Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 19 Sacred Sanctification

Hoooola :)

So! New area!! New companion!! New everything!!!

The Gila Valley feels like an entirely different mission. Hermana Munk and I are the only spanish missionaries in the whole valley............. Yup. And our area is the whole valley...... Our area overlaps with about 16 english missionaries so geographically it is HUGE. We drive a lot :) Meaning, I drive a lot :) Which I absolutely love! We have a big old white truck too for all the dirt roads. Man. It's so crazy and green here! with fields and crops and farm animals... Holy cow! I have never seen so many horses in my life. We also get to drive by the temple a few times every day which gives me the chills every time :) It really is so beautiful here. WAY different than Tucson which isn't really a bad thing or a good thing.

Also, the spanish is really limited. We had maybe 1 or 2 lessons this week that were entirely in spanish and then maybe 15 that were completely in english. It kind of breaks my heart not being able to use spanish as much as before. Oh, and also... I have no idea how to talk to people in english! Yeesh... Turns out I'm an awkward missionary... Dang it. In spanish I can be all charming and such but english... forget about it :P

Our branch is made up of maybe 3 or 4 people that only speak spanish and then a ton of white people :) Oh, and everyone here is a member... But we get treated like royalty!! DISCOUNTS GALORE!!! We went out to dinner once: paid for. Went out to lunch: paid for. Did service at the food bank: free groceries. It's ridiculous!! Don't get me wrong.. It's great! It's just different than all the crazy homeless people in Tucson.

We've seen a lot of miracles this week though. It was really easy to go knocking in Tucson cuz there were apartment complexes and pretty mexican areas. Here, it's alllllllllllllll white. And our area's HUGE (like we can drive up to 2300 miles a month, huge). And the houses are all pretty spread out with dirt roads farms in between. So. Knockin here is a challenge. But we did a lof of "eh, let's try that random farm over there!" and they just happened to speak spanish :) One house we knocked on happened to have a spanish husband, and a less-active wife that hasn't been visited by missionaries in 7 years. Oh and she just *happens* to be having a major surgery in the next few weeks... Hmmm. coincidence? I think not :) They're really funny and kind and they invited us back to play with their horses and goats and donkeys and cows and dogs and chickens! We snagged a couple pictures with their cute lil baby goats :)

I've been studying in Mosiah a lot, reading the stories of all the great missionaries/leaders/pure legends like King Benjamin and Abinadi. And I kept seeing these little passages that just bugged me. After King Benjamin gives all of his words of wisdom to his people from the tower and turns over everything to his son, it says in Mosiah 6:5 "And King Benjamin lived for 3 years and he died." And then it moves on. THREE YEARS??? One of the wisest men in the world was about to die... Don't tell me he just sat around for 3 years doing nothing, saying nothing! And then I hit the story of Abinadi. After he confronts evil King Noah and lays everything on the table it says he was in prison for 3 days and then the story moves on. He essentially condemns himself to death by standing up for what he believes in, and there is nothing about the 3 days that follow?

I strongly believe that those 3 years and those 3 days must have been one of the most sacred periods of time those two great men ever experienced. Whenever we make the conscious decision to follow God and to act in faith we are IMMEDIATELY blessed with an outpouring of the spirit. I have felt that time and time again as a missionary. I can only imagine that sweet spirit those men must have felt before they died. They probably experienced trials, doubts, depression, anxiety in those time frames as well. But I have no doubt that the Lord blessed them for completing the work he had set out for them to do.

Leaving Sonora on such a high note with a baptism I feel like this past week has been like my 3 years or 3 days. Difficult, challenging, but so full of the spirit confirming that my work there is done and I have done what the Lord wanted me to do there :) I'm excited to see what happens as my story moves on here in the Gila Valley :)

Thank you for all our love and prayers!! Y'all are great :) And the church is true!

Hermana Lund

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 18 Salty (T4)

Hooooooooooooooooola :)

Bueno. Pues. This week was RIDICULOUS. In the best possible way :) I've never been so exhausted in my life :D hahaha

Everything this week was leading up to Saturday: 3:00 H&P's baptism, 9:00 transfer calls...... AHH.

But there were sooooooo many miracles this week leading up to H&P's baptism!

Por ejemplo, we went to the library to print out some invitations for the baptism to hand out and there was this wicked long line for the computers. We signed up and decided to sit down while we waited. So we sat down on these couches and there was this man reading a news paper sitting across from us (kinda like in the movies where it completely covers their face :P) After we sat down he moved the paper in what I felt like was a very dramatic reveal..... and......... it was one of our old investigators' husband!!! We had lost touch with them a few weeks ago. And then his kids came over and we got to talk to them and play some chess and blocks and give them an invitation to the baptism......... What are the odds that we would be at the same library. same day. same time... Hmmmmm. Heavenly Father... I see what you did there.

So the baptism!!!! :'D It was beautiful! Lots of members were there! And even President Passey and his wife came! Now. In order to have a baptism, you have to reserve the building with the building coordinator. We had done that a while ago so we were all set. We had the building all set from 3-5. Also, in the past, they've had the baptismal service (like the talks and musical numbers and everything) in the baptismal font room.... but since H&P are so special, we decided to have it in the chapel........ So. Long story short. The other ward decided to plan a baptism for 4:00 without telling the building coordinator........................... And the other ward also decided to plan a talent show at 5:00............................................. Oh, I was so stinkin mad. YEESH. It was pure chaos. But it was a pure miracle that we had planned on doing everything in the chapel so that the other ward could use the baptismal room when we were done. Ugh. It's making my blood boil just thinking about it.... but other than that, everything was perfect :')

Oh my goodness, I just wish I could have taken that moment and put it in a jar so I could keep it forever. Seeing H&P get baptized :') And then confirmed yesterday :'''') Gets me every time. I love them so so much.

As a missionary I have found there's a lot of moments that I just can't put into words... There's a story that Boyd K Packer told that I just LOVE. It's a little long, but I promise it's worth it!!!!!!

“I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. ‘You are wrong,’ I said, ‘there is a God. I know He lives!’

“He protested, ‘You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!’ When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. ‘All right,’ he said in a sneering, condescending way, ‘you say you know. Tell me how you know.’

“When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate.

“When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, ‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’ The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. ‘You see,’ he said, ‘you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell mehow you know.’

“I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind...

“Such an idea came into my mind and I said to the atheist, ‘Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.’

“‘Of course I do,’ was his reply.

“‘When did you taste salt last?’

“‘I just had dinner on the plane.’

“‘You just think you know what salt tastes like,’ I said.

“He insisted, ‘I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything.’

“‘If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?’

“‘Now you are getting juvenile,’ was his reply. ‘Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience—I know it as well as I know anything.’

“‘Then,’ I said, ‘assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.’

“After some thought, he ventured, ‘Well-I-uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.’

“‘You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.’

“After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, ‘I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!’

“As we parted, I heard him mutter, ‘I don’t need your religion for a crutch! I don’t need it.’

“From that experience forward, I have never been embarrassed or ashamed that I could not explain in words alone everything I know spiritually” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 51–52).
My mission has been so incredibly salty!! Just full of moments that I want to describe, but I just can't. I wish I could describe how I felt when H&P got baptized. I wish I could tell you how I know that Heavenly Father is real and that he has a plan for each and every one of us. I wish I could tell you how.... But that reminds me of another President Packer quote: "Much of what I have come to know falls into the category of things which cannot be taught but can be learned."

I cannot teach or express the things I have learned on my mission so far but I wish with all my heart for you all to know the things that I know. Pray. Read the Book of Mormon. Ask. Do all that you physically can so that you can experience all the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for you.

Oh! and transfers!!! Hah. Almost forgot... I'm going up to the Gila Valley :) I leave tomorrow! I feel a little as though I'm being banished, leaving Tucson. People call Tucson "the promised land" for spanish missionaries just cuz there's so many missionaries and so many mexicans and so much work! And the Gila only has a few spanish missionaries and it's notoriously white and very mormon. Oh! Also I don't know my companion at all... She's only been out a few transfers so no one knows her either so this'll be interesting!! But yeah :) I'm leaving Tucson and being banished 3 hours away in a cool, green, oasis of mormons apparently :) Hahah I'm excited though. It'll be a COMPLETELY different experience :) A fresh start :) And I'll come back when H&P go to the temple :) Oh! and how interesting that H had that dream about the GILA VALLEY TEMPLE and I get transferred to the GILA VALLEY.... I just thought that was cool :)

I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO MUCH! The church is true! I wish you all the best :)
Hermana Lund

p.s. Also, don't be discouraged by the lack of smiling mexicans... they just don't smile. Don't ask me why... But asi es :)

Hector and Patty and me and Hna Townley

Hna Ellis got to come too! She goes home tomorrow :''''''''''''''''''''''''''( But she got to be there for their baptism which was really special. She's one of my best friends and I owe her everything. She made me a missionary!! Oh man... It's gonna be hard to say goodbye. She was an amazing trainer.  
One of the ward members. His spanish was SO hard to understand at first and he intimidated me SO MUCH!!! But now we're buddies :) 
Some of the girls from the ward :) 
They're mom :) 
One of the daughters of that intimidating member!
After the baptism with some other missionaries :) 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 17 If you're stuck in the 95%... Just wait. It's coming :) and if you're in the 5%... Soak it all in :)

Hola otra vez :)

Como estan?

Estoy bien :)

Aveces quiero escribir toda esta carta en espanol y ver quien tiene la paciencia para traducirla :P But I'll cut you some slack.

This week was good!!!! HOT! But good :) Lots of just weird random things happened though...

STORY #1 (this is a funny one, I promise)

So we were trying to visit this less active member we had never met before. We knocked on the door and no one answered. We knocked again, waited and then all of a sudden this old lady with a walker came around the corner from the back of the house. Real old, adorable little mexican grandma. She said her son (the less active) wasn't home so we just started talking to her. She said she was off to church :) She was walking a solid .00000000000000001 mph but she was a sweetheart. Now. We're not sure how WITH IT she was.... But she was just so dang cute! She started like walking in the middle of the road so we were like HECK, we can't leave this grandma all by herself to get hit by a car! Especially when she's on her way to church!!

So we ended up walking with her for a little while, trying to guide her back to the sidewalk. Every time we asked her where the church was she said, "oh! just one more street!" "oh, just around the corner!" About an hour later (and maybe .1 miles) we ended up at the bus stop! ... This was when the realization truly set in that perhaps we were helping this little granny bust out and see the big wide world without her family knowing. We started trying to call her son but he wouldn't answer, and she kept saying "oh! they know where I am! I'm going to church!" And she was shuffling around in her bag getting her bus pass out and everything. (Probably the funniest part of this whole thing was that she had 2 random free-floatin slices of bread in her bag :P) We kind of decided that if she was mentally stable/motivated enough to 1) walk to the bus stop in 100 degree weather 2) remember where the bus stop was and 3) go to church and be spiritual and wonderful that she would be okay on the bus. We waited with her for another 45 minutes and she just chatted away about all her grandkids.

The bus came and there was this whoooooole ordeal trying to get her on and pay her fare.. but she got it :) So. For all we know we helped a mexican grandma run away......... So if you see Missing Person signs for an adorable little lady named Blanca, we're guilty! :P


Okay. So as missionaries we've got this phone. It's from like the 90s and it's a total junker. But if you lose it..... Good luck! You cannot be a missionary without a phone. So :) Since Hna T is the designated driver (probably due to my recent track record :P) it's my job to keep track of the phone... I'm still convinced that I came on a mission and just forgot how to function. I've gotten better, but I used to/still forget stuff ALL THE STINKIN TIME. Including where I put the phone :)

So one day we were trying to contact some potential people that might be interested in having us visit them :) Before I got out of the car, I put the phone in my bag. We got out of the car, knocked the door, no one was home, so we got back in the car. Before we drove away we thought of someone we should call......... But the phone wasn't in my bag......... We dumped my whole bag out, walked around that whole house, tore apart the car. NOTHING. It disappeared. When we were retracing our steps around the house, this woman walked by. I felt like we should talk to her, but I brushed it off considering the situation. So she kept walking around the corner and we kept looking.... NOTHING. I was just so dang frustrated. I said a little prayer. Saying, "okay, Heavenly Father. I don't know what you did with our phone, or what I did with our phone... but we're gonna act in faith and I know we'll find the phone after." So I looked at Hna T and said "There's a lady that went around the corner! We have to talk to her and then we'll find the phone!!" She had turned onto a crazy busy road so we got a little worried, but a little ways down, we found her at a gas station :) We just talked to her, got to know her a little bit. She, like most people here, has been through a lot and is just trying to make it by. But we got her name and number and we're gonna visit her soon :) Nothing too special. She didn't agree to get baptized right there or anything. But yeah :) So we got back in the car, looked in my purse ONE LAST TIME. And there it was. In the pocket that I KNOW we checked 2349012390834 times. There it was :)

It was a really cool experience that taught me the importance of following promptings. We get promptings from the Holy Ghost to talk to random people ALL THE TIME. And 95% of the time.... Nothing happens because of it. But that 5% make the 95% worth it. H&P are the 5%. We found them when we were just walking down the street one night. And now their getting baptized on Saturday :') The 5% of joy and success make the 95% of work, confusion, tears, and darkness worth it.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here. And I am so grateful for the 5% and the 95% and for Heavenly Father's patience with me through it all.

Thanks for all your love and support :) Ya'll are great! And if you're stuck in the 95%... Just wait. It's coming :) and if you're in the 5%... Soak it all in :)

Hermana Lund

Monday, July 6, 2015


OH MY GOSH! WHAT A WEEK! AHHH okay. woooo. I'm seriously just so fired up right now! :D

So. Lots of crazy things... I turned 4!!! :D Time is just flying by.. But I love it :)

It's also July!! Which means.......... MONSOON SEASON :''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''D Last week we got a lot of lightning, but this week we got the rain! My goodness gracious! It's glorious :')

Oh! but on Tuesday we were having dinner with the elders and this family and all of a sudden it started HAILING! Like HUGE golfball sized hail! IN TUCSON!! It was crazy! We all ran outside and had a lil spanish freak out :P It was crazy!

But! The next day we went to go see our GOLDEN INVESTIGATORS, H&P, and they told us that their whole roof had gotten wrecked because of the hail. Roof ripped off, water dripping down into walls, etc etc. We both felt terrible! We offered to help but there's not a whole lot we can do but wait for insurance and all that nonsense. But the next day we wanted to stop by and give them something to cheer them up :) So after many struggles the elders were able to find us a picture of the Gila Valley Temple :) ADORABLE little temple! Really really pretty! I was hoping to get a picture of the Mesa temple, just cuz that's the temple for our district, and I think it's a little cooler... but oh well. So we left the picture of the temple just on their door with a little uplifting scripture and called it a day :)

So. The next time we saw them was yesterday at church :) They said thank you for the beautiful picture and the scripture. We also felt like we should invite them to share their testimonies if they felt comfortable so we did :) H seemed a little hesitant but he gave us a "sure! uhhh we'll see how we're feeling" kind of answer :P So sacrament meeting started, all was well, a bunch of people shared some really sweet testimonies and then came that awkward moment that comes EVERY fast and testimony meeting without fail when no one's getting up and everyone's just waiting and nudging their neighbor to go up and break the silence. From where we were sitting we could see H shifting around in his seat a little bit :P And then he shuffled around a little more............. and then he got up!!! :D

And he shared how his angelitas (little angels = us) had dropped off this picture of the temple. NOW. HERE'S THE PART WHERE YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN!! He said he had taken the picture, sat down on the couch, and after looking at it for a little bit he fell asleep and had this dream! I don't know what it is with Mexicans and dreams... but my goodness! they've had some cool ones. Anyways! So in this dream, he was at the temple! The same one in the picture, and he saw the angel Moroni motioned to him and inviting him to come to the temple!!! And then RIGHT when the angel Moroni was about to say something to him, P woke him up :P Apparently he freaked out and scared her and thought he had died and all this funny stuff but yeah! In his testimony, he shared how he and his wife can't wait for the day where they're no longer visitors, but members of this church :') I was a whole bucket of tears! OH! and The Mesa temple (the picture I wanted to give them) doesn't have an angel Moroni on it!!! What would have happened if we had given him one of Mesa?? AHHH Craziness!

So last night we had a lesson with them :) We talked a little more about his dream and the BOM and prayer and testimonies. He said "we've been talking a lot about baptism" and so we asked P "When do you want to get baptized?" and she said "I'm ready! But I want to get baptized with H" and so we looked at H. He's been struggling with the ONNNNE thing. And he has been so stinkin close for so long! and finally he said "I feel spiritually ready!" :D PERFECT! So I handed him my iPad with the calendar app open and we got to picking a date! Yeeesh. What an ordeal! A beautiful, wonderful ordeal! It came down to 2 dates the 25th or the 18th of this month. As a companionship we had fasted and prayed and felt that the 18th was the way to go... but we didn't tell them that :P So we eventually said "Well, maybe we can leave you to talk some more and pray about which day is right...." They both looked at each other and paused and then he looked me dead in the eyes, handed me my iPad and said... DIECIOCHO. :'''''''''''''''D They're getting baptized in less than two weeks!

Oh my goodness if you could've seen the look in his eyes! My goodness! I don't even have the words :') Just pure light!

The church is true. The temple is a beautiful, sacred place. Baptism is an exciting, sacred ordinance done under the true power of God and I love being a missionary :) It's been such an honor to be a part of changing people's lives like this.

Thank you for all of your prayers and love :) You're all the best!

Que tenga un buen dia :)

p.s. some things I forgot!!!!

There was THE most amazing sunset this week! You know how usually sunsets are just condensed to this section close to the horizon? NOT THIS TIME! The WHOLE sky was just full of every single color imaginable... Pictures don't do it justice!

Also, Hna Townley got sick on Thursday (threw up a whole bunch) so we stayed it :) Got to do some nice BOM studying and watched Meet the Mormons :) Everyone says that we're going to stay together another transfer just because she's so fragile right but I don't know... I love Sonora. I really really do! And I would love to stay here... but I just feel like I'm running out of things I can do. This area, this branch, this companion just needs a set of fresh eyes, fresh hands, and fresh ideas! We'll see.... We get transfer calls on the 17th/18th so we'll see!

Anyways :) Things are going well :) Working hard :) Staying focused :) Also, all the chocolate is gone :P That whole box....... gone! :P So if you would like to send replenishment that would be AMAZING! And those kind bars were great :) Anything from you guys, even a used tissue, just brightens my day :) ......... And please do not send me a used tissue :P

I love you all SO SO SO SO SOOOOO MUCH!