Monday, January 12, 2015

I HAVE ARRIVED......GAVLE, SWEDEN



hej hej yall :)
This week has been the craziest most awesome week of my liiiiiiiiife. I dont even know where to begin!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I got sick on the plane over to Sweden....lost my voice completely and I didnt get it back till Saturday!!

We got to Stockholm on Tuesday the 6th. I was instantly in love with it. Sweden is awesome. So that night we met some missionaries serving in Stockholm and we went out and we contacted!!! It was so scary at first, I was with Sister Kamahaoko, the sister that Tyler Larsen knows from BYU Hawaii. 

The first person we talked to was so nice! Sister K. was like, that was weird usually people aren’t that nice...... the next guy we tried to contact was like AH, NEJ NEJ NEJ, and ran away from us. I was laughing so hard. I was still too scared to start the contacting, but after about 6 people I saw these two black guys and i was like, I have to talk to them haha. so I went over and started my first contact!  It was funny, I understood like three words, LOL, they were super hard to understand. I seem to understand younger people way better. 

So we stayed at the mission home Tuesday night!  That was so fun. It was nice to have 3 straight days with my MTC district. 

Wednesday we woke up and headed to the church they have in Täby...we had a little orientation there. It was so nerve racking when they brought our new companions in. I was so nervous. President Beckstrand had typed up mission call letters. We had to stand and read where we were going and who our trainer would be. 
I have been assigned to the Gävle district :)  I was sooo nervous but my companion Sister King made sure to make me feel comfortable.  Sister King is so awesome. she's from Montana. We have so much in common its crazy. We are always laughing. We teach so so so well together.  My first night in Gävle we went contacting!!! We contacted a guy named Samuel! we talked to him for about 10 minutes. I pulled out a Book of Mormon and read the promise in the introduction page, to him. I then bore my testimony to him and invited him to pray about it. I didn’t know this but because I bore my testimony and commit him to do something about my message it was actually a lesson, so first day on the job and nailed a lesson already. He was interested and we taught him the next day. He has tests all this week so we won’t be meeting with him till next week but i’m excited.

Contacting is so addicting.  I’ve decided that everyone I see here in Gävle has been put in my path by the Lord. Even if they aren't ready yet. I've made it a goal to literally talk to every human being. Sister King was super surprised that i was doing that, because i randomly stop and just start talking to people.  Funny thing about contacting, people are literally afraid of us hahaha we contacted this older woman and she almost had a heart attack. It’s so funny when we get rejected because its just so dramatic.  

The next day i had my first in home lesson with a less active named Saara. she's from Finland and is probably about 50.  She answered the door............without pants on, so that was scary.  I learned a lot about her...she's pretty much the coolest lady ever. She was a sniper in Lebanon for most of her life...if that’s not cool I don’t know what is.  After that first lesson i was kind of scared of her haha.
On Thursdays we have this thing called open church. We sit in the church for 3 hours and we wait fo someone to walk in and be like oh hey a church what,s going on here....but noone ever does apparently haha. We were gonna take the bus but i asked if we could just contact and walk there. It was so cold and i really wanted to ride the bus but i felt like we should walk. omygoodness we were so blessed. we contacted 47 people on the way and got 4 numbers and 5 meetings set up.  Four numbers because one guy, his name is Hysen, doesn't have a phone at the moment.  I'll tell you a little about Hysen.  Ususally we don't contact people in a crosswalk, but my mouth literally doesn't even care sometimes...but it always pays off I'm coming to find out.  Hysen is from Albania (crazy, we have an Albanian couple in our branch of 40 people).  Hysen lived in Italy for five years before coming to Sweden. He is here because he is hiding. Some family stuff went down in Albania and he and his brother and sister ran away because there are literally people trying to kill them. He has so many worries and didn't believe in Jesus Christ when we first talked to him.  We somehow convinced him to meet with us the next day at the church. We had to totally go on faith that he would be there since he doesn't have a phone. i was praying so hard he would show up…..he did!!!  We were able to teach him about Jesus Christ and what we believe and he told us he feels like this is why he has been saved, so that he could meet us and be taught. so  heeeeeeeeee is awesome. 

I literally can’t afford to not talk to everyone i see, because i just dont know which ones the Lord has prepared.  We went to a family's home for dinner that night! they're Finnish and they have two teenage girls one 10 yr old boy. they're awesome.  People who live in Sweden are very funny...they don't know anything in the US except for California (san diego, sacramento, LA), Miami, and New York.  So people want to hear everything I have to say once I tell them I'm from the beaches of Los Angeles.  That night at dinner i felt like we should text Samuel and see whats up. so we did and ended up setting a lesson for that night after dinner :) We taught him about the restoration so that he could be a little more interested in why we have the Book of Mormon and just committed him to read some more. He's really cool.

We have two elders that serve with us in the Gävle branch. Elder Treat and Elder Landin. They’re hilarious. 

So by Friday afternoon i was realizing the ridiculous amount of success we were having. we had contacted a total of 81 people and had lessons set up all throughout the week. 

Friday night we taught the young women ( there’s three of them) and got this call from a random lady named Caspera...we didnt know what to think. We went home and tried to find her in the area book. There’s nothing on her. We thought maybe she was a member. no record. So Saturday night we went and visited her. Well, 5 years ago some missionaries gave her a Book of Mormon. She read Alma 32 a couple of days ago and called us. We have no idea how she got our phone number. She met the missionaries when she visited California. We arrived and she had dinner all made for us. I’m thinking, she has to be a member…. no she’s just painfully caring.
un-spiritual sidenote: she made this soup stuff...... it looked like tomato soup and i was really excited...................................it was not....tomato….soup.  So I'm sitting there dying, trying not to gag. and I'm too scared to look over at Sister King. Well Caspera got up to go to the kitchen to get something and I look over and I'm like OMG STAB ME WITH SOMETHING and Sister King is like I KNOW THIS IS GROSS!! We are like holding hands trembling as Caspera comes back with this box with the word nyponsoppa on it, and the rest of the pot of soup stuff. She insists we take the box so we can make it at home because she can tell how much we like it.....my stomach flipped, my left eye twitched a little and my heart begged her not to do so, but alas, she started to pour herself another cup full. All I'm thinking is omg, please...do not do this to yourself. She asked me if I wanted more since I had held my breathe and sucked down the whole blasted cup and i said, nejjjjjj I've been eating candy all day i think I'm good..... she started talking about her family and got up to get a picture and left the room..once again, Sister King and i are like OMG I CANT EVEN, I'm all like whisper/yelling POUR IT IN THE PLANT, POUR IT IN THE PLANT  hahahahahahahahaha.  We are laughing so hard about this right now because it was so frightening. 

So anyways, we continued to teach her about having faith in Christ. We invited her to church and she said she would come if she wasn’t asleep haha.  In the middle of the meal we asked if we could do anything for her. she looked at me and just said pray for me...i said okay...she said, no....pray for me, right. now. She folded her arms and looked down. I started to pray. The spirit was so strong. I've had moments like that in the past 5 days that make my mission the best thing ever
i have come to realize that …...EVERYONE HERE HAS A LITTLE BIT OF CRAZY

There is a member named Ana Lil. her husband Jäni is not a member but loves the missionaries.  Uhm…..she cray, (crazy).  It’s kind of like she's possessed.

I’ll just list everything that makes her ridiculous
1. she has 254 little crazy Santa Clauses, yes, they are still up and she has some that dance. 
2. she has three cats, even though shes allergic to them.
3. tried to shake my hand with a shocky thing, the shocky didnt work. 
4. flipped us off. twice.  Because  Syster King didnt see what happened and I just started laughing, so she asked what happened, and Ana Lil showed her.
5. she has a billion refrigerator magnets on her fridge.
6. Jäni said the F word lol
7. they take a picture of all the missionaries that come to the house and print out a picture for each companion then they put it in a scrapbook and you sign it.  the pen was a freaky shocky pen. 
8. she hates President Beckstrand
9. while syster King was putting her boots on (bending over) Ana Lil came over and shoved her to the ground. Syster King "she's fantastic, 99% of the time we don't know whats going on"
10. she beat me over the head with a giant shoe horn.
They made awesome sausage cheese stuff with potatoes and of course bread with cheese, always bread with cheese here. It was amazing and they sent it home with us...it also kind of looks like cat vomit but you just cant think about it while youre eating it.
Every Saturday morning we play, innebändi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So fun and so painful. Just look up this sport, its crazy. its so hard but I finally got the hang of it and I scored a goal!!!  A couple from Canada were there and they're investigating the church! They're so funny and awesome:)

Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!
The bishop invited me up to bear my testimony!! So that was fun. Caspera came to church:) and Saara came to church also!!!  Saara ran over to me and gave me a massive bear hug. she is a big woman. We hugged for like 5 minutes and she whispers in my ear with her awesome swedish finnish accent, you know what…I like you. Thank goodness. I'm not trying to get sniped.  She's the best.  Apparently we have the same horoscope so she calls me her twin. She's awesome haha

After church we had ward council. Our mission leader is awesome. His wife and oldest son were killed in a car accident. He has a son right now, Marcus, who is really depressed. He said he played guitar then stopped and is now starting to play again. He asked if any of us play. He was excited to find out I play and Elder Landin does. So we will be visiting Marcus a lot and just helping lift his spirits. 

The Sjökvists invited us to dinner so in between church (church was 2 hours) and dinner we went contacting. I saw some bright purple jackets across the square and i was like, we have to talk to them. so we ran over and introduced ourselves. we told these two ladies we were missionaries and they freaked!! " :0 I’M CHRISTIAN! :D”  She was so excited!  Her name is Nina and her mom is Maria. They are from Columbia and live right by us!!  They've been here for 5 years and have wanted a church to go to. She has been praying for missionaries. She has family in Ecuador being taught. she was even more excited when somehow in my 7th grade spanish i told her how my uncle served in Ecuador :) so we will be meeting with them this week:)

This has been one CRAZY, FUN week.  I look forward to more and more of these weeks.  I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and am glad to share it with everyone I come in contact with.
LOVE YOU FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Syster Giles

I found my friend, Sister Funk.  She arrived to days before I left. She is headed to Winter Quarters, Nebraska 

Hanging with my elders....love these guys....like family

 Partying before we leave for Sweden

 My Hommies


Ready for Sweden


Graduated from MTC....Van ride at 3:30am to the airport. zzzzzzzzzz

We all made it.  Sweden is beautiful!!!  President and Sister Beckstrand are on the far right.  Look forward to knowing them better!!!!

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