So all who read this, sorry for the tardiness, (tardy is a strange word, isn’t it? I’ve always just accepted it as a normal expression having spent 12 years of my life in the public school system but when I stop and think on it, I find the word to be rather odd in sound….turns out it comes from the latin root tardus meaning slow and by the 16th century the French were using it to define those late to scheduled events….anyhow)
Yesterday, our train to take us back home from the border broke down so we did not get home until just before we had our first lesson and we were booked up until nighty nighty time…..so, this letter is one day late and will be quite short because we need to catch a train to Västerhanige for zone conference for tomorrow. (unfortunately we will not have time to go to the temple that is literally across the street from the church we will be at.)
So, what happened this week? It is awfully hard to remember for it has been a whole lot of wild crazy whippersnapping, running about, trying to do 20 things at once. It’s been a busy crazy week that I have wiped from my memory but at the end of all of the hootinanny and hollabaloo and drama (yes, when isn’t there drama….) At the end of it all, Ghazanfar and Mesomeh are all cleared to be baptized this Sunday! Be there! (well don’t actually if you are reading this from the States because that is quite expensive and I would not want you to do that to your wallet).
We had workovers this week (for Ghazanfar and Mesomeh’s interviews for baptism) which were rather odd for me because I have spent my entire mission thus far out in Karlstad where I only see other missionaries once a week so it was much like being home schooled and having some public school friends come over to my house for the first time in ages. The first day of work overs I was with Elder Heiner, my new District Leader who is from Eugene Oregon, so that was dandy. Oregonians just have this special bond out here on the other side of the world….maybe the Northwest just runs deep in our veins, or maybe it is because of all of the Utah missionaries prancing about. Whatever it is, the five Oregonians and the six Washingtonians are a tight knit brodahood… so it was really nice to spend a day with someone who also finds the Swedes to be quite tamed while the Utah missionaries freak out about having to recycle and when the only option for something is organic.
That day, we visited Ghazanfar and Mesomeh and I can confidently say they are two of the greatest people I will ever meet. Ghazanfar told me then for the first time, his journey to Sweden. In Afghanaistan, they married ten years ago and had two boys. One of their boys when he was still very young, was shot by the Taliban and they have been running ever since with their younger son, Amir. They have had to run from Afghanistan to Iran, to Turkey to Greece, to Hungary to Germany, to here, losing all the possessions they had back home, losing their eldest son, and through it all have the strongest faith you can imagine. They give and give and give and love and trust in God unlike any other. What they have been through, I cannot imagine and still their optimism, their conviction, their hope surpasses mine. No one smiles wider than Mesomeh. No one hugs tighter than Ghazanfar. They are like two angels to me. They seem to glow the spirit, and no one is more ready to be baptized then them.
On the second day of work overs, I was with my old MTC brother, Elder Backman which was awesome…. We are very similar, which can be a good thing, in that we taught the lessons dynamically, but is also a not so good thing as in we both have the same sense of adventure that it is hard to really quench on a mission, so by the end of the day we had climbed several cliffs, tress and hills, and got well lost in a forest. The day was very productive with lessons so it wasn’t a wasted day….We just got a little more muddy, wet, and sweaty than I probably should’ve…. I love that guy. Anyhow, I have to rush to Stockholm now so until next week.
Äldste Erik Scott