Twilight Zone

Hello, lovelies.  I just returned from a hike, which means that my fingers are grimy, my face tan (or sunburned?) and my belly full of delicious German gelato.  Oh, what a life.  We walked up to the ruins of Hohenwiel where the crumbling castle overlooks the rolling hills and zipping along the highway below are cars which look more like ants.  

And, we may or may not have taken a sunbathed cat nap on a cliff-side fortress wall.... 

As a missionary I am really trying to become more bold.  Enough with the dumb excuses-- I have less than 5 months to preach the gospel so I just need to do it!  I've really been trying to be better about talking to people in all sorts of settings, be it at the door, in the driveway, on a train, or on the street...and what's wonderful is that the more unafraid we are to open our mouths and talk to strangers, the more friends we make! 

Truly, though, as a missionary there's nothing more exhilarating than declaring your testimony of God's love with fullness of heart. 

What Happens, Happens:
  • We assembled a trampoline 
  • One night we ate delicious Indian food, went on a walk and talked about prayer
  • We spent a day with the world's coolest Sister RM who joined us in three teaching appointments and also went dooring with us 
  • We tutored a cute 12-year-old girl English
  • We accidentally slept in on Sunday because this whole daylight savings thing is still so foreign to me-- they don't have it in Arizona OR Hawaii
  • We went street finding in a beach town 

Quote of the Week:
Me: "I'm from a really hot place called Arizona."
12-year-old: "LIKE BELLA FROM TWILIGHT!!!!!!!" 

In 2002 Margaret D. Nadauld listed three things that describe a woman of faith:
  1. "A woman of faith trusts God and faces adversity with hope. She knows of His interest in her life."
  2. "A woman of faith is confident because she understands the divine plan of our Heavenly Father and her role to bless lives."
  3. "A woman of faith is fearless. She fears no evil, for God is with her."
 We have so much to aspire to.  In this life there are so many opportunities.... and though I am nervous for this next year because I don't know what the future holds for me... I do know one thing: that faith will carry me through.

I think of my role model, Esther.  In the face of absolute uncertainty, what did she do? She turned in faith to her Creator, willing to lay down everything (even her life) with the hope and the trust that His way was best.  

               Sister Lundgreen

Off The Deep End

My new companion, Sister Woolsey!

My new area, Singen, Germany, is a small industrial town where even it's own citizens make musical puns. 

From just about every point in the city, one can view the castle ruins perched on the towering slope... and as a backyard workout we took a jog through the woods. 

Many of the villages in our area thrive off the Bodensee, a beautiful glassy lake lapping at the feet of the hills. We thought we'd make the best of it when we missed our return train and did personal study on the beach! 

Some evidence that transfer week just kind of wrecks us missionaries:
1. A couple days of soreness
2. Having to literally take my contacts out of my eyeballs slyly in the middle of ward council because they were so dry from tiredness that I couldn't see anyway.... I put them in my purse pocket LOL 
3. One day when we were just on the bus I had the strong feeling that we should turn around back home and check the stove.... yeah turns out I had left it on high heat and we would have literally not gotten home for another 8 hours 

Some more fantastic things:
1.   We traveled to Zurich for a multi-stake Relief Society conference AND I SAW MEINE TOCHTER SISTER SLACK AGAIN OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE HER. she is literally as old on the mission as I was when I started training her.

2.  At the conference we learned Swiss songs and let me tell you I don't speak that language. But ok Swiss German sounds like the Scottish version of Deutsch
3.  Sister Woolsey has the mutual dream of moving to San Clemente, CA 
4.  I feel so welcome in this branch! 

One summer morning when I was 8 years old, my mom received a phone call. As she conversed in hushed, panicked tones with the person on the other line, I eavesdropped from the staircase and tried to piece together what was happening. 

One thing was clear: something had happened to Daddy.

He had left before the break of dawn to hike with the scouts in the desert mountains.  Somewhere along the path, the rocks gave way and he fell off the cliff.

It felt like a very long time before I got to see him again. When I finally got to visit him at the hospital, his face was swollen and cheekbone horrifyingly purple. His left foot was casted. To state it simply, he did not look well.

I remember my mom tucking me into bed one night and telling me that my father might never be able to walk properly again.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought about all the fun times we had raced up the stairs and how we could no longer do that together. (I of course had no realization that, initially, the scouts who had witnessed his fall didn't even know if he was going to survive.) 

It would be a long road to recovery, but as his shattered foot slowly healed, my little 8-year-old faith grew. My sister and I would join him on the couch helping stamp business cards for his dental office, and he would talk to us. What a role model he was.  For me, his faith was so simply stated that there was no doubt in my mind that he knew God and angels were watching over him. He told of priesthood blessings, spiritual promptings and reflected stories of miracles - and there were many, might I add - which along the way had saved his life, reduced his pain, and aided in recovery. I could only giggle as he recounted how shocked the doctors had been when they realized the miracle of his healing process. "But it's impossible," they had said, and shook there heads when my faithful daddy replied, "Nothing's impossible for God." He knew it, and I knew it too. There was absolutely no denying it. The wonders were simply too real, and for the next many years of my life that was something that absolutely impacted me.  

Over a decade later, I can say that I am so glad I was "born of goodly parents."  Many people discredit us young missionaries when they find out we are preaching the religion of our parents... as if we only believe it because they told us to believe it.  But I can say with honest vigor that I am grateful for my parents' example and for the way with which they displayed their faith.... they didn't just teach the gospel, they LIVED IT.  They helped us learn how to see the works of God around us and how to develop testimonies of our own.  My greatest hope is to be able to help others -- whether it be those I meet on the mission or my own future children -- the way that my own parents truly helped me. 

Love Always,
Sister Lundgreen

So Long, Farewell

It has been quite the adventure in the 2000-year-old Roman city of Augsburg... but for these April showers I'm prepared for Singen in the rain


Ok, my sense of humor has seriously depleted on my mission. Yes, I am getting transferred to Singen, which is down south in Baden-Württemberg (where a number of my ancestors were born).  Since it is in the Zurich zone, I will likely be traveling often to Switzerland.  

Summary of my week: We set more appointments for my last ten days in Augsburg than we have had the past several months (combined?).  This seems to be a trend because that happened in Vienna as well haha. It has been way cool getting to meet so many people from different religious backgrounds! We also got to attend 2 baptisms, and roleplay with the youth on how to answer tough questions. 



  • how to clean a cat who is too fat to clean himself 
  • how to talk with strangers on the phone
  • how to botch a cake (for example forgetting the baking soda)
  • how to more comfortably public speak in German 
  • how to confuse people with your accent because they think you're sharing an ocean message instead of an Easter message  
  • how to make dooring fun 

Last night I had a dream that it was August.  It was less than 24 hours after I had stepped off the plane and I was at the Safeway behind my house... grocery shopping like a normal person with a normal life.  As I rounded 'bout the produce aisle I just started bawling-- it hit me!  The mission was over! 

It's funny because, to be completely honest, I have always looked forward to going home... not in the "homesick" sense but in the way of like "ok it will be awesome seeing my family / being a normal person again." But I felt so relieved waking up from the dream realizing that I was still in Germany with this calling.  

So put aside the exhaustion, the dirty looks, or the feelings of inadequacy when people tell me my German is bad.  Forget the days and even weeks of seemingly fruitless labor or the heartbreak when someone says they don't want to meet anymore. I LOVE THIS CHANCE THAT I HAVE HAD TO BE A MISSIONARY. Yes it is the hardest thing I have ever done... but it has changed my whole life.  My testimony has been strengthened, my endurance built, my perspectives changed.  So I am happy that I DO have these next few months, because no matter what, it is so wonderful just being able to work for 18 months with the sole purpose of bringing others (and myself!) closer to Christ. 

Love Always,

Sister Lundgreen

A few pictures from our district P-Day in Munich last week:

The Grand Ding-Dong Odyssey

Day 366 of being a missionary began bright and early on the train, a stash of oatmeal cookies most definitely stowed away in our purses.  We joined the elders and headed for an hour across the plains from Augsburg to Donauwörth and Donauwörth to Möttingen. 

    "The travel plan was wrong!" one of the missionaries panicked. "The bus to Oettingen isn't running!"
    "We could take the train to Nördlingen instead... It's not too far from here, close to the edge of our area. But the next train doesn't even come for another hour!" 
    "I don't see a problem with that," my findingtastic companion replied. "We're here to share the gospel with everyone!"

    And so the day began spontaneously in a small village, where every house had an aggressive guard dog but every person who turned us away was extremely nice.  

   Once we arrived in Nördlingen, we climbed the ancient fortification wall (complete with arrow-shooting niches and everything) on the way over to a cheap lunch, and then we split up.  

Although the historic city center was quaint and colorful, the outside suburbs were industrial.  Door to door we went, smiles wide, Book of Mormon in hand, ready.  Street to street we knocked, doing this crazy thing because the joy the faith has brought us is something we want to share. 

   "Hello, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ and we--" 
   "Children," the lady interrupted, wagging her finger.  "You cute little girls. No.  You can go along and visit other people, but not me."  Alright then.
Some other responses, which I COULD ACTUALLY 100% UNDERSTAND:
-   "That's alright, I'm not super interested. I was in the middle of my afternoon nap."     -   "Oh thank you! But I can't right now, I'm about to take so-and-so to the hospital."
Yet a different woman and her son invited us in.  We shared an Easter video and offered our service, and though she was devout in her own her own faith and had no interest, she was incredibly kind and offered us water.
   After a couple hours we caught another train on which we chatted with some young guys from Pakistan who were extremely excited about the fact that I am American, haha.  "Which state are you from: New York or California?" (As if those are the only two.) We invited them to our sport night, so of course another guy who had apparently been listening in on us asked if he could also join.  The more the merrier!

   We exited the train out in the rolling country hills and crossed the gurgling creek over to the teeny-tiny town of Katzenstein (translation: catstone).  Katzenstein has surely never seen missionaries before and still exists probably for the sake of its geese products. We rang every doorbell before strolling back over the little bridge to the adjacent village, which is overlooked by a magnificent castle.  By the time the train came to pick us back up, energy still surged through me and I could have continued on for hours.  Forget the rejection!  Forget the hours spent on foot! There are some days when no matter what, the love of the gospel just overpowers all.  

   But we headed back to Augsburg before the sun could slip down beneath the Bayrische-forested horizon.  The day ended with some studies and a big-ole scoop of Mozart-Kügel gelato.  

Oh, the life of a missionary.

Love Always,
Sister Lundgreen

Some pics from last week's District P-day in Munich:


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