Dearest Family -
What a week this has been. I cannot adequately express to you the feelings of this week in this small letter, but it goes without saying that God is good.
The week started out fantastic with a fishing trip with a member and the sisters to Stenungsund, Such a pretty place, and pictures are included! I got to use my fishing skills again as I remembered how to set up the pole, and we got the spinner in the water . . and the first thing we caught was a Starfish. Nuts. It was a good day, with a fika at a random little stuga (cabin) eating the most delicious bullar(buns), kakor(cookies), and warm saft(berry juice). Sarah would have died.
That night I got my classes set up for BYU with Syster Newell, so Tuesday morning we were ready to go again!
This week we kept on going, kept on doing those standard swing-bys despite the fact that very very few people answer. But this week the blessings started to come forth. We got in contact with 5-6 investigators and a few less actives. We're creating a teaching pattern that when continued will lead to baptisms, and success here and it feels good to be once again assisting in the laying a foundation of a great work.
One of these wonderful investigators, who I've mentioned before, is Eero. He's fighting alcohol right now as he sees the destruction it's had in his life. We go over every other day and read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with him. He's from Finland, so he reads in Finnish as we follow along on Swedish. That language is nuts, no idea how the Kääriäs (cousins) do that (no sightings of them just yet, by the way.)
But he loves our visits, and is planning to come to church next Sunday. It will take time, but he's already been completely sober for two of our visits and that was more than my last companion saw in his whole time here. Everytime we leave we ask him if there's alcohol we can throw away for him, and the last two times he hasn't even had any and has been set on not buying anymore! It's powerful just being able to testify how much him praying, and reading is going to help him . . and one of these days he's going to want to do that without our help. Which is the point of this Gospel, to point others to that path.
Pehzman finally realized what we believe about authority, so we're hoping that he takes the positive road after that understanding - as that's a point not many people in Sweden that we teach seem to ever grasp.
The theme of this week is captured in Brigham Youngs speech (I have been absolutely captured by his book on the teachings of the Presidents - it's so dang good) where he says
''You inquire if we shall stay in these mountains. I answer yes, as long as we please to do the will of God our Father in Heaven''
As I've said before, God has plans for every one of us, and in many cases they don't go with our will, or even go the complete opposite direction. When we fight against that will, we just create frustration in ourselves, and we become worse off. Why? Because God knows what is best. A cliche but true statement. God will not allow us to settle for less. He will always push us a little bit farther, but never without helping us. It's a sobering truth, and a difficult one to learn. But once we do, there's nothing we can't do. . and that's way more liberating than merely following our own course.