Monday, September 12, 2016

This week began in a a crevice of the earth, in a dank and dark cave illuminated just enough to see the  chandelier stalactites. We crept through the mouth of the ancient mountain, first noticing the fossilized bones of a 20,000-year-old bear, and then following the twisty path to discover an underground world where minerals are the paint for peculiar colors. {Perk #273 of being short: Whilst everyone else had to duck, I could walk straight and still have several inches between my head and the rock.}   In one room, water rained down from the stone ceiling into a still pool, the purest one could find.

I never cease to be amazed at the beautiful planet that our Lord created-- and the most magnificent thing is that this Being who performed such a magnificent feat is the same Being who literally cares about us and wants us to turn to Him for joy.  This week Sister Selph and I did a fast in which we prayed for miracles in our work. After about six days time we became slightly discouraged because we weren't really seeing anything.... And then suddenly the blessings just started pouring out.    Of course!  God has His own timing!  If He is willing to take A MILLION YEARS to create a colony of crystals crawling down from the ceiling of a cave... then surely we can be patient in knowing that the answers to our prayers will come eventually.

Wonders of the Week (to name just a few of many examples):

- Literally SO MANY PEOPLE whom we have been unable to make contact with for the past weeks and MONTHS we were finally able to get back in contact with.  Things ranging from us running into them on random
subways and trams to them answering our emails to them finally texting us back just with a new number.
- A man contacted us through asking for a Book of Mormon.
- A woman in our ward whom we had been unable to visit since my first week here finally came to our appointment without cancelling.  She is so sweet!  We read Mosiah 24 about how the Lord doesn't necessarily
take away our troubles but rather gives us the strength to make our burdens feel light.  For a long time she has been concerned that the people in the ward don't care about her (which is not true; I lost count of the number of times people asked us how she was doing) and that if she comes back to church after all this time then the people will be judgmental.  And yet when she showed up th  following Sunday, the ward members were just beaming with excitement and absolutely took her in.  Oh how they had missed her!  She stayed for all three hours and in Relief Society gave the most beautiful prayer.  She even asked us to meet again next week!
- We visited an elderly member in our ward.  We had originally planned on just dropping off a card, but she was so excited to see us that she let us in for an hour.  She was just so happy and sweet and smiley and kept bearing her testimony.  When she opened her card, she gasped because the design was of roses and roses are her favorite.

Some Other Great Things:

- MLC in Munich!  I GOT TO BE REUNITED WITH ALL MY OLD COMPANIONS plus Sister Lehmann who was BASICALLY a companion in the MTC... I love President and Sister Kohler so much and that whole conference was just a spiritual boost.  I have never been so motivated to not only be brave and do the work, but even just to improve myself as a missionary in every way.

- We got to help teach primary, which was about missionary work.  We brought Books of Mormon in 15 different languages and then all the kids were given a "call" to different countries.  This reminded me a lot of an activity we had when I was 9 or 10 which was the first time in my life when I really wanted to serve a mission.
-  Members ask us for Books of Mormon to give to people they know.
- We went to an International Multi-Religious Peace Fest.

- My understanding of German had gotten pretty good already, but now I HAVE TALKED "AUF DEUTSCH" WAY MORE THAN I EVER HAVE.

Quote of the Week:

"We have Turkeys.  Lots of Turkeys," said Teodora, whilst talking about refugees coming into Bulgaria.  I think she meant Turks.

It has been a wonderful week and my testimony has been strengthened so much. One thing that I've noticed is that the more hardworking and purposeful I am in my day, the happier I am. I invite you all to go about your life with a purpose- whether that be to learn something new, to lift others up, to follow your dreams, whatever, the choice is up to you. But we have such a short time here on earth that the less time we spend doing mediocre or even meaningless things like playing on our phones and watching TV, the more time we have to truly make ourselves something greater.

                  Sister Lundgreen

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