Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

So, Äldste Heiner had a good week. He thinks that it was a little fast, and he commented on one occasion that it seemed that it had only been a two day week. Heiner now thinks it would be a good idea to tell you what happened, and he says, "Although it has seemed really short, this week has been packed." Also, Heiner thought it would be nice to thank all those who complemented his pictures this week. He didn't think they were too amazing, but apparently they were.
   On Monday of this week, Äldste Heiner and the rest of the missionaries in Jönköping hung out most of the day. They met up at the church early as they all wanted to email their families. As they did this, Syster Anderson asked all who were present if they wanted anything from the US, as she was concluding her mission the next day and her parents would soon be picking her up. Many had things they wanted. Among the requested items was peanut butter, beef jerky, and almond extract. Äldste Heiner had not been away from America so long that he knew what he wanted, so he asked for a surprise. Later that day, the ward mission leader joined our heroes with some cake to commemorate the departing Syster. According to those present, it was tasty. After the cake, two Äldster, four Systerer, and two YSA's went to Ikea to hang out, because "where else would one want to hang out in Sweden?" they asked. After a little while of wandering around all of the furniture, the idea came up to play a game titled, "Sardines." The idea was quickly adopted into cannon, and they were off. Heiner says that is was very fun, and that he would probably do it again given the chance. At the end of their pday, Äldster Heiner and Anderson went to a lesson, and finished the day.
   Syster Anderson died. She left the mission honorably. The Elders assumed, however, that they would be getting a new syster in Jönköping, as they were losing one. They were wrong. As Syster Anderson left, Syster Beckstrom was transferred, leaving a mere two systerer in Jönköping. Elder Heiner and Elder Anderson found it annoying, as they then had to figure out where new areas were.
   On the next day, Äldste Heiner woke up to begin working, and prepared for a long day. He and his companion had quite the day planned. First they went to a less active member's apartment. They decided it would be best to teach him a lesson. They did so and invited him to return to church. He did so that weekend, much to the joy of these two! Another meeting they had was with another two less actives. These two were the same age as both Heiner and Anderson, so some hilarious conversation followed. They thought is turned out well, as they were able to get able to get a spiritual thought in. As two of the manliest men there ever were walked to the church to meet with a potential investigator, they picked up lunch, as to maintain energy throughout the rest of the day. At the church, Äldste Heiner ended up practicing piano while waiting for his appointment to show up. He never did, so he just kept trying to teach himself better skills. After their time at the church was up, Elder Heiner and Elder Anderson went to teach a man named P. They think that P is really cool, and so enjoyed the visit. After that, they visited with a member family. They are practicing teaching as a companionship with them, so they received some quality feedback after that. This concluded that day.
   As they were getting ready for the day on Wednesday, Elders Anderson and Heiner received a call from a member family, in dire need. They got to their home in record time in order to help them pack up a kitchen that was to be remodeled by order of their landlord. They were informed of it that morning, as the Elders found out, and that was why they needed the help. Later, they decided to go to Huskvarna, which is a town about an hour out of the one our Elders are assigned to, but still in their area. They talked to quite a few people, some of them interested, others not so much. After a time, they returned to Jönköping. Two appointments in the middle of the day fell through, so the elders decided to do the studying that they had not been able to do that morning because of helping with the move. They studied for the entire four hour block they would usually split up throughout the day. When they finished, they discovered that they were invited to have dinner with two YSAs who live together. Robin (who is a man) and Tim (who is also a man) decided to call the elders and invite them to have a pizza with them. Äldste Heiner was quite excited, as he really likes Swedish Pizza. (Elder Heiner would also like to point out that this is usually how dinner appointments happen. We plan on eating dinner, and then a member will ask us to come.) They ended that day with a man that they enjoy teaching, but needs to work on stopping smoking.
   Elders Heiner and Anderson left Jönköping on Thursday for Borås. Anderson, who is the district leader, had scheduled a district meeting there, and four companionship in the area would be attending this meeting. According the Elder Heiner, it was a normal meeting, just a check in with all the areas and a quick training on how to ask people for their numbers. After an hour and a half of this discussion, the companionship split back up, and left to their assigned fields of service. Upon arriving in Jönköping, the Äldster we asked to help close an old mission apartment. There would no longer be two syster companionship in that town, so Äldste Tolley and Syster Tolley, the apartment couple, asked everyone in the area to come and help move everything out of this apartment. The Elders gladly did so, and went to work moving tables, chairs, couches, and even a piano. After this work, Heiner and Anderson went back to their home, exhausted.
   On Friday, the two hardworking elders rushed to the chapel, as they had six appointments right in a row there. The first one went relatively well, but it went a little bit over time, so the Äldster quietly left to try to catch their next appointment. She never showed up, as the two found out, and neither did the next one. While they waited, disappointed at the lack of showing from their investigators, Syster Anderson and her parents showed up, coming back to Jönköping. They had brought all the requested items in bulk. Elder Heiner found that his surprise was perfect: a giant box of sugar cereal. He quite enjoyed it. As they were chatting with the family, the Elders received a call from the Röndalls, one of the best families there ever was. "Come eat food and look at our newly made family mission plan," the call essentially said. Heiner was even more surprised, but not at all unhappy. The dinner was steak, so Elder Heiner really liked it. Returning to the church after having shared a spiritual message, the Elders attended the baptism that was happening. They had no part in the program, but enjoyed the spirit that was had there, and also they were very happy to find that one of their most promising investigators decided to attend. This concluded their day.
   On Saturday, the Tolleys once again called the two elders. They needed help cleaning the now empty apartment for nigh on the entire day. Äldste Heiner thought this was interesting, but assumed it was church policy to leave all the apartments really clean once they were through with them. He soon found, however, that Swedish law dictated that apartments need to ridiculously clean after leaving them. So he set to work cleaning all day. As they were finishing up, Elder Heiner found that Syster Tolley cut elders hair, and asked her to give his a quick trim, as he felt the MTC haircut he was sporting was not quite as beautiful as he wanted. She happily obliged, and soon Heiner was walking around feeling much more confident about his hair style, not so wild and busy. The elders went back to the church, to get blåsted again. While they waited, hoping for someone to teach, the Schillen family showed up, and asked Elder Anderson to play piano for them in church the next day, and Elder Heiner to sing the tenor part, as they needed that covered. The elders graciously accepted, and practiced for half an hour with them. After that time, the elders felt that they need to do more proseliting, so they did so for the rest of the day.
   Elder Heiner went to many meetings yesterday, on Sunday. All through church, he felt that his grasp on Swedish was not quite where he wanted, but was getting better with every day he was in Sweden. As he walked with his comp after church, they were once again invited to dinner. So they went to that, obviously. After that dinner was completed, the Elders decided to do swing-bys. As they walked, they stopped almost everyone to talk to them. They found it fun. They then ended their week.

   Äldste Heiner found this week to be good. He would like to invite all to have a good week, if they find it pleasing.
Äldste Heiner and Anderson with their
US goods courtesy of Syster
Anderson's family.  Thanks!
This is what it looks like at the church when we are blåsted.
The chapel.
This is where we usually teach lessons at the church.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

So life here in Sweden is fun. This week seemed like it was just a day or so long, but as I look back on the week I see these things I did on Monday and it was four years ago. What is time? And why does time not stay the same?
   This week, we took a few trips up to Huskevarna, which is about an hour trip from our place, depending on the buses. But we had a referral who lives up there, so we went up there and she wasn't home. We knocked the apartment buildings on that street and had seven TUs, so that was awesome. So we came back twice to talk to the people. All that means is a little lot more time chilling on the bus.
   Anyway, we've been meeting with a less active man named T. He's an RM who got caught up in some weird doctrine stuff that wasn't real... but we asked him if he would help us with our Swedish, and he said yes, so we've been going through the lessons with him. Hopefully he'll be able to feel the spirit again.
   We went to Göteborg again. Because we could. Jag skojar (just kidding).  We went because we had zone training out there. We climbed a mountain and we were following a path of candles and there was lydnads sked that we used to hit the framgång (pronounced fram-gong, so it was funny), then there was the egg i tro, which was a really bad pun, and then we were at the top of the mountain, and Äldste Hansen was in this cloak and was sacrificing another Äldste who was being "disobedient" and we had to hit the framgång and shout "FAITH" so the disobedience (that's who Hansen was) would stop and back off, then we threw the egg i tro... and there was this cliff... so that was something.
   When we got back and taught this Hungarian named H. He's a bro. He does everything that we ask him so far. He already read through all of first Nephi and he's well into second Nephi, and came to church, and it's been, like four days.
   Anyway, we had a chalk art activity. All of the missionaries went to a public square and we drew the picture of Jesus visiting the American continent. It turned out well in the end. We had to leave early for a lesson, but it looked pretty good when we left. We contacted, like 200 people that day. I thought this was funny, so here is a description of the even in Äldste Anderson's own words:
"Afterwards we went to a square in the city center and finally did the chalk art activity.  We were thinking we were doing the Plan of Salvation, but Sister Sorensen who is the artist had already started drawing the picture in the Book of Mormon of Christ visiting the Nephites.  That was a little above my artistic level, so after about 5 minutes with chalk in my hands I assigned myself to be the contactor, so while the other 5 missionaries drew I stopped people and tried to talk to them about the Book of Mormon.  It was a lot of fun!  The sisters had invited an investigator to help, and probably the best way to describe her is a free spirit.  Her eccentric choices of colors weren't exactly what we were looking for, and Jesus soon had purple hair and others had bright green hair, which made things pretty interesting.  The sisters decided it would be best to go teach her more about the church and get her away from the chalk haha.  So I continued to contact while Elder Heiner who is color blind tried to fix it up a bit.  Enough said.  But I did get to talk to lots of interesting people and give out a few Book of Mormons and got a number from a guy named A."
   So yeah. It worked out alright, I think...
   One night we played capture the flag with the YSAs and our investigators. It was fun. Afterwards, the Röndalls, who are just about the coolest people you will ever meet, invited us over for a lemon pie. It was really good. Then they let me take a shot of straight saft (the lemon juice). It was great. Most people think that's weird. Or something. I thought it was wonderful, and they thought it was funny, so yeah.
   On Saturday, the Systerer had a baptism, so we were there to help out. Äldste Anderson was asked to baptize because he has the same last name as Syster Anderson, who was his teacher. It was good. The next day in sacrament meeting, I was asked to confirm him, so that was an awesome experience. After church, we rolled out to the Röndalls for a massive amount of food. Because the Röndalls are amazing.
   Anyway, so that leaves us at today. There is so much rain. And wind. So much we can't use umbrellas. So we're having fun. I think it's hilarious. I hope everyone has a great time,
Äldste Heiner

Me and Kebab Pizza.
Some of the toppings are french fries, peppers,
meat, and a yogurt/sour cream sauce.
Me and Anderson on the mountain in Göteborg.
Me on the mountain.
Look what we made on p-day.
No, it was the awesome Röndalls!
The chalk drawing, that explains my hands a bit, I guess.
The drawing when we had to leave.
This is what Jönköping looks like from the mountains in
Huskevarna where we were teaching this week.
This sticker is on every single elevator.
Every single on.
Why, because elevators don't have doors on them.
That's why.
And lastly, this is an exit sign.

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

   So this week was crazy. We started off just doing the usual things, going to appointments and the such. We had set a goal to have at least two hundred unplanned contacts this week, so we were stopping a ton of people, and the people here are super nice, so they would just stop and talk unless they were extremely busy. Then they would stop and explain that they are busy. Funny people. So yeah, we were having a good time. 
   Here is a funny thing, we were invited to go to a high school and teach a religion class for two days. I thought it was a joke until Äldste Anderson told me it was a thing, teaching in a school. So we packed up a bunch of Mormons Books and pamphlets and cards and went to the local high school. We walked in the front door, and everyone thought it was normal or something, because we didn't get too many second odd looks. But we went to the third floor and taught about thirty 17 year-olds the first lesson. Then we showed the Joseph Smith movie, and then opened it up for questions. We were kind of dreading that part because we don't really have complex vocab down, but they had good questions, not just annoying ones. So it was fun. The next day, they wanted to come to the church, so we did the same thing, but taught the class in the chapel the next day. The whole thing was odd to me, but that is probably just because I'm from the US of A.
   Äldste Anderson and I were building up our appointment list for Thursday because we were going on splits that day, so we wanted to have a good day for that. So Thursday comes along and we do the splits (I kind of made it sound like we wouldn't, didn't I?), and we traveled to a town halfway between Borås and Jönköping to trade companions. I picked up Äldste Sandquist and we bused back to Jönköping. And we did have a great day. We had six or seven lessons even though we were blåsted a few times. We contacted a ton of people and in the end of the day, we had a lesson with P., like the coolest guy ever. So yeah, it was great. The next day, we had a district meeting in our chapel, so we just switched back to normal comps. T'was a good split.
   I'm going to talk about the temple trip now. I apparently didn't mention M. last week. Just over a year ago, Äldste Anderson confirmed him a member of the church. On Sunday after the Holstrom conference, I had the opportunity to stand in the circle as he received the Melchizedek priesthood. He was preparing to go to the temple. Now, he had asked Anderson to help him go through, because this was his first time, but we live in Jönköping, which is a good while away by tåg (the Swedish train), and the temple they would be going to was in Denmark. So that was probably not going to happen. We called President anyway. On Friday morning, Anderson got permission to go to the temple in Copenhagen. And he couldn't go alone, so I just HAD to go too. Bummer. I was so stoked! So the only way we would make it in time was if we left on Friday evening. So we went to the tåg station and went to Göteborg and stayed the night with Äldster Bodine and Sweat. On Saturday morning we took another tåg all the way to Copenhagen. We walked from the central station to the temple. Note, I thought it would be warmer in the South. I was wrong. I thought the temperature would be nicer. It was pouring rain. And my incorrect assumptions led me to not bring an umbrella. So we were both under Anderson's. We made it work, but now I always have an umbrella. Anyway, got to the temple, met up with everyone involved and had a great session. Afterward, we took a bunch of pictures and took a tåg all the way from Copenhagen to Jönköping. It was a great day. Also, President told us to take it out of pday, so email and groceries are all we get today. Totally worth it.
   So... that pretty much dominated the week. But Sunday was my first normal Sunday. We had Stake conference in Göteborg last week, so it's been a while. We had a few hours of meetings with various leaders in the ward before church started. Then church started. And then church ended. I would tell you what happened, but... it's all in Swedish. I only got about half of what happened. They had me get up in sacrament meeting and talk for a few minutes. I think it went well. No one was honest and told me how bad I was. They said I had good Swedish. I'm... not so sure. Anyway. We then went to the Röndalls for dinner. It was very fine. Then we did a ton of swing bys to less active members and old investigators. I had a good time. Talked to a ton of people. And that puts us at today. I hope everyone is having a wonderful life. If you ever get bored, I wouldn't offended if you wrote a letter............................................ Anyway, have a great week!

Äldste Heiner
The view out our apartment window.  Usually it is a lot nicer
but the day I got my camera out the weather was not amazing.
Can you see the island out in the distance?
There are castles out there, it is in our area so
some p-day we will go check it out.
Do you ever feel that American apartment buildings are kind
of boring?  Because I do.
They all look cool in Europe, like this one.
Cool "art" on an overpass.
Copenhagen from afar.
Walking the street of Copenhagen.
Found the temple.
Here I am!  The Copenhagen Temple.
We had a great time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014

   So... I'm in Sweden. I made it, we all did. I haven't seen Äldste Smith in over five days, which is weird, but let me start from the beginning. On Monday, when we left, we all hopped onto the bus and went to the airport. We called our families, which was interesting, and we got onto the plane and flew to Minneapolis. Ate a Subway there and then flew to Amsterdam. Now that flight was eight hours. It was horribly long. We get to Amsterdam, and have a forty minute layover, where we barely make the plane to Stockholm. We get into Stockholm, and Äldste Hemminsen's bags don't show up, so we have to this big ol' report thing. So an hour after we have landed, we leave the airport, and meet our mission president and his wife, the Beckstrands. They are really cool. Now just remember this little thing: I couldn’t sleep at all on any of those flights. We go to the immigration office so that we can get residency, because if we don't we have to go home in a week, and then... okay here's the deal. I don't really know what happened after that. I was "awake," but I had already spent over 24 hours awake. I remember we were given temporary companions for an hour so we could do some contacting in the middle of Stockholm, I remember signing a bunch of papers (I hope I didn't give away a kidney or anything. I could of, I wouldn't remember.), I remember getting to Presidents house for dinner and then having a short(?) interview, and then passing out. For eleven hours. I haven't slept for eleven hours in years. It was great.  It was one long day.
   But I remember the next day pretty well. I get up, get dressed, Sister Beckstrand had made breakfast burritos. It was great. We pack up, get all of our money converted into crowns instead of dollars, and roll out to the Täby chapel. We received some training from President and the APs and then waited for the trainers to come in. Trainers are elders who have served in the mission for about a year or so, and teach you how to be a missionary in the field. We all get our assignment letters, and we go down the line to read out where we are going, and who we will be with. Syster Allred goes first, and of all the elders in the room, she got the one sister trainer. Weird. Didn't see that one coming at all. But then it was the Äldster turn. I was first, and I really didn't pay much attention to who was after me... Anyway, I read out that I would be serving in Jönköping, in the Göteborg area. I would be serving with Äldste Jacob Anderson. So we both immediately grabbed our stuff and went out to talk to each other about who we were.
   I am Äldste Anderson's second son, and I will be killing him in Jönköping. (translation for anyone not in on the mission lingo: I'm the second person Anderson has trained. He finishes his mission in Jönköping on the day my twelve weeks of training is over.) He is a swimmer from Bountiful, Utah. He is hilarious. I think he's one of the coolest guys ever.
   So then we roll out to the train station and head to Jönköping. Place is beautiful. Our apartment is huge, just the two of us in it. If you look at a map of the area, look at the very tip of that huge lake, that is our apartment. We are right on the edge of the water, looking out over the lake. The view is great. I don't have a picture of the view yet but I do have some of inside. We dropped my stuff off (he's been there for three months now), and headed to our appointment with T.
   T is a cool guy. He has a baptismal date, he just needs to stop smoking. He has already quit snusing, which is kind of like chewing tobacco, but more addictive and harmful. So yeah. He's making great progress. The rest of the day, we knocked doors, seeing if anyone was interested. A few people were, so we talked to them for a while. A little note about the people here, if they're not in the city where they are busy, they are super laid back, and totally willing to talk about whatever. It's cool.
   The next day, we visited with P, who was baptized on Saturday. He is way cool. He has a bad back from a surgery, so we gave him a blessing of recovery. Hopefully, his friends, who have been listening in on lessons, will want to hear more.
   We also met with J. He was just placed in the mental hospital. We didn't know why until we got there. I'll tell you about him when I get back. He is an interesting one. Other than that, just walked around talking to people. Giving Mormons Bok out. People are chill.
   That was pretty much everything that goes on. That and busing to other towns for meetings. We did that a few times. We played ultimate Frisbee with all the investigators (including the Syster's) in the area on Friday, that was fun.
   We helped move a family two towns over, third floor apartment to third floor apartment. It was fun. Then we got food out of it too. It was the first time I'd had Kebab. They put this stuff on a pizza with french fries and a special sauce and then give you the pizza. Like, an entire pizza per person. It was crazy.
   We went to Göteborg for Stake conference on Sunday. We stayed with a few elders who live out there. We heard from a few people, but I wasn't fully comprehending everything being said. That was fine. What I got was good. After that, though, there was a zone meeting with all the missionaries in the zone, and we got to hear from Elder Holstrom. He is really cool. He has a lot of good things to say. Anyway, after that, we got on a train home and that was the week.
   As to answer a few questions, my language is improving like crazy, they do have great food, I have not even seen a fish yet, there weren't any delays on any of our flights, and I'm having a great time. I hope everyone is doing great, 

Äldste Heiner

Pictures of my new apartment.  See the preceding entry for pictures of my first days in Sweden and me with my new companion
Living Room
The following are pictures and a lot of selfies from my last day at the MTC...
One of our teachers, Brother Witworth
Another teacher, Brother Bush
Another teacher, Sister Haynes
Another teacher, the one and only Brother Marchant
Sister Allred at our going away party
One last teacher, Brother Sagers
Elder Smith, my companion #1
Our district at the Provo temple

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014

Hello Family,
I’m writing you this letter while sitting in the immigration office.  So I guess you may assume that we got here safe and sound.  I kind of skipped a day so I’m feeling the effects of that a bit.  Other than that, I am perfectly fine.  The flights over were long but they were good.
I talked to you today (yesterday?) so I think we are pretty caught up
Anyway, I hope you are all well.
Love,  Äldste Heiner

Excerpt from a letter from President Beckstrand:



September 4, 2014

Upon arrival, he was taken in to the city of Stockholm for immigration paperwork. He then went to the Church’s Young Single Adult Center, located in the heart of Stockholm, for a light lunch, training, and contacting in the streets of Stockholm with one of our exceptional, experienced missionaries.  Then he had a glimpse of Stockholm.  The Mission Office was his next stop with an orientation to the Sweden Stockholm Mission policies and procedures. After orientation, Sister Beckstrand and I invited him and his MTC group to dinner at the Mission Home. I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time in an interview with your son. We concluded the day’s activities with family scriptures and prayer and retired for the evening.

The next morning we began the day promptly at 6:30 a.m. with breakfast at the Mission Home. We departed the Mission Home for the nearby Täby Chapel where the Assistants, Sister Beckstrand and I provided training.  In the second meeting of the morning, he met his new companion and trainer, Elder Jacob Anderson. They will serve together in the Jönköping I area of the Sweden Stockholm Mission.

Elder Heiner and Elder Anderson
heading to Jönköping I
New Missionaries