Monday, March 9, 2015

"Missionaries in the Land of the Vikings"

Hello world! Today I am emailing early because today we are going to be shearing sheep. Yes, you read that right: SHEARING SHEEP IN SWEDEN. I'm so excited for this you guys don't even know. I'll be sure to get plenty of photo evidence. 

Cool Contacting Stories:
* Contacted this guy who believed in Thor and Odin. He was looking for the meaning of life and had been wandering through suburbian Sweden. He's from Denmark. No phone number, but we gave him a contact card.
* We contacted a man who met with missionaries 55 years ago in Switzerland. He has no phone, just an email. We're getting in contact with him today. Woop!
* Met this super adorable old woman named Miriam. She invited us over to her house next week. She loves to talk about New York. She wants to go there so bad. She's like 84 and she's one of my new best friends. 
* Yesterday, a guy contacted US. So that was a turn of events. He asked what church we were representing and we talked to him for a while. It was pretty cool.

On Monday, we were out walking around and saw Naser (Syrian guy from a few weeks ago. His wife is still in Syria) out on a walk with his friend. They invited us to sit down and have some juice and we were able to communicate via google translate apps (thank goodness for smart phones) and we had a great conversation about fasting. 

On Tuesday I got serenaded by one of our GU's (gamla undersökare; old investigator) with a Ukelele. We were on the bus to catch our train to Göteborg for Mission Tour and it was super fun. He sang a song about chopping off his finger while slicing an avocado. 

We got to Göteborg after a 6 hour train ride and stayed the night with the STL's there. It was 10 sister missionaries in one room. I slept on the floor straddling a table leg. I think I only slept like 4 hours men det är lugnt. 

Mission Tour was GREAT!!! We had the AP's, President and Syster Beckstrand, and Elder and Sister Donaldson of the Seventy speak to us. I LOVE UPLIFTING MEETINGS. We also had a little time afterward to talk with other missionaries there. I got to meet people serving in the Göteborg Zone and now I have some cool friends that I can say hi to. Also at Mission Tour, Syster Allred got locked in a bathroom stall 5 minutes before the meeting was suposed to start and had to jump over the top of it. She hit her head on a ceiling tile and I almost peed my skirt because the whole thing was so funny. 

The train from Göteborg was delayed so we finally got to Karlskrona at 12:15 am. I think I was hallucinating while walking to our apartment because I hadn't actually slept in 30 hours. We got approved to sleep in in order to function the next day. 

On Thursday we taught Naser and his friend again. They were trying to trap us in our words a little (which is easy to do because translation isn't always exact) but they weren't able to mix us up. Not being confounded by men: check. We just really had to testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the only way they could know that was if they prayed about it. 

Friday was my 2 month mark in Sweden. The celebration started with 2 blåsts in a row and then we taught a muslim guy named Amat. He was cool but I think he just thinks it's interesting to learn about. Then got blåsted 2 more times. Then we ended up praying in the woods. To finish off the night we had a lesson planned with Deo and Christian that got cut short by an hour because the library closed ridiculously early. Sometimes that's just how missionary work is. 

On Saturday we went to Ronneby and visited this old woman that we contacted a month ago (I think I wrote about her. She's a teacher of religion and says she thinks we represent our church very well). Her name is Ingegärd and she's like 80. We talked about the restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was so excited to have her own Bood of Mormon! She said she had grandchildren that lived in Manhattan Beach CA and I literally said, "NO WAY!" in english, because that's where Syster Giles is from! The world keeps getting smaller :) 

We met with Christian and Deo at the grocery store. We didn't teach anything we had planned. But it was one of the greatest lessons ever! We taught them about the organization of the church (prophet to councilors to apostles to branch presidents and callings) And we taught them the Word of Wisdom. We introduced them to the Doctrine and Covenants, and then we got into personal revelation. I told my story about praying about Joseph Smith last summer in Sharon, VT and how I got my answer. They were so interested in the Holy Ghost. I love teaching Deo and Christian. They really want to know. Also they're really funny. Deo said he wants to be a prophet and that he'd tell Thomas (as in Thomas S. Monson) that we liked the smell of coffee. 

Yesterday church was awesome and we had a member come with her newborn baby. HE IS SO CUTE. I wanna hold him so bad, but like, missionary rules. So I'll just admire from afar. 

We vistited a less active youth as well. It is so hard to be a youth here in sweden. None of her friends have any standards at all and she can't relate to anybody at church because none of them are her age. I wish we were able to transfer a whole bunch of youth from america to sweden because I hate seeing her struggle with it. 

Well, that's all for this week! I'm gonna go shear a sheep!!! Love you guys and pray for you guys every day. Keep up the good work, stay firm in the faith, do a random act of service. Ni är bästa! 

Kram, puss, kärlek,

Syster Janessa Brink

Syster Allred and I on one of our better days

delayed trains got me feeling like this

lessons through google translate

the moment we found out this bird was dead, not sleeping

branch council and the missionaries. We're shearing sheep at Sigrid and Robert's farm today (they're the super cute couple on the far right)

the grocery store just stocked these new godis called "blue eyes" and they are super creepy

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