Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hallå everyone!!
Well it sounds like everybody is doing fantastic this week. So mom and everyone, please  put the date on when you send letters by mail because I cant tell how long it has taken to get here but it takes a long time, so ya. And yes, I knew all of the stuff about Sweden you told me: The H&M store is huge here (like one store every block), Volvo is huge here and yup. I dont know the names of any food here so sorry about that. 

Ok so a couple of things I would like to talk about. 1. Everything here is in the metric system and in Celsius for degrees, but I have not learned either yet so I'm struggling with that. For example my weight is like 83 kgs or something and then my height is 180 cm ha. So the weather is just oblivious to me, I just know if it is cold or hot, no temp or anything like that. It has been really great weather here, and I love it, and am so excited for the winter!! 2. The traffic lights are way cool. Sometimes we go with members to appointments and we take a car. At the stop light, right before the light turns green it goes yellow first. That is to signal for all the cars to start going because all of them are stick shift and it turns green at just the right time, it is way cool haha! Oh and there are no stop signs anywhere, but Swedes are excellent drivers: they cant get their license till 18, it costs about 3,000 dollars-18,000 krowns, and it is a rigorous test so people have to be way good at driving, so its all good. 

I will do little snippets of awesome things that happened in each particular day.
Måndag: we played soccer, lots of fun, with our zone. Our mission president's son, who just got back from his mission to france, gave the lesson at FHE and it was so good. It was about Elder Holland's talk about Jesus questioning Peter if he loves Him. If we really love the Savior and want to follow Him, we will do all He asks of us: including feeding His sheep. We have such a great thing in our lives, we have to share it with everyone or else we truly don't love the Lord. Show Him your love by doing what He asks instead of going back to your life after you have been touched by Him. I hope all of you guys take this to heart!

Tisdag: So Monday night we had a sleepover with the zls because we had splits Tuesday. We actually blew up 2 air mattresses and slept outside, all 4 of us on the balcony!!! IT was soooooooo funny and just the best ever! It was cold but we actually slept really well. Our neighbor called out to us in the morning and just started laughing, we invited him to join us the next time and he said he was down! Tuesday we had splits; I went with Elder N (he's Finnish) and my comp went with Elder S. We went to his area in the heart of Stockholm and did a lot of less active swing-bys and contacting. Elder N is super bold and can talk with everyone, so that's what we did ha! It went well, though we got rejected a lot, it didn't bring us down. I swear though, every time I try to initialize a conversation I get blown off. Swedes are usually pretty nice and genuine when they reject you though, so that is nice, in a sense.

Onsdag: So we were back to our regular companions and we went to a members place to do a lot of service! Afterwards, he took us out to a really nice restaurant and got us large steaks and fries. OH MY GOODNESS, it was soooo good! My first steak in Sweden, and it was great! Then we did some other appointments had dinner with a Chilean family (lot of immigrants from all over the world in sweden, fyi). And they fed us so well. It was this kind of meat and rice and i don't even know, but super filling. So we were stuffed from that and thought it was done. NOPE! they whip out this huge bowl of ice cream sundaes for each of us, I swear it was bigger than my head, filled with whip cream and just everything good. My comp and I looked at each other and said "Here goes!" So we plowed through the ice cream, just wanting to get over the pain and just show how grateful we were for the food. People expect you to eat every last drop and scrap of everything. We did it so fast so we wouldn't make ourselves more sick by drawing it out. We made it through and about exploded on the way home ha. We gained at least 5 pounds each or more that day. wow.

Torsdag, we had zone training with the Stockholm zone of 20 missionaries and it was way fun and cool. We watched the movie "only a stone-cutter" and it was way powerful. He says in the movie "this is my calling". That hit me so hard, this is my calling in Sweden. It was amazing, I want to do all I can to build up the kingdom on earth. Afterwards we all ate lunch together and I met and talked with some aldstes (elders) who are all way cool guys and hilarious. We all got along super well and were telling  each other funny stories. Oh also, we talked about prayer in the zone training. We are all going to pray more, like every half hour to keep the spirit with us, as a zone. We tried it out during the day and it really worked. Though we didn't have much success, we had the spirit with us the whole way and we could feel it.

Fredag,  We have weekly planning every friday, but it is really hard because we call people to make appointments for the week but they all say we will talk about it in church. That is one thing that is so hard, relying on other peoples agency and choices instead of our own. It is crazy and frustrating sometimes! So the rest of the day we did swingbys and got to travel by and take some pictures next to this pier out in Lidingö,
so I hope you enjoy those pics haha. We also went to a fresh fruit stand and bought some food for a small dinner: I got the best nectarine I have ever had in my whole life!!! Pure golden! And I also found something very similar to DanActive yogurt drink that I love and chugged all 4 small bottles of that too! 

Lördag, we went to Gamla Stan for language then took more pictures while walking around. So there are a lot of pictures from Gamla Stan.
We then went to President Newells house for dinner and a lesson with an investigator from the sisters but the guy called and said he had to go to France urgently. but he is solid, so no worries there. We ended up just eating with the Newells and talking and having a good time before pres through out some referrals to us! He doesn't do that unless he really trusts you, so that is a big deal for us! We are actually going to work with pres a lot with them, so I'm stoked for that!! Pres actually was the one who made us food. Man, he does not stop going, just serving and feeding everyone physically and spiritually the gospel!! I love it!

Söndag was 4 hours of straight Swedish for church (1 with coordinating meeting with ward mission leader) that I only picked up on like half of the stuff. That makes my brain fried trying so hard for so long to comprehend that I get so exhausted because of it ha. We went to the G family for dinner (every sunday) and had a good lesson with them. We did some more swing-bys and found someone in a nursing home and said the reason why she hasn't been to church is because she is old and was in an accident recently. The only reason why she is active though is because of her home and visiting teachers she has, that call every week no matter what and just talk or visit. Those 2 things are what keeps members active, I wish our ward could start to pick up on that. Think about that too, in your ward and make sure to do your home and visiting teaching. It really makes a difference in peoples lives.

We taught E the WofW and she understood it really well and knows she needs to commit and have faith and rely on the Savior to help her. It is never easy, but keep her in your prayers. We swung by J's place and left a note for him (he wasn't there) to say no hard feelings and that stuff. He called us later and thanked us and said we were great young men and that he would like to meet with us again once he gets feeling better. Interesting, he got pneumonia like 2 hours after he texted us saying he didn't want anything to do with the BoM, and he hasn't had that since he was way young. Coincidence? I think not!! He told us to come back so we can talk about God but not about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon, so we are still going to subliminally throw in the Plan of Salvation next time we meet. Pray that his heart may be softened and accept our message please.
These signs are everywhere - fart means speed in Swedish

I love you all and pray for you, keep up the good work. MVH- med vänliga hälsningar (with friendly greetings). typical thing to say in sweden when closing a letter or email.

Äldste Johnson

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