Monday, July 27, 2015

A Busy Week

We were all over the place this week, I felt like we were basically running errands but we got a lot of things done but it didn´t leave a ton of time for teaching which was definitely a bummer. This week will be better for sure. 

Last night we did a little family home evening with a family of members. We help the sister out because she lives alone with her three children and they are wonderful. Anyways she had a surgery about two weeks ago and can´t walk so every Friday we take her in her wheelchair to the flea market so that she can by the fruit and vegetables and things she needs. We told her that we had made apple pie a little bit ago and said, ¨Why didn´t you make one for me?!¨ So we decided to plan a day and go make it for them. We ended up make the biggest apple pie I´ve ever seen and doughnuts! We shared about how they as members can participate in mission work and it was honestly a really good night!

We have been planning an activity for the 16th of August and we want it to turn out really well. It is going to be centered on family history, temples, why we have temples, and how family history goes together. The mission president and his wife are even going to come speak for 20 minutes! Then we are going to help the people in starting the familysearch accounts and a couple other things. We are also going to ask a few members to make some sort of treat that has been a tradition in their families for a long time. I am pretty excited! And I think it is going to go well!

Yesterday was our ward conference and wow was the spirit present! It was such a good meeting! We also sang in the choir. Since my companion is an incredible singer I was kinda roped into it... Yay. There were three guys and four girls but I guess it sounded good from what everyone said. We could only practice twice during the week though. A couple of people were crying afterwards so maybe we sang really bad or brought the Spirit. Hopefully the latter!

One of the things that was said in the conference was this: it is important that we understand each commandment. If we don´t understand a commandment and the BLESSINGS that come from obeying that specific commandment, we won´t be able to receive ALL the blessings that are offered. Another thing that was said is that the people who break a commandment don´t understand the blessings that they are missing out on and how the blessing are far greater than what we receive for not obeying, how great the price may be.

Something else I liked is that we we participate in the sacrament worthily there are five things that we can feel or can happen.
1. We will feel grateful for Christ and his sacrifice. We will begin to understand it just a tiny bit more every time.
2. We can remember baptismal covenants that we made with God. Such as being a witness of Christ in all times and all places.
3. We will feel forgiveness.
4. Receive revelation. To be more apt at hearing and having the disposition to follow that revelation.
5. We will be filled with the Spirit and the weight bearing us down will be lighter in all aspects.

So that to me was something that called my attention and it helped me understand the BLESSINGS that come from participating in that sacred ordinance and keeping that commandment. They are big promises. 

Here is a little quote that isn´t from conference but one I like a lot ¨If I don´t repent today, I will lose the blessings tomorrow¨ it´s so true and I hope everyday we try to be better and that we come to know our purpose in this life and the things that really do matter.

Have a great week! 

Love always,
Elder Gunnell

P.S. A little heads up, starting next week we only have an hour to write our families so if even less people receive emails it´s not because I don´t like you! Haha it´s because I´m cut short on time.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The power of Priesthood, an instrument in God´s hands and a miracle.‏

So this week I´d like to share an experience that we had on Saturday and Sunday. We went to the house of the Berrios family on Saturday to eat. Before talking to Sister Berrios we had a little time to talk to Brother Berrios and he was telling us how she hasn´t been doing to well with her health and how the problems are just adding up and up. Then he started telling us how in the early morning on Saturday she started to get a lot of pain in her back that just kept getting worse and it turned into a lumbago (I think this is a word in english too but there is probably another word for it) which is just like a lot of pain in the lumbar and it hurts to walk and things like that. Nonetheless she made us lunch and still wanted us to come over! So we went. Towards the end of lunch she asked if we could give her a blessing. Brother Berrios had mentioned that she wanted one beforehand so I was thinking about the blessing quite a bit during lunch and I felt very calm about it. Anyways she asked for a blessing and we gave her it. There was a very strong feeling of peace afterwards. She said thanks and told us that she would try to make it to church the next day but wasn´t sure about it because of the pain. Then we left to continue on with our day. 

On Sunday we got to church and so did she! They got there right before the meeting so we didn´t have time to talk but she looked quite happy and without a lot of pain. Right after sacrament meeting she hurried over to us and said, ¨Thank you so much elders for being worthy and giving me a blessing yesterday. Before the day even ended all my pain and the lumbago was gone. I was able to sleep wonderfully and make it here without any problems! I know that with your worthiness, faith and the will of the Lord all things are possible through the Priesthood.¨ 

It was a testimony builder for me. It was incredible to see that miracles do exist and that God calls on normal everyday people to bring to pass his works and miracles. I think knowing that one is an instrument in his hands is the best feeling someone can have. Everyday I hope we look for opportunities to follow the little promptings and be a blessing in other´s lives.

Have a good week! A good luck shout out to Court in your farewell! You´ll do fantastic.

Elder Gunnell

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Los Andes with snow! Seeing mountains with snow definitely hit home. So beautiful. One day I`ll play in snow again:)
 Our wonderful, mold-covered bathroom.

 After a few hours of scrubbing the mold came off. Just to return in a week or two I`m sure haha but for now the walls are shiny

 Mmmmmmhmmm yummy chocolate zucchini bread!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Six more weeks in Gambino!‏

Transfers were today and we have six more weeks here! I`m glad I didn´t get transferred because I really think that we can see some progress in this sector this transfer! Me an my companion are getting along well and I think we have a bright future ahead!

We got more rain!! It was the first real time that I ha to work in the rain. But I loved it. There was quite the windstorm during the night which kept us awake for a little bit because there is a tree right next to our house and it sounded like it was trying to break in the the house cause it it was hitting it so hard but nothing really happened. Some peoples roofs flew off and so everyone was fixing them the nxt day. It also blew down a tree on our street but in the end it was good to get all the rain.

So the picture (below) of the family with the apple pie is an elderly couple that we helped activate. Jorge was a part of the bishropric before and I´m not sure how or why they went inactive but they had been inactive for EIGHT years. I honestly think it was an incredible story of people who God had prepared to be able to understand and have the desire to return. They are absolutely wonderful people and I have no doubt they will stay firm in the Gospel. They also have the most adorable little grandaughters! So it is always a blast to be with them. Jorge gave a talk yesterday in church and bore his testimony last week about missionaries and how true the gospel is. Both times he got a little teary-eyed. Leonarda is having all sorts of spiritual experiences with family history and is getting really excited to work in that! All is going very well with them. They invited us over for dinner one day and wanted to make pizza so we made pizza and, as always, I wanted to provide dessert! They gave us like ten apples a couple days before so I thought hey we´ll make apple pie! And the best part is that the dough makes two pies which was perfect because it was the same day as the birthday of our quorom elders president! We had a wonderful dinner then headed off to deliver the pie to his birthday party and they also invited us in to eat with them! Haha to say the least we were stuffed.

As I´ve mentioned I started el Libro de Mormón again. We have five months to read it from cover to cover, it´s two chapters a day. I really liked a little picture and quote that my mom sent me:
""I once heard that if we could see the evil spirits that are around us trying to get us to fall for Satan's snares, we would never want to be disobedient to the commandments. My heart has been extremely heavy for family and friends that are questioning their testimonies or who have left the church. If you could imagine this circle of angels surrounding you, fighting for you and with you. They are the barrier between me and evil. They have my back. Those of you struggling, and questioning... "Cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things". Keep fighting. Don't give up or give in to the father of all lies. He wants nothing more than to destroy you and your family. If nothing else think of your family, fight for your family."

I feel that it is so very true. I have felt such a difference in my life from being able to read the scriptures and especially the Book of Mormon every day. It has an incredible power to change the way we think and understand things. It has given me a completely different perspective about this life and our true purpose and potential here and in the future. If there is anything in this gospel that will help a person be converted to Christ the Book of Mormon truly is the key. I understand that is a just a book BUT it was prepared by God for us and WHEN we understand it and let it become a part of our lives, Christ will also become a part of our lives. We will see more light and more positive things daily. We will start to develop Christ-like attributes and strive to follow his example more and more. If there is anyone that needs help, guidance, or just a little boost in life I invite you to really truly look for help in the Book of Mormon. I promise that comfort and peace is found in it. 

I hope that you all are taking advantage of these few summer months! Time is only going by faster and faster! Have a fantastic week!

Love always,
Elder Gunnell

 Here`s some art found right outside of the Bellas Artes subway station. I finally had my camera when we passed it this time

 We made pancakes but instead of putting syrup on them we made a sandwhich! It was inspired by a place called Buffalo Waffles.
Selfie..... Where`s the waterbottle? It looks like it`s time for a haircut

Monday, July 6, 2015

4th of July and Chile won La Copa America!‏

So the biggest thing that happened this week was definitely La Copa America and man was that a new experience! I´ve never ever heard a whole country go up in shouts like that before! So we had to be in the house during the game and then afterwards we were suppose to see how our area was because in some areas are safer than others and we might be able to leave. So during that time that we were in the house we cleaned the house so it was nice and pretty which was good. It´s no longer a disaster. When Chile went into penalties we definitely noticed and when they won oh my goodness it was amazing how excited the people got. There is a little park in front of our house and they started throwing like smoke bombs and so then the whole park was filled with smoke and you couldn´t see anything! Then out of the blue we saw this guy using a fire extingiusher (I have no idea how to spell that) and just spraying it everywhere. There were all sorts of fireworks and people honking their horns and I don´t know what else but it was like the whole country erupted in shouts and screams. It was actually pretty cool and I´m sure they feel pretty proud. Everyone was very happy on Sunday. So in our own little way we had our own little celebration of the 4th of July because everyone was dressed in red, white and blue and they were shooting off fireworks. We even had 4th of July glow sticks! It was more than I was expecting! Haha

Janette, the investigator that we have been teaching for two weeks didn´t make it to church this week even though we went to her house with a member to pick her up. It was a bummer. If she doesn´t come this Sunday she will lose her baptismal date and we will have to set a new one for her. We actually found a new investigator last night! He is from Haiti. We contacted him like a month or two ago and everytime we go by his house he is never there but finally we found him! He is great. He is so humble and funny and is also learning spanish. It was a really good lesson and I´m excited to see what progress we can make happen with him!

We haven´t gotten rain basically all year. Actually before yesterday I think I have only seen rain two times since being in the field. The area presidency asked all the members to fast for rain this last fast Sunday which we did and we recieved rain! I don´t think it is enough and we still need more but it´s incredible because God does exist, he does hear our cries for help and his willing to help us in our times of need and in all times we just need to put our trust in him and do his will.

Thank you for all the letters that you sent me this last week. I feel so informed, it´s as if I were there! The letters were very detailed and I loved the pictures! 

Have another wonderful week of summer!

Elder Gunnell
 Here is the little park with the smoke bombs. I took the picture just seconds after the guy with the fire extinguisher had dissapeared into the smoke.
 I don´t really know what this is... A 4th of July selfie I think
 Even more fun with glowsticks... Goodnight we must have been bored.
Fun with glow sticks and a camera. Elder Martinez has magic!