From the Top

Monday, May 30, 2016

  The happiest moment of my mission thus far occurred last Saturday with the baptism of two of our great friends!  We could not be more proud of them for their courage and conviction, their endurance and their faith, despite the many trials they have faced. The Spirit was so strong as we watched them emerge from the water.  They are such an example, and I know their new future is bound to be bright.
    Last week for P-Day we took an elevator to the top of Donau Tören for an excellent view of Vienna and a lunch in the spinning cafe.  

Trying to dress cute for all the pictures backfired because that was the windiest day of my life, and wind + flowy dress = really really bad.  
   My German is definitely improving, and I couldn't be more happy about that.  I can converse with the members, participate in lessons (and put in my genuine thoughts, not just robotic MTC-taught responses), and understand even more than that.  Obviously it's still a long time coming, but I have hope that I will actually figure it out someday!  Except it's extremely frustrating because I know a couple Peruvians, and every time I try to speak with them in Spanish my sentences are just this depressing train wreck of Spaman/Gernish because apparently my brain doesn't know how to separate out the two languages. 

   I've decided that my favorite types of lessons are those in which we just answer the investigators' questions (whether it be about the purpose of life, the reason for the fall of Adam and Eve, the history of the Book of Mormon, the relationship between the Godhead and the people, etc).  I remember in junior high I always wanted to go into deep discussions with people, and obviously no other thirteen-year-old enjoyed that, so I'm pleased that I get to do that for a living now haha. Really though, it's so great to be able to help people understand just a little bit better those things that can help them draw closer to Christ and achieve happiness in this life.  I'll admit that people tend to ask the strangest questions sometimes, but I highly recommend that anyone who plans to serve a mission study the Old Testament.  It has the most bizarre stories, but it has helped me address so many peoples questions and concerns!  
  We have set our lesson goals high this week.  Though the beginning of last week we were a little discouraged by the vast rejection we received, we later on were so blessed to find a bunch of new potentials and I cannot wait to hopefully meet up with them and share our message.  

We are about to head out the Natural History Museum, so on a last note I would invite you to read Dieter F. Uchdorf's talk, "Of Regrets and Resolutions." He speaks of building a life for yourself, about which you can smile when your time on earth draws to a close.  I know nobody gets to choose their circumstances, but I believe that we can exercise our agency to choose to find the positive.  This has helped me a lot on my mission when I face insults, or when I get nostalgic thinking about my family and friends back home.  There is always beauty to be found around us; there is always something to learn from and something to be grateful for.   Here in Austria I am thankful for the challenges, the new friendships and new knowledge, all of which help me to grow stronger.   Our time is precious, so we must strive to live up to our full potential by focusing on the journey and never its end.


    Gospel Girl
           (aka Sister Lundgreen)

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