Monday, June 29, 2015

Min grönnie heter Syster Jackson

Heyyyyy! I am going to try to be faster than I normally am because we had a big party for a few people's birthdays in Täby so that took a lot of our p-day. And I am sick so I took a nap. I don't know what the deal is but my throat has been sore for a few weeks but an elder here got sick and I think I got it too. 

So.... I am in Stockholm haha. And we have gotten lost...... so many times. But it's pretty fun because we just talk to people and meet people we would have never met if we knew what we were doing, so it's good. :) Sister Jackson is my companion! She's from Logan and she's super cute. She's super calm which is good for me. But she also has really high expectations for the mission and it's been fun to see that and to try to adjust myself to them. I remember how I felt when I first got here, and I want her to LOVE her first two transfers and to see miracles and be everything she hoped her trainer would be. But.... it's stressful to double into an area. It's hard trying to set up the week without knowing anyone and having a ton of people not answer. But I'm sure it'll work out. But it's nice to know that I am not supposed to know everything. 

So let's see... a rundown of my week. We picked up the greenies and then went to our apartment with 5 suitcases.... And our apartment is the most expensive in the mission. It is NIIIIIIIIIIICE. It's seriously in the heart of Stockholm, and the Elders got kicked out of it and we got it haha. But since elders had it we definitely found it pretty empty.... and with fruit flies. But we got it taken care of haha. We met with Catherine who has a baptismal date (BARBY IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! And I might be able to go...maybe.) but anyways she is super cute and I look forward to teaching her. And we met this AWESOME guy named Jonathon. He is an RM and he is... well.... I'll just say it as the elders said it, "he is thirsty for the teach.... quench his thirst!" He is fantastic. He has given us two referrals and comes with us to teach. He is way fired up about missionary work. They have an amazing YSA center here so all the young people are so well taken care of! 

Everyone says Stockholm is a really hard place to do missionary work in, but we gave away two Books of Mormon and had a lesson on the street in our first day here so I think it's really fun! We also met with a guy named Kamel who is from Syria and he is ridiculously prepared for the gospel. He loved the restoration and was like, "I didn't know about Joseph Smith before! No one ever told me." I really look forward to meeting with him again. We played a game of soccer and I got rocked by our bishop. He's German! He recognized that my last name is German too. But he's amazing. The whole ward is. There are 4 American families and we already got invited over for a fourth of July party haha. I can't wait. But everyone came up and talked to us and is super willing to help. It's weird to be in a ward after being in a branch. There were SO many youth and we taught Sunday school. Super fun! 

I was really worried about my Swedish and sense of direction in coming here... and I found out my Swedish is totally fine and my sense of direction is embarrassingly bad haha. I can definitely get by now by just asking what a few words mean here and there so that was a huge relief. The Swedish here is really fast but really pure. I have got to choose what accent I want though because I have got this American Swedish with touches of everywhere I have been so far haha. 

But yeah, I don't know if you guys feel the work hastening over there but I feel it here. Almost everyone has talked with missionaries before it feels like... and I am seeing a lot of promises made specifically to Sweden being fulfilled. Just from a missionary perspective, I know I wish I would have done SO much more to be a member missionary, and I plan on changing when I come home. But definitely don't forget to look around and pray and ask God if there is someone you can help to bring to the missionaries. :)

Love you all! Have the best week ever. And thank you all for your prayers. 


Syster Stetler

Monday, June 22, 2015

I was born in a small town...

First things first, happy birthday to me =)

B) I got this phone call... from President... and it went like this,

"Is this Sister Stetler?"
"I figured it was.... I have a special assignment for you. If you feel like you can handle it, the Lord would like you to train."
"Oh...... ok..... yeah I can do that! I get to stay in Gävle!"
"No, actually... not in Gävle..."
I am going to STRAIGHT downtown Stockholm and doubling in and training. I'm taking over the STL's area and moving into the Elder's apartment. Literally everyone just dies when I tell them. Elder Held was like, " Stockholm.... when the subway makes the noise... the doors WILL close." I'm really nervous. I haven't been sleeping well at all. It's going to be a lot, but I think it'll be a fun adventure at the same time. Pray for my grönnie!
So District meeting was super normal.... but Anna Lill told us she was going to come say hi. And she did just that. But she brought two cakes! And one of them had my face on it! It was beautiful. I will send pictures! We had a party it was sooooo much fun. I felt so loved. Anne-Lill said inappropriate things, wore an inappropriate shirt, smacked me on the but with something, and hit on the Elders.... so basically everything is the same there. Also, don't show the picture of her to anyone that can read Swedish. And don't translate her shirt.
MIDSOMMAR. Oh my gosh it was so fun! We went to Stockholm and it POURED rain the whole day, which sucked super bad. We made flower crowns and we danced around the may pole. It was a blast. I got to see so many friends! And my "dad" of the mission was there and I haven't seen him forever.... so my missionary brain totally turned off and so did his and I was like "AHHHH" and we ran in and almost hugged in front of a billion missionaries. Luckily we didn't. Haha.

Markus! So these three big guys come up to us on the street and are promoting American football so I said, "SWEET. We are American!" and I told him I would trade him a card for his pamphlet. So he sees us later and comes up to us and starts talking to us and we got his number. We met with him on Saturday and he is incredible. He is so sweet and he just ATE up the information we gave him. He came to church, said he loved it and wants to come again next week. I gave a talk and he was like, "there is no way you know that much Swedish. Like, you memorized that talk right?" God helps us sooooo much. And it's cool for people to be able to see that.
I actually wanted to tell you about my talk! I told my ward it was Father's day in America and told everyone how cool Dad is. Dad, you're cool! Happy Father's day! I love you so much and you are the best example ever. I talked about how we can come to know Christ through our families. I talked about each one of you individually helped me to come to know Christ through your examples. It was really cool to reflect and think about the Christlike attributes you all have. It was honestly hard to choose only one attribute for each of you and only one story to go along with it. I was really scared to give a talk in Swedish but I felt so much help and strength when I stood up and I got a lot of compliments, so it was a good experience.
Well, I am sad to leave Gävle... I really am. I want to come back here and serve here again..... I don't know how likely that is haha but I would love to. There is just so much more work to be done here!

I love you guys so much. Have the best week ever!
Syster Stetler

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Royal Wedding, Graduation, and Meatzza

Hey!!! How's it going?
Everything's pretty good over here. It's still not warm here! It's rainy and dark and hasn't been over 70 here. Swedes think it's soooooooooooo hot when it gets to like 80. Haha. But when it's sunny they allllllll come out. They're like lizards. In Luleå, you almost wouldn't even know there was human life during the winter months. It's WAY easier to be a missionary now.

I also got my hair done. I walked in and set up an appointment and the guy lifted my hair up and said, "Did you do this yourself?" And the lady who did it was like, "So..... it was pretty bad." Haha Swedes are SO honest. But yeah, I got it done and told the cute girl who did my hair all about missions, and she told me all about weird Swedish holidays. Which, there is SO MANY. She told me about Midsommar which is coming up this Friday, I'll tell you all about it next week. And she told me about a random holiday where you eat crayfish while wearing hats with crayfish on them. She didn't give any explanation for that one. I mostly think of all the holidays here as a messed up bus schedule and a lot of drunk people. That was a long tangent, but Syster Kimball is awesome and she taught a lesson while I was getting my hair done. It's blonde now, and I don't know what I think of it, but the cut is way better. You'd be happy, mom.
What else was interesting this week? We helped Saara clean her foster son's apartment. I don't know if I have talked about Saara before. She's a Finnish sniper. Fought in Lebanon. I am trying to even find words to describe her.... She broke her arm and took off her cast a few days later and just uses the arm. Haha. She is absolutely fantastic, and just loves us. But we were cleaning and there was a hookah.... contraption. Haha I am not embarrassed that I don't know what to call it. That was an adventure for sure. She also told me my accent was super cute and I should stop trying to sound like a swede.
Let's see... the prince here got married! To a girl "from the people" and that's suuuuuper uncommon. But it was fun, everyone was excited about that. You should look it up and see pictures and they probably have videos on YouTube. It's like going back in time. They had a bunch of royalty there and they rode off in a carriage pulled by horses around Stockholm and people come out to see them and wave to them.
Also it was graduation and it was insane. The students had a water fight in town! Also, they drive these huge trucks around that say "Don't drink and drive" and has all the graduates are drinking and playing super loud music and screaming at everyone. Swedes are so reserved... until you get some alcohol in them. 

Distriktsmötet was something else this week. I had the "grabbag"... An activity to get to know each other better, and I taught everyone what a botch was and made them say a botch from their mission. The foreigners (from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark) were so confused.. "botch??" Haha. But anyways. So Elder Bradshaw and Held are the most hilarious companionship ever. They are obsessed with lifting and they eat low carb and ridiculous amounts of protein, so they made us "meatzza".... It was literally hamburger as the crust, sauce, cheese, topped with hot dogs, bacon, peppers. It was the manliest thing I have ever done in my life.
Sorry this letter isn't very spiritual. A lot of crazy stuff happened! One cool thing too, we went to this Italian food market thing in town and a guy wanted to hear about our church and we gave him a Book of Mormon in Italian, and his friend came out and said "WHAT are you Mormons doing? I am trying to keep him catholic!" Haha. But Reed said I just throw out random names so I will tell you our investigators with baptismal dates are Jerry, Benji, Bruce, and Alvin. Jerry is a swede that wrote himself out of the church a long time ago. Benji is from Africa and she is the one that showed up at church and said she knew it was true and wanted to be baptized! Bruce is African and was an old investigator that really wants to change his life around! Alvin is from Iran and I talk about him all the time haha. But yeah! God has blessed us so much here. :)
One thing I read this morning, I love Alma 15:8, "If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed" Think about how powerful that is. And think of how many ways we can and need to be healed. I have honestly had a hard time in this area, I don't know why because we are SO blessed with WONDERFUL people to work with and I've made amazing friends, but I have really learned what it means to build a relationship with Christ, and the blessings that come from that relationship.
Syster Stetler

Friday, June 5, 2015

Happy Mother's Day: Round 2!

Hey family! I hope all is well!  I've been reading in Jesus the Christ and it's AMAZING. Are you guys still reading that? I am ready for some summer weather but I don't know when it's coming... but I did buy some awesome animal print rain boots. Also, I have been having some allergy issues.
This week consisted of baptismal dates, blåsts (appointments falling through), rain, and language barriers. That about sums it up! Barbara wants to be baptized! She has been incredibly prepared and has a strong testimony. We met with her this week and found out her ex husband is a less active we teach, an investigator we taught is her son, and another of her sons is a less active we met on a bus. Some crazy family ties. Also, Brad wants to be baptized as well! Brad is super great, but he needs to come to church! We met with Alvin and some other really great people this week, but the language barrier was just too much. We are working on getting translators for everyone. It's so sad when we can't even give a Book of Mormon to people in their own language... I can't wait until it is in every language! We had a couple of lessons with people for the first time that really weren't so good. One family tried to set us up with their sons and take them to America, so that was special. We also had some great lessons, we visited a guy named Kevin that doesn't believe in God, but really wants to find Him. He was so sincere and I am really excited to meet with him again, and he's a Swede! We don't teach Swedes super often haha.
Let's see... what else... we got a new branch president! It's our mission leader, Peter. He's the most incredible person ever. He has had so many trials and he is just rock solid in the gospel, we love him! We go over to his house every Tuesday and his grand-kids are often there and they are SO cute. Little kid's Swedish is just to die for. I learned a lot of new words from them, about monsters and dragons haha. We also went through the ward list and got a bunch of new people to visit, less actives. It's sad to see how many there are. But I am excited to be able to go and meet them!
I think that's about it for me! It was Swedish Mother's Day so happy mother's day again, Mom! I love you tons! :)
Syster Stetler