Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Triumphant Return to Västerås

Käre Familj och Vänner,
Hi there folks! Boy, I have to say that I am loving the news that has been coming from the emails I have been receiving! First off, A huge congratulations to my cousin Jordan on her marriage last week. Man oh man, I wish I could have been there (although, from what I heard, I may have been in attendance by proxy via a Sarah Palin cutout). I hope that all goes well with the radiation, and know that I am praying for you and your new husband that you can both start off your new life together without any worries in the background.
Also worth mentioning is an early happy birthday to my wonderful brother, Taylor! Bro, I still can't believe that you are turning 16 in three days. It's just crazy, man! I hope that it is absolutely sick, and that you have a blast on your date! =)
Ok, so I'm sure you are all wondering what has occurred in the life of Äldste Ogaard this week. Well, except for a few scattered experiences worth noting, not much, honestly. Semester rages on, and the number of people we meet with continues to steadily decrease as the month progresses. I'm praying that the fast approach of August will bring things back to speed, but it's hard to tell. It is, after all, Sweden we're talking about.
But, moving on to that which actually matters. So this week, we had several awesome opportunities, as well as a couple funny experiences. For instance, this week has been absolutely crazy when it comes to biking! We have rode here, there, all over the place. The longest of our travels via cycle this week was most definitely our trip out to our bishop's house. 5.6 kilometers uphill one way, and like 4.1 kilometers down coming back. Man, I thought my bike was going to explode when we got going on the downhill. I caught some video of it, but sadly it is too big to email.  But yeah, so lots of exercise for me this week.
Also really awesome, I got to return to Västerås for companion exchanges last week! I was with a greenie (Äldste Packer of Pleasant Grove, Utah) and we had a super sick time! we went street contacting, met with Mikael and Diana, and basically just tore up my old hometown. It was really fun to be back in Västerås with my improved Swedish skills, and to share my knowledge of the area with a new greenie. I have decided that as soon as possible, I want to train. It would be so fun. =)
One funny story I have to tell about this trip: So Hitch and I were headed down to Västerås Thursday morning, and we had to leave super early to catch our train (hint: we woke up at 3:30 to get ready), so we were still dead tired still by the time our train got to Ludvika for us to switch to the Västerås train. So we get off the train, and wait around for about 15 minutes before hopping on the Västerås train. We immediately start dozing once we get in our seats. So right as the train starts moving, Hitch jumps right up and says -totally dazed- "We need to get off the train, Now!" Without even waiting for me to say anything, he springs over to the conductor and tells her they need to stop the train. She, all super worried, asks him why. Oh man, you should have seen the confusion on her face when Hitch told her he needed to get on the Västerås train, and his when she told him that this was the Västerås train. So he comes walking over to me, and I am just dying with laughter. Needless to say, I teased him about that for a couple days. I still wonder what would have happened if he had hopped off that train without me, though...
Anyways, so yeah, not a ton going on right now, but that's my week. I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and that you remember how much the Lord loves you. In way of spiritual message, I leave you with this, borrowed from a talk given by Elder Ballard of the 12 Apostles:

A wealthy father knew that if he were to bestow his wealth upon a child who had not yet developed the needed wisdom and stature, the inheritance would probably be wasted. The father said to his child:“All that I have I desire to give you—not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for yourself. You will qualify for your inheritance by learning what I have learned and by living as I have lived. I will give you the laws and principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am, and all that I have will be yours.”
I hope that you all remember that we follow the commandments to become something, not just to avoid something. It's really helped me on my mission to keep that in focus.
I love you all, I miss you, and I look forward to hearing from you all soon.

Signing out till next week,

Äldste Kody Chistopher Ogaard

A Dalahäst I saw while on my adventures this week

Some of the amazing scenery of Darlarna I saw on my bike ride from the Bishop's house

Äldste Packer, the greenie I totally wore out in Västerås on Thursday

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