Saturday, December 26, 2015


we got a little p-day the day after christmas, so i thought i'd send off a couple of pictures to you guys :)

christmas eve selfie!

christmas dinner in our sweden sweaters
merry christmas from all of us here in sundsvall!

delivering cookies and banana bread to those in need with the district

cute little Christmas set up in the city

got a referral that lives all the way out here. do we dare take that drive?

this is what christmas decorating looks like in a missionary apartment

these are the little dala hästs i got from grandma for christmas :)

christmas eve watching Trassel (tangled in swedish)

Monday, December 21, 2015

god jul

hi! I don't have tons of time today (again, rushing on p-days) so this will be a short email. This week has been great! we went down to stockholm for a christmas conference and we spent pday down there. we got to see the northern lights last night and had some really prime lessons this week. It's been lots of fun with sister davis and i don't even feel like i'm training her to be honest. she's a much better greenie than i was haha. We have been seeing lots of success and last night we got the sweetest phone call from Sister Beckstrand to let us know that the members really appreciate what we're doing here in sundsvall. I have been so blessed to be here with my amazing baby (mission lingo) and this great holiday season. I love that i get the opportunity to see all the miracles I do. I'll talk to you guys some more on Christmas :) I'll be skyping around 4:00 sweden time. Hope you guys have a great next few days! 
syster janessa brink

some of my MTC sisters

stockholm! sorry if it's blurry

some more stockholm :)

me and sister davis

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

green christmas

It's been a good week! We had a fun last pday of the transfer and had dinner with an investigator. Sister Taylor and I went to a photo shop to print off some pictures for our district and on our way back to the car I slipped and fell hard core right in front of this old woman and i brought sister taylor down with me. I don't know if i told you, but sundsvall has turned into a giant field of ice, so we've been sliding just about everywhere nowadays. 

Tuesday was sister taylor's last day here in sundsvall, and we spent it cleaning some stuff up, packing, and talking to some people out on the street. then we got on a train and took a long ride down to Västerhaninge. We stayed the night with the sisters there and the next morning dark and early I put sister taylor on the first of 3 trains for Jönköping. Gonna miss that girl like crazy. We had so much fun together! 

From there I got myself all ready to go and get my brand new green little missionary! I got to talk with my friends, Elder Backman and Sister Bateman from the MTC, while we were waiting for our lilla grönsaker :) It was actually a good reunion with like, half the mission, because we have 28 new missionaries this transfer. we have a good number from the states and the MTC and then we have a handfull of visa waiters. When everything was ready we walked into the big room where all the new missionaries were sitting and I was so excited! One by one they all read where they were going, and I got my new companion, Sister Davis, from Laguna Beach CA! 

We got in just before dinner on wednesday night, so there's not much to report on other than another couple of long train rides to Sundsvall. 

Thursday we had district meeting and a lunch together as a district. On the way to the pizza restaurant we talked with the bus driver and his friends, and they were interested in getting a book of mormon in turkish, we'll have to find them on the bus again, cuz the number they gave us got shut off. 

Sister Davis is already like super good at swedish (probably better than I was when I first came) and we had a good day of contacting and teaching. We have been having a lot of fun together!

We had a super great lesson with Farhan and Bakhtiar. They were really excited to hear about the plan of salvation and they are both nervous and excited for baptism. It's so good to have armin there to talk to them about everything, cuz he went through all of this not to long ago himself. 

Yesterday we went to a Lucia Pagent at the swedish church. Lucia is held around the darkest time of year in sweden. We're at about 7 hours of daylight right now. It's a celebration of light and it was super pretty! Poor sister Davis was so tired she was falling asleep, but at the end we got a picture with the lucia girl. 

We're going down to stockholm for pday, so I don't have tons of time! I love you guys so much! 

have a great week!
syster janessa brink

the one with the green milk was a prank i pulled on her (the only prank i will pull on her haha) I told her that all the milk in sweden was green. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

tåg, utbildning, träna

hey there everybody! 

It's good to hear from all of you and see what's happening at home and abroad. I love hearing from you guys and getting your pictures :) 

this week on pday our branch mission leader took us sight seeing. It was so much fun! We got to go out to Östersund and Alnö. Beautiful sights and lots of fun!

Tuesday we took a drive out to Torpshammar and Ånge to see Kelvin and Mahshid. The lessons went well, but the ride home was a little bit scary. Those country roads don't have street lights, so I felt like I was driving into an abyss. No worries though, we got home alive and well and now I'm here writing this email to you :)

On thursday we had our last district meeting of the transfer. Our district has been so much fun, and after being together for 3 months, everybody is being split up and assigned to different areas. Elder Downing will be finishing his mission this coming week, so we had a little "funeral" for him. I made a cheesecake and we wrote a song (which you will have the pleasure of maybe hearing once i get home) and burned a shirt (what is it with missionaries and fire?)

That evening we surprised one of our good member friends with breakfast for dinner at the church. He was definitely surprised! We had pancakes and eggs and bacon and sat and chatted for a while. It was really good to be together as a group, especially since we knew half the missionaries here would be transferring. 

Friday morning started really early at 5:00. Sister Taylor and I got on a train to Stockholm for a little "Train the Trainers" Meeting in the mission home. Sister Taylor went on splits, and I went and listened to how to help a greenie. It was really really good. We will be having 26 new missionaries coming in. I'm so excited! And they are all on the same flight hahaha, that plane is guaranteed to land safely. Of those 26 though, only 4 of them are sisters, and they are the first sisters we've had since June. I am so excited to meet my new companion! 

Friday evening was long as well, sprinting around Stockholm to make our train, Sister Taylor and I were so tired when we finally got on the SJ Snabbtåg back to Sundsvall. We didn't have any time to get dinner so we ended up buying some expensive train food. That's life though. We got in around 9:00, planned, and were in bed by around 9:30. Trains will make you tired!

Saturday we had a really REALLY good day. We got transfer calls. Sister Taylor will be going to Jönköping (the place that will forever have my heart) to be with my best friend and first companion Sister Giles (and they will have so much fun together!) 

Thus starts the work of saying goodbyes. First on the list were our sweet friends NoeNoe and SaySay. We went and ate lunch with NoeNoe and her friends and she was so excited, she wanted us to tell them all about modern day prophets and the restoration. Look at her, such a good little missionary and she's only 17, and not yet a member! I love her :) We met up with SaySay right after lunch and she and Sister T had a really tender goodbye. I think those goodbyes are the hardest part of missionary work. You just grow to love them so much. 

We then taught Farhan and Bakhtiar at the church with Armin and Shirin. We told them about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. It was a really good lesson, and both of them committed to baptism! Bakhtiar is a little worried he might not be in the country on his set baptismal date, so we decided to fast for him together. 

I talked with this adorable little baptist family on the street and they were so interested in the church. Too bad they live on the other side of the country! I gave them our number and the christmas website and they were really excited to check it out!

From there we had dinner at the 1st counselor's house with his cute little family and Armin and Shirin. We got lost in the middle of the apartment complex and the entire walkway was frozen over with ice. We made is slowly but surely to their place, and I think I'm gonna have to get a carrier in ice skating, because I haven't fallen once (knock on wood.)
That evening we visited another member and showed her the christmas film and then had a whole tender hearted lesson with her about family and overcoming struggles. We got back home just before curfew and realized we couldn't even drive up our hill because the whole thing was iced over. We had to call the elders to rescue us and they ended up just taking the car to their apartment. 

Yesterday we had a great day at church! A wonderful testimony meeting and three investigators there. Murre was able to show up just after all the classes finished, so it was good to see him too! Goodbyes and photos all around and me telling people "Don't worry, I'll still be here!" 

We ate pancakes for dinner at Sassan's house with his family and watched the new christmas video with them too (that christmas video is pretty important, if you can't tell yet.) 

Sometimes missionary work is hard, and you get stressed out like crazy. Yes, I do have those days every few months where I just don't know how I can do it. But you know what? Those days don't ever last very long. And I never have to go through them alone. Everyday I get to stand up on that icy street and bear my testimony to God's children. I am able to do anything because the way is already paved. And though it might be slippery sometimes, I can always reach up and grab his hand because he will never turn away. 

I love you guys!
vi hörs nästa vecka
-syster janessa brink


my best friends (the district)

sometimes it's hard to wear scarves

that cool tower thing behind me is an old church bell! also it's gotten pretty cold over here.

me and shirin. i'm telling ya, it's really icy out there

gonna miss this girl