Monday, October 26, 2015

cafe rio, who's moving, and what is LAGOM?

wow! thank you so much everybody for all the letters! my inbox was full this week with fun updates and stories from family and friends :) I wish i had time to respond to everybody, but we're tight today with sharing computers and the car. 

this week has been good! it was the last week of the transfer and we were getting ready for calls. we were pretty sure that sister taylor would be leaving and we were making sure to get around so she could say goodbye to all the people here. 

we had family home evening monday night at the church and we had the coolest guy come! his name is anthony and he's originally from Somalia but he lived in Manhattan for like 20 years. He actually met the missionaries a few years ago when he was living in the Netherlands, but he only played basketball with them hahaha. He liked the missionaries though, and when we stopped him on the street he was really excited because he recognized us! He wanted to know what we believe in, so we taught him on Thursday and he decided that he was going to stop smoking and start coming to church (we didn't even have to talk about smoking, it just felt right for him).

motivational speaking was interesting. i think it went well. mostly the kids asked us questions about america and if we had any pets hahaha :) 

We also taught Armin and Shirin twice this week. She's so ready for baptism, she's golden! i just love her :) when we went over the second time they made us this delicious persian dinner and i was in heaven. 

Persian food for dinner!

Pasha is our friend from Russia and we taught him about the plan of salvation. he enjoyed the lesson and liked the idea of the spirit world, where people have a "second chance" to accept jesus christ and change their lives. 

friday night we decided to do something special for dinner, since transfer calls would be the next day. with more than half of the missionaries here in sundsvall coming from utah valley, i made everybody some cafe rio burritos. they were delicious. it only took like two days to make everything, and it was so good. (proud of my cooking skillz)

cafe rio with the district

we met this really cool guy named Murre this week too. we'd actually stopped him on the street about 3 weeks ago and he was on our calling list. we were going to take him off the call list actually, and then one day he answered! so we met up with him. we taught him the restoration and after talking about the first vision we all kind of sat there in silence. then he looked at us and said, "i'm really happy i came to meet with you guys." from there he came to church the next day with an RM from the branch and stayed the entire three hours and then some. He talked to lots of people and really liked the feel of it all. I'm pretty excited to see where things are going to go with him. 

in other news, one of our investigators invited us to smoke hookah with him. we said no. 

Saturday morning we got transfer calls. Sister Taylor and I were holding our breath waiting for them to tell us what was happening. They started moving through the list of transfers and then they came to Sundsvall and said "EVERYONE IN SUNDSVALL IS STAYING THE SAME!" and we were shocked. I would say we were speechless but that would be a lie cuz we shouted "YES!!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!?" and cried a little. So we'll be sticking around together and getting all of our friends baptized and celebrating halloween and thanksgiving up here in cute little Norrland! we're excited for the next transfer! 

ready for a really cool story?
i know you are. 

so. when i first came to sundsvall it was the night before my birthday. I said a prayer that night and told Heavenly Father that I was feeling kinda down about being transferred out of Jönköping and that I wanted him to send me someone to make my birthday happy. A birthday present, if you will. The next day we went out contacting and stopped this guy named Bereket and got his number and gave him a book of mormon. Later as we were walking down the street this other guy randomly walked up to us and just started talking to us. His name was Kevin and we gave him a book of mormon as well and got his number too.  
Kevin becomes an investigator. 
We met with Bereket earlier this week and he becomes an investigator. 
We arrange for a member to pick up both of them (because they live in the same area) and drive them to church.
While at church we find out that they actually know each other.
Kevin had walked up to Bereket right after we'd given him a book of mormon and asked where he'd gotten the book. Bereket pointed us out and told Kevin he could talk to us about it. 
we found all of this out yesterday at church. my mind was blown. it was so cool! and both of them wanted to learn more. they asked for the gospel principles book so they could study the sunday school lessons before hand and then come to church and know how to answer the questions. 

I've been doing a lot of conference talk study this week, and one of my favorites is Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from preisthood session called "be not afraid, only believe" it talks about Daniel and how he had to really stand out from the crowd to exercise his faith. And it talks about how sometimes the world would try to make you think that been cynical and skeptical is so sophisticated. But when you believe in something you are so much more courageous, and you understand everything so much better. I felt like it was a talk made perfectly for sweden, because swedish mindset is "LAGOM" (meaning, not too much, not too little, just right) as in if you believe in God you're too extreme, but you can't believe in nothing. So a lot of the time people will say they believe in something, some higher power, but refuse to say that it's God. It's prideful and ridiculous (in my opinion), but that's why we're here. To show people that admitting to the existence of God isn't being weak, it's being faithful and knowledgeable and understanding. I wish we could round up all of sundsvall and have them sit and listen to President Uchtdorf's talk. 

I'm about out of time, but thanks so much for reading and writing me :) 
have the greatest week!
love, syster janessa brink

 accidentally coming half an hour early to our lesson. awkward.

we're so excited to be sticking around here!

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