Monday, May 30, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 61: The Cragun and Hammarkullen Carnival

Käre syskon!

Det känns gött att skriva er återigen. Idag så tänkte jag att det vore bra om jag skriver ett brev på svenska!...Skojar bara, I'll spare you all the Google translating pain haha.

It has been a great week. Of course there are always some adjustments and changes when it comes to transfer week, work is a little harder and slower and what not, but overall I am looking very much forward to the coming months with my new companion Elder Cragun. This legend comes from Layton, UT, has a younger brother and sister, and is an all-star basketball player so I've heard. He is super enthusiastic about the work and loving every minute being in Göteborg.

But as far as the last two days with Elder Williams are concerned, we had a good send-off before he took the train to Hägersten in southern Stockholm. Last P-Day was spent hanging out with other missionaries at the center for a bit, got some Max for lunch, and then walked around a bit with the Zone Leaders through Nordstan. Elder Williams and I went out to Bergsjön in the evening and contacted a few people there, stopping a Christian woman from Eritrea who accepted an English Book of Mormon and gave us her number. Tuesday was filled with lots of final visits for Elder Williams and Elder Halterman; we had lunch with Kirk and Valentina, then visited Chris and tried on some chain mail, then Elder Willaims and I met with Juha. He surprised us by buying ice cream to celebrate Elder Williams farewell, and after eating that we had a good lesson surrounding Mosiah 18 and expectations for after baptism. We luckily caught Agha at the tram station so Elder Williams got to see him one last time too, then we hurried down to the center for a party held in Lennart's honor. We had a good time there with other missionaries and Lennart truly appreciated it. To end the evening, we helped the young men and Magnus out with a service project activity, wheelbarrow-ing wood out from an elderly members place.

Wednesday was of course transfer day. We shipped off Elder Williams and Elder Halterman to their new areas, and then Elder Heiner and I stayed together until Elder Richardson came in(Elder Heiner's new comp). Had a little bit of tri-pan action by doing a contacting session, then picked up Kirk and visited a less-active named Sousanne. We had a nice visit and she really was cheered up by our time together. We then went back to the station and picked up Elder Cragun, then the ZLs drove us home and we had some dinner.
The new Sister-less district got together on Thursday for district meeting, where we set-up a district vision for the transfer and made some goals to achieve it. It's going to be one wild ride for sure haha! Pizza was had for lunch, then Elder Cragun and I went out to Hammarkullen to swing-by some people and meet Juha. Funny enough, we knock one door and end up getting let in by this old Finnish man who had met with missionaries 30+ years ago. He was pretty set in his own faith, and was decided that we were wrong and that the Bible and Book of Mormon don't support each other. Nice man though, he just talked a lot and because of him we were late to Juha, who ended up cancelling on us actually. I was pretty bummed about that, but hey, it may have been the Lord's will. We stopped by Agha and committed him to pray twice a day, morning and night; he said he will do it! After that, we did a bit of tracting, then headed over to Kirk's for Family Home Evening. 

Friday went pretty fast. Th VF Elders needed a Persian Book of Mormon in the morning so we contacted our way down to the Center and dropped it off for them. We then went over to Kortedala and had lunch with Sis. Zene and tried to boost her spirituality up by sharing a message about the Gospel basics (prayer, scripture study, and church attendance). We then headed over to Lennart's for our weekly language lesson, and Elder Cragun got to meet him for the first time. Went well over there. 

We got a call Saturday morning from Lennart, saying that he was in the hospital and had been ambulance-ed there just an hour after we had left him. He asked us to visit him so later in the afternoon, the ZLs and we went over and talked with him and read Ether 12 together. Turns out, the doctors could't find anything wrong after a bunch of tests, so Lennart was released Sunday evening and is doing fine again. Before visiting Lennart, we went over to Hammarkullen and visited Agha again. Turns out, this weekend was the annual Hammarkullen Karnevalen, one of the oldest if not the oldest carnival in Göteborg. Music was thumping and tons of people were watching the parade held just outside the tram station entrance. Crazy stuff. After all that, we had dinner with the Renman family with the ZLs and got to know them and their four girls. Nice visit and a really nice family. To end the day, Elder Cragun and I held weekly planning and set up some goals and a vision for the transfer. ¨

We had a special visit from the Israelsen family this Sunday in our ward. Elder Israelsen finished his service this past week and his family came to pick him up, making a stop here in Utby since this was one of his favorite areas. Cool to see him! He and one of his sisters (also an RM) did a lovely vocal duet and brought the Spirit in well. Normal Sunday meetings, little sparce on attendance overall, but nice none the less. After Church, the ZLs and Elder Cragun and I visited Jules and ate some cake and custard, then Elder Cragun and I went out to Hammarkullen and tried to swing-by some potential investigators. Kirk had us over for dinner with the ZLs, and we ended the evening by holding our weekly correlation meeting. 

One of my insights this week from studies was the beauty of Alma's prayer as he and his brethren were struggling to teach the Zoramites. Alma humbly prayed, "O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities...that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me...wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me". He didn't ask the Lord to take away the problems, or the wickedness of the people, or to solve it for him, he instead asked for strength that he himself might be able to be an instrument in performing the Lord's work. I have thought about that lesson a lot this week and have tried to focus my prayers on not changing God's will, but humbling me and asking him to strengthen me so that I can do the work His way. Alma Chapter 31 is a must read. 

I am so grateful for every opportunity I have as a missionary of the Lord and I am loving the growth that I see in myself. This work is true and will press on till the Gospel reaches every soul. Have a great week everyone!

Mycket Kärlek!

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg


Really pretty church over in the Zone Leaders area, over in the Olskroken neighborhood

Hammerkullen Karnevalen

Hammerkullen Karnevalen

Introducing: ELDER CRAGUN! Posing by some art at the Östra Sjukhuset (Hospital)

The new Utby crew talking with Mia Markmann after church and enjoying the warm sun


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