I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate lots of food (I know I sure did)!
So here has been the scoop in Umeå for the past week. Last Monday, Elder Murri and I and the ZLs helped Kaarina with some winter preparations after taking care of our P-Day matters, then when all had a little family home evening over tea and sandwiches. Lovely time!
Elder Murri and I had a solid Tuesday. Lots of traveling all over the place contacting and tracting, meeting a kid named Motadah on the street who was interested in our message and exchanged numbers with us. In the evening, we and the ZLs had dinner with our good guy Magnus, who fed us an American classic: hamburgers and chips. Couldn't have hit the spot better. After our meal, Murri and I headed over to teach Mattias, which turned out to be a very solid lesson. We mostly answered his questions from reading Mosiah 3-4 and we ended up teaching some good doctrine about the Godhead and Plan of Salvation. We are continuing to getting him closer and closer to prayer, but he is still not there yet. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon daily for just ten minutes, then ponder about what he has read for five; we are hoping that will lead him to prayer.
On Wednesday, I went on some temporary split-age with Elder Bradshaw to visit Joseph Iguaran and his girlfriend Emma and her daughter Isabel. We had a good visit about setting goals and focusing on "small and simple means" (Alma 37:6). That evening at the church, the four of us missionaries were treated to dinner by the Young Women; swede-ified Thanksgiving dinner haha! It was really yummy, and we got to share a message about gratitude and thanks with them after dessert.
And then of course we had Thanksgiving! I have never been so stuffed in my life. Us Umeå missionaries headed down to Ö-vik by train, where we had a combo of District meeting and Thanksgiving dinner at the Delgado's place. Everything was perfectly cozy and warm; we had all the traditional food: turkey, mashed potatoes, a sweet potato and apple dish by Elder Workman, stuffing, fruit casserole with marshmallows, hot rolls....Mmmm Mmm was it good. Plus, dessert was awesome too. After that little "stund", the four of us returned to Umeå, where we immediately had dinner over with Sis. Carlsson and Sis. Wirtala. There was just enough time inbetween the meals to manage them both in my stomach, but boy, was it a tight job haha. The four of us all came out of there rolling by the end. Wow, talk about gutted.
Friday was Elder Murri's birthday; he turned nineteen! I treated him to lunch at our local pizzeria in between our weekly planning sessions. We had dinner with Sis. Nystedt and the ZLs that night, but before that we did some contacting on the way and ran into a lady who had met missionaries before and had some unanswered questions about the afterlife and such. We were able to have a good little conversation with her, and got her to take our card at the end so she could get back in contact with missionaries. Dinner at Sis. Nystedt's was delicious, and afterwards we dropped the ZLs over at the train station so they could go down to Ö-vik to begin splits. We had to pick up Elder Bradshaw and Elder Workman once they got back into Umeå that night, so in the meantime, Elder Murri and I borrowed the car and swung by an old investigator and did some tracting. We were able to find a girl from Eritrea who was interested and get her number, so we will we be seeing her in the near future.
Saturday was a little interesting. Elder Murri and I were given the key to the school where we have Innebandy every Saturday due to lots of members being gone who usually show up, so we had some major responsibility there. We had some issues with travel, but thankfully, we were able to get a ride from Sis. Carlsson and her boys, and Innebandy was able to happen again (twenty minutes later than usual, anyway..)! After that, Elder Murri and I got back home, ate lunch, and changed, then did some tracting in Mariehem. We got to borrow the ZLs' car while they reunited from splits in Ö-vik that evening, so while they did the Railroad hop back and forth, we had dinner with our member friend, Bro. Norin. After, we made a bunch of calls and got in contact with some old investigators before picking the ZLs back up.
Church on Sunday was...not what we planned. So the Church has begun their Christmas initiative this year, #ASaviorIsBorn, releasing a video and materials just yesterday. We talked about this about the last Zone training, so the mission has been amped up to spread this Christmas cheer. Here in Umeå, the four of us missionaries had planned to show the video to the branch during the third hour since it was the fifth Sunday, but due to a miscalculation with US Mountain Standard Time, we weren't able to show the video like we wanted. It was a bit of a bummer, because we had been telling all the members at our dinners that we would be showing the video this Sunday, but unfortunately it didn't happen. But everything was alright though, we still stood up and briefly talked about it and invited the members to share the video and get it out there over social media. The rest of the Sunday was fine though. Elder Murri and I did some potential investigator swing-bys after church, and were able to give one Muslim father an Arabic Book of Mormon; he was very excited to begin reading it and to discuss with us soon. We had dinner over at the Ottosson's, yummy chili, and watched the Christmas initiative film with them. That evening, Elder Murri and I did some more street contacting a met a nice guy from Vietnam who was interested in the church.
Like last week, I have been thinking a lot about Christ, especially since we have been sharing this Christmas initiative message with every member for the past week and a half. I ran across a scripture in 1 Nephi 7 last week, that really hit me hard.
Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.
Like Nephi counseled his brothers, don't forget what the Lord can do. Through faith in the Lord and obedience to his commands, we can do anything. "Let us be faithful to him."
I hope you all continue to think about Christ as you begin singing familiar Christmas carols and songs. Stay warm!
Äldste Stefan Reed
Varma hälsningar från Sverige
Elder Stefan Reed
182 46, Enebyberg