Eis Cold

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hello from Augsburg!  As I type I am listening to Christmas music, and whilst normally I would say no holiday tunes before Thanksgiving, I think this choice is well warranted for a number of reasons: 1) there is no Thanksgiving here 2) the town is decked out for Christmas already and 3) IT SNOWED THIS WEEK! Yes it is true.  Fun as my last holiday season was, building sandmen and what.... I'm pretty excited for this year.

SO this transfer I am greenie-busting Sister Howsmon AND SHE IS THE BEST.  

This week has been just as thoroughly-exhausting as the last, but already we have laughed so much. I have hardly seen anything in Augsburg because we spent most of Saturday and Sunday traveling up to Munich for stake conference.

Things that One Can Find in Augsburg- Houses. Parking lots. People who own cars. WHAT.
- Cats (I hardly saw any the whole time I was in Vienna)
- Black-out window slats that are SO WONDERFUL. Not like it matters; it's pitch-black outside from like 4:30PM-6:30AM anyway.
- (If you are a missionary) lots of traveling on trains through the beautiful, forested, frosty hills because the area is big and everyone lives spread out

Other Notable Notes:- How I handle cold weather: two shirts, one sweater, one coat (with the hood up), one skirt, one slip (just for the sake of extra layers), two layers of tights, knee-high boots, a scarf, gloves, hair down to cover the ears
- People keep asking if Sister Howsmon and I are cousins or sisters or something
- It's just kinda been a series of unfortunate events. Everyday this week at least one of the missionaries almost forgot something (like an iPad) on the tram. On Wednesday the elders actually lost their phone, so they borrowed our phone for a minute, but forgot that it was ours and took it with them for a very scary 15 minutes before they remembered. The next day a member of our ward called us with important info regarding the elder's lost phone... So with no way to call them and tell them this, we had to go to their apartment at 8AM and tell them through the intercom.  That night, we had sport night and returned home thoroughly exhausted, ready for bed after a long day. To our horror, we realized we left the key! So at 9:00PM we show up once again in the cold at their doorstep,talking through the intercom because they had no phone and we had no way to get inside the church to fetch our house key... by the time we got our key we were just like "you know what, heck," took the tub of leftover ice cream out of the church freezer, stole some spoons, and ate it right out there in the 40degree weather, laughing our heads off while we waited for our tram to finally get home and go to bed. Then on Friday we had dinner with a member. One of the elders checked the bus times beforehand because they only come once every hour... We timed the appointment, and left to catch one of the last buses back to Augsburg. Unfortunately, he looked at the wrong schedule and so as it turns out it wasn't coming for another 40 minutes. So we just walked through the pitch-black town as it snowed. Us 4 also missed some trains this week. It's pretty hilarious.

- Already I can tell this ward is fantastic! Those who I have met are so eager to help with the work, it is incredible.

I am so pumped this transfer to really set new goals and try to work harder. I only have so much to be out here serving the Lord, so I really just want to do my best-- with learning the language, with growing my faith, with refining my person, with going outside my comfort zone and sharing the gospel!
I just flipped randomly and happened to find Alma 26, which applies pretty well:
"27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the [Germans], and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world--not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.....
30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some."

                                                            Sister Lundgreen

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