Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Kära Familj,
I'm glad mom had a nice birthday. I was thinking of her and of Costco chocolate cake. Our apartment has implemented a diet plan this week: no desserts unless we're at a member's house, it's zone conference, or weekly planning. It should be pretty easy, we just have to keep Syster Sjöblom out of the kitchen. We're planning on buying salad fixings today. We don't eat that much junk food, just lots and lots of chocolate because it's so good here! When is the Jazz vs. Jimmer game? It sounds like fun.

All the hunting sounds like fun. Tell Taryn don't worry, she's not the first to fall in over her hip boots. I hope she didn't freeze! And how embarrassing that Matty missed some ducks right in front of her! Hopefully you guys get a buck, because I would LOVE some deer jerky. Speaking of which, I got all the pictures in your letters. We have dinner with that family this coming Sunday, so I'm excited to show them. Also, I saw five deer this week. Two from the train (isn't it cool that Sweden is the kind of place where you can look out from the train and see deer frolicking around in the forest?) and three super close, right across the street. They looked like smallish deer. I guess that means they were roe deer. No bucks. I was going to take a picture of the close ones for you but they bolted.
The weather is still great here, but I'm glad I got boots. (Yes, I got boots, for a really good deal.) They're already nice and broken in because I walked five miles in them on Friday. We had no idea that it was going to be that far. Basically, we've been to every single far and distant place in our area this week looking for something to do or somebody to teach. Guess I'll start from the beginning.
Monday for the rest of P-day we got boots and groceries, wrote letters, and even played some Uno. We planned to teach Sebastian and called him, but he didn't answer, so we decided we'd just go to Ösmo where he lives and find him there and teach him anyway. So we got on the train, found Sebastian there, and taught him about the Book of Mormon on the way down to Ösmo. He was really tired from work but we were glad to at least see him. He told us he's very committed to his church, but he still wants to come and visit our services and he's still interested in knowing what we as missionaries are here to do. So not extremely positive, but at least he's not negative. Once we got off the train at Ösmo, we hopped right back on the train North and just rode trains for the rest of the night, talking to people and trying to get numbers. Yes, we're that desperate for someone to teach. We met a guy named Miguel and ended up teaching him a lot about the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon. He's very spiritual and prays to God many times a day, and he had awesome questions and is interested to learn more. We gave him a Book of Mormon and got his number, and called him a few days later of course. He's still interested but he's really busy for the next couple of weeks. (Never heard that one before...but we'll see how it goes.) Miguel is about 21 and he's from Peru, but he's lived in Sweden for most of his life and speaks better Swedish than anything. (But he was impressed that I had a Spanish Book of Mormon if he wanted that one instead. He took Swedish.)
On Tuesday morning we planted the whole huge flowerbed in front of the temple. It looks great! I love the temple! We thought we were going to go tomorrow morning, but now we have zone conference tomorrow, so we can't go until next week. I'm excited for it though! Then Tuesday afternoon we went down to Nynäshamn and said hi to Marie, who hasn't had time to watch conference yet but is still planning on it. She's going to teach us how to make these bracelets she makes from reindeer hide and silver and tin. And the button is made from reindeer antler. Anyway, after that, we had nobody to teach again and nothing else to do, so we rode trains some more. Syster Sjöblom met someone who was really searching and really accepting of the message, but when he got to his stop he left before she had time to get his number. :/ It wasn't a very fruitful day.
Wednesday. This was when our desparation for someone to teach reached the point that we started visiting the far out places in our area to drop by the one or two members who might live there. (Usually when they live that far out there's a good chance that they're not active, so we brought reactivation cookies with us too of course!) So on Wednesday we went to Sorunda, only a 20 ish minute bus from Ösmo. We had a map from the other missionaries, but the addresses weren't actually in Sorunda, so we only really had which road to take in the right direction. Finally when we asked someone on the street where it was, we realized that when it said "way out" on the map pointing along a road, it did not mean that was the way out of Sorunda. It meant the address was way out there. So we got off the bus at one end of Sorunda, walked all the way across the town, contacted two people (one of them was really impressed that we were all the way out in Sorunda) and got on the same bus at the other end of town. The bus driver actually laughed at us, because Syster Sjöblom couldn't find her bus card but he recognized us. He probably thought we were idiots.
On Thursday we went out to Muskö, the island in our area. It was a 25 minute bus ride from Ösmo, and it went through a tunnel under the Baltic Sea to get to the island. So that was cool. We have one active family on Muskö, and one less active member. So we gave a message to the active family (member missionary work-what's your gameplan?) and then left cookies at the less active member's house because he wasn't home. We came back to Ösmo, and then rode more trains and got no numbers or even positive contacts. But we made a good relationship with the member family and committed them to think of friends they could share the gospel with, so maybe we'll get a referral from that. On an unrelated note, I just looked at my planner for how to spell referral, but my planner is in Swedish. It only says Hänvisningar.
Friday was the day that I wore my boots because it looked super cold, and ended up walking five miles in them. They're good and broken in now. The night before we'd planned to visit a less active member who does not live in Ösmo. We thought she did but when we went to the house we thought it should be, it was Körundavägen, but we needed to be on Körunda Sateri. So we found Körunda Sateri on google maps last week and realized that we just needed to follow Körundavägen until it forked into the right street. We knew it was important that we dropped by her, because we'd already planned it and that morning it was revealed to us (via the ward list) that it was her birthday! So we walked. And walked. And walked. We found a really nice golf course and saw some beautiful country views. (Syster Sjöblom said "Who'd have thought I'd never be in the country until I got transferred to Stockholm!") Finally we got to the house, where nobody was home, and left cookies and a birthday card and note. So at least she'll have a nice birthday treat from us and know that we're thinking of her.
Also on Friday we finally got the chance to teach Cie-Cie again! She's doing pretty bad with depression and such, but we read Alma 7 with her. She actually invited us into her apartment, which she's never done with missionaries before, so I think she likes us. And she knows that we help her feel better. I wish she would come to church again so she could feel the Spirit there as well. She has a really good member friend who is trying the best she can, so I think she's slowly and surely coming closer to Christ and feeling His love. She calls us often to ask us to pray for her, and sometimes we even pray with her over the phone.
Saturday was a pretty good day. Of course I wouldn't be able to say we went to all the far-out places in our area without also going to Stora Vika! It was only a 25 minute bus ride from Nynäshamn-I don't know why it took us this long to figure that out. The Janas weren't home, even though she said she would be. But we had fika with a member family who lives out there (the ones we ran into last time when we got off at the wrong bus stop) and we found out that they're our golden ticket to member missionary work down in the Nynäshamn area. They asked about all the less active members we've been working with down there, and they had even done things to try and contact them! Once again, I was so thankful that we've already been working hard so we could have good reports for them about what we've been doing there. They're super awesome and willing to help. So hopefully we'll be able to introduce them to Petra sometime soon and maybe even teach Petra at their house. They gave us Smörgåstårta, which means "sandwich cake". It's like bread cake frosted in mayonnaise (but not as gross as it sounds. It's not really mayonnaise, just something condiment-y like that.) and topped with sandwich stuff. This one had lettuce, salmon (raw), shrimp (also raw), caviar, hard boiled eggs, grapes, and lemon slices. So this weekend I ate raw salmon and shrimp, and caviar. And it was actually pretty good! Maybe not my favorite, but I would eat it again for sure. The caviar wasn't as terrible as other missionaries have made it sound, I think because it was better quality. It tasted like a little bubble of salt water. The caviar here is sold in tubes like toothpaste, and it's orange or black. This smörgåstårta had both colors. Syster Sjöblom said it was a really high quality one and probably pretty expensive, like a few hundred kronor. So that was cool. We thought we were going there to strengthen them, but we got a huge boost of faith and enthusiasm from them. (There were also reindeer antlers hanging outside, but I didn't get a chance to ask about them because we were hurrying off to the bus. It was a weekend so the next bus wouldn't come for another two hours.)
And finally, yesterday. First we had our weekly meeting with our ward mission president. He finally asked what was wrong and why we all seemed so bitter, and we basically laid the smack-down about how we have nobody to teach and it's because we're not getting help from the members. Even though the members are really enthusiastic, we can't work with them most effectively without the ward mission leader's help. As PMG says, the ward mission leader is the bridge between us and the members. There have been quite a few times when I've wished I had somebody who knew the ward members who I could just ask about who would be a good fellowshipper for Petra, or who would be best to invite Familjen Ecuador to church, then realized that that person exists (hypothetically) and is in fact our ward mission leader. It's just that he's hard to get in touch with and then he takes up a lot of our time with talking about other things and doesn't really give us answers to our questions. If we call to ask who would be good to come to a lesson, he says "sorry, I'm busy that day and I can't come." We explain that it doesn't have to be just him, any member would do, but...yeah. It's hard. I know that finding through members is the best way to find investigators, and we're doing the best we can. But we're still searching for those who are prepared. But anyway, Testimony Meeting was great. Lots of people talked about member missionary work. We didn't have any investigators there or even any less active members. We had asked a Spanish speaking woman from the ward to call Familjen Ecuador and make sure they understood where and when church was (since my Spanish needs help. But we did get that book ordered!) but they didn't answer the phone. Maybe next week, but next week is Stake Conference so I think it will be harder to get people there. Petra texted us this week and said sorry she hasn't been answering, but she was out of money on her phone. She asked us whether we have a gudstjänst, a service and we told her yes, every Sunday and she's always welcome, but she wasn't there either. And Therese cancelled on us, so I haven't tried PBS yet.
We got dinner with Linda, one of the members who's always willing (insisting) to have us over for dinner, and then we missed the bus back to the train station by two minutes. So we had to walk back to the station, where we missed our train by four minutes. Since it was Sunday night they only went every half hour, so we waited on the platform with the Zone Leaders, who were also waiting. We sent in our numbers, which were dismal. (We got a grand total of ten lessons this week, and four of them were miracle lessons that we got on the train. Not that I'm complaining about miracle lessons because ten is way better than six!) Since it was the eight o'clock train, I was on the lookout for a certain serial hugger, but didn't see her. We had three contacts left to get, so we got on the train and Syster Sjöblom sat by someone and I kept walking a little further down. I walked down the train until I found Marianne of course! I knew she would be there. She was so happy to see me, almost as happy as I was to see her! She told me she had lost the Book of Mormon she had, which is great news because it means she was looking for it in the first place! I gave her a new one and asked if she still had our number. (She promises to call us every time we see her, but never has.) She said yes, and she's still planning on calling she's just been bad about it. So I suggested that we could call her, and she was all for giving me her number. FINALLY! She wants to meet for coffee sometime (I said "yeah, or something like that!" Sneaky sneaky...) and talk more about it. So we're going to call her and finally be able to meet her for more than the six minutes between Västerhaninge and Handen. And of course I got another hug.
Haven't seen John again. If we don't call at precisely the right time, he's doing things and won't talk to us. Anders has been sick but he thinks we're really cool still so we're still pretty good there. Just got a text from Peter-he's still in Denmark. No luck with Tarek. I think Moris is history. None of our progressing investigators are really progressing, but technically right now we have Peter and Petra. Then Sebastian and Tarek and both kind of halfway. No baptismal dates yet either. But there's nowhere to go but up!
Thank you for your letters and your prayers. We really need them over here. Every time one of these miracles happens I say a little prayer of thanks, and I'm always thankful for all of your faith. I said it last week about Petra, and it's the same this week with Marianne: someone with a lot of faith has been praying for us to find her again! I know that Heavenly Father is taking care of us here and he has lots of great things in store. We're still working hard and being obedient, and the blessings are coming. Can't wait for this week-it's going to be great!

(Jag älskar er mäst, ingen strid! Actually, I'm trying to decide how to translate that. When we say "no battle" are we using the verb or the noun of battle?)   {Note from Patty:  She is referring to us saying "Love You Most No Battle" or "LYMNB"}

Anyway, Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney