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