I have like almost no time to email! ahhh! the computer at the church is shut down so we have to use the library computers and they won't let us book them longer than an hour at a time. so we'll just figure this out and hope I can send what needs to be sent haha!
to answer your questions:
-my 8 hour train ride lasted longer than 8 hours. it lasted around 10 hours actually. you would think getting to the geographical midpoint of sweden would be easier. my two wonderful comps, the jönköping elders, and alex put me on the train at 10 am and then I was off. come to find out my connecting train to get me to stockholm was delayed because of power failures in Hässleholm. So it was going to be two hours late. I ended up taking the train that was supposed to arrive at 9ish but it came at nearly 12. from there i got to stockholm, and i had missed my connecting train to sundsvall by about 10 minutes. so there i was all alone in the middle of stockholm central with three heavy suitcases. it was kind of awful. thankfully i got my ticket changed and then had to wait another two hours to get a direct train to sundsvall. I got on the train and asked someone to borrow their phone to call my friends and let them know I'd be later than planned. her phone was dead. so i asked another woman and she just looked right at me and said "NO." so i kinda just sat there awkwardly and didn't talk to anyone for the next 30ish minutes. finally someone let me borrow their phone and i was able to get in contact with the office to let them know i'd be two hours late. when i finally arrived in sundsvall it was pouring rain. welcome to dragon city!
-i like sundsvall. it's been really wet this week. I'm buying myself rainboots. it will be my birthday present to me.
-my companion is sister taylor. she's great! she's from canada and she's a rugby player. we've been having a lot of fun together!
-sundsvall is a branch. there were about 50ish people that came to church yesterday
-the church is like a 30 minute bus ride from our place. we have a car that we share with the two sets of elders in our area. that's right. we are 6 missionaries building zion here in sundsvall.
-the apartment is nice. big. it's supposed to house four missionaries, but right now its just me and sister taylor :) we each get our own bunk bed and it feels kinda like i'm at the MTC again with the rooming situation haha
-i have no idea what you guys are talking about with the water filter thing. i don't think i actually got that packed with me in the beginning. oh well. no "baltic beard" to report... although living in Norrland I could probably actually use all the body hair i can get... it's been kinda cold lately.
Thank you all so so so much for the birthday wishes! i wish I had time to respond to each of you individually but the computer is counting down and telling me i have less than 5 minutes left!!! due to a series of unknown unfortunate events, the pictures from the surprise sister carrington and demille through for me have been deleted. sad. but i got a surprise party nonetheless. it was wonderful and i had to hold back tears a little as different members of the ward came and gave me hugs and warm congratulations. i miss jönköping like crazy, but sundsvall will be amazing! for my actual birthday there wasn't much ado about anything. i got some coconut ice-cream from the grocery store and drank some water out of a street dragon they have here. i also got some random teenager to sing to me on the street so that was pretty cool hahahah :)
story time: different cities in sweden have symbols. some of the cities are a little more proud of their symbols and display them more prominently than other cities. i have no idea what the symbols are for jönköping or karlskrona, but for Sundsvall it's a dragon. they have dragons literally EVERYWHERE. I'm gonna look around and see if there are any tourist shops selling dragon stuff cuz I'm kinda a little obsessed with them. (also nativities because mom said so)
this week has been a little all over the place. we've been out contacting in the rain a good amound of time and teaching people in the library. we've been busy but there isn't really too much to report on.
I bore my testimony in church yesterday, and I'm just so grateful to finally feel confident in the language and get up and share exactly what I felt just then. I'm excited to get to know the people here. I'm trying to remember names, but when the missionaries are the only ones wearing a nametag it's kind of hard!
I do look forward to serving here and getting to know all the people i serve with and around. it's going to be a lot of fun!
enjoy these pictures!!!
-water dragon advertising the city's water company.
-sometimes we have dinner appointments with single guys but can't go into the apartment until the elders show up... so this happens
i love you all! wish i had a little more time to write!!!
catch you next week!
-syster janessa brink