Monday, March 28, 2011

Never in a million years did I think I would eat that!!

Duck Tongue.. coming out of the wrapper... :/ Yikes.. Yup.. I ate that whole thing. An AWESOME sun set right outside our house/apartment (our place is the one with the pointy temple looking thing) lol Hej Familj!!! Yay! It is P-day again! And guess what?!? I am in Skövde and will be staying here all day! Woo! Get ready for a great e-mail full of things you have been asking for, but I have not had time to answer.. To start off, let me explain my subject line for this e-mail. Now, we ALL know that before my mission there was a certain someone who was a very picky eater.. However, a mission changed a lot of things about that certain someone.. one of which was brilliantly displayed yesterday while visiting a Chinese investigator. We were sitting in his room watching and listening to a conference talk in Chinese when he decided to "treat" us to a little taste of home... We had lunch with this man a couple of days before and the Chinese food he made was incredible, so I was excited for what was to come. He got into a paper back that was by his closet and pulled out three red packets, one for each of us. When I looked at the packet I had no idea what it was. So, naturally, I asked this man what it was. His answer made my stomach curl... His reply was, "duck"... It was then I realised that the little red packet contained duck.. but not just duck, duck tongue... My word. The Chinese man opened the packet and ate it like it was nothing. I almost vomited. I will be sure to attach some pictures for you all to "enjoy".. The real miracle was that I ate it. Yup, the whole thing.. After a few minutes of preparation and deep contemplation I took the first bite.. rather, I tried.. Because when I bit into it, the texture startled me. It was chewy and full of little bone type things.. Yup, I ate the WHOLE THING... Sorry if this doesn't sound like a big deal to some, but for me it was quite the experience. Anyway!! To Dad... I am sooo sorry that you had to eat the things they would serve you in Japan.. I can only imagine.. lol :) Okay! Well, this week has been really great! We had lots and lots of teaches and two people accept the challenge to be baptised! I will keep you up to date on how they are doing! We had another freak snow storm, but luckily today we have bright sunshine and the snow is gone.. again.. haha What a cycle! Lets see... OH! This past Saturday we had the opportunity to travel down to Jönköping and be in attendance at a baptism for two of their investigators. Abraham and Sun Lee. It was really great because we were able to have two of our own investigators there with us! Woo! The Spirit was so strong and it was great to be able to see it happen. :) So, lets get to the e-mail for this week! First off we have Dad! I love you Dad! I owe you a good e-mail this week.. You asked a couple of questions.. The first was how my testimony was doing. Dad, if I could be completely and totally honest with you right now I would tell you that my heart is burning within me. I have never been this...happy. I had no idea that the Gospel could do so much for me. Sure, at times throughout my life I was able to feel the Spirit and catch glimpses of what this all was, but I never wised up and took hold of the blessings. I let life... money.. girls.. friends and a lot of other things take precedent. I wish I could have noticed this earlier... However, now, I have found Jesus Christ... I have found the Book of Mormon... I have found love. I know you can't see me right now, but I am crying my eyes out.. lol, I cry so much! My call letter did not lie when it said, "greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you..." I love this feeling!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Did that answer your question?!?! haha, I sure hope so Dad! Okay, your second question was asking how our investigators are doing. They are doing well! haha We are trying our hardest to help them along the way. One of our investigators is having a tough time progressing because it is hard for her to feel the Spirit.. She feels that she can not trust herself.. We are trying to help her distinguish between the influence of the Spirit and her own thoughts.. Which is really hard considering the fact that the Spirit speaks to everyone differently. It is a struggle, but we are trying! Another one of our investigators is moving along like a rocket ship! haha He is a stud and I love him! He is fun to teach, and just plain fun to be around! :) Anyway, I will be sure to let you know on any big updates with our investigators here in the beautiful land of Skövde, Sweden! :) I love you so much Dad! You are always right here by my side and I am so thankful for it! Just one question... Why on earth did you decide to abandon me when I had to eat a duck's tongue?!?! haha I am just kidding! I love you!! Okay, now next up is Matt! You are getting more comfortable with the idea of a move to Utah huh? Well, that is good I guess! I don't know what is going on with that, but I would like to.... haha ;) It would be cool to have the family down in Utah close to everyone! lol So, I must agree with you, it is crazy that I have been out over a year now... I get soooo many mixed feelings when I think about it! Thats why I try not to! haha Denial is not necessarily a bad thing! :) Lets see... I am pretty sure I took AP Stats or maybe it is called Honors Stats now.. It was a really good class, quite challenging. lol I am not entirely sure what I took though.. Choir, Band, Jazz Band, Senior Project English.. etc... So, you would like to become a pharmacist huh? Sounds like a worthy goal! You just need to work as hard as you can and prioritize! You can do anything!! haha :) Well, I love you bro! You sound more trunky than the missionaries that are heading home in a few weeks!! All in good time bro, all in good time! (and it will be good times!) :) Okay, now on to Mom! I love you Mom! First off, be sure and tell Elder Houston hello for me and give him a big.. hand shake.. lol :) Get the scoop on how things are going for him and how much he is LOVING his mission! Fill him up with your delicious food and make him feel at home! Ahh, what am I saying.. you will do an amazing job at that! :) You always do! :) Anyway, yes, I am also glad that my VISA is done and I don't have to worry about it anymore! Yay! Wow... BYU LOST?!? What?!! I am crushed.. haha, no, not really.. I am glad that they were able to do as well as they did and put up a fight. There is always next year, and the year after that.. :) As for the Skype call... sorry, but our mission President won't allow Skype calls home.. Not to mention, I would not want to do it... haha I want to see you live when I can give you all hugs! :) A phone call works for now! GENERAL CONFERENCE!! I am soooo excited! You remember the e-mail after the last general conference.. I can't wait for this one! It really is just like Christmas for us missionaries. I look forward to the talks and MUSIC and the answers to my questions! Conference is truly an amazing thing and we are blessed to be able to see it and to take part! :) Well, I love you Mom! Thank you for all you do! You are amazing! :) :) But now, I must move on to a very overdue Spiritual Thought! Okay lets start things off in the Book of Mormon.. If we turn to the Book of Ether chapter six verse four we read about the Jaredites. In this verse they have prepared all things necessary for their travel to the promised land. I would like to focus on the last part of the verse.. it reads, "..and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." That last part... commending themselves unto the Lord their God.. is what I would like to delve into. There is a quote I have come upon during my mission by C. S. Lewis which says, "Christ says: "Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down... Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked-the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours." I love this quote because I believe it echos the thoughts I have about Ether 6:4. We must come unto Christ with all of our heart.. We must trust in him in all that we do.. in all decisions that come our way.. We MUST "COMMEND" ourselves unto the Lord, unto our Savior. Being a missionary I feel it only natural to use a missionary example of this.. During his work as a missionary along with his brethren, Ammon becomes an "instrument" in the hands of the Lord. (Alma 26:15) Now, having the love of music that I do, I know that an instrument must fully submit itself unto the "master" in order to function properly. A trumpet with a sticky valve wont come to produce the beautiful sound that the master is fully capable to play. The principle and all that it entails can be applied to us as individuals. If we only partially come unto Christ, or withhold any of our selfish desires He will not be able to use us as "instruments". And likewise, we will not be able to take hold upon the blessings promised.. "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever... Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." This promise, found in Alma 26:16, has quickly become one of my favorite scriptures. Ammon and his brethren committed themselves unto the Lord and because of that, the Lord blessed them with joy overflowing! It is my testimony that I know this is true. The Lord is mighty. He has power to help us through all trials if we but trust in him with all that we have and come unto him. The Jaredites were guided by the Lord during their time upon the water. On their journey they were blessed because of their faith. Our "journey" is a great one. We must access this power found in Christ if we are going to make it. WE must have faith. Sure, the Lord will continually try us, but if we just call upon Him, he will help us. "And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them... therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the water." (Ether 6:7) I hope my thoughts have helped you in some way today, and that they at least made sense. I am so thankful for the promises of the Lord to me. He has helped me in miraculous ways during my time on my mission. As we prepare for our journey, let us remember to come unto Christ.. Lets not forget that we don't have to go at it alone.. no, never alone! Well, my time has run away from me! This was long and I am sorry for that! haha I hope this week finds you well and that you can feel of my love for each and every one of you! It's a great day! Lets make it greater!! :) Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!! Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!! Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Traveling Again!

Hej Familj!!!

Well, what can I say... I am once again short on time. This week I was planning on staying in Skövde and having a nice relaxing p-day, however I needed to come to Göteborg to take care on my VISA stuff. I had tried at three different offices to get it done, but it just wasn't working. So, we decided that me and Äldste Cluff (from my MTC group) would travel to Göteborg and get it taken care of. SO! I am now in the Göteborg library e-mailing from a timed computer. Don't worry, all went well with the VISA stuff and I will be able to stay in the country. We were all worried for a while! Whew! Anyway, this week has been pretty cool! And when I say "cool", I really mean COOL as in COLD haha. We received a nice big snow storm one night and woke up to tons and tons of snow! Luckily, most of it has melted away, but there is still some remaining. I know right, just when I think everything is beginning to look up, BAM! I get hit with snow! :) Oh well! Don't Sweat the Small Stuff! lol That reminds me, THANK YOU so much for the awesome calendar you sent! It is so cool to be able to rip a page off every day and get a boost from everyone back home! The little messages and pictures are really awesome! Thank you! Anyway, I should probably get to the e-mails fast!

Matt!! I love you brother! Up all night working on a research project huh? I remember those days! Now I am getting to bed at the same time every night and sleeping soundly for a nice eight hours.. I know, I am just spoiled aren't I? lol :) That is so awesome BYU made it to the Sweet Sixteen! 22 points over Gonzaga!! Thats the way to do it! Wooo!! How exciting for everyone.. So, you are doing track?? Perhaps you should just tell me what sport you are NOT doing.. I think that would be fastest considering you play almost every sport! Do what you love I guess! :) I love you brother! You always make my day! Have a great day and know you are in my prayers!

Okay, Dad!! I love you!! So you know, the call to Great Lakes went fine. The man was able to process everything for me and it now have everything cleared until the 5th of February 2012.. At that time I can call and request a new one, but most likely we will just have to make payments on the loan until I am back at BYU and then they will put me back on enrolled status and we will not need to make payments until I am out of school again. :) Yay! Haha anyway, thank you for getting that all set up for me. With the calling card, I think I ran out of minutes at Christmas because I made that "test call".. I am pretty sure that when you make a call and then hang up it takes away a good chunk of the minutes on the card.. at least thats all I can figure out. So, yes as you can see I am traveling again this P-day.. However, next p-day should be spent in Skövde. Yay! haha It is fun to come to Göteborg though.. Football is great! :) Okay, I love you Dad! I hope your week is great!

Now, Mom!! I love you!! You have had a few cool things happen this week! I got an e-mail from Somayeh... She told me all about you and how you two chatted. She said that you were an awesome lady and very nice. She said that she could not fully explain how kind you were to her! Thats my Mom! Anyway, she is a great person! You finally met someone from my old MTC district! Awesome! Elder Houston! I remember him very well! He was a full of energy Elder and always had a big smile on his face! Be sure to tell him hi for me and that I hope he is having an amazing mission! How awesome! Small world! :) It is good to know that Hillary got my letter and that she now knows, "secrets" haha.. It's not a huge secret.. but.. lol It's whatever. :) Wow, thank you for sending that stuff! I can't wait to get it! You always spoil me! I love ya! So, you has Willis and Amy over huh? I haven't heard too much about Amy, but it sounds like they are happy! That is good! I miss Willis! I can't wait to see him again! :) That is great for BYU and even to get the the Great Falls Tribune! What an honor! woot! :) My prayers will be there for Landon... They always are, but I will be sure to focus on him more this week. I love that little guy! :) I see little kids here and I always ask their parents how old they are.. It has given me a good idea what Landon will be like when I return. haha Anyway, I love you Mom! Have a great week!

Okay, now on to my Spiritual Thought! I know, I know, i promised a great one for this week, but sadly I must break that promise.. I am out on time and I want to have more time for the thought... I want to be sure to get across what I want to say. So, for the Spiritual Thought I would like to focus on the small and simple things in our lives. Here are three scriptures to look up... 1 Nephi 16:29, D&C 64:33, Alma 37:6... They talk about how through small things the Lord is able to bring about great things! I love the application to this Gospel truth.. You can apply it every where! To a job, to the Gospel, to a hobby.. etc.. I would like to give the example of a little miracle I have seen.. It is called the Swedish Language! Through little actions such as study and prayer, the Lord has blessed me with the ability to communicate and express myself in a completely foreign language.. I am so thankful for the promises of the Lord in my life... Sorry that was scattered.. I hope you all have a great week! I love you!

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's coming!!

Hej Familj!!!

Well, what can I say... other than, I have no time... AGAIN. I know, I know, and I am really sorry! I promise I will get back to the longer e-mails. It is just that we are once again heading to Göteborg for a Zone Activity. Bowling this time! Wooo!! Last week was football. I love all of these sports! Yeah! Anyway, the reason the subject line is what it is, is because the weather here is getting better and better! SPRING is coming fast! And to tell you the truth, I could not be happier! I remember writing from this very computer a few months ago informing you of the "first snow", and now it is slowly but surely coming to an end. We have had fog the past couple of days and an abundance of sunshine the other days! We have even had a few rain storms! They were amazing! :) So, I know we are all looking forward to Spring and the magic that comes with it. It makes Missionary Work a million times better.. It really does... When you go out on the streets trying to contact people with negative temperatures and blowing snow (also known as a blizzard lol) it doesn't work so well! However, it is much more effective when it is a nice sunny day. :) Makes everyone happier! :) So, I will do a quick response to the e-mails from the family now..

Dad! I love you! Thank you for getting me the information to call Wells Fargo, I will be sure to call them just the second I have a moment to do so! Also, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. You know just what to say... It is like you have been here before and know just what I need to hear. Thank you! I love you bunches! haha By the way, you are looking good in the pictures the family sent! (insert whistle here) :)

Okay, now on to Matt!!! I love you Matt! That is really sad the CMR took second. Especially because of a lame 5-second violation. Sad. But, life moves on! You are really funny my loving brother.. That was a lot of different analogies.. haha Gave me a big smile! Thank you! Good luck with school and homework.. You are in my prayers this week.. :) I am glad to hear that you have fun with the family. They are the best source to find joy. I can say that 100 percent! :) Have a great week!

Mom! I love you Mom! Thank you for your e-mail! As for my one-year mark... Which is super far away... haha I would love a coupe of things.. lol Not to be asking too much but, I could really use some good American Peanut butter.. Oh! And Easy Mac!! haha Those would be great along with whatever else you are feeling. I trust your judgement, because your boxes are always great! :) Thank you for all you do! :) We do not have Zone Conference this week because they have decided that we shouldn't have them as often.. So, I will find out when the next one is and let you know. Probably some time in April.. :) Thank you very much for your lovely Spiritual Thought... That is a great quote, and it is so true, we are NEVER alone! Okay, speaking of a Spiritual Thought... I PROMISE that next week I will have an amazing Spiritual Thought... I have already developed it, and I shared it with the Zone last night on our conference call. :) However, as for now, I must bid you all a farewell. I love you, I pray for you, and I wish the best for you! Keep your Spirits up, and the laughter loud. Life is great... It truly is! :)

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!
Äldste Kundis :) :) :)


Tuesday - p.516 ch.15 - p.520 ch.6
Wednesday - p.520 ch.6 - p.525 ch.8
Thursday - p.525 ch.8 - p.529 ch.10
Friday - p.529 ch.10 - p.531 THE END.

As we can see... We have reached the end of the Book of Mormon Reading Challenge. I would encourage you to write in a journal or somewhere else sacred the feelings you have. Ponder on the time spent reading. It is just a guess that not everyone will reach the end at the same time... However, don't lose hope.. Keep reading and whenever you finish, write it down... Write how you feel and how focusing on the Savior was. I am excited for this week!! Have an awesome day! I love you! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!??

Hej Familj!

Well, what can I say, it is time once again for a P-day!! These things just come faster and faster! Speaking of faster and faster, I need to catch a train in twenty-five minutes! You see, we are traveling to Göteborg to re-new my Visa so I can stay in the country for a little longer. :) So, I would like to start off and thank everyone for their e-mails! They were awesome and I loved hearing from so many! :) I am sorry, but I just don't have any time to respond to all of you separately! I will however, let you know about the new transfer! Äldste Chipman is a really hard worker.. Follows the White Handbook to the very last punctuation mark.... mhmm. Our personalities are not the "most" compatible, but that just means growth and learning. Just not as fun as having a companion who's personality clicks with your own. This will be a whole set of new experiences for me and I pray they will go well. Thank you for your prayers this week.. I needed them! I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to serve a mission.. It truly is preparing me for life.. and for eternity. Okay, quick... Congrats to my dear nephew Landon! I was so proud for my big brother Josh and what a wonderful job he did with Landon's blessing. What a great day that was!! :) Okay, another quick shout-out! Congrats Matt!!! You sound like you did an amazing job at the Power Lifting competition! Thats my brother! You must be huge!! haha Keep up the good work! Okay, I need to go for sure! I love you all... I miss you and hope all is well! Don't you worry about me all the way over here in Sweden.. I got it all under control! I love you!!

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!
Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Transfer time in Sweden!

Äldste Barlow's "First Presidency" picture. Äldste Barlow is in the chair, Äldste Linford is to the right. Äldste Barlow trained both of us!!

The awesome view from atop a big hill! This is my city of Skövde!! :)

I guess I just couldn't resist!! haha :)

Hej Familj!!!

Well, as we all know this week is transfer week! Thus why I am e-mailing on a Wednesday! I do not have any time... haha I say that a lot! Life of a missionary I guess! Okay, I will not keep you in suspense any longer! I will be staying in Skövde again! I know, quite the shock for everyone! Sadly, my dear friend and companion Äldste Overstreet will not be staying with me. He will be moving to Täby which is a little ways outside of Stockholm to work in the Mission Office there. He is getting more and more excited to have the new experience and to see the other side of the mission. I will be getting a new companion and his name is Äldste Chipman. Want to know something crazy?? I knew him before the mission! We were in the same ward together at BYU and lived in the same building at Wyview. So, that is pretty exciting! The reason I don't have much time today is because we need to leave early to get to Göteborg for a quick activity and then get Äldste Overstreet on a train up to Stockholm! Anyway, because I don't have much time I will just get to the e-mails! First we have Dad! I love you Dad! Wow!!! You look awesome in your new eye wear! I bet they are difficult to get used to, but no worries, billions of people have them and you will get to the point where you just won't feel them anymore! :) That cake you were talking about from Japan sounds heavenly! I hope I can try that sometime! haha Yes, so about transfers. I will still be here to help Harry along and continue the work in Skövde. I really am sad that Äldste Overstreet is moving though. My stomach has just been sick the past couple of days. I really don't like transfers. It is especially hard when you meet an amazing friend like Äldste Overstreet and he gets taken from you and you get thrown with someone new. Now we will begin the process of starting over and readjusting.. UGh! lol :) As for Harry, he is making great progress! A member of the church in Göteborg found a job for him... hopefully.. and besides, he said that the other church just didn't feel right to him. He just couldn't be baptised into their church.. even if they were offering him a job. Woooo for miracles! Wooo for the Gospel! Wooooo for the church!! :) Anyway, the quick trip down to Provo sounds like fun! Travel safely and most importantly.. have a good time! Give Landon and everyone else a great big hug for me! I miss you all soooooo much! Well, have an awesome week Dad! I love you!!! Okay, now it is Matt's turn! I love you Matt! Congrats on being selected to represent CMR in the Powerlifting Competition! What a great honor! You must be ripped!! lol I will be sure to pray for you like you asked and I will for sure be there in Spirit to cheer you on! Way to be! It is great to hear that you enjoy Seminary! Take advantage of that brother! Drink it in every morning and use it as fuel for your day! State Basketball is coming up again huh?? Thats just crazy! Hey... Just a quick thing... Mind yourself at the Tourney.. There are some pretty crazy things that go on there and I don't want my brother involved.. Have a great time and be safe!! I love you! :) I miss you like crazy also, and love hearing how much you are growing and progressing! Keep it up! Have a great week Matt! Okay, now it is time for Mom! I love you Mom! So, you got the transfer news and all is well! As for Harry, we are still trying for the original date, but we will see if he is ready.. It is mostly in his hands now! We were not able to meet with him much because of how confused he was about the other church, but now things are really looking up! We had quite the miracle! In Church we were not expecting Harry because he told us basically that he would never talk to us again...(long story) However, we looked out into the foyer and saw Harry!! As we came further out we saw that he had brought with him a friend! His name is Kelvish! I don't have much time to explain, but we are hoping things progress and we can help him to join the church also! Wooo!! Haha I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you about that! Whew! Haha, that was funny about the cold weather.. Being here working in the snow and cold reminds me of that night when I was delivering papers to people's houses in the cold snow and my jeans froze.. Remember that?!?! Haha Some days I remember that and think back.. "if I only knew then, that I was preparing for my mission now..." haha Crazy.. But an amazing Gospel Application! lol ;) I don't think I need to explain that one! So, I am excited to hear you will be traveling to Provo! How fun! Like I told Dad... Give everyone big hugs for me!!! What a great experience it will be! Yay! Dad's glasses.. He is a stud! Help him to adjust as one who knows how he must feel.. Tell him he looks "dashing" and "dapper"... Wow.. Is that the correct way to use that word??? My word.. lol (I just said "my word" haha) :) I love you Mom! I am sooo happy that my Spiritual Thoughts help. I am not sure I have time for a long one today, but I will see if I can still make it worth reading! haha Have an awesome week Mom! I love you! Okay, now lets get to that Spiritual Thought!! Haha!! There it is!! If that doesn't work... just go to and click on the video titled, "Unselfish Service" (towards the bottom of the page) I love you all a lot! I pray for you constantly and hope that all is well! Transfers are really tough, and extremely tough this time around.. I am praying like mad... However, I know I am here on the Lord's errand.. not mine. This is all just part of the crazy, amazing ride of a mission! Until next week... haha Monday... I love you!

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!
Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

The reading...

Tuesday (last) - p.454 ch.24 - p.458 ch.27
Wednesday (today) - p.458 ch.27 - p.463 ch.29
Thursday - p.463 ch.29 - p.468 MORMON
Friday - p.468 MORMON - p.474 ch.4
Saturday - p.474 ch.4 - p.478 ch.6
Sunday - p.478 ch.6 - p.484 ch.9
Monday (next) - p.484 ch.9 - p.487 ETHER