Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Kära familj,

DID YOU NOT JUST LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE?!?! It was like Christmas in October! I still haven't seen the Sunday afternoon session (we'll watch it for personal and companion study sometime this week) but everything so far has been wonderful! Syster Sjöblom and I elbowed each other every time they mentioned member missionary work and now my ribs hurt a little from all that elbowing. I especially liked Elder Ballard's talk. I was giddy and bouncing up and down the whole time. After conference we had a couple members ask us which of our investigators they could pray for, and when I started to explain Petra and how she lives in Stora Vika, one of the members offered to drive us and whichever member we wanted to come to the lesson out there so we could teach her whenever we need to. Isn't that awesome? So who are you all going to reach out to before Christmas?
Syster Sjöblom says whatever Kladdkaka recipe you made, it's not as good as hers. She makes some good kladdkaka but I've actually had some better ones at members' houses. (shh. don't tell.) It's best with vanilla ice cream, or raspberry ice cream. Too bad you can't have it with Swedish ice cream. The weather here has been so nice, we actually went out for ice cream last week. This has been the best summer in 20 years according to the Swedes. I'm not complaining! I've also heard it won't snow until late November or December.
I can't wait to see pictures of Keera! And I'm jealous of both of you for getting to hold her. Good job Cody on swimming and mathing. And Peyton, I've always wanted to do a lyrical to that song! Lucky!

Note from Patty:  Merrill asked Delaney to tell us the age of her investigators so we can get a better mental picture of them.  We tend to think they are all Delaney's age.
So this week. This week was. Well. Yeah. First of all, Syster Sjöblom's birthday was on Tuesday! She's 22! (Yes, I sang a bit of the song for her.) She had many great birthday presents, starting with a text from Erik the Golden saying that he can't be a Mormon and he doesn't want to meet anymore and asking if we want our Book of Mormon back. Next we went to our appointment with Rosa and Adriano (that's the one where we teach in Swedish and he translates to Spanish for her.) He spent the whole time telling us about how the Atonement doesn't even make sense and trying to humanize God. We testified and did our best, but they're not willing to listen so we explained that we don't have time to teach people who aren't willing to do anything about it. Our next appointment never showed up. Then we had an appointment with this Swedish family that actually called us looking for the missionaries, because they have a member friend. You can imagine our excitement, right? And actual family of Swedish people with a member friend that wants to meet. Too good to be true, right? Right. We got to their house and were pretty confused when they started giving us a very un-Swedish tour of every room in the house. Finally we figured out that they thought we were thinking about renting their house or something. So that was awkward. We said "yeah, we'll talk to our mission leaders and see if anyone in the ward is interested or anything..." and got out of there. It was pretty confusing. But funny! We could laugh about it. So for her birthday we got broken up with, broke up with someone, got stood up, and didn't even rent a house. But there were still miracles! On the way to the house we didn't rent, we finally found Ica Maxi. It's like the Wal-Mart of Sweden, and you know how missionaries love their Wal-Mart! We also finally set up a real appointment with Sister Jana. The one who we miraculously find every time we drop by. I'm excited for her to be home and expecting us, and to give her a Libro de Mormon so she can start reading it again! That night we had a little mini birthday party (as much as you can have between 9:30 and 10:30 while still having time to get ready for bed). We ate kladdkaka and Princess Torta, and we played pin-the-nametag-on-the-missionary. (Rosa and Adriano are from Colombia and Venezuela, respectively (or possibly the other way around, I forget) and are probably in their late 30s-40s. And our lesson who didn't show up was an 18 year old from the Middle East. Also Erik is from Colombia but was adopted by Swedish parents so he grew up here, and he's in his 40s.)
Luckily, Syster Sjöblom just got all her birthday presents a day late. Even the ones from home-she got some packages on Wednesday with birthday stuff. Including Reece's! They do have Reece's here on the American aisle, but there aren't so many stores with an American aisle in the first place. We also went by Backmans again and Sister Backman was home again! She really likes us and she invited us back. Let the reactivation begin! We also taught Marie in her cafe. Our plan was to invite her to General Conference, and when I started to tell her about the Relief Society session that was just for the women of the world she blurted out "so how can I watch this!" Unfortunately she couldn't come because her daughter and grandkids were down here for the weekend, but we're going to make sure she watches it (at least President Monson's talk in it) online. The missionaries before us gave her a lot of quotes and such from general authorities, so when we told her that's where all the quotes come from she was really excited that she can watch it too! She said she'll watch it so we can have something to discuss when we meet, which is exactly what we want to do-discuss the gospel! Then we met Syster Christison, Syster Larson's new greenie, and she's really sweet. (She's still a little asleep from jetlag, so we're waiting another few days until we actually feel like we can get to know her...does that make sense?) THEN we had the ward council meeting. We just got a new councilor in the bishopric who is young and super energized for missionary work. Our ward council really loves missionary work and have great ideas! We hardly even have to talk, just have to say that sounds great and yes, we will do that. The best was, on Sunday the Relief Society President gave us a list of the less-active sisters we could visit and jokingly said we could follow up with her about it at Wednesday's ward council meeting. Because Syster Sjöblom and I are awesome (and have nobody else to teach at the moment...) we had already dropped by or at least called all of them. (Sister Jana and Sister Backman were both on the list, for example) So on Wednesday at the meeting we gave her a detailed list of what we'd done with each of the sisters and how it was received. The Relief Society president and all the other auxiliary presidents there were dumbfounded and we were promised many more lists. It's going to be great. (Marie is 55 and Swedish but with really good English because she studied it in America. Sister Jana is 22 from Latin America and Sister Backman just turned 52 or 53 and is Swedish. It was both of their birthdays on Wednesday.)
Thursday we had district meeting. Our district grew with the recent transfer, so now there are the four Västerhaninge sisters and four Hägersten elders. Since we can't have equal numbers of elders and sisters, the zone leaders also have to come to district meeting. It's really fun. We have really funny elders! My previous district leader, Elder Williams, is now one of the zone leaders, and we got a new district leader, Elder Svensson. He's from Sweden. It's pretty cool. After district meeting we went to lunch at a pizza place and I tried my first kebab. In mission lingo, that means that now I've been baptized, I think. Nobody is quite sure what kebab is. I think it might be sheep meat? It's just kebab. And you put it on pizza. And missionaries eat a lot of pizza. Most of the elders order a whole pizza for themselves, and the sisters split one between companionships. Swedish pizza isn't that good. The kebab part was pretty good though
I should explain the leading-up-to-conference bit now. Since Erik the Golden dropped us and was not interested in meeting, we had two investigators who have been to church enough to qualify them for baptism. Cie-Cie and John. Cie-Cie is very hard to get an appointment with, but she called us on Wednesday and actually set up an appointment with us for Thursday. We planned on it with hope, but we've had many appointments with her that don't go through. So when we called on Thursday morning and she still wanted to meet, it was a miracle. She almost never feels good enough to meet-I've only taught her once because the rest of the time she doesn't feel good. We were so excited until she called us just two hours before saying we couldn't meet, she wasn't feeling well enough. At least that meant we could drop by Louise and Siv both, since we weren't sure we'd have time for either. Side note now about Anders-he's Louise's son. (He's 22 years old with a 20 month old son). The miracles around him are just that we've met him three or four times now on trains and one the streets (including on Wednesday) and he likes us more and more each time, and then we had that one random lesson with him at Louise's house last week. When we ran into him on Wednesday he told us to get his number from Louise so we could text him the times for general conference. So we got his number and now he can become an investigator when we start meeting with him! (he didn't come to conference, because his son was sick.) So it was a great visit with Louise, and then we still had time to drop by Siv. She's 82 but really active and really sweet. She was baptized a long time ago but we've realized that she needs the lessons over again because she doesn't know the difference between our church and Pingst Kyrkan, which she used to be a member of. We've been trying to figure out how to start the lessons over with her (our visits have been good but it would be awkward to just launch into the restoration) and we didn't feel like it was right to go into it this time either. But last time we dropped by (she doesn't answer the phone so we just have to drop by and pray that she's home. I'm becoming quite the stalker actually in memorizing peoples' daily schedules so we can catch people at home who won't make appointments) we left her a triple combination in Swedish so she could read in the Doctrine and Covenants. So this week she had perfect questions that led directly into the Restoration and she wants to start learning about it! It was perfect! (Louise and Anders are from Gambia, and Siv is Swedish. So is Cie-Cie.)
Back to John now, our other baptism-before-conference potential. He has some extreme OCD and only wants us to call him at certain times during the day. He told us he was too busy but he would have time to meet again in October. So on Friday before we started weekly planning we called him at the wrong time of day and said "It's October, when are we going to meet?" He could meet that day! So we met him at the chapel in Västerhaninge and we even got a member to come, which was perfect because the members of the ward know John really well by now. He said he would come to general conference. He usually doesn't come to church because the time conflicts with his schedule. We talked about obedience and doing what Heavenly Father wants, and promised him that if he came to church instead of cleaning his apartment for three hours like he normally does (he cleans it for three hours every single day), that God would bless him to still feel at peace about the cleanliness of his apartment. He wants to be baptized in the ocean since the font is too dirty, but it's not cold enough yet. (I almost thought he was going to say he would be baptized Saturday morning if we could do it in the ocean.) He said he would pray about a baptismal date and we could talk about it on Sunday. But he didn't show up. So we'll see what happens there. It was just a miracle that we could teach him in the first place. He's from Singapore and he's probably around 50 years old.
So yeah, we had no investigators there at conference. Petra thought it sounded really interesting, but she already had plans for the weekend. She wants to meet though and we're definitely going to see her sometime this week. I think she'll watch some of conference online too when it's up in Swedish. Petra is Swedish and she's 26. So when you've been imagining everyone around my age, Petra and Anders are the only ones where that's really accurate. Most of them are older.
To answer your questions then, I loved conference! And I watched it in English. They showed it in Swedish in the chapel and English in the cultural hall. The chapel was a little more crowded, but not by much. I have not received the hunting pictures yet. Usually when you send me mail it comes on Tuesday. Except this week I got the letter from mom on Thursday instead. But I'm sure it will come this week. I don't have dinner with that family until a week from Sunday. (This coming Sunday we're going to Therese's again and we're going to make peanut butter soup.)

Min Svenska kommer jättebra. Alla som jag pratar med sägar att jag är "jätte duktig!" Dom aldrig tror att jag har inte läst svenska och att jag har varit i Sverige bara sex veckor. Formodligen pratar jag svenska på tågen och vägen, men i lektioner det är vanligtvis engelska eftersom vi har inte så många undersökare som är svensk. När vi har middag hos medlemmarna, vi pratar svenska.
Translation via Google Translate:  My Swedish is great. Everyone I talk to says that I'm "really good!"  They never think that I have not read Swedish and I have been in Sweden for just six weeks.  Probably I talk Swedish on trains and roads, but the lessons it is usually English because we do not have that many investigators who are Swedish.  When we have dinner with the members we speak Swedish.
This morning I had a conversation in Spanish on the phone though. We have a potential investigator from Ecuador! He said he's only home on the weekends but asked what time church is. I'm going to order a Spanish for Missionaries book this week because of all the Spanish I'm having to use. Thankfully we have many members in the ward who speak spanish, including our ward mission leader and one of the ward missionaries, so we'll be able to teach them. I'll let you know next week about Familjen Ecuador and whether they are at church!
We didn't meet Tarek this week either. I'm not sure how much of our text messages he understands.
We're emailing at the family history center today which has faster computers, so I could finally put on some pictures!
In order (hopefully) they are:

Me and Syster Sjöblom waiting for the train. (the whole picture didn't get saved)
Us with Therese when we made African food. (Don't mind that my African wrap makes me look pregnant...just a bad angle. It's the only good picture we got with the self timer thing, okay?)
The map of Stora Vika and all its' smallness.
Us eating cookies under Syster Sjöblom's umbrella in the rain. We brought the cookies for a less active member, but he didn't live there anymore so we ate them.
Some beautiful views of the harbor in Nynäshamn at sunset.
A little neighborhood full of tiny yellow houses with tiny front yards where I would definitely find my future house if I was going to move to Sweden someday.
And finally, our bookshelf full of Book of Mormons. You can't tell from the picture but we also have a huge stack of Spanish and English versions, and a box of Swedish of course!
Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! Please pray that we can meet Petra and Mary Anne again! (I haven't gotten a hug from her this week. But as soon as we see her again we're going to get her number!) And don't forget that the missionaries need you to fill their planners with people to teach! We say so often, the mission is just like an MTC for being member missionaries for the rest of our lives. Lastly, don't worry about me, because right after emailing we're going boot shopping! :) (I knew mom would be worried about that.)
Jag älskar er! Happy birthday Mom!
Love, Delaney

I forgot to include my favorite conference one liners!
Doubt your doubts, not your faith!
What's your gameplan?
On that note, have a great week! Jag älskar er!