Monday, August 25, 2014

Sister Hill's Birthday Week :)

Firstly--SHOUT OUT TO THE BEST MOM IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!! Happy Birthday tomorrow:) Everyone, if you don't know my mom, you are missing out. She is the BOMB!! And 29 looks so good on her, don't you think?:)
This week was SO much fun. I have not one clue how I got so lucky to come to Gävle. I love it here!
It has been really rainy and gloomy here lately, and Tuesday was by far the wettest day I have seen in Sweden. I am not so sure that I am really dry yet. Haha! We got blåsted (cancelled on--in Swedish it sounds cooler) quite a few times that day, so we decided to trek through the rain and do swing bys. We knocked on an old investigator's door, and he let us right in. It was really cool! We talked with him and his wife, they gave us cookies, he sat out on the balcony and smoked a joint...Hahah. I thought it was cool though that they immediately trusted us as soon as they saw our name tags. They had never even met us and they gave us cookies and talked about God! Perks of being a missionary for sure :)
We dropped one of our once-promising investigators this week named Daniel. He is such a kind guy, but the last two lessons have been him telling us all about how Christ is actually a conspiracy and that he is not really sure why he is meeting with us. We finally had the do or die lesson (basically get baptized or we can't meet with you anymore) this week, and we all agreed it was best to go our separate ways. It kind of felt like my first break up. Haha! The saddest part was when we were telling him that we are glad he has found something that makes him happy. He just said, "No, this doesn't make me happy. This doesn't make me happy at all. This makes me really sad. I don't think I will ever find the peace you guys have in your lives." If that doesn't make you want to sob, you are just not even human. The gospel is so great! It is the happiest thing I know!
Erin & Äldste Caleb Featherstone--one of her cousin Claire's good friends
On Wednesday, we got to go to Stockholm again for a Mission Tour! We found out that we will get iPads this year, so that is exciting:) It is always so fun to go and see all the other missionaries. And I got to meet the new greenies!! I am not the baby of the mission anymore! Yay! But I am the youngest girl in the entire mission. Fun facts!:)
Sister Hill's birthday is on Thursday, and the ward has really been taking care of her already. It kind of feels like a birthday week! And I just get to tag along and eat cake:) What could be better than that!? Annelill threw Sister Hill a surprise party on Thursday with princesstårta (yummiest cake ever with marzipan frosting) and chocolate cake and cake rolls and oh my goodness. It was amazing. The only problem was that she told us it would be dinner to cover up the party. So we may have come super hungry to find only cake. Annelill really knows a way to a girl's heart;)

On Saturday, she and her husband also took us to this really fun restaurant. It was a saloon theme and had American decor EVERYWHERE. All of you know how much I love America. I almost got a little teary. Haha! It was a little piece of home and I loved it :)

Wow this email is long...haha sorry! I hope you all have the most wonderful week! Say happy birthday to my mom for me please:) Love you all!!

Syster Mod

How many differences can you find in these pictures? Haha! 
Don't forget the delicious French hot dogs too. :)

Doing family history for the WIN!

Syster Jane Taylor (one of Erin's Aunt Jody's good friends) & Erin at the mission tour in Stockholm

Is this snow? Nope. Just hail. In August. No big deal.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Remember when it was hot?

Syster Mod coming at you in 60 degree weather! And I thought Utah weather was bipolar....Oh Sweden. On the bright side I got to buy boots to "prepare" for fall (aka go shopping but whatevs):) But enough about the weather. Because this week was absolutely craaaaazy!

So we will begin with Patrick and his wife. Unfortunately, we have to give them to the elders because they live in the elders' area. We really really really hope that they have a real desire to become members of the church. Because it is a giant blessing and everyone deserves it:)

Olle is still doing super good! We had a really good lesson on prayer. He is still trying to find out if God exists, and it has been really hard for him to begin praying. Which makes sense, I guess, when you think that praying is just talking to yourself. Haha! This week, he and I made a deal about what we would pray for. He has to pray and ask God if he really is there, and I have to pray that I will be more assertive in asking when I don't understand his Swedish. Hahah. It was his idea, so I was happy to go along with it! In my defense, he uses really big words. Ask any missionary in Gävle. But things are going well with him :)

Syster Mod, Äldste Bilodeau, Syster Hill
Speaking of the missionaries in Gävle, we all got interviewed by another reporter this week! A lot of what she knew about the church was from South Park and the TLC polygamy shows...If any big TV producer reads this, make a show about normal Mormons please! For the sake of missionaries everywhere!;) The reporter was really fun to talk to though. I think she was surprised that missionaries are fun and cool instead of sticks in the mud. And that we actually follow the rules we have been given. She asked if any of us had snuck out just once after 10:30 PM, and we all just shook our heads. Like lady. Sleep is way too important here. Haha!

On Friday, we went down to Uppsala for Zone Training and interviews with President Beckstrand. It was so much fun! I absolutely adore President and Syster Beckstrand. They could not be cuter or more fun. Syster Beckstrand talked to Syster Hill and I for like 30 minutes on how post-mission life (including the M word...marriage) is not scary at all, and we shouldn't be worried about it. Syster Hill has 3 months left, so she actually has to worry about it. My 14 months left make me not so scared at all:) This week we get to go to Stockholm for a mission tour and see the Beckstrands again! As well as the rest of the new greenies. I LOVE seeing new greenies. I feel less like a greenie myself;)

Also, just so you all know, week 2 of the lost bus pass: riding bikes edition---completed. I would like to say that I am in the best shape of my life, but that would not be true. All bikes have done is a) made me hungrier, and b) made me feel better about eating more. But, I can almost bike with no hands now. So I am obviously working on the important things here:)

But yeah! Life is goooooood:) I am having so much fun and I love my companion and things are just so good! Being a missionary makes you really notice all of the blessings in your life. For example, I have never been so grateful for my ever. Haha! Everyone go hug your parents and your siblings RIGHT NOW just because you can:) They are the best!!

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Have an awesome week:)
xoxoxox Syster Modersitzki :)

This is the mist at a park near Erin's apartment.

Riding in the mist.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Love Being a Missionary!

Hi everybody! This week was an adventure, to say the least. Sister Hill lost her bus card last Tuesday, so we have been riding bikes EVERYWHERE!! Gävle is pretty small, but when you are on a bike climbing freaking Mount Everest, it really isn't small enough. Haha! But on the bright side, I am going to be super fit and healthy by the time August ends and we get new bus cards. And right now I can eat as many Swedish treats as I want to:) (not like I had any self control before we started biking...but now I feel like I have an excuse:))
This week was seriously sooooooo good! I love the weeks that pretty much plan themselves:) On Tuesday, we got to go to a hockey scrimmage with some members. I LOVE HOCKEY. Oh my gosh. It was probably the coolest thing ever. After playing innebandy, which is basically hockey minus the ice, I feel like I could totally dominate at that sport. Hahah just kidding I have no balance ever but I really did love hockey. Swedes are apparently very un-aggressive when it comes to that sport, but they were still pushing each other everywhere. I can only imagine American hockey. #pain

At a Brynäs hockey game.
On Wednesday, we got interviewed for a newspaper article on missionaries! It was really fun. The interviewee was an old investigator whose mom and sister are members. She was really nice and I am excited to see how it turns out. I will keep you all posted on when my big print debut comes out;) But for real, I think it is going to be a super cool contacting opportunity!
We met with Patrick again this week and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And then we pulled out the big guns. And he said that he wants to be baptized when he knows the Book of Mormon is true:) I did a little happy dance in the rain after we left and I think he saw but it's whatever. I am so excited for him!! I hope he gets his answer really soon! But all in God's timing:) He and his wife came to the church yesterday and we gave them a tour, so maybe they will come next Sunday instead of their Catholic church! We really hope so!
Our investigator, Olle, has come to church for two weeks in a row! Yesterday he stayed for the entire three hours and it was really cool. We had to teach Young Women's for the last hour and he didn't want to stay in Priesthood by himself, so he and Elder Farnworth came and sat in on our lesson. Our five young women thought it was funny. I also thought it was funny. But hey whatever makes an investigator comfortable in church works with me! He is doing really well and says that learning how to pray has really helped him in his life. So everyone go pray and pay attention to how cool that is that you know how to. Because some people don't even know they can!
I just really love my life right now. I can't even explain the feelings that I have here! Being a missionary is like going on this really intense scary roller coaster. Sometimes you are freaking out and it's really hard. And then it totally rocks and life is better again:) I am just having so much fun and I love it! And I also love the fact that I am not going to start school this next week. Have fun all of you who are;)
Fun Sweden things:
This week I had a tortilla bread thing filled with mashed potatoes and korv (hot dogs). Apparently that is normal...and it was actually really good. Weird.
Everything here is brown because it has been 90 degrees outside pretty consistently. It reminds me of home in the good old desert:)
Everyone in the branch is concerned about Sister Hill and I because all we eat is cereal...Hello normal college diet people!;) Haha I am learning that not very many sisters in the mission like to cook. But lots of elders do:)
We visited a graveyard yesterday, and they had little watering cans where you can water all of the flowers on the graves! I did that for like...30 minutes. And had way too much fun doing it. It felt like service:)
Watering the flowers at the cemetery.
Well I just love you all!!! Have a great week!
Xoxoxo Syster Modersitzki (or as I am known in the mission: Mod, Moddy, Erin, Sister Polish, Sister Solo, etc etc):)
The Jehovah's Witnesses left this lovely pamphlet for us in our mail slot (which is labeled Jesu Kristi Kyrka). Sooooo funny!

Hilarious book we found in the library. It says, "Holy Places: From Mecca to Salt Lake City."

Gamla Stan in Gävle

Gamla Stan in Gävle
Same day pic! It's really rainy and we biked from the library to the church. #soaked


Monday, August 4, 2014

Syster Mod is Still Melting

Hiiiii everyone! How are you all? Is it cooling down in the States yet? Because it is just getting hotter in Sweden and I only brought like 3 short sleeve shirts with me. IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS HOT. Guess I just have to go shopping:) (Sorry Daddy:)) The last two weeks, church has only been 2 hours because there is no AC in the building. Hahaha. I love Sweden way too much.
Cute Swedish Houses
This week was really good! I feel like I learned so much and my greenie-ness is starting to wear off;) On Tuesday we went on splits! Syster Christensen, one of the STLs (Sister Training Leaders) in Uppsala, came to Gävle to be with me for the day.
Erin and Syster Christensen on splits...notice the photobomber. Haha!
I was so nervous! The little greenie inside me was screaming "NO MOM DON'T LEAVE ME HERE ALONE IN CHARGE OF GETTING US ON THE RIGHT BUSES!!" when I sent Syster Hill off to Uppsala. But everything was totally fine and I did get us on all of the right buses:) I had a ton of fun! Syster Christensen is so cool. She is just so chill and fun and has really awesome perspectives on missionary work! Plus her Swedish is the bomb. I learned a lot from her:) And what girl doesn't love to have a sleepover?

We met with Patrick again and taught him the Plan of Salvation! He was super interested. He said that he is still waiting on an answer about the Book of Mormon, so we gave him a lot of chapters to read (I mean reread....what a champ) and we hope that we can meet with him again this week! 

Yesterday, we got to meet with an "eternal investigator" named Baby this week. She is soooo cool! She is from Liberia and has the most darling grandchildren that are with her 24/7. I seriously love Africans. Sweden needs Africans. They are all so feisty and crazy and loud, which is like...the exact opposite of native Swedes. I love both:) But anyway! Her granddaughter was talking to me a lot, and it was super fun. She is 8 years old and hilarious. She did have a really hard time understanding our accents though. It is really common for people to ask if we can speak Swedish instead of English when we start speaking Swedish. Our accents are so strong that everyone thinks we are speaking English no matter what language it is! And I still think it is SO weird and cool that I can speak another language. Yay Sweden! Yay missions! Yay still not understanding people but trying really hard!:)

fun factsssss: I have more Muslim friends now than I think I have had.....ever. #diversity
Grandmas tend to lay out at the park in the middle of town to get tan...sometimes I just want to contact them all and give them a towel to cover themselves.
There was a carnival this week and all of these trucks were selling "a real taste of America", aka donuts. Last time I checked the real taste of America was FREEDOM, but okay. Donuts work too.

Haha I love you all!! Happy birthday s/o to McCall! And good luck with school starting this month all of you homebodies;)

xooooooxoxoxoxooxoxox so much love!

Erin on her hike with Annicka and her family last p-day. We all love Annicka! She takes such good care of the missionaries AND THEIR MOMS!! :)
Having a great day with Syster Christensen

Swedish duck faces


How could you not love these missionaries?--S. Christensen, S. Mod, Ä. Farnworth

Erin and her companion, Syster Hill