Sunday, June 8, 2014

From the Island of Jersey to the Land of Kent

From:  Camille Gunnell 
Subject:  There is a right way to live and be happy!
Date:  June 2, 2014

dear family,
It has been a rainy week.  So cloudy.  I really think that the weather does something to the mind haha.  England is just so crazy! I love it though.  On Tuesday we had an incredible last District Meeting with our Zone Leader, Elder Smith, that I love to bits.  He is going home.  Elder Herrod, our District Leader, is moving to Oxford.  At the end of the District Meeting we had a little testimony meeting.  It was just great!  The Spirit was so there.  I felt like there was a line from my chest all the way up to heaven.  I just knew that my Heavenly Father loves me.  Missionary's testimonies are just incredible.  So simple and so heartfelt.  I love when missionaries finally realize that they don't have to say such powerful statements or anything to have the Spirit be there.  It is just all what is in the heart. 

Yesterday while I was studying the scriptures,
 I came across this incredible scripture that I now have on my new planner for the next transfer.. it says in 2 Nephi 9:14 that the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment.  In the long run that is what we remember.. the joyful times... so my advice to you.. make as many as you can each day!!

I am striving this week to be a little more obedient.  I just feel like there is never enough time to do everything and then time gets in the way.  It is so difficult.  The white handbook brings protection just like the commandments.  Living a life with commandments is great and will make life less stressful!  I can do this! :)  

A cool story this week.. there has been an investigator we went and saw once and then we haven't been able to contact him again until this past week.. it has been a couple of weeks.. and he is half way through the Book of Mormon!! Yippee!!
Oh my goodness one more cool story haha.. there is this thing that they do in Europe called AUFs.. Address Unknown Files.  The church is trying to find this "lost sheep" that have maybe moved and they want us to track them down.  Well we went to this gated community to find this person named ___ and we just went it in "aw".  The houses were MANSIONS! I was like ok don't get worldly Camille.  Then we knocked on this huge house's door.  A sweet lady opened it.  We asked if ____ lived there.  He said that he is Spain for the next couple of weeks on his boat. Well.. come to find out he ran into someone from the church a couple of days ago and then he told his wife how he is thinking about going back.  His dad was a bishop when he was younger.  His parents split up and he lived with his mother and she went less active quickly afterwards.  She said that when they were younger he would talk about the church, but then they hadn't since then.  She said that she is unlabeled Christian.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet and we will go back in a few weeks when ___ is home.  I am just so excited.  You can never judge a book by its cover.. I would've never guessed that we would find any success in that area because it was so wealthy.  The Lord is hastening his work folks!  

I love you all so much! Thank you for the SUPPORT!! I don't know what I would do without all of you!  I can't believe that it is June!  Enjoy the summer! 

Sister Gunnell

From:  Camille Gunnell 

Subject:  Lifes what you make it.. SO LETS MAKE IT RIGHT!! 

Date:  May 26, 2014

Hey Family!!!  we went to London.. It was great!! The elders were so sweet and made it feel like it was a "birthday present" for me.  I was able to hand out all of these free passes to London to them at district meeting that they made.  It was just fun.  They all made desserts for me.. Elder Hale made peanut butter ice cream that was bomb and Elder Herrod make this brownie thing with tons of frosting.. hilarious, but so nice! I love them.  We went to Trafalga Square, the National Art Gallery, Big Ben, The London Eye, Westminster's Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Book of Mormon theater, West End.. it was just great.  The Elders were kind of in a rush to get home and email and do their shopping, but Sister Hickman and I already got that all done so we stayed just us two for a long time in London.  We got some gifts for ourselves to treasure forever.  I just still cannot believe that I went to London.  It is one of those places that is great, but I wouldn't be eager to go every P-Day or something because it is really exhausting.  We came home during rush hour and the trains were PACKED!! We left from Charing Cross and whoa I would not like to work in London.  Everyone uses the trains here.  We were standing up and people were definitely in my bubble.  There I guess was a delay and that is why it was so booked, but it was just crazy!! I am definitely a country girl. I got this epic picture of the London Eye, Big Ben and a book of Mormon double decker.  I just turned around and hurried and took a picture because we were in a rush.. I looked at it and then saw the bus in the picture!! It was so cool!! Best picture Ever!!

We have been able to be a part of three of our investigators being baptized in the past two weeks.  This is pure Joy!

From: Camille Gunnell 
Subject:  Happy Day!!
Date:  May 5, 2014 

Dear Family,
How are you all doing?  I am doing great!  We have had an awesome week here in Orpington!! Starting off with a Medieval, Chislehurst caves thing on P-Day.  It was so cool!! I guess during
World War II those caves were where people came to hide or whatever (ok that sounds like the blondest statement after I wrote it and read it haha).  They had a hospital and post office down there and everything!  It was so fun to do with our district.  Very good way to get to know each other.  I have so many pictures :)  I even dressed up.  Now people, like Bridger, with weapons and stuff dress up and pretend like they are from that time period and fight each other.  The problem is is when I was even down there I was so close into running into walls because it is SSOO dark! How in the world do people run around down there with swords and stuff and not die because it is so dark?! It baffles me!! 

Then for the rest of the week we just go go go!! I love it! We will be having a couple of baptisms this month.  It is very exciting!  Five of our investigators came to church yesterday.  We got six referrals from the elders and members.  Yesterday, ____, decided that she wants to get baptized.  We have been patiently waiting for this day for a long time.  Her whole family got baptized a while ago, but she was just a little skeptical.  She finally realized that there is nothing holding her back from not getting baptized.  That will be in a couple of weeks time.  The week after hers we will hopefully be having one also.  These people are just prepared.  Something cool that happened was we got a referral to go see a ___ Cowdery.. yep she is related to Oliver Cowdery.  

I love serving with Sister Hickman.  It is just fun to have the same kind of culture.  Idaho girls are awesome!! We just get caught up all the time just talking about everything.  It is so fun!! She is so organized.  We both stress really easily.  We try to just usually laugh off stuff.  

We work so hard.   Heavenly Father protects His missionaries.  Sometimes there are drunk people all around us screaming and stuff on the bus and I just think thank Heaven for this badge of mine!! I feel the armor on me.  One thing that came out of that experience on the bus is one of the drunk guys said something really cool.. One of the guys was talking on the phone and asked his mate where he was at.. then the guy sitting next to him yelled into the phone, "It doesn't matter where you are.  It only matters where you are going!"  I found it pretty inspirational.  Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that is so true.  I wanted to talk to him about that and how through the Atonement that is possible, but he probably wasn't in the right mind frame at that time to talk about that kind of stuff.  You can learn things from every person that you come in contact with!  

This week is going to be super busy!! We have Multi-Zone Conference in Crawley tomorrow.  We then are doing a work over in Bromley to help the Elders out there on Wednesday.    Then it pretty is a packed week full of appointments.  I love being with Sister Hickman because she is a huge planner! She has pretty much the whole entire week figured out.  That is how we get work done!!  Then I will be talking to all y'all on Sunday.  It is an exciting time.  I can't believe next week I will be 21.  My 20th year probably went quicker than any other year!! I just loved it and would never take it back.  Such good memories!!  I love you all so much!! Congrats to Max getting baptized!! Best decision of his life!  It is all just so significant!  

Today we are going to Winston Churchill's home where he lived during World War II.  I am pretty stoked!! I wish that I knew more about the dude, but he seems like he was a power house.  (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA)  You know how I am with history.  Love you all!!! 

Sister Gunnell

From:  Camille Gunnell 
Subject:  I am in the fast lane!!
Date:  April 28, 2014

Dear Family,

Oh my goodness.. I have just so much to tell you, so many pictures to send, so many stories to tell, and so much stress/craziness that makes it all worth laughing about.  

To start it off I had the best last couple of days in Jersey.  I was able to meet with our three solid investigators the last day that I was there.  I told ...... that I was leaving and he said that he would stop by so we could say goodbye.  I made him this book full of some members testimonies in it and also Sister Cowley's and my own. You know how much I love to scrapbook.  He would always say that quote that I put on the first page.  They are all just so solid!! It is great!  I am so excited to hear how they are doing.  It is difficult to leave areas because these investigators and the work in that area is what you eat, sleep, and breath for and then it is gone and you have to focus on all other people.  I still think about my investigators in Jersey though.  

Packing was a crazy experience.  I stuffed it all in.  Gamel, the Egyptian, lent us his scale so I was able to weigh it all.  I thought that I was all good.  When we arrived at the airport I wasn't.  My big suitcase was the right size and weight, but last time we were able to bring two carry-ons.. one to go under the seat and the other over the top.  We went through a different area this time.  We could only take one or we would have to pay £30 pounds for each of them.  I had to leave some of my shoes there and some clothes to make room for the things I needed.  I was like running around the airport with a huge coat on and sweater and all of my heavy things on like a chicken with it's head cut off. We only had like 15 minutes until our flight left because I didn't know that this whole thing would happen.  Sister Cowley is so sweet.  Right now she is washing all of my clothes and then she is going to send them.  Like the sweetest girl ever!  I miss her like crazy, but I love Sister Hickman!! Oh my goodness is it fun to serve with her.  I seriously think that I have had two of the girls that I would've wanted to serve with the most in a row! I can't believe that we are together!  It is fun to have the same background and culture.  Idaho culture is so fun hahahaha.  We laugh all of the time.  

This area, Orpington, is so great!! 20 minutes and there is London.  It is just so fun!! We are go go going all day!! Yesterday at church everyone was wanting to talk to us about things.  Every situation is very stressful haha.  I went home for lunch and just fell on the ground and laid there for a long time haha.  I was just so dead!! Every night I am exhausted.  I feel like I am in the fast lane now or something of missionary work.  Our investigators here are solid too.  The ward is big.  I like it.  There are a lot of YSA, which is fun.  Our flat is way big compared to the one in Jersey.  I don't know how these sisters lived because there is no food in the kitchen haha.  I am going to have to go on a food shopping spree to survive.  I feel pretty proud of myself though because I have been eating healthy for the past couple of days (as right now I am eating McDonalds... haahahahah).  

We are in a rush.  We are going with the senior couple from Texas in our ward to the Chislehurst caves and our district, Elder Herrod, Elder Goldsmith, Elder Nohaingoinana, and Elder Hale.  It is just awesome!! In a couple of weeks we are planning on going to go to Winston Churchill's house.  SWEET BABY!!  Also, Charles Darwin's house is in our house too. 

Coolest spiritual experiences that happened this week:
Our 17 year old investigator, praying for the first time at our lesson.. so sincere! Tears came to my eyes. 
Another sweet investigator, praying also.  She loves the Book of Mormon and loves learning and feeling closer to God.  
Finding last night and no luck.. then we were at a bus stop ready to go home.. we taught four other lessons at that bus stop.  

Funny things:
I was starving after church got over.. we were at the church from 7:50-2:30.. I was kind of getting cranky.. I look down and there was a little cadbury chocolate frog not opened.  I was like thank you Heavenly Father!
The first day Sister Hickman and I ran across a really busy road.. in the middle of the road we ran into each other as we tried to go around the car.  The lady in the car was seeing this all happen outside of her window and just gave us the weirdest look. It was so weird.. good thing that the bus waited for us!
Me flossing during weekly planning.. I just always think what if there was a camera and we were on the district (the missionary videos) how funny!  
Sister Hickman and I were just so happy so we hugged before we went in to teach a member.  She opened the door when we were hugging.   

Love you all so much!! Now we are headed off to the caves!! Enjoy the fun pictures!!

Sister Gunnell

P.S. Mother's Day is coming up (the 11th of May!) also my year mark/birthday!! Can you believe it?!! 

Sister Cowley and I at The London Temple with our new companions,
Sister Morgan and Sister Hickman

From: Camille Gunnell 

Subject:  No Way!!!

Date:  April 21, 2014 

Dear Family,

Orpington.. I asked the zone leaders if they said Orbington or Orpington.. never had heard of it.  It is Southeast of London probably 30 minutes from central London.  You will never guess who my new companion will be.  It is Sister Hickman from Blackfoot, Idaho!! As I was the Sister Trainer Leader in the Plymouth zone, she was in Exeter and I went on a couple of exchanges with her.  She is so cool and knows the Lovelands and went to the temple with one of them each week in high school.  I am so sad that I have to leave Jersey, but I know that this isn't the end and I will definitely be coming back here in my lifetime.  Sister Cowley and I will be catching a plane on Wednesday morning to the mainland. 
After that whole phone call, the elders rang and told us the news about .......  He wasn't going to be able to get baptised the next day.  He had some Word of Wisdom problems that he has to work on, but he will be ready soon.  It was weird because we had told all of the members about the baptism, the programs ready, and everything and then we didn't know what to do in this situation.. why doesn't Preach My Gospel have a part when if something goes wrong like this what to do ;) jk.  It is all in the Lord's hands though and I was ok.  I am totally over the part in my mission where I would get discouraged about things don't flow how "I" would like them to.  This is not my work. 
The next day at church word got around fast and it all worked out.  ....... is so strong though.  He even came to church!  It was a great meeting about the Atonement.  The members here are incredible.  I will miss them dearly, but I know that all members around the world are so great.  They will be great in Orpington too.  I am a little nervous about it being closer to London.  I don't know really what to expect because I have kind of been in more chillaxed areas... Cornwall and Jersey.  I feel like I am literally getting placed though in the best parts of the mission.  Orpington is near Kent.  It will be a fun, new experience.  I have just learned that during the mission you just have to learn to go with it. 
The members have made sure to me that if I ever want to come back there is definitely a place to stay.  
I will dearly miss all of these people, these great investigators and it all, but I love getting a small feel of how the pioneers felt as they left their homes to go to the promised land.  I have been privileged to be around the director of the British Pageant and the some of the main actors.. one has just been called our new Ward Mission Leader.  They are incredible people.  I received the soundtrack of the British Pageant and it is just great! I am so jealous that I will not be able to go to Nauvoo this summer to watch the Nauvoo and British Pageant be there.  It is a once in a lifetime deal this summer.  To get a little taste of what the British Pageant was like I will hopefully be able to send you a song.. my favourite from it.  I know mom you will like it.  
Memories are just the best.  I have had so many fond memories here that I will always treasure.  Now comes new beginnings.  I can become a better, stronger missionary as I head to Orpington.  I have heard that there are a lot of Africans there and there will be a lot of running from appointment to appointment.  We will see when I get there.  I love you all so much.  Easter Sunday was just beautiful.  "Because of Him" is absolutely stunning and I have watched it over and over again.  He lives! It is the best news!  I am so grateful to share this news and knowledge that I have with everyone!  
Sister Gunnell

Goodbye Sister Cowley

Goodbye Jersey

From: Camille Gunnell 
Subject: The Time Is Far Spent
Date: March 24, 2014

Dear Family,
How fun it was for me to scroll through all of the pictures.  I just feel so blessed to see all of you doing so well.  I can't believe that the time has come for my little brother to go on a mission.  He will love it.  He has been prepared for years to do what he is just starting.  Being a full-time representative of Jesus Christ is a huge responsibility, but there is so much protection and blessings that come by having this calling.  Missionaries are the same people and are in the same world, but receive armor and strength that comes by nothing from the world.  It is something that couldn't come from any other source than heaven. 
I promise you that I am having the exact same feelings as you all are having at home at this time.  I have no doubt that Heavenly Father has a great plan ahead for Bridger in the mission field.  I am so excited to see what lies ahead of him and hear the experiences that help his testimony grow and make him stronger.  Those times that make us stronger are usually not times where we want to be kept in them for long because they are uncomfortable. They are the times where you literally feel God's arms wrapped around you and somehow He lifts you up to do things you wouldn't be able to otherwise.  I am a Fellows.. I cry.  Right now I feel so strongly how much Heavenly Father loves me and all of His children.  The mission makes you always eager to feel the Spirit.  When you do, you know.  I am so blessed to know that my brother will be serving and working to help other people feel the mercy that comes from the Book of Mormon, the love of God and Jesus Christ, and the gospel, which ultimately sets us free.  And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me. Alma 26:10  The only we can feel of this mercy is by prayer.
 My heart is just full at this time. 
This day has made my whole week so much better.  This week was full of trying to find people to teach like every week in the mission field.  The days do go by pretty fast though when I keep my mind thinking about good thoughts.  I love thinking about memories and they just make me start laughing out of no where.  I am so blessed for my good life.  There always things that can keep us from being happy.. all you have to do is just think of something negative and then something else negative comes to mind and it goes on an on.  It is the same if we think a happy though.. then it goes to more happy thoughts.  We decide which road to go down.  We have so much power in us. 

Create a good week!! God Be With You Til We Meet Again, Bridger, or should I say Elder Gunnell.  You will be great out there.  Don't EVER give up on yourself, on those people around you, on Heavenly Father, on your companion, and on the power of the scriptures.  Believe in yourself, in those people around you, in Heavenly Father, in your companion, and in the power of the scriptures.  This is to all of you. Believing brings peace.
I love you all so much!!
Sister Gunnell

Great contacts and investigators!

From:  Camille Gunnell 
Subject:  10 Months
Date: March 10, 2014

I just love you all so much!! This week was fabulous!! If every week was this one, WOWEE!! A lot of spiritual experiences occurred that made me firmer in the faith and helped me see how this really is the Lord's work.  I am just an instrument.  Really seeing the miracles that occur with the Lord is incredible.  There are no coincedences!!
To start it off we were able to invite two people to be baptized on the same day.  We found two people, one while knocking and one street contacting.  We went to teach and the Spirit was there.  In Preach My Gospel it says to invite the investigator to be baptized on the first teach.  The Spirit was there and I felt prompted to do so.  They both said yes.  I know that it is so important to teach the doctrine simply and clearly.  If they understand the doctrine, they will understand how relevant this message is to them.  This is just the beginning.  There is a lot to do now and we have to focus on these people a lot, but it is worth it.  I have realized just how important each person truly is to our loving Heavenly Father.  Everyone has different concerns and challenges they have to face. Heavenly Father knows that.  He knows His children.  It is just so great!
The attribute faith has really been on my mind lately.  I just think I feel like I have faith to see miracles happen.  I want to see these people be baptized.  I am willing to help them progress and teach them all that they need to know to do so.  I have enough faith to see this happen.  But.. it doesn't happen.  I think why?  I have the right desires right?  Heavenly Father wants His children also to have the gospel in their lives so why?  Why in some areas of the world is the gospel spreading so rapidly.  Isn't where I am at right now the same?  Is it me not having enough faith?  It is just all questioning.  I studied a couple of times last week during my personal study about faith.  The puzzle pieces just still weren't connecting to me.  I just said to myself fine I have had enough!! I am going to exercise my faith.  I have noticed a lot in the scriptures how faith leads to action!!  I wanted to act and try it out.  I also know for myself that prayers are answered.  I decided to be specific in my prayers.  I wanted Heavenly Father to see that I am relying on Him and I am letting myself go to what He wants me to do and say.  That is what I did.  Before we left the flat, I prayed.  I prayed with all of my heart to find someone that is really having family struggles and he/she needs peace.  I prayed that the person would feel of the Spirit and understand that the gospel can truly bless their life.  Well.. after I was just filled to the brim with the Spirit.  I was a little anxious to see what would happen.  We opened the door out into the world and boom.. lady walking down the street right in front of us.  Sister Cowley and I stopped her, spoke to her about families, bore our testimonies, listened to her, and were just in aw.  Her mother had passed away and it has been a really big struggle for her family and her.  We told her about the gospel and the Restoration a little bit.. how it can really bless her life.  She was interested and we have an appointment with her.  Ok.. that was the fastest prayer answered! Afterwards I just stopped, looked at Sister Cowley and we just smiled at each other and just said, "What just happened?"  It was simple and clear that there is more to this work than just us.  Faith works.  I just love it!!

I am probably in one of the most beautiful places in the world.. Flowers everywhere, You can see the coast pretty much everywhere we go.  It has been absolutely beautiful weather with the sun shining and birds chirping and seagulls doing their thing. Spring is here.  People are out and about loving life and enjoying God's creations!  I come in contact with such incredible people each day.. they usually don't want to listen to our message, but nothing is a coincidence.. we met them for a reason :)  I have the most inspired Mission President. I just feel blessed to be able to have him as my mission president.  I have a wonderful companion.  She loves the work, loves the scriptures, loves the people, and just loves life.  It is just good.  There is always things in life to bring us down, but when things are all around us that bring joy to our lives what is the point of letting something Rain on our PARADE?!  There are times where we cry hahah.. like last night talking to a manipulative lady that really really hurt our feelings.. but we just sat down shaked it off and kept going.  But those experiences are what truly make us stronger.  The Restoration is true and the priesthood is sacred.  I am learning so much!!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth.  It is true:) I love you all!! Have a great week!!
Sister Gunnell

From:  Camille Gunnell 
Subject:  Is it really half way?
Date:  February 10, 2014 

The work here is going to begin to get huge.  The elders are seeing miracles happen and we will be soon too.  Every day has been so eventful since Sister Cowley is here.  It is so fun!! I love working with her.  She lifts me up so much.  Companions are a huge deal :) 

 This week we were able to go to a school and teach a classroom of kids.  It was all set up by a 16 year old member and she wanted us to come to her religious education class. It was one of the coolest things.  The elders and us went and just shared the truth :)  It was SO SWEET!! We gave out so many copies of the Book of Mormon.  One of the coolest things happened.  While we were talking about prophets, there was a kid that asked us the question "if the prophet has like deity and doesn't talk to everyone and kind of shuns like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father would?"  I told him with all of my heart that I know that the prophet is not like that and would love talking to you.  Also, I know that I shouldn't have born my testimony in that setting, but I just said that will all of my heart I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would never shun and think that they were better than you.  They love you and would wrap their arms around you, talk to you, and comfort you.  The kid afterwards came up to me, asked me for a Book of Mormon and said that he is really interested in all of this.  I know that the Spirit was able to bear witness at that moment to him that Jesus Christ loves him unconditionally.  I was so grateful to be able to do that.  These three missionaries that are out here on the island with me are just incredible.  Like seriously.. I am just astonished by how swiftly they share the gospel.  I am just blessed to be around them and to be able to hear their testimonies.  It is a good life :) 
I was able to have a steak this week :)  We were invited to go to a restaurant with a guy that has been investigating for a couple of years.. He is a Jehovah's Witness and just kind of bible bashes, but he is a nice guy.  It was so good!! I think that I will be able to handle another 9 months without steak. 

Great sisters from their Jersey Ward
Investigating the Island on P-day with Elder Jackman and Elder Kirk