Monday, April 4, 2016

Sanctify Yourselves: Tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you

General Conference, am I right? SO GOOD. Just thought I would start out with my thoughts/experience with that because it's the highlight såklart. 

I had a lot of questions and I feel like I got some solid answers. It's really cool how sometimes the direct words are the answer and sometimes it's the impressions you get during the talk- such as names that come to mind. I was really wondering what God wants my next step to be and what goals he wants me to have so I don't come home without direction. That's been my biggest struggle, lately, is just wondering how life will be as fulfilling as it is here. It'll take more effort, I suppose, but tomorrow looks bright for me, no matter what country I'm in :)

I wish I had more time to go through all the talks because I learned so much from every single one, but I'll just say some of the themes I noticed and were helpful for me. I absolutely LOVED the talk about really knowing we are children of God. It's so interesting that we can and should define ourselves by the very thing that we all have in common. I think that's a big message in itself, that if we realize we are children of God then we will realize that every person on earth is, not in a negative way but in a positive way! And that knowledge cannot leave a life unchanged. I also loved Elder Bednar's talk, I especially liked how he talked about how the Holy Ghost can burn evil out of us like fire burns things clean. I really love imagery, so that really stuck with me. And OH MY GOSH the talk about Resurrection. So incredible. I love the quotes used from the daughter that was sick with cancer, how she didn't say, "I wish He would heal my cancer" but "He ALREADY HAS healed my cancer." I never thought of it that way before, that he has healed us - because he provided a way for us to be whole, whether we experience that in this short lifetime or in the life hereafter. It takes trust but gives so much hope! And of course, Elder Holland's talk was awesome and I love that he talked about the application of all the talks and being hopeful, not discouraged. 

I hope you guys enjoyed it too. :) I still need to watch women's conference. 

But as far as this week goes, we said goodbye to Sofie and I already really mis her. She went to the states and will get back right after I go home. :( Thank goodness for SKYPE. It was Elder Payne's birthday so we made some Oreo balls. I'm so glad my companions can bake haha. I have no idea. We met with a Russian guy and he was really interested, and we have a member that served in Russia so it was really fun for him to use his Russian. 

I think that's pretty much all I have for this week. I am just feeling WEIRD. Part of me feels like going home is a weird myth and another part of me knows it's coming and recognizes this week as my last full week of being a missionary. The thing that makes me the most sad is the license the missionary name-tag seems to give us to meet new people all the time and to tell them how much God loves them and that He's real and is anxious to help. I've found the joy that's promised in the call letter I received and I can say that I have felt more joy out here than I had ever felt previously. I think that helps me realize that this mission really has been a success. But nooo worrieeessssssssss, I will give this last week all I have and I will send my last email next week! 

Love you guys so much! 

Syster Stetler 
 Syster Stetler and Syster Campbell
 Future Gymnast
 Beach time
 Professional models

 Syster Jackson and Syster Stetler
 Syster Stetler and her MTC district
Too cool for Sweden.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happy Easter!

 Happy Easter! I hope it was as good there as it was here, it sounds like it was really good though :)

I have about a billion pictures that need to be sent because we went to YStad and it was beautiful. And by YStad I mean Ales Stenar. You should look that up because it's kinda hard to describe, but basically it's a ton of stones from the vikings forever ago and was a sundial? (Wanna buy a sundial?????) We had a fun pday with a lot of missionaries. We saw the beach and moved rocks so that they said Mormon.Org haha. We also played soccer. I had no idea that learning to play soccer would have been the best mission prep ever. 

On Tuesday we went to lunch with these two older women that are so flippin' funny. They were talking to all the people sitting by us and just making new friends. Then.... N____GOT CONFIRMED. I prayed for some confirmation that she was actually a member now and when I looked at her afterwards I just saw N___the member. It's so interesting how months of preparation comes down to a few minutes of a confirmation and now she is officially a member. She's adorable.

Wednesday we met a lot of new people and we met with this girl from Eritrea I believe? She is the cutest girl ever. Soooooo funny, and she is having us over for lunch this week with her mom. I feel like we are just teaching girls right now and I love it. And all the girls we teach are hilarious and kinda sassy haha. It's the best. Then for Relief Society we had a "årsfest" (year party) which Sis. Campbell thought was going to be a "ostfest"  (cheese party) hahah. It was really cute, especially because N____ heard the word party and came in this super high heels and really pretty dress just to eat some food and play Book of Mormon charades. 

Thursday was so stressful. We weren't sure what happened with our phone, we thought it broke, so we had to find a random stranger to use their phone to call the elders and tell them that our phone was broken and we needed to use theirs and they just said, "Yeah. We are on our way, we called like 10 times and then figured something was probably wrong." Haha. We got it all figured out and then we headed to Göteborg with the most ridiculous travel you have ever seen. All the other missionaries had like 2 trains, but we had 4 trains and 2 buses. But we made it. It was SO nice to see Sis. Jackson and Sis. Griffes and other friends for zone conference, my last one! 

I thought it would hit me and I would be all sad and cry, but it just didn't seem real at all. I gave my "departing testimony" and it was weird! I talked about how I never thought I would be able to do an entire mission, especially before I came, but with God's grace it was possible! And I am so thankful for all I've learned and all the people that helped me through and especially for the chance to get to know God and Christ on a deeper level. 

We about a lot of things but my favorite topics were how we can rely on Christ's strength and come to know him better. Sis. Beckstrand gave 5 steps:

1. Daily Prayer
2. Selfless Service
3. Daily striving for obedience 
4. Acknowledge his hand in our lives
5. Daily scripture study

It was so good! And it's a good reminder that we need to not make it more complicated than it is. 

Sunday was great, we ate some traditional swedish food and it was SO YUMMY. Church was also so good, all focused on Christ! 

This email is already kinda long but I'll just give a few thoughts of my studies during the week. 2 things:

First, CONFERENCE. Have you guys read this article? IF NOT READ IT PLEASE.

Some quotes from that that were really important to me are:

“Hal, if you want to get revelation, do your homework.”

We who listen to and watch the messages of general conference sometimes think afterward, “What do I remember best?” The Lord’s hope for each of us is that our answer will be: “I will never forget the moments when I felt the voice of the Spirit in my mind and heart telling me what I could do to please my Heavenly Father and the Savior.”

 This week is when we choose how we want our experience to be with Conference. PLEASE prepare! Our sacrifices will show God that we are so thankful for this experience to listen to his servants and are ready for revelation. 

Second, it was just a really nice reminder this week that I recognized that I really needed more patience with everyone, I was starting to get frustrated kind of easily, and I just took my study time and studied patience and love and prayed for help and it came. I love that the Atonement is for large scale problems as well as small. We all need it :) 

I love you all! Have the best week ever! Talk to you next week! 

Syster Stetler

Pride Looks Sideways; Humility Upwards

Well, apparently it's the last month of my mission. I didn't know until I got my flight plans. But... I am just going to pretend like that didn't happen. I already lost it in district meeting this week haha. I'll explain.

But first of all, I just want to give the Sandelins a shout out and say they are the most fantastic family ever. Dinner at their house was so out of control this week. Someone gave me WAY too much salad so as Sara was getting some other food I put a huge scoop of it onto her plate and got payback with the biggest portion of pudding I've ever seen haha. Sara is one of my favorite people in the world.... Last PDay we played soccer and the funniest thing happened. So Sis. Campbell is really good at soccer and Joel (Sara's older brother that ALWAYS makes fun of us like crazy) was on the opposite team and Sis. Campbell kicked the ball SO hard to his shin and he fell down on the ground and was whining about it, then Elder Walker, on the same team, kicked him in the head with the soccer ball from like 4 feet away... hahahah. I shouldn't laugh about these things, but you know. 

N___ is still doing good, she went to Germany for a week though and it felt so weird to not have her here. We visited her last night and she just gives us a kiss on the cheek with her bright lipstick leaving a huge mark, and now I don't feel so empty. :) She's getting confirmed this week!

What else happened? We helped a lady move and it was.... interesting. It always is. Haha. 

Oh! We went on splits too, with my favorite SIS. BANKS. I love her so much, she gives the best hugs and just feels like my mom haha. She was the sweetest when I was having a really hard time in Stockholm. We visited S___ and had such a special lesson... after Sara scared us by jumping out of some curtains haha.... but we talked about Christ and why he is important and baptism. She has a new goal to get baptized next month after she goes to America. She texted us afterwards and told us an experience she had while looking at the picture of Christ, she is so amazing at listening to the spirit and learning things for herself. I love her. Seriously!

We also taught a college class. We met this family from Kosavo who just takes the best care of us, and the daughter is the funniest girl ever. She is taking a religion class and she asked us to come and talk about what we believe, so we did. She was like, "Come! It'll be so fun. We can ask questions and you can tell us what you believe, and I'll bring some cookies or something, I am NOT gonna sit there without my cookies." Haha. In college they seriously all sit around a table and just discuss over a fika. The U.S. is doin' it all wrong if you ask me! 

CONFERENCE IS COMING UP AND EASTER. I'm excited! Sis. Campbell and I started talking about how we can really prepare for conference, there is an article from President Eyring in the ensign that's really good. But we got into a discussion about Jesus Christ and how we can get to know him. She taught me how she has done that and it was exactly what I needed to hear. We decided we were going to pick a Christlike attribute together and study it and try to develop it and try to see it in other people, so that Christ can really come alive to us. We chose humility. HOLY COW. I have already learned so much and I have been really looking forward to studies. I have so much I could say but I'll try to not make this email so long haha. 

"The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.” If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem."
We usually think of pride as looking down at people but it can be looking sideways as well for approval or from answers from MEN instead of GOD. 

"We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives. Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can."

One more thing, in district meeting we talked about what the gospel has done for us or why we have hope. I was sitting there just thinking about how when I was at home, I felt the prompting that I needed to serve a mission, but I was terrified and didn't think I could do it and didn't know if I wanted to. I remember praying and studying and how I was sitting on a train and a man came up to me and asked me if I was a missionary. I explained that I was a member but not a missionary. He told me how he couldn't decide if joining the church was right for him or not. His wife was less active. I asked him more about his family and he told me he had a new baby, 2 weeks old or something. I remember testifying that this church has the keys to bind his family together forever, no matter what happens, and that I was so grateful for that. I remember stepping off the train and feeling so much joy just overwhelm me, and thinking, "If this is what it's like to serve a mission, then I will go! I want to feel this all the time." As I sat in district meeting, I was reflecting on that experience and how that is exactly the situation we, our family, was in. I thought about how lucky I am that I got to grow up as a member of this church and receive all the wonderful blessings and peace that comes from it. And that's why I am out here, because I want that for that man, and for that baby. I want that for the people on the streets and for friends and family. I want them to know they have a Father in Heaven that loves them and listens to prayers. And that the difficulties they go through are for a purpose of learning and growing. That we are here for a reason, it's not just random and we have tools that can help us so much. It's making me really sad that it's starting to come to a close, and I feel that every day is so precious. 

I love you guys and hope you have a great week. Sweden is treatin' me well. :) We are going to see some huge stones today and I'll send pictures next week!


Syster Stetler

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring Cleaning


SPRING IS COMING. FINALLY. Flowers are starting to pop up everywhere and I am so obsessed with them. It was sunny and we raked leaves for an older lady this week. It felt like a nice fall day haha. And Easter is coming up! Have you guys seen the new video? 

I love how it addresses not only what Christ did, but what it means to us. I love, "In Jesus Christ I have found new life." It's so simple. We can leave behind our negative emotions and our weaknesses and find a new life, a better life. And we can live again with our families, thanks to him. How amazing is that? And we get to go out and tell people that good news every day. How lucky are we! :)

We had a zone conference about that this week in Malmö. It was fun to see so many friends, and I like Malmö a lot. We took pictures by the ocean there too!

Also, PDAY last week was AWESOME. We went to my dream town - Åhus. It's this cute little town on the beach and we took about a billion pictures. We went to the beach and picked out shells. :) I love Sweden.

We taught a lot of people on the street this week, and I have found that that is one of my favorite things to do. I love meeting new people and hearing about their experiences and beliefs and also sharing ours. It's cool to see how we are alike in so many ways and also have differences that lead to really interesting discussions. We have met so many people that have really been stopping and listening to us and taking a Book of Mormon. It's just such a big claim that we have! Sister Campbell and I like telling people about Jesus Christ, the apostasy, and Joseph Smith's experience and say, "So, it's a pretty big claim we have. It either happened or it didn't. You don't have to take our word for it, there is evidence that you can hold in your hands that it did!!" The Book of Mormon is amazing. I love the promise and trust in it so strongly that every person can read and feel the truthfulness for him or herself.

We had some good lessons this week. To give you an example of what a week here will be like, we met with (including members) with 2 ladies from Kosovo, 6 swedes, 1 american, a lady from Ghana, a guy from Syria, a Chilean family, a family from Iraq, and a girl from Eritrea. So fun. I love it. 

I love you guys! I hope you have a great week. Enjoy the SUNSHINE. 


Syster Stetler

Shoebox of Photgraphs


I hope you all had a fantastic week. :)

We got Sister Poulson off and it was really hard to say goodbye to her. I love her!!!!!!!!!!!! She taught me so much about loving the mission and about enjoying it while working really hard. Sister Campbell is also ADORABLE. I love her. She has been in Sweden for about 3 months and it's so fun to be with someone with so much energy for missionary work and for life. From what I can see already, one of her biggest strengths is that she sees the beauty in everyone and everything. I've looked at Kristianstad so much differently ever since she has been here. She's taken a bunch of pictures and I will send them. :) 

We said bye to a lot of people and it was fun to see some of my favorite people here all in one day. We got some amazing Albanian food. I really am falling in love with that culture haha. How random, right? The best part though had to be when we went to teach S___ at the Strandbergs. We had a great lesson and Sofie is so smart and learns from the spirit SO WELL. We showed her this video. And she was like, "Ok, there are obvious scorpions but how do I avoid the hidden ones?" GREAT QUESTION. That's why we have the Holy Ghost to guide us, not to mention church, a prophet, etc. 

Afterwards, we happened to be there at the right time for the girls in that family to do a production for their dad for his birthday. Hahaha. It was super hilarious. They dressed up and did some high quality lip syncing. We had some great lessons with members too, I can't believe how good they are at missionary work. They all try so hard to find friends that they can help and give hope to. Such great examples for me. 

And N____ is still doing so good. She was basically teaching us this last time we went there about how God's will is better than ours, and even when it's hard, we have to submit. I was just mindblown! She understands (in my opinion) the most difficult thing to learn while here on earth. She looks to Christ as an example and is one. tough. lady. She teaches me more than I could ever teach her, seriously. 

We had another really fun lesson at the Sandelin's. I can't even tell you how much I love them! I look forward to dinner with them all week. We had a contest to see who could find the most clever ways to use the scriptures to get out of doing the dishes and to ask someone out on a date. Hahaha. The best were why I shouldn't do the dishes

 18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
We were all super confused.... And he was like, "That's what happens when I do the dishes. So you should do them instead." And then we had the date one. One of the sons said, If there is anything virtuouslovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
It was way fun. The last thing for this week was after church we went to dinner with a member and a member came by with a guy that helps her with work, she just happened to get called in. I told him we usually have a message and were going to talk about repentance. He expressed that he had had a lot of problems with smoking and drinking in the past but left those things behind him. I told him about how that is repentance but missing the most important part - CHRIST. He gives us the power to overcome our sins and our addictions, to be clean, and to never look back. God gives us commandments so that we are happy, and if we mess up there is a way back thanks to Christ. I realized that that's the gospel in one sentence. 
We also got a chance to teach some street lessons and it just made me happy. It filled me with joy and excitement, like Christmas morning or something. Haha. I love being here. I am so in love with this beautiful land and with the people here. 
Love you all so much!
Syster Stetler

Monday, February 29, 2016

Baptism and Transfers

Hey Everyone!

You guys. I felt like a real missionary this week. It was the first baptism I have been to that has been someone I have taught. It was so beautiful. A lot of the ward came. Ann Marie, a new member that we LOVE, gave a beautiful talk and there was a gorgeous music number.... then Benjamin Sandelin, a 16 year old, baptized her! It only took 3 tries for her to be completely under the water! Third time is a charm! Haha. But the best part was that she shared her testimony afterwards and talked about how her life has been EXTREMELY difficult but she has always had faith and God has helped her through everything. She talked about the missionaries that found her and how this was the greatest day of her life and she gained a new family. It was seriously SO special! She is going to be an amazing member. We have tons of pictures and I will send them! :)

That was the highlight.

Annars, I will go through the week! Monday we went to Lund and shopped and I got all the tourist things and gifts that I wanted. I thought it was a good time to do it because Sister Poulson was getting all of hers too. Then we went to the Malmstens. They are seriously the cutest couple ever (he is Swedish, she is Finnish) and their house just has this amazing peace about it. Fredrick was an incredible missionary in Russia and he gave us some tips and said he wanted to come contacting with us! It'll be fun. 

The next few days were kind of rough because Sister Poulson got sick, so we stayed in for a while. But Thursday was awesome because we had district meeting in Växjö and had Sister Poulson's good-bye party. The elders put on quite a good-bye party haha. They gave her advice, did role plays of life at home, and sang a Swedish song and we ate some brownies (of course...). She was sick and kind of out of it but you know, it was a valiant effort haha. THEN we got home and it was S____ birthday and we met with her and watched a mormon message.... then tricked her into going to a surprise party with all the young adults. She loved it. :) She fits in so well here and everyone loves her... including us. It's so fun when you make good friends. :) 

Oh my goodness and Friday we had the best time at the Sandelins! The message was the best part. They gave each of the members of the family a chance to teach the missionaries. So everyone does a decent job... But then Noah came haha. Noah is 10 years old and one of the funniest, most dramatic kids I have ever met. Super smart too. 

Noah: "How are you?"
Elder Nielsen: *Pretending to be sad* "Not so good... My uncle just died..."
Noah: *Immediately proclaims* "BE NOT SAD. I know where your uncle is! He's in heaven with Jesus. Before this life we lived with God. Then we came to earth to live with our families, like your uncle. Then we die and we go back to Jesus and live with our families again. Come to church and you can learn more!" 

Like, he's 10! We couldn't help but stand up and applaud. It was so beautiful.

And then N____s baptism on Saturday and also transfer calls! I am getting Sister Cambell. She's super cute and just got done being trained in Täby. It'll be really fun. :) I'm very excited and have a lot of goals for this next and BEST transfer! Although this past one has been one of my favorites. Oh! And I also got to see Alison! ONE OF MY FAVORITE HUMANS EVER. She is going to Singapore really soon for her mission! I LOVE HER.

Sunday, S____ came for all three hours and then to dinner afterwards. She cancelled a meeting that she had so that she could stay for the rest of church. It made us so happy :) She is doing wonderful. Also, Sister Poulson talked and it was super sweet. Oh, I love missions.

I have been thinking about my mission and how I wanted a stronger testimony that the gospel makes me happy. Still. :) I definitely have been getting answers to my prayers. At the baptism I just felt so much joy. I love God, to put it simply! Haha. 

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” -Gandhi 

Lining up your desires, thoughts, words, and actions with God's will is true happiness. Not pleasure. But happiness. 

An amazing example of this in church history:

The mob next seized Bishop Edward Partridge and Charles Allen. They were taken to the public square in Independence and commanded to renounce the Book of Mormon and leave the county. Bishop Partridge said, “I told them that the Saints had suffered persecution in all ages of the world; that I had done nothing which ought to offend anyone; that if they abused me, they would abuse an innocent person; that I was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ; but, to leave the country, I was not then willing to consent to it.”
With this refusal, the men were stripped of their outer clothing and their bodies were covered with tar and feathers. Bishop Partridge observed, “I bore my abuse with so much resignation and meekness, that it appeared to astound the multitude, who permitted me to retire in silence, many looking very solemn, their sympathies having been touched as I thought; and as to myself, I was so filled with the Spirit and love of God, that I had no hatred towards my persecutors or anyone else.”
This is something that I am slowly learning throughout my mission. Happiness comes when we stop resisting and start accepting and even embracing. I love the gospel! 


Syster Stetler 

Monday, February 22, 2016


So we have met with S____ a lot! we were eating dinner and then we taught about the plan of salvation kinda. we focused on where we are from, that she is a daughter of God with divine nature, and how when we follow the example of Jesomething... us Christ we are purified and changed and improved. we asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she looked a little shocked and was like i dont know...and then after we said the closing prayer to the lesson she said feel my hands they are cold! and i was like ya...and she said when you asked me to be baptized i got that feeling again! and so then we set up a baptismal date for her for her the 26 of march. The Holy Ghost is real and communicates with our spirits, this work we do would be impossible with out it.  

N____ did not get baptized this week, we could not get in contact with her for like 3 days and then when we finally saw her she said she didnt want to get baptized on the following Saturday anymore. When we came in and sat down with her and said a prayer and the whole spirit changed. she apologized and explained that some really stressful things had been happening at her job. We watched a video of Christs baptism, and then asked her why she wanted to be baptized. she said because i believe it will bring me closer to God and Jesus Christ. the spirit of truth filled the room. the contrast from when we first got there to that moment was night and day. I know that there is opposition in all things, we must fight on in the cause of what is right and true and good!!! 

We tracted into an adorable family like 3 weeks ago, the parents are from Kosavo and the daughter who is like 25 grew up in Sweden. they always invite us over and make us so much food!!! its crazy! and so delicious! but they have not been so interested in our message as missionaries, and were kinda offended when we invited them to church...BUT THEN we swung by with rice crispies drizzled with chocolate and D____ (the 25 yr old daughter who is like super beautiful and nice and hilarious and down to earth like seriously she is our best friend) she said "i want to invite all my friends over and you guys can meet them and also i was talking to my teacher and i told her about you guys and that you speak swedish and she wants to meet you and i am actually also interested to learn about what you believe." when she told us she wanted to learn i could really feel it:) 

so there is a family in the ward who has 5 kids, 2 return missionary kids and 3 preparing to go, we go over there every friday for dinner! last week we shared a message about how the promise at the beginning of Preach My Gospel is FO REAL. that we can really feel more joy than we ever have before in the work of the Lord. we invited them to prepare the message for the next week, that they could teach us instead, out of the lessons from Preach my Gospel. So this week they did it! and it was so so great! they made like a power point presentation and we could just tell that they had read and prepared and learned. 

i love the article for this month about LIGHT. how our purpose is to go about soaking in more and more light and truth all the time. I am so grateful and happy to my Savior and Heavenly Father helping me so much. 

thank you for all the prayers and support and love, i really am so eternally grateful. I really love you all!!

L O V E 
Syster Stetler