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 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!
Yeah, we had fun this transfer.
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.