Last week of August in Sweden

IMG_2755[1]Some weeks are harder than others. That is just how the mission goes. This week was one of those harder weeks. At the beginning of the week, we had three people with dates set to be baptized within the next three weeks and by the end we now have zero. Dan will still be baptized but he did not come to church so we will have to wait for him. Majid is in Germany, Arman moved to another area. Several investigators slipped through our fingers and our area that had a lot of work to do at the beginning of the week, is now struggling to have more than one investigator progressing. A lot of misfortune hit us throughout the week……………..but………….with great trials comes greater blessings, so I’m excited for when those come.

The week started off superb, with a lovely pday to a fortress island in the Stockholm archipelego. Through the week, we taught some fantastic lessons, met some wonderful people (people are just the best. We are all so unique it is brilliant) and found two new awesome guys we are going to be teaching. IMG_2041

The first is Fabulous Secka, a street performer who is starting to use the Book of Mormon to help him write lyrics. The second is John, a young normal Swedish man who we talked to for 40 minutes at his door. But, there must be diversity in all things and so trial after trial hit us….which we do not need to dwell on. But hey, missionary work is awesome, I would not trade it for the world, and even when bad things happen, the blessings always outweigh and I love it so very much. I get to wake up and just serve people. Its the best. I love it. Now go, read some books!

Love,

Elder Scott

And from the letter to me, his mom. I asked him to list five things he missed from home and five things he loved about Sweden.

Five things I really miss from home:

1. family, of course.

2. Being able to read literature. I will read a lot more after my mission than I did before.

3. Shakespeare/ Black Swan.

4. Jet. (our dog)  Border collies are pretty much the most common dog here so i see several every day.

5. The gorge, our view, our backyard, the river. Could you maybe send a best of selection of pictures of Oregon?

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Five things I love about Sweden

1.I feel like I am still at home. The same plants and trees grow, the same weather. Sometimes you forget you’re in Sweden. When I’m doing service of whacking down stinging nettle and blackberry bushes, or on a bus down a deep forest road, it does not look any different than home. Also, nature is a sacred thing here. People on the street do not believe in God but when you start talking about nature they start tearing up. They aren’t religious but yet at the same time attached to God in a way they are not aware of. They all have a spiritual bond with God’s creations.

2. The people. Swedish people are just a whole bunch of Hufflepuffs. The rest of the world laughs at Sweden because it doesn’t do anything loud and annoying but it is because Sweden does not need to. They are all just humbly happy, always the first to help, to think of others, and never to flaunt anything. Essentially they are Hobbits. Now, like Hobbits it is hard to get them to go on an adventure, say change their lives to accept the gospel, but every so often you find a stout hearted Took who is willing to cross the river and leave The Shire. and then there are the Persians and Arabs and Africans who I LOVE TO DEATH . IMG_2820[1]

3. I don’t even have to miss Trader Joe’s because in Sweden it is EKO FÖR ALLA! (organic for everyone as the billboards say) . Some missionaries don’t like this and waste money getting crap at the American store in Stockholm, but I love Swedish grocery stores. Also everything is pear flavored and fish is plentiful.

4. Swedish villages are untainted by any outside force. They have their bakery, their town hall, their svenska kyrka, their red and white and yellow and blue cottages, their old cobble stone roads and no sign of the 21st century. It isn’t put on, its just Sweden.

5..Everyone here reads. Even the silly shallow Swedes are deeper than most people. People are always reading on buses and tågs here.

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Serving in “The Land of Goats” – (A few days in Gotland)

IMG_2413[1]SO… this week… Words cannot describe, photos cannot capture, tongue cannot tell of the beauty of Gotland. You’ll just have to go there for yourself. I highly recommend it. It is the gem of Sweden. The entire city is surrounded by a medieval castle wall and stuffed packed with history. Ruins await you around every corner down the cobblestone streets of the ancient city. It was truly amazing. My dream area.
11891137_10153220419467737_6684054874671497611_nMy emailing this week will have to be cut very very very very short but I hope this surplus of pictures can be adequate until next week. Also as for news back on the mainland, Dan is in the final sprint to baptism in two weeks time and everything is going well. He is such an amazing person. He has a love for God that is unmatched. He keeps the commandments out of love for God. No other reason. It is all about love for him….It is a blessing to have him as a friend. Also, Arman, our little Persian Einstein, is strolling his way to salvation as well….what a champ. 
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Erik, and Elder Larsen with Dan.
I just love the Persian people so much. We are currently teaching five Persians and each and every one of them is just fantastic. Before some decide go to shake fists at the Islamic nations, saying we should throw them out of our countries and wipe them off the map reach Alma 26, and think of the Middle East as the Lamanites.
  25 And moreover they did say: Let us take up arms against them, that we destroy them and their iniquity out of the land, lest they overrun us and destroy us.

 26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.”

Now are you a son of Mosiah, or are you one of the Zarahemla members who simply wanted to destroy the people. Food for thought, my dear America. Anyhow I must be off. Next week will be a better Email. Scouts honor.

Love you all to bits and pieces.

Äldste Erik Anderson Scott

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Erik said this was his, Samuel, the Lamanite moment, up on the wall. The German tourists below couldn’t understand what he was saying as he spoke in Swedish. 🙂
And then Erik added this to his letter to me, his mom:
The missionaries in the district are great. We have the sisters who are awesome (Syster Irene who I’ve been with my entire mission. We came together and have been separated for 3 weeks as the longest and Syster Savage who is very not Utah for being from Utah) and the Visby elders which consists of Olsen who I’ve been mission friends with for a while, and Elder Richardson from Oregon. We have the almighty zone lords who are Bybee who is a giant teddy bear….pretty much the personality of Sean Mckee and Archibald who is a giant drill sergeant that is crazy about numbers and all that but it is all good.
I love you so much, mum. I hope this mission will make me a much better son and person when i come home than I was going out. Thank you for raising me to be more than ordinary. You are the best.
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Erik the Viking lover gets a few days in Gotland (the island full of Viking relics.)

IMG_4207This week has been quite the week and I have so little time to write about it! First things first, the people I work with, cause they matter most. Arman, this wonderful old man that looks like a Persian Albert Einstein, mustache and all, will be baptized in September! He brought two of his friends to church yesterday which was awesome. Why is it that those who are not even members do more missionary work than us members? We need to step it up. Dan and Majid are also progressing well to be baptized. Maryam is loving church, already is helping us teach lessons and is the essence of selfless service. I love her so much. She just makes me want to be a better human being.

The week of course was not all heel clicks and cotton candy. We had large spaces of no appointments (a lot of people are either on vacation for the last few weeks of summer or sick) so we contacted 258 people, with only a couple positive finds. It was a bit discouraging that even though we working hard we were finding very little success in contacting, but at the end of the week I do not regret not quitting when success was hard to find. Also this week John, a man we teach, wife died in child birth. This has been a very heavy burden on my heart throughout the week, a burden I cannot even imagine how heavy it would be for John. I know that after this life families could be together forever, that John can be reunited with his wife again and that through life, as he cares for his young children, both Heavenly Father, and his wife, will be there to give him strength.

IMG_4205This letter will have to be cut short, sorry, because I’m spending the next two days on the island Gotland, and have a lot of Viking ruins to see in one of the oldest preserved cities in Europe! But I love you all and wish you the best of weeks!

Äldste Erik Anderson Scott

Erik sent this to me (his Mom) and I thought I’d share it. Missionary work is all about loving and serving the people, not serving yourself to look more righteous. It makes me think of 1 Corinthians, chapter 13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

It is essential to remember as a missionary that just as Paul said, if we do all our missionary work labors all the day long, but do it out of some other reason than CHARITY it means nothing. It is like a tinkling cymbal. We cannot contact to get high numbers, we cannot teach to get high lessons, we cannot serve to get high baptism statistics. All of these things must be, and should only be, done out of Love and charity and no any other ulterior motive. Love of God and love of our fellow siblings is what makes our missionary labors of value. Otherwise, as Paul says “It profiteth me nothing.”

On the island of Gotland

A New Companion

IMG_1911 First off: Its a Boy! My son (missionary culture is pretty weird stuff, son=new companion I’m to train)  is Elder Jensen of Highland, Utah. He is a big, strong in stature, football player which contrasts nicely with my lack thereof. His Swedish is miles better than mine was for my first 6 months. He is fearless, passionate in the work, and willing to work hard. Good things are coming to Västerhaninge.

The work is steadily inclining up, correlating with the weather. This past week has been perfect and following week will be the same; in the low 70s, how summer ought to be. Berries are everywhere. The problem with that is blueberry and raspberry stains everywhere. Every patch of forest offers you a plentiful supply of blueberries and raspberries and little hedgehogs rolling around (forgot to bring my camera to send you pictures) and it is all very blissful and the sort of experience that goes well with an indie Folk album.

Dan and Majid are still pushing there way towards baptism and hopefully a few more will very soon too. Maryam is doing fantastic. Yesterday at church,  her translator was on vacation in Finland so I had to translate the whole sacrament using google translator which, if you ever try with Persian, produces some pretty interesting sentences that are far from the original text… so we were just giggling over what the phone spit out throughout the whole service. Just a word of warning before you try to communicate to someone in Persian or Arabic on google translate- those two are the worst.11836787_1214177388607881_8377988525132411771_n

The longer I’m out here the shorter my letters get…..next week I’ll try writing notes throughout the week so I actually can remember what happened so you have a somewhat decent idea with my next letter.

Until then,
puss och kram,
Äldste Scott
Erik with Elder Dahle (his trainer while in Karlstad) and who he is training, Elder Jensen (in Vasterhaninge).
Erik with Elder Dahle (his trainer while in Karlstad) and who he is training, Elder Jensen (in Vasterhaninge).
At all all-zone volleyball tournament a few weeks back.
At all all-zone volleyball tournament a few weeks back.

Another Good Week in Västerhaninge:

FullSizeRender-3 So, on Wednesday we were sitting on the tåg and this man named Dan from Ghana passes us. We say Hej but it was a city tåg and he was walking by fast so we could not contact him properly…. A few minutes pass, and he walks back up to us and says he felt the spirit strong as he walked on the train. He had been investigating the church over 8 months ago and when he passed us, he had an overwhelming feeling he should talk to us, so we arranged to meet him the next day.  When we showed up at his place, we are not even to his door before he is asking to be baptized. He rehearsed all the lessons to us and after months of no connection with missionaries, has found for himself that the church is true. Crazy sauce! That is one miracle out of a many from this week.

On Saturday, Maryam was baptized and it was a fantastic baptismal program. President Beckstrand ( the mission president) decided to show up for it with no notice.  With Maryam speaking Persian, we had the talk in Persian and had a fantastic fika of Iranian food. (literally my favorite cuisine in the world) Her confirmation on Sunday was amazing to be a part of. There is a whole lot of spirit packed in her. It is overwhelming.FullSizeRender

This week,  I also found out I’ll get to stay in Västerhaninge for twelve more weeks because I’ll be training a new missionary and also will be district leader.( a district leader trains and helps about 7-8 other missionaries).  I’m pretty excited to train.I hope my Swedish is good enough…yikes….He’ll probably speak better Swedish than me so it is all good.

Elder Burton will be sent up to the great white Norrland. It was a very good companionship where we got a lot of good work done. We baptized and hopefully two more are very soon on the way.. Life is good in the promised land. To have the temple in your area is a gift I love so much. Great ward, great people, great work. Sometimes tough times come but they are always followed by an increase of blessings

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