Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Woody the Sis. Wood (Monday, April 12)

Family and Friends,

I just wanted to briefly mention the wonderful sound I hear every morning when I wake up....yes, that's right...we have a woodpecker that has found a nice place in a VERY near by tree that likes to grace us with his presence all the time! It's really not that bad.

It's been cold...and warm here in Jakobsberg. The birds are out and chirping, and Spring is in the air. We had a great week this week. It's been awesome.

The highlight of last week was definitely Lawal's baptism. We had everything planned well, and it all went very well. He made us a little nervous when he came late...but he was there, and he was baptized with proper authority into the Church of Jesus Christ. There was a wonderful spirit in the meeting and he bore his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and it was great to be able to be a part of that. I'll attach a couple of pics. so you can all see who he is. Then yesterday he was confirmed as a member and it was awesome.

We had the members involved a lot in the baptism which was really good. Otherwise, our week was great. We have several new investigators who seem very positive and we pray that they will continue to have a desire to learn about the gospel. There are so many things that can happen between a 1st and a 2nd teach...sometimes it's really hard to tell if we will have the opportunity to teach some people again. We always hope that we will. :)

We will be having another Music Fireside here in 2 weeks. I love planning the programs and performing wonderful music. It has been a great way for the members to invite people and I hope we continue to see more and more people come and feel the Spirit in the church. We have Zone Conference tomorrow...already....and are looking forward to being uplifted by the messages there.

My letter is a little short this week, but I just want all of you to know that I have a strong testimony of the gospel. It blesses our lives. We are given so many blessings when we are faithful to the teachings of the Savior and the commandments we have been blessed with. I hope you all have a great week!

Sister Suzanne Wood

Glad Påsk! (Tuesday, April 6)

Hejsan, hejsan!!!

This week has been great in Jakobsberg! We were able to see conference both Saturday and Sunday and I of course enjoyed every minute of it. It's like a super treat to get to go and listen to the words prophets for two days as a missionary. I learned so much, and received so much inspiration as I was there. We were not able to email yesterday because all of the libraries were closed. We were given permission to do it here's my little note. :)

The highlights of last week were of course conference, and while at conference, we had a very awesome surprise. This story goes back a little of my first weeks here in Jakobsberg, Sis. Smith and I were walking home at the end of the evening. We saw a young man from far off and I decided we needed to stop and talk to him. As we did, we found out that he was not active in any church, that he has many questions about religion and that he was busy with work. We left him with a pamphlet and off we went. Then, during the rest of last transfer, we would see Jude once in a while, and just say hi in passing. One time at the train station, we stopped chatted a little bit and he ended up getting OUR number. Not exactly what we were hoping for, but now we knew he could get a hold of us if he wanted to. Well, last week, we saw him on the bus, and just said hi. No bid deal so we thought. Well, on Sunday, during conference we got a text from Jude saying that he wants to come to church. We set up an appt. and met with him today to teach him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was very happy to have the Book of Mormon, and said he would read and pray. He said he would also come to church this sunday. It was so amazing to me to see how the Lord puts people in our paths...sometimes who are not ready the first...or the second...or even the third time we meet them, but the Lord is preparing them to accept the gospel. That was a strong testimony builder for me when it comes to the importance of finding.

We also were able to meet with Lawal and he is ready for baptism!! He is getting baptized on Saturday and we are so excited for him. He is from Nigeria, and is trying to follow God. He lived in the UK for a couple of years and is now here in Sweden. He is honest, and doing all he can to obey God's commandments. He came to two sessions of General Conference and loved what he saw. The prophets talk was really wonderful and it was such a cool opportunity to invite people to listen to the prophets voice. We taught Lawal about tithing last night, and at first we asked him what he knew about tithing....the first thing he said was...."Well that's that we pay 10% of our earnings to build the church." Sis. Maxwell looked at each other later and thought...we didn't really need to teach him about it...we invited him to pay tithing and he is willing to do so. We feel that he is ready and will be a great addition to the church in Jakobsberg.

Everything is good with Sis. Maxwell! She is a wonderful missionary and we are teaching better together all the time, and she is a quick learner. She and I get along well, and laugh a lot together. I am doing everything I can to help her first transfer on the mission go well and help her feel comfortable with every aspect of the work.

Easter was great. We saw a little bit of easter traditions when we were out tracting the other day. One of the things we saw were little girls...with face paint on their cheeks...who are supposed witches who knocked on doors and then said, "Glad Påsk!" They had baggies and were waiting for candy in response. I feel that Sweden on this holiday has confused their traditions with one of our other holidays. They also have birch sticks everywhere with colored feathers on them...I don't know why. Somebody said it's something to do with the beginning of spring. Everybody takes the birch branches and the leaves come out on them as a sign of spring. Pretty cool.

I'm doing really well. I am healthy and very happy. I love the work. I love the people I serve. I love my companion. I'm just full of love! :) I hope that all of you know how much I love and appreciate you. I feel eternally blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends. Please take care! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. I of course thought much of the Savior Jesus Christ, His Atonement and then Resurrection. I feel so blessed to know of the truthfulness of the events that took place. We are God's children. I know that to be true. I know we can all receive the knowledge of the Saviors' Atonement in our lives.

Much love,
Sister Suzanne Wood

A New Beginning! (Monday, March 29)

Hallå allihopa!

This week has been awesome. I mentioned last week that I will be training a new missionary this transfer. And now I know who she is and that we are going to have a great transfer together.

My new companion is Sister Maxwell. (No relation to Elder Maxwell.) She is from Cary, North Carolina. It's just outside of Raleigh...and she is awesome. She comes from a family with 4 brothers....the only girl. She went to school at BYU and graduated with a degree in Anthropology. She's been to Guatemala a couple of summers so she knows some's awesome she will be serving here in Jakobsberg with me! Half of the ward are spanish speakers. She lived in California for a while working and then decided to come on a mission. She is good at swedish and is already a great missionary. We get along well and will have a great transfer.

I'll let you know more about her as we get to know eachother during our time together. :)

Otherwise, the work here in Jakobsberg is going well. We are starting a Swedish Class here tomorrow...which we both pray people come to. We done a lot of advertising and hope that we will have people come and learn Swedish...and also the gospel. We will also have another music night during the least one. They are successful here and the ward really enjoys them. We will put our focus on the ward inviting people to the next one.

We also will be having a baptism in Jakobsberg on April 10th. Lawal is going to be baptized. He has accepted the gospel and wants to be baptized in the Lord's church. He knows the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. He has a great foundation to build upon. We are working hard to help him continue to progress to baptism. The ward is really trying to take care of our investigators which we are really grateful for. I know that makes the difference!!!

All of the new missionaries that came into Sweden are awesome. One sad thing right now is that the number of missionaries in Sweden continues to be lower and lower. There are many missionaries going home every transfer and not as many coming in. We have had many areas close over the last several months and we that are here continue to work like there are still as many missionaries here as have been. We have new Standards of Excellence in the Mission...that are higher than they were last year, but with fewer missionaries. I know that as we apply ourselves we can continue to see success here.

I hope that all of you have a great week. I am really excited for General Conference this weekend. It is always a blessing to hear the words of the Prophet and Apostles. I hope you all get the opportunity to watch or listen as well. Have a great week!

Sister Suzanne Wood

Transfer Info. (Tuesday, March 23)

Hejsan min fantastisk familj och vänner!!!

It's been a great week here in Jakobsberg. Sis. Smith and I have had much to do, and we are grateful for all the success we've had here in Jakobsberg. It's trying to be Spring here in Sweden...but sometimes failing at the attempts. We had another Music Fireside on Sunday evening... which went really well...but not as many people came....I think due to the huge snow storm we had all day Sunday. It still went well and I was grateful for the opportunity we had to share music with members in the ward.

We found out about transfers this morning at 9:30am...Sis. Smith will be returning to Göteborg for next transfer. She was there her first transfer and is really excited to go back. She has missed it very much ever since she came here and feels it is a very tender mercy that she gets the opportunity to serve in Göteborg again. I will be staying in Jakobsberg and training a new missionary fresh out of the MTC. I am excited for the opportunity to train again. Let's be honest...I feel a little bit more prepared to train this time around than I did the first time. I am sure my new companion and I will have a great transfer. We have a lot of potential here and some really awesome things going on.

We have continued to meet with Lawal. I don't know how much I have mentioned about him, but he is really positive and we are meeting him twice a week and he is really accepting of everything we teach. He needs to be better about coming to church, but yesterday he brought up being born again...and we talked about baptism and why it's important to be baptized into our church even though he's been baptized before. He was open and accepting to the idea...and I really feel that he will continue to progress toward baptism. His friend who we have taught....John has been in England, but he is just as positive as Lawal.

We also were able to meet with Francis yesterday...he is an awesome investigator who comes to church every week and to our game night on Wed. evenings. He feels like he is already a member of the church. As an opposite reaction from Lawal....Francis doesn't see why he needs to be baptized...we will be working on how to help him see the importance of baptism and why the Lord requires us to be baptized. He is still very positive and we hope to help him progress toward baptism.

I got to see Tina last week, and she is doing really well. She continues to feel peace about her decision to be baptized and she is just wonderful! After we stopped by Tina's, we continued on our way to the temple in Västerhaninge. It was a little stressful because we were told by the office that there was a session that started at 5, 6, and 7 in the evening...and we got there at 5 thinking that we were early and everything...wrong! There are only 5 and 7 sessions unless there is a big group coming to have a 6 session. The temple matron let us know they would hold the session for us...we ran dressed in 2 min. and went to the session. It was really nice...especially after we relaxed and could feel the Spirit in the temple. There truly is so much peace there. I am grateful I was able to go again so soon. :)

Other than that, everything for me is going well. I'm happy, healthy and ready for another transfer. There is much to be done here, and the work of the Lord continues to move forward. I hope you all have a great week. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family. Thanks for the support! I hope you all have a great week!

Sister Suzanne Wood