Saturday, June 14, 2014



I hope you are enjoying yourselves in LP (Lake Powell)! I just looked at the weather there and it said that it should be 97--- wow that is HOT!! Today in little Katrineholm it is very sunny but this week has been on and off rain storms... typical Sweden summers- I remember getting caught in many rain storms last summer- I learned to always have my rain coat and an umbrella in my bag. :) But whether its raining or snowing or burning hot- there really is no such thing as bad weather on the mission. If there was, we would sit inside and complain and ain't nobodys got time for that. I'm grateful that I have learned to work hard in the wind, rain, darkness, and sunshine. 

It is always surprising how early the sun comes up and how late it goes down. I think it is down for a total of five hours and then it's up again. It took a while getting used to this year- I keep waking up at 4:30 thinking that we have slept in! But it is such a blessing to be able to wake up to the light- it makes me excited every morning to get outside. We have been running a lot with Myriam and Paoline in the mornings and we walk EVERYWHERE because the buses are very unreliable. We love it. 
I cannot believe how fast this week went. It was a wonderful week. We had our last interviews with President Newell this week. He gave me a blessing and it was a very tender and spiritual moment for me. He said exactly what I needed to hear and I really felt so strongly that the words he was saying were so personal and just for me. I am so sad that the Newell’s are leaving us at the end of the month- but mostly I am so grateful for all that they have done and for how they have inspired and helped me along this journey. They truly are amazing people whom I look up to so much. 
Marita and Åke
WELL- here is the big news. I am leaving KATRINEHOLM! This area has a special place in my heart. It has been the hardest and most challenging area, but I would not trade out a single day... I have learned so many wonderful lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Lessons of patience, perseverance, and humility. I have learned more Arabic, Persian, and Somalian... I have learned how to be happy when it is hard... I have learned to love the area and its' beauty although it doesn't have tall Swedish buildings or beautiful art pieces all over. Katrineholm is actually known as the "armpit of Sweden" :) --but I don't see it that way. I see it as an area with wonderful people who have many challenges and who choose to be happy and keep moving forward. The people make this area beautiful. They are simple and they love their trees and big grass fields and lakes. They appreciate natural beauties and so do I. Because they come from God and remind us to be grateful for the little things. 
We took E to dinner this week
We attended an institute lesson this week- The teacher is Marita- the Branch Presidents wife. I don't think I have ever mentioned her before-- she is hilarious. Just a little ball of energy. She has a very funny personality and likes everything to be her way... And she has had some conflicts with the missionaries in the past because of it- but I feel like I was really able to connect with her. She has kind of been my little friend while I've been here. She has helped us do an hour of Family History work every single week since I have been in Katrineholm, she has helped me with my Swedish and has taught me a lot of valuable lessons like how hot the temperature should be when you wash dirty rags. (I didn't do it hot enough so the church rags still looked dirty) haha. 
The lesson was on the last couple chapters in the Book of Mormon. She talked about chapters 7-10, which are all amazing but I loved our conversation about chapter 8. We were talking about why children (under 8 years old) that die, don't need to be baptized. Marita talked about how they are so pure that they will go straight to the celestial kingdom. This reminded me of  something that mom told us when we were little- that Lillie and others with disabilities were so pure that they will go to the celestial kingdom. I remember that meaning a lot to me as a little girl and it helped me to see Lillie and others with more love. I shared that with Marita and expressed how grateful I was that God has such a perfect plan for each of His children. 

Marita started tearing up and she said "I believe that they didn't need this Earth life to become more perfect like the rest of us but that they CHOSE to come here for the rest of us... They could have gone straight to the celestial kingdom but they were asked in the pre-earth life "Will you go to Earth? Not for your own growth or development but for your parents?' (for Hannah? for Adelide? and for Henry?)" As I thought of that, I got big tears in my eyes and thought to myself... I am so blessed to have Lillie in my life! 

Because I NEED HER so that I can become who God wants me to become. She is so incredible and pure and I love thinking that she chose to come to Earth even though she knew it would be hard... and she knew the challenges she would face and yet... she came. And she knew she could do it and she wanted to do it for us. That thought has helped me wake up every morning feeling so happy and grateful to get to work and share this message to others... Just thinking of how hard Lillie works everyday to be happy and to accomplish hard things. I am so proud of her for improving her grades this last semester and for waking up early everyday to go to school. I just... I am really just so grateful for her and the life she lives. She is a pure and perfect example, just as little children are... of being like our Savior. 
we celebrated national swedish day with a bbq :)
I have been thinking a lot this week about WHY we all get so angry, bugged, and irritated so easily. My thoughts are that it is because we turn inward. . . We think about ourselves before we think about why others do or say the things they do. If we all were a little more understanding then we would not become so frustrated or angry or irritated. Understanding others and situations would really help us to not act out. Of course it is easier being said than done, but it is something that we could all work on- especially me. 
On Friday night we rode our bikes along a long and beautiful road to a dinner with the Swedish/Japanese family. It was a lovely night with good conversations and beautiful scenery. But the next day we woke up with 20+ Mosquito bites on our legs and ankles. (both Emi and I)...  We looked like we had the chicken pocks and they were so itchy. In the middle of the night Emi was up in the bathroom and I was wide awake scratching like crazy and when she came out I said "Emi... what are you doing about the legs?" and she said "I am putting cold rags on them." hahaha we were in so much pain and we laughed about it a lot the next day because we were so tired but we were wide awake from the bites... We tried everything to get them to go down- itch cream, hot metal spoons, cold rags, hot heating pads... we were so swollen and so red. It was pretty hilarious. 
We went to church yesterday looking like we had a disease and the members were all trying to help us out. One of the Elders gave us two benedryl and we took them after church and barely made it home before we crashed. We were out for two straight hours with out moving. I even fell asleep holding a piece of gluten free pizza in my hand. HAHAHA. I woke up in a full body sweat because I have never slept during proselyting time before and it made me so anxious!! But I don't know what else we would have done. I guess it was needed because I had a deep sleep all night last night. Our bodies had an allergic reaction but they seem to be going down today. SO: ALL IS WELL. :D 
I am so happy that Grace is training! As I read her words in her email, it brought back so many memories of training back in October. It was a challenging experience but it taught me so so much. I often wish that I could do it again because now I know the language a little better, I am a little better at teaching and at not getting so stressed- but I wouldn't be "a little better" if I hadn't gone through the experience of training. 
michaela- she has five cats
I can't believe this will be my LAST area on my mission! I am going to a city called ÖREBRO (translated to english: pennybridge). I am going to be a Sister Training Leader with Sister Lowe who was in Sister Swenson's group. She is going home in July so I will "kill her." I am so excited and grateful to end my mission this way- going all out. I have never had a companion "older" than me in the mission (besides Swensie when she was training me after only being in the field for TWO months! hahaha I still can't believe that we (she) pulled that off), and I have also never been in a bigger city! So I am very excited. I went on splits to Örebro not to long ago and it is BEAUTIFUL. I am so lucky and blessed. 
I love these two scriptures on Missionary work: "Let they heart be of good cheer before my face, and though shalt bear record of my name, not only unto the Gentiles, but also unto the Jews (TO ALL) and thou shalt send forth my words unto the ends of the Earth." D&C 112:4 and "But purify your hearts before me, and then go ye into all the world and preach my gospel unto EVERY creature who has not yet received it." D&C 112:28. 

I am so grateful that I have been called to this work. I love you all. Have a wonderful week in the sun!

xoxo bye bye

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