Monday, February 26, 2018

Holding Birds and Accepting Challenges

Well, I finished reading the Book of Mormon. 

I love the chance I've had to take on Moroni's challenge again:

4 Y cuando recibáis estas cosas, quisiera exhortaros a que preguntéis a Dios el Eterno Padre, en el nombre de Cristo, si no son verdaderas estas cosas; y si pedís con un corazón sincero, con verdadera intención, teniendo fe en Cristo, él os manifestará la verdad de ellas por el poder del Espíritu Santo;  
5 Y por el poder del Espíritu Santo podréis conocer la verdad de todas las cosas. 
Next go round of reading will be in Spanish!

Speaking of Spanish, here are some things that have been fun to explain to one of our sister training leaders who is from Venezuela:
-The meaning of the word "edgy"
-Scavenger Hunts
-What roadkill is

I'm sure there will be more to come. In return here are a few of the words that I've learned this week:
Merendar- to have an afternoon snack (I'll be using this a lot)
Ardilla- squirrel
Cazar- to hunt (not to be confused with casar, which is pronounced the same but means "to marry")

We were challenged to lead with an invitation to baptism this week in every contact, which I found wayyy intimidating at first. We can't even get our investigators to commit to baptism, how are we supposed to walk up to strangers and do it?? But, I know that if we take on the challenges we've been given, we will see results. We got 2 new investigators out of inviting everyone we saw to be baptized. Mauricio and Jennifer both said yes even though we had just met them! So that's super cool. This week has been a good one to see results. We aren't teaching a ton of people and our most recent progressing investigator literally disappeared this week, but on Sunday almost all of the less-actives we've been working with came to church! They told us that our visits with them really helped them remember that the Lord loves them and that church is the place they need to be on Sunday. We also got a call from the Vietnamese elders that a referral we had sent them had become a new investigator for them so that was awesome! Most of the time we send referrals and never hear about how it goes, and just hope that they actually contact and teach them, so it was really nice to hear from the elders and know that the short conversation we had with a man who didn't really speak much English, the seed we planted, was starting to sprout.  

I also supposedly drank cashew juice yesterday? But I didn't have an allergic reaction so it's highly likely that I misunderstood.
Thanks for the support as always!  Please enjoy this picture of me with a bird on my arm 😊 (on that same night I also held a bunny!)

Love, Hermana Thunell

Monday, February 19, 2018

"What's that hairstyle called? I want to do it on my sister so she'll look ugly?"

I could probably just pick a kid-quote every week for the title of my emails. It's a good thing I have high self esteem considering how many kids we're working with and how often they don't have a filter on what they say. The above quote is from 11 year old Celso, who made up for it by telling me sincerely that it slipped out of his mouth and that he really does love us. He just doesn't like my hair apparently 😂

Well, I officially don't know how to pray in English anymore. Hopefully that means I'm getting better at Spanish. I feel like I've turned a corner this week in my Spanish. Last Sunday I could understand all the talks and lessons so much more clearly, and all of this week I've found myself able to express myself in Spanish better and slipping into it much easier than I could before. A lady answered the door the other day saying "Hola" and before I knew what I was doing I was introducing ourselves in Spanish. 

This week has been on the rougher side. We've dropped more people than ever, and been dropped just as much. We probably lost about half of our investigators, BUT it's okay because now we get to fill that space with real truth-seekers. We're making a push to work with members and get referrals, so it'll be exciting to see how that turns out. 
This has been the week of crazy dinner appointments. For some reason the ward went crazy last week in filling up our meal calendar and the calendar of who can come out with us and when. We had some young women come up to us yesterday and offer their help if we ever needed anyone to come out teaching with us, which is awesome because when I was their age I needed a major kick in the butt to go out with the sister missionaries

We got double-booked for dinner appointments yesterday and today, so that was a fun challenge to work out. We had to reschedule the remaining two dinner appointments to during the week, which we can only go to if they bring a non member to dinner. Fingers crossed that happens, because I LOVE dinner with members. The last time we had dinner with Obispo (the time we ate cow stomach) he invited another family from the ward to eat with us too, the familia Diaz, who made this AMAZING dessert with plátanos, queso, and guayaba. We brought it up with Hermana Diaz in our last video call with her, asking her to make it again for our upcoming dinner appointment. We asked her what they were called and she cheerfully answered "Plátanos".
"No, hermana, like what is the dessert as a whole called?"
*thinks for a second* "Plátanos con queso".
"But is there like a name?"
*thinks again* "Plátanos con queso y guayaba".
Not as cool as I was hoping it would be called, but they're so good so I guess they don't need a cool name.

So I was reading about the 3 Nephites this week, which a super super cool topic. And then it got me thinking if maybe I've met one of the 3 Nephites before, and if I had, who would I guess it would be? So that's my question to everyone this week, just something fun and hypothetical: if you were to guess that someone you know was one of the 3 Nephites, who would that someone be and why?
This is fun to ask to random ward members or missionaries, because essentially the question is: who's the most interesting and simultaneously righteous person you know? It brings up lots of interesting stories. 
Thanks everyone for all the support! Three months down, 15 more to go. Not that I'm counting 😂

Hermana Thunell

There are lots of really pretty flowers and super cool plants. If people turn down salvation, I just ask if I can take a picture of their plants.

Whenever we make videos we always get distracted and just end up taking random videos and pictures of ourselves. I can't send videos, so there's just an example picture. 

A part of my picture collage on the wall at my desk. I have 80 pictures, so I had to do SOMETHING creative with them. 

The last one is a picture one of our kiddos took of us while we were teaching her how to post on Snapchat. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Spider Whisperer

Hola todos!

This week I have learned the importance of journal writing. I didn't write in my journal at all, so I don't really remember what happened or know what to write about. SO, I'm just going to share this really cool part of the Book of Mormon:

Alma 46:12-13
"And it came to pass that [Moroni] rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof and wrote upon it-In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children-and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
And he fastened on his headplate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land-"

Moroni was riled up, ready to fight the enemies of his faith and to defend the truth. I imagine him running home, rifling through things until he finds a coat, something to write with. He tears it and scratches out quickly the thoughts of his heart. I doubt he took the time to find the best material, or write in cute bubble lettering. He was inspired to defense and ready to show it. He puts on his armor, grabs his makeshift banner-and prays. Of all the weapons of war, he chooses the humblest, the smartest, the strongest. And then, armed fully with God's power, he shares his light and rallies others to his righteous cause. I love the intensity of these verses, like action scenes in a movie with this mighty, but probably quiet prayer tucked in between lines.

Prayer is our best weapon. USE IT!

Mornings are really hard for me out here. When most people are tired they're grumpy, but when I'm tired I feel sad. But on mornings that are the hardest, I always have to take the time to stop and realize that I haven't prayed. Prayer makes everything better, and we should never be going out to face the world without its protection.

We've met some really awesome people this week, and because of the power of the Book of Mormon we've been able to teach them and get to know them a little better.
One of those people we met just lost his wife on New Year's Day, the day I came into the mission. We shared Alma 40 with him, and later taught the Plan of Salvation. He shared with us the grief he feels over the loss of his wife, the guilt he feels for not being a better husband, and that he knows she's accepted the gospel and he asked us how he could live in paradise with her.

The Lord prepares people. It's crazy to think about where I was on January 1st, tired and nervous and missing my family, versus where he was: in a hospital, holding his wife's hand as she died, thinking it was the last time he would see her. I miss my family so much, but I'm grateful to know that this sacrifice is only temporary, and that I can live with my family eternally. That's why we're out here as missionaries: to share that message with people like Eddie and help them know that they don't have to hold onto that grief and guilt.

In less spiritual news, there has been a spider in our apartment for the past couple days that I affectionately named Reggie. I don't mind having him crawl around on my desk, but Hermana Bent HATES spiders, so this morning when he was crawling on the wall she told me if I didn't get him out of the apartment, she would kill him. Twenty minutes and lots of screaming later, we released Reggie onto the balcony to be free. I'll miss him, but it's probably better this way.

Thank you everyone for all the love and support! I'll be better at keeping my journal this coming week.

-Hermana Thunell

Monday, January 29, 2018

Whoever Sent Me Root Beer, Thank You

Hola everyone!

This week has been a rollercoaster of events. So many that I wasn't sure what to title this email. I felt like my own series of Harry Potter books:
Hermana Thunell and the Fake Phone Numbers
Hermana Thunell and the Dreaded Sacrament Talk
Hermana Thunell and the Cow Stomach
Yep. We ate cow stomach. We also got chased by dogs, taught a dental health class, laughed until we cried, and got put on bed rest. Well. I got put on bed rest. 
Hermana Thunell and the Attack of the Chihuahas
Hermana Thunell and "Agua De La Llave Es Mejor"
Hermana Thunell and the Jokes That Really Weren't That Funny
Hermana Thunell and the Mysterious Illness
The whole collection will hit a bookstore near you in May of 2019. 
BUT this week has also been really really great. We got to eat cactus (which made up for the cow stomach), played Language Study Pick-up Sticks (thank you Grandma and Grandpa), and made a video about the Book of Mormon. 


For those of you who saw the video (it's on Facebook) I know we were kind of flat and not very excited. But the great thing about taking on a challenge like that is that now I know what I want to do better next time. The next video will be better, I promise. But for now: I LOVE the Book of Mormon. Seriously the best part of my day is in the morning when I get to spend an hour reading and taking notes and dissecting the word of God. It's like that TV Show with the Great Big Book of Everything. The Book of Mormon is the Decently Sized Book of Everything. IT CAN ANSWER ANY QUESTION. I carry around this life-changing book in my bag cada día. We have 4 in the backseat of our car and about 10 more Spanish ones in our trunk. I have the word of God, access to personal revelation, in an app on my phone that can fit in my pocket. How cool is that??? (Answer: very)
This book is meant to be read, it's meant to be marked up, it's meant to be understood. So read it! Mark it up! Understand it! It has changed my life and continues to be my source for daily course correction. Not to mention it's like reading a high-action novel, or the sickest history textbook ever. The Book of Mormon: It's interesting. It's real. It's ready to give YOU personal guidance. 
Read it guys. Hands down my favorite book. 
Seriously, Sabrina, Emily, Lauren and Liz, get your hands on one of these. I can send it to you if you want, but please just take a glance through it, read a few pages, just hold it and revel in its glory. I love this book and I get to pour out my love for it to strangers every day. I want to share this thing that has made me so happy with all the people I love too. 

Thank you everyone for all the letters and emails this week...and for the care package of root beer! 

-Hermana Thunell

Monday, January 22, 2018


As missionaries, our job is pretty much to annoy people until they finally give in and listen to us. Just kidding, but that's what it felt like this week as we got to see some of our persistence finally pay off.

I'm not really big on second chances, and when people ignore us for three weeks straight my first instinct is definitely to stop trying, but last week while we were knocking we accidentally knocked on a member from the English ward's house. They let us in and gave us cookies and hot chocolate, and told us their conversion stories. Essentially, the wife was converted by persistence, because her home teachers would NOT leave her alone (her words). As she told us her story I immediately thought of all the people we've been trying to get a hold of but couldn't, and I decided that this week I wanted to make more of an effort to knock on their doors, rather than just call or send a text. 

So on a whim one night we stopped by the house of one of our referrals. The one that's been ignoring us for 3 weeks. She pulled into her driveway about 30 seconds after we parked in front of her house and we made some calls to give her a chance to get inside before we spiritually assaulted her.

When we finished our calls we got out of the car and she was walking out her door. She told us that she had been avoiding us but when she pulled into her driveway and saw us sitting across the street she knew we were there for her, even though she's never met us before. She told us she admired our persistence and that she was ready to hear our message because it must be important (it is).

We taught her the Restoration and she promised us she'd pray about it because she believes God sent us to her for a reason. The next day we called her to check how her prayer went and she didn't answer. We continued to call her every hour after that, afraid she was avoiding us again. Finally she answered at the end of the day and said she hadn't received an answer to her prayer yet so she started reading the Book of Mormon to help her figure things out!

On Sunday we invited her to come to church but when we called her she didn't answer so we figured she wouldn't come. Five minutes before sacrament ended she showed up with one of her friends! She told us she couldn't find the address of the church and she tried calling us three times but we didn't answer. So she looked up the address online and came for the last two hours anyway!

Persistence, everyone. When you put effort into people, they put effort into listening to your message and acting on the word. And that was just one example. 
This week has been crazy. On Tuesday we got snowed in, but Hermana Bent and I got picked up by a member of the English ward and we did service for them all day. I now know the ins and outs of putting on doorknobs. We also watched President Nelson's broadcast and that was awesome! My favorite part was when he said "We're going to begin with the end in mind", because that's the THSM motto! So pretty much it's been confirmed by the prophet that our mission is the best!👍😄  I'm glad to be serving in the best mission in the world! Sorry to all my other missionary friends who don't have the same opportunity. 

But persistence!  I may not be one to give second chances, but God is. He gives second chances and third chances and two thousandth chances, because He wants us all to have the opportunity to hear His word and return to live with him again. So while I'm out here I just need to forget myself and the amount of chances I think people deserve. My job as a missionary is to be that second or third or two thousandth chance. 

Thanks everyone for all the emails! I love you all!

- Hermana Thunell

Monday, January 15, 2018

Gatos y milagros

Another week has disappeared!  And another month!  Today marks two months on the mission.  Just 16 left!  But, who's counting, right?
This week was...interesting. 

Hermana Bent describes me as "sweet but cynical," and out here I definitely agree with that.  I wish I weren't so cynical and I'm working on it, but it's just so common for people to cancel, or ignore us, or drop us.  Our plans fall through every day, people leave us at the door more often than not, and we're not really teaching any of the lessons we plan for. 

It all sounds negative, and it is hard, but I'm not feeling as negative as it sounds. I love talking to people who make us laugh, and knocking on cute blue doors, and doing service, even if it means cleaning out a hoarder's bathroom closet (thank you to my mother for making me watch Hoarders so I could be a little bit prepared to deal with that.) 

I'm not discouraged, though it's hard to get to 6:30 every night and be stuck in the same situation of not knowing what to do because everyone has canceled.  I'm just trying really hard to magnify my calling and find my purpose in everything we do. I'm trying to be Alma and find the back way into Ammonihah.  That's a great chapter in the Book of Mormon, by the way.  Alma and Amulek were some bomb missionaries and I've been trying to emulate their examples this week! 

Also. Cats. Welcome to Houston, the land of stray cats. There are four we see pretty regularly around our apartment complex-just found four more as I'm looking out the window right now-and four others in a neighborhood that we visit and knock in a lot. The funny part is that all the stray cats of the world seem to be drawn to us. Whenever we come back to our car there are cats all over it or under it or leaving cute little pawprints on our windshield 😊 it makes me so happy to be driving and see little kitty tracks across the windshield. Tender mercies, everyone. 

We've had some bigger miracles, too. Yesterday we left the apartment early to go do some major Church and Rescue with two of our investigators that are on date but haven't come to church yet.  They're 8 and 10 years old and their mom is a recent convert.  We stopped by and pounded on the door three times, called them once, and then pounded on the door four more times.  We were not going to let them sleep in.  Finally their mom answered, but she said that the kids were sleeping and she didn't want to wake them up.  She told us they'd all had a late night and so she wouldn't be going to church either.  We left feeling pretty discouraged.  When church started our spirits sank even lower when we saw that our other two kids that are on date weren't there either.  Sacrament meeting started and it was good.  Then a little while into the meeting I saw some people walking in out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to look and saw the niños walking in!  Then someone sitting behind me tapped my shoulder and I turned around to see the recent convert with her two kids!
I don't even know what else to say about that except that it was the best feeling ever! 

When I woke up yesterday morning, I didn't feel like being a missionary.  I buried my head in my pillow and just wanted to cry.  But the day turned out so much better than I thought it would.  The mission is dang hard, but I'm so grateful for the little things like watching kittens play in the grass outside our window, and the big things like seeing our investigators in church.  The mission is hard, but it's SO great. 

And also everyone should read the story of Alma the Younger this week.  Pre-conversion AND post-conversion.  His example is an amazing reminder of what it really means to repent, and how we can replace our sins with good works. 

Sorry this is a long email, but thank you everyone for all the support!

I love you all!

Hermana Thunell

Monday, January 8, 2018

Church and Rescue

Well. I am officially back in Texas! 📣 

This week has FLOWN by, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I also don't even know where to start!

I LOVE Houston!  It feels like being home, except I also have a little piece of Provo with me still since it's been so cold this week.  It's finally starting to warm up, thank goodness. 

As for actual missionary life, it's hard, but so SO rewarding. The people here really have been prepared by the Lord to hear our message. And I love my trainer!  She's only been out here for four months so she's pretty recently gotten out of being trained herself but she's amazing and such a hard worker!  I was feeling REALLY nervous about my Spanish, but in one appointment the person we were talking to said a word Hermana Bent had never heard before and I told her what it meant.  Afterwards, in the car Hermana Bent asked me how much I could understand of what was going on and I said ALL of it, but I felt bad that I couldn't respond or input anything very well, if at all. She told me that understanding is the first part and if I could understand that much already then it won't take long for me to be fluent. So that was a nice confidence booster 😂 but for now I'm still letting her do all the talking, at least in our Spanish lessons.  We teach lots of English investigators as well, so that's really nice, too. We've met some awesome people this week and it just testifies to me that none of this happens by coincidence. 

Saturdays are called "Church and Rescue" days, which I LOVE.  It basically means we invite the whole world to come to church the next day, and we definitely did that. Hermana Bent was having a rough day on Saturday and every single one of our plans fell through for one reason or another so that night we just started knocking doors and we came across Lupe. She said she's religious but has never felt complete at any of the churches she's gone to, and hasn't been sure of where to go next. She invited us in and we talked for an hour and a half with her, answering all of her questions and testifying that there is a living prophet on the earth today.  I've never felt the Spirit so strong in a lesson and as we were getting ready to leave Lupe told us that she knew God had sent us to her. She said that she doesn't usually let missionaries in and that she's seen the elders around and would never have let them in her house, but something about us spoke to her. She said that God told her to "sit down and listen for a second." 

I've spent a lot of time studying my patriarchal blessing this week, looking at what blessings it promises me in relation to my mission. One thing that stood out to me the other day was that it says 'sister missionaries have something different about them than elders.' As I read, the Spirit testified to me that if I work hard as a missionary, I will be able to get into houses that elders sometimes can't get into. Lupe was one of two houses like that this week.

This week has been so hard. I never thought I'd be so homesick or miss the MTC this much, but I know that God wants me to be out here, and that there's nowhere better that I could be. I'm right where I need to be, right with the people I need to be with, and at the time the Lord needs me to be here. I have so much love for the people we've come across. It's amazing that it only takes one meeting to feel so much love for strangers, but every time I talk to someone, I can see them bearing their testimony on Fast Sunday or leading the music in Relief Society, or getting to go to the temple with their family.  I'm so blessed to be given these little sneak peeks of God's plan for people, and so blessed to be the vessel that helps them achieve that.
Can't wait to see what next week's adventures are!

-Hermana Thunell

Monday, January 1, 2018

Hello from the Texas Houston South Mission!

Dear Missionary Family and Friends,

Hello from the Texas Houston South Mission, the best mission in the world!  We were blessed to have your missionary arrive safe and sound to Houston today.  After we welcomed her at the airport, we had the blessing of getting to know her better and hosted her for an early dinner at the mission home.  Your missionary has been assigned to her new companion and is on her way to her new area this evening.  First thing tomorrow morning she’ll be out the door serving and blessing someone with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We love them and we know they will do excellent work.  They are well prepared to serve the Lord and we expect great things from them.  We also know you will support and encourage them to become the best missionary they can be.  

We appreciate all you have done and we are grateful for the sacrifice you are making as a family.  You can follow us on, we try to post regularly (individual pictures of your missionaries are posted there now).  You can also view the weekly email I send to the missionaries at (President's Pen).  Sister Hall and I feel so blessed to serve with your missionary.  We will love them, support them, and help them become powerful missionaries that are committed find, teach, invite and help bring others unto Christ.    
We love this work and we know you and your family will be blessed through their faithful service.  

All the best, 

President & Sister Hall
Texas Houston South Mission

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

MTC Week 6: Next Stop, Houston!

It's been a rough week and a rough time at the MTC so this email is going to be short, but I'm glad for the experience it's been and for the things I've learned. I fly out on Monday to go to Houston with six elders (I'm the only sister coming in that day) and I'm so excited to learn even more as I teach God's message to His Spanish-speaking children. My Spanish isn't stellar yet, I still have a hard time waking up in the morning, and I'm scared about driving again. But I know that this work is of God, and I know that as I exercise my faith in Him by taking one step forward at a time, He will bless me with words in my mouth and happiness in my heart despite all the trials I face. 

I got a blessing of comfort this week.  I've been stressed out with everything that's been going on with Hermana Lund, and thinking about having to drive again, and feeling inadequate in my calling. I asked Elder Jensen to give the blessing, and he and I didn't even talk about what was stressing me and what I needed help with before hand, but as he opened his mouth, the Spirit gave him the words to say.  Earlier this week I wrote in my journal that I was scared "that in two weeks I'll be driving again in an unfamiliar area" because the last time I drove around an unfamiliar area I had a panic attack and had to pull into a parking lot to calm myself down.  In the blessing, Elder Jensen said "Megan, the Lord knows that you are about to be in unfamiliar territory and He wants you to know that in those foreign places, He will be there to be familiar to you."  I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such worthy priesthood holders who can exercise their priesthood power and their faith to speak the words of the Spirit, and I'm grateful that I can always have God's guiding hand with me, even in things that might seem trivial, like being afraid of driving.

I've had a lot of eye-opening spiritual experiences this week, but one of the most important things I've learned was through Hermana Lund and all that she's been going through. Her parents came and got her last night and so I have a new companion and Co-STL.  On Sunday, I asked for an interview with my Branch President to talk about how I could feel less stressed and frustrated with this situation.  I've been feeling like I'm failing in my job as a missionary because Hermana Lund and I were missing classes and studies for doctor's appointments and breakdowns.  I love her and all I've wanted to do was support her and help her through this, but I'm also here to serve the Lord in all that He asks me to do, and I haven't been sure how to do both, or how to do one and still feel fulfilled in the other.
In our interview, my Branch Pres told me that my purpose as a missionary isn't to learn Spanish or to read 4 chapters of the Book of Mormon every day.  It's not to attend every class and plan every exact minute of my day.  It's not even to teach people.  My purpose as a missionary is to love, help, and support the children of God.  And whether that means answering the questions of an investigator, or sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office for the third time in one week, I'm still doing the Lord's work.

One of my favorite things about being able to serve a mission so far is learning how to change my perspective on things.  I've always thought I was pretty good at trusting in the Lord and trying to see things from His point of view, but I'm learning every day how to be better and I'm noticing that every time I think I've mastered something, Heavenly Father throws it into my life in a way I've never seen before.  I love having this opportunity to mold and shape myself to become what He wants me to.  The beauty of conversion is that it's an ongoing process. You're never really done, whether you're newly baptized or the Prophet of the church. I thought I knew that before I came here, but it's different to live it.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve and for the support I get from all of you.  I know this gospel is true and restored.  I know the power of the Book of Mormon because I can see it and God's guiding hand in my life every day, especially now.  To all my friends on this list that don't have a knowledge of that, I encourage you to read the Book of Mormon, even if it's just a little bit.  It has changed my life and continues to change it every time I open it up. 

Thank you everyone for your love, prayers, and support. My next email will be from warmer weather! ❤

-Hermana Thunell

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

MTC Week 5: Sometimes God Has To Burn Your House Down To Bring You Back To Him

"Sometimes God has to burn your house down to bring you back to Him..."

That's a saying I write in a lot of my notebooks and it's definitely something I've needed this past week, but didn't remember until the devotional last night. 

Hermana Lund's heart problems have been getting worse. We went to the cardiologist last week and they gave her another heart monitor to wear for a week and she's getting an ultrasound on her heart tomorrow to see if there's something structurally wrong. On Monday she was having heart palpitations during our in-field orientation class which left her feeling exhausted and kind of out of it.  I decided we should go back to the room and let her lay down for a bit, but I had to get my stuff from the classroom first, so we walked all the way to the classroom and then back to our room.  By the time we got back, I was feeling kind of irritated with her because she wouldn't tell me what she needed and she would shoot down my ideas when all I wanted to do was help her.  I flopped on my bed when we got back, ready to pull out my scriptures and ignore her for a bit until she was feeling better, when all of a sudden I heard a thud!  I looked down and she was laying on the ground.  I called her name once, thinking she was just messing around, but when she didn't respond I jumped down and called her name again.  She didn't respond again.  Thankfully all of our other hermanas were in the room with us, and thankfully I remembered Hermana Lund had the STL phone in her pocket, so while one of us held her as she came to and started crying, I grabbed the phone from her pocket and called for help.

Only two of us were allowed to go with her as security wheeled her across campus to the clinic and I was shaking as we waited while they took her back to check up on her.  I didn't start crying though until about 20 minutes later when the door to the clinic flew open and our elders rushed in, out of breath from sprinting from the complete opposite side of the campus as soon as they heard what had happened. We all gathered together and knelt in the corner of the clinic to say a prayer for Hermana Lund.

We still don't know what's wrong, but she was fine and hasn't had any bad episodes since then. The MTC doctors are sure it's anxiety and are sending her home this weekend after her doctor's appointment for her heart. We've both been sad and frustrated about it, and of course we don't understand why this is happening, but that's where my little saying comes in:

"Sometimes God has to burn your house down to bring you back to Him."

We watched a video in our devotional last night about the Provo Tabernacle burning down, and then being rebuilt as the Provo City Center Temple.  It made me remember this saying that I adopted in Alabama after seeing some of the crazy ways God encourages us to reevaluate our lives and come back to Him.  I've been thinking about that in relation to Hermana Lund's situation since then.  Maybe what we see as God burning her down while she's at her finest is actually His way of realigning her plan to match His, preparing her to be rebuilt as something better than she was before.  It makes me feel better to think about it that way. 

I've been praying this week, not to understand what's going on with her heart, but to have a change of my own heart and perspective, to be able to come a little closer to God's point of view of the situation. Whatever is going on, whatever the reason, I know that God has a plan for all of His children. I know He has my needs in mind and my companion's needs in mind and that He knows what He's doing. I just have to keep holding onto that as we go through this.

This probably seems like a depressing email, but it's not. It is sad that my companion has to go home, but we're both hopeful and trusting in God.

Just for a happy/interesting thought to end with:
As of this week we had about 800-900 missionaries in the MTC, one of the lowest numbers of the year for obvious reasons. The week that I came in I was in a group of over 400 incoming missionaries which was one of their biggest incoming groups of the year, making the total number of missionaries in the MTC about 1700. It's cool to be part of one of the biggest groups and one of the smallest groups in my six weeks at the MTC. Today we're getting 530 new missionaries so our numbers are about to be up again 📣 It's definitely been one of the most interesting times to be at the MTC.

-Hermana Thunell