Monday, May 18, 2009


Min Kära Familj!!!

I am so excited about being here in Sweden. There has been tons that has happened in the last week, that is just crazy. Time is going by so quickly. I'll have been here for a week tomorrow. Wow! I am 8 hours ahead of you and it will be next week before I get an email because you didn't know what day my P-Day was. It is Mondays. So please write me an email, or send me a letter soon so I can hear from you. I miss you all. It's hard to be away, but so good to be here.

Where to begin. Well, after I talked to all of you last week from the Airport in Atlanta, I got on the plane and came the 10 hours away to Stockholm. There, we were picked up by Pres. and Sister Anderson, and the AP's, help us get all of our things to the Mission Home. Over the next couple of days, we got ourselves aquainted with the Andersons, took care of our Swedish "social security" number...which does NOT mean secure here...everybody knows it...and some other things we needed to learn for the remainder of our mission. We then had some training last Thursday morning and in came Pres. with letters for each of us as to where we would be serving in Sweden, who our trainers would be and District Leaders, etc.

So when I got my letter, I opened it up, and now, I am serving in the Norrköping Ward, in the South Stockholm Stake. I am about an hour and a half away from Stockholm. You should check it out on a map, or google it or something. Oh, by the way, as you can all see, I am using a account. Please have all my friends and all the fam. write me on this account. In Sweden they can't always access the, so they have asked us to create a mission account. Anyway....back to all this excitement.

So, I was excited to hear about where I am serving. It is beautiful here. It's incredibly green, and not so warm, but not really super cold either. We usually wear our sweaters because the wind blows almost everyday. Other than that, it's beautiful. I haven't had bad jet lag either...I don't think anyway. I can't tell if it's jet lag, or just extreme exhaustion everyday....probably a little bit of both.

Oh yeah, my companion!!! Syster Väätti is my companion. My trainer...she is awesome. She is from Finland, and this is the last transfer of her mission. She speaks very good Swedish, and pretty good English as well...not to mention the crazy Finnish she will pull out when we meet anybody who speaks Finnish. She is going home in July, and she likes to paint and draw. Before her mission she was going into nursing. She was converted to the church 4 years ago, so whenever we talk with people, she has a really awesome background for people who don't have faith in God, or don't believe in Him...because she was there too.

We got to Norrköping on Thursday late afternoon, early evening, and got ourselves situated in our apartment. It's basically one big room with a kitchen off of it, and a bathroom. We have desks to study/eat at, and beds to sleep in...what more does anybody need??? So on Thursday, we got settled, then of Friday, we did our weekly planning session....which takes FOREVER when it is a new area for both of us...Did I mention that?? Norrköping has been an area with Elders for YEARS!! We are "white washing" the area as sisters, so we had no idea what to expect from this place, or the ward, or any of it. So we started to go through the Area Book, and spent lots of time on Friday figuring out where to tract, who to contact, and getting our bearings in this very new place.

Then Saturday, it was off to work. We were supposed to teach an investigator from the Elders who had been here before us, but he canceled, then we had a couple of other teaches fall through, so we hit the road. We study every morning, and right now we take an hour for personal study, an hour for companion study and and an hour and a half for language study...that would be for my benefit. I still have much to learn about the Swedish language. After that, we went out tracting, we called (well Syster Väätti called...I'm still not quite ready to talk to people on the phone) and we contacted in the city. It's quite the experience trying to understand what anybody is saying to me. Let alone for me to know what to respond. I am giving it an honest effort, and I have started being the initial contact at the door, and talking to people on the street. We met a couple of really cool people in of our tracting areas. One or two want us to call them and come to teach them. It's true that the Lord has prepared people everywhere to be taught the gospel.

Then yesterday, we went to church for the first time. It was funny, we were excited to go, so we could meet some "people who like us" as Sister Väätti said yesterday morning. The ward has about 30 active members, and a list of about 70. We have some work ahead of us, and we'll see if we can help some of the less active members come to church. We also have a lot of work to do with the active members in the ward, to have them help us with the missionary work in the area. So all of them were really nice, we introduced ourselves in Sacrament Meeting and I was a little nervous, but it went ok. After the first meeting, the Bishop's wife came up to me and told me that my Swedish was really good, having only been in the country for a few days, then she told me that she served her mission in Scotland, and that she saw a lot of her in me. That was cool...her very next sentence was, "I won't speak English with you, because then you won't learn." I thanked her and told her I didn't want to speak English. Other than that, I was so exhausted last night after trying to understand all the Swedish at church.

After that, we went tracting close to where we live and met a man named Niko, who told us we could call him and set up an appt. The cool thing about that, is that I was the one who talked to him. I was all over the place, because when he didn't shut the door in my face, I didn't know what to say to him...haha. Anyway, we also taught a woman named Violetta yesterday. She was taught once before by the Elders before us, and she has some interesting views of God, and we'll see what happens there. I was able to teach some and bear my testimony in Swedish, and it all came out pretty well. I honestly do understand that I have SO much more to learn, but it is refreshing to me and I don't feel completely overwhelmed by the language. I have been incredibly blessed to pick it up rather quickly and continue to learn everyday. So, we will meet Violetta next Sunday again. She said she has read some in the Book of Mormon, and that she has prayed, but that she didn't feel anything when she prayed. We can only pray that she will be sincere about receiving an answer, and that when we visit with her next Sunday, that she will be receptive to the Spirit while we teach.

It's nice to have a P-Day today, we desperately need food. We went on Thursday Evening, and picked up a few things, but not enough to last very long, so we will go food shopping here in a little bit, and write some letters, and do laundry, and just try and re-group for the week. Oh, by the way, Sister Väätti is that is super cool and interesting. I had Soy marinara pasta the other day, and I'm willing to try other things too. We go out every morning and exercise, and I'm trying to make decent eating choices. We have a couple appts. at members houses set up for this week, so that will be fun, since I haven't really had "official" Swedish food yet.

That I think is all for right now. I am excited to hear about the happenings at home. If you could all make sure that you either write me an email, or a letter on Sundays, I can get them during my P-day...I guess it has to be early on Sunday, so it for sure gets to me before I check my email. Anyway, I hope all is well at home. I hope you are all healthy and happy. Know that I love you, and I know that this church is true. I am excited to start to see the changes that can and will happen in peoples lives as they choose to follow their Heavenly Father and His plan for them. Remember that I pray for you everyday, and hope that you are doing well.

By the way, my back has been a little sore, probably from all the travel on trains...lifting my 150 lbs. of luggage, etc. Please keep my health in your prayers. It's nothing to worry over, I'm doing very well, I just don't want it to become a problem. I love you all and miss you!!

Sister Suzanne Wood