Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Conference 2

Hi Everyone!
    So this last week has been good. Of most significant note, this Friday we had  zone conference up in Gothenburg, which went well. The week hasn't been too exciting outside of that (it's generally been a lot of the stuff we usually do), but that's okay. And this week looks like it should be interesting, which is exciting. You know, Christmas and all of that stuff.
  So, this week we actually ended up meeting M on Wednesday instead of Tuesday again because the Delgado's were busy on Tuesday (pretty crazy stuff, right?). But we met Mia early in the week and had a pretty good meeting. We ended up talking for a bit and then going through most of the rest of lesson 5. We're planning on talking about the rest of the lesson tomorrow (there's only one or two more points), and then we'll have gone through all of the new member lessons! Which is pretty cool! And, all in all, things seem to be going fairly well with M. We also helped her fix her computer, which is also pretty neat too. 
  Anyways, on Wednesday we also had lunch with A and J-E at their company, and ended up talking for a while to one of their co-workers, who said that she might come to church. She ended up being busy this last Sunday, but we have our fingers crossed for the next meeting. 
  On Friday we had the Christmas conference in Göteborg. All in all, I thought the conference was  good. President and Sister Beckstrand talked quite a bit about Christmas and how we can use it and the "He is the Gift" program in our teaching and contacting. It's largely what we've been talking about at district meetings and zone training recently, but it was still cool. After the lunch we had skits from each of the districts in the Göteborg and Malmö zones. The districts are weirdly huge now, so there was only four or five of them in the two zones, but the skits that everyone did were actually good. Most of them were just parodies of Christmas songs, but a lot were still pretty funny and one group made a mock video of "The District." We did this thing where we read a short story (ish thing), but with the syllables in the words switched around. It was pretty fun. 
  On Sunday we only had one hour of church, due to the holidays. It was kind of nice, but it also felt a little weird being in church for such a short amount of time. Afterwards we dropped off invitations to a party the Delgado's are having on the 25th, and then wrote an area transfer report. Pretty exciting.
  Anyways, I hope you all have a great Christmas! Happy Holidays! Also, See y'all in (a little over) a week!

Monday, December 15, 2014


Hi Everyone!
  This week has been pretty good. The most interesting happening of the week was probably the Lucia concert which we watched this last Saturday. It was very good.
  Because of a schedule conflict, we ended up meeting M on Wednesday instead of Tuesday like we usually do (and, as it turns out, we may do the same thing this week). But that went well, we came and chatted for a while and then went through part of Lesson 5 (we ended up talking a lot about missionary work and enduring to the end and taking the sacrament and other similar things). It was good; those visits always seem nice. 
  Then on Thursday we traveled to Kristianstad for district meeting, incidentally possibly my last district meeting. We actually spent some time working out a skit that we're apparently going to have to perform at the Christmas Conference this week, and then we talked some about using Christmas for our contacting and finding work. Pretty exciting. 
  On Saturday, we had the chance to go to Lucia! Yay! We actually barely missed the first concert (they run about once every two hours or so), so we ended up waiting in a line outside for a while (which wasn't all that bad, just a bit chilly). But then we finally got in, took a seat, and were able to watch the concert. And I've got to say, it was really pretty good! I liked it quite a bit! It was essentially just a winter choir concert except everyone was dressed kind of funny and they were all holding candles, but they did a pretty good job of singing and the music was good. It probably wasn't as good as Mad Dinner (because that knocks the socks off of everything else), but I still enjoyed it. 
  On Sunday we had church as normal, and then during Sacrament meeting we watched the first presidency Christmas fireside.  I liked it; I thought the talks were good, and I also enjoyed the music between speakers. It was a kind of cool change to the usual Sunday.
  I hope everything is going well with you all!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Juletidens Borjan

Hey everyone!
  Things are going pretty well here in Växjö.
  Last Tuesday we had our usual open church time, which went well. But then afterwards, we actually didn't go to M's (surprised you, didn't I), because she invited us over on Wednesday instead so she could cook us (me, Elder Higham, and the Delgado's) a Bosnian dinner. So on Tuesday we ended up doing some swing by's and tracting in the evening, and then we found ourselves at M's on Wednesday evening, where we ate some savory cheese, spinach, and potato pies, and then went through the lesson on the commandments. All in all, it was good. Especially the pies, they were tasty.
  On Thursday we had District meeting here in Växjö, which was a kind of nice change. The meeting itself was good; we have a new District Leader, and he talked about prayer in missionary work. But it was good. And then afterwards we ate at a fake KFC (which was actually surprisingly decent), and then we had some extra time for work here in Växjö, which was nice.
  And then on Saturday we had a branch Christmas activity here at the church. It was really pretty good; they (I'm not sure who exactly, maybe the branch presidency) had printed out a bunch of pamphlet-like things with lyrics to a bunch of Christmas songs from the hymn book and other traditional songs, and we sang those for a while, then played some Christmas-based Pictionary (which is kind of hard in Swedish), and then ate some snacks and socialized. All in all, it was pretty fun, and it felt like kind of a "start" to the Christmas season. It should be a good December. 
Next week we're planning on going to Lucia this weekend at the Domkyrka (the... cathedral thing? The big state church.), so that should be fun. I'm looking forward to going to a real Lucia concert. 
  It's honestly kind of surreal now that it's actually getting close to the end of the mission. It's kind of bittersweet; I'm really looking forward to being home and seeing everyone back home again and everything, but it's also going to be weird just doing something so different from what I've been doing the last two years. It'll probably be kind of an adjustment getting back into the swing of "normal" life, just like it was a bit of an adjustment getting used to the mission life.
  Anyways, I hope all is well with you guys.
                                                At the Copenhagen Denmark Temple

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi Everyone! This week has been going well. Of most note, this week was Thanksgiving (and I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving), which was fun, and then later in the week we had a zone meeting. Aside from that, the week hasn't been too out of the ordinary, but it's been good.
  So, I guess starting towards the beginning of the week, on Tuesday we had open church and then the usual meeting with M. That went well, we were able to go and review the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. And, as usual, it was nice to be able to visit with her and the D's, as well. 
  On Thursday, we were invited over to the D's for Thanksgiving dinner, which was super nice of them! In preparation for the dinner, I baked a pumpkin pie for dessert. I just used the pie recipe on the side of the can of pumpkin I had (which was kind of a tricky item to find, actually), but the pie actually turned out really good. I don't think the flavor was quite a strong as it usually is, but the recipe called for a lot of evaporated milk, which made for a very, very creamy pie. It was really pretty good. 
  Okay, enough bragging. The dinner itself was very good as well, the D's made some very good turkey and stuffing and everything. We didn't have cranberry sauce, but we used some lingonberry jam, and it was pretty close. So, all in all, we had a pretty dang good dinner. It was nice.
  On Friday we went down to Malmö for a zone training meeting. The training was good, we talked about this new Christmas contacting program that the church gave us training about. It sounds like it should be interesting. 
  Anyways, the rest of the week wasn't too exciting. It's been good and all, just not a ton out of the ordinary. I hope you guys had a great thanksgiving, and I hope you have a good week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Temple Visit

  So, it hasn't been all that long since I last wrote. I think on account of some transfers coming up this Tuesday (which don't affect me or my companion), the office told us to take P-day this week on Saturday instead of Monday. I think it's a little weird, but I guess that some people are moving on Monday, as well. So, moral of the story, I'm writing a little sooner.
  Anyways, this week has gone fairly well. In general it's been fairly routine (as in, it's been fairly similar to the other weeks so far here). On Monday we had preparation day and then ward FHE in the evening. We actually ended up watching Mobsters and Mormons. There's a lot of references to "Mormon" culture that I feel like may not have made too much sence to someone in Scandinavia, but everyone seemed to enjoy it fairly well (even the two non-members who showed up). 
  We had a fairly normal Tuesday: swingby's and such in the early afternoon and then open church and a visit with M in the evening. She's doing well, she seems to enjoy meeting with us and talking about the gospel and such, which is good. This week we went over the Plan of Salvation again. 
  On Thursday we went down to Karlskrona for district meeting. It was nice; it was fun being able to meet with the district members, and Elder Hansen gave a good lesson on Christlike attributes, sort of focusing on examples of the attributes in the Savior's life and how we can try to develop them in ours. I liked it. And then we came back and, because of train delays, didn't get back until about 5 or 6 o clock. It's nice actually being in a district with other missionaries (which isn't something I've had all that often).
  And then yesterday (Friday), we got to go to the temple in Copenhagen! It was a nice trip. I really enjoyed being able to go to the temple, it was nice being able to do service there and feel the spirit that's there. I do have a couple of pictures from the trip, but I don't actually have the right cable this time :/, so I guess I'll try to send them out sometime this week.
  Anyways, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! I don't know about you, but I'm planning on baking a pumpkin pie to sort of celebrate (in a little way)! 
Copenhagen Denmark Temple

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Hi everyone!
  This last week has been pretty good. I don't remember if I remembered to mention it last week, but happy birthday mom! You know, now that you're another year and a week old. I feel like that deserves mention in the group email. Anyways, this week's been pretty good.
  We've actually had a few service projects and the like this week, which was cool. On Monday, we went to visit a member who wasn't feeling well. We stopped by, visited for a little bit, gave him a blessing (partly because he was feeling ill and partly because he was going to be having surgery this week) and then helped him move some furniture to the recycling center. And, by the way, the surgery went well and he was able to make it to church on Sunday and he looked like he was doing quite well, which is good.
  And then on Tuesday we went and visited another member and helped him with some yard work. We pulled a few bushes out of the ground (which proved to be quite the task), and then took the bushes and some leaves that the Delgado's helped rake to the recycling center (which I am gradually becoming well acquainted with). I think that was pretty much all of the service that we did this week, but it was still nice (on both days). It felt good to be able to have a bit of a change of pace and it felt good to be able to help some of the people here. 
  And... On Thursday we went to Kristianstad for district meeting. The meeting was good, but not too out of the ordinary (but good, we talked about companionship unity and such and played one of those games where you have a sign and try to pass the play to other people by making their sign type of thing. Kind of like "stupid ninja" or other similar games. Anyways, it was fun). After the meeting we went to this pizzeria called Katrine's and had some kebab there that was really quite good. I've got to say, a lot kebab here is good but pretty similar, but this place was notably good and kind of different from other shops. I liked it a lot. 
  Anyways, then on Saturday we went to this place called Huseby for a Julmarknad (literally a "Christmas Market"). It was pretty cool, though they charged 80 krowns (~$10) to get in, which I thought was kind of a ripoff for what was already an overpriced market thing. But it was still pretty cool, especially after the sun went down, I almost felt like I was in medival Scandinavia walking through rows of candle lit canvas shops. It was pretty cool. And they had two tents in particular where people just set up booths selling food, so we just walked around for a while eating the free samples of sausages and cheeses and candies and the like. 
Our new member M doing well; she seems enthusiastic about church and the gospel and everything, and she's now on some sort of activity committee or something. I don't really know, but she has a calling, which is cool. We met her last Tuesday and started going through the "new member" lessons (which is really just the normal lessons again).
  Anyways, I think that's been the highlights of the week. It's been pretty good.
  I hope you all had a good week and will have one more this week!
                                                                     Kebab Pizza!
                                                         Christmas Market after dark

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Hey Everyone!
  Things are going fairly well here in Växjö. This week, I suppose that the biggest point of interest was that Mia was baptized this last Saturday. Yay! I feel like there's been some other cool stuff happening too, though.
  Lets see... I feel like there wasn't too much excitement towards the beginning of the week. On Monday I suppose that we started the ward FHE again (I guess that they had stopped it when the Boyers left). It went well, we had a spiritual thought and then played some cards (a few games of spoons). All in all pretty fun. And then Tuesday we visited M and talked a little bit more about baptism and made sure we'd gone over everything. 
  On Thursday we had district meeting here, and then M had her baptismal interview. Both the meeting and the interview went well. And then after that we had branch council and then institute, and we tried to work out the Baptismal program in between. But we got it all worked out, so that's good.
  And then on Saturday we had the baptism! It went pretty well! Elder Delgado and I spoke (I spoke on baptism and Elder Delgado on the Holy Ghost), and Elder Higham performed the baptism. The next day I confirmed M in Sacrament meeting. I think that she enjoyed the baptism and confirmation; she was just beaming afterwards. So it went pretty well. We had to have the baptismal service down in Karlskrona because there's not a font here, but aside from the travel, I think everyone enjoyed it.
  We did have daylight savings about a week (or two? I don't remember) ago. It get's dark around 4 ish. Missionary work when it's dark is largely the same as when it's light. We meet people when we can, and when we can't we swing by people or tract. We get around by bike; it's really the fastest way to get across town or what have you.
  So... yeah. On Sunday evening the Ds had us and her over for dinner, which was nice. All in all it's been pretty good.
  I hope everything's good with you guys, I'll see if I can't get some pictures sent out soon.
                    We inventoried our apt. and found the Book of Mormon in 67 different languages!
                                                                   Baptism Day!