Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Penitentiaries and Aliens

Dear Family,

I can't believe you are already moved in! That was only on Monday that you moved. That is crazy! I am glad you are all loving the house and I am happy that you got to do your Portland to Coast race one more time, Mom! Thank you for sending me all the pictures of Madelyn's wedding. She looks beautiful! I am so sad that I missed it.

Well, I guess I will just go through each day this week because a lot happened. I am exhausted! So on Monday and Tuesday it was kind of my last goodbyes to everyone in Jackson. I must say, especially coming here, that I was extremely blessed with the members I had there. I don't miss the area so much but the ward I miss tremendously. There are some solid members in that ward. I said goodbye to as many people as I could but it is hard when they are all so spread out! Tuesday, with the amazing help of a wonderful companion, I was able to pack pretty fast... I had to buy space bags because I have too much stuff so by next transfer you will probably get a package of stuff that I will be sending home. We did our last team up Tuesdays as a group. We went up to Perryville and we went with the Snipes, Bairds, and Davis's and it was just such a cool experience to see their dedication. It was the Bairds' anniversary....and they chose to come out and do missionary work. It was such a huge example and testimony builder for me that this is real life. We should be moving God's work forward at all times. It should be the center of our lives and not on the sidelines.
The Baird Family

Sister Hansen and I at transfers

The girls in my district

Anyway, transfer meeting was good. I got to see everyone. That was a huge refresher to see everyone and get to talk to them and see how they are doing. Sister Robertson is awesome. I got to ride back with Sister Fisher too. She is my STL again and I go on exchanges with her next week.

My companion is Sister Corder and she is awesome! This is her last transfer so I am with a seasoned veteran I guess you could say. She is from Caldwell, Idaho and she went to BYUI before she came out. She is really chill and doesn't ever pull this way or the highway. She has been down to try new things or anything I suggest which has been awesome. She hasn't made me feel inadequate the entire time I have been here which has been really nice because I have really needed it right now. Definitely been struggling a lot with homesickness this week and just being a missionary so she has been a great example since I can't really turn to the friends I love right now. She has been good at being a friend without it seeming forced. Her dad died about five months ago and so it is a huge example to see her finishing her mission strong and I know I am going to learn a lot from her.

I have had more lessons these past few days than I think I had all together for 3 months in Jackson. We have 3 gators here--Stephen (who is 21), Howard (who is married to a member and has faithfully come to church every Sunday to support his wife), and then Carolyn who I have not met yet but she apparently has 30 cats and lives in a trailer. Howard and his wife remind me of Grandma and Grandpa Christensen. Their house even smells like theirs. We have about 6 recent converts we are working with and we see about one to two less actives a day. People are a lot more friendly up here and members feed us almost every night.

Some fun facts about Fulton. Winston Churchill's famous "There is an iron curtain descending over Europe speech" was given here of all place. We have a famous church from Europe that got bombed out and they moved it here and fixed it up. Also, we actually have a part of the Berlin wall here. So that is pretty cool. We also have the state penitentiary for Missouri here. If someone needs to get sent to prison, they are all sent here to have their mental health and forensics checked and then once they determine their status, they send them out to different prisons in Missouri. In Jeffy City, they have the old penitentiary. It started in 1836 or something and was closed in 2004. You can take different tours of it and it is super creepy. Around 1967 Times Magazine said it was the bloodiest 50 acres of America because there had been about 550 serious assaults there. Also, there was like an epidemic that broke out and killed a whole bunch of prisoners so they just buried them out in the front which is now where the parking lot is. You can take a ghost tour at night and the History Channel has actually come here and done a thing on how it is haunted. There is also a gas chamber you can go in and look at. Fulton also has the state mental health hospital here. So pretty much there are just a ton of scary big buildings that are all fenced in here. But its good, I like it. There is a University and a college here. They are super small. The school for the deaf is here as well.

Our apartment...I forgot to get a picture but I will send it to you next time. We live in an old school...like a really old school that they turned into apartments for some crazy reason. It is super old and kind of weird but we have a ton of space. But we have a bug problem. There are these millipede/centipede things. I don't know what they are. They have skinny, flat bodies and hundreds of legs that are long long long (like a spider's) and they appear out of nowhere! We have named them "the aliens". We are gonna ask our manager to bomb the apartment for us because it is really bad. We had 3 in our room last night and seriously these things might be worse than spiders and you know how I feel about spiders...

I feel like I am rambling on. The area is good and I am liking it. I really do miss Jackson though. I am sure the Lord is like...Seriously?!? You weren't happy there and now you want to go back? I miss Sister Hansen a lot. She was such a good friend. I am going to ask president in interviews this week if we can be comps on the flight home. Anyway I can't think of anything else to tell you. My mind is on overload this week. We did have an awesome thunderstorm last night and it rained all night which never happens in Missouri. They usually move super fast but it was so nice to fall asleep to. It was like home :)

What I learned this week:
I miss the example and the dedication of the members in the Jackson ward.
We must not forget why we are here. Whether that is in the sense of a mission or our mission here on earth. When things get hard we cannot forgot the times when we have felt our prayers answered or seen the Lord's hand. We must always hold strong to our testimony, no matter how small it may be. Like it says in the Baird's home: When you can't see the Lord's hand, trust His heart.

I LOVE YOU! Hope you have a great week. Allison and Justin you should try emailing me... I would like to hear from you :)

Love- Sister Lundskog
Remember Christy, my investigator in the Highlands? She got baptized!! Since I was so close to her I got to go to her baptism....so AWESOME!

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