Monday, November 23, 2015

we thank thee

this week I thought I'd just count some of my blessings (we're getting so close to thanksgiving I thought this would be appropriate)

  • I'm thankful for the friends and family that email me every week and tell me what they've been busy with. It's so much fun to hear from all of them and read the stories :)
  • I'm thankful for public transportation, because without it I'd be on foot. Walking in -9 degrees Celsius doesn't sound too fun
  • I'm thankful for p-days, because otherwise when would I sleep? clean my clothes? buy jul tomte?
  • for president and sister beckstrand. They care so much about us missionaries. This week they came up to Norrland for a specialized zone training and taught us about being diligent 
  • for members of the church. especially the ones that don't even know us personally, and still find ways to help us out. This week we spent the night with a member up in Umeå (before zone training) and she gave us not only a place to stay, but dinner, breakfast, chocolate, and a drive to the church.
  • for families that open their homes to us and let us teach them and their children. 
  • for investigators that have sincere questions, and seek for honest answers
  • for the people I meet everyday, who make the world diverse and exciting
  • for the people that are REALLY REALLY mean to me, because that's another chance I get to rely on and bear testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ
  • for telephones, computers, social media, and other technology. The work is being pushed forward so much faster because of these things. This week we got to watch the new Christmas Initiative video (and I feel super special because it doesn't come out publicly until next monday) and the idea of being able to post #ASaviorIsBorn and link nations together in seconds is AMAZING. 
  • for the courage it takes people to come to church, even if they haven't been in a while, even if they don't know what to expect or how they'll be accepted
  • for daily planners, because otherwise I'd forget everything
  • for my companion, Sister Taylor, because she's not afraid to clean all of the super gnarly hair balls out of the drain (that's what happens when you have sisters living in the apartment for a few years)
  • for Karlskrona, because it's the place where I was able to learn how to work hard, and see my first beautiful sights of Sweden
  • I'm thankful for Jönköping, and all the friends and family I was able to create there. I look forward to a day when I can go back
  • Sundsvall, the Norrland experience, and the winter I will be spending here
  • for all 7 of my past companions and all the things they taught me, and continue to teach me, even though we're not in the same area anymore
  • I can tell you, I am so thankful for my bed at the end of the night. I'm thankful I even have a bed. 
  • I'm thankful that I was able to come here willingly, and not forced to leave my homeland and family because of circumstances outside of my control
  • I'm thankful for apartment buildings. We've been trackting a lot lately, and it's so nice to be in from the cold!
  • for the christmas spirit, which opens people up. People have been more giving lately, more friendly, and more ready to listen to our american swedish
  • I'm thankful for the way that Heavenly Father guides people's lives. Yesterday we had two men show up to church. None of us missionaries had ever spoken to them before. None of the members knew who they were. And they only spoke persian. And (just as I'm sure Heavenly Father planned) there happened to be two persian speaking members there, Armin and Shirin, who were able to talk to them, explain things, and set up a time for us to meet again and begin teaching them about the church.
  • for the blessing of being bilingual, which is a blessing I never thought I'd be able to count
  • for my Heavenly Father, and everything he's been doing with me. For listening to my prayers and shaping me into the person I need to be, and directing my path and giving me the words I need when I don't have any
  • for my brother, serving right alongside me in Norway
  • I'm thankful for the heritage that I have, with roots tracing back to scandinavia, south africa, england and canada. 
  • I'm really really grateful for Jesus Christ, because I love being able to say so cheesily that I have found him, and he has helped me overcome any challenge placed in my path. 
  • I am thankful for the time I have left as a missionary, and even though I wish it was longer I am grateful I even have it. 
  • for the support of my parents and grandparents and all my extended family
but most of all, I'm thankful for the knowledge that I have that God loves his children, that families can be together forever, for an infinite atonement by the most selfless person to ever live, for scriptures that I can read, for the testimony that I have, and the opportunity I get each and everyday to bear that testimony (whether in english or in swedish) and help others to discover what I know to be true. 

.syster janessa brink

all of us Norrland sisters! Syster Bolton, Austin, me, Taylor, and Delgado

utah was on the news (i saw this on the train)

my parents will forever be getting pictures of me holding things that are on fire (no worries though, that's an elder's old shirt, not one of mine)

ice dragon!

contacting like this, because it got SO COLD this week

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