Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Käre familj, Lake Powell sounds like it was so much fun! Thanks for sending lots of pictures. It looks like a great time. Especially catching wicked air on the new wakeboard. And Peyton skiing. And catching fishies. It looks a lot warmer than here. We've had some chilly, rainy weather the last couple weeks. I miss Borås weather, even though it rained every day! At least it was warm rain. Things are going pretty well here. I'm most excited about Pontus. He's very excited for his baptism tomorrow. We've invited everyone in the ward so hopefully it will have a good turnout. He was in church yesterday and he was even commenting in Sunday School and said a closing prayer. He's been taught everything now and he had his interview yesterday, now it's just a matter of filling the font! I'll send pictures! The highlight of the week was zone conference on Thursday. It started with us getting up at 3:30 AM in order to catch our 5:30 train to Stockholm to be there at 8:30. The zone conference was in Västerhaninge so I got to go back to my "birthplace"! It was cool but a little strange to be back there. I had my last interview with President Newell, which was really great. At the end he gave me a blessing. It was basically like getting a blessing from a general authority because the only reason President Newell isn't one is to be our mission president. They did a great final zone conference and it was so sad to say goodbye to them! I'm going to miss the Newells. I think a very big reason why I was called to this mission at this time was so that I could work and serve with them. They'll be leaving Sweden tomorrow. :( But the Beckstrands came on Saturday, and we'll all get to meet them on Friday when we have a sort of mini-zone conference. It will also be in Västerhaninge. I'm excited to get to know them! We got a new (used) phone at zone conference since we never found our old one. We were told we might get one of the old nokia phones, but we ended up with an iPhone since it wasn't our fault. It's actually a blessing because our old iPhone had a cracked screen, but this one doesn't. I don't even know what's happened this week. On Monday I bought a new backpack. This week has been BLISS to have the weight distributed on both of my shoulders! It was a great purchase. We taught Pontus a lot. We taught some other people. It was hard because we've been operating without a phone for so long so it was hard to get anything set up. We planned Pontus' baptism. Syster Miller and I are going to do a musical number, Lead Kindly Light. It's perfect because Pontus is blind so the words fit him perfectly. It's a really pretty arrangement we found on We've heard a lot about the FIFA cup. Everyone's talking about it. There are a lot of immigrants from Chile here and they were all super disappointed when Brazil beat them. Pobrecitos. Sorry this email's a little short. We got here a little late and we have to go a little early, so...yeah. But it's been a good week. I hope you all have another wonderful week as well! Jag älskar er! Love, Delaney

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 23, 2014

Kära familj,

It has officially been the craziest week of my mission. Forgive me if this isn't a very good email. It has been a good week. Just also a crazy one.

The best part of the week was on Tuesday when yes, Judy was baptized. She was very excited and the YSAs were a great support. Syster Eborn and I sang I am a Child of God (Oakcrest style) and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. She was confirmed yesterday in Sacrament meeting and she already has a calling. She had a calling before she was baptized but now it can be official.

On Wednesday I got to meet Pontus. He is an amazing person. Basically we sat there while he testified to us that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. We invited him to be baptized on July first and he accepted. He's super stoked for his baptism.

This is where the week starts to get really crazy. Thursday morning we had district meeting in Linköping. When we got off the spårvagn (tram) and onto the train Syster Eborn realized that she no longer had the phone. It was still on the spårvagn, which was already gone. The elders immediately called it and it was already turned off. As soon as we got to Linköping we got on the computer and tried to find it through the GPS but it was already offline. So we've been without a phone since Thursday morning. This makes missionary work hard but it also means that when people try to cancel on us we have no way of knowing so we show up anyway. Which actually worked out for the better this weekend. Anyway at District Meeting Syster Eborn found out that she might be transferring on Wednesday. She was really down because that would be right before Pontus' baptism. We taught him again that night and she told him she might not be there for his baptism and he was sad but okay with it. Then we talked to the zone leaders on the elders' phone and they said there is no transfer next week so we don't have to worry about it. We were still with Pontus and when we told him that Syster Eborn would still be here he literally jumped for joy.

So then Friday was midsommars afton, the day that we all celebrate midsummer. It was a non-proselyting day where we celebrated with members all day. We met the elders at the church before going to the member's house and they said we need to call president. So we called and found out that Syster Eborn would be transferred on Saturday morning to Luleå. We had less than 24 hours' notice and we were on our way to a day-long midsummer celebration and didn't have our phone or anyone's phone numbers. In other words, Syster Eborn only got to say goodbye to the members who were at midsummer. We were gone all day where I still had a good time even though it was hard news to receive. We danced around the maypole and had yummy food. When we got home we stopped by Judy to say goodbye as well as the other new converts that were baptized when Syster Eborn was serving here. Good thing they all live close by. We didn't get to start packing until 11:00 Friday night. Yes, the sun still goes down. At least it does this far south. Syster Eborn went to Luleå which is the furthest north unit in Sweden, and the sun doesn't set there. We finished packing at 2:00 AM. Both of our alarm clocks are somehow broken and we had no cellphone, so our only alarm was the sun. I'm pretty sure we're the only missionaries who would go to sleep the night before transfers without setting an alarm. We prayed hard. We woke up right around 6:30 still. (We didn't put the blanket over the window so the sun would wake us up.) We had plenty of time to get Syster Eborn and her stuff to the train station. We were together for 10 days. And yet we still baptized! An hour after Syster Eborn's train left, my new companion came in on her train.

My new companion is Syster Miller. She left on her mission 3 months before me and she goes home the beginning of October. She's from Georgia and she's hilarious. And she loves horses and dogs and singing. We already get along great. I felt really bad that she was coming in to the area and we had no phone and I don't really know my way around yet. We missed our first spårvagn home because I realized I didn't even know which one we were supposed to take. But we made it eventually.

Sunday was crazy because I had to tell everyone that Syster Eborn left without saying goodbye. Also that we don't have a phone so if they were trying to get ahold of us that's why we weren't answering. Pontus was so sad that Syster Eborn was gone. But he's still excited for his baptism and has already started inviting people to come. Cie-Cie was also at church again. As well as two less active members. And Judy was confirmed.

We haven't been able to get to the lost and found for our phone all weekend because of the holiday and the weekend. We called them about an hour ago (finally they were open) and they said they haven't had a phone turned in all weekend. So I guess it's lost and we'll go back to an old Nokia phone. Good thing I've gotten good at reading maps so we don't need google maps!
Peyton, good job at clogging camp! I'm glad you had fun and got to say hi to Greg and Kaitlyn! She was a super awesome TA so I bet she was an awesome counsellor too! I'm so jealous that you're going to Lake Powell! Have a fun time and take lots of pictures for me! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney





Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Käre familj,

Wow, what a crazy week! Transfer week is always crazy. Last Monday seems like it was forever ago. I finally bought a suitcase. The lady in the store was like "Wow, you knew exactly what you wanted. Are you going on a long trip?" I didn't bother trying to explain to her that I'm in the middle of one. We didn't get much time to pack because we had to catch the train out to the Karlssons' house for dinner, family home evening, and our correlation meeting. The Karlssons are one of my favorite families in Sweden. They're super nice and every time we got to go out and visit their house it felt like we were at home. I already miss them a lot.

Tuesday was a pretty amazing last day in Borås. Even though I ate way too much food. We spent from 11 to 5 just eating meals with members. First we went by Margarita, the new convert from Uruguay. We didn't know she was going to feed us but we couldn't say no! She had made this nice salad of potatoes, noodles, shrimp, and mystery meat. I said "Oh, is this chicken?" And she said "No. I can't tell you what it is until you try it. Otherwise you won't eat it." So I prayed hard and tried it. Then she told us it was lamb tongue. It was interesting. Weird but manageable. I liked the shrimp better and I might even eat the shrimp again, but not the tongue. Ick. After Margarita we went straight over to the Trejos family for lunch. I was looking forward to some really good (but not tongue) South American food. They made curry. It was also really good though. And we had really yummy banana cake too. I'm going to miss the Trejos a lot as well. Directly after that we ran to catch the bus to the Murrays' for dinner. We had fajitas and they were delicious. Third time's a charm to get some good Latino food! The Murrays are another amazing family. Brother Murray was the bishop up until December and he knows every single less active in the ward because he personally made it a point to meet them and get to know them. And he's awesome coming on lessons and he brings investigators and new members who need rides to church every week. Basically the Borås ward is the best ward in Sweden and I miss all of them so much!!!!

After we finished eating (and eating and eating) we had about an hour to kill before meeting a Chinese girl named Cristina who I met on the bus a few months ago and couldn't meet until now. So we contacted a guy who was a strong believer and he actually asked us if we could sit down and talk about our message. That doesn't usually happen. So we taught him the restoration in the park and he thought it was really interesting. Unfortunately he didn't want to meet because he's the pastor in his own church. Then we taught Cristina who also wasn't very positive because she's Buddhist and not looking to change. But she was really cute and sweet. Then we had an appointment with Anna and we taught her the beginning of the Plan of Salvation. She's amazing and has a lot of good insights about things, but I feel like it will be hard to get her to church. She's one of those "spiritual but not religious" people. Still, it was a really great lesson and an awesome ending to my time in Borås and my time with Syster Byrd.

On Wednesday the real craziness began. We got up, did the last minute packing and cleaning, and got me and my suitcases to the bus. My new suitcase is really nice and works well. I still have one less suitcase than most missionaries. When we met up with the elders at Rese Centrum they said "I thought you bought a new suitcase!" And I said I did and showed them. They couldn't believe that I could fit all of my stuff. But I did! The only thing is I forgot my winter coat (oops!) but I shouldn't need that for a while and Syster Byrd promised to get it to me through the missionary grapevine. I think she'll bring it to zone conference today where she'll give it to Äldste Mangum (he's now one of the assistants to the President) so he can bring it to our zone conference in a few weeks and give it to me there. We took the bus to Göteborg where we met up with Syster Larson and Syster Ryan. Syster Larson transferred to Uppsala (north of Stockholm) so she and Äldste Mangum were on the train with me. We all said goodbye to our companions and got on the train. I got off at Katrineholm where the sisters there met me and helped me get my stuff across the train station and onto my next train to Norrköping. Syster Eborn was waiting there. She got her last companion (Syster Anderson) onto her train, then looked around and saw my train approaching and met me as I arrived. It was pretty good timing! We took my stuff home and I ate some food, and Syster Eborn updated me about the area. Norrköping is on fire! Our white board is filled with investigators and progressing investigators and baptismal dates. We're probably going to have a baptism tomorrow. And two more before July. I was speechless. We went back out (by this point it was about 3:30) and visited a woman named Siw who lives behind the church. They had contacted her a few days ago and she said we could just come by. Then we visited a recently reactivated member named Ann-Sofi. (They're both older Swedish women.) Then we were on our way to teach Olivia (who is going to be baptized in a few weeks) when we contacted a guy sitting on a bench. He was really interested and had a lot of questions so we sat down and taught him about the Book of Mormon and made a return appointment with him for the next day. That was cool. His name's Rikard. Then we taught Olivia. She's 14 or 16 and she's from Uganda. I think. (I've got a lot of new information in my brain I'm trying to process still.) She is awesome! Our next lesson cancelled so we did some tracting and taught a family from Syria. There are a lot of people here from Syria. About 2 out of 3 people we talk to. Syster Eborn can contact in Arabic now and she's teaching me how.

On Thursday morning we had district meeting so I got to meet everyone in my district. Syster Eborn and I are the only sisters. Then there are the 2 Norrköping elders (Äldste Gray and Äldste Stoeltzin) and 4 elders from Linköping (Äldste Farnworth and Äldste Hewitt, and Äldste Kikko and Äldste Miller). It's a pretty young district. Äldste Gray and Äldste Miller have both been out about 17 months, but the rest of them came out after I did. It's weird being an old missionary... They're all really friendly and really funny. District meeting was fun. After District Meeting Syster Eborn and I had weekly planning-which is so much more fun when you have so many people to work with-and then we taught Rikard again. He'd read the introduction to the Book of Mormon plus all the different testimonies, so that was cool. And he actually said "I want to investigate this and see if it's anything for me!" This was especially cool because Syster Byrd and I recently had a conversation about our investigators not knowing that they're actually investigating something. After Rikard we went on splits with two women from the ward who are our visiting teaching companions so we could get our visiting teaching done. All five people we had set up forgot. But Emma and I still got to teach two people. First we would teach Maria but she wasn't there. Then we went to Prossy (a new convert) but she wasn't home. So we tried to call Jasmine to see if we could come earlier but she didn't answer. Then as we were trying to figure it out, Prossy showed up so we got to teach her anyway. Then we went out to Jasmine and even though she'd forgotten she let us in and we taught her as well. Then I got back together with Syster Eborn and we ran into a previous investigator and taught him on the street. It was a pretty good day.

On Friday I got to meet the Dolmayas. They're also from Syria. They are a wonderful family. The dad, Nabil, was baptized in November. Their daughter Judy is 18. She's the one that is probably going to be baptized tomorrow. She's called off her baptism a few times before now but this time it's been completely 100% her choice with no missionaries or anyone else pushing her. So I think it will actually happen. They also have another daughter named Chris who's 14 and likes David Archuleta and hip-hop dancing. I told her I'd try to remember the one hip-hop dance I once knew and teach it to her. I'm her new best friend. Chris and Judy taught me a cool dance from Syria-folk dance for the win!

Saturday afternoon we went to Linköping (about 45ish minutes away by train) for their baptism. All the missionaries sang a musical number (Beautiful Savior, a capella.) The investigator Sofie was really nervous but prepared. She was baptized in a lake. It was beautiful with the sun setting behind it. Well not really setting-it doesn't do that until 11:30 ish (I know this because I wasn't done packing by that time Tuesday night...) but it was going down.

And yesterday was great! The first Sunday in a new area is always stressful. Norrköping's ward has about 60 active members. They have 2 young women. (Soon to be 3 when Olivia is baptized!) It's mostly Swedish with a few new converts from Uganda. We had 4 VIPs in church: Judy, Johnson (who has a baptism date for June 28), and Cie-Cie (from China. She's adorable!), and a less active member named Kirsi. We walked with Kirsi to church. After church we had some lunch and then we went and taught a less active woman named Mikaela and her non-member daughter Tuva. They were super sweet and gave us each a huge thing of strawberries. We've eaten almost all of them by now.

Syster Eborn is amazing. We work really well and REALLY hard together and get a lot done. It's fun to tell people that we met even before the MTC. We already have a picture of the two of us on facebook from a year ago when we went to lunch. I'm pretty sure I posted it and said "Future companions!" Who'da thunk?

Friday is a non-proselyting day because of midsommars afton. We're going to do something with the members but I was too busy trying to figure out their names that I'm not sure exactly where we're going. It should be fun. I'm kind of sad I don't get to celebrate midsummer with all my Borås friends but this will be a good opportunity to make good friendships with these members as well. 

Sounds like it's been a pretty crazy week for you guys as well! Happy late father's day dad! And happy late birthday Peyton! I'm glad you got the chocolate. Oreos are better with marabou chocolate. Thanks for the updates on everything! I hope you have another great week! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney
Margarita (Recent convert from Uruguay)

Bro. & Sis. Murray

The Karlsson Family


Packing letters from home

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

Käre familj,

That's so cool that you got to go to President Beckstrand's farewell and meet him and his wife! And I'm really relieved that you think I'll like him. I'm going to really miss the Newells though. We have zone conferences coming up in the  next couple of weeks where we're going to have our last interviews with President Newell. The zone leaders already got theirs and they said it was really amazing so I'm looking forward to it. By the time President Beckstrand gets to Sweden, I won't still be in my second area. The big news of the week is that I'm transferring on Wednesday! I'll be going to Norrköping, which is in the Södertälje zone, which is south of Stockholm. So I'm going back to the Stockholm area! It's a little further south than Västerhaninge was, but I'll be going back to the Stockholm South stake. And my new companion will be Syster Eborn. She's also from my MTC group so I already know her. She's the one that I met up with before we went to the MTC. I'm really excited to go there!

Things are starting to pick back up again in Borås and we've got some investigators now! It started last Monday on the way to emailing when a woman named Margarita (not the one who was baptized a month ago) sat next to Syster Byrd and started asking about the Book of Mormon. She knew all about the church because she went all the time in Chile. We taught her on Thursday night, and got a little taste of a South American mission. She's very open and very Christian and very loud. And she knows Margarita, the one who was baptized a month ago. And she knows the Trejos. They're all good friends. So it's great! She didn't come to church yesterday though because of something about her grandson, but we're going to teach her tomorrow with Margarita.

On Monday night to Tuesday I went to Kungsbacka for exchanges with Syster Ryan. I was a little nervous because everyone talks about "exchange miracles" and I felt like I was responsible to bring about some miracles in Kungsbacka's area. I shouldn't have been so worried-why shouldn't there be exchange miracles? They're in about the same boat as we've been-not much to do, so lots of going by old investigators to see if they're interested. So we went by this old investigator named Otto, and when he answered the door and we talked for a bit he said "Yeah, my brother's a member of your church. But he lives in Borås." I live in Borås! And I knew his brother. It led into us being able to sit down and teach him the Plan of Salvation. Talk about exchange miracles!

After I got back to Borås on Tuesday afternoon we went to the end of a YSA movie night at the Engelbrektssons house. We had pretty good timing to just miss watching Tangled and still be there to socialize and leave a message. Helen and Sajjad both came. We taught about the Holy Ghost and all the YSAs shared their testimonies and experiences. Can you imagine a more spiritual environment? It was perfect! Helen set up with us that night that we could come over the next morning and teach her again, so we came on Wednesday morning with one of the YSAs that was there and taught her the Restoration. Basically Helen is the best. She said she'll be baptized if she finds out that it's true. The Spirit was strong. On Wednesday night we went by Anna and taught her again. She's ready for the gospel, and open to it. She just has to answer her phone...

On Thursday we had zone training in Skövde, so we were on trains for a long time. Zone training was really good. We have amazing zone leaders right now. One of them, Äldste Lawrence, goes home on Thursday. He has such a strong testimony and he's taught me a lot from his example and all the zone trainings he's been here for. We had to take two different trains to get to Skövde and the first one got delayed so we were going to miss the second one, but it turned out to be late too for some unrelated reason. So we still made it to zone training on time! When we were coming back to Borås, the lady who checked our tickets was the same one who checked them on the way up, and she was surprised to see us again so soon. Only missionaries take a 1 1/2 hour train both ways for a 1 1/2 hour meeting! Thursday night was ridiculous. After leaving the chaos of Margarita's house (her grandson is a hurricane. He stormed into the door and immediately started yelling. "Who are they? Can I have fifty crowns? I do what I want!") we were walking through town contacting people when this guy came up to us and started rapping at us. We still haven't figured out if it was prepared. He said the most crazy things but somehow they all made sense. Like he made these weird connections with words so that he jumped from the Holy Grail to the tree of knowledge to Constantine to ants. But it all made sense in the most twisted way. The part I remember most was that Constantine constructed a concept to con a continent. Where do people come up with this kind of stuff? We laughed about it for about five minutes and then went to our appointment with Jessica that she wasn't home for.

Friday was Swedish National Day. We didn't see much celebrating except a lot of stores had shortened hours and the buses ran on Sunday schedule. The ward had an activity for it which Rida and Helen came to. They both came on the bus with us so we got there early since they only go every half hour on Sundays. This was great because we had time to show them the Restoration film before the activity! It was a little tough because we speak English with Rida and Swedish with Helen. But the film was in English with Swedish subtitles so it worked. At the activity we answered trivia questions about Sweden. I did the easy questions and got 85%. Not too shabby. Afterwards Syster Byrd and I went to visit a woman named Tiffany who we contacted a few days earlier. She's from Illinois and we heard her speaking English, and she was happy to invite us over because she was "desperate for someone to speak English with." She really was desperate. She told us her whole life story. It was pretty cool that she was so comfortable with us and now we know her really well so we know what she needs. And a lot of her beliefs already coincide with ours. She even has food storage! She's had a tough life and we feel like we can really help her and now is her time.

Friday night we had an appointment with the Trejos. The Baqueros were there too. They'd come to the activity and just stayed at the Trejos for a while after. That was a huge blessing since we won't have time to go out and see the Baqueros again before I leave on Wednesday. They were the first people I told that I'm probably leaving on Wednesday.

On Saturday morning we helped clean the church. I've vacuumed the Borås chapel four times in my four months here. I'm pretty good at it now. Then we had a little time before our appointment with Jessica so we thought we'd try this bakery on the way back from the church. We've always wanted to try it. So we got on the bus, but then the driver skipped the stop by the bakery and we couldn't get off until the next stop. (In Sweden you have to push a button to tell the driver to stop, but sometimes they don't notice or they forget.) So we got off and started walking back up towards the bakery. We contacted a woman who already had a Book of Mormon and had visited the church a couple times. We didn't get her number or anything, but just talking to her we could see how her heart was softened a little and she remembered a little of what it felt like when she was learning about the church. Then we contacted another lady, from China. She didn't know any Swedish. So I milked my Chinese abilities for all they're worth. Our conversation went something like this. "We're Jesus teachers." "Jesus!" "Jesus?" "Jesus!" "This is a Jesus book." "I have that book." "Do you want this book?" "I have that book." "Do you want it in Chinese?" "I have it in Chinese." "We have it in Chinese." "I have it already." "The Book of Mormon?" "What?" "Jesus book?" "I have it." "Do you want to come to church?" (only I don't know how to say church so I said it in Swedish but I think she understood.) "I go to Göteborg for church." "Where?" "Göteborg." "Do you want to come to our church?" "I don't speak Swedish." She has a point-our church meetings are conducted in Swedish. Not Chinese. But at the end she took a card with the church address and said she'll come next week! I won't be there but I'm sure there's someone in the ward who knows some Chinese, right? Anyway, it was really cool how we were led to those two just by the bus not stopping. And then the bakery was closed. So we went to Jessica's, who remembered this time and was home for our appointment. She was gung-ho about coming to church yesterday. She was totally going to come! She just asked us to call her Sunday morning and make sure she hadn't slept in. Also on Saturday we got our transfer call to find out that I'm going to Norrköping with Syster Eborn and that Syster Maxwell is coming to Borås with Syster Byrd. 

Sunday morning we called Jessica. She had slept in. She still had time to get ready and catch the bus. On our way out the door we prayed that she would "hurry up and come to church." Sometimes our Swedish isn't perfect so we accidentally say some funny things. She called us on our way to the bus and said she couldn't come before 12 at the earliest. (The bus leaves Sjöbo at 10.) so we told her we'd find a ride and pick her up between 12 and 13 so she could still come to sacrament. She was going to come to church gosh darn it! She called again halfway through relief society. Her sister had to go to the doctor and she had to babysit and she couldn't bring her niece to church with her because she didn't know when her sister would be back. So Jessica did not come to church yesterday.

The good news is, Helen is great. She called us on Saturday night to see if she could come to church with us. She lives down the street from us so she takes the bus with us all the way to church. At church a bunch of people talked to her and we didn't have to worry about her at all because she always had someone to sit by. They asked me to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting since I'm leaving. It was really sad because I LOVE this ward and I'm going to miss them so much! After church the Larssons invited us to dinner, but they live really far away so they make the dinner at the church and we all eat there. This was perfect because I could say goodbye to all the members while dinner was cooking and not be rushed out the door. Also, the Larssons are the family that Helen already knows, so of course they invited her to dinner too, and we got to teach her with some great members! We volunteered to do all the dishes so they could leave, so we ended up being at the church for 7 hours straight yesterday. Missionary work is fun!

It's going to be a crazy few days getting ready for the transfer. We have dinner tonight with our ward mission leader and his family, then tomorrow we have lunch with the Trejos and then dinner with the Murrays. I still haven't replaced my broken suitcase. Don't ask me when I'm going to pack! Guess I'll go get on that now!

It's always fun to hear about your summer adventures, and all your adventures! I hope the family reunion was fun! Jag älskar alla er!

Love, Delaney

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

Käre Familj,

Wow, it sounds like a busy week! Good job everyone! I can't believe how much you've done in the last week! Opened presents, sold horses, awards night, frisbee dates (sounds like fun!), I guess life didn't slow down after the wedding. You've been a lot busier than I have! We had another week of pretty much blank planner pages and dropping by less active members and talking to masses of people (individually, not all at once.) But we have had some really good things happen!

Did I tell you about Bita? We contacted her on the street a couple weeks ago pushing her little girl in a stroller, and we taught her about the Book of Mormon. We went back on Tuesday to teach her and give her a Persian Book of Mormon. As soon as we walked in, the Spirit was really strong. She is an amazing woman and she loves Christ and lives so that she can feel the Spirit as much as possible, and you can tell when you see her. We taught her about the Restoration and it was a little hard because she had so many questions about it, but she was really interested. She's going to read the Book of Mormon and she's going to get an answer that it's true! It was an amazing lesson and Syster Byrd and I both felt really blessed just to have been able to be at her home and teach her.

On Wednesday Syster Haynes dropped by to pick up the stuff she left. She was so happy she got to meet you all at her homecoming. And her mom gave me a big hug. It was weird to see her again not as a missionary.j

Thursday ended up being a pretty good day. We got to do some service and help clean the church. Then after that our phone lied to us and said the bus was coming right at one o'clock. So we hurried to the bus stop only to find that the bus wouldn't come for another fifteen minutes. There was a lady with her daughter waiting at the bus stop as well, and since we were all waiting for so long she let us teach her about the Plan of Salvation. She didn't accept it right then and wasn't interested in meeting or coming to church, but it was cool how we ended up being there and being able to teach her. Someday when she's ready for it, she'll remember what we taught her and how the Spirit felt. Thursday night we taught Rida and it was one of the best lessons we've had with her. She was actually listening to us. And the Spirit was really strong, which is what matters. One of the best parts of Thursday was when we got a text from the missionaries in Västerhaninge saying that Yahaira has a baptismal date for July 12! I'm so happy and excited for her! 

The weekend was especially hard because we just didn't have anything to do. We basically don't have investigators. And the ones we do have aren't really investigating with much enthusiasm. So we're searching. Saturday night I did have a really cool experience though. First of all, in Swedish there's this word called "orka". It means basically "to umph" or "to have the umph to do it." It doesn't translate very well. So when people say "jag orkar inte" they basically mean "I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request." or "I just don't have the energy to do that right now." It's pretty common in Swedish. Anyway, so earlier on Saturday we'd brought some flowers and a card to a member who's been having a really rough time and we figured we could help her cheer up. (Also we didn't have any ready-made cookies. Thus, flowers.) She invited us in and we talked for a bit, and she said sometimes it's hard to keep living the gospel when you just "orkar inte." It's true. Sometimes it's hard to get the umph to keep doing everything we know we're supposed to be doing. We talked about the atonement and how even when we really don't have that energy, Christ will give it to us so that we can keep going. It was a really good lesson. So Saturday night we were on the bus ride home. It had been a long hard day and we had talked to so many people, and it seemed like nobody cared or wanted to listen. I was sitting on the bus thinking "Jag orkar inte!" I was just ready to go home. Then I remembered what I had said just a few hours earlier, that we can get the umph from Christ. So I repented and prayed for some umph to contact someone on the bus. Soon a girl sat down next to me. She looked really familiar so I asked her her name, thinking maybe I'd contacted her before. But I hadn't. I told her the truth, that I thought I'd recognized her. She looked at my nametag and said "Are you Mormon?" I said yes and she said "That's probably why, I've been to your church before." It turns out she's friends with some members in Göteborg, she's read some of the Book of Mormon, and she's been taught by missionaries before. I asked if she ever wanted to visit the church again and she said yes, so I invited her to come the next day. Sunday morning she called us to make sure she could still take the bus with us, and she came with us to church! As soon as we got to the church one of the members recognized her, gave her a big hug, and took care of her for the rest of the meeting. Sometimes that last little umph is all you need to make big miracles happen, but you can't get the umph anywhere except through Christ's grace.

I didn't realize this until I read your email, but in the last few weeks we actually have had to open the overflow during Sacrament Meeting on Sundays. We ARE filling the church with our VIPs! And the members here are so good at taking care of them! Other than Helen (the girl I met on the bus) we also had Sajjad at church again. We hardly had a chance to talk to either of them during church because the members were all talking to them. Then after church they both asked us if we were coming to the activity on Tuesday, because they were planning on coming. We didn't even know about the activity and thus hadn't even invited them-the members did it. I was dumbfounded. But pleased. Very pleased. This is the best ward in Sweden.

Am I going to even recognize the house when I see it again? I'm trying to imagine what it will look like from your description, but I can't really. It just sounds like a lot more space! It would be really nice to have a laundry room upstairs, I approve! The garden also sounds like it's doing really good. I think it's funny that the cucumbers are just for pickling. Doesn't anyone in our family like cucumbers? They're really good on tacos! I have a growing list of foods that I like that I didn't like before. It now includes pineapple and water chestnuts. And of course Thai food! I think we're going to a Thai buffet for lunch after emailing... Maybe when I get home I'll give Brussels sprouts another try. I remember liking them a lot when I was younger!

I hope you have lots of fun at the Smith Family Reunion! Take lots of pictures of everyone for me. And say hi to everyone too! I'm glad I only have to miss one! Have a wonderful week! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney