Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Good Week! (Mon., Feb. 22)

Dear Family and Friends,

We had a great week this week. We had the most teaches in Jakobsberg last week that I have had during my whole mission in Sweden! We were able to meet with all of our investigators and many of our teaches we were able to have members come with us. Their testimonies are irreplaceable. We were able to teach Swedish Class and teach participants in Swedish Class about the gospel afterwards. We had a baptism happen yesterday in our ward and we have had much to do here this last week.

I don't have tons of time today, but I just want to talk a little about Spencer's baptism yesterday. We were able to teach him and get him ready for baptism, and then the big day came and the program was so nice. He had asked Sis. Smith and I to give the talks about baptism and the Holy Ghost. I talked about the Holy Ghost at the baptism. It was really wonderful to be there. Then, Spencer wanted to have a song sung at the baptism...but not just any song. He wanted us to sing, "The Lord commanded Nephi to go and get the plates...etc." or "Nephi's Courage." We had a couple of Elders sing it with us and it went really well also. And of course, most importantly, when we went into the font and Spencer was actually baptized the Spirit was there very strongly. It was such a special afternoon and I'm so glad that I could be a part of it.

We also were able to teach Peter and he is still progressing. He hasn't been in church because he's been sick, but we pray that he will come this week and continue to progress toward his baptism in 2 weeks.

We have been able to teach many new people also and we are always excited to get the opportunity to teach those who are interested. We have lots going on this week with the music program on Sunday. I know it will go well, but it does have it's stresses that accompany such an event. I hope that the Spirit will be there and that those who come will feel that Spirit and want to know why it is there. I am so grateful for all that I am doing here in Sweden. There are so many blessings...and many of them can't be seen until later.

Speaking of blessings...there is some really exciting news I forgot to write about last week. I'm sure you all remember Tina who I have talked about so many times from Stockholm. Well, she is getting baptized!!!!!! I am so excited for her! The Elders who moved to Stockholm went and taught her and invited her again to be baptized and she accepted their invitation. She tells them all the time that she wants us to be there....which of course Sis. Swenson and I will be. I am just so glad that she decided to take the step that the Lord wants her to take to come closer to Him than she has ever been before.

Another blessing is that this last week I found out that Segen...who I talked to one of my first weeks in Norrköping....way back when is also getting baptized on the same day that Tina is getting baptized. I can't express the joy I feel that these wonderful people who I have gotten to know...and teach have progressed and are being baptized into the Lord's church. It's amazing that when I left Norrköping I was so sad to not get to teach Segen to baptism....and the same when I left Stockholm.....but I am so incredibly grateful for the knowledge I have the the Lord knows and loves each one of His children and He provides exactly what they need to come back to Him. I know that these two wonderful women are not being baptized because of what I did....I know very well that the Lord completes His work through us as His servants.

It's still freezing here...they say it's the worst it's been in 40 years or something....as it sounds like it is ALL over the world. We are just trying to continue plugging along and keep ourselves warm. We have lots going on this week and will hopefully see a little warmer temperatures than what we have been seeing the last couple of days. I hope you are all doing well. I am loving the work. I love Jakobsberg. I love my companion and I love the opportunity to serve. Have a great week and know that you are all in my prayers!

Sister Suzanne Wood

Love is in the air....or snow is in the air...which one is it?? (Mon., Feb. 15)

Kära Familj och Vänner,

It's definitely snow is in the air....and wind....ok...I'm getting a little more sick all the time of the freezing cold temperatures we are having here in Sweden. I know that everywhere in the world is suffering from what seems to be a winter to be reckoned with...but come on....does it have to keep being so cold?? We have heard from many of the Swedish people that this is the coldest winter they have seen in YEARS....and Steph even told me she went running in the snow in Dallas, TX....what is the world coming to?? Ok....I just needed to let out a little frustration on the weather. I'll get over it now. :)

As for the important part of why I am here...I am loving the work in Jakobsberg. It is tough, but so wonderful. Sis. Smith and I have definitely had our ups and downs but we do get along really well and laugh really hard between the times we are frustrated with each other. The work here has been good this last week. We had many really good teaches with investigators and members in the ward. We were able to also teach some new people this week as well. The Lord is continuing to bless us...in our imperfections. I can't even begin to explain how many times I have felt that I am unfit to do the Lord's work...as we all feel sometimes. I can say...on the other hand, that the Lord truly qualifies us for the things He needs us to do. There is no doubt in my mind that like Ammon, "As to my strength I am weak, but in the strength of the Lord I can do all things...I will glory in my God forever...." I continue to be reminded of my need for the Savior and His Atonement. We all have so many strengths and wonderful blessings in our lives, but we also have been given weaknesses to work on and trials to fight our way through so that we could each realize the need for the Savior in our lives and turn to him. Without a personal witness and testimony of the Atonement...it doesn't mean nearly as much. I have really been realizing that more and more in my own life and as I have been teaching others about it.

As for cool things that happened this week...we were talking with the Elders in Stockholm and they said they had a referral for us about two weeks ago. They told us that this woman named Gege wanted a Book of Mormon in Mongolian...but that she can't really speak Swedish or English. I was not especially positive about it since we didn't know how we were going to be able to communicate with her. Well a few days ago, we called and set up an appt. for Sunday. She could communicate enough to say we could come yesterday evening. Well, when we called to say that we would be a little bit late, I didn't really talk to Gege, but the phone had been handed to a Swedish man...we visited a bit and he said it was fine if we came a little later. Well, come to find out, this man that Gege lives with is a Swedish man from a small town called Skövde...where about 20 years ago he went to our church once or twice and heard a little bit about what we believe from the missionaries who served there at that time. We continued to chat..and remembers Joseph Smith....the Book of Mormon...Salt Lake City....etc. Gege was so incredibly grateful for a book about Christ because she has not had the opportunity to learn about Him with her Buddhist background.

We will be going back on Wed. to give Jorgen a Swedish Book of Mormon and teach them both of the blessings and restoration of the gospel. It was such an amazing testimony builder of God's awareness of all of His children. He knew that the way we would beet Jorgen would be through Gege. What a blessing!

We also taught Peter, Francis, and Spencer during last week. All of them are still progressing and doing really well. Spencer is going to be baptized on Sunday...and we are really excited about that. He is such a good kid, and is really excited about his baptism. Peter is still doing really well. He is so willing to keep his commitments and has a strong desire to follow the Savior. We pray that he continues to progress toward his baptism on the 6th of March. From the teaches we have had with Francis, we can tell that he is sincere and genuine in his desire to do what is right. The problem is that he works on Sundays....so he can't get to church. That is such an important part of the commitment we make that we want to make sure that he will be able to be active if he becomes a member of the church.

Otherwise, all of the members in our ward are awesome. We have a wonderful ward mission leader who is doing all he can to get the ward members to do more missionary work. There's a ward mission plan...and wonderful members who are willing to go to teaches with us, and make refreshments for our music evening we have coming up...and I'm just grateful that I feel like the ward supports what we are doing. We are continuing to try to think of ways to help them do the work because we know they want to.

I'm healthy and happy. Some days are really hard. Some days are completely amazing. Everyday is worth it. The things I am learning...and the things I am teaching are of eternal worth...and that makes all that I am doing here worth it. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day....it wasn't celebrated much here...but we had a wonderful Sabbath Day. I hope that this next week goes well and that you all continue to know that you are in my prayers and that I miss and love all of you!

Sister Suzanne Wood

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hur många välsignelser kan vi få??

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been a great week here in Jakobsberg. We have been so blessed this last week. The Lord really is mindful of us and He knows where we are, what we're doing and He blesses us with what we need to continue in His path...and His work.

I felt really blessed yesterday to sit in a Sacrament Meeting where many of those stood up spoke of their conversion through the missionaries knocking on their door. They are strong, active members here in Sweden...and they were reached by two missionaries knocking on doors. It was amazing and really uplifting to hear their testimonies.

Last week, we were able to teach Peter who is getting baptized on March 6th. When we went to teach him, there was a friend of his roommate...just hanging out. We invited him to listen in on the teach and by the end he told us he wanted to come to church and even try fasting on Sunday. It was amazing. Peter was in church yesterday and shows his humility and willingness to follow the commandments all the time.

We are still working on putting together out Music Concert as well. It's going to be on the 28th of this month and we are excited about all the people we are involving...I'm also excited to get to sing a little bit myself....but that's just a bonus. :) We will have lots of different music and I'm just really looking forward to that. We have put quite a bit of time into planning for that and working with different people to help them practice and know what to sing.

We have also gotten the opportunity to work with Spencer...who's getting baptized in just 2 weeks. It's wonderful to see his excitement and enthusiasm about the gospel. Every time we teach him, he listens and is excited to learn. I know that the decision he is making will be a wonderful blessing throughout his life...and will truly bless his family now.

We have also taught a couple of new investigators as well. Last week, in the library, there was a man named Francis who came up and talked to me. He had seen my name tag and wanted to know what we were all about. We talked for a minute there and then said we could meet him later on in the week. A couple of days later...he called us and told us about a dream he had where we saved him from a fire in a building. I will not say that I was not a little confused about what the meaning was...but it had sincerely meant a lot to him that we were saving him. We met with him on Friday and had a wonderful conversation about the Restoration on the gospel. He texted us later to thank us for the new view he has received of God and that there is the potential for Francis to find out for himself the true gospel of Christ. It was awesome!

Sis. Smith and I are getting along well. We are alike in many ways...so we have a lot of fun together. We also have had our challenges as new companions. We are learning all the time how to be understanding with eachother and help eachother be the best missionaries we can be. I really am learning to love this area. The ward members are wonderful and there is much work to do here. I hope you all have a great week. Take care of yourselves! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day..or Alla Hjärtans Dag....and remember that the Lord loves us all and wants us to be happy.

Sister Suzanne Wood

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Pics

Here are some new Winter pics that Suz sent from Sweden.

Winter trees in Sweden

The Stockholm temple covered in snow

Suz with Sister Swenson

Suz and Kathy, a Taiwanese investigator

Suz with her district before the transfer

Suz and her new companion, Sister Smith

Done with Winter!

Dear Family,

Everything in Jakobsberg has been great! We have had a good week. We are getting to know each other better all the time and enjoying the work here. It has taken some adjustment for me to be here, but I truly love the people here and this place is full of potential. We taught several less active members last week, taught a few investigators and are doing our best to find those other people who are prepared to listen to the gospel to teach. There is tons of tracting to do in this area...it is a very big area.

One of the main differences with Jakobsberg and Stockholm...in the city...is port codes. That being that you can't go into a building without a code. In the city, we couldn't tract at all because everything has codes...in Jakobsberg...there are many places we can go in without a problem. So, we have been doing more of that kind of work here. We are still organizing our music night and getting the help of several other missionaries in the area to help us to make the evening successful.

I love Sis. Smith!!! She is hilarious. She loves to joke around and so as you all know...I am quick to joke right back with her. We are getting along well and learning to do the work together. There is always adjustment...when with somebody 24 hrs. of everyday. We are both excited about the transfer though and doing all we can to be the best missionaries we can be.

This week, we taught our investigator Peter...who is getting baptized about the 10 commandments. Sis. Smith and Sis. Williams taught him the Word of Wisdom last time, so when we went there to teach him, we took him some herbal tea. He was completely willing to take it and pick a tea that is allowed and also let me take the rest of his black tea to throw it away. He is sincere and has a strong desire to follow the commandments. I am excited that he has decided to be baptized.

We also have taught several less-active members this week. Many of them are part-member families which is a wonderful opportunity for us to teach the family members as well. There is this completely wonderful lady name Hillevi in our ward. Her husband is not a member and her three daughters are not members either. We went over there Saturday to have dinner and were able to talk a little about the Plan of Salvation with them. Then, we went yesterday and were able to visit with two of Hillevi's daughters about the church a little bit. I'm not going to say that they will be baptized tomorrow...but I will say that the understanding they gain of the church will help them to support Hillevi and that there is always the possibility to something hitting them about the gospel.

Stephanie...one of the daughters...asked us what our target is when we knock on somebody's door. As she joked she said...do you get points if someone lets you in....do you get points if you give them a book....and what was so awesome was getting to tell her that our "target" is to help people. It's to listen to them...and what they already believe and see if there is a way that the gospel will help them have a better life. I feel that is really true. There are many people here who reject us...who don't want to listen. But, we always find the humble and willing and those people truly are searching for something to help them have better lives. What an honor it is for me to be the Lord's servant.

Other than that, we had some really wonderful opportunities this week. We spend a lot of time on busses and trains...and walking...so it is challenging to always feel like we are productive...but we're figuring it out. I love this work. And...as you can see...I'm done with the winter. We still have a few more weeks of the cold...but I'm ready for the ice to go away and for it to start warming up. We'll see what happens with the Groundhog tomorrow...not that I will find out if he sees his shadow or not. :P

I hope all of you are doing well. I love you all. I appreciate the support you have given me. Have a great week!

Sister Suzanne Wood