Monday, May 11, 2015


It's a cloud family. 
In the life of a missionary, our lives seem fairly routine. We plan for our days and wake up knowing what we are going to expect. Our schedule is fundamentally the same every day. But we do have several large events that switch things up for us, and two of them fell on this week. The first was getting to Skype home. We get this opportunity twice a year, so, naturally, I was super excited. It was wonderful to see my family's smiling faces, hear the laughter, and have that chance to speak with them. The occasion that is important enough to allow me to call home is Mother's Day, and though the day is over, I cannot say enough to express my appreciation and love for what she has done for me. But the second bit of news has been transfer calls. I was hoping that they wouldn't come to me, because I have loved my time here in Stockholm, but on Saturday, I found out that I would be heading south to Malmö. My companion will be following me to work in the same city, but we will both receive new companions. I'm excited for the changes, but the reality of leaving Stockholm hasn't hit me yet.
You try not to have favorites. And there are great families in the ward, but then there's the Layne family. 

Thursday was a beautiful day. The sun was out, and everything just seemed to go well. We started off our day with a lesson we had planned with a man named Roger. We were planning on meeting him at noon, but he had not answered his phone to confirm with us. We decided to head to his building anyways, but it was locked and we couldn't get in. Luckily there was a bench in front of the building, so we sat down and decided to wait. About ten minutes later, the doors opened, and Roger came out. He had his pack of cigarettes in hand, and I think he had forgotten, or didn't want to remember, that we were going to meet. But he joined us on the bench, and we were able to talk about what he believes in. He mentioned that he had lost his Bible, which he wasn't happy about, but we taught him about The Book of Mormon. When he found out we had it in his mother tongue, he got excited and was very grateful to receive it. We don't believe that The Book of Mormon can, or ever will replace the Bible. But, with the Bible and The Book of Mormon, we have the resources to establish the truths that God has given us. We went throughout the rest of our day, enjoying the great weather and going to our appointments. But our last appointment of the day dropped. So we found ourselves with an hour to see what we could do. We were walking to T-Central to catch a subway home so we could contact around the area by our apartment. But Elder Downing asked if I wanted to walk home, and I had been thinking the same thing, so we went on our way. But as we walked home, we ran into Sofia, again. Which, Stockholm is not a huge city, but there are a lot of people. So to see her, was really cool to us... She thought it was a little creepy. But we laughed about it and had a good time. 
This is four stories underground. I don't know how that poor pigeon made it down there.
Rickard is doing great. He feels like so many things have improved since he has started implementing God's principles into his life. He got a job, accepted to school, and he feels great about life. He is planning on getting baptized this month. We won't get to be there for that day, but it's great to know that I have a friend who has recognized the peace he can receive from all this. It's that simple peace that I try to share with others. Most people don't realize the good they could receive, so it's a joy when someone like Rickard has progressed to this point and is able to see the blessings he has received from following God's commandments. 

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