Monday, January 30, 2012

Is There Only One True Church? Jan 30

  Dear Family! 
Syster Schneiber here reporting from the wintry northern country. It is officially cold and winter here. But when the sun shines it feels like summer on the inside.  I was sitting on the bus the other day and as we passed a bus stop I saw this girl facing the sun. Her expression was pure contentment, peace, joy, and happiness all in one.  They say here that Swedes "dyrka solen" which means to worship the sun.  Totally true. And I am becoming one of them.  When the sun is out shining you have to take a moment to just soak up its warmth.  It feels great.  So today the sun is out in full glory and I LOVE IT! 
  Well this week had its rough moments. Ulla tried to drop us and Pam did drop us and a few other hard parts.... but through it all miracles still happened. Last Monday started out grand. We went to Göteberg for our P-day and played FRISBEE again with all the missionaries on our zone. It was fabulous.  I think one of my favorite things about having activities with all the missionaries (Other than playing Frisbee) is having a chance to get to know them on personal levels. I have learned a lot from these great Systers and elders who I am serving with.  Each one has sacrificed something to come here and has a special relationship with heavenly father. Love really is the greatest motivator! 
   I had the chance to talk to my first district leader Äldste Todesco and he taught me something interesting about obedience. Why do we choose to be obedient?  He said there were three levels.... 1. fear. You do it because you are scared you will get in trouble.  2. Duty. You feel like it is your duty to serve. and 3. Love. you do it because you love God.  Very interesting.
   This week as Syster Juker and I taught our investigators it felt like the same problem kept coming up. They said they didn’t think there could be only one true church. It was hardest when our dear investigator Ulla brought up this problem on Tuesday. She is about 70 and said.... how is this possible. What if I had never seen the Book of Mormon and met missionaries. She has been an active Christian for most of her life. So we left her with a challenge to read the Book of Mormon throughout the rest of the week and pray specifically to know if this was God's only true church.  We met with her again on Friday with the Wiklöfs (members) and it got a little heated.  I could see Ulla closing off more and more and us trying to hang onto her and help her understand.  Finally, Ulla asked Torston Wiklöf to say a prayer to help her be more open and understand. If you remember from my previous email.... torston is on his sick bed and he probably only has a few weeks left of life. He also has served 4 missions. When this man walks into a room you automatically feel the spirit. So as he the said the prayer Ulla relaxed and softened. His prayer was possibly the longest prayer I have ever heard.... but still really beautiful. So she is still on a mission to try and figure out if there could actually be one true church. 
   This week Syster Juker and I went on splits to help some of the women do their visit teaching. I went with Sandra (coolest girl ever) to visit another member, Elizabeth, who had just gotten married in the temple. I mostly listened to the two girls talking but at one point I had a comment and leaned forward to speak. As I opened my mouth to speak I could feel a sense of power flowing through my words. I don’t even remember what my comment was about.... It was just one of my normal thoughts that stuck out and I wanted to share it. As I was speaking I could see Elizabeth felt touched by my statement as well. It was warmth and a sense of unity that came with the words. As Sandra and I got on the bus after she pointed out how as a missionary there really is a power that comes with the calling. She said she felt it too with the words I spoke.  Often times I don’t understand everything. I don’t know the answers to all questions. But that night I understood a little better that there really is a power with me as a missionary. I know that Heavenly Father is here with me now. He loves you
    Lastly, even though many of our investigators are having a hard time .... there seems to be a lot of less actives that need our help and are ready to come back to church.  Johanas is my new friend. He hasn’t been coming to church since he was a teenager.  But a member family continues to invite him to their house for Christmas every year and for other big events. We met him on Boxing Day and asked if we could meet up again.  From there we have been meeting him once a week and trying an experiment: To see if living the gospel really does bring him more happiness.  We were supposed to meet him on Friday evening. We got a text message that morning that he was in the ICU with a ruptured coronary artery. We went and visited him that evening at the hospital. He said he has been doing a lot of thinking about Christ, the church, everything. 
    It seems so hard to sometimes believe and have faith. There is so much that pulls at our attention and tries to tell us there can be no such thing as a loving heavenly father. But I am here to tell you. He is there. 
 I love you all. 
 My favorite scripture for the week is Alma 37:9.  If you want evidence that God exists and that this is the only true church of God read the Book of Mormon. It is the evidence. 
Syster Schneiber

Sunshine and Stormy Clouds - Jan 23

Dear family!
   Sweden is still here just in case you were wondering. I think winter is finally coming. Snow has stayed on the ground for three days in a row now and they are saying it’s going to be cold for the next two weeks. Sweden. Bring IT ON. Syster Schneiber is prepared! :) 
   This week has been an interesting one. We had zone conference on Wednesday.  The topic was on faith and new goals we set for the up coming year. I had a lot of inspiration throughout the meeting and really enjoyed getting to know more missionaries. Something that stood out to me was prayer. We talked about how when we have specific prayers we get specific answers. Of course this makes sense... but it seems when you say over 20 prayers every day... it is sometimes easy to get into a routine. So I've been working on my prayers and trying to make them more specific. Yes. There are more thoughts I have about this subject... but I cant quite formulate them into a sentence. After I have tested out my new theory and worked on my prayers-I'll have a story to share that can explain it better.
   Some blessings from the Lord this week came from the wonderful people that surround Syster Juker and I.  We had a lesson with Ulla at the Wiklöfs home. Usually the lessons with the Wiklöfs are AMAZING. This old couple has served 5 missions (or something) together and their testimonies are so strong.  But for some reason the lesson just started out with not a lot of power. Ulla hadn't done her reading... and there was just something missing. I felt a little fear and sadness rush through me... thinking... if we don’t get the spirit, we might loose Ulla. So I just began to pray for help.  My mind became calm. I could see the thoughts flowing through my mind at a slow and steady pace... and certain thoughts felt highlighted. So I would pause wait for a break in the conversation and say the thought. More thoughts would flow by and then another highlighted thought... this time in the form of a question. This kept happening. By the end of the lesson I realized I felt a warmth in me and knew that the spirit was with us again. I could tell that all of us were learning together and feeling a greater sense of joy. It was great.  I'm really beginning to recognize when the spirit is guiding me... which is pretty cool.
    I am also beginning to recognize and have become a lot more sensitive to others emotions around me. We got on the bus later on and sat across from a man, his wife and daughter. The man was sarcastically snapping back at his wife, while she sat with no emotions on the other side of the chair and ignored him. All along the daughter was trying to get their attention and was the receiver of more angry remarks. It was like I had walked into a storm cloud. I could feel the negative energy. That peace I felt at Ulla's lesson was blown away with the wind of this angry storm. When we got off the bus... it felt like I had to shake off the angry clouds and call the sunlight back into me.  So I understand a little better how when one person is angry, contentious, not nice... they can affect those around them without even speaking to them.
   On a happier note Albert came to church! Albert is our new Chinese investigator we contacted on the street during Christmas.  This was his first time at church and it was AWESOME! He came to all three hours of church. He really enjoyed getting to know more people and had a good discussion during gospel principles class. But the best part was sacrament meeting. The talks that were given were awesome with a strong spirit. I turned to Albert after one talk and asked him what he thought.  He said "I felt deeply moved..." and then went onto describe how there was literally something inside him that he felt. His English isn’t amazing and he has a hard time describing his feelings ... but he put his hand to his chest and motioned that there was something inside him in his body or blood almost.  (We call that the spirit! Don’t worry I explained that to him).  Then at the end of church I turned to him and asked him... "Why do you think it is important that we come to church every week and not just meet with us (missionaries) during the week?"  His respond was BEAUTIFUL! He said because we have to help strengthen each other and grow from each other’s experiences and discuss it. That is music to a missionaries ears... Better than all the cookies in the world! :)  And then he said you know... if I do this thing and become a member... I'm someone who likes doing things 100% all the way. That means that I have to do 2 hours a few times a week with the scriptures and then 4 hours on Sunday. That is a lot for a student. But it would be amazing.  haha He is awesome... he is already talking about going above and beyond the call of duty.  Sometimes I think that if missionaries were allowed into china... we wouldn’t be able to sleep there would be so many people prepared for the gospel.  So I hope Albert remains true to his being fully committed to something and can help strengthen the less active Chinese in this ward. And then maybe go home and help china too.
  Lastly, our idea to do the Preach My Gospel study program with member families is under way... AND it is awesome. We are doing it with the Thörn family (Turn). They did their homework this last week (LOVE IT!)... and we went over on Sunday to have them practice teaching us and then did roll plays where they taught each other. It was awesome. their homework assignment is to tell someone about the restoration this week.  SO! Ill let you know how it goes.
    I just want you to know that even when life is hard there is always sunshine that peaks through the clouds every day. Are you noticing those rays of light?  Write them down and you will notice a change in your day. Promise.  If not please email back and we can sort this problem out ,)
 I know that Heavenly Father loves you and he loves me too.
 LOVE SYSTER SCHNEIBER
tea time! I found my favorite african tea again!
cookies are a great way to make friends!
The Jönköping chapel

Following the Spirit - Jan. 16

Dear Family and friends!
   I am glad you are all doing so well and that you all still love me :)  So good to know. It was great to hear about Maegan's wedding and Erik thanks for the pictures! Maegan looked so happy and just wonderful. I'm loving her man already... and definitely will want to join in on their adventures! Mom don’t lose your passport in Aruba and get stuck there.
   SO... you of course want to know how life is going up here in the northern country. I have a new companion named Syster Juker. She is 5 10, brown curly hair, she sings and makes funny noises as we go through out the day (like me), she likes to read, she is very organized :), and more quiet with big groups. I love her already! She sometimes reminds me of Alex Lysenko... and who wouldn’t want to be companions with Alex! (if you are reading this Alex... write me a letter before you get into the MTC!!)  A short story so you can understand how awesome Syster Juker is. She said that in High School she was kind of inactive. I said... what do you mean by kind of?  And she said... Well I went to church every week and I was in the laurels presidency... but I didn’t really read my scriptures and pray. -- ½! who says they are inactive because they don’t read their scriptures!? probably half the members would be less active.  She has such a strong testimony and I just love her!
   Before Syster Dabb left... she had us running around like crazy people. Tuesday morning we had our first appointment at 7 and didn’t leave our last place till 8:30. It was jammed pack. But I like it best that way.  We met with Tony--a guy from Uganda who Syster Dabb has been working with since September. We hadn't really planned on teaching him anything... because Syster Dabb just wanted to say good-bye. But after we had a prayer... Syster Dabb just opened up her scriptures and read 2 Nephi 31 with him. It is a great chapter that talks about the five steps we need to take here on this earth to come back to Heavenly Father. We need to have faith, repent, be baptized with the proper authority, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then endure to the end. This is the only way.  We committed him to baptism and he said yes! After he said it was interesting that she chose to read that chapter because he had just been reading that same chapter before he came to the lesson.
  I know that the spirit guides us even when we don’t recognize it. As Syster Juker and I were walking home our first night together she said something that I felt like was an answer to prayer.  She said that "Heavenly Father knows us and he knows our desires. And if we are ourselves than he can work through us"... or something to that sense.  What I got from it was that--The Lord knows who I, Jacqueline, am. And so I don’t need to worry about being like Syster Dabb or Syster Erickson. The Lord knows how I think and can inspire me that way.
  This might not make any sense to you. But it was inspiration for me. Yesterday, we were on our way to find a less active. As the bus stop was coming up I all the sudden got scared. We were kind of in a ghetto area... but I had been there before and it wasn't really bad. I thought, silly Jacqueline, stop being scared... nothing is going to happen. Besides we are not usually over in Huskvarna, this will be the perfect time to go find him.  But then I stopped and thought, maybe this is a prompting? I thought well, better just follow it... just incase. So I turned to Syster Juker to tell her that we would be just staying on the bus because I didn’t feel right about it. She looked at me with a little surprise and said... I was just going to say I didn’t feel good about it either!  So.... These are just the little things I experience on a daily basis.
Syster Juker and I are settling in together quite nicely. The hard part is being in charge... just because Syster Juker doesn’t know anyone else. So it is easy to feel stressed... thinking... I don’t know what to teach this person, or I don’t know where to go, or who to visit. But I'm learning how to just decide and go with it... knowing that the Lord directs my thoughts and he is with me every step of the way.
     On a side note:
I am really starting to like this walking thing. Swedes love to walk... everywhere. I heard of a swede that lived in Texas for a few months and tried to walk to work... it just didn’t work. So mom! I'm excited to come back and go on walks with you .)
 My Swedish is coming along! It just hit me this week... that I can understand everyone and I feel like I can say most of the things I want to. That is so cool! :)  It always helps to get extra confidence from all the people on the bus that ask how long I've been here in Sweden.... I say 4 months and their mouths drop.  It is a joy every missionary gets to experience. :)
 Well! I Love you all! Keep reading those scriptures! and saying your prayers! 
 

Pictures - St. Lucia

us and tony at the lucia concert.
us with the lucia girls! it was so cool!
there is a reason that they cannot do the lucia in the states... these are the costumes that the boys wear.. :)
we only knew them for a very little time but they are from england and I think they are so awesome. brogan and tony :)
just waiting for the bus.

Pictures - More Friends and Families

The hultgrens-They were my family for christmas! ( rosemarie, Henning, caroline och samuel högberg och liten louisa, isabell, andre, edith and torsten wiklöf)
one of my favorite families... the viktorstams Anita, jan åke, marina and her boyfriend and us
us and Li from china... we are buddies.
us and our friend from india, Madras!... mani
 us and the salo's... he is the best mission leader I have ever had. I love them and their cute little boy...
us and familjen Malm ( mattias, julie, matilda, johanna, and linnea)

Pictures - Friends and Families

Ulla after one of our baking lessons. I love this lady! Some day she will get baptized!
one of my other favorite families who I will be keepin in contact with. familjen thörn (maria, dick, stephanie and her boyfriend stephan ( they better get married soon) jennifer and elizabeth)
The hegesseys... I love these two... They are so faithful even though all five of their kids are inactive.
just a funny picture of funnies at the rabayos :)
just the girls!
familjen rabayo... they have a daughter serving at temple square. They are originally from columbia and they are converts.

Pictures at a Mustache Party

We went over to the Rassmussens (couple missionary in our ward)  for New Years Eve and we opened the door to see that they had these mustaches on. So we had a mustache party! It was the second mustache party of my life!
2. Elder and Syster rassmussen :)
This is one of my favorite old men of all history. His name is Torsten Wiklöf. There is too much to say about him so I will just tell you when I get home. But short, he is in the hospital because he is really sick and they don't know if he is going to make it. I love him!!!
Our little district... our last district meeting. us. the rasmussens and elder werner and kinnunen. We had a lot of fun together.
us sitting in the sun. It was 12.00 and it was sunny for the first time in a week and a half. I almost didn't get on the bus so I could just sit in the sun longer. :) We were just loving our lives.

A Bus Driver and A Baby Stroller - Jan. 9, 2012

Dear Family,
Did you know you are all so awesome! All of your letters inspire me! So thank you for the time and energy you put in to write me about the daily dealings of life elsewhere.
SO onto the wonderful happenings in the little town called Jönköping! This week has been miracles galore! Lets start off with the sad news though. Syster Dabb is being transferred for her last month to another area and she and Syster Erickson will be together! Ahh I'm slightly envious... because they are going to just rock that town... but there is still work to be done here in Jönköping and Syster Juker will be here to help me. She came in May of last year... so she will be the experienced one :)  I am sad I will be loosing Syster Dabb. I have learned a lot from her and I feel like there is more she can teach me. But the Lord must have something else in store for me. 
Onto the Miracles! At the beginning of the week we finally got to meet with a Less Active and his wife (not a member). She is a member of a Pentecostal church.  This was my first time meeting with both of them... So I didn't really know where either of them stood. We sat down in their living room and started with a prayer... and then just made our purpose clear and simple. We wanted to know if they were interested in making the church a part of their lives. Pär (the less active) was awesome! His wife was interested a little while ago in the church but became very closed off... and didn't want to learn more. So we invited her to read and ask God herself if this was the right path to take. We think she is scared to leave the society of the church she has been with.  She has stopped going to her church though because of some problems and Pär is all for coming back to church. He knows this is the true church but says he got burnt out with serving too much... As she said she would try it... Pär just smiled and said, "it’s a new year and we are going to be starting with becoming Mormons"... His wife just looked at him and was like... well I have to pray and see if its true... His response was... I already know what’s going to happen. ! Ah it was just beautiful. I love it when people know the church is true.
We were coming up towards the end of the week and Friday and Saturday were looking pretty blank. It made me feel a little nervous. I dint like not having anything planned. But Syster Dabb told me not to worry and that the Lord would provide things for us to do. So I didn't and on Thursday things just started happening. We went out to the outskirts of town in hopes of finding some less actives. On our way to a house we saw a man with a little kid in a stroller... but we didn't stop him.  On our way back guess who walked by us again! So we stopped him and told him about how families could be together forever. And!! He said he was interested and would like us to come by and share more with his family. We scheduled him for Saturday! As we went home that evening a young man got on the bus last second. He spoke English to the bus driver and so I thought I'd say hi and find out where he is from. Turns out! He sat by a member last week on the bus while she was reading her scriptures. He wanted to know more when she found out she was a member of the church because he has seen missionaries everywhere. (God hinting to him!)  She invited him to church but didn’t have time to get any of his information. He didn’t end up coming to church... but not to worry! The Lord put him in our path! So we scheduled him for Friday! 
The miracles keep coming! Friday evening we got on the bus on our way home. Turns out it ended up being the same bus driver we had been with twice previously that same day. When we got on the bus he smiled at us and said... are you with the FBI? Are you following me!?  We laughed and just told him we were missionaries for the church. As we were about to get off we went up and told him thank you for being so nice. He asked us if we were JW... we said no and explained a little more. His next response was, "well aren’t you going to ask me if I'm interested to learn more?"... I thought I heard him wrong... so Syster Dabb said "uhh... do you want to learn more?"... yes. So then she gave him a card and showed him the website and showed him our number... and then said "well... can we have your number"... yes... and then we got off the bus!  CRAZY! I called him yesterday to ask when we could meet. He said "I looked at the website and I see that church starts at 11... but this week I have to work on Sunday. Can I meet with you later on in the week?" AHH! It was wonderful!  
So I will have to let you know how all of this turns out next week.
This week I have been studying about faith again.  It is a timeless classic that I keep coming back to and every time I learn something new.  As we had these miracles happen... I never really felt a "prompting" to go talk to them. Or any strong feelings as we talked to them. It just sorta happened. And I walk away all confused. How did that just happen!?  But I think I'm coming to the conclusion... that it’s true. Faith comes by living the principles of the gospel and miracles happen after you put in the work.  But it never comes by your own means.  The Lord always shows you that--hey you did a good job, but remember all of this is because of me.  Kinda amazing. And I wouldn't have it any other way.  It is what gives me peace when change is coming. Even with a new companion coming in... and me still not feeling like I know my way around or know all the people.... the Lord will take care of us.
 I know this to be true. The Lord loves us and as long as we try to do our best... he works along side you and does the rest.
 Love Syster Schneiber


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Faith

Dear Family,
   I am so grateful I can be a missionary for the Lord right now. Syster Dabb and I have had a great week. After finishing up Christmas we felt ready to get back to work and do the Lords work.  There have been a lot of things I've been thinking about this past week. I wish I had time to share them all with you. But!! I'll just have to share my top experiences and hope that you can catch a little bit of the wonderful spirit that has been with me.
   Ulla! Ulla is the wonderful older lady who is becoming a second mother and cooking teacher for us here in Jönköping. She taught us how to make rolls last week. This week we met with her at a member’s house to teach the plan of happiness. The lesson went great. She wrote down all of the scripture references and wants to go back and re-read and study them.  It was a very uplifting and peaceful teach. At the end we invited her to be baptized again and gave her a date to prepare for.  She smiled responded quickly and said it was not possible for the date we had chosen. I felt a little embarrassed for asking for such an early date. But then she said--if you will have more patience and I will try and go a little faster, we will end up crossing.  As she said those words the spirit intensified, as if to say that her words were right  and that this was the right path. Each of us felt something. You could see tears in Ulla's and the members eyes, as well as my own! and Syster Dabb and I looked at each other with big eyes. Our member said, this is the Holy Ghost and he is testifying that this is the right path.  And Ulla said, well! we must be doing something right. :)  It was really a neat experience.
Syster Rasmussen is a convert from England. Her husband was the missionary who baptized her. They are now living here with 7 kids.  We went to their house for Boxing Day. She is really funny and really sweet. As Syster Dabb and I were having companionship inventory on Saturday night at the church... the primary was having a new years activity.  Just as we were finishing up Syster Rasmussen came in and sat down. Everyone else had gone home and she was just cleaning up.  I know there is a power that comes from being set apart as a missionary.  One of the many powers is that people just feel comfortable around us and opens up and talks about things they normally wouldn’t just bring up in any old conversation.  This woman is amazing and if I ever start complaining about life just remind me of her.  I wish you could all have sat in on our conversation... but I'd like to share one story from her life.  She said one of the first things that led her to know that this church was true was that she started getting answers to prayers. Since then she hasn’t stopped asking.  She and her husband were really low on money and her son only had one pair of jeans.  His jeans were getting so old and torn up... she really wanted to throw them away and get him a new pair... but they just didn’t have enough money.  So one day as she was doing the wash she prayed to Heavenly Father and asked him for a new pair of jeans.  His response was throw away the jeans and I'll give you a new pair.  But she thought, but what if you don’t give me a new pair... and I throw away his only pants... then he won’t have any pants. Can I have a new pair and then Ill throw away the old ones? The thought came again. Throw away the pants first and then I'll give you a new pair. So she threw them away.  Later that day she went to a relief society activity. And as she walked in a friend of hers told her... Hey there are some free clothes in the primary room... Go see if you could use anything in there.  She walked in and of course there were the new jeans for her son. :)
  She shared many other stories of how she prayed and the Lord answered. 
  That night after talking to her we were able to watch the movie 17 miracles. It’s a movie about the pioneers. After watching that movie and talking to her... It seems that the harder challenges we go through in life bring greater faith.
 There is so much more I wish I could say... But! I have to go.  I love you all a lot.  and I hope this New Year brings you much joy but also greater faith.
 Love Syster Schneiber

Power of the Holy Ghost and Gott Nytt År!

Dear Family and Friends!
   Today being the day after Christmas Syster Dabb and I decided to go on a long run to work off all this extra food we have gotten this past week. It is beautiful out!! and not even cold! We ran up this big hill (bigger than running up to Waveny) and then ran around the town park. It reminded me of previous runs in New Canaan. What a great day to be alive!
 I forgive you all for not writing me :) except Katie, who informed me of all the important presents you all received. I really liked the marshmallow shooting cross bow ,) and tell grandma that they use ipads in heaven so she has to learn to use one before she’s allowed to go up there.
I got a letter from Maj today and I thought you would all enjoy it.  I'm really glad Maj got baptized but I know there is still much more growth for Maj to make before she can make it to the temple. But after reading this letter I was reminded of the Lord’s power and that all things are possible. (she wrote to me in English soo…its not perfect English)
"The baptism was filled with dignity and love from my friends at church. I really felt like I was welcome to this wonderful congregation.
And Sunday I was blessed with the Holy Spirit. I felt doubt in the whole situation, how can this be? It just not happens once you snap with your fingers.

But Björn Näslund has got this great authority and is powerful in his appearance, so I felt that the words he spoke to me were arrows from a knowledge he wouldn't know anything about. And those words went right through my very soul, and I felt a strange excitement taking over my body. Suddenly I was in a state of mind that is hard to describe, but it was calm and activated at the same time. I wanted to dance, sing and play and life seemed open and never ending.
I love this church and Joseph Smith who grounded it knew what he was doing. I've come to like the Book of Mormon very much. From the beginning I had a hard time reading it, but now I have become used to these persons and I feel excited about getting to know the history of it all. So yes, I guess I think this church is the church that speaks the truth."
AH!! isn't it beautiful! :) 
  Have a wonderful new year. Take time to think about what you want to focus on this up coming year.  Don't get too overwhelmed and stressed about all the things you want to change.. I really like how Christ puts it in 3 Nephi 13:33:
"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But aseek ye first the bkingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
Just remember what is most important in life and let all the other things fall by the wayside.
 Love you all!!
 Syster Schneiber :)

God Jul!

Jag hoppas att allt är bra med er och att ni har en god jul!
  I love Sweden! :) Marianne would love Christmas time in Sweden! There are stars and candles in every window... they look like menorahs but a little different. They eat Pepperkåkor (ginger cookies... mom you would love it too) and Lussekatter (bread rolls made with saffron) and they have this type of cider called glög. They also have a "Lucia" concert every year on the 13 of December.  It is a tradition from Italy that they started.  You should look it up on wiki for more background.  So we got to go to a Lucia concert with one of our investigators. The music is beautiful.  I have already started to collect ideas for what I want to make part of my Christmas tradition when I am home. These will definitely be part of it.
  So! Yes--we can use Skype! So just cross your fingers and hope it works...  We have a computer at the church with one of those video things on it. If not maybe you should have a conference call number as a back up plan. I can call at 6:30 my time. How does that work? hopefully good because I’ll be calling you this Sunday!!!!!  This week was great.  Number one. I must say that I love Syster Dabb.  It is so easy to work with someone who is just like you! :)   I am learning a lot from her.  She only has two months left to go which means she has a lot of experience and is a powerhouse teacher. I love it.
    This weeks highlights:
         There is a man who has been showing up at church every month or so.  He likes the Book of Mormon and he has schizophrenia. :)  Well he wanted us to come and teach him... and well if he is coming to church, we figured we would go visit him.  he lives about 40 mins out of town by bus... and lives in this big house with a whole bunch of others who have schizophrenia. It was kind of creepy walking into the house. Think of a big mansion in CT. The entrance way is dark with a broken light and a big glowing fish tank to your right.  Syster Dabb said she had been there once before... and if I hadn't done my clinicals at the psychiatric ward for nursing, I would have been really scared. A nice girl finally greeted us and took us to our friend’s room. His name is Pelle. I officially love Pelle. We ended up teaching in this little living room with his friend named Ann.  My favorite part of the teach was when Ann turned to him and said... I don’t really get this book... He turned to her and said... Well (this is of course all in Swedish), of course it is another witness of Christ. It says so right on the cover. It goes with the Bible so that you can understand it better.  !!! OH! beautiful! If only half of our normal investigators could understand this! And this is coming from a guy with schizophrenia!  The other highlight of the teach was his prayer.  He started with "Dear heavenly father, this is Pelle Nyberg from the psychiatric ward on Treberg Lane... etc."  Oh he was a cutie. Now you can see why I love Pelle. :)
    One late evening we were in search of  a less actives house. We walked around this random neighborhood for about an hour and finally decided to give up and go home. We got on the bus and low and behold, Ceceliaa (an investigator we received as a referral from a member... but she had finally decided she was ok with her own faith and didn’t want to investigate anymore) was sitting on the bus. I hadn't meet her yet so I sat quietly and listened to Syster Dabb and her talk. One thing I have noticed with Syster Dabb... it doesn’t matter who you are or if you are interested in the church or not... she loves you. And Cecilia could feel that. She talked about how she was going through a really tough time right now with her kids, her family, work... etc. As I sat there listening and putting in a few comments here or there... I really wanted to share a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon.  My memorizing of scriptures in Swedish is pretty limited. All I could think of was Romans 8:37-39 but that I couldn’t even remember that one very well.  Then a few scriptures like the one in Alma 7:11 popped into my mind. I felt that she really needed a scripture on Christ and how he could help her during these times.  Then all the sudden I remembered the scripture where the people of Alma were put in bondage. 
"14 And I will also ease the aburdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as bwitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did astrengthen them that they could bear up their bburdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with cpatience to all the will of the Lord."
 So, when there was a pause in the conversation I just described this story to Cecilia and how the Lord might not take away your trials but he can lighten them so that you don’t feel them.  Nothing so far stated in the story is really all that interesting.  But as I stated this scripture to her warmth flowed into my chest and seemed to warm up my heart.  I could feel something physical going through me... seeming to say that--The words that I was speaking were not really from me... but from God directed towards her.  She could feel it too. She put her hand to her chest and her eyes lighted up.  She felt the Holy Ghost testifying to her that the lord was there for her and was trying to lead and guide her. 
   This was a beautiful experience for me. I really felt the power of being a representative of Christ. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!
Syster Erickson also called and told me that Maj was baptized!  There is still much to be done... but know that I love you all and hope you are having a great day. Keep smiling.  Also if you are not happy... you are doing something wrong because you should be happy :)
Well there were some other great things that happened this week... but I thought maybe Id save some stories for the phone call.
Love Syster Schneiber

Losing Yourself in the Work

Dear family!
  Guess who has made it safely to Jönköping! yes that would be me. It was great to read all of your letters and know that you are all doing well. Syster Dabb and I were just talking about how reading letters from home and writing home is very therapeutic. So! where to start!! Lets just wrap things up from Uppsala. That wonderful town is always going to be a favorite of mine. There were definitely a lot of hard moments but also a lot of love and happiness. I left Maj with a new baptismal date. She will be getting baptized next Saturday! Wahoo! and she is really doing great. Håkan's daughter is coming to young women's and we had a date set up to come and teach her about the Book of Mormon. There is still plenty to do in Uppsala and the ward is ready for more missionary work. I'm glad I could leave it in good shape.
 It was also rather hard to leave Syster Erickson. She became a mother and a sister and a friend all in one. It felt very weird not having her with me.  Especially when you get used to a person and their habits. It is sometimes hard to transition to getting used to someone else’s habits.  But! Not to worry Syster Dabb is just like me! It’s like having another Jacqueline around. A little bit about Syster Dabb. She has 3 other siblings: An older sister named Katie who is about 28, another sister who just got married who is 26, and a younger brother who is 20 and serving a mission... sound familiar? :)  She is short (probably Katie’s height), brown long hair, laughs a lot, big smile and loves to talk. haha it is going to be a great transfer. 
 So Tuesday evening Syster Erickson had our last dinner and Wednesday morning I was off on a train towards Jönköping. Syster Dabb met me half way and when we got to town the Senior missionary couple picked us up and drove us to the apartment. What service! :) We dropped off my bags and headed right out to a teach.  And we have been busy ever since. Just the way I like it. We have quite a few investigators here and I have met almost all of them.  I like them a lot but there is still a lot of work to do.  Our two most positive are from Africa. It is a little hard though because they only speak English. I worry about investigators who can’t speak Swedish because most of them seem to fall into the inactive category after a few months or a year.  But! We shall see how it goes. We are on the hunt for more Swedish people though... and we have the ward to find them.  This ward is like New Canaan--Swedish style. At least it is compared to Uppsala. We have over 100 active members. At church yesterday almost the whole overflow area was full. OH! it is definitely going to be a challenge to get to know them all though. Especially remembering who is related to whom. They have about three big families here where their grandchildren are starting to raise families.   So this makes me really excited because this means the members can do the finding for me!! (Well.... at least that is what the ideal plan would be). So Syster Dabb and I are working on a plan.  It is called "The Program; Member contacting style."  We have carefully selected a few chosen families who we think would be willing and up for the challenge. We are going to teach them the missionary lessons (one lesson every other week) then practice role-playing with them on how they could teach it to someone on a bus or a friend at work. Their homework assignment will be to study from that lesson in PMG that week every day in their personal study and then teach one person the principle that week. So if it was the restoration... they would have to teach/tell someone about the restoration that week.  Then the next week we follow up with them and see how it went quick 10 min stop by. And then come back the next week with the next lesson.  What do you think!?  We would love feed back for our Program.  
    So we shall let you know how the program goes next week.
One other highlight from this week was going over to a member’s house with a few of our investigators and learning to make Swedish Christmas treats. It was delicious. We made about 6 or 7 different things... and this week we are going to go around and deliver them to inactives and investigators. I have a picture of all the goodies... so ill be sending those home at some time. 
 I love this Christmas time of year. The Christmas fireside was also awesome. Sometimes I wonder why people ever listen to me and would be willing to learn more after I teach them.  My Swedish is not amazing... and I am not the greatest teacher... But when I sit and listen to the Prophet--all those worries go by the way side. This man is definitely called of God. I can feel the power of his calling just from listening to him speak.  I am so grateful we have a prophet on the earth today to lead and guide us.  He is also, in a way, another piece of evidence that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's church upon the earth. If you haven't seen the devotional yet... it is a must. (http://lds.org/broadcasts/archive/christmas-devotional/2011/12?lang=eng)
And to finish. You know how we often hear the phrase "Losing yourself in the work"... I think I finally figured that out... For me when I sit and draw something... I just get lost in it and suddenly its been an hour and I don’t know where time has gone... or when you read a really good book and suddenly its 2 am in the morning when you started reading at 8 last night. That is what losing yourself in the work means! When you are just enjoying the little moments in life and suddenly it’s been a whole week. So I am trying to lose myself in serving the Lord. :)  It is going very well so far.  I love being happy and trying to come to know my savior more. I hope you all come to know Christ a little bit better this Christmas too. 
 Love Syster Schneiber

Pictures from Uppsala

Håkan's Baptism!  1. me, Äldste Marchant, Håkan, Syster Erickson
Håkan's Baptism! 2. Håkan, Elvira (Håkans daughter), Fabian (Håkans son)
Ward Members 3. Karl Erik and Anja (our crazy old couple.. who arent really a couple)
After a dirty game of Frisbee! 4. Ä Davis and Ä Whitworth
Thanksgiving dinner at FHE 5. Me, sys E, and Ingrid

Happiness in the Gospel

Hejsan!
SO! First off... We got a call on Saturday... I've gotten the boot and I'm going to Jönköping. My new companion will be Syster Dabb!! She was Syster Wintertons trainer... so I'm just hopping from one trainer to another :)  But I am actually really excited. I have heard a lot of great things about her... and I hear I am a lot like her. She likes to run (yahoo) and she is one of the best sister missionaries in Sweden. (but... we don’t compare soo... she is just awesome). I am excited for all that I get to learn from her. It is sad to be leaving Uppsala right before Christmas. I have really grown to love this small little ward. This Sunday was testimony meeting and a group of Americans came to visit. We don’t have any headphones to translate yet... so I ended up sitting behind them and trying to translate for 3 of them while Syster E did the rest. As I sat there translating... every time another member would get up, I would worry a little if I would be able to translate what they said... if they went off on random tangents I would be lost. But!! Even though the church is small here--they are founded on the right rock. They were all simple and pure testimonies of the Christ, his church, and the Book of Mormon. It was wonderful. My love for them increases every time I see them and here of all the ways they are trying to come unto Christ.  This Sunday was also special because Håkan received the priesthood and then passed the sacrament!! Oh what a beautiful day. And he got up and bore his testimony... ah! I just love him. Some times you worry about your investigators and if they will be a help to the ward or just be one more inactive member they will need to visit. Håkan is definitely there to uplift and help the ward grow. He is awesome... and the most amazing part is... I really don’t think any of it was me... I just got to be this person on the side of the road that holds up a sign... "THIS WAY TO CHRIST!"
    Maj... well she is going to keep needing some more prayers :)  This past week was really tough on her. Darn those cigarettes. Well she was doing great and then Saturday night after we left her... she just had the urge for a cigarette.... she let down her guard... made up some silly excuses why the church might not be right for her... and then drove over to her friends house and tossed everything out the window... oh boy. She still sometimes is a teenager at heart. But you gotta love her. So no baptism Sunday. But she made it to sacrament meeting and the ward was great in welcoming her and telling her it was ok... just keep coming to church. We just had a teach with her and her fellowshippers (LOVE THEM!--Tore and Sol-brit Burman) and it went great. Maj has just really gotta buckle down and do what is right. She has such a great big heart. I still have faith for this woman.
   One of my favorite experiences from this week had to have been with the Bishop. We were getting ready to have a lesson and the bishop invited us into his office. He thanked us for all the work that we were doing and started to cry. Often times I really don’t feel like I am making any difference. But he has seen this ward over three years now... he has watched them and been their caretaker. We have really tried to focus a lot on building up the ward since we first got here... and I think he has really seen a difference.  What a humble and great man he is.
   Also this week we saw our friend--the return missionary who doesn’t believe in God anymore. We went over two weeks ago and I just wanted to thank them for the experience they created for me.  My testimony of the Book of Mormon is all due to them :) They were nice about it but.... they were still solid on their God not existing thesis. Well we met the return missionary twice on the train to Stockholm this week... (coincidence... I think not) and we were able to talk with him about why he doesn’t believe. It was interesting as I found out more about the story.... it of course started with broken commandments. I learned a lot in those two train rides and my understanding of why living the gospel is so important to gain a testimony of it. Even though they caused some very hard days for me... I am very grateful for the knowledge I was able to gain through it. My faith has been tested, held strong, and grown.
    Lastly, this week I got a letter from a friend from school. He wasn’t very strong in his testimony when I knew him... he was kinda taking the backseat and had become stagnant. I had the opportunity to talk with him about it one day and asked him why he had become such.  It was an interesting conversation... and I was a little nervous to bring it up... but I felt like the Lord was with me and guiding me. I didn’t really think much of the conversation later on... nothing really seemed to change... he was still the same. But!! :) In his letter he told me about the change going on in his life right now... and he thanked me for calling him out on being stagnant. He talked about how he was reading the Book of Mormon every day and how his testimony was coming back... He was excited about the gospel and to move forward. 
   It was so cool to realize that I was doing missionary work even before I got here on the mission. The Lord was able to use me as an instrument to help one of his sons come back to him. I know I wasn’t the only one who influenced him. There were countless other small little acts that helped him come back.  I hope you all recognize that you are being a missionary every day. Often times you don’t feel like anything you do really makes a difference.  But that is because you are looking at it with such a small perspective. Take a step back and realize that it is through small and simple actions that the Lord can do great and marvelous works. I have a strong testimony of that. I still often forget that... but I have been reminded of that this week.
   I love this gospel and I do know that it does bring happiness and peace to the human soul.  That doesn't mean that we don’t have trials... in fact every trial is essential to our growing character. But the peace can still be there through those ups and downs. I know that now.  If you cant feel it at the moment... Take a step back, slow down and remember all the times the Lord has been there for you... and know that he is now still there for you.
 Love you all
   Next week I’ll be reporting from Jönköping!
 Syster Schneiber