Friday, August 30, 2013

First p-day in Sweden.

Dear Family,

Hope you are all doing great! This is my first p-day and I finally get to email you all.  It is a little difficult because the keyboard is Swedish and some of the buttons are just a little off, haha. :)   Anyway this first week in Sweden has been pretty great!  But, First I will have to comment on everything in your last email!  

It was so great to talk to you all as well and i hope it didn't cost too much money. :)  I do miss you all and it was awesome to get to talk.   It was good to hear that everyone is staying busy and having fun!  Jake, your experience with not knowing what the teacher is talking about was basically the first week in the MTC in our classroom, but you'll do great.  Estee, it sounds like you are having a really fun time with things!  Keep working hard with gymnastics and school and everything!  I loved your smiling picture from the first day of school for you!  You are too cute :)  Abby, way to stay busy!  That is so cool that you are doing all of those things and I'm sure you are being so successful in everything that you do!  Estee, Jake, or Abby feel free to ask me any questions about school or whatever and with my vast knowledge of everything I should be able to help if you need it. :)  You are all so smart you'll probably not have any problems.

Onto the first week in Sverige!  We arrived Tuesday morning and we were tiredddddd!  Sweden is eight hours ahead of Utah and so basically when we wake up is when we were used to going to bed!  The jet lag was pretty bad the first two-three days.  On Tuesday we got here in the morning and we had a full day ahead of us.  Some highlights of that day were that we got to meet President Newell and his wife.  I had an interview with him and since he is fluent in French and saw that I had taken a few years of French in high school, spoke to me in a little French.  He asked how many years I had taken and I said tre (three) and then he was like, thats Swedish.  I laugh at that experience every once and a while. :)  I did actually understand a sentence he told me in French, he told me that it is not rare that people are taught in French from missionaries who know a little French.  So we will see if I do any of that!  

Also that day we got to go and try to place a Book of Mormon, in Swedish!  It went really well actually!  We talked to this one couple and found out they were visiting from Thailand so knew no Swedish and so we spoke English.  I found out he had lived in Michigan! So since they couldn't read Swedish he took a picture of the Book of Mormon and we told him he could look one up in Thai or English. :)  Then we also talked to a Swedish guy and I told him about it and then he took it!  So that was a fun experience, placing Book of Mormons in downtown Stockholm with my broken beginner Swedish.

The next day a few of us went on a run with President Newell down to a bay. :)   We also found out where we were going and who our companions would be!  I got sent to Västra Förlunda Area in the Göteborg branch.  I soon found out that this is the downtown area of Goteborg!  Goteborg is the second largest city in Sweden and so it is a reallly neat place to be!  So far we have had lots of lessons and the members have fed us a lot.  We've also only had to a do a little contacting, so it's good we stay busy with lessons and traveling to lessons!  My companion is awesome!  His name is Elder Allsop and he is from southern Utah valley.  He really likes college football and actually played at Dixie before his mission.  He is a fun and relaxed, but hard working guy.  It is fun to be with him and he has done a great job of training me so far.

The ward here is cool, a little small, but still feels like church anywhere else in the world.  Even though it is across the world and in a different language.  Church yesterday was fun even though I couldn't really understand much at all from the talks and stuff and I am still really tired so sacrament meeting was hard.  But the people are great!  

Also Sunday night we taught a couple from India in English and we actually skyped with some of their relatives in India!  The guy, Joshua, is totally really searching for truth and I felt like we did a good job of speaking to him about how to find that through prayer and church and reading the Book of Mormon, so hopefully he is guided the right way.  

Everyone here speaks at least a little English.  Especially in the city because everyone who doesn't know Swedish comes to the big city so they can communicate.  Also in the ward, there are a lot of Americans (by comparison) and so quite a few lessons have already been in English.  This is a little disappointing because I always want to practice Swedish but nice because I can actually contribute.  Everyone is surprised at what I can say after six weeks in the MTC but the Lord totally blesses me!  It's great to have that help and I would be lost without it.  

Today was p-day and we went to some islands on a public boat that apparently is ok to go on, so our whole zone went to one of these islands and it was super cool!  We hiked up this hill and then me and this other missionary went down a back way across these huge rocks and forests.  It was neat stuff!  I'll try to send my pictures from it!  

Anyway, hope you all have a great week and I'm sorry for all the grammar errors that I am sure are scattered throughout this letter that is basically all underlined in red because this Swedish computer says all these English words are spelled wrong.  Love you all and miss you and can't wait to talk to you again soon!  Please ask me any questions and I can answer. :) Sorry this week it is a little crazy but next week hopefully i can be more clear with my ideas!  


Elder Ward

PS I found out that my new companion just finished training Peter Lambson!  They were companions and I am sleeping in the same bed in Sweden that Peter has slept in!  Anyway, bye, and love you all!

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