Friday, December 19, 2014
So this was a really productive week both as a tourist and as a missionary! (I am just a tourist in my few minutes of free time). I SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!!!!!!!! They are absolutely beautiful. I freaked out. They are just huge green streaks in the sky that move, then fade away. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. I also ate reindeer pizza with my zone after zone conferece.... so fun! I loved it because it tastes gamey, it reminded me of home. On the missionary side of things, more importantly, we really made some progress with Henrik. So Henrik is our only progressing investigator, really... He has had a really hard life and he lost his faith in God a while ago. We have spent all of our lessons trying to help him find it again, and help him understand how he can know truth. He came back one day and said he believes in God. Some missionaries act like these things are no big deal, but it's a really big deal to me! I hope that never wears off. Then we had an amazing lesson about the Atonement, and it's such a cool experience to tell someone that feels so alone that there is someone who is always there who understands perfectly. I loved telling him that he can be free from his guilt and from his past life and become who he wants to be, in the strength of the Lord.So I realized I haven't really described Sweden or my mission very well haha. We have pretty big boundaries and we have a car. One day we scraped the ice then scraped it again three hours later. We also have an iphone! It makes life way easier. It's almost the darkest day, then it'll start getting lighter, and I guess Jan and Feb are the coldest months.EVERY little kid just wears a snowsuit to school. It's so adorable! Christmas is huge here! Everyone loves Christmas. There's a lot of shopping! There are Lucia concerts, and candles, and my favorite is there are stars in every window, I really want to get one before I come home. Also, they have food just for Christmas. There is this drink called Julmust and pepparkakor cookies that are amazing! I also drink a lot of tea here, the kind that is allowed. The food is all really good, it's pretty similar. I went to a member's houseand we had tacos with bananas on them! Who would have thought? It was way yummy!What else for this week? We had a ward party, it was a blast! We made tons of rice krispie treats and delivered them. We also challenged the ward to each make a missionary goal and reach out to someone, that has been successful so far!Ok I think that's it for the week, I will send a few pictures. Also, I sent a package of just a few small things! I will explain it all soon! And don't let me forget about the skit either, we are doing the most hilarious skit in the world. That sounds so lame but it was a huge highlight of my week haha.LOVE YOU! CANT WAIT TO SKYPE!Syster Stetler
We had a district meeting that rode the bus two hours to, and it was the best part of the week in my opinion. We talked about "Han är Gåven" He is the Gift. I am sure you have seen that! Share it with people! We talked about what gifts Christ has given us, and it was such a sweet reminder. He has given us so much. Share the video! Think of what gifts Christ has given you! We shared that video with a new member and I just loved his reaction to it. He was speechless and he just expressed how grateful he was for Christ. It made me super happy to be where I am. I am going to send pictures now, I am so sorry this email was so lame! I needed to write people I had been negleting for a while! The language is a little better! I can have small talk with the Swedes now and not get so nervous! I am understanding more and more, it really is amazing. Send pictures of Hannah's solo! I miss her so much! I cant wait to skype! I love my Savior! The church is true! 'LOVE, Syster Stetler'Prepare for pictures!
Hello from Luleå, Sweden!!!!!! It was pretty cool, I know I am supposed to be here because we were driving to the church to open our letters to see where we are going, and we knew one of us was going to Norrland and I just had this feeling and my heart started beating fast and I knew it was me, it was cool to get a spiritual confirmation before I got the call. There is work for me to do in Luleå! Everyone wanted to come here! So I guess we are the third most northern sisters in the world, so one elder said. So that is definitely something! This letter is going to be very long.Ok, the plane ride was long and I was really nervous! I had a fantastic last few days with my MTC district and President Beckstrand and his wife are the greatest! They are so hilarious and kind. They did make us stay up though, to try to get used to the time, and that has been a struggle. I am still so exhausted! So I met my trainer and she´s fantastic. She is super relaxed and we have a great time. She is unfortunately, however, not Molly Mormon haha and we have botched a few meals, and no one feeds us which is a bummer! And I love the rest of the missionaries here too. Ok, so after I found out, we flew to Luleå thank goodness. It was an hour flight and I was super brave and talked to the lady next to me. My companion was asleep. She was speaking Danish, but they are similar enough I couldn´t even tell, and so we are having a conversation in danish and broken swedish and right when I said "Have you heard of Mormons?" my companions head popped up and we testified about the Book of Mormon and got her information and gave it to the elders in her area! It was so great, she was so interested and really Christlike.After I got to Luleå we turned around and went four hours south for zone conference and I met my zone and I ate Kabob pizza! They all called it my Kabaptism haha, it was amazingly delicious. It had fries and Kabob and this sauce. Best pizza I have ever had. I can´t wait to try Reindeer pizza, I´ll be doing that very soon. I also really want to go to the Arctic Circle and the Finland border, that´s on my to do list if I am here long enough. And I should get to see the Northern Lights!It sounds like Thanksgiving was fun! I miss you all and Granny tons! We had stuffing and potatoes and broccoli and it was pretty good! Sister Mod´s mom sent her all that. My clothes are fitting a lot looser here without the cafeteria haha and we just don´t have much time to worry about food. So that´s good. 3 families from the ward are having us over for the 24! I will be at the Newells for Christmas, and that´s the half american family. He´s the branch president. He went on his mission to Sweden and married a Swede, and it´s so nice to speak english to them haha. Most people know English but no one speaks it until they have to is what I´ve seen. Even when I struggle. Anyways, church was really great. I loved everyone so much. I can understand Swedish with an American accent, but I really can´t understand the Swedes haha. I gave my testimony and everyone was so kind and said it was so good, but I wish I would have pretended like my Swedish was just awful, so everyone would have spoke slower to me. I felt so dumb, and just couldn´t say hardly anything accept, "Vad heter du?" and "Trefiligt att träffas!"So our progressive investigators are not really progressing. It´s a struggle. I did get contacted by a JW on a bus! And in our two lessons, I got grilled about Song of Solomon and everything in the Bible. I just flat out asked if both of them had a desire to believe and talked about Alma 32, then asked how we know truth and talked about Moroni 10. People meet with us because they think it´s interesting, and I am not here to chat about religion, I need to help people progress! So I have been praying super hard to find the prepared people, and looked up a bunch of scriptures with the word "find" and I also made a goal to talk to more people, especially on buses.So the Swedes. Either the nicest people youve ever met, or just unfriendly as it gets. I learned very quickly, "Jag har inte tid!" No one cares about religion. You ask, and there are SO few people that even have thought about the meaning of life. I just don´t get it. I really don´t. It is way worse in Stockholm though. A ton of the missionary work here is for people who have moved here, Sweden is crazy diverse. I know Heavenly Father will help us find the prepared people if we do our job.So a spiritual thought, before I left the MTC, Sister Marriot spoke to us and said our language barrier is a really powerful thing. She said people have to focus and listen. And it does something to people, when you are vulnerable. It says something to people´s hearts when you are willing to sound foolish to speak of your Savior. That was really powerful to me, and I´ve seen that it is true.I love you so much! I hope you have a great week!!!!!!!!! I can´t wait to Skype!Love,Syster Stetler