Monday, November 24, 2014

November 22, 2014

So here we have our little weird pday thing happening right now. I won't be having pday on Monday, just today. So next week, I won't have any pdays. Then we will resume our normal pday schedule. So I hope our food and our laundry last through this week. It would be bad if any of those ran out...
   As promised, I know what is happening to me! Well... not really, but I know what is going to be going on in the upcoming transfer. I am staying here in Jönköping. Äldste Anderson is not. He will be getting on a train on Monday and going to Stockholm. And then stay the night in the mission home. And then get on a plane. And then change planes a few times. And then get off a plane and out the doors in the SLC airport, where his family will be hanging out waiting for him to come down those stairs so they can talk to him again. And then he's going to his stake president's and getting released as a full time missionary. And then he's a normal (-ish) guy again. I've heard that quite a few times as this is what every single person in the ward wants to talk to him about. Eh.
   But I get a new comp! I have never heard of this guy, but Elder Miles in Borås has. Apparently he is a really awesome guy and a really hard worker, so we should be able to tear it up here in Jönköping. His name is Äldste Peter Jones. We'll see. Should be fun.
   This week was good, tror jag. We worked really hard for a few days in the beginning, but the end of the week was kind of thrown out the window because of the upcoming transfer and stuff. On Monday we had a normal pday, and... okay, it wasn't normal at all. We didn't do laundry so we could get out the doors fast, but we had just done it a few days before, so it's fine. We went to a few stores to finishing up some shopping for Anderson before he leaves Sweden for a while. After a few hours of that, we went to the church and played a game called Castle Panic. It was pretty fun. I enjoyed it. At the end of our time, we went and visited Tommy. He's moved back into his real apartment because they've finally finished fixing the water damage in his other one. It took 'em five months. Almost six. It must've been bad.
   Huba wasn't on the train the next morning even though we were. We were already past Huskvarna by the time we found out. His niece was sick, so he stayed home with her while his sister went to work. So that trip turned into a bit of a nap time. Wasn't bad. Wasn't bad at all. Went to the church later to practice a lesson with Alex, then stayed for a real lesson that was supposed to happen. And the really weird part is that it did happen! Yay! It's a referral from Sister Schelin. Her name is Sandra, and she is very positive. Sister Schelin sat in on the lesson, so it went really well. 
I am excited to be able to teach her in the future. Hung out in the church after that, got blåsted a few times. Never a good day without a blåst. We had a while after that, so we went trackting in Öxnehaga, and found some very positive people there too.
   Next day was district meeting in Borås. It was a lot of fun. The meeting was the last of many that Äldste Anderson has attended, and he prepared a speech adapted from King Benjamin's address in the beginning of Mosiah. It was quite funny.  Came home after walking around Borås as the whole district, attracting all the looks. It was funny. Went by some folks that wanted to say goodbye to Anderson. And then we had dinner with a member of the Stake Presidency. It was very kind of them, and we had a very good conversation with them.
   Torsdag was easily the craziest day on my mission so far. It would also be good to note that this was the last day of full work for Elder Anderson. We started on the train with Huba, all was well and normal. Lesson with Alex, it was good. All was normal, but we were off to a great start. We then had a lesson with Elizabeth in Huskvarna, so we went up there. She didn't show up, but it's not a real day without a blåst, so it's all good. We decided to have lunch then because we had a bit of time. On the way to the restaurant, we contacted people. Two of the people we contacted were Turkish and couldn't speak anything we could very well. At the end of the contact, they wanted us to go with them to their business to sit down, drink some coffee, and talk. We assumed they were talking about a coffee shop and they just wanted us to buy some drinks, so we were hesitant at first. We finally agreed after the third invitation. They took us to an apartment building (yes we thought that was weird too), and then down into the basement. I don't know about apartment buildings in the US, but in Sweden, the basements are freakin' sketch. The stairs down are narrow and dark, and then the actually basement is dark with a labyrinth of short hallways with about a billion doors on either side of you. This was just the same. We thought we were about to get shanked. Then we walked through one of the doors and it was this totally legit business. It was the weirdest place for it. But we sat down and taught a lesson to these three Turks. It was... odd. We left there and went to a burger joint. Burgers are not as good here, by the way. We went up to Öxnehaga again, and found two very positive families that I am excited to get to teach sometime. Then we went to the Robayo's on the other side of town for dinner. It was a good dinner, and South Americans are hilarious people when they get going. We left there and had two more members ask us to come over to say goodbye to Anderson. By the time we left the last one, we watched as the bus we HAD to take if we wanted to be home in time roll past. So we started sprinting after it. We would have caught it if it had stopped at the bus stop, but nobody was there, so it just rolled on. So we sprinted after it more. It was no use. Right as we realized we had no hope, an African lady pulls over in her car and tells us to jump in. So we do. She's all "Tvån?" And we're all "ja." So she speeds up, and catches up to the bus and we jump out and leave her with a card and we get on the bus. It was crazy and ridiculous. So everything happened that day. Lesson with a progressing investigator, member lessons, member dinner, non progressing lessons, contacting, trackting, got some TU's, got blåsted, thought we were gonna get murdered, and we got a miracle to cap it all. Good day. Good day.
   Friday was pretty ridiculous as well. Elder Anderson got to go to the Stockholm temple, but I didn't. So I was on splits in Norrköping, which is way out of Jönköping. But one of those elders was also going home, so he got to go to the temple. So I was just with one elder and still got to get in a full day of work. They didn't have too much set up for the day, but that is okay, I was a little down in my contacts for the week in my contact battle with the Borås systrar. So we tried to do swing bys as we contacted 118 people. That is a lot, by the way. We usually get about twenty or thirty. It was a fun day though. Elder Anderson had a good day at the temple.
   We have some good stuff planned for today. Like Thanksgiving dinner. We get two of them! Yay! American families are great. And haircuts! We're gonna get haircuts today! I've needed one for a month and a half now! But that's the week so far.
   Today is a weird pday, and I won't have any time to do anything on Monday because that won't be a pday. We have so much to do today, so I hope you don't mind, I have to write my thank you notes now:

Thank you Turkish guys, for not killing us when it totally would have been the right situation in any movie.

Thank you Syster Stewart for being transfered two days before the Christmas concert, and leaving me all your solos to perform. Next week. I haven't even heard these songs before!

Anyway, I'll let you know how life turns out in a week and two days. Have it good y'all!
Äldste Heiner
Our District right before transfers.
Äldste Avenius.  We tore up Norrköping.
Norrköping has this bar in their apartment.
I don't know why, I think they throw parties.
Grocery Shopping Selfie.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 14, 2014

What a week. This last week has been a lot of work to prepare for this current week, which is going to be super weird. This is Elder Anderson's last week as a full time missionary, and today is his last pday. And then we're doing some splits with Norrköping during the week because Anderson is going to the temple with his departing group, and so is an elder in Norrköping, and it's kind of on the way, so..., and then a weird pday thing on Saturday, then lots of member visits, and then a weird transfer on Monday next week, not Wednesday. Anyway. Next time you hear from me, I should know my future, but right now, I have no freaking clue what in the world is going to happen to me, although I do know I will be a missionary in Sweden. But this week was busy and stuff too, so here we go!
   Last week we went to Visingsö! It's the big ol' island in the middle of Vättern, the big ol' lake by Jönköping, that big ol' city in the middle of Sweden. It was sick. There were castles, and we crawled through the walls to get to the dungeons, and it was crazy. And there were sleeping bags in there. We're pretty sure hobos live in there. I would if I didn't have a home. Anyway, after we were on the island for a bit, we ran out of things to do because it is winter and all the tourist stuff is closed down. So we took the ferry back to Gränna, which, by the way, is the place where they invented the candy cane. Not the cane shape, but the candy itself. So we were there, and all four of us (the systrar tagged along) were all, "we’ll probably not coming back, this is a one time shot..." So we each bought 200 crowns worth of candy. It was really good. And a lot. I haven't finished it yet. Anyway. Came home and proselyted for a bit.
   Tuesday was full and busy. We rode the train with Huba, and then rode the train back, because if we didn't, we'd be chillin' in Nässjö for a few hours, and who would want that? Plus, we had places to go, people to see. Role played with Alex, a member here prepping for a mission, and that is helpful. Had our open church time. Ate and did family history for a bit. Left the church and found a bit of extra time to do a bunch of swing bys, but we only actually had time for two, because the first two people we knocked on let us in, so that was a unexpected surprise. Then we taught a member lesson, because this nice family basically has a weekly appointment with us. Then we had a few minutes before we should have gone home, so we decided to do another swing by, and he let us in, so we were feeling pretty good about swing bys that day. Three out of three. Not bad at all. Then we went home at 9:30, and realized we hadn't eaten yet, and then we ate something and passed out.
   Wednesday was fun. We got up and went to district meeting. It was here in Jönköping, so getting there took ten minutes. After that meeting, though, Elder Miles and I went out into the streets and contacted on the way to Juneporten, then took a bus to Borås because we were on splits! It went really well. We talked to a lot of people and had dinner with the Stake President, and then hung out with their investigator who is waiting to be 18 so his parents can't stop his baptism. That evening, however, there was some communication confusion with the systrar, so we had to call them to clear some stuff up. But they were out of town because all the systers in the entire mission were in Stockholm for a systers conference. Anyway, there was a huge slumber party going on in the Täby systers apartment apparently, so I was able to say hej to Syster Allred from my MTC group. That was cool.
   Next day, we got up and caught a bus to Jönköping so we could get back together with normal comps. We had essentially nothing planned for the day, so we ended up knocking doors for six hours. We had over 75 contacts, with, like, 8 of them being TU's. That is a pretty good percentage. Not bad at all. It turned out really well. Then late that evening we went to visit a less active with a very strong testimony, but no time. He is super chill. But we were talking really late, and we missed our bus, so we got home quite late. Eh. Whatever. It was good.
   Friday was quite a bit more lungt. We took the train with Huba and came home again. Taught Alex again, then we got blåsted in Huskvarna. We had weekly planning for a few hours. Got to get the planning in. If you don't plan, nothing happens, folks. Make a plan for everything you do! Had a member dinner that evening, and that was really good. They gave us ostkaka, which is nothing like cheesecake, I don't care what the name makes you think. It was still really good, just very different. Then we had a board game activity, which was fun, but weird and would take three hours to really explain. If you ever get curious enough when I get home, ask about A. That is a really.... funny.... girl. And I'm not sure in the quite sane way...
   Saturday started with a lesson with Alex, then we took a train to Forserum to visit a less active family out there. They are less active because they have some unanswered questions. And they are very big unanswered questions. We talked for quite a while, so we missed out train home, but it was worth it. We were stuck in this little tiny town for a few hours though. So we went trackting. Lots of older people and this guy with one of the biggest freaking dogs I've ever seen. We got Marabou chocolate before we left. Got home, visited a few folks and went to a dinner with the Thörn's. It was fun. They are nice people. Then we got saddled with doing a musical number in Sakrament meeting with the systrar somehow. The next day. So we went to a piano and tried to put something together. It was... interesting how it happened.
   Sunday we got up and went to the church for a while to practice with the systrar, then we had a missionary meeting. I ended up teaching the English Sunday School class. So that was good. After church we taught Tanui about the Priesthood and got him set up to get it next week with Paul, our other recent convert. It was super cool. But we were in there long enough that we missed our chance to get invited to dinner. So we went home and got a bunch of food and brought it back, and the systers were also in a lesson, so they didn't get invited either, so we all prepared the food we brought and we had a nice meal together with Rikki, a recent convert. He's cool. That evening, we went out and talked to a bunch more people. Then we came home.
   Now it is pday, and Elder Anderson gets to choose what happens 'cause it's his last one, so I won't have time to write my thank you notes if I don't do it right now. I hope you don't mind.

Thank you, the combined efforts of the wind, hats, and a mirror, for reminding me that I haven't had a haircut in over eight weeks.

Thank you Elder Anderson, for calling all the people that are going home with you. You all are talking about your school, career, and dating plans, and I'm just sitting over in the corner like, freak. I have two more years...

   Now Elder Anderson needs to figure out what to do with his last pday. Somethings gonna happen. My future is at stake here also. This is going to be crazy! I'll keep you all updated. Hope you all have a great week!
Äldste Heiner

On the ferry.
The Castle
Me and Elder Anderson at the castle.
The next 4 are fun things on Visingso
We all took turns getting into this tree.
Svenskakyrkan selfie.
This place has won the world contest for
candy making for a few years in a row now.
The goods, lots of flavors.
A car in Forserum I thought was funny.

Dear Missionary Parents,
We had your sons and daughters over for dinner yesterday and had a lovely time. Sister L and I practised a song for the Christmas concert and afterwards the missionaries practised a hymn they sang today at sacrament meeting. They are all very musical talented!  Hope you enjoy the picture!
Warmest greetings from Sweden,  MT

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

This week was really short again. As Tanui, one of our recent converts (who's from Kenya!), wisely said, "I don't have the scientific proof for it yet, but I'm pretty sure time moves faster here in Sweden." That is really true. I don't even know which little pocket of the infinities the time goes, but it ain't here.
   On Monday, p-day, we went to a Thai place. It was pretty good. Actually, I changed my mind. It was really good. I really enjoyed it. I couldn't eat as much as anyone else, but it was really good. Then we went to some shops. Hit the tourist place for some things for Elder Anderson.
   Next day, we hit the train with H, talked to him a bit. He's so golden, he is just in a really rough spot in his life where he has no time to even come to sacrament meeting. It's not like he isn't willing to make time, he will literally get so behind if he lets a few hours past. He's going to try on Sunday though. We promised that the Lord will help him if he makes the sacrifice. And he will. That's one of the best things about Heavenly Father. He helps you out when you are trying to make an effort for him.
   We found another lady this week, E, a Swed who lives in Huskvarna. We meet her at the library. She had already accepted baptism, but is going to have to work for that. Which is fine. If people didn't have to work to be better, what would be the point in being here? But she was one thing that happened this week. That was really cool.
   Wednesday was different. The zone leaders were in our district meeting because we were going on splits with them afterward! Yay! I got the chance to work with a really awesome guy named Äldste Lofgren. We went to Västra Frolunda and worked there for the day. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a section of Göteborg. It's pretty small, but it was a ton of fun. Worked really hard. Then the next day, we drove back to Borås (they have a car, lucky bums) where we met up with Anderson and Gentillon. It was a good trip. Nothing too special happened the rest of Thursday. Other than it was freaking cold. And it snowed. I haven't seen snow in forever. But it happened.
   Friday was the train again with H. Weekly planning happened. Other stuff that would probably bore you right through your skull. I usually don't mention the things that are really boring. Lucky you.
   Saturday was huge. Six planned lessons, two blåsted, two rescheduled to different times, found the time to go tracting, swing bys, the works. It was a good day. Very busy. Got to keep ourselves busy.
   Yesterday was church. Gotta love church. They presented the stake mission plan in församlingsrådet. Ward council. I had to use Google for that one. Losing my English... Anyway. It was good. Chilled with the Robayo's for dinner, went to an appointment, which blåsted, then went out to Ekhagen. So that was a day.
   And that was a week. Pretty summed up. I hope you like reading this stuff. I know personally I would just skip to the end of this letter.
   Anyway. As It is Monday, and Monday is the day I get to do some personal stuff, like email to the family, hang out at home, and write some thank you notes. We're going to the island today, so I won't be able to write my thank you notes today unless I do them right now. I hope you don't mind...

Thank you Missionary Handbook, for telling us not to keep pets. I just want to know, what made that rule necessary?

Thank you Tenui, for summing up why our African investigators are always late. It went something like this, "In Africa, you could show up to a meeting two hours late and not miss anything."

Just personally, I feel the same way about most the meetings I get to attend, but they're only an hour long.

I hope everyone is doing well! Don't do anything I wouldn't do! Like hug girls. I can't do that.
Äldste Heiner
Snow selfie.
Snow in Huskvarna.
Lunch selfie.
This is Elder Lofgren.
He is actually much taller than me.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3,2014

The week, the week, the week... Where does it go? I guess at this point there isn't much preface to do here, so I think I'll just jump right into it.
   Last Monday, we did stuff... I we walked around and played some cards. If anyone has any ideas for pday, let me know. I'm not any good at coming up with them. Next week, though, we will go to the island to see some castles, we're thinking. We didn't do it this week because we didn't plan for it. Going to Visingsö takes a bit more planning than we had done. So yeah. We just chilled. Then after we were done with that, we rolled out and talked to people. We started to teach P. (our new convert) how to speak Swedish. I think that will really help him connect with the members here. If they see someone trying to learn their language, they get really impressed and try to help that person out. So we are working with him and trying to help him understand that as he asks God for help on this, or really anything in his life, he will find greater success.
   The next day, we were up early in the morning to catch the tåg with H. He has some great jokes. Ask me about his jokes sometime, and I'll tell you one. It's great. Also, he teaching SFE, which is basically a class for immigrants so they can learn Swedish and all about Sweden in preparation for living here. He thinks his students are so stupid, and he rips on them all the time. It is so funny. He tells us these stories of how these people don't understand even the most simple things... anyway. Fun stuff. We also had open church on Tuesday. More area book stuff. And we studied there a bit too because we were on the train in the morning, not studying. We did more stuff that evening, but I feel like you wouldn't really enjoy hearing about our crazy amazing adventures knocking on doors where people don't speak Swedish or English. But we did knock on the door with the super golden family again, but the husband, as it turns out, is not nearly as cool with the gospel as the wife, the kids, and the grandparents. He told us not to come back, so we may just be around the house sometime, hoping that one of the other one's comes out and talks to us...
   People who stop other people from learning about the gospel are annoying.
   We did go the Schelin's again to do some lesson practice. It was fun. I really like them. Cute kids, too.
   One Onsdag, we helped the Ronndahl's paint their living room. It turns out, I'm really bad at painting a wall a color it already is. Nobody else had that problem, wonder what was up? But really, it was, like, off white, and we were painting it, like, beige (whatever the heck that even means), and I just couldn't quite get where I had painted. But we worked on that for a few hours. Then we went home and showered up so that we could go proselyting, you know, do our job. We went to Österängen and knocked doors. But then we were called and asked to help give a blessing to an older woman in the ward, so we went and did that, and I did a part of it, and I had to do it in Swedish. That's a little harder than in English, but when it comes down to it, just as long as you have all the parts, and the faith, the authority, and the power, it doesn't really matter how bad your grammar is. But it went well. We then went to the Robayo's for dinner, and they make really good food. Strong family. But it was hilarious. There were times all the missionaries (the Systers were there too) and the two kids (who aren't really kids, they are 23 and 26) couldn't quite breath due to laughing, and the parents (who don't really speak Swedish or English) were all, "Jag förstår inte..." (I do not understand) which made the entire thing funnier. When we got out of there, we when to P.'s again.
  Thursday... what a day. After a morning with H. on the train, we went to Bankeryd, which is a good while into the Systrar's area, but it was okay, because a member invited us for dinner. But it was like, an hour travel from our apartment, and we went there straight from Nässjö, so that totals to three hours of travel before we had even eaten yet, and we got to her place at lunch time. So that was fun. Then we went back to the church (another hour) to get blåsted. Then we went back to our apartment (half hour) to get some bags of clothing and our overnights stuff, then back to the church (half hour). There we cleaned a little bit and the POEs, the APs, and President and Sister Beckstrand came over. YAY! The President! He is so cool! Anyway, we had our interviews with him, and mine was a little scary. He said, "I hope you're ready to train." Freak. He didn't say I was *going* to train, but he seemed quite... ominous about it... Anyway, the rest of it was great. I really like him. But after we had those interviews, we all loaded everything up into a couple cars and went for kebab! YAY! I love kebab! Then the POEs drove us down to Lund. By the way, that was a four hour drive. We stayed the night with Äldster James and Barnes, the Lund elders.
   The next day, we got up and tåged it to Malmö. We had zone conference.  It was combined with the Malmö zone, so it was quite big. The conference itself was really good. If you really want to know what it was about, talk to me in a few years. Lots of stuff to cover, but I will say that if you are obedient, you will receive blessings and guidance from heaven. I also got to see Elder Hemmingsen at the conference! He is the only one in my MTC group that I have seen so far. Me and him are the only ones in our respective zones, but the rest of the people in our MTC district have all seen each other a bunch of times... gosh. Whateves. We all be going to BYU or BYU-I after the mission anyway. We'll see each other eventually. Then we took a tåg home to Jönköping. It was the first day I really haven't moved in a long time, so I was freaking wired. The other three were really tired, but I was not. I think that kind of bugged them. In the end it turned out to be a good thing, because that night, when Anderson was asleep, and I wasn't, and it was 11 at night, and the POEs happened to call because they needed a place to stop driving and stay for the evening, I was able to get things ready for them to crash. It was... alright, I guess.
   Taught people Lördag (Saturday), a fun thing, until it got sad.  It was the holiday in the evening where everyone takes candles and lights them in the graveyard. I went and read some of the gravestones with lots of candles, which I shouldn't have done, and realized that this really was a sad day.
   Yesterday we went to the DeLima's for dinner and played with their kids for a bit. They don't get tired. Ever. I mean never. I've seen them go and go and go and go....
But yeah, that was a week. I really am running out of time. I think I spent a little too much time writing, so I guess I'll just have to do my thank you notes right here real quick.

Thank you missionary couple that takes care of housing for the entire mission, for telling the missionaries that we all had vacuums in our apartments. None of the elders seemed to know...

Thank you, the two elders who dressed up like Jehovah's Witnesses for Halloween/Zone conference, complete with a stack of "Lighthouse"s. You really made us all laugh, and quite impressed the Mission President too.  Made him speechless. He really couldn't say what his mind was thinking when he saw you two.

Anyway, have a great week y'all!
Äldste Heiner
Outside our apartment building.
Anderson always does this.  Always.
Selfie with the Beckstrands.
These are the Tolley's, the apartment couple.
They are really freaking cool.
At the Malmö chapel for zone conference.
Candles from the cemetary.
Hey, check out that university.
Wait no... that is an elementary school.