Sunday, September 13, 2009

Baptisms!!! (Monday, Sept. 7)

Dear Family,

I have had a wonderful week. I think one of the highest points of my mission has been during this last week. I have also had a challenging week. Don't worry....for those of you who figured that I must only be having success with my emails, rest assured, I have challenging days. I think that's really how we grow. I'm growing all the time. We can put it that way. :) I'll just say that this week turned out to be one of the best!!

I wrote you all last Tuesday, so I'll fill you in as to what has happened since then. After we had our P-Day, we went to Södertälje for Moses and Jallah to have their baptismal interviews. They interviewed and were both qualified to be baptized. Yay!! So that was a great start to the week.

We had several new investigators scheduled to teach on Wednesday afternoon, and they all came. Amazing! That never happens. Two of them became new investigators of the church. Totally awesome. We had to give them both to the missionaries in the areas where they live, but we got to teach them once, and the Spirit was there, and they have copies of the Book of Mormon, so it's great.

We went tracting on Thursday out in Lidingö before we met with a member out there. As we knocked on doors, it became apparent that we all really enjoy tracting. The thing never know who's going to come out. One door in particular was really classic. We knock on the door, and it takes a minute, but to our enjoyment....there stands a Swedish women with bread dough covering both of her hands. She says she is baking....obviously and....something about people and stools....she was talking REALLY fast. Then all of a sudden a little girl starts screaming in the background. The poor lady goes with her doughy fingers and picks up the little girl. She comes back to the door and at this point we had all said many times that we would be glad to come back some other time. She said we were welcome back. As soon as she shut the door, we all started to laugh at what had just happened. Oh the joys of tracting.

Friday we were in Södertälje and taught Dele and Papa Sandy. We practiced and prepared for the baptism and everything went really well down there.

Saturday, we taught another new investigator. His name is Habitamu. He is from Ethiopia and is really accepting of the Gospel. I need to make sure I write down where all the people I teach come from. I feel like I am on an international mission sometimes. :) The thing about Habitamu is that English is his second language and he doesn't speak Swedish so that makes it challenging to teach him. We teach everything very simply for him and he understands. It has been really good for me to simplify the gospel for him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not complicated, but I think as we grow in knowledge of the scriptures and gather more information that it is easy to make it complicated. It's easy to add more information than is necessary. So, I'm grateful for the opportunity to teach Habitamu the things that really are important and the basic principles of the gospel without teaching him EVERYTHING I know.

Ok, and for the definite highlight of my week. We felt like we needed to be in Stockholm and Södertälje for church yesterday. So, we got permission from President Anderson to ask one of the members of our ward to be my companion through church and then to ride with me to Södertälje for the baptism. We called Yasmin of the coolest Swedish converts to the church I've met to come on splits with us. She was SO excited to get to be a missionary for a day. So we went to church in Stockholm and Sis. Pierce and Sis. Swenson went to church in Södertälje. While in Relief Society yesterday, there was a little bit of time left for testimony bearing. Before time ran out, I had the opportunity to bear my testimony to the sisters in Relief Society. It was one of the most strong testimonies I have born. This last week I have really realized the love the Savior has for us, and I'm continually feeling that love more and more for the people around me. I saw many women sitting in front of me who are converts to the church, and their faith and decision to completely change their lives totally impresses me. I will just say that not very many people in the room had dry eyes after I bore that testimony. The Spirit was there. I am so grateful for the witness of the Spirit anytime we are doing something Heavenly Father wants us to do. I am grateful I can share my testimony all the time with people here in Sweden. I can't express enough how much I needed that experience yesterday. The Lord knows our needs, is aware of us and will give us those things we need at the time we need them.

After church, Yasmin and I travelled to Södertälje. There we got ready for the baptisms of Jallah and Moses. Now I need to say that I really felt like I have been a part of their conversion process. I didn't find them, but I helped in teaching them the gospel and helping them to accept and keep the commitments that would qualify them to be baptized. We had their baptism at 7:00pm. It was scheduled for was hard to baptize them...without them there...AST....African Standard Time. So, we got things started and the Spirit was already strong in the room before anything started. We three sisters sang Nearer My God, to Thee a cappella and then Jallah and Moses got baptized. The Spirit was with us. I felt the love Heavenly Father has for those two men who chose to follow the path of the Savior. It was awesome. We then had a couple of talks and refreshments at the end. I won't ever forget the looks on their faces after they were baptized. They both also bore their testimonies of the church, and that was awesome. They have both had a witness that this church is true. It's amazing how the Spirit teaches us.

I am so grateful to be here. I'm learning so much. I am happy. I'm healthy. Transfers are next week, so we'll see what happens. I'll have my P-Day on Wednesday instead of Monday next week. I think I'll be in Stockholm for a while.....I guess it's not really a good idea for me to guess what's going to happen. I have already seen how it has nothing to do with what I think or what I want to have happen. This is the work of the Lord. I will be where I need to be to find those people he has prepared for me to teach. I am grateful to all of you for your support and love. Continue to live your lives in a way that our Heavenly Father can bless you. I know that He loves all of you and wants us all to be happy, and return to live with Him someday.

Sister Suzanne Wood

P. S. Swedish word of the day.........ÄLSKAR VARANDRA....ok, I know it's two means LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It's become one of my favorite songs to sing på svenska.