Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

Kära familj,

I can't believe you sold Zorro! I guess it's understandable since I'm not there to ride him. Because you know how much I used to ride him all the time... but I'm glad that he's going to a nice home and that he'll be able to make lots of grandkids happy. In the meantime keep putting me in for a good elk tag! Thanks for warning me about the bad news to come so I could mentally prepare myself for it.

Syster Haynes officially leaves Sweden on Thursday morning and she'll get home Thursday night. It's pretty weird being companions with someone who's going home. We had her funeral in District Meeting on Friday. I wrote her eulogy. She enjoyed it. She leaves Borås Wednesday morning, and then she'll go to Stockholm and all the departing missionaries will go to the temple and then have dinner with the Newells and have interviews and everything. She packed everything this morning and managed to get all her bags at or near the weight limit. I was amazed. She's leaving lots of clothes so I'm basically getting a new wardrobe this week. Can't complain. I'm going to miss Syster Haynes though! We got our transfer call on Saturday night where I found out that my new companion will be Syster Byrd! She was in my MTC district. I've always wanted to be her companion, so I'm SO EXCITED! It's going to be great and everyone here will LOVE her! Syster Haynes has no idea when her homecoming will be. She's asked her family not to tell her any details about after she comes home. But I expect it will be on Mother's Day or the next Sunday. I just realized Mother's Day is only two weeks away! YAY!

Warning, this email might end up short because I'm simultaneously trying to get all of Syster Haynes' pictures copied onto my flash drive. A picture's worth a thousand words, right?

Anyway, this week has been amazing because we've been able to use the excuse of Syster Haynes leaving in order to meet with people. We taught Rida and she's doing really well. She's been reading the Book of Mormon even though the Arabic is a little hard for her to understand. She has a very sincere desire to know the truth which is great. We helped Irma in her garden so we got to do some digging and planting and stuff so that was fun. Then we grilled hotdogs with her for lunch. Best service ever! Right after that we went out to the Murrays for dinner and it was great. They're a super awesome couple in the ward who are basically best friends with all the less actives and trying to help them all come back.

On Thursday we had lunch with the Näsström family and Ulrika. She has a lot of support from the ward so we're really trying to get her to come to church... We also went to the Trejos where Sister Trejos cut my hair. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the crazy thing that happened there! She was cutting my hair and she asked if we ever got in contact with this lady, Maria Teresa, who the previous missionaries taught a few times that was there friend. She's never answered our calls. Sister Trejos said she'd invited Maria over at the same time but she hadn't shown up. Then right as we were sitting down for a message, Maria Teresa walked in! It was crazy and not expected and kind of hard because I was on my own trying to turn our lesson into something for her. By the way, I don't think Syster Byrd speaks spanish...

Saturday we helped clean the church then we taught three people on the street including Mariella who we've been trying to get in contact with for over a month now. Then we taught Masoume and she is so excited to be baptized and she wants to move her baptism up but we have to teach her the commandments first and it's hard because we have to have the translator so she'll understand. Then Saturday night we planned a girls night so we could get our investigators to know some of the YSAs in the ward. But everyone bailed except for Rida and one member. It turned out to be great anyway. We made chocolate balls and I learned an Arabic card game and Rida's great. Rida and Masoume both wanted to come to church yesterday but Rida had migraines and Masoume's daughter had chicken pox. :(

Yesterday was a really awesome day. We had Stake Conference, which was actually held here in Borås and broadcast to other stake centers. (I'm in the Göteborg stake.) So President and Syster Newell were there at the meeting. We called everyone to try and get them to church. The only person who came was Ahmed. He's going to Lebanon (where he's from) for a vacation next week but we convinced him to take his Book of Mormon with him! Right after church and after Syster Haynes said goodbye to people and took pictures with them, we caught a ride with the Baqueros to their house where we had delicious lunch and family home evening with them. It was super fun. I was so proud of them because when I was trying to figure out how to say Family Home Evening in Spanish (noche de hogar?) they all of a sudden got excited and knew exactly what I was talking about and Patricia said "We have to pray first!" They're great. Even though they also asked whether I was going to be performing the baptism tomorrow. So we went over the Restoration and the Authority. (The elders are having a baptism tomorrow, a lady named Margarita from Uruguay. She's adorable.) When we got back to Borås after teaching a guy from Serbia on the bus, we taught Jessica and it went really well too. Everyone's going to miss Syster Haynes.

Please pray for Masoume a lot. She really wants to make her baptismal date on May 31st but we're going to need lots of Divine help to get her prepared, even though she definitely has the desire. Also please pray for Rida. She has to talk to President Newell to see if we can keep teaching her because it might not be safe for her. She doesn't have a residency permit so she could be deported back to Yemen, in which case it probably wouldn't be good for her if she'd been baptized here. I'll let you know how everything goes! Jessica isn't really progressing right now. She still hasn't come to church but she's got so much potential! Mohamed and Hlimah have to find a new apartment and they have a deadline so we haven't been able to meet them at all.

Glad Cody had fun at the dance and Peyton got to play the violin. Sounds like fun! How did Matty's job test thing go in Vegas?

Have a great week everyone! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney
The Trejos children

Planes made by Bro. Murray (to show Uncle Fred)

The Baqueros


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014

Kära familj,

Sorry you anxiously awaited my email all day yesterday and didn't get anything. In Sweden, Easter (Påsk) is a really big deal and they celebrate all week, plus Monday. It's called "annandag Påsk", another day of Easter. So the libraries were closed, so we couldn't email. But I was on a boat too! We went to Göteborg and took a boat trip out to some islands. Unfortunately because of the holiday the boat didn't go so often so we had to turn around and come right back, but I LOVED being on the boat. Don't worry, we took lots of pics. It was also really warm, 20 degrees Celcius which I believe is around 70 farenheit. So you could have had the same weather here in Sweden! The whole week is supposed to be pretty sunny. In other words, it's officially spring.

We didn't have a baptism on Saturday. However, we taught Masoume on Friday and she asked if she was going to be baptized the next day. She wasn't ready though. We haven't moved on to teaching any commandments yet because we've had a hard enough time making sure she understands the basics of the restoration. Mojgan, the translator, is super amazing though. Masoume came to a ward activity on Saturday (äggapickning-we hit easter eggs together and tried to crack each others') and then to church on Sunday. She went to the Spanish sunday school class because Sister Trejos who was teaching it is Masoume's friend from SFI (Swedish for Immigrants). So I translated it from Spanish to Swedish. It was much easier than trying to translate from Swedish to Spanish. Last night Masoume told us that she knows she will be baptized but she's waiting to get an answer to her prayer, but she knows it will come. We set a new goal for May 31st. Now that we know more how to work with Mojgan, I'm more confident that this one is going to go through. As far as our other Persian friends, they've been pretty hard to get in contact with and we haven't taught them for a couple
weeks. :( They're in the middle of trying to find a new apartment so it's tough.

Our other VIP in church was Rida. She's from Yemen, she's adorable, and she's one of the most open and sincere people I've met. She's got a lot of questions about Jesus Christ but she's not shy to ask them so it's great. She went to the YSA sunday school class on Sunday (she's 29) and it was great. She said she wants to come back to church, so we're in business!

I wrote a really good letter on the bus rides to and from Göteborg yesterday to make up for this not-so-great email, so I'm sending that today and hopefully it gets there soon. I put it with Matty's birthday present-sorry it's late Matt! 

California and the cruise sound super fun. I can't believe the things Peyton ate! {Peyton tried fried calamari, lobster tail and escargot.  She didn't like the calamari or lobster, but thought the escargot was ok.}  Or that Cody only ate 40 ice cream cones. Thank you for sending pictures! I love them!

It's Syster Haynes' last week so we've got a busy week ahead of us. Lots of members want to say goodbye and they're finally going to let us do some service that we've been asking to do for the last three months. It should be fun.

Sorry to send such a short and late email, but I guess it's because you sent a short and early one. :) Have a wonderful week! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney

PS- Please pray for Masoume, Rida, Jessica, Mohamed and Hlimah! :D

On a boat in Goteborg

The Easter Bunny came to Sweden

Easter Tree in the middle of Borås.
They put feathers in the trees for easter. It's supposed to be a witch's broom.
Also, the girls dress like witches and go trick or treating. It's weird.

BBQ on P-day last week

Delaney, Syster Haynes & Rida

Eating ice cream  (Delaney says only one cone is actually hers)

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Kära familj,

I agree-Spring is beautiful. There are blossoms and flowers and green grass to be found everywhere here! According to one of the elders who was here in Borås last year, there's nothing more beautiful than Borås in the Spring! 

This week has been HARD. I guess after having such an awesome week last week (you know, Lamech getting baptized and everything) we were in for a tough week. We called everyone we could think of trying to get appointments. But then even when people did make appointments, most of them didn't show up. We had no less than 16 cancellations during the week. It was pretty humbling.

On Monday we were all too worn out to go to Göteborg like we'd planned, so we just hung out around Borås. We got more Indian food and ate it in the sun by the river.Then we shopped a little, made bread, ate treats, and pretty much just relaxed. We needed it. Have I ever mentioned that everything here is really expensive! I paid 125:- (that's the sign for crowns) for a bottle of contact solution-that's about 20 bucks! The Indian food was also very expensive, as is every other food place here. Basically any real food costs 10 dollars or more, usually more like fifteen. Even a plain old hamburger from McDonald's is about a buck fifty and a double cheeseburger is three dollars. It's ridiculous!

On Tuesday we taught this guy named Sean. He's from New Zealand so he has a really cool accent. And he says "mate" about every fifth word. We asked what he would do if he knew the Book of Mormon was true and he said "Well I'd become a Mormon in about six seconds, mate!" (Read it with the accent, it's better.) It was kind of intimidating to teach him though because he pays very close attention to the words you say, so you have to say exactly what you mean. We were supposed to teach him again this weekend but he cancelled because he had to go to Göteborg.

We basically spent all day on Wednesday riding busses. That's what it felt like anyway. We took a bus to teach a lady named Erika that we'd met the day before. We had literally just gotten to her door and rang the doorbell when she called us and cancelled because she was running errands and had too much to do that day. So we rode the bus back home to eat lunch. Then we took another bus to Viskafors to teach a lady named Gul-Maj. She wasn't home. So we took the bus back and ate dinner. At least when we have all these bus trips we can talk to people and try to find more people to teach. We did get to teach Masoume with help from Mojgan. She's still waiting to receive her answer and we're going to have to push her baptismal date a little further out so she can have more time to prepare. It's hard because we can't really teach her without a translator. Well we can, she actually understands a lot of Swedish, but she doesn't tell us when she doesn't understand, so we need a translator. After Masoume we ran for the bus and went to the Engelbrektssons house to teach Lamech about the Priesthood. He is so great! He spends an hour every night watching the Mormon Channel. We watched a Mormon Message with him while we waited for the bus home and he loved it.

Thursday was my halfway mark-crazy! I celebrated by going on exchanges with Syster Richins! We all met up in Ulricehamn around 10 in the morning and then she came back with me. We taught Erika-it actually went through that time-and it was really good. Even though her 18 month old son was pretty distracting, the Spirit was strong and she said she'll start reading the Book of Mormon. We also taught Annika, a member who's been going through a hard time, and it was a really awesome lesson. I learned a lot from Syster Richins about how to teach. We were going to have a lesson with the Trejos but they cancelled, and so did the other two people we were supposed to teach. We called a guy that Syster Richins had just contacted who said he was pretty free and set up an appointment with him for later that night, so then we had two hours. We ate dinner at McDonald's to celebrate my halfway mark then we went to one of the appointments we'd had even though he'd cancelled. It was weird because he called and left a message saying that we could still come by and drop off the Book of Mormon with his wife. So we went with the Book of Mormon and then he was home but he wouldn't let us in. Then we came back to meet the guy we'd just set up an appointment with but he didn't show up. I don't know how you can forget about something you'd decided on just two hours earlier. We were waiting for a bus and I was trying to figure out what we could do for the next two hours before 9:00 because our plans and backup plans had all fallen through when all of a sudden a seagull left a huge present right on Syster Richins' head! Her reaction: "Eew! Eew! Take a picture, take a picture!" So we went home so that Syster Richins could get cleaned up and went through the area book looking for people to teach. We actually did get a tentative appointment set up with one of the old investigators, so it was good. We laughed about it all night. Oh, the miracles of exchanges...

On Friday we had zone training in Göteborg, so we went there first thing in the morning. It was a good zone training. After zone training we had interviews with President Newell. Most people have really long interviews but mine always end up being like three minutes or less. We didn't get home until about six o'clock (it's okay, though, because our six o'clock lesson cancelled) so we dropped by Ulrika (not home) and then this family from Romania that we've taught a few times. He gave us the Book of Mormon back and wished us a nice life. :/ We did have another lesson with Masoume, and it went really well.

My planner on Saturday looks crazy because there's so many things crossed out and written over because SO MANY PEOPLE CANCELLED ON US! After calling everybody and weekly planning, we finally went out looking for someone to teach. We even went tracting but nobody let us in. One lady said we could come back next week. We decided to go by this girl, Frida, who we tracted into about 2 months ago and she was actually home and let us in, so we got to teach her and her  sister the Plan of Salvation. That was a miracle. Then we taught the Trejos and then Lamech. Thank goodness for Lamech-he doesn't cancel on us. He bore his testimony to us about the Book of Mormon and he said "I love this book. And I'm going to keep reading it and keep loving it!"

Yesterday was CRAZY. We went early to meet this girl, Anastasia, who's really positive. As we were waiting for the bus, she texted us to say that she couldn't come because her daughter got sick. It was really disappointing. So we went to church where I was dragged around (literally, they grab my hand and pull me around) by members to help them translate how to sew a dress out of a t-shirt into spanish and things like that. Finally Relief Society started and I realized why it's called RELIEF society. Then it was time for Sunday School. We went on splits with some women in the ward so I could teach Spanish Sunday School while Syster Haynes taught Persian Sunday School for Masoume, and we hoped that someone would take care of Lamech in Swedish Sunday School since we couldn't offer English Sunday School. Spanish Sunday School went great. I'd ask a question and they'd answer but I'd have no idea what they said so they'd all just start discussing about it. That's what we're going for, right? Gospel discussion? We did get through all the steps of repentance so I think it was a success. Luckily Brother Trejos was a bishop in Ecuador so I can count on him to teach true doctrine and help the Baqueros when they're confused. Sacrament meeting was very interesting. They almost forgot to confirm Lamech. The bishop got through all the announcements and started the sacrament and Syster Haynes and I were panicking because we didn't know if he'd forgotten. I had talked to him right before church about it so we didn't think he would forget. (Funny story-I asked the Bishop if he would be part of the circle for the confirmation and he thought I was asking if I could be part of it. We both got pretty confused. My Swedish is really bad on Sundays.) But then the Björn, who was going to do the confirmation went up and talked to the bishop and they did the confirmation right after the sacrament. It was really great. Lamech came back and sat by me and said "That's GOOD!" Haha. He's going to Africa on Thursday to visit his mom and he promised he's going to discuss the Book of Mormon with her! Once he was confirmed we went out to help Masoume get connected to the real Persian Sunday School class over Skype, run by Mojgan. I ended up having to sit with her in the foyer as she listened to the class over the phone, trying to calm down her CRAZY eight year old daughter Helia. By the end we felt like all the members were pretty annoyed at us because she was riling up all the other kids and everyone was just running around. When we left the church Syster Haynes felt like something was wrong because I think I had some look on my face like "I can't handle one more person talking to me!" because that's how I felt. We went home for dinner and she made me listen to this Relaxation CD that Syster Newell gave to everyone in the mission. Breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension and stuff like that. It actually helped. We also ate soup and then I had some ice cream too to help calm down.

The rest of our plans on Sunday also cancelled, including Mohamed and Hlimah. So we dropped by these two women that the elders had contacted who said we could come by. One of them, Britt-Marie, already had a Book of Mormon and seems to have read a lot of it. We read from it with her and had a great lesson and got a referral and a return appointment. So it was worth it. The other woman was a Jehovah's Witness.

This week is looking much more promising! Everyone's off for Easter so hopefully that means they'll be able to meet! Have fun on your cruise and have a great Easter! Remember to think of Christ's resurrection and how incredible of a gift it is to us. It's the greatest miracle that's ever happened!

Jag älskar alla er!

Love, Delaney

PS-Happy birthday Matty!
PPS-The spanish emails are very helpful, so you can keep writing them en espanol! :D
Delaney and Syster Richins on splits

Eating at McDonalds to celebrate half way mark of mission

Spring flowers that seem to have appeared overnight

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

Kära familj,


I'm assuming you've already seen the pictures and the veckoskörden, so you know that yes, Lamech was baptized yesterday. It was amazing. I'm still on a spiritual high so I'm sorry if this email comes out a bit disjointed or a bit in Swedish.
I'll just start from yesterday. We woke up and immediately got to work baking refreshments for the baptism. We (in other words, Syster Haynes) made delicious coconut dream cake as well as chocolate chip cookies. After studies she continued baking while I called everyone in the phone who hadn't already been invited to the baptism. Nobody could/wanted to come, but I did manage to set up a couple appointments for this week. We got most of the cookies baked and then it was time to get going. Oh yeah, we also made chicken salad and tuna salad for sandwiches for Lamech, us, and the Elders to eat in between conference and the baptism. We got to the church around 1:00 to find that Edward, our ward mission leader, had already started filling the font. It takes about three hours, and the baptism was at five, so we had plenty of time. (note-we went to the church on Saturday afternoon to set up the baptismal font. It's a hole in the Relief Society room floor so we had to uncover it, and put the rails around the sides. We also cleaned it out and cleaned the RS room.) So the font was filling and we're in a classroom ironing Lamech's baptismal clothes (we brought our iron with us from home. Among many other things. It's a wonder we even made it to the church!) when Edward calls us in to help. We all run to the font to see that it's draining. We tried to stop it all from draining out while Edward climbed down under the floor to figure out how to get it to stop draining. Cool fact-our church is built on top of an old swimming pool. So when you open the hole in the floor, there's a swimming pool under the RS room, and then the font is just sitting in it. Soon we get it to stop draining, but we lost a lot of the hot water. The water heater for the font only holds about 60 liters or so. The water heater in the kitchen also holds about 60 liters. So we filled buckets of hot water from the kitchen and ran them to the RS room to dump in the font to try and warm up the water. We missed the very beginning of the Saturday Afternoon session of conference which started at two, but soon the hot water in the kitchen ran out as well. Lamech came and we all watched conference together. Then we ate our sandwiches and ran more buckets to the font, because the water heater in the kitchen had heated up some more water. During conference, Edward designed and printed the programs for the service, which looked really nice. Soon ward members started arriving. There were so many of them there! They were so supportive of Lamech, it was awesome! Lamech and Edward both put their white clothes on and we got pictures. My camera ran out of battery after one picture, but luckily I got them all from Syster Haynes. We realized that nobody had really explained to Lamech how the baptism is actually done so we pulled Brother Trejos in to demonstrate. Poor Lamech was so confused because Brother Trejos only speaks Spanish, so he's trying to explain it all in Spanish...but he figured it out eventually. We went into the chapel to start the service, which was in English for Lamech while Äldste Mangum translated to Swedish for those who didn't speak so much English. Lamech was pretty nervous and quiet. Everything was going well and Syster Haynes was giving a great talk about baptism when the Spirit prompted me to remember to put the phone on silent. So I silenced it and within minutes it vibrated in my hand. It was Masoume, who had said she would come. She was at the bus stop but didn't know how to get from there to the church. I try to surreptitiously reply and not let people see me being a bad example, trying to explain in the simplest Swedish how to get to the church. At the same time I'm trying to figure out how to stall so that Masoume can find the church, but I can't catch Syster Haynes' eye. Not that I could leave and pick her up anyway. So I said a desperate prayer that she would be able to find the church. Syster Haynes finished her talk and everyone stood up to go to the RS room where the font is. I look out the window, and there's Masoume and her daughter (Helia) walking in the front door. They made it just in time and Masoume got a front row seat for the baptism. Lamech and Edward were pretty cold. The Spirit filled the room as Edward baptized him, and the whole room was silent. When he came up out of the water, we waited in silence for Lamech to say something. I was expecting either something like "hallelujah" or something well thought out and ponderous. Soon we realized that he was crying. The Spirit was so strong. Edward gave him a big hug someone gave them both towels and helped them out of the font. Lamech looked so happy! We all went back to the chapel and watched a couple of the church's Bible Videos about the life of Christ-the one about Christ's baptism and then about his Resurrection. I was sitting by Masoume and she was explaining to me what was happening. She's studied a lot about Jesus Christ. I asked her how she felt watching the baptism and she said "I felt like crying too." She was feeling the Spirit. Syster Haynes and I sang a musical number (Savior Redeemer of my Soul, a capella) and it turned out really good, then Edward invited Lamech to bear his testimony. He said he cried because when he went under the water, a thought came into his mind of his mom. He hasn't seen her for three years, but he's going to visit on the 17th! He also talked about how meeting Syster Haynes and I was a turning point for him, and he bore his testimony that this is the true church. It was so powerful! Sara, one of the members who's helped with a lot of his lessons, gave a talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then the Bishop welcomed him into the ward. It was all awesome. The closing hymn, by request of Lamech, was Amazing Grace. Then we all ate goodies to our hearts' content. We brought the cake and cookies, and the elders made rice crispy treats, and Lovisa, another member who has helped a lot with his lessons, brought a giant pan of kladkaka. People were basically lined up to talk to Lamech and welcome him to the ward. He's going to be such a strength for the ward! The elders are already asking if he can help teach some of their investigators. The service went a little over time so it was a bit after 6:00, which is when the Sunday morning session of conference started. We put it on and Lamech and a lot of the members went in to watch it. But Masoume was still there so we took her into a classroom and taught her about prophets, and watched President Monson's talk from last conference with her in Persian so she could actually understand it. So we didn't make it in to that session until halfway through Elder Bednar's talk, but it was okay because at least we caught President Monson's talk. I really liked it.So the baptism was a success! Lamech feels so good and he's so happy and the whole ward is so happy! He'll be confirmed next Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. He's so great, and I'm so thankful I've been able to see him increase so much in his faith and come so far along the path to eternal life!

The rest of the week was good. We had exchanges on Tuesday so I got to be with Syster Larson. We taught Masoume with help from a Persian translator, so we know that she actually understands the Restoration. It's amazing how prepared Masoume is, and how we had to not give up on her just because it was hard to communicate with her! She's still working toward baptism. The translator, who lives in Stockholm and translates over the phone, has taken some time off of work just to be able to help missionaries teach Persian speaking investigators, so we'll be able to teach Masoume more during the next month. We also taught Mohamed and Hlimah on Saturday. They would be so much more positive if they weren't so busy, but they're still really positive. We went over the Restoration with them and Mohamed loved it so much he took a picture of the pyramid of cups we made to explain how Christ's church was built on a foundation of prophets who had authority from God. Then when his daughter came in, he explained the whole lesson to her. At least, I think he did. It was in Persian. They're the sweetest family!

Remember David, who we met and found out he was already baptized? He moved to Paris over the weekend. But we taught him one last time on Friday and he brought a friend to the lesson with him! His name is Peter, and he's a staunch Catholic, but he really liked the message of the Restoration. He said he would come to the baptism but he didn't show up. David is so cool. He said "Well I had to present somebody to meet you before I left!" I feel like we've really helped him get back on the path since he came to Sweden. Actually I know we have. On Tuesday we followed up on the word of wisdom and his commitment to quit coffee, and found out that he'd stopped drinking coffee after the first time we told him it was bad, more than a month ago! He has a very sincere desire to follow Christ and he asked us how he could find the missionaries in Paris. He actually called on Sunday to let us know he got there safely and everything. So we're pretty excited about teaching Peter.

So yeah, it's been a pretty amazing week! We haven't been able to meet that many of our investigators, but you know what, Lamech got baptized and that's good enough for me!

I'll probably watch the rest of general conference a little at a time once they're available on the iPhone. But I'm really excited for it! I heard that Elder Ballard committed every member to invite a friend to learn about the church every three months. That's a pretty big commitment! But it's pretty awesome! I can't wait to see the whole talk. I also heard that Elder Oaks' talk was really great. We watched the first session on Saturday night at a member's house but we got there a little late because we were setting up the font, so I missed the beginning of Elder Holland's talk. I can't wait to see the whole thing because the end was great. And of course, I loved President Monson's talk about love. The story about the airplane picking up the boy in Alaska. It seemed like a big theme in conference was to listen to the Prophet and follow him NO MATTER WHAT. They all testified very strongly that President Monson is a prophet. It feels like something big is coming-thank goodness we have a living prophet to guide us through it!

Thanks for the updates on your week! I hope you have a great week with your sunny weather! It's rainy here again. Jag älskar alla er!

Love, Delaney
Delaney and Lamech

                                                           Syster Haynes, Lamech, Delaney

Syster Haynes, Lamech, Delaney

Syster Haynes, Lamech, Edward (WML), Delaney

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March 31, 2014

Käre familj,

Isn't the Veckoskörden awesome? {Note:  This is a report with the mission statistics such as:  lessons taught, investigators attending church, etc.  It also has the names of investigators with baptismal dates and which districts they are from along with their scheduled date.}  I love getting it in my email every week and seeing how much success the whole mission is having. I realized that when I forwarded it on before I wrote my email it would be a little bit of a giveaway, but that's okay. I enjoyed telling all their stories. It was a pretty exciting weekend last weekend.

This week has been great as well. Mostly because Lamech is amazing. He's basically our new best friend. HE IS SO EXCITED FOR HIS BAPTISM ON SUNDAY! This week he bore his testimony to us of the commandments and how sacred baptism is. He tried on his baptismal clothes yesterday after church. He's going to be baptized at 17:00 (5 PM), right before the Sunday morning session of general conference. It's going to be awesome. We're excited, our ward is excited, and especially Lamech is excited. It's exciting.

We finally met Moses again on Monday. His schedule for school is crazy and they just randomly call him and say he has to come back to Göteborg. So on Monday we called to see if he could meet that night and he had just found out that he had to go back to Göteborg that night. We, being missionaries and therefore entirely dependent on the public transportation system, had all the bus times at our fingertips, so I worked on my travel agent skills and told him exactly what busses he needed to take and when to get from Fritsla to Borås to Göteborg. Ask the missionaries, they can help you! Since we planned his travel, we knew he'd have a twenty minute wait at Rese Centrum in Borås, so we met him there and went over the Apostasy again. We were going to set up another baptismal date with him but we all had to run for our various busses. But he still wants to be baptized! It's just a question of finding time to meet him. We'll probably see if we can coordinate it with the Göteborg missionaries so he can go to church in Göteborg when he's there.

Tuesday we taught May and she said she received an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true. But she doesn't want to be pushed. It's pretty cool though, and we're working with her to overcome her fear of water... She's had some really awesome spiritual experiences and she knows that God answers her prayers. She's even been to church and felt the Spirit there. We're going to try and get her to Lamech's baptism on Sunday. (Naturally, we're going to try and get everyone to Lamech's baptism on Sunday!) We got a call on Tuesday from our Muslim investigator Ahmed that he had a couple of friends who were Christian who were interested, so we went out to meet them. Their names are Lena and her son Sammi, and they're from Lebanon and have a strong faith in Christ. We got to know them a little but it was kind of weird because Ahmed was there the whole time and he would interrupt us and tell us that he was Muslim and didn't really believe it. It was still a good experience and it was cool to get referrals from an investigator! Referrals are the way to go!

On Wednesday after district meeting we went to teach Jessica. We all sat down around the table and she got all serious and said "I've made a decision." This can be scary to hear as a missionary, and I was afraid she was about to tell us she never wanted to see us again. But then she said "I've decided to come to church on Sunday." Then she laughed at our shocked faces. It was cool though. It had to be her choice and so I was amazed that she decided to come before we even said anything about it this time. We listened to a talk by President Monson from the last conference and the Spirit was so strong! She basically received a confirmation right there that he's a prophet. She ended up having to work yesterday so she couldn't come, but at least she wanted to, and that's a start. We went and taught Lena and Sammi about the Restoration and they said "We've never heard about this before!" They were excited to find out more about it. They wanted to come to church yesterday but we couldn't get ahold of them to coordinate with the member who was going to give them a ride. They said they'd start reading the Book of Mormon and pray about it though, and they want to meet again, so I'm pretty excited about them as well. Sammi is 18 and Lena is the age of someone who has an 18-year-old son, however old that is. When we got back we decided to try this Indian food place that always smells super good. I have a new favorite food: Indian Lababdar. It was delicious and comparable to Cafe Rio. It was 80 crowns (about 15 dollars) a plate, but that's about normal here in Sweden, even for regular old take-out. We called Lamech to see how he was doing, because he'd had to cancel his lesson on Tuesday because he was sick, and he'd been reading the Book of Mormon! Over the phone he goes, "Turn to Ether chapter 10..." and started reading and preaching of what it teaches us and how we can apply it and testifying of it. Coolest experience.

Wednesday we finally got to meet Ulrika again after she's been avoiding us. The Spirit was in charge to make sure we got to meet her, because she wasn't home when we dropped by. But we were prompted to sit down and start writing on sticky notes to "heart attack" her door. As soon as we finished the last one, she arrived from the grocery store and let us in. We sneaked the sticky notes on the inside of her bathroom door, so we got to visit her AND heart attack her, and it was great. Then we had lunch with some members, then we went out to Fritsla to visit David again. We missed our bus by a hair, but then it was perfect because both of us met someone on the next bus who was really interested, and we were able to go out and meet David anyway. Then we taught Lamech and he asked the best questions and understood everything so well and it was just awesome.

Friday we went out to the Baqueros and made pizza with them. It was really good for the whole family, especially their less active daughter who loved cooking with us. We had to take the pizza on the run, but it was really good, even with pineapple on it! They also say hello and eventually we'll remember to take a picture to send, because they want me to send you a picture of them! Friday night we taught Masoume and we had help from the Persian translator. The language barrier is the biggest problem with her, because it's really hard to make sure she understands everything we're telling her and she doesn't ask when she doesn't understand. But after talking to Mojgan (the translator) she still wanted to keep her baptismal date of the 19th of April and work toward it. So we'll keep teaching her simply and helping her prepare.

I learned a new thing about myself on Saturday: I'm not as terrible at soccer as I thought I was! I'm still not Zlatan (have you ever heard of him? He's big here) but when I kick the ball it usually goes to the general area I was aiming for. We played on Saturday morning with some ward members and Mustaffa, a member family's neighbor who might be kind of curious about the church. He was really good at soccer, so it was a perfect experience for him to meet members. It was a beautiful day, about 60+ degrees and sunny, so it was perfect for soccer. My season statistics are one goal and one assist. It was tons of fun! After soccer we taught Lamech again. We were planning on teaching him about tithing, and as soon as we finished the opening prayer he said "I have a question. In the Bible they have the law of the tenth, where they pay a tenth. Do we do that?" So he loved hearing that he gets the chance to help build God's kingdom by paying tithing. When we asked him if he would pay tithing after his baptism he laughed and he said "Baptism is a COVENANT with God that we're going to follow all His commandments. Of course I'll pay tithing!"

Lamech was our only VIP at church yesterday, but if we only got one I would definitely want it to be him. He loved church, and in the English Sunday School class for investigators, he bore his testimony to the elders' investigator who was there about living prophets. He's amazing. He's also very excited about General Conference, and he's decided that he's going to save up his money so he can come to Utah some time and go to General Conference there. So I hope you all get to meet him! You're going to love him!

The weather was sunny all weekend and it's supposed to stay for most of the week. Today we're going to Göteborg to play sports with some other missionaries there. We have exchanges tonight and tomorrow with the Syster Training Leaders, so I'll be companions with Syster Larson! I've missed her since she left VH so it'll be fun to be back together for a day.

I can't believe how much the ward has already changed since I left. I can't believe how much everything has changed. Like, Peyton is getting her braces off! And people are moving and getting married and all this crazy stuff. That's what it is-crazy stuff! But everyones' Spring Break plans sound super fun. Also, I'm jealous that you got to see the Womens' Conference already. I'm not sure when or where we'll watch it. They're not sure if they'll be able to broadcast general conference in our chapel, so I'm not even sure where I'm going to watch that. Hopefully some member will invite us and all the investigators who come to Lamech's baptism to come home and watch it with them.

On that note, WHO'S EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE?!? And who's excited to see how many of the speakers talk about member missionary work?! It's coming! Now is the time and the Lord is hastening His work!

Sorry I didn't take any pictures this week so I don't have any to send, but I promise I'll send LOTS next week from the baptism!

Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney