This week we rolled once again through the looming Alps, across the border and into Deutschland for Missionary Leadership Council. I discovered Munich to be a city of gleaming and glistening grays, much more modern than  he colorful and Victorian Vienna. Yet around every bend was another ancient church and among its gems were the gothic Rathaus and the Parthenon-like monument, where they were already beginning to set up for Oktober Fest.

   Missionary Leadership Council was a really cool experience because we not only got to meet lots of missionaries but also got so many pep talks that made us all pumped to be missionaries.

    However, my favorite part of that whole trip there was when we were riding up. There  were no seats anywhere on the train, and we were walking from car to car to car. Finally we found two 4-seater tables across the aisle, both with two people. This would have to do. As we were sitting down one of the guys sitting there just had the biggest grin. We were like oh no. But luckily he wasn't there to Bible bash us, he was just an American who has a Mormon best friend and thinks everyone should have a Mormon best friend. We ended up having a

two-and-half hour conversation about everything from his cool traveling career to learning languages to the cultural/governmental differences between Europe and America to why we are willing to make this sacrifice as missionaries. It was so neat!

    IT'S TRANSFERS! Bet you're dying to know what's happening. At least I was. Well....


     I'm staying here with Sister Selph, and Sister Fast is going to Switzerland! We were shocked when president told us.  Literally everyone thought I was leaving, but honestly I am so excited for another six weeks in the beautiful city of Wien. However, I am so sad that we blondies will be split up; we got along so perfectly and we will really miss the laughs brought on by Sister Fast. That girl has the biggest heart and the best stories.

Some other things that went down this week:

* We went running in our ghetto neighborhood and wandered into some random little park with a playset and then saw a sign that said that famous composers such as Mozart and  chubert used to be buried there. #we're_not_in_kansas_anymore

* We went to an African festival for Pday me this guy with hip length dreads made me a ring so I had to buy it haha. Seriously though I want to go to Africa now.  The culture is so  colorful!

* A car drove past with the windows rolled down BLARING GERMAN FOLK MUSIC like literally accordion and everything. This guy was just hunched over in his tiny car NBD so yeah it was one of the funniest events of my life.
Saturday was a disaster to the point of comedy. Sister Fast went into semi-shock after transfer calls so when she went to make her weekly bread she forgot to put in oil and salt. I also broke a ceramic bowl. Then we went to have our three appointments. 1) Our first guy

called last minute to cancel on our lesson. 2) We waited and waited for our 2nd lesson and he never showed. 3) Before we could go have an eating appointment with an elderly member, Sister Selph got sick to her stomach so obviously we had to cancel this one too. Then as we were heading home we forgot a bunch of stuff  at the institute center and had to turn around and get it. So later during our dinner hour Sister Fast and I had a competition to see what we could do with the two ruined loaves of bland bread.... Sister Fast made fried powdered sugar donut holes and I started making a type of baked French toast. But you want to know what I forgot about in the oven? You guessed right.

* For district meeting we watched Elder Johnson juggle banana peels and we also sang harmonized hymn with the guitar. It only made me slightly campfire trunky....

* We spent the train ride talking to an elder and I was freaking out because I am 5.5 months out on my mission and could only understand like 30% of what he was saying. Then my comps told me he was speaking a North German dialect. Dang.
* I used to be terrified of praying in front of groups in English, but bishop has asked me to give the prayer in my German-speaking sacrament meeting TWICE in the past few weeks.

On Friday I got up before 6 and played Fußball on a team of Germans.

* We had Bulgarian food twice in one week.

* Six months ago as a college student I could stay up till 4 AM easily, but then on Friday night we got home at 11 because our connecting train from Salzburg was delayed, and we were DYING of exhaustion haha.

* I tried a whopper candy again. I used to love those things, but the other missionaries and I were so sad because after living in Europe, whoppers taste so weird! Seriously though  Europeans know what's up with their chocolate.

* As a note to students who think they can cheat their way through language class by typing their homework into Google Translate...don't. I wrote a few paragraphs in German and then pasted it into Google Translate for fun to see what it said. It spit out the most horrible

incorrect translation ever.

* Sister Selph's Young Women sent a package including three sister missionary sugar cookies for us three companions! So cute!

* My comps said that my personality like a mixture between Hercule's Meg and Tangled's Rapunzel and that made my day.

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." -Ecclesiastes 9:10

Have a good week!


Sister Lundgreen

P.S. I am so sad, I accidentally brought the wrong camera cord so I will only have iPad pictures this week :(

Never a Dull Day


This week we took the train to Graz for a 36 hour stay with the lovely Sisters Brinkerhoff and Petersen. Graz is so charming, and sometimes after weeks of appointments it's fun to have nothing to do but just go finding. We also got to help this cute teen work on her Personal Progress,  and then she treated us to some Austrian children's lullabies and Kaiserschmarrn. (Legend has it this dish was created when a batch of the royal pancakes went wrong, so the chef chopped them up into bits, added some raisins and sugar, and fed it to the emperor anyway.)

    As a missionary there are weeks when you have so many appointments that you can't even stop to catch a breathe, and then other weeks where you set high goals but literally everyone just cancels spontaneously on you. After getting home from Graz it was a definitively one of those slower weeks. Luckily we still got to see one our friends for the first time in a while at the fun Relief Society picnic! I am so grateful to our members who are so sweet and friendly to all the new faces. Then, the highlight of this whole transfer was when the 3 amazing new converts finally got the priesthood! As they received the blessed authority, they were then able to lay their hands on the head of the brother whose turn it was next. I have never been so proud of them!

Some other random interesting things this week:

1. We accidentally discovered an antique shop and I bought a beautiful little book signed in 1840 from a grandma to her granddaughter May, for €3.

2. I tried a pomelo for the first time. My throat swelled up. So my comps freaked out and told me to drink some milk because the base would maybe tone done the acid of the citrus. I took a swig and only then as I swallowed it did I realize the milk was rancid and curdled. Turns out we took home the wrong milk from the institute center and this one actually expired in May. Oh, and we made pancakes for the district with this milk earlier this week. Whoops.

3. One elderly man made a crazy face/motions to mimic the time he was hyped up on medication drugs. Later that same day, an elderly woman made a crazy face/motions to act out what would happen to me if I got smashed to "nothing" by the top bunk bed collapsing on top of me.
4. Think of some intense deep doctrinal questions... Then imagine someone you've only recently started teaching asking these questions for a solid two hours... And then imagine this being in a totally different language. I learned two things: the gift of tongues is REAL because I understood that whole thing, and second knowing the Old Testament is really good as a missionary because suddenly when someone is making these really obscure references to a verse Isaiah you know what they're talking about and can address their concern haha.
5. During a member appointment someone turned on Pirates of the Caribbean behind me and I about died, I wanted to turn around so bad.
6. For pday we pretty much just hopped on random trams and subways and did random things until we ended up on the banks of the Danube and laid in the grass for an hour.

    Hopefully next week the pace will pick up a little, but I am glad to know that no matter what there is NEVER a dull day in the field. Speaking of which, I am about to head to an African festival, but first let me leave you with a scripture:

"And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments;
and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye
should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he
hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you
and prosper you. And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and
granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him."
(Mosiah 2: 22-23)

Sister Lundgreen

On the Border

   Last Monday we took the train to Heinburg and hiked to the top of the mount. Although from the forested trail we ould not see the castle, we soon discovered a mighty fortress of 1000 years. How wild it was to trace my fingers along the same gray stone walls payed for by the ransom of Richard the Lionhearted... This place was called "ruins" as early as the 1600's, but the long-ago devastation by Ottoman Turks could still not dim the majesty of a place designed for the emperors. Even more incredible was the view- from one side was the River Danube, and from the other was the country Slovakia and its distant city of Bratislava!

     So yeah. It's safe to say this week started with a bang, but I will be honest that it has just flown by. It was so crazy that I'm struggling to remember what happened. We have had some teaching opportunities, and this week we were so happy to have 5 of our friends show up at church!

     I just want to say that I am so grateful for the members here. They treat us so wonderfully, sometimes I think we are just spoiled with the numbers of bags of treats and sometimes even clothes we bring home, as well as all the appointments, all the compliments, and all the help with the work.  I especially cannot express enough gratitude to those who take those new at church under their wings.  It really truly means a lot, both to those new and to us.  

     Well, if you want to know what being a Sister Training Leader is like, we seriously have so many spontaneous exchanges. Literally this week we had three exchanges. We met up with all the sisters for Pday and then split up for tausch with Wiener Neustadt until the next day. Wednesday was fairly normal but then Thursday we got to visit two people on opposite sides of town followed by us teaching Deutsch course followed by soccer night followed by another exchange. Sister Gunnderson is so cute and on our exchange we got up at 5:30 for a run to the top of Shönbrunn. We had a lesson with a member so we could teach her son, and the four of us hiked up this hill for a picnic with a lovely view. To be honest, I was freaking out because Sister Gunnderson is still a golden which means nobody would be there to help me if I didn't understand the German.... But our prayers were answered
and it went PERFECTLY! I understood almost everything and we just chit chatted away the entire time! Even better, she is Peruvian so along with  Deutsch I also got to practice an eensie bit of Español too. Then right after that exchange ended my comps and I raced over and had ANOTHER picnic on a totally different but even more gorgeous mount Kalenberg! Gosh I love our members to death. We watched their cute dog run around in the
flower-speckled grass whilst we ate, and then they led us to the Sisi-Capelle snug in the forest before finally we stood at the edge of the mount to watch the magnificent sundown over a glittering Vienna. But before that appointment even ended we got a call from Wiener Neudstadt saying that they were on their way to spend the night in our appointment for another tausch. I'm tellin you guys, it's all a little nuts. I'm tired.  But it's good.
   This week I would invite you to always remember your divine worth. Even when life is stressful, take pleasure in knowing that you are a creation of God and He wants you to succeed.  No, it won't always be easy and sometimes life is just exhausting, but remember that he has given you gifts that make you YOU.  So use them, and push forward! 

                                       Sister Lundgreen

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