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!