Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another Catch Up ... we have been so busy away from home

August 10th
Today we attended our first baptism in our new ward. Lennart Nyblom (an older gentleman) was baptised. It is so wonderful to see how happy he is and how becoming a member of the church has brought so many blessings to his life. He has written his conversion story in Swedish and the elders are going to translate it for me. I look forward to knowing more about my new brother Lennart. At the baptism one of the members arranged for a luncheon afterwards. (Antonio) Antonio is such a great cook, in fact he feeds the elders weekly. He had a special sauce on the sandwiches that I had never tasted before that was amazing. I had Warren ask him what it was as he speaks no English. The next week at church he brought us all the special spices and told us how to make it. He also brought a jar of it all made. I am learning new recipes all the time and am loving it!

August 12th
We headed to Helsingborg to set up a bunk beds in the elders apartment for another set of missionaries. We met Elder Day (Utah) and Elder Lappalainen (Finland). We also did some repairs and hung curtains in the bedroom and added a rug to their floor. Warren got to be an electrician today, and we learned all about fuses and how they work here. The elders now have power to their whole apartment. We stayed a hotel downtown called Hotell Linnea (Prästgatan 4, SE 252 24 Helsingborg). It was a very traditional European Hotel with our window overlooking an inner courtyard. They had a wonderful buffet breakfast the next morning that was included with our stay.

August 13th
We are headed further south to Malmö. We are setting up a new apartment for Elder Sargent and Elder Keetch. Today I learned how to put the office chairs together as well as the fan on the stand. Everything you buy at Ikea has to be put together. Warren again used his talents to repair blinds and fix a leg on a chair. I believe he can fix anything! This is the farthest south we can go. We are on the very bottom of Sweden. It is such a amazing place. You can see all the ships coming in and it is a very large city. We stayed at the Scandic Hotel on the fifth floor. From there you can see a lot. They have a famous apartment building that you can see that is near the water and has very unusual architecture. I could not get a picture, it was raining heavily and our window was not clear enough.

August 14th
We need to travel about 15 minutes north to Lund to check out the couples apartment, and make sure it is ready for the Bybees to move into it. They are coming from way up north in Boden to be the new YSA couple in Lund. We met a lady named Charlotte to get the key for the apartment. She is the mother of one of the members of the Branch Presidency, and is not a member of the church. She was making arrangements to have her cleaning lady come to clean the apartment. We love Charlotte, she is amazing. She took us on a tour of her work. She started a company to help employ people who did not have work. They sew, paint, knit and crochet and make all kinds of handiwork that is then donated to help others. They are funded by the government and help provide a way for people to work. Of course all that they were doing was "right up my alley". I met a lot of ladies who were working on their crafts and they were delightful. One of the ladies that was painting on cloth that would become part of a quilt - said that she grew up very poor and never had the money to buy art supplies. She is so happy to have all that available to her now as she paints such wonderful art. They are now allowed to sell their things because they are funded by the government, but they can donate the items to other charities who can sell they to profit those in need. Charlotte is now our friend and we are going to keep in touch. I hope that we have the opportunity to help her and her business out someday.

August 15th
Back home today. I made "American" Pizza for the office elders and the assistants. Elder Forsyth will be leaving for Umeå and I had promised they all pizza. Elder Forsyth has relatives in Southern Alberta, if anyone of you know some of them? He is in the middle of this picture.

August 17th, Friday
We drive to Umeå today. We are going to be getting an apartment ready for Elder Forsyth and his new companion. This apartment is needing a major cleaning job before it is ready for the elders. We have arrived late in the evening and have brought our bedding from home, as we are going to stay at the apartment for the next two nights.

August 18th, Saturday
We have asked for some branch members to come today at 10 am to help us clean. Otherwise it might take a few days that we do not have. WOW - so many people came. I cannot believe how generous and kind the branch members are here. They are so excited to have more missionaries come that they all showed up to clean. We even had the windows all steamed cleaned. They not only came but brought vacuums, window cleaning supplies, etc. We had so much fun all working together and getting to know each other. We have made many new friends and are so glad that we get to see them all at church tomorrow.
Our dear friend Marianne Brush was able to come by after taking care of her mother and we got to sit and visit her and Victoria and Rolf. Marianne will ride with us up to Skellefteå this afternoon to meet up with the Bybee's (the couple missionaries from Boden that are moving to Lund). That way we can have some time together and get work done. We arrived at the church there where we will meeet the Bybee's and also got to meet the elders serving in the area. Elder Knutsson (is Swedish and is a concert pianist, who performed for us- amazing), and Elder Ogaard (from America and is a computer whiz). Bybee's had a bunch of things that we are going to haul down to their new place for them as very little will fit in the mission cars that we drive. Warren has nick-named our little car "the blueberry". It is very blue and is little like a berry.
The last thing we had to do for the apartment was to buy some groceries, so the Elders would have something to eat until they could get to a grocery store themselves. While shopping for groceries at the Coop Forum store, I found a Crock Pot! I had been looking everywhere for one. I had found one in Stockholm but it was way to expensive. This one was 300 krona less than the one I had first seen. So I was so happy to buy it. It cost 499 krona which is about $75.00 dollars. I will be so happy to come home from church on Sundays and have dinner cooked and ready to eat. (We usually feed the elders in our ward that day.) The slow cooker is an American Thing and are rare here. Marianne is going to go get one too. We will have to share our recipes.

August 18th, Sunday
Today we attend church in Umeå, with all our new friends. We sat by the couple that cleaned all the windows yesterday. Their last name is Lövgren. They own a camera and phone company here. I really like them a lot. Camilla gave me her phone number and email address and invited us to come to dinner next time we are here. We are hoping that we are able to be back for their District Conference in September.

August 19th, Monday
Today we have a meeting with the President, etc. to be prepared for the incoming of the new missionaries from the MTC. There are 18 of them arriving at the airport Tuesday, and we have two days of training etc.
This missionaries are extra special to us because we met them all while we were at the MTC. We are so excited to see them all again. They are all incredible bright, and enthusiastic and ready to work.

August 20th, Tuesday
It is our one month anniversary of being in Sweden today!
We meet two flights at the airport and get them on their way for a tour of Stockholm and helping them keep busy and try to stay awake until at least 8 pm tonight. Jet lag is so hard, I remember it well.

This is our new missionaries at a luncheon that we provided for them. Pork Loin Roast with Scalloped potatoes, salad and bread and Sister Newell's Strawberry Sponge Cake with Ice Cream for dessert.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Warren Posting again: Wonderful experience 39 years later!!!

Warren here.  Had a wonderful experience on Sunday.  During Priesthood meeting at Church on Sunday, a number of the Priesthood members were sharing their conversion stories with a new member that had just been baptized the day before.  Amongst the participants was President Nyman, the President of the Stockholm Stake.  President Nyman shared that in the Fall of 1975 he lived in Luleå, way up the coast of Sweden.  He answered the door when two young missionaries knocked, and heard the door approach of the missionaries, and told them he was not interested.  His wife, however, was interested, and invited them to come back later.  Almost two years later, his wife joined the Church, but it was almost 9 years later before he joined the Church. He later moved to Stockholm, served as a Bishop, and now as Stake President.  He expressed his gratitude for those two young missionaries who first knocked on their door.  After the meeting, I introduced myself to President Nyman, and after we compared notes for a while, we realized that I was a missionary in Luleå for four months in the Fall of 1975.  He looked me in the eye and said "I believe it was you that knocked on our door that day"  WOW! Did that ever feel good!
We are travelling lots and seeing Sweden literally from North to South.  Lots of new missionaries coming this next week, and we have to make places for them to stay and work.  We found two new apartments this week and got the contracts in place for them in Malmö and in Landskrona.
Sister Tolley, Äldsterna Svensson, Forsythe, Geddes, Brown
Sister Tolley made pizza today for the Office Elders and the Assistants to the President.  Do you think they love her?  That's obvious!!!  Swedish pizza is not at all like American pizza, so they were happy to get lots of toppings and gooey cheese etc.  Life is good in Enebyberg!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

It has been a busy week. We have helped with two zone conferences. Our assignment is to help the office couple with the food to feed 50 missionaries. On Tuesday August 6th we set up the luncheon meal in the Gubbängen church building. It is located in the southern part of Stockholm. This church building has an amazing kitchen. It is very large and has lots of room for food service and preparation. This was the zone conference for the Stockholm North and Stockholm Stake Zones. We are in the Stockholm Stake Zone. We arrived in the morning around 10 a.m. and covered the tables with Swedish Blue Tablecloths with a Yellow accent down the center. We also had yellow napkins that we folded nicely for each place. We then set out the clear plastic cutlery and drinking cups. We do not have to cook any of the food. The men go and pick up the food and bring it to the church about 20 minutes before we serve it. It comes in individual containers that are placed on the table. The lid comes off and is used for a salad bowl. Our menu today was herb roasted chicken breasts with small roasted potatoes, green salad, and large assortment of breads. And of course the dessert. It is a typical Swedish Dessert with a crust and pudding with lots of glazed fresh fruit on top. I should have taken pictures of the decorated tables and the food, but being so busy I did not think of it then.

Warren and I spent Wednesday and Thursday doing office work. Warren is searching for new apartments. I went through all the files and put some of the information into a spreadsheet on the computer for easy access to the information that we will need for scheduling apartment inspections.

Friday, August 9th

Today's Zone Conference is in Västra Haninga and is for the Stockholm South and Sodertalje Zones.
This is a very expensive and beautiful part of Stockholm and the church building is located next to the Stockholm Temple and Guest House. The building is unique architecture and matches the Guest House next door. The Guest House is a place where you can rent a room to stay overnight when attending the temple. The grounds all around these buildings are a sight to behold. The trees, bushes, flowers, and walkways are all groomed and picturesque.
This is the Stockholm Temple.
Me on the beautiful walkway by the temple.
You cannot read the sign I am standing by but it says -
"Stockholm Tempel"
"Jesu Kristi Kyrka Av Sista Dagars Heliga"
Back to the luncheon information. This time we set the tables with yellow tablecloths with the blue accent down the center of each table. And of course we used blue napkins this time. The process and the food was the same as last conference. When we were all down and cleaned up we had lots of       leftover food this time. So we ended up taking a lot home with us. I cut up all the chicken so I can
 make a Alfredo/Chicken Pizza for the missionaries at the Mission Office. I will freeze the leftover bread for eating later with our meals. The leftover potatoes will be used for going with a meal that I will probably be feeding our ward missionaries this Sunday.
On our way home from the conference, we stopped at a knit shop so I could buy yarn for a knitting project while we do some extensive travelling next week. I have a hard time staying awake to keep Warren company if I do not have something for my hands to do.
I found some cotton yarn in the sale bins outside the store. The inside of the store goes on forever! Not only is there tons of yarn but one side is all fabric and sewing stuff. The sweet lady in the shop did not speak English, but was able to help me with what little Swedish I can manage at this time. I will have to study up on some knitting and crocheting words to add to my Swedish Vocabulary. I am so excited to have found a knit shop nearby. The first yarn that I bought in Sweden was at the large grocery store. I have been knitting slippers for gifts. I was able to get a pair of Slippers knit for Sister  Marita Johanson who just left for home on Thursday. We are replacing the Johanson's as the Housing Couple. They were wonderful to work with and I miss them already. They live in Orem, Utah  and so we will easily be able to keep in touch in the future. Their apartment which is nearby in our area, will soon become housing for a new set of sisters of elders.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Catch Up Information:

We have been so busy we have not had the time to add to the blog daily, so here is some things we want to remember.

Sunday - July 21st, 2013
Our first Sunday at Church in the Jakobsberg Ward. The members of the ward were so friendly and welcoming. Lots of hugs from the "sisters" for me and warm hand shakes from everyone we met.
It was so hard for Warren and I to stay awake. We were suffering "jet lag" something terrible and struggled to stay awake. Our church building is lovely but we do not have air conditioning here. The day was extremely warm. We have learned not to sit under the sky lights for Sacrament Meeting to avoid being too hot, in the bright sun.
Warren does fine at church knowing the language. It is really hard for me. I can read my lesson ahead of time for Relief Society (which is first), and even Sunday School (which is next), BUT I have a hard time knowing what they say in Sacrament Meeting when different people give their talks. We also have members from different countries that struggle with the Swedish Language and so even Warren might not understand them.

I will be so happy when I can speak the language well, and will be able to communicate and understand everyone.

Monday - July 22nd

We need to make a trip to the Immigration Office in Stockholm to get registered with our Visas. Elder Lowry drove us there and told us to expect to wait several hours in line to be processed. We were very fortunate that we only had to wait ten minutes and were processed quickly without any trouble. We had to be finger printed and issued ID so that we can be a legal resident in Sweden. Elder Lowry was amazed at how smoothly the process went for us. We felt very blessed.

Tuesday - July 23rd

Today is my Mother's 80th birthday. I had to wish her Happy Birthday by phone before we left the country, as I knew it would take some time to get a means of communication working after our arrival in Sweden.

We have a regular meeting at the Mission Office on Tuesdays with the Mission President and his wife (the Newell), the assistants (Elder Brown and Elder Geddes) and the Proselyting Office Elders (Elder Svensson and Elder Forsyth),and the office couple (Lowry). We take care of a lot of business and receive our assignment for the week. Sister Newell is a concert pianist and we opened with a hymn. I can sing in Swedish just fine (and can read Swedish because I know how to pronounce most of the words) but that does not mean I understand what I sing or read. Today's meeting was in English as most of them are, however once a month they will be only Swedish.

Wednesday - July 24th

Today is our first apartment inspection. We traveled to Eskilstuna to see Elder Judd and Elder Stafford's apartment ( Boställisgaten 1A ) We have a two page check list of what to look for. Everything has to be spotless and organized.

We also see if everything is in good working order. Before we go to apartments, we call them and see if anything is needed so that we can bring it with us. Not all the areas have all the stores that we have here in the Stockholm area. While we were at the apartment we also got to meet Elder Leirimaa and Elder Ouimette.(the zone leaders) While we are at the apartments we get the chance to get to know them and visit with them about how things are going etc.

It is pioneer day today (a day we celebrate in the church in the USA). It is also the anniversary of the passing away of my Dad. I miss him so much!( I love you Dad and appreciate all that you have done for me. I look forward to seeing you again when I pass on.) I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. That we can be resurrected and live with our families again.

Thursday - July 25th

Today is a day off for us. We can get settled in to our apartment and do laundry and go and shop for groceries. It is interesting shopping for groceries. The stores do not have all the things we are used to. There are new things I have not seen before and I need Warren to figure out what most of the things are. I am learning the names of food quickly though as I do most of the cooking and baking. The hardest part of shopping is overcoming the shock of the pricing. The cost of things is a very large number in Swedish Crowns compared to our American Dollar. I am converting all the time right now to figure out what it costs in our dollars to give me an idea of what it costs here. Soon I wont be doing that as I adjust to the new currency.

Friday - July 26th

Today is our first assignment on our own. The Johanson's are soon to leave to return to Orem, Utah and we will take over as the Housing Couple. They have trained us and now we are on our own. We are travelling to Katrineholm to do two apartment inspections. We are grateful that we have a GPS to follow so we do not get lost.
Our first apartment was with Sister Clouse and Sister Randall. ( Västgötagatan 27 A 1tr ) We also met Sister Merrell and Sister Vaarola and Sister Faux and Sister Hill (who were visiting them for training etc). They told us that this is the smallest apartment in the mission. They have the tiniest kitchen I ever saw. Only one person at a time can fit in there. They have a large main room where their table, desk and beds are and then a small bathroom. But everything is clean and organized and comfortable. We brought them some fresh baked rolls that I baked yesterday and a bag of chocolates. They needed a new toaster and a fan (we felt like Santa Claus - that was fun). What lovely girls. They are smart, beautiful and full of enthusiasm.
Our next apartment was with Elder Ricker and Elder Schwabedissen. (Fortunagatan 14 B) They have a lovely spacious apartment. Their apartment was spotless. They are good cooks, they even had baked cookies on their preparation day. We also got them a fan which they were very grateful for. Again, most places do not have air conditioning as it is not needed for very long. I must say it is great that it cools off every night when the days are very hot.

Saturday - July 27th

Another day to get more settled and do some menu planning and laundry. Our washing machine is very small and each load takes about an hour and a half to wash. Then with no dryer, we hang everything on the drying rack on the patio deck to dry. In the winter we have a Sauna to hang things up to dry. I have not used a liquid fabric softener for a very long time because with a dryer the sheets have been easier. But we do love the fresh clean smell of our clothes and without the softener our towels would be like cardboard when dried outdoors.

Sunday - July 28th

Another day of little understanding of what is being said. The gospel doctrine teacher presents her lesson so well that I am able to follow along with my English materials. Somehow I can even understand a bit of what is being said.
We invited our missionaries in the ward to come and have dinner with us today. They were most excited about that. They do not get to eat at members like our elders did in Montana. Elder Haddon and Elder Sheldon are great. They brought me some books to help me with my Swedish. They are very encouraging and kind. I had posted on a facebook page "Moms of Swedish Missionaries" that we had them over for dinner and I got a post back from Elder Haddon's mother thanking me for feeding her son.

Elder Haddon on the left and Elder Sheldon on the right

Monday - July 29th

Monday's are P-days for the Missionaries. (preparation day, where they clean their apartment and do their laundry and grocery shopping, write letters home, etc)
We are going to an apartment that we are closing down and loading up all the furniture etc that will be taken to an apartment that we are opening up. We also will be shopping for any items that will be needed. The shopping is the fun part for me. I get to choose curtains, bedding, and all the kitchen items needed for the apartment. We get most of the things at IKEA. But there are other stores that we purchase certain items too.

Tuesday July 30th, 2012
Today we head downtown in Stockholm to apply for a "personal number". This assigned number is needed to see a doctor or any other business done in Sweden. It is like a social security number here. Usually you get denied the first time you apply. Usually you wait in long lines to get your paperwork processed. But again we amaze everyone at the Mission Office. We only waited a few minutes, everything went smoothly and the lady helping us said it would take at least two weeks to hear from them. We were accepted and receive our numbers in only four days. We set another record. The office couple think we are magical and want to hang around us. :) We feel that it continues to reaffirm to us that the Lord wants us to be here at this time. I know there is something He needs us to accomplish for Him and I pray continually that we do not let Him down. I know that our Savior loves the people here in Sweden -  that he knows them by name, and wants us to help them find their way home to Him.

Wednesday - July 31st

The van and the car are loaded up with tons of supplies. Johanson's are driving the van and we are following in the car. We are headed to Örnsköldsvik (about an 7 hour drive up north) to open up a new apartment.
We are going to stay in a Hotel overnight and unload and set up in the morning.
We stopped for dinner by the sea.
This is the restaurant/The food was delicious. 

Thursday - August 1st

Elder Schroeder and Elder Miller who live in that city will be there to help us unload everything. That is a very good thing as we must haul everything up three sets of marble, circular, narrow stairs to the third floor.
This is the part that is not my favorite thing. It is fun to arrange all the furnishings that we have to assemble though. The apartment is newly remodeled and so the bathroom is just an empty room at this point. The owner will have the new bathroom finished before the missionaries move in. So today we must get our work done before we need a restroom. Warren and one of the Elders are assembling the new bikes and then we are done. Everything looks wonderful and homey. I really like setting up a comfortable place for the missionaries to live.
We worked so hard and for so long it is past lunch and we are all hungry. We are taking the missionaries with us and treating them to lunch as their help was so appreciated. We are going to get a hamburger at Max's. It is the Swedish version of MacDonald's here. It is very expensive to eat out. A hamburger combination is around $10 each. We tend to pack a lunch when we travel for two reasons. It saves a lot of money and we can eat while we are on the road travelling to our destinations.

Warren and I are now driving up to Umeå, while Johanson's are going back to stay in the hotel and driving back home in the morning. When we get to Umeå, we are staying with our dear friend Marianne Brush. She is like a sister to us. We are so excited to see her again. It has been three years since our last visit.

Friday - August 2nd, 2012

 While we are in Umeå we need to go to an apartment that we are opening up for some Sister Missionaries that will be arriving later this month. Marianne is an amazing cook. Her Swedish pancakes that she made for us were the best I have ever tasted. I am going to practice until I can make them as thin and perfect as she did. We had a great time catching up and visiting. We went together to see the apartment we are going to be renting. It still looked like someone was living there. The lady apparently just packed her suitcases and left everything else behind. We rolled up our sleeves and went to work. We have all her stuff packed into boxes in the hallway waiting to know where it will be able to be stored. We had to empty all the cupboards in the kitchen and we will need to go back and scrub them all out, as well as the walls, floors, bathroom etc. We were lucky to have Marianne with us as she knows how to do so much. We defrosted the fridge and freezer while Warren did an inventory on what will be needed to furnish the apartment. Because things are not clean, we are getting rid of all the bedding left behind as well as curtains and replacing it with new clean items. We will return in a week and a half with a big job to do. We are going to ask branch members to come and help us so we can get it done in a few days. "Many hands make light work" and it will be fun to work along side good people while making a nice home for the new Sister Missionaries that will be brand new to the area.

This is the fridge and freezer before we cleaned and defrosted it.