Monday, December 28, 2015

Saying goodbye to 2015‏

Wow wasn´t this one heck of a year. I´m so grateful for this year that I have had here in Chile! It has gone by so very quickly but I have loved it.

Today all I really want to say is how much I love the mish. Has it been hard? Yes. Absolutely. Of course. With out a doubt. But it truly is something so beautiful. So amazing. I can´t help but be grateful for everything that has happened here. I have learned and grown so much. This Gospel is so perfect. It´s wonderful and Heavenly Father really just wants the best for us. He wants to help us along the way and he wants us to know he is here to love and care for us. I love this Gospel and everything that we learn in this Church. I know the scriptures are true and by constantly studying them I have realized that Heavenly Father does talk to us, if we let him. I know that by going to Church and being there physically and mentally has helped me receive personal revelation and progress spiriturally. 

I wish I could express myself better in words but it is so hard for me haha but I just want you to know that I love this Church and I know that Christ is the head, that He leads and guides his Prophet and Apostles and that they are inspired to give us the messages that they give us. It´s just too perfect. I love it.

Below is my little invitation for this week! It´s just a short video that I really like.

Have a great week and a safe Happy New Years!

Elder Gunnell

 12 days of Christmas and my christmas presents

 I made a cheesecake and it's the best thing I've had in 16 months

 The rich part of Santiago

 Christmas Caroling

 Waiting for the family to skype

 Santiago North Mission
 District Christmas party


It was a hot week but all is well! Thank you to those of you who sent me Christmas packages and letters:) I appreciate them!!

I just have a quick little Christmas message to share with all today. Since there is only a month of Christmas I gotta take advantage of the time that I am allowed to talk about this marvelous holiday!! It`s a little something that President Uchtdorf shared last year. It reads, 

¨Think of the simple yet dignified way our Heavenly Father chose to honor the birth of His Son. On that holy night, angels appeared not to the rich but to shepherds. The Christ child was born not in a mansion but in a manger. He was wrapped not in silk but in swaddling clothes.
 The simplicity of that first Christmas foreshadowed the life of the Savior. Though He had created the earth, walked in realms of majesty and glory, and stood at the right hand of the Father, He came to earth as a helpless child. His life was a model of modest nobility, and He walked among the poor, the sick, the downcast, and the heavy laden.
 Though He was a king, He cared neither for the honors nor the riches of men. His life, His words, and His daily activities were monuments of simple yet profound dignity.
 Jesus the Christ, who knew perfectly how to give, set for us the pattern for giving. To those whose hearts are heavy with loneliness and sorrow, He brings compassion and comfort. To those whose bodies and minds are afflicted with illness and suffering, He brings love and healing. To those whose souls are burdened with sin, He offers hope, forgiveness, and redemption.
 If the Savior were among us today, we would find Him where He always was—ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. During this Christmas season and always, may we give to Him by loving as He loves. May we remember the humble dignity of His birth, gifts, and life. And may we, through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power.¨
I love the part that talks about him being a king but not caring for the honors or riches of men. Imagine if we all served so humbly, how would the world be?
Also I love the part that says where Christ would be if he were here today. I don`t doubt one bit that he would be doing the same thing he did before. He wouldn`t be living a comfortable life somewhere beautiful. He would be living his life to lift others up.
I hope this Christmas is the best one yet and I hope that we look for people to lift up. I hope that we can share and show our love towards them. 
I just love Christmas so much and want everyone to have an incredible Chrismas! Haha
Love always,Elder Gunnell

Monday, December 7, 2015

Starting to get realllll warm

Well it the last time I wrote was last Wednesday so there hasn´t been a lot of time since then but things are going well here! We are, without a doubt, going in to summer because it is getting hot. I can´t believe we are already ending 2015!!!!!!!!! Did it just fly by? I feel like it did. Please enjoy the snow for me!

I would just like to share a small excerpt from a talk by Elder Holland that I really like, it says,
¨Surely there is no more powerful missionary message we can send to this world than the example of a loving and happy Latter-day Saint life. The manner and bearing, the smile and kindness of a faithful member of the Church brings a warmth and an outreach which no missionary tract or videotape can convey. People do not join the Church because of what they know. They join because of what they feel, what they see and want spiritually. Our spirit of testimony and happiness in that regard will come through to others if we let it. As the Lord said to Alma and the sons of Mosiah, “Go forth … that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.´¨

All I really want is for us to live good, clean lives. It speaks so much louder than words. Once a wise missionary told me, ¨Preach. Then, if there is time, speak.¨ He then explained that it means we preach by our actions and our words. We preach and teach way before we actually get to know people. Smile. Be happy. It´s contagious and in time we will even convince ourselves that we are happy.

I love this work and our dear Father in Heaven. Keep on keeping on!

Elder Gunnell

Made some new friends



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DECEMBER!!!! SNOW... oh wait I´m in Santiago....

It was a wonderful, fantastic Thanksgiving week!! Very productive and positive. I am grateful that I could spend it here! But I am excited for the next one too!:) haha 

For Thanksgiving I decided it wouldn`t be very correct if we didn`t eat pies! So since we had our district class the day after Thanksgiving I decided to make our mini zone (since half of our zone meets in another church) some pies!! Haha surprise I´m sure, right? I decided to attempt to make a pumpkin pie out of a type of squash that is found here. I was very very skeptical since it is not a sweet squash but I decided to go ahead and do it anyways! Out of the pies I did make, it was the most popular to my surprise!! Other than the ¨pumpkin¨ pie I made a also summed up enough courage to try making a lemon meringue for the first time! It was a good first attempt and was pretty tasty as well. The third I made was a chocolate french silk. It kinda flopped since I used a bad kind of butter and got all seperated but had a good flavor everyone said! Haha and also with the rolos that Kui sent me I made some chocolate rolo cookies. When I ran out of rolos to put in the middle I decided to try filling them with peanut butter. They turned out like Reese`s but in cookie form! I definitely recommend it. All in all it was an awesome district class and we had some fun celebrating Turkey day in Chile. 

The week itself also went well but we now have a new ¨rule¨ for lack of better terms. Before the new ¨rule¨ we as Elders could go into the house with a woman alone if the door was open and people could see us and hear us from outside. Which was good and was working well for us because almost all the people we visit in the afternoon from 3 to 7ish are women who are alone. Now that doesn`t fly. It`s now not accepted. That made this last week a little difficult. But now we just have to find members who can come with us so that we aren`t alone and we can keep teaching! Some Sisters from our ward who know the ward better gave us a list of young men and men that can accompany us during the day. It was very sweet of them and hopefully we can get some help now!

I also want everyone to be especially nice the missionaries when you see them this Christmas season! Invite them to your family home evenings, invite them to eat dinner with you, invite them to go shovel snow or some sort of service project, help them and make them feel at home! They are far from their families and it`s just awesome when a wonderful family invites us to go eat with them or something so do it. Please. The missionaries are great:)

So I´ve learned and studied quite a few things this week and would like to share a couple! This last Monday we had a reunion with one of the Area Seventy (which is why P-day is today. This is way off subject but we rounded up a bunch of missionaries and went and played soccer on a full field and I am destroyed. I played for the like 50 minutes and I am so dead. I think tomorrow will be worse..) and we learned a lot in the conference but I would like to share a little from what I learned their and some of my personal studies.

First of all we are going to go to Ether 2 in Ether the Jaredites are commanded to build ships or ¨barges¨ (verse 16) so they do and in verse 17 it explains how they were built. Let`s take a look at what it says, 

¨And they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish

What was repeated? ¨like unto a dish¨ right? Five times. So why is this so important? There is something very important we can learn from this. We learn that they obeyed with EXACT obedience to what the lord had commanded. They built them with a PERFECT adherence to the Lord`s instructions. That is the key. They weren`t an inch too big or an inch too small. They were built precisely how God wanted them to be built (verse 18). Now we are going to jump a little bit in the story to Ether 6:6-7 and it says,

¨And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind. And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.¨

So we see here that 1) it was important that their ships were built like a dish because then the water could not enter. That`s correct but there is something more. We see here 2) that ¨they did cry unto the Lord¨ and the Lord helped. They could cry unto the Lord and say, ¨Heavenly Father we built these ships EXACTLY how you directed, we did everything you said and obeyed perfectly. Please help us. Please save us.¨ And he did. Of course he did. When they were in a time of need they could reclaim protection from our Heavenly Father because they had done everything in their power berforehand. Heavenly Father has made a promise when we do what He says, it is found in D&C 82:10, ¨I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.¨ When we obey his laws and commandments we have the right to reclaim the blessings we deserve and need. He even tells us that`s how it is. 

¨Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed;for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.¨ When we do all that we know is right, He will be there to bring us out of the water like he did with the Jaredites. By being obedient ¨the peace of God, which passeth all understanding¨ (Philippians 4:7) will be ours. We will have peace because we will know that we will be okay and that He will not abandon us. I know that by obeying now we will be able to reclaim divine help when we are in desperate need and it will come.

Elder Gunnell
 The squash that I used as pumpkin and the three pies I made! The lemon meringue looks a little funny because I took it out of the oven and cooled it right away. I knew it was going to happen but it was necessary given the circumstances so oh well!
 my mini zone


Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Turkey Day!!!

So I wish I could just send you all my mom´s email because it was wonderful but I guess they wouldn´t really be my words so I´ll share a couple of my own things which I hope will suffice. I read an article from President Uchtdorf and I have been thinking about it all week. I would like to share a part of it.

¨Have you ever heard the old saying that people who get lost tend to walk in circles?

Jan L. Souman, a German psychologist, wanted to determine scientifically if this was true. He took participants of an experiment to a large forest area and to the Sahara desert and used a global positioning system to track where they went. They had no compass or any other device. Instructions to them were simple: walk in a straight line in the direction indicated.

Dr. Souman later described what happened. “[Some] of them walked on a cloudy day, with the sun the clouds [and with no reference points in view].… [They] all walked in circles, with [several] of them repeatedly crossing their own path without noticing it.” Other participants walked while the sun was shining, with faraway reference points in view. “These …followed an almost perfectly straight course.”

This study has been repeated by others with different methodologies. All returned similar results.

Without visible landmarks, human beings tend to walk in circles.¨
He goes on to give to us two examples of what we can use as ¨landmarks¨ which are the Book of Mormon and General Conference. But what I would like to focus on is this line: Without visible landmarks, human beings tend to walk in circles. This I think can be used in many ways but what I like is that if we don´t have any sort of goal or purpose or something we are striving for we WILL walk in circles. We WILL NOT progress. We will be lost and many times cross over our very same trail. Without some sort of guide we are very lost. My invitation I guess you could say is that if any of you do not know what your goal is then you should find a time and talk to your so very loving Father in Heaven. He loves you and wants the best for you. He will give you a direction and help you along the way. He will help you discover a goal and has given us reference points or ¨landmarks¨ to help us get there. I know that God exists and that He isn´t just an idea. I know he has a body and is our Father. He is God but also a Father. He only wants us to be happy. 

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! We are all so very blessed and I hope we look for the little blessing God places in our lifes every day. Every day has God´s fingerprint marked on it in one way or another.

Elder Gunnell

Monday, November 16, 2015

Transfers=New companion!‏

So Elder Bof´s and my time has ended. They will just be the glory days to look back on now. But there is still much to do and much more to learn! Elder Bof headed out the wonderful fields of San Felipe. How I would love to go back to the country/rural parts of Chile. But I´ll keep strong in the battle here in the City. I am now with Elder Soriano who was born in Venezuela but when he was 15 he and his family moved to Italy. As impossible as it may seem I am going to try to learn a couple things in Italian... I don´t think it will go well but it´s worth a shot!

I realized in my letters that I always write the things that have happened and not so much the things that I have learned. Maybe I just haven´t learned anything yet.... haha no I have learned so much. I just feel like I don´t know how to express myself very well in words so it is always hard for me to try to communicate what I have learned to all of you through email. I´ve decided to change my way of writing and focus more on the things I have learned than the things I have done. I´ve gotten to the point where I feel like I just do the same things all the time or that an investigator came to church or that an investigator didn´t come to church and what not kind of things like that. In reality I don´t think that really intereses a lot of people (me being included) haha.

To start this new concept I´ll start with something very little but very important I learned this week and next week I will try to have something a little bit more prepared!

This week I learned to trust our church leaders. Not just the higher leaders but down to the very smallest leader in the church/mission. Any leader who seeks the Spirit and follows it can give perfect counsel and advice. Just as good as any other leader in the whole church. I know what our leaders (including but not specifically: zone leaders, mission president, Apostles and Prophet) do and choose are things that we should always support and follow with faith. When we need a little assurance we can always look to our loving Heavenly Father and ask to make sure that everything is okay. He´ll tell us that all is well. Maybe he won´t tell us in one big answer but he will give us enough light to see ahead of us for the next few steps as we follow our leaders.

I also learned that we can have peace in our lives and souls by always studying our scriptures, going to church, and praying fervently. By doing those three things there is nothing in the world that can keep us from feeling the love and peace that God gives to us (Romans 8: 35, 37-39).

Love and miss all. Have a fantastic week!

Elder Gunnell

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cut short on time‏

It´s always been hard to get everything written in an hour and I have even less time today cause I´ve gotta look up a few things for my class tomorrow so please forgive me!

A quick run down on the week:

Monday we spent our p-day in the Santiago just visiting a few shops and watching some shows in the main plaza. Ate some yummy food and that was about it!
Tuesday was a very good day we found a couple new people and we had a lot of lessons and people to teach.
Miercoles we had our District class. I think I taught a decent lesson and another Elder had a very good lesson!
Thursday we did an interchange for a day! I went to a different area and spent a day there with an Elder from Arizona. We had a veeery fun day doing service and chatting. Found a new couple while we were there.
Friday just a normal day but we were both very tired becuase we both stayed up way too late in the interchange... haha bad chioces always have bad consequences.
Saturday was quite the day! We went and visited a less active family who was going to a baby shower (fun fact: in chile they use the frase ¨baby shower¨ in english) for a woman in our ward and they were going to make cupcakes. My comp volunteered me to help so I made some lemon cupcakes! I think they turned out okay! Afterwards I had to go do a baptismal interview and then we had a Family Home Evening with some converts and their friends. All in all a very good day!
Sunday was great because of Church and then had some visits after! 

Today is our p-day because they decided to change it so that´s why we didn´t write yesterday. We decided to go check out a park that we had never been to. GUESS WHAT WE FOUND?! Two cement silos that they have turned in to rock climbing walls (pictures on blog)! They are just in the middle of these gigantic park! There are a bunch of routes for top roping and lead climing and on one side they have a boulding wall with a bunch of routes.. Oh I just about died when I saw it all. It was so beautiful to my eyes!! Will I get permission to climb? Probably not... But it was still nice to feel the holds again and remember my glory days haha. One day I´ll go back to the mountains and climb.

Have a great week! Or not, the choice is yours.

Elder Gunnell

 Enjoying the spoils of a pkg he received. 


So like sometimes I start my emails off with some experiences or some spiritual insight but today I´ve gotta start my letter off with two very unimportant and realitively short little stories that made my week.

Number 1: We were visiting a family and they have a son named Felipe (he is six). The kid is insane haha but soo funny. He just has a lot of energy, well like any little kid, but is contained in a tiny little apartment. Anyways we had recently gotten to the house and his mom had made us jell-o to eat. He was really excited and wanted to serve us to he excitedly and rapidly went and got the jell-o from the fridge and put it on the table then grabbed two bolls and two spoons. He served the first bowl to my companion and when he went to put jell-o in my bowl he realized that no one was really paying attention to him because we were talking to his mom and dad and I think his little brain realized that he had a gigantic bowl of jell-o in front of him and no one watching him so what does any kid do? The kid drops the spoon he was using to serve with and digs both his hands in the jell-o and just starts shoveling handfulls and handfulls into his mouth. Honestly it was impressive how fast he downed them. He had the BIGGEST grin on his face in the world. It was like he was feeling complete and total joy and nothing else was important. He then heard us laughing because it was so funny and turns around, face so full of Jell-o haha just thinking about it makes me laugh. His parents were laughing and didn´t react so fast and he noticed that they still hadn´t stopped him so he turned back around and kept going. Hahah funniest thing I´ve seen in awhile. His face radiated joy! Haha

Number 2: Halloween night. It was the first Halloween for my companion cause they don´t really celebrate or do anything in Argentina I guess. Anywas we were walking around to see how the apartments were decorated and everything and all the sudden we here some kid yelling, ¨Give me candy! Give me candy! I need more candy!¨ we look around to find out where the voice is coming from and on the second floor we see a little kid jumping on his bed then all the sudden he is banging on the bars on his window (window is open but he has bars on his window like in the first harry potter movie... #nerd) and still screaming the same thing. Then he starts climbing all over the bars in his window sticking is head out and yelling the same things and oh my gosh the little child had so much sugar running through his veins. It was hilarious. He was crazy for candy.

Those were the two best moments of this week I´m convinced. Although we had a very good week and the we were able to confirm all three of those that were baptized since they couldn´t be confirmed last week for the stake conference!

Thanks for everything! Hope everyone is doing well!
Over and out 
 Cow blood wrapped in intestines! It was... Actually not as gross as I thought it`d be! Haha in reality it wasn`t too bad at all.

 Haciendo sushi de nuevo! Pero esta vez con una familia! Sushi again!:) And me getting some sewing done;) haha #live

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bad Week for Elder Bof

So now that I have like a whole seven minutes to write this general email I´ll try to do a quick summary of what happened this week.

We are working very hard with two families, a single mom, and a new family that we just recently found. Talk about families!! With two of the three families we have got to wait until they get married. One of the families will be getting married in December!!!:) They were the only ones we could bring to Stake conference because just about everyone we invited happened to get sick Saturday night or Sunday and ALL of them went to the hospital... Nice. I hope it wasn`t something I cooked... Haha no but the good news is that they are all better now:) Nothing too serious happened to any of them!

Like I said in the subject line, my comp had a rough week. He broke his camera, payed 55 dollars to fix it, got his wallet robbed by a taxi driver (luckily he only robbed us of Elder Bof`s wallet. It was an interesting experience.) and they haven`t been able to find the guy and we are in the biggest city in Chile so the odds of it turning up are one in a million. Also I am convinced that just about all missionaries will be robbed of something in two years. Later that day he realized that he lost his SD card and then remembered that it was also in his wallet. Then he heard some sad news from home. He is doing well but prayers would be appreciated. To help out a little bit we decided we would make sushi since we are both fanatics! We made it last Thursday then again today! Sooo good!

That will wrap it up for now! Over and out.

Elder Gunnell