So many wonderful things happened this week--here are just a few:
Halloween last Monday was p-day. We just played games and baked at the church. Then went over to the cemetery, thinking that that was going to be the day that people put candles all over, and we were so excited...but it wasn't. So, we just walked around the gorgeous old cemetery for a while.
Well, that was until we got a text from out investigator, saying that he was already at the Church, (20 minutes early), and he had a little teary face and rain cloud emoji on the message because he was just standing out in the rain! So we felt really bad and ran to the church! Ten minutes later, and soaking wet, we get there and have an awesome lesson.
The lesson went super well...except for just a couple things:
1. The language barrier. He speaks Kurdish, but also a decent amound of Swedish and a little English. We had another guy on the phone trying to translate for part of it, and after a while he said, "I feel like the police are after me", and just started chuckling a little...and hung up. If that doesn't really make sense to you, don't worry--because it didn't for us, either!
2.Then at one point syster Davis was talking about "att hålla ut till slutet" --enduring to the end. She was talking about never giving up, and he didn't quite get what we were saying--and we tried saying it a couple times in Swedish and then in English, and he just didnt quite get it. Then we say, "Ger upp", and he says, "KEBAB?!",and we just died!
So, for all you Americans, "Kebab" is the thing here. Kebab to Sweden (well at least to Middle Easterners in Sweden) is like Twinkies to America. Everyone knows about it, and you either love it or hate it. it feels like very other store here is either a Kebab Pizza shop or a hair salon. (p.s. At the end of "Avengers" when Iron Man says, "Let's get Shawarma..." Do you all know what I'm talking about?) Well, it's questionable meat on a rotisserie rod type of thingy that they slice off and serve to you. Anyways--long explanation to just say that during our lesson when were talking about never giving up and holding out to the end, he thought we were talking about kebab. Pretty great!
3.Oh--and then two drunk men came to the Church, which was really weird, and one of them came in and asked to go to the bathroom...then finally came out and ended up sleeping on the bench outside the church.
Yeah. So it was a really interesting lesson. Never thought we would have had that many interesting components going on in just one lesson! Oh, and then he texted us last night to see which of us he was texting so that he could put a name to the contact, and we said that we were all just sharing the phone. He texted back and said, "Är ni fattiga folk?!" ("Are you poor people!") Hahaha! We got some good laughs with that one!
Well, aside from that, we went to go swing by a lady's house one day and we had set up a time to meet. We took the bus 30 minutes outside of stan (town), and she ended up not being home. It was freezing, and most of the buildings were port-coded. But we knew that we were supposed to be there for a reason. So we just started walking hoping that we could find some building we could go knock on some doors.
We finally came across some and started our way up. We came across many interesting things, but our favorite was knocking on this one door and suddenly all the lights inside come on. This little Asian lady answers the door, and can't really speak English or Swedish, and says something and closes the door. Super confused, Sys. Eldridge and I start walking to the next door, and Sys. Davis says, "Wait! I think she said, 'vänta!' ", which means wait.
So we stood there for a minute, and sure enough the door opens again and out comes the little old lady with a half-eaten bag of chocolates, and we were just so confused! We just ask "are you sure?", and she just says "yes, yes". We tried explaining who we are, and she's just saying "no, no", and waving at us to go... o we did! But, we left with a nice bag o´candy! It was so funny! We were thinking about it after, and we realized: "You know what? Do you think she thought we were trick-or-treating?" Haha! The world may never know, but it worked for us! We like tracting.
We also had this really cool experience with one of our investigators. Earlier this week, he told us that he probably wouldn't be able to meet again, because he had been talking to these religious leaders, and they told him that if he came to our Church, he would never be able to live with his family after this life. We were so sad to get this message, but we just knew that we had to somehow just teach him the Plan of Salvation and things would be better. So we texted him back and he agreed to meet.
Wednesday we were able to teach the lesson, and it just went so well! He absolutely loved it, and he had so many questions, and it just made sense to him. He mentioned how he loved how merciful this plan was. As we were explaining the different kingdoms he just said, "No offense, but I want to do all that I can to reach the highest level of spirituality and go to the Celestial kingdom. That way I can help all of those that weren't able to make it." It was so sweet! So, that was pretty great!
Then later that day, we went to do a couple swing-bys to ladies in the Elders' area--Landskrona. We stopped by one of the girl's parents' house, thinking she might be there, but it just ended up being her parents at home. But, we just adore them, so we stayed for a little bit, shared a little budskap (message), and left to go to her place. We got the address and found the apartment.
When we got there, her name wasn't on the port code though, so we just tried calling her. She didn't answer, so we called her parents and they were trying to help us out--tried giving us the code and we tried punching it in, but nothing! It was getting kind of frustrating, and I personally was feeling done with it. I couldn't feel my toes and it was taking way too long. We tried just a little longer, and then started making our way down the street to drop the cookies off at her parents' house.
Then, in my head I just heard in my own little thoughts..."try again." And I just thought back in response, "we already did." Then again, "try again " And I thought, "but my companions will think its weird if I say to go back!" We were even further down the road at this point and I hear, "Try again." It was very soft and subtle, but I knew who's voice it was, and I knew we had to go back. So I told them we had to go back and try again.
It didn't work right away, but I just kept punching in the code--over and over--and punched in two of the numbers, and all of a sudden the light turned on, meaning that it was open-- we opened the door and we were in! We quickly said a thank-you prayer, and went up to the fifth floor--almost the last door. We knocked, and she was shocked but happy to see us. And to not go too much into detail, the Lord's hand truly was in that experience. He knew what was going on with her and how she was feeling in the moment, and sent us to help out a little. It really was a miracle.
Well, there were many, many other great things this week, but not enough time to share it all! But for the big news I am sadly heading out of my dreamy little Helsingborg. Back to Stockholm for me! I'm headed for Södertälje--I don't really know much about it, except for the fact that I probably won't be using Swedish or English that much there. Södertälje is apparently home to many immigrants from many lands. Time to learn even more from different languages!
Well, I love you all dearly, and remember those prayers of gratitude! Especially coming up to this Thanksgiving holiday--live in thanksgiving DAILY!