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