We blitzed that city with the sisters from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon and then we finally were able to come back to Alessandria and be normal and together again.  I love my dear Sorella D'Ambrosio!  

But, guess what happens tomorrow??  Transfer calls!  There are a lot of possibilities for this transfer, so we really have NO CLUE as to what is going to happen.  We're pretty sure I'll either be training again or finishing training another sister whose trainer is going home next week.  Who knows?  But I'll be sure to give you the big news next Wednesday!  Thanks for all the love and support and especially the lovely birthday messages.  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Luck is on our side and we've acquired some PUMPKIN (also real baking powder and baking soda, crisco, american flour, and a bag of real, live chocolate chips.....the things you take for granted in the states....).  Guys, this is a big deal.  We spent part of our P-day making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  We are happy campers at our house today.

Scambio on Monday with Sorella McPeek!


Scambio on Tuesday with Sorella Stott!

In beautiful San Remo!

This is what I call a gelato sandwich.  :)

Making arancini while in San Remo on a blitz.  SO YUMMY.  Get excited to eat them.

Me and Sorella D with the San Remo apartment view.  Not bad, eh?

Blitz in San Remo with Sorelle Hibo and Hogan!  :)

Our view on the train ride home from San Remo.

Our dinner on the train ride home from San Remo.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

11.26.14 {week 70}

Hey Family!

Honesty time: I have, like, ten minutes to write you guys, so let's make it fast.  (Sorry, mom!)  Things are so great here.  We had the Fingerle tour last week and I'm probably the biggest fan ever of the Fingerles.  They are seriously incredible.  So down to earth.  So sweet.  So willing to get our opinions on things (especially at the special mission consiglio we had with them last Friday).  One thing that Elder Fingerle really focused on was improving ourselves, only 1%, in every area.  He quoted Alma 37:6-7 and talked about how these teeny, tiny improvements we make will make a big difference.  I really do believe that's true.  And I believe it applies to everyone in every stage of life - not just to us missionaries.  Oh, before I forget to mention this: my p-day next week will be on Thursday.  I repeat:  my P-day next week will NOT be on Wednesday, so don't worry that I've, like, died or something when you don't hear from me on Wednesday.  But I'm really glad you will all have that extra day to write me emails!  (*winkwink* *nudgenudge*)

Can y'all believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow?  Well, they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, so we're trying to spread the Thanksgiving cheer to all these Italians who don't know what they're missing!  To make it short:  I'm grateful for all of YOU.  I've realized on the mission how blessed I am to have the family I have, the friends I have, the home I have, the life I have.  And I'm especially blessed to have the gospel in my life.  It really makes such a big difference.  I've seen it so clearly here.  I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father - that He loves us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His Son.  Wow, I don't think our human brains can really understand the magnitude of that.  But I am grateful.  I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving.  Sorella D'Ambrosio and I will be stuffing our faces with pumpking chocolate chip cookies and spreading the gospel.  :)  There's really nothing else I'd rather be doing.

And as Thanksgiving comes to a close and the Christmas season begins, please begin it with the video you'll find on  It really puts into perspective the real meaning of Christmas.  Love you all tons and tons.  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

11.19.14 {week 69}

Buongiorno tutti!

It was a great week here in Italy!  Dang it, I always sit down to write and can't remember a thing to tell you all about.  First of all, I had my first italian hot chocolate of the season this week and it was INCREDIBLE as always.  I think, in heaven, waterfalls will be made out of this stuff.  I don't even know what to compare it's a mix between regular american hot chocolate and pudding.  It's just thick and warm and wonderful.  Also, the leaves on all the trees here are changing and I love it!  It's been fun seeing Sorella D'Ambrosio's reaction to all the pretty trees - she's from Arizona so she just has never really experienced it before.  Anyway, the point is:  it's a great time to be living in Italy!

Last Thursday I got to go back to my "second home" of Torino!  It was so fun!  I walked in that apartment feeling kinda like I had never left.  The next day was full of cancellations (hey, welcome to missionary work in Torino!) BUT we got to go have a lesson with our eternal investigator, E.  I've been thinking about her a lot lately with this colder weather, seeing as I wear the scarf she gave me when I left Torino practically every day lately.  I worked with her the entire six months I was there.  She was a really frustrating one for me, but she was also really special.  I saw her progress a ton in those six months that I was there, so I know that she'll be baptized some day.  It was really awesome because she didn't know that I was coming.  I walked in and she started FREAKING out.  Haha it made my day!  She's just this little lady but she was practically jumping up and down and hugging me.  We had a nice little lesson with her and then she fed us cake and juice (come sempre) and then as we were leaving she started talking to Sorella Ostvig about how she has this "weakness" for me.  I guess sometimes I feel like I didn't really do a whole lot for her because she wasn't baptized while she was with me, nor were we ever able to set a bap date with her, but at least we were able to go teach her about Jesus every week, and that's something.  Anyway, Sorella Ostvig is an incredible missionary.  Her Italian is astounding (seriously - she made me want to work so much harder on my Italian because she's already so far along) and she is such a good example of following the Spirit.  It was lots of fun!

We've been having a really hard time lately getting our investigators (even those with bap dates!) to come to church.  I've been really frustrated some Sunday mornings when they just...don't show up.  You feel like you're making so much progress with these people and then they don't come to church and it's just frustrating.  We've been trying to really put forth every effort that we can to get them there - cioè we've been teaching lessons dedicated to coming to church and the importance of the sacrament and this week we decided to leave home an hour early in the italian fog and go around on our bikes trying to get people awake so that they can come to church.  And two of them finally showed up right after Sacrament meeting!  Yay C. and F.!  C. and F. both had bap dates for the end of this month, but C. has word of wisdom problems and F. gonna get baptized soon.  Not sure when exactly, but soon.  She needs to be actually coming to Sacrament meeting regularly in order for us to feel good about it.  No one wants to baptize a less-active!  E. wants to be baptized so badly and is currently working toward the 6 of December (it's most likely my last Saturday here and she really wants me to be here for it).  She also has major word of wisdom problems.  Those cigarettes, man.  I literally want to burn down the cigarette factory.  (I dunno, maybe it's something Christ would actually do?  ;))  Anyway, other than that, we have quite a few less-actives and new converts and ex-communicated members that we're still working with.  I love Alessandria a lot and I love being a missionary.

Tomorrow will be the Fingerle tour for us up in Milano.  Then we'll come back tomorrow night, only to go back up again on Friday morning for Mission Consiglio.  Then Saturday and Sunday will be Stake Conference (yay!) and then we'll start our week of consecration, which I'm super excited for because it basically means that there are no extra conferences or trainings that week.  We're not even allowed to do scambios!  So we'll be able to really focus on the work here.  I'm stoked.  And it's Thanksgiving I think!  (Right?)  Well I love you all a lot.  Thanks for the love and support!  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Finally went inside the Alessandria duomo today.  Not bad, huh?

It's fall in Italy.  :)

The Citadella

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

11.12.14 {week 68}

Hey Family,

So, just in case anyone was wondering, TAYLOR ORTON RETURNS next Tuesday.  Please give her my regards in the form of hugs and treats and messages on FB.  Please and thank you.

Also, just in case anyone wanted to be incredible and send me birthday and/or Christmas packages/letters.  Apparently our last chance before Christmas to get packages will be December 3rd.  Which is just....really sad.  But you have time! 

It was a pretty normal week here in Alessandria.  I actually...can't really remember what happened.  But I'm sure it was great!  Yesterday I was pretty sick, so we were told to stay inside, but the day before that we headed down to Savona because I had to do a training at their joint district meeting with the missionaries of San Remo.  It was lots of fun!  Tonight I'll head to Torino to do a scambio there.  Then hopefully we'll have a scambio with the Genova sisters next Monday/Tuesday.  We were supposed to do one with them after the district meeting on Monday, but they had really bad flood warnings so they had to stay inside for a couple of days.  Anyway, needless to say, it's really rainy here in Italy these days.  And it's getting COLD.  Hence all the Christmas decorations in our apartment.  I mean if you have to go out in the cold all day, you might as well have Christmas to come home to, right??

Anyway, that's about it.  The missionary work here is just plugging right along.  Can't believe we're already to the middle of November!  Hope you're all loving late fall/early winter.  It's the most wonderful time of the year, after all!  Love you lots!  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

We got a little bit obsessed with Christmas this week.... And made a paper Christmas tree.  And then ate lunch at the foot of it.  :)

Us on Halloween with the girls

Me and my dear, A.

One night we were TRYING to teach the girls a lesson, but M.V. and S. disappeared.  We finally came and found them in the kitchen making us a treat.  What great hostesses!

Us with G.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

11.05.14 {week 67}

Buongiorno tutti!

What's up?  Congrats to Amy and Tommy on the new baby!  My comp is a big One Direction fan, so she LOVES the new little one's name.  ;)  You know what I just realized?  I don't know 25% of my nieces and nephews.  I'm gonna change the subject real quick before I start wallowing in self-pity.  ;)  Besides, I'll know them soon enough, right?  #gunnersonfamilyreunion2015airportedition

Oh, Happy Halloween by the way!  Or should I yell in your faces: "DOLCETTO O SCHERZETTO"?  Unfortunately, Halloween isn't really celebrated over here.  It's super American, apparently.  We were eating lunch with one of our members on Friday and she was telling me about how about ten years ago it was the night of October 31st and some kid suoned her citofono, said "dolcetto o scherzetto" and then expected candy from her.  She literally had NO idea what was going on.  So, yeah, it's a new thing here.  But we had a primary party at the church and all the little kids were dressed up and it was adorable!  Sorella D'Ambrosio and I got really creative with our costumes... Okay, all we did was switch our nametags and our glasses.  I mean, there's only so much you can do as a missionary.  Everyone thought it was funny though, so...success!

We had a really great Saturday this last weekend!  We were able to see all four of our baptismal dates!  We had really awesome lessons with them, worked out detailed ways in which they would get to church and then?  NONE of them showed up to Sacrament Meeting.  I...wanted to cry.  But I didn't.  Luckily, two of them showed up right after Sacrament Meeting.  Yay for C. and F.!  We'll get the rest of them there this week!

On Monday, we headed to Milano for Consiglio.  We dropped off Sorella D'Ambrosio in a different part of Milano to do a scambio while I was in the meeting all day.  She was with an even greenier greenie than her!  A sister who had only been here for four days.  But they seriously killed it.  Like, in the best way possible.  I was so proud of my baby!  Consiglio was probably one of my favorite consiglios I've been to so far.  At one point the Assistenti were training us on finding and how we need to be talking to everybody.  Usually at this point we would do some sort of roleplay, but instead they just passed out bus passes and they were like, "Okay, be back in 45 minutes!  Go do some finding!"  Um, it was so much fun.  And so much better than a roleplay.  And President has challenged us to read the book of Matthew before our conference with Elder Fingerle in a couple of weeks.  I love challenges like that!  I've learned so much already, and it's only been two days!  Yesterday was somewhat strange.  I did a training at our district meeting, we had lunch, did language study and then went to go visit one of our ward members.  We got to her house only to find out that her hand/wrist had just been broken.  So we walked with her in the POURING rain to the ER and stayed with her for a little bit while she got an x-ray and a cast and all that stuff.  I'm so glad Heavenly Father placed us there RIGHT when we needed to be there.  I've seen that so many times on my mission and it really is incredible.

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well!  Stay warm and eat some extra caramel apples for me!  :) AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Me with Sorella Hoffman (she dies this transfer!)

The number of sister training leaders in the mission has been whittled down to seven.  Eccoci qua!

Our Halloween costumes!

Mission Leadership Council

Me with the Elders in my MTC group that are zone leaders and were, therefore, at Mission Consiglio.  The first picture made me laugh - they were all trying to indicate where I was supposed to awkwardly stand.  Right in the middle.