Up the Stairs

Saturday, June 24, 2017

If we thought last transfer day was crazy-- just chilling in Zurich for 12 hours-- then boy were the past two days just a treat.  On Sunday we spent 7 hours traveling (on trains so crowded we had to stand for most of the time), dripping in sweat as we lugged around mammoth suitcases. Our 2nd train was so behind schedule that we missed our 3rd train; there were hundreds of people all packed in crowds as we  tried to maneuver down the stairs and back up to the next platform; a guy chewed me out for accidentally hitting him with my backpack when I had to dive down and catch a 70lb suitcase right before it tipped down the stairs onto an old lady.  Then our replacement train was so late that it had to switch platforms, so down the stairs and back up again we went.  It was always a dream of mine to ride one of those posh bullet trains; we stood in the narrow hallway, guarding the luggage like mother ducks and watching through the window as we zipped through a Bayern I didn't recognize-- one laden with summertime green. We even passed through Augsburg!   

Sister Saint Laurent is a CHAMPION.  I am so grateful for her example of strength, giving, and persistence.  We split up in Munich where she would go to the airport at 4 AM and where I would spend the night with my cute new comp, Sister Harwood.  

Sis Saint Laurent and I's week

  • For pday we visited the colorful lakeside Konstanz as well as the Island Mainau, developed by the Swedish King as a tropical paradise complete with French gardens, a pink palace, and a butterfly cage. 

  • Romanian ladies took our arms and we danced to their folk music
  • A woman insisted on plastering really expensive but way-too-white foundation onto my face. My comp was choking back laughter. 
  • We had to go to the hospital again to ensure she had no blood clots
  • We got conned into house arrest
  • Right when we thought it was time to leave a member's house, she whipped out her Essential Oils and gave my comp a massage. 
  • We obliterated more bricks
  • We fed off of each other's stress and one night just had panic attacks LOL
  • Her tablet deleted almost all of its data the morning before departure so we spent most of the time at church desperately trying to recover all her mission files before the train left. The church computer crashed in the process.  
  • We found light sabers in the apartment only AFTER we surprised our birthday boy Ward Mission Leader Ben(ji) AKA Jedi Master ObiWan Kanobi with a Star Wars cake, cause he calls us his Jedis  

  • PK shall be flying back to Provo and in his stead will come our new mission President CHRIS BROWN.   

The first time I ever desired to serve a mission was when I around 9 years old....at a Primary mission activity.  I remember Brother Wightman clad in his pilot uniform as we pretended to board an airplane to a foreign land; we were given sticker badges and listened in fascination as our leaders recounted tales of their best 2 years.  "I want to serve a mission in Australia like Sister Wightman!" I exclaimed to my parents.  
However, I was always on the fence. For sure, I wanted to serve a couple's mission when I retired, but serving as a young missionary? Here was my thought process as a tweenager: "Mom got married at 20.  21 is sooooo old, and worse, by time I get back I will be even older!  22 or 23! 
Of course, this could no longer be my excuse once the age change happened. "Think of the ladies we know who served missions," my mom said.  "Marla Arnold, Noelle Ray, Becky Menzie, Vicki Walker...They are all powerhouse women! This is your chance!" 
But could I really handle it?  I was always shy and introverted. Everyone always talked about how much rudeness and rejection missionaries faced, and that aspect certainly didn't appeal to my sensitive side.  
As I got older I really wanted to attend BYU-Hawaii and/or take a study abroad to experience living in magical cultured Europe, and was doubtful that I could squeeze that AND a mission into my perfect little timeline. 
Still though, my father and I would take night walks.  We recalled our service project in Peru, and the people who were so destitute.  This kindled a desire to serve people-- somehow.  I thought of Sister Carr or Sister VanWagoner who dedicated so much effort to the needy in Ethiopia.  But how could I go do such incredible service when I was so young? How could I change someone's life? I was stressed because I had given up my dreams of going into medicine,  and while I wanted to study graphic design, knew that this wouldn't be "fulfilling" enough for me. 
At 17 I began looking for answers.  I visited a website which finds you a random Bible verse with the click of a button. I also would attempt letting my scriptures fall to a page and see if God would give me an answer with the first paragraph my eyes rested upon. This was to no avail.  
In the late summer of 2014 I was driving back from a stake choir practice.  I was stopped at a red light when suddenly the Spirit just slugged me. "Katie, you can help people change their lives by serving a mission!" The impression was stronger than any I had ever felt, penetrating deep into my heart, the elation radiated outwards and I may or may not have yelped for joy.  I couldn't stop the smile.  No, perhaps I could not give people bread or fish.... but I could offer them manna of spirit.  The gospel. Of course! 

Sister Lundgreen 
P.S. Sister Harwood and I figured out that we are both INFJ personalities (that's supposedly only 1% of the world population yet we got paired together), we both draw, write books, love history, and going on adventures! 

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts