Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015

This week was as normal as any week in Sweden could be. So not. It wasn't normal at all because normal doesn't exist here. It would be ridiculous to think that any day could ever fit into a "normal" category.  Or follow a set plan. They don't do that either.
   Last Monday, we were going to do something. But we didn't. It's kind of nice to just not do anything for pday. But really. If anyone has any pday ideas, we're really lacking on them, so just let me know! To finish off pday, we had a member dinner with an awesome family who agreed to be a part of our ward mission plan! It's going to be really good. We trackted a bit too, because what is a day without trackting? Oh yeah, just fine...
   Tuesday was good. We had open church, and we just kind of hung around for that one.  Then, we went and visited a member who was just moved to assisted living and was feeling really lonely.
It was good, he's actually doing much better where he's at right now. The Robayo's fed us after that. They are just about the coolest people in the world, just so you know. We could all try to be a little bit more Robayo-ish. In the evening, we went and surprised a young (and quite sick) family with service! We did a bunch of chores and just tried to ease up their lives a bit. They have a two year old and twin one year olds. It was a rough week for them, but they are super awesome.
   Wednesday is the day that I would point to if someone wanted to bring up what amazing wonders planning does for you. We had this awesome day just booked with lessons and back up lessons and swing bys that are super positive and every second was just packed. That didn't happen. One of the lessons that we planned went through, and all of everything else just...kind of... didn't. Yeah, planning is nice, but it isn't everything. I did get my haircut in the evening. A lot less hair is now on my head. More of a Swedish cut this round.
   Thursday was splits with Borås! Just to shake up the shaken up stuff. I was in Borås with Elder Dickson, and we had a great time. We were able to have four lessons and contact a bunch of people. I had a really good time. I don't know what else to tell you about that. Dickson is a great guy. I had a awesome time.
   Friday morning, we had district meeting, where I met back up with Elder Jones! District meeting was good. Had a really fun activity to help us get to know the district a bit better. Had a good lesson. After it ended, we went up to the Bishop's house for lunch. He and his wife fed us, and they are really good at food. Swedes in general are really good at food. Food is good. After that, we had a lesson with an awesome investigator who is about 80, I would think. She's really cool and really positive, so that's fun. In the evening, we had an activity with the YSA's playing volleyball. And we had an investigator come! Not the 80 year old.  It was good. He hit it off really well with the other guys. As it turns out Friday the 23rd was also my 6 months mark. I've been on my mission for over six months now. Isn't that crazy? I just got to the MTC last month...
   Saturday morning had us playing basketball with the elder's quorum like usual. We had a good time and a good workout. We're trying to get new members and investigators to come, and they're starting to show interest, so hopefully that will turn into a great fellowshipping thing soon. We did weekly planning for the afternoon because we hadn't done that yet, and we had a couple lessons in the evening. They went well.
   Sunday was church. It was good. And in Swedish. But I understand it now, so that's a bit different. After church, we had a member dinner and then swing bys for the rest of the night. I was a good day, all in all.
   Well, that's all I have for you guys today! But today is Monday, and I need to get some stuff done today, so I'm going to have to write my thank you notes now, if you don't mind.

Thank you Elder Jones, for switching up all the colors from the inside of my pens. I just noticed today. It's been a long time, hasn't it?

Thank you lady with this picture on your door. We knock on it all the time and it's never opened. I think it's a bit ironic.

Well, that's it for me, hope you all have a wonderful week!
Äldste Heiner

Picture on the elusive door.
Before haircut with Syster Thörn.
After haircut with Syster Thörn.
(Thank you, Syster Thörn from across the sea!)
I have gotten into Kinder Eggs this week.
They're the best.  And illegal in the US...
Fun Fact.

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015

This week was a great week. We were able to get a ton of work done, and we really just got back into the groove of missionary work after the entire holiday season finally winded down (It's a lot longer here in Sweden). That being said, our Monday and Tuesday did not really turn out as we wanted them to. We had a bunch of things set up, but they all fell through except for one meeting. That meeting was good. It was with an investigator who kind of just said that she liked where she was spiritually, so it really didn't go as we wanted it to. So those two days were probably our slowest days. But it all changed Wednesday morning.
   On Wednesday, we both decided that we were going to work super hard that day, and it totally payed off. We did swing bys in the morning, which gave us a lesson and a new investigator. After lunch, we met with Huba, and had lessons with two other people we trackted in to, we also got four other TU's on that trackting stund. We ended the evening with Tommy, and then went home, super tired. It was a great day though. We had a really good day that day.
   Thursday ended up being really good too. We had an early morning lesson with on of the TU's, and her husband decided he was interested too, so they both became new investigators. They are both super positive, and I'm excited to see where they go. We were then invited to help out with a member in the ward. It was Brother Rönndahl, and he was trying to get a job at a fitness club and asked us to tag along for the practice class, which was basically his tryout. We agreed and went to the gym to find that we were in a boxing course! We left that place an hour later in pain. That pain lasted for days. It was intense. Anyway, went home and showered after that, and went to another TU who is now a U and had a really good lesson with her. By that time, we were sore, tired, and hungry, so we decided to eat lunch and take our studies, which we had skipped for a lesson. After all that, we had a lesson with a really cool less active who has a testimony, just doesn't come to church for some reason. He won't really say, but we're working on it.
   On Friday, we had zone training! In Göteborg! So we went to Göteborg! It really was a good one, they talked about the importance of planing and using time wisely. It was good. But I also got to see Elder Bradley! He's the second person from my MTC group who I've seen since we got to Sweden. He just transferred in to Utby last week. We caught up quite a bit after the training over Chinese Buffet (which wasn't really that good. If you want buffet in Sweden, go Thai). But yeah, got back to the area late, so we weren't really able to do anything in the evening.
   Saturday morning, we started by playing basketball with the Elders Quorum. It was a lot of fun. I'm slowly getting any basketball skill I had back. But after that, we went out to work and had a lot of success. Had four lessons with a verity of people, including a new investigator who is super positive. We had a really good time with him, and he seems really ready to find the truth in his life.
   Sunday, we had really good church meetings, but didn't have anything set to go afterwards, which was good, in a way, because we hadn't done weekly planning yet because we were too busy in lessons. So we did that for the rest of the day.
Random, at the church, the systers had a lesson in another room, so I took their phone, because they forgot it, and took selfies with all the ward members who were around. I got a good... 35? 40? people in on it. Multiple pictures with people. The systers were not so pleased when they found they had a lot less space on their phone and had to clear them off one by one. Fun stuff.
   I think that pretty much sums up all of my happenings for the week. I had a really good time. But wait! It's Monday! I have to catch up on some other stuff, so I hope you don't mind if I do my thank you notes right now...

Thank you White Handbook for not letting me participate in winter sports. I'm in Sweden, I don't know if you know that...

Thank you 1000 piece puzzle that we're still working on for making us feel weird visiting the lady we borrowed you from because we still haven't finished you.

That's it for me! Have it so good!  Äldste Heiner

In Göteborg.
Selfie excerpts from the phone I stole.
Some members gave us some American soda.
Our district tie.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

   This week was pretty busy. No sitting around, just working. It was nice. It wasn't all the preaching I would have liked, we did help a few people with their moving woes, so that happened early in the week. Fun stuff.
   On Monday, we didn't really do anything too crazy for pday. We went out to a Thai place for lunch with a member, so that was fun, but other than that, nothing really. Helped a woman clean her apartment to ridiculous levels of cleanliness because that's the law here in Sweden if you want to move out of an apartment. You have to clean it. Remind me to never own a cat. They're the worst for clean apartments. We rounded out the day with a visit to Tommy. He's doing alright. He's trying really hard again to quite tobacco, which is pretty cool. Hopefully he succeeds this time.
   On Tuesday morning, we just went to another lady's apartment and moved her all out of it to another apartment. Moving skills... activated! Then we were going to help out at another move, but we weren't needed at it, so we were taken to lunch by a member who was also at the move.  Did some swing bys, but people are just at the end of their holiday celebrations here, so they were not quite ready to meet again, so we did that for a while, then went home for dinner and sleep and important things like that.
   We were feeling the move from Tuesday quite heavily on Wednesday. It was a rough morning, to be sure. We took all of our studies right then so we could kind of ease our way into the day. Then we had an entire afternoon free, so we went trackting. It actually went really well. This was a really productive week for trackting, actually. We didn't do too much of it, but people were interested. That evening, we had an awesome lesson with a member family who totally bought in to our new ward mission plan. It's going to be awesome to have them on board.
   On Thursday, we had a distrikt meeting! It's been about a month since we had one, but it's fine. We have four new people in the distrikt anyway, so it was a good time to meet these new people I'll be working with. Two new greenies in the distrikt. Oh yeah, Syster Bolton got a greeny on Wednesday, but I only met her on Thursday at distrikt meeting. After a pretty good meeting, we all went out to kebab (of course, what else would you eat with other missionaries around?). Elder Jones and I had to split after that because we had to get to a lesson with Huba! Our first real sit down lesson in forever. It went really well. Hopefully we can get another good lesson in with him this week. Did some more area work after that, so that was nice. A member invited us to dinner that evening, so we went to that. The Ahlström's are a great family too. That pretty much finished out the evening.
   Friday morning was weekly planning morning. Gotta set up all those days so you know what you're going to try to do. It was good. We're going to have a great week. Then we had a meeting with Mikeal! It was a really long lesson that covered a ton of topics, and we all felt the spirit, but he kept playing it off as something biological that didn't come from the spirit. It was so frustrating! I know he feels it. Had a YSA activity in the evening, played some card games, and then had dinner. 
   Saturday was really busy, it felt like. We started with playing basketball with the Elders Quorum in the morning. We're trying to make that activity more often so we can use it as a fellowshipping tool. After we got all sweaty and stuff, we went home to shower and get ready for the rest of the day. We had lunch with a member of the stake presidency, and that went really well. We wanted to have some time in our own area that day, so we ran up to Öxnehaga to do some stuff there, but we had to get back to town pretty quickly to help set up for the baptism! There was a woman who approached the church a couple weeks ago who had already done all the research about everything and asked to be baptized. So we held the baptism on Saturday. It was really great, it's a woman from Kenya, so she gets along really well with Tanui. He's from Kenya too. They speak Swahili to each other. It's crazy. Anyway, that was the rest of that day.
   Sunday was a pretty good day. We taught the English class because the snow was too heavy for some of the people to get to church, including the usual teacher. After church, we went to Bankeryd for dinner with the Strömberg's. We had a great time, and had a really good discussion at the end. After church, we got some swing bys done, and called it a week.
   So there you have it folks, my week. I hope you enjoyed it, if you read the entire thing. If I were you, I would have just skipped to this part, where I write the thank you notes...

Thank you cats, for shedding more hair than I ever thought was possible to be found ON a cat, let alone off of one.

Thank you investigators, for all migrating South for the winter, and leaving me all alone here...

That's it from me! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday Snow

View fro the apartment of one of the ladies we helped move

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

I just emailed on Thursday, so I think you know what's been going on in my life, for the most part. I guess that you don't know that transfer calls came around. Guess what's happening to me! Nothing! So we should be good to work for the next six weeks.
   Let's see... where did I leave off? Friday? Eh. I'll just go for it then. Friday was the last of the sitting around days. We did weekly planning in the morning, so that took up the morning. Then we ate lunch in the apartment, so we didn't leave until 2ish, when we went for church watch. I got some piano practice in, so that was good. And we were able to meet with Huba! Yay! We weren't even on a train! It was great. We weren't able to sit down for multiple weird reasons, but it was fine. We established that we would continue to meet.
   Saturday was good. We got back into real work. We tracked for a while, got let in a couple of times, got blåsted... the works. I thought it was really good to get into that again. That was pretty much the day... for such a long day, there really isn't anything to say about it.
   Söndag. Had a correlation meeting. It was good. We have a new ward mission leader, and I really like his plans for the next coming year. This area is about to catch fire, I can just feel it. Church went well, I can understand anything I actually listen to, so that's a nice little thing. Had a meeting with Tanui about the priesthood. He's ready, just needs to have all those interviews done. After church, we did a bunch of swing bys, which turned out well. A member family invited us over for dinner, which was nice. They are very nice people, I love 'em. It turned out to be the last thing we did during the week, so that was that.
   This one is a lot shorter than normal... I guess that's what happens when you get two pdays really close together. But enough with that, I have some thank you notes to write!

Thank you kebab pizza, for being a missionary's crack cocaine. You never want it again afterwards, but you always go back for more...

Thank you hockey fans, for making it take longer to take the bus than to walk home after the match. It's really convenient when we're already pushing curfew.

Anyway, that's all for me! Have a good week!
Äldste Heiner
Here's a random selfie because I don't have
pictures from the past couple of days.
I like the tie.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

Would you look at that? I've been in Sweden for four months already. What is life? I'm not even sure how that happened. I'm telling you folks, when you go on a mission, don't sit around. You'll miss the entire thing before you even start working. I'm just going to start telling you all about things from Monday on. I would be way too jobbigt to find out what you don't know about. So if you would please, fasten your seat belts, the emergency exits will be different for all of you, so figure them out, keep your arms and left foot inside of the vehicle if the whales are out, and here we go!
   On Monday, we got up all normal like and got ready to do studies but we walked over to the train station instead. Syster Lindsay was transferring to Norrköping and we were going to lend a bit of a hand. She had three 50 pound bags to carry (Systers... they accumulate so much STUFF), and she had a short train switch in Nässjö. We just happen to have a little card that gets us there for free, so we just took our language study on the train and helped out with the luggage so she could calm down a bit. Then we came back just in time to catch another train to Nässjö with Huba, who found out that his job in Nässjö has been playing him, so he was going out there to quit. We found out that if we waited an hour out there, we could catch the tåg back with him, so we ate lunch out there. Then got on the train back with him. Worked pretty well, actually. He was a lot happier coming back. Anyway, by the time we were done with all this travel stuff, it was about 1:30. Elder Jones needed to renew his visa, so we went to the migrationsverket to do that. Actually we didn't. The migrationsverket is where you would go for visa stuff. It's a big deal. Usually they are out in the open. In Jönköping, it's hidden. Quite well. We asked people, we went to other government buildings to ask them, we went to the church to look it up, we looked everywhere... and we found it. Ten minutes after it closed after three hours of looking. Turns out, it's a block away from our apartment in the corner of a huge department store. Whatever. Found it. Then we went to the church to play basketball with the Elders Quorum. It was a lot of fun. Had a visit with Tommy afterwards.
   On Tuesday, we got up and had a lesson with Alex right before church watch. Went up to Öxnehaga and knocked some doors before it got dark. We would have kept going, but we had the realization that it was almost New Years. In an immigrant rich area. With lots of explosives. I would have loved to stay and watch, but it just wasn't safe. So we worked somewhere else. Had a lesson with the Schelin's. It was good. They have family in town who were really great in contributing to the lesson. It was fantastic.
   Wednesday held a very boring day. We were going to meet with people, but they realized it was New Years Eve, and didn't want to do that. We decided to do area book work. Stuff that needed to be done eventually, when we weren't going to have a good proselyting day, and there we go! President said that we were not to proselyte after five, so we hung around the apartment. Lasse invited us over so we could go watch the fireworks at midnight. Curfew was 12:30, so we went for it. It was a ton of fun. Everyone had fireworks, all through the town. We went up to the top of the town to watch as everyone blew stuff off through the town. It was really great to watch. I had a good time.
   That was the last few days. They were good. I enjoyed them. This will be the last weird pday in the holiday schedule, thank goodness. We have no idea what we are going to do today. Nothing is open. Everyone is inside recovering from all the drinking last night. We'll figure something out, I'm sure. But today is pday, and I need to catch up a little bit on some thank you notes, so I hope you don't mind if I go ahead and do those now...

Thank you Swedes, for being so worried about the dogs that you don't start fireworks until 11:55 at night to minimize dogs being injured. Thank you Arabs for not being so full of it, and starting your fireworks at 7 in the morning. A week before.

Thank you Migrationsverket, for being that very important office that every foreigner needs to visit. Hidden away from where any foreigner would look.

That's it from me! I hope you all have a great week and a wonderful New Year!

Äldste Heiner
The Christmas breakfast.
Got a new tie from Grandma.  How does it look?
Nativity in Stan.  It is cool.
Snow at Sofiakyrkan.