Mountains to Climb

Wednesday, February 01, 2017


pc unknow

Perched on the peak of a mount which is swaddled in snow is a castle, born by the dreams of a king.  


Neuschwanstein ("new swan stone"), the inspiration for the iconic Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland, overlooks a magnificent view of pine forests, glass lakes and yet another castle on just the opposite mount. 







Europe is just a dream, I'm telling you. 







Some Notable Notes:
On Thursday we had THREE PEOPLE IN A ROW WHO ACTUALLY SAID NICE THINGS TO US AT THE DOOR EVEN THOUGH THEY WEREN'T INTERESTED.  "Hope you're successful!" "Hope everything goes well with you!" And "Sorry you had to climb the stairs all the way to the top of the apartment for me!"
- Brilliant idea from our landlady to keep the snow and leaves off the property: build a plastic dome around the house.  Unfortunately... the HOA said no.  
- After 5289 attempts I have learned that you just can't make American recipes with European ingredients and vice versa. 
Sometimes we get caught in the middle of sketchy situations:
- we were on a tram and the guy right across from me was WASTED.   He started taunting and shouting lots of slurred, cruel, horribly racist comments at these two young men and after a while one of them jumped up in defense on his friend.  I also jumped out of my seat just as fists/beer started flying.  I got mildly hit in the process of them trying to slug each other; Sister Franchino got beer on her coat.   I just bailed out the door.  Then I looked at my comp in a panic-- I realized that she would have to go THROUGH the fight to escape the tram.   Somehow she managed it. The two guys who had been picked on also jumped out-- they didn't want to get any more involved in this fight.






Cheesy Metaphor time:
 There is one song called "Mountains to  Climb" which brings back memories of my favorite year of Girls Camp, when we hiked the Grand Canyon.  It was the most physically-exerting thing I ever did; despite having trained for months in advanced, I got to a point where every muscle and joint in my legs just screamed in exhaustion. The dusty cliffside trail seemed like it would never end.  

Yet it finally did. All of us girls just collapsed on the asphalt at the top of the rim and didn't get up for like an hour; we felt crazy tired but oh-so- accomplished. We actually did it!  and the view was ABSOLUTELY. POSITIVELY. ASTOUNDING.

On Tuesday we went finding for like 5 hours and yet not a single person showed the slightest of interest.  That day was so cold that despite wearing feet warmers, my feet were still so numb that I couldn't even feel the feet warmers.  This was a pretty good example of the transfer, throughout which we had surely knocked on hundreds of doors but never by such means found someone who wanted to be taught. Meanwhile members here will tell us about their missions when they would have 8 teaching lessons in a single day....

Is it something I'm doing wrong? I wondered. Is my German bad? Can people not take me seriously because I'm as short as my twelve-year-old brother?  The classic quote that someone gave us through the intercom was "I couldn't hear what you just said but I'm not interested."

So I'm not sure the answer.  But I think of that song-- "give me mountains to climb, give me rivers to cross, give me something that's gonna make me better than I was!" I remember that Girls Camp and how despite its difficulties, we ended the trip so incredible happy... our muscles built... our relationships with one another AND our faith in our own capability both strengthened by this feat which we had accomplished together.  I think of that gorgeous view of the color-streaked, plummeting-drop canyon and how worth it the pain all felt.   

I'll admit it's not always easy facing rejection out in the cold when I'm missing my family over on the other (not-to-mention-warmer) side of the world, but I'm excited to see what experiences lie ahead.  What people am I going to meet? How am I going to grow? 


                                                                                    XOXO,

                                        Sister Lundgreen


**About Neuschwanstein Castle from Wikipedia:


Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest BavariaGermany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.
The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886.[2] Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle.[3] More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer.[4] The palace has appeared prominently in several movies such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Great Escape and serves as the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle[5] and later, one of the castles that inspired Disneyworld's Cinderella Castle.

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