Erik, the train jumper…

So Elder Dahle has left K-stad and his departure was rather interesting for me….This is what happened: The bus to take us to the train station was 10 minutes late (a Swedish first probably as Swedes are the most punctual people on the planet it feels like).So,  we got to the station just barely on time with Elder Dahle’s arc of the covenant sized suitcases filled with what I assume was either a collection of boulders or medieval weaponry based off the weight. I, trying to help, brought one of his bags onto the train to stow away for him and by the time I turned around the train was moving…. I was stuck on a snabbtåg (high speed train) to Stockholm with my new companion, Elder Brinkworth, arriving at the Karlstad station in 30 minutes. It being a snabbtåg I was on, it takes very few stops so after a nice extended period of time with my old companion, and seeing my new companion’s train pass ours rather early in the journey, I got off at the first stop and had to book it to catch the first bus back to Karlstad. Having been constantly with a companion for the last 6 months, it felt rather odd to take a 2 hour bus ride completely alone. Elder Brinkworth, with no cell phone, was waiting rather patiently at the station, probably assuming I went AWOL.

So, after much merriment and rejoicing, I started working with my second companion here in Sweden. Elder Brinkworth is from Utah, is very good at all the sports I never did at and is nearly done with his mission.

With my new companion Äldste Brinkworth and Mehdi

This week we worked very hard, which felt good. Samir, the Syrian dentist, is always a blessing to teach. His testimony is inspiring strong. We hope to be able to get an Arabic translator so his wife can take the lessons. He wants to wait for his wife so they can be baptized together.

On Thursday, we forgot that it was a red day so we went to the bus station to catch the bus we usually would take to teach Shadow Chales (our investigator from DR Congo) in the town of Grums….but it being a red day the only bus going to Grums would not be coming for several hours. We were unable to get a hold of Shadow to tell him this. A little upset, we headed out to do some door knocking on the other side of town until the bus came in. I had no idea why I had decided to take a bus to where I did, I just sort of got on a bus and got off when it felt right. The door knocking did not offer any positive results but when we got on the bus to go back towards the bus station, Shadow was on the bus! His phone was not working so he could not tell us he could not have us come over to his house that day because he had to visit his brother in town for an emergency. So, we taught him a very good lesson in the bus station, and all that seemed to crumble apart was put back together by the hand of the Lord.

One bit of bittersweet news is that Osaro, my friend who I was able to baptize in March, has been deported to Germany this week. It is hard to come to terms with the fact that I won’t be able to see him again on my mission but I had to realize that Germany will be better for him. They have a better system for refugees and the church even has a better support system there. He will do great work in Germany. We have been reading a chapter every night over the phone and I can say with solid conviction that he will be a great member and missionary through life and eternity. Missions aren’t always easy, and in Sweden you have very unique problems. People get deported. That isn’t a common problem in many missions, but that is a common problem here…. but deportation does not end someone’s gospel growth. They get sent to Germany or Italy where the church is strong and they can continue to grow. Their leaving this specific branch does not lower the effectiveness of my work. Sometimes it feels like I’m not doing anything effective, but I need to look beyond the number of seats filled in this branch. I hope I am doing good work. I know that the work I am doing is for good.


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