Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Keeping the Fire Burning in an Increasingly Cold Skellefteå

Sept 8
Hello again, everybody!
May I just begin by, of course, welcoming all of you to our weekly session of What in the World is Äldste Ogaard Up To? I am very glad to have all of you aboard today with me, and I must say, Looking at the mailing list, it has grown to be quite the crowd!
So let me say that I LOVED hearing the stories from home this week. Aubree, Dad, congrats on the game. Whenever I get the opportunity to wear normal clothes, I always try to have my Tiger's soccer hoodie on. Glad to see that my team is doing well. Also, Taylor, I hear from a reliable source (Mom) that you are absolutely thrashing the competition on the football field. Nice to know that my siblings are all doing so well in keeping the MHHS fighting strong!
Oh, and about that hail storm, I have to say, I am glad that I wasn't there for that; it sounded absolutely miserable! Lexi, to you specifically, I have this to say: wear your welts with honor. Just tell everyone you were too tough to run from a puny marble-sized hailstorm. Oh, and if you're looking for one of those "could have been worse" situations, turn to Joshua 10:11. I'm not sure if a soccer bag would have taken care of that hail!
Speaking of weather and how sometimes it just treat us kindly, yesterday we got soaked by the rain on our way home from an appointment. It was hilarious; we had just gotten out of an appointment with a less active YSA and his non-member family, and all the sudden it starts pouring rain! You know how they say that you get wetter riding your bike than walking? I can attest to that wholeheartedly. Within 2 minutes we were dripping. Äldste Knutsson asked if we should stop and wait it out under a tree or something, and I said "Nah, we're headed home anyways." Good thing I said that, because we would have been waiting for a long time. As it was, I was just very glad that I had my suit-coat on. With the temperature dropping lower every night, and the sun setting earlier and earlier, I probably would have been rather cold without that thing.
OK, so enough about the weather. I'm sure you all are really much more interested in how the work is coming along. Well, there actually have been several interesting developments in the last couple of days, and I must say that I am rather excited for some of the prospects. Firstly, to answer the question you are all asking, yes, Hanna is still doing quite well, and we are getting all ready for the baptism on Saturday. Her parents don't plan on coming, sadly, but everything at its own pace, I guess. No word yet on who will be performing the baptism, but we should know by the end of today or tomorrow, at the latest. I tell you, I am just amazed by the dedication and enthusiasm that Hanna shows. She is planning on starting Institute this month, and she spends a lot of time on LDS.org (she's already watched the Joseph Smith film twice, as well as almost all of the Mormon Message videos). I am blown away, and so humbled to see how much she loves the Lord and has a desire to learn and grow closer to God.
So, I've been getting a lot of questions about how things are going with my cricket playing Afghani friends. To update you on that, we are still hoping that they will come to the English group that starts next week, and one of them (Khan) still really wants to meet with us. We tried to get together last week, but things didn't quite work out. So that's where things stand on that front.
Oh, also worth mentioning is our awesome zone training we had on Thursday! So we talked a lot about how we need to strengthen our faith, and get out there and trust the Lord; you know, basic zone training stuff. What was not normal, however, was the awesome contacting spree we had afterwards! To elaborate a little: so we had to hop on a bus to get to the restaurant that we were gonna go to for the training. Äldste Knutsson spent a little too long fiddling with the cash to pay the bus driver, so we were the last ones on. What I saw when I looked down the aisles was astounding: everyone on that bus was talking to the missionaries! Seriously, everyone was sitting with someone having these amazing conversations! let me tell you that the shear fact that there was any talking at all was amazing: Swedish buses are usually so quiet you can hear a pin drop. It was one of the most inspiring things I have seen in a long time. Truly, Norrland is an amazing place to be.
But yeah, that's about the gist of it for the week. Just working hard and counting the days till Saturday. I promise I'll have pictures for all of you.
Hope that you all have a fantastic week, and that I hear from you soon!
Äldste Kody Christopher Ogaard
Picture of the week: Beautiful scenery shot taken on the bridge over the river in Skellefteå.

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