happiest of birthdays to Tanner and Mom!!! I hope you guys were able to get my cards that I sent (with those delicious swedish chocolate bars, eh) and hope you guys had great birthdays :)
so I'll be telling stories of the week in a scattered fashion. enjoy.
this week we were super busy. getting ready for a baptism does all sorts of crazy things to you, and suddenly you are running all over the place making sure to meet with people and get things put together. we met with pretty much everyone this week. it was really fun!
also this week we went to an elementary school to talk a little about coming to a foreign country and helping them understand a little about what it's like to be on this side of things (there are so many immigrants, the news doesn't lie.) after the lesson, a little 13 year old girl came up to me and asked if Brink was my first name or my last name. I told her it was my last name and she got excited and told me that it was her last name too! With "Brink" not being the most common name in the world (or in sweden) I got really excited and told her a little about my family history and how we might actually be related. I felt like it would be weird to ask a 13 year old for her number at the elementary school, so I gave her my number and told her to definitely call me and we could chat with her parents and maybe find out if we are related. no call yet, but I'm still praying for it.
this week we took another trip out to the refugee camp to visit Kelvin and Bereket. To put a picture in your minds, the refugee camp is like a college dorm. It's a two floor building with communal kitchen, bathroom and TV. Bedrooms are shared and small. Everything is a little worn looking and when we visit we are the only white people and the only girls on the property. Regardless of the poor conditions, our friends there are generally happy and very very giving. I love going there. This week we taught them the plan of salvation and talked about how with god nothing is impossible. Both of them came to church this week and even stayed after for a dinner with our branch mission leader and his family.
we drove out to the middle of the country on thursday. literally. just go on google earth and check out the location of Ånge related to Sundsvall. We visited two of our persian members, Nima and Mahshid. They are the cutest ever. We have eaten so so so much persian food here, and I am going to start collecting recipes because it is delicious. It was fun teaching them and getting to know them (usually we'd be going out to Ånge every other week, but some conditions changed last transfer so this is the first time I've been able to visit them). I wish I could get out there more often, because it was so good to sit and share our favorite scriptures with them.
And of course, the moment you have all been waiting for: SHIRIN GOT BAPTIZED! Sister Taylor and I got to the church a few hours early to start filling up the font. About 30 minutes before the service was about to start the font was only half full. So we started filling up any container we could fit in the sinks and just started tossing water in. It definitely felt like a baptism I was in charge of, with us and the elders frantically tossing water into the font and greeting people as they walked in. It was a really great program though. Armin got to baptize his mom and more than 30 members showed up for the service! We had so much to eat afterwards and it was really good to have everyone there!
As I was getting ready I realized I only have four transfers left out here. That means at least 2 companions and one more area. My heart kinda broke, honestly. thinking about going home makes me feel like one of the lost boys on peter pan saying "i never want to grow up." as the time passes and i learn more about the world and the people i'm serving, all I want to do is say just like Ammon did in the Book of Mormon "yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die." (alma 17:23) It's weird to think about the time I have left, but I want to do everything I can with that time to love and serve the people I meet the same way the savior would.
I hope you have a great week! I'll be here in sweden, working hard like always :)
love you guys!
syster janessa brink
Nima, Mahshid, and me
sister taylor and i filling the font that didn't fill.
me, shirin, armin, and sister taylor
super blurry picture of the district (i guess i touch my chin like this often enough that it requires a photo)
right after shirin got baptized everybody went back to the chapel and started singing. we waited in the bathroom for her and sang a little too. This is "i am a child of God"
sister taylor dancing in the music tunnel by our house