Monday, July 27, 2009

For the Beauty of the Earth

Kära Familj och vänner,

This week in Stockholm has been wonderful. I love this area. It is beautiful. I will for sure send pictures next week of the city. There is water all around us, the people are all busy, and there is so much to do here! We have had much success this week as two new sisters in this area. We found many people to teach...most of which didn't show up to the scheduled time we made, but we will keep trying to find those who are truly prepared to listen and receive the Gospel in their lives. I am grateful for the emails and updates from all of you. I hope you all know how much I appreciate the support as I am here serving the Lord. I hope this note finds all of you healthy and happy!

I can't believe that July is just about over. It seems that time just disappears before my eyes. I am grateful for the nice weather we have been having here. For those of you who are not so familiar...and maybe I have said this before, but Stockholm is built on many little islands. So, we see water everywhere. The architecture is beautiful, and everyday we take the very effective subway system to go wherever we need to go. My favorite thing about Stockholm thus far is the architecture in Gamla Stan...which is the old original city of Stockholm before it became so huge. I will definitely take some pictures of it this week and send them.

Sister Swenson is awesome. She is very willing to do whatever I ask her too. We have had some really great experiences so far together, and we are continuing to get to know each other better and work well together to help people come unto Christ. She is ambitious, and happy to be here doing the work of the Lord. That has really helped me to continue with a positive attitude. It really does make a huge difference that we are both positive and trying to always be better missionaries. Sister Swenson's Swedish is also good. I'm impressed with her all the time, and it is not by coincidence that we are companions together right now. I'm excited for this transfer and the success we will have here as we continue to show our faith to the Lord and work hard.

As for what happened in the work this last week. We had a couple of really cool things happen...most of which was yesterday. There were many appts. that fell through earlier in the week which was too bad, but everytime that happened, we sincerely tried to figure out what we needed to do instead, and we have had success and found joy in the work, even when things haven't gone according to our plans. I'm just glad to know and remember that the Lord has a plan and is just needing us to figure out what it is. I will never question that His plan is the one to follow.

So the events that led to yesterday being such an awesome day. Well, on Tuesday, we taught Kathy again. She is improving, and her faith is growing. She still has many steps to take to become fully active in the church, but she has a desire, and I pray that we can continue to help her improve and come closer to the Savior all the time. On Tuesday after we had talked about the Gospel...Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End, we invited her to come to church. She hasn't come in 30 years, so it was a big step to take. Well, yesterday, Kathy came to Sacrament Meeting. Wahoo!!! We introduced her to another woman who speaks Chinese and I think she had a really good experience. We will be teaching her again tomorrow. It was also the perfect sacrament meeting for her to come to. I'm so grateful that she took the step to come, and showed her faith to the Lord.

The next event leading to a really awesome Sabbath Day yesterday was a man named Ganos. Ganos is a man that we met on Wednesday on our way to our utställning at Odenplan in the city. We got on the bus, and at first, he was kind of flirting with an old man kind of way. He joked about being 103 years old, and being sinful....etc. He is super funny. Well, as we visited with him on the bus, we gave him a brochure before we got off the bus, like we give everybody we talk to. He said he would read it. Maybe an hour later, he came to Odenplan where we were doing the utställning, and talked with us again. We tried to give him a Book of Mormon, but he said the brochure was enough. We kind of forgot about the whole experience until Saturday afternoon, when we had been calling many people to make appts. for this week without much success and guess who called us??? You're was Ganos. He told us on the phone that he wanted to come to church and listen. He asked if we would be there, and we of course were like, " ska vara på Kammakargatan 5, klockan 10." Even then, we were wondering if he would really come. Sure enough, a couple minutes before ten, Ganos came in the door. He got to hear a wonderful sacrament meeting about Repentance, and then he stayed and we were able to teach him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had many questions about hoe we got the Book of Mormon, and he wanted to understand what we believed, and it was awesome. We will be teaching him on Thursday afternoon. He is our first investigator in this area.

Sister Swenson and myself both had the opportunity to introduce ourselves in the ward yesterday. It was awesome! As I bore my testimony of the truthfulness of this church, and the principles we are taught to live by, the Spirit was so strong. I have no doubt about it. I am enjoying this work because I know it's true. I wouldn't be here if I doubted that. I know this is the Savior Jesus Christ's Church. I know that He runs this church, and that He is aware of all of us. I am only beginning to see and feel the love God has for all of His children as I get to know people and help them realize that love. I get the opportunity to love them as well - as a representative of the Savior. What an honor.

I am happy! I am healthy. We walk a lot, we eat well, and I am trying to take good care of myself. The Lord is taking care of my back. I know I am being blessed while I am in His service. a few of the wonderful things I love about Sweden:

Lingonberries are rockin' berries in jam. They have a little tart taste to them, but they are SO good.

ALL the fresh fruit they have here. It's so good, and fresh. Sometimes we find cherry trees on the side of the road we can just eat cheeries right off of.

The water everywhere. There are beautiful bridges, and buildings, and it's just beautiful! I love it here. I love how green it is also. We get rain here all the time...which keeps it wonderfully green. I just think this land is becoming one of my favorites!!!

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week. I look forward to hearing from all of you. I love to hear news from home. I pray for you all. Always remember how much The Savior loves you, and wants you to be happy!

Sister Suzanne Wood

P. S. Svensk ord av dagen är....SKÖNT.....meaning AWESOME. I just like that word, and I use it a lot. Jag hoppas er har en skönt vecka!