Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The one where I don't have any idea for a subject line this week so I'll just make it really long because this email certainly isn't.

Liebe Freunde,

So Sister Hill and I decided that we wanted to become runners... Nat├╝rlich... so about 2 weeks ago we started running. It was all fun and games at first (by fun I mean hard and by games I mean we couldn't breathe) but then it turned into a disaster  (by disaster I mean shin splints and cankles). That probably makes me sound pathetic and out of shape (I am), but the fact that we are in fact in Austria and Austria is built upon cobblestones...well the two just don't want to cooperate. ­čśŐ but we don't let my shin splints and swollen ankles stop us from running!  (OR from walking around all of Vienna all day everyday trying to spread the wonderful gospel). I just really gotta get my shins together!

Sister Johnson gave us some chocolate sandwich things that were filled with some sort of spicy filling.. on the package it said for ages 16+ because it was so hot. We died.

The weird fail of a panoramic picture was the view outside our apartment twice this week.. there were 5 Polizei vans, 1 regular Polizei car, about 10 Polizist, and some news people. We have absolutely no idea why or what happened, but it was almost like watching an action movie. Almost. Except without the action, drama, and plot. 

So on Friday Vienna had a "Lange Nacht der Kirchen", where every church in Austria just opened their doors and let anyone come in and look around and ask questions, no pressure or anything. Our church has never been invited to participate, but this year our ward decided to unofficially be a part of it. So Sister Hill and I, and two members from the Bishopric and some other members stayed at the church Friday evening for an open house. They played Meet the Mormons (never thought the first time I would see that movie would be in another language...) and just waited and hoped for something. About 30 minutes before we were going to lock up the church and be done for the night a man we had met at the Bezirksgesundtag thing came. He went on a tour with Bruder Enenkel through our church building and then we joint taught the restoration with Bruder Enenkel. It was awesome. (and just shows that patience is a virtue, and miracles don't come until after the trial of your faith..and/patience lol). It was a good night. 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: I HAVE A NEW NEPHEW. Miles Samuel Maag! He is an absolute beaut, my sister done did good! Just being the proud aunt that I am, I had to share that special piece of information. 

We forgot to take pictures this week, but we had a few random selfies. (Sorry enjoy those awkward treasures).

Liebe Gr├╝├če,

Sister Lundskog

"Whether or not we serve as full-time missionaries, each of us has the opportunity to share the gospel and serve those around us." -President Thomas S. Monson 

 And here is handsome Miles!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The One With the Rotten Apples (June 6, 2017)

Liebe Familie und Freunde, 

I still am just blown away by how fast every single week seems to go. The days feel sooo long but before we know it we are doing weekly planning again. It's crazy. But so wonderful. I probably won't ever get over how fast time goes, which is why I constantly repeat that. I live in constant shock and awe. 

So here's the run down of this last week (leaving out a lot because I'm human and ya'll are too)...
Wednesday we taught Kat and ate a weeks worth of vegetables and hummus in one sitting  (as we do every Wednesday morning when we teach at the Johnsons...it's the best). We then did our studies, attempted to teach the German course  (but for the first time ever nobody came...) Then we taught one of the sisters the restoration again and set a soft baptism date!
Thursday we were going to teach the recent convert in our ward...but unfortunately he forgot and didn't come. Then we finally met the woman who called wanting to be baptized...she's done so much research on the church it's crazy. Also she has a cat named Melissa and I really want it. After that we visited one of the older ladies in our ward (she's 95!!! People here get so old, what a nightmare). Anyway, she's so funny. She asked Sister Hill why she was so white, and then went on about how she always gets really brown and she was sorry for Sister Hill and her whiteness (not that I'm any darker...she just picked on Sister Hill). SO FUNNY. I was trying not to die laughing. 
On Friday we went to a funeral for one of the members in our ward. It was really sad, but also I didn't understand any of the speakers so it kind of just killed my brain. 
On Saturday we went and visited another older member that visit regularly. It was so hot outside but I joked about her giving us tea as usual, but Sister Hill assured me that it was the middle of June, in Europe, so surely she would not give us tea. She did. Not only did she give us hot tea, but she gave us apples! Sister Hill started cutting into her apple and the lady was so happy that it didn't appear rotten...we found that odd until I cut mine...the entire inside was BLACK. Who knew apples could even do that!? She gasped, took the apple away and gave me another. Once I cut that one and it appeared to not be rotten she told us that she bought the apples at least a month ago...and she didn't want them. Nat├╝rlich, we had to eat them. And then, we had to fight with all our might to not throw up because they were so bad. We went out with Baagii and Richard and a family with a missionary recently returned from this mission after that appointment. That was rough. I felt so sick but had to keep eating so as to not be rude...so that was a rough night for my dying stomach. 

So some fun facts about Europe
1. There's 1000000000 people here 
2. It's hot and humid and semi miserable at times 
3. The air conditioners here are called fenster.  Also known as... windows! So really, there's no air conditioning. Not anywhere. Not in our apartment, not on the trains or busses, not in the stores, not in the church... it's a real fun sweaty time. Who wouldn't want to sweat all day and night? 
4. There are ice cream shops EVERYWHERE, with the most addicting ice cream ever.
5. Europeans have bladders constructed of steel or something. There aren't bathrooms anywhere. Very rarely can you find one, and when you do, you have to pay. And they aren't predictable, they are in the most random locations. So. Everyday is a struggle. But a good struggle. Still haven't paid for a bathroom, so I feel very successful here.
6. They don't have ice, or anything. Which...for an ice addict like me just doesn't work out too well. So I created a system (Sister Hill told me I was dumb, and that it wouldn't work...but now she won't stop eating my ice).
7. It's a fairy tale place.
8. There's historical things everywhere.
9. The old people ride razor scooters and I think it's so funny. Also the old people are just really old. We met with three 95 year olds this week...soooo old.
10. I'm running out of facts...You know that one couple in high school that just can't seem to get enough of each other and makes everyone around them uncomfortable? Well that is every couple here. Except, here there is no dress code, and also it's not just high schoolers. We have seen our fair share of OLD OLD OLD couples...Love is in the air in Europe I suppose. Yiiiiiikes.

Alma 38:5 And now my son(daughter), (your name), I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.


The one where I get to stay in Vienna! May 30

This week has been an awesome one. As usual. Because missionary work is awesome. It's definitely summer now and we nearly die of heat strokes everyday but it wouldn't be fun if there weren't any challenges right? Makes us grateful for the things that we do have! 

So Thursday we had austausch and we Tausched with our STL'S who live in Wiener Neustadt. Sister Hill went there and worked with Sister Renner and Sister Call came and served with me here in Wien 1! Sister Call is from Poland and the ZL's have an investigator from Poland so Sister Call and I actually went to a lesson with them. Because Sister Call could help with the small language barrier. It was really interesting. Anna was a total sweetheart (English/polish lesson so I understood all but the polish...) 

Somehow we ended up at like 2 different "riots" this week, but I'm not sure if you could even call them riots because Austrians just don't riot the way the rest of the world does. Also neither Sister Hill or I understood what they were even saying so we aren't sure what that was all about. But that was...different. 

Saturday we had transfer calls, I will be staying in Vienna for at least another transfer! (still waiting on that visa though...) Sister Hill and I are excited to continue working together!

Sunday we had dinner at Baagii and Richard's again. I love her. I would probably live in Vienna forever if I could just stay with her. She's the absolute best. 

ALSO WE HAD NINE INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There wasn't enough seats for everyone during Sacrament, it was amazing. We have been so blessed. It was a miracle. 

So we have 5 investigators currently, all of which speak English with us.. So German isn't coming along too quickly for me.. But we do have a recent convert and a potential investigator that we speak German with, so all hope for German hasn't been lost. yet.   

So I don't really feel like writing today.. so I am sorry about that. but enjoy several pictures. 

*funny stories of the week:
1. while meeting with Andy she kept saying a word and every time I was like 'that word sounds so familiar' but I just couldn't place it. She had been saying some random German words with her English so I was figuring maybe it was a German word I just couldn't remember....it wasn't. It was the s word.
2. that's all.

"Let our lives reflect our love of the Lord by being obedient to the commandments and reaping the promised blessings both in this life and in the life to come." -Robert D. Hales

have a great week everyone!

-Sister Lundskog