On tuesday we had breakfast with Irene and Maria. I LOVE TEACHING IRENE. She has all these great questions. It's so cool to see her discovering the church and the new world that's opening up for her. She wants to go to the temple and do baptisms on March 21, so I might be heading to Denmark in a month for a temple trip :) I'm so excited for Irene and all the amazing progress she's making. She has the sweetest spirit and you can really feel it when you talk with her. I love how trofast she is and how trevlig she's been with us. We'll be meeting with her agian today for lunch and I'm so excited!!
We tried doing some service tracting ("hey, we're just going around helping people for fun, do you have any service we could do?") It was awkward. Never again. It was warm on tuesday so I tried going without a coat. Warm as in 7 degrees celcius. So like. Not actually warm. But I'm so sick of my coat. I'm done dressing like an arctic explorer in a skirt. I want spring and summer. The protest officially begins now.
We were out doing some contacting when we remembered we were going to try swinging by Maureen. So we hopped on a bus and went to her apartment. We knocked on the door and there was no answer. So we decided to tract the building. We were going to start from the top and then work our way to the bottom. So we took the creepy swedish elevator up and went and knocked on the first door. And it opened. We start speaking swedish and they're like, "wait, can you speak english instead?" so we say, "we're missionaries from our church, and we have a message about Jesus Christ. Do you have a little time that we could share it with you?" and the two women look at each other. And back at us. And back at each other. And then they say, "yes, come in."
So we walk in and sit down on the couch. They pull up a little coffee table and give us some orange soda. They sat on the floor and looked us and we began the restoration. We told the whole story. They listened intently. One of the women, Diana, asked us if Jesus would be coming again soon. Because two of her children are handicapped, they need medicine and they're trying to get some, but she wants Christ to come and heal them. She and her sister in law are here living with their husbands in this tiny apartment. They've been moving from country to country trying to find medical resources for Diana's children but haven't had any luck. She was just recently given a bible in her own language (CROATIAN. WHERE'S BROOKE?) and she reads it to her children every night. I felt really stronly to share the story about Jesus blessing the nephite children, so I did. And it brought tears to her eyes. We didn't have a Croatian book of mormon with us, or a german one for her sister in law, but we promised to come back later in the week and teach them some more and bring the book so they can read it.
On wednesday we went to visit Mim Ariel. She is so sweet. She's been a member for almost a year now, and wants to get her endowment on March 21. So we're helping her prepare for it. I shared a bunch a scriptures with her to help her understand some of the things that we do in the temple and told her about how I've prepared myself to go.
After that we went up to Nybro to visit a less active sister named Gilda. She's this tiny old chilean woman who picks us up from the train station and drives us to her apartment while blasting Celine Dion at the world's highest decibel level. She made us a delicious lunch of gluten free bread and potato casserole and then talked non stop for 2 hours in swedish/spanish/english. She was like "si, jag träffade en lady from malmö the andra noche...." and I'm just sitting there trying to match my facial expression to what she's doing with her face because I have like no idea what she's even saying. The only thing I understood from that whole visit was when she looked at me and said in clear swedish, "I'm sorry sister, I know you're blonde but I almost punched out a blonde girl at the bus station the other day." um. Should I be worried? She's an artist too, she likes drawing birds, which is cool cuz I like birds too. She showed us this one picture of this bald eagle (supposed to represent america) with lasers shooting out of it's body and killing people. Interesting. She drove us back to the train station afterwards and blasted some crazy techno music the whole time and made Sister Allred and I sing along (DO YOU BELIEEEEEVE IN LOVE AFTER LOVE????) and then gave us some cough drops while we waited for the train to show up. I got on the train and just had to laugh. That was the craziest visit of my whole life.
Back in Karlskrona we met with Pres. Juzinski to teach Deo. Deo showed up with his cousin, Christian, and we taught them the full restoration. It was really nice having 5 people there, because it changed it from a lesson into more of a discussion. And then I felt ready to give them the baptismal invitation. We'd already given Deo a soft invitation for March, but today we were going to give them a date. I said, "We are going to have a baptismal service on March 28th, and we believe you can recieve a witness that this church is true. We can have both of you ready for baptism on that date. Would you like to be baptized?" and they were like "yes."
TWO BAPTISMAL DATES WHAT.
We were on the top of the world the whole rest of the night. We're going around contacting people in centrum with giant smiles and they're all wondering what's up with us. Oh nothing much, just two really positive investigators both just committed to baptism.
On thursday we had district meeting in Växjö. Hello 2 hour train ride. But it was good to be there with the district. I love being with missionaries. After district meeting we're all walking to lunch and these three guys pop out of a wall or something and are like, "hey, do you guys have any devils you need cast out of you?" Surprise! Born again christians. They took on all 8 of us and jumped right into bible bashing. The elders were talking to them but Sister Allred and I kind of just walked away. But some good did come of it. Elder Hewitt said that he taught one of them the whole restoration and gave him a book of mormon.
We get back from Växjö at like 5 and I'm feeling all lazy cuz I've spent almost the entire day on the train and I'm mentally complaining to myself that my feet are tired and today was boring because of the train and whatever. And we went to go visit Diana.
She's so sweet. She lets us in and we sit at the table in the kitchen and she relates to us the saddest life story ever. I was instantly humbled. We gave her a book of mormon in Croatian and marked the scripture about Christ blessing the children. Then we shared the Plan of Salvation with her. I told her about Duane's death and being away from family when it happened and how I was able to be okay through it all. I told her that I know he's going to get a body that is restored to it's full capacity and that he will be going to the celestial kingdom. Her children will be going to the celestial kingdom. She cried through my story and I cried with her. She's had such a hard life, and I had just spent the entire bus ride to her apartment complaining about my silly little problems. She has nothing to give us, but as we left she handed us a couple of soft, overripe bananas.
We got into the elevator and I nearly burst into tears with Sister Allred. I want to give this woman and her family everything I've ever had. I have so much love for them and seeing them go through their hardships is breaking my heart.
We had another member dinner on Friday night. I ate fish that looked like it had to be killed 3 different times. We recovered by going back to the apartment after dinner and eating a giant oreo marabou bar and dancing to super awkward heritage tours music.
On Saturday we celebrated Alla Hjärtans Dag. We were supposed to meet with Ereling. But he was sick. So we stopped by Birgitta and did some service for her. We vaccumed the couch and then she let us bake some cookies to deliver to the other members in Karlskrona. We delivered cookies and then went back to the apartment.
And then we saw that we'd had a missed call from the Zone Leaders. And my stomach dropped because that meant they were calling about transfers. Sister Allred like hit the floor and I sat in the chair and called them back. Both of us were freaking out about leaving Karlskrona. They answered and said they had transfer information for us and my heart is beating 300 mph and then they say "You're staying where you are!!" and I wanted to die. Missionaries shouldn't mess with other missionaries about transfers. I nearly had a heart attack.
Yesterday we had an investigator in church! Christian came!!!! I tried to translate sacrament meeting into english for him but I was struggling. And then Tony came and translated so like, thanks for bi-lingual people. We had a class with him second hour about prayer and then he went to preisthood with the elders. He stayed the whole time!!! And he loved it! He likes how our church is different than others. He liked how we were able to sit and talk to each other instead of just listening to a preacher. He's excited for baptism and talked to one of the members of the stake presidency about it.
We taught a woman some swedish yesterday. It was good to know that sometimes I actually know what I'm saying enough to teach somebody else swedish.
Then we went and contacted a whole bunch of people and it was good.
That's what happened this week :)
Ha det så jättebra!!!
Syster Janessa Brink
Me, Lina and Sister Allred
Alla Hjärtans Dag frukost
sometimes you have to wait at a train station on valentines day. And it's boring. And you get pictures like this.