Thursday, June 29, 2017

 I've made up my mind: the Alpenländische Mission is the prettiest mission in the world. Forget the humidity so thick it rests on your skin like a fog-- Baden Württemberg is in full summer bloom, a rich emerald green down from its rolling country hills to the lush Black Forest. Villages dawn a traditional look, with cobblestone streets and colorful wood-paneled cottages as picturesque as the Middle Ages. A treat for a hot day? Fresh cherries sold at a streetside stand. 

Notable Notes: 
  • I keep having nightmares about going home and missing the work 
  • A lady heard my accent and thought I was from Yugoslavia
  • The occasional 2 showers daily make up for the lack of showers in the winter when our heater was insufficient for our freezing, wet scalps. I comfort myself with how nasty/humid/smelly/hot it is, by reminding myself of those days when we wore 6 layers of everything and still felt like we were walking on frozen needles haha
  • For the second time on my mission, I had to call the police at 9PM because of bloody murder screaming outside my apartment 
  • We hiked up to sandstone caves 
  • An elderly man asked me if I "even knew" who Beethoven or Mozart were
  • New favorite form of finding: a survey! Whether on the street or at the door, people are much more open for discussions! 
  • This week we had some lovely, spiritual lessons
  • And a street display in my favorite city, Überlingen
  • As well as some days of no one hearing us out on the street / being hung up on

Some things that will be weird about leaving Germany:
  • No more super picky trash/recycle organizing 
  • No more Catholic bell towers to tell the time 
  • No more streets in one town being named after other towns a few KM over (it's confusing)
  • No more paying for water/restrooms 
  • No more sleeping on trains 
  • No more waking myself up at 2AMwith my brain rapid-firing German thoughts 
  • No more black-out shutters build into every window frame
  • No more cigarette smoke in every public place
  • No more pretzels at every corner bakery, nor sweet mustard
  • No more casually asking the guy on the bus which country he is from. 
  • No more dirndl/lederhosen worn NBD to special events 

A few weeks ago we sat in on an interview of a member couple. Although born in Germany in the early 1930s, their primary language is Russian. As children, the Russians entered their village....gave the people just enough time to gather a few loaves of bread...and then loaded them up on a train and shipped them to Kazakhstan. There they were social outcasts, treated as pigs, forced into the land of foreigners who didn't want them there. They were deprived of an education and as children never learned how to read. Hunger was a constant companion, and in a desperate state of starvation their parents would send them begging from door to door. "People don't understand the price of bread," they whispered, their faces pained at the idea of the food thrown away. It was only 20 years ago that they were allowed to return to Germany. The decades-awaited Freedom is sweet, but now even the tongue of their forefathers is hard to speak! 
For me it was an incredible and a humbling experience. 
Sometimes I think about what it means for me to have come on a mission.  Mostly I think about all the people I would have never otherwise met.  It is a a big wide world, and all of these children of God have a story to tell. I'm so grateful that I could hear just a few!

Sister Lundgreen 

PS Saying goodbye to President and Sister Kohler!!

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