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

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Well... An unexpected transfer call.... Sister Woolsey is leaving! She is going to Örebro. She is so sad to be leaving! I am really sad she is going too. She's the sweetest thing in the world. But she'll love Örebro! I am getting Sister Poulson. She is in Lund right now as an STL. I have met her a few times and she is really sweet. She is going home in one transfer.. so we will be a really old companionship haha. So it should be fun!

N____ is doing really well too. She came to church and she feeds us all the time now haha. She came to a music night we had and met a lot of the members and really loved it. Elder. Flippin'. Duke. is sooooo good at the piano. And Sister Woolsey sang and it was just so nice. I love having activities like that. :)

We went out to a place name Åhus and it's the prettiest town I have seen.. I loved it. We took some pictures, but I really want to go back when it's warmer and see the beach.

We got to see President and Syster Beckstrand this week and that was really fun. I love them. They came to district meeting and we had interviews with them. Syster Beckstrand is the best story teller ever haha. Apparently President lost his wallet in the blizzard of Norrland because he slipped and fell and missionaries had to dig through snow up to their knees to find it. They were digging and then finally said a kneeling prayer and then came back and found it. Prayer works!

Not too much happened this week.. It got really cold... but still nothing compared to last year. We met a few new people on the street that we are excited to work with. And we saw some really pretty horses that a member's friend has.

Did you guys watch the CES devotional with President Nelson???? IF NOT WATCH IT. Oh my goodness it is so good.

I think that's about all I got. I love you guys and hope you have a great week! 


Syster Stetler

Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm Blue

HELLO. How are you guys doing? Everything is going well here in K-Stad.

Last P-Day we went to Malmö and it was really fun. It's beautiful down there. :) And on Tuesday we went on splits. I learned a lot. It was the best splits I've been on. Sister Lindsay is really humble and she just sincerely wants to be good. You seriously don't have to say a word to teach someone. 

_____ and ____ are doing really well. We think they will absolutely love church but she can't really come because she is SUPER pregnant. They are progressing really well though. We had a great lesson with ____ too. She was so funny. "I really want to come to church when you guys come over but when Sunday comes the devil makes me not want to go.... what do I do?" So we helped her with that, because it's a real concern! We met with Omar, too, with the Sandelins. They are really great for member presents, and are absolutely hilarious. We taught him about Christ and invited him to read the Book of Mormon daily and pray in the name of Christ, which is REALLY hard for muslims. But he said he will try it and I really hope he feels the spirit as he does it, because he really wants to know the truth. He's a great guy. But then the Sandelin boys chased us with snowballs all the way to the train station. And Naxhea is also doing great. It's her birthday today so we visited her and met her daughter. 

And then, Elder Duke wrote out the story with ____ really well... so I will just copy and paste that. It's incredibly eye opening and sad... but I'm just SO glad we know him and get to help him... although I feel like he is teaching me way more than I can ever teach him.

"We have a new investigator, named Ihsan. He is from a war torn country and is 65 years old. We met him on Christmas Eve, on our way to the Sandelins. We were walking towards their house with the sisters, then all of a sudden Ihsan and his friend walked up to us and asked us "Do you have a holy book in Arabic?" We were taken aback a bit, but then we said yes we have one, just not with us, (it had been the first day that Elder Payne didn't have it in his backpack the whole transfer) but we could meet with him and give him one. His friend translated for him, because he can't speak Swedish and he speaks only very little English. We gave him our card, and he walked away. Then he walked back and the sisters asked if they could exchange numbers with him. Last week while we were out contacting, we ran into him again and asked how he was doing, and if he would like to hear more of our message, using google translate on our phone. He told us that he was just about to meet with the sisters, and invited us along. We asked the sisters if we could come too, and they said sure, so with an arabic translator on the phone, we taught him the restoration. He loved it, and wanted to be baptized, so we set up a date for the 6th of February! He said he was very excited to come to church the next day! He came to church and loved it. We translated for him on the phone the whole time, and he cried because he felt the spirit so strongly. He speaks fluent Russian, and the return missionary from Russia in our branch was in Finland at the time, but we set up a time for us to meet with him to have a lesson in Russian, but the Sisters couldn't come at that time, so they said we could just teach him. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he loved it. We told Fredrik afterwards that he is the Sisters' investigator, and he said it would probably be better if we taught him, because if Fredrik were to come to the lessons, it would be a lot harder for the sisters to set up the lesson, due to rules with genders. We talked it over with the sisters, and they decided it would be fine if we taught him, but we still felt a little bad because we were stealing their investigator... Anyways, he had us over for an Arabic dinner, and made us lots of food. It was... arabic. I decided to not question what I was eating. It was great though. He told us a lot about his background. In Syria, he was the minister of the University of Damascus. He had studied for many years in Russia, and thus can speak great Russian. In Syria, his family was very influential. He talked about having a five story house with lots of gold and hired assistance. But one day, a group of 'bandits' as he called them, blew up his house. They killed his entire family, included extended family, and took his children prisoner. They came to the university and kidnapped him also, wanting him to do some 'behind the law ' work, but he wouldn't do it, so they took him to a prison and kept him prisoner for 42 days, where he never saw sunlight and they beat him twice a day. It was awful. He was forced to give them all his money, and they let him go, but he never got his kids back. They, too, were killed. He says that he looks forward to baptism because it really is a  new life as a follower of Christ. He is so grateful for the opportunity we have to live with our families forever. He has a very sad story, but he is always happy! He is such a great example of how attitude plays a large role in our lives. He thanks us every time we see him for the opportunity we have given him to learn of the gospel and feel the peace and joy that it brings."

You guys, he's amazing. I love him so much. I gave a talk in church and I talked about him a bit. I talked about coming to know Christ. I get so flippin' nervous but I really do like giving talks once I am standing up there. I hope it helped someone.

I also got a hair cut from a cute member in the ward. Umm.. district meeting was also hilarious. We decided to all wear the same color and have the same hair. And we wrote raps about faith. It was also spiritual, I promise haha. 

I think that's about it for this week. I am still loving it here. This ward is amazing and so helpful. Transfer calls are coming on Saturday and I am really feeling like Sister Woolsey and I will stay together. I super hope so. I love her. 

Did you guys listen to the CES fireside with Elder Nelson? I really want to read that.

Well, I love you guys! I hope you all have an amazing week and I will attach some pictures. 

Syster Stetler

Charades and Google Translate

This week was absolutely incredible!!!!!!!!!! You guys!!!!!!!! We are soooooooo blessed. :)

So first of all, Kristianstad is THE BEST PLACE EVER. This branch is unlike anything I have ever seen before... They could not be more helpful or better missionaries. They take such good care of us and just have a spiritual strength like I have never seen in any other place. They have such a desire to share the gospel and they don't let anything stop them from doing it. I have had the best areas ever...

So Christmas Eve, we were walking to the Sandelin's and we got stopped by two men, they asked us four if we had a Holy Book in Arabic. We were so confused.... but told them "Yes! Absolutely!" We took their number and told them we would get them one as soon as possible. So then we went and had the most fantastic Jul Afton ever, so much food and love. :) (I'm totally obsessed with Sara Sandelin.... haha) But anyways... we get ahold of this guy and we are really interested to see what's going to happen because 1) he contacted us 2) he asked for a Holy Book, not a "Book of Mormon" 3) he doesn't speak a word of Swedish and very, VERY limited English. So we met him at the church and he brought a friend to try to translate... but he wasn't super good either. Haha. It was a mess. But we called a translator and used him. We found out that he is from a war torn country, his family was all killed there, and that he felt like he should talk to us, he feels good in the church, and he wants to come every Sunday. So we met with him again and he told us he wanted to be baptized and that he has been reading the Book of Mormon every day. He came to church in a tie and dress pants and a sweater. It was adorable. He had us and the elders over and just offered us everything he had in his fridge, that's their culture... haha. SO NICE. Soooo loving. At church, he stayed for all three hours even though he couldn't understand anything. There was seriously a line of like 6 people to bear their testimonies because everyone is awesome... but very last there was an old woman that went up and said she wanted to bear her testimony in English so that "her dear friend that she just met" could understand. It was sooooooooo beautiful even though she struggled a bit. Not to mention she also drove one of our other investigators to church. We had three here and it made me sooooo dang happy. :) ______ (from Albania) came and loved it too. Everyone was so nice to her. She LOVES the idea of a modern day prophet. :) ______ came also. He speaks Arabic too, but speaks swedish really well. He is so fun. He came to New Years with us and played games with us and made pizza. It was a blast! It just was an amazing week. We had another family that was slightly interested become fully interested. We went from talking about the weather and languages and trying to have a lesson to reading out of the Book of Mormon straight through and them not wanting us to leave. They also speak Arabic. So basically, I just want to start up an Arabic sunday school class haha. I guess we have a member that got baptized here and didn't speak hardly any english or swedish, but he read EVERYTHING and loved it, knew it was true, and wanted to be baptized. He is picking up his family right now but I hope he comes back soon because he would be a huge help. I really do love these people so much. It's so fun to have so many different cultures in one place. It makes for really interesting experiences with google translate and charades but I love it.

The heartbreaking thing though is to hear of their situation in their home countries.... I've heard of so many devastating things from Africa and the Middle East. I can't wait until everything is made right. But it's beautiful to testify of eternal families when people are so heartbroken.

On a lighter note, New Years was amazing. They were just blowing up fireworks like crazy haha. They were everywhere! I loved it. We played Mormonopoly and a lot of other games. Oh and we got snow! I have a lot of fun pictures to send. :)

The New Year was filled with a lot of different thoughts for me. I finished my "black year" in Sweden. It's weird to think I'll be home this year. I don't feel like I have enough time left to do all that I want to do. It goes way too fast. But I still got some time. :) I decided for Christmas that I wanted to give Christ a "gift" of some sort. I thought a lot about that and when Mom sent me the 12 days of Christmas, I realized I wanted to give Christ "12 months of Christmas." I decided I will choose a Christlike attribute every month to study, pray for, and do my best to apply. I chose "Desire" this month and it's already been incredibly interesting and eye-opening. I've been recording what it is that I desire, deep down and how strong that desire is. It's pretty sad when you are honest with yourself and realize that sometimes temporal things are a stronger desire than spiritual. I really want to work on that. And I want to desire the welfare of this people more than I do now, or in other words, love them even more. I think desire and charity go hand in hand.

"Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.
How do we develop desires? Few will have the kind of crisis that motivated Aron Ralston,3 but his experience provides a valuable lesson about developing desires. While Ralston was hiking in a remote canyon in southern Utah, an 800-pound (360 kg) rock shifted suddenly and trapped his right arm. For five lonely days he struggled to free himself. When he was about to give up and accept death, he had a vision of a three-year-old boy running toward him and being scooped up with his left arm. Understanding this as a vision of his future son and an assurance that he could still live, Ralston summoned the courage and took drastic action to save his life before his strength ran out. He broke the two bones in his trapped right arm and then used the knife in his multitool to cut off that arm. He then summoned the strength to hike five miles (8 km) for help.4 What an example of the power of an overwhelming desire! When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously.
Most of us will never face such an extreme crisis, but all of us face potential traps that will prevent progress toward our eternal destiny. If our righteous desires are sufficiently intense, they will motivate us to cut and carve ourselves free from addictions and other sinful pressures and priorities that prevent our eternal progress." -Elder Oaks
I started reading the Book of Mormon with this in mind and it seriously came ALIVE. When you have a goal to learn something it seriously gives you completely different ideas than any other time you read it.  What are your goals for this next year? We should all study something together so we can talk about it. I think that would be really fun. I will need a comp study with someone when I go home haha.. Also.. going along with that. I will need a companion too haha. I can't even be in a different room than my companion any more, even in our apartment. I used to be independent haha...
Well I love you guys so much! Happy New Year! And have a fantastic week. God loves you all. :)
Syster Stetler