Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Letter from Adelide's Mission President

Dear Brother & Sister Christensen,
We are delighted to have your daughter, Sister Adelide Christensen, in the Sweden Stockholm Mission.  She has recently been assigned to serve as Sister Training Leader in the Uppsala II area. She is an exemplary missionary, demonstrating the work and faith which have earned the respect and trust of the Mission. A Trainer is a position of sacred stewardship in the Sweden Stockholm Mission as it can have a tremendous impact on the culture of the mission and the missionaries themselves.
In addition, she will be an important part of the leadership in the mission; participating in the mission leadership council, being responsible for the training and welfare of sister missionaries, forwarding the proselyting work, and working with the district and zone leaders as well as the mission president. 
We are grateful for the prayers and sacrifice of your family which make the service of your daughter possible.
With respect and kind regards,
James E. Beckstrand
James E. Beckstrand, President

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


HI. I have sooo much to write about this week! It has been such a long week- I can't believe that transfers were just this week because I feel like I have been here with Sister Anderson for a while! It is seriously a dreeaaam to be here. I could not be more grateful or feel more blessed. 
this is me and elin hugging a tree on my last p-day in orebro :)
I said goodbye to Örebro on Wednesday morning and Sister Lowe and I, with both of our HUGE suitcases- got on the train. We went to a place called Hallsberg to transfer trains with three minutes in between. We were sweating like crazy and laughing so hard. Luckily we had each other to help unload and load and carry our bags around. We got a good system going. :) We got off in Stockholm and ran to my next train through T-Central and said my goodbyes to Sister Lowe and off I went to Uppsala. I was seriously sweating out of every pore. hahaaha. It is soooo hot and humid and the trains and buildings have no air conditioning! I just sat at the back of the train and fanned myself with my ticket and sang songs because it was so loud in there that no one else could hear me. hehehe
I got to Uppsala Wednesday afternoon and we immediately got to work. We went to the church to meet a new investigator that Sister Anderson had talked to on the train last week. She is from Ethiopia and we showed her around the church and taught her about the Book of Mormon. She is the sweetest lady and was very receptive.
That night we also taught Mohamad who is from Iran. He is our most progressing investigator. They found him four weeks ago and he was supposed to be baptized last week but he told them that he wanted to be a "good mormon" when he gets baptized. Meaning he wants to feel more prepared. I am sure they were sad when he didn't get baptized but we found out this week that he was still drinking a little- just for fun and that he is having a hard time switching religions. (He was muslim before and doesn't know too much about Christianity.) He is so cool. He is also very sensitive- for instance- We met him at the church the next night after having been to institute and we could tell that he was kind of sad throughout our whole lesson so we asked him what was wrong and he said that he was sad that we didn't invite him to institute. He wants to know about EVERYTHING going on in the church- it's so awesome hahaha.

I already love the people we are meeting with so much. I have never fallen in love with a city or the work and the people so fast. It is a perfect area to end on. The members in the ward are all a little older- not many young families or single adults but it is still great. We have us, the Zone Leaders, Elder and Sister Sorensen (going home though in two weeks) and Elder and Sister Tolley! That is a lot of missionaries. 
Sister Anderson is the absolute best. We have been having so much fun together. We have AWESOME conversations about anything and everything- seriously we learn so much from each other in our companionship studies. We are also very focused on being positive, grateful, and on complimenting each other. It is amazing how those simple attitude changes can make a world of a difference. We have been talking a lot about how missionary work is moving forward and it gets us so pumped everyday to get outside and get going. We have both noticed that the spirit is so strong in our companionship because we really are only focusing on the work and the people and the gospel. 
When we went out contacting a couple of days ago, we contacted two guys, told them about the church, and asked them if they would be interested in meeting and one of them said "uhh... ya... who wouldn't want to meet with you two!??" HAHAHA. Sister Anderson was like "... we only talk about Jesus" hahahahaha. It was so funny. 
We also had a cool experience while contacting. We were about to pass an older lady walking her bike and a younger girl walking close behind her. In that situation you kind of just have to pick one or the other to talk to. I had a feeling to talk to the younger girl behind the woman but she had headphones in her ears so instead we contacted the older lady. The lady said (while still walking away) "I lived in Salt Lake City for many years and I'm still not converted!" THEN the younger girl that we felt we should contact stopped, pulled out her headphones and asked if we needed directions somewhere. We told her no, but that we are missionaries from our church. We ended up talking for a while and got her phone number! She was very interested and it was a good reminder to me to always ACT on the promptings of the spirit- not on your own thoughts. Luckily, the girl still stopped to listen. 
Papa said in his last letter to me (papa as in my grandpa not my dad hahaha everyone thinks i'm talking about dad when I say papa :)) ... "The most important thing in the mission field, is not a baptism- it is having faith, being humble and forgiving, studying and praying, and being led by the spirit." It is through our faith, humility, forgiveness, studies, and prayer, that we are able TO BE led by the spirit. I feel the spirit working through us in every step of our missionary work and it is faith building and wonderful. 
we found an american store!!!!
Yesterday, I felt the spirit strongly as I was waiting for the Sacrament. I was so excited to be able to take it. It meant so much to me and I felt almost the exact same feelings that I had felt at another time on my mission when I felt completely clean and forgiven from all of my past mistakes. It is truly so amazing that each week we can CHOOSE to become a little more honest, less prideful, to be better, nicer, less judgmental, less selfish. I turned around after I had taken the Sacrament to see Mohamad sitting there and it made me so happy. He works every Sunday at a bakery but he has asked his boss if he can leave each week for thirty minutes to come and take the sacrament and then go back to work. He is a great example to me of how important the Sacrament really is. He said to us yesterday that he never wants to miss out on taking it! 
We went to the hospital after church to see a 93 year old member who had a heart attack yesterday morning. He is the funniest guy. He is still going to the gym and to clubs to dance- where he gets alcohol free drinks. HAHAHA he is not letting his age stop him from doing anything! We sang "O Store Gud" (How great thou art- which is actually a Swedish hymn) to him with the Elders and he LOVED it. He told one of the Elders to grab his pants out of the closet because he had a picture of Sister Anderson. We thought it was going to be on his phone but he had printed it out and just keeps it in his pocket hahahaha. 
I read a wonderful talk that mom sent me a while ago about the body. It talks about how our bodies are such a beautiful gift from God- and it really hit me that so much of our weaknesses and temptations are about the body- Over eating, under eating, pornography, not following the law of chastity, wearing immodest or costly apparel etc.- All of these things do not come from God. In fact this is satan's biggest tool against us. It was Satan's punishment to not receive a body- and it is our gift. In the talk, (the body- a sacred gift) it says "Alma 5: 53-54- such scriptures BEG us to consider how we regard our bodies." The body is necessary for progression and for obtaining a fullness of joy- so why do we so often put ourselves down or do things to reject this gift? The writer says that "we reject the gift by flaunting it, disparaging it, participating in immoral behavior or neglecting it. A wise and loving God counsels us instead to be grateful for it and become a wise steward of it. To do so requires giving up something worldly." After talking about this with Sister Anderson, we both decided to give up worldly actions of rejecting our gift and replacing them with ways that we are going to receive our "gift". One of the biggest ways we can accept the gift of having a body is by doing service. 
As we serve, we forget ourselves. We forget what the world is asking us to do and instead do what God wants us to do. He wants us to love ourselves and others and Him. And we do so by daily accepting the opportunity we have to have a body, to be on this earth, to learn and to grow so that we can return home to live with him. And when we return home, our bodies will be perfected. And that is what my goal is. It is not to have a perfect body now- but it is to work towards having a perfected body in the eternities. 
Anderson, Adelide, Lowe and Lowe's parents
I love this quote by James D Stice about service. "When it comes to helping others, get in the game. If there is help that needs to be given, give it. If you can make a difference for good, make it. Don't wait for an engraved invitation. Don't worry about what others might think. If the spirit whispers to you that something needs to be done, do it. Lend a listening ear, look for small things, and err on the side of action." 
Isam and his missionaries
I am so grateful for my companion. She is seriously the coolest and best. I love our area. It is fun to be more up north- there are so many more hills!! I love the people. I love our apartment- its old but huge! I am so blessed and happy. I am grateful for the sun and for the opportunity that I have to use my body to serve and help others. 
Have a wonderful week! Thank you for the letters! xoxoxo


sorry for all of the selfies - hahaha my comp is a legit photographer

Monday, July 21, 2014

g u e s s w h a t ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?


I'M TRANSFERRING!! Looks like Örebro was not my last area! But it was my shortest area! I am transferring to Uppsala to be with SISTER ANDERSON! I AM SO EXCITED. I am so sad to leave this area that I love so much. But I am so grateful that I got to come here for six weeks and get to know these wonderful people and create such great relationships with them. AND that I got to see/ live in such a beautiful city. It is hard to feel like you've made a difference in an area after only being there for six weeks... but at the same time, I feel ready to go and that we accomplished all that we needed to. I learned so much from Sister Lowe and we have such an awesome friendship- so I know that if I came here just for that... then it is worth it! 
They are actually taking Sisters out of this area all together so there will be four Elders. The Sister Training Area used to be in Uppsala and so they are moving it back up there. It will be the farthest North that I will go! And I am not sure... but I think we will be the STL's over NORRLAND- which means that I MIGHT get to go up to Luleå or Sundsvall!!!! I'm not positive on that though. :) And Syster Anderson will be so fun. She is best friends with one of Chelsea Pinnock’s roomates and she also knows Janie Egan. We have been good friends throughout our missions- I sent you a pic of us two a couple of weeks ago. She was also trained by Sister Lowe!

It was fun to read Henry's letter and to read your letters to him. Keep forwarding them because they are fun to read.
I don't have loooaaaddss of time to write today because it is Sister Lowe's last p-day so we are going to do fun things ALL DAY LONG. Woot. #eatingfalafelandfriesforlunch mmmmmm.
We went on splits this week with the Katrineholm sisters! I was originally going to stay in Örebro and go on splits with Emi- because I was the one to go to Västerhaninge last time... But I just kept having this feeling like I should go back to Katrineholm. I didn't know if it was to see the area one last time or to see the people there- but after going and then coming back, I knew that it was because I needed to be with Sister Stewart- Emi's companion. 
raspberries on the side of the road :)
And that is the reason for why we go on splits- not to see the areas but to be with the other sister's and to help them and learn from them. What I am learning is that I am probably learning more from them than they are from me. We have amazing sisters in this mission and they teach me so much. Sister Stewart and I had such a great conversation that helped the both of us and we were also able to talk about the area and the people. I got to see Åsa and CAT, which was fun- and then we met back up with Emi and Sister Lowe to eat dinner together. :) 
We thought that it would just be Sister Lowe's last week in this area- but it was also mine! We were blessed to be fed every night this week and we got to say goodbye to everyone at church yesterday. On Thursday we went over to the Keanne's (my favorite family) and we helped them paint their house. We had just eaten a delicious lunch and I was holding a yummy slice of cheese in my hand -(by the way, I don't think I will be able to go back to eating the dairy in the US- it is five million X better here)- And I was ready to go outside and get started so I went out and started doing this dumb march down their stairs and I slipped and fell down the stairs... really hard. Luckily no one was outside yet- but I just laid there in so much pain and I was looking around to make sure no one saw and then I made myself get up and shake it off- so I stood up and my face went white and I looked at the piece of cheese and threw it on the ground. Then I looked up and Sister Lowe was just standing there like "What the egg are you doing????" hahahaha she said it looked like I was having a seizure! What resulted was a bruise on my arm, bum, and a huge black and blue one on my calf. (Literally the size of - I just asked Lowe what I should describe it as and she said "The size of a big gulp lid" haahaha). Anyways--- gotta love the mission battle wounds.
We were very blessed yesterday- so many miracles. The Hansson family came to church again, five of our investigators came, and the sacrament meeting was FILLED with people. The most I had ever seen. It was awesome. Right before Sacrament, an investigator Leya, came up to me and asked if she could talk to me for a bit. I recognized that it was her because I had actually met her and her kids once in Katrineholm when she was visiting. (Her husband is a member but he is less active and his mom lives in Katrineholm.) She has been on our white board since I got here and we have been trying to meet with her but she broke her back and then got really sick and hasn't been able to meet. But today she came and she said "I have had a baptismal date before and I have been taught everything and I know that it's true... so can I set a new baptismal date?" I said no. hahaha just kidding. So I smiled and talked to her about it for a bit and then we pulled out a calendar and she said that she can't be baptized on the week of August first because it's her husbands birthday, so I pointed to the next week and then she chose the date for the 16th of August. Both her and her son will be baptized. She was so excited and we both feel like it was a blessing that she came to church, came up and talked to us, and CHOSE her baptismal date all on her own. 
During Sunday school, a member ran into the room and grabbed Sister Lowe and I and said "there is a girl here from Thailand- she has been living in Sweden for seven years and she wants to meet you!" We went into the room and saw this cute 16 year old girl who told us that she found the church through a friend who is not a member but had just heard about it. She came to young woman’s today and said that SHE KNEW the church was true and that she wanted to be baptized and serve a mission. Her parents wanted her to go to a four year bible school- but we told her about seminary and that she could take that instead. A member went home with her after church to talk to her parents about it. 
To me, both of those were HUGE miracles. Of course I won't be here to see their progression and see them be baptized but I didn't come on my mission to count how many baptisms I could witness. I came on my mission to serve and to teach- I don't need to see these miracles to know that the church is true- but it does make me so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful church and to see the joy that others feel when they come. And it made my heart so so happy to hear two women look me in the eyes and say that they know that the church is true and that they want to be baptized.
This week I have been studying a lot about mercy and justice. I searched the word "justice" in an app that we have on our phone and found that it is written in the scriptures about 216 times and it is written about 33 times in General conference. Then I typed in the word "mercy" and it is in the scriptures about 566 times and in general conference 105 times. This was very interesting to me. We believe that God is both a merciful God and a God of Justice- but I believe that He is going to be more merciful than we can comprehend. There is a quote from President J. Reuben Clark Jr that says "I feel that the Savior will give that punishment which is the very least that our transgression will justify... I believe that when it comes to making the rewards for our good conduct, he will give us the maximum that it is possible to give." 
Our great message in the gospel is that God is merciful because of our Savior and his infinite Atonement. I am so grateful that God is Just- so that we can learn to follow his commandments and try to be the best we can be- but I am even more grateful that through the Atonement, we can receive a remission of all of our sins. That we can be forgiven through His grace and mercy... for me personally that I know I can wake up each day and try again- which was something I was so incredibly grateful for this week. I needed a new day to try and be better, more obedient, and kinder to my companion. I love the things I am learning on my mission. I love my Savior and I know that this is His gospel- I am so lucky to be able to share it with others everyday. SO LUCKY. 

love, ADELIDE.

Cat in Katrineholm

Monday, July 14, 2014

home again home again

WOWOW. Talk about being E X H A U S T E D! Hahaha. This week was insane. On Monday the Tolley's drove down to Örebro to bring extra furniture they had to give to our investigator, Adama, who has no furniture. They brought him a bed, table, night stand etc. It was soooo nice of them. We helped them unload and then we drove to Stockholm with them. This started my week of adventures in Stockholm. I was out of my area from Monday until Thursday NIGHT! #3sleepoversinarow. It was so fun but it also made me grateful on Thursday night to be back home in Örebro and to get work done. :) 
I did Sister Splits with Sister Swenson on Monday night until Tuesday night. It was sooo needed. We worked so hard together- teaching, contacting, and tracting all day- we both felt like we were back to the beginning of our missions... except for much older and wiser :). We had actually never gone tracting together and we hardly contacted (we tried but we were both so new and we didn't know HOW to!) hahaha We actually laughed about that because we would go around and ask people directions, hoping that they would notice our tag and ask us why we were here ... hahaha. Oh man. We talked non-stop and laughed and cried. She really is my best friend. It was fun to get caught-up from the past ten months. 
When Sister Lowe and the other two Sisters arrived that night, Sister Lowe brought me two letters from my momma and a package from gram! It was the best gift EVER! (Please tell gram thank you so much for the homemade fudge and everything! We ate it all up.) That night we slept over again and the next morning, Sister Lowe and I left to go to our mission leader council meeting. It was such a fun day. I got to see Sister Hauglid and Sister Richins and Sister Randall!!!!! 
I hadn't seen Sister Richins for sooo long. It was so fun to talk and see each other. She is too, one of my best friends. How did I get so lucky to get the best companions? I seriously feel so blessed every single day. I have connected so well with all of them in one way or another and would consider all of them to be my best friends. We go through a lot together... we see every flaw and every wonderful attribute of each other. It would be hard not to become so close. 
That night, we were supposed to go home but it would have been pointless to get home late and wake up early to head back up to Uppsala, so we decided to sleep over with the Uppsala sisters. The next morning, we had an awesome zone training. We were asked to wear p-day clothes- we did a little hike thing- it was really cool and spiritual. 

Our main focus with this training and with what President and Sister Beckstrand focused on in our meeting was the temple. Too often we focus on Baptism being the most important step and the final step. But it is not enough just to be baptized. Our goal with everyone we work with, is to not only have them be baptized, but to enter into the temple. To make those covenants that will help each of us endure to the end and make it home to our Heavenly Father. That is why we work with the Less Actives and members- so that we can get them to the temple. President Beckstrand pointed out that our goal is the ENDownment- (ENDure to the END). It is the end goal that we should strive for. 
Sister Beckstrand asked us what things are sacred to us... Everyone said different answers (testimony, family, Patriarchal Blessings, our worthiness). She said these are the things that are eternal. They are all something that we work for and they put things into perspective. I love that. It is so true- and those are the things that we will be taking with us in the next life. Not our clothes or houses or cars... but our faith, our courage, our worthiness, our testimony, our families. These are the things (and so much more) that we should put our focus on everyday. It was so wonderful to be able to participate in this meeting. What a blessing it is to be able to learn from so many amazing missionaries as we sit in a room together and teach each other about how to be better missionaries and better people. 
When I was on splits with Sister Swenson, we taught Gerald Wennerlund and his two daughters. Gerald is Bo Wennerlund's son and was also our Mission Presidents first companion. They served together here in Örebro and the first person that they taught together was a man named Vedel Förnes. Vedel was not baptized when either of them were here, but he got baptized, has been a Stake President, and has one of the strongest families here in the Örebro ward. It was such a testimony to me of planting seeds... Of teaching all who will listen and opening our mouths to all. Inviting ALL to come unto Christ. You really never know who you can influence or who is prepared and will accept later down the road... This is what brings me hope and courage each day to keep on spreading the gospel. Both mom and dad shared with me something that Sister Newell shared in her homecoming talk...

"Sister Newell told about how she was out of her comfort zone for 3 years. When new sisters came into the mission they would feed them and then send them out to talk to people on the streets. She told about going out with these sisters and how every time she was nervous to talk to strangers. Having courage to act according to the dictates of one’s conscience is one kind of moral courage, talking to people in the face of rejection is another kind. There are other kinds of courage too. It takes courage to get up in the morning and do things you would rather not do. It takes courage to find ways to get along with your companion when she rubs you the wrong way. It takes courage to follow the spirit. It takes courage to keep trying to acquire a language that feels impossible. It takes courage to put one foot in front of the other when you may feel like curling up in a ball and hide under your covers. Mostly it takes courage to serve others and to choose the higher law. The lower law (Old Testament) tells us what, when, where, and how to live God’s law. The higher law (New Testament) asks us to think about why we live God’s law." 
 I love that. It does take so much courage each day- but there is reason, testimony, and love that goes into every act. The "WHY" for me, is because I have a Savior that died for me. Who gave me hope that I can start again. Who teaches me to be kind, to serve, to love, to be diligent, to have patience... to live up to my baptismal covenants that I made when I was 8 years old as it says in Mosiah 18: 8-11.
8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

This is the desire of my heart.
I love you all so very much. I know I say that every week... IT'S BECAUSE I MEAN IT! Every week! Every week I love you and I am so grateful for you. I can't wait to hear how Henry is doing in the MTC! I have been thinking about him everyday. I loved the Lake Powell video that Jeff sent. What an amazing family we have. :)
service project

PS. I forgot to mention that we met "God" this week... We contacted a guy who and we said that we came from the church of Jesus Christ, and asked him if he believed in God and he replied... "I am God." He said that he has been reincarnated and came back as God. His name is Tommas.

Monday, July 7, 2014

let the holy spirit guide.

sister andersson
 Hello dearies

WOW! It sounds like you guys had a crazy fun busy week! I am mostly jealous of the Trevor Hall, Brett Dennen, Franti concert that you went to. WHAT THE WHAT?? My favorite singers all in one? hahaha I am sure it was awesome. I can't believe Henry's time is already here... He will be sitting in classes all day everyday for 9 weeks. I was only in the MTC for 6 weeks and while I was there I thought six weeks was sooooo long- although I really did enjoy my MTC experience. But once you are in the field, 6-9 weeks is nothing! It goes by soooo fast. Henry will have a blast. I hope he soaks up every minute of the MTC. The spirit is so strong and it is a place to spend all of your time devoted to learning. You don't have any real big stresses besides learning the language the best you can and planning lessons for "investigators." I remember mom telling me of how much she enjoyed her MTC experience which made me excited to be there. I enjoyed making new friends, the food, and getting loads of letters and packages everyday from mom :). My advice to Henry is to dedicate yourself to learning as much as you can- but to not stress yourself out. The language will come. The teaching will come. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes. And HAVE FUN! Be a good friend to your companion- no matter who he is. Love him for coming out to do the same work that you are there to do. WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. I love you Henry. I am excited for you to have this hard but very rewarding adventure. 

My week was busy as well but this upcoming week will be even more so. We haven't been doing splits or anything yet because we were so busy every week with meetings when President and Sister Newell went home and with the New mission President coming. But this next week we will be going on splits and doing meetings- I am actually going on splits with SISTER SWENSON tonight!!! And her two companions will be coming here to Örebro. I will be in Stockholm tonight, tomorrow, and then we are sleeping over again because we have a leadership meeting on Wednesday and on Thursday we have a zone training!! I am not going to be in Örebro for four days this week! ANYWAYYYSSS . . . 
This week we were so blessed to be busy everyday with great lessons. Our investigators are all doing well. We invited Adama--the one who did African dancing--to be baptized on the 19th of July and he said he would pray about it. We told him that he needed to come to church twice before that date which means yesterday and next week... but he didn't come. He is so ready to be baptized but it is hard for him to keep commitments. Our other investigator that I have told you about, Miguel, who we contacted on my first week here had not been answering this past week. We called him again on Friday and he answered! Sister Lowe and I were jumping up and down! He said that his family had been here from Columbia so he had been with them all week. He was excited that we called and wants to meet again on Tuesday. Yay! 
our fourth of july dinner with the browns
I love the fourth of July. I think it may be one of my favorite holidays. Maybe its because the sun is out and life just seems to be good. This fourth of July we went up to Stockholm to meet our new Mission President and his wife! The first thing he said to us was "Just so you know... we are normal people, not to say that the Newell’s aren't normal" hahahaha :). They really are just normal, down to earth people and I LOVE THEM. They are so funny- everyone was laughing during the whole conference. The first thing I felt from them as they greeted each of us at the door, sat and ate lunch with us, and talked with us after the meeting, was love. They are so loving. Sister Lowe and I went with them to take pictures of them in front of the temple with the AP's and they were pulling funny faces and being silly. When I met Sister Beckstrand she said "you look familiar! I read your blog!" and then I talked to her for a bit and then turned to shake President Beckstrand’s hand and he said "Hey! You look familiar!" And Sister Beckstrand leaned over and whispered "It's the blog!! We read her blog!" hahahahaha.
I love them. 

During their meeting, they had all of the "dying missionaries" go up to share their testimonies. Sister Swenson was the last one to go up and as she stood up there bearing her testimony of her adventures in Sweden, tears were just rolling down my cheeks! It brought back all of my memories with her from last year. In fact we were together on the fourth of July a year ago doing a BBQ with Bonnie :). I felt the spirit so strongly as I thought back on all of our experiences and on everything we have learned over this past year. When Sister Richins joined me, that is when I started to really understand missionary work and when I started to develop my own testimony. I was so mad at myself for that first little bit that I hadn't worked harder when I was with Sister Swenson and that I didn't apply myself in the way that I should have. But as I was listening to Swensie share her testimony and as I was thinking back on my time with her, I felt at peace. I knew at that moment that I had done the best I could. I got here to Sweden knowing almost nothing about missionary work. I didn't even understand what a "district leader" or a "less active" was (hahaha... -_-). I didn't know how to teach The Restoration or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But what I did know was that I wanted to be here. I wanted to wake up everyday at 6:30 am ready to put forth all that I could and knew how to do. Of course, applying all that I have learned now I could have done things at the beginning very differently, but I didn't know all of this then. What I put forth at that time was enough in God’s eyes. He knew I was trying. And now that I have grown it would not be okay for me to be the missionary that I was when I first got here . . . because I know better. And what I put forth today is the best that I can do for today. 
Coming from my Papa who has run 68 marathons, he said "When you run a marathon, if you are smart you leave enough energy in the tank so you can finish the last 6.2 miles with speed and strength. I always felt that there were two races in a marathon- the first 20 miles and the last 6.2 miles. You are on the last lap on your mission. The last lap is where the race is won. Now use everything you have learned and GO FULL OUT, leaving nothing in the tank! See the Holy Ghost with you and go forward with boldness and a keen sense of urgency, running from event to event." This is the last lap of my mission. Sometimes it scares me- but I know that if I continue to give this work everything that I have- then I will return home knowing that I gave it my all... leaving nothing in the tank :). Having no regrets.
these ugly things are everywhere!!
Sometimes it is hard to feel that I am doing all that I should be doing, when I am not seeing as much success as others around me. But this week I was reassured and given much comfort when I got a call from Sister Dawson- who was also trained by Swensie. She is serving in Halmstad right now. (By the way- I forgot to tell you that they Elders were taken out of Halmstad so now it is an all sisters area! Woot!) When Sister Dawson called me, she said, "I just had the strongest feeling to call you and tell you how grateful I am for you and Sister Hosenfeld and all of our investigators and baptisms that we are having right now in Halmstad were found by you. You did work!" She said "we decided to go through the ‘potential investigator’ list that you made, it was about ten pages long filled with phone numbers, and we decided to call everyone. So many of them want to meet, are meeting with us, one was baptized last week, and another one has a baptismal date. They all remember you and love you and I just want you to know that your efforts are not being wasted." 
Wow! This call was an answer to my prayers. She was so kind to call me and tell me all of that exciting news. I am so happy that they are having so much success and yes, of course it felt good to hear all of that, but as she was telling me these things, I just had an overwhelming feeling come over me that it really was not me, nor was it Sister Hosenfeld. All we had to do was be willing and ready to go to work and the Lord led us to people. The success they are now having was not from anything that I did. It was all God and the Holy Ghost guiding and helping us along, giving us strength and words to say and love in our hearts for these people.

In Papa's amazing letter he also said to me that the Holy Ghost is my companion. I have been thinking a lot about this. . . That we as missionaries cannot do anything without the spirit. The spirit is all-knowing. It guides us in ALL that we do (Moroni 6:9). We gain our testimonies and share our testimonies through the spirit. 

service project
We taught our ward last Sunday that missionary work cannot be done without two things: Knowledge of the Gospel and The Spirit. We have to know the things that we are teaching. But what Preach My Gospel teaches us is that we do not need to follow an outline. Everything is taught by and through the power of The Holy Ghost. I find great comfort in the scripture D&C 84:85, that everything will be brought to our minds that we should say or do through the power of The Holy Ghost.

I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. I am grateful that I was blessed with the gift to have the spirit with me all day everyday. I could not ask for a better guide or comforter. I am so grateful that this mission is not MY mission, it is the Lord's mission. This is his time. And I am so willing to give all that I can to making this time count.

I love you all. Good luck this week! I am excited to hear how it all goes. Will you send me Henry's farewell talk?? THX.

xoxoxoxo ha en braaa veckkaaa!!! ÄLSKAR ER