Sunday, April 26, 2015

Red Houses and Green Trees

April 20th, 2015
Hej Hej Familjer och Vänner!

Sweden is så vacker (so beautiful) in so many ways. The people are absolutely gorgeous and the countryside is amazing. Here in Luleå we share a car with the Elders that serve in Boden. So yes, I have been driving a car around in Sweden! How cool is that? This week we had to go to Umeå for Districts Conference (it's basically Stake Conference but we aren't a Stake yet), and I drove all the way from Umeå to Luleå yesterday! It's about a 3 hour drive, and we were squished in our small 5 man car with us two Sisters, the Boden Elders and one newly activated member of our Branch. There are tons of trees everywhere (just like Oregon!) and they have lots of beautiful red country Swedish houses. Sweden is really beautiful. Also it is starting to get really light here. I woke up at like 4 or so in the night sometime this past week and it was totally light out. I'm getting ready for 24 hours of sun! But no worries, I don't see any end to wearing tights in sight.

I had an awesome experience this week. I have been struggling a lot because I want to be "exactly obedient." They talk a lot in the MTC about the importance of keeping rules, and I am by nature someone who wants to keep rules and am perfectionistic about it. I got out here and started to really struggle because of all the grey areas, and I struggled because of the missionaries around me who weren't doing what I thought they "should" be doing. For example, we have iPhones here in Sweden and as you can imagine, that is an interesting one with so many young adults with those devices- even on a mission. Anways, I was having a lot of guilt because I felt like I wasn't being "obedient enough." But God knew what I needed. On Friday, our Mission President came up to Luleå and interviewed each of us. I expressed to him my concerns and said things that I needed to hear. He explained that the Spirit of the Law is a real thing, and He helped me understand that I don't have to be so high strung. My obsession with rules has caused some friction between my companion and I, but I am realizing how important it is just to love. My Dad also explained to me that not keeping the rules drives the Spirit away, but so does contention with your companion. He is so right. My companion is incredible and so loving, she is just different than me. But that is a good thing. God knew I needed to be with her so I could learn to relax a little bit. :)

This week I taught a lesson to an exchange student from Australia! She is soo cute and had such deep questions. In less than 3 weeks I have taught people from around the world- Australia, Poland, Iran, Africa, Sweden, Russia. Wow! I'm traveling around the world all in one city.

I love you all so much!

Sister Nielsen

This is Sister Nielsen and I! It's even spelled the same way!

One more with both Sister Nielsen's.

This is at Sisters Conference! This is Sister Hong- the Sister that took me contacting the day I got to the mission field.

Me and my incredible trainer- Sister Savage.

Sister Savage fell asleep on a hymnbook this morning... I had to wake her up. #onlyonamission

This one is silly. This explains Sister Savage though!

I loved my Easter package!! Thank you, thank you!!

Downtown Stockholm- I was there for Sisters Conference this past week. Sister Savage and I had to fly from Lulea.

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