Saturday, December 26, 2015

SWEDEN WEEK 39: Un-White Christmas and Baking Cookies

Hej Hej! 

I hope you all had an awesome Christmas! Can't believe that another one has come and gone! 

This week was pretty exciting because of Christmas and everything; lots of delicious, traditional Swedish Christmas food was eaten like meatballs and ham, Christmas Sausage and beat salad, and pickled herrings and lots of bread. 

This week we decided to spread Christmas cheer by baking cookies and delivering them to less-actives, investigators, and everyone else in between! Last Monday I got Elder Loertscher kebab-tized (he ate his first kebab pizza!) for lunch, then we picked up some cookie ingredients and ended up running into Roger on the bus, and talked to him for a bit. We had dinner with the Branch President and his family that night as well, and we got a good list of people to swing by this week and say hey to or wish a Merry Christmas. 

So Tuesday, we had the big bake off and made a bunch of cookies with the Zone Leaders' help, who came to our apartment and joined our little party. The bulk of that day was spent swinging by people and delivering plates of cookies of course; Elder Loertscher talked to one Sister who was very happy to see us and invited the four of us over for dinner sometime in the future, so that was nice. After all our deliveries, that evening we did a little district activity; the Ö-vik crew drove up and we went into the city and set up a table serving free hot chocolate and a laptop looping the Church's Christmas video. Fun activity, and all the hot chocolate we made got drank up. 

Wednesday saw more cookie deliveries (we even made another batch), and Elder Loertscher and I made some deliveries on our own in Mariehem to a few people. The Zone Leaders picked us up in the afternoon and we did some more deliveries together. That night, the Skellefteå Elders came in, who spent Christmas with us and return back to Skellefteå tonight. The six of us all went over to Nils' place and had a Christmas dinner with him and his girlfriend that night as well. 

Of course, Thursday and Friday were the big days! The whole city was quiet, nobody on the streets as Elder Loertscher and I took the bus around, everyone inside enjoying Christmas Eve. Highlights of Thursday were having Christmas brunch with Ronnie, a single member in the branch, watching Kalle Anka (Donald Duck in Swedish), a very very swedish tradition of watching an hour long televised program of old Disney Cartoons from Mickey Mouse to Cinderella to even the most recent Disney movies, over at Åsa's house (another member), then having Christmas dinner with the Bussmann family! 

On Friday, the six of us went with the Norin Family to a special Christmas mass by the Svenska Kyrka, then we went back to their place and had brunch and relaxed a bit by watching Inside Out. After spending some time at their place, three of us scurried over to the Lövgren's and the other three to the Ottosson's to skype our lovely families. Super nice to see everyone and open Christmas presents together! The night was concluded at the Ottosson's, where all six of us had another big Christmas dinner with them and their family. I even got to see President and Sister Ottosson from Ö-vik, so that was a nice surprise! Bro. Ottosson read the Christmas Story to us and then we all watched Big Hero 6 together. And that was my Christmas! Unfortunately, no snow this time around, we have to wait next week for that...

Well, it certainly felt nice to spend the holidays with so many different people and to experience my first Swedish Christmas. As this was my first Christmas away from home it got me thinking what I am grateful for and for my family. I also thought about how Christmas is the same all over the world; we all recognize the birth of the Savior and think about the gift that he is to each of us. It is true, it's a small world after all. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week, and I wish you a Happy New Year! You can expect to hear back from me this coming Friday, next P-Day is then. Keep the Christmas Spirit in your hearts and have a wonderful day!

Mycket Kärlek    

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg


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