Monday, April 18, 2016

"Ye Shall Reap the Rewards of Your Faith"


Another week has come and gone! What a wonderful week full of miracles :) This week was transfers, and Sister Fast is now in München and boy do I miss her!!  We went to Salzburg on Tuesday afternoon to spend the night with the sisters there so we could be to the station on time the next morning for Sister Fast's train!  I LOVE SALZBURG!!  And it was so fun getting to know the sisters there and having a big sleepover party! Wednesday after Sister Fast's train left, I was companions with Sister Hofmockel until my new companion, Sister Staack, came in a couple hours later! Sister Hofmockel is from France and she is SUCH a great missionary! We had a few hours to kill so we went finding along the river in the heart of Salzburg. It was so beautiful!  At one point we felt like we needed to walk down this one random street, so we did and this lady that was walking towards us randomly smiled super huge and said, "Hi sisters!"  We were like, "WOAHH, WAIT! How do you know us??" And we found out that she was a lady in the Salzburg ward who got baptized five years ago and shortly after became inactive!  We got her number and invited her back to church, and she said that she wanted to start coming back regularly!  It was such a miracle!!  There has not been one single day lately where I have not seen a miracle like that!  Heavenly Father is definitely blessing me!!

So Thursday was Sister Staack's first day in Graz, and we had a CRAZY busy schedule!  We had a wonderful lesson with Najla, our recent convert, and then a lunch appointment with a very sweet old lady from our ward, and then that night we had another lesson with our Slovenian couple, Matej and Romana!  I really had the feeling we needed to teach them the law of chastity, but then I started second guessing myself as we got closer and closer to the appointment because this was only going to be our second lesson with them!  I didn't want to scare them away with the law of chastity if we haven't even taught the basics or gotten a real baptismal commitment from them!  So we switched the lesson to the Plan of Salvation and decided that we would only bring up the law of chastity if they asked about it.  Well, the second we sat down Matej says, "So..tell me about this law of chastity you kind of talked about last time."  WHAT!  It turned out to be such a wonderful lesson, and they committed to living the law of chastity!!  It went sooo smoothly, and I've definitely learned my lesson about second guessing spiritual promptings!  They also committed to being baptized!  It was just such an awesome lesson, and we are so blessed to have such golden and solid investigators!!  Speaking of golden investigators, Nadine randomly texted us on Friday saying that she wanted to meet up with us because she wanted us to explain to her exactly how church would go on Sunday.  We asked why, and she said, "Because I'm coming to church on Sunday DUH!"  We were so surprised, and SO HAPPY!  So we took her on a little tour of the church, and taught her a little lesson, and it was just awesome! She's so prepared. :)

Saturday we had a ward service project with a group of refugees from Iran! We built planter boxes for a giant refugee house, so they can grow their own fruits and vegetables! It was AMAZING working with them, and they are so kind and so fun!! The men all did the dirty work, and the women played with the children and cooked TONS of food!!  We were there for about 4 hours, and I made so many new friends!  I can't even explain how great a day it was, but just remember what was said in General Conference: We should be doing all we can to help these refugees, because it wasn't long ago that we were refugees ourselves!!  And if you don't have refugees nearby, then do all you can to serve your neighbors because we are all refugees at some point in our lives from something! 

Sunday, Nadine came to church like she said she would, and she LOVED IT!  After sacrament meeting she marched up to the Bishop and said, "Hello Bishop! I'm Nadine and I want to be baptized. But my parents won't let me be baptized until I'm 18.  Do you know how I could be baptized earlier than that?"  I literally just stood there with my jaw on the floor. She's like the perfect investigator that every missionary hopes to have!!  I just love that girl! 
Then after church we went to Familie Sanders for a delicious dinner, and so many rounds of musical chairs. (haha) It was so fun :)

You know, I think right now the most frustrating thing about being on a mission is that I see SO MANY miracles, and I'm a part of so many amazing things that I just want to be able to tell all of you, but words just can't really describe even 20% of what actually happens during my week!  Especially not in a quick little email!  But I know that this experience is really just between me and my Heavenly Father, and I know that He knows how much I am changing and growing from every single little thing He places in my path!  I was thinking the other day, "Why am I seeing so many miracles and blessings right now? Why do we have three perfect investigators and SO many appointments throughout the week now, when just a couple weeks ago I was feeling like a starving camel in the desert?"  I'm definitely not complaining about it, but I was just wondering why? And then I stumbled upon Alma 32:43 "Ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and your patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you."  Sometimes, in order to get the abundance of miracles and blessings showered upon us, we need to go through the dryness of the deserts!  We need to have faith that Heavenly Father will provide, just maybe not in our timing.  It's hard to see the sunlight through the trials, but if there is one thing that I've learned this week, it's that Heavenly Father really does hear and answer our prayers.  He really does listen, and when we sincerely go to Him for help, He will bless us! 

I challenge you to pray to see the hand of the Lord in your life every day, because when you ask, He will hear, and He WILL show you miracles and the abundance of blessings that you have in your life!! 

Love you all so much :) Schöne Woche! (Have a nice week!)

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Thunell
Last District picture...with mustaches, of course! 

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