Wednesday, August 27, 2014

08.27.14 {week 57}

Hey Family!

I'm running on short email time this week because we got here to the internet place with JUST enough time to have our full hour and a half and all the computers were full.  This never happens.  After about 5 minutes, someone left, so Sorella Roth started doing emails.  Then I just sat there for 45 minutes watching five other people literally just waste 45 minutes of their lives.  Like, if they had been doing something productive, like genealogy or something (haha) I could have forgiven it.  But there was a woman just looking at the weather all over Italy for those 45 minutes and I just had to sit there and painfully watch as my precious email time ticked away...  Anyway now I'm here writing and everything is fine  :)
It's been an INCREDIBLE week.  :)  I just never want to leave Alessandria, I love it so much.  President asked us all to make last week a special, consecrated week.  He asked us to not do any scambios and to just really focus on our areas, doing the best we can to grow our own areas.  So we took it and ran with it and we saw miracles all week long.  The biggest miracle we saw all week is that on Thursday we started the day off with zero baptismal dates.  I guess we were in an August lull.  We knew we had investigators who were ready to get bap dates, but it just hadn't worked out yet.  Well, by the time we came inside at 9 to do nightly planning, we had six baptismal dates!  We were on cloud 9.  We're really hoping and praying that these people can reach these goals.  One is a new investigator from a couple of weeks ago named L.  The other five are that family that finally came back from Ventimiglia.  The only problem was that the family didn't show up at church.  (L. did!  Yay L.!  AND she didn't drink coffee that morning!)  We literally did ALL we could to try to get them to church.  We passed by the night before letting them know we would be coming by an hour early to help them get up and ready for church.  On Sunday morning we went and rang their cito, called them, but no one was responding.  Finally someone came out of the apartment complex, so we were at least able to get in their building and all the way up to their front door.  We heard someone moving around the kitchen inside, so we knock, the dog barks (I didn't even know they had a dog...), there's silence inside for a good 30 seconds and then regular moving noises.  So we knock again.  Same pattern.  So then we just sat their on the staircase for a good ten minutes hoping...something would happen.  But it didn't.  So we knocked again.  Same thing.  Finally we decided to stop being stalkers and just go to church already.  I was so sad and frustrated though!  They KNOW they need to be baptized, they're just not acting and it's so sad.  There's another mom and daughter we're working with right now that we're hoping to set baptismal dates for (and they came to church for the last half hour - we were so happy!).  They could all use your prayers!
Anyway, that's all the news from Alessandria!  Sorella Lawrence will be coming here from Torino tonight to do a scambio with me (while Sorella Roth goes to Torino), so that will be fun!  Then tomorrow night, we'll head to Torino, spend the night there and then head to Milano on Friday morning for Mission Consiglio (already??).  Then we'll have a blitz here on Monday with the sorelle of Savona and then Zone Conference on Tuesday.  It'll be a crazy week, but we're excited.  Just loving life!  AMORE.
Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

08.20.14 {week 56}

Hey Family!
Sorry, I have zero time to write.  It's been a good week!  We've seen tons and tons of miracles (which is a big deal because I've dreaded August my entire mission).  It's been incredible.  That family with the two daughters are still on vacation but a little birdie (their dad) told us that they should be coming home tonight, so we'll hopefully see them soon.  I've missed them a lot!  Can't wait to see them and start teaching them again!  We've also found quite a few new investigators this week.  There's this one lady named L. who had a baptismal date about five months ago (way before I got here) and then she had a bad dream and decided that it meant she wasn't supposed to get baptized, like, a week before her baptism.  (Have I ever told you guys that Italians are SUPER superstitious?  Sometimes it drives me nuts.)  Anyway, she found one of our pass-along cards on the ground about a week and a half ago and took THAT as a sign and we're teaching her again.  She even came to church on Sunday.  So that's pretty cool.  Let's hope no black cats cross her path or anything.  Anyway, we've been seeing so many miracles and have so many people to set baptismal dates with.  It's going to be an incredible week.  Have I told you guys how awesome my comp is??  Sorella Roth and I are basically the same person.  She's awesome.  I forgot that getting along with your companion can be really easy sometimes...  We went to a Catholic funeral on Monday so that was....really depressing.  A lady in our ward's mother died, and she is an ex-investigator of the sisters here.  But yeah, it was just really sad and dark.  Guys, the church is true.  Sorry this email is super short.  I love you all a lot.  And I'm really just...happy here!  Busy and exhausted, but so happy!  (Also, the two hour nap I took this afternoon definitely helped.)  Anyway, have a great week!  AMORE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

08.13.14 {week 55}

Wow, sounds like you guys have been having a lot of fun this summer!  Cool.  It's been a crazy week - what with transfers and a zone training and a scambio.  We've been super busy.  But it's been good.  Sometimes I hate the month of August because everyone leaves.  You know where they all go?  The sea!  So we decided to just follow the crowd.  After zone training in Genova on Monday morning, we headed down to San Remo for a scambio!  Holy smokes, it was so hot, but so beautiful.  I got to do the scambio with my girl - Sorella Tokarski!  It was incredible.  We saw lots of miracles and I got to see all the progress she's made these last couple of transfers.  She is AMAZING.  I'm seriously so proud of her.  Anyway, I have my new comp - Sorella Roth from Salt Lake City, Utah!  She's awesome.  She dies in about 5 weeks, but she's going out strong.  We're basically the same person, so it's been a fun transfer so far.  Sorry, I have no more time to write.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  Have a great week.  Vi voglio bene.

Sorella Gunnerson

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

08.06.14 {week 54}

Hey Family!

Wow, looks like you all had a great family reunion!  Loved all the pictures and the stories.  Yeah, a little jealous I wasn't there but, hey, my name was on the family tree cake, so it's practically the same thing.  ;)

It's been a great, but ridiculously fast week.  To answer the question on everyone's mind:  Yes, I'm staying in Alessandria for another two transfers.  Woo-hoo!  Why do I say two?  Because my new collega, Sorella Roth, who will be coming here tomorrow is dying this transfer.  So she's doing her last transfer here in Alessandria with me and then I'll have to show someone else the ropes the transfer after that.  Unless President just blows my mind and keeps me here til the END OF MY MISSION.  That's not gonna happen.  But you never know...  But I love Alessandria, so it's okay.  I know I basically say this at the end of every transfer, but this was definitely the fastest transfer so far.  Sorella Hoffman is heading to the beautiful land of Pisa to be STL there.  She'll do great.  She's been here in Alessandria for 7 months now - 5 transfers, so it's definitely time for her to leave.

Mission Consiglio was awesome on Friday.  We spoke a lot about our role as leaders of the mission.  As the APs got up to start their part of the meeting one of them looked at me and said, "Sorella Gunnerson, who is someone in the history of the world - in the scriptures, american history, sports, ANYTHING - that is a great leader to you?"  Anyone wanna guess what I said?  ...........Winston Churchill.  Haha my nerdiness was definitely showing.  Anyway, it was a great meeting.  I love those things.  The area doctor actually came to speak to us - the guy stationed in Germany who gets phone calls about all the missionary's health issues and then either fixes them or sends them home.  He came to teach us some basic remedies for common missionary health issues.  It was kinda gross, but also cool.  And then on Saturday we got our transfer news.  So we've been over three companionships in the Torino zone - Vercelli, Collegno, and Torino.  Well, now the sister companionships in Vercelli and Collegno don't exist.  So, instead of  being over just the Torino zone, we're over that zone AND our own zone.  President closed the STLs in Genova, so now we'll be STLs for Torino, Genova, Savona, and....San Remo!  Sound familiar to anyone??  That's where Tokarski is!!  Now I'm her STL and I'm so stoked.  Anyway, point is, it's going to be crazy now.  It literally takes, like, 5 hours to get to San Remo from here.  So we're not quite sure how this is going to work yet.  But it's going to be an adventure!

Church on Sunday was quite disappointing since NONE of our investigators showed up.  Man, that's seriously the worst.  We're just constantly looking at the doors, hoping someone will just get out of bed and come!  And we were especially sad because the whole week before we had really been prepping G. and S. to come - getting them super pumped up about it.  We even went to their house on Saturday night and gave them old clothes of ours so that they would have dresses/skirts to wear to church.  But they didn't end up coming and we were really sad.  We're working on it.  But, even though they haven't been coming to church, they really are changing.  We had a big talk with them about modesty a couple of weeks ago and ever since then, they've been dressing so modestly!  Even though its super hot outside!  We are so proud of them for that.  So, we're making small steps here, but we ARE making steps.  I love those girls so much.  On Sunday night, we had a party with GANS (YSA) at the church.  We had been doing a Hunger Games themed game with them for the past few transfers to get them excited about doing their own missionary work and we promised them a party when they reached a certain number of points.  And they reached their goal, so we had this party for them on Sunday night.  It was fire themed, so we made a fake campfire in the middle of the room and then turned off all the lights and put blankets around and had a testimony meeting.  It was the best.  And we watched that little video - "Because of Him" twice.  We love it.  Monday, Tuesday, and today have just been CRAZY, running around so that Sorella Hoffman can see everyone before she leaves.  We are exhausted, but it's been awesome.  We've seen so many miracles - too many to count.  And I know for a fact that the Lord has His hand in every single facet of this work.  I love it with all my heart and I'm so proud/grateful/excited/happy to be a part of it.

These next few weeks will be interesting since literally EVERYONE leaves to go to the sea during August (because of the unbearable heat).  It is the most dreaded month of the Italian missionary, but we're already a week through it, so we're doing good!  :)  Love you guys a lot!  Ciao.

Sorella Gunnerson

As promised, the picture of my one year mark.  Eatin' gelato cake!

Sorella Hoffman and me at the waters in Acqui Terme - a paesino we go to to visit a less active and her family.  Apparently the Romans in ancient times would stop in this little town to drink the water cuz it's like....extra yummy?  I don't know.  But they have fountains everywhere so we took a picture.  :)

Me with the S. family on Sunday for lunch.  They live in campagna - in the country - so they have a garden and an actual home and space and stuff.  It was the best.  So beautiful.  We ate lunch outside and it was wonderful.  Fratello S. is the second counselor in our bishopric.  They are great!

GANS party!

Yeah, we had fun this transfer.
L - R: Johnson, Bartholio, Johnson, Strang, Hoffman, ME  :)

A picture of my invite to the Hunger Games party.  We knew we had a crazy busy weekend ahead of us and so we asked Anziani Johnson and Strang to make the invites for everyone for the party.  Um, coolest invites ever.  Fire was involved.