Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jokkmokk and Tender Mercies

What a week... Where to begin? I got my hair cut (I wish highlighted) and the STL's came for "workovers"/I wanted an excuse to go to the Arctic circle haha. Splits were fun, I learned a lot again and we talked to SO many people. I really like tracting (talking to people on the street) for some reason, maybe because I just laugh when we get yelled at or people are extremely rude. It's always funnier in Swedish. And then, as you've been waiting for, THE ARTIC CIRCLE!! We drove a few hours North and it was -33 degrees C, I don't know what that is in F, but I stepped out of the car and had to use my inhaler. It was SO cold, like I have never experienced before. My eyelashes even froze, we have a picture of it! Oh, we had so much fun. So we went to Jokkmokk, which is a museum of the Sami people, the indigenous people of Sweden, you have to look them up! I didn't get too many pictures at the museum, but we had a blast. I'll make sure to send those. We also went to Skellefteå for district meeting so it was a week of a lot of traveling.

 I am really excited about a few people, and have been praying very, very hard for others. It's amazing, you just love people you wouldn't naturally love here. I feel such a strong love for everyone I work with, there's a bond when you have a relationship based on the gospel that is unlike any other.

I felt a lot of love from my Heavenly Father this week. I agree with Elder Bednar when he says "I testify that tender mercies are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence." I had a lot of those this week, and I needed them. I always need them, who am I kidding, I am a syster missionary haha. So I decided I am going to read the Book of Mormon before my 6 months mark and I just started at my 3 month mark. I read about Lehi's vision and how he describes the fruit, or the love of God, as "desirable above all others" and "desirable to make one happy" "most sweet above all that I ever before tasted" etc. I was thinking of all the times that Heavenly Father has blessed me in my life, and how joyful and happy I feel when I feel close to Him. And he blessed me more. During a difficult point in the week, I remember saying a prayer and looking down to my open scriptures to a verse that I really needed to hear (Alma 26:27.) I felt prompted to pull out a certain Ensign that gave me counsel an overwhelming feeling of the spirit. The talk in church felt like it was written directly for me, even with words from a song that had touched me and given me strength before my mission. They are everywhere, and God's love brings so much happiness, even when things are very difficult. His love gave me peace as I felt inadequate and alone. 

Well, I think that's it for this week. I'm sorry my emails are so serious! I really have a ton of fun, and a lot of good laughs, I don't know why I can't ever think of anything funny to write haha. I love you all so much. I hope your week is great. Send me pictures if you can! I would love to see what's going on, and show the other missionaries too! I love you all! 


Syster Stetler

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wall of Faith

Hey Family/Friends!

Investigators/Members: Henry had a bit of a rough week. He had a friend in the hospital and he just seemed down. He didn't meet with us at the end of the week and didn't come to church. Drew got nervous about baptism and didn't want to meet with us this week either, but said he will this coming week. We got blåsted like 3 times by different people. (blown off/stood up/no show.) We have a few potential investigators that received us really well, so I hope we can teach them more. In one lesson we had the investigator ask, "How do you know it's true? How can you say you KNOW? Especially when you were born in the church?" So we all went around and gave our answer, us and Sister Newell, and it was really powerful. That's a big thing here, everyone thinks if you're born in the church you're just programmed to believe it. I started thinking about this quote:

"Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand."

It's true. I have been there. I just know this church is true and it changes peoples lives and brings them joy and peace. It's done it in my life and I have seen it in others. I am so glad I grew up with the gospel and never had to search for it, even if people want to discount what I say because of it. I have had too many experiences to say it's not true. Too many "coincidences" to be explained. I know it's true because of the good found within it.

We went to Zone Konferens this week and it was really good! We had to make a fire in the snow in 5 degree weather because we apparently need to know how to stay warm if something happens. It was really fun, and then we ran around on the frozen ocean. We went back to the chapel and had the spiritual part and my favorite thing that was said was, "It's no coincidence that the Holy Ghost or the Comforter comes when you step out of your comfort zone." I love that thought, and I've seen it happen so many times already. 

Well that was pretty much the week! We are headed to the Arctic Circle tomorrow and I am beyond excited. I'll tell you more about that next week! I love you all so much! Have a great week!

"The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up.10 And He always keeps His word."


Syster Stetler

Syster Stetler at Zone Conference building fires and singing hymns. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Arctic Circle

So first off, I am not used to missionary life, and I had a really hard time with transfers. Elder Archibald was the most loving person ever, and he always inspired me to be better, so that was a bummer but we got the greenie! His swedish is amazing and I am going to work a lot harder on mine haha. Speaking of that, this Sunday was a huuuuuuge turn around for my swedish. I could understand people so much better. I totally followed the lesson and was almost brave enough to contribute haha. This is a big difference from last week when I asked everyone, "When am I ever going to learn swedish?" Everyone does make fun of me though because I can't go back and forth from Swedish to English so well. Oh, and for språk [language study] I literally just translate songs. I can sing every Ed Sheeran and Nate Ruess song in swedish now, so that's useful haha. 

INVESTIGATORS: Heavenly Father blessed us like crazy. So first, Henrik. He made a huge turn around... he was being super argumentative in lessons, and then the next time we met with him he was focused and just soaked them in! Henrik has never come to church while I have been here because he works super late Sat. night and says he can never wake up to get to church. We told him how important it was and were super annoying missionaries haha. HE CAME!!!!!!!!!!! He stayed up all night to come. He is working on the word of wisdom, and he could really use some prayers :)

We are also meeting with the Hu's which is this chinese family that we speak swenglish with, but the language barrier is definitely there. We need Stephen! And then Andrew, who is a Russian eternigator, but he just comes to church every Sunday. He absolutely loves it. We think he can definitely get baptized, he almost seems like a member. (He had been in Russia for a while). We are going to be teaching a friend of the Newells with them, that will be great. And we tracted into a lady who loved us and invited us back. It was the best week ever!

Well as for me, I am great. It snowed for days here, and we played in it one day. I will send pictures! And, we are GOING TO THE ARCTIC CIRCLE NEXT WEEK!!!!!!! A senior couple is taking us, Luleå elders, and the STLs. It's going to be so much fun. Get ready for a ton of pictures. 

I love you all! Have a great week! 


Syster Stetler