Monday, November 28, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 87: 'Breakfast Club' and Christmas Renovations

Good early-afternoon friends and fam! 

Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving where ever you found yourself this year! Winter is picking up once again with a fresh layer of snow here and the temperature is dropping back down. The Christmas Initiative has kicked off and all the missionaries are super pumped about it and so are the wards and branches! Stockholm is going to be so "lit" this Christmas season! Elder Weaver and I had an exciting week and got to go out a ton and just contact the streets of Stockholm.   

Last Monday we rang in the Thanksgiving Spirit by doing a Turkey Bowl over by the chapel with some other missionaries from our Zone as well as the Stockholm South Zone. Good ol' American pride! We got to meet up with Katrennada later that night as well and start teaching her a little about the Plan of Salvation. Tuesday, Elder Weaver and I went hard in the paint and street contacted all day in Farsta and in the Slussen area. That evening we had another delicious dinner with Jorgé and Hanna, and they are doing well, just getting over some colds. 

On Wednesday, Elder Weaver and I traveled up to Borlänge and did some workovers with Elder Fawcett and Elder Richards. I went with Elder Fawcett and we had a pretty solid day despite some plans falling through. We were able to give a blessing to the investigator that Elder Baquedano and I taught when we did workovers last transfer, and that was a neat experience of service. His first ever priesthood blessing, too! I am so grateful for the Priesthood and for the opportunity that I have had to use it to serve and lift others. 

Thanksgiving day was one for the books haha! So, the four of us were headed to Uppsala for District meeting, but upon arrival at the Borlänge train station we learned that we would have to take a replacement bus and hop on a train at a different station farther down the line due to some accident with the trains earlier in the morning. After two full replacement busses, we finally got onto the third one, which took us down to a place called Säter, and once we got there, we learned that the train had not waited for us and had continued on without us. We then were forced to wait in the tiny train station "salong" with some other wayward passengers from our bus. It ended up being a kind of Breakfast club experience where we got to know each other and where everyone was going and stuff haha. One couple was headed to Thailand and was supposed to catch a flight (don't think it happened), a couple other women were on their way to work, just a fun little group of ten people. Of course, we explained what we do and who we were. After a couple hours of sitting in the Säter Station and some more delayed busses and trains, we took another bus down to Avesta Krylbo, then took another bus the rest of the way to Uppsala. Total travel/waiting time between Borlänge and Uppsala: little over 5 hours. Elder Fawcett missed his own District meeting, but we called in a bit and let the other missionaries know what happened, and once we got to Uppsala the four of us headed to the Thai Buffet and celebrated Thanksgiving together. Fun morning and afternoon haha. Elder Weaver and I made it back to Stockholm no problem later, and had sports night as well as met with the Swedish woman who had interviewed us again and got our pictures taken by a photographer. Apparently, she wrote an article about our interview and its going to get published in a Swedish Christian Newspaper. 

Friday consisted of weekly planning while some handymen came into our apartment and installed some new lights for the Landlord, as well as getting an IKEA wardrobe delivered to us. I don't think I mentioned this earlier, but the mission will be losing the "Treehouse", Landlord is moving back in and kicking us out, so we will be moving out in a month or two. Also, taught Swedish to one of our members in the ward at the Church and did a ring stund. 

Saturday was District meeting, followed by some more solid contacting using the Christmas Initiative and seeing the general response. We also met with Dieudonné and showed the video to him and read Helaman 14 together. Sunday was the big pay-off day. Throughout the week, we had been stressing about how we would present the Initiative to the Ward and texted the Bishop multiple times and other leaders trying to coordinate allowing us some time to present the video and things. Thankfully, to our surprise, Bro. Henretta (one of the counselors in the Bishopric) announced it during Sacrament meeting and showed the advent calender as well, Elder Weaver and I showed the video in Priesthood opening exercises, and the other Elders showed it in Relief Society. Members are excited and interested and it was a success! Another plus was that our Albanian friend, Christoffer (who came to Stake Conference out of the blue last week) came to church yesterday and stayed all three hours and is just a stud. He already comes dressed in a full suit and introduced himself to a bunch of members, and we got him a Swedish and Albanian Book of Mormon. #SuperPrepared! It was a very fulfilling Sunday and so was Pablo's dinner per usual afterwards haha. 

I'm a sucker for small kids, I think they are the cutest and I always enjoy making goofy faces at babies or playing peek-a-boo with a toddler. Yesterday was the Primary Program and I felt the Spirit strongly as I heard the sincere, innocent testimonies of those dear children witness simple yet divine truths of the Restored Gospel. I was reminded of my own experiences in Primary and of my younger sisters back home, and the Spirit was so sweet. I know that the words Christ spoke have great meaning when he said, 

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me". (Matthew 18:4-5)

Don't forget to be a light for others this Christmas season and enjoy the time you have with your little ones, who have some of the strongest lights. Have a great week 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

PICTURES: 
Turkey Bowl 2016!

Enjoying a snack on the way to Borlänge

City Square in Borlänge

City Square in Borlänge

The much deserved Thai Buffet!

Elder Weaver's first Cheesecake (Do you see Ludvig, as well?)

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