wow. hello my dearest family!
This week has been a WONDERFUL week and I am filled with so much joy and happiness. Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS DAD! You are so amazing. I am so proud of you for finishing your dissertation. I have been thinking about you so much this week just praying that everything would go well- and after I received a text from Isam, I screamed and scared Sis Emi but it was definitely a celebration worth screaming about. You have been working on that thing for YEARS (not an exaggeration) and I have always looked up to you for your diligence and patience... and mostly that you still took the time to work on all of my English papers and continue to do the family and work etc etc etc... you are the best.
Isam told me last week that my email home did not quite cut it for him...haha so I will do my best to be a better writer this week. :)
After saying goodbye to Sister LaFontaine, I waited in the train station eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich, writing in my journal all by myself for an HOUR and I nearly died. It was so weird to be alone. I kept looking around at everyone and I was feeling very unsafe for not having somebody right by my side. So... get ready mom- I will probably be following you around everywhere when I get home. The hour was the longest hour of my life and finally I saw the train pull in and Emi hop off with her suit cases and bright blonde hair and we just burst out laughing. We still could not believe that we were going to be companions. (and sorry that I am calling her Emi but it is hard because that is what I know her as!)
We went to our baby apartment and then I took her to Cat's house because it is tradition to visit her first with every new missionary in the area. We were sitting on her couch and Cat started to tell us how she likes to sleep in what God gave her... and I just turned to Emi and smiled and said "Welcome to Katrineholm...."
That night we walked out to a beautiful lake and celebrated "Valborg" which is how the Swedes celebrate spring and say goodbye to the long winter. There was a huge pile of branches out in the middle of a lake and the boy scouts paddled out and lit it on fire. It is a very fun celebration and it was weird because we just felt like we were hanging out haha.
Oh man it has been the best week of my life- Emi is so funny and so easy to be with. We have been laughing non stop the past four days and we are both LOVING it. Saturday was a rough day because we didn't have anything to do... so we spent it tracting for 4 hours straight and walking ALL over Katrineholm... (when we woke up the next day Emi said "Did we just climb mount Timpanogos or something?" haha) But I couldn't have done it with anyone else. We
laughed all day and had many adventures... many doors slammed in our
faces (I think we hit a record) and by the end of the day we were
literally limping home. (I have some weird nerve damage or something in
my toes on my right foot and Emi has blisters all over). The best part
about days like that, is that they build character. And they teach me
about how to be diligent.
I have chosen diligence to be my new Christlike Attribute for this month and I felt like Saturday was a perfect example of being diligent because we did ALL that we could do. And after we did everything we could think of- we were blessed with many small miracles. I love that we are not asked to do more than we can but that we are to be up and doing- to be diligent until the end.
As for the work- it is still the same. Our investigators are moving slowly but surely and our less actives are some of my favorite people to work with. Contacting is a little hard here in Katrineholm - we try to talk to everyone we can but walking down the street I could say that I already know or have talked to 4 out of 10 people and the other 6 are Muslim. Sister Emi has been shocked with the amount of people that I wave to as if we are friends as we are walking down the street hahaha.
When Sister LaFontaine and I were together, we would always see this guy from Somalia who is always pretty drunk. The first time we talked to him at a bus stop- he repeated over and over again of how important it is when people ask you where you come from, to say that you come from "your motha". But if someone says what COUNTRY do you come from... then you can tell them the country. So every time he sees me he comes up and says "Hey, where you come from?" and I reply "my motha" and he walks off laughing saying "That's the truth!" So one day we tracted into him this week and had that same conversation and afterwards I thought to myself... I am actually so grateful that I come from my Motha... And what a perfect time it is to talk about my mother...
This is my "Glad Morsdag" in advanced. . .
THANK YOU MOMMY for being my best supporter, friend and example. Thank you for writing me two to three letters every single week my ENTIRE mission. Thank you for your numerous prayers that you give on my behalf every day. . . I know that you do that because I feel them constantly lifting me up... President Packer said "There are few things more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother." Its the truth. Thank you for your influence and for teaching me how to be selfless... How to love... How to uplift... How to accept life and others with open arms. You are an example of our Savior of one who loves, sacrifices, creates, and who serves.
This week I read my journal entries from this time last year and I came across a letter that I had posted in from mom. She said after writing about hard situations that were going on in her life: "There is more hard work to come and I promise I'll do it." And you have done it! You made it through this year of finding a house, working, sticking by dad's side right until the very end of his graduation and so much more... I learn so much from you mommy and I am always trying to follow in your footsteps. I too wrote in my journal last year, "And while she is promising to do her work, I promise to do mine. I know my work will get harder- but I promise I'll do it!" You have taught me to be diligent... and to love the work and the challenges and the happy days that I have been given. I LOVE YOU. And I look forward to skyping home next week :)))
This week I finished the Book of Mormon again. . . What an experience it is to read and finish that book. I love it more and more each time. I find myself just smiling and enjoying every word in those last few chapters and as I close it- it is like a spiritual wave throughout my body reminding me that it is true.
Have a wonderful week! And good luck with the little Brinton's! I miss them- tell them hi and send me pictures of them! Also- please tell Nana that I LOVED her talk that you sent me on the atonement and tell Papa thank you for the letter that I received in the mail today! He is the greatest.