Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The One With All the Meal Appointments


I am just so excited to say hello! This last week was a really great week! We stayed super busy which was awesome! So Tuesday nights we go to Caritas (Caritas is kind of like an Austrian DI... They sell clothes for super cheap to refugees). Anyway, we go to Caritas every Tuesday night to help serve them. We usually just go through clothes and organize them and help clean things up. Unfortunately the location that we went and helped at got shut down, so last week was our last week doing that. It was really hard to say goodbye to the people who are always there since they have always been so nice and are sort of like family to us sisters. 

Wednesday all of the missionaries in Wien went to lunch with a member in our stake (Bruder Von Rosen, we call it the Von Rosen Lunch). He is very well off and has been a member at the oldest tennis club in Austria for over 50 years.. so he treats all of the missionaries to a nice lunch once a month. So that was really fun just to get out and talk to the other missionaries, as well as hear stories from Bruder Von Rosen. He has done so many cool things in his life. Wednesday night we met with one of the sisters and taught her the first lesson. She absorbed it! She was so excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon because she loves reading. She told us she was going to try to read as much as she could over the weekend. It was adorable. 

Thursday we had a bezirksgesundtag (district health day). Wien as a city is split up into districts and the district that we live in had a health day so the church had gotten a place to present the word of wisdom. So Sister Hill, and I, and two other members from our ward were able to be at a stand for the majority of Thursday and give out word of wisdom pamphlets. It was quite interesting! Sister Hill and I got our first sunburns of the year! Crazy stuff. Thursdayevening we had a dinner appointment with some members and they let us practice teaching the first lesson in German to them. 

Friday, we had some finding time and then had GMK (ward mission coordination meeting? or something I don't know it in english.. we met with our GML... so our ward mission leader..) He was actually just released and now we will be having a new mission leader so that will be an interesting change! We'll see how it goes! We then had a dinner appointment with some more members, which was just a very interesting occasion and I'm not quite sure what to even say about it... Except that we almost couldn't leave and we got home after curfew. The member who invited us over thought that any visit less than 3 hours was rude, because you don't even have enough time to eat all of your food. Which in her case, was almost true. It was way fun though, she is the sweetest woman ever and I love her.  

Sunday we had a lunch appointment with some members and a recent convert. We love working with the members. Our ward is the best, the members are so strong and I just love getting to know them. They are all filled with ideas since they are all either converts, or were missionaries at some point. 

Monday we had district meeting, which because one of the missionaries in our district from before went home, we were combined with the other Wien district. It was way fun, because there were so many of us! Our district was usually just Sister Hill and I, and two elders. But with the combination there were just a lot of us. After district meeting we went out and did district finding. Elder Richardson and I were sent out as a team for finding and that was way fun. It's interesting to see the difference in how Elders do finding verses how Sisters do. Also people were way more willing to talk to Elder Richardson and I, than they are Sister Hill and I. It was wack. We got several numbers to set up appointments and gave out a few cards though! 

This coming Saturday we will be getting transfer calls (Not even sure how it has been like 6 weeks but okay..) We are in full suspense due to the fact that I don't have a visa I may actually be leaving. Goldens (missionaries in training) usually stay in their area for at least 12 weeks, usually longer. But I don't have a visa for Austria, and it doesn't look like it's gonna happen any time soon so I may be off to Germany. But we shalllllll seeeeeeeeeeeee! So much suspense!

Also, everyone here always has either 1. a cigarette in their hand or 2. ice cream. On occasion, they have both. We, usually have ice cream. There are ice cream places on every corner, and so basically you have to buy ice cream. It's delicious and a necessity to have an ice cream to fit in here. 

"Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness." -Neal A. Maxwell. 

Have a fantastic week!
Ich hab euch lieb!

Sister Lundskog

(pictures.. got ourselves a treat-REFRIED BEANS, basically a miracle that we could find some. There was a huge group of people doing yoga in the park.. which ended with them relaxing and laying down for at least 45 minutes. Goals vielleicht? Beer festival, typical day finding in Vienna..!)

The One Where there are no Kangaroos in Austria

Hello my dear sweet friends, 

So there is a long time saying here of "there are no kangaroos in Austria". Which, after today I can tell you otherwise. We went to the zoo! There were at least 5 kangaroos! Nothing like Australia, but there ARE kangaroos in Austria.. so that's that. 

Ahhhhh what a glorious time and place to be sharing the good word of God! Did I mention ALL THREE SPEAK ENGLISH?! So wonderful! One of them has kind of been an investigator for a while but at the same time...not. She's just been friends with the sisters for a really long time but that's as far as it's gone. I met her for the first time yesterday for brunch with a member who she is really good friends with. We were finally able to establish our purpose as missionaries and she has agreed to start taking the lessons every week! We are so excited to work with her every week because she is absolutely incredible! I only met Kat once but I just love her so much and the gospel will help her so much! The other two are in Vienna for school, and they are so sweet! They were referrals from a recent convert in Linz, and they are just so ready for the gospel. We met them last Wednesday and will be meeting with them again this Wednesday evening! 
We also received a call from some random lady who when we answered and said we were the sisters she said: "hello I know about your church and I would like to be baptized." (Except, in German of course.) So we will be meeting with her tomorrow afternoon, we're hoping all goes well! 

Quick rundown of the last week: This last week has been very similar to all of the rest except for the part where we got investigators and people are actually willing to speak to us. On Thursday we went to lunch with the Wien Ehepaar  (senior couple). They are awesome. And wonderful. And lunch was delicious, as is the majority of food here. Friday we taught the English course again, and Sister Hill and I decided that English is a terrible language and we are going to strive to be fluent german so we never have to speak English again. (A bit dramatic but it may actually get us to learn German...seeing how we both desperately need to.) Saturday we decided to go by a few less-actives and share a quick message...and well... NONE of them were home! But we were able to do lots of klingling around where they live. Sunday was Mutterstag! The primary kids went up in sacrament and sang cute songs and then gave flowers to every woman! It was precious and we treasured our flowers until they were stolen about 2 hours later. Skype was so wonderful and exciting! Yesterday we met with Kat, had zone training, and then studied for a quick sec (really though only a quick sec) and then went to FHA at the bishops house with an part-member less active family. 

So basically, just an exciting last week! This next week is going to be sooooo crazy busy. We are really excited but also just hoping that a miracle will happen and we will have time to study. 

My invitation to you this week, is to read "A Royal Generation" by Dean L Larsen, it is a talk from the April 1983 general conference and it is stellar. We are not on the earth at this time on accident. We need to do our best to reach the potential we are capable of, and qualify for the work that the Lord needs us to do. "Study the scriptures and encourage the other members of your family to do so. Say your prayers and do all you can to influence other members of your family to pray. Pay your tithes. Obey the Word of Wisdom. Be chaste. You may have a greater influence than you have thought possible, if you will do your own part."
"Let us prove by the way we live and serve that we are everything the Lord expects us to be."

I love you all so so I much!

♡/Sister Lundskog 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The One Where the World Needs More Kindness...

Hello everyone, 

Yesterday was my two month mark, which totally blows my mind! the days are long but the weeks are fast and the months are even faster!

Yesterday I got an email about one of my old friends from ucas who committed suicide. I know that there's not anything I could have done but it's still something that has just been really hard. For those of you at home and dealing with that, my heart is with you all. Please be so kind to everyone around you, let them know you love them and find ways to show you care. You never really know what someone is going through or how they are feeling, but how you treat them and make them feel can make a huge difference. Thomas S. Monson in this last conference spoke about how the world needs more kindness and charity. I definitely recommend going back and reading that talk. Evaluate where you're at, and do better. We can always do better. We can always find ways to show love and kindness.

So now for the other stuff..

Saturday the stake had a 175th birthday party for the relief society! It was an all day ordeal since members have to travel from so far. We went for the last part since we had studies and such in the morning.. as it ended up we made it there in time for dancing, which was the funniest thing ever. There are so many older and ollllddd ladies that are members and we could not stop laughing. We learned a German dance and they had a swing dance, it was all women and it was just hilarious.  Nobody had any idea what was going on. 

Saturday night we had a "sportabend" so a sport night, it was all of the missionaries in Vienna who wanted to come and whoever else we could get to come (members, investegators, random people off the street..) it was so fun! One of the sisters just talked to random people on the way there and ended up getting 4 guys to come and play for a while. It was an interesting night but way fun. 

On Sunday, the recent convert (he got baptized mid february) we have been teaching each a week had the privilege of passing the sacrament! It was way cool, and he was so excited!
Also on sunday, we decided to go out dooring before we went to a members for dinner... it was sunny but I figured I'd take my jacket anyway because evenings get cooler and also it rains randomly.. well when we were about 7 minutes away from our apartment it just started POURING. Everyone outside started screaming and running as if they were going to die by getting a little wet.. as you can tell we got more than a little wet.. hahahaha my skirt was drenched and my coat soaked through. Mission life, gotta love it. 

{For all of my cute friends who are thinking about starting mission papers/are working on them/about to leave on your missions I've been gathering together your questions and putting together things I wish I knew beforehand, ways to prepare, and whatnot. So if you want to be a recipient of that, let me know and I'll send it to you. 😊}

For those of you questioning if you want to go on a mission, please read the talk "The Question of a Mission" by Gordon B. Hinckley. It was in the April 1986 general conference and is a really great talk. Here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/04/the-question-of-a-mission?lang=eng 

For the rest of you, I invite you to go and read "The Power of the Word" by President Ezra Taft Benson. It was a talk for the April 1986 Priesthood Leadership meeting, but President Benson wanted it included in the conference reports as well. It's old, but it's still incredibly relevant and powerful. Here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/04/the-power-of-the-word?lang=eng

I wish I could email each one of you and express how much I've appreciated you in my life and just let you know the impact you've made, but I don't have the time. So please, just know that I really love each of you and you've changed my life. You're all loved and cared for dearly. 

Don't forget to be more kind, more loving, and more charitable towards everyone you meet. Let's make the world a kinder place and hopefully save some lives. (Spiritually and temporally). 

Sister Lundskog 💕

Ps. I included a picture of the wall in our living room. I'm pretty sure it's Schwarz, but it's apparently been there for years.. I haven't added to it, and don't plan on it. But enjoy looking at our graffiti.  😂

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The One With Faith

Hello everyone!

This week has been interesting! We have gone to a really pretty park almost everyday, and well, we try to talk to people... Usually people will look at us and just walk away, or they say "ich habe kein zeit" [I have no time]. or "Ich brauche nicht" {basically I don't need that} It's really exciting. On Friday, we met this really cute lady from Kenya. She was walking her baby around the park. We asked her what brings her peace and she asked us to say it in English.. Then she asked us if we wanted to walk around with her and talk more about God and what brings us peace. We walked with her for probably 30-40 minutes and just talked about faith and God and our experiences with His love and blessings. She has been a Christian her whole life and absolutely loves God. She took a card from us but she is pretty rooted as she is. But it was just a really great experience, because so many people we try to talk to about Christ say stuff like "I have no interest" "I don't need that" and stuff like that, which is heartbreaking because we all need Christ. So being able to talk to someone and talk about Christ was just 100% needed for us at that point.

So you know how kids like to stand over air vents and have the air blow their clothes up? and how for girls it was always fun to wear a flowy skirt and do that? Well, that is what everyday is like in Austria. Except...It's not as exciting as it used to be when your skirt blows up to your face... We are constantly trying to keep our skirts down on the days that we don't wear pencil skirts.. It's hilariously frustrating. 

Sister Hill and I have been living off of banana muffins {she has the best recipe ever, and we seriously just make them and eat them, it's like a banana muffin factory in our apartment during dinner & journal writing time... so so so so good.} Also, we have had a bunch of chocolate left over from Easter that members had given Sister Hill and her previous companions, so the other night I just decided to try some.. and anyway, they have chocolate with poprocks inside of it. I was so confused when I first was eating it because there was a weird tingling in my throat and then the chocolate in my mouth started popping.. I thought I was crazy so I made Sister Hill try one, I wasn't crazy. It's like the most exciting chocolate ever! We are going to try to find more so we can send some home and also keep having popping chocolate parties in our mouths. 

We had dinner appointments with members several times this last week and everything was sooo good! Our members are absolutely wonderful and the ward is so strong! We've had really great discussions with members over dinner about the gospel and it's just so amazing to see what others have gone through and where they are now. The gospel really does change and shape lives. It's incredible!

On Saturday night we had dinner with this wonderful member from Mongolia, named Baagii, and her husband Richard. Anyway, while we were talking about faith, her brother who was in the other room farted SO LOUD. I tried to keep a straight face and act like I didn't hear it since nobody reacted to it in the room... but then I made eye-contact with Baagii and accidentally cracked a smile and she just cracked up laughing. While Sister Hill and Richard were still talking about faith she whispered to me "that was my brother...he farted" and just giggled.. I responded with "I know, it reminds me of home" and she just got so excited and giggled some more but gave me a high-five because that is her goal. To make her home feel like home to the missionaries, and if farting is what that takes, then so be it. Also she told me that next time we come over it better be me farting instead of her brother. 😂

I absolutely love it here, I love the people, I love the place, I just love it all!

I love you all and hope you are all doing wellll!

For our Pday today we went to Schönbrunn Castle and walked around the gardens, so there is a selfie from that, and then a picture of dooring earlier this week. :) I'll send more pictures of the castle when my tablet works since my pictures are on my camera. These are from Sister Hill :)

ALSO, during personal study the other day I came across a scripture that my sister, Amielee, had shared with me while she was on her mission. It really stuck out so I am going to share it with you all now, as a nice closing spiritual thought. 
It is Mosiah 2:41 "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

Sister Lundskog

The One in Vienna

Hallo everyone, 

So we left for Germany suuuuuuper early on Tuesday last week, Sister Hunter and I did not even sleep because Sister Hunter hadn't packed yet and I knew she was stressed so I stayed up and helped her pack up and get her bags to the approved weight... So that was great. When we got to Germany we were met by President Kohler and his wife and the AP's. We loaded up our stuff into a van and then us new missionaries and the AP's got on a train and headed to the mission home. On the train we were all given a Book of Mormon and had to give it out. Which was real exciting and scary. I didn't end up giving one out but Sister Pugh and I had a really intersesting conversation with a lady about God, it was really cool. Once we got to the mission home we got some lunch and had a lot of training. and I got a wonderous package from the most amazing mother on the planet (DANKE SCHÖN mama!! Du bist der beste!) I only took some of the stuff from the package and had to leave the rest of it to be brought to me later at zone conference.. I've been living off of the sour watermelons from the package for the past week but they are basically gone now so I'll probably just starve and die. 

We ate dinner at the presidents house and had a testimony meeting and got our assignments. Then we stayed in a hostel in Munchin (finally was able to sleep after 38 hours straight of being awake), and in the morning we went to the train station and split off. (Scary and sad...) Sister Peterson (from our stake at home) was there and that was really nice to see her. 

When I got to Wien I was greeted by Sister Hill and a few other missionaries (including Elder Richardson/aka second cousin) so it was nice to see a familiar face when I got here. Sister Hill is super great and nice. I got to Wien in the evening so I just unpacked and we went to bed. Thursday morning we were supposed to have a lesson with a recent convert but Sister Hill forgot to confirm the time so he never showed up (which unfortunately was a relief to me because I was/am still trying to catch up on sleep). We then had our studies and then we taught Deutschkurs and English course (I taught English and she taught German). It's a service the church has the missionaries do here twice a week. So that was exciting. After Deutschkurs they have a spielabend to get investigators/anyone intersted to come and play games so we played scrabble (auf Deutsch) and Uno and pool, so reallllllllly fun. After that we finally went home and ate dinner. Which we do at like 8pm every night so I'm always starving.

I don't know how Sister Hill survived because when I got to our apartment there was like no food and she said she doesn't eat much so she didn't think about it too much... that didn't go for me and we had an emergency shopping trip on Saturday because I was soooooooo hungry. 

We've done lots of dooring and street contacting and that's been interesting. I have no idea what anyone is saying back to us because they talk so fast and Sister Hill hardly ever remembers what they said to clarify it for me or she just shrugs it off lol. So it's frustrating. The first lady I went up to and talked to on my own actually spoke English! Haha she asked if I could speak English because she didn't know German. She is from Poland and she was super nice. 

In Europe they have the new to the ward missionaries go up and introduce themselves and share their testimony so I was able to do that on Sunday. After church we ate lunch with the Bishop and his family. It was soooo good. They made spätzle and pizza. He kept asking if I wanted more, and I didn't want to lie so I would say yes. It got to the point where he just dumped the whole big pan on my plate and had me eat all of the rest of it. He was so happy that they finally had a sister missionary who could eat. So so good. Also they spoke english like the whole time so that was nice and not stressful.

Last night we had dinner and FHE at a member families house and they had a friend who is a non-member over. We had a really interesting discussion about the Plan of Salvation and agency and repentance and stuff.. He had a lot of questions and has apparently met with missionaries before and just continues to go in circles since he gets caught up on little details.. but I'm sure he'll come around eventually if he finds the desire.

I had my first döner today, which was SO GOOD. They are originally from Turkey but they are so good. I couldn't even tell you what all is in it or what kind of meat it was, but it was incredible. We then went to a park and walked around and then sat on a bench in the sun and just relaxed. Today was the first warm day since I've been here and the sun was so nice. 

Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut, aber mein Zeugnis ist stärk!

I love you allllllll!

Ps I don't have access to wifi all the time anymore, but when I do the emails are always fun to read later during journal time! 

Also, here is my new address! I'll probably be here for a while so it's a safe address to send mail to :) 

Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Sister Carley Lundskog 
Hormayrgasse 59/9
A 1170
Wien, Österreich

The One with Munich and Vienna!