Monday, January 13, 2014

No Strangers and No Outcasts

Dear Family-

Thank you so much for the "warmth" package. You went way overboard! I loved everything in it. Thank you for the tights. The brown made it possible for me to wear more of my other skirts and stay warm and match so that was good! It sounds like we might have another storm come in so thank you for the extra warmth.

This week was absolutely crazy! On Sunday we had 10 inches of snow. On Monday it was -4 degrees. Today it is 50 degrees, sunny, and all the snow is melted. St. Louis is so bipolar! But people here tell me that is because we are in the middle of the US and so we get all the winds that come from all over. Right ow we are just having a warm front move in and then we should are supposed to get hit with another cold front so that should be fun. I just hope I don't get sick again. I have been taking lots of vitamin C.

This week was an amazing week for service opportunities but not so much for teaching opportunities. We spent the whole first part of the week pushing people out who were stuck and shoveling homes. It is funny cause St. Louis always gets snow but they haven't had this much snow for like years. But they always get a little bit. This is by far the most unprepared city for snow in the world. haha They do not have enough snow plows to get around to all of the city. The main big streets (Grovis, Morgan Ford, and Chippewa) were not even plowed until Tuesday or Wednesday. But, the little tiny streets do not get plowed. We had to go into the city to work on Tuesday and the two people we were trying to visit weren't even home but we ended up spending 2-3 hours driving around and just pushing people out who got stuck. It was so much fun. I don't know why I thought it was so much fun but I literally had a blast! It was freezing and our feet were just soaking wet but I was so happy. A lot of people turned us down cause we were girls and we actually helped a lot of men but they were like super embarrassed. It was funny! Embarrassing story...we got out to help this guy and he didn't even really want to acknowledge us but Sister Richardson told him what to do because she is from Utah and knows how to drive in the snow. (Another blessing: good thing I wasn't senior comp cause I would not have been able to drive in what we had. I had so many mini heart attacks when she was driving. The Lord knows what he is doing!) Anyway, we run to the back of his car to push him and, in my defense, the spoiler was already broken and had been fixed super crappy. I pushed on the fin or spoiler or whatever you call it and it broke again! It snapped off! I was freaking out. I felt so bad but he just drove off once he was unstuck so I couldn't say anything! But, we did help a lot of other people. This one lady kept getting stuck every time we walked away so we literally pushed her up a whole street. haha It was great. Man, if you want a good work out, go shovel some snow. That kicked our butts into shape!

On Wednesday, Elder Banks, Elder Wunderli, and Elder Jones (my district leader) were all sick so that $33 at Target that you asked about was all medicine and soup and stuff for them. They called and just asked if we had anything and so we went out and bought them a bunch of stuff. Anything I can do to help and make their lives easier. They are much better now which is good!

Then, we shoveled more snow cause it snowed again. Since then, Sister Richardson and I have been tracting like nobody's business. We are determined to find new investigators and get some more teaching in. We now have two potential investigators from tracting and we received two referrals and one of them is now an investigator!

Her name is "D" and she was friends with some members who actually moved to Texas. But, she has read the Book of Mormon all the way through and is now reading it for the second time and is using the institute study guide. She has been to church a couple of times and drove all the way to Texas to see the member's daughter get baptized. She has also watched conference. The only thing that would keep her from getting baptized she said was that she would have to wait until her dad passed on because it would absolutely break his heart that she would become Mormon. We asked if we could just add to the knowledge she already has and she was totally good to have us teach her. Yay! New investigator!

You have been asking a lot about our investigators and right now, "S" is probably our most solid. With the snow we were not able to meet with a lot of our investigators but she has been coming to church almost every Sunday and has been reading and she is praying to know if this is the right church. She has a lot of faith and I don't worry at all that she will receive her answer. I just worry that she may deny it. But, she is an amazing woman and I know that great things will come from her and even if she doesn't get baptized we are helping her come closer to Christ which is important.

We haven't been able to see "R" either because she has a bunch of family in town right now but I feel like she is really solid. Right now, she seems to be interested because of Mark, her member friend, so we just have to help her realize that this is for her. This will bless her life. She is awesome but really hard to meet with.

Those are our most solid investigators. We haven't been able to see "A". We scheduled an appointment with her and when we showed up she wasn't there which was a bummer but we are going to try again this week.

We have some other referrals and people that we have been trying to contact that we just haven't been able to reach. It's been impossible but I guess the Lord doesn't want us to meet them yet, right? Everything is in the Lord's timing.

I just wanted to share something I learned this week. I have been reading a conference talk a day for my morning studies so I can hear them all again. I can't remember who this is from but he said "In this church there are no strangers and no outcasts". I loved this. Just because someone is a different race or social status, a different age or has a different lifestyle than us does not mean that we have the right to exclude them at church. Regardless of how much we have in common with someone or not, they are our brothers and sisters and it is our job to take care of them. We sometimes fall into a routine of associating with just our friends at church, forgetting to talk to others. This just made me think of the times you would always tell me to say hi to someone because you never know if you would be answer to their prayer or not. That just really hit home as I reflected on those who took time to say hi to me. I just wanted to ask you to go out of your way to talk to someone at church. You never know if they are praying for someone to say hi to them. I remember crying in the car on the way to church praying that Heavenly Father would just give me one person to be my friend. Let us never forget to love our BROTHERS AND OUR SISTERS.

I love you all so much! Thank you for all the support you give me. I couldn't make it without you. I love you!

Love-

Sister Lundskog
Sister Richardson and I making pizza with Carol

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