Kär familjen Johnson och väner!
Sounds like everyone is having a great week, busy but fun! I think a lot of you forgot that I am 8 hours ahead of you so my monday is over before you even start so write earlier to me! That is the only complaint I have ha, but I do appreciate all of you writing and keeping me updated. Happy birthday Blake and Bus and whoever else!
So my area is the heart of Stockholm, which is hard to explain because Stockholm actually has a million islands haha. But the very heart of the city is where we are at. Gamla Stan is a tiny island for shopping pretty much and is the main part of stockholm. We live in Slussen which is just south of Gamla Stan. Our area where we serve is an island called Lidingö and a place called Gärdet. It takes about 30-40 minutes to get there everyday, so obviously we are late getting home at the end of the day, ha. We have an all access card to ride every public transportation: tunnelbana (main thing to get around, like a subway), the pendeltåg (like a tunnelbanna), and the busses (we take these on lidingö). It is very nice and way easy to get places, if we are on time and not lost ha. Oh and our church is way south in Gubängen (20 minute tb ride). The ward I am in covers Lidingö to the west part of the mainland (island north of Gamlastan). The ward has moved locations many times and it is way far out of the way for members so that is why we have a lot of in-actives. 80 out of 430 people are active in our ward and our bishop wants to change that a lot. We are whitewashing our area and it has been hard but we have come a long way from day 1.
We have a YSA center in main Stockholm where we go for all of our meetings and just to chill, hangout and email on p-days. It is really nice being able to drop off things there and not have to go all the way home and then all the way back because it is really time consuming getting to our area. On p-day we do our laundry (our dryer isn't very good) but it is on the floor below us so that is very nice. We go shopping about 10 minutes away at Willys, probably the cheapest store (they have american stores for food and stuff but it is super expensive. Even when you transfer the kronos to dollars it is still expensive ha.) Then we go hang out with people or play games for a long time and then email and go proselyting or we are in charge of a spiritual thought at the YSA FHE. All of us missionaries in the district are in charge of the center so we take turns doing fhe, institute, or chill night (m,w,f).
The typical day for me here in the mission field is 1) wake up, pray, and go workout on our balcony for 30 minutes thinking of things to do, then 2) we shower, eat, and get ready for the day. 3) we have personal study. 4) we have comp study, 5) language study, 6), lunch and then head out to Lidingö and Gärdet. We usually have 2-3 lessons a day on average, sometimes more sometimes less with members, less actives, and investigators who sometimes feed us dinner. Half of the food they feed us is good, and the other half is way awesome! They have potatoes with everything and always have glas (ice cream) and cake which is soooo good! I don't know any of the names of foods we have but it is cool. Oh, and everyone drinks Coke here.
So in between lessons we either contact, swing by in-actives, or tract (not a whole lot of that). Then we go home, late usually ha, and plan goals, write in the journal and then go to bed. I sleep really well here in Sweden so that makes me happy. We work so hard and walk around everywhere so by the end of the day I am exhausted and fall right to sleep. It is a great blessing!
Ok so the weirdest thing here is people suck in air, like gasp, when they agree with you. You will be talking to them and then they suck in and it just throws you off cuz you are like, what?? Way crazy! I understand really well when my comp talks to other people, but when they talk to me I have no understanding whatsoever haha. I am getting better so its not bad. I just bought a sweater, but I will get more and more the later it gets into the year. It has rained the last 3 days and has been amazing!!! I love the rain and the weather here! Right now it feels like December in St George which I love!! It is so nice and I still wear my short sleeve shirt haha.
We have a couple investigators that are doing good. Recently we have already seen a huge change in one. She wants the Holy ghost so much in her life and has told us she wants to change some habits, even though we haven't had the lesson about the Word of Wisdom! The spirit is already touching her so much, it is amazing. She has a dop dat (baptism date) for the end of September. I m hoping the 28 of September because that is the date I was baptized!!!! Yes i remember that, it was such a great day and has changed my life so much because of it. I want people to experience this gospel so much because it gives you such much joy and peace.
We had one guy who was so cool and so ready for the gospel and just way humble. We had a fantastic first lesson with him and he wanted to learn more and more. Then out of the blue he texted us and said he was done. No explanation and was mad at us. We think he has read some anti stuff or talked to people because he was doing so good. We are really heartbroken about it. That is the one thing I feared about going on a mission, is disappointment. You do so much but it all comes down to peoples agency. We are struggling with that, but we just got to do our best and know that the Lord loves us.
I just want to close and say you all need to do missionary work everyday. Its so simple and could be just a smile to somebody. Do it. Do it now and everyday! Even though we go through our disappointment with people, as long as we do our best and rely on the Lord, that's enough. That's all he asks of us, and if you do that you will know that he loves you. He will help you through everything so go to Him all the time. Alma 37:37 pray all the day long and all night for thanksgiving and gratitude and help. It will help you through everything. In the bible dictionary, prayer has such a great definition. When you understand the relationship with God being our Father and that we are His children, prayer is habitual. You automatically go to Him first for thanksgiving, for guidance, for help, just to talk to somebody, etc. DO IT! I know prayer continues to help me each and every day. I have already had a lot of hard days, but finishing off my day and finding good in the day I am comforted by His spirit and it makes me want to go the next day! I love you all so much,
Hope all is well.