Monday, April 25, 2011

Did someone say the lucky number was seven?

Hej Familj!

I really have no time today to write a legit e-mail, but I will try as best I can to make it worth while!

Yesterday was pretty awesome here in the Skövde Branch of Sweden! We had SEVEN investigators in church! It was a pure miracle! As missionaries we felt overwhelmed, but with faithful members by our sides we were able to make sure every one had a great time! I had an awesome time! Äldste Chipman and I were able to teach the primary and a primary class! It was such a great thing to see! When little Emil gave the opening prayer, I almost fell over it was so sweet! He gets me every time! We were over at his family's house twice this week for dinner! The Karlssons are awesome! Anyway, it was just an amazing thing to see all of these Swedish children take part in primary! They are such little angels, and I love them all! It really strengthens my desire to work as a Pediatrician when I return and make it through schooling. Our lesson was about the Resurrection of Christ and then with the smaller class it was about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. :) They all know so much and have an amazing capacity to learn new things! Oh, and they LOVE getting stickers when they behave! Anyway, that was a fun little part of my week I thought I would share! The Lord is blessing the missionary efforts here in Skövde and Primary ROCKS!

Okay, we need to catch a train here in a bit so I will get right to the e-mails for the week! First off we have Dad! I love you Dad! It sounds like you had a great time with the Vaughn family for Easter! I love that family so much! They are so much fun! I hope you told them all hello for me and that I miss them! Thank you for getting that phone card thing worked out for me! As for times for me to call, I am a little unsure right now.. I will let you know next week. It will be hard to say because transfers are coming up. I will probably try to catch you BEFORE church. haha So that will mean early. I guess what we could do is that I call you at 4:00 PM my time (8:00 AM your time). Would that work for you?!? Let me know so that next week we can finalise things! :) Anyway, yes that school thing was awesome! Quite the experience I will never forget! Okay, sorry to rush these, but I need to move quickly! I love you Dad! Have a great week! :)

Next up is Matt! I love you Matt! I am so glad that you have been enjoying your time down there with the family! How could you not?! haha That picture of you and Landon is awesome! He is getting bigger and more and more adorable! It is getting easy to see that when I return I will need to do some serious time loss recovery with him! :) Do your homework! Haha, how was that for a little nudge. ;) Its pretty important to get that done and do what you need to! I love you bro! You look amazing in those pictures and I am a little frightened that you are changing so much I won't believe my eyes! haha Have a great week Matt! I love you!

Okay, next is Mom! I love you Mom! I am sooooo sorry that this is rushed, but hey, we will "talk" soon! haha :) ;) I bet you just loved the trip Mom! What a great opportunity to be with the ones you love and just be happy! Its so wonderful and very much a part of our Heavenly Father's plan for oss!! What a fun Easter Egg hunt! I never would have thought to hide the eggs and then go looking for them at night! Awesome! I was able to have curry rice and vegetables for my Easter Feast! haha I will never forget it! I will tell you more about it on Mother's day when we get to talk! But for now, I must go or we will miss our train to Göteborg! We are heading there to spend a day in the young adults center and celebrate a couple of Elder's birthdays! Woo! I love you Mom!!

Okay, the Spiritual Thought this week is to watch the movie on the church website! It is called David's Legs.. I loved it, and I hope you do too! Have a great week family! I love you all! :)

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

Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fifty plus teenagers ready to ask questions!

Hej Familj!!!

Wow, today is just a beautiful day! It is super warm outside and the sun is shining right on down! I honestly am shocked... I thought for sure we were going to get more snow.. However, it doesn't look like it! I might just be cursing myself and the next e-mail will probably be talking about how we received inches of fresh snow. Haha! I sure hope that doesn't happen! Easter is on its way and that is super exciting! We will be spending Easter at the Sahlberg's house (yes, they are the vegetarian family...), however we have a dinner at a member's house planned for almost every night this week! What a blessing! :) Before I move on, I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to Aunt Heidi!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :) Now, I would like to once again explain the subject line of the e-mail. Being a missionary means talking to people and asking them questions to get them thinking and then providing them with answers to help them with their life and to help them draw closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is not too often that we run into people who just want to ask US questions. So, when we heard that a couple classes from one of the local "high schools" wanted to come and visit our church, we were amazed! So, this past Friday at around noon fifty plus teenagers ranging in age from 17 to 19 filed into the Skövde Chapel and took seats ready to listen and ask questions. We had a member there who went over a PowerPoint presentation about the church and it's history and then it was question time. Now, you must know that these students were studying religion, so the questions were pretty good! However, like history shows the questions slowly turn into less intelligent questions and we basically end up clearing rumors that have spread about "the Mormons". Hahaha I enjoy this because of the looks on the faces of the students when they hear that what they have been told is quite wrong and inaccurate. Not to mention that a few even laugh at the question they just asked because they finally understand how ridiculous it sounds!! haha It is just awesome!! I make sure to have a little bit of fun with them and get them to laugh. Normally it is by saying something like, "Hello, my name is Elder Kundis.. yes, I AM that guy that knocked on your door." haha :) One of my favorite parts of the whole thing is when I get to bear testimony about what we do as missionaries! My strongest experience was actually during a school teach a while back when a girl asked me the question, "If no one wants to listen to you, and they tell you to leave, isn't that hard?" to which I replied, "Yes, it is very hard. It has taken quite a while to learn to remain positive." The girl then asked me, "Then why do you do it? Why do you continue to go out? I don't understand.. tell me why." I then replied, "I will tell you why.. It is because I know what I know, and I know it's TRUE. Getting rejected hundreds of times a day, getting yelled at, not being able to ride a bus without constant stares followed by hushed whispers of unkind words is NOT fun. But, Jesus Christ lives, His church has been restored and that fact is more important than my hurt feelings." I then continued on to bear my testimony more fully and answered more questions. It was a strong feeling and an excellent opportunity to touch some hearts. That girl, as well as others I believe, understood that I am as happy as can be, doing the Lord's work! The Spirit touched me that day, and continues to touch me as I go out and do the Lord's will. I guess what I would like to get at here is that School Visits are fun.. and Spiritual! :) They ARE a little intimidating at first, but all I do is trust in the Lord and he helps me without fail! :) Okay, this has gone on far too long! I will get to the e-mails now. :) First up this week is Dad! I love you Dad! Jordan sounds like he did an amazing job with his talk! I really wish I could have been there to hear it because Jordan is awesome. It sounds like he had some really good experiences to share and to bear testimony of! Awesome! I will be praying for him as he is entering the MTC on Wednesday! Wow, what is going on in the Two Rivers Ward?!? I will be praying for Sister Buck and Sister Compton!! Those sound terrible! Good thing that both are doing better and healing. Keep me up to date on them! So, Mom and Matt are heading to Utah huh? Thats awesome! What happened with you Dad!? Why did you draw the short end of the stick? haha I guess the man of the house needs to sacrifice some times! :) I am blessed with a Father who knows how to take care of his family! woo! SNOW?? Still!? That is just too bad! I hope you get some warm weather fast! I will try and blow some that way for you.. :) Thank you for your e-mail Dad! I love you so much and pray for you always! Okay, next up this week is Matt! I love you Matt! You are lookin' pretty fine in that picture you sent me! Who were those two girls by you?? Were they your, friends? hahaha :) I love ya brotha! You sound excited to travel to Utah with Mom... Good! You should be! How lucky are you! :) Have fun while you are there and give Landon a big hug for me! Track is moving right along for you isn't it! How fun! I remember those weekend track meets very well! The worst was when they were IN Great Falls and you had to sit at Memorial Stadium all day until everything was finished, even if your event was at the very beginning.. blugh.. lol I also DO remember having to drive with my head out of the window in the mornings because of the frost on the windshield. What fun memories we have with that. Even if I was a little agitated at the fact you ran back inside to make a breakfast drink "really fast" haha :) ;) I love ya! I hope you have a great week and a fun time in Utah! Okay, next up is Mom! I love you Mom! Haha, I liked your comment about writing on the e-mail last. It is so true!! But even if Dad and Matt cover everything, you go into most of the details and include your love! Thats the most important! haha It was fun to hear that the Pitchers were at church on Sunday! I miss their family so much! I hope they are doing well! You went to the doctor?! You better get over this cold fast! I don't like it at all! I bet a big burger and fries from In-n-Out would do the trick! haha :) Have a wonderful time in Utah!! Promise me that you will spend some time NOT holding Landon.. haha I don't want you to spend all of your time cuddling that little guy! Ahh, what am I saying.. There is no use! you will probably hold him 24/7 no matter what I say! haha Enjoy it! :) OH!! Before I forget! We have been asked to remind you that MOTHER'S DAY is coming up and that I will be calling!! Wooo! Have we found a different card to use ?? ?? ?? I do not want a repeat of last time! haha :) Anyway, I should probably get going! I love you Mom! Have a great trip, drive safely and most importantly, give Landon lots of lovin' for me! :) Okay, well now it is time for my Spiritual Thought! It comes from Matthew 19 this week! "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments... The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." (Matthew 19:16-17, 20-22) This is one of my favorite stories out of the New Testament. The young rich man sadly did not sell all of his possessions and in the end was not able to follow the commandments of the Lord. But why would the Lord ask the young man to sell all that he had?? The man followed all of the commandments and had obviously been blessed in Earthly riches. But right when he thought he was good, the Lord threw a curve ball at him! The Lord uncovered the fact that the young rich man was not willing to sacrifice all that he had in order to follow the Savior and enter into eternal life. As if to think that his Earthly treasures would be better to hold on to than an eternity of "riches" and happiness!! I would like to apply this story to us! :) No, I am not saying that we need to sell all that we have, give it to the poor and go on missions for the rest of our time here on Earth. However, I am saying that we should take a deep look at ourselves. Sure, we may be doing everything we are asked to do, but is our heart in it? When it comes right down to it, are we truly followers of Jesus Christ? I believe that we are. In fact, I know that we are! We do out best to follow our Lord and our Savior. But we can not get comfy.. haha If that makes sense.. We must continually step back and take a look. Are there things that we do that we know are wrong? Are these things, in the end, going to keep us from our ultimate goal of returning to live with our Father in Heaven again? Are these things holding us back from life eternal?? Life is a constant building process. We try the best we can every day, but we are not perfect. No one is. I just hope that this story of the rich young man can help us in our lives. Let us find those things that we might find harmless and fix them. Whatever they may be, they are not worth holding on to. :) I know Jesus Christ lives. I know that he cares about me and loves me more than I could ever comprehend. I know that as I work to become more and more like him and follow his example, he will bless me. As I continually work to "sell my riches" and get my life in order I know and can see happiness in my life. I know the Gospel is true, and for that, I am oh soooo grateful! I love you family and friends! Have a great week and an AMAZING EASTER!! What a happy time for all! :)

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

Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Funny Stuff in Sweden!!

My fellow district mates! This was after a failed attempt at a BBQ.. It got way too cold! haha But I was able to burn my shirt while up there!

This is Kelvish, one of our investigators! He is so awesome!! Recently he shaved! (looks like a new man!)

This is an action shot of Pan Dong, another investigator! He is from China, and REALLY good at ping pong!

Me and my new friend! haha This guy can be seen all over Sweden! He advertises glass.. which is Swedish for ice cream!

Part of the big town square! If you look closely at the little trees you will see colorful feathers.. symbols for the approaching Easter Season! :)

Hej Familj!!!

I have some funny, funny stuff to tell you all about!! But first... How are you all doing? From what I have heard, you are doing well and enjoying all that this life has to offer. That is good! :) It is getting warmer and warmer! I am writing from the church looking out at a wonderful 17 degree Celsius day! (yeah, that is 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit! Woo!) The sun is shining and the birds are chirping.. It is just like heaven! There are really cool wild flowers that have started to pop up through the grasses and such.. Quite the sight! Spring in Sweden is, and will be a beautiful thing!

Anyway, let me get to the funny stuff! We all know that serving a mission affords us the privilege of experiencing great things. Many returned missionaries have stories that captivate their audiences and leave them craving more.. The story I am about to tell however, is not one of those. This will be painful to tell and to read, so please just read through it once, and then wash it from your brain. Okay, so.. here we go! This week we had the opportunity to travel to Karlstad for our weekly district meeting. While there we had fun, felt the Spirit, and learned how to be better servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. We also had the opportunity to go on Splits or Exchanges as I think some missionaries call it. I stayed in Karlstad with Äldste Maxwell. Äldste Maxwell is awesome! He is a rock climber and loves to laugh. We had a great time on Splits... Well, sort of. Lol.. This is where the story gets strange. Äldste Maxwell is a greenie and has been in the country for a little over a month now. I told him that I was going to be following his lead the whole day. We went tracting and met a few nice people. Towards the end of the day, Äldste Maxwell felt impressed to visit one of their investigators. He informed me that the investigator has a tendency to be a little strange.. This in no way prepared me for what was ahead of me. When this man answered the door, he did so wearing a shirt and some boxers. Haha He quickly invited us in and sat us at his table as he searched throughout the apartment to find some pants. lol :) He found a pair and we started to talk. He had a small hint of alcohol on his breath, but nothing too overwhelming. Probably just buzzed. He controlled the teach however, and we quickly realised that now was not the best time to be visiting him. Being who I am, I thought it would be fun to entertain the man a little. He at one point asked the question, "Sweden is not believing.. But I am!! Why am I the only one who is believing??" To which I replied... "Because you are EXTRAORDINARY!!!" hahaha!! He really, REALLY liked that! He made me stand up and he gave me a big hug!! haha This happened a few times throughout our visit... lol :) Towards the end of out visit, we were basically backing out of his door because he did not want us to go. He asked for one last hug before we went, so I gave him one as I was just laughing my head off. Then.... he kissed me!!! AAAGGGHHH!!! Yes.. I am serious! Don't worry, it was on the cheek, but still. It was plain nasty. I almost vomited. I am sorry that it had to end that way... But thats exactly how it happened. I guess I should have seen it coming though because the entire visit he continually commented on how nicely I looked and how I was wearing nice clothes. This man is a child of God. However, he is a little strange when buzzed by some sort of alcohol. Haha I hope you enjoyed that story and got a good laugh. It was pretty funny after it happened, but now I know never to trust Äldste Maxwell ever again. Oh, yeah, Äldste Maxwell just laughed the entire time! He didn't help me! lol :) Anyway, I think that is enough for story time this week!

Let me get to the e-mails! First we have Matt!! I love you brother! Thank you for your awesome e-mail! I miss you like crazy too.. However, I know that patience deepens joy! One day in the future we will be able to hang out again and have many, many more good times together! It will be awesome! :) I promise! But it sounds like life is going well for you! You know what, I really love how almost every week you mention something about Seminary and how you see it bless your life! That is amazing to hear! It makes me very proud of my brother to know that he is doing what he should be and loving it! Sick!! :) You think you are stoked for summer?? I am stoked for it! I will get to wear short sleeves and work on getting this paste white skin color changed back into a golden tan. haha Talking to people out on the streets is hard, but I am blessed in many ways... not just Spiritual ;) haha I love you my brother Matt!! You are awesome and I hope you know that I pray for you daily! You are always on a missionaries mind! Give Mom and Dad hugs for me and love them to pieces! They are awesome and love you very, VERY much! I love you Matt! Until next week!!

Okay, now moving on to Dad!! I love you Dad! Have I ever told you, that you are my hero? Because, you are. :) You take such good care of your family and that includes me! I am doing well with money at the moment.. I normally use my checking card for little purchases here and there. We got some Swedish goodies for General Conference.. I use it sometimes because our mission cards are pretty sensitive. Meaning, they don't always work when they should. I used my credit card to purchase some books in Swedish just so that you are aware. They were quite the deal! The mission sends us money towards the end of the month, and I am not sure if the dollar influences how much we receive.. It sure feels like it does though.. haha Our investigators are doing really well! Thank you for asking! We are hoping that before the month is out we will have a baptism! Woo! I will keep you informed! You asked about what I am studying in my Personal Study right now.. That is the time where we can study the scriptures or the missionary library and Preach My Gospel. At the moment I am reading through the New Testament and through the Book of Mormon again. (The same copy I used for the challenge, but focusing on two more things) It is going really well! I absolutely love the New Testament. Having read Jesus the Christ, reading the New Testament opens my eyes and really connects it all! Needless to say, my testimony is growing daily! Thank you for asking! :) I love you Dad! You are awesome and truly are my hero! :)

Next up we have Mom!! I love you Mom! First off... GET FEELING BETTER!! haha I don't like hearing that you are not feeling well! Get better soon! My prayers are continually with you! :) That e-mail from Elder Houston was so awesome!!! He is a stud! I am glad that you cooked a nice meal for him and treated him like a member of the family! How did the object game go?!?! I bet he did a great job! What object did he get? Who picked it?! lol Anyway... General Conference WAS amazing!!! It was very much needed, and I am really sorry that it is over.. :( aww.. lol We DO have Zone Conference coming up! It will be on April 19th!! Woo! And yes, transfers will be the first part of May! Probably May 4th and 5th.. Not completely sure.. but I am pretty much sure.. haha :) I love you! Thank you so much for sending that picture of Landon! He looks so good! haha I can't wait to meet him! Pictures are the best! Thank you so much for your words of comfort Mom. I feel your prayers and your love. It is really quite the miracle because we will be out working and it will be tough, but all I have to do is pray and I feel strength! I know it is because of my loving family praying for me and loving me. Thank you. :) :) :) I hope you feel my prayers and love also! They are constantly being sent!! Have a great week Mom! I love you so much!

Okay, well, this is getting long so I think I will get to the Spiritual Thought! The thought comes from a quote I just love. It is by an unknown author and goes like this... "Some goals are so worthy, it's glorious even to fail." Is that not just completely EPIC!! hahaha! I love it! When we look at our goals in life and those many, many different things we are trying to be, or to do, or to accomplish it can get overwhelming. Most of the time we are not able to do it all. However, if we take a step back and look at what we have done in the process we can see that we truly have done great things... glorious things! This is an amazing blessing, and something to truly be happy with! For me, I all too often focus on what I wasn't able to do, or what I wasn't able to accomplish. Which causes feelings of sadness and failure. When if I really look at it, I have not REALLY failed.. I have done amazing things in the process! I believe this is what life is all about! We strive to be perfect, but we are not going to be in this life... BUT LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE! :) Look at what you have become and those you have helped in the process! Miracles! Pure miracles! haha :) Okay, well I hope you liked the thought! I am loving my mission and look forward to this upcoming week! I love you. I love you. I LOVE YOU! :)

Hej då!

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

Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

I LOVE General Conference!

Hej Familj!!! Another General Conference has come and past, and I must say that I absolutely loved it! The talks were great, the music was inspiring, and the sights of temple square were incredible! haha It is such a big deal around these parts when General Conference rolls around. Missionaries just seem to go crazy with excitement! How did everyone else enjoy it?! This week has been pretty awesome! We are in Jönköping right now with Elders Wood and Linford. We came down to watch General Conference in English with them. Other that having fun together here in J-town we have been doing missionary work! Which is really why the week was awesome! Every week is great as a missionary! :) OH!!! Just a quick side note.. Elder Wood, one of the elders serving in Jönköping was roommates with a certain Rhett Miller in college at Utah State! haha We figured it out one night on splits when he was talking about college. Well, rather, we figured it out the next morning when I asked him if he knew Rhett Miller. Elder Wood looked at me and said, "why did you just say that name?" I told him that I knew him really well from home. He told me that Rhett was his roommate and that he was the friend we had been talking about the night before. It was quite the discovery! haha We still think that it is crazy! Anyway, I will move on! Yes, it is April and that means better weather for us here in Sweden! Today is a bright sunny day, and full of promises of Spring! Yesterday was dark and full of rain.. haha Quite the drastic switch. But hey, whats life without a little bit of variety! It is because of the rainy days that we appreciate the sunny ones.. and vice versa, too many sunny days will cause us to forget the cool, cleansing effect of a rain storm. :) Let me just get to the e-mails... I must be honest, I am just wanting to run out and seize the day! We watched the last session of conference this morning because it was broadcast too late for us to watch, and it was awesome! haha Okay, now on to e-mails! Hey Dad! I love you!!! Yes, I surprised even myself with eating the duck tongue. It was a sort of salty flavor, but a flavor that is simply stated and embedded in my brain as, Duck Tongue. haha It was quite the "treat" :) So, yes, both of the investigators we had at the baptisms in Jönköping had accepted the baptismal commitment. Thats why we really wanted them there! They are progressing nicely along their way to the straight gate! :) Thank you so very much Dad for reminding me of that experience I had at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It was good to be reminded of that and what a powerful day that was. I remember it well. Coming out of the building I walked very closely by your side as we shared in the moment together. That was a big father/son bonding moment! :) I love you! Thank you for your advice with our investigator! You are right.. it will come.. but in the Lord's time! :) Anyway, I hope you are having a great day and loving every minute of being with the family! What a treasure we have! Have an awesome week and enjoy the warming weather! :) Okay, now it is Matt! I love you Matt!!! So, you and Mom have been battling head colds? Thats too bad! My prayers are with you! Get feeling better soon! That is awesome news for Jimmer and for BYU! What an honor! Not to mention, you met him! Lucky! haha You have a new girl to tell me about?!? What happened to Single and Lovin' It?! lol Haha.. jkjk Tell me all about her and treat her well! Does she happen to speak Swedish? haha That would be sick.. I only say that because I remember you talking about a Swedish foreign exchange student?? lol Anyway, that is good that Molly is enjoying the warmer weather! She always gets super excited when it starts to warm up. You know what that means!! You need to play with her in the yard more.. She really loves that! When it gets warmer yet, you must do something for me! Get the hose and play with Molly in the water! She likes to jump up and bite the water stream! lol Little joys just warm the heart! And from what you are saying... Molly has also acquired a taste for eggs?? lol Hmm.. interesting. lol I love you Matt! Thank you for mentioning The Spirit of God that the Choir sang in conference! My thoughts were at home during that one! I just love that song, and when it was announced I about screamed.. The other Elders can attest to that! :) Have a sweet day Matt! Keep it real, real safe! haha :) Okay! Well, Mom was not feeling well and I hope and pray that she is doing better and can gain strength and energy fast. I love you Mom! My prayers are with you! I will end the e-mail with a quick Spiritual Thought. As we all know, conference just ended and the possibilities for a spiritual thought are endless. So, I have decided to talk about all of you! I just want you all to know, that I love you. I appreciate you and find strength in you. It feels SO GOOD to know that prayers are coming my way and that I have a family and dear friends who care about me. This time on my mission has made me really come to realise how much I need you ALL in my life. I am often brought to tears when I think of the past and the future together. Tears of sadness, tears of joy, and tears of love. Tears are just great! :) Keep being the AMAZING people you are! Know that I love you and pray for you. Know that my heart longs to be with you! haha You are my everything! :) I must go now.. but only for a week... At which time I will return to you in another e-mail. Thank you for your love and prayers. They are helping. Lets make this week great! Lets always remember to smile and look on the very, very bright side of life! Hej då! Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!! Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!! Äldste Kundis :) :) :)