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

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