Monday, June 24, 2013

Midsommar 2013 or "How Went It?"

June 24 2013
The Stones in Ystad
Adventures from the week: Last Pday we went to Ystad to these huge stones that over looked the ocean. I took a lot of pictures but Jian said that you got the ones she posted already. Jian left to China on Wednesday and her last text to us said "be happy forever." She is the cutest.

On Tuesday we helped a lady in our ward move for three hours with just us two, her, and her mom. So even though I am not at home to help you guys move- I am doing the exact same thing on the other side of the world! After a long day of moving, we went to the store to buy food for fifteen kids that we were doing an activity for. One of the kids who is interested in the church, is a vegetarian, so because I am a vegetarian, we got put in charge of making the whole dinner. We bought 850 Kronar worth of food and since we thought it was a great idea to take bikes, we had to put two HEAVY bags on both sides of our handle bars and bike to the church on the other side of town. We were going on the side walk and there was a huge pole right in the middle so I swerved to the side and the weight on my handle bars made me unstable and.... yes. I tipped right over in the middle of the road with a ton of food rolling out of the bags and cars all around me just staring! One lady rolled down her window and said "hur gick det?" which translated literally means, "how went it?" Um... obviously it went great, thanks... hahahaha What do you say to that? hahaha. We finally got to the church in one piece and the dinner turned out perfect. We did taco salads with vegetarian-soy-protein-taco-meat-like stuff that is actually wayyyy good.
Our taco dinner we made for the youth
We got two baptismal dates this week for Leonard and Sabrina! I have truly seen how the power of acting upon what you desire, will lead to blessings. You cannot desire something without taking some kind of action. Once Leonard and Sabrina started coming to church and showing the lord that they want to be baptized, things started working out for them. They got the money to get to Slavakia and are going at the beginning of August to get married and will be baptized in September. I hope I am still in the area. It will be so wonderful for them and for their family.
Making a flower wreath
June 21 was Midsommar- a holiday in Sweden which is also the longest day, it doesnt get dark all night! I was writing in my journal about it at 10:20 pm and I looked outside and it looked like it was noon with no sun! But it was so much fun and special to be apart of their culture on this day. We went to Åhus to the Erikssons sommar hus (The Erikssons are a family in our ward whose son is serving a mission in PORTUGAL and is Clayson Knight's Zone Leader! Small world.)
Decorating the Maypole
 The mid-sommar activities are so fun. All of the girls make flower crowns and decorate the pole. Then we go out in the forest and pick tiny strawberries that are all over and you put them on a long piece of grass and eat them off like a candy necklace. We ate all day, went to the ocean, played volleyball, and danced and sang around the flower pole like in the grinch. haha.
The "flikkas" (girls)
 I know my letters make it sound like I have p-day everyday but I promise we are working hard! Our mission is definately unique. We work a lot on strengthening ward members and working with less actives. The investigators that we do have are moving slowly but surely and I love all of them. The missionary work is hard, but it is coming and I have been able to find joy in it everyday. I know I also make my letters sound like I am having the time of my life, which I am. That doesnt mean that missionary work is easy. It is hard. It is a lot of work. It is a lot of crying and praying. But I absolutely love it. And I think that only comes because I have chosen to love it and have chosen to find joy in it.

I read a scripture that I absolutely love and needed to hear this week. It is D&C 78: 17-19.
"Verily verily I say unto you, ye are little children and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the father hath in his own hands prepared for you; And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours and the riches of eternity are yours. And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious;"
dancing around the maypole

As I was meditating the other morning outside on our balcony, I kept thinking about this scripture. I love how it says, you cannot bear all things now; nevertheless be off good cheer for I will lead you along. How beautiful is that message. I sometimes feel anxious that I am not doing enough, that I can´t help everyone, and that the effort that I am putting forth is getting us no where. But I know that I cannot bear all things. Especially by myself. And the beauty of it is that we really do not need to bear all things! We have Jesus Christ our savior and our older brother to lead us along. I feel his hand in this work every single day.

 In D&C 84:88, which is one of my favorites it says "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left and my spirit shall be in your hearts and mine angels round aout you to bear you up." I feel that strength bearing me up when I wake up in the morning with strength and courage to start a new day, I feel it when we teach lessons and I bear a simple testimony. I feel it when I look down and see Christ's name over my heart. I have especially felt angels bearing me up this week when I received a letter from my mommy testifying of the atonement and how it is personal to EVERYONE. The atonement is real. It is for everyone. I feel it everyday as I sincerely ask for forgiveness and strive to be a little better. To stand a little taller. I see it change peoples lives. I am learning more about my savior every day and my heart is filled with joy and gratitude.
Bo and Britta Wennerlund
Be happy forever my dear family. Choose light, peace, and truth. I love you all.

Teaching Bo how to do a head stand!
Teaching Iso yoga!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fars Dag and P-day in Ystad

I am so sad I missed you by 10 minutes this morning! Or last night for you... Thank you for the awesome emails this week. You guys sound like you have been working CRAZY HARD. Holy cow! I was going to write "I hope you had an amazing first week of summer!" But it sounds like you have just been moving all week and that doesn't sound too fun to me. But I do hope that Father's Day was especially special. I am not suprised one bit that dad was out working and cleaning all night ON HIS SPECIAL DAY! You guys are both incredible. Please give Nana, Jeni, Camille, Laura, and Jake a birthday hug from me! I miss all of them so much.

 My week has been great and has consisted of lots of lessons, tired legs, and watching the Highschool Graduations here in Kristianstad. They do their graduation COMPLETELY different than in the US. They all wear sailors hats and the boys wear a tux and the girls wear a white dress. They all run out of the school when their group gets called, dance to the music that they choose and then go find their friends and family in a huge crowd were the parents are holding up a sign with their name and baby picture. Then the all run to tractors and ride around town in it; dancing, drinking, smoking, and yelling ALL day! It is so funny. It is like a parade but normal traffic is still going on. They ride around in circles for H O U R S. We got to go because two kids in our ward, Simon and Merideth, were both graduating. Then we went to their party celebration which was pretty much just our whole ward and we ate a ton of food- it was a blast.

Sister Swensen, Simon, Adelide and Meredith

 After the party was probably my favorite part of the whole week. Isam (or Iso or Essam... however you want to spell it haha), Jian and Sister Swenson and I decided to walk all the way home from where we were. We talked and laughed and took a ton of pictures... probably the ones that Isam sent you and Jian put on FB. Afterwards when Sister Swenson and I had split up to go to our apartment, I said to Sister Swenson "If I only met those two my whole mission, I would be happy." 

I get to live here?

Britta aka who I want to be

They are literally the best and I want to cry everytime I think of Jian leaving on the 19th back to China. The next night we went over to Jians and looked at her pictures from Iceland (I have to go there) and taught her one more time about enduring to the end because she is really going to have to stand up for what she believes when she gets to China and no one has the same beliefs as her. Afterwards she said the sweetest prayer and Swenson and I were both in tears. I love how the mission has introduced me to so many awesome people but it is also so hard that we, at some point, have to say good bye to everyone.

The work is going great. We currently have six progressing investigators which is a lot for us and all of them are doing so well. We get our 20 lessons or more every week- which we thought was so much for a mission until Swenson's friend told us that the lowest amount of lessons they get in Mexico is 40.... BYEEEE. But 20 for Sweden is the standard of excellence so we are fiiiiiine. Plus we have the best people to work with so we are pretty lucky!

Here is my shout out to my wonderful Father on Fars Dag! I wrote you a hand written letter a while ago but I am not sure if it has gotten to you yet... But I just wanted to say that I am so grateful for you and for your friendship- you know that it means the world to me. Thank you for teaching me how to work hard. I know I wasn't the hardest worker at home, but I promise it is paying off on my mission! Thank you for biking with me. For waking up at 5:30 am on cold winter mornings to go to spin classes with me so that we could sing and talk and exercise together. Thank you for the camping trips and for hiking with me. For all of the adventures you have provided me with. For teaching me how to love life and how to be grateful. Thank you for teaching me how to mow the lawn and work in the garden. Thank you for coming in my room and talking to me. For staying up until one in the morning to correct my English papers. Thank you for teaching me how to write. Thank you for being best friends with my mommy and for supporting your children in whatever they decide to do with their lives. Thank you for taking me to Michael Franti concerts and for occasionally going to yoga classes with me. Thank you for coming up with new diets for us to try together. Thank you for always giving me the most perfect advice- for telling me exactly what I need to hear and when I need to hear it. In a letter you wrote to me before my mission you said: "Don't be afraid to venture off course into the dictionary to look up new words or phrases. To spend a whole hour interpreting one verse of scripture. Let your curiousity overwhelm your shyness and a whole new world will open up to you. Suck the marrow out of life!" This is what I have been trying to live by. There are some days when I do spend a whole hour of my language study trying to interpret the Book of Mormon. My curiosity to learn the language, the culture, and the people has helped me to enjoy every minute of my mission. Thank you for always being my best friend and for being my daddy. For teaching me and reminding me to "suck the marrow out of life!" I love you.
"sorry to wear the same rain jacket in all of my pictures! haha it has been a rainyyyyyy week"

"On this father’s day, I am grateful to be your father. You make it so pleasant and easy to be a dad. I look forward to a long life learning from you, seeing the world with you and conquering big challenges with you. Can’t wait to hear how you are doing tomorrow. If you have internet later in the day, you can try to chat with me because I will be in meetings all day – watching my email. Hopefully you will be on another P-day adventure."

This just made me bawl. I love you daddy- I can't wait to see the world with you too. We are going to Y-stad today for pday which means 6 hours of our pday will be on a train and we won't have time to get on the computers again today... but we are going to go see the famous stones there with a group of missionaries so it should be fun. I wrote a long letter this past week so I will send it in the mail today. I hope you got my fathers day letter in the mail- if not it should come today or tomorrow. The language is coming- it is amazing how blessed I have been in learning the language. I think a big part of it comes from my trainer- she is awesome and we both are forced to learn the language a lot quicker. Jag hoppas att du har det så bra också. jag älska dig!

Mom- I hope you know that I love you just as much as dad :) I am just trying to make him feel special on fathers day since I didn't get to skype home like I did on mothers day hahaha just kidding but I am so grateful for you and for all of your hard work with the house and with making sure that I feel loved out here. You are incredible and I love you. Isam said "I don't know how your mom did it but she posted the picture I sent of you on facebook within a half and hour!" Hahaha He is so funny He might be going to the US a year from now and I told him that he can stay at our house ahaha we will see but you guys would seriously love him. OK I have to go now. I hope you can get some rest this week :))))))) - that is my chin right now.
Essam teaching me Courdish

P-Day in Ystad

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stockholm Conference!

A Park In Kristianstad

 My sweetest family!

What is up??? You guys are seriously THE best! You SPOIL me with letters- its the best. I loved reading your letter dad about your Zions hike that you just got back from- of course you know i am so jealous but I am glad you thought of me the whole time, especially when you saw the granola hippies. hahaha I am honestly craving to go on a hike right now but I love the nature here too and the biking and running of course. I also loved your letter about "climbing" - I read the poem you gave me by Langston Hughes about three times every day this week because it seriously gave me strength to want to keep climbing. I loved how you said, "When we focus on our own pain, we seem to forget the privilege it is to EVEN BE ABLE TO CLIMB." Sooooo true.

      I have always loved applying climbing and all of our hiking adventures to my life and also to the gospel because there truly are so many parallels. And the idea to "keep climbing" is one that I need to hear again and again and learn again and again. And mom I LOVED the talk from Uchtdorf that you sent me- it was much needed- he is seriously the best. I especially loved how he said "a testimony provides us with a reason for hope and gladness. It helps us cultivate a spirit of optimism and happiness and enables us to rejoice in the beauties of nature." And in your notes on the talk you wrote "I think this is why Adelide loves nature so much. She has a testimony that God lives and that he loves us and that he created this wonderful world FOR us." I love that because it is so true.
Sis. Swensen, Iso and Sara Sandelin
This week we taught a lesson to an investigator who kept pointing out all of the sadness and heartache in the world. When we focus on those things then we are not looking at the simple plan God has given to us- we don't view our opportunity to be on this earth as a place for us to learn and grow- to keep climbing. We cannot forget that we can CHOOSE to be happy and help others be happy and that we can do that through our testimonies of this gospel and of our loving Heavenly Father who wants us to enjoy life and enjoy the beauty of it. Everyday at the end of my journal entries, I write the same thing- not on purpose but just because I genuinely feel this way, and that is that life is so beautiful and good. And that I am so grateful for it and for everyday. I am so grateful for this beautiful land and culture and for all of the beautiful people. They are all so unique and different and weird and I LOVE IT. I always think about the Michael Franti song, "all the freaky people make the beauty of the world". Hahaha best line ever.

Last P-day Sister Swenson and I went to Malmo with the Lund Sisters, Fox and Young and also The Dunns- a Senior couple. We went to a place for lunch called "raw foods" and you can probably guess how in love with it I was. HOLY COW I want to live there. hahaha Everything was g-free and vegetarian and it was all natural and so cute and good! I was dyyyyying. It was literally the highlight of my day haha. It reminded me your dream restaurant that you would love to have, everything fresh out of the garden. And yes, I am still a vegetarian- the members all think I am crazy but they do love fish which is good. Haha I literally eat salmon at every meal.
Sisters Fox, Young, Swensen and Christensen

This week has been awesome and I learned a lot about myself and how and what I can do better this next week. The conference in Stockholm was awesome and it was so fun to see all of the sisters from the MTC and to meet ALL of the missionaries serving in Sweden. We took a five hour train ride there and back.... #sofun. We heard from Elder Ballard and Bishop Causse THREE different times- it was awesome and we also got to stay in the mission home with a lot of the sisters which was a blast! But it is so funny when we get back to Kristianstad after sleeping or visiting other places because it just feels like home and I love it.
All of the Swedish Sisters

The Swedish Backpack that everyone has
Conference in Stockholm

My MTC District!
Olympus High In Stockholm!

Embarrasing moment of the week: I thought it would be a grand idea to dye my hair from a box that had all of the instructions in Swedish. Sister Swenson did it for me and my hair was literally ORANGE. HAHAHA we thought it would turn out way great and it was so bad. So I bought some sun in type spray and it made it go blonder but I am just ruining my hair hahahahaha #coolstory.

I love you ALL. xoxo


Monday, June 3, 2013


Hello Hello!
Biking to yellow field by our house~Kristianstad
This week flewwww by. It was so fun to get so many letters in the mail this week and you should have seen me when I saw the John Gorka message signed to ME. I flipped haha. I literally was so happy. It is so good to hear that you are all doing so well, I think about you and talk about you EVERY SINGLE day.

This week was a frustrating week with lessons, for example: Yesterday we had seven set lessons planned and one by one they didn't show up. But besides some hard days, of course there are always little miracles. We had a cool experience with a guy named Jeff. It was after a lesson that had ended early, we were waiting at the bus stop and Jeff was standing by us and we didn't really pay attention to him and didn't think to talk to him because he was smoking. He looked at us and said "how's the work going?" and we said that it was okay.. He went on telling us how he remembered the missionaries coming over to his house when he was little and he loved it when they would come. We talked to him the whole bus ride and we are meeting with him on Tuesday! It was so cool how he contacted us and also  a good reminder to talk to ALL and to not judge because he is probably more prepared than others that we would have talked to.

 This week in my personal study I read over my notes from the MTC from Bishop Causse who is also speaking to us this weekend at our Nordic conference- (the whole mission is coming together in Stockholm! The prophet is not coming anymore because of his wives death but he is still speaking to Sweden over satellite and Elder Ballard is coming. It will be awesome). Anyways, he was speaking about the moment when we get to meet Christ and I read this line that said "We will want to look into Christ's eyes when we meet him and say "thank you" and tell him that we did our best." Reading that made me think about those words THANK YOU and what those words would mean when we say them to Christ. I would have so much to thank him for... Thank you for saving me, for giving me HOPE, for being my example, for walking a long and lonely path so that I didn't have to walk mine alone. THANK YOU for giving me courage and strength to keep going and to have a determination to share my faith in you with so many who are lost and need hope. I then thought about the words "I did my best." When I thought about those words I realized that I am not doing my best because there are so many things that I am not perfect or good at, so I sat there and thought of what I could improve on and of course the list is never ending. And that is when I realized and fully comprehended Christs plan for me and for each of us. He never asked us to be perfect. He just wants us to do our best continually and to try harder each day. He just wants us to be the best that WE can BE! And that, I can do. I can do my best. I can share the gospel to a world that is lost. I can have faith in Christ and his loving and true atonement that brings peace to SO many wondering souls. It is so loving of him to do that for us because we are all so imperfect and make so many mistakes. And yet, he still loves us perfectly. This is what gives me HOPE and reminds me of the truthfulness of this gospel. We are so blessed. I am so blessed.
My town!
The best parts of each week are the little things. I have found so much joy in reading the Doctrine and Covenants this week- I read so much about charity and how it is the true love of christ and so I decided to focus my Christ Attribute for the month of June on charity and love. It is so hard to do all of the time but it is amazing, the love that I have felt for this work and for all of the people here in Sweden as I focus all of my attention on them and caring for them. I found joy in the encouraging words from President and Sister Newell at our Mission Tour this past week. They are perfect examples of humble and loving people. I found joy in jumping on the tramp and drawing smurf characters with Noah (Sara Sandelin's brother who has autism).

My street...

I found joy in teaching a lesson in Swedish about the Plan of Salvation and on temple work and having it all "click" for me. I found joy in riding our bikes to the yellow fields that are all over in the spring time and are so beautiful and happy. And I found joy in meeting a new investigator at the bus stop who is so prepared to hear of Christ's plan for us.

I am loving this work and I am so grateful for L I F E. I hope you have the best week ever.

Love your LIDIE LOU.