Friday, April 14, 2017

The first thing that I will miss about serving a mission in Europe is the cultural variety.  

Today for P-day we will visit the preRoman city of Überlingen, where I hope to dive into the quintessence of beautiful Germanic culture. But here in the Alpine Mission, we get a taste of so many other parts of the world-- and not just food wise, though yes there is another Turkish döner shop on every block.  Within our branch alone, there are people from multiple countries, and my favorite thing is just getting people to talk about their homeland.  

This week, I loved seeing a woman light up with excitement when we surprised her with a Book of Mormon in Croatian. Another day we transitioned over from the struggle of a four-year-old translating, to his mother suddenly being able to watch the new Easter video in Arabic.  How neat was that! 

Notable Notes:
  • Our branch president lives in a fairytale village
  • My stomach rumbled and Sister Woolsey thought it was the phone going off #iamalwayshungry
  • We saw a couple walking their naked hairless cat 
  • Ever since moving from Austria to Germany I have seen way too many cars driving on the sidewalk
  • Speaking of sidewalks, there are seriously not enough here. Often times you're just walking on the road 
  • A choir from some of the Swiss stakes drove up to sing and IT WAS GORGEOUS

My lovely companion, Sister Woolsey
Quote of the Week:
Everyone said that after the year mark things start to speed up, and I didn't believe it until it happened to me.  This week it kind of just hit me like a ton of bricks and I became quite honestly disheartened at the idea that I might just go home in August feeling completely unsuccessful. I truly was starting to feel like a useless missionary.
So after an appointment in a neighboring town, we decided to catch a random bus and find a new place to go dooring.  "Tell me if you feel impressed to get off anywhere," Sister Woolsey said, but instead of listening for a spiritual prompting, I ended up making us hop off spontaneously because I panicked when I realized that we were getting further from civilization.  

So next thing you know, we were basically stranded in the middle of nowhere: forests on one side, rows and rows of factories on the other. Worse, we could find no return bus that would even take us back to the train station.  I was kicking myself.  "Why on earth would I have us get out here? At some point the bus would have flipped around and driven back through the neighborhoods!" I felt bad for wasting our time as we now began to walk for quite a while on an empty path.  Finally we managed to find two houses; knocked; no interest.  We climbed a forested hill to find another house; no one home.  Finally over the hill we could see some more homes clustered together, so we started walking for a bit and rang the first doorbell we saw in this totally-random neighborhood.  

We were about to leave when the door opened.  The lady smiled and offered us drinks out in the backyard.  A huge dog lapped at our heels as we, stunned, sat down at a picnic table.  Although excited (and grateful for the orange juice), I honestly expected it just to be a case of a nice, hospitable woman taking pity on two stranger girls working out under the sun.  I thought she would let us show our little video and then usher us back out on our way.
But no.  She literally told us that she had been on the search for the right church for two years.   We were there for probably 45 minutes, answering her questions, teaching of the restoration and testifying in our broken German of those gospel principles which have blessed our lives.  When it was time to go, she was seriously so sweet that she drove us to the train station so we wouldn't have to walk!  As it turns out, she also comes originally from one of my previous areas.
I don't know what will come of it.  I hope she will come to church like she said she would, and that we can meet with her again.  But who knows what will happen! 
It was just such a valuable learning experience for me.  Upon our return to Singen, Sister Woolsey and I got on our knees and just poured out our hearts in gratitude. 

I truly think that Heavenly Father can work with imperfect people like us, and that there are no accidents.  He will put us on the right paths, as long as we just have the faith to keep walking and keep trying.

Liebe Immer,
Sister Lundgreen

Sister Price emailed this to me....  I am famous :)

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