Monday, March 28, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 52: Glad Påsk and Long-lost Brother

Good afternoon everyone! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and a beautiful Easter Sunday! I think this e-mail will be a little shorter this week but I hope you all enjoy! 

Things here in Göteborg are going well, though not booming like Elder Williams and I would like. We had an okay week, work was a little harder than usual for odd reasons. But last Monday was a blast! We went with the ZLs to a place called Bohus Fästning, an old castle-like place from viking times that is a twenty minute drive outside of Göteborg. The place was closed, but we just walked around the outside and pretended to be in Middle-Earth and things like that. We also went back into Göteborg and did a bit of shopping, and that evening we practiced some songs for the Easter Concert that was held yesterday, at the YSA center with the YSAs. Fun P-Day!

So our stud-of-a-recent-convert, Lennart, led us in our little Easter Campaign over at the Partille Bus terminal on Tuesday and Thursday. We sat and talked to people that were waiting for buses and gave out some materials and tried to spread the Easter message. It was a little difficult to be honest, but it made Lennart happy and he enjoyed working with us. He treated us to lunch both days and we talked about some principles of the Gospel with him like the Pre-Earth life. Lennart is such a bold, strong example of a follower of Jesus Christ. Definitely could take a page or two out of his book. On Tuesday after being with Lennart, Elder Williams and I went out to Kortedala and tried to get in contact with some old investigators and other people in the area. 

We had two lessons set-up with some investigators, but they fell through...rough day. However, we did meet with our investigator Juha and got a baptismal date with him for the 30th of April. This lesson went a lot better and the Spirit was present. Last time we met with him it was hard feeling the Spirit, but as we taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ he seemed to be more engaged and lively and all in all it went better. We had a delicious salmon dinner at the Ludwig family's home and got to know them better. 

As said before, we did more proselyting with Lennart at the station, but afterwards we did some tracting over in Rannebergen centrum and had some interesting doors there. About five doors had Jehovahs wittnesses behind them and one door had a woman who totally shut us down and said we weren't Christian and everything. Elder Williams wouldn't take that for an answer and bore testimony on her and though she was not having anything of it, we walked away from that door feeling energized and ready to take on the world haha! The night ended by going to Kirk's for Family Home evening, but no one showed up so we talked to Kirk and supported him since he is having a rough time. 

Friday we had an awesome Zone Conference in the Västra Frölunda Chapel. I gained so many awesome insights and it was probably the most spiritual zone conference yet! Learned about developing our relationship with Christ and being our very best missionary by looking through our spiritual eyes and not letting our physical eyes set-up limitations in our work. We also had an awesome Sports Night later that night with the Young Men and others in the Ward and played Innebandy. Super fun! 

On Saturday we taught an old investigator named Peter at the center who is going through some interesting times but is growing closer to Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study. Elder Williams and I got mixed up and went to the wrong address for a member dinner but got picked up by the Zone Leaders so it went okay in the end. Great dinner with the Syvänens and the ZLs gave an awesome spiritual thought there. To close the night Elder Williams and I tried to find something effective to do, but because it was påskafton (a holiday in Sweden) it was pretty rough. We did do some tracting and it went alright in the end. 

Easter Sunday was spent in church, good musical numbers from members during sacrament meeting, we taught Sonyaa after church with some young women in the ward, then had a delicious fajita dinner with the ZLs and the Watsons and Hawleys (both senior couples in the Zone). I lucked out with Easter dinner at Americans both of my Easters in Sweden! Afterwards, we went to the Västra Frölunda chapel to rehearse and perform in an Easter Concert held there. There was a great turnout and it was beautiful to be able to sing in a big YSA/missionary choir about the Savior and his Atonement.

So in the end, it turned out to be an awesome week and I really grew closer to my Savior. I know he knows me and loves me and looks out for us. He has suffered the pains of all men so that he can know how to best comfort us. I know that he perfectly comforts us when we need it. 

Have a wonderful week and take care everyone!

Mycket Kärlek, 

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg

Sweden

Monday, March 21, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 51: Strengthening People and Exploring Göteborg

Good Morning from Gothenburg! 

Hope the weather is treating you all well and that you each had a wonderful week! It seemed that this past week we did a lot of things with ward members and individuals and strengthened relationships with others. The drudgery of negative responses from our finding efforts was a little wearing, but I learned some good things this week and feel that the Lord is still with me and teaching me the things I need to learn. 

Elder Williams and I spent the rest of P-Day last week checking out the Nordstan mall, a popular attraction here in Göteborg. Lots of clothing stores and shops. We took the evening to organize our area books and get some records and things in order as well. 

Tuesday afternoon we went out to Angered and tracted an apartment building and showed a few people the new Easter initiative message, before being picked up by the Zone Leaders for lunch with the Sis. Svahn and some of here friends. We also showed them the Easter video and brought the Spirit in as we talked about Christ and his sacrifice. After getting back into Göteborg (the Svahns live a little ways out), Elder Williams and I dropped the ZLs off at an appointment and borrowed their car to pick up some things for mutual that night, which we the missionaries would be leading for the Young Men. The activity turned out great! We did a little relay race with the guys and then made pancakes and talked about the importance of daily scripture study and prayer. Made me reflect on my experience in Young Men and realizing how important these simple things are. It was fun to be on the other side and to be able to show these growing teenagers that the Gospel is so meaningful and important. 

On Wednesday, I traveled with Elder Dean to the land of my father, Alingsås, for splits. Elder Kapp was trained in this city two years, so it felt special to be there and see the sights that he saw for twelve weeks. Alingsås is a quieter little city, very quaint and Swedish. Elder Dean and I went to a little community outside of the main city and did some tracting over there, and also some swing-bys and tracting in the neighborhoods of Alingsås itself. Elder Dean and I had a good day, despite not seeing too many results. We did get stopped by a less-active member as we were riding our bikes around who expressed the desire to have visits from the missionaries more and gave us her number, so that was neat. 

Thursday was pretty fun! Elder Featherstone and I had the opportunity to visit a "high-school" religion class and talk about our faith, what Mormons believe, why we are here as missionaries, etc. and answer their questions. We had lots of fun and got the kids laughing, gave lots of information, and answered all their questions with confidence. There were some deep doctrine questions though, let me you haha. We kept it simple while at the same time being respectful and clear. They all seemed to enjoy having us there and it was a neat experience for me, this being my first time doing something like this. Afterwards, we ended our temporary splits, and after lunch at the ZLs place, Elder Williams and I had a short visit with Lennart, then headed over to Kirk's for Family Home Evening, but also to give Kirk a blessing. The four of us layed our hands on his head and Elder Williams gave him a wonderful blessing. Kirk was so appreciative and couldn't thank us enough. It is always special to exercise the power of the Priesthood in the service of God's children. 

We held our weekly district meeting Friday at the Institute Center and discussed how we can increase in hope as we strive to be "All in" missionaries of the Lord. Afterwards, Elder Williams and I and the ZLs were taken out to lunch by three sisters in the ward and we had a lovely time with them. It was touching to hear how missionaries have been a strong part of their testimonies and how we are always the constants in the ward. We learned some good insights from them on things we can do to help the ward become more unified and more like a family, because many of the members are up there in age and are feeling lonely and more separated from the younger generation. After lunch, we had a lesson with Juha, a Finnish-Swede investigator, where we taught him the Plan of Salvation and committed him to read daily from the Book of Mormon and pray. We did some tracting later that night before visiting Inge Nordås, the blind member in the ward who we visited last week. He had had a rough day and expressed his concerns with us, to which I felt an outpouring of sympathy. I couldn't help but weep as I listened to this man express his struggles; I felt so much love in that moment and desired strongly to help him. We taught a practice lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I pondered on the principle of enduring to the end as we taught. We have to reach out to our fellow brothers and sisters and show that we truly care; that is a part of enduring, is helping one another in that same journey. As we left, Inge told us we had cheered him up and that he appreciated our visits so much. It felt wonderful to know that we had lifted someone up on their bad day. 

On Saturday, the ZLs and we visited with Lennart together and discussed his plans for doing a little campaign to spread the message of Easter next week. Elder Williams and I also had lunch with Sis. Zene Lundgren, who bought us soda and pizza. My first encounter with Göteborg kebab! After her, we had a meeting with a former investigator which turned into a debate about Justice, Mercy, why we need a Savior/Mediator, and God's plan. This man was of the Islamic faith and had strong opinions and beliefs. Needless to say we left feeling frustrated and a little depressed, with the addition of rejection on all of our street contacts as we made our way back home for weekly planning that evening only adding to the hurt. Elder Williams and I talked a lot that evening about how it went and reaffirmed our faith and testimonies. I agree with a remark by Elder Williams: "The more I meet people of other faiths and learn about what they believe, the more it supports my testimony of this church and that it is the true one." Amen

Sunday was refreshing and a needed respite from the previous day. I felt the renewal of the Spirit as I took the sacrament and listened to talks on the Book of Mormon during Sacrament meeting. I translated for Chris again during sacrament meeting as well as for Kirk during third hour in High Priests'. We did an investigator to come to sacrament meeting that we have been waiting to meet named Cuong. He is a referral from the Västra Frölunda elders and is very close to baptism. He has been taught nearly all the lessons and we will be meeting with him this coming Friday. We have faith we can set up a baptismal date with him :) The four of us missionaries were invited over to dinner with the Gjaeram family and had a delicious meal with them. We showed the Easter video and I felt the Spirit reaffirm the truths of the Atonement and Resurrection as we had a closing prayer together. Elder Williams and I later tried to swing-by some less actives, but with no luck there ended up tracted a building and gave two Books of Mormon out and got two potential investigators! We closed the evening by having correlation meeting over at Kirk's house. 

I having really learned how important it is that we reach out to our neighbors and friends and family and hold contact with each other. A simple phone call to say hello, a surprise visit, or a brief letter can go a long way. As we reach out we will be lifted ourselves and feel more the Christ-like love that is charity warm our hearts. I know that Jesus Christ lives and bear my testimony that he is the First Comforter and the Redeemer of the World, our Mediator with the Father. I am so grateful for the testimony I have and for the times that it has been tested and made stronger. May you each have a wonderful Easter week and remember that because of Him, we can find new life.

Mycket Kärlek,    

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg

Sweden

Monday, March 14, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 50: Beautiful Sunshine and Free Books

Greetings from the Sunny side of Sweden down here in Göteborg! Another week has gone by and has found me happy and energized for another great week. 

Last Monday we threw a little surprise crepe party for a YSA in the Västra Frölunda Ward at the Institute center, and Elder Williams and I's lessons fell through with some potential investigators. But, we did do some tracting in our neighbor hood that night and treated ourselves to some chocolate the local grocery store afterwards.

On Tuesday we had planned to meet with a really positive potential investigator who apparently has read half of the Book of Mormon already at the center, but he had to call it off unfortunately...However, the ZLs let us borrow their car since they were in Stockholm for MLC, so we used it to drive around and get some tracting in before having lunch with Chris and Sanna. Yummy meatballs with rice and sauce with a spicy indian twist. After them, we had apartment checks by the Hawleys, a senior couple in the Zone, did some more tracting by our place, then met with Lennart and worked on our Swedish and read some scriptures in Helaman. In the evening we went on a home-teaching visit with Bro. Bergsman and visited Sis. Liljansalo, an elderly sister who is just a little lonely. We ended the night by picking up the ZLs from the train station once they arrived. 

Wednesday was the big finding day. Lots and lots of tracting and contacting, starting off in Angered Centrum and street contacting the people there. We taught a couple street/door lessons throughout the day and gave out a Book of Mormon or two. We also got a call from a teacher at a local school to come and give a little presentation about what we do as missionaries and about our faith and church this coming Thursday. We met with Agha as well and taught him about the importance of church and committed him to come that Sunday. Elder Williams was kind enough to give me a haicut that night too. His first one ever; talk about companionship trust! It turned out good so no worries. Since being with Elder Williams we have been teaching lots of street lessons about the Book of Mormon and it has pushed me to do a better job of relating to people and applying the things we teach to them. 

Thursday was a beautiful day. As soon as a stepped outside that morning I just felt great and ready to take on the world! We had some awesome street lessons that day too! We had planned to do some swing-bys that morning, none of which panned out, but the Lord blessed us by putting people in our path. We stopped one man named Terrak who hails from the Middle East and had perfect English and taught him a couple principles of the Plan of Salvation. He really listened to us as we testified that the Book of Mormon could bless him and help him understand God even more. He gladly took a Book of Mormon in English and we gave him our contact information. Elder Williams and I both knew we were meant to talk to that man. Later that day, we met at the center with the Västra Frölunda Elders for an investigator hand-off. An investigator they had been teaching is actually in our area so they handed him off to us. His name is Mohammed and he comes from Somalia. He has been taught a good amount and has committed to being baptized. We taught him the Word of Wisdom, which he has a few problems with, but committed a hundred percent to live it and try his best to give up some things. We were going to meet him more this week but we weren't able to get in contact with him due to some issues with his phone, so this week we are really going to put a big emphasis on him. Mohammed is prepared and will definitely be baptized soon. After that lesson, Elder Williams and I did some more contacting and tracting in Bergsjön and then went to FHE at the Cammans home, where Chris and Sanna, Agha, and some other less-actives were in attendance. 

We had the transfer-ally zone training on Friday and were taught how to use the new Easter Initiative that the Church has just launched. New video, new mormon.org page, please check it out and spread it with friends and family. The video really touched me and strengthened my testimony of the Savior and his resurrection. Made me think of how wonderful it is to know that the Savior overcame both Spiritual and Physical Death so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. The Spirit was strong in the training and we all left with renewed testimonies and a desire to share the message of finding new life in Jesus Christ. Later, Elder Williams and I went back out to Bergsjön and had a good talk on the street with a man of Islamic faith. He did a lot of the talking, but at one point I bore sincere testimony that I have had spiritual experiences praying and testified that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. He ended up telling us where he lived and said we could stop by and give him a Book of Mormon in his language (Serbian). To end the night, Elder Williams and I met with Cathi and Andreas, a member couple who are super friendly and funny. Cathi is from China and Andreas comes from Eskilstuna here in Sweden. We had a nice visit with them and testified about the importance of coming to Church. 

Saturday morning we met with Sonyaa, one of our investigators with a baptismal date and taught her about the Word of Wisdom over at her Dad's place, who is a member. We had porridge and cinnamon rolls together, courtesy of Eriker (the dad). We did some weekly planning later that day, some more tracting in our neighborhood then more tracting over in Fjällkåpan, where we found a cool guy from Albania who accepted a Book of Mormon and got his number. That evening we had a role-play lesson with Bro. Inge Nordås, a blind member in the ward. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and left with some good insights on how we can teach it better next time. 

Sunday was wonderful! We had a guest visit from RM Felix Sahlin, who gave a talk in Sacrament meeting about some experiences on his mission and brought the Spirit in powerfully. So awesome to see him again! Love that guy! I taught Gospel Principles second hour and then translated for Bro Cammans in High Priests. That afternoon Elder Williams and I went to Bergsjön and dropped off a bunch of Book of Mormons to some potential, potential investigators; we even got some more potential investigators on the way! We gave the one father his Serbian Book of Mormon and he was eager to read it. We had dinner with Lennart that evening and talked about plans to do a little campaign in two weeks in preparation for Easter where the three of us would go on the streets and share the Easter Initiative video with people. The evening came to a close with Correlation meeting over at the Cammans house with the ZLs. 

Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life and the Living Water. We have a blessed opportunity every Sunday to partake of bread and water in remembrance of his Atonement and in the renewal of our covenants to take upon us his name and witness of his reality. I testify that He is my Savior and that because of him I will be resurrected and can overcome spiritual death through faith on his name. I wish you all a wonderful week and can't wait to hear from you all next Monday!

Mycket Kärlek,

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg

Sweden

Monday, March 7, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 49: City Life and Norrland Weather

Hello friends and family and everyone in-between! 

It is true! I am close to the west coast of Sweden in the beautiful city of Göteborg! What a change from Norrland! Back to the hustle and bustle of a major city and seeing other missionaries more frequently. But as far as the last couple days in Umeå, P-Day was spent taking a few pics of the city and then having dinner with the Kohlström family and doing some planning for the upcoming week. On Tuesday, Elder Loertscher and I spent a big part of the day with the Zone Leaders saying good-bye to some members in the branch like Daniel Pettersson, and Niels and Zezka. Elder L and I also got to meet with Henry again and read a couple chapters from the Book of Mormon. Had my final dinner with the Iguarans that evening, and also got to meet with their son Joseph and his girlfriend Emma at the end of the day. It was bittersweet saying good-bye to these people, but I am sure we will meet again and keep in contact. 

Wednesday morning Elder Bradshaw and I left Elder Luke and Elder Loertscher and flew down to Stockholm together. I have to give a shout-out to my dear son, who I will miss dearly. He taught me a lot and we had some wonderful times together. After landing in Stockholm I took another flight to Göteborg, where I picked up my bags was greeted by Elder Featherstone (a former Zone Leader of mine and now once again) and my new companion, Elder Williams. Elder Williams is a supposedly shy guy at first glance, but he has a characteristic humor and we have been getting along great so far. He hails from Kayesville, UT, has two brothers, and his favorite film is "Need for Speed". He has been serving for seven months and Utby is his second area. After meeting at the airport, the three of us stayed together for most of the day waiting for Elder Halterman, Elder Featherstone's new comp. We dropped off my bags at our place, which happens to be an add-on to a member's home, so that is different, and then came to the chapel and worked on an area map, then picked up Elder Halterman that night after having his train delayed. 

My first full day in Utby, we had district meeting in the morning at the YSA Institute Center in the middle of Göteborg (awesome location), had lunch at a place called "Wrapp-ed" (super good Chipotle style burritos), then Elder Williams and I did some contacting before meeting with a new convert named Lennart. Lennart is a wonderful elderly man who loves missionaries and was baptized just last year. He fed us some soup then he helped us with our Swedish as we read from Mosiah 16 and shared a message. That evening we also had FHE at the Ward Mission Leader's home and I got to meet some less-actives who live at their place as well as Chris and Sanna. Chris is from the UK and he and his girlfriend have an adorable one year old son named Michael. The mission leader is actually American and has lived in Sweden for almost 18 years. Great guy and loves giving hugs! 

On Friday Elder Williams and I met with one of our current investigators named Sonyaa who has a baptismal date for April 2nd. We met her at the YSA Center and taught about the Law of Chastity (the awkward one haha). We realized that we need to question her more next time on her expectations and intentions because though she is very willing to meet she seems to be doing it out of an educational or purely informational desire. Her dad happens to be a recent convert as well and he wants her to be baptized. We will see how things play out with her. Afterwards Elder Williams and I met with an investigator named Agha who deals with some word of wisdom issues but loves the company of the missionaries and has had all the lessons before. Hopefully we can get him close to baptism and help him overcome his difficulties :) That night we weekly planning and set-up some goals for the transfer and the coming week. We had a couple street lessons as well, and got to give a Book of Mormon to one person named Kandas. We have been able to teach a lot on the street I have seen so far and it has been neat to share the message of the Restoration with others.  

On Saturday we did a bunch of contacting in the city before meeting with the Västra Frölunda Sisters and with one of their investigators who just moved into our area; so we had a little hand-off meeting. The guy's name is Wikee and he originally comes from Ghambia. He bought us all hot chocolate at a coffee shop and we read from 1 Nephi chapter 1 together. Elder Williams and I did some good tracting that day as well as street contacting and got a couple potentials out of it. We really have been talking to everyone we pass and though many turn us down without a second glance, it still feels great to do our best and try. We have lots of opportunities to contact on public transportation such as busses and trams (called a spårvagn) as well. 

My first Sunday in the Utby ward was great! Got to meet lots of new faces and introduce myself to many. Still working on remembering all the names though haha. I translated for Chris during fast and testimony meeting; my translating was a little rusty since Stockholm. The missionaries here are really involved in the ward and we teach regularly the Gospel Principles class as well as Young Men's. The rest of Sunday we had mostly meetings, one directly after church with the ZLs and some priesthood leaders going over home-teaching and how we can help, then later meeting at the bishops home to discuss his expectations of us and what he would like us to do, as well as Correlation meeting with Bro. Cammans (the mission leader) also at the Bishop's house. Elder Williams and I did some tracting and potential investigator swing-bys in-between some of those meetings as well. 

Despite being farther South, the weather hasn't felt too much different here. We have seen cloudy skies and slight drizzles daily, mixed with some snow yesterday and today. I expect to see some Sun around here soon :) I am very excited for this new area, companion and transfer and am looking forward to the business. As we met with the Bishop yesterday, I felt the Spirit testify to me that his goals for us were true needs of the ward. It testified to me that our local church leaders our inspired of God to guide these units and to minister unto those under their stewardship. The Power of the Priesthood is real. I wish you all a great week! Take care! 

Mycket Kärlek,    
-- 

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg

Sweden

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 48: Chinese Beef and Hejdå Umeå!

Hello friends and family far and wide!

It has been a great week over here in Umeå. Turns out it was my last full week here as well, but I will get to that in a second.

So last Monday we had dinner over with the Ottossons, doing some contacting on the street before hand then making some calls back home that night afterwards. 

Tuesday we had the bittersweet time of having our last District Meeting with the Delgados, who have just left to return back home to the States. Elder Carrigan and Elder Rhoades organized a little memorial for them by gathering videos from some of the missionaries that had served alongside them. Very special time, good meeting, and yummy chinese food for lunch. After coming back from Ö-vik, Elder Loertscher and I hurried over to the Church and met with Ian Chen, an investigator from two transfers back that had been in China during the Holidays. We had a very short visit, and unfortunately he may be moving back to China permanently due to work and so that he can be with is wife. He still wants to investigate the church and find out more and continuing reading from the Book of Mormon, so we have sent him links to church websites so that he can continue finding out more. Afterwards, we had dinner with the ZLs Sis. Nystedt and a non-member friend of hers who had a really cool Swedish name that I don't know how to spell. :) After that, the Zone Leaders and we went on street contacting splits to finish off the night.

Wednesday went a little different than planned, but Elder Loertscher and I met up with Frank, an American member in the branch who is not having too much luck with the job situation in Sweden. We got to talk to him and share a message, and he really seemed to appreciate being able to talk openly (and in English) with us. We got to meet with our other Chinese investigator, Henry, and read another chapter in the Book of Mormon with him. He treated us to his last package of real chinese beef that he had brought with him from his last trip to China. Super yummy actually. Just some cold beef that we ate with bread but was really good. Henry is enjoying our time together and is really interested in the Book of Mormon and learning more about Lehi and his family. The Lövgrens treated us and the ZLs to dinner at a Thai restaurant later that day, then Elder Loertscher and I did some more street contacting in Stan. 

We met with Shrok again on Thursday and he is doing very well. He believes that the Book of Mormon is true and wants to send copies of it to Iran to his family and friends. We did our best to teach about Prophets and Joseph Smith still using Google translate, and he in turn taught us a few things in Persian. We may learn Persian faster than he learns Swedish haha! Also, we met with Emelie and Johannes that night and after having dinner with them watched the short Restoration movie. They told us that once they understand the historical side of the Book of Mormon they would really consider being baptized and becoming members. 

Friday was our Lycksele day. Lycksele is a city out west of Umeå by about two hours and is located in central Sweden. We took a train together with the Zone Leaders after getting brunch at the newly opened IKEA in Umeå. Elder Loertscher and I tried to do a few swing-bys on former investigators once we got over there, then ended up doing lots of tracting. The Wennerlund family (members in the branch) had us over for dinner that night which was super good! It was cool to have dinner with them since they live so far out. They come regularly to church on Sundays but aside from that they aren't in Umeå so much, so it was very nice to visit with them in their home. We took a train back to Umeå then the ZLs drove us home to be in time for transfer calls that night.

Saturday morning we received the big transfer news. I will be transferring to Utby, a community located in GÖTEBORG!!! Elder Williams will be my new companion; I don't know anything about him other than he is in the same MTC group as Elder Kendall, so it will be awesome getting to know him. My son Elder Loertscher will be holding the fort here in Umeå and will be receiving Elder Burgin, a seasoned missionary with just three months left in his mission. As for the ZLs, Elder Bradshaw also received the boot from Umeå and is headed down to Handen in the greater Stockholm area. Elder Luke is staying here as well and is getting Elder Bailey. I am very excited to be headed down south but will greatly, greatly miss Norrland and Umeå. I felt like I have spent my whole life here and to be leaving this place seems very unreal. This will be quite a bigger change than Ö-vik to Umeå was haha. Elder Loertscher is glad to be staying but a little heartbroken to see his Father take off on him. I know he will be fine though. So that's the news. Saturday was special for a few other reasons. Last Innebandy day for me and Elder Bradshaw, as well as the occasion of two baptisms! The Elders from Ö-vik brought Salima up to Umeå in the early afternoon and had a wonderful baptismal service for her here. It was really cool because I got to see a few familiar faces from Ö-vik's branch like the Mongs and Ottossons, but also Salima, someone who Elder Workman and I had been getting to come to church and youth activities while we were down there. After her service, we were able to hold a service for Zezka!! So amazing to finally see this whole process happen after about three and a half months in the making. It was a beautiful service and we had lots of support from other Branch members. Zezka was so happy and excited and everything went really well! That night the four of us missionaries had dinner with Sis. Marianne Larsson, then Elder Loertscher and I had a little visit with our good friend Magnus. 

Yesterday was my last Sunday in Umeå. Pretty bittersweet. Our investigator Kurt ended up coming to church to our surprise, just smiling at our dumbfounded faces. He only stayed for Sacrament meeting but it was good that he came. After all the meetings the branch held a lunch to end the Branch 21-day fast. It was very nice to be all gathered together and to reflect on the blessings that we had seen come from that fast, because there definitely were some. Elder Bradshaw and I got some farewells pics with a bunch of members, and that night we had a rib dinner with Niels and Zezka to celebrate all the wonderful things that have happened with them. 

So all in all, it was a great end to my time here in Umeå. I have made lasting friendships, unforgettable memories, and gained more experience. The Lord has been there with me and comforted me during those hard times. I am once again looking forward to closing a chapter and opening a new one as my mission in Sweden continues. I hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Mycket Kärlek,   
-- 

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg

Sweden