Monday, April 11, 2016

The Miracle of the Blocked Nasal Passages

Hello again! 

It has been another week full of miracles and lots and lots of hard work! The end of the week is always more exciting than the beginning, so I'll just skip to the good parts. Thursday and Friday we were in... MUNICH! Man, I love Munich. And I love Germany!  Austria is very beautiful, but Germany just has a different feel to it!  It feels a little more homey to me. Sister Fast and I had to take a 6 hour train ride all by ourselves.  We played soooo many rounds of go fish. (haha)  

We got in on Thursday night, and met up with the other Sister Training Leaders in the mission and we all went out for Mexican food!  First Mexican place I've seen here!  And it honestly still tasted pretty German, but they had piñatas!! (haha) Then we all headed to the Munich stake center, and met up with the Zone Leaders from around the mission, and the Kohler's, and had a Thursday night devotional to kick off our training! We watched a talk by Elder Holland, and discussed how the next day of training would go, and then we all headed to the Hostel down the street. 

Friday was intense. I felt like I was drinking out of a fire hydrant!  

So. Much. Training. 

I didn't quite realize what it meant to be a Sister Training Leader, but holy cow! I was pretty overwhelmed after about 3 hours!  But I applied the advice Sister Fast gave me a while ago, just pick one or two things and work on those, and then pick a few more things later!  We were trained on how to have more patience, how to have more confidence, how to be more obedient, how to work with the ward council better, how to teach more clearly and simply, how to be more bold and have more faith, how to balance our time better, how to reactivate less active's, and the list could go on and on!  And we are supposed to pass all of this down in Zone Training!  But luckily I had just watched Elder Holland's talk from conference, and his words popped into my head more than once, "these things are not meant to overwhelm you, they're meant to uplift you!"  So I chose to be uplifted by all this training instead of overwhelmed!  And it turned out to be a great day :)

After training, Sister Fast and I hopped back on the train and got back into Graz around 11:15.  Long day!  

Saturday we received transfer calls!  Sister Fast is going to... MUNICH 2!!  That's the Kohler's ward, and the office district, and so she's basically the face of the mission now and I'm so excited for her!  It will be so sad to have to stay here without her, because we really became such good friends!  I will miss her like crazy!  So yes, I'm staying in Graz, and I'm not a Sister Training Leader anymore (luckily) because I'm.... TRAINING.  Holy poop! I'm pretty sure I just barely finished my own training!  How am I supposed to train someone else already!?  But here's the best part: she's German!!  I finally get a native companion!!  I'm so excited to have to speak way more German with my companion!!  It's gonna be scary, but so great!  

After transfer calls we had a lesson with our cute little Nadine.  She was so sad that Sister Fast was leaving, so we all went to Claire's and got friendship rings and bracelets!  She is literally the cutest thing ever. I love her so much!  She's progressing so well, and still solid on getting baptized!  

Later in the evening we met with a less active girl named Gina.  She's 17, and the only member of her family!  She hasn't been to church in a couple of years, so neither of us had met her before, but as soon as she came in we had such a special connection with her!  We were inspired to completely change our lesson plan and we just told her how much Heavenly Father wanted to help her and be there for her, but she has to pray and read in the scriptures and go to church so He can do that more. She took it like a sponge, and we have another appointment with her next week!  She wants to learn how to make brownies and she needs help correcting her English papers for school, so I'm thinking this will become a wonderful friendship :)

Sunday was sad because Sister Fast had to say goodbye to everyone, but after church we witnessed probably one of the biggest miracles of my whole mission. Get ready, this is where the subject of my email comes in... 

So after church, we had an appointment with Schwester K. She is the one whose house is disgusting and covered in cat hair and excrete.  I swore last time that I would never go back, because I could not breathe the whole time, and we both had to take showers after that appointment!  But she is a very sweet lady, and she wanted to make dinner for us and the elders, and after a month or two of rescheduling and putting it off, we couldn't avoid it any longer.  Well, we got to her door, and you could already smell what was inside, so Sister Fast and I prayed our little hearts out to Heavenly Father that he would block our nasal passages, and even numb our tastebuds so we would be able to get through this appointment, and love this lady like Christ would. 

WELL. YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT.  The door swings open...we both get a ginormous disgusting whiff of nastiness, and then poof! It was gone.  I could breathe in as deeply as I wanted and I literally could smell NOTHING.  I almost started jumping for joy because it was the coolest miracle I've ever seen.  Then we sat down at the table.  She was so kind and had prepared Swiss cheese fondue for us with all kinds of things to dip in it.  But Swiss cheese (the real kind, not the regular cheese Americans just call Swiss cheese) is basically like rotten stinky feet, and melted cheese and cat hair do not mix.  Actually they do mix, very well, and there was a bubbling cauldron of stinky feet and cat hair plopped right in front of us!  I said a little prayer in my head to remind Heavenly Father to please numb my taste buds, and maybe even coat my entire digestive system with the pure love of Christ, because that's what it was gonna take to get me to eat any of that stuff.  Well, once again my prayers were answered!  It just shows you how much Heavenly Father cares about even the little things in our lives, and He truly WANTS to help us and bless us!!

So for the spiritual thought of the week, here is the best way I can describe what my mission is for me...

If you don't want to gain weight, then don't come on a mission.
If you don't want to cry more often than you have ever cried before, suffer from homesickness, eat the most disgusting food you've ever eaten, or live with some of the most annoying and weird people you've ever met, then don't come on a mission.
If you want privacy, if you want to sleep in, if you want to stay in your comfort zone, then don't come on a mission.
If you don't want to talk to people, or learn a new language, or be physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted every second of every day for 18 months, then don't come on a mission.
If you don't want to give up your headphones, your skinny jeans, and your Instagram, then don't come on a mission.

if you want to feel the spirit stronger than you ever have in your entire life, then come out and join us.
If you want your testimony to be strengthened and solidified, if you want to be closer to God than you could ever imagine, if you want to share the happiness the gospel brings you in your life, then come on a mission!
If you want to make a difference in the world, and see people understand God's love for them and change their lives, if you want to help other families be together forever, then come on a mission!
If you want answers to your questions, then come and join us.
If you want to experience more joy than you have ever experienced, and make a thousand new life-long best friends, and get a super awesome sister missionary tan, then come out here!
If you want to be completely changed for the better, and be prepared to be a better mom, wife, daughter, and sister, if you want to learn more about yourself every second of the day, then come on a mission!
Come out here and join us!  Join the army of the Lord, and just SEE for yourself how He can mold you into something you could never have imagined. Something better than you could have ever made of yourself.
Hearken to His voice. Come.

I wrote this especially for Megan and Emma and Rachel*, but to any of you who are thinking of going on a mission, just do it!  You will never regret it, I promise. 

I love y'all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Thunell

* Rachel = Alex's sister 

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