(Mom, when Dad calls you to read my email to him in the morning, I want you to yell that in all caps! Well you don't have to yell it, but say it in an all-caps kind of way!)
Hi everyone! I was so excited to hear about all of your adventures. It sounds like this has been the best summer ever-without me! Not fair. But I'm glad you're still managing to have some fun even without me there. I'm so happy you got to meet the one and only Syster Sjöblom! I know she was really excited to meet you because she's heard all about you. I was hoping she'd email me because I realized that I don't have her post-mission email address. :/
The temple, garden, mountain biking, and Wicked all sound really great too. I'm slightly jealous that you get to do all of those things. Well, maybe I'm not too jealous of mountain biking. I'm alright missing that. But now that I eat vegetables and things like that, I'm really excited for the garden next year! Of course, you get pretty good produce here in Sweden too. Speaking of things I eat, would you believe that one of my new favorite meals is baked salmon and I've eaten it at least once a week for the last three weeks?
Well I'd better cut to the chase and tell you about this week because it has been the BEST! It started off a little hard (there is still nothing more stressful than transfers) but it's picked up and we've had so much success this week!
The beginning of the week was mostly Syster Miller packing and us getting stuff done and ready for transfers and training. We deep cleaned the apartment, packed, stuff like that. We did go down to Linköping and had Subway with the district. That was about it as far as P-Day activities go. Then we had a member dinner that night and dropped by some people but they weren't home. The member dinner was good though, it was with the Åströms and they are really awesome!
Tuesday was a lot of running around and the same kinds of things. We had an appointment with Francois and another one with Kirsi but they both cancelled. :( We did get to teach Pontus before the YSA activity, and it was cool because afterward he said it was exactly what he needed. We left Tuesday night with all of Syster Miller's stuff and stayed the night in Södertälje. That way Syster Miller didn't have to bring her stuff all the way up to Stockholm and then back. Don't ask me how we caught all the busses, trams, and trains we needed to get there, even managing to say goodbye to basically everyone. At 7:20 we were still at the church, and our train left from central station at 8:25. But we made it. Only missionaries can do that.
Wednesday morning we left Södertälje bright and early and made our way to Täby (part of Stockholm where the mission home is and the mission office) to meet our greenies. We waited in the primary room for a while while they were receiving training from the Beckstrands in the chapel. That was a fun time to catch up with Syster Byrd and Syster Eborn, as well as a few of the elders from my group, Äldste Lundquist, Äldste Ward, and Äldste Cushing. Finally we got to go into the chapel. Each new missionary got a letter saying where they were going and who their senior companion would be, so they read them off one by one. The very first one to go read that she was going to Norrköping with Syster Smith!!! Her name is Syster Austin, and here's the cool thing-we already know each other! I think I mentioned this a few months ago, but back in March I got a letter from my next door neighbor down at BYU, Megan Austin. She'd been called to Sweden and wanted some advice. And she said at the end that she hoped I would be her trainer when she got here! I've been thinking that would be the coolest thing ever, so we've both been hoping to be companions in the field, and now we are! She's from Idaho Falls, Idaho, she's super awesome and way better at Swedish than anyone should be after 6 weeks. She works hard and wants to be obedient and she's a great missionary! I could go on forever! We got back to our apartment by about 3:30 Wednesday afternoon and went to work. We whipped out the contacts (Syster Austin is fearless) and we had a lesson with Olivia that night. Perfect first lesson for a new missionary, because Olivia is so sweet and so prepared!
Thursday we had district meeting in Linköping so Syster Austin got to meet the whole district all at once. It's officially 50% non-American and I am the only Utahn in the whole district. Other than Syster Austin, we have one more new missionary in Norrköping, Äldste Lindquist. He's from Sweden (Handen) and he's got about 3 months left of his mission. So we have one Swede, one Finn, and two Brits, plus one Minnesotan, one Californian, one Idahoan, and me. It's a fun district. We caught our train back to Norrköping after district meeting (we had to run but luckily the train was late-miracles!) then because of the delayed train we missed our spårvagn to go and meet up with Lisabeth. This left us with 15 minutes until the next spårvagn so we walked through the park and talked to this girl on a bench named Linn, and ended up giving her a Book of Mormon and teaching her the whole Restoration. We missed the spårvagn and had to walk to Lisabeth (it was super hot) but it was worth it. Lisabeth was great and then we taught Cecilia who was also doing well, and then we met with Pontus in the church and taught him. Pontus is especially excited that Syster Austin is here because he's really good at English and wants to help her learn Swedish. Pontus will receive the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday.
Friday was also awesome. We taught Kirsi, who was super nice to Syster Austin. Then the rest of the day was one of those ones where we couldn't get anything set up so it was all swing by's. As we were walking to another one Syster Austin asked if it was usually more like that or like the day before when we had back to back lessons lined up. We're going to do our best to have the ones with lots of lessons. Even with only swing-by's we still managed to teach two different people on the street and give away a Book of Mormon. It was sure hot though!
Saturday was a super amazing day. We had a tentative lesson planned with Mikael and Carola, who we taught last Saturday as well, and an even more tentative lesson scheduled with a less-active woman named Seija. (By tentative I mean I called her and she basically said "I'll probably be gone that day. But I guess you can come by and see. I might be home if it's raining." and it wasn't raining.) But I was trying to have faith and just assuming they'd be there and be expecting us. They both were. Mikael had even read the whole introduction to the Book of Mormon. He doesn't believe in God, which is a setback, but they're going to keep reading. Seija talked really fast and really quietly, and she had a tiny rat dog using me as a chew-toy the whole time. But it was cool that she was actually home and we got to meet her anyway. After that we had our church time where we taught Mona, a woman that Syster Miller and I contacted a few weeks ago. She is amazing! She explained to us that she grew up going to the Swedish Church, but when she was about 8 years old her parents left the church so she stopped going, and she's always wondered how her life would have turned out if she were still in the church because that was right when she was starting to understand what they were teaching her. She thought it was cool that we don't do baptism until the age of 8. She's really excited to read the Book of Mormon and basically she's just amazing. She had to work yesterday but she's off work for the first half of August and she committed to come to church then. We invited her to be baptized and she said she has to read the book first, but she's definitely going to consider it. She's so open and willing to act, I think she will get an answer about the Book of Mormon quickly. After Mona, then Johnson showed up right as we were leaving. He's from Tanzania and he's not the best with time, so he was a few hours late, but we still managed to catch him. We taught him about baptism and he accepted a baptismal date for August 23rd. He had a baptismal date before but he kind of disappeared, so hopefully we can hold on to him this time. Then on Saturday night we taught Olivia again. She had prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and felt that they were true. She's the best.
Yesterday we had Olivia and Johnson and Lisabeth for VIPs. Johnson only caught the closing hymn and prayer in Sacrament Meeting, but he enjoyed Sunday School. The YW lesson was all about baptism and afterward Olivia told me "I'm so excited for my baptism!!" She went to Prossy's house again after church. It was great.
So yes, Syster Austin and I are doing great! We've consistently given away at least one Book of Mormon every day of our companionship, so hopefully we'll be able to keep that up! There are so many people here who are ready and willing to listen! I hope you all have a wonderful week as well! Jag älskar er!
Delaney and Syster Austin