My Mission

I served as a missionary in Sweden for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from May 1978 to June 1980. I chose to donate my time for two years to bear witness to those I contacted the reality of the life and mission of Jesus Christ, including all he has done in restoring his true gospel on the earth in recent times. Although it was many years ago, I still hold stongly to the purpose and memories of that wonderful experience.

This blog is intended to give an overview of my experiences in Sweden, and to offer to anyone interested further information regarding my testimony of Jesus Christ.

Cities and Companions

This is a summary of the cities in Sweden I served in, and the missionary companions I served with:

August - October 1978 in Boden.
Boden is a small city in northern Sweden, about 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle. I had expected it to be very cold, with polar bears, etc, because of its location, but when I arrived, I wondered if they had mistakenly sent me south to Holland. Summer and fall in Boden was warm, pretty and green. No polar bears in sight. It is a nice little town. Only a few members lived here that attended the Lulea branch, 45 minutes to the south.

My companion in Boden was Tor Eriksson, from Karlskrona, Sweden. He spoke some English, and I spoke some Swedish, but with a Swede I was given a chance to focus more on learning the language quickly. Tor was a great piano player, somewhat reserved, and reminded me in some ways of my brother Stan.

November 1978 - April 1979 in Vällingby.
Vallingby is a suburb of Stockholm. It has a town center, but is fairly spread out in land area. The first month we lived with an older woman several miles outside of the town center, but then moved in to town in an apartment owned by Sis. Hernelind in the Hasselby area. We attended the Stockholm 1st Ward, with about 10 or so other missionaries.

David Owen was my companion the first 3 months. David was from the SLC area and struggled a bit with being motivated. We both came in as co-area leaders and took the area over from the Sisters, and felt like we were starting from scratch.

The next three months I was in a co-area leaders threesome with Eric Davis from Payson, UT and Daniel Bray from California. This was a great companionship and a lot of fun. We enjoyed singing together. Though I lost contact with them both, I have recently renewed a great friendship with Eric. Eric was in my MTC group.

May - October 1979 in Gubbängen.
Another suburb of Stockholm, I served 6 great months here as District Leader. A beautiful area with a nice little town center and lots of green open spaces. We lived with Brother Wallgren in his townhome just a few blocks from the Gubbangen stake center. We attended the Stockholm 2nd Ward - a good, strong ward with great members.

My first companion there was Randy Richardson from SLC, an energetic newer missionary who had frequent communication with a serious girlfriend who later became his wife. We had some good success, and spent a P-Day with Sis. Bergstrom from the MTC.

My last three months in Gubbangen were with Donald Burdett from California. An artist and a comedian, Don and I had a good time and enjoyed success together.

November 1979 - January 1980 in Gävle.
Gavle is a mid-size city two hours north of Stockholm, and was the birthplace of the first LDS missionary and the first branch of the church in Sweden. I served as a Zone Leader in Gavle - A good, strong branch of the church with great members that made winter and the holidays a great experience.

Although I only served one month with Paul Ruben, who finished his mission here, it was a great month. Paul was fun, inspiring and a great missionary.

The next two months were with Kelly Grubaugh of Oregon, who was in my MTC group. Somewhat shy, Kelly was a dedicated and fun guy to be with. We had some good success and enjoyed serving with some great sister missionaries in Gavle, Cyndi Van Woerkham and Suzanne Redd.

February - May 1980 at the Mission Office in Täby, Stockholm.
In the Mission Office, I served as Assistant to the President, and enjoyed serving with several elders. Although much time was spent indoors, I had great proselyting experience as well, mostly in the Solna area. The experiences of traveling to many areas of the mission for zone conferences and spending time with President Holmgren were choice. It was a great way to finish my mission.

My assigned companion was Robert Nielsen, from Texas. He inspired me with his example and kept me up late in great conversations. I also proselyted with David Burton, Karl-Erik Forsman and Alan Winters - all great men.

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