Monday, June 30, 2014

hello hello hello

beautiful örebro
HI FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so grateful that I get to write to you today! We have been sitting at the church for an hour trying to get on our emails but was down! I was worried I couldn't write you today! Well- mostly that I couldn't read the wonderful letters you sent to me- but I am happy that we waited because it started working! n e ways... This week was wonderful. It has been rainy and dark all week long- I think after the dark winter, I was expecting this summer to be really warm and sunny but the rain has brought back a lot of memories of last summer- walking in rain storms that would come and go at random times everyday. I have learned to ALWAYS have my umbrella on hand as well as a rain jacket. :)
This week was maybe not the most successful investigator wise- we had a lot of cancellations and we were also in Stockholm for two days! On Wednesday we got permission to go to the temple and on Thursday we had our last conference with President and Sister Newell. We worked as hard as we could the other days but the number of lessons and contacts we received wouldn't show for it. Sister Lowe and I have been talking a lot about how grateful we are that the gospel teaches us in every part of our lives, that all we need to do... is ALL we can do. When we do all that we can do, then the rest is up to the agency of others.
go olympus! elder hansen is my zone leader!
We had one investigator come to church on Sunday. Her name is Ann Britt and she is a little older. I went up to her to say hi and she would not make eye contact. I thought maybe she just didn't hear me, so I bent down by her and put my hand on her knee and asked her how she was doing and she started yelling at me! She said "I am so mad at you! You came to my house last week and you didn't eat the cake that I gave you!" I tried explaining that I can't eat gluten and that I had explained that to her at her house- but she would not hear it. Sister Lowe is allergic to milk so she couldn't eat it either- oops...  -_-
On Saturday morning we were out the door at 10:00 a.m. on the nose. We walked in the rain to swing by an investigator who told us we could come back on Sunday. We only had an hour before we had to be at the church so we decided to just walk back home, grab some lunch and then go to the church. We walked back and as we were approaching our apartment building we saw an old man leaning against a tree. He looked like he was about to fall over so Sister Lowe ran over to him and grabbed onto his arm. We helped him sit down and asked him if he needed help. We asked him what he was doing and he said that he was trying to find his house (which was about 15 minutes away by bus). He was carrying a plastic bag filled with his "precious items" (a razor, a couple soap bottles, some garbage, rocks, and flowers that he picked). 
our new friend
He had his name and address written on his wristband so we assumed that he was "escaping" from the old folks home. We asked him how old he was and he said 85... no 75. We called the police and they told us that his address was to an old folks home- so we waited with him for about 45 minutes until they came and picked him up. He was so cute. He kept repeating himself and picking up rocks and putting them in his pockets. We asked him again how old he was and he said "20... :) no... 50." He was so confused! He told us that it was a Saturday in November. I think Saturday was a lucky guess. He randomly said "I run with the horses everyday." And we were like "wow- everyday huh?" We were happy that we were able to help him- and we knew that he was the reason we needed to go back to our apartment to grab some lunch.
Our last meeting with President and Sister Newell was amazing. I have learned so much from them and I am so so grateful for all that they have taught me and done for me. I miss them already. President Newell helped me so much during the hardest time on my mission. His priesthood blessings and interviews have been so personal and so strengthening. He truly is one of the greatest examples of our Savior that I know. He helped me to understand my purpose and my potential as a missionary- for which I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL! And so did Sister Newell. Her training and love to the Sisters will always stay near to my heart- I could probably fill up a whole journal of notes and advice from her that have helped me along on my mission.
Sister Newell talked to us at the last meeting about the JOY that comes from the gospel. She pointed out that before we came to this earth, we knew that living the gospel would have it's challenges, but we also knew that we could endure joyfully... and that joy should show in ALL of our actions. It should show in the hard times as well as the wonderful and happy times. How do we show joy in the hard times? For me, it is by continuing to live as a disciple of Christ. To continue to serve, lift, and love. I see so many of the members, whose lives are not easy, continue to be an example of the Savior. To me, these people are so beautiful and joyful because they understand what it means to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They understand that their own needs and circumstances should not go before others´. I too want to be an example of the Savior at all times- in all of my actions. I want people to see that I am so full of joy because I am living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have found that when we are doing what the Savior would do, it becomes so much easier to find happiness in the simplicity of everyday life as well as in the trials.
This month I have been working on the attribute Knowledge. This, to be honest, was one that I was just trying to do to get it over with. I didn't understand how I could magnify my knowledge in the gospel and how it could help me be more like the Savior. But I did learn a simple principle this week as I read D&C 90:15-16. It says "And study and learn and become acquainted with all good books and with languages, tongues, and people. And this shall be your business and mission in ALL your lives."
elders i was with in halmstad
I love this scripture. I think it is saying to BE A LIFE LONG LEARNER. I think being a life long learner is what keeps us curious and humble. It helps me to be more teachable- to see that learning from others is an opportunity for growth... If we view learning or being taught as any other way- then it's source is rooted in pride. Our pride does not allow us to be learners. It says that we are not good enough if we didn't already know what is being taught. I want to be a life long learner. There is never a time in our lives where we should not be learning and growing. I learn so much everyday. From my companions, members, investigators, my parent's letters, books, scriptures, talks etc. We are so blessed to be able to have so many great sources around us to learn from.
elder cushing is Spencer Christensen's best friend!
I LOVE YOU ALL. BE FULL OF JOY! I hope you have a wonderful warm week. I miss you and love you so much xoxoxo
sis c

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