Tuesday, January 5, 2010

CHRISTMAS....JUL!!!!! (Monday, Dec. 21)

Dear Family and Friends,

We have had a fantastic week! It has been full of many service activities, visits with investigators, visiting less active members, going caroling to 20 families in our ward (and more to come tonight :) ), and anything else you can think of that would be some kind of Christmas activity.

We feel very spoiled with the willingness of so many to have us over and spend some time with them!

I'll start with Zone Conference. We had our Christmas Zone Conference last Tuesday. We had a wonderful time. We had great messages from Pres. Anderson, the Assistants, and there was a nice Christmas Program we all participated in. We also ate a Christmas dinner with ham and potatoes and did a gift exchange. I received a set of Friendship bracelets. One of them says Friends...the other says Forever. I of course gave one of them to Sis. Swenson....it break about an hour later. Oh well, it was fun! And Sis. Swenson says that the bracelet breaking is NOT symbolic of our friendship. HAHA!

We were able to meet with Kristoffer and Marc also this week, which went well. Kristoffer has been really down lately and so it's been hard to meet with him. We had a good visit and I'm glad that we finally got to go see how he is doing. The teach with Marc went awesome! This is crazy though....we have been teaching him for over a month and we thought he was YSA age.....so late twenties....to maybe 35 being the oldest he would be. So, get this...we finally asked him how old he is.....42......stinking unbelievable!!! We were shocked. It of course doesn't matter how old he is, but that we were so off in our guesses is what is so crazy! He is doing well, but we haven't met with any of our investigators very consistently as of late...so their progress in the gospel hasn't been as easily detected. We continue to pray for all those we teach...that they will keep the commitments we give them, and that they will progress to be baptized in God's church.

Other than that, our week has been full of singing and giving service. On Friday, we borrowed a car from the mission office to drive around to members houses and carol, then give them some cookies...and some cookies and a video to give to somebody who they felt like could use some Christmas joy. So, when it came down to it, the Elders couldn't go pick up the car...so WE went to get a car. Let us all remember that I have not driven in almost 10 months, and that I have never driven in Stockholm. So, off we went to get the car. Well, it started out a little scary...I couldn't even get the car to go into reverse....don't worry...the Elders there helped me to figure out that European cars have a different set up...so reverse was found. :) Then...I of course stalled the car once before I drove away...it really had been a while. Hahaha...I think I made the Assistants really nervous as I drove that car away. Luckily, we did have a GPS, so getting into the city wasn't so hard. We made it there safely and all was well. It was a crazy night, and so much fun. We were able to really spread some Christmas Cheer. If any of you can believe this...but NOBODY goes caroling here. It's a very foreign thing we have been doing...which I think has made it all the better.

Now yesterday was some kind of crazy! There was more stress with yesterday than I have had in a long time. We were double booked for the entire evening....not to mention that we were going caroling again yesterday. SO, we recruited the help of the Sisters in Jakobsberg and they came and helped us. Sis. Swenson and Sis. Williams did the YSA dinner we had and they started the caroling with the Elders. Sis. Smith and I went to Tina...our wonderful investigator who made us dinner, and had invited Susanne...her friend that had given us Tina's name to go and visit. We had a wonderful time with them. They chatted and we all talked. When we gave the spiritual thought....Susanne was the one to bear her testimony of the Holy Ghost and how after she was baptized, she felt the influence of the Spirit so strongly in so many different situations. It was awesome. Susanne told Tina that she will go to church with her!!! How great is that???

We then caught up with everybody else and did some caroling. It was much appreciated and we are so glad that we have had the opportunity to visit so many and share our talents with them. Oh, and yesterday....let me not forget to tell you that we missionaries did two musical numbers in church. I accompanied Sis. Swenson and a new member named Thommas as they played O Holy Night, and then we all sang Away in a Manger. After Sacrament meeting we snuck out to go to a baptism of a little girl named Michelle...who we got to teach one time. Then....I lost my wallet. I was a wreck. Luckily....we found it after many prayers and the whole ward looking. Then off to Tina's...then caroling....let me just say yesterday was a very long, tiring, wonderful, fanstastic day.

Our plans for this week our looking good. For Christmas Eve, we will be with the Bishops Family. He has seven kids...and then he invited all 6 of us missionaries to come, and anybody else we know who needs a place to be on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas Day, we will be having Jakobsberg sisters over for Christmas Breakfast, and then we will go to the Glovers for Christmas Dinner. They are an American family in our ward who said we could come. Then the 26th, we'll be at the Endlers...etc. Not to mention we have lots of people we can visit around Christmas who could use the company and cheer.

I will be calling home around noon, 1 o' clock in the afternoon your time. We figure we'll be at the Glovers for a while, and then we'll call as soon as we get home. As of now...we will be at home and call from our cell phone. I will buy a calling card today and use that to call you with. It's cheaper for me to call with the card we can get, so that's what we'll do. :) I'm excited to talk to all of you on the phone! That will be fun! It would be good if everybody could think of a question or two...if there's something you REALLY want to know...and write it down, so you don't forget when you're on the phone...I'm going to do that too...so I don't forget. :)

I don't think there's much else to report. I love the work. I love this season. I miss all of you! I love all of you! I truly hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!!! I am sure it will be wonderful. Don't forget the Savior...and always remember how lucky we are to be able to be together as a family on Christmas. I've met many...who don't have family to be with. What a blessing it is in our lives to be close enough to drive or fly and be together. I know I'm not there this year, but I will be next. I pray that all of you will continue to find the things that bring true happiness to our lives, and do them. I know the Savior lives. I feel the Spirit testify to me regularly that He lives, and He loves us. There is nothing we can do that will take away God's love, and the love of His beloved Son.

Much Love,
Sister Suzanne Wood

P.S. Attached here are some fun Christmas Pics. of us missionaries in the Stockholm area. Bro. Koch sent the wrong link...so here's the right one: http://www.thekochco.com/ryanspicturepages/Photoaday/2009/Dec/091202.html

P.P.S. If you didn't get it....Jul is the Swedish word for Christmas!! ;)