Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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