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!