Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Always Believe in Good Things to Come

Dear Family-

This week was a very good week. Stressful, but good. I don't understand sometimes how happy I am as a missionary because I am so tired all the time. You're just exhausted and stressed but you're happy. It is so weird.

Anyway, before I tell you about this week, I must tell you about this weekend because it was the greatest part of the whole week. Damara's baptism. It happened. Words can't even begin to describe how absolutely spiritual and amazing it was. When Saturday rolled around it was like everything fell apart. We had planned for Brother and Sister T to give the talks and Brother T to baptize her cause they were one of her main fellow shippers. On their way home from St. Louis Friday night, they hit a deer and their whole family is fine but it totaled their car. We got a call that morning that they weren't going to make it. So last minute, Sister Tonnies and I had to do the talks and we were already doing a musical number so it was dumb that the missionaries had the whole program. But, we had tried really hard to have the members do everything and besides the talks and the musical number we found people to step in. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I think I have had on my whole mission. At least it's way up there. Damara bore her testimony and it was just amazing. She was so ready for this. She grasped the importance of the decision she was making that day more than anyone I have ever met. It was a huge testimony builder to me to see her up there firm in her decision to serve God. When she was bearing her testimony she said, "I am so thankful for the missionaries that never gave up on me." That just touched my heart to know that because those before me as well as Sister Tonnies and I had not given up on her she was able to make this wonderful decision.


So, pretty much I don't remember much of the rest of the week because that was the best part of all of it. We sang "Lord, I Would Follow Thee" with Elder Timothy playing the guitar but we changed it up just a little bit. The bishop and the ward music lady were both at the baptism. After, they came up and asked if we could sing our song as a prelude to sacrament meeting. I guess guitars can't be played during sacrament meeting. They got up and announced us and then we sang and, to be honest, it was a little awkward and a lot scary. I did not like it one bit but it went really well. Sister L, the music coordinator, has a studio in her house and asked if she could record us singing that song so we did. She is going to email us the recording and then we can send it home. Look at all these talents I am gaining on my mission! haha

Memorial Day was fun. I missed being home with the gang and doing our usual BBQ but we went to our ward party and then after we went and played sports as a district and then Sister L and Brother L fed all eight of us in our district and we recorded our song. It was so fun. There were a couple of families there and we just went crazy playing with the kids. I really admire Elder Timothy, Elder Buhler, and Elder Pickett. They are such good guys.

That was pretty much my week. Logan's baptism is this Saturday so pray for him that it will be able to happen and everything will go well. Elder Timothy and I are singing at Logan's baptism on Saturday and Sister Tonnies is giving a talk. I am excited to see what will happen!

What I learned this week:

You become like those you spend most of your time with
Never doubt God and his ability to make things happen
Most of all, always believe in good things to come

Love you with all of my heart-

Sister Lundskog

Monday, May 19, 2014

Progress, Not Perfection

Dear Family-

I am glad everyone is back. I know that you probably aren't glad to be back but I am because I can hear from all of you again...except for Allison. Please email me, Chica.

This week was very stressful. But, I did find out a fun fact. Do you remember Linda from Carondelet? Sister Fisher and I received her as a headquarters referral and we taught her and then the ward boundary split and we had to give her to the other sisters. SHE GOT BAPTIZED! Sister Fisher told me. That was kind of cool to hear. I am really happy for her!

This week I tried really hard not to kill my companion. I think three transfers is the max I can handle being with someone 24/7. This is how I felt with some of my other companions by the end of three months. It doesn't matter how much I love them, I just need space and new faces. I get a little nervous thinking about marriage because I am bad at communicating and handling relationships. But, on the positive side, I will get to pick my husband and we won't be with each other 24/7. I think that it's hard for me because I am a reserved person. Like, I love people and I love going to big events and big cities and all of that but I also am a person that needs my alone time. Especially when I am upset. But, it went better this week than last so that was good. Improvement, right? Progress not perfection.

Last week, Damara backed out of being baptized and so every lesson we have had with her we have been trying to resolve concerns and worries. We had a lesson with her this week and she just was talking and talking and finally she said, "We cool, we cool. This is what I need to do. I have found where I belong and I know Heavenly Father approves." That was it, she was ready to be baptized and she wants it this week. So, that was a huge spiritual experience for me because we always tell investigators to pray and they will get an answer. I think sometimes I get nervous and doubt that they will. I don't know why I do but I do. Trust issues, I guess. But, to see how firm her answer was and just knowing that it is Heavenly Father's work. Her answer came from Him...not us.

We also had an extremely spiritual lesson with Wanda this week. She is 47 and has so many health problems. It is just a mess. We watched the "Finding Faith in Christ" video and after she just opened up about how she doesn't understand what her purpose is being here. I think it really hit home with me because I know what that feels like...to not know why the heck you are here and how everything you are doing just isn't making an impact on anyone's life and you feel small and insignificant. I wasn't able to provide any life changing answers but I was able to testify to her that she is a daughter of God. If there is anything I do know, I know that without a doubt. I am a daughter of God and He is my king. Therefore, I am a princess. I have been sent here to do great things. So has Wanda. There is a purpose to all this crazy we have to go through. Even if I don't know the answer, I am going to keep moving forward with hope. I was an amazing lesson, I feel almost more for me than her because I needed that reminder of why I am here.

On a funnier note, we had a media referral this week and we went and knocked on his door and this black guy with dreads and a gold grill opens the door and we asked him if he was who we were looking for and his reply was "Ah, no but thank you, Jesus" as he looked us up and down and was bewildered why these two little girl missionaries were at his door. It was really awkward and then when I told him to have a wonderful day he said, "No, you have a BLESSED day, not a wonderful day." Haha He had this sassy attitude and it just made me laugh.

This week we had stake conference. It was very good and Damara came to both sessions. We had Elder Martino of the Seventy come and he was really funny. President and Sister Morgan also came so it was really cool to see them. There are 16 sisters and 22 elders in our stake! That is a lot of missionaries. It was a great conference. I loved it. Plus, it is nice to get to see all of the missionaries.

So, transfer calls are in two weeks. I can't believe it. I am getting nervous because this district is my family and I am going to lose them. But, it will all work out.

What I learned this week:

I miss having my own space and alone time
A mission takes a lot out of you but it replaces everything with so much more

Love-

Sister Lundskog

Look what I found

A church pic

Monday, May 12, 2014

Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

Dear Family-

It is kind of weird emailing you the day after talking to you! I don't really have anything to say but it was amazing to get to see you guys! It definitely has made things so much more bearable.

This was a rough week. There really isn't much to say about it except that this is the hardest week that I have had with my companion. She is just exhausting sometimes. I think I have figured out what is the hardest thing about our opposite personalities. I am an extremely independent person and she is an extremely dependent person. So instead of just taking care of me I have been taking care of two people and I think it just got to me this week. It is hard sometimes cause I am doing everything I need to do as well as all of her things. It's not like I am babying her. I definitely push her to do things and to become a better missionary. She just is forgetful and lives in her head and just naturally turns inward instead of outward. She really does care about people and tries really hard so I haven't had a problem with it but sometimes I just can't take it--especially when we have zero in common to hold us together. So, I just had a hard time this week. A lot of it is my weaknesses. I know that I struggle with things as well that are not fair on her. I have really been working on it to try and give her the benefit of the doubt and to just love her and serve her. It has definitely been an eye opener for me to the things that I need to change but I think it also helped me to see the strengths that I have as well. I am trying to not be so hard on myself.

Anyway, our area is doing great. Working hard, loving every minute of it! Even when it is in the 90's and it's starting to get really, really humid...haha. I still wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.

I love you guys so much! Have fun on your cruise, Mom and Allie! Have fun in Utah, Dad and Justin!

Love you-

Sister Lundskog

Exploring a cave last Pday with my zone leader and some elders in my district and my companion

Elder Buhler & I. He is the missionary that I respect the most on the mish.
He gets home a transfer before me so I hope that we stay friends.

This is Elder Timothy. He is awesome!

Haha...great picture of me.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Different Spiritual Progressions and Levels

Dear Family-

So this was a good week. To be honest, I can hardly remember it! It just flew by. Last Monday as a district we decided to play baseball. Well, we weren't very prepared. We had a baseball and two gloves. So, Elder Timothy went marching over to the forest by our field and came back with a giant stick and we used that as a bat. haha It worked for a long time till it broke in half. But, I was the pitcher. When I threw it to Elder Pickett, he hit it straight at me and it just went right into my hip. It kind of hurt a little bit but it left a wicked bruise. A perfect black circle right on my stomach/hip. We are playing baseball again today but this time we have more gloves and a real bat!
Lunch last week with my awesome district

Hiking with Elder Pickett and Elder Buhler and my companion

This week we received an email from Elder Batchelor in the office. The letter told us that Chevy is having a recall on some of their models and one of them is the Chevy Cruze which is what we drive. We were told that there is something wrong with the axle. If it breaks, the car will just power off. I guess somewhere the church has been having problems with this so we had to take our car in to get checked at a Chevy dealer which made me nervous because I have no freaking idea what I am doing. But, our mission was doing great and we haven't had a car yet with a problem until we went in. I guess our car is one of the ones with a problem. He said we would be fine to drive it and then the dealership will call us when the parts come in and they will give us a rental car while they fix it.

On Wednesday, we had zone conference. This time it was combined with the North St. Louis zone. We had to drive two hours to O'Fallon, Missouri for zone conference. It was actually a lot of fun because our district decided to caravan. We followed Elder Timothy and then Elder Buhler and Elder Pickett called us and we talked as we drove down. It was way fun. Zone conference was good. I got to see Sister Fisher and Sister Richardson again! We learned a lot and it was good but I was feeling really, really sick that day. I was excited when it was over and we were able to go home.

As I said, this week I got sick which was kind of a bummer but it happens. We were still able to have an awesome week though. I just had to push through it. We were able to have a lesson with Logan and with Chris this week and the bishop came to our lesson. We were so excited because we are finally able to start moving forward with Chris. She is truly letting the gospel change her. It's slow but she is letting it in.

Also, we were able to set a baptismal date with Damara finally for May 17th. I am so excited. Damara is amazing. I am so happy for her. I know this will bless her life and I don't even think she begins to understand what this is going to do for her. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL! BEING A MISSIONARY IS THE BEST THING IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!

Oh, and yes, thank you so much for that Easter package. I loved it!

What I learned this week:

Everyone is not taking off from the same launch pad. We can not compare our spiritual progression to that of others because we are all on different levels.
Saying prayers of gratitude will change your perspective on life. Don't ask for a single thing. Make you whole prayer a prayer of thanks.
Sometimes it's not a "come what may and love it" but a "come what may and endure it!" But, there is a bright side to everything.

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I CAN'T WAIT TO TALK TO YOU NEXT WEEK!

Sister Lundskog