Hello one and all! On my end here in Umeå it was a very solid week! Things are picking up and blessings are starting to be poured. Elder Murri and I and the Zone Leaders, Elders Dahle and Bradshaw are hastening the work up here.
Last Monday was nothing worth mentioning, just doing the daily P-Day things and then doing some planning that evening. Tuesday was rather good though. I would call that our crazy swing-by and phone call day. We did lots of walking and talking to people along the way as we went from Mariehem (little neighborhood close by) to the middle of the city. We ended up talking to some elderly ladies who know about the Church's family history work and gave them Books of Mormon, set-up some stuff for the week, and contacted a guy who asked us if Mormons are the ones who believed that Satan and Jesus are brothers.
Wednesday was....my Mom's birthday!!!!! Quick shout-out there! Besides that, some tracting and swing-bys over in a neighborhood called Liliansberget for most of the day, more calling of people and getting in touch with old investigators, then having a member dinner with the Ottosson family (the father happens to be the son of Branch President Ottosson in Ö-vik;cute, huh?). Something about the Umeå branch is they are known for feeding the missionaries, and after this Sunday, we have the dinners lined up for the whole month. Great blessing there. Anyway, we also ended up taking one of the Ottosson boys, Viktor, to a lesson with us. We taught a regular investigator named Mattias. He comes from an Atheist background but has a desire to develop faith and find out if there is something. The lesson went well and having Viktor there was a big help.
Due to Zone training, we had to host the Boden Elders at our house Wednesday night, so the four of us Umeå Elders were running around dropping off incoming missionaries at their places of shelter for the night. Eventually, everyone made it where they needed to be and we all had an awesome zone training on Thursday. Big focus on diligence and focusing on what is important while we are out here. Really spiritual and lots of things learned. Our mission president, his assistants, and our mission leadership in general is inspired. Of course after the meeting we had lunch as a zone, then we shuttled everyone to the train station and what not to catch their return modes of travel. After that was finished, Elder Murri and I went back out to Liliansberget and tracted some apartments, then went to the church for a Young Men's activity. I went on splits with Simon Carlsson (from the family that fed us last Sunday), and we had a fun time tracting some houses over by the church. Always feels good to help out the youth and get them involved in missionary work.
Friday was fun. Did some tracting by our apartment in the morning, then met an old investigator named Mike from Ethiopia at the "Fika" Café. He is too busy to meet regularly and investigate seriously, but he is still a little interested and wants to keep contact off and on. After him, we did some street contacting in the city, went over to the church, more house tracting, then had dinner at Sis. Wirtala's place. Very kind, sweet, elderly member.
Sports on Saturday is back in action! Instead of the old Futbol like in Stockholm, here in Umeå we play Innebandy (floor hockey) at a local athletic center with the young men and other branch members. The four of us missionaries were on our own team, and we got destroyed...the skills will develop though, I'm sure. Later, we did some service at the church by raking the grounds of leaves, then I went on temporary splits with Elder Bradshaw of Martin, TN and did a baptismal interview for one of their investigators named Sarfaraz. The Zone Leaders met this guy the first week of the transfer and he is going to get baptized this coming Sunday!! Sarfaraz is a prepared child of God from Pakistan, and the interview went very well. I feel confident that the Lord prepared this man and he is excited to be baptized. I rejoined with Elder Murri shortly after that then the two of us went to visit Magnus, a very strong convert to the church of about ten years. Wonderful to hear him express his testimony.
Sunday was great, Elder Murri gave his first talk in Swedish to the branch, went wonderful, rest of the meetings were great. Nefi Iguaran came to church yesterday too, so I sat next to him in Sacrament meeting and we got to talk before the meeting started. It will be great once the rest of his family moves up here from Ö-vik this December. After church, Elder Murri and I swung by the Murphy family, a part-member family that we had swung by on Halloween. Got to know Jane and Mark a bit better and we hope to see them more soon. We had a member dinner with the Bussman family, but before that we had some extra time so the ZL's and Murri and I went on contacting splits and street contacted downtown; I was with Elder Dahle. The dinner at the Bussman's was great; super funny family! After that, Elder Murri and I went home and did some much needed weekly planning to end the day.
I also have to mention today!! So Elder Murri and I and the ZL's decided to do some tracting splits this afternoon, so I went with Elder Bradshaw and he and I ended up getting in and teaching a guy named Jon! We gave a simple yet, packed Restoration lesson, gave a Mormons Bok, and Bada-Bing-Bada-Boom we have ourselves a new investigator just like that. Great experience, the Lord blesses us. First time that has happened on my mission! Definitely will be hearing more about Jon soon.
I know that what matters most in this life is our journey to discipleship as we strive for celestial glory in the next. Recently gained a new insight on this scripture, 1 Nephi 11:17
"And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."
Like Nephi, we can rely on the eternal truth that God our Father in Heaven loves us and will do all that he can to help us return to him. Though we don't always have all the answers or know why certain things happen the way they do, we can put our faith in God and know that everything he does is for our eternal salvation.
Love you all very much!!
Puss och Kram!
Äldste Stefan Reed
Varma hälsningar från Sverige
Elder Stefan Reed
182 46, Enebyberg