Sister Lund

Follow Lori and her LDS Mission in Brazil

Week 4- The Lord protects his missionaries October 29, 2010

Filed under: MTC Letters — companion of honor @ 9:22 PM

Hello there!

Thanks so much for the package, being in Provo for the time being definitely has it’s advantages :) Speaking of Provo, you’d think after attending BYU for the last three years I would expect it to be getting colder but I still was not a fan of the SNOW this week! I’m so glad I have Grandma’s coat. Please thank Grandpa for me! I had Sister Owens take a picture of me wearing Grandma’s coat to send to Grandpa and with a joint effort of getting his address from Elder Lund, he should get that in the mail this week. I also included a couple pictures of me and Travis for Grandpa. We took more pictures in the laundry room of us writing letters together. Did you guys get the ones I sent this week? I’m planning on sending you a cd of all my pictures before I leave but I wanted to at least get you the ones of me and travis.

Yay for a BYU win! I could hear the game from our room when we went up there to grab something at lunch. It’s hard to be so close and not know what’s going on! I’m glad to hear it went well :)

Another Brazil district got reassigned stateside this week. The reassignments are getting more spread out, they used to tend to be southern states or east coast, now they’re seriously all over the states. I’m interested to hear where Travis ends up! He should be hearing next week. My guess is somewhere in Texas.

As I was thinking of what to write this week I’m kinda drawing a blank. Lots happened as far as studying but that’s kinda hard to express in an e-mail. Time is really starting to fly. I can’t believe it’s been another week already! Sister Angela Green reported this week! (Worked with her at heritage and she was in my freshman orientation group). She’s in the same boat as a lot of us, waiting for a visa to Brazil so it’ll be fun to be here together for the time being and learn Portuguese together! Our district introduced their district to Secreta Oracao last night. It’s starting to be a weekly tradition with every new portuguese district that comes in. Only problem is there are now more of us that know it and want to join in and those classrooms can only hold so many. It’s rather tight quarters for the 5 minutes or so we’re in there singing our hearts out!

This week’s devotional on Tuesday was definitely the highlight of the week. Elder Scott! Two apostles in a row, I love being at the Provo MTC! He talked about recognizing the spirit and he said up front that he had every quote he’d use during his talk on a handout so not to worry about writing those down but really just write down impressions we get throughout the devotional. My pen never stopped going, the spirit was strong as he spoke it was amazing! My favorite part by far was all the shout outs to Sister Missionaries which were A LOT. And since Sister Owens and I were in the choir we were in the largest group of sister missionaries so every time he addressed the sisters he would turn to us and it seriously felt like he was talking directly to me. He talked about how the Lord protects his missionaries and especially his sister missionaries. In addition to that Elder Scott blessed all of us sister missionaries as an apostle of the Lord that we would have an added measure of protection from the evils of the world, that would recognize dangerous situations and know how to get to safety. As he was saying this I physically felt this shield of protection he was blessing us with. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. So don’t worry Mommy and Daddy, your sister missionary will be safe and protected :) Another blessing that he gave to everyone was that of the gift of tongues, he blessed us that we will be able to retain information better, and that the efforts we put into studying will be magnified. This was such a comfort as I’m learning portuguese. I tend to forget that while it may feel like I’ve been at the MTC forever, it’s only been a few weeks and so I really am learning quickly all things considered. Last night I asked one of the Elders in my district who came into the MTC with a quite a bit of experience to go over some basic grammar and what not. It was really helpful to get some more explanation and practice with stuff that we use in class. I definitely have more sympathy for the students I worked with for my TESOL minor. Our teachers will give mini lessons throughout the day but for the most part they just speak to us in Portuguese and we kinda just figure it out so I really appreciate what I’ve learned in those TELL classes about the importance of teaching with context when teaching a language because you really can understand so much more when context is provided even if you don’t know the individual words.

Teaching the lessons is always one of my favorite parts of the day. Sister Owens and I have made a point to teach a complete lesson each day which means we’re been cycling through the companionships in our district, every night we’ll say “ok who wants to be taught tomorrow!” They’re all really willing to act as investigators and it helps the MDT go faster. We have one more week of TRC in English and then the next 4 weeks will be in Portuguese! I’ll definitely be needing another week and a half to learn how to speak that much at all once. I’ve got a lot of the key phrases down but as soon as they respond and what I’m supposed to say isn’t in that helpful little green book I’m lost and thus commence with the smiling and nodding :) The TRC situation this week was picking up an investigator and riding the bus to church and then teaching a lesson after. (Bus in Portuguese, lesson in English). I understood everything that he was saying but really struggled through my response to him. Sister Owens is great with the Portuguese part, she gets very animated with her actions to express what she wants to say.

As a district we’ve made it a goal to only speak Portuguese at meals. This usually turns into English with “o” “a” and “mente” endings, I’m not sure if that’s really going to be helpful but it’s sure funny sounding!

Well the time just started flashing at me so I should start to wrap this up.

I love being a missionary :) I love the MTC and the spirit that is felt here. I really love learning all day every day even though at times it is exhausting and a bit frustrating. It’s amazing to see how much I’ve learned of both the language and the gospel in the short time I’ve been here. I love teaching! Every time I do my testimony of those principles is strengthened so much. I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith truly did restore the true gospel under the direction of the Lord. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Every answer to life’s problems can be found by reading the Book of Mormon. We have a prophet on the earth today who speaks for the Lord and by following his counsel we will be safe and happy.
I love you all so much! Thanks for the prayers of support, I can definitely feel them. Know that you are in mine :)

Love,

Sister Lund

 

Pictures from the MTC October 26, 2010

Filed under: Pictures — companion of honor @ 9:52 PM

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Week 3- I am so excited to be able to testify October 23, 2010

Filed under: MTC Letters — companion of honor @ 8:28 PM

Sorry I didn’t get an e-mail out yesterday. We were having issues with internet connections, apparently all of BYU and the MTC was down yesterday afternoon so the nice people at the info desk gave us time today :)

Ok… on to this weeks happenings!

Friday night (a week ago) my district combined with another Portuguese district so our teachers could teach us the first lesson in Portuguese. I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into the classroom and it was Elder Lund’s class! I seriously love being in the MTC together. He moved his desk back and sat next to me, how tender :) I was also surprised how much of the lesson I was able to understand even if I couldn’t form a response of my own. I started taking notes in Portuguese and Elder Lund would lovingly correct some of my mistakes over my shoulder, what a good little bro!

Sister Owens and I went to a workshop this week on effective language study plans. I feel a lot better about how we use our hour of study. I’ve been focusing a lot more on learning commonly used verbs so that I can expand my conversation skills beyond learned phrases in our portuguese book that teaches basic missionary tasks. I still feel rather lost though as soon as the conversations branches off the lessons. Our TRC door contacting was quite comical, still lots of smiling and nodding and acting things out to get our point across. I’m sure that as soon as we leave the volunteers have a good laugh. I can’t blame them! The things we’re saying are pretty choppy: “Hi, I have a family. Do you have a family? Great! I want to tell you about families!” and so on :)

On Sunday they called me up to give a talk in sacrament meeting. All the missionaries prepare a 5 minute talk and then after the sacrament they call on two of use to actually give it. I was actually thrilled! I figured with there only being 5 sisters in the Branch we’d all have to speak at some point or another and last week was the last week we could speak in English and 5 minutes in English is NOTHING. So it’s a relief to have that done, now I can just prepare talks for the experience and actually enjoy the sacrament!

Tuesday’s devotional speaker was Elder Nelson. I love being in the Provo MTC and hearing from General Authorities every week. Also by singing in choir we have awesome seats! I love singing with Hermana Kristen West, it’s about the only time in the week that we see each other so it’s been fun to have that to catch up on each others’ weeks. She’s getting pretty close to leaving in the next few weeks!

Yesterday for our temple time Sister Owens and I did sealings. It was the first time both sister owens and I had done sealings. In between couples the temple worker would always expound on various things, I learned so much! I love the temple :) It was so neat to be a daughter sealed to her parents. It made me feel so close to you mom and dad. I’m so thankful that you are sealed in the temple and that we are promised all of those amazing blessings! You have been such wonderful examples to me.

One experience we had as a district this week was we starting teaching Irmao Halverson as a progressing investigator. Every day a different companionship will teach him a lesson built off of the previous day’s lesson. We started this experience with him leaving the room one day to “hide” somewhere around the MTC and as a district we went out to find him. When we found him on a bench he was in character so we did the small talk introductions “we’re missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ..” all the jazz. As we were looking for him I had the thought that we’re looking for someone we know and love to teach him lessons about the gospel that will bring him so much happiness in this life. We talked about that after and how we should treat every contact situation like that. While we may not know their character and we have to get to know them and their needs we do them, they’re our brothers and sisters and we are there to teach people we love and help them find the truth.

This past week we’ve done a lot more teaching situations and it never fails to amaze me how much love I have for these people even in practice lessons. My testimony is also strengthened so much every time we teach. I have loved focusing so much on the first lesson on the Restoration. There’s no doubt in my mind that through Joseph Smith, God restored the truth and authority to the earth. After our TRC lesson on Wednesday we started practicing the 2nd lesson which is the Plan of Salvation. Last night I actually had a really neat experience teaching that. We were teaching this punk kid who was giving us all sorts of attitude and was really disinterested in what we had to say. He eventually said that his dad had died and that there was nothing we could tell him that would lead him to believe that God loves him. I had him read Alma 7:11-12 about all the pains that the Atonement covers. I happen to have a picture of Riley placed in that page and as I gave him my scriptures to read he asked me about the picture. I was able to tell him a little about Riley, and how through the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation my family was able to find peace and comfort. From that point on he was much more receptive to what we had to say. The spirit was so strong as we taught from there on out. I know it was such a practice lesson but I got a glimpse of what I’m going to be able to do for the next year and a half. I am so excited to be able to testify from experience that I know with all of my heart that through the Plan of Salvation families can be together forever and that we can find purpose and happiness in this life.

Time’s about up now. I love you all! Thanks so much for you prayers of support and love!

Love,

Sister Lund

 

Week 2- the importance of applying what you learn October 15, 2010

Filed under: MTC Letters — companion of honor @ 10:44 PM

Hey there!

My p-day will be on Fridays from now on, so you can expect two e-mails from the MTC on Friday! It was good to hear from all of you this week, sounds like you’re doing well. I’m really excited for Erika and Tommy! That’s so great that he’s getting baptized. that was really neat to hear as I’m here in the MTC focusing so much on the importance of bringing people to Christ and helping them understand the importance of being baptized.

The printer for pictures in the bookstore is down so I guess I’ll try back next week to send some… I love the one of me and Travis though! Thanks for the BYU update ;) I’m glad we got another win under our belt. I’ve been wearing my BYU sweats to bed in support of the cougars every night, hope it continues to help!

This week Sister Owens and I participated in the MTC choir for the Tuesday night devotional. It was a really neat experience to sing with other missionaries, including Hermana West! I’ve loved seeing her around campus, it’s always great to get a hug from her when almost everyone else are elders and hugging is a no no.

My district is so amazing! We’ve had an amazing week of learning both the gospel and Portuguese. Wednesday we went to the TRC to teach a lesson to an ‘investigator’, the first 5 min of contacting was in portuguese and then we taught in English. I must say that the Portuguese conversation was really hard seeing as it involved more than talking about the gospel, beyond prayer and testimony I’m still just smiling and nodding along. It was really fun to teach a full lesson though to someone who was acting the part and asking realistic questions. When we teach each other we tend to be very agreeable and always want to hear more and be marked for baptism in three weeks. We’re all very successful at teaching each other :)

Brother Halverson is such a good teacher! One thing he said that has really stuck with me is you’ve got two years to serve (or a year and a half for Sister Owens and me) and an eternity to think about it! Everytime I start to get tired or want to take a break from studying for a bit I remember that and it motivates me to studying harder and learn more because this is such a short time that we have here and it’ll really pay off in the mission field to get all the studying in that we can here.

Random: our district’s favorite song is Secret Prayer in Portuguese. I never really noticed this song in English before but we love singing it in Portuguese! We sing it like a really fast march and it pumps us up for the day. It’s always stuck in someone’s head, I love it :) another thing we’re all working on this week in addition to learning the language and lessons is learning how to do that snap thingie they do in Brazil all the time. It’s the running joke that they won’t let you in the country if you can’t do it. If that’s the case I’m going to be stuck stateside because i’m really struggling with it. I’ve got 8 more weeks to master it though! Today we all went to the temple as a district. It was such a neat experience to go with these elders and Sister Owens. We’ve spent so much time together the last week and have gotten really close that it really did feel like being in the temple with family. One more thing about my district before I move on… we refer to any comment or conversation about the outside world as “Babylon” pretty much trying to keep people focused but that too has become a big joke. Any time the conversation drifts someone will yell out “BABYLON!” In a really whinny and screechy voice which makes us all laugh and get back to work :)

Travis and I still [see] each other at almost every meal. I love getting to talk with him and share this experience with him. It’s a highlight of my day when he comes over to say hi :) I told him that now that I’ve seen him I can sincerely pray that his visa comes through. Sounds like a lot of Brazil missionaries are getting reassigned stateside, we’re really just going with the flow! We’ll end up where we need to be when we need to be there for sure.

There are two other sisters in our branch from the district next to us that I absolutely love! Sister Calder will be serving in Sam’s mission and they are going to have a blast together! She’s just such a happy person and always makes my day. I told her that she’ll have to look out for Sister Reising about 9 weeks after Feb 2nd :) Sister Denson is Sister Calder’s companion and she’s such a sweetheart. All of us sisters greet each other with an enthusiastic “SEEEESTER!” The elders just roll their eyes :)

Yesterday I had a learning experience with personal study. Sister Owens and I went outside to study and we were super distracted with people practicing contacts. I was really struggling to focus and then I realized that I had forgotten to pray first! Let me tell you, it was much more productive and praying for focus and understanding, always start your gospel studying with a pray! It’ll make a world of difference. Something I learned this week from study: the importance of applying what you learn. I made this connection as an EFY counselor but it hit me really strongly this week again. The first vision, and ultimately the Restoration came about because Joseph Smith applied what he learned from studying the scriptures. It wouldn’t have done him much good to simply have read that God will give wisdom to those that ask, the answers and inspiration came as he acted on this knowledge. As I’ve been learning so much this week I’ve kept that in mind that in order for it to be of worth to me I need to put it into action and apply everything.

I love the gospel! I love being a missionary! I love you all!

Have a fantastic week!

Love,

Sister Lund

 

Week 1- We are so blessed to have this knowledge! October 10, 2010

Filed under: MTC Letters — companion of honor @ 3:22 AM

I can’t believe it’s only been 3 days! I seriously love it here but it seems like we’ve been here for so much longer than that! Sorry in advance that this is going to be a really scattered e-mail. There’s so much I wanted to say in so little time!

I love being a missionary :) The MTC so far is seriously like the most intense EFY experience ever. I love it! During the orientation meeting on Wednesday I was asked to say the closing prayer and I loved getting to look out on a room full of brand new missionaries. There was so much energy and excitement. Travis would be proud that I really am PUMPED to be here as he would say. I don’t think it hit me that I’m really a missionary until Thursday morning when I woke up and was still in the MTC and got ready by putting on my name tag. I love looking in the mirror and seeing Sister Lund on my shirt with Jesus Cristo right under my name.

My companion Sister Owens and I are PERFECT for each other. There are so many ways that we just adore each other. I knew from the first meal together that we were going to get along just fine :) She offered me her roast beef because she doesn’t like meat and I offered her my carrots because well.. they’re not my favorite things in the world. She also sleeps with a stuffed animal which made me feel better about bringing my cougar because I’m not the only 21 year old on a mission who needs the comfort of a stuffed animal to sleep with. She has a really good sense of direction which helps because I was blessed with Mom’s sense of direction, or lack there off… :) She really has gotten us to everywhere we need to be this week. We go jogging every morning which has been a blast. They say 10 laps make a mile but I’m convinced that that’s more than a mile I know I’m out of shape but I’m starting to get tired after 2! After we jog we’ve gotten sack breakfast instead of going to the cafeteria which is AMAZING! It’s so much easier to bring it back to the room and get ready rather than waiting in lines and eating heavy greasy food in the morning. Bagels = happiness :) especially after we discovered a toaster on our floor. So many other things but moral of the story, I love my companion!

Random: first night in the cafeteria I saw KRISTEN WEST! or I guess she’s hermana west now. It was so good to see a familiar face within the first few hours of being there. We’ll have to get a picture before she leaves in 5 weeks since we didn’t that night.

My favorite fellow missionary encounter is definitely whenever I see Elder Lund! It’s so cool to be here with my little bro :) Sister Owens and I went up to his classroom this morning so we could get a picture together. I’ll try and figure out how to send you a copy. We look good! I’m so proud of him. It’s been fun to follow in his foot steps for a bit. The first time I saw him was Thursday at lunch and I really had no idea what was going on still. He asked me about my schedule and to be honest I was just going from hour to hour and going with the flow. He’s got it figured out it seems! Sounds like more of his district is getting visas. There is so much speculation about visas around the Portuguese districts it’s not even funny.

I have the best district ever! 10 Elders and then me and Sister Owens. We get along so well and I love studying with and learning from them all. I’m surprised how close we’ve gotten in the short time we’ve been here. We sit together for all the meals (except when Sister Owens and I take breakfast back to our room) and the Elders stand every time we come to the table. It’s adorable! I don’t really think of them as being younger than me until they talk about graduating last year and that makes me feel a bit old compared to them.

Two Elders actually have quite a bit of language background and would’ve been moved to an intermediate class if they had one for Portuguese but seeing as they don’t we’re blessed to have them with us! Brother Halverson one of our teachers served with Jeffrey. He says he remembers him but that he (being Bro. Halverson) was a bit younger so they didn’t spend too much time together. We are his first district which has been so fun. He’s so excited to be here and has so much energy and you can tell he just has a passion for missionary work. I love his lessons. Today in class we learned how to testify in Portuguese which was soooo cool! We each wrote out our testimonies and then had a mini testimony meeting. Even though most of us were reading what we wrote the spirit was so strong and I absolutely loved being able to speak in Portuguese my testimony of the gospel! It’s crazy how much you can learn in such a little time with the help of the spirit.

We’ve been focusing so much on our purpose as missionaries these first few days. I was excited before but being here makes it so much more real that I’m about to go out and talk with people who are searching for truth and we have it! We’ve been doing a lot of mock investigator situations and it surprises me how much love I feel for them in even a practice situation. I know with all my heart that the gospel is what will make them happy and want them to accept the message we share.

Another random thought. It’s cold here! Even our room was freezing the first night. I ended up using those brown blankets we had at heritage that always disgusted me but I was that desperate! After that though we got the temperature figured out so it’s comfortable at least inside.

As Sister Owens and I were in our room studying this afternoon I could hear the marching band playing and I figured they must be practicing, then around 4 it started getting really loud and I realized it’s Saturday so that’s a football game going on. Hopefully the Cougars aren’t too pathetic.

Thanks to everyone who sent letters, they made me so happy!

Well time is about up! It’s crazy how fast 30 minutes go! I wish I could share more but know that I’m loving being a missionary!!! I know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life right now. I’m so thankful for the knowledge of the gospel and for the comfort it brings. It really does provide all the answers to life’s questions. We are so blessed to have this knowledge! I can’t wait to be able to apply everything I’m learning here with the people of Brazil!

I love you!

Sister Lund

 

My decision to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: October 4, 2010

Filed under: Before her mission — companion of honor @ 2:33 AM

Going on a mission is something I’ve always wanted to do. Both my parents served missions in Bolivia and growing up with two brothers missions were something that were talked about all the time. Serving was always part of my life plan. Once I started attending Brigham Young University and got further into my major I began to question whether I would actually go on a mission. I loved my Elementary Education classes and was really looking forward to becoming a teacher and wasn’t sure if I wanted to put that off for the duration of a mission. The summer before I turned 21 I had the opportunity to work as an Especially For Youth counselor. I loved my experience working with the youth and devoting my summer to helping strengthen their testimonies of the Gospel. It was while working a session of EFY that I had an experience with one youth in particular where I felt so strongly that the spirit was speaking through me to help this girl. It was as I was answering her questions that I had the strong impression that I did not need to serve a fulltime mission in order for the Lord to use me as an instrument in his hands. I took this experience to be my answer to the question “am I going on a mission?”

Two months after I had made the decision not to go on a mission my family experienced an unexpected tragedy when my 4 month old nephew Riley passed away from SIDS on October 7th. As my younger brother and I met up with our older brother and sister-in-law in the hospital I kept thinking about how grateful I was for the knowledge of gospel, that we knew this nightmare would end and we would have Riley with us forever. We all had the opportunity to receive a priesthood blessing from my brother and sister-in-law’s bishop. As I was being blessed with peace of mind and comfort I felt more than ever before that I wanted to serve a mission, not because I was required to do so or because I needed to, but because I wanted to be able to bring the knowledge of the gospel to families who have experienced a loss like my family had.

In the months following Riley’s passing the idea of going on a mission kept coming up. I prayed many times; “Am I going on a mission? Do you want me to go on a mission? Should I go on a mission?” and felt like I wasn’t getting an answer. I came to the realization that I needed to follow what is taught in D&C 9:8 “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” I wanted the Lord to make the decision for me instead of going to Him with a decision and asking if the decision was right. Once I came to this realization I moved forward with the process of starting mission papers and changed my prayers to “I want to go on a mission, please help to know that this is the right thing for me to do.” I had such a good feeling every time I thought about going on a mission and every time I did something in the paperwork process. I knew that this was confirmation that the Lord was pleased with my decision to go on a mission.

It didn’t take long to submit papers and receive my mission call to serve in the Brazil Sao Paulo North mission. My older brother served in Recife, Brazil and my younger brother had already received his mission call to Goiania, Brazil so my call completed all three siblings to serve in Brazil. My report date is October 6th, one day shy of the anniversary of Riley’s passing. The past year has been one of so much spiritual growth. I know with all my heart that the Plan of Salvation is real. I have felt the healing power of the Atonement in my life stronger this year than ever before. I feel I am more prepared to serve a mission now than I would have been had I left right when I turned 21. I know that the experiences of the past year will help me to be a more effective missionary as I testify from personal experience the blessing that the Gospel has been in my life. I am excited for the opportunity to serve as a fulltime missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to share with others the knowledge of the Gospel.