Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mission Leadership Council for the New Year 2017!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the work continues as we met with our Mission Leadership Council members to plan and set goals for the new year.  We started with a wonderful lunch from Sister Beckstrand.  Taco Soup with chips, Cream of Chicken Soup, lots of fresh bread, peanut butter squares, and strawberry cake for desert.  Pictured are from bottom, clockwise:  Elder Christley, Elder Payne, Elder Kendall, Sister Wilson, Sister Hall, Sister Campbell, Elder Hawkins, Sister and Elder Hall, Sister May, Sister McClatchie, and Sister Anderson.

Pictured from bottom, clockwise, are:  Elder Blackburn, Elder Baquedano, Elder Johanson, Elder Reed, Elder Castleton-Rudolph, Elder Chugg, Sister Beckstrand, Elder Weaver, Elder Richardson, Elder Pärkkä, Elder Cragun, Elder Jensen, and Elder Mecham.

After lunch, we gathered to talk about our 2016 results and then discuss what the Lord should have us do here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission in order to help "Hasten the Work" in this part of His vineyard.  Elders Jensen and Johanson led the discussion with the MLC members.

One of the greatest blessings for us here in the mission is to be associated with such wonderful young missionaries.  We continue to marvel at the wonderful leadership abilities that our missionaries have.  They are obedient, diligence, and self motivated.  We love working with them and serving by their side.  The New Year of 2017 will continue to bring blessings from the Lord as we engage Him and seek His direction in all things.  With these young missionaries, the Sweden Stockholm Mission is in good hands.

Christmas in Sweden 2016!!!

Well, this is our last Christmas in this wonderful land.  We have truly enjoyed our experience here and have loved the Christmas Season in Sweden.  It has been a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father and we will be forever grateful to Him for allowing us to be here in His service.

Everything is so magical and the spirit of Christ resonates throughout the world.

Afterall, this is what Christmas is all about.  The birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born in humble circumstances, a light to all the world.  Let us never forget Him and His sacrifice for all mankind!!!

After Christmas sacrament meeting, we hosted the Mission Office Crew and the Täby Sisters, for a wonderful Christmas dinner at the mission home.  Pictured from the bottom, clockwise, are:  Elder Johanson, Sister Beckstrand, Sister and Elder Clouse, Tanner Clouse (son of Elder and Sister Clouse), Sister Olsen, Sister Trotter, Elder Hawkins, Elder Jensen, and Elder Christley.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Happy New Year 2017!!!!!!!!!

Christmas in Stockholm!!!

Friday and Saturday, December 16-17, 2016, we were able to have all the Senior Couples, with the exception of Elder and Sister Watson, here in Stockholm to enjoy the Christmas Markets and to have dinner and lunch with one another.  Dinner on Friday evening was at TGI Fridays, where we had a wonderful evening together.  Saturday morning, we all met at the Mission Home at 9 AM to receive some training as to responsibilities within the mission.  Elder and Sister Anderson, our Apartment Couple, provided training on the inspection of missionary apartments and what senior couples need to be looking for and helping the missionaries with.  Remember, the Spirit of God cannot dwell in an unclean place!

Elder and Sister Pettit introduced themselves to the other Senior Couples and then explained what they have been doing the last year and what their assignment change will have them doing here in Sweden and the other Nordic Countries.

We then traveled to downtown Stockholm, Old Town (Gamla Stan), for lunch and to shop at the Swedish Christmas Market.  Lunch was delicious, as we gathered in the basement of Under Kastangen (Under the Chestnut), to enjoy a real old receipe Swedish Meatball dinner.  This is a must for all who visit Stockholm.  Pictured left to right, clockwise, are:  Sister Beckstrand, Elder and Sister Hall, Sister and Elder Pettit, Elder and Sister Hurlbut, Elder and Sister Anderson, and Sister and Elder Smith.

Elder and Sister Mitchell and Elder and Sister Clouse.

The Christmas Market (JulMarknad) in Gamla Stan, Stockholm.

 Street decorations.

President's favorite, the huge lighted moose (Älg).

A gift for Christmas!!!

On Thursday, December 15, 2016, we drove out to Arlanda Airport to pick up a great couple that have been re-assigned to the Sweden Stockholm Mission.  Elder and Sister Pettit are here to work with the Scandanavian countries as the Church's Self Reliance Program rolls forward.  Elder and Sister Pettit join us from the Irland-Scotland Mission, where they have been serving for the past year.  We are excited to have them here in Sweden and look forward to working with them.  In the picture, left to right are:  Sister and Elder Clouse, President and Sister Beckstrand, Sister and Elder Pettit, and Sister and Elder Anderson.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Our December 2016 Departures!!!!!

Time to say good-bye to another great group of missionaries.  This one, all Elders!  We will miss this group as they were instrumental in helping to shape the culture of the Sweden Stockholm Mission.  Many thanks to them for their hard work and diligence.  Pictured left to right, front row: Elder Thacker, Elder Burke, Elder Hart, Elder Carrigan, and Elder Richardson.  Back row: Elder Higgins, Elder Bailey, Elder Burton, Elder Purkey, Elder Harrison, Elder Halterman, and Sister and President Beckstrand.

Hoorah for Zion!!!!!!  Mission accomplished!!!! Return now with Honor!!!!!!!!

The departing missionaries and their final supper in the Mission Home.  Pictured clockwise, from left:  Elder Carrigan, Elder Bailey, Elder Purkey, Elder Higgins, Elder Hart, Elder Burton, Elder Richardson, Elder Harrison, Elder Burke, Elder Halterman, and Elder Thacker.

Sister Beckstrand, Elder and Sister Anderson, and Elder and Sister Clouse.

Last Arrivals for 2016!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016, we drove to Arlanda Airport to pick up our new missionaries from the Provo MTC.  This looks like a great group and we are so excited to have them here in Sweden.  Pictured left to right are:  Sister and Elder Clouse, Elder and Sister Anderson, Elder Chugg, Sister Beckstrand, Elder Jensen, Sister Pickett, Elder Dawson, Elder Beveridge, Elder Craun, Elder Hartin, Elder Harper, Elder Wilkinson, Elder Cook, Elder Ashford, Elder Berlin, Elder Nielsen, Elder Hawkins, Elder Johanson, Elder Halterman, and President Beckstrand.

Loading up the luggage, which is all accounted for after a long flight.

Group picture in front of the Stadshus in Stockholm.  Pictured left to right:  President and Sister Beckstrand, Elder Jensen, Elder Johanson, Elder Berlin, Sister Pickett, Elder Dawson, Elder Cook, Elder Hartin, Elder Beveridge, Elder Craun, Elder Wilkinson, Elder Ashford, Elder Harper, Elder Halterman, Elder Nielsen, Elder Chugg, and Elder Hawkins.

 Elder Jensen, Elder Dawson, Sister Pickett, Elder Berlin, Elder Beveridge, Elder Ashford, Elder Harper, Elder Hartin, Elder Johanson, Elder Halterman.  Back Row:  Elder Wilkinson, Elder Cook, and Elder Craun.

 President and Sister Beckstrand with the Office Elders:  Elder Jensen, Elder Chugg, Elder Halterman, Elder Nielsen, Elder Johanson, and Elder Hawkins.

Lunch at the Office "Clubhouse" for the new missionaries, before some instruction and then street contacting in downtown Stockholm.  Clockwise from noon:  Elder Beveridge, Elder Hartin, Sister Pickett, Elder Harper, Elder Dawson, Elder Wilkinson, Elder Cook, and Elder Ashford.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016!!!!

Today is transfer day and time for our new missionaries to find out where they will be serving and who will be their trainers.
Sister Pickett will be trained by Sister Christofferson.

Sister Pickett will be serving in Örebro with Sister Christofferson.

We have one Swedish Sister who joined us yesterday evening, coming in from the Preston MTC in England.  Sister Maria Louise Eriksson from Kristianstad, in the Malmö Stake.  We are so happy to have Sister Eriksson with us as a full-time sister missionary.  Sister Eriksson will be trained by Sister Wagner.

Sister Eriksson will be serving in Umeå with Sister Wagner.  It has been over 20 years since Sister Missionaries were serving in Umeå and we are excited to have these two fine sister missionaries go to Umeå to help the work progress in that part of the Lord's Swedish vineyard.

Elder Wilkinson will be trained by Elder Jamsa.

Elder Wilkinson will be serving in Jönköping with Elder Jamsa.

Elder Berlin will be trained by Elder Dean.

 Elder Berlin will be serving in Visby, the island of Gotland with Elder Dean.

Elder Harper will be trained by Elder Gentry.
 Elder Harper will be serving in Växjö with Elder Gentry.

Elder Craun will be trained by Elder Duke.

 Elder Craun will be serving in Västerås with Elder Duke.

Elder Hartin will be trained by Elder Hyatt.

Elder Hartin will be serving in Malmö with Elder Hyatt.

Elder Dawson will be trained by Elder Blattman.

Elder Dawson will be serving in Linköping with Elder Blattman.

Elder Ashford will be trained by Elder Murtonen.

 Elder Ashford will be serving in Helsingborg with Elder Murtonen.

Elder Beveridge will be trained by Elder Benson.
 Elder Beveridge will be serving in Sundsvall with Elder Benson.

Elder Cook will be trained by Elder Williams.

 Elder Cook will be serving in Karlstad with Elder Williams.

Armed as new companionships, it is time for some final instructions.
 We welcome Elder Jensen into the office as our new Assistant.  He will be companions with Elder Johanson.

 We say good-bye to Elder Chugg and Elder Nielsen, as they have served faithfully in the office for the last three transfers.  We will miss them.  Elder Chugg is off to Malmö to serve as a Zone Leader and Elder Nielsen is off to Handen to serve as a District Leader.  Good luck to both of these great missionaries.  We love them!!!!

Well, before they head out for their new destinations, they enjoy a great lunch of traditional Swedish Meatballs.  After lunch, time to get to the train station and catch their trains.