Wednesday, July 30, 2014

07.30.14 {week 53}


One of the fastest weeks OF ALL TIME.  Weather update:  It has been the strangest summers ever.  I was so scared for this summer because all I heard from all of the missionaries all winter/spring was how awfully hot the summer was going to be.  There have been days, but usually it's just cloudy and rainy.  I am so thankful.  I'm convinced this strange summer is just for me - Heavenly Father knew I would have died otherwise.  I am not a fan of heat.
We've had a great week!  We had a scambio with the Torino sorelle on Thursday.  Sorella Lawrence came here with Hoffman and I went to....Torino!  My previous home!  It was kind of strange how...unstrange it was.  I kind of just felt like I had been on a four week long scambio and that I was just heading back home.  I was able to see some of my favorite people there - F., E., and even M.H.!  It was so great!  (Also word on the street is M.H. will be getting a calling soon.  I about jumped out of my seat when she told me that.  I had no idea how important callings were for new converts until I became a missionary.  They're so important!)  Anyway, it was a wonderful day.  The perfect way to celebrate my year mark!  When we got back, Sorella Hoffman and I did some "daily contacting" at La Romana (one of the yummiest gelaterias in town - where our new convert, E., works) to celebrate the special day.  I have a picture but no means to send it this week.  Next week for sure.  I bought myself a mini gelato cake.  Yeah.  It was as awesome as it sounds.
As far as investigators go:  We've been teaching this amazing family.  There's a mom, a dad (whom the Anziani have actually been teaching lately because when we teach them together we literally get nowhere because they just fight and then when we ask them to pray they pray for Heavenly Father to forgive the other person for all the things they do wrong...yeah), and the two best little girls EVER - G. and S.  These two girls need a LOT of love.  We go just about every day to teach this family and they've become very special to me.  It's easy to see them every day because they live a stones throw away from us.  G. is 11 and S. is 9.  G. loves the Book of Mormon and has been reading it by herself.  She's on page 140-something.  Incredible, right??  They had a bap date for the ninth of August but they've been having a hard time coming to church (but we're going to change that!) and the mom really needs to stop smoking.  But they want to be baptized so badly.  It's going to happen soon.  This family needs the gospel and the blessings they will receive from being baptized.  There are others we've been teaching, but I'll have to talk more about them in future emails.  Time flies when you're...writing emails.
President changed the way transfers are done.  Instead of getting calls on Monday or Tuesday, everyone will now be getting transfer calls on Saturday.  That way everyone can let their members and investigators know and not be so stressed leading up to transfer day.  So we'll find out about transfers in three days.  This transfer has literally flown by.  We're 99% positive that Sorella Hoffman is leaving (she's been here for five transfers, with four different companions and is literally on the verge of going crazy) and I'm staying.  But who knows??  Anything could happen (cue Ellie Goulding).  Also, we'll have mission consiglio again this Friday.  I'm stoked.  Point is:  This week is going to fly by.  Much like (I assume) next transfer and the rest of my mission.  Life is weird.  But so great!  Alright, well we've got to run but I love you all.  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

07.23.14 {week 52}

Thursday, July 17, 2014

07.16.14 {week 51}

Lesson in biking:  Falling hurts.  And now my bike makes weird noises.  Lesson over.
This week was actually kind of normal, which was really refreshing.  After going to Milano, Torino, Vercelli, and Collegno all in basically one week, it was nice to just...hang out in our city for a little bit.  And we have seen SO MANY miracles this week, mamma mia.  But I'll get to that a little later.
First things first:  Last Wednesday night it started HAILING.  In the middle of July.  In Italy.  I thought the weather in Utah was bipolar, but I think Italy might take the torta.  We were in the church, finishing up English class and there were just rocks falling from the sky.  It was actually really fun.  And then the ceiling started leaking, which confused me a lot because we're not on the top floor.  And then Italians started freaking out.  Hahaha I love Italy.  And then what did we do?  Well, we had a lesson, so we got on those bikes and did work.  And, no, this is not when I learned my biking lesson this week.

Second things second:  I got sick this week, too!  Just like Dad and Mitch.  We ate lunch with a member on Sunday and when we got home, I was just....not doing well.  But we had a lesson to go to and I thought the nausea would just go away, but it definitely didn't.  So I barely made it through that lesson and then we got on our bikes and headed to the church for another lesson.  Luckily we made it to the church, though.  I literally ran in, threw my helmet on the ground and quickly found the bathroom.  And then....the rest is history.  I felt better afterward though!  At first I thought it was the lunch we had, but then we found out that one of our investigator families didn't come to church that morning because one of their girls had been throwing up the night before and guess who we had a lesson with on Saturday night?  Yep.  So I'm pretty sure that's where I got it.  But it only lasted a few hours, luckily.  We had district meeting on Monday morning and then one of the Anziani had the same thing happen to him on Tuesday morning.  Whoops.  Anyway, we're all good and healthy now.  Unless you count millions of mosquito bites as unhealthy.  The mosquitoes here love me so much.  I bought some really intense bug spray yesterday, though.  So I'm all set.
We've seen so many miracles this week.  And most of them came on days when we didn't have a ton planned.  But we really tried to follow the Spirit and it totally paid off.  On Saturday we went to see an elderly lady in our ward who had fed us lunch last Thursday but we weren't able to give her a spiritual message because we were late for an appointment.  So we said we would be back another day.  We showed up on Saturday and she lives by this family that's half less-active/half investigators.  Basically the mom and dad are members, but less-active.  They have two daughters.  One of them was baptized a couple of months ago, and the other is one of our investigators.  The day before, during weekly planning, we were really trying to figure out how to help this girl.  She's twelve and has had bap dates in the past, but they've just never worked out.  And whenever we try to teach her at her house it's just a disaster.  Chaos reigns.  So, anyway, we were at Sorella B.'s house and all of a sudden she gets a phone call from T., this girl.  And basically T. was like, "Hey, are the sisters at your house?  Can I come over?"  She had seen our bikes and wanted to come hang out with us.  So we taught an awesome lesson and it was just great.  It was like Heavenly Father just handed us the answer - teach her with Sorella B. at her house.  So that was a miracle.  Another miracle is this family that we've been seeing pretty regularly, like 3-4 times a week.  They're incredible.  There's a mom, a dad, the mom's daughter (who's, like, 30-something), and then two other daughters who are 9 and 11.  Anyway, we've been trying to help the mom and the older daughter quit smoking so that they can be baptized and they are making strides!  It's incredible!  The other day, the older daughter was like, "Sometimes when I think about smoking, I get nauseous and I think to myself:  It's because the sisters are praying for me!"  Miracles, people.  Anyway, there are seriously countless miracles from this week.  And then last night, we had the most incredible ward council ever.  I don't even know why - it was just so spiritual.  Everyone was coming together to try to help the members of our ward who are struggling - especially the youth.  And a lot of the parents of the struggling youth were at the meeting because they're leaders in the ward.  It was just a really touching experience.  Both Sorella Hoffman and I walked away from it in awe.  And our bishop is inCREDible.  I've never seen a bishop like him here in Italy.  He's just so on top of everything.  He's aware of who we're teaching and what we're doing.  He looks at our numbers.  He asks us where people are when they haven't been to church for a couple of weeks.  And he really does just care about the people in our ward.  He's an incredible example to me.  I mean, I've been realy fortunate because the bishops in my last two wards were incredible, too, but this bishop is just on TOP of it.  Anyway, we've seen the hand of the Lord every single day this week, usually multiple times a day.  It truly is His work.  I'm so happy to help.
Anyway, that's about it for this week.  I hope you're all doing well.  AMORE.
Sorella Gunnerson

One of my last views of the Mole!  Ciao, Torino!

  The missionaries of Torino 2 with our ward mission leader, Fratello Giardino.

Me with one of the people I love most in this country - M.!  She was one of our English students in Torino and I just love her.  She told me that I MUST stay with her someday when I come back to visit.  :)

 Me with S., F., N., and S.  All members of the ward in Torino 2.  My last night in Torino.

Me and Sorella Gross!

Me and Sorella Condie!

Me and Sorella McCann!

Me and Anziano Taylor!

Me and Anziano Cardullo!

My mission family!  (Condie - the sister, Palumbo - the mamma)

Three generations!

Me and Sorella Bucco!  (Remember her from my first transfer in Italy?  Now she's Tokarskis's comp in San Remo and then she goes home!)

Elisa's baptism my first Sunday in Alessandria!

 The ZLs and the STLs with Presidente and Sorella Dibb at mission council.

Me and Anziano Lovett!!!!

Sorella Hoffman and me with the sisters of the Torino zone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

07.09.14 {week 50}

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

07.02.14 {week 49}

So sorry!  No time to write!
Alessandria is AWESOME.  I love it here.  It's one of the cities in the entire mission with the highest numbers and highest expectations, so there's a lot of pressure, but I love it so far.  We have six baptismal dates set up for this transfer already and we're working on just helping these dear people get to the font.  :)  Actually, E. got baptized on Sunday, so that was neat to experience that my first Sunday here.  And I., I had a lesson with her that day I did a scambio here, so I already knew her before I even transferred here, which is pretty cool.
My companion is Sorella Hoffman.  She is (just barely) 20 and from Texas.  She is a firecracker.  Haha she is a hard-worker and an incredible missionary.  I've already learned so much from her.  This is her fifth transfer here in Alessandria, but only her second transfer as STL since this coppia of capi sorelle was only opened up here one transfer ago.  So she basically got only one transfer of being trained as an STL and now is training me!  And she's only a transfer ahead of me.  So, not only are we the youngest STLs in the mission (in mission age), we're also the least-experienced.  So it has already been an adventure!  We'll have our first scambio tomorrow.  I'm actually really nervous to be the "leader" this time around.  But it'll be great.  I'll be heading to Vercelli tomorrow to be with Sorella Jones for the scambio.  And then Friday will be our mission council in Milano with all of the STLs, zone leaders, and President.  Happy 4th of July!  I'm excited.
We've been thinking/talking a lot this week about "visions."  About what people believe they can do and then having the strength and the courage to do it.  We're over the sisters in the Torino zone (even though we're technically in the Alessandira zone), which is super strange for me.  So we collect their numbers and basically just have stewardship over them.  One of the coppias is having a hard time - not getting along (they get along great), but just teaching lessons and finding investigators and stuff.  And I'm really close to them.  This week I've kind of been feeling like I'm TOO close to the situation.  I was just there serving with them!  But I know that that's probably one of the big reasons I'm here, because I know these sisters and I know these cities and I can help.  Anyway, there's a lot on our plate, but the week has just flown by and I seriously do love this city.  Also, I'm buying a bike when I get home (unless I lose a limb before I return...).  I LOVE BIKES.
Thanks for the love and support.  Love you guys more than you even know!  Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Gunnerson