Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

I would say that this week seemed a little longer than most. At least four days long. At least. It just seemed to drag on and on forever and ever....
   Lemme see... On Monday, we just kind of took it lugnt for a few hours. Played some cards with the systrar.  After pday ended, we went and talked to the guy we're trying to help quit smoking, and snusing now too. I think he's going a bit senile, really. He was talking about when he went and visited heaven the other day, and about how he really doesn't think any of his good spirits still live in his body. Eh. We'll see about him. But the then the YSA's asked us to come to their family home evening, so we went and taught the lesson. Then we were asked to stay around for a while and play their little singing game where you had to have a song and try to help people guess it, but only with six words, and it was really simple in Swedish... But everyone only listens to American music here, so I did really well. So that was a day.
   On Tuesday... wow.............. the things on Tuesday seemed to happen, like, a month ago.... TIME! WHY HAVE YOU SWITCHED AGAIN? Anyway. We just kind of chilled out at the church for an hour for church watch, but then a member of the stake president asked us to team teach a college class with him, so we did that. The systrar showed up for that too. This class had some questions that belonged in a circus because they were intense (intense, in tents, circus.... get it? Sorry....). But they grilled us on the questions ranging from God's wife to why women didn't hold the priesthood. I guess it was really nice to have the systrar explain that one, it probably sounds way better from them than from us. But that went on for a while. After the class officially ended, I team taught a group of nine girls and a guy with Syster Stewert and Syster Lindsay while Äldste Anderson team taught a group of five with the guy from the Stake. We had quite the discussions going on. In the end, ten of them took a copy of Mormons Bok, and a bunch of the other ones took other stuff too. That pretty much ended that day. Wait, no, we went to the university and taught a guy in the library in the middle of everything. That was interesting. He seems pretty positive too.
   On Wednesday, we had district meeting in the morning here in Jönköping. So we didn't have to travel or anything. That was nice. Then we found ourselves with a ton of time, so we knocked on a bunch of doors. Then we went to Visingsö. That's right. The big island in the middle of the lake. There happens to be a less active family who lives in the middle of nowhere on the island, so we went out there to visit them. We actually had a very good conversation with them. It was fun. Then we came home and the Assistants to the Mission President were at our apartment all like, "Can we stay the night?" And we were all, "Sure, whatever." So we stayed up pretty late talking to them about the happenings around the mission.
   The next day, we got up and saw the Assistants out, and went and helped a member family move some stuff. Shout out to Aaron Green for teaching me how to move stuff. I've used it a ton out here. After we moved a washer, dryer, some couches and a table, we went to a different members house for lunch. It was really great. He told us his conversion story, so that was really awesome. Then we had half of a day to knock some doors. And we did. We found a family! Yay! I hope they end up taking all the lessons, but they seem really positive. We're really excited for them.
   On Friday, between all of our finding stuff, we worked on our area book. We kind of have neglected doing that for a while, so we decided to look at it. Got quite a bit of it done, too. That's fun. After all the entire day of chilling out at the university talking to people and just working on stuff at the church, we went to out activity! Innebandy! It's like floor hockey, but with a wiffle ball, and really tiny goals. It was really fun, but I was really sore afterwards. For the next few days really.
   Saturday was annoying and I didn't like it, so I'm not going to talk about it.
   Throughout this week, we took the train in the morning to talk to our Hungarian friend. I don't think he really knows that we take the train to be with him, I think he thinks that we just happen to be traveling to Nässjö also. But we have gotten a few good words in. We'll see if he ends up finding the time to come to church.
   And yesterday after church, we went to Nässjö again to see the Burmese family there. They are really cool, and we're working on them. I have high hopes for them too. But that was really the week.
   I think this week was pretty good, I think I had a good time in general, so yeah, lots of fun. But I am running a bit low on time, I need to write my thank you notes, but I won't have time unless I do it now, I hope you don't mind.

Thank you random beeping on the bus, for giving me nightmares about waking up at 6:30 again. In the middle of the day.

Thank you Elders apartments, for being very clear that only twenty year-old guys have been living in them for the past ten years.

I hope everyone is having a great time! Have a good week!
 Äldste Heiner

This is the Burmese Family.
We went to Goteborg for training.
This is one of the canals.
The hockey game from last week.
Me with my HV71 scarf.
We organized our shelves.
This is one of a set of twins in our ward.
He wouldn't stop hugging my leg for a
good five minutess

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

This week was craaazzzzy, but we'll get to that. But it was. Just be on the edge of your seats there.
   After emailing last week, Äldste Anderson and I went thrift shopping! We hit up three stores around town and blew a hundred crowns each. But we got some good stuff, and it was a ton of fun. Systrerna couldn't make it. They were cleaning their apartment because they were being doubled out this week. So, I'm glad I wasn't doing that. At the end of pday, we just did some area work out in Österängen. We really hadn't set anything else up. Turned out to be some of our only free time to do area work though.
   Also this week, we kind of blåsted church watch... we really shouldn't do that, but we did. We had other things to do, like go to a member's home who wanted to feed us. Who are we to say no to that kind of offer anyway? Both of our sessions of church watch kind of came and went, and we weren't really there. The syster deal this week confused them on all of that, so we didn't really have anyone at the church at all this week. I hope nobody broke the norm and came during church watch while nobody was around...
   Onsdag was something. Changed up quite a bit, really. We got out of the house pretty early and went to the systers apartment. We're not usually allowed to do that. We then carried both Syster Fawcett's and Syster Sorenson's luggage all to way to a nearby bus stop, where we took up a good portion of the bus with all this stuff. We then got off at Juneportan with all of this, and met up with a tåg that would take Syster Fawcett to Malmö. We then stood around with Syster Sorenson for a while before her tåg to Trollhätan came to the station. Then we continued our day, without any systers for miles. Went to a few appointments, including a member lunch, so it was a great day. We then walked around for a few hours talking to people. We were supposed to only walk around for half an hour, but the new systers coming in missed two trains in a row. Pinsam. So it turned into four hours. It's okay. We pulled, like, three TU's. Finally the new systers arrive, and we immediately take them to their apartment, because they have no idea where it is. We give them their phone, bus passes, transfer reports, the works. Oh... their names are Syster Stewart and Syster Lindsay (Syster Lindsay is a greenie, and I am now not the youngest missionary! Well, age wise, I still am, but I've been out longer!). We then take them to a member appointment we had set up, and got fed again! Twice in one day. It was great. As a joke, Anderson and I got them both a big bar of chocolate. Filled with black licorice. The wrapping doesn't really say it has licorice. Anyway, we left them on their way, and we went home and called everyone else in the district. Because they were all new. Everybody was transferred except us. And Syster DeMille, who was a greenie until Wednesday, where she started training Syster Savage right out of the MTC. Wouldn't want to be in those shoes. We also have two other elders in the district, Elders Miles and Dickson. Dickson is right out of the MTC too. So everyone in our district is either a trainer or a greenie. Yay. But I'm not the youngest! Well, I mean.... I'm not the one who just came out of the MTC! I'm still the youngest though...
   Anyway. That was Wednesday. On the day of Thor, we went to Göteborg! Because why not? Okay, we had zone training. We got up, and since we live right next to the train station, we just got onto the train and tried to hold it up a bit because the new systers weren't quite... on time... We succeeded though, and they got into the tåg right before we rolled out. So that was good that didn't get screwed up. We then went all the way to Göteborg and had zone training. It was on prayer, and it was really good. We all need to pray more. Everyone. The entire zone then went to this tiny kebab place and filled it up. The workers seemed a little surprised, but they made really good pizzas. By the time we all got home, it was late afternoon, so we went out and hit up some TU's in Öxehaga. We even go to teach a couple of lessons. It was good.
   On Friday, we got up early to take the tåg to Nässjö so we could teach our Hungarian friend on the train. It went really well. He said that he wants to be baptized, but he feels like the church needs a whole man, and with his schedule, he is not a whole man. So that was good. We'll work on him. Got to Nässjö and said goodbye, turned around, and came back to Jönköping. We did our weekly planning, met with someone, and went to a hockey match.
   Oh yeah. We went to a hockey match. It was crazy! We had an investigator with us, so it was a-okay to go! We have some pretty fun pictures of it on the phone, but I didn't bring the right cord for that, so we're just going to have to wait for those next week. But I think I'm a fan of hockey now. We had ringside tickets, so we got to see some really great stuff. The team around here is HV71. That is a really weird name. No other team I have ever heard of has that name, including Swedish hockey. I got one of their scarves though. It looked cool, and it is really comfy. So there.
   Saturday was spent inventorying our apartment. The POEs told everyone that they wouldn't send us our mail until we did it, so we did it. I think they're lying anyway. The POEs don't even deal with mail.
   But yeah, that was the week, I think I had a good time. I really didn't have much time to myself, and I didn't get to write my weekly thank you notes. But it is Monday, so I think I'll do it right now, if that is okay.

Thank you Swedish money, for helping me lose weight, and looking too cool to spend.

Thank you Sweden's lack of deodorant, for getting Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" stuck in my head.

I think that's all for me! Everyone have a great day!

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

   This week was fun, I would say. To start off, last week after we emailed, we went bowling. In proselyting clothes. It was hilarious. And quite the fashion statement. I'll have to send a picture. But then we watched the final session of General Conference. With all this time zone stuff, it really finished up at three the night before, or something, so we missed the final bit, being asleep and all. 
   We've been meeting with this Assyrian guy now. He's cool. There is a bit of a language barrier, so we talk about things in Swedish, then give him an Arabic thing to read, then clarify in Swedish a bit more. It's weird, but he's awesome and really progressing. We think we'll be able to get him to set a baptismal date this week. We'll see. Our Hungarian guy is now too busy to see us. He is way willing to do it; he just has to be other places for work and stuff. It's really hard. We're thinking about going out to Nässjö and doing some area work, then catching the same tåg with him back so we can sit down with him and teach him. That would work. Things are falling into place a bit better to make that make a little more sense. We'll get to that later.
   Other than that, we have about a billion TU's in Öxnehaga now, so we spend most of our free time there, swinging by people who said we could come back, and knocking more doors. It's going great up there. And we still have a few people in the hills of Huskvarna who we visit on occasion. That would be cool if everyone would just take the lessons. And get baptized. All of Sweden.  Oh Yeah.
   On Wednesday this week, we did service for the Strömberry's up in Bankeryd. Lots of weeding and stuff. It was a good break from the white shirt and tie. Then they fed us. Real food. That really doesn't happen very often. We usually just feed ourselves, and we don't have enough time to really make anything so we often just hit up the bakery in Willie's, a grocery store that is close to the church. So that was fun.
   We visited a lady who doesn't like churches. She loves Christ and all, but the buildings themselves. She said that we were to never invite her to church, she would just worship in her own apartment. So that was odd, then she set up an appointment for us to come back. At the same time as her eight other friends from eight other religions. I think she just wants to have a great big Bible Bash, but we're just going to sit back and be nice. I think it will be helpful for me not to quite understand all the insults that will be being hurled. We'll see. Should be fun. She promised food, and we'll be there.
   We've still been meeting with the lady whose husband passed away. Then we went to the funeral. The guy from the Swedish Church said a few words, but he never knew the guy. And all he talked about was about how sad it was that he was dead. It wasn't comforting at all. He never mentioned the afterlife. Not even once. After about half an hour of this rambling, he asked if anyone wanted to say stuff. A few of the friends got up and said some really good things. Or so I heard. It was in Farsi. I don't speak Farsi.
   We've also been helping out the Wiklöf's with their apartment. They had a ton of water damage done by a repairman (irony...) and they needed us to move a ton of stuff so a different repairman could come in and fix it all. They're both in their nineties, and really just need to not move as much as they do, so we went out to help them. While we worked, they told us stories of their missions. They served five missions together. They are both amazing missionaries who have done so much, it's insane. I'll have to read Brother Wiklöf's book about all his experiences when I can read it well enough to understand. We have a copy of it in the apartment.
   Our friend that we are trying to help stop smoking has started to snus again. He's doing it to help him stop smoking, and then he'll use nicotine tablets to get off snus. Apparently it is easier that way. I wouldn't really know. I hope it works. So far he hasn't had any cigarettes since he started, so we'll see.
   For the activity we put on this week, we played volleyball! A ton of YSA's showed up, so that was really nice. We had a few investigators there, so it was really cool to have so much support. We had a ton of fun, and so did everyone else, so yeah. Cool.
   After church on Sunday, we tåged out to Nässjö to see a referral family. They speak Burmese. We don't. We had this weird translation thing going on with the son who could speak Swedish. Mostly. But they seem really positive, they already believe everything we do, except for the Book of Mormon. Really, they're just dry members. We'll see if we can help with that. But the idea is that if we can meet them during the week, we could catch the tåg back with the Hungarian and teach him! That would be great! We'll see though. That would require a few other things to fall into place.  I am amazed how many different languages I have encountered here.
   Anyway. Today, we're going to go thrift shopping, we think. Systrarna (the Sisters) are both being transferred out, so we'll see if they end up needing help first.

   But today is Monday, and Monday is the time I get to catch up on some personal stuff. I do the laundry, I clean the apartment, and I write my thank you notes. I don't think I'll have time to do them today if I don't do them now, so I hope you don't mind.

Thank you, kebab pizza, for only being served in Sweden because they have no form of FDA to ban in. (I mean really. It's just a slab of meat on a spit that hangs in the open the entire day. It's great.)

Thank you, Communal Dryers, for giving me a new hand towel every time I clean the lint filter.

And finally, thank you, Daily Planner, for not having a time slot for me to plan anything for 6:30 in the morning, and just assuming I won't be up on time. (That's a joke. I really am up on time. You would think missionary planners would have a space for that time of morning.)

That's it for me, have a great week!   Äldste Heiner
Me by the church.
We went Bowling!
Rocking awesome shoes.
This ladies Huge family Bible.
I would hate to use this as my proselyting Bible.
Yes, we are wearing coats.
This is what we do to people who park in our parking lot without
permission.  Pass Along Cards!
Oh Good.  They have Makrill Paste.
We were running out.
And Kaviar Paste.  
And even more fish pastes.
These are the Wiklöfs.
This is my new hand towel.
I got it from the dryer.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Hey ya'll, I'm not going to do the third person thing again. That was really annoying and time consuming. I hope you liked it anyway. This week was pretty crazy. Although I felt relatively lazy because we were sitting around the church quite a bit.Not because we wanted to, but because we were blåsted about 80 times. Almost every time we set up a lesson with a TU (I just realized you don't know what that is... tankbara undersökare or first investigators), they would just not come, but we would have an appointment set up in just a little bit, so we couldn't go do work anywhere, so we just did studies during that time. It was relatively annoying, but we dealt with it. So yeah, that was a goodly portion of our time. I did get to practice some piano, so that was good. I'm actually getting to the point where I can play the hymns again, so that's good. Maybe that will come in handy some time.
   Another thing we did was we help with a lady who's less active husband just passed away. It was really sad. She only speaks Farsi though, so we just sat there and tried to communicate through her sister who spoke broken Danish. Eventually, we were able to get a hold of someone who could actually speak Persian and can communicate with someone who speaks Farsi, so that was a relief. We got a good ten minutes of comforting in her own language. That was a rough one.
   We did go knocking doors quite a bit. We didn't have too many people to teach, so any time we didn't have anything planned, we went up to Öxnehaga. During a contacting stand of about four hours during one trip, we talked with over fifty people and got about fifteen TUs. We usually get about one TU for one hundred contacts or so, so that was a really good day.
   We began meeting with an Assyrian guy who seems really cool. He actually called us, so we set up a time to meet, and he came! And we taught him, and he came to meetings and stuff, so hopefully he turns out to be someone that wants to meet more. We are still meeting with our Hungarian friend, but he now is working in Nässjö, so that's kind of hard to find time to talk to him. I guess that kind of brings us to the topic of work and housing in Sweden, so I'll explain that.
   Everyone lives in an apartment building here. There are houses, but they are ridiculously expensive and are about a hundred miles away from anywhere, so nobody really has those in the areas we are in. Housing in Sweden is really expensive. It is also really hard to find an apartment. You cannot find a place easily. Every single place is occupied and you just have to go from complex to complex hoping to find an open spot. That being said, it is almost as hard to find work here. If you don't have a place to live, you can't get a job. If you have a place to live, you have to take any work you can find. So that's why people will live in Jönköping, but will be totally fine commuting four hours to and from Nässjö every day. It's hard on a lot of people. I feel bad for quite a few of them. Anyway, that's just the way it is here.
   This weekend was General Conference! If you don't know what that is, go here and watch all of it. It's great: 
It's the Prophet talking to us! In Sweden, they translate it to Swedish, but everyone speaks some English, so they watch it in English to hear exactly what was said. They do prefer to hear the prophet's own voice, and the translators have a lot less emotion.  So I got to see it in English. T'was fantastic. So we just did that for the rest of the weekend. Got fed a few times, so that was fun too.  Well, I haven't seen the last session because it was during, like, midnight. So we're watching that for pday.
 I think that's just about it for today. I hope everyone is having a great time! If you have questions about Sweden, where I am, or just what in the living day lights I'm doing, just let me know.
 Äldste Heiner
These little ponds are all over the place.
We knock on this door all the time.
Thoughtful editing by Äldste Anderson.
When these signs are on the door,
we don't knock.