I am going to start with the biggest news this week. It’s transfers and I’m being transferred. It’s kind of bittersweet. I’m going to an area called KUNGSBACKA!!!!
First of all, I’m excited to get out of Borås, second, Syster Spencer (Tanner contacted Syster Spencer via email once Tanner received her call to Sweden. Tanner truly admires her. Syster Spencer recently finished her mission and is home). (was “born” (started her mission) in Gävle, and I was born in Gävle, then she trained and "died” (finished her mission) in Kungsbacka, and now im going to serve there!!! I'm so excited. Kungsbacka is south and on the coast, with Denmark right across a couple miles of water.. basically Kungsbacka was made for me. Elder Stoeltzing served there and said I'm exactly what they need in Kungsbacka. As soon as I heard that was where i was going i knew it was right. About two weeks ago the spirit let me know i was transferring. I prayed the night before transfers to know that wherever I went, It was going to be right and that I would love it. Needless to say as soon as i got reassigned, i felt so much peace with the decision. I already have a heart full of love for these people.
Something about Kungsbacka. There was a very important man that was apart of the ward there. He got into anti Mormon material and basically destroyed the ward. He dragged away many many members of the ward. it has been a very big testimony builder for many missionaries and members all around Sweden. I’m going to a place where they are damaged. they need to be built up and loved. When i got my mission call i felt like i didn't need to come to Sweden to baptize. Missionaries that are called to Sweden honestly have a completely different idea of what success is. Totally different from every other mission around the world. We really focus on building faith and loving relationships. My idea of success as a missionary isn't numbers. The people here need more attention than that. My idea of success here, is creating those relationships with people and allowing them to see an example of Christ through me. I want them to know Jesus Christ, because of, and through me. That’s what they need here. They need to be loved.
In our conference, our mission president, President Beckstand told us the story of how he was called to be a mission president. He told us how Pres. Uchtdorf said that this mission isn’t for the faint of heart. The missionaries sent here are promised in the rededicatory prayer with the strength to push on and find success. We talked more about it in district meeting and realized that every missionary in this mission has come from a great home. Before the mission, we had great lives. we were successful in whatever it was before the mission. We were satisfied with life and went on a mission because we wanted to really share what we love. Not because we felt pressured to do so. Stereotypical success in a mission is measured by baptisms. We realized that we aren't here to accomplish that success. Because we already understand success, and how everyones success is different...because we've already been successful in such things as, music, school, cooking etc. everyone got really good at something before their mission. We’ve created different kinds of success here, just as we have at home.
The first line in our missionary purpose, is to bring others closer to Christ. I’m so excited to be in Kungsbacka and strengthen their relationship with their Savior. i really feel like this area will be where my idea of success will absolutely flourish.
I’ve literally been living in the most satan infused country for 9 months. i cant even explain how it feels. There isn't a sense of security except for in my testimony. In order to serve here, it has to be solid. Because you would absolutely break otherwise. People here HATE religion. The only religious people here are the muslims. (who are mostly forced to stay muslim out of fear of being killed) and that was a religion literally started by satan. Before i get controversial judgy thought towards me, I'm gonna clarify that. Mohammed is the "prophet" of Islam. mohammed COULD HAVE restored the gospel. His experience was the same as Joseph Smiths. BUT. there is one thing that is very clearly DIFFERENT, and very clearly WRONG. Mohammed wanted to know what the truth was just like Joseph. mohammed prayed and the same thing that happened to Joseph smith happened to mohammed. he was overcome with a darkness. an evil. satan.
the difference is that mohammed writes that he was overcome with this dark powers and embraced it. He literally writes that he gave into the devil. Then an angel came and told him how to "restore the only true gospel.” Joseph Smith called upon God to dispel of this evil that overcame him. and he was brought out of it, to meet God the eternal father and his son Jesus Christ.
So literally, its either a religion started by the devil, or tradition and culture over true belief.
i am surrounded by unbelief.
but. there are definitely some diamonds in the rough :)
THE BAQUEROS!!! (a member family from Columbia)
It’s like im a greenie in Columbia. I’m starting to understand their spanish a lot more. hopefully there’s some spanish speaking members in Kungsbacka. But, omygoodness. i only have to deal with the south american dream once a week. i cant even imagine what it was like for all my aunts and uncles. guys. i am so sorry. hahaha
Last week Sister Baquero asked us to fast with her. Swedish is realllyy hard for her and she just can’t seem to pick it up. she’s studying it right now and it just won’t clock. we fasted for understanding for her. so she invited us over to break the fast with a huge meal.
ah. Well, fish soup sounded really good when she was describing it to us...then we started to get nervous. Syster Lund is freaking out on the walk. not to mention its a two hour bus ride to get there so we are already not feeling to hot. of course we made a video to send to our district just incase we die out there in the middle of nowhere in the country side of Sweden.
we were feeling the tummy rumbles so we stop outside the building to take some deep breaths for a couple minutes and who walks up...but the Baqueros! with a big carton of whole milk. Oh no.
....so a couple minutes of collection and clean unfishy air....became not an option anymore hahaha We go up and OMYGOSH IT SMELLED AMAZING. Columbian music blasting through the apartment, and a giant fish in the sink. yummm...haha she has us sit in the living room while we wait for the food. We are practicing our spanish with Jose and their son Juan Pablo. We were starving because we had been fasting, so when we heard her yell for us, we were so excited haha. we walk over and there is a GIANT bowl of fish soup and a giant plate with a ton of rice, a giant slab of fish and some salad stuff. hah. My glass is empty and there’s no water on the table. How am i supposed to get this all down, no water right? Well, we say the prayer and she brings a ginormous pitcher of ...something. she starts pouring it into lunds cup. my eyes widen as i realize its some sort of fruit smoothie!! its a beauuutiful orange color. amazing. she pours me a a glass...i pick it up....everything my eyes see are correct but the nerves in my fingertips sense something very wrong...they start sending signals of panic to my brain....warmth.....its warmth. I lift the cup to my lips....foam...is that ...foam....its foamy...I take a little swig, my tastebuds try to escape from my mouth as i realize....there was squash cooking on the stove when we came in...pumpkin....this ..is pumpkin. I quickly put down the glass and try to stay calm as i look at Lund to warn her...but its too late...she has already raised the cup to her lips. I watch her eyes get big and just start laughing. This is going to be a long meal, she says with her eyebrows. Yes. i reply with a pat on her knee.
We start with the soup. stirring my spoon around this big black thing...what is it...about as big as half a disneyland pickle....it flips over.....has your food ever looked at you before? if so, you know exactly how i felt. A cute little fish head. Surprise though..it was PRETTY DANG BOMB. It was sooo good. Sidenote: i used rice on my spoon and put it into my soup to eat it and they all freaked out and told me i eat like a columbian haha side sidenote: they think I'm from Brazil and that I'm lying about being black because i act more Brazilian. Anyways, I finished my soup and moved onto the plate of rice and giant slab of fish. Super excited. Squeezed some lemon on the fish and took a decent sized bite. This fish is not boneless...all the bones go slicing through my gums and up into my brain as i stick my whole hand in my mouth to retrieve them. Pieces of fish flying out of my mouth and the Baqueros are just laughing and showing me how to properly eat this fish. Because silly Giles tried to eat it with a fork. Gotta squish it around in your hands to take all the bones out. Well, we go to start the lesson and i have gotten through a little more than half my pumpkin foam. All of a sudden we hear sister Baquero from across the table.....inte bra? (not good) she says pointing to the full glass of pumpkin in front of Lund...oh no…Lund tries to ignore it...
HEJ. INTE BRA?! She yells it this time...you cant ignore that….Lund nervously tries to explain that it is really thick and fills her up and she's super full. I pray for strength and reach for her glass and chug it. i had gagged on it before then but somehow i was able to keep it down and get a ...mmmm yummm...out of my squash phlegm covered vocal box.
needless to say Lund is a wuss and she owes me big time! haha!!!! I still have some pulp in my throat..it wasn't all that bad. Maybe with some strawberries in it and orange and banana and like absolutely zero pumpkin it would be amazing.
As far as investigators here in Borås go. I will miss them all dearly. Mattias and Magella were able to hear elder blackburn and i sing, Be Still My Soul together acapella in sacrament meeting yesterday. I’m gonna miss singing with him. The spirit was strong as it was testimony meeting and we opened it with the song. I just stayed up there and bore my testimony. breaking the news that i was leaving. Stellan invited us four missionaries over for a late dinner, and on the way, we actually ran into Robert. He informed us that he and his wife are getting divorced and he is moving from Göteborg. TO FRÖLUNDA, WHICH MEANS I STILL GET TO TEACH HIM. Transfers work in mysterious ways.
I am going to miss the heck out of my CA kids (missionaries) here in Borås. This transfer was epic and well done. I’m going to miss Lund sooo much. I cant believe how fast this transfer went. It wasn't long enough. But we are still in the same zone so i will get to see her. Exciting news. my mom (trainer) SYSTER KING IS MY STL (spiritual training leader) NOW IN GÖTEBORG!!! She got transferred down here and will be in my district again!!!! SO EXCITED TO SEE HER. i didn't know if i would ever really see her again on the mission.
This transfer was a transfer ill never forget.
I’ll have a new companion, sister allen, and new experiences next week for yall:)