Monday, December 30, 2013

"I Am So Blessed!"

Dear Family-

Hey! So the college library we usually go to is closed today so we only have an hour to email. Next week I will tell you more about this week but I just wanted to thank you for the presents! I loved them. The Duck Dynasty shirt is awesome and the boots are cute. I've already worn all my shirts! :) Thanks for being the best and thank you for "H". I got her package for her too and she loved the rose. She was just so touched and just awestruck we even could give that to her. So, thank you for being a little miracle to someone else on Christmas that you have never met. Um, I don't really know what to say about this week except that it was the greatest gift in the world to be able to talk to you guys. Man, I promised myself I wouldn't cry but I could not hold it together. I am even getting teary eyed right now! But, I just want to thank you for being the best family ever. Don't know how I would ever get by out here without the support that you give me. Anytime things get hard I just remember who I've got on the sidelines so to speak and I just keep on keeping on :) Right, Mom? I love you guys so much and I just need you all to know that.

We had to teach gospel principles this week. Man, I feel like I am not a very good teacher. I don't know....it was just weird especially since Sister Richardson and I don't really know how to work together yet and if the Elders hadn't been there I don't think I would have been nervous at all. But, I look up to Elder Banks and Elder Wonderli so much. They are amazing missionaries. But ya it went well, I think, but I almost had an anxiety attack right before but "H" helped get everyone participating.

I have been having a hard time a little bit. The work has been slow and...uhhh...it just has been really hard putting in a lot of work that doesn't ever show. We had a correlation meeting this Sunday with the assistant ward mission leader and after we reported on our week he was like "How can we help you do better because you used to have a lot of investigators and essentially you now have hardly any." I just laughed and said I was sorry but many of our investigators got baptized or moved into the other ward because of the boundary change. I feel like Sister Fisher left and then it just looks like I lost complete control of the area and I don't really know what to do, I guess. Like, I can keep being obedient and we can knock on all the doors and visit all the people we want and do all we can but...I don't know. It's been a struggle. But, I'm happy and that's the thing. Deep down I know I am happy and I didn't think I could ever love people so much. That love for people has really spread to just realizing how much I love you all at home as well. Even though I wasn't with my family on Christmas and I didn't get to open presents on Christmas and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" for the 100th time, (haha) it was the best Christmas I have ever had because I know what really matters now. Like, I got it. I've figured it out and I'm still working on getting the whole meaning of Christmas but man, it's been such an amazing year. Look how far I've come! I'm realizing my love for my Savior more and more each day. I AM SO BLESSED!

I love you all so much and I can't wait for this new year and all the fun that is to come!

Love your daughter and missionary-

Sister Lundskog

Monday, December 23, 2013

"These Are My People"

Dear Family-

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Can you believe it is Christmas Eve tomorrow? What? Where did the time go? Well, I wish I had a lot of cool, exciting stuff to tell you from this week but this week was actually worse than last week. Funny how that works. But, I am still happy to be a missionary and I love everyday being here, no matter how hard it gets.

So, I will start with Monday. Monday after we were done emailing, Sister Fisher and I were not feeling good but we had sooooo much to do. We went back to our apartment because Sister Fisher had to pack all of her stuff up and I had to pack all of mine because we were going to be moving apartments. We got to the apartment and Sister Fisher went into the other room and laid down on the bed because she did not feel good. I wasn't feeling good at all but I felt a lot more overwhelmed than her because I had to have everything of mine packed as well as everything in the apartment ready to go by Wednesday for my new companion to move into. I would pack and then I would have to stop and rest for a bit. I had super bad chills and my body hurt and I was so nauseous. I felt like I was getting strep all over again like last fall in Utah. It was horrible. Then, finally Sister Fisher got up and I couldn't take it anymore so I went and laid down for a half hour while she packed her stuff. To make things worse, when we left the STLs apartment that morning we accidentally grabbed their phone and left ours in their apartment. So, we went to Sister "M's" and called the AP and got permission for me to drive because Sister Fisher looked like she was going to pass out and I didn't care that I was sick too. I didn't want her to drive. It was a good thing because we would have been dead cause she was back seat driving me the whole time but everything she was saying was wrong. haha We weren't able to get a hold of the STLs but we left a message and we drove to their apartment and tried to open their sliding door but it was locked and they weren't home. So we slept in our car for three hours. Well, Sister Fisher slept and I couldn't sleep because my whole body would not stop shaking and we had like no gas left so we couldn't keep the car on and I just wanted to die. Anyway, the STLs finally came home and we went inside and went straight to bed. We just passed out. We took some medicine that helped and on Tuesday the STL took our phone and canceled all our morning appointments for us and made sure we slept so we slept in till 11am which was so needed. We were feeling a lot better and I still don't know what it was we had but we were able to finish all of Sister Fisher's packing (this girl brought her house with her....hahaha...SO MUCH STUFF). Then, we went out to dinner with Sister "M" and the STLs for Sister Fisher's last night here. We went to some restaurant that makes their own sodas. Sister Fisher and I had not eaten since Monday morning and I initially thought "This is awesome. I feel great." NO I didn't hold any of my dinner down. I know that's gross (Sorry) and Sister "M" is the craziest driver. Super fast and jerky. I finally had to yell out to her "Sister M, if you don't slow down, you're gonna have throw up all over your car." She laughed but she slowed down which was nice and then the rest of the night I felt awful again. But, I am good now! YAY!
Dinner with Sister "M" and the STLs on Sister Fisher's last night
Sisters for life
Goofing around with the STLs
On Wednesday, we had transfer meeting which was cool to go to one where I wasn't the greenie. There were lots of people there that I got to see. I had fun and I met Sister Richardson. She is from Price, Utah and she went to the University of Utah and she is 21. I kept losing both Sister Richardson and Sister Fisher. I forgot how crazy the parking lot is after everyone is trying to move their stuff from one car to another and especially the sisters. Holy cow, did you need to bring your whole house? Seriously, girls pack a lot and I am soooo glad I was a light packer. Anyway, I definitely cried saying bye to Fisher and I miss her like crazy. She was such a good friend to me and we are going to be sisters for life. That is so true. I hope all is well with her out in Fayette. She is driving a truck now and is in a branch instead of a ward. haha

Anyway, Sister M took Sister Richardson and I out to lunch after the transfer meeting and I ate a little and then I decided that wasn't a good idea. We had to go back to our apartment and move all of our stuff to the old elder's apartment. I am still in the same apartment complex, just a different building. The assistants had the mission van and they just came over to help us. They are the coolest guys. They are so nice and help us out so much. Of course, Elder Banks is always making fun of me but it's okay cause I give him a hard time back. This is his last transfer! Anyway, it took forever to move everything over because we had to take all the beds and the microwave and everything. Then we went and had to go grocery shopping and then came back to clean the apartment. Let me tell you, I will never move into an apartment that elders used to live in ever again. Seriously disgusting! Like, come on, that's so gross. We spent three hours cleaning and hardly got anything put away before it was time for bed. I was so annoyed.
Our new apartment

Sister Richardson and I in our new apartment
On Thursday, we had four appointments scheduled and every single one of them got canceled. What made it so hard is that Sister Richardson came from an area that had 21 investigators to our area that has 4. She let me know how she felt about it and man, I got so defensive of my area. These are my people. They may be a little rough around the edges and come off as hard to love but look at their lives. Most people here are working 2 or 3 jobs just to feed their family. All they know is drugs and gangs and honestly I bet at least 1 or 2 out of five people here know someone who has been shot. Most people here don't have good families or any support system. Life is hard. There are no jobs and things don't come easily. This isn't Poplar Bluff where everyone just lives on government money and lives in government paid homes and don't have any jobs so you can stop by at anytime and see them because everyone opens their door in the country. I didn't realize how much I loved these people until I felt like it was being threatened and I did get a little feisty in my retort. But, it wasn't too bad, no hard feelings. We went out all day Thursday and all day Friday and all day Saturday knocking on doors. We would go to a less actives home and try to visit them. Then we can knock on all the doors around their home. Then, we went to the next less active or part member home. We tried to visit all our referrals. No one answered their doors. No one is home for the holidays. No one wants to talk to you during the holidays and for most people here it's not different than any other week and they are just at work and not home. So, that was fun....but I kept a positive attitude. We spent a lot of time with recent converts and tried our best to see all those we could. It's gonna work out, it always does. I know without a doubt that Christ is right there with us. When I get on my knees at night to tell Him about my day and how frustrated I am, I know He gets it. He is there and He gets it. I don't have to worry. I can sleep at night now because I gave what I could and I know that something will come of every effort we make. Maybe something won't come as in a new investigator or a baptism down the road. Maybe what will come is a stronger testimony of hard work or maybe it will make us better companions or maybe we will get better at door approaches or maybe nothing will come but freezing fingers and toes and zeros for our numbers at the end of the day. But, man, I do love being a missionary. What could be greater than this? I love these people so much and I don't want anyone to feel alone this Christmas. I am so thankful that you sent that rose for "H". She is going to be so happy. I told her that you guys were sending something and she got excited and she said "that will be my only Christmas present this year."

I love "H" so much. Honestly, her story and what she has done for me and for others and I don't ever want to hear someone ever say that they won't accept the gospel because of something bad. "H" had every horrible thing that could possibly happen in this life happen to her and she still believes in God and she accepted the gospel. You should see what it is doing for her. You can not deny the love of Christ that comes from this gospel. It changes lives. It is changing mine and I am so happy. No matter how hard it gets, I am happy.

We also finally got that Arabic Book of Mormon in! We put a little bow on it and took it over to "A's" home. We gave it to her and she looked so happy and she asked if we could come back later. We did and we were finally able to have another lesson with her! It was so awesome. We just had a lesson on the Book of Mormon and her 14 year old daughter translated for us. We asked her to read and pray abut it and she said that she would. She told us that she had already started reading it since that morning and I just love her family. She has a son that is Justin's age and one that is 11 and they are so funny. We invited their family to church (they didn't come) but they were so excited to come. I really hope we can find a way to overcome this language barrier. I want her to have the gospel so badly! Crazy how quickly you fall in love with people!

So funny story of the week. We were getting home Thursday night and we were walking up to our apartment and there was this guy there and I just said hello and we went into the apartment. Twenty minutes later, there was a knock on our door so I answered it and it was him and he was so high it wasn't even funny. He asked if he could borrow our phone to call his friend. I gave him our phone and his friend didn't answer. I started saying goodbye and shutting the door and he said "Wait, by chance do you have a boyfriend?" I just started laughing because I was so caught off guard. I said "No, I don't but as missionaries we don't date anyone." He laughs and said something along the lines of "I didn't say anything about dating" or "We don't have to date". I just laughed and was like "Sorry, Dude, I'm serving the Lord and only the Lord right now" and he just laughed and said "Aw, I see". I said goodbye and shut the door. Thirty minutes later he come back but we did not answer the door this time. haha I was laughing forever after. I thought it was the funniest thing and I am so glad he was high so I won't have to deal with him because he probably won't remember our encounter.

Also, I got an email this morning from some random missionary. He is serving in England and he saw my profile on Mormon.org and thought he would email me. This is the third time that has happened! Oh my lanta!

I can't wait to see you all in two days! Yay! I am so excited to Skype and get to talk to you. You guys are so awesome and I hope all is well and I will hear from you soon!

Love-Sister Lundskog

PS. Oh, you asked why I sometimes sign "Sister Lundy". Some members here call me Lundy because no one can ever say my name. They call me Lundy or they just point at me and say "You" or "Sister" so that is fun.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Leaky Ceilings and Learning to Follow

Dear Family-

It is so good to hear from you and I am so happy everyone is doing well! Sounds like Allie is having a blast and you guys had a great time in Mexico! I am really happy you got to have a fun vacation. I bet it was warm. I'm so jealous. We got 5 inches of snow this week and it's been really cold. I know five inches isn't a lot but if you add humidity and wind chill, it's a whole other story. It's really hard to stay warm in a skirt!

This week has been extremely rough. Honestly struggled a lot. One thing after another fell apart. The week started good. On P-day we were supposed to go ice skating but the zone leaders (this is why guys shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of activities) didn't plan very well and the ice skating rink didn't even open till 4pm and P-days end at 6pm. We played games at the church instead and then all of us sister missionaries spontaneously decided to go ice skating. It was fun. It was Sister Fisher's first time and I have some pretty funny pics and videos. SHE FELL ALOT! haha I only fell once and that was because Sister Scott skated into me but I actually did pretty good for how long it has been since I've skated.
Ice Skating with my zone sisters

Sister Fisher and I are best friends!

This is how Sister Fisher spent most of her time at the rink  :)
The one good thing that came this week is we got a new investigator. Her name is "S" and she is from Africa. She has been in the US since 2001 and has lived everywhere! Florida, Cali, New York, North Carolina. She has visited Portland. A member brought her to church which was awesome and she totally wanted to meet with us. The bad thing is that when we came for our second lesson she was sick so she didn't really want to listen to us so we kept it super short. It was just kinda sad cause we were pumped cause our first lesson had been such a powerful lesson. But, I guess that's the way it works sometimes.

So, here's the embarrassing story of the week. We had a dinner appointment with the elder this week. Remember that the elders in our ward are the APs. So we were at this tiny table and Elder Wunderli was sitting next to me and we were sitting super close and Sister Fisher was on my other side. Anyway, I was brushing off my skirt and I touched his leg. Inside, I was freaking out. I mean, everything went through my head....completely unlikely stuff like "Oh my gosh they are going to send me home!" I was panicking because they already make me kind of nervous. After, when we walked out I was like "I am so sorry for hitting you" and he just busted up laughing. Ya, they just made fun of me but I felt really bad. haha

This week we lost almost all of our investigators and potentials. Three moved. One's wife told us if we came back she would call the cops on us. One of our investigators, "S" is going to the Elders cause he is actually in their area. His baptism was supposed to be this Saturday but it fell through again. We have been doing so much contacting of less actives and part members and no one is ever home. Every appointment we set fell through. Our numbers this week made it look like we hadn't done anything all week but we tried. Then I found out that my best friend from the MTC went home because she was super sick and that broke my heart. It was just super rough and then it snowed which made it cold and it caused some problems in our apartment.
Helping Sister "H" decorate her tree
On Friday, our ceiling started leaking. It was leaking from the light fixture right over my bed. So we hurried and moved everything. My bed was soaking wet and so we called maintenance. They came over and the water in the light was super hot so he could not get the light off so he just told us he would come back once it cooled down but that no one would probably be there till Monday. He leaves and never comes back. On Saturday, our ceiling and the par where the walls come together started to bubble and now water was leaking from there. But, it hadn't gotten too bad so we thought we were okay. Anyway, we left the whole day and then we came home at 7 or 8pm and we opened the door and our bucket is overflowing. We freaked out because there was a steady stream coming from the light and dripping from the ceiling and the walls are soaked. We hurried and emptied the bucket and called the on call dude and he said he would be there in 20 minutes. In the meantime, we were talking to "H" who is like our mom and she freaked on us. She told us we needed to turn all the lights off now and unplug everything. She said that we were going to have an electrical fie from the water being on the exposed parts of the wire. We then called the mission office and they told us to pack to leave and take all our valuable stuff because the apartment could really go up in flames if anything sparked it. So we packed frantically in the dark getting the clothes that we could and then the maintenance guy came and said he couldn't do anything till Monday and we couldn't stay there. He turned off all our electricity and stuff. All our food has probably gone bad in our fridge now. Just a really, really stressful day. We are now staying with the STLs at their apartment. It has been fun living out of half a suitcase and sleeping on the floor.
Our little leak on Friday became....
...a larger leak on Saturday.
Saturday night was transfer calls but we were already with the STLs so they just told us. Sister Fisher is going to Fayette, MO and her companion will be my companion from the MTC, Sister Rouse. Sister Fisher's companion from the MTC will be my new companion, Sister Richardson. She will be the senior companion. I didn't take that very well at all. I am a little upset that I couldn't stay positive but I honestly wanted to be called as a trainer. I felt like if I were called as a trainer then that meant I was a good missionary. Not being called as a trainer and having someone new come in as the senior companion made me feel so inadequate. I felt like I had not been a good enough missionary and I was upset. Sister Fisher had trained right after being trained and my "grandma", Sister Minyard, had trained right after being trained and all the way up my line and I seriously felt like a failure. I know this is super stupid and you probably won't all understand why I took it so hard but I have always been hard on myself and I wanted to be the best missionary ever. I just felt super inadequate. It's hard and super humbling to try and have faith that Heavenly Father is still proud of me and that He has a plan but I just want to be someone that is inspiring. I've always greatly admired those people and wanted to be one and that is hard for me to take. I guess Heavenly Father wants me to learn how to follow before I can lead. It's been an interesting and a hard experience trying to figure out what my strengths are. I see my weaknesses all the time but I can never see anything that I am good at. Having to go to church and having to tell everyone was hard. I guess it was a blow to my ego and I need to get over that....haha. I care too much about what people think of me.

It was a rough night cause I only had that small purple blanket that isn't long enough to cover me all the way so I laid on their floor curled up in a tiny ball just freezing to death! I did not sleep at all on Saturday night and then on Sunday I felt so sick. Right now I'm trying to fight a cold but I also have been getting nauseous so let's pray I am not getting sick!

I love you all so much. I am glad you are all doing well. It makes me so happy to hear. Thanks for having my back, especially when times get rough.

Love-

Sister Lundskog

Monday, December 9, 2013

"Nothing will stop the work of the Lord"

Dear Family and Friends-

This week has been good but kind of slow. Our numbers were low so it felt like we didn't accomplish anything but we actually really worked hard this week. Everyone has their agency and we can only do so much for them. But, we did find new investigators this week. We are trying to organize our area and find all the less actives and part member families and figure out who everyone is and start cleaning out our ward list. We have been doing a lot of organizing and paperwork the last week or two and we finally have all of our lists complete. So, we started off at the top and went to go contact people which I have decided I hate doing. I am not very good yet at door approaches or first contacts with people. I just really struggle which was really frustrating this week but I am glad Sister Fisher is really good at it cause she has helped me out a lot. I don't know what I will do when she leaves. Anyway, we went to knock on this less actives door and this lady answers and she speaks hardly any English. We ask her her name and it is not the less active at all. Sister Fisher, bless her determined little heart, tries to start sharing a message with her and this lady is just not getting it. She hardly speaks any English. But, we were able to set up an appointment with her for later that day when her daughter would be home who could speak English. The whole time I was trying not to laugh. I mean....come on she wasn't understanding anything! I thought it was going to be a waste of time to go back. (You are obviously getting where this story is going and shame on me for lacking faith!) Anyway, we leave and go knock on some doors. I forgot what it is called but when you go visit someone you are always supposed to knock on the house next door on both sides and the three across the street. So, we did that. Oh, did I mention it snowed this week? It was 20 degrees with 90 percent humidity plus it was windy and I wanted to die. I didn't like it at all but I suggested we keep knocking on doors so we did. Anyway, we left and went to our other teaching appointments and came back to her house at 5pm.

She let us in and her son came out (he is 10) and he started translating for us. Then, her 16 year old daughter came out and was the translator and we learned their story. They are from Iraq and are Muslim. I was thinking "freak, this is going to be a hard lesson because Muslims are super solid in their faith. Anyway, we started teaching the restoration and it was a super powerful lesson. I felt like the 16 year old daughter, Nora, who claims she is not religious in any way actually seemed intrigued by the end of the lesson even though she tried to hide it. We then taught them how to pray and it was kind of funny because the daughter said "I'll do it" and we said "Awesome" and we taught her and her mom how to pray. We thought they were going to say it out loud but they said them in their heads and it was awkward. After the prayer, the mom said "I feel relief and I have goosebumps on my arms." That was the greatest testimony to me that regardless of who we are, we all deserve to be taught the gospel and nothing will stop the work of the Lord. Regardless of language and cultural barrier it will move forward and there are people who have been waiting and have been prepared to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ at this time. I fell in love with that family. Her two sons (8 and 10) were jumping up and down just pumped to come to church and the daughter was actually more receptive of the message than she really showed. It was a small and simple experience, yet was so powerful and extraordinary.

We were also able to pick up two new investigators this week. One of them is named Cornilles but he goes by Corn....funny right? Anyway, we are going to transition him to the elders because he is being just a little bit too flirty.  :) But "R" bailed on us on Sunday but we have an appointment with her tonight so hopefully all goes well! Her daughter lives on the other side of the city and is getting baptized so she could be super solid. I am excited.

Also, thank you so much for the Christmas decorations! We put our cute little tree up and put up all the ornaments and the little star. You seriously are the greatest! We still need to put the lights up around the window. This week has been crazy so we haven't been able to put them up yet. We will do that today.

This week I had my first zone conference. Yay....exciting! I guess five year ago they did a survey here in our mission and the survey is what helped create these books for stress management worldwide for missionaries. I guess our mission for some reason has the highest depression rate of any mission. We retook the survey because of the influx of girls (Sister Missionaries). In the survey before, they only had like ten girls represent it. So, I got to take the survey which is cool cause this survey is going to represent missionaries everywhere. They are really working on ways to help missionaries with their mental health these days, I guess. I am doing just dandy though so that's good! The conference was really cool. I love being with other missionaries. They are like your family. It took up almost the whole day though which was a bummer but it was nice we learned a lot.

Also, can you thank the Peters and the Tafuas for the birthday cards! They were so nice. The Peters also sent Sister Fisher one which was really cool of them.

Today we are going ice skating for a zone P-day which I am sooooo excited for. Also, it is super cool working alongside the APs. They have so many resources and they are always helping us out. They are the coolest guys and are really good missionaries. It's Elder Banks and Elder Wunderli. They are both from Utah. Elder Wunderli is actually from Alpine, Mom. Anyway, that has been fun learning a lot from them. They still intimidate me a little but that's okay. Also, can you believe this Saturday we get the transfer calls?! I am so nervous for what is going to happen! It's almost a guarantee we will be affected and I don't know if I am ready. At the same time, I cannot believe I have been out for three months. Seriously? Where has the time gone?

Anyway, I love you all so much. I hope all is well. You all amaze me and give me so much strength. I brag about having the best family all the time.  :)

Love -

Sister Lundy

PS. You know that gold rose that Dad got from his work? Does that have any sentimental value to you? We have this recent convert that we taught a little before she was baptized. She was in the other ward and then came to our ward with the boundary changes. Her name is "H" and we are super close to her. She has the most amazing life story ever. She was put into sex trafficking when she was around five in Mexico. She came to the USA while still in the trafficking and has had horrible, horrible things happen to her. She watched her dad murder her mom in front of her. She has been beaten and raped many times. She had five kids who were all murdered by her ex because he did not want to pay for child support. He is now St. Louis's most wanted and he is still not in jail. Because of Missouri laws, she went to jail for assisting in the murders because she "put them in danger" because she knew him. Her native American name is Sweet Rose and she made me some earrings that are dream catchers (she makes jewelry). She said it was to catch all the good things people say. I wanted to give her a gift and it would be cool to give here that rose but I don't want to do that if you guys want it or anything. It's just a thought.
Sister Fisher and I were given matching Superhero pajamas
"D's" husband is a mailman and he wears these boots that are super warm and waterproof. 
Heading out on our P-day to see Paint St. Louis...three miles of spray painted
graffiti walls!!

Paint St. Louis
Snoopy!
Look how big some of them are!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ukuleles and Peace

Dear Family and Friends-

Can you believe it is already December! Like hold up...Thanksgiving was this week? It feels like it was a month ago. Time is flying by and now I am officially old. Woo hoo to the new 20 year old on the block. I can no longer say I am a 19 year old missionary. Sad day!

So, I guess I'll start out with the beginning of the week. On Monday, our plans were cancelled and so we texted the STLs to see if they wanted to go out to lunch with us and they were down! We went to Panera, except I guess Panera was started here in St. Louis and it's actually called St. Louis Bread Co. here. Everywhere else it is called Panera. It was fun because they had Christmas decorations up and we got hot chocolate. AH, THE HOLIDAYS ARE HERE! We still have to take down our Halloween decorations in our apartment.

Also, I want to apologize because I did something kind of impulsive. I bought an $80 ukulele. :) I will send a picture but I am teaching myself how to play it and I love it but it is way harder than I thought it was to learn. Also, our mission cards for some reason were getting declined at the grocery stores last Monday. We still have to talk to the office about that cause we don't know why so I bought our groceries on my debit card. (I have more money than Sister Fisher and I kind of have a habit of using it but I paid for it so she didn't have to.) Sorry about all the crazy money spending lately but I promise I'll become a better budgeter. Sister Fisher has taught me a lot, trust me. I am a pro grocery shopper now!
My new ukulele
The other day we went and visited a less active named "M". She is from Germany and has had a really rough life. Her husband was in the military and was killed and her son committed suicide. Then her daughter took her name and information and racked up hundreds of dollars in debt and fraud. She is an amazing woman but is so afraid of the world and of people but she let us into her home and it was the most beautiful home. She makes EVERYTHING in her home. All the tables, chairs, couches, paintings, clocks, etc. Just beautiful work. Everything is beautiful vintage looking. She makes her own shoes too!! It was breathtaking to see how hard life has been to her yet she still praises God. It is such a blessing to know that the atonement can correct all things that are unfair in this life. Aren't we so overly blessed to know that? Doesn't it just make you want to share it with everyone?

Anyway, we potentially have a new investigator. His name is "A" and he was a referral from the elders. We have an appointment with him tonight which makes me super excited. I hope it is solid.

Thanksgiving....that was this week, right? Crazy how time flies. First off, we got up at 5am. Yes, you heard me correctly. We went to a breakfast at a less actives home. Her husband, "M2" used to be our investigator before the boundary changes. It was lots of fun. We got to meet a lot of people and she just kept feeding us and it was crazy. At one point, there were probably 40 people there (it was a come and go as you please kind of an open house) and her home can not fit that many people. But, we had fun and she made me eat way too much food and I wanted to die by 8am and we still had one more appointment to go to. Anyway, we helped her clean up once everyone was gone and then went home and took an hour nap and we were off again. We had our Thanksgiving with "L" who actually is an investigator we are trying to transfer over to the Webster Sisters but we are super close to her. She is the first investigator that Sister Fisher and I found together so she invited us over for Thanksgiving. It was amazing and she is an amazing cook. We had the classic turkey and mashed potatoes and everything and I loved it! Not as good as at home. Your Thanksgiving dinner will always be the best, Mom. :) But she did make Rhodes rolls...which I love. I also got to watch like 10 minutes of football which was great. Her brother was there who is a member so we had lots of fun talking to him and her son was there and was asking them all these questions. "L" is a solid investigator and I feel like her son would be a solid investigator too. It was a lot of fun to just enjoy being there and being friends and she was so grandmotherly. I just loved it. I was happy. I got my turkey and my rolls and some football. Perfect Thanksgiving.

Sorry, Mom. I know you wrote to not open the package until my birthday but I opened it the night before. Haha I couldn't wait and I knew we would be up and out of the house on Thanksgiving and so I wouldn't get to open it forever. I loved everything in it. Thank you so much! The cookies are already gone and Sister Fisher is wondering if she can have the recipe. She thought they were amazing. I love the sweater. I need sweaters now that it is getting cold and I'm running out of options for changing up all my clothes. I love the skirt too. It is a little big but that's alright cause I might gain some weight soon if people keep feeding us like they are now! And I love the picture book you made. It means a lot to me and I hope you know you could have just sent pics and I would have been fine. Thanks for making it all special. I carry it around with me. Anyway, it was a great bday. I missed y'all a lot but it was good and I was happy. The zone leaders, Elder Ray and Elder Southern, called and sang me happy birthday and the STLs, Sister Errington and Sister Minyard, took me out to ice cream on Saturday night. Well, they took me to Ted Drewes which is frozen custard that you can only get in the city of St. Louis and it is really good. It is really popular, I guess. There were A LOT of people there. Not as many as good ole Voodoo in Portland, though.  :)

Anyway, onto the most exciting thing of the week. "C" got baptized!!! Coolest experience ever. We never really taught "C", the Elders did. But when the boundaries changed she was now in our area and she already had a baptismal date set so really we just worked to keep preparing her for baptism. She didn't really need to be taught anything else. She is 21 and has an inspiring life story and I just love her to death! She is sassy and funny and her son, "B" is awesome. He is one and a half years old and a very dramatic child. I love playing with him. Anyway, when we went into the bathroom and she was getting ready to go into the font she started crying and said how she couldn't believe that all these people had come for her baptism. She didn't have really any family at all growing up. We saw how much it meant to her. I realized how the gospel is for people as a whole but it is also for the individual. We each find that part that alters our lives in such a way that we want to follow Christ. I truly saw how much God really loves each and every single one of us when "C" got baptized on Saturday. She was so anxious and so nervous and was scared but when she came back out of the water she cried and said, "I feel at complete peace." Isn't that the most wonderful thing about the gospel? The peace it brings to our lives in any moment and in any situation is remarkable. I mean, if you look how many times Christ say in the scriptures "Peace be unto thy soul". It's hundreds of times. We need not fear or be afraid. We don't need to be worrisome or nervous for the Lord is with us at all times, in all things, and in all places. Seeing the peaceful feeling taught me to allow myself to be at peace. I have finally come to the point where I don't want to go home. I am at peace here and honestly don't know how I will ever go back to living a normal life. I don't know how people do it. I am not ready for my mission to end and I already feel like I have such little time left and I've only been out three months! It is crazy the miracles our Heavenly Father works within us.
C's friend, "C", Sister Fisher, and I at "C" baptism

Two weeks ago I felt like I needed a blessing. But, as you know, I will refuse to ask for help from anyone and so I pushed the thought aside. But, this past week something felt really off. I was having a really difficult time breathing. When I stood up too fast, I would almost black out and when I would lie down, my feet would get all tingly like the circulation wasn't really working. When we were running from someone's house back to our car cause we were going to be late, I had the weirdest feeling in my arms. Like it was super painful and it felt like the blood wasn't circulating in my arms. On Sunday, I was really struggling to breathe and I just felt off and so finally I asked Sister Fisher if there was anyway we could ask someone to give me a blessing. So we asked the APs to come give me a blessing and I was extremely embarrassed and felt super silly but I knew I needed one. They probably thought I was crazy when I told them I was having trouble breathing. But, I had to let go of my ego because I needed a blessing. The minute he started talking the weird pressure and feeling in my chest left and I felt so relieved. I could breathe perfectly and it felt so much better and I knew how much I needed that and I wish I hadn't waited that long. It is funny because I feel like I trust my Heavenly Father but then I realize I have so much more to go. it was a really cool experience and definitely a faith building one...that's for sure.

Anyway, that's all I really have to share. It was a very slow week for teaching but our area is finally all organized! Yay!!

I love you all so much. Oh, here is a quote my ward mission leaders said the other day that I love.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall."

Love-Sister Lundy