Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Easter from Sweden and the feather tree

Glad Dagen annan Påsk, (Happy day after Easter)
  Påsk was amazing here at Easter, there are only a few differences.  For one the Easter Eggs are giant and have a ton of candy in each of them.  They also get these bright yellow (sometimes other colors) and attach them to bushes.  Sometimes people will make Påsk trees where its a tree as big as a Jul tree (Christmas tree) but with Feathers, eggs and little chicks on it.  They also celebrate a four day Easter.  Long Friday, Easter Eve, Easter, and the day after Easter.  We got to go over to a families place for Påsk afton Middag.  The food was really good, it was salmon, potatoes, cheese and crackers, and since one of them is Italian there was also fresh pasta and some lamb.
  Yesterday, I gave my first talk in Swedish.  It went so well though, I was kind of nervous but then when I sat down to write it I didn't have to pull the dictionary out once for translating my thoughts.  I could just go.  Every time I am stretched a little it gives me a great opportunity to see how much I have grown already and to grow a little more.  The talk was on the Atonement and its redeeming power.  Studying about the atonement I learned so much about Christ and everything he has done for us.  We may never be able to fully understand the Atonement or how it came to be in this life but through it we can feel the peace of God which passeth all understanding.  Through the Atonement we can truly be forgiven of any and every sin we want to rid ourselves of.  Not only that but through the Atonement can we better ourselves and become more like Christ.
  The work here in Eskilstuna is definitely not easy.  We have been dropped by our only real Investigator and have been trying so hard to find new people who are interested in the gospel.  It is not easy.  It never really has been.  The work does not feel like it is moving too fast at all but I guess that is why Äldste Judd and I are here.  We have been finding new areas to try and begin the work in.
   Training has been quite an adventure but it has brought many blessings.  My companion Elder Judd is doing good and his Swedish is improving.  Since I have been training I have been able to understand nearly everyone, definitely a blessing.  It is also definitely a blessing to be training when I am.  I get to train in the first group of 18 year old missionaries in Sweden.  I have the privilege of being a major part of influencing the younger generation of missionaries.  They are what is being referred to as the "Hastening Missionaries".      
  The entire mission is really focused on Member Missionary work at the moment.  We know the best way to do missionary work is when members and missionaries come together and work efficiently.  All of our last zone conference and district meetings have been on it.  In the last two years 306 people have accepted the invitation to be baptized.  It's inspiring what is happening here in Sweden.  
  I hope everyone had an amazing Påsk and spring break.  It is getting a lot warmer here, we only had to wear our heavier coats two days of this last week.  One day we woke up and it was 13*C that's about 55 degrees fahrenheit.  That's the warmest it's been since I have been in Sweden.  I guess one negative side is the sun has been coming up at around 5:45 every morning so sometimes it's hard to stay asleep.
Typical Swedish meatballs and bread
  Äldste Moe  

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