It is the time to celebrate in this family!!! First off, today is a very special day for one very awesome brother of mine!! Happy Birthday Matt!!! Woo!! 17!! I love you! Next celebration will be for tomorrow!! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! Woo!! 26!! I love you!!! That is so awesome! I have a bright smile on my face! I am sure you can tell!!!!! I love you all so much! Family is the bestest of best things best!! BEST! I have just been so caught up on how much I truly love every one of you! Lately my phrase has been, "Patience Deepens Joy" How true is that! I know that I have been out for a while, but your faces, laughs, actions and everything about you continue to be treasured up in my mind.. I can only dream of how incredible the joy will be when we are able to finish this bridge of patience and "connect the two sides". Can you tell that I have been thinking about you all lately. My prayers have been full of family and I love it! Don't miss-interpret this though. I am not trunky, just very very happy to have such an awesome family. I look at pictures and tell stories and instead of making me depressed and sad, I receive strength to move on, to press forward and to persevere! THANK YOU for all that you are and for your prayers! It makes a world of a difference... Okay, well this p-day is pretty ordinary. We are on the ball and we are going to make he most of it! Letter writing, laundry, e-mail, cleaning, games.. haha It will be good! Lets start with a fun story today! Hmmm.. soooo many to choose from! Oh!! Well yesterday I gave my very first Priesthood lesson all by myself! It was quite the stepping stone! I was stressing about it a lot but the Lord helped me! I was able to give a 40 minute lesson and not mess up too much! haha they all helped me through it! They are just awesome like that. My topic was out of the Liahona. The talk was by Äldste Andersen entitled, "Vår Återlösares Klippa" or in English, "The Rock of Our Redeemer". Look that one up... Its really good! Anyway, here is another fun story! So, the other day we were just done with a teach and we started off for the bus stop to head out to Teleborg to tract an teach Julia. On our way to the bus stop I contacted two older ladys that were talking with each other. They were interested and things were going well. I later found out that one of the ladies was a member but very in-active. We continued our discussion when all of the sudden an old woman comes screaming up to us on her bike... almost falling off. When I say "screaming" I really mean screaming.. like yelling! haha She was calling us devils and calling our church a devil church, and was very angry. We stood there and corrected her allegations, but she was just not interested in hearing the correct answers. During the course of what felt like a court room situation we found out that the woman standing there yelling at us was in fact Sister Rönndahl's Grandmother!!!!!! Do you remember Sister Rönndahl? She was my teacher in the MTC!!! She was amazing! Lots of Spirit and tears and laughter shared during that short time in the MTC. I just started laughing! Which was not good, and I quickly corrected myself and became serious again. But the entire time she was talking I could not stop smiling! I told her that I knew her granddaughter and that I knew her family down in Lund. She smiled a little, but she has a hardened heart against the church. Her son, is the bishop in Lund and she hates how he pays 10% tithing. She kept freaking out on us. Calling us names and saying mean things about the church.. haha it was interesting some of the things she said.. However, that is more of a journal entry than an e-mail! :) Either way, we ended things on a good note! We talked to her about things other than the church for a while and got her to calm down and realize that she was not going to accomplish anything by her screaming! Turns out, she is a very, very nice lady.. Just a little confused about the church! She left on her bike and it was a friendly situation! We then started talking to the two other women about the church again, but they were not really interested. The in-active said she would try to come to church, but sadly, was not there on Sunday.. Anyway! It was a fun experience to meet Sister Rönndahl's grandmother! So, let me get to the e-mail now! First up we have Matt!! This is new! Matt first!? Wow!! Sweet! I love you Matt! Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear MATT!! Happy birthday to you!! And many more!! :) I truly hope you are having an awesome birthday today and have fun things planned! Yes, I do remember what it was like being 17! I freaked out when you asked me that question! I was all like, "oh my, I am going to be 20 in a couple of months.. what happened to 17?!?!?" haha Junior year was fun fun fun. Lots of changes for me! I know that it will be the same for you! This is going to sound corny, but, be what you wanna be Matt!! School starts on Wednesday and I am soooo excited for you! Make school a priority and also, make a mission a priority! I want you at BYU with me and I want to e-mail you on your mission! It will be great! :) So, you are getting a new room huh?! That was always fun! A little change of environment is a very good thing.. New clothes in Billings! Wow I wish I could have been there for that! My mind goes back to the Basketball tournament in Billings when we walked around the mall like 5 times! That was... interesting! I can just imagine you walking around that mall with the Giles' and buying up a storm! Let me guess.. Champs, foot locker, scheels... haha I am not sure I remember what they have there, but I am sure you went to those places! Well, I love you Matt! Thank you for your e-mail, and I look forward to your letter! Thank you for writing me!!!!!!! :) Okay, now it is Dad's turn! Oh boy Dad.. you are in trouble!! You are just TOO amazing! No 100 degree temps yet?!? Thats crazy! Oh well, I don't think we had one either.. well, maybe. I have been told that it has been one of the hottest summers in Sweden.. EVER! :) So, the Sorhus' Grandfather served in Sweden?? How awesome is that! Three years?! Lucky ducky! haha I bet he had some fun things to say! I love hearing about people who served here a long time ago! There used to be hundreds of missionaries here, but now, sadly, there are only about 80 at any one time. :( Few in number, strong in Spirit!!! :) Let me answer some of your questions fast... No, I haven't purchased a new umbrella yet.. haha. Next, yes, we have called Anticimex and they will be coming over some time soon to do another round on the bed bugs! OH!! About the bed bugs. Apparently they have invaded Sweden!! They are a huge problem all over right now! President Anderson and his wife are coming to ME for advice!! haha imagine that! I am pretty much an expert on the topic.. :( haha I wish I didn't have to be! :) Anyway! Don't worry about Björn!! He is just a crazy guy. We won't be contacting him... Funny though.. Last night as we were saying our personal prayers we heard a loud boom again... We both started to laugh like crazy, but still tried to finish our prayers. I immediately prayed for Björn's protection! haha It was amusing! But I am safe and loving life! So no worries there! Hakunna Matata! :) Thank you for sharing that story from Brother Sheldon's talk in Church! Sounds like it was very spiritual and that he did an excellent job! I love you so much Dad! Have an awesome anniversary tomorrow! I hope you two have something very fun planned! :) Okay, now on to Mom!! You are also in trouble!! haha you are also just TOO amazing!! I love you! To start, Zone Conference was... amazing. Completely what I needed! Spiritual beyond belief and just plain FUN!! :) It was fun to be with all of the Elders and Sisters again and to be with the Andersons! The church has come out with a new curriculum! It is based on eight principles that they would like the missionaries to focus on! It is not a BIG DEAL, but it is really cool and is going to change the way we do missionary work! Sadly, no, your box was not there, but I will for sure get it at sharpening! You asked what sharpening is.. Is basically the exact same thing as Zone Conference! haha sorry to disappoint! lol Yup yup, so your box will be right in time for my six month mark! oh my... six months.. la la la di dah! I didn't say that! :) Anyway, that picture is a good one! In that picture, my hair was NOT cut yet.. I believe dad said something about it. Haha, just to clear that up! It looks more missionary now! :) You got a letter from Elder Harper huh? I love that man! haha Yeah, you have figured us out.. I am not sure that we are writing multiple letters to each others families, but we are definitely writing them once! I am sure it will evolve into a fun little experiment though.. I am glad you like it! Like I said to Dad, don't worry about Björn! Just laugh! It was funny! :) I am safe Mom.. I am in the Lord's hands! :) About Morris, yes, he is still really positive! He was not able to come to church because he is really sick right now, but we are going over tomorrow and Wednesday to see and teach him! This man really wants to come to church. However, the bus is terrible on Sundays and he has no money to ride it! So, we arranged for him to ride in Saturday night, stay the night at a members apartment, and come to church the next morning. (this is all for next week) He really wants to come bad, and he said he would love to come stay the night so he can attend church! Woo hoo for Morris! I will keep you updated! As for Ann Kristin, she has disappeared. We can't get a hold of her. :( Anyway, we will see! I will be sure to pass your love on to the Relief Society sisters here. They will love hearing that! I am being taken care of Mom! It amazes me how well I am doing with all of this! The Lord truly is blessing me! To answer your question, the air mattresses are still working just fine, and the bugs are gone! (for now... we will see) Well, I love you Mom!! Have an awesome anniversary with Dad! I am soo glad that you two are so in love! What a blessing! I love you Mom!! Okay Well, I don't have tooo much time left, but lets get a little Spirit in here!! Woo! I want to share part of a talk I have been studying by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul."
Wow, right? I love Elder Holland! I want to focus on what he said towards the end there. "continued faithfulness" I am starting to understand the Missionary aspect, but this topic will be more beneficial for everyone else! I love when Elder Holland says, "salvation is not a cheep experience". This is so true! We often wonder why life is so hard, and why this or that is happening to me, but if we truly look at the bigger picture we will see that it is true, salvation is NOT a cheep experience. I am convinced of myself that salvation is glorious, and will be glorious! Beyond any earthly description! So, in turn, life is going to be tough! Thats just the way it is! Deal with it! haha But don't do it by yourself! That would be a bad idea! Look to the Savior, to our Heavenly Father, to your FAMILY!!! These give us strength to make it through these trials... to make it to eternal salvation! I love this topic so much! The strength this gives me is incredible! I know that all of us, if we look towards the end goal, will realize that life is good. We can press on! ! ! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!! (lol... Finding Nemo) I love you all so much, and hope that all is well back in the States! Do me a favor and SMILE! There it is! :) Its fun huh?!? hehe I love you all...
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready.....
Äldste Kundis :) :) :)