Hello! Happy Labor Day! Sounds like you're having a fun Labor Day weekend at the cabin! Is it really that cold? I'm glad you love me enough to sit in the cold four wheeler on top of the mountain just to send me an email. :) And I can't believe you took down the tree in the porch! Is anything going to be the same when I get back?
So, the good news is, WE GOT THE SIGNATURE! In other words, the baptism is a GO! Olivia is so excited for it, and the ward is pretty excited as well. Especially the Young Women. They've been great at fellowshipping Olivia and being her friends. They're going to sing a musical number at the baptism.
Even though P-Day last week was on Tuesday so it's been a kind of shorter week, it's still felt long. Syster Austin and I are exhausted. She sure is a hard worker! I'm glad, because it makes life more fun when you're working hard. And we've been busy with stuff to do all week! So busy that sometimes we look at our planners and there's so many lessons scheduled we hardly even have time to eat. (Don't worry, we still eat.) It would be nice if some of these people we had all these appointments with were investigators, but the members need strength too.
Tuesday evening we had our YSA activity where we made and ate a Syrian dish called "idge". I'm sure that's not how it's spelled but that's what it sounds like. It's the Arabic letter "j". It was really yummy food but I'm not sure how to describe it because we don't have Couscous in America...at least that I was aware of. It's like a cross between rice and pasta. The closest I can think of to compare it to is those little frog-eye noodles. It was that with tomato sauce and onion, cilantro, and lemon. Judy taught us how to make it. Jasmine and Pontus also came. While we were at the church we also helped Pontus check in to his flight online. He went to Poland for the week. One of the most important items on his agenda was to go to church on Sunday! I hope it worked out and he made it!
I had written in my planner on Wednesday "Today we will get permission from Olivia's mom for her to be baptized or so help me..." Good thing I didn't finish it because we actually didn't on Wednesday. Her mom called us and said she'd had to work and she was tired. I was starting to panic because we couldn't keep postponing it, but she said we could come on Thursday instead. We were on our way to the train station to see Pontus off for his trip. The longer I'm on a mission, the more I'm thankful to have a family so that when I go on a trip it's not just the missionaries from the ward there to see me off. He got safely onto his train and was on his way. Then we had some extra time since we weren't going to Olivia's anymore, and we decided it was time to find Mona. Remember Mona? She was a really positive investigator that Syster Austin and I taught her first week here. She was excited to come to church and everything, but she suddenly just disappeared and stopped answering the phone. So we took matters into our own hands. We knew she lived somewhere in Ljura close to Olivia, so we started tracting until we found her! She was happy to see us, if not a little surprised, but it turns out she's still interested in meeting! She'd just gotten really sick and she'd been in the hospital. We set up a meeting with her for tonight but she called yesterday and said she was going to the hospital again and she'll be there for the next week. But she also said "I'll call as soon as I'm out of the hospital because I really want to continue studying with you!" Before we even asked her about it. I still feel really good about her. On Wednesday night we had dinner with the Erikssons. Sister Eriksson is the Relief Society president. They have five boys and she's pregnant with twins. We had a fun lesson where we divided into two teams and each team got an object that they had to relate to the gospel. The boys had fun, even though they first wanted to relate the apple to the shape of some of the people in church... Boys will be boys.
Thursday was one of those busy pack-a-lunch kind of days, and we got a lot done. The most important part was meeting with Olivia's mom. Finally. She wanted to go over all the commandments that Olivia was committing to follow, so we explained everything to her. At first we were afraid she'd have a problem with the word of wisdom, but she thought it was fine as long as Olivia was ready to follow it. Olivia, Syster Austin and I were all ready to shout when her mom finally signed the form and it was a done deal.
Friday we met with Lisabeth, and she invited her non-member daughter and grandson along. It was really fun to meet them. Her daughter lives in Spain so they were excited to hear that I knew a little Spanish. Lisabeth was an awesome member missionary. We'd been just talking and getting to know them when she just goes "Look what I learned from the Book of Mormon this week!" and pulls out her Book of Mormon to show them. Eva, her daughter, knows all about the church. The grandson, Kristoffer, had only read one chapter of the Book of Mormon before. He said he read a chapter about llamas. We were all really confused until we figured out he'd read the story about Ammon defending the kings flocks. I guess he thought they were llamas. We started telling the story from the beginning, with Lehi and Nephi in Jerusalem, and he seemed pretty interested, especially when I said "And that's all just in the first four chapters!" They all came to church yesterday and Kristoffer got a Libro De Mormon there.
Our other VIPs in church were Olivia and Maria Kojo. She hasn't been in church recently because she's been really sick, but she's feeling a little better now. After church we had dinner with the Ståhlbergs, who just got back from a 3 week vacation in the states. They loved the whole thing but they said Zions was too hot so they didn't do any hiking there. We'd had dinner there the week before their vacation as well and I told them they had to go to Cabellas. They loved it. It was so fun to hear about everywhere they went and what they thought was weird about America. They said they went cereal shopping and everyone got to pick their own cereal, and they went to Ross in every city they came to. They even saw all three members of the First Presidency during their stay in Salt Lake!
After dinner, we went to visit a woman named Mayda. She was a mormon.org referral, and she's learned a little about the church online and asked for a missionary visit to learn more. She's a really sweet girl from Syria. It was a little hard to teach her because she really knows her Bible, but she seems really sincere and said she'll start reading the Book of Mormon. So we FINALLY got a new investigator!
We also got a referral this week from a member on Gotland (the big island off the East coast of Sweden) for a lady who lives in Nyköping. It's quite a ways out there so we couldn't make it there this week, but we have an appointment to meet her tomorrow. She sounds pretty positive as well.
Cody's schedule sounds hard. But stats is always fun. I'm glad Peyton has Miss Caughey for health! She is really nice. (She's the one in parent teacher conference who said that I "radiate goodness" or something. I'm sure she'll say the same about Peyton!) And San Francisco for orchestra tour sounds awesome as well!
Keep saving up for Sweden! Just to put in perspective how expensive things are here: a dollar menu McDouble costs about three dollars here, and instead of a five dollar footlong at Subway you can get a five dollar six-inch. So, yeah...save save save!
Thanks for all the updates! Have a wonderful week! Jag älskar er!
YSA activity - eating idge
A door we saw while we were finding Mona. It says "Best Doorbell. If your errand includes God, fire extinguishers, coconut balls, or TVs, I propose that we save everybody's time by you skipping this door."