I love the big city.  Cluster buildings, chaotic streets, so thick with the smell of smoke that you don't even notice it anymore. We spend p-day with the district in Munich, visiting the Deutscher Museum and walking down the streets of this beautiful Bavarian capital.

To be completely real with y'all, when I try to think of a good summary of my week for the past few weeks it's just like: "outside finding for so many hours every day that my feet felt like they are going to freeze off despite wearing four pairs of socks."  We hit a point where we just became so slap happy because no one would even let us finish our sentences, but after the door closed we would just start busting up laughing because of something weird their dog did.

One of these days we were mega frustrated because we had spent the majority of the day dooring apartment complexes, talking with people on the streets downtown, and making phone calls, and after several hours we hadn't encountered a single person willing to listen to us for more than a second.  Yet after all this try-hard stuff what happened? We said a casual passing "hello" to a pair of students at the end of the day.  They swung around, so confused that we had said hello to them. Next thing we knew THEY asked US for our phone numbers and set up an appointment to meet.

Notable Notes
- We took the weekly hour-long journey out to teach a family and happened to intercept them on their way to the doctor-- "oh yeah we forgot to tell you, we remembered that our baby has an appointment to get a shot, come with us!"
- We set up two new appointments for the people who didn't show up last week. Same thing happened-- neither showed up
- We knocked on doors in this one village and I don't know what was up with this place. We would literally wait sooooo long on the doorstep, and then I swear every person would wait till their neighbor answered the door to open up.  Whoops.... Awkward....
- Have I mentioned before that I think Syrians are the nicest people on the planet?
- Deustch is interfering with my English, I keep making weird mistakes like "make a picture" instead of "take a picture"
- I had a dream that after my mission was over I had to deal with the sadness of the fact that America just doesn't have bakeries on every corner so I can't just go by a chocolate croissant for cheap whenever I please
- Sister Franchino is really good at keeping us entertained whilst we are in the midst of our 3-hour finding sessions by doing things such as brainstorming funny things one should NOT say at the door, or quoting SpongeBob. I was never allowed to watch SpongeBob, but I've known enough missionaries who love it that I think I will soon be able to quote that show inside and out, dang it.

Yup, the mission is weird. It's hard. But it's the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Well, this week I have been reading the church history manual.  I have treasured many of the stories since I was in primary.  But the older I get, the more I realize how miraculous and wonderful these stories-- this history-- truly is: Like in times of old, something marvelous happened. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to a young boy to establish His work among the children of men.
Gaining a testimony of this has helped me to truly understand the love of God for His children.  God loves us so much that he still speaks to us today!  He loves us so much that he continues to counsel us through a prophet, because His word never ceases.  I think by no means that God must be limited by spans of time nor borders on a map -- He cares about us just as much as He loved His people in ancient Israel. On my mission I have truly come to realize the power of prayer and how great it is just to TALK to God like He is my Father-- because He is! He wants what's best for me, what's best for you. 
I would invite you all to just pray from your heart this week. Whether times are good or times are hard, He will always be there to listen. 

Love Always,
            Sister Lundgreen

I left my camera cord at home so here are some iPad pictures of Augsburg and Aichach.

In the Middle of Nowhere

"Sister Lundgreen, you are hereby called to serve... in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission."

That long-ago November day when I opened my call, I had no idea what to expect. My hands were shaking and I was crying for joy, and I had no clue that when I would be learning German, it wouldn't just be to speak with Germans.  What has been incredible is to be able to use German, like a bridge, to connect and speak with other people who also learned German as a second language.  I came into Europe shortly after a time of major change-- 1 million refugees were allowed into Germany in 2016, if I remember correctly.  Now I still have MUCH to learn with German, but I am so grateful for this opportunity to be able to communicate with people from so many different cultures and backgrounds! That is something I would surely have never imagined.

- We helped move a refrigerator down a spiral staircase
- We vacuumed up lots and lots and lots of kitty fur
- *MOM CLOSE YOUR EYES* We had to go hitchhiking. What happened was we were with a member and had to take a train and then a bus to meet with a family who wants to get baptized. We knew that we had to get out of the bus at a stop in front of a Catholic church.... Unfortunately we got out by a Catholic church two villages too soon, and ended up having to walk for an hour. There were long chunks of our path in between villages that were just out in the open prairie on nameless roads, rendering our map basically useless.  We were totally late and totally lost when finally a nice nice lady picked us up in the cold and drove us.... saving us probably another half hour of walking AND helping us make our appointment with just enough time to spare to be able to have a great lesson and then turn around and catch the next bus (the last one for the day) and train to our next appointment on a totally different side of our area!
- This is more cool than "weird" but I learned a few things in pigeon English, cause I worked with lots of Nigerians both in my area and on exchange with Sister Cain (P.S. SHE IS THE BEST)
- Sometimes when you ring apartments, people throw open their window to talk to you, and sometimes they are old and quite clearly not wearing any clothes
- Sometimes people show up to appointments completely stoned
- We showed the painting of Joseph Smith in the front of the Book of Mormon to our 97-year-old friend and she called him handsome
- We accidentally ordered a coffee instead of a hot chocolate, also I ate my cereal with slushy milk
- Idk if it's from all the walking or something but sometimes as a missionary I just feel like a teenaged boy because I am starving 24/7

- One moment it was sunshiney, feeling like the beginning of spring, and then the next moment it was just crazy-sideways-sleeting

- Out of the 8 sisters in the Munich zone I am the "oldest"
- I was told that my spirt animal is a flying mouse
- Sometimes there are other things that happen that are just too weird to share on the Internet........

This week, literally NOTHING went according to plan. We were excited because all the hours of finding seemed to be paying off when we were actually able to set up two appointments.... But then neither of the people showed up for their appointments. In times like these I am learning to be grateful for the little things. For the heartfelt "thank you"s of the 3 elderly ladies we visit throughout the week.  For the awesome member family who takes time out of their busy schedule to invite us over every Thursday. For the sweet gifts from my landlady such as a lovely, warm scarf.

I found this little clip from October 2013 General Conference:

"A testimony, like your body, needs to be in shape if you want it to endure. So how do we keep our testimonies in shape? We cannot get our bodies into good basketball shape by simply watching basketball on television. Similarly, we won’t be able to get our testimonies in shape by simply watching general conference on television. We need to study and learn the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then we must do our very best to live them. That is how we become disciples of Jesus Christ, and that is how we build an enduring testimony.
When we face adversity in life and our desire is to emulate the attributes of Jesus Christ, it is essential to be spiritually prepared. Being spiritually prepared means we have developed spiritual stamina or strength--we will be in good shape spiritually. We will be in such good shape spiritually that we will consistently choose the right. We will become immovable in our desire and ability to live the gospel. As an anonymous author once said, 'You must become the rock the river cannot wash away.' "
Let's do this, guys. Let's become steadfast and immovable, starting with little stretches and exercises such as praying daily and reading our scriptures, and building up, until we become so strong that we can fight this fight all the way to the end!

***DISCLAIMER- apparently my mom has been getting a lot of questions about last week's email and why/when/where we were taught how to kill a man..... I will just say we are in association with someone in the military who randomly wanted to show us little 5' damsels how to defend ourselves, haha. Just cause we LEARNED it does NOT MEAN I am planning to use this info........... I know the 10 commandments guys ;)
My point was just that you learn a lot of weird things your DO NOT EXPECT to learn on the mish :) ***
Members gave us SO MANY bananas we made 4 batches of banana bread!!

                                                                                                                  Love Always,

                                                                                                                                Sister Lundgreen

I Shoveled Snow for the First Time in My Life

Guten abend, liebe Familie und Freunde! Alles ist ganz ganz ganz ganz kalt hier in Augsburg.  Diese Woche hatten wir viel Zeit finden zu gehen.  Aber ich bin glücklich, weil wir mit so vielen Menschen gesprochen haben, und alles ist weiß und schon.

Ok, translation: Good evening, dear family and friends!  Everything is very very very very cold here in Augsburg. We had a lot of time to go finding this week.  But I am happy, because we have talked to so many people, and everything is white and beautiful.

Notable Notes
- There are many things you learn on your mission. And no, I'm not JUST talking about learning how to speak a foreign language, how to live with a stranger, or how to knock on someone's door and talk about religion.  Some things I've learned: how to shovel snow, how to clean a washing machine filter, how to talk with government workers so you can live legally in a country, how to fish hair out of a shower drain, how to make multiple combinations of meals with limited ingredients, how to kill a man in a case of emergency, how to entertain myself without the internet, what other people think about America
- Back in the days of Arizona when I had a Pinterest account, I would lament how it was too warm for all the cute winter outfits I pinned. Now, I have the cold weather  alright, but instead of all those cute trendy winter outfits I just go to survival mode AKA so many layers AKA I look like a marshmallow.
- A three-year-old whose family we spent New Years with asked if we missionaries could attend her birthday party #socute #someonelikesus
- Been eating real good this week cause my family sent me 24 pounds of food for Christmas including cereal and Mexican food THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

Quote of the Week:
- "Is it against the white handbook to go hitchhiking?" - not me or Sister Franchino...

Recently someone was telling me about the languages of love. I don't know too much about that, but I would guess that my "love language" is spending time with people.  Time-- that is a precious commodity for me.

So anyways, one of the days this week I was feeling really down and just was not looking forward to going out dooring. Lately no one had wanted to hear us out and I was tired of people not caring about all this time we were spending out in the cold, trying to offer our little message of hope for them. Yet on this same day Heavenly Father blessed me with two people who didn't know that they were acting as my angels. Literally at one of the first houses we rung, this elderly man didn't even hear out our intro before he invited us inside, telling us "kids" how cold it was outside!  His wife made us leave immediately, but instead of leaving us on the doorstep, the man proceeded to talk to us for the next twenty minutes and even took a Book of Mormon. To be honest, his dialect was exceptionally thick and he was chatting far too much for us to be able to fit in a word.... But it helped me so much to see how much this nice old stranger cared about our wellbeing outside in the snow (he made sure my coat was zipped up fully) and was more than happy to just spend his time talking to us like we were normal people!  

Then NOT EVEN KIDDING on the same exact street, Sister Franchino asked to pet an elderly lady's dog AND SHE PROCEEDED TO TALK TO US FOR THE NEXT TWO HOURS. She told us about everything from her long-dead 15,000 euro dog to how she would sneak out of the house to do theatre and ballet (she even sang for us) to the war and how they would have to go down to the basement during raids and how families would only get 50 grams of butter during the difficult times of ration. While most people shut the door as fast as possible, she  apparently appreciated our company so much that every time we tried to leave (because we had to travel to  another appointment) she wouldn't let us! "Love thy neighbor as thyself," was her motto.

It truly made a difference in my whole week.  And it really made me think about the way we treat those around us, whether or not we know them.  Sometimes I think we tend to get so wrapped up in our own little worlds that we forget how much the little words or actions we do towards other people can really make such a huge difference!    

would invite you all to take a little time this week to do just a little act of kindness for someone this week, because in the end you both feel good!

Love Always, 
            Sister Lundgreen


There are no words to fit it
The grounds are quiet, the only sound the crunch of boots on snow
In the middle of the bustling town is a place fenced in by white-tipped trees
Where all is peaceful, till one thinks of its horrid history

When the lie was rampant: ARBEIT MACHT FREI
When I was a kid I thought that the Holocaust was a long time ago
But I have come to realize that these things happened not long ago at all
During the lifetime of my grandparents
During the same century in which I was born
There are no words to fit it
That heavy feeling when you are walking through the rooms where the
paint is peeling and the decades echo back the tale of those who
suffered within the walls' confining spaces
I will never understand how such a thing could happen
But that's why we can never forget

2017, Here I Come!

It's crazy how fast a year flies, and yet how many precious memories can be filled within that short time.  In the space of 365 days I have lived in Hawaii, Arizona, England, Austria and Germany.  

Among the crazy things that 2016 brought upon me were getting swarmed by wild dolphins, jumping in the road to save a drunk man, and learning German.  Among the more incredible opportunities were befriending and hearing the stories of people from all over the globes; watching conversion journeys unfold; and experiencing the effect of the refiner's fire upon my own faith.

The wildest thing to think about is that this is the year that many of my friends and I come home. 2017... Just.... WHAT.

Awkward Finding Moments:- #1: We were dooring an apartment complex. Someone rung us in without asking who we were, but at the same time that we were walking through the front door of the apartment, another guy who lived in the building also walked through. He was holding a kitten, and he warned us to shut the door quickly before the cat could run outside. We did so. He set the kitten down in the hallway (don't ask why he didn't just wait till he got inside his house) but then the kitten just booked it. Up the stairs the kitty flew, as the man shouted, "Meine Katze!" We started running up the stairs as well, and suddenly we could hear a bunch of yelling kids. "A cat just ran into our apartment!" On the third floor, the door which had initially been opened for us was now the scene of a flurry of excitement. The cat owner was swarmed by giggling kids as he took his shoes of and entered the room to fetch his pet, whilst we were left standing there in the open doorway gaping. After a minute of being forgotten we just left.
- #2: We rang the doorbell at the outside of a gate. The gate opened. We had thought that the bell belonged to a certain house before realizing that that house was blocked by a hedge and that the bell actually belonged to a house at the end of a long driveway. We approached the house and LITERALLY COULD NOT FIND THE DOOR.  Awkwardly we decided to leave..... BUT THE GATE WAS LOCKED AND WE COULDN'T LEAVE THE PROPERTY.  So then we had to go back to the house, literally go around the house to the back where we finally found the door.  A nice British guy opened it (probably wondering why in the heck it took us so long to get there) and said he wasn't interested and that he was on his way out the door. Sheepishly we asked him how we could exit his property cause we were locked in.  We had to wait for him so we could get out.
- #3: interrupted a romantic moment................................

Some Good Doorstep Commentary:

- "So you're Jehovah's Witnesses?" "Actually, were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!" "Ohhh so you're Catholic?"
- "Hello, we're missionaries and we're sharing a message--" "A message?" The elderly lady said, before launching (with thick dialect) into some spiel about all the funds she has had to pay lately but how she could probably scrounge something up. She disappeared, and then came back with €2.50 in change. "Ohh no no we are actually here as a service!" "Wait what? You're not here looking for money?"
- "You're missionaries?!" One old man said, as if shocked that we still even exist. "I haven't seen missionaries for a long time. Compliments to you."

Other Notable Notes:

- my New Years diet saved me from eating a super-alcoholic chocolate given innocently at an elderly member's house; the other 3 missionaries suffered the taste of nailpolish and the sensation of burning in the throat apparently
-On day 3 of Christmas we spent enjoyed a lovely day playing games, eating German steak pinwheels, cookies,  and taking a walk up to a mountain which has been a sight of significance for the Germanic people for 4000 years or something crazy like that.  Now the sight of a small chapel, it was once the home of a castle and the witness of many battles.
- New Years Eve was spent with an AWESOME family whose basement is like a secret lair; it's decked out with all sorts of trophies and metals and has a disco ball. We ate food and shot off fireworks. 'Twas pretty lit.
- A lady let us into her house whilst we were dooring and was SO NICE and gave us water and asked us questions about ourselves. We shared a little message and when we gave her the Book of Mormon she GENUINELY seemed like she was going to follow our invitation to read Alma 32. WHEN WE WERE LEAVING SHE WAS JUST SO NICE AND SMILEY AND GAVE US A BAG OF COOKIES.
On Sunday we met with a young guy who literally had to walk a lot of the way to Germany on foot. I am continually blown away by the bravery of the people I meet here.  He shared with us some fascinating things from his home culture and religion; we shared our beliefs about Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful meeting.

With the beginning of the New Year there is always the talk of resolutions and new beginnings. Of course I myself have my own goals. But the longer I am out on my mission the more I come to appreciate the power of the Atonement and the idea of a REAL new beginning. Through Christ, we can all find new life.  More than just a change of calendar inspired by another rotation of the earth around the sun; the kind of resolutions we make when we follow Jesus Christ can be eternal, purchased by His great atoning sacrifice.  I invite you all to think about that.

Love Always,
Sister Lundgreen

Popular Posts