Hello from the Umeå Winter Wonderland!!
Yes, the rumors are true, so has fallen here in Sweden, with quite a bit landing over in my neck of the woods. It snowed just a tad bit here on Monday evening, but the real stuff didn't come until Thursday lasting through Saturday. Seeing everything in white is so beautiful; as if Sweden couldn't be more beautiful as it is.
Well last Monday was pretty fun as everyone in the Norrland Zone prepared for Specialized Zone training which was held this past Tuesday. Missionaries were coming into Umeå Monday night, so Elder Murri and I hosted a couple companionships at our place for the night.
Tuesday was of course the Zone training! President and Sister Beckstrand came up with the Assistants and we received some great training on being diligent through to the end of this year, as well as focusing on testimonies and talking about Joseph Smith's First Vision. That took the most of our day, but we did have dinner with a member, Daniel Pettersson, a super cool convert to the church. Elder Murri and I also contacted a cool Finnish girl as well who thought it was cool that the Book of Mormon was in the Finnish language.
On Wednesday, Elder Murri and I did some tracting in the late morning time and found a few interested people with requests for Books of Mormon in their native language (Amharic and Arabic). We also did some swingbys and tracting over in Mariehem, and got in contact with an old potential investigator and set up a time to meet. Also, Elder Murri and I went to Branch Council, got a ride from a member back home, did some tracting and ate dinner to finish the day.
Thursday, I went on Splits with Elder Rhoades (with Elder Workman in Ö-vik) and we have a good exchange in Umeå together. Elder Rhoades' first area was actually Umeå, so he had fun coming back to his old stomping grounds. We tried swinging-by some old investigators, did some tracting, and had a visit with Miriam, the less-active that Elder Murri and I swung-by on our first week together. Elder Rhoades remembered her, and she remembered him, so it was cool for them to see each other again. That night, we had dinner with the Kohlström family in the branch, too.
Elder Murri reunited with me from his time in Ö-vik on Friday morning. We did weekly planning as well as more tracting over by our apartment, then made dinner with the Zone Leaders over at a member's house, guy named Ronnie. Sarfaraz also came along and the six of us all had a great time. So glad that Sarfaraz is being taken in by so many members. Elder Murri and I visited Magnus that night as well and shared some of our favorite scriptures with him.
Saturday was snowy and more snowy all day. Elder Murri and I made contact with an old investigator named Eva-Maria that morning, who knows nearly everybody in the branch. She has been investigating since 2010, so she is known by many members. We weren't able to teach her that morning, but talked with her at her door and got to know her better. She came to church yesterday as well, which was awesome! Later that day, we did some tracting over in Mariehem again, then went with the Zone Leaders over to Nils' place. If you remember from a while ago when I was in Ö-vik, I went on Splits with Elder Featherstone (ZL at the time) in Umeå and went to Nils' place before! It was really cool to see him again and he made us an awesome dinner. His girlfriend from the Philippines has also arrived in Sweden, and the Zone Leaders are now teaching her. Really cool stuff going on for Nils! The both of them also came to church yesterday.
We heard some really good talks in Sacrament meeting yesterday by some of our branch members. After all the meetings, Elder Murri and I did a bit of tracting (are you tired of hearing about tracting yet? ;D), then we went over with the Zone Leaders to dinner at the Kronberg's home. Yummy meatloaf and potatoes with pie for dessert! After that, Elder Murri and I got back by our place and just walked around street contacting people. We ran into a cool guy from Turkey named Baran who ended up taking a Book of Mormon after we discussed our Christian beliefs and his Muslim beliefs. He commented on how he liked talking about religion and having these kinds of conversations. Made me feel good inside.
So though our week didn't go entirely according to plan, Elder Murri and I felt good about our efforts and we did a lot of good. I have been thinking a lot about Christ and the power of redemption he offers us. I love his coming to the Ancient American peoples recorded in 3 Nephi. His personal introduction couldn't have been better said as stated in Chapter 11 verses 10 and 11:
During this Thanksgiving season, think about all the things you are grateful for and express that thanks to the Lord. I am so grateful for him and his Atonement, to that am I eternally grateful.
Have a wonderful week and an even better Thanksgiving!
Äldste Stefan Reed
Varma hälsningar från Sverige
Elder Stefan Reed
182 46, Enebyberg