Monday, August 25, 2014

c u in 1 month.

The bitter winds are already rollin' in again. Summer is over! It has been cold and rainy for the past two weeks and I unfortunately got rid of a lot of my tights and fall clothes, thinking that I wouldn't need them before I came home. But I think I'll just tough it out with what I’ve got!
us in sundsvall
The work the past couple of weeks has been hard. It has been hard to get in contact with everyone that we used to meet - especially with summer ending and school and jobs starting up again. Everyone has been so busy! Ashti is our most progressing investigator and he is so awesome. But this week especially, we have really been focusing on finding. It has been nice to go out on the streets and contact because so many students have moved back in and there are a million people here now. I love talking to students because they are pretty open about religion. We have really been praying to find a family or young people who could start building the ward up here. We have one family and then the cutest couple- Pontus and Kele who just got married two months ago- but besides that, it is just a lot of oldies! (who are all awesome but we are a bit worried for the future generations!) We have been teaching a lot of first lessons- but it’s hard to get people to continue to meet with us on a regular basis. But we know there is someone prepared out there!
This week we went on splits in Sundsvall- which is a beautiful city. I was with Sister Barton who is from my group and also went to Olympus! Her dad is the calculus teacher at Oly. We had a fun and busy day together. The city of Sundsvall is between two mountains and big river that runs right through the middle. It is so gorgeous. I am grateful that we were able to go up there and see the work that is going on up there as well.
We also had a meeting with Elder and Sister Teixiera from the Seventy. I was asked along with three other missionaries to be interviewed by him. I was really excited but it was actually kind of scary! He asked me some questions and I had a camera right in my face! I was being filmed and the questions were hard to answer on the spot! But it was also a cool experience. He and his wife are both from Portugal. They both did an awesome job and I learned a lot from them. He gave us some new ideas for contacting which we have been using and we have had a lot of positive feedback!
President and Syster Beckstrand and Elder and Sister Teixeira
The worst part of the week is that Sister Anderson and I discovered that we both know who 'Miranda Sings' is and so we have been talking like Miranda all week long. It is so hilarious but it's so hard to be serious with people because we can't stop talking like her. This week we were invited over for dinner by the sweetest couple... and we offered to give Monica, the wife, a foot massage because she gave all of the women one for Relief Society a couple months ago and never got one in return. 

with Syster Coombs
So she is laying on a bed with a blanket over her and she put on some calming yoga music and it was dead silent and Sister Anderson and I were just sitting there rubbing her feet and we got the giggles so bad. We totally ruined the experience for her because we could not stop laughing. We were just staring at each other making Miranda faces and it was SO FUNNY. We tried not making eye contact but no matter what we couldn't hold it in hahahaha it was bad but soo funny.
Last night after visiting another member in the hospital who had a heart attack, the Elders called President Beckstrand and asked if we could come into Stockholm and sleep in the mission home because we were cleaning the Stockholm temple early this morning. He said it would be fine so we all ran home and booked it to the train station and took a train into Stockholm. We slept over in the mission home and it was so much fun! The Beckstrands are the sweetest, most down to earth people. They just made us feel right at home. We were picked up by the Tolley's this morning and have spent the whole day cleaning the temple! It was a very cool experience. The temple is so beautiful. Then we went back to the Tolleys for lunch :) WE ARE SO BLESSED and so well taken care of which I am so grateful for.

This week I have kind of had a hard time focusing in my studies. I want to learn something new but I don't really know what to study- so I have just been reading in the Book of Mormon. I have been reading in Alma for a long time- trying to get through the war chapters, but one day this week I read Alma 48 and I love what it says about Moroni. It says he prepared the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord, he was a strong and mighty man, he was a man of perfect understanding (knowledgeable), whose soul delighted in the liberty and freedom of his country and his bretheren from bondage and slavery. His heart swelled with thanksgiving to God, he worked hard for the welfare and safety of his people, and he was firm in the faith of Christ. And I love verse 17: "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men." I thought that this was so powerful. That if we were to be like Moroni- the devil would have no power over our hearts. 
Although that was a simple thing to read- it helped me a lot this week to really try to be more like Moroni and know that when we teach others about the gospel, are grateful ALWAYS for what God has given us, and follow in the foot steps of our Savior, we will be able to stand strong and know who we are and what our purpose is here on Earth. Satan will have no power over us. 
rainy and cold
It's been a long but good week. Congrats to Meisha and Sam! I am so happy for them. I hope you all enjoy being back in school and that you remember that I. LOVE. YOU. Thank you for YOUR love and insights which help me grow and push me to be better. 
Emi gave me a going away present hahaha but I will probably see her once more before i leave

Syster C cards are my best friends!

Monday, August 18, 2014

don't limit yourself.

Wow. WHAT A WEEK FOR EVERYONE! I am so happy that Megan and Michelle and Eliza all returned happy and safe from their missions! AND CONGRATULATIONS to Rachel! The pictures were amazing and I am so happy for her. What an exciting time at home! It is weird to read about all that is going on, knowing that I too, will be there so soon. Too soon. I am feeling so many mixed emotions!
This week was verrrry tiring but filled with adventures and silly stories. We FLEW ON AN AIRPLANE on Tuesday to the top of Sweden! (Luleå.) We did work-overs there (which means that both Sister Anderson and I went and did splits while we were up there). It was beautiful. And also weird to be on a plane... I fell asleep on Sister Anderson’s lap and woke up in a panic that I was on my flight home... yikes.

top of sweswe

Luleå is pretty much an island- it is surrounded by water and it was so fun to be there. Seriously! It was a dream! We spent the day Wednesday, on splits- I was with Sister Bolton who has only been in the mission field for three weeks. She was so awesome and had so much energy! It was so fun! We talked to everyone we saw and did a lot of tracting. They don't have too much going on right now so it was good to be able to help out and find some new people for them to teach.
sister bolton
That night we flew back to Stockholm and got on a train and I went straight to Gubbängen to do splits with Sister Vaarola. She is 25 and is Finish. We came in the same group and she is a sweetheart. She was baptized when she was 18 years old after living as a foster child all growing up. She has such a strong testimony and I learned a lot more from her than she did from me. When we were planning together on Thursday morning, she said something that really stuck out to me. She said "it really makes me sad when we teach people and they say 'I can't pray or I can't have faith' ... Why do we feel like we have to limit ourselves??" In my planner I wrote down DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF. And I smiled because it reminded me of when we went to visit 93 year old Karl Erik last week. I loved being in his house because he had so many paintings hung up everywhere that he has done. Some of them were pretty good and others looked like a fourth grader could have painted them. But he was so happy with his art that he hung it all up.
karl erik
It made me think of how we are all constantly comparing our talents to others. If I sing, but I am not the best singer, then I tell everyone that I can't sing at all. If I speak Swedish, but I don't sound like a Swede and my companion is better than I am, then I assume that I can't speak Swedish. BUT WHO SAYS WE CAN'T? And who says we shouldn't? Karl Erik knows that some of his art pieces are not the best but he isn't comparing himself to other artists. And that is something I want to be better at. If we limit ourselves then there is no opportunity for growth.
sister beckstrand
I love this quote by Elder Holland that says "We are infinitely more than our limitations or our afflictions!" We can do and accomplish more than we think we can. Just like the quote hanging on my wall that mom sent me from Winnie the Pooh... "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Satan wants us to be aware of our limitations. He doesn't want us to achieve great things. Nor does he want us to think that our talents and efforts are ever good enough.
I love being among the average people everyday who are willing to overcome their limitations in order to receive something so much better and wonderful. For example... this week we taught sweet Maria Shaw. She is a mother who is a member in our ward and has had a rough life. Her husband is an alcoholic and they are not living in good conditions at all. She told us when we visited with her that she smokes a pack a day and drinks more coffee than she should be drinking... she doesn't pay her tithing but she is so eager to get to the temple. She knows that it is going to be hard but she also knows the blessings that through God, all things are possible. We are excited to help her get to the temple.
I received a letter from Papa, Phoebe, Lillie, Dad, and two from mom this week! THANK YOU. They were all so wonderful. I especially loved something that mom talked about in one of her letters. She said "I promise you that if you ask Heavenly Father HOW you can love your family, investigators, companions, and friends more... you will be directed to serve them." It is through service that our hearts become tender and more understanding of those around us and their situations. Sometimes it is hard to serve. And I will be honest, sometimes I don't want to. But as soon as I do, I am filled with charity- the pure love of Christ.
I read a talk a while ago on service where the speaker shared a story of when he was in Africa. He went up to one of the little kids at church and handed him a peace of candy- like a jolley rancher. The little boy was so happy that he went and showed it to all of his friends! All of the other kids ran over to this man holding their hands out for a piece of candy and the man felt so bad- because he didn't have anymore to give. He looked at the little boy with the piece of candy and the little boy looked at his candy and opened it up. The man thought for sure that the little boy would pop it in his mouth, but instead he had his friends stand in a circle and stick out their tongues. He went around the circle over and over again allowing each child to have a lick of the candy.
Emilie Knecht (our new best friend)- She is sisters to an elder here and she is 17, going to byu, and teaches swedish at byu. She is so cool and we have been with her quite a bit but she went home a couple days ago :(

bikers for life
Of course all acts of service take great sacrifice. The greatest example of service and sacrifice comes from our Savior Jesus Christ... And also from God the Father- that he GAVE US his son. Sister Anderson and I were talking the other morning about the Tree of Life and how interesting it is that the fruit on the tree represents the LOVE of GOD. We say that so much but what does it actually mean? What is the love of God? Sister Anderson taught me that The Love of God is that "God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten son." So the fruit also represents the Atonement. God loves us so much that he gave us his son to atone for our sins. He gave us the opportunity to have a change of heart and to follow him.

I am so grateful for service because it allows us to put others needs before our own. It allows us to see each other the way that God and Christ see us.

ice cream with doris and ole

The rest of our week was awesome. Doris and Ole (the old couple that we tracted into) took us to the oldest city in Sweden and bought us lunch and ice cream. They were so cute and excited to be with us! They said they wanted to adopt us hahaha. The lunch was 1000 krowns... hahaha they are so sweet. We also got a baptismal date with Mohammed for the sixth of September but something really sad happened last night- so we are not sure what is going to happen now. We had a great Zone Training this week about making obedience be the new cool thing to do hahaha. It was really funny and good. AND I got a call from the AP's this week saying that they were at dinner with the bishop in Jönkoping who was found by Grandpa Reed when he was 14 years old! He didn't get baptized then, but eventually got baptized and has been a stake president and bishop twice! That was super cool to hear. GO REED!
luleå ward building

Thank you for all of the updates this week! I love you all and I am so grateful for this work! IT IS AWESOME. After next week we will have one free week of no splits which will be nice! But tonight we are taking a three hour long train to Sundsvall to do splits until tomorrow night and then we have a mission conference all day on Wednesday! Holy holy. We are so tired but so happy.

xoxoxo adelide.

Ps. Did you get my flight plans? I will be getting home at 7:08 pm on September 25th. JSYK (Just so you know). KRAMAR.

Monday, August 11, 2014

a proposal.

You may be thinking that this letter is going to be about an engagement.

it is.

and it is also about a proposal to be better.

But I will start off with the funny one first.

Sister Anderson and I were walking to go buy our favorite weekly salad at the ICA grocery store when we got stopped by a very fit tall Swede named Oscar (seemed normal). He introduced himself and said that he has a friend that is a part of our church. He asked us some questions and then I asked him if we could take his number so we could meet sometime and he said: "Like a date?" Sister Anderson burst out laughing and I said... no... And he said "where do you want to live in the future? Sweden or the US?" Both Syster Anderson and I said the US and then he looked at me and said "What if we live here for 4 more years while I get my Doctorate degree and then we can move to Salt Lake City?"... #creepy and #awkward. I won't give you any more details than that but it was hilarious. And then we saw him again at the park yesterday and I was scared -we almost started booking it hahahaha- good times on the mish. 

elders catching us contacting again
We had a wonderful and busy week. I guess that is how every week is :)

We had splits with the Täby Sisters (Sister Hosenfeld and Sister Bass). I stayed with Sister Bass here in Uppsala and then we all met up the next night to sleep over because we had a leadership meeting in Täby. It was fun to catch up with Sister Hosenfeld- It feels like I a dream that we were ever together. It feels like it was so long ago. She is doing well and is opening an area for Sisters AGAIN. I don't think I would have had the energy to do that again so I am proud of her. She is a hard worker. 

sister bassy
The Elders had an awesome idea this week to set up a lemonade stand outside of our church- so all four of us set up this big stand with a white board saying free lemonade and some book of mormons on the table. The University housing is right by the church so a lot of students go along that street everyday. We did it during our open church hours and at first we weren't having much success but then we started doing it in English and we got so many people to stop! 

We talked to people from Brazil, Mexico, Germany, France etc. A member even told us that people were posting that there is free lemonade on the University web page! hahaha. We talked to almost everyone that stopped about the church and one guy from Brazil was drinking his lemonade and then he looked at a Book of Mormon and said "Hey! I love mormons!" Members in Brazil had invited him and his wife to dinner at their house once with the missionaries and he had fond memories of that. He said that he would for sure come to church sometime!
our thank you chocolates and letter for doris and olle for dinner last week :)
Two Sundays ago, a family from Germany came our ward here in Uppsala. The mom and dad are both from Utah but served their missions together in Germany and are now living there with their four children. The mom had done some family history about 15 years ago and found that they had relatives in Sweden so they tried getting in contact with them but nothing happened. Seven years later, the mom got a phone call from the relative, Gunilla, from Sweden, and they talked on the phone for a while. Then, last year, Gunilla and her daughter Elsa, were watching a Soccer tournament on TV- which was taking place in Germany. The screen went to two bundled up girls for about five seconds and Gunilla had a strong impression that these two girls were the daughters of the mom in Germany. She called and found out that it was! The mom from Germany was so shocked that they knew it was them- because they had never seen the girls before and the screen was only on them for a short time. They felt like it was a sign for them to meet up in Sweden. 
a member and his son
So, two Sundays ago when this family came from Germany... Gunilla, her daughter Elsa(17) and her husband came after the church service to meet them. Then the next Sunday Elsa begged her dad to go to church with her so they came. We taught the Plan of Salvation to Elsa (who brought her friend) last Wednesday and they both came to church again yesterday. Elsa has read to chapter 10 in the Book of Mormon and she is one of our most progressing investigators now. WOW. Talk about the coolest story ever! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!! I might as well just write that every week hahaha.
little girl of a family we teach
On Sister Splits, we are trying to focus on diligence with the Sisters. Diligence includes our use of time... Trying to find a balance between running faster than we have strength and being slothful. To me, being diligent doesn't mean not taking our breaks for lunch and dinner or knocking on doors until our knuckles are bleeding. Being diligent means to be obedient. To take the breaks we are given but to also work hard and effectively during the hours that we are given to work. Our leadership meeting was focused on the importance of obedience and on recognizing our higher calling. It made me think about my HIGHER calling and how I, myself, can be more obedient, more focused, and more diligent. 
The day of the meeting was a hard day for me. I was so tired and I was being a little negative about the smallest of things and I was being rude and judgmental... I also felt very aware of all of my weaknesses and that I have sooo much to improve on. Sometimes when I feel like this, I just want to walk away and not do anything about it. But that night I wrote a list of things that I need to work on to be better and then I wrote in my journal: STAND IN HOLY PLACES AND BE NOT MOVED. When we are always standing in holy places- then we will not move. We will not fall or falter. And if we do- because we are human and we make mistakes and we have weaknesses, then we know which source to look to for a remission of our sins. Something that I have thought about this week is that EVERYTHING REQUIRES EFFORT. We can't just wish to be kind or to be better at serving or wish to invite others to join the gospel or to inherit eternal life. IT REQUIRES EFFORT! It requires writing down ways we are going to improve. It requires using the atonement when we fail or mess up. It requires the courage to try again and again. 
john forsgren, my ancestor
So this is my proposal.

For myself and for us all.

To be better. To stand taller. To be more obedient to God and His commandments. To be kinder. To better follow the prophet and our Savior. To apply the Savior's atonement to our lives everyday. To go to the temple and to bless others' lives by sharing the gospel. For "if we do these things, we will be lifted up at the last day"- Alma 37

What if we fail?

We most likely will. But we know how to start again. Aren't we so blessed to be given so many days that allow us to keep messing up, to keep relearning the same lessons, only to become a tiny bit better? I think it is so awesome that even if we give up or we fail or fall, WE HAVE GROWN! And we have come farther than we would have if we had never tried. It is not only about wishing or desiring- (that is good) but then we must try... 

these goats are all over Gävle
The words "Desire" and "Try" reminds me of the words "Hope" and "Faith". Both of the words DESIRE and HOPE are awesome words. They show that we want something to happen. And both of those words are necessary for us TO try and TO have faith. The words TRY and FAITH are action words. They are the effort that carries us to accomplishing that which we wish to accomplish. 
It is not enough to just have wishes and dreams in life. And it is not enough to just have hope that we have a Savior or that the church is true. WE MUST ACT. And when we act- our wishes, dreams, desires, and hopes, will come true. They will become a reality. I know this because I have seen it in my own life. I had hope to know that the church was true and know I have faith. I had a desire to serve a mission, I took the first step by trying and now I am almost on my way out. And I still take that step every morning as I re-dedicate myself to trying again. 
we got white hot chocolate today because it is raining and it had coffee in it!!! HELLO SWEDEN! not everyone drinks coffee! lol. We got new ones though of course
I love the gospel. Sister Anderson and I continue to have the best conversations about deep doctrine, our investigators/ missionary work, and on how we are going to be better. I love her. I love teaching. I love the Swedes and the non Swedes. I love awesome members who love the church and would do anything for it. I love the pure souls that are trying to find the truth.

and last but not least... I LOVE ALL OF YOU. som alltid.

måååånga kramar!! Sis Adelidelidielouu