Monday, April 25, 2016

A Baptism!

I couldn't even wait till the end of my letter to tell the news, NADINE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!  For those of you who don't remember the story of how Sister Fast and I found her, or don't know the story, I will tell it again... :) 

So once upon a time, a couple months ago, Sister Fast and I went through our phone and called every single person in our contacts, because we didn't even know half of them!  We scheduled a bunch of appointments and tried to find some new people to teach! (Because we were desperate and starving for investigators at that time.)  Well, this one girl we called, Nadine, said that she had been WAITING for us to call her and that she wanted to meet  in a couple days!  Of course we were so excited, but on the day we were supposed to meet she texted and said she was sick :(  so we rescheduled!  Well, we did this same thing for about 3 weeks.  Every time we made an appointment, she would forget, or she was sick, or something last minute would come up.  I personally felt like after a couple of failed appointments we were wasting our time.  But we didn't give up hope!  We made one last attempt at an appointment, and she came!!  We taught her the Restoration and she said she wanted to be baptized!  We were so excited about that, but then we found out that she had to wait till she was 18 because her parents think that religion is the source of all evil (that doesn't even make sense.)  So we scheduled the baptism for a year and a half from then, and kept pressing forward!

Then Sister Fast was transferred, and Sister Staack came!  We were trying to figure out one day how we could push her to tell her parents that she was meeting with us, because she was keeping it a secret from them.  Then she came to church last Sunday and after she marched up to the bishop (see last week's email for those details) she realized that she needed to tell her parents if she was going to get anywhere with this!  So the next day, Monday, we got a text from her saying that she had prayed that Heavenly Father would soften her parent's hearts, and then she told them!  SHE IS AMAZING!  We didn't even tell her to do any of this!  She already has so much faith!!  Throughout the week we were waiting for daily updates of what her parents were deciding as they thought about it.  On Saturday she said she had some good news for us, but she wanted to tell us in person!  Well, we met her at the church and she said, "They said yes!" and we were like.."yes to meeting with us?" and she said, "No, yes to getting baptized! THEY SAID I COULD GET BAPTIZED!!"  And then we just started jumping up and down and crying and just being so excited for her.  I am so lucky to have met this amazing girl, and to be able to be a part of her conversion experience!  So the official date is May 21!!  Please pray for her that she will continue to progress and work towards that date!  The time in between now and then is where it gets scary and Satan tries everything he can to get in her way!  I am so so so happy.  This is truly a miracle, and an answer to my prayers, and sooo many other people's prayers for this area!  We haven't had a baptism in Graz for over two years!

Well, that was the highlight, so the rest of this email will probably be pretty boring compared to that!!  On Tuesday we had Zone Training, and I was able to train the missionaries in my Zone about what I learned in Munich at MLC a couple weeks ago!  It was super fun :)  After Zone Training we had a celebration as a Zone, because we made our mission baptismal goal for last quarter!  We all did a GIANT tour of the city of Vienna!!  It was sooo fun!  Even though I've already seen most of it, it was still super awesome :)  

The rest of our week we saw countless miracles that I wish I could tell, but it would take FOREVER!  

One in particular that was a little funny, though, happened on Friday. We were visiting a member, and had to quickly take the bus after the appointment to another appointment on the other side of town!  We saw the bus coming, but we weren't quite at the stop yet, so I started running and hoped that the bus driver would see me and wait for us!  Well, he didn't. And the next bus didn't come for another 20 minutes.  So we plopped on the bench and began waiting.  Then all of a sudden this random car pulled up beside us and this lady was like, "Hop in!"  So we did!  When we were in the car, Sister Staack whispered and asked if I knew who this lady was, and I said I didn't.  And then I realized it probably wasn't a good idea to get in the car with strangers.  But OH WELL!  Nothing we could do about it now!  We started talking to her, and she asked us where we needed to go, and she drove us all the way there!  It was awesome!  Unfortunately we didn't really have time to get through all 5 lessons or commit her to be baptized while we had her captive (or I guess while she had us captive) but it was a really awesome little tender mercy. :)

Well that's all I have for today :) Unfortunately we have momentarily lost contact with Matej and Romana, so if you could pray for them too that would be great! 

I just want all of you to know that I KNOW that Heavenly Father knows each and every single one of us personally, and that He really does hear and answer our prayers!  I mean just look at this miracle that has happened!  We prayed for a WHOLE TRANSFER to find someone to baptize, and here is Nadine right in front of our noses!  We will always receive answers.  It just is not always in our own timing!  Sister Fast and I would have LOVED to have a baptism while we were still together, but I guess it just wasn't the right timing.  And now it is! I don't know why things happen the way they do, or how, but I KNOW without a doubt that the Lord is in control of every single part of our lives, and I have seen too many miracles to ever deny my testimony of Heavenly Father, and His son, Jesus Christ.  I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. I don't know where I would be without it!  That's why I'm here!  That's why I'm in Austria, where I can't speak the language very well, and I have no family, no friends from home, no Walmart or Pop Tarts, no American flags, no Oreos. That's why I've chosen to wear a skirt and super uncomfortable tights every single day, and never be seen in sweat pants and a hoodie outside of my apartment for 18 months.  BECAUSE I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!  Because I love the Lord, and I know that I need to be helping people and sharing what has brought me the most happiness in my life. 

I love you all, and I hope you will pray to know for yourself too, if this gospel is true. Add to your fire and pray for a confirmation of your testimony!  Or if you don't have one, pray for one!  IT WORKS...NOT LYING. 

Have a great week!

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Thunell

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