Wednesday, March 26, 2014

03.26.14 {week 35}

Ciao guys.
It's been a pretty normal week here in Torino.  Nothing too exciting to report.

We had a scambio from Friday to Saturday.  It was so great!  I was with Sorella McCann and I seriously just adore her.  Tokarski got to go to Genova for the scambio, and then on Saturday, McCann and I took a two hour train ride to Genova to make the switch again.  Genova is so pretty!  Granted, they live in a pretty ghetto part of town.  But I got to see the sea!  It was beautiful!  And then it started raining super hard.  And I seriously just love the rain.  And then we literally just ran all around Genova trying to get back to the station so that we could take the train on time to get back for a baptism they had in Torino 1 (that I sang at).  It was a crazy day.  But so much fun.  During the scambio with McCann, we were able to go see M. (the incredibly golden investigator whose home is actually in Calabria - so she's leaving us officially in a week and a half), an inactive family that the Anziani found (from the Phillipines - she just had a baby and had a really rough time with the delivery.  she just started crying as i was saying the opening prayer.  we're working on getting them to come back), and the P's (A. wasn't there, but all four of her other siblings were - but they're moving to Novara this week).  Seriously everyone is moving.  It's driving me nuts.  But even though some leave, we're finding others in the meantime.  We were able to meet with a couple of new investigators this last week and we'll be seeing another one tonight.

So the work is progressing.  Sometimes slower than we would like, but it's all good.  We're really trying to get the members in our ward to work with us.  It's kind of like pulling teeth here in Torino sometimes, but it's all good.  I know I wasn't a member missionary at all before the mission, so I get where a lot of them are coming from.  It can be scary to talk to friends or family members about the gospel.  But it's so worth it.  And if they're not interested, va bene, but it's important to at least open your mouth and give them the opportunity to choose.  Free agency, you know?  That's what it's all about.  And when I'm having a hard time opening my mouth, D&C 33 is always there to help me open it again.

Anyway, that's what's going on around here!  We find out about transfers in less than a week - obviously Tokarski and I are staying put.  I seriously can't believe that It's already been a transfer since I got my baby!  Time flies.  Thanks, as always, for the love and support.  I'm trying to reciprocate it as much as possible.  :)  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

we played with these lovely ladies today.  mamma mia, i love them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

03.19.14 {week 34}

It's spring in Torino!  Seriously the weather this week has been so sunny and just perfectly warm.  You know, not too hot, not too cold.  It makes going outside every day that much easier.  First off, we had a zone conference this Monday and you know what that means?  MAIL.  Yes, mom, I finally got the valentines package and THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.  I was so surprised by all the notes inside!  They made me laugh....and cry a little bit....but only in the good way.  I'm just so grateful for all the people in my life.  You're all just great.  So thank you.  :)

This week was a little less productive than usual.  Sorella Tokarski has been having some major back issues.  She had them before the mission, due to a couple of car accidents and stuff, and it's just been progressively getting worse since the beginning of her mission.  So on Sunday we basically just went to church and then she just had to lie down for the rest of the day.  Same with Monday night when we got back from the conference.  It's been challenging.  On the work, of course.  But I know it's just really frustrating for her to not be able to do anything.  So we're not quite sure what to do at this point.  But yesterday we were able to go out and work (she just tried to work through the pain) and it was such a good day!  

We saw one of our inactive members (whose little kids need to get baptized SO bad - but she won't take them to church) and finally made some headway with her.  This was the first time we've seen her without her kids which made so much of a difference.  She was actually able to focus and concentrate.  Her dad passed away a few weeks ago and her mom has been having a hard time with it, so we gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet and she said she's going to talk to her mom about it.  That was a miracle.  And then we've been seeing this girl, K., who we've really mainly been teaching English to, but we throw little gospel messages in there because, you know, we're missionaries.  We do that.  She started asking us more questions yesterday after the lesson and we ended up finding out that she and F. grew up together!  But she didn't know she came to this church building.  Oh my goodness, I freaked out.  So she already has a friend in the ward and it's just perfect.  She's gonna get baptized.  Someday.  And then last night we had dinner with one of my favorite families of all time - the C's.  Sorella C. is less-active and she has three sons.  The middle son is about my age and has this girlfriend - L.  Not sure if I've talked about her before but she is just so ready for the gospel.  Whenever we read scriptures with them, right after, before even asking a question, she just goes into this long explanation of what it means.  We want to start actually teaching her the lessons.  We're trying to figure out the best way to go about that right now.  But they are just awesome.  Anyway, yesterday was such a good day.  It's been a good (although sometimes slow) week!

Our conference on Monday was amazing.  We were asked to deeply study the first thirteen chapters of 1 Nephi before the conference and then for the first hour and a half, President just went in depth with them and it was incredible.  I absolutely loved it.  It just made me have an even deeper love for the scriptures and for these people who risked their lives and everything they had to follow the Lord.  I also got to see Sorella Carlock and Sorella Harward!  Best day ever.  Sorella Harward dies this transfer, so I was able to hear her dying testimony.  She is one of the most incredible missionaries I know here.  I'm sad we never got to serve together, but I'm so glad we became such good friends.

Anyway, it's been a good week.  Yes, we made the pizza and it was INCREDIBLE.  With roasted bell peppers on top.  Mamma mia, I'm salivating.  We also made homemade tortillas this week.  So that was exciting.  This week will be a little less exciting EXCEPT we're gonna make some tiramisu.  With strawberries.  Still salivating.  Alright, ciao.  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

03.12.14 {week 33}

Hey Family!
How is everyone?  I feel like nothing happened this week because it went by SO quickly.  Seriously trying to rack my brain here...  This email might end up being super short.  Va bene. 
Well H. got confirmed this Sunday, so that's good news!  It was so awesome.  He was glowing all day long.  I'm so proud of and happy for him.  We met with F. FINALLY this last weekend.  I was kind of worried she had died because I couldn't get hold of her for two and a half weeks.  We even passed by her house and nothing.  Anyway, we got to see her on Saturday and I just adore that girl.  We talked a lot about the temple because there's a youth trip to the Switzerland temple at the end of April and since she's the first member of her family she has SO MUCH work she can do in the temple!  And she is so stoked about it.  Man, I wish I could just go with her to the temple.  Guys, I miss the temple a ridiculous amount.  I never thought I would miss it as much as I do.  Just go to the temple as much as you possibly can, okay?  Do it for me!  ;)  Anyway, she has a goal of taking at least ten family names to the temple in April.  So we're gonna help her do it!  I'm so excited for her and for all of her ancestors who jumped for joy in the spirit world when she was baptized.  Temples.  Best things ever.  Also, the temple is one of the first things I'm doing when I get home.  That and a massage.  And Lonestar tacos.  Basically I already have my first weekend home all planned out.  ANYWAY.  Those were the two big things that happened this week. 
We went to a park by our house on Monday to find some of the elect and it was frustrating.  I don't know, sometimes I feel discouraged.  We try talking to people and they just don't want to hear anything we have to say.  But everyone has their free agency.  And I try not to get too down.  I especially try to be positive for Sorella Tokarski's sake.  I just love her so much.  She makes me laugh constantly.  Gosh, I have really lucked out in the companion department.  That just makes me more nervous for my future comps!  Haha.  Seriously though, she has handled the first half of her first transfer so well.  I was a mess for my entire first transfer! 
But we're just workin' away!  Doing the best we can to build up the kingdom here in Torino, the creepiest city of all time.  ;)  Oh and we got an incredible homemade pizza recipe, so we're making it this week and I'm SO excited.  I'll let you know how it goes.
We've done some stuff the last couple of P-days that I've forgotten to tell you about!  Last P-day we got together with Jackman and Condie and rode the elevator to the top of the Mole.  SO COOL.  I wish it had been a little bit clearer to see the Alps better, but it was awesome, nonetheless.  And then today we went to the Gran Madre di Dio and then hiked a hill and found a really cool, old villa.  Anyway, I'm really gonna send pictures today!  Alright, AMORE.
Sorella Gunnerson
(P.S. FAMILY:  You all should just skip the whole regular Christmas trip and come to Utah when I come home at the end of January instead!  We can celebrate Christmas in January!  It will be great!  Think about it.)

Gross, F. and me on Gross' last night here.

Tokarski and me on our first P-day together!



Tokarski and me on the top of the Mole!

p-day last week and this week.  love these girls!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

03.05.14 {week 32}

Oh my goodness, it sounds like it was an eventful week back at home!  Congrats to Keith and Heather - words can't express how excited and happy I am for the two of you.  Just wish I could have been there!  But I'm so SO happy.  And then Bethany's birthday and skiing and separated shoulders and baby showers and laser tag and homemade cakes!  Wow.  What a weekend.  Ours was a little less exciting...

So our week started off with a baptism!  H. got baptized and it was amazing!  Right after he was baptized and came back in the room he got up and bore his testimony.  The Spirit was so strong.  It was awesome.  And then he started thanking all of the sisters who have taught him and he was looking straight at me and I just got all teary-eyed.  It was so great.  He is so awesome.  And then he gave us a referral on Sunday.  He's already doing missionary work!  BUT he's not technically a member yet.  Yeah.  He came to church late on Sunday, unfortunately.  So the confirmation didn't happen.  But we talked to him after and he just kept apologizing profusely and he was like, "I'm going to be SO early next week!"  Poor guy.  So we're crossing our fingers!

Nothing else major happened this week.  We made a bomb lasagna on Sunday, so watch out for my lasagna-making skills when I get home.  Also I had the saltiest salad of my life on Monday night.  I literally was worried I was having an allergic reaction to something because the top of my mouth started itching.  Nope.  No allergic reaction.  Just a salty salad.  That was an interesting night all in all.  I don't have time to tell the full story.  Just some keywords: cacti, harpoon, see-through bathroom door, clown puzzle on wall, colored spotlights in family room, dog that wanted to kill me.

We went to a new missionary training yesterday.  It was really great!  A little stress-inducing for me, but really good!  There was a quote President read us by Elder Ballard: "The most important leadership position in the mission BY FAR is to be a trainer.  No pressure, Sorella Gunnerson."  Okay, I added that last part, but that's just mainly how I felt.  My verdina is awesome.  The language is hard for her, but that's normal and she's a great missionary.  I'm glad we're together.  I'll have to send pictures.  Anyway, sorry that's all I've got time to write.  Love and miss you all!  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson