I hope this letter finds you happy, smiling, laughing out loud, jumping up and down, or singing.
I am so glad I have a family. This week was a very interesting one. I got to go on my very first exchange. Syster Juker stayed in Jönköping and Syster Erickson came to join her. I went to Allingsås with Syster Sprague. It was wonderful! We switched on Monday and switched back on Wednesday morning. Syster Sprague is from Utah and has quite an interesting life. I think one of my favorite things to do is meet a new person and shower them with questions to figure out who they are and learning as much as I can from them. Each person has a lots of little experiences that make up who they are. And in each of these experiences you can find the Lords hand in their life. Syster Sprague is awesome. It was a neat experience getting to teach with her and see missionary work through different eyes. I think one of the greatest parts of the exchange happened on Tuesday in the afternoon. I realized that I am beginning to feel very comfortable in Jönköping. I know who every one is, I know how to get around, I have lots of ideas and plans running through my brain. There is always something to do and that feels very good. But as I entered Allingsås and was no longer in my area I realized I still have some fears. We had a less active woman and her daughter that we were planning to go by and teach. We also had decided to bring a girl from the ward with us who was about the same age as the daughter. Well the Allingsås systers had overbooked and asked two young women from the ward to come. We decided to go on splits with these two girls. So! I was going to show a girl how to do missionary work in an area I was not familiar with. This was definitely out of my comfort zone. We came up with a plan that I and Josefin would go see another less active girl and then we would meet back together. I figured this was pretty do-able.. She showed me which bus to take and gave me the map. Well.. we all got together and our plan ended up not working. Plan B? we had not thought that far in advance.
As we stood on this corner of the street, Syster Sprague thinking about what Josefin and I would do while these two went to teach this less active.. and I tried to stall and talked to the two girls. We really wanted them to have a good time and good experience with a mission. Syster Sprague had said that if worst came to worst I could take Josefin and we could just contact (talk to people on the streets) around the area till they were done. THIS was EXTREMELY out of my comfort zone. Contacting is not my specialty... nor is it always a great experience for someone who has never done missionary work. If going up to strangers and talking to them about God in the US is strange.. it is x10 crazier in Sweden. But as Syster Sprague decided, I told her I would be willing to do whatever she decided. It ended up being knocking on one door of a less active who was across the street and then contacting with any left over time.. AhH!
So I said a prayer.. told Heavenly Father my fears and worries and just wanting Josefin to have a good time and that we would survive. We knocked on the door... and no one answered. :( With that we still had 45 mins to go out and contact. As we walked out onto the street.. I took a deep breath and left all fears and worries behind me. I taught Josefin how to contact and then told her we would walk around .. get to know each other and then when someone walked by we would stop them. I was so impressed by her.. She didn't even look scared! She just smiled and said OK! This girl is one awesome young woman! It was great getting to hear why she decided to believe in Christ and follow him. And then came the big moment. Two men in their 20's approached us. They were holding grocery bags. I usually dont like talking to more then one person.. because it is hard to get someone to open up and talk about personal things when they are with a friend.. But there wasn't anyone else around. So I asked Josefin if she was ready--and jumped in. IT WENT AMAZING! You can have a lot of different reactions when you stop someone and ask them if they believe in God, or the meaning of life, or families etc. I have had a lot of not nice people. But these two guys stopped listened to us.. we had a great conversation and Josefin was able to bear her testimony on the Book of Mormon. As we walked away from them she looked at me, her face glowing and said "Det var underbart!!" (that was amazing!). And right after that Syster Sprague called and said they were done and ready to go. It WAS A MIRACLE. I walked away smiling as well.. Realizing that my trust in Heavenly Father is growing. I really can do anything with his help. And often times it is these harder things that push us out of our comfort zone that give us the greatest satisfaction and greatest joy.
SO! The exchange was a success on all sides. Syster Erickson also did wonders with Syster Juker. I hope that I can one day be a missionary like her. She knows how to really help someone feel loved and know that they are special. Syster Juker and I are a wonderful companionship and I love being with her. But it is very interesting when you have two people who think very differently. Our planning sessions are the most interesting :) I have learned so much from Syster Juker and I am so grateful I have these past two months to be with her. She has definitely changed my life. But I think it was really good for her to be the FULL leader with Syster Erickson being the junior companion.. so that she could realize she really can lead and be the senior companion.
On Wednesday we went to Mullsjö! About twenty mins out of Jönköping to visit two less actives. This experience was also another miracle. I must make a comment before I begin. TIME is precious. It is so hard to be on time and use all your time wisely. As we planned this trip out to Mullsjö we were already relying on the Lord to help us hinner (make it in time) to our appointments.
We had never been out there before and had no maps. We got into the town and called Helena up. We weren't sure what stop to get off at. We read off a random street sign and she told us to get off at the next one. So we did, only to be on the complete opposite side of the lake that we wanted to be on. So there we were with probably a 30-45 min walk ahead of us and we were already short on time. So I called Helena back and began to tell her our situation when a car turned the corner. Well! I just decided to do what any Schneiber girl would do.. I told Helen to hold on and stood in the middle of the street and hailed the car down. An older lady was in the car (miracle) and she knew where the street was that we need to go to. So I said, Could you drive us there?? I definitely made her feel slightly uncomfortable.. but! who could resist two cute girls in skirts!? :)
After a reluctant pause she said yes and ended up actually knowing Helena. We were able to visit Helena and she is wonderful! We are going to help her get back in the game. Then we pulled out the map to see how far we would have to go to get to Erica's.. it would again have taken another 45 min walk. And Helena had just enough time to give us a ride. To end the evening we sat next to a man on the train who is neighbors to a member of the church. He asked me if I had read the Book of Mormon before. I said yup, and asked if he had. He said no. (*side note!* As we left the apartment at lunch I had wanted to be sure we had an extra Book of Mormon just in case Erica didnt have one anymore.) I was able to pull in out and offer him a free copy of the Book of Mormon. He accepted graciously. It was awesome! Heavenly Father prepared the way for us and it felt great!
Well!! there were more miracles.. but too much to write down in this email. Know that I am safe, warm, happy, and still being lead by the Lord. Im praying for you!