Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Kära Familj,

Happy New Year! The Persian New Year started this week, either on Wednesday or Thursday, I didn't quite figure it out. They celebrate it for 18 days, so on Saturday Syster Haynes and I celebrated (sort of) with two different families. First, we went to visit Masoume, where we first learned about the holiday. For the new year you set out seven things that start with S, which is the first letter in the Persian alphabet. Masoume's table had an apple, grass, coins, some spice, some eggs...I don't remember what else. You leave it out the whole 18 days. She also had this nut mix with peanuts, almonds, walnuts, corn nuts, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds all mixed together to snack on. We were planning on teaching her the rest of the Plan of Salvation that we didn't finish on Sunday, but while we were there we were prompted to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Syster Haynes had used the iPhone (love that thing) to translate the words Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End into Persian and drew them all out, so we pulled that out and used it to help explain. When we got to baptism, Masoume said "I want to do that!" We were a little shocked because it usually isn't quite so easy, but she pulled out her Persian-Swedish dictionary and pointed to the word "Christlike" and said "I want to be that!" So we invited her to prepare to be baptized on April 19th. She's really excited for it and she's already been reading and praying about it.

So then on Saturday night we went to visit Mohamed and Hlimah and their family, who are also Persian. They had the same things set out for the new year. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ as well, and Mohamed was so sweet and translated the whole thing for Hlimah. We were planning on getting help from a member in Stockholm who speaks Persian, she was going to be on the phone for the lesson to help explain and find out their questions, but she didn't answer the phone when we called her. It turned out to actually be really good though, because we could teach the Gospel of Christ so simply and clearly. They also had questions about baptism-who has the authority? Where can we get baptized? They've actually wanted to be baptized for a while I think because they converted to Christianity many years ago, but Mohamed said they weren't able to before. But now the Lord has brought them to Sweden where they have to freedom to be baptized, and He's led us to them so we can help them find the true church! Mohamed and Hlimah committed to be baptized on April 19th as well. We had some time before our bus came because they only come once every hour on Saturdays, so we played with the girls some more. Then Mojgan, the Persian speaking member, called back. She explained what we taught and bore her testimony to them. The whole time they just kept saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" We had to rush then to catch the bus (we missed it) but they asked if we could send them her number so they can keep in contact with her. We were talking at the bus stop while we waited and we realized it was perfect timing that we could teach the whole lesson clearly and then Mojgan came and bore her testimony of it all. It was one of the most if not the most spiritual lesson I've had and I am so excited for their family! I think Zahra and Sitareh will be baptized on that day as well, but they weren't there for the actual commitment this time. Mohamed said he would come to church even though with the bus times he'd have to leave two hours early and wait at Södra Torget (in the middle of town) for 40 minutes before the bus left to the church. But then he texted us yesterday morning and said he'd forgotten that he had guests coming to his house for lunch at that time so he couldn't come. They have to come next week! But I think they will.

So yeah, we got three baptismal dates on Saturday. No big deal. It was pretty fun to report to the zone leaders and to President Newell. I know that the Lord has been blessing us for all of our hard work.

The rest of the week has been alright, but we've had a LOT of people not show up to their lessons. We were supposed to teach Moses on Monday while we were in Göteborg, but he didn't come. Good thing we had other things to do in Göteborg, like get kebab pizza! Our other lesson on Monday also cancelled, but we were able to do some service for Irma, the member who referred Robert.

Tuesday we had district meeting in Jönköping so I got to see a new part of Sweden! Jönköping is right underneath the big lake in the middle of Sweden. It was really beautiful. I was especially excited to go there because that was Syster Sjöblom's first area and I've heard all about how awesome it is. It was certainly a pretty city. When we got back we went out to Fritsla and taught David. He's doing pretty good. Unfortunately he wasn't able to come to church on Sunday because he had to go to Göteborg to talk to a friend about getting a job. After him we taught Farhad from Afghanistan. When we told him about the prophet he said "Where can I read about him?!?" It was cool. Then we taught Lamech. I love Lamech! He's awesome. It was a really good lesson about obedience and we started to teach the commandments. He even started to tell us about praying to know if it was true and what happened. He got distracted and never finished the story, so we were left hanging as to what happened, but whatever it was it was really good because he's really looking forward to his baptism. After the lesson we were walking back to Södra Torget and he told me "Ever since I met you two I've just been happy all the time!" Then after him we went to the church and taught Ahmed. He really wants to know if it's true and he really felt the Spirit during the lesson, and it went great!

Wednesday we taught Ulrika again and then had lunch with the Murrays. He's from Utah and they lived there until they retired and came to Sweden. We had lasagna and blue kool-aid, and talked about how much we miss kraft mac 'n cheese, and American fast food chains. He was the bishop until December, so he knows EVERYTHING about the less active members in the ward, and he REALLY wants to help them come back, so he's been awesome at missionary work with the less active members. Everyone else cancelled on us on Wednesday, which was kind of discouraging, but we tried to find people to teach anyway. Our efforts were rewarded on Saturday, like I already mentioned.

Thursday we helped an investigator named May clean her house. She really likes us and likes talking about Christ but she doesn't seem to want to change much. We're working on helping her understand that there's only one true church and you have to have the authority. After that we went out to Tranemo and taught the Baqueros in Spanish. It was really hard. But they said to tell you hi! So hola from the Baqueros!

On Friday we helped clean the church and had lunch with some members. We were planning a pizza night with this part member family but they cancelled. None of our investigators were home so we dropped by another member who lives in our area. She really needed us then so I was glad we went over there. Then on Friday night we taught Lamech again at the Engelbrektsson family's house. It went really well. He already called his friends in Africa to tell them he's getting baptized. He wanted to know all about what's going to happen on that day, because he thinks about it all the time. So we started to make his baptismal program. We're going to sing Amazing Grace and Syster Haynes is doing the talk about baptism. The Engelbrektssons had a violin that they let me play so hopefully I'll be able to play in a musical number for it as well! There's nothing I'd rather do between sessions of General Conference!

I told you about Saturday. We also taught Jessica on Saturday. She's still been having a pretty rough time, and she's also lost her Book of Mormon. We had a member with us for her lesson this time and it made a huge difference. She committed to come to church, although hesitantly. It was a really good lesson though.

So then yesterday. We were planning on at least ten investigators coming to church: Lamech, Moses, Jessica, Mohamed, Hlimah, Zahra, Sitareh, Masoume, Helia (her daughter), and Ahmed. It was also our turn to teach Spanish Sunday School. So Syster Haynes prepared a Persian sunday school lesson while I prepared the Spanish one for the Baqueros. We figured Lamech, Moses, and Jessica could go to regular Sunday School, and we'd let the elders take over Ahmed since he lives in their area. The morning was a pretty stressful and anxious morning. First Jessica texted saying that she wasn't coming. Then Mohamed texted to let us know he and his family couldn't come either. Moses was in Göteborg so we sent him the addresses to the churches there. We haven't heard from him since so we still don't know if he made it to church, but we're thinking he probably won't be ready to be baptized this Saturday. We went to Södra Torget where we were supposed to meet Lamech and he wasn't there. This is when I started to get worried. The bus from where he lives came and he wasn't on it. The bus to the church was leaving in two minutes. I said "I am not getting on that bus without Lamech!" We called him and he showed up from around the corner just in time to get on the bus with us. He'd slept in Göteborg Saturday night and had just gotten back that morning, and didn't even have time to go home in between, but he still came to church! He was the only one who came, but it was all worth it because Lamech is amazing. He really liked it. I didn't see him most of the time because the first hour I was translating Primary (not sure why, because the kids are pretty good at coloring no matter the language) and then the second hour I was teaching Spanish Sunday School. We went on splits with women from the ward to be our companions. While Syster Trejos was my companion for Sunday School, Syster Haynes and Sara Olofson were teaching Lamech. It sounded like it went really well. My Sunday School lesson went well too, but it's really hard to teach for 45 minutes all by yourself in Spanish! Luckily the Trejos were there to answer questions that the Baqueros had. Finally we got to Sacrament meeting and it was awesome.

I can't believe you're going on a cruise for Spring Break without me! I mean, I'd still rather be here, but that sounds like a lot of fun! Take lots of pictures and send me something cool! When is Spring break anyway? Good job everyone with dancing, golfing, stock investments, and serving! 

I hope you all have another wonderful week! Jag älskar er! Thank you for your love and prayers!

Love, Delaney

PS- So the prayer list this week is Lamech, Moses, Mohamed, Hlimah, Zahra, Sitareh, Masoume, and Helia. Sorry it's long...actually no I'm not! They need prayers!
Delaney & Syster Haynes in Goteborg

Back row left to right: Delaney, Hlimah, Zahra, Mohamed 
Front row: Sitareh on the left and Sonia on the right.

Waiting at the bus stop for an hour
after just missing the bus

iphones - Delaney now has a smart phone
 like the rest of the family

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014

Kära familj,

HELLO! This week has been so great that I'm tempted to write this email on caps lock, but I know that would be annoying so I'll spare you the pain of reading it. But read it as if it were all in caps lock anyway.

First, on Monday night we taught Mohamed and Hlimah about the Plan of Salvation. They loved it. We even managed to convince Mohamed to translate it into Persian for Hlimah so that she could understand. We found out that it's not just Zahra who's reading every day, but that Hlimah and Sitara (she just turned 9) are also reading and they're all up to 2 Nephi 2. They are doing awesome and progressing at their own rate. They still love us almost as much as they love talking about Jesus Christ, so it's great. They've been really busy so we haven't met them since, but they've kept in contact with us, so I'm not worried. I'll try and take a picture with them next time we're there. It's hard because they live kind of far out and we always end up running to catch the bus back into town, so we never have time for pictures. But of course I'll take lots of pictures when they get baptized!

Tuesday we had zone conference in Göteborg. I got to see Syster Sjöblom and all my other VH friends again, and they're all doing really well. The talks were amazing as always and we all got more pumped up to be awesome missionaries. Awesome-r missionaries I should say. I love zone conferences. It was sad because it was Syster Haynes' last zone conference so she bore her goodbye testimony. Time goes by so fast on the mission! It makes me really sad because I love what I'm doing.

On Wednesday we got together with Irma to do some family history. Irma is an amazing member missionary. She's the one who brought Robert to church, which ended up bringing David and Moses along as well. She talks to every taxi driver about the gospel and sometimes on long trips she even teaches entire lessons like the Plan of Salvation. She's also SUPER GOOD at doing family history and she helped Syster Haynes find some more of her Swedish ancestry. When I say she's super good at family history, I should qualify that she's really good at doing SWEDISH family history. I told her I'm Danish and she was just like "well I think there's a website or something that could help you with that." While she and Syster Haynes worked on the computer I started writing down some of my favorite memories from childhood in a book called "My Family Stories" that's supposed to help members get started on their own family history. It was fun. After that we went and taught May. She's been investigating for a really long time and I think the only reason she's not baptized is because she's afraid of water. We had a really great lesson with her and Lovisa came. Then we went by Ulrika and had a great lesson with her too. She's a really really sweet lady. And she's puppy-sitting a cute little yappy dog that sometimes falls asleep on my lap while we're there. (Irma, May, and Ulrika are all older Swedish women.)

The real success began on Thursday. First we taught Jessica. (Swedish, 36, has been investigating for almost a year now). She's been having a pretty hard week and she hadn't read, but she committed to come to church next week. She couldn't come yesterday because she has guests over the weekend. But she's going to come to church next week, I know it! She has faith but it's not quite an active faith yet, but she's really inspiring to talk to because her faith in Christ is really strong. After we taught Jessica we went out to Fritsla to meet with Moses (David's friend, Robert's nephew, from Ghana). After teaching him the Restoration we invited him to be baptized and he accepted the date for the 29th of March. We've since found out that he's pretty busy with school and it's going to be hard to meet him too often, so the date might have to be pushed back to give him time to prepare, but he's on his way. He'd started reading the Book of Mormon and had written down questions he had about it. He came to church yesterday with his Book of Mormon in one pocket and his Bible in the other. He grew up Catholic and he has a lot of faith already, but he likes meeting with us and learning even more. He really liked church too. He's 18 years old so the young adults are really awesome at fellowshipping him. Thursday night we taught Helay, a girl from Uzbekistan (about 22 years old) who we contacted a few weeks ago who turned out to be the best friend of one of the members. She had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon so we had a great lesson with her. Of course her member-best-friend came with as well! As we were leaving, a guy showed up who we'd contacted and set up an appointment with for the next day. So that was cool, because they're in the same circle of friends. His name is Rasmus and we taught him Friday afternoon. He and Helay both said they might come to church this week but neither of them did. :/ Next week though!

Friday night we taught Lamech the plan of salvation. HE LOVED IT. We invited him to be baptized. HE LOVED IT. He's going to be baptized on April 5th, the day of general conference. When we asked him how it feels to know there's a prophet on the earth again he just said "I'm so happy!" So when we told him that the prophet is going to speak to the world on the day of his baptism, he was just ecstatic about it. His favorite part of the plan of salvation is that he'll get to do missionary work in the Spirit World. He loved everything in it and he said that he'll pray about it as well to make sure he gains his own testimony of it. He is awesome. He couldn't come to church yesterday because he had a meeting with someone about his trip back to Africa next month (he's from Uganda but he's going to Kenya) that couldn't be rescheduled, but he is very excited to come to church next week. We taught him again last night and we made a calendar of all the times we're going to meet between now and his baptism. When we were done, he asked "So what time is my baptism going to be?" We figured we'll wait until it's a little bit closer, but he's very excited about it. The more we teach him the more excited he gets. When we invited him to come play innebandy he asked if we could just come and discuss the gospel instead. And when we said we're going to teach him in members' houses he said "I get to meet even more people!" In case you haven't already realized, he is amazing and probably the most prepared person I've ever met.

Saturday all of our plans fell through, so it was one of those fun days where you drop by everyone you can think of, contact everyone you see, and then start bringing cookies and thank you notes to members. This was actually a good thing because we ended up being in the perfect place to help one of the members get some things up the stairs to her apartment. Those little opportunities for service make my day and I love them. It's one of the best parts of being a missionary because we get to serve all the time!

Yesterday was, of course, a wonderful day! Sundays always are. We went and talked to our Romanian friends before church but they couldn't come. So we went to church and showed Moses around (he got a ride from Edward, our ward mission leader, who also lives in Fritsla. David and Robert couldn't come because David is out of town and Robert's car is still in the shop). Then in Relief Society I was sitting next to Sister Baquero trying to translate into Spanish (haha) when the phone started buzzing. It was Masoume, one of our investigators who is hard to teach because she speaks mostly Persian. I went out into the hall to answer and found out that she was at the bus stop trying to get to the church but didn't know where it was. We went and picked her up and brought her to church. This was a miracle because we haven't even tried to invite her to church since the day we tracted into her a few weeks ago. The rest of the lessons have been so hectic (Persian-Swedish translation, loud distractions, her daughter, etc) that we've hardly been able to invite her to pray and read the Book of Mormon. But she came and she really enjoyed relief society. She even knew some of the members-the Trejos family are in her SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) class. We taught her the Plan of Salvation during Sunday School and it was the most Spiritual lesson we've had with her. And she's read all the way through 1 Nephi 19! And she really understood it, as well as the Plan of Salvation. When we started talking about faith she said with conviction, "I have that!" and she really does. She told us all about how much Jesus has helped her in her life. She had to go home and take care of her daughter so she wasn't able to stay for Sacrament meeting, but I think she'll come next week. After her we had dinner with a really cute family, the Larssons, and then we taught Lamech at the church, but I already told you all about that. Reporting our numbers was really awesome-two baptismal dates, seven progressing investigators, and the fact that we had people in church, not to mention that we've actually started getting member-present lessons because we're starting to get to know the ward! It was great!

To top it all off, I just got an email from Syster Dawson (she replaced me in VH) and she ran into Rakamora and got his number! Yay! (He's the one who came to church that one time but would never give us his number.)

I really really really appreciate ALL the details you include in your email to me, whether you think they're important or not. I love hearing about how everyone's doing. When I look forward to emailing on Mondays, as much as I love telling you all about my week and the people I've met, I also look forward to reading about your week as well. Great job playing piano, Ultimate, and golf. I'm a hard working missionary because I come from a hard working family and I'm so thankful for that! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Jag älsker er!

Love, Delaney
I was saving this news for the end but then I forgot to put it in! At our zone conference on Tuesday they surprised us all with brand new IPHONES! So now I've got a smart phone with the rest of y'all! It's already been super helpful, especially with investigators like Masoume who don't speak too much Swedish. The phone can translate! It's amazing how God has blessed us with technology like this so that we can help His kingdom go forward!
Delaney, Lemech & Syster Haynes

Delaney, Sophia & Josephine (the rabbit)

Syster Haynes, Lovisa, Delaney

Moses, Delaney & Syster Haynes

Semlor (Swedish Pastry)

Delaney's MTC group at Aldste Bailey's Memorial Service
I guess I'll explain the people in the pictures too. Lamech is from Uganda, and he's getting baptized April 5th. He's SO EXCITED for it. He usually smiles a lot, but apparently not in pictures. Moses is from Ghana. He's David's friend, the one who came to innebandy a couple weeks ago. He's getting baptized March 29th. But we might have to push it back because he's pretty busy so he's hard to meet with. Sofia is 8 years old and she's one of the kids who was at our dinner appointment last night. When we called her house she answered and gave the phone to her mom saying "Someone wants to talk to you, but they sound really funny. Some sort of dialect." The rabbit is really soft and cuddly. And then Lovisa is a super awesome member who loves coming to lessons with us. She picked us up our first day in Borås and showed us around. She just sent in her mission papers. She's also my visiting teaching companion.

Tell Peyton and Alyssa good job at Federation! And tell Aubrey congratulations for me. In the MTC, my zone included the Dutch speakers going to that mission. We called them "The Dutchies" and they were all super nice. She's going to love it!

Hope you like the pictures! Jag älskar dig!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Kära familj,

Thanks for keeping me up to date on everything the family does. Believe it or not, I even like hearing about the random details like salted caramel milkshakes. Where did Matty learn to make those? I want one! Tell everyone good job with dance, orchestra, frisbee, laser tag, biggest loser, going to church, golfing, temple attendance, and everything else! It sounds like everything's going great!

This week has felt long, but it's been good. Yesterday was an especially interesting day. We didn't go to our own ward in Borås because we went to Västerås to attend Äldste Bailey's memorial service. Everyone from my MTC group was invited, which is why we got to go. We got on the train at 8:00 in the morning and arrived in Västerås around 11:45. Then we practiced the musical number that all the missionaries there did. The missionaries that were invited were my MTC group, Äldste Bailey's previous companions, some missionaries from his district in Karls Krona, and the Stockholm and Stockholm North zones, so around 90 missionaries total. We had a short sacrament service and then did the memorial service which was streamed live over skype to his family. The missionaries sang a Swedish song called "Blott En Dag, Ett Ögonblick I Sänder." (Just a day, a moment in time. It's a traditional funeral song.) I played the violin (I borrowed Äldste Lambson's) along with Syster Bass for the introduction and the third verse. It was a very powerful musical number. Not as powerful, though, as when President Newell spoke. He read from Äldste Bailey's journal entry last Sunday. He'd had a baptism that morning and he'd written all about how excited he was for her, and his testimony of the gospel and the Plan of Salvation, and how he knew he would be with his family for eternity. It was a really amazing experience to be a missionary there and be able to help support the branch members. Their little chapel was full to bursting and we could strengthen the little branch just by being there. It was also cool to see everyone from my MTC group again and be together. Our poor group has had a rough time, but I love all of the missionaries who braved the MTC with me, whether they made it all the way to Sweden or not. They're all amazing missionaries.

We didn't get back to Borås until 8:00 last night, so we didn't have time to do anything except get home. The ward missed us. None of our investigators came to church. I'm very thankful that I don't have to take 7 hours of traveling time to go to church every week, because it is exhausting.

The rest of the week was really great. We still hit our 20 lesson goal, even without teaching anyone on Sunday, which was quite a feat. Monday night we taught Jessica again. When we got to her house, she was reading the Book of Mormon! We finally had time to go through the whole Plan of Salvation with her, from the beginning to the end. We told her about Äldste Bailey and it was actually cool because we could apply it specifically to him and his family, which she really liked. She was doing some of the applying. Right at the end, she got a phone call: her friend's husband's son had just been killed in a car accident. It was interesting how God's timing works, because she literally had the Plan of Salvation laid out on the table for her when she received that information, and we were there to testify of the resurrection and the Atonement.

On Tuesday we went out to Fritsla (about a half hour by train) to teach David. He's still doing great, except he's still looking for a job. We invited him to innebandy again but he doesn't want to just come and play on Saturdays if he can't come on Sunday as well, but he can only come on Sunday if Robert gives him a ride. This is kind of good in Robert's case because it makes Robert more likely to come to church. We also taught Ulrika again on Tuesday and invited her to the Relief Society activity that night. She didn't end up coming, even though we found her a ride and everything. There was a misunderstanding and she figured we couldn't find a ride for her, so she started making dinner and wouldn't come because her dinner was already in the oven. She's really stubborn, but I love her! The Relief Society activity was good. I sat with the Trejos and the Baqueros and didn't contribute much to the Spanish conversation, but I kind of knew what was going on some of the time, so it was good.

Wednesday was another of those days where I'm thankful for the gift of tongues. We taught one man named Peter who spoke Croatian at us the whole time. I think he just expected that we would know Croatian and that we understood him. But it was cool because he already had a Book of Mormon in Croatian from previous missionaries. Then we taught a woman who speaks mainly Persian and only a little Swedish. We had a lot of help from her persian-swedish dictionary. We taught Juan and his friend Catalin in Spanish even though they speak mainly Romanian. That lesson was kind of ridiculous. Juan kept saying "I can't understand you, your spanish is bad" but he just didn't know some of the words. It's really hard to try and set up lessons with him because he doesn't know what "que hora" means.

I think I neglected to tell you last week about the time when we followed our backup plans and went to Södra Torget to contact. We contacted a guy named Lemech from Uganda. His first question was how he could get a nametag like us and do missionary work. He also asked us about baptism and a lot of other stuff. He was super interested. We got his number and his friend Samuel's, who was curious about Mormons but not as interested as his friend. So on Thursday after all four appointments we had set up cancelled on us, we tried calling Lemech to see if he could meet. He didn't answer so we called Samuel, who said he could meet at five. When we met him at Södra Torget, Lemech came with him! It was crazy because Samuel ended up not actually having time, but Lemech came with us to the church so we could show it to him. He loved it. We taught him the Restoration. He loved it. He asked us how long it takes to get baptized, how he can follow Christ more, and how he can do missionary work. He's awesome. Please pray for him!

Saturday morning we went back to Mohamed and Hlimah's house. We only ended up teaching Mohamed and Zahra because the rest of the family wasn't home, but they're the ones who speak the most Swedish and who are going to be key in getting the rest of the family to church anyway. We asked about the Book of Mormon and Zahra said she reads two pages every day and she loves it. She's "only" on page 32. Mohamed has been a little more busy so he hasn't read so much. We taught them the Restoration and Mohamed had a lot of good questions. Zahra just listened and took it in. They said they would try and come to church, but they're pleased with the Mission Church they go to in Fristad. We're going to enlist the help of a Persian speaking member in Stockholm over Skype (she helps missionaries teach in Persian over skype all over Sweden) so we can help them understand what the real difference is. We were supposed to teach Robert on Saturday night with Irma but he forgot and didn't come, so we got to do a little family history with her. She's an expert at family history and it was cool to see how she could find Syster Haynes' Swedish family in the church books. She told me she doesn't know how to do it with the Danish stuff so she can't really help me...

I'm not sure why Robert and David didn't come to church yesterday. Or why Lemech didn't come. But I'm super excited for this week and to be able to see them again! We're going back to Mohamed and Hlimah's tonight and we're going to teach them the Plan of Salvation, and I think they're going to love it. Please pray for all of them!

Dad, when I read your email in Spanish, I thought you said that holding a baby would have been better than sitting by Mom in Sunday school. I'm glad you included the english translation!
Syster Haynes walked past and was impressed by how long your email to me is. You reap what you sow!

Jag älskar er! Ha en super bra vecka! Ni är underbara!  {I love you! Have a super great week! You are wonderful!}

Love, Delaney

PS-I don't know what forecast you were looking at but it's raining here... {Merrill told her the forecast was no rain this week.}

Missionaries singing at Memorial Service for Elder Bailey.
Delaney is on the left playing the violin along with Sis. Bass.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Kära familj,

Happy March! February has been an absolutely fabulous month. I did the monthly totals last night and it blew me away how much success we've had in just a few weeks here in Borås. This last week has been the icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake, last week on P-Day Syster Haynes and I made a Princess Tårta (birthday cake) for our WML's wife because it was her birthday last week. Okay, Syster Haynes made most of it, but I whipped the cream! We got to try some and it was yummy. I kind of learned how to make it, so maybe I'll make some for you some day. That night we were going to drop by Jessica but we had to spend extra time making a new progress record for our meeting, because the beautiful one we made during weekly planning was taken up into heaven to be put on display. It was no coincidence that we couldn't drop by Jessica, because when we saw her on Tuesday night she'd had a crisis, and Monday would have been a bad time to go by her. On Tuesday, though, she was prepared for us to show up with perfect timing and talk about Christ's love. Earlier on Tuesday we went by Anja and her friend Ahmed answered the door. He was there for a visit. He's Muslim but he has a lot of questions about Christianity, so we started teaching him and gave him a Book of Mormon. I had one in Arabic that I'd brought with me for an earlier drop-by who turned out to not be interested. Anja also had another friend over who's met missionaries before, but invited us to come by her house some time as well. We left Anja's house on cloud nine and super stoked. I also ate more Thai food and it was still good. However, I don't like bamboo curry.

We taught Jessica again on Wednesday morning. She's on sick leave so she's got plenty of time to meet, which is great. I mean it's not great that she's sick, of course, but it's great that she can meet. Then David, our new favorite less active member, came and met us at the library. He had his Libro de Mormon tucked away safely in his coat pocket and he's been reading it! He asked us how he can be more active in the ward and how he can help. He also wanted to bring his friend to church and introduce him to us. He's awesome.

On Thursday we went out to Fristad (only about 20 minutes by bus, but the busses don't go too often) and visited Mohamed and Hlimah again, the Afghanistani family. When we got there they had some other visitors from some social society thing so we talked to the girls a bit. We met Zahra, who wasn't there the first time, and got to know her a bit. She's 13, and she loves reading the Bible. So she was excited to have a Book of Mormon. When the parents came back we were all sitting around playing with the three girls. In other words, they love us and we're part of the family. Hlimah has read a little bit of the Book of Mormon, and Mohamed has read a lot! They love it and they pray every day. They couldn't come to church yesterday but we're praying that they'll be able to come this week. Not just that, we're praying that the whole family will be able to be baptized this month. They are super prepared, and the Spirit is so strong in their house, we're going to do everything we can to help them. PLEASE pray for Mohamed, Hlimah, Zahra, Sitara, Sonia, and their brother whose name we haven't quite figured out yet! We love them! When we came back from there, we contacted a guy from China named Eleven. I told him wo de zhong wen bu tai hao (my Chinese isn't very good) but he was really impressed anyway and said it was awesome. :) Luckily he's good at English though. He was interested but was about to get on the bus, so we took the bus with him and taught him about the Book of Mormon on the bus, and got his number of course. We figured we should probably get off the bus and start heading home, but then when we got off the next bus back into the city didn't come for another half hour. So we started walking. On that little path back we contacted every single person we saw, all two of them. One of them was Jan, and he'd met missionaries before and had some questions about our church. We had a super spiritual lesson with him and he was really thankful that we were there and could talk to him. It was really cool to see how God put us on the right path-literally-to help someone.

On Saturday morning I had my first experience with Innebandy (floor ball). It's basically hockey, only you just run around to play. And it's super fun. I had a ton of fun playing it. I even scored a goal once! I'm weird because I like playing left-handed apparently. But they only had right-handed sticks. That's my excuse for why I wasn't too good. The best part of Innebandy was that David came, and he brought his friend Moses. And Moses had read a little bit of the Book of Mormon that he borrowed from Robert. So we taught him about it and gave him his own. They both loved Innebandy and met a lot of ward members, so it was a huge success. They said they'll come next Saturday too, which means that we get to go next Saturday as well!

Yesterday was a great Fast Sunday. I love Sundays, even though they can be stressful. Luckily yesterday turned out not too stressful. We taught Ahmed before church started, and then he stayed for church. Unfortunately, Robert's car broke down, so he wasn't able to come. He was going to bring David and Moses with him, so they couldn't come either. They live in Fritsla, which is clear out there. Our WML lives out there too, so he brought them to innebandy, but he doesn't have room in his car to bring people on Sundays. But they wanted to come to church, so that's a start. We'll hopefully be teaching Robert today. After church we caught a ride with the Baqueros family to their house and had dinner with them in Spanish. Both of us are becoming better and better at Spanish, even if it takes some effort for us to communicate what we're trying to say. On the bus ride back we got some super awesome contacts, so it was definitely worth our time.

I guess I'm eating mom's share of ice cream, because I've been eating enough for the both of us. Swedish ice cream continues to be amazing. Tell Peyton I'm proud of her for dancing like an angel! Sounds like they all did really good. Tell everyone in the studio hi from me and good job! Thanks for always updating me on the family. I love to hear about everything that's going on! 

We heard the news about Äldste Bailey this morning over text. There will be a memorial service for him but I'm not sure if all the missionaries will get to go or not. He was one of our zone leaders in the MTC and he was an awesome missionary. We're happy that he'll be able to continue his mission on the other side, and all of us are very thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It's a tragedy, but I've found that it's given me an even greater desire to share the good news that we have a Savior with the people of Borås. We're praying for the Bailey family as a mission.

Jag älskar alla er! Tack så mycket för ert stöd och böner, samt allt som ni gör för mig. Jag vet att evangeliet är sant och Jesus Kristus är vår Frälsare! Ha en underbar vecka!  {I love all of you! Thanks so much for your support and prayers, and all that you do for me. I know the gospel is true and Jesus Christ is our Savior! Have a wonderful week!}

Love, Delaney