Monday, January 12, 2015

such is life

Hej hej everybody!

Flights over the ocean suck so I think I´m just going to stay in Sweden forever and ever so I don´t ever have to do that again :) the keyboards here are super weird so until I can figure them out I´m using the accent mark as an apostrophe and I´m not even going to apologize, 

Basically I pulled an all nighter the day we left the MTC cuz I was stressing about heavy bags and stuff like that (books weigh like 800 pounds I´m not even joking) and then we get to the airport and the TSA lady didn´t even weigh my bag so like, whatevs. (BTW parents, did you get my blanket I sent home? I had to leave it with my cute Dutchie roommate and I hope she was able to send it!) I got on the plane wearing tights, leggings, socks, boots, two undershirts, a sweater, a hat, two coats and 3 pairs of gloves. Stupid weight limits, I wore like half my wardrobe.

Also the first time in public as a missionary is terrifying. That name tag glows like a ray from the sun I swear. Literally everybody sees your name tag and notices you and some people switch which side of the street they walk on when they see you and then some people run right up to you and wanna ask you all about their cousin´s uncle´s friend´s kid that was in the MTC with you and you have no idea what they´re even talking about.

We get off the plane and meet the mission president and his wife and I´ve got plane hair and I´m all gross and they want to take all these pictures and stuff, You can probably find them on the mission blog ( i think) We drove to the mission office and watched this super long super cheesy video about driving and I don´t even remember most of it other than the apostles standing in apple orchards or something. Then we went out contacting. I felt so bad for the sister I was paired up with because I was like sleepwalking and could not understand people at all so the contacting was really really rough hahahah, welcome to the mission field.

We slept at the mission home that first night and Sister Beckstrand made dinner and I will eat anything she makes because that food was so amazing compared to the MTC cardboard stuff we ate for six weeks. Also the mission home is beautiful and I want to live in Sweden forever. That night was so great because we didn´t have the MTC prison blankets and the beds were soft and I hadn´t slept for 40 hours. Also that whole sweden being dark thing? 100% true. I keep thinking it´s like 9:00 when it´s only 4.

Migrations the next day was super easy. I hope my little visa picture isn´t as scary as my passport picture haha :) I got my new comp and trainer Syster Allred. It was so sad saying goodbye to Syster Giles but we´re still in the same country so we´ll see each other around and stuff! I´ve been assigned to serve in Karlskrona and it´s way down south. 

I really don´t think I´ve had a normal missionary day yet. That first day trying to get down here our train was super delayed so we ended up having to stay the night in Malmö with Syster Bateman and her trainer. Then we got on the train the next day and had to do a district meeting. As I was getting off the train I got stuck between the wall, my suitcases and some drunk swedish dude. And he was swearing at me in swedish and I´m just like "...förlåt..." 

and then district meeting went too long so we missed our train. So I ate this weird cardboard swedish bread called knackabröd and we waited for the next train to come. As we were boarding the train we saw the drunk guy laying on the ground so that was cool.

WE FINALLY MADE IT TO KARLSKRONA AFTER ALL THIS TIME AND CLIMBED THIS SCARY SPIRAL PRISON STAIRCASE WITH ALL MY HEAVY BAGS TO THE VERY TOP FLOOR. But it´s completely fine because the apartment is adorable, I´m stealing it from the missionaries after I get released and living here forever.We live between two pizza places (swedes love pizza, probably more than americans) and sometimes it smells like pizza and it´s delicious. 

We had a little meeting with the ward mission leader, Tony. He speaks skånska and Sister Giles would have killed to be there and hear it I´m sure. I honestly didn´t understand most of anything anyone said and then Tony stood up and started playing the guitar and singing Elvis and his mom was like, "elvis would have been 80 this year if he lived" and that was like the first experience I had with real swedes. 

I AM SO HAPPY TO COOK HERE. Home made food is delicious and Sister Allred and I are chefs. I made this great breakfast one morning with hashbrowns and eggs and stuff and I´m totally positive dad would be so proud. And I´ve been making healthy food too so mom can be proud as well :)

Äldste Simonson has been really sick this week and the elders haven´t been able to leave their apartment (oops, forgot to mention their in our area too. It´s Ä. Simonson and Ä. Silvenionen. He´s finnish and I think he sounds like the little bat on anastasia but you didn´t hear that from me.)

We taught Ulf, one of the investigators here with a baptismal date. I didn´t understand much of anything that was said but piped in once with a comment I´m sure was completely out of context but at least I said something right? 

We ate dinner with the Branch President and we accidentally knocked on some random dude´s door and that´s how we accidentally went tracting. Swedes eat ketchup on their spaghetti and salted black licorice tastes like playdoh. I really like Pres. Juzinski and his family! they are so cute!

One of the days we had to go and give the elders a phone charger (woot for being the only european mission with iphones!) because they left theirs in Malmö when we were traveling. We tried to get there as soon as possible because Ä. Simonson is sick and we were super worried about him. But we ended up getting off at completely the wrong bus stop and stood in a puddle in the rain for an hour while we waited for the next bus to come. And I´m walking around with my hydraulic missionary mall umbrella and every time the wind blows it inside out I can hear the guy from the store saying "this is insured!" When we finally got on the right bus and off at the right stop we realized sister allred left her gloves on the seat and was freezing. And then we took every wrong street possible to get to the elders and when we finally got there we needed a code to get up to their door but we couldn´t call them because their phone was dead and we had the charger. So we stood in the rain throwing rocks at their window and then a ward member drove by and helped us get in. So we finally make it and give them the charger and that was a really fun adventure.

We went to Ronneby to teach an investigator who offered to buy us coffee and thought it was super weird we didn´t drink it. So he bought us soda instead. Swedes are like, the nicest people ever :) We taught him a little about the restoration and gave him a book of mormon, which I was able to bear testimony on. The spirit was totally there, I hope he felt it!! 

Then while we were in Ronneby we met with this super cute member named Lina. She knows like every missionary that´s served in sweden since she was converted two years ago. The missionaries are her friends so she´s got like a collection of old name tags from years ago hahaha :) I wanna give her one of mine someday! Also she´s got this prime video of Brother Whitworth with a buzz cut and Brother Cheney on a skateboard. She´s my new favorite person, we´re gonna hang out all the time when I´m off the mish. 

We went and got some groceries for the elders, they were starving in their apartment with only noodles and rice. Ä. Simonson had been sleeping for like 2 days straight at that point. 

Church in Sweden. Where do I start? Well, we got here early to set up the church and found this gigantic spider by the sacrament table and I was going to kill it and then the family history lady showed up and grabbed it WITH HER BARE HANDS. WHAT. Swedes are crazy. She showed me some cool stuff that I could potentially use to find our lost family so whoop whoop she and I are going to be friends. In sacrament I got up and introduced myself and everybody understood what I was saying even though I didn´t understand what they were saying. In relief society I was the object for the object lesson because I had hearts on my shirt and the lesson was on loving god with all your heart. 

Yesterday in Centrum we contacted 40 people and got three phone numbers and the swedes here are much nicer than the ones in Stockholm. 

*swedish chocolate is better than american chocolate in every way possible
*they say ja while they breathe in and it sounds like a gasp like they´re surprised and I think its super funny
*skånska is swedish but it sounds like they have a potato in their throat.

That´s all for this week. This email was really long. I love you all and hope you have a great week! Go share the gospel with someone! Go give the missionaries a referral! Go enjoy the privilege of not having to use public transportation! 

Until next week,
Syster Janessa Brink

me and my district, we are super pumped for sweden! 

also the plane had this awesome movie called map that we watched for 12 hours. it was literally just the map. You´ve gotta invent your own fun as a missionary sometimes.
Flying into Sverige!!

Sweden Temple!  SOOO PRETTY!!!

mission pres gave us these cute mittens!

me and my trainer sister Allred!! pointing at our area, Karlskrona

okay, this is me in Ronneby

me attempting to kill the spider at church

drunk guy on the ground 

\/ this is my cute apartment!! I´m living here forever!!\/

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