Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Korv's a whole new level of haze

Hey everyone! Word of the week: matförgiftning. Or in English, food poisoning. From what? Week old Fallukorv. What's that? Korv, hot dog meat, the size of a medium-sized snake with cheese in the middle, swimming in sour cream and taco sauce. When we told a Swedish missionary about what happened he couldn't believe that we even ate it to begin with. And to make matters worse, we went back to that members house and they insisted on feeding us korv stroganoff. But it was just Syster Giles and I, Syster Kimball somehow avoided all the korv meals this week.
 I still really like my tripanionship. I have a lot of stress when I think about what's going to happen after this transfer though, it's hard to make guesses when there are three of us. We'll see! There are only two greenies coming in so I don't think I will train, there are quite a few missionaries older than me that haven't trained yet.
We went to visit some people with Vako, this Finnish guy in our ward that has the hardest swedish to understand, ever haha. Finnish people sound like robots and roll their r's a ton haha. It sounds crazy. Syster Giles always messes with him a bit and when he says he doesn't know what the word is in english, she's always like, "Oh! Barbeque." or "Jellybeans" or some other word he won't know  when that wasn't what he was talking about at all haha. It's pretty funny. We also have a new member that speaks English with us and she was talking about her dog and said "She hurt her kneeball" and for some reason it was just hilarious to me. I wonder what mistakes I make in Swedish that are funny.
Syster Modersitzki came and did splits with Syster Giles and I and it was fun. It's so fun to see her all the time. Our district is super fun, but we just have a bunch of elders that are going home after this transfer, and they are pretty trunky. But everyone loves us. Everyone loves our tripan. 

BUT.... if you remember me talking about Alex in Luleå.... he has a baptismal date and he is so excited to get baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Syster Savage emailed me and I was so excited. I am just sick that I can't be there for it though. I will ask Syster Savage for pictures. He is such a special guy, he will be such a great addition to that branch. Also, on this happier note, the trees have finally bloomed and it's getting gorgeous and green here. I can't wait to see it in a few weeks.

Spiritual thought: "Over the course of my life, I have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the most competent and intelligent men and women this world has to offer. When I was younger, I was impressed by those who were educated, accomplished, successful, and applauded by the world. But over the years, I have come to the realization that I am far more impressed by those wonderful and blessed souls who are truly good and without guile." This quote means so much to me. I worry so much about talents I don't have and about people liking me and I really just need to worry more about trying to be more like Jesus Christ. That's what will matter in the end.
Ok I love you all! Have a great week! Can't wait to talk to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Syster Stetler

Monday, April 20, 2015

One year kvar

 This week is a weird blur, my time here is just flying! I burned tights! For my six months! It was SO FUN!!!! I have pictures.

Remember Phillip? The teenager? He texted us and said he had a lot of questions for us, and so we met with him and you could just see that something was bothering him a ton. He asked us a lot of normal questions and how we could possibly believe in the Book of Mormon. He just looked so concerned and confused, and it was so hard to watch him go back into the world, he's just so young and the world is so confused, especially here in Sweden. People have good morals here, but they are just so far from God. So he texted us and said he didn't think there was any way it could be true. We are still in touch with him and hope we can help him as his friends!
We met this guy named Peter! I contacted him and he was like "Do you drink coffee? Tea?" So we reluctantly followed him into a coffee shop and he just sits down and tells us how interested he is in religion and asked us really, really good questions! He said he is atheist, and that means that he doesn't believe in a religion because he has never found one that makes sense, but he is open. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with him and he seemed to become really good friends with Mihail. We also taught two guys who don't speak Swedish or English. Pause, do you guys know about how bad the language barrier is here? We take with us like 25 books of Mormon in probably 10 different languages when we go contacting. It's amazing that before we pick the books out we look at the shelf in prayer, and we meet the Thai family to give the Thai book to, and so on. It's incredible. Anyways, we literally google translated everything, and have a translator for next time!
We went to sisters conference and it was so fun! It was all Wizard of Oz themed, and it was a blast to see everyone! It was really inspiring and I had an interview with President Beckstrand, that was really nice to talk to him! I have so much respect for him, he is so loving and inspired. It's really fun to be closer to Stockholm because there are so many more missionaries around here and it's fun to see some people that I haven't seen for so long, and we see President so much more, too. But there are a bunch of dying (old) missionaries here and it just brings the mood down. I am so glad my companions are young and energetic and excited about the work.
So, we also got bikes! It is SO fun and it improved my mood a lot, I really missed some aerobic exercise. Syster Giles ate it in town on day one. It was bound to happen.  We see this family and she just turns to me and says, "I LOVE INTERRACIAL COUPLES!", but she accidentally turned her handlebars towards me and just flipped over her bike. I was DYING. Hahah. Also, an Elder showed us this 100 push up challenge and we do that every day. Kind of random, but it seemed like a necessary piece of information to share. OK! I think that's it for me. I love you all so much! Ha det bra!
Syster Stetler
(Did I tell you my nickname somehow turned out to be Stetbot? Weird haha.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I was born in a small town


We had a really good week! This place is crazy! I can't believe how willing people are to listen. So we met Jeffrey! Sister Giles was singing an Ed Sheeran song, and she is SUPER good, and I heard this young guy start singing along quietly so I sat by him and asked him if he liked Ed Sheeran and we got talking and I explained that we were missionaries and all, and gave him our number. So he texted us and we asked if he could teach him, and he said he didn't believe in God and didn't want to meet... so we invited him to inneboende (it's like floor hockey)  and he said he would like to come! So he came, and he just loved the Elders and thought they were so cool. So we taught him the Restoration, and then he showed up to church! He stayed for all the meetings and in Sunday school Mihail taught the Plan of Salvation which was so powerful because he is this INCREDIBLE convert, and he had Jeffrey read a part and he said "This feels familiar". So he's great! He told us a little later that I made him super super nervous and made his heart rate go up just by sitting down and talking to him because Swedes talk to each other as little as possible.
We had another good lesson with this guy named Danny, he is from Norrland so he talks like me! He is a tattoo artist and used to be into drugs and is super cleaned up now, and he is super interested in the topics of repentance and what will happen after we die and our lesson with him went really well. He is interested in the idea of baptism and being clean from his sins.
I met a member who came up to me after I gave my testimony in church and said, "Where in Nevada are you from?" "Elko" "You're joking, I was an exchange student there for a year in the 80's." WHAT A SMALL WORLD. I literally couldn't believe it. 

What else? I spoke in church. I said, "Every time I pray, God answers me" but I almost said, "Every time I pray, God inconveniences me." So that was a close call haha. We thought of some really good ideas for this area, and new things to try, so I will let you know how that goes next week. I love it here. We got 9 lessons in one day just by splitting up and talking to people on the street. I feel like there is a lot of work to be done here and I am really excited for the rest of my time here.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Syster Stetler

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Three by Three

HELLO. Happy Easter! Happy Conference! Easter was really fun here, but definitely not the same as at home. They seriously celebrated like all of Easter week, which is incredibly ironic with how atheist this country is. The Swedes love their holidays, they really milk them out. And they sure love partying. But anyways, they eat the same foods for Christmas and for Easter so we had "Christmas ham" and a lot of fish and potatoes. Super yummy! Also, we did a little Easter egg hunt, but they don't do little eggs, they do one huge one. CONFERENCE. I am seriously heartbroken about it. I have not been able to watch hardly any of it because of the timing and distractions. But I had a really great experience, where I read scriptures and wrote questions with conference in mind, and President Eyring, the first talk, answered a lot of my questions and quoted scriptures I had been looking up. God speaks through his prophets. Of that, I have no doubt. I hope you all had a great experience, and I will be watching what I missed this week.
GÄVLE. I think I sent the wrong pronunciation, Yeh-vleh, with the emphasis on the YEH. It just pains me to think you could be pronouncing it Gahvul haha. This place is something else. It looks a lot like a mini Stockholm to me, and it's absolutely gorgeous. The people are really friendly here... like... too friendly. It's awesome that they will stop and talk to you, but sometimes it's not the church that they are interested in. It's a struggle. My companions are hilarious. They could not be more opposite. Syster Giles is a surfer from southern California and is this crazy black girl who has so much energy. She got her whole head braided yesterday for the first time haha. And Syster Kimball is from Utah, and loves reading, sleeping, and studying. I am the bridge between their personalities, I would say. It is really fun, which is good because I was really nervous about a tripanionship. The ward here is incredible. BUT THEY FEED US WAY TOO OFTEN. This is an area where everyone gets chubby, and I really don't want that. I will have to be careful. Where do I even start? I met Michaell when I first got here, and he has the most incredible conversion story! It's his birthday today and he said he was going to teach us kung-fu, he used to be a fighter. We went to Anna's house.... She is crazy. So first of all, her whole house is decorated with a billion cats, and there is cat hair everywhere. But she loves practical jokes. She got me with a shock pen and she has a fake camera watergun. She tickled my feet and played footsie with me.. Everyone else was fairly normal, in comparison. It's just so fun here, the ward is so united. We do family home evening, we grilled hot dogs last night. I love it here, but my first night I was SO homesick for Luleå. I still do miss it up there, and knowing everyone and how to get everywhere. The dialect is quite a bit different here and it's a little frustrating sometimes, trying to understand. I catch 75% of what people are saying I would guess. And I get told that my pronunciation is really good, but I just don't have a very big vocabulary still. I am trying to think of what I am missing, this week was a blur. I think that might be all I have, and I will send some pictures! I love you all so much!
Syster Stetler