Monday, October 4, 2010

Skövde: Trials make the faith grow stronger!

Hej Familj!

As you can tell from the title of this e-mail my transition into Skövde has been a roller coaster to say the least. Let me start by giving you the full run down of what happened. I took a train from Växjö to Lund where I then took a train up to Halmstad to stay the night with three other Elders. Guess what happened there?? I was attacked by bed bugs... haha yeah... It was terrible! I awoke with bites everywhere! Halmstad has been having some problems, but they were supposedly solved... I guess NOT! That was a pain to deal with. Then, that morning I took a train to Göteborg (Mentioned in General Conference) While in Göteborg I spent the day with one of my new zone leaders Äldste Landeen. We explored a little and ate lunch at a place famous to missionaries for delicious KEBAB called Mossen's. Haha It is a pretty shakey establishment, but the food lulls you into a sense of security that is absolutely mouth watering! lol :) Hows that for an introduction! Anyone want to go to Mossen's???? Anyway, after lunch we headed to the Göteborg Institute Center to relax for a bit. However, the news we received there was anything but relaxing! We received a phone call from the mission office informing us that no one had, nor knew where the keys to our apartment in Skövde were. We were sent on a mission to the Zone Leader's apartment to search high and low for the missing keys. However, our efforts were fruitless. We were still without keys. Calls were made all over Sweden trying to track down these keys. We finally resorted to calling the landlord where we would live and asked him about it. He said that all he had was his one master key that he would not allow us to borrow... The office then called him and he decided that he would at least let us IN to the apartment. So, that problem was eventually settled for the time being. When Äldste Watts finally arrived in Göteborg we hopped on another train bound for Skövde. When we arrived the amazing Branch President and his wife picked us up, loaded our luggage, and drove us to the apartment. When we arrived our landlord was standing outside the door smoking looking at us coldly. He finally let us in to say the least... When we entered I was thrilled. We have an awesome apartment!! It is soooo much bigger than Växjö's apartment. Haha I guess that sisters were in the area last, so, as we all know, the apartment was relatively clean and organised. :) The Branch President and his wife gave us a sack filled with bread, butter and orange juice as they left because they knew that we had absolutely nothing in the apartment. We were VERY thankful to them! :) This happy point in my story will now take a sharp turn towards the not so happy. Sure the apartment was nice, but things were just not right. For example... There was no area book at all... To all of the missionaries and past missionaries who are reading this, I am sure you understand how we were feeling. Being in a new area is hard enough, but no area book makes things seem impossible. Also, to add to this, we did not have a phone charger and the battery on our little mobile was running low. Our communications with the office were quite limited. ALSO, the shower started leaking in the cellar of the house where our apartment is located, so we had the landlord running all over the place trying to fix the problem... I just want everyone to know that despite these challenges...... Despite these hard times.... Despite these seemingly impossible road blocks...... The Lord is continually lifting me up. My prayers have become pleadings and my testimony has become a rock, built upon my SAVIOR Jesus Christ. I want you to know that during these past few days I have often asked myself this question, "How does the Lord expect me to go on......" I received an answer that not only calms my own "troubled heart", but lifts my testimony "high on a mountain top". :) During my prayers I felt at peace. During the days I felt relief... During those amazing sessions of general conference I felt the stirrings of my heart burn me to the core. I KNOW that Jesus lives. He is the Christ! Something happened during conference that I will NEVER forget. I can never deny what I felt. My prayers were answered and my nerves calmed. The words of my friends, the Prophet, the Quorum of the Twelve, the Seventies, and all others that spoke brought peace to my heart. They brought with them a determination to help each one of us individually, and I truly believe that they did that. I know that as I was listening on the edge of my seat the Holy Ghost spoke with me. I found guidance for the here and now, and for my future as a life long Disciple of Christ. Times are hard, but as the title says, "Trials make the faith grow stronger!" I know and have faith that I will make it through these tough times. Things are already starting to look up. The Area Book was found as well as the charger, and both are already in the mail on their way to us. The keys were found in the apartment in a drawer and the landlord is more friendly now. The Lord is watching out for me... I know that... I testify to that.. These trials change me. Each and every one is teaching me a lesson, and I take every opportunity I have to thank my Father in Heaven for the privilege I have to serve as a missionary. I don't think I would have been able to really see what this gospel means to me and the influence it truly has for good in MY life had I not decided to serve. A good example of what I am talking about is expressed in President Uchtdorf's talk he gave in the Saturday Morning Session. He said this, "We so often get distracted by things of no worth..." I believe THAT is sooooo true. I have found new priorities in the mission field, new things of GREAT worth, and guess what?? They bring AMAZING joy!! I love it so much! Okay, as you may tell, I am on a spiritual "cloud nine" of sorts. General Conference was like Christmas for me! I dont remember any other time I was soooo excited for Conference! I took notes like crazy just because I don't want to wait for the talks to come out in the Ensign and Liahona! haha :) I better move on or this will become a mini book. :) Okay that means time for the e-mail! haha I just looked at the clock and realised that I don't have time to respond to each of you personally today.. Time just whizzed by! I will say these few things though. CONGRATS TO JESSICA AND MATT!!!! COLIN IS BEAUTIFUL!!! It is good to know that everything went well and that Colin is okay! :) Also, it sounds like everyone really enjoyed their time in Dillion! I was glad to hear that everyone had a nice relaxing time and just enjoyed one another! I love you all soo much. My prayers are always with you. My heart is full... as in Jay E. Jensen's talk during the Sunday Morning Session, "I cannot say the smallest part of how I feel." I know this church is true, I know my Savior lives and LOVES ME. He loves you too, and so do I. Until next week...

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!

Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

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