Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013 - Laura's Last Day at the MTC - Madrid, Spain

Hola familia!

This will be short cause I only have about 10 minutes but just checking in to tell everyone my travel plans and such. Tomorrow I leave here from the MTC at 7AM for the train station and will go down to Malaga. Then we will have orientation, spend the night and go to our areas on Wednesday! Fun fun fun!

These last couple days were great. Learned a lot and had fun. The park was fun. I was with my actual companion this time so that was awesome. We just so happen to have the same skirts so we wore them. One girl asked if she had to have the skirt to join our church, haha. I also got to direct the whole group in singing. That was cool.

It is sad to say goodbye to teachers. I have come to love them here! Hermano Larrea who is our favorite asked us what we wanted our last lesson to be with him. We told him we wanted him to just tell us cool experiences about his mission. He ended up in tears. It was so touching. He told us to hold on to every second of our missions because he wishes more than anything that he could go back. Then in Sacrament another return missionary bore his testimony of missionary work and he started crying cause he misses it so much. It is so cool to see that kind of stuff.

I am really going to miss the Sullivan´s singing. They were the only MOTAB I had left to hold onto! Elder Sullivan sang How Great Thou Art on Sunday and brought many to tears it was so beautiful. We have been so lucky to have him.

The President gave us a lesson on going out in the field that was really inspiring. He talked about how everyone makes sacrifices if they are called to serve the Lord. He gave great examples of this. People like David Archuletta or this really good rugby player who gave up their whole career to serve. It´s really cool to think about. Very inspirational.

Alright my time´s about up! Thanks everyone! Love you all! Off to Malaga!!!! YIPPEEEEE!!!

Hermana Kunz

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 25, 2013 - Madrid, Spain MTC

Hola todos!

Well it is my last few days here in the MTC! Crazy how time has gone. I feel like I just got here…and at the same time feel like it has been a year and a half in here haha. Weeks go by days and days go by weeks! I am leaving for Malaga on Tuesday at 7AM on a train. I don´t know what are or who my companion is yet and won´t find out until I get there. Exciting though!

This week I got pretty sick which was a bummer. It is pretty hard to stay focused here when you feel like you got hit by a train. All I wanted was a nap but I had to just push through. Good learning experience. But I feel much better now.

Last P-day, we went to the Prado which is the second largest art museum in Europe. It was pretty incredible. We also walked around a bit in Madrid and that was of course great. It made me a tad bit sad however because I kept thinking of all the awesome times here with Michael. I walked by the hostel we stayed in, the bus stop that he dropped me off at at like 4 in the morning, and I had gelato at that really good place we stopped at. Not sure if he remembers it, but oh did the memories come. Haha, speaking of Ralph, we were at lunch a couple of days ago and I just randomly started laughing super hard cause I have no idea why, but I just remembered how Michael would be sitting next to me eating and randomly lean closer, sniff, and say,¨You smell!¨ Haha, it made me laugh. Who thought I would ever miss that!

Last Saturday was great on the street.  We talked to one woman that was great. She didn´t want to talk to us at all and said that she has always been Catholic and doesn’t want to change for anything. She looked at the book and said she had seen it before and doesn´t want to read it. Then she started going on a little rant on how she respects other religions and everybody else should do the same. She said that she has hosted over 30 exchange students all with different religions…..what what?!?!?! Exchange students?!?! I got really excited. I told her that I was an exchange student in Italy and then once I said that, she all of a sudden got really excited and became very, very, very friendly. It was so perfect. Then she opened up a bit and started explaining her beliefs. She was saying that even though she is Catholic, she doesn´t believe all they believe. She was talking about how she believes that she will be able to live with her family again after this life for time and all eternity. I asked her where she thought we came from and she said she believes we came from God and we were with him before this life. Is this lady for real?! She believes all we believe without even knowing it. We continued talking and seriously, she was Mormon, haha. At the end, I told her that based on everything she told me, I thought she would really enjoy the Book of Mormon. She happily accepted it and told us she would be very interested to read it.  It was crazy! Super awesome.

Oh, haha, funny story. I was talking to an investigator here at the MTC and I asked him if he had read what we gave him. He said he didn´t and I wanted to say, ¨What a shame.¨ I knew how to say it in Italian and forgot how to say it in Spanish. Whenever I don´t know something in Spanish, I just say it in Italian and hope it is close. So I said, ¨Oh que pecado!¨ thinking that it would be close but it actually meant, oh what a sin! Haha, it was pretty funny.

Last time of going to the temple today…so sad! What a special place. This temple is absolutely incredible. The chandelier in the Celestial room is one of three in the world and when you see it, you know exactly why. It is just amazing. We got to see the whole temple and today we saw the baptistery and the bridal room. The bridal room was INCREDIBLE!!!! I have never seen anything like it. I was completely blown away. I wish everybody could see that room.

Let´s see what else. We got to watch the Joseph Smith movie this week. Haha, amazing what a mission does to you.  All of the girls during the Joseph and Emma part were aahhhing cause everyone thought it was so cute. It is like 2 minutes long, but we haven´t seen a love story in so long that it was super cute, hahahaha. Alright, but seriously, if you all haven´t seen that movie in a while, please watch it. It is so good.

Oh, last thing. Hermana Guymon and I finally had a good lesson! We have really been struggling with teaching. Everybody always comes back talking about how strong the Spirit was and how they started crying and such. We have never had anything like that, but we have been trying to be patient. Well, with our investigator Lucas, it finally happened. Lucas has been really difficult with us and always asked us these really hard questions that are impossible to answer. We have gotten really frustrated with him. Well, last night, we were asking if he has been praying and reading the scriptures and he said that he has, but hasn´t gotten anything. He says he does it everyday but doesn’t feel any different. So Hermana Guymon went to Moroni 10:4,5 and asked if he was praying with a real sincere heart. He said he thought he was. Then it finally happened for me. The inspiration that everybody always talks about. The question finally came to me! I asked him what he would do if God told him these things were true and if he was afraid to know they were. Lucas looked at me and smiled cause he knew I finally got it. The rest of the lesson went great and he totally opened up to me and we got to help him. It was the best feeling ever.

Alright, I better stop writing. Next time I email I will be out there! Yahoo! Thanks everyone and hope all is well. Lots and lots of love from Spain!

¨The Lord calls us in our weakness, but qualifies us for His work.¨

Hermana Kunz

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013 - Madrid, Spain MTC

Hola familia y amigos!

Another week down and it has been one month to the day that I have been out. Crazy! It has been quite a month. A good one.

Let´s see what happened this week? The park was great. It was in the 80´s when we were there…it´s ok, be jealous. Absolutely beautiful day. We talked to a few people, and handed out a few Books of Mormons and all was well. My companion was Hermana Benson.  She doesn´t know Spanish yet but she will get there. She was awesome to have though cause she has a great attitude about everything. One lady we approached was not interested at all in what we had to say. She said she was 100% Catholic and never would change and didn´t want the Book of Mormon. This is where I learned a great lesson. When people aren´t interested, sometimes we just give them a pass along card and tell them to have a great day. I did so and the card had a picture of the temple on it.  She stopped me before I walked away and asked about it. I told her about it and told her about how families can be together because of the temple and her face completely softened. She asked for the book and asked when we held church so she could come see visit.  Here in the MTC, they always tell us to look for the needs of the investigators and follow the Spirit. Well it´s kind of hard to do that in the first two minutes of the conversation. But the Spirit knows exactly the person´s needs. The Spirit knew exactly what that woman needed and I had no clue that I was even being guided by the Spirit, but He worked through me to help that woman. It was pretty awesome.

On Sunday I had to give a talk about Faith. We all have to prepare a talk every Sunday and then they call random missionaries up to give it. This week the topic was faith and I was one of the lucky ones. It went well though. I told the story about David´s faith in going on a mission and I actually got many compliments on it so I was pretty happy. I got asked a lot of questions about him afterwards. So thanks David for making me have a good talk haha. 

I was going to tell everyone about the Sullivan´s blog but it looks like you already found it! Pretty cool eh? Pres. Sullivan is the first councilor here at the MTC. He and his wife were the ones in MOTAB so I LOVE hearing them sing. BEST. THING. EVER!

Two of the first missionaries to come to Spain spoke to us on Sunday night and that was really amazing. Crazy how much things have changed since then.

Let´s see not much else to really say. I tripped flat on my face a couple nights ago over some suitcases and that felt great. We seriously have Batman in our class…never knew Batman could speak about the gospel.

Oh and I used a Lord of the Rings quote in my lesson this week. Our investigator is struggling with happiness in life and he thinks that this life is only to suffer. So I talked about happiness in this life and to end I said, ¨There´s some good in this word Miguel, and it´s worth fighting for.¨ Best thing ever. I was pretty proud of myself. And he loved it haha.

Alright all that´s it for now. Today we are going to the second biggest museum in Europe. Should be awesome! This morning we went to the temple and I did the session in both Spanish and Italian. Haha it was pretty fun. There are a group of Italian missionaries here and it´s awesome to be able to speak with them. Love those languages! Only one more P-day here in the MTC and then to Malaga I go! I leave on April 30th. If you want to send me mail, don´t send it to the MTC anymore. I don´t think it will get to me in time. I don´t know the mission address off the top of my head so maybe mom you could put it down.

Love you all and thanks so much for everything!

Hermana Kunz

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday...In The Park...

Look what Kyle found on a blog of one of the couple missionaries serving in Madrid!  Lucky find!!  Especially since it's the only picture we have of her since she left.  Laura is with one of the Russian sister companions that she has been street contacting with.  It is in Retiro Park, Madrid's largest and most beautiful park.  Thanks, Kyle!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013 - Madrid, Spain MTC

Hola familia y amigos!

Wow what a week. General Conference was the bomb.  I hope everyone watched it cause it was absolutely fantastic.  And can I just say that the day has finally come where they used a Lord of the Rings/ Hobbit reference in General Conference. Good old Uchtdorf made my life by using that reference. As you can all imagine, I was very excited. Read the talk if you missed it. I loved how he explained our journey back into our Heavenly Father´s arms. About how we knew what we were getting into when we came to this earth. We knew it was going to be hard and that there were going to be trials. But we also knew that Heavenly Father would be there every step of the way and that he provided a plan. So we took the step and here we are. On our journey back into Heavenly Father´s arms. When he was talking about it, I thought about how it is kind of like a mission. We know missions are going to be hard and that we will have trials. But we also know that Heavenly Father will be there and will help us through. So now here I am completely on my journey of a mission and will go back into my loving family´s arms. Loved that talk.

I loved hearing MOTAB too. I miss going to watch them every week so that made me very happy. One of the councilors here at the MTC and his wife were both in the choir and when they sing, it is just amazing. It was very cool in conference to sing and pray. We were all doing it together! It was like I was with you all singing and praying. Kinda cheesy I know, but it was cool for me to think about.

So on Saturday we went contacting and guess who I was paired up with?! Another Russian! Hahaha it was pretty funny. So once again, the Spanish was all on me. But it is good practice for me so I was happy. We actually had a pretty cool experience. We stopped a lady on the streets and she started talking with us. Well I felt impressed to tell her that Heavenly Father just loves her. It was amazing. I could just feel the love He had for her. So I told her and she started to cry. She started to cry and was telling me that she really wants to know that and then we got into a discussion about the problems with her family so I leaded into talking about how families can be together forever and showed her a picture of the temple. We talked for about 20 minutes and it was just a really cool experience. It was a miracle in itself that I understood what she was saying haha.

Last P-day we went to Madrid and took this chairlift thing over the city and over this beautiful park. It was so awesome. It gave us gorgeous views of the city. Today I´m not totally sure what we´re doing.

Last week on April 6th it was Jesus´ birthday and guess what we did to celebrate….sang Christmas songs!!!! Yahoo! It was awesome.

We got new investigators and one of ours is Catholic. He had me smell his beads on the first visit and asked me if he could teach me how to dance. This will be quite interesting!

Let´s see what else…oh I got pooped on by a bird! Haha and I was cleaning poop off of the temple too! Watch me never clean poop again! Silly bird.

I´m sorry if I am not responding to emails right now. We only get 30 minutes on the computer and I just can´t write this email and respond to everyone in that time. Hopefully out in the field I will have more time. Same with pictures. I have pictures but just don´t have time to load them. I´m sorry! So much to share in too little time!

Alright all. I love you so much! Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers. I appreciate every single one of you.

Hermana Kunz

Thursday, April 04, 2013

April 4, 2013 - Madrid, Spain MTC

Hola familia!

Well another week down. I miss you all like CRAZY! This week was good…long but good. Oh, before I forget, I forgot the best part of the story I told you all last week about the lady who was converted but didn´t want to be converted at all. So remember how her sister was in the hospital really sick and might have died, and her family wanted nothing to do with her? Well after she knew the church was true, she went to visit her sister in the hospital the next day. She got there and the doctor said her sister was already gone because she miraculously got all better! Pretty awesome right! Anyway, just thought I would add that point in.

Last week we went to Madrid and it was great. I couldn´t stop thinking about Ralph and all our fun adventures there. It was great to think of all the memories.

This week at the park was good contacting. Kind of funny…my companion for the park was Sister Kucheruk. She is the Russian that is here at the MTC. She speaks no English at all. She is going to Russia on her mission but has to come to this MTC before. So we could talk to 4 people there…English, Russians, Italians, and Spanish. It was awesome. We talked to this really cool Thai guy, but he couldn´t speak much English. We could have used that language! We did get one really cute family that was interested and wanted the missionaries to come. Their little girl was so stinking cute!

So we have fake investigators that we have been teaching. During the Restoration lesson with our investigator Sarah, it was so cool.  I had to memorize the first vision in Spanish and when I said it her to, it was the most incredible feeling in the world. Even though she is just practice, she started crying when I talked about it. The Spirit was so overwhelming in that lesson. It was so cool.

Our other investigator, Juan Jose is so hard to teach. He is so hard because everything he does, my companion and I start laughing. Trust me with him it is hard not to! Yesterday, we taught him the law of chastity cause he always talks about how his girlfriend and him make love. It was the most awkward thing of my life. He kept making this comments and my companion and I would start laughing so hard. Oh boy, he is an interesting investigator.

For workouts, it was been really fun.  Haha I have become a sort of coach for a small group of girls here. We have been doing workouts, but not just slow running.  We do intervals and stair workouts.  I have been leading the group with them. Just my knowledge from cross country, but it sure has worked! It feels great. Actually mom, can you send me some workouts for interval workouts. We have been doing just the couple that I know so I would love some more.  Haha, they kind of hate me during the work out cause I try to push us hard, but they are grateful after. It is pretty fun. Feels good to get it all out.

Our mission president says that my companion and I are the  “poster companionship.” It´s so funny because we are so different from each other but we get along so well and have a lot of fun. I love her.

Easter was fun. We had a few great meetings…I learned more than I ever thought I could about the Atonement and we had a fun walk around the temple in the rain. I did miss waking up to an Easter basket and an Easter egg hunt though. Two years. Hopefully we have time to get stamps today so I can start sending letters. We are going to an Egyptian Temple today so hopefully we will have time.

Let´s see what else. My bathroom is out to kill me. You should see my leg. I have bruises and cuts all over it cause I always hit myself in there. Haha silly me.

Best quote I have ever heard right here. Our temple president came and talked to us and this is one of the quotes…”Our Father held in reserve His most noble sons and daughter to come to Earth in the last days. He held in reserve those who would have courage and determination to face the world and all the powers of the evil one and yet be fearless in building Zion.” Mind = blown!!!

Well I think that´s all for now! Thanks so much everyone! Love you all! Hope Easter was great!

Hermana Kunz