Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn in Halmstad

Adelide in Halmstad Sweden!
Min Familj,

I am very humbled and full of gratitude this morning as I read very inspiring letters from my friends and family. I am so grateful for everyone’s love and support and encouraging words. This week has been a week of pondering for me. Every morning we take a long bus ride from Tylösand into town. It’s about 35 minutes and there is usually no one on the bus to talk to, so I have a lot of time to look out the window and think. 

Yesterday on the bus to church I reflected a lot about the past week and read through my journal entries to remind myself of the little things that happened. I think it was the little things this week that made me realize a lot of the joys that come through not only being a missionary but being able to have this adventure here in Sweden. On Monday we called an Old Investigator who said she had actually been thinking about coming to church on Sunday. On Tuesday we spent a lot of time at the library which is glass and is hanging out over the river- it is the coolest library and I loved being able to look outside at the beautiful colors and appreciate this time of year in Sweden. 
On Wednesday we took our garbage up a hill to throw it away- Sweden is amazing with recycling. I am beginning to think that dad’s recycling obsession started here- haha. But as we were walking up the hill, I looked over to the right of me and saw the beautiful ocean and then looked over to the left and saw two HUGE animals in the forest right across the street from us. At first I thought they were statues, but they were definitely real. Two huge moose. I am grateful for nature and the beauties of this Earth that God has blessed us with. 

On Thursday I received a letter in the mail from Amy (Cox) saying "Remember that serving in Sweden was your dream and it came true so LIVE IT!" It was a good reminder that this is all that I wanted to do a year ago and now I am actually doing it. On Friday we called a girl that we met on the street to see if she could meet and she said yes! She met us at the Library and we taught the Restoration. She is 25 and is a Swede and was so receptive and said "I can’t wait to hear more! Can we meet next week?" It was an awesome lesson and I have been so much more appreciative of having lessons here in Halmstad than I was in Kristianstad. After that lesson I was on cloud 9. It was definitely an experience that made me grateful for being able to share the message of the restoration and I really saw and felt Heavenly Fathers love for me. 

On Saturday we raked all of the leaves at our ward building and it took about 5 hours. I had a lot of time to count my blessings and became overwhelmed again and again with the spirit as I thought of how blessed I am.

 After reading through these experiences on the bus to church on Sunday, I was reminded of the way that God shows his love for us as children. How he very quietly answers our prayers and gives us a little tap on the back to help us feel like we are enough and we can keep going. As I was thinking, a line from Diane Adair about missionary work came into my head. I don’t remember what she said exactly but she was talking about her experiences as a missionary in the Netherlands, knocking door after door in the pouring rain and watching people turn off the lights and pretend like they weren’t home. And she said "It was the happiest time of my life." 

I know that this time for us as missionaries isn’t intended to be easy. In fact I know that we can only learn by going through hard things. And I too can say that I am so happy. I know that without a doubt that Christ’s work was filled with love and service. He never complained. It was never too hard. He was alone on his journey and he kept loving and serving. And I am learning again and again through humility and diligence how to love and serve more like my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

This week I read through my setting apart blessing and the advise that my parents and grandparents gave to me and I decided to really apply all of that into my missionary work. The two words that stood out to me the most- that were stated in different ways and repeated again and again was to love and to serve. I know that if I love and serve then I will always be happy.

 Because of those promptings about love and service kept coming to me through out this week, my companion and I took dad’s advice from his letter last week about different ways to serve in the Swedish Community and we are excited and hopeful to get those things started this next week. I am excited to see how it all goes. I know my birthday is coming up- PLEASE don’t send me packages. I don’t need anything. Just letters. :) Thank you for your prayers and love and concern. I am so so blessed with amazing friends and family. Thank you for the reminder to "be love man!" hahahaha great movie. Don’t forget to drink some Htothe2totheO.

Sister Christensen

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