Monday, November 9, 2015

oh the bitter winds are coming in and i'm already missing the summer

wow! sounds like it's been a busy and eventful week at home! It's good to hear about everything that you guys have been up to and all the stuff that's been happening. Crazy to hear about the change in the home bishopric, I kinda knew it was coming because Bishop Smith has been around since I was 14, but it was still a bit of a surprise. Bishop Cuillard will do great though! He's always been awesome!

I myself have been pretty busy too. And I just thought I'd share a little story about something great that happened this week! We have two investigators that live quite a ways away in a refugee camp. Their names are Bereket and Kelvin (whom i previously referred to as Kevin until I learned his name is actually Kelvin.... oops.) I will admit, when we pulled into the refugee camp and saw Bereket out walking with these other tall black guys I was a little intimidated. Then they invited us in and when we got inside the building I had flashes of the Sarotov approach going through my mind and I was planning escape routes and desperately praying for protection. I was kind of terrified. 

It became a really humbling experience very fast though. The owner of the camp came in to see who we were and be sure that we were friends with Bereket. After he left, Bereket explained that in the past few weeks they have had problems with racists walking into the camp and trying to burn the building down. 

There we were: me, sister taylor, Bereket, and four of his friends whom he'd invited to listen to us as well. And while we sat there Bereket offered us soda and we taught a quick restoration lesson to his friends. I realized the desperate prayers for protection that I'd been saying earlier were absolutely unnecessary because I was now sitting with some of Heavenly Father's humblest children who eagerly listened and really wanted to know. 

We taught a powerful, spirit guided lesson to them with moments that nearly brought me to tears. It was amazing. I honestly don't remember most of what we said, only that we used a lot of 2 Nephi 31 and bore testimony like crazy. It was one of the greatest lessons of my mission and I didn't even teach it :) it was all the spirit. 

We took a trip up to Umeå this week for Zone Training and got to stay the night with the sweetest woman in the world again, Sister Wirtala! Zone training was great and focused a lot on really using our time and energy in the best ways possible. I ate a banana chicken curry pineapple peanut pizza for lunch. It sounds weird, but it was delicious. 

Sister Taylor and I have been on the hunt looking for one of our investigators named Thomas, who disappeared. We found him! He doesn't speak much english, but we managed to find his apartment and he invited us in. It turned into an hour of him and his roommates chatting with each other in Tigringa, us sitting on the couch, one of them playing home made instruments, them trying to give us black tea, eating Ethiopian pancakes with spicy pasta sauce on them, and us trying really hard to relate it all back to the gospel.  One of the more interesting evenings I've had here in Sundsvall, that's for sure hahaha :) 

Saturday was a little stressful as it involved a baptismal interview for Shirin that didn't go so well because the translator hung up in the middle of the interview. BUT, after a few hours of confusion and a little bit of phone tag we were able to get in contact with another translator that would be able to go through the interview after church on Sunday. So they re-did the interview and Shirin walked out and was so happy! She doesn't speak any language other than persian, but she told us that she passed and then hugged all of us that were waiting for her :) Sounds like there's going to be a baptism on Saturday!!!! We will be busy this week putting it all together and making it special for her. We are SO EXCITED! 

this week has brought the wintery winds and the darkness that comes with living in a Nordic country. I have been bundling up and feeling very grateful for those oven-boots that i bought in america. With the cold and darkness, a holiday spirit has been ignited in my heart and sister taylor and I have been spending what little down time we have during meals and before bed making paper snowflakes and listening to Christmas hymns. I'm not skipping over thanksgiving, but I am so so SO excited for Christmas. While cleaning the apartment last p-day i discovered a secret closet filled with Christmas decorations. I'm holding off from putting them up until after american thanksgiving. I did also find a beany baby turkey, so I put that up to decorate while we wait. 

telling the district about our discovery of the snow!

I'm excited to email all of you guys next week! Don't you people forget about me ;) we've got lots of good news coming to you from Norrland, so stay tuned and be sure to email me!

syster janessa brink

hello from our one and only thanksgiving decoration!

what language do we speak?! SVENGELSKA!!! (swe-nglish)

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