Saturday, December 26, 2015

surprise!

we got a little p-day the day after christmas, so i thought i'd send off a couple of pictures to you guys :)

christmas eve selfie!

christmas dinner in our sweden sweaters
merry christmas from all of us here in sundsvall!

delivering cookies and banana bread to those in need with the district

cute little Christmas set up in the city

got a referral that lives all the way out here. do we dare take that drive?

this is what christmas decorating looks like in a missionary apartment

these are the little dala hästs i got from grandma for christmas :)

christmas eve watching Trassel (tangled in swedish)

Monday, December 21, 2015

god jul

hi! I don't have tons of time today (again, rushing on p-days) so this will be a short email. This week has been great! we went down to stockholm for a christmas conference and we spent pday down there. we got to see the northern lights last night and had some really prime lessons this week. It's been lots of fun with sister davis and i don't even feel like i'm training her to be honest. she's a much better greenie than i was haha. We have been seeing lots of success and last night we got the sweetest phone call from Sister Beckstrand to let us know that the members really appreciate what we're doing here in sundsvall. I have been so blessed to be here with my amazing baby (mission lingo) and this great holiday season. I love that i get the opportunity to see all the miracles I do. I'll talk to you guys some more on Christmas :) I'll be skyping around 4:00 sweden time. Hope you guys have a great next few days! 
love, 
syster janessa brink


some of my MTC sisters

stockholm! sorry if it's blurry

some more stockholm :)

me and sister davis





Tuesday, December 15, 2015

green christmas

It's been a good week! We had a fun last pday of the transfer and had dinner with an investigator. Sister Taylor and I went to a photo shop to print off some pictures for our district and on our way back to the car I slipped and fell hard core right in front of this old woman and i brought sister taylor down with me. I don't know if i told you, but sundsvall has turned into a giant field of ice, so we've been sliding just about everywhere nowadays. 

Tuesday was sister taylor's last day here in sundsvall, and we spent it cleaning some stuff up, packing, and talking to some people out on the street. then we got on a train and took a long ride down to Västerhaninge. We stayed the night with the sisters there and the next morning dark and early I put sister taylor on the first of 3 trains for Jönköping. Gonna miss that girl like crazy. We had so much fun together! 

From there I got myself all ready to go and get my brand new green little missionary! I got to talk with my friends, Elder Backman and Sister Bateman from the MTC, while we were waiting for our lilla grönsaker :) It was actually a good reunion with like, half the mission, because we have 28 new missionaries this transfer. we have a good number from the states and the MTC and then we have a handfull of visa waiters. When everything was ready we walked into the big room where all the new missionaries were sitting and I was so excited! One by one they all read where they were going, and I got my new companion, Sister Davis, from Laguna Beach CA! 



We got in just before dinner on wednesday night, so there's not much to report on other than another couple of long train rides to Sundsvall. 

Thursday we had district meeting and a lunch together as a district. On the way to the pizza restaurant we talked with the bus driver and his friends, and they were interested in getting a book of mormon in turkish, we'll have to find them on the bus again, cuz the number they gave us got shut off. 

Sister Davis is already like super good at swedish (probably better than I was when I first came) and we had a good day of contacting and teaching. We have been having a lot of fun together!

We had a super great lesson with Farhan and Bakhtiar. They were really excited to hear about the plan of salvation and they are both nervous and excited for baptism. It's so good to have armin there to talk to them about everything, cuz he went through all of this not to long ago himself. 

Yesterday we went to a Lucia Pagent at the swedish church. Lucia is held around the darkest time of year in sweden. We're at about 7 hours of daylight right now. It's a celebration of light and it was super pretty! Poor sister Davis was so tired she was falling asleep, but at the end we got a picture with the lucia girl. 

We're going down to stockholm for pday, so I don't have tons of time! I love you guys so much! 

have a great week!
syster janessa brink

the one with the green milk was a prank i pulled on her (the only prank i will pull on her haha) I told her that all the milk in sweden was green. 





Monday, December 7, 2015

tåg, utbildning, träna

hey there everybody! 

It's good to hear from all of you and see what's happening at home and abroad. I love hearing from you guys and getting your pictures :) 

this week on pday our branch mission leader took us sight seeing. It was so much fun! We got to go out to Östersund and Alnö. Beautiful sights and lots of fun!

Tuesday we took a drive out to Torpshammar and Ånge to see Kelvin and Mahshid. The lessons went well, but the ride home was a little bit scary. Those country roads don't have street lights, so I felt like I was driving into an abyss. No worries though, we got home alive and well and now I'm here writing this email to you :)

On thursday we had our last district meeting of the transfer. Our district has been so much fun, and after being together for 3 months, everybody is being split up and assigned to different areas. Elder Downing will be finishing his mission this coming week, so we had a little "funeral" for him. I made a cheesecake and we wrote a song (which you will have the pleasure of maybe hearing once i get home) and burned a shirt (what is it with missionaries and fire?)

That evening we surprised one of our good member friends with breakfast for dinner at the church. He was definitely surprised! We had pancakes and eggs and bacon and sat and chatted for a while. It was really good to be together as a group, especially since we knew half the missionaries here would be transferring. 

Friday morning started really early at 5:00. Sister Taylor and I got on a train to Stockholm for a little "Train the Trainers" Meeting in the mission home. Sister Taylor went on splits, and I went and listened to how to help a greenie. It was really really good. We will be having 26 new missionaries coming in. I'm so excited! And they are all on the same flight hahaha, that plane is guaranteed to land safely. Of those 26 though, only 4 of them are sisters, and they are the first sisters we've had since June. I am so excited to meet my new companion! 

Friday evening was long as well, sprinting around Stockholm to make our train, Sister Taylor and I were so tired when we finally got on the SJ Snabbtåg back to Sundsvall. We didn't have any time to get dinner so we ended up buying some expensive train food. That's life though. We got in around 9:00, planned, and were in bed by around 9:30. Trains will make you tired!

Saturday we had a really REALLY good day. We got transfer calls. Sister Taylor will be going to Jönköping (the place that will forever have my heart) to be with my best friend and first companion Sister Giles (and they will have so much fun together!) 

Thus starts the work of saying goodbyes. First on the list were our sweet friends NoeNoe and SaySay. We went and ate lunch with NoeNoe and her friends and she was so excited, she wanted us to tell them all about modern day prophets and the restoration. Look at her, such a good little missionary and she's only 17, and not yet a member! I love her :) We met up with SaySay right after lunch and she and Sister T had a really tender goodbye. I think those goodbyes are the hardest part of missionary work. You just grow to love them so much. 

We then taught Farhan and Bakhtiar at the church with Armin and Shirin. We told them about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. It was a really good lesson, and both of them committed to baptism! Bakhtiar is a little worried he might not be in the country on his set baptismal date, so we decided to fast for him together. 

I talked with this adorable little baptist family on the street and they were so interested in the church. Too bad they live on the other side of the country! I gave them our number and the christmas website and they were really excited to check it out!

From there we had dinner at the 1st counselor's house with his cute little family and Armin and Shirin. We got lost in the middle of the apartment complex and the entire walkway was frozen over with ice. We made is slowly but surely to their place, and I think I'm gonna have to get a carrier in ice skating, because I haven't fallen once (knock on wood.)
 
That evening we visited another member and showed her the christmas film and then had a whole tender hearted lesson with her about family and overcoming struggles. We got back home just before curfew and realized we couldn't even drive up our hill because the whole thing was iced over. We had to call the elders to rescue us and they ended up just taking the car to their apartment. 

Yesterday we had a great day at church! A wonderful testimony meeting and three investigators there. Murre was able to show up just after all the classes finished, so it was good to see him too! Goodbyes and photos all around and me telling people "Don't worry, I'll still be here!" 

We ate pancakes for dinner at Sassan's house with his family and watched the new christmas video with them too (that christmas video is pretty important, if you can't tell yet.) 

Sometimes missionary work is hard, and you get stressed out like crazy. Yes, I do have those days every few months where I just don't know how I can do it. But you know what? Those days don't ever last very long. And I never have to go through them alone. Everyday I get to stand up on that icy street and bear my testimony to God's children. I am able to do anything because the way is already paved. And though it might be slippery sometimes, I can always reach up and grab his hand because he will never turn away. 

I love you guys!
vi hörs nästa vecka
-syster janessa brink


alnö

my best friends (the district)

sometimes it's hard to wear scarves

that cool tower thing behind me is an old church bell! also it's gotten pretty cold over here.


me and shirin. i'm telling ya, it's really icy out there


gonna miss this girl

Monday, November 30, 2015

everybody loves the church

hey guys! 

I don't have tons of time today because our branch mission leader is taking us out sight seeing. I'm excited to see more of sweden :) 

first off, happy anniversary to my parents! 

this last week has been a blast! we have been pretty busy and we just love it. We've taught so much restoration that I can't even handle it. It's been really good though, cuz i just love studying JS-History. 

We had thanksgiving with some members! We also ate a thanksgiving lunch with the district. I thought I was going to explode, it was so much food. But it was all really good! it was fun to go around the table and talk about the things we are thankful for, and explain to the kids what thanksgiving even is (they don't have it here in sweden, so it's always good talking to them about the pilgrims and the indians.)

workovers with the sister training leaders this week! we were expecting them on saturday but they came on friday instead! I had a lot of fun with sister Irene, and we got a lot of stuff done. We went to the university library to meet one of our more promising potential investigators. After calling him and texting him, he tried to explain what part of the library he was at. We sent him a picture of where we were and he called us a few moments later.
"are you guys in sundsvall?"
"yes"
"I'm in Umeå."
Umeå is 3 hours away. We had a good laugh and referred him to the Umeå elders. Hahaha :)

Friday night we also had one of the Elder's investigators stop by and drop off thanksgiving dinner to all of us. You heard that right. I had like 3 thanksgivings this week! I'm thankful for stuffing. I can't seem to get enough of it. 

Remember how last week I mentioned a couple of persian speaking guys that randomly came to church? We taught them this week. Their names are Farhan and Bakhtiar (good luck on the pronunciation) and they are awesome. We sat down with them, Armin, and Shirin. They don't have much of a background concerning Jesus Christ. So we established that with them and started into the restoration lesson. We got to the apostasy and realized that an hour and a half had already passed, and we still had at least an hour left in order to teach them everything (that's what happens with translation, lessons take a while). We asked if they would like to stay and continue learning or if they'd like to wait until the next time we met to hear the rest. They looked at us and said, "we'd really like to stay." So after a 10 minute stretch and bathroom break, everyone was back at the table to talk some more. I got to share the first vision, which is one of my favorite things to do with a language barrier. I love it because when you share it the first time, they don't understand what you're saying, but they FEEL it. And they pay attention to that feeling so much more than those that do understand what you are saying. And then they wait eagerly to hear what it was that made them feel that way. That's what happened with Farhan and Bakhtiar. They mentioned that while I recited the first vision they felt something, and they really liked it. Farhan came to church yesterday, Bakhtiar wasn't able to make it. But then both of them came to the christmas concert we had. 

Speaking of the Christmas concert, holy cow our branch is SO talented. I had no idea. We have so many singers and just straight up gifted people here. And we had an AMAZING turn out. The entire chapel was filled, mostly with non-members, and it was remarkable! 

Well, that's all for this week! I'm excited to hear from you guys next week! I got a call from the mission president yesterday that I'd be training up here in Sundsvall, so pray for me and my new greenie ;) I'll be picking her up in about a week and a half. 

LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
-syster janessa brink





Monday, November 23, 2015

we thank thee

this week I thought I'd just count some of my blessings (we're getting so close to thanksgiving I thought this would be appropriate)

  • I'm thankful for the friends and family that email me every week and tell me what they've been busy with. It's so much fun to hear from all of them and read the stories :)
  • I'm thankful for public transportation, because without it I'd be on foot. Walking in -9 degrees Celsius doesn't sound too fun
  • I'm thankful for p-days, because otherwise when would I sleep? clean my clothes? buy jul tomte?
  • for president and sister beckstrand. They care so much about us missionaries. This week they came up to Norrland for a specialized zone training and taught us about being diligent 
  • for members of the church. especially the ones that don't even know us personally, and still find ways to help us out. This week we spent the night with a member up in Umeå (before zone training) and she gave us not only a place to stay, but dinner, breakfast, chocolate, and a drive to the church.
  • for families that open their homes to us and let us teach them and their children. 
  • for investigators that have sincere questions, and seek for honest answers
  • for the people I meet everyday, who make the world diverse and exciting
  • for the people that are REALLY REALLY mean to me, because that's another chance I get to rely on and bear testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ
  • for telephones, computers, social media, and other technology. The work is being pushed forward so much faster because of these things. This week we got to watch the new Christmas Initiative video (and I feel super special because it doesn't come out publicly until next monday) and the idea of being able to post #ASaviorIsBorn and link nations together in seconds is AMAZING. 
  • for the courage it takes people to come to church, even if they haven't been in a while, even if they don't know what to expect or how they'll be accepted
  • for daily planners, because otherwise I'd forget everything
  • for my companion, Sister Taylor, because she's not afraid to clean all of the super gnarly hair balls out of the drain (that's what happens when you have sisters living in the apartment for a few years)
  • for Karlskrona, because it's the place where I was able to learn how to work hard, and see my first beautiful sights of Sweden
  • I'm thankful for Jönköping, and all the friends and family I was able to create there. I look forward to a day when I can go back
  • Sundsvall, the Norrland experience, and the winter I will be spending here
  • for all 7 of my past companions and all the things they taught me, and continue to teach me, even though we're not in the same area anymore
  • I can tell you, I am so thankful for my bed at the end of the night. I'm thankful I even have a bed. 
  • I'm thankful that I was able to come here willingly, and not forced to leave my homeland and family because of circumstances outside of my control
  • I'm thankful for apartment buildings. We've been trackting a lot lately, and it's so nice to be in from the cold!
  • for the christmas spirit, which opens people up. People have been more giving lately, more friendly, and more ready to listen to our american swedish
  • I'm thankful for the way that Heavenly Father guides people's lives. Yesterday we had two men show up to church. None of us missionaries had ever spoken to them before. None of the members knew who they were. And they only spoke persian. And (just as I'm sure Heavenly Father planned) there happened to be two persian speaking members there, Armin and Shirin, who were able to talk to them, explain things, and set up a time for us to meet again and begin teaching them about the church.
  • for the blessing of being bilingual, which is a blessing I never thought I'd be able to count
  • for my Heavenly Father, and everything he's been doing with me. For listening to my prayers and shaping me into the person I need to be, and directing my path and giving me the words I need when I don't have any
  • for my brother, serving right alongside me in Norway
  • I'm thankful for the heritage that I have, with roots tracing back to scandinavia, south africa, england and canada. 
  • I'm really really grateful for Jesus Christ, because I love being able to say so cheesily that I have found him, and he has helped me overcome any challenge placed in my path. 
  • I am thankful for the time I have left as a missionary, and even though I wish it was longer I am grateful I even have it. 
  • for the support of my parents and grandparents and all my extended family
but most of all, I'm thankful for the knowledge that I have that God loves his children, that families can be together forever, for an infinite atonement by the most selfless person to ever live, for scriptures that I can read, for the testimony that I have, and the opportunity I get each and everyday to bear that testimony (whether in english or in swedish) and help others to discover what I know to be true. 

MVH
.syster janessa brink

all of us Norrland sisters! Syster Bolton, Austin, me, Taylor, and Delgado


utah was on the news (i saw this on the train)


my parents will forever be getting pictures of me holding things that are on fire (no worries though, that's an elder's old shirt, not one of mine)


ice dragon!


contacting like this, because it got SO COLD this week

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

white

happiest of birthdays to Tanner and Mom!!! I hope you guys were able to get my cards that I sent (with those delicious swedish chocolate bars, eh) and hope you guys had great birthdays :)

hey, guess who left their planner at home....again. hahaha. me.

so I'll be telling stories of the week in a scattered fashion. enjoy.

this week we were super busy. getting ready for a baptism does all sorts of crazy things to you, and suddenly you are running all over the place making sure to meet with people and get things put together. we met with pretty much everyone this week. it was really fun!

also this week we went to an elementary school to talk a little about coming to a foreign country and helping them understand a little about what it's like to be on this side of things (there are so many immigrants, the news doesn't lie.) after the lesson, a little 13 year old girl came up to me and asked if Brink was my first name or my last name. I told her it was my last name and she got excited and told me that it was her last name too! With "Brink" not being the most common name in the world (or in sweden) I got really excited and told her a little about my family history and how we might actually be related. I felt like it would be weird to ask a 13 year old for her number at the elementary school, so I gave her my number and told her to definitely call me and we could chat with her parents and maybe find out if we are related. no call yet, but I'm still praying for it. 

this week we took another trip out to the refugee camp to visit Kelvin and Bereket. To put a picture in your minds, the refugee camp is like a college dorm. It's a two floor building with communal kitchen, bathroom and TV. Bedrooms are shared and small. Everything is a little worn looking and when we visit we are the only white people and the only girls on the property. Regardless of the poor conditions, our friends there are generally happy and very very giving. I love going there. This week we taught them the plan of salvation and talked about how with god nothing is impossible. Both of them came to church this week and even stayed after for a dinner with our branch mission leader and his family. 

we drove out to the middle of the country on thursday. literally. just go on google earth and check out the location of Ånge related to Sundsvall. We visited two of our persian members, Nima and Mahshid. They are the cutest ever. We have eaten so so so much persian food here, and I am going to start collecting recipes because it is delicious. It was fun teaching them and getting to know them (usually we'd be going out to Ånge every other week, but some conditions changed last transfer so this is the first time I've been able to visit them). I wish I could get out there more often, because it was so good to sit and share our favorite scriptures with them. 

And of course, the moment you have all been waiting for: SHIRIN GOT BAPTIZED! Sister Taylor and I got to the church a few hours early to start filling up the font. About 30 minutes before the service was about to start the font was only half full. So we started filling up any container we could fit in the sinks and just started tossing water in. It definitely felt like a baptism I was in charge of, with us and the elders frantically tossing water into the font and greeting people as they walked in. It was a really great program though. Armin got to baptize his mom and more than 30 members showed up for the service! We had so much to eat afterwards and it was really good to have everyone there!

As I was getting ready I realized I only have four transfers left out here. That means at least 2 companions and one more area. My heart kinda broke, honestly. thinking about going home makes me feel like one of the lost boys on peter pan saying "i never want to grow up." as the time passes and i learn more about the world and the people i'm serving, all I want to do is say just like Ammon did in the Book of Mormon "yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die." (alma 17:23) It's weird to think about the time I have left, but I want to do everything I can with that time to love and serve the people I meet the same way the savior would.

I hope you have a great week! I'll be here in sweden, working hard like always :)
love you guys!
syster janessa brink

Nima, Mahshid, and me

sister taylor and i filling the font that didn't fill.

me, shirin, armin, and sister taylor

super blurry picture of the district (i guess i touch my chin like this often enough that it requires a photo)



video
right after shirin got baptized everybody went back to the chapel and started singing.  we waited in the bathroom for her and sang a little too.  This is "i am a child of God"


video
sister taylor dancing in the music tunnel by our house



Monday, November 9, 2015

oh the bitter winds are coming in and i'm already missing the summer

wow! sounds like it's been a busy and eventful week at home! It's good to hear about everything that you guys have been up to and all the stuff that's been happening. Crazy to hear about the change in the home bishopric, I kinda knew it was coming because Bishop Smith has been around since I was 14, but it was still a bit of a surprise. Bishop Cuillard will do great though! He's always been awesome!

I myself have been pretty busy too. And I just thought I'd share a little story about something great that happened this week! We have two investigators that live quite a ways away in a refugee camp. Their names are Bereket and Kelvin (whom i previously referred to as Kevin until I learned his name is actually Kelvin.... oops.) I will admit, when we pulled into the refugee camp and saw Bereket out walking with these other tall black guys I was a little intimidated. Then they invited us in and when we got inside the building I had flashes of the Sarotov approach going through my mind and I was planning escape routes and desperately praying for protection. I was kind of terrified. 

It became a really humbling experience very fast though. The owner of the camp came in to see who we were and be sure that we were friends with Bereket. After he left, Bereket explained that in the past few weeks they have had problems with racists walking into the camp and trying to burn the building down. 

There we were: me, sister taylor, Bereket, and four of his friends whom he'd invited to listen to us as well. And while we sat there Bereket offered us soda and we taught a quick restoration lesson to his friends. I realized the desperate prayers for protection that I'd been saying earlier were absolutely unnecessary because I was now sitting with some of Heavenly Father's humblest children who eagerly listened and really wanted to know. 

We taught a powerful, spirit guided lesson to them with moments that nearly brought me to tears. It was amazing. I honestly don't remember most of what we said, only that we used a lot of 2 Nephi 31 and bore testimony like crazy. It was one of the greatest lessons of my mission and I didn't even teach it :) it was all the spirit. 

We took a trip up to Umeå this week for Zone Training and got to stay the night with the sweetest woman in the world again, Sister Wirtala! Zone training was great and focused a lot on really using our time and energy in the best ways possible. I ate a banana chicken curry pineapple peanut pizza for lunch. It sounds weird, but it was delicious. 


Sister Taylor and I have been on the hunt looking for one of our investigators named Thomas, who disappeared. We found him! He doesn't speak much english, but we managed to find his apartment and he invited us in. It turned into an hour of him and his roommates chatting with each other in Tigringa, us sitting on the couch, one of them playing home made instruments, them trying to give us black tea, eating Ethiopian pancakes with spicy pasta sauce on them, and us trying really hard to relate it all back to the gospel.  One of the more interesting evenings I've had here in Sundsvall, that's for sure hahaha :) 

Saturday was a little stressful as it involved a baptismal interview for Shirin that didn't go so well because the translator hung up in the middle of the interview. BUT, after a few hours of confusion and a little bit of phone tag we were able to get in contact with another translator that would be able to go through the interview after church on Sunday. So they re-did the interview and Shirin walked out and was so happy! She doesn't speak any language other than persian, but she told us that she passed and then hugged all of us that were waiting for her :) Sounds like there's going to be a baptism on Saturday!!!! We will be busy this week putting it all together and making it special for her. We are SO EXCITED! 

this week has brought the wintery winds and the darkness that comes with living in a Nordic country. I have been bundling up and feeling very grateful for those oven-boots that i bought in america. With the cold and darkness, a holiday spirit has been ignited in my heart and sister taylor and I have been spending what little down time we have during meals and before bed making paper snowflakes and listening to Christmas hymns. I'm not skipping over thanksgiving, but I am so so SO excited for Christmas. While cleaning the apartment last p-day i discovered a secret closet filled with Christmas decorations. I'm holding off from putting them up until after american thanksgiving. I did also find a beany baby turkey, so I put that up to decorate while we wait. 

telling the district about our discovery of the snow!

I'm excited to email all of you guys next week! Don't you people forget about me ;) we've got lots of good news coming to you from Norrland, so stay tuned and be sure to email me!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
syster janessa brink

hello from our one and only thanksgiving decoration!


what language do we speak?! SVENGELSKA!!! (swe-nglish)


Monday, November 2, 2015

candles

well.. i forgot my planner at home. so i have all but forgotten everything we even did this week. So I'll be telling stories based on the pictures on our phone. buckle up.

we taught a whole lotta new people this week. that being said, i studied a whole lotta restoration and Joseph Smith stuff. It's always good to brush up and learn more! It's been really fun going through the restoration everyday and finding new ways to teach it and keep our investigators involved. 

we taught our friend Murre and he told us that he'd read in the Book of Mormon. He said that he loved it, and that it spoke to him. 
"i read in this book," he says "that whatever you get, you should give back." 
he closes the book and puts it on the table. 
"so. I'm giving it back." 
*slides the book over to us* 
WHAT. 
we went on to explain that he actually needs to read more in the book of mormon, and that you can't read it just one day and expect to continue progressing. but he wouldn't have it. so we tried giving him a different copy of the book of mormon, this one in english. but he wouldn't have it. so. we just continued the lesson as planned and read him passages from the book of mormon. He liked the scriptures we read, but still wouldn't take the book. 
so next time we meet him we're gonna be tricky and give him photo copies of book of mormon passages that have his name all over them. then he can't give them back hahaha. Sneaky. 

trackting and swingbys and lots and lots and lots of walking this week. 

it was also alla helgons dag (all saints day) on saturday. Here in sweden they celebrate it by putting candles on graves and remembering those who have passed away. Halloween (as we have it in America) was only started here in the 90's, but this tradition of candles on graves started in the 1500's.  we went by the grave yard and looked at everything, and it was so beautiful. I remember hearing about all saints day when i was getting ready to go to the MTC and I am so grateful to have been able to see it for myself. As sister taylor and I walked through the graveyard i couldn't help but think of my swedish ancestry, and hope that somebody somewhere had put a candle on their grave that night. I was reminded of the truth that families can be together forever, even when they are currently lost to the records. we'll find them someday! 

not much else to report this week. i promise next time I email I'll bring my planner with me and then there will be more stories! 
love you all!
syster janessa brink


swedish graveyard

we were both sister brink for the day

would you like a book of mormon? JA!


all saints day

sister taylor and i dressed up as cats briefly for halloween. and i became sister wilhite for a few moments too (old missionary nametags laying around the apartment?)


super cool grave. this looks like a viking headstone

mausoleum. don't you wish we had these things in the states?


Murre bought us backlowa. it's like, some traditional middle east dessert. it didn't last long. 

all saints day candles


candles for grandmothers 


candles lining the walk way