Monday, September 29, 2014

Halmstad Week 1!

New companions!
Hi everyone! I hope you all are good! I am here and alive in Halmstad:) It is great! My new companion is Syster Dawson. She is from Cedar City, UT, and goes home in December! We have had sooo much fun together. She is so genuine and a crazy hard worker. Love her! Everyone here, including Syster Dawson and the ward, has been so welcoming to me! I already love it :) The only issue is the is a lot different here than it was in Gävle. No one can understand me because I have Norrland Swedish, and I can't understand them because they have a little bit of Skånish Swedish, which sounds like Danish. Oh the joys of this country! You just gotta love it ;) #relearningswedish

Leaving Gävle and Syster Ludwig on Wednesday was so sad! I miss that branch and Syster Ludwig so much already! It is crazy how you can feel like people are family in such a short amount of time. We left the elders with a packed schedule and lots of investigators, so that felt good. :)

It has been rainy and cloudy ever since I came to Halmstad, but it is still warmer than Gävle. Haha! We live a 5 minute walk from a big bakery, so the air always smells like fresh bread and cinnamon rolls. AKA we live in heaven. :) The town is little and cute and has awesome shopping, so there is really nothing else a girl needs in life;) When I first got here, we didn't have a phone...#stoneages Haha it had broken the week before and was waiting to get shipped to us! Let me tell you people. Life is not impossible without a phone. It kinda really sucks, but you live anyway. Just in case you were wondering;)

Our investigators are great!! We have 2 with baptismal dates later in the year and quite a few other investigators progressing. One of my favorite investigators that I have met is Trang! She is from Vietnam, and you pronounce her name like Chang. She married a Swede and moved to Halmstad a couple of years ago! Trang is amazing at English and loves to talk. A lot. Haha I LOVE her! She adores the Book of Mormon. Seriously loves it! Every time we go over, she says the opening and closing prayers without ever being asked. Then we read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and she just dies over it! We read Jacob 3 with her and she thought it was the most amazing thing ever. Trang believes in Jesus, Buddha, and a whole bunch of other things, but she loves Jesus. And we do too so it works:) She made us the most amazing Vietnamese vegan food on Saturday! Sushi and peanut sauce and vegetables and happiness:) She is so sweet and made me feel right at home when I got here! Syster Dawson and I are going to try to be vegetarian this week because of her. Wish me luck (cause I am gonna really need it...haha)!

It has just been a super good week. I got all 3 of my crazy big suitcases across a country on trains with no problems, we got banana chicken curry pizza again, we had an investigator and her son come to church, I gave a little talk in Swedish at church and didn't die/pass out, etc etc :) Blessings!! I love being a missionary!

Facts of Sweden:
-Gypsies exist. Don't give them money if you can see an iPhone in their pocket. Haha!:)
-Halmstad has the prettiest library EVER. It is made of glass and hangs over a river that goes straight to the ocean. Libraries are like a huge deal in Sweden. We meet there all the time to teach people!
-The ward here has around 20 active members. This is a big change for this Utah born and bred girl. Where are the other 500 members of the ward?:)

Love you all!! Xoxox miss you and have a great week!
Syster Modersitzki

Beautiful Syster Mod at a bus stop

At a church in Halmstad...with Book of Mormon in hand!

Having fun!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Day Syster Mod Leaves Gävle

All of the missionary emails I got this week from friends: "Ahh! It is getting so cold! I am over it. I do not want winter to start!"
Me: "Lol guys, been wearing a coat since August, get on Sweden's level" ;)
Just so you all know, it is still cold. I am buying tights. And I got a huge, puffy winter coat. I am more than ready for a real Swedish winter :)

But anyway! Where do I even start this week!? I guess the biggest news is that I am transferring to Halmstad! Halmstad is a little beach town on the west coast of Sweden. It is supposed to be absolutely beautiful, and I am so excited. There are a lot of good things going on there right now! I am also really excited to go to the southern part of Sweden, because it is warmer. Granted I still live in Sweden...but the more south the better. Haha! It feels so weird to be transferring....A mission seriously does fly by. Next week, I hit my 5 month mark. Can anyone believe that I have been gone 5 months? It does not feel real. How can I possibly be leaving my greenie area already?! Where is my whole mission going!!?? Ahh!! I just have to do every Swedish thing possible in the next year. It's a big bucket list :)
Taking the train
These are the trains we take everywhere

Syster Ludwig is also getting transferred (for her last 3 weeks. What!?) to Västra Frölunda. Which means they are pulling sisters out of Gävle :( The whole branch is so sad, and I am too. Gävle is the best. I think I would be great with staying here forever. But we have had an awesome last week together, and have lots of investigators for the elders, who are taking over our area! I guess if we have to end, at least it is on a good note:) I am going to miss this branch so much though! Gävle absolutely feels like home. I know this town like the back of my hand:) The people are so amazing here and I just can't imagine a better area to start my mission.

We were counting yesterday, and in the past 3 weeks we have been together, Syster Ludwig and I have found 8 new investigators. We also have a ton of phone numbers and addresses for the elders to call and go by for potential investigators. We have had the best time together and I love it! I have also never taught the Restoration so much in my life. I think it is so fun to teach. Africans love it, Swedes look at you like you are absolutely insane, and people with a Muslim background are just like "Bro. Have you heard of Muhammed." Haha :)

We have one investigator named Bobsoa who I think is the greatest person ever. He is going to university right now in Gävle, and is from Sierra Leone in Africa. We have had a couple lessons with him, and he has come to church once. He loves telling his friends about us, and every time we leave after a lesson he is like "Go preach the word of God!". He has given us 3 referrals, who are all super positive, awesome guys. The moral of the story is go give the missionaries a referral. They will absolutely love you. :)

Things that are fun this week:
-We are bringing the Canadians with us to a real Swedish dinner tonight at the Sjökvist's, one of my favorite families in the branch. I hope the Sjökvists make them try salted black licorice too. #ew
-I am obsessed with herbal tea now. There is this blueberry tea here that I'm pretty sure could heal every sickness in the world it is so healthy and yummy. (Maybe not on the healing thing with the amount of sugar and honey I put in it, but you know whatever)
-A member told Syster Ludwig and I that you can tell if people like family history by a look in their eye. "Syster Mod, you are just going to be a great mom here on earth and do lots of things for people here, but you don't like family history. Syster Ludwig, you are saving people on the other side." Last time I checked I enjoyed family history, but apparently I need some help. Haha!:)

I love you all sooooooooooooo much and miss you lots! Have a good week!
Lots of love,
Syster Mod who is heading to the beach :)

Erin with one of her favorite people in Gävle, Annicka.

Saying goodbye to Carina.

Lots of lingonberries!
Lingonberry fields? I'm not sure what to call them.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Your Prayers are Working!

Old Viking boat
Hi everyone! This week was seriously so good. Syster Ludwig showed up in Gävle with a come and conquer idea, and it is woooooorking. I love her so much! She is such a good missionary and really knows how to work hard. Also I got to go to a museum with Viking stuff this week so I really don't know how life can get better. #scandinavia

On Thursday, we got to go down to Stockholm with the northern half of the mission to see Elder Bednar talk. I got to see him in the MTC too, so it was really cool to see him again. He did another Q&A session like I had before, and I learned so much about prayer and God's will! I think that must be a hard concept for every missionary to grasp, because there were a lot of questions on why we pray for things, if us praying for an investigator makes a difference, why we need to ask for things, etc., etc. Needless to say I totally feel the people asking these questions. Haha! One of the best things Elder Bednar said was, "We have to have faith that He can, not that He will." Sometimes that is really hard, especially when you want something so badly, but faith is the most important part:) But it was awesome to see him again and hear him speak! Apostles. I just love 'em:)
In Gubbängen to hear Elder Bednar
With cute Syster Ludwig
 All of our finding efforts this week are paying off in crazy ways! We have given out so many copies of the Book of Mormon....and like 98% of them have been given to Arabic speakers. Haha what? I think I am just going to convert all of the Swedish-Iranian-Iraqis here in Gävle so no one mind Syster Mod. We have also taught a lot of Africans this week, which has been super sick (sick means super cool in teenage-speak). Africans just understand my life....idk. We had 2 investigators come to church (including Olle!) and a lot of new people say they were interested in meeting. We've been getting awesome referrals, having super great contacts....Syster Ludwig and I are honestly blown away. Thaaaanks for all the prayers you guys, they are doing good stuff :)
We have done a lot of contacting to get to this point with investigators, and lots of contacting = lots and lots of stories....hahah. Note for everyone: If you are ever just casually tracting and hear a bunch of banging on a door before it opens, do not assume it is just the little kids that live there. It could be a very drunk, high lady who couldn't figure out how to get her lock open. When she opens the door, hand her a pass-along card and run. Hahah oh the good times. #memories ...#thesepeopleneedjesus
Things that are fun here in Sverige:
-Everything is pear flavored here, and it kind of rocks. I had a pear juice box this week and it was way too good.
-There is a word in Swedish that means you just don't have the energy/willpower to do something (orka). Jag orkar inte alls means I really am not feeling that, so I am not going to do it. Hahah I was surprised we didn't have a word for that in English. 
-Curry and banana and chicken all on a pizza. I give it a 7/10.

I love you all! Thanks for everything :) Have a great week!!
xoxoxo Syster Mod

Lingonberries everywhere!
"Someone tried really hard to spell Sweden...we can't win them all."
I can't get enough of this.
"My name in an old Swedish thing. It means 'recalling'...... k."

"We picked apples off a tree and ate them. I love this country."

"Why not?"

Some of the sister missionaries at the conference in Stockholm to hear Elder Bednar.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A New Companion!

Hi hi hiiiii! I hope you all are well. I haven't had to wear a coat 3 days out of 7 this week, so I am on cloud 9! This is what my world has come to. I am going to freeze come October.
But anyway:)
Syster Mod and Syster Ludwig--brand new companions
I have a new companion and she is probably the cutest person I have ever met. Picture the red head from Frozen with insanely good Swedish and missionary skills up the wall, and you have Syster Ludwig. (Her hair is kind of more brown than red, but what do you do? And she hasn't even seen Frozen. #missionaryprobs) For reals though I love her! She is from Orem and went to UVU, so we have a lot to talk about. We even figured out that we order the same thing at Zupa's. (PS-if anyone can figure out a way to send Zupa's chicken enchilada chili, we will gladly pay you back with a virtual email hug.) She has made the transition so easy and is so fun to be around. We get along super well and I just feel blessed:) Huge s/o to the Big Guy Upstairs cause he really knows what he is doing!

With Syster Anderson
I also got to go on splits with Syster Anderson this week! It was so fun. She is super darling and so funny! And also really talented at Swedish, just like everyone else here. We talked about diligence and how the sister missionaries here tend to run themselves into the ground with how hard they work. All I can say is that I definitely came to the right mission! I know I am going to be one of the annoying RMs when I come home who can't sit still and needs something to do all. the. time. I really like it that way :)
This week has been pretty hard with finding. I am realizing just how uninterested Swedes are in religion. But that also just means they need God more and I have a good message about that:) I know with all of my heart that we are going to find people that need the gospel. That's why we are here! We have been thinking about starting both an English class and a Swedish class at church as a finding idea. Who ever thought that I would be teaching people languages? Not me!! I LOVE THE GIFT OF TONGUES YOU GUYS. It's the realest. Promise.
Wellllll the field is white and I am freaking ready to harvest. My plan is to, as my dear cousin Ally says, hit the ground running and don't look back! It isn't easy but it is so worth it:)

Facts of Sweden: It's cold, if you haven't got that from my previous emails. gosh darn it.
Everyone has a cat here, and they all want me to hold them. Allergies. I am telling you. They are the worst.
Muslims will most likely giggle at you if you say you believe Jesus was more than a prophet. It happens? But on the bright side, I now have more Muslim friends than I have ever had in my entire life. #diversity
Africans are straight bros. I love them all and I actually think I am one of them.

HAVE A GOOD WEEK EVERYONE! Thanks for remembering little Syster Mod up here in the North Pole:) And pray for the missionaries! Love you all :)
Syster Modersitzki

This is what Erin gets to see. Every single day! Gorgeous!

Last selfie with Syster Hill

Monday, September 1, 2014

No Longer a Greenie!:)

Wearing coats. In August. It's fine.
Hi everyone!! This week I hit my 4 month mark! I cannot believe I have been gone for that long. It has felt like 2 seconds. And along with 4 months done, I AM DONE WITH TRAINING!!!!! Hej då greenie syster mod:):):) (Being a greenie is not exactly a great status in a mission, if you cannot tell...hahah.) I will miss it a little bit, but I feel like a real missionary now. It is exciting stuff:) It is transfers this week, and I am staying in Gävle! My cute trainer is leaving this week to move to Stockholm and I am going to miss Sister Hill so much!:( No one could have done a better job of teaching me how to work hard and have fun at the same time. Ah I could just cry. I love her! My new companion is going to be Sister Ludwig! She is coming up from Malmö, the very south part of Sweden. Everything I have ever heard about her is so good, and I am super excited to meet her! I get to "kill" her too:) This is her last transfer, and here missionaries say that when you go home, you "die", and your companion kills you! I don't get it but I think it is hilarious so we roll with it. Anyway, we are going to have a lot of fun in Gävle:)

So we got a lot of publicity this week! Sister Hill and I were in 2 different newspapers:) If you guys send me a piece of paper or something (I don't know... like a letter) I guess I can autograph it. If you insist. Haha!;) I felt kind of famous though. On our way to church, one of the bus drivers said he saw us in the paper that day. We also had a very anti-Mormon preacher come and talk to us to ask how we are getting all this publicity. (We wanted to say "CUZ WE ARE THE TRUE CHURCH HOLLA" but we didn't.) But it is going to be an awesome contacting tool! We were really excited about it:)

We met this super cool couple from Canada a few weeks ago, and we just got to meet with them this week! They just barely moved here and can't speak any Swedish. They are not very positive as investigators, but they love all of the church activities we do and want to come to everything. I think they miss hearing people with Canadian accents, and Americans are the next best thing they can find. Haha! They came to play innebandy with us on Saturday, and both of them were just naturally good. It has to be because the game is similar to hockey, and hockey is in their blood ;) We really love them though! We are hoping that they will want to keep learning more about the church as they meet our awesome members:)
Sister Hill's real birthday was on Thursday this week, and we had so much fun! She was turning 22, so we sang Taylor Swift's "22" song the entire day, and had SUCH good food. Gosh I love members. And Sister Hill! And birthdays :)

All of our investigators right now are progressing, but very slowly. Gävle is really just in finding mode right now! We have been praying and praying to find a family ready for the gospel, and we think that we are really going to be blessed this month:) I am just excited to get out there and work and see what Sister Ludwig can teach me! I love being a missionary. I am seriously having so much fun. Saying goodbye to Sister Hill will be hard, but I can just tell that this is just the very beginning of something great!

Also really cool spiritual thing for this week (sorry this email is so long but...necessary):
I read something this week that said we should be like Nephi and instead of praying for our trials to disappear, we should pray for the strength to overcome them. That blew my mind! Here I am, praying for God to take away the homesickness and the hardness and just make my life easy. But that is so not how God works. He wants us to grow, and we don't do that if life is easy! Ah. It just changed my whole perspective. I think one thing I have learned so much about on my mission is strength. I promise you are stronger than you think, because I found out that I am :) The gospel gives us strength!

Okay I just love you all! Thank you for everything you do for me and my family!! Have a wonderful week!

Love, Syster Mod :)
Sweden is so beautiful!

We found the cutest little shopping cart in the world!
A tower of squeezy cheese. Literally. Ham flavored cheese in a tube.