Monday, July 18, 2016

Winter Has Returned

Hello all! 

Apparently the middle of July is when it gets cold again here, because this week has been FREEZING! I had to unpack all my winter clothes! But luckily it wasn't cold enough to snow! Besides the chilliness, this week has been another good one! :) 
We stole a lot of stuff from the Elders' apartment.  A piano, an American flag blanket, pillows, pans, and we dragged it all across town so we got a lot of strange looks.  And we're wearing sweaters and scarves because it's basically winter here.  

Tuesday we had Zone Training, and I was actually super nervous about doing it in front of the AP's and the office elders, and the whole rest of Munich Zone, but it turns out we are all just plain old, normal missionaries! Just with different responsibilities! So it went fairly well, first time doing an entire Zone Training in German! We talked a lot about doctrine, principle, and application, and how we can answer application questions (like "why do you not watch R-rated movies?") with doctrinal answers ("because we love the Lord and we are going to be obedient to His commandments!") instead of application answers ("because they don't make you feel good inside")! And then we flipped it and applied it to us as missionaries! Why do we do früsport? (That morning exercise stuff, don't know what it's called in English). Not because we need to be healthy and fit, although that is a reason. Not because it wakes us up more and gives us more energy, although that is a reason. It's because we love the Lord, and we will do anything He commands us to do! You can apply this to your life too. Why do you do home teaching or visiting teaching? Why do you magnify your calling to the best of your ability? Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our love for the Lord, and our decision to be obedient :) doctrine! We used the example of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis and how they buried their swords as an act of pure love for the Lord. They didn't do it because their captains told them to, or because they just didn't feel like killing anyone anymore. They did it because they had repented, finally understood the atonement, and decided that they loved the lord more than their sins!  So, decide now to love the Lord more than anything :)

After Zone Training on Tuesday, we headed back to Augsburg with the Elders in our district and we had a super fun missionary workshop night with the YM in our ward! Sister Abram and I put a giant list together of all the super cool spiritual thoughts we could think of, and while some of the boys went on splits to go finding with the elders, we sat down with the others and blew their minds with our spiritual magic tricks, and showed them the missionary "Hello" video (parody of Adele's song) because that's literally how missionary work is sometimes haha. 

The boys really had a blast that night, and they helped us find some new people to start teaching! So it was definitely a success! 

On Friday we cleaned the church! We were supposed to have a couple other people come help us, but it ended up just being Sister Abram and I cleaning the entire building for about 4 hours. At home I hated cleaning the church. It was always a dreadful Saturday morning when we had to wake up early and wipe down windows and chalkboards and vacuum the carpets. But now I feel really bad about that, because I LOVE cleaning the church! It was crazy, I had such a different perspective as I was cleaning this time. First of all, I had four hours of some deep thinking time, something that does not happen very often on a mission, and I was just thinking how grateful I was for the opportunity to clean the HOUSE OF THE LORD. I mean, it's not the temple, but it's close enough! It's still His house! And even though everything was basically already clean, we still spent four hours re-cleaning and perfecting because that's how we feel about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We love them enough to serve them with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength! It was a cool little eye opening experience for me :)

Saturday we had an appointment with an investigator, Herr Mach, and he's so cool! Sister Abram and I both agreed that we had never followed the Spirit more exactly, or relied on it so much in any other lesson on our missions so far! At the end I invited him to make a decision right then whether or not he was going to attend church, and then pray to ask Heavenly Father if it was the right decision. Well, he did and he told us that he got the answer that he shouldn't come this week, but next week...haha  So I guess we will see him next week at church!  Sometimes the Lord answers in mysterious ways ;) 

We also met with another investigator who has very serious depression. It's hard meeting with her because we get so depressed for the rest of the day because of her, and she always attacks us with questions of why all these bad things are happening to her and that we don't know how she's feeling. At one point I got so frustrated and emotional that I had to pray to not let anything wrong slip out of my mouth. After that I felt the spirit so strongly that I looked her dead in the eyes and said, "You're right. We have no idea what you are going through. We don't know what you want from us or what you need right now, but you know what? There is ONE person who does. And that is Jesus Christ. And the second you let Him in and accept what He has done for you, He can make your burdens feel lighter, and eventually even take them away. So stop fighting everything and accept His help." There was a long silence after that, and I felt kind of like Joseph Smith after he called those guys fiends, but then she started crying and I could literally see her heart soften a little. We still don't know what to do with her, but I showed her how to cut a watermelon in a cool way after that, and she liked it!

Sunday was awesome, and I've decided to learn Spanish through German for all my new Spanish friends in this ward! They don't speak any English or any German, so I have to squeeze my brain really hard and then out pop things like "como estas" and then I feel really cool :)  We also got to got to PV (Primary) for the third hour! Sister Abram and I got to talk to the kids about the Kirtland Temple, and the Swiss Temple, and holy poop I miss having children in my life so much. They were so funny and cute! And I'm now best friends with the whole 9-10 year old boys class. Yes, we even have a secret handshake. After church we went to visit our less active family, and had the most awkward lesson of my life. We planned these super fun games about the gospel for the kids to play, and had scriptures and videos and stickers to go with it, and no one participated and then at the end they all started crying, and the parents were just sitting there. So yeah we just scooted out of there real quick and maybe we will try again next week...haha. 

All in all this has been a great week, full of blessings and happiness and lots and lots of missionary work! 

Chocolate cookies and hot chocolate!  #iloveamerica #thanksmommy 

I love you all! :) have a great week!

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Thunell

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