Monday, September 19, 2016

TAUFE!!! (Baptism!!!)


This was a crazy week! 

Tuesday was Izu's baptismal interview!  Of course he passed with flying colors, and we had fun planning out his program and getting everything ready for Sunday!  The interview went a little long, so after that we just helped Maili paint in the evening. I found out that I'm really good at painting things. I painted the walls, the ceiling, my hands, arms, feet, and even a little bit of the floor! Maili loves how helpful we are. 

Wednesday was a day full of vorbeis (visits) in the beautiful countryside of Germany.  I can't even describe how amazing the views were!  Rolling hills as far as you could see, green grassy fields, corn, wheat, red and pink flowers everywhere, I was in heaven!  I love nature! We had to stop a lot along the way to do some photo shoots because we felt like we were in the Sound of Music or something, but we eventually went by our vorbeis, and sadly neither of them lived there anymore, but at least we found that out!  

After walking allllllll day long in the scorching heat (Germany can actually get pretty hot surprisingly), I felt like one of the wise men walking to visit baby Jesus. Way more appreciation for those guys! Also, I've got some awesome Oreo tan lines. Brown arms and feet, and a wholeeee lotta white in the middle. That night we went to Kaufbeuren to help the elders with an appointment with a less active lady!  She is American, and taught us how to cook meals for like 60 cents per person, and then she sang some gospel choir songs for us. It was so cool and so fun!

Thursday we had Zone Conference in Munich. This was really one of the best Zone Conferences I've been to!  I feel like throughout my mission they have just been getting better and better.  We talked about how to face opposition, motivation and working hard, and role played the Restoration a ton!  I have grown to LOVE role playing on my mission, so that was really fun :)  I love President and Sister Kohler, and that they care so much about us and teach us exactly all the things we need to hear!  

For Zone Conference, President Kohler usually asks all the missionaries to prepare a 5-7 minute talk about a certain topic, and then he randomly chooses a few people to speak during the conference!  Well, unfortunately I didn't have time to prepare a talk during the week, but I figured that I probably wouldn't get chosen.  Bad figuring.  I was the only Sister chosen.  Ugh.  I just got up and hoped that the spirit would say something coherent through me, and all I remember is that I said the word "poop" over the pulpit and Sister Kohler's face was like "😳😂" haha oops. Lesson learned, ALWAYS PREPARE A TALK. Goodness... 

Luckily Heavenly Father gave me a second chance to give an actual prepared talk, because that night our Bishop called and asked me to speak in Sacrament on Sunday!  

Speaking of Sunday...BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!  HOLY COW!  I literally cannot describe the feelings I was having that day.  But my cheekbones have grown ten times in size from BEAMING so much throughout the whole day!  Everything for Izu's baptism went so smoothly and so perfectly!  I teared up a couple times through the whole thing, just because I am so happy and proud of him, and so grateful to be a part of this experience for him! What a wonderful thing missionary work is!!  We also decided this week that we are going to help Izu start an account on because we got him so excited about temples and eternal families, that now he wants to find an LDS girl to take to the temple :)) HE IS SO DIFFERENT FROM WHEN I FIRST MET HIM. Just goes to show how wonderful the gospel is, and how great an impact it can have in people's lives!

This week I have been learning and studying a lot about gratitude!  Sister Howsmon and I decided to fast this weekend in gratitude for Izu and his baptism!  And it was such a great experience. Fasting in gratitude is so much easier than fasting for needs! 

I also read a talk by President Uchtdorf called "Grateful in Any Circumstances," and one of the things he said that I really liked was, "We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"  

Being grateful through hard times definitely makes life happier, more fun, and more enjoyable! Instead of turning to my natural-man self and complaining about every little thing that may go wrong throughout my day, this week I decided to try harder to have the spirit of gratitude about me!  And it's crazy the beautiful things surrounding you that your eyes are opened up to!  

So I hope we can all try harder this coming week to be more grateful for our lives: Our trials, the gospel, God's beautiful creations, and all the tender mercies that for sure help you throughout every single day! 

I love you all so much!

Liebe grube,

Sister Thunell

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