From: Camille Gunnell
Subject: Growing in Wisdom
Date: August 25, 2014 4:09:22 AM MDT
My dear family,
I am pleased to be writing you today. Man this transfer has just flown by. This week we had a lot of lessons scheduled and had members to come out with us on them.. yep every single one of them (8) fell through.. but hey that is alright. Sister Brittain and I came more close from it. We made some pretty epic chin videos to get a little laugh out before we went to bed so we didn't feel all down :) I feel like Bridger had a very successful week so it all paid off. I am happy :) Heavenly Father always blesses us if we are doing His work.
We had President's Interviews this week. It was great. I didn't really have a whole lot to say to him, but he let me know that I will be moving my last time to a place with a good ward, good companion, and somewhere that just had 8 investigators at church.. I had no idea where that could be. That was on Thursday when we had that. Last night way after our bedtime Elder Hale called us with moves calls. We were so half asleep and weird. We answered the phone all whiny (not purposely) and I just wish that we had a video of us. We have been laughing all morning about how we acted. Elder Hale let us know that travel plans are going to be crazy. Sister Lloyd is coming here from Peckham.. I will be going tomorrow with ALL(hopefully I can pack it all in) of my luggage on a train.. then in the morning going again with ALL of my luggage on another train to Staines.. my goodness.. At that time I will be meeting my new companion named Sister Dimond!! I am so stinking excited!! I will be going to Brighton (another gorgeous area.. I just feel really blessed) and with a great companion. I know Sister Dimond and she is great I can just tell. I am excited to get to know her more. She is from Minnesota. These next couple of days are going to just be cray cray so please pray that I get there without losing anything. Last night I could not sleep after the news and I woke up really early so now I am just so tired.. like my eyes hurt. Change is good, but hard for the system.
There is a sweet man in the Orpington Ward, Peter
There is a sweet man in the Orpington Ward, Peter
Gardner, that bought the first chapel in the entire world called Gadfield Elm. A lot of the members have a little replica sculpture of it in their homes. I have been trying to figure out how to get my hands on one. Peter was so kind enough to go ALL THE WAY THERE (outside of my mission) and get me one. It will be a cherished treasure of mine forever. I love this church. The members here are just incredible. I love every person that I have met on my mission... honestly. I didn't know that my heart could just be filled with this much love for people. I love you all very much. There is going to be a lot of change occurring soon. I received a sweet letter from Grandma Gunnell. She says that Dean and her are slowing down, but I doubt that. I think that she is a little upset that she isn't driving anymore. I just love my family. They lift always. I will probably have a lot more to say next week. I will miss these investigators we have in this area.. it is hard to just let them go, but this is just preparing me for the future.. like everything else that I go through in the mission. It is just great!!
From: Camille Gunnell
Subject: Re: Victory!
Date: July 28, 2014 5:39:27 AM MDT
I hope all of you are doing very well. This week has been full of ups and downs.. but mostly ups. I just think that it is all hilarious! This week I have been for some reason just on fire with talking to people especially on the bus. I really like getting to know people. I feel like that is a good setting to just chat and then let the church come up naturally. People are really good. I just am amazed how every child of our Heavenly Father really does have the light of Christ in them. I love going to bed at night knowing that I have really done my best today. In the front of my planner for this transfer I have once again, "There is no growth in the comfort zone. There is no comfort in the growth zone." I think that that is a big deal!! Right now, especially on missions, we everyday having to grow means that we are not comfortable. It is normal!! My entire mission I have tried to make it feel comfortable, but it hasn't... why? I ask myself all of the time? BECAUSE THE LORD IS SHAPING ME INTO SOMETHING BETTER. Everyday I thank my Heavenly Father for how much I have learned in the past year... every day. When going through it though I don't see any growth come out of it or learning situations, but they come. Last night accounting with our District Leader he said something that will stick with me forever.. blessings come (but we don't know when) when we decide to choose the right. That is a promise from Heavenly Father.
We have seen miracles happen this week.. one of our baptismal dates was two streets in from being out of our ward boundaries. She has been excited to get baptized for eleven years, but has been living with her boyfriend. Then she texted us yesterday and said that she is moving to Tunbridge Wells out of no where and have a good time on our missions.. She said that she would get ahold of the elders there. so random but we told her to just never let go of that desire to be baptized. She will get baptized, but it was just weird and I hope that nothing anti happened.
At the beginning of my mission, I felt like numbers are everything, but I have just realized that they are not what brings me a fulness inside of me which I thought they would. I have just been searching for that fulness for a long time knowing that I have done enough. It is such a personal battle, but I can honestly say that it is when I am trying to have the Spirit with me always.. it is when the Spirit leads me and tells me to talk to someone and I do.. most of the time nothing comes out of talking.. like no new investigator, but I really don't care anymore.. I just know that that person needed to be talked to today for some reason. Heavenly Father knows more than we do. I try to help them learn how the gospel can bless their lives, but I have figured out that just relying on the Spirit is the way to go.. no one can say you don't have enough lessons or you are not doing your best.. they will never say that. Heavenly Father is proud of every effort that we give to do what is right.
I pray for Papa. I am so grateful to be on a mission at this time in my life. My heart has became stronger, bigger, and understands what the Spirit feels like since I have been out doing this work. Every effort Heavenly Father smiles at. I love my family. It has been a good week. I have seen the enabling power work.. seriously.. Saturday I was full of this energy. I prayed Friday night that I could just give it my all on Saturday.. he gave me the strength to do it. It was wonderful!! I love going to bed feeling like.. victory!! Nothing that specatacular happens, but feel of a fulness inside of me, which makes it all worth it! I love you all!!
From: Camille Gunnell
Subject: They are going to get baptized!!!
Date: July 21, 2014 5:46:33 AM MDT
Hello my dear family,
I just love all of you so much!!
This has been a week full of greatness. Sister Bolinder, Sister Hickman, and I stayed
together til Wednesday. It was a great couple of days with them. A lot of tears were shed
between Sister Hickman and I. I have been very blessed to be with the companions that I have had. Sister
Brittain is from Texas. She is so cool. I can truly just be myself around her.. she makes fun of me a lot
because I am very dramatic, but she knows me and I love that. It is so fun to serve with her!! She knows
how much this work can change people. It is just great!
We have seen miracles each day. I really believe that it is because of my reliance on the Spirit. I have seen
that as I have decided to just let Him lead me, I have been able to see the fruits. It is hard sometimes when I
feel prompted to knock a road and then all we get out of it is this really old man talking about his entire life
story to us.. but hey he was alone and a child of God that maybe just needed someone to talk to that day..
he wasn't interested, but I believe that everything that we do benefits someone in some way. It is hard to hear
our leaders say do you feel like you are being guided by the Spirit to where to go and I think that I am, but then
by that it doesn't really look like so. I just sometimes don't like how we reflect upon how much we feel the
spirit by how many people act upon our message we share. It is hard on me because that means that I am not
following the Spirit a whole ton, but whatever. I like doing missionary work and seeing the little
miracles of each day even if they don't reflect how much we work with our numbers.
Ok.. this was the coolest story that I have to share..
There is an investigator that has been taught all of the lessons from the missionaries throughout the past ten
years.. She has been living with her boyfriend, which has been the only hold back of getting baptized. We
have just pretty much I feel like been saying the same thing to her the entire time that I have been here. She
drops off the planet for a little while and then out of no where texts us and says how much we have helped her
(after not seeing her for like a month). She then said that she would like to meet with us. We meet on
Saturday.. right when she walks in and we sit down with a member, she says that she has great news. She
broke up with her boyfriend that she has been with for seven years.. (She couldn't get baptized because he
wouldn't let her because he thought it was a cult and wouldn't change his mind about that) and also that she is
ready to be baptized. We set a date for the second of August, but come to find out she is not in our area
anymore because when she was living with her boyfriend he lived in Orpington. Now she lives in Tunbridge
Wells. She probably needs to be taught a lot again because it has been a little sporadic teaching throughout the
years. Also now that we need to teach lesson five BEFORE baptism. It was so cool to see her doing well and
looking much better. I love her!! _______ is going to be baptized.. It is just incredible!
I also just found out from Sister Cowley that a lady that we found and were teaching in Jersey is going to be
baptized next month with her daughter.. _____.. it is just great!! Oh man oh man!! Sister Cowley just sent me
this what she said about us.. She said:
I cannot even begin to tell you how much you and Sister Gunnell have touched me and mine, luv. You'll
probably never know how much we appreciate it. Thank you, so very, very much!!! Heavenly Father loves us
all, and the Spirit definitely touches us all more than even we realise (for which I'm thankful!). After all, look how
it's brought us together.
I love you all!! Wish me luck for this transfer. It is always difficult to lead an area and feel the load of it all on
you. I can do it though. I thought it would get easier through time because I have been out fourteen months..
but it never does.. It always is a learning experience. This upcoming Thursday is Zone Conference. I hope that
I don't get stressed out and just relax and learn the things that I need to at this time.
Things are going good. If I just focus on the good times, things really do seem to work out. I love this gospel
and how it changes people... especially me. I love feeling close to my Savior. Those times when I do are
usually when I am going through some problems internally, but I do feel His love and then I come to know how
much He loves us all. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other.
p.s. I forgot my camera at home today.. I will just get one of Sister Brittain's pictures. We were laughing so hard
because of my outfit yesterday. ( we went again to the temple last night for fireside with an investigator.. man
the joys of being so close to the temple) She thinks it is so funny because I dress like a missionary missionary..
especially my shoes. I laugh too because it is just hilarious. The mission is just hilarious man!
Package from BRIDGER!!!! super stoked!!
The Zone leaders.. the one on the left is going home in two days. Elder Herrod from San
Diego.. my last district leader was in welling for 7 1/2 months and then just moved this past
transfer to Oxford.. now he is coming back to welling and being a zone leader with Elder
Schumann from Germany.. he will be here for most of his mission haha. too funny.
From: Camille Gunnell
Subject: Re: "The decisions I make now transpire into my decisions I will make later." Bishop Yao
Date: June 30, 2014 5:05:19 AM MDT
Can I just tell you how much I love and pray for you. I just hope that you are doing well and finding joy each day.
There have been plenty of things to be grateful for this week. Here are some cool stories that need to be shared:
We were headed to a DA. We were in High Street and were deciding if we should get on the bus at the bus stop right in front of us or go up to the next one to go. I instinctively for some reason said the next one. While walking you can imagine what happened, Sister Hickman and I stop and talked to a girl (like 20's) named Elizabeth. She was interested and wants to learn more!! We scheduled an appointment, but she had family stuff come up, but she is definitely one of those that are pretty solid. She is going to Nigeria to see her family in July so we hope to meet with her before that time. It is always exciting to find people that are interested :)
As you know, we fasted and prayed for yesterday at sacrament meeting to have 200 investigators there. We reached it.. 203 to be exact!! It was great to see that!! We had some miracles happen. No one came that we invited, but there was a lady named May that just saw the church and decided to come that Sunday. She didn't want to give us her information, but she said that she will definitely come back to church. There was some others that surprisingly showed up.. like relatives of members and friends of members. It was great to see!
Another awesome thing that we watched during our lunch break was the David Archuleta interview thing on the youth page. Man was it so great!! I just think that he is great! It motivated us and helped us see the bigger picture of the whole mission. It was great to hear him sing and see the light that he has in him as he has tried his best on his mission. I loved everything that he said about the mission and how excited he got when he spoke about it. That is how you can tell how much hard work he put into it. What a great example for the youth and the world.
On Wednesday I decided to make Banana Bread because Elder Hale and Nohaingainaina wanted me to. I used up most of my getting ready time to do that.. well it didn't cook all of the way I noticed right when I sliced into it. I had made it so many times before and I was just frustrated. Good thing that the Elders didn't ask about it.. it was a touchy subject for me haha.. just one of those mornings. Then we went to District Meeting and wow was it so incredible!! I seriously have the best District Leaders on my mission. Elder Hale spoke about the Spirit and comparing it to singing. You know that I just loved it so much. I loved when Sister Young, senior couple, said Giving up is like slashing the other tires when only one pops on a car.. it just doesn't make sense. I just loved it so much!! So grateful for District Meetings. These Leaders are truly called of God. You can just see it and feel it.
We were able to teach some lessons with some investigators this week with members. It was great! Members make the difference!! I love it! These investigators we have at the moment aren't really progressing, but they will get there. This week I am going to try to be more bold. Say what I need to say to help them understand how important this gospel is and how precious our time is. Wish me luck that I can have love in my heart also :)
Another exciting thing that is happening is the Tour de France is coming to England next Monday.. ok what are the odds that it will be going on on MONDAY of all days of the week. The senior couple is going and I am totally asking President if we can go with them next Monday and watch it. We will see what he says haha.
I am excited to see the miracles of this upcoming week. I have a feeling that I will need to exercise my faith and see what the Lord can help me do as I try to open my mouth and do my best. I am going to focus on faith this week. Last night we were accounting with the District Leader and he said do you think that you can get four new investigators this week? Those kind of questions always bug me for some reason because I HAVE been trying to reach all of our goals each week of my mission. I sometimes just have to say it wasn't those people's time to hear the gospel that I talked to. Of course I would love four new investigators, but it isn't my choice if we get four new investigators it is the people's choice more than mine. I told him that about their agency. He talked a little bit about faith. I kind of got smacked in the face. I need to be more faithful. I need to have more trust in my Heavenly Father. I do have righteous desires, but I am always scared that my will is not God's will even though it is righteous. I am going to study about this hopefully this week because it has been on my mind a lot :)
We went to the Bishop's last night and he was talking to us about activity ideas. He said something about dance and you know me I got REALLY excited and put my hand up and pointer finger in the air and all haha. He said oh no how about not.. I can already imagine Sister Gunnell going a little too crazy.. (I am the same Camille that way) it was hilarious!! He said he would have to take a picture and send it to mission president.. just hilarious!! I love our bishop in this ward. He is phenomenal!!
Oh by the way, I put in Landen's name in the London Temple. I am so glad to hear that it all worked out. It is going to be a great week!!
Subject: Family.... :)
Date: June 23, 2014 5:30:52 AM MDT
This is a picture from Zone Conference a couple of weeks ago. We all ate at little tables.. ME CHINESE! It was fun! The Senior couple, the Young's, took this picture. Us missionaries always have a good time. By the way.. guess who came to Hyde Park yesterday.. The new President of BYU..Kevin J. Worthen. I was so jealous that I could not go. The Youngs went. I am excited to hear how it was. This is the zone conference where Sister Hickman and I had to speak, do a musical number, and I had to play the piano.
Yesterday I had to speak in Sacrament Meeting about the Restoration. You would sure be proud. I didn't have any notes haha. That was the first talk where I didn't really need any notes. I shared my testimony and what I knew about the Restoration. I was a little nervous to not have any notes, but every time I went down to write them I didn't really have any to write down.. these things are in my heart. How grateful I am for the mission and for the knowledge that I have of the Restoration. I have never cried as I have told Joseph Smith's account in the grove of trees, but you know me, up there I did. I know that He did see God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the experiences that I have to share my testimony every day with those around me freely. I love it because it strengthens me every time I do. (Doctrine and Covenants 62:3) I am trying to get out of the habit of saying D&C...
This week has been full of little tender miracles. On Monday a
Chinese lady called us and said that she would like to meet up. A couple of days before I called a lot of former investigators so I thought it might be one of them. On the phone I didn't ask her who it was because I don't like to do that. I thought after I just could look up her number and it would be one of the formers. Well it wasn't... we had no idea who this person was. We met her that night and got to know who she was. She got a mormon.org card from the missionaries a year ago and decided to call us. She is going through some hard times and wants to find some kind of relief. We taught her about the restoration. She said she understood like 70% of what we were saying. We promised her that she would find relief if she came to church, said prayers, and read the scriptures. She even said the closing prayer in English and then Chinese.. she said quite a longer one in Chinese. I wish that Chad was just here to help her understand all of this. She was so sweet, but she says that she feels more comfortable going to the church where they speak Chinese. She said that she will call us if she wants to get back in touch. We will call her up in a few weeks ;) We now have her phone number. She was wonderful. I just saw in her eyes how she was searching.. THIS IS IT!! I love this gospel and know how it can affect someone's life.
Then another cool thing.. So we were headed to an appointment. We were on the bus and a young adult came on. I knew right then that I would talk to him. He kind of looked out of it... I thought that he might have some disabilities or something. He moved THREE times on the bus.. yeah kind of weird, but HE FINALLY SAT BY ME!! I was so excited!! I told him a little bit about the church.. he asked some of the best questions.. What happened to the people during the Great Apostasy.. the time during Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith and how there wasn't that authority to baptize. Also what is the difference of the Holy Ghost and the GIFT of the Holy Ghost. It was just great to know the answers to his questions. That is what the mission has taught me. It has given me knowledge to be able to answer these types of questions. I promise I probably would've never understood a lot of things I do now understand if I had never went on a mission. He said that he will ask his mom if he can meet with us. I pray we see him again. I got off of that bus feeling great! Heavenly Father helps me so much. He puts in my head what I need to say to people. I know that it is not me just speaking because I can't normally have conversations like this. It is great!
We then helped out our stake president's wife a lot this week with a luncheon that she was putting on for her charity. They have a house exactly like Pride and Prejudice. It was SO fun to be in it and cooking. I just loved it! The luncheon turned out great and the people that came even asked about the church. Sister Turner was a little nervous that it would be a little awkward to have us there, but it wasn't and she was relieved.
We also went on an exchange. I went with Sister Brooks. I will tell you who she reminds me of exactly.. DOMINIQUE QUAST. You can just understand right there how much fun I had. I am so grateful for the support I have of my family.. all of hers is less active and usually doesn't write her most of the weeks.. so hard. I can't even imagine. It was so fun to be around her. She just enjoys life.. every minute. I hope that I helped her somehow. As I talked to everyone, I was able to see how much God loves each of His children. There is a reason why we need to talk to everyone as missionaries. Oh and guess what area I was in.. PURLEY!! It is so close to sounding like Burley!! I was so excited to go there. I even took a little video haha.
I had a great week. There are always things to bring me down.. each day.. but I try not to focus on those things and focus only on the things that will lift me up.
I love you all!! Have a great week!! Lets all pray for Bub!
Camille finds roads that remind her that home isn't that far away!
Camille's ancestors settled Chesterfield, Idaho. Hence, her dad is Kent Chester.
Grandpa Dean Gunnell!
Sister Gunnell from the Oakley, Idaho Stake
Camille sporting some English looks, we guess!