Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Välkommen 2010!! (Monday, Jan. 4)

Min underbar familj och vänenr,

This last week has been one of new beginnings, fun, challenges, and of course work. We had a wonderful New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We were again with the Bishop Karlsson and his family on New Year's Eve. We ate a wonderful meal and played a game for a while with their kids. They set off a few little fireworks for us to see and then drove us home. We were in bed by 10:30pm. So...as far as excitement on New Years....it was pretty calm for me this year. I did wake up at midnight because of all the noise the fireworks were making. They were VERY close to our apartment. I peeked out the window for a minute and could see a little bit of what was going on. Then, on the 1st, we were not able to do our normal missionary work with it being New Year's Day. We got planned for this week, got together with some other missionaries for a little while and got ourselves rested up for new year of hard work.

Right now one of our challenges is that all of our investigators are either sick, or depressed. It's been hard for us to teach all of them. I know that there is a very real "Seasonal Depression" that happens here because of the combination of cold and dark during these winter months. We are praying that the sun will be out a little more and that we won't have a long winter here in Sweden...to take away the sad feelings. Luckily, we have so much to do and stay so busy that the weather and darkness don't really affect us. We are happy to be here and glad we also have the gospel in our lives to continue giving us direction.

The highlight of this week would have to be on Saturday. There is a woman named Jasna who has been living with a member of our ward for quite some time. There was a challenge with getting her divorce final from a previous marriage and so they have been coming to church every week, and active...without her being a member because they have been living together. Well....on Saturday, we were able to attend their wedding...and this Saturday Jasna will be baptized!!! It is so wonderful to see how everything has worked out to their good and benefit. It is apparent to all of us that our Heavenly Father has heard her prayers, heard our prayers and has made it possible for them to be married...and one day sealed in the temple. I sang at the wedding and it was a really nice little service.

I have thought much this last couple weeks of what I would have as my New Year's Resolutions. As I pondered, I realized that there was a very LARGE list of things that I want to improve and make better during 2010. I have many mission goals I want to reach, and many personal goals as well. A couple days before the New Year...I had a feeling that I needed to choose just a couple of things to really focus on so that I did not overwhelm myself in the first week of my "new life" and quit everything because it was too much. So, I came up with a few select things I will be working on...and once I make those habits...and see improvement in those areas, then I can add more to it during the year. I feel very determined to be successful with my resolutions this year. I think it is in large part because I have learned how to set goals and make plans to reach my goals on my mission. I think it is all to easy to have a goal....but it is really only a wish when we don't make plans to reach our goals.

I hope you all have something you want to improve during the year. It's like President Eyring explained in his conference talk in October....that we as disciples of Christ need to always be improving. We should never feel like where we are is good enough. I really think that is good to remember.

As for me, I'm doing pretty well. The holidays were wonderful here. We got to be a part of all the Swedish traditions and had a wonderful time. On the other side of things...I feel like I haven't worked as hard as I would have liked to. We are starting a dedication week today to do all that we can to be better missionaries and again know that we are doing all we can to help others come unto Christ. I hope you have all had a wonderful week. I hope the New Year is going to be a good one. I am grateful for all that I have. I have thought a lot about my blessings, and the things I am so blessed with in this life.

I hope to have many successes during this week that I can write about next week. Know that I am well, and that I am so glad I am here doing the work of the Lord. There is nothing like it in all the world.

Sister Suzanne Wood