My head was honestly spinning my first couple of days. I felt that same cultural shock when I came in as a greenie when I came up here, because the work is honestly so different here!!! I feel like I am serving in a completely different mission here, but I am loving it!! The people are strangely friendly here... It almost catches me off guard every time I contact someone. I am like wait... isn´t this the part when you are supposed to walk off and say you´re not interested?? NOT complaining. Other than that the work is pre-exploded here. Elder Israelsen has been working his tail off so we already have a ton going on and are teaching SO many lessons. It is nice having a companion who has such great work ethic, because every area I enter I usually have to get things going because there is nothing... but here it´s already going at full speed! We are going to do some fantastic things up here in Umeå together.
So let me tell you about a few a things that happened this previous week, because if I wrote it all I would be writing all week...
So I left Stockholm and flew up to Umeå on Wednesday. I honestly have never felt so sad leaving an area!! That place was a special place and I miss it already. I flew up to Umeå, which was a pretty short flight (only like an hour). It felt like as soon as we got up to altitude they began to descent. It´s officially 1000 times easier to transfer by plane than it is by train. When I got here in Umeå, Elder Israelsen was waiting for me at the airport and everything after that has been a blur because we have been so dang busy!! I LOVE working with him though. It is so nice to have someone that wants to work so hard. I am learning so much from him. He is from Colorado and has been out about a year.
So I am going to go through kind of brief everything that has happened since. On Wednesday we met with an investigator named Ranja who has investigated the church for quite some time, and is honestly super positive. She is ready to be baptized, but it unsure about it. We are going to be pushing her!! She always keeps her Book of Mormon in her bag and reads whenever she can, which I think is super cool. We then met with an African investigator named Juliana. She lives in the same apartment building as a member named Daniel and he came with on the lesson. It was a super good lesson and she said she would be baptized, she just wants to come to church first and see how it feels, which she did. Julianna has the CUTEST African baby, named Helin. After teaching her we went to teach a couple named Emma and Joseph. Emma is a nonmember and Josef is a less active member. They both have a desire to quit smoking so we challenged them to read the Book of Mormon every day and to begin this journey. I called them yesterday and they have been reading and haven´t smoked!! It is super cool to see the Book of Mormon work in people´s lives. Later that night Elder Israelsen and I drove out to an apartment that the assistants wanted us to look at because the other elders here in Umeå are losing their apartment soon. I really love having a car!! You can get to appointments so much faster and don´t really have to take time to plan travel. I am a little rusty after not driving for a year and a half, but it´s getting better :). All of the roundabouts kind of throw me off too!
Thursday morning was CRAZY!! We had district meeting in Örnskoldsvik and almost missed our bus and then realized that we forgot to pay for parking... so we were praying all morning that we didn´t get a parking ticket... and luckily we didn´t!! After district meeting we met with a Finnish man named Jakko. We teach him English and kind of manipulatively teach him the gospel at the same time, by showing him Mormon Messages and making him summarize what it talked about. We then went and taught a newer member named Tistou. He is a super cool guy! We then drove outside to the outskirts of the city and went to an investigator family. Their names are Peter and Beatrice and they are insane! They have such strong testimonies of the church and have investigated for 6 years. The only thing is they are not married and are scared to be married. They have had so many spiritual experiences though. We had a really good lesson with them about the temple.
So because of time I want to just talk about what happened on Sunday. I received a really warm welcome from the branch. There are a lot of great members here who are very enthusiastic about missionary work. I am really excited to be here.
Tonight we are flying into Stockholm for MLC tomorrow and fly back Wednesday morning. Elder Israelsen and I are going to try and make a trip to the temple while we are in Stockholm.
I love you all!! Have a great week.