Hej sun! (pun off of how to say hello in Swedish--sounds like, Hej-saan--but when we saw the sun today, Sis. Christensen said, "Hej sun!") Okay. That might not make sense, but hello!
Well, I am still working on my list of the names of countries for the people that I have taught. I have been really bad at updating it, but so far we have 58. So, I will go through and see what I have missed. So some good representation, I might say. Ha--actually, make that 59--I just realized that I never added in America! Oops...
But as for this week, Sis. Christensen and I got to go to Göteborg for two days because apparently my companion is super cool and plays the harp, so we traveled across the country so she could play for a General Authority. No big deal. But, you'll hear about that more later.
Well, we totally missed our train that night--but you know, it was actually quite what was supposed to happen.
Started talking to this guy who is half Japanese, half Italian. He grew up in Rome--his father works in the Vatican--you know, just your average everyday street contact. Well. He doesn't really believe in God surprisingly, so we had a really cool conversation/lesson about the Restoration and most of Plan of Salvation. It was actually quite amazing.
We also got to go to the Temple this week, too! My first time actually going through our dear Sweden Temple. I have cleaned inside of it before, but this was a really special experience.
Oh yeah! And we passed out tons of copies of The Book of Mormon at the Book of Mormon musical!!!
This week we were also lucky enough to have Mission Tour! Which means that a General Authority comes and speaks to all the missionaries--gives guidance and feedback on what the First Presidency and Apostles have been seeing.
This was actually a surprise-ish Mission Tour, because the guidance, feedback, correction is the typical one but President and Sister Beckstrand said that we had already had all of the ones that were supposed to have already, so none of us really knew what was quite going on.
But we had President Kearon--President of the European Missions--come, and I just have to say--I absolutely love him and his wife. Three days with them has changed my life, quite frankly...I can't really explain exactly how, but I will try.
Well... for those of you who don't know President Kearon, he gave the talk "Refuge from the Storm", last April General Conference. Amazing talk--and if you still don't know which one I'm talking about, go listen to that talk and then come back and read the rest of this. Priorities.
But honestly just down to the very way he and his wife spoke just astounded me. They were so personal and personable. Hilarious and so refreshing to listen to. Honestly. Listen to some of his talks and devotionals--they are so inspiring, and just learn from the way he speaks.
With both of them, you just know that they LOVE whatever they are talking about. They pause to just take in a deep breath, regain thoughts, composure, receive insights, smile--then continue talking. You feel the Spirit so much while they speak. Then they whisper to reemphasize key points that they love. It seriously was just so inspiring.
But, I'll just share some of the things that I just loved...
--"Mormons Strive on Adversity! We Thrive in Opposition--because we come out STRONGER."
--Hold onto your faith until comfort comes.
--The Object of this life is not to be perfect, but we are expected to have a Change of Heart.
--"With God nothing is impossible." And when we are able to find our relationship with our Father, we will be able to know this as a fact. We will be able to prove this principle and to find the validity behind it. That it is true. That God truly is all-knowing and all-powerful. That we can turn to him to find peace and comfort.
I honestly think I have felt more of His peace and comfort this week just by thinking of this and trying to apply it. Asking God for the little boost of peace in my daily life.
--"Don't Worry, Work Hard!" He literally came just to tell us that the leaders of our Church have been impressed with the sudden change in our Mission, and he just wanted to come see why the Sweden Stockholm Mission was doing so well. He said, "I don't know if I have ever been surrounded by such amazing missionaries." He said over and over how impressed he was, and that he was there to just cheer us on.
---He deemed that saying, "Don't Worry, Work Hard," as quite appropriate for us. He said, "I come to the conclusion that I am amongst a bunch of worry warts! Don't worry so much! You're doing good! You stress too much! Enjoy the work! This is an outstanding group!"
"But, I seriously am so impressed that despite the tremendous amount of darkness here, you seem oddly normal and sane!" That was one of my favorite things he said--he loved mentioning the ridiculous lack of sun he has been experiencing in just the 2 days he had been here.
But to continue...
--Repentance = New Strength
--Another really powerful one he said was, "You are good at teaching the Atonement, but are you good at applying it?"
--And last--but certainly not least--was his focus on the Savior's Infinite Patience. I just love thinking about the possibilities of the peace and comfort that we can all find under that title, if that makes any sense. Just the concept of Infinite Patience is both liberating and comforting. That there is a never ending supply of second chances, of clean slates, and re-do buttons as we are striving to apply the Savior's Atonement in our lives.
I, for one, would most certainly love to experience even more of this Infinite Patience....of His Infinite love, compassion and understanding. But, one thing that I have found to be true is that for us to feel that usually requires us to go outside of ourselves. The way to find the comfort in our lives is by being the comfort in somebody else's life.
Well, I love you all and I'm just grateful for all of you.