Joyful Wanderer

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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

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