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