Monday, April 4, 2016

Sanctify Yourselves: Tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you

General Conference, am I right? SO GOOD. Just thought I would start out with my thoughts/experience with that because it's the highlight såklart. 

I had a lot of questions and I feel like I got some solid answers. It's really cool how sometimes the direct words are the answer and sometimes it's the impressions you get during the talk- such as names that come to mind. I was really wondering what God wants my next step to be and what goals he wants me to have so I don't come home without direction. That's been my biggest struggle, lately, is just wondering how life will be as fulfilling as it is here. It'll take more effort, I suppose, but tomorrow looks bright for me, no matter what country I'm in :)

I wish I had more time to go through all the talks because I learned so much from every single one, but I'll just say some of the themes I noticed and were helpful for me. I absolutely LOVED the talk about really knowing we are children of God. It's so interesting that we can and should define ourselves by the very thing that we all have in common. I think that's a big message in itself, that if we realize we are children of God then we will realize that every person on earth is, not in a negative way but in a positive way! And that knowledge cannot leave a life unchanged. I also loved Elder Bednar's talk, I especially liked how he talked about how the Holy Ghost can burn evil out of us like fire burns things clean. I really love imagery, so that really stuck with me. And OH MY GOSH the talk about Resurrection. So incredible. I love the quotes used from the daughter that was sick with cancer, how she didn't say, "I wish He would heal my cancer" but "He ALREADY HAS healed my cancer." I never thought of it that way before, that he has healed us - because he provided a way for us to be whole, whether we experience that in this short lifetime or in the life hereafter. It takes trust but gives so much hope! And of course, Elder Holland's talk was awesome and I love that he talked about the application of all the talks and being hopeful, not discouraged. 

I hope you guys enjoyed it too. :) I still need to watch women's conference. 

But as far as this week goes, we said goodbye to Sofie and I already really mis her. She went to the states and will get back right after I go home. :( Thank goodness for SKYPE. It was Elder Payne's birthday so we made some Oreo balls. I'm so glad my companions can bake haha. I have no idea. We met with a Russian guy and he was really interested, and we have a member that served in Russia so it was really fun for him to use his Russian. 

I think that's pretty much all I have for this week. I am just feeling WEIRD. Part of me feels like going home is a weird myth and another part of me knows it's coming and recognizes this week as my last full week of being a missionary. The thing that makes me the most sad is the license the missionary name-tag seems to give us to meet new people all the time and to tell them how much God loves them and that He's real and is anxious to help. I've found the joy that's promised in the call letter I received and I can say that I have felt more joy out here than I had ever felt previously. I think that helps me realize that this mission really has been a success. But nooo worrieeessssssssss, I will give this last week all I have and I will send my last email next week! 

Love you guys so much! 

Syster Stetler 
 Syster Stetler and Syster Campbell
 Future Gymnast
 Beach time
 Professional models

 Syster Jackson and Syster Stetler
 Syster Stetler and her MTC district
Too cool for Sweden.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happy Easter!

 Happy Easter! I hope it was as good there as it was here, it sounds like it was really good though :)

I have about a billion pictures that need to be sent because we went to YStad and it was beautiful. And by YStad I mean Ales Stenar. You should look that up because it's kinda hard to describe, but basically it's a ton of stones from the vikings forever ago and was a sundial? (Wanna buy a sundial?????) We had a fun pday with a lot of missionaries. We saw the beach and moved rocks so that they said Mormon.Org haha. We also played soccer. I had no idea that learning to play soccer would have been the best mission prep ever. 

On Tuesday we went to lunch with these two older women that are so flippin' funny. They were talking to all the people sitting by us and just making new friends. Then.... N____GOT CONFIRMED. I prayed for some confirmation that she was actually a member now and when I looked at her afterwards I just saw N___the member. It's so interesting how months of preparation comes down to a few minutes of a confirmation and now she is officially a member. She's adorable.

Wednesday we met a lot of new people and we met with this girl from Eritrea I believe? She is the cutest girl ever. Soooooo funny, and she is having us over for lunch this week with her mom. I feel like we are just teaching girls right now and I love it. And all the girls we teach are hilarious and kinda sassy haha. It's the best. Then for Relief Society we had a "årsfest" (year party) which Sis. Campbell thought was going to be a "ostfest"  (cheese party) hahah. It was really cute, especially because N____ heard the word party and came in this super high heels and really pretty dress just to eat some food and play Book of Mormon charades. 

Thursday was so stressful. We weren't sure what happened with our phone, we thought it broke, so we had to find a random stranger to use their phone to call the elders and tell them that our phone was broken and we needed to use theirs and they just said, "Yeah. We are on our way, we called like 10 times and then figured something was probably wrong." Haha. We got it all figured out and then we headed to Göteborg with the most ridiculous travel you have ever seen. All the other missionaries had like 2 trains, but we had 4 trains and 2 buses. But we made it. It was SO nice to see Sis. Jackson and Sis. Griffes and other friends for zone conference, my last one! 

I thought it would hit me and I would be all sad and cry, but it just didn't seem real at all. I gave my "departing testimony" and it was weird! I talked about how I never thought I would be able to do an entire mission, especially before I came, but with God's grace it was possible! And I am so thankful for all I've learned and all the people that helped me through and especially for the chance to get to know God and Christ on a deeper level. 

We about a lot of things but my favorite topics were how we can rely on Christ's strength and come to know him better. Sis. Beckstrand gave 5 steps:

1. Daily Prayer
2. Selfless Service
3. Daily striving for obedience 
4. Acknowledge his hand in our lives
5. Daily scripture study

It was so good! And it's a good reminder that we need to not make it more complicated than it is. 

Sunday was great, we ate some traditional swedish food and it was SO YUMMY. Church was also so good, all focused on Christ! 

This email is already kinda long but I'll just give a few thoughts of my studies during the week. 2 things:

First, CONFERENCE. Have you guys read this article? IF NOT READ IT PLEASE.

Some quotes from that that were really important to me are:

“Hal, if you want to get revelation, do your homework.”

We who listen to and watch the messages of general conference sometimes think afterward, “What do I remember best?” The Lord’s hope for each of us is that our answer will be: “I will never forget the moments when I felt the voice of the Spirit in my mind and heart telling me what I could do to please my Heavenly Father and the Savior.”

 This week is when we choose how we want our experience to be with Conference. PLEASE prepare! Our sacrifices will show God that we are so thankful for this experience to listen to his servants and are ready for revelation. 

Second, it was just a really nice reminder this week that I recognized that I really needed more patience with everyone, I was starting to get frustrated kind of easily, and I just took my study time and studied patience and love and prayed for help and it came. I love that the Atonement is for large scale problems as well as small. We all need it :) 

I love you all! Have the best week ever! Talk to you next week! 

Syster Stetler

Pride Looks Sideways; Humility Upwards

Well, apparently it's the last month of my mission. I didn't know until I got my flight plans. But... I am just going to pretend like that didn't happen. I already lost it in district meeting this week haha. I'll explain.

But first of all, I just want to give the Sandelins a shout out and say they are the most fantastic family ever. Dinner at their house was so out of control this week. Someone gave me WAY too much salad so as Sara was getting some other food I put a huge scoop of it onto her plate and got payback with the biggest portion of pudding I've ever seen haha. Sara is one of my favorite people in the world.... Last PDay we played soccer and the funniest thing happened. So Sis. Campbell is really good at soccer and Joel (Sara's older brother that ALWAYS makes fun of us like crazy) was on the opposite team and Sis. Campbell kicked the ball SO hard to his shin and he fell down on the ground and was whining about it, then Elder Walker, on the same team, kicked him in the head with the soccer ball from like 4 feet away... hahahah. I shouldn't laugh about these things, but you know. 

N___ is still doing good, she went to Germany for a week though and it felt so weird to not have her here. We visited her last night and she just gives us a kiss on the cheek with her bright lipstick leaving a huge mark, and now I don't feel so empty. :) She's getting confirmed this week!

What else happened? We helped a lady move and it was.... interesting. It always is. Haha. 

Oh! We went on splits too, with my favorite SIS. BANKS. I love her so much, she gives the best hugs and just feels like my mom haha. She was the sweetest when I was having a really hard time in Stockholm. We visited S___ and had such a special lesson... after Sara scared us by jumping out of some curtains haha.... but we talked about Christ and why he is important and baptism. She has a new goal to get baptized next month after she goes to America. She texted us afterwards and told us an experience she had while looking at the picture of Christ, she is so amazing at listening to the spirit and learning things for herself. I love her. Seriously!

We also taught a college class. We met this family from Kosavo who just takes the best care of us, and the daughter is the funniest girl ever. She is taking a religion class and she asked us to come and talk about what we believe, so we did. She was like, "Come! It'll be so fun. We can ask questions and you can tell us what you believe, and I'll bring some cookies or something, I am NOT gonna sit there without my cookies." Haha. In college they seriously all sit around a table and just discuss over a fika. The U.S. is doin' it all wrong if you ask me! 

CONFERENCE IS COMING UP AND EASTER. I'm excited! Sis. Campbell and I started talking about how we can really prepare for conference, there is an article from President Eyring in the ensign that's really good. But we got into a discussion about Jesus Christ and how we can get to know him. She taught me how she has done that and it was exactly what I needed to hear. We decided we were going to pick a Christlike attribute together and study it and try to develop it and try to see it in other people, so that Christ can really come alive to us. We chose humility. HOLY COW. I have already learned so much and I have been really looking forward to studies. I have so much I could say but I'll try to not make this email so long haha. 

"The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.” If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem."
We usually think of pride as looking down at people but it can be looking sideways as well for approval or from answers from MEN instead of GOD. 

"We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives. Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can."

One more thing, in district meeting we talked about what the gospel has done for us or why we have hope. I was sitting there just thinking about how when I was at home, I felt the prompting that I needed to serve a mission, but I was terrified and didn't think I could do it and didn't know if I wanted to. I remember praying and studying and how I was sitting on a train and a man came up to me and asked me if I was a missionary. I explained that I was a member but not a missionary. He told me how he couldn't decide if joining the church was right for him or not. His wife was less active. I asked him more about his family and he told me he had a new baby, 2 weeks old or something. I remember testifying that this church has the keys to bind his family together forever, no matter what happens, and that I was so grateful for that. I remember stepping off the train and feeling so much joy just overwhelm me, and thinking, "If this is what it's like to serve a mission, then I will go! I want to feel this all the time." As I sat in district meeting, I was reflecting on that experience and how that is exactly the situation we, our family, was in. I thought about how lucky I am that I got to grow up as a member of this church and receive all the wonderful blessings and peace that comes from it. And that's why I am out here, because I want that for that man, and for that baby. I want that for the people on the streets and for friends and family. I want them to know they have a Father in Heaven that loves them and listens to prayers. And that the difficulties they go through are for a purpose of learning and growing. That we are here for a reason, it's not just random and we have tools that can help us so much. It's making me really sad that it's starting to come to a close, and I feel that every day is so precious. 

I love you guys and hope you have a great week. Sweden is treatin' me well. :) We are going to see some huge stones today and I'll send pictures next week!


Syster Stetler

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring Cleaning


SPRING IS COMING. FINALLY. Flowers are starting to pop up everywhere and I am so obsessed with them. It was sunny and we raked leaves for an older lady this week. It felt like a nice fall day haha. And Easter is coming up! Have you guys seen the new video? 

I love how it addresses not only what Christ did, but what it means to us. I love, "In Jesus Christ I have found new life." It's so simple. We can leave behind our negative emotions and our weaknesses and find a new life, a better life. And we can live again with our families, thanks to him. How amazing is that? And we get to go out and tell people that good news every day. How lucky are we! :)

We had a zone conference about that this week in Malmö. It was fun to see so many friends, and I like Malmö a lot. We took pictures by the ocean there too!

Also, PDAY last week was AWESOME. We went to my dream town - Åhus. It's this cute little town on the beach and we took about a billion pictures. We went to the beach and picked out shells. :) I love Sweden.

We taught a lot of people on the street this week, and I have found that that is one of my favorite things to do. I love meeting new people and hearing about their experiences and beliefs and also sharing ours. It's cool to see how we are alike in so many ways and also have differences that lead to really interesting discussions. We have met so many people that have really been stopping and listening to us and taking a Book of Mormon. It's just such a big claim that we have! Sister Campbell and I like telling people about Jesus Christ, the apostasy, and Joseph Smith's experience and say, "So, it's a pretty big claim we have. It either happened or it didn't. You don't have to take our word for it, there is evidence that you can hold in your hands that it did!!" The Book of Mormon is amazing. I love the promise and trust in it so strongly that every person can read and feel the truthfulness for him or herself.

We had some good lessons this week. To give you an example of what a week here will be like, we met with (including members) with 2 ladies from Kosovo, 6 swedes, 1 american, a lady from Ghana, a guy from Syria, a Chilean family, a family from Iraq, and a girl from Eritrea. So fun. I love it. 

I love you guys! I hope you have a great week. Enjoy the SUNSHINE. 


Syster Stetler

Shoebox of Photgraphs


I hope you all had a fantastic week. :)

We got Sister Poulson off and it was really hard to say goodbye to her. I love her!!!!!!!!!!!! She taught me so much about loving the mission and about enjoying it while working really hard. Sister Campbell is also ADORABLE. I love her. She has been in Sweden for about 3 months and it's so fun to be with someone with so much energy for missionary work and for life. From what I can see already, one of her biggest strengths is that she sees the beauty in everyone and everything. I've looked at Kristianstad so much differently ever since she has been here. She's taken a bunch of pictures and I will send them. :) 

We said bye to a lot of people and it was fun to see some of my favorite people here all in one day. We got some amazing Albanian food. I really am falling in love with that culture haha. How random, right? The best part though had to be when we went to teach S___ at the Strandbergs. We had a great lesson and Sofie is so smart and learns from the spirit SO WELL. We showed her this video. And she was like, "Ok, there are obvious scorpions but how do I avoid the hidden ones?" GREAT QUESTION. That's why we have the Holy Ghost to guide us, not to mention church, a prophet, etc. 

Afterwards, we happened to be there at the right time for the girls in that family to do a production for their dad for his birthday. Hahaha. It was super hilarious. They dressed up and did some high quality lip syncing. We had some great lessons with members too, I can't believe how good they are at missionary work. They all try so hard to find friends that they can help and give hope to. Such great examples for me. 

And N____ is still doing so good. She was basically teaching us this last time we went there about how God's will is better than ours, and even when it's hard, we have to submit. I was just mindblown! She understands (in my opinion) the most difficult thing to learn while here on earth. She looks to Christ as an example and is one. tough. lady. She teaches me more than I could ever teach her, seriously. 

We had another really fun lesson at the Sandelin's. I can't even tell you how much I love them! I look forward to dinner with them all week. We had a contest to see who could find the most clever ways to use the scriptures to get out of doing the dishes and to ask someone out on a date. Hahaha. The best were why I shouldn't do the dishes

 18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
We were all super confused.... And he was like, "That's what happens when I do the dishes. So you should do them instead." And then we had the date one. One of the sons said, If there is anything virtuouslovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
It was way fun. The last thing for this week was after church we went to dinner with a member and a member came by with a guy that helps her with work, she just happened to get called in. I told him we usually have a message and were going to talk about repentance. He expressed that he had had a lot of problems with smoking and drinking in the past but left those things behind him. I told him about how that is repentance but missing the most important part - CHRIST. He gives us the power to overcome our sins and our addictions, to be clean, and to never look back. God gives us commandments so that we are happy, and if we mess up there is a way back thanks to Christ. I realized that that's the gospel in one sentence. 
We also got a chance to teach some street lessons and it just made me happy. It filled me with joy and excitement, like Christmas morning or something. Haha. I love being here. I am so in love with this beautiful land and with the people here. 
Love you all so much!
Syster Stetler

Monday, February 29, 2016

Baptism and Transfers

Hey Everyone!

You guys. I felt like a real missionary this week. It was the first baptism I have been to that has been someone I have taught. It was so beautiful. A lot of the ward came. Ann Marie, a new member that we LOVE, gave a beautiful talk and there was a gorgeous music number.... then Benjamin Sandelin, a 16 year old, baptized her! It only took 3 tries for her to be completely under the water! Third time is a charm! Haha. But the best part was that she shared her testimony afterwards and talked about how her life has been EXTREMELY difficult but she has always had faith and God has helped her through everything. She talked about the missionaries that found her and how this was the greatest day of her life and she gained a new family. It was seriously SO special! She is going to be an amazing member. We have tons of pictures and I will send them! :)

That was the highlight.

Annars, I will go through the week! Monday we went to Lund and shopped and I got all the tourist things and gifts that I wanted. I thought it was a good time to do it because Sister Poulson was getting all of hers too. Then we went to the Malmstens. They are seriously the cutest couple ever (he is Swedish, she is Finnish) and their house just has this amazing peace about it. Fredrick was an incredible missionary in Russia and he gave us some tips and said he wanted to come contacting with us! It'll be fun. 

The next few days were kind of rough because Sister Poulson got sick, so we stayed in for a while. But Thursday was awesome because we had district meeting in Växjö and had Sister Poulson's good-bye party. The elders put on quite a good-bye party haha. They gave her advice, did role plays of life at home, and sang a Swedish song and we ate some brownies (of course...). She was sick and kind of out of it but you know, it was a valiant effort haha. THEN we got home and it was S____ birthday and we met with her and watched a mormon message.... then tricked her into going to a surprise party with all the young adults. She loved it. :) She fits in so well here and everyone loves her... including us. It's so fun when you make good friends. :) 

Oh my goodness and Friday we had the best time at the Sandelins! The message was the best part. They gave each of the members of the family a chance to teach the missionaries. So everyone does a decent job... But then Noah came haha. Noah is 10 years old and one of the funniest, most dramatic kids I have ever met. Super smart too. 

Noah: "How are you?"
Elder Nielsen: *Pretending to be sad* "Not so good... My uncle just died..."
Noah: *Immediately proclaims* "BE NOT SAD. I know where your uncle is! He's in heaven with Jesus. Before this life we lived with God. Then we came to earth to live with our families, like your uncle. Then we die and we go back to Jesus and live with our families again. Come to church and you can learn more!" 

Like, he's 10! We couldn't help but stand up and applaud. It was so beautiful.

And then N____s baptism on Saturday and also transfer calls! I am getting Sister Cambell. She's super cute and just got done being trained in Täby. It'll be really fun. :) I'm very excited and have a lot of goals for this next and BEST transfer! Although this past one has been one of my favorites. Oh! And I also got to see Alison! ONE OF MY FAVORITE HUMANS EVER. She is going to Singapore really soon for her mission! I LOVE HER.

Sunday, S____ came for all three hours and then to dinner afterwards. She cancelled a meeting that she had so that she could stay for the rest of church. It made us so happy :) She is doing wonderful. Also, Sister Poulson talked and it was super sweet. Oh, I love missions.

I have been thinking about my mission and how I wanted a stronger testimony that the gospel makes me happy. Still. :) I definitely have been getting answers to my prayers. At the baptism I just felt so much joy. I love God, to put it simply! Haha. 

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” -Gandhi 

Lining up your desires, thoughts, words, and actions with God's will is true happiness. Not pleasure. But happiness. 

An amazing example of this in church history:

The mob next seized Bishop Edward Partridge and Charles Allen. They were taken to the public square in Independence and commanded to renounce the Book of Mormon and leave the county. Bishop Partridge said, “I told them that the Saints had suffered persecution in all ages of the world; that I had done nothing which ought to offend anyone; that if they abused me, they would abuse an innocent person; that I was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ; but, to leave the country, I was not then willing to consent to it.”
With this refusal, the men were stripped of their outer clothing and their bodies were covered with tar and feathers. Bishop Partridge observed, “I bore my abuse with so much resignation and meekness, that it appeared to astound the multitude, who permitted me to retire in silence, many looking very solemn, their sympathies having been touched as I thought; and as to myself, I was so filled with the Spirit and love of God, that I had no hatred towards my persecutors or anyone else.”
This is something that I am slowly learning throughout my mission. Happiness comes when we stop resisting and start accepting and even embracing. I love the gospel! 


Syster Stetler 

Monday, February 22, 2016


So we have met with S____ a lot! we were eating dinner and then we taught about the plan of salvation kinda. we focused on where we are from, that she is a daughter of God with divine nature, and how when we follow the example of Jesomething... us Christ we are purified and changed and improved. we asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she looked a little shocked and was like i dont know...and then after we said the closing prayer to the lesson she said feel my hands they are cold! and i was like ya...and she said when you asked me to be baptized i got that feeling again! and so then we set up a baptismal date for her for her the 26 of march. The Holy Ghost is real and communicates with our spirits, this work we do would be impossible with out it.  

N____ did not get baptized this week, we could not get in contact with her for like 3 days and then when we finally saw her she said she didnt want to get baptized on the following Saturday anymore. When we came in and sat down with her and said a prayer and the whole spirit changed. she apologized and explained that some really stressful things had been happening at her job. We watched a video of Christs baptism, and then asked her why she wanted to be baptized. she said because i believe it will bring me closer to God and Jesus Christ. the spirit of truth filled the room. the contrast from when we first got there to that moment was night and day. I know that there is opposition in all things, we must fight on in the cause of what is right and true and good!!! 

We tracted into an adorable family like 3 weeks ago, the parents are from Kosavo and the daughter who is like 25 grew up in Sweden. they always invite us over and make us so much food!!! its crazy! and so delicious! but they have not been so interested in our message as missionaries, and were kinda offended when we invited them to church...BUT THEN we swung by with rice crispies drizzled with chocolate and D____ (the 25 yr old daughter who is like super beautiful and nice and hilarious and down to earth like seriously she is our best friend) she said "i want to invite all my friends over and you guys can meet them and also i was talking to my teacher and i told her about you guys and that you speak swedish and she wants to meet you and i am actually also interested to learn about what you believe." when she told us she wanted to learn i could really feel it:) 

so there is a family in the ward who has 5 kids, 2 return missionary kids and 3 preparing to go, we go over there every friday for dinner! last week we shared a message about how the promise at the beginning of Preach My Gospel is FO REAL. that we can really feel more joy than we ever have before in the work of the Lord. we invited them to prepare the message for the next week, that they could teach us instead, out of the lessons from Preach my Gospel. So this week they did it! and it was so so great! they made like a power point presentation and we could just tell that they had read and prepared and learned. 

i love the article for this month about LIGHT. how our purpose is to go about soaking in more and more light and truth all the time. I am so grateful and happy to my Savior and Heavenly Father helping me so much. 

thank you for all the prayers and support and love, i really am so eternally grateful. I really love you all!!

L O V E 
Syster Stetler

You've been through the blender, but you make a good smoothie.

Hello! The subject line was a great quote from my companion hahaha. I got sick yesterday but I am feeling a lot better today. :) Life is goooooooooooooood. K-stad is the place to be, I'm sayin'.

So....Mom, guess what? My piano skills did something haha. So we talked with N___ about the baptismal questions and she got nervous about tithing and about the word of wisdom. She was expressing just how much of a sacrifice these things would be. We listened and tried to comfort her and asked her to pray about them. This was Thursday night. We planned to see her Friday night and talk things through and figure out if she would have her interview (and have the elders come up from Malmö). Friday comes and she can't meet because her daughter is really sick... so we call her and she says she still wants to do the interview. She came Sat. morning and we had planned on going through things one more time and reading scriptures but she was feeling nervous and stressed and it just felt right to play some hymns (not super well) and calm down before the elders came. So we did, she got a blessing (the priesthood is so real), then got her baptismal interview and decided to be baptized. :) It will be Saturday. Please pray for her! She is so strong and faithful, she just relies on God and Jesus Christ even when things seem impossible. 

S____. She is so cute!!!!!! She is swedish and 23 and SO CUTE. We talked with her a lot and she told us how many "coincidences" she has had starting with meeting the missionaries and we told her that is the spirit and God's hand in her life. We explained what the spirit is and how we can feel it and how it testifies of truth. After the lesson she quietly asked us, "What is that ticklish feeling in my stomach and I feel tingly and cold?" That's the spirit! She is doing great, we are going to dinner with her tonight :) 

We also had zone training and we talked about conversion and building up our areas. It was really great. I thought about my own conversion and the conversions that I have seen on my mission and it's so beautiful. It answered a lot of my questions that I had. President Beckstrand talked a lot about how it's hard to keep strong when you are in a place that challenges your beliefs (like Sweden) but we can do it through LIVING the gospel. Know the gospel is true by being true to the gospel. And then we went on splits! I went to Lund. Such a cute little town. But seriously, we were trying to get to a train and Sister Irene fell then a minute later I fell into a puddle. Seriously, superman dive into the only puddle as far as the eye could see. Haha. That luck... And then we had Albanian food! The most delicious food ever. We seriously made such good friends with this family already! Haha. 

Friday was interesting.... Sister Poulson thought she had lice.... so that brought me back to elementary school for a second... but she doesn't! Just an itchy head. But in the meantime we washed everything in our apartment and threw so many things away. .... No lice and a clean apartment. All good things. :) And Sister Poulson is incredible. We work so well together and we have a lot of fun. She is really patient with me and understanding and we just work! I love being a missionary. :)

I've been studying joy. Do you feel joy from the gospel? "Men are that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)  That's our purpose! But the word "might" inidcates that we can choose not to. Some people find it easy to be happy and others feel like they were destined to be miserable. But I like this quote. Are you seeking true happiness? Or pleasure?

“Happiness includes all that is really desirable and of true worth in pleasure, and much besides. Happiness is genuine gold, pleasure but guilded brass. Happiness is as the genuine diamond, which, rough or polished, shines with its own inimitable luster; pleasure is as the paste imitation that glows only when artificially embellished. Happiness is as the ruby, red as the heart’s blood, hard and enduring; pleasure, as stained glass, soft, brittle, and of but transitory beauty.
“Happiness is true food, wholesome, nutritious and sweet; it builds up the body and generates energy for action, physical, mental and spiritual; pleasure is but a deceiving stimulant.
“Happiness leaves no bad after-taste, it is followed by no depressing reaction; it calls for no repentance, brings no regret, entails no remorse; pleasure too often makes necessary repentance, contrition, and suffering; and, if indulged to the extreme, it brings degradation and destruction.
“True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of unholy pleasure may leave a barbed sting, which, like a thorn in the flesh, is an ever-present source of anguish.
“Happiness springs from the deeper fountains of the soul, and is not infrequently accompanied by tears. Have you never been so happy that you have had to weep? I have.”
If you or someone around you is searching for pleasure, it's probably because you or they don't have the happiness or joy that they desire. It comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I promise it does. Remember to be thankful, count your blessings, rely on God, and do your best and happiness will follow. I'm working on that too. :)  The church is true!


Syster Stetler


Word of the week: bortskämd; English translation: spoiled.

I feel so spoiled in this area. It's the best. We are so blessed. :)

Update: N____ is doing well, but has a lot more things to work through than we thought. A new member (who is amazing) is a nurse and is helping her out. PRAYERS FOR HER. 

In other news, we met a family from Albania while knocking doors and they invited us in and gave us a ton of food and we talked about the church. They are so stinkin' cute. (Ok, I lied. It's not Albania. It's some little part of Albania that feels very independent from Albania... not a good mistake to make, but I have no idea how to spell it.) Also... we met ANN MARIE'S PARENTS. So Ann Marie is a new member that the elders baptized 3 months ago. She has SUCH a strong testimony and she has MS but she just turns completely outward and always focuses on other people. She just got called as a branch missionary and she takes that calling so seriously and comes with us all the time and she even referred her parents! This was a really big deal because they didn't even come to her baptism! It was so fun to teach them and he is so excited to read the Book of Mormon. :) SO SPECIAL. I can't even tell you! Oh! And we are going to meet an investigator from the elders. Her name is S___ and she came to church and felt the spirit so strong she was crying a lot. She loved it. She has some anxiety and I am really excited to meet with her because I understand a lot of that. 

The food situation in K-Stad is out of control. The elders took up baking as a new hobby and it has not been good for anyone. I'm talkin' the best brownies I have ever had. (And I've had a lot of brownies). Also, banana milk happened. This has changed my life. So..... hand blenders. Do they have those in America? Yeah. You just put some milk, a banana, and chocolate powder in a tub and blend it... (pb optional).  It's amazing. We may or may not have eaten 19 bananas this week between the milk and strawberry banana smoothies... (of course). And the chocolate here, you guys... incredible. But it's ok... because we have been running a lot. We did a run around a river today and the sun was rising and it was so beautiful. :)

I will send some pictures. As a spiritual thought................... I have been studying faith and I have thought a lot about how I can gain more faith. It's something I thought would be so natural and easy on a mission and it has not been the case. It's been tested a lot, but I feel like it'll be stronger for that reason. I have thought a lot about how people want to gain faith (seeing, hearing, experiencing) and how I can increase my faith. I was thinking way too hard and read something from True to the Faith that I liked a lot. 

"You can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to your spirit carries far more certainty than any communication you can receive through your natural senses." 

I have felt so many confirmations from the spirit and so did S_____ on Sunday! A lot of people in Sweden have despite desires for evidence. Spiritual things need to be discerned by the spirit. 

I love you all! God lives and love you all! Have a great week!

Syster Stetler

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Is it February?

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Hope everyone is doing great! :)

I just want to start out with the good news. N_____ ..... yes. She's amazing. Her goal is to be baptized on the 20th and she is working to stop smoking so we have been in contact with her a lot! She got a blessing from the branch president and she really took the blessing to heart and felt it. I love getting to know her and see how happy she is. :) 

Also, our ward mission leader took us home teaching with him and we visited a guy that hasn't come to church in a while and he had his girlfriend there and we have been teaching them and they came to church and I think they really enjoyed it. ____ came, and a guy from _____ that we met on the street. So... gospel principles was in Swedish and being translated to English and Russian for the two Arabic speakers because no one can translate to Arabic. Haha. So fun!

Oh, but our lesson with _____. ______ learned about tithing, does NOT want to pay it, and we had a terrible lesson with him. Just awful... He told us that he can't pay tithing. We said it's a principle of faith. He said "Fine, I will get baptized into a different church." We said, "That church doesn't have the authority." "Fine then my sins are on you guys." ..... yeah.... didn't go so well. He still came to church though. We think he just needs some time.

Other than that, everything has been good. :) Pretty normal week. We had zone conference and it was really great. We talked about teaching repentance and baptizing converts (a continuation of the worldwide mission broadcast). 

I love Sister Poulson as well. She is such a great companion. :) We will have to send a picture of us at some point haha.. 

As far as studies, I just finished my month of desire. I learned so much. I really learned about what it is that I desire and it opened my eyes to the good desires that I have and the not so good. It was interesting to see how I have acted on the desires. Some, I simply wish for. Some I work for. And some I would do anything for. I also learned that by looking at our deepest desires, we really learn how we are doing spiritually. It's one of the best ways to check on yourself. Now I am beginning my study of faith in Jesus Christ. I really want to focus on the Atonement and his power to heal and enable us. I want a deeper understanding and very firm testimony. I'm excited. :) Studies are so much more fun with a topic. What are you guys studying?

Well I love you! I hope you have a great week! :)

Syster Stetler

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Sacrament

Hello!!!!!!! Happy last week of January... whenever that happened....

Cute Sister Woolsey left to Örebro. She gave a super great talk in church for her last Sunday. Sister Poulson is fantastic. We work really hard and have already found some people that I am excited to work with. She's from California Tehachapi (Tuh-hatch-uh-pea). She thinks it's hilarious that I am from Elko, NV because her family said that her car has literally broken down every single time she drove through. Hahah. At least she knows where it is! All the Swedes just think I am from Vegas haha.

We watched a really awesome broadcast that was for all missionaries in the WORLD. All of them. It was awesome and really helped a lot. It talked a lot about teaching and how we need to be the tools and let the Spirit be the teacher. I like that idea a lot but it's hard to apply. It takes a lot of focus.

We also started teaching lessons to members and helping them know how to do missionary work. It's really fun, you can feel something so special about these people and their houses. I love the people here! They are so Christlike and willing to serve. I could literally go off forever.

N____ is still doing amazing. She came to church and dinner afterwards. We talked about the Sacrament with her and it helped her and me so much! During the Sacrament I focused so much and felt so much love for the Savior. I also studied the prayers and learned some new things that I haven't thought about before, but it's hard to explain over email and it's kind of deep. But it's about santification and I read a great quote about that from the talk: The Pleasing Word of God "The prophet Brigham Young taught that “when the will, passions, and feelings of a person are perfectly submissive to God and his requirements, that person is sanctified." That lines up with the sacrament prayers. But one thing I realized is that the sacrament is something that so many people are missing. I'll put it this way. When you are looking to buy an apartment you have to talk to the person who owns the building. You rent the apartment, but you can't keep the apartment unless you pay rent every month. The apartment purchase represents baptism and membership in the church, the owner represents the authority or priesthood and the rent is the sacrament. You will not keep the apartment if you don't pay the rent. I have no idea if that makes sense over email, but for me it was a really good realization. It's something that I wish everyone knew about. We can be cleansed from our sins every single week and receive strength to do difficult things and become better. Who wouldn't want that if they fully understood it? It's beautiful and I love church.

We met with ____ and he is not doing so great this week, he is really having a problem with tithing... so maybe you guys can pray for him. We have faith that this is just a setback and that he will still be baptized. But he needs all the help and prayers he can get!

We found a really cute investigator from ____ and she loves training and working out so she is going to hold a class for the young women this week, it will be so fun! Haha

I am still studying desire and it's been great. I decided that I am going to study "Faith in Jesus Christ" next month. It's something I need to strengthen, with "Courage" and "Joy" following soon after.

That's pretty much it for this week, not a lot of stories to tell, but I am still loving it here and giving my all to these last few months! Have the best week ever!!!!!


Syster Stetler