Monday, August 22, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 73: Hello, Good-bye and Sifting Dirt

Hejsan allihopa! 

Another letter from the land of Skåne for you. New changes in Lund as you all heard last week. I received a familiar face, Elder Dean, who hails from Auburn, WA (Pacific NW represent!) and has been out on the mission a little less than my son Elder Loertscher; roughly about 9 months. He enjoys swimming and plays the violin, and has found much enjoyment in the game "Magic: The Gathering". We have already found some new people to teach and have taught lots on the street about the Restoration. Going to be a solid companionship! 

With the events of the week and pre-transfers, we enjoyed some time at one of the beaches of Helsingborg last Monday and had a delicious dinner at the Rönndahl's place. We had a couple of good-bye moments with some YSAs for Elder Dickson, as well as the last Kebab pizza, dinner with a return missionary who served in Sweden and got married to a Swede from Lund, and so forth. We met with our curious friend Ina, who had tons of questions and strong opinions, but was interested in what we had to say as well. She is a very funny character, very smart and analytical, yet very respectful and apologetic at the same time haha. We finished the night with an AWESOME contacting stund in the city. Elder Dickson's last goal was to give a Book of Mormon to someone, and we ended up giving out 4 in a row. It was incredible. He definitely went out on a good note. 

It was a sad day to see Elder Adams and Elder Dickson go, more so in terms of Elder Dickson since he was departing for good. Wednesday morning, he boarded the train to Stockholm for one last day in Sweden with the others in his MTC Group. Elder Pack and I stayed together for a bit, doing studies together and having lunch, then picking up first Elder Dean and then Elder Gergetz. They were welcomed warmly by many members at Ward Council that night, and I introduced Elder Dean to Lund by taking him out contacting in the city where we ran into a Jew and his Muslim friend (they were like the two Muppet guys that sit in the teather booth haha), a pregnant woman named Matilda, and a few others. All this week Elder Dean and I have been able to teach many people on the street. 

We had some really spiritual teaching experiences this last week. On Thursday, the Saffer's invited us and Mia over for dinner and we all had a great time! We taught Mia about the Gospel of Jesus Christ afterwards and she expressed how she has learned so much already and feels that it is good. She prayed last week on her own and said she felt calm and comfortable. The Spirit was really there as we taught her and she is recognizing it as well. We commited her to baptism, and though she said she isn't ready she feels that it is something good that she would like to do.

On Friday, we had another such experience. Elder Dean and I just finished teaching Bert about prayer with Bro. Björklund, and we had planned to stay in the neighborhood and do some old investigator/less-active swing-bys. We go to the first address and get no answer, so we decided to tract the building from the top. The first door that opens happens to be man named Kamal from Syria who shook our hands upon opening the door and immediately let us in. We sat and taught him the entire Restoration, he gladly accepted the Book of Mormon, accepted a soft commitment to be baptized (only concern was not feeling ready), and recognized the Spirit after we said the closing prayer. The Spirit was super strong throughout the lesson. He said we could come back again and we set up a time to meet this week. Though coming from an Islamic background, he was very accepting of what we taught, understood the concept of priesthood authority even, and was anxious to learn how to pray and to continue feeling the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful experience. It turns out as well that he had been to church once three years ago with a member. We are super anxious to teach him again! 

Other events this weekend was doing some service for the Ahlströms on Saturday morning; Elder Pack and I collected dirt and moved it to a sunken part of their yard, it was fun work! Also, Elder Dean and I met up with Ina and talked about faith and tried to address her concerns about knowing what's good. We met a Chinese mother named Baofeng who we are going to meet this Tuesday so should be fun there! Sunday was Ward Conference, which gave Elder Dean a great opportunity to meet the ward. 

So that's the report in Lund I! I'll just close by sending a scripture that I found this morning that was pretty profound. D&C 90:24:

24 Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.

No matter the trials or challenges, all things will "work together for [our] good". Hold to the faith and press forward with obedience. I love you all! 

Mycket Kärlek! 
--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES:

Elder Dickson's last Kebab pizza

Elder Dickson's last dinner in Sweden with the Danish legend himself, Mads Held (one of the first missionaries I met when I arrived in Sweden); MEATZZA!

Pano outside of the Malmö Station

Welcome Elder Dean. We have 8 eyes between us!

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