Monday, February 23, 2015

God Loves Us and I Love Paris!

Dear Family-

Hey! I am so sorry I didn't send a blog letter last week. It was a little off since we weren't emailing on a normal Monday and we had president interviews that day so my apologies.

Well, this week was eventful and sooo cold! On Monday it snowed and cars were grounded all day. So that was kind of lame. But it was okay since there isn't anything to do in Paris anyway haha but we still love it.

On Tuesday we had interviews and they went really well. We had a lesson with a new investigator, his name is Josh and we got to meet his wife, Amanda. Amanda is not very interested, she believes in Buddhism and a higher power and all that crazy stuff and doesn't believe in Christ. I have realized on my mission the times I have the hardest time teaching and I lose patience the quickest because it kills me to hear someone say about Christ "He was just a man and he may have walked this earth." But I know those are they who need our love the most. We are hoping she will sit in on the lessons and over time something will hit home with her.

We worked at the food pantry on Wednesday! It was freezing and it definitely snowed a lot and I definitely almost hit a parked car sliding. Please pray for me! I can't tell you how many poles I have almost taken out in this snow. LOL I don't know how people drive in it but thank goodness for husbands that do all the driving one day right? Just kidding!

We had exchanges this week. It was really hard on Sister Uta'i cause she has only been here a week so she doesn't know anyone. But my exchange went really well. I got to go to Springfield! Do you guys remember when we went there? I drove by the Lincoln museum but let me tell you, I got to see the real Springfield we never saw and that town is ghetto! But it was so much fun, I loved it. It was exactly what I needed. But I guess the lesson Uta'i had with the STL went really badly with Karen so I'm just praying everything is alright and I am really excited to see her on Thursday. I guess her problem is that she feels like we are trying to convince her to be Mormon and not convert her to Christ so we definitely need to straighten that out cause that is not true at all.

Rosa is doing alright. We are getting a little frustrated trying to help her get committed. We set up a lesson for her to come to a member's house and she bailed and she didn't come to church. So we are trying to figure out what it is that she needs to feel in her heart to help her WANT this with everything she has got. But, she still has her date set for April and it is going well!

We had the most AMAZING lesson with Quinten. He is 19 and he is the son of a less active member, Sister Capshaw. He was taught by missionaries who didn't listen to him at all and kind of shoved the gospel down his throat and he got super turned off. Well when I got here he started coming out and his mom was amazed because she thought he would never talk to us again. Well, Quinten and I have so much in common and we finally asked him if we could teach him but we stressed how this is for him not us. We taught the Plan of Salvation this week and we like made this whole visual and I have never felt the Spirit so strong in teaching that lesson my whole mission. I really feel like he felt it, it made sense. So we are basing all of our lessons off his questions and what it is he needs and wants to learn. Oh my gosh, I have so much hope for him!

We had branch conference this week and everyone from all the auxiliaries and the stake callings were at church (which I never remember ever having that happen at home) and it was awesome! I am just loving Paris. I couldn't be happier.

What I learned this week:

I feel like I didn't really learn anything new this week but I definitely increased in my testimony of how much our Heavenly Father LOVES US. I was reading in Romans 8:37-39

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God loves us so much...There is nothing in this world that could make Him love us any less...even anything we do. Everything He does is because He loves us and He intends for us to be happy. We just have to trust Him.

I love you!!!!!! You are all in my prayers.  Have a wonderful week!

Sister Lundskog

Monday, February 9, 2015

Time to Leave It All on the Floor

Dear Family,

Well, it is official. Today I am starting my last transfer as a missionary. I will be staying here in Paris to complete my mission and I am getting Sister Utah'i and I am so excited. I served around her when I was in Fulton and it should be a really good transfer.

Rosa has set a baptismal date for April 30th so we are going to keep working with her. We got to help her start making those life changing habits so she feels ready when the time comes to make that covenant with Heavenly Father. Rosa is awesome.

We had one of the most amazing lessons with Karen I have ever had in my life and it was the greatest testimony builder that when we do all that we can, Heavenly Father will step in and do the rest for us. I studied like crazy for Karen and Karen is studying just as much. So last email I said Ephesians 4 but I meant chapter 3 too. haha Sorry, I didn't have my scriptures. But I am telling you right now I can't even tell you what I said to her and I don't even think I was even fully comprehending what we were talking about but the spirit took over and I was able to answer things I didn't even know the answer to. I think we helped her see and that in some way, at least, she is thinking it could be possible. Not that she has left her ideas of oneness but that the possibility is open that we could be right. She brought up the transfiguration with Peter, James, and John with Christ and we talked how God has a body and, man, it was the coolest thing. I think the reason why people get scared of Karen is that she is scary to argue with but she just gets defensive because no one likes to not understand something or to feel that they are wrong, you know? Humans don't like feeling weak. I can definitely attest to that. I am just so grateful we never gave up on her because I have never seen Heavenly Father's love for an investigator of mine as I have seen for Karen.
Karen and I
We also had a cool lesson with Quinton and his mom. His mom is a member that has not attended church in awhile and she is awesome. Quinton is 19 and has had a crazy hard life. I can not even begin to imagine what he has been through. It is really funny, too, because we think so much alike. The other day in our lesson he said exactly the same thing as I had said to Sister Rouse the other day when talking about relationships with people. We showed him the video, "Hope of God's Light" and I feel like the lesson was for me as well. It felt so good to testify that our prayers are answered and that the miracles aren't the angels and lightning bolts but the simple tender mercies He puts into the details of our lives. WE ARE SO LOVED.

I got to go to Tuscola on Monday and say bye to Sister Webb. It's crazy that today they are flying home and next it will be me. I don't know if I am ready but honestly I don't think I will ever be ready. So thank goodness for the Savior. He made an eternal promise to always be by our side and He has not failed me once. I am so blessed.
Sister Webb is to my right and Sister Rouse is on my left
Well, that's about all that happened this week. It was actually a very rough week. But, hey, it builds character right? There are always good things to come and oh how much I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord is going to do with me this last transfer. I guess this is it, time to leave it all on the floor, right? Go out with a bang knowing I was fearless and I endured to the end.

I love you all so much.

Sister Lundskog
My district

Sister Rouse & I on a Pday

Monday, February 2, 2015

Answers Can Be Found in the Scriptures

Dear Family!

Can you believe it? It is February! Two months till I come home but don't worry, I am not even focusing on that. It is just crazy how time flies. Okay so this week was crazy but first I want to tell you about this crazy experience I had with Heavenly Father.

We had a lesson with Karen and she used the Book of Mormon against us to try to prove her point about oneness with the godhead. She used the first couple of verses in Mosiah 15. So I was super disheartened, right? Not because I believed her but because I was frustrated that God wasn't there to help us. We had no response. Her argument was clear and she backed it up with our own Book of Mormon! So I went home determined to find an answer, if not for her then for me. So during studies I started looking up all the scriptures on the character of God. I read in Ephesians Chapter 4. And let me tell you, I have never received an answer from a prayer so clearly and so powerfully as what is written in that chapter. Read it, it is so clear it's not even funny. Everyday this week no matter if I'm searching for an answer or just reading, I have received more and more evidence of the individuality of the Godhead. HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES US! But Karen, I don't know what it is but I love her. As difficult as she is and as hard as she fights us, I can see her changing and I can see her growing. She wants to know the truth so badly. She came to church this Sunday and totally surprised us. She said she felt moved by the spirit. It was such a cool experience. It was fast and testimony meeting so she got to hear people share from their hearts what means the most to them and no one can argue that. She is changing and just think of the joy she will have and others will have who don't give up on her when she finds whatever it is she is looking for! Those are the people that we see the true miracles of God at work. Not in the golden investigators but those who fight and argue and challenge every thing because it means so much and because it is everything to them. I am so grateful for Karen because she has pushed me to KNOW my Savior, to really know Him.

On a fun note, we were trying to find this house way out in the the middle of nowhere...seriously like in the middle of nowhere. Well, we couldn't find it so we started heading to our next appointment in Marshall and as we are coming to the highway we see this big sign that says: "WELCOME TO ILLINOIS". haha We had left the mission!!! We laughed so hard and it was a total accident but, hey guys, I've been to Indiana :)

We got two new referrals this week!! That was exciting!

We finally got into a lot of less actives' homes that we have been trying to visit for so long. It was a awesome. Also, we had an amazing lesson with Sister Capshaw and her son, Quinton (he is 19 and not a member but the missionaries used to teach him). Seriously it was the coolest lesson I have had in a long time. We are going to start teaching him which is exciting. Also, Rosa is praying about a baptismal date for now! Well, praying if she should bump it up because she has a date set for July 4th when a member who is related to her can come baptize her but I think she is ready now.

Super disappointed in the Seahawks.

Pretty much life is good and I know that there are always GOOD THINGS TO COME.

Love you all so much,

Sister Lundskog