Thursday, February 13, 2014

January 6, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad and Family,

It is always great to hear from you and how things are going at home!  Yes, I will need to tell you guys more details about my life here.  

This week was a pretty good week after New Years...on Friday we met with two African members, Oxxxxx and Dxxx.  Oxxxxx was baptized pretty recently but is doing really well.  He can't speak much English and either can Dxxx so we bring another member who speaks French with us, named Fxxxx.  Fxxxx was also baptized pretty recently and is doing really well also.  He comes to church every Sunday and is learning English so we can communicate pretty well with him.  We meet with Fxxxx twice a week and read a chapter in the Book of Mormon in French with him and then once a week we give him 25 verbs to learn in English.  But these 3 are the only people who I actually speak French with and I can't say a lot in French but I can understand a lot more which is good.  Still not nearly that good but I try to say prayers with them in French and try to speak as much as I can with them in French.  

Anyway Oxxxxx and Dxxx live at this immigration house (they are from the Congo btw, and Fxxxx is from Somalia) and while we were walking in (with Fxxxx) there were some police that came and just asked us what we were doing and where we were from and then they left and we kinda thought it was a little weird.  But later Fxxxx told us that in the immigration house sometimes people sell drugs there and he said that the Mafia from Russia has a "base" in Luleå and then work with Arabs and Africans is what he said to sell drugs and stuff so that was kinda surprising to me that the Russian Mafia is up here but I guess I'm not actually that far from Russia.  But the good news is that Oxxxxx and Dxxx were having trouble coming to church because it is like a 40 minute drive and they don't have much money but they decided that they are going to sacrifice and save money for bus cards and come every Sunday because it is important for them.  

On Sunday at church I was able to meet our Branch President who had been out of town visiting family in Stockholm and actually President Newell because our Branch President is David Newell, the son of President Newell!  He went on his mission here and married a Swedish girl and they have a family here.  He actually teaches at Luleå University apparently, so funny little thing.  He seems like an amazing leader here and was very nice.  He also speaks French which is good for Oxxxxx and Fxxxx and Dxxx.  

We have also been meeting with an older Swedish guy named T and he really likes having us over (probably for the company because he might be a little lonely).  He has an awesome dog and it is a type of dog called a Lapphund, that live up here in the north and are like the kind that the Sami people use or something.  Anyway he has said that he will be baptized on Jan 25, but hasn't come to church!  He can't leave his dog at home and get a ride with the members (who were his friends who introduced him to the gospel) and he says that taking a bus won't work and his car won't work in the cold!  We just need to show to him that whatever sacrifice he makes to come to church will be worth it because this is the most important thing he could ever do!  But last time after our lesson he made us a bunch of toast and tea to drink.  Here in Sweden they always have butter and cheese on their bread, and not roasted or anything.    

Also a little about the grocery stores here, they aren't too different from back home, but they make you pay like 30 cents per bag to put your groceries in and then in general everything is more expensive.  Also the big stores all have like a post office thing in them and that is where you go to pick up packages you get.  At your home you get all of your normal mail and then if you get a package you get a slip or notification thing that says there is a package waiting for you at this grocery store, so then you go and get it.  

That is sad that Brother Perry passed away.  I remember visiting him once before I left for the sacrament I think with Dad.  I like that Psalm that you sent me, and yes I remember learning about the different constellations in Lewistown.  I wish I could remember all of the constellations!  Here the only thing I have noticed with the stars is that when I first noticed the big dipper it was like perfectly placed in the sky like kinda low, but like perfectly in place of how you would draw it so that is cool I guess.  And then we still haven't seen the northern lights up here!  We want to see them bad.  

Oh and being a senior companion doesn't really mean anything but apparently you just have the final say in what you do I guess or something, but I guess it is cool to be one. :)  But that is really nice that President Newell sent that nice letter to you.  I will have to thank him.  

That is good that you could all go up and give Grandpa Jorgy a senior wish!  I hope that they can keep doing well.  That is sad that they are still going downhill.  I am glad that Grandma always gets so happy when you tell her that I am on my mission in Sweden!  

Hopefully you can find a renter for the Mount majestic house!  

My companion, Elder Clawson, is a great guy.  He likes to work hard and to be obedient and we are getting things done!  He has only been out on his mission 6 weeks longer than me so it is fun to be with someone who has basically been out as long as me.  

These past few days have been a little harder for some reason.  I think that Satan is working hard against me right now, or at least it feels like it.  But he must just know that something big is going to happen soon if I just keep working hard!  

I love you all and pray for you and miss you!  Thanks so much for all you do and talk to you next week!!  Hopefully I can see the northern lights and send some pictures to you all!


Äldste Ward

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