30 May 2014

It’s been a good week again. The weather is beautiful here at the moment and I’m hoping that it doesn’t get any hotter but I know that is unlikely! I’m actually having to wear sun cream to make sure I don’t burn, although with guest services we don’t see too much of the light of day – at least it feels that way!
The missionary work is going well. I can’t remember at the moment who I have told you about and who I haven’t told you about so some updates you might not even know who I am talking about! There isn’t any big news although a lot of them are attending church and we have 4 investigators who are consistently attending church so that is good. They are also all meeting with local missionaries. We have a baptismal goal of 3 this transfer and are really concentrating on those three. We already have one and the other two are on date. We have Francis is Colombia, he is from Nigeria. He is very interested in knowing EVERYTHING before he is baptised but we aren’t too concerned about that. The thing we are concerned about is that he keeps asking how he can become a pastor in our church. We keep explaining that being a bishop isn’t a career, you don’t get paid for it as much as bishops wish they were! But he still asks. And so we wonder a little about his motives. But I’m beginning to think it’s because he wants to know a lot and for him he recognises pastors as being someone who understands scripture.
Fabio is from Argentina and really wants to be baptised and is working with the local missionaries to make sure that happens. He wasn’t well this week though so he didn’t attend church but we are working towards next weekend with him!
We are also teaching Marie. I don’t know if I told you about her but at the end of my first transfer she came on chat and said that she really admires her LDS friend and wants what she has in her life. We spoke with her and she seemed a little weird (I think she had just woken up) and then I was never able to get in touch with her again. Anyway she finally answered and she had attended church with her friend. Well this past week she had begun meeting with the local missionaries and every time I speak to her she just sounds so much happier. I think she is finally finding that hope she was craving!
We met one of Sister Diaz’s investigators from last transfer, Carmen, on the square. She is from Venezuela. She is experiencing a lot of family problems and says that she wants to be baptised but has too much to think about at the moment. But she said that she is having to chase the local missionaries up to meet them! So she is at least being proactive about everything. We were able to talk to her in the actual temple grounds and I think she really felt a lot of peace there. I’m so grateful to serve here at Temple Square where we are able to teach where the spirit already is!
We met a really interesting person at Temple Sqaure this week. She goes by the name Pirate. She was one of the most interesting people I’ve met on my mission and so lovely too! We met her outside the assembly hall and spoke for a little while. She had tattoos all up her arms, across her chest and neck. We had taken her to the temple model and she asks if she can show us her bible. So we go sit down and she pulls a bible from her backpack – it’s one of those HUGE family bibles. She explains to us how she wants to do her family tree that is in the middle of the book. While she’s putting the Bible away we see that she also has a Book of Mormon. She explains to us that she picked it up in a hotel and has been reading it. She feels like it really speaks to her. We talk for a while and she tells us about how important God is in her life now. We were meant to be meeting us again on Tuesday but she has no phone or e-mail for us to contact her (she’s a traveler – she says her heart is her internet.) but we got a voicemail on Tuesday saying that she couldn’t meet us at 2 as planned but would be there sometime between 4 and 5. Well, we waited and kept checking for her but she never came 😦 when we called the number back it was some random office where she had walked in and used the phone so we have no way to get in touch with her. I’m really hoping that we see her again though!
Things are going really well with Sister Diaz. I love her so much! The APs (who both happen to be my zone leaders from the past two transfers) have said just how much happier I look and one of them said to me today she is going to speak to president about trying to keep us together. I don’t know how likely it will be as Sister Diaz will be going into her 6th transfer and they might have her train or something else. We have a lot of fun and jokes between us and regularly wind each other up. So it’s really good!
Cool thing that happened this week – Jacque treated us to dinner! She is so lovely and I absolutely love her. And we are mega poor so it was a nice treat. It was nice not to eat rice and beans twice that day! I mean I love burritos but I am not loving them everyday anymore.
Sister Diaz said something interesting the other day as we were walking. We were talking about how you are sent to the mission that you are needed at for certain people. We talked about our reactions about temple square mission calls and whether if we were to choose whether we would choose to come here. And Sister Diaz says that she believes that she was sent to Temple Square because she is needed for a lot of people all around the world. We are able to reach the people who would probably ignore the missionaries if they met them in the street or if they knocked on their door, yet we have been given the tools needed to reach these people.
We had exchanges this week with the district leader. We had 24 hour exchange so Sister Christensen (my DL) stayed at ours. I learned a lot from her and a lot about her. And also a lot about myself. I really do think the mission is making me a better person. Definitely a more loving and less judgmental person. I think I’m finally realizing what it means to forget yourself.  Not that I thought I was judgmental before I clearly was! The strange thing is that this transfer has been my happiest but it’s also the first time I’m actually beginning to feel home sick 😦 I know this is where I’m supposed to be but sometimes I miss mummy and sissy cuddles. Or just having a day off. Even P-days are stressful!
Memorial Day

Memorial Day

The other picture is Sister Diaz, Me, Sister Ha (my favourite Korean!), Sister Ordoñez (Honduras), Sister Garcia (El Salvador/Texas) (both APs and my old ZLs), Sister Depablos (Venezuela), Sister Ichikawa (Japan) and Sister Jarrett from Hawaii at the front!

The other picture is Sister Diaz, Me, Sister Ha (my favourite Korean!), Sister Ordoñez (Honduras), Sister Garcia (El Salvador/Texas) (both APs and my old ZLs), Sister Depablos (Venezuela), Sister Ichikawa (Japan) and Sister Jarrett from Hawaii at the front!

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23 May 2014

Well, this week has been busy but it hasn’t flown by all that much. But it’s still been a really good week. I love my companion! Sister Diaz is so great, she is so relaxed and is happy to just go along with things. It’s great to have a companion where what you see is what you get and not have to wonder what she is actually thinking about everything. She makes me feel so good too. She isn’t afraid of telling me when I’ve done a good job or what I did well. It makes me feel good and finally good to hear from someone that I’m doing an alright job! We laugh so much. We have companion study in the evening and we are both usually exhausted by the time we get round to it and she just sounds more and more spanish as the hour goes on. Also we’ve had many discussions about the Falklands. Never say “I don’t really care” about the Falklands to an Argentinian. She makes me laugh with her craziness. I found her mourning on the sofa on Wednesday night as she found out her favourite football team, Rosario Central, had lost the Argentinian cup.

We were able to watch Bill’s baptism on Saturday. It was so awesome! He was so happy and it was so wonderful to be part of it all. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to be a small part in his journey. We also had another baptism on Saturday but neither of us had taught her, she had just been transferred to us from a sister who had gone home but it was still exciting to be able to speak to her on Monday and hear all about it. We had Elder Clarke come and speak to the mission this week. He is a really good speaker as we were with him from 8:30 until 3:30 and we didn’t get bored. He told us that they only sent exceptional missionaries to Temple Square – he is from the missionary department. I learnt to much from him and how I can be better day to day as a missionary and how I can really let this mission change me for the better. I took my first tour in Beehive house this week – first time I’ve even seen the inside of the place. It looks so interesting. But we were covering so Sister Diaz did all the talking as I know nothing about the place! We’ve had so much guest services this week and although I like it sometimes it would be nice to be on the square.

We saw David Archuleta on the square. The sisters were getting so excited. He was there with his friends. He is so short! Oh and I almost forgot – I was found myself a husband this week. Sister Diaz and I are walking and this guy who is about 5’2” stops right in front of us so we start talking to him. I ask him what brings him to Temple Square. He looks me straight in the eye and says “Why don’t you tell me?”. Both of us are so confused and offer some suggestions. He then stares right at me again and says “I am here to find my wives”. We ask if his wife is here and where he last saw her. He says “I’m here to find my wives. I don’t know who she is”. Sister Diaz just laughs and goes “Well go ahead, don’t let us stop you. Good luck!” But he’s still staring at me. He starts talking, mostly mumbling, about voice control centres and how we just need to tune in and how his voice control centre told him to come here. Then he stares at me again and says “You hear the voice too. You heard it for the first time yesterday. About 3pm” I’m creeped out and Sister Diaz is trying not to laugh and we make our excuses to leave. He tells us he accepts us both as his wives. A little later we see security talking to some sisters, they had called them because the man had said similar things to them. So security come and speak to us to find out what happened when he spoke to us and turns out when the security guy went to ask him to leave he refused because, well, he was god. So security told him he had to leave or he would we arrested for trespassing. This guy, who thinks he’s god, tells him that he’s fired and leaves. SO BIZARRE.

So we hardly have anytime in the teaching centre which means we have to make the most of the time we do have! So we have been e-mailing so many people and calling so many people. I finally got a reply from Cabie (who we had been teaching in my first transfer) and she told me that she was basically only interested in the church because she was in love with a guy who is a member of the church who said he won’t marry anyone who isn’t LDS and she’s only interested in changing for him. I haven’t replied yet.  I was able to get in touch with a lady in Essex who has met with the local missionaries and gone to church since I last spoke to her. She is 52 and works a lot and is really looking for something that is missing! One of her missionaries is Sister Wen who is from the YSA ward! We found a new investigator this week called Sam who seems like a good potential. He is a single father of 5 boys – his wife left him about a year ago! I invited him to be baptised if he finds out for himself it’s true and he said yes! So I had this investigator called Marie who I was about the drop as I wasn’t getting an answer ever and I was making my last phone call and she answered! And she was in dire need to speak to someone. She has had a hard life and is just in desperate need of some hope in her life. I have requested the local missionaries to visit and she has a really good LDS friend who is helping her. I am excited to speak to her again.

Jacque is doing so great. Since I first met her, her countenance has just changed. She just has this new light in her eyes that just gets brighter each time I see her. Just shows what a difference of finding an answer for yourself makes! When I saw her 2 days ago she just says “I know Jospeh Smith was a prophet. I know he restored the gospel” When I asked her how she knew she said she finally prayed about it and everything changed. Good news yesterday – a less active I met in my first transfer is putting in his mission papers in on Sunday!!!!! He was really struggling when I first met him as he was having a hard time and didn’t feel like anything he was trying to do was working. We talked a lot and I saw him every week as he came by temple square after work. I hadn’t seen him for a couple of weeks and gave him a call yesterday and left a message. A little later one of the sisters tell me he is on the square! So exciting!

Anyway, that is all for now.

8th May 2014

Today we have zone activity and we’re going bowling and to stuff our faces with food. So it’s going to be good fun. I’m a little bit nervous about Monday’s transfer conference. I feel Sister Peñalba and I are finally at a point where we know how to work well together and that we are getting closer so I really don’t want to change and adjust to a new companion! But who knows! The Lord puts us with whoever he needs us with. We have 34 sisters returning from outbound next week and only 4 going out so there’s going to be a lot more sisters here! So I’m guessing there will be a lot more changes.

This week has been really good and we’ve seen a lot of miracles. As always it’s had it’s ups and downs but I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of this missionary malarkey.

A bit of sad news, that isn’t that sad, is that Bill has postponed his baptism by 1 week. The reason is that the guy who referred him wants to be there and Bill doesn’t want him to be away from his family on Mother’s day. We are of course sad for selfish reasons as it would have been amazing to have a baptism this transfer. Jose is not on date yet and we haven’t actually been able to see him this week as he has had to work but he is still going to church and reading the Book of Mormon! We finally spoke to Shauna on the phone! We didn’t get to speak too much as she was in the ER with her daughter (they still aren’t well) but the good news is that she received her Book of Mormon and said she will begin reading it.

We have another investigator in Mexico called Oscar and we taught him last night and he told us he is getting baptised on 25th May! But he says he wants to wait longer, like a year. We asked if he had prayed about the date and he said he had. We asked him how he felt and he said that he felt that 25th May was the date he was supposed to be baptised. We had a really powerful lesson with him about trusting the Lord and I think he feels more confident in the answer he received. We also have an investigator in Peru called Judith (Who-dith!). She is just wonderful! We met her on chat, she came on and said that she had watched the women’s conference and that she wants to learn more and she wants her daughters to have the gospel in their lives. Her aunt is a member and her 6 year old daughter has a friend at school who is a member and apparently she has been nagging Judith to be able to go to church. So we’ve been teaching her but she has never been able to attend church because she works on Sundays. Well she told us this week that she has spoken to her boss and told him that she wants to go to church on Sundays and worked her last Sunday this Sunday just gone!

We’re so excited about the progress our investigators are making and so we are hoping we are together next transfer so we can keep teaching them together!

We went to the temple on Monday morning which was really nice. It was a nice reminder of why I was on a mission as we saw a young family being sealed.

Sorry this weeks e-mail is so short!

 PICTURE TIME AGAIN (Siblings, feel free to write me) Marianne Ørndal   08/05/2014   Flag this message  Photos To: Rebecka Orndal, David Orndal, Alex Orndal ​Sister Ferguson (Arizona) and I have matching skirts! Oh I hate my hair straight....


​Sister Ferguson (Arizona) and I have matching skirts! Oh I hate my hair straight….

We are super nutritious as missionaries...

We are super nutritious as missionaries…

We have a waffle iron that makes sea creature shaped waffles.

We have a waffle iron that makes sea creature shaped waffles.

I'm basically a spanish speaking missionary now - I pray in Spanish allllll the time (yes the spanish prayers are the same each time - I promised Judith I would say a prayer in spanish in our next appt so I have to get my practice in!)

I’m basically a spanish speaking missionary now – I pray in Spanish allllll the time (yes the spanish prayers are the same each time – I promised Judith I would say a prayer in Spanish in our next appt so I have to get my practice in!)

16th May 2014

So transfer conference was on Monday. dun dun dun. And I hope for little change and I got A LOT of change! Sister Peñalba is training this transfer. Well I’ve moved zone from South 2 to South 1 which means p-days are now on Friday! New zone leaders who are awesome and I was already friends with. And my district leader is one of the hardest working missionaries I know! I was quite upset to leave my last zone because I love my old zone leaders so much but I guess it’s just new opportunities! I also have a new assignment – Guest services and bread winners! So if anyone ever calls temple square, it could be me that answers the phone. There are like 8 companionships that do it. We basically take all the calls and schedule tours, motor coaches and investigator lessons and then find sisters to do it. It’s quite cool although it does take us away from other missionary work for 3 hours on the days we have GS. But if it’s quiet we can still take chats and send e-mails or study so that is a bonus! And bread winners…. It’s our job to go pick up the bread on Wednesday mornings that Kneaders give us (basically bread that is out of date…). It’s not an official assignment but we’ve already renamed it from “Can you pick the bread up on Wednesdays at 7:45am?” to “Bread winners” so, making the most of an opportunity there.
My schedule has also changed! Instead of having studies in the morning I know have them at the end of the day. So we have to get up at 6:15 and then be on the square at 8am. Then we go home at 6:45 for personal and comp study and then bed by 10:15. I don’t know if I like it…. It’s obviously nice to be home early and I think I study better in the evening but between 6 and 9 is when we meet a lot of people who really need our help. but I’ll see how this transfer goes!
Oh and new apartment! I’m back in DA…. AKA Temple Square dorms. I forgot how noisy it is there. My apartment feels so small in comparison to my last one. Our roommates are Sister Wilhelm from America and Sister Hirro from Philippines.
Sister Diaz is so cool. I’ve always thought that she is a little crazy but in a good way! She is in her 5th transfer, I can’t believe I’m already in my 3rd. She was with Sister Andre last transfer. But we’ve had our first tours and lessons together these past two days and they have been some of the best that I’ve had on my mission so I’m quite hopeful from this transfer. We have both said we want it to be our most fun but most successful transfer. Still going to be teaching spanish and doing spanish tours but Sister Diaz really wants to work hard on being balanced in teaching. She’s always had American and English companions so I guess she’s been getting practice! I’m sad because Sister Peñalba has kept pretty much all our investigators except Shauna but as she was the spanish speaker she had more of a connection with them (even if I was the one who found Jose!). But Bill is still getting baptised on Saturday and we are going to be watching it via skype!!!! So excited. My first baptism!
So we are currently teaching a guy who is called Francis from Nigeria but he lives in Colombia. He seems eager to learn but then we got an e-mail from him yesterday saying he wants to learn because he wants to become a minister and hopefully this is something he can do in our church. We had to talk to him about that so I guess we will see what his intentions are. Hopefully he will have read from the Book of Mormon before we speak to him tomorrow!
Sister Penalba and I took a motor coach tour of 20 tourists from UK this past week. It was so much fun. It was both of ours first ever large group tour. There were so many who were saying things like “Oh I have a neighbour/colleague/friend who is mormon and they were like this or that” so I guess we never realise what type of effect we can have on people, so make it a good one!
Sister Curtis, one of the senior couples, came to me and said that she met someone who knows me last night and that they want to take me for lunch! Turns out it is Sister Hopkins and she was good friends with Sister Curtis’ sister. So maybe I will get to see her soon! She mentioned about them being called to NY.
I saw Grace Findlay this week on the square too, she was the coordinator at the last EFY I did. So lovely to see her!
There isn’t really much else to say… It’s been an eventful but equally uneventful week!

Meet my new best friend/companion, Sister Diaz from Argentina!

She's super fun and we are super mature together.

She’s super fun and we are super mature together.

16 may 5

BOWLING!

I was winning for a little while... I forgot to take a picture of the end score! But I didn't win. But no bumpers! 

I was winning for a little while… I forgot to take a picture of the end score! But I didn’t win. But no bumpers!

With Sister Richardson and Ferguson at Zone Activity. We went to a burger place called Iceberg and the milkshakes were massive! So good and so unhealthy!

With Sister Richardson and Ferguson at Zone Activity. We went to a burger place called Iceberg and the milkshakes were massive! So good and so unhealthy!

1st May 2014

Things have been good this week. We had the second half of our exchange last Friday, so Sister Peñalba went with our district leader and I was with Sister Chen. She’s from Taiwan and speaks very little. It was an interesting experience as it was my first tours and lessons in Mandarin. It’s really difficult to get involved when you don’t speak the language and as Sister Chen’s companion is Mandarin speaking too she is not well practiced in the whole translating part. So I was a bit frustrated by the end of the day as I didn’t feel like I had accomplished much in the day.

We met Jose again at the square. Not awkward this time as it was just him and us – not a million of other people! He’s not ready to be baptised this Saturday so we’ve postponed it but not got a new date. He is taking it very seriously – so that is good. But he feels that he needs to truly repent before he gets baptised as he says he has a lot of pride. The problem and concern we have is that he feels a lot of pressure from the Elders he’s meeting with and so we have to always work to remedy that!

We’ve not been able to call Shauna this week as her family are still sick and she’s been busy herself. But we’ve kept in touch over text and she is very keen to keep learning. I really do love her and I can’t wait until we are able to call!

Bill is doing wonderful as ever. The elders are finishing off the last of the lessons with him and everything is set for 10th May. We called the member who referred Bill (Bill was his limo driver when he was on business in NYC) and he was totally ecstatic of how things have gone and might even make it to the baptism as he is going to be in that part of the country. We are also looking at the possibility of being at the baptism via skype.

We also have some investigators who things have been progressing with – Judith in Peru, Henry in Argentina and Oscar in Mexico but it’s all been in Spanish and I wouldn’t say I have really been involved as I have no idea what is going on. But we had a LONG talk about it in companion inventory this week so it should be improving.

I had to drop the guy who had called in while I was in the MTC. He is willing to read the Book of Mormon but not willing to do anything else and seemed to get a little bit offended when I invited him to attend church and he says he has made a promise to himself he won’t change church again. It’s so frustrating because he says that he doesn’t even like his church and how the people there don’t even speak to him, yet he won’t go to another! Maybe I’ll try calling him in a couple of months.

Last transfer we took a chat from a girl named Sage and she referred. When we tried to call though we never got an answer and when we did she wasn’t available. Anyway I tried again this week and left a voicemail. I log on yesterday and she’d called back in! We were able to call her last night and teach her. She is so sweet! She’s 18 but sounds like a little girl and is just awfully polite. She said the missionaries used to come when she was younger but her family never progressed. But she said she had read some of the Book of Mormon when she was younger and felt that it was true then and so now she wants to learn more! I’m really excited about her and she’s already got a special place in my heart!!

I love being a missionary here on Temple Square. I know that I laughed when I was called here and didn’t know what to expect. But every night I express my gratitude for being called here. I LOVE serving here. I love being able to meet so many different people. I love we are able to teach in an environment where the spirit is already present. I love that people come to Temple Square for answers and we are able to help them. Mostly I love it because I know I was called here by inspiration and this is where I’m supposed to be.

This past week I’ve been reading in Alma. I was reading about the people of Ammonihah and how everything they had was just taken away in an instant in Chapter 16. Verse 10 talks about how it was just left desolate in one day. This had been something that had been recurring for a while, how everything that we have and often put the most value on can just be gone within a moment. The temporal things we have on this earth that we believe brings us happiness can so easily be lost. I thought about the cases we saw at work about people who had these businesses and they failed and they would end their lives because they just couldn’t see what they’ve got. The only constant is our relationship with Heavenly Father and our Saviour. Sister Ficquet (France) wrote me a card and it says “If it’s not eternal it doesn’t matter”. Only the eternal things really matter, they are the only things that will stick with us through this crazy life on earth.

And I can see how all these thoughts and studying is already helping – on Tuesday night we met a woman on the square. She was just cutting through on her way to the homeless shelter. The only clue to her being homeless was that she was carrying a sleeping bag. We spoke to her and she told us about how she had lost everything and has been homeless for about a month. She has only just moved up to SLC a week ago because she thought that it might lead to a better life. But I could see how my studying the days before had really helped me to understand her situation and be able to know how the gospel can bless her. We have texted a couple of times and we are hoping she will come down to the square soon so that we can possibly teach her.

Oh I announced on Sunday. Nerve racking! I got it right the first time but messed up the second time.
We’re supposed to introduce ourselves and say “There’s so much to see her on Temple Square and I’d love to show you around and share with you some of the history and basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come see me after this presentation. Or you can speak to any sister missionary here, we all speak english. Or if you would like a tour right away speak to the sisters with the signs over there”.

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As I said, first time fine. The second time it gets to my turn I got to the “Lot’s to see on Temple Square” part and my mind goes blank. All I can think is “WE ALL SPEAK ENGLISH!” as it’s Sister Ellis’ favourite line because people assume we don’t. So I basically say “There’s so much to see her on Temple Square and I’d love to show you around and share with you some of the history and basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come see me after this presentation. Or we all speak English. Thank you”.

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Sooo a little request, if anyone wants to write to a missionary – my lovely companion Sister Peñalba is a little discouraged as she has only received 1 letter in the mail since coming on her mission in August. And I always feel so bad if I receive something. I have asked some sisters to write her some so that she has something in her mail box but it would be awesome if something comes in the post. She has never received a letter or package from home.

Don’t think there is much else to report on!

Bob is a regular on Temple Square. He is a member of the church. When he was 17 he was in a car accident which left him in a wheel chair. It's quite sad when he talks about it as he's had a lot of health problems since the accident as a result. And he was at flight school when it happened.

Bob is a regular on Temple Square. He is a member of the church. When he was 17 he was in a car accident which left him in a wheel chair. It’s quite sad when he talks about it as he’s had a lot of health problems since the accident as a result. And he was at flight school when it happened.

April 24th 2014

Sue says: apologies for not updating this for a few weeks. I am repenting and will bring them up to date soon! Pictures will follow! Thanks to those friends who reminded me of this sacred responsibility! (Please don’t tell Manne!)
…………………………..

It’s p-day again! I don’t think time has ever flown by as quickly has it has this transfer. I don’t know why but I kind of hope it doesn’t keep getting faster!

So we got some big news on Sunday! Remember that I told you that Bill was finally going to church? I was worried how he would progress as he didn’t want to set a date for baptism and wouldn’t do it unless it was his idea. We spoke to him about a date and he just wouldn’t say yes or no. Just that he would keep going to church. On Friday we had a really good lesson with him on Friday all about the Saviour and what he has done for us. We shared the ‘Because of Him’ video with him. We committed him to pray about a baptism date and if baptism was what Heavenly Father wanted for him. Well we text him on Sunday and asked him how church was. He texted back saying it was great but he had some bad news and good news. The bad news was that he didn’t take a picture as proof (like he did the week before) but the good news was that he has chosen a day for his baptism!!!! Bill is getting baptised on 10th May!

We met Jose on the square on Saturday. It was SO awkward. We met a guy on the square and we talked to him for a bit as he was preparing a talk and so we discussed his topic. We end inviting him to be a member present at our lesson with Jose (he served a spanish speaking mission) which he accepts. We had really struggled lately to get member presents and we wanted Jose to know there were normal people in the church and people who care. Anyway, Saturday comes round and the member present texts and asks if he could bring his brother who also served Spanish speaking. No problem. Then before the lesson Jose tells us he invited the local missionaries along. So they turn up and they have brought along a member as well. So basically there are 4 missionaries, 3 members and little Jose. And they all speak Spanish except me! So I didn’t contribute much because the situation didn’t allow me to. But I felt like it was the first day of my mission again where I have no clue what is going on, I don’t know what to say and I’m so nervous about it the one thing I do say is so STUPID and I spend the rest of the lesson wondering what possessed me to say what I said. Anywayyyyy, despite that all Jose loved it. And he is on date for 3rd May. We are doing all we can to support him – his family is catholic and he’s worried how they will take it. But we are seeing him again on Saturday!

So I was absolutely heart broken the beginning of this week because Shauna has not been answering the phone. I spent days wondering what I did wrong, what had happened, what had she read online. I decided that we better text her as we’ve had no response to calls and the e-mail. She text back straight away saying that her family is all sick with the flu and her past week has just been filled with looking after sick kids. She said that she wished she lived closer because she grew up in a tight knit church community and missed that since moving to Dallas and being on temple square was the first time she had felt that peace a connection since. So I invited her to attend church this Sunday. She said she wanted to learn more first but that she wanted a Book of Mormon. So I invite her to have the local missionaries come. She declines again! Arghhh I just want to help her so much to have that spirit in her life every day and I don’t know what it is I can do to help her do that. I already know that Shauna will most likely be someone I will always remember from my mission and who I will stay in touch with, she is so special. It’s one of the hardest things as a missionary to just trust in the Lord and allow people to have agency. I hate agency! But then again I hate Satan too.

We have a couple of potential investigators and so we are working hard to see how that goes. Still upset because Cabie (from NZ) hasn’t been in touch and she was on date for 10th May. I’m just praying she is still meeting with local missionaries. Cool story from yesterday. When I was in the last week at the MTC I took an inbound call for someone who wanted a copy of the Bible. I sent it with a Book of Mormon and local missionaries but never followed up as there were always other people to call and he didn’t seem all that interested. Anyway I called him yesterday and he tells me that the missionaries did come round and that he is reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon each day. He isn’t meeting with the missionaries anymore. We talked for quite a while about the importance of prayer and I share Moroni’s promise with him. He just thought it was wonderful. He had to go and said he didn’t have time to pray on the phone. Today I have a long voicemail from him saying thank you for helping him on his journey to come closer to God and that he is sorry that he didn’t allow me to pray, he wished he had. He had said no to going to church but in the voicemail said that he might go now as he knows that he can get a lot from it. So we’ll see how that goes!

In other news, we went to music and the spoken word on Sunday. Unfortunately I only got to hear the choir’s performance of the Messiah as I passed by on our way to the teaching center. But they performed ‘Hallelujah’ during music and the spoken word and it was wonderful. There is nothing like hearing the choir and orchestra in the tabernacle. I mean they were good at conference but nothing compared to the tabernacle!!

Love you lots,
Sister Orndal xxxx

17th April 2014

Time goes by so quick! I can’t believe I’m writing yet another e-mail home.

This week has been so good with lots of things going on.

We were able to speak to Monica – the lady who called in for the video. She wasn’t quite as excited as we had hoped and instead just had more questions – we were able to help resolve her concerns and we ended up reading the Book of Mormon with her. In the middle of reading 2 Nephi 31 she just says “I want to be baptised”. We’re like, yeah that’s ok, but we still need to teach you! The difficulty in this situation is that the elders never set up a return appointment with her so it’s difficult to get her to progress without the support arriving in person!
So on Fridays we do a flag pole tour at 12. It means that we stand by the flag pole in the middle of the square and invite people to come on a tour. Only problem is that the organ recital begins at 12 too. And we’re stood next to the tabernacle so naturally people go to the organ recital as it only happens once a day. We head over to west gate to return the pass along cards we had picked up for the tour (it’s the information booth and the sisters in there assign the tours and everything) and they offer us to take an airport tour – basically people who take the shuttle from the airport to see temple square/SLC while waiting for their next flight. It was a family of 3 from Germany and a mother and daughter from Texas. Anyway, this woman, called Shauna is just in awe at everything we show her. We finish off at the Christus and while we are playing the narration I just think we need to stick around and speak to Shauna and her daughter more. We do and she tells us she is on her way to Fresno to see her friend who recently lost both her grandparents. We learn a lot about her and the trials she goes through. We decide to take her through the God’s Plan presentation. At the end we ask her what she thought and she just says “Well, I never thought I would find answers in Salt Lake City! I’m going to have to read a lot more about what you believe”. We were able to teach her more there and she gave us her contact details to call her. We bumped into her again before she left. She was telling us how she didn’t want to leave Temple Square as she just feels so good here. They were flying standby and had to go back to the airport to see if they made it on the next flight but she just wanted to stay. I called her on Tuesday and she was just so excited. She had lost the material we had given her but she just asked for more to read. She is just eager to learn and we can’t wait to teach her tomorrow. She said that she felt a connection to us and had never before been able to speak as openly to anyone about what she believed and everything. She also told me I look like Adele. So that makes probably 10 times this week.
Now on Saturday we were walking around and I see this guy sat on his own. I say to Sister Peñalba that we should speak to him. She says he looks creepy (which he kinda did) and we keep walking. I’m like ‘Are you sure?’ then we get to the end of the planters and she turns round and just says ‘Yeah, we need to speak to him’. So we go to speak to him and I greet him and ask him how he is. He doesn’t speak English. Thankfully my companion speaks Spanish! So she begins speaking to him. It’s a little bit awkward what’s going on but she suddenly says to me “OK, he’s looking for what God wants him to do and he keeps coming to Temple Square. We’re going to share our conversion stories and then we are going to invite him to be baptised.” So that’s what we do! Sister Peñalba translates for me and he accepts the invitation to be baptised. We take him inside the visitor centre and give him a book of mormon. I invite him to go to church the next day, he accepts. We give him the address for his local spanish ward. Then we take him to the Christus. We bare testimony about Christ and then Sister Peñalba invites him to ponder and pray and to indicate to us when he wants us to pay the narration. When it’s all done he says “I know this is what God wants for me”. We spoke to Jose the next day and he had gone to church but the times were wrong and he had gone to an english ward but had still loved it. He prayed with us and he had set up an appointment to meet the missionaries on Tuesday. We spoke to him last night and we’re going to teach him on the square on Saturday! Jose is definitely our miracle of the week!
I don’t know if I have told you about Bill yet. He’s a 64 year old limo driver in New York. Sister Peñalba has been teaching him for the past two transfers. I absolutely love Bill, he’s so awesome. We end up just laughing so much and he sang a song for us this week down the phone. Anyway, Bill went to church for the first time this Sunday!! He even sent us a picture! And he loved it. He just totally felt like he belonged. These were the texts he sent us:
“I am very blessed to have you sister and the elders in my life at this time and the thought that came into my mind as I entered the church was that after 26 years that I have finally come home.”. He still won’t commit to baptism but we know that him attending church was a big step! I know that Bill will be baptised but it will be when it is his decision and not because we asked him.
Those are the main investigators this week although we have a lot more, they just aren’t making the same kind of progress.
A nice surprise this week was a gift of $50 from the Amundsens! Someone had dropped it off with Sister Isaksen. It was so lovely to know that they thought about me!
This morning we were able to watch a preview of a film that will be released soon – it was sooooo good. It’s called Meet the Mormons and challenges people’s opinions about what Mormons are like. It’s really good and I’m excited for it to be released. President told us it’s not just a visitor centre film, it’s going to be released online and everything so hopefully you’ll get to see it. The cool thing was that one of the people featured who lives in Kathmandu is the branch president we got one of our investigators in touch with. Or at least we think it was him….
Sister Peñalba and I have basically been living on burritos. I just love them so much and we just have a lot of rice and beans! We also have been healthy with lots of salads so don’t worry too much. We started an exercise routine called XBX for Women. It’s by the Canadian air force or something. President Poulsen presented it to the mission as it’s only 12 minutes a day and he really wants the mission to be healthy! So we do 15 minutes of running/jogging/sleep walking and that together.
Another piece of news: there was a cockroach in our living room which Sister Peñalba courageously killed and I vacuumed up. I also learnt the spanish work for cockroach is “cucaracha” and that song and dance is the cockroach…..
As it’s Easter this Sunday, Me and Sister Peñalba are hoping to go to Music and the Spoken word on Sunday. We were going to take Jose but as his ward times are different now, we don’t know if we can!
I don’t know if you have had the chance to see the “Because of Him” video on mormon.org. But I think it’s just amazing so you should all watch it. Such a reminder what Easter is all about. I think this has become one of my favourite scriptures, I first took notice of it while in the MTC and it’s become a sound favourite throughout my mission:  3 Nephi 9:13 – “O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?”. The atonement is real and the atonement heals. All he wants is for us to come to him so that he can heal us. And he says to return – we chose him once already before we came to this earth. I guess this scripture particularly stands out to me at the moment because I feel like I need healing and I know that it is only possible through Christ. If you haven’t watched the video here’s the site: http://easter.mormon.org/ – Paul Sleem’s face is even in it!
Love you lots and lots xxxxx

10 April 2013

Hello again!

This past week has flown by! It’s crazy that it’s p-day again and time to e-mail.
So it’s been a busy week with a new schedule and with it being conference as well. On Thursday after e-mailing we went to Walmart for our food shopping. We got everything and I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure how much money I had on my card and well our trolley was just getting fuller and fuller. Sister Peñalba was getting eager with the shopping and I didn’t know how to tell her to slow down! We’re stood in the queue and it’s taking forever, so we let the person behind us go first as he only had one item. As we’re waiting we start talking to this guy. Anyway he pays for his thing and then turns to us and asks if he can pay for our groceries! So kind! We ended up spending $117 and I don’t think this guy realises how grateful we are for him doing that. It might not have been a big deal for him, maybe it was, but it made such a difference to us. And we now have food to last us a couple of weeks!
On Friday we were assigned to help out at the General Authorities’ lunch on the 26th floor of the Church Office Building. There were almost 400 GAs and we help set the room up and then were each assigned some tables to look after during the lunch and then cleared up after they were all gone. Well, I had no idea who the people at my table were but Elder Holland came over to speak to someone on my table who I later found out is David Beck – the general YM president. But Elder Bednar was sat on the table next time mine. It was so weird. The first presidency wasn’t there but pretty much all the others were. I spoke with Elder Cook as well, but at the time I had no idea who he was! It wasn’t until general conference when I saw him taking a seat in the big red chairs that it dawned on me!
So conference was crazy! In a good way though. We began our day at the square at 7:30am and had breakfast together. Then up at the square contacting people at 8am! We just spoke to anyone we could and tried to uplift them and get them excited about conference and where possible about hastening the work. It was so nice to just have gospel conversation after gospel conversation. We were able to go to the Saturday Morning session which was awesome! We were sat off to the side but it was still great, no impeded views in the conference centre! Straight out contacting afterwards! We had 20 mins for lunch and 20 mins for dinner so not much time for rest. The awkward things was that you would just be talking to someone and suddenly a photographer would be there taking pictures of you. It was so awkward because it throws you off your train of thought and you don’t know what your supposed to do! We didn’t leave the square until 9:30pm and it was straight to planning and then to bed! It was so cold though and we hadn’t brought our coats as it ruined our outfits (haha) and it was nice in the morning and just got worse through the day. When we actually had an assignment to stand outside the assembly hall the heavens opened with hail! (happened to coincide with the ordain women protest arriving on the square and the less die hard ones scarpered. There were lots of them and what they did was just not let anyone in). Me and Sister Peñalba then spent time moving people from the Assembly Hall to other buildings under our huge umbrellas in the hail.
Back on the square again at 7:30 on Sunday. We had the sense to wear coats this day! Lots of talking to people and having pictures rudely taken. Thankfully we finished at 7 on Sunday when we met for a meeting. We were told that there have been 478 (I think) baptisms since last Oct conference as a result of Temple Square’s efforts. And we received 350 referrals over the weekend, which is nothing compared to previous conferences but these are quality referrals and all but one that we have called so far from the referrals we received we have been able to teach and set up return appointments. And then it was time for our treat. Ice cream and performance by Kenneth Cope. I was of course more interested in the ice cream! But Kenneth Cope was, lets say interesting. Quite cheesy. Most of the sisters loved it but I just find stuff like that hard to take seriously. But he’s very talented and we actually play some of his songs a lot in the apartment.
So some cool stuff has happened this past week. Since Monday we have had BEAUTIFUL weather. It was 26 degrees C (I think) yesterday. So nice! On Monday we met this family at the Christus. The daughter (in her 40s) told us about her journey. She had been inactive for about 10/15 years and had finally gone back to the temple this past month, such an inspiring story. Then her mum turns up and told us how she had just talked to this guy downstairs after following a prompting and had been able to share her testimony and found out he was not a member of the church. We are taking them over to God’s plan when this guy she had spoken to, Kyle, turns up at the Christus and the woman invites him along with us. We see this woman do missionary work and its no effort at all, just love! Cheeeese, but it’s so true. At the end of the Gods plan presentation they all bear testimony in such a way that really applies to Kyle. We were able to take Kyle on a quick tour and he told us about how he has been looking at a place to put his faith and has never found the right place. He was on his way to San Antonio and had been offered a later flight by the airline as the flight was full which he took and had found himself at Temple Square to kill time. There are no coincidences! He had even given his info to some sisters earlier that day for missionaries to come to his home.
At the end of the day when the square was dead and we were basically waiting for 8:45 so we could go home we end up talking to this woman who was in SLC for conference and to do some family history. I totally forgot what we asked but she ended up telling us how she was on temple square looking for an answer to a dilemma in life. We talked for a while and I ended up sharing a scripture with her – Alma 37:36-37.
 36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea,let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thourisest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
She reads the first line and just starts crying. We talked for a little longer and bore testimony about receiving answers. I love moments like that. It’s those moments that make being a missionary. No it wasn’t a new investigator but our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. And often members are in dire need of that!
On Tuesday we found a GOLDEN investigator! It was an inbound call, she was calling for a copy of the Lamb of God. I was able to teach her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and she agreed to have the missionaries come with the DVD and BOM. Quite often they will ask us just to mail it. She even wants me to call back and see how everything goes. She’s so awesome and I love her already even after just one call! I can’t wait to call her again and see how things have gone and to help her on her journey! As i said before we have been calling the referrals we received over the weekend, they are all Spanish speaking the ones we have been able to get on the phone and its wonderful because these people are actually prepared. I always love it when we take a Spanish tour as the people just seem to have much softer hearts and more open to the spirit!
Last night we took an investigator lesson –  its where the missionaries from the SLC missions bring their investigators. It went really well and it’s always really cool to see how other (non visitor centre) missionaries teach. Funnily enough, it’s not too different! One of the elders were even from England! Their investigator is on date for 10th May and we were invited to the baptism but I’m not sure if we will go.
I have been seeing Stacey Hooper (my friend from NZ) all the time around the square. I’m pretty sure she is stalking me! It’s so funny that everytime she is here or just passing through we just bump into each other. I also saw Ruth and Christian Turner on their way to conference and was able to speak to them briefly. Other than that I haven’t seen anymore people I know!
I forgot to tell you! On one of my last nights with Sister Tiritilli we were on desk and it’s chucking it down outside. Suddenly this guy, who is absolutely drenched walks in. He just look at us both then turns to the temple and back to us and goes “Why isn’t THAT being used?” and then launches into a speech about how the angel Moroni can be used to generate energy which could supply the whole state. He was quite animated in explaining the science and mechanics behind this. At one point he is kneeling on the floor. A security officer had walked in not long after he had walked in and just pretended to be reading a display near by. He keeps looking over to us to give the sign that we need help but me and Sister Tiritilli are doing all we can to not laugh. We ask him a couple of questions and he tells us how we should speak to his friend Raj who is John the Baptist reincarnated. He has this book with him which he had found in the library and the coincidence was too great that the colour of the book was purple and gold and he was wearing purple and gold shorts when he found it. He has not taken the shorts off since. Lots of talking about the universe. After about 10 minutes security comes over and asks him if he had ever been in the North VC and that it had the universe painted in there. This guys attention turn to the officer and he just starts following him out of the building. It was so funny and so strange at the same time!
Although we have been downgraded in housing, I am loving my new companions and room mates! They are so fun. And me and sister Peñalba have lots of fun together. Obviously there are a lot of teething problems but it’s all good, just the normal level of problems you would expect.
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This was in Deseret News!
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My Old zone
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My Crazy Old Zone
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And again!
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A blurry picture of Ssiter Peñalba and I on Saturday.

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All the Brits on Temple Square – Sister Walsh, me, Sister Mathias, Sister Andre. And Sister Cummings photo bombing
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Sister Peñalba and I waiting for Kenneth Cope to begin.
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Our Humble Abode
Sister Orndal

3rd April 2014

Hola! Mi nombre es Hermana Orndal. Yo soy en Inglaterra. Mucho gusto. Como fue eso?

 
My new companion is Sister Penalba from Panama! She lovely and we have been taking lots of Spanish tour so I have been learning bits and pieces so that I can take part! It’s a whole new skill as she translates for me so I have to listen to her very carefully telling me what the people are saying while looking at the person speaking so that I look interested. She’s really good at it and I can tell that she is a great teacher already. So although I haven’t moved zone or district, I have had to move flat. So we have 3 different apartment complexes. Each can be described to the degrees of glory. I was living in a terrestrial apartment and now I am in a telestial apartment. I was hoping that if I had to move it would be to the celestial apartments but no such luck. The thing that is nice about it though is that it’s bigger and it’s in a house instead of a complex so it doesn’t feel so much like dorms. But it’s a further walk away and up a hill 😦 I’ve attached pictures of our old apartment and will send the pictures from the new one next week. It’s a mess because we were in the middle of packing and cleaning up. 
 
Doesn’t matter too much as we don’t send too much time there! But our housemates are cool though. They are Zone Leaders of another zone. Sister Ellis from Singapore and Sister Howard from California. 
 
So this week again hasn’t been the most productive, mostly because Sister Tiritilli has been getting ready to go outbound. And our one appointment fell through. As it’s been transfers we haven’t been able to get back into things as we are still adjusting. But I’m looking forward to how things will be this transfer.
 
Transfer conference was so nerve wracking. I was really nervous about who my new companion would be. We find out on Monday and then pack and get ready to move on Tuesday night. Sister Tiritilli found out on Monday that she was going to the New York Utica Mission. She was excited to go but I think it hit her before she left how much she will miss Temple Square and everyone here. We took her to the airport on Tuesday at 3:30am. So quite an early start for me! It was a strange day as I was companionless and was just jumping from companionship to companionship! 
 
So as you know I’ve started seeing quite a lot of people I know! I was studying with some sisters on Tuesday night when Sonny Donaldson appeared at the window! Earlier that day Amanda and Stacey turn up. It was soooooo good to see them. Today we got a call for a tour and when we got there it was Chris Donaldson. We also took another general authority’s wife on a tour – Sister Podvodan (i think that’s how it was spelt) from the Ukraine.  While taking Chris around I saw Ruth and Christian Turner – didn’t get to speak to them but hopefully will bump into them again! Oh and I saw Elder Bednar out shopping with his wife on Wednesday. As I said before we took quite Spanish tours (all members) and the spirit on these tours is sooo strong! I don’t know what it is about Latinos but they are just so much more open and willing to share their testimonies. Guaranteed they all cry before the end of the tour. 
 
So just a day and a half until conference! I feel a little bit nervous and excited. I just don’t know what to expect! I will be going to the Saturday morning session so keep an eye out. Did you see the temple square sisters at the Women’s conference? They showed them on screen a couple of times. The mission only got 100 tickets so the sisters in 1st/2nd/3rd transfer didn’t get to go. You can see Sister Tiritilli on screen when they are singing the chorus of I am a child of God. But as I was in a trio I was in Guest Services (answer the phone calls) so I got to watch it live at least. 
 
Anyway, I hope I have more exciting news next week! My feet hurt. My back hurts. It’s freezing at the moment (love my coat btw!). But I love love LOVE being here. I don’t love it at 6:30 in the morning but I don’t wish I was anywhere else. I never want to take for granted that I am serving here at Temple Square. Even if we are taking out a huge chunk of our day tomorrow to do catering for the general authority training…. 
 
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20 Mar 2014

Temple Square is looking beautiful these days as all the flowers are blooming! I’d show you pictures but I’m kinda not allowed. This week has been so busy. It’s really just all merged into one. I even have to refer back to my planner to try and remember what we have been doing this week and who we have been teaching. There isn’t any big moment this week that stands out to tell you about! We went on exchange with the zone leaders on Monday. It was a nice change. I actually quite like exchanges as it’s always a new experience and I learn so much about what would help my own companionship.We also had an exchange yesterday – I was with the district leader’s companion who doesn’t talk so it was quite a learning experience of having to lead everything! Sister Tiritilli teased me and said it was preparing me for training as that’s what it can be like a lot of the time!
 
It’s been quite a quiet week on the teaching front. On Sunday we found out that 2 of our investigators went to church and are now meeting with local missionaries which we’re really excited about. It’s just awkward when other missionaries start teaching as we really don’t want to step on their toes and we are no longer the primary teachers. But it’s good to be able to provide that support. One investigator we committed to baptism, Austin, also went to church and we are hoping he has now set up a meeting with the missionaries there but we haven’t had a reply to our text yet! He’s on date for 29th but as teaching has been slow it will probably be later as he’s only been the church once and we haven’t got past the restoration! 
 
So last night on chat we spoke to someone who was saying they wanted to learn more and agreed for us to send local missionaries. So he gives us his address, we look it up on lds maps and he belongs in our ward. As in Manchester South. He gave us his number to call right then. So we call but we get no answer. As it was almost 2am in England we decided that it must have just been a prank and we were calling some random number to get people annoyed at 2am. We decided not to pursue it as he knew we were calling and didn’t answer. So we didn’t even add him to our online area book. Just as we were leaving I decided that I better just jot his number and address down.  I was trying to get to sleep last night and I just couldn’t. I was just thinking about this chat and that I shouldn’t give up. Sister Tiritilli couldn’t sleep either (other reasons) so at 11:30 I’m telling her that I think we need to call this guy again and she agreed. So hopefully we manage to contact him tomorrow or we can get the missionaries to go. I’m just a bit conflicted as I don’t know if I’m just excited as it’s my home ward or if the spirit is actually telling me to call! I just think it’s too much of a convenience for that chat to come through to me!
 
On Sunday we had Scandinavian meeting – basically all the scandinavian sisters get together and talk in their native languages! It was really cool, all the sisters are so nice and it’s good to know I’m not as terrible at Norwegian as I thought. I can not understand Danish though, not one bit. 
 
We’re less than two weeks before the end of my first transfer! And we have another busy week! The square is getting busier as the weather is nice most days now and as conference is coming up!
 
Anyway I can’t think of much else to write about! We have zone activity today and we are watching frozen! Yay for disney. We watched Best Two Years last P-day so we are quite spoilt!
 
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All the Scandinavian sisters here on Temple Square – Sisters Isaksen, Lunddahl, Jensen, Nilsson, Eldenberg, Stigsson, Back, Lampien, Bomgren and Aagren.
 
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