Monday, November 24, 2014

Living the Small Town Life

Dear Family,

Okay, so I am officially in Paris! Here is my new address everyone since the mission home can no longer forward our mail. Just send it here unless it is transfer week. If it is transfer week, send it to the mission home address.

516 Walcott St.
Paris, IL 61944

We only get an hour to email here so hopefully I don't run out of time. I only have like 5 minutes left so sorry in advance if I can't always answer you guys or my emails are short. Know that I care but I am just limited on my time.

So Paris... haha I am on the very edge of the mission. I could walk into Indiana from here. Our phone actually runs on Indiana time because we are so close so it is an hour ahead. I am in a branch...a very small branch that is struggling a little bit. There are not enough priesthood holders here so they have a family or two out here on assignment. It's a town that is slowly falling apart. There used to be a lot more people here than there are now. Everyone in the branch is related to each other. But I love it. My ward mission leader shot two deer on Saturday and cleaned them up and had them in the freezer and then even made it to stake conference on time. Everyone wears camo and they have their own country language so I am feeling at home more and more. We have a big teaching pool and it's been a while since I have had that. I felt a little overwhelmed at first. But we have two baptismal dates already so that should be awesome. It has been a long time since I have seen success in that way and I am sure God has a plan for me and it will all work out. I am here for a reason. I just have to figure out that reason.

I miss Fulton and I miss the "B's" and Sister Lynn like crazy but I love my new ward mission leader and I am really excited and am trying to stay super positive. It is kind of hard being stranded. Our phone rarely ever has service so we are really stranded and our district is forever away as well. But we just move forward one day at a time and trust in the Lord.

I love you guys and I'm praying for you and hope this week is good with Thanksgiving. I hope you know I am so thankful and so grateful for the family I have and the family I have made. You mean the world to me. Love you!

Sister Lundskog

Monday, November 17, 2014

Off to Paris!

Dear Family,

Man, I can't believe this week is already over! Well, I guess the most exciting news is transfers. I will be leaving Fulton, unfortunately, but that is okay because I am going to PARIS! Haha...that is right. I am going to Paris, Illinois. I guess there is a first for everything. I will finally be able to head over to Illinois just in time before I head home so that will be exciting!

It was a decent week. It has been freezing!! Like today the high is in the 20's and the low is 9 but you add the wind chill and it is in the teens and close to 0! It finally started snowing too. It is going to be a long, cold winter! Maybe Illinois will be warmer.

Probably the most exciting part of the week besides transfer calls was the fact that we gave talks in church this Sunday! Yep, it was the first time I gave a talk my whole mission which is really crazy because usually you give talks all the time. Sister Lynn and I and Brother B, our ward mission leader, talked and we talked about missionary work to help the ward catch the vision! It went really well. I have never been that comfortable giving a talk like that before. I prayed and knew that what I had to say was exactly what they needed to hear. I shared with them the story of me sharing the gospel with my friends in high school. I shared the wonderful advice mom gave me that helped me have the courage to share the gospel and share who I was with my friends. You told me that one day at the end of this life I will go to heaven and be comfortable because I had the truth. I might have a good friend of mine in this life come up to me and ask me "Why? Why did you never share this with me? You had it all along. You knew the truth that could have saved me and you kept it to yourself." How would you feel? In every class after sacrament that day everyone was quoting you, Mom. I saw that when I prayed, Heavenly Father helped me say exactly what I needed to say to impact those I was talking to. They were impacted because you impacted me. I have always kept that to heart my whole mission. We are placed specifically in people's lives because the Lord trusts us to do this work for Him. After this life we can look everyone in the eyes and know we did everything we could to share the truth with them.

Thanks for sending Sister Fisher a bday gift. It meant a lot to her.

I love you so much and I'll send you my new address as soon as I have it. Love you all!

Sister Lundskog
My district in front of the capitol building. I'm in the center.

Sister Lynn

Sister Lynn & I

Some of the Sister Missionaries in my district

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Most Precious Think in All Thinking

Dear Family,

I know that every time I email you guys that I can't ever remember what happened this week but I just really can't remember the week by the time Monday gets here!

This week was another rough week with investigators. We had a teaching pool of seven but now we are at two. It was a sad week but we stayed super positive. The Lord knows where their hearts are, not us, and He knows when they are ready. Our job is to just invite and to never give up. So Barry and Mallory are our only gators right now and they are doing good. We were unable to meet with Mallory this week and Barry might be moving... but not till March! So we are still going to help him progress towards baptism.

Carolyn had a baptismal date but she moved over to Moberly's area so the elders over there just got a baptismal date. Last Monday for part of our Pday we went to help her pack up some of her stuff into her RV. She had no idea how to do anything and so it ended up being Sister Lynn and I doing everything for her. I UNHOOKED HER SEWER! Gross...she didn't know how and her hands couldn't fit to unscrew it so Sister Lynn grabs the flashlight (it was dark outside when we were still helping) and she was like "I'll hold the light!" haha So I had to do it. Its okay all we do is serve and we don't question what it is they need help with. But then she wanted us to help herd her 30 cats into the back room. I was in there for 15 minutes and my eyes started swelling up and I couldn't breathe so I left Sister Lynn in there by herself to help get the cats in the back. It was a good Pday I guess.

We had district meeting this week. I got asked to give a training on hope. It was funny how much of a blessing it was for me to get to study this topic. I guess I needed it more than anyone else. I put a ton of time into it and I prayed that I would be able to know what to share to help bless those in my district. Again. without fail, Heavenly Father helped me know what to train on. It is an amazing feeling to feel Him work through us to help left others. My training was about seeing God's hand in your life. God loves you and we have to have hope and keep our eyes open to His love. Always.

Okay so this is what I learned this week:

We made a poster for the STLs this week because we kind of butt heads on some things this week and we wanted to show them that we do respect them and love them. We went and got them a little present and decided to make a poster. I wanted to do something to let them know how important they are cause I know as a leader it must be hard sometimes because it feels like people hate you. I was looking through my quotes and this is the one that I picked: "I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of. For to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the most precious think in all thinking" I realized that this was something I needed in my life. I realized that sometimes the reason why we have contention and disagreement and why we fight with others is because we think that because we are not like them, we are wrong. I realized that I thought less of myself because I didn't hold the same qualities as Sister Lynn. I felt inadequate cause I didn't handle situations like Sister Fisher and that I am not as pretty as Sister Utah'i. But to know that I was "born in God's thought" gives us a whole new perspective on who we are. I am a masterpiece created by the God of the universe. As I come to love me, imperfections and all, I can love others, imperfections and all. So we just need to open up our eyes to the beauty within us and within others and life becomes SO MUCH MORE COLORFUL!

I love you!

Love - Sister Lundskog
Sister Lynn and I
Our poster for the STLs. I think it turned out nice!

A few weeks ago in Ozarkland with Sister Utah'i

Monday, November 3, 2014

When We Cannot See the Lord's Hand, We Can Trust His Head

Dear Family-

Well, this email will probably be short. Sorry. This week was really rough. I felt like every aspect of missionary life was tested for me this week. But, it is okay because it is a new week and it is Pday and I can enjoy the tender mercies like wearing pants :)

This week we had a lot of really tough appointments with recent converts, less actives and gators in resetting expectations and helping them progress. That has been a challenge for us lately is helping those we are working with to keep progressing. People are just comfortable with who they are and we can't ever be  comfortable. That is what heaven is for, we don't have time to waste right now. We had some hard lessons and a lot of energy sucked up in praying and planning for them. I know we did what the Lord needed us to do. He won't ever ask you to do something without providing a way as well as blessing you for doing what he needs you to do. We found two new investigators this week which was a huge blessing. One was a former and one was a referral from a member. So we are doing alright.

Sister Lynn and I are doing good. But I know the Lord has put us together to learn from each other. This transfer has been exhausting working with her but I feel so grateful and accomplished because she and I have both exerted all we had to make it work. We may never see eye to eye, but we respect each other enough to talk it out and find a solution. Sometimes the talking it out turns into some pretty hefty battles but at the end of the day we can know that we gave it our all to understand each other. When you show the Lord you care enough to make it work He does a real good job softening your heart and allowing respect and trust to exist. I don't know if Sister Lynn would necessarily be someone I would lean on or go to in a hard time. But I can walk away with a lot of respect for her and who she is and know that even if I don't agree with her I understand why she thinks that way cause I took the time to care enough about learning her story and seeing her for who she is. We got in a pretty big fight this week, probably our biggest this transfer but when other things got thrown into my life that day, she dropped everything to be there for me which I appreciate a lot more than I think she will ever realize. We may fight it out all day and, ya, we won't back down from our beliefs and values but we know that it really doesn't matter at the end of the day so I have really learned to let things go!

We had stake conference this weekend which was awesome. Got to see everyone and hear great talks.

What I learned this week:
Well, sometimes we have weeks where we learn a lot and sometimes we have other weeks where we feel like we learned nothing. Well this was one of those weeks but when I sit down to tell you about my week I always realize how blessed I am. Sometimes in the moments of life when everything feels like its falling apart are the moments we can feel the Saviors arms around us. It is through the hard experiences in life that we gain wisdom and build character so that when hard times come again we can take those situations head on with hope because we have been there before and we made it though. The scars and dents we pick up in this life are a reminder to us that we survived...we made it out. We were not designed to fail and when we can not see the Lord's hand, we can trust His head.

I love you guys so much. Don't ever forget how much I love you and how much the Lord loves you. We are in it for the long haul, come hell or high water. Have a wonderful week.

Love Sister Loony Lundskog