Monday, August 2, 2010

Can it get any hotter around here? (Monday, July 19)

Kära Familj och Vänner,

This week has been wonderful here in Uppsala. We have had the opportunity to visit several less-active members, and meet with our investigators as well. I am doing well. I'm continuing to work hard, and try my best to help others however come to the gospel. I start my last transfer of the mission next Thursday...which I have very mixed feelings about. I have no idea what will happen...but I'm sure that wherever I am, whoever I serve with..there is still much of the Lord's work to do. It has been incredibly warm in Sweden these last couple of weeks. We have gotten about 10 min. of rain total in the last weeks here...and it has been aroune 30 degrees celcius...I think it's about 85 degrees Farenheit. I know...I know..."not so bad" you say...but remember I am in a country with no air conditioning...and busses with no windows. Ok, I'm done complaining...I know far too many of you who served in South America...and probably didn't have A/C...or heat...I take back all the complaints. :) It's been a beautiful summer here. I love the green everywhere. It's truly a beautiful land.

We have an investigator named Solomon. I don't know if I have mentioned anything about him here's a short background of how we started teaching him. We were doing email a few weeks ago here in the library and he called us...we didn't recognize the when we left the library we called the number back. Solomon told us that he was contacted in Stockholm by two young men, and that they gave him our number in Uppsala because that's where he lives. We have now taught him the basic doctrine of the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ...and he is going to be baptized in August!! He is a sincere, humble man from Kenya who has mentioned on more than one occasion that this is "his church". We will do everything we can to help him and prepare him to make that covenant with the Lord. I'm so very grateful that I have met so many that are willing and prepared to hear and accept the gospel.

One thing that Solomon said during our teach last week really made an impact on me, and my views of things. He mentioned that we are pretty small in numbers in the church meetings we have in Uppsala. He then continued to express how many people might come to the church once...but that they see all that is required of the members of the church...and then they don't want to come back. He said there are lots of commandments in this church...and that there aren't many who are willing to follow the commandments. As I listened to him say these things...I had all sorts of things come to mind....but it was in pondering after the lesson that I really came to appreciate that there are so many willing, active members in the church...who keep the commandments. The organization of the dependent upon the faithfulness of the members. Imagine if most of the members of the church just showed up and left without taking care of their 1 calling...well, to put it wouldn't happen. We each make the commitment to do our callings...and in part...we are each helping to keep the kingdom of God running smoothly every day, week, month and year...not to mention that we build His kingdom when we do our part. I have just really come to realize how important every member matter the calling...that we all contribute to the ward/branch in which we serve is vital to it's function. We are few...and we know that "many are called but few are chosen".

We also had another miracle the same day we invited Solomon to be baptized. We had about 20 minutes before he would be at the church, so we decided we needed to go out and contact before he came. We were a little skeptical of the success we would have on a Friday night in the middle of Summer in a college town...well we went out anyway. :) As we walked, we stopped a woman who was walking slowly down the sidewalk with her bike. (Traditionally those who have bikes that work...ride them, not walk them.) We stopped her and I asked her if she had ever asked herself any of life's questions. She began by explaining that she was on her way home to an empty house, with not much to do, and that she had been out to get herself some fill up part of the empty space she feels in her life right now because of the contemplation she's been doing about the meaning of her life. I think my jaw probably dropped more and more with every word she said testifying to me that she was in desperate need of the gospel. We visited for several more minutes about why we are here...and were able to assure her that there is life after this life. It was amazing. We will be teaching Elisabeth Strand on Thursday to teach her about our loving Heavenly Father, and His plan for each of us.

I am so grateful for the gospel. I have been unbelievably blessed in my life because of it. I know that obedience brings us promised matter the situation we are in. One thing that I said to Sis. Virkamäki yesterday as we were discussing books we are that there are stereo-types out there about every culture, race, clique, etc. in the world. I know that none of those stereo-types applies to everybody in a particular category...but I do know that there is one thing that applies to everybody...and that is God. His commandments...His word, and His gospel all apply to all of us. Continue in faith! I love you all. I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. I'm grateful for your examples and love.

Next week, I won't write until Wednesday because of Transfers on Thursday. Have a great week!

Much Love,
Sister Suzanne Wood