The Hills are Alive

     For zone conference, we missionaries packed up our card games and took the 5 hour round trip to Salzburg-- AKA "Salt Castle." Although our only view was that from the window, my jaw dropped at the gorgeous combination of rolling clouds, golden plains, glittering lakes, rich forests and snow-peaked peaks.This beauty is much different than that of my desert home, as well as that of the island Oahu, and though the other missionaries were probably rolling their eyes at me when I interrupted our game for the 50th time to exclaim "IT'S SO PRETTY!" I don't know if I will ever get over it. When we rolled into Salzburg, I discovered a dainty city of soft colors and elegant style nestled beneath the mount. I wish we could have stayed longer to explore, but there is no time when there is a great work to be done!

  Zone conference was JUST what I needed. Everything that was said addressed my concerns so perfectly. I am so grateful for a wonderful mission president and wife.  The biggest thing that I came to realize is that though I am "just one voice... one voice can still be heard." In the words of the great Mufasa, I cannot forget who my Father is by forgetting who I am! I am not too small.  I have divine potential and a capacity to do so much, as long as I WORK for it.  

This week there has also been some cherry-picking, a baptism, 3 cancelled lessons, a lot of rain (which everyone hates except for me cause I'm a desert child), helping members move, watching my Iranian friends try tacos for the first time, a game of frisbee, and a continent gone mad for Fußball. Literally they play the soccer games on every TV outside every restaurant and they have even set up a giant screen at Rathaus. Like I thought Americans loved the Super Bowl... But with all the countries playing each other and with so many people in Vienna being from all over, it is SUCH a huge deal here. No really, you can count on anyone from the train driver on his intercom to random people you walk past talking on their phones to inform you of the score.

Another favorite moment from this week was when we were racing to catch the tram when suddenly the light turned red and we thought we were not going to be able to catch it.  The tram driver noticed us across the street and waved to indicate he would wait for us.  Whilst boarding, we thanked him and then he stopped us.  "I've seen a lot of people with nametags like that.  Who are you?"  He then proceeded to ask us all these golden questions which we answered through the little window into the driver's cab as he drove.  When he reached the end of the line, he got out and talked to us for another fifteen minutes!  He said he would like to come to church with his wife sometime.  We couldn't have been more happy.  

Have a good week!


                                       Sister Lundgreen

Joyful Wanderer

Sometimes there is nothing better than getting lost. There is a foreign beauty in unfamiliarity, which when combined with swelling sunshine and mellow breeze creates a sense of adventure undaunted by the failure of the map. We had no idea where we were, but we soaked in the sight of yellow-topped churches and ivy-decked alleyways, the sound of gurgling fountains and horse hooves on cobblestone, and smiled. Finding may be difficult, but it sure can lead to fun.  Oh how I love Europe.

Things in Vienna:

Lederhosen and dirndl (no really though, I see people wearing it all the time)

Convertibles blasting Arabic hip hop

Horse-drawn carriages
Catholic parades marching outside my apartment window
Statues of exhausted Grecians looking like Atlas under the sky as they struggle to hold up the building
Obedient dogs who follow their owners around without so much as a leash
"American" sauce which tastes like nothing American I've ever had
Accordions on the subway
Giant crows and mobs of pigeons 
Book exchange boxes at the park
Antique shops
Drunk dudes trying to talk to us
Hair salons advertise themselves by plastering up huge Internet-stolen photos of suave celebrities
Peach juice
Turkish markets
ALWAYS running into people you know despite the vastness of the city
Stickers on EVERYTHING
People who tell you they're not interested as soon as you say the Book of Mormon was written in America
But at the same time lots of people have American flag shirts, purses, wallets, etc.

Things NOT in Vienna:
Music in restaurants
Lots of native Austrians willing to listen to us. Really though, I've started carrying around more English than German Books of Mormon because we are way more likely to interest someone from Africa or some other place outside this part of Europe. The mission office literally ran out of Arabic books because us missionaries have all tried to order so many.
Cinnamon rolls. All these bakeries offer these swirly pastries that LOOK like cinnamon rolls... But it is cruel deception. The dark spice on the inside is not toasted cinnamon but something akin to dirt.

Celebrating my 100th day as a missionary at an Indian Restaurant!
My new favorite method of language study is learning vocab by reading the German Bible on my tablet. First off, the translators of the King James Version were clearly sad single men because they took out so much of the cute romance found in the Germans'Book of Esther. But then the German Bible also includes entire books that were omitted from the English translation. When I read, I keep a notebook ready and then click any word I don't know so my iPad so it will define it. You can tell when I reached the part about Alexander the Great in the Book of the Maccabees because my notebook is filled with the translations of words such as "destroy" "conquest" "betray" "hostage" "wicked" etc. Well.... Maybe it will come in handy some day?

   I'll be honest, time FLIES as a missionary and it's hard to remember things that happen.  For one thing, I had Sister Price chop off about 7 inches of my hair.  We also played a game of frisbee with investigators, and invited other people in the park to join us.  Everyone was busy all week so we finally had three lessons on Saturday. One of the lessons was with this nice Nigerian who we met on the streets the other day, and he brought his Libyan friend! Then another lesson was with a referral from one of our other investigators, who took her to our ward last week. We showed up with a Hindi book ready to teach lesson 1 when suddenly after like twenty minutes of getting to know her we found out she was actually a member in our stake, baptized in India just last year! We had no idea! Our minds did a complete 180.

    Well I found out since last week that apparently Father's Day is different in Austria so NOW I invite you all to treat your daddies right.  Also, this week I would invite you to focus outwards rather than inwards and to give people compliments!  Even just a little act of service like that is sure a way to thank someone's day.


                                       Sister Lundgreen

"Mother Rachel and Joseph" by Sister Lundgreen

Strictly Viennese

Can you believe that the year is halfway over?  I certainly can't.  With the start of June, many families have left for several weeks of holiday to the likes of Croatia, Greece, and Hungary.  Despite the vacationers, though, we have taught a good number of lessons (one even taught mostly in Farsi by last week's converts!) and have been excited to receive several referrals.  We also had four of our friends come to church to learn more about Christianity and hear the broadcast from Elder Christofferson (and three of them we had only just met!).    

One of the highlights this week was the annual Grill Fest, where we had seven of our friends we invited come!  The bishop said that I am terrifying when I play volleyball because I hit it super powerfully so that the ball goes extremely high, extremely far, extremely fast.... and 87% of the time in any direction but the direction it needs to go.  That's when I laughed and started tumbling instead.  

Things in Vienna:
Plush grass perfect for back-hand-springs
Weather that always changes its mind
Wild daisies
Carbonated water
Wienerish ("Vee-ner-ish," the impossible-to-understand dialect of the older generation)
Creepy cellers that are more like dungeons
Yankees caps
Different keyboards that make it really hard to type but also have cool characters like this: öäü£èà 
Really creamy icecream
Always running into people you know despite how huge the city is
Quiet Sundays (because everything is closed)

Things NOT in Vienna:
Brown sugar, chocolate chips, syrup, molasses
Air conditioning
Garbage disposals
Double sided sinks

Coming on a mission has made me realize a few things:
1) The Internet is such a big fat distraction. 
 Now that I am mostly deprived of it, I have discovered much better uses of my time than scrolling half-unconsciously through social media.  In my spare time after daily planning, I have begun writing music and also started designing with ink and watercolors.  How have I gone 19.5 years without realizing how fun these two things are?  Because every time I would try to do something creative at home, I would go on the Internet to look up references and end up getting distracted.  Whoops.

2) Keep the Sabbath Day Holy is the best commandment ever.  
Whilst living at home I never realized how wonderful is was to have a Sabbath day.  I always just thought of it as the day where you go to church \ you don't go shopping or swimming or watching scary movies cause you're not allowed \ you also probably stay up till midnight finishing that procrastinated homework even though Mom said to get it done on Friday.  Now, though, I look back at those Sundays and remember those times when my family would have those delicious homecooked meals round the diningroom table, talking about what we learned in church... when we would get daddy-daughter chats... when we would play Boggle with Grandma and Grandpa.  It really is a day of rest where we can enjoy that God-given time with cherished family members... too bad I didn't come to appreciate it until I flew a few thousand miles away from them.  With Father's Day coming up, I invite you to dedicate this beautiful Sunday to both your father on earth and your Father in Heaven. Time is precious, so don't waste it.  


    Gospel Girl
           (aka Sister Lundgreen)

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