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.

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