The Branch here is awesome! So many things just remind me of my first area. My new companions name is Elder Cotton. He has been in Sweden for about 2 transfers (12 weeks) now and he just got done being trained. Super cool guy. There is one another set of sister missionaries here in Luleå. They are super nice, one of them is brand new in Sweden and the other one just got done being trained. When I got here I realized that I was the only missionary in this Branch who has had more than one area! So that made me feel old!
On Friday the Branch had a Surströmming party at the Church. Surströmming is one of the smelliest food in the world! It is fermented fish, and it tasted like swallowing and entire cup of salt. It is apparently so bad that you aren't supposed to open it in the open air, but under water. But we had it on some hard bread with potato's and sour cream. So it wasn't horrible. Apparently people here really like Surstömming when it is prepared right. When I ate it, it wasn't half bad! Just super salty.
On Saturday we got to help an old woman in the branch with some yard work. Another reason I love Norrland is that all the members live in houses out in the middle of the forests. Her kitchen window was facing a cow pasture and she just had all this farm houses and a garden to herself. I am sure you would have loved it. She also gave us lunch and I got to eat Reindeer meat! It was super good actually! We had it with potatoes and lingonberry. Classic Swedish meal. It feels nice to be up north again.
We have some pretty good investigators here. One of them is named John. This is a different John than the one I was teaching in Växjö. Haha. This John is from Turkey, and is super positive. He has been really good about reading the Book of Mormon and is super interested in the Church. I will keep you updated on him. So yea, I would have to say that my new area is doing really well.
General Conference was amazing as usual. We watched at the Chapel, I watched one session in Swedish and the other ones I watched in English. I guess my Swedish is getting pretty good, I can understand pretty much everything and can talk with everyone. At times I miss a word here and there, but I usually understand what everyone is saying. I really liked General Conference! I hope you were all able to watch it and get some questions answered. I hope you are all having a better week.
I really liked President Nelsons talk on Joy and Spiritual Survival. One thing he said was "When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus’s gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy.
" It reminds me of a quote President Uchtdorf once said, "Happiness doesn’t come from external circumstance. It comes from the inside—regardless of what is happening around us." I know this to be true. I know that when times are hard it is easy to murmur. I know I am always guilty of that. But once we stop and take a look at our blessings. Life becomes a much more enjoyable experience.
I hope you are all continuing to starve forward and press on. Everything is well here in Luleå!
Swedish Word of the Week:
Ljuva Inflytande - Sweet Influence