Monday, September 14, 2015

SWEDEN WEEK 24

What an excellent week we had! I'll go ahead and get transfer news out of the way first. Elder Thacker will be leaving and taking a couple of trains to his new area of Eskilstuna, just west of the greater Stockholm area this Wednesday. I will remain here as District Leader and am getting Elder Workman, an Elder in Kapp and Downing's MTC group. Elder Kapp talked him up so I am looking forward to working with him. Elder Thacker is a little bummed to be leaving, he really enjoyed this area. We have done some awesome things here, which, speaking of, have happened this last week!

To start from last Monday, the meeting with Edi went very well, and he was all set to go for the baptism. Tuesday was highlighted with an impromptu lunch from the Iguarans, where we also gave Sis. Iguaran a blessing of health; she is struggling with her diabetes right now. That marks my first Swedish-given blessing. I was a little nervous, but I know the Lord understands and strengthened my weakness in the language. Later that day, we went with the Branch President to scout out some potential baptismal sites in the bay. We found some but they weren't very car-accessible. In the evening we met with the Bustamantes and gave a short lesson, and afterwards our lesson with a potential investigator didn't end up happening...blåsted...

Wednesday was fun! We got to visit a less-active fellow with the Delgados by the name of Ulf who lives out in a village called Docksta, on the way to Kramfors. He is a superb chef and fixed a beautiful turkey 'dinner' for lunch! Later, Thacker and I visited Kliti while the Delgados met the Simonis and we had a very spiritual lesson with him. His wife even sat in and listened while we talked! When we got back to Ö-vik, Elder Thacker and I visited an old investigator named Henrik, really nice guy who classifies himself as Atheist. We had a good meeting with him but he isn't one that is going to make huge progress anytime soon. 

Elder Thacker and I ended up biking all over the city on Thursday due to my poor navigational skills trying to swing-by old investigators. Poor Elder Thacker had it rough this past week too due to a cold he has been trying to get over. I think I tuckered him out by the end of the day haha. We also had a smaller district meeting that morning too because the Zone Leaders were up in Boden with the Luleå Elders. It went well, and the Delgados were kind enough to provide split-plea soup and sandwiches for lunch. 

On Friday we had weekly planning but also went with the Branch President and the Delgados to check out another baptismal location. President had done some searching and he found the perfect spot: right next to the water, cars can drive right up to it, and there were even some picnic tables to sit at. That evening, Elder Thacker and I had english class with just Poo-minh; it ended up being a cambodian class, as Poo-minh taught us Khmer and told us some history about Cambodia. 

Saturday morning we got our transfer calls, the Delgados came and checked our apartment, and we swung by the boys (Virak and Sineth) to see how they were doing. We were a little worried, because they had texted us throughout the week saying that they were having stomach pains, and had gone to the hospital twice. They were taking medicine, and gradually they were feeling better. Needless to say, we had texted them and called them everyday this week to make sure they were doing alright. We saw them in person Saturday and they assured us that they would make the date and be baptized. Our fears were hushed! Elder Thacker and I visited the Persian people again that evening and gave them persian Books of Mormon to read, then we had the weekly youth activity with the branch, where we played soccer. Good way to relax a bit before the big day on Sunday!

Yesterday feels like a blur! After having the regular church meetings everybody was a hustle-and-a-bustle for the baptismal service. We held it right after the normal church meetings, Elder Thacker and I and the boys got changed into our whites, and Edi and Besara came with some friends soon after! It ended up all working out; we only had four cars to shuttle everybody down to the water with, but we made it work! That water of the bay was cold, and after some teeth-chattering and wading in, all six of us were okay. I baptized Virak, Thacker baptized Sineth, and Elder Delgado baptized Edi. We all went back to the church after, dried off, and finished the program with refreshments ready to be eaten. President Ottoson and his wife helped out a ton in making this crazy thing work. That evening, Elder Thacker and I enjoyed a classic spaghetti meal with the Delgados and we relaxed while discussing the events of the day. 

My faith has definitely been strengthened, the Lord hastens his work for sure! I can hardly believe we pulled this off. It was a terrific week, filled with some ups and downs, but ended on a fantastic note. We are sending Elder Thacker off with a bang. What a great last week to have here in Örnsköldsvik together. I know the Lord is watchful of his children, and through "small and simple means" his kingdom is strengthened. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Kärlek to everybody out there! 

Hälsningar,

Äldste Reed

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