Monday, August 24, 2009

Transfers!! (Monday, August 17)

Dear Family and Friends,

So I'm sure all of you might be wondering why I would make something like transfers my title for this email. Well, I am getting very used to change on my mission. This last Tuesday, I got a phone call from Pres. Anderson letting me know that we would have a new companion coming to serve with us in Stockholm, and that we would also be working in her area Södertälje. I of course was more than glad to accept the call, but it has meant adjustment and a lot more travel this last week. The reason for the switch is that Sister new companion has been in Södertälje with a short-time missionary who is a native Swede. She could only stay for a month, so Sis. Pierce was left without a companion. We are so glad to have her with us. She has 3 Baptismal Candidates in Södertälje and so until the end of the transfer we will be spending two or three days a week in Södertälje and the rest of the time in Stockholm. We all know that this was meant to be for all of us to be together right now. Sis. Pierce's dad is really sick, and she has a lot going on back home, and it would have been difficult for her to be training another short-time missionary and dealing with all that is going on otherwise. We really enjoy eachother and we are figuring out the logistics of having 3 together. It really is kind of tricky, but we are trying new things and ways to make it less awkward when we contact people, etc.

Other than that big change that has taken place, this week has been pretty good. We are still looking for positive investigators in Stockholm. We are finding people to teach, and that is wonderful, because every little bit they learn can help them to have a better life, but we are still looking for those who are prepared to accept the entire gospel of Jesus Christ...find those who are searching for the truth, and don't feel like they have been able to find it from anywhere else.

I am not sure I have explained very well my special assignment at the Center for Young Adults here in Stockholm. The Center is a church run center where young adults between 18-30 can come and they have activities, institute, and all sorts of different things going on at the center. We as "Center" missionaries are trying to focus our efforts on those who are in that age group. We contact EVERYBODY, but we have the center as a resource for those young people to come and enjoy the friendships, good atmosphere, etc. that come from the center. We are all excited for school to start at Stockholm University, and other higher education schools so we can go and contact people there. These Centers are all over Sweden and all over Europe, and it all started when Elder Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made a statement about having a dream...or a revelation that the future growth of the church in all of Europe would come from those 18-30 years in age. I love this call! We are going to be working closely with the YSA (Young Single Adult) council, and doing a lot of missionary work through them. We are looking forward to the possibilities as we try to magnify this call to find those prepared.

One really cool experience from this last week was when we were in Södertälje on Saturday for a big ward activity. We took 2 investigators from there, and one of them...Jallah had a baptismal date, and Moses has been associated with the church for a long time, but never commited to be baptized. We had gotten off the bus, and were waiting for some ward members to pick us up from the stop, and I started to talk to Moses about different things. He and Jallah are both from Liberia. Eventually I played the "don't know you very well and can ask you anything" card and asked him why he hadn't been baptized. He said that he would be eventually, before he goes back to Africa. As we talked Sis. Pierce said, "Why don't you get baptized with Jallah in 3 weeks?" He then replied, "That sounds good." AWESOME!!! So we set a date for his baptism into the church. It was really cool to see that later, as we were leaving the activity Moses again brought it up, and asked me if we could really help him to get ready to be baptized, and of course I told him we could. It's amazing what a little time does, and the right person can do to influence somebody for good.

We also taught a man named Marco down in Södertälje last week. The Spirit was strong, and he is one who has been searching for the truth. We taught him about the need for a restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then we showed him The Restoration DVD. After the movie, we talked about the Book of Mormon, and our testimonies of it. I told him that I had been a member of this church my whole life, and that I was taught all of these things when I was little, but that there was a point in my life when I needed to find out for myself and have it confirmed to my heart that the Book of Mormon is true, and that the teachings of the church come from God. I testified to him that I read the Book of Mormon, and I prayed to God about it to know that it was His word, and I could never deny the answer that came one night when I was praying...the feeling of peace that came to my heart and the ever so small voice that whispered that it was true. After I bore my testimony to Marco, he really had felt something....the Spirit. He began to tell us that he really felt like he needed to read the book. He had motivation. He really wanted to try for himself. Wow. It was such a testimony of the Spirit to me...and the ability the Spirit has to touch our hearts, to change our hearts.

I feel so blessed to be here and share the gospel with the people in Sweden. I'm amazed how much I learning all the time. I am reading the New Testament right now, and I know that Christ really did come to the Earth. He really did teach the people what they needed to return to Heavenly Father. He is the light of the world. He is the bread of life. Them that believe on Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. We have the knowledge that we can repent to Our Savior, and become clean through Him. As I see people changing their lives here, I realize that we can all go through that conversion daily, and try to be better in whatever way we need to. I know that life is hard. I know we have trials, but more than anything else I know that we can receive guidance, help, comfort, and whatever else we need from Him who gave us life, the one who gave us the opportunity to come and show our faith and that we would try to be better to make it back to Him one day. I hope you know I love you all. I pray for all of you. I appreciate so much the support and love you all show me. Take care of yourselves and have a wonderful week!

Sister Suzanne Wood

P.S. Swedish word of the week would have to be......KONSTIG.....the word coming from Sis. Swenson this week as one of her means STRANGE. I think she must be referring to me as strange all the time...that's why she likes that word best. I like to keep her on her know.