In the Middle of Nowhere

Monday, January 16, 2017

"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

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