Elder Christian Tanner in Halmstad
"Friday was probably the best day I have had here in Sweden yet. We got back from Växjö about 11:30, so we went to the apartment and had lunch. After lunch we came to the library to see if we could get the number of the university here in town so that we could talk to them about setting up classes or something like that. I dont really know. But anyway, we were walking out of the library and this HOBO looking guy shouts at us "Hey! You! I know Mormons when I see them! Follow me, I want to talk to you." I was like... scary. But okay. So next to the library is a little field (which is also next to a river) and we sat down in the field and started talking to him a bit. He was VERY hard to talk to. He wanted to talk about all his opinions and we could not even say a sentence without him saying his opinion. But as we were sitting there, a group of about 10 kids just walks up and sits down next to us. At first, it was really weird. But we started asking them their names and if they believe in God. They all started participating in our conversation. It was so fun to talk to them. They all believe in God and are quite religious. One girl in particular is very very interested. (oh and they are all about 15 years old) She really wants to go to church with us, and wants to find out more about what we believe. She has some very hard times in here life too, yet she is so positive. Its quite amazing actually. Usually when people go through what she has, they are really depressed and have no self esteem at all. So we are looking forward to working with her, as well as all those kids. One of the kids I talked to seems to think that God and Satan are the same person. He explained why he thinks that (which made NO sense to me.). He said "Its like good and bad weather. In order for us to know what good weather is, like a sunny day, we have to have bad weather with rain and snow. That's how God is. He wants to give us trials and make our lives hard and tempt us, so that he can love us." Well, I explained to him about our life before here on earth and how God and Satan were two separate spirits. I said in my remarks "So basically, you're telling me that the sun makes good and bad weather. That the sun makes it rain? What gives us good and bad weather are two separate things, just like God and Satan" HAHA. He responded by saying "Okay, you have a really good point there." So, pretty much I think he will listen to our lessons now. :)
After we talked to these kids for about 2 hours or more, they wanted to so us their church. So we went with them to the church. It was a very nice church, too. We also climbed all the way up to the top of the bell tower. I have some pictures for you, too. It is WAY up there! Haha. That was super fun! So I think me and my companion are going to hang out with them a little bit and get to know them and be their friends. Then they would probably be more likely to listen to us and trust that what we know is true.
The ward here is really struggling. All the members want to see the ward become bigger and stronger and more together, but no one is willing to step up and make it happen. This Sunday me and my companion are teaching the Sunday School lesson about how members are just as important to missionary work as the missionaries are. Hopefully we can get a spark going. During ward counsel, everyone has their own ideas on how to go about solving the problem. Its SO frustrating. Even me, I dont understand much of what they are saying, but I know they aren't on the same page. Its like, come on! We can only try one thing at a time! So yesterday the bishop had us over for dinner and we talked about what the 3 of us alone can do to get everyone on the same page. Home teaching is NEVER done either. So we have got to get that going. The ward has so many problems. We are working on it though. Hopefully in a couple months time we can at least be on the same page. No wonder there hasn't been any success here until recently. The bishop is amazing though. He carries everything on his back. We are going to try to take some of that off of him. The previous missionaries didn't do that, so I think he is super happy we are here."
Elder Tanner and Elder Millsap
Elder Tanner and Sister Wood - MTC