Monday, April 28, 2014

Come What May and Love It

Hey there family-

This was a long but good week. This week we had an activity with the Young Women. We did this with the Young Men a couple of weeks ago. For mutual, we taught the girls how to be missionaries. It was really cool. We asked them how many were planning on serving a mission and it still amazes me every time. Half of the girls raised their hands. They had so many questions about being a missionary! That was really fun.

Oh, guess what? We set a BAPTISMAL DATE with Logan!! We were finally able to see him and have a lesson and set a date with him for May 31st. Hopefully everything works out and we are able to see him get baptized. That will be the last Saturday of the transfer. It was also cool because Chris is changing as well. We visited her at work this week and talked about the Book of Mormon. We told her that if she reads it, even though her life is crazy stressful, it will bless her beyond measure. She more than anyone else needs those blessings. She has been reading it. She is changing and it is one of the greatest things I think you can witness. She is letting Christ in. I am so happy for her. (Sorry she sent you all those pics. She was just going to send you one and I was like...ok...haha).

We picked up two new investigators this week...Gene and Westly. We were going to visit a member who lives in this old folks apartment complex. They were outside and just started talking to us. They were a little creepy and very flirty and they are like 70 and 80 years old. haha But you can tell that they've got that old, rugged biker vibe to them. Anyway miracle of the week..we had an appointment scheduled with them but we had been unable to get another woman to come with us. We have to have three. We decided to go and headed up to meet them and we walk in and Sister G is sitting in their living room! It was an awesome lesson and the next day was Sunday and she brought them both to church. On top of that, Gene's doctor is in our bishopric! BAM! Talk about some miracles! That was the highlight of my week.

This week, Smithden Ridge 1 had a baptism. That is Elder Buhler and Elder Picket's area. They also called two days before and told us that Sister Tonnies and I would be performing a musical number with Elder Timothy and his guitar. It's already on the program. WHAT!?! I have never been so nervous in my life. Elder Timothy came up with this really cool version of Come, Come Ye Saints and we each sang a verse and then we all sang the last verse. I was so nervous but it turned out really good. Sister Tonnies told me not to worry because whenever you sing for a church event, angels sing with you. That was cool because I have always wanted to sing but it's always been hard in our family and extended family. Everyone already know who the good singers are and because I'm not as good, I was never given those opportunities and never tried. Why would I sing when Allie or Bailey or Mom was there. haha Everyone is better than me. But, I loved it. It is good to get shoved out of your comfort zone sometimes. When I was arguing about it, Elder Buhler said, "Sister Lundskog, you have just got to let go of your Give A Dang." I loved that. How often in life do we care too much? Then, we let it debilitate us from trying new things and growing as a person. We don't need to worry about what others think about us. This is easier said than done. But, I'm working on it now.

So, on Sunday Bishop came in during Relief Society and told us we needed to wrap up because a huge storm was coming in and that it was moving really fast. A huge thunderstorm rolled in and it was awesome! Here, when it rains it doesn't rain, it POURS! Last night the tornado sirens went off and that was really cool. Sister Tonnies was freaking out and I had to calm her down. But, I went and stood out on the porch and watched the clouds and the lightning. Sadly, I did not see my tornado. Next time!

Also, you would be proud of me. I killed the biggest spider ever!! This morning we had a giant brown recluse in our apartment and I killed it. haha

What I learned this week:

Obedience brings blessings but exact obedience brings miracles - Elder Buhler
I miss my mom--(not that I don't every week but a lot this week)
I am very bad at communicating how I am feeling

Love you all so much!

Sister Lundskog
Having lunch with my companion

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dog Treats, Easter Eggs, and Letting Christ into our Lives

Dear Family-

This week was the best week ever! I hope you all had a good week as well. I give all the credit of this being a good week to Easter.

It is finally feeling like spring here. On Monday, it snowed. Can you believe it? It snowed! The day before, it was 80 degrees. But, it has been in the 70's the past couple of days so it's time to get rid of the tights. Also, everything is starting to turn green again and it makes me a little homesick for Oregon.

This week was crazy busy. We had exchanges this week and I was super, super nervous but it went so well. I was with Sister Woodward, who is my great-grandma, over in their area. It was a cool experience. Sister Woodward is kind of intimidating but I enjoyed my whole time with her and I did not feel judged at all for my ability to teach. I learned a lot from her. Funny story...we visited a less active and he made Sister Woodward and me eat a dog treat. Yes, I ate a dog treat. He said they were organic and really good. He has PTSD so you can't make him mad or stressed and he was very persistent so we ate it. It tasted like a pop tart but I am still pretty sure humans should not be eating them. I also had the opportunity to meet two of their investigators who are getting baptized. They are from Ecuador and they are the funniest things ever. They both suffer from eating disorders and they are scary tiny. But, she shared her experience that she had that day with me. She said she was praying that Heavenly Father would answer her in a way that she would understand. She was on YouTube looking up music and videos about religion and you know how YouTube has those ads that you can skip? Well, she decided to watch this ad and I don't even know what it is but it's a Mormon ad and it was in Spanish. Just for her. She was so happy, it radiated from her. I can't even begin to explain but it was the coolest thing for me to hear her testimony. It helped solidify again my testimony of prayer. Heavenly Father is so aware of us.

We decided to try a different aspect with Damara to help her realize that if she believes everything to be true she must act. We tried family history. We set up an appointment with her and a member at the family history center and Sister Tonnies and Sister Felt had a lesson with her after and she accepted the invitation to be baptized! WHAT! So we will be setting a date with her this week and I am so excited.

On the less spiritual note, I might have allergies. I have been having trouble breathing and in certain situations, my eyes get very itchy and I have a runny nose (especially around cats). I talked to our mission nurse and she is going to prescribe me some allergy medicine so if you see that on my debit card, that is why. But, other than that I have been doing great.

We picked up a new investigator this week. Her name is Elaine and she is a former investigator. She had to cancel her appointment with us but we are meeting with her next week.

Our District Leader had a baptism this week in the Smithden Ridge Ward. We really wanted to get Wanda and Damara there. We did!! Wanda has been having a hard time with this being the only true church. This was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had on my mission. She got there late so she missed the actual baptism but we were able to show her the font and talk about the baptism and she just kept saying "all these people came to support him". She was so touched by the love and support our church has for each other. You don't walk into a church on Sunday with hundreds of people and not get noticed. Everyone is accounted for, everyone is aware of you. That really hit home for her and she is praying to know if this gospel is true. We are meeting with her on Tuesday so I am very excited because I know God will answer her prayer.
Elder Buhler - he is the coolest!

Elder Timothy at the baptism

Right after the baptism on Friday we had the Easter Cantata which was a big production put on by our stake choir. That was so cool! I loved it! Damara stayed and guess who came? Christy. Christy and Shane have picked a wedding date and now we will be able to set a baptismal date with her and help her start getting ready for the new changes she will have in her life and in her family's lives. She also told us that she is going to ask for Sundays off.....Wooohooo! We didn't even talk to her about that but she said she wanted to take this seriously and that she wanted this in her life so she needed to be at church on Sundays.

This was just the most spiritually uplifting week I have had. It was just all the little things that fell so perfectly into place that Heavenly Father was involved in.

What I learned this week:

Miracles happen!
It's all about where your heart is.
Life is good.

The most important thing I learned this week, though, was without Easter, Christmas would only be about a fat guy in a red suit. It is because Christ rose again on the third day that everything in our life has meaning. It is because of Easter that I have the opportunity to be her sharing the gospel. I believe in Christ. He is my big brother and I know that he is with me every day. Not just "Oh ya, he is up in heaven looking down saying I know how you feel". He is literally walking by my side. There is no shadow of a doubt that he is there helping me fight my battles. We do not have to walk this life alone. We are not asked to walk this life alone. Christ gave his life for us so that we will use the atonement. But, that is our choice and our choice only. Are we going to let Christ into our lives or not? I have tried doing it by myself and I can testify that it is not possible. It never will be possible until we let him into our lives.

I love you!

Sister Lundskog

We dyed Easter eggs!

The "J" family

Monday, April 14, 2014

Violins, Cats, and Finding My Niche

Dear Family-

This week was so much better! Not a lot happened this week but I learned a lot. Funny how that works sometimes.

On Wednesday, we had ZLT (Zone Leader Training). It was good. I really appreciated their training. They talked about my least favorite subject in the world....that would be numbers. But, Elder Evans gave a really good training. He said it is not about the numbers we are putting out but the effort that it took to make that number. So say there is a set of missionaries in an area that they are doing 100 lessons a week and their ward mission leader calls and sets everything up for them. Those missionaries literally don't have to do anything because the numbers are just flowing in. Now say that there is another set of missionaries that have nothing. They have zero investigators, zero lessons planned for that week. Nothing. Say they work their butts off that week and get two lessons. (You'll like this, Mom, cause he used math..haha). Those first set of missionaries had the potential to have more lessons than they did. They were getting 100 lessons but if they had tried, maybe they could have had 300 so they had 100/300. The second set of missionaries had the potential to only have zero, right? But, they made two lessons out of zero so 2/0. He explained how it's not the number but the effort behind those numbers. I really liked it. I guess it was what I needed to hear at the moment.
On Monday, I asked my District Leader (who is awesome, by the way), Elder Timothy, to give me a blessing and the elders in my district were part of it. It was much needed and I'm grateful in a way that I don't think they will ever understand. It takes a lot for my to be comfortable and trusting enough to ask for help because I'm awful at that and everyone knows that. The thing that really stuck out to me in the blessing was how he reminded me that the things that have happened in my life have specifically prepared me for this mission. That was all I really needed to hear. To know and be reminded that this isn't all just a game. There is meaning behind everything in this life. God is so aware of the paths that we take. It's not just luck or destiny or serendipity. There is a purpose to everything in our lives. Sometimes we just get a little lost and need a reminder every once in a while.

This week as a district we started playing this game. Just when we were tracting between doors or when we were driving places. We started to compare each person in the district to something. We did animals. Whatever animal that personified them the most was what they would be. We did so many topics...animals, ocean animals, superheroes, villains, trees, furniture, actors, romantic comedies, action movies, board games, planets, storms, cars, etc. The list goes on. It was so fun but for every person you had to give a valid reason why they are that thing. I look up to Elder Buhler a lot. But, he is feisty and a loud mouth. He is the kind of person everyone wants to be friends with and he knows everything that goes on in the mission. He is super funny, just that kind of guy. He and his companion were doing instruments. He said, "Sister Lundskog, you are a violin." "Why am I a violin, Elder Buhler?" He said, "Have you ever heard an orchestra play without a violin?" I said no. He said, "Exactly. The violin is what ties the orchestra together. An orchestra just isn't the same without one." Seriously, that was the best compliment I have ever gotten especially from someone that I really look up to because I would love to be the person that Elder Buhler is. Everyone respects him and wants to be around him so it meant a lot for him to tell me that. It's kind of a little self-centered to share this with you guys but it meant a lot just because I am always so hard on myself and it helped me to see that being happy and proud of who you are is not a bad thing. You should love yourself. Obviously, to a degree, acknowledge your weaknesses but realize your strengths as well.

We didn't have very many teaching appointments this week but we were able to set a ton up for next week which will be so awesome cause we also have exchanges next week. But, we did have an awesome lesson with Diane. We were talking about lesson 3 which is the gospel of Jesus Christ and she asked how we knew that this church is true. I had the opportunity to share my story and my testimony. I was able to testify of Jesus Christ and I found it. I found my niche....why I am here. But....her cat came and sat on my lap and I had a horrible allergic reaction. My eyes turned super red and swelled shut. I got a stuffy nose and I was itchy all over my face! It came out of nowhere. I'm not allergic to cats!! It was the weirdest thing. My eye was still super swollen the next day. But, I am good now.

On Saturday it was 80 degrees and it was so nice! But, then on Sunday there was a huge storm and now it is 40 degrees. We got some cool pictures of the storm though. I'll send you guys some pics today.

Sorry I didn't correct the spelling. I wanted to hurry and write you before I ran out of time.


Sister Lundskog
Sister Tonnies and I. This was taken the day after the cat encounter. My eye was still swollen.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Thunderstorms, General Conference, and More Patience

Dear Family and Friends-

Hope you all had a good week and enjoyed General Conference. I am so sorry for not being able to answer a lot of people last week. We spent our Monday moving a new family into our ward and it took six hours. We had to go shopping and do our laundry the next day because we didn't have any time to get anything else done. But, it was worth it to help this family out and my district is awesome so we just made the best of it.

This week we had some crazy thunderstorms. I loved it except for the one that woke me up at 2am. It was directly over our heads. There was no time between the lightning and the thunder. It was crazy! It sounded like cannons right outside our window. I wasn't able to sleep. But I loved it.

We had President interviews this week. They were alright. I was one of the last in my district to get interviewed and he was late showing up and kept checking his watch the whole time. He said that I was doing alright and I agreed. I didn't really have anything to say. But, I did make grasshopper pie for my district and it was way good. I have to be honest, I was a little bit proud of myself.

We went tracting this week and met someone who has read the Book of Mormon and has friends who are Mormon so she could be a potential investigator. Cool!

My companion drove me insane this week but I just kept it all in and tried to love her. Our relationship is still great but I think it added to my stress this week. This week was very hard. We only had four lessons and spent a lot of time tracting with no results. But, we kept at it. Hopefully next week is better. We did pick up a new investigator. Joan was able to come to conference for a session and it was awesome! We are very excited to teach her. You can tell that she wants it which is a blessing because all of our investigators right now aren't really moving anywhere because they don't really want it. They don't want it bad enough.

Conference was good. I had a hard time focusing but it was good. I loved Elder Uchtdorfs talk on Sunday and Elder Bednar's talk. They were the ones that stuck out the most to me. We also had trouble with the internet and so we missed Elder Holland's talk and I think one other on Saturday morning which was a bummer because Elder Holland is my favorite.

Anyway, this week was rough but I sure have learned to have patience! I hope all is well. I love you guys!

Sister Lundskog
Sister Tonnies and I in our awesome apartment

My "sister", my "mom" (Sister Fisher), me, and my "daughter" (Sister Tonnies)