Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

Käre Familj,

I have also had a great week. Especially because of benefiting from Daylight Savings this weekend. That was a very good extra hour of sleep yesterday morning! Except I'm not sure whether we really benefited from it because today the sunset is at  3:56 PM. When you're a missionary, the extra hour of sunlight in the morning is during study time, and we have an extra hour in the dark of proselyting. But it's okay, because missionary work in the dark works just as well as in the light! I actually think it's better in the dark because people realize that this is something so important we're willing to stop and talk about it in the cold and dark. The trick is getting them to stop and talk about it too!

Good work in your mountain biking race Peyton! I've loved hearing about all the races and adventures with mountain biking. I'm proud of you!

How was the Meet the Mormons movie? Did they do a good job on it? I heard there was a preview for the upcoming Reign of the Judges movie about the Book of Mormon. Did you see that too? Did it look good?

So I realized this week that the things that stand out to me, like falling in holes and running around after spårvagns probably aren't the same things that would stand out to you about my areas. So I hope all the things I include in my emails home are things you want to know. And I hope I remember to answer all/any of your questions too. :)

Last week after we finished emailing we went secondhand shopping and got lots of steals! Syster Jacobs is all set for winter with a coat, boots, and the works. Unfortunately Matilda didn't show up for her Skype lesson, and we still haven't met her. She's in Austria right now but we talked to her yesterday on the phone and she still really wants to meet us! Which is good, we were worried she'd been avoiding us.

On Tuesday the Tolleys (the senior couple in charge of apartments) came by and tried to fix the heaters in our apartment. They're still not heating very well. Don't worry, we're not freezing yet. Then they gave us a ride to Timrå, a little town about 15 minutes north of Sundsvall. There we visited Lisa Svedin, a really nice less active member. She has more National Geographic magazines than anyone I've ever met, including my previous science teachers. She's really cool and has the temple in mind, so we're excited to work with her on coming back to activity. Then after that we taught Noe Noe at the library. It was a really great lesson. We just missed the bus back into Sundsvall (I've gotten lazy with the iPhone so when it couldn't connect to the internet, I was helpless!) so we were a little late coming back to the church, but we caught the tail end of a really great correlation meeting and then we had branch council, which was also really great.This is a wonderful branch and the people have a lot of energy!

Wednesday we had a full day set up, but a couple of our appointments never showed up. So we got to work on calling everybody in our phone to keep figuring out what we have to work with. While we were in the library calling people, two different people came up and started talking to us. Turns out both of them were already the elders' investigators. But we learned that there's a weird trend of people just coming up to the missionaries in the library and asking them to teach them. So we'll be hanging around the library a lot. One of our appointments who DID show up on Wednesday was an investigator named Charles. He started by asking our names, age, and marital status... so we'll see how long we keep teaching him. A couple of his friends came and sat down with us and they were super positive though! One of them is from Uganda and he used to go the the LDS church in Uganda. He left his Book of Mormon there. So we gave him a new one. Have I ever mentioned how much I love people from Uganda? After that we visited another less active woman named Ingegerd. She loves to read and she wasn't wearing pants. It was definitely the most spiritual lesson I've had with someone not wearing pants. (No, I haven't had many of those lessons.) She said we were the first missionaries to visit her in over a year, which is weird because we just called and she said we could come. I'm really excited to get to know her better because she seems like a really sweet lady.

Thursday we had District Meeting and we went to get Syster Jacobs her Personnummer. Nobody we tried to meet with was home, but we did talk to lots of people! It was the same on Friday. The Friday night activity was good. Angela came again, and this time we played a game called the Spy Game. I'll teach it to you when I come home, because it was really fun!

Saturday we got a new investigator! A really nice guy named Mohammed. He was in the phone so I called him and we met at the library. He's from Syria and he's Muslim, but he wants to know more about Christianity. He seems pretty sincere. We also got to talk to a new convert named Oscar over the phone. He was actually found and taught by Syster Dawson and her trainer almost a year ago, and now he lives in Östersund. So we talked to him and he was really excited to hear that I knew Syster Dawson.

Yesterday was a great Sunday! Angela was in church again. Our other VIPs were Mashid and Sassan, who are both recent converts. (Sassan was one of those people who came up to the missionaries in the library and asked them to teach him.) They're both really cool but really busy so we've only ever really met them at church. After church we had choir practice. You know you have a good branch when it's got a choir. They sound pretty good too. In a couple weeks they're going to sing the EFY medley (As Sisters in Zion/Army of Helaman) and I'll play the piano for it. It's really funny to hear the Swedes singing in English. They say "sisters" like "seestERS". That's probably what they think when we try to sing in Swedish. After choir practice we had dinner at the church with a member family. They live a long way away, which is why they just brought the food to the church. We're two for two on dinners with vegetarians. But the food was still really good!

Today we're going to a dinner with the Ekekes. The dad is from Africa but I'm not sure where, and he's married to a Swede. We're going to plan our act for the talent show coming up. Then tomorrow we have zone conference in Stockholm, which means we'll be taking a train from Sundsvall at 5 AM. We'll get back to Sundsvall at 10 PM. The sister training leaders (Sisters Byrd and Eborn!) will be coming back with us for exchanges. They'll do what we call workovers, which means we'll be on exchanges but we'll all be in Sundsvall. So we're trying to double book Wednesday with teaching appointments so we can get a lot done!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that it snowed already! It snowed on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, and again on Thursday night. It was great! Nothing sticking yet, and it's a lot warmer today, but winter is coming!

Please keep Noe Noe, Matilda, and Angela in your prayers! They're all really wonderful!

I hope you have a great week this week that isn't even arguable bad! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney
Dragon in Sundsvall

Delaney with the Familjen Dolmaya

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

Käre Familj,

Hello from cold, beautiful Norrland! The weather outside is currently 3 degrees Celcius (37 F) and there's a chance of snow on Thursday. It was actually snowing a little bit mixed with the rain when we woke up this morning. It was still early autumn warm in Norrköping, so I feel like I skipped the rest of Autumn on the train ride up here. Bring on the real Swedish winter! We've got plans today to get more winter gear. Luckily I have most of what I need left over from last winter, thank goodness.

My new companion is Syster Jacobs. She's really awesome! She's from Clearfield, Utah, and just finished her first year of school at BYU studying accounting. She loves Studio C so we've been quoting that all the time. And she's updating me on the new season. :) She also has a really good singing voice. She said she'd prayed to come to Norrland, so I guess we both got our wish! I hope she's not regretting it when it gets really cold and dark!

This week, like most transfer weeks, has been crazy. I'm really glad I only have to pack everything up and move one more time, because it is EXHAUSTING. I feel like I have jet lag right along with Syster Jacobs.

Monday was a really fun last P-Day in Norrköping. We ate at the classic Taco Bar with all the elders, then we had ping-pong tournaments at the church and took district pictures. More than half the district transferred this week, so it will be completely different now. Monday night everything canceled on us (I feel like Norrköping wanted us to have one last night like to remember it by...) so we finished up all the transition report and area book stuff that had to be ready for us to double out.

Tuesday was a CRAZY day, the kind where you do more than should be possible in that amount of time. Thank goodness for Divine help! We taught and said goodbye to Cecilia and Kirsi first. I'm going to miss them a lot, especially Kirsi. She's like my new Swedish grandma. Then we went to Olivia's house to say goodbye to her. We bought her a frame and gave her a picture of her on her baptism day. (Thanks for sending me that photo album mom, but I gave away a lot of the pictures from it...) It was really sad saying goodbye to Olivia as well. She's a rockstar. After that we came back to the church for the Swedish class and to say goodbye to Kerstin (who teaches the Swedish class) and Bishop and the rest of the ward council members who were there. Then this is where it started to get crazy. Pontus was supposed to come to the church sometime before seven to say goodbye. At least, that's what we both are pretty sure he said. When seven came and went without any sign of Pontus, we started to get worried. We still had to see Prossy and the Dolmayas before we went home. We tried calling Pontus, but to no avail. Finally we figured we'd best go say goodbye to Prossy before it got too late. So we went there and said goodbye to her, which was also sad. Then we still didn't know where Pontus was so we tried our last resort: dropping by his friend Mari's house, where they have a homegroup every Tuesday night. As we got to her door a lady was coming out, and we asked if Pontus was in there. "No, he left about a half hour ago. He said he was going to a church." Shoot. So we set off at a sprint for the church, while Syster Austin calls the elders (who were at the church still.) If there is one thing I've come to hate on my mission it is miscommunication. Or lack of communication in general. The elders answer the phone and say "Oh yeah, Pontus was here. He left about five minutes ago. But he left something for you guys." At that moment a spårvagn goes by from the church towards town. It was like a movie. I was a little hysterical so I'm not sure exactly what happened but I'm pretty sure I yelled "Noooooooooooooo!" as it went past. Just like in a movie. We tried to run and catch it at the next stop in case we could get on it and find Pontus, but we didn't catch it. Between ranting about the elders ("WHY DID THEY NOT CALL US WHEN PONTUS WAS THERE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?") I think by that point I was praying quietly out loud. Our last hope was that he hadn't caught the spårvagn and was walking toward the stop from the church, so we started running back toward the church. (It's a good thing our area was tiny or else all that running around would be too much!) Soon we saw Pontus coming our way. I was so glad to see him. (Knowing Pontus, it probably wouldn't be good for us to leave without saying goodbye.) We talked to him a little there on the sidewalk and then walked him to the stop to catch the next spårvagn into town. I hope everything turns out okay with him. By this point we were late to the Dolmayas so we went straight there. (Again, good thing for the tiny area so we could get to all these places.) They were heartbroken to hear that Syster Austin was leaving as well, but they did pretty good at cheering her up. They are amazing people and I already miss them a lot. The best part was when I secretly gave Judy a picture from her baptism (also out of the album that mom sent). I've never seen Judy so excited before! She didn't know there were any pictures left since we lost the phone right after her baptism, and most of the pictures were on that. We finally got home on Tuesday night and had to finish packing. Luckily I was mostly done and Syster Austin hadn't even unpacked half her stuff.

We woke up at 4:45 Wednesday morning in order to catch our trains. Mine left to Stockholm at 6:27, then Syster Austin had a direct train to Malmö at 6:33. The elders came and helped us both get onto our trains. The train ride was uneventful and a nice lady even helped me get my stuff off at Stockholm Central Station. She was impressed that it was everything I had and that I was moving to Sundsvall. I navigated through the station and met up with the rest of the trainers as we made our way to Täby. There we waited for a while before we met the greenies. I took the opportunity to give Syster Maxwell a run-down of everything that's happening in Norrköping. It was a weird Deja vu to be there again. Syster Dawson is training now so she was there and we had fun talking about how our missions have been going. Finally we got to go in and the new missionaries read their letters saying where they would be going. Syster Jacobs was the first one to read hers, so I didn't have to wait in the suspense too long! We took pictures at the map, had lunch, and then we all took a chartered bus to T-Central. There we waited for another hour or so for our train up to Sundsvall. It was about a 3½ hour train ride. Good thing I brought some potato chips to snack on and Jesus the Christ to read on the way up there! We were also sitting by Äldste Gray (he's my district leader again!) and his new greenie Äldste Bliss. (According to mission geneology, that makes Syster Jacobs and Äldste Bliss twins.) We got to Sundsvall around 6 PM so it was already dark, and the other elders in Sundsvall met us to help us with our stuff. Äldste Stafford and his greenie Äldste Smith. I have now met elders A. Smith, B. Smith, and C. Smith. This one is C. Smith. They helped us take our luggage to our apartment (which is HUGE) and then took us to get bus cards and groceries. Nobody has been living in our apartment for the last week so we had nothing but rice and eggs. We got groceries and brought them back to our apartment, and had about an hour left to eat dinner. It was a hectic first day.

The next day,Thursday, we had zone training up in Umeå. So we got up at 4:45 (again...) in order to catch a train to Umeå at 5:50. This was another 3+ hour train ride. Umeå was really pretty and there was a little snow falling when we got there. It was funny because we saw the church in Umeå before we ever saw Sundsvall's chapel. And by that point we'd still never seen Sundsvall in the light. By the time we got home from zone training it was 6PM again so we STILL hadn't seen Sundsvall in the light. (You travel a lot in Norrland because everything is so much further apart.) But don't worry, while we were in Umeå we kebaptized Syster Jacobs and Äldste Bliss. Too bad Norrland has the worst kebab. 

Friday we explored the city a little bit, called a bunch of people and contacted people on the street. We also had an activity in the church on Friday night. We played that game where you put flour in a bowl and make a hill out of it, and you put a coin in the top and cut away chunks until it falls down. Then you have to get the coin out of the flour with your mouth. I managed to cut chunks without making it fall, thank goodness.

On Saturday we met with some of our investigators that we've heard about but hadn't met yet. Their names are Noe Noe and Ci Ci. (Good thing this isn't a Spanish speaking mission...) Noe Noe is 15 and Ci Ci is 11, and they are from Thailand but have lived here about 6 years, and they are THE COOLEST TEENAGE GIRLS EVER. Noe Noe has a solid testimony of the church and Ci Ci is searching for one through scripture study and prayer. It was awesome to meet them and see how much they love Jesus Christ and the gospel. It's just a hard situation with their parents because they're not really for the church, but they have an uncle who's a member who's working on them. They were also super excited to meet us. (There were sisters here up until three weeks ago when all those sisters went home, so Sundsvall has missed its sisters in the meantime.)

Yesterday at church we got to meet the members, and they are all so nice! They talked to us, and they talked to each other, and they talked to the people in the ward who weren't Swedish. And they all know English and don't pretend not to know it as an excuse not to talk to people. We had one investigator there, a girl named Angela whose step-father is a recently reactivated member. We also had two less active members there, a woman named Lisa and one named Eva. Eva was there with her daughter, who is actually a member in Handen who I know pretty well because we had Thanksgiving dinner there a year ago. It was funny to be all the way up here in Sundsvall and see her again! There was another member from Västerhaninge here, and a member from Norrköping, Soloman. I guess he's actually from here, but he's in Norrköping's ward. So we were just missing Borås and I would have had someone from all my areas! After church we had choir practice. This is the first ward I've been in with a ward choir. It's awesome! Sundsvall is actually a branch, but it's big enough to be a ward. It's just because it's not in a stake. We're in the Umeå District. There's about 50-60 people in Sacrament Meeting every week, according to the elders. And we've got members from Canada, Hawaii, Iran, and Finnland to name a few.

After church we had dinner with the ward organist, Maj. She's vegetarian, but the soy chicken was pretty okay. It was all six of us missionaries there, and it was a really fun time. Maj is hilarious. And we were all speaking in Swenglish. I don't know which language we used more. There was delicious raspberry pie with blueberry ice cream for dessert. For a vegetarian, it was a pretty good first member dinner here! I think Syster Jacobs enjoyed it too.

We're still trying to get our bearings and figure out what we already have going on here. There wasn't much information left for us to go off of, but the elders are helping us out. Tonight we're going to teach a girl named Matilda who was an exchange student in Idaho. We've heard she's really awesome. She lives out in Östersund (halfway to Norway) so we're going to teach her by Skype.

Sundsvall is beautiful and there are dragon statues all over. We're going to take lots of pictures of the dragons. They're supposed to guard the city from burning down again. The elders left us a note when we got here that said "Dear Sister Smith and Greenie, Welcome to the wonderful land of Sundsvall. Highly known for the fact that it burnt down twice. Hence the dragons. Your area is approximately the size of Rhode Island."

Good luck racing in St. George and ACTing in not St.George! Thanks for the updates on how everything is going! Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney
Syster Jacobs and Delaney pointing to Sundsvall

Norrkoping District-Oct. 2014


Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

Käre Familj,

Dad guessed it right: I'm going to Norrland! Not quite as far north as Luleå¨, though. I will be training a new sister in Sundsvall!  (That one is actually pronounced just like it's spelled.) We'll be doubling in, which most of the trainers this round are going to have to do because everyone's been in their area so long already. Nearly every sister companionship is affected by the transfer this week. I think there are only two companionships who escaped. I'm so excited to go to Norrland and experience a real cold Swedish winter and Christmas! In the meantime, Syster Austin is also transferring! She's going as south as you can, all the way down to Malmö. So odds are I'll probably never see her again for the rest of my mission. :( She's really sad to leave Norrköping so soon, and especially with such short notice. But she's going to love Malmö! She'll be in a tripanionship with Syster Carlson and Syster Fawcett. They are also whitewashing the area. (Because of all the sisters who went home a few weeks ago, there are many sister areas that were just sitting there for the last three weeks that are all being whitewashed now.) That also means we're doubling out for Norrköping to be whitewashed by Syster Maxwell (same one who took my place in Borås, funny enough) and a greenie. So we've got a lot of work to do to get the area book and apartment and everything else in good shape for two new sisters! We're both sad to be leaving, especially because we won't get to see some people before we go. We've been able to see most of the members, but our investigators who we love are a little trickier. We won't be able to say goodbye to Kobra and Soran, or Mayda because she's in Norway right now. :( And Mona hasn't answered her phone either.

It's been a good week. Monday was a good P-Day. I learned to play ping-pong and I'm now better at ping-pong than I am at bowling. Do we have a ping-pong table? We should get one. Not a lot really happened on Monday or Tuesday, so I'm going to skip to Wednesday when the week started to get really interesting.

Let it be noted that on Wednesday morning I prayed for help to see God's hand in my life. I wasn't expecting the answer to come in quite this way.

It all started with a jar of jam. During lunch time on Wednesday we were preparing PB&J sandwiches for dinner (I eat those now. But only with jam, not with jelly.) because we were going out to Motala to teach Kobra and Soran. We had a brand new jar of raspberry jam. And we could not open it for the life of us. We tried every trick in the book. We almost even called in the Priesthood to open the jar, but they weren't close. Finally we settled for PB&PB. Not as good, but it's edible and that's all a missionary requires. Anyway, we got our sandwiches made and were on our way, barely catching our train out to Motala. The train ride passed without incident and we made sure we had a Persian translator all ready to go for the lesson. As we were walking up to their house, literally right outside their apartment, I was being careful to watch my step so I wouldn't step on the terrible-smelling berries all over the ground. I remember thinking "This drain hole cover looks like a good place to step on." Or something to that effect. I was wrong. The cover was loose, and it slipped completely off the drain hole (I'm actually not sure what kind of hole it is) so I stepped/fell right into the hole. As Syster Austin describes it, one moment I was there and the next I was gone. 
The "offending" hole

The wound

The ghetto bandage of gauze and princess bandaids
Now, there are many miracles surrounding this experience. For example, it was only big enough for one leg so I didn't fall all the way in. And while my leg got very scratched, bruised, and burned, I was able to make it through the Persian Plan of Salvation lesson just fine and the Spirit was still strong. (Kobra and Soran are truly amazing people. I'm sad that I won't be here to see Kobra progress and realize how much she needs Christ in her life.) Luckily I was wearing boots so I didn't lose a shoe, and a red patterned skirt so nobody noticed the blood on it. There was surprisingly only a tiny bit of blood on my skirt, considering the amount of blood that was on my leg, and despite that I fell in the mud, there wasn't a speck of dirt on my skirt. I also have no idea how the cover came completely off by me stepping on it, instead of wedging halfway in the hole and breaking my ankle or something. It was a miracle. 

The biggest miracle of all was later that night. We got back to the train and made it back to Norrköping to meet up with Pontus. He told Syster Austin he wanted to meet at Söder Tull (in town) at 7:45 that night. She repeated it back to him (her Swedish being amazing but not necessarily fluent yet), 7:45 at Söder Tull. He said yes. We got to Söder Tull right at 7:45 and he was nowhere to be seen. We waited around for a while until we finally decided to see if he was at the church. (Of course we tried calling but we knew it was futile because he never brings his phone with him.) He was waiting at the church with a friend. Great, we thought. He asked where we'd been. We told him we were waiting at Söder Tull like he said. He asserts that he'd told Syster Austin to meet him at the church. I wasn't there for the phone conversation but I believe what Syster Austin said. So she was really mad. We go into the church where Pontus explains why his other church "Hageby Kyrkan" (Hageby is the area where we live. Kyrkan is church.) is so much better than ours. It's more fun. It's easier to get there because they have "services" on Thursdays so he doesn't have to deal with Sunday bus schedules (they don't run very often on Sundays). The rules here are too hard. He wants to drink coffee. I listened with all the patience and understanding I have (which has increased 100 fold since I started working with Pontus) and asked him some questions as directed by the Spirit. The whole time, his friend was backing him up and encouraging him about why Hageby Kyrkan is so much better. Finally all that was left to do was bear sincere testimony and invite him to do what he knows is the right thing. I was surprised to find myself saying in the middle of my testimony "Pontus, we don't keep the commandments and come to church because it's easy. I fell into a DRAIN HOLE today, doing the service of God. That wasn't EASY. But it doesn't make the church not true, and I know it's true and so do you." The Spirit was so strong. And his friend's face was priceless. If that helped Pontus realize that he needs to be strong in the church whether it's easy or not, then I'm glad I fell in that hole. It's our experiences that add validity and depth to our testimonies, so I'm thankful for that experience and the opportunity I had to share it with Pontus to strengthen him. No matter what happens with Pontus, I know that I have given it my best shot and done everything I could for him.

It was as we were walking-well, limping-into the apartment that night that President called to let me know I'll be training a new sister. He was really nice and said it's because I did such a good job with Syster Austin. I'm excited I can end my mission passing all my knowledge and wisdom on to another new sister. I can't wait to meet her on Wednesday! When he called on Wednesday I asked the same thing I asked him when I got the call the first time I'd be training: "Will I be training in Norrköping?" This time he said no, that I'd be doubling in somewhere, but didn't give me any more information at the time.

Thursday, in honor of Mom's birthday, all of our lessons cancelled by 11:00 AM. So after district meeting in Linköping, we came back to Norrköping and tried to find all the less active members on the list that we could. Nobody was home and a few had moved. We finally got so desperate we tried going by this lady named Pim, who is usually home but never answers the door. Before we knocked we said a prayer, and Syster Austin prayed that Heavenly Father would help her open the door. As soon as we rang the doorbell, the door came flying open, and there was Pim. She thought we were the people who were coming to pick her up. So we actually met her, and she gave us her (correct) phone number and said we could come back next week! Which we won't, because we're both leaving, but the new sisters will. So that was a pretty cool miracle and answered prayer!

Friday we started going by members so I could say goodbye to people, and on Saturday too. It was hard to say goodbye to Lisabeth on Saturday. She said she'd been praying for me to go to Norrland. That was before we got the call. We also went to the Dolmayas to say goodbye, but they convinced us that we can go back one more time on Tuesday night. We got home a little confused because President still hadn't called, but the zone leaders had and asked us to call them back. We called them and they gave us our transfer call. I was very excited to go to Sundsvall, but it was hard on Syster Austin to hear that she was leaving as well.

So yesterday we went back to Lisabeth's for Syster Austin to say goodbye. We also had dinner with the Ståhlbergs (and as we were leaving, the dad, Leif, said "I'll never forget the story of your dad and his guns. I'd told them about when dad got all the guns out for Rich to take me to Prom.), and visited Ann-Sofi. Our VIPs in church were Olivia and Nabil. Everyone seems sad that we're leaving and Bishop said "What did we do wrong?" So it's good to know that the ward will miss us!

Mom's birthday celebrations sounded fun! Happy birthday again mom! I'm especially glad my present got there right in time!

Have a wonderful week everyone! Thanks for your updates and your prayers! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney
Delaney and Lisabeth

Delaney, Ann-Sofi, Syster Austin

The Jonsson Family

Olivia, Delaney, Tiziana (member from Italy) and Syster Austin

Stahlberg Family (She is the "Old Vuorinen's" daughter)

The Young Vuorinen Family (He is the "Old Vuorinen's son")

The "Old Vuorinens"

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Käre familj,

Wasn't General Conference great? I'm sad it's already over! But I still have the Sunday Afternoon session to watch. I can't wait to see Elder Bednar's talk! It did seem like they focused more on the "perfecting the saints" and "service" parts of the church than on preaching the gospel this time around. But it makes sense-we have to get our own oxygen masks on before we can help others. I really liked the talks in Cantonese and Spanish as well. I don't think the people in the US realize what a big deal that is. I think a lot more people will be willing to listen to General Conference now that it's not ALL exclusively in English with translation. It seems a little more inclusive this way.

It's been a good week here in Norrköping. Last Monday for P-Day we all played football (soccer) in Norrköping. I got pretty sore, but it was fun. Today the plan is to go to Linköping and play ping-pong. I'm even worse at ping-pong than I am at football... so it will be interesting.

Tuesday we had dinner at the Dolmayas' house. More Syrian food! I didn't take a picture this time because of how many people said it looked disgusting last time we had Syrian food. It looked about the same, but it tasted so good! And we had a great lesson with Judy and Nabil about meaningful prayer and receiving answers to prayers. Then after dinner we went to the church for Institute. Judy didn't come. :/

Wednesday after District Meeting we contacted a really nice girl named Amelia and started talking to her. Like most young Swedes do she switched it to English because it's pretty obvious that we're not native Swedish speakers. When I told her I was from the USA she said "Then why don't you have an American accent?" Even if I don't speak Swedish like a Swede, at least I speak English like one I guess. We ended up teaching Amelia all about the Restoration and we're going to meet her again tonight! Wednesday evening we were asked to help with the Young Women activity and teach them how to do family history work. It was really cool to see how much I've learned about family history since coming to Norrköping, and I had a lot of tips and advice for them. That wasn't one of the skills I thought I would learn while I was here, but I'm excited to keep doing Family History work when I get home too!

On Thursday we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. Syster Austin got to go to Stockholm this time and I stayed in Norrköping with Syster La Fontaine, from my MTC group. It was really fun to be on exchanges with her, and it was really helpful because Syster La Fontaine was trained in Norrköping, so she knows the area and the people. She had a lot of helpful background knowledge on less active members and old investigators. And it got us in to a lot of places! We taught Cecilia, Kirsi, and the Dolmayas, who all wanted to see her. We also got to meet up with Pontus and teach him. He's having a rough time right now. We asked what the ward could do better to help him and he said...everything. I was so thankful for Syster La Fontaine for saying "could you be a little more specific?" It seems he's having a hard time standing up for his new faith and beliefs among his old friends, and he feels like he needs to make exceptions and compromise his standards for them. Good thing he likes meeting with us so we can still help him understand. I think we'll be using a lot from President Uchtdorf's talk in the women conference when we meet him again. But please pray for him that he can overcome his doubts!

Syster Austin came back on Friday, and we went and visited Seija. Her devil of a rat dog has doubled in size and still has really sharp teeth. Seija said she would come to conference. She didn't. We had an appointment with Prossy that night but she wasn't home. Alex was there, though, so we did get to teach him instead. Haven't seen Prossy in a couple weeks now, because she's caring for a friend who just had surgery, according to Alex.

On Saturday the elders had a baptism! A man named Vahab. He only speaks Persian, so it's pretty hard to get to know him, but he seems to have a lot of faith. His sister came to the baptism and translated the service for him. It's really cool that she supports him because she's Muslim and not willing to learn more. There were six members and eight missionaries in attendance, plus Vahab and his sister. It was a great service though. It was the start of a great weekend! Baptism and then General Conference! The womens' meeting was great, and the Saturday Morning session was great! The Katrineholm missionaries came to Norrköping to watch conference here, so the sisters stayed the night at our apartment. It was Syster Christison and her greenie Syster Powell. It was fun to be watching Conference with Syster Christison and reminisce about one year ago when we watched conference together as greenies in Västerhaninge. I can't believe how fast time passes! It's been two years since they lowered the age for missionary service! The sisters who went out right away after that are already home now.

Sunday morning we went and taught Lena. I pointed out that it was the same time we would normally have church, so she didn't seem to have any time conflicts. She knows she needs to come but she just needs to take the actual step. We read 3 Nephi 11 with her which turned out to be perfect because after we finished reading she said "This is the chapter that I read when I gained my testimony of the Book of Mormon." Needless to say, the Spirit was strong.

Nabil came and watched the Saturday morning session of conference and I think he might have come to Priesthood session on Sunday morning. And Maria Kojo came to the Sunday Morning session on Sunday evening. That was all we had for VIPs in church. Olivia had forgotten about conference and already had something planned Sunday afternoon. We'll have a lot of conference catch-up to do with all our friends now!

Thanks for updating me on your week! Good job Peyton in your race! I'm glad you got the tube and tire sorted out in time. Good job getting all those ducks too. Did you convince the Calverts to take them all home?

There are 11 new sisters coming to the mission next week, so there are some changes in store! We'll find out on Saturday what's going to happen. Until then, we're still going strong here in Norrköping! We're going out to Motala again on Wednesday to teach Kobra and Soran. Mayda's been out of town but hopefully we can meet her again this week too. And Mona is supposed to be out of the hospital, but she hasn't answered her phone yet. We're hoping she's doing alright!

Have a wonderful week everybody! Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney