Well I would like to start things off with a little game. It is called, "correctly pronounce Äldste Kundis' 1st Area!!" Okay... Are you ready? Okay here it is. Växjö, Sweden...... I will give you a few seconds.... Okay, think you've got it? Okay the correct pronunciation is Växjö (Vek-wha) Did anyone get it right? Yeah, I didn't get it right either. haha. Well hello everybody and greetings. I am soooo happy to be in Sweden! The plane ride was no fun at all! Haha well it was fun, but just really long. I studied alot and talked with some wonderful people and slept for about an hour. lol I was really tired!!! We arrived in Sweden a little early and everything with the bags worked out. We all had our stuff and made it through immigrations. We were amazed at how technological the airport was! Crazy! The toilets, sinks, doors, soap, dryers, basically anything you can imagine was automatic! lol I was loving it! We met the Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Anderson and the AP's. They were all so nice and they were waiting with luggage carts. Just as a side note... Remember when we saw that garment luggage bag with WHEELS?!? We should have purchased that one. Carrying that big 46 lb. bag is no fun at all!! Okay, so we exchanged money and went to the mission office. The ride to the mission office was just amazing! EVERYTHING is green here! And then you throw in a few of those amazing yellow fields in the countryside and it's just the icing on the cake! Or the Kebab sauce on the kebab! (Kebab is an amazing thing. I will hopefully get a picture to you. Its soooo tasty, but it gives you a headache and a stomachache) Anyway, we got to the mission office and filled out a ton of paperwork. Then they took us to the mission home. Which is also amazing! We were there until Thursday morning. During our time in the mission home we were spoiled. Sister Anderson took care of us. Amazing meals, listening to MoTab really loudly, playing games like Kub (lawn game where you throw big heavy wood sticks)... basically having a really good time. We were able to go to downtown Stockholm and do some contacting. THAT was soooo fun! haha lots of no's. There are so many people here who are not Swedish! haha So on Wednesday morning we were able to go to the Stockholm Temple. It was sooo beautiful! The Spirit was so strong, and I was able to listen to the entire thing in Swedish! haha (crazy cool) So on Thursday morning we headed out to the local church building and had some orientation. Then we got our "call letters" this told us where in Sweden we would be and who our trainer would be. They brought in all of the trainers without name tags. We opened our letters and read them aloud. I tried to trick mine by screaming his name and watching their reactions. None of them flinched, they were good. But I got a good laugh out of them after haha. So my companions name is Äldste Barlow. He is a pretty fun guy. We are going to get along just fine. I do miss Äldste Shear though. As you know, I am serving in Växjö. Let me tell you a little about Växjö. It is an interesting place full of tons and tons of immigrants. There are Arabs all over the town! We contact them like crazy, and let me tell you, I am still trying to get over my nerves and be like Christ. I am working on it! We live in the Ghetto. haha You know parkdale in Great Falls? Yeah, kinda like that, but much much worse. Lets just say that when I got here I had some real challenges and I was on my knees like crazy!!! The Lord truly does comfort and wrap his arms around us. I KNOW this! So basically, Sweden, at least in Växjö, is not like I imagined it! I got a real shock. The MTC and The Mission Home are really mean. They pamper you, and then you slam right into the real world! Okay, here is a really fun and exciting story. Just a testimony to the amazing things that are happening here in Sweden. I was feeling down. Sad, dark, lonely and crazy homesick. I pleaded with my Father in Heaven to bless me and to comfort me. I had an amazing talk with Äldste Barlow about what I was feeling and he read me some amazing scriptues and gave me some great advice. Then on Sunday I was able to go meet the Branch. I was not excited for this at all... From what I was told about the members it was not going to be fun. But luckily the members, all 20 who were there, embraced me with open arms. They are an interesting group of people. :) Anyway, the missionaries basically run the branch here. I passed the Sacrament and was able to bear my testimony. That went pretty well. Then we had our class for the new member/investigators. WE had one investigator that came and her name was Sandra. Niether Äldste Barlow or myself really knew her. But, I was playing the piano before the metting and she came up to us. She started saying something in Swedish, and from what I could understand I had a HUGE smile on my face!!!! I looked at Äldste Barlow to get a confirmation of what I thought I had understood and it was right! She had been having some "personal problems" that had been keeping her from baptizm for a long, long time, and she told us that those had gone away and that she would like to finally be BAPTIZED!! I jumped up and had a huge smile on my face! I felt a warmth flow over me that was nothing short of Celestial! We are heading over tomorrow to set the date. She also has three children! Two of which are of the age to be baptized! We are going to see if she would like them to be baptized as well! The Lord truly blessed Sandra and her family, and the Lord truly blessed me. He knew I needed to be picked up! So join me and Äldste Barlow in praying for Sandra and her family. I really hope all goes well! Yeah, I cried a few tears of joy.. more like alot of tears... hahaha :) So as for everything else! I am loving everything! Well, not EVERYTHING, but I am working at it! I just recieved mom's card today in the mail! That little thingtook forever! haha The mission office I think is changing addresses I think, so look for something in the mail talking about that. Make sure to put THAT address up on the Blog! The culture is great, the food.... is great when a real Swedish person cooks it. haha The language is killer. Hopefully that will start coming as well! I love you all so very much! You bless my mission so much with your prayers. Sweden is an interesting place, and I am soooo excited for what the future has in store! Jag Älskar alla er! I love all of you! :)
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!
Äldste Kundis :)