Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

Kära familj,

Hello! Thanks for the funny stories you always include when you email me. I especially liked the one about likening the scriptures. That's always a favorite past-time around our apartment. Speaking of Cody, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CODY! I've been thinking all week about Cody turning 17 and it's the weirdest thing ever. By the time I'm home he'll be practically 18 and that is not okay! I hope you guys all get to do something fun today. I just thought "that's nice that his birthday is on P-Day so it will be a good day." But Monday's are kind of the opposite of P-Day when you're a regular person. There's an ad on the trains that says "För varje Mondag morgon finns en Lördag kväll." (For every Monday morning there's a Saturday night) and it has a bunch of people partying. I always laugh at it because for missionaries it's more like for every Saturday night there's a Monday morning. Thank goodness!

Does our ward have elders now instead of sisters? How many wards or stakes do they cover? There's an RM here who just got back from a SLC mission and it sounds like a whole different world. They got referrals and baptized weekly. I think I've mentioned before the kind of shock we have if we ever get a referral. It's cool that the new mission president has a Swedish last name. There are lots of last names that I didn't even realize were Swedish until I came here. I keep thinking of random people in the neighborhood and realizing they've got Swedish names. (Sandstroms for example.) Don't worry dad, I thought your pork loin hoagie sounded yummy. We had actual beef this week for the first time in ages. It was so delicious I could cry. Syster Sjöblom and I snarffed that for sure.

It finally snowed here! And I think it's here to stay. Everything is suddenly much less dark and people are kind of happy when you talk to them. It's pretty great. I'll send some pictures. It also got cold. Not too cold, not colder than it was in Utah at this time last year, but still. I actually wore my hat for the first time, and I'm using my alpaca gloves again.

I guess you probably want to hear about my week. It's been good. Things are starting to look up. I mean, we ate beef-how much more could we ask for, right? We also had wild boar again. That was Monday night for dinner with a member. Her less active daughter was there with her friend (again) so we got a member present lesson that we weren't expecting. The friend's not actually investigating the church but she listens to the lessons we give anyway. We're letting the Spirit work on her and mostly showing them that we're real people. When we were planning for Tuesday we were at a loss for what to do because we didn't have any lessons set up between our member lunch and our member dinner. (Only in Västerhaninge does that happen.) Finally we decided to go down to Nynäshamn and visit Marie and see if we could get a referral from her, since she has lots of friends. So we went by but she was pretty busy working-we just visit her at the cafe where she works. While we were there we met her friend Erin from Australia, just for a few minutes. Marie is great because when her friends come in she always says "these are the Mormon girls from America. They came to share what they believe!" Erin didn't know what Mormons were so we showed her a Book of Mormon and talked a little about the church, but she didn't stick around more than two minutes. When she left, Marie told us that she was going back to Australia on Saturday but that she's very religious. She said "It's too bad you girls didn't meet her sooner because I think she'd have loved it." (This is precisely why we went to get a referral from her in the first place.) We had a few minutes before we were going to go teach Cie-Cie (who we called when we got to Nynäshamn and she could meet after about an hour) so I wrote my testimony in a Book of Mormon and we asked Marie to give it to Erin when she came back to pick up her bracelets. I didn't think much of it other than good for those Australia missionaries and I hope they find her there. So then we went and taught Cie-Cie which went really well. We came back for our member dinner (delicious pizza!) and then we were supposed to have a lesson with Bash at the church but he didn't show up. When we finally got hold of him he said he'd been too tired and just got home.

On Wednesday we were finally desperate enough that we went tracting. We've already dropped by everyone in our area and we're working with everyone who will let us. We'd already called everyone in the phone and in the area book. We had nothing left than to tract. We went to Ösmo and got to work. Most people are not interested but at least they didn't seem offended that we were there. We met one guy who said he believes in God but he also believes in UFOs and aliens who he talks to occasionally. Maybe he'll read the Book of Mormon we gave him sometime when he's sober. We had a good contact on the way to where we tracted at least. If nothing else we've been able to tell members we've been reduced to knocking on doors, so maybe they'll start recognizing their duty to find people for the missionaries to teach. We had ward council that night which was actually really great, so it ended on a good note.

We were so excited on Thursday because we had a lesson set up with Allie and we had a member come and it was going to be great. But he didn't show up and he wasn't answering his phone. We felt bad for the member who came, but at least she understood because she just got home from her mission. It was cool to talk to her about her mission and what she did and stuff. She had cool stories. She was in Estonia. After waiting for a while for him we went to Nynäshamn and dropped by Frida, one of the less actives who's really positive but hasn't been answering. The Primary president gave us something to give her son from the stake, so we had an excuse to drop by her instead of just that she wasn't answering her phone. Turns out she'd texted us and we just hadn't received it, but she wants to meet again once they're done renovating their apartment. It's kind of nice that transfers are coming up because we can tell people it has to be in the next three weeks or else who knows where we'll be. (Except we just found out from Äldste Markus that there will be transfers next week to prepare for training...)

I don't know why I bother writing about the weekdays when the weekends are usually so much better. Friday was a great day. We went back down to Nynäshamn and dropped by Marie again to see how it went giving the book to Erin. She said that Erin was excited and said she would read it and thanks so much. Lucky Australia! But then she said that she (Marie) had also read what I wrote and loved it. AND SHE STARTED READING THE BOOK OF MORMON! I was dumbstruck and had to ask her to repeat herself when she said she'd started reading the book and she really liked it. (Needless to say, we've given Marie the Book of Mormon already.) She asked if we would write in hers as well and said that next time we come down we can text her so she can remember to bring it and we can discuss it. Marie is investigating. I can't even count how many little miracles and promptings led to that, but it's really amazing. I know that's one of the reasons that Syster Sjöblom and I have been here together for so long, because we've had enough time to develop the kind of friendship with Marie that she needed in order to actually start reading the Book of Mormon. I just can't wait to see where it goes from here! We taught Juan Carlos at the library and it was one of the best lessons. Again, because Syster Sjöblom and I have been here so long, people are starting to get really comfortable with us and see us as their friends. Juan Carlos asked a lot of really good questions that we could answer and it was a good lesson. We committed him to come to church, which we do every week but he hasn't come for a couple of months. But we committed him to pray about it and we prayed all weekend that he would be able to come. Then we came back to the church to teach Hizkias, someone who we contacted months ago who could finally meet. He was great! He's from Ethiopia and he doesn't live in our area, but he'll be yet another great referral for other missionaries.

The same thing happened on Saturday where our member came to the member-present lesson but the investigator didn't. Williant forgot and wasn't answering his phone. BUT he just called ten minutes ago while I was writing this and set up for Thursday. Please pray for him! We went down to Ösmo again Saturday afternoon and taught Therese again. She told us we're always welcome to drop by especially when she's home on Saturday afternoons. So it's basically going to be a weekly thing, hopefully. We read 2 Nephi 31 with her and she loved it. She can tell the Book of Mormon is true scripture. She asked us what the difference is between our church and the Catholic church. It was perfect because we weren't sure how we would transition between friendly visits with a message to actually teaching her the lessons. But next Saturday we'll start with the Restoration and it will be great!

And CHURCH! We had two women who said they would come, but we've never actually met either of them. One was contacted two months ago by other missionaries and the other was contacted a couple weeks ago by the zone leaders. We waited by the train station for them but they didn't show up. So we went to church. One of our less active members, Peter, got a calling to be a primary teacher, which is going to be perfect for him. I thought he was our only VIP until after sacrament meeting when I saw Juan Carlos was there! We went to go talk to him when a missionary couple cornered us and gave us their Swedish Liahona since they can't read it. We were fighting through the crowd to get to Juan Carlos again when someone from the Primary Presidency asked us to teach a primary class because they were four teachers short. We said okay and that we could be there by the end of opening exercises. We finally got to Juan Carlos who wanted to have a lesson but we had to teach primary first, so he said he would wait. One of the members was helping him fix his laptop anyway. That was funny, we walked up and heard "Americans!" They needed help finding the underscore on the American keyboard. On our way to primary someone from Relief Society asked us to lead and play the opening and closing songs. So we taught Primary using the liahona we got, then we did the opening song in Relief Society, taught Juan Carlos, and were back in Relief Society in time for the closing song. Hectic! Good thing there were no investigators there...except I'd rather have investigators. Then we went to dinner and it was good and we ate cheesecake and ice cream, then we went to Miriam's (member) birthday party where we ate more cake and desserts and a lot of sweets. It was kind of weird to be there because I'm 19 and she's turning 32 but she loves the missionaries and it meant a lot to her. And her non-member friend was there too so it was a good contact.

Phew. It was a good week. This week is going to be great too! We actually already have some things set up, including Allie and Williant, and Cie-Cie and Therese. Yahaira is still doing well but hasn't been able to meet because her mom has been sick. We left her cookies on Saturday. She wants to meet this Saturday. Please pray for her as well!

I'm out of time. Have a great week! I love you all!

Love, Delaney

                                                           A Church in Nynashamn

                                                        A Church in Stockholm

                                                    Stockholm Temple in Vasterhaninge


                                                                         January 2014