I almost don't even know what to say about this week. It's been super busy and we've been running around like crazy people. There is SO MUCH TO TAKE CARE OF ALL THE TIME.
Monday we went to stockholm cuz I found out that my baby sister Davis was coming down from Norrland for zone conference!!! So we went and spent a few hours with her and sister hong and it was so much fun :)
That night we had family home evening and actually had a pretty good turn out! We watched the new easter video and shared thoughts and feelings about Christ. Then we decided to play a little get to know you game and this guy literally went off for like 20 minutes about Muslims and how the hijab isn't even religious it's just cultural and half the time I'm trying to make eye contact with the elders and ask them to help me cuz I'd tried to regain control of the situation at least 6 times already and the guy wasn't listening to me. Ohhh, the things that happen when random people come to FHE.
Tuesday I got to go to Västerhaninge to go on UTBYTNINGAR!!!! My comp for the day was sister nielsen (the younger. there are two sister nielsen's here in sweden). We had a good day of swinging by people and working through the area book. Västerhaninge is literally the smallest area in all of Europe. We had a member dinner that night and I nearly exploded because the amount of food given was much more than a normal sized sister missionary has the capacity to eat.
Wednesday we had our zone conference in the Västerhaninge chapel. It was probably the most emotional conference I've ever had. I don't think I've ever cried so much at a conference before. It's the beginning of the end. They had me stand up and share my departing testimony with the missionaries. (we share departing testimonies at our last zone conference. even though i still have a couple months left this was my last zone conference.) I feel like I just want to keep pushing the reality of going back to utah farther and farther out of my mind. I feel like being a missionary for at least like 9 more months would be prime.
We talked a lot in the conference about giving everything you've got and not giving up. Finding new energy in christ's atonement and serving with your heart for the right reasons. That conference changed the rest of my mission.
thursday was more or less a regular day. We had dinner with one of the families that makes up a majority of the branch. They are the COOLEST PEOPLE. The Bergersons. They are from the south of sweden (whoop! SKÅNE!) and they just live the coolest lives of humanitarian work and travel and love. I'm gonna try to get myself somehow added into the family.
Friday we went to the Wesemeyer's. Try as we might, the wesemeyers always turn into an event of a couple hours. We spent the time chopping down trees, taking part in a Jewish Seder ceremony, decorating the house for easter, and eating lots and lots of candy. I even got to jump on a trampoline for a little while and try a couple of flips that I haven't been able to do since starting the mission :) good fun!
traditional jewish seder.
easter eggs at the wesemeyer's!
decorating with Rahaf, our investigator
Saturday was easter eve. Easter in sweden lasts almost the entire week but nobody celebrates it aside from eating eggs and godis. We've worked really hard to try and get people to notice the meaning behind all the eggs and pastels. It's been actually really good. That evening the elder's investigator was baptized! His name is Fidelis and he is super cool! He had to get baptized like 4 different times because he could just not seem to go all the way under. After the third time they cleared him but us sisters in the back saw that his hand had come out of the water so they had to get him back out of the changing room to do it one last time. Once he was baptized once and for all, we clapped and cheered a little. Probably not the most reverent thing, but that last round totally deserved a cheer.
sister nielsen and some of the primary kids on easter
Yesterday for easter we got to pretty much run the church building. Missionaries playing piano, giving talks, translating sacrament meeting, teaching sunday school, and then the elders taught priesthood. We had a super good easter. We got invited over the the Schiazzano's, a family from chile. They gave me a cayanne pepper corn and told me it was chilean candy. Whatever. It's like, a rite of passage at their house. So for 15 minutes I sat with my throat on fire and sweating like crazy until the potatoes in the shepherds pie finally extinguished the flames. After lunch at their place we were invited to Elder and Sister Wood's (ysa representative couple in stockholm) for dinner with them. We walked in to a big group of missionaries and ysa's and had american easter food. It was delicious but i don't know if I can handle it all day every day. Oh well, all the more reason to stay here forever right? ;)
just a regular meal at the schiazzano's...
I'm just super grateful that I get to be here as a missionary. I get to serve in the detroit of sweden and it's the coolest thing. I get to talk to people every day about the savior. I get to meet the coolest sisters and learn from their good examples. I am so blessed that I get to have these 18 months to focus so much on others that my nature changes naturally.
love you guys!!
-syster janessa brink