Monday, February 29, 2016

I CHOOSE To Be Happy

Hallo liebe Familie und Freunde! This week was one for the books! Just like every other week on the mission!

Tuesday we had District Meeting (just like every other Tuesday) and Sister Fast and I were in charge of creating a role play for how we, as missionaries, can use the Book of Mormon more in our lessons! Well instead of doing the boring thing where you just sit down and pretend to teach your companion, I remembered a quote by Elder Holland that said, "If Alma or Helaman were in the lesson with you, wouldn't you invite them to speak?" So we decided to give everyone a Book of Mormon character with their story, and then Sister Fast and I role played a lesson at the front of the room, and every time she had a question about something, I would invite one of the characters up to share their personal story or testimony. It was honestly the COOLEST thing ever, and they all got so into it, so the spirit was SO STRONG. So that just shows you how important the Book of Mormon is in your personal conversion! Even if you're already a member of the church, you still have to work to continually convert yourself every single day! It also shows that the Book of Mormon can literally answer any question you have!   I have tried it for myself, so I know it's true!  After District Meeting we went out for district lunch, and on the straßenbahn (tram or streetcar) a NUN CAME AND SAT NEXT TO ME.  I was freaking out!!  I've never been that close to a nun before!!!!  So I started talking to her, and I was seriously trying so hard to work my way up to a selfie with her, but then right at the climax of our conversation we had to get off the bahn :(  ...BUT ONE STEP CLOSER TO A NUN SELFIE...YES!

Wednesday was a strange day. Our sink has been flooded and leaking pretty much since I got here, so we finally had some plumbers come over and fix it! Well, they thought they could whip it out in like 30 minutes, but it ended up taking like 5 hours!!  It was two men, so we couldn't be here alone with them, so the Kinghorn's had to be in our tiny apartment with us, too!  At first it was funny to try and squish the 6 of us in here, and we had a good time talking about our families, and the ward, and upcoming plans, but then it just got annoying haha.  And after about 4 hours, the Kinghorn's had to leave!  So then the Elders came as the replacement babysitters, and that was a little more fun!  But we were just itching to get out and do something!!  FINALLY they finished, and we were sooo happy that we just HAD to take a selfie with them ;)  We also gave them copies of the Book of Mormon and invited them to church on Sunday, because, why not!  

Thursday we went to a funeral.  I have no idea who died, but I guess he was the very first member of the church in Graz!  The service was outside right at the gravesite and we were required to wear black, and it was literally the most depressing thing in the entire world.  I was the chorister for the service, and I kept smiling at people when I made eye contact with them, but it was awkward because everyone would just look at me like I was a crazy person for smiling at a funeral.  So I have officially decided my funeral is definitely not going to be like that.  Everyone will wear yellow and pink and it will be a happy celebration of my life! Hopefully not a celebration that I'm dead though..

Saturday morning was transfer calls, so Friday night we did Bible prophecies as a district!  I don't know if I've already told y'all about them, but basically you just flip to a random place in the Old Testament, and prophesy what will happen next transfer for that person according to those verses. It's seriously the funniest thing ever.  So, transfer calls.... So far I have yet to NOT be surprised at what happens during transfer calls. Waiting for the call in the morning was probably one of the most anxiety inducing things I have experienced on my mission, I have no idea why, haha.  We were waiting and waiting for the Zone Leaders to call and tell us our fate, but they were taking FOREVER.  I mean, they have to call everyone in the Zone, but it was like an hour past the time when they usually call! So we were joking around about becoming the first Sister Assistants to the President, and then all of a sudden PRESIDENT KOHLER CALLED US!  We were terrified!  BUT, big news!  Sister Fast and I are both staying in Graz! :) yay!!  And we are the new Sister Training Leaders!  NO PRESSURE!  It's gonna be fun to be a Sister Training Leader again, because that means we get to work with so many different people every week, and we get to travel A TON. Because our mission is so big we will pretty much be traveling every week, which is LEGIT! More picture perfect scenery to see!  So excited!  But Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders are expected to have at least one baptism per transfer, which is a lot for this mission, and considering the fact that we have ZERO investigators right now it's gonna be quite the challenge!  But I know that we can do all things through Christ, and with faith and prayer IT IS POSSIBLE.  But if you would like to pray for Sister Fast and I to find someone to baptize that would be really nice of you :)

So this past week or so my motto has been "I CHOOSE to be happy!"  I mean, I've been a pretty happy camper lately because I have an awesome companion, and we are beginning to see the work in this area slug along, (seriously, it might even be slower than a slug sometimes) but there are just some days when you wake up lazy! Or grumpy! Or annoyed with the world!  I've had a lot of them!  And I've decided that instead of letting it define my whole day, and letting Satan sit in my head for hours, I will CHOOSE to be happy! 

There's a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley that says, "Don't be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. Accentuate the positive. Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life." 

So this week CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!  Life is hard. There are gonna be good days and bad days, or even good hours and bad hours. There are gonna be some times when you just wanna be an armadillo under your covers. WELL DON'T. GET UP AND DO SOMETHING! Don't just sit in your own poop. Cuz that's gross. Count to ten, or I like counting to three actually cuz by ten I've talked myself back into being grumpy or lazy, do a really big jumping jack or something, and then go out and do something. We have been sent to this earth to help people. To make a difference. To fulfill our purpose and preordained duty.  Do it!  :) put some Vaseline on your teeth and smile your way through the day. Pretty soon your brain will be like "Oh yes. I remember. I actually AM happy!"  Be an example to others and twinkle your way through life.  It will be great!!

Thank you for the emails, and the prayers, and the letters, and the support. I seriously appreciate it all so much, and I love you all so much!

P.S. German word of the week: eintausendachthundertundsiebenundzwanzig 
You can just look it up ;)

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Thunell

P.S. (from Haunani...) 
Um, I will spare you the trouble of copying and pasting that word into Google translate.  It translates to 1827, which I thought surely was a mistake because why would she have 1827 be the German word of the week?  But when I asked her she said, "Yes, it means 1827.  Numbers here are all one giant word so I just thought I would freak everyone out and send home a giant word to translate...haha!"  
...thank you for being patient with Savannah's goofy sense of humor.  :)

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