Monday, May 25, 2015

So grateful for summer!!

Sunday selfie
Hi everyone!!

We had a really, really, really good week. Like...really. I am so grateful for summer!! It starts getting warmer and people are nicer and want to meet with you all of the time. Funny how that works :)

We traveled a ton this week. On Tuesday, we were in Stockholm for zone training. The zone leaders talked about what we talked about in MLC about giving better commitments. I loved it though, because this time they compared a baptismal date to marriage. You can't really meet a person and then ask them to get married in 3 weeks, and you can't really do that with baptism either---at least you can't in Sweden. Haha! I was just thinking about BYU the whole time...oh gosh. Hahah. Sometimes, Syster King and I tell the elders who haven't been to college yet about BYU and what it's like. They think getting married in 3 weeks is awesome....#no

On Thursday, we went on workovers in Gävle! They just pulled elders out of Gävle and the sisters are in charge of the entire area now, and they are feeling a little overwhelmed. We tried to help them get things together and meet a ton of people, and it went really well! I loved getting to have a sleepover with Syster Stetler again too :) We are back to the daily grind of workovers/splits once a week for the rest of the transfer. Like...who needs sleep? ;)

"We fika'd." (A coffee break without the coffee...Mormon style)
Sunday was probably the best! Kim came to church!!! She is so adorable. Things are going sooooo incredibly well with her. She actually wants to move up her baptismal date, because one of the first missionaries that taught her is here visiting until the middle of June. She wants to get baptized so this missionary can be there to see it! I think it's awesome. And I will probably still be in Uppsala too!!! #blessings But she really is so great. We were able to have dinner at our mission leader's house with her, and she just gets the gospel. She loves it! And we love her :)

Grisel, our investigator from Mexico, came to Relief Society!! We have quite a few Spanish-speaking members in our ward, and she hit it off so well with them. One of them even exchanged numbers with her without any prompting from us! You guys, member missionary work is just the realest thing. Everyone should do it. It makes our lives as missionaries ten billion times easier. :) And we had a less active's son, who isn't a member, come by the church and we taught him! It was a super awesome day. Plus we made rolls. How can life be bad with homemade rolls?

Sooo yeah. It's been good :) Swedish fun facts!! (PS sorry I have super slacked on these....we have started emailing in the mornings here and my creative brain just doesn't work before 8 am)
-They don't have real maple syrup here (well they do, it just costs 500 billion dollars and is in the American section of the grocery store), so we use this corn syrup like stuff. Hahah. I just can't go without pancakes and French toast, ya know
-It is light outside all the time now!! YAY!!! It gets dark around 10ish now. I am so happy to finally see the sun all the time again haha #luleåPTSD
-My birthday banner is still up...haha happy 1 month of being 20? ;)

Love you guys!!!! Have a good week!!
Syster Moddddd
Two cute kids & two cute missionaries in the ward :)

A giant carnival

Monday, May 18, 2015

Polish Surnames Come in Handy!

The Luleå crew reunited! E. Archibald, S. Mod, E. Elinkowski

This is the first week in a while that we haven't gone on splits, and may I just say THANK HEAVENS!! I needed a recoup week :) We had a ton of fun!

On Monday, we headed down to Stockholm with the elders! Elder Lofgren needed to get souvenirs for his family before he went home, so we went and were tourists for the day. Haha I love shopping with elders.
Him: "So I was thinking about the gold bracelet for my mom.."
King and I: "We like silver better!"
Him: "So I was actually thinking about the silver bracelet for my mom..."
If you ever need shopping advice, make sure to ask the sisters. ;) Haha! But we had a lot of fun in Stockholm and were able to teach this cute Mexican lady named Grisel when we got home :)

I live here! How cool is that?
On Tuesday, we went to Mission Leadership Council! It was so fun to see some of my friends that have become zone leaders recently :) We chatted and chatted and learned about how to extend better commitments. I'm totally one of those people who asks, "Can you pray tonight?" and the investigator says, "Like eh maybe" and I get scared to push them and lose them so I just say okay. Haha. It was a good lesson for me! I learned a lot!

The rest of the week, we have been contacting up a storm! I don't know how it is in most missions, but here in Sweden we rely almost completely on street contacting to get new investigators. This means we teach a lot of street lessons. We contacted the cutest Polish lady and taught her, and she was so positive! I was 300% certain it was because my name is Polish and she felt the connection. Haha :)

Our investigator, Kim, that I talked about a few weeks back, is having a pretty rough time right now. We haven't been able to meet with her because she has been back and forth between Uppsala and Stockholm with a funeral for a friend and trying to take care of her family, etc etc. If you guys wanted to pray for her, I'm sure she would appreciate it! :) She is so cute though. She always is sending us texts about how she knows God is there for her.

On Sunday, I translated sacrament meeting for an American who was here on business. One of the speakers shared Matthew 25:40, about how when we serve others, we are really serving God. He talked about these acts of service are usually not big things, but small things that happen every day. I've heard that scripture countless times, but this time it meant something different. I thought back on my mission thus far, and I'm realizing that God has blessed me with so many little opportunities to serve Him. I haven't done any great things. I haven't baptized a million people (in fact, I can count all of the baptisms I've been at on one hand). But I have put my everything into the mission, and I will be leaving my heart here when it's time to go. My mission means so much to me!! I am so grateful for my opportunity to serve.

Thanks for all of the prayers and emails and well wishes! I appreciate them every week!! Love you guys so much :)

xoxoxo Erin
We saw kids playing American football! It was a little more powder puff and a little less NFL. :)
This is in a church in the middle of Gamla Stan. It has this statue of a guy killing a dragon! Awesome!
The sisters with Karin
Syster King & Äldste Held had a spicy-food eating contest. S. King lost, so now the girls "have" to visit Denmark next summer. Haha!
Stadshuset (city hall) in Stockholm
Äldste Held (the Dane....obviously!)
Shopping in Stockholm to help Äldste Lofgren find gifts for his family
Such cute sister missionaries!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mors Dag!

Happy Mother's Day Skype session
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO MY FAVORITE MOM!!! And all of you mothers out there :) This email will probably be short because I talked to you guys yesterday, but... :) This has been a super good week! Super crazy (per usual) but really fun :)

We started off the week by taking night trains. Woo. Yay. Awesome. (It was not awesome.) We got on a train at 6:45 Monday night, and got off in Luleå at 7:45 am the next day. We worked all day on splits, which was way fun. I absolutely love being back in Luleå, and I had a lot of fun with Syster Nielsen. Then we got back on the train at 6:30ish pm, and finally came home on Wednesday morning around 8 am. I. WAS. EXHAUSTED. The elders picked us up from the train station and took us to McDonald's for breakfast as a consolation prize...hahah it was so bad. We were nuts! We didn't have beds on the trains, and the seats were pretty uncomfortable to sleep on, so we just slept on chairs...but like, it's whatever. We survived. I now have 3 night trains under my belt #wonderwoman And we worked all day Wednesday without taking a nap! We probably should have, Haha.

On the lonnnnng, lonnnnnng train ride.
This weekend, we had stake conference in Stockholm! That was super fun. We got to listen to 3 people speak in Norwegian, which I understand really well. That was like...the coolest thing ever. I <3 Scandinavia! We also had the Area Seventy speak, which was cool.

Aaaaanndddd our investigators are doing really well. Kim is doing well. She was going to come to church yesterday, but it's a little bit harder to get to Stockholm, so she wasn't able to. We have been meeting with lots of new people, and that has been fun!

I loved talking to my family!! Seriously the highlight of my week/month/ever. They are the best and the cutest!!!! It made me realize how soon I am going to be talking to everyone again....AHHHH real life is so scary. I am content to stay on my mission forever and avoid the responsibility. ;)

LOVE YOU ALL!! Have a good week :):)
Syster Mod

Lyxshakes (best milkshakes ever) for the never-ending train ride.
Splits with Syster Nielsen in Luleå
Heading back home to Uppsala
So happy to be home!
Missionary food = enchiladas :)
With friends Ella and Carin
Äldste Smith (in Erin's district), Ruben and the sisters
Bowling on p-day

Skype is our favorite. With Paige.
With Shae.
With Tate.
Erin and her dad.

Monday, May 4, 2015

ett år (One Year)

Hello hello!!!!!!!

So this was by far one of the funnest weeks of my mission! I loved it!

On Monday, we went to the Tolley's for the final "tjejfest" (aka sister party) of the mission. They head home next week and I am devastated! I feel like my mission parents are all leaving, and it's really not okay with me. But that was super fun! I was able to see a bunch of sisters and a few people snuck birthday presents into my backpack. I have the best friends ever.

Tuesday was my birthday!!!!!!! Wooo!!!!!!!!!! I had so much fun. Syster King is the cutest and just made it the best day ever for me. She decorated everything and made me breakfast and we partied the entire day! She and the elders planned a surprise birthday party for me too :) Elder Held made me falafel (my new favorite food that I don't know how to describe) and Lofgren made me a cake and I felt soooooo loved! It was a ton of fun. Although I really don't feel 20. That is so old and gross.
The birthday breakfast, compliments of Syster King. :)

Celebrating Erin's one year mark with a bonfire....or celebrating Valborg. Either way.
Wednesday was our only real proselyting day of the week, and literally everything fell through. Haha gotta love it. We did some service and ended up talking to a bunch of people, and it went really well. But Thursday is what was really fun! YAY YEAR MARK!! I can't believe I have been on my mission a whole year. That feels ridiculous and not even real. We celebrated with Valborg! It was too windy to light our bonfire at the ward party we had, but on the way home we drove by a bunch of bonfires and it was AWESOME. I loved it. Uppsala was crawling with drunk people and parties, but it was fun. Haha, makes contacting exciting ;) (don't worry, we didn't contact the super drunk people)

Sisters Beckstrom, Mod & King at the tjejfest
On Friday, we took a 3 hour train ride up to Sundsvall and did workovers! That was way fun. I love the sisters in Sundsvall. They take care of us so well! We got to drive up a mountain there (like the only mountain in Sweden) and it was breathtaking. I miss Utah mountains, but Swedish ones. I'm telling you. They are something else!! We came home on Saturday and tried to proselyte as much as we could. It felt like we had like 5 hours in our area this week total. I miss our investigators....haha.

Sunday was so sad! We said goodbye to Elder Johnson, who goes home today, and the Hawleys, who are moving to Göteborg. Uppsala is changing so much and it is breaking Syster King and I's hearts. We are dying. We LOVE this area. Transfer calls come this Saturday and I really want to stay here!! I don't think I can handle one more goodbye! You think when you come on your mission you are done saying goodbyes. Nope! They just get worse!! I am so grateful for all of the people I have met though. They have taught me so much.
The Uppsala Crew

And finally, my thoughts about this last year. :) I have never been more grateful for anything in my entire life. This has been the hardest/best year I have ever had. I have learned so much. I wish everyone could go on a mission. It has changed my life and I will be forever grateful I came!! CHEERS to the next 6 months. May they go as slow as possible so I can enjoy every single minute!!!!

Love you guys :) Happy early Mother's Day shout out to my mom!! She is the best!!
xoxox Erin
Annelill came down from Gävle and took Erin & Syster King out for birthday lunch and ice cream! How nice!

Elder Burke
Elder Lofgren
Elder Held (from Denmark) and the falafel that Erin was talking about.

Can you imagine living here? It's so beautiful!

These two found this cool Chinese place when they were driving home from district meeting

More birthday decor