Monday, September 14, 2015

goodbyes only get harder

WARNING: this email is actually pretty sad
I'll start out with a couple of funny stories from the week before it gets too serious though.
There was this one night we were waiting at the bus stop and the whole thing was covered with these gigantic spiders. Sister Carrington and I were feeling brave, so we went and got some sticks to poke the spiders with. The brave feeling went away very soon when the spiders started hissing at us and we cowered on the ground where they couldn't reach us.
Also this morning we got a text from Rikki saying he'd be a little late. We were super confused and told him to go back to bed and then he called us. He was at central station, on his way to the church. Then we realized our mistake. In a country that runs on a 24 hour clock, you can't say you want to meet at 7:30, you have to say 19:30. We just kind of laughed it off and he said he'd see us tonight :) 

It feels surreal having to leave a place you've called home and people who have become family. I'll be leaving tomorrow morning for Sundsvall and I'll be facing a cold winter in the north. I was really holding out to be in Jönköping for another six weeks, but it sounds like somebody in Sundsvall needs me there.
I thought that being a missionary would make saying goodbye to people easier. I thought I'd get used to doing it and letting go would become more natural for me but it's only gotten worse. Saying goodbye to my family and friends was the easiest goodbye of my whole mission because I knew they'd be there when I came back in 18 months. With these people and places here in Sweden I have no guarantee that I'll ever be able to make it back. Some of these goodbyes might be for the rest of our lives.
I kind of knew that this transfer would be coming, but it doesn't change much about being ready to say goodbye. I will say though that I tried really hard to just enjoy everything here as much as I could my last week. On Monday we hung out with Marina, Saneeka and Sam and then we went to Bishop Salo's for FHE. Tuesday we went and cleaned Edith's house, had lunch with the Robayos, dinner with the Nilssons and finished the night with Amy. Wednesday we taught Shasha in the morning, had lunch with Alex, went out to Huskvarna to be with Sonja and Ingalill, had a correlation meeting and then went back over to hang out with Marina, Saneeka and Sam. Thursday was district meeting and we went to Skövde for that. It was good seeing all my district buddies. We came home and taught Dudas at the church and did a choir practice afterward. Friday we went down to Värnamo to visit Carina and then came back and taught Anna-Lisa and Rikki and finished off the night with the most intense yoga class ever. Saturday morning we got transfer calls and I got the news I'd be going up to Sundsvall and my new comp will be Sister Taylor. I didn't have much time to process the transfer so I cried pitifully through our basketball activity that morning. We had lunch with Oscar and the elders and then went over and visited with Saneeka again.
Yesterday was hard for me. Everybody at church came up to me and thanked me for the past 4½ months I've been here and my heart just broke into all these little pieces. We had dinner with the Rönndahls and went out contacting for my last time in this city. We found this really nice guy named Patrick and got his phone number. I'm super excited to hear his story and everything that happens with him.
All in all I just feel sad. I was so comfortable and happy here and we were having so much success. We were getting upwards of 35 lessons a week (and that's a lot for sweden) and I have had so much fun with my companions. Missions aren't about being comfortable though, they are meant to stretch you and shape you, and mostly make you stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about other people.

I can't say that I love Sundsvall yet, but I feel like I will. I've only heard good things about it these past couple days and I do look forward to seeing snow this winter and being up north. I'm excited to meet my new companion cuz I hear she's awesome and I do look forward to meeting more people in this country that I love so much. 

I'm super grateful for the time I have had to serve here. I just have to count my blessings on this nearly 8 hour train ride to Norrland ;)

I promise next weeks email will be happier, haha, I just had to let my feelings out somewhere. Good luck with all your activities and school work and life changes and home renovations. I'll be praying for you people this week!
attached are some pictures of my favorite people ever :) 

love you guys! 
syster janessa brink 

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