The day came. The day of the transfer call. and alas, I must leave this beautiful city and move to Borlänge. Most of you have no idea where that is. It is the heart of Sweden, the old Sweden of days long gone. It is Dalarna land, the home of the dala horse, and where Carl Larson painted is lovely landscapes. I will be returning back to branch work, in solitary confinement, hours from the nearest missionaries, just like my greenie days all over again. And I love that. It is time to take the politics and social complexities of leadership and city work and place them in my suitcase for safe keeping and just take a breath of the wild Swedish air and get lost in the work. But, before I go let me write my love letter to Göteborg.
This week offered some cold winter sunshine. When the sun appears, on it’s rare visit to Göteborg in the winter, the Swedes stop everything they are doing and just soak the weak rays in. On one certain sunny day, we walked across just about the entire main city. and then…..oh my…..with phone battery dead and no cameras of course….. we took a ferry across to Eriksberg, the new part of town on the island of Hisingen. After some work there, we rode a ferry back to the city as the sun was going down under the Älvsborgbron bridge, illuminating the steeples of the city with golden light. The entire city was painted gold. I could just gaze out on Göteborg from my peacefully coasting boat and see all the streets I have walked, all the towers I’ve climbed, all the hills I did summit and I was filled with a wave of sadness because my heart has really fallen deeply in love with city and I will miss it so very much. Every cobblestone street and cozy cafe and lovely person in it. This was my favourite city to serve in by far. It won my heart. I wish I could stay here, but change must come, and adventures must be made. I have every intention of returning back to Göteborg as often as fiances allow for the rest of my life. We found some new investigators this week, including a wonderfully kind hearted Syrian man who I just love.
I am terrible at goodbyes. I do not like them in the slightest. I already had to say quite a few and will be saying more in the next several days. But more importantly than saying goodbye, I must say thank you. Thank you to all those here that made my work in Göteborg unforgettable: For the members who helped us, for the companions that I served with, for the district that supported me, to Julein Angelini for being the best Swedish friend you could ever find, and because I told him I’m going to include him in my blog. Julien, Anita raring, Jag spårar, på den….buben, jag vill ha en madraaaaaass….men vi ses snart på den. and to my loving Heavenly Father for letting me serve in this city.
This week I am reminded that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and though we may not always understand in the moment why certain things happen, if we hold on with faith, we will ultimately see that the path he took you on was the best path, and the only path to salvation. Sometimes your efforts do not seem to be matched with the success you selfishly feel you deserve, but maybe that is because God wants you to become humbled. Maybe you need to relocate your desires before he will give you the blessings. Hard work alone is not enough to bring miracles. We often think we need to just work harder, while ignoring the possibility that it might be not how much work we are giving, but rather how we are working that is the problem. It is hard work with all the other attributes of Christ applied that brings the miracles. We need to set ourselves aside. As Peter said, “be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Peace and Love and Love and Peace,