July 24

Saturday, July 29, 2017

My heart is so full.  Lately I have just felt so much love... for the goodness of the gospel, the people, the work.  

It's interesting to think back to the hardest week of my mission, in the dead of winter when my spirit weighed heavily with sorrow and due to illness, my physical body weighed less than at age 15.  I opened my heart to everyone, sewing till the point of exhaustion and yet, there were no fruits to reap. 

My life had been going something like this:
  •  I felt like a failure of a trainer 
  • I received a heart wrenching email about the trials one of my siblings was experiencing
  • My body felt still so weak whilst recovering from bronchitis and the antibiotics
  • I still felt lingering guilt for not being able to talk to people about Christ during previous CHRISTMASTIME at which point I had been too ill to safely work. 
  • My landlady stayed in the apartment till 2:45 AM to patch the wall; the man who was supposed to show up at 8 to do subsequent repairs showed up 12 hours late.
  • The next day in my delirious state of exhaustion I felt terrified to go finding, and then when I finally worked up the courage to stop a guy on the street, I thought he would rip my head off (probably deserved it... it was sideways sleeting)
  • We got off the bus two villages too early and the lack of road names rendered our map useless as we wandered practically through the wilderness for 1.5 hours 
  • A woman we tried to compliment just turned around and gossiped about us to her friend as if we couldn't hear her.... right in front of us. Girls were always viciously judgmental on trams when they eyed us up and down. 
  • We had some really sketchy middle-of-the night experience that to this day I cannot explain 
  • If we were lucky enough to schedule an appointment with anyone, they bailed
  • And since we didn't have hardly any appointments ever, we got to have a lot of 6 hour dooring days in the bitter-cold snow instead. It was like walking on needles. 
  • Out of all those people we doored for all those weeks and weeks and weeks we didn't find a single one interested in the gospel 
At the time, life seemed like a dark tunnel that stretched on forever. I remember tears rolling down my cheeks as I wondered if I could possibly go on when it seemed like everything was only getting worse.

Now, I wish I could go back and talk to myself in this time when I had no hope at all:

Dear Kate.....Everything will be OK.....It will be SO good
Chin up, hun!

Now, over 1/2 a year later, it has been incredible push forward in the work of the Lord.  Lately I have had the most wonderful conversations with people on trains, spiritual teaching opportunities, and heart touching moments with those people who, through service, we come to absolutely love. Yesterday the chapel was filled with welcome strangers. We get to watch every day as people discover new paths and learn to find God! I feel so utterly happy.  

In those difficult times I could never have imagined that I would come to love the mission. In those times of excruciating homesickness and self-worthlessness it was so hard to think that all this would be for my good. But I know that now. It's incredible to look back and be able to recognize from a different viewpoint the tender mercies and miracles which the Lord was providing His weary daughter-- the entire time. He never left me. I know that now. 

Of course, there are always gonna be the notable notes:
  • a drunk man wandered into Sunday school. He was angry at us for not knowing Portuguese and snapped at Elder Andreason for "speaking English" when he was actually trying to speak to him in German. At one point during our lesson he came up to the board where Sister Harwood was drawing a diagram about the Nephites and the Lamanites, told her all up in her face that it was *explicit word* and then proceeded to take her marker and draw a new diagram with a bunch of wobbly circles before storming out of the church in tears. Huh?  
  •  There is some psycho with a chainsaw in the area bordering mine 
  •  We showed a film about the life of Christ to a young man from India (not Christian) and he told us afterwards "I AM SO EXCITED!"
  • Mission Leadership Council in Munich was FANTASTIC.  We sat in a circle like the Knights of the Round Table and helped EACH OTHER in trying to help improve our dear mission.
  •  Since the office forgot we live on the German side of the border, they ordered tickets for us to travel through Zürich. Also, we 12 missionaries missed our bus because we were at the platform of Bus 006 instead of X06 (same destination) so it was a mad scramble to make all new arrangements so we wouldn't have to spend a second night in Munich....the bus traveled through Austria, around Lichtenstein and into Switzerland, where we finally arrived in Zürich at about 10pm.  With two more trains to catch, we didn't get into Singen till about midnight.  ADVENTURE TIME   
  • A member taught us to make Marillenknödel and Käsespätzle
 "Belief and testimony and faith are not passive principles. They do not just happen to us. Belief is something we choose--we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it. We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior and His gospel any more than we will accidentally pray or pay tithing. We actively choose to believe, just like we choose to keep other commandments” (“Choose to Believe,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 38).

Liebe Grüße, 

Sister Lundgreen 

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  1. Singen is such a joyful place! It was a similar gift to Sister Kopischke (Henry) after some very challenging times. The people are so loving, and the area is so lovely. I'm really glad Sister Lundgreen has been blessed to serve there!

    1. Hi there,
      I wanted to let you know that when I was serving in Singen, the members there STILL talked about Sister Kopischke; the older Baier family keep her wedding announcement in a box of family photos!

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