Monday, June 6, 2016

"We All Have Shoulders"

Once upon a time, just a couple days ago, Sister Thunell and her new companion, Sister Brinkerhoff, went to an appointment with a new investigator named Petra. They read Mosiah 24 (Sister Thunell's favorite Book of Mormon chapter) and talked about how we all have burdens and that through Christ those burdens can be lightened and lifted from us. Well, Sister Thunell didn't know how to say the word "burden" in German, so after scanning the English verse and then checking the context of the same verse in German, she thought she had figured it out. After a little formulating in her head she said calmly, "Wir alle haben Schultern." The investigator looked at her a little strangely, and Sister Thunell quickly realized that she had just said, "We all have shoulders," instead of "we all have burdens." 

Which is 100% true, in my defense!!  So that's the embarrassing German moment of the week :) 

Now on to bigger and better things!  

The first half of the week was a blur getting all of Sister Staack's stuff packed, getting all the information about the *Elders' half of the area, starting the process of moving into the Elders' apartment (because theirs is nicer than ours...haha) and having a lot of goodbye appointments for Sister Staack! 
Tuesday we helped a member and her mom move out of their apartment and into a new one, and because there were no men available to help us that day, I channeled my Hawaiian blood and turned into The Hulk so we could carry couches and cabinets and a lot of other heavy things up and down the stairs all day long.  It was actually pretty empowering...who needs the Elders Quorum? Just call the Sister missionaries! ;) ...just kidding. 
Tuesday night we decided to pull an all-nighter (worst decision of my whole mission so far) and we left our house around 4:30am to catch a train to Salzburg for transfers!  We travelled with all the Elders one last time before all of them ditched me and went to Switzerland, and then later that day I met my new companion, Sister Brinkerhoff!  She is the cutest thing. That was a looonnggggg day in Salzburg, but we met three new Goldens that are coming to the Wien Zone, and I'm looking forward to tausching with them!!  
The second half of the week was also crazy with cleaning the Elders' apartment, and moving in a little more, and a bazillion appointments!  But it was a good emotional one, but a good one in the end. :)

We had 5 investigators come to church on Sunday and there was a multi-stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake City so that was fun to watch!  
Sometimes I feel a little forgotten in this little-known corner of the Alpine German Speaking Mission, all the way over here in Europe, so far away from the Prophet and Apostles.  But we are never forgotten.  And the Lord never forgets us either.  I have been praying this week to feel God's love for me more in my life.  Missions do crazy things to you!  We are out here teaching people about how God loves them, and how the gospel can help their lives, but I have been struggling myself with feeling loved!  But no one is perfect. We are all struggling a little and climbing up this mountain of life together, and we can all learn from each other and grow towards eternal life together.  
I know without a doubt that we have a Father in Heaven. I know we are His children. We all try our best, we all make mistakes, and we all need to love ourselves a little more, and look for the ways God shows His love to us a little more.  Sometimes we have burdens and struggles!  No one's testimony is perfect, but I know that even with my imperfect testimony I can still help others come closer to Christ.  I love being a missionary, I love my trials, and I love the Atonement and the knowledge I have that I can be helped through my trials.

Love you all!  Thank you so much for all the prayers and support.  Have a great week.  Keep pressing forward!

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Thunell 

As of this transfer, there are more sisters serving in the AGS Mission than elders, so they have shut down several of the areas to elders and made them sister-only areas, which is why Savannah and her companion have moved into the elders' old apartment and why they are taking over the elders' half of the area.  All of the Graz elders have been transferred to Switzerland which is pretty exciting because previously only the European missionaries have been able to get visas to serve in that part of the mission.  These three American elders from Graz are part of a group of 6 who are the first Americans to serve in this part of Switzerland...ever? a really long time?  I'm not sure.

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