Thursday, September 27, 2012

Elder Lundberg Is Going to PERUUUU!

Elder Lundberg received notice yesterday that his visa arrived and he will be departing to Peru on Friday morning!  He is very excited.

Friday, September 21, 2012

E. Lundberg Hits Week 3 At MTC

HOLY COW. There ain't nothin' like flyin' time here at the MTC. Days are weeks. Weeks are days. And I can hardly believe that it's already P-Day!

We had the opportunity to go to the temple again this morning and that was wonderful as usual. Of course, I look forward to the temple breakfast afterward because they really have the BEST omelettes and Belgian waffles. I can't remember his name, but the temple worker that runs the cafeteria is a lil' Asian man who is hilarious and is always so gracious to the missionaries. He's definitely a highlight of temple visits as well.

Anyway, I HAVE been getting the <>  letters. I've written Aunt Janine a couple times through <>  and that's been really great to hear from her (thanks Janine!). Here at the MTC, missionaries LIVE for mail. No joke. Some missionaries in my district get like four letters or some kind of package every day......and then there's me. Like one letter a week. Haha it's ok though. No hard feeling to anyone out there. Elder Fitzner in my district hasn't even heard from his own family yet! As a joke, another Elder Kimball asked his grandma to write Elder Fitzner and SHE DID. We were all dying of laughter when it arrived because Elder Kimball's "Grammy" is  a riot. She sent pictures of herself with the funniest little captions and then a nice little note with plenty of jokes to go around the district for a week. Ahhhh......good times.

Thanks for sending me Christian's e-mail. It's nice to read his words as he continues to adjust to the Germany life. It will be so cool for him to speak German fluently by the end of all his time there.

This past week I've been fighting off a minor case of strep throat. Well, the strep was never confirmed but I'm pretty sure that those nasty little white spots are a sign. I believe I got it from one of the elders who was staying next door to us as he was temporarily assigned to our district for a few days. He had to stay behind his travel because of strep throat. But the oils have really been helping and I've been using a lot of herbs to really keep me healthy and well throughout the week.

Right now I have three "investigators" who we're teaching. All three are my teachers but it's been a really good experience to treat them as real people. At first I was struggling with the fact that they aren't actual investigators, but one of my teachers provided me with some really great insight. He said that by playing the roles of real people who he taught while on his mission, it helps remind him of the love that he has for those people. Sometimes, the lessons we teach as missionaries are even answers to his prayers to questions or concerns in his own personal life too. That's evidence to me that these mock lessons are really just powerful testimony building experiences. Elder See also told me about how since he treated the "investigators" as real people while at the MTC, it has really helped him as he actually teaches real people while in Guatemala.

The language is also coming along really well for me. I've already pretty much finished going through the whole grammar book with like 42 chapters or something. Everyone in the class recognizes my talent for Spanish so it's a really great opportunity to teach my companions and fellow district members. I'm kind of in this awkward stage where I'm sort of in between the advanced and intermediate classes. I can understand Spanish almost perfectly, but my speaking is still getting there.

Anyway, for my spiritual thought I just wanted to share a really cool story that was given at the last Tuesday devotional. Paul E. Koelliker of the Seventy spoke to us and I believe he currently serves in the South Africa area. He told us about a missionary from South Africa who was called to serve in Uganda. Elder Holland was scheduled to speak in Ethiopia to the members there andthis South African elder was called to put together the arrangements for Elder Holland's stay. After arranging the hotel, restaurant, travel, etc. Elder Holland spoke to the Ethiopian missionaries and mentioned that at times missionaries have been faced with arrest, persecution, etc. but that the Lord would always deliver and protect them. After Elder Holland's visit this young South African missionary could now go back to Uganda. While at the airport, the Ethiopian officials arrested him becuase his visa had problems. This missionary had done nothing wrong, but the officials saw it as an opportunity to insult the Ugandan government. This elder was sent to jail, and was placed with the thugs and ruffians overnight. Church officials did all they could to get him out of there the next day but the jail wouldn't release him. They couldn't get him out for three weeks! They were finally able to hire an attorney who aided in the missionaries release on that third week. This missionary, however, was not shaken. When he came out they asked him how he'd been and he said "I taught the gospel everyday. I didn't get any baptisms, but I was able to teach many investigators." I admit that I teared up a little when I heard this part, because I found it so inspiring to me as a missionary for this gospel. I don't know how I would react in a situation like that. The best part of the story was that the attorney who rescued the elder from jail actually took the lessons and was later baptized because of this experience. The Lord can really take unpleasant situations and bring out incredible positive results.

Anyway, that's my spiritual thought for the week. I'm way over time, but I just wanted to share that with you. I will be sending another hand written later to answer all of your questions and to let you know about my visa and other things I might need.

Love, Elder Lundberg

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week 2 - Elder Lundberg Settles In At MTC

This past week has seemed pretty long. It's weird to think that only a week and two days ago I was being dropped off at the curb without the slightest idea of what was going to happen next. I was so nervous! Fast forward eight days later and here I am! I love it here and all that waiting was worth it! The only thing that makes me nervous now is the cafeteria food. Last Tuesday we did some service as a district and I guess I got an "inside look" at what happens behind the scenes as the cafeteria employees were preparing lunch. It wasn't horrible Just seeing that lady slice up a huge vat of some kind of egg material with a butcher knife was.....different. But I was trying not to focus on that as I carried boxes and pallets back and forth from the kitchen to the loading dock. I also got to see a mixer literally the size of my whole body (a real MAN's mixer as one of my companion's called it haha). It's amazing how much effort they go to to feed over 2750 missionaries for three meals each day. I just wish it could be a little less......digestable? Haha it's not THAT bad but I've learned to avoid the orange juice and the breakfast potatoes because of their........detrimental affects.

Anyway, enough about food. Oh wait. We went to the temple this morning for a session and got to eat the temple food. AAAAHHHHH!!!! So good. Temple food is definitley a highlight of my week now.....and endowment sessions of course.

The language is coming along really well. This past week we've been teaching a couple  "mock investigators" named Valdecir and his "spouse" Miriam, who are actually teachers just acting as investigators. We've made a lot of jokes about Valdecir becuase he was sort of frustrating to teach. He would eat skittles in the middle of our prayers. Pick at his sock incessantly. And fall asleep literally EVERY time I or anyone else would bear their testimony. And he wouldn't keep commitments very well. We finally decided to come up with our own verb.......Valdecir (derived from the spanish words "vale" and "decir"), which means "to evade" or "to pick at one's sock constantly." Haha we have some good times as a district.

However, the last few lessons have been really great. Even though it was kind of frustrating at first, I've seen a lot of improvement in my ability and the ability of my companions to communicate in Spanish. Although we still have a long ways to come, it's also been a testimony to me that even if we can't speak perfectly, the Lord makes up for that when we let the Spirit do the teaching. We also have to remember to teach people, not lessons. I love how Preach My Gospel allows such flexibility in letting us give a lesson according to the needs of the investigator. Even though these investigators aren't real, I think the Lord gives us these MTC opportunities to develop our own testimonies before we actually go out into the real world. I can't wait to bring the joy and happiness that this gospel brings to the people of Peru!

About Peru, I'm hoping my visa will come in time. Apparently, visas have been a little bit delayed for most of the Peru missionaries. I'll find out probably on Monday whether or not I'll be leaving on the 25th or staying for several more weeks. I'm praying that it will come because I really want to be immersed in Spanish down at the Lima CCM so I can really feel confident in my own speaking of the language.

Well, time is running low. I guess I'll finish off with a spiritual thought of some sorts. This past week we've been talking about the Doctrine of Christ a lot and how it relates to our purpose as missionaries. The purpose is "Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo al ayudarlas a que reciben el Evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en Jesucristo y su expiacion, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la resepcion del don del Espiritu Santo y el perseverar hasta el fin." Sorry if you don't know Spanish, but I don't know it as well in English! Anyway, I just love this gospel and the simple message that it brings. I would challenge you to read 2 Nephi 31-32 because it really puts my purpose and our purpose as members of the church into perspective.

Love you all and God bless you until next time I write!

Elder Lundberg

P.S. The Church is true!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Elder Lundberg's First Few Days

So far everything is going swimmingly. It has been really crazy too. Apparently, they try to pack a weeks worth of activity for incoming missionaries into four days. Everyone here tells me "Just wait until Sunday. It gets better after Sunday." So I guess we'll see! The first night here I had insomnia and only had three hours of sleep, but the past two nights I've slept like a baby because we can't help but be exhausted at the end of the day. It's really nice to be working hard and staying constantly busy again!

The spirit here at the MTC is amazing! As my Branch presidency has pointed out, there is not other place on earth that has the same kind of feeling that we do here at the MTC and at other MTC's around the world. I can definitely feel the Holy Ghost everywhere I go because we're all striving together to gain testimonies, love our companions and districts, and to be strictly obedient to the mission. Speaking of companions, I've actually been paired with two other elders instead of one. Everyone calls us "the Trio". Their names are Elder Griffiths and Elder Snyder. Both of them are really great missionaries! Although it's a little different with two other elders to watch over instead of just one, we're getting along really well! Elder Griffiths has been called to be District Leader and I've been assigned to be the Senior Companion for our little group. We have a bit of an awkward power struggle that way, but Elder Griffiths has promised to let me lead above him in all matters regarding the companionship and other responsibilities of my assignment. He is a great example to me of exact obedience and diligence in the work. Elder Snyder is really great too, and he loves to have fun, especially at gym time. He's also a great example to me as we work together in learning Spanish and performing our duties each day. I love them both and can't wait to get to know them better over the coming weeks.

Speaking of Spanish, I'm feeling like I have a really great hold on listening and understanding, and my biggest hurtle is just speaking fluently. However, I will say that I may have a chance to move up to the Advanced group because I'm not feeling very challenged as of yet in my language classes. But mostly native speakers are in the advanced group, and that kind of freaks me out because I definitely can't speak as well as they do. I'm trying my best to study with the Spirit as I meet the challenges that lie before me. I trust that the Lord will be my guide throughout these experiences. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Elder Lundberg's Blog Will Post to Facebook

Elder Lundberg's blog "Viva Elder Lundberg" will post to Facebook as updates to the blog are published if you are Facebook "friends" with Davis.  However, you might miss something with all of the other friend updates. If you don't want to miss any of the action please subscribe to email updates to Viva Elder Lundberg by submitting your email in the form.  Thanks for your support.

Off To The MTC

Davis Lundberg is now Elder Lundberg.

This is it! 10:00 AM in the morning with just 3 hours to go before Davis enters the MTC.  The luggage is packed and we are trying to make sure we got everything done.  Time to put the suitcases in the car and get rolling.  A little Thai food with the family and a drop at the MTC.

Best wishes to Davis and may God bless him in his journey as a missionary.