Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 10 A Mission is Pure LIGHT

HEY :)

This week's been crazy :) .. As always.

Uhhhhh funny stories. Hah. Well last Sunday we went out on splits with 2 young women. And this young woman and I were walking around, knocking on some doors and we meet this 60ish year old guy. Seemed pretty nice... but I couldn't tell if he was drunk! I was struggling to understand what he was saying and he was going on a lovely rant about something so I was really focused on trying to find out if he was drunk cuz I didn't want him to snag this lil young woman and scare her or anything so I was really trying to focus but I was not paying attention to what he was saying. Then! out of the blue... he just bursts into tears!! and then... HE HUGS ME! Like rather aggressively too.... hahah. There was a split second where I was like MY GOSH HE'S TRYING TO KIDNAP ME... but then I got it. Hahah taught me to pay attention a little bit more in conversations. But we talked about how his wife had died and we got to share a bit of the plan of salvation :)

A member took us out to have RESPADOS!!!!!! Oh my WORD. My eyes have been opened to the beautiful world of respados...... it's like shaved ice on STEROIDS! They're like shaved ice with ice cream and fresh fruit and this other pure sugar syrupy thing. My goodness gracious. AH-MAZING. mmmmmmm. However, good must always be counteracted with evil... and last night we had double dinners. This happens every once in a while, and I don't want to sound ungrateful, but it's a rough experience. Our first stop last night was Golden Corral :) A member took us and 11 other elders out to eat there. Pretty good, but obviously she paid a lot of money so we had to eat a lot. Then we went to this other member's house and had Chichuron. mmmmmmmm It's like this dried pig's skin stuff and she made it kind of like noodles with some spices n such. mmmm. It was a rough one, for sure. It was the first time I haven't been able to finish my plate (which is a huge sign of disrespect) but I figured throwing up in their home would be worse :S One elder in our ward the other day threw up in the middle of a lesson with an investigator. And to make it worse seeing him throw up made the the investigator's 5 year old son throw up right after :P Yeeesh.

We've been really really blessed though. We have this couple investigating and they are just AMAZING. GOLDEN. INSPIRATIONAL. It is really an honor to hear about their desires and goals and to help those thing happen for them. We were teaching them last week about the Book of Mormon and Hna Ellis asked what we're supposed to do with the BOM and they thought about it for a bit... "well.... We should read it...... And then we should think about it, listen to what it's telling us to do............... and then WE SHOULD SHARE IT WITH EVERYBODY!!! :D" Hahahah it was really cute. But they've just got so much faith and fire and it really is an honor to be a missionary.

We've been seeing a lot of miracles. People who just happen to be home at a random time we felt prompted to stop by. People who just needed someone to listen. It's really amazing.

When we were parking and walking in here to email we saw this guy. We said hi of course :) He asked if we were missionaries. We said yes. He then asked if we could help him. He just started to cry. (We've had a lot of cry-ers this week, which is such a clear indication that the Holy Ghost really is softening their hearts and telling them to change). He's just had such a hard life. So many people have. They just want a fresh start.

I know that making the gospel a part of your life offers something that drugs, alcohol, going to church just on Sunday, and buying new clothes just does not replicate. LIVING the gospel brings LIGHT. We were studying together this week and I stumbled upon this scripture in Alma 32 where it's talking about faith as a seed. It's really interesting because I keep thinking that this whole experience just doesn't feel real. It doesn't feel like you guys are all back at home living your own lives. It doesn't feel like I'm finally a missionary, the thing that I've been building up to for 19 years. It just doesn't feel real. And then I read this scripture :) Alma 32:35

"O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good"

A mission is just pure LIGHT. I don't know how else to describe it. It doesn't feel real because it's just so good. I don't even know how to put it into words. But the gospel brings light into people's lives. People who feel completely immersed in the dark. Seek out the light. You know that it is good. And then go and share it with others. There's a quote I like by someone really smart... "A candle looses no light by sharing it with others." You know what you need to do to bring more light into your life and into the lives of others. Now just do it :)

I LOVE YOU ALL :) I pray for you every day :)

This week we're getting iPads and as a part of that we'll be able to READ emails during the week :) We can still only respond on P days but they used the logic that since we can read letters and stuff during the week, why not emails? So that'll be exciting :) I'm excited to see what changes come our way :)

Love you guys!! Thanks for all your support :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 9 God Knows Best/ We're Getting iPads

AHHH!!! Such a crazy week!!! So much to say so little time to say it!!!

1) We had a last minute meeting with ALLLLLLL the missionaries in the mission yesterday......... and we're getting iPads!!!!! :D It's exciting and wonderful and scary and a lot of responsibility and obedience is gonna have to go down, but I couldn't be more excited to give it a try :) We should be getting them in the next few weeks :) Oh! and it also means I get to skype home now on Christmas and mother's day!! And even use facebook!!! yeeeeeeesh... craziness!

2) I found a Mexican food I CANNOT stand! :D hahah I know that shouldn't be exciting... but I feel like that's a right of passage as a missionary. It's called Mole. Like Moe-lay. And it's basically meat in this sauce with a whole bunch of peppers and CHOCOLATE. Yup. Most people love it! Including Hna Ellis, and maybe it's just because I haven't had the best kind yet... but I think it tastes like DIRT. This sweet old lady from the ward made it and oh man. She's awesome. But mmmm. hahah

3) As a zone we tried to hit Standards of Excellence this week :) Which means as a mission we have goals (2 investigators at church, 3 new investigators, 2 baptismal dates, 5 lessons with a member present, 2 investigators that are progressing) that every companionship should be able to hit. Our mission's been struggling a little in this department so we decided as a zone that we were gonna make it happen!!!! We worked so stinkin hard. Yeeesh. We're exhausted. But Hna Ellis and I, along with 2 other companionships managed to hit it :D And our zone had INCREDIBLE results. So many miracles. And SO many trials. The harder we work, the harder satan works.

We were out knocking doors one day and this lady opened the door. Nice lady :) From Hawaii, started talking about God, etc and 20 seconds in I just feel these little pinches all over my feet......... There were fire ants EVERYWHERE. And they were like ALL over me. On my wrist, on my arms, on my legs, all up in my skirt. My goodness gracious and they were biting the heck out of me. And I just smiled and kept going :) She wasn't interested, but it was a really good contact. hahaha After she closed the door we ran around the corner and Hna Ellis started whacking the heck out of my skirt trying to get em all off. :) I've got lots of lil bites all over me... but hey, we hit standards :) And we have 3 investigators who are going to be baptized on June 13th :') The Lord works in mysterious ways.

4) We also met a guy named LION!!! Yeah, like the animal! Big old black guy who was sitting outside his house :) He looked at me and was like... "wait! I know you!!!!!" After going back and forth for a bit he finally decided "Ohhhhh no, you've got that bible in yo hand so I know I didn't meetcha up in da cluuuub" hahahah it was pretty funny. He had some really profound ideas about how church is a lot more than a building. Couldn't agree more! We gave his number to the English elders :)

I always feel like I have to pick a theme for every week in these emails. This week... I guess. God knows best. We've gotta experience so many hard things so that we can see the miracles. God loves us. He knows what we want. One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 16:9 "A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps"

The Lord knows our hearts. He knows we want to be better. Look to him in faith and he WILL direct your steps and help you get there. I know it.

I LOVE YOU ALL :) Have an amazing week!!!
Hermana Lund

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 8 She put it over her heart

Hey :)

It was really really great to talk to you guys yesterday :) I wish it could've been longer but it was really nice to hear your voices!! Sometimes it feels like my life before I came out here was a dream and that no one, friends, family, nada really exist. But it was nice to remember why I'm out here and who's got my back :) That being said, hopefully we'll get iPads before Christmas and we'll be able to skype :D

Funny story of the week :P This is a good one. So buckle up! Okay. So we have this recent convert that is moving trailers. She is so good to all the missionaries (feeds em every week, lets us play with her puppy, gives us pan dulce always :P), so of course we and the elders went over to help her clean her new place :) They had had this layer of floor something that they took out so the floor underneath had all this glue and nasty stuff all over it. Like WAY gross. and IMPOSSIBLE to take off. One of the elders (who is particularly enthusiastic about cleaning interestingly enough) said we should use GASOLINE! ......... yeeeeeeeeup! So we went out, got a big ol thing of gasoline! We dumped it all over the floor and started scrubbin.... and it WORKED!!!! Like really really well! That floor was sparkling :) .... However. As you can imagine... Inhaling gas fumes for an hour starts to get to you. Hahahahah we all got a lil loopy and giggly before we figured out that that proooobably wasn't the best idea :P but it worked!

On Saturday we did a Sunrise hike of A mountain with all the other Hermanas in our Zone :) A mountain is more like a hill... but it was cool :) The A is for the University of Arizona. We got up at 4:19 in the morning and had a blast :) it was nice to have time to ponder and look down on the city, knowing that there are people out there that we need to go out and teach :)

Later on Saturday we had a SUPER BLITZ!!! :D All the missionaries in our ward split up and we each went with a member to go knocking :) I went out with this girl who just got married. She served her mission in Argentina and she's a BEAST. Man. Her spanish. Her teaching skills. Dang. I learned SO MUCH! Anyways! We went out and knocked at this park :) We knocked on a couple of doors with no answers but then we came to this one trailer. We could see this lady through the window. Before we could even knock, she opened the door and let us right in :) She explained that when she saw us, she just knew that there was something special about us :) We had an amazing lesson and they agreed to learn more and read the Book of Mormon :)

OH! on Tuesday we got to go to the temple :D We went to the Gila Valley temple because that's the one in our mission. The Gilbert and Mesa ones are a little closer and a little bit bigger, but since they're outside the boundaries, we roadtriped up to the Gila Valley :) President Passey drove the big old white van and we had a blast :) All the new hermanas sat in the back and we just got to talk about how much we've grown, all we're struggling with, etc :) It was awesome! and the temple..... man. I can't even put into words how much I love the temple. It is one of the greatest blessings we have and I wish I could go every day :)

Okay... so this was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my mission so far. We just started visiting this 14 year old girl who hasn't come to church in a long time. She's excited to come back and get involved with young womens. But her mom is really sick. She has cancer and stays in bed all day. We stopped by to visit them on Saturday and all there family was there. They said it was doubtful that her mom would make it through the night. We stood in the room as the mom slept and offered a prayer. After the prayer and with tears streaming down his face, the dad pulled back the covers and pulled out a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, the one with Jesus on the cover. The mom had put it right over her heart. I know that families are eternal.

We found 7 new investigators this week! We had 5 member present lessons! and we had 5 investigators at church!!!!! Those are MIRACLES. We've been trying to figure out what we did differently, but when it comes down to it.... We found those people, they were ready to listen to our message and change because of pure chance! Right place, right time, right people. Man. Heavenly Father really wants to bless his children and he's putting us to work to get it done :)

It just keeps getting harder and harder and better and better and I couldn't be happier :)

Thanks for all the support and love.... you guys are wonderful! I invite you all to kick it up a notch. Whatever you're doing... do more! Be better! Try harder! The beauty of being a spanish missionary is that people are really honest and will tell you what you're doing wrong :) And even more so, if you ask Heavenly Father... he'll tell you too. Be better :)


These are some pic from the temple with Hna Ellis and our zone :) and from our sunrise hike.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 7 Beans

Hola Familia y Amigos :)

Today's my SECOND BIRTHDAY :D hahah I'm two months old in the mission :)

I feel like I haven't talked a lot about spanish and learning the language and stuff.... but Spanish is AWESOME! I'm feeling more and more confident every day :) There are still some humbling moments though :P Like we tried to call this one member to see if she could come to a lesson with us. I called her.... We got through the whole Hola, Como Esta? Muy Bien. Esta ocupada ahorita?.... and then she started to just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.... and I got NOTHING. Not even a word. "Mande" (very important spanish word.... basically means "I have noooo clue what you just said..... wanna try one more time in simpler spanish and 1000000 times slower? please and thank you" :) ) And so she did the whole thing again...... and I still got NOTHING. Zip. Not even a word. So I just handed the phone to Hna Ellis and we got it all squared away :) hahah But it's a really beautiful language. I'm so grateful I get to speak it and learn it. It's just takes it to a whole other level when you communicate with people in their own language. It's like if you went to church in Tongan. Like, you'd still feel the spirit, get all the warm and fuzzies, and maybe understand bits and pieces of doctrine they taught.... but you'd get SO much more if it were in English :) I'm willing to sacrifice my own linguistic comfort in the hopes that our investigators can experience that comfort. I don't know if that makes sense... but oh well :)

The food's also been really good :) However. I am realizing I have this problem. Mexican food is good. Like really yummy about 99.9999999% of the time. And we're out working hard and such. So when we go to member's home's for dinner, I'm starving! And since it's really good, I eat really fast! And if a Mexican sees you have an empty plate, they IMMEDIATELY fill it with even more than before. And I obviously have to eat it (slash I also really want to) so I keep scarfing it down. But then it hits me. Usually half way through the second plate. Like I am FULL. Like NO ROOM AT THE INN full! ... but ya gotta endure to the end.

hahah this week we had dinner with this one member and she's AWESOME! LOVE HER! and she makes the BEST food! ... but I swear... She and Hna Ellis ganged up on me and somehow I ended up having to eat twice as much as them. Another important note about Mexican food.... Beans..... Let's just say that you gotta watch the beans or hope your car has some seriously good ventilation or you're gonna be driving with the windows down for a looooooooooooooooooong time :P hahaha That one meal though this week... Thought I was gonna die. I was going through all the steps of grief. Bargaining. Denial. Oh yeah. Wooo. That was a rough one.. But it's so worth it :) mmmmm

On the spiritual side of things we had a miracle last night :) We've been having a hard time having lessons with investigators with a member present. And these lessons are SUPER important!! Having members, real people share their stories and faith brings a spirit to a lesson that missionaries sometimes can't. Anyways. So last week we had ZERO. yup. Big fat ZERO. We tried! but either the member cancelled or the investigator cancelled or something fell through... So we tried again for this week cuz zero means you gotta step it up! So we took members out with us almost every single day! We had one lady (the same one with all the good food) stay out with us for 4.5 hours!!!!! woooweee. But yesterday rolled around and we STILL had not had a member present lesson despite all our efforts :( Long story short, we were determined to get this member present lesson!!!!! And we got it :) Last night we went out with this one member to see this couple who we met while we were walking down the street :) It was a beautiful lesson. This member had had such unique and special experiences in her life. And COINCIDENCE... this investigator had had very similar ones. They were able to share this connection of faith that neither Hna Ellis or I could have even dreamed of replicating. The couple wants to know more and we're going back later this week :)

The church is true :) I don't really know what else to say besides that... Being a missionary is such a privilege. I've never been happier :)


Les amo muchisimo! Que tenga una buena semana! Estoy animada a placticar con ustedes en el dia de los madres :)

Hermana Lund