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.