Thank you for the birthday wishes! It's still early but it's already been a great birthday! The sun is even out even though it was supposed to be rainy. And we got a call from an investigator (Maggie) who's been really hard to get in contact with, and then we ran into another one (Anna) and set up an appointment with her during the week. Also for morning exercise today we danced! I taught Syster Byrd one of the Israeli folk dances we learned last year. Best morning exercise ever! Especially because Syster Byrd is a dancer (she graduated from BYU in dance) so she really enjoys it too. And now I'm here emailing you! So it's great! I'm really lucky I get to have my one Birthday-In-The-Field on P-Day! Later today we're going to go to Jensens Böfhus for lunch because apparently they have really good steak, and we're going to get a princess tårta (birthday cake) and eat it with the elders and Sima. That's about all we've got for big plans but it's going to be great! And Peyton's getting her braces off, so it's everything I wished for!
The best thing that happened this week was Sima's baptism. She has a really cool story. About five weeks ago she met Oskar, a recently returned missionary, and they went to Subway together. The elders bumped into them there and invited Sima to learn more. She was positive right from the start and she's grown so much in her faith!! I met her the first day the elders taught her (the day after they met her at Subway) and we all got ice cream together because it was half off. So I knew right from the start that she was awesome. She also came with us to those islands in Göteborg last month. And she was at general conference with us and Margarita's baptism. She got baptized Saturday night. In order to help her calm her nerves we took her to dinner right before her baptism and went with her to the church. It was a really great program. Oskar gave a talk about baptism, then Äldste Mangum baptized her in the hole in the Relief Society room floor. The Spirit was really strong. Then I got to play a musical number on a violin that I borrowed from a member. (Sima recorded it and promised to email it to me but she hasn't yet. I'll forward it to you next week.) Last week I found out that Sima loves the violin, and then about five minutes later a member told me if I ever wanted to borrow her violin to play I could. It worked out perfectly. Sima had four friends who came to support her as well, and a couple of them were a little interested. She's already best friends with all the YSAs in the ward. I hardly got a chance to talk to her because everyone else was talking to her. She had a game night at her house afterward and three of the YSAs went along with her friends, which is super great. There were 48 people there! She was confirmed yesterday morning and the circle was huge because she's made so many friends in the ward.
We had one VIP in church yesterday. His name is Sajjad, and he's from Afghanistan. We met him on Wednesday when we stopped him on the street and started talking to him about church. He didn't have much time so we invited him to come to church with us on Sunday. So we called him on Saturday and he actually came yesterday! The elders said he had just a huge smile on his face during all of Elders Quorum, and he really liked the YSA sunday school class as well. And I think he liked sacrament meeting. He thought it was cool that I was playing the violin for it. Yesterday was the Young Men's program so all five of the young men spoke, and the young men's president. They talked all about the Aaronic Priesthood, which I'm sure was really confusing for Sajjad because we hadn't even taught him anything yet. But it turned out he knew one of the priests from school, so it was cool that his friend was speaking in church.
About all the rest of our investigators you asked about, I have no idea. We haven't been able to teach a single one of our investigators this week. They all kind of dropped off the face of the planet. We didn't even get a chance to teach Masoume. When we got ahold of her she said she was too sad to meet. I tried to ask why but I don't know enough (aka any) Persian. Then on Saturday she went to Göteborg. She told us she'd come to church but she didn't and she hasn't answered her phone. Jessica hasn't answered her phone, one Daniel forgot and the other one spent the whole day with his dad when we were going to meet him. Haven't heard from Mohamed and Hlimah. Rida was sick when we were going to meet with her, but we did see her on Friday night. The elders put together a barbecue so people could invite their friends. It turned out really well, with about 50-50 members and nonmembers. We brought Rida and Lamech. Lamech had a great time and he played a lot of football (soccer). Rida also had fun. She told us she loves how happy everyone is and how welcoming and inclusive they are. We're going to teach her tonight as well and see why she said she doesn't want to be taught anymore...
So you're probably wondering, if we didn't teach any of our investigators this week, what did we do? Sometimes I wonder that as well but then I look back on the days and weeks and realize how many miracles there were and how many great things happened regardless of the number of appointments that cancel. Like on Tuesday, we had 6 appointments set up. Two of those appointment actually happened, but we also got to teach two more people as well. The first was a woman named Bita who we met on the street. She's been visiting a lot of different churches lately and she was really excited to hear that we have the Book of Mormon in Persian. We haven't been able to give it to her though because she hasn't answered her phone.
I just realized the whole week has been full of birthdays. Tuesday was Annika's birthday, one of the members we've been working a lot with. So we brought by some banana muffins for her birthday. It was perfect. Then Wednesday was Lamech's birthday! We also gave him banana muffins. He shared what he's learned recently from the scriptures, that we have to build on a strong foundation. He's awesome. He wants to come to general conference and visit the Salt Lake temple.
On Friday we had pretty much nothing. So we prayed a lot, and we decided we'd find the prepared in Hestra, where the church is. So we went searching. We ran into this guy named Joakim. I recognized him because a couple months ago I was sitting on the bus and I saw him and had the strongest impression to talk to him. So I did and he wasn't interested. When we saw him again today, he still wasn't interested but he said we could sit down with him and tell him about it anyway. Then his mom came up and we taught both of them. They still aren't interested. But his mom had a change of heart halfway through, and I can see them coming in the future. It's interesting to see how the Lord prepares people little by little and every good contact with the church is a step in the right direction.
I can't believe the wedding is actually here! I'm expecting lots of pictures and details about how everything goes! Matty and Taryn, congratulations (in advance)! We got a call from Syster Sjöblom last night and the first thing she said was "Your brother's getting married on Saturday!" So congratulations from her too.
Good job running the marathon. Even three legged turtles are better marathoners than I am. I should probably start training for the tjejmilen-that 10K we ran last September. I think the sisters are going to do it again, and who knows, I might be back in Stockholm by then. Tell Cody good job on the piano and I'm excited to hear him play all the songs from Frozen, but not until after I've seen the movie. And good job Peyton on being a great babysitter.
Where did Rick Hellstrom and Harold Adams serve on their missions? Funny story, I was actually thinking about Brother Hellstrom once because I was trying to think of people I knew before the mission who have Swedish last names. I didn't realize at the time that he served his mission here.
Well, we're going to go have my birthday lunch now! I realized I didn't really tell you about many miracles, but they're all pretty hard to explain because they have a lot of background story and then they still hardly even make sense to me, and I was there for them. Thank you for your support and all your prayers-they make a difference! Keep praying for Masoume and all the rest! I hope you have a wonderful week!! Jag älskar er!
(No longer one of those 19-year-old missionaries!)
Tried Chawarma for the first time.
(Lebanese fast food. Tony Stark mentions it at the end of the Avengers.
So we had to try it. It's delicious!)
Look at the faith of Borås!
For Matty at his wedding.
I found the new Zorro