Monday, April 6, 2015

SWEDEN WEEK 1-Stockholm Area (District Chief-Master, Elder Downing!!)

Greetings from Stockholm! 

So our travel from the MTC went very smooth! The flight to Amsterdam was super long...I almost was not able to board. Don't worry, it wasn't as bad as it sounds like. So I had my small, carry-on suitcase and we were boarding for Atlanta from SLC. Because it was a full flight, and my group was boarding last, they had to check in my bag last minute. They told me I wouldnt get any of my luggage until reaching Sweden, so I frantically pulled out my shoulder bag and camera. While we were flying, I had the sudden realization that I had left my pass-port in the front pocket of my carry on, plus I forgot my scriptures. So after landing, we went to the gate and I told the agents what had happened. They then sent people down into the luggage plane and got my passport, and I boarded without an issue. Boy was I glad to see that thing.

After getting to the Stockholm Airport on Tuesday, we got our baggage (no issues there either) and were met by President Beckstand and his wife, the Office Elders and AP's, and the senior couples, Bro and Sis. Taylor and Tolley. After giving them our bike-fund and other stuff, we loaded up a van and were whisked all over Stockholm. Tuesday was a head trip for me. My head was literally spinning whenever I moved it, not too mention I was tired out of my mind. We were taken around Gamla Stan and other places, then taken to the YSA Institute Center for a meet-and-greet with other missionaries. Then we went contacting! That was scary, but not unexpected. It was cool to pass out cards and try and talk to people in my extremely less-than proficient Swedish. It was an eye-opening experience to be sure. After that it was to the mission office for some paperwork and orientation, then the mission home. The Beckstrands were so welcoming and accommodating, and we had a great dinner of homemade soup. Needless to say all of us Elders crashed around 8:00 pm.

Wednesday was the big day! I got my trainer! We went to the Täby Chapel that morning and got some more field orientation from the POE's(proselyting office Elders) and Assistants. Then the moment came. Because it was April Fool's, President had us fooled at first by making us believe that they decided companions by coin flip. Elder Perkins was the poor sucker and believed he was getting Elder Lindquist. That was soon cleared up and we opened our assignment letters one at I time. I have been assigned to serve in the Stockholm Area in the Stockholm zone, and am working with Elder Jacob Kapp! We doubled into a new apartment together, so we had to trudge through the tunnelbana (the metro subway) and walk a couple of blocks to our place, all the while with all our luggage. The Place is super awesome though! Top floor, with a dishwasher and stainless steel appliances. We live on the island of Södermalm in Maria Torget. We were told that we have the most expensive apartment in the mission right now. Talk about responsibility. After settling in, we did a big grocery shop at Lidl and lugged the groceries back home. We got our bicep workout that day.

The rest of the week has been interesting. We are basically starting from ground zero in terms of the area, and have had to organize a new area book and do tons of contacting and finding. There have been so many blessings as well though. For General Conference this weekend, we watched all the sessions we could at member homes, and have been fed a couple dinners. The only thing though, is that the families have all been American! I guess Heavenly Father is easing me in slowly to the Swedish culture. 

Conference was awesome! I loved the theme of families and the Easter messages about Christ. We truly can receive so much joy from our families. They are the key to eternal life. Its so important that we build our homes on the principles of Christ. 

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend and was uplifted by the thought that Jesus Christ lives. Through him, we can live again as well. May the Force be with you all

Love,
Äldste Reed     

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