Monday, May 9, 2016

 v  a  l  b  o  r  g   worked

well.. it is officially summer in Sweden....
get your super white Swedish legs out and your bright neon green crocs ON because.....hello ladies...its summer time. 


This week. 

Was just funny. 

   We are still a little beside ourselves to be honest. 
A lot of weird things happened haha 
Just to start it off we picked up 9 new investigators and 3 of them have baptismal dates.... 
That all happened in two days. 
Sister hall and I both admit the other night that we had both been really praying super hard to have some good progressing people..and then our teaching pool blew up. 
Hägersten is back on fire. 
When I left to be in the tripan I was out of my area for 10 days so the work kinda stopped. Coming back in and restarting was a lot harder than I expected and I wasn't thinking it would be difficult at all. 
I realized a lot had happened in people's lives during just the short ten days I was gone and virtually had to restart this area. It took about a month but it's back. Thank goodness. I feel good leaving sister hall with good things to work with here. 
Well. We made a new friend named Eva. We were walking near a large mall when we saw her and she just looked awful. Her hair was up in a ponytail on top of her head and was bending kinda sideways and over a little .. So I stopped and asked if she was okay ... eva was not okay haha we sat her down on some steps and tried to talk to her...her eyes were rolling to the back of her head i called 112 and they....couldnt send help to this obviously overdosed woman...because it was a we decided we would take her to the stockholm central station to the polis. 
she was so out of it. he chest and face and hands were swelling and we looked in her bad to see if she had any sort of dangerous drugs...all we found were a ton of different antibiotics...each pack had about 4 taken out of them.. she had mixed them and was pretty much slipping into a coma....
we got onto the tunnelbana and she straight up falls asleep on my lap hahaat one point her mouth was just wide open on my hand jusssttt droooling..

we finally got to stocholm and found some polis there that took her...but that was just the beginning of a ..super weird week....

Amie ( taught her two transfers ago and was baptized instant missionary Amie) moved back into Hägersten so we have been seeing her quite often. 
On Tuesday we ate lunch with her..........she made us pig tail.......have you ever had pig tail. It is not delicious. It's kinda hairy and itchy looking and I can tell.......that it is the tail of something. 
I have never drank so much non alcoholic malt in my life. Danish malt is like a thing with Africans because 
malt is African. She have us pig tail, soaked in straight up Dead Sea saltwater with salad and malt. 

Sister hall. Was not amused. 

Pig made out of fat and cartilage ... I gagged.. A lot.... I never thought I would disguise an animal I love so much to eat in something healthy and green. 
I felt really strongly that Amie had someone that would accept the gospel. So I encouraged a little harder than I usually do about member missionary work and loving your friends enough to teach them. 
We met with Amie again the next day and unannounced she brought with her Stella :) 
Stella is 53 and Amie helped us teach her the restoration and set a baptismal date for the 21st of May. 
She would've invited over for lunch she said but "the cow stomach I forgot in the freezer today." 
Oh Darn it. too bad. 
The next day we met with a man named Ofori! The minute he saw me he just got so so excited because I look just like his daughter. Ofori is from Ghana and married a swede so his daughter and I are the same age and look pretty identical actually. He thought it was her then saw the nametag and was like OHHHHH SISTAAHH haha. Well Ofori was remarried to a woman named Cecilia. Cecilia is from Ghana as well. 
We found a nice warm bench in the sun and taught them the restoration of the gospel. 
It was so interesting to watch the attention of Cecilia. Cecilia speaks a little bit of English but mostly Twi, an African bush branch. She has a harder time understanding everything so we go very slow. For the first little bit she was kinda distracted and her brows were furrowed, no eye contact, trying to hold on to as much as possible. 
I don't think I'll ever forget watching her forehead smooth out and a smile come across her face as I recited Joseph smiths first Vision. From that point on I could tell the spirit was enlightening her and took the opportunity I had to quickly scale the entire lesson in peanut form. And she got it. 
We talked more and they decided they want to pray about being baptized together on the 21st of May. 
Super exciting to be teaching a married couple. That has been on my wish list since I got here. 
They invited us to come home to them for lunch.. Yayyyy African food yayyyyyyyyy
on the outside of my body My facial expression was like 
"Yes!!! Of course I love crazy African people food!"
In a later conversation I revealed to sister hall that what was going on in my mind was 
So our lunch date with Ofori and Cecilia rolls around and sitting on the table is four giant balls of rice and manna gryn. I think that's like ..cream of wheat kinda in English. But just a thick ball of it. She made some type of sauce which clearly had cow something in it. I have learned not to ask before eating, what it is. But it turned out to be cow spine....... In a super slimy red spicy goo stuff. 
Then a separate container had full body no head tilapia fish on some sort of green mush .... SO PUMPED

so..pumped .... 

Like I don't know if the orange juice they served with it made it better or worse honestly. Probably not my first pick for a drink when it comes to cow spine. 
Lunch....went. Haha I wanted to say it went well but like... Let's just say went. 
We taught them more clearly about the Book of Mormon. People here understand that the Book of Mormon is the same as the bible. That it replaces the bible and we have written it to be the bible. 
When we explained the importance of studying the bible AND the Book of Mormon together it all clicked. We went very slow and detailed. We explained how footnotes work. How there are literally references to the bible at the bottom of the pages so that you can study from both. They loved that. 
We met a kid named Samuel from Eritrea and he is the humblest. He is orthodox and had the same problem understanding the Book of Mormon. We taught him and we could just physically feel the barrier. Huge language barrier. He speaks Swedish really well but gospel words are just...too much. We took him to gubbängen that night to play football and basketball and he loved it. Nasi is a professional football player for Sweden and he is getting baptized this week so Samuel LOOOVEEEDD that. He loved playing football with a pro. 
We brought him an Amharic (that's one of the two Main Eritrean languages) Once we got it in Amharic he read the introduction and everything clicked. You can seriously see and feel the barriers dissolve when someone understands. It's like this light just fills the room. A spiritual light though. Everything just feels brighter. It's seriously incredible. going to be so great. I am so excited for him to learn. 
The sun has been out. 
Suns out. 
Guns. Out. 
At first the sun shone direct through my skin. It was just SOOO pale. But two days of sun and I'm golden again!!! The sun has been the best pick me up honestly. I'm just happy to walk around outside and talk to people all day if it means we can be in the sun. The sun has had a much deeper meaning this week. 
I love the sun. I always have. I am a sun child. Sweden does not get a whole lot of sun. For a long period of time, the sun kinda disappears altogether. 
I have been trying to understand what it is that has changed me the most on my mission. What the Big Bang for me is, was, will be. Because the gospel is eternal I felt like it had to be something that has been in my life, is in my life now, and will be in the rest of my life. 
What is it that I have discovered slash learned on my mission...that has always been there (I just haven't seen it) and will always be there. 
What changed me. 
I started to think and honestly, on my mission I have become obsessed with light. The concept of physical and spiritual light. Visible and invisible light. 
The other day I was studying my favorite chapter of scripture. D&C 88. The entire first part handles the light of Christ. 
His light governs the entire universe. 
This light influences and governs the seasons. 
This light is aware. It's living. 
His light.....powers the sun. 
It. Powers... The sun. 
The SUN. 
I have had the sun in my life since I was born. 16 hours old, adopted out of Kentucky to the sunny state of California. that is me. 
Destined to be a flower child. 
A sun worshipper. 
Content to just be. 
Sunlight is so beneficial. Sure scientifically obviously we NEED it. 
But the sun I realized is so. Much. More. 
It is the brightest light we can comprehend. 
The brightest light we can tolerate. And even then it can still be harmful, even deadly. 
The sun is the closest thing we have to the majesty of Jesus Christ. 
When we are resurrected out bodies won't be bodies of blood but bodies of flesh and bone. Needing to be quickened or run or animated by another source. 
A body quickened by light. 
A body quickened by spirit. 
I could literally go on for days about the light of Christ and the goal of obtaining as much light as we possibly can in the life to ensure that when our bodies ARE quickened that the degree of light we sustain now will ensure a celestial glory and light of spirit. 
The sun inspired a TON of my studies this week. 
I am so grateful that we will be forever progressing and learning new things. That is so cool. Whatever intelligence we gain in this life is what we get to take with us. It's all eternally necessary. 

Happy. Mama's. DAYEEE. 

Deana Louise (Hild) Giles. 
On May 3rd a star child was born. 
I have seen her baby pictures and she was absorbable. just autocorrected to absorbable. I wanted to put adorable but I kinda like absorbable way more. 
Super cute kid. 
Grew up. 
Good at everything. 
Showed and trained horses. Basketball star. 
Hated dresses but Mema forced her to wear them to school. 
Went to prom with a dude named mark that had awesome hair. 
She is not afraid of like..anything except rodents..She absolutely hates mice and rats ..literally the only time I have heard her scream and watched her jump. 
She is so super smart. 
She is literally always right. 
If you want life advice, ask my mom. 

my parents are killers.

She loves meat....waiters at restaurants are usually offended by the level of rareness she wants her steak to be. 
KILLER. COOK. (She gets it from her parents) (chain reaction : single men of the world, hint hint it runs in thffamily) 
Skilled water skier. 
Bomb tennis player. 
So good at eating in-n-out while driving. 
She loves and is so good with photography. 
She can drive any car, truck, motorhome, Anything. 
Apparently according to her best friend Deena Thompson, she was cool. 
My mother is actually the coolest. I've got so much proof. 
I loooove making her laugh. 
Her laugh is so funny. When she laughs super hard it is the best. 
She always listened to my dreams hahaha even then super long weird ones. Without fail. Every morning.

I always have pointless questions and usually she would just say 
Hahaha I dunno tan! 
And then we would laugh at my ridiculousness together. 

One night after a breakup I was just bawling my face off and I just went and got in in bed with her and slept there because even though her advice was something I didn't really wanna hear at the time, I knew she was right and knew what was best for me and ultimately even though I would've hated to admit it then I'll admit it now, I loved it. 
For a while my mom and I were not the super closest. 
I was a total rebel and I know I caused a lot of damage. But my mom and I got close. I can honestly say right now she is my best friend. (My parents are the coolest. They are my bestest friends in the whole world) (dad you're my best friend in a dad way) 
But my mommy. 
She is my best girlfriend. My mission has taught me that. I have seen that she knows me soooo well. All the good things and all the bad things. It means the world to me to make her proud. To hear her say that she is proud of me and sees a difference has been so good for me. 

I am just a completely different person. 
My mission has gone through me. 
Our mission president and wife's motto is 
Don't go through your mission, let your mission go through you. 
I feel like it has. I have been out for 17 months and my mission has gone through me. 
Sometimes with a sifter, sometimes with a sledge hammer. It has molded me from the inside out. 
I was so lovingly reminded by Anne lill ( my Gävle Swedish grandma that loves to torture me) that as of yesterday I have 17 days left of my mission. ..she ended it with, I want you to live in Sweden. 
My mission has gone throughout me. 
This family that I have been creating for 17 months is just going throughout me. 

I really love who I have become. 
I really love who I am now. 
I am so excited to work the hardest I can for the next 17 days to leave my name all over Hägersten. 
Till next week :) 


cherry blossoms are E V E R Y W H E R E



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