Thursday, May 7, 2009

I leave for Sweden in FIVE days!!! (Wed., May 6)

Dear Family,
I can't even believe that I am packing my bags to leave for Sweden. I have flight plans, and more stuff than I came with (20 lbs. of books, etc.) and I am leaving the MTC. I am so excited to get there and teach the people that news that God loves them and has a plan for them to return to him.

This week has been very eventful. There have been many things that have happened, so I will try to remember everything to fill you all in.

First of all, last Thursday we got our flight plans, that was very exciting for our district. We are flying out of Salt Lake to Atlanta and then straight to Stockholm from Atlanta. We then will have a two-night stay in the mission home there to get ourselves a little grounded before we take off into the field. Mom, I will write you a letter with more details so you know when I will call. It will be sometime in the late afternoon, early evening.

That same day, Sister Coleman and I got invitations to perfrom at Mission Conference for the entire MTC this last Sunday. They asked Sis. Coleman to sing, "Be Still My Soul" and I played for her. It was wonderful. She has an amazing voice and I'm glad she got the opportunity to sing. I am not sure that I will have the chance to sing before we leave, but getting to perform at all was a wonderful opportunity. I played pretty well. :)

Also on Thursday of last week, as mom you know, I ended up taking a filed trip out of the MTC for a blood spot on my eye. It was only a broken blood vessel that had somehow come through so it was very gross to look at. It made me nrevous, but all is well. It has cleared up for the very most part and is really nothing to worry about.

We also did our last TRC visit in Monday teaching about the Plan of Salvation and the Law of Tithing in Swedish. It went very well. I am still learning the language and will continue to learn my whole mission. I feel comfortable with the very basics of the language and realize that I have tons more rules and practice, and prayers to give about learning the language. I know that it is only through the Holy Ghost that I have learned as much as I have. I know that I can learn this language to teach the people, as I am obedient and reliant on the Lord.

Then, last night, we had the opportunity to hear from Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve. He gave a fantastic talk on the importance of desire in this work. It was just what I needed to boost me up one more time before we go into Sweden. He said at least a couple times, "If you have desire in your hearts to find, teach, and baptize people, you will see miracles happen no matter where you serve your mission." He also bestowed an Apostalic blessing upon us and that was SO cool. I have been so blessed to hear from 3 apostles while I have been here at the MTC. I have been so spiritually fed every week, and I am so ready to serve the people of Sweden.

My time here has been great. I am grateful for the lessons I've learned, the language, the spiritual upliftment that happens every day, the comfort from the Holy Ghost that I receive on a daily basis, and all the other wonderful things that come from serving a mission for the Lord.
Mom, I did get both of the packages you sent this last week. Everything is perfect. The shirts, skirts, watch, shade shirts, nylons....on and on are all just exactly what I need. I feel completely prepared to go, and thank you so much for taking care of those things for me. I appreciate it SO much!

Melissa, thanks for the care package. It was so good to hear from you and the kids. The cookies were DELICIOUS!! I shared with the other sisters in my branch and we all enjoyed them. You are so thoughtful, and thanks for all you do.

From here on out, emailing me is going to be the best way to communicate with me. I would love to get emails from anybody who has time to send me a little note. I just need to have the mailing address on it so I can reply. I can receive emails from everybody and that is allowed, but I can only reply to family over email, so friends...put your addresses on the bottom of the email so I can write you back...because I will write back and want to.

Mom, I will write you a little email later today with the specific time I will call from the airport, so everybody can be around. I'd love to chat with everybody. I forgot my flight plans in my room, so I will write a quick note on my way to the temple.

I love and miss you all very much. It was SO nice to see pictures of Taylor's graduation and all of you look healthy and happy and I am so very glad. Tay, you look great buddy! Take care of yourself. I miss you and want all of you to know that one of the things I have come to the best realization of is that God loves all of his children. He loves you and wants you all to be happy, and to be obedient to Him so He can bless you. I know the scriptures better, I know Swedish better...obviously then when I first came, but most of all and most importantly of all I know my Savior better. I know He cares for you, and that He wants us to return to live with Him.

Take care of yourselves! I'm glad to hear about Paul and Kristen's house, and that Greg Brown is the new bishop. He is awesome. I'm glad all is well at home. I'll talk to you all later this week!

Love,
Sister Suzanne Wood

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