Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More pics from Goteborg

Aldste Allred, Lambson, and Ward.  A good looking group!

A group shot of missionaries in Goteborg, Sweden

Monday, September 23, 2013

More pictures! ö, baptism, crab, church

Aldste Ward, Allsop and a couple others participated in a baptism recently.
ö is island in swedish. Here are some ö pics 

Beautiful selfie and scenery.
Andy, always the animal lover found a swedish crab on the island.
translation:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

September 23, 2013

Dear Family!

It sounds like you all had a great week!  It sounds like things are also all going great, which is good to hear!  My week has been pretty good, this week was the most rainy, so it is definitely cooler and I guess more Swedish-like weather.  Things are still mostly green because of all the moisture, but there are a lot of leaves falling and a lot scattered on sidewalks and lawns.  I am learning how to cook a little more as I am here.  The problem is I'm not picky at all so I feel bad if I cook something boring like noodles or eggs, so I think our current arrangement is great because I get to eat a little variety and kinda see how to cook stuff without ruining it.  I actually haven't seen the nickelharp yet.  The day they ran into him we were on splits so I was in the Utby area just a little north of Göteborg.  Oh and the ward I am in is called the Västra Frölunda ward, and the way the areas in the mission are set up is that each area is just in a ward.  Other news about our area is that we are very likely to be splitting up our area with some new missionaries, so hopefully that will be cool because it takes awhile to travel places by bus and stuff so I think that having additional missionaries should really help the area so we don't have to travel as much.  

The language is coming still, but I can tell it is a lot better!  Honestly the hard part isn't too much speaking it, even though it is a little difficult because I don't know all the words, but understanding what people are saying with their accent is the really hard part.  I've noticed a big difference of what I can understand this week and that is great.  Another funny thing is that I try to really focus on what people are saying and I get nervous or something and miss it all.  So the best way is to actually just sit back and not focus too much on the words that they are saying.  It was really cool to notice I was understanding what everyone was talking about just without really concentrating on everything they were saying! Hopefully this all makes sense!  It really is awesome to finally be able to talk to people in church in Swedish and on the phone and stuff!

That is so cool that Abby got her patriarchal blessing.  Those things are seriously the neatest things.  I do use mine a lot, especially if I'm ever feeling down!  There is a part of mine that talks only about my mission, and I realized that never again after this part of my life would that part of the blessing be a future blessing and that I probably should be reading it everyday to remember what I need to do to gain those blessings while I am here!

That is so great that the Utes won!  Äldste Allsop is also a Ute fan and we prayed for the prophet's team to win! haha.  That game is nearly always a close one and it sounds like it was an exciting one where Utah won!  That is great that Michigan won, but they need to get there act together a little bit!  It sounds like every game so far they make some pretty big mistakes that make the games a lot closer!  I am sad that Utah State lost!  I wore my Utah State shorts a few times during the week and it might have helped.  In reality it is still pretty cool that they played so well against the mighty USC!  

Jake! That sounds like a sweet camping trip you had to the Uintas!  It always seems like the fishing is supposed to be really great but then it isn't so nice when you get there.  I am just remembering our trip with Stuart to the Uintas last summer.  How is your foot doing?  You sound like your normal tough self stepping on nails in the dark in freezing temperatures!  I guess you made it home ok though so I guess it wasn't too bad! 

That is good to hear Mom you got to go to the temple!  I only got to go to the temple once in the MTC because it was closed for cleaning nearly the whole time, and then we are pretty far from the Stockholm temple so we haven't been able to go yet.  We are actually closer to the Copenhagen temple and are going to try to go with our ward in a few weeks.  

Thanks for the talks dad and Mom I will look up that talks and print it out too!  They both sound like great talks. Good to hear that dad is still his ridiculously hard working self.

The touch of the master's hand is such a wonderful story, I really like that one and completely agree with what you were saying dad!  Also it can be really hard not to look logically at church things!  Sometimes people say that they are willing to change once they know. The only problem with this is that it requires no faith!  That is something that I think I have learned a little about, you need to show Heavenly Father that you hope that these things are right, and you are willing to act on that hope that you have.

Well this is pretty much my week:

Last p-day I am not sure if I said what we did or not but we went to Kungsbaka which is a city south of Göteborg and went to an outlet mall and shopped around with the missionaries from Jönköping (which you say Yinshipping basically) and from Trollhätten.  It was cool, I had an asian buffet for lunch and bought a sweet looking backpack from adidas. 

On Wednesday the sister missionaries on basically all of the west side of Sweden had a training thing with President and Sister Newell in our chapel.  So we with the Utby elders helped to get pizza and drinks and salads for all of them and then we also set up everything and Sister Newell said we could have pizzas and stuff so it was a great time.  Wednesday night I also gave a blessing to a sick little baby and she is doing just great now!

Thursday we decided to make a strawberry cake during weekly planning.  The cake mix expired July 2008 and we didn't have any oil so we threw in some butter and then it took forever to bake but it was delicious.  I wonder when that cake mix was purchased because I would imagine it lasts for a while before it expires and it expired more than five years ago....haha.

Friday we met with a slightly crazy guy whose apartment stunk so bad because he smokes a ton.  He also had like 80 candles all lit and was telling us that is where he prays or something.  How we met him was that he called us and his name in the phone was Richie (crazy).  So we answered it and then met with him last week in town and he seemed like a pretty normal guy in his 50's. Then we went to his house and after our discussion with him decided he was a little crazy.  I think though he could be baptized, the hardest thing will be getting him to stop smoking, I don't think he thinks he can.  Also when we were talking with him he told us that they were trying to make him a document that certifies he is no longer like mentally unstable or something, so we will see where we go with him!

Friday we also did Insanity with the Elder's quorum and then right after played indoor hockey with the YSA's (basically the singles ward activity but they don't have singles wards here) so we were a little sore after.  On Saturday we went with a member to get some wood from some guys forest with a less active guy, so that went well and we were hauling wood all around for a while.  We are getting good exercise! 

Sunday was pretty uneventful too, the whole week was a little bit less adventurous I guess and we think it might be because last weeks stuff get getting scheduled and taking our weekly planning time so we didn't really get to do it!  Anyway I can't think of anything else I wanted to tell you about!  I guess you guys might like to know that everyone here can speak pretty good english but they all speak swedish! 

It's great to get to hear from all of you!  Have another good one and I miss you all and love you all!  Estee I almost forgot to say how cool it is that you got to ride a horse!  I have never ridden a horse!  I bet Wilber is a nice horse to ride. Let me know if I can do anything!


Äldste Ward

PS Mom those Utah cookies look so good!  I want one just because they look so cool!  Great job supporting the Utes!

PSS Attached is a picture of the cake we made!

Strawberry cake (pretty sure it's his first cake ever) :)

September 16, 2013

Dear Family,

First of all happy anniversary mom and dad!  That is a really cool event!  Sweden is great!  It was a little cooler this week and fall is definitely coming.  There are quite a few leaves that are falling and changing colors.  

That really nice guy who took us out to breakfast is named Rich.  He is an American actually and is just such a great and nice guy.  All the missionaries who have met him say that you can just relax when you're around him because he is this awesome guy that sounds American and you just feel right at home.  I would agree with that! 

So to answer what sort of work we mostly do we mostly just teach lessons and think of ways to strengthen the ward and the less actives in the ward.  We don't do a ton of contacting because we usually have lessons planned with investigators and such!  And no we don't have facebook pages or twitter or anything.  I have heard that the start of next year is when we will start using that stuff but I have not heard anything else so we'll see (just fyi I have heard several missions in the states have been testing out ipads and facebook so I'm sure it's coming soon).

That sounds like a busy, but fun week you all had!  And that huge left tackle from Brighton who is committed to Utah I know and we were in the same group for a dance together.  He actually lives in our Stake just down the street from the church.  That is sweet that Brighton is playing so well this year!  The Michigan game sounds like a tight one! That's not too great we almost lost to Akron...Too bad for the Utes too.  They need to get their offense fixed up!  Great for the Aggies though.  That would be sweet if they crushed USC in LA next week.  Kiffin would probably be fired or in a lot of trouble! I will absolutely keep the prophets team in my prayers this week :)  Thanks so much for the sports news :)

Thanks for all the motivational words, they really help at times! 

I have been eating well lately!  I am always well fed.  It is a nice deal me and Elder Allsop have, since I haven't cooked much and he likes to cook he usually cooks and I just do the dishes.  I like how it has gone lately.  Peter Lambson played for the baptism and for our fireside-music night last night.  It is great to hear him play and talk with him!

I am so glad Abby had fun playing powderpuff football and that you all were able to watch!  Way to go Abby! Estee, what did you do for MAD SCIENCE?!  that sounds so fun!  Jake how is basketball? Did our little bit of practice over the summer help? Hope it was fun.  Abby that is also cool you got to be with the French club for the burning of the B! Cool!  And Jake congrats on running your cross country race!  Way to be awesome and try out a new thing!  I hope you get to really like that. 

It is great to hear Abby had a blast going to homecoming!  That sounds like it was so much fun even though your chemistry lab earlier shortened your paintball time!  You looked so cute in your picture!  That sounds like a fun Saturday for everyone though! And glad to hear Sunday was also nice.  Hopefully your drive was fun :) even though I wasn't there.

And mom sorry to scare you if I did with the gun stuff!  I know I will be fine and I follow promptings I get from the Holy Ghost, you don't need to worry :)  I love all those pictures you sent!  Looks like everyone is still having fun! 

Now for a little about my week, I kinda liked going through each day like I did last email so I think I will do that again!

Tuesday- Well Tuesday was my 2-month mission mark!  It is crazy to think it has already been that long!  Wow! Anyway on Tuesday we had to go to like a public building to apply for my personnummer which is like your Swedish social security number, so that should be coming in the mail in 2-3 weeks.  

Wednesday- We went to go have a lesson with Ludvig at the library in the part of town closest to his house, and that went pretty good.  I remember having a difficult time understanding anything he was saying :/ Then we had lunch, and we didn't pack one so we went to the grocery store and picked some stuff to eat and I had an apple, a baguette, 3 donuts and a diet coke :) It was seriously a very delicious lunch.  We met a guy who was labeled in the phone as Richie (crazy) so we were a little worried at first but he was a normal guy and I think he could be a really postive investigator so we're hoping the best for him.  After we went to another part of town to teach Kevin, a guy we met on the street last week, and we taught about the Book of Mormon and gave him one because when we first met him we both had already given out the Book of Mormons we took with us!  Anyway that went great and he seems really postive too actually.  After that we ran and did a baptismal interview in the neighboring area (well Allsop did because he is the district leader) and it went well.  And I almost forgot on the way to meet Kevin we met this crazy guy who only had two teeth and was just making noise when he talked.  It was so hard to understand his swedish and I think he might have been drunk.  in the middle of the conversation he said "Kan du engelska?" which means "do you know english?" and we were like yes and then he just says "hiiiiiiiiiiiii" so that was pretty funny to meet him!

Thursday- We had district meeting and actually the assistants to the president were in the area so they came and they are super cool guys so it was fun.  We went to Mossen's afterwards :) We later had a lesson with an investigator named John (who plays a swedish instrument in the mall called the nickelharp, you guys should look up what it is, I think it's like a fancy violin or something).  And then we went by some inactives and taught them lessons.  

Friday-  Utby (the neighboring area) had a baptism today and it was pretty fun to go to.  The lady being baptized didn't want a lot of people there so there were 8 total people there and 4 were missionaries and they forgot to tell her to bring a towel and they also forgot to bring any snacks or anything haha so that was funny.  

Saturday- Our Elder's Quorum President, Rich, took us out to McDonalds :) and it was one of the few places in Sweden where they have free refills so we each drank like a 2 liter of coke at like 8:30 in the morning haha. but it was good, so nice for him to do that! 

Sunday-  I had some extra free time in the morning so I was flipping through the Arabic book of mormon we have and figured out how to write numbers in Arabic.  Very interesting stuff.  That is a crazy language!  Church was good and then after we had dinner with a family in the ward named the Johansson's and they have their oldest son in Greece right now serving a mission and so they understand how you guys feel!  The mom said to tell you hi for her.  After that we rushed over to the church for the music night we were having.  It was organized by our ward mission leaders and there were a ton of musical numbers and a few really spirtiual video clips.  It was all focused on Christ and it was so spiritual.  It was really good for everyone that came and a few less actives were able to come and some members brought a few friends as well.  It was really great!  Äldste Lambson played a song on his violin with a sister who they had the same violin teacher at home and at Utah state and sang a song while she played the violin.  

Today- The Trollhätten elders stayed over last night because they like to hang out with us because Allsop and Elder Faylor were MTC comps and are great friends.  Me and Elder Faylor's trainee, Elder Peterson talk a lot while they are here.  In the morning we all had banana boats which were so good, those are where you cut out like a cut of the banana and then fill it with chocolate and marshmallows and roast it all and it is so good. After we went shopping for some clothes and stuff and I finally bought a backpack.  It looks really cool and it is actually an adidas backpack, cool enough.

 I love to hear from all of you. I love you all so much and miss you and just know that things are going great!  Love you and keep being great!


Äldste Ward

PS A few good chapters to read this week would be Alma 5 and 7!  They are pretty great!
Elder Allsop and Elder Ward and McDonalds enjoying those free refills.

September 8, 2013

Hey family, well my whole email just got deleted so I'm a little upset at the computer right now ha.  But basically thanks for all your emails and pictures.  I loved them and it was great to hear about everyone.  

Ok quick run down of the week :)

Last p-day we were going to go to Ikea with a member but instead we went with few other missionaries to get kebab pizza :) and then we played volleyball in the church!  I got to see Lambson for the first time since coming to Sweden and it was really fun to meet up.

Tuesday we went by some less actives and a recent convert and did some good contacting and handed out a few copies of the Book of Mormon and taught a lesson on the street.  We also got to play volleyball again with the YSA's (like the singles ward of the stake, but they all live too far so they have YSA activities) and an investigator from Nigeria.  

Wednesday- I got a package from the Guthries and Holmsteads.  It was really really nice and they sent me a bunch of letters and a tie and some corn nuts.  It was great to hear from them and all the nice things they had to say!  It was great to get and so that was exciting.  We also met with an investigator who gave us these weird blank books for people to write in that are just blank.  Before Institute we met with Petter our investigator who we wanted to be baptized on Saturday.  We had a talk with him, thankfully in English, and tried to address his concerns of why Saturday might be too early for him to be baptized.  We had him pray and then there was a lot of silence, but at the end he said another prayer where he thanked Heavenly Father for this sign and then said so what time?  It was pretty cool and he was actually baptized in a lake by my companion for a YSA activity up in the woods kinda somewhere.  Institute was great and there was a senior missionary couple that came there last night.  They are really nice and are named the Oscarsons and will probably friend request you guys on facebook.

Thursday after our zone meeting we all went and got pizza kebab for lunch again and then went to go drop the other missionary's off at the train station.  While we were there we met some tourists who were members in Utah!  So that was neat.  For dinner we had some brazilian food from a family where the mom is from Brazil!  It was good :)

Friday we made some cookies for the baptism and then that night for dinner we had dinner at the home of a former missionary from Idaho who nows lives in Sweden.  He had friends come over and it was a fun time.  Also we found out that on Wednesday two people had been shot in that neighborhood and then today we found out that there was another shooting yesterday during the day! Kinda crazy stuff, but I know that I'll be protected.

Saturday we had our baptism and we had actually planned in faith that Petter would be ready and we scheduled it for 3.  But with the YSA activity they just randomly scheduled a time that would be best and they chose 2, we were pretty excited that we were so close to our planned time.  We drove their with our ward mission leaders but kept getting lost so the baptism actually happened a little after 3!  One of those missionary planning with faith stories.  

Sunday, yesterday, the only cool highlight was that we met some guys in church who were backpacking across Europe.  Both were RM's and had gone to Norway and Slovakia!  One had dreadlocks and the other had a huge beard.  They were cool guys!

Thanks so much for all your prayers and blessings and emails and such!  It is great to have such a supportive and loving family!  Love you all and miss you!  


Äldste Ward

Swedish kebab pizza, Andy said it was good.

Pictures from Sweden

Aldste Ward in Goteborg
Ludvig and his red cabin.
 The road to Ludvigs house--the forty minute walk Andy talked about in his letter.

September 2, 2013

Dear Family!

That was so fun to read your email telling me all about home! So thanks!  

This week has been great and the Swedish is coming along.  Goteborg is great.  We ride the "sporvagn", which is just the tram, and buses everywhere and of course walk a lot too!  I like it though and we are staying busy.    

So far I haven't been able to do much exploring of the city, because we don't quite live downtown but we aren't far away and go there pretty often for various reasons, but hopefully I will be able to see all the cool sights before I leave.  It really is a beautiful city.  The architecture of the buildings is really cool, just a little bit older and that looks cool.  

When I ran down that rock I was at first a little nervous because I didn't want to do anything stupid, but it was fine and really fun running through the woods with these big rocks everywhere.  So far I haven't really been able to find out what a lot of the Americans are doing there.  One guy I talked to yesterday said he had a meeting in Barcelona this week so he's probably some sort of businessman.  Another guy just married a Swedish woman so he just moved here.  

The run with President Newell was good.  Running, like jogging isn't really my favorite but I wanted to do it for some exercise after sitting on a plane for a day.  It was cool and not too long and it was a fun little run.  We ran to a little bay, which was the ocean, but because there are so many islands around Stockholm it just looked like a beautiful lake!  We run a little for exercise and we've been able to go to the church and play basketball twice, even though the hoop is terrible it's fun.  The last like 4 days we've had Sunday and P-day and then the other two we just didn't feel like running so we've just been doing pushups and ab exercises at night, which is actually pretty good.  

Yes, President Newell is a pretty cool guy.  He really loves the missionaries and he's told us some random stories about different things in his life already which is cool.  Yea, I'd like to get to know him well because he seems like such an amazing guy!  One thing I've noticed is he just always does little nice things or a little bit of service and just seems like a very polite and soft-spoken person.  Like I said I'd like to get to know him better!

I need to add in some stuff that we did this week!  First of all here is the Mission home address where you can send mail and packages if you ever want to:

Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46 Enebyberg

Also I need to tell you and awesome story that happened this week!  So we call this less/inactive guy and ask him if we can come and visit him.  He says "yea that would be great" and so we schedule a time.  Later in the week we go and really lucky for us, the Elder's Quorum president loves missionary work.  We told him a lot of information and told us he could give us a ride out there to meet this less active guy, whose named Ludvig, because it's on his delivery schedule (he's a head delivery guy for a store) and it's right when we need to go over there!  So he's super nice and actually stopped at a gas station and bought us Dr. Peppers!  Anyway, we get there and thank him and call Ludvig.  Ludvig meets us there and says that it is a 40 minute walk to his house! So we walk there and talk to him and he's telling us all about himself, thankfully in English so I can understand :), and his life and how he grew up with 4 different families and all about this what sounded like slightly crazy life. I had a weird thought as we were walking as I just felt a strong compassion for the guy and wanted to help him and the specific thought was to have the Lord "pour out his blessings" upon this man and I don't know why I thought that but then I was thinking that maybe when we get to his house I could pray for that, and then I thought that actually that would be more of something to put in a blessing so I was just like, whatever and forgot about it while we walked there.  The walk was so beautiful.  Everything was super green and wonderful and we walked right next to a stunning Swedish lake!  It was such a cool place and I'll send some pictures in a little bit hopefully!  We walked by all these fields and by the lake and then we get to his house and it's a little red cabin. It was one room on the bottom that was small and then another room upstairs that is small as well.  It was seriously just a tiny cabin!.  Anyway, we get there and he says that he is really good at not drinking beer or coffee or anything but sometimes he smokes and he was wondering if we could give him a blessing to help him!  My mind started to think of the thought I had on the way to his house but then I brushed it off again because certainly he would want it to be in Swedish because he doesn't speak great English and then I don't know Swedish yet!  My companion asks him who he would like to give the blessing and he then he says me!  I was shocked, but gave him a blessing in English and included the thought I had on the way there in it!  We had a good lesson with him where we shared a message from the Liahona.  After we left I was telling my companion the whole thing with having that thought on the way there and my companion said that he knew as soon as he asked Ludvig who he would like to give the blessing it was going to be me!  It was really cool just that it was the first time so far on my mission that I was really helping, like I was really sent there with a purpose that I could see and sent to a place where the Lord needed me!  I hope that guy really needs those blessings, and hopefully he can start coming to church!  The only problem is that he doesn't have a car and so it is a very far trip.  

Also we should have a baptism this Saturday for a man named Petter!  He is ready but he might want to take some more time.

Thanks so much for writing me though!  I love it and love everything that you say and thanks for all the nice things you say at the end of the letters.  I'm just so lucky to have such great parents and such an awesome and amazing family!  Love you all and pray for you and miss you!  


Äldste Ward