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

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