Monday, November 24, 2014

I´d be lying if I said that this wasn´t the funnest thing I´ve done!‏

Every week is faster, more fun, and full of more things! Haha and I´m already loving it, if it keeps going like this I don´t think I´ll ever come home, sorry mom. 

First of all there aren´t any pictures this week because I left my SD card in the house of the miember that we just left and they live far away so those pictures will come next week!

I´ll start with the food. This week was a good week for baking! Pday I made a huge batch of cinnamon rolls and they were incredible. I made them small so that we would have a lot and so that everyone in my district could have two each and we still had a ton. They were the best things I´ve had in Chile I´m pretty sure. They reminded me of home, but not in a bad way! Elder Bennett and I couldn´t stop ourselves because they were sooooo good!! Haha and I made a couple other things for breakfast, like German Pancakes are almost a weekly thing, french toast is a frequent one too, scrabbled egg sandwiches, oh one day we had breakfast burritos with sausage and melted cheese and those were tasty as well, egg-in-a-hole haha to say the least breakfast is my favorite! And then yesterday I made strawberry and banana crepes!! Which included fresh strawberries and bananas, Nutella(believe it or not that I found Nutella in this little town, I was shocked as well), I made a strawberry syrup/glaze sorta of thing, and homade whip cream!! Oh....... We pigged out. Greatest day in the world! Haha I didn´t realize how much I liked cooking before my mission but now I´m realizing it and how grateful I am for my dearest mother for teaching me and helping me cook. Every Sunday I make our Menu(just like you do mom) so that we can buy all the ingredients for the upcoming week, I´m excited for this week!

Now for something a little more spiritual and just a really neat experience. We are teaching a family of three. There is the mom, and two sons. Aged 21 and 14(his birthday is this Friday, I´m making chocolate angel food cake for him!). The mom is a member but it´s been forever since she was active, basically since she was little. But she is realizing how much the Gospel could help in the lives of her sons and so she came to church this last week and things are good there! But anyways they live on a very busy road, well the only road there is to enter Catemu so there is almost always cars passing by and their house is right on the road so it is never ever quiet. But we were teaching a lesson with them and we were talking a little bit about the spirit(this is like 15 minutes into the lesson that has gone really well) and I started explaining how I personally feel the Spirit and was saying how usually there are a million things going on in my head and everything is going 100 mph and especially now that I am trying to learn Spanish, people´s names, street names, and whatever else my mind is usually a mess BUT ¨(this is what I said more or less) when I feel the Spirit, everything slows down and my mind is very clear, it´s almost like everything just stops and takes a breath¨ and in that moment I stopped talking and their house that usually has cars passing by and never ever is quiet, was absolutely silent. You could´ve heard a pin drop, no you could have heard a feather drop. And the room got all warm and seemed to brighten up and it was just... Wow... the Spirit was there very very very strong. And no it wasn´t all me because Elder Bennett played a huge role but just that the fact that we could be the manner for the Spirit into their home was incredible. Everyone noticed it and I think we all learned a little bit. I´m hoping that helps with their progress! 

Today was really fun! There is a member in Catemu who has always wanted to learn to make cupcakes because many years ago she bought cupcake pans but has never ever used them so I told her I could help her learn! So we went out to her house today to teach her how to make cupcakes and help her husband finish up his project of building sort of a garage type of thing. But it turns out the little store near their house didn´t have all the things that we needed but she had all the ingredients for cinnamon rolls! So I taught her how to make cinnamon rolls and she taught me how to make cheese empanadas! And then we ate my cheese empanadas, lunch, and the cinnamon rolls! It was very fun but I´m bummed that I forgot my SD card cause I´ve got pictures of it all!

Oh also yesterday was our Stake Conference too! We had the opportunity to go to the adult session Saturday night and I am so grateful for that because it was soo good. President Viñas of the Seventy and the President of the South America South was there along with another seventy because they Stake President got released and a new Presidency was made. All the talks were very very good but something that stuck out to me a lot was that when we have the Spirit of the Lord with us we can NEVER offend another person OR be offended by someone. Kind of a neat thought.

This mission is amazing. I am so grateful to be here. It´s the funnest, most rewarding, and neatest experience I´ve ever had in my life and I get to do it for 21 more months. What a blessing.

Thank you for every and I hope Thanksgiving is incredible! 

Love always,
Elder Gunnell

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

He answered a lot of individual emails this week so no big email but lots of pictures. 

 Chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough truffles

He says he's getting some chubs on his cheeks.  I don't see it.

 They went on a little hike and took pictures at the top.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wow alrighty this week was definitely a little bit different than all the other weeks in the field and in a very good way! Since Elder Bennett has never been in Catemu he doesn´t know the area haha obviously but this means that this week I had to do our planning and before usually Elder Anderson did all that! So the first night was a little frustrating cause I didn´t know what to do or what was best or who we should visit and all these names of roads and streets that I didn´t know and ahh it felt kind of overwhelming! After awhile I finished up the plans for the day and stuff like that and bingo we are ready. Before I go on, another thing.
With Elder Anderson I never made my contacts, the goal is to talk to ten different people everyday and see if you can visit them or help them with anything and basically just have a conversation then invite them! I never really did that much with Elder Anderson for a bunch of different reasons like I was scared to talk to people cause I was afraid I wouldn´t be able to understand them and I didn´t know what to say to them or a million other lame reasons.

So the first day with Elder Bennett, because a ton of different streets here don´t have names, we would be looking for a street and we wouldn´t be able to find it but there was a person standing around so I would go ask them and I was soo shocked this day because all day long, any time I went and talked to someone for help finding a house or just to talk I could understand EVERY single word they said. Every word. I could ask questions and have a real conversation. We never got lost and found the people we needed to and new people. The gift of tongues is real. And it is an amazing gift of the spirit. After that first day out with Elder Bennett I have learned so much about the spirit and have so much more confidence in myself and in my spanish, no my spanish is still terrible haha but I have come such a long way from day one. Such a long way. I know that what Nephi said about how God has always prepared a way for us is true. I´m not ever going to lose my trust in that after that day! That day I made 20 contacts and before my highest in one day was like five, maybe. Haha and this week I made all 70 contacts! Woooo! Now I love making contacts, first I just try to be their best friend and it is just like getting to know someone(which I love doing) and then when they know that I truly care and have some trust in me I tell them a little about our purpose and our goal as missionaries and if we can come share a little with them and get to know them a little better! 

The reason I am writing Tuesday is because we had a special conference yesterday with Elder Nelson of the 12 apostles! His wife, President Viñas (president of this area in the church) and his wife! Wow that was so neat. I´ve never shaken the hand of an apostle before! It was a very very good conference and I would like to share a little something that Sister Nelson talked to us about. She talked about our premortal life a little bit. And if we could look into our premortal life for like 10 minutes what we would see. First of all in the premortal life we were preparing to come to the world so I kind of think of it like we were making our goals and plans for the kinds of the things we were going to accomplish in this life. So if we looked into our premortal life and we watched the last 10 minutes before we came to Earth what kind of things do you think you were telling yourself? If you had a list of goals and things you needed to do in your earthly life what do you think they were? Sister Nelson also said how if we aren´t accomplishing and doing those things on that list we made for ourselves before this earth that we will never find true happiness because our spirit knows there are more things that we said we would do. I hope that all made sense, I think that is a pretty neat concept to think about though!

Everyday is an adventure out here and you know I love adventures so I am very grateful to be able to be here in a foriegn country where I still don´t speak the language! Haha:) It really honestly is amazing here and the people are more than incredible. I absolutely love them and would do anything to help them.

I need to pubblicly thank my mother for everything you have done for me cause I am constantly asking for favors even though I´m not even home and you always do them. Thank you so so so much mom. I love you! 

Thank you for your emails as always! I´ll talk to you all in like six days! I wish you the best!

Elder Gunnell

Monday, November 3, 2014

Compañero nuevo! First change in the field!‏

My new companion is Elder Bennett! He is from Idaho Falls and has been
serving for one year and five months. He is my trainer because I still
have six more weeks of training and also our District leader so talk
about a lot of things to do and worry about. I'm going to do
everything I can to help him out! And he has never served in our
sector Los Andes or in our city Catemu. I am soooo happy to be staying
here. Elder Anderson and I have made some very good relationships with
the people here and I love them! So I'm very glad to be staying here.
But because Elder Bennett doesn't know the area I am in charge of
getting us to places and helping planning our day and what person
needs what and things like that I guess! I've got to show him where
our chapel is and district meeting and what bus to use and all that
but I feel comfortable doing that! In the next six weeks of my
training I am suppose to be doing a lot more talking so we will see
how that goes. Haha I think it will go good and I feel more
comfortable with the people we teach so I feel more comfortable
talking to them. For the majority of the time I can understand what
the people are saying. I just can't quite say or express what I want
to perfectly. And my accent still needs a lot of work but I am making
progress! The ability to speak spanish doesn't seem so far away now.

This last week we did our first splits. A split is where you switch
companions for 24 hours. We switched with the district leader and his
companion, Elder De Lima. Elder De Lima came to Catemu and I stayed in
here and Elder Anderson went to San Felipe with our district leader
Elder Fonseca. It was soo fun!! Elder De Lima is from Sau Pualo,
Brazil and has been out for about five or six months. It was way fun
getting to know him and his story. We talked and talked non stop and
went to bed later than we should have cause we were talking about
everything. This day I was in charge of where to go and what lessons
to teach which meant I talked a lot more and I was a little nervous
for that but in the end I liked it a lot. He is a great missionary and
helped me make a lot of contacts that day. It was overall a way good
experience and I was able to carry those things that I learned with me
when Elder Anderson came back. Also I made german pancakes for him
cause he had never had them!

Also this week I made banana cake from a recipe I got from Hermana
Lima from Brazil also. And that was pretty tasty! We did a really cool
family home evening with a family that is less active. We split the
family up in to two teams and kinda had a race to make brownies.
Beforehand Elder Anderson and I had measured everything out so all
they had to do was put the ingredients in and mix them up. The rule
was that nobody could taste the batter before it was cooked. Why was
that a rule? Well with one of the teams we changed the sugar out for
salt. So instead of two cups of salt they used two cups of sugar.
Obviously those brownies were gonna be gross. The moral and the lesson
is that Satan a lot of the time uses things that are really similiar
to good things but are actually bad. Sugar and salt are very similiar
and if you aren't careful you hardly notice the difference until the
end. Kinda like internet is something very good but if you aren't
careful it can be something bad. What would you rather have, the
brownies with two cups of salt or two cups of sugar? We have to be
very careful because Satan is always trying to tempt us.

It was sad to see Elder Anderson to go but it was also pretty cool
because he was so excited to see his family. One day I'll be there
too. It kinda made me sad for a minute but then I realized that I
don't want to leave this place or these people. I'm definitely not
ready for that! And I think after I learn spanish it will be even

Halloween was good here! It's a little different here but kids still
dress up and collect candy. It's not as popular here but every year it
gets bigger and bigger, at least that is what people have told me.
Here's a picture of one of the spiders that we killed last night, it
was pretty big and I'm almost sure it was a brown recluse. The food
mostly consists of rice, pasta, meats(that are soo very good, the way
they cook them I think), potatoes, and some others. I have yet to eat
something super weird or gross. The fruit here is incredible and so
are the avocados!! The avocados are to die for and dad you could make
some mean guacamole with them.

Thank you all so much for your emails! I can't believe it is already
November and that you have snow!! It is very warm here, some days are
super hot and some not so much but there is a lot of heat still to
come I've been told! I feel like Christmas is gonna be here fast.

Elder Gunnell

Our District

 Our Branch President and his daughter and me

Me dressed up in a traditional get up for a Chileano (obviously I need a new camera)