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!