Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

Kära Familj,

Hi. Everything's good. Good stuff happened this week.

That's what I told Syster Haynes I was going to say in my email this week. What if that was the only thing I wrote? So much has happened that I have no idea where to start. We've been contacting like crazy and talking to everyone was see and we've been blessed so much by it! We've hit the 20 lesson goal for two weeks running and we're not about to stop and I know it's all because of our diligence and obedience. But anyway.

I'll start at church because I always run out of time. Church yesterday was as great as ever and as stressful as ever. We had two investigators there. The first was Ion (Juan) from Romania. We taught him on Friday and gave him a Book of Mormon, and between then and Sunday he'd read all the way through Mosiah 2. (Side note-the Romanian translation doesn't have all the chapters, so it's not as much as it would normally be, but it was still the first half of the book!) He said that it was "perfecto" and that he felt the Spirit while he was reading it. He speaks a little Spanish, I speak a little Spanish, and the Holy Ghost helps us out a lot. He came to church with us so he came to all three hours. We weren't sure what to do with him during the first hour (priesthood) because we wanted to teach him the second hour (Sunday School). Heavenly Father took care of it though. When we got to church we found out that Priesthood meeting was going to be taught by Brother Trejos in Spanish, and that it would be translated into Swedish over the headsets. So Juan could understand what was going on and he really liked it. Then we taught him during Sunday School about the Restoration. Then we had Sacrament Meeting. The girl who usually translates into Spanish was there this week so I didn't have to translate. Juan enjoyed Sacrament Meeting as well-even though I couldn't figure out how to explain what the Sacrament was. He was a preacher in the Pentecostal church for 37 years though, so I think he caught on. Remember last week how that member called us and told us about her friend Robert who wants to learn about the Gospel? He and his friend David showed up halfway through Sacrament Meeting, so we were pleasantly surprised. After the meeting was over we all had smörgås (Swedish style sandwiches) and our VIPs got to mingle. I think they enjoyed it. We got Juan safely back to the city then we went to Irma's house (the member who brought Robert) and taught Robert and David with her. It turns out David was baptized seven years ago in Spain, but stopped coming to church when his job made him work on Sundays. It's an amazing story how Heavenly Father helped him find the church again-Robert invited him to come with him because Irma invited Robert to come with her. So we gave David a Book of Mormon because he didn't have one here, and of course we also gave one to Robert and told him all about it. He hasn't been to church for a looooong time (he said) but he liked sacrament meeting and said he'll come for longer next week. Yay! They're both from Ghana.

The rest of the week leading up to Sunday was great as well, of course. Tuesday was cool in that we planned lessons for five different women. Even though we didn't have the opportunity to teach all five of them, we got contact with all of them during the day. Two of them were drop-by's and they were actually home and set up appointments with us later in the week. Two of the scheduled lessons we had worked out (Ulrika and Merita. They're both doing well.) and the third one cancelled, but she called us to tell us she had to cancel, which is a blessing in and of itself. (That was Maggie, who we also taught later during the week.)

On Wednesday we taught a family from Afghanistan who speak mainly Persian. They are super positive! The husband (Mohamed) said that when he reads the Bible he feels good and he just wants to keep following Christ. They asked us if we have services on Sunday and said they might come, but they live pretty far out of town so it's hard for them. They didn't come yesterday but we have another appointment with them this week that I'm super excited for! We found out that a member family lives out by where they live, so we're going to try and get them to come and meet them. Unfortunately they don't have the pamphlets in Persian, but they have the Book of Mormon and I think that they'll start reading it! We gave it to them in Persian and in Swedish while we were there. Their names are Mohamed and Hlimah and they have four daughters. I haven't met the older two, but the younger two are adorable; an eight-year-old named Sitara and a six-year-old named Sonya.

Thursday we had a sisters conference so I got to see all my Västerhaninge roomies again! Syster Sjöblom and I shared a pizza like in old times, and Syster Christison and Syster Larson were there as well. It was all the sisters in the southern half of Sweden. They talked about eating healthy for part of it so today we're going to try and buy more fruits and veggies to snack on... Syster Newell also did a really amazing presentation about scripture study. On the bus ride home we taught a guy named Gegitacho from Ethiopia. We actually had an appointment with him last week but we cancelled because we thought it seemed kind of sketchy and we weren't sure what he was really interested in. But then he got on the bus and recognized us, and we taught him the Restoration and he's super positive. It was totally directed by the Spirit because we had to tell him why we're here as missionaries and what our expectations are, but we also had to give him a second chance once he understood that. We taught Ulrika again and we brought a member with us who's recently come back to activity and it was PERFECT. The Spirit was so strong and Christina could relate to everything Ulrika said about the difficulty of coming back to church. I really think she would have come yesterday except that her daughter was in town. 

We went into Saturday with six lessons scheduled. After one cancellation and two no-shows, we still managed to teach five lessons. It was pretty awesome and it was all because of good planning. When Anja didn't answer the door, we taught a guy named Andre (from Romania) on the street. He actually asked for a Book of Mormon and told us his address so we can come by again. Then we taught Kadija (from Guinea). She told us she'd almost cancelled on us but then felt bad cancelling at the last minute, so she let us come. Then we were supposed to have a lesson with a girl named Nora but she didn't answer her door, so we dropped by the Trejos family and taught them. They are awesome and they helped us a lot with Spanish. After them we went to Maggie. She's doing really good, but she hasn't really read any of the Book of Mormon yet. We taught her the plan of salvation. Finally we taught Eldar and Khayla, a family from Azerbaijan who live downstairs from us. They're a really cute family and their little boy was super cute and fun. But they weren't really interested in learning about the Gospel.

And stuff happened on Tuesday and Friday of course. Every day we come home we're just like "well that was crazy. What a miracle." So the prayer list for this week would be: Juan, Maggie, Mohamed and Hlimah, Robert, and Jessica. And of course everyone else we're teaching, but those are the most promising ones right now.

The cabin trip sounds fun, but not as fun as Mom's girls' night out! I'm jealous of both, but I think I'd still rather be here. I didn't know Peyton was considering doing track. But to Peyton, good luck at all your competitions! I wish I could be there to see! And I hope Cody's having fun playing Ultimate. I'm also especially glad that Bo still likes Buddy the Hedge Pig (has Cody started letting us call him that instead of Ralph now?) and that Penny still likes that blanket.

Thanks for the vocab words! I wrote them down in my planner to study later.  {Merrill sends her words in Spanish to help her vocabulary grow.}

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

Kära Familj,

Hello! Thank you again for writing your email in Spanish. It's really helpful. Syster Haynes and I spend our hour of language study working on Spanish now, and we keep our Swedish up by just talking to each other in Swedish. Life with Syster Haynes is awesome. It feels like we have half as long to do twice as much, because we just have so much to do! It makes time fly by even faster than usual.

I'm glad to hear that Dad had a good week. What about everyone else? I got a Valentines package from Katie and Alex full of goodies which may or may not already be halfway gone...and I got four letters from Mom during the week. Thanks Mom! The office didn't send them over transfers so I got them all at once. I think the puppies are faking sick so they can have hot dogs. Obviously nobody's feeding them and they're forced to resort to desperate measures. Just kidding, I hope they both feel better soon!

We've had an absolutely awesome week! President Newell replied to my weekly letter to remind me that the goal to contact 10 people a day is for each companionship, not each missionary. Because we'd contacted 101 people. But this week we contacted 125. PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE HERE! And they're so open to talking about God! It's so weird, but I love it!

After I wrote that part all the computers randomly turned off in the library so we took a break and went to a Thai buffet. Newsflash family: I like Thai food. Don't ask me how that happened.

I think I said this last week, but it's really weird to me that we can do stuff in our area without taking a train to it. So on P-Day when we have three hours to proselyte, we can actually do stuff with that time. Crazy. So last week after doing P-Day stuff we had time for a correlation meeting with the ward mission leader, who is AMAZING and it was a great meeting, and we still had time to go and teach a girl named Jessica. She's been investigating for a while but she's never come to church. She's a really cool lady though and she has faith, we're just working on getting her to keep commitments. We were glad to finally get to meet her after she was sick for our last appointment. (She's about 36 years old and she's Swedish.)

On Tuesday I had another first for my mission. We went tracting and someone actually let us into their house. It was an older Finnish couple named Annelie and Vesa. Vesa was on his way out but we sat down and taught Annelie the Restoration, and got a return appointment for this week. She sings in the choir in the Svenska Kyrkan every Thursday. It was a cool experience because Syster Haynes (I just almost typed Syster Sjöblom because I'm so used to that...sorry Syster Haynes!) asked me which building we should tract, and I pointed one the next street over. So we went over there and there were two different buildings. The first one we tried was portcoded so we couldn't get in, but then the second one was where we found Annelie and Vesa. When we came home that night we realized that it was the same building I had pointed to! It's funny how sometimes Heavenly Father closes doors to us even when we think that's where we're supposed to go, but it leads us to going to the right place. After we taught them we went to our appointment with Ida. It turns out she'd investigated the church a few years ago, and she had a baptismal date and everything. But her parents wouldn't give her permission to be baptized, and since then she's "found her own way," as she put it. It was a little heartbreaking because she's the sweetest girl ever (with a cute newborn baby!) but she's no longer interested in hearing about the gospel. We'll have to give her some time to let the Spirit work on her and hope that she misses the feeling she had then. I'm glad we got to meet her though. (Ida is 24 and Swedish) After we taught her we ran into a member who gave us a ride back to Södra Torget (the central bus station) so we'd be there in time to meet up with another member who gave us a ride out to the Baquero family. They live about 45 minutes outside of Borås so it took some careful planning and I'm really glad the member, Gunilla, wanted to come with us so she could do her visiting teaching at the same time. It's really hard for her to visit teach them because she doesn't speak Spanish and they don't speak Swedish. So she wanted to come when we were coming so I could translate... They were happy to have us visit and they made us empanadas that were really yummy. And I managed to converse in Spanish, if not a little haltingly. We had fun together anyway. When we came back from them we went straight home with a lady named Maggie. Syster Haynes met her while she was waiting for me to come into Borås our first day, and she is really positive! We went to her house and taught her the Restoration, and she really liked the Book of Mormon. She's really strong Catholic but I don't think she'll be too tough because she's really receptive to the Spirit. After the lesson she'd prepared some Arabic food for us. (She's from Syria.) It was really good chicken with some of the best rice ever, and a bitter but good salad and flat bread with cheese that looks like hair but still tastes good, and some sort of gingery bread with meat inside. She'd also made Swedish pancakes for us but we were too full and we took them home with us. We have another appointment with Maggie tomorrow night and we're planning on inviting her to be baptized, so please pray for her!

On Wednesday we went and taught Ullrika again. She's a sweetheart with adorable cats. Then we dropped by a less active whose last name was Mohamed. We were a little worried by the last name and had no idea what to expect but a little old lady answered the door, cigarette in hand, and invited us in. We came out smelling like chain smokers, but it was good to get to know her. She still has a strong testimony, but obviously, she smokes. So we're going to start working with her to try and get her back to church. She's learning Arabic and she's studied lots of languages and she had the Book of Mormon in a bunch of different languages, which was cool. And it turns out she's actually divorced from the Mohamed guy so we really had nothing to worry about. It's just cheaper to keep the name. We'll see her again this week as well. Wednesday evening we taught Kristina, who was previously less active but now she's coming back. It was cool because in the morning Ullrika told us some concerns about coming to church, then with Kristina we were inspired to change our lesson at the last minute and talk about bringing back lost sheep instead. She told us the concerns that she'd had before she started coming back to church, and they were the same ones that Ullrika had. We asked if she'd ever be willing to come to a lesson with us to teach Ullrika and she said she'd love to. I think it would be really good for both of them if they could be friends with each other and Kristina could help her come back. After her we taught Jessica again. She was sick again so we just shared a quick scripture. However, she seemed a little more positive after reading a letter that I brought her from Äldste Papenfuss (my last zone leader). He was the first missionary who found her and taught her, so when he heard I was coming to Borås he wrote her a letter. I don't know what it said but he's a really good missionary and we could tell that it was helpful for her.

Thursday we had zone training, which is a lot more of a hassle in this zone because it's a lot more spread out. We all went into Göteborg to meet there as a zone. Twenty minute bus to travel centrum, hour long bus to Göteborg, then a twenty-ish minute spår bana (like a trax train) to Västra Frölunda where the chapel is. It's a lot more of a hassle than the six minute train ride to Västerhaninge. My zone is Göteborg East, so it has Borås, Jönköping, Trollhättan, Karlstad, and Skövde. I like it a lot. There's lots of pretty cool people. We talked about contacting some more, so I was glad I'm with Syster Haynes because we just contact so many people! After zone training we had sister exchanges, so I was with Syster Richins. Before we came back to our areas we all went to Pizza Hut for lunch. We figured we should go to the bathroom before we took the bus back, but the line for the bathroom was going really slowly. While waiting in line, the guy in line behind me asked me about the missionaries. (Not so unusual considering there were a dozen of us in Pizza Hut.) We ended up all sitting around a table in Pizza Hut and teaching him about the Restoration. It was pretty cool. He'll be a referral for the Göteborg missionaries but he was pretty cool. And Syster Richins and I taught really well together even though we'd just met that morning. After we came back we went and taught Merita again. She still wouldn't let us into her apartment, and she still doesn't understand too much Swedish, but she's still really nice. We read some of Alma 34 with her and talked about prayer some more, because she still doesn't understand that she can pray. But when we said the closing prayer, she told us that it made her feel calm and peaceful. Naturally, we were very excited to hear that, and we told her that she could pray on her own and feel the same way. She said she'll pray at our next lesson.

Valentine's Day was pretty good. One random guy that we contacted even told us happy Valentine's Day. We were supposed to have three different McDonalds...because that's the best place we've found to teach so far in the middle of the city. But none of them showed up. We still taught someone in McDonalds though! We were sitting there waiting for someone to show up and we started talking to him and he invited us to share more with him, so we taught him most of the Plan of Salvation. We even had a Book of Mormon in Persian for him. It was also a great day because we got 26 contacts, gave away two Book of Mormons, and got four referrals. One was from the Trollhättan sisters, then Ullrika (we taught her again) gave us the names, numbers, and addresses of her brother and sister who live in Jönköping's area (which is where Syster Richins is serving, so that was especially exciting for her) and then we got one from a lady named Valerie that we contacted on the street. She went from being a no to setting up an appointment with us for next Saturday and saying that she wants to invite her friend for us to meet as well. She's from Vietnam and she said she was Christian but then she became Buddhist when she married a Buddhist, but now she's single again. She changed her mind when we started talking about eternal families. It was a long exchange because there wasn't a good way to switch back before about seven o'clock, but it was really good. We also met this girl named Anna who also really likes languages, and she and I clicked right away. She doesn't believe in God at all, but we're going to teach her later today and see if she's positive at all.

Getting kicked off the computer and running out of time, AAH!

Saturday a guy sat by me on the bus and had actually been to Salt Lake City. He asked me about the Book of Mormon I was holding and I taught him all about it on the bus. That was cool. Then we taught a guy named Mahdi who used to be Muslim but then studied philosophy and realized that Islam didn't answer his questions. He had a lot of questions and a lot to say and it was a hard lesson to get through, but it was good anyway. Then we had a Chili Fest where I spent a lot of time helping the Baqueros communicate with people. I'm glad we could be there to help them. Then we went and visited the Trejos family who is also from Colombia and also only speaks Spanish. They are hilarious and it was so much fun to be with them!

And, of course, Sunday. Stressful as usual. Especially when this guy started trying to talk to us in Albanian. It was weird. This guy named Juan said he'd come to church but we were communicating in Spanish and neither of us was that good at Spanish. He didn't show up. Church was exhausting. I sat by sister Baquero in Relief Society and tried my best to translate. I also played the piano and said the opening prayer. Then we taught Spanish Sunday School for the Baqueros with Brother Trejos there. He was a bishop in Colombia so I was glad he was there to help explain things to them. Syster Haynes and I didn't actually say much. Then I translated Sacrament Meeting into Spanish. I didn't know how to say stake, ward, sustain, or starfish. But I think they at least got the point that we have to do service and help each other. I think they appreciated it anyway. And I definitely had a lot of help and the gift of tongues to be able to think clearly and translate at all. I haven't even translated from Swedish to English before, but here I am translating into Spanish. Syster Haynes said that one time I said a whole sentence in Swedish...oops. Haha. After church we went to our ward mission leader's house for dinner. They are the best family! He and his wife have three adorable kids and I just love them and we had the best quesadillas I've ever had in Sweden. On the bus ride back we taught a guy named Johannes who started out not very interested but by the end he was asking lots of questions and started reading the Book of Mormon right then and there. That was pretty cool. We've had some really quality contacts this week.

I forgot to tell you about Diana. We met her sometime during the week and she had a Book of Mormon with her. She's super positive and she's totally been being prepared by God.

And to top it all off, a member just called us with a referral. I LOVE BORÅS!

I hope you all have a great week and you can enjoy the good weather! Today it might not rain, which would be the first day since I got here. But I love it. There's also a giant lake by our apartment. Say hi to everyone and happy President's Day!

Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney
PS-I can't find my apartment in that picture. I think it's under the cloud. :/

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February 10, 2014

Kära familj,

Welcome to Borås. We don't speak Spanish.

Syster Haynes have said that to each other at least twice a day from the day we met. (Wednesday.) So I was actually hoping you'd email me in Spanish and I read the whole thing in Spanish. I understood most of it except the part about the FAA, so thank you for sending the English version as well.

First of all, let me say that transferring is terrifying. Wednesday was the most stressful non-Sunday of my mission so far, but it's okay because Heavenly Father was taking care of me. Syster Sjöblom and I managed to get everything packed up and cleaned up but we still left the apartment a little tiny bit later than we wanted to. We called the elders in our district to see if they could come on the train and help us get our stuff onto the train in Handen and off in Stockholm, but they had just moved to Tungelsta so they wouldn't have made the train. We were on our own. It's me and Syster Sjöblom with four bags each, literally carrying everything we own. So we stacked carry-ons on top of suitcases and made our way to the train platform. We would have made the train except the elevator took us one story too far down, so we were under the platform as the train came and went. We thought we'd have to wait 30 minutes for the next train but there was another train in 15 minutes instead. This ended up being a miracle because there were two members on the next train who helped us get our bags off at T-Central. Also, remember how just a few weeks ago I bought a new pair of boots? So as we were trying to run to the train with all our bags, I ended up breaking a part of my boot. It was still functioning, but there was a random strap of leather hanging loose. I was really disappointed and thinking I'd just have to cut the straps off of both boots, which would look funny but at least I could still use them. I showed them to Syster Sjöblom and she said "You could sew it back on." I reminded her of my sewing skills and the fact that even though she could sew it easily with no problem, we were only companions for the next hour. Don't underestimate Syster Sjöblom though! She had been inspired to bring her leather needles and thread (from the reindeer bracelets we made with Marie) in the top of her backpack. We had a 24 minute train ride into Stockholm and it was plenty of time for her to sew my boot back together. So we made it to T-Central and we got our stuff off the train, with about 25 minutes to spare before our next trains left. The only casualty beside my boot was my suitcase. I'd stacked a carry-on onto the top of it that was filled with books, and it bent the metal handle you use to drag the suitcase with until it broke off. So you couldn't really drag it. Luckily I had plenty of help from other missionaries waiting for their companions to get all my bags onto my train. From there I had a 3 hour train ride on a SJ "snabbt tåg". They go fast. I made it to Götegorg and got my bags off the train onto the platform. I had 25 minutes before I had to get on a bus into Borås. So naturally I take myself and all of my belongings toward the first bus stops I see. No bus to Borås. After asking around I figured out that there was a giant bus terminal right on the other side of the building, so I made my way there. I missed my bus by literally one minute. I wasn't too worried, because they go every 20 minutes. I borrowed someone's phone and tried to call Syster Haynes, but nobody answered. So I dialed a number that I thought would be the Västerhaninge elders and ended up talking to someone in Karls Krona. I decided I'd just pray that Syster Haynes didn't get too worried when I didn't get off the bus when I should have. Everything turned out fine though, and I finally got here to Borås. We were picked up by a YSA named Lovisa who had our keys and phone, and she drove us to our apartment. It's on the fourth floor and there's no elevator. So it took the efforts from all three of us to get all of our bags up to the top. We figure when it's time to move out we'll just throw our suitcases out the window instead of dealing with the stairs again. We went to dinner with Lovisa's family where Syster Haynes and I taught a lesson even though we'd never even been alone with each other before that. Missionaries are pretty cool that way.

So that's the basic gist of my transfer story. It was scary, not going to lie. But I LOVE Borås! West Coast Sweden is a lot more calm and much less fast-paced than Stockholm. The people here walk slower and they even look happy most of the time. And they're everywhere! There are so many people out all the time, it's way easier to contact people here than in was in Västerhaninge! Another weird thing is, I haven't been on a train since the one that took me to Göteborg. There are busses everywhere and you can take a bus anywhere in the city that you need to go. So we actually do a lot less walking because the busses are so great.

Syster Haynes is really amazing. She's from Salt Lake City, and she's been in Sweden for a little over a year. She likes every sport, especially tennis and triathlons. She's also a golfer, waterskier, surfer... Basically if it's a sport, she does it. She's also an amazing missionary. She's fearless at contacting and has already contacted every bus driver in Borås. (Not really, because there are a lot of them, but it seems like it.) She's also really good at getting peoples' numbers and getting return appointments out of people. Her contacting methods have already led us to teaching a few lessons to people we've met on the street. On Thursday we contacted a guy named Krister in the city who said it was creepy that we started talking to him because he's actually been looking for a church and wanted to come to ours. He had some time right then, so we went into McDonalds and introduced the Book of Mormon to him. After he read a few verses out of 1 Nephi he said "Yeah, it's true." He committed to coming to church on Sunday and he gave us his number. At least, he gave us a number...we called to remind him about church and some random person answered who was definitely NOT Krister and had never heard of him either. Krister was really sincere and humble and we really thought he was interested, so we don't know why he gave us the wrong number. He didn't show up to come to church either. All we can do is pray to be able to find him again now. Thursday night we also contacted and taught a guy named Deda. He's Catholic and he's thought a lot about God. We ended up teaching him the whole Restoration and it made sense to him. He thanked us for the Book of Mormon we gave him and said that we're really messengers from God. It was a pretty cool experience to teach him. Hopefully we'll be able to meet with him during this week as well. So please pray for Krister and Deda!

There were two investigators in this area who we've inherited from the elders, but we haven't met them yet. One is Anna, and she cancelled on us a few days ago so we haven't met her yet. The other is Jessica who has cancelled on us twice but who we're meeting tonight. Hopefully it all goes well. I've heard a little about her and it sounds like she's got a lot of potential. Maybe sister missionaries will be exactly what she needs. We've been doing a lot of swing-by's to random people that we found on a list in our area book. It's not much to go off of, but it's something anyway. Most of them weren't home. We did find a piece of paper in our apartment with a name (Ida) and an address, so we dropped by and met Ida. She was a really nice lady and we think she has a member friend but we're not sure who it is. We don't really know any members yet. But she invited us to come back this week. She has a 4 week old baby who is really adorable and I'm really excited to teach her!

On Saturday we met Ulrika, who is less active and needs a lot of love. When we got there she was studying the Book of Mormon, so that's a good sign. On Saturday night we taught another lesson in McDonalds, this time to a guy named Evan. He's from Serbia and he's moving back on Wednesday, which is too bad because he's really prepared. We gave him a Book of Mormon in Serbian and he said he'd try to come to church if he had time between going to the Orthodox church and the Swedish church. He didn't have time. But we've planted a good seed and now he has the Book of Mormon at least. It's funny because I've never eaten at McDonalds in Sweden but I taught two lessons there in three days. It's a surprisingly spiritual place-I'm lovin it!

Sunday, as usual, was stressful. Doubling in is really hard because neither of us knows anybody. But the ward was really excited to meet us. There are about 130ish members in the Borås ward and about 100 are active-which is pretty good. Just about every conversation went like this-"Syster Haynes...I saw you in the newspaper yesterday! Are you the one who speaks Spanish?" Everyone in the ward knows that one of us is supposed to speak Spanish and we've determined that I know more Spanish than she does at this point, so apparently I'm the Spanish speaker. Syster Haynes was in the newspaper because our first day here some guys came and interviewed us about shrimp. I wasn't in it because I don't like shrimp (except I liked it when I had it on smörgåstårta but I forgot about that). I soon met the Baqueros family from Colombia who speaks only Spanish, and then the Trejos family who also only speaks Spanish. I was talking to them in Spanish (or trying to anyway) and some other member would come up and introduce themselves to me in Swedish so I'd say "Hej, me llama...uh...jag heter hermana...uh...Syster Smith." We went to Relief Society but at first it was no relief, because I was supposed to sit by Patricia Baquero and translate. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I managed to tell her that there was an activity in the usual place. I don't know what kind of activity it was or where the usual place is. Also that it was someone's birthday. I'm not sure whose. And someone moved into the ward. Luckily there's a member in the ward who lived in Spain who knows Spanish who came and translated for her. For Sunday School we were asked to come to the youth class and talk about missionary work because that was what the lesson was about. Borås does have the largest Young Women in Sweden: eighteen girls. They were all really nice but I don't remember any of their names yet. And they have 5 young men. I think usually for Sunday School we're supposed to teach Gospel Doctrine in Spanish...but we couldn't find any of the Spanish speakers so we assumed they must have been taken care of. I talked on the phone to Äldste Sheldon last week, one of the elders we're replacing, and he said "They might ask you to translate Sacrament Meeting. It's probably one of the hardest things you'll do on your mission." Luckily Sarah was there yesterday (the one who lived in Spain and speaks Spanish) so she could translate. But from what I can tell, she and I are the only ones who speak both Spanish and Swedish. So pray that she'll be able to come to church every week and translate... We didn't have any VIPs in church but the ward members were all awesome. Many missionaries say that Borås is one of the best wards in Sweden, and from what I could tell on Sunday it is a really awesome ward. One of the members called us yesterday night to make sure she had our names right so she could pray for us by name. If this is going to be one of those wards, I'm okay with that!

We've had a lot more success tracting here than I ever did in Västerhaninge, and last night we had an appointment with a lady named Merita who we'd tracted into a few days earlier. She's from Cosovo so we brought her a Book of Mormon in Albanian. (A lot of the immigrants here are from Cosovo and Serbia. Those are the most common places so far.) I'm not sure if she remembered our appointment, but she was home and answered the door. She said she was busy and we couldn't come in, but she came out into the hall to talk. We had a really great lesson about the Book of Mormon and we taught her how to pray, and she was really thankful for it and said she would read it. We made another appointment with her for Thursday as well, and I think it will go great!

So that's been Borås. I'm excited for it! It rains a lot but the city is beautiful. It feels a lot like Seattle. I like it. And there are a lot of random statues which I'll be trying to take pictures of in the near future.

Goodness, so much has happened this week! We also had a really awesome lesson with Marie on Tuesday. I think I say this every time, but she REALLY IS on the path to true conversion! Every time we talk to her she's more and more positive about changing her views and changing her life. She has decided that she's going to come to the US next winter (or the next one, we were a little unsure) and visit Syster Sjöblom and me! So you are definitely going to get to meet her, and you're going to love her! She said she wants to come and see what it's like in Utah in our home before she tries coming to church in Västerhaninge. I just love her and I'm so excited for her.

Yeah, so it's been a fantastic week. It's weird to be without Syster Sjöblom-I still kind of feel like I'm on exchanges and I'm going to go back to VH soon. From everything that Syster Haynes says though, Syster Sjöblom should love Lund. Syster Haynes and I are working our tails off here and we go to bed exhausted every night, which is the best feeling. I love it.

You can put my vote in for the hot tub also! That reminds me, my address now is Ekängsgatan 22, Borås, so you can look it up on Google maps. I live on the top floor and it's the only apartment there with a balcony, so when you see one random tiny balcony right on the top, that's mine. The birthday party, Valentines Dance, and biology class all sound fun. Keep me updated on Matt and the FAA, as well as wedding plans!

Oh, and happy Valentine's Day to everyone! In Sweden it's called Alla Hjärtans Dag. I don't think it's quite as big as in America but I have seen some cards and chocolates and such in the stores.

I hope you all have a great week! Jag älskar alla er!

Love, Delaney

PS-Please pray for Krister, Deda, Merita, and Ida. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Kära familj,

Happy (late) groundhog's day! Did the groundhog see his shadow? Is spring coming? It's been a lot warmer here than it was, which means the snow is melting, which means it's super slushy and there are giant puddles again. It's pretty great. Yesterday it was snowing but the snow was so wet that the snowflakes made giant clumps. It was snowing snowballs instead of snowflakes. We tried to take pictures of it but it didn't really work. Is the house going to be completely different when I get home? Tell Cody good job on scoring points and lettering! I can't believe how many missionaries there are from our stake! Wow!

Syster Sjöblom asked me what happened last week and it went like this: "Well, we had dinner with the Lundborgs, lunch with the Höglunds, dinner with Linda, dinner with the Krylborns, dinner with the Rodriguezes, lunch with the Sandbergs, and Siv wasn't home." It's been a great week. One of the important things that happened was that we got our transfer calls! I was right about the Madrid of Sweden-I'm going to Borås! My new companion there will be Syster Haynes. Right now she's a sister training leader. She only has about 3 months left, I believe. Right now there are four elders in Borås, but we'll be taking over for one of the companionships so it will be two elders and two sisters. We're taking over for Elder Pavon and Elder Sheldon who both speak Spanish. When President said that we'll be taking over the Spanish speakers I asked if Syster Haynes speaks Spanish. There was an awkward pause and President said "I understand YOU speak Spanish..." I've been completely honest about how miraculous it is that I've been able to speak Spanish at all, so we'll see what really happens in Borås. I talked to Syster Haynes this morning and she's about in the same boat as me. She studied Spanish for a few years in high school then took German and learned Swedish, so Spanish went out the window. Maybe between the two of us we'll be able to do it though. I know that we'll have lots and lots of divine help! The gift of tongues doesn't have to just apply to Swedish! I'm really excited to go to Borås. Elder Markus, Elder Papenfuss (our other ZL), and Elder Floyd (in my district) have all served there and they all loved it. I've heard the ward is great and they have more young women than any other ward in Sweden. Which is probably one of the reasons they've been asking for sisters so much.

That part of the transfer call was pretty much what I expected, but the surprising part was that Syster Sjöblom is also getting transferred. She's going to Lund to be a Sister Training Leader there! She's taking Syster Haynes' place there, so we're just swapping companions with them, which I think is pretty fun. So our area is in a funny situation. Västerhaninge is getting two more elders, so they'll have four elders. But some of our investigators and members NEED sisters. (Marie, Siv, and Louise, to name a few.) So the Handen sisters will also be working in Västerhaninge with the people who need them. Syster Clouse will still be in Handen, and her companion will be Syster Dawson! I'm really excited for her to come here because I know she's going to love it!

Yahaira couldn't come to church yesterday after all. She hurt her back at work during the week and hasn't been able to get out of bed. So I won't get to say goodbye to her. We'll be passing her over to the Elders because Elder Ahlström speaks really good Spanish. He lived in Mexico for three years. Luckily she has a really good member friend who will definitely take care of her. Transfers are really stressful, and it's even more stressful since we're both leaving so we won't be able to smooth out the transition as well. We were inspired during the week to take a few hours and update every single page of our area book so a completely new person would be able to come in and know exactly what the situation was with every person. We weren't sure why because we expected that Syster Sjöblom would stay and train a new person to the area, but when we found out we were doubling out we were so thankful that we had that all taken care of! We're going to fill out a giant transfer report and give copies to the elders and the sisters and the other elders to try and make sure everything goes smoothly. Marie is still doing great as well. I did get to say goodbye to her, and she gave me a reindeer bracelet that she made for me! She's amazing and I'm so excited for Syster Dawson and Syster Clouse to be able to work with her and help her keep learning about the gospel. I love her!
I'm sorry I haven't had so much time to write. The internet is being sketchy and we've had transfer details to take care of too. But know that we've had plentiful miracles as always and that the Spirit is really guiding everything we do here. We're going to stockholm one last time this afternoon before we both go down south. We're going to the palace I think. Should be fun. I hope you all have a great week! Jag älskar alla er!

Love, Delaney
                                                                Delaney and Marie

Delaney and Syster Sjoblom in front of the temple

Eating ice cream in January

Frozen Harbor

Snowman Delaney and Syster Sjoblom made
for the other sisters in their apartment.