Hejsan käre vänner och syskon!
I am now comfortably settled in the city of Umeå, known for the big University and Hospital! Elder Murri and I are chumming up and are getting along fine. So funny to think that I was the Elder who taught him how to say "Excuse me" in Swedish on his first day in Sweden. Who knew we would actually become comps! Things are going well and we are doing our best to help move the work along here.
Of course, Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday were still spent in Ö-vik. Not too much to report from last Monday, just the usual P-Day at the church. We did go back over to the Ås that night and did some tracting over there. On Tuesday, Elder Workman and I did some street contacting through the city and ended up teaching a full Restoration to a Swedish man named Andreas. He wasn't too interested in meeting again, but he politely listened us and even accepted a Book of Mormon at the end of our exchange. It really does feel good testifying of restored truths. Later that same night, we shared a message with the Bustamantes and answered their questions about the temple and patriarchal blessings, they were really curious about those things. It was temple week here in Sweden, so many branches and wards took pictures to the temple and did work. I was happy to hear that The Delgados took Edi and Besara there, Besara got her Endowment and patriarchal blessing, and Edi did proxy baptisms. Plus, Fumi got to go to the temple as well with the Pences and other Stockholm youth! Great news!
Wednesday marked my departure from good ol' Örnsköldsvik. I finished final packing preparations and left around 4 to Umeå. I was picked up by Elder Murri and the Zone Leaders, Elder Bradshaw and Elder Dahle (also going him this next transfer). The ZL's dropped us at our home, a rather cozy abode (pictures will follow), and then Elder Murri and I went in the city and did some contacting.
On my first full day in Umeå, we had district meeting at the Chapel, went pretty well, then Elder Murri and I did some swing-bys on old investigators and less-actives. We did get in with one lady named Miriam, who gladly let us and let us share a scripture with her. We really want to build up our teaching pool and have lots of investigators, new and old, to teach by the end of this transfer, so finding work is our main drive. Later that night, we had a member dinner with Sis. Nystedt, a member of the branch presidency, the other Elders, and a non-member friend of Sis. Nystedt. Very yummy dinner and a great time talking and getting to know each other. We also picked up a delivery of Books of Mormon (desperately needed here) afterwards with the ZL's help.
Friday, we did some contacting in the city in the morning, then had a visit with a man named Leif, who had seen Elder Murri and Nelson (previous elder), and wanted to meet with them. He had lots of questions about our beliefs, how we can believe so strongly at a young age, and a bunch of other things. He happens to be atheist but has studied other religions and heard about Mormons in the past. We had prepared ourselves to teach him the first lesson, but his only intention was really getting an information dump and nothing else. We did leave him with a Book of Mormon which he is anxious to read, so maybe something will turn up. Besides that, weekly planning and some more swing-bys later in the evening.
On Saturday we did some area book work and organized investigators and such, and then did some service with the ZL's at a less-active woman's house named Kaarina. We raked the leaves in her yard and with the combined effort were able to get the work done just before it got too dark. She thanked us by feeding us salmon and potatoe dinner. Nothing like raking on Halloween! Other than that, more swing-bys. We found an American-Swedish less active family actually, and though we didn't get in then, they said we can stop by again next week. Yeah!
Sunday was very good. Fast and Testimony meeting was great in the branch. I definitely felt the Spirit from hearing the testimonies of the branch. Got to greet lots of members as they walked in, and had great lessons the other two areas. Everyone is very nice and welcoming! After church meetings, Elder Murri and I decided to tract some houses in the nearby neighborhood, and we found very nice people there! Got a few, "come back again another time"s so we'll see where that goes. Later, we went to another members house for dinner with the ZLs, this time with the Karlsson family. Very nice, great people, great humor! After that, did some more swing-bys and searched for the investigators.
This place has great potential; all it takes is a little diligence and elbow-grease and the blessings will come. I am amazed by Elder Murri's example; though this is only his third transfer out, he has a good head about him with the area and has high expectations for himself. I have already learned a lot from watching him carry himself and the care that he takes for the responsibility he has been given. We planned some messages about faith and enduring to the end to share with the people we wanted to swing by, and the scripture at the end of Moroni we found is very powerful. Take a look at Moroni 10:32. Come unto Christ is our constant invitation to people everywhere. He is our Redeemer and exemplar.
I hope you all have wonderful week! Stay warm!
Äldste Stefan Reed
Varma hälsningar från Sverige
Elder Stefan Reed
182 46, Enebyberg