Lots of crazy stories to tell and only a little bit of time to do it! I'll jump right in with last monday!
We went to the church for P-day and did some exercise. Nothing like a good run/jump rope/stretch/tumbling. It was way fun :) well, P-day was almost over and sister Allred got on this running high. She was running from one end of the church to the other and then she's like, "I'm gonna go run outside, it's hot in here. Make sure you let me back in the church." So I grabbed my coat and propped the door open so I could watch her run around the parking lot (sight and sound, being a good missionary and stuff.) She finishes her run and comes up the steps and says "wait. Do you have the keys?" and I'm like, "no." and then I realised that the 2nd door, the one to get into the church building, had shut and locked behind me. With our phone inside. And the keys. And our planners with all our back up phone numbers. Needless to say I felt really stupid. So we walked around the church trying to find an open window or something. And then sister allred remembered that she had the phone number for Täby (her old area) memorized. So we ran to the neighbor's house and knocked on the door and called Täby so they could get in contact with the elders in our area to come let us in. THE ELDERS TOOK FOREVER TO GET THERE. But it's fine. We were sitting on the ground by the heater reading pass-along cards. We'd also tried everything we could think of to try and get into the church. Including picking the lock with my nametag. It didn't work.
But. We did get our stuff out of the church. The elders rescued us and we were able to swing by Maureen and drop off a Book of Mormon for her to read.
Tuesday was like a crazy spiritual high. We went by Lars (the dude that was swearing at sister allred on the phone). I was SO NERVOUS to visit him. Part of me was worried he'd pull out a gun or something and kill us but when he opened the door all my worries went away. We took one of the members with us to the lesson and it went SO WELL. Lars was so nice and he and Rolf hit it off. Turns out Lars actually knows the branch president (Pres J is his doctor, small world). We taught him the restoration and he was sooo interested in the Book of Mormon. We gave him a copy and he was like, "oh I'm just going to borrow it and then I'll give it back," but like, it's totally his. He lives in this super awesome old house that was built in the 1600's and he told us there was a human skeleton he dug up in his backyard. He's cool. I think we're gonna be good friends :)
We were out contacting and we met this american dude named Mike. I'm not sure if I said anything about Mike in the last email, but I'll just say he's a pretty cool christian guy from texas and leave it at that. He came to pingis on tuesday and met with a whole bunch of members. He's got a super strong testimony of the atonement and it was so good being able to sit with him and bear my testimony in english.
Tobias, our teenage investigator that just ends up asking super weird questions, was at pingis as well. I was able to talk to him about the pre-earth life a little before he changed the subject to the american grading scale. I'm pretty sure he's been feeling the spirit when he's with us but it freaks him out to know that he'd have to change his life once he starts believing it. And that's why he always changes the subject. It's slow but it's steady. He's definitely interested.
On wednesday we went up to Kalmar. There's not much to report from Kalmar, it's so far away that we aren't able to spend much proselyting time there. But we swung by a less active woman who is notoriously hard to get in contact with. But we got in! We were able to share a message with her and I painted her daughter's nails :)
We also walked by Kalmar Slott (Kalmar castle) and it was so pretty!!! I am in love with sweden.
On thursday we had a Specialized Zone Training Conference with President and Syster Beckstrand and the AP's. We had to wake up at 5:45 to make the train up to Malmö. I LOVED ZONE CONFERENCE. Pres Beckstrand got rid of open church and I am so happy about that I can't even explain. It was such a waste of time, and now that we don't have to do it anymore we can travel out of Karlskrona more often to places like Nybro and Kalmar!
Friday can only be described as celestial. We had a restoration lesson on the bus with a woman who investigated the church a few years ago. We got her name but not her number. We'll definitely be seeing her again though, we take the same bus.
We ran into Babu, who we thought had already traveled back home to India! It was so good to see him and talk to him! He's such an awesome guy! I can't wait for his baptism!
We had a little fika (like a tea party thing) with Gun-Britt, a member, and her sweet friend. We told her about the restoration and gave her a book of mormon. It was so good to have Gun-Britt there because she's a convert herself. She told her friend about the missionaries showing up at her house and telling her about the restoration. She said she thought it sounded a lot like Alladin and the lamp, but once she read and prayed about it she really knew. It was so powerful to have her there!!! I love member present lessons!
From there we went to meet with Deo (will smith, fresh prince of bel-air look alike). We met him with Tony (ward mission leader) and taught him the restoration as well. He had met with missionaries back in 2009 and had just lost contact with the missionaries because the original ones had left the area. He was interested and all ears. He said he was a seeker of truth and wanted to know what we had to say. We said, "when you find out that this church is true, will you be baptised? We believe that we could have you ready by march." and he was like, "Absolutely." It was so great! THIS GUY IS THE BOMB. And he and Tony are friends now!
Then we had dinner with Mike at a kebab place. He said he hadn't started reading from the book of mormon so I pulled mine out and read him what I read in personal study that morning. Ether 12. All about faith and when you center your faith on Christ you can see miracles happen. When you exercise that faith every day things in your life start to change. I really hope he doesn't leave sweden and think of our meetings with him as just part of the vacation. I want him to meet with missionaries in his area. He would be the best seminary teacher.
On saturday we had a lesson in like 5 languages with Sofia and her husband. Allred was speaking swedish to sophia. I was translating it to english for her husband. He was reading the Book of Mormon in French. Sophia was reading it in Swahili. And they were speaking Burundi with eachother. It was nuts. And really confusing. We need burundi speakers here in sweden. Big time.
We finally got in contact with Erling!! We set up an appointment with him for valentines day with one of the new converts Andreas. Andreas has just been called as a ward missionary and he is pumped to get out and teach people. I'm excited for him to come with us! I'm excited for Erling to finally meet someone from the church that's not a missionary!
Birgitta was sick so we weren't able to visit her. But we did go to the store and buy her a semlor (traditional swedish dessert) as a get well present and ditched it on her porch :)
Yesterday we went to church and right after we had a class on family history! It was mostly just going over a computer program, and we could only stay for like 30 minutes, but it was good! I'm gonna set up a time to have Jenny all to myself and then she can help me find people :) We went up to Nybro to visit some less actives. We were only able to visit with Carolina. The folks up in Nybro are only less active because they're so far away from the church. It was like a 3 hour train ride.
Carolina was nuts. And I love her. She's actually german! She lives in the worlds cutest little house and she made us some delicious spaghetti. We were able to talk about so much! She loves church, but it's so hard for her to get there! We were both able to tell her our stories about deciding to serve missions and the whole house was filled with the spirit. We hope we can build up the area out in Nybro in order to create another branch or something there. I want her to be able to get to church! I love her so much!
I had a nightmare this week that I was back at home. It wasn't even a scary nightmare. I was just sitting at home on the couch and I was overcome with this crazy urgancy that I wasn't supposed to be there. I was supposed to be in Sweden. I woke up at like 3 am and had to touch the bed and the wall to make sure it was real. I've been out in sweden for 1 month and it feels like it's only been a week. I love teaching people and helping them feel the spirit for the first time in their lives. I love watching as they come to accept the gospel. The members and converts are so strong in their faith! Our investigators are so eager to learn! People here are changing their lives. They're finding truth! I am so excited to see what happens in these next 16 months! I know there are going to be great things that happen as I walk in the Savior's footsteps.
To end this letter I want to give all of you a challenge:
Go with the missionaries to teach someone.
We have had the greatest expiriences from member-present lessons this week. I didn't even know how much a member could help missionary work until I was a missionary. My goal is to come back home and be the best member missionary ever. I'm gonna go on splits with the missionaries, I'm gonna go on teaching visits. The missionaries in my area will never have to search for a member to come with them cuz I'll always be there. I expect to hear back from you guys on how you completed the challenge next week :)
frid och välsignelser,
Syster Janessa Brink
super old arch in kalmar! I love old sweden!
spot the sister
day in kalmar!
i think the Scandinavian Pocahontas thing is gonna be happening every week....
Kalmar Slott! Going back here someday! It's so beautiful!
making some swedish pancakes!
Allred and I
I just really like being a missionary :)
lots of snow out here!
loving all this snow!!!!
spot the sister!