Sunday, November 17, 2013

A busy month all summed up in pictures

Beautiful Scenery around one of the many
lakes in Norrland
Wow, we have been travelling and running around the country so much lately that we have not taken the time to update our blog.  Will try to catch up again now.  I will try to give a picture book story of our last month or so. We have traveled a lot and had some good experiences while doing an apartment maintenance tour of Norrland, which is the Northernmost part of the country.  The autumn colors came out absolutely beautifully, but being this far North, the autumn came quickly, and the leaves turned, and then within a week or so they were all gone.  Since then it has been very wet, and gets dark very early.  It makes for a very short daylight period.

Autumn colors have arrived in Sweden

City of Sundsvall at noon
 below is same picture at 3:30 pm

We started our trip to check on all of the apartments in Norrland on early Monday morning, October 28.  We drove all day, about 11 hours North to Boden.  If you look on a map, you will see that Boden is waaaayyyy up the coast right at the top of the Baltic Sea where Sweden meets Finland.  We made our way from the missionaries in Boden, to Luleå.  Then to Skellefteå where we met two special young Elders.

When we came to Skellefteå to do some work on the apartment we met  Elder Knutson (left) and Elder Bressan (right).  Knutson is a native Swede and is a remarkably talented concert pianist. Bressan is from Italy and speaks at least 5 languages.   When we arrived at the apartment, Wendy began to cry when she started doing the apartment inventory, and found that they had ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD.  It was the end of the month, and they had no cash, but they were so positive and pleasant that we were overwhelmed with the sweet spirit they expressed in the service of the Lord.  We helped them fix a few things in their apartment, and Elder Knutson played the piano that he has been GIVEN by some neighbors who were throwing away a piano.  Then we took them to a grocery store and bought them some groceries.  We were truly moved by the beautiful attitude they carried.  This is the stuff that makes our mission worthwhile.

While we were in Luleå  I took the opportunity to look around and see if anything was familiar.  I lived in Luleå during the winter of 1975.  After driving around for a while, I found only one thing that I remembered from 38 years ago.  It was down at the harbor on the Baltic Sea where we used to go down and watch the ice breaker ships clear the harbor for the big Russian freighters that would come into the port.  The FREJ was a ship that I remembered seeing so long ago.  What fun memories.


While travelling in Norrland, we experienced the last day of October, which is observed as Halloween in North America.  Interestingly enough, the Swedes do some spooks and ghouls and things for Halloween, but no trick-or-treating.  However on the first weekend in November they celebrate "All Saints Day".  It is marked by visiting the cemeteries and putting lit candles on the graves of loved ones.  After dark it creates a beautiful sight.  Unfortunately, we were travelling and did not get to see the result, but we did see the people setting up candles near this unique cathedral in Örnsköldsvik.

Haircuts anyone?

We visited the apartments of 3 pairs of Sister missionaries in Örnsköldsvik and Sundsvall.  When they learned that Sister Tolley could do hair cuts, they lined up with enthusiasm.  One by one, they got their long locks trimmed.
Sister Dawson

Sister Swenson
Sister Guinn

Sister Kalt
Sister Klingler

More blogging coming soon.


  1. That's my daughter, Syster Guinn! How fun to see another little glimpse into her Swedish life. Thanks for taking care of her. (I'm sure her hair appreciated it,too).

    1. She is a wonderful missionary and we love her with all of the others. We will take good care of her, we promise. Elder Tolley

  2. Hi Wendy and Warren, so interesting to read about your travels and different foods and culture. Love it, keep it coming..

  3. I served with an Elder Steven Guinn and an Elder Kenneth Klingler in France, two of the finest missionaries I knew. Are these sisters related?