Hello from Norrköping! I couldn't decide what to call it because this week's been cold and rainy, but also a little warm sunny. The only thing that's been consistent is windy.
It's been a good week! We've had a lot to do and been able to meet with a lot of people. Last week for P-Day we went to Ikea in Linköping and got meatballs for lunch. Do they have meatballs at Ikea in America? Then we went back to the Linköping chapel and played Uno with all the elders. I got third place. We came back to Norrköping for dinner with Ann-Sofi.
Pontus came to Institute on Tuesday and liked it. We have a really good institute teacher in our ward, so it's always really good. We're trying to get the rest of the YSA new converts to come on Tuesday nights too. They were doing well during the summer, but now that school started again they're all pretty busy. After institute we were going to visit Rosalia, a Spanish speaking woman we contacted a while ago, but she wasn't home. So after teaching the Restoration to a random guy named Sammi on the street, we stopped by Judy to say hi and encourage her to come to church. (That's kind of been the theme this week...get people to church.)
On Wednesday morning we taught our favorite Norrköping grandmas, Lena and Kirsi. Then that night we met Pontus at the library. He was able to borrow an iPad from the library so he could look up the scriptures with us online and take notes. I think that really helped him.
Thursday we spent the whole day in Linköping. First we had district meeting there, which was really good. We talked about how God gives us everything we have that's exciting, and everything that we love. So instead of thinking God is boring, we need to remember that He gave us all the fun things we do, too! We stuck around Linköping and dropped by some less active women in their branch, because we didn't have enough time to go back to Norrköping before we would have had to turn around and come back, because that evening we had a lesson with Soran and his wife Kobra, who live in a little town quite a ways outside of Linköping. (Thus, we didn't bother coming back only to turn around again.) Soran was baptized here in Norrköping about a year ago, and his wife Kobra came to Sweden a few months later. They were lost for a while but a couple weeks ago we got a call from the member who baptized Soran (he lives in Germany) saying he wants contact with the church again. The bishop and Linköping elders went out there to meet him, and he said he wants sisters to teach his wife since he had such a good experience with sisters the first time. So we got to go out there and meet them on Thursday and they are awesome people! Kobra said that since her husband was baptized, and her two sons became Christian in Iran, she's the only one still searching. I love it when people recognize they're searching, because it makes them willing to actually search! The lesson went really well with them, and we had some awesome Persian translators. The Spirit was very powerful there.
I know I always skip Friday but not a lot happens on Fridays... We did teach Cecilia who actually said yes, she would come to church, instead of her usual maybe. So that was exciting. We talked to a lot of people and got a lot of harsh (and slightly amusing) rejections all in a row. We got back to the apartment for weekly planning before the drunkards came out.
Saturday we spent another good chunk of time tracting. One man wished us good luck and a very nice day. That was probably the most positive door. Nobody was really rude, so it was a successful tracting stund. President Hinckley knew what he was talking about when he said there are better ways to do missionary work, but it's all we have left to do, so we have to do something to try and find people. Saturday afternoon we had an appointment scheduled with a guy named Mishel. I had little faith that he would show up considering how many people we've scheduled here who never showed up, but sure enough, he came to the church right on time. He's from Syria and actually knows Nabil and Judy. We found out quickly that he didn't speak a whole lot of English, but luckily we had the Restoration movie and a Book of Mormon in Arabic. So we watched the movie and before we could ask he told us he'll read the book. On the way out he asked the usual "are you Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant?" question. When we said none of the above he smiled and said "oh, you're better!" In other words, we're not going to have to tackle the whole "What's wrong with the Orthodox church" problem. We're really excited for him.
Yesterday was a really awesome day for church. Our VIPs were: Olivia, Alex (he's back in Norrköping!), Judy, Nabil, Kirsi, and Cecilia! Prossy was in Stockholm and Pontus had to go to an open house for a friend's birthday. I wish I could say it's because we worked so hard to get all those people there, but a big part of why so many came is because Syster Anderson, who I replaced when I came to Norrköping, was back with her parents. It was awesome to see the chapel so full! I gave a talk about how we can strengthen our faith. I talked about the "Primary answers": pray, read the scriptures, and come to church. (I thought it was interesting that's what the bishopric talked about in your ward. Could it be that these things are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT?!?!) I also played the hymns in Sacrament meeting. I got to choose them, but I don't remember which numbers they were so I don't know what they added to.
I can't believe Colton is home from his mission! It's weird that there are starting to be more homecomings than farewells. Sounds like you had a busy Sunday. Those are the best kind!
We will watch General Conference at the church next weekend. I think they'll show it in Swedish and English. We'll probably watch it in English since hopefully we'll have our new converts with us. They show the womens' meeting first, and then we'll watch the Saturday Morning session live at 6:00 PM. On Sunday they show Priesthood from 10-12, Saturday Afternoon from 2-4, and then we watch Sunday Morning live again at 6. We'll have to watch the Sunday Afternoon session on our own time sometime. I never actually got to watch the Sunday Afternoon session last conference. I had to read the talks in the Liahona instead. But now that we live so close to the church, we'll probably be able to watch the last session at the church sometime during the week. I'm really excited for conference! We've been trying to decide if President Uchtdorf will speak in German. And there's always the semi-annual question: how many of the talks will be about MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK? The number gets higher and higher every time!
The Sweden trip is going to be fun! As long as we get to visit all my areas in Sweden, it will be great. I think it would be fun to cruise around the Baltic too. Keep in mind that June 6th is Sweden National Day, so that would be a fun day to be in Sweden, and there's also Midsummer on June 21st. That would also be a really awesome day to be in Sweden. Either of those days we could go to a ward party.
President called earlier today to ask how Syster Austin's training is going. I bragged like a proud mother. :) Her Swedish is improving really well. Yesterday I was playing prelude in Sacrament and I looked down and she was just chatting away in Swedish with a member. I told President she would be a competent trainer. She kind of got mad at me for that, but it's the truth!
Mayda is basically progressing, because she's been reading and is really trying to find out if it's true. We just can't count her as progressing just yet because she hasn't come to church yet. I think Kobra and Mishel will be progressing soon too. Also Mona is supposed to be out of the hospital this week, so hopefully we can meet her and start teaching her!
Have a great week everyone! Jag älskar er!