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.|