Wednesday, May 28, 2014

05.28.14 - {week 44}

Hey Family!

I am in such a great mood!  It is raining SO HARD and I love it and the thunder is just incredible.  Ahhh, rain.  First of all, can we just talk about how incredibly excited I am to have four new babies to meet when I get home?  This is the best news ever!  And who knows?  Maybe there will even be five!  (Not to get all "I have never..." on anyone.)  ;)  ;)  ;)  Okay, you can take this part out for the blog if you want.  Anyway, it was an awesome week!  Miracle after miracle.

First miracle has to do with numbers.  Numbers are probably my least favorite part about missionary work, but they're necessary.  And God cares about numbers because every number is one of His children.  Christ talks about numbers in the Parable of the Lost Sheep.  They're everywhere in the scriptures.  Anyway, moral of the story is that numbers are important.  We were in a number rut for four weeks.  We got the exact same number of lessons each week (and it wasn't that awesome of a number).  But we finally got out of the rut last week and almost doubled our number of lessons.  It was awesome.  Three lessons in the park with random strangers on Saturday morning definitely helped.

We went to see a referral on Sunday afternoon and ended up teaching the Restoration lesson to her, her husband, and two of her three sons.  It was AWESOME.  We're planning to see them again on Sunday.

A tsunami hit our bus stop on Thursday.  We were standing there in the pouring rain, talking and just minding our business and there were puddles EVERYWHERE.  There was an especially large one right in front of the bus stop.  All the cars were going around it, so we weren't even thinking about it.  Until, all of a sudden, there was the biggest wave coming at my face.  This wave seriously ENGULFED us.  We stood there shocked and dripping for about two seconds and then started laughing uncontrollably.  Yeah, the rest of that night was a little uncomfortable....but we went to our next lesson anyway!  Me:  "That was a HUGE wave."  Lawrence:  "No.  That was a tsunami.  I'm pretty sure it was registered."

Anyway, all is well here in Torino.  Just living the life.  We went with Russell and Ervin up to Superga today.  Beautiful, as usual!  Until next week!

Sorella Gunnerson


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

05.21.14 - {week 43}

Hey Family!

Remember that one time when I saw your beautiful faces for a short 40 minutes?  That was awesome.

So I have a new comp!  I told you a little bit about her last week, but now I know a ton more.  She's from Kaysville, has a degree from Utah State in Graphic Design and is overall just awesome.  The language hasn't come as easily for her as it did for Tokarski, but she works really hard at it and I can tell she really wants to be here.  So I'm just givin' her the classic Torino experience!

This week we did a lot of bus-riding.  Fun.  So I can't remember if I told you guys this, but our companionship has been asked by President to also teach any single women for the Torino 1 ward because there are only two companionships of Anziani up there, no Sorelle.  So any of their less-actives or new converts or simps are ours.  Which is awesome because we have so much to do but a little complicated at the same time.  It takes us a good 45 minutes to an hour to get basically anywhere up by their church.  So we ride the bus a lot.  It's great.  The only simp we have up there is this lady named V and her daughter, F.  They were a referral from a member and they're so sweet.  Catholic, but sweet.  So we went to meet them for the first time a few weeks ago and only were able to re-meet again this last Saturday.  We got to watch the Resto movie with them and it was so great!  The Spirit was strong (like it is any time we watch that movie) and I know they felt it.  So we have high hopes there.  I know the gospel will bless their lives.  Speaking of Torino 1, we got to go to their ward on Sunday as well.  So we did six hours of church on Sunday.  Wow, it's incredible how tired that can make you.  Our ward was pushed back to 4-7 in the afternoon because of a YW-YM activity, so we went to both wards and it was cool!  We got to meet a bunch of people up there and they got to just kind of see us and know that we exist.  We got a referral!  So, success!  Another referral miracle:  Sorella Lawrence came from her last city with three referrals from members there for Torino!  We have two appointments set from those so far.

Our English class is just blowing up.  In the best way possible.  We have probably, like 10-12 people that come regularly every week and almost all of them are interested in hearing more about the gospel.  In fact, tonight after English class, we're watching the Restoration for those who want to stay and watch it.  Non vedo l'ora!

This week we went to see a less-active, E.  She's a bidante which means she just hangs out with an old lady at her home all day and takes care of her.  So whenever we go there, the old lady, L sits on the couch and listens.  She is so sweet.  Always has a smile on her face and is always so happy to have us over, but can't hear a word.  We always have to repeat a sentence really slowly and loudly 2 or 3 times for her to understand.  She's so cute.  So we got there and we sat down and I said, "Come state?"  (How are you all?)  I had to say it a few times before L heard and then finally she said very loudly and proudly (but always with that smile):  "Siamo Cattolici!"  (We're Catholics!)  Story of my life.  Or should I say, story of the life of a missionary in Italy.  I can't even tell you the number of times I've heard people say, "Yep, I was born and raised Catholic and I'm going to die Catholic."  Usually after that I ask them if they are practicing and they (usually) say no.  Soooo yeah.  That's usually how it goes here.  Anyway, L is just so old and sweet.  I started cracking up.  I think she was confused as to why we were all laughing.  Poor lady.

Oh!  Great news!  Last week Tokarski and I were walking with M to the bus stop after a lesson at the church and she started asking questions about the mission and then said that she's thinking about serving a mission!  We freaked out a little bit and then we waited until we were outside of ear-shot and freaked out more.  It was awesome.  And THEN on Sunday she texted me and asked me if there are any religious universities in America that I know of.  HA!  Now she's going to apply to BYU for the following year (after finishing her Masters here) to get her PhD.  (Homegirl is smart.)  I can just see her on the BYU campus.  She would LOVE it.  I hope it all works out and happens.  And then I could have her over for Sunday dinner and you would all get to meet her and it would be awesome.  Love her.

Anyway, I think that's about it for this week.  Can't believe I'm hitting my ten month mark on Saturday.  Crazy talk.  Alright, have a great week!  Vi voglio un sacco di bene!  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Today.  Classic gelato pic and new comp pic.

We had a party for English class last week.  Fun times.

Today.  Classic gelato pic and new comp pic.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

05.14.14 - {week 42}

Wow it was so great to see (almost) all of you this Sunday!  The time flew by WAY too quickly, but thanks for taking the time out of your Mother's Day morning to hang out with me!

So first, the question on everyone's mind.  Nope, I'm not being transferred!  We are SHOCKED.  Everyone is shocked.  So I'm staying behind and Tokarski's leaving!  Can you believe it?  That lucky girl's gettin' out of the city and heading to the beautiful coastal city of Sanremo.  Is my jealousy showing?  Darn.  We're still just so shocked.  We didn't find out until yesterday afternoon.  Luckily I hadn't really started packing yet and (not so luckily) Tokarski hadn't either.  Anyway, that's the news!  My new comp is Sorella Lawrence and she came in when Tokarski did, which means I'm bottle breaking. I've met her before and she's my age and super cool so I'm stoked.  It'll be a great transfer.  I guess I did kind of have feelings about staying in Torino for another transfer.  I thought I would be fine with it but I did end up feeling a little disappointed. But I know I'm staying for a reason!  No doubts there.  It'll be good.

M.H. got baptized on Friday!  I know I already talked about this on Sunday, but it was just fabulous.  Right after she got out of the font she looked at us and was like, "I'm really afraid of water!  I can't swim!"  Haha but she did great and she is officially a member of the church.  I love her to death.  She is so funny.  We ran into some friends of Haylee's at the baptism!  It was so crazy and holy smokes, they're awesome!

My hand is starting to cramp up because this stupid space bar is broken and I have to press it SO hard to make it do anything BUT it's all good.  Sorry this email is so short.  I'll try to make up for it through a whole bunch of pictures!  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

So basically I took a ton of pictures this week because I thought I was leaving and I'm not, but now you can know what people look like!

Me with M.

Us with E.

Some pretty appropriate grafiti ;)

Pre-baptism gelato.

Artsy and normal.  M.H.'s baptism!

The peeps.  (Little O. got baptized as well!)

Me with the D. family

Me with F.

Me with little I.  Oh my goodness I love this girl.  I help her with her piano skills and she makes me cry when she bears her testimony in church and says she wants to be a missionary someday.  Fair trade?

Us with R. and I.

Me with my Italian grandma - G.!

Us with K.  We teach her English and try to get her baptized in the meantime.  Love her!

Me with the G. family

Our view today from the castle in Rivoli.  Beautiful Torino!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

05.07.14 - {week 41}

The Weather:  Sometimes there is so much cotton in the air that it looks like snow.  And it builds up on the ground like snow.  But I know it's not snow because it feels really pleasant outside and my comp is just constantly sneezing.

The Baptism:  Yes, it's true.  M.H. will be baptized this Friday night!  After a whole ton of questions as to what our real ward boundaries are, (I guess our stake decided not to follow the ward boundaries that are on that I had printed off a couple of months ago, so she won't be baptized into the Torino 2 ward, but instead into the Torino 1 ward [our coppia has to teach all single females in the Torino 1 ward boundaries anyway, so it made no difference for us]) we finally got it worked out and, after working with the Anziani in Torino 1, she'll be baptized this week!  (How's that for a long sentence?)  We are seriously so excited.  And so is she!  And it's really for the best that she's going to that ward instead of ours.  There are way more young single adults there and there are a ton who are return missionaries and speak English almost perfectly.  We went up to their church building right after our church on Sunday and she just looked so happy to be there.  It was perfect.  I love M.H. so much.  I'll be sure to send pictures next week.

The Transfer:  Well, I'll probably be leaving Torino next week.  I've been here for three transfers, I've trained my baby, and I think it's time to head out.  I was really unsure the past couple of weeks as to whether I was staying or going.  When I left Milano I really felt like it was my time to go, so I wasn't surprised when I got that phone call.  So anyway, I was really unsure as to what was going to happen next week...UNTIL I was talking to Pagano on the phone on Sunday night and we were talking about how excited we are for this investigator of theirs to get baptized in two weeks and I was like, "Yeah, I hope I'm gonna be here for it!"  And Pagano (the Elder in our ward, but also one of our capi zona) was like, "Yeaah, I don't think you're gonna be here..."  Of course I was like, "ANZIANO what do you know?"  And he was like, "I don't know anything, but even if I did, I couldn't tell you!"  So whatever, I brushed it off because he was probably just making stuff up...UNTIL the next morning at the end of our epic zone training.  We finish it up, sing, pray, yada yada, and right after the prayer, Anziano Christiansen (the other capi zona) gets up and says, "Wait, everyone sit back down, I really felt during the prayer that we needed to have three of the missionaries bear their testimonies."  So he calls up two other Anziani and ME.  The other Anziani have both been in Torino for 4 transfers, so it's pretty much a sure thing that they're leaving.  But ME?  I basically considered it a nail in my Torino-made coffin.  But that's okay.  At least now I have more time to pack and Sorella Tokarski and I have enough time to take way too many selfies.  And I have enough time to say goodbye to all of these people I love!

THE TESTIMONY:  I love this gospel with all my heart.  It's true.  Basta.  :)


Sorella Gunnerson

homemade pizza (saturday)

the mole (today)

the district (monday)

the sisters in the zone (monday)