Hi! Sounds like you've all had an awesome week. I'm jealous that you got to go to the Newells' homecoming. I miss them already! But aren't they wonderful? It sounds like President Newell's talk was about the same as the one he gave in Göteborg's stake conference a couple months ago about temple work and everything. I heard that Syster Newell's talk was really good too. (Syster Miller's family included more details about it.)
When I read that you'd seen The Fault in Our Stars, I thought you meant Number The Stars, which is a book about the Holocaust, so I understood why Peyton cried buckets but I couldn't figure out how she remembered me reading it back in fourth grade. But then I figured it out. That was a really good book, so I hope the movie was good too! Who was in it? How's Keera doing?
Tell Peyton not to worry, I crashed my bike this week too. But not very badly. Here's what happened. I think I might have mentioned last week that we tried riding our bikes and they were a piece of... well, they needed some work. I rode all the way to our appointment and back with a completely flat tire. We figured this just would not do, and we called the couple in charge of the apartments and bikes, the Tolleys. They assessed the situation, decided they'd tried resurrecting the Norrköping bikes one too many times, and on Wednesday they came down with shiny new three-speed bikes for us! So Elder Tolley got my bike all set up and told me to hop on and test it out to see if the seat was high enough. May I just remind you that up until last week I haven't ridden a bike in a very long time. I don't even remember the last time I rode a bike at home! So I tried to ride the bike, and I was wearing a skirt, and the seat was a little high-long story short, before I could get to the point where I was controlling and RIDING the bike, we were headed straight for a bush. Elder Tolley came to my rescue before I could crash too hard, but it was pretty embarrassing. Then Elder Tolley followed around behind me like I'd just gotten my training wheels taken off. I've improved a lot because we LOVE our new bikes and we take them as much as we can. (It makes it so much faster to get places!) At least, we did, until a few days ago when my spiffy new combination lock (no more bike keys!) broke. So we had to retire them for a few days until the Tolleys were back in town on their way back to Stockholm to replace the bike lock. So it was embarrassing, but mostly funny. Syster Tolley also trimmed mine and Syster Miller's hair at the time.
Good job on your almost-hole-in-one Dad! The picture is pretty awesome. Of course, anyone could have just set the golf ball down right there, but I believe you anyway. Was Cody there to witness it? Good luck in the golf tournament!
You'll never believe what I found this week! We were doing family history in the church and I was looking on a census record for Anna-Christina Petersen when in her household record I saw it... SWEDEN. After a whole year of being a Swedish missionary, I FINALLY FOUND A SWEDE IN OUR FAMILY HISTORY! Of course, I'm not actually a descendant of him, but no matter. I found one. I'm determined to find his family. It's Anna-Christina's daughter Bertha's husband, Edmund Samuel Anderson. So that would be Grandma Wilson's aunt's husband. He was born in Sweden! I haven't been able to find anything about him because he emigrated when he was five years old, but I'm looking for a birth record. Can you ask Grandma Wilson and anyone else who might know if they have any information about him? I'm just so excited to finally have a Swede to work with!
Pontus is doing amazing! He's already an awesome member! And an awesome missionary! During the week he asked us if we could meet with one of his friends, Suzanne, to teach her more about the church and what we do. He set up an appointment for all of us to meet on Wednesday. It was kind of funny because he felt bad that he was taking our time to do this, but we tried to explain that this was exactly what our time is for. So we showed up at her apartment, which was literally right next door to our apartment building. Suzanne was home but she had forgotten and was on her way out. Pontus was so great, trying to get us in for just ten minutes, but she wouldn't let us. So we set up another appointment and Pontus said "Maybe this time you should write it down!" He was the perfect amount of bold! So then he suggested that we stop by his other friend, Mari. He doesn't even understand how much of a missionary he already is! We went by and Mari was home and let us in! It was a little hard to teach her, because she has some severe physical handicaps. She's in a wheelchair and the left side of her body is paralyzed. And she can't talk, so she communicates through facial expressions and through a talking machine that she types in. It was an interesting first lesson, but a good one. Especially with Pontus there. He has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and God's ability and willingness to answer prayers! He loved sharing his testimony with her and inviting her to read the Book of Mormon. She committed to reading it and she wanted the address to the church. She didn't come, but we'll see her again soon. After we taught her we were waiting for the spårvagn (tram) with Pontus and he was so excited about the lesson he said "I need to say a prayer!" and he looked up and started praying.
Church yesterday was really good. We had three VIPs: Olivia, Awet, and Lisabeth. Olivia is doing really good. She reads the Gospel Principles book all the time and has awesome questions. Like yesterday morning, I was sitting with her before sacrament meeting started and she said "I have a question. What's the difference between gifts of the Spirit and fruits of the Spirit?" What kind of investigator knows either of those terms? Olivia kind. She was making comments in Sunday School and then when we walked her home after church she recounted the entire story of Ammon from Young Women and how it tied in to keeping covenants. The rate she's going she'll be ready for baptism by this time next month, but I think she'll keep her date in September just to be sure of everything.
Awet is another investigator who had been to church a few times before I got here. She's from Eritrea and originally speaks Tagrinian. The church has absolutely nothing published in her language, but she can also understand Amharic (it's like Spanish and Portuguese) so she reads the Book of Mormon in Amharic. It's pretty hard to teach her because her Swedish isn't that great, but she's slowly coming along. She seems to understand about half of what we tell her so we have to take it slow.
Lisabeth is a less active member who's active at heart. She's just lonely so sometimes she doesn't have the umph to get herself to church. But she's a really sweet grandma who always gives us strawberries and ice cream when we go over.
Speaking of ice cream, can you believe it's already been a whole year!?! It's crazy! Time is flying by so fast! On Thursday for my year mark we were in Söderköping (just south of Norrköping) (by the way, Norr means North, Söder means South, and Köping means borough.) and there's this really amazing ice cream restaurant there so I got a big yummy ice cream to celebrate. Then we ran into the bishop (he lives in Söderköping) and they invited us over to share a message and eat...ice cream. But we're in Sweden, so it was naturally delicious!
Thanks for all the details and info you always include in your emails! I hope you have another wonderful week! Jag älskar er!!
Delaney and Chris (Judy's sister) who did
Delaney's hair and makeup
Celebrating her 1 year mark on July 10th
with ice cream of course