Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 52; November 3, 2014 – A Halloween to Remember! 

Hey everyone!  

It's been a tough week, but it’s been a good week. We worked very hard and made this a finding-centered week. We are both pretty tired, but it felt good to work so hard. Even though we didn't see a lot of success, we did make some progress.  

On the road in Norrby
 We've been trying to work with members to bring them a message about the power of friendship to encouraging them to develop at least one new friendship in the month of November. It can be scary for members to be put on the spot, and asked for a name of someone to teach. So instead, we're trying to show members that by just being themselves, they can bless the lives of others if they open up and are willing to make a new friend. If all goes well, we can move forward and help them to share the gospel. This message seems to be going well. We also used the Ward Halloween party as a way to help members strengthen their friendships and invite someone to the party.
The beautiful Norrby countryside
We had our Zone Conference on Wednesday and the Beckstrand’s did a great job. Their message was about mission unity. Basically, if we could all be united in purpose, effort, and obedience, we'd see miracles in Sweden. Sister Beckstrand taught a lesson about being a light in the darkness (because the sun goes down at 4 pm now), and she explained how we need to be warm to do that… So, she gave us all a new pair of mittens that some awesome sisters from the Relief Society made for us. We also had the best lunch I've had at a Zone Conference in a long time, so thank you to the senior couples for your wonderful cooking!   
That night I went on splits with Elder Farnworth's ‘greeny,’ Elder Nielsen. We had the best night of work I've seen in Vendelsö. It was a miracle! Literally the first door we knocked was interested in our message and listed to the whole first lesson. She took a Book of Mormon and invited us back in about two weeks. Later that night we met a girl from Mongolia that talked to us for 20 minutes in English and said she'd also be interested. She took my other Book of Mormon and we got her email address. I was so thankful that Elder Nielsen got to experience a great night of missionary work and that I got to be part of an awesome evening.     

Crossing a bridge in Hägersten
Thursday was a tough, tough day. It started out well when the first lady we talked to was interested in a meeting and gave us her phone number. But, the rest of the day was a shut-out and we had a lot of doors closed on us. It was a good day for patience building, but I am thankful for the one person we did find. And, if we can teach her, the whole day would have been worth it! 

Halloween was interesting… First we helped Nikolas with an English lesson and then we went out to start tracting. We made it through 5 or 6 large buildings and we started walking to a different area when we found the coolest looking playground ever. I asked Elder Ogaard to take a picture of me, but when I hopped down, I put my hand out to catch myself, and when I got up my hand kind of hurt. I looked down and saw a big piece of broken glass where I landed. Then I looked at my hand and realized I had cut it pretty badly. Fortunately, there was a small clinic nearby and we got in right before they closed. I'm sure I looked like I had the best Halloween costume in town because no one looked the least bit concerned despite seeing a lot of blood. The cut was deep enough that I had to get stitches for the first time in my life, so that was cool! After getting five stiches, I was finally put back together… We decided we'd call it a night. But, it was certainly a Halloween to remember.
Hi Five... Stitches, that is!

Saturday was awesome! Elder Steen had been helping to put together a ‘Trunk or Treat’ Halloween party for the Stake, and it went really great! We've only been planning it for about two weeks, so we had no idea what to expect, but the turn-out was really good! We had over 100 people come and all of the parents thought it was an amazing night. Yesterday, the ward told us they hope this becomes a yearly tradition and they thanked us for our help putting it together. Also, we found out that a good handful of kids in our Ward invited their friends to the activity, so we'll be following-up this week! 

Salamon Came to Church on Sunday!
Afterward, the whole zone took a walk around the Västerhaninge graveyard to look at the lights. Halloween is a little different in Sweden. They actually put more of a focus on remembering their dead than focusing on candy, so the graveyard was filled with people lighting candles to honor the dead. The whole place was lit-up with candles… It was really beautiful!  

A Halloween tradition of honoring the dead with light
Well, that was the end of an interesting, but good week. The work here is tough, but it is moving forward. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers. That really, really does help. 

I love all you guys. Have a great week! 

Äldste Stoeltzing   

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