Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jag ska till Gävle!

I am going to Gävle! ... Be careful how you say that, haha. It's incredibly close to a bad word, I guess. Pronunciation: Geh-vleh So a little ways south. Sister Savage is training, and she will be an incredible trainer! That is where Sister Modersitzki was trained and she has shown me pictures that are just gorgeous! Oh, and she is going to be in my district, so that's going to be all too much fun! Saying goodbye to the ward members has been so hard. I didn't know I would come to love these people so much as I struggled with Swedish, but I really have. Today and tomorrow I am saying goodbye to our investigators and that will be even harder, I think. 

Investigators: We invited Johnny to baptism this week, and he said he wanted to be baptized! He just wanted to pray about it before he set a date. I am very excited for him; he will be an incredible member of the church. Andy hasn't answered us all week, and didn't come to church. I am not sure what happened.. Our lesson with Henry went well. We invited him to fast, and see if he could get an answer from God that way. We fasted with him, but he didn't come to church, so that makes it hard to receive an answer. 

Besides that, there isn't too much to say! Everyone we work with was either working, taking tests (we have done a lot of work in the college area), had a baby, went to Africa, or just didn't want to meet. We made snickerdoodles for some old investigators and they were a hit. A classic American treat. Church was incredible, President Newell is the MAN! He inspires me so much. He gave a great lesson about spiritual questions. "The words from the Savior himself in 3 Nephi 14:7 are not just a good suggestion. It is a commandment to ask, seek, and knock." Conference is a great time to have spiritual questions, and to pray and receive answers/confirmation. I am so excited!!!!! This is our Superbowl! Haha

Ok, I love you all! Have a great week! =)

Syster Stetler

Monday, March 23, 2015

Adventure Week

Ok, this week was a blast. We went to Kiruna and saw the ice hotel! And the architecture was incredible. I will send pictures. The rooms all had themes that were just gorgeous and so creative. My toes were numb during the entire tour. We saw them harvesting ice too, it seriously was just like Frozen, Hannah would have loved it. 

What else happened? We had a Relief Society activity out at the Muhi's. They live straight in the middle of the forest because she is allergic to electricity, and it's gorgeous out there. We also did a radio program. It's basically a "Meet the Mormons" type thing that explains our religion and plays some church music. We just picked out the material to be said because my Swedish is not good enough to put on the radio, haha. But it was fun to help with anyways. We saw the Northern lights three nights in a row, and they were fairly strong! I think God wanted to compensate for these Northern winters!

Investigators: Alex is seriously incredible. He has been to church three times now and he loves it. It's super hard to meet with him because he works a ton, but it's the best part of the week when we do. He said he has been reading the Book of Mormon and he feels closer to Christ when he does. He's great! James, I am not sure if I told you about him, but he is an old investigator that found us and told us to come over again. He is African, I can't remember which country he comes from, but he is hilarious. He just gives out all of his friends as referrals and says, "They love the word of God! Preach them the word of God!" Haha. We watched the Joseph Smith video with him and he believes those events truly occurred. Now we are helping him to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. 

Transfers are coming up, and I am almost certain that I will leave, which breaks my heart. I am just in love with the branch here and it really feels like home. But I truly feel like this area is stronger now. We have tons to do!!! And if Syster Savage trains here, this will be a fun place to work. Luleå is the promised land of Sweden.

Spiritual Experience: I was reading Jacob 5, and reading it as a missionary during this age change and increase of missionaries was a very powerful experience! I looked up all the symbolism on the institute manual and really prayed to understand the chapter, and it is now my favorite chapter of the Book of Mormon, easily. So... since you are (member) missionaries as well, I am challenging you all to read it and ponder it.

The parable of Zenos, recorded by Jacob in chapter five of his book, is one of the greatest parables ever recorded. This parable in and of itself stamps the Book of Mormon with convincing truth. No mortal man, without the inspiration of the Lord, could have written such a parable. It is a pity that too many of those who read the Book of Mormon pass over and slight the truths which it conveys in relation to the history, scattering, and final gathering of Israel”

I think that is all for now. I love you all! I hope you have a great week! =) 


Syster Stetler

Monday, March 16, 2015

You Gotta Fight, for your Right, to Proselyte

Hey! How is everything going? I hope all is well. 

This week we did a lot of work with the members. We are starting to practice teaching them the lessons and having them give us feedback and also having them read the Rededication of the Land of Sweden by President Monson. I feel a lot closer to them as we have been doing that, and I can see their desire to share the gospel grow as we teach them the lessons. On the way to Sister Näslund's house we drove across a frozen river! It was really scary but super fun! I don't think I will go back on the ice anymore because it's been pretty warm here. We also went over to the Newells and it was SO fun. We had pie because two days ago was pie day. Those little girls are just adorable, I could spend all day with them. 

We had a crazy experience this week, too. We had a security guard come up to us while we were teaching at the University and take our information and kick us out, because of our Book of Mormon that he saw. It was straight religious discrimination. He took the information of our investigator too, who was SO upset. Afterwards, he handed us our Book of Mormon and said he was done meeting with us. We were devastated and I just went home and cried. The next morning in personal study I read "The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship" by Elder Holland and it was all that got me through the week. 

Surely the angels of heaven wept as they recorded this cost of discipleship in a world that is often hostile to the commandments of God. The Savior Himself shed His own tears over those who for hundreds of years had been rejected and slain in His service. And now He was being rejected and about to be slain.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” Jesus cried, “thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”5
And therein lies a message for every young man and young woman in this Church. You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our “houses” left unto us “desolate”—desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations. 
It is worth it, although sometimes it feels like we aren't doing any good. President Newell had us go in and talk to the information desk about what happened, and hopefully it'll all get sorted out. 

Investigators: We got two new investigators this week and some promising potential investigators, so that has been really fun to work with some new people. We have been doing a lot of work in a younger area of town and it's been a lot more successful, I feel. Either that, or just the weather being nicer has helped a lot. Henrik was really frustrating this week. We tried everything, so this week we tried showing him a conference talk. We felt the spirit SO strong and he just looked at us and said he felt nothing, and he's never felt anything. John is our most progressing investigator. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he was excited to read about it. He has come to church two Sundays now and he just loves it. We love John!

So we are going to Kiruna on Wednesday and Sister Modersitzki is coming up! It's going to be so fun. It is SO northern, you'll have to look at a map. We are going to see the Ice Hotel and I guess some other touristy things that the Tolleys, a senior couple, have in mind. I am so excited, especially because I probably will be leaving Luleå soon. So Wednesday will be our "PDay this week". 

Ok, I love you all! Have a great week! Miss you tons!


Syster Stetler

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mission Tour

Tjena! How's it going? I can't believe my 6 months is creeping up on me. It's going SO fast. And my swedish isn't coming as fast as the time is going. But it's been cool to be in this area for so long and have people tell me how much they've seen my progress and see the gift of tongues working! It's seriously the most frustrating thing in the world to try to learn the language that you don't use more than an hour or two per day. We made Henrik speak Swedish with us and we are trying to convince all of our investigators to let us speak swedish. "You just are so much more sincere in English." It seems like a blessing, but it makes it super hard to learn and to practice. Everyone just wants to practice their english with us haha.

This week went slow haha. But it's 40 degrees and I am not wearing tights or my coat! So that's really exciting. It's light from like 7-6 and it's blue skies most days. My mood is so much better, and so are the moods of the Swedes haha. The work is really picking up, and so are the referrals! That's been really fun. So the highlight of the week was MISSION TOUR!!!!!!! We flew to Stockholm on Monday night and we went to one of our Elder's favorite investigators house's and they were really fun. Then we went to stay with the STLs, and it turns out one of them is from Spokane and we talked about Kyle for like 30 minutes haha. 

Mission tour was incredible. Elder Donaldson came and the whole thing was about the Holy Ghost. I learned so much. The AP´s taught really well, they did a role play that I learned so much from. Elder Donaldson talked about how people feel the spirit very differently, and the way you describe it to them and the questions you ask will be crucial in helping them recognize it and get an answer of the truthfulness of the gospel. He talked about experiences he had, where because he followed the spirit, his investigators knew the gospel was true. He then had an Elder come up and share the most powerful spiritual experience he had ever had, and it happened to be Elder Johnson from my MTC group, who shared the experience of when he gave me a blessing in the MTC. I don't know if you remember that, but I was having a really hard time in the MTC and asked for a blessing and he quoted my patriarchal blessing, answered questions I had, and I had never felt the spirit so strong in my life, and I just told him how inspired it was, and he couldn't even remember what he had said. After he shared the experience, Elder Donaldson looked at me, and asked me to come up and share my version of the story. So I did, and after I got done and all those memories had came back he asked me, "If you were an investigator, and that experience happened to you, would you accept the invitation to be baptized?" and I said "Absolutely." 

It really made me think, it's our responsibility to give people that opportunity. They have the choice to accept, but the more in tune with the spirit we are, the better chance they have at truly knowing the gospel is true. The same thing goes for the members. If the members are in tune with the spirit, the investigators can have the experience they need to have at church to know the church is true. Hard work, service, and the spirit. I feel like those are the three things that set apart a decent missionary from incredible missionaries. So that's what I am working on right now, is trying to be clean enough to be able to REALLY be led by the spirit. And I will invite you to do the same :)
I got to see almost all of my MTC group and that was just so fun for me. I love them. There is a special bond between everyone's MTC group. There should be, you spent 6 straight weeks together haha. I got to see Syster Modersitzki and that was really fun too! She is doing great in Uppsala.
We had trouble meeting with our investigators this week. We are also struggling to get people to church consistently. They all come so sporadically. We have so many people who really want to know if it's true, and they have amazing experiences, and we are just helping them realize those experiences as God's love and the Holy Ghost testifying of truth. One of our chinese investigators read the chapter we assigned her and asked wonderful, wonderful questions and that was probably the highlight of the week. "How do I feel the spirit? How do I get that?" Best. Question. Ever. Hopefully we can meet with everyone this week!
Ok, I love you all so much! I hope you know that. I hope you have a really wonderful week!
Syster Stetler

Syster Stetler with her trainer, sledding on the frozen ocean! 

Syster Stetler reunited with her MTC District

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Opportunities

Hey!! I am emailing early because I am going to Stockholm this afternoon for mission tour, a seventy is coming. I am excited for that, and to see some friends I haven't seen for a while! (But even for things like this, they have to do two because our mission is so big.)

This week was a roller coaster! A lot of good, a lot of bad. Right after we emailed one of our investigators dropped us and I was heartbroken. I still am. I've been so stressed about planning the days and being in charge of so much more. Another investigator has been argumentative this week, even in church to the gospel principles teacher. It felt like his motives were to prove the church wrong this week. We had 5 investigators say they would come to church and 2 came.   But tender mercies in church: We had an investigator come who sat there in testimony meeting and cried and cried and loved it and wanted to learn more and keep coming back. And also in testimony meeting, Brother Vinberg, a member, stood up and said something like, "The sister missionaries teach Andy at our house and they surprised my nonmember daughter by how much Swedish they knew for being here for such a short time, and since that experience she has been more open to hearing the gospel." It made me feel so good, because sometimes I really just don't feel like I am doing any good here.

We also have some good things in store for this coming week, some new people to meet with and some referrals to contact. I am excited for that! We also went to Umeå for zone training and it was SO GOOD, as always. My favorite thing I learned from that was, "We refer to people as our brothers and sisters because we truly are. Think of how much you love your siblings and what you would do to serve them and help them on their life's journey back to God and try to remember these people are your brothers and sisters as well." 

I am trying to think of something funny or a fun experience we had or something, but I just can't think of anything right now. I'll send another if I think of anything =) I love you guys so much! Have the best week ever. 


Syster Stetler