Monday, June 22, 2009

Choose the Right!

Dear Family,

This week has been challenging in different ways. We had a good start to the week, but about Wednesday, Sis. Väätti got sick, and we were not able to go out very much and work a ton the rest of the week. We did the things we could, and worked when we could, but it was difficult to be stuck in the apartment. It's amazing to me that I felt so bad when we were not out talking with people and helping them to come closer to Christ. I know that sometimes I have been discouraged about the work, but I have a whole new appreciation for being out, talking to people, knocking lots of doors, and spending all the time I can helping others to come unto Christ.
So, because this week in the work was a little slower, I don't have as much to say about things in that way. There was some other really cool things that happened this week that I will fill everybody in about in this email.

Even though we were not out so much, we still met people who wanted to know more about the gospel. Last Thursday, we were contacting in town, and we met this guy in his mid-twenties from Lithuania. He was really cool, and was very interested in what we believe. When we told him that there is a prophet on the earth to lead and guide the people on the earth as to God's will, he agreed that it made sense that the Lord would have a prophet for today. We will meet with him this week. We also met another man yesterday who willingly accepted a Book of Mormon, and I hope that he actually reads it.

We are planning to meet with all of our investigators this week, because we did not have the opportunity to meet with hardly any of them this last week. In large part because on Friday and Saturday, we celebrated the 2nd most important holiday in the Swedish culture. It is called Midsommarafton and Midsommar. It's exactly what it sounds like. The Midsommarafton is the day right before Midsommar...which is the day that is exactly in the middle of the summer here. It is also the day when the sun is out the longest and the days are the longest.

In celebration of that, we went out of Norrköping to this beautiful campsite where they had the traditional festivities of Midsommarafton. What's interesting is that they actually celebrate more on the day before the holiday than on the actual day. Then, everybody recovers from all the crazy partying they did the day before. Not such a bad idea. :) So, here's some of the things they do. They have a May Pole like pole up covered with fresh greenery and flowers. We also watched some traditional Swedish folk dancing and what was so fun about that is that the Mission Leader and his wife dance with the group, so we watched them which was really fun. We then had ficka...which is like the fancy way of saying a snack....with fancier things to eat, etc. It was a beautiful day out. My favorite part of the fest we went to is that after the fold dancing, they invite everybody who wants to come and dance around the pole to come, and everybody holds hands and they have several fun songs and everybody dances and sings, and it was super fun. I didn't have a clue about most all of the lyrics, but I just hummed the melody and had a blast dancing with everybody.

It was wonderful. Then we had dinner with the Jonsson family in our ward and they were the ones who invited us to all the activities with them that day. We then did what we could around our apartment and went to bed. Saturday was also not a great day for missionary work. We did our weekly planning, to get ready for this week, and we then had some awesome people from the ward come and take away some really old furniture from our apt. and leave us with better newer desks to use for studying and everything else. When we had arranged and organized our furniture really well, and taken care of all else we needed to, we went out and knocked doors. There were a few people home, but not too many. We still met this really nice lady who accepted the Book of Mormon, and I know that if she reads it and really ponders what it says in her heart that she can receive evidence through the Holy Ghost that it is also the word of God. Honestly, when I think about all the people that are in the world, every person who accepts to know more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ can come closer to God and to His Beloved Son. It will never cease to amaze me.

Yesterday, we came to church...and it was a crazy Sunday. First of all...I forgot to mention that they called me and Sis. Väätti on Friday to be part of Sacrament Meeting. Sis. Väätti was asked to speak, and I was asked to sing. I sang O Store Gud, and Sis. V talked about setting goals and achieving them. Everything went really well. Then, we were also asked to give the Primary lesson this week. We talked about repentance, and we made a path of footprints that lead to our Heavenly Father. Then we talked about the footprints we make that can take us off the path. It was wonderful to talk with the little kids here about how we can get back on the path if we repent. I hope that all of us take the time to remember the importance of repentance, and always trying to stay on the path that leads to our Heavenly Father. It is an incredible blessing that because of the Savior Jesus Christ, we can repent of our sins, and be clean through His Atoning Sacrifice for us. I am realizing the beauty and reality of that more everyday.
The last part of this will be more of an update on Sweden. The weather is finally starting to look like me anyways. The last three weeks, it has rained A LOT. There has been tons of cloudy days, and not a ton of sunshine. The last few days however have been wonderful. It's been maybe 50 F or cooler on the bad days and it's probably 70 F out or a little warmer when the sun in shining. Even though it has rained a lot, it's ok, because that is how this country is SO green. The flowers are in bloom, the forests are a deep green, and it's just beautiful here. I am going to email some pictures today, so hopefully everybody will get a chance to see at least a little bit of where I am. Other than that, I love the people here. I am learning the culture. We always take our shoes off when we go in any house. It doesn't matter who it is. We always keep the bathroom door shut...which I don't think is such a bad idea...hahaha. I will continue to fill you in about other cultural things I learn here as well.

Please take care of yourselves. I am happy, healthy and doing well here. The work of the Lord will continue to go forward, and I feel honored that He has seen fit to even let me try and come here to Sweden. I know He is capable of doing it on His own. With all my imperfections, and faults, I am learning and trying to be molded by the Lord, so I can have the Spirit with me to help others come unto Christ. I love you all, I pray for you, and I am grateful that I have such a wonderful family and friends who I know support me in my calling as a missionary. Remember to always strive to become better. Do the little things, pray, scripture study, family home evening, I know they can strengthen all of us as we do them to show our devotion to the Savior and the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles.

Sister Suzanne Wood

P.S. Swedish word of the week is SPEGEL....kind of interesting, it's a mirror in english. I don't know why I picked this one...maybe because I think it sounds kind of fun. I must look at myself in the spegel??? That can't be right...hehe. If you have any requests of words you would like to know in Swedish...let me know. Have a fatastic week!!