Merry early Christmas! This will be the last email you get from me before we Skype on Christmas! This is the last P-Day before Christmas! Christmas is so close!
I've never heard of Karrtorp, so I think I'm probably safe. Sounds scary though. Not much goes on in Västerhaninge, it's pretty tame. We saw a drunk guy pass out once. That was about the most exciting thing that's happened in that regard. It snowed again on Saturday but it hasn't stuck. It rained yesterday during church. Mostly it's just misty a lot. The rain doesn't fall, it just sits there in the air waiting to hit you in the face. We don't have ice or even slush right now, just puddles and gravel. They cover all the sidewalks with gravel to make the ice grippy, then the ice melts and there's just a TON of gravel everywhere.
I love how home teaching solves everything that new converts and members returning to activity need. Friend in the church-check, got a home teacher. Calling-check, you become a home (or visiting) teacher. Nourishment by the good word of God-check, you have and are a home teacher. What an inspired program! It's especially inspiring when people do it so it works the way it's supposed to. I'm so glad that you get to be a part of all the missionary work around the Purdys too! What a great opportunity!
I can't wait to hear you all try to pronounce Västerhaninge and Nynäshamn and everything over Skype. I'll save my comments until then... heehee...
Yes, I did get to see the Christmas devotional! I watched it last night at the church. I looked for you in the congregation but I didn't see you. I didn't even see Laurent in the choir this time. But I loved the devotional, it was great! It made me even more excited that I'm on a mission. I was thinking about in Miss Congeniality when they all want world peace, and I was like "Whoa...I'm here to help us achieve world peace!" It was cool. What did Russell M. Nelson do when they were showing the video clips during his talk? Just stand there? I really liked his talk. And all of the talks of course.
The Christmas tree does look very nice. I like the red ribbon on it. We have a red bow on our front door. I would send a picture but I forgot to take a picture of it. But I did send the picture of our little Christmas corner. Most of the presents are for Syster Christison. Her mom sent a TON of boxes. Then there are quite a few for me, and a couple for Syster Sjöblom. Syster Larson already got her Christmas present but it wasn't wrapped so it's not under the tree.
Yes, we did meet with Miriam this week. I didn't do so well at Spanish as I did last weekend with Yahaira. I'm pretty sure I said "Yo se que puedes hacerlo." At least 8 times. (I know that she can read the Book of Mormon to strengthen her faith!) She wants to be baptized but her husband isn't really thrilled about the idea, so she's praying for help with him. We'll meet her again tomorrow and see how reading the Book of Mormon every day and praying every day went. And we'll see if I ever figure out how to pronounce sacerdocio. I say it wrong every time. Unfortunately my update on Yahaira and Luis is not so great. Here's the story: on Saturday we were doing our two hour church time, so Syster Sjöblom was practicing the songs she'll be playing next Sunday (I'm so excited to play the violin!) and I was preparing for our lesson with them, which would be at four. We planned to teach the Plan of Salvation, so I had Preach my Gospel, El Plan de Salvacion pamphlet, and my planner, and I was translating the points from the lesson plan in PMG into Spanish in order to hopefully be able to teach it. At three we get a call from an unknown number, so I answer it and someone starts speaking really fast Spanish. I got that it was Luis, and something about Yahaira and bad. The only other thing I could understand was Caido (fall). My brain is trying to translate and the only thing I came up with right off the bat was that Yahaira had read something about the fall of Adam in the Book of Mormon that made her feel bad and she was not interested and hated us and didn't want to meet us. I recognize I was being a little dramatic in the moment. Finally I stuttered out "no comprendo." Luis knows some Swedish so he switched to Swedish to explain that Yahaira doesn't feel good, and she feels really bad for cancelling on us at the last minute. The good news is that she still wants to meet and hopes we can meet this week. So we haven't seen them but we will be meeting them again shortly. And hopefully get them to church on Sunday. (One of the best parts about playing in church is we can use that to get investigators and less actives there.) Keep praying hard for Yahaira and Luis, because they are so prepared and ready to receive the gospel! Thank you for telling me how to extend the baptismal commitment in Spanish, because I am planning on using it with them this week!
I ate an egg for lunch yesterday actually. No mayo this time, just cheese on it. Syster Sjöblom made it for me. This morning we had no bread (almost), no milk, no eggs, and basically nothing. I cooked up some bacon and we had toast on the bread heels, and sliced up the last apple. Breakfast on P-Day is hard because you only have whatever food you made last. We took the recycling out this morning and we eat a lot of eggs, milk, and cereal.
Arthur has not answered his phone, so we assume he went back to Poland. But we're still thinking of him and praying for him and we're going to make sure he gets in contact with the Polish missionaries. He's such a great guy.
We had no VIPs at church today. It's been a rough week. Lots of cancellations. But Saturday was cool. Erik broke up with his girlfriend so he's investigating the church again. We met him on Saturday morning. He has so much faith in Christ and we taught him about the Gospel of Christ, and he agreed with everything we said. We invited him again to be baptized and he said he will if he gets an answer that it's right for him. So we invited him to pray about it and he knows that God answers prayers. It was really great and the Spirit was strong and I remembered again how prepared he really is. He's coming to church on Sunday. Bash couldn't come to church and hasn't been able to meet because his brother died last week. So we're just praying for him and giving him some time. He wanted to come to church though because he knew it would help him feel better (he's great!) but he got called in to work. At least he called us and let us know though. We're hoping to be able to meet him again this week. Back to Saturday. We were headed over to Linda's to do some service, and on the way we got a call from Sebastian. He was on his way back from Stockholm and wanted to meet. We weren't about to give up that opportunity, so we picked him up at the train station and brought him back to the church. We had a long lesson where we explained the whole Plan of Salvation and Gospel of Christ. He had a lot of questions and a few concerns, mostly because he has REALLY STRONG faith of the Bible and he REALLY knows the Bible. Unfortunately since we'd only planned to teach in Swedish, neither of us had our quad, so we couldn't show him how the scriptures in the Bible supported the Book of Mormon scriptures we were using. He ended up saying that he feels like he should do some more research now that we've explained the plan. I'm really glad that Heavenly Father knows what He's doing so I don't have to worry about there being some discrepancy between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Sebastian has promised to come to church one of these days but he's really active in his own church on Sundays so he hasn't made it yet.
As I'm sure you've heard, Friday was Luciadagen. Syster Sjöblom and I went to a Lucia festival at 7:00 that morning in St. Eskils Kyrkan, which is about a ten minute walk from our apartment. It was a good program and some of the youth from our ward were in it, so we got to support them too. They held candles and sang Christmas songs. You'll have to look up "Swedish Lucia for Dummies," one of the members tried to show it to us but it didn't work. But I think it explains where it came from and what they do.
So about our plans for Christmas. In Sweden the big day is Christmas Eve. So for Christmas Eve we'll be starting the day off with the Krylborn family (the place where we ate älg meatballs. They have a stuffed bear in the basement which I haven't seen yet). They have two missionaries out (both in different missions in England) and two daughters at home. (Caroline who's preparing for her own mission, and Michelle who is the Swedish version of Peyton.) Then we'll go over to the Krus family (the other hunting family) where we'll watch Kalle Anka (Donald Duck Christmas, that's been a tradition in Sweden for forever.) And we'll play games and stuff. They have a new grandbaby that was just born a few months ago, so it will be fun! Then on Christmas day we'll be at Rolf and Annya's house. In the course of our emailing we realized that they're currently in Turkey so we're not sure when we'll be skyping. So I lied-you'll get another email from me about exact times and everything. I think we'll skype around four or five here, which would be eight or nine there? Maybe earlier, I'm not sure. I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'm not sure if I can even log in to skype anymore because I don't know what my username is. Could you either find out my username or set up a skype account for me and send me the details? I'm not too worried, I'm sure everything will work out alright.
So yeah. It's been a rough week but things are going. I can't wait to talk to you next week! Merry Christmas to everyone, and don't forget that the Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ!
Jag älskar er!
They found this Christmas tree in the closet of their apartment.
These are the presents for all 4 missionaries so far.
These are the presents from 2 of the 3 boxes we sent.
Thankfully, the 3rd box has now arrived in Sweden.