So, this letter is going to be a short one; more will come next week. I don’t have much time sadly, but so you all know I am happy and safe in Göteborg! I am in love with this city! It is literally the Portland of Sweden. It is full of hip cafes full of hip University students discussing poetry and obscure off shoot philosophy, nestled between cluttered book stores and vintage shops with bearded vegan part-time baristas with top hats pushing strollers around the leaf littered old city streets beside the cold Nordic ocean, and I have the whole city to myself! They had to close down the other VF elders so the entire metropolis is our responsibility. The work here is good. We have a man named Mike who will be baptized on the 14th (I walked in on this one so I can’t take any credit) and on my first day we got a call from this Iraqi man named Sadek. The story of Sadek is incredible. Members flagged him down when he was driving over a year ago and they asked him to drive them to church. They became good friends and so he has been off and on attending church down south in Helsingborg ever since. He simply called us asking if he can get baptized. Needless to say, it was a very good first day.
It is also scary, I must admit, having a whole city in my hands. In all honesty, I went through quite the emotional meat grinder in Västerhaninge. I loved it so much and miss it so much, but I cannot pretend it did not leave me unscathed. I just want to work hard here and give God’s love to all and I so very much want to rid myself of the weight of past hardships but they seem to still be pressing down on me and effecting my sleep….. I pray that I can recover so I can work harder without physical limitation. I know I’ll be doing better soon. I am in a lovely strong ward in a lovely strong area with a good companion.
I love you all to bits and pieces,
Parts of letter to me (his Mom):
“So, I am emailing later. In Vasterhaninge, the church was a five minute walk and we had our own washer and dryer ´so we could email in the morning, but here we have an assigned laundry time and a far away chapel with only two computers for six missionaries so we don’t get the freedom of choosing when to email.”
Answering my question about his sleep issues: “I’m not very well but improving. I have been having the weirdest neck pains and Sister Beckstrand is making me go in to a specialist about them soon….but don’t worry….it isn’t anything serious.
“We have a pretty ghetto apartment…. It has been trashed. I had to clean out the whole kitchen because all the pots and pans were infested with bugs. They found rats in the bathroom a few weeks ago. The neighborhood is entirely muslim….which is the Sweden I love. “
“Asking about his new area called Gothenburg or Goteborg- “Göteborg is honestly my favourite place in all of Sweden. It honestly is the Portland of Sweden, and the boundries have been changed so we have the whole city. I love the cafes and book stores and university students and architecture and ocean and forests and Portlandness, and all the theatres. It is a really big theatre town. very artsy. “