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