Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The one where "a mistake was made..." 3/13/2018

Hey everyone, 

The week started off total chaos. Hence the subject line, and the text from Elder Larson in the office. We've been laughing so much but also we have been so stressed. Everything has worked out though. The Lord's work goes on! 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: I GOT TO SEE SWEET SISTER HÄNER AGAIN. She's one of my favorite people I've met on the mission and I was able to see her again at a baptism on Sunday night. It was such a surprise but such a blessing. She is family to me and also one of my dearest friends. (Love you Sis Häner!)

We've actually had lots going on and we've been way busy! I don't have time to write but I love you all! 

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation. It takes us as men and women of the earth and refines us into men and women for the eternities”

(Pics: Sis Häner and I, first week is rough, last transfers district pics, sister cook!)

Sister Carley Lundskog
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Uhlandstraße 24
79713 Bad Säckingen

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The one where... 2/6/2018


This week. What a week. Since the last time I wrote, which was only like 4 days ago, a lot has happened! 
We've given out so many books of Mormon and have met so many cool people! We've decided that we wanted to use the book of Mormon more, as it is the greatest tool we have and will lead to more conversion than just us talking, and it's been amazing to see how many people have responded positively toward it. The Book of Mormon has so much power!!! (Don't take it for granted, VME k. 5)

On Saturday we got transfer calls, and now that Sister Cliett is done being trained she will be going to Switzerland...and I'll be training again! A little crazy, but I'm excited! 
We also found out we will be losing the car... which is a bummer because we really need it in this area but the Lord will provide a way. But I got the chance to drive on the Autobahn so  🤷🏼‍♀️ (except the church gives us a speed limit so we can't actually drive as fast as we want...but still.) It was an experience. 😊 [enjoy the pictures saying goodbye to our car...]

It's been a fantastic week, I absolutely love being a missionary. I love doing the Lord's work, I love being a part of this wonderful work. I love being an instrument in the God's hands. I wouldn't change this for anything else in the world. My heart is just so full of love. 

“To dig a straight furrow, the plowman needs to keep his eyes on a fixed point ahead of him. That keeps him on a true course. If, however, he happens to look back to see where he has been, his chances of straying are increased. The results are crooked and irregular furrows. We invite those of you who are [members] to fix your attention on your [goal] and never look back on your earlier problems or transgressions except as a reminder of your growth and your worth and your blessings from God. If our energies are focused not behind us but ahead of us—on eternal life and the joy of salvation—we assuredly will obtain it” (“Am I a ‘Living’ Member?” Ensign, May 1987) 

Well I love you all! Have a blessed February! (I still can't believe it's February!)

Sister Carley Lundskog
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Uhlandstraße 24
79713 Bad Säckingen 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The one where "trotz alldem, das Leben ist schön" 1/25/2018

Hello everyone, 

I would just like to give a special thanks to all of the extra support and love the past couple weeks. I have definitely appreciated every effort you all have made to show love. Thank you. Because of all the love shown, I haven't been able to send a weekly out! I've never received so many emails from family, I didn't know what to do! 😂 ❤❤

This year started off rocky. For the first time in my mission I felt homesick, the desire to be home with my family to be there for them. There were a few days (luckily it was really only two, one of which was a pday) where it was so hard to put my heart into the work because my heart ached for those at home. Fortunately, God let's us learn so much in the hard times. Trials are such a blessing because we can always learn. (NOT saying I love trials... but I do love becoming a stronger person through Christ, and coming to know my Savior just that much better.) These last few weeks have led me to just that...coming closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. Which has helped my heart and myself be in the work more than ever. 

Have you ever had a hard day? Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt that you're the only one who has ever felt the way you feel? Have you ever felt that nobody understands you? Have you ever had someone try to comfort and relate to you but they're obviously stretching to find an experience to compare? If you answered yes to any of those... YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Which is WHY WE ALL NEED CHRIST. Jesus Christ is the only one who will ever understand EXACTLY how you feel, He is the only one who has felt exactly what you feel, who has experienced exactly what you are experiencing. Whether it is the pain of being an outsider, the guilt of making a mistake, the feeling of being betrayed, the burden of knowing you hurt someone, the jolting pain from stubbing your toe, the exhaustion from being overworked, the weakness that comes from sickness, the joy from being in love, the happiness from being with family, the enjoyment of a good meal...He has felt it all. He knows how you feel- happy or sad. And if you turn to Him, He will comfort you, He will celebrate with you, He will give you peace, He will be with you. He will help us through, He will give us strength, He will, help us when we ask. I can't imagine any thing that could bring me more peace, or more joy. I know that Jesus suffered for us, He died for us, and He lives again. He knows us. He loves us. And I am so grateful. That is my why- that is why I am on a mission. It brings me so much joy to teach people about Jesus and to help them realize that He is their Savior and they are not alone. I am so grateful to have the gospel and the knowledge of my Savior. It's brought me so far, it's given me so much strength, and it's made me who I am today. 😊

I said this year started off rocky, but it has also been so incredible. I am grateful to have Sister Cliett by my side and to be doing the work of the Lord. Nothing makes me happier, or brings me more peace than doing missionary work. Here's some miracles and fun stories from the last few weeks. :)

-we had a very dangerous storm. However, we just thought we were being babies looking out so I told sister Cliett we would go finding because people need the gospel. (Apparently warnings were going out, the autobahn was shut down, trains were cancelled, trees were falling on cars, all the good things, but nobody told us...so...we went out.) We had no luck on the few trains that were still going- nobody was out! (Hahah I wonder why...) When the weather had called a little we went dooring, and then went to catch our train. And barely missed it. So  we went to the other side of the track and doored. There was a man who spoke to us out his window, as I was looking up and trying to talk a giant piece of hail hit me smack in the eye. He felt bad because I lost my words for a minute and so he came down and talked to us. We've met with him 4 times now and he's sooo cool. (Sometimes things seem to go wrong but it's all a part of God's plan. Also I'd let hail come into my eye every day if it meant getting an opportunity to teach someone the gospel.) His name is John and he's originally from Michigan. He's here as a preacher, so we've been learning a lot about the bible, and we've been sharing about the book of Mormon. His daughter, Joy, made us a lot of cute drawings the last time we were there. 😊

-‎We had tausch last week, and I got to work with Sister Call -she was my first tausch and now we are old missionaries together...crazy...and now our friend Richard is on date to be baptized in March. 😊

-‎We went street contacting in Freiburg yesterday after district meeting (just because I love street contacting.) The weather was TERRIBLE. None of us missionaries were having any good conversations because nobody wanted to talk. We had 5 minutes left before we needed to go, so we set a goal that every missionary would talk to 2 people. The first man I talked to was sooo nice. We talked for about 20 minutes, he wants a book of Mormon in English and Arabic, and he wants to take all of the lessons with us. We told him we could meet with him next Monday when we are in Freiburg again and he was overjoyed, and then said very softly "please don't forget about me." WHAT. MIRACLE. We are so excited to meet with him next week! 

-‎This week as a zone we are having a "Deutsche Woche" and that means every missionary in our zone has committed to speaking only German this week unless we have to teach or talk to someone in English. It's so fun. We all have been capable of more than we thought. 

There are so many more incredible things that have happened but this email is very long so I'll stop it for the sake of those who have had the time and patience to read it. Thank you, I sure love ya. Two weeks ago while dooring we saw a sign next to a door, it was a very hard day for me but it struck me. It said, "trotz alldem, das Leben ist schön." In spite of everything, life is beautiful. It's true. Life is hard, but if it wasn't hard we wouldn't grow. We wouldn't have opportunities to test our faith or come to really know our Father in Heaven or our Savior Jesus Christ. I testify that I know They live, They know us, and They love us. Jesus Christ died for us, and He rose again on the third day, and we can too. Joseph Smith was called by God to be a prophet and restore His church on the earth today. And I will be forever grateful for that. 

I love you all, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

(My pictures last time apparently didn't go through so here's an overload:))
[I broke Sister Clietts bed by sitting on it- I knew I should have stopped after the 12th cookie-but also don't worry I pulled out my redneck knowledge and fixed it; the map our member drew us; dooring probs; streeting in a small town on a Saturday afternoon probs; Sister Marsha, Sister Cliett and I; followed a certain Elder Farnworths advice to wear lots of clothes, and turned out to be inspired advice because we had crazy storms that week; Sister Call and I on tausch.]

Sister Carley Lundskog
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Uhlandstraße 24
79713 Bad Säckingen

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The one where...Mary had a little lamb...and I ate it. 1/2/2018

Hey hey! Happy New Year y'all! 

I can't believe it's 2018 now, that can't be real.  But alas! It is. 

Rundown of the week:
-Wednesday we had a whole day of finding! Which sometimes, is not the most exciting thing. But I told Sister Cliett that we'd be seeing a miracle and we would find someone awesome. The FIRST WOMAN I stopped on the street stopped and talked to us for probably 25 minutes in the POURING RAIN, and we gave her a Book of Mormon. She promised she'd read and look for a change in her life, and also that she would tell others about the book of Mormon. Claudia rocks our socks. 
-THURSDAY we had lunch with Schwester Jung and she fed us lamb! Apparently it's not appropriate to tell someone you were worried their sheep would taste like the lamb in the MTC, but Schwester Jung already thinks I'm crazy so after she stared at me for a minute we ate. And it didn't taste like sheep smell. 
-also Thursday we went dooring and we met this girl named Kimberly, she's not very religious but ahe expressed that she's always felt such a deep deep hope that she doesn't quite understand but it's a hope for answers, and a hope for something more, so the gospel is perfect for her as it will help her find all her answers. 
-also Thursday we met with the recent convert here, Niaga, and he is so SOLID. he is awesome and he has such a strong testimony and such a strong desire to serve the Lord. 
-friday was another full day of finding, and we were able to share the because of Him video so many times! We also met a man who explained that he had already met the sisters once before but was willing to talk to us a bit more about our beliefs since we were at his door again. We also met another confused athiest and he was really nice and we had a good chat. 
-Saturday we were supposed to have lunch with a member family but they forgot hahaha so we just went finding in a dorf we found near them and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND THE PEOPLE WERE AMAZING. We had such awesome conversations and met so many nice people! We talked to a very religious man for like 20 minutes, it was so refreshing to talk to someone who also believes they have a need for God. 
-Sunday we went to the Beevers for new years eve, we had a wonderful dinner that consisted or rabbit and chicken and potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, and knödel. We played some games with their boys and then they did some fire works.:)
-I'm just so crazy happy- I love all these grumpy Germans and I love serving them and bringing smiles to their faces. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve!

[Pictures: SISTER MARSHA our pet cat, dooring probs #3728, found a crazy cat lady (and it wasn't me)(her home pictured), a member drew us a map to get to his home- we found our way there somehow, also we saw the sun for the first time in like 12 years so it called for a blinded selfie]

"Life begins every morning. Life begins when we begin. And our real lives begin when we determine to live by every word of the Lord." -Sterling W. Sill, April 1971 General Conference 

Have a great week everyone! I love you all! 

Sister Carley Lundskog
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Lommelstraße 7
81479 München 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The one where "as for me and my stomach I'll eat my meat cooked, thank you." 12/26/2017

Hey everyone Merry Christmas!!

Words cannot express all of the feelings I've been feeling! To start, I am so so so eternally grateful for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful time of the year for people to remember Him, and all that He has done for us. And I love it! The Christmas season is a completely different experience as a missionary and it's incredible. You get to see sides of people that you never see, people are more open to speaking about Christ, and you get to feel His presence stronger than at any other time. It's the bessssst. Why can't it be like this all year!? 

So Wednesday we were able to go to a member, Schwester Sieburts for lunch and she made such good food, in such large quantities I thought I was going to die. Instead I just rolled down the stairs and down the street, who needs to walk when you can roll? After our appointment with her we went to visit another member, Schwester Haderlie, who had also made us cake. Cake!? Ah I don't know how I survived that one. We helped her with her carpets throughout her house and had some good laughs. 

Thursday we had zone conference in Zürich! It was so good to see my people again! I was able to see Sister Harwood again and for a moment it felt like we were companions again and that we had just had a week long tausch away from each other. Ahh so good. It was probably one of my favorite zone conferences, the spirit was so strong and it was so solid. President sang for us again and also we had a white elephant gift exchange, which when you have 70 broke missionaries coming together for a gift exchange in Switzerland you can't really expect much, it was funny to see what everyone put together and considered a "gift". 

Friday we had a lunch appointment with Schwester Bohland and her husband and friend. We had a great time, and again we rolled out of the appointment. We were supposed to have an appointment with Chris, one of our friends but he didn't show up.. But Schwester Jung had come to help us teach and I was able to talk to her and get to know her better. Then we had a dinner appointment with the Lopez family, but they forgot they had invited us...so we just played some games, shared a thought, and got to know them a little better. (Honestly we were glad they forgot because I don't want to eat for a week.)

Sunday we went to the famiky Kamm's for dinner and Heilige Abend. I've never eaten so much raw fish in my life and I don't plan on ever doing that again. We had a great time with this family though, we played some games, ate a ton of food, and were able to celebrate the birth of Christ. Schwester Kamm gave us each our own "smoking man" which is very German, and very cute. They are little men with incense inside and as they burn the man smokes. Typisch. 

Monday we were invited to the Wendts for brunch and games. Schwester Wendt gave us each our own chocolate fondue pots. (The members here spoil us, I love them). We read Christmas stories, sang songs, and then for our thought we read the Living Christ together and talked about who Christ is for us. After the Wendts we went to President Wolfarts home and ate raclette with his family and the Aarou elders. And we Skyped home! It was so good to see the fam and talk to everyone. Ahh my heart is full. 

Today we took some good naps and then went to the Daums for raclette and games. It's been a good week. :)

"As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth. ...We  bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles— that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son."

I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Sister Carley Lundskog
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Lommelstraße 7
81479 München 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The one where "I was worried you'd be normal..." 12/19/2017

Hey everyone! 

Leaving Reinach was hard but Bad Säckingen rocks and Sister Cliett is a champ! 

Wednesday we met with an old investigator, Raymond. He had a baptismal date a couple months ago but then realized he had a lot of questions. We had a really good deep discussion about the bible and all of his questions. It was way intense but he was really cool, a go very sophisticated man. After that we had an appointment with Schwester Schuler, and we were able to talk a little about faith and the purpose of life. Bruder Caló was there again and helped us out. They are awesome, and Schwester Schuler is just the cutiest. After Schwester Schulers we went to the Häners to do service (cleaning and setting up their Christmas tree, talk about the best service project). After we did our service Mareen (Sister Häners neighbor, the sweetest lady who came to the Dankfest and wanted to see me again) came and we had the best enchiladas eveeeeerrrrrr. Sister Häner makes the best food ever. We had a lovely evening together. Sister Häner sent us home with poppy seed bread and I ate my whole loaf in about 2 minutes it was sooooooo good. 

Thursday we met with the Lichtblaus and their granddaughter Luana. We taught the plan of salvation and Luana became so engaged and just started asking questions and you could tell some of her life long questions were being answered with God's plan for us. It was a wonderful time and the Lichtblaus are amazing. Schwester Lichtblau requested that I come back as soon as it's legal again (90 days), lol I told her I'd really try. 

Friday we met with Kalppana real quick to say goodbye. I'm gonna miss that girl. We then went and met David (a man we found dooring a week or so ago) to give him a book of Mormon and try to set up another appointment. He was excited for the book but also was really struggling to understand why it wasn't included in the bible as one book. (There's a bit of a language barrier.) But that was a fun final appointment in Reinach. We hurried home after that and cleaned and I finished packing and then we booked it to Zurich to get our new comps. Sister Cliett was already at the bahnhof so we just up and left and went to our area to get to work. We dropped cookies off at some less actives along the way home. (We have a car in this area.. all i ever wanted.) When we got to our apartment she informed me that... WE HAVE A PET CAT. her name is Sister Marsha and she is the cutest cuddly cat ever. She actually belongs to our neighbors but she likes us more... probably because she knows my future will be as a crazy cat lady. 

Saturday we went dooring and then to the ward Christmas party. It was a great opportunity for me to meet the members and dive into the area. Our branch is so cute and the members are amazing. The party was fun the theme was "Christmas around the world" and they had the members from different parts of the world share how they celebrate so it was really cool. 

Sunday we had church of course and then did some studies and then went with some members to a choir concert in Switzerland, it was an awesome concert and some members from Reinach were in the choir and their families were there so I was able to see some members again, which made my heart so happy. 

Monday we went dooring and had an appointment with Mansour. He's from Africa and the sisters had found him on a train two weeks ago. He was really open with us and was willing to read in the book of Mormon and meet with us again. And also as it turns out he's friends with the recent convert in this ward, so scooore. 

A little bit about my new companion: her name is Sister Cliett and she was born in Germany but lived in Miami and Kentucky for 12 years. But she already speaks German so that battle isn't one we must fight. She's super awesome. She has been on the mission for 5 weeks now, and I am her "step-mother". 
We have a car in this area which is all new to me, so I feel like instead of me training her, she is training me. Haha. How the tables turn. Sister Cliett is wonderful though and we are working well together, this next transfer is 8 weeks long and we are excited to work it together! Today she confessed that she was so worried to serve with me because she thought I'd be normal. The stress left her after about 5 minutes of being in the car with me. Hahahahahahaha. 

Let us remember the reason we have Christmas, it is for the Christ child, in celebration of His birth.  Luke 2:9-17. 

Love you all! Merry Christmas! 

Sister Carley Lundskog
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Lommelstraße 7
81479 München