Thanks, Danke, Gracias

Monday, November 21, 2016

  Whilst the city of Augsburg woke to the sweet smell of Leberkuchen and pine needle, we rode the rail jet through a frost-tipped wilderness.  Today the Christmas markets began, but instead of joining the crowds for a taste of maroni, we as a district climbed past tumbling waterfalls and crumbled ruins.  

The forested hike was absolutely gorgeous.  At the tip of the mount awaited a view of rolling hills and azure lakes, of majestic snow-decked Alps and even the famed Neuschwanstein Castle.    

This week we have really tried to pray and follow the Spirit whilst finding. Before my mission I probably used an umbrella few enough times to count on my fingers; now that umbrella is my best friend. I would not exactly say it is easy getting people to listen when it is freezing and wet, but we keep working, keep trying. A few months ago I had such a fear of talking to people whether it be on the street or at the door. But by pushing through these fears I have really come to improve! We have had some wonderful experiences getting to know people whom it would have been so easy to let pass by. 

Notable notes
- we were conversing with an elderly lady on a tram. When we told her we were from  our church, she gifted us with vegan eye cream and organic used Chapstick.
- We could see our breath inside a cathedral 
- A German woman told me I look Austrian
- A few months ago when we went to Graz and I was shocked how people would say hi back to us when we greeted them. Here, THE PEOPLE LEGIT WAVE AND SAY HELLO TO US FIRST
- I had a seven-minute phone call with a random guy who called us... He must have been speaking the Bayerisch dialect cause I hardly understood diddly-squat 
- We played UNO with an elderly lady
- We pulled vines for like 2 hours in the pitch black, thanks dad for sending me with a headlamp
- The train wasn't coming for an hour so instead we just walked to the person's house, past harvested fields and beneath rolling clouds, oh it was so majestic 
- I got to practice my Spanish with some South American members in my ward. It was rocky, but I think I successfully managed to get across that my dad served his mission in Peru and I visited there four years ago. If italics is German, bold is Spanish, and underline is English then it probably went something like this: "Mi papa warI meanfuinofue??  Un missionar-- Wie sagt Mann das auf Spanisch???" *turning to my confused companion as if she will know the Spanish translation for the German word missionar. Peruvian member gives me the word.* "Oh yeahDankeAlsoyo fui en Peru cuatro años pasado con mi hermana und mi padre."   Ok, so it was only slightly terrible.  But I'll get my Spanish back... One day.... Literally it was so hard, I swear there is only one slot for languaging in my brain. At one point the Peruvian even asked me something in English and I responded IN GERMAN, because I was just at the point of such mental mix-up that I could comprehend what he said but couldn't distinguish what language he was using / what to respond in.   

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to share a quote from stake conference: 
"You will never be more happy than you are grateful."
Isn't this so true? I have definitely noticed that it doesn't matter how cold or rainy or dismal the circumstances. As long as I take a look around and appreciate the blessings I have been given, I can always find a reason to smile.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Sister Lundgreen

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