Monday, February 23, 2015

Oh transfers...but YAY change!!!

Here is Erin sparking on the ocean! (The sleds are called sparks.)
Hi everyone! This week was crazy but so good! I made it to Uppsala on Wednesday. It was the saddest to leave Luleå. As a final hurrah, we took sleds on the ice road (on the ocean holla) and ran around and had a blast. I miss Stetler already, but I really could not love my new comp more and I absolutely adore Uppsala :)

My new companion is Sister Emily Maxwell! She is from Bountiful, UT (went to the same high school as my mom, shout out to her) and she is just so cute! We have been having a ton of fun together and we get along super well. We haven't spent that much time together though, because as soon as I got here, I was shipped off to Gävle for splits!

Erin was so happy to see the church in Gävle too. :)
I LOVE GÄVLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Splits there were seriously the best. We got to visit all my friends!! Carina, who was baptized in the summer when I was there, Annelill, and then ended the day with branch council, where I got to see a whole bunch of people. I loved it!!! Everyone there was so impressed with my Swedish. Apparently my accent as a greenie was....scary. One of the members, as soon as I started speaking, was like "WOAH DIN SVENSKA!!" ("Woah your Swedish!!"). Hahah. I just loved being back there. It felt just as familiar as when I left! I am convinced that part of me is just never going to leave Sweden. I love it too much!!

Going on splits with Syster Giles in Gävle.
Getting back to Uppsala has been fun :) We have one investigator who is getting baptized on Saturday named Fontana, so that is super exciting! We taught him a lesson on the plan of salvation this week, and he really couldn't be a more perfect investigator. We were able to teach him with the senior couple that lives here, and I LOVE THEM. I think I need to be by a senior couple for the rest of my mission! I just have never been more taken care of! :) I was stoked to meet the rest of the ward at church this week, but my poor comp got the flu Saturday night, so we had a sick day Sunday. I think the ward thinks I am hiding from them or something. Hahah.
Beautiful Uppsala
I like being a Sister Training Leader so far. It is kinda scary to all of the sudden be one of the older sisters in the mission. Like what? I am definitely still a greenie! The only thing that is funny to me is that people keep asking me questions about missionary work and obedience and stuff like I know everything. I wish....  It's just so weird to me that my mission will end at some point. I am excited to see my family (in the far future haha don't worry #nottrunky), but I don't think I want to stop being a missionary. Because Maxwell is going home so soon, we talk about home all the time, and I am just dying! I have so much left to do here!! Heavenly Father is counting on me!! (On a nonspiritual note, there is also a lot of food I have left to try too. My bucket list is loooong! Hahah!)

This week wasn't super eventful, but next week will be for sure! I will be in Stockholm the majority of the week for leadership meetings, splits and zone training. I have missed Stockholm!! I am really excited :)

Sorrryyyyy kinda boring email this week. But I love you all!!
Fun facts:
And now she knits! Who knew?
-We have knitting night in this ward, and I learned how to knit. I feel so homemaker-y and awesome. Call me if you are low on hot pads. Haha!
-Uppsala is one of the biggest university towns in Sweden, and the church is super close to campus. The missionaries put on a free hot chocolate stand as a finding activity on Fridays after class and we always have people stop!
-Except Swedes don't understand the concept of free. Haha. They think we are selling poison or something because our nametags say Jesus
-I FINISHED JESUS THE CHRIST and it was awesome!!!!! Best book ever. Highly recommended :)

Have a great week everyone!!!
xoxo Syster Mod

Syster King, Syster Giles, Syster Maxwell (Erin's new companion), & Syster Mod

Monday, February 16, 2015


Happy Valentine's Day from Luleå!
Haaaaaappy Valentine's Day/Transfer Calls day!! Haha Saturday was quite eventful :) Drum roll please.....I am going to be leaving Luleå (*Erin's heart breaks in half*) and leaving Syster Stetler (*Erin's heart breaks into quarters*) for UPPSALA on Wednesday!! I am so excited, but I am already homesick for Luleå. I JUST LOVE LULEÅ SO MUCH! 

But. There are 3 great things about Uppsala. 1) I get the coolest comp ever, Syster Maxwell! She is "dying" (going home) so we are gonna do all the fun Swedish traditions one last time and have a blast. :) 2) I get to go on splits!! I'm going to be an STL in Uppsala, so I get to go on splits in Luleå and Gävle, two of my old areas. I am SO excited to go to Gävle and have the chance to come back here!! 3) It's warmer. Hahah HALLELUJAH! Uppsala is about 45 minutes north of Stockholm. But yeah I am super excited!! Transfers are always exciting :) It has been hard to say goodbye to all the people here, but I know I am needed in Uppsala. :)

This week has been really good! We got to travel to Umeå on Wednesday for Specialized Zone Training. We were all kind of nervous, because we heard they were upping the standards of excellence, so on and so forth...but it was the BEST. President and Syster Beckstrand are the coolest. We had a really good training, and then they got Meet the Mormons for us to watch! It was SOOOOO good. I don't know if this was because the most recent movie I've seen is The Testaments (for the billionth time, it's great), but I loved it. Especially the part about Utah. And it showed University Mall (missing P-town but it's fine)....hahah everyone was so trunky. We all thought it was such a good way to show the world about Mormons though! They are bringing that movie to Europe in the summer, and we are going to screen it in the chapels and stuff (so I hear). It's going to be really helpful!

Henrik has been doing really really really well! He is down to 3 cigarettes a day (ish), which is super awesome. He came to the last hour of church yesterday, which was huge too. We had a really good lesson on agency and choosing to include the church or not, and he seems really determined to find an answer about church. He was telling us about how he never intended to actually keep meeting with the missionaries, but he feels very uplifted every time he does and he is really glad he has continued with it. He was showing us scriptures that stood out to him, like Moroni 10:4 (about asking and receiving an answer from God) and Helaman 13:29 ("how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?") and we were just like "Bro. THIS IS THE SPIRIT TESTIFYING TO YOU!!!". So now we are working on recognizing the Spirit. Haha it was so cool though!! You can see the Spirit working in him and I love it.

Theresa is also doing well. We weren't able to meet with her this week and she couldn't come to church because she was sick, but she still called and texted and made sure that we knew she was still 100% into being a Mormon for a month. We feel like proud parents. ;)

Andrew, Syster Mod, Ulla Lena & Krister Vinberg
We have one more investigator, Andrew, who is from Russia and is a great guy. He has been coming to church for around 11 years, but just hasn't committed to baptism. We talked about feeling the Holy Ghost this week and how it testifies of truth. One of our members who was at the lesson started going off about how she feels the Spirit when she does baptisms for the dead....normally that would not be good at all in an investigator lesson. They don't really know about all these church things, you kind of have to ease them into it. Haha. But it worked! Our member was inspired :) Everything really hit home with Andrew, and I think he is going to actually get to baptism soon.

Buuuuuuuut yeah. :) It feels so weird to actually be leaving. It's a little like hugging my family goodbye in the MTC again...not fair! Why do missions do this! I have absolutely loved my time in Luleå and would not trade it for the world. I am so lucky to have been up here! And now Norrland has gotten into my blood, so I am a Norrlander forever :)

Fun facts:
-Probs gonna cry when I leave my little Stet-bot. I love my greenie.... *insert crying emoji*
-There is no snow in Uppsala apparently. That will be a big change. Haha!

I just love you all :) Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and shout out to my cute parents who celebrated their 23rd anniversary of loooooove!! :) Have a good week everyone!!!!

xoxox Erin
Saying goodbye to:
The Newells
The Muhi Family
Elisabeth Dahlqvist
One of her buddies, Leo
And Moa Wirtala (who has her own mission papers in!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

The week when everything went wrong and then right

Hallå everyone!!!

Wow. Where do I even begin with this week?? I have never had so much stress/had so many prayers answered. Hahah. It was fun.

So on Monday! We were switching the car with the elders, and we were gonna take it for the next couple of days. One of the elders couldn't find the keys, so we looked around forever and couldn't find them. It was a scary experience. We were looking in snow drifts and where we ate dinner and the library where we emailed....when none of us could find the keys the next day (we tore Luleå completely apart looking for them), we called one of the senior couples in the office, who told us there was no spare key to the car and we had to find it or get the car towed to a dealer so they could make a new key and get the car back to us in two weeks. None of us have the Swedish vocabulary skills to do that, so that was not an option. Haha! I have never said so many prayers in my whole life!!! Stetler and I searched and searched and searched, and in the end some nice person turned the keys into the police station and we got them back :) I learned three lessons from this. 1. Swedes are AWESOME and honest. 2. Don't trust elders with car keys. and 3. Heavenly Father answers alllllllll of our prayers, even the dumb ones. It was good :)

Also this week, I decided I was bored with my hair color and wanted to box-dye it. DUMB. Don't do that. It is super dumb. Dumb dumb dumb. It went really really bad....hahah. I prayed that I could find a way to cover it until Monday and that someone would be able to fix it, and my prayers were answered!! No one even noticed at church and even though it is taking 2 hair appointments, it is almost fixed! Hahah. Never box-dye your hair. Just don't do it. Bad idea. #missionaryprobs

On Saturday, we had a killer tracting day. It was amazing. 3 people let us in, and usually we get let in once a week, if that.... #sweden but it was great!! We taught this super cool couple named Kris and Jen. Kris is half American, and Jen is from California, so it was super cool! It was fun to give the first lesson in English to Americans...hahah but scary. Teaching people just like you is kind of terrifying and I don't know why! Maybe because they understood everything we said?? Haha. They were super positive though, and said they were headed to the store as soon as we left to find out if they could buy herbal tea for us for next time, since we had to turn down everything else they offered us. :) Then to top off the American craze, we met a guy from Salt Lake City, Utah. Just chillin in Luleå. Hahah. It was the weirdest thing! He wasn't a member, but he knew a lot about the church. (and was nooooot interested if you guys were wondering. hahah)

We met with Henrik again, and he said that he is busy trying to pray about a baptismal date. He even gave us his lighter so he would stop smoking for a few days (he admitted he was totally planning on buying another, but baby steps. Haha!). I am super proud of all of the progress he has made.

We also met with Theresa this week, and she came to church again! She told us that she has decided to give Mormon life a try for an entire month and see how she feels after. I am so excited! She has given up coffee, read up on all of our "rules", is trying to read the scriptures every day, the whole deal!! She is a better Mormon already than I was when I was home...hahah. I love how sincere she is. Totally golden investigator but it's fine :)

As weird and crazy as this week was, it was SO much fun. My companion is the best. There is so much to do here and the work is really good.

Fuuuun facts!
-Luleå has broken their snow record as of last week! This is the most snow they have had since like 1966 or something. This is a real Norrland winter, that is for sure :)
-I got asked if I was Norwegian this week. #score
-Swedish Valentine's Day is called Alla hjärtans dag!! Hope you all have a loooovely holiday :);)

Have a good week everyone!!!! :)

<3 Erin

Someone shoveling snow off of the ROOF!
Such darling Swedish girls!

Monday, February 2, 2015


There is a car under all that snow! Wow!
Hi!! :)

Yay February!! It's the month of love <3 :) This week has been really really good. We have actually gotten to a point where we have too much to do and not enough time to do it....As a missionary, that is the best thing EVER. I love being busy :)

So Henrik was supposed to be baptized this Saturday, but unfortunately it's not going to happen :( In case you didn't know, the Word of Wisdom is really hard. I don't blame him one bit! We are planning on meeting with him tomorrow, and hopefully we will be able to move the date to a better day :) I am just so impressed with his progress already! He went from believing in absolutely nothing to believing in God in just a few short months. That's cool. Haha I know that probably sounds very slow for the people that served their missions in....well, anywhere but here, but Sweden is a difficult mission, and we take all the progress we can get ;) I know Henrik is going to get baptized one day! Just all in the Lord's timing :)

We have a super cool new investigator named Theresa! We met her through a member in the branch, and she is super positive. She came to all three hours of church yesterday too! She calls herself a seeker, and is very curious about the church and how everyone gained their faith in God. On Saturday, she invited us and the elders to go to a hockey game. It was the BEST. The first hockey game that I went to in Sweden was in Gävle, and I was a greenie. Aka I did not understand one thing that was said. Haha! But this time was awesome!! I could join in on all the cheers, and we stood in a place that looked like the student section at an Lone Peak game. #knight4life :) That is the loudest I have seen Swedes ever be...hahah drunk and raucous and all sorts of fun! Luleå played Örebro, and lost 30 seconds into overtime/sudden death. It was a bummer, but it was still a blast :) Theresa was a little scared to ask us to come, because she was afraid that Mormons couldn't do stuff like that. She also asked if we ate bacon in our religion. YES AND PROUDLY *insert American flag emoji*
Having a great time at the hockey game with Theresa.
We had dinner at a member's house this week and watched the talk His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox. If you haven't seen/heard/read this talk, dooooo it! It is a BYU devotional (#cougar4lifetoo) and it rocks. Brother Wilcox was my Mission Prep teacher at BYU, and he taught me a lot about how to put Christ first in missionary work. His Grace is Sufficient just explains more about how Christ sacrificed everything for us, and how we can always put our faith and trust in him. I am so grateful for my Savior and the opportunity I have every day to testify of him! I know I say this all the time, but coolest. job. ever. Seriously. (Also hardest, but it's chill)

How would you like to dig out after a Swedish snowstorm? ;)
-It has not stopped snowing all week....we have maybe 4-ish feet of snow? They have been trucking the snow out of Luleå because there is no place to put it. Hahah. Most drifts are taller than me!
-I have switched my Swedish to Norrlandska. There are super distinct accents in every part of Sweden, and the accent they have up here in Norrland is so cool. Like seven (sju) in Stockholm would be pronounced hwoo (kinda..if you said it really fast..haha), but here in Norrland you pronounce it shoo. I like it :)
-We met Americans this week who were visiting for a soccer tournament. When they asked what we were doing up here and we said we lived here, their reply was ".............why?" Hahahaha. It is too cold!

Love you all!! xoxoxo Erin

This beaver is made out of ice. It's also an ice slide! No kidding!

So. Much. Snow.
Syster Stetler in the snow bank.
Playing "Down by the Banks" with the Primary kids.