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