Sunday, November 3, 2013

Go Forward with Faith

This week has been AWESOME. So the biggest thing that has happened is something that alone makes this week the winner. So when I first got to Sweden we talked with our Mission President and he talked about the Standards of what we should be doing as missionaries. They are called the Standards of Excellence.

For example: Have 3 referral received and contacted, have 3 less-actives in Church, and have 2 new investigators each week. But the biggest one is have 20 lessons a week. When I arrived in Skövde, Elder Olson told me that we may struggle getting 20 lessons because this area was slow and it really just couldn't be done. So we went on the first week and got 6 lessons – super bummer. Next week we did better and we got 12, Next we got 14, and then I really decided that we were going to get 20 lessons. So we booked every second of our day! We seriously work so hard and I can proudly say that this week we got 20 LESSONS! It's was so awesome to see how excited Elder Olson got and I was so happy too! He told me that this is I think the 2nd or 3rd time this has happened on his mission! We plan on it to keep happening! So great! I love this! I can't take ANY credit though! I really know that is was tender mercy from the Lord. It’s amazing what can happen when we have faith in the Lord and Go Forward with Faith! I love it! We also since I have been here have taken the amount of investigators from 2 to 5! That may not seem like a ton but that is a BIG deal. I love this work!

Some fun things that happened! We had our first apartment inspection. We cleaned it so good! I loved it of course. It is so clean. I don't mean to brag but it is probably the cleanest it has been in years. I had to really clean the bathroom but don't worry all is good now.

Another thing that is fun is how early it gets dark here. Right now it is 5:00 pm and it is just completely black outside. It's so crazy. They say that it just gets better and better! We had dinner with the Branch President last night and you will never guess what. He went to Alta High School as a foreign exchange student. It was funny, I just tell everyone here that I am from Salt Lake because I hate to explain where Draper is. So he asked me what I like about Salt Lake and then I told him I was from Draper and he gets all excited and tells me HE lived in Draper too! I guess his sister lives there now! So that is way weird! Pretty much anyone under the age of 40 speaks fluent English. But that doesn't mean they speak it to me. It's super good though cause they help me a ton to learn. They have 3 children all under the age of 7 and seriously the cutest kids ever. They are Swedish so they dress all fancy for church I just love it. I really hope they don't read my blog cause that would just be awkward. Oh well. They are teaching their kids English and when they asked their youngest to speak English she got all shy and wouldn't do it! Oh well. When I speak Swedish to the kids it's the worst. Cause they just laugh at me. We spoke about missionaries to the Primary and they just laughed and laughed. It's so terrible because like even the 3 year old kids knows more Swedish than me. It's super depressing. Haha. 

So it was weird this week because it has been really warm. It's not good though because I bought a ton of scarfs and I can't wear them! H&M is like my favorite store here. It is so much better than the American one. I really hope they figure it out before I get home J. When I asked this member why it was so warm his answer really made me ask: Where the heck am I?" He said it was because of the African Heat!! Like what?? That was a weird moment for sure! So we had this dinner and the person who was sitting next to me started to cough and it sounded like he was gonna throw up. I started to remember when we were in the subway car and that guy threw up. I was freaking out. I thought: If this guy throws up I swear I am going to lose it. It was not Christ-like of me cause I'll be honest I wasn't worried about this guy at all I was just freaking out about getting thrown up on. I repented, don't worry. Throw up is my weakness. It is just gross. It's not like Utah here for sure. On Friday and Saturday night it is PARTY night. In Sweden if you buy alcohol it is put in a purple or blue bag and on those night you see everyone carrying them home. Then at like 10:00 when I am trying to sleep you just hear the music. It is so loud and the houses here are really open like you can always see in to them so we can just look out our window and see these crazy parties. In other words...we have some work to do. 

So with all that talk about parties. I got inviting to my first SWEDISH PARTY! Don't worry it was a children Halloween Party. It is this totally awesome family we have dinner and do service with once a week. It's way fun because we make the dinner with her so it reminds me of home and helping you with dinner! The party was so much fun! We got to talk to tons of non-members. Once we tell people we are from the states they just go crazy. They just throw tons of questions at us. I started to speak Swedish and this one guy was like: “Okay don't hurt yourself, we can all speak English.” So we played this card game where it just has funny questions and everyone has to answer them. It was funny one question was: Who is your favorite person that is dead? Almost everyone answer was a US President. What was mine? Walt Disney. I felt like such a dork. Oh well, I am just a typical American. It was so much fun. I seriously loved it. We dressed up as Missionaries and it really got a the conversation going. You know those who would talk to us. It's funny there are some Swedes who wouldn’t even make eye contact with us. But towards the end when they all saw that we were just normal people and they all were very nice. I think it was good for them to see that! 

Hey special thanks to Natalie for the music. We love it! For Christmas, I just have a few things that I need. I want to take picture of them and send them next week, I just want the American brands like my hair gel and tooth paste. They don't have those here. Maybe just some money for Christmas. They have this bakery that we pass on the way home that makes so good chocolate croissants. Like it is a joke how good they are. Just writing about them. I want one now. 

Well I love you all very very much! Thank you for all that you are doing to allow me to be here. This is such a blessing and I could go on for hours about how much I feel I have changed from it. I love you so much and am so thankful for all of your prayers! I am praying for all of you! Remember that when the times are tough. I know God answers prayers. This week has been proof of that! What a blessing this is! I hope all is great this week! We can all do hard things! With the Lord nothing is impossible! Right now I am reading in Helaman! It is truly amazing what the Lord allows his prophets to do and I know that just as much as he was influencing them then, he is influencing our leaders today. I have such a testimony and love of The Book of Mormon and have come to know that Joseph Smith was so right when he said we can come closer to God when we read it. I know God blesses and is an active part of our lives. There is no way I would be able to learn Swedish without him! He puts people in our paths for a reason! I really believe that! When we are looking for the good, we WILL find it. When I have hard days it is so easy for me to just be so mad at the world, but when I stop and look for all the great things that happened to me that day, it's impossible to be upset. Look for the good. It's always going to be there, because the Lord is always there. I love you all so much. 

Äldste Farnworth

So this may not seem like a big deal but these are the proof
 that I am making a difference here! They are the progress
papers of the 2 new investigators we have!! I love it.
Can you see my name? :)

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