Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12.24.14 {week 74}

Buon Natale, Famiglia!

Wow, can't believe it's Christmas Eve already.  This week just flew by and now here we are!  And I'll be seeing you guys tomorrow!  Woohoo!  Okay, so let's rewind to where we left off.

Last Wednesday, after emailing, we took a train to FLORENCE, ITALY.  It was literally a 15 minute train ride.  We are SO close.  And can I just tell you?  I AM IN LOVE.  Florence really is just as amazing as everyone says it is.  It was so beautiful.  We got there and walked around lost for a little bit until we found the David.  We walked in and there were all of these huge paintings in the room and then you turn a corner and you're in this long corridor and there he is.  At the end of the corridor.  In all his glory.  Haha it was awesome.  And, can I just tell you guys?  It is amazing.  Like, sometimes I see pieces of art that are pretty famous and I'm like, "Hmm it's alright.  It must be cool from, like, a smarter person's point of view."  The David was totally not like that at all.  It is just massive and beautiful.  So detailed.  So REAL.  To sum it was incredible.  There.  Then we headed over to the Florence Duomo.  We went inside and got to see the preseppe that they have in there.  The Florence Duomo is MASSIVE.  I want to go back sometime and go up to the top.  Maybe next P-day!  :)  Then we headed over to Ponte Vecchio.  Mamma mia, it is beautiful.  You know, it's the famous bridge that you always see paintings of.  So we got a good view of it from the next bridge over and then we walked down it and got to see all the shops.  It's mostly just covered in REALLY expensive jewelry shops.  And then the day was basically over and I was in love.  The end.

Well we saw some pretty great miracles this week!  First:  I parallel parked perfectly TWICE.  I didn't even know it was a talent I had.  And I should probably knock on some wood really quick.  ...  Done.  Second:  I'm finally getting used to the Tuscan accent.  I had always heard about the Tuscan accent up there in Piemonte, but I didn't believe it could actually be real.  It is.  Basically down here, they just substitute all of their "C" sounds with "H"s.  So instead of saying "queste cose qui" ("these things here") it sounds like "hweste hose hui."  EVERYONE does it and it's actually really funny to listen to.  My favorite one?  "Hoha Hola."  (Coca Cola)  Third:  We had an incredible lesson with this member's friend on Thursday.  Her name is F.  This member, Sorella F, asked us to come over last Monday night just to talk with her a little bit about her missionary work.  Umm yes please.  So we went over there and she and her husband already had a list written down of friends/acquaintances they wanted to share the gospel with and then they basically just wanted our help in brainstorming how to best share the gospel with the different people.  They even got their 12-year-old daughter involved - talking about one of her friends.  I was BLOWN AWAY.  I've never seen a family so...willing and ready to do missionary work.  I was seriously just ecstatic.  Anyway, we went over again on Thursday to share a little Christmas message with this friend, F.  She is just pretty confused and trying to figure out what is truth and what is not.  She was actually Buddhist for a long time and doesn't know what to believe.  So we had shared "Egli è il dono" and then read some scriptures.  And it was a really spiritual experience.  She shared her feelings about everything and we (and especially this member) bore testimony about the birth and life of Christ.  Then we felt really impressed to talk about personal revelation and how you can read and pray to know the truth.  We gave her a Libro di Mormon and she was really touched.  She's excited to meet with us again and continue learning more.  This whole experience was just really great.  Especially so close to Christmas and everything - meeting someone who is so ready to learn more.  But more than that, I was just so taken aback by this member - her desire to share the gospel and then her willingness to ACT.  It really made me reflect on the member I want to be when I go home.

Other than that this week has been full of Christmas fun!  We've been doing LOTS of caroling.  (I totally talked the Anziani into it and now they're addicted.)  And for the last two nights, some of the members even got involved!  It's been a lot of fun.  This week we don't have a full P-day since President wants us in as many homes as possible.  So we have a lunch appointment today with members and then a few more tonight.  THEN IT'S CHRISTMAS!!  We bought ourselves stockings this morning.  Haha we're classy like that.  I just wanted to leave you with this little talk that I printed off about a month ago, that I've re-read all season long.  It's really short, so give it a read: 

"Keep your faith.  Look for the good in your situation.  Do something kind for someone.  Seek Christ devoid of wrapping and tinsel.  You will find that despite external circumstances, Christmas - like the kingdom of God - is 'within you.'"

Also, my classic Christmas message that I've been sharing with everyone this Christmas season:  Alma 7:10-13.  Let's remember the reason Christ came to this earth.  The holiday will mean a lot more if we do.  :)  AMORE.

Sorella Gunnerson

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