This week fleewww by- We had a successful week and were laughing and talking about how excited we were to skype home to our families together in a couple of weeks, when we got a call from President Newell saying that LaFontaine is leaving me!!! We were SHOCKED. We thought we for sure had another 6 weeks together.
He told us that we have been the a-team (Sister LaFontaine had to explain to me what that was... it's like "the dream team") here in Katrineholm and he was very happy about the work that we have done together. And we are too. It feels like it went so fast but we were able to accomplish all that we could accomplish together. AND... SISTER CHRISTISON (EMI) IS GOING TO BE MY NEW COMPANION. I said "wait who???" Just to make sure that I heard him right. I am so excited. She will get here on Wednesday :))) (Adelide and Emi are friends from Highschool!)
On Monday last week, we went to a family's house for dinner who actually invite the missionaries over quite often. They are not members nor are they progressing investigators... but they are the coolest family. They believe strongly in their own bible and in a Korean Messiah. The dad is Swedish and the mom is from Japan. Their wedding was arranged but it has worked out very well because they both have the same strong core beliefs. They have three daughters and they live in a cute red barn house in the middle of a field with a huge garden.
The dad is really into bird watching which I love. He showed me all of his bird books and pictures (because I am the only one interested in that sort of thing) and then on the drive home he stopped at all of the lakes so that we could get out and look at the birds :) I am grateful that although they don't believe in what we believe in, they think it is very important that we missionaries get fed and feel at home... and I love them for that.
As for Katrineholm and our branch... The Tolleys' got taken back out because our branch is functioning a lot better! There is a man in our ward, Brother Palomino, who is from Peru and his wife is from Chile. They have five kids and they used to be inactive. But then the missionaries worked with them and got them back to church and a couple months ago Brother Palomino was called to be in the Branch Council. He has been amazing and has really stepped it up. They are doing so much for the Branch. He is a Doctor, has five kids, and is now pretty much running the branch. His kids are all awesome- they go around and make sure that they hug every single member of the branch- young or old. It is pretty cute.
They have been working on a song with us four missionaries for the past two weeks. It is a song about Christ Brother Palomino and his oldest son play on the guitar and we finally did it in church yesterday! It went well. It was worth the hours of practicing mostly because we got fed by them two Saturdays in a row :) ahhaha. But really it was torture. They kept trying to have Sister LaFontaine and I do this duet part and we could NOT for the life of us get it. Hahaha it was so embarrassing! We just kept singing the exact same tune. We are not the most talented singers but we do enjoy singing the hymns together every morning with a smile on our faces.
The bad news is that we need a new location for our branch... We have a while until we have to move but we are not having any luck finding anything. But the branch has really been coming together to pray and fast for finding a new location. It is hard especially because we don't have enough people coming to church to build a chapel... It is stressing out the members that there won't be a place for them to go but I AM NOT WORRIED! If it is the Lord's will... I am positive that He will guide us to a place that will be perfect and that these wonderful members will be able to gather together to take the sacrament.
Another hard thing is that the Yasavolians have to move from their apartment in Vingåker because they got residency. Vingåker is the best and the worst. It's the best because that is where we have most of our success but it is the worst because the people living there are not there for good. Two of our investigators, Abraham and Nour both moved this last week as well... It is hard because we are trying to build up the branch in Katrineholm so it doesn't help when the people keep moving away... Which is why we are focusing on less active work. BUT there is good news! One of our less actives, Nils, is now considered active! We have been meeting with him for the past 3 months and he has been coming to church almost every single week! yay.
As for everything else... The sun is shining, I went down from 5 blisters to 2, I have found a new love for lemon sparkling water (the Swedes drink sparkling water rather than normal water and I used to hate it but now I love it!), strawberries are starting to sell on the sides of the road, we helped Cat move AGAIN this week, and a fun food market came to us for three days this week! It was the same one that was in Kristianstad in the summer AND it came to Halmstad in the fall. We had fun going there with members and less actives and investigators to look around, eat, and have a lesson. :) I feel re-energized with the sun being out! And I can't believe Grace is still getting snow in Canada! She is tough.
This week I have been so grateful that the church teaches us to live in the present. To love and enjoy today, to become better today, to be happy today. To not take thought for tomorrow because tomorrow will take thought for itself (3 NE 13:34). Like dad wrote to me, it is so important that we find deep meaning to our lives. A lot of times we think that one day things will get better or that maybe we can change our bad habits in the future. But God teaches us that is not so. We need to repent today and be happy today. If there is anything that I have realized, it is that time moves so fast!
And we have the opportunity to make each day the best day or the worst day. We get to choose if we are going to be learners and accomplish-ers for the day. Happiness, faith, gratitude, learning, and growth are the things that bring meaning to our lives. When I focus on the here and now, I see so much beauty in my life... so many blessings. I am so grateful to be on a mission. I am grateful that I can live in the present and that I don't have to dwell on my past and on my mistakes... I can look forward and move forward in HOPE. I have the power to change today! I am grateful for today because its sunny and we are going to have so much fun together on our last preparation day. I am grateful to be in Katrineholm with this small branch. I love it. I love my life. I love what each day teaches me. I love the gospel.