Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Little More About Sweden Before we Left in March

 So here's a little more about our mission, which I wrote after we returned home in March 2020.  After that I will do a post about our return to the mission in October 2020.

June 30, 2020

We've been home now for a little more than three months.  The pandemic sent most senior couples home although each mission could keep one couple.  We could have stayed but felt that we had done what we needed to do in Sweden and we felt good about going home.  When President Youngberg first told us, on March 12, that the church wanted us to go home, we rebelled against the thought and said we wanted to stay.  But then we both felt strongly that we needed to go.  We both had felt, in the beginning of our mission, that we wouldn't be in Sweden for the entire 18 months.  We told the President on March 14 that we would go, and found that he had already made travel arrangements because he had felt that we should go.  So that definitely confirmed our feelings.  Since we've been home, we've seen several reasons that it's been good to be here.  

A couple more things I wanted to say about our mission to Sweden . . . One thing we found curious is that people don't close their curtains, even at night.  There's so much darkness here that Swedes love their lights.  It's so nice to see open curtains in a big city.  In North America, everyone closes their curtains at night and even in the day.  Of course we on the farm keep our curtains open.  One lady in Sweden said that when people see curtains closed, they wonder what people are hiding!

We enjoyed getting to know the young missionaries and we were happy to bring the office computer systems up to snuff.  I think things had been done a certain way for years and years and no one wanted to change them.  LeRon and I made major changes, which hopefully will help office senior missionaries in years to come.  We felt like we accomplished what we were sent to Sweden to do and President Youngberg was pleased with our efforts.  The Youngberg's completed their 3-year mission the end of June.  Glad we got to work with them.  They are super, down-to-earth, people.

I wanted to put pictures of our last days in Sweden here but I think they must be on my computer at home in Alberta.  Oh well.  Here's some of after we got home.  The last picture should be first but I can't move the pictures around now that blogger has supposedly "updated!"

This northern lights painting is really striking.  We didn't see northern lights in Sweden but we definitely have in Alberta.  Many years ago, I was driving home from Taber and the sky above me was filled with northern lights in a band from east to west.  The lights were colorful and swirling like the dresses of ballroom dancers.  So amazing.

We zipped down to Gamla Stan (the Old Town), Saturday afternoon before we left, to pick up a few souvenirs.  Dala Horses have become iconic symbols of Sweden.  The original ones were orangey-red as in the horses on the left.  They are still hand-carved and hand-painted but they are now painted in many colors, and every one is unique.


We went from no snow in Sweden to very, very cold snowy weather in Alberta.  It lasted through April as I remember it.  In this picture, we are still isolating so we just look at our grandchildren through the window and wave at them.  On warmer days, we opened the window and talked with them.  I was sort of happy to be isolating because I was so very tired from our very intense two months in Sweden.  I worked a little on mission office stuff from home and LeRon worked a LOT on mission office stuff from home and sent it via the internet of course.  We were officially released a month after we returned home.



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