Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 16: Singing in the Rain

Hej på er!
(This is our new favorite saying... its like saying Hi on you!) This week has been more than wonderful. It has just been miraculous. Life just couldn't get better. Where to begin! One of my favorite moments from this week happened on a rainy gloomy day. One would think that on a rainy day when no one is out.. no fun could be had. But! When Syster Sprague and I are out.. people better watch out.  We had just had a wonderful lunch with one of the members in town and we were headed to the train station to catch a bus. We were sharing an umbrella and Syster Spr hand had gotten tired from holding it for so long. So I switched with her. There is a slight problem though with a short person holding an umbrella for a taller person. You end up hitting in the head a lot. So Syster Sprague had to link arms with me to hold my arm up high enough. We were just having too much fun and singing along the way.  Imagine... empty streets with dark clouds above us. The only people out have their hoods or umbrellas out and heads down walking fast. But in our little patch of walkway the sun was shining. A garbage man pulled up and hopped out of the truck. He stopped dead in his tracks and a huge grin came over his face. He exclaimed "Well! aren't you two just content with life!"... This was very un-Swedish-like. Sometimes you don't really realize how happy you are until someone stops and tells you.
Syster Sprague and I were on our way to district meeting in Göteborg. She had just said something really funny and we both cracked a big smile. Just then a woman walked by.. so she got a very big "Hej!" with our grinning faces. We walked past her and she turned quickly around and said "hey! are you two Mormon?"  :)  ja visst! She was a Spanish woman married to a Swede but she had a few friends in Spain who were Mormon. She invited us over for next week.
I dont remember if I told you what happened two weeks ago when we went in for district meeting.. but Syster Sprague and I were walking back to the center.. just saying hi to all the people walking by. a short big man suddenly stopped us and said "Hey! I know you."  Syster Sprague served in Göteborg before she came to Alingsås so she tried to rack her memory from ever meeting this guy.  Turns out he had met missionaries a few years ago and had come to church once. We talked to him for a good ten minutes. He told us about his life and how he is a professor for .. something to do with being very super smart... and how he still has lots of questions that haven't been answered. He gave us HIS number! and set up an appointment.
Man! I love it when they stop you and ask you to meet.  We met with Abdo on Monday and gave him to the elders in Götebrog. They have met with him three times this week! crazy.
 I have felt like I am in South America this week. We have gotten so many potential investigators. Its like getting someones number is "ain't no thing."  And every time we stop someone and they say "ya sure I'd like to hear your message.."  I began thinking.. of course they were going to give us their number.  We came home that day after meeting the Spanish lady and one of our appointments dropped so we tried to track down another woman. On our way we walked by this cute woman with her little kid in a stroller. I thought.. why not ask her too. So we stopped and talked to her and told her about our message about how families can be together for eternity and how they can be stronger today too. I have stopped quite a few mothers with little kids in strollers.. They never say yes. But Lejla said.. yah of course. Come over Monday. This is my address. !!! vat! This is crazy! So we are going over this evening. Hold your thumbs. (They say this in Sweden instead of crossing your fingers.) maybe throw in a few prayers too.
Another one of these crazy contacts happened on Friday. We had planned to go to Göteborg to the center there for one of the young adult activities. We had invited one of our potential investigators.  As we got on the train he texted us and said he wouldn't be able to make it. :(  Great so we planned this whole evening and now he wasn't coming.. and we couldn't just turn around after the train had headed out. So we went to the activity and then headed home.  As we waited in the Alingsås train station for our bus to come take us back to our apt we sat down next to this girl. We started talking to her and found out she was 17 and going to school.  We had a good 20 mins talking to her. Found out she was baptized and confirmed in the Swedish church but she doesn't believe in God because she never got an answer to prayer. The bus came and we ended up sitting on different seats. But! She got off the same bus stop as us. I thought.. well we might as well invite her even if she doesn't believe in God. We invited.. told her about the BOM... And of course.. She said yes! :) I love it!  So even when one door closes its probably because God wants to open an even better one.
Last awesome story. This one is about following the Spirit.  On Saturday we had our day planned out and full. We were planning on going by a lot of potential investigators and old investigators in the areas we would be in. But first we had planned to teach Manal and ask her to be baptized. So we went down to her apt and ended up with a change of plans. Her husband Kanaan was there. He usually walks out when we start with a prayer. But as we were sitting there getting ready to start Syster Sprague looks at me and points to kanaan. Signaling.. we should teach him instead. So! We did! and it went amazing! He has had some hard experiences and really doesn't believe in God. When he heard about the plan of salvation.. he said--But I don't want to live forever!.  His whole purpose in life is to live simply and be kind to all around him. But we taught him about prayer.. and committed him. He said he would do it. As we gave the closing prayer--we rushed quickly out only to find we had already missed the bus. and It was raining again. With our packed schedule.. we quickly grabbed the bikes and headed out to our next appointment. Umbrellas and bikes together. it was probably a hilarious sight.. I hope we made some people smile.  We showed up to our next appt. and no one was home. This put a little damper in our plans. And we realized we were going to have a problem now with our bikes and making it to our dinner apt in the evening. We paused and contemplated what we should do. We decided to say a prayer to see if maybe we should change some of our plans. As we prayed I thought of Manal and how we had hoped to get a baptismal date set and really have a great lesson with her. We closed the prayer and I told Sys Sp. I think we need to ride back and teach Manal. She smiled and said. Yup. I agree. So we canceled the other plans we had and rode back to Manal's house. She warmly invited us in. We had an amazing lesson and invited her to be baptized. She said, "Why not! yes!... What do I need to do to be ready?" :)  Sys Spr said.. don't go a day without praying and reading.  Of course I can do that.
Life really is full of great surprises. Rain showers and great sunsets. frost and flowers. I hope you are all happy, safe, reading your scriptures, following the spirit, and receiving answers to prayers.

  I love you and have a great DAY! 

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