Monday, August 5, 2013

We Found Our Luggage!

Holy stressssss. This morning's emailing reminded me of the stressful one hour in the MTC to email home when our computers had timers on them counting down the seconds... The church didn't have internet service so we went to the library and only had 40 minutes... But besides that- the good news is that we received a letter in the mail this week from the Denmark Police saying that OUR LUGGAGE HAD BEEN FOUND! And the sweet Malmö Sisters picked it up for us this last week while they were at the temple in Denmark, so today we went down to Malmö to pick it up. SO after one month I got my red shoes back and everything else! Heavenly Father is seriously answering our prayers.
Malmo Sweden
It was fun to read about your trek experience and think about my experience when I was there at age 14. Dads talk that he sent me about our old ward made me tear up a bit as I thought about all of the amazing people and friendships we have made in that neighborhood. It hasn't hit me that I won't be returning home to all of those familiar faces.

This week our mission leader told us that Kristianstad City has the most gangs and drug use and we definitely experienced that this week. We met up with one of our investigators and two of his friends outside of a grocery store in the parking lot and we were sitting down on the ground with all of the plan of salvation pictures laid out and there were a lot of kids and people running around. All of a sudden Muhammed looks over and turns back to us and says ¨You guys should probably go¨- so we hurried and stood up and turned around and EVERYONE was gone out of the parking lot besides a huge group of guys that were all smoking and drinking... So we started walking away and the men started yelling to us but we kept walking and one guy ran up to me and got way close to my face and said ¨love me¨ and I just smiled and kept walking and he was literally two centimeters from my face and almost took my name tag off. And I won't tell you all that he said to me but it was pretty sketchy. I was like you have got to be kidding me hahaha. ANYWAYS After that we ended up giving that investigator to the Elders.
In a letter I got from dad in the mail, he talks about ¨slowing down¨ and the importance of taking walks, preparing food, listening to others, setting aside our work, vacationing etc. He said that in a book he has read called ¨In Praise of Slowness¨ it talks about all of these things and argues that Europeans are good at slowness where as Americans are not. Europeans know how to work hard and how to rest- to enjoy life... He said that all of those features remind him of me and that Sweden is my soul mate because the ethos here matches my ethos- haha. (It is true but also funny because Lillie's favorite thing to tell me is that I am the most IMPATIENT person in the world haha.) He said, ¨ethos is a life- a vibe, an ethic, a world view.¨ I think that I got my ¨ethos¨ from dad because he too is this way. But while I have been in Sweden, that is one thing that I have really noticed... The pace at which life seems to move - as well as all of the people. At times I feel like I lose track of my ethos- my vibe or ethic. I want time to pick up, things to move faster... my impatience sets in a little. But when I stop and look at where I am, realize that I am happy to be here, and see the beauty around me-- then I am truly able to enjoy myself and enjoy life... I love life. I always want to enjoy it. I don't want it to move fast- I just want to live life and live well. I want to work hard but breathe deeply- meaning I want to take time to breathe, time to be grateful, and time to understand.
I especially love living in Sweden at this time. I love the Swedes and their culture and what I am learning from them, but I also love how I can be living in one country and be meeting people from all over the world and seeing the way they live life. Our lessons in one day go from teaching in Swedish, to  English, to us speaking Swedish and having it translated to Slovakian and then teaching in English and having it be translated to Spanish. I feel like God has placed people from all over the world here in Sweden so that they could learn about the gospel where they wouldn't have been able to in the Countries they are from. Like Jian from China and Isam from Syria and many of our investigators from Africa. It truly is such a wonderful and beautiful thing.
Hadi and Claudia
I am so grateful to be with these amazing people. I am grateful for time and for the patience I am learning. I am grateful for the pace at which life moves and that we are given enough time to learn and enjoy life and enough time to keep trying to become more like Christ.
Frisbee Golf with the Gustavsson
I got in a little bit of trouble from dad saying that my last letter was too short so I hope this letter was a little better and longer. Haha. Also I loved the poem that you wrote in your talk dad- I think you have written that to me in a letter before.

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,

So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,

Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,

But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,

Fearless of ever finding open land,

Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e’er turn back,

Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here

And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew—

Only more sure of all I thought was true.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Isam just said to Sister Swenson, ¨I like how Sister Christensen drinks Herbal Tea, is natural, does Yoga and is a vegetarian- shes not like normal Mormons.¨ Hahahahahahahahahahaha. I blame my hippy parents for that.

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