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!