Friday, July 16, 2010

Picture Post

Pat's Baptism

New Companion Sister Hall

Must be P-Day with Sister Hall

New District

Grand Island!!

More with Sister Hall

July 12th Email

Hi everyone!
We had a baptism on Saturday of Pat Summers. I think I mentioned her before. She's 80 years old, and has been investigating for years. She has put it off because she is afraid of going under water. WELL, she did it! She fought it... but she did it. We watched her, and as Brother Clark tried to lay her in the water she fought him, and we sat there all tensed up, squinting our eyes. BUT, she got under, and it all worked out! It was kind of funny... She is very outspoken, and as soon as she stepped in the water she said "I hate warm water!".... She always says what's on her mind. She has lots of cool stories about her life and growing up. She always likes to tell us how strong she is for an 80 year old, and she'll grab our arms and pull us to the ground. She always forgets that she has already told us, so we usually expect her to do it again the next time. She also gives us bags of cookies every time she comes, because she forgets that she's already given us a whole bag full the day before. It's really cute. We always end up giving the cookies to the elders at district meeting... there are just so many of them.
We've had some neat experiences this last week. The spirit has been really strong. There's a less active family we're working with named the Hornbachers. It's a 60 something man and his 11 year old daughter Anna. She's AMAZING. She got baptized not long ago, and she just has an amazing testimony. Brother Hornbacher joined the church years ago, but he struggles with a few things. He's a professional gambler... He has such a desire to know how to change and to make his life better. We met with them yesterday and we brought Brother Bo Nesslain from the ward, and it was just amazing. It was one of those times where you knew that everything turned out just the way it was supposed to. Brother Hornbacher is starting to accept that he needs to repent so that he can fight off the temptations that he deals with. Oh man. it was neat.
Speaking of Bo Nesslain.... Love him. The nesslain family is amazing. We'll be Bffs when I go home.
I had to give a talk in church yesterday... which I was not happy about, but it ended up being a good experience... and we get to give talks next sunday in the 2nd ward...
Still working with Bambi, Rochelle and Rashawn. They're amazing. They've been reading and praying and doing so well. Bambi said that she hasn't slept through the night in forever.... but since she's been meeting with us she has been sleeping throught the night. and BOYD.... He said that since he got back from Iraq in 2007, he has had a nightmare every night.... but he hasn't had a nightmare since the day he met us. HOLY CANOLI! The spirit is so amazing. Our teaching pool is finally starting to be where it needs to be! so we're excited!
We're working with the Cunningham family right now. They are so interesting but I just love them. The cunninghams are members. James and his children Tyler and Jamie who are adults, and Tyler's fiancee michelle, and Jamie's boyfriend Roger. Michelle wants to be baptized and Roger is a wiccan, but said he would learn more. Their whole dynamic is strange, but they are some of the most humble people. We go over to teach them and they are just so kind and loving. I love being around them. Brother cunningham says the sweetest prayers... He just uses "thou" for everything. I love them!
Grand Island sometimes seems like a soap opera. Or like One Tree Hill. It can be a little dramatic sometimes but in a funny way... Small Towns have that tendency I guess.
I'm officially being eaten alive by Mosquitoes... If I don't return home... it's probably because I've come down with Malaria!..... Ok it's not that serious, but It is really annoying... I think my mission call meant to say "you have been called to serve in the Amazon during the summer and Alaska in the winter...."... It's awesome though... at least I can get a tan! =)
We get to see 2 recent converts named Walley Adams and Dale Harvey at an old folks home in town. I love visiting them! They are just so humble and sweet and enthusiastic about the gospel. Walley sometimes calls us to tell us when he's mad about things like having to get a hearing aid. Dale is just a sweetheart. He's a Vietnam vet, and he's always got neat stories. I've come to really love elderly people. I love hearing their stories and their history. Sometimes when I was in the Trail center and it was a slow day, I would listen to the Senior couple's stories and I just loved it.
hmmm... I think that's all I've got for now... I didn't bring my journal so I don't remember everything I was going to write about. Everything is going really well though, and I just love it out here! I love you all! keep in touch! =)
Sister Bonelli

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Email from July 6th

Greetings From Hickville!!

Hello everyone! =)
It's official, I've been sent to the hick town! Everyone keeps asking me if I'm "Eye-Talian"... There are cornfields everywhere, and bails of hay, too. It's insane. Last week is the one week out of the year where everyone is allowed to purchase and set off fireworks, so all day, EVERY DAY, until the 4th, Grand Island was like a war zone. We fell asleep to the fireworks every night. The house we live in was the worst one... they set off more fireworks than anyone in the city. It was insane!
Along with our 2 wards, we actually cover a little branch called Aurora, about 30 minutes away. They come and pick us up once a week and we take care of things in their area that one day. We went on saturday for the first time, and I got to see a LEGIT small town. It was so interesting... So Stars Hollow-ish. I loved it though.
Things are starting to pick up here in GI. We basically started from scratch, with the exception of a 2 baptismal sets... but it's starting to look upward. Sister Hall is super organized, so I am thankful for that. We have a few really amazing investigators now and we're starting to have more appointments instead of lots of finding time. Yesterday we taught a cute little family--The smiths. It's a single mom, Bambi, and her 2 kids, Rochelle and Rashawn. They are amazing. We randomly knocked on her door last week while looking for a former, and Rochelle answered and said we could come back. It was one of those things where we didn't think they were really interested but we went back anyway. I'm so thankful we did, because it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission so far. Sister hall gave the First Vision and it was like the spirit knocked us upside the head. Bambi said she felt warm, and that she felt good about it. This was just yesterday, so we soft-set them, but I know they will be baptized. It was so amazing.
Also, we met a guy named Boyd the other day. He is a war vet, who feels a lot of guilt about the wars he's fought in. He said he would be baptized if he can feel peace, because he's never felt peace. We are teaching him soon and we are excited! He's going to be amazing.
Anyway, we're still working really hard to build up the area, but It's progressively getting better and we're loving it! I wasn't too sure about GI at first, I have to admit... I really miss Omaha, but I love it now, and I'm so glad I'm here. I love Sister Hall too... she's the best! =)
I love all of you... You amaze me! Keep me posted by writing me letters! ;).... Also... will you pray for missionary experiences? ---that's a commitment! =) Love you!
sister Bonelli